Ken Ham vs Bill Nye Science Guy: Nye Sure to Lose [Video]

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Across America, the debate between creationism and evolution continues to rage. Now, world-renowned scientist Bill Nye is set to debate Ken Ham who is the president of an Apologetics ministry, Answers in Genesis, as well as the Creation Museum. However, regardless of any facts or elements of reasoning, “The Science Guy,” is sure to lose this debate, as would any scientist in a creationism vs evolution debate like this one.

Evolutionists have been scratching their heads at the idea of a scientist giving any sort of credence to creationist theories. They argue that a forum such as this upcoming debate only props up those who believe in intelligent design as the architect of life.

However, that is not the real reason why evolutionists are so steadfastly against this debate. Frankly, the ball is in Ham’s court and it is Nye’s game to lose.

First of all, there is the issue of the venue. Essentially, Ham will be on his home turf inside the Creation Museum. Tickets for the event sold out long ago, but it would not be surprising if a great number of those purchases were fellow creationists.

On top of that, there will be a world watching. Students at Liberty University will be watching the entire ordeal via live stream, and it is likely that hundreds of thousands of other individuals will closely follow the action during and after the February 4 debate. After all, with about 50 percent of the country in support of creationism and only 15 percent sure that evolutionary theories are true, Nye has the odds stacked against him in terms of his audience.

As well, Ham knows what he’s talking about, and there is some debate over whether or not Nye will be as prepared. Both men are skilled oral communicators, but Ham is the more well versed as a debater. Furthermore, Ham knows his theories and Nye’s theories inside and out, whereas Nye is not actually an evolutionary biologist at all, and his experience with creationism to this point seems to be the continual assertion that creationists are wrong because science said so.

However, most importantly is the “quit while you’re ahead,” concept. Evolution is already considered fact; it is a theory that has somehow cemented itself as the only viable belief system in Western schools and text books. In terms of creationism vs evolution, evolutionists have already claimed victory. If Ken Ham is to out perform Bill Nye, the repercussions in the scientific community could be quite significant. Evolutionists may have their coveted seat of being the only theory that is fact further eroded, and other viable concepts may come to the forefront once again. Say what you will, but even if he wins by most measures, ‘The Science Guy,” is sure lose.

That’s right; even if Nye is to make better, more factual, and simply more convincing arguments than Ham, he is nonetheless a servant to the fact that his side has already won. It is expected in the academic community that creationists are fundamentally unintelligent people, and if one of these people proves to be rational and coherent, it would be a disaster for science as it is known today.

This points to a much larger problem, though. Of course creationism is not the same as evolution in terms of its support within the scientific community and in regard to its compatibility with some other scientific theories. However, that does not mean that it is a view-point that makes people unintelligent or irrational.

The idea that science cannot evolve or accommodate other theories is preposterous and fundamentally flawed. Simply to call another theory wrong and to advocate aggressively to ignore it is not rooted in any sort of scientific method. Intelligent discourse is required, criticism of long-held theories is required, and by consequence, considering other view points honestly is required for science to make any sort of progress.

The scientific community is afraid of this upcoming Ken Ham vs Bill Nye debate for the same reasons that the Catholic Church was afraid of the protestant reformation and the enlightenment. The criticisms of evolution, regardless of whether or not they are true, are valid arguments that should be discussed. The fact that so many are criticizing “The Science Guy’s” decision on the grounds that other view points should not be heard is extremely alarming. Much like the Catholic Church vs Martin Luther, this is a debate where Nye is sure to lose; but evolutionists should not be afraid of the results. After all, the Catholic Church is still standing.

Opinion By Brett Byers-Lane

Liberty.edu
Washington Post
NBC News

18 Responses to "Ken Ham vs Bill Nye Science Guy: Nye Sure to Lose [Video]"

  1. evolve1   February 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    “Simply to call another theory wrong and to advocate aggressively to ignore it is not rooted in any sort of scientific method.”

    The problem with this statement is that neither creationism nor intelligent design (which has been proved to just be creationism repackaged to try to get around court rulings) are in any way remotely scientific theories. They are nothing but superstitious drivel that consigns human progress in understanding the universe to throwing our hands up in the air and proclaiming “God did it”. If we allowed this idiotic point of view to hold sway every time such superstitious people objected to a scientific discovery that contradicts their misguided interpretations of Stone Age fairy tales, we’d all still be living in the Dark Ages, still burning people like Copernicus and Galileo at the stake, or placing them under house arrest for the rest of their lives, just for saying that maybe a bunch of ignorant sheep herders living in the. Middle East 6000 thousand years ago didn’t have all the answers to how the universe formed and continues to function. Rejecting an actual theory out of hand is not scientific, but rejecting completely unsupported superstition based on the campfire stories of a band of Stone Age nomads when it is completely contradicted by even single relevant scientific discovery over the last 150 years is.

    Reply
  2. chris   February 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    (From the article) “The idea that science cannot evolve or accommodate other theories is preposterous and fundamentally flawed.”

    The problem here is, that creationism is not a theory. It’s not even a valid hypothesis. By the author’s reasoning, geocentricity should have equal consideration in astronomy, and alchemy should be seriously discussed alongside chemistry. Perhaps science should give consideration to the stork theory when discussing the topic of reproduction as well?

    Reply
    • G   February 4, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Your comparison compares two concepts that are completely different. Geocentricism, and alchemy have both been proven as untrue.

      However, you cannot claim the same for creationism for the exact same reason that creationists cannot claim that evolution is not the origin of mankind. Although there is lots of evidence supporting evolution as the origin of mankind it is not the only theory that has managed to explain human existence. There are proponents of the theory that extraterrestrials helped humans develop. Perhaps a more likely theory is that life was started by early lifeforms that arrived on earth by “piggybacking” on space debris that hurtled to earth’s lithosphere. Or perhaps, as creationists would state, the universe and everything in it was created by one (or multiple) god(s).

      So, the issue that the author brings up when he says “The idea that science cannot evolve or accommodate other theories is preposterous and fundamentally flawed.” is a very valid statement. Science CANNOT seem to evolve or accommodate other theories (and yes I do call creationism a theory because it has not been disproven) just as other theories cannot seem to give credence to science.

      Reply
  3. Czerny   February 2, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Brett seems to enjoy wallowing in his own ignorance on this subject. Just because the writer believes in the invisible sky fairy doesn’t make creationism real. Furthermore his dismissal of millions of years of evidence and hundreds of years of reputable research by people who do not demand we kill each other of which sky fairy is right doesn’t make him smart, it makes him a fool.

    Reply
    • Ipso Facto   February 2, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Czerny,

      Come let us reason together. Surely there is more to your contention than pithy sayings.

      Reply
  4. Ipso Facto   February 2, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Not sure if my response posted.

    The issue pure and simple is epistemology. The hallowed ground of scientific realism is quite unsteady for reasons too numerous to cite. So, I’ll be brief. Positivism is dead, Ayer recanted, and no one in the philosophic community takes it seriously since Wittgenstein’s critique. Popper may look like an improvement, but upon inspection it’s a sly logical move (e.g. moving from verification- modus ponens, to falsification- modus tollens), but such a move is ideological not scientific- sorry Popper. Kuhn’s critique is rather devasting, and who really believes that “scientists really set out to prove the null set”.” That is unintendedly funny.

    Gould is in the same uncritical boat. “Punctuated equilibrium”? Really? An argument from silence doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    Clearly, Ayer, Popper and Gould were confused and their epistemology suspect. But, there must be more to the epistemological argument you are forwarding.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Ipso

    Reply
    • Ipso Facto   February 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      prove (sic) disprove the null hypothesis

      Reply
  5. Ipso Facto   February 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Continued.

    The most glaring difficulty with such a proposition is that it is universally derided as untenable. (NB. “Verification” is a dead issue- Hume saw to that well before the Logical Positivists). Not to be deterred, the Positivist reformulated their discredited idea. Insert Popper and “Falsification”. Falsification in tern was debunked by Kuhn for reasons too numerous to cite (NB. I would be quite happy to explain at length).

    Thus, we must note the underlying “Scientific” epistemology as either inconsistent, or disengenious. The punctuated equilibrium model is yet another example of moving the goalpoasts. Looking forward to your response.

    Reply
  6. Your Mom   February 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    “The criticisms of evolution, regardless of whether or not they are true, are valid arguments that should be discussed.”

    Christianity: the belief that a Jewish zombie from outer space, who was his own father, can make you live forever if you telepathically accept him as your master, then symbolically drink his blood and eat his flesh so he can remove an evil force over you that has penetrated all of mankind because a woman, made from a rib bone, was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. And they say evolution is just too hard to imagine!!!

    Reply
  7. Mike B   February 2, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Why is this article considered news?

    Evolution is not a “theory”, it is perhaps the most thoroughly tested and proved issue in biological science. The writer is even handed or knowledgeable.

    Google, please do not include anymore of this writer’s garbage in the Science section.

    Reply
  8. eeen   February 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    it’s not entirely true that any scientist would lose this debate, but the right person needs a deep understanding of evolution, years of experience with creationism arguments, a gift for explaining things to the ignorant, and phenomenal rhetorical skills. there are a handful of these people, but even the biggest names don’t generally qualify. bear in mind that the goal here is not to convince creationists they’re wrong (this is impossible because they have a determination from the outset not to take this path), and it’s not to technically win the debate (there’s no point winning if you only convinced the people with the ability to make deep abstract analysis). the useful goal is to demolish even one familiar “unassailable” talking point, removing one platitude from the creationist armoury, and sending the audience home with something to think about. for example, the common trope that there is zero evidence for evolution is countered by a concept that is surprisingly unfamiliar to creationists: that the fundamental evidence is a nested hierarchy of attributes, and that evidence for this hierarchy then splits into data from multiple independent disciplines. alternatively, the confident flat assertion that there are no transitional fossils can be demolished with a clear discussion involving clear unassailable examples. but i’m the first to admit that i’m not expecting to see any of this

    Reply
  9. Bill Butler   February 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Ken Ham is welcome to “debate” my web page any time he wants.
    “Creationism = Willful Ignorance”
    http://www.durangobill.com/Creationism.html

    Reply
    • Jarin   February 2, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      The article is telling. “Even if Nye makes every point stronger, he still loses because I say so”. Really, this isn’t any surprise. “Because I/God said so” is all the conservative christian types like Brett have to fall back on.

      Brett, here’s a little tip. This amorphous “Science” that you rail against as closed-minded and unwilling to examine new theories is nothing of the sort. The fact is that there hasn’t been a single alternate theory that stands up to ANY sort of critical examination. They all boil down how much reality you want to ignore. Every last one of them starts with a conclusion (“god did it”) and tries to work backwards and twist the evidence to fit it.

      Reply
    • Ipso Facto   February 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Bill,

      Would love to debate. Looked at the link, can’t quite find a place to respond. Let ne know

      Reply
  10. jjhartmann   February 2, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    This actually boggles my mind as to how rational humans can succumb to superstitious teachings. It is actually scary to think of so many people blinded by their religious faith, and willing propagate something like this. However, I do have some sympathy for individuals caught up in creationist believe, I too was brought up in a fundamentalist home where I fully believed that young earth creationism was true. If this debate would have happened 10 years ago I would have been on the side of Ken Ham. But, I realized after years of study that this absolutely can not be the case. Evolution is by far the best model the scientific community has for the origin of all species on earth. It is so obvious, and if you look at the evidence around you with an open and objective mind, it doesn’t take much to see why it is true. It saddens me to see so many people in positions of authority teaching creationist nonsense, and propagating something that is utterly untrue. I understand why you do it though. You feel that your beliefs are threatened by evolution, and out of that comes a hostile aggression towards it. But I want to ask you to think about a few question: (1) Where did the creationist theory originate from? (2) How long has it been around? (3) What were the original pieces of evidence to propagate this hypothesis? and (4) How does the evidence fit this hypothesis?. What I find, for the most part, is that adherent creationist fit any evidence(made up or otherwise) to the hypothesis of creationism as prove of that hypothesis true, but what I don’t see happening is how the evidence CHANGES the hypothesis! You know, like how normal science works. But creationist can’t do that, because… well, that would go against Genesis.

    J

    Reply
    • Ipso Facto   February 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Jjhartman,

      Interesting line of reasoning. The epistemological angle to be certain. Thus, the question properly framed is a critique of the presumed non-scientific epistemology. Fair enough. But, if we admit such a critique, it stand to reason that such a critique needs to withstand the rigor it forwards as normative, right? The classic formulation of the idea you are forwarding is Positivism, so far so good, right?

      Reply
  11. Amaranth   February 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Ah, another author having no idea what he’s talking about. What a surprise.

    Reply
  12. Albert   February 2, 2014 at 10:22 am

    This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. Thanks!

    Reply

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