As I’m sure you’ve heard, Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis) and Bill Nye (the ‘Science Guy’) debated whether or not creation is a viable model when it comes to the question of origins. The debate happened last night (Feb. 4th, 2014) and the blog-o-sphere is erupting with people tossing their opinions in.
I’ve read a lot of these blog posts and I’m going to point you to several that I think are quite good. However, you should watch the debate first.
You can find it here.
Why are they debating? Great question.
It is because Bill Nye said some stuff about creationism that Ken Ham didn’t agree with, and the stork came and delivered a debate.
The debate was announced on Ken Ham’s Facebook page on Jan. 1st.
My first impression was that this debate was going to be rather silly, because neither Ham nor Nye are known for their good debating skills. Ham is an unwavering young earth creationist whose approach is unapologetically presuppositional. Nye was the frontman for a kids’ science show and is currently a science popularizer.
– I would have rather had people a little more qualified talking about this topic.
– I was afraid that people might assume all Christians agree with Ken Ham’s approach.
– I was concerned that this would continue the false “science vs god” dichotomy.
But! The world doesn’t revolve around me, so the debate happened anyway.
Now that you’ve watched the debate, here are some good reviews that I think you should read. By my selections, you’ll be able to figure out my opinion on the debate as well.
J. W. Wartick
“I was impressed by the tone of both speakers, though I thought they each made major gaffes alongside some decent points. The bottom line is that I find it unfortunate that we were exposed to a false dichotomy: either creationism or naturalism… I think both are wrong in many areas, but I hope that Nye’s tearing down of Ham’s position will not demonstrate to some that Christianity is false. As Nye noted, it may instead by Ham’s interpretation which is wrong.”
Casey Luskin from Evolution News and Views
“People will walk away from this debate thinking, “Ken Ham has the Bible, Bill Nye has scientific evidence.” Some Christians will be satisfied by that. Other Christians (like me) who don’t feel that accepting the Bible requires you to believe in a young earth will feel that their views weren’t represented. And because Ham failed (whether due to time constraints, or a fundamentally weak position) to offer evidence rebutting many of Nye’s arguments for an old earth, young earth creationist Christians with doubts will probably feel even more doubtful. Most notably, however, skeptics won’t budge an inch. Why? Because Ham’s main argument was “Because the Bible says so,” and skeptics don’t take the Bible as an authority. They want to see evidence.”
Melissa Cain Travis at ScienceReasonFaith
“An event such as this gives the non-believing community the impression that Ham’s creation model is representative of all Christian scholarship on the matter, and that to be a “biblical” Christian rather than a “compromising” Christian (to use Ham’s rhetoric), you must believe the earth is about 6,000 years old, universal common descent is false, and Noah’s flood explains most of geology and paleontology. This paints a picture of extreme polarization that is not reflective of the realities of Christian orthodoxy.”
Pastor Matt Blog
“I want to hear the opinions of experts like George Will when it comes to politics or Ben Carson when it comes to medicine or Thomas Kidd at Baylor when it comes to history. So, if I want a debate over science and faith, I want professional scientists not well-meaning ministers or someone who played a scientist on TV. In other words, I had no desire to watch the Ken Ham–Bill Nye debate.”
“Debates like this perpetuate the misconception that you have two choices: an atheistic view of evolutionary science, or a young earth interpretation of the Bible. We wish the audience could hear about another, better way.”
James Hoskins at Patheos (before the debate)
“If the goal of a debate was to promote deeper public understanding of the compatibility between science and the Bible, you would call in true experts who can help the audience make careful distinctions, give credit where it is due, and show that there are multiple valid viewpoints within which there is freedom to disagree. Instead, we have a new “trial of the century” with two culture war celebrities who are almost guaranteed to oversimplify the issue. A spectacle is more entertaining and draws more publicity than a charitable dialogue that enhances our understanding of a complex and nuanced issue.”
Reasons to Believe (before the debate)
“Convinced that both the world of nature and the words of Scripture come from the same Source, our scholars’ goal is to integrate the words of the Bible with the record of nature in a way that preserves a faithful interpretation of both.”
Ultimately, I’m glad that both participants recognized that there are positions outside of their own. Ham mentioned that non-YEC Christians exist, and Nye made it clear that the problem is Ham’s approach, not Christianity as a whole.
If you found any reviews that you thought were just really stinkin’ awesome, post them in the comments!
Ps. Did Bill Nye ever say, “Consider the Following” during the debate?