I had to write a blog about this debate simply because it is such a major part of our society and it helped to challenge my own understanding.
Basically Bill Nye is a well known scientist and a firm believer in Darwinian Evolution as well as being an atheist, while Ken Ham is a Christian, science teacher and believes in a New Earth rather than a billions of years old earth.
Both sides gave a 30 minute introduction using visual aids and the evidence they felt relative to the discussion. The debate seemed to be about the relativity of the Creationist beliefs of a New Earth in todays society and science. However it seemed more about Evolution Vs Creationism or in specific the Bible believing Creationists.
After the 30 minute presentation a time to respond was given and then once the responses were over with, finalising with a questions and answers section from the audience.
As debates go I didn’t feel that either side handled it very well at all leaving too many questions for me one of the main ones being “what on ‘New Earth’ was this debate actually about?” which wasn’t a great start.
I must say that Ken Ham did seem to respond to each question much better that Bill Nye seeing as Bill Nye failed to actually answer any of the question or subjects that Ken Ham actually touched on. However Ken Ham also failed to satisfactorily answer quite a number of very important questions such as the age of a tree.
Many of Bill Nye’s arguments were unsatisfactory as he contradicted himself a number of times for example he claims that we use predictive natural laws today to explain the past, which is fine if the past was governed by those same laws millions of years ago, which Ken Ham managed to discuss. The way Bill Contradicted himself in this is to one argue that evolution is all about changes to all things over billions of years since the birth of the Earth, that being said then those new natural laws they are using to read the past would not have been laws of the past due to evolutionary changes to all of life on earth.
Ken ham spent far too much time trying to get a gospel message across which I assume is because of his Christian evangelical beliefs and his understanding of the large number of Atheist viewers watching the debate. I feel this time could have been well spent refuting Bill Nye’s arguments against his faith rather than regurgitating his Christian Faith.
Bill Nye seemed to miss way to many points in his own views, firstly his inability to understand each human is different and therefore find joy in different things, his passion was clear that he found joy in finding out where he comes from in universe, however not all people would find such joy in the same thing so enforcing that upon the larger society expecting them to find the same joy is irrelevant, in fact billions of people find joy in their religion which Bill Nye would want to extinguish that joy by sharing his own personal joy that contradicts the joy of others. Also as Ken pointed out if he really did find passion in finding out where he came from he would be just as open to that if it was from a Creationist perspective which might hold the answer to where Bill Nye fits into the universe. If science from a Biblical perspective is still science and it challenges Darwin’s evolutionary science then that is exactly what science should be, two opposing theories being fairly tested and religious inspired science being taken just as seriously as non religious inspired science’s theories which I believe Ken Ham was stating but Bill Nye and his “the science out there” attitude towards science collectively. This shines a certain level of ignorance on Bill Nye which Ken Ham didn’t show.
So what did I get out of this? I had some interesting questions posed at me from both sides that will provoke me to investigate things further for myself with an open mind, it revealed to me that a man’s personal perspective makes him bias towards facts no matter how unbias he claims to be, it taught me that in this case the Creationist scientist view was in fact less ignorant than the Darwinian evolutionists view, which is in fact the opposite to what I had been lead to believe.
Do Christian creationists still seem a little narrow and crazy to me? yes indeed.
Narrow because their view point always begins with one book, is this harmful? Not at all if it’s a book of truth, however if it’s all made up then yes it is harmful. In that case the real test to start is to find out how true and trustworthy the Bible actually is.
Crazy, any group of people as passionate about something that those outside of it’s understanding will always appear crazy objective to the outsider.
However, they have some good points scientifically which while they might or might not be right have perhaps modernised science enough to challenge the current evolutionary view point and the old earth perspective into another challenging direction using creatists testable sceintific theories which might be a fantastic thing if viewed correctly and lead us closer to the answers Bill Nye claims to want.
Do I think Darwinian evolutionists seem a little narrow and crazy? Yes Indeed.
Narrow, because although they claim to be looking for the truth, the truth might be sitting right under their noses in the Bible and yet they refuse to even investigate it’s claims and validity or investigate the Creationists scientific views as a valid possibility.
Crazy, because the reality is as Ken Ham points out, unless you eye witnessed the events you assume in the past you are staking your whole reputation and life on “Current” scientific findings and assumptions, thus the possibility of tomorrow losing everything to those theories is like Roulette and a game of change.
However they have some very well established foundations, some great stories that do look very convincing without the Creationists outlook or evidence being considered that is.
Who has more to lose?
Bill Nye has pledged his career upon his beliefs in Darwinian’s Evolution, he has made a lot of money teaching it, writing about it and his reputation rely’s on him being correct? So to even contemplate differently would be detrimental to the foundations of his life. His joy in finding out where he fits in the universe might be a lot less than his joy in his reputation and financial benefits.
Ken Ham has spent a lot of time and money on building alternative scientific theories against Darwinian Evolution and supporting Creationists Biblical world view, he could also lose his reputation and income in his circle of influence, after all the secular world he has no reputation to lose considering many think of him as just a religious crackpot. He also has to lose something else, his faith in heaven after death, he has a whole bet of religious beliefs to lose and fundamentally a God to lose if proved wrong. But what will those loses mean to him? He would be free from the burden of carrying his own cross and could be able to live a life morally less restricted (as the Darwinian evolutionists claim) which should be a good thing after all.
So realistically both men have the same things to lose money; reputation; power; influence and career, seeing as the whole God theory is considered a burden to the secular man.
Give it a watch and see for yourself, but be warned the chances are you will already have a side and that in itself will make you bias whether you like it or not.