Ken Ham responds to Bill Nye’s anti-creationism video

The scary creationist Ken Ham, head of Answers in Genesis and of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, responds to Bill Nye’s (the Science Guy’s) video that extolled evolution and warned against the teaching of creationism.

Ham’s response consists of mainly of accusing Nye of having “an agenda to teach children not to believe in God.” Now I never watched Nye’s show, but I doubt that he ever said anything that was pro-atheism.

Ham also make the bogus creationist difference between “observational science” and “historical science” (since evolution falls in the latter class, to Ham it’s not really science). He also mischaracterizes evolution as “chance, random processes.”

The last two minutes comprise an incoherent rant in which Ham argues that Nye doesn’t understand science, and is brainwashing kids by not teaching them to think critically (i.e., not teaching them creationism or how to distinguish historical from observational science).  It’s always funny to see creationists take the high ground: “See? Unlike you guys, we teach our kids the other side!”

As always with these videos, comments are disabled, so you can rant below.

h/t: Chris

85 Comments

  1. MNb
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    The account of creation as told in the first to chapters of Genesis obviously belongs to “historical science”. The first few days no human being was around to observe how god did it. So according to Ham himself creationism isn’t real science.
    Thanks, Ken.

    • MNb
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      two chapters

    • Sastra
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      I suspect Ham, like many creationists, would be fine and dandy with creationism not being “real science” as long as science itself is not seen as being really real in the process.

      This is one of the prime tricks of faith: if 100% of humanity can’t be 100% sure about something, then who believes what ends up being about individual “choice.” You pick a tribe, a role model, or a set of ideal characteristics or values and choose the belief that fits into your new-found personality type. Other people choose the facts they support according to the kinds of people they are. We all have our own truths: all beliefs are matters of faith.

      This avoids liberal epistemic relativism only by turning into story-telling. The good and wise people choose fair and true: the bad people choose wrong because they want bad things. God finds His own because His own seek him … and other people don’t. History then, including historical science, is how we find our stories. You just know, emotionally.

      Creationists (and religious people in general) have a love/hate relationship with science. They want to use it like an outfit lending credibility to what amounts to truth-by-ESP.

      • Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Creationists (and religious people in general) have a love/hate relationship with science. They want to use it like an outfit lending credibility to what amounts to truth-by-ESP.

        Considering that religion is the most popular of pseudosciences, it should hardly come as a surprise that the various religions wholeheartedly embrace all the standard scams of pseudoscientists….

        b&

        • JonLynnHarvey
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Well actually, they won’t embrace astrology- its just the ones that endorse their views.

          • Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

            Sorry — should have been clearer.

            I was referring to the methodologies of the pseudosciences — wearing lab coats, whining that nobody takes them seriously, misplacing the burden of proof, that sort of thing.

            The actual content of each pseudoscience is, of course, unique (though overlap isn’t unheard of). Cryptozoology, ufology, religion, ESP — it’s all the same shit, just repackaged with a different ribbon around the same box.

            b&

            • JonLynnHarvey
              Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

              I disagree. There’s a difference between batshit, bullshit, and bearshit. :) :)

              • Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

                Yeah…but, you gotta admit: they’re all rather odiferous, and they all make for very fertile ground (though best used sparingly lest you burn the crops)….

                b&

          • Pray Hard
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

            Actually, they do embrace astrology, they just don’t know they’re embracing it. Christianity is little more than thinly veiled astrology.

            • Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

              Huh? Care to elaborate on that? The only astrological thing I can remember in the bible is the Star of Bethlehem.

              • microraptor
                Posted September 6, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

                I think it’s a reference to Judaism’s precursor, Zoroastrianism. Astrology was a very important part of that religion, IIRC.

              • teacupoftheapocalypse
                Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

                There are also scattered references to various constellations. Because biblical text has been translated and manipulated for political reasons so many times down the centuries, it’s difficult to say that there are any direct astrological references, but it sure is hinted at, at least as much as the Creatins claim other ‘facts’ are detailed in Genesis.

                e.g. Job 38.31-33 says “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion ? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season ? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons ? Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven ? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth.”

                Incidentally, I came across this while looking for the certifiable Dr Jennings claim in a later post on WEIT that Job 38 says, “the angels sang together in joy when the Earth was created.” The only ‘angel’ reference I could find anywhere in Job (5.18) is “and his angels he charged with folly”. It seems that Dr Jennings just cannot resist making it up as he goes along, regardless of the supposed source.

  2. Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I will use this video to teach my children the most important thing a parent can teach a child – the difference between the exemplified shit and Shinola.

    • Gordon Hill
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Kiwi is better… ;-)

      • Posted September 5, 2012 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        True, but to know the difference between Kiwi and Shinola is to know the difference between a dull gleam and a fine shine. To know the difference between Shinola and shit is to know the difference between the most basic of shoe-shine products and a philosophy based on the intransigent rationalization of subservience to one’s own fear. I will continue to use Shinola as my counter example.

        • Gordon Hill
          Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:20 am | Permalink

          I’m guessing you completed at least one year of post doc… ;-)

  3. Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Let’s not forget that the Hamster thinks all you need to know about the origins of life on Earth from a book that starts with a story about an enchanted garden with talking animals and an angry giant.

    Believe me, you don’t want to know what faery-tale bullshit Ken spews about Dinosaurs.

    <sigh />

    b&

    • Dale
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely dumbfounding!
      The overall tone of this stuff is super defensive. I take that as a good sign I think.

    • teacupoftheapocalypse
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      “… and because this is based on the Bible, this is a non-fiction book!”

      I have to admire him for being able to say that while keeping a straight face.

      I wonder if the Bodleian keeps a copy?

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Q. How does The Hamster [& his like] counter the 1-star ratings by non-creations at Amazon?
      A. They send out complimentary copies to sympathetic [& prolific] citizen reviewers. Take this homeschooler mother of five as an EXAMPLE

      8 of 25 people found the following review helpful
      5.0 out of 5 stars
      Creation VS Evolution theory in DETAIL!, October 13, 2010
      By loving5kids – See all my reviews [Loving5kids has reviewed 67 Amazon items ~ most of which are Christian romance & 'history' & I believe that her reviews are totally honest]

      “This book is one great book for any type of dinosaur study. As a Home Educator, I plan to use this book in many research projects.

      This is not a typical dinosaur book, it is based on creationism and not evolution. However, it explains why in detail.

      I thought this was going to be a great read aloud book for my toddlers. I was wrong. This book is more for older children who are looking to learn more about dinosaurs. The pictures however, were great for toddlers and adults alike.

      To make the book more kid friendly, I would suggest prepared questions so they may look for the answers as they read the book. My children (that are not interested in dinosaurs) got lost in the wealth of information.

      I got to say as a parent – I have been a little frightened in teaching anything having to do with the dinosaur age – I just was not informed. This book explains from the “evolutionary belief to the Biblical truth”. I was highly informed without being bogged down with too much “science terminology”. Although, this book says it is for “kids” it is great for the non-science teachers as well.

      I would love to have some of the graphics in the book as posters for the classroom. They are just that good!

      I would highly recommend this book!

      Blessings to you! You are loved!

      Note: I was sent complimentary copy for review purposes only. This review has not been monetarily compensated. The review was my honest opinion and views and not influenced by the sponsor in any way”

  4. Sajanas
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I remember Nye’s show rather vaguely… he was always noshing on bananas, and generally pointing out a variety of fun science facts and experiments. A little more hyperactive than Mr. Wizard, a little less than some of the other science programs around at the time.

    I will say this though, between shows like Nye, Mr. Wizard, and the various nature documentaries, even early on I learned that I should trust scientists, because they showed their work, and took pains to explain how it worked, and what they didn’t know. So, its not like they were preaching atheism, but rather, they gave examples of enthusiastic learning, where it was the presenters job to *prove* things to you, and that stood in stark contrast to what we did in Sunday school.

  5. Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    So “humanist” = evil. Huh. Guess I missed that. Attack the messenger. Tried and true scam.

    Generations of kids as animals…slime….lol….too funny….

    What!? Evangelicals are against slime now? Aren’t slime yaweh’s creatures too?

    Historical science — the universe revolves around the Mediterranean Sea, of course.

    • microraptor
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      They’re probably anti-slime because they hate Frank Zappa.

  6. cherrybombsim
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Back a few years when I was learning this stuff, the distinction was between historical science and *experimental* science. The reasoning being that your ability to do experiments in things like geology is somewhat limited.It makes more sense like that because really, all science is observational.

  7. Pam
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Ham accuses Bill Nye of indoctrinating children to understand creationism is fiction. That’s actually what creationists do – indoctrinate children. You have do that because there is no evidence or proof that creationism is valid. That’s what religion is all about – brain washing.

  8. Jonathan Delafield
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    So, why are comments always disabled on any video that the Creation Museum ever puts up on YouTube? It’s also that way with Georgia Purdom’s video from this past weekend.

    Makes it kinda hard to respond.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Whoops, forgot to add that little tidbit to the above. Thanks!

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      They don’t want the sheeple stumbling across compelling, rational arguments.

    • ashley haworth-roberts
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      You may wish to see my posts at 0.05 am and 0.27 am (British Summer Time) at this discussion thread: http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2967&start=375

      They concern the censorship of more than 200 posts on Georgia Purdom’s Facebook page – responding after she publicised her Nye ‘rebuttal video’ with David Menton on behalf of the AiG ‘Creation Museum’.

      CMI – who have also sought to rebut Mr Nye (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xSi8g2ouCQ) – also indulge in gratuitous censorship when it comes to their Facebook page.

      I note that this video HAS accepted comments.

  9. Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Ken Ham Describes Self

  10. Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Oh look! Comments and ratings disabled!

  11. David T.
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Seriously to believe the bible as a literal historical document you have to believe that the earth, night and day and plants were all created before the sun. You can’t expect someone ignorant enough to believe that to actually take time to try and understand evolution.

  12. Jonathan Delafield
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I guess Bill Nye took a direct swipe at Ken Ham’s business plan. Ken had to respond, right? :-)

  13. steve oberski
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    As an Aussie expat I’m sure that Ken Ham has a creotard explanation for the preponderance of Marsupials on that island continent and the complete lack of placental mammals.

    • teacupoftheapocalypse
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      They all swam there after Noah parked his Ark.

      • andreschuiteman
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        In fact, they rafted on the logs that were floating in the sea after the flood. Really! Ask brother Ham.

        • teacupoftheapocalypse
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          And how did the Hamster come by this information. I’m pretty sure it’s not in the Babble, unless it’s encoded. Was the Hamster actually there for a first-hand observation?

          Or was he provided with a divine revelation from above? No wait – that’s first-hand observation too!

  14. ROM
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    It is amazing how well this creationist presents himself as a rational person, and sells with straight face that creationist parents teach their kids to think for themselves about evolution. Claims it is us that are afraid to teach creationism, because the reasonable arguments would be enough to end the debate. They literally take are rational style of discussion and even photography to seem like authorities of reason. Some of them are masters of twist.

  15. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    As I have observed earlier,
    If we strictly discounted “historical science”, no one could ever be convicted of a crime.

    The engineering canard about airplanes obviously ignores natural selection. As someone who was a software engineer for 21 years, I can state that in a very real sense, engineering designs do in fact evolve through both trying sometimes quite random ideas and then testing them. Look at how the Wright brothers developed the very first airplane! There’s actually a lot of trial-and-error!!! Yes, evolutionary principles are somewhat at work here!!

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Besides which, I’d be quite surprised if Boeing never uses evolutionary algorithms in their designs. It’s not my field of expertise, but that sort of thing is perfectly suited to doing a search of the design space for things like airfoil design. In particular, I’d look at the winglets on their more recent models.

      b&

    • steve oberski
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Genetic Algorithms and Engineering Design
      Mitsuo Gen, Runwei Cheng
      ISBN: 978-0-471-12741-3
      Hardcover
      432 pages
      December 1996
      CDN $203.99

      Beginning with a tutorial on genetic algorithm fundamentals and their use in solving constrained and combinatorial optimization problems, the book applies these techniques to problems in specific areas–sequencing, scheduling and production plans, transportation and vehicle routing, facility layout, location-allocation, and more. Each topic features a clearly written problem description, mathematical model, and summary of conventional heuristic algorithms. All algorithms are explained in intuitive, rather than highly-technical, language and are reinforced with illustrative figures and numerical examples.

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Incidentally, re JAC’s remarks, Bill Nye never said anything pro-atheism on his TV show; however, he did make anti-Biblical-literalism remarks at a speech in Texas, observing that contrary to Genesis 1, the moon does not give off its own light. This prompted a walk out by one family who yelled he was evil.

    In his acceptance of the 2010 Humanist of the Year award, he mentioned both the above incident and his abandonment of his Episcopal upbringing. No proclamation of atheism though. As I understand it, you can be a humanist and label yourself agnostic- possibly even a generic theist.

  17. Jonathan Delafield
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    You know, I’m not sure it’s really important to hit back at him on the stupidity of the creationist arguments. We know he’s part of the past, but he’ll never admit it and he’ll never change. After that’s his livelihood.

    What’s more important to me is to see how the 20% of “undecideds” in the middle react to his video.

    There was an analysis on CNN-Belief-Blog about the percentage of pro/con comments to Nye’s video. How do we see the reaction to Ham’s video?

    • Sunny
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      We know he’s part of the past, but he’ll never admit it and he’ll never change.

      In other words, he is a fossil.

      • Jonathan Delafield
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        One of those missing links?

  18. Jonathan Delafield
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    He’s certainly a fossil, but still capable of damage. I wish we could measure the effect of these dueling videos on public opinion.

    Maybe we already know the answer :-( the yearly polls about the acceptance of evolution haven’t budged in decades.

  19. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Finally, it is really rich(/hypocritical) for Ham to say that he’s the one promoting critical thinking, when the creation “museum” is filled with plaques that say “Man’s reason says” at the top of one column and “God’s word says” at the top of the other column.

    I mean, if you really think the Bible trumps reason, evidence, and experience, then say so and have it that way, but don’t try having it BOTH ways!!

    My favorite of those plaques is the one in which man’s reason says ‘I think therefore I am’ and God’s Word says ‘I am that I am’. See http://urchinmovement.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/really-caps-lock.jpg

    • teacupoftheapocalypse
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      To quote General Melchett, Ham “twists and turns like a twisty turny thing”.

      In the space of two sentences, “human reason” becomes “human guesses” and observational science is “arbitrary”.

      • TJR
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 3:13 am | Permalink

        That was Lord Melchett.

        • teacupoftheapocalypse
          Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:20 am | Permalink

          Yup. I realised that just as I clicked ‘Post’. Ham still twists and turns like a twisty turny thing, though.

          • TJR
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            Maybe he, like your moniker, is getting ready to bully off for the final chukka.

    • ashley haworth-roberts
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      “If there really was a global flood you’d expect to find billions of dead things buried in rock layers all over the Earth”.

      Guess who says this to meetings of kids in churches – and then gets them to repeat it after him?

      • teacupoftheapocalypse
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Another distortion. He should be telling them “If there really was a global flood you’d expect to find billions of dead things buried in a single rock layer all over the Earth”. And then get them to repeat that.

  20. David
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    No matter how often I hear the charge that it’s really the proponents of evolution that are being irrational and trying to indoctrinate kids and not the creationist crowd I am still dumbfounded. It just always sounds like the response of a four-year old. Does this really sound reasonable to people?

    And we’re not making the claim that marriage is whatever you want it to be. We’re saying two consenting adults should have the right to have their relationship recognized by the state. Is this really an excessive request?

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      And we’re not making the claim that marriage is whatever you want it to be. We’re saying two consenting adults should have the right to have their relationship recognized by the state. Is this really an excessive request?

      Of course! I mean, do you have any idea just how icky and / or threatening to their own sense of sexuality all that is? Why, it’s almost as bad as having to think about the fact that your very own parents had sex!

      <sigh />

      You’d think they’d realize how easy it is. If you don’t like the idea of gay marriage, then don’t marry somebody of the same sex. I have no desire to sleep with or marry anybody who’s male (or fits into any of a number of other very broad categories), but I’m ashamed to live in a society where what a self-loathing closeted homosexual thinks is icky becomes the standard for what healthy people do about that which is their own damned business.

      b&

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        “It makes no more sense to say that I can’t be a homosexual because it is against your religion than it does to say that I can’t eat a doughnut just because you are on a diet.”
        Full disclosure 1: This was stolen from some other web site; it’s not original with me.
        Full disclosure 2: I am not homosexual. Furthermore, I don’t eat doughnuts.

        • Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          Then you simply haven’t met the right doughnut.

        • Newish Gnu
          Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

          Eat Diet Donuts. Those are the ones with holes in middle.

          • Gordon Hill
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

            Does this mean it’s wrong to eat donut holes?

            • teacupoftheapocalypse
              Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

              You can eat doughnut holes, but only if I’m not on a diet.

              • Gordon Hill
                Posted September 5, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

                Done!

      • joe piecuch
        Posted September 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        like every reader of this site, when i saw a post titled ‘Ken Ham responds to Bill Nye’s anti-creationism video’, the first thought that crossed my mind was “i wonder…is ben gay®?”. thanks for addressing the matter, on topic, 100% hetero, yet still sensitive.

    • Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      I love the way that they reframe someone’s civil rights as an “assault” against others. This is what the Republican Party has officially stated in their party line. A lot of Christians seem genuinely confused as to how their position comes across as hate to gays. I would like to know when they use inflammatory language such as this example how are gays supposed to take it?

      Of course we know that creationism is just a front for the political aims of the religious right. They simply cannot abide the idea of separation of church and state. And despite their patriotic claims they do not believe in freedom either. “Freedom” to them means that everyone has the right to believe and live the way that they do. “Freedom” to them means that they have the right to oppress anyone that they perceive to be against God. The danger in this “reasoning” is that there certainly no agreement among Christians as to what the bible even means. They seem to completely ignore the fact that the bible supports slavery. It is a very slippery slope when people decide to legislate religious beliefs. Where do they stop?

  21. Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    All a blatant example of sheer hypocrisy Ham is displaying in his video. Total 100% hypocrisy.

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Wherever there are suckers to be fleeced, there are parasites to bite them and get rich doing it.

      /metaphor mangler

  22. Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    “Creationists ,of course, are very happy to teach their children about evolution”. Ken Ham all you did in this five minute video is show me that you have no idea what evolution is or how it works. If we teach children both sides and if they are thinking critically they will choose evolution every time. It just makes so much more sense.

    • ashley haworth-roberts
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      On the first rebuttal video Georgia Purdom says that she teaches her young daughter (I presume her daughter is ‘home-educated’ rather than sent to school) about the inherent ‘problems’ with evolution, including the “complete lack of a genetic mechanism that allows organisms to gain genetic information to go from simple to complex over time”.

      Which of course is nonsense. There are such genetic mechanisms eg gene duplication (I’m no geneticist but I have read about that).

  23. dunstar (@eightyc)
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    lol Ken Ham commenting on Nye is like Deepak Chopra commenting on Hawking.

  24. William
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    There has now been another creationist video posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U0A6mHEUNE – this one is by Tim Jennings of Come and Reason Ministries. (Ratings and commenting not disabled – yet.)

  25. raven
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Ham also make the bogus creationist difference between “observational science” and “historical science” (since evolution falls in the latter class, to Ham it’s not really science).

    Oh Great Cthulhu, this is wrong.

    Evolution is both an observational and a historical science.

    There are countless evolution experiments running all over the world, all the time. I’ve run a bunch myself.

    Every time an undergraduate dumps some bacterial on a petri plate containing an antibiotic and selects a mutant, they’ve done an evolution experiment.

    Every time someone dies of cancer or HIV/AIDS, they’ve done an evolution experiment, albeit an involuntary natural experiment.

    A big fashion these days is mesoscale evolution experiments where the petri dish is outside and up to hundreds of hectares in size.

    • Posted September 5, 2012 at 1:14 am | Permalink

      I find it very hard to understand that most creationists will acknowledge microevolution but not macroevolution. They talk about them like they are two completely different processes.

      I think that they have made a tiny concession to mainstream science because if they don’t they look completely ridiculous even to the people they are trying to reach.

      So how is it that every creationist claims that there is no proof for evolution when they themselves have admitted that there is?
      To hear them talk, Darwin was an crackpot and over a hundred years of science has not come up with a shred of evidence to support his theory.

      In fact I think that it is amazing how right Darwin was in light of the scientific knowledge he had to work with in the 19th century.

      I wonder if the reason why they keep pushing for a young earth is because if the earth is only 6,000 years old then it would make it very difficult for macroevolution to have occured. Problem solved, according to them.

      Of course that view brings up more questions than answers. They can keep shoveling shit into the holes in their worldview and all it will amount to is a delay in its demise.

      • MNb
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 4:39 am | Permalink

        Evolution theory is the most successful theory in the history of science. I write this as a teacher physics.

  26. raven
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Ham’s response consists of mainly of accusing Nye of having “an agenda to teach children not to believe in God.” Now I never watched Nye’s show, but I doubt that he ever said anything that was pro-atheism.

    Ham is just lying here. He is conflating atheism with science.

    i.e atheism = science

    They aren’t remotely the same thing.

    This should be a losing lie not that it is a losing lie. Science is the most successful human endeavour ever and the basis of our Hi Tech civilization. Billions would literally be dead without it.

    If all the creationists disappeared tomorrow, not much would happen except the world would be a better place.

  27. Vaal
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Ham is the perfect example of “POE’s LAW.”

    He is really beyond parody. Nothing you could write for a Parody Ken Ham would match the silliness of what he actually says – his crazy shit trumps every time because of the added factor it’s crazy shit the guy actually believes.

    Vaal

  28. Jonas Larsson
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    As a swede, whenever I see people like Ken Ham, I find them so unreal that I just can’t believe they really mean what they say.

    Or in the words of Father Ted

    • Jonas Larsson
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      Ack, that was supposed to link 1m20s into the video.

  29. Brain
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    How could you believe in god having a face like that?????

  30. ashley haworth-roberts
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    A creationist named Joe Coder has claimed under a blog post by YEC Tim Gilleand that Jerry Coyne has stated the following:
    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics. For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history’s inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike ‘harder’ scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.”

    See http://gracesalt.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/battling-the-assumption-of-uniformitism/#comments
    and http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/647715.Jerry_A_Coyne

    Is this quote correct? Of course it’s not an argument aginst evolution, just one suggesting that ‘microbes to man’ may be unverifiable.

    I’m no creationist by the way.

    • Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      A bit of googling suggests that the quote is from the opening sentence of this book review Jerry co-authored for Nature in 2000:

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v404/n6774/full/404121a0.html

      The article is behind Nature’s paywall, so I don’t know if the quotes I found mined various places are at all accurate. It doesn’t read like anything I’d expect Jerry to have written, so I rather suspect that he didn’t…but, that was also twelve years ago.

      We’ll see what Ceiling Cat has to say, if anything….

      b&

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I wrote it to show two things: 1. the low esteem in which many scientists hold evolutionary biologists and 2. the difficulties that it takes to verify evolutionary hypotheses involving history. It is of course not meant to suggest that evolution didn’t occur, only that ours is largely (though not solely) a historical science and the reconstruction of history in biology is difficult. It is often more like archaeology than molecular biology.

      It’s been misused by creationists to suggest that I think evolutionary biology itself is laden with errors or not even a science, but of course that’s not what I meant. Historical sciences like evolution and cosmology are of course sciences that make testable hypotheses. Read the part of WEIT that deals with this, talking about how we’ve reconstructed how stars evolve from making static observations.

      • Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, considering the advances in molecular genetics over the past decade, do you think the balance has shifted enough away from the paleontological component of evolution to move it from an historical science to an experimental science?

        Richard often makes the point that it’s the DNA evidence that makes the case for evolution, not fossils. And we now have Venter doing insanely amazing things in his lab, such as creating living organisms from scratch not descended from the LUCA.

        Seems to me that Darwin started mostly with observations of extant morphology; the fossil record and the geologic column set the theory in stone, so to speak; and we’ve now moved far beyond that into science as hard as anything CERN is doing (e.g., Venter again).

        A penny for your thoughts….

        Cheers,

        b&

      • ashley haworth-roberts
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Thanks.

  31. Posted September 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    I can’t tell you guys how depressing it was when I first heard Ken Ham speak and realise he shared my accent.

    I hope he’s not from Melbourne.

    Cheers,
    Mark

  32. Posted January 3, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    How about you can teach Creationism in public schools, but only if you teach ALL the religion’s Creation stories in public schools. The world was born on the back of a turtle. Or the world was created by the passion of two gods…..About as realistic. It’s a public school, all the students are not Christian. I don’t want my children indoctrinated into someone else’s religious beliefs. You want to teach them that, send them to a Sunday school.


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