Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Devils advocate", sort of... Bill Nye and Ken Ham

Good evening readers,

So you know that when something is new we tend to play with things more than when we get used to them.  This blog is currently my shiny new toy, so I will hopefully make frequent updates.  The plan is for the blog to be like my new smart phone.  Something that I use rather freqently, and sometimes even using it for something important.

Recently I finished watching the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate at the creation museum in KY.  As a skeptic, as you might imagine, I think Bill Nye did a good job of combating the irrational "creation" mythos perpetrated by the Young Earth Creationists (aka the YEC).  The most surprising thing about the debate was not so much the claims made by Ham, but how completely he agrees with creation story told in Genesis. 

I think that Nye went pretty easy on Ham though.  I think he could have been more assertive in some of his points, and at no time did he ever actually challenge Ham on the logic of believing just a book (I mean, pick a book, any book).  He challenged Ham where appropriate (such as the trees older than the age of the earth for YEC's), but I think he was afraid of alienating what was mostly a hostile audience.

I do have some advice for Ken Ham.  My only real criticism of his "performance" was just how damn long winded he was, and how (like in his 30 minute presentation period) he really ran out of stuff to say after about 18 minutes (including his testimonials from other YEC's that actually work in a scientific field [can we say compartmentalization]) and then just went into re-emphasizing his points that he had already made.  After he re-summarized his original ideas for the second time, I really started to drift off.  I really had to fight all of my mental eye rolling listening to the same stuff I had just heard, now at lest twice before.

And as the evening wore on, I realized that, with the exception of a few details, that was really all he had.  Be that as it may, Ken can be a jovial and entertaining speaker.  He is charismatic in a way that didn't have me minding that nearly everything he said was based on a book written over the course of several thousand years.  And I would point out (to any bible literalists out there) that even if Moses wrote the old testament, he wasn't there for most of it.  And he wasn't there for the end of it either.

In a bit of ironic serendipity, I had just briefly flipped over to my regular home page and noticed a little tidbit that fits in right with the last paragraph in an odd way.  According to recent archeological evidence, domesticated camels did not arrive in the middle east until about 930(ish) BCE, anywhere from 500 to 1000 years after they are supposedly written about in the Old Testament, which is believed to have it's origins between 2000 and 1500 BCE.

Here are some links to the story.  Feel free to choose your source.

Fox News -Camel bones suggest error in Bible, archaeologists say

 New York Times - Camels Had No Business in Genesis

National Geographic - Domesticated Camels Came to Israel in 930 B.C., Centuries Later Than Bible Says

No comments:

Post a Comment