Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham – Footage of the event of 4th of february, including NCSE info etc.

28


Discussion by: GDantri

Online video of the 2.5 hours debate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI

Bill Nye Embarrasses Ken Ham Even More on CNN Following Debate (VIDEO)
http://www.forwardprogressives.com/bill-nye-vs-ken-ham-round-2-nye-embarrasses-ham-even-cnn-following-debate/

Bill Nye's Debate Victory Lap on Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8fPLitlcr8

How Bill Nye Won the Debate
NCSE: The National Center for Science Education
http://ncse.com/blog/2014/02/how-bill-nye-won-debate-0015369

Bill Nye's Creationism Debate Not a Total Disaster, Scientists Say
http://www.livescience.com/43127-nye-creationism-debate-response.html

www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/05/bill-nye-ken-ham-debate_n_4728117.html

Quote of Neil deGrasse Tyson:

"This really happened: Religious Right stalwart Pat Robertson said to Creationist Ken Ham: “Let’s be real, let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”


Um…"

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/05/pat-robertson-implores-creationist-ken-ham-to-shut-up-lets-not-make-a-joke-of-ourselves/#.UvKAJCumgZw.facebook

 

28 COMMENTS

  1. As I said on a previous thread, if you are scientifically literate then of course Bill sounded reasonable and Ham sounded like a fringe lunatic, but as far style and teachable moments go, Ken Ham won the debate. His power points were simple and to the point, which appealed to a general audience, and his presentation was more polished and understandable. This was not a victory for advancing scientific literacy.

  2. This is an illustration of a very old problem. Is it the singer, or the song. A great orator can win a debate against a person with a universe of evidence on their side. It is not the skill or the orator or lack of by the opponent, but the audience that is the problem. There should be no audience on the planet, that could sit through a speech by Ham and not be rolling in the aisles with laughter. But the vast majority of humanity will follow a great orator, because our education system fails to produce rational, skeptical and reasoning people. Or they are the subject of child abuse at the hands of religious parents.

    Sure Ham won the debate hands down. Bill new his stuff, but he couldn’t sell it. It would be a different matter if it was Ham V Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennet or Grayling.

    • In reply to #3 by David R Allen:

      Sure Ham won the debate hands down. Bill new his stuff, but he couldn’t sell it.

      Say what?

      A great orator can win a debate against a person with a universe of evidence on their side.

      Are you suggesting Ham is a great orator? What debate were you watching?

      • In reply to #4 by JuJu:

        In reply to #3 by David R Allen:

        Sure Ham won the debate hands down. Bill new his stuff, but he couldn’t sell it.

        Say what?

        A great orator can win a debate against a person with a universe of evidence on their side.

        Are you suggesting Ham is a great orator? What debate were you watching?

        Apparently the same one as I watched because I agree completely and posted as such in the thread about whether Nye should debate Ham or not.

        Bill’s points were poorly presented compared to how they could have been with more polish and more practice. They were not reduced to the barest simplest essentials necessary to make them comprehensible to people with zero scientific knowledge and a preconditioning to believe in creationism. There were too many points covered in insufficient detail rather than a few key ones banged home really hard. Even as a scientist/engineer myself, IQ over 150, yeah I know yadda yadda, I still found myself wondering what the hell he was banging on about at times and kept thinking to myself “how are any of the fuckwits in the target audience going to follow this?”

        He made one really good point. There are trees older than Ham says the earth is. Simple, clear, comprehensible. But when he started on about layers of rock and at what depth and hence age the fossils are found he was really only preaching to the already knowledgeable. He needed to go back to the basics of how we know beyond doubt how old different layers of rock are and why we know that beyond doubt but there wasn’t time so he should have stuck to simpler topics.

        He flubbed badly when asked by the audience how we know how old the earth is “other” than by radiometric dating. He couldn’t think of any other method quickly. Well we know how old the sun is by measuring the relative amounts of hydrogen and helium and therefore how long it’s been converting one into the other. Answer – about 5 billion years, and we know the whole solar system formed at the same time. He might even have quickly driven home the point that there are dozens of radiometric isotopes with different half lifes and they ALL give the same answer when we use them to date rocks and we can use them as a cross check of the accuracy of any given method. He might have briefly mentioned that dendrochronology allows us to go back much further than just living trees and date specimens of dead wood back to at least circa 11,000 years i.e. an age much earlier than Ham claims the earth is. We can also measure continental drift with extreme accuracy with GPS techniques and hence know that America and Africa for example have been drifting apart for millions of years, not just a few thousand. Basically bang home the point that even if we stop worrying abut the exact number of billions of years we have multiple methods of knowing that the earth, the solar system and the universe is much older than creationists believe.

        Finally, Ham’s delivery, I’m sad to say was really polished, fast, snappy and his tonality is easy to listen to. Bill’s slightly stumbling, hesitant delivery couldn’t match it and his occasional feeble attempts at humour left me cold a couple of times.

        So no, not a very good effort. He needed to have spent more prep time in front of people who don’t already know all the science and find ways of answering their questions, plus all the stock ones that he should have known Ham resorts to every time he speaks.

        So basically, Ham had to sell a viewpoint that no one with an IQ bigger than their shoe size believes or could possibly believe and did a hell of a good job trying. Bill started with a slam dunk position that only creationist nitwits disbelieve and still didn’t manage to put together much that would have made any of them change their minds.

        So it’s not surprising that scientists think Bill won because they already know Ham doesn’t have a single valid argument but the real target audience needed him to have done a better job.

        • Excellent synopsis, Arkrid. I agree with you on every point.
          My two boys perfectly illustrated your points. During Ham’s presentation, my 14 year old debunked Ham’s every argument (he had a 3 week unit on this topic at school), and my 11 year old asked a lot of questions. Five minutes after Bill started, they both left the room.

          The average non-science audience has the attention span of middle school students when listening to science topics. Bill could not capture them. For example, he knew the topic of the flood was coming. Off the top of my head I can tick off 8-10 reasons why a global flood was impossible, and he could have prepared a witty power point to illustrate and hammer home these points. Without the flood, Ham’s entire position falls apart.

          Bill should also have consulted some of the multitudes of Christians who reject Ham’s position. Bill was on thin ice when speaking about the Bible, and we could have helped him tremendously. After all, if we want to advance scientific literacy, we need to appeal to and convince evangelicals.
          In reply to #5 by Arkrid Sandwich:

          In reply to #4 by JuJu:

          In reply to #3 by David R Allen:

          Sure Ham won the debate hands down. Bill new his stuff, but he couldn’t sell it.

          Say what?

          A great orator can win a debate against a person with a universe of evidence on their side.

          Are you suggesting Ham is a great orator? What debate…

      • In reply to #4 by JuJu:

        In reply to #3 by David R Allen:

        Sure Ham won the debate hands down. Bill new his stuff, but he couldn’t sell it.

        Say what?

        A great orator can win a debate against a person with a universe of evidence on their side.

        Are you suggesting Ham is a great orator? What debate were you watching?

        I suspect that if I’d watched to whole debate from beginning to end, which I haven’t I’ve would have scored Bill as having a huge win. But then, I’m already a convert. It’s like watching your political leader have a debate with the opposition. You’re guy always wins. But it’s no use just winning the home team fans. If rationale and reason are to save humanity from themselves, you need to convert the masses. And that’s where the likes of Hitchens where head and shoulders above all opponents. You almost need a political spin doctor to give you three good messages, and have you stay on message, because the audience that needs converting, is not going to understand what Bill was on about.

        I like the quote from Margaret Thatcher.

      • In reply to #4 by JuJu:

        In reply to #3 by David R Allen:

        Sure Ham won the debate hands down. Bill new his stuff, but he couldn’t sell it.

        Say what?

        A great orator can win a debate against a person with a universe of evidence on their side.

        Are you suggesting Ham is a great orator? What debate were you watching?

        Ham is not a great orator. He was the better teacher on that day, and that’s all you needed with an audience that is by and large clueless about science.

    • In reply to #3 by David R Allen:
      After seeing Mr. Hamm’s performance, I can understand why Mr. Dawkins refuses to debate him. So much of what Mr. Hamm presents is so far off the wall that a reasonable debater would have a difficult time in making enough sense out of the presentation to debunk much of it.

      • In reply to #14 by Larry Grady:

        In reply to #3 by David R Allen:
        After seeing Mr. Hamm’s performance, I can understand why Mr. Dawkins refuses to debate him. So much of what Mr. Hamm presents is so far off the wall that a reasonable debater would have a difficult time in making enough sense out of the presentation to debunk much of it.

        That is the well known creationist Gish Gallop of dishonest debate!

      • At the risk of sounding arrogant, I believe I could debate Ham much more effectively than a person without a religious background because I was raised in his nonsense, and I have studied this issue for decades. Nye made a great point (and should have hammered it home even more) that Ham relies on an English translation of Genesis. If Ham debated someone with an understanding of the Hebrew text, the culture of the day, and a strong science background, he would be ripped apart. A debate between two believers would remove the charged atmosphere of debating the “heathen” atheist, and his religious audience could focus on Biblical interpretations of the creation and flood story that do not deny half of the scientific disciplines.

        In reply to #14 by Larry Grady:

        In reply to #3 by David R Allen:
        After seeing Mr. Hamm’s performance, I can understand why Mr. Dawkins refuses to debate him. So much of what Mr. Hamm presents is so far off the wall that a reasonable debater would have a difficult time in making enough sense out of the presentation to debunk much…

  3. Margaret Thatcher once said something that Bill Nye would do well to remember next time he tries to debate creationists. To ram a point home you have to repeat it three times. First tell the people what you’re about to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you’ve just told them.

    Bill needed to have started off with a brief summary of exactly what creationist beliefs hinge on and how he was going to tear that down point by point. Then go through the points. Then summarise what the points he’s just said were.

  4. I see, Nye could’ve done better so Ham won Hands down, got it. I guess will just forget about how poor and nonsensical Hams arguments were. I would suspect that if there were any true fence sitters out there they would’ve been more influenced by Nye. I might be wrong, but I stand by the claim that Nye won this debate.

    Sure Ham reinforced the beliefs of his sheeple which was expected prior to the debate. That doesn’t make a win. If that was the case then you could argue that Nye won because he reinforced peoples belief also. Looking at the debate through a scientific lens I came to the conclusion that Nye won, even though he may have stumbled a little here and there. Ham sounded like a blathering idiot to me.

    • Hey JuJu,

      Through a science lens, Bill absolutely won but he had an opportunity to put Ham away. Ham was like a clumsy boxer taking big swings, and Bill could have landed some knock out counter punches, but all he could manage was some jab to the ribs.

      As a middle school teacher, I’m always looking at presentation through the lens of a bored, ill informed 13 year old, and from that perspective, Bill lost his audience.

      In reply to #11 by JuJu:

      I see, Nye could’ve done better so Ham won Hands down, got it. I guess will just forget about how poor and nonsensical Hams arguments were. I would suspect that if there were any true fence sitters out there they would’ve been more influenced by Nye. I might be wrong, but I stand by the claim that N…

  5. I completely disagree that Nye lost the debate or that it was pointless. Ham had really nothing to say apart from the fact that he had a book and that he would never change his mind about it. Nye was coming from a different direction, as “a patriot” he was worried about the harm the denial of science that creationism involves, would cause to the US economy. He wasn’t really trying to score points against Ham like Hitchens would have done, but to appeal to Americans not to ditch science and its undoubted success in explaining the world around us. Indeed, in his remarks he was incredibly gracious about the “benefits” of religion.

    • Very good points, DArcy. Perhaps I’m being too hard on Nye, but I still believe the clarity of his presentation was below average.

      In reply to #13 by Mr DArcy:

      I completely disagree that Nye lost the debate or that it was pointless. Ham had really nothing to say apart from the fact that he had a book and that he would never change his mind about it. Nye was coming from a different direction, as “a patriot” he was worried about the harm the denial of scien…

  6. With someone like Pat Robertson telling Ham to shut up as he was making a joke of religion, is it not time to give Ham some credit for being the biggest force, among the evangelical loonies at least, for the spread of atheism.

  7. I’ve just remembered something that Ham said that really made my blood boil and I wondered why Bill didn’t jump on it next time he spoke and refute it thoroughly. Ham said something along the lines of all of science’s so called data on how old the earth is was obtained by radiometric dating of meteorites – none of it was from dating actual earth rocks. What utter bollocks and it popped into my head again while reading this.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140223131616.htm

    Scientists have just found zircon in rocks in Australia that dates to 4.4 billion years ago. Just an eyeblink in geological terms after the planet first formed 4.6 billion years ago. Evidence of the very first hard crust to have solidified from the initial molten fireball. Stunning stuff. Who needs to believe in invisible sky pixies and bollocks written by bronze age goat herders to get their daily dose of wonder when such amazing things are there aplenty in the real world? How amazing that despite all the tectonic plate shifting over the eons and the constant subversion of upper levels of original crust there’s a bit left still that never got buried and remelted thus losing its original date stamp. Fair dinkum to you down under our Aussie mates. Take a tinnie out of the fridge for me today and chug a cold one in celebration of science.

    • In reply to #20 by Arkrid Sandwich:

      Stunning stuff. Who needs to believe in invisible sky pixies and bollocks written by bronze age goat herders to get their daily dose of wonder

      I find that a bit condescending. I have lived and worked with so called “primitive” people and I have a profound respect for the depth and extent of their knowledge and the skills essential for their survival, despite their not being directly comparable to the discoveries that modern science and technology have brought.

      By the time a new Guinea tribesman (my direct experience) has acquired the education that permits him full adult responsibilities and benefits he has undergone the intellectual equivalent of a graduate degree at a modern university.

      Just because their ideas of the universe and all in it were wrong, and now obviously so, that was not so obvious then. The bronze age goat herders were strong and clever men. There is no profit in belittling them from the perspective of 2,000 years.

      Fair dinkum to you down under our Aussie mates. Take a tinnie out of the fridge for me today and chug a cold one in celebration of science.

      Oh dear, there are few things more embarrassing to an Australian than pretend use of the Oz vernacular. It’s far worse a travesty than its considered by some equivalent error in misplaced prepositions ;) “Fair Dinkum,” apart from being very dated, is not a greeting. And we can’t actually take credit for the zircons, anyway.

  8. Bill Nye could have done so much better. Young Earth Creationism is an inherently absurd concept. He should have made that clear. He should have shown the photograph from the AIG’s own website of the little boy riding a dinosaur.

    Nye stated that any wooden vessel over 330 ft. was unseaworthy but he should have followed up by showing photos of the full scale reconstruction of Noah’s Ark and explaining that it was a wood facade floating in an iron frame. That in itself proves that Young Earth Creationist are dishonest.

  9. I enjoyed the debate, it was interesting at that. Learned a few things here and there, including bow ties.

    However, Kan Ham was the worst person to defend Creationism and also did horribly on that part. I expected more from him, could be due to the accent, but I expected more.

  10. I watched the debate because I wondered how in the world a creationist could justify their beliefs rationally. I found out that their thought process is fundamentally different from mine: they are simply incapable of looking at evidence objectively, instead their reason starts with a “given” that the bible is true. I try to start with no “givens” whatsoever.

  11. seen myself the debate. Very sad in 2014 we still have to debate such kind of things. It’s like having microwave ovens and still spending time explaining to people how to lit a fire with two sticks.

    By the way we all agree Ken Ham is, simple as that, an illiterate idiot. What some don’t understand is the power an illiterate idiot can have on other illiterate idiots. Adolf Hitler was an illiterate Idiot too.

    Fact is, i agree Ken Ham from the point of view of creationists won the debate. Consider this: a man who put his faith into noah’s ark as an explanation of everything is no more than a child who accepts Santa Claus as an explanation on why he recieve a toy every year at christmas. The boy doesn’t really care about Santa Claus: he doesnt care how is it possible that he can visit all the houses of the world in just one night, bringing toys for all the childrends, how can i buy or manufacture them and so on. He cares about the toy and every explanation given is ok with him. Same here: a man who accepts noah’s ark as an explanation doesn’t care about the explanation, does care about his toy, in this case the bible. As long as you enter this set of mind you can see that for example:

    Nye said his mind will change instantly with just one proof that he is wrong
    Ham said his mind will never change cause the bible is the ultimate truth.

    Point to Ham: he has THE ANSWERS! Nye have only QUESTIONS.

    Nye said just one proof would be enough to change his mind
    Ham pointed to panda’s teeth and “that layer of rock and wood in australia”.

    point to ham: he provided to Nye PROOFS. Nye didn’t change his mind. So Nye is also a liar.

    They don’t give a F if main argument of Ham disproves the bible too as he say “we don’t know what happened in the past cause we weren’t there” because “we weren’t there even when the bible was written” They don’t give a F if Ham recurs to magic to explain everything: “animas very magically transformed into vegetarians and then back to carnivorous” “continents were moving at the speed of formula ones” and all the nonsense.

    As i said many time this kind of debate is almost useless. You can’t try to defeat magic with reason because as long as you accept magic as a possible part of the problem magic will always win cause magic doesn’t require explanations.

    You have to defeat magic with magic, you have your hands to be dirty. Nye could have explained the process of evolution bone by bone showing every single evidence the theory has to offer. It would have not been as convincing as if Nye had brought on the podium a whole library filled of sacred books and said:

    “listen you idiot! for every single book i have in this library i can find a fool like you pretending with the same kind of argument and amount of evidence that they know the truth, not giving an inch on it like you. you’ll never be able to find a common ground with these people. Now if i drop an apple everyone of you can’t deny that it falls at 9.81 m/s^2. Here is the difference between science and religions. Facts vs interpretation. Now i leave the stage and i’ll let you debate with my muslim friend Azim here who will explain to you why jesus is a fraud, bible is false and Kuran and Muhammed are the only saviours. Please notice that he will use exactly the same kind of arguments you use. Bye”.

    That’s all he really had to say.

    • In reply to #27 by Andrea R:

      seen myself the debate. Very sad in 2014 we still have to debate such kind of things. It’s like having microwave ovens and still spending time explaining to people how to lit a fire with two sticks.

      There is just no way I could sit through a debate like this. I would be too annoying to the people around me, even those that agree with me. I am just terrible (this will probably shock people who read my comments) at keeping my emotions to myself. If I were in that audience I would have been rolling my eyes, shaking my head, groaning, moaning,… they probably would have called the paramedics, and been letting out uncontrollable tourettes like utterances as the creationist talked: “oh what fucking bullshit!”, etc.

  12. In reply to #3 by David R Allen:

    This is an illustration of a very old problem. Is it the singer, or the song. A great orator can win a debate against a person with a universe of evidence on their side. It is not the skill or the orator or lack of by the opponent, but the audience that is the problem. There should be no audienc…I do not think that Ham won the debate. Anybody who listened to the debate knows who is right. I hold that is is nearly impossible to lose in a debate to a creationist because I value most the quality of the evidence presented.

Leave a Reply