So Ken Ham has answered my challenge. He says he’ll have a debate, but not with me. Oh no, he won’t face me.
Why not, you ask?
I’ll explain that in a moment. First let’s look at his counter-proposal.
He actually wants to replace both of us. He wants to pit a professional scientist with respectable accolades against one of his own anti-science apologists wearing similar credentials. Why? To present the illusion that there is a legitimate scientific debate wherein creation is might be a seen as a reasonable option to evolution. It’s not, and there’s no debate in science about that.
I have often said that creationists use ‘lies of equivocation’ for the same deceptive purpose. For example, they argue:
that evolution is a religion.
that science relies on faith just like religion does.
that science is biased just like religion is.
that there is no evidence for evolution/big bang/abiogenesis, etc.
that there is evidence for creation/the flood/god/etc.
that religion is reasonable just like science is.
that religion can be confirmed empirically and experimentally, just like science,
and that creationism is somehow scientific.
These are all falsehoods commonly found on posts from creationists. They need to use language like this in order to entice supporters into thinking that there is a choice of options. There isn’t.
In reality, there is no comparison between these two perspectives. You can’t “teach both sides” because there is only one that we actually know anything about, and that one we can still show to be true, regardless whether any god exists or not
Evolution is the only theory of biodiversity there is or ever was. It is literally a fact of life, which can be objectively verified. It’s traceable, observable, and testable with measurable accuracy.
Creationism doesn’t meet even one of the criteria required of a scientific theory. It is simply a form of dogmatic religious extremism, requiring blind obstinate faith in lieu of ANY of the evidence that only genuine [evolutionary] science has.
Another common fib from the creationist camp is that both sides are looking at the same evidence, but that too is impossible, and I’m not just talking about the volumes of evidence creationists refuse to acknowledge. By definition the same facts cannot simultaneously indicate two different mutually-exclusive conclusions. Facts can be considered evidence only if they are concordant with one option over any other.
Creationists are not looking at the same facts, and they’re not following any of the facts where they lead either.
If you want to see the facts that unanimously and exclusively confirm evolution, I can show those all day. I list hundreds of examples in a few of my videos that are definite and defensible. Transitional fossils, beneficial trackable mutations, emerging species, we’ve got all that and much much more. But creationists cannot even begin to provide anything like that in defense of their own position. Because if ‘truth’ is whatever we can show to be true, then there is no truth in their religion.
Put another way, all of the claims creationism makes fall into two categories only:
(1) those that are not evidently true, meaning there is no reason to believe them, and
(2) those that are evidently NOT true, meaning they’ve already been proven wrong.
There is no third category, because there has never been a single verifiably accurate argument or element of evidence positively indicative of supernatural creation over biological evolution or any other avenue of natural science. All they have are unwarranted assumptions and unsupported assertions of untestable impossibilities based on logical fallacies.
This being the case, one might think that a live debate between scientists would reveal the truth. But that’s not how science works, and Ham knows it. But that’s the only way he can pretend to be scientific.
Live debates aren’t about scientific accuracy, no matter how they’re promoted. They’re evocative performances given by speakers who only need to present well. Real science isn’t done in a live format, because science requires that all claims be systematically scrutinized and substantiated. Bull$#!+ won’t fly in that environment. Creationism can neither produce the goods nor withstand real critical analysis for even a moment.
Because creationism is not like the truth and does not like the truth. In fact, despite all their claims of truth with a capitol T, for them truth is irrelevant. Their position is literally one of make-believe, a self-imposed auto-deceptive delusion. The power of pretend is all packaging and presentation, smoke and mirrors.
Most professional scientists are basically honest, dispassionate analysts, and may expect creationists to be innocently ignorant. But every creationist organization there is –including Ken Ham’s group, answersingenesis- has prominently published a ‘statement of faith’ wherein they promise both to assert as fact that which is not evidently true, and also to thoughtlessly reject any and all evidence that might ever be brought against them. It’s essentially an oath never to admit when they’re wrong. Consequently It is the most dishonest position it is possible to have.
Professional creationists like Kent Hovind have demonstrated in live debates that they can utter as many misrepresented distortions in one sentence as there are words in that sentence. Most credible scientists would be completely blind-sided by such outrageously unethical behavior. Any legitimate scientist will have a specialty, but the creation scientist is a jack-of-all trades, trained to lob a jumble of falsehoods from vastly different fields all in rapid fashion, such that no actual academic could have all the necessary knowledge to adequately address or refute enough of those points in the limited time allowed.
Only a few actual scientists are familiar and fluent in creationist tactics enough to really put them to task. Ken Miller could do it, but if we brought him in, Ham would immediately turn it into a theological battle, attacking Miller’s religion instead. He’s done it before. In fact Ham was uninvited from at least a couple past homeschool conferences because he was so rude to another Christian speaker who understood evolution.
So now Ham accuses me of being rude to him?! Such irony! Creationists do like to project their own faults onto others. Remember that he started this when he called my wife names on his blog. He called her an ignorant, intolerant, inept extremist fighting AGAINST freedom of religion, mostly without quotations of course.
We’ll be discussing these false accusations and deliberate distortions on the n0nes this Tuesday at 8:00pm central. Because no one is a better advocate of freedom of religion than atheist activists, and no one is a greater enemy of that than the Religious Right.
It may be rude of me to call Ham a liar, but only because sometimes the truth hurts.
So now we come to the real reason why Ham won’t debate me, and why he won’t let any of his PhD stand-ins debate me either: He knows they can’t win.
I know that just sounds like a boast, but I’m serious. If it were him and I on the stage together, we would be two extremists, I admit. But one of us would be clearly correct and the other obviously not. He’s got a multimillion-dollar scam going. I know his game, and he knows I’ll show it to everyone else.
My whole purpose in this is to hold Ham accountable, to prove in a public demonstration that Young Earth Creationism is not science, and is not like science; that it will teach children to understand nothing about the natural world. Thus it would be nothing less than an injustice to allow him to peddle that to other people’s children as if it were actually factually accurate or has any scientific or educational merit whatsoever.
Ham knows that I’m familiar enough with the under-handed tactics of creationists that I can expose his fraudulent position better than most professors could. So if he debates me, it will cost him. He’ll lose even more of the already dwindling support base he still has.
Refusing that, if he wants to his ‘scientists’ to debate like real scientists, then they’re going to have to do that in the peer-reviewed journals –where his snake oil will not sell. Until the magic-believers can play in that field, then no professional scientist should ever debate a creationist on-stage. They’d only be playing into a con game otherwise.