Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ham/Nye roundup




I watched most of the debate last night.

I thought Ham did quite well-- his strength was in showing the difference between observational/experimental science and historical science. YEC's do observational/experimental science just as atheists do.

If fact (I point out), atheists borrow Christian inferences (nature is rational, consistent,  natural laws exist, things reliably have causes, etc). The atheist inference to "everything came from nothing" and "nothing needs to have an ultimate cause" is a science-killer, obviously. Atheists must borrow from Christians even to begin to do science.

Ham was also very strong in pointing out that historical science is predicated on worldview, atheist no less than Christian.

Ham was more vague on his evidence for a young earth. As I've noted many times, I think the earth is old.

Nye was not impressive, in my view. He walked right into Ham's trap by focusing almost entirely on historical science, which Ham had already distinguished from observational/experimental science and had pointed out that historical science is predicated on worldview.

The remarkable thing is that an experienced science communicator couldn't trounce a young earth creationist pastor. And of course, Nye's bizarre metaphysics-- everything came from nothing, nothing has a purpose, nature manifests no evidence for intelligent design-- wasn't even a topic of the debate. Only Ham's creation beliefs were on the chopping block.

Ham did very well. He dissected the weaknesses in the atheist/Darwinian conflation of historical science (which is predicated very much on worldview) and observational and experimental science, which is much less dependent on worldview and in fact is done more effectively by inferring design and purpose in nature. Nye pointed to some facts of historical science (with which I mostly agree) but he was unimpressive and unfocused, despite the fact that he had a massive science establishment in his corner.

You get a clear sense from watching the debate why Darwinists don't want Darwin's creation myth questioned in schools, and why they go to court to censor any questions. The Darwinian creation myth won't even withstand the scrutiny of schoolchildren.

Atheists and Darwinists run like cowards from debates.  

56 comments:

  1. You got nothing, Egnor. Science has shown there was no original couple - let alone a man and a female cloned from his rib - therefore no original sin, therefore the alleged Jesus died for nothing. End of story - Christianity is a fairy tale.

    By the way, even the readers of Christianity Today thought Nye won by 92% vs. 8%.

    You're a sore loser, Egnor. As expected.

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 7:37 AM

      Troi: "By the way, even the readers of Christianity Today thought Nye won by 92% vs. 8%. "

      Here, let me fix that for you Mr Science:

      "The people who responded to the open access Christianity Today online poll thought Nye won by 92% vs. 8%."

      There. That looks better.

      Silly twit.

      Delete
    2. troy's belief in atheist science is as rational as his belief in the accuracy of the Christianity Today poll.

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    3. *slams face on desk* How could I overlook the possibility that 10000 atheists would flock to the Christianity Today site and participate in a poll?

      Nice example of Christian post hoc rationalization of inconvenient facts, which is actually a good definition of theology.

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    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Troi, I'm sorry you embarrassed yourself. Of course, you may, like Tootin' Hoots, be a big fan of online pollometry, googleistics, and twitterology. It goes along with dendromancy and magic hockey (hokey?) sticks, I suppose.

      And on that topic, I find that the #1 Google "suggest" for the string "atheists are" is....

      "atheists are wrong"

      Case closed. Science marches on.

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    5. Polls can be spammed and frequently are. If you wanted to be honest, you would not refer to the respondents as 'readers of Christinaity today.' That would imply that the group of people who answered the poll were exclusively and exhaustively the readership of Christianity Today.

      It's an online poll. It's a silly little toy that means nothing, but you believe it because you want to.

      TRISH

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    6. Trish, I take that poll with plenty of salt - like any other online poll. I thought it was fun to report it. Apparently, you find it hard to believe that the CT readership would give the debate to Nye. Why? Give the CT readership some credit. It was pretty obvious that Ham was an irrational ideologue, especially when he admitted that "nothing would cause [him] to change [his] mind."

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    7. 92% seems kind of lopsided, though it wasn't my point at all. My point was that you believe absolutely anything that supports your view and disbelieve anything that clashes with it, which makes you an irrational ideologue.

      If you take this poll with a grain of salt, when then did you cite it, and why did you claim that it represented the readers of the magazine?

      TRISH

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    8. My point was that you believe absolutely anything that supports your view and disbelieve anything that clashes with it

      Well, I don't. I change my mind all the time. I don't think you know me well enough.


      If you take this poll with a grain of salt, when then did you cite it, and why did you claim that it represented the readers of the magazine?

      Point taken. Perhaps I should have added a disclaimer along the lines of "assuming those who have participated in this CT online poll are actually people who visit the CT site because they like to read its content on a regular basis."

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  2. There's no difference between 'historical' science and 'observational' science. We know what happened in the past - the 'history' - based on what we observe today.

    I thought Ken Ham shot himself in the foot (as YECs usually do) when he tried to justify a young Earth by asserting that radioactive dating methods are unreliable because radioactive decay rates were much higher in the past.

    When added to the YEC claim that light from far distant stars and galaxies have reached us because the speed of light was much higher in the past, it would mean that the heat produced by radioactive decay would have been enormous because of Special Relativity and E = m c ^2. The Earth would have been a molten slag 6000 years ago.

    It also makes nonsense the claim of 'God as Lawgiver', if the physical laws in the past were completely different than they are today.

    Ken Ham lost the debate in trying to make Young Earth Creationism a plausible scientific theory.

    Of course, science doesn't 'disprove' the existence of God. God could have used the Big Bang to create the Universe. God could also have used Darwinism to create humans, as religious scientists such as Robert Asher (author of 'Evolution and Belief. Confessions of a Religious Paleontologist') believe.

    Science doesn't disprove the existence of God. But it also makes the existence of God unnecessary for explaining the Universe.

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    1. a couple of questions bach:

      1) On what basis do you believe that the laws of nature have remained constant over time (eg that the speed of light was the same in the past as it is now?)

      2) Did the universe have a cause?

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    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      bagfull: "Science doesn't disprove the existence of God. But it also makes the existence of God unnecessary for explaining the Universe."

      That's absurd. The notion of an eternally existing, purely material, purposeless universe with no prime mover or final cause has been around since Democritus.

      Science latched onto the notion centuries later.

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      Sorry. Fat finger:

      "Science latched onto..."

      should be

      "Scientism latched onto..."

      Delete
    4. Egnor,

      You keep on claiming that the regularity of the Universe is evidence of God (it isn't). If the velocity of light is capable of changing over time in order to justify a preconceived idea of the age of the Universe, then obviously the Universe is no longer regular.

      The Universe obviously has a cause. It's not necessarily a god. God could have used the Big Bang to create the Universe. Or something else could have precipitated it.

      All we know is that the Big Bang happened. We don't know what preceded it.

      Senile old fart,

      I don't have anything to say to you. None of your comments are worth responding to - besides noting that you're a rude senile old fart.

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    5. The universe has some causal chains that are essential chains, rather than accidental chains.

      Essential causal chains presuppose pure act as the initial cause/mover and are impossible without it.

      You really need to bone up on your basic Aristotle.

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    6. The difference between the two is that one involves controlled experiments with reproducable results while the other involves merely looking at some sort of record, such as the fossil record, and weaving a narrative about how it came to be. So for example, if I asked you to evolve me a species, even a simple one, in a laboratory environment, so that I can confirm that your mechanism is truly explanatory, you couldn't do it. You would simply tell me to look at the fossil record which doesn't show, for example, how one species became another, or how the human ear evolved. It simply shows that some species existed and then they didn't any more.

      A nice narrative may satisfy your curiosity but it leaves itself open to both interpretation and dispute in ways that a controlled experiment does not.

      So there is a difference. Bachfiend denies the difference because he wants us to consider both to be equally credible in this instance because it suits his agenda.

      TRISH

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    7. Trish,

      The difference between Ham and Nye is that Nye has evidence for his assertion - the Big Bang happened - whereas Ham only has a story - the account in the a bible - for his.

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    8. Wonderful, Bachfiend. I see you aren't going to bother defending your assertion that there is no difference between historical science and observational science. There is.

      TRISH

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    9. Trish,

      The scientific method involves making an observation, formulating an hypothesis to explain the original observation and then making further observations to test the hypothesis, with the new observations being consistent with the hypothesis or, more importantly, not disproving the hypothesis.

      It doesn't matter whether the new observations are in a laboratory or in the external world.

      To use the example from the debate. Nye noted that there are at least 10 million living species - the original observation. The science hypothesis is that they are evolved from a common ancestor over the past 3.8 billion years.

      The YEC hypothesis is that they evolved from a thousand 'kinds' over the past 4,500 since the Flood. Even assuming that Noah only had to take the 'kinds' that wouldn't have survived, perhaps, immersion in freshwater for a year, the dog 'kind', the cat 'kind', the kangaroo 'kind', the wombat 'kind', the parrot 'kind' etc, Ham's assuming a lot of evolution occurring very rapidly.

      Ham also asserts that there was just a single continent before the flood (making it easier for Noah to collect all the 'kinds') which broke up rapidly after the Flood , taking most of the marsupials in the piece that became Australia for example.

      Whereas science asserts that the continents fuse and break apart over tens of millions of years at a speed similar to that that finger nails grow.

      And to decide which is true, you have to make observations. For example, fossils in the geological strata. Ham asserts that the fossils came from the animals which died in the Flood. The faster and more clever were able to flee to higher ground, lived longer and are found in the higher geological strata (which resulted from the sediments from the Flood).

      Whereas, science asserts that later evolving species are just higher in the strata than older ones. Mouse fossils will be higher in the geological strata than Achaeopteryx fossils, for example, despite Archaeopteryx being able to fly to higher ground.

      And the different versions of tectonic plate movement can be compared by making observations of what we see today reflecting what happened in the past. For example, as mentioned by Nye in the debate, the alternating longitudinal bands of sedimentary rocks of opposing magnetic polarity in the Atlantic, representing the deep sea spreading (resulting in Africa and South America separating) and the periodic reversal of the Earth's magnetic field.

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  3. Egnor: " Nye's bizarre metaphysics-- everything came from nothing..."

    Where did Nye say that everything came from nothing? Please post his quote with time stamp.


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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      You must have staggered through the post. Here's Egnor's actual sentence:

      "And of course, Nye's bizarre metaphysics-- everything came from nothing, nothing has a purpose, nature manifests no evidence for intelligent design-- wasn't even a topic of the debate."

      Since it wasn't a topic in the debate, it won't have a "time stamp".

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    2. Nor was euthanasia or abortion but Ham worked into the debate.

      Egnor claims Nye has a very specific belief. Work that "observational science" and provide us with a quote from Nye.

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 8:05 AM

      Nobody: "Nor was euthanasia or abortion but Ham worked into the debate. "

      So what?

      What does that have to do with your asking for a time stamp on comments that clearly were not part of the debate and therefore cannot possibly appear in the video?

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    4. Abortion and euthanasia wasn't even the topic of the debate, but I can produce a quote and time stamp for Ham. Maybe Egnor heard Nye state his bizarre metaphysics and I missed it.

      So again, where and when did Nye say that everything came from nothing?

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    5. Anon:

      "The universe came from nothing" is a predicate of atheism. All atheists must believe it, or they wouldn't be atheists.

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    6. Of course it isn't. For instance, there is an option that the Universe is eternal.

      Hoo

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    7. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      Nobody: " Maybe Egnor heard Nye state his bizarre metaphysics and I missed it."

      According to Egnor, Nye's metaphysics weren't "a topic of the debate"

      As you say, abortion and euthanasia were not "the" topic of the debate. But they were "a" topic in the debate.

      I take it your native language isn't English.

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    8. Hoo:

      [Of course it isn't. For instance, there is an option that the Universe is eternal.]

      Eternal things need causes no less than transient things. Aristotle and Aquinas both assumed that the universe was eternal in the past in their proofs of God's existence.

      Your suggestion that an eternal universe needs no cause simply means that you don't even understand the questions involved.

      Such a shock...

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    9. Adm.: From the AIG we site the topic was "Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?" Abortion and euthanasia don't enter into and were never a topic of the debate.

      Egnor: An eternal universe, effects that precede causes, a prime cause without agency, etc. are non-theistic alternatives to the origin of the universe. You claim Nye believes "the universe came from nothing". Please provide proof and evidence that Nye has stated this belief.



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    10. Egnor: Your suggestion that an eternal universe needs no cause simply means that you don't even understand the questions involved.

      Heh. I've seen your notion of causality. You can't even distinguish it from correlation.

      Hoo

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    11. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      Somebody: "Adm.: From the AIG we site the topic was 'Is creation a viable model..."

      Me: "abortion and euthanasia were not 'the' topic"

      I think we can put that one to bed.

      Somebody: "Abortion and euthanasia don't enter into and were never a topic of the debate"

      They became topics because someone brought them up. Just as the notion that fighting this battle is necessary for America to advance, make discoveries, invent, or innovate became a topic because some pious, unselfish, individual who is only thinking of the best interests of his fellow Americans brought it up. And I would be the last person to criticize such noble motives as self-promotion and self-aggrandizing. :-)

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  4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    It's interesting that even in this venue with the debate in the can, atheist trolls like Troi and Mr Anonymous Nobody still feel compelled to distort and lie. Within 65 minutes of the post's appearance!

    You guys are truly faithful, whether you want to call atheism a religion or not.

    Imagine what they would be willing to do if there were something significant at stake.

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    1. Senile old fart,

      I had most of the day to think about the debate. The false dichotomy between 'historical' and 'observational' science was Ken Ham's main argument.

      Egnor chose to make it his first point too.

      There's nothing of significance at stake. YEC is obvious nonsense, and it's so surprising that so many people give it credence.

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    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyFebruary 5, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      barkmad, the time was referring to "the post's appearance". Not your bizarre ruminations. I assume they are unremitting.

      Delete
    3. Senile old fart,

      You really need to keep up with taking your anti-psychotic medications.

      Delete
  5. Too bad Nye didn't ask which of Noah's crew members had syphilis or the clap.

    Why didn't Jesus tell his followers about microorganisms and how to prevent being infected by the nasty ones? I think I know the answer to that...

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    1. Yea, troy, the story of the Great Flood is such silliness.

      Everyone knows that everything happened without cause for no reason. Atheism makes so much more sense than historically validated reports of a great flood.

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    2. "Everyone knows that everything happened without cause for no reason."

      You're confusing 'reason' with 'cause' and eliding all the various 'causes' Aquinas talked about. Again.

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    3. I am summarizing your confusion, which denies both the Principle of Sufficient Reason and the basic metaphysical principle that a series of efficient causes require Pure Act at its origin.

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    4. Atheism makes so much more sense than historically validated reports of a great flood.

      Sure, floods - even "great" ones - have been "historically validated". But world-wide floods, killing everybody except 8 people on a big boat with 7000 "kinds" of sexually reproducing animals on board - not so much apparently. How does that make sense? I think I know...

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  6. You can ask Him that yourself when you stand in judgement.

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  7. Look, we sent you creationists the guys used to dealing with grown ups and you didn't get it. So we a guy who has successfully explained things to small children and you still don't get it.

    Perhaps next year we'll send puppets and crayons. Perhaps Ken Ham could book Dora the Explorer - or is she too ethnic?

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  8. Here is where I think Ham (fatally) shot himself in the foot: He made explicit reference to the consistency and reliability of natural laws, and claimed this as a Biblical worldview and requisite for good, observational science. "We can do the same experiments tomorrow and get the same result!" (paraphrased)

    And yet, oddly, his entire argument hinges on the supposed unreliability of historical sciences. Historical vs. observational sciences is a real distinction, not sure why everyone is up in arms about this. Even evolutionary biologists like Mayr insisted this was a meaningful distinction. But if the Biblical worldview supposes regularity in nature, we would have every reason to believe that we can extrapolate from our knowledge of the present and draw reasonable conclusions about the past.

    In short, Ham is claiming these two mutually exclusive points:

    1) The Biblical worldview, necessary for science, tells us there is uniformity and regularity in nature
    2) Historical science is based on the principle that nature is uniform and regular, which is unwarranted

    Both 1 and 2 can't be true.

    - Curio

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    1. Curio:

      Excellent point. There is a serious contraction at the heart of YEC, and you have pointed it out very clearly.

      YEC is a partial truth. A not insignificant truth, and much closer to the truth than atheism/materialism/Darwinism, but deficient in a serious way.

      Faith and reason are never in conflict, because Truth is unitary. I believe that the Catholic-Thomist metaphysical perspective is the best perspective for faith and for science.

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    2. A possible retort Ham could give is this:

      "The Bible tells us things were radically different in the past, though they are uniform now (or have been since the Fall of Man)"

      At this point, we're so far from debating science that it wouldn't make any difference if his opponent were Bill Nye or Sir Arthur Eddington. It is now a matter of scriptural exegesis/Biblical theology, and I'm not convinced either Ham or Nye are experts in this area.

      - Curio

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    3. But if the Biblical worldview supposes regularity in nature

      But is that really the "Biblical worldview"? If The Lord performs numerous miracles*, acts on prayers, etc., that seems to introduce quite a bit of, well, irregularity into the world. Regular unless it isn't.

      *Remarkably, at a rate inversely proportional to availability of recording devices

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    4. troy - that's a whole other issue. First there's the question of whether or not regular/uniform nature is exclusively a Biblical worldview. It seems not, as classical Theists and Aristotelians who are not Christian/Jewish hold this view. So in that sense, I agree with you.

      Second, there's the issue of whether the Bible really does present this worldview. I'm no expert, but don't miracles only make sense against a backdrop of regularity/order? I'd like to see your graph, complete with real data. The Bible is not as full of miracles as one might assume; generation after generation goes by without as much as a peep from the Creator in parts of the OT, and the few hundred years without miracles after Elisha, etc.

      There are verses throughout the Pentateuch, Jeremiah, Psalms, and NT that speak of God's faithfulness, dependnecy, and nature's predictability, orderliness, etc. There's the favorite of the Duhem-Society, Wisdom 11:20, which speaks of the One "who arranged all things by measure, number, weight". Seems very congenial to science in general, and Duhem-Jaki's philosophy of science in particular heh.

      - Curio

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    5. Second, there's the issue of whether the Bible really does present this worldview. I'm no expert, but don't miracles only make sense against a backdrop of regularity/order? I'd like to see your graph, complete with real data. The Bible is not as full of miracles as one might assume; generation after generation goes by without as much as a peep from the Creator in parts of the OT, and the few hundred years without miracles after Elisha, etc.

      I'm no expert either (obviously). I suppose it depends on your definition of 'miracle'. Perhaps every genetic mutation is a small miracle - something RA Fisher seems to have believed - in which case many miracles are hard to detect. The writers of the Bible probably focused on the Big Miracles, seeing as they were in a kind of miracle-arms race with competing cults. Resurrected heroes born from virgins were quite fashionable fiction characters for a while.

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    6. The writers of the Bible probably focused on the Big Miracles

      I'd like to press this a little further, if that's alright. It's interesting - ask Joe on the street (or in the pews) to name a few BIG TIME Biblical miracles from the Old Testament. 10 bucks says he goes for the parting of the Red Sea. 5 says his next choice is/are the plagues on Egypt.

      Ignoring the veracity of the Bible and all that truth-stuff, it's odd that thousands of years go by before we get another alleged miracle anywhere remotely as explicit. And even the feeding of the five thousand wasn't nearly the show that the splitting of the Red Sea must have been.

      Given the caricature of the Biblical authors as superstitions loons or primitive madmen, it's interesting they didn't fill it up with more miracles. Islamic apocrypha even goes for flashier stuff - Muhammad is said to have split the moon in half.

      Back to that inverse relationship with measurement, I would say the biggest (in terms of magnitude and number of witnesses, not theological import) miracle since the parting of the Red Sea would have to be the miracle of the sun at Fatima, Portugal in 1918. The progressive explanation (primitive man loved miracles, modern science-man knows better) is left wanting.

      - Curio

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  9. Curio: "1) The Biblical worldview, necessary for science, tells us there is uniformity and regularity in nature
    2) Historical science is based on the principle that nature is uniform and regular, which is unwarranted"

    Another possible response would be:

    The Biblical worldview, necessary for science, tells us that the God of the Bible authored the uniformity and regularity in nature.

    Operational science is based on the principle that nature is uniform and regular, and is warrented

    However, Historical science, being based soley on the principle that nature is uniform and regular -- disregarding the evidence of the Bible that also tells of creation events and catastrophy events, is thereby is unwarranted.

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  10. "If fact (I point out), atheists borrow Christian inferences (nature is rational, consistent, natural laws exist, things reliably have causes, etc). The atheist inference to "everything came from nothing" and "nothing needs to have an ultimate cause" is a science-killer, obviously. Atheists must borrow from Christians even to begin to do science."

    Atheistic presumptions are indeed "science killers" ... (as I discuss-and-mock here)

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  11. This is going to sound snarky, sorry in advance.

    Does Ken Ham believe in forensic science? How are we justified in piecing together the clues to figure out who committed this murder some 15 years ago? We weren't there (we were alive, but not there "on the scene")

    There's plenty that can be said about Nye, not letting him off the hook. But why does Ham realize the consequences of asserting that all historical science is unreliable?

    - Curio

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    1. * "does Ham..." not "why does Ham"

      - C

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  12. this was the biggest event ever for YEC since Dr Henry Morris started a aggressive movement to take on the bad and dumb guys on origin issues.
    3 million people watched I'm told.
    thats a watershed in many ways.
    I think things have sudden;y changed.
    with Id coming one way and YEC the other EVOLUTIONISM is not likely to survive much longer.
    Wrong ideas only survive upon apathy or lack of ability of the opposition.
    Interest and ability now will end the silliness of evolution.
    Ham did a fantastic job in defending YEC creationism and questioning evolutionism.
    He clobbered NYE.
    If one pays attention.
    Evolution was secondary to earth age stuff. As if old age earth means evolution is true.
    Where to begin with how Nye failed.
    Evolutionists need evolutionist biologists to argue their case. not mechanical engineers.
    I'm sure YEC everywhere welcome more debates and bigger audiences.
    its time for the big networks to stop their censorship and have great debates on the great issues of origins.
    If they are afraid then surrender now.
    ID folks should also ask for big debates. surely somewhere a evolutionist/God in nature denyer has the intellect guts to take on.
    They truly can't hide anymore.

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  13. Why are the only two options that of the Biblical world-view and that of the conventional pre Einsten Newtonian clock-work universe.
    What about Vedic science which takes into account dimensions of our existence-being and the presumed world "out there" that neither the Biblical nor the proponents of Newtonian scientism ever take into account. Furthermore Vedic science established its observations many centuries before the appearance of modern scientism.

    And what about Quantum science which tells us that Reality is an Indivisible Unity, that it is full of space-time paradoxes, and that all of time (past, present and future) is simultaneous.
    I can guarantee you that the ham-fisted Ham will never ever talk about any of that.

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  14. Speaking of neuro surgeons I much prefer the paradoxical understanding of Reality given via these two references, the deceased author of which was a neuro surgeon
    www.alphabetvsgoddess.com
    Art & Quantum Reality
    www.artandphysics.com

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