It’s so very exciting to see the reverberation of the Creation-Evolution debate continuing. And I am very happy to see Skeptical Inquirer play a role in it. This current issue of SI has an exclusive piece written by Bill Nye, The Science Guy himself, discussing the behind-the-scenes goings on that took place before and during his televised debate with Ken Ham in February. Bill was the clear winner and he is still winning. Does this mean more such debates, say, about global warming?
When Nye agreed to the debate at The Creation Museum with its founder Ken Ham, he said he believed it would draw about as much attention as presentations he makes on college campuses.
But the Feb. 4 event was widely promoted by the museum, “and soon it seemed like everyone I met was talking about it,” Nye wrote in a 3,000-word letter published in the May/June issue of Skeptical Inquirer.
“I slowly realized that this was a high-pressure situation,” he said.
Nye said he strategized ahead of the debate with colleagues who were seasoned in the evolution-creationism wars. He traveled to Oakland, Calif., to meet with staff at the National Center for Science Education and had lunch with other scientists.
Skeptical Inquirer has put Nye’s piece online for viewing. Have a look. He thanks Genie Scott and others from the NCSE along with Don Prothero and Michael Shermer.
Many of you, by that I mean many of my skeptic and humanist colleagues, expressed deep concern and anger that I would be so foolish as to accept a debate with a creationist, as this would promote him and them more than it would promote me and us. As I often say and sincerely believe, “You may be right.” But, I held strongly to the view that it was an opportunity to expose the well-intending Ken Ham and the support he receives from his followers as being bad for Kentucky, bad for science education, bad for the U.S., and thereby bad for humankind—I do not feel I’m exaggerating when I express it this strongly.
Bill also notes how he was “excited” and upbeat (as you could tell), while Ham was nervous. That’s because Ham only had one story to tell, Bill had the story of nature and the universe. That is way more exciting. He’s my hero.
The event was streamed live on the Web and it was widely discussed on Facebook and Twitter, alongside the witty hashtag #HamonNye.
Hmm. I wonder…
Our past coverage:
Ham on Nye: Tickets sold out in minutes (Jan 7 – AFAIK, no one had used this phrasing before. Anyone? It was just too good to pass up.)