Feb 052014

Ken Ham Bill Nye Debate

In the debate aired February 4th, 2014 between Bill Nye and Ken Ham regarding creationism, I feel it goes without saying that Bill Nye came out on top. There are many who felt Nye should not do this as it will lend too much attention to what is considered pseudo-science and also fatten the coffers of an organization may soon run out of money. Personally, I think that distracts from crucial issue. There are people in major positions of government authority who believe in creationism and, due to their positions, have the ability to influence laws and policies governing it that then affect other.

Among the many mistakes that Ken Ham made, setting aside the numerous logical fallacies, was constantly pushing the Christian bible. The Intelligent Design movement in the US has been trying to separate itself from any particular religion because of the first amendment issues with promoting one religion by the state. Ham continuously repeated that mistake throughout his presentation which was incredibly weak on evidence.

There have been some criticisms put towards Nye mostly those wishing went after Ken Ham regarding particular points brought up, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. I expect that. While I found the opening dry, overall Nye tackled the issue well and with respect and dignity. He was not aggressive or too confrontational. What Nye did was address the global audience, not just the people in the room who would have already been hostile to what Nye was presenting. Ham was clearly only targeting those in physical attendance with his repeated return to his Christian bible. Why should a Buddhist believe it? Why should a Hindu? You surely would not convince them based solely on the Christian bible. I feel that was one of the key elements in Nye’s victory.

Another the key part was Nye dismantling some was what Ham considered evidence for creationism and the truth of the bible. Why did the flood only make one grand canyon and not several? Why are fossils laid out in a specific order throughout the world? Ultimately Ham’s creation model does not explain nor predict future discoveries. When said future discoveries were made for other theories, they have repeatedly turned out to be true and no other theory has had this demonstrated more clearly and repeatedly than the ones for evolution. It helps us to investigate and determine forgeries as well. The best way effectually explain this to someone who is uninformed about a subject is to provide physical examples we have now that don’t fit into this whatever alternate model you are trying to present and how they fit into the current model and I feel Nye accomplished this in the time allotted. He only brought up a handful but I think the point was clear, especially after he hit it out of the part with how these scientific disciplines that formed these theories also lead to things that work like discovering oil or finding cures to diseases. Those are something everyone can understands.

At the end what really won the debate was when both were asked what would change their minds. Ham’s reply was nothing would. Nye’s reply was not just simply stating evidence, but he actually expanded to give an example of what would, which is something scientists are supposed to do. There is no doubt in my mind that this was a major point for Nye. Ham failed to present how his model explains anything or predicts anything, a key component to science and scientific theory and really what is at the heart of this debate. It was good to see Nye stay on topic and not get sucked into Ham’s preaching of the bible.

Todd Sampson
SEA Facebook member

*If you missed the debate it is still viewable at debatelive.org  or on the youtube stream.   We are unsure how long those streams will be available, so check them out when you can.

 Posted by at 10:10 PM