Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why Bill Nye lost the debate last night.

 
 
I LOVE debates!! Ask my poor husband!
 I vow one day to go to law school, because in my humble opinion, there is no one that would make a better lawyer then someone with a math degree. Logic, problem solving, proofs, yes, yes and yes! So when I heard about this debate my head was spinning. These types of debates are typically "below" all the evolution big wigs, so this was our chance! I wondered what Ken Ham would say, which smoking gun he would bring up. Would he use Darwin's own words to damn Bill Nye's ideas? Which proofs would he bring out? The anticipation was almost too much. I was praying for Ken Ham, telling others to pray for Ken Ham.
I could not wait to watch this debate.
And then, two days before the debate I realized I wouldn't even be able to watch the it live. Weeks ago I had received free tickets to a NHL Panthers hockey game for our whole family. And it was the same night!!
 I gladly went to the game, and enjoyed the family time. But I couldn't help but wonder how the debate was going. That's when I started checking twitter. And my heart began sinking!
NO!! What? Why? Even my Christian friends were disappointed.
 I literally felt sick. I was desperate to know what had happened. I really wanted to watch it online. Like now.
When we got home from the game exhaustion was setting in. The debate was over. The vote was in. It felt like November 2012 all over again. Should I even watch it? What was the point?
Yeah right! Of course I had to watch it.
So with the kids and husband asleep, I clicked on the archived event with incredible anxiety and began watching. The truth is that I was riveted from start to finish. But I had one question. Was I watching the same debate?

Ken Ham started off strong with the grammar stage. Undoubtedly, we have to define our terms if we are going to employ them throughout the discussion. However, despite Ham's rigorous and through explanations of the vocabulary they would be using, Bill Nye refused to adhere to said logical constraints and  instead used demeaning innuendos and labeled  belief in a created universe as “Ken Ham's view” as if Ken Ham invented the theory of creation. The reality is, however, that Bill Nye could have just as easily and accurately said “Francis Bacon's view” or “Galileo's view” or “Isaac Newton's view,” but that would have ended the whole debate right then and there as I will explain later.

There were little things stylistically that I thought Ham could have done differently, or points on which Ham could have challenged Nye, throughout, but for the sake of time and my sanity, I am just going to go over the fundamental fallacies that in essence caused a big loss for Nye.

First of all, Bill Nye made the claim that he, and all scientists since the beginning of time, welcome new theories! (Wait why are we here again?) Yes, he spoke for all scientists everywhere throughout all of history, declaring the joy they feel when someone offers an opposing view with any proof. But I, for one, know this to be false. Why? Because of my FAVORITE math class ever. The History of Calculus. It was fascinating! Seriously, great teacher. Jaw dropping stories. And how did it portray some of those great scientists that produced new ideas to the scientific community? They were attacked and vilified or worse, murdered!! Surely not, you say. Oh yes, I argue. So much so that Isaac Newton eventually gave up sharing his ideas with anyone. And what happened? The whole country of England suffered. They were left about a hundred years behind their competitors mathematically because one of the greatest minds of our time (a creationist, ironically enough) was done with fighting the "all accepting" scientists. Wait, so because someone who believed in a creator God, stopped contributing to science, his whole country's mathematical progress was halted? Interesting.Very Interesting.

Next, he makes the assertion that creationists have the ultimate potential, nay destiny, of ruining progress and eliminating all further advances in science.  Yes, America will cease to be a leader and all will be lost if we teach creation! This claim is easily disputed too, but mostly because his premise is more than a little shaky. His big concern is the education of our children right? We creationists can believe all this fairytale, Ken Ham, stuff, concedes Nye, but please, leave the kids out of it! After all, America's science and math education is currently leading the charts! Right at the top! Right? We can't lose that!
Oh, wait,what? A 2009 study found that U.S. students ranked 25th among 34 countries in math and science, behind nations like China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland.

Oh, well, that must be because there is so much Bible and creation and stuff in schools nowadays, right? Nope.
So faulty premise to start because we are not at the top for science and math education. But the end is wrong too. And that, frankly is where Mr. Nye loses this debate.

This whole controversy started months ago when he claimed that parents should not be allowed to teach their children creation because it is dumb, and their kids will be dumb (paraphrase.)

And that is what Mr. Nye kept driving home tonight.

Bill Nye: (Paraphrase) Anyone who believes in creation can never invent or predict anything. Evolutionists always predict amazing things, 

Ken Ham: like because of evolution we knew that people didn't really need their appendix, or tonsils, ya know, we were evolving past those silly things, so we can just take them out, whenever we want, no harm no.......
...wait what?

 Oh, right, ignore that prediction, that was a little off. But seriously, where was I, oh yeah, if you believe in creation, you can never contribute to science and predict awesome things like evolutionists can.

Then Ken Ham brings out some people from this list of people that support the "Ken Ham Way":
Francis Bacon (1561–1626) Scientific method.
  • Isaac Newton (1642–1727) (WOH) Dynamics; Calculus; Gravitation law; Reflecting telescope; Spectrum of light (wrote more about the Bible than science, and emphatically affirmed a Creator. Some have accused him of Arianism, but it’s likely he held to a heterodox form of the Trinity—See Pfizenmaier, T.C., Was Isaac Newton an Arian? Journal of the History of Ideas 68(1):57–80, 1997)
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz (1646–1716) Mathematician
  • Carolus Linneaus (1707–1778) Taxonomy; Biological classification system
  • Michael Faraday (1791–1867) (WOH) Electro magnetics; Field theory, Generator
  • Samuel F.B. Morse (1791–1872) Telegraph
  • James Joule (1818–1889) Thermodynamics
  • Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) (WOH) Bacteriology, Biochemistry; Sterilization; Immunization
  • William Thompson, Lord Kelvin (1824–1907) Energetics; Absolute temperatures; Atlantic cable (believed in an older earth than the Bible indicates, but far younger than the evolutionists wanted*)
  • William Huggins (1824–1910) Astral spectrometry
  • Bernhard Riemann (1826–1866) Non-Euclidean geometries
  • Joseph Lister (1827–1912) Antiseptic surgery
  • Balfour Stewart (1828–1887) Ionospheric electricity
  • James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) (WOH) Electrodynamics; Statistical thermodynamics
  • P.G. Tait (1831–1901) Vector analysis
  • John Bell Pettigrew (1834–1908) Anatomist; Physiologist
  • John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842–1919) Similitude; Model Analysis; Inert Gases
  • Sir William Abney (1843–1920) Astronomy
  • John Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945) Electronics; Electron tube; Thermionic valve
And that is when it was over.
 If Bill Nye's whole point was that creationists can never predict or invent, he lost. That's it.
And believe you me, that was and is his point.  (see videos below)
Listen to his closing statements in which he praises the scientific process (The one promoted by creationist Francis Bacon ) and reiterates that if we start teaching creation, we will be “outcompeted” (not a word) by other countries. That was his final thought.

Now I want to talk to the Christians. Ken Ham had an incredible amount of ground to cover, and arguments to answer. He disputed the carbon dating and got all sciency, yet that was completely ignored. He had a short amount of time to accomplish an enormous task. So he proved what mattered. Yes, he could have went back and forth with him about specifics, but when he did, it was completely dismissed. Ken Ham stuck to the main point with focus. He listed some of these brilliant scientists from the past and some from the present all that contributed to science in immeasurable ways, furthering science, not crippling it. End of debate. It should have been over.

Not only that, but when, dear Christian, is sharing scripture with millions something for us to be disappointed about? There was nothing that Ken Ham was going to say that those staunch evolutionists hadn't heard before and vice versa. The point Ken made time and again was that it all came down to how they were interpreting the data, and that they each, according to their own studies and faith (oh yes, faith), will continue to believe those things regardless of any laundry list of science facts stated. But here is where I differ with the news articles that say “No one will change their opinion from this debate.” I know that God's word is living, and active and sharper than a two edged sword. I know that God's Word does not return void. So I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that through this debate, lives were changed. And that, is amazing.

Before watching the debate I felt sick reading all the reactions. Afterward, I am elated and proud. There are some really great discussion points that I am going to explore in future blogs, like, how Bill Nye actually proved the ark could exist, and also confirmed the need to seek after God! But as my mom says, my blogs tend to be a bit wordy, so I better quit for now! In fact, if you made it this far, thank you! You too mom!

****Edited to add these videos which were the inspiration for the post, along with his previous interviews



And here he tells us how the debate came about and why it is so important.

70 comments:

  1. I'm so glad for your wordy posts because they say things I want to say and I'll never have time to say! It looked to me like Ken Ham's purpose was to continually point back to the Creator (to share the gospel), and he did it several different times in several different ways! Score!!! How else would he get to share the gospel with that many atheists at once?

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    1. Thanks Jeanne! Very true. Glad you are here :)

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    2. hi....thank you for this blog you have made...this debate is very interesting to me...and i really do hope that it may result positively to everyone..my family and i are great believers in our God...i will be following your posts and sir ken ham's because i still need to understand more....by the way i love both science and the bible....im doing my research on all the too complex things on the debate :) thanks again :)

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  2. I'll say upfront I'm not religious but I have the common sense to say that I do not know if there's a God or not, so you can say I'm agnostic. In the context of the debate, I was extremely frustrated by Ham's inability to conjure up real responses to the questions which tackled the core of not just the nature of his ideas but the ground they stood on, no matter how much of a scientific approach he had attempted to come down to, it was always a matter of faith, which was exemplified by his response to the question of was there anything to change his mind, after he said no, there was no point, and for me that conjures up a lot of the world's problems for me, with regards to religion, that there is this idea of an unmovable force, which no matter what happens cannot be questioned or changed, how do we progress with those chains. We got the technology today by questioning the status quo. We found out the Earth isn't the center of the Universe through natural human curiousty. Ken Ham also lost me when his response to defying mainstream science was "just because the majority believes something, doesn't mean it's true". To me, I could argue that about the Bible. The whole bedrock of his argument was the Bible. Just because the masses believe in it, doesn't mean it's true.

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    1. Andrew, Thanks for commenting! Especially in a polite way :) I think we all had major frustrations with last nights debate! A lot of us Christians wished he would have brought forth more scientific proof as well, because it is there. Please go back and listen carefully to his answer to that question. It is not what you think. He said could he be persuaded that evolution was true. And he said it was impossible to prove. End of story. You can disagree with his comment, but he didn't just say "no." What he did say "no" to was the question of whether or not he could be shaken from him belief in God, and with that I join is his answer. No way, no how. :)

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    2. I forgot an important irony. Did you know that the example you used about the earth not being at the center? That discovery was made by Galileo, who believed in a creator God, which is the entire point of my post. People that believe in creation have and continue to make these amazing discoveries. Bill Nye says "No they don't." despite the evidence.

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    3. Ugh, more grammar errors! What a world! What a world!! Sorry, next time I promise to preview!

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  3. The thrust of your argument seems to ignore one glaring thing... you write about how science does not welcome new ideas, as if young earth creationism were the 'new' idea.

    Evolution was the new idea which overthrew creationism. Young Earth Creationism is not a new concept that science can't wrap its head around. It is an old concept that has been proven wrong over and over again.

    Creationists are not like Galileo, challenging the status quo of their time. Creationists WERE the status quo of their day, and today would be akin to the Geocentrists of the past.

    And, in regards to the concept of accepting new ideas - if you watched the same debate I did you will have heard Nye say, numerous times, that he welcomes any evidence that contradicts current theories. He listed specific evidence that would overturn his worldview. When asked the same question Mr. Ham was unwilling or unable to postulate any evidence that would overturn his worldview.

    That right there is the core difference for me. Bill Nye's response was the perfect example of scientific investigation while Ken Ham's response was the perfect example of confirmation bias.

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    1. Thanks for your comment and keeping it cordial. The point was not what type of science is being presented, the point was new science is not readily embraced. To that, I don't think we can argue. And while Nye "said" that he accepts new ideas. His actions tell a different story. In my opinion, at least Ham was up front about it. And as far as scientific investigation goes, did you know that the guy that championed the scientific method also believed in a creator? Also the main thrust of my argument was that Nye says creationists can never predict, invent or contribute to science. But we all know that is 100% false. I just can't figure out why no one is calling him on it.

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    2. Thanks for the reply.
      We can definitely argue about whether or not new science is readily embraced, but I feel that would send us off track a bit. That's a whole other topic.

      The topic of the debate was, "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?" Your response to the debate doesn't seem to touch on that topic directly at all. So it seems a bit odd to analyze a debate without discussing the specific topic that was actually being debated. How can you title your piece "Why Bill Nye Lost the Debate last ngiht" when you never discuss the specific topic of the debate itself?

      In regards to a few of your comments above - whether or not the 'guy' who championed the scientific method believed in a creator is a moot point entirely. That would be an appeal to authority. He may have also had a mustache, or believed that black cats were bad luck, which would again be completely irrelevant. While it may be interesting trivia, it is not the basis of any sort of sound or valid argument.

      In regards to Nye saying creations cannot predict anything, he was speaking specifically in scientific terms. A hypothesis, to be testable and falsifiable, must be able to make predictions. It is through those predictions and testing that we are then able to test whether or not the claim may be true, or whether it needs refining. For example, if evolutionary theory is true then scientists should be able to predict a specific type of fossil in a specific type of rock should exist (I will spare the detail here for the sake of space). This is what the example of 'tiktaalik' was for in the debate. Evolution allows for predictions, which allows for testing, which allows for confirmation, refinement and acceptance. Not only does it allow for them, it has been so supported by testing that it is now an accepted scientific theory. Creationist belief cannot make any such predictions because it is not a scientific hypothesis, it is simply an assertion. This is why Nye kept asking Ham what he could predict, because once we can predict then we can test... that is the basis of all science.

      No one is calling Nye on your other claims because Nye never claimed that creationists cannot contribute to science, that is a strawman.

      In regards to accepting new ideas, I'm not certain what you mean by "his actions tell a different story." Nye listed specific things that would easily change his mind. That is because he understand the scientific method and the testing of hypothesis. Ham is unable to list even one thing that would change his viewpoint, and that is because he is operating under a confirmation bias. And that is the exact opposite of scientific investigation is about.

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    3. I'm glad I wasn't the one who gave you a hard time about your grammar or spelling, because now I see loads of typos in my post. :) Sorry about that, I type in a hurry when my mind is wrapped up in a topic I enjoy.

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    4. Yay! The first "strawman"! Sorry, but what is a debate without the ol' straw man coming up! So when Nye looked into the camera 3 times and claimed that the our society, our country, our economic success depends upon no one teaching their children creation, he was implying what? When he rambled about cell phones, and satellites, conveniently leaving out the MRI machine, he was implying what? (kind of rhetorical) Seriously though, thanks for taking the time to check out my blog, and for being kind. It makes for a more thought provoking time then those that SHOUT and mock. And yes, this is a judgement free zone when it comes to grammar. I actually do enjoy grammar. All the best Anonymous!

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    5. his point was the same as it was in the video that originally sparked his debate with Ham (the 'Big Think' video I'm sure you've seen), that the world becomes more complicated when you deny the age of the earth and what science knows about our origins. He never said creationists cannot be scientists, that IS a strawman. He made the point that scientific inquiry and discovery become much more difficult if we deny what we have learned.

      And, you have side stepped my main point, your article is about one thing, but the debate was about another. The debate was about whether or not Creationism is a viable model of origins.

      One thing I forgot to add in my earlier reply was in regards to the scientific value of creationism and its inability to make predictions. That was one of the many reason the decision came down as it did in the Kitzmiller v Dover trial. The judge wrote: "The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory."

      The majority of the scientific community along with the District Court of the United States has said repeatedly that creationism is not scientific. To be clear, this has nothing to do with whether or not it is a rational belief or anything else... but it is NOT science.
      It cannot be tested, it cannot make predictions, it is not even a hypothesis. It is, at best, a notion.

      Science must be testable.

      The only thing I saw out of the debate that COULD lead to a testable theory was the point about the kangaroos. If in fact the animals all got off the ark in the middle east, then there should be some kangaroo ancestor fossils leading the way between there and Australia. If Creationists were truly interested in being taken seriously in the scientific arena then they would spend their energy and resources finding those fossils.

      Make predictions, test them, and if they are confirmed then there will definitely be something to talk about.

      Unfortunately, until then, it is simply not scientific.
      No one is saying people can't believe whatever they want... but you can't redefine 'science' to fit your needs (regardless of what Mr. Ham attempted to do last night).

      And thanks for the judgement free grammar zone.
      :)

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  4. Thank you for your analysis of this. Many people kind of heard what they wanted to hear last night and are running with it.

    I believe Ken didn't want to get dragged into trying to analyze everything Bill brought up -- I was observing Bill's ice-layer example and then immediately thought of the 4 layers of ice on my sidewalk that had formed in the last week -- but he had a bigger message in mind. He may not have responded as well to some details but that's because of time and he wanted to spread the Gospel of Christ, which is what every Christian should be trying to do no matter what.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! They were very needed!

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  5. I apologize as I hope to not knock you personally, but it appears to me as if you twisted something around here. You state that Nye noted that all scientists throughout history welcome new theories. Then, you changed it to scientists' new theories being rejected by the public. Those two things are not the same. Nye is correct - science is about learning new things (theories). Science is about discovery.

    The whole moral of this "debate" was that there are some people who will refuse to hear the other side. This goes for Creationists as well as Evolutionists. My faith allows me to understand that I cannot know everything there is to know. My faith allows me to know that provable science is provable science. My faith allows me to know that we could have evolved from something else and still have God exist. My faith doesn't let any information shake my belief in God almighty. It sounds as though many who cannot accept that there might be something to the earth being around for a long, long time are un-accepting because they're afraid their faith will be shaken. Willful ignorance does not make one's faith stronger. Focusing on statistics, "facts", and fables rather than the lessons taught by the Son of God is what shakes a person's perceived faith. Not science.

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    1. Thanks for your caution, and for your comment. I didn't switch. If you read the history, it was the scientists that were arguing with each other! Man, it gets really good too!! I am telling you, the history of Calculus class was one of the most interesting classes I ever took!

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  6. Thank you for your wordy review! I loved EVERY word of it!

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    1. Aww, thanks! And thank you for overlooking my horrific grammar and spelling. I still have flashbacks from that 3rd grade spelling bee......it all came flooding back today! lol!!

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  7. How come all of the great creationist inventors died out by 1945?

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    1. oh they didn't! Did you hear the debate? It was really informative! Thanks for your comment!

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  8. Pretty sad when you delete comments that don't agree with your views. Especially when your views are hypocritical and nonsensical. Claiming you like calculus does not make you an authority on anything. You do not even have a firm grasp on spelling and punctuation... as a blogger. SAD.

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    1. You might benefit from reading the top of this post. I edited it just for you :) I am not an authority on anything. There, we agree. Also, before saying that I delete all comments that don't agree with me, you might want to read the 4 comments above yours that don't agree with me . This blog is mine and I have no space for angry name calling. Make your point without being rude. There are a lot of blogs where you can yell at people read perfect grammar and spelling. This is not one of them. I an sorry this makes you sad. It's not you it's me.

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    2. "It's not you it's me."

      Classic.

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  9. Pretty sad when you make childish remarks about someones blog for spelling and punctuation but hide behind the 'anonymous' username. Please respond with a corrected version of my comment, as I'm sure I missed grammer and punctuation also.

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    1. Thanks for accepting me as I am Marc!! ;)

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  10. Lauren this was well-written and well thought-out. Ken had a difficult job before him, to educate Bill Nye on why the Bible is trustworthy, why Christianity advanced science, and why creation is a reliable means of understanding how the world began and was formed. It was an impossible task in the time constraints, so I really appreciate your taking time to unpack the debate a little more. It is frustrating as a christian to have the truth and be told by everyone else to be quiet! Thanks for being brave enough to speak up. --Courtney

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your sweet words. In our weakness, He is made strong!!

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  11. I have yet to watch the debate, but I, too, felt disheartened reading some of the comments about it. So many Christians even felt that Nye won the debate. Now I am more anxious to watch it! I love your blogs. I know it takes alot of courage and strength to stand up to the masses on a controversial issue. The saddest thing to me is that somewhere along the lines, scientists forgot that evolution is a THEORY and teach it as solid fact when there are so many major issues, such as the fact that carbon dating is woefully inaccurate. As basically a non-believer in high school, I didn't want to do my science project on evolution and asked permission to do it on creation, and my request was granted. Unfortunately that's been WAY too many years ago to remember all I learned, but I do know it was a huge part of why I turned to God. Keep up the great work!

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    1. I think you will be surprised when you watch it. He was clear and concise, and drove his point home. But the thing with debates is, no matter how many true and poignant things you say, people will zero in on something they think they heard. Like oh my gosh, Bill Nye was asking about how fish sinned, and he was serious. Wow. Plus of all those Christians that are disappointed, I wonder how many took serious the task of praying for our brother as he was preparing. I know lots did, but I just wonder.

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  12. Answer Part I

    Lauren - you seem like a nice person. However, I think your conclusions are somewhat muddled.

    "First of all, Bill Nye made the claim that he, and all scientists since the beginning of time, welcome new theories!"

    You are putting words into his mouth that he did not utter. There is always bickering among scientists of various disciplines. That's why works are peer-reviewed. When someone collects new data or or equations and presents it, it undergoes all manner of skepticism. This is a process that strengthens the data or equation that is proved to be accurate. No one is unforgiving as a scientist who is evaluating the work of another scientist.

    And this is all to the good.

    You never, ever see such open critiquing from the religious standpoint, because there is nothing solid to critique. (Why do you think there are 30,000+ denominations of Christianity?) If someone has an opposing idea, you simply reject it or accept it depending on your personality, mood and typical thought processes. You can't prove that you are right and he is wrong when it comes to theology. It's all speculation.

    Science is stronger because that which is presented can be examined and then refuted or accepted.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! It is refreshing to discuss without insults. I went through the debate again and found all the instances I was talking about and they were just as I remembered. Not sure if blogger will let me post them. It's taking an unusually long time to upload, but if not I will give you the time markings if you really want to know. The reason I felt it was his main point was because he used closed one of his sessions addressing the audience and the whole country, literally begging them not to let their children hurt our country by learning creationism, then another time he said "here is my concern" going on to scaremonger some more, and then... He closes the entire debate with another plea. So yeah. Agree to disagree. I also found the part where he says "the big thing I want from you is to show me where your view has ever predicted anything." And then finally where he says the bit about the scientists where thankfully at least you agree with me there! You know people out there on face book don't even know that there was great disention between scientists, just like there is still today

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    2. Lastly, your suggestion that there is no critiquing in the church, well, I am not sure what you mean. Because there are blogs, classes, radio shows, tv shows, all debating different theological positions. Maybe I am misunderstanding your point.

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    3. Critiquing in the church - This is what I mean.

      Ron Mallett is an actual physicist who spent years with the dream of creating a time machine. He told no one about this because he wanted to be taken seriously. Eventually, he proved mathematically that time travel is possible. He presented his findings to mathematicians and physicists at a conference and they did what they do best - the checked the work. Every one of them agreed that his equation was sound and accurate. This is a standard of the scientific process.

      Religious discussions are not and cannot like this. Certainly, all y'all bicker about "what he REALLY meant" or "what it REALLY means..." but that is simply the intellectual equivalent of "Is not", "Is too", "Is not", "Is too." The entire Bible that you hold to be infallible was constructed by guys who bickered with one another for months about what is sound theology (those are the same people who you are refusing to read up on and who did not ever interpret the creation-fall-flood stories literally). But the thology purported by Ken Ham is not Orthodox. It is in fact the result of an evolutionary process. It has changed over time and become completely different from its origins.

      You say that Jesus said things that prove that he thought that Noah was a literal figure. But you cannot legitimately make that claim. You can claim that the Bible that you are reading SAYS that Jesus said this or that, but is that reliable? The very best information available demonstrates that all of the Gospels were written 2 to 3 decades after the death of Jesus. Can you remember, verbatim, any sermon that you heard 20 years ago? No. Why? Because the human brain is always reinterpreting its memories. Eye witness testimony is by far the lest reliable testimony that anyone can present, even a month after an incident.

      If there was a scribe who wrote down what Jesus said as he said them at the time that he said them, then THAT would be reliable evidence. And if I was god, I'd be smart enough to know this and powerful enough to ensure that the original documents sustained and could be verified. But the god alleged in the NT is not that clever and seems to have a very haphazard approach to how "the most important message in all of human history" is being conveyed.

      I simply cannot believe that a semi-intelligent being would be that obtuse.

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  13. Answer Part II - Ken Ham's Major Error:

    I think, more to the point of last night's debate, Ken Ham failed miserably on two fronts. First, he committed a number of logical fallacies. But that's really secondary to the core of his message.

    In order for his position to hold, the stories in Genesis have to be literally true.

    Here's the thing, though. In 4,000 years, the Jews have always viewed everything pre-Abrahamic as allegory or epic poetry. Never have they said that there was a literal Adam and Eve, a literal flood or a literal Noah. Never. In addition to this, The Early Church Fathers who founded the Christian faith NEVER accepted those stories as anything but allegory. To this day, Orthodox Christianity reads these texts in this fashion.

    This literal interpretation of Genesis is a Protestant phenomenon.

    So, not only does he fail to meet the basic challenge of coming to a conclusion based on the evidence, he fails to understand that his starting point is, in fact, a heretical one.

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    1. If Ken Ham commited logical falacies, at the very least it would be a wash. Nye contradicted himself on several occasions especially regarding the ark. First he literally implied that because in the 1800's (I think) or even present, who cares, because we couldn't build a boat that advanced, surely someone back before us could never do that which was such a weak argument. And he camped on it. There are quite a few examples of ancient civilization accomplishing feats of structure or technology that we can't quite understand. , Jesus referred to the Old Testament as Ken Ham mentioned on more then one occasion as fact. So I don't agree that it is heretical. agree to disagree.

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  14. Answer Part III – "Bill Nye's whole point was that creationists can never predict or invent."

    I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion. Bill Nye spent a great deal of effort demonstrating that the Earth cannot be a mere 6,000 years old. All of the physical evidence demonstrates this.

    He demonstrated that the Noah account cannot be true. He used mathematics, the fossil record, the inability of modern shipwrights to accomplish this Noahic feat, and on and on. (BTW - Why would God need Noah to build an ark? Why not simply wipe everything out then create new animals from scratch? Why not magic-up a boat for Noah?)

    Ken Ham insisted that God magicked everything into being the way it is. His ridiculous refutation that "Yes, we see the continents moving but you cannot prove that just because they are moving at the rate they are today that they always have. You weren't there. You cannot know." is childish at best. By his logic, Ken Ham was not there when the pages of the New Testament were penned so he cannot know if they were penned by Christ's apostles or someone with a vivid imagination. There is more evidence for continental drift than there is for the authenticity of the Bible.

    I was a Christian for 43 year. Dead serious, full-on, 100% devout Christian. I left the Christian faith for one reason. The Cross depends on The Fall of Man being a literal event.

    If it is allegorical, there is no need for a literal cross. It would be like devoting oneself to good works in order to make amends for the failings of Saruman.

    The evidence proves that homo-sapiens has been around for 200,000 years and that we are co-decedents of a common ancestor with the four other great apes. It demonstrates morality in many species of animals and it demonstrates that human beings are the way they are because that's the way they are. We have never been some "sin-free" species. Sin did not result in animals becoming carnivores (you really think that sharks ate kelp before some Fall of Man? That's not only silly, it's incredibly arrogant).

    Ken Ham represented intellectual laziness. He has all the answers and damn the evidence.

    Bill Nye represents those of us who are perfectly comfortable admitting that there are things that we don't know and he showed the passion and joy that we feel because that lack of knowledge drives us to look closer and deeper. I don't know any way of communicating that joy and that passion to someone who is not honest enough to admit simple truths about themselves, their position and their limitations.

    I truly wish that you would open your heart and mind to the wonders that surround us and the joy that can only come from intellectual and personal honesty. So long as you hold to a philosophy that was rejected by the writers of the book of Genesis and rejected by the authors of the Christian faith, you will continue to be muddled.

    At the very least, go learn Orthodox Christianity. I have many Orthodox friends and they are some of the most wonderful people ever. More importantly, they are not bounded by the morass of an idiotic and patently false view of Genesis that Ken Ham preaches and so they are free to be reasonable in these discussions. And they are a lot more sensible about pretty much every aspect of Christianity than are Protestants.

    I do not advocate that Christians are idiots or that one ought to leave Christianity. The Orthodox faith seems very reasonable, on the whole. I would encourage you to delve further in that direction.

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    1. I am curious then why you think Jesus died on the cross? Or do you not?

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  15. 1) You said in one of your comments that (not paraphrasing, as you are very clearly fond of doing) "You know people out there on face book don't even know that there was great disention between scientists, just like there is still today." There is literally nearly unanimous agreement, do you understand that? Proof: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution ... just google this stuff before you write about it, seriously.

    2) You ALSO said (among a million other things) "Also the main thrust of my argument was that Nye says creationists can never predict, invent or contribute to science. But we all know that is 100% false. I just can't figure out why no one is calling him on it."
    --The reason you can't figure why no one is "calling him out on it" (although, frankly, I'm not surprised) is because he never said that. In fact, he never said anything even remotely close to that. So the "main thrust of your argument," which is based off your ridiculously biased paraphrase goes from just factually incorrect to being literally (literally) laughable.

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    1. Let me clarify, I didn't say "Like they still dissent about evolution today" although nearly unanimous is not unanimous. They just disagree. About a lot of things. That's what I said. That's all I meant. Thanks Anonymous.

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  16. You people harp on the word "theory" and regurgitate things like "carbon dating blah blah" like it's some kind of mantra. What makes you think the word "theory is a bad thing?" Einstein's General Relativity is a "theory," but I assume you believe in gravity?

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  17. It seems to me that Darwinists have to shut their minds to the evidence all around them and deny the scientific method. Darwinism, at best, is faith or religion and science has proven it a false religion. We Christians and believers in intelligence design are first and foremost scientists. All, if not most, of us were heavily indoctrinated most of our lives in Darwinistic evolution and nothing else. We always had our doubts about the doctrine of the opposable thumb giving Homo-sapiens their brain and whales walking. Examination of rodents' feet tell us they should be smarter than us. A brief glance at a whale skeleton will expose that farce. Yet, these were unquestioned doctrines of the Darwinistic faith. Radiologic carbon dating has no basis in the scientific method. The base line is a farce and a guess based on faith. Rate of decay has no scientific proof of a constant. As a matter of fact, that religious doctrine was put to rest by Mt. St. Helens. I could go on and on... , zinjanthropus man man, piltdown man, Nebraska man, the fake statues of human evolution in the lobby of the London museum of anthropology, the drawings of developing fetuses we all saw in our government school science books as children-- ALL farces. As an infamous dictator once said during the second world war, take a lie, make it big enough, tell it often enough, and people will believe it. He too was a Darwinist and responsible for millions of murders, based on his Darwinist beliefs. As a matter of fact, during the 20th century, religious Darwinists were responsible for the mass murder of more innocent people than all of the wars in all of human history. How's that for a successful faith? World-wide abortion was also developed, paid for and implemented by religious Darwinists, which results in the ongoing slaughter of approaching a hundred million innocent human beings. As I said, I can go on and on. Suffice it to say that the heads of the religious Darwinist faith know that it's a fairytale for adults, devoid of any hint of the scientific method and as they have said and I quote, "we know that Darwinism is not true, but the only thing left is God, and we refuse to believe in Him. I would urge religious Darwinists to get over this antiquated, unscientific 19th century belief and let us get down to real scientific discovery. Oh and yes, one more thing, the man who recently unlocked the human genome is a creationist.

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    1. Wow! Thanks for chiming in Scott! That was a lot of information that I hope people will look into, just as you have already been forced to study evolution! Great quote! Even when Bill Nye was talking about how the dinosaurs became extinct he kind of shrugged his shoulders and said "It's the best theory we've got." Thank you for all the time you have been faithful to study and for taking your time to share! And for not being Anonymous #10 :)

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    2. The quote which you attempted to paraphrase is a complete fabrication, you may want to stop including it in your argument. It has been thrown around quite a bit in the past, always as a paraphrase and rarely with a citation. Here is the closest thing to the actual source that has been found to date, in case you were curious.

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-4.html

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    3. Also, by "the man who recently unlocked the human genome" I assume you are referring to Francis Collins.

      He is not a young earth creationist. He is a theist who accepts the theory of evolution.
      He believes in a creator and views Him as the source for abiogenesis, but he is very very clear in the fact that he accepts evolutionary theory.

      I would suggest you stop using him in your arguments.

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    4. "Darwinism, at best, is faith or religion" - That is like saying that my belief in gravity is faith or a religion. Beside that, Darwin was 150 years ago and there is insurmountable data since that time that makes evolution the only reasonable theory to account for that data. Darwin was a launching point, not the end of the debate.

      "We Christians and believers in intelligence design are first and foremost scientists." - Respectfully, you are not. You start with a conclusion and try to make the data fit. Most Christians that I hear say ridiculous things like "you think we evolved from monkeys?" Christians more than anyone else consistently display a deplorable lack of understanding - often equating the word "theory" with "faith" or "a guess", which is dead wrong.

      Case in point: "Examination of rodents' feet tell us they should be smarter than us." It is our large frontal lobes that scientists examine, not pedal form or function. Opposable thumbs have no direct bearing on intelligence but only on our capacity to do things with our intelligence that we would otherwise not be able to do. Good heavens!

      Will you deny dna testing, all of cosmology, physics and all the myriad disciplines that support the TOE? Who cares about carbon dating? Certainly no modern scientist. There are far more reliable methods of dating fossils. Indeed, it was Ham that tried to use carbon dating as a defense. Nye said nothing about it.

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    5. JCS, You seem to have a lot to say. However I am not sure this is the place for essays and essays, and essays. I appreciate your passion, as we are all passionate about our belief systems. But on one things stuck out to me, as I watched the debate again last night, Bill Nye was asked "how do you know how old the earth is besides carbon dating" and he shrugged his shoulders and said "Uh, stars? I mean, well, uh, ya know carbon dating is REALLY compelling!" I am sure another scientist would have had a better answer that agrees with you. Sometimes when I go on other peoples blogs after I read the comment section I feel horrible. I don't want that, for this blog. I didn't even have a comment section for the longest time because of that.

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    6. Sorry. I'll leave.

      As a former Christian (son of a pastor turned priest), I am very passionate about the pathetic state of Protestantism in the world. As I said before, I would prefer that anyone calling themselves "Christian" would take the pains to discover what that term meant when it was formalized by the Early Church Fathers and that they would embrace the original theology as it does not force otherwise intelligent people to defend an unintelligent position.

      Pax.

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    7. It is not necessary for you to leave, but for me, it's really important that the vibe is positive, being able to disagree while respecting others. I know this is not a common theme in blogs, but it is for me. And that to which you compared my Lord and God was extremely offensive, not to mention just so long. I think a good rule of thumb would be that a comment shouldn't be as long as the original post. Conversation is good. And I pray that eyes would be opened.

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    8. You said, "I think a good rule of thumb would be that a comment shouldn't be as long as the original post. "

      I can COMPLETELY understand why you feel that way, and this is your blog after all so you clearly have a right to run it how you please. I for one have been enjoying the conversations going on on this page (though I will agree that JCS's wall of text may have been a bit much to read all at once).

      The point I wanted to make is that commenting is something harder than making the original argument. It could easily take a paragraph to respond to something which only takes one sentence to say. If I write "It's a fact that the earth is 4.5 billion years old," it would take you many more words to make the case that my sentence is false.

      Anyhow - just trying to explain why some reponses might be a bit on the long side.
      Perhaps commenters should try to just address ONE point at a time?

      Anyhow - thanks for the conversations on here. I'm finding it very interesting.

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  18. I really enjoyed and agreed with your analysis of the debate. I found myself watching it later instead of live because of my work schedule. I told my friends today that if you looked at facts Ken Ham won, but that if you watched how they communicated with the crowd, Bill Nye won.

    Unfortunately, I think many were more caught up in Mr. Nye's continuous attack mode than they were in the content being shared and discussed.

    Thanks for an entertaining and thought provoking read.

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    1. Thanks for you kind words! Interesting point!

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  19. This debate was meant for regular people, like me, who aren't sciency people (that doesn't mean dumb, just not into science) I mean is Bill Nuy the Science Guy one that the science community holds in high regard? In reading many comments it's obvious that people heard what they wanted to hear. I admire that Ken Ham took the opportunity to tell the gospel to those who may not otherwise have heard it. Having said that; as a non-sciency person, I would love to hear a debate based only on data and proven facts; I'm confident that it will only prove the bible.

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  20. It's fun to have discussions and do so in a civil way. But isn't the real issue: "what do you believe"? Not the "he said, she said"-- everyone out there reading this: what do you believe? Let's hear from everyone who reads this. After all, isn't that how we start a dialogue? Isn't that how you move or change the world? With you? "WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?"

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    1. I would add to that, Scott. "What do you believe, and why?"
      The why is an incredibly important component, I would think.

      Of course, we should probably put the question in some sort of context.
      I believe a great deal many things... but in this particular context you would probably agree that it is my disbelief that would define me moreso,

      I do not believe in any gods because the burden of proof has not been met for me.

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  21. I ask it again Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. Anonymous. "What do you believe"?

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    1. Well, I believe the quote you used in your original post is unverifiable and has no citation or source. I also believe that Francis Collins accepts the theory of evolution.

      Those are two of the many things I believe.

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    2. I believe many things. For starters, I believe the earth is older than 10,000 years.

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  22. hi!!! thank you for this blog, i find the debate very interesting, my family and i are great believers in our God and i do hope that this debate result positively to everyone. i would be following your posts and sir Ken Ham's because it helped me understand more. i'm still doing research on the too many complex things they are talking about, i would love to study what really is creationism and other science stuff. by the way i love both science and the bible. again thank you :)

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    1. Thanks Kristine! So glad you are joining the conversation :) stay tuned, because I will be posting some really startling information as soon as I can begin piecing it together.

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  23. Just a few basics.Darwinism says everything has and is always changing form one thing to another.Not changing from say smaller to larger but changing from one species to another.For instance lizards changed to birds. Since they say it happened in the past they also say it is happening now. Can that be proven through the scientific method? If not it is not science. Creation says that every thing reproduces after it's own kind. Can this be proven through the scientific method? Everything on earth always reproduces after it's own kind . If my coconut tree drops a nut it will grow a coconut tree. Never a sable palm or anything else EVER. And so it goes.

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  24. Scott - please give a specific description of what you are asking. You said evolutionists claim things change from 'one species to another.' And, I'm sure you know, there are MANY examples of changes from "one species to another," but even though that is what you wrote I suspect it is not what you are looking for. You are looking for a change in 'kind,' aren't you?

    Speciation (the creation of a new species) has happened many times under observation, but you will never find a lizard giving birth to a bird. That is a misrepresentation of how evolution works. Macroevolution is nothing more than the accumulated changes of microevolution over time. Significant changes can be seen right now (for example lizards who have evolved live birth as opposed to egg laying), and new species are seen quite often, but if you are looking for examples of a dog giving birth to an ape, that is simply not going to happen. And that is not what the theory of evolution claims would happen.

    If you could give a concrete definition of what is specifically meant by 'kind' then perhaps we can talk about what has been observed and what hasn't. I have never seen a solid definition of the term, and as far as I know it isn't one that is generally used in Taxonomy. It's impossible to talk about anything in detail if we don't define our terms and goals from the outset.

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  25. I'm not so sure about this " I'm sure you know part". As scientific creationists we always have to have proof. Proof means the scientific method.What species changed to another? The problem with the word evolution is" what is it" ? Micro evolution is people getting larger or smaller. Small changes in the species. Macro evolution is what the Darwin faith means, and it is molecules to man.Fish to people . Lizards to birds. That takes real faith.

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  26. I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to side step any evidence, I just didn't want to spend a lot of time compiling examples when what you were asking for clearly isn't what you seem to want. A change from species to species is an issue of taxonomy. When significant microevolutionary changes have accumulated then organisms are often classified as a new species. There are many examples of that (if we are considering the entire animal and plant kingdoms). But again, those would be examples of speciation, changing from one species to another, but they would still be what you might consider the same 'kind.'

    That was my point. You asked for a change from one species to another, but that doesn't seem to be what you want to see. You seem to be asking for a shift in 'kind.'

    And without having a definition of 'kind' it is difficult to discuss, much less show examples, of a shift.

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  27. Scott - I replied to this comment on the 14th (if I'm not mistaken), I'm not sure why the reply hasn't shown. It's possible Lauren didn't post it for some reason, or that it never went through.

    (which makes me realize how wrong it is to submit another comment in order to ask about the missing comment) :)

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    1. Missed it somehow, sorry anonymous. It was Valentines, if I can use that as an excuse :) Totally unintentional.

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    2. No worries at all, I never assumed it was intentional. Thank you for posting it now, I'm relieved because I had forgotten what I wrote. :)

      I hope your Valentine's Day was a great one.

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  28. Looks like it was a moot point anyhow, Lauren, as Scott seems to have left the conversation. I kept checking back every other day or so to see if he'd responded, but I guess he lost interest. That's too bad because I was looking forward to finally getting a concrete definition of 'kind' so that we could move the conversation forward.

    I just wanted to come back to thank you for hosting such a spirited discussion on your blog. I find that conversations are never very interesting when everyone agrees, and I appreciate your willingness to allow commentary that may not align with your own.

    I wish you all the best in the future.

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  29. It's important to know why you believe what you believe, and that is never so tested as when you are challenged with an opposing view. I haven't had the time to devote as much time as I would like to this blog these days, but keep coming back as I will be addressing the flood and faulty fossil findings and what they mean! :)

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  30. I think it is important to keep all issues as simple as possible. Many words does not a point make. The bottom line of origins of life is Religious Darwinists believe that all life came from nothing, that is non life, and all life came from an accidental puddle of slime. And Genesis believers , those that believe an intelligence designed all we see and says everything reproduces after it's own kind, know that there has never been anything that has ever disproved any word of the Genesis account of creation. Not one thing.Lets stick with the scientific method.Roma Downey said "Either there is no God or there is only God". Of coarse we mean the God of Abraham.

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