# What facts and examples should I use in a debate with a Relativity Denier? [closed]

I have been asked to 'defend Science' at a Creationist event in Minneapolis, MN, and the guy I'll be debating is against 'Einsteinian Relativity', or as he characterizes it, the idea that there is no universal reference frame. To summarize his position bluntly, "There IS a universal reference frame, and it is God."

I'm hardly qualified if this was any sort of scientific event, but it isn't, and looking at the guy's credentials, neither is he. What sorts of examples, facts, and topics should I review and study up on to back up... well, modern scientific thought on this?

Note: if you have any biblical quotations, those will be helpful as well, as creationists infrequently listen to logic and rationality.

Here's the 'Moderator's Introduction':

Whenever a Relativist says: “space is curved,” this merely begs the question: “Curved in relation to what?” If the Relativist says: “time slows down,” we respond: “Slows down in relation to what?” If he says that he has a “preferred frame of reference” we ask “what frame, and in reference to what?” Every proposition a Relativist utters assumes there is an absolute against which he can measure his proposition. To put it another way, the whole theory of Relativity, ironically, is based on the assumption that something is at rest. Even if he says “the speed of light is my absolute,” we respond: “the speed of light in relation to what?” And if he is someday so bold as to assume he has a “what,” we are still going to ask him “what in relation to what?” and thus require him to prove his “what” over against any other possible “whats.” If he says, “the universe is at rest” then he is once again on our side, since he has already admitted there is no difference between a rotating Earth in a fixed universe as opposed to a fixed Earth in a rotating universe. God has sprung a trap for modern man, and Relativity is its name.

I assume most of us on this site find this ridiculous, but why, specifically? I'm not asking anyone to spell out a transcript of what to say, just point me in good directions while I prepare.

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If you will be debating the important thing is to convince your audience. In my experience nobody will change their mind on the spot. But if you make very good arguments they will go home and mull it over and some of them might get convinced. My suggestion is don't worry about your position, just punch holes in his arguments. Ask him first if god is inside the universe. If he says yes, tell him that singling out a reference frame does not negate relativity. I could also say Earth is a preferred reference frame, does not make relativity wrong. If he says no then god does not have a ref frame. – SMeznaric Oct 18 '12 at 15:47
“the speed of light in relation to what?” Well, in relation to anything, that's the whole point of it... – Jaime Oct 18 '12 at 15:51
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." --1 Thessalonians 5:21 – Jaime Oct 18 '12 at 15:54
I'm going to close this as being intrinsically discussiony, and suggest that it be taken to chat. My answer is always to describe the results of experiments that are consistent with relativistic math and not with non-relativistic math. This is science after all, not philosophy. – dmckee Oct 18 '12 at 15:56
Comments deleted. Take it to chat, folks. – dmckee Oct 19 '12 at 3:03