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A couple of years back, I toured the Creation Museum and interviewed two of their scientists as part of my sabbatical project. I have also read some of their literature including books and watched DVDs they produce.

Ham stayed close to the Museum’s position, deviating only slightly when he admitted that some of the Bible might not be literal but “poetic.” In my interview with Jason Lisle, their astrophysicist who earned his PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder, he said the Museum’s focus was on Genesis because if people did not take Genesis literally they would question other parts of the Bible.

Other parts of Ham’s presentation were consistent with what I heard in the interviews and read in their literature. For example, they insist the universe was created in six 24-hour days. And while somewhat glossed over, they explain this by claiming God used supernatural powers during those six days. Without saying this specifically, Ham did allude to it in two ways. First was his invention of “historic” verses “observable” science. His argument is that we just cannot know for sure what happened before 6,000 years ago. Unlike Dr. Lisle, Ham was reluctant to evoke the idea of supernatural powers sticking with questioning the validity of dating methods.

Second, was Ham’s criticism about the definition of science. He is upset that the definition of science allows only “naturalistic” causal explanations. His position and one place they agree with the Intelligent Design folks is that science should allow “supernatural” explanations. I noted the agreement with Intelligent Design because I asked Dr. Lisle about their relationship to ID. He was not favorable noting that they did not believe in the six 24-hour days and they were wobbly on evolution.

However, the Creationists have themselves gone soft on evolution, admitting it happens within “kinds” which is close to family groups. When I toured the museum and interviewed the two scientists that surprised me until I saw why they were forced to go that way. They could not explain how Noah could put two of every species on the ark so they reduced the number by arguing that Noah took only two of each “kind.” And after the flood, each kind was given a super power to evolve quckly.  They use the example of dinosaurs. I think they claim something like 7 kinds and those on the ark were small and infants. After the flood they exploded into many larger species. They have a large poster of Darwin's finches (Ham showed in his presentation) and the horse evolution chronology in the Smithsonian. Horses, like dinosaurs, started out small and got larger only after the flood.

So why don’t we see this evolution today? They explained that the super power has dissipated so evolution within “kinds” is no longer noticeable.

The other scientist I interviewed was Georgia Purdom. She earned her degree in molecular genetics from Ohio State. Dr. Purdom’s research question is evolutionary. She wants to understand how bacteria and viruses turned from good to bad after the flood. If you watched the debate, you noticed that Mr. Ham claimed all species were good and even vegetarians before the flood. The vegetarian claim helps explain why lions and tigers (or cat kinds) didn't try to eat other species on the ark.

Unfortunately, the Museum has not provided Dr. Purdom with a microscope or Dr. Lisle with a powerful telescope. Thus neither can do active research. As they explained, their work is theoretical.

You probably noticed that Mr. Ham frequently tried to shift the conversation from whether or not creationism was scientifically viable to the Bible and morals. That is because science is not their key objective. When I first requested a visit and interviews, I mistakenly refereed to their museum as the Creation Science Museum and was corrected that “Science” was not in their name. Dr. Lisle explained to me that their primary goal is not science per se. As Lisle commented, “We are a ministry.” Their primary mission is to save souls.

Originally posted to SocioSam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (152+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont, Horace Boothroyd III, SilverWillow, CwV, Jon Sitzman, Ohiodem1, kenwards, eeff, tapestry, GreenPA, kalmoth, maggid, Witgren, Upie, lorell, quill, Byron from Denver, pvasileff, Hayate Yagami, pontechango, blueyescryinintherain, alasmoses, palantir, dksbook, MKinTN, JayBat, Rumarhazzit, GAS, celdd, Lujane, hopeful, sfbob, gizmo59, antooo, wasatch, CPT Doom, Sun Tzu, dotsright, blue aardvark, Catte Nappe, StillAmused, ArthurPoet, myboo, anna shane, oortdust, Lilith, Crabby Abbey, Shockwave, slowbutsure, Wreck Smurfy, pucklady, JoieDe, sawgrass727, markdd, Buckeye Nut Schell, AntonBursch, CJB, Scioto, MadMs, hilltopper, radical simplicity, Bmeis, TAH from SLC, citisven, shesaid, Arabiflora, Nebraskablue, saxoman1, IL clb, TokenLiberal, lcrp, Santa Susanna Kid, MadEye, carpunder, kharma, flitedocnm, anodnhajo, TracieLynn, AllanTBG, GeorgeXVIII, Laurel in CA, MJ via Chicago, Kevskos, Loudoun County Dem, wxorknot, PsychoSavannah, pixxer, BlueMississippi, Nova Land, cybersaur, Grandma Susie, Polly Syllabic, Matt Z, Assaf, millwood, SeekCa, glitterlust, wader, kjoftherock, myrmecia gulosa, Alden, dougymi, Shotput8, kerflooey, Emerson, mofembot, puckmtl, Mother Mags, bronte17, hwmnbn, onionjim, peachcreek, JVolvo, pierre9045, greycat, RenMin, Another Grizzle, shopkeeper, statsone, Hammerhand, philipmerrill, Buckeye54, murrayewv, afisher, chimpy, rapala, bbctooman, kamarvt, newinfluence, d to the f, SixSixSix, TFinSF, Tonedevil, Kingsmeg, jiffypop, ER Doc, elziax, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, BYw, BlackSheep1, peacestpete, Brian B, PeterHug, Susipsych, UncleCharlie, foresterbob, Dave in Northridge, Youffraita, WakeUpNeo, Josiah Bartlett, marykk, Sailorben

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

    by SocioSam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:10:10 AM PST

    •  A community of belief vs a community of inquiry (22+ / 0-)

      Yeah, I just couldn't help but find Ham's deference to the bible so intellectually unsatisfying. He doesn't really want to answer the details of questions, he wants to shut down the process of asking "historical/origins" questions altogether.

      •  The problem with Nye (8+ / 0-)

        is that it is impossible to "debate" aggressively dishonest people, and the Creationists, etc., are intensely so.

        Don't meow, or I'll take your picture.

        by Old Sailor on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:58:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but you're not debating for them (13+ / 0-)

          you're debating for the kids in the audience

          •  Exactly (8+ / 0-)

            If he got 10 kids who were watching with their god botherer parents to question their belief then his night was well spent.

            Baby steps with the next generation is the only way to go. The parents are much too far gone to even try and reason with. Save the Children, or at least throw them a lifeline.

            •  It's also possible to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              challenge Ham on his own grounds and I wish more folks on the evolution side (my side) would do this.  Ham is presumably committed to the thesis that God is good and moral because god is a perfect being.  We can thus ask Ham whether it's possible for God to be a deceiver.  If God created everything as Ham contends, he also created a world in which all evidence points to evolution and an age much older than 6,000 years old.  This yields one of two possibilities, the world is really only 6,000 years old and God is a deceiver and therefore immoral.  Or God is not a deceiver and the evidence that we've carefully and painstakingly gathered is true.  So what is it Ham?  Is God a deceiver or honest?

              This argument might make some in the secularist camp uncomfortable as it argues from God (full disclosure, I'm an atheist).  But that's not what's really going on here.  What the argument does is measure Ham's claims by his own commitments and show how he's led to uncomfortable claims about God if he really believes what he claims.  In other words, it deconstructs his position and shows its internal tensions.

              •  Not possible to (0+ / 0-)

                challenge Ham on his own grounds, although I wish it were. The problem, my friend, is that Ham and his ilk immediately dismiss any such questions as rhetorical and only sensible to those with no faith.

                They seriously take as true that if you have a question about god as described in the Bible, it is a consequence of your failure of faith and belief. There are no tough questions, to which the following answer isn't given: "God is great and perfect, while you are insignificant and a sinner; therefore, your confusion is a result of your inability to understand a god infinite in his wisdom and goodness."

                I've heard that answer a 1,000 or more times, which indicates how persistent I was in trying to understand my strictly Calvinist upbringing. To people that believe in the literal truth of the Bible, there are no questions, only lack of faith. And since (at least to Calvinists) faith is a gift rather than earned, there isn't really anything you can do about it other than suffer in Hell for eternity.

                Shit didn't make sense to me even at 6 years old. But don't bother arguing with these folks, they are fucking bulletproof.

    •  Not correct--not in the slightest (37+ / 0-)

      The problem is that the actual Bible IS NOT in fact this.

      It is a collection of narratives, songs, and reflections from an oral culture recorded centuries later by cultures transitioning to literacy.

      These texts were then preserved and processed over nearly 1,900 by religious communities which SOMETIMES sought the sort of conclusions you refer to.

      But not until the 19th bleeding Century did it occur to ANYONE to ask the sort of empirical questions of the Bible that are debated today. And these questions are imposed on texts that are utterly foreign to that sort of inquiry.

      Your--our--quarrel with these deniers of science is not with the Bible but with the way idiots misread and misunderstand the Bible AND science.

      "I'm a dweller on the threshold ..."

      by thresholder on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:11:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Bible becomes whatever tool, crutch or shield (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that its users desire, though.

        I generally agree with your distinction of its potential content vs use, but the latter is all we see in the public square when dogma meets reality.  If its users consider the Bible a malleable tool for their own purposes, then it can easily be considered a prescriptive device and not much more to outside observers.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:04:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense, (0+ / 0-)

        portions of the Bible have always been taken as true depictions of events and were taken for granted as being historical reports.  This fell into crisis during the late Enlightenment period because historical methodologies evaluating the credibility of documents came into existence and began to get applied to sacred texts.  The idea that the Bible was just a set of powerful metaphors, allegories, and symbols for people up until present and that it was understood as such is a complete distortion of how it was understood.  For example, there was a real crisis among the early Christians when Jesus didn't return in a single generation.  The return of Jesus was taken as an empirical reality that would come to pass, not just some symbol.

      •  Doesn't matter, since Ham's problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is that nothing you have to say is worth listening to. You are an unsaved sinner (clearly), and you are questioning the only thing he believes. And that belief is that the Bible is a literal account of all history, wisdom, and beauty worth knowing anything about, and anything that contradicts it is the work of Satan (or secular humanists, the handmaidens of Satan).

        You can't argue with it, you can't win with rationality, you can't even dent that level of belief. Trust me, I've tried with my family for decades. I have brothers and a mother who are scary genius smart. And they wholeheartedly buy into this young earth creationist bullshit. Not because they are stupid and irrational, but rather because belief trumps all.

        Where you see fossil evidence of million year old life, they see evidence of God's power and handiwork (and not possibly more than 6,600 years, unless Bishop Ussher's calculator was broken). Where you see a transitional form, they see evidence of God's handiwork and an amazing example of kinds.

        Where you see evidence of microbes (or insects, or plants, or freaking hominids) adapting to their environment through selection over generations, they see God's foresight ("isn't it amazing that he gave us that 95% of the genetic code in DNA that NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IT DOES!?!?!? It's actually enough material to account for anything that could possibly ever happen!!! Isn't God GREAT?).

        And it's never ironic, and it's never anything less than fervently believed. Might as well argue with the tide.

    •  The Bible has been a tool of power (6+ / 0-)

      Those who controlled its canon and its interpretation stayed in power since Constantine.

      Biblical inerrancy seems to be a uniquely American ideology;

      A formal statement in favor of biblical inerrancy, the "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy", was published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society in 1978.[4] The signatories to the "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy" assert that since there are no extant original manuscripts of the Bible, those which exist cannot be considered inerrant. The signatories also maintain that the existing manuscripts are faithful copies of the original manuscripts.
      There are a minority of biblical inerrantists who go further than the "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy", arguing that the original text has been perfectly preserved and passed down through time.

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

      by Shockwave on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:46:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's far more complicated than that (8+ / 0-)

      half of the bible, the first half, is a compilation of a cultures writings over thousands of years

      the other half is a compilation of writings of a relatively new branch of the religion of that culture as it spread beyond the culture

      if you read either half, you will discover that neither seek unquestioning believers

      obedient believers? yes

      unquestioning?  no

      most Christians spend their entire lives doubting their religion, which is why such a thing as 'creation scientists' even exist in the first place.  

      well, that and it's a sweet ass job to sit around imagining how to fit old fairy tales into reality.  it's kind of like what J K Rowling did with the Harry Potter books.  which is of course why many of these people are so afraid of the Harry Potter books.  i wish i was kidding about that.

      the truth about Christians and the bible is that most of them see the bible for what it is, but they rationalize their faith because their religion does in fact provide them with things that they need.  a sense of security in a life in which death is around every corner.  a framework for community.  

      yes, there are a lot of people who actually believe everything the bible says.  they are called children.  and people who have serious problems.  which is why many fundamentalist churches target children and desperate people.  often people who suffer from forms of mental illness.

    •  The Bible is a jumble of wisdom (4+ / 0-)

      and arrant nonsense, showing the spiritual evolution of a people over a millennium. You can use it for suggestions, but you have to verify them, and consider alternative interpretations. Theology is the worst way to approach this.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:18:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their problem with science is that (30+ / 0-)

    it's too sciency.

    Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving party. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome.

    by pucklady on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:18:24 AM PST

    •  That pretty much sums it up. (10+ / 0-)

      To me, Creationism always seemed to be the easy way out. Whatever can't be explained must be attributed to the powers or whims of a supreme being. But isn't the search for viable explanations the whole purpose of scientific method? Without the search, there is no science. And since Creationism kills the need for that search, it cannot be taken seriously in a discussion about science.

      We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.

      by EighteenCharacters on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:00:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's where I have the problem (17+ / 0-)

        As soon as one encounters a problem for which an obvious answer does not present itself immediately, rather than try to find an answer, the fallback just becomes "because God", and the search for a more detailed answer becomes unnecessary because you've just attributed everything to the will of a supreme being who is omnipotent and can do anything at all, even in contradiction of all known physical of the universe and against all dictates of logic.  If you can attribute something to God essentially snapping his metaphorical fingers and saying "Let it be so", then there's no need for a deeper answer.

        And so they do away with pretty much any need for things like critical thinking and development of logic and for the scientific method, or even just plain asking "why?" to anything at all, because in the absence of any other easy answer the fallback will always just be "Because God".

        And if mankind had entrenched itself into such a view two or three hundred years ago instead of striding into the Enlightenment, we'd still be praying away disease and there sure as hell wouldn't be things like electrical power, the internet, space exploration, the whole field of genetics, etc.  Entire fields of science would never exist and the ones that did would be little more than alchemy, astrology and folk medicine.  All scientific advance would be by almost pure blind chance as people randomly stumbled across discoveries by accident.

        Or rather, Christendom would have been that way.  Other cultures might well have taken the torch and ran with it instead, and Christians would just be borrowing technology and science from them without really bothering to understand how it works or why, other than "it's a gift from God".  Unless, of course, they decided that since it was developed by some other culture/religion that it's therefore a "tool of the Devil" to entice devout Christians into questioning the faith.

        •  Very well-said... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, Witgren, pucklady

          ... especially the point about "praying away disease." Ham even alluded to that terrifying type of reality in the debate. Hearing him talk about what caused microbial life to become "evil" gave me chills, but not for the intended reason.

          We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are.

          by EighteenCharacters on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:29:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's more of an active search (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They seek out any sort of gap in our understanding (well, in theirs), and where they find a gap they say: "There is God!"

          That's why I call their god the 'god of the gaps'.  Every time science closes a gap (or they become aware that it was closed), they move their definition of god to a new gap.

          190 milliseconds....

          by Kingsmeg on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:53:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  their "problem" with science, is that (20+ / 0-)

      they think it exists only to make believers into atheists.

      While they use their cars, iPods, TV's and GPS systems, which rely on the science they don't believe in.



      "Legalizing pot won't make more pot-smokers. It will just make fewer criminals. - Me

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:24:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In a way, they're right. (15+ / 0-)

        Their anti-science belief takes the form of a "God of the gaps" argument, i.e., anything that science cannot explain, God did it.

        As science fills in those gaps, their god gets smaller and smaller.

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:32:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It amazes me how (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hayate Yagami, LynChi

          often people make "god in the gaps" arguments.  The most popular one in more reputable circles is that "we still haven't explained consciousness therefore there are souls."  All the absence of an account means is that we still haven't explained something, not that we're suddenly entitled to posit god, the supernatural, or souls.

      •  The problem is more subtle than that (0+ / 0-)

        They distinguish between the science that they can accept, which Ham characterizes as observational science, and science that they cannot, which Ham characterizes as historical science. That, he says, we can dismiss in all cases because we cannot observe it. We weren't there.

        It turns out that you can do technology without anything historical, as in the case of the Creationist who invented the MRI machine, whom Ham cited. You can even do any kind of science that is not implicated in deep time, as Creationists see it. Some of those areas are surprising, such as astronomical observation of objects more than 10,000 light years away. They handwave the distances, on the supposition that the speed of light was different shortly after creation. So you can observe distant galaxies, but you can't talk about stellar evolution or cosmology. You can measure radioactive decay, but you can't assume that it was the same at any time in the past. And so on.

        Of course, this is nonsense. They have to believe that God arranged an incredible set of phenomena without leaving any detectable fingerprints just to give the appearance of a 13.7 billion year old cosmos that is actually only 6,000 years old. And they also claim that you can't say that God just made everything look that way from the start, without all of the fooling around with physics after creation, because that would mean that God lies to us.

        I wrote a summary of what Creationists have to disbelieve at “Creation Science” in Indiana.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 07:47:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  These people would be hilarious (9+ / 0-)

    if only there weren't people taking them seriously.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:20:35 AM PST

    •  it's really magical thinking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye54, kamarvt

      many have superstitions.  The idea that you can pray for rain is bigger than just science deniers, many live with both beliefs, but only one gets in the way of combating global climate change.  

      When Governor Tomblin changed his mind on regulations, it was because of the true and ghastly result.  He now says he didn't realized that poison could be stored near drinking water and no inspections were required.

      This is a real time of change, it's harder to deny the effects of global climate change and the results of under-regulation.  This guy knew, he was given a model bill that came out of California, Contra Costa County that has lots of oil companies parked near the SF Bay, and he chose not to copy it.  but he didn't really think that the water would be poisoned, he had some magical thinking.  Magical thinking doesn't survive man-made disaster.

      •  I saw Tomblin on Rachel and was flabbergasted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        And was appalled that she let him off with softball questions. She introduced him as someone who opposed regulations, and then let him get away with saying that he had no idea that there were no regulations and was no monitoring re storing this stuff.  If you don't allow it to be passed into law, how can it exist?   She absolutely should have called him out on this. At least he is now calling for regs, but his refusal to admit his own complicity is incredibly dishonest.

        Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

        by Leftleaner on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:13:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I often wonder (17+ / 0-)

    how the university/colleges feel about people who earned a science degree working for places that are anti-science.

    I also wonder how you can earn a science degree, then go out and deny science.

    It seems the cognitive dissonance would make your head explode.  Or, did they 'sell their souls' to get a job?  

    •  how do math geniuses work for wallstreet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      i would never abuse a gift like that

      •  Greed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AntonBursch, Buckeye54

        I think it is just greed.  As a general rule, society says money=success.  If you are really taught that, and you are only thinking about your success, it makes sense.

        After all, we allow companies to do horrendous things just to make a profit, without regard to the long term implications of their choices.

        We as a society, need to find a way to put the balance back in the balance sheet.  Then folks like Walmart will actually have to pay for the food and insurance for their employees.  Companies that damage the environment would have to pay for that damage, and the people it impacted.  And yes, the companies and individuals on wall street who harm people and crash the economy should be held accountable.  Either by taxes, fines, jail time, or all of the above.

        The government, and the tax payers should not be subsidizing big business to hurt 'we the people'.

        We need to make it so that the companies who are putting people at risk, own that risk, and pay for it.  Right now, they get the profits, and tax payers end up paying when things go wrong.

        We need to elect people who understand this concept, and are willing to write laws to fix the situation.

        •  Jobs in Mathematics have dried up. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And many of the ones remaining pay so badly one might as well be unemployed.

          It's no different than other fields in this respect.

          In some ways its worse, due to the flood of mathematicians into the U.S. when the USSR fell apart.

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:57:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was not (0+ / 0-)

            bashing mathematicians, just how folks can/do make the choice to go to Wall Street and create crazy derivatives (that was my interpretation of the question).

            But you do have a point.  Some folks may be going there because they have no other options.  I hadn't really thought about that.

            Thanks for expanding my perspective.

    •  Many of these types (0+ / 0-)

      get the science degree for the sol purpose of giving a veneer of respectability to their anti-science crap.

      They go through the motions, parroting things back to the professors just enough to get by.

      Make no mistake, this is being done purposefully, with full knowledge of the deceit they are perpetrating.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:54:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Says unknown quote but I'm not sure of that (13+ / 0-)
    A lie, leads to another lie to cover the first lie, and another lie to cover the first and second lie It is understood that nobody's perfect, and everyone makes mistakes, but their comes a point where all those lies unfold and you will be standing there wondering what just happened. Trust does not branch off with a lie, it branches off with the truth, and if you can't admit to your own mistake, than my friend you have a lot to work on.
  •  Just really don't see how all of this (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CFAmick, pvasileff, Lujane, Chinton, ER Doc

    claptrap can save souls.

  •  Ham's got an interesting premise (9+ / 0-)

    on bifurcating science into "observable" vs. "historic." I thought Nye cut that down very well in both his 5 minute intro and 30 minute thesis. But that bifurcation on Ham's part is entirely of his own invention.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 08:28:35 AM PST

  •  Science Man vs. Preacher Man (6+ / 0-)

    Science Man won, not by a knock-out but on points. Preacher Man was punching 'Hail Mary's' and his Big Sponsor let him miss. This wasn't a debate, it was like 'Invite the Devil to our Church' and the Devil 'Seahawked' them.

    The scary part is the fact that millions think like Preacher Man.

    'We're all flying backwards into the Future'

    by Upie on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:06:26 AM PST

  •  They're neither saving souls nor saving our (8+ / 0-)


    One day the entire human race will view that Creation Museum as something that would belong on the show, "Oddities."

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:12:46 AM PST

  •  Ohio State & Univ. of Colorada ????? (9+ / 0-)

    These two quack "scientists" got their degrees from supposedly prestigious universities?  Perhaps officials at these two schools should check up on their infamous alumni.  

    Do these two nuts believe in gravity?  That the Earth is round?

    •  Lisle has some secular publications (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo, catwho, pvasileff, ER Doc

      Lisle kept is Bible beliefs to himself and unlike his Creation Museum papers, he never cited the Bible in his science papers.

      Purdom left a small university after six years.

      Both were raised in fundamentalist households.

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

      by SocioSam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:41:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've debated HAM sandwiches... (7+ / 0-)

    with more of a grasp on reality than that guy.

  •  This "debate" was a clear example of (6+ / 0-)

    logic and reality vs. inane childish bullshit.

    It's just uber creepy that there are so many people out there that think like Hammy does. No matter how far humanity has think it has come, we are clearly still in the diaper-wearing stage with the masses.

    Here's hoping we reach toddler-stage before I die, at least.


    Science rules.

  •  Nye did better than I had expected (5+ / 0-)

    I was concerned Bill Nye was making a mistake debating Ken Ham but after watching it I think Bill Nye did a good job.

    I am hoping Bill Nye did little to no harm in giving Ken Ham a spotlight.  It looks like the debate may have done some good in exposing real science to children normally dissuaded from accepting it.

    There was only one thing I would have added to Bill Nye's approach.  That is the concept that a simple belief in something which may be true, isn't knowledge.

    A child can be taught to say "E equals M C squared" and even believe it, but doesn't mean the child knows quantum mechanics.

    Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow is quoted as saying...
    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

    Ham had a similar attitude last night.  "There is a book..." with all the answers.  The implication this efforts in what he calls "Historical Science" is a waste of time,

    Personally, I would choose to figure it out answers for myself verses having them handed to me.

    I strongly suspect Bill Nye would agree.

    "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them." - Asimov

    by dfcord on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:54:42 AM PST

  •  If your deity needs to change the rules midstream (5+ / 0-)

    well, that does not speak well of your deity.

    I don't know if it was original to Spinoza, but at the basis of Spinoza's thinking was the notion that even God must obey the laws of the natural universe.

    It would therefore behoove God to come up with such natural laws as would be sufficiently robust as to support the accomplishment of His/Her ends.

    •  For Spinoza god (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and the laws of logic, mathematics, and nature are one and the same thing.  In his framework, there isn't an agency or a being standing over and above existence that makes decisions.  There's just nature and that nature is the same as god.

  •  If the people who wrote the book don't believe it (9+ / 0-)

    Then I don't understand why I should. There are a few, I know, Jewish Creationists out there, but for the most part Creationism and its corollary ID are the product of fundamentalist Christians who insist "the Bible" (or at least whatever version of that book they happen to be reading) is a historical document. However, as I understand it, Jewish theologians don't hold that view and use the stories of the early Bible books as analogies and philosophical lessons, which makes sense to me.

    Quite frankly, even when I was religious and did (sort of) believe in a god, I still rejected creationism and biblical literalism because, in my mind, they limited the nature of god. As we learn more about not only our own evolution or own planet's history, but also about the nature of the universe and the multiverse, we are seeing into the mind of whatever god is out there. What we are finding is so complex that it boggles the mind, and those who reject it are claiming their god is not powerful enough to have created the wonder we actually experience.

    I didn't watch the "debate," but I had a fundie cousin promoting it on Facebook. She's been silent about it all day, so perhaps Nye did win - or she'd likely be gloating.

    A government that denies gay men the right to bridal registry is a fascist state - Margaret Cho

    by CPT Doom on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:12:31 AM PST

    •  That's because her side lost... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      From what I'm hearing, the results are mixed. No one is declaring outright victory. The very fact that you don't see Fox gloating about this (at least not yet) means they might be reluctant to take this further.  

    •  I have certainly seen FB reports (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that claim Ham won handily.  FWIW...

      I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

      by beemerr90s on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:44:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see this too (0+ / 0-)

        Look, a debate like this does nothing (IMHO) that really helps.  I respect Nye for saying he's going to challenge people on their own turf to discuss it.  And I thought he made some tough points (there are trees we know are older than you claim the earth is)   All of that said, arguing with people who believe bat shittery is rarely worthwhile.  You're hoping to convince those in the bleacher seats, not those who are there.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:56:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Poor, desperate, low-information morons, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye Nut Schell, ER Doc

    incapable of faith in a higher power without insisting that it spill over into the reason for the raindrops fallin' on their effin' heads.

    They don't know what the word, "FAITH", means!

  •  Ham's main argument was that... (4+ / 0-)

    ...the "moral" basis of the Bible makes society function.  Since without this "moral" base society becomes unworkable, then all the "historical" science of the Bible must be correct regardless of the inconsistencies.

    Ham was an eloquent speaker, on style he may have won for those who don't understand the content.  

    Nye was very good too and I'm impressed, never heard him before.  And I believe we need to have this discussion more often and visibly or we may end up becoming a theocracy.

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

    by Shockwave on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:31:22 AM PST

  •  The attempt to reconcile the biblical (8+ / 0-)

    account of creation with modern science is dilusional.  Ham is implicitly dismissing the concept of uniformitarianism, that is, that physical processes we observe today operated in the same way in the past, and that we can use that idea along with geological evidence to infer details about events that occurred in the past.

    Ham's complaint that science does not admit supernatural events ignores the fact that no sane scientist has ever reported observing such.  One could imagine the rise of a field of study in supernatural events if they were actually observable.  Charletans may cllaim such events to happen, but they get shy when a scientist ennters the room.

    Ham never answered Nye's challlenge in using creation to make predictions that could be submitted to experimental or observational tests, while providing examples of how the theory of evolution has withstood such tests.  Because God is in charge in creation "theory," and the mind of God is ineffable, and thus unpredictable, creation will never be able to provide an experimentallly testable prediction.

    Ham's responses to particular challenges by bland biblical references ought to have been jumped upon more aggressively.  His cllaim that God created the stars in an off-hand way, as described by the Bible, ought to have been challenged by pointing out that stars are still in the process of creation in interstellar gas clouds, and have been thoughout the life of the universe!  It wasn't a one-time act!  Then, his response to Nye's challenge to the audience to try to answer the question of what the universe was made of, and where it all came from, was to quote the beginning of Genesis as though that settled the issue.  Again, this provides no details, no process.  If you're happy with that sort of pat statement, why do you even pretend to be in the business of science?

    One question I would have liked to have asked Ham (and I would love to hear an explanation from any honest Fundamentalist, if such exists) is how do they reconcile the cotradictions between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.  These are clearly two different creation myths that the original authors of the Bible placed side by side, without troubling a great deal about the fact that they have different timelines and orders of events.  (For example, in Genesis 1, man and woman are created on the same day, day 6, after all the other living things on the earth had been created.  In Genesis 2, Adam is created, then presented with the various animals in order to name them, and then woman, Eve, is created.)  I would not expect an honest answer from Ham, but I would nonetheless like to see him squirm.

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:33:43 AM PST

    •  of course (0+ / 0-)
      One could imagine the rise of a field of study in supernatural events if they were actually observable.
      but in that case, the events would not be supernatural...

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:35:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ham has an answer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      at Answers in Genesis, as he does for every common question about Creationism and Genesis. And if they don't have an answer, they will make one up, as they have been doing now for hundreds of years.

      Contradictions: Two Creation Accounts?

      The difficulty with Genesis 2:19 lies with the use of the word formed. The same style is read in the KJV.
         And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.
      The NIV has a subtly different rendition.
         Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them.
      The NIV suggests a different way of viewing the first two chapters of Genesis. Genesis 2 does not suggest a chronology. That is why the NIV suggests using the style “the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the fields.” Therefore, the animals being brought to Adam had already been made and were not being brought to him immediately after their creation.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:17:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had a college prof (PhD Aero Engr) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, LynChi, ER Doc, foresterbob

    Who was trying to prove that god unleashed a nuclear explosion on Sodom and Gomorrah and caused Lot's wife to tun into a pillar of salt.  He also reasoned that the fallout was the cause for life expediencies to decrease from Methuselah's 969 years to Moses' 120 to our present 75-90 years.

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:41:09 AM PST

    •  I thought nuclear explosions just vaporized people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foresterbob, markdd

      In all the things I have read about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I never saw anything about people being turned into a pillar of salt.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:10:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did this guy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      publish a book or two giving scientific explanations of various miracles? I forget who it was, but there's some nutjob out there that explains things like Jesus rising from the dead through reference to quantum mechanics and whatnot.

      •  Don't remember if he did (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        most of his proselyting was done outside of the classroom.  I might have only had him for 1 class.  But he was an odd duck, it's almost forbidden to teach as the school where you earned your PhD (academic incest?), but there he was.

        “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

        by markdd on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:33:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh my! Even Pat Robertson thinks Ham is crazy (4+ / 0-)

    That's right Robertson thinks Ham is making a joke of Christians.

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

    by SocioSam on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:41:41 AM PST

  •  All this commentary is fascinating, but excessive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, pvasileff, Buckeye54

    Listen, I understand the need to investigate opponents' thought processes.  "Know Your Enemy" and the like.

    But it's game over from the beginning because creationists explain away anything they don't know as "faith".

    They have the Bible as a reference text with which they can interweave most of their beliefs and tenets.  But if someone points out something so cognitively dissonant, creationists will just shrug their shoulders and say "well, God controls all".  "And that's all I have to say about that", as they channel Forrest Gump.

    Part of me thought the debate was a bad idea in the first place because it establishes a paradigm that science can be debated in the first place.  Not experimental results, mind you, but the whole foundation of science; scientia; the study of knowledge

    But then I see how not responding to lies screwed John Kerry, so I understand how this debate could stunt that effect.

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

    by mconvente on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:57:23 AM PST

  •  Sounds to me like the bible may have been written (5+ / 0-)

    by humans who didn't have any scientific knowledge of any kind, so they pretty much made stuff up that sounded pretty plausible at the time.  Ancient times, that is, when humans believed, unequivocally, that the Sun rotated around the Earth and scientists who could disprove that notion were held in prison or executed as heretics.

    Organized religion is a wonderful thing as long as it doesn't interfere with progress.  Sadly, most organized religions strive to do just that, lest their followers stop following, i.e. giving their leaders money.

    I feel really sorry for avowed Creationists.  It's so very hard for them to grasp the concept of things like dinosaurs and ancient trees.  I'm sure they wish those annoying realities were never discovered.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:59:00 AM PST

  •  Among the many inanities of Ham's arguments (6+ / 0-)

    ... is that, prior to the flood, there was no sin and-- most significantly for present purposes-- no death. Even lions were vegetarians ergo, no maiming, mauling, or mayhem. As a plant biologist I take strong exception to any assertion that plants are not living beings and that their harvest and consumption does not in any sense represent the death of one of "God's creations"-- not that I ever expect creationist arguments to make any sense whatsoever.

    While I'm at it, let me offer a joke that I think nicely illustrates the "plant blindness" that is epidemic in our culture. A couple are out to dinner on a first date. The waiter stops by to offer menus, one of the couple asks if they have a vegetarian edition.

    "You're a vegetarian, eh?" says the other after the waiter leaves. "You must really love animals."

    "No," says the first, "it's because I hate plants."

    I'll be here all weak folks, try the veal!

    "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Arabiflora on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:31:08 AM PST

    •  saw "The Happening" last night (0+ / 0-)

      and now I'm scared of plants!

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:15:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think I just caught a bit of epilepsy (0+ / 0-)

        watching that trailer. Still not sure what it has to do with plants...

        "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Arabiflora on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:05:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually a cool premise (0+ / 0-)

          it's an M Knight Shamylan pic. turns out the phenomenon of mass suicide (the Happening) is the result of a toxin put out by plant life as a defense against the harm caused to them by humans. It starts in an urban park and spreads on the wind to the entire Northeast.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 07:22:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  No one ever brings their automobile (6+ / 0-)

    to a faith-healer.

    I'm never sure if I've forgotten and left the lid up, or if InvisObama™ is using the loo.

    by The Gryffin on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 11:43:41 AM PST

  •  The Bible itself says Genesis isn't literally ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myrmecia gulosa, LynChi, foresterbob

    true, at least not completely.  Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, says that the Genesis story of Abraham's children by Hagar and Sarah is an allegory. (Galatians 4: 21-31). Presumably, Ham wouldn't challenge Paul's understanding of THIS story in Genesis not being literally true. So I am unable to comprehend why Ham and other Creationists can't wrap their minds around the idea that perhaps all of Genesis is allegorical.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:02:43 PM PST

    •  This means, however, that the physical births (0+ / 0-)

      of the two sons are both historical and also a prophetic allegory of the Old and New Testaments, of Judaism and Christianity. So you don't get anywhere with Ham on this.

      My favorite inconsistency is that descendants of Cain are described as living in the time of Moses even though they must have died out in the Flood. But Creationists brush past that, pretending that Noah's family passed on the skills from Cain's family (harp, an organ of some sort, metalwork), so that the practitioners of those arts after the Flood are not literally descended from Cain.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:32:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  if Christians don't believe every word to be true (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and applied in life then why should i believe ANY of the Bible to be true?

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:55:17 PM PST

    •  to me, it is just another story to explain... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...the enduring question of how man came to be on Earth.  Before there was science there were fables.  Native Americans have their story.  Buddhists have theirs, Hindus have theirs, etc.  Every religion has their own story for the origin of man.  the Bible is just another for what they couldn't possibly know then.

      how do other religions square with evolution or do they have a similar disbelief as Christians?

      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

      by blue drop on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:02:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  TKO for Nye? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Well he certainly had fact and truth on his side, but quite a few of his points must have left many in the audience staring in dull incomprehension.  In fact you could see a good deal of that in the audience shots.  And a couple of Nye's needless jokes just belly-flopped in a way that Ham never did.

    I'm doubtful that Nye swayed many fence-sitters.  I don't pay attention to creationist positions very often, but it seemed to me their apologetics have grown considerably more sophisticated over the last decade and must feel very satisfying to many who only want reinforcement of/or permission for their chosen beliefs.

    Oddly, Ham seemed to sag a bit in the second half.  I don't know if he tired physically or recognized he was losing on points.  Up until then, I thought he would have been winning an audience vote, even among a sample adjusted to start out 50/50.  I would have expected more spring in his step.  But then he knew more than his supporters and probably felt Nye was finding too many weak points.

    Not always but often the truth in all its (sometime) complexity is just harder to present persuasively to a skeptical audience.

    They each did a good job of appealing to their supporters.  Maybe Nye did a bit better than Ham in resonating across the line.  Not to hardcore fundies but possibly to their children.

    Ideology is when you think you know the answers before you know the questions.
    It infests hollow spaces where intelligence has died.

    by Alden on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:04:37 PM PST

    •  As an adolescent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I remember adoring any form of debate but also being very open minded as I really just a) didn't have fully formed positions on many things yet, and b) just had never thought about many issues.  This was a crucial time in my life where I really could be swayed by evidence on a number of issues.  For example, I'll never forget a sociology course I took in High School.  As a middle class white boy, I pretty much accepted the standard theory of poverty that held that poor people are just lazy.  I had never really thought about poverty, I just assumed the poor had some sort of moral failing.

      I'll never forget my sociology teacher, who also happened to be the baseball coach, outlining all the factors that lead to poverty in impoverished areas and how it's a vicious cycle:  Underfunded schools, parents who aren't around because they work too much, families with substance abuse policies, lack of economic opportunity in the area, linguistic discrimination, malnutrition that effects cognitive development, staggering debt that prevents one from getting higher education to increase opportunity, lacking the right clothing for job interviews, etc., etc., etc.  For me that lecture-- and it was a single lecture! --was a "road to Damascus" moment.  The scales fell from my eyes and I saw the world in an entirely different way.  My economic politics, such as it was, changed entirely as well.

      My point is that a lot of people just don't think much about things, take things for granted because that's all they've ever heard, and that evidence and alternative explanations can have a real impact.  This is why what Nye did was valuable.  There's a portion of that audience that's just never heard the things he said-- for example about snow accumulation.  These things will make sense to them and will potentially be seeds changing their entire worldview.  As others have said in this thread, it's not about the person you're debating but the audience and many members of the onlooking audience are more open than we might suspect.

      Us secularists are often pessimistic about these things because we spend our time railing against the dogmatists who are already set in their ways.  We forget that a lot of people just aren't that reflective or committed to any particular position, that they believe what they believe because that's just what they've always heard, and that when they hear something that makes sense their susceptible to change and persuasion.  

  •  Numerous consistency issues (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynChi, Bionic, foresterbob

    1. Adam married Eve.  But to get married, a Christian must have a church marriage.  No churches and no ministers, so this is difficult.

    2. Then they had Cain and Able, who in turn got married.  To whom?  Did space aliens show up?  (Horror movies start this way.  So do porn movies.)

    3. In the Old Testament, a lot of biblical big names are living 700 years.  There are too many of them to fit in the available years between 4004 BC and whenever the "70 years" decree came about.  (Aside: the life expectancy back then was probably more like 30 years.)

    4. Noah's flood has all manner of inconsistencies.  Where did all the water come from?  (If the ark settled on a 14,000 foot high mountain peak, this means the average depth globally was about two miles.  Since the oceans were presumably still there, this has to come from water vapor in the atmosphere.  There isn't anywhere near enough.  And the most intense rainfall comes down about 4-5 inches an hour.  In 40 days, this is 960 hours, or at most 4800 inches = 400 feet.  If it rained fast enough to put down 2 miles of water in 40 days, this is about 10 feet per hour.  That much precipitation would have sunk the ark.

    5. If Noah lands on a high mountain peak, he and the animals have to hike back down.  Were they prepared for this?  Remember that the mountain would likely still be shedding a lot of groundwater.

    6. It took the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans about a month to drain.  How long would 14,000 feet of water take to drain, and where would it go?  

    7. What kept the oceans from being desalinated by all that freshwater rain?

    8. Where did the heat energy absorbed by all that condensation come from?  Why wasn't it Noah's Snowpocalype instead?  If it evaporated, where did all that subsequent water vapor go?

    9. Wouldn't the weight of 2 miles of water had a megacatastrophic geological impact?  Wouldn't it affect the rotation of the earth?  Where did all the displaced atmosphere go?

    10. As pointed out upthread, Jesus did not believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.  Nor do most Christians.

    •  Oh shut up! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You're just showing off that you know math and stuff!:p

    •  Cain, Abel, and Seth married (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      their unnamed sisters. The rest of your objections are just as easy to dispose of for people who don't believe in science and don't care about facts.

      For example, the water came from above the firmament and from the fountains of the deep, below the Earth's surface, and went back where they came from.

      The rate of rain is at least 20 feet a day, depending on the height of the mountains you want to cover. So what? Who cares about physics, including thermodynamics? The draining of the water cut the Grand Canyon, among other things.

      So shut up, because you weren't there, and Ham has a witness who was. God, who dictated the tale to Moses.

      But Creationists who think that Ham won will make their children watch the DVD, and some of them will hear the arguments of science stated clearly for the first time.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 09:40:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ham's impossibility (0+ / 0-)

    Aside from his name, he is in an impossible role that should have proven a flicker on the national stage. He shouldn't take these reactionary positions, of course, but that's another matter. He's trying to maintain the right flank and be the most extreme voice on creation while, at the same time, being a national spokesman for people who feel disaffected. He can't be both. He has to be the one to maintain the donor lists, and he has to be the other to get visitors and attention.

    This means that he has to try to not merely have a dogmatic, irrational position, but to attempt to appear non-dogmatic and non-irrational.

    I truly wish we would starve his fame of oxygen. I understand why we have to keep tabs on him in his role as speaker for the most extreme, but it's imperative that no one help him with his mission to be a national figure.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:04:06 PM PST

  •  But Ham has super powers! (0+ / 0-)

    That's way cooler than dumb old science, right kids?


    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 02:13:54 PM PST

  •  Museum should also not be in their name (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Creation Ministry or Creation Propaganda Center would be more appropriate.

    a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.
  •  south park had one of the best lines (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shopkeeper, Jyotai

    concerning evolution:

    "Couldn't evolution be the answer to how and not the answer to why?"

    The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

    by gbaked on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 03:28:01 PM PST

  •  Nobody took the Old Testament literally until... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...pretty much until the Reformation.

    Rabbis were never trained to take the stories in their book literally even as they worked tirelessly to ensure they were word for word consistent between every Torah on the planet.

    They were allegories - lessons from Jah. Meant to teach us how to live, and a little bit about what's come before - simplified in the way that you might explain nuclear physics to your pet hamster.

    The New Testament was meant to be accurate retellings - and the primary reason there are so many Gospels telling the same story over and over again is because they knew they had a problem here with not having original first person writing. So by telling it over and over again from different perspectives, one hopes to suss out what really happened.
    - Thus it too is not meant to be read literally. More to be read debate like. Take a dozen people to a speech and then ask them to write it down, and then discuss from that what you interpret was the speaker's intent.

    (Only put a century of telling each version orally in between the speech and the writing.)

    The primary problem "the Bible as Literal" folks have is that they are on the wrong side of Biblical and Torah (Talmudic?) scholarship as it was understood by the very people who wrote those books and who carefully passed them down over the centuries...

    If I watch an Episode of "Friends" on TV, and then come into work a week later and tell you what happened between Ross and Rachael... and add "I think it was kinda like this..." And you then go to someone else and repeat what you heard of what I said, as the literal exact script of that episode...
    - When your version finally gets back to the script writers, there's going to be some issues...

    Allegory folks... Parables... Read the thing the way it was meant to be read, according the Rabbinic circles that have been passing it around since way back when in the days we all rode T-Rexes with cup-holders to work at our jobs in the Rock quarry and listened to 'Stone-Rock' on our portable terradactyl-players.

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:02:35 PM PST

  •  What I do when I talk to "creationists": (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foresterbob, SocioSam

    I hand them a small unsealed envelope with a dollar bill in it.  I tell them I will give them a dollar if they can identify the thing that's in the envelope.  They look in the envelope and identify it as a dollar bill.  I ask them why they looked in the envelope.  They say they did it to see what was inside.  I ask them why they didn't just ask God what was inside.

    Now, I don't care if they want to believe God instead of their lying eyes. My point is simple.  There's a difference between asking God and looking for yourself.  They are two different ways of "knowing." I don't have to argue which one is "better" than the other.  My point is that they are simply different things.  Looking in the envelope is science.  Anything else, including asking God, is not science.  

    A right answer to the wrong question is a wrong answer.

    by legalarray on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 04:43:50 PM PST

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