Stream and Comment Upon the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Discussion Here

UPDATE: Below is the video of last night’s completed discussion of creationism between Ken Ham and Billy Nye:

Hey everyone. Here’s the link to where you will be able to stream the discussion of evolution and creationism tonight between Bill Nye The Science Guy and Ken Ham The Not Science But Creationism Instead Guy.

Please consider opening up this page in a second window and, as you watch, commenting with your thoughts on the proceedings.

Please remember, at least in discussions on this blog, not to treat people abusively, including the participants, but to criticize their positions vigorously on the merits and to make negative inferences about character precise, civil, non-abusive, and evidence-based. So, you may make charges of dishonesty, ignorance of facts, apparently willful distortion of facts, bias, closed-mindedness, evasive, unqualified, rude, condescending, etc., but not charges of being “stupid”, “a retardad”, “a douchebag”, “an assholenes”, “a creotard”, etc.

In case you don’t understand why I’m saying this or agree with this policy please read “But Aren’t Some People Actually Stupid”, and/or How I’d Answer The Charge That Atheists Call Believers Stupid Too Often, and/or Stop Calling People Stupid.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Little_Magpie

    thanks for posting the youtube link. I was trying to figure out how NOT to watch it on AiG’s website, giving them clicks etc.

  • BobbyStruck

    Ham has already misdefined science AND philosophy.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Nye’s opening was disappointingly scattershot.

    • Ben Wisdom

      Ken Ham’s opening was remarkably well-structured. He nailed the five minute time limit.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Ham is parading videos of scientists who are creationists, none of them offering no reasons but just their endorsement of creationism.

  • BobbyStruck

    I can think of SO MANY findings from astrophysics that directly contradict a young universe. What a bold lie that man just told.

    • Ben Wisdom

      Lying is an action based on intent. Ken Ham is only lying if he believes something other than what he is saying.

    • BobbyStruck

      It wasn’t Ken Ham speaking. It was an astrophysicist, who presumably is aware that what he said was false.

    • Ben Wisdom

      That is your presumption. If you have documentary evidence that the scientist speaking actually believed something other than what he said, then you will need to present it to establish your statement as anything other than mere presumption.

    • BobbyStruck

      It is more plausible than not that a man with a PhD in Astrophysics is aware that a vast array of astrophysical evidence points toward an old universe. He claimed that there is no astrophysical evidence that points toward an old universe. I find the claim that an astrophysicist could be unaware of such basic information in his or her field to be extremely implausible.

    • Ben Wisdom

      It isn’t more plausible. I have counter-evidence. There are at least two scientists with PhD’s who have posited plausible theories (based on Einstein’s theory of Relativity and quantum mechanics) concerning how the rest of the universe could very well be billions of years old while the earth was made in only six days.

      http://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Time-Russell-Humphreys-ebook/dp/B003BVJCQI/

      http://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Time-Physics-John-Hartnett/dp/0949906689/

    • YesDavisIsMyFirstName

      If they were plausible theories they would need to avoid proposing completely unfounded scientific claims, and also include the vast amount of geological, biological, and historical data on earth itself. E.G. there are TREES older than the young earth model. Also the books you cite don’t claim the universe is billions of years old they say its thousands, just like the earth. They simply postulate that no, time isn’t static, it can dilate (without any evidence to support this) and that light traveled to earth ‘relatively’ instantly because of this proposed change in how time actually works, effectively advocating the literal suspension of natural law to make the claim. They’re just another God-Did-It set of claims.

    • Plutosdad

      Then if his exact words were “there is no evidence” it is STILL a lie. If he said “I choose to interpret the evidence differently than 99% of other scientists except for these 2 guys on Amazon” then THAT is not a lie. But to say “there is no evidence” is false.

    • YesDavisIsMyFirstName

      To lie you only have to spread a non-truth. You can distinguish between the intentions of the speaker if you wish, but by definition, if the statement spoken is untrue it is a lie. Ken Ham is a liar, and though at the surface I’d try to think he is lying innocently, I always have a hard time giving the benefit of the doubt to those on the public circuit, who benefit financially from speaking the lie. e.g. there is a vast financial incentive to maintain a lie even if you have personally come to understand the truth.

    • UWIR

      Apparently, you insist on using words without understanding what they mean. The word “presumption” does not mean “conclusion for which you don’t have overwhelming proof that establishes it beyond any shadow of a doubt”.

  • 9B9K9999

    ouch my head is hurting….all that gishing, gushing, spouting…

  • Michael Waldrep

    Ken Ham’s argument is one of the weakest I’ve ever heard. He has proven nothing.

    • Ben Wisdom

      He doesn’t have to prove anything. He just has to clearly present what he believes to be the truth and plant reasonable doubt in the minds of those who are honestly seeking understanding.

    • YesDavisIsMyFirstName

      And that right there is why this debate was a bad idea… to the lay person, the argument doesn’t have to be true, they just have to be convincing. If you have a set of presuppositions or prejudices before listening, there is very little value in having the debate to begin with. Unfortunately the debate benefits Ham more than anyone since it gives him credibility.

  • Michael Waldrep

    Evolution and Science has been highjacked by Secularists? Seriously?!

  • Michael Waldrep

    So Darwin was racist and the Bible isnt, huh? Riiiight.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    I had to go deal with dinner. Has Ham made a single actual argument or has he just cited authorities?

    • Prpl Fox

      You are a better person for having missed the last 20 minutes of this.

    • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

      I’m recording the audio for later

    • BobbyStruck

      He has kind of sort of argued that if you treat Genesis as a scientific hypothesis, the observational evidence confirms the hypothesis. But he’s all over the place.

  • Guest

    I though it would never end. What did he say?

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Nye is using salient easy to understand examples here.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Oh great, now Bill’s going on about sex, giving the fundamentalist parents the excuse to usher their kids out of the room they were looking for.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    When Nye keeps saying what is accepted in the “outside world”, he does a nice job of implicitly pointing out that the creationists are in an intellectual bubble avoiding the outside world.

    • Jonathan Cullum

      How can you say that the creationists are in an “Intellectual Bubble”….there is clearly nothing intellectual about them at all.

  • Adolf Verloc

    Stopped watching it after Ham’s 30-minute talk. It won’t change one single mind.

  • TiredOfTheBS

    The evidence on Ham’s side (biblical stories, scientists who believe in creationism saying evolution is stupid) is so overwhelming I think I may have to change my mind. /sarcasm

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Ham is going to great lengths to focus on how other Christians can’t believe in the Bible literally and believe the universe is millions of years old. I’m torn. It does a great job of showing how the Bible is refuted by science, which will serve the causes of both atheism and biblical non-literalism. But it could make literalist christians double down on creationism.

    And noticeably, there’s not any actual positive scientific argument marshaled, but vigorous biblical arguments.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Nicely done talking about “seeing the past” by seeing the lightwaves that allow us to see other people and then talking about how the supposed change in the laws of nature as “magic”.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Poor translation of the Bible is always a red herring, I don’t think that will convince any creationists. Should just focus on the evidence and the absurdities of reconciling the scientific evidence with the Bible.

    • Ben Wisdom

      Yep, Bill is no theologian.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Saying that you have to trust Ken Ham’s word vs. evidence is not going to work on Creationists who simply think he is repeating God’s word. Need to drive a harder wedge.

    • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

      Ham’s picking up on this, citing creation scientists. Nye NEEDS TO TALK ABOUT PEER REVIEW.

    • Ben Wisdom

      Bill Nye and his fellow evolutionists have academic peers and review each other’s work and agree with it.

      Ken Ham and his fellow academic Creationists also have peers and also have their own peer-reviewed publications.

      And Democrats generally agree with Democrats.

      And Republicans generally agree with Republicans.

      It doesn’t make one side more than another just because that side agrees with itself on one thing or another.

    • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

      False equivalence. Scientists have incentives to invalidate each others’ work, because scientific progress comes in the form of falsification. Creationist “peer review” is nothing more than group-think and making sure you stay within well-defined theological boundaries.

    • Ben Wisdom

      It’s a true equivalence. The group of people who think they are immune to group-think is the group that has probably succumbed to it long ago.

    • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

      Says you. If Ken Ham or any of his colleagues were to try to publish in actual peer-reviewed magazines, their statements would get torn apart by legitimate objections. If the opposite were to happen, it would get “ripped apart” based on Biblical objections, not empirical observations.

    • Inoff and Non-obsequi

      Not sure that analogy holds up. The point of referencing peer review isn’t (just) to show that other scientists agree, but rather that a particular process has been followed—specifically, a vetting of a paper’s claims and underlying data and methodology, and an analysis by people who are maximally familiar with other research that has been done in the field.

      A better analogy might be to sports.

      The best baseball team generally beats other baseball teams

      The best hockey team generally beats other hockey teams.

      So there is an equivalence if the discussion is about each sport by its own measure, but not if the question is which team to we expect is better at hitting balls or skating. Or, to phrase it to more explicitly capture what I think is Fincke’s original point by paraphrasing the topic of the debate: if the resolution here is ” Is Creationism a viable model of origins in today’s modern, Baseball era” than pointing to differences between baseball and hockey might well be relevant.

    • Joe

      He should talk about peer review but it’s an eye roll issue for creationists. It’s not very compelling to them. Nye: Peer review, yada yada. Creationists: *eyeroll*

    • Ben Wisdom

      Yes, “Argumentum ad Hominem” is not a valid logical argument.

    • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

      That’s not the issue, Ken Ham has no scientific credibility, no peer reviewed evidence for his position. The issue is just that to a lot of creationists Ken Ham’s word is just God’s word and so they will have no problem putting an irrational amount of weight behind “Ken Ham/God’s word”.

    • UWIR

      Rejecting an argument to authority is not ad hominem. Yet another term you don’t understand,

  • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

    Ham’s “how do you know Noah wasn’t a good builder” was one I saw coming. Noah’s incompetence was something I wondered why Nye focused on. Just talk about the near impossibilities not the unlikelihoods. All the creatoinist has to say is “God made him especially knowledgeable”. Have to beat that.

  • Ben Wisdom

    Say what you like about the issues at hand, but the moderator is doing a great job.

  • Ben Wisdom

    Where does information come from?

    • http://camelswithhammers.com/ Dan Fincke Camels With Hammers

      Can you define the question better?

    • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

      To save you time, just think Intelligent Design, Dembski’s definitions, etc., although Dembski and IDers are heretics in Ham’s eyes.

    • Ben Wisdom

      I’m going to go a bit zen with my answer:

      Can you ask that question with out using words?

    • padawanphysicist

      From the second law of thermodynamics. To put it a bit simplistically, entropy in information theory is a way of saying how much information, on average, you can expect to find in a message, or whatever else it is that contains information of some sort. It’s right to associate expected information content with entropy because if you don’t, then you can get violations of the second law of thermodynamics by using an information processing demon (like Maxwell’s demon) to lower the world’s entropy. In a rather roundabout way, actually, new information comes from the fact that heat cannot spontaneously flow from colder to hotter bodies.

  • Ben Wisdom

    Bill Nye’s final appeal is patriotism? Really?

  • http://thediscerningchristian.wordpress.com/ Chris

    Ken Ham’s only “argument,” if you may call it that, is the insinuation of unwarranted malice on the part of evolution scientists. The rest is just technobabble and obscurantism.

  • Livin

    Both sides were too extreme for me. From Biologos’s web site

    “Bill Nye repeatedly returned to the idea that the Bible was a book translated over and over again over thousands of years. In his opinion this results in a product that could be no more trusted than the end result in the game of telephone. In this opinion he shows his lack of clear understanding of the whole process of the transmission of texts and the textual basis for today’s translations. The point he should have been making is that any translation is an interpretation. That is the point on which to contest Ken Ham’s “natural” readings of Scripture. We cannot base the details of our interpretations on translated (and therefore interpreted) text. We have to interact with a Hebrew text, not an English one. Nye also tried to drive a wedge between Old Testament and New Testament—a non-productive direction. The point he was trying to get at, but never fully exploited was how dependent Ham’s position was on interpretation.

    I commend Ken Ham’s frequent assertion of the gospel message. His testimony to his faith was admirable and of course, I agree with it. I also share his beliefs about the nature of the Bible, but I do not share his interpretation of the Bible on numerous key points. From the opening remarks Ham proclaimed that his position was based on the biblical account of origins. But he is intent on reading that account as if it were addressing science (he truly believes it is). I counter by saying that we cannot have a confident understanding of what the Bible claims until we read it as an ancient document. I believe as he does that the Bible was given by God, but it was given through human instruments into an ancient culture and language. We can only encounter the Bible’s claims by taking account of that context.-John Walton, BioLogos advisor”

  • Nemo

    Supposedly, Ham insists, the Bible predicts one race of humans, which science confirms. But that is definitional. Yes, some scientists thought other ethnicities weren’t human, but the very definition of species means that humans are of the same species. We can reproduce, therefore we are the same species. You don’t need the Bible to tell you that. And during his “evolution=racism” lecture, I wanted to shout at my computer “Curse of Ham”.
    For his slide on “origins/historical science”, Ham has an image of two scientists looking at a transitional fossil and seeing different things. WTF?! This shows how weak his position is. It’s one thing to have different interpretations. It’s quite another to look at a Homo erectus fossil and imagine that it is some creature living today.
    No, Ham, just because you can’t observe something in real time doesn’t mean you take it on faith. We can observe the afterglow of the Big Bang.
    “They arbitrarily define science as naturalism”. It is. Demonstrate the supernatural, otherwise we have no reason to base any research on it. In fact, given the poor track record of supernatural explanations (rainbows are the splitting of light, not Jesus promising not to drown everyone, demons don’t make you sick, etc.), I feel fully justified in demanding extraordinary evidence of the supernatural. All I get is arguments for why I can’t say it doesn’t exist.
    The Bible does not teach the sanctity of life. The Old Testament has a view of human life equivalent to the Quran. The New Testament does a shoddy job of retconning the difference.
    Abortion isn’t in the Bible one way or the other. The Old Testament has instructions for performing one if a woman cheats. Show me where the Bible says that adding a sperm cell to an egg cell generates an immaterial soul. I dare you.
    “Creationism is the only viable model of origins confirmed by observation….”
    WHAT!!!!!????
    “I want children to be taught that God loves them”.
    This is not evidence. It is an appeal to wishful thinking.
    I like how Bill Nye was talking actual science facts. Ken Ham used lots of appeals to wishful thinking as well as appeals to consequences.
    When Bill mentioned how the Big Bang was developed, I cringed at the word explosion. The Big Bang, as in the name, was given by detractors of the theory. It wasn’t an explosion. It was an expansion or stretching of space. It’s easy for me to criticize him, since I wasn’t up there debating, though, so I’ll just add two things: I would have mentioned that the guy who developed the theory was a priest, and I would have added that we can see the afterglow of the Big Bang today.
    Bill brought up the Starlight Problem. Good move. I suspect Ham will try to either claim God made the light in transit (God is a liar then) or, since he works with Jason Lisle, try to claim the speed of light is decaying. Let’s see.
    Bill mentioned the Founding Fathers mentioning science in the Constitution. I suspect Ham will rebut using David Barton’s “proof” that the Fathers were all far right fundies. Bring up Jefferson, Adams, and Paine to counter this.
    When Ham mentioned that Bill made a lot of points and he wouldn’t have time to answer them, I am reminded of the Gish Gallop. I’m not saying Bill used it. That would only really apply if he tried to say “but you didn’t answer this one point”.
    Ham, the Mount Saint Helens point has been debunked. A creationist geologist used the dating techniques badly and got a bad result. And look, more “you weren’t there, therefore you can only make wild mass guesses”. Sigh.
    Looks like Ham did more preaching New Testament theology than creationist “science”. Wonder why?
    “90% of dating methods contradict billions of years”. Citations seriously needed. And you said we can only know for sure if a witness tells us? Were you there when the Bible was written? Did you observe Jesus telling them what to write? Did you observe Moses writing the Pentateuch? By the way, the New Testament was written decades after the alleged events, and there was some controversy in the early church over which doctrines and which books were legit. So, no, it isn’t eye witness testimony. Not in the least. Jesus did not manifest to you and tell you what happened. Men told you the Bible was true. The same men whom the Bible tells us to never, ever trust.
    “As my associate said, there’s nothing in astronomy to contradict a young universe”. There is no polite way to say this, but that is a lie. You never addressed the Starlight problem at all. Even if you accept the Kalam argument to prove some sort of entity called “God”, it is NOT the God of the Bible who created everything 6000 years ago. Everything about cosmology screams of a universe far older than your book claims. Look, if you were worried about time, you could have said “I don’t have time to answer Bill Nye’s arguments about astronomy”, but you outright pretended he didn’t make them. Face meet palm.
    “I am asking for evidence that lions were vegetarians. I give you their teeth, you give me verses as translated into English”. Excellent. Some atheists were hoping for pwnage, and surely guys like AronRa or King Crocoduck will be unleashing that in the coming week in the form of commentary, but Bill Nye is doing a better job, I think, of maybe planting some doubt in people’s minds. No, he isn’t going to create atheists. But maybe, he can set the pieces in motion to create more scientifically literate Christians.
    “The Bible as translated into American English” Ooooh, bad move there Bill. The King James Version, AKA the only one many fundies accept, is in 1600s British English.
    Regarding the old wood in older basalt that Ken mentioned, I suspect that AronRa or someone else will find the source for that claim and debunk it. I feel that Bill handled it as best as he could, since nobody has Google installed in their brain yet.
    “Natural law, laws of logic only make sense in a Biblical worldview”. No, Ham, just no. The laws of logic can be traced to Greek philosophers, not Ancient Israel. Science was the domain of the Greeks, Muslims, Hindus, and Chinese before the Christian world began to excel in that area. Natural law (which is simply how humans describe the natural world) does not point to Yahweh.
    Ken, if you define kinds the way Ray Comfort does, it’s no wonder Bill is “confusing species with kinds”. It is a vaguely defined word with little taxonomic value. If you want to propose some alternative to Linnaean Taxonomy, fine. Create one, submit it to scientists, and show how your taxonomy is better. Put up or shut up.
    “Less than 1000 kinds were on Noah’s Ark”. Oh great. Bill showed how assuming 7000 kinds just 4000 years ago does not fit with the world today. You just made his argument earlier all the more devastating. And I’m glad Bill pounced on that.
    “You’re talking about…. kangaroos getting to Australia. We’re talking about the past, we didn’t see those”. I agree. You didn’t see a kangaroo getting from Turkey to Australia, and you can’t give a good model for how that happened which fits with the world we can observe today. You lose.
    The bear teeth claim I suspect will be answered by someone in the coming week.
    Yes, the Chinese built big boats. They also had to have teams of engineers to maintain them at sea.
    Your attempted rebuttal of the Starlight problem will probably be debunked by King Crocoduck. He’s an astrophysics major, after all.
    Bill, well said about how our “assumptions” are based on experiments. And excellent points after that about how there is no evidence of change 4000 years ago. And I’m glad you pointed out that preaching New Testament theology doesn’t prove Old Testament history at all. I’m also delighted at how you embraced falsifiability. I didn’t see your show much when I was a kid, only occasionally, but I can see why even my devoutly Christian fundamentalist friend sang the Gangnam Style version of your theme song.

  • Nemo

    Sorry my last post was so long. Here’s part 2 of my response as I watch the debate.
    So, Ham, you admit you have no explanation for the expansion of the universe other than goddidit. Nice. Also, it wasn’t until modern astronomy came along and showed us that our world is simply a pale blue dot in a cosmos full of them that we saw how small we are. When the Bible was written, they thought stars were small objects which could fall to earth. And more preaching theology than science.
    For the atoms behind the Big Bang, Nye isn’t the person for that. I’d suggest asking Stephen Hawking about that. He did well with what he had. Ham’s response has already become memetic. As for matter producing language, define information. Nature can produce patterns which we can interpret as information.
    Ken Ham insists that the Bible makes predictions. As I said, all humans are the same species by definition. If they can mate, they are the same species. No need for predictions. Some scientists tried to justify their own personal prejudices, and they were wrong. As for kinds, am I missing something? You can’t even define a kind.
    Again, Mr. Nye isn’t the person to ask about consciousness from matter. Since numerous animals have demonstrated self awareness, though, we either have a problem with the idea of it coming from a “soul” or some animals have souls. I freely admit that many theists will embrace the latter idea. In general, when asked about topics not in his field, I feel Mr. Nye should just say, “I am not the person to ask about that”. Maybe name drop someone who would know. This would probably be more effective than going off on tangents about crystal organisms from science fiction.
    Again, Mr. Ham, the Bible doesn’t explain. Goddidit has no explanatory power. And we can demonstrate that consciousness comes from the brain. Alter the brain, you alter the mind. It’s fact, not faith. Your claim that it comes from some immaterial thing is simply not in line with reality. You might find ceasing to exist sad. Oh well. That doesn’t mean you do live on. And since the Bible promises that Jesus will torture the overwhelming majority of people who ever lived, shouldn’t you be telling people to avoid pleasant worldviews and embrace depressing, death metal ones?
    And here we get to the crux of the matter. Ham can not think of any hypothetical thing that would change his mind. His view is not falsifiable. It is not scientific. There are an infinite number of things that would falsify naturalism. Angels come down and erase all atheist cartoons of Muhammad. Wiccans start using magic to show those posers with “medical degrees” how healing is done. From his dark house in R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu awakens from his dreaming. All of these would leave me in shock. Ken Ham would just handwave it as a trick from Satan.
    So, if you believe the Bible really hard, you’ll get proof then and only then? That’s called confirmation bias Ken, and it applies to any religion. I believed the Bible for most of my life. I believed everything you do, except I was a conservative Lutheran, so there might have been a few wrinkles, but anyway. What made me into a skeptic was that over time, I began to apply the same standards of evidence I applied to other religions to my own. My own worldview shattered quickly.
    “I would need evidence”. Bill, you win right there. That sums up the entire debate of science versus creation “science”.
    There are many forms of isotope dating, and all point to a very old earth. To say nothing of fossils of animals which clearly haven’t existed alongside man. “No earth rock was dated”. I expect someone to tackle this claim afterwards. You don’t have to assume the rate. They are mathematically proven. We do know how decay works.
    We have observed plates moving. “Catastrophic plate tectonics”, caused by the flood, is not a feasible model.

  • Nemo

    Part 3. If you’re reading this, you’re a trooper. Anyway, I think Bill made a mistake describing the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics in such great detail. A quick synopsis would have done, and he should have focused more on how evolution does not conflict. As for Ham’s response, a digestive system would be unnecessary if everyone was truly immortal.
    When asked if he would be a Christian if he were given some irrefutable evidence that the earth is old, Ham didn’t answer the question. I hope the young Christian (I doubt many atheists were in that audience) who asked that question took note.
    Great Ham, the presuppositional argument. We use the laws of logic because they work and are definitional. You don’t need to assume that the Hebrew war god wrote them, especially when he promised to personally torture the people who are credited with the laws of logic (Greek philosophers). The Bible also prohibits critical thinking. Do not put Yahweh to the test. Do not demand evidence for the Bible’s claims (but feel free to mock other religions as Elijah did).
    Ham, about the question on Old Testament law. The year is 1 BC. Some residents of a Jewish town accuse a woman of adultery, then bash her head in with rocks. In your objective moral opinion, was this a beautiful, holy, just act, or is it demonstrative of primitive thinking? For me, this is a pretty simple question. As for polygamy, after the Bathsheba incident, God tells David, I blessed you with many wives and I would give you more if you want. Yeah, he really hated polygamy, huh?
    I believe it was Paul who wrote that all Scripture was inspired. In which case, the Gospels were not yet written, nor Revelation. And if I recall, there was some debate among the Jews about the canon of some Old Testament books. So, which Scriptures are inspired? Surely not the Gospels, which were written AFTER Paul said all Scripture is inspired.
    I’m glad Bill pointed out the lack of predictive power of the YEC model, but he should have gone over the examples Ken tried to give earlier. All humans being the same race, for example.
    Watch out, Bill. If you said survival of the fittest, you know Ham is going to pull a Godwin. On Ken Ham’s response, yes Ham, blind cavefish do fit in better with their environment. That is survival of the fittest.
    I’m pretty sure Islam has a similar creation story, Ken. Why not focus on proving history instead of preaching theology? Similarity in myths does not prove one particular myth to be absolute just because it is popular centuries later.

  • http://batman-news.com blotonthelandscape

    I have to say, Bill did incredibly well (I wasn’t expecting much). If I have one criticism, it was his continual reference back to the equivocation between an understanding of life sciences and an ability to produce engineers. If he’d kept this narrowed on medical sciences (i.e. antibiotics), I’d agree with him, but as far as things like designing spacecraft and jet-planes, it’s superfluous.
    This is how I think of it; yes, followed to its conclusion, an understanding of radioactive decay leads to a belief in an old earth. However, in order to do engineering using that understanding, you don’t need to go that far. You only need to understand how that process is relevant to the problem you’re attempting to solve.
    In this respect, I felt Bill was leaving the door open to Ken to point at his engineering mates (like the MRI guy), and say “hang on, these people don’t accept your conclusions but they’re producing game-changing technology”.
    And frankly, if you want to find scientists who are also creationists, the best place to start is in the fields of engineering and computer sciences.
    I liked the fact that he avoided being baited on morality and anti-secularism. It didn’t belong in the debate.

  • Jonathan Cullum

    Ken Ham is either a complete loon or a very clever businessman preying upon the uneducated, somewhat dim population of Kentucky to make himself lots of wonga!!


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