It finally happened: I was hanging around the tv late at night and channel surfing and ran across a CSPAN rebroadcast of the Nye vs Ham debate. It was just what I would have expected: a wipe out, but, after all, Ham is arguing on behalf of positive facts as ridiculous and unfounded as the assertion that the earth is flat.
I went online to be the voyeur of the troll fest inspired by the debate. I found the same dead-on-arrival creationist arguments, and shameless and tenacious ability to proudly argue against biological science without knowing anything about biological science.
I wish Bill Nye knew enough basic philosophy of science to dispatch Ham’s blather about the difference between observational and historical science. If a creationist argues for the unfalsifiable veracity of the observer’s observed account, the principal vulnerability isn’t only that the assertion is ridiculous on its face, but that, in science, a single observation, even if taken as true, never counts as verification by itself.
To verify, you need lots of observations. That isn’t a requirement of methodological naturalism–scientists don’t need to be explicitly committed to any philosophy of science–it’s a requirement for the sake of confirming that what was true enough in one instance will also be true in a current instance and likely true in a future instance.
Ham, not to his credit, seem oblivious to his coming off as wanting it both ways too: instead of just asserting that the Bible is a record of truth and that equally true and necessary miracles do all the heavy lifting, he wants to promote a pseudo-regime of pseudo-science for the naturalistic sake of falsifying foundational knowledge in biology, geology, cosmology and relativity–all the while his inane version of (what to him) is a science assumes its best (supreme!) evidence is not able to be falsified because it immunizes itself from any and all inquiries that could be brought to bear on it by naturalistic science!
Hey, the Bible doesn’t say it can’t be proven false or improved upon, right?