I watched the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate on Creation vs. Evolution tonight.
The last question of the night really summed up the debate well. An audience member asked, “On what do you base your beliefs?” Both Ken Ham and Billy Nye got a chance to answer this question.
Bill Nye answered that he bases his belief on the information and process that we call science. He talked about the joy that fills him when we can find new things. He also talked about ways the universe knows itself and how we are driven to pursue this as well as the question of if we are alone in the universe.
Ken Ham answered that he based his beliefs on the Bible. He talked about how the Bible tells us the origin of life, the universe, death, clothing, marriage, stars, animals, plants, and many other things. He talked about how if we can trust the Bible’s teaching on origins that we also can look at the rest of the book and see, historically, how God’s Son stepped into time, died on a cross for our sins, and rose again. He explained how the Bible helps to make sense to explain the world around us. If you search for the truth, God will reveal Himself to you.
In a debate that lasted 2 1/2 hours and covered a ton of different scientific topics, this last question really got to the heart of where these two men are coming from.
It really is all about your world view.
In the whole question and answer time, both debaters posed questions to each other that neither really had opportunity to answer. I guess that is just the nature of this style of debate. I wish that maybe there could have been more back and forth to answer each other’s questions, but then the debaters wouldn’t have gotten to the audience questions.
Here are some of the topics covered made by each of the debaters.
Topics addressed by Ken Ham:
- Comparing historical and observational science
- How these are two very different world views that we base all of our reasoning upon
- The 7 C’s of history along with a very clear presentation of the gospel
- Some compelling reasons why Christians should trust God’s teaching on origins
- Scientists who believe in Creationism and a young earth but also have made great inventions and discoveries within scientific communities
- The Bible has always taught that people are one race (the human race), but that evolutionary teaching taught that there were 5 races
- “Energy and matter won’t ever produce life”
- In talking about the Bible, God’s Word won’t change. Creationists at Answers in Genesis build models based on God’s Word – these are subject to change, but God’s Word isn’t.
- He interprets the Bible naturalistically: history, poetry, prophesy, and so on. The Bible is God’s revelation to man.
- Radio-active dating and how it often gets different results
- What the evidence of the flood would be – there would be “billions of dead things buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth”.
- He addressed Catostrophism
Topics addressed by Bill Nye:
- Rock layers in the Grand Canyon
- How elements decay
- How the ark wouldn’t work as a boat (modern “skilled” ship builders couldn’t make a wooden boat that wouldn’t fall apart)
- Science is a body of knowledge and a process – not connected to a “higher power”
- “Where did we come from?” – We’ve invented sciences to answer all these questions
- “What was before the Big Bang?” – no idea, need to keep looking
- Science wants to discover how life began.
- He brought up the age-old “What about the tribal people who haven’t heard about the gospel?”
Whatever someone’s beliefs, if they watched this debate, they were presented with the gospel and heard (and read) God’s Word for themselves. I pray that God’s Word will not return void. May this be to His honor and glory!
If you want to watch the debate in its entirety, it is archived (at least for a few days) at debatelive.org.
My Personal Opinion:
We all view everything through our own worldview, whether we realize it or not. Ken Ham brought this point out very well. I also agree that it is important to separate observational science from origins science. The rigor of the scientific method only applies to observational science. It cannot be applied to the science of origins. Therefore they are two very distinct concepts.
Bill Nye continued to say that if people believe in Creationism, then we will not have scientists that can create new inventions and scientific ideas. This was clearly refuted by the examples that Ken Ham gave, like the man who invented the MRI. The MRI revolutionized medicine and I am very glad that our hospitals have that technology. This man is a Christian who believe in a young Earth and a literal 6 day creation as described in Genesis. Obviously you can believe the Bible and be a great scientist.
I also wanted to add that much of what Bill Nye has done over the years is great. His kids’ programs that looked at observational science were fun and informative. But it is heartbreaking to hear him speak about his beliefs on origins and his rejection of God’s word. I pray that he will see God’s truth and accept it.