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Ken Ham Vs. Bill Nye Vs. Kab Balah – Part One – February 2014

This article is a somewhat scathing and sometimes sarcastic in-depth analysis of the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. The two scientists garnered a furious deluge of media attention by going head-to-head. The topic of the debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model in Today's Modern Era?,” puts much pressure on Ken Ham who has to argue against much of what could be considered “main-stream” criticism of his quite literalistic Biblical creation theory. An attempt will be made to assign scores to each scientist as the debate is reviewed.

Author's Note

Additional, and proper, citations may be added at a later date. For now, links to online sources will have to suffice. Any Devtome member is welcome to fix any broken links they may find. This is, after all, an open-source wiki. One may, obviously, make other changes but writing a separate article criticizing this one would be preferred. Adding a fourth debater might be interesting.

Extra-temporal Participant

A fictitious person, who will be known as Kab Balah, will reflect an alternative to either view-point and question whether either model is viable. Insulting language and dry wit may be employed. Caution while reading is advised. Too much seriousness is heavily discouraged.

Scoring System

Arguments which have been backed up with empirical evidence and do seem to support the particular side of the argument will cause the arguer to receive one “Empirical Point.” Each Empirical Point will be determined based on scientific merit but, to make things interesting, “Debate Demerits” will be imposed for any clear and obvious debate strategy mistakes. A running tally will be maintained throughout and totaled at the end.

“Winning” of Debate

Because of the inherent advantages enjoyed by the fictitious person, Kab Balah will not be scored but will, however, be declared the winner in advance. This is fair since Atheists declared Bill Nye the winner before the debate started and, in much the same way, Biblical Literalists knew, somehow, that Ken Ham won beforehand as well. The fictitious person is, as should be obvious, an invention of the author. Arrogant and condescending remarks are not meant to be taken harshly. However, if one would like to get upset by any said comments, one is certainly entitled.

A Note on Logical Fallacies

Logical fallacies which “muddy the waters” without actually contributing intellectually to the debate will be mentioned but not assigned a score. These do not qualify as empirical or any kind of evidence but neither do they necessarily qualify as a debate mistake because they can frustrate opponents if used with tactical acumen. That and, when committed by acclaimed scientists, they can be terribly fun to point out. Anyone attempting to attribute any logical fallacies to Balah will be flogged with a plastic fish statue.

Disclaimer and Warning

An attempt will be made to keep the scoring objective but, as with any human endeavor, a degree of subjectivity is inevitable. Readers of this article are encouraged to think for themselves and form their own questions and conclusions or to remain amusingly ignorant. Critical-thinking and open-mindedness are both highly recommended but strictly optional.

One is entitled to believe whatever nonsense one wishes to believe unless it conflicts what Kab Balah says, of course. Kab is always right and never to be questioned. Anyone attempting to find sarcasm in that last statement will be heavily sanctioned.

Throughout the review of the debate, analyses will be proposed and alternative views will be put forward which will demonstrate key problems with this sort of debate. It will be revealed that there are problems both in definition and in assumption of conflict between the debaters' views. It will also illustrate the supreme dominance and mind-blowing wisdom of the fictitious person's mental faculties.

Opening Statements

Prior to the opening statements, the debate moderator introduces each scientist participating in the debate. The moderator gives a brief summary of some of the things each man has accomplished including titles, credentials, organizational involvement, yada, yada…. Nothing meaningful is revealed since their reputations have absolutely no bearing on the value of their opinions. These things tend to impress one but one is aware of the Argumentum ab auctoritate or “Appeal to Authority” logical fallacy, so one will not be fooled. This is a debate about whether or not Ken Ham's Creation Model is viable, not a contest about who has the biggest biographical phallus.

Ken Ham begins with a five minute opening statement followed by a five minute opening statement by Bill Nye. Kab Balah attempts a haiku, because: why not?

Ken Ham's Opening Statement

The moderator lets us know that Ken Ham had won the coin-toss but opted to go first. This could make it much easier for Bill Nye to refute his arguments as he will have more time to think about specifically which points he needs to challenge. Furthermore, having the last word can give a psychological impression of having the upper-hand. This is somewhat subjective, but this seems like a very questionable decision from a strategic standpoint so one Debate Demerit is imposed.

Empirical Points: 0 Debate Demerits: -1

Ham starts off with a weak joke about his Australian accent. The audience laughs anyway because of the accent he uses to tell the joke, which, it so happens, is his normal way of speaking. He then tells the audience that the subject of the debate is the question of whether creation is a viable model of origins in “today's modern era.” This seems silly considering that the debate is taking place in a time period over a half a century after the modern era ended. Did anyone tell these guys that they are in the postmodern or possibly even in the post-postmodern era? http://www.darc.org/connelly/religion5.html

Agenda

Ken Ham states he has observed indoctrination going on in society. He argues that there is a misconception being pushed which gives the mistaken impression that creationists cannot be scientists. This may seem a little off-topic but this may hint at the very reason Ham felt it was important to participate in the event in the first place. Our kids are being brainwashed by major corporations & government and he does not like it; it is Religion's job to brain-wash children, is it not?

Tells audience the term “science” has been hijacked by secularists. Introduces a high-level engineer who also believes that creation is a viable model of origins. No empirical evidence supporting this position is offered at this time. Bringing in someone with a title and credentials as if it is proof of the validity of an argument is a logical fallacy, by the way, but it is suspected we will see this type of fallacy again so it will not be discussed in detail quite yet.

Types of Science

Ken Ham argues that the terms creation, evolution, and science need to be defined correctly. He tells the audience he wants to focus on the word “science.” Poses argument that science, etymologically, has to do with obtaining knowledge. He points out that there are different kinds of knowledge. Ham defines experimental science as observational science.

Ham explains that observational science as the sort of science where the scientific method is used. He then defines the scientific method as a procedure which consists of systematic observation, measurement, and experiment; the formulation, testing and modification of hypotheses. He points out that this sort of science demonstrates its efficacy because of the technologies which have resulted from its findings.

One may certainly dispute Ken Ham's assertion but experimental science has resulted in technological advancements and he mentions several examples. By effectively supporting his argument that there are different types of science, which appears to be able to tie itself into his larger argument of creation validity, he gets an Empirical Point… and a virtual cookie!

Empirical Points: 1 Debate Demerits: -1

Furthering the Agenda

Ken Ham shows two more examples of scientists who have advanced technology, one is an Atheist, and another who is a Biblical Creationist. He states that “molecules-to-man evolution” belief has nothing to do with technology. This begs the question, would it be possible to 3D print life insurance salesmen?

Ham asserts that public school science textbooks use the same word, “science” specifically, for both observational and historical science. He says they then arbitrarily define science as Naturalism while outlawing what they define as “supernatural.” “Molecules-to-man evolution is presented as a fact”, he states. In his view, this shows that the “religion of Naturalism/Atheism is being imposed on a generation of students.” The bizarre presumption of fact in some science textbooks, despite the reality that there is no such thing as certainty in science, seems quite conspicuous. However, to get an Empirical Point for this observation, it would have been preferred if at least one specific publication was sited.

Ken Ham goes on to say that the (Literalistic) Creation vs. (Darwinian) Evolution debate is really a conflict between two philosophical world views based on two different accounts of origins or historical science beliefs. Ham then asserts that children have been brainwashed into believing in a secular view that life arises from natural processes as opposed to creation by G_d. Puts forward his view that Creationism on the origins of life best fit observational evidence but provides no examples at this time. Mentions that the Bible states that the source of life is G_d.

Bill Nye's Opening Statement

The moderator gives the audience a pretty extensive biography. Bill Nye seems quite pleased with the attention. His self-deprecating personality and choice of attire makes his self-absorption seem harmlessly childish. It might be advisable to vacate the front row, however, If his head explodes it could be a bit messy.

Bill Nye begins with an anecdote about bow-ties. When the moderator gave background information, Nye was referred to as, among other things, a comedian. This is a dubious claim considering the extremely minor distribution of low-volume pity-laughter that follows.

Argumentum ad Populum

Nye tells the audience that they will go home and watch CSI; a fascinating assumption to be sure. Next, he tells those assembled that CSI does not make a distinction between observational and historical science. He claims that the distinction is unique to Ken Ham. This sounds suspiciously like what one might refer to as the “a million people cannot be wrong” logical fallacy. This is an example of a clever emotional argument which does not hold up to scrutiny but is an excellent debate tactic provided the people judging the debate are not looking for such trickery.

One Kind of Science

Bill Nye takes us on a ride telling us that natural laws that apply now also apply in the past. This seems like something which sounds like a reasonable argument. It is just that; something that sounds like a reasonable argument. Nye fails to conjure a time machine so we are not quite sure.

Nye points out that in CSI, which offers a fictitious representation of criminal forensic science, evidence is collected that gives clues to the past. It can be sincerely hoped that this form of science is valid. Bill Nye has not sited any actual real-world examples but will get an empirical evidence point anyway since CSI does depict the sorts of evidence which is used in real-world scenarios in abundance. It also demonstrates reasons why police detectives should all seek extensive therapy.

Empirical Points: 1 Debate Demerits: -1

No Contradictory Evidence Claim

Nye questions Ham's scientific credibility by asking if the notion that all animal life was destroyed by a world-wide flood is reasonable. This seems like a valid question but Bill Nye does not stop there. He uses the claim that “not one” fossilized remain or other evidence of an animal in the Grand Canyon which has “crossed-over” into the strata of remains from more recent times has been found. He proposes that, if there was a world-wide flood, animals would have swam upward to seek higher ground which would have caused a situation where some remains would have been conspicuously out-of-place in the otherwise predictable geological time-line.

Because of the way Nye used the absolute statement “not one” in his argument it is simple to challenge. This is a classic rookie debate error. All Ham will have to do is bring up one of the many known examples to make Nye look like a clown. He is wearing a bow-tie though, so it might be too late.

One instance Ham could bring up could be the horse hoof-prints found which seem to be out-of-place in the Grand Canyon rock layers. Specifically, these prints are found in strata associated with the time of dinosaurs. If dinosaurs swam upward during the Great Flood, according to Bill Nye's geological view, this find could indicate that dinosaurs swam upward, to avoid drowning, which is why they are found in a strata where horse prints would be expected. It probably does not mean that, but it could by Nye's own admission.

Full citation for previous paragraph here: Edwin D. McKee, The Supai Group of Grand Canyon, Geological Survey Professional Paper 1173 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982), pp. 93–96, 100.

Several more out-of-place examples of animal evidence can be found from around the world but because of the absolute nature of Nye's statement only one example is needed to invalidate his claim. No empirical points can be awarded. Using absolute statements like this is a monumental debate error. One debate strategy demerit will be imposed… in the kindest possible way of course.

''Argumentum ad Populum est Absurdum''

Bill Nye points out that many, he claims billions, of other Bible believers do not support Ham's version of Creationism. Even thought the statement is probably true at least up to a point, Nye does not provide any empirical evidence supporting this claim. This appears to be an attack on Ham's credibility amongst other Christians. This will go over quite well with those Christians considering the source is generally believed to be an Atheist.

Kab Balah

Moderator completely fails to introduce Kab Balah. Perhaps he is limited in his ability to comprehend extra-spacial/extra-temporal entities. The mistake will, perhaps, be forgiven. The rest of the comments, except this one, under the heading “Kab Balah” will be their (his/her/its) comments.

Background

Science or Mysticism? If only we knew… Possibly pure awesomeness!

Introduction

Hi there! I am Kab Balah. Maybe you've heard of me? Anyways, my credentials and experience have been listed above. Nineteen syllables is adequately verbose, I trust. I do not have an Australian accent nor do I wear a bow-tie. Truthfully, I am just a figment of somebody's distorted imagination. You could, if you would like, picture me dressed in a Kapoteh and black fedora while occasionally muttering things like “Feh! We've got a real maven here,” or “Mishegas! Oy vey…” under my breath.

Big Brother Loves Children

Ken Ham, pointing out that our children are being indoctrinated, has a valid point. The Establishment is seriously brainwashing our children. There actually seems to be a sincere effort to enslave and control their poor little minds. We are pretty sure Ham is trying to indoctrinate our children too. He has a cool beard, though, so we will give him a pass.

Observation Observed

Since Ham has introduced the idea that historic science cannot be observed directly, it may be interesting to note that nothing can be experienced directly. Neuroscience has shown us that, in order for something to be sensed by the subjective consciousness, information about, what we assume to be an actual thing, has to be translated into a sort of bio-electric signal which the brain (controlled by consciousness) must then interpret.

There are problems with this idea of being able to observe things past, present, or future. We cannot actually observe anything at any time in a direct way so we cannot ever be absolutely certain anything is true except, perhaps, that experiences are somehow being experienced. This is intuitively obvious when we really think about it. An observation is an experience so, if we accept that notion that nothing can be experienced directly, then we must admit that nothing can be observed directly.

Scientific Method Simplified

All science has to go off of are indirect observations but sometimes these observations seem to indicate consistent patterns. When patterns are identified in nature (another word for reality) an hypothesis can be formulated. The hypothesis can then be tested through controlled experiments in an attempt to prove them wrong. If the hypothesis cannot be proven wrong, usually after having been modified by the results of the test, it becomes a theory. If the theory is tested so much that it can be taken for granted as being true then it is sometime called a Law.

Out of Place Evidence

Bill Nye is challenging Ken Ham and, indeed, the whole world to come up with even one example of out-of-place evidence in the fossil record. Ham may come up with one or two, actually he comes up with one (I know already because I exist outside time/space), but there is a lot of out-of-place evidence. Ken Ham wont bring these other examples up. Why is that? Could it be because they contradict his theory of origins as well?

When fossils, artifacts, and other clues in rock strata are found “out-of-place” it could mean something other than what Ken Ham or Bill Nye might suggest. Perhaps, just maybe, it's not that the earth is younger than generally assumed. It could be, I would say it is certain, that we really don't know what has happened in our ancient past.

There is actually quite a bit of bizarre evidence out there which does not fit into either the established secular or Christian world views. A quick search of the interwebs will bring up quite a bit of strange information. Some of it is clearly photo-shopped nonsense but that is not all which can be found. Some things are difficult to explain away. Michael Cremo is one man who has dared to consider evidence most would rather ignore. The links on the right side of this web-page: http://www.forbiddenarcheology.com/ will provide a glimpse at information you are not supposed to see.

Issue With the Issue

That there are even debates which pit evolution against creation is quite astounding. For many thousands of years mystics have taught that the unfolding of the universe, which is the correct definition of evolution, is caused as a result of the unfolding of consciousness. It is in fact consciousness that creates. Creation and evolution are essentially the same concept. Debating which one is correct displays an ignorance about what these words actually mean.

Quantum Physics and some branches of psychology and other “main-stream” sciences are beginning to comprehend the truth of consciousness evolving and creating reality. I intend to cover this in more detail as this debate evolves through the creative efforts of the participants.

One man, Amit Goswami, is attempting to explain how consciousness effects the physical realm by touring world-wide. Goswami, who quite literally wrote the book “Quantum Mechanics” used to be a strictly literalistic thinker. He used to dismiss spiritual or religious explanations as superstition. When he used his material science to get him to a certain point he realized that it actually confirmed that there was something to the ancient mystic traditions he used to scorn.

Amit Goswami's official website can be found here: http://www.amitgoswami.org/

Cannot Hear You Over the Sound of How Awesome I AM

Meanwhile, I have been teaching how this works for so long my origins have been lost in the mists of time. Many of those who study me have opinions which conflict with each other but I am pretty clear that reality is created by consciousness and my tenants are one of moral growth and/or creative suffering as a way of “evolving” back toward the perfection needed to experience the divine light.

It is not just Jews who study me, by the way, one of the best of my creation models can be found in the book Keys to the Kingdom, by Migene Gonzalez-Wippler, which is a Christian text. Many physicists are into me too. Treat yourself to this delightful thirty second video clip of physicists talking about how cool I Am: http://kabbalahstudent.com/michio-kaku-on-physics-and-kabbalah/

End of Round Totals

Ken Ham

Empirical Evidence: 1

Debate Strategy Demerit: -1

Bill Nye

Empirical Evidence: 1

Debate Strategy Demerit: -1

Kab Balah

Still the Best.

Always Right.

science | religion | philosophy


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