Phew. Bill, we were wrong to doubt you. We thought your inexperience in debates and of creationism, your lack of background in biology or geology, and the slippery dishonesty of Ken Ham, playing to a home crowd, would cause you an embarrassment. Not a bit of it.
You were superb. You stayed on message, you remained polite throughout, you were respectful of differing beliefs, and your natural charisma were too much for the nervous, repetitive and increasingly defensive Ham. The presentation of facts, pitched just right for the layman, was a continuous assault, not just on your opponent, but on the audience’s preconceptions of what science is, distorted as those are by creationism.
You disposed of the false construct of historical versus observational science, rightly pointing out that astronomy is of course both. Your insistence on framing Ken’s argument as Ken Ham’s Creationism was delightful, you could see him squirm as he resorted to video clips of academics who are a disgrace to their profession. Had you known of Project Steve, you could have lampooned them too.
Your take-home messages were well put, and repeated often enough to stick – USA, nor any nation, can afford to damage their education systems by teaching pseudo-science like creationism; creationism has no power of prediction, which answers the title of the debate, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?” with a resounding “No!”; and that to change your mind, all you would need is compelling evidence.
By contrast, Ham had nothing else but the Bible to fall back on, taking pot shots at such things as gay marriage and secularism, delivering what amounted to a prattling sermon which frankly caused me to tune out, until it was your turn to speak again. He stated no evidence could ever change his mind, and gave the appearance of a man stuck on a rock with the tide rising.
There’s a few things you might have done better, but really, those are minor quibbles. It was an excellent performance, and Ham was over-matched.
Thanks Bill – before you started this quest to expose creationism as the damaging nonsense it is, I didn’t know you or your work. I can now say that your title, The Science Guy, is justly earned.
Full Youtube recordings of the debate-
Non-HD, comments open:
HD recording, no comments:
NCSE report on the debate: