Some Thoughts on the Bill Nye & Ken Ham Debate

While I could comment generally on the debate as a whole, my focus will be on a few things that Bill Nye said in the debate that really stood out to me (problematically).  I am sure to watch this debate numerous times, however, and therefore may write another post that is more in-depth and thorough at a later time.

First, what seems to be Nye’s primary concern is that the U.S.A. keep on producing scientists that will be able to further the technological and sociological progress for the future good of our nation.  His main contention seemed to be that those who hold to the biblical model of creation will only hinder this future progress.  There are, however, two problems with Nye’s concern.  First, Ken Ham clearly demonstrated that creationists can be and are good scientists that further the progress of discovery and invention for the good of society.  No doubt Ham could’ve listed more Scientists than he did if time permitted.  Apparently, Nye thinks that one must hold to an atheistic evolutionary worldview in order to think critically, research, discover, invent, develop, advance, etc.  Such is absolutely ridiculous, and as far as I see it, is nothing but evolutionary snobbery.  Second, and more foundational, is that Nye’s atheistic evolutionary worldview cannot substantiate such a conviction and concern for science, society, and the future.  What do I mean?  Simple.  When Nye says that we need to be working toward the progressive good of our future, he is assuming that there is a purpose or meaning to life!  He is assuming that we’re hear for a reason, and that reason is to progress toward the good (whatever that may be)!  But why Nye?  If evolution is true, then we’re the product of mindless matter, blind chance.  We are an accident, and there’s no purpose or meaning to life.  We’re simply here.  I’m thankful that Nye wants to further the progress of science and technology for the good of our society, but he’s got one foot in the Christian’s biblical worldview when he says that.  According to the Bible, God created all things, and therefore there is purpose or meaning to life (Gen. 1:1, 26-27; Ps. 33:6-9; Rev. 4:11).  It is this biblical foundation that allows for consistent scientific endeavor.

Second, when speaking about “survival of the fittest,” Nye said it has to do with those who “fit in” with nature.  I can’t help but think that this amounts to saying that not every human being is equal in dignity.  The more one “fits in,” the more dignity that person has.  Those who are more dignified will continue to survive, whereas those who are less dignified will eventually disappear.  It is of course a natural conclusion from the evolutionary worldview, but that’s the problem!

In conclusion, let us remember what the thesis of the debate was: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?”  In answer to the question, the creation model of origins tells us that we are not here by blind chance and mindless matter, but by God’s sovereign power and decree.  Therefore, in contrast to the atheistic evolutionary worldview, life actually has meaning or purpose.  This is all the more reason to strive toward furthering our scientific and technological progress in the future for the good of society, and all to the glory of God (Rev. 4:11).  The ultimate reason why man embraces evolutionary thinking is because they hate the idea of being accountable to God; but they can only fool themselves for so long (Ps. 14:1; Rom. 1:18-23; Heb. 4:13; 9:27; Rev. 21:8).  What the evolutionary worldview gives us is not progress, but destruction: destruction of the family; destruction of unborn babies; destruction of moral standards; and given enough time (though we need not wait millions or billions of years for this one), destruction of society as we know it.  In short, any good that evolutionary scientists do for society, they do it by standing on the biblical worldview, whether they realize it or not.

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2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on the Bill Nye & Ken Ham Debate

    • Michael,

      Thanks for the comment. I just have a few comments.

      First, I’m really surprised that you would think these guys are not well qualified to debate the science of the issue. Both men possess the academic credentials and the years of research. Second, there’s no doubt that there was a certain element of “PR” to this debate, but it was much more than that. It was actually Ken Ham who contacted Nye and asked to debate. Third, could you be specific on where exactly Ham “adds to what the Bible says”? Is this something that he brought up in the debate?

      Lastly, I went ahead and watched the other debate that you suggested. I suppose it has its benefits, but I have to greatly disagree with you that this is somehow better than the Nye/Ham debate. And when you say “by real scientists” you imply that Nye and Ham are not real scientists. Again, could you validate your view on this? What prevents either one from being real scientists?

      Again, regarding the other debate you linked to, this is not a debate for popular audience. The Nye/Ham debate was well geared toward popular audience, which is certainly what we need. The majority of what Ruse and Fazale said would go over the head of most Americans. Further, this debate was very specific–cells; whereas the Nye/Ham debate had a bit of a broader thesis, thus allowing for discussion and interaction on various subjects, especially the presuppositions that are at play in this debate. Lastly, I would say that Ham actually affirmed and argued for the biblical creation account, whereas Fazale seemed to be guided more by modern fallible science in his approach to biblical interpretation. Fazale, while admittedly not a theistic-evolutionist, does depend on certain evolutionary concepts for his understanding of the Genesis creation account (e.g. old earth; disease and death before sin).

      Ruse brought up the question of suffering (e.g. cancer). This is a good discussion point, and one in which the Christian has the upper-hand. However, Fazale utterly failed in giving a biblical answer to this. He actually asserted bad designs can turn out to be good, and that we would actually expect there to be bad elements to design. He said, “Cancer is essentially the outcome of a creation that operates according to the laws of physics, where things that are optimal wind up undergoing decay.” This of course reflects evolutionary influences, but it nowhere accords with the actual testimony of Scripture. (Ruse is spot on when he responded that Fazale is on the slippery slope of ending up in his (Ruse) position.) Why can’t Fazele say that sin is the problem? That is, after all, what the Bible teaches. Perhaps modern fallible science is more of an authority to him than is the infallible word of God. I like how a young earth creation student called Fazale out on this issue brought up about cancer, and I think Fazale really neglected to respond to the guy’s concerns. All Fazale did was assert that he had been studying this issue for many years, and that there are Bible scholars that hold to an old earth interpretation. OK, but that doesn’t really deal with the theological issues that follow from such a view-point. Of course, I would simply argue that the Bible does not teach the old earth perspective, and that the rise in an old earth view is largely due to the rise in the evolutionary theory among modern scientists. Unfortunately, many Christians accept these naturalistic conclusions and try to maintain credibility within secular academia by accommodating to some extent. Further, the issue of suffering was a perfect opportunity for Fazale to speak to the inconsistency of the atheistic evolutionary perspective. I find it interesting that atheists/evolutionists are concerned about things like cancer and other forms of suffering and evil. Whenever they do this they validate the Bible’s teaching that the fool says in his heart there is no God (Ps. 14:1) and that man knows that God exists, but they suppress the truth with their unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). You see, ultimately they know there’s a purpose/meaning to life, but such can’t truly be substantiated in their worldview. They want there to be good and morals, but such concepts are purely fictional in their fairy tale of a worldview. Fazale also said he likes the idea of the Big Bang theory. Again, the BBT does not fit the biblical model of creation.

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