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Was Bill Nye wrong to debate Ken Ham?
Many prominent scientists refuse to debate creationists because it implies evolution and creationism are on equal footing. Never mind that these kinds of debates rarely, if ever, change minds, is it wrong that they happen? Is Bill Nye giving weight to a non-scientific theory or is he extending an olive branch between two sides that continuously butt heads?
Personally, I thought the debate was a dumb idea for both parties.
The first thing I noticed is that the debate shouldn't be "Evolution vs. Creation" because these two things explain two very different ideas. Creation explains WHY we're here, in addition to how things got here. Evolution is a system that describes how we got from "point A to point B", but leaves the question of how and why we got to point A in the first place unanswered. So there's already a major difference.
It would have been better to make this a "abiogenesis vs. creation" debate.
I was also kind of disappointed how Ken Ham used some of the weakest evidence when making his case. Here I was thinking he'd mention the incredible complexity of the human eye or the physiognomy of the bombardier beetle--things that just couldn't have developed in stages...but no, he cites only the Bible, leaves out a ton of other tangible, quantifiable evidence out. And he seems to just be under the assumption that if you're not a young-earth creationist, you're doing Christianity wrong. Uh...no.
And I really wish it wasn't Bill Nye that was presenting the case for Evolution. I know the guy is smart, a great inventor, and a good author, but he's not an Evolutionary biologist. At all. He got a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell (along with some "honorary doctorates" that let him guest-teach basic astronomy and ecology). That hardly qualifies him to have this debate, in my honest opinion.
I am right now working toward this same degree, and nothing in the degree program has anything remotely to do with Evolution, Darwin, radiocarbon dating, or any of that jazz. Sorry Nye, the degree means nothing in this debate.
I'd like to see a do-over of this debate with an actual Evolutionary biologist and a Christian who brings more evidence to the table than the English translation of the Bible (better yet, a Christian who actually understands the Hebrew words being used in the original text...or someone like Steven C. Meyer). Then, they should be discussing abiogenesis vs. creation. That would be a debate worth watching!
Interesting question! Thanks for asking!
M.T., great question. Bill Nye is not a prominent scientist. He's a TV personality with some science background.
An olive branch is good, but Ken Ham does not represent all Christians or believers. Ham once asked his audience, "Who do you believe, God or science?" Of course, his audience answered, "God." But Ham had loaded the question with a false dichotomy. It's not science versus God, but science versus Ken Ham and his limited and literal interpretation of the Bible.
There is a biblical timeline, for instance, that is compatible with those of mainstream science. The literalists (whether atheists or creationists) will never find this -- they will never see the spirit of the Bible where Truth resides.
I object to the debate on these grounds. Both Nye and Ham don't know what they're talking about with regards to creation.
Science studies the products of God's creation. Spirituality (the core of religion) studies the sources of creation. They are complementary. Nye doesn't understand this; but sadly, neither does Ham.
I have seen miracles that confound science and I've spent my life studying science, including astronomy, electronic engineering, geology, space science, computer science and more. It's fascinating to see both sides more clearly and how they work together in harmony.
I'm happy to be among the rare few who actually does change his mind occasionally, if I hear data and logic that is compelling. Like I used to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, until I investigate Climate Gate and found fudged numbers and fraud. Nye still has delusions about this. Too many scientists have jumped the UN's IPCC ship because of fraud (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtevF4B4RtQ).
Concerning creationism, I believe in creation. I've seen some of it first hand (miracles), but I also believe in evolution. Ham has twisted science and scripture. He thinks death started with the Garden (Gen.3). But he's confusing spiritual death with physical death.
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