Home » Creationism, Darwinism, News » Bill Nye the Science Guy to debate Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham at the Creation Museum

Bill Nye the Science Guy to debate Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham at the Creation Museum

From The Blaze:

Ham said that he’s looking forward to the debate — one that he believes will help shed light on how young people are being educated; Nye once had a popular kids’ show called “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and has made comments touting the importance of evolution in children’s education.

Promotional poster for Ken Ham and Bill Nye debate at The Creation Museum on Feb. 4, 2014.

Consider that Nye captured headlines in 2012 when he lambasted creationists in a Big Think video and proclaimed that teaching ideas contrary to evolutionary theory is damaging to both children and society.

In a piece entitled, “Time is Nye for a Rebuttal,” Ham tackled Nye’s claims and took offense at the scientist’s purported view that those who teach creationism are, in a sense, “abusing” children.

Various science writer types have been attempting to talk Nye out of the February 4 gig. PR here.

We think the big risk is, Ham on Nye will set too high a standard of entertainment on these issues, in a world where New Scientist offers to explain how swearing made us human.

What do readers think?

See also: New York Times visits Creation Museum

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Bill Nye

Ken Ham

Creation Museum

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29 Responses to Bill Nye the Science Guy to debate Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham at the Creation Museum

  1. I cant wait to watch this. Ive always loved watching bil nye at school.

  2. Video of the Ham-Nye debate is already available:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpl4Cr3-Tm0

  3. Uh oh, the general public might actually be exposed to the legitimate case for Creation, instead of just the latest NCSE strawman caricature of it.

  4. That Nye suggests science will suffer without Darwin does not bode well his side of the debate. One chapter from Jonathan Well’s politically incorrect book would decisively level Nye’s point on that.

    Nye(edu background: mechanical engineering)
    Ham(edu background: applied science; education)

    Bill Nye the science humanist guy will be publicly decimated by Ken Ham the yec guy. Nye may be good at using basic science, but I don’t think he realizes the world of hurt he’s about to get into.

  5. I cant wait to watch this. Ive always loved watching bil nye at school.
    It will be a great debate and im glad ken took up the challenge!

  6. How old is the earth?
    4.5 billion years
    No, it isn’t, because of God in the Bible.
    Yes, it is, because of science of mankind.
    No…
    Yes…

    A very interesting debate.

  7. Seqenenre.

    Surely they will disagree on the bible… but…

    I think one of the more interesting aspects will be that Nye won’t actually be able to demonstrate where evolution is important for any basic science that leads to increased knowledge. Most of his arguments will all fall apart. e.g. Strawmen claims such as, that teaching creationism implies a disbelief in radioactivity or something like that. Or toothless claims that teaching evolution will lead to better technology.

    Meanwhile, and in contrast, creationism will be shown that it at least has rational basis for doing science… and Ham can point to all the great scientists of the past that broke the ground on so much of the core science we still use today , where they even state they operate with that worldview.

  8. Article excerpt:
    Consequently, Eugenie Scott, from her strategic position as director of the main anti-creationist organization, is now warning her fellow evolutionists not to debate the issue at all. “Avoid Debates,” she says. “If your local campus Christian fellowship asks you to `defend evolution,’ please decline . . . you probably will get beaten.”9
    - http://www.icr.org/article/832/

  9. I’m no YEC but Eugenie Scott and the N.C.S.E. have proven to be gutless in their war against Christian fundamentalists. They’re so afraid. Why? They’re afraid because they would lose their power to indoctrinate our children if the school curriculum was decided at the ballot box, as it should be in a democracy.

    Somehow, the Christian majority allowed the atheist minority to use the force of law to impose their one true religion in the schools, while conveniently and dishonestly hiding behind the skirts of science. Atheists are totalitarians by nature. Democracy scares the hell out of them. If marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage can be decided at the ballot box, so can the academic curriculum. Democracy is the Achilles’ heel of the atheist cult.

  10. Mapou@9

    Seems the blog linked in the OP is consistent with E.Scott to avoid the debate. In fact, the blog mentions Scott’s advice. And leads to articles that misrepresent creationists in debate.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregla.....a-mistake/

  11. If you don’t think Nye is going to lose the debate. Watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU

  12. JGuy, it’s hard watching that without seeing it as some kind of an unfair parody of an evolutionist. But it is for real… and this guy is considered an icon of intellectualism.

  13. Bill Nye is just a con artist, in my opinion, a propagandist. He has nothing interesting or truthful to say.

  14. I’d rather have someone from CMI debate Nye rather than Ham or just about anyone from AiG but it probably won’t make a difference anyways.

    It’s ironic that Nye says that we need people to believe in evolution to be engineers, while evolutionists will then turn around and criticize DI’s list of evolution doubters for having too many engineers!

    You can do geology without knowledge of tectonic plates. If your specific field requires knowledge of them then you can but otherwise it would be a problem.

    That video was laughable. It’s a shame too, cause I really enjoyed watching him in elementary and middle school.

  15. The last I knew about Bill Nye he believed YECs believed in the fixity of species and no variation occurs. On that alone he is in for a big surprise.

  16. Most of the time a well-meaning evolutionist accepts a debate challenge (usually “to defend good science” or for some other worthy goal), reads a bunch of creationist literature, makes up a lecture explaining Darwinian gradualism, and can’t figure out why at the end of the debate so many individuals are clustered around his opponent, congratulating him on having done such a good job of routing evolution — and why his friends are too busy to go out for a beer after the debate. ~ Eugenie Scott

  17. I predict that Ham will lose badly. He doesn’t know a thing about science and his creation museum is proof of that. He’ll use the same tired, refuted arguments that creationists have used before. He is going to end up with so much egg on his face and be jealous of Nye’s arguments that the debate will be re-titled “Green eggs and Ham.”

  18. JLAfan2001:

    I predict that Ham will lose badly. He doesn’t know a thing about science and his creation museum is proof of that. He’ll use the same tired, refuted arguments that creationists have used before. He is going to end up with so much egg on his face and be jealous of Nye’s arguments that the debate will be re-titled “Green eggs and Ham.”

    Darwinists and young earth creationists deserve each other’s company, in my opinion. They are both convinced that they have the answers and that they are right. What a waste of time.

  19. 19

    I think Mr Nye is greatly underestimating his opponent.

  20. JLAfan2001

    I thought you were joking at first, but I suppose you’re not. Read Blue_Savannah’s post #19. I think you’re underestimating Ham et.al. in the same way.

    And Ham’s must know some science, more than you fallaciously assert, his degree is in applied science w/ emphasis an in environmental biology.

    Likewise, Nye will likely fall over himself with the similar ill-prepared & clumsy approach. Unless, some evolutionists convince him not to debate… which will not fully surprise me.

  21. I like Bill Nye but his comments have made me think he is being unreasonable about creationism. I also note that he has chosen an easier target by going after a YEC than say Mike Behe.

    I also wonder if this debate will be meaningful at all because they will both just be quoting science journals with contradictory interpretations. I hope it doesn’t degenerate into a typical online debate but with fewer chances to look up the sources cited and therefore with less relevance than even those crap-fights.

  22. Although, to qualify my last comment, I think that a good case can be made for Baraminology and evolution can be criticized amply by anyone. But defending YEC is more difficult.

  23. My first exposure to Bill Nye was the Canadian-based sketch comedy show “Almost Live!” on Comedy Central years ago. I used to love watching “The Science Guy” shows on PBS as well.

  24. Collin @ 21

    I like Bill Nye but his comments have made me think he is being unreasonable about creationism. I also note that he has chosen an easier target by going after a YEC than say Mike Behe.

    I agree on one front. But I don’t think it will come out as clean for Nye as he hopes… especially, if he uses age old misrepresentations of creationism or YEC. My guess is he is learning a lot of his characterizations and views of creationism were wrong during preparation for the debate.

    Even if he tones down his rhetoric, he will lose the debate.

    I hope his opening statement is, I was wrong. You win. But all this debate preparation might simply end up like WOPR did in War Games. And drive him to drop out saying, ‘the only winning game is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?’.

  25. The more attention creationism gets the more it shows how evolution is unproven and in danger at overthrow.
    Its giving attention to the legitimacy of serious criticism of evolutionary biology.
    Ham can’t lose. He’s sharper and has right on his side.
    Yet this is a great chance for a audience not ususally YEC can reach.
    Ham is not a lawyer although one od the great modern creationists whi has changed things. Status and profile of YEC.
    I think basic points should only be made.
    no attention to the ABUSING children comment. No big deal. it was welcome to bring attention.
    The good guys will prevail/
    Evolutionists, if confident, should embrace these debates to demonstrate their competence in methodology, smarts, and facts.
    Gentleman. Make your bets!

  26. Bah! Humbug! on the Answers in Genesis website and their inadequate webserver/phone banks. I was up at 2:00 am this Monday morning – the date the tickets were to go on sale. Yet despite my early rising, I found that the AiG website ticket purchase page wasn’t functioning. Not good.

    I called this morning at 9:00 am SHARP, but was told by the receptionist that I couldn’t purchase tickets until 10 am and that had to be done online.

    Dutifully, I returned at 10:00 am SHARP to proceed with my intended online purchase. But an “unexpected error” message kept popping up each time (say, about 50+ in a row) I tried to pay at the checkout. The AiG webserver persistently refused to acknowledge my purchase, and each time that annoying “unexpected error” message kept popping up.

    Simultaneously, I was on the phone trying to reach an AiG employee with every contact number that was listed — and they were all busy. Fancy that. Not even an email address was anywhere to be found when I went to AiG’s contact page … only phone numbers were listed.

    After a half-hour of pressing my phone’s redial button over and again IMMEDIATELY following the busy signal — which must have happened as many times as I was getting the “unexpected error” message on the website — I finally got through … to a recorded message directing me through a plethora of prompts. After jumping through this series of hoops (which simply proved to be obstacles to getting to talk to a REAL PERSON) I was offered an opportunity to … leave a message at the beep. Warm, personal touch you have there.

    In the meanwhile, I am still trying to purchase tickets on their webpage. Finally the “unexpected error” message has been replaced with … with … SOLD OUT. Well isn’t that just peachy-keen!

    If anybody at AiG is reading this, let me congratulate you on a great experience. Super poor planning. Sold out in 2 minutes? You guys KNEW this event would command a large response. And yet your server couldn’t handle the demand. Surely, you must have anticipated how popular this was going to be. I am very sorely disappointed.

    I’m still trying to puzzle out why you people wouldn’t allow patrons the opportunity to purchase tickets the instant the event was announced. THAT screw-up contributed to the traffic jam this morning. Way to go.

    For my part, I did all the right things: getting up in the wee hours of the morning to beat the rush. Unrewarded.
    Called promptly at 9:00 to order tickets since the “order button” wasn’t either present or active. Unrewarded.
    Returned to the website to order tickets one second after 10:00 am, but was greeted with “unexpected error” messages for 28 straight minutes (they sold out after 2). Unrewarded.
    All diligent efforts unrewarded.

    Nice going, AiG. You no longer have my patronage. Shame on you.

  27. 95theses.

    I wouldn’t have expected it to sell out so fast. People would have to travel to the debate, and I would have thought watching it in video after the event would be good enough. Perhaps, a lot of local interest. Anyway… if watching it live is important to you, from their website:

    Due to the enormous interest in the Nye vs. Ham debate, the museum will soon announce the option of watching a live stream of the event via the Internet. Information will be released on this website; watch the debate event page for details.

  28. p.s. also from their site. an offer which i think would be the next best thing to being in the immediate audience, but should allow you to potentially interact with the speakers at some point:

    If the debate tickets sell out, a limited number of seats will be available for sale to watch a live simulcast of the debate to be shown on a big screen in the museum’s Special Effects Theater at a discounted rate.

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