The Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate Was a Nightmare for Science
In a much-hyped showdown, “the Science Guy” tried to defend evolution against creationist Ken Ham, and proved how slick science-deniers can be. How did the guy who’s right go so wrong?
I didn’t watch the debate, though I gave passing thought at one point because Nye has historically been pretty good at explaining science and I figured it might be entertaining. However, I am glad I didn’t waste my time; apparently Nye is totally incapable of explaining science to non-believers and, at least based on the above article and another couple I read, did Creationism a huge boost by sounding totally clueless. The anti-science attitude here in the US is getting stronger each year (or it sure seems to me) and while it is possible to make some progress on a technological level without understanding how science works (presuming you consider something like smartphones and Facebook ‘progress’), fundamental advances require fundamental understanding of science which is generally incompatible with an acceptance of a literal interpretation of the bible. It is not necessary to believe in one or the other exclusively (as I suggest here science is indeed build on faith); I know people who are quite religious but also have a strong belief in science (personally I have a problem reconciling that, but I also believe in a lot of ‘sketchy’ things science wise, so who am I to judge?). I believe the Catholic Pope is on record as saying there is no conflict between science and religion. Anyway, my point is if you are going to let your critical thinking skills be driven by an unshakeable belief that science is bunkum because it says the world is older than 6,000 years, I find it incredibly hard to believe you can ever make any sort of meaningful contribution to advancing society.
Just to bring it to the fore, the article mentions the “Red Queen Hypothesis” that posits evolution, on average, is driven by competition between the organism and its parasites/predators as both evolve to get better and better at their respective jobs. (Note that there is also a theory called “Punctuated Evolution” that posits that most evolution happens over short (geologically speaking) timescales and the vast majority of the time nothing really happens. This is where the Red Queen steps in to explain why there is a steady state of extinction in between the punctuations.) Anyway, thought my reader(s) might be interested in the Red Queen but might not read the article, so wanted to point it out.