Senate Creationism (Now Discussing: Creation Museum)

Discussion in 'Community' started by Lowbacca_1977, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    What I'm hoping from the Bill Nye debate is that he will go out and do the same job of engaging an audience to explain scientific principles there that he did on television. This is much more about explaining the framework that evolution is on, not as attacking creationism but explaining how, and why, science works (I hope). When you do that, it also is opening up at least some minds to a new way of thinking, and can sway those in the middle. There doesn't have to be just one solution, and really, there are multiple facets to this and a huge issue is that there's a strident sense of anti-intellectualism on multiple levels in the US, and I think this is only one way of how it is expressed.
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  2. Gamiel Force Ghost

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    Dec 16, 2012
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  3. timmoishere Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 2, 2007
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    Did anyone catch the debate? It went about as you'd expect it to, with Nye pwning Ham in just about every aspect of the debate.
  4. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

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    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I just finished watching it, and have a whole ton of Facebook comments I was writing as I watched (all responses to one status because I'm not a monster) but I can sum up the general tone with:

    The real thing to note, I think, is that while Ham very pointedly turned this into proselytizing rather that addressing the question of if it fits into modern science or not, Bill Nye was very, very specific about his word choice. He always made sure to say Ken Ham's Creation Theory (or however he'd worded the last bit) every time it was discussed, as well as specifying Ken Ham's interpretation of the English Language translation of the Bible, and I think that was a very good move. He tried very clearly to sever creationism from the larger body of religion so that he could promote science as a viable thing without it being at odds with religion. I hope that time will indicate (though not sure on what metric would do so) that in the long run, that was able to get people to feel like they can fully have religion and science coexist rather than treating them as opposite camps, because science really doesn't need extra enemies.
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  5. timmoishere Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    Haha, now Pat Robertson is even saying that Ham is an idiot. When Pat Freaking Robertson calls you out on this, it's time to reevaluate your position.
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 10
    The poetry of Lowie's last sentence and Timmo's post is beautiful.
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  7. V-2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    I watched the debate almost in its entirety - the ending of the video I saw was very annoyingly corrupted. Nye won IMO, but he was playing away to a hostile crowd who seemed to lap up Ham's non-answers... Whenever Ham just copped out and used his 'a wizard did it' responses he received friendly laughter. What the **** was the moderator even there for?

    Nye's diplomatic use of language shows a level of self discipline and self control that I could never bring to a debate with such a massive **** as Ham. I suppose if he'd lost his temper like Dawkins, or kept interrupting and correcting mistakes รก la Hitchens then he'd risk looking rude, superior, dogmatic, disrespectful, etc.

    About half way through I think Nye realised the audience didn't understand multi-syllable words and he started using fewer technical terms to simplify his arguments - this in stark contrast to Ham who used all sorts of scientific sounding words to obscure his arguments. I'd expect nothing less.

    The wood encased in magma argument was interesting, hasn't it been brought up by an ***** in this thread? I'd still like to read more about it. (If only there were some sort of search engine on the internet...) That was the only thing Ham offered that made me think. It was a shame that Ham avoided answering any of Nye's questions.

    Overall, I'm not sure if it was a success for science and reason. Maybe it provided Ham's side with more publicity and respect than they deserve... Maybe debating morons really does legitimise moronic thinking. Time will tell.
    Last edited by V-2, Feb 6, 2014
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  8. Jedi Merkurian ST Thread Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    May 25, 2000
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    The meme I've seen making the rounds does wonders to illustrate the contast in mindset.

    Q: What would cause you to change your mind?
    Hamm: Nothing.
    Nye: Evidence.
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master

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    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, I've seen a lot of talk, for example, from people that grew up in the sorts of very fundamentalist homes that accept YEC and the like discussing that it was things like this that planted seeds of doubt for them in stuff like that, and Nye was very clearly playing not for a big win with that audience right away, but for getting the kids to start questioning things, and to get middle of the road people to realise just what's going on here.

    The creationists aren't a marginalized force like people like to think. I'm living in a state right now where creationism can be discussed in all public schools during science classes as part of a 'debate' sort of thing. Louisiana also has this. They're not a fringe with no effect that can be ignored so easily.
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  10. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    yeah i think nye's approach was better than a lot of the other "prominent athiests" who have debated creationists. i was a little surprised that with the exception of vivec, everyone on my facebook feed who commented on this debate was a right wing christian (albiet none of them fully creationist). and all of them felt nye won the debate and expressed a wish for more voices like themselves that accept both god and science.

    you would never see something like that if it were a hitchens or a harris conducting the debate (heck, they managed to essentially lose debates with master sophists like william lane craig lmao)
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

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    Apr 3, 2002
    star 10
    It is a step in the right direction that even the god squads seem to be dismissing Ham. But of course Ham is as much of an atheist as I am. He's another Beck, another Discovery Institute, another charlatan that makes millions off the beliefs of church goers.
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  12. timmoishere Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 2, 2007
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    So I've been seeing a bunch of "Questions for evolutionists" pictures circulating the Internet. They're just folks holding up handwritten signs with facepalm-worthy questions like "If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?" or "How do you explain a sunset if there is no god?". And so, as a response to that, I've found a link for 80 Questions For Creationists that really hammers home how silly the creationist point of view is. #42 is particularly brilliant.
    Last edited by timmoishere, Feb 6, 2014
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  13. Saintheart Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 16, 2000
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    I confess I didn't watch the debate, mainly because work kind of looks down on that sort of Internet usage and home doesn't leave me sufficient time to see it.

    Having said that, was he talking about this? (It's a creationist jumping-off site -- skip the horseradish surrounding it). In particular the smug assertion that "carbon 14 testing will reveal the truth of its age" is a bit rich since the wood is about 53 million years old judging by the rock surrounding it and carbon-14 testing is only meaningful out to about 50,000 years ago. LiveScience's article about the find was here.
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  14. Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 25, 2004
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    I'm actually reading a bunch of commentary that says Nye lost simply by allowing a fringe weirdo like Ham an air of credibility that he doesn't deserve. I didn't watch the "debate", but I think I'd lean towards this view. "Science versus Creationism" really boils down to science versus something-which-is-not-science. In order for something to be accepted as science, there must be evidence for it...and people like Ham are simply upset because they're spoiled brats who think their beliefs are so special that they ought to be regarded as science anyway. If they were to get their way, it would destroy the integrity of science.
  15. timmoishere Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 2, 2007
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    It wasn't really a debate, it was simply Nye attempting to educate a moron.
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  16. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

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    Jan 28, 2014
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    This theory about us living side by side with dinosaurs is absurd.

    They were dragons. And "fossils" nothing; their bones were made of stone.
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  17. VanishingReality Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2013
    star 3
    I think that the debate "Is there a God?" and the er...debate (???) of "Is the earth 7000 years old?" are two different things that creationists are disingenuious for conflating. Considering that the approximate age of the earth can be answered in just a few seconds of search on wikipedia, which is as everyone knows the devil's encylopedia.
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  18. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
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    The problem is that it's an apples and oranges debate, so declaring a winner is actually merely adding a veneer of legitimacy to the candidate you most agree with. To that extent, the criticism of Nye is valid.

    I.e. if you look at a modern debate, the Affirmative and Negative must debate a topic using the same skills and because the topic does not straddle physics and metaphysics they can do so to the point of determining a clear winner.

    Sam Harris' work on the brain's processing of religious thought, to me at least, provides the most comprehensive insight into why a religion v science debate is pointless if one camp is firmly entrenched in a spiritual position - the brain is wired to accept a different and arguably less rigorous standard of proof (I am over course simplifying the paper here). Faith, therefore, is weighted the same as scientific proof which explains why Creationism (and even intelligent design) rely so heavily on "god did it" as a reason.

    Sadly, the only way you can make a dent against religious people who are creationists is to aggressively and systematically demolish their worldview. That doesn't make for great viewing, however.
  19. timmoishere Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 2, 2007
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    I wonder if creationists are threatened by the implied slippery slope of an old earth. No creation = no Adam and Eve = no Fall = no reason for Jesus' sacrifice.
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  20. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 1999
    star 7
    Nye never should have done the debate. It's a lose-lose situation. Ham is far better at theatrics than Nye, and it won't have much of an impact on the populace.

    Taking science classes is what convinced me, and I was raised to be a pretty hard-core creationist. It just took time and exposure. For my former co-religionists? I don't know. For some of them it's simply impossible.
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  21. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
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    Well I'm not sure that they're theologically incompatible to the extent that the Vatican does not hold creationism as true.
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  22. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    I was saying to @Lowbacca_1977 the other day that instead of have a noted skeptic debate him, it should have been a Catholic theologian or something similar, like my grandfather, who both accepts evolution and is religious. Such a person would have been able to both destroy his creationism and his bad theology. In addition, Ham wouldn't be able to paint his opponent as some enemy of religion to his audience.
  23. EmpireForever Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 15, 2004
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    I'm not sure how much that would have helped, since Catholics--to the sort of Evangelicals which attend such things as the creation museum--are regarded with the same sort of disdain as "Humanists" are.

    There was one thing Ham mentioned in his defense of the validity of the Bible which really made a whole lot of sense about there being other accounts of a flood and other stories of creation throughout the world. I wonder why he failed to mention that most of those came before Genesis.
    Last edited by EmpireForever, Feb 11, 2014
  24. timmoishere Jedi Grand Master

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    Jun 2, 2007
    star 6
    It makes more sense if the Flood story was based on a real flood of the Mesopotamian Basin that was blown out of proportion to the original event. The Epic of Gilgamesh was based on this event as well. But as for the whole world being flooded? Did. Not. Happen.
  25. EmpireForever Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8