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View Diary: Bill Nye explains Why (194 comments)

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  •  I Think He Can Still Take Al Gore (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, nailbender, Buckeye Nut Schell

    in a best 13 of 25, before a Harvard audience.

    This is a stupider idea than Democrats 2009-10.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:43:51 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  If George Lakoff were dead (4+ / 0-)

      he'd be spinning in his grave.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

      by nailbender on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:47:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here is how I explain science... (11+ / 0-)

      to my evolution denying friends.  First I ask them to look at the stars and guess how far away they are.  We can measure distances and know that there are stars we can see with our naked eyes that are over 15,000 light years away.  We can see galaxies with our naked eyes that are two and a half million light years away.  If you take a telescope and put it into space and aim it out to the outer edges of the universe, there are stars we can see that are 13 billion light years from earth.  The thing is, if the earth was only ten thousand years old, we would not be able to see any of those things because the light would not be here yet.  

      The Christain church once believed that telling people the earth moved and the sun was the center of the solar system was heresy.  They actually persecuted people for such beliefs and it has only been relatively recently that the Vatican apologized for the manner in which they treated Galileo.  Since those days of old, the church has realized that the heliocentric theory IS compatible with Christianity and we, as Christians do not even question the order of our solar system any longer.  The same thing will and must happen with evolution.  Christianity and science can not be mutually exclusive concepts if Christianity is to survive.  

      Any belief that someone is willing to dedicate their life to should be able to stand up to scrutiny.  Do not be afraid to challenge your own beliefs.  That does not mean to abandon them, it means refine them and move forward.  Just like science, no idea is born over night.  Galileo didn't look into a telescope and realize the universe started with a big bang.  That concept evolved over time taking baby steps along the way.  Our understanding of God is the same way.  It takes baby steps (a few backwards and hopefully a few more frontwards).  

      I believe that the biggest obstacle to being "fishers of men" are the people who close their eyes to the truth because they are afraid.  Fear of finding out something contrary to what you believe is not faith it is actually the opposite of faith.  If you have faith then you will courageously explore the unknown asking for God's guidence to help you understand the great mysteries of life and physics and space with each new discovery, you will find yourself closer to God rather than farter away.  Don't try to fit God's work into your limited comprehension of how and why He has done what He has done.  

      Step back and wonder at how God used DNA to replicate and blend the characteristics of parents to create a baby.  Marvel at how complex a system that was created to take a single cells organism and turn it into the masterpiece that Humans have evolved into.  Wonder how many other times God has done this and are we the latest and greatest or the first and most advanced or are we just one of many. I do not know and since I am impatient, I do not want to wait to ask him in person.  God has given us talents and wants us to use them rather than bury them for fear that they will discover something that is heresy.  I believe God is watching and saying, "Go for it!"

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:25:38 AM PST

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      •  in the whole creationism "debate" there are (12+ / 0-)

        only two questions that mater:

        1. What is the scientific theory of creation or intelligent design and how can we test it using the scientific method?


        2. If there IS NO scientific theory of creation or intelligent design, why should we teach your particular religious opinions in science class and not everyone else's? What makes your religious opinions any more authoritative than mine or my next-door neighbor's or my car mechanic's or the kid who delivers my pizzas, other than your say-so?

        Creationists fall all over themselves avoiding those two simple questions.

        If Nye insists on a debate, he should nothing but ask those two questions, over and over again, and interrupt Ham every time he doesn't answer them.

        (PS--I used this tactic so many times in online debates at the Talk.Origins newsgroup and the Panda's Thumb Blog that it became affectionately known by others as "The Flanking Maneuver".)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:24:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  One of the advances in the Intelligent design... (5+ / 0-)

          arguments are their careful framing of arguments to mimic scientific theories.  I have heard a lot of them.  Keep in mind, I consider myself a Christian even though my belief in evolution and science disqualifies me in many of my fellow Christians' minds.

          I have been caught off gaurd by scientific "facts" that I was unaware of and I have had to say, "Let me do a little reading and get back with you on that".  Some of what I read, at first glance, looks very legitimate and its deception lies in subtle nuances of word meanings.  I have had to dive several sources deep at times to find where their argument falls apart.  Bill Nye is a smart guy and would be much better at recognizing a canard and the exact points of its deception but the average listener would not be so quickly convinced.  

          If Ham answered Bill Nye's challenge quickly with an unexpected, confident reply rattling off actual carbon dating facts and limitations citing flawed studies that sound completely scientific with test methods and spouted off data results from testing, the audience would quickly declare Ham the winner.  Reports showing that there was deception would be ignored and intelligent design folks would be forever legitimized.

          There was once a famous debate between Timothy Leary and Jerome Lettvin where Leary was for the legalization of drugs (or rather not making them illegal) and Lettvin was initially for the abolition of use (either through law of persuasion).  Leary's approach completely through off Dr. Lettvin.  He first talked of a dangerous chemical that is so addictive that it causes a person withdrawls so severe that someone will die if not treated.  He went on to further describe how this dangerous and devestating chemical (water) should be banned and people should not be trusted with it.  He then did the same thing with fire.  Leary was able to use what some might call parable like arguments to make the audience understand the essence of his argument, he made them think.  He was in fact so impressive that his opponent had to admit that although he initially thought of Leary as a monster, he had been convinced himself to rethink his views on the subject.  

          That right there should be the objective of every person who engages themselves into a debate.  Make the audience think for themselves so that the come up with your point of view so naturally that they believe they changed their mind independent of your argument.  I can see people walking away from the debate saying, "I have no idea what the hell that crackpot Leary was talking about but I'm starting to think that we shouldn't limit a person's right to do what they want with their mind and body.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:14:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really hope Nye has folks advising him how to (5+ / 0-)

            handle variations of this:

            Pro Tip for Science Denialist How to win a debate with a scientist:

            First, get a list of over a dozen things you want to say. They don’t have to be true, and many, even most, of them can be versions of each other. Then, when you are in the debate, do this:

            Scientist: “If there’s one thing you should take away from this discussion, it’s…

            Denialist [interrupting]: Thing one, thing two, thing three, thing four, thing five.

            Scientist: “Actually, that thing four you said, that’s not really true ..

            Denialist [interrupting]: Thing six, thing seven, thing eight, thing nine, thing ten.

            Scientist: We can’t be sure of everything but one thing we are pretty sure of is…

            Denialist [interrupting]: I’m sure of thing eleven, thing twelve, thing thirteen thing fourteen.

            Moderator [scowling at denialist]: Let’s give the scientist a chance to explain thing two.

            Scientist [flustered]: Thing two.. Well, what is really important is that, well, that’s not important; to know why thing two is incorrect you need to understand ….

            Denialist [interrupting]: thing fifteen, thing sixteen, thing seventeen, thing eighteen, thing nineteen

            Moderator: Well, that’s all the time we have, please join us next week..

            Denialist [interrupting]: thing twenty, thing twenty-one, thing twenty two ….

            Denialist wins debate.

            Obviously, Mr Nye is a very smart fellow.  Mr Ham could not succeed in a traditional, moderated debate where official judges award points for logic and persuasive argumentation (forensics).  This gig ain't that.

            Ham will employ the Ham Hightail and/or the Gish Gallop:

            The Ham Hightail is a term coined by P.Z. Myers to describe the ham-fisted[1] arguments presented at Ken Ham's Creation Museum. In contrast to the Gish Gallop, the Ham Hightail consists of hurtling from point to point, ignoring all contrary evidence, and blithely regurgitating the Bible whenever proof is required.[2] It sounds even more annoying than Gish's method, and it is.
            Please, Mr Nye, be prepared to successfully wrestle with a shit-spouting pig, down in his dishonest muck, in front of a hootin' and hollerin' crowd hostile to facts.    


            Pragmatic Centrists? meh

            by JVolvo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:52:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think you may mean (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, Buckeye Nut Schell

        "the universe" and not "the earth" at the end of your first paragraph, when you say " if the earth was only ten thousand years old..."

      •  They have different ways of measuring light speed (3+ / 0-)

        There are "theorists" who use science-y "proofs" to explain how the speed of light has changed over time, so what appears to you billiions of light years away is actually only thousands.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:32:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly. Mind is different from logic. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        "Christianity and science can not be mutually exclusive concepts if Christianity is to survive."

        That fails because there are millions of people who go through their whole lives with next to no use of logic. Most people are vulnerable to illogical arguments much more than we want to believe.

        Go back far enough and human history departs the tools of Inductive Logic. Just go back to the Greeks and you get to the starting line for building these tools as parts of a comprehensive structure.

        Check out the "Straight Line" persuasion system.

        That's the core for Republicans' most popular propaganda operations. And it goes at people brains with deliberately non-logical scenarios and direct stimulation.

        Consider the Birther meme. And there's always another one, a new lie that reaches the same Right Brain targets.

      •   Christianity and science can't be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "Christianity and science can not be mutually exclusive concepts if Christianity is to survive."

        Christianity doesn't need to survive.  The universe could give a shit if you believe it or not.  The universe doesn't care what you think.

      •  don't forget... (0+ / 0-)

        The big bang therory was actually started by a Catholic Priest.

        Science Deniers are just plain old idiots

      •  Of course (0+ / 0-)
        Since those days of old, the church has realized that the heliocentric theory IS compatible with Christianity and we, as Christians do not even question the order of our solar system any longer.  The same thing will and must happen with evolution.
        Christians do not question the heliocentric view of the solar system today precisely BECAUSE the church would have lost that battle.  When the clergy woke up to that fact they did an immediate about face.  And they will again.  Some day.

        The good news is that, in most countries, people aren't put to the rack or burned at the stake for believing the scientists.  At least not at the moment.

        And I love your final paragraph, jfwiw.

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