Word on the street is that Bill Nye is going to debate Ken Hamm at the Creationism “Museum” on February 4th. This is a bad idea for several reasons.

First, Bill Nye is not really an expert on evolution and is actually not that experienced in debates. Being really really pro science and science education isn’t enough. When they went in after Osama Bin Laden (my errand distant cousin) they did not send people who are really really against terrorism. They sent in Seal Team Six with a huge amount of support such as Army Rangers and such and even that was risky.

Second, there isn’t a debate so why debate?

Third, creationists can pretty much win any debate because they are not talking about science. See this post for a more detailed explanation for how any anti-science spokesperson can win a debate against any pro-science person.

I once debated a creationist and it went OK. But when I was first invited to the debate I contacted my friend Genie Scott who had this organization called the National Center for Science Education for advice and the first thing she said to me is that I was an idiot for agreeing to the debate (or words to that effect). Why? See this post if you haven’t already. In that case the good christians setting up the debate lied to me about the format and carried out other forms of trickery. They can’t be trusted.

Fourth, if I understand the situation correctly this will be a fundraiser for the Creation “Musuem.” Bad idea.

Very bad idea.

UPDATED: Bill Nye talks about the upcoming debate.

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A rollicking adventure through the rift valley and rain forests of Central Africa in search of the elusive diminutive ape known locally as Sungudogo.

A rollicking adventure through the rift valley and rain forests of Central Africa in search of the elusive diminutive ape known locally as Sungudogo.

More on science education HERE.

Also, check out my novella, Sungudogo, HERE. It is an adventure story set in Central Africa which ultimately turns out to be a parody of the skeptics movement. It seems to have struck a nerve with a few of the skeptics, while others seem to have enjoyed it. Who knew?

Comments

  1. #1 Daniel Bastian
    United States
    January 2, 2014

    Could not agree more. Joining the stage with a creationist gives a ridiculous idea the illusion of merit. And only brings benefit to the creationist, who can then boast about his stage-sharing with someone actually qualified to engage the topic for which he was sharing said stage.

    Bad, bad idea.

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich
    January 2, 2014

    The only good that could come out of this would be if Nye were to pretty much ignore whatever Ham has to say and to press points that will lead a few of the audience members to more fully explore the science of evolution for themselves. I was thinking the same thing when PZ “debated” that guy at the U of M who never even talked about ID, which was the resolution under debate. He gave his testimony, basically, while PZ tried to be on point. The other guy “won” because the audience was full of people who were already creationists, but there were some young’uns in the audience who got the chance to hear some great points about evolution that they would not have heard unfiltered had their homeschooling parents not taken them out to the debate.

    Debates are not judged on the merits of the facts but on the presentation, which is exactly why these things shouldn’t happen and exactly why I don’t worry about who “won.”

  3. #3 L.Long
    January 2, 2014

    Nye is WAY TOO nice a guy to take on some one as dishonest as Ham. He will have his butt handed to him! But I really hope I’m wrong.
    Creationists are a giant black hole of ignorance and a waste of time. But it may be worth a few points in someone’s brain being a public debate.

  4. #4 Sylvester B
    January 2, 2014

    Is that the museum at Glen Rose, TX? I wandered through that one many years ago when my wife and I visited the dinosaur tracks in the Palunxy River. They even had a photograph that purported to show a human footprint within a dinosaur print. I guess the poor fool got eaten up for his trouble! Idiots.

    What do you think of the new skull that seems to be an ancestor to all genus homo?

  5. #5 G
    ...birds fly over the rainbow...
    January 2, 2014

    The point about being able to reach a few home-schooled kids in the audience is worth considering, and Nye might do well to speak in a manner that’s directed to kids. Change one mind at a time.

    But if the event is a fundraiser for creationist causes, stay away, do not help them raise money. The exception would be it’s for something that’s clearly on its way to failing, so the money ends up going down the drain.

    Lastly, if Hamm uses dishonest tactics and this comes as a surprise to Nye, it may have the salutary effect of demonstrating to Nye that our adversaries can’t be trusted any further than you can throw them.

  6. #6 Dan J. Andrews
    January 2, 2014

    Completely agree. Very bad idea. Bill’s wonderful but out of his depth here. I thought the only way to “debate” creationists was to insist they write their arguments down point by point and post them to a public website, and then experts could rebut the points one by one.

    I’ve seen Bill do some responding to talking points on global warming, and I didn’t think he did a very good job. As you point out, he’s not a debater and I think that shows (but he has other areas where he’s very good and I admire him greatly).

    I hope he has a strategy for dealing with someone who isn’t constrained by truth and has a loose interpretation of facts (assuming they’re even facts in the first place).

  7. #7 P
    January 2, 2014

    What if we replaced creationism with intelligent design? Because creationism obviously leads people to believe that the way we all came about was through the Genisis story. But what if we remove religion from the equation, and purpose the idea that a higher being created us?

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    January 2, 2014

    Right, exactly. Bill is not a debater. Hamm, on the other hand, is a masterdebater.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    January 2, 2014

    Sylvester, I think this is the museum in Kentucky.

    I think the skull is not the ancestor of the genus homo. But I’ve not formulated a complete opinion yet. Still working on it.

  10. #10 Bcreason
    Canada
    January 2, 2014

    If I were Bill I’d do a presentation on the evidence for evolution and ignore completely any thing Ham has to say. My only response to Ham’s statements would be to tell the audience to look up the rebuttals on talk.origins. As we know Ham will spit out 20 points against evolution each time he gets a turn to speak. To respond to even one would take up a whole turn. Might as well just ignore them all and do your own thing. At the end give the audience references to some good books and sites so they can do their own research. It’s not possible to give a good background in evolution in the hour you get to speak. So use that hour to give a good introduction and let curiosity do the rest.

  11. #11 Rogue Medic
    January 2, 2014

    Bill is not a debater. Hamm, on the other hand, is a masterdebater

    I would phrase it a bit differently.

    Hamm is a showman.

    Nye is able to provide structured education in innovative ways.

    This will be a matter of showmanship.

    This will not be likely to have much to do with science.

    Science is not even mentioned in the title.

    This will probably be a circus that raises money for the Arc that a multi-million dollar corporation could not build.

    .

  12. #12 B Ashwell
    January 3, 2014

    No, no, no! Nye will destroy Hamm. There’s nothing wrong with debating creationists to show them how wrong they are. It’s not a waste of time but a service to the public.

  13. #13 Ed Davis
    United States
    January 3, 2014

    No, I think the debate will be fair and polite. The science side of Creationism has more merit than most are admitting . There are some things worth considering and information attaining . Bill Nye has been arguing and debating this for years and will be well prepared . On scientific points of fact, there are some obvious and serious gaps and unsolved problems with evolution . Hiding from them will not find answers .

    [RESPONSE: No, not really. -gtl]

  14. #14 Matt
    Minnesota
    January 3, 2014

    His name is Ken Ham, not Hamm. It is the Creation Museum, not Creationism Museum. With 2 errors in the first sentence alone how can I take this blog post seriously?

    [RESPONSE: I know, right!? And this is a SCIENCE BLOG and it clearly does not understand science because creationism is CREATION SCIENCE!! It is almost as though the author of this so called science blog does not respect professional creationists at all! -gtl]

    It is interesting that even the commentators are making the same error. It is just like with idea of goo to man evolution. There is bad science involved and people just keep repeating what they have heard.

  15. #15 Marc
    January 3, 2014

    You people are unbelievable, Ken Ham IS a scientists. By saying that Nye should not enter a debate and the rubbish about him not being an expert are cowardly attempts to avoid having your beliefs challenged. All Dawkins talks about is God (or lack thereof) so why can’t there be a debate. Even if you ignore what Ham has to say about God, a lot will be said about these false scientific evidences you believe in that you haven’t heard or read before. Grow up, shut your mouths and and listen to something else other than your own whining and name calling. Debates are usefull for fair representations to be made before an intelligible audience so that we can make more informed decisions about what we believe.

    [RESPONSE: Mark: The science of biology, and in particular evolution, IS the challenge of long held and out dated beliefs. So you have that backwards by a couple of centuries. -gtl]

  16. #16 Hal
    January 3, 2014

    If evolutionists are so sure of themselves then they should be able to come up with a debate strategy that would decimate a creationist. Truth is stronger than lies and the purpose of the debate is to help the audience determine truth. It’s sad that you would discourage Bill to debate. It only sends a message to creationists that evolutionists are afraid.

    [RESPONSE: You’ve got that backwards, Hal. In the context of a debate, lies are stronger than truth because truth often requires a pause for consideration, travel through some explanation, a clarification of nuance, a provision of context. Lies can be spewed at a much higher rate than truth. Do click through to the link provided twice in the original post to see what I mean. -gtl]

  17. #17 Ernie
    January 3, 2014

    I applaud Bill for his courage, but he will be destroyed by the truth. Those who have faith in the pseudo-science of the different theories of evolution are deceiving themselves. Psalm 14:1

  18. #18 Tim
    United States
    January 3, 2014

    If I were an Evolutionist I would spend more time preparing Bill Nye for the debate rather than bellyaching about his taking on the challenge. The guy had some guts.

    [RESPONSE: I would be happy to help Bill to prepare, but the first thing I would say to him would be the same thing Genie Scott said to me before my public (radio) debate on evolution previously mentioned. -gtl]

  19. #19 Matt
    January 3, 2014

    The fear of Evolutionists is an amazing thing to behold. Why so scared? This is your chance to shine! To show the world the absolutely ridiculous claims of Creationists.

    What’s the problem? ;)

  20. #20 Amy
    Arizona
    January 3, 2014

    It doesn’t matter what side of an issue someone is on, once they start being snarky, name-calling, and belittling, it speaks volumes to their character. I’ve seen this attitude on both sides of the evolution / creation debate. Be open-minded, people. And for the sake of your own argument, whichever one it is, have some self-control, class, and respectability.

    [RESPONSE: Open minded, as in, have a religiously determined view of the world that solidifies in the middle of the 18th century and then never change that? -gtl]

  21. #21 Michael Courtney
    January 3, 2014

    There is always room for debate in science, across the whole range of human ideas and misconceptions. The Veratasium YouTube channel leads numerous videos with interviews to identify popular misconceptions, and then systematically answers the misconceptions. Identifying and answering misconceptions now very popular in science education. A debate or discussion of a certain topic does not legitimize it, it merely recognizes it as a commonly held viewpoint. One big misconception in Physics is that sustaining motion requires an applied force. Discussing this in a Physics class does not legitimize an alternate theory, but rather provides an opportunity to consider the evidence on both sides.

  22. #22 Tara
    January 3, 2014

    I just want to say that I am a Christian and I LOVE science! I encourage my children to study science to the fullest….and I also teach them to LOVE GOD! It is so tiring to hear evolutionists constantly say we are ignorant and live in a black hole. Just. not. true!

    [RESPONSE: Tara, you are correct. Some of my best friends are christians who live science and pretty much get and accept evolution. I myself was raised in a christian household that had this approach. But your religion, in the US, and the UK and a few other places, is being taken over. -gtl]

  23. #23 Michael Courtney
    January 3, 2014

    Several years ago, I recall getting into trouble (as a science teacher) with the headmaster of a Christian school for doing too good a job debating creation and pointing out some serious flaws with the ideas proffered by the other side. The school never minded such debates in the past, but my wife and I were new science teachers at the school, and as PhDs, we brought a lot of knowledge and debating ability. Students who were unaccustomed to being challenged complained to their parents who complained to the headmaster.

  24. #24 Raych
    January 3, 2014

    I have yet to see one bit of science that proves evolution. All I have seen of science proves Creation. If science can prove evolution, why is it not still happening? Micro evolution does still happen, however, macro evolution is not something we have ever seen.

    [RESPONSE: Keep searching someday the scales will fall from your eyes, one hopes. -gtl]

  25. #25 Kelly
    New York
    January 3, 2014

    “Joining the stage with a creationist gives a ridiculous idea the illusion of merit.”

    Love the high school biology students who eliminate the possibility of what ultimately comes down to a theory of intelligent design. There are some quite educated and accomplished scientific minds that either allow for it or support it more vigorously, so I am guessing your lack of education must be the cause of you excluding it.

  26. #26 Jason Brown
    January 3, 2014

    I get the impression that evolutionists are so sure of their belief that they believe there can possibly be no debate, so there’s either them (or “intellects”) or us (“anti-intellects”), which is rather arrogant, not to mention crude.
    Also, if this country’s all about free speech, then you shouldn’t get in the way of someone who does have credentials from speaking in a debate, whether or not you see one as existent.
    Lastly, this whole article seems like a bullying pushover effort to make sure evolutionists don’t become civilized enough to be proper people in an actual talk.

  27. #27 Sylvester B
    January 3, 2014

    I have read almost every book Dawkins has written. I suggest that others do the same before jumping on the creationism or intelligent design bandwagon.

  28. #28 Michael Courtney
    January 3, 2014

    Wow! The bandwagon fallacy (argumentum ad populum) is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition is true because most people believe it. It has been many decades since most Americans have believed anything close to the Biblical narrative of creation. Describing creation-oriented positions as a “bandwagon” is both a strawman and a red herring, since they are in the minority. Can we discuss the real issues please?

  29. #29 Jerry Scott
    Oconomowoc, WI
    January 3, 2014

    Nye is a hack and he will be easy to defeat. All Ken Ham needs to do is remind Nye’s that his worship of science is just more God-hate. It is these great truths: Jesus, Repentance, Eternity and the fact that secular science can not prove that God does not exist is what Supports Biblical Creation irrefutable truth.

    I see Creation whenever I look upon my grand-children faces and all Atheists just Worship air because there is nothing in it. God is made of more Substance than the air we breathe.

    Atheists should just stop breathing an deny that air exists too.

  30. #30 Sensei Kurt
    SANTA ROSA
    January 3, 2014

    GREG, WHAT ARE YOU SO FRIGHTENED OF??? IF YOU THINK FOR A SECOND THAT BILL IS NOT QUALIFIED TO DEBATE THIOS TOPIC BECAUSE HE IS NOT A REAL EXPERT ON EVOLUTIONISM, THEN WHO IS? I AM A PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATOR AND THIS NEEDS TO BE DONE ON MANY LEVELS. DONT BE FEARFUL THAT HE WILL LOOSE!

  31. #31 ROBERT PAULSON
    ROHNERT PARK, CA
    January 3, 2014

    This could be the next Scope Trail! Bring it on!
    and BTW, I been dealing on the subject for years and a healthy formal debate is what is needed, and not censorship of either concepts. The goal is to uncover true by exposing falsehoods. What better than a Great Debate for the nation to see and judge for themselves. Stop making excuses and back this great event to the furtherance of real science!
    In other-words, don’t chicken-out now! — this is a great opportunity!

  32. #32 Wendy
    January 3, 2014

    This debate is such a bad idea. Belief in god and the bible is not something that is defended by facts. What is there to debate? You either believe in the absolute truth of the bible as god’s word or you don’t. True believers should not accept this nonsensical farce of a debate. There is nothing to debate, because the knowledge of god comes from faith, not from facts.

  33. #33 Lois
    Texas
    January 3, 2014

    If evolution is true, and so obvious to the majority of thinking people (as you claim) then what’s to fear about a little old debate?

  34. #34 Fisheswithfeet
    New York City
    January 3, 2014

    I am on the fence in this case, I agree that by accepting a debate w/ the likes of Ken Ham is a mistake. At the same time, I think it is important to expose the people that believe Ken Ham’s nonsense to as much truth and as many facts as possible. And to say that Bill Nye “isn’t an expert on Evolution” is simply not true. Bill Nye is a jack-of-all-trades sort of scientist, he’ll destroy Ken Ham as far as the facts, logic, reason go. I am looking forward to this, I hope he makes Ken Ham cry!

  35. #35 GregH
    January 3, 2014

    No bandwagoning going on here, no siree. As long as y’all believe in Creation, there’s no problem, and no debate.

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    January 3, 2014

    The answer to the oft asked question of “why not debate if evolution is true” is here:

    http://tinyurl.com/Whynotdebateevolution

  37. #37 Curtis Cornell
    January 3, 2014

    Wow. Unreal. Have any of you even read anything from Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis site? Most of you aren’t even spelling his name right. It’s amazing though to see how scared most of you are. I have some advice though. Check out the Answers in Genesis site. I am a proud believer in creation, but at least I have read many articles and books on evolution, as well as watched videos promoted by secularist evolutionist scientists and organizations. I did this because I am open minded and like to know the facts all around. Many of you sound so closed minded, it’s scary. Just go with the crowd and don’t question anything. I think they did that in Germany back in the 1930s. It wasn’t a good turn out. As an educator and constant learner, this just saddens me. Though it saddens me more you don’t know the Creator. I pray you find Him and can begin living a full life with purpose as opposed to a life of evolutionary belief which brings us all here by astronomical (really mathematically impossible) chances, and does not offer any hope or purpose. May God open your hearts and minds. God bless.

  38. #38 Jeannine
    New Hampshire
    January 3, 2014

    Can we please differentiate between “Micro” and “Macro” evolution? Evolution’s definition is change over time and no one believes that there hasn’t been changes within species over time. This is Microevolution. Macroevolution is the changes between species, the cell to fish to bird to reptile to mammal to ape to human concept. There is NO credible evidence for Macroevolution and I defy anyone to show any. Just one missing link out of the billions that would have formed would be enough, but there are none. People say that creationism/ID is faith based and I agree, but so is Macroevolution. Neither have or can be duplicated in a lab and they never will, that is why they are called theories. Bill is going to be shown up as a fool because while you can not prove Macroevolution, there are a lot of things that disprove it.

  39. #39 Jay Vinson
    Plano
    January 3, 2014

    There is no evidence for macroevolution and should therefore not even be discussed in “science” class, which by definition is something that can be visualized, repeatedly, through experimentation.

    0

  40. #40 Bill
    January 3, 2014

    A surprising amount of Evolution theory is based off questionable, non-falsifiable hypotheses, and Affirming the consequent fallacies. There are major problems with it, that even an educated layman can point out. This is why opponents to Evolution must always be characterized as “anti-Science” in the mass media. And why any kind of public debate is discouraged.

    Seriously, if Evolution theory was even half as robust as it is claimed to be, there would be no hesitation at the chance to stomp over an opponent in a debate. (and by the way, during these debates…what really happens is half of the Evolutionist’s time is used to rant about “Why would God have designed it this way?!?!”… and not actually laying out a positive, evidence-based case. Youtube any C/E debate to verify that yourself)

    You can’t just make the excuse that every time you lose the upper hand in an exchange, that it’s because your opponent did something underhanded. It just might be possible that the case for Evolution is not as strong as you think it is.

  41. #41 Jguy
    January 3, 2014

    Article excerpt:
    Consequently, Eugenie Scott, from her strategic position as director of the main anti-creationist organization, is now warning her fellow evolutionists not to debate the issue at all. “Avoid Debates,” she says. “If your local campus Christian fellowship asks you to `defend evolution,’ please decline . . . you probably will get beaten.”9
    http://www.icr.org/article/832/

  42. #42 Smarter Than Your Average Bear
    Canada
    January 3, 2014

    Fully agree with you Greg =- it’s not a good idea. The only good part is that Nye is much better known to the general public than the usual debaters and as such he may be able to get through to a few kids – assuming there are any in the audience.

    I see your post brought out a wealth of ID/Creationist loons – nothing spells stupid so much as creationism “Intelligent Design”

  43. #43 art van kraft
    Los Angeles
    January 3, 2014

    Funny you should mention Seal Team Six and for God and country. If there were less rigid evangelical Muslims and Christians we would not have or need Seal Team Six or Bin Laden. As Dickens said in A Christmas Carol,” beware want, but beware ignorance more.”

  44. #44 Walt
    Michigan
    January 3, 2014

    Open debate is what reasonable people should do. Open debate is stifled by totalitarians and their governments. Perhaps rather we should applaud that two man with differing perspectives can come together to discuss the nature of our origins. As we all know one one can be right. I look forward to open debate and some shedding of truth on the matter, most unbiased people would.

  45. #45 Walt
    January 3, 2014

    Its sad to hear some Christians lied to you and tricked you because all it does is give you the idea that all Christians are hypocrites and opportunity to shame our LORD and God Jesus Christ. I do agree with you there really is “no debate” though I am sure my perspective is opposite from yours. However, men should be able to come together and reason with one another. I once had a very wise man explain to me that reasoning is two people trying to find truth together. Arguing on the other hand is two people trying to convince one another that their perspective is the correct one.

    [RESPONSE: Walt, it wasn’t “Christians” who lied and cheated. Hell, some of my best friends are Christians. It was Creationist activists who did that. Regarding men coming together and reasoning, maybe that’s possible, but I find that women are generally more reasonable. -gtl]

  46. #46 Geoff Swenson
    Seattle, WA
    January 3, 2014

    I agree that he probably shouldn’t do this, but any museum like this has to be a big fail in actually convincing anyone about Creationism, because everything is so out of touch with reality. Even kids will eventually figure out that it is really laughable stuff.

  47. #47 Johnny Rugola
    United States
    January 3, 2014

    Bill Nye should do what he believes he should do. NOT the popular opinion of everyone else in world and cyber world.

  48. #48 Smarter Than Your Average Bear
    January 3, 2014

    Geoff @46 You would think so but the victims of child abuse (children homeschooled by Christian fundamentalist parents) rarely ever acquire the necessary skills to break free of their irrational brainwashing – recall the old Jesuit saying – “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man”,. If the kids attend public schools at least presumably they get exposed to logic and rational thought so they have a chance to break free of those chains

  49. […] every point. This debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye is a mistake. It’s a fundraiser for the Creation Museum. Bill Nye is going to be making profits for […]

  50. #50 misstook
    January 3, 2014

    errand -> errant (surely)

  51. #51 Nemo
    January 3, 2014

    What’s with all the cretinist trolls up in here? Ugh. Bring out the ban hammer already.

  52. #52 gwen
    January 3, 2014

    (Excuse my ‘shouting’, but) WHAT THE HELL IS HE THINKING????

  53. #53 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    January 3, 2014

    “Hamm is a showman.”

    Debates are mostly won on showmanship, not the content.

  54. #54 Sven DiMilo
    January 3, 2014

    Ken Ham IS a scientists….Debates are usefull for fair representations to be made before an intelligible audience

    L.
    O.
    L.

  55. #55 Warren
    January 3, 2014

    I smell chicken. Your guy Nye is going to get creamed in this debate. Evolution is bogus, it’s a fairytale for the intellectually arrogant who cannot and will not believe the simple truth of the gospel.

  56. #56 Monica
    Chicago
    January 3, 2014

    I have the same reservations about such a debate because it gives creationists unwarranted attention. Plus, those following this have firmly made up their minds so it’s highly unlikely either side will change minds. However, if it’s going to happen, Bill Nye should aim to plant a seed of doubt about biblical literalism and convey the far-reaching value of critical thinking that the scientific approach provides. I’d recommend Bill Nye follow the guidance of those who do presidential and other debates.
    (1) Start with getting clear on the format. It’s at the Creation Museum, so obviously not a neutral location, but Nye better be certain the format/moderator will make sure it’s fair and reasonable. Letting them make up all the rules and he just shows up is not acceptable. If they don’t agree and Nye withdraws, who cares what Ham says about him?
    (2) Get good debate training. On evolution: make sure he has firm command of answers to all accusations (probably from Genie Scott and NCSE). AND on debating style and tactics. Ham says on his site that ‘he doesn’t like debating, so please pray for him’ and yet he apparently debated at Harvard. That’s called “lowering expectations” and all politicians heading into debates do it.
    (3) Nye should consider what experts have known since the famous Kennedy-Nixon debate… Nye needs to come off as his charming, likable, brilliant self and not in attack mode. If he smiles, is kind and respectful, and gives great examples (which he is excellent at), his can be considered a valiant effort regardless of how Ham and his spin-masters portray it.

    I understand people don’t want to contribute to a “fundraiser” for this museum. Tickets are $25 and go on sale Monday (possible Sunday at midnight?). But, if it’s going to happen, I’m liking the vision of carloads of science fans road-tripping to KY from across the Midwest filling the auditorium with science supporters.

  57. #57 StevoR
    January 4, 2014

    @ 38. Jeannine – January 3, 2014 :

    “There is NO credible evidence for Macroevolution and I defy anyone to show any. Just one missing link out of the billions that would have formed would be enough, but there are none.”

    How about :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik

    and :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambulocetus

    and :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australopithecus

    to name three.

    What do you think of them?

  58. #58 StevoR
    January 4, 2014

    On the positive side there’s the raising of attention to the issues and getting people who may not otherwise think to think.

    On the negative side, there’s the fact that Bill Nye, the science guy is debating Ken Ham – not the eponymous astronaut who I’d much rather see talking anyday (because the astronaut unlike his namesake has actually achieved something extraordinary IMHON.):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Ham

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Ham

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Nye

    Yeah these are all wiki-basics links. Shrug. Hey, its a starting point.

  59. #59 StevoR
    January 4, 2014

    @37. Curtis Cornell :

    Just go with the crowd and don’t question anything. I think they did that in Germany back in the 1930s. It wasn’t a good turn out.”

    Ignoring Godwin for a sec, to point out there *was* an excellent turn out (in numbers of people sadly horribly fooled or pressured into going along) in that instance but the results were beyond appalling disaster for those involved. The Germans there inflicted horrible suffering and suffered and lost horribly as a result of what went on as we all know. Most of us are also aware that the majority of German soldiers then were (at least nominally) “Christian” with “Gott Mitt Uns” (God with us) written on their belt buckles.

    Y’may benefit form checking this out :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP_iNCGH9kY

    (Link is to Hitler : The Atheist (Quiz Show) on youtube.)

    “I pray you find Him and can begin living a full life with purpose as opposed to a life of evolutionary belief which brings us all here by astronomical (really mathematically impossible) chances, and does not offer any hope or purpose. May God open your hearts and minds. God bless.”

    Cheers. Thinking of open minds have you actually read ‘Climbing Mount Improbable’ :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climbing_Mount_Improbable

    If so, what do you think of it and what do you, presumably, think it got wrong may I ask?

  60. #60 StevoR
    January 4, 2014

    D’oh. Italics fail -my apologies.

    Meant to end italics after the first set of brackets, my apologies and please feel free to fix and edit accordingly @Greg Laden.

  61. #61 Jamin Gray
    United States
    January 4, 2014

    It probably was a mistake, but I think you are underestimating Bill Nye… I’ve heard him speak many times about evolution and the guy knows his stuff…Honestly spending all this time arguing that debating Creationists is a mistake just makes our side look like we’re scared…screw that…we can win any debate because we have the evidence on our side, and yes, I know the Creationists don’t respect evidence…but those watching might. :)

    [RESPONSE: I just want to be clear that I have great respect for Bill Nye and I think he is an excellent spokesperson for science. But that is not the point. We can’t win any debate just because we are right, at least not this kind of debate! That’s the problem. Nobody should be engaging creationists in debates over an issue for which there is no debate, but there is a well developed strategy to turn a debate into pro-creationist sound bites every time. -gtl]

  62. #62 Marco
    Tempe, New Mexico
    January 4, 2014

    To sum up this article:
    *chickens squawking*

    You made a deal Nye, pay what you have vowed ;)

  63. #63 editor-b
    January 4, 2014

    Some questions for a chaotic and friendly debate, is there evolution if there is no time? How will evolutionary biology meet new physical paradigms about time, space and so on? Will new conceptual changes deny evolution? Or on the contrary, will it become a more extraordinary process, full of astonishing implications? If so, will human being and the rest of life beings become different as science progresses? Will the image in the mirror of theories change? After all, is life, its origin and evolution, something fix-finite-defined? That is, can one understand it with its peculiar brain and its limited words? Will science add indefinitely without understanding completely? Anyway, is it possible to understand something totally? Along these lines, there is a different book, a preview in http://goo.gl/rfVqw6 Just another suggestion

  64. #64 Sean Maher
    Australia
    January 4, 2014

    I hope you guys can sort this out soon, because the space Creationism has been getting online due to this ‘debate’ is getting alarming from an international perspective. It seems the core of America’s image problems (and America’s strength is in its soft propaganda) come from this conservative, war-happy, anti-intellectual contingent. The billions outside America don’t get why you’re going backwards. Some like to see it happen. Some, like myself, are saddened. You guys should be angered.

  65. #65 Simon W
    Germany
    January 4, 2014

    If anyone makes comments on Ken Ham’s facebook page, I suggest you copy them here (with the posting date and time), because even the most polite and well-argued comments are likely to be deleted. When your Ken Ham supporting guests see their posts staying up here and contrary posts disappearing on Mr Ham’s site, perhaps they will begin to understand who is suppressing whom.

    (I have a sequence of over a dozen screenshots of comments from an older post complaining about a letter PZ Myers wrote that he would have liked to send to a girl called Emma who was proud of saying “Were you there” to the person explaining the age of a moon rock. Any comment asking for specific examples from the letter that were unreasonable, or links to the letter itself, were soon removed, although occasionally missing comments that referred to them. This doesn’t seem to be the bahavious of an honest man.)

  66. #66 Simon W
    January 4, 2014

    “Any comment asking for specific examples from the letter that were unreasonable…”

    That is, examples to show the letter was unreasonable, not unreasonable requests. If you see what I mean.

  67. #67 Paul
    Minneapolis
    January 4, 2014

    Yes, bad idea. You can only debate someone who uses the principles of science and honest investigation, but who reaches a different conclusion than you. One has to enter into a debate with at least the possible acknolwedgement that you might be wrong.

    You can not debate someone who comes to the table with false premisies, illogical and irrational reasoning. Not only does it give credibility to that person, but you cannot win and you will not win, because there is nothing you can say, however rational and correct, that cannot be countered by illogical reasoning, and there is nothing you can say that will alter their minds.

    It is a total waste of time, and counterproductive.

  68. #68 GregH
    January 4, 2014

    What’s with all the cretinist trolls up in here?

    Well, they’re clearly here to lay out the broad propositions of Creationism for discussion. To set the tone of the debate, if you will. I’m opposed to banning them because they are keeping me entertained.

    “There’s no good evidence for evolution.” Is my favourite! A++!

    [RESPONSE: Right, I’m keeping this as an open thread for this discussion. Let the debating (and whatever) continue! -gtl]

  69. #69 Essential Saltes
    January 4, 2014

    Are we even sure the AIG story (announcing the debate) is true? The only thing I’ve seen from Bill Nye’s side are reports along the lines of:
    “An email message sent to Nye’s assistant was not returned Thursday. Nye agreed to participate in the debate early last month, said Mark Looy, vice president of outreach for Answers in Genesis, the ministry that operates the Creation Museum.”

    And vague references to a speech in September where Nye said he was willing to debate Ham.

    [RESPONSE: Excellent question, I was wondering that myself. If I hear anything I’ll update. -gtl]

  70. #70 Animal
    Aurora, CO
    January 4, 2014

    My Grandpa used to say “the more you mess with a turd, the more shit you get on you.”

    Make no mistake; that’s exactly what Bill Nye is preparing to do. Ken Hamm is a turd, and this lends him a legitimacy he does not deserve.

  71. #71 Mark
    Columbus, Ohio
    January 4, 2014

    I can’t express enough how satisfying it is to watch the Darwinian faithful meltdown in utter panic over the possibility of losing another scientific cosmological debate.

    But being schooled in science is nothing new for the Church of Darwin and its blind-faith practitioners, as this comment section objectively reveals.

    (Now commence Two Minutes Hate)

  72. #72 Greg Laden
    January 4, 2014

    Note: I’ve inserted some responses above in the various comments themselves to make it a bit easier to keep track.

  73. #73 tim
    ohio
    January 4, 2014

    lets see, 1st you have creationist, 2nd darwin fans, 3rd wheres the rest of the conflicting parties? why not put on a complete debate you know the aliens made us group, the darwinist everything changes because environment group, the crystal evolution group, the bible theroy, the intelligence design groups. i think my points made. No one knows truth all we have is facts and facts is where your able to persuade others that your opinion is more probably. scientists send so much time,energy,money tring to make facts. why dont they allow the philosophers handle that no more? scientists are people who STUDY something not put preach of ideas and debate.

  74. #74 tim
    ohio
    January 4, 2014

    sorry for horrific grammar guys

  75. #75 Simon W
    January 4, 2014

    “I can’t express enough how satisfying it is to watch the Darwinian faithful meltdown in utter panic over the possibility of losing another scientific cosmological debate.”

    No hate, just pity. Can you seriously look at another ape or monkey without seeing any kindred at all?

  76. #76 Larry Thornton
    Kingman, AZ
    January 4, 2014

    So my question is: Why do the different sides even “care” who wins or who is right?

    The way I see it is the people “for” creationism mostly believe what they believe because of their religion/faith. The creationist debates with the other side, so as to convince them and by doing so, the other side will then believe that there is a God and by believing will be saved. That is a good motive.

    The people who are “for” evolution want to convince the creationist because…. Why? I can’t figure out a good reason or motive. If the creationist doesn’t agree with the evolutionist, what is the big deal?

    I wonder then, is the reason the evolutionist fights so hard to prove creationism is not valid, because if the evolutionist does not condemn the creationist, there is a possibility that the creationist is right and that there is a Creator who will someday hold them accountable for their sin?

    I wonder.

    [RESPONSE:Larry, it could be that way but it isn’t. There has been an organized and well funded effort to push specific religious beliefs into public schools for a very long time, and to insist that other aspects of our secular society be made non-secular and embrace a subset of the diverse religions that are out there. That is what that fight is about; can our educational system be left alone by religious zealots or not?

    And, in fact, having a public debate about evolution vs. religion is not too directly relevant to that, but it is part of the larger fight. But, as such an in direct part of it, it is hard to see how it is worth doing. There are limited benefits from either side in having such a debate. Because of sound bites, etc. the creationist side stands to gain more even if they lose on facts/reality/understanding (and they will lose in that area). Which brings us back to the original point.
    -gtl]

  77. […] is Science, Creationism is not. What’s the point. Second, according to Greg Laden’s Science Blog, the event is a fund raiser for the Creation Museum. What evolutionist would knowingly pay money to […]

  78. #78 Mike Haubrich
    January 4, 2014

    “Meltown in panic.” such wow. very hyperbole.

  79. #79 Polar Bears + Darwin
    New York
    January 4, 2014

    Well, at least we’re fighting the good fight and making products that teach kids sound evolutionary science. http://kck.st/1kYxGFY

  80. #80 Luke Liberty
    January 4, 2014

    I am not sure what a creationist holds as core beliefs beyond the notion that the universe is created. If creationists insist that evolution is not real, then they are ignoring science. But on the matter of creation itself? There have been billions if not trillions of scientific experiments carried out in history. Not one has ever resulted in a net loss or gain of energy + mass. Scientists now indicate they can track the universe back to the first billionth of a second. But what happened a billionth of a second before that?

  81. #81 Steve Brunton
    Chicago
    January 4, 2014

    I am sorry that you had a bad experience during a debate in which you participated. However, to suggest that all Christians cannot be trusted because of your experience is a huge leap in logic. This is like saying all Muslims are terrorists or all Irish are drunks. Mr. Laden, I suggest you clarify your statement, or else you will be known as a bigot.

    [RESPONSE: I suggest you learn to recognize irony when you see it. Have you not ever heard someone cynically refer to a Christian acting like a total dickhead in terms that question their understanding of what being a Christian is? Look for it … people do it all the time.

    I’ve addressed this question elsewhere in the comments above. For you I’ll just repeat one part of it: If you regard yourself as a Christian, you may want to consider getting your house in order, because there is a subset of your people who are acting like fools.

    -gtl]

  82. #82 Brony
    http://www.ponychan.net/chan/dis/
    January 4, 2014

    @ Mike 78
    The Doge reference is perfect as the creationist commentary is largely territory-marking level stuff. Lots of emotional just-so statements and few if any specific reasons for why they are correct about their claims and characterizations.

    In-person debates are essentially hyperbole plays anyway when compared to internet exchanges between experts. It’s only about winning and sounding good, so the ones whose arguments are only emotions will always have a field advantage.

  83. #83 IAmAGuest
    January 4, 2014

    What’s that thing called, that tells the dna: “No, you can’t mutate like that, then you’d look to much like a cat. You’re a bunny, a bunny!”

    And what’s that thing called that tells the thing mentioned before: “Omg! Are you broken? You can’t tell the DNA you’re a bunny! You’re a frog, damn it!”

    And what’s that thing called that tells the thing that tells the thing, that it’s broken and needs to fix itself?

    And…

    I’m sure it was a creationist scientist who discovered that thing… hmm, what was his/her name again?

  84. #84 Timothy J Whalen
    United States
    January 4, 2014

    Years ago I attended a debate between Dr. Duane Gish and an evolutionist. Classic debate which followed strict rules! Dr. Gish spanked him.

  85. #85 Brony
    January 4, 2014

    Still no specifics I see. Lots of emotionally charged assertions and theatrically exaggerated pretend versions but nothing worth chewing on.

    Perhaps when you are done doing the primate equivalent of scratching on a tree stump or wizzing on a fire hydrant you will post a link to these, things you reference.

  86. #86 Ned Carter
    Alabama
    January 5, 2014

    Ken Hamm could be out debated by a rotten dog anus. He has no information, he has no facts, he has an old book, old arguments (that have been soundly defeated in the past) and fake dinosaurs in a museum about Jesus.

  87. #87 Bob C.
    http://darwinkilledgod.blogspot.com/
    January 5, 2014

    Ken Ham:
    “His favorite debate technique is a version of the Gish gallop known as the “Ham Hightail” which consists of jumping from point to point, ignoring all contrary evidence, and quoting the Bible whenever proof is required. Since the purpose is to retain the hold of those who already believe creationism is backed by science, if all else fails the hightail prescribes the “different worldviews” (i.e. atheist vs. moral) gambit.”
    http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2011/03/166-ken-ham.html

  88. #88 John Robertson
    January 5, 2014

    I have no dog in this fight however, Nye, during an interview on CNN, said climate change has to be considered after a catastrophic weather event like the devastating tornado in Oklahoma. Really?
    The five-year period ending 2013 has seen 2 hurricane landfalls. That is a record low since 1900. Two other five-year periods have seen 3 landfalls (years ending in 1984 and 1994). Prior to 1970 the fewest landfalls over a five-year period was 6. From 1940 to 1957, every 5-year period had more than 10 hurricane landfalls (1904-1920 was almost as active).

    [RESPONSE: This is a good point but you need to get a bunch of the science right first. To begin with, a tornado and a hurricane are two different things so talking about hurricane frequency when assessing the assertion that there are more tornadoes is not what you really want to do.

    There are studies that show an increase in tropical cyclone frequency or strength over shorter time scales (decades) and longer (last century or so). So there is something to the idea that global warming will increase hurricanes. The data for tornadoes is ambiguous, you can’t use the current data set to say anything one way or another at this point, but there are reasons to believe that increased storminess is a thing to be concerned about. But, the details of how that works are complex and there is more than one thing going on. Nye, in that debate, did not cite any of this research and handed the other guy a few points by leaving himself open. So you are right, that was an example of not doing well in a debating context.

    Your other comments on hurricanes are not especially relevant and you may have it wrong. First of all, tropical cyclones are rare to begin with so picking numbers from this or that decade gives you little to work with statistically. Second, they are global phenomena so ignoring the largest basin is not advised. Third, focusing on landfalling hurricanes is like assembling crime statistics but only counting instance where the perpetrator is wearing a red hat. There is no evidence to suggest or reason to believe that historically landfalling vs. not is a thing (though it could be in the future) so picking landfalling is a convenient bit of cherry picking that people who have been trying to deny the importance of climate change have come upon to make it look less serious. Also, this discussion tends to leave Sandy out of the picture as a major tropical storm making landfall, but this is misleading. Just before it made “landfall” (but see my post on landfalling: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/08/26/hurricane-landfall-what-is-it-and-dont-be-stupid-about-it/ ) it morphed into a much larger super storm and became something other than a hurricane. So this is like you are getting attacked by an orc and at the last second before the orc falls upon you it morphs into an Uruk-hai and then pounds the crap out of you, but then you don’t count it as an orc attack. Absurd.

    -gtl]

  89. […] I think Bill Nye is great, but I think he’s making a mistake – should the Science Guy debate Ken Ham on the creationist’s turf? […]

  90. #90 Billy fisc
    January 5, 2014

    Evolution is bogus. It is an unconvincing theory about how it all began. Who in their right mind can believe that in the beginning the world began by accident with inferior product that eventually, again by accident, obtained perfection. All this confirmed by Science fiction. What a delusion.

  91. #91 Greg Laden
    January 5, 2014

    Billy, when you refer to “the world” what do you mean exactly?

  92. #92 Simon W
    January 5, 2014

    Billy fisc: “Who in their right mind can believe that in the beginning the world began by accident with inferior product that eventually, again by accident, obtained perfection.”

    Are you really saying you’re perfect?

    By your argument, the first car should have been the best. Cars have evolved (not through natural selection). Any modern car would beat the pants off a Model-T, and all cars evolved from things that were not-cars (carriages, etc.).

    Why are you so sure that couldn’t have happened with life?

  93. #93 Felix
    January 5, 2014

    “Evolution is bogus.”
    No it isn’t.

    ” It is an unconvincing theory about how it all began.”
    It’s completely irrelevant to science itself if people who are unfamiliar with the modern synthesis of the Theory of Evolution find it convincing or not. Experience shows that people religiously determined to oppose evolution theory will reject even free opportunities to inform themselves about the actual things of which they’re busy building and chopping down strawmen.

    “Who in their right mind can believe that in the beginning the world began by accident”
    By “accident” do you mean according to understood natural laws within the universe, or are you speaking of the beginning of a universe itself?

    “with inferior product”
    Inferior according to whose assessment? According to evolutionary theory, things that are just adequately adapted to their environment survive and are used/reproduced. Organisms living today are superior only within this current environment. They would mostly be horrifically inferior 300 million years ago, and will be again in a few million. Every “product” as you put it either works at its time and place or it doesn’t.
    “that eventually, again by accident, obtained perfection.”
    Wrong, wrong, wrong. There you have it, you simply don’t understand the basics about evolution. There is no perfection in evolution. Every change of one thing changes the environment of all others, which in turn undergo change and thereby produce selective pressure on their biological environment. We are not perfect. We are good enough of a “product” to survive long enough to make more generations. Our descendants in a few, or a few dozen million years will have undergone so many more changes, we wouldn’t recognize them as the same species as us.

    ” All this confirmed by Science fiction. What a delusion.”
    Oh, ok. You’re talking about stories you’ve read, not about the actual science happening. But then, who is it again working on a delusion based on stories? I humbly suggest you’re much, much closer to being that person than any evolutionary scientist or even informed amateur.

    Not knowing things isn’t a shame. Not trying to change that, and instead telling off the people who have made the effort is.

    Make an effort, for your own sake.

  94. #94 Jay
    January 5, 2014

    Nye is going to lose. Why? When you debate with idiots they will first drag you down to their level and then beat you by experience.

  95. #95 smg45acp
    January 5, 2014

    If this was 1850 Laden would be the type of scientist to discourage debating against those crazy people that believe in the germ theory. Or going back a little further debating those crazy people that believe blood circulates in the body. The list is endless of ideas that were established facts that were later proven to be laughable.
    There are numerous areas within evolution that are hotly debated, even by devout evolutionists. The evolution dogma is by no means settled.
    The Creationists do a great service to science by forcing evolutionists to prove their wild ideas instead of them being welcomed with open arms.
    We would have “Piltdown bird” taught as fact if the Creationists hadn’t shown it to be a fraud. Fraud and forgery are common within the evolution industry and the devout evolutionists are all too willing to look the other way when a fraud comes along that proves their point.
    How else do you explain Haeckel’s embryo drawings still in science textbooks 100 years after they were proven to be not just wrong, but outright frauds?

  96. #96 Greg Laden
    January 5, 2014

    smg45acp: That is a VERY FUNNY comment.

    If this was 1850 you and I might well be thinking Paley is right, have little clue of what Evolution is, and have it all wrong. Then the world changed and the old ideas were thrown out. Organismic biology, cell biology, germ theory, all of that came along WITH and in large part BECAUSE OF evolutionary thinking. None of that stuff in biology makes much sense except in the light of evolution!

    Yes, there have been a few cases of fraud and when scientists have found out about it they’ve attacked it and driven the fraudsters into the swamp wherever possible.

    What is it, exactly, that compels you to make up such stories about the history of science and about how science works? Ignorance or dishonesty? Hard to tell.

  97. #97 Tony Breeden
    January 5, 2014

    A “fundraiser”? Do the math. Does anyone seriously think that $25 per ticket and 800 seats will even cover Nye’s honorarium, flight, and other travel expenses? And the spelling is “Ham.”

  98. […] safe to say that expectations for Nye couldn’t be much lower. Reactions from people like Gref Laden and PZ Myers are basically, “Bill, what were you […]

  99. #99 Brony
    January 6, 2014

    “Piltdown bird”?

    You have no idea what you are talking about. But thanks for the laugh. (Seriously, look it up and you will see what I mean).

    Creationists may emotionally “win” some little confrontations that utilize a speakers ability to sound really good with quick snappy lines. It’s pretty obvious to me that they will tend to win these because everything is modeled on the church /preacher standard which intends to say lots of simple and impressive sounding things in as few words as possible. They are all primed for it.

    But the supposed knowledge within creationism or even ID is not being used. It’s sitting there stagnant outside of political use. Science only finds evolution to be useful in explaining the world and as a species we tend to keep things around only if they are useful to us.

    Keep an eye on those statistics related to the increasing number of non-believers creationists. Those numbers are going up for a reason and these sorts of shallow emotionally satisfying chest beating sessions are not helping.

  100. #100 Guy369
    Toronto
    January 6, 2014

    There’s no argument?

    What a simple minded thing to say.
    Perhaps if people opened their mind to understand both creationist/evolution theory, we could get somewhere.

    Atheism is a religion on it’s own.
    Evolution cannot explain MANY, MANY things in nature…and yet we blindly believe it.

    Just as we blindly believed in the creation story for so long.

    One poison for another.

    We need to wake up and join the two groups together and truly move forward before we end up holding no beliefs.

  101. #101 Mark Wolstenholme
    January 6, 2014

    What the creationists don’t seem to realise is that the 18th and 19th century geologists and biologists who discovered deep time and evolution by natural selection were actually trying to find *support* for the biblical accounts of creation and Noah’s flood. The evidence they found is what convinced them (and the overwhelming majority of scientists, then and since) that the biblical accounts are not true.

    To accept the just-so stories of Ham and his ilk requires you to close your eyes and ignore so much of the wonder of the Universe. Creationism would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  102. […] Museum in Kentucky to debate the topic “Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?”. Like Greg Laden, I can’t help thinking that no good can come from this. I hope Nye understands how much […]

  103. #103 Brony
    January 6, 2014

    There are many comments above you Guy369. To whom are you speaking when you say “There’s no argument?”

    Perhaps this general statement is a passive aggressive way to make the discussion harder? Only you can indicate. My general statements above are meant to get a creationist to actually post a link to support their assertions. Your general comment however seems focused on someone. Since Mr. Laden did not indicate there was no argument, I can only assume that you are just marking territory and don’t really want to exchange ideas.

  104. […] Ken Ham, with a lot of people saying that it simply gives Ham more credit than he deserves.  Greg Laden and Jerry Coyne, among others, have weighed in on this, bemoaning Nye’s decision to do it, […]

  105. #105 Guy369
    January 7, 2014

    @Brony…Sorry, I meant to quote the article saying “there is no debate”

    There’s always a debate as our current paradigm doesn’t have 100% fact with many things.

    Quantum physics can somewhat prove we live inside a hologram…Which could mean one of many, many things.

    …There’s always a debate.

  106. #106 Brony
    January 7, 2014

    @Guy369

    Thank you, I appreciate that. Which article?

    There is a debate. But from my perspective it is only in the political arena. Within the places where science actually happens I don’t see a debate except over the details about how evolution works. When I read science papers evolutionary connections are normal parts of the subtext of what I read. Type any subject into Pubmed (one of the largest collections of medical and biological journal articles http://www.pubmed.org) and look at the first free one. You will see information that assumes evolution as fact because that is where the evidence leads and because that assumption actually lets us discover new things about the world. That does not happen with creationism or ID.

    100% fact does not exist. It’s always discussions over piles of evidence.

  107. #107 Guy369
    January 7, 2014

    @Brony

    This Bill Nye article said “there isn’t a debate, so why debate?”

    While I can totally understand how evolution works, and the in your face facts that are out there. There remains MANY, MANY questions about human ‘evolution’
    Step evolution makes absolutely no sense in the theory of evolution, and yet – that is what man has.

    We learned fire all at the same time, instantly.
    We learned writing, and speech all at the same time instantly.

    That is not evolution, that is some sort of intervention some how.

    I am neither claiming god, or aliens, or whomever…As I believe many things we think of as ‘out of this word’ are from this Earth, only misunderstood by our young minds.

    Step Evolution vs True Evolution should be the ultimate discussion.

    I do however find it somewhat amazing how all the advanced ancient societies have claimed other worldly intervention.

    Is it our ignorance or theirs?

    What I find to be an incorrect path is the one we’re currently on.
    We are looking closer and not grasping the entire picture.
    …Take the higs boson for example – Everything is pretty much math, and you can always divide.
    ….All we’re doing is dividing and dividing instead of trying to find the root multiplier.
    For example; if an atom is 99% empty space, then a solid is not a solid.
    …And yet we continue in our current paradigm with these ‘facts’ as unchallengeable.

    One of the basic faults of science is not questioning fundamentals which everything is assumed upon.

  108. #108 Marco
    January 7, 2014

    “We learned fire all at the same time, instantly”
    Citation needed!

    “We learned writing, and speech all at the same time instantly”
    Citation needed!

    I know you’ll not find any scientific papers that make this claim, because they don’t exist. Ask yourself why, if “planted”, it took humans about 20,000 years to go from cave paintings to petroglyphs. Also, if it was “planted”, why is the writing system so different between e.g. Asia, Europe and the Americas?

    Note that the definition of a solid is quite clear and unambiguous, and independent on any empty “space” not occupied by matter in atoms. The Higgs boson is a good example of questioning the fundamentals: if it were not found with the properties expected, one fundamental description of matter would be wrong.

  109. #109 EvoTARD Destroyer
    Reality
    January 7, 2014

    Evolution is not science, its a religion. Its just rebranded paganism. In evo-religion….time is a magic wand and nature itself is the magician. Bacteria stays Bacteria, Plants stay Plants, and Insects stay Insects. No wonder the MAJORITY of the USA population does NOT believe in the religion of Nature-Dunnit.

  110. #110 Johnny Tremain
    United States
    January 7, 2014

    Apparently, there indeed still is a debate. And that is good. More people need the opportunity to hear how the creation model better explains the physical evidence all around us. If you fear presenting your case for your theory, what does that say about your confidence in that worldview?

  111. #111 Politicalguineapig
    January 7, 2014

    Matt: What’s the problem?

    It makes you guys look smarter than you are. It’s much better to just let you fall behind- in a few years, you’ll have no doctors, no nurses, and bacteria that can’t be eradicated with anti-biotics. Have fun.

    Luke Liberty: One thing I’ve always wondered- why are there stars if God created the universe? Surely He hates them, just like he hates trees, women, and poor people.

  112. #112 Brony
    January 7, 2014

    @Guy369
    >This Bill Nye article said “there isn’t a debate, so why debate?”
    Implicit in the article is the division between a scientific debate and a political debate. Why else would Mr. Laden actually talk about debates in following sentances? The only way that makes sense is if he is talking about more than one type of debate.

    >There remains MANY, MANY questions about human ‘evolution’
    I will look at questions about evolution. But all the questions that I have ever seen about evolution in the sciences are about HOW it occurs. Not if it occurs.

    >Step evolution makes absolutely no sense in the theory of evolution, and yet – that is what man has.
    What do you mean by “step evolution”?
    >We learned fire all at the same time, instantly.
    Not a question about evolution. This is an assertion that needs to be demonstrated. Please have a question about a demonstrated thing.

    >We learned writing, and speech all at the same time instantly.
    Not a question about evolution. This is an assertion that needs to be demonstrated. Please have a question about a demonstrated thing.

    >That is not evolution, that is some sort of intervention some how.
    Not a question about evolution. This would be cultural evolution and mimicry among early humans after someone discovered the trick and spread it. Evolution would only work on the systems that allow for language and use of fire.

    >I am neither claiming god, or aliens, or whomever…As I believe many things we think of as ‘out of this word’ are from this Earth, only misunderstood by our young minds.
    Not a question about evolution. You claimed there are questions about evolution.

    >Step Evolution vs True Evolution should be the ultimate discussion.
    Not a question about evolution. Please define “Step Evolution” and “True Evolution”.

    >I do however find it somewhat amazing how all the advanced ancient societies have claimed other worldly intervention.
    Not a question about evolution. I have no rational reason to consider modern hypotheses about ancient aliens when I get lots of interesting knowledge of life from the modern application of evolutionary theory in the biological sciences.

    >Is it our ignorance or theirs?
    From what I can see so far, “ours”. When testable questions arrive other considerations can be made.

    >What I find to be an incorrect path is the one we’re currently on.
    Am I going to see a question about evolution? I need a reason to consider alternate paths and analyzing one of your questions about evolution would be a nice place to start.

    >We are looking closer and not grasping the entire picture.
    Not a question about evolution. I am finding the picture forming within the biological sciences that use the theory to be quite satisfying. I can’t use what you are offering me to reconsider anything.

    >…Take the higs boson for example – Everything is pretty much math, and you can always divide.
    Not a question about evolution. We don’t need to move to physics when we are not done with biology.

    >….All we’re doing is dividing and dividing instead of trying to find the root multiplier.
    Not a question about evolution. What is a “root multiplier”?

    >For example; if an atom is 99% empty space, then a solid is not a solid.
    Not a question about evolution. There is still no reason to move to physics when the subject is biology, chemistry, and biochemistry.

    >…And yet we continue in our current paradigm with these ‘facts’ as unchallengeable.
    Not a question about evolution. I will remain happy in this paradigm until I see a question that leads to something more than assertions.

    >One of the basic faults of science is not questioning fundamentals which everything is assumed upon.
    Not a question about evolution. Reassessing what we know in light of new information is an implicit part of the scientific process. If you offer something for such a reassessment I will be happy to consider it.

    For someone with a lot of questions about evolution I see few questions and many assertions of fact. This is confusing.

  113. #113 Brony
    January 7, 2014

    Above where I said,
    >Not a question about evolution. This would be cultural evolution and mimicry among early humans after someone discovered the trick and spread it. Evolution would only work on the systems that allow for language and use of fire.

    It should have said
    >Not a question about Biological evolution. This would be cultural evolution and mimicry among early humans after someone discovered the trick and spread it. Evolution would only work on the systems that allow for language and use of fire.

  114. #114 Simon W
    January 8, 2014

    Do any of the creationist commentators bother coming back with a second comment, after they’ve been replied to?

  115. #115 Guy369
    January 8, 2014

    @Brony….

    Well, thanks for your hard efforts showing in your response to my post…I will try to question more, and assume less in this post.

    1.) If Evolution was true, why would humans still have “useless” things like Appendix, wisdom teeth?

    2.) Given the theory of evolution, how does it explain Humanity growing such a dynamic and complex voice box to make the sounds we’re able to…While other species who have been around much longer than humans (according to popular belief) have not?

    3.) The Earths climate has changed since 5,000 years ago (civilized humanity start date – give or take) and yet we look pretty much the same.
    …We have not lost hair since Egyptian times, we have not gained anything new (and yes, I am aware of the small time frame given evolution on it’s very long time scale…however radical changes can take place quickly)

    4.) Let us use our belief in science, and the belief in their assumptions of dates – if an old cave drawing can go back 10,000 years (found in some places on the Earth), and mostly these drawings are of animals, how could in 10,000 years the animal look exactly the same as when we first encountered it?
    …This is a much longer time scale than the question about human changes. However a drawing of a bear/boar/elephant found 10,000 years ago indicate almost the exact same look and feel as we have today.

    I understand the cave drawings are somewhat old and drawn without very much detail, but the fact remains that the animal looks the exact same as it use to.

    5.) How can any scientist explain Junk DNA – if evolution exists, time would eliminate any ‘junk’ while only utilizing what’s necessary for growth.
    …Therefore, in any advanced being you should have absolutely no junk DNA, and all activated strands and codes working together to thrive.

    6.) This may not be a question for evolution, but I feel you guys are rather smart so I will post it here;
    How can one explain the inhumanity we experience with humanity?

    …If evolution was fact, not theory – we as a species would we made to thrive.
    Species don’t evolve, or exist just to survive and live.
    Species want to thrive in any eco system they’re presented.

    I feel as if humanity as a whole is currently not thriving given our circumstances – you would think as time goes by our efficiencies and abilities would adapt and/or evolve in order for us to thrive more and more.
    …That however, is not the case.

    I hope this post is more to your liking…I appreciate this discussion – I am not a creationist, or evolutionist.
    I do however prefer to exercise both these theories as truth until proven facts come out which satisfies my curiosity.

    I can easily type into google “Questions about evolution” and paste the questions here…However these are my personal ones, which means there are plenty more out there.

    Why can’t Evolutionists and creationists get along and move forward?
    …We have a lot of potential as a species, and yet we don’t seem to be improving ourselves mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

    You could also ask the question that if evolution exists, how could we now not have the ability to recreate the Great Pyramid of Giza?
    …One can assume given Evolution that we would improve as we move forward.

  116. #116 Guy369
    January 8, 2014

    @Simon W

    …Yes, I do – Although most of you have more knowledge on the subject of evolution, I feel like evolution is only a theory, as is the theory of creation

  117. #117 Simon W
    January 8, 2014

    @Guy369

    Thanks for coming back!

    I have these problems with the “theory of creation”, in the form of questions:

    1. Which theory of creation are we talking about (Genesis, Ancient Greek, Australian Aborigine, something else)?

    2. What evidence is there for the theory?

    3. How could you disprove the theory?

    4. What does the theory allow you to predict?

    With regards to the theory of evolution, as I understand it:

    There is a huge amount of evidence that has been collected over the last two hundred years, none of which contradicts the theory of evolution. That includes geology and natural history, up to modern day DNA sequencing (which no-one had a clue about just a few decades ago).

    It could be disproved by a single, genuine, example of a fossilized chihuahua, deep in the fossil record, and the scientist that discovered it would be famous as Darwin, or Archimedes.

    As to what it predicts, I’ll have to defer to a local biologist!

  118. #118 Marco
    January 8, 2014

    Errr…Simon W, *which* Genesis creation theory? There are two, and they are not compatible.

  119. #119 TTT
    January 8, 2014

    ***If Evolution was true, why would humans still have “useless” things like Appendix, wisdom teeth?***

    Evolution is true, and it doesn’t involve purpose or perfection. It’s just a matter of what kills you versus what doesn’t. Having an appendix and wisdom teeth is not a survival disadvantage and does not prevent you from having offspring, so it will not be selected against. Even if the appendix and wisdom teeth do cause health problems – even life-threatening health problems – it will be after you have already reached the age when you were capable of having children.

    ***Given the theory of evolution, how does it explain Humanity growing such a dynamic and complex voice box to make the sounds we’re able to…While other species who have been around much longer than humans (according to popular belief) have not?***

    Because not everything needs a voice box at all, much less a complex one, to survive. The voice box is a specific adaptation to human survival needs, as based upon us specializing as highly socialized and large-brained creatures that depend on group communication to survive. It is no more “advanced” than the hummingbird’s invisibly fast-flapping wings.

    ***The Earths climate has changed since 5,000 years ago (civilized humanity start date – give or take) and yet we look pretty much the same.…We have not lost hair since Egyptian times, we have not gained anything new (and yes, I am aware of the small time frame given evolution on it’s very long time scale…however radical changes can take place quickly)***

    You’re right: it isn’t enough time. The climate has changed slowly enough for people to adapt via changing their dwelling places and clothing styles. Nothing that would create a reproductive advantage or disadvantage, therefore nothing that would lead to an inherited change.

    And even with that, we HAVE changed physiologically from our ancestors, with people getting taller and beginning puberty earlier than past generations. This is probably due to improvements in medical care as well as the addition of certain chemicals to the food supply.

    ***if an old cave drawing can go back 10,000 years (found in some places on the Earth), and mostly these drawings are of animals, how could in 10,000 years the animal look exactly the same as when we first encountered it?…This is a much longer time scale than the question about human changes. However a drawing of a bear/boar/elephant found 10,000 years ago indicate almost the exact same look and feel as we have today. I understand the cave drawings are somewhat old and drawn without very much detail, but the fact remains that the animal looks the exact same as it use to.***

    That’s the second time you have completely contradicted your own question. As you said – these aren’t Peterson Field Guides, these are primitively traced chalk outlines, so for you to say they look “exactly the same” is plainly impossible. The changes that we do see consist of cave art depictions of species that humans subsequently exterminated, such as the woolly rhinoceros and cave lion.

    ***How can one explain the inhumanity we experience with humanity?…If evolution was fact, not theory – we as a species would we made to thrive.
    Species don’t evolve, or exist just to survive and live.
    Species want to thrive in any eco system they’re presented.***

    Every human is not a species – every human is an individual. Many of those individuals care more for themselves than for the greater good. Humans evolved from aggressive, xenophobic, violent primates – and remain so. The evolutionary explanation makes more sense than the notion that an all-powerful, all-loving, all-benevolent deity created us this way in his own image and allows atrocities to occur because he loves us so much.

    ***Why can’t we recreate the Great Pyramids of Giza?***

    We could, but who would want to? It’s a graveyard. Nobody cares.

  120. #120 Simon W
    January 8, 2014

    I’ll also have a quick go at answering your questions…

    1. Because they don’t harm us very much. If having some variation on an appendix was likely to kill people with it before they had children (or even before the children were old enough to take care of themselves), that variation would disappear from the population quite quickly.

    2. I’d be surprised if a whale’s voice boxes were any less complex than humans, firstly, and, secondly, tribes who can describe to each other where the food is are probably going to to better than ones that have to point or physically show their companions. (Thirdly, bees communicate where food is, just not vocally.)

    3. You understand the time frame part, which is the answer to why we haven’t lost hair, etc., but the reason Humans as a species have survived is probably because we’re pretty well spread out now. At least one of the places humans live has been capable of supporting human life throughout the last 5000 years.

    4. 10 thousand years isn’t much longer than 5 thousand years, when you’re talking about millions of years. Like you say, it’s a short time to have major changes occur naturally.

    5. I should defer to a biologist on this one, but if the “Junk DNA” doesn’t hurt, there’s no pressure for it to disappear.

    6. “As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.” :)

    OK, that’s not the only explanation for the inhumanity we experience with humanity.

    Shortages of resources play a part, too. Evolution would suggest the group, tribe, or whatever, that managed to gain control over scare resources would thrive, and those that are denied them wither. Being inhumane is very human, unfortunately, and Evolution doesn’t care.

    Your personal questions, with my personal answers:

    “Why can’t Evolutionists and creationists get along and move forward?”
    Well, we’re not killing each other off! However, creationists also tend not to accept other areas of science, such as global warming, the undesirability of abstinence-only sex education, or the provision of condoms in Africa, which limits our ability to reduce suffering.

    “You could also ask the question that if evolution exists, how could we now not have the ability to recreate the Great Pyramid of Giza?”
    Have you seen New York? Dubai? London? The difference is that they are all capable of keeping millions of people alive, not just being a glorified tomb. (Bill Gates could probably afford a pyramid or two for himself, and it would be built much quicker than the Egyptian ones, and with many fewer dead slaves, he’s just not that way inclined.)

  121. #121 Simon W
    January 8, 2014

    … or *the desirability* of the provision of condoms in Africa.

  122. #122 Guy369
    January 8, 2014

    This discussion is going to be a long one :-p
    @Simon W, thank you for the response.

    1.) Just because something doesn’t harm us daily, doesn’t mean it’s necessary.
    Haven’t we all had our wisdom teeth removed…Did they not hurt prior to that?
    …Also, how many people have had their appendix burst…That’s harm if I’ve ever seen it.

    2.) Yes, other animals may have complex voice boxes, but it appears humans have a more complex one – From birth we start learning a language in which we recreate daily once we grow up.
    The potential of our voice box is relatively limitless, I only say because of the little girl who was left in the woods and raised by wolves – which in turn after growing allowed her to run as fast as them and eat raw meat without consequence.
    …Her voice box after 8-9 years old was no longer able to make normal language sounds without many years of rehabilitation – however her voice box was able to mimic the wolves sounds.

    …Having said that, it would appear human voice boxes are far more advance if we could recreate an animal, while an animal cannot recreate ours.

    3.) Having our population spread out does not take into matters of body hair.
    Example – I do not see Native folks in Alaska having more body hair than the natives of South America.
    You would think that generations in a cold climate would provide some sort of adaptation in regards to survival.

    4.) The only real question I have here is;
    Is Evolution from one generation to the next? Or is it sudden?

    For example – did our thumbs just start with one birth and then spread? Or did that take 100,000 years?
    …If in fact it did take 100,000 years…My question then would be;
    If by chance 50,000 years into this cycle some sort of event happened to change the worlds climate, rendering our future thumbs useless – what would happen to the thumbs? Would they go away? or would there just remain nubs of what would have been thumbs?

    5.) I find the answer incorrect in my personal opinion as absolutely 0% of DNA should ever be considered junk, when a 0.01% change in DNA can create a huge variant in any species.

    Therefore, if 30-80% (whichever percentage ‘junk’ it may be) was junk, it’s just our own ignorance claiming it as useless…Everything needs to have a point in life.
    Flowers can’t exist without bees…And bees without flowers

    6.) I’m not a huge fan of your answer here, but I respect your opinion.

    The inhumanity in humanity can’t be blamed on mans ego – as the ego can either die or blossom throughout life.
    What is happening is a blossoming of ego, causing a hell of a lot of chaos throughout the world.

    How can any man see children dying around the world and feel comfortable eating a 3+ course meal after that?
    …Even animals don’t neglect their own species like that.
    But I will agree that it does happen in nature, not to the extent that it happens to man.

    /end question period…Here comes the fun part!

    Yes, we are not killing each other – but does that make it all okay?
    …We’re at a crossroads in a way, and we are not moving forward.
    A species should be thriving, and yet we’re held back based upon beliefs that may or may not ever be discovered.

    Evolutionist?
    Creationist?
    Scientology?
    Christian?
    …Whatever you may be – and whatever your neighbor may be; We’re unable to truly move forward because of these minor differences.

    If, for example we all believed in Creationism; we can agree on a set of fundamentals to move forward and build on.
    If this were to happen, and 90%+ of the world can agree on one viewpoint of life, I believe our potential for inventions, ideas, and innovations to be far greater than when we’re at war against ideas.
    THEY’RE ONLY IDEAS!

    As far as your opinion on us being able to build the pyramids, I disagree.
    Having spent some time studying the pyramids, I do believe that we could potentially unlock the secrets of them…however our current paradigm will not allow out of the box thinking on it.
    We look too logically at these things.
    I do not think Bill Gates can create a pyramid as perfect as the great one in Giza.
    I also do not believe a million slaves can build a pyramid.
    …If you have a 2 ton rock which is 8’x8′, there is not enough room around and under the rock to fit the amount of men it would take to carry it.

    …It’s simple logic at that point, however we all fully agree with such pathetic stories about our past without critically thinking.

    Why is it that pretty much every ancient civilization has origin stories which are other worldly.
    Dogons = Man-Fish came out of the water to provide them with information which was not understood by us until the mid 1900’s
    Mayan = White God coming from the water to teach them about time and math
    Egyptian, Natives, Amazonian, Lumerians, etc.

    Seems very bizarre when you compare the current view of creation/evolution vs. the old.

    …Evolution shouldn’t make us less in tune with ourselves and our wonderful planet.

  123. #123 TTT
    January 8, 2014

    ***Haven’t we all had our wisdom teeth removed…Did they not hurt prior to that?***

    Wisdom teeth don’t even grow in, much less pose a risk of hurting, until after you have reached physical adulthood and could already have had children. They have zero impact on reproductive fitness. The same thing goes for the appendix, which typically fails either after puberty (so not interfering with reproductive potential) or due to traumatic physical injury or disease (which could just as easily damage any other internal organ).

    ***human voice boxes are far more advance if we could recreate an animal, while an animal cannot recreate ours***

    And moray eel jaws are far more advanced than human jaws, with their ability to grab food items with their inner throat lining and pull it into the stomach. You cannot take one species’ highly advanced adaptation and then presume every other species ought to have it as well – it completely disregards the conditions in which they need to survive.

    ***I do not see Native folks in Alaska having more body hair than the natives of South America. You would think that generations in a cold climate would provide some sort of adaptation in regards to survival.***

    They have: cultural adaptations, styles of clothing and homes that help people stay warm. Other animals with very wide ranges, that cannot make clothing and homes for themselves, such as tigers and leopards, are indeed much hairier when their range stretches into the Arctic.

    ***did our thumbs just start with one birth and then spread? Or did that take 100,000 years?***

    It started about 400 million years ago, when one particular type of amphibious creature, that happened to have five digits, was able to colonize land habitats better than others around at the time. That led to a long and complex adaptation of other creatures from that common ancestor – all of which likewise started out with its five digits. Hundreds of millions of years later, some of those descendents would turn out to be monkeys, which would use a digit as an opposable thumb for grasping. If a four-toed creature had been better at colonizing land, we today would have four fingers (or three fingers and a thumb).

    ***if some sort of event happened to change the worlds climate, rendering our future thumbs useless – what would happen to the thumbs? Would they go away? or would there just remain nubs of what would have been thumbs?***

    They would not change at all, ever, unless having them meant you were less likely to have children than people with a different type of hand. If it were a reproductive advantage to have a small thumb or no thumb at all, eventually it would dwindle.

    ***A species should be thriving***

    Your desires are not biology.

    ***If, for example we all believed in Creationism; we can agree on a set of fundamentals to move forward and build on.
    If this were to happen, and 90%+ of the world can agree on one viewpoint of life***

    Christian creationism, Muslim creationism, Shinto creationism, Australian Aborigine creationism? All of the above groups have waged bloody wars against the other and upon themselves due to differences in belief. Have you ever heard of the Great Schism? The Protestant Reformation? How about the difference between Sunni and Shia?

    ***Having spent some time studying the pyramids, I do believe that we could potentially unlock the secrets of them***

    There aren’t any. It’s a dead guy in a pile of bricks, only still around to visually impress us because when you invade and sack and loot another country you don’t bother burning down the graveyard.

    ***Why is it that pretty much every ancient civilization has origin stories which are other worldly***

    Because evolution can only be understood through a foundation of extremely difficult and technical scientific details that most early cultures didn’t have. We are talking about people who thought eclipses were caused by a snake swallowing the moon. The human imagination is a wonderful thing but its mere existence proves nothing.

    ***Evolution shouldn’t make us less in tune with ourselves and our wonderful planet***

    A thing’s results are of no importance to its existence. How many facts do you dismiss because they make your world worse? 9/11 shouldn’t have happened – so, did it?

  124. #124 Guy369
    January 8, 2014

    @TTT ;

    I would love to write more, and I may tomorrow.

    however your hypothesis on pyramids is 100% incorrect.

    There has never been a dead body of any pharaoh found inside a pyramid.
    The elaborate story of using them as tombs is 100% fiction and is still believed today by many scholars.
    …Leading to the question, what good is a scholar if they don’t know the facts?

    Citation;
    http://egyptian-mysteries.com/?q=node/18
    http://www.beforethedelusion.com/1/post/2013/03/egyptologists-admit-pyramids-were-not-tombs.html

    So….Please explain to me how these dead guys in a pile of bricks were able to build something erosion proof, time proof, earthquake proof, etc.

  125. #125 ron
    January 8, 2014

    When you’re throwing the pre-debate party, watch this 40 min video: http://tinyurl.com/nvrg3wg

    A few simple questions…even fewer answers from the pro-“blind, pitiless indifference” crowd. (as Dawkins put it)
    2.4.14 @ 7PM
    Can’t wait.

  126. #126 Greg Laden
    January 8, 2014

    Pyramids were generally built as tombs.

  127. #127 Guy369
    January 8, 2014

    @Greg Laden…I suggest you research that topic a little more than believe just what they tell you to believe,

  128. #128 Lurch666
    UK
    January 8, 2014

    http://www.venganza.org/about/

    If any creationist thinks that the evolutionists not wanting to give creationism any debate is because evolutionists think they would lose instead of evolutionists just not wanting to give credence to a belief that has no facts backing it:

    would the creationist Christians have a debate with the believers of the flying spaghetti monster (link above) over who’s religion is right or would that be giving credit to a spurious non rationalized argument ????

  129. #129 Simon W
    January 8, 2014

    @Guy369

    1. Anything bad that happens to us after our children are able to survive by themselves won’t affect our descendants, so won’t have any effect, evolutionarily speaking.

    2. I can’t make ultrasonic sounds for echo location like a bat, surely that makes my voice limited. Also, many birds can mimic speech and other man-made sounds. We’re not all that special, apart from having the ability to think we are.

    3. Natives of Alaska borrow the hair from the original natives of Alaska, bears and seals, so no need to evolve their own. Eye shape may have something to do with it, shielding from sunlight reflected off snow and ice, perhaps.

    4. I think the thing about human thumbs is that they are opposable, which is a twisting motion that not all primates have. I expect (with no evidence or research) that it was a gradual process, with people who could better hold tools attracting more and/or compatible mates. If something came along to make tool use pointless half-way through the process, I expect they would have just stopped getting any more flexible, they wouldn’t go away again (like the appendix). I think most mammals have vestiges of five “fingers”, including whales, and horses (whose hooves are the middle finger, iirc).

    5. I can’t really answer your question regarding junk DNA, I’m a software engineer, not a biologist. Maybe this would be worth a look:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/19/junk-dna-is-still-junk/

    By analogy, though, I’m writing this message using Firefox, it’s many megabytes of code, but I’m sure not all of it is used all the time. If I were to change at random a dozen bytes of code in the program, it could turn the windows pink, or stop the program from working at all. But, it’s much more likely that I’d not see any effect at all. I expect DNA is similar, most small changes won’t break it, some will have a visible effect and others will make it completely non-viable and the organism won’t survive.

    6. Haven’t you eaten a meal after seeing a TV program about people staring in Africa? I know I have (actually, I tend to skip over them). It’s just too much to deal with.

    Anyway…

    I strongly disagree with you about the idea that if we all thought the same, we would progress, for two reasons.

    Firstly, even if everyone agreed about an idea, people would disagree about the implications. “Killing people is wrong”, would seem to be a reasonable starting point, but then come the exceptions: war, self-defense, euthanasia. In no time, we’d end up back where we are now.

    Secondly, in order for ideas to evolve, we need to discard the ones that are just wrong, and explore the space of ideas around the ones we find are right (or at least not too wrong).

    It’s not that long ago that everyone accepted the idea of having slaves, or thought the Earth was at the centre of the Universe.

    As for the pyramids, everyone knows they were build by the Goa’uld. ( I saw a documentary.) :)

  130. #130 Greg Laden
    January 9, 2014
  131. #131 Brony
    January 9, 2014

    @Guy369
    Busy day yesterday so sorry for the delay.

    >1.)
    Vestigial organs are not necessarily useless, they may also simply no longer serve their original function. The appendix may in fact serve as a reservoir of bacteria for repopulating our gut, so is no longer thought to simply be without use, knowledge improves over time. The wisdom teeth are pretty useless and that uselessness is due to how our jaws have changed shape over recent history. Those teeth are now in bad positions and can even threaten us on occasion.
    The reasons ultimately are because our bodies are kludges (accumulations of “best solutions”) and things that we needed in the past are no longer important. For example the wreckage of our Vitamin c gene which we still have but no longer functions. I can see similar mutagenic damage perhaps making wisdom teeth disappear in the future.
    >2.)
    Assuming that your fact about our voice boxes is actually a fact (howler monkeys are pretty good vocalizers and separated from us by about 25 million years), a good explanation is that complex vocalizations were advantageous to our ancestors. Better nerve connections providing more precision in movements and stretching of parts for example. Simply put making better noises is not advantageous to every critter and each critters niche will determine what is or is not advantageous.

    >3.)
    This is not a question. There is quite a bit of variation among humans when it comes to how much hair we have, where it is, how thick it is, what color it is, etc. What is important is that evolution acts on a collection of organisms with variation in their features. We match that description. Also some would consider art to be civilized and I consider the engraved ochre from Blombos cave in Africa (about 100,000 years old) to be art.

    >4.)
    First those dates are no assumptions. They are based on methods and techniques and we can cover those if you want. We can use my 100,000 year old ochre example.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047248409000207
    Be very careful about your accusations of assumptions.
    Second you will have to post pictures of the animal paintings that you are referring to for us to do comparisons with animals living in the area, and even if we did do the comparison I would not be surprised to see that in only 5,000 years the animals have not changed much. Something like 1,000,000 years on the other hand…

    >5.)
    Why do you say that evolution would eliminate junk DNA? I have no reason to assume that the biological processes that our bodies use would make massive deletions mutations in a population of organisms likely. You need to tell me where you got this idea from because this is your assertion hidden in a question.
    Junk DNA is a reality. We can delete large amounts of DNA without causing problems,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15496924
    …and like I said above there is no reason to assume that nature favors removal of the DNA not being used for anything in particular. I would rather let biology just tell me why the unneeded DNA hangs around when we figure it out but it’s no threat to evolutionary theory with or without the junk, we still have lots of evidence for biological change over time.

    >6.)
    Lots of species thrive on cruelty. A new male lion heading a pride for the first time will kill the offspring of his former rival. I do not let my feeling determine what reality is. I let reality tell me what it is no matter how awful, cruel, and disgusting and I accept it and find a way to work around it to reduce suffering. For example professional sports is pretty clearly a great outlet for our instinct for organized intertribal conflict. Similar channels for our instincts would be good places to use facts of our real nature and find solutions.
    To do anything else but face reality head-on unflinchingly is moral and ethical cowardice.

    >Species don’t evolve, or exist just to survive and live.
    Sure they do. The key is that “survive” and “live” are boxes with many contents.

    >Species want to thrive in any eco system they’re presented.
    Yes

    >I feel as if humanity as a whole is currently not thriving given our circumstances – you would think as time goes by our efficiencies and abilities would adapt and/or evolve in order for us to thrive more and more.
    Who says we are not?
    ” Recent acceleration of human adaptive evolution”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/52/20753.abstract

    >I hope this post is more to your liking…I appreciate this discussion – I am not a creationist, or evolutionist.
    Perhaps you are not a creationist, but your filters for analyzing reality are very flawed.

    >I do however prefer to exercise both these theories as truth until proven facts come out which satisfies my curiosity.
    Then you will make bad decisions when you take actions on what you believe. That is a threat to every person that cares about our research infrastructure. They will act accordingly when they see your statements based on this flawed approach.

    >I can easily type into google “Questions about evolution” and paste the questions here…However these are my personal ones, which means there are plenty more out there.
    Just because you can type something into Google and find something that matches what you want to find does not mean it is accurate. It means you can find people saying stuff. Nothing more. I’m sure I can find people saying many inaccurate things about what you care about in google and you would not find that impressive.

    >Why can’t Evolutionists and creationists get along and move forward?
    Because creationists are wrong about reality. The actions they take based on that flawed knowledge will result in flaws to my society that will affect me. This is intolerable so I speak up and do my best to show why they are wrong, and make them look really bad when necessary.

    >…We have a lot of potential as a species, and yet we don’t seem to be improving ourselves mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
    This makes me agree with you and that cannot be helped objectively speaking. Your questions are full of factual inaccuracies. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you are a bad person and I don’t think that you actually believe that you are deliberately spreading false information and asking questions based on really bad information, but it is what it is.
    >You could also ask the question that if evolution exists, how could we now not have the ability to recreate the Great Pyramid of Giza?
    >…One can assume given Evolution that we would improve as we move forward.
    How do the Pyramids of Giza relate to biological fitness and reproductive success as a species? This is not obvious.

  132. #132 Brony
    January 9, 2014

    I would like to point out that what we are now doing is in fact why the debates MIGHT be a bad idea. This is the sort of discussion that matters. Digging into supporting facts and information and arguments. You simply do not get this in a debate.

    Debates are about somewhat more advanced chest beating. You don’t get into the details, you trade emotionally overwrought summaries. You paint the other side with hyperbole that captures the essence of what they are in a larger context so that a “ring of truth” remains in the minds of the audience. You go in prepared to verbally grapple on an emotional level and face rapid fire fallacies, redirections, misdirections, and more in a game that bears more resemblance to the sport of grappling than discussion.

    IF Mr. Nye understands this and can give his opponents efforts the proper simple emotional characterizations, with clues to what his opponent is really offering in a fast and meaningful way, maybe. But this will be no discussion or real challenge of scientific ideas, it will be much more base primitive and dirty than that.

  133. #133 daedalus2u
    http://daedalus2u.blogspot.com/
    January 9, 2014

    I think Bill Nye should start out asking what kind of a debate is it going to be, a scientific debate or a theological debate.

    Scientific debates are best done in the scientific literature, where there is no time pressure, experiments can be redone, references can be checked, new hypotheses can be tested. In a scientific debate, the participants keep working at it (honestly and in good faith), until they reach consensus on what are the “facts”, and how those facts fit together.

    A theological debate is not something that Bill Nye knows how to do, and is not something he should want to participate in, and he does not represent any other theological position than his own personal one.

    If Ken Ham “wins” a theological debate with Bill Nye, that is a complete loss as far as a scientific debate on the merits of creation vs evolution.

  134. #134 Holy Lord
    January 9, 2014

    Y’all need Jesus!

  135. #135 Brony
    January 9, 2014

    I have Jesus. I keep him in my pocket and feed him breadcrumbs.

  136. #136 GregH
    January 9, 2014

    Let’s Play : : : : : Creationist Bingo!

    ———————

    “It is an unconvincing theory about how it all began.” —> “BZZZZZZZT!!”

    “There’s no evidence for evolution!!” —> “S”

    “Ken Ham IS a scientist!” —> “C”

    “Evolution is not science, its a religion.” —> “BZZZZZT”

    “The purpose of the debate is to help the audience determine truth.!!” —> “I”

    Have you guessed it yet?

    “Be open-minded, people!” —> “E”

    “Time is a magic wand and nature itself is the magician.” —> “BZZZZZZZZZZZT”

    ” I am a Christian and I LOVE science!” —> “N”

    “I recall… pointing out some serious flaws with the ideas proffered by [evolution]. ” —> “C”

    Yes, and?

    “There has never been a dead body of any pharaoh found inside a pyramid.” —> “BBBBZZZZTTTTTTT”

    Just kidding!!! That wasn’t a real one. OK – getcher stampers ReADY!

    “Fraud and forgery are common within the evolution industry.” —> “,”

    “Secular science can not prove that God does not exist is what Supports Biblical Creation irrefutable truth.” —> “B”

    “I am open minded and like to know the facts all around.” —> “I”

    “There is NO credible evidence for Macroevolution and I defy anyone to show any!!” —> “T”

    “One of the basic faults of science is not questioning fundamentals which everything is assumed upon.” —> “BZZZZZZZZZT”

    “There are major problems with it, that even an educated layman can point out.” —> “C”

    Open debate is stifled by totalitarians and their governments.” —> Sorry! How’d that get in there?

    “Evolution is bogus, it’s a fairytale for the intellectually arrogant” —> “H”

    “Being schooled in science is nothing new for the Church of Darwin and its blind-faith practitioners.” —> “E”

    “Y’all need Jesus!” —> “BBZZZZZZZZZZT”

    “Classic debate which followed strict rules! Dr. Gish spanked him*.” —> “S”

    “Atheism is a religion on it’s own.” —> “!”

    ANNNNNnnnnnnnd……

    We have a WinnAH!!

    (* this one requires extra comment, because I was there. “Spanked” = Gish talked so much that nobody else could get a word in. I don’t think he took a breath for the whole event. He plays by his own rule, I guess.)

  137. #137 Greg Laden
    January 9, 2014

    I didn’t know BINGO had buzzers!

  138. #138 GregH
    January 10, 2014

    Neither did I! But time is short and my version needed sound effects. A, this is a known problem with the internet, and B, one of the reasons Bingo lacks drama is the paucity of sound cues. ;-)

  139. #139 Simon W
    January 10, 2014

    @Guy369 if you’re still here, are you one of Ken Ham’s followers? I suspect not; they don’t have the gumption to ask reasonable questions.

  140. #140 Guy369
    January 10, 2014

    @Brony

    Hey Brony, I appreciate your answers and can totally relate to them.

    Again, I like to keep a very open mind when it comes to theories…I’m not one to jump on any bandwagon too quickly.

    Although I do believe that creation and evolution can both be at work in our current paradigm, the beauty is that we don’t know.

    Imagine knowing everything? ..What would be the point of living?

    I think quantum physics (once ‘evolved’) may be able to answer a lot of metaphysical questions…Which will be a beautiful thing – although it may be ugly for some who have their faith wrapped up so tightly.

    @Simon W – to be honest, I didn’t know who Ken Ham is…After some research, I’m happy to say I am not a follower of him.

    Although the Bible – more specifically the book of Genesis can be taken MANY, MANY different ways – I prefer to think of it in a very different way than most.

    I’ve always tried to make my own answers before seeing what others think of them as to not become so indoctrinated with a certain viewpoint.
    An open mind is a beautiful mind.

    I forget who’s quote it is – I think Einstein (paraphrasing here);
    A sign of a genius is someone who can entertain an idea without believing it.

    I have tried to strive towards this for most of my life.

    A lot of our current beliefs in science will one day be null and void and replaced with a whole new set of laws/beliefs/equations…It has to, as time has shown.
    …Same with religion – Religions have evolved as time passes from Gnosticism to Christianity to Islam.

    …If we’re so sure about an answer and believe it’s 100% fact, then things would never change (unless they’re purposely trying to confuse us – religion that is).
    The beautiful thing is that we continue to learn more and apply it to our own lives giving it a completely different viewpoint.

    I have a question I would like to ask you all;

    If a person has Prosopagnosia (disorder of face perception), would their reality not be very different than yours?
    …I would think it would be very different.

    And yet, we’re all living within the same space/time.

    If realities can be altered by our perception of it, than what truth is contained within the reality?
    Take this for example;
    http://www.livescience.com/109-natasha-demkina-girl-normal-eyes.html

    This woman will never see what you see, never interpret life or colors the way you see them.
    And yet, we’re all sharing the world together.

    Does that make what the person with Prosopagnosia sees incorrect?
    …I would think not – it’s just a perception of the same thing.

    …The whole point I am trying to make is our entire faith (whether it be creationism/evolution) is tied into our senses and synapses and how we perceive the world.

    You and I will look at the same thing and have very different thoughts.

    …And this is why I like to entertain multiple sides of any theory – because at the end of the day, they may all in fact be 100% correct…As the avatar on Earth, I find people see what they believe, and vice-versa.
    Truth is truth and it’s subjective.

    …I am fully aware that 2+2=4, but that’s an understanding created by man – the mathematics of the universe are very different.

    Given what I stated above, can we ever really call someone else’s viewpoint/faith/belief incorrect?

    I truly enjoy discussing things of this nature, and respect you all for voicing your opinions and beliefs.
    …And for not trying to shove them down my throat :-p

    Perhaps this is the point of life…I guess we’ll all find out when we die.

  141. […] I think Bill Nye is great, but I think he’s making a mistake. Bill Nye’s decision to debate Ken Ham is probably not a good idea. […]

  142. #142 Simon W
    January 12, 2014

    @Guy369: “I’m happy to say I am not a follower of [Ken Ham]”
    Anyone with an ounce of integrity would probably say the same.

    As to science generally, I’ say Newton’s comment of “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” is appropriate. He made that comment back in 1676, when the whole of science was still within reach of a single person. These days, over three centuries later, no single person can expect to understand everything.

    “A lot of our current beliefs in science will one day be null and void and replaced with a whole new set of laws/beliefs/equations…It has to, as time has shown.”

    I disagree with you there. Most of the past beliefs that have been discarded over history have been discarded because they were wrong (Earth at the centre of the universe, etc.). Genuine scientific discoveries get corrected, not replaced. Newtonian physics is still useful after three hundred years, rocks still drop towards the ground at the rate he calculated, and that’s not something that’s going to be changing.

    Evolution, the basic idea, has been shown to work well over the last century and a half, with huge amounts of research applied that just make it more and more likely to be true.

    “…Same with religion – Religions have evolved as time passes from Gnosticism to Christianity to Islam.”

    And I expect they have all claimed to be the correct, ultimate and unchanging truth. Also, each one believes all the others to be wrong. These are the kinds of ideas that have been shown by time to be wrong and should be discarded.

    (I think I’m right in saying you said that religion is purposely trying to confuse us, I think you’re right about that.)

    The only thing I’m putting forward as near 100% certainty is that the scientific method is the best approach to finding the truth we’ve come across so far.

    Regarding prosopagnosia, I’d never heard of it and, now I have, I wonder if I suffer from it (it has been said that meeting me is like the first time, every time). Nothing I can do about it anyway. It doesn’t change reality in any way, though, because people still have faces, whether I find it easy to recognise them or not.

    You realise that the link about Natasha Demkina proves that she didn’t have the powers she was claiming, don’t you? “she only matched four of the conditions correctly — a score that everyone prior to the test had agreed upon would not justify further testing”.

    “Given what I stated above, can we ever really call someone else’s viewpoint/faith/belief incorrect?”

    Yes, sometimes very easily.

    If someone believes they have a green elephant sitting on their shoulder, showing them some elephants and giving them a mirror should do it.

    If I believed Mozart wrote Yellow Submarine in Egypt ten million years ago…

    Proving things wrong is more or less the point of science. Keep knocking off the ugly bits of wrongness and eventually you’ll end up with a beautiful sculpture of truth!

    Or something.

  143. #143 Brony
    http://www.ponychan.net/chan/dis/
    January 12, 2014

    @Guy369
    So now I have a problem Guy369 and I’m still figuring out how to proceed. Your next response will let me know. But I’m giving it one last try this way.

    My problem is that you don’t seem to be discussing these things honestly. Up above you make it look like you try to look like you are even handed and fair between creationism and evolution. But every time I try to take the conversation in the direction of some question you have about evolution, you don’t go down the path with me. Why is that? What is the point of having questions and then refusing look at the attempts to answer them?

    You brought all these things that you first said were going to be questions about evolution, but were unsupported assertions of fact about the world and not questions at all even when they had something to do with biological evolution. Next when I finally got you to give me the questions and took the time to actually try to start the process of answering them, you totally ignored the answers. Did the attempt to answer the questions even matter to you? Look back at our conversation, you totally ignore the vast majority of the responses I gave you. That does not look like the behavior of an honest conversation partner. Can you tell me what is going on?

    This is the point where I have to assess whether the person I am communicating with is going to be a partner, or something else. If you truly were an even handed person and I took the time to walk you down the trail about dating methods, rates of human evolution and more, every time I actually started the process of helping you access the information you should be showing interest, following along and doing things that indicated that you were an honest seeker of information like ask follow up questions (which does not preclude you doing the same thing with creationism supporters so you can eventually choose a side). You are not doing any of that. Instead I get things like this,

    >Hey Brony, I appreciate your answers and can totally relate to them.
    You don’t say why and when you completely ignore the specific information I give you so I have no way to know if this is true.

    >Again, I like to keep a very open mind when it comes to theories…I’m not one to jump on any bandwagon too quickly.
    That would be fine, except that you show no sign of engaging with the material at all. This is not about band wagons, this is about being able to engage with a side of an argument when you claim to be in the middle between the positions. After all how do you expect to move from the middle, a thing which the country must do? This issue is important enough to make you post repeatedly in the comment section of a prominent science blogger so surely you are willing to put in the effort.
    I’m not asking you accept what I say because I say it or because I toss some papers at you. I am asking you to display a minimal attempt to engage with the material and the responses to your questions. Even picking one single issue and asking that we start from there would be fine. After all I need to be able to explain the material to you at a satisfactory level. I don’t want to overload someone unfairly. Vestigial organs, modern human evolution, dating methods, just pick one.
    >Although I do believe that creation and evolution can both be at work in our current paradigm, the beauty is that we don’t know.
    No they can’t both work and yes we can know when we take the time to look at the evidence for the claims and the questions that one side has for the other. So far you are resisting efforts to look at the information that is needed to choose between two incompatible explanations for how life on earth got to be the way that it is today. I need you to explain why you are resisting it because every time I push us towards an explanation about something evolution related, you move away.

    >Imagine knowing everything? ..What would be the point of living?
    Now that makes you look a bit desperate. Taken literally you seem to be suggesting that if we knew the information that is needed to determine if creationism or evolution were true then there would be no point to living. I’m starting to think that this is your problem. You can’t let yourself actually consider the information because you fear that you would lose something that you needed to keep going. You will have to let me know if this is true. I don’t have this problem and neither do many other people. But even if you do feel this way, while I would feel sorry for you I would not let that stop me from attempting to show how wrong your ideas were. You are a being a threat to science education, and use of scientific knowledge in the improvement of our species even if you do not intend that.

    >I think quantum physics (once ‘evolved’) may be able to answer a lot of metaphysical questions…Which will be a beautiful thing – although it may be ugly for some who have their faith wrapped up so tightly.
    This has nothing to do with biological evolution. You are changing the subject.

    Please let me know why you are being difficult with my attempts to satisfy your questions and challenges about evolution. There is no way for me to tell the difference between a dishonest person and whatever you may really be doing without your answers. A real truth seeker would be behaving differently.

    >I have a question I would like to ask you all;
    Sure but this will be us once again actually responding to something you bring up while you move away from the things we say. At some point why should we continue with you, politely if possible but firmly and bluntly because of the needs of our society? This article will change nothing about the things that I mention above.
    >If a person has Prosopagnosia (disorder of face perception), would their reality not be very different than yours?
    You are not presenting this article honestly. This is not about Prosopagnosia, a condition with a very real medical record,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Prosopagnosia
    This is about a girl who claims to be able to see medical problems down to the cellular level. Something that can be scientifically tested. And has been scientifically tested.
    http://www.csicop.org/si/show/natasha_demkina_the_girl_with_normal_eyes/
    That article outlines not only her failure to demonstrate the effectiveness of her abilities, but examples of situations where other people actually pursued medical tests after her “diagnoses”, and found nothing.

  144. #144 Brony
    January 13, 2014

    I should probably expand a bit on this.
    “This has nothing to do with biological evolution. You are changing the subject. ”

    I’m sure that at some level quantum mechanics dos intersect with biology. In fact there are works out there describing the places where we are discovering these connections.

    But quantum mechanics does nothing to detract from what we know about biological evolution right now independent of this work. The DNA evidence alone is enough to strongly support biological evolution and there is simply no need to appeal to quantum mechanics when many of the questions can be directly answered by why we know in a biological and biochemical context.

  145. #145 Mitchell
    January 25, 2014

    I am actually looking forward to the debate and any future debates they decided to have on this subject because from a scientific point of view, there is points that people believe support both view points. Creationism is described in the bible and there are more than enough pieces of evidence that have been found to say that the bible is a historical depiction. On the other hand, Evolution is based on a “theory” that all creation came from single celled organisms but in every book you read, they always start with, “We think this” or “If this happened”, people who support Evolution think that they have evidence to link all the stages of evolution together for the most part. But if you put all kinds of Lego blocks in a big storage container, then have someone sift through the blocks, with that many pieces of the puzzle, they’re bound to find a relationship. Same with evolution as for now, until they find more evidence. It’ll be an interesting debate regardless.

  146. #146 Richard Simons
    January 25, 2014

    Creationism is described in the bible and there are more than enough pieces of evidence that have been found to say that the bible is a historical depiction.

    There are also many pieces of evidence to say that biblical ‘science’ was not even as correct as that of other nearby peoples.

    Evolution is based on a “theory”

    In science, ‘theory’ does not mean what you think it means.

    But if you put all kinds of Lego blocks in a big storage container, then have someone sift through the blocks, with that many pieces of the puzzle, they’re bound to find a relationship.

    Do you really think that evolutionary biologists are so stupid that this has not occurred to them?

    Same with evolution as for now, until they find more evidence.

    I find it hard to believe that you have any conception of how much evidence there is. More than a thousand scientific papers are published every month that could, potentially, each refute the theory of evolution, yet none ever has. How much more evidence do you require?

  147. #147 Marco
    January 26, 2014

    Mitchell, what historical pieces of evidence would that be? You are aware that the creationist accounts in the bible are already in contradiction? Just see Genesis’ two accounts of the creation, which are contradictory.

  148. […] might be asking, why Bill Nye? Science bloggers have been questioning this choice as well. He’s a popular, savvy science educator, but his B.S. […]

  149. […]  “I think Bill Nye is great, but I think he’s making a mistake,” Dr. Laden writes in his blog. ”First, Bill Nye is not really an expert on evolution and is actually not that experienced in debates. Being really really pro science and science education isn’t enough.” […]

  150. […]  “I think Bill Nye is great, but I think he’s making a mistake,” Dr. Laden writes in his blog. ”First, Bill Nye is not really an expert on evolution and is actually not that experienced in debates. Being really really pro science and science education isn’t enough.” […]

  151. #151 Anne B.
    February 3, 2014

    Creationism is NOT science. Also, no one can prove the existence of God…the Bible is NOT a book of science.

  152. #152 Sylvester B
    Houston,TX
    February 3, 2014

    Let the debate begin! Creationists have NO scientific evidence to support their case. But, they try. A number of years ago my wife and I drove over to Glen Rose, TX to see the dinosaur tracks in the river. We ran across what was called a “Creationism Museum”, in which they claimed to have uncovered a human footprint superimposed over a dinosaur footprint…both fossilized, of course. They even displayed photographs of this amazing find, which they said had been uncovered in a continuation of the tracks that had been removed and sent to Yale (?) many years ago.

    With that kind of evidence, anyone could shoot down their arguments.

    BTW, Bill Nye is okay; anyone more qualified would probably present arguments far beyond the ability of most viewers to understand.

    JimB

  153. #153 Leslie
    arkansas
    February 3, 2014

    Ken Hamm will destroy Mr. Nye in a debate. There are no facts to support evolution. Scientist would have us believe that a mass of nothing existed and out of this mass of nothing life came forth. That is absurd. Every time new artifacts are unearthed they verify the Biblical account of Creation. It takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation. Watch the debate it will be entertaining to watch Ken Hamm disprove evolutionary theories one after another.

  154. […] and there is absolutely no evidence that gives empirical credibility to creationism. So, as Dr. Greg Laden asked: why […]

  155. #155 Greg Laden
    February 5, 2014
  156. […] within the scientific community criticized Nye for even participating in the first place, pointing out that he is not an expert on evolution, […]

  157. […] the 1970s and 1980s, but have more recently dropped off the radar. Comments made by anthropologist Gred Laden suggest why: he says that scientists should not legitimize the views of creationists by debating […]

  158. […] out with similar arguments as to the merit (or lack-thereof) of Nye’s arguments (e.g., here, here, and here), so if you’re looking for more convincing […]

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