On February 4, Bill Nye the “Science Guy,” will debate creationist Ken Ham at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. (The link gives details.) The topic is “Is creation a viable model of origins?”, and admission is $25. That’s a lot of dough!
My worries are these. First, Nye is likely helping fund the Creation Museum. Had I been Nye, I would have suggested some other recipient of the money. Not only that, but why hold such debates in a Temple of Ignorance instead of on neutral ground?
Second, Nye is giving special credibility to Ham. After all, The Science Guy is known and beloved by many Americans as a popularizer of science. Why debase himself this way?
My third worry, then, is this will look great on Ham’s c.v., but not so much on Nye’s. It is my practice not to debate creationists for reasons #2 and #3. Nye can attack creationism on his own, as he has been doing with great effectiveness. Debates are not the way to help people accept evolution.
Finally, does Nye have experience in debating creationists? It is almost entirely an exercise in rhetoric, not a search for truth, and is Nye prepared to deal with the “Gish Gallop”?
Finally, there’s no doubt that Ham will try to pack the house with his fellow creationists. To that end, I urge my friends in Kentucky, particularly those at the nearby University of Kentucky, to show up to support real science, despite the ridiculous $25 admission fee.
h/t: Ben Goren