Ken Ham Responds to Bill Nye

It was inevitable. We knew when we posted Bill Nye Blasts Creationism that the creationists would be responding (to him, not to us). Today is the beginning of the great backlash.

The first salvo comes from Answers in Genesis. As you know, AIG is one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. It’s the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.

At Hambo’s personal blog we find Time is Nye for a Rebuttal. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

I wanted to provide you with a link to a short video we just produced to counter an anti-creationist video that has gone absolutely viral on internet through YouTube and other outlets. The video shows Bill Nye, well-known for his popular PBS-TV program for young people called “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” taking a shot at creationists who teach that Genesis is true. It’s one of the most-watched videos this week on the Internet. (At last report, there have been over 2.2 million views on YouTube.) It was produced by an on-line think tank called Big Think.

The Bill Nye video has had over 2.2 million views? Fantastic! There’s not much ol’ Hambo can do about it, but he’s trying. Observe:

A recent tactic by evolutionists in their battle against creationists, one that is especially used by Richard Dawkins, is to employ an ad hominem argument — that creationists are committing a form of “child abuse” when they teach creation to children. Well, that phenomenon continues, this time with Bill Nye.

That’s not an ad hominem argument — it’s a true statement. Let’s read on:

AiG was planning to rebut Nye’s views in our regular news feature that we post on Saturdays called News to Note. But dozens of people have asked us to present our reply now, such as this emailer.

Skipping what’s supposed to be a desperate plea for a response, we continue:

We are doing so today with a video rebuttal featuring our “science guys” — Dr. David Menton and Dr. Georgia Purdom of our AiG and Creation Museum staff. These two PhD scientists were asked to reply to Mr. Nye, whose academic credentials do not come close to Drs. Menton and Purdom. You can watch their three-minute video here.

Their video is also at YouTube, so we could put a copy of it at the top of this post for your convenience. Then, after some bible-talk, Hambo says:

By the way, our lead article tomorrow on our main AiG website we will go more into depth about the claims of Mr. Nye. We will even show you a photo of Bill Nye standing outside the Creation Museum (he did not go inside).

[...]

Would you please do me a favor and send our video to as many people as you can? We need to get out the word and rebut Bill Nye.

We haven’t seen the AIG video. But if you’re interested, take a look and let us know if we’ve missed anything.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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32 responses to “Ken Ham Responds to Bill Nye

  1. You haven’t missed anything, SC. Same old script; worldview blah, blah, Historical science blah blah, observational science blah blah. Eye witness to creation blah, blah, etc.

    You could write the script without listening to the video, nothing new here.

    What a waste of education these two are.

  2. Comments are disabled…..
    The most surprising thing I learned from that video
    is that she has a daughter….doesn’t say whether or
    adopted or a test tube baby. Can’t imagine being otherwise.

  3. Yes, Menton and Purdom certainly do have credentials far apart from Nye’s. Both have entries in the Encyclopedia of American Loons:

    Georgia Purdom

    David Menton

  4. Got 17 secs in before the first misrepresentation of Nye’s video. That was enough for me.

    And why is that theists hardly ever understand that criticism and insult are not ad hominems per se?

  5. WTH, I screwed up both tags! Must be HTML Amateur Week.

    Help, Mr. Wizard!

  6. Doc Bill says: “Help, Mr. Wizard!”

    The clouds part and a Curmudgeonly Hand descends. Behold! Your links are fixed.

  7. SC said:

    There’s not much ol’ Hambo can do about it, but he’s trying.

    Oh, yes, he is. He’s trying. VERY trying.
    Oh, and +1 to what Adrian wrote. Any one of us here could have guessed what they were going to say. Let’s see:
    – “Something about information” argument? Check.
    – “Many people believe in creationism” argument? Check.
    – “Argument from credulity” argument? Check. (NOTE: He’s got a point here. When you go from “Goddidit” to actually having to figure things out, your world does become more complicated.)
    – “Were you there?” argument (aka “observational” vs “historical” science). Check.
    – “Goddidit!” argument? Check.
    – Use of quote mining? Check.

    Nope. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  8. I went to youtube.com and found the video. I also found the arguments to be typical of Creationists. What I was really looking for was comments. Alas, commenting was disabled. Commenting was not disabled for the Nye video. Should I have been surprised?

  9. Charles Deetz ;)

    Interesting role reversals … Nye’s video is simple and evangalistic, AIG’s video is complex and boring. I really want to hear them out, but its hard to.

    One thing I’ll give them is the hummingbird … its amazing to ponder how many parts it has that work together perfectly. That nature did that itself is equally amazing than if God had. It is complex … either way you look at it. Occam’s Razor easily tips the scales, however, and that’s why Nye’s video resonates with people, and this one never will.

    Views: 1119

  10. christine Janis

    OK, so HOW, just HOW, does “observational science” prove the account in the bible??

  11. Charles Deetz says: “that’s why Nye’s video resonates with people”

    I just checked at YouTube. Nye’s video has now had 2,475,000 views and 79,825 comments.

  12. Epidemiology is “historical science”. Oh well, better call the CDC and tell them to start shuttin’ the place down…

  13. I liked how Menton simply read from his script. He had no idea what he was talking about. Don’t they have a TelePrompter at AIG?

    It was awful! Moron speaking moronically. Worst of both morons.

  14. I don’t think I can watch the video. I’ll trust the reviewers.

    Bill Nye, however… all I can say is “thank you!”

  15. Don’t worry, Ed, it’s all “scientists are wrong,” “world view,” “blah, blah, blah.”

    Nothing substantial. Gloria is quite stupid. I can only imagine that her grad school hustled her out the door and was glad to get rid of her. Sad, but true, that happens. Moron gets PhD and gets kicked out, good riddance, somebody else’s problem. Purdom has done nada, zilch, zero, i.e. no contribution to society, since getting her degree.

  16. I love this comment about Georgia Purdom:

    “Diagnosis: Moronic hackjob with a real education and a pathological inability to admit that evidence and data are kinda important in science. She’s diligent, and as such moderately dangerous.”

    Yes Luke, the ignorance is strong in this one!

  17. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Erik American Loons is a great blog, I think its thru them that I found this blog. Their diagnoses are often great zingers.

  18. At times I wonder if criticizing religious belief is more like treating the symptoms rather than the actual disease. I’m starting to feel that using the words religion, religious, etc. may actually act to re-enforce a theist’s sense of institution and permanence. If I’m missing the mark by simply wanting to stick to the words mythology, myth or other synonyms I’d be interested in other ideas. I think I’m just getting sensitive to the wreckless abandon of the nutters when it comes to re-branding terms and spitting on established fact.

  19. I notice in the ol’ Hambo response he seems to make a subtle jab at Bill Nye’s lack of academic credentials. The two people in the video seem to be wearing their PhD as adornments; see they out rank you Bill!
    They make a big deal that there are creationists all over the world. I suspect Bill would have been better served if he said that creationism only occurs with fundamentalist religion, rather than only in the U.S. In an earlier post I was a bit critical of Bill, thinking he could have composed a better video. While that is true, in hindsight considering the footprint the video had and what people probably won’t remember much nuance anyway, he actually did pretty well.

  20. The Curmudgeon confesses:

    We haven’t seen the AIG video

    What, not even the Grand Finale, when the Flying Spaghetti Monster himself flies in and modestly accepts the plaudits for Creating the Cosmos?

  21. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Troy. I agree Nye could have done better, and I’ll assume he meant that its a ‘particular problem’ in the US in that it is being attempted to be pushed in to our education system.

    That Menton opens this video rebutting this point is weak, belabored, and doesn’t address the underlying point (my assumption anyway), making it less important. That he cites Japan as a place where creationists might be starts to get downright silly, if it wasn’t so boring.

  22. Christine Janis: OK, so HOW, just HOW, does “observational science” prove the account in the bible??

    [creationist hat on] Well, somebody wrote the bible, so they must have been there to witness the events they wrote about, so those events were observed. We can rule out the possibility that someone just made up the stories long after they were supposed to have occurred because the bible says the bible is true.[/creationist hat]

  23. @Dean: I’ve had the same thought about re-brandind creationism in the same way they try to re-brand evolution science as Darwinism. On one hand is seems like stooping to their level, on the other hand it exposes and mocks how creationists operate.

  24. Retired Prof

    Doc Bill says, “Gloria is quite stupid. I can only imagine that her grad school hustled her out the door and was glad to get rid of her. Sad, but true, that happens.”

    I never taught in a doctoral program, but I’m sure you’re right. Our teacher education program was quite rigorous, and both the people in the School of Ed and those of us in A&S had to certify that candidates for teacher certification were competent and knowledgeable. I recall at least one (there may have been others) that we all adamantly rejected who transferred to a different institution and got certified. That person is now out there, just as ignorant and inept as ever, at the front of some classroom full of unfortunates.

  25. Hey, good people. I thought I’d see if my idea can add energy to this. Would someone mind doing the super-cool favor of bootlegging the AIG video, uploading it onto a separate YouTube page, and adding comments?

  26. MFV says: “Would someone mind doing the super-cool favor of bootlegging the AIG video”

    An improper suggestion, and also an unnecessary one. It’s already on YouTube.

  27. @Retired Prof:

    It’s not just in the world of pure academia. I saw plenty of rather dull med school classmates get promoted and some graduate who probably shouldn’t have ever set foot in an exam room except as a patient. I even saw residents who were far below average graduate even when everyone knew they had major cracks in their foundations. Often it was b/c no one was willing to put the truth about these people in writing for fear of being sued. Sad that such people then become “legitimized” purveyors of smoke oil.

  28. Far be it from me to break the law, Curmudgeon. I was told that comments for the AIG video were disabled and was troubleshooting around that.

  29. MFV says: “Far be it from me to break the law, Curmudgeon. I was told that comments for the AIG video were disabled and was troubleshooting around that.”

    It’s Hambo’s video. If he doesn’t want comments at YouTube, that’s the deal. You weren’t “troubleshooting,” you were looking for trouble. Don’t do that here.

  30. Apologies.

  31. Usually if you have a PhD you are claimed by your school. I have not seen any instance of Ohio State having any information on Dr. Purdom. Do we know if she actually has a PhD??

  32. Personally, I don’t know why anyone cared about Bill Nye’s youtube thing. He never said anything interesting (or really coherent), he just reused Dawkin’s platform.

    Why do you guys just lap up and regurgitate anything remotely evolution-affirming? Isn’t this all settled as far as you’re concerned? Don’t you have better things to do?