This twelfth installment of web reaction to the debate has commentary from a creationist author and speaker. (Links to previous installments are at the end.)
An estimated 10 million viewers watched the live stream of the debate:
Is Creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?
Additionally, as of press time, the YouTube video of the February 4 debate has been viewed over 2.4 million times. Interest and conversation about the debate continues to be intense and vigorous.
Commentary on the Debate from the Web (Part 12)
Ham seemed fairly nervous and not as relaxed and passionate as he usually is when delivering his message. Overall, Nye seemed very witty and generally likeable.
Bill Nye used a debate technique in which you throw so many questions or challenges at your opponent that there is no possible way they can respond to them all. Then, when they don’t address something, you accuse them of avoiding that issue and claim they have no answer.
The use of “straw man arguments” was also a common tactic by Nye. … it is a situation in which you claim your opponent believes in something that in reality they don’t (i.e. the “straw man”), and then you set out to disprove it. It often involves something that sounds silly to begin with and is easily discredited.
Another surprising claim made by Nye was that “If someone finds something that disagrees with mainstream science, that’s the greatest thing. That person will be embraced by the scientific community.” While I am sure this happens on occasion, more often than not, those found “bucking the system” are ostracized and harshly treated. This is especially true of anyone questioning evolution.
Seegert went on in his debate review to answer many of the issues Nye raised to which Ham did not have time to reply. These included Observational vs. Historical Science, Kangaroos, Tiktaalik (an alleged transitional fossil between fish and four-legged creatures), Sexual Reproduction, Ice Cores & Tree Rings, Fossils Swimming Between Layers, Thermodynamics, Predictions, and What Would Cause Nye to Doubt Billions of Years.
With respect to the Ark and the Flood, Seegert remarked,
Commenting on the building of the ark, Nye stated that Noah and his family were “unskilled” and could never have built such a large vessel. How does he know they were unskilled? He doesn’t. In fact, people of that era (specifically just after the flood) built huge pyramids which we cannot reproduce today with the best equipment known to man! Unskilled? I don’t think so. As far as only 8 people building the ark, God gave them the design and there’s no reason that Noah could not have contracted others to help in its construction.
Nye boldly claimed that there was no evidence for a worldwide flood and went on to say that if there were such an event, we should expect to see Grand Canyons on other continents, but we don’t. He probably won’t want to change his name to “Bill Nye the Geology Guy” anytime soon, because (apparently to his surprise) we do have massive canyons on all continents. Try these for example:
- Copper Canyon (Mexico) is deeper and longer than the US’s Grand Canyon.
- Indus Gorge (Himalayan Mountains) is the world’s deepest gorge.
- Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon (Tibet) close to the deepest canyon in the world.
- Kali Gandaki Gorge (Nepal) also close to the deepest canyon in the world.
- Fish River Canyon (Africa)
- Recently discovered Grand Canyon under the ice in 2013 (Greenland) possibly the longest canyon in the word!
Canyons are evidence of Noah’s Flood, and they occur worldwide. Evolutionist dogma is that canyons formed over millions of years through erosion by the rivers in the canyon bottoms. Sometimes these rivers are tiny, like the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River that you can wade across and in places even step across (as I have done). Did this tiny river form the huge 20-mile-wide Palo Duro Canyon in west Texas? No way! Rather, the canyon formed the river.
Many canyons formed rapidly by turbulent run-off from Noah’s Flood 4500 years ago. Flood waters quickly carved through still-soft, water-deposited sediments to reveal the beautiful layers we see today. After the Flood carved the canyons, water collecting in the bottom formed the rivers.
This is exactly what happened with the North Fork of the Toutle River at Mount St. Helens in 1982 when geologists watched a mudflow carve a canyon in one day with the river forming subsequently. The Grand Canyon’s formation was similar.
I myself have visited impressive canyons all over the USA that probably resulted from Noah’s Flood:
- Zion Canyon – Utah
- Bryce Canyon – Utah
- Little Grand Canyon – Yellowstone National Park, WY
- Bighorn Canyon – Wyoming
- Grand Canyon of the East – Letchworth State Park, NY
- Niagara Gorge – New York
- Quechee Gorge – Vermont
- Tallulah Gorge – Georgia
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Ohio
- Palo Duro Canyon – “The Grand Canyon of Texas” is America’s second largest canyon – 120 miles long, 20 miles wide, 800 feet deep. (By comparison, Arizona’s Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, 6,000 feet deep.)
Which came first, the river or the canyon? The canyon.
Regarding the flood and Noah’s ark, Nye stated that it would be impossible to generate the 16 million species of creatures he believes are around today from just 7,000 “kinds” on the ark starting just 4,000 years ago. … he claimed it would mean that we should see 11 new species appearing on the Earth every day. However, this grossly misstates the situation and sadly shows Nye’s lack of understanding of the biblical model which he sets out to dismantle. …the Bible says that Noah only took the “air-breathing” animals on the ark, so that would exclude bacteria, viruses and even most, if not all, of the insects and related creatures, many of which could survive outside the ark in small populations on floating log mats (which has been demonstrated). The number of species today that would be related to those having been on the ark is a much smaller number and speciation rates (that we observe today) occur much more rapidly than scientists had expected. Also, the number of current species is generally exaggerated.
Overall, I am glad there was a debate, even though it didn’t go as I would have liked. … I hope the debate serves to get people talking about Christianity and the Bible and I trust that it will lead to conversations that might otherwise have never occurred.
Read the prequel articles on this debate:
Creation-Evolution Debate: Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye – background info & the YouTube videos that sparked the debate.
Ham on Nye Debate Update
Who Won the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye Debate? – includes YouTube video of debate
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #1 – 4 web commentators
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #2 – 4 web commentators
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #3 – comments from debate moderator and post-debate challenges from debaters to each other
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #4 – Albert Mohler’s assessment
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #5 – Nye’s debate coach comments
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #6 – astronomer, CMI, WORLD mag
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #7 – Gary DeMar, Mally sisters video
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #8 – apologetics prof, science historian, debater
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #9 – chemist, ID advocate
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #10 – ID advocates
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #11 – space scientist
This completes my series of 15 articles on the Ham-Nye Creation-Evolution debate.
Answers in Genesis has published a very long list of articles answering all the scientific issues brought up in the debate. See Debate Answers for this list.
Clash over worldviews: An analysis of the Ham/Nye debate from Creation Ministries International also rebuts Nye’s debate claims.
The debate site has an indexed video of the debate, so that you can jump to any point in the debate using the drop down menu index.
Questions to Ponder
- Do you agree with Nye that there is absolutely “no evidence for a worldwide flood”? What about the continent-spanning layers of sediment worldwide? What about the fossil graveyards full of all kinds of creatures jumbled together? What about polystrate fossils like tree trunks passing through many layers?
- How did the deep-sea limestone crowning Mt. Everest get there? Why does it contain
ocean-bottom fossils? Why do marine fossils top all mountain ranges worldwide?
Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.
Soli Deo Gloria.
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Saturday March 8, 2014 A.D.
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)