The debate between Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis, and Bill Nye the Science Guy last night was an interesting event, to say the least. Nye demonstrated his love and passion for science, which made him so popular on his television show in the 90’s (which I loved as a kid!). Ham exhibited his love for science, but also a strong passion for the Bible. So often, we hear that if one believes the Bible, then one cannot be a “real” scientist or a responsible human being. Ham, and many others, heartily disagrees. He gave several examples of Ph.D. scientists who have done in the past or are currently doing ground-breaking research in major scientific fields such as medicine, technology, microbiology, astronomy, and geology. The debate topic was to give an answer to the question whether creation science is a viable argument in today’s world. While Nye resurfaced outdated and insultingly biased arguments against creation science, Ham posited that one must at least borrow ideas from the creation science model to even be able to do good scientific work.
One expects order, logic, and reliability in science and, indeed, the universe as a whole. This does not make sense in a universe that is supposed to come out of a haphazard explosion. To “do science” one follows, or should follow, the scientific method; observation, explanation, experimentation, and repetition. But as Ham pointed out, this applies only to processes and items that can be observed. One cannot travel back in time to observe the origin of the universe, the earth, life, etc. Ham pointed out that there are two major types of scientific investigation: observational science and historical science. Observational science, as one would think, involves the scientific method. Historical science relies more on deduction. Nye dismissed this difference out of hand and claims that because we observe in the present, we can use those observations to know the past. Ham expressed that we make assumptions about the past based on what we observe in the present to interpret the past. There is a subtle, but fundamental difference here that many, including Nye, refuse to admit. Every scientist has the same observational science methods and facts at their disposal. It’s how the scientists use those facts and data to interpret what happened in the past based on that scientist’s worldview. Ham continued to hold this position throughout the debate and challenged Nye and everyone else that denies creation science to at least admit the belief system aspect, or worldview, of evolution. No one can prove evolution or creation using observational science; we must use our skills of interpretation and historical science to make the best possible explanation of the past by using the facts and data available with observational science to support claims based on a specific worldview – creation or evolution.
This difference became abundantly clear at the end of the debate when both speakers were asked what would change their minds about their view of origins. Ham declared that because he believes the Bible to be the Word of God, and that there is vast evidence of design in the universe, nothing will change his mind. Nye said he needed “one piece of evidence” that evolution was false. I would ask Nye to provide one piece of evidence that evolution is true using observational science which he values so highly. In over 150 years since Charles Darwin first popularized the idea, the world is still waiting. The one thing that this debate did make clear is that there are still people unsatisfied with the claims of evolution science and are looking for answers. Ham says the answers can be found in Genesis.
For a complete list of answers to Nye’s questions and claims visit: