Ken Ham to Debate Bill Nye — Big Mistake!

This ghastly news appears at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the online ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo): Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham Debate at the Creation Museum. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

TV’s famed “Bill Nye the Science Guy” will argue the case against creation and for evolution as he faces the founder and president of the Creation Museum, Ken Ham, on February 4, 2014, in the museum’s 900-seat Legacy Hall. … The agreed-upon topic for the 7 PM debate is “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific world?”

Big mistake. We’ve given our opinion about such debates before — see Debating Creationists is Dumber Than Creationism. Among other things, we said:

Why would any sane person debate a professional creationist? By now they’ve read and heard and seen all the arguments and evidence against them, yet they persevere. Why? Some of the answer is here: Ignorant, Stupid, Insane, or Wicked.

Anyway, Bill Nye is a big boy, so he can make his own decisions. But we suspect he has no idea what he’s likely to encounter. Here’s a bit more from the AIG article:

Ham [said], “I hope to show Mr. Nye and our debate audience that observational science confirms the scientific accuracy of the Genesis account of origins, not evolution.”

Yeah, “observational science.” Does Nye know what a phony issue that is? We’ve debunked that silly “observational vs historical” dichotomy before — see Answers in Genesis Explains Science to Us. And we have a section on it in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. Let’s read on:

Ham also noted, “If his schedule permits, Mr. Nye will be my guest at the museum on February 4. I would personally show him through our museum before the debate. I would also like him to meet our several full-time staff members who hold earned doctorates in science.”

If Nye has lost his mind, he might enjoy that. One more excerpt:

Tickets are $25 each and will be available for purchase through the debate event page starting Monday, January 6. [link omitted]

We hope Nye comes to his senses and decides to back out of this event. If he doesn’t, we fear it’s going to be a train wreck. Well, it’s possible that Nye might mop the floor with ol’ Hambo. Dawkins could. But Bill Nye? Anyway, we’ll just have to await developments.

Update: AIG Says: Ham-Nye Debate Tickets All Sold Out.

Addendum: We’re closing comments here, in order to funnel your comments into our open thread for the actual debate: Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham — Live Debate Thread.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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153 responses to “Ken Ham to Debate Bill Nye — Big Mistake!

  1. Dave Godfrey

    If even if Bill Nye does ‘win’ the debate, Ham will lie through his teeth and proclaim himself – and his invisible sky ghost – as clear winner. There are better ways to show Mr Lie what an idiot he is (reading his blog is a good start).

  2. Tickets to the “debate” are $25 apiece — to the general public. Whaddiya bet Ham hands out a whole bunch of freebies to the local creationist churches to pack his audience?

    Bill Nye, if you’re reading this, please understand that a belief in creationism is a religious belief — and as such is deeply held and will not be swayed by logic. No matter how good your arguments are and how well you state them it will make no difference with this audience. You’d have as much success trying to convince the pope to become an atheist.

  3. I think the rational response squad – the Sapiens, I think their name was, did a great job of showing Cameron and Comfort to be idiots. It may be possible to do it again.

    Nye is obviously pro-science and media-savvy, he might be capable of good things here. On the other hand, I think he has trouble escaping his child-friendly character and presenting to adults.

    The small print of the debate conditions would make interesting reading.

  4. Maybe I’m being a bit cynical, but has anyone checked with Nye about this. Both here and on PT, the articles talk about Ham’s announcement. Are we sure that Nye is aware that he’s “scheduled” to debate Hambo? After all, announcement that involves the phrase “schedule permitting” does not exactly demonstrate details having been worked out (especially not to the degree of being able to sell tickets.

    Perhaps Hambo is debuting a new tactic? If so, let me jump on the bandwagon. I am scheduled to debate Jesus himself tomorrow. If he doesn’t show… He’s too scared too debate me.

    Not saying it is what’s going on here, but it wouldn’t surprise me that much. it would, after all, be a fairly logical next step in the “they’re afraid of us” tactic.

  5. Ceteris Paribus

    Nye isn’t Genie Scott, but he has been in the same business of science education for a long enough time to know the creationist landscape, and his own limitations.

    Given that there is no way even a biologist with the stature of Dawkins would be able to get a creationist to concede even a tiny point, my prediction is that Nye will use the platform to get in some good licks on the necessity to provide true science education for US kids, and then go home and sleep well after the “debate” is over.

  6. I have confidence in Bill Nye to be able to cut through the Creationist Crap

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    I like that the topic is constrained to origins in that it would include a discussion of the starlight problem. As a matter of fact, if I were Nye, I’d stick to that one subject for the entirety of the debate. I’m not sure what Hambo’s ‘were you there’ comeback to starlight, but starlight at least falls in the category of ‘observable science’. Fossil discussion with Hambo will be super messy, I think.

  8. Charles Deetz ;)

    * Assuming fossils are discussed as a way of measuring time scales.

  9. Stephen Kennedy

    I agree that this is a big mistake on Bill Nye’s part. Even though the topic is supposed whether creationism is viable science, Ham will immediately say that evolution (by which Hambo means not just Biology but also Geology, Astronomy, Physics and the other natural sciences) is a “faith based” belief system like religion so they can not discuss the failings of creationism without highlighting the problems with evolution.

    Ham will then launch into an attack on “millions of years”, the Big Bang and Radiometric Dating of rocks and how they are based on nothing more than the opinions of sinfull, fallen and fallible humans. Nye was trained as an engineer and may not be able to explain topics from Astronomy and Geology. Even if he can explain them, Ham may be an ignorant fool, but he has heard all the scientific explanations and will counter with things like “accelerated decay of radio isotopes during the flood” and “the decay in the speed of light” that allows us to see objects billions of light years away in a 6,000 year old Universe.

    Ham’s arguments will sound ridiculous to us but to the imbeciles who are his intended audience they will sound very reasonable. AiG intends to make money off this at a time when they are desperate for cash. They are selling tickets to the debate for $25 apiece and are talking about live video streaming which is something they have charged viewers for in the past. They will also make videos and DVDs of the event and sell them to AiG followers through their museum and online bookstores. Hopefully AiG’s blatant attempts to commercialize this event will convince Nye that he is being exploited and should withdraw from this debate.

  10. Ham bases his whole schtick on the “same evidence, different assumptions” argument. Nye can speak to evidence for the age of the earth, evolution of life, origin of the universe – whatever – and Ham will simply state that Nye’s using atheistic materialist assumptions, not the word of God. If one assumes God is real and the bible is true, then the evidence can be interpreted Ham’s way, yadda yadda… I predict Ham will make the debate one of “world views” rather than facts.

    If Nye can get Ham to agree to a debate where Ham can only speak about objective (non-biblical) evidence of creation, it could be interesting. For example, what piece of physical evidence exists that would lead a person completely ignorant of the bible to conclude that the earth was made in 6 days some 6,000 years ago?

  11. I am with Jason here, the “schedule permitting” sounds very dodgy to me, and he selling tickets in advance when it not even confirmed if Nye is even showing up

  12. Fear is what is causing all these statements. Fear that Bill Nye will finally see the truth. And really Flakey, do you think an upstanding ministry like AIG would sell tickets without Nye agreeing to show???

  13. Stephen Kennedy

    @Ed

    Ham has stated that no Christian should ever agree to a debate that leaves out the bible. He will use the bible to claim that creationists have a reliable eyewitness account of creation which makes creationism “operational” science while evolutionists only have evidence that is subject to different interpretations and therefore only “origins” science which is based on world views.

  14. I am struggling to think of a more pointless activity than agreeing to a ‘debate’ with a flim-flam man like Hambo. On the face of it, it looks like a well-meaning Nye has got himself scammed into helping out with an AiG fund raiser.

    Though I agree, I’d like to hear from Nye himself on this; so far, all sources reporting this only give the link to AiG–for which the servers appear to be groaning under the sudden spike in internet traffic!

  15. @ Just Me: brilliant Poe!

  16. Stephen Kennedy

    ” do you think an upstanding ministry like AIG would sell tickets without Nye agreeing to show???”

    The upstanding ministry is desperate for money with the failure of their ark encounter bond sale, which they never told their followers about. Even though the ark encounter will never be built, AIG is still begging for donations which they need to cover the difference between the creation museum’s $5 million in annual revenue and $8 million a year in operating expenses.

  17. Just Me: do you think an upstanding ministry like AIG would sell tickets without Nye agreeing to show???

    Um, Ken Ham’s “upstanding ministry” sold thousands of “lifetime boarding passes” and promised a bunch of pigeons whose money he took that for their entire lifetime they would have a ticket to board a fake Ark replica that will in fact never be built.

    So I would put nothing past Ken Ham.

  18. Megs, for what it’s worth, I agree — Just Me = pure Poe.

  19. In other news: José Mujica will debate Kim Jong-un on The Importance of Ostentation in Modern Leadership

  20. The debate is not about scoring technical points based on the findings of science, it’s about showbiz. Bill Nye is fast on his feet, witty, and is generally well grounded in the sciences. On the other hand, ol’ Hambo is a con man with all of the charm and wit of a coiled bushmaster. I think Mr. Nye will acquit himself very nicely, and show Hambo to be the the humorless bible
    thumping oaf that he is.

  21. @Jason: It’s tempting to think Ham might be pulling a fast one. However, Ham is smart enough to think ahead to see how he’d look when Bill Nye goes very public with how the whole thing was a Ham fantasy if that were indeed the case.

  22. I don’t think it is a mistake as long as Bill Nye understands Ken Ham isn’t going to change his mind. It is possible to have a Youtube type victory similar to the Dembski vs. Hitchins debate. I would enjoy going, and might consider it if it was in the summer since it is only a 5 hour drive away.
    Charles Deetz mentioned the starlight problem. That got me thinking about Ham’s “Where you there?” mantra. Since humanity’s instruments can indeed detect the first light of the universe’s creation over 13 billion years ago, we are there right now getting live images of the universe coming into existence.

  23. I hope Bill Nye isn’t stupid enough to go through with this, assuming it’s true. No question about it, Ham will “win” this encounter because the “debate” will not be on even terms. Nye may try to instruct, but Ham will simply come out with his fire and brimstone preaching for which there is no defense. Sure, Ham is ridiculous and his arguments are childish, but this encounter is not about reason which is why it’s not a good idea.

    Ham’s platform is well known: God is real, speaks the truth and the Bible is true. There is no argument that can move Ham off this point. It’s not rational but the encounter is not about reason, it’s about showmanship. Ham has been plying his trade for 40 years and he’s not about to be taken down by some punk science TV personality. Sorry, Nye, but you’re toast. Come dressed for the Lake O’ Fire.

  24. For those who have not gone back to read what Curmy has previously written, it is worth the time. I agree with all those who for various reasons will not ‘debate’ YEC’s. My reason is fairly simplistic – science is not a debate. Evidence is obtained, often with independent corroboration, conclusions are drawn, sometimes with various interpretations, and then more research is carried out. Ham cannot debate science, and thus will lean on his usual canards to debate worldviews.

  25. Douglas E: “…science is not a debate. Evidence is obtained, often with independent corroboration, conclusions are drawn… and then more research is carried out.”

    Wish I had said it. Moreover, science reflects a belief in reason; religion is unreasoning belief.

  26. Ken Ham reminds me of the preacher ghost villain from the later Poltergeist movies.

  27. And Ham is already crowing about it on Facebook too.

  28. There may be a lot of people who could give Ham a good debate, but… DAWKINS? seriously? the guy who thought his “WEASEL” program demonstrated something about how evolution works?

  29. For what it’s worth, NBC report at Bill Nye the Science Guy to debate evolution with creationist includes this statement:

    Christine Sposari, a spokeswoman for Nye, confirmed that the debate was on the science educator’s schedule. “They’re hosting Bill,” she told NBC News.

    Or she might have said, “They’re roasting Bill”, or “They’re boasting they got Bill”, or–who knows?

  30. Megalonyx quotes NBC:

    Christine Sposari, a spokeswoman for Nye, confirmed …

    That’s what I need — a spokeswoman! Perhaps several. I gotta think about this.

  31. This is the rudest article I have read in a long time. You claim to be “right” and able to debate another group, and yet you are incapable of writing a decent and comprehensive article. By calling the creationists “stupid” and “insane,” you clearly show that you have nothing better to present at an argument that a few low-blow insults. Why didn’t you share a few of the proofs that you claim against creationism? Surely with the length of the article there would have been room for at least one! Why didn’t you give examples of actual previous debates between prominent creationists and evolutionist? You claim that Bill Nye’s view is superior, and yet you have no faith whatsoever that he can actually convince anyone that he is correct. All I can say is that while I firmly believe in creationism, I hope evolutionists can come up with something better than petty insults.

  32. Michelle, the whole of creationism is, from start to finish, one long, drawn-out insult — to human reason.

    As for the futility of Nye vs Ham debate, House M.D. once summed it up neatly:

    “If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn’t be any religious people.”

  33. Con-Tester, I would like to point out that Evolution and Creationism are BOTH accepted by faith. No person I know was there to see the beginning of the world. But looking at the intricacy of the human body, the perfect distance to support life between the earth and sun, and the complex treasures of the earth and solar system; I cannot bring myself to believe that any of this was an accident that came out of Primordial Soup. The lack of transitional forms as proof for evolution, and the fact that the chance of ONE transitional form ever happening is so small that it is labeled scientifically impossible, also lead me away from evolution. Intelligent Design is the only way I believe possible. I respect the fact that others disagree with me and have their own opinion. I simply wanted to state that creationists have a right to their own view as well, without being insulted for it.

  34. Nice to have Michelle visit the site and troll away. I say troll because this site is for Darwinists and people of reason not the faith based minions of the likes of Hambo. We debate and we argue about how to promote reason not fantasy. You will notice that your brethren faith based sites are closed for comment. Why? Because they don’t want to have reasoned debate on their sites as well. So you see we have our science and you have your faith and we firmly believe the two shouldn’t mix. Stay in your church and we will stay in the schools. If you have a problem with that I suggest you read the Constitution. Despite what you hear on Faux News this is not a Christian nation but one based on principles of the Enlightenment and Reason. I’m sorry that science challenges your little fantasy view of the universe.

  35. Clearly, Michelle, you are ignorant of science in general. Let me invite you to get some education, move beyond the Iron Age mythology of your Wholly Babble, then come join us in the twenty-first century. We don’t have any snakes or donkeys that talk, but it’s fine here, . . .really.

  36. Michelle claims

    creationists have a right to their own view as well, without being insulted for it

    Creationists do indeed have a right to their own view–at least, in our classically liberal societies. In a theocracy (such as creationists seek to establish), they would only be permitted the particular creationist mythology of the ruling priesthood. If you are (as I am guessing here) a Christian Creationist, your beliefs could place you in serious jeopardy if you were to advocate them in the Iran of the Mullahs, for example.

    And no beliefs are entitled to some sort of ‘right of freedom from insult’, as you appear to suggest. Some ‘beliefs’ (such as Holocaust Denial, or racism) deserve only contempt, and many are worthy of nothing more than ridicule (such as scriptural literalism, or indeed any form of religious ‘fundamentalism’). What makes you think your precious beliefs are somehow privileged?

  37. Looking forward to this. Never thought the science community would be against a good open debate. The truth cannot be harmed by observation, but only confirmed further. Let the debate begin, show the world the truth.

  38. oops, typo in above: I appear to have created a new plural for ‘beliefs’ (as in “your believes could place you”). Apologies, mea culpa maxima, peccavi Pater!

  39. Late to the tread, but I must add my usual 2c: Debating anti-evolution activists would be OK if both parties agreed to (1) stick to the “what happened when” and testable proximate causes (i.e. no bait-and-switch with ultimate causes like “some designer intervened”), and (2) defend their own explanation on its own merits, and not perceived “weaknesses” of the opponent’s explanation. In this particular case, both parties owe it to the audience to state that Ham’s particular “theory” is only one of several “creationist” ones that are in every bit of denial of each other as they are of the mainstream science explanation.

    No anti-evolution activist in history has ever agreed to such fair terms. They always chicken out. Unfortunately, their critics too often allow them to set terms of a debate so absurd that not even a politician would agree to them. I hope Nye doesn’t take the bait.

  40. I marvel they aren’t billing this as

    Bill Nye the Science Guy vs. Ken Ham the Flim-Flam Man

  41. Megalonyx exclaims: “Apologies, mea culpa maxima, peccavi Pater!”

    The Curmudgeon, through his spokeswoman, Felicity Bliss, accepted the apology.

  42. tyler writes

    Never thought the science community would be against a good open debate

    Unlike the Creationists of AiG and the Discovery Institute, who host such lively comment threads on their blogs. No, wait…

    Scientific questions are resolved via field and lab work, not by word-lawyering and green-screen projections…

  43. its funny reading all the comments here… isn’t it almost ridiculous how scared atheists are when it comes to debating about God.! It surely stands out big time – and of course this itself proves a lot!

  44. Hey, Anonymous, are you capable of a cogent thought? Your little scribbling suggests that you aren’t. Wouldn’t you be more comfortable commenting at the AiG website? Oh wait . . . Hambo doesn’t allow comments.

  45. Anonymous crows—

    “[S]cared … when it comes to debating about God.!”

    Yeah, utterly and irredeemably petrified. That’s because reason, in the cesspool that is creationism, sinks like a stone and drowns in unintelligibility. On a more confidential note, it’s advisable not to use words the meaning of which one doesn’t know. Words like “debating.”

  46. We believes it, Precious. Yes!

    … isn’t it almost ridiculous how scared atheists are when it comes to debating about God.! …

    Said the anonymous commenter. ;-)

  47. “Atheists?” Anyone else see the irony? Nearly all science-literate theists, and indeed most major religions in the US at least, are confident enough of their faith in God that they don’t need to debate His existence, or try to catch him red-handed, trying to hide in “gaps.” Which is why they have no problem with evolution, and at least distance themselves from the pseudoscience of creationism/ID. Many of them are painfully aware how scriptural creationism, and especially the “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when” scam of ID, “support” their mutually contradictory (non)explanations on long-refuted misrepresentations of evolution, and thus reject that pseudoscience because they take “thou shalt not bear false witness” seriously.

    So when someone comes along parroting nonsense such as the pathetic evolution takes faith, please don’t take the bait. Instead, calmly ask them basic questions about their alternate “theory,” and watch them “expel” themselves.

  48. The unaccustomed number of creationist commenters suggests to me that our humble blog got mentioned by ol’ Hambo on Facebook or something. We’ve experienced this sort of thing before and that’s been the cause.

  49. Frank J says: “please don’t take the bait”

    Uh, Frank, in case you’ve never noticed, creationists are either ignored or ridiculed around here.

  50. As our creationist visitors clearly suggest, this is intended by Ham to be a debate about God. The problem is, science doesn’t address God. One can accept science and believe in God if one chooses to, and in fact many do. Science challenges Ham’s particular literalistic view of the bible, (which is not the predominant Christian viewpoint btw), but it doesn’t challenge the existence of God.

    At best, Ham and Nye will be talking past each other. It’s a futile exercise.

  51. Our Curmudgeon offers:

    creationists are either ignored or ridiculed around here

    I’ll take “Ridiculed” for $100, Alex!

  52. The tortured-air-screaming-motor shriek of creationist Stukas dive-bombing is ho-hum terrifying. Fortunately, the ordnance they carry is pre-Enlightenment. Duds dominate their bomb bays.

  53. @Curmie: I checked Hambo’s FB page, and saw a link there to PT but not to you. It could still be there, but buried in the comments.

    Oh, and the comment I dropped there about Hambo running scared from Aron Ra and PZ Myers got me banned in a flash. Oh yeah, all for open debate they are.

  54. Tomato Addict says: “Oh yeah, all for open debate they are.”

    Well, I do my share of banning too, but only when they get trollish, or preachy, or become boring. Otherwise, as long as they’re polite, it’s okay. An occasional creationist adds a touch of humor.

  55. As the average creationist is brain dead, they make good chew toys, but are not good for much else.

  56. tyler says:

    Never thought the science community would be against a good open debate.

    So you admit that Ham is not part of the science community? Glad we have that settled.

  57. Put me down as being opposed to this, regardless of whether Nye eviscerates Hambo or not.

    The mistake is giving someone like Hambo a seat at the science table, and this is what debating him does — it elevates his stature, and gives tacit consent to the idea that he has something to say that has scientific merit.

    Also, it gives the false impression that science can be “debated” in the setting that is a three-ring circus. Science is debated in thoughtful, well written communications where people have time to think about what they wish to communicate, and to cite the appropriate sources to back up what they write. Hambo, and his ideas, could never survive in that environment. Hence, he seeks to lure someone representing science into his revival tent.

  58. SC: “Uh, Frank, in case you’ve never noticed, creationists are either ignored or ridiculed around here.”

    And you, if not all readers, have noticed that I rarely use the word “creationists.” For anti-evolution activists, and the “activists-in-training” who write those entertaining letters-to-the-editor, or troll on these boards, ridiculing is fine, as long as it doesn’t backfire. Which it often does, in the eyes of any fence-sitting lurkers, when the replies are nothing but idiotic “lying for Jesus” comments. Thankfully you are one of those who avoids that. But my 15 year experience on these boards shows nicely that ridiculing, ignoring, or banning, is not even necessary, because they “expel” themselves, when forced to play on a level playing field.

  59. Ed: “At best, Ham and Nye will be talking past each other. It’s a futile exercise.”

    Unless Nye asks Ham to comment on the “theories” of OEC and ID peddlers, then it will be clear to any fence-sitter that Ham, and only Ham, is trying to weasel out of a debate.

    And in case anyone thinks there are no fence-sitters, and that everyone is either a “creationist” or “evolutionist” “kind,” that audience may be disproportionately high fans of the debaters, but the fact is that ~1/4 of adult Americans (per the most recent poll) are “unsure” whether “creationism or evolution.” And maybe another 1/4 favor creationism, but not irreversible. And don’t forget yet another ~20% that has no problem with evolution but thinks it’s fair to teach “both sides” in science class. Bottom line, there’s lots of potential to change minds, even adult minds, as long as one forces the “side” that wants the unfair advantage to show its true, and very unflattering, colors.

  60. To all those accusing creationists from being from the “Dark Ages” I would like to remind you of the scientists who brought us OUT of the Dark Age and into the Modern Age. Issac Newton, Galileo Galilei, Nicolaus Copernicus- to name a few! All these men were self-proclaimed creationists! They believed in a God and His command to “subdue the earth” was their motivation for making the some of the greatest scientific discoveries ever made. These men are just a few examples of some of the greatest minds in history. My point: studying the universe will lead you to believe in Intelligent Design, if you’re honestly willing to seek the Creator.

  61. Michelle pontificates—

    “[S]tudying the universe will lead you to believe in Intelligent Design, if you’re honestly willing to seek the Creator.”

    That’s why we’re still stuck in the moribund darkness that is the 21st century. That’s why ID Creationism is such an integral part of modern science and why the world’s leading scientific minds regularly use the phrase “… and then a miracle intervention happens here and…” to substantiate their ruminations. Needless to say, other experts don’t question such methods and thus is progress made across all scientific disciplines.

  62. Michelle, Newton was also a believer in alchemy and astrology. Newton’s ideas about gravity were largely replaced by Einstein’s General Relativity in 1915. Galileo, while noting some strange elongations associated with Saturn, he never saw them as rings. All of the men you mentioned made great contributions to science, but they lived and worked in the fifteenth thru seventeenth centuries. A lot has been leaned since then. Look at your calendar, Michelle. This is the twenty-first century. Time to move on.

    While creationists love to wallow in logical fallacies like the argument from authority you just employed, or the fallacy of personal incredulity you have also used, rational people know better and just laugh at you.

  63. Stephen Kennedy

    Another thing disturbing about this debate is its premise that there is a possibility that creationism could be considered a scientific theory. Creationism is not tentative, it makes no predictions, it is not testable and it is not falsifiable. Therefore a debate as to whether or not it is a viable scientific theory gives creationism a status it does not deserve.

  64. Sorry about the typos in my last post . . . .was typing in motion on my iPhone. grrrrrrrrrrr.

  65. Stephen, while I agree that the concept of creationism is not falsifiable or testable, some of the beliefs of creationists are testable and have indeed been falsified. While our friend Michelle babbles about a “Creator,” she doesn’t specify which one, because she can’t based on any real evidence.
    A collection of Iron Age fables that she obviously loves isn’t evidence of anything other than of the general ignorance and superstition of its writers.

    We know that the earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old, not Hambo’s 6,000.
    We know that snakes don’t talk.
    We know that there was never a literal Adam and Eve, or that they cavorted with dinosaurs . . . .. .the list goes on and on, but you get my drift.

  66. Michelle said:

    To all those accusing creationists from being from the “Dark Ages”

    Actually, we point out that you want to take us back to the Dark Ages.

    I would like to remind you of the scientists who brought us OUT of the Dark Age and into the Modern Age.

    Unless SC has already banned you (likely), do tell how any of these three believed that God created the universe in six literal days and how the universe is only thousands of years old.

  67. Michelle, you neglected to mention one of the greatest scientific minds of all — Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution caused by natural selection is the unifying idea of all of biology.

    In an earlier comment you say, “No person I know was there to see the beginning of the world”, which would imply that you think evolution is an attempt to explain the origin of life. It is not. Evolution is simply the observation that species of organisms have changed over time. It was Darwin’s observation that these changes generally left them better-adapted to their environment, helping them to live longer and thus be more likely to reproduce. Individual organisms within the species that had these advantageous traits passed these inheritable traits along to more offspring, so that over many generations, virtually all members of the species had these new traits. Thus, Darwin proposed that it was natural selection that led to evolution. Darwin said nothing whatsoever about how life began in the first place, as there is no evidence available that would indicate life’s origin. All science is based on observation, not faith.

    The reason that many of us who comment regularly on this blog feel a Ham-Nye debate is not a good idea is that science is not decided by debate, but rather by evidence. Nor is religion decided by debate. For the most part, the religion you follow is determined by what you are told in early childhood. You believe as you do because it is the religion that has been instilled in you at an early age. You were told the Bible is the Word of God — and if you believe it, you will go to heaven. If you don’t believe it, you will go to Hell. Do you have any independent evidence that confirms that? If you did, it would no longer be considered faith. It would be knowledge.

    No one should be insulted for their beliefs, nor should those whose deeply-held beliefs are challenged by scientific observation automatically reject those observations, as Ken Ham routinely does. We can never be certain of another’s motivations; however, the fact that Ham has millions of dollars invested in his Creation Museum would suggest that he’s driven by something more than pure religious belief.

  68. Dear Michelle,

    I would never call a creationist stupid or insane.

    I would prefer idiotic and inane. Actually, my favorite is ignorant, which can be corrected quite easily with 5 minutes on Google or “ignorant moron” if the ignorance persists.

    Semi-pro creationists, including most right-wing politicians are either pandering ignorant, or pandering to the ignorant, or willfully ignorant.

    Professional creationists, like our buddy Hambo and the entire snakes nest called the Disco Tute are abjectly dishonest.

    As for Newton being a creationist back there in 1690 or so, who gives a flip? Nobody cares about that. What is astounding is that somebody could be born in 1960 and be a creationist. That feat takes some serious ignorance.

    I’m with Dawkins. A creationist in today’s world is an insult to the human species. These people should be ashamed of themselves for either their laziness or their dishonesty.

  69. No matter how loud you speak to a deaf people, they won’t hear you.

  70. Michelle
    Isaac Newton (note the spelling), Galileo Galilei and Nicolaus Copernicus almost certainly would totally ABHOR young Earth creationist science denial were they alive today.
    Note that you have not been censored – unlike me when I mildly expressed profound disagreement on Ken Ham’s Facebook page with some of the pseudo-science put out on a daily basis by Answers ‘in’ Genesis.

  71. Michelle: “My point: studying the universe will lead you to believe in Intelligent Design, if you’re honestly willing to seek the Creator.”

    See my comments above. I already accept that universe and life are the work of a Creator, and thus have no need to keep convincing myself or others. I study the universe to find out what the Creator, did, where, when and how. So do ~half of “evolutionists.” And our problem with Biblical creationism and the DI’s ID scam (as opposed to ID in the general sense) is that they misrepresent evolution and the very nature of science. Peddlers of those scams want to mislead students at taxpayer expense under the bogus pretense of “critical analysis,” academic “freedom. But they violate not only the Establishment Clause, but also at least one of God’s Commandments.

    If you want to be a bleeding heart for those snake oil salesman, that’s you’re right. But on the off chance that you sincerely have an alternate testable explanation of what God (or another Creator/designer if you prefer) did, when where and how, that contradicts what mainstream science has concluded, feel free to defend it on it’s own evidence. I’ll be your biggest backer if you can do that. Start with your conclusion on the age of life and common descent (not the DI’s “universal” CD caricature).

  72. You seem to be arguing out of ignorance and I can’t help but wonder where you got this “half of “evolutionists”, believe in a creator.

    I don’t think that Michelle can answer those questions because we most likely, “don’t know”, but pretending that you somehow know that a creator created it, is very irrational.

    The fact that you ‘accept’ and are apparently firmly planted in your believe, shows that you are really not in touch with science.

    So who created your creator?

  73. Religion, particularly the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are entirely “top-down” affairs. Dissent or questioning are forbidden. Among the greatest sins for fundies is to think. Hence, Hambo and other fundy wackdoodles don’t allow comments at their websites. Hambo obviously allows comments on Facebook, but only fawning ones.

  74. Ashley Hawrorth-Roberts: “Isaac Newton (note the spelling), Galileo Galilei and Nicolaus Copernicus almost certainly would totally ABHOR young Earth creationist science denial were they alive today.”

    They’d probably even more abhor the DI’s big tent scam. If anything they’d feel sorry for the Biblical creationists – YEC and OEC varieties – though not to the point of letting them mess with science education. But they would really smell a rat at the DI. DI folk know that there’s no evidence whatever for any of the mutually contradictory literal interpretations of Genesis. Most of them admit the entire ~4 billion years of life, and either concede common descent or express vague doubts of it. But they know that it’s not good for the big tent to publicly refute YEC or OEC. To divert attention from the fatal flaws an contradictions within Biblical creationism, the DI keeps the focus on evolution (they prefer the “Dawinism” caricature) and misrepresent it in any way possible to promote unreasonable doubt. And if you let them talk enough, they all make it clear that their objection to evolution has nothing to do with “insufficient evidence, and everything to do with intense paranoia that acceptance of evolution “(note how they prefer the word “Darwinism”) leads to all sorts of evil.

  75. Dave Godfrey

    No, Michelle, creationism requires faith alone. Science requires evidence and thought. As for intelligent design, I would be more likely to accept it if your designer showed any signs of intelligence.

  76. @Dorian.

    I don’t know who “created my creator” any more than I know the whereabouts of every molecule in the ~4 billion year history of the biosphere. My concept of a creator is somewhat like Einstein’s. An axiom rather than a conclusion, if you will. And rather unlike that of Ken Miller, who is a devout Christian, and arguably the #1 critic of ID/creationism. It’s impossible to debate ultimate causes; I respect his opinion, and that of Dawkins. By “half” I am including science-literate people. I know that the % of theists is lower (but still significant) among practicing scientists, and as much as 75% of those who accept evolution.

  77. I’ve commented at Ham’s page before with no problem. He’s on a hair-trigger for any criticism today.

  78. Those percentages include “scientists” that are not versed in physics or astronomy, their fields include medicine, engineers and the like. The percentage of the TOP physicists is 85% against any creator, but YES, there is a practically 50/50 split amongst most scientists.

    To each it’s own, I guess.

    I just don’t like giving names to things that I can’t literally communicate with.

  79. Lordy, lordy – was enjoying a nice IPA and some nachos at Turley’s bar and looked up to see the bow-tied Nye on CNN with the runner saying he was going to debate a creationist [no mention of Ham in print]. The volume was off, but I would guess that it may have been interesting…..anyone see it??

  80. Stephen Kennedy

    Tomato Addict,

    Ham may be on a hair trigger today about this:

    Noah’s Ark Risks Collapse Without Bond Buyers by February

    Bloomberg ‎- 7 hours ago

    Noah’s Ark Risks Collapse Without Bond Buyers by February … of all the bonds, Ken Ham, the nonprofit’s president, said in an e-mail to supporters yesterday. … ship, the centerpiece of a planned biblical theme park called Ark Encounter. … About $14 million had been raised before the bond sale, which was …

  81. Stephen Kennedy says: “Bloomberg ‎- 7 hours ago”

    I’ll probably post about that tomorrow.

  82. Dave Godfrey: “No, Michelle, creationism requires faith alone.”

    C’mon, you know that creationism requires more than just faith (as in belief without evidence). It also requires either extreme ignorance, extreme compartmentalization (look up Morton’s Demon) or a conscious willingness to bear false witness. The latter especially in the case of the ID scam.

    Now it may be that the “creationism” of 100-150 years ago was all honest, if misguided belief. But after decades whereby prominent creationists reluctantly kept conceding “what happened when” claims to science, it evolved into full-blown pseudoscience, first in the Flood Geology of Morris et al. From then it became conscious cherry-picking, defining terms to suit the argument, quote mining, etc. All the basic stuff of snake oil sellers. But many still didn’t buy the absurd distortion of facts need to peddle a young earth, so “scientific” OEC became a competitor. Sensing this hopeless mess, some factions shrewdly began a “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy that restricted the falsehoods and fallacies only to pretend that evolution was “weak,” and left it to the audience to fill in the blanks with whatever felt good. That strategy evolved into ID, via that neat “transitional fossil” of “cdesign proponentsts.”

  83. “The documents cite at least 39 risks to buyers, including that Answers in Genesis has no obligation to back the debt.”

    Now, somebody explain to me how ol’ Hambo is not just a con man fleecing his credulous and ignorant sheeple. In the words of Dr. Frasier Crane: “I’m listening.”

  84. This has gotten so out-of-hand. I first commented on this article only to point out that ridiculing people with different beliefs doesn’t prove your point or help anyone. Since then almost every responding comment has done nothing but further this ridicule. Do you really think that calling me “ignorant” and “inane” is going to make me or anyone else believe in evolution? While I appreciate the few of you who honestly tried to kindly offer constructive criticism, I must say that name-calling, petty insults, and other such behavior is exactly what I commented against in the first place.

  85. Old Shambo is no longer content to take $100 in coins saved up by little Billy, although he did and shoved those coins into his greedy pocket. Little Billy thought he was buying an Ark Peg but what he got was the shaft.

    Too bad there aren’t enough little Billy’s in the trailer parks to support Shambo’s lifestyle. Now he’s going after bigger sheep. Perhaps somebody who needs a few hundred grand tax write-off. Alas, and alack, old Shambo may have underestimated that market, too.

    What’s next, Shambo, miracle water?

  86. Michelle, I just jumped into this conversation, but I must say that you need to go study biology instead of drumming things like evolution is based on faith.

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and if you want evidence, just go to any evolution website and STUDY. Perhaps you don’t like doing that, and if that’s the case, you have no hope of finding what is real and what is not.

    Now before you read I need to tell you, that creationist will try to misinform you and the only thing I can tell you, is that creationist can’t create ANYTHING, while evolutionist are creating all the vaccines and cures that we desperately NEED.

    To put it into perspective, if you were having a heart attack and you saw two people on the street, one a doctor and one a mechanic, which one would you ask for help?

    So…

    If you want the truth, here it is straight from scientists, NOT mechanics.

    http://evolution.berkeley.edu

    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-evolution.html

  87. curmudgeion, is there any way to implement, ratings on the posts? I’d love to up-rate some of this posts. Thanks.

  88. @Stephen Kennedy who said Creationism is not tentative, it makes no predictions, it is not testable and it is not falsifiable.
    I’d disagree and say Creationism is testable and has been refuted. A biology made by a creator would look substantially different. Assuming one creator starting with a clean sheet of paper creationism would require a tight design with no excess. The problem for creation science is that this is not what is observed in nature. Biology is substantially wasteful with junk DNA and a degenerate genetic code (64 codons code for 20 amino acids) something that would not exist in a designed system. The so called designs in biology are universally and massively inelegant and no designer would design like that.

  89. Michelle: “Do you really think that calling me “ignorant” and “inane” is going to make me or anyone else believe in evolution?”

    Michelle, some of your comments in your first posts seemed to indicate that you were, indeed, ignorant concerning the true nature of evolution. It appeared that you had a false impression of what evolution actually is, which is why I took the time to explain, briefly, a basic definition.

    Somewhere in the Old Testament is the exhortation, “With all thy getting, get wisdom”. Heed those words. As Dorian Mattar suggests, do some reading. Fear not. Accepting the idea that evolution explains what we clearly see in biology will not make you any less of a Christian. You will still treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself; you will still be capable of turning the other cheek; you will still be able to follow the directives of Jesus to keep your charity anonymous and your praying private (Matt.6, 5-7), and you will still be worthy of receiving the Sacraments.

    However, you will gain an understanding that creationism is NOT science, not even if you call it “Intelligent Design”. It is not science because there is not a shred of evidence from the natural world supporting the idea. It is purely and simply a religious belief. The US Constitution thus prohibits its teaching in US public schools; simple honesty should prohibit its teaching in any science classroom — public, private, parochial — because it is not science. If a religious-affiliated school wishes to teach creationism, it should do so only in a class on religion.

    Evolution is too important a concept to have its teaching impaired by false information. Our students are severely impaired in any school where the teachers are less than free to teach evolution without restrictions.

  90. Dorian Mattar asks: “is there any way to implement, ratings on the posts?”

    Yes, there is, but I don’t like that feature. It can become a cliquish thing. I’ve seen people driven off of websites because a few who considered themselves insiders ganged up and abused the system. If you want to praise someone, or express disagreement, then say so. I prefer that to clicking on a “like” or “dislike” button.

  91. Dave Godfrey

    The problem is, Michelle, you have come out in support of people who’s aim is to teach children to be stupid and ignorant. That is unforgivable.

  92. Michelle: “While I appreciate the few of you who honestly tried to kindly offer constructive criticism…”

    Do you consider me one of “the few”? And since you admit that there are “a few.” why don’t you just have a calm dialog with them (us?) and ignore the others? After all your comments I still have no idea of what you think the evidence best supports in terms of the history of life, which species share common ancestors, mechanisms of speciation, etc. Why not start there?

    Dave Godfrey: “The problem is, Michelle, you have come out in support of people who’s aim is to teach children to be stupid and ignorant.”

    On the chance that Michelle does not yet realize that that’s what she’s doing, I’d like her (and everyone) to think about this: During their school years, students spend only ~0.1% of their waking hours learning evolutionary biology. For much more of their time they are free to learn any pseudoscientific alternative they want, from Ham’s long-discredited YEC to the DI’s long-refuted “weaknesses” of evolution. They can also censor all refutations if they so desire. But that’s not good enough for the anti-evolution activists. They demand that unearned bogus “science” replace much of what has earned the right to be taught – at taxpayer expense no less! I’ll be the first to say that students don’t critically analyze evolution (or any science) enough, but the scams peddled by anti-evolution activists are not critical analysis. Rather they are deliberate misrepresentation designed exclusively to promote unreasonable doubt.

    I don’t know about you Michelle, but I’m infinitely more offended by the actions of the anti-evolution activists than by the words of those who ridicule me.

  93. retiredsciguy: “It is purely and simply a religious belief.”

    See my comment from yesterday 9:06 PM. In fact, there’s good reason to suspect that some peddlers of creationism/ID don’t even personally hold that religious belief.

  94. I don’t think that Michelle gets it. Science is based on evidence, Michelle, not authority, not faith, not belief. If you don’t learn anything else from this discussion, please do yourself a favor and learn that science is not in the slightest based on old books written by ignorant, superstitious men from a couple of thousand years ago. Antibiotics were not discovered by preachers reading the Wholly Babble more closely. Sacred cows make the best hamburger!

  95. @waldteufel

    Unfortunately, as you and all regular commenters here know, 90+% of the people, including a majority of those who claim to have no problem with evolution, don’t get how science works. But most are capable of “getting it,” at least to the point of acknowledging that they had common misconceptions.

    Unless I missed it in the nearly 100 comments, I see no evidence that Michelle takes any more on faith than Ken Miller or Francis Collins, let alone that she’s any kind of scriptural literalist. She does, however, seem to be a “pseudoskeptic,” which is defined as one who claims to have “no dog in the fight” but criticizes one “dog” while merely ignoring the other. Many people new to these boards innocently start out that way, express displeasure at those who react with impatience, then quietly go away because people simply do not like to admit misconceptions. But some refuse to admit misconceptions or go away, and deliberately keep baiting people to react impatiently, just so they can whine about it. Such people are called “trolls,” and those who keep enabling them, “troll feeders.” I hope that’s not the case here. If it is, I trust that SC will not tolerate it for long.

  96. Lemme put it another way, for all I know Michelle may think that YEC is completely absurd, and that “something like evolution is probably true,” but if only “evolutionists” ridicule her, and YECs (if any are lurking) just sit back and enjoy the show, what else can she do?

    I know what you’re all thinking, she can just say “YEC is completely absurd, and something like evolution is probably true” and ignore those who ridicule her.

    Michelle, the floor is yours.

  97. What’s with the spam from Dorian Mattar–who appears to have done a vanishing trick?

  98. Frank J makes reference to

    the nearly 100 comments

    If I can hit the ‘submit’ key fast enough, THIS is the 100th comment!

  99. Dorian Mattar

    Megalonyx, I posted that link because it’s going around the “gullible” circles as some kind of science embedded in the scriptures. I though it would be a laugh for most.

    I posted it from my iPhone and didn’t want to bother with typing on the thing.

  100. Megalonyx says: “If I can hit the ‘submit’ key fast enough, THIS is the 100th comment!”

    Nope. It was 101.

  101. Darn, I wanted Michelle to be #100.

  102. I demand a recount!

  103. Woo, hoo! Number 100!

    I am Spartacus!

  104. ballin4christ

    Ken hams gonna DESTROY bill nye in this debate!! Sorry evolutionists but I’m ready to watch my boy ken poor some knowledge into bill Nye’s head and hopefully bring him to his sences. God bless everyone and GO CREATIONISM!!!!

  105. Ignorance is a bliss. Lmao

    I’m sure your dinosaur will completely ignore the facts, so if that’s what you mean, yeah, that’s exactly what will happen.

    Hey, when is that new vaccine from you guys coming out? I heard they used DNA from the blood of Christ!

    Bwaahahahahahahaha

  106. ballin4christ, if I argue forcefully and convincingly that the sun revolves around the earth, and every member of a 3,000-strong audience agrees with me, does that mean it is so? After all, the Bible says that is the case.

    Of course, mankind has learned much since the Bible was written, including the now-easily observable fact that it’s the earth that revolves around the sun, not the other way around.

    Likewise, we have learned by observation that much of what Ken Ham purports to be true simply isn’t. It doesn’t matter how many people in his audience agrees with Ham. The workings of the universe are not decided by debate.

  107. @retiredsciguy, I only question whether that is an easily-observed fact. I think that it would require at least a very high-end amateur telescope, good observational skills and the better part of a year of observing time, not to mention uncommonly good mathematical skills.

  108. The problem with naturalism is exactly that. While intelligent design doesn’t automatically reject science in all forms, naturalism does automatically reject the existence of the supernatural in all forms. So being a naturalist automatically rejecting God and miracles just because they are classified as being supernatural is an extremely weak argument.

    Think about it. What is it that makes people not believe in God or the supernatural or an intelligent designer? They just choose not to. There is no proof nor evidence that directly contradicts a creator, so refuting supernaturally grounded debate points with “Well, there is no such thing as the supernatural.” is, once again, an incredibly weak position. Imagine arguing with a creationist that believes “If it is scientific, then it automatically must be wrong.” well that is pretty much what apologetic creationists do whenever they argue with most atheists. You would probably think “Wow, that guys an idiot.” and you would be right. Same thing goes for atheism though. If you are arguing against a creationist, you can’t apply your own beliefs to theirs as if everything they believe must go through a filter that rejects anything supernatural.

    The only thing ridiculous about a creationist vs. atheist debate is when either side automatically rejects the other without evidence supporting such rejection. This is what we call a naturalistic presupposition, and it is pretty much the only reason why scientists choose to not believe in the possibility of the supernatural.

    Not saying you have to automatically agree with intelligent design proponents. Just don’t automatically reject their arguments because you believe “Pff, well there is no such thing as God!”

  109. The naturalism vs. supernaturalism debate is much like the evidence-based medicine vs. complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) debate. The bits of CAM that can be objectively shown to work will inevitably become part of evidence-based medicine. So too in the naturalism vs. supernaturalism debate where natural mysteries are probed and explored until they are properly understood in terms of prior knowledge. Science assumes as a guiding operational principle that all objectively observable and repeatable phenomena will yield to naturalistic accounts, and conducts its investigations accordingly. But this assumption may at some point and on sufficient evidence turn out to be mistaken, and it would therefore be quite wrong to claim that there is an ab initio rejection of the supernatural by science. What is relevant in all of this, however, is that the supernatural has so far proved unnecessary wherever science has cast its probing gaze in the world (cf. Occam’s Razor). There is as yet not a single fruitful explanatory account of any objectively observable and repeatable phenomenon that invokes some form of supernaturalism for its explanation, and this absence provides powerful reasons to suppose that methodological naturalism cannot so easily be shelved.

    In short, science makes no claims about the existence or otherwise of miracles, gods, the supernatural, etc. What it does claim, and rightly so, is that there is, as yet, no good evidence supporting the existence of such things.

  110. Josh, were do you get that atheist reject supernatural based on nothing? We base it on the fact that no matter what we try, every claim turns out to be explained by natural factors that are misinterpreted or baseless claims.

    Without evidence your supernatural claim is as good as any schytsophrenic’s claim that they are not allone in an amply room.

    We can’t believe what everyone claims, and neither should you.

  111. Josh claims

    What is it that makes people not believe in God or the supernatural or an intelligent designer? They just choose not to. There is no proof nor evidence that directly contradicts a creator, so refuting supernaturally grounded debate points with “Well, there is no such thing as the supernatural.” is, once again, an incredibly weak position.

    You are joking, yes?

    There is “no proof nor evidence that directly contradicts” the existence of Zeus, or leprechauns, or invisible unicorns, or–well, pretty much anything one can dream up.

    Why do you “choose” not to believe in The Flying Spaghetti Monster? There is no proof or evidence that directly contradicts the existence of the FSM, so how dare you “just choose” to blasphemously not believe in him and worship as a devout Pastafarian?

  112. Megs, where do you stand on whether the FSM comes with a tomato sauce or a cream sauce?

  113. @RSG, if FSM has meatballs, it’s a red sauce. At least it better be.

  114. @ Pope retiredsciguy: When I beheld the Flying Spaghetti Monster in a glorious vision, He was enrobed in fresh basil pesto.

    You must believe me on this, as there is no evidence that can directly contradict my account of this sacred encounter.

  115. Megs, the proper assertion is, “Yes, I was there.:D

  116. It was just an innocent question, but it seems I may have opened a Great Schism of Red vs. White among the Pastafarians. I hope we can all be good strands and avoid bloodshed.

  117. Careful, or some malcontent upstart might nail a long list of theses of his own to the pasta factory’s door.

  118. Pope retiredsciguy pours oil on troubled boiling water:

    it seems I may have opened a Great Schism of Red vs. White among the Pastafarians. I hope we can all be good strands and avoid bloodshed.

    Ramen to that! All that is needed is for the Red Sauce Blasphemers and White Sauce Infidels to repent of their heresies, show penance, and worship only at the TRVE altar of Basil Pesto in order to restore harmony, cheese on sauce, and gorgonzola to all men.

    Those continuing in their errancy will of course suffer for all Eternity in the burning Lake of Arrabiata Sauce…

  119. A peace offering in the spirit of compromise. My beautiful wife makes it with pancetta and mushrooms instead of the sausage.

  120. @Megalonyx Henceforth, I shall no longer be referred to as Pope RetiredSciGuy. The proper title is now Al dente RetiredSciGuy. And Mark, your peace offering looks very tasty. All hail to the Great FSM, Pastafarians!

  121. Just an observer

    I understand the concern of our naturalist (evolutionist) friends over this event. It’s going to be a huge embarrassment to Darwin’s disciples. Big mistake indeed! I’m sorry it’s inevitable…

  122. Your mind is train wreck full of delusions of angels and demons.

    I’m sure you still believe epileptic seizures are demon processions.

    Lmao

  123. Yeah, JAO, it’s going to be a train wreck and Nye is going to get slaughtered.

    Not something I would do, go into a debate with abjectly dishonest opponents and no objective moderator.

  124. Just an observer

    If Christian creationists/apologists are dishonest, then it’s going to be a perfect opportunity for Nye to expose it. So there’s nothing to be worried about, right? And yes I believe that angels and demons do exist as the Bible says. Yes I believe God exist (and so do all men although few suppressed that innate knowledge of the divine in unrighteousness).

  125. That would be the case if we were dealing with rational human beings, but we are NOT.

    We have FULLY sequenced DNA of a 400,000 year old specimen. DNA is used in COURTS to sentence people to death. It is indisputable, and yet here you are with your brain up your ars!

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/pit-bones-yields-oldest-human-dna/story?id=21093890

    and you dare to tell us that they will have a chance to reason?

    Just reading about your childish angels, demons and unrighteousness, speaks volumes to your delusional state of mind.

    You are delusional, go see a doctor.

  126. I think it’s very interesting that evolutionists, and/or liberals purely by social classification, are always mad at something. They name-call, ridicule, and low-blow people who should have just as much of a right to this comment board as they do. It gets past the point of even “science” to the point of bullying people which, if their argument is really true, shouldn’t pose a threat at all to them.

  127. ” It’s going to be a huge embarrassment to Darwin’s disciples. ” This is from one of your posters, and we are supposed to do what with this?

    You know where the door is, don’t let it hit you on the way out.

  128. Calm down, Dorian Mattar. That won’t persuade anyone, and it’s not the kind of commentary we encourage around here.

  129. Stan says:

    I think it’s very interesting that evolutionists, and/or liberals purely by social classification, are always mad at something.

    Are you calling me a liberal?

    They name-call, ridicule, and low-blow people who should have just as much of a right to this comment board as they do.

    You have no right to comment on anyone’s blog. It’s always up to the blogger.

  130. Besides wanting to reinvigorate his Ark Encounter project, it seems to me that Kanny Hambug and his hangers-on are far more interested in wresting affirmation from any handy source by whatever means possible for their unsustainable and infantile twaddle, even if it means trying to fry a nice guy like Nye (impressive assonance notwithstanding). If Hambug was actually interested in expanding his twilit horizons, he’d present to an audience of critics instead of to a belligerent rent-a-crowd of ignorant-and-proud-of-it toadies.

  131. I am reminded of what my friend and colleague Joe McInerney, former head of BSCS says regarding this subject – you can throw as much science as you want at creationists and it just doesn’t stick. I have family and friends who are YEC’s and have found that the best tactic is to engage their theology rather than the science. I consider it a positive accomplishment when there is a change from YEC to TE/EC!! :-) Unfortunately, many scientists do not have much background in biblical scholarship to challenge folks like Ham. It would be much more fun to watch Ham match up with someone like Pete Enns.

  132. Just an observer

    I can smell fear – fear of being exposed to the truth and found bluntly wrong. People resort to name-calling and ridiculing when they’re threatened by the truth. btw, I don’t take offense with such tacky remarks. They do no harm to me but the people expressing them. On the contrary, it confirms my point.

  133. Josh writes …

    … So being a naturalist automatically rejecting God and miracles just because they are classified as being supernatural is an extremely weak argument.

    About that … no supernatural claims have ever been proven true. Methodological Naturalism, FTW.

    Oh, and put me down for tomato sauce, natch.

  134. TA: “Oh, and put me down for tomato sauce, natch.”

    Figured that. Already laid in a huge supply.

  135. Just an observer confesses, “I can smell fear …”

    Since odors have not yet been digitized, whatever it is you’re smelling is emanating from your immediate environs. A bath might cure your problem.

    Since you have been indoctrinated from an early age with your religious belief, we would not expect to to question any part of what you have been told over and over and over again is true. That’s fine — for you. But don’t expect the rest of the world to close their eyes to the overwhelming evidence based on observation, not opinion, that the universe is ~13.8 billion years old, the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, life has existed on earth for ~3.8 to 4 billion years (give or take a week or two), multi-cellular life for about a billion years (hard to tell exactly because there are so few fossils of jellyfish, etc. because of the lack of hard body parts), life forms with hard shells are found in the fossil record in rock layers that are about 600 million years old, the first vertebrate animals (fish) appeared about 440 million years ago, and the first land-dwelling vertebrates quite a while after that.

    Very clearly, dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, at the same time an asteroid about six miles across hit the Earth at a place that is now the north end of the Yucatan Peninsula. The first evidence of upright-walking hominids appears in the fossil record in rocks dating to about four million years ago.

    Some of these dates may have been refined by further research since I read of them, but the important point is we have come to this knowledge because of the work of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of researchers starting way back in the 17th Century. If you are interested in learning about this research, you can do some reading — on the web, at your library, or by enrolling in a Geology 101 class at your local community college (if you are lucky enough to have one nearby).

    After learning of why scientists accept the foregoing narrative as the best answer we have yet of earth’s history, you are still free to reject it. But at least you will be doing so in an informed manner, not blindly as you seem to be doing now.

    Hey! Have fun, eh? Oh — and if you ever figure out how to make Smellovision work, you’ll be a billionaire!

  136. @Just an Observer: “People resort to name-calling and ridiculing when they’re threatened by the truth”

    That must explain why creationists and ID proponents have nothing going for them but infantile, hysterical name-calling, ad hominem attacks, and dishonest quote mines. Creationists and ID proponents engage in the most hysterical name-calling imaginable, and then at their blogs they forbid comments, surpress dissent, stifle all criticism, and conceal all evidence to the contrary.

    Here’s an example from Answers in Genesis. First they whine about real scientists calling them out on their scientific inaccuracies, which they call “name-calling.” Then they say that scientists are Satanic. Recall congressman Paul Broun called embryology, the Big Bang and evolution “lies from the pit of hell”, so AIG agrees with him:

    AIG: Many remarks in the media [about Congressman Paul Broun, for saying evolution, Big Bang and embryology are lies from the pit of Hell] have been quite nasty, and many headlines declare him to be “anti-science.”

    This sort of name-calling is absurd, as a physician is as much a scientist as an astronomer or a geologist or a biologist.

    The Devil’s lies have been fooling people ever since Eve heard the serpent question God’s truthfulness and character.11 Dr. Broun fingered the real liar—the Devil—when he said the lies of evolution are from hell. Jesus said to those Pharisees who perverted God’s Word, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). Many of those Pharisees doubtless thought they were right. The same can be said of many evolutionists who sincerely believe what they teach, but the source of evolution’s lie is the Devil, who is using the evolutionists to deceive the whole world. — [News to Note, by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, AIG, October 13, 2012. October 13, 2012. ]

    So, what the anti-scientists say is “Don’t call us names, but your father is the devil.” The hypocrisy of ignorant, uneducated, dishonest creationists is simply infinite. What Jesus is doing in the above passage is pure name-calling directed against the Jews, and the above passage was widely cited by anti-Semites including the Nazis (who were also creationists who believed only in micro-evolution) in order to paint the Jews as Christ-killers. It’s name-calling, and now creationists want to paint evolutionists as Christ-killers.

    We’re calling you out on your lies. We’re holding you accountable for how you lied about scientific facts.

  137. Just an observer

    Diogenes we are not anti-scientists. In fact we have our own scientists with PhD’s. And don’t forget Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, and Isaac Newton to name a few who were creationists. What we are against are the scientists who promote the idea of evolution through fraudulence, just-so-story-telling, unsubstantiated claims, hollow rhetoric, deceptive statements, dissident censorship etc…

  138. Just an observation here, but Just an Observer sounds like he just might be Ken Ham.

    If Galileo had been a man of less prominent stature, he would have been put to death by the church, instead of house arrest, for his heresy of suggesting that the Earth revolves around the sun rather than vice versa. He was a pioneer of scientific discovery that contradicted the Bible.

  139. To add to retiredsciguy’s point, Isaac Newton held his nutty theological ruminations to be of far greater import than his work on calculus, mechanics, optics and gravity.

  140. Actually, I think Just an observer is right when he/she says “I can smell fear”; I know, because let me confess here, it’s emanating from me.

    But my fear is nothing whatsoever to do with the Ham/Nye ‘debate’, which is a puerile publicity stunt that has bearing neither on science, nor religion, nor indeed on anything other than Ham’s bank balance.

    But I am genuinely frightened when I contemplate that, in the 21st century, the bigoted purveyors of religious extremism can still command attention, can still exert influence on public policy, and can still pick the pockets of the gullible with impunity. When one considers the many blighted and ignorant centuries of history in which religion held supreme power over human affairs (and there are still regions of our world in which it does still so prevail), and the horrendous cost in human suffering of those centuries, who wouldn’t be frightened to see there are those, such as Ham, who would drag us back to those agonies?

    And yes, I also feel fear when I contemplate that among my fellow humans on this planet are some who are so feeble-minded and morally-weak as to think—as Ole Hambo explicitly insists people think—that if any part of the Bible is not literally true then none of it can be of worth, that somehow if one does not believe in a talking snake in the Garden of Eden or an impossible ark bobbing about on the seas of an inundated world then one must also ignore injunctions such as “Thou shalt not kill.” What crazed homicidal urges are these folks suppressing only by means of their clinging to beliefs in bronze-age fairy tales?

    But Ham insists scripture is an all or nothing deal, you mustn’t apply reason or even your own conscience in sifting through it—even though Ham himself is very selective (he would appear to ignore, for example, the recommendation of Jesus at Luke 12:33, Sell that ye have, and give alms, though I have not yet found the passage in scripture where Jesus exhorts the faithful to give alms to build theme parks and enrich the priesthood).

    As others have often pointed out, science gives us aircraft while religion gives us fanatics who fly them into the WTC. So yes, when I encounter religious extremists like Ham, I do indeed fear.

  141. Should have included in previous post: the Ham/Nye ‘debate’–indeed, whole ‘Evo controversy’–really isn’t, as often billed, a ‘science vs. religion’ dispute. It’s a controversy within religion, and brought on entirely by the fundamentalist/literalist faction of religious folks (and which religion is immaterial, all have their fanatical factions).

  142. Megalonyx about that admonition against possessions and avarice you cite ex Luke 12:33, this bloke obviously doesn’t get it.

  143. Well said, Megalonyx.

  144. Just an Observer claims “What we are against are the scientists who promote the idea of evolution through fraudulence, just-so-story-telling, unsubstantiated claims, hollow rhetoric, deceptive statements, dissident censorship etc…”

    Insert “creationists” in place of “scientists” in the above sentence, and “creationism/intelligent design” for “evolution”, and it would capture the view of those who oppose the efforts of AiG, the Discovery Inst., the ICR, etc., perfectly.

    In fact, it is so perfect that one can diagnose Just an Observer as suffering from a serious case of projection.

  145. Just an observer

    I hope this will be posted. Just want to express my excitement over this debate as we’re all going to see who is lying (and been lied to) and who’s truthful. The Bible declares that liars are children of the devil because the devil is the father of lies. That’s not a ridicule or name-calling. That is simply the truth!

  146. JAO seems to be more than just observing :-) The bible also says that satan is the great trickster, and some of us think that Ham is more about Ham than he is about Yeshua.

  147. I think we’ve heard enough from Just an observer. He won’t be back.

  148. Gracias, Cascarrabias

  149. Let me reiterate what Ed said: “Well said, Megalonyx. Very well-said, indeed.

    I concur with SC — we’ve heard enough from JAO/Ken Ham. What tipped me off to JAO’s identity was his comment above, “In fact we have our own scientists with PhD’s. “ He confirmed it with his last comment.

    If we want to read Ham’s writings, we know where to go. His fanatical rantings are nothing more than pollution on SC’s blog. His last comment here is a perfect example.

  150. Just an observer: The Bible declares that liars are children of the devil because the devil is the father of lies. That’s not a ridicule or name-calling.

    Uh, yes it is name-calling. Typical creationist hypocrisy: it’s not name-calling when we do it! Just like it’s not racism, slavery and genocide when God’s people practice it.

    Yeah, and it’s not scientific fraud when you promote all your fake fossils, like Henry Morris’ Paluxy River “human” carved fraud-prints along dinosaur tracks, the “Black Skull of Freiberg” (carved from coal) promoted by Henry Morris, the Calaveras skeleton fraud promoted by Henry Morris and Duane Gish, the “Coso artifact” (a 1920’s Model T spark plug), Carl Baugh’s Humanus Davidii (an alleged Cretaceous human tooth that was from a prehistoric fish), your “dinosaur Native American petroglyph” hoaxes, your Ica Stone hoax, and all the other scientific frauds of creationists.

    By your own standard, the father of you creationists is the Devil.