The Creation Debate with Ken Ham (Answers In Genesis) and Bill Nye (The Science Guy) was held yesterday evening (February 4, 2014). Some dubbed it as “Scopes 2” in reference to the famous legal Scopes Trial in Tennessee (1925). The original Scopes had a different social setting and expectation, whereas this second event, a public debate, has the backdrop of 21st Century much scientific and technological advancement.
The challenge (problem?) with these debates is varied. The reality is that evolution is a worldview and religion as much as creationism and Christianity. And declaring a “winner” of the debate is superfluous because both candidates are not the summation of all that is to be said of their representative topic. In other words, a debate between two candidates does not equate to a winning or losing viewpoint because each candidate had differing level of oratory skill as well as opportunity to communicate all the data and argumentation for their side. There will always be more material to analyze and research for each person to arrive at a conclusion. We will all know who the winners and losers are once we pass from this life to the next; let eternity be the judge and charity be on display in this life.
Further, the format of the debate left little opportunity for exchange and response between each other. To be sure, each candidate was able to present their view of creation vs. evolution. Yet, as both candidates seemed to agree on the evidence of their view they could not agree on exact definitions or much more the interpretation of the evidence before them, and us as humanity. Therefore, the debate seems less to do with dating fossils or soil layers than it does with one’s presuppositions and worldview. How can we know anything at all about the universe and life itself (epistemology)? In essence, everyone seeks knowledge and answers to life’s greatest questions and therein lies the question – Is our world a closed system or is there the potential for revelation from the outside (intelligent and divine revelation)?
Ken Ham was able to show that creationism is not an uneducated or fringe worldview. Creationists are credible and prominent scientists who have worked on projects such as creating the MRI scanner in the medical field, to working on space shuttles and NASA technology, to other scholarly academic achievements and other noteworthy accomplishments.
Bill Nye presented an evolutionary worldview and supported the cosmic “Big Bang” theory. He critiqued creationism as “magical”. Yet, in his own view he was often led to respond to such questions “Where did the atoms come from in the Big Bang?” or “What is the source human conscience?” with the answer “I don’t know, it’s mystery”. A perfectly good answer but similarly “unsatisfyingly magical”; pot meet kettle! It is ironic that Nye is forced, with all of science, to create its own original source. It is also unfortunate that science attempts to stronghold a battle for origins to the neglect of an infinite, supernatural Creator; an unmoved Mover.
Bill Nye also kept showing his ignorance about the Bible translated into American English. His understanding of the relationship between the Old Testament and New Testament was deeply lacking. And more, he seems completely unaware of the numerous text critical support between the two. Should we be concerned about science that is translated into American English? Aye yai yai!
Interesting enough, both scientists were posed the question if there was anything that would make them change their position. Bill Nye noted evidence of dating fossils in view of a young earth creation. This is problematic because the earth does not have to be young (6-10K years) for there to have been creation. There are a number of different views; creation of the world with advanced maturity and therefore appears old, or that creation lasted longer than understood before the fall (Genesis 3) and therefore is older than understood from young earth creationists. Nonetheless, Bill Nye is prone to unchanging his view because of a lack of openness to divine supernatural revelation from outside the world.
This debate along with the world history hinges on one central tenet of the Christian faith: Jesus Christ. If one believes Jesus was the “word became flesh” (cf. John 1:1; 1:14) then the rest will follow. Ken Ham has trusted the revelation of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Scriptures. His science and salvation is not in a worldly system but in the worship of the Savior. God whom is both infinite and intimate has made Himself known. Will we live by faith or sight? The answer is both if we understand Jesus for all of eternity. Scientific discovery is only satisfying if there is an eternal One to discover and eternity to discover more.
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4