Our doors are open but our minds are closed!


Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 03:00 PM PDT

From creationism to ESP: Why believers ignore science

A journalist’s investigation of strange beliefs and the people who hold them leaves him questioning himself

From creationism to ESP: Why believers ignore science

Will Storr knows exactly what sort of book you expect “The Unpersuadables: Adventures With the Enemies of Science” to be. He opens it with a gathering he covered in a small town in rural Australia, a place nicknamed after a species of tree with potentially lethal stingers. A couple of hundred people gathered there to hear John MacKay, a science teacher turned creationist, lay out evidence for his belief that the world was created by God, 7,000 years ago.

“I see the lines there,” Storr thinks, looking down at his notepad, “ready to be filled with descriptions and strings of overheard dialog and the thoughts I’ll think about these Christians, these crazy Christians; the words that will make up the story that will be read by people just like me. I see the lines, and I already know what they’re going to say.” None of it will answer the nagging question of why people believe the strange things they do.

And if Storr is sure of anything — being sure emerges as a dubious quality in the course of “The Unpersuadables” — it’s that he’s tired of how this story has been told. He doesn’t believe in creationism, and sees no reason why he ever should, but after quizzing a few of the attendees about their understanding of the scientific substance of the creationist debate, he admits that his own pro-evolution position is just as faith-based as theirs. “Like so many people who hold strong opinions about it, I have never studied evolution. I have exercised no critical thinking on the topic whatsoever.”

And so begins a searching, extraordinarily thoughtful exploration of what it means to believe anything — not just the weird things that the fanatics, eccentrics and heretics that Storr interviews believe. These renegades lavish their conviction on everything from the fairly respectable (homeopathy) to the decidedly not (Holocaust denial) and their fixations range from from such classics as UFOs and ghosts to an obscure malady called Morgellons, whose sufferers believe that their skin has been infested by a mysterious agent that some think is a rare parasite and others are sure is a top-secret form of nanotechology run amok. Storr undergoes past-life regression and attends a huge convention of the followers of a superstar guru whose breathing exercises are said to cure cancer. (“It has been found that cancer cells cannot thrive in a highly oxygenated environment,” a follower informs him.) He also rubs shoulders — and butts heads — with public figures from the thriving skeptic community.


“The Unpersuadables,” like most books intended to make you think rather than to tell you all the ways you’re right, is difficult to characterize. It contains a larger portion of autobiographical material than some readers will expect or welcome, but to my mind this background creates an illuminating context for Storr’s perpetual self-questioning. In his youth, he rebelled against his parents’ Catholicism and expectation that he’d go to college; he also suffered from periods of depression, kleptomania and obsessive, self-destructive jealousy. Now a novelist and journalist, Storr comes across as a man on even footing who never takes that evenness for granted. He also likes outsiders and dissenters, having spent the first part of his life adamantly refusing to fulfill his family’s dreams for him.

Fortunately for Storr, he wanted to write and he’s really good at it. Each chapter in “The Unpersuadables” plunges the author into a peculiar subculture, and each has its own narrative flavor. The account of a family who discovers that their late, estranged daughter and sister had fallen into the clutches of therapists convinced of the existence of networks of Satanic ritual child abusers, murderers and cannibals works like a detective story. Another on Lord Monckton, a famous British climate-change denier, is a profile in reactionary nostalgia as a way of life. The Morgellons chapter is, of course, a medical thriller, although the results are not vindicating when Storr finds a doctor willing to analyze some fibers for a sufferer. (Most medical professionals view even the request to have such lab work done as a symptom of a psychological disorder, but this particular physician had been afflicted with a rare parasite himself and sympathized.) And Storr tries — very, very hard, in a chapter resembling a courtroom drama — to get to the bottom of some troubling disputes surrounding the presiding saint of the skeptics movement, James Randi.

Running through all these stories is Storr’s growing uncertainty about certainty. In the first chapter, he presents his readers with a conundrum: “I consider — as everyone surely does — that my opinions are the correct ones,” yet to assume that he really is right about everything “would mean that I possess a superpower: a clarity of thought that is unique among human beings. Okay, fine. So accept that I am wrong about things — I must be wrong about them.” Yet when Storr surveys his own views, again, they all strike him as spot-on. “I know that I am not right about everything, and yet I am simultaneously convinced that I am. I believe these two things completely, and yet they are in catastrophic logical opposition to each other.”

Such rumination undermines Storr’s faith in his convictions, rooted as they once were in the rather quaint confidence that human beings make up their minds rationally. Instead, exploring recent developments in neuroscience, he learns that we believe first — engaging mental models formed early in life and rarely amenable to change — and come up with the reasons for it afterward. By the now-familiar process of confirmation bias, we ignore what doesn’t support our most favored notions, and shine a brilliant spotlight on the ones that do. Our minds operate unconsciously to a flabbergasting degree, while our consciousness is forced to tag along after, cooking up convincing rationales. “We do not get to choose our most passionately held views, as if we are selecting melons in a supermarket,” is Storr’s provocative conclusion.

The two most memorable chapters in “The Unpersuadables” exemplify two ways of responding to the unreliability of even the most reliable mind. In the first, Ron Coleman, the founder of an advocacy group for people who hear voices, explains that the two he hears (his late wife and a priest who molested him when he was a boy) are really portions of his own self trying to communicate with him. He went off the psychiatric drugs that are, despite their crushing side effects, the inevitable official treatment for people who hear such voices and get labeled as schizophrenic. He strove instead to negotiate and live with them, and he created Hearing Voices Network to help others try this, too. The group and some supportive psychiatrists have argued that the voices are not a symptom of “some disease in their brain,” but a reaction to early trauma, and that this is simply the way some brains respond to such emotional damage. But whatever the cause, Coleman sounds more humane and even more reasonable than the institutions that want to drug him into lethargy.

Most fascinating of all, however, is Storr’s account of going on a tour of World War II sites with David Irving, a historian notorious for his position on the Holocaust. This is a somewhat unstable body of claims that has included Irving’s insistence that fewer than 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, that the concentration camps did not contain gas chambers and that whatever happened to the Jews was not Hitler’s fault, anyway. (In an inversion of the old “just following orders” defense, Irving’s Hitler was ill-served by scheming genocidal underlings.)

This narrative is a tour de force in which Storr tries to blend in with a group of men whose flagrant racism makes him want to gag. Meanwhile, he is ever seeking a sit-down with the surly, stand-offish Irving, who will barely speak civilly to any of them. This bizarre expedition is managed by Irving’s assistant, a beautiful young blonde who takes care of him to the point of mending his trousers, but has no romantic interest in him. “He thinks he adores me,” she tells Storr. Meanwhile, the men tour concentration camps where Irving triumphantly points to the handles on the inside of the doors to the “alleged” gas chambers, but he fails, Storr observes, to notice the bolts on the outside of the doors. All this culminates in a flabbergasting conversation in which Irving explains away Hitler’s several unequivocally genocidal anti-Semitic remarks as mistranslations and “reading between the lines.” “It’s not between the line,” Storr says in exasperation. “It’s on the line.” But Irving remains unmoved and unmovable, so eventually Storr flies back to the U.K. to marry a woman of Pakistani-English heritage. There are entire novels that do less than Storr achieves here in a mere 30 pages.

That Storr finds many self-professed skeptics to be just as knee-jerk in their opinions as any other flavor of fanatic is not surprising, but his dogged approach to nailing many of the most celebrated skeptics in lies and misrepresentations is welcome. That’s not to say that Storr agrees with the other people he interviewed; in fact, he retains his disbelief in telepathy and UFOs despite liking many of the people who are convinced they exist. But the gleeful self-righteousness of some of the skeptics, their conviction that they are the only ones who aren’t judging the world through a scrim of prejudice and wishful thinking, understandably irks him, as does their fondness for presenting themselves as heroes. “Christians or not, there will be tribalism,” he writes. “Televangelists or no, there will be scoundrels. It is not religion or fake mystics that create these problems, it is being human.” Criminality, intolerance and hatred should be stopped, but “where there is ordinary madness, we should celebrate. Eccentricity is our gift to one another. It is the riches of our species. To be mistaken is not a sin. Wrongness is a human right.”

Laura Miller

Laura Miller is a senior writer for Salon. She is the author of “The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia” and has a Web site, magiciansbook.com

From the Blogman!- Ken Ham and a host of others who hold advanced degrees, deluded enough to believe in the total fallacy of New Earth Creationism! Unreal. Due to the incredible amount of sheep in the world, we will constantly find higher primates-humans, with their hands over their eyes and ears. These people would rather suffer in total ignorance than admit that they believe in fairy tale nonsense.

The ever changing landscape of science.


Let me begin by saying that, yes I am taking another shot at religion by posting yet more scientific facts as to which the faithful are unaware. I say this because when the idiot Kirk Cameron can go on CNN disparaging Evolution through the bullshit ‘Crocoduck’ explanation, then religious people are more ignorant than once thought. Here is an actor, a person who has had many roles in many films and TV series, exposed to a more diverse population than most of us and still he is obviously too ignorant to accept the reality of science! 

The transitional fossil records have been embedded in the study of Paleontology now for decades and are not a mystery to those who study the evidence based science available to anyone on the internet. All it takes is a Google search to reveal hundreds of transitional fossils. Instead, Creationists, approach the average joe on the street and ask them if they know of any transitional fossils. Now as I have said before, with the current state of education in this country, I’m surprised that the dunces illustrated in these videos even know their own names, let alone anything having to do with science. This is a failing of parents who let this travesty occur by not assisting with learning at home and plays right into the hands of the ignorant drooling masses who are deluded enough to believe that the great Sky Fairie created the universe in six fucking days! 

Second here, let me also state that I regard ‘faith’ as the ultimate cop-out when one does not have the answers to the question at hand. It is actually a very cowardly way out of doing research that will come up with a sane sensible answer. This would require guts and ambition, most of which the religious lack. Now I only speak of the truly religious, not the posers when I say that, because as we well know about 40% of the people that say they believe in God don’t even know what the Bible says and they would laugh in the face of a person who had claimed to have just seen Jesus Christ in the flesh. Careful churches, half of your people are only a smidge away from claiming agnosticism! This of course excludes those religions where they blow people up or self immolate, THOSE motherfuckers are CLEARLY just fucking insane! Getting back to faith, lets just say that if you don’t wish to learn, just claim faith.Please do not mention folks like the inventor of the MRI, how such a brilliant mind can subscribe to such bullshit as Young Earth Creationism is beyond me and most other sane people. I guess mental illness can breed genius as well.

Next on the agenda, I will give just a little info on the whole morality thing that the religious are always beating us over the head with. That’s the big head and not the little head, come on now this isn’t Catholicism. Why don’t we just go around raping chickens and debauching Cocker Fucking Spaniels or something? Could it be, for the love of Christ,(or not), that morality is innate? Could the difference between right and wrong actually be built into our tiny little pea brains? Pea brains…ha! String theory pun! According to infant psychologists at the Yale psychology department, a ground breaking study is about to confirm that morality is in fact innate! Whoa! I’m about to pee myself in ‘I fucking told you so’s!’ Science win folks! Sorry, but ya gotta get over this fairy tale mentality and realize that Yaweh’s about to hit the dustbin as overwhelming proof disproves ‘His’ barbaric existence! The master of drunken genocide and mass murder of infants is about to lose ALL credibility and rightly so! I’ll bet if ol’ Job was here he’d gladly pound the first nail in the celestial coffin! That’s for the goddamned boils you spectral fuck!! I must say that some of the most outstandingly moral people I have ever known have been atheists and agnostics, and after all, what is an agnostic? An up and coming ATHEIST!

Let us go now to that bone of religious contention, the human eye. Religious people claim that to have such a complex camera eye to exist would take the stroke of a master creator, a veritable Van Fucking Gogh in heaven. I disagree, of course, based upon millions of hours of scientific research that proves the evolution of the human AND animal eye. Yes, I do believe that we are higher primates AND animals, but for the article I will separate humans and animals for better clarity. The human eye is an amazingly complicated organ, a camera of sorts, that is able to focus light and convert it to an electrical signal that our highly evolved brain translates to images. The retina detects the light and processes it through the millions of specialized neurons creating the wonderful spectrum of pictures that we see every second of every waking hour. The intricacies of the human eye have long been an arguing point for creationists as a prime example of what they call irreducible complexity.This is the supposition that a system that cannot function in the absence of any of its components cannot have evolved naturally from a more primitive form. Darwin himself relied on the supposition that an explanation would be found in the future to explain the evolution of the eye and annotated this in his book On the Origin of Species in 1859. As most reputable scientists do, he was able to use the phrase ‘I don’t know, but we will eventually find out,’ as an answer instead of saying that the Sky Fairie did it. Scientist from Darwin’s time on have made significant advances in explaining the evolution of the vertebrate eye and as we know, this has taken place over approximately 100 million years, not six fucking thousand! This took shape with the visual apparatus being a simple light sensor for daily rhythms around 600 million years ago and progressing to a sophisticated camera eye around 500 million years ago.Between then and now the more complex aspects of the eye developed into the visual sensor of the higher primate. Provable science has demonstrated over time that our camera-style eye has surprisingly ancient roots and as we continue to explore its origins, more in depth answers appear, and the history goes farther and farther back. The fallacy of New Earth creationism is so entirely apparent in these findings that it sometimes surprises me that they can still find people so incredibly obtuse as to believe in that complete shit.

To the creationists and believers in intelligent design, I must say that the evidence is there, you just need to look beyond your crippling fear of the dark to understand it. I am well aware that if the lights went out all over the world the people would renew dancing around the campfire worshiping any deity that they thought would save them. Fuck banding together and figuring out the problem, most would go to murdering their brother for any supplies that he had. This includes the Christians, we already know that the Muslims do this because they don;t even need the lights to go out to commit mass murder, they just need a sect to adhere to a different form of their own barbaric religion for that. No, the pious are usually the least moral in these circumstances. That aside, if evidence and logic were respected everywhere, the world would be a more civilized place, but most would rather vote for their favorite American Idol rather than expand their mind with scientific text. Oh, and don’t bother with the Bible unless you are reading to find out why people are stupid enough to believe in it. The only thing that it is good for is as rolling paper for those shitty smelling cigarettes that bums enjoy! Arm yourself against Christians, read the one book that most of them NEVER read. Believe in it and you will lose vast amounts of I.Q points.

In closing, please use this information to stimulate your need to inform yourself further with some of the millions of scientific articles on the net, and throw your bible into the fireplace where it will actually serve a purpose. Peace be upon you readers! 


Berkeley site for fossil research

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Transitional Forms (1 of 2)

Fossils or organisms that show the intermediate states between an ancestral form and that of its descendants are referred to as transitional forms. There are numerous examples of transitional forms in the fossil record, providing an abundance of evidence for change over time.

Pakicetus (below left), is described as an early ancestor to modern whales. Although pakicetids were land mammals, it is clear that they are related to whales and dolphins based on a number of specializations of the ear, relating to hearing. The skull shown here displays nostrils at the front of the skull.

A skull of the gray whale that roams the seas today (below right) has its nostrils placed at the top of its skull. It would appear from these two specimens that the position of the nostril has changed over time and thus we would expect to see intermediate forms.


Read more about specific examples of transitional vertebrate fossils at the Talk.Origins Archive Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ.

  Note that the nostril placement in Aetiocetus is intermediate between the ancestral form Pakicetus and the modern gray whale — an excellent example of a transitional form in the fossil record!



• Aetiocetus skull image courtesy of Tom Deméré, San Diego Natural History Museum.
• Gray whale skull image provided by Pearson College and Race Rocks

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Gimme that Crocoduck Kirk!


Fossils Reveal Truth About Darwin’s Theory

Robin Lloyd   |   February 11, 2009 04:42am ET

Nichollsia borealis on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta. This plesiosaur swam in the Cretaceous seas over what is now part of North America.
Credit: Royal Tyrrell Museum

With the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin this week, people around the world are celebrating his role as the father of evolutionary theory. Events and press releases are geared, in part, to combat false claims made by some who would discredit the theory.

One frequently cited “hole” in the theory: Creationists claim there are no transitional fossils, aka missing links. Biologists and paleontologists, among others, know this claim is false.

As key evidence for evolution and species’ gradual change over time, transitional creatures should resemble intermediate species, having skeletal and other body features in common with two distinct groups of animals, such as reptiles and mammals, or fish and amphibians.



These animals sound wild, but the fossil record — which is far from complete — is full of them nonetheless, as documented by Occidental College geologist Donald Prothero in his book “Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters” (Columbia University Press, 2007). Prothero discussed those fossils last month at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, along with transitional fossils that were announced since the book was published, including the “fishibian” and the “frogamander.”

At least hundreds, possibly thousands, of transitional fossils have been found so far by researchers. The exact count is unclear because some lineages of organisms are continuously evolving.

Here is a short list of transitional fossils documented by Prothero and that add to the mountain of evidence for Charles Darwin’s theory. A lot of us relate most to fossils of life closely related to humans, so the list focuses on mammals and other vertebrates, including dinosaurs.

Mammals, including us

  • It is now clear that the evolutionary tree for early and modern humans looks more like a bush than the line represented in cartoons. All the hominid fossils found to date form a complex nexus of specimens, Prothero says, but Sahelanthropus tchadensis, found in 2001 and 2002, threw everyone for a loop because it walked upright 7 million years ago on two feet but is quite chimp-like in its skull size, teeth, brow ridges and face. It could be a common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, but many paleoanthropologists will remain unsure until more fossils are found. Previously, the earliest ancestor of our Homo genus found in the fossil record dated back 6 million years.
  • -Most fossil giraffes have short necks and today’s have long necks, but anatomist Nikos Solounias of the New York Institute of Technology’s New York College of Osteopathic Medicine is preparing a description of a giraffe fossil, Bohlinia, with a neck that is intermediate in length.
  • Manatees, also called sea cows, are marine mammals that have flippers and a down-turned snout for grazing in warm shallow waters. In 2001, scientists discovered the fossil of a “walking manatee,” Pezosiren portelli, which had feet rather than flippers and walked on land during the Eocene epoch (54.8 million years ago to 33.7 million years ago) in what is now Jamaica. Along with skull features like manatees (such as horizontal tooth replacement, like a conveyor belt), it also had heavy ribs for ballast, showing that it also had an aquatic lifestyle, like hippos.
  • Scientists know that mastodons, mammoths and elephants all share a common ancestor, but it gets hard to tell apart some of the earliest members of this group, called proboscideans, going back to fossils from the Oligocene epoch (33.7 million years ago to 23.8 million years ago). The primitive members of this group can be traced back to what Prothero calls “the ultimate transitional fossil,” Moeritherium, from the late Eocene of Egypt. It looked more like a small hippo than an elephant and probably lacked a long trunk, but it had short upper and lower tusks, the teeth of a primitive mastodon and ear features found only in other proboscideans.
  • The Dimetrodon was a big predatory reptile with a tail and a large sail or fin-back. It is often mistaken for a dinosaur, but it’s actually part of our mammalian lineage and more closely related to mammals than reptiles, which is seen in its specialized teeth for stabbing meat and skull features that only mammals and their ancestors had. It probably moved around like a lizard and had a jawbone made of multiple bones, like a reptile.

Dinosaurs and birds

  • The classic fossil of Archaeopteryx, sometimes called the first bird, has a wishbone (fully fused clavicle) which is only found in modern birds and some dinosaurs. But it also shows impressions from feathers on its body, as seen on many of the theropod dinosaurs from which it evolved. Its body, capable of flight or gliding, also had many of dinosaur features — teeth (no birds alive today have teeth), a long bony tail (tails on modern birds are entirely feathers, not bony), long hind legs and toes, and a specialized hand with long bony fingers (unlike modern bird wings in which the fingers are fused into a single element), Prothero said.
  • Sinornis was a bird that also has long bony fingers and teeth, like those seen in dinosaurs and not seen in modern birds.
  • Yinlong is a small bipedal dinosaur which shares features with two groups of dinosaurs known to many kids — ceratopsians, the beaked dinosaurs like Triceratops, and pachycephalosaurs, known for having a thick dome of bone in their skulls protecting their brains. Yinlong has the thick rostral bone that is otherwise unique to ceratopsians dinosaurs, and the thick skull roof found in the pachycephalosaurs.
  • Anchisaurus is a primitive sauropod dinosaur that has a lot of lizard-like features. It was only 8 feet long (the classic sauropods later on could be more than 100-feet long), had a short neck (sauropods are known for their long necks, while lizards are not), and delicate limbs and feet, unlike dinosaurs. Its spine was like that of a sauropod. The early sauropods were bipedal, while the latter were stood on all fours. Anchisaurus was probably capable of both stances, Prothero wrote.

Fish, frogs, turtles

  • Tiktaalik, aka the fishibian or the fishapod, is a large scaled fish that shows a perfect transition between fins and feet, aquatic and land animals. It had fish-like scales, as well as fish-like fin rays and jaw and mouth elements, but it had a shortened skull roof and mobile neck to catch prey, an ear that could hear in both land and water, and a wrist joint that is like those seen in land animals.
  • Last year, scientists announced the discovery of Gerobatrachus hottorni, aka the frogamander. Technically, it’s a toothed amphibian, but it shows the common origins of frogs and salamanders, scientists say, with a wide skull and large ear drum (like frogs) and two fused ankle bones as seen in salamanders.
  • A creature on the way to becoming a turtle, Odontochelys semistestacea, swam around in China’s coastal waters 200 million years ago. It had a belly shell but its back was basically bare of armor. Odontochelys had an elongated, pointed snout. Most modern turtles have short snouts. In addition, the roof of its mouth, along with the upper and lower jaws, was equipped with teeth, which the researchers said is a primitive feature for turtles whose mugs are now tipped with beaks but contain no teeth.


  • Charles Darwin’s Legacy
  • Gallery: Drawing Dinosaurs
  • All About Evolution


Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate


Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s true history
Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s true history
by Associated Press
Associated Press
Posted on February 5, 2014 at 3:32 AM
Updated yesterday at 11:52 AM
PETERSBURG, Ky. (AP) — True to his passionate and animated TV persona, “Science
Guy” Bill Nye tapped on the podium, threw up his hands and noted that science shows
the Earth is “billions and billions” of years old in a debate at a Kentucky museum
known for teaching that the planet’s age is only 6,000.
Nye was debating Creation Museum founder Ken Ham and promoting science in the
snappy way that made him a pop culture staple as host of “Bill Nye The Science Guy”2/6/2014 Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s truehistory | kgw.com Portland
http://www.kgw.com/news/national/243641841.html 2/3
in the 1990s.
The event was meant to explore the age old question, “How did we get here?” from
the perspectives of faith and science.
Ham, an Australian native who has built a thriving ministry in Kentucky, said he trusts
the story of creation presented by the Bible.
“The Bible is the word of God,” Ham said. “I admit that’s where I start from.”
Nye delivered a passionate speech on science and challenged the museum’s teachings
on the age of the earth and the Bible’s flood story. Like most scientists, Nye believes
there is no credible evidence that the world is only 6,000 years old.
“If we accept Mr. Ham’s point of view … that the Bible serves as a science text and he
and his followers will interpret that for you, I want you to consider what that means,”
Nye said. “It means that Mr. Ham’s word is to be more respected than what you can
observe in nature, what you can find in your backyard in Kentucky.”
The event drew dozens of national media outlets and about 800 tickets sold out in
minutes. Ham said ahead of the debate that the Creation Museum was having a peak
day on its social media sites.
“I think it shows you that the majority of people out there, they’re interested in this
topic, they want to know about this, they don’t want debate shut down,” Ham said
before the debate.
At times, the debate had the feel of a university lecture, with slides and long-form
Responding to an audience question about where atoms and matter come from, Nye
said scientists are continuing to find out.
Ham said he already knows the answer.
“Bill, I want to tell you, there is a book that tells where atoms come from, and its starts
out, ‘In the beginning …,'” Ham said.
Nye said there are plenty of religious people around the world who don’t question
evolution science.
“I just want to remind us all there are billions of people in the world who are deeply
religious, who get enriched by the wonderful sense of community by their religion,”
said Nye, who wore his trademark bow tie. “But these same people do not embrace the
extraordinary view that the Earth is somehow only 6,000 years old.”2/6/2014 Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s truehistory | kgw.com Portland
http://www.kgw.com/news/national/243641841.html 3/3
The debate drew a few Nye disciples in the audience, including Aaron Swomley, who
wore a red bowtie and white lab coat. Swomley said he was impressed by Ham’s
presentation and the debate’s respectful tone.
“I think they did a good job outlining their own arguments without getting too heated,
as these debates tend to get,” he said.
Some scientists had been critical of Nye for agreeing to debate the head of a Christian
ministry that is dismissive of evolution.
Jerry Coyne, an evolution professor at the University of Chicago, wrote on his blog
that “Nye’s appearance will be giving money to organizations who try to subvert the
mission Nye has had all his life: science education, particularly of kids.” Coyne pointed
out that the Creation Museum will be selling DVDs of the event.
The debate was hatched after Nye appeared in an online video in 2012 that urged
parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children.
Ham rebutted Nye’s statements with his own online video and the two later agreed to
share a stage.