Ken Ham ducks a debate

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Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri May 31, 2013 11:59 pm

http://freethoughtblogs.com/aronra/2013 ... grill-ham/ (one of the comments underneath identifies Mr Ham as a 'hypocrite' because of his blog comments in response to this challenge)
http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs ... Ken+Ham%29
This man indoctrinates kids - but reacts with cowardice when challenged to a public debate by adult atheists about 'Evolution vs. Creationism, and which should be taught to students as science'.
Apparently because he does not have a PhD (even though the suggested opponent Aron Ra appears not to have one either) Mr Ham feels unable to accept this challenge! Also, according to Ham, the challenge - which is expressed in forthright and assertive terms - was 'nasty' and 'unprofessional'. Oh dear.
(It appears that Ham, the president of AiG no less, consistently tries to AVOID one on one public debates with adults - this past 'debate challenge' to Bill Nye implied that he ought to debate a PhD scientist who works with AiG such as Dr Georgia Purdom: http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs ... -a-debate/)
Mr Ham did not much like the tone of this week's debate challenge. But this was him in full flow just last week:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/article ... ristianity

This episode tells me ALL I ever need to know about young Earth creationist ideologues.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:19 am

This has become an email to some YECs and some critics of YEC teachings. If you were not one of the 'lucky' ones, no offence was possibly intended.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:23 am

Was Bill Nye a coward too?

In my opinion, yes.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:24 pm

http://freethoughtblogs.com/aronra/2013 ... debate-me/
I guess we won't get to see the battle of the Beards.

Young Earth creationists should take a look at this new post. (Even if they are worried, based on recent comments by Ken Ham about other blogs and videos from atheists, that it is likely to be full of 'hate'.)
Though it does not directly address these matters, this blog post clarifies for me how and why NOT all Christians are YECs and NOT all people who accept the theory of evolution are atheists or anti-religious.
To me, this post also helps clarify why Ham knows - despite his verbal gifts - that as scarcely a scientist he would probably LOSE a debate with Mr Ra about what should be taught 'as' science - and in science. Which of course must not be allowed to happen! There might then be (more) calls for Mr Ham to stop addressing audiences of (often home-schooled) young people and indoctrinating them by rote and repetition about matters such as 'Noah's Flood explaining the fossil and geologic record' and 'dinosaurs in scripture'. Ham may think that one of his staff might do better in a debate - or hope that Mr Ra would simply refuse the 'battle of the PhDs'.
In fact Ra's position on that sort of debate (not involving Ham himself) is a little unclear to me. I think he is saying that Ken Ham would also refuse to allow one of his PhD qualified staff to debate Mr Ra - because he (Ra) knows the "under-handed tactics of creationists". Thus, for this very reason, as well as personally bottling out Ham also prefers another (PhD) scientist chosen by Houston Atheists instead of Mr Ra. Ra then says "no professional scientist should ever debate a creationist on-stage". However, if Ham carries on saying 'yes' to that proposal (his counter-proposal after REJECTING Ra's proposal) but Ra says 'no' that will hand a minor propaganda victory to Ham. Though it would not cancel the fact that Ham himself bottled out of any one on one debate (and failed even to explain why).
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby a_haworthroberts » Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:23 pm

I tried to post a link to THIS thread under the latest Ra blog but had to give up because my email address is already known to FreeThoughtBlogs but I've forgotten my password and the link they sent me to alter my password does not work.

Also, earlier on I saw a post on either the Ken Ham or the Answers in Genesis Facebook page which suggested that when Ken Ham wrote blogs proposing debates with Bill Nye and with Zack Kopplin qualifications weren't an issue but suddenly when Aron Ra proposed a debate with Ham suddenly Ham said he wanted the debate to be with someone possessing a PhD (the person from AiG also being someone with a PhD). However, the two previous suggestions by Ham were for debates involving a (PhD) QUALIFIED scientist from AiG debating with Nye or with Kopplin.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT HAM CONSISTENTLY AVOIDS ANY RISK OF GETTING INTO ONE ON ONE PUBLIC DEBATES WITH ATHEISTS OR OTHER CRITICS ESPECIALLY IF THE TOPIC IS TO DO WITH WHETHER YEC TEACHINGS HAVE ANY SCIENTIFIC MERIT OR CREDIBILITY.

Such a person, who consistently refuses proper scrutiny by the pro-scientific community and evades or censors all relevant criticism, should NOT be permitted to indoctrinate young children against the practice of and the knowledge gained from science.
Last edited by a_haworthroberts on Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby Peter Henderson » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:59 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:Was Bill Nye a coward too?

In my opinion, yes.


Would Bill Nye have been wise "debating" Georgia Purdom (as Ken Ham suggested) ? Somehow, I don't think so as Nye isn't a biologist. Ken Miller maybe, but not Nye
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby Brian Jordan » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:33 pm

AronRa discusses this challenge here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/aronra He doesn't mention whether he has a Ph.D. but I imagine that he would, if he had, and then explain why it shouldn't be an excuse not to debate Ham. Indeed, he implies not when he says
Refusing that, if he wants to his ‘scientists’ to debate like real scientists, then they’re going to have to do that in the peer-reviewed journals –where his snake oil will not sell. Until the magic-believers can play in that field, then no professional scientist should ever debate a creationist on-stage. They’d only be playing into a con game otherwise.
(my emphasis)
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby a_haworthroberts » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:48 pm

P Z Myers has at last caught up:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/ ... -ran-away/

He seems not to notice that Ham (who it is true does not have a PhD) has a TRACK RECORD of never/almost never putting himself forward as the person who should take part in proposed one on one debates with atheists/evolutionists/compromisers/secularists whether about science or about scripture.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:16 am

This is so outrageous that I’d be willing to set aside my policy of refusing to debate creationists to take these phonies on…as long as I could have as my partner the fellow they rejected. Especially since he’d be a far better debater than I am, even without a Ph.D.


As long as the pair of them don't preach Atheism in the name of science. That would be playing Ken Ham's game and it's why I suggested Miller.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby Peter Henderson » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:23 am

I think Steve Jones has become a lot more savy since this encounter with Ham 13 years ago. He was excellent on the beg question last year:

http://www.holysmoke.org/kansas22.htm

KH: Well yes, actually, I take Genesis the way Jesus Christ took Genesis and Jesus Christ tells us in the New Testament how to take Genesis; he quoted it as history, and its actually written as a historical narrative. I mean, you have what are called vast consecutives of the Hebrew languange showing that its historical narrative. You know, the thing is this--- if you can't trust the Bible for areas of science, you can't trust it in areas of morality and that...

Host: And carbon dating, radiation dating, all that stuff doesn't work?

KH: Um, all dating methods, any dating method is based on assumptions; one has to look at the assumptions to determine their validity or not; students need to be taught how to think about those issues, let's be honest.

Host: Uh, Professor Steve Jones, what is this going to catch on here, do you think?

[Professor Steve Jones 'Geneticist University College London']

Steve Jones: I think not, I mean what we're talking about is a lot of stupid people in the United States, um, I feel...

KH: Are you calling me stupid then?
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby Brian Jordan » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:58 pm

a_haworthroberts wrote:Ham (who it is true does not have a PhD)
Why work for a doctorate when you can get four for just spouting rubbish?
AiG wrote:Ken has been awarded four honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Divinity (1997) from Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati, Ohio, a Doctor of Literature (2004) from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, a Doctor of Letters (2010) from Tennessee Temple University, and a Doctorate in Humane Letters from Mid-Continent University in Kentucky (2012).
They're all private religious establishments. One wonders what their science degrees are like, if they have any.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby cathy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:01 pm

As long as the pair of them don't preach Atheism in the name of science. That would be playing Ken Ham's game and it's why I suggested Miller.

Thats the risk you're now running as Dawkins as hijacked atheism to mean Dawkinsism and PZMyers and quite a lot of the others from the US are bizarrely in thrall to Dawkins for reasons way beyond my comprehension. I don't know why, if ever there were a case of Emperors new clothes its Richard Dawkins. Now Dawkins likes to say science is atheism and if Dawkins says it you can bet your life the others from the US will follow him without a thought. Its not just playing Hams game its playing Richard Dawkins game and it is deliberate!!!

Over here we are luckier we have Brian Cox
...some of my friends are religious. I don’t have a strong view on religion, other than illogical religion. Young earth creationism, for example: bollocks.
(Observer interview, March 2010)

and has also said somewhere that he doesn't find anything odd about scientists with religious views!

And of course Steve Jones who was, as you say, brilliant taking on creationists on the big questions last year sitting next to a Christian who also happened to be the leading paleontologist in the country. He was excellent and nowhere did he make the inane Dawkins/Myers/Coyne link between science and atheism. It was creationists talk b@@@@@ks and we're all united against them.

It isn't just the religion = science that they are following Dawkins into either. His website is full of the creepy men that you used to find a lot in the 80s (and still do but at least you can avoid them in pubs or threaten them with HR or stand on them in high heels) who openly express hatred for feminism and clearly don't like women as people at all. And they keep repeating the same old Dawkins mantras just like creationists repeat Hams ones - like all christians have to obey the OT. I've noticed Myers at least following him down that route slightly as well. I'm not sure if that is why he is so popular? He appeals to that egotistical demographic?

I think now you Christians are fighting a rear guard action against creationism from Dawkins as well as the creationists. He is threatening you with it from one side and them from the other. They won't debate and if they do the liklihood is it won't be limited to creationism v science but atheism v creationism.
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby Roger Stanyard » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:06 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:
a_haworthroberts wrote:Ham (who it is true does not have a PhD)
Why work for a doctorate when you can get four for just spouting rubbish?
AiG wrote:Ken has been awarded four honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Divinity (1997) from Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati, Ohio, a Doctor of Literature (2004) from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, a Doctor of Letters (2010) from Tennessee Temple University, and a Doctorate in Humane Letters from Mid-Continent University in Kentucky (2012).
They're all private religious establishments. One wonders what their science degrees are like, if they have any.


Don't the fundies just love these illusions of grandeur!
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby Roger Stanyard » Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:29 pm

cathy wrote:It isn't just the religion = science that they are following Dawkins into either. His website is full of the creepy men that you used to find a lot in the 80s (and still do but at least you can avoid them in pubs or threaten them with HR or stand on them in high heels) who openly express hatred for feminism and clearly don't like women as people at all. And they keep repeating the same old Dawkins mantras just like creationists repeat Hams ones - like all christians have to obey the OT. I've noticed Myers at least following him down that route slightly as well. I'm not sure if that is why he is so popular? He appeals to that egotistical demographic?

I think now you Christians are fighting a rear guard action against creationism from Dawkins as well as the creationists. He is threatening you with it from one side and them from the other. They won't debate and if they do the liklihood is it won't be limited to creationism v science but atheism v creationism.


The New Atheism movement is deeply divided and, in my view, going nowhere. The young in the USA are abandoning religion in droves not because of the New Atheist movement but because fundamentalism is seen as intolerant, bigoted and deeply politicised. Moreover, demographics are moving against the fundamentalist movement, which is seen as white, aging, male dominated and of the socially and educationally backward parts of the USA. The fundamentalists have been a disaster for the Republican Party, turning it into a dysfunctional, incompetent and deeply dishonest party. My guess is that the Republicans will, sooner or later, be forced to turn against the fundamentalists, leaving the latter political isolated and impotent.

The New Atheists have completely failed to position themselves to take advantage of the changing social, cultural, religious and political paradigms. The organisations fighting fundamentalism successful are those that embrace the moderately religious - organisations such as Americans United, the NCSE and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The New Atheists seem never to have learned the lessons of Madeline Murray O'Hair who did an immense amount of damage and [edit - arguably] achieved nothing.
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
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Re: Ken Ham ducks a debate

Postby cathy » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:06 pm

Moreover, demographics are moving against the fundamentalist movement, which is seen as white, aging, male dominated

Not unlike the new atheist movement.
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