Ken Ham Responds to Bill Nye

“Bill Nye has an agenda …. Bill Nye really doesn’t understand science …”

That’s some weapons grade projection right there.

Via Dangerous Minds

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  • blotonthelandscape

    “Weapons-grade projections” makes me think of Hitchhikers Guide “Point-of-View” gun.

    Sorry, that’s my only thought on this topic, carry on…

    • UrsaMinor

      That’s okay. Practically everything makes me think of some passage or other in “Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy”. :)

  • quarkjet

    I don’t understand why creationists can’t see that science discovers the inner workings of nature or what they refer to as god. It is all observation based, however the “6-days” thing is translated from man’s word from culture to culture from generation to generation, what is observational about that? there is no such thing as “historical science” there is “history” and “science” .. there is no interpretation to science as it progresses through the ages…there may be at first but ultimately the truth comes out. when it comes to the bible though, the ideas and concepts change from year to year. how is that truth? it is unfortunate that children are held hostage with this idiocy.

  • brgulker

    “What has engineering got to do with evolution?”

    I understand that Nye’s point was related to the scientific method, and that rejection of evolutionary theory is fundamentally a rejection of the scientific method.

    But, I think Ham’s one sentence above is actually correct. It isn’t necessary to accept evolutionary theory in order to be a successful engineer. Doing so may require accepting certain propositions that are contradictory, though.

    • JohnMWhite

      Engineering has nothing to do with evolution. So what? An engineer can’t learn about and teach other areas of science? I work in computing, that doesn’t mean I have no idea about evolution either. Ham’s point seems to be that Nye shouldn’t bother with evolution because he didn’t have to learn about it for his previous job. That’s a complete canard, and it is betrayed two seconds later by Ham inferring that actually evolution *is* engineering, by a divine engineer. This guy can’t keep his thoughts together for two minutes, he’s simply throwing out a random collection of arguments and insults hoping to see one of them stick. He also keeps saying “humanist” as if it automatically invalidates somebody’s knowledge of science, which coming from a guy who thinks ‘knowing stuff’ is science, is remarkable.

      • Rekyem

        How about genetic algorithms for parameter optimization?

        • UrsaMinor

          As both a biologist and professional software engineer, I despise the term “genetic algorithm”. They are no more “genetic” than an airplane is “avian”.

          • trj

            Why must you be so militant?

  • JohnMWhite

    “Christians are not frightened to teach their children about evolution” – what utter crap. They are deathly afraid. Even Ham says about thirty seconds later that you don’t want Bill Nye teaching your children evolution and that evolution isn’t appropriate for children. They can’t keep their story straight for any length of time at all. If anybody’s a danger to children, it’s the likes of Ham who are so determined to utterly cripple a child’s capacity to learn and think for themselves all for the sake of enforcing dogmatic belief in a stupid, demonstrably false concept of creation. This is why I dislike religion and its hardcore adherents so strongly – they use children as tools and they are quite happy to do them significant harm all for the sake of stroking their own egos and pretending to please their petty, violent, insecure god.

    • Paul

      The reality is they know their kids are going to be taught creationism but their desire is to teach it to other kids too. Plus I’m sure they don’t like the idea of a conflicting idea being taught a concept that actually makes logical sense. Christianity knows that they have to base belief on faith because the facts aren’t on their side.

  • DaveyJones

    I was hoping for Ken to give us a little bit more of a defensible position. All we get here is “Bill Nye doesn’t understand science…” I also heard a little bit about observational vs historical science. According to one of Ken’s colleagues (Dr. Georgia Purdom) both evolution and creationism fall into the historical science category because they can’t be observed. However, evolution total falls in the observational category since we can observe fossil records and even do experiments. She then loses all credibility by saying that “observational science confirms the LITERAL history of Genesis.” Purdom is a PhD in Molecular Genetics and her years of education still shows she doesn’t understand how observational science works?

    Doesn’t it seem odd that a dude at the Creation Museum finds it necessary to get a person with a SCIENCE background to try and disprove evolution. Scientists never employ creationists to disprove creationism.

    • Sunny Day

      If they had a more defensible position, they have had decades to use it. I think its safe to say they don’t have one.

      They need Scientists because all they understand are arguments from authority and some how having a fake science degree makes their bullshit moar bettar.

    • blotonthelandscape

      Whilst Ham misspeaks, evolution is not predictive (last I checked), which, according to some philosophers of science, makes it inferior to sciences like physics. This might be what he means by historical vs observational (or maybe he’s deliberately obfuscating the two).

      We can’t look at a creature and say “this is how this creature will look in a million year’s time”, because of the chaotic nature of evolutionary processes.

      We can, however, “post-dict”, the most striking example being Tiktaalik. And it by no means invalidates evolution as a whole, it merely limits what we can use evolution to say about reality. It’s little more than distraction with a view to false equivocation between evolution and creationism.

      • Richard Maus

        “evolution is not predictive” – This alone is sufficient to demonstrate your total ignorance of the subject of biology. Glad you documented it.

      • blotonthelandscape

        Feel free to correct me Mr Maus. I’ve demonstrated on these very forums my willingness to change a false position when it’s warranted. Re-stating what I said and calling me “totally ignorant” is insufficient I’m afraid.

        I’m by no means an expert, and most of my understanding comes from AronRa, PZ Myers and Talk.Origins. My degree was stats and economics, so to the extent that the science uses statistical methodology to validate it’s findings, and game theory to model it’s processes, and to the extent that I understand the sciences as a whole, I think I understand well enough.

        One need not be a creationist to conclude that we cannot predict future forms (or the rate of change) using evolutionary theory. Or perhaps you find Michio Kaku’s projections of what the human race will look like in the future compelling? This is what I mean (and what I understand philosophers of science to mean) when they talk about a theory being “predictive”. I believe (as I indicated above) that Ham is misusing this trait of the theory (intentionally or otherwise), and that he is wrong for doing so, but I think it’s important to be clear on why he’s wrong, and what matters.

        Again, happy to be wrong on this Mr Maus.

        • Nox

          It is true that we can’t exactly predict where hereditary lines will end up in the long run, since future selection will include factors we are not aware of. But the selection principle itself does have predictive ability. We have been using that predictive ability since long before we really understood the principle in the selective breeding of plants and animals. Even the very first people to say ‘if we kill everyone in that tribe they’ll stop reproducing’ understood some form of artifical selection. Many successful medicines we can make today are based on successfully predicting the results of artifical selection on bacteria.

          This is not the same as for example, being able to apply math to accurately predict the location of stars and planets in a million years. But we can observe, predict, and in some cases control, the factors which will impose selection upon us and other species in the future.

          • blotonthelandscape

            Thanks for the clarification! I hadn’t thought of artificial selection as an example of a predictive use of the theory.

        • trj

          The theory of evolution is predictive retroactively, which you yourself hint at with the Tiktaalik example. Scientists were able to predict they would find this particular transitional fossil in the strata corresponding to a certain age. Predictions can similarly be made in genetics.

          Since evolution is an undirected process we can’t make such specific predictions on future developments, which appears to be what you mean by “prediction”.

          • UrsaMinor

            That’s not a retroactive prediction. It is a perfectly ordinary future-looking one: the evolutionary model was applied to the existing data and it was predicted that evidence for X having happened in the past would be found in the future if the model was correct. And X (the predicted transitional fossils) have been found, and continue to be found.

            Future predictions are less constrained, since we don’t know exactly what the environmental conditions and selection pressures will be, and the processes are stochastic. Evolutionary theory predicts, for example, that if large grasslands and savannas come to dominate the environment, then large grazing animals will evolve to eat the grass. You can’t predict whether the bodily form will be a cow or a kangaroo, though.

  • lawn

    I don’t know how I made it through 2:32 of that.

  • Anna

    I find it amusing that ratings and comments have been turned off for this video on Youtube, while Bill Nye’s is still fully interactive.

    • Carlos

      Hey Anna,you beat me to this comment! It would have been interesting to see what kind of responses the video would have gotten… We’ll never know.

  • Jack Edwards

    I have no respect for this video. When you teach children to believe in an imaginary friend you are teaching them a lie. It is very difficult to see reason when you turn a blind eye to to truth. God is not truth. Science at least attempts to seek out real answers instead of relying on obsolete theories that have no foundation in fact. I will certainly intervene if I see anybody within earshot teaching their children religion. And seriously, adults should have given up the notion of a god when they learned about the tooth fairy and santa claus. Religion is child abuse.

  • Custador

    I would, if given the chance, punch that man so hard in his pockmarked face that my fist would come out of the back of his head. And then I would say “How come God doesn’t put your teeth back in for you, Ham?”

    What a horrible little tit Ham is.

    • Bob Jase

      God doesn’t heal dental amputees either.

      • The Other Weirdo

        He will if your faith is strong enough. After all, Jesus was able to zombify at least one man, because he had FAITH. Jesus himself said he would return, and he DID! As a zombie, but still, he came back.

      • Godlesspanther

        For the same reason that god only talks to megalomaniacal assholes.