|Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins?|
Here, you will find an overview followed by a line-by-line analysis of a debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. It is a study in logic, focusing on the use and application of logic and logical fallacies.
Conventions: Bill Nye's quotes are in red. Ken Ham's quotes are in blue. Comment on these quotes are in green. In most cases, logical fallacies are hyper-linked to descriptions of those logical fallacies even if the actual name of the fallacy is not mentioned directly in the text. References are also hyper-linked.
Logical fallacies can be used as deliberate method to deceive others, but, more often, the deceiver is also deceived. For example, famed Atheists Dr. Richard Dawkins and Dr. Lawrence Krauss advocate deliberate use of the logical fallacy of appeal to ridicule as a way to intimidate and to control. (reference) In addition, thousands of teachers and websites teach irrationality posing as logic in defense of ideas such as the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story or Atheism/Agnosticism. At the same time, most of those who follow these leaders are simply fooled. They learn to accept totally irrational thinking as logic, science, and even fact.
Logical fallacies can be tricks or just errors in thinking. Fallacies are most effective when they are nested. That is, when several fallacies take place in one statement, it is more difficult for the human mind to sort them out, evaluate them, and know that something doesn't make sense. Nesting fallacies is common. We do it to ourselves. We do it to others, Others do it to us. So there is room for mercy, and we ought not to get angry, but it is important to take time to think, especially when the questions at hand have eternal consequences.
This work will focus on truth. There is no effort to match anyone's definition of the word, logic, or the word, fallacy. Rather than looking at logic and logical fallacy as a way to win debates, the focus is on using logic to recognize what can be known and what cannot be known. In other words, to know the difference between lies and truth.
If you are a Christian reading this analysis, keep in mind that there is never any necessity for you to use logic that is unsound. You, as a Christian, can remain fully rational in your reasoning, while it is impossible to find a rational reason for lies such as big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man, Atheism, or Agnosticism.
However, most Christians make gross mistakes in explaining their faith to unbelievers, mostly because they don't know how to present their faith rationally. The mistake is to over-complicate by adding the assumptions of Naturalism. This mistake is not necessary. The hope is that this article will provide a firm understanding of the reasons that we believe the recorded history that we find in the Bible as well as the spiritual truths found there. It also provides a guide to help you see through the unsound reasoning of the "skeptics."
As Bill Nye and Ken Ham debated, it became clear that the central issue concerns the real basis for thought. Thought must have a foundation. Bill Nye insisted that arbitrary assumptions are a good foundation. Ken Ham insisted that Divine revelation is a good foundation. Bill Nye insists that made-up stuff is the best basis for thought. Ken Ham insists that the best basis for thought is the revelation that God gives as He reveals Himself and His history through the Bible.
The Creation side asserts that the following revelation (which God speaks through the Bible and through personal experience with Jesus Christ) is the necessary for science, since not accepting this revelation results in science based on arbitrary assumptions:
Logic is tied to truth. Consider that the word, logic, comes from the Greek word: logos. The word, logos, is applied to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Logos. "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God." (John 1) Jesus is also the Truth. Truth is another word for reality. Jesus is the reality. The word, science, comes from the Latin: to know. It means knowledge. In Christ is hidden all knowledge. (Col. 2:3) Jesus is the revealer of science.
However, legalism leads to abuse. There are always those with the lawyer mindset that twists the laws to prove their point. If the rules of logic are taken as "the letter of the law," logic can be, and often is, twisted to deceive self or others--that's what fallacies are all about. Real logic rests in Truth, and real Truth rests in Christ. Logic is not self-contained but needs a starting point. That starting point is either Divine revelation or made-up stuff. Read on to learn why this is true.
An Atheist may read this and think that, by identifying logic and science with Christ, we are rigging the game so that they can't win. That can be troubling to them, since they like to play a game that illogically claims that logic and science can only work for Atheists or people who try to reason without God. There is no attempt here to rig the debate. What is actually happening is that we are describing reality. Reality has rigged the game so that untruth cannot win ultimately. However, untruth can fool a lot of people for a very long time.
Another debate, from back a few decades when debates still were allowed, raised multiple false accusations for the same reason that this debate did. Evolutionists are not able to present real evidence for their claims. Here is a quote concerning that debate: "We, along with two other men, attended the debate anticipating a thorough discussion of the scientific evidences, however, we were sadly mistaken. During over 11/2 hours of discourse between them the two U.T. professors failed to present one single argument favoring the evolution theory. Mind you, they introduced not one affirmative argument which defended evolution! It was thoroughly disappointing! One would expect, as we did, that men with Ph.D. degrees and supposed specialists in their fields, could give at least some defense of the theory." (source) See also, censoring and message control.
However, their speeches abounded with broad generalizations completely evading the real issue. They constantly strayed into philosophical and religious areas, when the debate was supposed to be centered around scientific information. In fact, they made fun of conservative Biblical interpretation and tried to cast reflection on anyone not believing in the molecules-to-man story. Yet, the whole time they offered no scientific material to support their opinionated speeches. They repeatedly said they believed the molecules-to-man story to be a better explanation of life than Creation, but were utterly destitute of reasons WHY they felt this way!
Debate Issue #1: Assumptions Versus Divine Revelation
At its core, the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye was about the basis, the foundation, of thought. It was not about scientific observation since both Bill Nye and Ken Ham use the same observations. See the analysis
Debate Issue #2: Historical Science and Observational Science versus Just Science
Ham spoke of historical science versus observational science and attempted to explain the difference between the two while Bill Nye attempted to misconstrue what Ken said. Bill Nye denied that there was any difference between historical science and observational science and insisted that those classifications existed only in the Creation Museum and could be found nowhere else--we can easily verify the fact that Bill Nye is wrong. See the analysisKen
Debate Issue #3: The Topic of the Debate
One would think that the topic of the debate would not be at issue since that was determined by an agreement before the debate, but Bill Nye made it a major contention. The topic is, "Is Creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?" Bill Nye repeatedly stated the title of the debate differently in order to focus on Ken Ham rather than the question at issue, so he kept calling it Ken Ham's model. This is known as an ad hominem fallacy. Any time a person uses ad hominem fallacies, it is an indication that the person is not interested in finding the truth but is only interested in swaying the crowd. See the analysis
Debate Issue #4: Predictability
Ken Ham presented several predictions made by the Creation model. Bill Nye countered by not acknowledging that the predictions had even been mentioned and by saying that he wanted Ken Ham to provide some predictions. Ken Ham presented more predictions. Bill Nye countered by not acknowledging that the predictions had been supplied and still insisting, in denial of reality, that Ken Ham could not provide predictions. This is known as the logical fallacy of proof by repeated assertion. Bill Nye continued to repeat this assertion throughout the debate. See the analysis
Debate Issue #5: Personality and Other Irrelevance
This debate included presentation style as prooof, argument by personal charm, halo effect, appeal to celebrity, ad hominem, marginalizing/demonizing, appeals to authority, bandwagon, appeal to the common man, plain folks, stories as proof, innuendos, genetic fallacy, red herring, hasty generalization, rationalization, statistical fallacies, false open-mindedness, far-fetched hypotheses, shoehorning, paradigm as proof, assumptions as proof, circular reasoning, ipse dixit, trust me fallacy, framing fallacy, proof by intimidation, tossing the elephant.
proof by intimidation fallacy
Each Man's Purpose in Debating
Bill Nye made no bones about the fact that this was not about what is true. Since the debate, Bill has admitted, "The fundamental idea that I hope all of us embrace is, simply put, performance counts as much or more than the specifics of the arguments in a situation like this." "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 Nye, May/June 2014 volume for The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry) It was and is about politics, in his eyes. Ken Ham's main objective was to give the way of salvation to as many people as possible.
You can watch the uncut debate here.
The following detailed analysis should be helpful for understanding the techniques used by Bill Nye.
Use the transcripts on the links below as you watch the debate. You will see the tactics in action and learn a lot about logic and fallacy. You will also understand better what is happening in the debate.
The line-by-line analysis of the debate can be viewed on these five links:
Last updated: Aug, 2014
Creation Debate Issue #1: Assumptions Versus Divine Revelation
Creation Debate Issue #2: Historical Science/Observational Science versus Just Science
Creation Debate Issue #3: The Topic of the Debate
Creation Debate Issue #4: Predictability
Creation Debate Issue #5: Personality and Other Irrelevance
Creation Debate: Each Man's Purpose in Debating
Creation Debate: Opening Statements
Creation Debate: Presentations
Creation Debate: Rebuttals
Creation Debate Counter Rebuttals
Creation Debate: Questions from the Audience
Toons & Vids
How To Respond To Anti-Science Accusations Against Christ
Doesn't All the Evidence Point to Millions/Billions of Years and Evolution?
The Fallacy of Methods for Determining the Age of the Earth
Evidence For The World-Wide Flood Of Noah And The Ark
Scientific Method Uncovers Facts that Support Creation, NOT Evolution
Big Bang is Baloney
Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin, plus Gullible Christians and Students
The Paluxy fossil human footprints
Video: So-Called Evolution's Origin Quickly Debunked
What is the Real Question?
Where did all the people in the land of Nod come from?
Help in explaining how there came to be so many races
Challenge: Evolutionary Value and a Demonstrable Biological Explanation
Lying claim: Morality existed long before religion.
The Simple Cell?
Dinosaurs In The Bible
Questions and Answers: Is Distant Starlight A Problem For Creationists Or Evolutionists?
The Human Genome And DNA
If there was no time before the creation, that is, time was created, then how could God cause the universe to come into existence.
The Bias Of Scientists And Other Humans
The Theory of Everything
Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins?
Answer to Critic
Appeal to Possibility
Argument to the Future
Love Between a Man and Woman
Righteousness & Holiness
Proof by Atheism
Scriptures About Marriage
The Reason for Rejecting Truth
Witness on the Internet
Flaky Human Reasoning
How Do You Know?
The Real Purpose of the Church
The Real Purpose of Life
From Glory to Glory
REAL Faith--What it IS & IS NOT
REAL Love--What it IS & IS NOT
How to be Led by God
How to Witness
Wisdom: Righteousness & Reality
Holiness & Mind/Soul
Redemption: Free From Sin
Stories Versus Revelation
Circular Reasoning-Who is Guilty?
How Can We Know Anything?
Mind Designed to Relate to God
Answers for the Confused
Fossil Record Says: "Creation"
Avoid These Pitfalls
Public School's Religion
Public School Failures