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    Default Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    In case you haven't heard, science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society Bill Nye had a debate with bestselling author Ken Ham about creationism and evolutionary science. If you would like to watch it, here is the video:



    I believe there was some controversy over whether a high profile science advocate should engage in such a debate. Do you think it should have happened, and now that it has happened, do you think it was constructive, or was it pointless?
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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    I absolutely believe it should have happened, and I think it should continue happening. There are strengths and weaknesses to both sides, and I think it's rather silly to say that you shouldn't debate it. If you're so confident in your position, crushing the inferior view (in their minds) should be easy.

    But I have to say, I was extremely disappointed with it. It felt horribly rushed, and as a result, neither side got to clearly demonstrate their points. Important parts of both arguments were glanced over (Ken Ham quickly brought up DNA and intelligent information, then just as quickly abandoned the subject due to time constraints), and nothing new was covered.

    I've read Ken Ham's books and seen his research, and I'm familiar with Bill Nye's viewpoint and theories as well, so I know these two men are intelligent, well versed in their fields, and have very good points to get across, however I didn't see any of that here. Anything of substance was glanced over, and nobody got anywhere with their arguments. If they had more time, it would have been very interesting and thought provoking, and while this debate was interesting, it just left me wanting more.

    Five minute counter argument... really? I can't even take a shower in five minutes, and you want him to provide a counter-argument in that time?
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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by GastlyGibus View Post
    I absolutely believe it should have happened, and I think it should continue happening. There are strengths and weaknesses to both sides, and I think it's rather silly to say that you shouldn't debate it. If you're so confident in your position, crushing the inferior view (in their minds) should be easy.

    But I have to say, I was extremely disappointed with it. It felt horribly rushed, and as a result, neither side got to clearly demonstrate their points. Important parts of both arguments were glanced over (Ken Ham quickly brought up DNA and intelligent information, then just as quickly abandoned the subject due to time constraints), and nothing new was covered.

    I've read Ken Ham's books and seen his research, and I'm familiar with Bill Nye's viewpoint and theories as well, so I know these two men are intelligent, well versed in their fields, and have very good points to get across, however I didn't see any of that here. Anything of substance was glanced over, and nobody got anywhere with their arguments. If they had more time, it would have been very interesting and thought provoking, and while this debate was interesting, it just left me wanting more.

    Five minute counter argument... really? I can't even take a shower in five minutes, and you want him to provide a counter-argument in that time?
    Well, that's TP debate for you sort of.... I'm an Creationist, and like it or not, sometimes I don't believe in Ken Ham's views. I don't really want to bash on all those evolutionists, but I don't understand how the Big Bang even would work.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Personally I enjoyed listening to it and found it very entertaining. However, I'm not sure whether it was a good idea for Bill Nye to do it, for a couple of reasons.

    First, there is no point in a scientist engaging in a debate with someone who ignores overwhelming evidence for any reason at all. It's the line of thought akin to a conspiracy theory; push your hypothesis because you want it to be right, then when evidence to the contrary appears, just dismiss it as a cover up.

    Second, acknowledging something like creation with events like this debate could be seen to show that the scientific community considers it a legitimate theory, which it is not. Any publicity is good publicity. It's the same reasoning behind not negotiating with terrorists (obviously I'm not calling creationists terrorists, it's just an analogy), negotiating with them would be acknowledging their legitimacy, which they should not have.

    On the other hand, it was interesting hearing the contrivances and artful dismissal of evidence that young earth creationists use to delude themselves into believing that the earth was created in 6 days 6000 years ago.
    That's nice.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMissingno. View Post
    Personally I enjoyed listening to it and found it very entertaining. However, I'm not sure whether it was a good idea for Bill Nye to do it, for a couple of reasons.

    First, there is no point in a scientist engaging in a debate with someone who ignores overwhelming evidence for any reason at all. It's the line of thought akin to a conspiracy theory; push your hypothesis because you want it to be right, then when evidence to the contrary appears, just dismiss it as a cover up.

    Second, acknowledging something like creation with events like this debate could be seen to show that the scientific community considers it a legitimate theory, which it is not. Any publicity is good publicity. It's the same reasoning behind not negotiating with terrorists (obviously I'm not calling creationists terrorists, it's just an analogy), negotiating with them would be acknowledging their legitimacy, which they should not have.

    On the other hand, it was interesting hearing the contrivances and artful dismissal of evidence that young earth creationists use to delude themselves into believing that the earth was created in 6 days 6000 years ago.
    I'd like to question your view, hopefully not insulting you in any matter.
    For your first point, what is the overwhelming evidence that your are talking about?
    In your second point, you compared it with negotiating with terrorists. Negotiating isn't debating, correct? Debating whether or not the extremist view was correct is not acknowledging the fact that the extremist view is correct, the negative side is simply saying that they do not believe that they do not believe that the extremist view is an viable option. This is what Bill Nye is saying. Also, what proof is there that the creationist view cannot be an option?

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    My main concern is why most people think this is a Reshiram and Zekrom issue. Both sides have valid arguments, and it's not one side is right the other is dead wrong. The simple fact of the matter is both sides have huge holes in their arguments. Creationists, explain the dinosaurs. Big bang theorists, explain where life originated from. Neither side can answer these questions. Us as humans will simply never know the answers to these questions unless someone invents a time machine.

    This debate was simply much ado about nothing.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Unicorns shaped the moon. Because I eat potatoes every Tuesday I will get to ride on them when I die, in eternity. Whereas you will all forever float aimlessly on a sea of broccoli while being tormented by swarms of bats.

    Let's have a discussion here, we both have reasonable arguments.
    Det ligger tomhylsor i parken
    Våra fötter är en meter över marken

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pikachu View Post
    I'd like to question your view, hopefully not insulting you in any matter.
    For your first point, what is the overwhelming evidence that your are talking about?
    In your second point, you compared it with negotiating with terrorists. Negotiating isn't debating, correct? Debating whether or not the extremist view was correct is not acknowledging the fact that the extremist view is correct, the negative side is simply saying that they do not believe that they do not believe that the extremist view is an viable option. This is what Bill Nye is saying. Also, what proof is there that the creationist view cannot be an option?
    I do not wish to debate creationism with you, it would be a pointless gesture as per the reasons I stated above. There are many places where you can read about the evidence against young earth creationism without me having to list them here. Answering your second question would also lead to a debate, as my reasoning involves young earth creationism having absolutely no merit whatsoever in science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolene View Post
    My main concern is why most people think this is a Reshiram and Zekrom issue. Both sides have valid arguments, and it's not one side is right the other is dead wrong. The simple fact of the matter is both sides have huge holes in their arguments. Creationists, explain the dinosaurs. Big bang theorists, explain where life originated from. Neither side can answer these questions. Us as humans will simply never know the answers to these questions unless someone invents a time machine.

    This debate was simply much ado about nothing.
    It's okay to have some unanswered questions, the problem is that some people take it a step further and say since we can't necessarily answer some questions right now, then the answer must be a god. Hopefully answers to the life question and what happened before the big bang (if the idea of "before" even has any meaning at that point) will be answered some day, but until then I see no reason to assume that just because we don't know, it must be a divine creator.
    That's nice.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pikachu View Post
    Well, that's TP debate for you sort of.... I'm an Creationist, and like it or not, sometimes I don't believe in Ken Ham's views. I don't really want to bash on all those evolutionists, but I don't understand how the Big Bang even would work.
    Big bang theorists, explain where life originated from.
    I'd just like to point out that the Big Bang has nothing to do with the theory of evolution. Moreover, Big Bang has nothing to do with the origins of life in itself, it has to do with how the universe came into being. So if you're going to point out flaws in a theory, make sure you do it at the correct theory.

    Again, as pointed out, creationism isn't science, and has nothing to do with it.

    Also, what proof is there that the creationist view cannot be an option?
    Well, it depends on exactly what you believe. First of, humans (and other animals) have adapted other species for their own benefit, and shaped them after need. A good example of this would be wolf -> dog, or ask any farmer of how they breed for desirable traits in livestock/crops. This of course isn't evidence for evolution as a natural process, but it's pretty clear that external pressure can drive change in a species over relatively short timespan. Moreover, evolution to adapt to for instance increased predation compared to little/none have been demonstrated experimentally (one example is in guppies, and how they change color for sexual selection).

    More interesting is perhaps the long term experiment on e-coli bacteria where they adapted to use a different kind of nutrition, but only in one population of twelve original that came from the same source. This allowed that sample to sustain a much higher population. See for instance here (or wiki) for more info on that.
    Of course, this is just scratching the surface, and I'm no biologist.
    Last edited by H-con; 8th February 2014 at 01:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by H-con View Post

    Big bang theorists, explain where life originated from.
    I'd just like to point out that the Big Bang has nothing to do with the theory of evolution. Moreover, Big Bang has nothing to do with the origins of life in itself, it has to do with how the universe came into being. So if you're going to point out flaws in a theory, make sure you do it at the correct theory.

    Again, as pointed out, creationism isn't science, and has nothing to do with it.

    Also, what proof is there that the creationist view cannot be an option?
    Well, it depends on exactly what you believe. First of, humans (and other animals) have adapted other species for their own benefit, and shaped them after need. A good example of this would be wolf -> dog, or ask any farmer of how they breed for desirable traits in livestock/crops. This of course isn't evidence for evolution as a natural process, but it's pretty clear that external pressure can drive change in a species over relatively short timespan. Moreover, evolution to adapt to for instance increased predation compared to little/none have been demonstrated experimentally (one example is in guppies, and how they change color for sexual selection).

    More interesting is perhaps the long term experiment on e-coli bacteria where they adapted to use a different kind of nutrition, but only in one population of twelve original that came from the same source. This allowed that sample to sustain a much higher population. See for instance here (or wiki) for more info on that.
    Of course, this is just scratching the surface, and I'm no biologist.
    When you say Wolf->Dog, do you mean Wolf+Dog?? There is no evidence, at least in my knowledge, for Wolf->Dog. Also when you talked about breeding for different livestock/crops and the e-coli adapting, how does that go against an creationist's view?

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pikachu View Post
    When you say Wolf->Dog, do you mean Wolf+Dog?? There is no evidence, at least in my knowledge, for Wolf->Dog. Also when you talked about breeding for different livestock/crops and the e-coli adapting, how does that go against an creationist's view?
    I don't want to make this into a 2 against 1 thing, but H-con is not here so I will address this right now. The dog as we know it today did not exist before humans. Over time, humans selectively bred wolves, keeping and breeding the offspring that are friendlier to humans and not breeding the ones that remained feral. Over time, this led to full domestication, along with the many breeds that we have today. You can see obvious differences in dogs that were bred for a specific purpose, such as German shepherds and greyhounds.

    Recently, Russian scientists have done the same thing with foxes. It took a surprisingly short amount of time (they started in 1959) before they had fully domesticated foxes. If you are interested, you can read more about that here.
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    That's nice.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    This debate is just another reminder to me that people really don't like saying "I don't know".

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Pschitt View Post
    This debate is just another reminder to me that people really don't like saying "I don't know".
    Which is why i consider myself an AGNOSTIC because I don't know and that all i can say really.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pikachu View Post
    When you say Wolf->Dog, do you mean Wolf+Dog?? There is no evidence, at least in my knowledge, for Wolf->Dog. Also when you talked about breeding for different livestock/crops and the e-coli adapting, how does that go against an creationist's view?
    As far as I know, the ancestry of the dog is pretty well known to be wolf. This has been shown in for instance comparisons with genetic material.

    What I was trying to say is that species can change, and sometimes very rapidly, when exposed to external "pressure". It certainly conflicts with a more static view that creationism implies, and certainly helps to make the idea of species adapting to natural environments seem much more plausible. However, the e-coli case is pretty much a direct examplification of evolution right before our eyes (bacteria are well suited for this due to their fast reproduction), but one could always argue that this is a too controlled setting (something I would disagree with). It's also worth noting that this big change in "diet" (or so to speak) is pretty drastic, and did not occur in all populations. I don't see how that's explainable by a creationist stance at all.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye debates creationism with Ken Ham

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMissingno. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pikachu View Post
    When you say Wolf->Dog, do you mean Wolf+Dog?? There is no evidence, at least in my knowledge, for Wolf->Dog. Also when you talked about breeding for different livestock/crops and the e-coli adapting, how does that go against an creationist's view?
    I don't want to make this into a 2 against 1 thing, but H-con is not here so I will address this right now. The dog as we know it today did not exist before humans. Over time, humans selectively bred wolves, keeping and breeding the offspring that are friendlier to humans and not breeding the ones that remained feral. Over time, this led to full domestication, along with the many breeds that we have today. You can see obvious differences in dogs that were bred for a specific purpose, such as German shepherds and greyhounds.

    Recently, Russian scientists have done the same thing with foxes. It took a surprisingly short amount of time (they started in 1959) before they had fully domesticated foxes. If you are interested, you can read more about that here.
    Ok, I pretty much understand what you're saying. Thanks for clarifying it. :)
    Quote Originally Posted by H-con View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Pikachu View Post
    When you say Wolf->Dog, do you mean Wolf+Dog?? There is no evidence, at least in my knowledge, for Wolf->Dog. Also when you talked about breeding for different livestock/crops and the e-coli adapting, how does that go against an creationist's view?
    As far as I know, the ancestry of the dog is pretty well known to be wolf. This has been shown in for instance comparisons with genetic material.

    What I was trying to say is that species can change, and sometimes very rapidly, when exposed to external "pressure". It certainly conflicts with a more static view that creationism implies, and certainly helps to make the idea of species adapting to natural environments seem much more plausible. However, the e-coli case is pretty much a direct examplification of evolution right before our eyes (bacteria are well suited for this due to their fast reproduction), but one could always argue that this is a too controlled setting (something I would disagree with). It's also worth noting that this big change in "diet" (or so to speak) is pretty drastic, and did not occur in all populations. I don't see how that's explainable by a creationist stance at all.
    Sure, that seems right, I guess. From an creationist stance, how is this not explainable by a creationist stance? There could be two animals in the canidae family that were created, and those canidae would breed and create an large variety of dogs.

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