Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Noted Science Guy Continues To Be Completely Flummoxed By Human Nature

Thanks to Bill Nye, Creationists Raised Enough Money to Build an Anti-Science Theme Park
The science guy won a debate—and subsidized the enemy

I’m not saying “I told you so” (in fact I am, of course), but the main upshot of the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate appears to have tipped the final balance in favor of Ham.

The debate, as you’ll recall, was held in Kentucky’s Creation Museum, was on the validity of creationism as a model of biological origins and diversity, and the proceeds from the DVDs went to Ham and other creationists.

Now, according to the Guardian and other venues, Ham has announced that proceeds from the debate have apparently revived the dormant “Ark Park” project, which will contain a “life-sized” replica of Noah’s Ark.

This is precisely what I predicted in a pre-debate post on January 5, “Ark Park near collapse; will Bill Nye help finance it?”...
Mr. Coyne goes on to report Bill Nye's reaction to having walked right past all the big, neon, "Danger!  Do Not Enter!" signs and straight into his role in Ken Ham's fundraising scheme as --
,,,“heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky” after learning that the project would move forward. [Nye] said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham’s ministry, which preaches that the Bible’s creation story is a true account, and as a result, “voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest.”
-- because some Liberals are really stupid like that.

And in the name of "debate" or "engagement" or "fairness" some Liberals will go right on being stupid like that.  They simply cannot wrap their heads around the fact that the Right is not interested in debating them. That the Right no longer even recognizes the concept of "debate" anymore.  To Conservatives, a "debate" is just another venue for another round of whoop de poo flinging and laughing at those po', dumb Libruls who keep flying into the same fucking bug zapper over and over again.

For more on this story, we turn to the late Steve Gilliard from January of 2005:
...There's a tendency for liberals to try and be fair, to consider other viewpoints, so we get baited by them in debates on terms that they set. I'm going to act on the following: I don't care what conservatives think. The NRO Corner thinks I'm a racist, I don't care, their opinions on race are meaningless.

Instacracker doesn't like what I say?

That's the purpose of the exercise.

I want conservatives to read this site and come away steaming. I don't want them to think they will like a word I will say here. I don't want them to think I will consider their opinions or viewpoints. I want them to think: boy he doesn't like conservatives and really, really doesn't care what we say.

I'm tired of people acting like these people can be reasoned with or talked to. They don't want to talk, they want to drive us away into a corner and ridicule our ideas.

I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions.

I'm not interested in debating them.

I want to stop them.
And for even more, we turn to the late Steve Gilliard from March of 2005 (emphasis added):
...The Bible Thumpers will always be with us, and after a while, people get sick of them. They did in the 20's and they will now. The GOP has one fucking thing holding them together, power. In 2007, a lot of fiscal conservatives are going to find their nominees for president are a high grade of wacko, like Rick Santorum. People who are too crazy to win, but because the Jesus freaks control the GOP street game, they will have to decide what to do. Just like we listened to Jim Carville four years too long, the GOP will curse the name of Karl Rove for letting the Jesus freaks think the GOP is God's Own Party. Personally, I plan on handing them anvils and watching the fucking bubbles hit the surface.

And about the media: subvert it where you can, provide alternatives when you can't. We have to challenge them when they are wrong. We can't let them get away with bullshit and then whine about it. And we have to start picking friends and enemies. No law says you have to talk to the Weekly Standard or NRO and I wouldn't bother. Let them say what they want, racist thugs, the lot of them. We don't have to make their job easier.

The GOP worked the refs to the point that they shit themselves. It's time to do the same. Someone ought to be deconstructing David Brooks and sending out PR releases highlighting his fucking errors and sexism weekly. This is not a game to win on defense...
As to that list bit, Steve, all I can say is, I've been trying.

Almost since the day you kicked me out of your comment section and I started this blog.

Right on through the end of The News Blog.  Through the rise and fall of The Group News Blog.  Through the rise and fall of The Fighting Liberals.

And I'll go right on trying awhile longer.

But after nine years, as far as I can tell, while a few of my peers are now playing my ragtime, ain't nobody upstairs listening.


Mark Lunn said...

Religion is but a stepping stone on the long journey toward enlightenment. One day it will no longer be necessary.

Until that day, we have to put up with a lot of crap.

Kathleen said...

"There's a tendency for liberals to try and be fair, to consider other viewpoints, so we get baited by them in debates on terms that they set"...

This. Liberals drive me crazy with their need to see the other side and respect everyone's opinion. I see it alot in my age group (older, heh heh) but I don't know how badly that need infects younger people. For me, the line (internally) is, "XXX is bat crap crazy and has nothing to offer a discussion". Period end of. I probably won't tell XXX that, and, unless XXX is advocating violent actions I would respect "the right to have the opionon". But the actual opinion? Hell no. I will stop. Steve put it better than I ever could. I miss him. DG, you deserve the mantle he bestowed on you.

Anonymous said...

This is why you don't treat Christians and people from bumfuck as adults or even human children. They aren't, they never were, and they never will be.

Just go back to civilization and point and laugh at them. Because outside of the sheer amusement the mass idiocy generates, there isn't anything of value there.

The only way to fight these people is to strip them of every bit of political and economic power they have.

JerryB said...

I'm excited by the prospect of the creation park getting built. It will be some jobs during construction helping the local economy. Ham and others will sink every dime they have into the park and after a couple of seasons the owners will declare bankruptcy and go under. Ham will go away and that will be that.

Jim Baker, anybody?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

This. Liberals drive me crazy with their need to see the other side and respect everyone's opinion.

I respect your opinion, Kathleen.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

It will be some jobs during construction helping the local economy

On the contrary. I am willing to bet that a lot of contractors and suppliers will be put out of business by the non-payment of bills.

I will even go out on a limb here and bet the designers and architects haven't received their fees yet.

Strider said...

Awesome you're reading WEIT but PZ Myers made the excellent point that Ham hasn't supplied the relevant data regarding the "museum's" take from the debate. If there's one thing we should've learned by now it's that evangelists aren't to be trusted.

bluicebank said...

Two thoughts on the practice of engaging in honest, intellectual conversation with those who are neither:

1) The practice is a time-honored act that a) continues the tradition of exchanging ideas/viewpoints, in which a rational conclusion may result and b) is an act of faith that the other party is honest and intelligent.

2) More cynically, the honest debater damns the dishonest one. And in the case of these so-called Christians, there the saying of Peter: "It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life." (2 Peter 2:21)

Unfortunately, points 1 & 2 have been exhausted upon these morons and they're already damned. So I am happy to simply needle, ignore or laugh at them.

Anonymous said...

"If there's one thing we should've learned by now it's that evangelists aren't to be trusted."

Now? Really, Strider? *Now* we should have learned that?

Please forgive me, but as a non-christian gay man who played Dungeons & Dragons (and to the one who went off on that last time, don't start), I learned ~back in the 80's~ that there was *no* lie to small or petty or twisted that they won't tell to make a buck of the ones they keep deluded and afraid of the devil that all their deepest fears and lies and malevolence are actually the work of *those* people.

The willfully ignorant and superstitious *need* this raft of lies to be true because they *need* the malevolence to all be the work of "those" people, and they *need* their fear and ignorance and bronze age superstition to be vindicated as something great and glorious that will save the world.

That is why I'm always polite, but at the first jam, I will throw down with these people, "You KNOW that's a lie, and don't think I'm obliged to be afraid of your lies."


n1ck said...


I think JerryB is exactly right, and I'll add some to it.

1. Debates where one side is honest and objectively accurate and the other side is not...are not designed to sway the liars and faithful. Period.

Bill Nye went right the fuck out and told a whole bunch of people who doubt/don't believe religion and who value science, that there are people like them out there in this ostensibly Christian country.

He gave great information to people who know that science is objective and based in reality. Arguments that they can use defend themselves and their "beliefs", or to at least help in not succumbing to peer pressure of claiming to be a Christian because mommy, daddy and sissy all claim to be.

2. Let's really use our critical thinking skills about the whole fundraising BS I keep seeing.

a) The creation museum is a big joke and can't stand on its own financially. Ok.

b) The newest "enemy of science and libruuulism", Bill Nye, has gotten a bunch of dumbfuck rich morons to throw their money down a hole to pay for another creation museum with better dinosaur models and a big boat that won't make money. Ok.

That in itself is a win. If he diminished, even ever so slightly the power and wealth of dumbfuck morons, than my thanks to Bill Nye.

c) Bill Nye should just, what, exactly? Shut up and be a good libruuul? Sit at home lamenting how science is constantly slandered and libeled?

Instead, he went out, destroyed Hamm, or whomever the fuck he debated...and got Pat Fucking Robertson to call Hamm a moron for touting creationism.

I'm sorry, but Bill Nye did a lot of good. The people who watched the debate because they understand that science is reality and religion is not likely got a good show, a few talking points and good info. I'm sorry if better libruuuuls than me just don't get it.

Just because you don't initially win and convince the entire fucking world to give up the indoctrination they've been subject to their entire lives doesn't mean the other side won.

Is evolution taught in Tennessee? Why? Because of that traitor Clarence Darrow, who did everybody a big disservice by standing up for science and against idiocy!

Fuck Clarence Darrow! Am I right, or am I right!

Or, if you're tired of libruuuuls putting up with other people's only changes when people start to speak up.

Sitting back and not saying a fucking thing is worse than putting yourself out there.

gratuitous said...

Yeah, I gotta take Nye's side, too. If the "debate" got some fools to part with some of their money on behalf of Ham's silliness, that's a net gain for reason and the angels of light.

Unless you really, truly think Ham has a legitimate, viable, sustainable business plan, then this infusion of cash will disappear like so much dust in the wind. Once the hordes of the faithful plunk down their hard-earned to gawp at the exhibits, they're not very likely to do it again. Unless they can con some unsuspecting friends into seeing it, but that vein will peter out pretty quickly, too.

Five years from now, nobody's going to remember Ham's version of Ozymandias.

Cliff said...

What strikes me is that for a political group with so many atheists, liberals act like there's some sort of objective higher authority who determines the winner of all reasoned debates.

I don't believe this is a conscious behavior. It's almost completely unconscious, so we keep playing Charlie Brown to the wingnuts' Lucy, because we're certain the referee has to step in at some point.

I hit the Steve Gilliard point back around 2008, after a mere two years of following politics. "Fuck 'em and feed 'em fish heads" is the only way to go now, but the NPR crowd keeps wanting to play patticake.

Anonymous said...

"But after nine years, as far as I can tell, while a few of my peers are now playing my ragtime, ain't nobody upstairs listening."

you see things as they are, driftglass, and are brutally honest about what you see, and those are two of the biggest reasons I respect you so. I for one think you are a great read. you have been an oasis in the desert of honesty and common sense. thank you for sharing nine years of great writing.

Kathleen said...

@n*ick @10:55 PM

"Sitting back and not saying a fucking thing is worse than putting yourself out there."
I agree and wish I were more courageous.

@zombie rotten mcdonald @5:01PM


Kathleen said...

I don't know if the national media mentioned it, but Nye also had supporters in the audience. My local mainslime media reported that people flew in from around the world to see the debate. I live in Cincinnati and the museum is across the river so we were inundated with breathless coverage.

Strider said...

I wrote "by now" as being inclusive of society in general and the statement is true. If you want the provenance of my disbelief it would've taken place in 1979 when, during my final CCD classes, I was all "How do we know G-d exists?" and Fr. Jaskula was all "You have to have faith" and I was all "That's kinda dubious". Fast forward to 1980 when Carl Sagan, as host of Cosmos, was all "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion and politics, but it is not the path to knowledge; it has no place in the endeavor of science.", "With insufficient data it is easy to go wrong.", and "Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred.". I was hooked.

Anonymous said...

That's a great quote from Sagan. Thank you.


drbopperthp said...

Of late I had begun to feel sort of... well - washed out on all of this "Why We Fight" political shit. But every time I cruise by here Drifty and see you referencing home base - I start remembering those good ol' days of hot polidiscourse with you and LoLo and Mistress Jen and The Big Fella - and I get my back up for some more fighting and facializin' with the Rightards I'm surrounded by down here on the Gold Coast of Georgia. Got tears in my eyes behind this one - gotta go.