Is Creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?
In this battle in the war of the ages, Ken Ham plans to show that observational science confirms the Biblical record in Genesis, and thus Creation is a viable model for origins. In opposition, Bill Nye will argue the case against creation and for evolution.
The debate will take place 7:00-9:30 pm on Tuesday February 4, 2014, in the Creation Museum’s 900-seat Legacy Hall in Petersburg, Kentucky near Cincinnati. Tickets are $25 and were sold online here. (Already Sold Out.)
Bill Nye began his career as an actor and comedian, but he is best known as a children’s science educator via his Bill Nye the Science Guy TV programs on PBS in the 1990s. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and worked for Boeing. He is a zealous out-spoken evolutionist and was recognized for these efforts by the American Humanist Association with their Humanist of the Year award in June 2010.
YouTube videos of his award acceptance speech reveal his worldview and thinking:
Nye’s Humanist of the Year Award Acceptance Speech
Commentary on the Debate
Creation-Evolution debates have become much rarer than they were in the 1970s & 1980s. Evolutionists lost so many debates that they stopped accepting challenges.
(See Creation scientists tend to win debates with evolutionists.)
Interest in the Ham vs Nye debate has surpassed expectations. Tickets went on sale for $25 starting at 10 am on Jan 6. I started calling shortly before 10. By the time I finally got through at 10:38, the tickets were all gone. The AiG ticket agent told me that the 900-seat hall sold out via online sales within 2 minutes of 10 am.
A simulcast in an adjoining 200-seat theater will cost $15 per person, and live streaming over the Internet will be available for $5. Answers in Genesis will sell DVD recordings of the debate for $20. Here’s the order page.
(2014.01.16 Update – Live streaming will be free at http://debatelive.org/. The debate DVD is titled Uncensored Science: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham. Pre-orders of 25 or more DVDs will be $10 each and pre-orders of 2-24 DVDs will be $15 each. DVDs will ship beginning Feb 14. HD and SD digital downloads are $13 and $10 respectively. Use this coupon code DEBATE20 to get a 20% discount when pre-ordering one DVD or a digital download.)
Many attendees will be creationists. But all views will be represented — atheists as well as those undecided about origins. Scientists, scholars, and students will all be present to hear what both sides say.
I have heard Ken Ham speak many times. He is an excellent speaker — entertaining, informative, and clear. However, I don’t know, how good a debater he is. Nevertheless, I predict he will win the debate for 3 reasons:
1. The truth is on his side.
2. Creationism makes intuitive sense to people, because it explains the purpose and design evident throughout the world. (See Argument from Design.)
3. The agreed-upon debate topic makes it hard for Nye to win. It is very difficult to prove that the Creation Model is NOT a viable origins model. Ham does not have to show that the Creation Model is correct. All he has to show is that it is viable.
Evolutionists are agitated. Following the debate announcement, evolutionists railed against Ham on social media sites and strongly urged Bill Nye to back out.
(See for example the Bill Nye to debate Ken Ham?! discussion on Panda’s Thumb.)
Ham commented in his blog, Evolutionists Running Scared,
“Atheists are actually insecure in their beliefs. Not only that, but atheists in many ways have managed to censor information concerning creation from the public—they have been involved in getting legislation to protect the teaching of evolution in public schools and thus stop students from even hearing about creation. These secularists do not want people hearing about the evidence that confirms the creation account in the Bible.”
Why do evolutionists object so strenuously to an open debate on the merits of Evolution vs. Creation? If it is so clear that Evolution is true, shouldn’t they welcome the opportunity to expose error?
The Videos that Sparked the Debate
In August 2012 Nye posted a YouTube video, Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children, in which he warned against teaching creationism to children.
Nye’s two-and-a-half-minute video (imbedded below) is from the online think tank Big Think. The wildly popular video has had over 6,051,000 Views, 373,000 Comments, 105,000 Likes, and 19,000 Dislikes since it was posted on August 23, 2012.
Ken Ham and scientists from Answers in Genesis responded with articles and YouTube videos countering Nye’s claims. Ham challenged Nye to a debate which has finally been set for February.
First is Nye’s video with transcript followed by Ham’s video response with transcript.
Here is a transcript of Nye’s video remarks:
Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we’re the world’s most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens. People still move to the United States. And that’s largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science. When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.
Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It’s like, it’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You’re just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.
As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, “When you’re in love you want to tell the world.” So, once in a while I get people that really—or that claim—they don’t believe in evolution. And my response generally is “Well, why not? Really, why not?” Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they’re at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.
And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.
It’s just really hard a thing, it’s really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I’m sure, will be, it just won’t exist. There’s no evidence for it.
For analysis, critique, and rebuttal of Nye’s video remarks, see these previous Bible-Science Guy articles:
Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #1
Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #2
Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #3
Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #4
Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #5
For a detailed rebuttal of Nye’s claims, see AiG scientist Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell’s article
Bill Nye’s Crusade for Your Kids.
Here is Ham’s video response (4:45). Click the link in the video to see Ham’s follow-up video responding to Bill Nye defenders. To see the video response by biologist and medical doctor Dr. David Menton and molecular biologist Dr. Georgia Purdom, click the other link in Ham’s video. Both Menton and Purdom are AiG scientists and former professors.
Here is a transcript of Ham’s video remarks:
Hi, this is Ken Ham, President and CEO of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum. Recently, a YouTube video featuring a person called Bill Nye the Science Guy received millions of views. Now, the video was called, “Creationism is Inappropriate for Children”. Well, I really believe we should call Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Nye the Humanist Guy. You see Bill Nye received the Humanist of the Year award in 2010. So even though Bill Nye had some wonderful programs on PBS TV teaching exciting things about science, you know when he was experimenting and putting things together and so on, and you know he did some real observational science there. Bill Nye also has an agenda – to teach children not to believe in God. To teach them they are the result of evolutionary processes. That they came from slime over millions of years.
In fact, Bill Nye really doesn’t understand science. I mean the word “science” means “knowledge,” and you can divide science into historical science that is talking about the past, or observational science. That’s the science that builds our technology. He says that if you deny evolution to children, they can have problems because we need engineers. Well, wait a minute. Engineering and evolution? What has evolution got to do with engineering? I mean, Bill Nye himself actually, is not a scientist. He studied Mechanical Engineering, and he worked for Boeing at one stage. I hope he did not apply his evolutionary principles to any of Boeing’s airplanes, because if he did, I wouldn’t want to be flying in them. I wouldn’t want to fly in something that was built by chance, random processes. What do you think? All the parts – just lay them out on the runway and they come together or something? No, of course he didn’t apply his evolutionary ideas to his engineering at Boeing, otherwise we would be in real trouble.
Bill Nye is really implying that if we are going to teach children creation, that’s really a form of abuse – that creationism is inappropriate for children. I tell you what is real abuse, and I tell you what is inappropriate for children. When you take generations of kids and you teach them they are just animals. There’s no God. You’re a result of millions of years of evolutionary processes. You just came from some slime over millions of years. Who determines right and wrong? You do. Who determines what’s good and bad? You do. What is marriage? Whatever you want to make it to be. You know, it’s really people like Bill Nye that are damaging kids. Creation is teaching children that they are special, that they are made in the image of God. And of course, giving them a basis for developing technology, that we can trust the laws of logic; we can trust the laws of nature; we can trust the uniformity of nature.
You know, Bill Nye really doesn’t understand science. He’s called “Bill Nye The Science Guy”? He doesn’t understand science. He doesn’t understand the difference between observational science and historical science. I mean he talks about the fact that, “Oh, we’ve got these ancient bones. We’ve got radioactivity.” Wait a minute, of course we can observe radioactivity. We can experiment with it. But when it comes to bones like dinosaur bones, you don’t dig them up with labels telling you how old they are, or dig them up with photographs telling you when they lived. He doesn’t teach children how to think critically. He doesn’t teach them how to think about science. He wants to teach them what to think, and he confuses historical science, beliefs about the past, and observational science that develops your technology. He puts those together, and doesn’t distinguish between the two.
If evolution were true, I mean, it’d be so obvious to the kids that it is true. But it’s not. The way to convince kids about evolution is you have to do what Bill Nye the Humanist Guy wants. You protect them from hearing anything about creation. You totally indoctrinate them. You brainwash them. You don’t teach them to think critically at all. Don’t teach them the difference between historical science and observational science. You just wanna make sure they only hear about evolution, and that’s it.
Creationists, of course, are very happy to teach their children about evolution and teach the problems with it, and teach their children how to think critically, and the difference between historical science and observational science. Isn’t it interesting, how Christians are not frightened to teach their children about evolution.
Two of our scientists here at the Creation Museum, Dr. Georgia Purdom, who has a PhD in molecular genetics, and Dr. David Menton, who has a PhD in biology, have also put up a YouTube video dealing with some of the statements that Bill Nye has made. So I encourage you to go and watch their response to his video entitled, “Creationism is Inappropriate for Children”, and see why you don’t want Bill Nye The Humanist Guy teaching your children.
Here are some other news articles on the Ham-Nye debate:
Bill Nye to visit Kentucky for creation vs. evolution debate
Ken Ham Announces Creation/Evolution Debate With Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’
Questions to Ponder
- Suppose you were in Ken Ham’s position. What argument(s) and evidence would you use to show that Creation is a viable explanation of origins?
- Suppose you were in Bill Nye’s position. How would you show that Creation is NOT a viable explanation of origins?
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)
Wednesday January 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)