An 'After Eden' comic by Dan Lietha mocks Bill Nye, pro-science fighter Eugenie Scott, and comedian Bill Maher for promoting climate science. Graphic: Dan Lietha

By Phil Plait
24 March 2014

(Slate ) – As you may recall, last month Bill Nye “debated” creationist Ken Ham about evolution. There was a lot of pre-debate debate about it, mostly in the form of asking if it even makes sense for a science-based person to debate someone who clearly ignores any and all and overwhelming evidence he is wrong.

My own stance on this is complicated; personally I’d rather not do it, as I have done it in the past and find it unsatisfying. In general even when I destroy my opponents, they still claim victory. It has the risk of elevating someone with marginal and/or fringe beliefs to something worth debating. And it can also be used by your anti-science opponent to fundraise … which is precisely what Ham did.

Some good can come of it (for example, I was able to create what was essentially an FAQ of creationist questions about evolution). Perhaps people sitting on the fence can be swayed.

Certainly Ham was not. His creationist group, “Answers in Genesis,” recently posted this cartoon, making it clear what they think of Nye.

As you can see, he casts Nye as one of the townsfolk who mocked Noah (along with pro-science fighter Eugenie Scott and comedian Bill Maher). We all know what happened to them. I saw this cartoon on Scott's Facebook page, and when I read it, my first thought was how ironic it was.

Why? Because if the flood story were true (and have no doubt, Ham truly believes this), it would be the biggest example of climate change in history … but it’s also clear to me that a young-Earth creationist’s view of global warming must be perforce to deny it, or at least deny it would harm us. After all, in the Bible God says he won’t flood the Earth again, which is just what global warming, playing it out into the future, will do. I suppose if you want to be nit-picky, God said he’ll never send another flood to destroy all life on Earth, and even catastrophic sea level rise can’t kill everything.

Still, since the alliance of the Republican Party and the religious right years ago, it seemed like a pretty good bet that the folks at Answers in Genesis would take a dim view of global warming. So, being the evidence-based guy that I am, I went to the AiG site to see what it actually says. And to my unsurprise, I was essentially right. It discusses global warming many times and doesn’t seem to—pardon the expression—have much faith in it.

For example, in its “research journal” is this flat statement:

The contention that man’s activities are causing global warming, as described in the media and by its advocates, is a myth. There is no reason either biblically or scientifically to fear the exaggerated and misguided claims of catastrophe as a result of increasing levels of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2).

Simple, eh? Completely wrong, but simple. It wasn’t hard to find more. This page uses a lot of denial tropes like warming is due to the Sun (it clearly is not), the rise of carbon dioxide follows warming and therefore does not cause it (nope, that’s wrong, too), global warming has not been seen to cause extreme weather (nope, though the AiG article was posted before Typhoon Haiyan), and so on. This page downplays the sensitivity of warming to carbon dioxide. This one is full of denialist doubt-sowing. [more]

This Old Earth Is Warming Up


  1. Anonymous said...

    Nobody should expect bible believers to be rational. You have to suspend all notions of fact, evidence, logic and reason to "believe" the bible.

    Those the embrace the bible are clinically insane. We permit our children to believe in fairy tales, but when they grow up, they're expected to abandon such views.

    Not so with the bible. The bible has taken on a whole new status for many of the world's citizens. To them, it is the authentic word of God. Those the embrace this view have done little to none historical research. Over 30,000 known contradictions, errors, inaccuracies and other "mistakes" are in the bible (King James version, it's even worse with the NIV and other translations).

    There is no evidence at all that the Flood occurred, or that Moses even existed, or King David or even Jesus Christ ever walked the earth. The virgin birth is a fabrication (the word "virgin" means young women). The resurrection is without any historical evidence, as is all concepts of salvation, or life hereafter.

    The entire early Church was never supposed to "be" (come into existence), all the early believers and the stories surrounding them are wrong. But this is a history that Christians refuse to research.

    As proof of their irrational, clinically insane behavior and belief, it is the lack of evidence that they cite that "proves" God exists.

    Using this criteria, then means the Easter Bunny exists, and the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause. "Faith" in the evidence of things "not seen" and this passage is grossly taken out of context.

    The Apostle Paul invented the modern "devil" in his teachings, something that before him did not exist as an "embodiment of evil".

    Paul even admits that he never once heard the Gospel, but received this by "revelation" - which is simply another way to say he made it up as he went along.

    His writings (which were really not written by Paul) directly contradict the writing (also not written by the Apostles) of the apostles. He doesn't teach any of the same things the other apostles are said to teach. The whole "Rapture doctrine" is a Pauline fabrication (as are many other doctrines taught by Paul).

    Comparing their works has been the career of many different theologians and researchers.  

  2. Anonymous said...


    Their conclusion: it's fabricated. Virtually all of the bible falls into this category. A collection of stories, some scraps of history, even more ancient (and stolen) beliefs and practices, and the constant revisions and manipulations of men (including on the source documents).

    What's "left" is a convoluted "story" that has no basis in fact or history.

    The high strangeness is Christians actually know nothing at all about the book they claim is the foundation of their faith. They prefer it this way too, because to examine would be to uncover the terrifying truth - they have all been grossly deceived and misled.

    Those that "give their lives over to God" have abdicated all responsibility for their own selves and their lives on this planet - and are "awaiting" a magical sky god rescue to vacate them from this planet. More positive proof that they are clinically insane persons that embrace such a belief.

    It gets worse, much worse. Many embrace the "Israel can do no wrong" since they are the alleged "chosen of God". This is why they never object to the gross atrocities committed by Israel, or the occupation of stolen lands.

    A critical view of history will uncover many flaws, and many manipulations of Christians, who are like herd animals, easily led to slaughter. They're willing to do this themselves in point of fact, enlisting in the "holy war" against Islam by joining the military and getting themselves killed. They're quite happy to send their sons and daughters off packing to foreign wars. Anything for Israel, even the destruction of their own families.

    They are an insane, deluded people. Rejecting all science, reasons, evidence and fact, they believe whatever they're told by unscrupulous people who lord over them with threats of eternal abuse and hellfire. Small-minded men who prey upon the weak, afflicted and suffering, but this does not excuse their gullibility or behavior.  


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