Bill Nye evolution debate: Time for a little ‘unreality TV’

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham
Bill Nye, left, looks on as Creation Museum head Ken Ham speaks during a debate on evolution Tuesday.
(Matt Stone / Associated Press)

So Bill Nye, science guy, debated Ken Ham, God’s guy, Tuesday in an evolution-versus-the-Bible smackdown. In something of an upset, most people thought Nye won.

Of course, Nye had an advantage: He had science and facts and logic on his side. Then again, Ham had God — who, as many pro athletes can tell you, often makes the difference in which side wins the Super Bowl and the NBA championship and the like.

Surprisingly, though, God did not smite (smote?) Nye for his objections to biblical dogma, so there’s that for the Bible Belters to consider. Then again, these days even the very religious consider God to be something of a good sport — fire and brimstone being in short supply, I guess.

Still, I know what most of you are thinking: It’s the 21st century; do we really need to be having this debate?


Good question. Short answer? No.

But frankly, it is also the wrong question. What you should be asking is what I asked myself when I got up today: “How could I make money from this?”

You see, this debate could open the way for a whole new TV show genre: Call it “unreality TV,” a sort of science/"Deliverance” version of “America’s Got Talent.” (And yes, I know we already have “Duck Dynasty,” and no, it’s not what I had in mind.)

I envision several seasons’ worth of debates, with topics like: “Is the Earth Round or Flat?” “Moon Landings: Fact or NASA fiction?”; “Bigfoot: Myth or My Neighbor?”; “Where Do Babies Really Come From?”; “If Sea Monsters Are Fake Are Mermaids Real?”; “Gravity: A Real Law or Newton’s Little Inside Joke?”; “Can Water Run Uphill?”; and the Season 1 big finale: “If the Earth’s Getting Warmer, Why Am I Up to My Rear in Snow?”


You get the idea. I can’t help myself. It’s like my buddy Chris is always telling me: “You just keep thinkin’, Butch. That’s what you’re good at.” (And yes, he knows my name isn’t Butch.)

Sure, some of you are going to say this is stupid. You’re going to say that there is science (and facts), and there is faith (and lunacy). That not everything is a matter of opinion.

Please. This is America. You ever read the comments on science stories on the Web?

Anyway, that used to be the case, back when we were racing to beat the nasty Russkies to the moon and scientists were gods; back before the term “rocket scientist” became a putdown. Today, Americans want to debate stuff. It’s our right. In fact, it may even be in the Constitution — you could look it up, but then again, you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. I mean, if Obama faked his birth certificate, how do we know someone hasn’t faked the Constitution? (Hey, that’s another good debate topic! We’re already on to Season 2.)

Now, I’ll admit, this show won’t remind anyone of Lincoln-Douglas. (Go ahead, Google that too.)

But as entertainment, I’m sure it will be better than the only other two science shows on network TV now: “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother.”


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The Coke ad got it right: America is beautiful, in any languageFollow Paul Whitefield on Twitter @PaulWhitefield1 and Google +

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