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Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

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  • by HornWumpus (783565) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @06:59PM (#45851221)

    This won't turn out well. $25/ticket, supporting the morons in a profit making venture. Fuck no. Not that I'm in the neighborhood.

    Only creationists will show up, bog knows who they'll get to moderate. Local southern baptist minister?

    I see. 'if monkeys turned into humans how come there are still monkeys?' followed by a shout down in this 'debate'.

  • Re:Bad call (Score:2, Interesting)

    by icebike (68054) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:03PM (#45851279)

    Especially when it will be in Kentucky at their pet "Museum" in front of a cheering section consisting of a stacked deck of closed minds.
    Really, what's the point?

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:11PM (#45851353) Journal
    In philosophical debates, and in legal courtroom battles, both sides get equal time. That seems to be fair. But when it comes to science, equal time for both sides is unfair. When science has so much more evidence to show, restricting it to the same time whatever the other side manages to come up with is unfair.

    Further, most of the "arguments" for creationism is asking questions, asking for proof about evolution or to explain this anomaly or that observation. Asking questions is easy, answering them takes much longer. So again it is unfair to give equal time to questions and answers.

    Science demands full disclosure, sufficient time to review the evidence and to get a consensus on what the data is. Then the argument is about what explains the data. This creationism debate is not likely to persuade the creationists, it is likely to frustrate the scientists.

    It is a fools errand. Best thing to do is to let them disbelieve in evolution and let us trust evolution to drive the creationists to extinction. In the last 400 years science has done a lot to reduce the influence of creationists and reduced their numbers a lot. Just read the Creationist rhetoric from 1920s or 1950s or 1870s and compare it the current set of arguments, you will see how weak their ilk has become. The only serious bastion for creationists are the fundamentalists in Islam and fundamentalist right wingers in the USA. Almost all the rest of the developed world have moved on, most of America has also accepted the explanatory powers of evolution. Just wait for these creationists to join the Dinosaurs.

  • Re:Bad call (Score:2, Interesting)

    by innerweb (721995) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:25PM (#45851523)

    Serious question: Is this a real problem anywhere in the world besides the US and certain Middle Eastern countries?

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:27PM (#45851559) Journal
    The genus of Creationists has many species.

    The most common one is Creationist vulgaris. (vulgar means common in Latin, it does not mean crude). They are the rank and file people who chip in money and votes. The votes and the money form the base of the food pyramid of this genus. The C vulgaris can be relied up on to show up for rallys, to cheer their side in "debates".

    One level up the food chain comes Creationist predatori minoria. These are the local parish level civic leaders, community organizers. They too sincerely believe in creationism and believe not believing in it would cause gloom and doom. And they convince themselves, that to have strong faith means they have to believe in creationism despite the obvious and patent evidence they see against it. But mostly these people go for local fame, some local power and a feeling of self importance. These are the ones used by the species higher in the food pyramid to access the nourishment created by the C vulgaris.

    The highest level of this ecological niche is occupied the head honcho, the top predator, Creationist predatori majoria. Their meal ticket is C vulgaris. They will send newsletters, gather them into lectures and scare them into donating big money for the "cause". They will convince C predatori minoria to gather the flock and deliver them to the creation museum each paying $24.99 or whatever and buy "Jesus" T shirts at 40$ a pop.

    So please do not treat all the Creationists as one and the same. Pity the C vulgaris, for he does not know what he is doing. Try to show the self aggrandizement and obvious exploitation of the C predatori majoria to the minoria to make them less enthusiastic about being hand maidens in this enterprise. Starved of the nutrition, the majoria will diminish greatly in size. Hopefully.

  • Re:Bad call (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nattt (568106) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:34PM (#45851655)

    You know, if you posit a magically all-powerful being, and have a good imagination, you can reconcile any discrepancy you find and make any story, no matter how contradictory to reality or itself, "make sense".

    That said, you're obviously a poe. Nicely done. They style and content are excellent.

  • Re:Bad call (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sdinfoserv (1793266) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:50PM (#45851869) Homepage
    Not exactly... Evolution states changes happen over time on their own accord through natural selection and resource contention. Creationists believe ‘God intentionally did it all exactly as it is’. Evolution implies god had no direct hand in the changes. This implication directly contradicts creationist beliefs, what they’re told and how creationists interpret the bible(s). Accepting removing God from any equation removes God, which is a sin. The only possible way to rationalize evolution is to completely dismiss the message, the messenger and reference to it as evil, a lie or just wrong. Therefore science as a whole, and all who follow it’s witchcraft must be suspect.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2014 @07:59PM (#45851969)

    And 1 Corinthians agrees:

    26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.
    27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;
    28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
    29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

  • Re:Waste of Time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday January 02, 2014 @08:04PM (#45852013)

    I mean, evolution on one hand and a personal god on the other are really incompatible ideas.

    No, they actually aren't.

    It's creationism vs. "evolution as the origin of life" that are incompatible. Evolution as "change over time" isn't. The former is a purely religious debate -- how did it happen when nobody was there to observe -- vs. scientific -- how might it have happened and/or what happens today? It is not incompatible to believe that there is a being that created the universe with a wonderful and complex intricacy that scientists spend their lives studying and describing. I think that it would be quite likely for God to have done that, in fact.

    What are more incompatible (but still not unreconcilable) are literalism and evolution. "God created ..." and "day" are sticking points if you assume fully literal interpretations of those words. But nothing says how He created it, and there are already interpretations of prophecy where a "day" doesn't mean a literal day. Would it be fair to say that "creating the physical laws and sandbox in which they apply" counts as "creating" just as much as "passing laws to fund and making speeches to promote" something counts as "creating"?

    Now, before you leap up and say "evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life", well, the fact that this debate is creationism vs. evolution kind of shows that many people do consider evolution to include the origin of life and not just adaptation of existing life over time.

  • by flyhigher (643174) on Friday January 03, 2014 @12:01AM (#45853603)

    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.

    “If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

    – St. Augustine of Hippo, 5th Century AD (considered by some Protestants to be one of the theological fathers of the Reformation)

    - See more at: []

  • by mikery1 (142621) on Friday January 03, 2014 @02:05AM (#45854069)

    Must be a liberal arts school.

    . . .

    Seriously. BA in a science is a _huge_ red flag. Never hire them. Your school should reconsider, if only to avoid the resume stain effect. It would be like calling all the degrees education degrees. Sure it might make the education degrees a little more valuable, but it would fuck everybody else.

    Sorry, but no, your blanket statement about science B.A.'s is just wrong.

    I did my bachelors in Physics at Cornell. The only thing that was offered to Physics majors was a B.A., since the Physics department was in the Arts & Sciences college. And yes, I had 6 semesters of math (calculus, linear algebra, vector calculus, complex analysis, etc.) If you don't want to hire me because Cornell gave me an inferior degree, well, your loss.

    In reality, the distinction between B.A., and B.S., often has quite a bit to do with how the particular university is organized, and has precious little to do with curriculum.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]