Don't know. didn't watch the debate, and since I heard it lasted about 2 hours, I'm not inclined to listen to it on youtube or Bill Nye's site. All I can say is to quote the old saying, "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar". I'm more of an in-your-face kind of person when it comes to debating theism and creationism, but Bill Nye has always been a mild-mannered man. Now, Hitchens, man he was in-your-face, and I liked it. Hitch was the man ! R.I.P., Hitch.
I miss Hitch also. I like in-you-face responses best, but perhaps some people will respond better to a more mild argument. Perhaps we need all kinds.
I'm not so much down with being "mean" as I am with:
As for Bill Nye, I didn't watch the debate, but for what I've seen of the highlights, he did brilliantly, and when you consider that there are christian sites on the internet that opined that Nye WON the debate, I'd say that's testimony enough to his performance.
I'd heard on MSNBC, when Lawrence O'Donnel was interviewing Bill Nye, that Bill had won the debate.
They're not exactly debates, they seem a little staged, as if the two have a truce of some kind.
I too love Hitchens, but keep in mind the audience for these "debates" is families. A lot of kids might want to see The Science Guy, as well as see their religion defended. It's best to think of this as Religious Debate for Beginners or something.
So I'm glad there's the kinder, gentler version. I tend to cringe when I see atheists acting out (understandably and justifiably) with anger- it just makes religious people think we're all gothic satanist punks. It makes the whole issue seem so black and white: Atheists = angry; religious = peaceful.
It's pretty cool to consider all the different forms that the "New Atheists" take: There's Dawkins the evolution expert; Nye the science guy/friend to kids; Hitchens the bloodthirsty rebel/political expert; Harris the neurologist.....
I've noticed Lawrence Krauss is a bit more in-your-face when debating. He also uses (and credits) much of Christopher Hitchens points, ideas, and examples. I have been watching a few of his debates and he definitely is not afraid to offend someone and put them in their place. Not Hitchens but a more aggressive debater if your looking for that.