How Really to Debate Creationists: Bill Nye versus Ken Ham

Jesus on a DinosaurDinosaurs of EdenYesterday, Ken Ham, nutty founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in Kentucky debated Bill Nye, the Science Guy on the evidence for Young Earth Creationism versus that for Evolutionary Science. A lot of media outlets, e.g., the DailyBeast and Slate, are tut-tutting Nye for participating in a debate that provided Ham a platform from which to spread his nonsense. Sadly, it is true that rank demagoguery has a much easier time being entertaining than does a careful exposition of science. But there is a way to beat Creationists at their own game - mockery. More on that in a moment.

I got to know Ken Ham when I reported on the 2005 Creation Mega-Conference at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. I noted in my reports from the conference, "Creation Summer Camp" and "The Myth of Millions of Years," that the Ham was the author a lavishly illustrated children's book, The Dinosaurs of Eden. In that book, children garbed in biblically appropriate duds frolic with pet dinosaurs and their parents saddle some up to ride and carry cargo.

At the Mega-Conference, I learned that Noah's ark carried at least 1,000 different species of dinosaurs and (paradoxically) all dinosaur fossils were all created from being buried by Noah's flood. In addition, starlight appearing to travel millions of light years (more than 6,000 years since Creation) can be explained by the fact that God created a "mature" universe. The Young Earth creationists also decried the Intelligent Design creationists for being too namby pamby. Ham asserted that the Big Bang must be rejected as inaccurate because Genesis explains that God created the Earth and the waters on the third day and THEN the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day.

So how to beat back this kind of nonsense? I humbly suggest the approach I took when Michael Shermer and I debated Discovery Institute intelligent designers Stephen Meyer and George Gilder back at the 2008 Freedomfest. See the YouTube of my ten minutes of opening remarks, "Intelligent Design by Purple Space Squids," as nicely illustrated by Memosphere below:

Of course, my Purple Space Squid disquisition was aimed at the claims of intelligent design proponents who pretend to be interested in scientific investigations. My talk clearly did not persaude Meyer and Gilder, but by show of hands Shermer and I did win the debate at Freedomfest. So don't try to knock down each individual assertion of mountebanks like Ham during such a "debate," but instead concentrate on the goal of explaining by entertaining with a bit of mockery thrown in. You will gratify your intellectual friends; annoy your enemies; and perhaps persuade some of the confused to take a deeper look into the scads of evidence for biological evolution.

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  • John||

    I guess Nye got bored with lying in support of AGW and decided to try something where he could tell the truth.

  • Matrix||

    Yeah. And debates are more like mental masturbation, really. It might be informative, but declaring a 'winner' is unnecessary. Just because someone is able to get their point across better does not make them right. Winning a debate does not get to decide what the Truth is. So, I hate when big debates like this happen.

  • ||

    B-b-b-but consensus!

  • sarcasmic||

    Damn you.

  • ||

    You can still take the credit by claiming I was really just channeling your future comment.

  • Zeb||

    Declaring a winner is especially unnecessary when one participant in the debate is clearly wrong (at least from anything that could be called a scientific perspective).

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but... Consensus!

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Silly skeptic, the hockey stick simply moved to the oceans.

    In 1998 the oceans magically became a heat sink and started storing the heat there instead of the atmosphere.

  • Homple||

    Global warming theory can predict anything that happens, but only after it happens.

  • sarcasmic||

    Global warming theory can predict anything that happens, but only after it happens.

    Nice!

  • David C. Moorman||

    Good one. May I borrow that?

  • BigT||

    Same with creationism

  • MJBinAL||

    Yes, they are actually very similar.

    Man-made Global Climate Change and creationism are both religion.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Two days before the day after tomorrow.

  • ||

    Is he even a scientist? Or just a TV personality who played one for a kids science show?

    Note: The kids science show was pretty damn good.

  • Matrix||

    from wikipedia:

    After attending Lafayette Elementary and Alice Deal Junior High in the city, he was accepted to the private Sidwell Friends School on a partial scholarship and graduated in 1973. He studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University (where one of his professors was Carl Sagan) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1977. Nye occasionally returns to Cornell as a professor to guest lecture introductory level astronomy and human ecology classes.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes, he's an engineer and a good popularizer of science. That doesn't mean he's right about everything, of course, though I'd much rather see him debate in favor of evolution than the Doom version of AGW.

  • JW||

    I'm trying to think of something that I could care less about, other than evolution/creationism.

    ........

    Nope. That takes the prize. Why are people still arguing about this?

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    He had maybe the dumbest most uninformed interview by CNN during the Fukushima accident. Lost a lot of respect for him when he went on national TV as an "expert" and had no idea what he was talking about.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    So no, he's not a scientist (an engineer is not the same thing; I should know, I'm an engineer). And even if he were, I hate this Hollywood stereotype convenience that just because someone is a scientist, they're suddenly an expert on all sciences. When you see Richard Dawkins and Laurence Strauss speaking together on stage, Dawkins isn't answering the physics questions.

    If I want to know how the landing gear on a 747 works, I'll ask Nye. If I want to learn something about evolution, I'll ask Dawkins.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I find that annoying, and science documentaries are increasingly going to pop scientists. I mean, fine, I can listen to, say, Hawking talk about black holes, but why do I care about his opinions about technology, etc.? Might be interesting, he's a smart guy, but he's not an expert, and I think that's exclusively who these shows should be using.

  • kinnath||

    I've been an engineer for 28+ years, and there are huge swaths of my industry which I am unqualified to speak to.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be sure, I have no problem with Nye doing what he did with his TV series, which was popularizing basic science (and he brought on experts regularly), or, say, with Carl Sagan with Cosmos, since that was basic science being narrated by him. It's the people being brought in for a few moments of expert analysis when they are not experts in the field.

  • SugarFree||

    Maybe the Young Creationist only deserved the attention of the host of a children's science program.

  • JeremyR||

    It's no longer science, it's "Science", a full blown religion, with the celebrities as preachers...

  • Free Society||

    That's absurd. It's astounding that there are so many people making "science has failed us" arguments, while 1) they don't know how to define 'science' and 2) they live in the modern world shitting in toilets, turning on light bulbs and bitching about science on their computer and internet.

    Anyone can take scientifically derived data and interpret it irrationally. Like that cult who cut their balls off because they saw a comet, or the global warming alarmists who base their doomsday prophecies on computer models that have never been correct. To say science itself is a religion, is something that an irrational theist says in order to validate their own superstitious belief system.

  • hotsy totsy||

    But he wears a bowtie!

  • Juice||

    He's not a scientist. He's a science guy.

  • AstroG8R||

    Why not just check to see what the Bible says about a 747's landing gear?

  • MSimon||

    I'm not aware of the Buy Bull saying anything about gears.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Repent ye sinner! If God meant man to fly, He would have given us wider seats.

  • perlhaqr||

    Well, if he'd meant *this* man to fly he would have...

    (Seriously, it's not even a question of losing weight. My shoulders are wider than the seat backs. I'd have to lose weight by taking an arm off.)

  • Greg Gauthier||

    LOL

  • SKR||

    Its all in this book

  • MJBinAL||

    The road to having a PhD is one of learning more and more, about less and less, until you know everything about nothing. This is a good thing, for what PhD's are supposed to do.

    They are not generalists however, suited to merging information from multiple disciplines into larger system models.

    So, when discussing large systems like climate where thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of individual issues from many different fields are involved, the LAST person you want to listen to is a scientist.

  • BigT||

    I guess I better tear up my Cornell diploma.

  • woodNfish||

    Nye even guest lectures about things he isn't qualified to lecture about. He doesn't seem to have ever been practicing engineer either, so I don't think I would care what he had to say about landing gear either. Nye is a dumbass who thinks AGW is real. What a fraudulent moron.

  • bassjoe||

    Yes, he's a legit scientist (which is why I think his TV show was pretty damn good... you can't fake having that knowledge). Mechanical engineering degree from Cornell with experience in the aeronautics industry actually designing useful stuff.

    Since he became the Science Guy, he's mostly been an advocate for science education and doesn't do much scientist-type stuff anymore.

  • ||

    (which is why I think his TV show was pretty damn good... you can't fake having that knowledge)

    ...

    You do know that Hugh Laurie isn't a frustrated medical genius, right? There's writers and teleprompters to take care of that...

    Engineering != "science"; we already did this in the last thread where Bill Nye became the subject.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I have always enjoyed the hierarchy. Many people don't seem know or care but I find it very useful when looking for advice:
    Scientist (Concept, Discovery, Proof)
    Engineer (Practical implementation of scientific results)
    Technician (Expert at operating, maintaining, and repairing engineering)
    User (Beneficiary of all of it)

    Automobile Principles Issac Newton Physicist
    Automobile Manufacturer/Designer Ford Engineers
    Automobile Mechanic Bob's Barrage
    Driver John Force

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Mathematicians: lords of light.

  • MJBinAL||

    I might note also, that the current climate models lack fundamental scientific basis for most of what is in them.

    The models are full of constants, and formulas that have no basis other than they produce the result desired from the model.

    Engineers in industry (Control Systems Engineers) can often make this approach work, IF the model can be repetitively tested and validated against the actual system performance.

    This is of course not possible with the Earth's Climate since we can't wind it back and try it again and again until the model work right under every circumstance.

  • MJBinAL||

    Yes, and "concept, discovery, proof" is at the micro level. By that I mean that if focuses on a narrow, specific item and defines it.

    The combining of known information into a larger system is "practical implementation of scientific results".

    In other words, while scientists are great for creating and testing theories on how plankton in the ocean metabolize CO2, engineers use that information along with that from thousands of other sources to create valid, testable system models.

    The deification of scientists and using it to promote the policies that benefit them financially is very harmful.

  • wwhorton||

    Late to the dance, but it reminds me of a joke.

    A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are asked to define pi. The mathematician says that it's the ratio of a circle's circumference and diameter. The physicist says that it's 3.1415927 plus or minus 0.000000005. The engineer says it's about 3.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Those three folks were once together in a hotel when the hotel caught fire.

    The physicist, discovering his bed on fire, went to the washroom, filled a glass with water, sprinkled it on the flames, extinguishing them, and went back to bed.

    The engineer, seeing flames licking around his bed, too, went into the hall, grabbed a fire hose, wet down his entire room and when the flames were out, went back to bed.

    The mathematician, seeing flames licking around HIS bed, went into the bathroom, turned on a faucet, splashed some water on his hands and declared, "There is a solution!" Then he went back to bed.

    [and yes, I have a degree in Engineering... :) ]

  • woodNfish||

    He is not a scientist and never was.

  • woodNfish||

    He is not a scientist and never was.

  • woodNfish||

    He is not a scientist and never was.

  • Greg Gauthier||

    LOL! What a hoot! Suddenly, the authority of scripture is far less important to the Christian, than scientific credibility.

    Well, welcome to the 21st century.

  • Tony||

    Remind me never to let you call me stupid again.

    Science isn't optional. If you think it is, you don't deserve to be taken seriously about anything.

  • ||

    Consensus isn't science retard.

    Hell, Nye himself last night said that good science means being able to predict how your model or hypothesis is going to act ie: the white noise predicted as the result of the big bang.

    Which climate models and predictions have been correct again?

  • sarcasmic||

    Nye is a hardcore global warmist.

  • ||

    I know. That's what was funny to me about his comment.

  • Tony||

    They've done a pretty good job, actually, not that you're going to bother to go figure that out.

    You are the ones in the cult. You are the ones rejecting science (even pretty basic concepts everyone has agreed on for centuries). Over politics. There is no mystery here. A cure for your ignorance is literally one google search away.

    But you're not gonna do it, because you're not actually in the rationalist's camp as you would desperately like to be. You can't be. The moment you enter that camp, your economic and political worldview crumbles.

  • kinnath||

    global warming -- science good
    vaccines -- science bad
    evolution -- science good
    GMO -- science bad

    Fuck off sock puppet.

  • KDN||

    Predictable as ever, here's Tony to stroll by and chide us for failing to agree with him on a subject he yesterday admitted to knowing fuck all about. Thanks for the input, Tony.

  • sarcasmic||

    He doesn't need to know anything. All he has to do is agree with people who say things that he doesn't understand. That makes him smart!

  • Tony||

    Science is science, and any liberal who takes something on faith in lieu of evidence is wrong just as you are on climate change.

  • sarcasmic||

    Consensus is not science. Consensus is politics. Moron.

  • Tony||

    Who said anything about consensus? Why don't you address the evidence? Or is all you're capable of stale, stupid talking points?

  • kinnath||

    climate change != anthropomorphic global warming.

    Again, fuck off sock puppet.

  • KDN||

    anthropomorphic global warming

    Global warming that will literally kill you. Like with a knife.

  • kinnath||

    did I fuck up and use the wrong word . . it's been a long day already.

  • waffles||

    anthropogenic = "anthro" + "genesis" = man did it!

    anthropomorphic = making something look or seem more human, like cartoon animals

  • kinnath||

    too long. I should stick to acronyms in the future.

  • waffles||

    What is it with engineers and their damned acronyms. Perhaps I'm simply not a fan of brevity for the sake of brevity, but I find the incessant acronymization to be tiresome. At least the procedure requires full use once or a list. I hammer all documents I verify for careless acronym use.

  • kinnath||

    TLAs are a critical part of engineering (three letter acroynms if you must know).

  • kevrob||

    If we're talking `toons, here, you don't get killed by a knife. An anvil? A round black powder bomb with a lit fuse? Red dynamite with a plunger attached? All these are perfectly cromulent modes of mayhem.

    Maybe a sword - a singing suh-word, even!

    Kevin R

  • Tony||

    You know what the subject is.

    And you fuck off. I will not have anti-intellectual boobs ruining my beloved Reason.

  • kinnath||

    I will not have anti-intellectual boobs ruining my beloved Reason.

    That's the first funny thing you've ever typed. I'm sure it was an accident.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I will not have anti-intellectual boobs ruining my beloved Reason.

    So, when are you leaving, rent-boy?

    -jcr

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Tony- science is science, but not all science is created equal. Climate science is not physics.

    40 years ago we had global cooling. 20 years later, it was global warming. 5 years after that, we stopped seeing warming. Now it's climate change.

    I will start taking the "consensus" seriously once it can make even somewhat accurate predictions. The only people who come close are the deniers like Pat Michaels.

  • Tony||

    Not a single claim in that post is true.

  • wwhorton||

    Your counterargument is, "Nope?" Not exactly compelling.

  • PACW||

    Thank you for concise summary. (Although I also agree with your final bit, if I copy/paste this I am only taking the first four lines)

  • sarcasmic||

    Human activity must be harming the planet, therefore global warming is caused by human activity.

    When your premise is your conclusion, you are engaging in a logical fallacy called circular logic.

    Then again you believe fallacies to be compelling arguments.

  • Tony||

    I can understand how you'd be so ignorant if that's what you think is going on. Why not try reading something on the subject that isn't rightwing bullshit?

  • sarcasmic||

    I've read plenty, and that is exactly what is going on.

    Circular logic is circular.

  • Tony||

    It's not that difficult, but then again, you are rather an idiot.

  • sarcasmic||

    The guy who thinks not giving is taking and not taking is giving is calling me an idiot?

    Haaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha!

    Moron.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Let's not forget:

    There are no rights without government.

  • Sevo||

    "There are no rights without government."

    It is right that slaves were slaves as the government decreed it was legal!

  • sarcasmic||

    It's not that difficult

    Aren't you the guy who said that nothing that is simple can be true, and that something can only be true if it is too difficult for anyone except an expert to understand?

    By your own measure you have declared AGW to be false because it's not difficult!

  • Tony||

    I said that applied economics is likely to be a complex proposition. Compared to that, understanding the basics of global warming is very simple indeed.

  • sarcasmic||

    No. You said that only simple minds embrace simple ideas. By saying that the basics of global warming are simple, you are saying that you have a simple mind.

    For once you are correct.

  • Tony||

    Well it's all relative. But the greenhouse effect is something most grade schoolers can grasp.

  • sarcasmic||

    You must be a simpleton if you think the greenhouse effect is the only variable in the climate.
    You claim that economics is too complex to be explained except by experts who share your politics. Then you go and claim that the only variable in the climate is the greenhouse effect caused by human activity.
    I see that as bullshit. Absolute bullshit.
    I do not deny that the greenhouse effect exists, nor do I deny that human activity is producing greenhouse gasses.
    However I am not so simple minded as to believe that the climate has only one variable, and that those greenhouse gasses will cause catastrophic climate change.
    The climate is a little more complex than that.
    Simpleton.

  • ||

    Compared to that, understanding the basics of global warming is very simple indeed.

    The fact that there's not anything even approaching a unified economic model would make your statement ironic if you weren't even more clueless about economics than you are about climate change. I guess that's what happens when you get your information on both subjects from the same blog written by the same "expert" with the same PhD... in anthropology and African studies.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    understanding the basics of global warming is very simple indeed.


    And not one of their predictions has come to fruition.

    The scientific method, how does it work?

  • sarcasmic||

    The scientific method, how does it work?

    So quaint! We have consensus now!

  • Tony||

    Really? So no changes whatsoever are happening to the planet that were predicted to happen as a result of a warming atmosphere?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|2.5.14 @ 3:44PM|#
    "Really? So no changes whatsoever are happening to the planet that were predicted to happen as a result of a warming atmosphere?"

    So this is intended to show, what? That you're an idiot?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    So no changes whatsoever are happening to the planet that were predicted to happen as a result of a warming atmosphere?

    The atmosphere hasn't warmed (statistically significantly) in 15 years, which is EXACTLY my point, you fucking moron.

    How we doing on that hockey stick, Al? Observations aren't even close to matching the models. So what does the scientific method require in such a case, dipshit?

  • Tony||

    For the sake of all that is good and holy, read another fucking book. Please?

    I am familiar with these talking points. They are thoroughly debunked at reputable places. Go find it or shut your ignorant fucking face.

  • ||

    So no changes whatsoever are happening to the planet that were predicted to happen as a result of a warming atmosphere?

    Very few; a broken clock is right twice a day. When you attribute every conceivable weather phenomenon to a warming atmosphere, it's not terribly surprising when you get one right.

    More importantly, the models which aim to predict the extent to which the atmosphere should warm under present conditions have failed comically to have much, if any, accurate predictive value.

  • ||

    I said that applied economics is likely to be a complex proposition.Compared to that, understanding the basics of global warming is very simple indeed.

    Applied economics was widely practiced by the educated and uneducated alike centuries before Joseph Fourier was born.

    And, no, the basics of global warming don't up-translate any more than simple barter transactions and microeconomics explain the global economy.

    Even the term 'Greenhouse Effect' is a false model of the actual phenomenon. Greenhouses are warm because of furnaces, boliers, electric heating, and glass. The temperature increase from CO2 concentrations in a greenhouse is imperceptible to humans (either because the increase is so small or the required rise in CO2 is so large that you've killed the humans long before they feel any warming).

  • BigT||

    Here you go.

    Others that have looked at only amplitude or only duration factors for solar cycles got poor correlations with average global temperature. The good correlation comes by combining the two, which is what the time-integral of sunspot numbers does. As shown in Figure 2, the anomaly trend determined using the sunspot number time-integral has experienced substantial change over the recorded period. Prediction of future sunspot numbers more than a decade or so into the future has not yet been confidently done although assessments using planetary synodic periods appear to be relevant 7,8.

    If the temperature of the bulk volume of water participating in the ocean oscillation is used in place of the surface temperature of the water, the time-integral of sunspot numbers alone appears to correlate with the estimated true average global temperature trend after approximately 1700.

    The net effect of ocean oscillations is to cause the surface temperature trend to oscillate above and below the trend calculated using only the sunspot number time-integral. Equation (2) accounts for both and also, since it matches measurements so well, shows that rational change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide can have no significant influence.

    Long term prediction of average global temperatures depends primarily on long term prediction of sunspot numbers.
  • plusafdotcom||

    You never cease to amaze me...

    http://www.plusaf.com/falklaws.htm#39th

    And no, Tony, consensus is NOT == 'proof.' No matter how many folks agree with you.

    If your 'proofs' don't have demonstrable predictive value, they're just a belief/faith/religion. Predictive value is EVERYTHING.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    You are the ones rejecting science

    From the person who doesn't have the slightest grasp of what science is.

  • Tony||

    Oh do enlighten me Randroid. Tell me all about how the Correct Application of Reason clearly necessitates a laissez-faire economy and that Monet sucks.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Median strip function stock father button quail is number teapot.

    herpity derpity doo

  • John C. Randolph||

    A laissez-faire economy is a result of the non-aggression principle. Other people are not your property, and you have no right to take what they earn for your own desires.

    I don't expect you to understand this, of course. You've demonstrated your inability to learn many times over.

    -jcr

  • Tony||

    you have no right

    Oh? What's gonna stop me? Oh yeah, men with guns. Nonaggression my ass.

  • Free Society||

    Men with guns infringing on your rights doesn't mean you don't have rights. That's like saying North Korean children have no right to live because the government routinely murders them. Circular logic, again, Tony.

  • wwhorton||

    You're confused about the term, "right."

  • John C. Randolph||

    Defense isn't agresstion, you brain-dead jackass.

    -jcr

  • Juice||

    You are the ones rejecting science (even pretty basic concepts everyone has agreed on for centuries).

    I'd love to hear what those are.

  • ||

    Apparently we reject gravity and the speed of light.

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently we reject gravity and the speed of light.

    If the experts took a vote and rejected those things, Tony would support them. After all, who need the scientific method when you've got consensus!

  • Free Society||

    When you hold democracy and collectives as the highest possible moral ideals, reality becomes subject to a vote. Denying the legitimacy of that vote is heresy and pseudoscience.

  • ||

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    German climate modelers put the probability that models can currently be reconciled with observations at less than 2%, and they said that if we see another five years without a large warming, the probability will drop to zero.

    Several years ago, the IPCC said something similar. I'm paraphrasing but their position was that the "pause" was not a matter of concern unless it lasted upwards of 15 years. Well we are working on 16, and it seems they are giving themselves another 5.

  • sarcasmic||

    As long as you can keep the goalposts moving it's impossible to lose!

  • ||

    Mein Gott!! Projection is a HELL of a disease.......

  • MJBinAL||

    No Tony, they have not predicted anything. That does not mean they are wrong, but that it will take another hundred years to find out.

    Making a model that predicts things that already happened is easy, not very useful, and demonstrates no validity.

    There are two ways to get a valid model.

    One is to do sufficient research to develop models of every contributing subsystem and combine them. This should still be tested, but at least provides a high expectation of success. We have maybe 10% of the knowledge currently to take this approach.

    The other is to build a model with all the variables and information you know and to manipulate the variables to determine how each impacts the system. We can't take this approach because we can't "wind back time" and repeatedly test the climate.

    Conclusion, we do not currently have the ability to construct and test for a valid climate model.

  • Free Society||

    But I'm told that if we assume these models are correct and take action, it will cost nothing if we are wrong.

    But if we do nothing, and these models are correct, it will cost everything! So if you please, hand over all your freedom and wealth, because it costs nothing, but if you don't give me your wealth and freedom it will cost everything! /consensus derp

  • optimusratiostultum||

    When were "they" doing a good job exactly? When "they" predicted an Ice age? Or how about when I was told in grade school that Florida would be underwater by now? Kinda hard to take the global warming doomsayers any more seriously than Nostradamus.

  • gaoxiaen||

    It seems that the Ice Age prediction is true around Philly this year.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's very frustrating, because a lot of his arguments apply equally well to the corrupted science behind catastrophic AGW claims.

  • Tony||

    Keep adding those adjectives.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Science isn't optional.

    Plenty of progressives have told me that it is.

  • OneOut||

    There was once scientific consensus that all orbs in the sky revolved around the earth.

    And I remember one more where all scientists agreed that the earth was flat.

    With edges you could sail off of.

  • Homple||

    The people I know who are in a swivet over the anti-scientific nutbag creationists are also docile true believers and acolytes in the Church of Global Warming.

  • Mike M.||

    Guns and "the environment" have a remarkable ability to turn otherwise intelligent people into raging tards.

  • ||

    Worked in both cases on Dawkins.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I grew up in a southern, religiously conservative town. I finally came around to the side of evolution because, get this, my 8th grade science teacher was so awful, I actually had to read the textbook myself in order to pass. If I wasn't such an autodidact, I'd probably still be a creationist.

    It goes to show, if people are smart enough, they will figure these things out. The evolution side makes such a big deal out of making public schools into institutions to rid the world of backwards superstitions, they forget that Charles Darwin himself was a former creationist that figured out evolution all by himself.

  • Homple||

    SF writer Jerry Pournelle on the subject:
    “So long as the idea of scientific method -- the generation and testing of falsifiable hypotheses -- is shown, I don’t have any great worries that bright kids won’t figure out their own answers to matters like intelligent design; and I don’t really care if my auto mechanic believes in his heart of hearts that he was divinely created and endowed by his creators with certain inalienable rights as opposed to his having evolved from bonobos without attention from his creator. I do worry that he knows how to read the output of the computer test equipment, and that he can figure out what the funny squeak is.”

  • ||

    I don’t really care if my auto mechanic believes in his heart of hearts that he was divinely created and endowed by his creators with certain inalienable rights

    It's funny because it's so prickishly condescending!

  • ||

    Mechanic - "yew say yer car is makin a funny sound? Whatsit soun like?"

    Me - " like Jerry Pournelle saying ' evolved from Bonobos' ".

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    It goes to show, if people are smart enough, they will figure these things out.

    We're fucking doomed.

  • kinnath||

    The world has always been populated by the stupid, the craven, and the evil. And yet, progress continues.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Thanks for cheering me up.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And yet, progress continues.


    At what rate?

  • kinnath||

    geometric progression reaching astounding levels year over year.

  • AlmightyJB||

    yeah, but that's just magic.

  • kinnath||

    Any world where a guy who repeatedly gets his horse trailer stuck in the same fucking mud hole day after day and yet can take a pill to keep his dick hard . . that is a good world.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Are "horse trailer" and "fucking mud hole" methaphors?

  • kinnath||

    I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • bassjoe||

    Exactly. If people WANT to believe that the Bible is the God-given truth of Everything, let them. You can't force people to believe in the scientific method (heck, explaining to them what "theory" actually means is hard enough).

  • Zeb||

    Its another problem that exists because there are public schools. Creationism is not by any stretch science. And it should not be presented as such on my dime. Other than that, I don't really care what some moron believes.

  • Juice||

    That's weird. I was never really taught creationism per se. Sure I got the Bible stories about Adam and Eve and Noah and all that but even as a kid I just accepted them as fables.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    In that book, children garbed in biblically appropriate duds frolic with pet dinosaurs and their parents saddle some up to ride and carry cargo.

    I watched the Flintstones as a kid. Should I thank my lucky stars I did not grow up to be a creationist?

  • SugarFree||

    Creationists are people who think The Flintstones is a documentary.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The Flintstones is just The Honeymooners, but set in Biblical times.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Bang zoom!

  • Mongo||

    My Flintstones name is "Mongrock."

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's unfair, as it is possible that a previous humanoid species came into being prior to our evolution with advanced, albeit very manual, technology and lived in harmony with the dinosaurs.

    I know this because I saw a documentary about it as a child.

  • airforce||

    it's just pointless to debate with some people. I once met a lady who was certain that Jesus and His disciples spoke English. Everyone else around them may have been speaking Aramaic, but they were speaking English, just like the English in her King James Bible. She could not be convinced otherwise.

    Similarly, you can't explain economics to John McCain, or the myriad problems with ObamaCare to Pajama Boy. Save your breath, and do something more constructive.

  • ||

    So what happened when she saw that Mel Gibson movie?

  • SugarFree||

    I've run into those King James people. Despite pointing a few of the numerous translation errors, one said it didn't matter because when they ran into a Greek word they didn't know, they would just pray on it. Okey-Dokey.

  • Matrix||

    "If the King James Bible was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me."

    I know people like this. Oy vey. they are annoying. King James' authorized translation was done several times.

    But people honestly make it a matter of doctrine. If you don't believe it is the holy inspired word, you're going to hell. Seriously, fuck all those Spanish speakers or anyone who can't read King James english. They're all fucked!

  • ||

    What's truly annoying about it is the fact that these people don't think it's at all possible that James could have had things translated in any way that suited him, you know with being the king and all.

  • Doctor Whom||

    They're all fucked!

    Please phrase it in the proper way. They are not among the elect. Yes, that means they're fucked, but still....

  • RBS||

    pray on it, goddamn I hate that phrase.

  • MJBinAL||

    LOL

    Do you have to actually stand or sit ON it when you pray for that to work?

  • Sevo||

    ..."when they ran into a Greek word they didn't know, they would just pray on it."...

    Hey, that's the way I got through 1st year Latin!

  • Marshall Gill||

    I've run into those King James people

    I often tell the children that Jesus spoke in Old English and they just look at me strange.

    I am one of those people, obviously for different reasons. Not because I believe any version is divinely inspired, but because I see it as a literary work. Newer translations just don't have the same lyrical ring, to me. Just as I don't want to read some different translation of Tom Sawyer, the Bible was meant to be read, and quoted, in English.

    "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of discipline will drive it from him" or "A man who does not discipline his son, hates him."

    That is beauty.

  • Free Society||

    King James bible is written in Early Modern English. Were it Old English, you would scarcely be able to sound out the alphabetic characters.

    I think the bible was meant to be read and quoted in Hebrew and/or Aramaic by desert dwelling goat herders who had no way of explaining natural happenings without superstition.

  • gimmeasammich||

    +1 Coat of many colors

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Young Earth Creationists are a minority within the movement of people that defend the concept of theistic creation. It's certainly low-hanging fruit to mock them.

  • Snark Plissken||

    ^This. There are some pretty sharp people of a religious bent who make good arguments attacking conventional evolution theory.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Example please.

  • Ron Bailey||

    SP: Not really. See video in the post.

  • bassjoe||

    Huh? What is a good argument attacking conventional evolution theory?

    Don't give me the "incomplete fossil record" crap because... that's been refuted.

  • Zeb||

    No there aren't.

  • Sevo||

    "There are some pretty sharp people of a religious bent who make good arguments attacking conventional evolution theory."

    Only if you're already a bleever.

  • Free Society||

    There does not exist one single rational argument favoring Christian mythology over empirically verified science. Fact.

  • wwhorton||

    There's the rub. At some point, without exception, every single ID argument reduces at some point to the idea of unverifiable supernatural agency. Faith is a requirement of the "theory." By definition, it isn't science.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have to say that I've encountered a good number of what you might call theistic evolutionists, who accept evolution but think God is behind it (whether as a prime mover unmoved or as an active puppetmaster), but not so many Young Earthers. They're definitely out there, but it takes a special kind of something to accept that, including the belief that God is fucking with us, big time, by making evolution, geology, physics, and cosmology all appear to require a universe at least billions of years old.

  • kinnath||

    I used to tell creationists that the missing link was the hand of god and then watch them squirm.

  • gimmeasammich||

    So it's really just Q fucking with Picard again?

  • Calidissident||

    This actually doesn't seem to be the case. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 47% of Americans agreed with the statement that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/155.....igins.aspx

    I know polls aren't perfect (I would add another option or two if I were them), but this % has been pretty consistent over the years, and indicates that YEC isn't some fringe 1% view.

  • ||

    But how many people did they poll to get that number?

    I'm a bleever but I think it's pretty fucking stupid to think the earth is only 6k years old.

  • ||

    According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 47% of Americans agreed with the statement that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.

    That doesn't necessarily mean they don't believe in evolution or that the universe is 14 billion years old.

  • Sevo||

    "According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 47% of Americans agreed with the statement that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years."

    Something like that percentage voted for Obo. Twice!

  • Pulseguy||

    I know a number of true believers. None of them believe that. Although at least half of them would say it to a pollster. But, none actually deep inside believe it.

    Much like my neighbor, the rabid AGW greenie, who has a waterfront home and insisted, in 2007, that the oceans would rise by 20 feet by 2012. However, when I asked if his house was up for sale, he said it wasn't. Which made no sense because his house and half his lot wouldn't exist by 2012 if what he said was going to happen, actually happened.

    People talk the party line. Especially to pollsters.

  • ||

    Bill peaked when he played Speed Walker on Almost Live!.

  • ||

    That was a great show, every area should have something like it.

  • MWG||

    Wow... that takes me back.

  • ||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6-SJLlneLc

    Brought over from paul's thread on this.

    Bill Nye is speed walker!!!

  • ||

    PWN'D

  • Paul.||

    Huh, no hat tip. This place fell apart when Virginia Postrel was no longer doing whatever she did in the olden days.

  • ||

    I can vouch for Paul.

    Also epi is a jerk and a thief.

  • Ron Bailey||

    P: With respect, we staffers at Reason do occasionally find stuff on our own. That being said, keep on sending anything of interest to us!

    BTW, if you want to catch up with Virginia, you could come along on the Reason Cruise leaving this weekend.

  • waffles||

    People respond to incentives, Ron.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    this made me laugh

  • ||

    Who's in charge while you guys are floating around? PLEASE say Warty!

  • Paul.||

    No hard feelings.

    *runs out of room crying*

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can't help but mash up the Reason Cruise and The Love Boat in my head. Ron, you I picture as Doc. Not sure about the rest.

  • RBS||

    I guess that makes Feeney Gilligan.

  • SugarFree||

  • playa manhattan||

    Will Steve Smith be attending again?

  • SIV||

    I predict a norovirus outbreak.

  • MSimon||

    I predict a Norvus outbreak. Everyone will need a transfusion.

  • Herpes Trismegistus||

    Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum: Doing the good work of keeping America's working class ignorant. Somebody's got to do the shit work around here.

  • ||

    Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum: Doing the good work of keeping America's working class ignorant.

    America's colleges and universities serve the same function for the upper class. But knowing the earth is 4 billion years old makes things like hopeless ignorance of the most basic economic concepts, for example, forgivable.

  • epsilon given||

    As for myself I'd rather have everyone believe that the world was created even just fifty years ago, for their own personal amusement, and have a good grasp on basic economic concepts, than I would have everyone experts in biology, but having serious errors in basic economic beliefs.

    Seriously, how is a silly belief in how this world was created (whether it by by God or by accident, quickly or over the course of 15 billion years--including the time it took to develop the material to form our sun, as well) important one way or the other for day-to-day living?

    Yet we know that stupid economic understandings lead to silly ideas like "taxation will fix global warming" or "workers of the world unite, and create paradise"; some of these, like global warming, "only" merely result in policies that cause the loss of jobs, and an /increase/ in greenhouse gasses, while the worst of these have resulted in hundreds of millions of deaths, and even more in concentration camps, and still even more living in poverty forced upon them by bureaucrats.

    PLEASE, give me creationist Austrian-school economists ANY day!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So how to beat back this kind of nonsense?

    I'm still not sure the drive to engage in these debates. They're pointless exercises for both sides.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Again, why was these debate even convened?

    The evolution-creationist controversy used to be a big thing for me. I used to keep up with stories all the time. However, I haven't done so regularly in at least 7 years.

    The 2005 Dover trial embarrassed the creationist/intelligent design so much I doubt they'll ever really recover. Meanwhile the evolution side would rather hold meaningless debates than to conduct further research elucidating the evolution of life on Earth. Are debates really the best way to go about this right now?

  • ||

    It's masturbation. Each side feels superior to the other, so they both enjoy it. That's why it keeps happening.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The best public presentation on the evidence for evolution came from Ken Miller, a theistic evolutionist that was a key witness in the Dover trial.

    That dude knows his stuff. His entire presentation had nothing but slides detailing important modern evolutionary findings. It was really compelling.

  • Ron Bailey||

    CT: From whom do you think I "stole" my examples in my Purple Space Squid video? Actually, I fully credit Miller at the end.

  • kevrob||

    Are Purple Space Squids acquainted with the Alien Space Bats?

    Kevin R

  • Snark Plissken||

    It's Kulture War 101.

    For me, this Douglas Adams interview is enlightening.

    AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Have you faced any obstacles in your professional life because of your Atheism (bigotry against Atheists), and how did you handle it? How often does this happen?

    Not even remotely. It's an inconceivable idea.

    This was back in 1998, but already they were trying to frame atheism as a victim class. Adams was a classy guy, and always sharp and insightful. But as with most things the duller and more extreme tend to push out these types in a sort of Gresham's Law.

  • SugarFree||

    Adams was also British, a culture where atheism has a much longer tradition and which has purged most evangelical elements from its remaining mainstream faiths.

    But in Murika: Believers Rate Atheists About As Trustworthy As Rapists, Says New Study

  • ||

    Isn't Warty an atheist? Just sayin'.

  • SugarFree||

    Warty is. That's all that matters.

  • OneOut||

    But I don't believe in atheist.

    So they don't exist.

  • BardMetal||

    Well if you lived like Warty would you want to believe in a god that would punish you for all your sins?

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    You beat me to the same point, so I'll add in one more: I can only assume this quote is making its way around religious circles as irrefutable evidence that there is no such thing as discrimination against atheists.

  • Snark Plissken||

    You beat me to the same point, so I'll add in one more: I can only assume this quote is making its way around religious circles as irrefutable evidence that there is no such thing as discrimination against atheists.

    It's possible to be an atheist without buying wholesale into the us vs them dichotomy.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I'm sure it's different the Bible Belt than London, but that's not really my point. Making atheists into some sort of right-thinking group of victims is the Kulture War aspect I find distasteful. Because the other side, the side that's not on New Atheists or Skeptics 2.0 side are eeeeevuuuhl. It's pretty often a way to demonize dumb rednecks for going to church and owning guns, etc.

    Adams spoke eloquently and with insightful about why he was an atheist, and people's predilection for religious explanations and so on. I find the new wave of evangelical atheists and Kulture Warriors such as Nye to be pale in comparison.

  • SugarFree||

    Because the other side, the side that's not on New Atheists or Skeptics 2.0 side are eeeeevuuuhl. It's pretty often a way to demonize dumb rednecks for going to church and owning guns, etc.

    Yes, Christians aren't trying to portray themselves as victims at all.

    It's hard to position yourself as a critic of Kulture War by engaging in it.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I'm an atheist but I find many New Atheists and Skeptics 2.0 to be the ones who frame themselves as the smart intellectuals, yet are the ones who strike me as lacking (and growing increasingly so) any sort of tolerance for dissent? Also often lacking a knowledge of the science they claim to find so obvious. I also see a curious lack of motivation among most of these people to attack other religions, namely Islam. And Dawkins and Harris have been tarred as Islamophobes for doing so.

    But I'm engaging in Kulture War also by pointing these things out so my position is invalid? Well, you are welcome to your opinion.

  • SugarFree||

    That some of our allies are assholes lends no credibility to our opposites.

    I'll start apologizing for the handful of asshole atheists when all Christians get finished apologizing for the thousands of smugshit so-called Christians I've heard or read whining on the subject of what I don't believe.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Okay, well you are the one who seems to be trapped in the Kulture War. I've argued reasonably and in good faith and you seem to be entrenched in, 'but they are the real assholes'.

    I live in a place that's pretty famously atheistic and where I grew up (NM) wasn't especially bible-belty so I don't have a pool of bitterness against Christians to draw upon. But you are basically demonstrating the point I was trying to make.

  • SugarFree||

    Fall back on the old bitterness fallacy. Good one.

    I'm not bitter about anything beyond you pissing in my boot and then trying to tell me it's raining.

  • Snark Plissken||

    Fall back on the old bitterness fallacy. Good one.

    I'm not bitter about anything beyond you pissing in my boot and then trying to tell me it's raining.

    There's a bitterness fallacy? That's a new one on me.

    Could you reiterate your points then, because I have no idea what they are. There's no Kulture War because of "thousands of smugshit so-called Christians" you've dealt with? You aren't engaging in this us/them dichotomy because I'm being the Kulture Warrior here?

    Cliches about pissing in boots is no excuse for reasoned discourse, son.

  • ||

    I can't really speak for others, but I'll apologize for crazy fucktarded Christians.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    The reason some refrain from attacking Islam is because Muslim bashing is still used to get people to support things like the Patriot Act and an interventionist foreign policy. Legitimate criticism of Islam is far too often mixed with neoconservatism.

  • ||

    Dissent in scientific matters requires evidence. In the case of well-established scientific matters, really good evidence.

  • kevrob||

    I thought "by His stripes we are healed"*? Christians are all about being persecuted. It proves they are doing tha Lawd's work.

    Kevin R (The devil quoting scripture: Isa 53:5, actually)

  • SIV||

    Believers Rate Atheists About As Trustworthy As Rapists, Says New Study

    Michael Shermer makes their case.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    I wouldn't take the experience of a writer in England to be the same as the experience of a lawyer in Arkansas.

  • Tony||

    Bill Nye doing a debate means biology stops?

  • ||

    read my comment below.

    My lab class literally stopped teaching biology (ie doing biology) to have a fake evolution debate. I say fake because everyone in the class already believed in evolution.

  • Tony||

    We barely touched on evolution in high school (possibly because the intelligent design war was at its most heated at the time), and I remember being royally pissed about it.

  • ||

    My high school science teacher told me and a couple other students that crazy people were possessed by spirits.

    You do realize you are talking about crap public schools on a libertarian blog right?

    I assume your parents are secular materialists...how long do you think they would have kept you that class high school science class if they had vouchers and a choice of charter schools to put you in?

  • Tony||

    On the whole my school was very good, it was just that one thing that irked me because I was really into the subject at the time.

    And what the hell is libertarian about vouchers?

  • ||

    And what the hell is libertarian about vouchers?

    /facepalm

    Sometimes I forget you don't actually read the articles here.

  • Tony||

    So government-subsidized education is OK with libertarians?

  • Jordan||

    Sometimes I forget you don't actually read the articles here.
  • David Emami||

    So government-subsidized education is OK with libertarians?

    Government-subsidized education with the subsidy controlled by parents is better than government-subsidized education with the subsidy controlled by bureaucrats, yes. No government subsidy would be better still. Shall-issue concealed carry permit laws are better than gun bans, while Vermont carry would be better still. A flat income tax would be better than the existing "give politicians maximum opportunity to twist arms and grant favors" system. Etc. Etc. Etc.

  • wwhorton||

    Tony doesn't believe in a choice between two evils. He believes choosing at all designates a preference for evil. Or he's just trying to put words in your mouth because he's intellectually bankrupt.

  • Juice||

    Oh! Now I get it, Tony. You're like barely in your 20s. Things make much more sense now.

  • ||

    Yeah, that explains a lot.

  • OneOut||

    Didn't you all understand that ?

    He a LAW STUDENT. He knows all.

    Tony is a petulant child who has interjected himself in a adult world.

    Maybe one day he will profit from it. For now he is getting plenty of exercise.

  • John C. Randolph||

    He a LAW STUDENT.

    Rent-boy's a law student?

    Can prostitutes be admitted to practice law?

    -jcr

  • Tony||

    Oh, thank you. Just cleanse 3x and moisturize 1x daily, that's all it takes.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Was that a government school, by any chance?

    If we had a free market for education, your parents could have sent you to a school where the content of the "science" classes wasn't a political football.

    -jcr

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Reading Corning's post below.

  • ||

    I never got to the debate. In college for some screwed up reason they had us debate evolution in a lab class. Looking back it was kind of strange. Everything else we ended up doing in the lab was with bacteria and petri dishes.

    Anyway I was assigned on the team that had to defend Evolution using the fossil record. So we phoned in our presentation and then some dude in another group played devils advocate and pointed out buzzards in Africa are not related to buzzards in north America. Fuck an A was I pissed. It was a god damn Micro biology lab I could give fucks all about fossils. Anyway that was when I stopped giving a crap about winning the debate on evolution.

  • ||

    Fun Fact: I went to Dover high school, although I was in college during the trial. I realize this is a shitty claim to fame.

  • ||

    Also, this debate seems very boring to me. Everyone my FB seems to think it's very important, though. I suspect people feel they have to post something to signal to everyone else that they're not one of "those people".

  • Killaz||

    So, PR boon to Nye. Great. He gets major cred, and then goes back to preaching AGW Apocalyptic Death Cult crap again.

  • Juice||

    Oh yeah, me too. It was fun to debate creationists for a while. I must have spent 3 solid years doing that on the internet. Then the Dover trial went down and after that it felt like beating a dead horse. The "threat" of creationism in public schools had been forever vanquished.

  • ||

    "There is nothing in observational astronomy that contradictions a recent creation"

    R.O.F.L. Holy shit, this is a Ph.D. saying this.

  • mepton||

    Well, it's true: if a recent creation theory defines itself by what is, then what is cannot contradict it.

    The theory might be lame--the trivial solution, as we say in physics--but it's tautologically uncontradicted.

  • ||

    If he accepts that theory, he should accept that everything he educated in is now null. Every concept he taught is now in doubt.

  • kevrob||

    I loved the "reason" for fossils that seemed millions of years old one YECreationist once gave me: "Gawd put the `evidence' of evolution in the ground to test our faith."

    Another one told me it was "so we could find the oil." Y'know, like Sinclair's Dino eventually became 10W 30W.

    Talk about "a tiger in your tank."

    I understand the "hydrocarbons used to be plants and/or animals" theory may not be true, either.

    Kevin R

  • kinnath||

    If you assume that a creator defined the laws of physics and that the creator generated everything in its proper place to appear to a rational observer like the world happened eons ago, then the rational observer would be unable to prove the creator was a conman extraordinaire.

  • ||

    If the universe is holographic then there is no reason to think that history actually happened (and technically it didn't). Just that the holographic projection of it acts as if it did.

  • mepton||

    I utterly disagree. Resorting to mockery not only avoids actual, intellectual discussion, but accepts the anti-intellectual argument styles often leveled at libertarians and reasonoids.

    Don't encourage the bad behavior by joining in it.

  • Ron Bailey||

    m: Mock them with the facts. See the video.

  • OneOut||

    Mockery is not a substitute for being correct.

  • ||

    But it's a FANTASTIC supplement. LOL

  • ||

    ^THIS^

    You will gratify your intellectual friends; annoy your enemies; and perhaps persuade some of the confused to take a deeper look into the scads of evidence for biological evolution.

    Ronald, if we change those last two words to "fill in the blank", you just described my raison detre.......

  • RightofCenter||

    I agree too and am probably about to get a fair amount of mockery myself. In my opinion, if you changed the terms in this article and comments from "creation" to "climate change denier" and "evolution" to "AGW," you'd see that Reasonoids make their arguments about creationism in a very similar fashion the progs make their AGW arguments. "Consensus" "All who disagree are idiots" "flyover state rubes" etc. When AGW freaks say it about "deniers," we point out the flaws of their ways. Then some of you turn around and use the same terms to excoriate creationists.

    As a creationist, I freely admit my wacko ideology is based entirely on faith and belief in a mythical, invisible creature who spoke the universe into existence. (I live in AR now, too, so what a flyover hillbilly moron).

    As evolutionists, is not your fundamental belief based on total nothingness spontaneously turning into something which billions of years later turned into eyes and rocks and neurons? Is it not also based on a never-seen event that has never and can never be reproduced? Is it not based on 2000-5000 years (being generous) of directly observed science being used to make factual statements about billions of years ago?

    I have a hard time classifying either one as anything but a religion. Please practice yours as you please, and please let me do the same. Shouldn't that be the libertarian angle of this story?

  • Calidissident||

    To clarify, are you a Young Earth or Old Earth Creationist?

  • Tony||

    is not your fundamental belief based on total nothingness spontaneously turning into something which billions of years later turned into eyes and rocks and neurons?

    No. Evolution deals with how the diversity of species, both extant and in the fossil record, came to be. How life arose initially (which is probably a semantic issue, since there is likely some transitional state between what we consider life and nonlife) is a related question, and one that has not been completely figured out yet.

    Similarly, what caused the Big Bang is also not understood, but that's traditionally considered a separate field of science from biology (though of course, it's all just physics in the end).

    We know how old things are because we have developed dating techniques based on facts about the speed at which certain elements decay.

    This is not the same as religion, which is belief without evidence. Nobody could have possibly dreamed up out of whole cloth what science has uncovered. It's far too crazy, and much more interesting than Bronze Age myths.

  • ||

    in the fossil record

    Fuck the fossil record!!!

    ...

    Ok fossilized evidence of 4 billion year old archaebacteria is pretty cool.

    But all those bones and shit. Fuck all of it!!

    Just look at the DNA.

    note: fossilized evidence of archaebacteria give a pretty good understanding of where life came from and the Big Bang is bullshit.

  • Tony||

    I did leave out DNA.

  • ||

    much more interesting than Bronze Age myths.

    Jesus lived in the Iron age and the oldest texts of the Hebrew bible come from the Iron age as well.

    I really wish we had better sources of the religions and myths of the bronze age cuz that stuff sounds awesome. titans and angry blood gods fucking shit up and just pure awesomeness.

    Like Conan and Game of Thrones mixed together but better because real people lived and died by it.

  • ||

    Except the earth is observable so you can actually see evolutionary changes in things in real time.

    Understanding that evolution is the "how" things work doesn't preclude you from being a Christian.

  • cavalier973||

    Do we then have observational evidence that an amphibian population descended from a fish population?

  • cavalier973||

    Because the only "evidence" of which I've ever been informed is something along the lines of "this bacteria turned into a totally different type of bacteria, which proves that all organisms descended from a common ancestor."

  • Calidissident||

    I think you don't know what the term "evidence" means

  • cavalier973||

    Actually, it's the Darwinoids who haven't a clue. They think that observations in the present prove narratives concerning events and phenomena in the unobservable past.

  • BigT||

    Are you suggesting the laws of the universe have changed with time? Or from place to place? Any evidence for that? (To date, there is none)

  • BigT||

    Do we have evidence that a god exists?

  • cavalier973||

    Whenever one encounters information, one can creditably assume an intelligent source for said information.

    The presence of specific and complex information in biological organisms is strong support for belief in an Intelligent Agent.

  • BigT||

    Whenever one encounters information, one can creditably assume an intelligent source for said information.

    That's an assertion, not a fact.

    What intelligent being arranged the atoms in the salt crystal that precipitated from a cup of water on my table?

    It is a false assertion.

  • cavalier973||

    A salt crystal is not information.

  • ||

    In what way is it not?

  • ||

    I don't think there will ever be evidence. But isn't that what faith is about?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Nope. None at all.

    -jcr

  • Juice||

    I live in AR now, too, so what a flyover hillbilly moron.

    I lived in AR for a few years. If you're the average Arkansan then I'd say your assessment is accurate. Nothing personal.

  • OneOut||

    Touche'

  • BigT||

    if you changed the terms in this article and comments from "creation" to "climate change denier" and "evolution" to "AGW," you'd see that Reasonoids make their arguments about creationism in a very similar fashion the progs make their AGW arguments.

    Not true at all. For evolution there are dozens of lines of evidence - phylogeny, DNA, physiology, fossils, experiments with fruit flies and such, etc. - each of which contains millions, maybe billions, or more individual facts that are clearly explained by evolution. By contrast, AGW relies on a number of numeric models that rather poorly describe the temperature profile of the past, and have failed to predict the most recent plateau. Other theories of global climate make better fits to the temperature profile of the earth.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    As evolutionists, is not your fundamental belief based on total nothingness spontaneously turning into something which billions of years later turned into eyes and rocks and neurons?

    You're confusing abiogenesis with evolution. Evolution does not deal with the origins of the universe.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Very well said. Unfortunately the believer in evolution, however unrealistic that belief is, will not let you believe as you choose hence the mockery.

  • BardMetal||

    I have a question. What does any of this have to do with Libertarianism?

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Reason owns the bandwidth and therefore can use their property as they wish.

  • BardMetal||

    Not even sure how to respond to that, because it came nowhere close to actually answering the question.

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Property rights!

  • Pelosi's Rabbit||

    Or, in other words, your question wasn't worth a serious answer.

  • BardMetal||

    Yes wondering why a libertarian magazine would waste time discussing something that has nothing to do with libertarianism was a really dumb thing to do.

    Maybe the next article can be just on baking recipes, or maybe an article of how to fix an engine.

  • RBS||

    Idea: Start your own fucking blog.

  • BardMetal||

    Idea: We can keep criticizing people for personal beliefs that have no effect on anyone's lives, and make sure that the Libertarian tent is as small, and useless as ever.

    Maybe tomorrow we can go after Buddhism.

  • Ron Bailey||

    BM: Well, actually the debate between evolution and creationism has effects on public policy - see my article, "Evolution in the Blackboard Jungle." I provide the solution to the problem of teaching creationism in public schools.

    In addition, way back in 2002, I noted in my column, "Attacking Evolution"that a then-little-known politician with the name of John Boehner sent a letter the Ohio Board of Education..."arguing that the federal education reform law passed earlier this year obliges its members to "consider" teaching alternatives to biological evolution. The lawmakers specifically point to language in the conference report that was issued when the law was passed: "Where topics are taught that may generate controversy (such as biological evolution), the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist." The "alternative" the solons evidently have in mind is called "intelligent design" theory. Supporters of that notion claim that life is far too complex to have arisen without the guiding hand of a designer. Essentially, they are arguing a more sophisticated version of creationism. This particular Congresscritter has now gone on to bigger things, alas.

    Besides libertarians are disproportionately interested in scientific and technological issues.

  • ||

    Well, actually the debate between evolution and creationism has effects on public policy

    Not so much since the Scopes trial, certainly not since Dover, and this retarded "debate" had no implications for public policy.

  • Calidissident||

    There are still public schools that are teaching this BS, even if they're not supposed to. (SLD here)

  • David Emami||

    Well, actually the debate between evolution and creationism has effects on public policy

    The problem with that is that, given the degree to which government has metastasized, anything can potentially have an effect on public policy. At best, stuff like this is a minor distraction. At worst, it undermines the importance of libertarian principles by changing the subject. A libertarian discussion on, for example, Bloomberg's soda ban should focus on a person's freedom to buy and drink whatever they damn well want. The scientific details on whether or not soda is bad for you would be irrelevant.

  • ||

    We can keep criticizing people for personal beliefs that have no effect on anyone's lives

    If only.......

  • Killaz||

    Free Minds encompasses more than politics.

  • ||

    There was a point in the debate, I think it was when Nye wrapped up his 5 minute rebuttal, that I was like just drop the mike, do the "suck it" sign and walk off stage cause you just owned that dude.

    What's really sad to me about the YEC is I don't think it's wrong to question current scientific methods of conducting research ie: carbon dating, etc. It's always good to question how and why you're doing things and if it really is the most accurate way to figure out something. But don't just go "Well I think these numbers are wrong so, God!". That's lazy thinking.

  • Killaz||

    That described the better part of the Neo-Darwinist approach. Not all findings from the evidence supported every aspect of theory as Darwin laid it out. He believed the earth geographically developed without much in the way of catastrophe, according to a popular theory of his time. This wasn't so, and it was an area of the original theory that scientist later corrected. Intelligent Design advocates treat this as proof that evolutionary theory should be scrapped when all that has occurred is the original had been improved upon by bringing in more evidence, and throwing out what was essentially an unnecessary conditional in the first place.

  • Doctor Whom||

    In addition, starlight appearing to travel millions of light years (more than 6,000 years since Creation) can be explained by the fact that God created a "mature" universe.

    If that's true, then the starlight was created to disclose events that had never happened, and if that's true, then God is a liar. Advocates of a universe created to be mature get really uncomfortable when I point that out.

  • kevrob||

    For an interesting fictional example, go read Arthur C. Clarke's short story,"The Star".

    Kevin R

  • Tony||

    Watched the whole thing. Nye was impressive. Calm, polite, and narrowly focused. He wasn't trying to disprove the existence of anyone's deity, just arguing against Ham's young-earth creationist claims. It was worth it if any child was watching, because even a child could tell who brought the substance and who was mouthing really unconvincing bullshit.

  • ||

    It was worth it if any child was watching

    In catholic elementary school I started talking about a Nova program i saw that discussed evolution.

    Some other kids said I thought I was descended from monkeys and therefor I was a monkey. Which to be honest was weird for catholic kids to do that as the church had already said evolution does not conflict with church doctrine. Also one of our teachers, a Nun, was reading parts of Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy which has tons of references to evolution in it.

    Anyway if I saw some old dry dudes debate about evolution rather then have it explained to me and shown to me like that Nova program did my chances of believing and understanding evolution would have been significantly smaller.

  • bassjoe||

    You can't debate these people; they're lost causes. These are the sorts of people who go to Mardi Gras in NOLA every year and hand out flyers about how we're going to hell. I mean, you have to be demented to do that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    So I'm supposed to believe that people are this stupid due to random chance?

  • ||

    The world needs ditch diggers too.

  • Number 7||

    Why couldn't God have created the Big Bang? Everyone's happy then.

  • kinnath||

    And the lord said, let there be light == maxwell's equations.

  • Killaz||

    Are you sure he didn't assign it to maxwell's equations instead? Used bit pointers cause he was old school and shit.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    There is no reason God could not have, but a scientist would say Occam's razor dictates natural processes as a more likely solution.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This actually doesn't matter from the scientific point of view. It's a philosophic and religious question, not a scientific one, because it can't be tested as things stand today. Maybe ever.

    Not everything, even leaving religion out of the equation, is easily tested or falsifiable. Which means that science isn't a great tool for dealing with those things and that true knowledge about them is usually elusive, at best.

  • Number 7||

    Well, but how did the matter come to be there in the first place? Didn't it have to come from someplace, did it just show up?

    It seemed to me that a creation is as plausible an explanation as matter just magically appearing.

    I don't believe in God really but I could believe in a God that just sort of went 'bam' and said, "Go for it." I don't believe in a God that will give you red tennis shoes if you ask hard enough.

  • Number 7||

    but ProL is right, it is a far deeper question that I feel the need to think much about.

  • Tony||

    By the parameters you've set yourself, you'd have to explain how God came into being. "God + universe" is not equally or less complex than "universe."

  • Square||

    Aristotle's take was that for this reason the Universe cannot have had a beginning. It must simply be, and cannot ever end.

    This observation is incompatible, however, with Christian escatology, which requires a beginning and an end for the world.

    This was the origin of the struggle between Christian theology and science, and it has been going on since the twelfth century. The Big Bang theory is itself a transference of Christian escatology onto scientific thought.

  • Rasilio||

    That is the thing. Intelligent Design is completely compatible with science because you can always say "That's the way god did it", the problem is it is then absolutely useless as a scientific theorem because it is incapable of making any testable predictions that separate it from random chance. That would relegate it to a footnote on the first page of a textbook something along the lines of...

    "Some people beleive the physical laws we observe were created by a deity, others believe they are the result of random chance or some inherent property of the universe. Since there is no way to verify which of these origins for everything are true they are not relevant to a science course. If you want to discuss them take them up in your philosophy class or your church, this class will only discuss theories which have testable hypothesis"

  • RBS||

    Speaking of Liberty, I went to high school in Lynchburg. The one time in my life I actually got to sit next to a hot girl on an airplane she just happened to be a student at Liberty and spent the entire 45 minute flight to Charlotte proselytizing. She even made me a little construction paper book with bible verses.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Dis you bang her?

  • GregMax||

    I banged a hooker who prayed the whole time . . . it was kindof a turn on.

  • SIV||

    She even made me a little construction paper book with bible verses.

    I fucked a vacation Bible school teacher once. She just about broke it.

  • playa manhattan||

    Hi 5, bro.

  • Tim||

    Noah's Ark is getting the big screen treatment, starring Russell Crowe as Noah. I don't know a lot about it but I can't see how they can possibly go the Biblical route and not be preposterous.

  • jdfinct||

    As it's a movie does it matter if it is preposterous or not?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Book of Eli was actually pretty good. But it was more about faith than miracles.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    I always thought the most interesting detail of the Noah's ark account was the declaration that until God sent the Flood down no rain had ever fallen on the Earth.

    Which I guess offers an additional explanation for the skepticism of the Noah's neighbors.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The whole great flood story was plagerized from Epic of Gilgamesh. A great flood taking place in the region of the Tigris and Euphrates at some point I would think would be highly likely.

  • BardMetal||

    Great flood stories seem pretty common across multiple cultures. Don't the Hindu also have their own flood stories?

  • SugarFree||

    It's a little too spot-on to be a coincidence:

    Utnapishtim (or Utanapishtim) is a character in the epic of Gilgamesh who is tasked by Enki (Ea) to abandon his worldly possessions and create a giant ship to be called The Preserver of Life. He was also tasked with bringing his wife, family, and relatives along with the craftsmen of his village, baby animals and grains.[1] The oncoming flood would wipe out all animals and humans that were not on the ship, similar to that of the Noah's Ark story. After twelve days on the water, Utanapishtim opened the hatch of his ship to look around and saw the slopes of Mount Nisir, where he rested his ship for seven days. On the seventh day, he sent a dove out to see if the water had receded, and the dove could find nothing but water, so it returned. Then he sent out a swallow, and just as before, it returned, having found nothing. Finally, Utanapishtim sent out a raven, and the raven saw that the waters had receded, so it circled around, but did not return. Utanapishtim then set all the animals free, and made a sacrifice to the gods. The gods came, and because he had preserved the seed of man while remaining loyal and trusting of his gods, Utanapishtim and his wife were given immortality, as well as a place among the heavenly gods.
  • ||

  • Sevo||

    "It's a little too spot-on to be a coincidence:"

    Nope. If it weren't for things like that, coincidence wouldn't mean anything.
    Besides which, one could be a copy of the other, or both could have originated with an earlier myth.

  • ||

    When continent spanning mile deep glaciers melt there tends to be some flooding.

    I just wonder if those kinds of floods could survive an oral tradition of history spanning 6 thousand years.

  • ||

    When Lake Bonneville drained the flood would have been colossal. That happened about the time people were first arriving from Asia, so I don't know if anyone witnessed it. If so, there should be some interesting flood stories in Native American legend.

  • Square||

    It's been posited that the Mediterranean used to be dry, and that the Pillars of Hercules used to be a ridge that broke at some point and flooded the basin. Hence the stories.

    Of course, it also bears mentioning that the Hebrews, at least according to their own account, originally came from Iraq (Babylon), so that coincidences in the stories coming from the two places really don't mean anything.

    There's also archetypal theory which says you really don't need an actual flood in order for a flood to have symbolic meaning in a narrative.

  • Sevo||

    Oral traditions tend to exaggerate over time; could have been a particularly heavy local flood.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

  • Gardner||

    Mocking. As in demeaning, ridicule and usually a very closed minded approach. Really great for a magazine about "free minds".

    Rather than mocking, why not let the facts speak for themselves. After all "everyone agrees" climate change is real so no need to be open to differing theories and beliefs there right? Oh yeah, about 20 years ago the universe was 4.5billion years old. Now it's 13+. Probably more like 50 in the next few years. Science has a great history of disproving everything we 'know' quite often. Don't be so quick to mock. You might soon be the fool yourself.

    Time to hand in your "free minds, live and let live'" credentials.

  • ||

    Time to hand in your "free minds, live and let live'" credentials.

    I'm not sure if I should drink after this or not. Can I get a ruiling here?

  • RBS||

    Drink!

  • SugarFree||

    Take a shot of holy water.

  • AlmightyJB||

    By holy water, you mean 190 right?

  • SugarFree||

    No, I mean take a flask to church. Every American home should have a supply of holy water, because sparkly vampires.

  • ||

    Everybody needs to be prepared for Vampire Academy, NutraSweet.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Twilight meets Harry Potter. Clearly the work of the devil (ie Mike Eisner who is still the puppet master).

  • AlmightyJB||

    If you need to ask then it's Drink. That's the default.

  • WTF||

    When in doubt, DRINK!

  • BardMetal||

    Exactly. If someone's personal beliefs don't effect the rest of us, then why on Earth should we care?

  • Fluffy||

    Rather than mocking, why not let the facts speak for themselves.

    There is no contradiction involved in letting the facts speak for themselves and THEN mocking.

  • Juice||

    about 20 years ago the universe was 4.5billion years old

    wut?

  • Zeb||

    And now it is 4.5 billion and 20 years old.

  • Sevo||

    Plus 20 years!

  • Zeb||

    That might be an argument if creationism were scientific in any way at all.

  • BigT||

    Oh yeah, about 20 years ago the universe was 4.5billion years old. Now it's 13+.

    We don't really know EXACTLY how old the universe is (time since the Big Bang). We are constantly making measurements of various phenomena that relate to the age of the universe. As we learn more about the stars and galaxies that we are observing we can make better estimates of the age of the universe. That's all that is going on.

    Science is a process: Observe, Hypothesize, Measure/Observe, Revise Hypothesis, repeat forever.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    New findings that overwrite older ones aren't a reason to drop it all and go back to creationism. There's still no evidence of an invisible man in the sky.

  • The DerpRider||

    I liked this debate better when It's Always Sunny did it.

  • ||

    Because science...is a liar sometimes. This...is Aristotle. Thought to be the smartest man on the planet. He believed the Earth was the center of the universe. And everybody believed him because he was so smart until another smartest guy came around. Galileo. And he disproved that theory... making Aristotle and everyone else on Earth look like...(*slaps a sticker that reads 'BITCH' on Aristotle's picture*) a bitch.

  • ||

    Because science...is a liar sometimes. This...is Aristotle. Thought to be the smartest man on the planet. He believed the Earth was the center of the universe. And everybody believed him because he was so smart until another smartest guy came around. Galileo. And he disproved that theory... making Aristotle and everyone else on Earth look like...(*slaps a sticker that reads 'BITCH' on Aristotle's picture*) a bitch.

  • Snark Plissken||

    3 o'clock squirrels gonna get ya.

  • Killaz||

    It wasn't the squirrels, it was God. And by God, I mean Microsoft. I bet updates on there servers are checked for at 3am and 3pm. That was the default on mine.

  • Killaz||

    on there they are servers

  • waffles||

    Oh you

  • playa manhattan||

    Don't you start that again!

  • Killaz||

    I haz a sad that I even had to point it out.

  • See.More||

    And you still got it wrong...

    ... I bet updates on there their [possessive] servers are checked for at 3am and 3pm...

    FIFY

  • See.More||

    ... sorry. Couldn't resist =P

  • ||

    And then, best of all. Sir Isaac Newton gets born and blows everyone's nips off with his big brains. Of course he also thought he could turn metal into gold and he died eating mercury. Making him yet another stupid (*slaps 'bitch' sticker*) bitch!

  • SugarFree||

    Are there any answers in your Science or your God as to why people continue to engage Tony?

  • Killaz||

    If Skinner was a Flagellant monk, we would have an answer.

  • Killaz||

    If Skinner was werebear a Flagellant monk

  • ||

    Because...because they're stupid and easily trolled?

  • SugarFree||

    Secular dumminism strikes again.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Because he's a bore.

    That's not an answer, to be sure. I just wanted to point that out.

  • ||

    We have a lot of idiots posting here, but I don't think we have any young earth creationists. Or do we? I can't keep our retards straight.

  • ||

    Well, you can start the retard count at one, after looking in a mirror. You do reflect in mirrors, right?

  • ||

    How did Noah fit two of your mom on the ark? Because, you know, your mom's real fat and shit.

  • ||

    If you weren't a retarded rapist meathead you'd be able to calculate the displacement from a hull that big and realize that it could easily carry my mom. Even two of her. Now, your mom...that's a different story. I think they left her off just because of the smell. Luckily for you, Grendel, fat floats.

  • ||

    Rapist???

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's ok. Jesus will forgive you as long as you acknowledge that he's white.

  • SugarFree||

    T-Rex had those big teeth to help him eat the coconuts that made up the bulk of his strictly vegetarian diet.

  • waffles||

    But how did he masturbate with those tiny arms?

  • SugarFree||

    This was before The Fall. There was no such sin a masturbation.

    BTW, I'n not kidding about the coconut thing. It's used in the KY Creation Museum section on dinosaurs. All dinosaurs (all creatures, actually) were vegetarians before The Fall.

    "We taught a lion to eat tofu." {dry cough]

  • Killaz||

    They weren't GMO coconuts that's for sure.

  • AlmightyJB||

    He would just bang a gong

  • cavalier973||

    I'm a Young Earth Creationist. Neener, neener.

    Show me an observed instance of living matter arising from non-living materials through natural processes, and I might think you might have a valid argument.

    Based on my prior experience with Darwinoids, however, I expect you will studiously avoid addressing that challenge, and resort to peurile name-calling and irrelevant changes of subject.

  • BigT||

    You eat non-living matter. It becomes part of you. Thus living matter has arisen from non-living matter through a natural process.

  • cavalier973||

    And that's totally what I was asking about.

  • BigT||

    Perhaps you need to define 'living'. There are examples of molecules that self-reproduce in the right conditions with the right materials around. Are they living? Is a virus living?

  • cavalier973||

    Life: the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

    So, have we observed living organisms arising from inorganic matter through natural processes?

  • Sevo||

    "So, have we observed living organisms arising from inorganic matter through natural processes?"

    No, and do you think that proves your sky daddy?

  • mgd||

    Show me an observed instance of an omniscient, omnipotent being creating the universe first.

  • Joao||

    Mr. Nye has chosen to debate the silliest version of Creation, tho if you get the Creationists off of the 6 literal days n dinosaurs, they often have many valuable insights.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Name one.

  • Sevo||

    ..."if you get the Creationists off of the 6 literal days n dinosaurs, they often have many valuable insights."

    If you're already a bleever, you might think so. Rationalists will be amused.

  • deathtoallpoets||

    Lol, starting out articles on reason with ad hominem's?

  • dj kumquat||

    semantics count, mr bailey. as with 'debt,' and 'deficits,' 'creationism,' and 'intelligent design' are not interchangeable terms.

  • Sevo||

    ..."'creationism,' and 'intelligent design' are not interchangeable terms."

    OK, but both of them are false.

  • dj kumquat||

    because you said so?

  • Sevo||

    dj kumquat|2.5.14 @ 5:04PM|#
    "because you said so?"
    So we got a bleever? Good! How many T-rex were in Eden?

  • Square||

    Setting truth or falsehood aside, neither is compatible with the theory of natural selection, which is the reigning theory currently. Natural selection is specifically NOT intelligent design. IWO its NOT being intelligent design but instead being chance limited by possibility is central to the theory, not a tweakable point.

  • cavalier973||

    Natural Selection alone cannot support the hypothesis that all living organisms descended from a common ancestor.

    You must include genetic mutation.

    However, even natural selection acting on genetic mutation cannot account for the massive change and increase in genetic information necessary for turning fish fins into legs or reptile skin into bird feathers.

  • BigT||

    even natural selection acting on genetic mutation cannot account for the massive change and increase in genetic information necessary for turning fish fins into legs or reptile skin into bird feathers.

    Evolution by natural selection acting on the genetic code of populations can explain the development of all species on earth, and all features of all species. Some of the details are not worked out because the transitions happened long ago and all the intermediates have not been preserved.

  • cavalier973||

    Evolution by natural selection acting on the genetic code of populations can explain the development of all species on earth, and all features of all species.

    No, it cannot, because the sort of development required for amphibians to arise from fish have not been observed, only asserted.

  • ||

    "Natural selection" is iffy. Genetic mutation in response to environmental stressors, not so much.

  • See.More||

  • Sevo||

    "However, even natural selection acting on genetic mutation cannot account for the massive change and increase in genetic information necessary for turning fish fins into legs or reptile skin into bird feathers."

    You are obviously not well educated. I would suggest you shut up before you prove yourself even less educated.

  • dj kumquat||

    PS - why the eff do I have to login again with every new article I open and wish to comment upon?

  • Juice||

    ID is a form of creationism.

  • GregMax||

    Why do people feel the need to "beat back this kind of nonsense"? Is it really so hard to just leave people alone to believe what they want?
    If belief in "creationism" is so evil and deserving of being denigrated, will people stop with this or is belief in God also nonsense? I'm agnostic but where to people draw the line? Native Americans believe they rose from a hole in the ground. Is it really necessary to demean others' belief with such mockery?
    Grow the fuck up and get over yourself. I'd understand if they materially imposed on my freedom of choice, but just disagreeing with the conventional belief is asinine.

  • dj kumquat||

    thank you for being reasonable.

  • Sevo||

    GregMax|2.5.14 @ 4:32PM|#
    "Why do people feel the need to "beat back this kind of nonsense"? Is it really so hard to just leave people alone to believe what they want?"

    Because we'd prefer a population not tied to superstition?
    If you chose to be superstitious, help yourself, but don't bother griping when people are amused. I don't owe you respect for clinging to bronze-age fantasies.

  • GregMax||

    Not "me" for starters.

    You don't need to disrespect people who are superstitious. In 2000 years our understanding of how the world works will be considered antiquated. Also, Aristarchus postulated a helio-centric solar system in the bronze age.

  • Sevo||

    ..."In 2000 years our understanding of how the world works will be considered antiquated"...

    Yes, and if I clung to 2K-y-o bleefs, I'm sure the folks at that time would have a good laugh.
    What was your point? That we should all embrace superstitions since we don't know everything? Is that it?

  • swampfaye||

    You know who else embraces superstition? Athletes. Same socks as the last game. Touch my hat, wipe my hand, touch the baseball. Bounce ball twice, then serve. If you've ever played sports, you know it's true. But I bet you still spend hundreds of dollars supporting them.

  • GregMax||

    My point is obvious to anyone who has enough self-esteem to know not to be a bully. Fuck off.

  • Sevo||

    GregMax|2.5.14 @ 6:04PM|#
    "My point is obvious"...
    Your point is obvious and wrong. Fuck off.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Wonderful point.

  • ||

    Thank you, Greg.
    Sevo doesn't like being challenged.
    He's just a different kind of zealot. Mention guns some time.

  • rondiege||

    Ha

  • TheJimiLegs||

    What do free markets and free people have to do with this topic?

    Oh, and mockery worked pretty well for President RonPaul and his followers.

  • Sevo||

    TheJimiLegs|2.5.14 @ 4:41PM|#
    "What do free markets and free people have to do with this topic?"

    It says Free *MINDS*; not crippled with superstition.

  • David C. Moorman||

    "But there is a way to beat Creationists at their own game - mockery."

    That's funny because that's usually been left to every evolutionist I've ever debated. Poor attempts at ridicule usually follow.

    I have just a few questions for all the evolutionist out there, especially since we know vastly more about the human genome that Darwin never knew...but

    Which came first, genotype or phenotype? Now, if the genotype is merely the instruction manual for the phenotype, who wrote the instruction manual and who built the phenotype.

    Commence the lighting of hair on fire in 3, 2, 1!

  • Sevo||

    "Which came first, genotype or phenotype?"

    Oh, how........................
    pathetic.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Is that the best you got? Lol!

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Religion ain't falsifiable so it ain't science...mmkay?

  • cavalier973||

    Is the "Molecules-to-Man Evolutionary Hypothesis", which asserts that all living organisms descend from a common ancestor, falsifiable?

  • Sevo||

    Dunno, but if not, does it prove your skydaddy exists?

  • ||

    Yes, it is. No, it hasn't been.

  • David C. Moorman||

  • swampfaye||

    You know a group of creationists that you should include in your mockery? The Founders. Yeah, you know--those people that Libertarian ideas are based on? Them.

  • Sevo||

    swampfaye|2.5.14 @ 5:37PM|#
    "You know a group of creationists that you should include in your mockery? The Founders. Yeah, you know--those people that Libertarian ideas are based on? Them."

    It thought maybe this was appeal to authority, but then decided it was symply stupidity.

  • CE||

    The funny part is, there's a lot of evidence in favor of creationism. But Ham didn't argue from facts, he argued from authority, based on a book written thousands of years ago by mostly unknown authors.

    Evidence for creationism:

    Scientific consensus on Big Bang. The Universe was created in an instant.

    Single origin of life. We don't see new living organisms generated from inanimate matter, and everything now living seems to be descended from the same single origin. (Yes, this means evolution is part of creation.)

    Quantum physics. Particles/waves don't resolve themselves until the observer observes them. Almost like we're playing a video game.

    More than likely, we are experiencing the Universe as part of a simulation. A simulation created by someone or something.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    No mention of a giant turtle?

  • swampfaye||

    An Open Letter to Reason Magazine,

    Since I'm not a 'creationist,' I am not offended at this article. I am, however, a Christian and am offended by the picture and the whole idea that creationists should be mocked. If religious libertarians aren't welcomed in the Libertarian movement, where do you think they will retreat to? Certainly not the Democratic Party. Thanks for moving people back to the GOP who were just starting to embrace Libertarianism.

    I thought the point of Libertarianism was the free flow of ideas, capital markets and the acceptance for the responsibility for and the consequences of their own actions. But Reason now thinks that there are ideas worthy of public mockery and ridicule? That's what I expect from the progressive "the science is settled" movement. If Libertarians were truly "live and let live" this article could have never gotten past an editor of a LIBERTARIAN magazine. I seriously doubt it would have even made the editorial section of SKEPTIC MAGAZINE.

    I guess I'm not a Libertarian after all.

    Thanks for clearing it up for me.

    Noelle Campbell

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    I think Noelle needs a thicker skin to be a Libertarian.

  • BardMetal||

    Whether or not you think Noelle needs a thicker skin, attacking people's personal religious beliefs does not in anyway advance the cause of Libertarianism, but instead pushes people away from it.

    Does it make any sense for Reason to publish an article that is destructive towards the cause they claim to support?

  • Sevo||

    "Does it make any sense for Reason to publish an article that is destructive towards the cause they claim to support?"

    Uh, do we need to make nice to the flat-earthers?
    Sorry, laughing at silly superstitions is just fine regardless if those who are superstitious take their toys and find someone else to play with.
    Not paying 'protection idiocy' to keep them around.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Then you really aren't a Libertarian but rather a mere intolerant fascist ready to go wherever the fascist mind lead you. Nice.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Excellent thought! My sentiment exactly.

  • Harvard||

    I guess I'm not either.

    This is one of two or three issues that convince me Libertarianism in the form experienced at Reason will forever exist in cult status.

    If you can accept Darwinism as stated and mock anyone else for believing anything is amusing.

  • Sevo||

    ..."If religious libertarians aren't welcomed in the Libertarian movement, where do you think they will retreat to?"...

    I think this is 'you're a poopy and if you make fun of me, I'll be friends with someone else' argument.
    Regardless, it's NWS.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Thanks Noelle for your letter.

    I consider myself an "anarcho-capitalist Christian" because I believe Christs' teaching & doctrine most closely resemble that POV. "Live and no no harm to another". Quite straightforward.

    What stuns me is how people that are supposed to be the most "live and let live" on earth, the Libertarians, are so reactionary, so ready to mock a viewpoint held by some.

    People react almost as if some Creationist stole their lunch money.

    Where then is your defense of Freedom of Thought, speech and expression? If indeed these positions on Creationism do you absolutely no harm, unlike the government does, the same government that teaches evolution as fact, why ridicule something that is no bother to you?

    It makes no sense and only proves how disingenuous and intolerant most seeming Libertarians can be.

  • Bruce Hall||

    Perhaps there is a bit of hubris all the way around.

    http://hallofrecord.blogspot.c.....ughts.html

  • kevin2742||

    When you have to resort to mockery & entertainment to win a debate, this reveals the lack of core to your case. Debates aren't settled by numbers; they're settled by arguments and evidence. The truth is that Darwinism has a lot of problems that intelligent design answers very easily. When people want to actually address the problems, I'll take them seriously.

  • bassjoe||

    Darwinism isn't modern evolution theory. But whatever... I am assuming you're using the terms interchangably.

    What problems are you speaking of?

  • ||

    Could you elaborate?

  • David C. Moorman||

    Thumbs up!

  • John Sizemore||

    Belittling your opponent in a debate just makes you look like an asshole, and justifies his contempt for you. If you feel that your opponent is unworthy, then you should not agree to debate him.

  • cavalier973||

    But there is a way to beat Creationists at their own game - mockery.

    That...that doesn't "beat Creationists at their own game". That actually make us feel hopeful that we're winning the argument. "Your argument is that I'm a boogerhead? That's seriously all you've got?"

    What would confound anyone who is skeptical of the "Molecules-to-Man Evolutionary Hypothesis" would be to take them to an aquarium, say, "watch these two amphibian-free tank of fish for X days/months/years. The first tank is the control group. In the second tank, we'll introduce certain changes to the environment. In that time, you will begin to observe amphibians swimming around in the second tank whose ancestors were observably fish." (Understanding, of course, that under the MtMEH paradigm, the fish wouldn't necessarily turn into amphibians--but it would be necessary that they could no longer be classified as fish for this experiment to support the MtMEH).

  • Sevo||

    "What would confound anyone who is skeptical of the "Molecules-to-Man Evolutionary Hypothesis" would be to take them to an aquarium, say, "watch these two amphibian-free tank of fish for X days/months/years."

    How about we don't care what bleevers would find convincing?
    Keep your superstition. And please keep it to yourself.

  • Raf||

    There is a way to beat creationist. Avoid the actual topic and call them a big poop face. Much Reason, such bias, WOW.

  • Sevo||

    Raf|2.5.14 @ 9:20PM|#
    "There is a way to beat creationist. Avoid the actual topic and call them a big poop face."

    If you're tired of being called an ignoramus, maybe you should learn.

  • ibcbet||

    Science isn't optional. If you think it is, you don't deserve to be taken seriously about anything.

  • ||

    cavalier: My thing is if you or others think that evolution is wrong, don't just say "it has to be because of God". Make a hypothyesis, test it, verify, etc.

    sevo: Seriously, where did the priest touch you? Or were you brought up in one of those fucked up fundamentalist families? I mean holy science, you are really pissed off at believers.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Lol!

  • ||

    Sevo,
    Seriously, you're not helping.
    Go fap on your gun collection somewhere.

  • Pulseguy||

    Or, you could just let people believe what they want to believe.

    Trust me, most of everybody on this board, and who write for this site, won't believe half what they believe today, ten years from now. Important stuff. Stuff about abortion, and gay rights, and science, and politics. It will all change.

    Creationists aren't winning, in any way. They aren't going to affect schooling. Almost all schooling is idiotic anyway. It would be hard to make it worse.

  • David C. Moorman||

    The "Libertarian" way to be.

  • BuSab Agent||

    As a pantheist, I find this whole debate to be downright silly.

  • ||

    As a skeptic, I am..umm..skeptical.

  • christopher fisher||

    Ken Ham should have used two main scientific points:

    Dinosaur soft tissue and DNA http://kgov.com/dinosaur-soft-tissue

    and

    Carbon 14 found in "million" year old diamonds.

  • conspiracygirl||

    How about if we act like libertarians instead of @SSh*le$ and let creationists live as they see fit...? Their beliefs do not harm anyone. Furthermore, this plan to mock people into sharing your worldview is not backed by behavioral science. Persecuting people for their religious beliefs is more likely to entrench those beliefs than change them.

  • ||

    How about if we act like libertarians instead of @SSh*le$ and let creationists live as they see fit...?

    Second!

    Science is how we figure out who won or lost the game. Religion is why we shake hands before and after. Few would describe a winner as someone who scored more points and then kicked sand in the loser's face after the game.

    Lots of evolutionary biologists don't know or forget that the unerring truth about evolution was known long before Darwin commissioned the Beagle. It's printed plainly in Genesis 1:28.

    The debate about evolution is won just as, if not more, effectively in the bedroom as it is at the podium.

  • Greg Gauthier||

    No, actually, religion is why we chase each other around the globe with swords and guns, after "losing the game". Religion is why we even THINK scientific inquiry is a GAME to be won or lost.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Chimps don't rip one another to shreds because of "religion," whatever that nebulous word means to you; they do so because of their biological and psychological nature. Human beings don't commit murder and genocide because of "religion," but because homo sapiens sapiens is a violent social species. The social institution of religion is sometimes used to justify violence, sometimes peace. Depends on the prophet.

  • Greg Gauthier||

    Muted obedience born of terror and shame is not "peace". This is all any of your so-called "prophets" have ever produced.

  • ||

    Muted obedience born of terror and shame is not "peace". This is all any of your so-called "prophets" have ever produced.

    How many people did Jesus terrorize? Buddha? Confuscious?

    This brutal obedience that they brought about and enforced by the sword, would that be the muted obedience where that leads to compulsory sterilization and inoculating the people with live virus or the one where we all rest easy under the banner of MAD? How about the not-so-muted not-so-obedience where millions of Americans kill millions of other Americans without regard for religion?

    Given the sheer amount of agnostic destruction and brutality that this race has heaped on itself, I find the notion that religion is the, or even a predominant cause to be unusually unscientific.

    Religion is why we even THINK scientific inquiry is a GAME to be won or lost.

    Does the scientific method or empirical observation tell you it's not a game?

    'Cuz when I think about evolutionary pressure, with no tangential orientation towards any notion of truth, leading to a heirarchy of organisms the apex of which are capable of rationalizing some profound notion(s) of truth, it seems like a significantly religious or highly faith-oriented proposition.

    When I think about optimization and two prisoners who's only way to achieve an optimal outcome is to be inherently good natured and trusting of one another, it seems rather... well tread.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Esoteric religion is not coercive.

  • Greg Gauthier||

    "Letting" creationists live as they "see fit" does not necessitate forcing those who wish to criticize them, to not live as they see fit. Ken Ham is absolutely free to make a fool of himself on a national stage. And the rest of us are absolutely free to point out what a fool he's made of himself.

    As for mockery not working: someone ought to let Reason.com know this, so they'll stop blowing all that money on commissioning Remi songs.

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Remi is their best PR investment, Greg. Plus he's little, doesn't eat much, and works cheap.

  • David C. Moorman||

    Yes, thanks you.

  • individualiberty||

    Big Government dictating on what you teach your children about origins is the real question. Decentralize education and let people be free to believe as they wish.

  • Greg Gauthier||

    Libertarianism - the political notion - is certainly rising in popularity here in America, lately. This is mostly due it's actors pandering to the anti-intellectual, anti-rational, and anti-science prejudices of the population it courts in elections. So, is it really any wonder at all, that mad men like Ken Ham are getting a national platform?

    If Libertarians ever expect to be taken seriously as a movement, they need man-up and accept that ten thousand year old tribal wanderer myths are just exactly that, and that, despite being dominated by the state, science is the best chance we have of ever advancing as a species, precisely because of the scientific method.

    Where's your entrepreneurial spirit, Libertarians? If you think C14 dating is a lie of the devil, and ice core samples are a dark conspiracy to rule the world, then get out there, form a company or a consortium of independent researchers, and get busy proving it, with the scientific method. If you're RIGHT, you'll be the most famous people on earth. What more motivation could you hope for?

  • ~Knarf Yenrab~||

    Did you get lost on your way to Answers in Genesis, Greg?

    This is mostly due it's actors pandering to the anti-intellectual

    What's the name of the Law of the Internets that dictates that you must make a spelling/grammatical error while insulting the intelligence of someone else? I know it has a name.

  • Greg Gauthier||

    Ah, methinks I have hit a nerve.

    Will you be starting that company, then?

  • ||

    science is the best chance we have of ever advancing as a species, precisely because of the scientific method.

    ...

    with the scientific method.

    Please write out the steps in the 'one, true scientific method' for me, would you?

    Is it the 'one, true scientific method' where Uroboros appears to Kekule in a dream or does it involve LSD, like with Cary Mullis? What bulletproof method were bycicle mechanics like the Wright Bros. using that they were able to put to shame a trained physicist like Langley?

  • HenryC||

    How to win a debate, choose and idiot to debate against. Nye won, no doubt about it, but I could have made a much better fight of it and I believe in evolution.

  • HenryC||

    an not and sorry.

  • HenryC||

    How to win a debate, choose and idiot to debate against. Nye won, no doubt about it, but I could have made a much better fight of it and I believe in evolution.

  • By My Life||

    This one hit some nerves, didn't it? This is a magazine that publishes from several writers prominently displayed at the top of the page. I've disagreed with Bailey before, but I didn't stop reading Reason because I'm not afraid of having that disagreement. What was that quote, something something entertaining an idea without accepting it? Bailey is free to mock, and the commenters are free to write rebuttals. If this one article kills Libertarianism, I'd be very surprised.

    That being said, there are some on this board who don't make it very pleasant to have discussions. It's the internet, and the Reason comments are a helluva a lot better than the garbage pits of most news sites and the infamous YouTube shit pile, so what can you do?

    Engaging is dumb. I dismiss creationism personally, it's not going to get a response out of me. No minds will be changed. Information is the only front you can win this argument on, philosophy will never work. Every person will they think are right, and until they harm someone else, I don't see a problem.

  • Will4Freedom||

    Frankly, I think there are more important things to debate than whether or not someone believes in a creator.

    Christians are, for the most part, peaceful and many are allies in the struggle for limited government.

    But if you really must debate the issue, why not start with Muslims? They're not so peaceful and would rather see Sharia Law in place of our Constitution.

    Please record it, though. If you are successful, I'd like to make some notes.

  • San Expedito||

    Mockery is fun for the mocker, and plays well to the choir, but it seldom converts true-believers. Hell or high water, true-believers will obstruct, distract and lie to maintain their case and cause.

    A more productive and economic means of neutralizing the "evidence" of creationists is to present unified, undisputable scientific evidence that supports evolution. This is just what Nye did.

    This gospel needs to start in third grade in all public schools and continue up thru any private educational institution receiving public tax dollars.

    The best way to fight fire is with water.

  • HenryC||

    Magnesium fires love water. The best way to fight fire depends on what is burning.

  • See.More||

    BardMetal|2.5.14 @ 3:18PM|#

    Exactly. If someone's personal beliefs don't effect the rest of us, then why on Earth should we care?


    Because far too often others' personal beliefs influence and/or inform their actions regarding the rest of us (e.g.: criminalizing conduct simply because they believe that it is immoral and/or sinful; murdering abortion clinic personnel because "abortion is murder"; animal rights' activists and red-paint attacks; jihad; and etc.).

  • c5c5||

    See.More,

    The problem with your assertion is that most YEC's do not promote the bad things you listed.

    It is a non-sequitor to say YEC's personal beliefs might influence their actions towards us with murder etc.

    Now, if YEC's or hard-core creationists in general were practicing murdering abortionists, red-paint attacks, jihad, you would have a point. They are not.

    If the YEC's were trying to use government to force something upon us, then you have a point. If they are not, leave well enough alone.

  • OssiaK||

    I wonder what the ID proponents' answer is to the notion that ID allows for Satan to be the creator.

  • ||

    I wonder what the ID proponents' answer is to the notion that ID allows for Satan to be the creator.

    I wonder what the evolutionists' answer is to the notion that out of billions of years of competition comes a near-blind adherence to the notion of a magical cooperation or trust amongst our species?

    Let me make it easier; Explain the origin and evolution of the 1st Amendment starting with the big bang.

  • s_stocking||

    When you read the history of this debate (as a cultural/political phenomenon- the scientific debate was settled in the decades after Darwin and Wallace released On the Origin of Species in 1859), there are several accounts of the scopes monkey trial in the 1920's that show some of these arguments in their early form. In this debate I find Ken Ham's invention of "current science" vs. "historical science" fascinating- it exemplifies how far fundamentalists have had to retreat in the face of a relentlessly growing understanding of the universe and the natural world by science, just in the past 90 years. I see Ken's "historical science" as a desperate attempt to carve out or firewall off his core religious beliefs from overwhelming scientific evidence that the Genesis account cannot possibly be an accurate historical account.

  • Zing||

    Some people have faith in God. Some people do not. The main problem I have with a debate like this one is that some of us who have faith in God as our Creator expect those who don't have faith to have faith on this subject, while some of those who do not have faith in God expect those of us who do have faith to abandon it.

    The Bible is a book used by the Holy Spirit to create faith. It is not a science textbook. Conversely, a science book is not a book of faith. And I see no reason to confuse the two.

  • marcus24||

    "Ken Ham is not a qualified theologian.

    Bill Nye is not a qualified theologian.

    Ken Ham is not a qualified scientist.

    Bill Nye is not a qualified scientist."

    http://drbrianmattson.com/jour.....-lady-luck

  • optimusratiostultum||

    Please all God-fearing bible thumpers out there, THE BIBLE WAS NOT MEANT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY. Also, Christians, THE WHOLE POINT OF JESUS COMING WAS TO REPLACE THE OLD TESTAMENT WITH THE NEW ONE.

  • HenryC||

    A method or procedure consisting of systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. This is why the social science are mostly not science. Something outside our universe(God for instance) can not be observed, only inferred. It would have to be taken by faith.

  • ||

    "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

    Zero-knowledge proofs convince me that there are lots of things science can't and never will explain and there's plenty of room for lots of notions of God to fit in that set of things.

    "Intelligence doesn't like to get trapped, intelligence tries to maximize future freedom of action and keep options open."
    http://www.ted.com/talks/alex_.....gence.html

  • AgrarianBarbarian||

    I find myself in agreement with the right far more often than the left - it's my belief that the left does far more damage to freedom at this particular time than does the right. That's why I wish this would go away. Creationism is such an embarrassment and does so much harm (albeit by association) to small-government ideas that it needs to be ruthlessly dissected, ESPECIALLY by those otherwise sympathetic to the "conservative" package.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Meh, I disagree. Both the left and right are practically equal in their damage since very little separates their ultimate desire to control society as a whole and save it from itself, praise the PHD's.

  • trutherator||

    The best argument against Creation science (the kind Isaac Newton believed) is ridicule.

    And "punctuated equilibrium", the theory that says the lack of evidence for it is evidence for. (All equilibrium, and no "punctuation"). Happens so fast "it's like it never happened!" "A fairy tale for adults".

    Ken Ham did not offer enough science. Why doesn't Bill Nye (or any other arrogant darwinian) debate Walter Brown?

    Did Ham mention the anthropic principle? The computerized digital programming code embedded into DNA?

    Predictions? Russ Humphreys got the outer giants' magnetic fields spot on; NASA's finest missed by orders of magnitude.

    Polonium halos. Global tropical climes. Genetic transposition. The common male and common female ancestor. Halton Arp's peculiar galaxies.
    http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/le.....tents.html

    Anti-creationists like to talk about religion. Too bad Ken Ham talked a bit too much about it himself. Walt Brown's challenge says ban religion.

    Technology? Ham missed on that. The founders of major branches of science were creationists; homeschoolers outperform public and private and religious schools big time, and creationists dominate their numbers.

    Ancient pagan cult Darwinism (see Jer. 2) has stunted science. It held back recognition of Mendel's inheritance; was used for Lysenkoism and eugenics and race purges and Jim Crow; stunted medical research into the purpose of 72 "vestigial" organs, and epigenetics.

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