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Why ... he, as the Science Guy, has a big problem with Creationism.

Bill Nye Speaks out about Creationism Video on ABC

link to video

Published on Aug 29, 2012 -- CrazyNews88

"Bill Nye the Science Guy" has created a stir with a new online video in which he says adults who deny evolution and teach a literal biblical view are hurting America's future. He talks to Gayle King about the video, which has been viewed more than 1.2 million times in just five days.

Bill Nye: "Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children"
August 28, 2012

Bill Nye:  Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

link to video

Published on Aug 23, 2012 -- Big Think

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. According to Bill Nye, aka "the science guy," if grownups want to "deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them."

-- Transcript:

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we're the world's most advanced technological -- I mean, you could say Japan -- but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens. People still move to the United States. And that's largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science. When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, "When you're in love you want to tell the world." So, once in a while I get people that really -- or that claim -- they don't believe in evolution. And my response generally is "Well, why not? Really, why not?" Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they're at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.

And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can -- we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.

It's just really hard a thing, it's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist. There's no evidence for it.

Some Bonus: Science Guy Clips

(Warning:  language may not be suitable to all sensibilities.)

Bill Nye The Science Guy Interview on Real Time with Bill Maher - 9/13/2013

link to video

Published on Sep 13, 2013 -- RealViews

Bill Nye:  Massive ice melt proves climate change

link to video

 Published on Jul 27, 2012 -- CNN

Science educator Bill Nye discusses a massive ice melt in Greenland that surprised NASA researchers.

Extra Credit Bonus Clip:  sans the Science Guy Nye

Shortest Scientist vs Creationist debate ever.

link to video

Published on Oct 8, 2012 -- robintimothycard

A geologist and an Irish creationist debate atop of the Grand Canyon.
Aahh ... Good one, Some other Science guy!

Science kind of makes the world go round ... or at least, it explains Why.

It would seem we need MORE Science, not LESS.  It's only logical.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:25 PM PST.

Also republished by SciTech.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (192+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    john07801, texasmom, alx9090, mookins, Darwinian Detrius, War on Error, peacestpete, carpunder, Eric Nelson, YucatanMan, BlueMississippi, LeftHandedMan, shesaid, tegrat, kerflooey, 6412093, bwren, ApostleOfCarlin, divineorder, ericlewis0, Freakinout daily, GAS, petral, maggiejean, wasatch, TX Freethinker, sawgrass727, GeorgeXVIII, Rosaura, Shockwave, NYFM, wader, anodnhajo, greycat, RunawayRose, LI Mike, bnasley, Cofcos, doroma, tgypsy, doingbusinessas, Steven D, Simplify, Paul Ferguson, myboo, Dbug, kevinpdx, skybluewater, WakeUpNeo, Liberal Thinking, newinfluence, palantir, Chaddiwicker, sjburnman, Executive Odor, Egalitare, eeff, histOries Marko, radarlady, praying manatheist, hulibow, Terrapin, rat racer, celdd, checkerspot, VeggiElaine, Amber6541, Jim Riggs, Curt Matlock, ChemBob, geekydee, CwV, copymark, rapala, Aaa T Tudeattack, bkamr, smartdemmg, WarrenS, LynChi, puckmtl, TomFromNJ, SaraBeth, Shamash, tuesdayschilde, coppercelt, Smoh, Tinfoil Hat, Pat K California, citizenx, Most Awesome Nana, Shotput8, p gorden lippy, gizmo59, Habitat Vic, political mutt, FloridaSNMOM, sidnora, Bear, boran2, leeleedee, ExpatGirl, Texknight, bongojazz, Buckeye Nut Schell, zerelda, Deep Texan, davelf2, GreenPA, Stein, dizzydean, BPARTR, Glen The Plumber, TomP, lineatus, MKinTN, MarkInSanFran, IndieGuy, Aquarius40, bronte17, Joieau, StrayCat, Bluesee, The Hindsight Times, bythesea, AdamR510, BadKitties, rasbobbo, Involuntary Exile, Powered Grace, mofembot, Anne was here, trumpeter, roses, Jake Williams, Carol in San Antonio, J M F, NonnyO, ruscle, ArthurPoet, dagnome, tampaedski, Batya the Toon, Dodgerdog1, Wreck Smurfy, slowbutsure, dewtx, millwood, Sun Tzu, foresterbob, Polly Syllabic, Rumarhazzit, JimWilson, Ice Blue, enemy of the people, CoolOnion, Catte Nappe, JVolvo, brentut5, oortdust, devis1, Turbonerd, pixxer, P E Outlier, glitterlust, BachFan, Chi, BlueJessamine, wayoutinthestix, imicon, Lahdee, pvasileff, SanFernandoValleyMom, ewmorr, Wisdumb, nota bene, cybersaur, dle2GA, OLinda, flatd, hwy70scientist, burnt out, VPofKarma, fhcec, Vince CA, prfb, Obi don, Julie Steinhaus, Anna Wise, SphericalXS, Oh Mary Oh, cipher14, twocrows1023
  •  I just don't think his optimism and logic will (32+ / 0-)

    carry the day at that Creation "museum".  He doesn't sound like any points will get through to that audience.

    •  I guess (7+ / 0-)

      we will have to wait and see.

    •  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

        [ Parent ]

        •  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.

    •  agreed, audience just doesn't understand science. (10+ / 0-)

      They will probably ask him to prove there is no God, or somesuch nonsense. He might respond with "you can't prove a negative", but then they'd just go "touche"...

      •  stupid is as stupid does (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tuesdayschilde, tegrat, irishwitch

        and in the end, it still burns...
        So basically they can't figure out that you can't prove that something doesn't exist, but only prove things that are hypothesized to exist? (can't prove a negative)

        ''The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.'' - Justice Hugo L. Black of the Supreme Court

        by geekydee on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:36:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It would be a missed opportunity (6+ / 0-) "debate" Ken Ham and "lose," as Nye is heading towards.

        That it's a creationist FUND-RAISER puts it square in the "debacle" category.

        America, we can do better than this...

        by Randomfactor on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:25:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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

        They understand science.

        "They" is too big to be tossed around here. I know it's fun to make one's opponents into knuckle dragging mouth breathers, but some of the creationists understand science just fine. There is sloppy language throughout all of this "debate."

        What is being debated, evolution or the creation of all things in six days? These are not the same thing. "Evolution" doesn't have anything to say about creation of anything, except species. Is it evolution of man, or evolution of any life? Is it age of the earth and age of the universe?

        If the opponent is some straw man who denies the age of the earth, the age of the universe, evolution of any life form, and the age of humanity, then that person is rejecting science since the 1820's. I think most people who believe in creation believe in just creation, without any given date or even a specific means. Those who believe that the means have to be as described in Genesis break into those who think that "day" is 24 hr even before God created day from night and those who think a day could be any period of time.

        Be careful with strawmen. They may be flammable, but in setting them alight we don't often win the real argument or achieve much.

        Everyone's innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:49:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The people you are referring to are not Ham nor (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Geogre

          are they to be found at the Creation Museum.

          •  You're right, of course (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wednesday Bizzare

            Ken Ham is a publicity-seeking fringe dweller whose museum survives on state funds and loopholes. In a sense, our side has kept his doors open by making fun of him so publicly. This has given him supporters from the siegeworks.

            I just meant that it doesn't help anyone to use a gigantic "they" and then an insult. This is especially true if "we" are speaking as defenders of reason.

            What drives me insane is that people like Ken Ham have responded to a reductio ad absurdum by saying, "Yes! And not only that, I'll believe Ussher's Chronology and that the sun stood still and that the ark was literal and held two of each species." It was as if they saw the Darrow speeches in "Inherit the Wind" and took them as a playbook.

            It's all reactionary. Augustine of flippin' Hippo was having trouble with a literal interpretation of the Ark in the 400's.

            Everyone's innocent of some crime.

            by The Geogre on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:26:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "some of the creationists understand science just (0+ / 0-)


          No, they don't, not a one of them ... I've been debating them for decades.

          "What is being debated, evolution or the creation of all things in six days? "

          You could look it up, y'know.

      •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

        Why is it important to prove the non-existence of G-d to prove the science?  If one thinks that is necessary, that is the same fallacy of logic the creationists are getting trapped into.

        The two are simply not mutually exclusive.

        Nye can jump past all that, and stipulate that G-d created science.  


        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 Jan 09, 2014 at 06:53:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are a few things to know about these debates (35+ / 0-)

      First, you're not speaking to the direct audience - you're talking to the people watching on TV. The people directly in the audience were bussed in from all the area's fundie churches, so chances are they're unpersuadable fanatics.

      Second, you've got to be prepared for dirty pool from the creationist, and be extremely assertive in cutting off Gish-Gallops, calling out dishonest tactics, and demanding proof for unsupported assertions. Be Joe Biden when he debated Paul Ryan.

      Third, I hope Bill Nye negotiated and got some concessions for ground rules. If all this forum is is taking-turns-talking, he's gonna get Gish-Galloped.

    •  In college I learned some of the details of (29+ / 0-)

      carbon dating, and realized that with this knowledge I'd be able to change the mind of any Creationist I felt like engaging. It's really impossible to argue your way out of carbon dating.

      Soon I had my first chance to challenge a Creationist. I explained how carbon dating (and dating using other isotopes) yielded highly accurate and consistent ages of objects, how we can observe radiation and estimate half-lives, etc. Really had my opponent in a corner (I thought).

      Her response: "Carbon dating is the work of the Devil. He's trying to sew doubt in our minds, to test our faith in the Lord. Isn't that obvious to you?"

      I have never argued for evolution again with one of these people. And Nye will lose as well.

    •  He's A Scientist (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, ColoTim, Dodgerdog1, irishwitch

      I don't think he's dumb enough that he's defining a successful debate as "winning over the audience at the creation museum."

      •  So what is his definition of this event being (0+ / 0-)


        Besides the $$$ going to Ham's Creation Museum, giving Ham visibility and Creationism a place on stage with Science?


        Pragmatic Centrists? meh

        by JVolvo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:06:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's not a scientist. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Can't we get even the basics right? He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering. But that's irrelevant ... he's clearly extremely naive and unprepared. Despite the statistics about religion in the U.S. that he is apparently unaware of, he has trouble believing that Ham really believes in a young earth and has said he accepted the debate because he wanted to find out what the guy thinks. You might not call that dumb, but it's something like it.

    •  The Creation Museum is failing ... quelle surprise (7+ / 0-)

      Ken Ham is reaching for all the publicity he can get.

      As long as that neanderthal museum doesn't fail upwards.

      It would be fantastic if it were turned into Kentucky's CST (Center for Science and Technology). Wright Patterson as well as the Air and Space Museum are only hours away.

      Northern Kentucky / Cinci area should be a hub of economic development/activity. But, the Cincinnati area is thriving and growing while NKY has rotted.

      There are so many positive future possibilities for the taxpayer dollars that were squandered on that fake snake oil property.

      One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

      by bronte17 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:10:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  there was actually a big ugly split a while ago (3+ / 0-)

        amongst the Australian creationists. Seems Ham was exporting a boatload of Australian money to the US to prop up his "museum", and some of the Ozzies didn't like it very much . . .

        Yes, this "debate" is a publicity stunt (and a potentially life-saving boon for Ham and his "museum"), but the fact is that Ham has been "debating" naive people for decades now.  It's his primary method of outreach, and the lit sales and fundraising he gets from these appearances are what keeps AIG alive. And this "debate" is the biggest and best publicity show Ham has ever had (or is likely to ever get again).  (I bet "Dr Dino" is wishing from his jail cell that it was HIM instead . . . )

        I mostly find it sad that Nye is (naively and inadvertently, to be sure) only helping the kookers.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:20:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As Snowden said, someone has to stand up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and do it.

          We can whine about the creationists or demonstrate the positive.

          Bill Nye will do the latter and who knows but that some kid will take heart from the knowledge and create a better future for himself and his community.

          Kids pick up the darnedest things. The fundies know that and it's why they use repression as control.

          One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

          by bronte17 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:37:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  people have, alas, been "debating" creationists (2+ / 0-)

            since the 70's.

            It has never helped.

            It won't help now either.

            Or at least it won't help OUR side.  It will help their side, though. Ham will likely raise enough money from the free publicity to save his "museum" now.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:47:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kitzmiller v. Dover (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ColoTim, bronte17, JVolvo, irishwitch

              We won that debate, and it was the one that mattered.

              But no, he won't get enough money to save his museum.  Spiraling attendance losses because he can't do anything NEW.

              Any NEW exhibits (aside from zip lines and such) would contradict Holy Writ.

              America, we can do better than this...

              by Randomfactor on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:30:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kitzmiller v Dover was a COURT CASE (4+ / 0-)

                It was not a "debate".

                And indeed, it was precisely because it was NOT a "debate" that the creationists lost (just as they have lost EVERY court case they have ever been involved with).  Courtrooms are deadly to creationists precisely because they can't use any of their debate tactics.  The Gish Gallop doesn't work there.  They can't make all sorts of sweeping statements without evidence to back them up. They can't evade or avoid questions they don't want to answer. That's why they keep losing.

                And indeed the Dover case is precisely why Ken Ham is so irrelevant.  It is illegal to teach creationism in the US. period.  Ham can wave his arms and bullshit all he wants--it doesn't change the fact that it is illegal to teach his crap in schools. If nobody gave Ken Ham the publicity he needs to survive, then he is nothing more than just another kooker posting his screeds on the Intertubes.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:43:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  People do stand up and do it. (0+ / 0-)

            They do science and they go to court to keep religion out of the classrooms. What Nye is doing is foolish.

            •  Bill Nye isn't a fool (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              "When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in [evolution] it holds everyone back," Nye said in the video, which has since racked up over 6 million views. "...The idea of deep time of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your worldview becomes crazy, untenable, itself inconsistent."

              Nye also told creationists that they should resist imparting their beliefs on their children.

              "I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it. Because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.

              And this episode isn't going to save the Creation Museum. Nor will it destroy Bill Nye's scientific education creds.

              It's one small component of the fight to stop the ID nuts from dampening so much progress.

              One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

              by bronte17 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:52:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So much intellectual dishonesty. (0+ / 0-)

                Nye is being foolish and your quotes have nothing to do with that. Go dishonestly attack some other strawman.

                •  wtf ... who made you the arbiter of Nye's (0+ / 0-)

                  conscience and awarded you the authority to throw around the fool label?

                  One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                  by bronte17 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:08:08 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I said nothing about conscience (0+ / 0-)

                    and I have the human right to call him foolish. Like I said, you're fully of intellectual dishonesty. People like you make me feel ill.

                    •  ruh-roh... you're going down a bad path there (0+ / 0-)

                      Over something so minor.

                      One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. --Carl Jung

                      by bronte17 on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:26:50 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  you confirm (0+ / 0-)
                        wtf ... who made you the arbiter of Nye's

                        conscience and awarded you the authority to throw around the fool label?

                        Sound pretty major in your mind.  Switching to "something so minor" is stock behavior for the intellectually dishonest. As I said, makes me feel ill. And since I don't need that, I won't be back.
    •  Exactly, I'm trying to find an online (6+ / 0-)

      version of something I used to have on VHS (not sure if anyone converted it, however) where a creationist woman (CW) was "debating" a scientist (actually, it was a Q & A after the scientist gave a lecture).

      It went something like this (keep in mind this is after hearing 50 minutes of solid evidence for evolution!):

      Creationist Woman: Since both creation and evolution are just unproven theories, I prefer to believe in creation because evolution - the idea that I descended from monkeys - just leaves me cold inside unlike creation, which gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling  . ..

      Scientist (realizing that this woman was completely refractory to facts and evidence):  Well you know, monkeys * can * be fuzzy and warm . .. .

      Audience: hisses and boos at the scientist's attempt at making a joke.

      But really, what else was he to do.  These people  are completely unreachable.

    •  Whistling pig (0+ / 0-)

      Never try to teach a pig to whistle - you will waste your time, and annoy the pig.

      Warren/Grayson 2016! Yes We Can!

      by BenFranklin99 on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 04:15:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bill Nye is a hero (30+ / 0-)

    for facing down the scale-skinned creationists.

    He's taken on a career-challenging battle with fixated thinkers who can do nothing but use their dogma (and that arcane little book) as a weapon against critical thinking.  And, among creationists, this is a winning strategy!  We shall overcome!

    I'm depending on all educators and thinkers and reasonable people and progressives to voice their backing for Bill Nye.  Because he's the Science Guy!

    Nobody doesn't wish he had more education.

    by john07801 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:42:43 PM PST

    •  The First Clip Shows He Doesn't Have a Clue (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, wader, Aquarius40, JVolvo, Ellid

      about what he'll face in the house, the audience, or the opposing act.

      Al Gore debating Rush Limbaugh would be more motivational, and more successful.

      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 08:53:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He'll be their performing monkey (0+ / 0-)

      the only thing he will face down is his paycheck.

    •  attacking religion is exactly the wrong strategy (8+ / 0-)

      Over two-thirds of the people in the US who oppose creationism, are theists. Of all the plaintiffs and lawyers in the 15-odd Federal Court cases that have ruled against creationism and outlawed it in US classrooms, virtually NONE were atheists. Nearly ALL of the plaintiffs were clergy and representatives of mainstream religions. Nearly every mainstream religion thinks the creationists are just as nutty as you do. This is NOT a "science vs religion" fight--it's a fight between an extremist group of religious fundamentalists and . . . well . . . everyone else.

      In a political fight, one attacks the people on the OTHER side.  Attacking people who are on YOUR side is . . . well . .  kind of dumb.

      (PS--before you start waving your arms at me for "defending religion", I do not assert, and do not accept, the existence of any god, gods, goddesses, or any other supernatural entity whatsoever.  So spare me your sermons.)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:17:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is not attacking religion. (21+ / 0-)

        As he noted in the first video, he has no problem with religion, he has a problem with the rejection of scientific facts, substituted with religious belief.

        As a scientist myself, I agree. I have religious beliefs that I hold very dear, but they are just that--beliefs. I don't believe in science, I understand the underlying facts.

        It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

        by smartdemmg on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 04:49:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it isn't Nye I'm referring to . . . (10+ / 0-)

          But speaking of Nye, there is this:

          As a scientist myself, I agree. I have religious beliefs that I hold very dear, but they are just that--beliefs. I don't believe in science, I understand the underlying facts.
          I understand all that. But it is utterly irrelevant.  Creationism is not about science.  It's not about religion either.  It is a POLITICAL movement, with political goals, financed by people with a political agenda.

          It has been my experience (in 30 years of creationist-fighting) that scientists, alas, tend to make VERY poor creationist-fighters, mostly because they are utterly naive about the movement's goals and motivations. Creationism cannot be fought by simply educating the rubes or teaching them about science.  People are not won TO creationism through scientific argument, and they won't be won AWAY from it through scientific arguments, either. Most people in the US don't know a prokaryote from a pachyderm and don't care, and arguing "science" with them has zero effect because "science" isn't why they are creationists in the first place.

          As Bill Nye is about to learn the hard way . . . .

          And as for the leaders of the creationist movement, they don't really care about "religion" either---that is just the tool they use to motivate their base, to get them to vote and write checks. Their goal is entirely political--nothing else.

          The very best way to defeat the creationist movement is to expose and attack its POLITICAL goals--goals the movement tries very hard to hide, and which virtually nobody in the US supports. But alas too many people treat creationism as a fight over religion, or science, and miss the point utterly.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:04:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But there is a way to defeat them (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And it's the same thing that a 3 yr old uses to drive people nuts.


            Science  has at least some of the answers. Creationism has none. And if you keep asking 'why?' You'll have them either going in circles or pulling their hair out in 10 minutes.

            •  no, they have the easy ultimate answer to ALL the (6+ / 0-)

              "why" questions:

              "Because that's the way God wanted it."

              But you are right, there IS only one way to beat them----haul their ass into court. Creationists have lost EVERY Federal court case they have ever been involved with.  Every single one. Without exception. Around 20 or so of them. That is why it is illegal to teach creationism in the US, period. End of debate.

              I just started a diary series on the legal history of creationism. Part One is here:


              Part Two will be posted this afternoon.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:22:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  your naive belief in fantasies is almost (0+ / 0-)

              as bad as that of Creationism. There is no logic or fact to support your assertion about this supposed "way to defeat them".

          •  This is a good point. (0+ / 0-)

            Are you saying that these people are using the teaching "creationism" in schools as a way to insert other Christian beliefs and prayer into school?

          •  I don't agree. What you're talking about is (0+ / 0-)

            attacking the credibility and motivations of one of the devout. "How dare you" will be the response.

            Nye has the perfect oportunity to sew a little more doubt in the minds of the religious fence-sitters, and to me that's a good thing.

            Why are so many people afraid to raise questions about religion in general?

            Yes, I understand it will piss a lot of people off, but it can also force people to ask the hard questions of themselves. And to me, that's a good thing.

            Time is running out (climate wise) and religion still acts as the chain holding a large portion of humanity to the sinking ship we call earth.

            Fuck religion. Time to sink our feet in some serious science and get to work trying to save this planet.

            This debate to me has everything to do with religion. The creationist movement is just another example of how religion can be used to manipulate people into suicidal acts. Creationism is just a different manifestation of "God's will" in the face of worsening climate change.

            This debate should be about freeing the minds of humanity.

            "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

            by Pescadero Bill on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:29:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no, that is not what I am talking about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I am talking about simple basic politics.  In politics, one attacks the people who OPPOSE you.

              Attacking the people who SUPPORT you is a reaaaallllyyyy stupid idea. And the simple brutal mathematical reality is that "atheists" make up less than 20% of the entire country--so if we want to win ANY political fight, we simply MUST have the active support of a large percentage of the theists in the US.  And screaming "religion is for retards!" at them, doesn't help. Attacking and alienating people that we can't win without is a really stupid idea. So don't do it.

              Of course, I do realize that the hyper-atheists have their own private ideological agenda which they insist on dragging in--they are opposed to religion, period, and can't tolerate even the EXISTENCE of anyone who doesn't accept their own atheist opinions. In other words, the atheists want to convert the whole world to their religious opinions--just like the fundamentalist Christians want to. They are the same under the skin, just dueling ideologues. Same birds, different feathers.

              Me, I don't give a flying fuck what anyone's religion (or lack of one) is.  The US is still a democracy, we still have a First Amendment, and anyone can hold any religious opinions they like, no matter how stupid or silly they may seem to others. That is not my gripe with creationism. They can worship a head of lettuce for all I care.

              Where they cross the line is by trying to use the power of the government to impose and enforce THEIR particular religious opinions onto OTHER people. That I will fight to the last ounce of my strength.

              And for the record, should the ideologue atheists ever try to use the power of the government to stamp oput "religion", I would fight them just as hard, for exactly the same reasons.

              (And before you give me all the standard anti-theist sermons, let me point out again that I don't believe in any gods or goddesses.)

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:44:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Just Out of Curiosity (0+ / 0-)

        Do you think that Bill Nye's actions are primarily  motivated by a Democratic political strategy???

    •  Reasonable people think this is a dumb idea.nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  What I want to know is why (5+ / 0-)

    He agreed to the debate at all.

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:48:33 PM PST

  •  Clint Eastwood had a better chance debating (9+ / 0-)

    A chair, than Bill Nye has trying to talk sense to creationists.

    "You've been wrong about every single thing you've ever done, including this thing. You're not smart. You're not a scientist. You're not a doctor. You're not even a full-time employee! Where did your life go so wrong?" ―GLaDOS

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 08:58:50 PM PST

  •  Somewhere (32+ / 0-)

    there is a 10 year old child who will hear Nye, realize their parents are lying to them, and pursue the truth.

    God bless Nye.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:12:36 PM PST

  •  First, Bill Nye does indeed rock. (34+ / 0-)

    Second, of course nobody at the huckster's expensive event will be swayed. Bill isn't doing it for them. He's doing it for kids like I was,  back when I was trying to work out what the fuck reality was, having been raised by a fundamentalist. The only way this is a loss for him and the the kids is if it doesn't rank high on YouTube.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:19:20 PM PST

  •  The seed of doubt, once planted in the mind, (16+ / 0-)

    can grow and blossom into a healthy skepticism.

    Best of luck to Mr. Nye in his efforts to spread some doubt into a community full of certainty.  He just might be able to reach some who can still be saved.

    Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. Carl Sagan

    by sjburnman on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:43:27 PM PST

  •  As a Child in School (5+ / 0-)

    I was always asking the nuns (catholic education) why.  All too many times they would answer "because it is God's will".  

    I am still asking why a lot of the time, but now I have some science knowledge crammed  in my brain to give me the skill set to tease out the answers through observation and  research combined with life experiences.  

    I have had a few years experience with public speaking and I have found that knowing your audience is always the key to successful communication.  If you are speaking to folks who normally have their minds made up before you talk to them,  you have to find a way to open their ears, once the ears are open the mind can't help but mull over the information you present.  In Marketing, you would identify that as the hook.

    That is why the speakers we enjoy the most usually have humor well integrated into their presentations (when appropriate of course) they are attempting to open our minds to their message.   the best power point hook I ever saw was a 10 second video of cowboys herding squirrels, that presenter had my undivided attention, for sure.

    Life is not a problem to be solved but an adventure to be experienced.

    by DarkHawk98 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 09:47:58 PM PST

  •  About 40% of all Americans belong to a cult (11+ / 0-)

    The Young Earth creationism cult;

    Since 1982, between 40% and 50% of adults in the United States say they hold the creationist view that "God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" when Gallup asked for their views on the origin and development of human beings.[8]
    Once they believe this crap they'll believe anything their "spiritual" leaders tell them, anything.

    And they increasingly belong to the Tea Party/GOP.  This is as unhealthy as it gets.

    Many of them are "exceptionalists" on steroids or dominionists.

    It is impossible to reason with them.

    I truly hope that younger Americans are less prone to such dementia but I cannot find any statistics.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 10:08:52 PM PST

  •  Why would a guy so keen on science (0+ / 0-)

    dignify and elevate the theocrat knuckledraggers by debating with them? It must be the money.

  •  To me Bill Nye is saintly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Shotput8, mmacdDE

    He is good at explaining things to children and he will be good at explaing things to adults who have failed to evolve. It is still about the children just another method of reaching them.
    I have compassion for people that believe in superstition. They lead miserable lives.

  •  Bill will need some zen to prevail (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, rat racer, ChemBob, jamess
    A Cup of Tea

    Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

    Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

    The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

    "Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 11:52:29 PM PST

  •  Nye misses the whole point (7+ / 0-)

    Creationism is not about science.  It's not even about religion.  Creationism's goal is all about POLITICS.  It is a political movement with political goals, funded by people with a political agenda.

    Nye is naive, and does not understand who it is that he is fighting.  And all he is accomplishing by debating Ham is to allow the creationists to hold a big pep rally and raise lots of money.

    For a clearer view of the creationist movement, its political goals, and its relation to the Republican party, I humbly offer this short interview I did back in 2007 when my book "Deception by Design: The Intelligent Design Movement in America", was published:

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 03:08:10 AM PST

  •  This should never happen! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    midnight lurker

    Apples and oranges. You simply cannot debate two totally different ways of seeing the world. And to imply that they are equivalent is a lie in itself.

  •  We will never truly have Peace on Earth until (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Reason and Logic have driven Religion off the Planet.

    It will be a long slow process but it is worth fighting the battle

    •  you mean like the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rat racer, murrayewv, niemann

      Or how about the Rev Barry Lynn, founder of Americans United for Separation of Church and State?

      Or the dozen or so church groups and clergy who filed the Arkansas lawsuit AGAINST teaching creationism in schools . . ?

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:07:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still true even if some religious leaders were (0+ / 0-)

        not actually crazy

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:39:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  please explain to me how it would have (0+ / 0-)

          helped the civil rights movement to declare to Rev Dr Martin Luther Kind Jr, "Religion is a stupid fairy tale".

          How does that help us win that fight.

          Do you understand the most basic ideas of political action: attack people on the OTHER side, not people on YOUR side . . . ?

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:50:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  it has always amused me how alike the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      fundamentalist Christians and the ideologue atheists are.

      Neither one of will rest until everyone everywhere accepts their particular opinions about religion, and neither one can tolerate the very existence of anyone who does not agree with their opinions about religion. Indeed, it is the very life goal of both to stamp out the other.

      Same bird, different feathers.

      (PS--I don't believe in any gods or goddesses.)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:58:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has struck me that fundamentalists ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... and ideologue atheists can be very similar to identical in their conceptualizations of a god.

        They both seem to picture something very literalistic and concrete -- picturing a deity as just a big invisible human being ("invisible sky fairy", "invisible wizard", etc.).  

        It is just that fundamentalists accept that concept, while atheists reject it -- but in both cases it seems they are unable to picture any other, more subtle, less concrete conceptualizatons.

        I've asked atheists what exactly they are picturing and defining "God" as -- because to reject something, you have to have some conceptualization to reject.  I can't disbelieve in a magic green unicorn unless I have some picture in my mind of what that would look like, and how it would act.

  •  I have one issue here... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, merrywidow, Shotput8, mmacdDE, niemann

    and that is that religion and science cannot be reconciled...

    I beg to differ. I am Pagan, and my view of science that it  explains creation...And the more Humankind learns, the more we realize we don't know everything... Our Universe is, of itself worthy of awe. How everything came together to create this Universe makes me more spiritual, rather than less.

    Hell, we are just now discovering that our own planet may be a living thing...and science is now able to prove or disprove this hypothesis.

    What if it proves that our Earth is a living entity?  Personally I would find it profoundly moving and at the same time sorrowful for the horrible way we have treated Her.

    I have asked Christian fundamentalists this question...

    "Why couldn't evolution be the way that your God created all things?"
    I never, ever get an answer.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:11:35 AM PST

    •  the reality is: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow, sidnora, MKinTN, niemann

      1. virtually every mainstream religion in the world accepts evolution as the method of creation
      2. virtually every mainstream religion in the US rejects creationism and fundamentalism, and thinks they are just as nutty as everyone else does.
      3. well over two-thirds of all the people in the US who accept evolution, are theists who also accept religion.
      4. virtually all of the plaintiffs, attorneys and judges who have beaten creationists in Federal court almost 20 times in the past 50 years, have been theists, and virtually NONE of them have been atheists.

      This simply is NOT a fight between "religion" and "science". It is a fight between a small but well-financed group of religious extremists, and everybody else.

      Attacking "religion" or "theism" is EXACTLY the wrong strategy for us to take. Nearly all religious groups are on OUR side in this fight. In a political fight, you attack the people on the OTHER side.  Attacking the people on YOUR side is . . . well . . . kind of stupid.

      PS--I don't believe in gods or goddesses of any sort whatsoever. My conclusion that attacking theism is a stupidly bad strategy in this a matter of political reality, learned through three decades of creationist-fighting, not a matter of ideology or theism on my part. Every time that I have seen "attacking theism" as a tactic, it has failed miserably, and caused far more damage to our own side than it does to the other side.

      It doesn't work. And it doesn't help. So don't do it.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:35:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  40-50% is not SMALL it is a huge number of (0+ / 0-)

        people who believe a fairy tale

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:40:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  most of those "people who believe in a (0+ / 0-)

          fairy tale" are on YOUR side in the evolution/creationism fight.

          Please feel free to explain to me how attacking them helps us win this fight . . . . .

          The most elementary rule of any political fight is that we fight with our enemies, not with our allies.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:47:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. 40-50% believe in young earth creationism (0+ / 0-)

            how are they on our side?

            "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

            by merrywidow on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:24:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not talking about them. they are the people (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              we are fighting AGAINST.

              I'm talking about the vast majority of religious people who think creationism is nutty.  They are on OUR side.

              And attacking their "religion" does not help us.

              So don't do it.

              If you can't tell the difference between religious people who support creationism and are NOT on our side, and religious people who fight AGAINST creationism and ARE on our side side, then please stay at home and don't say anything at all.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:39:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Genesis tracks, fish to bird to mammal to man (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      so it could be a crude story of evolution itself, just not in 6 literal days

      "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

      by merrywidow on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:40:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fossils were planted by Satan and god created (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the stars to be different ages...don't you know anything?

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:32:23 AM PST

    •  no-fossils are the drowned victims of Noah's Flood (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catwho, sidnora, mrblifil

      And they were "hydraulically sorted" to make it LOOK like they evolved.

      That's been the creation "science" story since the 60's.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:37:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow, had not heard that one! nt (0+ / 0-)

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:41:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "The Genesis Flood", written by Henry Morris 1961 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sidnora, mrblifil

          It is the core basis for all of creation "science".  Morris was the founder of the Institute for Creation Research, the original creationist group from which all of the others, including Ken Ham's "Answers in Genesis", are just splinter and breakaway groups.

          If you're really interested in the "flood geology" nonsense, I humbly offer my own takedown of it, here:

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:45:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  There may have been a big flood, there are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catwho, mrblifil

        always big floods somewhere...and in those days the world would seem very small to them so the "world" they knew could have been flooded and some guy made sure his farm animals got on the boat, but that is as far as I can go

        my daughter never had a Noah's Ark toy, very proud of that

        "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

        by merrywidow on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 05:42:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I have no doubt there was a "great flood" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, merrywidow, sidnora

          It didn't cover the whole world, but might have covered a huge expanse of the Arabian peninsula, especially the Fertile Crescent.

          Didn't kill the dinosaurs, though.  Chixlucub took care of that 65 million years ago.

          The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

          by catwho on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:17:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's great. At a time when science (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and technology is advancing at a rapid pace, more people need to understand it.  The religious whackos can not understand it.  It's why they shy away from it.

    But we all have the capacity to "get it", it just needs to be taught properly.  Bill Nye can speak in a way that is clear and at a low-enough level that the folks out there who make EVERYTHING have to be written or spoken on a 5th grade level will understand Bill Nye.

    If his "debate" sways 5 people, it will have been a success.

    Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

    by PsychoSavannah on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:06:56 AM PST

  •  Good luck, Bill, you're gonna need it . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Denial of evolution is unique to the United States."  That's because every single institution, idea, concept, etc in the U.S. has been completely politicized.  How's that working out for us?  Well, I think the fact that many brilliant scientists in this country have been reduced to speaking as political pundits, either by choice or out of a sense of necessity, does not bode well for our future.

    "One of the boss' hangers-on sometimes comes to call, at times you least expect. Tryin' to bully you, strongarm you, inspire you with fear--it has the opposite effect."--Bob Dylan, "Floater"

    by oldmaestro on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:10:34 AM PST

    •  actually it's not unique to the US (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sidnora, MKinTN

      There are thriving creationist movements in Australia (Ken Ham himself is Australian), Canada, the UK, and Russia. And of course there are not only Muslim versions of creationism in many countries, but in many Islamic countries anti-evolutionism is official state education policy.

      BUT . . . .

      Nearly all of the creationist movements outside the US are funded by the American groups (mostly by the Institute for Creation Research and the Discovery Institute), and most of them were founded by either Americans or people who got their training here in the US (Ken Ham was an ICR member for years before founding Answers in Genesis in Australia).

      Even the Muslim creationist groups in Europe get funding from the American creationist groups.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:18:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for trying, Bill. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:16:14 AM PST

  •  pushing at the Overton Window (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, MKinTN, freerad, burlydee

    I don't think that Bill Nye is as naive and clueless as some wish to portray him. He has been successful as an engineer, a scientist, and a performer. He has awards and recognition for his talent and accomplishments. He is a professional.

    Between his judgement, and that of a random bunch of Kos naysayers, I'll side with Mr. Nye that he knows what he's doing. That doesn't mean it's not without risk or consequences, just that I think he knows the odds better than we. We are amateurs.

    He's pushing back at the Overton Window. This isn't a personal victory for Mr. Nye. He's not planning to convert Ken Hamm. He's not planning to win over the local crowd. It would be nice, but it's not required. Bill Nye is putting his two hands on that framing and applying a bit of pressure. How much? We can debate his effectiveness, but it will be effective to a greater or lesser degree. However, even The Science Guy is only one of billions, so his efforts alone aren't going to shift the Overton Window very much.

    So why bother? If Mr. Nye can inspire discussion, he amplifies his efforts. If the debate goes viral, Mr. Nye amplifies his results. If the YouTube videos and Tweets and discussion get kids to think, think critically, then he amplifies his efforts. I think that's worth the time and effort, don't you?

    He's making our opponent spend time and money on defeating him. That's time and money that they aren't spending somewhere else. If they 'waste' more resources than we do, then we have a net gain. Sometimes you can win by exhausting your opponent rather than pounding them into submission.

    Rather than sneer at the naive guy in the pretty blue lab coat and bow tie from your keyboard, think about how we can maximize any positive results from this. How can we amplify the message, boost the signal, and give the Overton Window a good, hard shove? I think that he has earned our support and efforts, if not our complete agreement.

    •  maybe you should listen to some veteran (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, MKinTN, joegoldstein

      creationist-fighters.  Like the National Center for Science Education, which has been fighting creationism for decades.  Or, humbly, me, who has been fighting them since 1982.

      Those of us who are experienced in this fight have seen this before, dozens of times.  Some naive scientist or another thinks that all he has to do is teach some basic science to the rubes, and he can crush them like a bug. It never ends well.

      Virtually any experienced creationist-fighter you ask will have the same opinion---don't debate creationists. It simply doesn't help. All it does is give them a chance to spread their message more widely, to have a big pep rally for their troops, and to fundraise endlessly over it. It's a political show, not a scientific debate--and the creationists win the political show no matter what happens in the debate. Add to that the fact that so many scientists are utterly naive about the real aims and goals of the creationist movement, and it all adds up to disaster for our side and boon for the creationists. I see no reason to keep helping them.

      I've been asked dozens of times over the decades to "debate" a creationist, whether on the radio or in a forum or online.  I always turn them down.

      If Nye REALLY wants to do this, his entire "debate" should consist of just two sentences: "If there really was a scientific debate over evolution, it would be happening in peer-reviewed journals, not in political stage shows like this one. And anyway, anything our creationist friend says here is completely irrelevant, since every judge who has ever heard a creationist case has concluded that it's not science, and is illegal to teach in public school classrooms. Period. End of debate."

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:33:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How does that affect the Overton Window? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, burlydee

        Here's one of your points:

        "Some naive scientist or another thinks that all he has to do is teach some basic science to the rubes, and he can crush them like a bug. It never ends well."
        Here's what I said:

        "He's pushing back at the Overton Window. This isn't a personal victory for Mr. Nye. He's not planning to convert Ken Hamm. He's not planning to win over the local crowd. It would be nice, but it's not required."

        Remember the Scopes trial? He lost the trial. What effect did he have on the framing and the Overton Window?

        Read. Learn. Think!

        by IndyGlenn on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:31:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  by helping push it further to the right (0+ / 0-)

          Nye's speeches won't change anything.But the very act of debating Ham does---it gives Ham more of the publicity and outreach that is his very lifeblood. Ham has done hundreds of these "debates" over the decades---they are his primary outreach tool and the primary source of his fundraising. All they do--all they are INTENDED to do--is allow the creationists to have a pep rally, fire up their base, raise a ton of money, and give the false impression that there actually IS something to "debate". It helps Ham keep the creationist movement alive (which his failing "museum" is not doing), and helps him keep the Overton Window shoved all the way over to the Right.

          Debates like this don't help our side. They DO help Ham's side.  Indeed, Ham's side can't survive without them.

          I see no reason to help him.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:57:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is where we need to shift from anecdote (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to evidence. Who out there has studies or statistics that could help resolve our different opinions? I don't have much at the moment, but we should be able to find something quantitative.

            I submit that most of the potential target audience for conversion to creationism is already converted. We aren't too worried about the small audience that is so heavily insulated or "bubbled" that we can't reach them through this particular debate. We probably won't reach them no matter what we do in the foreseeable future. That is why we need to shift the Overton Window.

            Our target audience is the crowd that is not yet science-literate, nor so heavily insulated that this debate won't reach them. Here, even with exposure to both competing memes, we can be effective. "Effective enough" is the question. Is our meme more effective with the target audience than the competing meme?

            This is where peer action and mutually-supporting messages become valuable. We 'neutralize' the opposing meme through social pressure and amplify our meme the same way. We craft our messages, using Mr. Nye's performance as an anchoring point, so as to make our side the one to be on, and their side the one for losers. How? The most effective tactic depends on the particular community, either physical or virtual.

            You bring up the point that Ham is using this as a fund-raising tool to try and save his failing museum. Okay. The more money and time they spend trying to save it, the less money and time they have for other issues. This might be a good case of exhausting your enemy. Force them to commit disproportionate resources. Then, when they lose, they are even less prepared for the next battle. What have we committed?

            If you don't favor Mr. Nye's tactics, then what kind of offensive tactics do you propose? At least Mr. Nye is putting them on the defensive. Remember, you cannot win on defense alone. It takes both offense and defense to win.

            Read. Learn. Think!

            by IndyGlenn on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:20:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you miss the point entirely (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Old Man from Scene 24

              This simply is not a scientific debate.  it's not about science.  There is NO evidence or data, none at all, that will ever settle it, because the debate is not ABOUT evidence or data.

              THAT is why Nye will fail, as indeed ALL such debates have always failed. Do you think Bill Nye is the first guy who ever tried to educate the US public in a "debate" with creationists?

              Creationism is a POLITICAL movement, with political goals, funded by people with political agendas. It's not about science, it's not about education, it's not even about religion. It is about using a particular emotional wedge issue to push a theocratic POLITICAL agenda.

              Bill Nye does not understand that. Ken Ham does. That is why Ken Ham will win the "debate" no matter WHAT Nye says or WHAT evidence or data he presents. Ham wins simply by generating money and publicity to keep his political agenda going. As far as Ham is concerned, that's the only purpose of having such "debates".

              If you don't favor Mr. Nye's tactics, then what kind of offensive tactics do you propose?
              There is only ONE tactic that has ever worked, and it has the  virtue of having worked EVERY TIME IT WAS USED.  And that is this: haul the bastards into court. Creationism is illegal to teach in the US. Period. It is illegal to advocate religion in US public schools, creation "science" is nothing but religious doctrine, and it is illegal to teach in all 50 states. So any time someone tries it anywhere, haul their ass into court.

              THAT is what has killed the creationist movement and left it a shattered hollow remnant of itself---back in 1982, creationists could pass laws in Congress; today, they can't pass jackshit and anything they DO pass is killed in court in ten minutes. The Republican Party no longer gives them the time of day, the neocon and corporate factions in the GOP think the creationists are nutty, and Ken Ham can't even finance his "museum" anymore without money from Australia.

              Bill Nye is naively helping to revive them.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:37:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Okay, but.......:) (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                burlydee, devis1

                Courts are ruled by judges, and judges are appointed, and elections decide who gets to appoint the judges. I agree that legal action is a very effective tactic. I disagree that it should be our only one. As you noted, creationists could, and did get control of one or more legislatures. This means that they can stack the courts so that your legal actions are no longer effective.

                Then what? We also need to be shifting the Overton Window so that we win elections, we appoint the judges, and our meme of "science over faith" wins. I'm just debating on the best way to shift the Overton Window.

                We need a pretty well defined and shared strategy, defined by our beliefs, principles, and guidelines. We also need a number of different tactics, both to experiment for max effectiveness, and to keep our opponent off balance.

                Read. Learn. Think!

                by IndyGlenn on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:50:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  the Dover judge was a Dubya appointee (0+ / 0-)

                  Your worry is quite unfounded. The creationists have lost every court case they have ever been involved with. All of them.  Without exception.  At least 20 of them. Including Two Supreme Court rulings. Creationism is religious doctrine.  It is illegal to teach religious doctrine in schools.  Period. It doesn't get any easier than that.

                  But then, none of this matters anymore anyway. The creationist movement is all but dead, the nonce-mighty ICR and Discovery Institute are now unknown and forgotten, there hasn't been a "creation science textbook" published in the US in years, no school district has even dared TRY teaching creationism because they know what the result will be; Ham's "creation museum" is a flop. The fight is all but over. Yes, a large percentage of the US population still accepts creationism, but then, an even larger percentage accepts flying saucers, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster, too. There's no cure for "stupid".  (shrug)

                  The real fight over creationism ended years ago.  It's illegal, and it's dead. Were it not for Bill Nye, virtually no one in the US would ever even HEAR about some dude named "Ken Ham".  He'd be just another nutter posting screeds on the Intertubes.  

                  Instead, Nye is helping to revitalize the creationist movement.  I see no reason for doing that.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:01:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If they are that dead, then (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    nothing Bill Nye can do will revitalize them. Your fears are unfounded. Oh, sure, Ken Ham can do a little fund-raising, but it's a lost cause. They get a little publicity, but not enough to turn the tide. They are dying, and cannot be resuscitated.

                    So what's the issue, then?

                    Science. Science versus faith. More kids growing up to be engineers, scientists, and knowledgeable citizens. Less kids growing up to be Tea Party 'useful idiots'. Push the Overton Window back away from the Dominionists.

                    If they can't win this particular campaign, and you seem to think that they cannot, then we can use the opportunity to further other goals.

                    Read. Learn. Think!

                    by IndyGlenn on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:12:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Bill Nye will not revitalize "them" (0+ / 0-)

                      Creationists haven't managed to pass a bill in years, and they won't for the foreseeable future.  They are dead as a mackerel.

                      But Nye is pulling HAM's ass out of the fire. Ham just came from a brutal infight with the Australians over who is paying for his "museum", as all the while his "museum" itself slips further and further into insolvency. Ham is THIS close to dropping out entirely and being just another Net Loon.

                      But NOW Ham has managed to get the biggest score of his life. With Nye's help, Ham will be fundraising like he's never been able to before, which will save his sorry ass and keep his "museum" afloat again for the foreseeable future. Ham will now be the undisputed King of Creationists.

                      At least until "Dr Dino" gets out of jail. (snicker)

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:44:43 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I don't see it (0+ / 0-)

                        How many potential investors are going to be swayed by one, count'em, one debate with Bill Nye? The potential shift in favor of Ham just isn't very big. Most of his potential donors are already convinced. Uncle Billy sending in $5 isn't going to save Ham's park. The big-dollar investors aren't going to be interested in this debate. Either they have an agenda and don't care if they lose money, or they are deluded enough to think that it's a good investment. In either case the debate would make little to no difference. Ham may fleece the dupes a little longer, but that's about it. As I have said before, our opponents putting money into a losing proposition is a gain for us.

                        Ham's potential gain, while large to an individual, is small to insignificant in the greater arena of cultural memes. I am less concerned about Ham's personal fortunes than I am about encouraging potentially millions of kids to view science in a more positive light than faith-based thinking.

                        Remember, we 'lost' the Scopes trial, but did we lose the campaign?

                        Read. Learn. Think!

                        by IndyGlenn on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:52:45 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  your naivete is touching (0+ / 0-)

                          So is Nye's.

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 06:56:20 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The nice thing about this (0+ / 0-)

                            is that we should be able to gather some quantitative data that will prove one of us more accurate. Two battling opinions with no data gets us nowhere.

                            You sneer at any show of optimism. I laugh at every show of pessimism. Which accomplishes more?

                            Read. Learn. Think!

                            by IndyGlenn on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:51:28 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  we already have thirty years of data (0+ / 0-)

                            Hundreds of scientists, atheists and academics have "debated" creationists since the early 80's. Ham has already had dozens of debates; dozens more each for Gish, Morris and Hovind. There have been debates all over the US, in England, in Australia, and in Canada. Some were in live arenas, some were on TV, some were on radio.

                            NONE of those debates accomplished anything, except raising money for the creationists and allowing them to have a pep rally. Nye will do no different.

                            If all it takes is a "debate" that gives people some basic science education, then we would have won three decades ago.  (shrug)

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:08:31 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Where's the data? (0+ / 0-)

                            Read. Learn. Think!

                            by IndyGlenn on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:51:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  NONE of the longtime creationist fighters, from (0+ / 0-)

                            PZ MYers to Wes Elsberry to Genie Scott to the Richard Dawkins to Ed Brayton , think this "debate" is a good idea.  None of them.

                            There's a good reason for that . . . .

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:13:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

  •  love that guy (0+ / 0-)

    he is right.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 06:31:22 AM PST

  •  Reminds me of time church asked me to debate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wednesday Bizzare

    The coming Bill Nye debate with young earth Creationist Ken Ham reminds me of a phone call I got several years ago. I was in my University office answering student emails when a call came in from an elder at a rural Indiana church. The man explained that he was a conservative Christian who did not believe in evolution.

    Recently, his church had a speaker from the Creation Museum give a talk about the evils of evolution. What troubled this elder was that the speakers was so over the top that he was sure there must be more to the debate than the speaker claimed.

    He called my University who gave him my number. His pastor had been given approval to “set up a debate.” He was hoping he could find a scientist to speak at his church to tell “the other side” at next month’s Wednesday evening lecture series.

    I told him I was free that evening and I’d be happy to speak to his church. I also told him that I thought I could get one or two IUS scientists who were doing evolutionary research to come with me. But we would not interested in a debate. What we would do was explain why scientists believe in evolution. We were not interested in denigrating their religion and some evolutionists do believe in God.

    The elder said he liked that approach. He was not interested in a shouting match but just wanted to understand why people would believe in evolution. He would take my offer back to his church.

    He called back a few days later. He said the church was going with another topic for next months lecture. He said he might get back with me on my offer but his church really wanted a debate, not a rational talk about why scientists believe in evolution.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:51:50 AM PST

    •  A little more about this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      As part of my last sabbatical, I interviewed two of the Creation Museum scientists, have watched some of their videos, and read much of their literature including Ken Ham’s edited book, “The New Answers Book 1: Over 25 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible.”

      While they hold many outlandish beliefs (e.g., all viruses and bacteria were good until the fall and all animals were vegetarian until after the flood) they have also moved away from many previous claims that were no longer credible even with evolution deniers. For example, they now support some evolution/change but within “kinds.” In fact, they promote the idea that immediately following the flood, God gave animals a super evolution power, now slowing down, that created many different species within kinds. At the museum they even have a large display Darwin’s finches and even a poster of Darwin. The theme is not that Darwin was evil but that he was a plagiarist. Darwin stole his idea about evolution from a Creationist with the one change that he crossed out God’s role.

      It promises to be an interesting debate.

      I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

      by SocioSam on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:15:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did they give the name of the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude, SocioSam

        Creationist Darwin plagiarized and provide evidence of this claim? I would have pursued that line of questioning.

        Anyone who has read any good biographies of Darwin (I think Janet Browne's two volume is the best) knows that Darwin still believed in "God" during and after his trip on the Beagle.  His letting go of god was a very gradual thing and caused by what he was discovering along the way in his studies.

        •  It is on the poster at the Museum (0+ / 0-)

          They allowed me only 20 minutes for each interview and a guy was outside their offices with a watch. I had to use my time efficiently and went out of my way to not argue with anything. I don't remember who Darwin supposedly plagiarized but you can probably find it on their website. Actually, now that you bring this up, I need to find the name.

          I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

          by SocioSam on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:53:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, there was a controversy for (0+ / 0-)

            quite awhile that Darwin plagiarized Wallace, but that was resolved and let Darwin off the hook.  I don't remember if Wallace was a creationist.

            •  Wallace was not a creationist, but he was a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SocioSam, Fishtroller01

              "spiritualist" who held seances and talked to ghosts. He also thought that the human mind could not have evolved through natural selection.

              Darwin was never accused of "plagiarizing" Wallace, but there was a short dispute over who had the idea of evolution by natural selection first. When Wallace sent his letter to Darwin describing Wallace's idea of natural selection, Darwin had already been researching the idea for years, but had never published anything on it. Fortunately, Darwin had written a long manuscript several years before, which conclusively showed that Darwin had the idea first. In the event, Wallace's letter and Darwin's manuscript were introduced together at the Royal Society, with Darwin given priority.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:34:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wallace (0+ / 0-)

              did think the brain/mind was too complex to be due only to evolution.

              But the Creation museum does not accuse Darwin of plagarizing Wallace. I is big time creationist who I need to look up. I think the name is on the Darwin poster they have in their museum.

              I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

              by SocioSam on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 08:46:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  ever wonder why NASA doesn't "debate" all the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whenwego, midnight lurker, Stude Dude

    people who think the Moon landing was faked . . . . ?

    Yeah . . . that's why nobody should "debate" creationists, either.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:02:26 AM PST

  •  It only complicates things for Nye because he (0+ / 0-)

    thinks. People of faith don't require explanations. They are perfectly willing to accept that God made everything just the way it is. Dinosaur bones & other fossils just scattered around like jimmies on a scoop of ice cream.
    The scientific method & mind is based on doubt & evidence. It is way harder & more complicated than abandoning thought & embracing whatever someone tells you, whatever some book tells you. That doesn't seem too complex to me, although I can see why it would be a problem for someone with an active mind. Like Nye.

    I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk. - Kasper Gutman

    by rasbobbo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:20:10 AM PST

  •  'God said it. That settles it. I believe it.' (0+ / 0-)

    Nye won't convince them. Their minds are hermetically sealed.

    'When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.'--1Corinthians 13:11

    Still it'll probably be fun to watch.

  •  Bill Nye just proved he doesn't get it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    It's just really hard a thing, it's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist. There's no evidence for it.
    It's not about evidence. It's never been about evidence for them. Of course since Bill Nye is a scientist he's going to think every proposition rests on evidence. But, for nearly every single one of these guys, evidence doesn't mean a thing. In fact, many of them proudly proclaim, on their own websites, that they'll ignore any evidence that contradicts their scriptures.

    So what is it about? Emotions! Always has been and always will be.

    I'll let Freud take it away:

    "The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshiped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity"
  •  The first error in this whole kerfluffle... (0+ / 0-)

    ... is calling this thing a "debate."

    One cannot "debate" a system of beliefs or faith in an invisible being that cannot be empirically tested ~ vs ~ a set of observable facts and/or theories that can be empirically tested by scientific means over and over and over again through centuries by various scientists.

    The whole idea of "debating" faith vs observable scientific facts and/or theories is irrational and illogical.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:49:39 AM PST

  •  While I know my view is extreme . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    . . . but, I contend that teaching religion to children is child abuse.  Children, Hell; even teens, are gullible and that is just how our minds work and we shouldn't be teaching superstition to children.

    Flame away.

  •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

    If they deny facts and science to begin with, why would bringing those qualities to a debate make any difference.

    Remember the great line from Thank You For Smoking: "I'm not trying to convince you, I'm trying to convince them."

  •  Bill Nye, as entertaining as he is, (0+ / 0-)

    didn't do his homework before he agreed to the "debate", I'm thinking.  But he's doing it now.  Unfortunately, no matter what he decides to do going forward--continue to the debate, or withdraw, as he's being widely advised to do--he's in a no-win spot now.

    You can't debate a creationist.  They're not honorable, and they won't play by the rules.  Even if you win, and you won't, you still lose.

  •  I don't waste one moment of my life (0+ / 0-)

    explaining science to those who refuse to accept that the fantasy world of the Middle Ages is over.  They are ignorant fools.

    I cannot spend one minute of my life (I am over 65) talking with anyone who is so foolish and closed.  I do not allow people to proselytize near me.  I move away from difficult and dangerous prsons.  I protect my sanity and my physical well-being.

    Please, soon, let Americans understand how science and secular humanism explain most things in this wonderful universe.

    Peace & Love

  •  PZ Myer posted a link to the clip (0+ / 0-)

    And said that based on it, he was less than convinced that Nye would hold his own, let alone prevail.  This is someone who is too good hearted to believe that he'll be facing a liar rather than an honest debater.

    Sun Tzu or Clausewitz, people.  This is a war, and it should be treated as such.

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:23:20 PM PST

    •  PZ and I have fought like cats and dogs over many (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      things, but on this I agree with him.  Nye is hopelessly naive, he has no idea at all what he is up against, and Ham will mop the floor with him in a blizzard of used-car style bullshit that will leave Nye with jaw agape, baffled that any "scientist" could possibly be such a dishonest dishonorable bag of shit.

      This "debate" is Ham's biggest score ever, and he will never get another one like it.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:32:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Efficacy and Bill Nye... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know that "evolution" is a step forward, it has its problems, but I'm certain creationism is a step back. Too, Bill Nye is fine as long as he's fronting juvenile science or arguing with religious wack-a-doodles but he needs to step off when pontificating about UFOs... hugely uninformed, he turns himself into a creationist.

  •  unique to the United States? (0+ / 0-)

    Bill, Bill, Bill -- the Science Guy, of all people, should get his facts straight.

    Even if we decide not to include things like "intelligent design", God-driven evolution, or anything other than God sat down at his work bench one day and popped out Man, it is not unique to the US.

    A British poll a few years back found that about half of Brits did not believe in Darwinian evolution.  I think the numbers are similar in Russia.  

    It's a problem, but it is not a uniquely American problem.  It rears it's (potentially) ugly head all around the world.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 12:28:23 PM PST

    •  true, but . . . (0+ / 0-)

      In all the cases where creationism exists overseas (Russia, Australia, Britain, Canada) all of those organizations were either founded or funded by the American creationist groups, usually ICR or Discovery Institute.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:05:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow? Who knew that the Russian Orthodox Church (0+ / 0-)

        was a creation of the Discovery Institute?

        Ken Ham did work for the ICR back in the 1970s, the ICR itself wasn't founded until 1970, too late to have indoctrinated the Australian Ham.

        I have no doubt whatsoever that both organizations have been active in fanning creationist flames around the world, but   On the Origins of Species didn't even hit the shelves until 1859. Religious creation stories were dominant until then, and for some time after.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 01:35:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mr. Nye's upcoming debate... (0+ / 0-)

    ... is not a good idea. In fact it is a waste of breath that will only add to the CO2 overload as he hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of changing Creationist minds. The reason why has been ably and succinctly put by Winston Churchill: "A fanatic is a person who cannot change his mind and will not shut up."

  •  We seem to fear...well...knowledge! (0+ / 0-)

    People who attach themselves to religiously created zealotry, seem to be afraid to find out the truth of what we are, and ho we came to be.
    Scientific study opens the mind to the incredible possibilities of what can be the truth, or what may in fact, be a lie. Whether or not we want to know the truth, we will keep searching to find the origins of all creation, t is our curiosity which took us from out of the caves, and into the condos. Without disciplined and persistent searching, we lose who we will become after not knowing who we have been.
    Why the fear of finding out? Is it a loss if we find out that there is no "divine" reason for our being here in contrast with our simply having arrived?
    I am not a climatologist, so I am pressed to ask those who disallow for climate warming, to describe in comprehensible detail the answer to this question: "Why is the ice melting?"
    The spark from which existence sprang, is alive and well. I'll say this: if no other aspect or disposition speaks as plainly; The accelerated rate of geological changes, says a lot for more to me, than someone who says "Believe in the bible, or go to hell!"
    Science and belief in a Divine Presence can co-exist. What about humankind?

  •  Yeah, Let's Subsidize the Cretinists... (0+ / 0-)

    They don't deserve the oxygen of oxygen, much less the oxygen of publicity.

    Looks like an attempt to resurrect a moribund celebrity...

  •  Why evolution? (0+ / 0-)

          Why have public schools have been teaching an intellectual concept like Evolution to young students all these years.   when after all, any 5 year-old could understand that “God put it there, “or, that “God made it?”  

        I puzzled over this dilemma until I realized that it is the very simplicity of Creationism that is the problem.   Did God endow humanity with superior intellect so that it could operate at the level of sophistication of a 5 year-old?    Somehow, Americans voted for a leader (Bush II) whose intellectual aspirations did not much exceed those of a 5 year-old  -  so maybe the answer to this last question is "yes."  

  •  This is all beside the point. (0+ / 0-)

    The question isn't why he's against Creationism, we all understand that. The question is why he is making this tactical blunder ... I thought from the misleading title that this might shed some light on that, but no.

  •  Science is not a democracy (0+ / 0-)

    Reality is not based on what a majority of people believe.  That's something religious people will never understand.

  •  Presuppositions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

        Many of the above comments (I haven't read them all yet) are missing the point that any argument depends ultimately on unprovable presuppositions. The creationist starts with the presupposition that God exists, while the anti-creationist starts with the presupposition that there is no God. Both beliefs are, in the final analysis, starting points, not logical conclusions.
         Much has been made of the creationists' ultimate appeal to the answer-that-does-not-answer, which is "because God wills it." However, the non-theist must do the same thing  with his "because that is the nature of the material world." That answer does not answer any better than does appealing to God. Example: how does magnetism work? Ultimately, we have no clue. Harder example: What is it about chemical combinations of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and a few other common elements that gives the resulting substance the ability to speak out loud and say "I am aware of myself. I exist." There is nothing in our present body of knowledge that even comes close to explaining how consciousness results from combinations of elements. Apparently consciousness must either be something that a conscious and self-aware God created, or else it must simply be in the nature of chemical elements to become conscious of self when certain conditions are met. Neither of those answers explains anything; they are simply statements of belief.
         However, I will point out that it is (to me) illogical to stand for the truth of random evolution and yet work against it. In the animal kingdom, weakness is allowed to die off, and strength is rewarded. So why should we advocate for the poor and powerless rather than siding with the strong and powerful, who presumably are better adapted? Why not just let the weak die off and the rich thrive? Whatever your answer to that may be, it's a perfectly fair question.

    •  We don't just let the weak die off because we (0+ / 0-)

      are individually weak, but strong as a societal unit. Otherwise we would've died off as a species long before we invented fire. That doesn't answer the deeper questions, but then nothing does.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

      by catilinus on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 09:10:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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