I’ve been looking for a transcript of the Nye/Ham debate, but it isn’t available. (C’mon internet — HK-47 and Bastila flash fiction, but no transcript of this debate?) Here’s the next best thing.
Ken Ham is either an epic troll or the most stupid individual of whom I have ever heard. Here’s his entire argument, in one sentence: the Bible is true because it was written by people who were actually there.
Creationists, couldn’t you find somebody who at least knew the book he was supposed to using as his evidence? Especially when he says that the “most true” part of the Bible is Genesis. You know, the story of creation. Was written by somebody who was actually there. Of course, that would be a hell of a trick, since WRITING HADN’T BEEN INVENTED YET.
Unless, of course, you are suggesting that Gob himself wrote the Bible. In which case, Gob is a moron because he writes a bunch of contradictory stuff. You lose either way, Ken Ham.
A slight digression, but a worthwhile one: the Bible is not a primary source. We don’t even know who wrote most of it (spoiler alert: not Gob). Historians have to use the Bible as a primary source in an ancient history for a very good reason: nobody else thought the early Israelites were worth writing about. (I’m not saying they were right, you understand, but it’s true.) This is like using a German or English source for the history of Luxembourg in World War II; there are no 15 volume studies of Luxembourg in World War II. I don’t even know if there’s a one volume study of Luxembourg in World War II. For the record, here is a one sentence history of Luxembourg in World War II. The Nazis were coming, they shit their pants, and surrendered without a fight. They were 100% right to do this.
Some of the stuff in the Bible is backed up by other sources. Some of it isn’t. Some of it isn’t even backed up by other parts of the Bible. The literary effect on the modern world is profound, and there are some good messages in there. There’s also a lot of nonsense. It’s important to know the difference. If you understand and accept that difference and continue to believe in whatever flavor of religion you do, more power to you. I think you’re wrong, but we’ll agree to disagree. If you do not understand and accept that difference, you’re either incredibly naive, a moron, or a fraud.
Purely from a historical standpoint, the Bible is slightly more reliable than certain parts of Herodotus. The parts with giant ants, for instance, or where he insisted the Persian army had 100 million soldiers in it or something. I think Herodotus asked a couple of guys, drunk on resina, “how many guys were there in that fight?”, and they responded, “like, millions, man. MILLIONS.” Herodotus thought “seems legit” and it becomes history. This is why any time somebody calls Herodotus the father of history I want to punch them in the face. Maybe him too, but he’s dead, so some of the challenge is gone.