Tonight at 7 pm EST, Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham, leader of the Creation Museum, face-off in a much-anticipated debate at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, USA. The debate can be watched live below and discussed live in TA's main chatroom.
If you start watching after 7:00 PM EST but while the debate is still live, you can drag the progress bar to the beginning and watch from there. If you start after 9:30 PM EST, the live debate is over, and you will be watching the recorded version of the program.
7:00 Welcome by moderator, Tom Foreman, CNN
7:05 Opening statements by debater #1
7:10 Opening statements by debater #2
7:15 Moderator comments
7:16 Presentation by debater #1
7:45 Moderator comments
7:50 Presentation by debater #2
8:20 Moderator gives rebuttal instructions
8:25 Rebuttal for debater #1
8:30 Rebuttal for debater #2
8:35 Counter-rebuttal for debater #1
8:40 Counter-rebuttal for debater #2
8:45 Q&A instructions by moderator
8:48 Moderator reads pre-submitted questions alternating between debaters
9:28 Moderator concludes debate
Dang, I'd consider it a draw.
Nye was prepared for a debate and was strictly adherent to the rules of debate. Ham was prepared to proselytize. All he had to do was recite a small handful of axioms. In general it must be said that, in the final analysis, Nye might as well been speaking Norwegian with Ham speaking Chinese - neither with any knowledge of the other's language. Neither speaker bettered the other's points - neither even addressed the other's points while standing upon common ground.
One opportunity Nye missed, I believe, was to take advantage of the bandwagon fallacy which he allowed to Ham. He allowed Ham to Win the assumption of popular support, to enumerate and refer to creationist "authorities" and numbers without even once mentioning the vast majority of opinion against the idea of creationism. Nye felt that adhering strictly to the rules of debate his case would be irrefutable and he would prevail. He did not.
A small change to the format might have helped. There should have been a "conversation" section where one speaker could ask the other a direct question and have it answered (with all the necessary follow-ups). This might have facilitated their speaking the same language - at least for short periods.
As of this writing, a poll on Christian Today shows 16,280 votes where 92% chose Nye as the winner and 8% chose Ham as the winner.
Update: as of this writing, the same poll on Christian Today shows 34,713 votes, where 93% chose Nye as the winner and 7% chose Ham as the winner.
I think Bill won when he forced Ham to admit that he decides what parts of the Bible are literal, in effect making Ham some kind of second Pope. That probably did not sit well with Christians. Poetry, how convenient, LOL.
I think Bill won when he forced Ham to admit that he decides what parts of the Bible are literal, in effect making Ham some kind of second Pope.
There were so many great 'knockdown' moments like that. Another one in the same vein: Nye gives examples of the predictive power of science (tiktaalik, launching satellites into orbit, etc.) and jabs at the problem with Ham's approach with using the Bible: it can't predict anything.
I actually think the non-conversational nature of the debate was a benefit. I wouldn't want to see Nye and Ham get into some kind of nit-picky argument, where Ham could ridicule real science beliefs with impressive-sounding BS. I wouldn't want Bill to get backed into a corner of having to directly attack the Bible or appear to be attacking Christians. You notice Bill was extremely respectful the whole time. He didn't even attack "creationism" most of the time, he attacked "Mr. Ham's version of creation".
As far as the appeal to authority, I'm reminded of the "List of Steves." The National Center for Science Education has a list of 1,320 scientists who believe in evolution. Only scientists named "steve" are eligible to sign the statement.
NCSE's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism." ... Project Steve pokes fun at this practice and, because "Steves" are only about 1% of scientists, it also makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support evolution.
I'm with Emperor Milos's daughter - it's not fair. I recognize that adherence to a scientific principle is not a popularity contest. My point is that Ham is using that fallacy - not Nye. Nye should at least be able to respond with some actual numbers and some actual authorities. The way it turned out gave the impression (to those who don't recognize the bandwagon fallacy nor the appeal to authority) that this matter is genuinely still up for debate.
Having now watched the debate, I'd prefer it hadn't taken place. It served to certify creationism as a valid alternative.
The polls posted by Gallup show, to me, that far TOO MANY are willing to accept Ham's views.
>"Mr. Ham's version of creation".
This reminded me the movie "Inherit the wind" so much that i'm willing to bet he take it from it.
Too funny! I wonder how old his daughter is.