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The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

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The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Last edited by Inferno on Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:00 am, edited 6 times in total.
Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:10 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

:o

Bill Nye did better than I thought was possible. He knocked it out of the park (this may have something to do with it). Ken Ham is a terrible public speaker. I cannot believe Ham chose to go up against Nye (who was on point).

I just want to point out a few things I found striking:
  • The use of a New Mexico fossil as part of the default PowerPoint image, unfortunately they placed an image of that same fossil in front of Ham’s desk (New Mexico does not need bad press like that).
  • From the crowd’s responses and the questions they asked, there were plenty of science supporters there. Some were worried that it would be a sell out creationist crowd, but that was not the case.
  • Ham claimed the term kind was equal to family, which means humans are apes by his definition.
  • Ham also went on to admit that he accepts evolution; he just does not accept common descent or deep time. This is something I have been pointing out for years.
  • Ham went out of this way to pin creationism to Christianity. Thus, it could not be taught in U.S. schools anyways.
  • Nye brought in a fossil found in the limestone that the creationist museum is built upon and than talked about how limestone deposits take eons to create. This was personally my favorite part of the whole debate.
  • Nye’s use of ice cores and tree rings to demonstrate that the earth cannot only be 6,000 years old was fantastic.
  • The chart of hominin skulls Nye used was fantastic. I want a copy of it.
  • Nye compared the story of Noah’s Ark to a modern zoo (and what it takes to run one) and modern wooden ships (and what it takes to build and operate) which shows how ridiculous that story truly is.

Bill Nye’s 30-minute presentation was wonderfully done and covered a lot of information. I hope that some of that will stick to some of the people there who were creationist. If there is one thing to watch from this debate, it is that. Second, would be the question and answer section at the end of the debate (~45 minutes). That section of the debate shows just how flustered Ham was and how cool and collected Nye was for the whole debate. Nye also goes on in this section to point out just how weird and out of touch Ham’s beliefs are with the rest of U.S. society.

Wonderfully done Bill Nye. I think you should debate more creationists on stage.
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Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:58 pm
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WarKChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1176Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Looks interesting and encouraging. I too was afraid that it would go wrong for Nye, that Ham would bury him in shite. I'll watch the debate soon.
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:25 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

WarK wrote:Looks interesting and encouraging. I too was afraid that it would go wrong for Nye, that Ham would bury him in shite. I'll watch the debate soon.


The funny thing was; it seemed like Nye was doing the Gish Gallup. Nye presented so much information and Ham just ignored it. It made Ham look terrible. In addition, Ham was just terrible at his presentation. It seemed like he was not prepared for it. It was like watching the Super Bowl, which is funny because Nye is from Washington and even gave the Seahawks a shout out during the debate.
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Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:44 pm
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Darkprophet232User avatarPosts: 226Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:42 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Remember, the second half of a Gish Gallup requires the information presented to be wrong or half true, giving the other person not enough time to correct everything wrong that was just said. How would we classify it if everything were correct?

I recommend something akin to the Hitchslap, perhaps the Nye-xplosion.

Definition of Nye-xplosion wrote:
When a debater throws out a multitude of facts about how the other debater is not even wrong and leaves said debater with no ground to counter effectively.



I like that, any suggestions?
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down." -The Judge
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Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:57 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Darkprophet232 wrote:Remember, the second half of a Gish Gallup requires the information presented to be wrong or half true, giving the other person not enough time to correct everything wrong that was just said. How would we classify it if everything were correct?

I recommend something akin to the Hitchslap, perhaps the Nye-xplosion.

Definition of Nye-xplosion wrote:
When a debater throws out a multitude of facts about how the other debater is not even wrong and leaves said debater with no ground to counter effectively.



I like that, any suggestions?


I see your point. I am not a fan of “Nye-xplosion”, but I do think there should be a word for what you have defined. How about A-Nyehilation.
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Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:07 pm
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread



This one clip from the debate sums up the whole thing.
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Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:24 pm
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DutchLiam84User avatarPosts: 382Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:27 pmLocation: Eurasian Plate Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Some things that "annoyed" me, Nye did not correct Ham's flawed definition of Evolution (molecules to man). Nye should've started with the anti-science statement on AiG website stating that no science is valid if it contradicts the bible. He also should've pressed on the fact that nothing could change Ham's mind, making Ham extremely close-minded. Also, I wasn't happy with the way he dealt with some of the questions, especially the one on dating methods.

Ken Ham had this chart with around 50 rates/methods that disproved billions of years, e.g. coral reef growth rate. So here he assumes that all rates were the same in the past as they are now. Fine, that's a reasonable assumption based on evidence. But the minute a rate is mentioned that disproves the 6000 years Ham's double standard kicks in. How do you know these rates were the same in the past as they are now? Ice cores, dendrochronology or even continental drift, he all dismissed them as if they were irrelevant. This to me was one of the most striking examples of his dishonesty.

Overall I think I could've done a better job than Nye. That said, Nye still kicked his ass.
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Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:59 pm
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nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

with most people being negative about the debate i wondered if Bill Nye could properly deal with a creationist.
When the debate started, Bill Nye seemed to deal with kid gloves. Reflecting back on it, the approach he took was more like giving Ken Ham shovels so Ham could dig his own grave. in contrast to most creationist debate, Bill Nye had a plan and didn't get swayed by creationist-taunts.
What i found a great point what most people forget to do, is that Bill Nye didn't forgot what the topic is about and made sure that the audience didn't forget.
It think it was a pivitable point that was needed to give Ken Ham little change to take charge.
Perhaps because Bill Nye was so calm and gentle Ken couldn't without looking like a douche. Im sure most of us would have snapped during the debate about something.

the argument about the arc was a really good argument.
not only did he proof how implausible such a ship is, but also about how many new species you would see everyday, if it was true.
Even when Ken Ham tried to take it down, Bill Nye blew away the counterargument back in Ken Ham's face.

The reason why i think Bill Nye managed to win is because of the Q&A.
Ken Ham made a joke of himself, while Bill managed to draw the crowd towards him with his openness.
With the first few questions, where Bill Nye said that he didn't knew the answer while encouraging the audience to join him in finding the answers and draw them towards them. the question about thermodynamics was handled perfectly, he took a bit more then 2 minutes but managed to explain what was wrong with the question, what the answer was and why that is.
the question about being able to pursuaded by the evidence was where Ken Ham really failed by proving he would reject anything and Bill Nye was open to change.
Not just change, he have a few examples which made him look even more like a more honest person.


In all honesty, i think that debate was handled well and with it Bill Nye demonstrated how flawed creationism is and it can be used as a tool to stop legislation from nudging in creationism into schools. i think that is a bigger threat that letting creationists out of the debate.
Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:28 pm
IsotelusBloggerUser avatarPosts: 317Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

I haven't really had to time search, but so far I haven't seen anyone addressing the claim that Andrew Snelling got a hold of some wood found in a basalt flow and they're different ages, therefore yada yada. Unfortunately I don't really have time to tackle it myself, but as I tend to do, I searched for and managed to find the original paper. In light of the debacle with the similar case of a piece of "wood" embedded in sandstone, which has already been discredited, we have just cause to believe something has gone wrong in this instance as well. A cursory glance has already turned up some issues, and I invite anyone here to take a look at it. What problems can you spot? :P
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Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:01 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Isotelus wrote:I haven't really had to time search, but so far I haven't seen anyone addressing the claim that Andrew Snelling got a hold of some wood found in a basalt flow and they're different ages, therefore yada yada. Unfortunately I don't really have time to tackle it myself, but as I tend to do, I searched for and managed to find the original paper. In light of the debacle with the similar case of a piece of "wood" embedded in sandstone, which has already been discredited, we have just cause to believe something has gone wrong in this instance as well. A cursory glance has already turned up some issues, and I invite anyone here to take a look at it. What problems can you spot? :P


I have to admit that when Ham made this claim, I just thought it was the age-old “creationist test volcanic rock, wherein part of the magma had already cooled and started to go through the process of decay, while the rest of the rock remained magma.” Years later, the partially melted rock erupted and covered up a forest, giving two different dates. That is why I did not look any deeper in to this claim.

However, I was mistaken. WildwoodClaire1 already covered this.
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Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:08 pm
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IsotelusBloggerUser avatarPosts: 317Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:59 am Gender: Tree

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Isotelus wrote:I haven't really had to time search, but so far I haven't seen anyone addressing the claim that Andrew Snelling got a hold of some wood found in a basalt flow and they're different ages, therefore yada yada. Unfortunately I don't really have time to tackle it myself, but as I tend to do, I searched for and managed to find the original paper. In light of the debacle with the similar case of a piece of "wood" embedded in sandstone, which has already been discredited, we have just cause to believe something has gone wrong in this instance as well. A cursory glance has already turned up some issues, and I invite anyone here to take a look at it. What problems can you spot? :P


I have to admit that when Ham made this claim, I just thought it was the age-old “creationist test volcanic rock, wherein part of the magma had already cooled and started to go through the process of decay, while the rest of the rock remained magma.” Years later, the partially melted rock erupted and covered up a forest, giving two different dates. That is why I did not look any deeper in to this claim.

However, I was mistaken. WildwoodClaire1 already covered this.


She covered the wood in the sandstone bit, not the basalt. That's not to say the same thing hasn't happened here; after all the pictures in the paper are incredibly poor quality. Sure, I guess they look like wood, and Snelling goes so far as to say it's a Tea Tree, but I'm suspicious about the picture quality, and the fact that he didn't find it himself. And the leaf impression. And everything else.
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Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:46 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Isotelus wrote:
he_who_is_nobody wrote:I have to admit that when Ham made this claim, I just thought it was the age-old “creationist test volcanic rock, wherein part of the magma had already cooled and started to go through the process of decay, while the rest of the rock remained magma.” Years later, the partially melted rock erupted and covered up a forest, giving two different dates. That is why I did not look any deeper in to this claim.

However, I was mistaken. WildwoodClaire1 already covered this.


She covered the wood in the sandstone bit, not the basalt. That's not to say the same thing hasn't happened here; after all the pictures in the paper are incredibly poor quality. Sure, I guess they look like wood, and Snelling goes so far as to say it's a Tea Tree, but I'm suspicious about the picture quality, and the fact that he didn't find it himself. And the leaf impression. And everything else.


I thought WildwoodClaire1 covered it all very well. She points out that the “wood” was not actually wood (it was an iron concretion). She showed how the rock the iron concretion (there's NO FUCKEN CARBON in it!) was found in was very porous, which would account for the Carbon-14 contamination. In addition, the basalt flow is probably accurately dated.

Now the leaf impressions are interesting, but I think have nothing to do with the iron concretion (there's NO FUCKEN CARBON in it!). They were probably fossils found around the area that were thrown in to give more credence that this was actually wood. As Ham said during the debate, this came from a drill shaft, the leaves are probably from an earlier date pulled up while drilling.
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Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:42 pm
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malicious_blokeUser avatarPosts: 305Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 pmLocation: Proper Westcountry Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

I did like Nye pointing out how Ham's pathetic attempt to use "kinds" to reduce the number of animals on the ark would lead to a huge number of speciation events every single day since the floodwaters receded.

Proving some bizarre form of superevolution in an attempt to defend creation is like trying to shoot yourself in the foot to get invalided out of a warzone but accidentally triggering a landmine and blowing your entire leg off...
[sarcasm ][/sarcasm ]

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Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:43 pm
RumraketUser avatarPosts: 1099Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:49 am Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

"Nullius in verba" - Take nobody's word for it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nullius_in_verba
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:35 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
Isotelus wrote:She covered the wood in the sandstone bit, not the basalt. That's not to say the same thing hasn't happened here; after all the pictures in the paper are incredibly poor quality. Sure, I guess they look like wood, and Snelling goes so far as to say it's a Tea Tree, but I'm suspicious about the picture quality, and the fact that he didn't find it himself. And the leaf impression. And everything else.


I thought WildwoodClaire1 covered it all very well. She points out that the “wood” was not actually wood (it was an iron concretion). She showed how the rock the iron concretion (there's NO FUCKEN CARBON in it!) was found in was very porous, which would account for the Carbon-14 contamination. In addition, the basalt flow is probably accurately dated.

Now the leaf impressions are interesting, but I think have nothing to do with the iron concretion (there's NO FUCKEN CARBON in it!). They were probably fossils found around the area that were thrown in to give more credence that this was actually wood. As Ham said during the debate, this came from a drill shaft, the leaves are probably from an earlier date pulled up while drilling.


Turns out WildwoodClaire1 and I were mistaken. Woops. :oops:
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:09 am
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Foxcanine1User avatarPosts: 17Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:40 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

In terms of impact how do you think that this debate will influence how many see these areas of science? Do you think that people will have a higher interest in topics like evolution or will this hole thing fade to the background and people will return to their comfort zone once the press dies down?
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:01 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 723Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Personally I think it won't have that much of an impact. Creationists are usually unable to admit that they even might be right as proved by Ken himself in his admission that nothing can change his mind.

But there will be some positive things coming out of this. It might push some of the more questioning creationists to actually try and find things out. Also it will be of great use in internet discussions showing just how dishonest Ken Ham is. It is quite astounding how creationists still use people like Ham and Hovind as authorities and sources for (in their mind) good arguments.
Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:17 am
DutchLiam84User avatarPosts: 382Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:27 pmLocation: Eurasian Plate Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

One thing that Nye did very well was diluting the science back to layman's terms. He was not "the evilutionist with his big fancy words".
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:37 pm
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he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3254Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: The Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate discussion thread

Foxcanine1 wrote:In terms of impact how do you think that this debate will influence how many see these areas of science? Do you think that people will have a higher interest in topics like evolution or will this hole thing fade to the background and people will return to their comfort zone once the press dies down?


Well, I think this debate had a larger impact then Ham or Nye thought it would have (e.g. Pat Robinson’s comments). Ham went out there and did a terrific job of showing just how untenable creationism truly is and how religiously motivated the movement truly is. The only thing Ham could have done to make it worse for his side was mentioning Intelligent Design as a part of creationism (or vise versa).

As for people having a larger interest in the topic of evolution (and science), I think that might come later. Nye is back in the public eye and should capitalize on that by re-launching his show (or something very similar). He should have also told people about the re-launch of Cosmos if they want to watch more shows about actual science. If Nye truly wants to make an impact on the next generation and encourage them to look into science, there needs to be easily accessible shows/books/websites about science for the public. For this to actually take hold and not fade away, science advocates need to step up and encourage science literacy among the public. It comes down to science teachers’ et al. making these topics accessible to the public as a whole.
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