Our entire family watched every minute of the debate and found it fascinating and challenging. We all learned a lot. Of course we all believe the Bible, like Ken Ham, and so felt like Ham won the debate. Likely my evolutionist friends felt like Nye won.
Bottom line: I don’t think the debate made anyone change their mind, however, I think it helped to make it clearer to see what the differences between evolutionists and creationists really are. And this could in fact lead to many changing their mind.
Here are some simple take-away’s for me.
I like Bill Nye the Science Guy and his bow tie though I think he’s wrong on some important matters. I love his love of discovery and learn a lot from him.
I am challenged by Ken Ham’s gentleness and kindness.
I love how Ham made the gospel of Christ plain to see numerous times emphasizing his commitment to a thoroughly biblical worldview.
I thought is was intellectually and historically dishonest for Nye to pound his argument that the creationist view kills scientific discovery, leaves our children ignorant, and leads the nation we love into economic ruin (the opposite of all this may be proven with abundant examples.)
How can we know anything?
There was a huge point made when Nye rejected Ham’s definition of terms, “historical science” and “observable science”. “Observable science” is that which may be tested and observed. “Historical science” refers to events in the past which we cannot test or observe. Ham is intellectually honest enough to say that we cannot prove, scientifically, many historical events because we cannot test them by observation. That includes the origins of the universe. It’s in the past and we cannot observe it or prove it. Nye refuses to admit this limitation of “observable science”.
This was made clear in a really bad statement Nye made, “We see the past every day when we see the sun’s light.” He appeared to assert that the light we see in the present was created in the past so seeing it now is equivalent to seeing the past. This is nonsense. We only see the light waves in the present. Though those light waves originated in the past, they have traveled millions of miles over time and have been affected by passing through space and the earth’s atmosphere. The result is that the light waves we see now are not exactly as they were when they originated. We see them as they are the present not as they were in the past.
So the vast difference between the two men is seen. It is the difference between how the world is seen by Christians and atheists. When searching for knowledge that is beyond the reach of natural, observable means, Nye and atheists trust in their observation alone for sufficient knowledge. Ham and other Christians admit that our observation alone is insufficient for such matters.
Both the creationist and evolutionist exercise faith to reach conclusions about the origin of life. The Creationist trusts in God and the Bible. The evolutionist trusts in himself.
By whose authority?
So who has the authority to say what is real and what isn’t? This question provided an interesting twist in the debate. Nye repeatedly said Ham was wrong for supporting his view using the Bible which was written thousands of years ago translated into modern American English and that no one could understand reality unless they listened to Ham interpret it for them. But as he attempted to vilify Ham for putting himself in the place of God to supply everyone with his version of truth, he made himself guilty of doing exactly that.
Nye turned away from trusting the Bible to tell us what we cannot discover on our own and turned to an authority much more qualified in his opinion. Who? Himself. He repeatedly made it clear who the evolutionist is trusting as the highest authority. It is himself, a reasonable man. So he is reasonable for telling everyone to trust what he says but Ham is unreasonable for telling everyone to trust what God says.
So this is where we end up. At the bottom of the pile of arguments is the bottom line. The creationist admits there are things we do not know so we must turn to God who supplies us with answers to ultimate questions. The evolutionist on the other hand will have none of that though he also admits there are things we do not know. But there is no God for him. As a matter of fact when given the opportunity to acknowledge God in at least the smallest form through a question from the audience, he resists. The question asked him if he thought it was plausible that God could have used evolution to create life. Nye refused to even look God’s way in the slightest measure.
Ham on the other hand was open throughout the debate that in his view the issue is completely a God issue. At every turn he acknowledged the authority of Scripture alongside observable evidences. He carefully turned the conversation to the gospel numerous times showing the biblical message goes far beyond answers on the origin of life. It’s about God’s ultimate purpose of glorifying Himself by rescuing fallen mankind from sin and death to given eternal life with Him.
These are some of my observations. I’d love to hear how you saw it.