As several diaries here have pointed out over the last week, Bill Nye, the science guy, is going to "debate" Ken Ham of the creationist "museum" in KY. I put the word debate in quotes for a reason. Because a debate requires both sides to have evidence to support their positions. Creationists do not. What they have are quotes from real scientists taken out of context and outright lies about Darwin and what he actually believed. This is just one of many reasons such a debate is a bad idea. When one side refuses to play by the rules, the other side has no chance.
There are other reasons. Not the least of which is the venue. The creationist "museum" is hurting for funds. This little stunt will only help it, regardless of the outcome of the debate. I don't know what, if any, concessions Nye got out of Ham but one of them should have been a change of venue. You never let the creationists dictate the terms. And Nye isn't there to prop up Ham's little pet project, he's there to shut these people up. Which brings me to my other objection. Control.
If Nye is determined to do this, he should have demanded a moderator and some ground rules. I know it would be hard to find someone both sides trust but I find it hard to believe that a creationist audience would be okay with a debate taking place at a real museum without some sort of system in place to make sure the real scientist didn't get the upper hand. Someone needs to be there to make sure Ham can't dominate the conversation.
Lastly, whatever else Nye asks Ham, there are two questions that he should absolutely ask: 1) "Do you have any evidence that the Garden of Eden even existed and the story told in the bible actually happened?" and 2) "If not, why should you get a place in the classroom?" These are the two fundamental issues of the creationists debate. They think they should get a place in the classroom. If they want it, they should have to earn it like evolution did.
Remember, the creationists need this, we don't. This is to give them legitimacy in the scientific community. The scientific community doesn't owe these people anything. If they want this "debate" then they should have to concede to our demands. Not the other way around. I am against Nye doing this. It pretends like the creationists have a legitimate argument that needs to be addressed. But since he seems to be willing to go through with it, there should at least be some system in place that keeps the creationists from being able to cheat. These basic rules are designed to do just that.