Klinghoffer on the Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate

The Discovery Institute has been silent about the upcoming debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham … until now. Look what just appeared at their creationist blog: Regarding that Creationism Debate Pitting Bill Nye Against Ken Ham, Here’s My Guilty Admission.

It’s by David Klinghoffer, the Discoveroids’ journalistic slasher and poo flinger. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

OK, I’ll confess. I’m going to watch the debate on February 4 matching creationist Ken Ham versus “Science Guy” Bill Nye. I’ll do so with eagerness and pleasure. Well, I’ll watch part it anyway. I’ll probably watch a few minutes of the Super Bowl too, the Sunday before, since everyone here in Seattle is going nuts about it. …

Colleagues to whom I’ve confided this — the part about the debate — have sought to perform an intervention. They say: “Why waste your time?” It’s simple.

Okay, David. We’re all waiting to hear your reason.

This will be entertaining. I know how much leaders in the Village Atheist movement like Jerry Coyne and the Richard Dawkins Foundation have urged against it. It will make them squirm, seeing someone like Nye who is kind of their guy but, they fear, not outstandingly articulate in live performance put up against Mr. Ham, who I assume is well practiced at what he does. That in itself is enjoyable.

He expects Nye to get trounced, and he’s eagerly looking forward to it. We agree that Nye could get clobbered — not on the merits, but because he’s unprepared for the tactics which will be unleashed by his opponent, a hard-core professional creationist. That’s one reason why your Curmudgeon won’t be watching it. Let’s read on:

More seriously, I would like the world to get a good look at a genuine creationist: what he says, how he argues, what questions animate him. It’s been among the more dishonest tactics of ID’s critics to paint intelligent design as just another shade of “creationism.” The more people watch Ham debate Nye, the better they will be able to appreciate the stark contrast between advocates of intelligent design and those of creationism.

Ah, yes. Ol’ Hambo is a primitive creationist. The Discoveroids are much more sophisticated. But as we’ve said before, the Discoveroids’ “Who me, creationist?” charade is no more convincing than the simulated innocence of a flasher who lurks around schoolyards exposing himself to children, and then swiftly closes his coat when any adult looks his way. Klinghoffer continues:

Creationists themselves are honest about saying what that distinction is. As Mr. Ham’s “Answers in Genesis” colleague Georgia Purdom has candidly said, the main difference is that creationists insist on faith’s directing the conclusions that science reaches.

Yes. It’s an absurd way to do “science,” but at least ol’ Hambo and his creation scientists are honest about putting their religious faith ahead of the evidence. The Discoveroids, on the other hand … well, you know. Here’s more:

Devout materialists, while reaching opposite conclusions, come at the question of life’s origins in much the same manner. Naturalism demands an answer to the mystery of evolution that excludes intelligent direction. So that’s what it gets and what it offers.

Aaaargh!! No, David. There’s nothing about the scientific method that “excludes” your supernatural explanations — other than a lack of verifiable evidence that such phenomena are involved in the things that science investigates. It’s the Discoveroids who approach all questions with a presumption — that their never-named intelligent designer lurks behind everything. The world is still waiting for actual evidence of such influences. We’ve explained all that — see Bring Me An Angel Detector! Moving along:

ID advocates follow the evidence where it leads. That, more than the age of Earth, is I think the distinction that drives everything else.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He concludes by taking a swipe at some of the Discoveroids’ favorite targets:

This serious, open-minded engagement with the actual evidence of science is the reason that while the “Science Guy” at least was all too willing to debate a creationist, Coyne and Dawkins have consistently chickened out when invited to engage us in debate, whether live or in print.

That really was a tangled mess. But it’s from the Discoveroids, so there was no reason to expect anything else.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

16 responses to “Klinghoffer on the Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate

  1. Yes! The moment we all we’re waiting for! Klingy on the Ham-Nye debate! And he doesn’t disappoint. How lovely how he takes the position of the third dog watching two rival dogs fighting for a bone.
    Yup. We don’t have to watch the debate anymore. Because the winner is ….. Klingy!

  2. No love lost between the Disco Tute and AIG! Actually, AIG pulls in way more money than the Disco Tute. Klinghitler scrounges for a living while Hambo has a large house and millions of dollars. Yeah, Klinghitler, you follow the “evidence” right into bankruptcy! Sucker.

    Hambo has an empire, a classy museum and, soon, an amusement park!

    Disco Tute occupies a second floor above a gym in a dingy part of Seattle.

    To say that Hambo is more successful than the Disco Tute is, well, rather pitiful, don’t you think, Klingy?

    Oh, sorry, “don’t you think” and “Klingy” in the same sentence. Laff riot!

  3. AiG seems to be a side show run by a two bit huckster and a band of deluded, and possibly mentally challenged acolytes. It’s s strait up scam to bilk hillbillies. The DI is actually far more sinister and dangerous. Hambeaux just wants your money if you’re stupid enough to fall for his scam. The DI is doing its best to bring Christian theocracy and destroy the legacy of the Enlightenment.

  4. Jay - yes, that one.

    I’ve always thought that any rationalist debating a creationist was a vain pursuit.

    It’s like two blind men debating over what a rainbow looks like and people paying to watch the performance.

    Perhaps if only a few people on the sidelines can see the creationists’ absurdity for what it is, it won’t have been totally in vein.

    Since it’s going to happen, might as well use it as an educational opportunity.

    However, I also know very much about science and respectfully do not think Mr. Nye is the proper person to represent science in general against a professional creationist weasel like Mr. Ham. He is good, but his scientific expertise is vastly overstated in the media. But then, so is Mr. Ham’s, so who knows?

    What’s done is done.

  5. Eddie Janssen

    Somewhere between 99,9% and 100% of the field of evolution is older than 6000 years. Ham and his flock deny anything older than 6000 years.
    How on earth do you get a debate out of that?
    The only interesting subject(s) would be modern dating techniques (as in “how old is it”, not in “shall we go to a dancing after the movie?”).

  6. “It’s like two blind men debating over what a rainbow looks like and people paying to watch the performance.”
    I object this metaphor. A much better one is one person who can see debating a blind person who insists that there is nothing to see in the entire Universe. Though we still have to find a place for God in this metaphor.

  7. Disco Tute occupies a second floor above a gym in a dingy part of Seattle.

    True science always has its humble origins.

    Sorry, LMAO as I typed this!

  8. My question is, “Is this going to be a barbed-wire cage match?”

  9. It occurs to us that Nye could do quite well if he essentially ignores ol’ Hambo’s babbling. All he needs to do is wave that stuff away by saying: “I’m not a theologian, I’m a science educator.”

    Each time it’s his turn to speak, he can use those moments as an opportunity to do what he’s good at — give the audience brief, understandable lessons in what science is, how it works, and what has been learned about the age of the Earth, etc. He won’t persuade anyone in Hambo’s packed audience, but it won’t be embarrassing at all, and the resulting video could be very good.

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    Is the SC having a change of heart? Taking Nye’s idea of it being and educational experience?

    I’m stuck on the subject matter of ‘origins’, another safe-haven for Hambo, where science *fails* to have answer to what caused origins. I guess Nye just has to keep bringing up 6,000 years as implausible..

  11. Nye needs to have a sign that says “Most self-described creationists do not even remotely agree with Ham.” That’ll get more viewers thinking than anything that either one will say.

  12. Charles Deetz: “I’m stuck on the subject matter of ‘origins’, another safe-haven for Hambo, where science *fails* to have answer to what caused origins. I guess Nye just has to keep bringing up 6,000 years as implausible.:

    As you know, the origin of the universe (13.7 BY ago), earth (4,6 BY ago) and life (~3.8 BY ago) are 3 very different events with 3 very different explanations. OECs make that clear, YECs deliberately confuse them, and IDers simply avoid the topic for the sake of the big tent.

    Focusing now on just the origin of life, the fact that it happened (& where and when) and how it may have happened, are 2 very different things. Here, YECs, OECs and IDers are reunited in terms of deliberately confusing the 2, and deliberately confusing both with evolution. And similarly, deliberately confusing the fact of common descent with modification (which some IDers concede) with how it happens (the theory). That a theory of abiogenesis still eludes us does not weaken the theory of evolution or all the associated “what happened when” conclusions one bit. To us that is true to the point of being trivial. But I contend that most people, including most who have no problem with evolution, have never given it any significant thought, and thus can be easily scammed.

    If Nye merely brings up 6,000 years as implausible, any YECs in the audience will just tune it out, and OECs (a majority of evolution-deniers watching it online, if not of those watching it live) will just see it as Nye conceding their creationist view.

    Nye must expose all the bait-and-switch games that these people play, the hopeless disagreements between them, and how at least some factions censor it. Anything less will be a forfeit.

  13. Charles Deetz asks: “Is the SC having a change of heart? Taking Nye’s idea of it being and educational experience?”

    I’m just trying to make the best of what I fear will be an unfortunate situation.

  14. Devout materialists, while reaching opposite conclusions, come at the question of life’s origins in much the same manner.

    Don’t you love the phrase, “devout materialists”? Kling’s projects his devotion to a supernatural creator onto objective scientists, through the use of little language tricks like this. Clever Klingie.

    Nye should include ID any time he mentions creationism. It would be a natural thing to do, and it would produce an amusing reaction from Seattle. In fact, if he could provoke Ham into commenting on ID it could become even more amusing.

    If Nye could focus on the straightforward task of explaining the scientific method and debunking Ham’s false dichotomy between observational and historical science, and if he could address Ham’s theme that creationists are just scientists who interpret facts from a different world view, then I think he will have accomplished his mission.

  15. Ed: “Don’t you love the phrase, ‘devout materialists’?”

    Especially since the accusation always comes from the ones who are the real “devout materialists.” What else would one call those who constantly obsess over finding design or creation in the body? In contrast, “evolutionists,” whether theistic, atheistic or agnostic, are confident enough of free will that it does not matter whether their bodies are products of mere “chance and regularity.” They can do the right thing even if their bodies were not necessarily designed, and more importantly, unlike the paranoid anti-evolution activists, trust the “masses” to do the same. So “evolutionists” don’t have to bait-and-switch the supposed “design” with “whether we share common ancestors with other species” (which some anti-evolution activists concede) or pretend that design is mutually exclusive with “chance and regularity.”

  16. Perhaps he doesn’t know about it, but the fable of Noah was described by the Sumerians about 1500 yrs before Judaism was formed. The story is from the Gilgamesh epoch carved in Cruciform stones. The story involves a God/Goddess named Ea, who appeared to Utnapishtim. Christians argue that the Abrahamic peoples got the story from their God, Yahweh by word of mouth. That’s nice. However, since at least two cultures reported the story, then it has to be a lie. This is the case even if there was evidence of a great flood at that time, which there isn’t, because the other culture would have been destroyed. It is that simple. Had Bill Nye known this, he could have stopped Ham for babeling on about Noah.