Today, February 4, 2014, Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' will debate Ken Ham 'Creation Museum' and 'Answers in Genesis.'  The topic is, as one would expect, evolution vs. creationsim. Some are calling this a big mistake - primarily on the part of Bill Nye. 

One author, in Salon, believes this whole show will solve nothing.  His premise is that the science-rejecting, anti-intellectual stance of Ken Ham has nothing to do with the text of the Bible. Rather, it is politically motivated by the American evangelical movement that rejects science as a threat to their belief system. The more scientific discoveries, the less acceptance there is for the miracle stories of the Bible. It is a belief, according to the author, fueled by the streak of egalitarianism found in American historical myths, coupled with the Protestant rejection of the control represented by Catholicism - more political than religious.

Another author, in the Christian Science Monitor, takes a harder view against Nye for participating in this. His premise is that those that follow Ham probably don't have enough intelligence or intellectual acumen to understand evolution in the first place. Therefore, by debating Ham, all Nye is doing is giving a stage for Ham to espouse crackpot ideas to the true believers, and thereby give the credence of legitimacy to his ignorance promoting propaganda.

I can see the point of both of these authors, and each raises legitimate objections. On the other hand, if knowledgeable individuals don't stand up to these crackpots and charlatans, is that then a tacit acceptance of the frauds attempts to drag us back to the time of medieval superstition and witch burnings?

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Can't recall who said it, but there is much truth in this quote.

Science has many questions which may or may not ever be answered. Religion has all the answers, which may not ever be questioned

Precisely.

Thanks for reminding me of the solid sky Craig.

I agree. Ham will never give up the little word he has built for himself. Why should he?

I think you make a good point, Nye is easier to take, and also a new face (and i think, a welcome one) to advocate science.  He did a good job, and as you said he is more likable than Dawkins or Hitchens.  The debate exceeded my expectations, and I felt hopeful that some of the people watching it might have gained a healthy dose of skepticism. 

I think Dawkins gets a bad rap; he seems very likable to me, and frequently exhibits extraordinary patience when speaking with scientifically ignorant True Believers who repeat all the familiar--but easily refutable--anti-evolution canards over and over, sometimes with sneering condescension.

Hitchens had a razor sharp wit.  He also had an extraordinary vocabulary, an encyclopedic memory, a keen sense of irony, a wealth of worldly experience, and a wonderfully dry sense of humor.  I have watched numerous interviews with Hitch, and a number of his debates and lectures, and I don't think he ever dished out as much rudeness as he received.  No doubt many people were intimidated by his intelligence, erudition, and wit.  I like intelligence, erudition, and wit.  They are qualities to be admired and savored.

 

I agree about Dawkins.  He stated sometime back that clarity is threatening to some of those who trade in faith, and I think he's right.  Faith is about vagary and something that might work or might not, whereas scientific knowledge can be far more precise and definitive, never mind contradict their precious holy book!

Part of the problem too is that most people have no idea of the shear volume of data and evidence which supports evolution, and that its support also draws from the fact that multiple disciplines pull together to confirm its veracity, from geology and anthropology to biology and radiometric dating.  The interdisciplinary rigor which evolution has is too much to fake, and I doubt that any one of them know that, though Ham might ... and it should scare the piss outta him!

Yes Loren.  I pointed-out the volume of evidence supporting evolution and the multiple disciplines that confirm its veracity to my family members when I came out to them.  

Sadly, it seemed to make no impression.  I can only hope that when something happens that makes them question their faith, that they will remember some of what I told them, and it will help them escape the cult.

I also agree about Dawkins as well as Hitch.

those that follow Ham probably don't have enough intelligence or intellectual acumen to understand evolution in the first place.

:)

Baloney kept saying that there were scientists that believed in creation and had some videos to prove his point. He then said that even though a majority of scientists believe in evolution a large number believe in creation. This is disingenuous at best and intellectually dishonest at worst.  When you look at the percent of scientists that believe in creation it is around 1%. This reminds me of going out to dinner and asking if everyone has money and when the check arrives some asshole says "Yeah, I've got a dollar, you didn't ask how much." I got annoyed by 3 things when Baloney kept repeating 1) Were you there. 2) It's in the bible. 3) Go to our website for more information. Actually much of this so-called debate annoyed me.

If ol' Ham-bone wants to make claims about scientists who believe in creationism, he'd better be prepared to rebut Project Steve.  Fact is, the numbers simply don't favor him or his BS.

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