Ken Ham Wants To Debate Bill Nye

This had already degenerated into farce by the time we posted Ken Ham Responds to Bill Nye.

That was about the initial reaction of Answers in Genesis (AIG) to the viral video about which we had earlier posted Bill Nye Blasts Creationism. 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.

But Hambo isn’t done yet. He’s milking this for all it’s worth. At Hambo’s personal blog we find this bold challenge: We Are Publicly Challenging Bill Nye to a Debate. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Because Nye has engaged AiG in a public way [he was interviewed and apparently Hambo's name came up], and after some extreme hostility by secularists directed at Drs. Purdom and Menton that showed up on websites and Facebook pages, I decided to do two things: 1. post my second Nye video on YouTube [link omitted]; and 2. extend an invitation to Mr. Nye to a public debate on evolution vs. creation.

What would such a debate accomplish, other than being noteworthy for having the fewest possible syllables for the names of the participants? Hambo continues:

One possible debate venue, suggested by Dr. Purdom to the Christian Post, was the PBS–TV network that had been broadcasting the Bill Nye the Science Guy programs. Or an evolution-creation debate, Dr. Purdom stated to the Christian Post, “could be held at a public university, using an impartial moderator. I would think that someone as polished and charismatic as Mr. Nye would relish the opportunity to debate a creationist.

Oh, it won’t be Hambo who will face Nye; it’s to be Georgia Purdom. Here’s her bio page at AIG’s website — Dr. Georgia Purdom. We wrote about her a few months ago — Vomit Opportunity: Bryan Fischer & Georgia Purdom. Let’s read on:

After Dr. Purdom was quoted by the Christian Post and also made some comments about Nye on Facebook, she was bombarded with horrible profanity and other vile language (mostly on Facebook) from secularists. That terrible reaction just increased our determination that Mr. Nye’s beliefs needed to be challenged for the world to see.

The profanity didn’t come from Bill Nye, so it’s utterly irrelevant. Hambo doesn’t expect Nye to get involved in that, does he? We continue:

So, we are publicly calling on Bill Nye to debate one of our PhD scientists here at the Creation Museum, inside our new Legacy Hall (seating 1,000 people), with an impartial moderator — or perhaps hold the debate on a college campus. Dr. Purdom is not afraid at all to publicly debate him, and with all that Nye has stated so confidently in public, he surely would not be afraid to defend his position in a professionally moderated debate?

Ah yes — “What are you afraid of?” We’ve seen that tactic before. So what will Bill Nye do? We hope he ignores Hambo and his silly challenge. We explained our position on such things three years ago. See Would You Debate Ken Ham? Basically, there’s nothing to debate. It’s like the absurdity of astronauts debating with moon-landing deniers.

As for the tactics of the creationists, Hambo’s already told us how they would handle things. See AIG’s Advice for Creationist Internet Debaters. A debate between Nye and an AIG representative would go something like this:

Nye: The morphological evidence, geological record, the fossil record …

AIG: Bible, bible, bible.

Nye: Not only that, but the DNA evidence …

AIG: Bible, bible, bible.

Nye: Then there’s the scientific method itself. When one considers the evidence …

AIG: Operational science, origins science. Bible, bible, bible.

Nye: Actually, evolution makes valid, testable predictions about …

AIG: Were you there? Bible, bible, bible.

Nye: But with creationism, you don’t actually produce anything of scientific value …

AIG: Bible, bible, bible. Lake of fire!

So there you are. There’s no need to have the debate. We’ve already given you the transcript. Move along now. Nothing to see here.

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

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50 responses to “Ken Ham Wants To Debate Bill Nye

  1. retiredsciguy

    A debate? Seriously? Science is not a matter that is debatable. One can debate philosophy, religion, politics, economic systems, relative merits of one era’s baseball teams over another, etc., etc. But not science.

    Perhaps Ham’s surrogate can come to the discussion prepared to show any well-vetted observational evidence supporting the assertion that the entire universe is just 6,012 years old (on October 23, that is), and that all life on earth was poofed into existence in that first week, and that millions and millions of cubic miles of water later miraculously appeared within a forty-day period (and then just as miraculously disappeared), then perhaps they could debate the veracity of this body of evidence vs. all the mountains of evidence gathered by hundreds of thousands of astronomers, biologists, geologists, physicists, paleontologists and all manner of observers supporting the thinking that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, the earth is 4.6 billion years old, life (on this planet, anyway) is at least about 4 billion years old, and that life has evolved over that time from simple to more complex forms, and that the best way to explain that evolution is natural selection.

    How Geogia Purdom could get a PhD in anything while ignoring all that evidence is beyond me. Anyone who can ignore the evidence for the six or so years it would have taken her to complete undergrad/graduate studies could surely ignore it in an hour-long debate.

  2. Bill, if you’re reading, please, please, please, if you have any intention of debating anyone from AiG, first ask them why they are not challenging Mike Behe and Bill Dembski instead. As you know, the latter not only accept the entire timeline of life that you do, but they either accept common descent (Behe) or are not sure (Dembski). Both common descent positions are as unacceptable to Biblical literalists as evolution is, and the timeline is as unacceptable to all YECs and some OECs too. But unlike you and I, Dembski and Behe do not have that prior commitment to (methodological) naturalism, so the debate can stick to the positive evidence for each contrasting “theory,” without baiting-and-switching between proximate and ultimate causes, or tangenting onto irrelevant philosphical differences. But of course anti-evolution activists “challenge” “Darwinists” almost exclusively * because they want the debate to stray into where it would best mislead the average fence-sitter.

    * As Bill Nye is surely aware, any “challenge” to debate by any peddler of any “kind” of pseudoscience is a Catch-22. if you refuse, you’re perceived as afraid to debate even if you’re not. If you accept, your are perceived as giving the pseudoscience legitimacy that it has not earned. Plus the debate format itself gives pseudoscience an advantage, especially when the topic has many common misconceptions among the public, and the pseudoscience peddler is skilled enough to keep the debate away from the details, and fatal weaknesses, of his own position. I say “almost exclusively” because it may be that AiG has half-heartedly challenged ID peddlers, because they are not fans of the ID scam. But ID peddlers would ever debate YECs, because they know that would be bad for the big tent.

  3. retiredsciguy: “How Geogia Purdom could get a PhD in anything while ignoring all that evidence is beyond me.”

    With the recent passing of Rev. Moon, I’m surprised that there has been so little mention of his biggest fan in the anti-evolution movement, “Discoveroid” Jonathan Wells. Long before he learned the DI’s policy on political correctness, Wells admitted (in so many words) that he went for a PhD specifically to learn to how to better misrepresent the science.

  4. PBS or a public university? Why? Because Ham wants to make his side look legitimate for a creationist debate. Let’s not elevate this huckster to that level.

  5. On creationists Dawkins says: Who cares what creationists think, they don’t know anything.

    On debating creationists Dawkins says: I don’t debate creationists because my name looks good on their resume, their names on mine no so much.

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    If I (or Nye) debated a creationist, I’d stick to just one question, and let them do all the talking. Let them talk themselves in circles until the sheer silliniess of their explanations become plain. Just prompt them with clarifying questions to keep them going. The question to do this with is this: ‘how do you explain light from far galaxies getting here in less than 6,012 years?’

    I’m convinced this is the killer question that they can’t get around without the basic answer being that a deceptive god did it. They can make up stuff regarding evolution, floods, and call into question scientific method, but they can’t bridge the distance of far-off galaxies with a biblical story or lying.

  7. @ Charles Deetz ;) :While you are right on the silliness part, most Americans, unfortunately, are raised with the specter of ETERNAL DAMNATION hovering over their heads since the day they are born. Thus its difficult to convince most of the audience here to admit to what they know deep down: the Creationists already lost this fight a long time ago.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Justin Most people know enough of both sides, but don’t know the details of either. Those that are interested are swayed by what others say, rather than the details. A debate has inherit in its format a disregard for the facts, if is what each person says that carries the weight, and without an audience who is educated enough with facts to understand who is playing BS, the only ones who can win are those with enough cognitive dissonance to believe they have won. Eternal damnation plays a big swing in this whole situation.

    But I figure everyone can agree that the stars are more than 6,000 light years away, and any explanation given by a creationist will be clear in its deceptiveness. Changing time rates is something that even a scientific noob understands as impossible. Hence my singular challenge.

  9. Charles Deetz says: “I’m convinced this is the killer question”

    They can dance around it with Jason Lisle’s argument about instantaneous one-way light. It’s a bit goofy, but it can’t be disproven. I’d stick with the argument about supernova SN1987A. I discussed it a few years ago here.

  10. Gabriel Hanna

    Ken Ham challenged me to a debate, back in his Dr Dino days. I’d left a comment on what I’d seen there, and he said I should be willing to debate him in front of whole university, unless I was chicken. (I paraphrase from memory.)

  11. Gabriel Hanna

    Never mind, Kent Hovind was Dr Dino. Either way, my chance to rub shoulders with greatness was lost.

  12. Gabriel Hanna says: “my chance to rub shoulders with greatness was lost.”

    Now you’re here with us. Must be rough.

  13. Why is it easier to believe that some sky spirit created Earth and all that inhabit it in six day and took the seventh off? Or believe dinosaurs and homo sapiens co-existed? Or believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, +-, whatever? Or believe that man was created to obey “god”; how do you know which god? Or believe that Noah’s flood created the Grand Canyon, or that some poor bloke lived inside the belly of a whale, or stones talk, or a man named Jesus is the son of god, born of a virgin, was crucified, died, was resurrected and ascended into heaven? or god punishes all who do not obey him and sends them to eternal damnation in a lake of fire and rewards those sheep who follow him with eternal life with relatives who make no sense, or that one must be “born-again” to satisfy some un-seeable being, or that there is no moral or ethical code without religion.
    You folks just make no sense to me and I am not interested in your people knocking on my door or calling me. I do not have any reason to listen to or watch any of you. I have very low regard for those who manipulate and exploit others using fear as a weapon instead of thinking reasonably. And above all else, keep your damnable beliefs out of science schoolrooms. Your message is just plain child abuse.

  14. Most “creationists” are clueless and what I call “social Christians.” They go along to get along. Of course they’re going to answer a poll “God did it” in case they’re being watched. And most Christians have skipped science altogether because our educational system in the US encourages that. Don’t need science. Don’t need math. Just run a Taco Bell and vote conservative!

    Other people will do the stuff you need to run the country.

    Yep, that’s the ticket. See it every day.

    Yep, China those atheist dogs are kicking our asses around the world in all sectors: economics, development, science, engineering. And, who’s most concerned about global warming and doing something about it? China. Who’s cultivating resources in Africa by building infrastructure and relationships? China.

    Meanwhile, the US of A is consumed with who will provide health care to young women?

    Free fire zone, CM, right?

  15. @Charles Deetz: Sadly, no. They’ll do several things.

    1) They’ll call you a uniformitarian, or whatever the word is, and say that you’re simply arbitrarily asserting the uniformity of physical laws.

    2) If they’re feeling especially silly they’ll suggest that God created the light en route. Why their God is such a deceptive jerk I’ll never know.

  16. It’s like the absurdity of astronauts debating with moon-landing deniers.

    I’d like to see Nye debate Ham in the same manner that Buzz Aldrin “debated” that moon-landing conspiracy loon — the one who wound up picking his teeth from the sidewalk. (I know the guy’s name, but I won’t dignify him by using it here.)

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=565_1345936452

  17. Frank J: “…Wells admitted (in so many words) that he went for a PhD specifically to learn how to better misrepresent the science.”

    Ah. That could also explain Jason Lisle, PhD. besides Purdom. Classic examples of “Blinded by the Light”.

  18. @docbill:And, who’s most concerned about global warming and doing something about it? China.

    http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/

    China is not a goddamn thing for the environment, and the Chinese government is not in Africa for altruism. Please spend a minimum amount of time educating yourself before you praise a loathsome government that routinely violates the human rights of hundreds of millions of people.

  19. joandenoo, well said. Did you have to shake off an early childhood indoctrination to come to your present state of mind, or were you fortunate enough to not have to suffer through that philosophical abuse?

  20. @docbill: And most Christians have skipped science altogether because our educational system in the US encourages that.

    The educational system was not screwed up by political conservatives, the educational system is dominated by liberals and progressives.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?cycle=2012&id=D000000064

    NCLB was sponsored by Ted Kennedy, passed the Senate 91-8–and it was a response to standards that had been declining for decades.

    And of course nothing in that sentence was true. You have no evidence that any Christians, much less most, were encouraged, or allowed, to skip science in school, or that any school system has a policy of letting them. On the contrary–every state has science standards, every student in a public school has had science classes. They’ve been allowed to pass without learning anything, partly because you can’t fire a teacher–except to save money so you can pay the pensions of retired teachers.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/18/opinion/la-oe-senik-california-teachers-association-20120518

    But even with all the fact-free stereotyping of people you don’t like due to politics not relevant, and apparently complete ignorance of the last forty years of the American educational system. and praise for one of the world’s largest polluters and least democratic nations to get digs in on other Americans you don’t like, well, that’s a positively creationist level of discourse.

    Don’t we pride ourselves on evidence and logic here? Why do you think you have a license to say stuff like this? Creationism makes you mad, I get it, but you could stay sane.

  21. Gabriel Hanna: “…every student in a public school has had science classes. They’ve been allowed to pass without learning anything, partly because you can’t fire a teacher–except to save money so you can pay the pensions of retired teachers.”
    “But even with all the fact-free stereotyping of people you don’t like…”

    I have to call you on this, Gabe. The reference you cited from the L.A. Times may be valid for California schools, but there are 49 other states, and I would bet most don’t have the problems of California. And in Ohio, at least, the State Teachers’ Retirement System is independent, and most of its funds are invested in the market, real estate, gov’t. bonds, etc. Firing teachers doesn’t increase the retirement fund.

    There has been a steady drumbeat of criticism of public schools, and I suspect a good part of it is coming from interests that wish to promote voucher systems that will channel public money to private, for-profit schools, including religious schools. Except for the fact that many of the religious schools will give short shrift to teaching evolution, whether schools are doing their job or not is probably best discussed at other blogsites.

  22. It is interesting they want a debate, but when you go to their videos on Youtube they invariably restrict the video so commenting is not allowed. They don’t want debate, they want to make noise. Here I am! I exist!

  23. The whole truth

    And not just on Youtube. When I looked at the aig website where hambo barfed his lame ‘challenge’ (and proposed a surrogate debater) no comments were allowed.

  24. Speaking of Ken Ham, while driving east on I-74 towards Cincinnati today I saw one of his billboards advertising his Creation Museum. It featured “The Swift Pterodactyl”, with a billboard-filling cartoon of the huge flying reptile.

    Couldn’t help but wonder how Ham explains the fact that there is no mention of huge flying reptiles in the bible. you would think these things would have gotten someone’s attention back in biblical times.

  25. retiredsciguy: “Couldn’t help but wonder how Ham explains the fact that there is no mention of huge flying reptiles in the bible. you would think these things would have gotten someone’s attention back in biblical times.”

    C’mon, you know that he can confidently provide (nonsense) answers that will satisfy all Biblical literalists and even some of the trendy nonliteralists who dismiss all claims about the distant past as “conjecture.” What does intimidate Biblical creationists like him – and sends Discoveroids frantically running for cover – is when someone asks why so many evolution deniers have opinions so radically different from theirs.

  26. I can’t resist adding this here. Dr. Eugenie Scott was recently awarded the Richard Dawkins Award. Part of her acceptance speech (on 1 September 2012, at the Atheist Alliance of America’s annual meeting in Denver, Colorado) included a Ken Ham nose-tweak. From the NCSE site:

    …Scott began her acceptance speech by joking, “I now possess awards in the names of both Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins. This demonstrates that I can get along with everyone. Regardless of my historic amiability, however, I do not anticipate ever being presented with the Ken Ham award, if such exists.”

  27. There is a “Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth”.

  28. “Basically, there’s nothing to debate. It’s like the absurdity of astronauts debating with moon-landing deniers.”

    If creationism is so absurd, then why did Billy feel the need to address it in that video? Perhaps because the creationist movement IS gaining ground? Well, what better way than to debate and humiliate (assuming he is the “victor”) a representative of what is one of the largest, if not THE largest, creationist organization on the globe. Oh, but evolutionists would rather attack creationists from a distance.

    “Oh, it won’t be Hambo who will face Nye; it’s to be Georgia Purdom.”

    You know what, I would be willing to wager that if Billy responded by saying, “I’m not interested in debating Purdom, but instead Ken Ham” that Ham would be more than willing to comply. However, the reason the attention is on Dr. Purdom is because it was her video and her Facebook that was attacked by angry atheists & evolutionists. Besides, even if it is Georgia Purdom, so what? If creationism is so easily refuted, then this is all in Billy’s favor. I mean, if someone with only a BS in mechanical engineering can easily dismantle the arguments from a PhD molecular geneticist, then that would be a virtual death-blow to creationism. However, even if Billy beat Ken Ham in a debate (which I doubt, but I’ll use my imagination… I know you evolutionists have strong imaginations) someone could just retaliate with something like, “Well, I bet he couldn’t do that to Purdom.” This is all on the up-and-up if Billy is so confident that evolutionism is true.

    Besides, I find it funny that apparently Billy isn’t able to make this decision on his own. He needs all of his defenders to write blogs and make up a million excuses of why he shouldn’t debate, or how ridiculous it is to debate creation, etc. Bottom line: Billy felt the topic was important enough to address in the first place, so he should be willing to follow through.

  29. Matt says: “If creationism is so absurd …”

    I’m in the mood for some entertainment, so you can stay a while.

  30. Wow… That’s quite the long string of uninformed nonsense. How long are you going to let him stay before you kick him out?

  31. Bottom Line: Matt came to the wrong blog.

  32. Matt said:

    I find it funny that apparently Billy isn’t able to make this decision on his own.

    Nor can Purdom speak for herself, and yet here you are!
    But let’s get back to the topic at hand. You state:

    If creationism is so easily refuted, then this is all in Billy’s favor. I mean, if someone with only a BS in mechanical engineering can easily dismantle the arguments from a PhD molecular geneticist, then that would be a virtual death-blow to creationism.

    No, it won’t. Even if that were to happen (and it’s already happened a thousand times over), you creationists will continue to misconstrue, misrepresent, and misunderstand this thing we call “evidence”.
    Prove me wrong. Dare to speak down to us “evil-utionists” and tell us what happened and when and, most importantly, how. How do you reconcile that with what the Discovery Institute teaches, which is that “we don’t know who the intelligent designer was”? Are they all wrong, too? Give us The Truth(tm)!

  33. Caleb asks: “How long are you going to let him stay before you kick him out?”

    He appears to be a hit-and-run creationist, and he probably won’t return even if I don’t ban him.

  34. Good point.

  35. “He appears to be a hit-and-run creationist, and he probably won’t return even if I don’t ban him.”

    It hasn’t even been 24 hours since my post… but wow… I see most of your replies are within 10 minutes from each other. Well I’m going to be upfront: if by “hit-and-run” creationist, you mean that I won’t reply within 10 minutes after a post is up, then I confess, due to my prior commitment of having a job and a life, I will NOT be able to always respond within 10 minutes of a post.

    Also, other than Gary’s post, there is absolutely nothing to respond to. Caleb simply my post nonsense without any substantiation. TJW thinks I’m at the wrong blog (as if I didn’t already know this blog was hostile towards creationists) and Curmudgeon, thanks I guess, for not banning me… funny how evolutionists attacked AiG for not allowing comments on their videos, yet, I post one post and already there are talks of banning me when I’m a lot more civil towards you evolutionists than evolutionists are towards creationists.

    Gary: That the Discovery Institute doesn’t know who the designer is isn’t really a problem. After all, recognizing there is a designer and knowing the identity of the designer are two different things. And of course, it is subjective on who “won” those past debates. If there is one thing I might agree on with you guys is that a debate might be pointless. Not because I don’t think the issues are worth debating, but the winner of debates are subjective and usually people just deem the winner as the person that agreed with their view.

  36. Matt said:

    there is absolutely nothing to respond to.

    The same can be said for “intelligent design” or “creationism”.
    And at least you can post something here, civil or otherwise, which is more than can be said for either AiG or the DI. The same goes for any Youtube videos they post. They always turn off comments on those. As for your comment:

    I’m a lot more civil towards you evolutionists than evolutionists are towards creationists.

    Well, that’s a bunch of bull-puckey. Fine, you are civil. But the idea that “creationists” are somehow nicer than “evolutionists” is disingenuous, at best. I’ve seen a whole slew of comment threads between the two and neither has the upper ground when it comes to being “nice”.
    Finally, you didn’t answer the most important questions I asked. What are your ideas as to how life has changed over time, when did they happen, and how?

  37. Perhaps I should have been more thorough than just calling your post nonsense, and I apologize for that. To be fair, though, I wasn’t trying to have a debate, I was just making a quick comment, before asking Curmudgeon how he was going to deal with you. But if it’s thoroughness you want, then it’s thoroughness you’ll get. I’ll try and keep this in the order of your posts.

    If creationism is so absurd, then why did Billy feel the need to address it in that video? Perhaps because the creationist movement IS gaining ground?

    Unlikely. A more reasonable explanation is that Bill, an educator, is so disheartened by the lack of scientific understanding displayed by creationists that he feels that he has to give response. One reason you don’t see many of these kinds of responses to creationism is that, among the scientific community, creationism is a joke. I suppose, though, that in a way, you’re right: it is because an idea that makes so little scientific, logical sense is becoming so popular that Bill made the video.

    Well, what better way than to debate and humiliate (assuming he is the “victor”) a representative of what is one of the largest, if not THE largest, creationist organization on the globe.

    You need to understand something: most of the mainstream scientific community doesn’t even know AiG exists. Creationism isn’t science. There is no physical evidence, and the contradictions and problems with the idea are so numerous that serious scientists don’t even think about it, being too busy working. That AiG is the largest means nothing to Bill.
    In the next paragraph, you misinterpret Bill’s reasons for not wanting to debate. It’s not because he’s so unsure that evolution (not evolutionism, as you keep calling it) can win. It’s because he knows that winning won’t matter. I know you say that you already know this, but I’m not sure you understand why. It’s because Creationism has already been refuted, using scientific evidence, more times than I can count. If that didn’t silence Creationism, then a debate, no matter who is involved, certainly won’t, since, as you say in your second post, it’s “subjective” who actually won.

    However, even if Billy beat Ken Ham in a debate (which I doubt, but I’ll use my imagination… I know you evolutionists have strong imaginations) someone could just retaliate with something like, “Well, I bet he couldn’t do that to Purdom.”

    I’m going to go back to an earlier point here: Evolutionist, Evolutionistic, and Evolutionism are never used in the scientific community. They are words invented by ICR to try and equate the evolution with religion. Why? Because they can’t escape their “-ism”.
    I have another issue with this quote. You say we have strong imaginations. How do you figure that, exactly? There is evidence for evolution( and I mean hard, physical evidence, with qualitative and quantitative data), but no solid basis for Creationism, other than the bible, a book written at a time when man had just barely gotten beyond smelting iron.

    Besides, I find it funny that apparently Billy isn’t able to make this decision on his own. He needs all of his defenders to write blogs and make up a million excuses of why he shouldn’t debate, or how ridiculous it is to debate creation, etc.

    And this is where we come back to another of my earlier points. It’s not that he doesn’t need to (Although he really doesn’t), or that it’s ridiculous (I believe it is, but hey, you want to believe otherwise, go ahead), it’s that he probably doesn’t care. I honestly have no idea, but I don’t believe Bill himself has made any kind of response to the challenge. He might not even know! But even if he does, he might just feel that it’s not important to spend time on a debate.
    But I can see you feel otherwise, Matt. And that’s fine. Like I said a moment ago, believe whatever the heck you want. But if you really, REALLY want to have a debate, then fine: I accept your challenge, even if it goes against established policy in science to not treat Creationism like it’s science. If you don’t think I have enough details, or that I’m attacking you too much, or you want explanations of the evidence supporting evolution, then I’d be more than happy to oblige. And Curmudgeon, if you don’t want us arguing here, I’m sure Matt would be more than happy to find another site. But I’ll ask two things only, if you want a debate: no asking questions that answer themselves, and all data must be confirmed in some way. Are you up to the challenge?

  38. Caleb says: “Curmudgeon, if you don’t want us arguing here, I’m sure Matt would be more than happy to find another site.”

    There’s nothing to argue about. I’ve read all the stuff at AIG. There’s no scientific support for the six days of creation described in Genesis, or Noah’s Flood. It’s silly to clutter this place up with stuff like that.

  39. That the Discovery Institute doesn’t know who the designer is isn’t really a problem. After all, recognizing there is a designer and knowing the identity of the designer are two different things. And of course, it is subjective on who “won” those past debates. If there is one thing I might agree on with you guys is that a debate might be pointless. Not because I don’t think the issues are worth debating, but the winner of debates are subjective and usually people just deem the winner as the person that agreed with their view.

    Negative. The fellows of the DI have documented themselves in print and on video many times claiming that the Designer ™, blessed be he, is the god of the Bible. Period. No argument.

    Negative. That the DI claims it doesn’t know the designer is a lie, that is a deliberate falsehood intentionally designed to mislead. No need to mince words, the DI fellows are a collective bunch of liars.

    Negative. It’s not subjective who “won” the debates. Creationists always lose debates, their points refuted over and over. The only reason they keep coming back to debate the same points is that they are collectively dishonest and liars. I hope I’m being clear on this point.

    Negative. Debates “might” be pointless is false. Debates are pointless, there’s no reason to use creationist weasel words like “might.”

    Negative. The “issues” aren’t worth debating. What “issues?” Misrepresenting scientific facts? That’s not an issue. If you want to debate how many angels fit on the head of a pin then dig up Thomas Aquinas and have a grand time.

  40. Caleb said, “You need to understand something: most of the mainstream scientific community doesn’t even know AiG exists.”

    I belong to a pretty mainstream Christian community. Most of them don’t know AiG exists, either.

  41. Ellie is totally right. It’s not a scientific debate, it’s a political debate. Only those of us demented enough to follow and counteract creationists care.

  42. docbill1351 says: “Only those of us demented enough …”

    Hey!

  43. To be fair, he may have a point, Curmudgeon…

  44. Doc Bill said:

    Only those of us demented enough to follow and counteract creationists care.

    If only we had more lithium…

  45. Matt stated (my bolding):

    If there is one thing I might agree on with you guys is that a debate might be pointless. Not because I don’t think the issues are worth debating, but the winner of debates are subjective and usually people just deem the winner as the person that agreed with their view.

    First off: What issues?

    Ham, Hovind, the Discovery Institute — in short, the whole ark of Creationists — consistently present an unrecognisable fantasy (called variously ‘Darwinism’, ‘Evolutionism’, &c.) with no end of risible nonsense and ‘common sense’ refutations. Examples are legion, to wit (from Harun Yahya’s Darwinism Refuted):

    The theory of evolution has been around for 150 years, and has had a great influence on the way people look at the world. It proposes the lie that they came into this world as the result of chance and that they are a “species of animal.” Furthermore, it teaches them that the only law in life is a selfish struggle for survival and to stay alive. The effects of this idea can be clearly seen in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: people’s increasing selfishness, the moral degeneration in society, the rapid spread of self-interest, ruthlessness, and violence, the development of totalitarian and bloody ideologies such as fascism and communism, social and individual crises as people grow distant from the morality of religion. …

    And yada yada yada from Harun Yahya — but nary a syllable in the above which is even close to describing the scientific theory of evolution (beyond the observation that man is a SCARE QUOTES “species of animal” END SCARE QUOTES), nor about the empirical data on which ToE is based, nor scientific methodology, &c. &c. — nothing, indeed, but a political/religious polemic, with no scientific content (nor anything even historically accurate, either, but never mind).

    What sort of ‘issues’ could a reasonable person ‘debate’ with such a dogmatic ranter as this? What would the topic even be? “Resolved: Everyone Who Does Not Believe in My God is Doomed and Damned”?

    Can you even propose a scientific topic that is better addressed by ‘debate’ than by scientific investigation?

  46. It is impossible to ‘debate’ with known liars.

  47. @acleron: I don’t know, politicians have debates all the time.

  48. The danger of creationism or even allowing opinion (creationism) to stand with scientific knowledge is that it leads to all kinds of uncritical thinking, illogical thinking and just plain craziness. Vaccination deniers, climate change deniers, personhood amendments, fear of human cloning – all of these things have roots in creationist thinking. It leads, out of ignorance, to a distrust of scientific knowledge.

    Furthermore, the pandering ideologues of the former Grand Old Party have allowed, nay, encouraged nuts with their nutty thinking to establish policy! Where is Susan? Stop the insanity!

  49. Doc Bill says “Where is Susan? Stop the insanity!”

    Thank you for mentioning the above. I’m having a difficult time believing that in modern times, a nearly 100 year old institution, which does infinite good for both sexes, is falling prey to kooks and open chauvinism, if not downright misogyny.

  50. So… I can expect Bill Nye to never follow up any tantalising claim with actual evidence? And that Purdom’s responses will be deleted and replaced with nonsense? I had hoped for better to be honest.