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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old February 4 2014, 10:54 PM   #16
gturner
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

^ Up through part of the 1700's a common thought was that Newton's law of gravitation explains why the planets orbit as they do, but it also says that they couldn't have just started orbiting all by themselves because something had to start the motion, just as Newton's laws predict. So God reached out his hand and started them rolling along in their orbits. But those meddling scientists weren't content with that idea...

Anyway, unless Bill Nye has read up on these debates, he might get trounced because he's not an evolutionary biologist, he's a mechanical engineer. The creationists will spring one of their many arguments like "Evolution claims that bats and whales are more closely related to each other than are almost any two random species of frogs! That's just absurd!" If he's not already encountered and countered the huge variety of such arguments, he might start flailing.
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Old February 5 2014, 12:34 AM   #17
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Bill Nye is battling the unarmed in this debate. The only thing evolution deniers should receive is ridicule.
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Old February 5 2014, 01:13 AM   #18
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

The live video feed might be here.
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Old February 5 2014, 03:53 AM   #19
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Bill Nye did better than I thought possible and Ken Ham needs a better shtick than throwing out ridiculous claims and start preaching like it's Sunday morning.
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Old February 5 2014, 03:55 AM   #20
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Yeah, Bill beat the shit out of Ken. It won't matter among the YE Creationist crowd, of course. Ken could have just said "Bible, Bible, Bible" over and over again (which he essentially did), and they would have been impressed.
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Old February 5 2014, 04:08 AM   #21
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Nye: "I am joyful about discovery. The beliefs of creationists are unsettling to me. We need engineers for the future for the U.S. to remain economically strong in the future. Mr. Ham, please give us any example of how creation 'science' predicts anything."

Ham: "I believe every word in the Bible and I believe that there is nothing exists that could ever change my mind on this. The Bible DOES predict that -after the Tower of Babel- there would be all these people on Earth that speak different languages... and guess what? There ARE all these people on Earth that speak different languages! Predicted outcome = confirmed!!"

This seemed to be mainly (in my mind) how the debate went. I don't know what I was hoping for, exactly, but I doubt anyone who was in either 'camp' changed their mind about the issue. I don't feel that Bill Nye did as well in being as sharply convincing with his arguments as I had hoped, but Ham was essentially repeating that "Obviously, God did it."

Maybe God did get things started. I, personally, can not argue against someone holding that belief. What I do have an issue with is something like the issue of the fossil record and the flood and the Grand Canyon. How can creationists continue to use this as evidence of the Great Flood? I found Trilobite fossils in the creek behind my house. Also straight-shelled nautiloids. No boney fish fossils. No dolphin fossils. No pelican or other bird fossils. And if you go to places where there are fossils of 'more advanced' life forms, there are no trilobites or Ordovician cephalopods. So no pterodactyl or condor or puma ever fell into a shallow sea or onto a beach to lay alongside the bodies of dead 'early' marine organisms and no trilobite succumbing to the Great Flood was apparently ever able to swim up into the rising flood waters to end up fossilized alongside a bass or a drowning deer or donkey or dog or seagull or human? Unless God actually 'directed' where each and every organism was to die at what 'depth/altitude', creating this specific 'ascending' order of fossilized organisms. And why would a creator do this? Just to fool the race on humans that he had created.... the ones who He had instructed to never lie to one another?

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Old February 5 2014, 04:14 AM   #22
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

I agree Nye didn't connect how creationism hurts science and engineering. Ham stated something I never heard before. That the past doesn't matter because things were different (talk about compartmentalization).
Nye should made it Very clear. By Ham's own claims the laws of nature are NOT consistent therefore future endeavors are worthless since these same laws can change on you. Hey that MRI that creationist invented may not work because God could change his mind on the laws of electoromagnetism.
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Old February 5 2014, 04:36 AM   #23
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

To be honest, Bill had so much stupid coming at him he could only address it the best way possible that was easily understandable, and in a small one or two minute rebuttal. All Ken had to do was say "goddidit."
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Old February 5 2014, 04:39 AM   #24
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

J. Allen wrote: View Post
To be honest, Bill had so much stupid coming at him he could only address it the best way possible that was easily understandable, and in a small one or two minute rebuttal. All Ken had to do was say "goddidit."
Yeah but I loved Bill's game plan. Focus on the weakest aspect of creationist theory (age of the Earth) and hammer on it until everybody gets it.

I'm disappointed that he didn't take the next step. Honestly I had a hard time explaining why creationism hurts modern science until today.
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Old February 5 2014, 04:41 AM   #25
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Robert D. Robot wrote: View Post
And why would a creator do this? Just to fool the race on humans that he had created.... the ones who He had instructed to never lie to one another?
This also the creator God that changed the law of nature on a whim and why would God create logic if he himself doesn't follow it.
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Old February 5 2014, 05:01 AM   #26
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Ham kept saying that while you can trust the 'observation science' that can be used today to create tests & observe/record the results, he also said that you can not trust 'historical science' because no one living now was there to confirm the assumptions made today (such as if natural processes acting in the past centuries worked at the same rate as they do today).

So, to Mr. Ham: Who is currently living that was around in the first few centuries A.D. to confirm how and when the Bible was written and if it was truly the authentic word of the Creator?
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Old February 5 2014, 05:16 AM   #27
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Robert D. Robot wrote: View Post
So, to Mr. Ham: Who is currently living that was around in the first few centuries A.D. to confirm how and when the Bible was written and if it was truly the authentic word of the Creator?
I agree it's basically a form of special pleading. That's why he wanted to confuse science with religion. The problem is that what he called "assumptions" are facts. Radioactive decay is constant. The speed of light is consistent. Contamination can be accounted for by finding what isotopes you are dealing with. Tree ring growth is consistent. So is ice deposition (more snow means thicker layers NOT more layers).

Oh and that list of inaccurate dating methods. All of them show that the earth is more than 4,000 years old. Ham never explained that.
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Old February 5 2014, 06:09 AM   #28
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

But do note that Ham is a good speaker (and with a nice sounding accent). The people at his position are generally not going to be walk-overs in a debate, because such debates are pretty much all they do.

Some of the things I would suggest are sort of like flanking maneuvers. With such a vast array of scales in the universe, from galaxy clusters to bacterial flagella, does it make sense that only one god was at work? Wouldn't it make more sense if the different aspects were handled by specialist gods? Would a god who could create the big bang really be shoving his hand up a sheep's butt to tweak a gut bacteria? In science different forces and effects work at different scales. Drug resistance, river erosion, and star formation aren't the same specialties, and if they all manifest a higher power then they probably don't all manifest the <i>same</i> higher power.

The thing about creationists is that they find the idea of polytheism anathema, probably worse than atheism because it's a competitor, not an alternative. It's been ages since they've never had to argue against it, and they've hardly ever had to do so logically, other than "my God can beat up your gods!" And none of the weak arguments they advance for creationism would indicate that one god makes more sense than hundreds of thousands of more specialized gods. When they introduce a place for supernatural forces, they're opening a can of worms that is not at all limited to the Biblical accounts, and I don't think they realize that.
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Old February 5 2014, 06:18 AM   #29
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

gturner wrote: View Post
But do note that Ham is a good speaker (and with a nice sounding accent).
Ham was terrible. All he did was spew out a bunch of nonsense while quoting the Bible. Nye was consistent and on point.

When they introduce a place for supernatural forces, they're opening a can of worms that is not at all limited to the Biblical accounts, and I don't think they realize that.
Yeah Nye didn't address this well. What he should have said if the supernatural exists, why is your creation myth any more valid than the Native American, Hindu or African creation myths. Last time I looked there was no evidence of Noah outside of the Bible.
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Old February 5 2014, 06:28 AM   #30
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Re: Bill Nye to debate Creationist tonight at 7 - 2.4 on CNN

Yminale wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
But do note that Ham is a good speaker (and with a nice sounding accent).
Ham was terrible. All he did was spew out a bunch of nonsense while quoting the Bible. Nye was consistent and on point.

When they introduce a place for supernatural forces, they're opening a can of worms that is not at all limited to the Biblical accounts, and I don't think they realize that.
Yeah Nye didn't address this well. What he should have said if the supernatural exists, why is your creation myth any more valid than the Native American, Hindu or African creation myths. Last time I looked there was no evidence of Noah outside of the Bible.
The risk there, though, is that when you go off message, you might dilute your point in the process. If Bill would have followed that line of questioning, he would have had to explain various religions to make his point, and when that happens, you start confusing the audience you're trying to reach. I think his best bet was to stay where he did. Sure, he didn't hit on various other religions, but his time was short, and he had to get that point driven home.
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