Creation Museum: ‘The Media is Split’ About the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate

Let’s throw an easy question out there: If you had to criticize Bill Nye over Tuesday night’s Creationism/Evolution debate, what would you say?

Almost universally, it seems, people on the science side of the debate focused their criticism on his decision to accept the invite in the first place. Very few had major problems with his presentation, with responses ranging from Great! to that-was-scientifically-valid-but-not-very-compelling.

Few people, it seemed, argued that Nye did a poor job of defending his side, and Ken Ham may even be included in that bunch.

Let’s face it: You can’t find an article (that’s not from a Creationist group) that says Ken Ham won the debate. He didn’t. He objectively didn’t. Even if you thought there was a debate to be had, that spell was broken the moment Ham said he wouldn’t change his mind about Creationism no matter the evidence.

Which brings us back to Answers in Genesis’ recap of the event, written by staffer Steve Golden:



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South Dakota Bill That Would Have Allowed Teachers to Promote Intelligent Design in School is Killed by Its Sponsor

Last week, South Dakota legislators proposed Senate Bill 112, a bill that would allow teachers to preach Intelligent Design despite the fact that it’s essentially synonymous with pushing religion in the classroom:

In short, the law — sponsored by over a dozen Republicans — would make it legal for teachers to push ID without punishment.

However, today, the bill’s main sponsor, Jeff Monroe, said he was scrapping the legislation because, as one reporter put it, “it was badly written”:

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Ken Ham: The Debate Audience Wasn’t All White! There Were At Least Two Dark-Skinned People There!

Creationist Ken Ham is not happy with Time magazine (so, hey, we have that in common) because of how one of their bloggers characterized the audience for Tuesday night’s debate against Bill Nye:

2 minutes [into the debate]. Nye, in his signature bowtie, and Ham, with his Aussie accent, hop on stage, shake hands, and ready themselves behind their respective Apple laptops (only Nye’s has stickers). Nye stands on the left. Ham is on the right. The cameras pan to an all-white audience.

Ham is upset because the audience was totally not just white people and he quotes one of the commenters on Time‘s website to prove it:

All-white audience? In the second row there was a distinguished-looking man with very dark skin, and in the third row was another African-American man. I didn’t have to look any further than the first three rows to know that the Time reporter was dead wrong. See for yourself at a recording of the debate, found at www.debatelive.org . Makes me wonder if I can really trust this writer and her observational skills. I wonder, too, if Time.com will now place a “sic” next to the obviously wrong claim. So, editor, will you please?

A few thoughts about this:

Elizabeth Dias, the Time writer, was live-blogging the debate using the livestream. I was doing the same thing, and when I saw the camera pan across the audience, I noticed the lack of diversity, too:



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Virginia Legislators Make the Right Call and Abandon Bill to Legalize Prayer During School Events

It was just over a week ago when we were talking about a Virginia bill, Senate Bill No. 236, that would legalize student-led, administration-supported proselytizing at football games, during morning announcements, graduation ceremonies, and anywhere else where students had a public forum.

The Senate passed the bill on a 20-18 vote, and it passed through a House Committee on Education earlier this week.

To my shock — especially since Republicans have a sizable majority in the House — the bill hit a wall when it got to the House Courts of Justice subcommittee on constitutional law. Turns out letting students use every public forum provided by the school as an opportunity to proselytize isn’t such a great idea after all…

The highlight of the debate may have been when delegates were listening to the warnings of ACLU of Virginia director Claire Guthrie Gastanaga (below):



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Yesterday, Another Arizona Legislator Delivered a Godless Invocation on the House Floor

Remember last year, when Arizona State Rep. Juan Mendez delivered a secular invocation on the House floor?

Carl Sagan once wrote, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” There is, in the political process, much to bear. In this room, let us cherish and celebrate our shared humanness, our shared capacity for reason and compassion, our shared love for the people of our state, for our Constitution, for our democracy — and let us root our policymaking process in these values that are relevant to all Arizonans regardless of religious belief or nonbelief. In gratitude and in love, in reason and in compassion, let us work together for a better Arizona.

It was that awesome.

Well, yesterday, on a day when representatives from the Secular Student Alliance and the Secular Coalition for Arizona were visiting the state capitol, another politician delivered a godless prayer. This time, Rep. Ruben Gallego (below) did the honors:

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