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I did a cartoon about this yesterday as well.
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Actually… 91% seems pretty low. (I didn’t watch the “debate,” but seeing tweets about it forced me to acknowledge it… and, seriously? I kinda lost respect for Bill Nye for engaging in that nonsense.)
How? Because he likes to debate and educate without being an asshole like Dawkins?
Why would Nye even engage in conversation with someone like that?
Even THE VATICAN agrees there’s no conflict between evolution and Christianity (from FIVE YEARS AGO: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/4588289/The-Vatican-claims-Darwins-theory-of-evolution-is-compatible-with-Christianity.html)
How many Christians actually believe what this other guy does? He’s one of a small, far out fringe minority that gets attention because of how off-base and ridiculous his claims are.
Bill Nye didn’t “win” anything–he lowered himself to the same level as creationists.
I’m at the point where Nye felt the need to address Ham’s very dangerous thinking.
Do you think any of the people who choose to think like Ham are capable of being swayed by facts or reason? Did this debate change anyone’s mind?
How many people knew Ham’s name before this debate?
I get the feeling I’m dealing with a similar mentality so I’m out of this conversation
I think you make some excellent points Criss. I knew who he is simply because I came out of a church that supported his nonsense. (Even busing groups down to the so called “museum”) But you’re right. No amount of logic or intelligent reasoning will influence those who choose to be willfully ignorant of reality. I am just glad most don’t confuse that charlatan with intelligent people of faith.
More believe it than you might think, if Gallup polls are any indication:
I used to belong to a fundamentalist church throughout my teens and it was only after attending a similar debate, where a biologist our church’s college group invited presented evidence for evolution and an old earth, while an ‘expert’ of our own countered with nonsense like Ham’s, that I began to question my beliefs, learn more, and ultimately left a few months later.
Will many minds be changed by Nye? Probably not. But I for one am grateful for the woman who graciously accepted our church group’s invitation, was willing to meet us on our own turf, and simply laid things out for those of us who had never even heard the other side. If I remembered her name I’d send her a thank you.
That you’ve decided that people like my former self aren’t worth talking to is, frankly, insulting. I was ignorant, yes, and have no one to blame for that but myself, but that didn’t make me worthless. Dialogue and sharing is what enables both good ideas and ignorance to spread. If no one’s engaging the ignorant, they’ll happily spread their attitude to others far and wide. Equally as troubling as ignorance is elitism.
Perhaps you place many words in his mouth? Those who embrace ignorance and ANYTHING supporting their dogma no matter how absurd rather than admit they might not have the perfect understanding of the bible may be the true elitists. I too came out of a fundamentalist church with similar views. Oddly enough I did not take his comments as as insulting or perceive he was suggesting I was not worth talking to. There are some (you and I for example) who have not fully thought through their beliefs yet. Then there are the willfully ignorant…those who embrace falsehood no matter what. I think THOSE are who Criss is referring to. It is those who I speak of.
Dale, there is a huge difference between a biologist coming to your church to have a conversation (even if it’s framed as a debate) and Bill Nye pulling this online publicity stunt. The people to whom the Bill Nye event was marketed are anti-theists who want more ammunition to ridicule theism in general, Christianity (or what they interpret Christianity to be) in particular.
You were ignorant because you grew up in an environment that created that ignorance for you, probably feeding you misinformation. You have the leaders who were around you at the time to blame for it.
You were a teen when this woman came to speak to the youth at your congregation, when an opportunity for dialogue and sharing was created for you and your fellow youth. Perhaps, if you were a teen now, you would have heard about this Bill Nye event and watched it at home. With your parents? Hiding from them? How much dialogue and sharing would have happened, had you watched this event online? What were your parents’ beliefs about evolution? Would they have welcomed the questions watching this online debate would have led you to ask?
“That you’ve decided that people like my former self aren’t worth talking to is, frankly, insulting.” I have a problem with people like the leaders who create environments where youth are left ignorant and/or given misinformation. You were a teen, you found new information, questioned what you’d been taught, looked for answers, made up your own mind. You’re not at all the people I was talking about, unless you, as an educated adult, were a devout follower of Ham until you watched the debate.
“If no one’s engaging the ignorant,” In our day and age, it is hard to remain ignorant. Youth are ignorant due to inexperience, but those open to questioning and learning will soon find what they seek (as you did), be it a speaker at their church, a science teacher at school, people they meet in college, etc.
The only people I know and know of who even knew this “debate” was happening are atheists (most of them extremist atheists or borderline extremist atheists; people with a strong hatred for organized religion and/or Christianity); the few Christians who knew of it A) have no quarrel with science or evolution and B) found the whole thing ridiculous.
If Nye wanted to bridge a gap, to reach out to Christians, to find common ground with Christianity, why not invite Christians/theists who agree with science and evolution to the debate? Why not offer himself, instead, to moderate a debate between Ham and other Christians, who can discuss religious teachings and what the Bible actually says — the language people like Ham [purport to] speak and understand, and therefore listen to? Show how Christianity and science are not at odds at all, that science is not a “threat” to Christianity?
If you want ratings, you book Sarah Palin and the mother of a Sandy Hook student murdered in the shooting to “debate” gun control. If you want to actually have a conversation, debate and sharing of ideas, you find two people who represent different sides but understand the other viewpoint and are willing to work together to find common ground.
Well, I did not watch the debate. What were the opening positions? Slow-term evolution or sporadic evolution? Creationism as literal history or Creationism as poetic history?
Ham basically came to the conclusion the being a Creationist makes you a more moral person and was letting us know he feared the idea of an atheist world.
I haven’t yet watched this debate but expect it to be very entertaining, far more than the best American comedy which has ever been played out.
I have heard a terrible talk of Ken Ham where he argued that Christianity will disappear if young earth creationism does not take over the Church.
The thought that quite the contrary is the case seems to have never entered his mind.
In the UK where I am currently working, there are very few YEC among Conservative Evangelicals. I guess it is a positive consequence of secularism: it forces religious people to hold to more reasonable views. You can believe fundamentalist crap and get through life in the Bible Belt, but it would never work in France, Germany or Britain unless you keep all the non-sense for yourself.
The real debate is between PC and Mac. Both Nye and Ham both have one. Mac wins! 😉 And once you start using a Mac…well, it’s a slippery slope.
IMO, This debate will benefit the creationists in the short-run because it elevate their position to an equal footing as science (in even being on the same stage). The creationists will benefit from some extra funding and donations to support their evangelism and construction projects. Although, in the long run, things like this hurt religion in general because it is another reminder that at root, religion is a way of relating to the world that is based on special writings of earlier people and creationists just take this to the logical extreme. Ham makes all religion look bad and contributes to the long-term secularization of the world. I’m sure Nye takes the long view.