Bill Nye the Science Guy gave it his all tonight. He laid out a passionate, fact filled and educational overview of the evidence for evolution by natural selection. Unfortunately he might as well have been arguing with a wall. When you try to argue with people for whom the Bible is the indisputable source of scientific, logical, moral and ethical authority they can always dodge behind “It says so in the Bible” and, from their perspective, win any debate.
Ken Ham’s arguments were large chunks of theology mixed with, extremely cherry picked, bits of science, pseudo science and outright myth. He combined this with quotes from the handful of “creationist” scientists he could get to go on the record as such and that was all he needed. It was, at least, good enough for an audience who really wanted to believe him from the word go.
The sad reality is that there are a great many people who aren’t that interested in science to begin with. Many of those same people desperately need religion because the social and economic circumstances of this life make them desperate to believe that it is all for a greater good and/or that something better is coming once this one is over.
Nye’s primary concern, I believe, is that as more and more US schools move farther and farther away from actual science and begin teaching theology under the label of ‘science’ that the US will begin to lag behind the rest of the industrialized world in science and technology (or at least more and more of the scientific and technical talent in the US will be imported from abroad). Sadly, Nye is probably right.
The debate was presented by Debatelive.org. Feel free to skip ahead a bit as the video actually starts before the debate does.