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-   -   Bill Nye the Science Guy vs Creotard Ken Ham (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=711984)

pythonzzz 01-02-2014 08:52 PM

Bill Nye the Science Guy vs Creotard Ken Ham
 
Ol' Kenny baby is getting a chance to 'debate' Bill Nye the Science Guy. Flogging tickets for $25.

:rolleyes:

Quote:

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham Debate at the Creation Museum

TV’s famed “Bill Nye the Science Guy” will argue the case against creation and for evolution as he faces the founder and president of the Creation Museum, Ken Ham, on February 4, 2014, in the museum’s 900-seat Legacy Hall. The museum, which has drawn two million guests in six years (including 20,000 visitors at its recent Christmas Town programs), is located in Petersburg, Kentucky (near the Cincinnati Airport).

The agreed-upon topic for the 7 PM debate is “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

“A debate with Mr. Nye, nationally known for his children’s TV program and for promoting evolution, will be one of our major events in 2014 to highlight how children and teens are being influenced by evolutionary thinking," declared Ham. “This year, our AiG theme is ‘Standing Our Ground, Rescuing Our Kids.’ Having the opportunity to hold a cordial but spirited debate with such a well-known personality who is admired by so many young people will help bring the creation/evolution issue to the attention of many more people, including youngsters.”

Ham added, “I hope to show Mr. Nye and our debate audience that observational science confirms the scientific accuracy of the Genesis account of origins, not evolution.”

Nye is the former host of the popular Bill Nye the Science Guy PBS-TV program for children, the current executive director of the Planetary Society, and a frequent guest on TV interview programs.

Ham also noted, “If his travel schedule permits that day, Mr. Nye will be my guest at the museum. I would personally show him through our museum before the debate. I would also like him to meet our several full-time staff members who hold earned doctorates in science.”

AiG is willing to participate in public debates with serious evolutionists with credentials. Even though some mocking, strident evolutionists have challenged AiG to public debates, their requests are not considered. As a serious advocate for his beliefs, Nye¸’s opinions carry weight in society.

Ham, who debated at Harvard in the 1990s, has pointed out that evolution/creation debates featuring serious debaters have sadly become rare.

Tickets are $25 each and will be available for purchase through the debate event page starting Monday, January 6.

Editor’s note: This article was adapted and distributed as a news release today to the national media.
Via the Hamuseum's website:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/arti...en-ham-debate/

Human Action 01-02-2014 09:00 PM

Hmmm....that's about a two-hour drive for me. Tempting.

Antinor01 01-02-2014 09:04 PM

Quote:

Ham, who debated at Harvard in the 1990s, has pointed out that evolution/creation debates featuring serious debaters have sadly become rare.
Of course they've become rare. I can't imagine very many serious scientists wasting their time on such nonsense.

Trinopus 01-02-2014 09:25 PM

I don't know how Ham stacks up as a public speaker, but my bet is on a "Gish Gallop" where he just blurts out a long, fast list of things he asserts contradict evolution -- including items that have nothing to do with the actual debate.

(I remember, with amazement, hearing Gish denounce foolish scientists for believing in odorless, colorless gases. It quite took my breath away!)

dropzone 01-02-2014 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Ham
I would also like him to meet our several full-time staff members who hold earned doctorates in science.

(emphasis mine) Nye, with his measly earned BS in (Jebus help us!) Engineering and US Patent #7,254,904 for a (I can't bear to say it) ballet toe shoe (shudder!), is toast. No, wait--he's not an idiot. Perhaps there is hope after all! That is, if Ken doesn't Gish Gallop all over him and declare victory without Bill getting a word in. What is the defense against that, other than not bothering to debate (the choice of the sensible)?

Jonathan Chance 01-02-2014 09:45 PM

The Moderator Clears His Throat
 
While it's about a debate, I'm not seeing a debate here. Off to MPSIMS.

pythonzzz 01-02-2014 10:12 PM

Kenny's spinning on his facebook like the propeller on a beanie:

Quote:


Atheists are going ballistic over the news that Bill Nye will be debating me on February 4th. Many of them are calling on Bill Nye to cancel. These atheists are so insecure in their beliefs. Not only that, but atheists have managed in many ways to censor information concerning creation from the public--they basically have been involved in getting legislation to protect the teaching of evolution in public schools and stop students even hearing about creation. These secularists do not want people hearing about the evidence that confirms the creation account in the Bible. Now that a well respected personality like Bill Nye will be debating me on the origins topic, many of these atheists are worried--they just do not want people to hear such a debate! Why would they be worried if it is so obvious that evolution is true?

I must admit that we were surprised today at how quickly social media took the release of the information about this coming debate and made it go viral. Our website visits have hit a record and overwhelmed our site for a while--our web team are working feverishly to increase our ability to receive many more visitors (I think we've had a similar problem to Obamacare--but our fix will cost much less! ).

Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday--I will post a link when they are available, but I expect them to sell out quickly.

Here are some of the comments people have been posting on Bill Nye's Facebook:
( https://www.facebook.com/billnye?filter=2)

Here are a few:

Don't debate Ken Ham.

Do a video where you debate a cooked ham. We can all guess what Ken's
arguments are going to be. "Darwinianism is a religion! The bible is
historically and scientifically accurate! Creationism is a scientific
proof where all they have is a theory! Yeah, but how did life start!?
What created life in the first place, and why? How do you know? Were
you there?!"

Do a bait and switch... have AronRa or Matt Dillahunty go up there and
debate for you. Don't let Ken Ham ride on your coat-tails and gain any
notoriety.
-----------

Bill, why are you willing to debate with creationists? You will
legitimize their superstitious nonsense just by being there. Just
laugh at there willful ignorance and move on. You can spend your time
better by inspiring the next group of scientists and engineers. (BNTSG
the next generation!) Meanwhile the creationists will give huge
advantages to the children of rational people by not preparing them to
live in the real world.
------------

Why'd you agree to debate Kan Ham, the Creationist Guy? All you're
doing is giving creationism an air of legitimacy.

Czarcasm 01-02-2014 10:46 PM

I wonder how many tickets will be available to the general public, and how many will be distributed to Ham's supporters? The fact that this debate is being held at the Creation Museum instead of neutral ground is bad enough.

TimeWinder 01-02-2014 11:04 PM

Not to rain on anybody's parade, but calling people "creotard" doesn't help our side.

randompattern 01-02-2014 11:06 PM

It's a trap! I'm afraid Nye is walking into a no-win.

Budget Player Cadet 01-02-2014 11:16 PM

The only reasonable way for this debate to go is for Nye to start his opening statement with "Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era? No." and leave. The reason prominent creation/evolution debates have become so rare is because most intelligent evolutionary biologists just straight-up have better things to do then waste their time banging their heads against a brick wall. Ken Ham is not a reasonable person, and to assume that this is the case, or that there is anything to be gained in a debate which puts a scientific discipline backed by centuries of extreme evidence and scrutiny on the same stage as an unscientific hypothesis which makes zero sense, is extremely foolish of Nye. Dawkins nailed it when he explained it here. At this point in the "discussion", you don't "debate" with creationists. You laugh at them.

And then there's the fact that this is Ken Ham we're talking about. I'm sorry, for whose benefit is this supposed to be, exactly? Ham is a constant and habitual liar, and his website, Answers in Genesis, proves this. He, for all intents and purposes, does not believe in science, and considers the bible to be infallible. The debate is basically starting with one party saying "I will never give an inch because doing so would force me to reevaluate not just my beliefs, but essentially dismiss my entire worldview and my career". That's a pointless, harmful waste of everyone's time. What the fuck was Nye thinking?

EDIT: Shit, this is being held at the creation museum? What the fuck was Nye thinking? The only rational answer here is "cancel".

Antinor01 01-03-2014 01:47 AM

I know yahoo answers generally sucks, but answers to the question -
Are there ANY atheist willing to debate Dr. Ken Ham? (with the follow up of - So I take that as a no. Since all of you sounds like real morons with no critical thinking ability.)

gives us some great gems.

"Why would one wish to debate an idiot on his personal fantasy?"

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."

"There is as much point in "debating" Ken Ham as there is in debating a border collie. Probably even less, because border collies are cute and playful. But they do understand about as much about evolution."

Baker 01-03-2014 02:02 AM

As a Christian myself, and fairly devout, I can't help wondering why Bill Nye would debate an IDIOT like Ken Ham.

I mean, why waste your time on someone who isn't willing to listen, and can't possibly learn anything from what you will say?

Nye can't win, ecause no matter how brilliant his points are, and no matter how stupid Ham will sound. Ham will declare victory. He'll spin whatever goes on into a defeat for the opposition. So why is Nye going to bother?

I wouldn't walk across the street to see that stupid museum, much less pay to see a debate of unrepentant unwillingness to observe scientific fact over an open mind.

kambuckta 01-03-2014 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antinor01 (Post 16980613)

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory."

Too funny. :p

Mangetout 01-03-2014 03:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baker (Post 16980636)
As a Christian myself, and fairly devout, I can't help wondering why Bill Nye would debate an IDIOT like Ken Ham.

I mean, why waste your time on someone who isn't willing to listen, and can't possibly learn anything from what you will say?

Nye can't win, ecause no matter how brilliant his points are, and no matter how stupid Ham will sound. Ham will declare victory. He'll spin whatever goes on into a defeat for the opposition. So why is Nye going to bother?

I wouldn't walk across the street to see that stupid museum, much less pay to see a debate of unrepentant unwillingness to observe scientific fact over an open mind.

I agree - no matter how carefully structured and moderated, these public debates always allow the creationists the opportunity to spin and create a false impression that they're winning.
For example, using the so-called 'Gish Gallop' technique, where the creationist flits from one topic to the next, blurting out a long list of nonsense that is too voluminous, nebulous, or unreferenced to be addressed - and the more gullible component of the audience is left with the impression that the creationist has a lot of strong arguments and that his opponent is a spluttering dunce.

Maybe Nye will manage to avoid this somehow though.

Gyrate 01-03-2014 06:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trinopus (Post 16980111)
(I remember, with amazement, hearing Gish denounce foolish scientists for believing in odorless, colorless gases. It quite took my breath away!)

That's probably just the carbon monoxide getting to you. :D

So basically I'm seeing Ham getting people to pay $25 a ticket to come to his museum. Even if Nye gets a cut, it's a win for Ham before a word is spoken.

QuickSilver 01-03-2014 08:17 AM

It's not hard to guess why Ham would want to have this debate. He's an expert at bringing people down to his level and beating them with experience.

But what's in it for Nye? :dubious:

Mangetout 01-03-2014 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuickSilver (Post 16980886)
It's not hard to guess why Ham would want to have this debate. He's an expert at bringing people down to his level and beating them with experience.

But what's in it for Nye? :dubious:

It doesn't seem likely he would be unaware about how the creationists play the debate.

I imagine he thinks he has a trick up his sleeve and will succeed where others have failed. I hope he's right.

yellowjacketcoder 01-03-2014 09:11 AM

It seems to me there are three reasons to have a debate.

1. Honest intellectual exploring of the issue. I doubt either Mr. Ham or Mr. Nye have any illusions this is what's going to happen.

2. Pandering to your base. Pretty clear this is what Mr. Ham will do; Mr. Nye doesn't need to.

3. A monetary payout for showing up. Hmm, anybody know what Mr. Nye's finances have been like lately?

Musicat 01-03-2014 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by randompattern (Post 16980374)
It's a trap! I'm afraid Nye is walking into a no-win.

Wanna bet that his mike gets cut off "accidentally"? God did it!

I'm a great fan of Nye, but I'm not sure his strong-point is in an honest-to-god (hah) debate. Please don't be offended, Bill, but I hope you get some pointers from the experts. Maybe Randi, Dawkins and Dillihunty offstage, whispering into a wireless mike. Sorta like Peter Popoff in reverse.

I can't wait for the video.

JerrySTL 01-03-2014 09:26 AM

I just might go to that debate. I grew up in the area and my mother still lives about 8 miles from there. I've been tempted to go into the Creation Museum (for a good laugh) but didn't want to support such a bogus enterprise.

LawMonkey 01-03-2014 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JerrySTL (Post 16981044)
I just might go to that debate. I grew up in the area and my mother still lives about 8 miles from there. I've been tempted to go into the Creation Museum (for a good laugh) but didn't want to support such a bogus enterprise.

As I was reading this thread, I was thinking, "How can I sneak in?"

Voyager 01-03-2014 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangetout (Post 16980943)
It doesn't seem likely he would be unaware about how the creationists play the debate.

I imagine he thinks he has a trick up his sleeve and will succeed where others have failed. I hope he's right.

When scientists debate they assume a certain level of honesty on the other side - something lacking in creationists. If Nye comes as an entertainer more than a scientist and takes it to Hamm's level then we can have something. Make fun of Hamm's positions. An academic scientist would have a hard time saying "you're lying again, Ken," but Nye can. Work the audience not the facts.
Closely reasoned arguments are for paper. Sound bites and jokes work in this kind of debate.

dasmoocher 01-03-2014 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dropzone (Post 16980144)
What is the defense against that, other than not bothering to debate (the choice of the sensible)?

Quote:

Originally Posted by randompattern (Post 16980374)
It's a trap!

The answer is obviously the Chewbacca Defense.

If Chewbacca lives on Endor, then creationism isn't scientific.

Leaper 01-03-2014 09:06 PM

A liberal political blogger argues that this debate is a mistake... on Nye's part.

Budget Player Cadet 01-03-2014 09:18 PM

Duh. Everyone familiar with the creation/evolution "debate" knows that already.

Hershele Ostropoler 01-03-2014 11:17 PM

Is there any way Nye even could extricate himself at this point? More generally, is there a useful answer to "they're afraid to debate because they know we'll win"?

(The true answer is that scientific truth, as opposed to political truth, isn't settled by contests of rhetoric between the champions for the respective sides, but this answer is not useful.)

kaylasdad99 01-03-2014 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hershele Ostropoler (Post 16983461)
Is there any way Nye even could extricate himself at this point?

He could get out of the venue real fast, if he wears his Speed Walker outfit.

Budget Player Cadet 01-04-2014 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hershele Ostropoler (Post 16983461)
Is there any way Nye even could extricate himself at this point? More generally, is there a useful answer to "they're afraid to debate because they know we'll win"?

"Yes, because as we all know, creationism always wins debates in scientific environments, courthouses, and other places that matter"?

Hmm, not poignant enough.

"That's not really possible because you lost the debate over 100 years ago"?

Better, still not quite there...

"More just afraid of having potential employers look at my resume, see 'debated with creationists seriously', and thinking 'god, what a dumbass, he actually took those morons seriously', and then not hiring me as a result"?

...Needs work. Help me out here.

BrainGlutton 01-04-2014 01:27 AM

Is Ham a YEC? And does that mean there will be no discussion of ID theory?

Guinastasia 01-04-2014 02:08 AM

Maybe he's just trolling? That's the only point I could see in it.

kaylasdad99 01-04-2014 02:51 AM

Well, he is first and foremost, a comedian.

PigArcher 01-04-2014 03:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 (Post 16983736)
Well, he is first and foremost, a comedian.

Bill Nye or Ken Ham?

Jragon 01-04-2014 03:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangetout (Post 16980943)
It doesn't seem likely he would be unaware about how the creationists play the debate.

I imagine he thinks he has a trick up his sleeve and will succeed where others have failed. I hope he's right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 16981021)
I'm a great fan of Nye, but I'm not sure his strong-point is in an honest-to-god (hah) debate.

Bill Nye's career is largely based on education. I suspect this is, in large part, a "publicity stunt" so to speak. Not to promote a show or book or movie, and I don't think he's under any delusions that the opponent will play fair or change his mind. I suspect he's doing this largely to support scientific inquiry and standing up to unscientific claims. He's doing this to help educate people that don't have their minds made up, and give people courage to confront their peers, not convince people that already are sure the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the firmament that they're wrong.

Jackmannii 01-04-2014 12:03 PM

"Debates" of this sort are useless and counterproductive for rational, evidence-based folks, with the possible exception of one where there's a skilled moderator who will not allow Gish galloping or other sleazy tactics.

A counterpart is the "challenge" where a woo promoter supposedly offers a monetary prize for proving or demonstrating something (i.e. a "vaccine challenge" like this recent example). The "rules" are generally rigged to make it impractical or impossible for entrants.

It's best to ignore this nonsense and instead "challenge" the woo crowd to publish or post facts to support their positions - and then devastate them with logic at your convenience.

Good luck to Nye though, venturing into the lions' den of stupidity.

pythonzzz 01-05-2014 06:52 PM

Aron Ra says it all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=mRMmV-c2uDM

Simplicio 01-05-2014 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jragon (Post 16983801)
Bill Nye's career is largely based on education. I suspect this is, in large part, a "publicity stunt" so to speak. Not to promote a show or book or movie, and I don't think he's under any delusions that the opponent will play fair or change his mind. I suspect he's doing this largely to support scientific inquiry and standing up to unscientific claims. He's doing this to help educate people that don't have their minds made up, and give people courage to confront their peers, not convince people that already are sure the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the firmament that they're wrong.

Eh, given that this is the first time I've heard the guys name in a decade, I suspect Nye's doing it at least partly to promote himself as a skeptic/entertainer (has anyone coined "skepti-tainment" yet?)

Nzinga, Seated 01-05-2014 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeWinder (Post 16980366)
Not to rain on anybody's parade, but calling people "creotard" doesn't help our side.

The 'creotard' thing is just lame anyway, but for the record, we don't NEED HELP FOR OUR SIDE. Science pretty much wins this with its hands tied behind its back.

Chimera 01-05-2014 11:05 PM

Both sides will claim victory. There is no other outcome, barring an unlikely meltdown in the middle of it.

The Creationists will claim that Ham clearly explained how God created the Earth and if you don't believe him, it's because you're being influenced by Satan or something.

Everyone else will say that Nye clearly explained how the Earth came to be created and only the most ardent fundamentalist will deny the facts.

TimeWinder 01-06-2014 12:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nzinga, Seated (Post 16988157)
The 'creotard' thing is just lame anyway, but for the record, we don't NEED HELP FOR OUR SIDE. Science pretty much wins this with its hands tied behind its back.

It doesn't win if no one believes it, or if states pass laws saying it can't be taught to kids, or if even more "blue laws" are passed to enforce religious requirements, or if medical studies can't get funded (or get actually outlawed) because they "step on God's domain", or...

Being right isn't enough. I want a world in which we can use the truth, not just know it. And in which "skeptical thinker" isn't automatically equated with either "evil" or "boring."

Mangetout 01-06-2014 03:05 AM

I wonder if this could be:
  • Nye agrees to debate
  • Significant portions voices of scientific and skeptic community publicly exclaim "OMG, Bill what are you thinking?"
  • People notice this, and it sheds light on the fundamental dishonesty of mainstream creationism

LawMonkey 01-06-2014 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeWinder (Post 16980366)
Not to rain on anybody's parade, but calling people "creotard" doesn't help our side.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nzinga, Seated (Post 16988157)
The 'creotard' thing is just lame anyway, but for the record, we don't NEED HELP FOR OUR SIDE.

Indeed. Wouldn't a creotard be someone who suffered mental retardation as a result of early exposure to creosote? The preferred nomenclature is "scientifically-challenged American", Dude.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangetout (Post 16988609)
I wonder if this could be:
  • Nye agrees to debate
  • Significant portions voices of scientific and skeptic community publicly exclaim "OMG, Bill what are you thinking?"
  • People notice this, and it sheds light on the fundamental dishonesty of mainstream creationism

While I'd like to think Bill Nye is the Mad Science Guy, this sort of Machiavellian scheme is rarely seen in the wild. I've got to assume that Bill's well-meaning but derpy. (In a non-scientifically challenged way, of course.) And/or there's a fat paycheck at stake, which with all due respect to Bill, would be easier to understand.

Mangetout 01-06-2014 10:54 AM

Yeah, I think you're right.

Maybe another scenario though: After the 'debate', Nye addresses and debunks all of the arguments in great detail. If he's given the Gish Gallop, and handles it carefully, this is a possibility.

Simplicio 01-06-2014 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LawMonkey (Post 16988993)
While I'd like to think Bill Nye is the Mad Science Guy, this sort of Machiavellian scheme is rarely seen in the wild. I've got to assume that Bill's well-meaning but derpy. (In a non-scientifically challenged way, of course.) And/or there's a fat paycheck at stake, which with all due respect to Bill, would be easier to understand.

I don't think its directly a paycheck. But Nye is kind of a borderline celebrity, and his main claim to fame is a TV show from two decades ago, so needs to keep his name out there and periodically re-establish his brand if he wants to keep getting speaking bits and talk-show appearances.

As I said, I haven't heard the guys name in nearly a decade, but I've seen talk of this debate three separate places. So I'd say its working.

hotflungwok 01-06-2014 11:47 AM

This is a mistake. All it's doing is giving credibility to a creationist. Bill Nye should just point and laugh like the rest of science does. Creationists need things like this to get their message out there, they want people to see this kind of thing. It makes it look like there really is a debate when in fact creationism was dismissed out of hand decades ago.

There's only so many ways this is going to go. If Bill Nye wins decisively, then everything is the way it always has been, creationism isn't science. He doesn't really gain anything. But if he doesn't perform perfectly, if he screws up something or forgets something or any little thing that a creationist can pounce on, then people will think that maybe those scientists don't really know what they're talking about.

Ken Ham is going to work the crowd, going for popular support rather than any actual evidence. He's going to make it look like he's winning regardless of what's actually going on in the debate, and of course no matter what happens he will claim he won.

This isn't a debate. This is a creationist demanding to have his decades old long debunked crap heard in a credible setting. Ken Ham has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

Miller 01-06-2014 12:28 PM

Bill Nye was a professional comedian before he was a professional... science guy. I'm holding out hope that he's appearing in the former capacity.

Voyager 01-06-2014 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miller (Post 16989597)
Bill Nye was a professional comedian before he was a professional... science guy. I'm holding out hope that he's appearing in the former capacity.

Take my God - please!
Chicken of egg Ken? The yolk's on you.

I bet he's writing material even as we speak.

Miller 01-06-2014 04:10 PM

I'd kind of like it if Nye just walked on stage with a cream pie, pasted Ham in the face with it, then left the building.

Kalea 01-06-2014 04:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hotflungwok (Post 16989440)
Bill Nye should just point and laugh like the rest of science does.

Maybe that's his plan. Let Hammy talk, and interject periodically with laughter so intense you think Bill's head will explode. Never any refutation, never any "debate"... just guffaws. Every once in a while, Bill will get enough breath back to say one or two words, then set off again in peals of laughter.

Bill has been image-building of late... he's made an appearance on Big Bang Theory, and wasn't he on Dancing with the Stars recently?

Mangetout 01-06-2014 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kalea (Post 16990503)
Maybe that's his plan. Let Hammy talk, and interject periodically with laughter so intense you think Bill's head will explode. Never any refutation, never any "debate"... just guffaws. Every once in a while, Bill will get enough breath back to say one or two words, then set off again in peals of laughter.

Won't that just give Ham the perfect opportunity to take the moral high ground and assert that he's the only one taking things seriously (and therefore must be right)?

Robot Arm 01-07-2014 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miller (Post 16989597)
Bill Nye was a professional comedian before he was a professional... science guy. I'm holding out hope that he's appearing in the former capacity.

I think his best stuff was when he did both at the same time.

Pretty serious cyclist, too, from what I've heard.

hotflungwok 01-07-2014 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangetout (Post 16990620)
Won't that just give Ham the perfect opportunity to take the moral high ground and assert that he's the only one taking things seriously (and therefore must be right)?

He's going to do that anyway, might as well get a laugh out of it.

Czarcasm 01-07-2014 10:50 AM

The tickets sold out within minutes of Ham making his announcement. I can't seem to find out whether he first announced it to the general public, or to the groups supporting him. If the former, then Mr. Nye might have some support out there, but if the latter then it's going to get nasty in there.

LawMonkey 01-07-2014 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 16992348)
The tickets sold out within minutes of Ham making his announcement. I can't seem to find out whether he first announced it to the general public, or to the groups supporting him. If the former, then Mr. Nye might have some support out there, but if the latter then it's going to get nasty in there.

I don't have a particularly good feeling about this.

ETA: Also, I just went to the original Cincinnati Business Courier article and... I just... I mean... argh. :smack:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cincinnati Biz Courier
Later this year, Answers in Genesis is planning to begin construction of a theme park featuring a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Ky.


Gedd 01-07-2014 12:59 PM

My theory:

Bill Nye was diagnosed with a terminal illness a few months ago and wants to do one last good deed for humanity before the end . . . he wants to go out with a BANG!

Stay far, far away from the debate. ;)

msmith537 01-07-2014 02:31 PM

I saw Bill Nye on the news talking about his upcoming debate. He doesn't expect to "win" if by "winning" you mean have Ken Ham or his followers suddenly change their absurd positions.

Bill stated his goal is really just to provide a legitimate scientific viewpoint to anyone in the area who might be interested.

Learjeff 01-07-2014 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LawMonkey (Post 16992413)
I don't have a particularly good feeling about this.

ETA: Also, I just went to the original Cincinnati Business Courier article and... I just... I mean... argh. :smack:

So, they've figured out how big a cubit actually is! Oboy!

Musicat 01-07-2014 07:12 PM

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnat...um-debate.html
Quote:

The topic for the debate will be “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” It is expected to be streamed live online.

pythonzzz 01-07-2014 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Learjeff (Post 16993429)
So, they've figured out how big a cubit actually is! Oboy!

Nope, nor have they figured out what "gopher wood" really was.

Quote:

Genuine Ark, Part 4: Gopher Wood

We have received so many questions about the Ark Encounter based on misconceptions about the project itself. Some come from people who are supporters and others come from critics and skeptics. These types of questions give us an opportunity to correct these misunderstandings, so we’ll devote several posts to addressing these issues.
Question: “Are You Going to Make the Ark out of Gopher Wood?”

In Genesis 6:14, the Lord told Noah, “‘Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.’”

We have received several inquiries of this nature. Some are genuinely curious to find out if we will be able to use the same type of wood that Noah did, while others are more skeptical in nature and are simply trying to mock Scripture and our efforts.

Are we going to build the Ark Encounter out of gopher wood? The real answer is that we don’t know, because we don’t know what gopher wood is (or was). So there is a small possibility that our Ark will be constructed from the same type of wood.

“Gopher” is not named for the animal of the same name, but it is simply a transcription of the Hebrew word גֹּפֶר. Some Bibles translate the word as “cypress,” but this is really just a guess based on what translators believed may have been available to Noah. Since the pre-Flood world perished (2 Peter 3:6) and earth’s geography was completely reworked in the Flood, we cannot merely assume that the pre-Flood flora available to Noah for construction was the same as the plants in and around the Middle East after the Flood.

Identifying certain plants and animals mentioned in the Old Testament is often difficult since the Bible often does not describe the plant or animal for us. The difficulty is compounded when the word in question refers to an item from the pre-Flood world and when the word appears only one time in all of Scripture (these types of words are called hapax legomenon).

Short of finding the actual Ark, it may not be possible for us to determine what type of wood Noah used to build it. Gopher may refer to the type of tree that was used or to some sort of process or treatment that the lumber underwent. If it was a type of tree, there’s also the possibility that it is now extinct. Any wood suitable for building a large ship is a plausible candidate for the true identity of gopher wood.

Whatever gopher wood was, we know that Noah was faithful to use it in constructing the Ark. We also know that God faithfully protected all of the Ark’s inhabitants.
Instead, their current models/mockups feature OSB (aka, cheap, pressed chipboard). :dubious:

LawMonkey 01-08-2014 08:56 AM

Well, you know: Gophers are rodents, so when they gnaw on wood it creates wood chips, so chipboard is entirely appropriate! :)

Czarcasm 01-08-2014 10:21 AM

I think this Ark project is a wonderful idea...as long as there is a proper follow-thru. Once it is built, we shove as many pairs of animals as will fit into the thing, along with Ken Ham and his family, then seal it up for about a year.

2gigch1 01-08-2014 07:43 PM

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Nye quite by accident at DC's Union Station. I was with a reporter doing a story about terrorism on trains when I spotted him standing there and I nudged my reporter to go ask him a 'man on the street' question.

The reporter had no clue who Bill Nye was. We approached and the reporter did his 'hi how are you, mind if we ask a question?' dance and I could tell Bill was surprised to be treated like just some commuter in a bow tie.

He agreed to be asked the question, gave a good answer and after, when we generally ask "What's your name and where are you from", I was at least able to interject "got the name, need the hometown."

In that brief dialog I am assured Bill Nye has nothing to fear from anyone in a debate. He's more than bright enough. Most people at debates come in with their minds already made up.

I have always been a fan of free speech for the simple reason that by allowing people to speak their mind you have no ambiguity regarding their beliefs. Bill will do his best to contrast Mr Ham's beliefs with facts and reason. Facts are facts; a debate cannot harm them and predecided witnesses are unlikely to change. But there does exist the possibility that if and when the event is released to the general public those willing to learn something might actually do so.

Gyrate 01-09-2014 05:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 16995695)
I think this Ark project is a wonderful idea...as long as there is a proper follow-thru. Once it is built, we shove as many pairs of animals as will fit into the thing, along with Ken Ham and his family, then seal it up for about a year.

That's a bit cruel. Let's just send the Hams out to sea in their ark. I'm sure a boat made of chipboard will be entirely seaworthy.

Mangetout 01-09-2014 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2gigch1 (Post 16997621)
In that brief dialog I am assured Bill Nye has nothing to fear from anyone in a debate. He's more than bright enough. Most people at debates come in with their minds already made up.

I have always been a fan of free speech for the simple reason that by allowing people to speak their mind you have no ambiguity regarding their beliefs. Bill will do his best to contrast Mr Ham's beliefs with facts and reason. Facts are facts; a debate cannot harm them and predecided witnesses are unlikely to change. But there does exist the possibility that if and when the event is released to the general public those willing to learn something might actually do so.

What you say is true for honest debate. This isn't going to be one of those.

BrainGlutton 01-24-2014 11:02 AM

Glenn Beck compares this debate to Galileo vs. the RCC over heliocentrism.

Only, in this comparison, Nye is the Church and Ham is Galileo.

Seriously.

Chief Pedant 01-24-2014 10:32 PM

What is required for this "debate" to be effective in changing minds is an open mind with a sound conviction that science has a process which leads to discovery of fact.

This will not be the case. Most of the audience will be heavily biased by personal conviction toward Creationism. Their conviction that science can lead to discovery of fact if the fact being discovered is at odds with a text written by God will be negligible.

As a consequence, all Ham will need to do is ask an assortment of questions--or make an assortment of assertions--that to those uneducated on the topic appear profound and unsettling.

The audience will concur that Nye made some good points, Ham made some good points, and the mind of Man is easily confused. Good thing God is in control of the Universe, and we have his Word that the earth was created recently with a good deal of divine intervention into an intelligent design.

What this will not be is an exploration of the topic with the "winning" side being the one which presented overwhelming evidence, carefully examined.

Shawn1767 01-24-2014 11:01 PM

Screw Bill Nye, he's probably out for another quick buck.

http://www.skepticblog.org/2010/04/2...ut-to-the-man/

Saint Cad 01-24-2014 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2gigch1 (Post 16997621)
A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Nye quite by accident at DC's Union Station. I was with a reporter doing a story about terrorism on trains when I spotted him standing there and I nudged my reporter to go ask him a 'man on the street' question.

The reporter had no clue who Bill Nye was. We approached and the reporter did his 'hi how are you, mind if we ask a question?' dance and I could tell Bill was surprised to be treated like just some commuter in a bow tie.

He agreed to be asked the question, gave a good answer and after, when we generally ask "What's your name and where are you from", I was at least able to interject "got the name, need the hometown."

I've met him and he's a douche. Very pompous.

Hershele Ostropoler 01-25-2014 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shawn1767 (Post 17045402)
Screw Bill Nye, he's probably out for another quick buck.

http://www.skepticblog.org/2010/04/2...ut-to-the-man/

Not like how Brian Dunning makes money.

Musicat 01-31-2014 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LawMonkey (Post 16992413)
ETA: Also, I just went to the original Cincinnati Business Courier article and... I just... I mean... argh. :smack:

From the news article:
Quote:

Later this year, Answers in Genesis is planning to begin construction of a theme park featuring a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Ky. The museum is looking for investors for the project, which will be funded in part by $62 million in bonds issued by the city.
So a Kentucky government body is assisting in the project, using tax dollars. Think that might be an excessive entanglement with religion?

Alan Smithee 02-01-2014 07:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mangetout (Post 16980708)
I agree - no matter how carefully structured and moderated, these public debates always allow the creationists the opportunity to spin and create a false impression that they're winning.
For example, using the so-called 'Gish Gallop' technique, where the creationist flits from one topic to the next, blurting out a long list of nonsense that is too voluminous, nebulous, or unreferenced to be addressed - and the more gullible component of the audience is left with the impression that the creationist has a lot of strong arguments and that his opponent is a spluttering dunce.

Maybe Nye will manage to avoid this somehow though.

I don't understand this fear. There is no one sitting on the fence here; everyone watching this debate already has an opinion. Not a single person will change their mind as a result of this debate. OTOH, people might be exposed to arguments from the other side that they had not considered. There is absolutely NO HARM in someone educated in basic science being exposed to creationist arguments, because the creationist arguments are bad. Even if someone who has been taught about evolution hears something from Ham that makes her think, "Hmmm...that's a good point, maybe I should research this a little more and re-evaluate my position," that's fine because doing more research can only strengthen her understanding of the facts. OTOH, there are people who have never been taught science, including children today who are being taught in homeschool and private/charter schools, for whom this might be their ONLY exposure to real science. And even if all their fundamentalist parents and teachers are convinced that Ham mopped the floor with Nye, at least those kids will have heard some of the facts, and some of those kids might realize that there are smart, friendly people with real evidence on the other side, not just evil satanists full of lies. Nye is an expert at teaching science to kids. If anyone can get through to some of them, it's him.

To sum it up, everyone watching has an opinion, and each person watching will either have his opinion strengthened or will be made to question his beliefs. And having anyone, from either side, question their beliefs is GOOD, because questioning leads to facts and the facts all point to evolution. The people who have their belief in creationism strengthened weren't interested in facts to begin with, and it doesn't matter if they think they won because they were going to think that no matter what, even if there is no debate.

Mangetout 02-01-2014 09:18 AM

I'd agree, if all that was happening by accidental collision of people whose beliefs happened to conflict, but it's not. It's happening because of deliberate dishonesty.

RickJay 02-01-2014 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee (Post 17065875)
Nye is an expert at teaching science to kids. If anyone can get through to some of them, it's him.

I love Bill Nye and everything, but let's be a little honest about his credentials; his experience lies in being a television show host, not a teacher. He has a considerable list of credentials in hosting children's TV programs but none at all in teaching children; they are different skills. And a public debate is an entirely different skill again.

That said, I think you make a good point about the fact that debate will always favour evolution, since debate invites questioning and the answers are 100% on the side of evolution; creationism is a political position, not a scientific one, and polticial positions are strengthened by suppressing debate, not engaging in it. This is especially true of creationism, which is a political movement (of very recent invention, relatively speaking) that is specifically designed to increase ignorance and discourage curiosity and questioning, on the theory that a person who lacks scientific understanding and curiosity is easier to keep as a compliant Christian, since they can be easily fed Biblical answers.

I sincerely doubt Ken Ham actually believe in creationism. He's an educated man. However, the creationist industry is a key pillar in the evangelical Christian business model. People have an intrinsic need for answers and understanding; if you can deny them the real answers of science they are easily led to fill that need with Christian dogma. That keep them going to megachurches and tithing, which keeps the megachurch pastors rich, so the pastors support the Ken Hams of the world. Ham knows where the money is.

pbbth 02-01-2014 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 17066299)
I sincerely doubt Ken Ham actually believe in creationism. He's an educated man. However, the creationist industry is a key pillar in the evangelical Christian business model. People have an intrinsic need for answers and understanding; if you can deny them the real answers of science they are easily led to fill that need with Christian dogma. That keep them going to megachurches and tithing, which keeps the megachurch pastors rich, so the pastors support the Ken Hams of the world. Ham knows where the money is.

In the PBS series Evolution they talk to Ken Ham and he explains that he believes in creationism because if the bible gets the facts wrong in the creation of the universe and the origin of man then how can he believe the bible gets it right in regards to God? He basically said that if creationism is wrong there is no God so he will NEVER believe anything that contradicts the bible.

RickJay 02-01-2014 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pbbth (Post 17066577)
In the PBS series Evolution they talk to Ken Ham and he explains that he believes in creationism because if the bible gets the facts wrong in the creation of the universe and the origin of man then how can he believe the bible gets it right in regards to God? He basically said that if creationism is wrong there is no God so he will NEVER believe anything that contradicts the bible.

The fact that Mr. Ham says that on camera does not convince me he actually believes it.

Mangetout 02-01-2014 03:51 PM

That's not even the same as saying he believes it - he's just making an appeal to consequences.

He's actually saying he has to believe it because (his view of) the consequences of not believing it scare him. That's not belief, it's wilful ignorance.

B. Serum 02-01-2014 03:51 PM

What I find so baffling is that Nye would agree to holding a debate at the Creation Museum with proceeds going towards the Creation Museum. Given that you can't reason people out of beliefs they didn't reason themselves into, it's a foregone conclusion that the audience will be, and remain hostile to Nye's arguments, maybe vocally so.

But what if he's not playing to the audience of hundreds on that one day and rather the audience of millions that will see portions of this online afterwards? We have seen what happens when the unfettered groupthink within an ideological bubble gets exposed to the general public: the nation recoiled when Ron Paul asked the hard-right crowd whether we should let the uninsured die, to enthusiast cheers.

Its hard to argue that the conditions are right for the audience's inevitable bias to be on full display for the cameras to capture. Nye made his name by being able to connect to the viewing audience and making science accessible. Whatever one's objections to debating religious ideologues, I think someone like Nye (or Penn Jillette) is better suited to "playing to the cameras" than your average expert biologist.

Moreover, I think Nye has a golden opportunity to use the resulting footage to produce YouTube-ready clips that debunk the creationist double-talk after the fact. If he can bring even a fraction of of the infotainment production value that made Bill Nye, the Science Guy such a hit, I think the experience has the potential for a big win for science.

TLDR: Bill Nye could use his TV savvy to win the debate in post-event world, even if/when the debate audience remains unconvinced. In fact, having a particularly vocal anti-science audience may be counter-productive to their own perception among the majority of Americans who accept evolution.

Mahaloth 02-01-2014 04:17 PM

Is this thing being videoed or broadcast over the web?

B. Serum 02-01-2014 04:41 PM

Yes. It's unclear what rights Nye will have to filmed product.

Musicat 02-02-2014 01:07 PM

There is a "test" of the live feed being sent right now (started 1PM EST). Those who want to see the debate live are encouraged (by the debate organizers) to check out their system using this test.

So what are they using as a test? A church service by Ken Ham bombasting science! Anyone still want to argue this debate will be fair?

http://debatelive.org/

Revtim 02-02-2014 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 17068577)
There is a "test" of the live feed being sent right now (started 1PM EST). Those who want to see the debate live are encouraged (by the debate organizers) to check out their system using this test.

So what are they using as a test? A church service by Ken Ham bombasting science! Anyone still want to argue this debate will be fair?

http://debatelive.org/

Good thing the live feed was prayed into being by the Pope and not developed by scientists, or else that would be ironic.

drewtwo99 02-02-2014 09:13 PM

God hates all science except for the science that allows the dissemination of the message that God hates science.

I think.

RitterSport 02-04-2014 01:14 PM

Here's another place to watch the live stream:

http://thesleeperawakened.blogspot.c...-bill-nye.html

RS

Revtim 02-04-2014 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RitterSport (Post 17074882)
Here's another place to watch the live stream:

http://thesleeperawakened.blogspot.c...-bill-nye.html

RS

That's just a page with the Youtube video embedded, you might as well just go directly to the Youtube page:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

Musicat 02-04-2014 07:23 PM

Debate has started. Ken Ham seems to think that he has a major point in separating science that he can observe NOW as different from science that analyzes what happened THEN. Two kinds of science. He has no beef with what happens now, but since no one was around years ago, it's open to speculation, i.e., the bible is right, the flood happened, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, and sin created atheists.

B. Serum 02-04-2014 09:06 PM

Quick summary of the debate.

Moe 02-04-2014 09:35 PM

I must say, I was as worried as many in the skeptical/science camp. But I think Bill Nye went way beyond my expectations and performed brilliantly. And actually Ken Ham was far worse than I'd imagined he would be. He's certainly no William Lane Craig.

Musicat 02-04-2014 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Serum (Post 17076271)

Would that be historical science, observational science, or biblical science?

Musicat 02-04-2014 09:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moe (Post 17076352)
I must say, I was as worried as many in the skeptical/science camp. But I think Bill Nye went way beyond my expectations and performed brilliantly.

Granted. But I wish Aron Ra or Matt Dillihunty had stood in for him. Matt especially, as an ex-Baptist preacher. He could meet Ham head-on.

Esox Lucius 02-04-2014 09:49 PM

I got tired of hearing Ham say, "There's this book..." to answer how life and the universe started. Well, there are a lot more books that say we don't know.

It was the predictable clash of faith versus reason. Reason explained, and faith didn't listen.

BrainGlutton 02-04-2014 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chief Pedant (Post 17045348)
What is required for this "debate" to be effective in changing minds is an open mind with a sound conviction that science has a process which leads to discovery of fact.

This will not be the case. Most of the audience will be heavily biased by personal conviction toward Creationism. Their conviction that science can lead to discovery of fact if the fact being discovered is at odds with a text written by God will be negligible.

I think most fundies believe science is real, and reliable enough, but also that discoverable physical laws simply do not apply to God, who wrote them and can break them. I once asked my grandmother how all species of animals could fit on the Ark; she replied that God could shrink them, "God can do anything."

Moe 02-04-2014 09:57 PM

I really have no complaints with Bill though. I don't know Matt Dillihunty well enough to comment, but I think Aron Ra might have come off a bit too strident to be as effective. Sure, he'd have every argument covered from every angle, but given the venue and the relatively more mainstream publicity, I actually think Bill Nye, with his focus on and enthusiasm for science, and his quirky charm, was a really good fit.

I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of people saw this tonight who never engaged their own mind in the debate were inspired at some level by some of Nye's science facts.

Quote:

Granted. But I wish Aron Ra or Matt Dillihunty had stood in for him. Matt especially, as an ex-Baptist preacher. He could meet Ham head-on.

Cuckoorex 02-04-2014 10:12 PM

Nothing new here, of course. The thing that sucks about debates like this is that it's like having a boxing match and telling each fighter they get 3 punches to knock out his opponent, when it really needs to be a 10-round bout proving the superior boxer. Any of a dozen statements that Ham or Nye made as almost throwaway statements could and should be examined in-depth to get anywhere.

Moe 02-04-2014 10:21 PM

Yeah, I wish the moderator would've allowed some actual back-and-forth discussion beyond a single 1-minute rebuttal. That aspect was frustrating and must have been very much so to Nye.

Esox Lucius 02-04-2014 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 17076361)
Granted. But I wish Aron Ra or Matt Dillihunty had stood in for him. Matt especially, as an ex-Baptist preacher. He could meet Ham head-on.

God himself couldn't convince Ken Ham that he's wrong.

MyFootsZZZ 02-04-2014 11:11 PM

That was really boring.

Rick Kitchen 02-04-2014 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 17066299)
I love Bill Nye and everything, but let's be a little honest about his credentials; his experience lies in being a television show host, not a teacher. He has a considerable list of credentials in hosting children's TV programs but none at all in teaching children; they are different skills. And a public debate is an entirely different skill again.

Bill Nye teaches astronomy and human ecology at Cornell.

dropzone 02-05-2014 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrainGlutton (Post 17076413)
I once asked my grandmother how all species of animals could fit on the Ark; she replied that God could shrink them, "God can do anything."

And with $62 million of chipboard he probably could. The miracle would be in preventing it from falling apart the moment it got wet. This ain't marine ply we're talking about.

Gateway 02-05-2014 01:18 AM

So, if anyone knows: how can I see the debate on TV? Does anyone know the channel it aired on originally (if it was on a channel at all) and if so when a re-run will be?

Critical1 02-05-2014 01:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gateway (Post 17076856)
So, if anyone knows: how can I see the debate on TV? Does anyone know the channel it aired on originally (if it was on a channel at all) and if so when a re-run will be?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

skip 30 or so minutes in to get to the debate. Nye did a great job over all.

Gateway 02-05-2014 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Critical1 (Post 17076865)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

skip 30 or so minutes in to get to the debate. Nye did a great job over all.

Thanks, problem is though there is no sound on this computer so for now I will have to watch it on TV

Musicat 02-05-2014 08:43 AM

Ham's now promoting the after-party:
Quote:

Watch Ken Ham and Georgia Purdom discuss the debate at http://debatelive.org on Wednesday 2/5/14 at 8:00 PM (ET).
Victory!

From the Encyclopedia of American Loons

Quote:

Purdom is of course able to take any strong evidence for a hypothesis to be evidence for a completely opposite one by applying the standard creationist data handling rules: distort, mangle, quote-mine, confuse and assert.
Talk about birds of a feather.

yanceylebeef 02-05-2014 09:56 AM

I can't help but think that if there was a god, this would be the perfect time to smite someone. Chuck a lightning bolt at Ken Ham, remove a first class douche canoe and give incontrovertible evidence for your existence. It's Win/Win!

Sterling Archer 02-05-2014 10:24 AM

At one point, I thought Ken Ham actually gave the best argument but then reached a bizarrely wrong conclusion. When he addressed "Christians who believe in evolution" and he pointed out all the things in the fossil record that were in conflict with Scripture. He even said a few times, "So they both cannot be true." So after all this, his conclusion was apparently that we should reject the evidence in the fossil record in favor of the Biblical record. He didn't come out and explicitly say we should reject the evidence right in front of our faces, but that was the gist of it. I thought Bill Nye would jump all over that argument, but he ignored it.

Gedd 02-05-2014 11:51 AM

Did Ken make a common error regarding Noah's Ark? He says there were only 1,000 "kinds" :rolleyes: of animals on the ark so they only had 2,000 animals to take care of. Dude, Genesis Chapter 7:

Quote:

2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.
(emphasis mine, duh).

I don't know the clean:unclean ratio, but that's going to be more than 2,000. You would think someone from a company with "Genesis" in their name would know that.

Unless they've retconned those verses?

Knorf 02-05-2014 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sterling Archer (Post 17077511)
At one point, I thought Ken Ham actually gave the best argument but then reached a bizarrely wrong conclusion. When he addressed "Christians who believe in evolution" and he pointed out all the things in the fossil record that were in conflict with Scripture. He even said a few times, "So they both cannot be true." So after all this, his conclusion was apparently that we should reject the evidence in the fossil record in favor of the Biblical record. He didn't come out and explicitly say we should reject the evidence right in front of our faces, but that was the gist of it.

Typical, really.

This sort of thing is what started me on the road away from Christianity.

ElvisL1ves 02-05-2014 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RickJay (Post 17066299)
I love Bill Nye and everything, but let's be a little honest about his credentials; his experience lies in being a television show host, not a teacher.

Nye was a Boeing engineer before deciding he really needed to do standup comedy instead. He does know how to explain science and the reasoning behind it as well as anyone, from his TV-hosting experience, and can present it in a nonthreatening, enlightening way. That's probably what the religious zealots most need to be confronted with, not someone like, well, the average Doper, who'd easily get all frustrated and pissed and look to them like s/he was being out-argued by the Truth.

Munch 02-05-2014 12:50 PM

I dunno, he always did seem to be kind of a prick.

SpoilerVirgin 02-05-2014 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gedd (Post 17077792)
Did Ken make a common error regarding Noah's Ark? He says there were only 1,000 "kinds" :rolleyes: of animals on the ark so they only had 2,000 animals to take care of. Dude, Genesis Chapter 7:

(emphasis mine, duh).

I don't know the clean:unclean ratio, but that's going to be more than 2,000. You would think someone from a company with "Genesis" in their name would know that.

Unless they've retconned those verses?

That verse is already a retcon of Genesis Chapter 6, which says "You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive."

The total number of animals varies depending on which Chapter you are reading.

The Second Stone 02-05-2014 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knorf (Post 17077801)
Typical, really.

This sort of thing is what started me on the road away from Christianity.

Christianity is about loving your fellow human beings. It blathers on about three thousand times about feeding the hungry and healing the sick. It is not a drunken argument among potheads about the logistics of Noah's freakin' ark.

B. Serum 02-05-2014 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17078103)
Christianity is about loving your fellow human beings. It blathers on about three thousand times about feeding the hungry and healing the sick. It is not a drunken argument among potheads about the logistics of Noah's freakin' ark.

Sadly, those aren't the things that make the headlines.

Senegoid 02-05-2014 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gedd (Post 17077792)
Did Ken make a common error regarding Noah's Ark? He says there were only 1,000 "kinds" :rolleyes: of animals on the ark so they only had 2,000 animals to take care of. Dude, Genesis Chapter 7:

And where does that "common error" of 1,000 "kinds" of animals come from? Is that figure mentioned in the Bible?

And if those kind of Christians really believe that, how do they explain all the "kinds" we see today? I think there are more than 1,001 "kinds" of animals today. Did they just.... evolve or something? Or did God get all creative sometime after the flood and start creating again?

Gedd 02-05-2014 01:41 PM

Finished watching. Bill did do better than I thought he would do and Ken did a great job of not answering many questions. The highlight for me was the question for Ken about if there was proof the world was more than 10,000 years old would he still be a Christian. His answer amounted to "You can't prove the age of the Earth so it's a non-issue."

But he's a scientist.

Knorf 02-05-2014 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17078103)
Christianity is about loving your fellow human beings. It blathers on about three thousand times about feeding the hungry and healing the sick. It is not a drunken argument among potheads about the logistics of Noah's freakin' ark.

No need for divinity of Jesus, then? Or for the necessary existence of miracles?

Anyway, I said "started me on the road." Other bits of nonsense from Christianity, and sense from the real world explored and explained by science, kept me going on the same road.

Bottom line: I don't need Christ to think loving fellow human beings is a Good Idea.

Indyellen 02-05-2014 01:55 PM

Apparently even Pat Robertson wants Ken Ham to shut up: "Let's not make a joke of ourselves.".

Sicks Ate 02-05-2014 01:58 PM

When Pat Robertson thinks you're a joke, you have some serious issues.

Czarcasm 02-05-2014 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indyellen (Post 17078211)
Apparently even Pat Robertson wants Ken Ham to shut up: "Let's not make a joke of ourselves.".

How dare you make me agree with "Squints" Robertson! You are now officially off my Christmas card list.

Musicat 02-05-2014 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indyellen (Post 17078211)
Apparently even Pat Robertson wants Ken Ham to shut up: "Let's not make a joke of ourselves.".

It's far too late in the game for that. Pat Robertson made joke of Christianity long ago.

B. Serum 02-05-2014 02:35 PM

Ken Ham's position was damaged most during the Q&A section at the end. When asked, what evidence could change your mind, he could offer nothing but "I'm a Christian…"

DiggitCamara 02-05-2014 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sterling Archer (Post 17077511)
At one point, I thought Ken Ham actually gave the best argument but then reached a bizarrely wrong conclusion. When he addressed "Christians who believe in evolution" and he pointed out all the things in the fossil record that were in conflict with Scripture. He even said a few times, "So they both cannot be true." So after all this, his conclusion was apparently that we should reject the evidence in the fossil record in favor of the Biblical record. He didn't come out and explicitly say we should reject the evidence right in front of our faces, but that was the gist of it. I thought Bill Nye would jump all over that argument, but he ignored it.

There were a number of arguments that he could/should have used to really destroy Ham. For instance: what about the nonsensical argument that any and all science is actually copying christian ethos and/or logic? Just mentioning greek thinkers would have made his argument seem even sillier than it already was.

Gedd 02-05-2014 03:25 PM

I came away from the whole thing with one big question though, "What was Bill Nye writing while Ken was talking?"

B. Serum 02-05-2014 03:33 PM

I just liked that it was the American arguing for evolution, for once.

ElvisL1ves 02-05-2014 03:35 PM

It's the twenty-first frickin' century, people. Why the hell is creationism even still a thing?

Sterling Archer 02-05-2014 03:41 PM

Quote:

For instance: what about the nonsensical argument that any and all science is actually copying christian ethos and/or logic?
Some of the things he said were so bizarre, there is no counterargument, except for to say, "So your claim is <repeat verbatim Ham's bizarre claim>"

Czarcasm 02-05-2014 04:56 PM

How did the audience behave during the debate?

B. Serum 02-05-2014 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 17078811)
How did the audience behave during the debate?

Respectful, well-behaved.

Possibly bored during the portions that got into the hard science / pseudo-science (depending on who was speaking).

GargoyleWB 02-05-2014 05:56 PM

I watched it online. I found it interesting/amusing/effective how Bill Nye subtly pointed much of his talk at Kentucky specifically, without blatantly saying "You're rubes, the rest of the world thinks you're rubes, and you're dooming your children to rubedom". I think he managed to communicate shame without condescension, a very tough line to walk. He also did well in marginalizing Ham into the small minority position within Christianity itself.

What I found scary was how good the obfuscation and tech-babbling of the creationist presentations were. Items like the taxonomy trees, cherry-picking of data (such as radioactive decay) to misapply in an expert-sounding way, the born-again PhD researchers, gave a very effective barrier to anyone of a non-scientific education to easily poke holes in.

Ham was also an expert at jumping between wearing the hats of "scientific" expert and aw-schucks common sense good ol' boy.

Mangetout 02-05-2014 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 17078156)
And where does that "common error" of 1,000 "kinds" of animals come from? Is that figure mentioned in the Bible?

And if those kind of Christians really believe that, how do they explain all the "kinds" we see today? I think there are more than 1,001 "kinds" of animals today. Did they just.... evolve or something? Or did God get all creative sometime after the flood and start creating again?

The whole 'kinds' thing is a big wobbly ball of nonsense - it's designed to try to work around problems exactly such as fitting all of the ancestors of all animal life on the ark.

Supposedly, a 'kind' may comprise a collection of species - which may share a common ancestor - that is, there is some limited variation within a kind, permitting speciation, but no more variation than that.

Try to nail them down on specifics, and you'll just get evasion and vague handwaving. And you'll never get them to explain the mechanics of how the variation is limited, either. Big ball of nonsense that serves to support an argument, as long as nobody is interested in knowing how.

dasmoocher 02-05-2014 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sterling Archer (Post 17077511)
At one point, I thought Ken Ham actually gave the best argument but then reached a bizarrely wrong conclusion. When he addressed "Christians who believe in evolution" and he pointed out all the things in the fossil record that were in conflict with Scripture. He even said a few times, "So they both cannot be true." So after all this, his conclusion was apparently that we should reject the evidence in the fossil record in favor of the Biblical record. He didn't come out and explicitly say we should reject the evidence right in front of our faces, but that was the gist of it. I thought Bill Nye would jump all over that argument, but he ignored it.

I did see this paragraph in a Young Earth Creationist's review of the debate:

Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate

Quote:

The problem with human reason is that it, along with every other aspect of our humanity, was corrupted by the fall. This is what theologians refer to as the “noetic effects of the fall.” We have not lost the ability to know all things, but we have lost the ability to know them on our own authority and power. We are completely dependent upon divine revelation for the answers to the most important questions of life. Our sin keeps us from seeing what is right before our eyes in nature. We are dependent upon the God who loves us enough to reveal himself to us—and to give us his Word.

As it turns out, the reality and authority of divine revelation, more than any other issue, was what the debate last night was all about. As the closing statements made very clear, Ken Ham understood that fact, but Bill Nye did not.
[my bold]

So, apparently, when reason tells us that reality conflicts with scripture, it is because our reason is faulty.

If this is true, then of course you would have to reject the fossil record in favor of the Biblical record.

We are sinners who cannot trust reason. Although, wouldn't reaching this conclusion involve reasoning and therefore possibly be incorrect? Maybe the author of the bolded sentence is suffering from noetic effects and he doesn't realize it. But then that conclusion may be incorrect. Shit! Now I'm stuck in a faulty reasoning feedback loop. And I can't tell if it's a faulty "reasoning feedback loop" or a "faulty reasoning" feedback loop. :confused:

The Second Stone 02-05-2014 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Knorf (Post 17078206)
No need for divinity of Jesus, then? Or for the necessary existence of miracles?

Anyway, I said "started me on the road." Other bits of nonsense from Christianity, and sense from the real world explored and explained by science, kept me going on the same road.

Bottom line: I don't need Christ to think loving fellow human beings is a Good Idea.

I'm okay with Christ being divine, he did make a transcendent argument that loving fellow human beings, even enemies, is a principle and belief to organize one's existence around. I'm also okay if it turns out he isn't divine as he did make a transcendent argument that loving fellow human beings, even enemies, is a principle and belief to organize one's existence around.

Now, when you say you don't need "Christ" to think loving... is a good idea, keep in mind that Christ means "savior", so don't give away your argument. But most atheists thinking it is good to love fellow human beings (and most atheists I know do love their fellow human beings) doesn't really go far enough. Christian theology, or philosophy if you don't believe in divinity, goes a lot farther than that. Do you love your enemies? Do you think it is an organizing principle of a life and community? Are you prepared to forgive those who have hurt you?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sicks Ate (Post 17078226)
When Pat Robertson thinks you're a joke, you have some serious issues.

Pat Robertson is an Elmer Gantry. He's made billions pretending to have religion. He's worried about this new guy being competition, forgetting that God is going to call Pat home very soon now according to the actuarial tables. New Fellow probably has the advantage of being sincere. Pat Robertson is lifelong scum.

The Hamster King 02-05-2014 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17079067)
Do you love your enemies?

I don't love my enemies. I avoid "enemy" as a category. Christianity is very quick to construct dichotomies that I think interfere with human harmony.

Askance 02-05-2014 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Serum (Post 17078549)
I just liked that it was the American arguing for evolution, for once.

I had no idea this Ham guy was a fellow Australian until this morning. I'm sorry about that folks.

In mitigation he's from the state of Queensland, which is only kinda-Australia - they think of themselves as Queenslanders first and Australians second (if at all). Queensland is our Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee all rolled into one, with a light dusting of Texas sprinkled all over it for extra flavour.

RickJay 02-05-2014 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 17078554)
It's the twenty-first frickin' century, people. Why the hell is creationism even still a thing?

It's profitable.

I wish I was kidding, but it's basically a business thing. Creationism keeps people dependent on evangelical Christianity to provide them with the comfort of knowledge, superiority, and community. That keeps them coming to church and paying money so the pastors can have lots of money. The pastors therefore support the Ken Hams of the world.

Knorf 02-05-2014 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17079067)
Christian theology, or philosophy if you don't believe in divinity, goes a lot farther than that. Do you love your enemies? Do you think it is an organizing principle of a life and community? Are you prepared to forgive those who have hurt you?

Other philosophies than Christianity have reached and answered these questions. A Savior, Christ, is not required to do so.

Musicat 02-05-2014 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Askance (Post 17079260)
I had no idea this Ham guy was a fellow Australian until this morning. I'm sorry about that folks.

In mitigation he's from the state of Queensland, which is only kinda-Australia - they think of themselves as Queenslanders first and Australians second (if at all). Queensland is our Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee all rolled into one, with a light dusting of Texas sprinkled all over it for extra flavour.

So he's not a real Australian? :)

Blimey!

bldysabba 02-05-2014 07:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17079067)
Christian theology, or philosophy if you don't believe in divinity, goes a lot farther than that. Do you love your enemies? Do you think it is an organizing principle of a life and community? Are you prepared to forgive those who have hurt you?

What's the dominant Christian view of Bin Laden? Hitler?

The Second Stone 02-05-2014 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bldysabba (Post 17079311)
What's the dominant Christian view of Bin Laden? Hitler?

I can't speak to what is "dominant". The theology is that you do not hate your enemy, you love and understand their humanity. How do you do that with a genocidal psychopath? Most Christians fail at that, as I do.

When thinking of Hitler and the Nazis, which serious people to a lot, we are confronted with the question of how did they do what they did to millions of people? Are they inhuman? I don't think so. I think they are consumed, they let themselves be consumed, by their hatred of others, their lust for power, their deep insecurities and failings. Hitler wasn't a one-off. We will meet his kind again, and it is best to understand that reality and be prepared to head it off politically and militarily.

bldysabba 02-05-2014 08:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17079328)
I can't speak to what is "dominant". The theology is that you do not hate your enemy, you love and understand their humanity. How do you do that with a genocidal psychopath? Most Christians fail at that, as I do.

When thinking of Hitler and the Nazis, which serious people to a lot, we are confronted with the question of how did they do what they did to millions of people? Are they inhuman? I don't think so. I think they are consumed, they let themselves be consumed, by their hatred of others, their lust for power, their deep insecurities and failings. Hitler wasn't a one-off. We will meet his kind again, and it is best to understand that reality and be prepared to head it off politically and militarily.

So...not into loving your enemies then?

Twoflower 02-05-2014 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dasmoocher quoting a YEC
The problem with human reason is that it, along with every other aspect of our humanity, was corrupted by the fall. This is what theologians refer to as the “noetic effects of the fall.” We have not lost the ability to know all things, but we have lost the ability to know them on our own authority and power. We are completely dependent upon divine revelation for the answers to the most important questions of life. Our sin keeps us from seeing what is right before our eyes in nature. We are dependent upon the God who loves us enough to reveal himself to us—and to give us his Word.

As it turns out, the reality and authority of divine revelation, more than any other issue, was what the debate last night was all about. As the closing statements made very clear, Ken Ham understood that fact, but Bill Nye did not.

That's some real weapons-grade ignorance there. No wonder it's taking longer than we thought!

Princhester 02-05-2014 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Askance (Post 17079260)
I had no idea this Ham guy was a fellow Australian until this morning. I'm sorry about that folks.

In mitigation he's from the state of Queensland, which is only kinda-Australia - they think of themselves as Queenslanders first and Australians second (if at all). Queensland is our Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee all rolled into one, with a light dusting of Texas sprinkled all over it for extra flavour.

Thanks for telling me what I think, Askance.

In mitigation you're from Sydney, which is only kinda-Australia - Sydneysiders think of themselves as unique worldly sophisticates first and Australians second (if at all). Sydneysiders are like New Yorkers who are surprised when they travel to the United States and discover to their amazement that you can get the internet outside the Five Boroughs.

Yumblie 02-05-2014 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gedd (Post 17078166)
Finished watching. Bill did do better than I thought he would do and Ken did a great job of not answering many questions. The highlight for me was the question for Ken about if there was proof the world was more than 10,000 years old would he still be a Christian. His answer amounted to "You can't prove the age of the Earth so it's a non-issue."

But he's a scientist.

I think the most poignant part of the whole thing was the question "What would it take to change your mind?" Nye said "Evidence." Ham said "Never." That alone should completely discredit anything Ham has to say. The way each of them responded to that question pretty much sums up the entire debate.

Hershele Ostropoler 02-05-2014 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Serum (Post 17078369)
Ken Ham's position was damaged most during the Q&A section at the end. When asked, what evidence could change your mind, he could offer nothing but "I'm a Christian…"

[QUOTE=Yumblie;17079693]I think the most poignant part of the whole thing was the question "What would it take to change your mind?" Nye said "Evidence." Ham said "Never." That alone should completely discredit anything Ham has to say./QUOTE]

I think you already have to be on the side of reality to not interpret that as "I'm strong in my faith, not wishy-washy". If you don't go in thinking of willingness to change one's mind as a virtue, that doesn't damage his position at all.

I can see someone saying that strengthened Ham's position, because it meant everything Nye said was provisional

The Second Stone 02-05-2014 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bldysabba (Post 17079363)
So...not into loving your enemies then?

Turns out I'm usually a sinner in that category. But not always. And when I'm able to not hate them and love their humanity and their weaknesses too, I find it helps my blood pressure and I'm just a little less of an asshole on those days.

But let's keep in mind I'm a firm evolutionist and into science and not a fundy. I'm more a soup kitchen liberal. Or as we might call it for a few more weeks, a food stamps liberal.

Antinor01 02-06-2014 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Askance (Post 17079260)
I had no idea this Ham guy was a fellow Australian until this morning. I'm sorry about that folks.

In mitigation he's from the state of Queensland, which is only kinda-Australia - they think of themselves as Queenslanders first and Australians second (if at all). Queensland is our Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee all rolled into one, with a light dusting of Texas sprinkled all over it for extra flavour.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 17079294)
So he's not a real Australian? :)

Blimey!

It's the no true Scotsman..err Australian argument.

Monty 02-06-2014 05:28 AM

Ham kept launching into his mantra. I swear, it was essentially one long non sequitur whenever he opened his mouth.

And--WTF?--he has a degree in Science and was a Science teacher! I'm wondering if he was whacked out when he did that job or if he came to it later in life.

FordPrefect 02-06-2014 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bldysabba (Post 17079363)
So...not into loving your enemies then?

That's not a dichotomy in the Christian sense. God will burn me for all eternity for not believing in him out of love and pure justice. Ergo, you can love your enemy as you lovingly jam a red-hot poker through his eye and into his brain.

Cuckoorex 02-06-2014 10:13 AM

I think Bill might have had an opportunity for a double play if he had really gone after the whole "no death before the Fall" thing that Ham and other YECs usually claim, as well as Ham's acceptance that huge variants in morphology do occur (as in the cases of Darwin's Finches and domestic dogs). The "no death" thing would mean that every animal in the world would have been competing for the same pool of food sources in an increasingly overcrowded environment, and carnivorous animal in the world after the Fall would have had to have undergone unbelievably rapid rates of adaptation to accommodate their new diets and lifestyles, a rate that we might normally associate with viruses and bacteria.

Of course, the thing with Ham and others like him is that they'll happily accept "microevolution" (after all, the evidence there is so in-your-face that no amount of denial will work) but deny "macroevolution"... so maybe Bill wouldn't have gotten anywhere with that with Ham, but at least he might have given some viewers something to consider.

Musicat 02-06-2014 11:33 AM

The debate was moderated by CNN's Tom Foreman. Here's his aprčs-debate take, a pretty good essay:

http://fox2now.com/2014/02/05/watch-...e-creationism/

Meatros 02-06-2014 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dasmoocher (Post 17079065)
So, apparently, when reason tells us that reality conflicts with scripture, it is because our reason is faulty.

If this is true, then of course you would have to reject the fossil record in favor of the Biblical record.

We are sinners who cannot trust reason. Although, wouldn't reaching this conclusion involve reasoning and therefore possibly be incorrect? Maybe the author of the bolded sentence is suffering from noetic effects and he doesn't realize it. But then that conclusion may be incorrect. Shit! Now I'm stuck in a faulty reasoning feedback loop. And I can't tell if it's a faulty "reasoning feedback loop" or a "faulty reasoning" feedback loop. :confused:

This is correct and the main problem with presuppositionalism. It doesn't lead to knowledge, it leads to epistemic skepticism.

If you can't trust your ability to reason how can you trust what you interpret the Bible is telling you?

Gyrate 02-06-2014 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 17080927)
The debate was moderated by CNN's Tom Foreman. Here's his aprčs-debate take, a pretty good essay:

http://fox2now.com/2014/02/05/watch-...e-creationism/

I haven't watched the debate but that's a fairly milquetoast essay. "People came, everyone behaved themselves, Nye and Ham were worried beforehand but said some stuff and then shook hands and went home. Also, it snowed."

Yes, but how did it go, Tom? Was there any point at all to the event?

Musicat 02-06-2014 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 17081040)
I haven't watched the debate but that's a fairly milquetoast essay. "People came, everyone behaved themselves, Nye and Ham were worried beforehand but said some stuff and then shook hands and went home. Also, it snowed."

Yes, but how did it go, Tom? Was there any point at all to the event?

You know, moderators are not like ordinary people.

Ca3799 02-06-2014 12:33 PM

I watched the whole thing and enjoyed it.

I'm glad Bill Nye agreed to do the debate, especially in light of the fact that he had to enter 'the lion's den' to do it. I expected the audience to be stacked in favor of Ham since it was at his 'museum,' and I'm not sure that it was judging by the applause and the post-debate audience questions. I thought the moderator was good, too.

Ham is a great speaker to his audience- he uses sciency-sounding words and ideas that appeal to less his well- or bias-educated creationists. Those educated by creation science textbooks will agree with Ham one hundred percent as he will reinforce all they have been taught. But the first part of his 30 minute intro was just appeals to authority ('This scientist is a creationist! So is this one! And this one, who conveniently works for me!'), and he finished up with appeals to authority as well.

I was not impressed with Hams' use of scare quotes around the word science and with his division of science into two realms that he identifies as "observational science" and "historical science".

(Did anyone catch two of Ham's slides when he was talking about dogs. One slide contained about 9 pictures of dogs, except one, which was a bear. The other slide was from a publication about genome sequencing in dogs. The slide was upside down and did not support Ham's position in any way- it just looks sciency. Here is a link to the article and graphic Ham used: http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/...l.pgen.1004016 Note how the graph says "thousands of years" and goes up to 400. Tough slide for a guy who thinks the world is only 6,000 years old. )

Apparently, only "observational science" or according to him, science that one can observe with one of your own 5 senses, can be trusted. "Historical science" cannot be observed and therefore cannot be "proven" or "trusted." Of course, he allows this sort of "historical" thing for the Bible since he wasn't around to see God create Adam and Eve, but never mind that.

Bill Nye knew his audience and did a couple of impressive things. One, he asked a simple question to creationists by asking if the Ark landed on Ararat, and kangaroos are found in Australia, why are there no kangaroo fossils found between the two places. Later Ham said the kangaroos crossed on a land bridge (all of them, I guess). Nye asked why there is no evidence of a land bridge. This kind of simple question is what is needed to put that seed of (educational) doubt into the minds of folks who have had a substandard or Christian/homeschool education.

At another point, Nye said something like "Don't take my word for it. Look it up for yourself." Christian education really hates and often actively discourages anyone doing that kind of thing.

The final thing Nye did really well was in being approachable and humble. So often, anti-science, fundamentalists, Christians, etc., charge that the anti's are "arrogant." Nye was incredibly genuine and nice to the religious views of his audience. Even at the end, Ham ducked off stage and Nye stayed to talk and shake hands.

Musicat 02-06-2014 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ca3799 (Post 17081160)
I was not impressed with Hams' use of scare quotes around the word science and with his division of science into two realms that he identifies as "observational science" and "historical science".

Yeah, I wish Nye had tackled this ridiculous assertion, but I guess he thought there were more important points to be made. I don't think even most Creationists agree with Ham on this one.

Gyrate 02-06-2014 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musicat (Post 17081114)
You know, moderators are not like ordinary people.

:D

Monty 02-06-2014 01:48 PM

I know it's kind of silly to ping on this when there were so many "out there" statements from Ham, but this really made me laugh: Ham's assertion that all animals, even lions, were herbivores and did not eat meat until after the Biblical Flood.

Not only does he make up new definitions for words to bolster his blather, but he just makes up stuff and says the Bible says that.

ETA: Oh, and the biggest "WTF?" moment was when Ham asserted that humanity is composed of five races, because, of course, "The Bible says so."

Alan Smithee 02-06-2014 02:07 PM

I've seen Nye criticized for starting off with an irrelevant story about bow ties, which took up a significant portion of his opening remarks without making any points whatsoever. On the contrary, however, I think it was a subtle, crafty, and well-chosen anecdote that accomplished several things without being obvious about it. Precisely because it was unrelated to the topic, it allowed him to begin speaking to the audience without setting off any alarm bells for the creationists. And this part of his opening was very much aimed at creationists, not the rest of us. The story involved his grandfather, right away presenting himself as someone who values family, a very important value among the Christian right. It also showed that he valued tradition and implied that his grandfather and father are the reason he wears bow ties today. And by making it about bow ties, something very much seen as a trademark part of his image, he did a couple rather important and impressively subtle things. Firstly, he undermined any negative ideas the audience might have had about him as merely an entertainer or a clown--rather than being part of a gimmicky public persona honed on children's tv shows, the tie, in the context of the story, showed that who he is in public is tied to how he was raised. Not only that, but he placed himself in the position of someone with habits that might seem odd or off-putting to outsiders but that actually has deep personal meaning. All of this presents a very sympathetic position to image- and value-conscious evangelicals. And then once he had done all this, he very casually concluded that "That's the story I was told; it might not be true!" Anyone still nodding agreeably at that point was halfway to agreeing with his key argument in the debate!

The whole anecdote was a masterful symphony of dog whistles aimed at his opponents in the audience and played so subtly that almost no one on either side would realize he'd said anything at all. (And lest you think I'm giving him too much credit, I don't think he sat down and crafted this story from whole cloth to accomplish all of those things. He presumably has a repertoire of opening remarks, jokes, and anecdotes, and simply recognized this as one that would work on multiple levels to reach this particular audience. There is no way that as experienced a presenter as he is would simply choose an opening story at random, especially one that long. He clearly thought he was accomplishing something with that particular story.)

marshmallow 02-06-2014 02:40 PM

Didn't watch. Did the Science Guy point out that most Christians aren't YECs and can believe in evolution just fine? Watching the Christian explain how other Christians are tricked by the atheistic whitecoats and/or the devil is a lot of fun.

Alan Smithee 02-06-2014 02:47 PM

He did. And as you predicted, it was hilarious watching Ham explain that those Christians must be wrong because we have a fossil of a dinosaur with a brain tumor, and clearly brain tumors couldn't exist before humans, since we're responsible for everything bad. Therefore, dinosaurs must be less than 6000 years old.

Monty 02-06-2014 10:44 PM

I think Nye was flabbergasted when Ham spouted the Adam's Rib story as literal truth and that's why Nye didn't address it. Ham is simply too far out there to be taken seriously. It was a mistake to even attempt to take Ham seriously.

BrainGlutton 02-13-2014 02:08 PM

Ken Ham compares Bill Nye to Satan offering the forbidden fruit of knowledge.

QuickSilver 02-13-2014 02:38 PM

Ken Ham is a putz.

BrainGlutton 02-13-2014 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuickSilver (Post 17102537)
Ken Ham is a putz.

So he's the snake offering forbidden knowledge? ;)

QuickSilver 02-13-2014 03:00 PM

He's more slug-like.

Grestarian 02-13-2014 06:35 PM

Having seen the reviews, both here and on ARS Technica, I have to admit I no longer feel the need to watch the debate itself.

What irks me is the tendency for Christian debaters to invent distinctions which don't exist and create accompanying terminology and then go on to build complex arguments and claims based upon those non-existent distinctions. Partial-birth abortion.1 Historical science.2 Macro-evolution.3

In the brief week that we discussed this kind of debate strategy in my Logic 101 course (before moving on to boolean and syllogistic logic) the professor called that a Straw Man argument: Rather than argue against the opponent (i.e. his valid point), you build a straw man that appears similar to the opponent (i.e. his valid point) and knock it down. Unsophisticated observers of the debate will believe you overcame the opponent (i.e. his valid point) when, in fact, you didn't and never really tried.


Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17078103)
Christianity is about loving your fellow human beings. It blathers on about three thousand times about feeding the hungry and healing the sick.

Really? So why is it that Republicans in the United States claim to be The Traditional Family Values (i.e. pro-Christianity) Party yet they're dead-set on destroying the nation-wide healthcare legislation and the supplemental food funding programs? And it's not like they've been cattle-prodded into this position by the t party* and their delegates; the Republican party has been opposed to helping the downtrodden since the days of Reconstruction. Gee, if Jesus was preaching that 'lets-all-be-nice-to-each-other' ethos a couple millennia ago, that would make United States' Republicans astoundingly hypocritical!


Quote:

Originally Posted by yanceylebeef (Post 17077415)
I can't help but think that if there was a god, this would be the perfect time to smite someone. Chuck a lightning bolt at Ken Ham, remove a first class douche canoe and give incontrovertible evidence for your existence. It's Win/Win!

The time came, the time went, nobody was smitten by a bolt of lighting. I'll take that as proof there's nod God to hear our prayers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Senegoid (Post 17078156)
And where does that "common error" of 1,000 "kinds" of animals come from? Is that figure mentioned in the Bible? And if those kind of Christians really believe that, how do they explain all the "kinds" we see today? I think there are more than 1,001 "kinds" of animals today. Did they just.... evolve or something? Or did God get all creative sometime after the flood and start creating again?

The Ars Technica review had screen-shots of Nye demonstrating (with some beautifully easy-to-follow math) that growing from the thousands of Ark-types to the zillions of diversified examples we find around the world today would require daily births of dozens of new mutant subtypes -- and with gestational periods typically lasting weeks to months for the larger animals, that would be impossible. And even if we're talking miracles, the hypergrowth of a 1-day gestation-to-birth would basically kill most animal mothers by shredding the uterus from the inside out; an egg would basically explode.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gedd (Post 17078521)
I came away from the whole thing with one big question though, "What was Bill Nye writing while Ken was talking?"

Milk.
Dishwashing detergent.
One of those round things that sticks on the side of the trash can to hide the rotten mustard smell.
TOILET PAPER!!!
Red Leaf or Iceberg Lettuce

:D

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Second Stone (Post 17079067)
But most atheists thinking it is good to love fellow human beings (and most atheists I know do love their fellow human beings) doesn't really go far enough. Christian theology, or philosophy if you don't believe in divinity, goes a lot farther than that. Do you love your enemies? Do you think it is an organizing principle of a life and community? Are you prepared to forgive those who have hurt you?

Quote:

Originally Posted by bldysabba (Post 17079311)
What's the dominant Christian view of Bin Laden? Hitler?

Careful, there! You've picked the wrong figurehead. Hitler was doing his thing in the name of Christianity, epitomizing the philosophy by showing how much he forgave the Jews who had hurt him and his fellow Germans. And he picked up the idea from the American (U.S.A.) eugenics movement which was supported by such notable Christian names as J.H. Kellogg (of cereal fame), Sylvester Graham (inventor of Graham Crackers), Alexander Graham Bell (of the telephone fame), and particularly California's mandatory sterilization laws of the late 1930s. The extreme Christian view (fortunately it's not dominant) is/was that anyone not Christian should be converted or wiped off the earth. That's what Manifest Destiny was about.



---G!
1 No, there's just abortion and it's still legal in this country. Accept it!
2 No, there's just science. It's about the math, and math hasn't changed since counting began.
3 No, there's just evolution. It works in the present no differently than it worked in the past.
* Really, people. It's not about the Asian leaves at the heart of the world's first international drug war and imported to the Colonies by the victor. It's about that lower-case t that good ol' boys used to plant on a lawn and set aflame in the name of white protestant power. Their alleged focus on government spending is a poor camouflage for politicalization of racism. You know this because, at the end of the 2013 budget showdown, they claimed they had won even when the Republican party caved in. The only way they had won was in damaging the lives of [predominantly non-white] lower class constituents. They didn't even pretend to claim that the founding fathers would have wanted that.

Musicat 02-13-2014 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grestarian (Post 17103296)
The time came, the time went, nobody was smitten by a bolt of lighting. I'll take that as proof there's nod God to hear our prayers.

Nod God -- he's asleep when you need Him!

BrainGlutton 02-14-2014 03:12 PM

Bill Nye to debate climate change with Marsha Blackburn on "Meet the Press" Sunday 02/16/14.

Skammer 02-14-2014 06:06 PM

Oh my goodness, Blackburn is the congressperson who MOST makes my brain go explodey - mostly due to proximity (her district is next to mine). I can't wait to watch but I'll have to do it sitting on my hands so I don't reflexively punch the TV.

Patty O'Furniture 02-14-2014 08:59 PM

I thought this was a good video response to how Ham tried to redefine what science is (saying that what he calls "historical science" is invalid because it can't be directly observed). Ham then proceeds to use 'historical science' in support of his ideas about species variation:

http://youtu.be/5jMVYdgVVgc

dougie_monty 02-15-2014 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Antinor01 (Post 16980061)
Of course they've become rare. I can't imagine very many serious scientists wasting their time on such nonsense.

On what nonsense DO they waste their time? :p

dougie_monty 02-15-2014 12:04 AM

"Creotard." ...my, that's objective...I wonder if Mr. Nye coined that word or it was thought up by one of you geniuses on the SDMB.

QuickSilver 02-15-2014 07:28 AM

I don't know if "creotard" was inveted here but I'd buy a ticket to the debate just to see and hear Nye call Ham a creotard. Unfrotunately, that would never happen because Bill has too much class. I however, do not suffer from such virtue.


[Homer Simpson] "It's funny because it's true."[/HS]

Acsenray 02-15-2014 10:33 AM

It is possible to be objective and disparaging at the same time.

computergeek 02-15-2014 10:39 AM

It's really unfortunate that certain Christians (and maybe some other religions) have wedded themselves so much to a literal reading of the Bible and that the Earth (and I guess the Universe?) is only 6,000 years old. It makes them ignorant of and hostile to science and hostile to other things like really loving and taking care of your neighbors, even if they're gay or whatever. Their hostility to science has real world implications, including pushback on climate change (making it apparent their pushback on science isn't just about evolution). They seem to forget (or want to gloss over) that given they're likely reading the Bible in English, it has been translated a number of times over the centuries and they therefore are interpreting it. From what I understand, Hebrew doesn't always have exact translations, so there has been many interpretations of the text through the numerous translations.

dougie_monty 02-15-2014 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acsenray (Post 17107647)
It is possible to be objective and disparaging at the same time.

It's also possible to be courteous. Why don't you try that?

Acsenray 02-15-2014 12:39 PM

Bill Nye the Science Guy vs Creotard Ken Ham
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dougie_monty (Post 17107795)
It's also possible to be courteous. Why don't you try that?


Are you suggesting that I personally am failing to be courteous in some specific way?

Regardless, courtesy is sometimes neither appropriate nor deserved. And sometimes it's unnecessary. Whether this is one if those situations, I'll leave open for discussion.

dougie_monty 02-15-2014 01:00 PM

Out of your own mouth you condemn yourself. That's not simply discourteous, it's repulsive.

Acsenray 02-15-2014 01:04 PM

Bill Nye the Science Guy vs Creotard Ken Ham
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dougie_monty (Post 17107934)
Out of your own mouth you condemn yourself. That's not simply discourteous, it's repulsive.


I would like to request that you show your work. In other words, I invite you to offer an argument. I assume that you are saying you disagree with something I have said. What exactly? And how?

B. Serum 02-15-2014 01:11 PM

dougie_monty, the merits of civility when debating contentious subject is a good topic and would merit a new thread. I would find it interesting.

In the confines of this thread, limiting your contributions to the tone and manner of the OP amounts to little more than ad hominem tut-tutting.

FWIW, the term "creotard" has been in use for a while, neither the OP or Bill Nye invented it.

dougie_monty 02-15-2014 01:11 PM

Give me time. I have plenty of fish to fry today.

Daylate 02-15-2014 06:43 PM

Unfortunately, the creationists seem to be winning. Just read in the Seattle Times this morning that something like 46 percent of Americans believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. A real testament to our education system.

Gyrate 02-15-2014 06:48 PM

Naturally, Ken Ham and other creationists have never used disparaging language in describing their opponents. They are unfailingly polite and courteous when attempting to take the US science curriculum back to the Dark Ages.

dougie_monty 02-15-2014 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daylate (Post 17108654)
[...]the Earth is only 6,000 years old. [...]

Who said THAT?? :confused:

Gyrate 02-15-2014 09:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougie_monty (Post 17108685)
Who said THAT?? :confused:

Ken Ham, for one.

Daylate 02-15-2014 09:22 PM

Quote:

Who said THAT??
Merely quoting from the Times column. And, of course, you must remember the Bishop Ussher, using calculations based on the Bible, deduced that the earth was created at nightfall preceding Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC. So this means that the earth is precisely 6017 years and 85 days old (as of nightfall today). You'd probably be amazed at how many folks devoutly believe this. According to the Times article, at least 46% of them do.

And dinosaurs and humans coexisted for quite a while. You could have your own T Rex for a pet.

Daylate 02-15-2014 09:29 PM

Actually, one of the things that make the whole Noah's Ark thing sort of puzzling, is how two kangaroo's, after debarking from the Ark, managed to find their way from a mountain in Turkey all the way to Australia safely, and didn't leave any progeny anywhere else on the way. I wonder how long it took them for the journey? They must have been hellacious swimmers.

Princhester 02-15-2014 10:57 PM

Why pick on Kangaroos? Kangaroos can cover large distances and swim well. I'm not suggesting the issue you raise isn't real, but there are even more convincing examples. What about some little snail found only in Tasmania?

TimeWinder 02-15-2014 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daylate (Post 17108654)
A real testament to our education system.

There are something like four times as many churches in the US as schools.

B. Serum 02-15-2014 11:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeWinder (Post 17109309)
There are something like four times as many churches in the US as schools.

So? What does this prove other than that the US has diversity of religious practice?

dougie_monty 02-16-2014 12:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daylate (Post 17109040)
[...] And, of course, you must remember the Bishop Ussher, using calculations based on the Bible, [...]

I don't consider Ussher's calculations to be accurate.

dougie_monty 02-16-2014 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daylate (Post 17109055)
Actually, one of the things that make the whole Noah's Ark thing sort of puzzling, is how two kangaroo's, after debarking from the Ark, managed to find their way from a mountain in Turkey all the way to Australia safely, and didn't leave any progeny anywhere else on the way. I wonder how long it took them for the journey? They must have been hellacious swimmers.

Or maybe the same people who gathered up the animals returned them to where they picked them up, eh wot? :p

scratch llll 02-16-2014 01:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougie_monty (Post 17109554)
Or maybe the same people who gathered up the animals returned them to where they picked them up, eh wot? :p

Good point. It's absolute batshit crazy to think Noah left his dry docked boat to travel every backwater crevice of the world to gather all of them together then distributed them after. I wonder how many lifetimes such a thing would take? Not that it matters as creationists can solve any conundrum with God poofed it so. How do you argue logic with someone who believes in poofing? Need to bridge a gap in reasoning? Poof it! Still, I respect the effort Nye put forth. I don't respect the poofing tards because it's lazy intellect to fill gaps with poofs. I suppose in the interest of civility one could refrain from calling them pooftards even though they so obviously are but why do so here where folks actually adhere to reason?

I just noticed my name precludes entry into this discussion. I'm automaticly suspect. Sorry.

dougie_monty 02-16-2014 01:53 AM

You are a fountain of straight lines. :p

computergeek 02-16-2014 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daylate (Post 17108654)
Unfortunately, the creationists seem to be winning. Just read in the Seattle Times this morning that something like 46 percent of Americans believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. A real testament to our education system.

I would want to know the actual specific questions to the poll and the actual answers that were available. The media does not always have a good track record for reporting the various opinion polls accurately, at least some of them. In regards to this type of poll, there's a difference between believing God created the Universe and Earth but also believing science and that the Earth is several billions of years old and the Universe older, and God created it in 6 days thus the Earth is only 6,000 years old. The first believes in a general view of God without taking the Bible literally and have no problem with evolution or other parts of science; the second of course are the Young Earth creationists and Intelligent Design folks who want to push their religious views into science classes and degrade evolution and other science that they don't agree with because it contradicts the Bible.

QuickSilver 02-16-2014 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougie_monty (Post 17109658)
You are a fountain of straight lines. :p

You have avoided the challenge of explaining why Ken Ham's views of 6,000 year old earth deserve to be treated with respect.

twickster 02-16-2014 10:55 AM

Moderator note
 
Avoid personal attacks (take 'em to the Pit if you can't contain yourself) and stay on topic, everyone.

Thanks,

twicks

dougie_monty 02-16-2014 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuickSilver (Post 17109891)
You have avoided the challenge of explaining why Ken Ham's views of 6,000 year old earth deserve to be treated with respect.

All right, I'll take up the challenge here and now.

You will, I assume, grant that the Bible is a condensed account. (Just as well, considering that in English it contains about 750,000 words!)

The creation of the earth is recounted in Verse 1. The preparation of it as an inhabitable, and inhabited, planet, begins in Verse 3. I submit that there is a time element here, and the events of Verse 1 need not be construed as restricted to beginning no earlier than 6000 years ago.

computergeek 02-16-2014 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougie_monty (Post 17110343)
All right, I'll take up the challenge here and now.

You will, I assume, grant that the Bible is a condensed account. (Just as well, considering that in English it contains about 750,000 words!)

The creation of the earth is recounted in Verse 1. The preparation of it as an inhabitable, and inhabited, planet, begins in Verse 3. I submit that there is a time element here, and the events of Verse 1 need not be construed as restricted to beginning no earlier than 6000 years ago.

So you're saying you're fine with seeing the Earth as billions of years old while still believing in the essence of the Bible? A lot of Christians who aren't literalists feel comfortable with that. How does that translate to Ken Hamm deserving respect for believing the Earth is only 6,000 years old just because he believes the Bible says that?

BTW, the Bible doesn't explicitly say the Earth is 6,000 years old; the age had to be inferred from the various genealogies in the Bible, so pretty much interpreted.

TimeWinder 02-16-2014 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B. Serum (Post 17109333)
So? What does this prove other than that the US has diversity of religious practice?

It shows that our educational system isn't what's producing this nonsense. (And indirectly that this idea that secularists are taking over and there's no place to get religious indoctrination any more is ridiculous).

As an aside, though, it really doesn't show that the US has a diversity of religious practice, unless by "diversity" you mean "different kinds of Christians." Non-Christian places of worship are a tiny, tiny fraction of the number of churches, about 12,000 out of almost 400,000.

simster 02-16-2014 03:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougie_monty (Post 17110343)
All right, I'll take up the challenge here and now.

You will, I assume, grant that the Bible is a condensed account. (Just as well, considering that in English it contains about 750,000 words!)

The creation of the earth is recounted in Verse 1. The preparation of it as an inhabitable, and inhabited, planet, begins in Verse 3. I submit that there is a time element here, and the events of Verse 1 need not be construed as restricted to beginning no earlier than 6000 years ago.

You realize this has no additional substance to it than Ham's argument, right? You haven't provided _anything_ to rebut other than a 'guess' that some 'time element' exists between 1 and 3 - you haven't defined what that "time element" was - a "microsecond" is a "time element" as much as a "billion quadrillion years" is.

Learjeff 02-16-2014 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yumblie (Post 17079693)
I think the most poignant part of the whole thing was the question "What would it take to change your mind?" Nye said "Evidence." Ham said "Never." That alone should completely discredit anything Ham has to say. The way each of them responded to that question pretty much sums up the entire debate.

Yup. I'm a bit disappointed that Nye didn't take the opportunity (I think he had three) to slam that easy lob. The final chance was one of the last questions: "What is the basis of your belief?" Ham's response was basically "Gospel". Nye did a great thing by asking for the question to be asked again, and I thought he'd respond with a simple: "The EVIDENCE" and give it a good long pause, and then maybe saying, "Because, if it's not about the evidence, it's not science, and science is what we're discussing today." PERIOD. Sigh ... opportunity lost.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ca3799 (Post 17081160)
I'm glad Bill Nye agreed to do the debate, especially in light of the fact that he had to enter 'the lion's den' to do it. I expected the audience to be stacked in favor of Ham since it was at his 'museum,' and I'm not sure that it was judging by the applause and the post-debate audience questions. I thought the moderator was good, too.

Yeah, I questioned the wisdom of the setup here, but it turned out very well, and I have to give Nye credit. I thought he missed some great chances for excellent and succinct replies, but he still did way better than I'd ever be able to do.

As a friend of mine I was just discussing this with said, scientists tend to be people who sit alone for long hours pondering each step carefully, and don't tend to be the type who does well in a debate. He has a point. But Nye isn't a scientist as much as an apologist for science (for which I applaud him). Still, he's not the greatest debator of our age. I'd like to see Bill Clinton well-prepped to handle it!

Quote:

Ham is a great speaker to his audience- he uses sciency-sounding words and ideas that appeal to less his well- or bias-educated creationists. Those educated by creation science textbooks will agree with Ham one hundred percent as he will reinforce all they have been taught. But the first part of his 30 minute intro was just appeals to authority ('This scientist is a creationist! So is this one! And this one, who conveniently works for me!'), and he finished up with appeals to authority as well.

I was not impressed with Hams' use of scare quotes around the word science and with his division of science into two realms that he identifies as "observational science" and "historical science".
The link Patty O'Furniture posted and I quoted below is an excellent response to this. However, it behooves us to acknowledge that evolution is indeed a historical science (in addition to, rather than as opposed to, an observational science.)

I wish Nye had taken the many chances to ask whether, due to the limits of "historical science", we can use any observation today to say anything about yesterday (or prehistory). If the answer is no, then we're clearly not talking about science. If the evidence doesn't matter, it's not science, and shouldn't be taught in science class.

Quote:

Apparently, only "observational science" or according to him, science that one can observe with one of your own 5 senses, can be trusted. "Historical science" cannot be observed and therefore cannot be "proven" or "trusted." Of course, he allows this sort of "historical" thing for the Bible since he wasn't around to see God create Adam and Eve, but never mind that.
Right -- he refuses to accept that he gets hoist on his own petard (just as anyone who discredits reasoning based on reason being impaired after the Fall.)

Quote:

Bill Nye knew his audience and did a couple of impressive things. One, he asked a simple question to creationists by asking if the Ark landed on Ararat, and kangaroos are found in Australia, why are there no kangaroo fossils found between the two places. Later Ham said the kangaroos crossed on a land bridge (all of them, I guess). Nye asked why there is no evidence of a land bridge. This kind of simple question is what is needed to put that seed of (educational) doubt into the minds of folks who have had a substandard or Christian/homeschool education.
One of his best moments. I also liked the snow layers and tree rings. Too bad he didn't remember those when asked if there was other evidence for the age of the Earth (other than radio-dating)

Quote:

The final thing Nye did really well was in being approachable and humble.
Agreed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Monty (Post 17081424)
ETA: Oh, and the biggest "WTF?" moment was when Ham asserted that humanity is composed of five races, because, of course, "The Bible says so."

I think you're mistaken on that. Ham said that Darwin claimed 5 races, and quoted an early 20th century textbook in an absurd claim, and then said that the Bible says there's but one race.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee (Post 17081602)
He did. And as you predicted, it was hilarious watching Ham explain that those Christians must be wrong because we have a fossil of a dinosaur with a brain tumor, and clearly brain tumors couldn't exist before humans, since we're responsible for everything bad. Therefore, dinosaurs must be less than 6000 years old.

Yeah, no kidding. I found that a bit ironic! And SCIENTIFIC! lol

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patty O'Furniture (Post 17106657)
I thought this was a good video response to how Ham tried to redefine what science is (saying that what he calls "historical science" is invalid because it can't be directly observed). Ham then proceeds to use 'historical science' in support of his ideas about species variation:

http://youtu.be/5jMVYdgVVgc

That's a great link, and for those of us who care about science, it's a perfect rebuttal to Ham's central point, and the only one that saved him from complete slaughter because Nye didn't quite manage to answer it.

In any case, I was heartened by a good honest debate where the participants showed respect and followed the rules and got a chance to make their arguments, with an audience that acted with equal maturity. God Bless 'em all!


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