Feb 03 2014

Ham on Nye

Creation v Evolution debate Tuesday night

TV personality and science advocate Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy) has accepted an invitation to debate Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis / The Creation Museum on February 4, 2014 at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com will offer live video coverage of the debate beginning at 7 pm ET Tuesday [4 pm Pacific Time].

There is much controversy over whether this debate should take place. But it is going to happen, so you may wish to watch it live, or later on YouTube.



Bill Nye debates Ken Ham


Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era? Leading creation apologist and bestselling Christian author Ken Ham is joined at the Creation Museum by Emmy Award-winning science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society Bill Nye.

Ham, a former science instructor who emigrated to the USA from Australia over 25 years ago, is joined by the popular children’s program personality Bill Nye “the Science Guy” for this first and only scheduled debate.


Will evolution debate blow up in the Science Guy’s face? It’s debatable


Why on earth would Bill Nye the Science Guy agree to debate evolution and creationism in a place called the Creation Museum? And how on Earth could creationist Ken Ham lose? The conventional wisdom among evolutionary biologists is that they have much more to lose than to gain from Tuesday’s face-off in Kentucky — just as the consensus among creationists is that they’re getting a high-profile forum for their views, nine years after suffering a major defeat in federal court.

“In general, we advise people against doing debates. The biggest thing is that a debate on stage is not how science is decided. It’s entertainment, it’s theater,” said Josh Rosenau, program and policy director for the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution. “But because it’s about entertainment, if anyone’s going to do it, I think Bill Nye is not a bad choice.”

Nye isn’t a professional scientist, but a mechanical engineer who became a comedian and then blossomed as a science popularizer. “The thing that Bill has going for him is that he is great at explaining science,” Rosenau told NBC News.

He said the way the debate is framed may give Nye an added advantage. The official topic of the discussion is whether creationism provides a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific world. “I hope that means that Ken Ham is actually going to try to offer some sort of scientific claims for his position,” Rosenau said. “I think he’s going to have a hard time doing that, coming up with a scientific argument.”


Should scientists debate Creationists?


Is there a debate? The title of the Nye/Ham debate is “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins?” which is itself problematic. There is no debate among scientists about whether evolution occurs, any more than there’s a debate among botanists about whether photosynthesis occurs or among physicists that gravity exists.


Why Bill Nye shouldn’t debate Ken Ham


When you accept a debate, you are accepting there is something worth debating. Political ideologies are worth debating, religion as it pertains to things like human well-being and flourishing can be worth debating, because these kinds of ideas claim to offer solutions to problems and they are debating the best way to achieve such problems. Debates about the existence of God can be fun, they are not really that meaningful, but they are a debate about ideas and beliefs and can be worth effort.

Creationism vs. evolution however is not worth debating. Why? Simple, there is nothing to debate. Evolution is a scientific fact, backed by mountains of evidence, peer-reviewed papers you could stack to the moon and an incredible scientific community consensus.  Creationism is a debunked mythology that is based solely in faith. It has zero peer-reviewed papers to back up its claims, it has absolutely no scientific consensus and is not even considered science due to the fact it cannot be tested.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvallissecular.org/2014/02/03/ham-on-nye/

1 comment

  1. Kent Fletcher

    Nye is a very weak debater (and not a good scientist either in my opinion). Hitchens or Dawkins or Krauss would have ripped Ham a new one. But in general, I agree….. creationism vs. evolution is not worth debating …. except in that it still might influence those youngsters who are still struggling to find their own mind and separate themselves from religious brainwashing.

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