Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 15, 2014

Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #3

Debaters Bill Nye & Ken Ham

Debaters Bill Nye & Ken Ham

Key players react and reflect in this third installment of responses from the web to the historic Creation-Evolution debate between Creation Museum founder Ken Ham and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

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 1.7 million times. Interest and conversation about the debate continues to be intense and vigorous.

The first installment and the second installment of web commentary and opinions each quoted four commentators. This third installment contains comments from debate moderator Tom Foreman and post-debate challenges from each of the debaters, Bill Nye and Ken Ham, to each other.

Commentary on the Debate from the Web (Part 3)
Moderator Tom Foreman

Moderator
Tom Foreman

Debate moderator and CNN journalist Tom Foreman reported his experience of the debate in
What I learned moderating the creation/evolution debate. Here are some of his comments:

I was here to play the referee, to moderate a debate on a question that has raged for well over a century: Was humankind created by God in a rush of divine power, or did we evolve over time with only nature to take the credit?

It was not just the topic drawing the throngs. For this crowd, the debaters really mattered.

On the left (literally for the audience, and figuratively in every other way) was the champion for the evolutionary side. Bill Nye, “the Science Guy,” made fundamentalist Christian heads snap recently when he declared it was flat-out wrong for children to be taught creationism.

It looked like his supporters were probably in the minority, and I mentioned to him that some scientists were grousing online he was validating the creationist argument by even showing up. “So why are you here?” I asked.

“I’m here for the U.S. economy,” he said. “See, what keeps the United States in the game for the world economy is our ability to innovate, to have new ideas, and those inventions come from science.”

“And you see creationism as sort of poisoning the well for science?”

“Yes. I mean, I’m all for (creationism) in philosophy class, history of religion class, human psychology class,” but bring it into science class, and Nye gets upset.

Ken Ham is a rock star in the creationist community. He is one of the founders of the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs are depicted as living alongside humans and the Great Flood of Noah is an indisputable fact.

He believes it is fundamentally unfair of folks like Nye to push creationism further into the educational shadows and to deny what Ham sees as its scientific components.

“I must admit I’m a little nervous,” Ham told me looking out at the audience. “I want to passionately present my case and defend what I believe, but we never imagined it would become this big. It’s amazing. Just shocked all of us.”

It was impressive to see how much interest the event generated. A riser with a phalanx of production cameras sat in the middle of the room, 70 or so journalists were clustered to one side of the stage, and security officers seemed to be all over the place.

I was told that metal detectors were being used to screen the audience, and I saw what I presume were explosive-sniffing dogs quietly working the hallways.

One organizer pointed out a corner some 30 feet behind my spot on the stage. A door there opens to the parking lot, he said, “just in case, for any reason, you need to get out fast.”

The advice was appreciated but unnecessary. The crowd proved to be polite, attentive and admirably restrained through the entire 2½-hour debate.

So were the debaters. Although they were firmly on opposite sides of the fence, Ham and Nye presented their arguments calmly and respectfully. Neither tried to shout the other down.

I spent my time listening to what they had to say, watching the clock to make sure they got equal time.

By the time the debate was done, a fierce winter storm had settled in. I waded through the Creation Museum parking lot ankle deep in snow, with sleet pelting down. And I think it was a worthwhile evening – a debate humankind was created to have, or to which we evolved.

 
On Monday February 10, evolutionist debater Bill Nye issued this challenge on his Facebook page to Ken Ham at 10:24 am:

I would challenge him to build a real ark. Instead of trying to fund an ark park, Ken, why not build a real one and take it to sea for a full year? And Ken, if you’re too busy with your flock there in Petersburg, KY, have your most competent parishioners take a shot. Send 8 of your toughest, smartest people to, say, Norfolk, have them design and build a 500 foot wooden boat, load it up with 17,000 pretty good-sized animals, and show us how straightforward it would be to have it remain seaworthy for a year. They have to gather all the food needed locally before they set sail, of course. It’s one more thought experiment that would illustrate how unbelievable the literal story of Noah is, as translated into modern English. Also, we’d have to stipulate that all humans and animals come ashore alive.

Of course, this is not a parallel challenge to Noah’s task. Noah wasn’t restricted to using only his own eight family members. He could have hired many people to help him build the Ark and could have taken out as many loans as needed to finance the project. (Repayment would not have been a problem.) Building the Ark was no doubt a (short-lived) economic boon to his region. And he didn’t have to come up with the design himself. God told him how to make it; some details are recorded in Genesis 6:14-22.

Creationist researcher John Woodmorappe reports in Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study that about 16,000 animals would have been sufficient to preserve the created kinds of air-breathing birds and land animals (including dinosaurs-probably young ones) that God brought to the Ark. The capacity of the Ark was equivalent to that of 522 standard railroad boxcars. Figuring that the average animal size was the of a sheep and that a boxcar holds 240 sheep, just 85 of the 522 boxcars would hold over 20,000 animals with plenty of room left for Noah’s family and storage.

This article answers many common questions about Noah’s Flood and the Ark:
Was There Really a Noah’s Ark & Flood?
 

Creationist debater Ken Ham responded to the challenge on Tuesday February 11 with his own challenge:

Bill, during the debate last Tuesday, I asked you this question:
“How do you account for the laws of logic and laws of nature from a naturalistic worldview that excludes the existence of God?”

I challenge you, once again, to provide a rational basis for your worldview. You dodged the question in the debate, and you continue to do so. Until you answer that question, you have no reason to trust your inductions or the uniformity of nature and have no basis to tell us what is right and wrong. I trust those things because I know the God of the universe who created those laws and has promised to uphold them in a uniform way–which is consistent with His perfect character. Indeed, I have a reason for my reasoning.

The battle, as I said more than once in our debate, is not about the evidence.

And besides, Bill, you know this, as I even showed you a “single piece of evidence” of an out of place fossil (using the secularists’ own dating methods)—45,000-year-old wood in 45-million-year-old rock! You said one piece of evidence like this would change your mind—but you willingly ignored it.

Again, why is your assumption that science is possible apart from God reasonable?

Frankly, you are not a “reasonable man” because no reasonable man who claims to be consistent with reality rejects the truth of God’s Word. In fact, the Bible makes it clear in Romans chapter 1 that you know God exists, but you are suppressing that truth in what the Bible calls unrighteousness.

No “reasonable man” believes that reason, emotion, or morality evolved from the random interaction of chemicals over billions of years. Therefore, you have no foundation. You have a blind faith, one which causes you to borrow from the Christian worldview to even make sense of the world around you.

Bill, I urge you to use your God-given reason to respond to God’s Word, such as: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Bill, Noah’s Ark was a real ship—and it is a picture of a real message of salvation from God’s judgment on man’s sin, including yours. (And the answers to your questions about the seaworthiness of the Ark and how it could have been built are on our website; also, AiG is not a church and so we don’t have “parishioners.”) Just as Noah and his family went through the door of the Ark to be saved, we need to go through the door of our Ark of Salvation.

Jesus Christ said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

Bill, as an ambassador of Jesus Christ, I implore you to be reconciled to God. As I pray for you, please stop shaking your fist at Jesus and place your trust in Him. —Ken

 
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

Read the sequel with more web commentary:
Post-Debate Buzz Heats Up for Ham vs. Nye #4 – Albert Mohler’s assessment

Questions to Ponder
  1. If you saw the debate, who do you think won and why?
  2. How can you use the buzz about the debate as a natural starting point for spiritual conversations?
  3. 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 February 15, 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)

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