TheBlaze spoke with Ken Ham Wednesday about his participation in the debate. You can read that interview here.
The long anticipated face-off between “Science Guy” Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham unfolded Tuesday night live from the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky. During the nearly three-hour debate, Nye essentially defended evolutionary theory, while Ham doubled down on central Biblical tenets.
An aura of respect was maintained throughout most of the dialogue, though the two did occasionally caustically address one another on matters pertaining to evolutionary significance.
In his opening remarks, Ham, who called the central debate between the two parties one centered on “worldviews and starting points,” charged that “the word science has been hijacked by secularists.”
To prove that scientists can hold diverse theological views, he went on to provide numerous examples of revered scientists who reject evolution and embrace Biblical creation. Among them: Dr. Raymond Damadian who invented the MRI as a tool for making medical diagnoses.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a creationist or an evolutionist. You can be a great scientist,” he said.
Nye, on the other hand, took aim at Christians’ literal account of Noah’s Ark and at central creationist ideals during his opening remarks. Summarizing the views associated with “the outside world” and “mainstream science,” he painted a starkly different picture of creation and human evolution.
“Mr. Ham and his followers have this remarkable view of a world-wide flood that somehow influenced everything we see in nature,” he said of Noah’s Ark, going on to note that he doesn’t believe for a second that the Biblical flood is rooted in historical fact.
Nye continued, “Here’s my concern. What keeps the United States ahead — what makes the United States a world leader is our technology — [is] our new ideas, our innovations. If we continue to eschew science … we are not going to move forward.”
After their opening comments, each man spent 30 minutes further building his case.
“We need to have freedom to be able to speak on these topics,” Ham said, pushing for an open environment for everyone — creationists included — to share his or her views in the science community.
Ham also highlighted a distinction between historical and observational science, taking aim at the “molecules to man” basis of evolutionary theory. He essentially argued that human beings can’t possibly argue for evolution, as we were not around to see — or test — the process.
“I believe the word ‘evolution’ has been hijacked by secularists … using a bait and switch,” he said. “The word evolution is being used in public school textbooks … for observable changes we would agree with, and then unobservable changes.”
Ham continued, noting that he believes creationists and not evolutionists are “teaching kids the right way to think.”
As for Nye, his arguments focused on evidence he believes shows that the earth is billions of years old, not 6,000 as some creationists like Ham believe.
In addition to trees that he says are many thousands of years in age and would have died under water had there truly been a massive world-wide flood, Nye mentioned the many layers of fossilized life that he believes point to a longer timeline.
“We are standing on millions of layers of ancient life. How could those animals have lived their entire lives and formed those layers in just 4,000 years?” the scientist asked.
Honing in on Noah, he questioned how an unskilled man and his family could build a massive vessel capable of floating on water.
“Inherent in this worldview somehow Noah and his family were able to build a wooden ship that would house 14,000 [animals],” he said. “And these people were unskilled. … they had to get all these animals on there and they had to feed them.”
He continued, “Is it reasonable that Noah and his family were able to maintain 14,000 animals and themselves on a ship … that was bigger than anyone’s been able to build?”
Watch the entire debate below:
Watch: TheBlaze Editor-in-Chief Scott Baker discusses this story with TheBlaze Faith editor Billy Hallowell: