Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
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24-01-2014, 06:01 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
(24-01-2014 11:21 AM)Question Everything Wrote:  Has anyone else emailed him about this? I really think he needs to hear the podcast, as there were many people on it with lots of important things to say. None of them said that they contacted Nye about their knowledge and concerns, which really bothers me. Why would they not want to tell him?

He isn't hard to contact, full info to do so is here:

http://www.billnye.com/contact-bill-nye/

Hello, Bill Nye:

I have some concerns about your upcoming debate with Ken Ham.

It's a trap. Aron Ra explained the situation well in the most recent episode of The Thinking Atheist podcast, so I've taken the liberty of transcribing his words just for you:

Aron Ra Wrote:I think that there's some merit to debating big-name creationists like this. There needs to be a forum and a format that is appropriate for that, and I think there needs to be a person that is appropriate for that--and I love Bill Nye for the same reasons that everybody else does. I have a great deal of respect for what he's trying to do and the reason he's trying to do it.

But what I fear that he does not understand is that he is not going up against somebody that has the same credibility or concern for credibility that Nye does. I mean, we're talking about a presuppositionalist. We're talking about an apologist who openly advocates blinders and confirmation bias who says that you can put on your God glasses and automatically exclude all the evidence that is against you, and he has no problem at all saying that there is absolutely no data anywhere in existence that contradicts that young earth creation model when we all know that he knows better.

Ken Ham has no scruples--no reservation to openly lying in defense of his position. It's not just that he will misrepresent the facts, saying that there is no such thing as a transitional species, or arguing against anything--beneficial mutations--anything--whatever it takes to defend his position and argue against the classification. Taxonomy is a huge one. He does these "educational" videos where he says that apes are apes and humans are humans, and he "forgets" to mention that humans are a subset of apes because that undermines the lies that he's trying to sell.

He makes his living duping people who want to be duped, and the audience for Bill Nye is people who want to understand things better. To that audience, Bill Nye does very well; but when he goes up against somebody who is, in my opinion, a very polished con man, then he's going to be playing a game of word salad. They're not going to go in with the same definitions, everything means something else, and the goalposts will be constantly moving. I fear that Bill Nye is going to be walking into a madhouse, and he doesn't know it.

...

This is an important distinction that has to be made: It is not stacked in Ham's favor because it's being held on his own property where he controls everything and where he has, apparently, according to the reports I've gotten, been able to manipulate the audience to be the audience that he wants them to be, excluding certain other people, or at least seating them in questionable fashion. It's not that he owns and controls the venue that causes this to be completely stacked in his favor. If it were the case, then stacking the debate in our favor, we would have him come to a university and we would have our top scholars debate Ham and we would put nothing but educated graduates and such in the audience--but that's not actually what we would do.

If we want to hold this debate properly--the way real scientists would do it--what we would do would be to challenge him to produce the facts which can then be verified and tested in peer review. We know that's the way science really works. It's not how you do your one-liners, it's not how you eloquent a speaker you are before a live audience, it's whether you actually have the goods and the things that you say are verifiably true.

Every claim the creationists make--all of them--fall into one of two categories. Proponents of evolution--all their claims fall into a different category. The two claims that creationists fall into are "not evidently true" and "evidently not true." The category for "evidently true" is where all our stuff goes, and that's why the debate is stacked. It's stacked because this is an illusion. It's a game of equivocation and projection where they're going to try to turn the tables and upside-down everything and then question, "How does Bill Nye even really know that his name is Bill Nye?"

Because in all of these discussions with all these creationists, they want to argue that reality itself is wrong somehow, or that everything we know about reality could be wrong. Because since everything they know is wrong, then everything we know has to be wrong in order for them to be equal, and they really want to be seen as equal status.

We have a theory--they don't--so they want to make it look like our theory is guesswork just like their theory is empty, baseless speculation.

Then there's this:

Noah’s Ark Risks Collapse Without Bond Buyers by February

Ken Ham has no concern for the welfare of others. He is a mentally deranged sociopath who preys on children for a living. He will use every foul play in the book (presuppositional word games and filling the audience with paid actors among them) to make himself look good to his audience--who believes everything he says anyway--in order to earn millions more so that he can target more children.

At the very least, postpone the debate--specifically until after February. Let Ham's ship sink a little before you step onto the boat.

--Nathan J.
http://humanistfox.wordpress.com
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24-01-2014, 06:48 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
BTW, here's my email:


To bnsg@billnye.com
Two questions about your upcoming debate with Ken Ham

1. Is it true that the only recordings of this debate will come from the creationists? If this is true, I would call that a valid reason to refuse to participate.

2. Have you sought out the advice of AronRa? Knowing evolution is one thing, knowing how to deal with the underhanded debate tactics of Ken Ham is something else. Nobody can beat AronRa at this skill, which is why you will never see Ham agree to debate him. (Ham never debates anybody he is sure he can't clobber.)

[my name]

p.s. If you haven't already done so, be sure to hear the latest podcast from The Thinking Atheist, which interviews AronRa and many other people who are knowledgeable about debating creationists. They all have well thought out practical advice for you on how to prepare for the debate, pitfalls to watch out for (such as control over all recordings of a debate), what kinds of tactics to expect, etc. The entire podcast is about this upcoming debate, and covers many points of view.



"If what you say is actually true, I would want to know it too. ... You can convince me, and if it is true I want you to convince me ... and I will thank you for convincing me."

AronRa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXJHVB7pROE
9:18
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25-01-2014, 02:32 AM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
I felt very similarly to you guys (Bill shouldn't do it, Ham is a tool, etc.) but now I'm thinking that maybe we should just sit back and enjoy the entertainment. Yeah, I'm miffed that the Creation Museum is going to get further funding, but Bill *is* in the entertainment industry. That's how the vast majority of us even know him! He's an actor who does...does.....uh, what's the phrase I'm looking for? I guess "freelance educating" is close enough. Does pro wrestling do anything to diminish the kind that happens at the Olympics? It's not even in the same league.

Idk. I keep bouncing back and forth with how I feel about it. It's conflicting.

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25-01-2014, 05:35 PM (This post was last modified: 26-01-2014 12:02 AM by Formaldehyde.)
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
I think it's a good thing that he's debating Ham. I hear what everybody is saying, that it lends credibility to the creationist movement by saying that there is something to debate. However, it already HAS credibility within its own circles, and studies show that the credibility is growing. More and more people are buying into this shit while more intelligent people sit around going "we're not going to debate that craziness".

We know that he's not going to win over Ham. Either he's too far gone, or he's a charlatan. But there will be people in the audience, people who believe because they are ignorant to the scientific method. They are ignorant to what the theory of evolution is and the way that we have come to the conclusions that we have about the universe.

It's a matter of how you approach it. You can't win anything with these people (the audience) by just saying "the theory of evolution has shown this, and it has shown that". It needs to be taken back to basics. They need to be shown the fallacies that they have been told about evolution by people like comfort and Ham are just that, straw-man fallacies. And to address the criticisms that Bill Nye is not qualified to take this debate, I think he's the perfect man for it. He has dedicated his life to speaking science to the common man, the ability to break it down to a language that the lay-man can understand. And the most important part here is not to explain what evolution has shown us and what we have discovered, with the exception of some points which I will raise in the next paragraph, but to shut down the straw-man fallacies, and to explain how the scientific method works, and hopefully some of the audience will take that away question their rejection of science as just another faith.

The thing is, we have the upper hand here. Creationism only has a few arguments that it uses over and over and over again. We know this. We joke about it often. The facepalms get worse and worse as we hear the same arguments recycled over and over again. Ham has a few different tricks up his sleeve, but again they are recycled just as frequently. He has an entire museum dedicated to his arguments. It will not be very hard at all to go into a debate with this man and not know EXACTLY what he is going to say. This is where Nye needs to and hopefully will do some research on Ham's arguments, and where needed come up with specific refutations to those arguments. And this is where he may need to provide specific details of research, like for example recent discoveries in the Hominid line, but specific examples like these need to be kept mostly to refutations of arguments and not used too much in rambling, because they will just go straight over the heads of the audience.

Ultimately, I don't care who is declared the winner on the night, though it might be helpful if Nye wins, I don't think it's overly important. What is most important is that Nye shows that all of the arguments that Ham and other show against science, and the scientific method, are nothing more than staw-man arguments, and hopefully leave believers in creationism with food for thought, rather than just trying to shove evolution down their throat as an alternative to creationism.
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25-01-2014, 09:32 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
(25-01-2014 05:35 PM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  However, it already HAS credibility within its own circles, and studies show that the credibility is growing. More and more people are buying into this shit while more intelligent people sit around going "we're not going to debate that craziness".

Not sure what studies you are referring to, my understanding is that the fastest growing religious classification is "none".

Regardless of whether or not it is growing, there is no question that YEC is BIG , and a large percentage of Americans buy into it. This is the reason why public debates on this are useful. Otherwise it starts going into our textbooks, makes itself look more mainstream and commonsense, and in general more difficult to eradicate.

So, yes, by all means let's debate Ken Ham at his museum, even if the audience is packed. However, Richard Carrier brought up an important point about the distribution of money, and it is critical that an unedited sound recording of the entire debate be made publicly available. Also, I am not sure if Nye is the one to do it. I would much rather see AronRa.



"If what you say is actually true, I would want to know it too. ... You can convince me, and if it is true I want you to convince me ... and I will thank you for convincing me."

AronRa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXJHVB7pROE
9:18
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25-01-2014, 09:39 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
Someone *did* post the following in this thread at some point, didn't they?:

[Image: i-451f5356ad30f214361cd29fda6a4963-debatingrules.jpeg]


Where I found this, was a blog post from one fairly well-known atheist entitles, "Why I don't debate creationists any more, part whatever".

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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25-01-2014, 09:47 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
(25-01-2014 09:32 PM)Question Everything Wrote:  
(25-01-2014 05:35 PM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  However, it already HAS credibility within its own circles, and studies show that the credibility is growing. More and more people are buying into this shit while more intelligent people sit around going "we're not going to debate that craziness".

Not sure what studies you are referring to, my understanding is that the fastest growing religious classification is "none".

Regardless of whether or not it is growing, there is no question that YEC is BIG , and a large percentage of Americans buy into it. This is the reason why public debates on this are useful. Otherwise it starts going into our textbooks, makes itself look more mainstream and commonsense, and in general more difficult to eradicate.

So, yes, by all means let's debate Ken Ham at his museum, even if the audience is packed. However, Richard Carrier brought up an important point about the distribution of money, and it is critical that an unedited sound recording of the entire debate be made publicly available. Also, I am not sure if Nye is the one to do it. I would much rather see AronRa.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree...-evolution

Sadly, this is not the only case, it's very much mirrored in America.

I agree with you on the issue of the money, that is a tough one. As for the editing, I'd suggest that Nye wear a big fluorescent clock.
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25-01-2014, 10:48 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
(25-01-2014 09:39 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Someone *did* post the following in this thread at some point, didn't they?:

[Image: i-451f5356ad30f214361cd29fda6a4963-debatingrules.jpeg]


Where I found this, was a blog post from one fairly well-known atheist entitles, "Why I don't debate creationists any more, part whatever".

Yabut, debates aren't for changing the mind of the opponent. They're a platform for getting your arguments to a broader audience who might not have thought about it that way before.

"It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
― نجيب محفوظ, Sugar Street
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25-01-2014, 10:52 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
(25-01-2014 09:47 PM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  
(25-01-2014 09:32 PM)Question Everything Wrote:  Not sure what studies you are referring to, my understanding is that the fastest growing religious classification is "none".

Regardless of whether or not it is growing, there is no question that YEC is BIG , and a large percentage of Americans buy into it. This is the reason why public debates on this are useful. Otherwise it starts going into our textbooks, makes itself look more mainstream and commonsense, and in general more difficult to eradicate.

So, yes, by all means let's debate Ken Ham at his museum, even if the audience is packed. However, Richard Carrier brought up an important point about the distribution of money, and it is critical that an unedited sound recording of the entire debate be made publicly available. Also, I am not sure if Nye is the one to do it. I would much rather see AronRa.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree...-evolution

Sadly, this is not the only case, it's very much mirrored in America.

I agree with you on the issue of the money, that is a tough one. As for the editing, I'd suggest that Nye wear a big fluorescent clock.

I also suggest that either he, or someone in the crowd, have at least an audio recording device on them in order to have any edited portions on record for future reference.

I would hope that any angles will be looked at before this goes down. Nye's not a dummie, and this thing is big enough that he's got a ton of people that he can turn to, or are turning to him with advice and strategy. Not only for the debate itself, but for any hanky panky Ham will try to pull. And everybody knows he will.

"It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.”
― نجيب محفوظ, Sugar Street
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25-01-2014, 10:58 PM
RE: Ken Ham vs Bill Nye in Feb '14
(25-01-2014 10:52 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(25-01-2014 09:47 PM)Formaldehyde Wrote:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree...-evolution

Sadly, this is not the only case, it's very much mirrored in America.

I agree with you on the issue of the money, that is a tough one. As for the editing, I'd suggest that Nye wear a big fluorescent clock.

I also suggest that either he, or someone in the crowd, have at least an audio recording device on them in order to have any edited portions on record for future reference.

I would hope that any angles will be looked at before this goes down. Nye's not a dummie, and this thing is big enough that he's got a ton of people that he can turn to, or are turning to him with advice and strategy. Not only for the debate itself, but for any hanky panky Ham will try to pull. And everybody knows he will.

Unfortunately, all seats for the debate were sold out in under a minute. There is some shonky dealings going on here, and it's suspected (though not overtly said) that Ham bought all of the tickets himself so that he can have a heavily biased audience, while giving the impression of giving a fair chance because "The tickets went on public sale!".

But if there were ONE non-believer in the audience, I can but hope that they would sneak in some kind of recording device, hell, a mobile phone will do just fine. Not for any breach of copyright mind you, but so that the recorded audio can be compared to the released version, and any discrepancies exposed. I might suggest that Nye do this himself, and keep it to himself should any dodgy editing be exposed.
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