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Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the oh-you're-still-making-up-your-mind-I-see dept.

Science 593

New submitter Max McDaniel writes to point out this live stream of the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham concerning the viability of creationism in a scientific age taking place at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky (of which Ham is the founder). Note: the presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern; the live feed is likely to remain less interesting until then.

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This debate... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46151577)

Will be a divine creation.

I am reminded of pigs and engineers here (5, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | about 9 months ago | (#46152215)

an engineer should never get into a mud wrestling match with a pig. everybody is going to get dirty, but only the pig enjoys it.

It's not a debate (2)

mveloso (325617) | about 9 months ago | (#46151585)

It's not a debate, it's an episode of American Gladiators without the pugli sticks.

Re:It's not a debate (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 9 months ago | (#46151667)

we don't have debates in the US these days. Debates imply that the discussion is fact based.

Re:It's not a debate (0)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 9 months ago | (#46152083)

Emotion is a fact.

Went over my head. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152321)

Emotion is a fact.

Could you expound on that?

Re:Went over my head. (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 9 months ago | (#46152621)

Well, it seems true so I'm going to claim it is because it feels right.

Re:Went over my head. (5, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | about 9 months ago | (#46152647)

Emotion is a fact.

I take from this short statement the same sentiment that Bruce Schneier was speaking about, when he stopped whining about how everything "security theater" was completely irrelevant, and started exploring the real and tangible impact and importance of the feeling of safety IN ADDITION TO actual safety controls. You cannot just dismiss grandma's warm and fuzzy acceptance of strict authoritarian searches, you have to actually include it in the calculus, the whole of which can inform the security methodology.

Security is both a feeling and a reality. [schneier.com] The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders. When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense.

Religion is the same: you can't just dismiss religion, it's a palpable phenomenon for a large number of stakeholders. Often, you can coexist with their philosophy while still doing real science. Galileo wasn't locked up in house arrest for his science, he was locked up for being an ass to the church. The church actually had little problem with the already-common views on the shape of the solar system, and would have "come around" on the matter much faster without his goading.

Re:It's not a debate (4, Insightful)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 9 months ago | (#46151903)

They usually boil down to who's the better public speaker. A written debate where there's time to think and avoid misstatements and marshal the best evidence and arguments might be useful, but a verbal debate's just a stunt.

Re:It's not a debate (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 9 months ago | (#46152117)

Your rhetoric smells of lamp-wicks, Demosthenes.

I would venture to note that the great classical rhetoricians had equal if not more respect for those who mastered the extemporaneous mode.

Re:It's not a debate (2)

cusco (717999) | about 9 months ago | (#46152563)

Bill Nye is an experienced public speaker, with the unusual ability to condense difficult and/or complex ideas into bite-size pieces. I've never seen Ham speak, but as Nye has facts, logic and authority on his side I can't help but think this should be entertaining at the least.

Re:It's not a debate (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46152755)

They usually boil down to who's the better public speaker.

Nope. These days it boils down to who has the best hair.

Fact: 70% of men have hair loss.

Questions: (a) How many US presidents were bald? (b) How many since TV was invented?

(Answers: (a) Five. (b) Only one, and his opponent was bald as well, so...)

Re:It's not a debate (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46152249)

If they included the pugli sticks, that might have made it more interesting. Only give Ham foam ones (since his "facts" are so lightweight) and give Nye steel ones (since his facts are pretty iron-clad). Now go "debate"!

Re:It's not a debate (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 9 months ago | (#46152485)

You think in a fight that features Bill Nye trying to wield what is essentially a barbell, that Bill Nye would win that fight? Have you seen him? He's not Bill Nye The Fitness Guy.

Re:It's not a debate (5, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 9 months ago | (#46152361)

It's not a debate, it's...

pep rally. A high school pep rally mixed with a never ending argument.

each side cheers for themselves & at the end everyone debates the other side as to who won the debate.

Re:It's not a debate (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 9 months ago | (#46152637)

I've got no "Insightful" points to give, but you got it.

Debate? (3, Interesting)

fishybell (516991) | about 9 months ago | (#46151597)

You keep using that word. I do no think it means what you think it means.

Seriously though, I'm not sure Mr. Ham is going to actually respond to Bill Nye. If Mr. Nye responds, and Mr. Ham doesn't, it only puts the "science" of creationism in a valid light, as if it were worth debating.

Here's hoping they stay mostly on whether it should or should not be taught in schools, not whether either is true or not. Science isn't so much about "truth" but about the best understanding based on available evidence. That is what should be taught, right from the get go.

Re:Debate? (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46151653)

You're expecting something worthwhile from this?

It will be a complete waste of time. Mr. Ham isn't there to change his opinion of anything.

Mr. Nye should know better than to participate, let's hope he learns that today.

Re:Debate? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#46151779)

It will be a complete waste of time. Mr. Ham isn't there to change his opinion of anything.

It's not about convincing Ham. It's about exposing Ham's congregation to actual arguments. If fundie parents sit down and watch this with their kids, the kids might come away with a few new ideas. That's a good thing.

Re:Debate? (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46151889)

Anyone with a web browser can see the falsity (indeed the sheer inanity) of Ham's claims. Debating people like Ham only gives them a platform, and in a peculiar way gives them legitimacy. It would be rather like a historian debating a Holocaust denier. Sure, the historian will probably be able to trounce such a person, but at the expense of giving the denier a platform and the inherent legitimacy that goes along with "I want you to be an interlocutor."

Ham's nonsense was debunked long ago (in many cases long before Ham was even born). At this point I doubt even Ham believes it any more, but it's a way to make some cash.

Re:Debate? (4, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | about 9 months ago | (#46151955)

The idea that the best way to deal with Creationists is to ignore them is a ridiculous one. These people don't go away if you ignore them. On the contrary, you have to engage them. You have to deal with their claptrap whenever and wherever you find it, because these people have political power in this country.

Re:Debate? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46152061)

I never said ignore them. I'm just saying debating them is the wrong way to go about it. On the first score, Duane Gish's infamous approach to debating; the Gish Gallop, is used by a lot of Creationists. A large number of claims are thrown out, almost all spurious, but so thoroughly overwhelm the other debater that the Creationist seems to have won. On the other score, it gives them the venue and legitimacy they crave.

Re:Debate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152547)

the Gish Gallop, is used by a lot of Creationists. A large number of claims are thrown out, almost all spurious, but so thoroughly overwhelm the other debater that the Creationist seems to have won.

Take them one at a time and destroy them.

Re:Debate? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#46152659)

You only have time to destroy one, maybe two. Besides the audience is too dull to understand.

If you spend all your time arguing against strawmen, you have lost.

Re:Debate? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46152715)

the last few days, I've heard the phrase 'gish gallop' and now knows what it means. never heard of that before. ...even us science folks are learning things from this 'debate' ;)

Re:Debate? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46152419)

True, but setting up farcical debates isn't the way to do it. The Christians have had months to prepare their children for what they're about to see.

We need more surprise attacks which can catch the children away from their brainwashing parents (like Richard Dawkins with his buses)

We need more legal challenges to government abuses (eg. getting Ten Commandments out of courtrooms, state funding of nativity scenes).

We need more people like these guys who connect directly with people: https://www.youtube.com/user/T... [youtube.com]

Re:Debate? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46152735)

(like Richard Dawkins with his buses)

"the bus came by
and I got on
and that's where it all began"

oh, wait, you mean another bus, don't you?

Re:Debate? (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#46152201)

Anyone with a web browser can see the falsity (indeed the sheer inanity) of Ham's claims

They can, but probably won't. How many of Ham's congregation do you think have read talk origins? Why would they, when Ham has all the answers?

So how do you get them to even listen to opposing arguments? This debate is a good way. Even if these people are coming just to see Ham speak, they have to listen to Nye in order to evaluate Ham's performance. In the process, some of them might realize that evolution isn't as crazy as they've been told.

Yes, it gives Ham a platform. You know what, he already had a platform. There is no downside to this debate. Nobody who isn't already a true believer is going to be swayed by Ham.

Re:Debate? (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46152503)

There is no downside to this debate.

Apart from all those parents telling their kids "Look, there's still a debate! They've been debating for years and they've never won, not once!"

Re:Debate? (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#46152703)

And how is that worse than never exposing these people to any contradictory information at all?

Re:Debate? (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46152763)

How many Creatonists do you suppose even pay attention to such debates. Believe me, I spent a fifteen years debating Creationists on talk.origins, and I saw maybe one Creationist in all that time start to question their world view. The rest were proof against any evidence, and even after a claim was debunked, the very same person would, a few weeks or months later, trot it out again.

Debating Creationists does no good, and in some ways probably does harm.

rationality (5, Interesting)

Danathar (267989) | about 9 months ago | (#46152035)

You can't rationally argue somebody out of a position they didn't rationally get into.

Re:Debate? (2)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | about 9 months ago | (#46152095)

It will be a complete waste of time. Mr. Ham isn't there to change his opinion of anything.

It's not about convincing Ham. It's about exposing Ham's congregation to actual arguments. If fundie parents sit down and watch this with their kids, the kids might come away with a few new ideas. That's a good thing.

In America, at least, it has long seemed that watching a debate is more about choosing one's side and cheerleading on its behalf than about analyzing facts.

Facts can backfire and increase certainty in falsehoods -- http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/

“The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.”

Re:Debate? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46152179)

It will be a complete waste of time. Mr. Ham isn't there to change his opinion of anything.

It's not about convincing Ham. It's about exposing Ham's congregation to actual arguments. If fundie parents sit down and watch this with their kids, the kids might come away with a few new ideas. That's a good thing.

Let's see: Several months of buildup telling their kids that evolution is 'just a theory that has yet to be proved', telling their kids that there's 'still a debate', telling the kids in advance that Mr. Nye is a liar, etc.

All that vs. one hour of TV with the parents constantly telling the kids that Satan is speaking through Mr. Nye to test their faith.

On balance, not a good deal for the world.

Re:Debate? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46152775)

you are forgetting the rebellious nature of most kids.

if their parents say one thing, they may suspect that its not true.

some will blindly just keep on believing their own religion, but SOME may be convinced that the lies of their parents are actually harmful to them and their future.

spreading info to those that never heard it before IS useful, even if it won't sway the majority of the closed minds. some will consider it and that's progress, at least.

Re:Debate? (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#46152193)

It's about exposing Ham's congregation to actual arguments. If fundie parents sit down and watch this with their kids, the kids might come away with a few new ideas.

So right. There is no easy solution to the problem of excessive religiosity. No matter what you do you will have a very high failure rate. But if you don't try you will have a 100% failure rate.

Convince someone to not love their mother. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152495)

All of Nye's arguments will be discounted as the words of the Devil and the kids won't be allowed to watch it.

I'm a product of fundie parents.

What changed me? I don't know exactly. I was waking up one day when I was 9 and thinking, "If Santa Claus and Zeus are fake, why is God real?"

Long talks with my priest - (HE was THE nicest MAN I have ever known - NOT in the Biblical sense!!!!)

Faith is what it boils down to, I have none.

Do this - try to convince someone that they don't love their Mother.

Good luck with that.

Re:Debate? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46152683)

agreed. for many fundies, it will be the very first time they're ALLOWED to hear the truth of the matter.

its sugar that goes along with a bitter pill. the sugar, here, is the religion part. it gets the fundies to tune in. once they are there, the science can be explained to them.

most will reject it but a FEW will consider it.

that's a win. giving new information to closed minds is always a win.

the parents will 'explain away' why the religion is correct and science is wrong, but kids will often distrust their parents, so this could work out well for a few of them.

Re:Debate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152771)

What about Nye? Is he there to change his opinion of anything? Are you capable of changing your opinion? I'm a "fundie". Perhaps you should consider all the evidence. I did.

Re:Debate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151945)

> It will be a complete waste of time. Mr. Ham isn't there to change his opinion of anything.

Oh, I don't think it's a waste of time if Nye manages to make Ham look as silly to his followers as he does to the rest of the world.

Re:Debate? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46152297)

Oh, I don't think it's a waste of time if Nye manages to make Ham look as silly to his followers as he does to the rest of the world.

How many televangelists have been caught in hotel rooms with hookers/cocaine? Did that change anybody's opinion?

How many videos like this do we have to post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

(Scary to think that she was running a state...)

Re:Debate? (5, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46151687)

This debate will not convince anyone, even if Ham doesn't successfully pull rhetorical tricks to make it appear to dumbasses that he's being intellectually honest(and he does, Gish Gallop is the word of the day). The only real result is that his failing museum will get enough publicity among culture warriors to pull it out of bankruptcy.

That's it. It's free financial support for a de-educator and nothing else.

Re:Debate? (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 9 months ago | (#46151981)

Creationism is alive and well in this country, unfortunately. You have to fight them at every turn. Science is under siege by people like Ham, and ignoring them, alas, will not make them go away.

Re:Debate? (2)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | about 9 months ago | (#46151747)

Creationism does not belong in schools AT ALL, except in very specific contexts. In a religion or theology class, sure. In a science class? Hell no.

Re:Debate? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151939)

So just like evolution and global warming, then? Oh right, you lefty statists don't like it when people poke holes in your ridiculus theories, you just like to attack others for their own beliefs.

Re:Debate? (2)

JasoninKS (1783390) | about 9 months ago | (#46152379)

Except that your "poking of holes" does nothing to actually prove your point. I have yet to see a Creationist willing to stand up and offer their points in a valid scientific setting. Their entire argument is "Well it's right because the Bible says so", despite all the evidence to the contrary. It's nothing new. Despite evidence showing the sun was the center of our galaxy, the all-knowing Church cried "heresy" because it was against their beliefs.

Re:Debate? (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 9 months ago | (#46152759)

Sun was the center of the galaxy?

Can I ask you to please change sides or shut up.

UTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151599)

For us lazy geeks, what's that as UTC?

Re:UTC? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46151641)

Coordinated Universal Time. aka Greenwich mean time. aka what time it is in England, the place calling the shots when time zones were invented.

To get eastern time from UTC, subtract 5.

Re:UTC? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46151707)

Coordinated Universal Time. aka Greenwich mean time. aka what time it is in England, the place calling the shots when time zones were invented.

To get eastern time from UTC, subtract 5.

So to answer his question: It's 00:00, aka midnight.

Promises to be as entertaing and edifying (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about 9 months ago | (#46151615)

as a WWE Free For All.

huh? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 9 months ago | (#46151625)

I would rather watch paint dry. That would be more informative, too.

You can already make an outline for the transcript.

Nye:
Ham: You're wrong!
Nye:
Ham:

Sorry.. there isn't going to be anything accomplished. You can't have a debate when there is no acknowledgment about facts.

Re:huh? (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 9 months ago | (#46151643)

damn it! bracket kill

Nye: (scientific facts)
Ham: You're wrong (bible verse without context)
Nye: (scientific facts)
Ham: (something about the devil)

Re:huh? (4, Funny)

jockm (233372) | about 9 months ago | (#46151783)

Oh I don't know, it kind of worked the first way...

Re:huh? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#46151861)

I'm guessing there will be a Gish Gallop somewhere: Ham will throw a ton of arguments at once, each taking only a few sentences to make and many minutes to counter. It's a sneaky debate tactic, but effective.

Re:huh? (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46152199)

Even if Ham leaves out the Bible verses/devil talk and goes straight "Intelligent Design" (aka Creationism Where God Is Hinted At Instead Of Explicitly Mentioned), Ham can toss "talking points" out faster than Bill can refute because it takes less time to say "X is a reason Evolution is false" than it takes to give the proof why that isn't the case.

Ham: {Creationist talking points #1-10}
Nye: {Refutes 1, 2, 3.... runs out of time}
Ham: {Creationist talking points #11-20}
Nye: {Refutes 11, 12, 13, 14.... runs out of time.}

End of the debate. Ham declares himself the winner because Nye "couldn't" counter points #4-10 or #15-20 so "obviously" that means Evolution is wrong.

Re:huh? (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | about 9 months ago | (#46152421)

Sadly, I see this same thing happen when I judge novice high school debate. "Well they didn't counter arguments X, Y, or Z, just A through W, so therefore I should be declared the winner."

Re:huh? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46151871)

Yep.

What's the point of a 'debate' where one side is held to rigorous standards of proof (including the proving of negatives!) and the other side is allowed to just make up whatever they want to support their argument?

It could be educational. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152049)

We see all over the place folks who insist on sticking to their beliefs regardless of the evidence to the contrary.

Ham specifically said why he holds his beliefs in that Bill Maher movie -"Religulous". It's on NetFlix - FF until you see the old guy with the Abe Lincoln beard. Also, a; MUST see is the bald priest at the Vatican - Father Foster [youtube.com] . I won't paraphrase or quote here because I am unable to capture his spirit and intellect.

But debating is a waste of time. Leave it alone. I know - I have Fundamentalists in my family - some of them have engineering degrees from Texas A&M. I once mentioned about the physicists' hypothesis about multi-verses and he brushed it off as something "we did with imaginary numbers long ago.". He's so analytical but when it comes to his faith - Pfoof! - it's all believable. He told me that Einstein is WRONG about traveling fast than light because we "wouldn't have been put here if we couldn't travel faster than light." - yes that is a quote of exactly what he said.

What do I do - oh worshipers of the intelligence of Slashdot? He IS smarter than me and he holds those beliefs.

Re:It could be educational. (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 9 months ago | (#46152277)

What do I do - oh worshipers of the intelligence of Slashdot? He IS smarter than me and he holds those beliefs.

He's your father, and he will likely die before you do. You let him hold his beliefs, and you just keep him from imparting them on your children.

bad idea (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about 9 months ago | (#46151633)

This is a bad idea because it gives an air of credibility where it doesn't belong. What's next, debating 9/11 truthers? I respect Bill Nye and his decision, however i feel he degrades himself doing this.

Re:bad idea (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 9 months ago | (#46151867)

It gives them a bit of credibility that Nye is doing this in the first place, yes. But creationism already has credibility among many in the American public. Ham has to keep that going through the debate. If he comes off as ranting or raving, then he will lose much of that credibility.

Many creationists (not all, of course) that I've met have been, in most other respects, smart and rational people. They were simply taught from a young age that their worldview was right, and that any evidence to the contrary was unsupported handwaving. To have a man like Nye come in and show them that evolution is actually backed up by science could actually have an effect. It will at least plant the seed of doubt in a few heads.

Call me naive, call me an optimist, whatever. But I don't think the small credibility boost that Ham is getting is too high a price for the possibility of changing a few minds.

Re:bad idea (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46152121)

If he comes off as ranting or raving, then he will lose much of that credibility.

As if Ham somehow speaks for all the people who might believe in Creationism?

Re:bad idea (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 9 months ago | (#46152339)

As if Ham somehow speaks for all the people who might believe in Creationism?

Um, yes. For all of his congregation, anyway. That's why you have a publicized debate in the first place.

Re:bad idea (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46152447)

No, actually, he doesn't. That was my point... and why having a public debate on a subject like this is meaningless.

Re: bad idea (0)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 9 months ago | (#46151913)

Which ones are the truthers again? Or those the guys pointing out that 2 planes hit 2 towers, but 3 buildings under the same insurance policy collapsed into free fall... or something like that?

Re: bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152601)

regardless of truth, what could you possibly gain by subscribing to the 911 conspiracies?

This can only end well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151637)

Wonder if they'll discuss how this will have some useful effect on people's lives beyond making people yell at each other on the internet?

Who Cares??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151657)

Why is this news? Seriously, does anyone really give a shit? Talk about beating a dead horse. The outcome will be just as ugly as it always is - for both young earthers and scientists. They just pointlessly goad at each other with pointy sticks. Young Earthers should just be let alone to their thing and Bill Nye should just grow the fuck up and do his thing.

Re:Who Cares??? (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#46151821)

...except that religion isn't just a harmless social thing that people do on Sundays.

They're in government, deciding how to run the country (eg. Bush deciding to go to war [theguardian.com] ).
They're trying to remove evolution from the education system [wikipedia.org] .
They get tax breaks [freethoughtblogs.com] .
etc.

Are you guys watching this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151671)

The empty chair on the left is clobbering the one on the right.

Re:Are you guys watching this? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 9 months ago | (#46152063)

I can't hear them. I think I need Mr. Eastwood to translate for me.

Gonna be awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151743)

I hope they got Mills Lane for this event.

Sad (5, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | about 9 months ago | (#46151753)

I love Bill Nye's work, but personally I think he made a mistake in getting involved in this. He's not going to convince the die-hard creationists of anything. The only thing that can be accomplished here is to provide the nutter museum high-profile publicity (which is, almost certainly, the reason Ham was interested in doing this in the first place).

Creationism is, even still, a fringe group of nutters that seem to psychologically thrive off of single-minded obstinance and a belief of personal exceptionalism in their willingness to throw away actual logic and facts. The fact that their beliefs are so fringe is the reason why, almost anywhere else in society outside their individual congregations or this crazy freak show^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HMuseum they have to try and water it down by calling it "Intelligent Design" in an attempt to get somewhat more rational people to go along with it.

Re:Sad (-1, Troll)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 9 months ago | (#46152595)

Intelligent design and creationism are two very different things. ID revolves around there being no natural way to explain the origins of life.There is no natural way to create proteins, DNA, and RNA with life being present. The problem is that the amino acids that are required must be in a solution with 95% left handed amino acids to form. When amino acids are created both left and right are present there is currently no know way to naturally filter them. Further percentages of left handed amino acids higher then 60 have not been observed in nature. With our current knowledge it is more likely that an intelligent creator or a "seed" from a living organism on a different planet started life as opposed to spontaneous generation.

Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151765)

Never try to teach a pig to sing. You'll waste your time and annoy the pig.

Re:Nope. (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 9 months ago | (#46152161)

Debating an idiot is like wrestling a pig. You get covered in shit and the pig enjoys it.

Richard Dawkins has an opinion on this (5, Informative)

protest_boy (305632) | about 9 months ago | (#46151775)

Why I won't debate creationists:
http://old.richarddawkins.net/... [richarddawkins.net]

I couldn't agree more.

Re:Richard Dawkins has an opinion on this (1, Interesting)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 9 months ago | (#46152535)

Dawkins shouldn't debate because he comes across as a smug asshole and an opponent can use that to their advantage.

Bill: Never argue with an idiot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46151803)

...they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Gefundenes Fressen for European newspapers (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 9 months ago | (#46151815)

One more reason for them to make jokes about Americans. KY, for cryin' out loud ! Seriously: this confirms so many biases that I can't even begin to count.

Time for some yummy... (4, Funny)

synaptik (125) | about 9 months ago | (#46151927)

Ham on Nye.

Can a creationist explain me? (1)

Framboise (521772) | about 9 months ago | (#46151953)

Why if the universe is ~6000 yr old virtually all the astronomical images returned since a century or so show objects at distances requiring more than 6000 yr for light to reach us?

Why would the Creator be so deceptive to create 6000 yr ago in the most exquisite details images of the universe looking precisely 13.8 billions yr old, and this false impression would have been reserved just for us in the recent decades?

Re:Can a creationist explain me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152259)

This might help:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/anisotropic-synchrony-convention

Re:Can a creationist explain me? (4, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46152399)

The answer to that question, from a creationist statndpoint, is the same reason that God allegedly created the first human beings as fully formed adults. Merely minutes old in actuality, but by all outward appearances fully matured, as if they had really grown up from childhood. To a hypothetical visitor from the future who was accustomed only to what they understood as the normal passage of time, even mere weeks after creation, it would invariably appear that things had existed for much longer than they actually had... but that's only because that's all that person knows, because they weren't actually around at the beginning to see it all unfold... not out of any real sense on God's part to deceive anyone, as it were.

Re:Can a creationist explain me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152401)

Why if the universe is ~6000 yr old virtually all the astronomical images returned since a century or so show objects at distances requiring more than 6000 yr for light to reach us?

Why would the Creator be so deceptive to create 6000 yr ago in the most exquisite details images of the universe looking precisely 13.8 billions yr old, and this false impression would have been reserved just for us in the recent decades?

Not a creationist by a wide margin but I believe the answer would go something like this.....

Those images are created by the DEVIL to fool you!!!! Just like dinosaur fossils.

Ham is going to drown Nye in FUD (4, Insightful)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | about 9 months ago | (#46152039)

This isn't going to be pretty. Just as the oil industry uses FUD to create false "uncertainties" about climate science, Ken Ham misrepresents evolutionary science to make it appear that there is a debate. There is no way for a logical person like Nye (who is a mechanical engineer by training, BTW) to effectively counteract Ham's bullshit.

The very fact that this debate is happening is already a win for Ham (and not just because of the millions of dollars that AIG is raking in): The amount of media coverage that this "debate" has received creates the impression that there is a debate to be had - when the basic science is very well-understood and unambiguous. Ham's work is FUD at its finest.

Re:Ham is going to drown Nye in FUD (2)

Kagato (116051) | about 9 months ago | (#46152481)

Sadly I agree. Nye does a lot of guest spot on pseudo news shows. He's very good at writing and a master at presenting scripted material, but he's not a great off the cuff debater. Nye tends to get side tracks and has trouble packaging the argument into a limited time slot when he doesn't have the time to refine a script. Neil deGrasse Tyson is far better at this sort of thing but I he would never do a debate like this.

Ice ice baby (1)

portwojc (201398) | about 9 months ago | (#46152123)

There is an ice storm warning for the area right now. I bet they'll be postponing the debate soon.

Ken Ham will "win" this (2, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46152127)

Why do I think Ken Ham will "win" this debate? Well, not because I think Ken will prove conclusively that Evolution is wrong and Creationism is right. I don't believe that at all. Evolution has a ton of evidence supporting it and Ken would have to pull out an Everest-sized mountain of hard evidence (*not* coming from "the Bible says...") to even come close to proving Creationism.

The reason Ken will "win" is because when Creationists "debunking" Evolution, they don't require proof. They spew a talking point or three and then declare victory. Those supporting Evolution, however, are careful to lay out all of the facts and supporting evidence. This takes more time than spewing talking points. Ken will rattle off a dozen talking points and Bill will only have time to tackle one or two. Of course, given enough time, he could refute every talking point Ken Ham spews, but I'm sure Ken can toss out the talking points faster than Bill Nye can refute them merely because refuting with evidence takes more time than making a baseless accusation.

So unless Ken speaks in slow-motion and Bill Nye channels an auctioneer, Ken Ham will "win" the debate.

Re:Ken Ham will "win" this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152619)

You're right in that there's no way for Nye to "win" this debate. It's not as if at some point in the evening Ham will stop and say "Dang it Bill, you're right! I have no way to refute that point by using my magical invisible omnipotent old man in the sky".

I would go so far as to say Nye has already lost by being forced to debate magic and superstition as if they were on the same level as logic and reason. People like Ham should be slotted in as no better than members of the flat-earth society, alchemists and believers in a geocentric universe, not given equal footing with modern scientific theories.

paradoxical comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152197)

basically:

They shouldn't debate because .... blah, blah, blah

and

Can the creationist explain this....?

Can't have it both ways.

Ham-fisted abuse of logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46152229)

For insight into how Mr. Ham twists logic, read this opinion piece from him:
Why I'm debating the 'Science Guy' about creationism [cnn.com] .
If this mirrors his arguments tonight, Mr. Nye should be able to debate circles around him. Anyone minimally trained in logic and debate should be able to beat him.

Let's hope it ends better than the last one (2)

jpvlsmv (583001) | about 9 months ago | (#46152307)

I hope this does[n't] end up like the last debate between science and creationism:

http://www.websitesonadime.com... [websitesonadime.com]

--Joe

Not worthless (4, Insightful)

mugnyte (203225) | about 9 months ago | (#46152463)

Nye isn't stupid, he's thought about the implications of this debate. He's already talked about the promotion of the debate as a leveling effect of the two approaches, when really they are nowhere similar. (Creation Mythology and Scientific Inquiry).

However, I think if Nye plays his cards right, he'll not fall into the trap of a tit-for-tat banter of each little Creationist pseudo-doubt. Instead, he'll address the general sociology of the subject: The Christian religion is just one of dozens of creation myths, popular in certain places of the world at this time in history. It simply cannot admit it is wrong, although it has been proven wrong many times and simply abandoned those historical issues (Copernicus onward, for just a few examples). Additionally, there are still the hangups in Christianity with gender (both women and gays) as lesser actors on the stage. Combined with the peculiar Politically-rightward stance in the US, defining their positions on the environment, poverty and interventionism - Christianity cannot explain many parts of the modern world well, let alone creation.

Nye could also simply state that there are too many religions to include them all in an Origins class, and all of them arrive with only scriptural evidence that it's best left to a comparative-studies class on mythologies. Which is exactly where they are today.

Also, if everyone started empirical scientific exploration over again (really, we do this all the time in teaching) - the same models would be arrived at - simply because the models fit the observations. They aren't dictated from any secret cabal, exactly opposite the Christian method. Nye can do this, as well as any of us. The evolutionary discrepancies Ham will blubber on about are not worth the time, but this entire use of one religion to define all things in the universe can easily be made to look silly.

I'll believe it when I see it. (0)

jennatalia (2684459) | about 9 months ago | (#46152593)

The moment a machine is poofed from thin air that solves our food, water and space travel needs (with gravitational fields/ability incuded) for us to travel to the stars, I'll believe in creationism. Otherwise Bill Nye shouldn't waste his time. ----- Man created god Man created religion Man is to blame for his own problems

Ken Ham does not speak for all creationists (5, Interesting)

robinsoz2 (3525737) | about 9 months ago | (#46152689)

I am a creationist myself (in the minority here on Slashdot) and frequently listen to Christian radio. I often find myself cringing when Ken Ham's little segments come on. He usually uses circular reasoning to prove his point - the following is an exact paraphrase of something I heard him say recently: "The Bible states that the world is less than 6000 years old and therefore evolution is wrong. Because evolution is wrong because the Bible says it is wrong, we have proved the evolutionists to be an unreliable source and therefore we can not trust the evolutionists criticism of the Bible." I personally know a number of scientists who believe in creation/intelligent design (plus one atheist leaning agnostic with doubts about the probability of life arising by chance) who would represent the creation side of the argument better than Ken Ham.

debate (1)

Ulises (3525749) | about 9 months ago | (#46152781)

Some fossilized questions for a transitional and healhty debate, for instance: is there evolution if there is no time? How will evolutionary biology meet new physical paradigms about time, space and so on? Will new conceptual changes deny evolution? Or on the contrary, will it become a more extraordinary process, full of astonishing implications? If so, will past human beings and the rest of living beings become something different as science progresses? After all, is life something fix-finite-defined? That is, can one understand it by means of using a flesh brain and its limited words, axioms and dogmas? Does the whole of life fit inside a bone box? Indeed, will science add indefinitely without understanding completely, is there an infinite pool of knowledge and ignorance waiting for us? Otherwise, will religions use the word God forever and ever, as if it were a death thing, a repetitive thing that is part of human discussions? And, in order to speak about God, are they using his limited brain or do they use unknown instruments? Along these lines, there is a different book, a preview in http://goo.gl/rfVqw6 [goo.gl] Just another suggestion in order to freethink for a while
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