Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Happy Darwin Day 2016


Today is the 207th birthday of both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, two people who were condemned for their great works. One changed the way we treat other members of our species, while the other changed our entire understanding of species.

Lincoln held America together in spite of attempts to divide America into those who used the law to support equal treatment of Americans and those who would start their own country to be able to expand what may be the worst economic system ever seen in America – slavery. We don’t like communism, but when we condemn communism, we use slavery as a metaphor for how bad communism really is. We used to be worse than the communists. Some of us were willing to kill Americans to avoid having to deal with the possibility of giving up the horror that is slavery.

Darwin explained how life evolved into the many different species that exist and into those that no longer exist. The connection among those seemingly unconnected species of animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, . . . is DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid). We can use DNA in a court room to demonstrate that one person is the parent of another person, or that one person had direct (or occasionally indirect) contact with another person and thus may have had the opportunity to commit a crime. Criminal DNA evidence is just a tool and its appropriate use does require judgment, just as with any other evidence. If used without judgment, DNA evidence can be just as unreliable as eyewitness testimony.[1]

DNA is able to tell us how people and species are related. DNA is able to tell us that we are very closely related to other apes. When we trace our ancestry back far enough, we have the same ancestors. If we trace our ancestry back even farther, we have the same ancestors as snails. We have all evolved, over billions of years, to exist in our current temporary state of evolution. Will we humans split into several species or remain just one species until we become extinct?

DNA had not even been identified at the time that Darwin explained evolution in On the Origin of Species, so he did not have the ability to explain how these changes were taking place, but he could show that the changes were taking place and that the changes favored adaptations that increased the probability of survival of the species. He wasn’t right about everything, but science is not perfection. Science is a method of increasing our understanding and Darwin is one of a handful of scientists who dramatically changed the way we understand biology.

Medicine is a branch of biology. We can go practice monkey see, monkey do medicine, but we will cause a lot of harm with our lack of understanding. We can try to understand as much as possible or we can make excuses for rejecting science.

As we learn, science changes. The same is true for everything else. As we learn, we change. Change is unstoppable.

Could over 99% of biologists be wrong about evolution?

How Gavin Smythe Broke Science

How Gavin Smythe Broke Science

Go see the rest of How Gavin Smythe Broke Science here.

If you understand science, Tell Congress to Support Darwin Day 2016.

In addition, House Resolution 548 and Senate Resolution 337:


[1] Apparent DNA Transfer by Paramedics Leads to Wrongful Imprisonment
Fri, 05 Jul 2013
Rogue Medic


Happy Darwin Day 2015


Charles Darwin is one of the greatest scientists of all time. We should celebrate the tremendous work that he has done, but it is considered politically incorrect to point out that evolution is real and that we use science to learn about reality.

To celebrate Darwin Day, Ken Ham has decided to do even more to embarrass himself. You remember him. He is the guy who debated Bill Nye.


What would it take to change your mind?
Bill Nye – Evidence.
Ken Ham – Nothing.

Nothing? If God were to tell Ken Ham that evolution is true, that would not change Ken Ham’s mind, because his mind is made up? Or is Ken Ham telling us that he does not believe that God exists?

Ken Ham claims to understand science, but the scientists he employs are required to sign a statement that what Ken Ham believes sets a limit their science. Ken Ham is celebrating today as Darwin was wrong Day.[1]

The 66 books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout. Its assertions are factually true in all the original autographs. It is the supreme authority in everything it teaches. Its authority is not limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes but includes its assertions in such fields as history and science.[2]


Ken Ham tells us that only his interpretation of the Bible is the truth. Science encourages us to look everywhere for the truth.

If you do not sign a Statement of Faith, you cannot work for Ken Ham. You only have to read the Bible to see that even the description of Creation has irreconcilable contradictions if Genesis is to be interpreted as science, rather than metaphor.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after [ag]their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after [ah]their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after [ai]their kind, and the cattle after [aj]their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [ak]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.[3]


God made Adam and Eve after making the animals.

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper [a]suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the [b]sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.[4]


God made Adam and Eve before making the animals.

It doesn’t matter which came first, if this is a metaphor, but if this is supposed to be literally true and accurate, then it does matter which came first.

Is your God incapable of telling the difference between before and after? Ken Ham’s God can’t seem to tell the difference. Ken Ham seems to prefer to mock his God.

Is your God limited by the restrictions Ken Ham arrogantly places on God?

Is your God capable of using metaphors?

Are there other places where your God uses metaphors in the Bible?



[1] #DarwinWasWrongDay
AiG (Answers in Genesis)
Ken Ham’s Twitter hashtag encouraging rejection of evolution
Page at AiG

[2] Statement of Faith
AiG (Answers in Genesis)
Section 2: Basics
Updated: December 12, 2012
Accessed on February 12, 2015
Page at AiG

[3] Genesis 1:24-27
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Bible Gateway (a Christian site)

Pick up a printed Bible. Look at whatever version of the Bible you like. You can look up one verse at a time to compare among versions.

[4] Genesis 2:18-19
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Bible Gateway (a Christian site)


Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) 2014 Conference – What Will We Get?


What should we expect from the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) 2014 Conference?

The brochure suggests that the next version of the guidelines will be based more on science than the current guidelines, but that is always the suggestion.


Will the AHA (American Heart Association) actually limit treatments to those that work?

Or will we get more wishful thinking-based guidelines?

There is an examination of the research that will affect the next decade of BLS (Basic Life Support) resuscitation.


There is also a session where questions are encouraged.


Will we continue to harm patients with ventilations?

There is still no evidence of benefit from ventilations prior to ROSC (Return Of Spontaneous Circulation). We would still ventilate those who arrested secondary to respiratory causes and children.

That format is repeated for ALS (Advanced Life Support).


And a session where questions are encouraged.


Will we still be giving eye of newt?

While eye of newt has not been shown to increase the rate of ROSC, it has not been studied, so we do not know if eye of newt does increase the rate of ROSC.

Epinephrine (Adrenaline in Commonwealth countries) is slightly more evidence-based than eye of newt, because it has been shown to increase the rate of ROSC, but who cares?

ROSC is not the goal.

Resuscitation of the heart and brain is the goal.

Epinephrine has failed to demonstrate improved resuscitation.

What works?

Teaching CPR effectively works.

Ventilations impair outcomes and impair education.


What can we do to improve the quality of CPR?


What can we do to improve the quality of EMS?

EMS resuscitation is not an ALS treatment.

EMS resuscitation is about keeping the medics out of the way of the people providing compressions and defibrillations.


Resuscitation does not come in a syringe, so prehospital therapeutic hypothermia is not going to be done with chilled IV fluids.

We know that does not work.


Stutter CPR looks promising, but we are not there, yet.


What do we do after ROSC?

Higher pressures seem to lead to higher resuscitation rates, but is that just an association of healthier hearts producing higher blood pressures, is it something we can improve with pressors (epinephrine, norepinephrine, phenylephrine – but probably not with dopamine), or is it something that we will make worse with pressors?


There is even a discussion of mechanical Compression devices.

Should we teach excellent chest compressions to bystanders, while we abandon quality EMS compressions to machines?

If quality is a problem, we should give the machines to bystanders and demand high quality from EMS.

Or is it possible that the machines can act as prehospital ECMO and improve outcomes? We do not know – yet.


It looks interesting.

I hope the results are a dramatic improvement over the current (2010) guidelines.

The 2005 guidelines made a big difference in compression quality and the resuscitation rates followed.

2015 could cause us to focus on what really works.

If it doesn’t work when we study it, then we were just fooling ourselves about whether it works. If it doesn’t work when we study it, it does not work.

Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update (ECCU) 2014 Conference


$16M on EMS Stroke Trial? Dr. Rick Bukata Wants His Money Back!


FAST-MAG[1] actually has good methodology, so why is Dr. Rick Bukata so upset? Is this just USC vs. UCLA off the field/court?

Should the hypothesis being tested have received the Queen for a Decade treatment?

He wants his money back? Roughly 160 million tax payers in the US, so $0.10 per tax payer, but he makes more than the average schlub, so maybe as much as 50 cents for him. He can’t even buy enough caffeine to raise his blood pressure with that.

In a commentary regarding the IMAGES trial by Larry Goldstein of the Duke Center for Cerebrovascular Disease in the same issue of the Lancet in which the study was published, he noted that of more than 40 clinical trials of “neuroprotectants” involving over 11,000 patients, none has shown any evidence of benefit. Ten years later, the same is true.[2]


But look at the animal studies!

But look at the time being saved!

The authors actually like to repeat the term Golden Hour – as if that is new or valid.

So, if you are still a believer in the potential of magnesium, why not try and give magnesium in a pilot clinical study involving stroke patients in the ED? It would have been a relatively simple study to do. It could have been performed in selected EDs throughout the country and the answer would have been established in a fraction of eight years and at a very small fraction of $16 million.

Instead, the Fast-Mag investigators decide that giving magnesium in the field (probably about 10-20 minutes faster than could be given in the ED) would be a reasonable study.[2]


Gosh, when he brings reason into the argument, it just seems that the other side has none.

What could the money have been spent on?

Epinephrine vs. placebo in cardiac arrest? The number of lives affected is large and we are currently treating based on philosophy, not science.

IV (IntraVenous) bolus NTG (NiTroGlycerin – GTN GlycerylTriNitrate in Commonwealth countries) vs. SL (SubLingual) NTG for acute CHF (Congestive Heart Failure)? This affects even more patients than cardiac arrest and there is good evidence that IV bolus NTG dramatically improves outcomes, while SL NTG is not based on evidence.

Excited delirium treatment with various IM (IntraMuscular) medications to see what is safest and most effective and at what dose. A large trial would be necessary.

With no good reason to be optimistic about outcomes, why take this multimillion dollar long shot?

Maybe it has to do with tPA (tissue Plasminogen Activator) and the failure to get emergency physicians to accept the poor research on tPA – tPA showed harm, or no benefit, in 9 out of 11 studies.[3]

Ironically, if those studies used methodology similar to this study, that could be showed harm, or no benefit, in 11 out of 11 studies.

Dr. Jeffrey L. Saver, one of the authors, has a presentation on FAST-MAG that spends a lot of time on tPA, even prehospital tPA.

What does Dr. Sarver consider to be positive about FAST-MAG? Here are some of his slides.[4]


FAST-MAG means more tPA use.


FAST-MAG means doing a lot of things that have not been done before and expecting the outcome to be good.

This is the kind of person who starts turning all of the dials on a ventilator and then looks at the patient to see what the result is.

A reasonable approach to research is to limit variables, not brag about how much prudence has been abandoned.


FAST-MAG means time will be saved, but . . . .

Walter Koroshetz, MD, neurologist and deputy director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, sponsor of the FAST-MAG study, says that lessons can be learned from the trial.[5]


“The NIH have a new network to do more prehospital trials, but we need phase 2 studies first that demonstrate some biological effect before going into a large costly phase 3 trials.”[5]


This is a $16 million bet that time is the only factor that matters.

I hope these doctors do not drive the way they gamble.

What were the results?

The results were the same as all of the previous studies of magnesium – no improvement.

There is no Magnesium Golden Hour.

And, please, no – don’t even consider the idea of giving tPA in the field.[2]


Well, . . . .

Dr. Saver explained that tPA cannot be given at present in a prehospital setting because hemorrhagic stroke has to be ruled out with computed tomography (CT). The use of ambulances with a CT scanner on board has been studied in Germany and is now starting to be tested in the United States.[5]


Be very afraid.

On the other hand, the authors did not rush this treatment into EMS protocols, as we recently have in EMS in so many places with therapeutic hypothermia, based entirely on research done in the ED (Emergency Department). It works in the ED, but not in the ambulance. 😳

FAST-MAG was approved in 1999, several years after the EMS nifedipine (Procardia) for hypertensive crisis crisis. There was no study in the EMS setting of a treatment for the EMS setting. This involved treatment of the surrogate endpoint of blood pressure numbers, which makes for an easy win, such as a systolic drop of 250 -> 90 in ten minutes. 😳

We need a balance between rushing to add the new cool treatment (and the predictable removal of the treatment decades later) and the inappropriate rush to a large scale trial of something that has repeatedly failed smaller studies.

Go read Dr. Bukata’s full article.


[1] Methodology of the Field Administration of Stroke Therapy – Magnesium (FAST-MAG) phase 3 trial: Part 2 – prehospital study methods.
Saver JL, Starkman S, Eckstein M, Stratton S, Pratt F, Hamilton S, Conwit R, Liebeskind DS, Sung G, Sanossian N; FAST-MAG Investigators and Coordinators.
Int J Stroke. 2014 Feb;9(2):220-5. doi: 10.1111/ijs.12242.
PMID: 24444117 [PubMed – in process]

Methodology of the Field Administration of Stroke Therapy – Magnesium (FAST-MAG) phase 3 trial: Part 1 – rationale and general methods.
Saver JL, Starkman S, Eckstein M, Stratton S, Pratt F, Hamilton S, Conwit R, Liebeskind DS, Sung G, Sanossian N; FAST-MAG Investigators and Coordinators.
Int J Stroke. 2014 Feb;9(2):215-9. doi: 10.1111/ijs.12243. Epub 2014 Jan 13.
PMID: 24444116 [PubMed – in process]

[2] $16M on EMS Stroke Trial? I Want My Money Back!
by Rick Bukata, MD
March 24, 2014
Emergency Physicians monthly

[3] The Guideline, The Science, and The Gap
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Dr. David Newman
Smart EM

[4] Treat Stroke in the Field:
Lessons from the NIH FAST-MAG Trial

Jeffrey L. Saver, MD, Professor of Neurology
UCLA Stroke Center
Presentation Slides in PDF Downoad format.

[5] FAST-MAG: No Benefit of Prehospital Magnesium in Stroke
Sue Hughes
February 14, 2014


Comment on Bill Nye and Most Christians vs. Ken Ham and Creationism – Part I


In reply to Bill Nye and Most Christians vs. Ken Ham and Creationism – Part I is the following from Jon –

Part of the issue is that we are making science square off against religion.



Don’t blame science for this problem with religion.

Some religious preachers are claiming that evolution denialism Creationism should be taught as science.

Promotion of bad science is justifiably opposed by scientists.

Preachers should not promote bad science.

Original Creationist ‘watch as proof of design’ image credit.

The superficial appearance of design in living things is not proof that evolution is wrong and is not proof of intelligent design Creationism.

Science is not satisfied with the superficial.

Creationism is contradicted by almost all of science and is not even supported by most religious people.

The Inquisition threatened Galileo (a very religious scientist) with torture, forced Galileo to shut up, and placed Galileo under house arrest for the rest of his life.


Galileo showed that the real world ignores the Biblical literalists.

Science eventually prevailed, but the Biblical literalists were able to hold back science for years decades centuries.

The Bible did not change, but many literal interpretations of the Bible evolved.


Image credit.

Should we change the Bible to match science?

Should we change science to match the Bible?

Should we just keep scientifically illiterate preachers out of science classrooms, so that they are less likely to embarrass themselves?

Science does not care what is revealed about the world, as long as it is true, but Creationists only care about the end justifying their interpretations of the Bible.

If Genesis said, “And God caused there to be something from nothing, and this something went “kaplowie”, and God caused the things from the kaplowie to start swirling and condensing into globs of matter, and those globs of matter hardened, and on one of those globs came forth water and land, and a microbe developed into an animal and a plant, and reproduced, and evolved into myriad forms” would that be acceptable to those that hold fast to evolution?


Changing the Bible does not change reality.

What if the Bible said, The Earth is not the center of everything?

Would Galileo’s prosecution by Biblical literalists go away?

Eventually, Biblical literalists will also admit the error of their ways about evolution.

For our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, . . ., let’s hope the Biblical literalists repent more quickly this time.

Finally, let’s say that those that understand Scripture’s “six days of creation” are mistaken, . . . .


Science makes it clear that preachers of Scripture’s “six days of creation” are mistaken.

Most people believe in God and ignore these literal interpretations of the Bible advocated by some preachers.

There is no valid evidence to support Creationism.

This is only a controversy among religious sects.

This is not a controversy among scientists.


Alternative Medicine, Wishful Thinking, and Irresponsible Drug Pushers


Most emergency physicians avoid using homeopathy, acupuncture, Reiki, and other alternative medicine because there is no valid evidence that these treatments work, or because of they are not considered standards of care, or because there is no recommendation to give them from ACEP (American College of Emergency Medicine).

This is good, because alternative medicine is fraud.

Is there an alternative field of aerodynamics making planes for us to fly? Where is this alternative science?

Are people using alternative electricity to power their homes? Where is this alternative science?

According to the homeopathy hypothesis, the more dilute something is, the more powerful it is. We could solve the world’s energy problems – if the alternative science of homeopathy were anything more than wishful thinking.

How does that relate to emergency medicine?

When it comes to emergency treatments for cardiac arrest, stroke, heart failure, possible spinal cord injury, et cetera, many emergency physicians are just as superstitious as your local witch doctor. Currently, the most prominent example of alternative emergency medicine is tPA (Alteplase) for acute ischemic stroke.

But tPA, approved for strokes in 1996, only works if given within 4.5 hours of a stroke.[1]


That is an optimistic interpretation of the research –

The recent release of the American College of Emergency Physicians guideline recommending the use of tPA for ischemic stroke is remarkable. While it is unsurprising that a professional guideline flouts science, the publication is striking for its casual tone and its methodologically inexplicable review of evidence. Scientific thinking is absent.[2]


The evidence is horribly flawed, but the advocates respond just as we expect alternative medicine pushers to respond – with logical fallacies.

Ad hominem attacks on those who criticize the bad research.

These few persistent myths about thrombolytic therapy were first promulgated by self-appointed ‘expert critics’ who are unabashedly anti-intellectual in their opposition to this therapy. They decline to either read or attempt to understand data and rigorous analysis of that data.[3]

Alternative medicine pusher Dr. Patrick Lyden.

What is the appropriate time period for giving tPA?

IST-3 time to treatment randomization and outcomes detail with my edits for clarity.[4]

Patients get better if tPA is begun within 3 hours, get worse if tPA is begun between 3 hours and 4 1/2 hours, but get better when tPA is begun after more than 4 1/2 hours.

Clearly, there is some strong evil magic that is working against tPA in that 3 to 4 1/2 hour time period, but it is all unicorns and rainbows the rest of the time.

Does that make sense?


That suggests that the evidence we have does not adequately assess the effects of tPA for acute ischemic stroke.

Reasonable people can disagree, but Dr. Lyden appears to be calling those who disagree biased just because they disagree. This is bad science and bad medicine.

We need research that is well controlled, not research that requires a lot of excuses.

MedPage Today is providing a good forum for discussion of this actual medical controversy and not just promoting the ad hominem criticisms of Dr. Lyden. There are links to plenty of other sites discuissing the problems with the evidence.[5]

I most recently wrote about this here – The Debate on tPA for Ischemic Stroke at EMCrit – What Does the Research Really Say?

I am not an emergency physician, so this is not something that affects my care of patients. I do not have to worry about being sued for not giving tPA and being accused of allowing a bad outcome. I do not have to worry about being sued for giving tPA and being accused of producing a bad outcome.

If you are an ACEP member, tell ACEP what you think of the evidence, or the flaws in the evidence.


[1] Few stroke patients get clot-busting drug
Liz Szabo,
10 a.m. EST February 13, 2014

[2] The Guideline, The Science, and The Gap
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Dr. David Newman
Smart EM

[3] ER Briefs: tPA ‘Works’, ACEP on Target
Published: Feb 10, 2014
By Elbert Chu
Interview with Patrick D. Lyden, MD

[4] The benefits and harms of intravenous thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator within 6 h of acute ischaemic stroke (the third international stroke trial [IST-3]): a randomised controlled trial.
IST-3 collaborative group, Sandercock P, Wardlaw JM, Lindley RI, Dennis M, Cohen G, Murray G, Innes K, Venables G, Czlonkowska A, Kobayashi A, Ricci S, Murray V, Berge E, Slot KB, Hankey GJ, Correia M, Peeters A, Matz K, Lyrer P, Gubitz G, Phillips SJ, Arauz A.
Lancet. 2012 Jun 23;379(9834):2352-63. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60768-5. Epub 2012 May 23. Erratum in: Lancet. 2012 Aug 25;380(9843):730.
PMID: 22632908 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Free Full Text from PubMed Central.

[5] ER Briefs: Open Season on ACEP tPA Guidelines
Published: Jan 29, 2014 | Updated: Jan 30, 2014
By Elbert Chu

Bill Nye and Most Christians vs. Ken Ham and Creationism – Part II


Continuing, on Darwin Day, from Part I about the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham about whether Creationism should be taught in science classrooms.

Ken Ham’s Creationism is a religious belief that humans were placed on the Earth in their current form by Ken Ham’s interpretation of a Christian God about 6,000 years ago.

At the end of Part I, I wrote that I would review the science that supports Creationism here.

Here is the valid science to support Creationism.

Nothing. 😳

In stead of science, we get excuses for ignoring valid science. We get misrepresentations of mathematics used to make evolution seem impossible.

Preachers will tell you that evolution is a form of atheism, but that is a lie.

Most religious people are not Creationists, so are most religious people lying about what they believe?

Even Pat Robertson rejects Ken Han’s Creationism.

“We have skeletons of dinosaurs that go back 65 million years,” Robertson said. “To say it all dates back to 6,000 years is just nonsense, and I think [it’s] time we come off of that stuff, and say this isn’t possible.”

“Let’s be real; let’s not make a joke of ourselves,” he said.[1]


Pew Researh Center poll.[2]

Are Creationist preachers being honest about what others believe?

Do Creationist preachers make a lot of unsupportable assumptions?

One of the scientists Ken Ham used as an example of Creationism and science being compatible is Andrew Fabich, Ph.D., who had to learn evolution to get his PhD, but rejects evolution and teaches for a Creationist school. He claims that the LTEE (Long Term Evolution Experiment – evolution demonstrated in the laboratory) is just an example of a simple gene being turned on and not an example of evolution.

Real scientists immediately saw the nonsense in the claim of Andrew Fabich, Ph.D. that this was just turning on a switch and not evolution, but this Creation scientist is still making the same debunked claim. Does misunderstanding become understanding when it is repeated enough? No.

Of course, if it were so easy as a single, simple mutation, then we would have seen that capability evolve in many or all of the populations. But after almost 60,000 generations to date, only one population has evolved that ability.[3]


If 12 computers required over 60,000 clicks of a mouse before just one computer would produce an effect they were designed to produce, would anyone call that an Intelligent Design?

Andrew Fabich, Ph.D. is supposed to be an example of a Creationist being able to be successful as a scientist. A similar example would be that Michael Phelps was caught smoking from a bong and he won more Olympic gold medals than anyone else. Bong hits and Olympic gold are compatible!

Unlike Creationists, Michael Phelps has apologized for his bad judgment.[4]


The most famous Creationist scientist is Michael Behe, Ph.D. He was an expert witness at the trial that examined whether Intelligent Design is science.

The case for the Creationists ID (Intelligent Design) proponents was to try to show that ID is science and not religion.

Q But you are clear, under your definition, the definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is also a scientific theory, correct?

A Yes, that’s correct.[5]


Astrology is not science, but astrology is the same kind of science as Creationism Intelligent Design.

That is from the best scientist they could find to present their case. ID is as good as astrology.



[1] Pat Robertson rejects ‘young earth’ creationism. ‘Nonsense,’ he says. (+video)
By Harry Bruinius, Staff writer
February 6, 2014
Christian Science Monitor

[2] Public’s Views on Human Evolution
Pew Research Center
December 30, 2013

Free Full Text in PDF format from Pew Research Center.

[3] Zachary Blount on “Ham on Nye” Debate, Follow-up #3
February 7, 2014
Zachary Blount
Telliamed Revisited

[4] Phelps: Photo with marijuana pipe real
Updated: February 2, 2009, 7:40 AM ET
Associated Press

[5] Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District – Trial transcript: Day 11 (October 18), PM Session, Part 1
Talk Origins


Bill Nye – Ken Ham ‘Debate’ Review


Skip to 13:00 for the beginning of the debate.

Is it impossible to be a scientist and a Young Earth Creationist? No, but good science did not come from the Lysenkoists[1] of the Soviet Union, who also opposed evolution. Lysenkoists were still successful scientists – in the Soviet Union.

Ken Ham (multimillionaire CEO of a corporation that exists to sell Creationism with the home field advantage of a Creationist-packed crowd at the Creation museum) suggests that the ability of a few Creationists to become successful scientists is proof that you do not need to understand evolution to be a successful scientist.

This is misleading, which is a common Ken Ham tactic. It is much more difficult to become a successful scientist with a major misunderstanding of science. A tall person to become a gymnast, or a jockey, but that is not proof that being tall is not an obstacle to success in both fields.

There are doctors who are claim that AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is not caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus),[2] historians who claim that the Holocaust is a myth,[3] and pediatricians who claim that vaccines are the root of all evil,[4] but these flaws in their understanding are obstacles that they have to overcome. Some will make their misunderstanding their source of income.

These conspiracy theorists claim to know the truth, while the rest of us are deceived. They claim to be misunderstood geniuses, just like Galileo.

However, Galileo’s opposition was from a political faction within the Catholic Church. This faction claimed that Aristotle’s ideas were not to be challenged, even though Galileo could demonstrate that Aristotle was wrong about some things, he could not demonstrate this for everything.

According to Ken Ham, Galileo was wrong, since the experimental conditions could not be produced to demonstrate that Galileo was right.

Galileo could not watch objects falling in a vacuum, but that did not mean that the rate of acceleration due to gravity was different for feathers and hammers.

Just because we cannot watch evolution happening quickly, does not mean that evolution is not happening, no matter how much Ken Ham wishes it were true.


The Catholic Church learned a lot about science in the hundreds of years since locking up Galileo. The Catholic Church accepts that evolution is real.

The Catholic Church has not eliminated Genesis from the Bible, but still rejects Ken Ham’s literal misinterpretation of Genesis.

Stuart Burgess, PhD states (at 30:55) –

I find that many of my colleagues in academia are sympathetic to the Creationist viewpoint, including biologists, however they are often afraid to speak out because of the criticisms they would get from the media and atheist lobby.


Maybe the biologists are just being polite to the Creationist. Maybe they are just sick of repeatedly trying to explain to an engineer (someone who is expected to see design in things) that not everything is designed.

Some of us will patronize (or ignore) a misguided colleague, rather than trying to reason with the obtuse, when we could be accomplishing something useful.

Where does this myth that scientists fear criticism by the media or the atheist lobby come from?

If scientists are more worried about the media than about evidence, then they are really just politicians.

Ken Ham claims that the laws of nature, laws of logic, and the uniformity of nature are evidence of Creationism.

Do nature and logic work differently in places that are not Christian?

Ken Ham asked where the laws of nature, laws of logic, and uniformity of nature came from?

Logic and uniformity?


Ken Ham is a literalist, but does not understand that a literal interpretation of the Bible does not support logic and uniformity.

Why argue with logic that is so illogical?

At 34:00, Ken Ham states –

When I was at the Goddard Space Center, I met Creationists and evolutionists who were both working on the Hubble Telescope. They agreed on how to build the Hubble Telescope. You know what they disagreed on? Well, they disagreed on how to interpret the data the telescope obtained in regard to the age of the universe.


What does evolution have to do with the age of the universe?

The age of the universe is determined by other fields of science.

However, Ken Ham’s science book does not define the length of a day and is not specific about what is intended by the word begat. This literalism seems to be an obstacle to understanding any meaning of generation.

The term Founding Fathers will baffle these literalists, if they approach it the same way they approach the Bible.

At 47:00 Ken Ham claims that the Bible does not support any view of different races, such as might be used to support slavery, or a chosen people.

OK, Ken Ham did not mention that a literal interpretation of the Bible actually does support slavery of other races and does spend a lot of time on the chosen people, but this is Ken Ham, so he is only literal when it suits him. 😳

I am less than an hour in, but this is more than enough to show that Ken Ham does not understand science.

The evidence just for human evolution is extensive (1,950 papers – over 100 papers each year since 2006) and well reviewed by scientists.

PubMed search for “human evolution.”

The evidence for Creation science is insignificant (only 19 papers) – and most of these papers are critical of this oxymoron.

PubMed search for “creation science.”

Evolution is a branch of science.

Creation science is a form of religion.

The debate is between religious people who understand science and religious people who do not understand science.


[1] Lysenkoism

[2] Denial, conspiracies, and misconceptions

[3] Holocaust denial

[4] Vaccine controversies