Bill Maher Q and A with Bill Nye on His Creation Debate

April 6, 2014

Maher opines that evolution science is now getting rolled together with climate science in the minds of conservative religionists.

More on the actual debate below.

11 Responses to “Bill Maher Q and A with Bill Nye on His Creation Debate”

  1. omnologos Says:

    so is it debating good or bad? is it better to marginalize the creationists or to engage them? Did Nye call names his opponent in the debate? Or did he suggest the existence of a well oiled evolution denial machine?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      WHAT? And DOUBLE WHAT?

      In his zeal to be the first to say something (anything) on this thread, Omno once again provokes nausea. This rhetorical drivel is not even as meaningful as Cosby asking “Why is there air?” I beg you, Omno—-GO AWAY!

      • omnologos Says:

        This is a great chance to get some original thought from you instead of these stupid duck sounds…

        Do you think in hindsight it was a good idea for Nye to accept the creationist debate?

        • dumboldguy Says:

          First, ducks go “QUACK”, not “WHAT”. And those sounds are not “stupid”—they are the product of much evolution and therefore work much better for the duck than “moo”, “meow”, or “woof”.

          Second, ALL my thoughts are “original”. Even when when I am quoting or restating the thoughts of others, I use them in a way that reflects my “original” thinking.

          Third, my opinion on whether Nye should have accepted the creationist debate is irrelevant. It’s history. If you listened to the two Bills, they didn’t much discuss whether it was a “good idea” either.

          Fourth, there is little new insight in this clip, except that it’s fun to watch the two Bills interact in this setting.

          Fifth, you are still as big a fool as ever if you think I will play your game, and I am only wasting the time feeding your narcissism because I’m working on a carpentry project and taking “glue drying breaks” from it.

          • omnologos Says:

            Dumb ducks go “what”.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            “Dumb ducks go “what” is NOT the same thing as “stupid duck sounds…”.

            There is a difference between a stupid sound made by a duck and a sound made by a stupid duck.

            You need to take some English lessons, although there are no classes that will make you “smarter”, which is your real need.

    • archaeandragon Says:

      Well-moderated and structured public debate is good.

      Part of being a debate participant is to attempt to marginalize the position of your opponent(s), so I don’t know where you’re going with that.

      No, Nye didn’t “call names his opponent” that I am aware of, anyway, because, well, he’s Bill Nye — it’s just not his style. Further, in a formal, structured debate, ad hominem is a loser’s strategy. You have nothing left, so you resort to logical fallacies, and your entire position and supporting arguments fall apart.

      There *is* a “well-oiled” (read: “well-funded”) “evolution denial machine”. If you think for a second Ham and AiG is run by paupers simply for the “public good”, that’s a delusion of the size and scope which would give Freud nightmares.

      As for your subsequent question, yes, I think it was a good idea for Nye to debate Ham in that kind of venue, despite the intent and potential of floating Ham’s “ark”. Ultimately, I think it did far more damage to Ham’s position than he either realizes or is willing to accept.

      Just like the Internet is destroying faith and religion across the world, public challenge to religion is spreading the knowledge virus. It gets people talking, and thinking, and that is a good thing.

      Nye knew that Ham just wanted the publicity and spotlight, but he also knew something else far more important: he was there arguing his case for the audience, while Ham was there simply for himself and his cause. That’s why Ham came off looking like and utter buffoon, and Nye mopped the floor with him. Simply put, Ham got far more than he bargained for with that gambit, very little of it to his liking.

      • omnologos Says:

        thank you archaeandragon…would a similar debate between, say, Monckton and Nye be possible, on the matter of AGW/CAGW? Would it be a good thing to do, assuming the circumstances and setting be similar?

        ps I didn’t say there is no “evolution denial machine”…I just said that Nye didn’t use it as an argument, likely because like any insult as you said it puts one in a losing position. Would that apply to people who use, say, “denier” in climate-change contexts?

        • archaeandragon Says:

          Maybe. Ask Bill Nye. The problem is that I don’t think Monckton is even remotely as well-organized (or well-behaved) as Ken Ham, and “that ain’t sayin’ much”.

          Would it be a good thing to do? If it was similarly formal,well-moderated, and structured, probably. However, I think I would rather see Curry and Santer slug it out; I would get far more out of that match-up. Maybe even a formal team debate.

          As for the “evolution denial machine”, it wasn’t necessary to point it out, because it was right there in the embodiment of Ken Ham himself.

          I think the use of “denier” more often than not is meant to be descriptive, rather than pejorative. Evidence and sound reason is presented, and then a cavalcade of misdirection, gish-galloping, cherry-picking, quote-mining, and logical fallacies is provided by the opposition as a response. Someone who simply denies facts and reason, without presenting a remotely plausible counter-argument should rightly be called “denier”. In many cases, the exchange almost literally translates to something like “The sky is blue.” “Nuh-uh!”.

          The exceptions to that are where people actually do some research and come up with questions which at least seems reasonable and honest, and someone calls them “deniers” because they can’t answer the query, or doesn’t even try. It still can be used as a pejorative or dismissal; I’m not saying it can’t be used that way, certainly. However, I am saying it isn’t always used that way — it depends on the context and the circumstances.

          There is plenty of room for healthy skepticism in numerous areas of climate science, and the scientists are, almost to a fault, appropriately skeptical in those cases. However, there are some parts of it where the debate is done, over, finite. Unless someone REALLY does their homework and finds some extraordinary evidence or mechanism which was missed, it is becoming highly unlikely that those parts will be overturned on any reasonable re-examination at this point.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Well said. Omno is doing his job as the “useful idiot” on Crock when he can evoke responses like this from people with fully functioning brains. I wasn’t going to respond to Omno directly, but the choice of Monckton IS perhaps a good one.

            First let me say that I don’t think the cause will be served by any real “debates” about the AGW issue. Our stance should be that it is a settled issue, and all efforts should be devoted to educating the public on that fact. Yes, there are areas of confusion and inadequate data, and they should be pointed out, but the public needs to know that “all roads lead to Rome” with AGW. Pound them with the truth, and forget “the other side” and “fair and balanced”—-there IS no other side, and it is unfair and unbalanced to give people the impression that there might be. I think the NBC special was pretty good in that respect—minimal waffling, maximum “scare everybody”—that’s the way to fight the infowar.

            If any “debates” are ever put on, they should always have a charlatan or clown like Monckton representing the AGW deniers, with one of the brighter, more articulate and charismatic climate scientists as his opponent. You wouldn’t want a Peilke out there for the deniers, because the uninformed will find his confusing and obfuscatory message to be “acceptable” and then think “the science is not settled”. It should be science cast as infotainment—-i.e., tune in and get your laughs as the denier clown destroys himself. (PS How did NBC ever decide to include Pielke in the climate change special last night? His first appearance was negative, his second more positive, but I would love to know what “in” he has with NBC. Having Box and Curry featured prominently WAS great, however).

            Maybe it could be a miniseries with Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame playing the part of Monckton—he’d be perfect for the part—-he resembles Monckton a bit, and is talented enough to “dumb down” Bean enough to be a wonderful Monckton.


  2. Maher opines that evolution science is now getting rolled together with climate science in the minds of conservative religionists.

    That is really old news.  I was reading about climate change denial (aka “just a theory, not proven”) being written into creationist-sponsored textbook standards several years ago.


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