Ken Ham: “Why Won’t Anyone Debate Me?”

Last week we posted Ken Ham Wants To Debate Bill Nye, in which we said:

We hope he [Bill Nye] 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.

That was our response to the second or third time there was a reaction from 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.

Bill Nye has so far had the good sense to ignore AIG, so there’s yet another rant about it at Hambo’s personal blog: Why Won’t the Evolutionists Debate? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

[O]ver the years I’ve found that many evolutionists refuse to debate creationists. In the Duane Gish era, they used to debate, but I think because they couldn’t win, they then resorted to refusing to debate and instead they just personally attack creationists and make all sorts of false claims about creation and evolution.

After experiencing the Gish gallop, science representatives realized that debating creationists was hopeless. One can’t “win” a debate with such people, or with the Time Cube guy either, so why bother? Hambo’s post continues:

A few years back, one of the editions of the Reports of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE is an anti-creation organization headed up by atheist Dr. Eugenie Scott) was dedicated to convincing evolutionists why they should not debate creationists. One of the authors disparaged creationism and accused creation scientists of telling lies during debates: …

The quote from NCSE is at Hambo’s blog, but here’s a sample: “It is a tremendous waste of time for the scientist to wade through half-truths and urban legends … .” Let’s read some more from Hambo:

So what do they mean by “lie”? They mean they can’t answer the arguments, so they call them a lie — and then refuse to debate! This secularist author’s reasoning is really just the typical sort of attack they launch on creation and creationists! Just call names and make accusations — no substance at all!

Yes, science has no substance. Hambo continues:

We also need to understand that we’re all looking at the same “evidence” — our worldview is what affects our interpretation of this evidence in relation to the past. Claiming there is “no evidence” for biblical creation and that creationists operate on “half-truths and urban legends” is not sound, respectful reasoning. It’s merely an unfounded excuse to escape having to debate a scientist with a view that happens to contradict their evolutionary view, which they hold as fact! In reality, evolution and millions of years are their way of explaining life without God — their religion.

We’ve discussed that “same facts, different worldviews” before, so we’ll skip it this time. But we can’t help mentioning that if your worldview leads you to believe in Noah’s Ark, maybe you should step back and reconsider it. Well, you know all that. Here’s more from Hambo:

In a recent interview, Richard Dawkins, who is known for often refusing to debate Christians, dismissed creationists, saying, “There aren’t two theories. There’s only one theory around; there’s only one game in town as far as serious science is concerned. Of course, you’ll get negative reactions from creationists. But who cares about creationists? They don’t know anything”

Gotta love Dawkins! Moving along:

So what are the common “reasons” these evolutionists claim they refuse to engage creationists in debate? Well, they include the following: alleged lack of evidence for creation; comparisons of creationism to ideas easily disproved by observational science, such as a flat earth; evolution is true, so there is no debate; and so on. They all turn out to be poorly-reasoned attacks. And I would submit that these attacks are just a deflection to avoid losing more debates against creationists.

Did you get that, dear reader? We reason poorly and we’re afraid to debate creationists. In response, all we can say is: Nice try, Hambo, but you still can’t goad anyone into debating you. Here’s another excerpt:

So what nasty things are evolutionists saying about our challenge to Bill Nye? Here are a couple of recent quotes from some well-known blogs:

Now it gets interesting. One of the two blogs Hambo quotes is this one. He even provides a link to one of our older posts: Would You Debate Ken Ham? That one is three years old and comments are closed, but we may get some of Hambo’s traffic here. That should be fun. On with Hambo’s article:

If there is no evidence for biblical creation and the debate really is settled on evolution, why not debate creationists? The evolutionists should be able to win easily, right?

It’s really the same reason the secular media will promote someone like Bill Nye and his video but not promote the video of AiG scientists.

And what’s that reason, Hambo? He tells us at the end of his post:

It’s really the anti-Christian bias that is growing in our culture.

No, Hambo, that’s not it. But if you insist that your Creation Museum represents Christianity, it might seem that way to you.

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

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28 responses to “Ken Ham: “Why Won’t Anyone Debate Me?”

  1. It’s new for AIG to actually link to blogs, Ham even linked to Pharyngula. It’s a positive step for them, usually they call them ‘athiest blogs’ and refuse to link due to ‘foul language’.

    Creationists love to debate but they also like to stack the deck, a recent post by Kent Hovind challenged 10 ‘evolutionists’ to a debate as long as creationism got equal time, so in a 1 hour debate Kent gets to talk for 30 minutes and each ‘evolutionist’ gets 3 minutes each.

  2. Hey Paul,

    Seems unfair at first…but I think it would take even less than three minutes to debunk whatever long winded answer Kent would give :P

  3. I agree that debating young-earth creationists would be a lost cause, if the only “cause” being pursued is the convincing of the young-earth creationists themselves. Because creationism is a worldview, and not a scientific theory, it can neither be bolstered nor be overturned by empirical evidence.

    However, I have found that such debates are enormously beneficial to the actual viewing audience. Consider the debate between professional evolutionary paleontologist, Paul Willis, and creationist Carl Wieland, which I would recommend to anyone for viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nIC9kjHhXg

    I do understand the concern that for professional, accredited scientists to participate in such debates gives the false impression that there is a real debate within the mainstream scientific community. But after viewing the above-linked debate between Wilis and Wieland a number of times, I never once received the slightest impression that there was any doubt among maintstream scientists concerning the core principles of the theory of evolution.

  4. I’ll do it!! Let me!! I volunteer, Ken!!

    …Oh, pardon me. I must have misread the heading. I thought it said: “Why Won’t Anyone Debase Me?”

  5. I’ve been challenging Ken Ham, and the ICR, to debate me on the first two chapters of Genesis for years, and only the ICR weakly responds. How can we expose the worthless claims of Ken Ham?

    Young Earth Creationism is foolishness, and I can embarrass him in a public setting, by proving his doctrine to be unbiblical and foolish. However, the AIG clan won’t respond to my letters.

    If what they teach doesn’t even agree with the scriptures, why should any evolutionist waste their time with him? The correct opposing view to evolution is the “Observations of Moses”, not the (wrong) Answers In Genesis.

    Herman Cummings

  6. Thanks for posting Hambones’ rant. The more he quotes Dawkins and Nye,
    the more the cement cerebellum crowd might hear something that will ignite some actual synapse firing and thought. So, I’m happy to see Ham ranting, as well as tremendously amused. I guess his museum creation is fading fast as word gets around how bizarre and dysfunctional it is. I love guys like Ham because they segregate the nut cases from those who actually consider facts and data. But child abuse charges for letting children near him are still valid.

  7. Never debate creationists. As Dawkins said, you look better on their resume than they do on yours.

    And, of course, you can’t stand up and call them dishonest liars, which all creationists are.

    Fact: all creationists are dishonest liars. No exception.

    There should be a premium for creationist debates. Each side puts up $100,000. Somehow I think old Hambone the Huckster would balk at that.

  8. @docbill–Dawkins is right, but the other reason you shouldn’t debate a creationist is because it’s not worth it. I’ve been told (this is not original with me, and stop me if you’ve heard it) that debating a creationist is like playing chess with a pigeon. It doesn’t matter how good I am or how sound my strategy or how well I know the rules. All the pigeon will do is knock over the pieces, s**t on the board, and strut around like it’s won something.

    Or, if you prefer, it’s like wrestling with a pig. You get dirty and tired and the pig enjoys it.

  9. My father is a Creationist and he is not a liar, simply deluded. He means well, and cares about others, but he can’t be objective in this matter.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    The biggest problem is that Hambo really wants a debate between the evolutionist religion and literal Christian religion.

    When he ascribes my beliefs as a religion, he’s lost the chance to debate me.

  11. Ken Ham asks, “If there is no evidence for biblical creation and the debate really is settled on evolution, why not debate creationists? The evolutionists should be able to win easily, right?”

    Uh, Ken, you answered your own question. There is no debate; evolution has won. Why? Because there is no evidence for biblical creation, and the debate really is settled on evolution.

    Moreover, if you refuse to accept the evidence, even though it has been vetted by hundreds of thousands of scientists who are experts in their fields and reported in millions of peer-reviewed papers in many independent journals — well, why should any scientist waste his or her time talking with you?

    Now, let’s examine your evidence, Mr. Ham. You claim that your entire body of evidence is the book of Genesis, which you further claim was divinely inspired. And what is your reason for believing the words in Genesis were divinely inspired? I can’t read your mind, but let me take a guess — because the bible says so?

    Science is mankind’s attempt to understand the nature of reality. So what would be the point of a debate? It doesn’t matter if every non-scientist on earth denied the verity of every bit of evidence supporting our idea of the nature of the universe — the nature of reality is what it is, regardless of how smooth the talker is who argues against it. Science is not politics. It’s not subject to a vote.

    Let me put it another way that you might appreciate, Mr. Ham. God gave us the ability to reason. It would be against His will for us not to use that ability. Ask yourself honestly — are you fully utilizing your ability to reason, or are you merely arguing to promote your Creation Museum? The latter would certainly be understandable. After all, you have a lot invested in it, and you need to convince a lot of people to plunk down their money just to break even.

  12. In refusing to debate these hamhocks we hand them the best outcome they could hope for–we effectively validate their charge that we are afraid to engage them while sparing them the risk of a public drubbing. This isn’t about changing the minds of the rabble. It’s about standing up to ignorance. A few intelligent waverers may even be impressed enough to take a second look at all this. Should we accept Ken Ham’s challenge? Damn right! And we should do to him what Darrow did to Bryan.

  13. Poor Hambo, can’t get anyone to debate with him. I guess he’ll just have to keep on stompin’ around and raggin’ his hissy fit on the Scientists and Rationalists. Of course they won’t debate him nor should they. To them, folks like Hambo are a mere annoyance. Backround noise. They are too busy pushing the boundaries of knowledge for the benefit of everyone. Something the psychologically conditioned creationists know little about, they being lost in their self-imposed religious dreamworld. Haven’t heard from Hovind in a while. Probably playin’ cards with his inmate pals. Heard he skates from prison in a few years though. ;op

  14. If Ham is so desperate to debate, the answer is simple: let him debate Kent “Dr. Dino” Hovind (via a video link from Hovind’s cell). They despise one another, and I can think of no better entertainment than watching two Creationist whack-jobs arguing about which version of flat-out barking-mad insanity should be given credence!

  15. It’s amusing that all these creationists who are desperate for a debate never seem to be interested in having comments turned on for their blogs so that people can come along and debate them.

    One might almost think that they’re more interested in publicity than in a genuine interchange of ideas.

    I cannot help but find Kenny’s “They mean they can’t answer the arguments” hilarious. One can almost imagine him exorcising the existence of TO’s ‘ Index to Creationist Claims’ from his memory in order to make this ludicrous claim.

  16. Unless I missed something in my quick read, Ham is wondering out loud why “evolutionists” won’t debate him, yet not wondering out loud why Discoveroids won’t debate him. If I read correctly, absolutely nothing more needs to be said. What Ham didn’t say says it all.

  17. @Megalonyx:

    Thanks! That’s another example of the comically hopeless disagreements among anti-evolution activists – even within the YEC subset that the Discoveroids wish would just shut up and go away.

  18. The thought occurs: why doesn’t some one just provide Mr. Ham with a chatbot to debate? That would keep him off the street, and be about as enlightening as wasting a real person’s time…

  19. On reflection, since Herman Cummings has joined us, a chatbot is not needed.

    Herman, have you sent Mr. Ham your 63-minute powepoint presentation?

  20. Creationists are free to attend mainstream science conferences to present their ideas. If Ham and Purdom do that, I guarantee they’ll get a debate. Gee … I wonder why they don’t do that?

  21. Ceteris Paribus

    paul collier says: “Should we accept Ken Ham’s challenge? Damn right! And we should do to him what Darrow did to Bryan.”

    In the end, what Darrow did to Bryan was lose the case to him.

    Bryan, for his own part at the actual trial, was at most an old-earth creationist whose testimony included the statement that he didn’t even care if each day of creation was 600 million years long.

    And privately, Bryan was said to be willing to believe in human evolution if sufficient evidence could be presented.

    Bud Darrow did come in for criticism for handling Bryan rudely, even to the extent of the ACLU trying to replace Darrow for the later appeal trial.

    But the fictionalized movie version portrayal of the Darrow/Bryan interchange is unfortunately now useful fodder for evangelists who use it as evidence that all christians, regardless of their view on evolution, are being singled out for government repression. A truly bizarre claim to make given that there are very few elective offices held by non-christians.

  22. I was wondering if that link from Hambo would generate any traffic here. The WordPress software informs me that we had 8 hits from Hambo’s blog yesterday and 3 so far today. I get more than that from blogs that linked to me a month ago.

  23. So what do they mean by “lie”?

    Maybe Kenny should look up his own list of “Arguments Creationists Should Avoid.”

  24. SC: – maybe the 8 hits yesterday represents the average number of people who read his blog. The number is low because Ham has a boring blog.

  25. Ed says: “maybe the 8 hits yesterday represents the average number of people who read his blog.”

    He must have more than that. But either they don’t know how to click on a link, or they’re afraid a visit to this place will send them to the Lake of Fire.

  26. How is it possible to debate someone who wears Biblical glasses? No matter what bit of evidence offered it will be filtered out by the Biblical glasses. They don’t want debate; they want exposure. Feeling the way he does about creationism why would Bill Nye want to give them more exposure?

  27. SC: “…they’re afraid a visit to this place will send them to the Lake of Fire.”

    You could make a few bucks by offering them asbestos-filled life vests & Nomex suits.

  28. Ceteris Paribus

    Standard issue Mormon underwear is said to have the same prophylactic properties.