Ken Ham vs Bill Nye, Who Won?

Ken Ham vs Bill Nye, who won? Planet earth picture. Where did the earth come from?

The Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate has sparked a lot of interest in the last few days.  The debate has trended among many of the worlds top social websites, and at least 3 million (although it may be around 5 to 10 million) people tuned in throughout at least 190 countries.

What’s the subject of this epic event?

Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?

For over two hours Ken Ham (CEO of Answers in Genesis, and the Creation Museum) and Bill Nye (Emmy Award winning science entertainer, CEO of the Planetary Society, and science guy) brought their powerful arguments to the table.

So, who won the debate?

Many anti-creationists from all around are claiming that Bill was the winner, even going as far as to say that he “slaughtered” the competition. They often poke fun at Ken for using the Bible as a starting point, which seems to indicate that they didn’t fully understand what he was saying. (maybe it’s the Australian accent)

Creationists on the other hand have an opposing opinion about the debate, claiming that Bill Nye failed to answer many of the questions asked by Ham.

In order to answer the question of “who won” we have to reexamine what the debate was all about in the first place. Once again, the topic of the event was:

Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?

Bill’s repeated argument throughout the session was that failing to teach evolution to our children would be detrimental to science as a whole. If we fail our children, we potentially put our entire country at risk of falling behind in areas like technology and medicine. In Nye’s view, teaching anything apart from the evolution which we can “observe”, is failing to educate our children to think logically. The consequence for that, is a country that doesn’t move forward.

Ham counters Bill’s worries with some facts of his own. Ham argues that creationists can be scientists. He lists many well respected creationist scientists in support of this claim, one of the most convincing being Dr. Raymond Damadian who invented the MRI scanner and revolutionized the medical world.

Shortly after beginning his talk, Ham makes a distinction between historical and observational science.

  • Observational science is what we can see. It’s what we observe directly. It’s how we build technology. It’s how we make medicine.
  • Historical science can’t be seen because it’s impossible to look at the past. Creationists and evolutionists both have the same evidence about the past, they just interpret it differently.

Ham makes the point that the things that Bill and himself believe about observational science (the things that can be seen) are the same. What separates the two scientists, is their view on historical science. They both use the same evidence, but they interpret it differently. Ultimately, however, we can’t look at the past directly. Because of this, we shouldn’t impose our assumptions about evolution (which is dependent on a factor of belief) on students, but should instead let them think about and analyze the evidence of the past in different ways. This would encourage students to challenge ideas and think for themselves.

Bill argues that there is no difference between historical and observational science, and that science is just science. Bill claims that Ham is the only person who separates science in this way. Later, however, Ham quotes a textbook that clearly makes a distinction between the two.

In addition to supporting his own thoughts on the matter, Ham asked Bill two very relevant questions within the debate:

  1. Where did laws of logic come from?
  2. Can you name one piece of technology that could only have been developed by starting with a belief in molecules-to-man evolution?

These questions (along with Dr. Damadian’s example) should crush Bill’s concerns about children growing up without logic, and technology failing to move forward.

Bill argues that there are dating methods that indicate the earth is billions of years old. Believing a book that is thousands of years old and translated into English instead of the evidence that we can observe seems unreasonable to Bill.

Ham makes a few good points on this too. Firstly, there are many different dating methods, and 90 percent of them disagree with the idea of billions of years. That’s because there is no such thing as an absolute dating, because assumptions are always involved in the process. Beyond that, he pointed out that the rocks that have been thought to be dated back to 4.5 billion years didn’t even come from earth, but instead from meteorites.

As far as believing a book instead of what can be observed is concerned, Ham points out that we can clearly observe the account that the Bible gives us. We can see obvious evidence that:

  • An intelligence produced life
  • Animals were made after their kind
  • There was likely a global flood
  • There’s only one race of humans (The Human Genome Project unanimously declared that there is only one race of humans)
  • the list goes on…

All of which have answers in the Bible. Evolution, however, isn’t something that we observe. We don’t observe any cross breeds between species.

The things that textbooks are teaching are oftentimes not observable. They impose an evolutionary belief on children.

Ham backs up his claim that creationism is being unjustly attacked, and that anti-God religion is being unjustly imposed on children when he quotes an article that separates creationists and academics into different categories. This is unfair, of course, because creationists are often academics. Ham made this clear with his long list of impressive creationists throughout history.

Including Michael Faraday… “I can’t say rescuing you is our primary objective.” No no no! Not Michael Faraday from Lost.

In addition to all of this, Bill continuously:

  • Accused Ham of stating that natural law had changed over time, which never happened. In fact, Ham doesn’t believe that at all! He never even implied that he believed that.
  • Referred to himself, and others who accepted evolution, as reasonable men.
  • Referred to creationism as “Ken Ham’s theory” and creationists as “Ken Ham’s followers,” as if it were some kind of cult that Ken Ham invented.

The first statement shows that Nye obviously wasn’t listening to what Ken was saying. The second statement implies that anyone who disagrees with Bill’s beliefs about the origin of the earth is unreasonable. The final statement implies that Bill considers creationism (which a large amount of people believe, and have believed over many years) to be treated as a cult.

By the end of the debate, Bill had began attacking issues such as all animals being vegetarian for a period of time. Bill stated that he can look at a lions teeth, and observe that they aren’t good for a vegetarian diet. Nye also states that it seems unreasonable to think that Noah and his family could have built such an incredible ark.

Ham gives the example of certain fruit bats, and bears like the panda, who have very sharp teeth but also have diets rich in vegetation. He argues that Bill is making an assumption about Noah being unskilled. He points to the many ancient structures in our world and argues that we still don’t understand how they could have been built. Ham makes the argument that just because they are farther in the past, doesn’t mean that they were unskilled.

Nye even attempts to use Christianity to attack Hams belief by asking things like:

  • Aren’t you a Christian? Don’t you believe in the New Testament? Doesn’t that make the Old Testament “out of the box?” (Read this article for an answer to that)
  • How can you call Genesis history, and Psalms poetry? Isn’t that picking and choosing what you want to believe in?
  • What about the Christians who don’t believe in a young earth? What happens to them?

These questions make it blatantly clear how little Nye knows about the Bible. This demonstrates that Nye hasn’t given the Bible appropriate consideration, which proves that he is unfit to argue about whether or not it’s teachings are compatible with science. Ham addresses most of these questions by explaining that:

  • Salvation is dependent on Jesus Christ.
  • Different books of the Bible are written in different forms. Some parts of the Bible are written in the form of historical narrative, some are prophetic, some are poetry. Many types of writing are present in the Bible, and each type should be viewed as what it is. That doesn’t mean that they are uninspired or contradictory, it means that they are different forms of writing.

Admittedly, Mr. Ham didn’t have time to address everything in this short debate, but he certainly covered a lot. He even briefly covered Nye’s claim about layers of snow proving how old the earth was, by talking about planes from 1942 that were found with 250 of snow on them. Ham’s point is: You can’t make assumptions about the snow layers, because you weren’t there to see it happen. Any number of circumstances could have effected the snow layers.

Many more questions are answered in this video, and on the Answers in Genesis website.

Ham was faithful to the topic subject, and gave compelling evidence as to why creation is a viable model. Unfortunately, Bill Nye gave a great example of what to expect from anti-creationists.

Instead of answering many of the questions that were asked to him, or even demonstrating that he was listening to what Ham was saying, Bill focused on explaining why he feels that creationists are “unreasonable”. Instead of defending, he focused on degrading.

Bill admittedly had no answers for the questions of:

  • Where did matter come from?
  • Where did consciousness come from?
  • Why the speed of expansion is increasing?

Ham, of course, had answers for all of these questions based on his knowledge of the Bible. On the other end of the spectrum, many of the charges that Nye made against Ham were:

  • Already previously explained by Ham in the debate.
  • Based on a misunderstanding of the Bible or the creationist’s view of science.
  • Flat out outrageous claims that Ham never even made.

Why is this? I believe this debate demonstrates more than just a disagreement between two scientists. Watching these two debate made it absolutely clear that there is a war between who is in authority. Is it God, or is it man?

 Romans 1: 18-23 (ESV)

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Read all of Romans 1 here!

Who won Ken Ham vs Bill Nye

 

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Below is the Photo Source for “Ken Ham vs Bill Nye, Who Won?” These artist do not necessarily share my viewpoints, but have kindly released their work under a creative commons licence. Follow the links below to find the original artists and copyright license:

stef thomas – Earth

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