Sunday, March 21, 2021

College "No Debate" Teams


Harvard University

Loeb Drama Center

April 28, 2021


Moderator: “Welcome to the Harvard-Yale debate. Tonight’s format is different from past debates—not only due to the continuing special pandemic rules-- but also in that it is the debut of both school’s ‘There Can Be No Debate Teams.’ (Applause from the small, masked, socially-distanced crowd.) That’s right, in this more enlightened time, Ivy League schools have decided to judge these contests based on how effectively each team makes the case that there can be no debate about a given topic. (More applause.) And that is the correct decision, of that there can be no debate! (Chuckles.) See what I did there? Anyway, let’s get started, shall we? Harvard, as the home team, you get to pick if you wish to field the first question or if you defer and wish Yale to go first. Captain Smith?”

Harvard’s Captain Smith: “We will go first.”

Moderator: “First topic: ‘Evidence exists that voter fraud occurred in the last presidential election.’ Yes or no?” (Gasps from some in the audience and a few on the teams.)

Captain Smith: (Briefly goes through the motions of appearing to consult with teammates.) “There is absolutely no evidence—whatsoever—of voter fraud in the past election. These wild-eyed conspiracy theories of crazed, radical, right-wing lunatics have been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked. Courts across the nation, including the Supreme Court, have systematically and permanently refuted these utterly baseless charges. Of that there can be no debate!”

Moderator: “Yale, Captain Johnson, how do you respond?”

Yale’s Captain Johnson: “That is unassailably correct. Of that there can be no debate!”

Moderator: “Very good. Nicely done, squads. Yale, next topic: ‘Man-caused anthropogenic global warming, also known as climate change, is an existential threat to planet Earth in the very near future.’ Yes or no?”

Yale’s Captain Johnson: (Briefly goes through the motions of appearing to consult with teammates.) “Over one billion top climatologists and meteorological experts say this is so. As does Greta Thunberg. No one even has the right to infer otherwise. The science is settled. Of that there can be no debate!”

Harvard: “Spot on. Deniers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Of that there can be no debate.”

Moderator: “Indeed. Harvard, next question: ‘Is the scientific method as it has heretofore been characterized adequate to address the challenges of the future…namely critical race theory and transgender rights?’”

Harvard: “Absolutely not. The archaic six-step method is utterly ill-suited to the needs of the progressive future. Those steps—1) Ask a question, 2) Do research, 3) Generate a hypothesis, 4) Conduct experiments, 5) Analyze data and 6) Either accept or reject your hypothesis (with an optional seventh step of honestly reporting your findings) must be modified. The correct sequence is: 1) Pronounce your narrative or belief, 2) Pretend to do research, 3) Restate your narrative or belief, 4) Conduct experiments, 5) Doctor the data so that it supports steps one and three, 6) Validate your original notion and 7) Proudly proclaim to all that your original belief has now been inalterably and unquestionably confirmed, validated and set in stone for perpetuity.”

Moderator: “Yale, what say you?”

Yale: “We couldn’t agree more. In fact, we would say that anyone who disagrees with this obvious truism is guilty of the most virulent form of hate speech…and should be cancelled, imprisoned or...”


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