Feb 5, 2014

Nye vs. Ham

Bill Nye vs Ken Ham debate

While I was watching the Nye vs. Ham debate, I was collating my notes and reactions as the two speakers gave their presentations.  These notes are by no means complete but perhaps they will be helpful to someone as they look to examine both speakers’ claims and explore the validity of their statements and lines of argument.

Ken Ham Summary

  1. Refining “science” and “evidence”
  2. Argument from authority
  3. Argument from ignorance (Were you there?)
  4. Poisoning the well
  5. Confirmation bias
  6. Circular reasoning
  7. Appeal to emotion

Bill Nye Summary

  1. Bow ties anecdote/icebreaker
  2. Compare the evidence
  3. Is Ham’s model viable?
  4. Writing things down
  5. Staring at the wall in existential despair
  6. Debunking the global flood
  7. Bad jokes
  8. Debunking the ark
  9. The fossil record
  10. The Big Bang

Almost needless to say, I found Ken Ham’s argument for creation, biblical literalism, and Christian fundamentalism profoundly confused and illogical. Other more sophisticated theologians do well to avoid Christianity altogether however for Ham the concepts are so intertwined, they’re naturally packaged together. This led Ham to more or less ramble without much focus whilst introducing a slew of random professors and scientists that support his case.

Bill Nye did a good job of countering Ham’s statements with math and science and using a handful of cases to show why Ham’s statements were erroneous.

If anything, Nye wins for giving the audience statements to prove/disprove while Ham mostly proclaimed a systemic bias within the scientific community, cried foul, and declared victory.

1 Comment

  • I totally agree Alex. Bwayne ;-)

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