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View Diary: Bill Nye Is Making a Mistake (339 comments)

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  •  I complete disagree with almost all of your points (12+ / 0-)
    1.  A formal debate against someone legitimizes their position.
    Open your eyes.  Ken Ham position is already legitimatized in the views of this country.  Ignoring creationist hasn't stopped their spread, it has actually helped it.  
    2.  Ken Hamm is a publicity hound, and this will give him and his Creation Museum publicity.  For more on this problem, see the blog by Heman Mehta, The Friendly Athiest.  
    Again, the Creation Musuem has bee around for a while. The people who are inclined to see such a thing will see it.  Can't stop that.
    3.  You can't win a debate against an opponent who does not have to play by the rules of evidence.  
    You don't have a debate like this to win, and certainly not to win over your opponent.  You have a debate like this to educate whom ever is willing to listen.  That is why Nye is going, to speak to the people who are willing to listen.
    4.  Supposedly the question for the debate is this:  "Is creationism a viable model for origins?"  This has two problems.  First, there is no way Hamm stays on this question.  He will attack evolution.  Second that is no way to prove in a debate that creationism is not viable, because it is.
    Except that creationism is not a viable model.  Which is why no scientist supports it.  Bill Nye is going to go there and explain to them what science is and why creationism isn't a valid theory for the origin of the Earth.  They will either listen or they won't.  I don't think he has anything to lose.  
    •  On point #2, yes the museum has been around (8+ / 0-)

      for awhile, but attendance figures have been dropping fast, and Ham's attempt to build a Noah's Ark theme park nearby is floundering.  Ignoring them works.

      So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

      by illinifan17 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:29:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're wrong (4+ / 0-)
      Ignoring creationist hasn't stopped their spread, it has actually helped it.
      Creationism hasn't been ignored. It's been treated with the respect given false equivalency. THAT is a big reason for it's spread.
      Again, the Creation Musuem has bee around for a while. The people who are inclined to see such a thing will see it.  Can't stop that.
      Wrong again. the creationist museum is hurting big time because attendance is waaaaay down.
      You don't have a debate like this to win, and certainly not to win over your opponent. You have a debate like this to educate whom ever is willing to listen. That is why Nye is going, to speak to the people who are willing to listen.
      You have debates to win - that's what debates are all about. If you wan't to educate folks this is not going to do the trick.
      Except that creationism is not a viable model.
      Sorry - the diarist blew away your statement even before you typed it out.
      Second that is no way to prove in a debate that creationism is not viable, because it is.  If you believe in an all-powerful God who can choose to make the world any way that God wants to, then creationism is viable.  Any evidence that appears to the contrary is just part of the plan.  e. g. If god created Adam and Eve as adults then God created the Earth with a mature appearance, including fossils in the ground.  You can't argue against that, because it is not an argument itself.  That's what makes it not science - it is not falsifiable.
      This is a bad move for Nye - the diarist has it right.
      •  No, the reasons for the spread of Creationism (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, MPociask, PhilK

        have nothing to do with giving it respect. It has spread in large part because it was disrespected by its viciously hated enemies, particularly in the Civil War and again in the Civil Rights era, in the same way that all of the Lost Cause resentments against Yankee tyranny spread during and after the Civil War. Creationism is in large part the denial that Whites are descended from Black Africans just like the rest of us, which Darwin told them in 1859.

        The reasons are frank racism, coming from the Southern Baptist "Curse of Ham" apologetics for slavery before the Civil War, and expanding greatly in the Civil Rights era when Flood Geology became popular; and a twisted theology that claims that an omnipotent God cannot save sinful humans without the bizarre blood sacrifice of himself as his own Son to himself as Father in order to redeem the Fall, which must therefore be literal history. All mixed with ritual cannibalism and dunking people in rivers. All of which appeals to members of a twisted society that defined itself by racism, bigotry, misogyny, and Mammonism, among other sins, and found that defining itself as the Born-Again Elect fit right in with their other prejudices.

        The Southern Baptist Convention officially condemned racism, and now has a Black President; but it doubled down on the bigotry, misogyny, and Mammonism in the process, and still holds to the essential but covert racism of Creation.

        I can't explain that theology properly because of the vast number of points at which it entirely fails to make sense, contradicts itself, contradicts the Bible, and so on.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:50:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope (0+ / 0-)
          No, the reasons for the spread of Creationism have nothing to do with giving it respect.
          That's flat out wrong.
          Nutcase goofball craziness spreads when given credibility. Happens all the time.
          Happens not just to crazy ideas about evolution - it also happens to crazy ideas about guns, global warming and rape.
          •  Ah, that must be why the goofball crazies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MPociask

            are losing easily winnable Senate seats. Like Richard "Rape babies are God's will" Mourdock, who was too crazy for Indiana Republicans.

            Because they get too much respect.

            May I ask what you put in your breakfast cereal?

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:15:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They're winning seats too. (0+ / 0-)

              Hey - remember that governor down in South Carolina that disappeared for six days?
              He's back - in congress.
              How about Louie Gohmert?
              Rick Perry
              Representative Paul Broun
              Sam Brownback

              BTW - my cereal? What's in it? Only God knows.
              I can only tell you it's NOT addictive - much.

              •  You keep saying someone is "given" credibility. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MPociask

                By who? You can't ignore Rick Perry and expect him to go away.  Mark Sanford was ridiculed, the people of South Carolina put him in the Senate.  It wasn't because someone gave him "credibility."  The truth is these people have credibility already because they are already supported by a vast number of like-minded people before they ever make it to your TV.  Mark Sanford, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry didn't spring out of nowhere.  They were highly "credible" people before they slipped into public office.  

      •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burlydee

        Most Americans are too busy working their incredibly productive shifts to even realize there is a Creationist Museum, or even Creationists, period.

        Any one of those unaware Americans who happens to stumble upon Nye v. Ham has a good chance of walking away thinking: "What kind of idiot thinks the world is only 5000 years old--and lies to prove it?"

        Every one of those Americans unaware of the present religious insanity needs to become aware. And it almost goes without saying that Ham won't be able to pick up a single convert he didn't already have in his pocket. Only Nye can 'win' this debate, by the only standard of 'winning' in this situation--proving your point by showing the obvious.

        "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

        by DaddyO on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:12:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In response (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask, emelyn
        Creationism hasn't been ignored. It's been treated with the respect given false equivalency. THAT is a big reason for it's spread.
        I disagree.  Its treated with respect only by believers.  No one who doesn't believe gives creationism any equivalency.  The only "equivalency" is in the minds of Christians.  I never seen creationism seriously discussed amongst any scientist or any learned person.
        Wrong again. the creationist museum is hurting big time because attendance is waaaaay down.
        Attendance may be way down for a variety of reasons.  Regardless, I doubt a debate between Nye, a former star of a children's show, and Ham will save the Creation Musuem.  And really, I don't think has an impact whether its there or not.  Its a non-issue.  
        You have debates to win - that's what debates are all about. If you wan't to educate folks this is not going to do the trick.
        Lol, really? Is someone keeping score?  Are there going to be judges.  Do they pick a winner after the end of every crossfire segment?  Does Chris Matthews have an MVP trophy?  These debates are nearly meaningless exercises except they allow people to spread ideas.  

        I'm not worried with science competing with creationism in the realm of ideas.  Science will win.  Nothing Ken Ham can say will scare me. He won't convince anyone. Bill Nye can't lose.

        Second that is no way to prove in a debate that creationism is not viable, because it is.  If you believe in an all-powerful God who can choose to make the world any way that God wants to, then creationism is viable.  Any evidence that appears to the contrary is just part of the plan.  e. g. If god created Adam and Eve as adults then God created the Earth with a mature appearance, including fossils in the ground.  You can't argue against that, because it is not an argument itself.  That's what makes it not science - it is not falsifiable.
        The diarist employs circular logic here, which makes sense, since he is talking about religion.  I think the distinction between my reasoning and the diarists turns on the meaning of "viable." If you believe in all powerful god than anything is viable.  But if you believe that and you except creationism, than there really is no argument.  You're just a religious believer.  But viable means "capable of working successfully; feasible."  And creationism, isn't a feasible theory for the creation of the modern world.  That is why no real scientist excepts it, and it only preached by religious zealots.  Its not feasible that the Earth is 5,000 years old.  Its not feasible that humans lived with Dinosaurs.  You can certainly choose to believe it, but its not a feasible hypothesis for what we observe on Earth.  

        So creationism is only "viable" if you ignore every piece of scientific data on the subject; if you ignore all modern observations of the natural world; and if you place more faith in 2,000 year old books than 2,000 years of learning.  The only person "creationism" is viable to is religious zealots.  

        I personally think the entire debate is meaningless.  But I don't see any harm of Bill Nye going to the belly of the beast and educating some people on what science is about.  

        •  Wrong again (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tim DeLaney

          Re Creationism:

          Its treated with respect only by believers.  No one who doesn't believe gives creationism any equivalency.
          You're ignoring what I said and denying reality. when creationism is treated in the media as a he said she said issue it is given credibility through false equivalency.
          This debate stunt will give it that false equivalency. It will make it more respectable. That's the harm.
          Get it?
        •   I think attendance is down because (0+ / 0-)

          The people who would want to go either have been or don't have money to go, and there's nothing else in the area to bring people in.

          If you build a 'museum' in the middle of nowhere, don't be surprised if your attendance figures are lousy.

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