Talk:Bill Nye debates Ken Ham

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This Creationism related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Getting overwhelmed with Ken Ham's level of stupid. I want to keep going on this article but also don't want to be the only one adding stuff, so help! (plus I have to make dinner) NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 01:57, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Please don't overdo the snark. It sucks. Nutty Rouxnever mind 02:01, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I'll attempt to place my snark within the RationalWiki acceptable boundaries. ;-) NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 02:15, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
We were planning on doing something with this, btw: Nullahnung (talk) 02:31, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking of doing more of a line by line refutation of Ham's arguments similar to this style, but I also realized that he uses the same broken reasoning over and over again, and thought that it would be tedious to read and a somewhat more general summation would function just as well. I could also read this over and incorporate the useful bits into this article? Maybe a point by point refutation could be constructed from it? --NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 02:56, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Ham's use of informal logical fallacies[edit]

Under Ham's use of informal logical fallacies we say: "A logical fallacy that Ken Ham repeatedly falls to is the false dilemma. He states that there are only two ways to view the origin of life, either the naturalistic Darwinian way or the Young Earth creationist way. Theistic evolution is not even under consideration."

There are a number of problems with this not least being that it confuses the origin of life, biogenesis, with the theory of evolution.

If we are really talking about the origin of life then Ham is correct ( I'm surprised to write that.) - it was the result of magic or it wasn't.

Whether or not God magically manipulates evolution is a different question.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 12:33, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Well I agree, however there exists other options than the two that Ham presents. There are plenty of Christians who believe that God created the universe but also believe in evolution. I feel like in Ham's mind the naturalistic origin is inseparable from excepting Darwinian evolution. NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 19:32, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
To be honest this was a problem about the wording of the whole debate. It was supposed to be about "the origin of life" but in fact it was about evolution.
Confusing the two is a common mistake which we talk about here. Both of them, in my opinion, suffered from the same confusion. In consequence the section I have quoted above is factually wrong. The origin of life was magical or it wasn't.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:45, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
It was illustrating the dichotomy that exists in Ham's argument. Of course it's factually wrong, because Ham's argument was set up in this fashion. NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 20:21, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Writing something which you know is factually wrong - in however good a cause - is not really a good idea. This is especially the case in a wiki which hopes to improve the public's understanding of science. Perpetuating a misunderstanding such as "evolution = biogenesis" does not further this goal.
If you really have to use this then you also need to explain that Ham failed to acknowledge/understand this important distinction. It is possible that the same criticism could be directed at Nye or perhaps the organisers.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 07:04, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't think I need to elaborate that it is wrong when its in the informal logical fallacies section, but I added something to address this. NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 07:21, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

"Darwin lived at a time when slavery was still an open-ended question."[edit]

Not really. Darwin was born two years after the end of the Atlantic slave trade and was in his early twenties when slavery was abolished outright throughout the British Empire. From 1807 on, slavery was pretty much a done deal in the empire. Even if there were, of course, still British advocates of slavery throughout that time, arguments for the morality of slavery diminished steadily in the early decades of his life. Better to say that he lived at a time when the idea of the superiority of Europeans/inferiority on non-whites, moral, intellectual and otherwise, was largely unquestioned. TeenageWasteland (talk) 21:29, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Good call. --NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 22:06, 4 April 2014 (UTC)