What Do You Think – Did Bill Nye Smoke Some Ham?

I only got to watch bits of the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, and caught the gist of it from the Pharyngula live blog and comments there. It was enough to realize that I’m going to be able to debate that little shit just as soon as I finish with these Christianist textbooks, because he’s regurgitating most of the same bullshit I’m finding there. I’ll be watching the debate later and going over the geology bits in some detail. Well, as much as I can stand – I don’t think I’ll be able to take much of that pompous windbag at a time. Which means, actually, I won’t be able to debate him, ever – I’d end up pouncing on him, slapping duct tape over his cake socket whilst screaming “The Bible is not science you dipshit!”

Y’all would pay to see that, and then pay to get me out of jail, right?

Anyway, if you wish to torture yourselves, the debate is supposed to be available here for a short time. Let me know about any bits you want me to pay particular attention to. I want my Ham smoked, cured, and sliced. Heh.

While you wait for me to get crack-a-lackin’, feel free to suggest captions for this excellent image Hemant caught:

Image is Bill giving Ken a profound WTF stare as Ken arranges something on his podium without meeting Bill's eyes.
[Your Caption Here]
Oh, and Bill?

Learn some bloody geology. Sheesh. From what I understand, that’s the topic he flubbed the worst, and it’s ridiculous – doesn’t everyone realize geology is the creationists’ favorite target just after evolution? I know folks kinda disregard the earth sciences whilst lusting after physics and biology, but for fuck’s sake…

What Do You Think – Did Bill Nye Smoke Some Ham?
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11 thoughts on “What Do You Think – Did Bill Nye Smoke Some Ham?

  1. 3

    Dana, I avoided the debate; my nightly blood pressure medicine ran out, and I just picked up a refill today. Without it I could envision blood spurting out as Ham spoke.

    Alas, as I commented to someone on Facebook, Ham won; this will get him no end of donations. It didn’t matter how good Bill Nye was, or how stupid Ham sounded. When a scientist debates a creationist, the money flows to the creationist.

  2. rq

    It would be hard to go to jail with Dana in this case, since I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let a gaggle of commenters on stage to help her umm debate. But, I’d certainly help you resist your arrest, and pay your way out of jail, should that be needed.
    In the picture, Bill Nye looks a bit worried – for Ken Ham, not about him. He has that caring-friend look, you know – Are you sure you’re okay? Why are you saying such odd things? Do you really mean that?

  3. 5

    I saw Duane Gish speak once; I brought with me a book written specifically addressing his claims in a debate ten years earlier, and in the debate I saw, he made every single previously-refuted claim in exactly the same previously-refuted manner. And it “worked”, because the vast majority of the audience was manipulated by his cheap rhetorical tricks, was unaware that his “evidence” was shit, and was unprepared for someone blatantly lying to them. His scattershot manner allowed him to make multiple claims that spanned many areas of expertise at once, such that no single expert could refute them at once–“ah, you are wrong about X, but you may have a point about Y and Z!”…

    And the worst was, the audience–and this was at a university–wanted to believe him. Whether it was the self-selected nature of the crowd (really, who is more motivated to go, the biology club or the biblical literalist club that sponsored the event?), the polite refusal to suspect that every fucking word he spoke was a deliberate lie, or simply the finely honed rhetoric Gish had crafted over the decades, he had the majority of the crowd in the palm of his hand. Every joke, crowd-tested. Every dodge, slick and smooth. Every smile, Grinch-like in its oily sincerity.

    It was terribly frustrating.

    If you do get to debate Ham, don’t waste time. Use your geology-fu… by which I mean a rock hammer. Put me on the jury, and you’ll never be convicted.

  4. 6

    Alas, as I commented to someone on Facebook, Ham won

    You know, I don’t think so. Even if the faithful do shower him with donations, that debate made one thing absolutely crystal clear: creation “science” is religion. Ham was preaching and waving the Bible.

    I’ll bet the weasels at the Discovery Institute wet their pants.

  5. 9


    @6 and 7: Yeah, I thought of that as well. Ham is a lying sack of feces but he’s a far more honest lying sack of feces than anyone at the DI.

    Does that say something good about Ham, or something reeeeeally bad about the DI?

  6. 10

    CAPTION (excuse the caps) ;-)

    Bill Nye: Mr. Ham, we in the real scientific community have a well-used
    ackronym for what you just stated: “WTF?!”

  7. 11

    Oh, and Bill?

    Learn some bloody geology. Sheesh.

    Amen, sister. (Sorry about that.)
    Apparently, some unfossilized wood was found embedded in basalt in Queensland. Personally, I’d love to know the process that caused this, but anyway … someone tested that basalt with K-Ar radiometric testing and got a reading (according to Ham) of 50 Mya. They then tested the wood with Carbon14 dating (!) and got a reading of 50 Kya. The best response Bill Nye could give was that maybe the wood fell on top of the basalt at a recent date. (Sheesh indeed!)
    What I would have said was that would be like trying to measure the temperature of a volcano with a rectal thermometer. Just because the thermometer maxes out at 105 Deg F, doesn’t mean that is really the volcano’s temperature.

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