Bill Nye to visit Creation Museum for debate

59

Bill Nye “The Science Guy” is set to visit Kentucky to debate evolution and biblical creation with the founder of the Creation Museum.

Ken Ham wrote on his Facebook page Thursday that he will square off Feb. 4 with Nye, the former host of a popular science TV show for youths.

The event is likely to attract plenty of attention in scientific and faith circles, as Nye is a high-profile advocate of science education and Ham is a respected leader among Christians who believe the Bible’s origin story is a factual account of the Earth’s beginnings.

Ham had been hoping to attract the star of TV’s “Bill Nye The Science Guy” to the northern Kentucky museum after Nye said in an online video last year that teaching creationism was bad for children. The video was viewed nearly 6 million times on YouTube.

Written By: Associated Press
continue to source article at washingtonpost.com

59 COMMENTS

  1. “Looks good on your CV but not mine” and all that…

    Hopefully Bill prepares well so that he’ll have an extensive tool-kit to beat Ham into a pulp with, on a conversational level, of course.

  2. “Looks good on your CV but not mine” and all that…

    Hopefully Bill prepares well so that he’ll have an extensive tool-kit to beat Ham into a pulp with, on a conversational level, of course.

  3. ” Nye, who is executive director of the Planetary Society, said in that interview that he would be willing to travel to Kentucky and debate Ham if the museum paid his travel expenses “

    An out for Ham! I hear this boob is having money troubles with the biblical boat thing so perhaps that is why the E-mail has not been sent yet.

    No matter. Nye would mop the floor with Ham but I doubt it would do any good, except for some fence sitters listen in.

    • In reply to #2 by Neodarwinian:

      ” Nye, who is executive director of the Planetary Society, said in that interview that he would be willing to travel to Kentucky and debate Ham if the museum paid his travel expenses “

      An out for Ham! I hear this boob is having money troubles with the biblical boat thing so perhaps that is why the…

      I don’t understand the issue with the Noah’s ark problem that Ken Ham is having. Surely all he needs is a 600 year old man and his 3 sons and the boat should be finished in ooooh……. only 75 years!

  4. I think it’s bad policy to “debate” with obvious morons such as this ham idiot. There is no upside and all it does is lend credence to the insane. No one, literally not one of those dupes in the creationist camp could possibly be swayed by anything Bill Nye could ever say. Sure, it provides amusing fodder for the rest of us, but at way to high a price. Jus sayin..

    • Agreed. This is a bad idea. It promotes the idea of an equivalency between evolution and creationism. It gives these idiots a propaganda coup in that they can (fairly) claim we take them seriously. We should no sooner debate creationists than those who believe in the tooth fairy.

      In reply to #3 by AC:

      I think it’s bad policy to “debate” with obvious morons such as this ham idiot. There is no upside and all it does is lend credence to the insane. No one, literally not one of those dupes in the creationist camp could possibly be swayed by anything Bill Nye could ever say. Sure, it provides amusi…

    • In reply to #3 by AC:

      No one, literally not one of those dupes in the creationist camp could possibly be swayed by anything Bill Nye could ever say.

      I don’t know. It might make the curious onlooker think. But there is plenty of material already available on the net, going through the same old tired questions. If you’re too lazy or bone-headed to check it out, that sort of debate isn’t gonna change a thing anyway.

      Ham is a loon, and a scammer. Not even worth the spit.

    • In reply to #3 by AC:

      I think it’s bad policy to “debate” with obvious morons such as this ham idiot. There is no upside and all it does is lend credence to the insane. No one, literally not one of those dupes in the creationist camp could possibly be swayed by anything Bill Nye could ever say. Sure, it provides amus

      ==I agree its not going to be productive. However, it is taking up their time so at least for a few day they won’t have time to do crazy shit?
      Really, I think ridicule is the best weapon against people like Ken Ham and others. I think we need to ridicule them every chance we get. We can not go silent………I think we shouldn’t debate them on their grounds. How about a neutral college campus?

    • In reply to #3 by AC:

      I think it’s bad policy to “debate” with obvious morons such as this ham idiot. There is no upside and all it does is lend credence to the insane. No one, literally not one of those dupes in the creationist camp could possibly be swayed by anything Bill Nye could ever say. Sure, it provides amusi…

      Absolutely agree. Nye is simply lending legitimacy to Ham’s crackpot ideas by appearing in the same forum with him. It is a big mistake to debate fundies because there is no middle ground of rationality over which you can draw them, and they will ALWAYS haul out the same long-discredited myths, lies, and nonsense. Worse, if they talk fast, loud, and dramatically, they will give the impression that they have ‘won’ the debate.

    • In reply to #3 by AC:

      I think it’s bad policy to “debate” with obvious morons such as this ham idiot. There is no upside and all it does is lend credence to the insane. No one, literally not one of those dupes in the creationist camp could possibly be swayed by anything Bill Nye could ever say. Sure, it provides amusi…

      Agreed, I doubt Bill will swing any creationists. Not because he is wrong, but because creationism has one big advantage over evolution………….the threat of hell.

      But I must at least support Bill for trying. He may swing a few doubters of the Genesis account. Even if one ‘flips’ to our side, it will be worth it.

  5. With luck Bill will prepare like Ken Miller did in one debate. It was hilarious that whenever his opponent made some claim, Ken immediately responded with ‘Slide number___ please”, which had the data that showed that the opponent’s claim was ridiculous.

  6. Don’t do it, Nye! He’ll feel validated, the piece of shit christians will feel validated, win or lose, they’ll win in their eyes no matter what! No no no!!! FUCK! He’s not reading this…

  7. I’m surprised that Bill would do it. RD refuses to debate these numskulls, for good reasons. It gives Ken Ham, Ray Comfort (2 of the biggest loons ever to leave the Antipodes,and I’m forever grateful that they’ve found a good home in USA and hopefully will never return) et al some credibility among their dimwitted followers if they are seen in serious debate with a scientist of standing.

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/119-why-i-won-39-t-debate-creationists

  8. No, Bill, nooooooooo! Don’t give Ham the Superstitious Scam Man any credibility by deigning to appear in the stinking barnful of flyblown fecal matter that is Ken Ham’s House of Horseshit, his Turd Tabernacle, his Chump Chapel. Don’t draw more visitors and money to this brain-raping travesty or its criminal creator. Please. You’re too good for this. Really. Can’t we just laugh this stupidity into oblivion from afar?

  9. Unfortunately, Ham will speak his usual “The Bible is the True Word of God, and if not then when you are dead, you are dead, and there is no point to life.” Ham does not care about the facts that Nye will present, they mean nothing against the True Word of God. The sheeple that send money to Ham don’t understand the science, so it does not stop them from sending money as long as Ham keeps saying he has the True Word of God. We will surely enjoy watching Nye pound Ham to crumbs, but we already don’t send Ham any money, so he won’t care, and will continue to tell his backers that he has the True Word of God.

  10. Its a shame. This is just playing the game that creationist apologists like – giving a false air of respectability to their creed by staging an apparent ‘contest’ between a well respected science educator and their looney creationist ‘hero’. No one’s mind will be changed and more publicity will be gained for the creationist cause.

  11. Oi, this is going to be unadulterated torture for Bill Nye.These creationists are so predictible,repetitive and …ok, not to put too fine a point on it, a right royal pain in the butt.

    Bill may just as well go debate a couple of chimps for all the good it’s going to do.I still wince when I think of RD and Wendy Wright. Or Michael Shermer and that criminal Hovind or Michael Shermer and that person(I forget her name) at the Creation Museum or… yes ,see what I mean?

  12. If Bill Nye’s approach is Socratic he could expose Ken hams sheer ignorance, and motivate people to read and learn the incontrovertible facts which prove the age of the planet; that’s what logic indicates.

    However, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that an incurious man in possession of a closed mind must be in want of a life.” The perfect description of the “Museum’s” Curator I suggest.

    This could backfire, but I think it must be done, and I don’t know of anyone better than Bill Nye to do it!

    In any case I look forward to the event; and I think it promises to be quite some event.

  13. In reply to #23 by Stafford Gordon:

    If Bill Nye’s approach is Socratic he could expose Ken hams sheer ignorance, and motivate people to read and learn the incontrovertible facts which prove the age of the planet; that’s what logic indicates.

    However, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that an incurious man in possession of a clo…

    Well said SG; the level of defeatism here is appalling! People, it does not matter that Bill Nye must prostitute himself just to get an airing. We MUST use all opportunities to expose the charlatans and I’d suggest zooming in on good ole Ken’s motivation, not his so-called beliefs; show us the MONEY, Ken!

      • In reply to #26 by Quine:

        In reply to #25 by Fritz:

        … the level of defeatism here is appalling!

        It is not defeatist to have the wisdom to avoid a rigged fight.

        But is the game rigged in favour of one part or is it simply fundamentally flawed?

        • In reply to #27 by DHudson:

          In reply to #26 by Quine:

          In reply to #25 by Fritz:

          … the level of defeatism here is appalling!

          It is not defeatist to have the wisdom to avoid a rigged fight.

          But is the game rigged in favour of one part or is it simply fundamentally flawed?

          It is fundamentally flawed because it depends on a level of viewer education that does not exist. Ham can Gish Gallop his way through a bunch of Creationist nonsense that Nye can’t quickly explain without first taking the audience through basic Cosmology, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. I predict that when we watch it we will see that Nye completely destroyed Ham’s arguments, and the Christians will see that Ham used the Word of God to stand up to godless science (with its “lies straight from the pit of Hell”). Net result: the sheeple send Ham more funding, and he proceeds to quote mine Nye out of context to his (Ham’s) advantage,

          • In reply to #29 by Quine:

            It is fundamentally flawed because it depends on a level of viewer education that does not exist. Ham can Gish Gallop his way through a bunch of Creationist nonsense that Nye can’t quickly explain without first taking the audience through basic Cosmology, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. I predict that when we watch it we will see that Nye completely destroyed Ham’s arguments, and the Christians will see that Ham used the Word of God to stand up to godless science (with its “lies straight from the pit of Hell”). Net result: the sheeple send Ham more funding, and he proceeds to quote mine Nye out of context to his (Ham’s) advantage,

            I agree it would appear that creationism has the home field advantage and that the odds are stacked against Bill Nye. Ham will no doubt play on this and his claims can’t be countered properly in these settings or in this format with the limited amount of time and technology available.

            But maybe Nye isn’t there to win the debate in the traditional sense, and maybe he doesn’t see it as a clash between creationism and evolution. To him it may simply just represent a chance to explain evolution to an audience that would not be there otherwise.

      • In reply to #26 by Quine:

        In reply to #25 by Fritz:

        … the level of defeatism here is appalling!

        It is not defeatist to have the wisdom to avoid a rigged fight.

        We here tend to think Ken Ham’s idiocy is well known but I’ll bet there are plenty to whom this would be news.
        So, good on Bill for shining the spotlight of reason on the plonker. Even if the ‘fight’ is ‘rigged’, that does not mean a knockout is not possible. Go, Bill.

        • In reply to #53 by Fritz:

          Even if the ‘fight’ is ‘rigged’, that does not mean a knockout is not possible.

          People of reason will look at it and see Bill achieve a “knockout” and biblical literalists will not. Ham is looking to publicity among literalists to help him sell his project bonds. Young people are the future, and they watch social media where Ken Ham and the literalists have been taking a beating for years. Opening the minds of the young people is much easier than trying to talk science to the older generation who lack the background education and have been poisoned by dogma. Youtube series such as Why Do People Laugh at Creationists get to the young people and cut the future out from under folks like Ham.

    • In reply to #25 by Fritz:

      In reply to #23 by Stafford Gordon:

      Even when psychics have been exposed in front of their audience, the audience has turned on the exposer. Sorry if I seem like one of the defeatists but seriously we’ve seen this sort of thing so often. it’s like arguing with the school bully, being right doesn’t bring them down

      in fact if Bill does manage to get to Ken I can imagine a “why do you keep hitting yourself?” outcome ensuing

  14. Ham is a respected leader among Christians who believe the Bible’s origin story is a factual account of the Earth’s beginnings.

    Ha! ha! ha! ha! Now, which is more stupid? Ham, or those daft enough to follow him?

    The cheerleaders of stupid are probably going to sit applauding Ham’s Gish-galloping drivel!

    • In reply to #33 by bob_e_s:

      I smell a massive rat. Unless Nye has a cunning plan.

      Perhaps it isn’t a massive rat but an elephant in Ken Ham’s room!

      Bill Nye’s an excellent expositor as it is, but a cunning plan wouldn’t go a miss. Maybe he won’t need one though; he’ll simply stimulate audience members into reading more than one book and thinking for themselves.

      In any case I’m looking forward to it.

      S G

  15. It looks as though this is a done deal. If Nye listened to everyone here and backed out, he would draw more positive attention to Ham. He should be aware of quote mining and other potential tricks and make sure he has a contract regarding the video. Perhaps a required sign-off or something to protect the content from editing.

  16. Less pessimism please !

    All Christians were once YECs, until the findings of the early geologists, like Hutton and Lyall (good Christian men), and others indicated a much older Earth than was predicted by Archbishop Ussher’s dating of the creation of the Earth by God as 23rd October 4004 bc. The majority of Christians now more or less accept evolution and modern science. Bill might well change a few minds, – obviously not Ham’s though.

  17. Explaining evolution to numskulls, including “experiments” they could do at home, would take an entire series of 1 hour TV programs.
    Explaining intelligent design takes 6 words – “The buybull is true. God didit”.

    A one hour debate gives half an hour to explain 10 hours of evidence without video of fossils or other graphics, while harassed by 29 minutes of obfuscation spewed out by the IDiot who has stated his “theory” in less than a minute. The debate is loaded by the nature of reality.

    Good luck to Nye. I hope he has done his homework on bare knuckle debating tactics.

  18. I think most would agree that agreeing to a debate with the Hamster is not the best idea – what’s to be gained really, but can we at least agree that Bill Nye looks like a 21st century version of Abraham Lincoln? For real…

  19. Actually I like the venue. Better for Nye to debate at the CM, then give Ham legitimacy by debating at an educational setting (eg. university). I would expect Nye to use a lot of graphics for his presentation, much like Ken Miller did in the debate I mentioned earlier.

  20. Are we really sure this is a waste of time?

    Obviously he won’t convince Ken Ham of any points being made.

    The dyed in the wool faithheads won’t change their position. Does it really matter if Ken Ham is seen as slightly more credible to them?

    However, there are people that listen to these debates with an open mind and are fence sitters. Bill Nye may bring up something in the debate that inspires them to research the topic further.

    Anyone who has watched the intelligence squared debates, especially the one with Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry on the Catholic Church debate knows that the audiance can change their minds and settle on a position.

  21. I want to offer something positive here about this debate. Bill Nye is a well known name amongst the teen and 20-something Americans because of his excellent science TV show that they grew up watching. This age group is very important to the secular, freethinker and atheist groups here in the States. What I’m hoping will happen here is that social media will lead our young people to this debate or at least to clips of Bill making Ham look like an idiot. Bill Nye is already a hero to many of them and I’m hoping that this will inspire some deeper thinking on the topic of the debate. If they come across this material online then they will be lead straight to Richards video clips and all others that are linked to his.

    I don’t even know if I can watch this thing. I’ll have some difficulty containing my disgust, but I think Bill has it in him to proceed with a “take no prisoners” strategy. It’s the right thing to do.

    • In reply to #46 by LaurieB:

      I want to offer something positive here about this debate. Bill Nye is a well known name amongst the teen and 20-something Americans because of his excellent science TV show that they grew up watching. This age group is very important to the secular, freethinker and atheist groups here in the States…

      …and ignoring the ignorant won’t make the ignorance go away.

      Even if Nye doesn’t sway a single mind present at the debate it may still very well be worth it in the semi-long run when it makes its rounds on the tube.

      The more, the merrier.

  22. stafford- as you might have guessed from my post above, I’m looking forward to it as well. Lest we forget, he was once a comedian and I think he’ll have a ball. While his minions will not notice, Ham will get skewered and might not notice it himself. With luck, the term Nye-slap might join the lexicon.

  23. Of all the leading representatives of science and reason in the media today, Bill Nye is the best man to take part in a debate against Ken Ham at Creation Museum. His winsome personality and lively wit will be as important a part of his presentation as his serious knowledge and ability to argue will be. Allergic as I am to idiocy spouted by biblical literalists, I may yet be tempted to watch a video of the debate in the safety and privacy of my own home (with the pause button handy in case of a threat of paroxysm) just for the pleasure of watching Dr Nye speak. Mr Ham will no doubt make money out of this debate, but that is what these fundamentalistic Christian establishments are all about anyway (Mr Ham could not have made such a good living in Australia), and he will confirm among the teeming idiots of the United States his standing as a true warrior in the cause of the idiocy that they profess. Nevertheless, as others here have pointed out, it will be an opportunity to present reason and science to people who would otherwise refuse to attend such a presentation, and, as LaurieB (#46) has remarked, such a presentation viewed by younger people led by media to the video of the debate may well have a very wide beneficial influence in the longer term.

  24. Interesting timing. According to this article Ham has to get a new round of bond sales by Feb. 6, or the whole project goes in teh flusher. Maybe Ken is depending on his deity to work a very showy miraculous conversion of Bill Nye right on stage, so as to inspire funding. I wonder if there is a way to short those bonds?

    • In reply to #50 by Quine:

      … or the whole project goes in the flusher

      Leaving in its wake x number of precious acreage ruined – wildlife killed because of one man’s idiocy. Shame the EPA couldn’t find a protected species to bar development. Even a slime mold species has more value than one Ken Scam. Argh.

    • In reply to #50 by Quine:

      Interesting timing. According to this article Ham has to get a new round of bond sales by Feb. 6, or the whole project goes in teh flusher. Maybe Ken is depending on his deity to work a very showy miraculous conversion of Bill Nye right on stage, so as to inspire funding….

      Those faith-thinking “investors”!

      @your link:- Ark Encounter has had no institutional investors buy its bonds, Ham said.

      “The associated complications and struggles have been beyond our control,” said Ham, who cited impediments such as atheists registering for the offering and disrupting it. “I urge you to please prayerfully consider the options and help us get this bond offering completed.”

      The documents cite at least 39 risks to buyers, including that Answers in Genesis has no obligation to back the debt.
      Bondholders’ sole revenue stream would come from money spent by visitors.

      So if the project does not get completed and there are no visitors .. …… $ . ▼

      However, I would like to donate the following organisms as a contribution:

      • Beavers x2
      • Shipworm x2
      • Woodworm x2
      • Deathwatch Beetles x2
      • Termites – 2 colonies
      • Dry rot fungus (1pack)
      • Brown rot – Coniophora puteana, Phaeolus schweinitzii, and Fomitopsis pinicola.
      • Soft rot – Chaetomium, Ceratocystis, and Kretzschmaria deusta.
      • White rot – Pleurotus ostreatus
  25. The only logical way to handle any Enemy of Reason … is to use Hitchens lovely technique.
    Treat them all as if they were something disgusting you found stuck to the bottom of your shoe .

    Well-informed as Nye is …he doesn’t have Hitchens wonderful Nature ….
    So this is not a good strategic move for Bill.

    “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions “ …Thomas Jefferson

  26. Perhaps Ken Ham is prepping for an intellectual martyrdom where getting drubbed by Bill Nye will make the faithful want to fight back by funding his project. I am sure he will try to make the case that the believers in the Bible are being persecuted by the scientific and educational “establishment.”

Leave a Reply