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View Diary: A modern day miracle: Ken Ham delivered the decisive blow in the creationism debate (451 comments)

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  •  I just finished watching the debate (78+ / 0-)

    easy to find on youtube.

    My take-away is that Bill Nye was did a great job and I think he handled it about as well as anyone could given the venue. I appreciate that he didn't try to go point-to-point with the wacko - and instead hammered over and over his points about science education and the lack of predictability of 'historical science'.

    If anything I think Bill was too easy on him - I would have liked him to have closed repeating that there's no such thing as 'historical science'. - just SCIENCE! -and call out the BS one more time.

    "The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings" Adam Duritz/Counting Crows... Or if you prefer... "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" Carl Sagan

    by zipn on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:52:23 PM PST

    •  Ah, but you can't fight faith (39+ / 0-)

      with facts. That's a truism that people ought to bear in mind. Those who KNOW what isn't known, or KNOW what science stands in contrast to, won't ever have their minds changed by inconvenient facts. Ever, in a million years. If they believed in that kind of number. They don't.

      ...there y'go.

      •  That is what a lot of people at this site don't (10+ / 0-)

        understand. Nye lost the debate because he was speaking a totally different language to the faith based community.

        •  Could not disagree more (115+ / 0-)

          Nye won that debate hands down.  Will it change the minds of many believers that watch it?  Of course not.  Most are beyond reason and beyond reach.  But for some, the seeds of becoming a "reasonable person" have been planted and will soon take root.

          Put another way.  Is there an atheist/secularist/humanist that will change their mind and suddenly think that the earth is 6,000 years old because some people think that is what the bible says?  No.  Are there some young creationists that have doubt injected into their world by hearing, for perhaps the first time, the real truth about the age of the earth and the age of the universe?  Absolutely.

          It's a long game and picking up converts here and there is the best that can be hoped for.

          (Reasonable minds may disagree)

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 04:49:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Eventually Climate Change wins the debate (17+ / 0-)

            Humanity and most everything else that walks or crawls, swims of flies loses. The Planet and its evolution then take another stab at life and possibly some hundreds of millions of years down the road the next" intelligent" life form finds us in the fossil record.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:33:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Probably no second chance... (7+ / 0-)

              The sun will start to heat up and expand.  We've only got a few hundred million years left before this place is cooked.

              The cockroaches better figure things out pretty quickly.

              The good news is - they may be better suited to living on mars, which will be much nicer by then.

              Good luck little guys!

              The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

              by No one gets out alive on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:55:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wrong order of magnitude (18+ / 0-)

                Our sun is middle aged and has around 4 billion years of main sequence life remaining.  

                •  Increased solar output will get us a lot sooner. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  radv005, rktect

                  "Over the course of the next billion years or so, the amount of energy the Earth receives from the Sun will increase by about 10%. Which doesn’t sound like much, but it means a greenhouse effect of epic proportions.

                  Whatever is left of the ice caps will melt, and the water itself will boil away, leaving the planet dry and parched. Water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, this will drive the temperatures even hotter.

                  So there’s no need to panic. Life here has a few hundred million years left; a billion, tops. But if we want to continue on for billions of years, we’ll want to add solar heating to our growing list of big problems."

                  The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

                  by No one gets out alive on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:59:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where the heck is that from? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    renbear, SilentBrook, wishingwell

                    Never heard anything remotely like that.

                    •  Scientists used to believe (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      No one gets out alive, gffish

                      that life on Earth would get vaporized when the sun blew up 5 billion years from now but then they realized that the sun would get hot enough to vaporize the ocean in only 1 billion years. That would create a runaway greenhouse effect like the one that occured in Venus.

                      It is estimated that such a runaway greenhouse effect, were it to occur today, would raise our temperature to 600 degrees Fahrenheit with an atmospheric pressure 200 times that of the present (all the oceans will turn to steam).

                      A million Arcosantis.

                      by Villabolo on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:57:31 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  It isn't the sun that's the problem (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    No one gets out alive, soarbird

                    Its the greenhouse gases that trap the suns radiation inside the Earths oceans and atmosphere warming them up. The time frame involved isn't millions of years or billions of years its three to five decades.

                    As the earth warms and climate changes 100 year storms become ten year storms, sea levels rise cities are destroyed, the oceans and rain forests die, the organisms that absorb carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen are among the species extinctions.

                    According to the 5th Report of the IPCC by the time we hit 2°C somewhere between 2035 and 2050 three earth atmospheres of methane hydrates stored around the plate boundaries and in Siberia will have begun to outgas, that process has already reached the km in diameter size but it gets much worse quickly.

                    By the time we hit 4°C the tropics are no longer habitable

                    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                    by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:27:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They're both a problem. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      peregrine kate

                      The current human contribution to global warming is greater than 100% because of the cooling effects of the current ocean and solar cycles. When the sun comes out of it minimal phase, far more energy will be available to be trapped.

                      •  We are in the Anthropocene (1+ / 0-)
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                        Because big energy has been jawboning about what a wonderful thing it would be to warm the poles and melt all the ice for more than a century.

                        The first problem with that is albedo.  Ice and snow reflect a lot of the sunlight that warms the ocean, and atmosphere. Combine our warming and pollution to acidify the ocean and kill all the life in it and you take out the species that make oxygen. . A second problem is rising sea levels, a third releases of Methane Hydrates.

                        You aren't alone in not thinking things through.

                        Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling. Had there been an ice age we would have different conditions  than what we in effect have and different sets of tipping points.

                        Temperature has risen almost one degree C since the industrial revolution, its projected to be 2 degrees C by 2035 -2050 and 4 degrees C plus by 2100; none of that is good for life on this planet

                        1877 Harvard geologist Nathaniel Shaler proposed channeling more of the warm Kuroshio Current through the Bering Strait to raise temperatures in the Polar region by 30 degrees.

                        1912, New York Engineer and Industrialist, Carroll Livingston Riker proposed building a 200 mile jetty off Newfoundland to increase the Gulf Stream’s flow into to the Arctic Basin with the added benefit that it would “shift” the axis of planet earth. The New York Times characterized the proposal as “amazing”… but not insane.

                        1929: Hermann Oberth, German-Hungarian physicist and engineer; Proposed building giant mirrors on a space station to focus the Sun’s radiation on Earth’s surface, making the far North habitable and freeing sea lanes to Siberian harbors.

                        1945; Julian Huxley, biologist and Secretary-General of UNESCO 1946-48; Proposed exploding atomic bombs at an appropriate height above the polar regions to raise the temperature of the Arctic Ocean and warm the entire climate of the northern temperate zone.

                        1946 Village Voice article from 2005 reporting on theMay, 1946 issue of Mechanix Illustrated that featured several arctic-warming geoengineering proposals. One “brave new idea” was proposed by Julian Huxley, then the Secretary-General of UNESCO, and brother of Aldous Huxley, that would detonate atomic bombs to warm the Arctic.

                        1958; M. Gorodsky, Soviet engineer and mathematician, and Valentin Cherenkov, Soviet meteorologist; Proposed placing a ring of metallic potassium particles into Earth’s polar orbit to diffuse light reaching Earth and increase solar radiation to thaw the permanently frozen soil of Russia, Canada, and Alaska and melt polar ice.

                        1958; Arkady Markin, Soviet engineer; Proposed that the United States and Soviet Union build a gigantic dam across the Bering Strait and use nuclear power–driven propeller pumps to push the warm Pacific current into the Atlantic by way of the Arctic Sea. Arctic ice would melt, and the Siberian and North American frozen areas would become temperate and productive.

                        1958 Russian Oil engineer, P.M. Borisov’s proposed melting the Arctic and Greenland icecaps by spreading black coal dust on the ice, creating cloud-cover across the poles to trap heat and to divert warm Atlantic waters into the polar regions. This scheme was taken seriously by Soviet climatologists. Two conferences were held in Leningrad in the early 1960′s following an initial meeting in Moscow by the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1959.

                        1958 Atlantic Richfield geologist L.M. Natland, proposed exploding up to 100 underground nuclear bombs to mine the Alberta Oil Sands. Heat from the detonations was expected to boil the bitumen deposits, reducing their viscosity to the point that standard drilling operations could be used. The plan was encouraged by US efforts to find “peaceful uses” for atomic energy. The project was approved in 1959 but the Canadian government reversed their decision in 1962 and declared that Canada was opposed to all forms of nuclear testing. In 2012 the Canadian Tar Sands are, again an issue of international concern.

                        1962 Harry Wexler (March 15, 1911- 1962) was an MIT graduate and PhD in meteorology. Wexler had been researching the link connecting chlorine and bromine compounds to the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layers, but died of a heart attack while on vacation in Woods Hole, Mass. Wexler had already accepted an invitation to deliver a lecture entitled “The Climate of Earth and Its Modifications” at the University of Maryland Space Research and Technology Institute. (Source)

                        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                        by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:14:06 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  "You aren't alone in not thinking things through." (0+ / 0-)

                          What an asshole you are. I'm very familiar with climate science, and nothing you posted contradicts the well-established scientific fact that

                          "Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling"

                          is false.

                          Temperature has risen almost one degree C since the industrial revolution, its projected to be 2 degrees C by 2035 -2050 and 4 degrees C plus by 2100; none of that is good for life on this planet
                          Yes, no kidding. And what the fuck does this have to do with the fact that we're in a period of solar minimum and the oceans are absorbing heat?

                          Fucking jackass.

                        •  Chew on this, you jerk: (0+ / 0-)


                          Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling.
                          Wrong, denier.
                          •  Human on the left , natural on the right n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:29:19 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes ... AND (0+ / 0-)

                            positive (heating) on the left, negative (cooling) on the right. Are you just blind, or stupid? Again,

                            Current ocean and solar cycles are anything but cooling.
                            Is WRONG.
                          •  The man made heating extinguishes any cooling (0+ / 0-)

                            from natural cycles by several orders of magnitude so that Anthropogenic warming of the oceans and the atmosphere are going to kill us all in a few decades.

                            Current ocean cycles are the sum of heating and cooling or more simply since the cooling is negligible the warming. As for the solar cycles what counts is not the radiation received but the warming from the radiation kept trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases. Again any solar fluctuation is negligible the man made anthropogenic warming on the other hand, is not.

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:00:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Scientific and mathematical illiteracy (0+ / 0-)
                            The man made heating extinguishes any cooling from natural cycles
                            Yes, of course it does, which is why, as I said and as the skepticalscience article says, the human contribution to warming is > 100%. But they are cooling cycles, which you denied, oh dishonest one.


                            so that Anthropogenic warming of the oceans and the atmosphere are going to kill us all in a few decades
                            For a large enough value of "a few", but yes. Why are you telling me this? You write as if I were a AGW denier when I'm the opposite ... apparently because you have poor reading comprehension.
                            Current ocean cycles are the sum of heating and cooling or more simply since the cooling is negligible the warming.
                            The current state of the ocean cycle is heat absorptive, with a net cooling effect. That's why those bars are below zero on the right of the graph ... more energy going into the oceans means less in the atmosphere so lower surface temperatures ... thus the current "hiatus", which is a lower than expected rate of surface temperature increase. But when the ENSO cycle shifts so the oceans start giving up some of that heat, the rate of surface temperature increase will soar ... goodbye ecosystem.
                            As for the solar cycles what counts is not the radiation received but the warming from the radiation kept trapped in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases.
                            This is nonsense and misunderstands basic arithmetic. Nothing would be "kept trapped" if there were no radiation from the sun. The greenhouse effect slows the escape of energy, and we have put enough CO2 into the atmosphere that the net effect is a steadily increasing temperature ... but this is directly related to the amount of incoming radiation. The rate of global warming is considerably lower than it would be if we weren't in a solar minimum. When the sun cycle goes into its high phase, the current "hiatus" will end and we will roast far more rapidly.
                            Again any solar fluctuation is negligible
                            No it isn't. You've confused this with the bogus denier argument that the sun is the major cause of climate and CO2 is irrelevant -- the deniers are ignorant idiots and completely wrong ... solar fluctuation is irrelevant to global warming precisely because it's a cyclical fluctuation; CO2 is the relevant factor to global warming because the amount of CO2 is increasing. But at the moment, the sun is at a minimum and it has a significant cooling effect. But, as you say it is overwhelmed by the human CO2 influence, so the net is warming. But because the solar effect is significant, when the sun comes out of its minimum the rate of warming will soar, and all those idiot deniers will be proved wrong but it will be curtains for all of us.
                            the man made anthropogenic warming on the other hand, is not.
                            The man made warming is due to putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, not to direct warming. The greenhouse gases retard the escape of the solar energy ... the amount of incoming energy is essential to the calculation of the rate of warming.

                            This is the last I have to say to such an ignorant uncomprehending crank who has foolishly mistaken me for an AGW denier and idiotically and ignorantly claimed that I hadn't thought things through.

                          •   I think we are done here (0+ / 0-)
                            The current state of the ocean cycle is heat absorptive, with a net cooling effect.
                            Do you read what you write? The oceans are a heat sink. its like a solar heated house where the sun comes in through a greenhouse, rises and is recirculated by a fan through a heat sink and then at night while the greenhouse is blocked off with insulated curtains radiates back through the floor.

                            The natural effect bars on the right that are below zero are negligible, exactly the opposite of significant cooling relative to the Anthropogenic warming bars on the left, thus there is no danger of an ice age any time soon.

                            What would be kept trapped even without without the radiation from the sun is the heat from the burning of fossil fuels, the bars on the left. Where is it you think all that heat goes? The radiation from the sun adds heat but anywhere close to what fossil fuels add.

                            I am sure that you know that heat can be transferred by conduction, convection, radiation and phase changes; greenhouse gases retard the escape of all heat energy, not just solar.

                            I think we are done here

                            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                            by rktect on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:17:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Up until the sixties some people agreed with you (0+ / 0-)

                          They though global warming would be good, didn't think things through. Now we know the oceans have been absorbing heat until they have reached the point where they are cooking off methane hydrates. In the graph you provided from skeptical science, human effects are on the left, natural causes on the right. There is a difference.

                          Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                          by rktect on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:33:30 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Human civilization doesn't have nearly that long (0+ / 0-)

                    because of global warming and ocean acidification.

                •  And by 4 billion (0+ / 0-)

                  You must mean 6000. Wait, I'm confused.

                  THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

                  by xenubarb on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:10:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  They've got a good start as chronicled in this (4+ / 0-)


                The Cockroaches of Stay More

                depicting the cockroach community, who perambulate on gitalongs, apprehend their environment through sniffwhips
                to die is to west (giving rise to such expressions as west to the world or west drunk); to be alive is to east (fertile females lay easter eggs). Their existence is influenced by the downfall of Man (in delicious irony, he is a writer who boozes too much), whom they worship as a descendant of Joshua Crust.

                Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

                by 88kathy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:37:17 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  And the creationists (7+ / 0-)

              will just attribute that to God punishing the Earth.  The oft-mentioned Rapture will finally be here!  /snark

              It never ends with those religious fanatics.

              "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

              by mconvente on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:26:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's te GAYS, of course, who are to blame for the (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MooseHB, snazzzybird, Pixie5, MDhome

                coming Rupture. So just to be safe, keep a hernia truss in your emergency kit!

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:30:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  THE Rapture? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                wouldn't that be the 2nd Rapture? About 3000 years ago, in the age of Noah, god commanded Noah and family to build a ship a bit larger that a 3 story football field and put breedable samples of all land based life aboard. Then because god was pissed at all the people, he drowned the whole garden of Eden. And that was the 1st Rapture when god ended it almost all.

              •  No they won't. (0+ / 0-)

                The extremist, fundamentalist Bible-thumpers might claim God is punishing the earth, but we Creationists know that God won't punish the earth because the earth hasn't done anything wrong.  He may punish humanity, because humans have the knowledge of good and evil and many humans (most?) often choose to do evil.  If we didn't have that knowledge, we might be free from the risk of punishment, like lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!)
                "Something has got to hold it all together. I'm saying my prayers to Elmer, the Greek god of glue." - Tom Robbins

            •  I doubt the fossil record millions of years ... (6+ / 0-)

              ... from now will find any record at all of the Tea Party!

              2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:43:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Are you sure about that? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zyphex, rktect, Dragon5616, jubal8

              We are still in an ice age, one which has short warm spells, and long cold ones.  We are just past the end of one of the warm spells, yet it is still warm.

              I think global warming is real, and I think man contributes to it.  But I'm still asking the question, what if we contributed nothing to it, would the sheets of ice be returning soon?   If we solve the climate change problem, can we survive the potential return of the ice sheets that reduce the habitable and arable land to a mere fraction of what it is today?

              I'm not a climate change denier, and I'm no conservative.  But I am wondering if the climate debate is asking the right questions.  Is it possible that man's destructive influence on the planet is going to result in the end of the ice age and improve the long term survivability of mankind?  If so, we will have more arable land, with which to grow food to feed the population, but we will eventually need to master population control, food production in limited space, and some manner with which to keep the atmosphere from becoming excessively toxic as the co2 levels rise.

              I think man has some challenges ahead, regardless of what the future holds for us.  But I'm not sure the climate debate is even rationally founded.

              •  the ice sheet (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                The Nose, Anna Wise, Dragon5616

                Read Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum by William Rudiman, a climate scientist. It's a small little book and written for the general public, not in the technicalese of the major science journals.

                He notes that the 55 glacial cycles of the last 2.5 million years have graphs which one can overlay, they are so similar. They reflect the orbital characteristics of our planet : there's axial tilt which changes from 22.+ to 25 degrees-- a 40k year cycle. Then there's wobble -- kinda like a spinning top wobbles -- a 22k year cycle. And then the actual orbit goes from almost round to an elongate oval -- a 100k year cycle (note -- my numbers are off a little -- tho not a lot. I'm going by memory here.)

                Rudiman notes that about 8k years ago, our cycle graphs started deviating from the rest of our historical cycles. He determined that even 8k years ago, our  land clearing started making a significant difference. And that's the start of the handle on the "hockey stick" model of climate change.

                Long story short -- if we followed the graphs of former cycles, we would be in the early middle of a minor ice age, with glaciers across north east Canada. And it is humans who made the climate difference. We are still making that difference at an increasing rate and my fear is that we passed a great big sign a few years ago -- saying "POINT OF NO RETURN" kinda like you'd expect to see along a river a quarter mile before the Niagara River turns vertical.

                •  Thanks for the pointer... (0+ / 0-)

                  I'll get the book and read it... makes perfect sense to me.  

                  So I guess what you are saying is the ice age barely had a grip on the climate, and it only took the start of mankind to tilt the scales.  


                  Ok, so while that partially answers my question about "is climate change good or bad", it doesn't completely answer.

                  I mean I could take a guess that the fact man is here now is all the climate change we need to keep the earth habitable.

                  But how much do we need for best use of the planet?  For our long term survival?  How much is too much?  Do we need ice caps?  I know loosing them will raise the oceans a bit, but it will increase land mass even more...

                  Do we know enough to even answer these questions?  I mean beyond the simple concepts of "let's not damage the planet and ruin what was once beautiful and pristine".

                  I guess part of the answer is that we, as a global species, need to develop a consensus of what we want for our future, and master climate control, population control, and resource control to achieve that goal.

                  But I have no idea what that goal should be.  I also don't know what happens to the ice age cycles when we throw it off-balance...  Will it rebound?  There have been super ice-ages where even the oceans froze, and most life was extinguished.  Will we eventually trigger one of those if we go too far the other way?

                  •  "is climate change good or bad" (0+ / 0-)

                    Sigh. If we continue business as usual, we are looking at something like a 6 degree centigrade increase in the average global temperature -- this spells the end of human civilization. But even before our ecosystem falls apart because of the heat, it will fall apart because of acidification of the oceans.

                  •  Ice age (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Ice ages are very slow things. I don't think we really can conceive of how an ice age happens.  We tend to think about glaciers just coming along and covering everything, but it happens over many thousands of years. Don't glaciers move just a few inches a year? Before there were enormous masses of humans with their permanent settlements, an ice age would not be a disaster because it would happen so slowly and imperceptibly that life would have time to adapt.  Plants would slowly move, animals would slowly migrate (including humans).  We would all adapt, without even being aware of the changes.

                    Of course, the next ice age will be a different story, but that's nobody's fault but our own.  Our technology allows us our hugely bloated population and our permanent cities, which are also the things that will make the next ice age so difficult. Still, we will have plenty of time to adapt. I suppose we will slowly migrate to warmer latitudes and abandon those cities over many centuries.

                    Climate change is a whole different story.  We are driving the change at such rapidity that there simply isn't time for adaptation, particularly on the part of animals and plants.  There will have to be mass extinction.

                    People often say "isn't the sun going to expand and incinerate the earth anyway?  So none of it really matter." This makes me think of our individual death.  Since we are all going to die someday, do we think we might as well commit suicide today?  Do we kill our children because we know they will die someday anyway?  Do we burn down our house because we know it will not exist someday?  

                    The fact that something will die or cease to exist in the future is no excuse for destroying it or neglecting it now.  Taking care of ourselves or the earth has an intrinsic value of it's own, doesn't it?  We don't just take care of ourselves for the sake of our future, because eventually we have no future left.  And we should take care of the earth for its own sake, not only for future generations.

                    Mind you, there is a limit to this.  If I knew for certain that I would be dead within the month, I would not bother going to the gym...

                  •  Yes, we know enough to answer these questions. (0+ / 0-)

                    And no, we would not be able to exercise sufficient influence to trigger an ice age.

                    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

                    by peregrine kate on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:20:11 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Ice ages and anthropogenic global warming (0+ / 0-)

                    Raising the CO2eq of our atmosphere to 400 ppm has been inadvertent terraforming.  The lowering of the pH of oceans is giving fish weak bones and shellfish weak shells and overstimulating algae so they form massive blooms and then suffocate.  NOT good.  We have the technology to replace fossil fuel with renewable energy.  We can generate electricity with enhanced geothermal systems, wind turbines, and solar energy, and improve efficiency with smart grid electronics, energy storage, and high voltage direct current transmission lines.  The bio-fuels Algae Systems is working on for US Navy have the added feature of bio char soil amendment byproduct storing carbon and making the overall process carbon negative.  I suspect it would be very worthwhile to heavily subsidize the fossil fuel portion of our energy industry to switch from fossil fuels to these bio-fuels, paying Dane geld in the form of buying fossil fuel reserves as mineral rights.  We need higher prices for energy both for prohibitive tariff effect to force conservation and reduce the amount of equipment we need to replace and to raise funds for the new equipment.  I suspect the best greenhouse gas concentration will turn out to be between 300 and 350 ppm CO2eq and play it by ear to find out what is best within that range, burning more carbon when we want more heat, capturing and storing more when we want less heat.
                    That snow-ball earth episode was from photo-synthetic Cyrano-bacteria going overboard and bringing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere too low.  Humans were not around then.  

              •  Your question is a good one (0+ / 0-)
                I think global warming is real, and I think man contributes to it.  But I'm still asking the question, what if we contributed nothing to it, would the sheets of ice be returning soon?   If we solve the climate change problem, can we survive the potential return of the ice sheets that reduce the habitable and arable land to a mere fraction of what it is today?
                If for the last 12 thousand years we had done nothing its likely the sheets of ice would be here now. The fact that they aren't here and that our oceans are at temperatures last reached in the 5th mass extinction in the Permian, is the reason we call this age the Anthropocene.  The ice sheets aren't coming back any time soon.

                If we mediate climate change now so as to prevent the warming from turning the earth into something approaching the planet Venus in temperature, what we have already done will linger on for another half millenia with the poles melted, the oceans and rain forests dead, most species extinct, and civilization returned to the level of hunters and gatherers with nothing left to hunt and to gather.

                Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                by rktect on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:36:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  "We are still in an ice age" -- no we aren't. (0+ / 0-)
                I am wondering if the climate debate is asking the right questions
                There is no such debate. There is science, and there is denial politics. Don't be so arrogant as to suppose that you've hit on "the right questions" that the world's climate scientists have missed.
                Is it possible that man's destructive influence on the planet is going to result in the end of the ice age and improve the long term survivability of mankind?
                No, absolutely not. You may not be a denier, but this is straight out of their talking point playbook.
          •  Sure, for those who follow and understand science (0+ / 0-)

            he did win. But that isn't who he was debating. Do you get it?

            •  What you don't seem to get Yoshimi (19+ / 0-)

              is the point being made about the possibility that within that audience there were creationists who were exposed to science through Bill Nye that they had never heard before.  

              Put it this way... most atheists/agnostics were once believers in the tenets of some religion.  How did they change their minds?  By being exposed to bits and pieces of the atheist worldview and finding that it sparked a recognition of veracity within them.  And that is all Bill Nye wanted.   It would have been interesting if someone could have followed some of the younger creationists in the audience over some years beyond this debate to see where Nye's ideas took them.

              •  That's me, to a tee. (9+ / 0-)

                Exposed to fundamental Xian ideas when young. My parents became disenchanted with the church first so I was left to my own "devices". I fell in love with science when I was in elementary school (anyone else remember the Gilbert Science Sets, The Visible Man and Estes Rockets?) and ended up a Pathologist and an atheist after a brief foray into Catholicism.  

                Daily Kos and Pharyngula are the two blogs I read every day.

                "Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen!" oder "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"

                by drpmeade on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:27:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thumbs up for Pharyngula (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  The Nose, susans

                  PZ is awesome.

                  •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

                    I've been reading him since we hung out in Talk Origins on Usenet. There are other folks from TO here at DK.

                    I had the pleasure of sitting with him at a Skeptics conference in Orange County a few years ago. PZ was sitting at a speakers/VIP table and I went over to deliver a message from a mutual friend who lives in Australia. I sat down next to him to talk for a few minutes and never found another seat for the conference. Probably the organizers assumed I was supposed to be with PZ and who was I to disabuse them of that?

                    Chutzbah: I haz it.

                •  Estes rockets (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Anna Wise

                  You can still get 'em. I introduced my stepson to them about age 12, it got him to pick a science-based career.

                  Visible anythings were cool, too. ;-)

                •  Christians, do not touch the science (8+ / 0-)

                  I saw a comment from a Christian college student on Salon today that said the order of creation described in Genesis matched up pretty well with what modern science has independently concluded.
                  I said WTF? Genesis has the earth being created before the sun. Science says no! Genesis has light being created before the stars. Genesis has the moon being created at the same time as the sun. Science says no. Genesis 2:5 says there was a time when Earth had a sky but no rain: a daily mist came up from the ground to water the plants. That is eerily similar to the snow formation theory of Lucy in the Peanuts comics.

                  Genesis 1:16 says the sun rules the day and the moon rules the night. Moonless nights happen with predictable regularity. Even bronze age shepherds and clerics knew that. So, on a moonless night, there is no ruler and therefore no rules? What about all those days when the sun is supposedly ruling but the moon is also visible? Who's ruling then? Why would a perfect God allow such glaring oversights in his holy book? Is it a translation error? If so, I guess that's on us too. Because Tower of Babel. But if God possessed any foresight, he would have made us without opposable thumbs. No opposable thumbs means no Tower of Babel which means no need to create multiple languages which means no translations which means no translation errors.

                  Verse sixteen also says the sun and moon are two lights. But technically, the moon is not a light. And moonlight is just reflected sunlight so isn't the sun just lighting and ruling by proxy?

                  Christians, stay away from the science. You are not ready for it and you might break it.

                  •  creationism (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gffish, Pixie5

                    You know you might be imprisoned in your own house, like Galileo, by the Pope who is always right like the creationists, in view of your comments.  Did you know chromosome testing recently demonstrated dinosaur chromosome on the 'shroud of Turin' proving that not only did Christ have a pet Dinosaur, but it was interred with Him, being the last one of course.

                  •  If people read Genesis through the eyes of those (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jqb, eatapeach

                    who wrote it, then the problems with its cosmology are glaring as you pointed out.

                    Further problems (not just in Genesis but throughout the Bible) The Bible describes:

                    1. A flat circular earth surround by ocean on all sides (some creationists claim that a verse referring to "the circle of the earth" means that the writer knew that the earth was round. But it says "circle" not sphere)

                    2. A solid dome over the earth called the "firmament" which separated "the waters above" from "the waters below" meaning sky and ocean. The sun, moon and the stars are suspended in this solid dome and above it is a "storehouse of rain" that God let loose periodically. Above that is a literal physical heaven.

                    Obviously the idea of outer space and the vast distances of it would not have even occured to the writers of the bible. But when modern Christians read the bible they read into it modern science instead of what is written. Ironically they believe that they are taking the bible literally.

                    One big proof we have that this is EXACTLY how they envisioned the Universe is that we have actual maps from the Ancient Near East depicting this cosmology.

                    Ironically the Flat Earth Society (which still exists based in my hometown..WINCE) are actually right in terms of how to interpret the cosmology of the bible. But even most creationists don't go that far although they expect everyone to take the rest of the Genesis literally. While I am willing to acknowledge that most people are unaware of this, the Ken Ham's of the world do..and yet STILL ignore it or explain it away.

                    Creationists are the most dishonest of all least the ones who claim that this is "science"

                    •  The Bible is NOT the inerrant word of God: (0+ / 0-)

                      Jesus is.  

                      Don't get us Creationists confused with Bible Thumpers.  We Creationists believe the universe and all that's in it was created since the beginning of time, is being created in the present, and will continue to be created far into the future til the end of time.  For all we know, God has used Evolution to experiment with different combinations of fire, earth, air, and water to make different species (who can say that the duckbilled platypus was not an experiment?).  Or maybe He uses salt and sand.  We don't know.

                      But we're not Bible-Thumpers.  We don't believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. We aren't even sure it's the errant word of God.  Maybe the Essene Gospels are the word of God.  Or the Nag Hammadi Library.  

                      We don't pretend to know what God is doing, or if He's doing anything at all.  We don't pretend to know what He wants, or if He wants anything at all.  We don't pretend to know how He thinks or if He thinks anything at all.  In short, we don't know much of anything about God.  Except that we know He's ineffable.

                      •  I get your point but most Creationists believe (0+ / 0-)

                        in a literal 6-day creation and a young earth. You sound more like an ID person (intelligent design). I have never met a creationist who even entertains the idea of evolution. Nor have I read anything pertaining to creationism online or in books that uses the definition that you do. And i have never heard any creationist who does not believe that the bible is infallible. In fact the cornerstone of their argument is that if evolution were right then it would invalidate the perfect Word of God. That is what motivates people like Ken Ham and he says that frequently.

                        I lean more towards your ideas although I am not a Christian because I do not believe God has a religion. I believe that God is part of the process of the universe or more to the point that the universe of part of God.

                      •  Wow.... if Jesus is the inerrant (0+ / 0-)

                        "word of God", then that gives me another reason not to like that god.

              •  He did remind them this as well.... (9+ / 0-)

                I watched the debate just for giggles.  What I did like was that he reminded them that this idea of how old these fanatics have been brainwashed to believe the World is, is actually a fringe idea, not what millions and millions of religious people believe, including Christians.

                He won that debate and was much better than I anticipated. Fact after fact in language the Scientific ignorant would be able to understand too.

                Funny part is I understand that Ham said on the Internet later that it did not matter if he was proved wrong he would still believe, oh and I love it when he could not answer some facts he just babbled things, that were not even related, out of the Bible.

                You might want to check this map out of publicly funded schools that teach Creationism in USA, it is disturbing..

                If your beliefs cannot stand up to scrutiny, the scrutiny is not the problem.

            •  I get your point but disagree (7+ / 0-)

              with it.  Sure, the creationists will not agree that Nye won.   I saw a bit of the video with Eric "Son of the Fraud" Hovind doing a wrap up of the debate and they think Ham won.  That's fine.  But that is not the group of people that I'M talking about.

              Answer a simple question:  do you think more atheists are going to convert to Ham's side or do you think more creationists are going to come to the reality side?  I personally think the magnitude is pretty negligible on either side but I think more young creationists have been introduced to the seed of doubt and it will grow within them.

              If you don't think so, that's fine.  And I do understand that some people think debating creationism is like debating flat earthers but I disagree with that thought too. There is not a push by the extremely small group of flat earthers to influence curricula across the country.  Creationists are a much larger group and are attempting to do that and it needs to be squashed.

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:24:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I get your unwarranted arrogance. n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  How could he win if he was playing baseball (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            radv005, beckfieldd

            and Ham was playing hockey?

            There was no win.

            •  No one ever wins a debate. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yoshimi, larryrant, cocinero, wishingwell

              Unless you're in school and there are agreed upon rules and parameters by which a group of judges can determine an official result, there can be no definitive winner.  Even then, people will continue to debate if the decision of the judges was right and rehash the debate to prove their position.

              All other debate, regardless of whether it's on TV or in your kitchen depends on the audience and the individuals in that audience.  Debates such as this one are won or lost on a person by person basis.  There will never be a definitive winner or looser.

              America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

              by Back In Blue on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:32:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  How could simplistic if simplistic simplistic? (0+ / 0-)

              There is no depth.

          •  I go back to this quote (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shariys, dmze48, Anna Wise

            The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."[2]

            This is the same thinking as the Creationists. Nye did his best to show that "solutions emerge from judicious study of discernable reality" but then the rug is pulled out from under him by Ham who claims "I know this book."  

            How does one debate insanity?

            •  How does one debate insanity? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Nye was not debating to prove anything to Ham.

              As you point out, Ham's positions are not reality based (ie, not sane).

              Who "won" the debate?  The one who opened the most minds.  

              And that would be Nye.

              The debate was worthwhile, because Ham's position could not possibly have convinced anyone who was sitting on the fence.

              Nye's could.

              Everything is part of a system. Some people believe that system is science, some believe it is G-d. I believe science is part of G-d's system.

              by Anna Wise on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 03:58:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wow! I wish I had said this! (0+ / 0-)

              I love this quote:

              Everything is part of a system. Some people believe that system is science, some believe it is God. I believe science is part of God's system.

          •  Nye could have done better (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I was disappointed that while Nye continually failed to challenge Ham's assertion that Nye "assumed" everything that he was trying to assert, but Nye never challenged Ham's "assumption" that everything in the Bible was true and/or actually the word of God.

            The Bible was written by man over a very narrow period of time. Ham acknowledged that he believed parts of the Bible were poetry, parts were historical documentation, etc. Why he chose to determine that Genesis was somehow actual creation documentation instead of poetry should have been challenged since, as Ham constantly asserted: "we weren't there, so we don't know".

            And why should that VERY NARROW portion of literature be deemed the word of God, while all the immense range of literature before and after should be ignored. Maybe the screen writer for the John Denver/George Burns movie "Oh God!" was actually passing on the word of God.

            Ham liked to point out that popularity (the number of mainstream scientists that disagree with his theories) didn't necessarily indicate truth. But then that means that just because the Bible became an immensely popular book doesn't mean that it actually held any kind of truth.

          •  Creationism and Evolution (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            d web

            I'm a believer!  I believe the universe and everything in it was Created, not assembled out of random parts at random intervals wholly by chance.  BUT.  I also believe in Evolution.  After all, there is no law saying that God can't use Evolution as the mechanism by which He created and continues to create new species and new instantiations of species.  God can use any mechanism He chooses to do His creating.  

            I believe the earth is about 4.5 billion years old and that most of the universe is at least that old.  After all, it says in the Bible that a day is as a thousand years and a year is as a thousand days to the Lord.  And since that's only the English translation, I strongly suspect that the Hebrew word that was actually used when the Bible was written probably means 'countless' days or years.

            I believe that the earth was made on the third day of creation.  But since you can't have a 'day' without having the earth, I don't really know how long the first two 'days' of creation were.  And 'I don't know' is as good an answer for faith as it is for science.

            I believe humans are made in the image of God.  Not, however, human bodies, since God is Spirit and not flesh. Can you imagine God suffering from flatulence, for example, or picking his nose?  Nope, I believe God is Spirit.  And the human Spirit is made in the image of God.  We are creative beings, we have reason and imagination and memory.  We love, we grieve, we sometimes have bad tempers, and all of us love to get our own way about whatever's going on wherever it happens to be going on.  And we have free will.  I believe God does not interfere with human behavior because He DID grant us free will. (This was in the Garden of Eden, when he offered Adam and Eve the opportunity to obey him by not eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  We've been seeking after knowledge ever since.)  

            So we're rather sorry, imperfect reflections of God, but we're told He loves us anyway.  I think if I were God, I probably would have destroyed the earth a dozen times by now just to stop people from being so inhumane to each other and doing so in My name.  

            Anyway, I just wanted to write and point out that Creationism and Evolution are not mutually exclusive, that humans do have the spark of God within them, that God gave us free will, and it's not at all unreasonable to have faith in a creator while at the same time struggling to figure out the way the world works.  Science will eventually have all the answers - hopefully not for a few more millennia.  After all, the Bible DOES say that eventually, all will be revealed.
            "Something has got to hold it all together. I'm saying my prayers to Elmer, the Greek god of glue." - Tom Robbins

          •  Nye did very well. (0+ / 0-)

            IMO, Nye did a very good job and easily "won" the debate.

            Had Nye known more Bible, he would have been more effective, but Bible is apparently not a part of Nye's knowledge base.

            I watched the post-debate talk by Hamm and one of his staff profs, and they truly believe Hamm dominated.  

            I guess I shouldn't be surprised. The religious fanatics think "science" and "logic" are god-constructs incapable of being explained by anything other than "god-did-it".

            To a Democrat, "democracy" means "free elections." To a Republican, "free markets."

            by XOVER on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:21:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  He lost because he didn't take the time to explain (13+ / 0-)

          THe fundamental difference.  He spent all that time giving wonderful examples of the knowledge that science has produced over time.  Examples that would have convinced anyone with an open mind.  But that isn't really the point.  The point is that science is not a body of knowledge.  Science is a process whereby we use observation and experiment to learn about the natural world.  The knowledge gained is a byproduct of science.  Science is a search for understanding.  You cannot be engaged in a legitimate search for understanding if you already know the answer.  Creation Science is an Oxymoron because Creationists already "know" that everything is laid out in Genesis.  

          Now it gets a little tricky because of course there are many scientists who are essentially secular theologians.  Who simply accept everything that is in the textbooks as received wisdom and question nothing.  These people are not real scientists.  And that does sort of cloud the issue.  But any real scientist puts data above all else.  And a scientist has to be perfectly willing to discard any theory regardless of how venerated if that is where the data leads him or her.  Show me a creationist who would be willing to discard his god or the bible if that is where the data leads.  If you can't do that you are not a scientist.  Period.  And this means that creationism cannot be a science.

        •  I haven't seen evidence either way (6+ / 0-)

          about whether minds have been changed, or if people just continue believing what they believe. It's entirely possible that these debates are peeling off creationist supporters, we just don't know without numbers.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:48:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The long-term evidence (6+ / 0-)

            not limited to this debate, is that several million mostly young people fall away from the Religious Right and the various Right wing hatreds every year, amounting to about 1% of the US population annually. Another 10% would radically transform our national politics, and would shift many states from Swing to Democratic, and from Republican to Swing.

            Texas is the biggest and best example, because the generational shift there is compounded with a large demographic shift. Thus Battleground Texas, to get young people and Latinos especially to register and vote at higher rates. Including getting more Latinos to become citizens. The Republican War on Women and Everybody Else in Sight is assisting in the transformation through sheer nastiness.

            The debate will be shown triumphantly to many children of Creationists on DVD and in downloaded form. We can expect conversions to our side to result, although we cannot predict how many. Direct and immediate conversion is not likely. Instead, exposure to Bill Nye should lead to asking questions and seeking evidence, which is becoming ever more comprehensive and available all the time.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician. GOPBusters

            by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:21:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You dont lose a debate when obstinate people (21+ / 0-)

          dont change their mind

          you can lead a person to knowledge

          but you cant make them think

          •  Problem is, he gave them credibility by even (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi, cocinero

            agreeing to "debate" them. It was a loss even before Nye said a word. Same goes for every time the MSM privileges the climate denialist by having their "side" of the bullshit "debate" over climate change. People perceive that the anti-science positions must have some merit when they're given a forum alongside legitimate science facts, positions, and scientists.

            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:33:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like Will in The Newsroom, we should all be ... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kombema, dmze48, SilentBrook, The Nose

              ... "on a mission to civilize." Exhibit No. 1: Bill Moyer.

              2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:45:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  And if he ran away? (10+ / 0-)

              That somehow gives them less credibility?

              Somehow, not.

              But there is a special kind of debating technique you can use with these doofuses. It isn't exactly new -- it was first outlined by the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi in the third century BCE -- but it's the only one that works here.

              It consists of accepting, for the purpose of argument, the terms and definitions of the person your are arguing with. Then you turn them on each other -- show how the parts of the incorrect system as defined by your opponent don't even agree with each other. The aim is to get your opponent to inadvertently deny some of his or her own basic beliefs. With a believer in one of the Abrahamic religions, which are arrogant enough to assign absolute powers to their gods, this is both relatively easy and extremely fun.

              "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

              by sagesource on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:49:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair enough -- but I don't believe Nye did that, (0+ / 0-)

                since he's blinded (as are most rational people) by the delusion that if you give enough information and facts to people, they will come around. But Nye would have to be versed in the Bible to do that, at least in part, and he would be treading on unfamiliar ground even if he did.

                But your point is well taken.

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:06:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, Socrates, also (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Both Socrates and Zhuangzi were 4th century BCE.

                I am familiar with Zhuangzi's Daoist teaching. Can you give us a link to what you describe?

                Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:34:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  If there was actually a debate on climate change (0+ / 0-)

              in the MSM that would be great, because too often the MSM presents climate change debate as being equal on both sides, while a  legit debate would at least show people interested that that is NOT the case

            •  This is a common supposition not supported (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              by observable fact. Millions of their children fall away every year. Making another factual resource available to the abused children in question is not a failure for our side, no matter what their parents may delude themselves into thinking.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician. GOPBusters

              by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 10:25:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  On the contrary, the supposition in principle IS (0+ / 0-)

                supported by public opinion and cognitive research showing that the he said/she said approach to such false dichotomies leads people to false equivalencies. They suppose that the truth lies somewhere in between, even if one side is fact based and the other wholly not so.

                For instance:
                Featuring Skeptics in News Media Stories About Global Warming Reduces Public Beliefs in the Seriousness of Global Warming” -- Malka, Krosnick, et al (Stanford
                -- June 2009)

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:26:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are talking about the impact on (0+ / 0-)

                  the true believers. I am talking about the children who are still trying to figure the world out. If you have a study on them, I would be interested to discuss it, but I have not heard about anything of the kind.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:26:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, these (including the one above) are broad (0+ / 0-)

                    population studies that show those on the fence and/or low information are unsubtly influenced by the optics of things like what Nye did. I respect the guy and what he's trying to do, but it's bordering on counterproductive because of the vagaries of human psychology.

                    "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                    by Kombema on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:43:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  You don't win either. (0+ / 0-)
        •  Not at all (10+ / 0-)

          His intention was clear from the way he delivered his information.  His intention was to speak directly to the people who are in the same ideological boat as Ken Ham, but who don't feel comfortable with the literalism that so much of today's media delivered Christian narrative seems to be based on.


          by otto on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 06:53:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ham and his followers are a minority (0+ / 0-)

            within the Christian faith. It would be like a political debate before the diehard GOP 35% who believe Bush was an awesome president.

            Not worth it.

            •  We don't have the luxury of ignoring (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JVolvo, mikejay611, dmze48, SilentBrook

              any potential "converts", given the closeness of our elections and the direness of our circumstances. If even one person changed his/her mind because of this, don't you think it was worth it (as long as Nye doesn't mind his investment of time/energy)? It's not like he could have lost any people to the other side, right? No downside.

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 09:23:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  True...they are in the minority... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ColoTim, dmze48

              but the problem is when this minority places their trust in power/money than the god they claim to makes them very dangerous. With the belief in their god...they could eventually get their way and make the US the living Hell they have always imagined.

        •  Can't reason people out of a position.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dmze48, denise b, SilentBrook

          ..they didn't reason their way into. --Johnathan Swift

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 12:25:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not so fast there... (0+ / 0-)

          Even Pat Robertson thinks Ken Hamm needs to pipe down.  

        •  I would put it differently: (0+ / 0-)

          Nye lost the debate because it happened in the first place.

          People need to remember that Ken Ham has been holding these "debates" over and over and over, with anyone willing to argue with him, willingly facing the same debunking and rebuttals time and time again.  He does this on purpose; why would he do so if it really amounted to a loss?

          The reality is that Ken Ham holds these debates so that his particular denial movement gets continual exposure, and he gets more traffic to his web site.  He likes to challenge college professors to debates because it allows him to appear on a college campus, where creationism isn't taught, and promote creationism in an institution of higher learning.  Then he can get his people to set up tables outside and hand out literature.  

          Debates allow him to reach people he normally wouldn't, because the false and fringy nature of his claims restrict his access to mainstream channels of dissemination.  It's a trick that is also used by Holocaust deniers, climate change deniers, and 9/11 truthers.

          On top of that, simply by having a debate you are letting this dude promote the myth that there is an ongoing debate.  Like any denial movement, the goal is to take a settled issue and fake the appearance of controversy.

          Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

          by Caj on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:36:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What language is that (0+ / 0-)

          that the "faith based" communities speak?  Do they speak in tongues, so that it is jibber jabber? Well, in a way they do. They seem to think that the bible is history, which it is not, it is made up of stories, some of the stories are the retelling of Hebrew Scripture stories, albeit, embellished. They think that it is science? The science of the first century had people thinking that the Earth was flat, menstruation was dirty, and men could not even speak with women if the women were menstruating. The "science" of the Hebrew Scriptures or the New Testament, is valueless today, we know that what they said was wrong and knew no different. Science keeps changing as we learn new information. The Bible stays the same as, unfortunately, it is not a loose leaf note book that can be amended.
          Nye should not have bothered debating Ham, as debating or arguing with Ham would be analogous to arguing or debating with a coffee table. OK...that's a quote from Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

        •  What's this "faith based community" crap? (0+ / 0-)

          Many people in that community accept science and evolution; Catholics teach it in their schools.

          And even if that weren't the case, it's absurd to say that Nye lost ... why not say that Ham lost because he was speaking a totally different language to the rational community? The fact is that many of us didn't want Nye to debate and feared he would lose to Ham's rhetoric, but he didn't ... in terms of objective debate scoring as used in formal debate, Nye wiped the floor with Ham.

          But maybe I'm speaking a totally different language than the one you understand.

        •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

          A poll shows that the majority of Christians who responded think Nye won. Which he did.

          THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. -- L. Ron Hubbard Technique 88

          by xenubarb on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:08:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Years ago my 10 year old daughter asked me to... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        …define "faith."

        I thought about it, then said: "Faith is belief in the absence of proof."

        There you go.

        •  Or, perhaps more to the topic (0+ / 0-)

          of hard core Creationism (which doesn't actually have any scriptural basis, according to the people whose ancestors' tribal origin mythologies are recorded in Genesis), faith is belief in spite of all proof [as much as science considers evidence to be proof] to the contrary.

          But people will believe what they choose to believe regardless of evidence to the contrary. Makes 'em feel special to have their own reality. Makes 'em feel even more special to spend their lives seeking the power to impose that exclusive reality on the rest of humanity.

          •  Creationists stumble on their own ideology (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Even Ham's arguments accepted evolution. But it only seems to take root after the Flood. The argument of Creationism would be more accepted if they accepted that God set up all the elements and rules, packaged them and released them in one BIG BANG.

            There! Those are the rules and elements needed to create everything that God may have in mind. But they come about using the system that God set up. For mere man to have the audacity to second guess how God set up the evolution of everything, including all those elements that man wrote about in the Genesis poetry portion of the Bible (written by man, who of course, as Ham pointed out, "wasn't there so we don't know"), is a bit arrogant.

        •  More accurately, (0+ / 0-)

          faith is belief WITHOUT proof.  Do you believe your car will start every morning when you put your key in the switch and crank?  That, like it or not, IS faith, although not unfounded faith.

          •  No, I don't believe my car (0+ / 0-)

            will start every morning when I put my key in the switch and crank. That's because it fairly often doesn't. That is true of everyone I know as well, since no one I know is rich enough to get a new car every couple of years (or whenever the battery wears out, whichever comes first).

            That kind of faith is reserved for people with mechanics who double as chauffers. §;o)

      •  So true! (0+ / 0-)

        In the words of the Long Haired Preacher, "You'll have pie in the sky when you die" (and that's a lie)

      •  Well, that's a denial of facts right there. (0+ / 0-)

        Religion has historically withered away in the face of science, with faith succumbing to fact.

        •  No, religion doesn't (0+ / 0-)

          wither away because of science, its message fails to inspire over time and changing realities - social evolution. Its adherents die out, and the younger folks invest their faith in the next shiny spiritual bauble that comes down the pike.

          Young earth creationism is a relatively new belief, not something traditionally held strongly by either Jews or Christians once it became generally known that the earth is a whole lot older than people understood thousands of years ago. Or even hundreds of years ago. It's a marginal belief among a minority of Christians today as well - not exactly growing in popularity outside the TheoNazi crowd. Which is why they're so adamant that their belief be taught instead of science to other people's children.

          •  Yes it does. (0+ / 0-)

            Sociologists such as Phil Zuckerman have demonstrated this through their research. But ideologically held beliefs do tend to get in the way of accepting science, yo.

            •  "Accepting" science is (0+ / 0-)

              sometimes an exercise in believing you 'know' what is merely provisional. Mostly a shrug to people who can manage to live fine lives without giving most of it a second thought. Because there's quite a lot of it that simply has no impact or application to regular life.

              Quite a lot of what I was taught in school about science either changed drastically halfway through ('eternal' universe to big bang, for instance) or did the changing long after school years when most people never even heard that it changed. No biggie for people who aren't scientists or in allied occupations where they have to know the latest of any subdiscipline.

              Evolution is generally accepted everywhere as what it is. It's part of the culture, people are exposed to it from childhood on from various media. Even kids whose schools try to make them believe in creationism know in general terms what evolution is and know about things like dinosaurs.

              Religious beliefs have no business in public schools as serious subject matter. That is, in fact, against the law. Hence the loud whining and moaning from the TheoNazi crowd. Meh. They're a dying breed, the noise is just noise.

              •  Your intellectual dishonesty is noted. (0+ / 0-)

                You're happy to make unsubstantiated claims and then discard the contrary science by labeling it as "provisional" and, according to you, science has "changed drastically" -- this is pig ignorant and is the same sort of argument made by AGW deniers. The "'eternal' universe was never a scientifically based position, it was just the default assumption in the absence of evidence, much as intelligent design was the default assumption before Darwin. The Big Bang theory grew out of attempts to explain red shift .. you aren't that old. Physicist and priest Georges Lemaître proposed an expanding universe before you were born. The Big Bang became the prevailing cosmological view after the remarkable accidental discovery of the 3 degree background microwave radiation in 1964, after a period of debate between Steady State and Big Bang proponents and the gathering of additional evidence. This wasn't a "drastic" change and this anecdote has nothing to do with the case at hand other a grossly dishonest attempt at denial.

                I won't waste more of my time on you.

                •  Why the insulting attitude? (0+ / 0-)

                  I have nowhere discarded science, nor have I made unsubstantiated claims. I have expressed my observation - and opinion earned by observation - of the stupidity of YECs as well as their marginal status even among their fellow religionists.

                  I was taught up until the 7th grade that the universe was like a "clockwork," and that it had no beginning. That was what was presented to school children as fact in general science books. Which are extremely short on historical background or current controversy, simply listing things you are supposed to answer accordingly on the weekly end-of-chapter test. That is how science is taught to the plebes in the lower [public] grades - these factoids will be on the test, shut up and don't ask questions.

                  Even in the '80s science was taught badly. My daughter was informed by her 8th grade teacher that there were exactly nine planets in the universe. Daughter raised her hand and tried gentle correction, "don't you mean nine planets in our solar system?" Yeah, that's before Pluto was demoted. The teacher sent her to the Principal's office for "asking entirely too many questions" which, apparently, is a sign of teenage rebellion that needs immediate admin intervention. Or wasting some idiot teacher's not-so precious time. A teacher whose degree could have been in phys-ed for all anybody in the educational system cares about who's qualified to teach what. There's a textbook, you don't have to know shit.

                  So long as this is how science is taught to public school children, most of them will regurgitate the factoids on demand and promptly forget or ignore what they don't really need to know to live their lives just fine. That's not entirely the fault of TheoNazis trying to teach their bunk alongside or instead of all the other bunk kids are getting their heads stuffed with in the name of 'science'. Which, just like everything else, evolves over time.

                  I took the whole cosmology charade with a large salt lick, was taught something quite else about the universe at home. But I regurgitated the required response on the test. When the 1965 textbooks came out it had all changed due to the CMB, and suddenly the universe had a beginning. And it was taught just as dully by the same dull teachers who never mentioned that's not what they taught last year. Hell, most of 'em probably never even noticed the presentation had changed at all. Kids will learn what they need to learn to get by in the world. It may or may not be the current state of the art science. Cultural resources tend to offer much more for the curious/ambitious than public schools do.

                  I am entirely uninterested in 'wasting' your not-so valuable time. I will note that calling me intellectually dishonest and pig ignorant and grossly dishonest violates the civil discourse rules of this website and deserves to be HR'd. It's also frankly mystifying, as it is so completely out of context to anything I have said.

                  Grow up.

      •  Those relatively few people (0+ / 0-)

        aren't the ones for whom debates are conducted. The targets are people with open minds, people who may have been raised or trained to believe in the dogma of a religion but haven't fully committed to it. There are more such people than might at first be apparent. Reasoned debate is never useless.

        The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

        by Gene in L A on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:17:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why isn't science also evidence of God's design? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, Sychotic1, soarbird, ColoTim

      ...If one is of a mind to put any theological overtones on science and the evidence-based reasoning that underlies it, why isn't the latter valid evidence of God's design of the universe and mankind's place in it?  The scientific record IS a reflection of God's "creation" in this light.  The descriptions in the Bible of creation are better seen as the  understanding of bronze-age people, as best they were capable of comprehending at the time - the first few chapters of Genesis containing the creation story does have a rough accuracy, albeit flawed in many details.

      DOESN'T for example, the fact that Cain and Able were the children of Adam and Eve (the original pair of humans created by God), and yet Cain somehow found himself a wife over in the land of Nod- cause these Biblical literalists to question just how this could possibly be,?  The Bible is completely silent on where Cain's wife (and many other people who seem to come along so quicky in Genes 4, including wives of Cain's sons and descendents) come from over in the land of Nod?  No mention is made of any daughters of Adam and Eve, and even if there were some, wouldn't that be incest, and wasn't Cain cast out away from them anyway?

      Geez Louise, even if one does try to stay strictly with the Biblical account of creation as literally credulous, the train runs completely off the tracks of plausible consistency as early as Genesis 4 (!)  And that doesn't even count the potential flaws in taking Gensis I literally right from the opening dozen verses or so, instead of as a rough allegory whose truth doesn't depend on literal interpretation.

      •  As a commentor said above. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, SilentBrook
        And a scientist has to be perfectly willing to discard any theory regardless of how venerated if that is where the data leads him or her.
        The goal of the revisions of the Bible discarded only that which challenged their power. The remaining stories became more and more disjointed as certain beliefs were supported by the 'evidence'.

        Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

        by 88kathy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:45:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There's the point - our Bible is literature. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        congenitalefty, SilentBrook

        The Old and New Testaments have been cobbled together over time in various ways, to establish various points of view and to diminish others.

        Like other durable literature, the bible is drawn from many sources and there are no first hand witnesses to many of the events recorded. The bible may be inspired writing, but the books are at best journalism together with some fiction and futuristic prophesy.

        It has much to teach us, but not EVERYthing. Anyone who puts as much belief into the Bible as the Creationists owe it to others to whom they may pass along their teachings to read the history of the preparation, editing and assemblage of their bibles.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 08:10:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You can't out-logic them on the texts (0+ / 0-)

        Cain, Abel, and Seth married their unnamed sisters. Genesis only mentions the names of two wives (Lamech married Ahad and Zillah) and no daughters after Eve and before Abraham's wife Sarah and Lot's wife Milcah. It appears to be one of those cultural things that changed over time.

        Some Christians have been willing to consider evidence, and some theology. Mainstream Christians take Genesis to be an allegory, following Augustine.

        With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures.
        Ham insists that Original Sin must be a historical fact or else we cannot believe in Redemption through Jesus being Crucified and Resurrected. Other Christians see no problem there.

        Ham then contradicts himselfby saying that it is fine for Born-Again Christians not to be Young-Earth Creationists and not to take the Bible literally, apparently including those who believe that God is the author of the laws of nature so that Evolution occurred in a purele natural manner, so that Genesis is in no way literal. It doesn't interfere with faith in God's mercy and forgiveness and their chance of Heaven.

        But their beliefs, he says, will eventually destroy Christianity, because their descendants will compromise further and fall away if they fail to hold to YEC.

        When one generation compromises God's word by accepting man's fallible ideas, like Evolution and millions of years, and reinterpreting parts of the Bible, then the next generation tend to reinterpret other parts of the Bible as well, and over time it loses its authority. Eventually, Biblical authority becomes so undermined that people begin to drift away from the Bible. I truly believe that this is  ultimatelywhy the culture is losing losing the Christian influence it once had.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 11:18:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What sucks is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This was predicted long before the debate.

      Now, both sides will again proclaim victory.

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