Who is the Ideal Debate Opponent for Ken Ham?

The ideal opponent, if a debate were unavoidable, would be (1) a theistic evolutionist, who (2) doesn’t lose his/her cool, but (3) isn’t above giving hard punches to the gut, and who (4) knows his/her way around theology, hermeneutics, and the history of Christian thought

Who do you think might fit the bill?

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An 11-year-old child of average intelligence and scientific knowledge, who will simply respond to Ken by pointing and laughing.

Ham has not earned a place on a serious debate stage, and should not be given one.

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Anyone who would completely ignore anything Ham says and teach the audience something interesting instead.

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The ideal debate opponent for Ken Ham would be the talking snake. I heard he is really busy this time of year but you might try to book him early. Also note he is expensive but a very witty and cunning debater.

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^^^^ This. You might as well schedule a debate with a Flat Earth nutter.

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Totally ineffective.

Science doesn’t work by public debate.

Public opinion is affected and Ham has earned his place in the public conversation.

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The ideal debate opponent for Ken Ham is David Icke. Those two deserve to be on stage together. Nobody else should bother to have their CV tarnished by appearing on stage next to Ken Ham in some clown show about who can take turns appeasing their respective primed audiences by re-stating what they already believe.

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Agreed, I don’t think there is any such thing as an ideal debate opponent. Any sort of debate gives Ham exactly what he wants - visibility.

He already has visibility.

Here is the key point I wonder about. What if I was asked to debate Ken Ham. Should I?

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Depends on the venue and who is doing the asking. It has the potential to get people thinking, at least.

Is the conversation with Behe still on for February?

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I literally don’t see an upside to this. Debates are about effective use of rhetoric, not about adjudicating facts.

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Yes, on February 20th.

I agree, which is why I would not adjudicate facts. I would appeal to his base.

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But presumably your appeals will be restricted by reality and intellectual honesty. Ham’s will not. He is a skilled propagandist.

Plus, you don’t have an Australian accent, which will automatically put you at a disadvantage! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Good luck with that. I mean that sincerely, as well as skeptically.

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I think you should engage in an open, friendly discussion with him, not debate. Your greatest strength is focusing the conversation to be about Jesus and finding commonality with widely different camps. A debate format is too restrictive and tends to harden hearts instead of disarming people’s intellectual defenses.

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True enough, but anyone who debates him gives him more. And he’s going to use that to advertise for his terrible organization and try go gain more money. What few people in his audience you might happen to convince because they’re sort of fence-sitting about the issues, he will gain ten times over in people who will be motivated to donate to his fatuous Ark-“museum” and similarly useless, science-undermining projects.

Why not show up to a debate, but offer open, friendly discussion instead? :slight_smile:

I don’t know about this logic. I think, in this case, the opposite is true, and might be the primary reason he would say “no.” In this case, I would get far more visibility than he would from a debate from me. That might be, in fact, why he has not engaged PS or the GAE yet.

In time though, when we are publicly known, the computation will likely change, especially as we are already appealing to base by other avenues.

Debates often have a pre-determined format where each person speaks for a set amount of time in turns. There often isn’t even a real discussion period. It’s confrontational by design.

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I think I could have worked within the rules of the Nye/Ham debate to offer a better way.

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Don’t be surprised if he reacts strongly negative to such an approach. For Ken, a friendly dialog with a knowledgeable person who will argue against YEC is perhaps his biggest weakness. Such a person would be much more persuasive to his audience than an opponent looking for a fight.

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