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Thread: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

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    It is ka Thankee sai Major Cold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    If this was the Super Bowl of creationism/evolution debates. Then we just watched two junior high football teams on the biggest stage.

    Hamm has a bachelors degree in Applied Science
    Nye has a bachelors degree in Engineering.

    There are more qualified people to debate these topics.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Can I have an example where a species has evolved to create an entirely new species?
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    Sure it is. Science disproves the Earth is flat. Disproves the our solar system doesn't revolve around the Earth. There are countless scientific theories that were thought to be factual, that science has disproven.
    Right. What I'm saying is, science in practice is about testing for things or gathering evidence for things, THEN logically if you can safely assume something, you can then use logic and reason to say what is NOT true about that subject as well. But I thought that the actual scientific work done was more about seeing what is, rather than what isn't?

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Slick Pinkham View Post
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    (to Hicks)
    Why isn't science about disproving? The whole process is more about seeking evidence that would disprove something than it is about seeking evidence that would ever prove something, IMO. The potential for being dis-provable is critical.

    Example: Einstein said that due to general relativity, light rays must be bent by gravitational forces, such as the sun, at twice the amount that Newton's laws allow (described here: http://www.einstein-online.info/spot...ght_deflection )

    the test: measure the deflection during a solar eclipse (see link above)

    Possible results:
    one result would disprove Newton and be consistent with general relativity
    another result would disprove general relativity and be consistent with Newton
    any other result would disprove both theories

    actual result: the deflection was consistent with general relativity, disproving Newton

    Math has proofs. Emperical science though relies on the absence of disproof where disproof is possible, as strange as that may sound. General relativity has not been proven. All experiments to date have been consistent with its predictions, though, and thus it is accepted to be true.
    Well, now, wait a minute. Aren't you someone who likes to say something like "I can't prove there isn't a polka dot purple dragon" when the topic is about the existence of God? How you can't prove the negative? So which is it?

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by righteouscool View Post
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    Here is the thing, though, as a scientist my job is to be impartial. I really should have no emotional attachment to my research. If there were to ever be any evidence against evolution then I would gladly take a look at it and reevaluate my trust in the theory. But I have yet to find that.
    Maybe you are excellent at holding to that mindset, but my experiences tell me many people do not hold to it. Not scientists, not people who work in law, not most people. Humans make exceptions for themselves and others, for a variety of reasons.

    You can make arguments against MACRO-evolution. Large scale evolution of all species from a common ancestor, but almost the entirety of the biomedical field is based around microevolution.
    This is something that still fascinates me. I hear a lot of mixed statements from people regarding macroevoluation. Some say there's plenty of evidence, some say there's none, and I have no idea whatsoever who to trust on that.

    There are two things I'm noticing about this debate from a scientist perspective (agnostic) and remembering how I felt as a teenager (christian god, but very into philosophy/science);

    1) People are fundamentally misunderstanding the mechanisms of natural selection. When I say survival of the "fittest," what I mean is survival of the one with the most offspring. "Fitness" in biology terms means offspring. Most people interpret that to mean, literally, survival of the biggest and strongest. That is not always the case. Mutations lead to either decreased or increased adaptability and thus mutations are context based. (I.E. my sickle cell example)
    Sort of. I mean I get that it's not about which animal has the most 80's action star body or whatever, but rather who can stick around long enough to make the most babies, but that's still going to come down to how well you can live and prosper in your environment because you can't make lots of babies if you're dead or too weak to mate. So there is still a dimension of strength and weaknesses to it, from a certain point of view.

    2) There is also a fundamental misunderstanding on what science actually is.
    How do you define science? Because one thing I've noticed over the years is I'll hear people say "I believe in science". That always kinda bothered me. Because I thought science was essentially a well-thought-out METHOD of studying things and reaching intelligent assumptions based on those studies, and yet some people act like whatever science says in *insert time stamp here*, that's just the ultimate truth about everything, and they cling to it like the religious cling to their doctrines. It's a belief system to some, and I don't get that. Science isn't supposed to be about beliefs, as I understand it. Science, I thought, is about observation, documentation, and accountability.

    Let me also state that I don't see any real difficulty allowing both beliefs to propagate and combine. Honestly, the question of why the big bang happened is still a question no one can answer. Perhaps religion can shed some light on that because science can't at the moment. My issue is that creationism isn't a scientifically observed doctrine and as such should not be taught as science. What is creationisms solution to anti-biotic resistance of bacteria? Cancer? Alzheimers? The main goal of science education is to train students to be innovative in finding solutions to these problems.
    I think they can mesh on some levels. But when you have a religion making claims that go against what scientific research has taught us, it can't work.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99 View Post
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    Yes, in the bold font I put in your quote, that's what I was trying to express...an essentially blind but elegant mechanism trundling along...'guidance' coming only from the bumps and dips of the environment.

    Now, to take it to the next inevitable step...Who designed the mechanism?? I think that will be asked / has been asked elsewhere. To me, we must remember that the forest has all the types of trees, existing simultaneously, and (zooming out again) that this evolutionary mechanism which we describe as a separate theory from all the other theories and laws is in fact one facet of the ongoing universe, working hand in glove with gravity, thermodynamics, chaos theory, you name it. All of these mechanisms working together, on all 'parts' of the universe / reality, making up this one biggest clockwork...well, that's what I would call God. But you can use whatever word you want. It is that it is. (Go Spinoza*.)


    * ,,,except Spinoza beieved this God / reality to be impersonal, and I think that is not necessarily the last word on that.
    Right, I feel like the universe is awfully damned organized to have merely come from chaos, but that's just me.

    As to whether God is personal or impersonal, God seems at least mostly impersonal to me. I have a theory on why that's not a bad thing, but nonetheless.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    This is the artist rendering of the skull they found that's 2.5m years old. Outside of the nose, looks like my neighbor down the street.
    How could they know what the nostrils would look like?

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    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Well, now, wait a minute. Aren't you someone who likes to say something like "I can't prove there isn't a polka dot purple dragon" when the topic is about the existence of God? How you can't prove the negative? So which is it?
    If you make an assertion that no evidence could ever disprove/falsify, that is not a scientific assertion.

    (For example, "there is an invisible and undetectable God/Polka-Dot Dragon/Flying Spaghetti Monster that set in motion/"designed" every observable event in the universe's history.)

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by dal9 View Post
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    If you make an assertion that no evidence could ever disprove/falsify, that is not a scientific assertion.

    (For example, "there is an invisible and undetectable God/Polka-Dot Dragon/Flying Spaghetti Monster that set in motion/"designed" every observable event in the universe's history.)
    How does one decide whether or not there is any evidence that could ever disprove/falsify an assertion? For that matter, this reminds me of how people argue over what is or is not evidence.

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    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    How does one decide whether or not there is any evidence that could ever disprove/falsify an assertion? For that matter, this reminds me of how people argue over what is or is not evidence.
    Just see if you can come up with something. What evidence could disprove the claim that everything that exists was created by an invisible and undetectable being? I suggest that there is no way to disprove this, and therefore the claim is not scientific.

    On the other hand, take the claim that "the world is 6,000 years old." What evidence could falsify this claim? Well, we might find material on Earth that is older than 6,000 years old. Which we did. So that was a scientific statement.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by dal9 View Post
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    Just see if you can come up with something. What evidence could disprove the claim that everything that exists was created by an invisible and undetectable being? I suggest that there is no way to disprove this, and therefore the claim is not scientific.

    On the other hand, take the claim that "the world is 6,000 years old." What evidence could falsify this claim? Well, we might find material on Earth that is older than 6,000 years old. Which we did. So that was a scientific statement.
    I understand. I'm just pointing out that what may seem impossible now, or to one person, may not seem impossible later, or to someone else.

    I mean just as a hypothetical (an understatement, I realize), let's say some near death experiences are real, and people really are more than their physical bodies, and that whatever's still there when the body dies really does live on in some other form of existence, and that part of that existence is having the ability to communicate with something we might consider to be God (as is the claim of numerous people who have NDEs), meaning in this case God is real. Let's also say that some mediums really do communicate with people who have had their physical bodies die (but still exist, because in this scenario remember people are more than just physical form as we know it). Well, then you're left with a chain of theoretical communication here, between God and someone who is 'dead', the 'dead' with the medium, and the medium with other living people. Suddenly you're 'talking to God', so to speak. Goes without saying that it's way easier to theorize than to prove, but that's one possibility, no matter how unlikely one might believe it to be.

    Or maybe the whole point of physical existence is to not be able to see behind the curtain, and when we're 'on the other side' we know that, but knowing it now would ruin the experience of being here?

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    I feel like the universe is awfully damned organized to have merely come from chaos...
    But at the highest level, the one all-encompassing reality, the pattern of everything, and chaos, would be one and the same. Or what we see as chaotic is merely lack of viewpoint on our part to see the larger pattern.

    So I would have to say that, to me, the intelligent design / naturally-occuring-scientifically-measurable-process contoversy is ultimately a false dichotomy stemming from lack of perspective.
    Last edited by kester99; 02-08-2014 at 03:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    This is something that still fascinates me. I hear a lot of mixed statements from people regarding macroevoluation. Some say there's plenty of evidence, some say there's none, and I have no idea whatsoever who to trust on that.
    What I meant by that is that I personally believe it to be enough evidence, but there is nothing full proof to me and it is still reasonable to argue. Whereas microevolution I work with on a daily basis and have seen demonstrated multiple times and have little doubts of it's truth as it is the foundation of medical science.

    Sort of. I mean I get that it's not about which animal has the most 80's action star body or whatever, but rather who can stick around long enough to make the most babies, but that's still going to come down to how well you can live and prosper in your environment because you can't make lots of babies if you're dead or too weak to mate. So there is still a dimension of strength and weaknesses to it, from a certain point of view.
    It's all about circumstance. Like I said, people with sickle cell disease are characterized as a "weak" grouping of people due to a single mutation that makes their red blood cells into an odd shape. In the modern world, a life expectancy of 45 and a lifetime of sickness isn't much of an advantage and doesn't allow them to be more "fit" than a normal population, but in africa hundreds or thousands of years ago 45 wasn't a bad life expectancy. Especially when you consider that they are immune to malaria which until recently was a HUGE selective force on human populations.

    Lets think about it as a thought experiment. If I have 10 people and 2 people have sickle cell disease (immunity to malaria) and every generation 30% of the population dies due to malaria, what happens?

    10*.30 = 7 people left in our population and 2 of them must have sickle cell

    so in one generation the population of people with this "weak" genes goes from 20% to 29% and the people with the "good" genes go from 80% to 50%. This will continue to grow upwards as each generation continues. This is my point. There is no such thing as a "bad" mutation or a "good" mutation without a context attached to it. It's circumstantial and based around the environment not the difference between "weakness" and "strongness."

    How do you define science? Because one thing I've noticed over the years is I'll hear people say "I believe in science". That always kinda bothered me. Because I thought science was essentially a well-thought-out METHOD of studying things and reaching intelligent assumptions based on those studies, and yet some people act like whatever science says in *insert time stamp here*, that's just the ultimate truth about everything, and they cling to it like the religious cling to their doctrines. It's a belief system to some, and I don't get that. Science isn't supposed to be about beliefs, as I understand it. Science, I thought, is about observation, documentation, and accountability.
    Personally, I don't like that sort of attitude. You're exactly right that science isn't supposed to be a belief system. It's not to me and it's not to a lot of people, but I see what you're getting at. The need for people to be condescending towards other's for their beliefs IMO shows alack of wanting to know "truth" and more wanting to avoid insecurity in their own beliefs. I really have little to no time for it and the charged nature of these debates is usually why I avoid them. But this forum is one of the best, most civilized forums I've come across on the internet so I figured it would not divulge into that sort of childish name calling.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    What do you feel is/are the key evidence to support macroevolution?

    I see what your point is about sickle cell disease and how weakness/strength can be relative. Context always matters, so to me I just kind of took that as a given, I guess. I'd also think it's not always quite that relative, either, such as when you're born with non-functioning limbs or you're naturally infertile or something like that. It's not always that easily 'flip-able'.

    As to condescending attitudes, it's usually insecurity, narcissism, impatience, or a combination of them.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate


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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by dal9 View Post
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    If you make an assertion that no evidence could ever disprove/falsify, that is not a scientific assertion.

    (For example, "there is an invisible and undetectable God/Polka-Dot Dragon/Flying Spaghetti Monster that set in motion/"designed" every observable event in the universe's history.)
    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    Premise I: The foundation for life is the genetic code, which acts as a programming language for life.
    Premise II: Every known code originates via intelligence.
    Premise III: Nature has never shown anywhere near the capability of creating such a thing.
    Conclusion: An intelligence is the best explanation for life.

    For the record: Every premise in the above argument is falsifiable in theory.

    Also, as I've pointed out before, the assertions that life is designed and that life is not designed are opposing positions on the same question, thus, any test of that question will affect both positions. The relevance of this? You can't test one without testing the other, and you can't falsify one without proving the other. This leaves us with the simple conclusion that either both the design and no-design positions must be science, or neither can be.

    Any test which strengthens a design-free origin of life (abiogenesis) is a test which weakens a designed origin of life.
    Any test to prove a design-free origin of life is a test to falsify a designed origin of life.

    ...and vice versa.

  19. #92

    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Right, I feel like the universe is awfully damned organized to have merely come from chaos, but that's just me.
    Theism/deism is the only view in which science makes sense. Think about it.

    Atheism pleads to mindlessness, which implies chaos, which is incomprehensible.

    On the other hand, theism pleads to mindfulness, which implies order and intelligibility.

    Which does science rely on? The answer is obviously the latter.

    Science cannot exist in a chaotic universe; chaos is incomprehensible. Science cannot exist in an atheistic world. That science can be done in our universe, and done quite well, because our universe is clearly an orderly, rational, comprehensible structure, makes theism the far more intelligent explanation, in my humble opinion.

    Really, when you get down to it, all science is, is the reverse engineering of the existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
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    Reverse engineering is the process of discovering the technological principles of a device, object, or system through analysis of its structure, function, and operation.
    Rather than disproving God, as atheists love to claim, I'd say the far more reasonable position is that science posits a cosmic engineer, which sure does sound an awful lot like a God to me.

    If positing intelligence/mindfulness as a fundamental force of the universe, rather than the byproduct of chaos, makes me a supernaturalist, then a supernaturalist I be.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    As to whether God is personal or impersonal, God seems at least mostly impersonal to me. I have a theory on why that's not a bad thing, but nonetheless.
    I side towards theism for the simple fact that humans are, and have always been, spiritual in nature and seek a relationship with God. If there is a creator God, then I don't believe this could be a coincidence.

  20. #93
    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    For the record: Every premise in the above argument is falsifiable in theory.

    Also, as I've pointed out before, the assertions that life is designed and that life is not designed are opposing positions on the same question, thus, any test of that question will affect both positions. The relevance of this? You can't test one without testing the other, and you can't falsify one without proving the other. This leaves us with the simple conclusion that either both the design and no-design positions must be science, or neither can be.

    Any test which strengthens a design-free origin of life (abiogenesis) is a test which weakens a designed origin of life.
    Any test to prove a design-free origin of life is a test to falsify a designed origin of life.

    ...and vice versa.

    Your Premise 1 is a re-statement of an accepted hypothesis, using some flowery language. Premises 2 and 3 (and the "Conclusion") are just re-statements of your belief that life has to be designed.


    On the other point, if you grant the consensus view of evolution, the hypothesis that an undetectable God set it all in motion by snapping His finger, or whatever, is indeed unfalsifiable, and thus a statement of faith.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by dal9 View Post
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    Your Premise 1 is a re-statement of an accepted hypothesis, using some flowery language. Premises 2 and 3 (and the "Conclusion") are just re-statements of your belief that life has to be designed.


    On the other point, if you grant the consensus view of evolution, the hypothesis that an undetectable God set it all in motion by snapping His finger, or whatever, is indeed unfalsifiable, and thus a statement of faith.
    All three premises are what I believe to be facts based on current knowledge. Every one of them can be falsified.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    Premise I: The foundation for life is the genetic code, which acts as a programming language for life.
    This premise can be falsified by showing that the genetic code isn't an actual code.


    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    Premise II: Every known code originates via intelligence.
    This premise can be falsified by showing a code which did arise via intelligence.

    Note: I've actually seen people try to refute this claim by using the genetic code -- the very thing in question -- as an example of a naturally-arising code.


    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    Premise III: Nature has never shown anywhere near the capability of creating such a thing.
    This is very closely tied to premise II and could be falsified via the same observation.

    Falsify any of these premises, and you will have falsified the conclusion reached from them:

    Quote Originally Posted by GrangeRusHibbert View Post
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    Conclusion: An intelligence is the best explanation for life.
    Show that nature can do what I.D. proponents say only intelligence can do, and a designer becomes superfluous to the origin of life.

    I don't see how that claim's not falsifiable in theory.

    Look, let's not kid ourselves here: The "I.D. is not falsifiable" claim is just a cheap, flimsy excuse used to discredit the I.D. position, and, thus, protect their own position. It has no merit, as it's clearly false.
    Last edited by Lance George; 02-08-2014 at 09:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Quote Originally Posted by Major Cold View Post
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    If this was the Super Bowl of creationism/evolution debates. Then we just watched two junior high football teams on the biggest stage.

    Hamm has a bachelors degree in Applied Science
    Nye has a bachelors degree in Engineering.

    There are more qualified people to debate these topics.
    I agree. My stance is that, as fascinating as they can be, debates are only truly meaningful if they involve the strongest views and the best-versed proponents of each side of an argument. Once we've heard the best arguments from each side, then -- and only then -- can we make a reasonable conclusion about which side is stronger.

    A much better debate:


  23. #96

    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Pat Robertson chimes in: he implores creationist Ken Ham to just shut up: ‘Let’s not make a joke of ourselves’

    “Let’s face it,” Robertson said, “there was a Bishop [Ussher] who added up the dates listed in Genesis and he came up with the world had been around for 6,000 years.”

    “There ain’t no way that’s possible,” he continued. “To say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it’s time we come off of that stuff and say this isn’t possible.”


    “Let’s be real, let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”


    “We’ve got to be realistic,” he concluded, and admit “that the dating of Bishop Ussher just doesn’t comport with anything that is found in science and you can’t just totally deny the geological formations that are out there.”

    When a nutjob like Robertson in essence calls you a nutjob, meaning you're nutjob-squared, it might be wise to listen.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/0...-of-ourselves/
    The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)

  24. #97

    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    A couple of fascinating Cambrian-related news tidbits this month:

    In the Canadian Rockies, a Major Fossil Find Intensifies the Object of Darwin's Doubt

    Jerry Coyne Notwithstanding, as an "Explanation" for the Rise of Complex Animal Life, Oxygen Is Now Eliminated from the Running

    It's amazing just how much complexity appears early in the fossil record, with nary a precursor in sight. That would deeply upset me if I were a Darwinist. The fossil record looks exactly like we'd expect it to look if Darwin was wrong.
    Last edited by Lance George; 02-22-2014 at 10:17 PM.

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    Saw this today; made me think of this thread:


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    Can see thru wooden doors dal9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    ^well, if an obscure former relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds can't figure it all out, I have to agree, science is doomed.

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    Default Re: Bill Nye totally crushes Phil Ham in creationism debate

    So you'll make an ad hominem comment, but you won't explain why he's mistaken?

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