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    Thread: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

    1. #1
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      Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham



      Anyone watching? What are your thoughts on this? 460k viewers at the moment.

      I for one am against this kind of debate, not only because all the money apparently is going for the creationist museum, but because I also think this means giving credibility to Mr. Ham's position.

      edit 1: so far, so good. Ham's presented some principles in his first 5 minutes that Bill Nye quickly took care of. Now in the 30 minutes thesis exposition I can't help but smile by Mr. Ham's presenting a bunch of scientists as to try to give credibility to his side. Fun fact: he says that we have way less creationists scientists because the others make it as some kind of taboo.

      Mr. Ham's (Creationism) 30 minutes comments:

      - Mr Ham just said "if god isn't the ultimate authority, then humans are the ultimate authority. Interesting.
      - "In the ark you only need one type of dog, one type of cat, much less animals people would think". Wow...
      - Can't help but feel like Mr Ham's is walking in dangerous terrain. He says the dogs of today descend from one type of dog. All I can think when he says that is "evolution happened".
      - He says the problem with evolution is that you can't observe wolves descending into dogs, or finches going into other species of finches. Mr Ham's puts great emphasis on "observational science". It keeps using these words every minute of his speech so far.
      - Mr Ham's commiting his first fallacy: attacking Darwin instead of his ideas by trying to provoke negative emotion in the audience regarding the concept of "human race". Shame on him...Oh wait, he's now mentioning his website
      - "you can't observe the age of the earth"....so your claim of 6k thousands years...?
      - Mr Ham again stated "I believe in every single bit of the bible...I believe the content literally". I sense this particular aspects is something that can make him loose the debate pretty easily.
      - Mr Ham's go on about something mentioned in that discussion thread regarding scientific dogma. Interesting.

      Mr Bill Nye time to talk, I'm gonna focus even more deeply now. I'm worried about his ability to debate
      Last edited by Zoth; 02-05-2014 at 01:43 AM.
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    2. #2
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      I'm against these kinds of debate as well, for this reason that Michael Shermer points out:

      "What would ever change your mind? Ham: 'I'm a Christian. God has shown himself in the person of Jesus Christ.' Nye: 'Evidence.' Says it all."

      I've been catching the last hour or so of it, but now the stream drops out every 5 seconds. Must be a lot of people on my ISP trying to view it.
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      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    3. #3
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      Exactly my thoughts! If you can't admit the possibility of being wrong, there's no hope on discussing with you.
      It just ended, and Bill Nye performed better than I had expected. I wish he would spend a few more points on the bible itself (on things like: who determines what's poetry and what's literal and real in bible?), but overall I think he did a great job, especially when it came to keeping the main questions in mind.
      Quote Originally Posted by nito89 View Post
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      Member Chickadee23's Avatar
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      I'm with blueline976. Ham couldn't even answer the question hypothetically(couldn't even entertain the possibility), whereas nye was totally open to it. I felt bad for nye, it's like he was talking to a stump. I also felt awkward for ham it just felt uncomfortable all round.
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    5. #5
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      Nye majorly intellectually cornered Ham when he kept demanding Ham to provide some predictions by using his creationist model. I don't think Ham ever gave any. I take that as game-over for Ham. Never mind the fact that he just didn't give any in the debate, but he couldn't even if he wanted to. What possible predictions could his model provide that we could then test, if creationism is a viable model of the origins of the universe and how it operates? It can't make valid predictions. It's major tenant (god) is untestable. It's not science.
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      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    6. #6
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      While I don't support the Creationist Museum and I am not a creationist, I think this debate revealed a lot, and like Bill Nye said, I did learn something from Ham in his opening statement. It was only when the real debate part started that I got extremely agitated with him. He CONSTANTLY appealed to authority, deferring to all the creationist scientists he mentioned in the beginning as if because if someone can be both creationist and a scientist alone that makes the theory viable.

      He also frustrated me by constantly falling back on the fact that we cannot see the past so we can't predict it. One of the questions which unfortunately did not get posed to Nye but I saw on a Buzzfeed gallery of creationist submitted questions regarded a mature universe. The question asked why is it impossible for the universe to be born mature; for Adam to be created as an adult as Ham argued or as it's been argued on DV, if a dream is created in a state of maturity why can't the universe? I think this is a very good question, but the answer is that even IF the universe was created in a state of maturity nothing about life becomes predictable. Like Bill Nye argued, we're looking for predictability so we study evidence left by the past in order to predict what happened then and therefore what direction the future is likely to take. Frankly, this very moment was created in a state of maturity, and there's no proof all our memories weren't generated for us just now. It's a great philosophical question, and the answer remains that evidence provides the best data to make decisions upon. Evidence shows an old universe and an old planet, even if God created all the evidence we should still base our decisions on what the evidence tells us.

      And this becomes the foundation of the debate. Creationists call it science to try and find scientifically viable explanations for the bible. Ham admitted multiple times that the bible is his starting point and his goal is to confirm his bias through scientific means. Those who oppose creationist theory accept theory which can be predicted, and the whole point of science, from my mind, is not to find "truth" but predictability. In other words we want the best data possible to make decisions, just as Nye put it when he described the connection between understanding the world and the inventions that spring from that understanding. Ham refuted this by making up "historical science" and "observational science," which was his weird way of stating that the conclusions you draw from your observations are not necessarily true. No shit, but at least they're conclusions based on what we observed rather than confirmation bias.

      The next foundation of the debate is my favorite part, when Bill got life's deeper mystery questions that science has not found an explanation for. The two he was given were "Why is there something instead of nothing?" and "How does consciousness come from matter?" and his answer was the same, "I don't know, that's a beautiful question and we love beautiful questions because they drive us to think and grow." And Ham's counter was also the same, "Bill, there's a book that has the answer to that question..." I found this drop of dialogue, each time it occurred, a brilliant show of the difference between evolutionary theory and creationism. Evolutionary theory developed by embracing the mystery, creationism developed in rebellion to mystery, seeking easy but unproven ideas. Ham received laughter from the audience each time he gave that counter, but with nearly half a million viewers at home it's easily revealed why this debate was so important and why Bill Nye was the perfect guy to participate in it.

      This is really about the children, and so long as some asshole australian is teaching kids, from exhibits on vegetarian lions to exhibits and giant boats, explanations of the world based on the bible and then parading them as science, even inviting a debate on whether or not what he's doing is for the good of humanity or the country, of course someone must answer the call otherwise it only confirms Ham's claim hat science has been hijacked. And who better than a man who has spent his career helping children understand science and how it works. It doesn't matter that Ham would never change his view, it's not his view they're after. Ham held utter confidence he could tear Nye apart and prove Creationism as a viable scientific theory and he actually made a strong opening argument, you can tell exactly why he was so confident, but when the audience questions came up at the end it all back fired. I believe more future scientists were born from this debate than if it had not occurred whether or not it funded the Creationist Museum. I believe creationist parents, also confident in Ham's ability to prove their beliefs and unswayable in them, potentially invited their children to watch, and most children were probably bored but I bet Nye got through to many more young people than Ham. The minute Nye emphasized questioning everything and embracing the unknown and Ham, for the second time said "Don't question your reality, just trust in this random book," Nye won.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 02-07-2014 at 02:33 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    7. #7
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      From what I heard Ham got utterly destroyed. I couldn't bring myself to watch much of it, since I pretty much know exactly how it would go. Ken Ham thinks there was dinosaurs on the ark, and that pretty much sums up how stupid his positions are. Even the most stringent, literal, fundamentalist know deep down, in their heart of hearts, that there was no fucking Tyrannosaurus Rex hanging out with Noah on his ark.

      If you take the bible literally, then it actually makes sense that dinosaurs were on the ark. They were created at the same time as modern animals, and would have still been living at the time of the ark, and the bible says every animal. They should of been there. However, just picturing a Tyrannosaurus Rex on a boat is such an absurd image that no one would ever take it seriously.

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