Monday, March 31, 2014

And this is why Bill Nye did none of us any favors

Ken Ham was far along the road to to well-earned obscurity. Now, fueled by the publicity of his debate a few weeks ago with Bill Nye, he's a Name again, bookers have rediscovered his phone number, his Dinosaur Dressage Dude Ranch has gotten an influx of money, and is not merely acknowledging his existence but giving him a platform from which to biblically nitpick the upcoming "Noah" movie like it was an episode of classic Star Trek. None of this represents progress for humankind.

And here's the joke: He's upset that the physicaly impossible events portrayed in the Genesis story are being retold – in a Russell Crowe movie! – with insufficient respect for the facts.
But ["Noah" director Darren] Aronofsky has been clear that he intends for the film to appeal to believers of all faiths as well as nonbelievers. He told the Reporter that he wanted to create “this fantastical world à la Middle-earth that they wouldn’t expect from their grandmother’s Bible school.” After all, the movie is a little more than two hours and the story in the Bible is all of four chapters, the majority of which dwells on the construction of the ark and the duration of the rain.

So even though "Noah" is, by Aronofsky's admission, one of the biggest-budget pieces of obvious troll-bait to come along in quite a while, Ham is getting his fifteen minutes over this, and he was only there to be found because the debate with Bill Nye gave him his own little PR renaissance (although he might object to the icky secular overtones of the word).

You do not "win" a debate with a professional fact-denier like Ham, a man who boasted that no facts could make him change his position on evolution, any more than you could "win" a debate with the anti-vaccine crowd. You simply do what you can to keep them from rubbing off on your clothes.

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