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Jan 08 2014

My frustration with Bill Naive

Sadly I will not be going to Kentucky in February.  I’m very disappointed that I won’t be going to the creation museum to support Bill Nye in his debate against one of this country’s leading snake oil salesman.  I would have gone, but tickets were mysteriously suspiciously unavailable to atheists.  A half-dozen of us were already on the ticket site the moment they went on sale.  Some of these guys posted to my facebook about what was happening at that moment.  They all tried to add tickets to the cart but got an error message as the site crashed.  It quickly came back online announcing that all 900 seats had sold out instantaneously simultaneously, and somehow none of the interested atheist groups got even one of those tickets -according to all the reports I’ve heard so far.  So we’re not going after all.

I had been invited to speak to the Louisville Atheists the night before the debate.  Obviously that has to be cancelled too.  I had also intended to meet an old friend while on my way through Nashville, so I have a few reasons to be disappointed.

Now here’s my frustration with Bill Nye.  I seriously doubt he has any idea of the sort of con-men and charlatans he’s dealing with.  Otherwise he would not have booked his debate to take place inside the creation museum where the opposition controls absolutely everything, and will throw people out just for wearing atheist tee shirts.

It’s not just that no atheists are getting in.  It’s that there won’t be any publicly accessible unedited video either.  You can buy the DVD, but only after it has been sanitized and edited the way answersingenesis wants it.  So what is the point of even doing it?  It should have been in a neutral venue where AiG wouldn’t be able to restrict who gets tickets, where they wouldn’t have brought in $22,500.00 just off ticket sales in addition to a $5.00 charge per person to watch the live stream, and then additional cash off the sale of DVDs.

Thanks Bill.  The creation museum was in financial trouble, and you’ve just given them tens of thousands of dollars.  That’s not really a victory for science education, now is it?  For those of us who have been recorded and colorfully edited by these people, the worst is yet to come, I’m sorry to say.

When I was asked to debate Ray Comfort on the radio, my only condition was that he not be able to make any money off of me. There is a reason to debate these people, but if you’re going to contribute to thier cash-flow, then that defeats the purpose. That’s all they care about.  They’re certainly not interested in truth.  Money is what creates these people in the first place.  So we don’t ever want them to make a dime off of us, and we don’t want them to have exclusive control of anything.

57 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    I share your frustration. He really has just handed his name over to Answers in Genesis, and given them free rein to do whatever they please with it.

  2. 2
    Jasper of Maine

    I wonder if they’ll expand the venue to allow more seating. If the tickets sold instantly, you’d think they’d have dollar signs in their eyes.

    I think controlling the venue is more important to them.

    1. 2.1
      theignored

      Agreed.

  3. 3
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Ken Ham is very clear as to why he occupies the position he does. To him, his religion is a house of cards. If you remove a single aspect, the entire edifice comes collapsing down.

    I do not know if this is true in a literal sense. Surely his narrative could survive a little give and take? Apparently not, if I listen to the Hamster. Every single part must be exactly true. His story simply cannot bear any adjustment for whatever reason. It is, then, quite the opposite of science. And for very rational reasons: No fairytale = no income stream, no social standing, no future as a charlatan.

    1. 3.1
      silverbuttons

      I often wonder if these guys really believe the garbage they spew from the pulpits every week. It seems to me that they really are just charlatans, the religious world’s equivalent of the guy going door-to-door selling hair-growth tonic to gullible bald men. They know the tonic doesn’t work, but they have to put everything they’ve got into the pitch or they won’t make the sale. In religion, as in the sales world, one should always be closing.

  4. 4
    Freethinkin_Franklin

    Arron, I’m surprised you are giving up so quickly… You have many resources at your disposal, you could contact many for help, and surely they would once the particulars are known. 2 that come to mind are Bill Maher, seeing how Ham saw it fit in using his name in calling out “unbelievers” and Penn Jellette, this is just the short list… I’m sure you could contact many more that can rain “hell fire” down on the charlatans.
    Do not cave in so easy. Be it “fair” or not, fact is there are many that are counting on you.

  5. 5
    Hojo.Jack

    I understand your frustration, but at this point, what is Bill Nye to do? If he steps away at this point, creationist will run with it as a victory.

    I think the best thing is to try and selvage a bad situation. Someone needs to get the live-stream and record it. That would be the closes to an unedited version of this debate. In addition, there still should be some hope that an atheist was able to purchase tickets. Perhaps that person could be equipped with recording material in order to document this event.

    1. 5.1
      Jasper of Maine

      “Cutting and running” may be much preferable. Or at least just honestly stating his reasons – realizing that it’s a setup and he’d like a more fair venue and rules, and that he realizes he may be out of his league.

      The issue with recording the live event may be one of copyright. They probably know that. Anywhere it’s posted it could be immediately taken down. Then again, they could claim the same for independent recordings in the audience.

      1. Carol Lynn

        Short clips are ‘fair use” – someone should record the live stream.

        1. gworroll

          Short clips can be fair use for certain purposes, it’s not automatic. And if AiG decides to sue, it’s on the user of the short clip to establish fair use.

          Short clips used in the way AronRa would likely use them should clear the test, but AiG could make it a pain in the ass getting there if they wanted to.

    2. 5.2
      Eric R

      AIG is going to run with it as a victory. period end of sentence. Ken Ham wont have to utter a syllable for that to be the end result of this so-called “debate” as far as they are concerned.

      Short of GOD himself appearing, turning Ken Ham to a Pillar of salt and exclaiming to the crowd “I didn’t create squat” Bill Nye will be declared the loser. Even with that intervention the chance of AIG or anyone in the stacked audience actually considering real evidence is still at best 50-50.

  6. 6
    jatheist

    How about starting a petition to stop the event?

  7. 7
    Monocle Smile

    I truly enjoy listening to Nye speak about science education and even about creationism in the public forum, but you’re right that he didn’t exactly know what he was getting himself into.

    It’s not just that Ham and his comrades don’t play by the rules. It’s that they don’t even understand the concept. They bitch and moan about governmental interference in how they push their particular religion, but then they do their level best to Big Brother these kinds of events. It gets more shameful by the minute.

  8. 8
    kestra

    I’m really, really unsurprised. Bill Nye has been back in the media for a little while now, a turn on “Dancing with the Stars” and a TED talk. I sincerely doubt he just happened to climb back into the public spotlight after a few decades fairly well out of it. He is no doubt charging AiG/Ken Ham some amount of money for this “debate.” He must have signed a contract, which stipulated conditions of the debate, including the venue and the distribution of the proceeds. I sincerely doubt he *cares* who is in the audience, just as long as they pay.

    The bit about AiG controlling the video distribution is a little surprising, since its not like this is Bill’s first time at the media rodeo, but I guess he didn’t have as much clout as Ken Ham did going in. In other words, he needed this ($) more. Much as I love the work Bill did in science education when I was a child, you don’t get to be on TV by not being a self-promoter.

    1. 8.1
      Monocle Smile

      Wow, those are some pretty sharp words aimed at a guy who’s done nothing but good for the public.

      I think a much more likely scenario is that Ken Ham et al blatantly lied about all the conditions of the debate and Nye feels backing out would be a bad PR move. But maybe that’s just me.

      1. theignored

        If Ken Ham DID lie, I’d imagine that Nye would have some recording or written statement, wouldn’t he, unless this was an entirely verbal arrangement.

  9. 9
    Nigel McNaughton

    I just don’t get what Bill Nye is getting out of this. He’s basically said ‘Yes’ and Ken Ham is getting everything he could possibly want. Nye could have got plenty of concessions, neutral venue, money to charity, free stream, and so on, yet every possible decision about this debate favours Ken. Nye really is walking into this completely blind. I just can’t fathom what is going on here.

  10. 10
    derek sweeney

    first time commenting, but I haven’t seen anyone mention that the debate (Feb. 6) suspiciously coincides with the deadline that Ken Ham has to raise the rest of the bond money to finance the Ark project.
    From Mano Singham’s article on this:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/01/08/the-ark-struggles-to-stay-afloat

    The first phase of the project was to cost $73 million and $14 million had been raised initially. AiG then seems to have persuaded (suckered?) the town of Williamstown to issue a bond authorization for the rest, plus a 75% break in property taxes for 30 years. But only $26.5 million in bonds have been sold so far (and not to institutional investors, an always worrying sign) and another $29 million must be sold by February 6 in order to avoid triggering redemption of all the bonds already sold.

    What better way for Ham to get publicity and funds pouring in than to debate one of the most famous science advocates. It will be very ironic if this debate, which Nye hopes will promote science, ends up as the stimulus Ham needs to get enough funding to save his Ark project.

  11. 11
    anthrosciguy

    My late wife didn’t understand academic politics when it was used against her because she didn’t do academic politics herself. I suspect Bill Nye doesn’t see what’s happening because he doesn’t do those things himself. That’s a huge mistake on his part.

  12. 12
    closedmyaccount

    You can be certain that Nye informed himself about Mr. Ham and his acitvities, and consulted several people, before he signed any paperwork. He might appear a bit naive sometimes, but he’s not dumb.

    Don’t think this is going to be some epic showdown. It’s not.

    Check this
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/live/debates/bill-nye-vs-ken-ham/

    It’s a very non-hostile debate setup and apparently, it will be streamed live, so the expected “creationist director’s cut” will not be the only video footage available. Both of them will get exactly what they want from it, and as soon as you tune in, you’ll find that it will be a slightly above average piece of infotainment.

    1. 12.1
      godlesspanther

      “non-hostile environment”? What are you smoking? It’s the creation museum — known for kicking people out for petty and arbitrary reasons. Known for having armed guards and dogs. It’s a hostile — extremely hostile environment.

      Creationists are dishonest people — they cannot and should not be trusted at all.

      1. closedmyaccount

        “Each man delivers what he believes is the best information currently available for his case. Each then has an opportunity for rebuttal and afterward answers questions submitted by the audience.”

        First I blah about my pets, then you blah about your pets, then each of us has 5 minutes to explain why we don’t like each other’s pets that much, and in the end, random people can throw softballs from a distance.

        That’s it. No thrills, no cross-examination.
        Actually, we don’t even have to guess what speaker is going to say.

        In round 1, Nye will explain some basics about how science works, its achievements and how america needs educated peoples. Ham will deliver a mixture of typical ‘creation science’ falsehoods and spontaneous utterances of praise, and demand that “real science”, aka christian creationism, must be taught in schools.

        In round 2, Nye will try to clean up the mess Ham has left in round 1 ($5 say that “fossils” will be a huge topic) and he will reject the teaching of creationism in classrooms, based on scientific and legal grounds. Ham then says that courts don’t decide what ‘real science’is and he’ll flash some pictures of labcoat poodles like Georgia Purdom to make creationism look like legitimate science.

        That was the debate.

        Q&A starts, you’ll hear random variation of these idiocies read from prepared notes.

        A) How we don’t know everything and that there is “something instead of nothing”, decorated with some fine tuning lala.
        B) How the Bible contains totally legitimate scientific claims, if you only read it the right way.
        C) How it is totalitarian and undemocratic to not take creationism into the science classes.
        D) How scientific knowledge is totally unreliable because it always changes.
        …and so on.

        Expect nothing more than the most boring exercise of Nye fghting a firewall of well established, self-satisfied stupidity, while Ham is already busy counting the mowneys.

        In the end, there will be a mass prayer and a call for donations. Same old, same old.
        And that’s that.

        1. Flash Bastard

          Followed of course by thirty second Youtube videos entitled “Ken Ham DESTROYS Bill Nye in debate!!!one!”

          Comments/ratings disabled of course.

    2. 12.2
      Mike

      You will forgive all of the rest of us if we don’t trust Ken Ham as far as we could throw an elephant.

  13. 13
    myleslawrence

    This is one VID that will be difficult to watch and I may pass. I wish he would just call in sick. Even if it is streamed live ( which I doubt), the legacy will be countless YouTube clips of Ham ‘defeating’ Nye on every point and will end up on the answers web site. It will truly be a sad day for the advancement of free thought and science. And the point about it helping finance the ark project is priceless.

  14. 14
    godlesspanther

    I have read some comments from folks who are optimistic about this and believe that Nye will have a platform to present real science to Ham’s sheep. I, however, have not been so optimistic. The more I learn about the upcoming debate the more depressing it becomes.

    It appears that it is set-up so that Ham wins and Bill Nye has nothing to gain. There is, however, a flip-side to ‘nothing to gain’ and that is — nothing to lose.

    I think that Nye should use the platform to explain to the Ham-sheep what a dishonest, lying, psychotic, child-abusing fuck Ken Ham really is. Just unload on Ham with both barrels.

  15. 15
    tsig

    Bill Nye will publicly convert on stage and call for all good Christians to help build the Ark. :[ :{

    1. 15.1
      silverbuttons

      If that means putting all of the Christians ON the ark, then I’m all for it. They can float around in the ocean, living in their own stink and feces, until the Second Coming.

  16. 16
    Ashley haworth-roberts

    Ken Ham has been lying about Aron Ra (a man he fears to debate) today:

    https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham
    “Last year, the Texas State Director for the American Atheists wanted to debate me in Texas (I was there to speak at a Home School Convention). There are many reasons why I did not respond to his request (I believe the video clip I’ve included in this post will help you understand why). Well, now this activist atheist has responded to my upcoming debate with Bill Nye. I normally don’t do this–but I thought you should see this video clip to give you an example of an American Atheist state director and the type of ridiculous propaganda these atheists disseminate about biblical creationists. So much is misrepresentation, untrue etc–but then again, atheists don’t have the same absolute moral basis as Christians do so that’s understandable. (Oh–the Creation Museum property is actually about 45 minutes from the Ark Encounter property).
    So –here is the Texas State Director for the American Atheists discussing Ken Ham and Bill Nye.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRMmV-c2uDM

    WHAT was the misrepresentation? WHAT was untrue?

    Ken Ham does not know so pretends that it is ‘obvious’.

    The only person indulging in misrepresentations and untruths – about his own past statements and positions – is Mr HAM. Last year HE wrote: “They begin by accusing me of indoctrination, lying, and depriving children of learning science—and then ask me to participate in a debate? Why would anyone accept such an unprofessional, nasty invitation?
    Now, we’re not saying no to a debate with the Houston Atheists Association. In fact we want one of our PhD scientists on staff to debate a PhD scientist chosen by the Houston Atheists Association. This would encourage a more fruitful exchange on the merits of creation vs. evolution, the age of the universe, etc. Answers in Genesis would seek out an impartial moderator, perhaps a local newsperson, and the debate could even be held in a university setting. Such a debate needs to be set up in a formal and professional way”.
    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2013/05/31/houston-atheists-unprofessional-debate-challenge/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+KenHam+%28Around+the+World+with+Ken+Ham%29

    Despite P Z Myers then offering to participate as well, Ham then went totally SILENT (publicly) on this matter (until this month).

    He hopes people will forget that and think that – as is now his position – he never had any attention of debating Ra (because Ra’s challenge was unprofessional) and was entirely clear on that point AT THE TIME.

    Well, non-creationists have better memories than he thinks.

    PS I have just listened to Ra’s video again and still don’t know what misrepresentations and untruths Ham is alleging are contained within it.

  17. 17
    Ashley haworth-roberts

    As my attempted urgent post just now ‘awaits moderation’ due to several links, here it is again without the actual links (see details in square brackets).

    Ken Ham has been lying about Aron Ra (a man he fears to debate) today:

    [Ken Ham's Facebook page]
    “Last year, the Texas State Director for the American Atheists wanted to debate me in Texas (I was there to speak at a Home School Convention). There are many reasons why I did not respond to his request (I believe the video clip I’ve included in this post will help you understand why). Well, now this activist atheist has responded to my upcoming debate with Bill Nye. I normally don’t do this–but I thought you should see this video clip to give you an example of an American Atheist state director and the type of ridiculous propaganda these atheists disseminate about biblical creationists. So much is misrepresentation, untrue etc–but then again, atheists don’t have the same absolute moral basis as Christians do so that’s understandable. (Oh–the Creation Museum property is actually about 45 minutes from the Ark Encounter property).
    So –here is the Texas State Director for the American Atheists discussing Ken Ham and Bill Nye.
    [Ra's recent video 'Ken Ham vs Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!']

    WHAT was the misrepresentation? WHAT was untrue?

    Ken Ham does not know so pretends that it is ‘obvious’.

    The only person indulging in misrepresentations and untruths – about his own past statements and positions – is Mr HAM. Last year HE wrote: “They begin by accusing me of indoctrination, lying, and depriving children of learning science—and then ask me to participate in a debate? Why would anyone accept such an unprofessional, nasty invitation?
    Now, we’re not saying no to a debate with the Houston Atheists Association. In fact we want one of our PhD scientists on staff to debate a PhD scientist chosen by the Houston Atheists Association. This would encourage a more fruitful exchange on the merits of creation vs. evolution, the age of the universe, etc. Answers in Genesis would seek out an impartial moderator, perhaps a local newsperson, and the debate could even be held in a university setting. Such a debate needs to be set up in a formal and professional way”.
    [Ham's 'Around the World with Ken Ham' blog post for 31.5.13.]

    Despite P Z Myers then offering to participate as well, Ham then went totally SILENT (publicly) on this matter (until this month).

    He hopes people will forget that and think that – as is now his position – he never had any attention of debating Ra (because Ra’s challenge was unprofessional) and was entirely clear on that point AT THE TIME.

    Well, non-creationists have better memories than he thinks.

    PS I have just listened to Ra’s video again and still don’t know what misrepresentations and untruths Ham is alleging are contained within it.

  18. 18
    Ashley haworth-roberts

    My two posts here – at 11.04 and 11.10 pm GMT on 9.1.14:

    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3421&p=48232#p48232

  19. 19
    Hank_Says

    Ham’s a used-god salesman of the most craven and shameless variety and this is looking like a terrible train wreck as time goes on. It is, of course, not a debate – it’s a marketing exercise and an income stream to prop up Ham’s failing empire.

    Also, I’m guessing the ticket page was a complete sham and that every single ticket was pre-sold to Hamites (Ken Popehat, for example, might want to investigate whether there’s any impropriety going on there – not even a Led Zeppelin reunion show would sell out instantaneously).

    Someone close to Bill needs to convince him to just cancel, walk away and absorb Ham’s bleating (which will be quite loud if he has to refund 22 grand!). Talk to Ken or some other extremist cretin if you must, but do it on neutral ground. If this goes ahead as planned, I wouldn’t have too many objections to somebody recording the livestream in its entirety and sharing it immediately (as that may be the only way a non-mangled recording would ever be made public). I might even lend them the five bucks access fee myself.

    1. 19.1
      Hank_Says

      Let me just add that it won’t even matter if Nye does load for bear and tears Ham several new ones – AiG’s little elves will edit the footage mercilessly and swamp the web with endless clips of Ham “defeating” or “embarrassing” Nye.

      It’ll be classic pigeon chess: Ham will knock the pieces over, shit all over the board and fly home to coo about his victory.

      1. EnlightenmentLiberal

        If an unedited video doesn’t make it out, then this entire thing will be a colossal unmitigated disaster. If we get an unedited video on youtube, then it’s just a huge disaster. It’s one thing to debate Ham. It’s another thing to give him the massive fundraising that he needs. If you want to debate Ham, then do it, at a neutral venue where it’s not a fundraising exercise for him. I do hope Bill pulls out. I hope we at least get that unedited video and Bill does well.

  20. 20
    Tony Breeden

    Do you actually believe that the online software for ordering the several hundred debate tickets could discern who was in the queue to order tickets and could sort the atheists from the others? Even Ken Ham addressed that on his blog. I have seen notices (eg, Facebook) where Nye supporters say they WERE able to get tickets. Also, do you believe that Bill Nye and his handlers would agree to being a part of a DVD recording where AiG could even be allowed to “sanitize” and “edit” the final DVD? You don’t even know what kind of honorarium Nye is getting. Do you seriously think ticket sales (800-900 tickets x$25 each)would cover his honorarium and travel expenses for a man as much in demand as a speaker as he is?

    No wonder creationists don’t want to debate you. You can’t be taken seriously.

    1. 20.1
      Holms

      Also, do you believe that Bill Nye and his handlers would agree to being a part of a DVD recording where AiG could even be allowed to “sanitize” and “edit” the final DVD? You don’t even know what kind of honorarium Nye is getting.

      Well, what we do know is that he fucked up in allowing the debate to take place in a non-neutral setting,
      he fucked up in allowing AiG control over the attendence revenue,
      he fucked up in allowing AiG control over the internet viewership,
      and he fucked up in allowing AiG control over the DVD sales… so it actually seems fairly reasonable to at least permit the possibility that he also fucked up by ceding editorial control to them as well.

      You don’t even know what kind of honorarium Nye is getting. Do you seriously think ticket sales (800-900 tickets x$25 each)would cover his honorarium and travel expenses for a man as much in demand as a speaker as he is?

      That only highlights another area of concern: the lack of transparency surrounding this thing.

      No wonder creationists don’t want to debate you.

      Are you aware that AiG, along with many other creationists, are a frequent pest to the Big Name Athiests like Dawkins with their constant debate requests, made worse by their constant accusations of cowardice when they are turned down. Creationists crave debates against the big names, because they are in constant need of legitimacy by association.

      That’s the biggest mistake made by Nye: in accepting their challenge, he has instantly become a feather in the cap of the creationist crowd who can now say truthfully that big name secularists are taking them seriously.

      You can’t be taken seriously.

      Non sequitur.

  21. 21
    Tony Breeden

    The fact that PZ Myers was the first cheerleader to comment on this post does not surprise me. You guys avoid debate because you always lose debates and you think that by carefully controlling the flow of information to the public you can keep them from examining the issue too much. Face it: open debate reveals that Darwin has a glass chin. I wrote about this way back in what 2010:http://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/the-evolving-post-darwin-evolutionism-darwins-glass-chin/

    1. 21.1
      Nigel McNaughton

      That doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense given that PZ and Aron are the precisely the 2 people that Ken Ham ran away from a debate challenge. And before that Aron Ra had a great debate with Ray Comfort. Ken Ham is the one running, not them. But don’t let the truth get in the way of your sneering.

    2. 21.2
      Alex

      Us, Carefully controlling the flow of information? Haha, Are you serious? There is an entire internet full of arguments and information, written by hundreds of professionals, explaining in detail why young earth creationism is a joke. If you are a young earth creationist, you are a walking selective controller of information, because you are living in a world which contradicts your dogma at every corner. That you accuse the side of sciene of holding back information about the science is risible.

      1. Ashley haworth-roberts

        Breeden must agree with ‘Cowboy’ Bob Sorensen about ‘evolutionists’ suppressing something, though I know not WHAT (they BOTH love ‘Creation Sunday’/’Question Evolution Day’ as well).

        http://www.piltdownsuperman.com/

    3. 21.3
      Ashley haworth-roberts

      Which ‘side’ won THIS debate, Tony?

      1. silverbuttons

        The clothing is modern, but that backdrop is straight out of the ’70s! X>D

    4. 21.4
      John Heininger

      All this talk about controlled debating conditions and greedy creationists is rather amusing. I received an invitation to attend a “meet Richard Dawkins” dinner function. All I had to do was fork out $500 for the privilege. Which made it the most expensive dinner invitation in recorded history. As for controlling the debate, closing down all discussion, and restricting public access to opposing views and information, the Humanist spawned NCSE in the US, and the BCSE in the UK, were initiated for that specific reason. In fact, I was personally told by the BCSE heavy that if my comments did not meet with their approval I would be denied access.

      Of course, we all know the reason for this. Dawkins and others rightly call creationists “history deniers”, Which is exactly what evolutionary theory is. A hypothetical “historical theory” based on subjective interpretations, inferences, assumptions, conjecture, and speculation as to what SUPPOSEDLY happened in the unobserved distant past. With no possible way of ever “empirically verifying”, by experimentation or observation, that events happened one way, and not another way, or even whether the evolutionary continuum happened at all. Which is why there are no Nobel Prizes in science for evolutionary “historical theories”. And why the debate has been raging for over 150 years, and could well go on for another 150.

      Thus, the public debate of our time is not “Is it Science”, but whether mainstream science itself now resides in a surreal godless “metaphysical” world of its own making, far removed from reality. Indeed, mainstream science now operates on naturalism and godless materialism. Along with the belief that science is the only source of knowledge and truth. Naturalism is the “metaphysical” belief that nature is all there is, and that the universe and everything is solely the result of natural processes and causes alone. As pointed out by the Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (McMillan), another name for this religious perspective is SCIENTISM. ( And it is this godless Humanist ideology and scientism that is now being imposed on students in education and science classes. A matter all theists and political conservatives must now address, expose and pursue. )

      As for all creationists making money out of their beliefs, I am always out of pocket for everything I do in this regard. Maybe a few filthy rich atheists like Richard can help me out – thegodreality.com

      1. Nigel McNaughton

        Are you really comparing a debate to a fundraiser dinner? If you think a $500 dollar a dinner fundrasier is high price then you’re not very informed about political fundraising, there is no upper limit on those tickets.

        1. John Heininger

          So, it appears the money grab is on everywhere. Little wonder Jesus ate wild olives and fish from the lake. And why most of us given such dinners the miss, and stick with fish and chips.

      2. Narf

        Yeah, if you aren’t well into 4 digits, it isn’t a high-priced fund raiser.

        There are several points on which you’re dead wrong, John.  Science uses methodological naturalism, not philosophical naturalism.  There’s a huge difference.

        And if you think science is so useless at determining what is true, can you name another method that has a better track record of results?

        The debate has only been raging so long because the fundamentalist religious nuts are busy trying to take over US society. There is no scientific controversy, just fundamentalist propaganda. Where is the Discovery Institute’s research division? They don’t do any actual science, just propaganda.

        1. John Heininger

          Yes, Narf, there is a huge difference between Methodological naturalism and Metaphysical naturalism. And I would like to comment more on this decisive issue. I have a house full of visiting relatives for the next two weeks, but will comment on this whole issue as soon as the deck clears.

      3. silverbuttons

        EVIDENCE, John. That’s all we ask for. Archeological, paleontological, anthropological, genetic, biological, geological…. Please pick from any three of those categories, or all of them if you wish, to show us that the world came into being, with all of its current and past life forms, in a six-day period at any time in the past. If you are a young-earth creationist, you have to provide evidence that this magical event happened 6000 to 10,000 years ago. I suggest you get started now, because that’s going to require a lot of thinking and studying.

      4. Alex

        Leaving aside your comparison of a fundraiser with a debate (huh?), I an confused as to why would you call evolutionary theory a denial of history. It’s not like there is a lack of evidence in the fossil record, geography, biomolecular, and so on and so forth putting it on firm historical footing. In the prediction department, there is also lots to show, from obvious ones like predicting location and layer of animals like the tiktaalik to more subtle ones like shared ERVs in different species. Due to time and space constraints, it is hard to reenact evolution of new kingdoms or whatever in the Lab as you would agree, but mutation rates and speciation mechanisms are observed and also understood and can be extrapolated. There’s I nice book by Jerry Coyne I’ve heard :).
        Going on the internet claiming it’s all ” subjective interpretations, inferences, assumptions, conjecture, and speculation as to what SUPPOSEDLY happened” is very easy, but unfounded. Darwin didn’t get a nobel because obviously he died decades before the Nobel prize was established. Mayr et al could have been candidates for the modern synthesis, and they have gotten all kinds of prizes if you look,
        but there is, alas, no Nobel Prize in Biology. There is “Physiology and Medicine”, in case you hadn’t noticed. It was issed mostly for medical advancements or discoveries of certain specific mechanisms within the body. There is also no fundamental debate raging except between people who deny the evidence because of their religion like you, and those who examine reality in a more unbiased fashion.

        f course, we all know the reason for this. Dawkins and others rightly call creationists “history deniers”, Which is exactly what evolutionary theory is. A hypothetical “historical theory” based on subjective interpretations, inferences, assumptions, conjecture, and speculation as to what SUPPOSEDLY happened in the unobserved distant past. With no possible way of ever “empirically verifying”, by experimentation or observation, that events happened one way, and not another way, or even whether the evolutionary continuum happened at all. Which is why there are no Nobel Prizes in science for evolutionary “historical theories”. And why the debate has been raging for over 150 years, and could well go on for another 150.

  22. 22
    Ashley haworth-roberts

    Tony Breeden
    I recently commented in another discussion under a similar blog post to this one, dated 6 January, as follows: “I would assume the ‘atheist’ allegation is that there were NOT really 900 tickets available by phone yesterday – because many places had already been set aside in advance for a hoped-for YEC church-based audience”.

  23. 23
    Tony Breeden

    Ashley,

    You know what they say about when you assume something…. ;]

    1. 23.1
      Monocle Smile

      Somehow I’m not surprised that a religious apologist troll hasn’t evolved past fifth grade.

  24. 24
    Ashley haworth-roberts

    You’d better not listen to that debate on The Big Questions Tony – because the creationists finished in second place.

  25. 25
    Get Red Alert 3 Product Key Free Red Alert 3 Codes

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?

    Thanks a lot!

  26. 26
    C.T. Russell

    I understand the frustration. Bill is walking into a gauntlet of Christians and I honestly think at this point that he should bow out..this is going to be ridiculously lopsided and ran completely by those over the museum. I don’t think Bill knew what he was getting into with tickets/fans/etc. Bill wants to do good for science, but this is going to backfire.

  27. 27
    Noah Buddy

    For such cases, I believe a strategy of having “infiltrators” who would be able to record the event would benefit us in many ways.

    There are many solutions in which using phones as recording devices or as “mobile” cameras with real-time streaming capabilities would work.
    Let’s not Panic!

    Those who are handy with software like Camstudio or even Open Broadcaster, can and should be able to record the live stream. They should as record of the dishonest tactics used by the creationists must be kept in order to expose these frauds.

    Bill Nye may have inadvertently given his name to these clowns, but then a while ago, many of us felt that AronRa had given his name to Ray Comfort. And skeptics were proved wrong. Big time.

    This is why you shouldn’t discount Bill Nye as dead in the water. I am optimistic that Mr.Nye is aware of their dishonest tactics, and expects them to use such flim-flamery.

    If I were Mr.Nye, I would insist on my own camera crew, as to keep them HONEST. And I would have even a recording device handy. The kind police use. I have seen several models, Here’s a few I particularly like;

    http://www.pimall.com/nais/neweyeglasscam.html

    http://www.pimall.com/nais/keychainvideo.html

    There is also the possibility of social engineering the original footage. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

    W01F

  28. 28
    theignored

    It seems that AIG is going to have the debate live streamed:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2014/01/16/free-live-stream-debate

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