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Ken Ham Vs. Bill Nye Vs. Kab Balah – Part Two - May 2014

Due to an unexpected hard-drive failure, much of the work done on this article was lost. In the interest of preventing further contingencies the tedious and overly subjective scoring process in part three will have been abandoned. In case the reader is curious Bill Nye did achieve the higher score by the end of the original article but not by as much as may be evidenced from this second part. The empirical evidence scores of both debaters came to within a few points. Debate strategy demerits were both tied at one each.

Thirty Minute Presentations

In this section, Ken Ham and Bill Nye are both given thirty minutes to make their cases. We will see if they use emotional arguments to sway the audience or make the mistake of appealing only to logic, reason, and empirical evidence. Now would be good time to grab some popcorn and a beverage; organic and non-GMO of course.

Ken Ham

Ham restates his position that, “Creation is the only viable model of historical science confirmed by observational science…” He proposes that there are three terms whose definitions must be clarified, specifically, science, creation, and evolution. This seems to be the main premise of Ken Ham's debate strategy.

Festival of Fabulous Fallacies

Ham then seems to commit a rather interesting logical fallacy by showing videos from other Creation believing scientists. This is the “Argumentum ab auctoritate” fallacy mentioned earlier usually known as the “appeal to authority.” He plays videos from three different scientists with Creationist viewpoints. Each of these examples are from different fields. Though this will not logically support his creation model it will likely fit his agenda of debunking the common fallacy that Biblical Literalists cannot be scientists.

The first scientist provides Ham something which, in this context, can be thought of as a common but illogical argument known as a “straw-man” which is sometimes categorized as a variation of the Ignorantio Elenchi (appeal to ignorance) fallacy. He states that anyone claiming a Creationist cannot do science well is wrong. This is does not provide any evidence supporting that Ham's Creationism is a more valid model than Nye's Evolution. However, this seems to follow a certain strategy where the notion that if one believes in Creationism must not be scientific is handily debunked.

The second scientists featured makes the claim that there is nothing in observational astronomy which contradicts young earth Creationism. Though the second authority appealed to may have a valid point, he does not actually provide any specific evidence promoting Creationism but rather claims that there simply is no evidence found in his field. This is an argumentum ad ignorantian, fallacy, by the way. Translated it means something like “appeal to ignorance.” We are not sure what ignorance finds appealing but perhaps it is something like this.

A third scientist, an engineer, commits at least one more logical fallacies of his own including a straw-man argument and an appeal to a authority. He says that many scientists are sympathetic to the Creation view but are afraid of being attacked by the media and others. It is not clear whether or not this addresses the central question of the debate but definitely makes a dubious third-hand appeal to authority. There may be nothing more fun than pointing out fallacious statements made by people with advanced college degrees.

Though no empirical points could be awarded based on the interviews, the debate strategy appears sound. Ham effectively creates a scenario where Bill Nye will not be able to make an argument that would paint creationists as non-scientists. Good use of off-topic points and appeals to authority; no debate demerits imposed.

The Chicken or the Omnipotent Being?

Ken Ham brings forward what may be the most frustrating sort of question posed to Atheists. He asks where the laws of logic, nature, and the evident uniformity within nature comes from. He then specifically challenges Bill Nye to explain how one accounts for these in a way that excludes the existence of God. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but one may safely assume that the whole world will astonished and amazed if Nye is actually able to answer this seemingly unanswerable question using logic and empiricism.

Time Machine

Finally, Ham brings up a potentially valid point by explaining that, in his view; people are not taught that there is a difference between looking at evidence of the future and observing the present directly. This can be easily and clearly demonstrated unless one delves too deeply into the murky waters of solipsism. Ham even provides an example of the language used in an historical geology text-book and then expands on his explanation with several real-world examples. Ham gets an empirical evidence point for this because this is observable evidence which seems to support his view. Direct observation may not be a valid concept but this will be expanded on later.

Empirical Points: 2 Debate Demerits: -1

A point hammered home by Ham quite thoroughly, is that the evidence that is used by scientists, whether they be creationists or Darwinists (erroneously referred to as evolutionists), is the same but the beliefs on what the data means can differ. It is illustrated that both creationists and Darwinists are competent even though they disagree on origins.

The Challenge

Ham then poses another question for Bill Nye asking if he could name one technology whose development started with a belief in Nye's version of evolutionary theory. By trying to force Nye to defend his own theory, he may be able to get him to go on the defensive. This is an absence of evidence argument again. It is a good debate strategy but does not contribute any empirical evidence.

Where Does Ham Begin?

Ken Ham makes the following claims concerning testable predictions made by the Bible: evidence confirming intelligence produced life, confirming “after their kind” statement, confirming a global flood, evidence of one race of humans, evidence confirming the historic tower of Babel, and a young universe. However, he admits he can only validate a couple of these in the attempt to verify his claims siting time constraints.

Creation Orchard

Apparently, Ham's version of creationism allows for phylogeny but does not allow for the evolution of one radically different species into another. The word “kind” in the phrase “after their kind” indicates, he claims, to refer to a particular genus. This, he submits, reconciles how there could be so much biodiversity from the limited number of animals which could be carried on the Biblical “Ark.” This seems to indicate his version of creationism may have merit. There are many more concerns about said theory but a debate point will be awarded.

Empirical Points: 3 Debate Demerits -1

Then Ken ham points out that the word evolution may have been “hijacked” by secularists. Instead of providing empirical evidence to support this possibility, he goes on to propose that, because the Evolutionary theory Nye promotes requires one to believe the historic parts of the evolutionary “tree” cannot be observed that this theory is based on belief rather than observable science so is therefore akin to a religious belief. He presents the notion that because the “creation orchard” of Hams theory can be confirmed with observation. This is an expansion on his previous submission that there is a difference between observable and historical science.

Agenda as Counter-agenda

Now it can be seen where the direction of Ham's argument has been leading. He paints a picture of “main-stream” evolutionary principals taught in school as being based on a belief system he calls the “religion of Naturalism.” Essentially, Naturalism, as he seems to be defining it, is a religion claiming that origins are accidental and random result of “natural law” rather than from a creator or any other competing view-point. Ken Ham is telling the audience that a “whole generation of children are being indoctrinated with the religion of Naturalism.”

His “Naturalism as a religion” argument having been established, Ken Ham introduces the listeners to yet another scientist. He tells us about Richard Lenski who reported that a strain of E. Coli where able to grow on citrate for the first time known to be observed. Apparently this was claimed to be an example of “evolution in the laboratory.” A video from Andrew Fabich is put on for display at this point.

Andrew Fabich introduces himself as an individual who was only taught “evolutionary” science through his schooling but rejects the notion choosing instead to examine evidence from a creation-oriented view. He points out that the E. Coli is still an E. Coli species and based on his research the information in the DNA allowing for this seemingly new ability. Fabich describes it as a “switch” which can be turned “on or off.”

Dirty, Dirty Races

Next, Ken Ham, in an attempt to show that his creation theory is a viable model, makes a claim that observational science supports the notion that there is one human race which his interpretation of the Bible would predict. He discloses that Darwin's work entitled “Descent of Man” taught that there were “lower” and “higher” races. Ham goes on to reveal that “one of the most popular textbooks used in high-school” taught that “at the present time there are five races…” and that, “…the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by civilized inhabitants of Europe…” and asks us if we could imagine this being taught today.

Based on Ken Ham's interpretation of the Bible, he feels that we should not be surprised that current observational science concludes that humans are all one species because we are all descendants of Adam and Eve as well as Noah and his sons. He actually suggests, apparently, that text-book makers should have consulted the Bible rather than Darwin's “Descent of Man.” He continues this line of thinking by mentioning the Tower of Babel story which could, he claims, account for the different groups of people with some distinct differences who are all still humans.

Ken Han's interpretation of the Bible may seem validated by this conclusion of “observational science.” More specifically, it seems that there is only one human race, which he claims is predicted by the Bible. Meanwhile, conclusions from a group of geneticists that there is only one human race does completely dismantle a rather significant part of Darwin's theories. It may be important to remember that what is commonly referred to as “evolutionary theory” today is actually based on Darwin's theories of natural selection. Ken Ham gets a “cookie;” an empirical evidence cookie.

Empirical Evidence: 4 Debate Demerits: -1

Caught on Camera

A video of Bill Nye saying “you can show the Earth is not flat; you can show that the Earth is not ten thousand years old.” Ken Ham agrees that it can be shown that the Earth is not flat but argues that it cannot be shown that the Earth is more than ten thousand years old because the distant past cannot be observed.

Nye is then shown talking about how it is a “mystery' that people who interpret the Bible literally somehow hold “two world-views.” Ken Ham attempts to explain the “mystery” to Nye. This may be a debate tactic designed to put Bill Nye on the defensive. He challenges “evolutionists” to admit the “belief aspect” of their views.

Sunday School

Ham goes on to summarize his interpretation of the Biblical account of history since creation of the Earth. It begins with perfect creation of the Earth and its inhabitants, corruption by sin, catastrophe of Noah's flood, confusion caused by the tower of Babel, includes the narrative of Jesus of Nazareth's birth, death, and resurrection, and concludes with the “consummation” of revelations where a “Kingdom of God” is created on earth, destroyed, and the replaced by a new earth.

Predictions of the Bible

He submits that the “billions of dead things” buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth may be evidence of the Biblical flood. He claims that the existence of multiple different groups of people with different languages can be accounted for by the tower of Babel confusion story. Evidence supporting how one flood could account for so many layers with differing types of organisms is not presented. The Babel Confusion hypothesis is an explanation for the different languages and cultural groups but evidence this is a valid explanation is not provided.

Empirical Points:4 Debate Demerits: -1

War Over Minds

Ken Ham begins to wrap his segment up by sermonizing about the theological views excepted by most Christians. He then concludes by evangelizing about the nature of the conflict going on in Texas regarding the teachings of different historical beliefs. This is a passionate and perhaps astute description of ideological bias going on so it may be worth reviewing. It begins at about the fifty-fourth minute of the debate and does point out what may be valid and potentially political and moral concerns.

He points out that the language used in a text-book debate is rather manipulative in that it presumptively puts academics in a separate group from creationists as if the one cannot be the other. He also makes a pretty strong case that Naturalism could be thought of as a morally relativistic way of thinking. For anyone trained in philosophy, this is akin to calling the text-book makers “Sophists” as opposed to “Socratics.” For those of us not trained in philosophy, understand that most lawyers and politicians can be thought of as Sophists. This is not meant to be a flattering analogy.

Empirical Evidence: 4 Debate Strategy Demerit: -1

Bill Nye

To challenge Ken Ham's Creation model for viability, Nye asks the following questions: do fossils show signs of rapid burial, does not the order of fossils in the [layers] favor long ages, the order, how fast, where are all the bunny fossils, or human fossils?

Jugular

It may not be surprising that Nye Goes on the offensive by attacking what may be the weakest parts of Ken Ham's theory. Ken Ham's theory, which is not shared by many other “creationists,” includes a couple of strange beliefs. Ken Ham believes the Earth is only about six thousand years old based on genealogies listed in the Bible. He also believes that, like the Bible claims, the Great Flood wiped out literally all animals on the planet. There is no room for interpretation here; these things are to be literally believed word for word in his view.

Those who are convinced Ken Ham's theory is correct will probably ignore every data-point Nye will likely bring up; for those who are not, we may expect a vicious skewering of Ham's theory based solely on the fact that he believes the Earth is less than six thousand years old and completely flooded above the tallest mountains for an entire year about four thousand years ago.

Rings and Layers, Layers and Rings

Nye talks about how, in Kentucky, there are too many layers of organisms to account for a six-thousand year old Earth. He may not quite go far in detail enough with this particular example though. However, he then tells about Greenland ice cores which show over one hundred thousand years of annual layers. He submits that there are over six-hundred eighty-thousand layers in some samples. He then expands this claim to trees which appear to be over six thousand years old. Explains that trees cannot live long under water. These examples show two cases of easily observable and verifiable data points which seem to indicate a planet older than six-thousand years old. Two empirical evidence points awarded.

Empirical Points: 3 Debate Demerits: -1

It is mentioned that based on observations that it takes a “long long” time for sediment to turn into stone. Nye suggests that in a cataclysmic event one might expect bubbling and churning rather than a series of even layers. He also questions whether signs of intrusion would be present; arguing that if they were laid down in a relatively short period of time the layers would be more even. Perhaps his most plausible argument, in a “by the way” of a statement, he asks if the Grand Canyon was formed by the draining of the great flood, why would there not be a Grand Canyon on every continent. “long long” time does not sound very scientific and the “bubbling and frothing” part sounds like speculation. However, because the relatively few Grand Canyon-like features on Earth seem to cast doubt on Ken Ham's version of Creationism, one Empirical Point is awarded.

Empirical Points: 4 Debate Demerits: -1

WTF Nye?

Claims that there the scientific community would embrace someone who could find even one “higher” animal mixed in with “lower” animals. It was disappointing when Nye made this claim the first time; now he takes it a step further claiming that anyone finding an “out of place” fossil would be embraced by the scientific community. This is an amazing claim considering that he is ignoring contradictory evidence claiming it doesn’t exist while at the same time stating that such evidence would be welcome. All Bill Nye had to do was keep beating up on Ham based on Geological evidence but instead he insults any scientist who does not agree with the current beliefs on prehistory by inferring they are not already part of the scientific community.

This is not the worst part, however; the amount of suppressed archaeological evidence which indicates that civilization is older than either Creationists or Darwinists claim is absolutely staggering. Entire careers of people have been destroyed when they found evidence which did not fit in with the official narratives. The archaeological evidence we know of that contradicts what one could call “young civilization” is astounding and will doubtless be the subject of a future article. To claim that the “scientific community” would embrace new evidence which would force them to alter the “main-stream” views seems a jaw-droppingly naïve claim to make.

Though there are plenty of weird examples outside of Creationist circles to choose from; it may only be right to provide a link to one of their websites which list several researchers and scholars who have been finding out-of-place fossils for quite some time now. Nye gets another debate demerit for repeating his mistake of challenging someone to come up with “just one” exception. Here is the link as promised: http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/LifeSciences29.html

Empirical Points: 4 Debate Demerits: -2

Nephilim Maybe?

Bill Nye brings up fossil skulls next. Claims the Creation model does not account for non-homosapien humanoids. The Bible does talk about some non-homosapien humanoids so this is a dubious claim at best. Specifically, the Bible refers to “giants” and hybrid humans. Ken Ham's model, if truly Biblical, must accept the existence of such creatures.

Big Ol' Woody

Next, Nye discusses the “giant wooden boat” aspect of Biblical creation theory. He has a couple of points to make about this aspect of the theory. He has arguments regarding a lack of fossils or other remains which he believes would support Ham's theories.

He talks about how the Ark is supposed to have landed on top of a mountain in the Middle-East. The expectation would be that some evidence of Kangaroos and such would be found somewhere between that region and Australia. Once again, the absence of evidence is not evidence so it does not quite meet the standard of evidence debunking Ham's Creationism. The oddity of Australian animals can be accounted for by Darwinian evolutionary theory but could be explained away with a variety of other unproven theories as well such as Ancient Alien genetic manipulation theories, for example.

Then Bill Nye poses that there are too many species to account for a four thousand year time-frame. This comes close to convincing evidence but not quite enough to merit a point. The reason for this is the potentially questionable math Nye uses which may not account for the complexities of biological systems as they expand world-wide over the course of many generations. Nye tells us about his travels while he worked for Boeing. Discusses finding boulders in Montana which indicate that there used to be a lake there. Notes that the big, seemingly water-worn, rocks would sink to the bottom but that they are sitting right near the top. He makes a convincing case that there would not have been enough time for this to happen if Ken Ham's six thousand year-old earth model was correct so a point is awarded.

Empirical Points 5 Debate Demerits: -2

Then we hear some logistical and physics arguments casting doubt on the Noah's Ark theory. The logistics of feeding so many animals for a year is, at best, problematic to explain. Nye points out that the structural engineering issues in building a large enough vessel to house and care for enough animals to account for current biodiversity. He also makes a statement about the Ark builders being unskilled presumptuously based on absolutely no evidence.

Getting into more detail, Bill Nye discusses leaking caused by sheering forces when shipwrights have attempted to build an extremely large vessel in more recent times. Upon review, this does seem to dispute Ken Ham's theory of an Ark made out of wood. Though it cannot be proven beyond any doubt that nobody could have ever figured out a way to build such a vessel, it does cast serious doubt on the Ham Ark theory so an empirical point will be awarded.

Empirical Points 6 Debate Demerits: -2

A Fishy Example

Nye then talks about the prediction made by [Darwinian] Evolutionary theory. This is supposed to illustrate that Ken Ham's theory is not viable but it seems more like he is going to the defense of his own theory. Why Nye choose to use this sort of argument to support his own theory when it is not on trial here is almost enough to earn a debate demerit.

He gives the tiktaalik as an example of a “Walking Fish.” This example is very convenient for Darwinists because none have been found alive. This is not true of all supposed “evolutionary link” species. What may have hurt his argument would be if he brought up the coelacanth instead. The coelocanth was in many textbooks historically as an example of a now-extinct species of fish that appeared to demonstrate an evolutionary transition between fish and amphibians. It turns out that the ceolocanth is not extinct and has been found only at extreme ocean depths. Nye brings up an example nobody can dispute because the fish “link” creature has never been found alive. He ignores the living debunkable species. This may seem dishonest and the connection to how this debunks Ham's theory is, at best, vague.

At the time this article was written, this was a link to an interesting article which states, as a fact, that such fish are considered to be a [Darwinian Evolutionary] link between ocean and land animals even though it is admitted in the article these things are only found in deep water: http://www.seasky.org/deep-sea/coelacanth.html Though there are many “mud-skippers” and lung fish, claiming that this indicates necessarily, a Darwinian natural selection type of Evolution seems rather presumptuous. Notice how the article does not use language like “some think” or “many believe” or anything like that. Despite certainty having no place in science here we have an example of a theory being stated as a fact.

Fish Sex

Another argument Nye brings up is that there are a fish, a topminnow, which are hermaphroditic giving it the ability with sexual reproduction with self and others. Proposes that cross-sexual reproduction is a way of combating pathogens. He states that minnows who reproduce cross-sexually have been found to have less of a certain pathogen than those who self-fertilized. This seems to be a correlation but this reveals a confusion on Bill Nye's part between correlation and causation but reasonably asks if there is another explanation. One might wonder if Ham will point out that this could be accounted for by a reduced effectiveness to fight pathogens as result of genetic drift. Because genetic drift is an observable phenomenon it could fit with either Bill Nye or Ken Ham's views so it is not clear that this actually supports the argument that Creation is not a viable model.

Weird Physics Vs. Weird Theology

He then asks if Creation Scientists can account for the creation of planetary magnetic fields and completeness of the “Fossil Record.” Asks if Creationists believe in “Weird” Physics like Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, and if they can account for the Hubble Law. Nye does not demonstrate they do not, so these questions could be dismissed for now. He does not actually support his insinuation that Ken Ham's theory precludes these notions with evidence. Ham may choose to address this point to avoid an accusation of avoidance.

What the Heck Just Happened?

Mentions a sign which he interprets as a religious claim against the “Big Bang” but it is not clear that is what the sign is saying. Nye seems to be frustrated by a time warning or technical issue. This would indicate a lack of preparation on Bill Nye's part or just a typical computer glitch. Proper debate strategy in this format would dictate practicing beforehand to make sure the best arguments and supporting arguments can be fit within the allotted time whereas technical issues are better worked around. However, because the camera was not on the referee or projector at the time of his “you've gotta be kidding me” comment, it is difficult to verify it was a time warning or a technical error which caused the frustration so a demerit will not be imposed.

Expanding Universe

Gets into an in-depth explanation of Doppler Effect and how that applies to cosmic background sounds. Argues that this was predicted by the Big Bang theory. Doppler Effect is easily observable and does seem to fit the Big Bang predictions which Ham's model does not support in any fashion. Empirical evidence point awarded.

Empirical Points: 7 Debate Demerits: -2

Alchemy in Action

Bill Nye delves into radioactive isotopes explaining how they can be used to theoretically date the earth because of the way they get locked into place when they are frozen in cooled lava. Brings up dating methods relying on the half-life of radioactive isotopes. This is empirical evidence but there have been many issues with all traditional dating methods which is why multiple methods are always used when attempting to date ancient and pre-ancient finds. A wide difference in conclusions are oftentimes received and only a vague estimate can be given.

This In this specific case, a rock being dated can only be dated from the point it metamorphosed and then only if it remained a closed system during that time. However, even though radio-metric dating has severe problems, it does still seem to offer evidence that the Earth is considerably older than six-thousand years. Another empirical point is issued.

Empirical Points: 8 Debate Demerits: -2

Rubidium used in lieu of vivisection is mentioned. But Nye doesn't clearly connect this comment to the debate. He seems to be appealing to the audience to not raise their children to be scientifically ignorant, insinuating that somehow accepting Ken Ham's creation theory will automatically ruin an individual’s ability to do science.

Blinded by Light-years

Then talks about how stars appear to be many light-years away. Bill Nye asks if the evidence he mentioned can be accounted for by Ken Ham's creation theory. This seems like pretty damning evidence for any theory that places the age of the universe within thousands of years. This will be explained in the next paragraph.

Light appears to have a definite maximum speed when observed. It may seem strange, in light of Newtonian motion, but it does seem to be the case. So far, no experimental physicists have been able to prove otherwise. Knowing that constant, it is a relatively simple matter to calculate cosmic distances using the Pythagorean Theorem. It is possible there are other aspects of physics we are not taking into account but this does definitely count as empirical evidence and does seem to injure Ham's model.

Empirical Points: 9 Debate Demerits: -2

Science of Tribal Pride

Finally, Bill Nye wraps up his presentation with an emotional appeal to the audiences patriotism. The tactic he uses is questionable from a scholarly point of view. One may even go so far as to say this is a vulgar and repugnant appeal to ignorance about the very nature of a logical argument. However, an emotional argument will win over an audience where an intellectual argument will not. When it comes to appealing to the masses emotion will trump logic every single time.

Kab Balah

With no rules save his own which to abide by; this thirty minute presentation is bound to take the whole debate in a different direction. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here. This presentation promises to be entertaining, thought-provoking, and delightful.

The Balah Agenda

We have heard Ham attempt to demonstrate the viability of his model of origins and we have heard Bill Nye attempt to show the absurdity of said theory but I suggest that there is much to be learned from this debate which has little if anything to do with the viability of the literalist theory of creation. This debate contains within it a number of insights from both men which can be beneficial to the stimulation of human thought regardless of which side has the “winning” arguments.

I will attempt to highlight this useful information and then I will challenge both the establishment and literalist beliefs. The hope is that we will see that the models of history we have received from both world-views are not viable but that there are clues which may help us to piece together truths about our species’ past. Demonstrated will be our ignorance about such matters but we may find that the mysteries stimulate us to wonder and awe at the possibilities.

Ken Ham’s Wisdom

Questioning the validity of Ham’s interpretation of the Bible is perfectly understandable. Likewise, it is perfectly reasonable to be skeptical that his belief in this interpretation counts as a valid scientific model. However, Ken Ham does have a keen mind so makes brings up some important considerations which should not be dismissed.

Manipulative Language in Textbooks

One of the best points Ham makes is by illustrating the manipulative and unscientific way reality is dictated to school children. Telling children, in no uncertain terms, that a theory is fact and then requiring them to memorize and regurgitate the theory as a fact does not stimulate critical thought. It is also contrary to the very principal of science. In order to expand our knowledge we have to be willing to be open to the possibility that even our most widely held beliefs about the natural world are incomplete or maybe even completely wrong.

Expanding this principal to history books, based on analysis of archaeological finds, we find an alarming tendency to state that civilization started six thousand years ago in Sumer as a fact. It’s not a fact; the absence of evidence isn’t evidence. Just because we may have not found evidence of earlier civilizations, which we have by the way, doesn’t mean there isn’t any.

It may be okay to say something like, “many scientists believe, based on their observations, that complex organisms evolved from more simple ones.” It would also be okay to state that, “for many years the earliest evidence of civilization found by western archaeologists was found in Sumer which seemed to date back as far as six thousand years. This lead to an assumption that civilization had started in the region now known as Iraq around that time. More recent finds, such as the Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, shed doubt on this belief.”

Unfortunately, they don’t do that. To this day text books say things like, “more complex species evolved from less complex species.” A belief is dictated to students as a reality which is presented in a way that does not invite doubt. Even more outrageous, history textbooks still maintain that civilization started about six thousand years ago in Sumer without so much as adding the caveat “seem to have” or “may have” or anything like that. What’s worse, when some people, particularly those published in major corporate-owned publications, write about Gobekli Tepe, the say incredibly stupid things like “The ruins are so early that they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture.” 1)

I try not to get emotional about this sort of thing but the intellectual bankruptcy demonstrated by the establishment news media and education system is downright offensive at times. When we find finely crafted stone ruins of exquisite design, is it reasonable to assume it was built before the invention of agriculture? Is it rational to accept that a people who were able to conduct such an impressive feat of engineering didn’t know how to grow crops domestically? Why do they make those assumptions? The only “proof” that agriculture hadn’t been invented yet are the statements written down in textbooks which themselves are based on grandiose and irrational assumptions.

See: I’m angry now. I’m no fun when I’m angry. I’ll try to calm down. However, if you have children who go to school, and you come to realize the significance of the logical fallacies being indoctrinated, you are likely to be pretty upset as well.

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

The author of this text pointed out that, in the context of this debate which is to argue the validity of the literalist creation theory of Ken Ham, that many Argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority) and “straw man” fallacies were committed by Ham and the scientists he brought into the debate. This is certainly true if we are only looking at the question of the model’s validity. However, when looking at the greater context we find, in the background, an agenda by Bill Nye and similarly minded people to paint Ken Ham and his associates as being unsuitable for the pursuit of science.

By brining accomplished scientists into the debate, who also happen to be creationists, Ham effectively reveals a logical fallacy on the other half of the debate. Specifically, we find that, even if we do find the literalist creation theory of origins illogical, it doesn’t stand to reason that the believers are all incapable of logic and reason. To assume that they are is to commit a logical fallacy which falls under the category of a cum hoc ergo propter hoc (with this, therefore because of this) or something very similar. Just because A (literalism seems illogical) doesn’t necessarily follow that B (literalists are incapable of logic).

We should keep in mind that we are all, except me of course, capable of both reason and irrationality. It’s part of what makes humans so darn amusing! It almost makes me wish I were a real person instead of a work of fiction; almost.

G_d May Be Part of the Problem

Ken Ham challenges Bill Nye to explain where the laws of the universe come from. This insinuates that there must be an intelligent creator. This isn’t a terrible supposition but, argumentum ad absurdum, the answer begs the question, “what or who created the creator?” This isn’t an unanswerable question but it is a frustrating one and one which can, by its very nature, instigate a Zen state where all abstract thought becomes absent from the mind. With this particular challenge to Nye, Ham brought up a very interesting, if difficult, maybe even impossible, to answer question which can help us go blank for a blissful moment or two.

Technology Based on Darwinism

In his thirty minute presentation, Ham challenges Bill Nye to find even one example of a technology developed starting with a belief in “molecules to man” evolution. This is a rather bold maneuver which, were the writer of the article able to think of even one, would warrant a debate demerit be imposed. Because I exist out of time so can see the future, I can tell you right now (spoiler alert) that Nye will not provide an example either. Ham knows that this is an absurd challenge. He is aware that a belief in Darwinism is not necessary to create new technologies nor would one expect that it would be helpful in doing so. He is also aware that not even bacteria, who reproduce literally millions of times faster than an human, have ever been observed (in the known history of science) to evolve into entirely different species. This doesn’t prove that the literalist model of origins is viable but it does suggest that what currently passes as evolutionary theory has problems as well.

Racism Codified

Oftentimes when intellectuals promote Darwinism the only see the rational scientific side of the theory. They are not aware or dismissive of the elitism which may exist at the very core of the theory. Though Ken Ham doesn’t get into detail about the possibly political origin of Darwin’s theory, he does point out the justification of racism revealed in an early text book operating on the assumption of Darwinism as truth.

When we become aware of the way Darwin’s theories where used, and possibly even created with the intent, to justify elitism it doesn’t require us to reject the theory outright. Evolutionary theory seems to have merit for all of its frequently ignored holes. That having been said, it is important to know the socially dangerous potential consequences of Darwinist thinking and Ham touches on this reality.

Flat Earth Conspiracy

Because Ken Ham shows a video of Bill Nye talking about how it can be shown the earth is not flat, I’m given an opportunity to expose a rather prevalent myth. It is a myth so pervasive it seems to pop up just about everywhere. It is the myth that, during the dark ages and into the renaissance, Europeans believed the Earth was flat.

Though it might be reasonable to assume that there were plenty of ignorant uneducated peasants with all kinds of weird notions, possibly including the flat Earth world-view, the scholars of the era never held a belief in a flat earth. The fact of the matter is the Ancient Greeks, as well as civilizations before them such as the Egyptians, not only knew the Earth was more or less spherical, they attempted to calculate its circumference. This knowledge was not unknown among European scholars. All sorts of academics studied the knowledge of the Greeks.

St Thomas Aquinas a priest in the Catholic Church, made his own (rather inaccurate) calculations of the circumference of the earth in the thirteenth century long before Christopher Columbus’ birth. Aquinas was an avid reader of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. He was such a huge fan and based so much of his work on Aristotle that his name can’t even be mentioned without mentioning Aristotle who knew dang well the Earth was not flat.

Some have theorized that the flat Earth myth was propagated by Protestants as a way of characterizing the Catholic Church as preaching flagrant inaccuracies. This is plausible considering the Church’s treatment of Copernicus and Galileo. Whatever the Church believed, which, interestingly enough, was in no small part based on the works of a man from pagan Greece, was the reality one was to accept or risk being branded a heretic.

Neither the Catholic Priesthood, nor any other scholar of Middle-age Europe, ever held a firm belief in a flat earth. If this myth was, as some have suggested, propagated by Protestants then the flat Earth myth was a conspiracy perpetrated against the Papacy. I mention this last part because I like the word “conspiracy.” It conjures up a profound sense of seductive intrigue I find difficult to resist.

But I digress…

You Believe Stuff: Admit It!

The whole point Ken Ham was trying to get across, and I’m letting you know in case you fell asleep during that part of the debate, was that Darwinian Evolutionists have their beliefs. Specifically, what I’d like to point out, they believe that it’s possible to calculate the age of the earth and determine, materialistically, how the creatures of today came to be. Let’s be honest though, if we are going to believe that we can know what we had for lunch yesterday, we might as well believe we can figure out what went on millions of years ago.

Since we’re on the subject, do you remember what you ate for lunch yesterday? No? You’re obviously losing your memory then. You should probably get checked out for a brain tumor or something.

I kid, I kid: it’s actually quite common to forget what you ate the day before and even more common to forget what you ate a week prior. If you really want to know you might have to look for clues like going through your cupboards and find out what isn’t there anymore which might necessitate looking at old grocery receipts.

Nevertheless: the point stands. We all have beliefs, even Atheists. Agnostics are just obnoxious enough to question every single one of them when it suits them. I applaud agnosticism (small “a” used on purpose) but be careful: it’s powerful stuff. Agnosticism can be debilitating in large doses.

Moral Concerns

As, I’ll just go ahead and say it, asinine as Ken Ham’s interpretation of the Bible may be, his reminder that the State is not G_d, whether you believe in G_d or not, and neither is this mythical magical indivisible thing some call “Science.” He doesn’t put it in this way, of course, but that is the real concern. Science, if it is to be truly scientific rather than political, cannot be thought of as having absolute and indisputable conclusions. Institutions with absolute and indisputable conclusions which should not be questions are called organized religions.

So, next time you’re reading your child’s science textbook, you read something like “the dinosaurs were wiped out by an asteroid or comet” instead of saying something like “evidence found in the Yucatán peninsula seems to confirm the dinosaurs were wiped out by a comet” please burn it. It’s not a science book; it’s a program designed to make your kid believe what is told to them without question. It’s very convenient for the State and the corporate consumer-based economic strategy but it’s very inconvenient for the future of humanity.

“That’s just a wild conspiracy theory,” you say? Look: burn it… Or at least point out the assumptions and teach your children to question things they read. Having a child that actually knows how to think may not be as bad as you might think.

“Could you please provide some citations?” No. No citations are needed. Just think about it. Please.

Bill Nye’s Wisdom

Even though Nye fancies himself a sort of comedian, which implies he has wrongly held belief he is funny, he actually does seem to be correct about a number of things. Going over his thirty minute presentation, we will look at some of those really briefly and then more on to my incredibly awesome theories. Please feel free to skip this section if you feel confident you know what his valid points are.

Layers

Do we really have to get into this in detail? Really briefly: why do some trees have more rings than Ham believes there are years? Do we have to plant some saplings, cut them down, and then count the rings just to be sure? Did some of the ancient Ponderosa Pine trees start growing in cycles every few months for some reason we do not know? What could that reason possibly be?

By the way, this dumbass cut down the world’s oldest tree: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/smart-news/how-one-man-accidentally-killed-the-oldest-tree-ever-125764872/

No, I don’t feel bad calling him a dumbass. He knows he’s a dumbass. He keeps a section of the tree in his office to remind him of this reality. I wonder how often he has to endure the jibe, “Hey Don! Cut down any trees lately?” Ha ha ha. I’m sure that never gets old.

All in good fun Rusk. Don’t cry.

There are millions of layers of rock. Why are they layered? What is the reasonable explanation for that? Ice layers? Isn’t it reasonable to assume that rock layers and ice layers are also formed by annual or semi-annual cycles? Is there any reason to believe that isn’t a good assumption?

I do believe that reality is a really persistent Illusion but it’s really persistent because it seems to follow a certain continuity with predictable cyclical occurrences. I’m all for solipsism but we have to believe we have feet or we wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. I actually have no feet but you knew that already.

Bazinga!

The ultimate burn to Ham (pun not intended) must have been impossible to resist. Nye exploits the reality that few Bible believers believe the, possibly limited, genealogies in Genesis can be used to predict the age of the Earth. Some believe there are clues in the Bible suggesting there were other people on the Earth when the Eloheim created Adam. It gets complicated. I don’t claim to have the answers, even though I do but just won’t tell you, but I am certain that we really don’t know what the heck was going on in the Bible. People devote their entire lives to studying it, often building their understanding on the foundation of others, without satisfactorily making sense of it. There are a wide range of different Christian denominations who don’t subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible.

Believing the Torah is anything other than the “Word of G_d” is considered not “Jewishy” but Rabbis can’t agree on what to make of it either.

Rabbis and “Rebbes” don’t all believe the genealogy in Genesis proves the earth is only about six thousand years old, at least not in accordance with the same measure of time which is used today. They don’t deny that the genealogies in the Torah indicate a six thousand year timeline since creation. With a seeming contradiction to modern scientific discovery, sometimes pioneered by Jews, hilarity ensues. A common reconciliation seems to be to point out that it’s hard to define what “day” means prior to the fourth “day” before which night and day didn’t exist. 2) 3) 4) Rabbi’s that don’t subscribe to this notion sound not unlike Ken Ham when tackling this issue albeit a bit more entertaining about it. 5) Then there are the Rabbis who bring me into it, no doubt to intentionally confuse people (kidding). 6) When it comes right down to it though, so long as a Jew is observing all their Mitzvot (Torah Laws/Religious Duties), it doesn’t really matter what they believe. 7)

Ham admits during the debate that salvation isn’t dependent on a belief in a “young Earth” but insults those who don’t claiming they have a problem with G_d’s Word.

Nephalim

When he brings up remains of non-homosapien humans, Bill Nye broaches a subject that contradicts Ken Ham’s claim that the Bible predicts only one race. The Bible does focus on one group of tribes descended from Adam and Eve but it also talks about hybrid giant races resulting from the interbreeding of Eloheim with “daughters of man” known as Nephalim. This doesn’t negate the value of Ham’s non-racist views but it does bring up an interesting aspect of Biblical and other ancient texts.

Logistical Problems of Noah

When Nye points out the difficult to fathom logistics of Noah’s Ark and the conspicuous lack of “bunny fossils” between Turkey and Australia he points out the seeming absurdity of what he seems to believe is nothing more than a fantasy story. Certainly, for myself, it is difficult for me to comprehend how any thinking and rational person can assume that this story is perfectly accurate as it has been passed down and interpreted throughout the ages. Indeed Bill Nye makes some good points here which lead some to conclude that the flood myth is nothing more than a fantasy story but I’d like to pose a different possibility.

When we research the epic of Gilgamesh we find the possibility that the flood narrative of Genesis may have been passed down orally from early stories. 8) Likewise, with multiple editions having been found, there is evidence the flood story of the Epic was also passed down and expanded upon from earlier retellings, it may be possible that even though something truly cataclysmic happened thousands of years ago but the exact details were lost and the story embellished upon. With many ancient stories having been corroborated, if only up to a point, by archaeological finds, such as the discovery of the city of Troy 9), we would be ill advised to dismiss any myth as being purely fictional with no basis in historic truth.

Distance of Stars

Bill Nye reveals the usefulness of the Pythagorean Theorem. This mathematical tool is one of those consistencies which illustrate the persistency of this illusion we call reality. It always works so long as accurate, precise, and complete data is available. It makes it hard to dispute the age of the Universe based on the apparent distance of the stars. If there is another explanation which is more valid, it doesn’t seem like anyone has found one we can verify.

We Don’t Know Our Origins

Darwininian Evolutionary theory has its merits and the Bible has its clues, but ultimately both Materialist and Literalist theories have huge holes. I suggest that it is possible that we really don’t have a clear idea of where we come from or how long we’ve been on this planet. Our distant past is buried under layers of time and shrouded in mystery.

Moses Speaks Out

Sometimes referred to as Moses because his iconic portrayal of the role many years ago, Charlton Heston also took on the part of narrator for a rather controversial television special known as The Mysterious Origins of Man (MOM). Gripping tightly onto their dogmatic world-views, some academics responded to MOM with violent emotional responses. 10) While some have attacked the film with nothing more than emotional outcry, others have embraced exposure to the “anomalies” brought up by the film. How can we trust the scientific community if conflicting evidence is hidden from public view?

Intellectual Laziness

When encountering ancient finds which seem to demonstrate a highly sophisticated level of scientific and engineering prowess, some will automatically jump to the conclusion that “aliens did it.” Although some unusual finds are difficult to explain away without brining extra-terrestrials into the equation, to automatically assume our distant ancestors were too stupid to figure out how to accomplish and learn remarkable things is not only arrogant; it doesn’t fit the facts. There has been found absolutely no evidence that humans today are smarter than humans many thousands of years ago.

Here is a question to ponder: what if our ancestors were capable of inter-planetary or possibly even inter-stellar travel? What if we’re the aliens? These are just speculations but they exist because there is some weird stuff around which our “official” narratives have not been able to explain.

Little Death Star Anomalies

One of the most puzzling finds revealed by MOM definitely includes the Klerksdorp Spheres. These remarkable little balls have, by my estimation, yet to be satisfactorily explained away as any sort of natural phenomenon yet they have been dated as old as three billion years! A number of remarkable claims have been made about these little things some of which look like the Death Star from the science fiction series Star Wars.

The following article lambasts many of the claims made about the spheres attempting to put to bed the controversy: http://ncse.com/rncse/28/1/mysterious-spheres-ottosdal-south-africa . However, If we pay really close attention to the language, we find phrases like “Hindu creationists” and “fringe groups.” Given the context, these are clearly insults and ad hominem attacks. If the intellectual argument disputing the claims is so strong then why was it necessary to include such rhetoric? It can be argued that the author himself loses credibility from using such tactics.

Great Big Death Star Anomaly

There is a rather peculiar moon of Saturn known as Iapetus. Iapetus has characteristics that are difficult to explain away as the result of natural phenomenon. Interestingly, though the planetary bodies and the shape of the Monolith was changed when adapted to film, the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey originally focused around Iapetus. 11)

The following site obsesses on the features of Iapetus which is quite understandable. It tries to convince the moon is an artificial or artificially modified. If you scroll down to nearly the bottom of the article, you will see the peculiar equatorial ridge. Any hypothesis speculating that this ridge as natural must also have an explanation as to why it doesn’t occur on any other known moon or planet: http://www.enterprisemission.com/moon1.htm

Pyramids of Ancient China

Another fantastic example of how little we know of our ancient history includes the many pyramids of China. Yes; there are pyramids in China. There are a LOT of pyramids in China. There are HUGE pyramids in China. 12)

Why aren’t we told about these things? Some speculate that there is controversy due to the mythologies surrounding them dealing with blue-eyed blonde people. Some “white mummies” have been found as we can see from this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9ppqQ_r1dQ Whatever the reason these are rarely discussed in the West, we can conclude that there is much we don’t know about out distant past.

Conclusion: We Don’t Know

We really don’t know where the stories in the Bible originally came from or what inspired them. One may make the case that the Bible is the “Word of G_g” or inspired by G_d but those statements are open for interpretation as well, aren’t they? What do those statements even mean?

We really don’t know anything about our ancient history even though our establishment archaeologists and historians try to feed us their line of bull as if it were indisputable facts. With the failure of scientific thought so bold and evident in this example we should be wary of any other school of science who claims to know conclusively how humans and other multicellular life came to be in its present form on this planet. Even in physics political thinking has polluted the water at times. A prime example is the particle versus wave debate which, it turns out, was a meaningless conflict. Turns out energy consists of quanta of waveform so can be thought of as a particle even though it is a wave as well.

So let’s not let any authorities dictate to us what “fact” is just because they use clever rhetoric. Let’s keep in mind that in order to be truly scientific we must both keep an open mind while at the same time be skeptical. There is no certainty in science and verily I say unto you that I, Kab Alah, am science so am uncertain. Thank you.

Wrap-up

Both debaters made excellent points during their thirty minute presentations but it may be concluded that, so far, Ken Ham's model has not proven to be viable nor has it been completely demolished either. Debating about events of which there are no verifiable first-hand accounts is proving to be a challenge. Perhaps, if either debater can demonstrate in part three that one of their models could be actually useful to applied science, we will be able to make a determination.

Even if neither man is able to satisfactorily show a useful application of a model of origins, we can still benefit from analyzing this debate through examining the thought process itself and the data presented we can verify. Part three will reveal, if not a definitive conclusion about the Literal Creationist model, then at least additional mental stimulus and amusement.

As revealed in the introductory paragraph, the scoring will not be included in part three. To reiterate, Nye would have won the scoring albeit not by as wide a margin indicated by this section. Both gentlemen would have had equal debate demerits and not many of them so it can be inferred that their debating skills are not in question. It is expected that the review and analysis of the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate will be completed and released soon with the third and final part of this series.

science | religion | philosophy


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