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View Diary: Bill Nye Is Making a Mistake (339 comments)

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  •  I can't believe (11+ / 0-)

    I'm the only commentor who thinks the debates are a good idea.  

    I long for past eras when public debates over these kinds of issues filled public halls, and thousands of folks came out to hear debates instead of watching NFL games.

    At least people who listened to these debates were thinking about the issues.

    As for the fears about Nye getting out-argued, I remember what I read about the great evolution debate at Oxford in 1860, to a SRO crowd of over a thousand.

    Bishop Wilberforce asked Thomas Huxley which side of his family descended from apes, to which Huxley replied, he'd rather be descended from apes than from an ass like Wilberforce (my paraphrase).

    It was two decades of public debates over evolution  in the mid 1800's in England that helped establish evolution as scientific theory.

    If we need to do that all over again, let's get started.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:34:42 AM PST

    •  We hold the winning hand, so (6+ / 0-)

      there is no need to change the game.  Evolutionary theory needed these debates then because it was a new idea.  It is now the prevailing framework for all of biological science, and does not need a debate like this.  See Art Tric's comment below - like playing chess with pigeons.

      So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

      by illinifan17 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 10:57:28 AM PST

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      •  But public support/belief for/in evolution (7+ / 0-)

        is eroding.

        Resting on our laurels isn't enough.

        Look what happened to vaccines.  not long ago, the vast majority of folks thought questioning vaccination was beyond foolish.

        After a decade or two of unanswered pseudo-science, whooping cough is making a comeback because many people view vaccines as questionable.

        Make creationists argue again and again that the Bible is literally true, the sun can be stopped in the sky, etc., back them into a logical corner, and  let's fight for reality.

        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

        by 6412093 on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 11:35:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles, Aquarius40, AdamSelene
      It was two decades of public debates over evolution  in the mid 1800's in England that helped establish evolution as scientific theory.
      Not even close to reality.
      What established evolution, or rather Natural Selection, as accepted fact was decades of scientific testing the original hypothesis. Public opinion had nothing to do with it.
      Anymore than public opinion established the legitimacy of the speed of light.
    •  I've seen lots of recs for posts disagreeing... (0+ / 0-)

      ...with the post author's points.

      No name-calling or threats over THIS disagreement, though. This is one of the most polite and intelligently argued threads I've seen in some time. Imagine the polar opposite version of this argument at freerepublic.com...;-)

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:26:56 PM PST

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    •  I'm all for debates (0+ / 0-)

      Just not this debate between these two people.  I don't believe Nye is a good debater or spokesperson for the cause, and I think he's unwise to accept the debate on Ham's home ground.  Ham will use this circus to raise money for his Creationist Museum, so even if Nye "wins" the debate (unlikely), he gives Creationism a shot in the arm.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Fri Jan 03, 2014 at 12:32:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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