Clash over worldviews
An analysis of the Ham/Nye debate
Published: February 6, 2014
Creation was on the media’s radar again recently, thanks to the announcement that US media personality Bill Nye (best-known for his TV show ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’) would go head-to-head in a debate with creationist Ken Ham at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.
Bill Nye was actually criticized by his fellow atheists for debating a creationist. Dr Jerry Coyne, professor of ecology at the University of Chicago, says that:
“… he should just continue to write and talk about the issue on his own, and not debate creationists. By so doing, he gives them credibility simply by appearing beside them on the platform.”1
Similarly, the high priest of evolution, Richard Dawkins, said:
“I agree that to do this on Ham’s home turf was a mistake, and indeed it is almost always a mistake to give wingnuts the oxygen of publicity, and the respectability of being seen on a platform with a real scientist, anywhere.”2
A Chicago Sun-Times article was simply titled, “Bill Nye wastes his time debating creationists”.3 The response from the evolutionist side is clear: let’s not give creation any exposure. One wonders, if creationism is not science and can be easily debunked, what are they afraid of?
The overall reluctance of atheists to debate creationists was never more evident than in 2009 when the World Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia rejected CMI-Australia’s challenge to debate, as documented in this article. As our Australian office had a wealth of Ph.D. creation scientists on staff, and the leading lights in atheism would be converging in one place, it seemed to be an ideal time to match up. But as one commenter on notorious atheist PZ Myers’ blog said at the time:
“I think the extreme emotional reaction … to the idea of debating Creationists shows that the debate really isn’t about science vs. religion, but is one religious view-(Atheism) pitted against another.”4
We commend Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis for arranging this event, and as creationists, we celebrate the chance for the fair exchange of ideas. As shown above, this is something most atheistic evolutionists don’t want.
Some have noted that neither Ken Ham nor Bill Nye are scientists. But they are a good pairing; both are scientifically-minded laypeople who have spent the better part of their careers arguing for the account of origins that they believe is true. The fact that both men for years have aimed to make the origins issue understandable to a broad audience made this a unique opportunity for laymen to gain an understanding of the differences between these radically different worldviews.
Nye obviously loves science, and he did a particularly good job of bringing that across. He also communicated the practical benefits of a good understanding of science, and its importance for our future.
Ham should be applauded for his strong presentation of biblical authority and presentation of the Gospel throughout. He had a limited amount of time to present his views to a large audience which would have included many unbelievers, some of whom may have never heard this information. This was a valuable opportunity that creationists rarely encounter.
The final question in the question and answer section was revealing as far as demonstrating the worldview of both debaters. They both were asked the one thing upon which they based their belief. Ken Ham unequivocally stood on the authority of Scripture. Bill Nye professed that science and a love of discovery is what guides him.
Each 5-minute introduction was a good presentation and introduction to Ham’s and Nye’s views.
Ken Ham’s 30-minute presentation covered the basics of the creation worldview, including the creation time-frame, the difference between operational and historical science, and the difference between natural selection and evolution of new kinds. He demonstrated how the biblical record explains the phenomena we see in the world today, such as intelligent design behind life, animals reproducing after their kind, and all humans as one race.
What caught our attention more than anything else was Bill Nye’s list of challenges for his opponent. He went through a long list of arguments that supposedly pose problems for creationists. However, if Nye had been more acquainted with creationist literature, he would have known that we have long had explanations for each of these.
- He said that in Kentucky, the Creation Museum stands on many layers of limestone with coral fossils. He claimed there would not be enough time in a creationist timeframe for these creatures to grow, die, and then be fossilized. However, creationist marine biologist Dr Robert Carter has addressed the existence of fossil corals.
- The next argument was that there are ice cores with 680,000 layers, each formed in a summer/winter cycle. Again, he claimed that this disproves a creationist timeframe. However, creationists have also answered this, see Greenland ice cores: implicit evidence for catastrophic deposition.
- He also claimed that there are trees older than a biblical timeframe allows for. However, dendrochronology is not an exact science; see plant biologist Dr Don Batten’s article on dendrochronology. Nye specifically mentioned bristlecone pines, but there is evidence that they may have more than one growth ring per year as argued at Evidence for multiple ring growth per year in Bristlecone Pines.
- His next challenge related to geology. He asked, if the Grand Canyon was the result of a catastrophic global flood, why are there not grand canyons everywhere? But as flood geologists have demonstrated, the Flood would have involved a number of different mechanisms at various stages as the waters drained off the continents. In fact, many erosional features are best explained by a global flood. There is a vast body of creation information in this area; we would send interested readers to our Geology Q&A page.
- Nye asked a number of times, why do we not have examples of fossils mixed between layers; for instance, a mammal in trilobite layers. But to the surprise of many, ducks, squirrels, platypus, beaver-like and badger-like creatures have all been found in 'dinosaur-era' layers along with bees, cockroaches, frogs and pine trees. See The so-called 'Age of Dinosaurs' and Evolution exams and fossil fallacies.
Photos by Ian Juby
Polystrate tree trunks.
- Nye tried to rebut the idea that there is one human race by showing a graphic of all the different types of hominid skulls that have been discovered to argue that there was a progression in human evolution. However, we know that there is a huge amount of variability in the human race, and many of the skulls in Nye’s graphic were undoubtedly within that range. For more information about how creationists interpret this evidence, see our Anthropology Q&A.
- Nye noted that there are no kangaroo fossils showing a migratory path from the Middle East to Australia. However, absent catastrophic, rapid burial, fossilization of a land creature would be a rare event; thus, lions roamed what is now Israel in historical times, but no lion fossils have ever been found there. In addition, marsupial fossils are actually a huge problem for evolutionists, because their fossils are found on every continent. In fact, in the Late Cretaceous (allegedly 85–65 million years ago) their fossils are not even in Australia, but in Eurasia and North America. See Biogeography.
- Nye claims that the biblical account of the Ark imposes ridiculous demands on natural selection to produce the variety of species we see today. He says that to get from the 14,000 animals on the ark to the millions of species we have today, there would have to be 11 new species formed every day for the past 4,000 years. However, there is a huge error in this calculation. The animals which went on the ark only represent land vertebrates, and do not include insects, marine creatures, or microscopic life. And we know that when we exclude these creatures (and also when we realize that some animals are categorized as different species based on only superficial differences), it becomes far more feasible. See How did all the animals fit on Noah’s Ark?
- The Ark was claimed to be too big to be made from wood, yet too small to fit all the animals required. However creationists have answered these challenges, see Noah’s Ark Questions and Answers.
- Nye claims that evolutionists made the prediction that there would be an intermediate species between fish and tetrapods, and that Tiktaalik fills this gap. However, footprints from a tetrapod were found in a layer dated millions of years older than Tiktaalik, so the intermediary cannot be younger than what it gives rise to. See Is the famous fish-fossil finished?
- Nye claims that sexual reproduction arose because it granted superior immunity to disease. However, an explanation of how something is beneficial is not the same as explaining how it came to be in the first place, and this is a common fallacy brought up by evolutionists. It doesn’t matter how beneficial something is, you still need a mechanism to explain how it came to be in the first place, and that is a huge problem for evolution. See Episode 5: Why Sex?
- Nye seemed to misunderstand a key creationist argument when he claimed on multiple occasions (even after Ham corrected him), that creationists think that natural laws were different in the past. However, biblical creationists actually think that natural laws are constant, describing how the God of order upholds His creation (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:33). Yet, this same God has added to nature at special times as revealed in Scripture, contrary to uniformitarian dogma. The biblical God is not capricious like the pagan gods. Actually, it's Nye who can't derive the constancy of natural laws from his atheistic faith. See also Miracles and science.
- Nye celebrates the discovery of the cosmic background radiation which he believes to be a successful prediction for the Big Bang and billions of years of history. However, cosmic microwave background radiation is actually a huge problem for the Big Bang model; see Recent Cosmic Microwave Background data supports creationist cosmologies. There has been years of work in creation cosmology; for more information see Astronomy and Astrophysics Questions and Answers.
- Nye appeals to radiometric dating, specifically rubidium/strontium, as evidence supporting billions of years. However, different dating methods give different dates for the same rocks, and some dating methods cap the age of the earth at thousands of years, so scientists must pick whichever dating method agrees with their presupposition. Ham gave a slide with a list of such methods; a similar list appears at Age of the earth.
- Nye appealed to distant starlight, but see How can distant starlight reach us in just 6,000 years?
Another assertion Nye made multiple times was that creationists do not make predictions. However, this is demonstrably false. For instance, cosmologist Dr Russell Humphreys predicted that Mercury’s magnetic field would display specific characteristics based on biblical assumptions about its origin and age, which were proved correct; see Mercury’s Magnetic Field is Young! And another team of creation scientists made predictions about the amount of helium left in zircons based on a young age, which was proved accurate; see RATE group reveals exciting breakthroughs!
Left: Rapid decay of Mercury’s magnetic field strength. Right: Spacecraft measurements of Mercury’s magnetic field strength.
The 5-minute rebuttal was insufficient for either debater to respond to the other’s 30-minute presentation, which is one reason why the debate might not be the best measure of who has the best arguments. For instance, Ken Ham made a telling point, that the atheistic worldview can’t account for logic and reasoning, while the Christian worldview can, because we are made in the image of a rational God (indeed, Jesus is called the logos). However, the subtlety of the argument seemed totally lost on Nye, and probably a lot of listeners too, unfortunately. That is, if our brain is the result of natural selection, then why should we even trust our reasoning to be logical (or our senses to be accurate, as Nye claims)? It would probably have been better to argue that Darwinian processes select only for survival value, no matter how false or illogical our thoughts (or senses) are. See how C.S. Lewis made this point decades ago; cf. Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation.
That being said, neither seemed to sufficiently acknowledge or answer the other’s challenges. For instance, Ken Ham spent a good part of the beginning of his presentation showing examples of creation scientists who have made real contributions to their fields, but Bill Nye ignored these examples and kept repeating his argument about the importance of evolution in education to produce engineers and scientists.
Nye seemed either ignorant or deceptive regarding his depiction of creation science, as every argument he presented has been dealt with at length in creation publications that are widely available. And his mantra about evolution being necessary for scientific advancement is demonstrably false. He also repeatedly characterized biblical creation as “Ken Ham’s view” ignoring the growing number of qualified, successful PhD scientists who have made outstanding contributions and who recognize the Bible’s account of origins as historical.
In response to Ham’s comment that evolutionists conflate terms, that is, using the term ‘evolution’ to include aspects of operational science, Nye kept restating that it is only creationists who use the distinction between operational and historical science. But this is simply not true (should we be surprised) because it is evolutionists who make this distinction themselves. For example the prominent atheistic, evolutionist Harvard Professor, Dr E.O. Wilson said:
“If a moving automobile were an organism, functional biology would explain how it is constructed and operates, while evolutionary biology would reconstruct its origin and history—how it came to be made and its journey thus far.”5
This is not an isolated quote. Prominent atheistic biologist Ernst Mayr wrote:
“Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science—the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.”6
Nye is also not a Bible scholar, as his limited comments about Bible translation and interpretation show. He claimed that the Bible was translated in a way analogous to the ‘telephone game’. However, we have more manuscripts of the Bible than for any other ancient book. For more information, see How did we get our Bible—and is it the Word of God?
Ham could have been more assertive in demanding answers to his arguments and holding Nye’s feet to the fire when he failed to respond to his challenges. He also could have challenged the foundations of the evolutionary worldview more effectively if he had been given more time to do so.
This debate will probably be insufficient to ‘convert’ many from one view to the other. While people love debates due to their adversarial nature, it may not the best format in which to hash out the issues in sufficient depth due to time restrictions. Debates are great for bringing the subject to people’s attention, but not for training and equipping. What’s important is what happens in the days and weeks to come.
What’s next? What can I do?
One report estimates that over a million people tuned in and watched a debate about creation vs. evolution. The turnout shows that it is by no means a ‘settled issue’ in the minds of laypeople, regardless of what the media portrays or how much the evolutionists want to control the turf and censor other views.
This event demonstrated that ultimately the controversy is not really about science. This hot topic issue is about the two opposing worldviews of creation and evolution. As such, it’s vitally important for believers to ‘be prepared to give an answer…with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15). Many people disbelieve the Bible because their view of origins excludes the biblical account and thus, the Gospel. We have found that creation evangelism is an effective way to reach people with the Gospel; why not give a college student in your life a subscription to Creation magazine to counter the evolutionary indoctrination he or she will encounter from professors?
Sadly, not all Christians, by any means, understand the importance of this issue, which is one reason CMI’s main ministry focus is speaking in churches. Why not introduce to your pastor the opportunity to host one of our speakers and create an impact at your church? Our speakers’ creation messages highlight the bankruptcy of evolution, and explain how a biblical view of creation is relevant and how it is foundational to the Gospel.
Finally, pray for the ongoing impact that the debate will have in the days and weeks to come, and for the hearts of people who may have heard evidence for creation for the first time as a result of the debate.
What will a CMI presentation do for your church?
- Proclaim the truth and authority of the Bible.
- Strengthen the faith of believers and their families.
- Equip and motivate them to confidently reach the lost.
CMI will present challenging and motivating messages that equip believers to impact their world. And remember, we want the message to reach as many as possible, so we have no set speaker fees.
Click here to host a CMI speaker
References and notes
- Coyne, J., Bill Nye talks about his upcoming debate with Ken Ham, Why Evolution Is True, whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com, 8 January 2014. Return to text.
- Why Bill Nye shouldn’t debate Ken Ham, www.richarddawkins.net/foundation_articles/2014/1/16/why-bill-nye-shouldn-t-debate-ken-ham, 4 February, 2014. Return to text.
- McElwee, S and Salvatore, A., Bill Nye wastes his time debating creationists, Chicago Sun-Times, suntimes.com, 2 February 2014. Return to text.
- Myers, P.Z., A reply to Carl Wieland, Pharyngula, scienceblogs.com, 1 December 2009. [Warning: crude material] Return to text.
- Wilson, E. O., From so Simply a Beginning, Norton, 2006, pg. 12. Return to text.
- Mayr, Ernst (1904–2005), Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought, based on a lecture that Mayr delivered in Stockholm on receiving the Crafoord Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, 23 September 1999; published on ScientificAmerican.com, 24 November 2009. Return to text.
Marv S., United States, 5 February 2014
Thank you very much for getting this analysis posted so quickly. It was a bit frustrating last night to see Nye throw out so many "proofs" that are at best debatable and at worst false. He threw so many that it wasn't possible to rebut them all, so most went without rebuttal. This article is perfect in that regard. Keep up the great work!!
Pennie S., United States, 5 February 2014
Ken Ham did a wonderful job presenting the Gospel with integrity and respect. Obviously, time constraints did not allow him to answer all of Mr. Nye's questions and accusations as in depth as I would have liked so I appreciate those being addressed here. Although, Mr. Nye insinuated several times that creationists and our views are "unreasonable" and at times, came across as condescending, Mr. Ham did not sink to his level and I greatly respect and admire his composure. I am praying for Mr. Nye. He obviously has a great love for creation; what a joy it would be to see him know the Creator as well.
Robert W., United States, 5 February 2014
I believe the debate topic was too broad. I do thank Ken Ham for successfully communicated the Gospel. But I wish he would have listened to past debates from the creation bulldog, Dr. Duane Gish. Dr. Gish would only debate on 3 issues and he would always put his opponent on the defensive during the debate and continually ask for the answer to the 3 questions/issues.
Eric M., Australia, 5 February 2014
Good article. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed in Ken. Considering how many speaking engagements he's done, he appeared intimidated at times. Bill appeared way more confident throughout ( even though he used the often used machine gun tactic, throw as many points attempting to overwhelm your opponent ) I understand Bill is a tv personality so that gave him a big advantage. I'm thankful we had a forum to present creation ( most importantly the gospel ), I can't help but think Ken spent too much time talking about the ramifications of an atheist world view ( abortion, homosexuality, etc. As accurate as all that is, I think it was the wrong forum )and not enough time on the exact topic. I don't want to be overly critical, I know he had a tremendous burden to bear. I just feel so many points/opportunities were missed.
Dan G., United States, 5 February 2014
Thank you CMI for soldiering on in this arena of spiritual warfare. It is sad that so many Christians marginalize the importance of origins and worldview. I agree fully with the summary that the debate is about world views. It is also sad that Nye and his followers will be whooping an congratulating themselves and release articles and blogs on how Nye won the debate or that the debate with a creationist was beneath his dignity. Actually it did not take much for Nye to reveal the typical ugliness that comes from his side of the debate. I'm looking for posts on the internet in observation of Nye's condescension, smarminess, personal digs at Ham, and the general lack of factual rapport. Ken Ham, on the other hand, demonstrated the gentleness and respect to which the Christian is admonished when sharing the truth of Scripture. Ham also presented much more scientific substance compared to the shill for evolutionary indoctrination embodied by Nye. Watching Nye was like watching a PBS or US DEpt of Education infomercial on why our tax dollars need to be spent on capturing the hearts and minds of our children. If a Christian can't see Bill Nye and recognize the agenda, then I feel sorry for that person. Another way to summarize the debate would be to call for Christians everywhere to continue digging through the Bible AND the natural world for the whole picture and to support CMI and AIG. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and soul and MIND.
Ken Q., Canada, 5 February 2014
Thanks for getting this out so quickly. I was shouting at the TV at virtually every comment Nye made. It's nice to see this concise list of refutations of all of his points. While I'm glad this event happened because of the publicity it raised, I was sad to see there was little actual interactive point-counterpoint debate. More like two people presenting their case, but little overlap. They asked each other a lot of questions which had to go unanswered. Overall, I think Ken did a much better job of presenting the creationist position than Bill Nye did. Nye seemed to just be throwing out a lot of red herrings and attacked straw man arguments.
Peter D., United States, 5 February 2014
Nye used a method commonly used by Kent Hovind - that is presenting many, many arguments that are difficult to refute in a limited rebuttal. I think Hovind could've have answered all of the objections in the time given - he speaks very quickly. Another option would be William Lane Craig - he's an extremely efficient speaker, but Nye vs Craig is objectively unfair. There's just no way Nye would agree to such a matchup. Good for Ham for presenting the gospel. Hopefully many observed the debate doubtful of changing their minds about a terrestrial issue and ended up with a changed eternity.
Scott Gillis responds
Respectfully, why would we want an intellectually dishonest opponent of biblical creation to debate origins? See this article about William Lane Craig
. By the way, CMI employs more scientists than any other ministry we are aware of. Be assured that the answers to all these challenges can be found with a simple search at our website, creation.com
Todd B B., United States, 5 February 2014
Was wondering if there was a declared "winner" from last night? It seems each side made their argument the way the debate was designed. Maybe "winner" is subjective in this case (?) Thanks!
Scott Gillis responds
No Todd, there was no declared winner. As we mentioned in the report, debates seldom are sufficient to sway people from one view to the other. What’s most important is that believers use this increased interest in the days and weeks to come as an opportunity to proactively reach out to their family, friends, coworkers and share the truth.
Morris G., United States, 5 February 2014
I thought Ken Ham was ill prepared to present the scientific evidence supporting creation. For example, he never mentioned the vast amounts of information contained in every living cell and in DNA. Information does not arise naturally or through random chance but only from pre-existing information or intelligence. Ken should have prepared by reading the equivalent of your summary of the many scientific evidences for creation and presenting those in his major presentation. Time spent presenting Biblical, theological arguments is lost on non-believers. I pray that the debate will not have a detrimental impact on ministries such as CMI, ICR or AIG.
Donnie B., United States, 5 February 2014
Thank you for the summary of the Nye - Ham debate. I do not know many people who can grasp the science for or against creation (me included), but scripture tells us that " Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline." Proverbs 1:7. World views are (I think) the result of accepting or rejecting God. Therefore, I do not see minds being changed by debate. Romans 1:18-19. With that said, I am grateful for Creation Ministry and I enjoy reading the e-mails with scientific explanations that mirror or correlate with biblical writings. I am also grateful for Ken Ham and men and women like him. May God Bless all of you and your families. Sincerely, Donnie Bradford
Jolynn L., United States, 5 February 2014
Thank you Ken Ham and CMI for your debate. Mr. Ham did a good job of defending the creation worldview. I thought Mr. Nye used a few underhanded debate tactics but Ken didn't fall for them. First, Mr Nye consistently changed the topic of the debate from one of creationism to one of "Mr Ham's worldview." That's an attempt to isolate your opponent and put him on the defensive, a destroy-the-messenger tactic that tried to discredit Mr. Ham personally. Second, Mr. Nye carried that out further to "is Ken Ham's worldview acceptable given what we KNOW about the earth" or some similar statement. That's begging the question. The whole debate is over what we don't know. Third, in what Mr. Nye tried to disguise as graciousness, several times he referred to the "many believers who do not hold Ken Ham's view." That's a blatant attempt to get Ken to waste valuable time on Christian bashing. Thankfully Ken didn't take the bait.
Fourth, Mr Nye tried to steer the debate from one over creationism to one over evidence for or against the flood. The flood is a separate topic worthy of it's own debate. That's the way I saw it. Thank you again Mr. Ham and the staff at CMI. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You didn't fall for any of your opponent's tactics but carried your message proudly to an audience that might not otherwise hear it.
Scott Gillis responds
Thank you for your comment Jolynn. I did want to clarify one misunderstanding. Mr. Ham is not a part of this ministry, Creation Ministries International, but we are glad you found our report about the debate helpful.
Shanna C., United States, 5 February 2014
I think that the opportunity is what is to be excited about. As Creationists, or Christians/Believers, we get too caught up in our hearts desires to have others know truth, that we miss the fact that we are only supposed to present the Truth, not change others hearts or minds. That is Pneuma (Holy Spirit's) job. Sometimes our ambition for others to experience YHWH (God) the way we do can over excite us and in turn take us off track to what we are called to do, present the Word in word and action (we are all human and we all do it so no judgment). It is not up to us what the person or persons do with it, that is Pneuma's spotlight.
Sure there are things that would have been super to have been more expanded on or even the heart issue to have been addressed vs. the relentless jabber of the enemy. However, it was done according to YHWH's providence to reach the hearts of those who were softened to it. Who knows, maybe it won't have an immediate impact on some but will open up the spectrum of their hearts to pose and seek out questions to the truth, causing questionable doubt to the lies and resulting in pursuing why those gaps are there to evolution. And, who knows if this was for that one person, who in his or her future, will blow the flood gates open with such Truth that no rebuttal can be addressed. And it was all because a question to the validity of evolutionary doctrine/theory was posed during this debate:)
So yes, cover the hearts of those who had ears to hear and eyes to see as a result of this broadcast. That is right on! Blessings to you all!
Scott Gillis responds
Thanks for the comment, Shanna. Indeed, it is the Lord who saves, however, each believer is called to have a defense for our faith (1 Pt. 3:15). Our ministry is here to equip believers with the answers to the questions that their family and friends are asking regarding evolution and creation, the very issue where the Bible is being attacked more than any other.
Pat D., Australia, 5 February 2014
I understand your skepticism, and your willingness to go through the process of refuting Nye's work. However, while I respect your position, I ask that you use the same skepticism with Ham's arguments. His main thrust was that the natural laws may have been different in the past, and that makes it impossible to date the Earth. He claims that it is impossible to know if time-scaling and radiation worked in the past the same as they do now. This is a valid point, however it also opens itself up to the counter argument that it is impossible to know that it did change. There is no way to prove that the mechanical forces of nature were different in the past. Thus if you want to use that argument to disprove Nye's claims, we are also disproving ourselves. I think Nye is more than happy to acknowledge the existence of God if "positive" proof is provided, rather than simply debunking previous evidence. Even when we knew it was wrong, we could not move past the Bohr model of the atom until Schrodinger's model proved "positive" proof. While there is no "positive" proof of God (the Bible was handwritten by humans and Ham himself acknowledges that humans are fallible), we can still claim God as a valid theory as there is no way to disprove Him. That being said, science is about creating as many theories as possible while maintaining that the ones that prove the most with verifiable evidence while simultaneously explaining/predicting the most in the simplest way are the best theories. God is neither verifiable nor simple. The theory of evolution does not disprove God, if anything it is a testament to God's genius. The fact that the Earth is not the center of the Universe does not make the Earth any less special, in fact it makes it more unique. The fact that organisms change over time does not make us less human, in fact it makes our humanity that much more special. My point is that God has a place in science, but we must remember that God is not the Bible. They are related, but one is infallible while one was written by fallible hands and translated by fallible hands over thousands of years. That does not make it any less beautiful, it's poetry is still poetry (as Ham admits). But that also means that it cannot be taken verbatim.
Scott Gillis responds
Pat, thank for your comment, but if you will allow me to be frank, like Mr. Nye, you are ignorant of an accurate view of the position taken by creationists. If you would have taken the time to first inform yourself by reading all the articles linked in this report for your convenience, as well as other very basic articles on our creation.com website, you will begin to see our position. Like Nye, you have hurled a barrage of arrows, but as our vast materials attest: 1) there is evidence that indicates that some of the natural forces that we observe today have gone through periods of catastrophe in the past, 2) we have adequately addressed the history of the atom model in this article
, 3) that there truly is a difference between operational and historical science, see this article
, 4) that the Bible was written by God, through men, and is thus, His Word (and your caricature parroted from Nye's debate about the Bible being translated over thousands of years shows a major misunderstanding), and 5) to say that God used evolution and it is a testament to God's genius, is completely contrary to that very Word of God.
Robert W., Australia, 5 February 2014
Thank God we have indisputable truth in information from His Word, not surprising that all we see and sense beautifully co-ordinates with His Word. It is quite an astronomical stretch to hopelessly believe that in the beginning nothing exploded and proceeded to evolve in rhythm and vastness into this amazing universe. Father, forgive them, draw many more of them to Yourself. Amen
bernie W., Australia, 5 February 2014
After watching the debate I was really disappointed with Bill Nye. He seemed to have barely prepared for it. It was as if he was just there to "pat the dumb creationist on the head". Ken Ham on the other hand while time constraints did play a factor was well prepared (he does this for a living after all) and yes he could have presented way more information to Nye then he did. I also feel that by the end of the debate Ken seemed put off by Nye 's lack of true participation in the argument. His physical stature to me appeared as if he was just plain fed up. In the end I do feel that Ken proved that GOD'S not Ken's Creation model is viable in our society today.
Peg B., United States, 5 February 2014
Did you all spend all night getting this posted? It is awesome to see the answers so quickly here. It would have been nice to see some of these answers appear in the debate, but the referral to the website was a good substitute. Ages ago we had a twelve video set presented by AIG staff at a college. Much of that information would have been helpful to have heard presented. And also displayed at the museum.
The Bible IS the final authority, but backing it up with the scientific evidence is good "answer for the hope that is in you.". That is something I have been disappointed in during my visit to the museum- the lack of backing from extra-Biblical sources- because it IS there, and will continue to be. SHOW it. Display it. For the seekers, and for the benefit of those who can share it with others.
Scott Gillis responds
Thanks Peg. Just as a clarification, neither Mr. Ham nor the museum are associated with this ministry, Creation Ministries International. We are glad you found our report helpful.
A. T., Canada, 5 February 2014
I didn't watch the debate, they make me too nervous and I find them pointless now that I know most of the arguments. I do thank you for your detailed analysis of Bill Nye's points. In my opinion they are splendid, and I think he had coaching from some of the top scientists that specialize in anti-creationism. There was no basic teaching of the public on evolution and its evidences, but lots of hits against the weakest and least researched points in creationism. I don't know if Ken Ham was fully qualified to answer all of them or if Bill Nye was qualified to understand what his arguments were actually about. I know these points aren't the reason why people reject or accept evolution and that's why I'm not worried about our future as a science. But as an aside it does show some areas of creationism that are woefully under-researched, compared to the long-age scientists' data banks. Dendrochronology comes to mind.
Scott Gillis responds
Thanks for the comment A. T. However, it seems that not only did you not watch the debate, but you also did not read the article you are commenting on, nor the articles linked and referenced for your convenience, because they directly address the challenges laid out in the debate, as well as those you have repeated here. Give those articles a read and you see that creationism is not at all bankrupt as you are stating.
Jim J., United States, 5 February 2014
Apparently Bill Nye the Sci-Fi Guy doesn't think that young-earth creation scientist Dr. Raymond Damadian is a "real scientist" (the inventor of the medical MRI device used in all modern hospitals). If, one of these days, Nye the Sci-Fi Guy needs an MRI, will he abstain from submitting to the MRI machine, or will he be a hypocrite (and submit to its beneficial medical technology, because he knows that it is top-quality scientific equipment)? Ken Ham was a faithful witness -- may God bless him!
ramesh C., Canada, 5 February 2014
This was one of the best debate and Ken handled the debate so well maturely than Bill who was all over the place even at time going off the course to religion, etc. It was one of the best i ever watched. Ken did a great job defending the creation model.
Russell H., United States, 5 February 2014
I've been looking for an unbiased analysis of the debate (being fully aware that my own analysis can not but be biased); it was likely a pipe dream. However, you are a decent counterpoint to the blatantly pro Nye articles I have read. The problem I have with your commentary is that most, if not all, of the links you provide to counter Nye's argument are refuted by scientists. No, I'm not going to link the papers for 3 reasons. 1) This is a comment, not a research paper, 2) most people wouldn't be interested, having already decided which arguments they buy into and 3) the truly interested can find them VERY quickly. The main problem with Ham's position was that he claimed you could not accept things as fact that you can not observe, then required we accept a God you can not observe. The fact of the matter is that you CAN observe the past, through natural processes. Yep, we're going to get them wrong, sometimes. Science doesn't claim to have all the answers. But science offers a process of fact finding, peer review, and dedication to the truth that can not be matched by claiming something is true because "The Bible says so." Having read your notes on which articles have a better chance of being published, I recognize that this is not likely to make the grade. But thanks for reading it, anyway.
Gary Bates responds
Respectfully, when you say they have been refuted, that is like claiming a victory for a naturalistic or secular interpretation of the facts. In other words, you read a preferred refutation and choose to accept that interpretation of the data. You are entirely mistaken with your comment that you can observe the past through natural processes. Whether it is the current slow deposition of sediments in geology or measuring current decay rates of radio isotopes in radiometric dating methods, all you are doing is attempting to extrapolate backwards in time based upon current events. For example, one can observe current rates of erosion in the Grand Canyon. But anyone who says this process led to the canyon's formation millions of years ago is being deliberately deceitful. No one was there to see the canyon form. Unless one has a time machine to go back in the past and see such events, the best anyone can do (creationist or evolutionist) is make a hypothesis about it based upon their belief system. It is clear that you have not even bothered to read the links in the article. I suggest you do so before making ill informed comments, respectfully. Try It's not science
Rebecca P., United States, 5 February 2014
Thank you for the thorough and gracious response to last night's debate. I especially appreciated links to the research that answered Bill Nye's direct challenges.
Don S., United States, 5 February 2014
I applaud Ken Ham for his willingness to debate and his ability to answer many questions well. Still, I wish he would have used Nye's appeal to "mystery" in Nye's inability to explain the origin of matter and consciousness to demonstrate that Nye's belief in atheistic evolutionism is just that - a blind, unscientific faith. Furthermore, when Nye challenged Ham for predictions based on creation science, I wish Ham would have pointed out some of the many significant failures of evolutionary prediction - evolutionism wrongly predicted vestigial structures and junk DNA - predictions which arguably INHIBITED scientific investigation into structures and sequences of unknown function. But it's easy to be a "Monday morning quarterback" and it's hard to be the one in the spotlight - so despite these missed opportunities, I am very grateful for Mr. Ham's debate performance.
M. C., United States, 5 February 2014
"Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?" Ken Ham demonstrated that there are good scientists who believe in the Bible's literal account of creation, and he also pointed out that observational science is not the same as historical science. However, I feel that Ken Ham failed to deconstruct Darwinian evolution, and for this reason I feel that the debate did not demonstrate that Creation is viable model of origins for today's modern scientific era. Ken Ham did not answer Bill Nye's questions, he did not provide scientific evidence that contradicts the Big Bang and Darwinian evolution, he did not provide scientific evidence that supports a young earth (although, I liked Ken Ham's tree on species, how one species does not change into another), and he did not provide scientific evidence that supports a worldwide flood.
Brian F., United States, 5 February 2014
What a disappointing few days this has been. As excited as I was to see Payton and the Broncos defeat Seattle, I was even more excited to see Ken Ham crush Bill Nye the Atheist Guy. To use another sports analogy, the lobs that Nye tossed up should have been knocked out of the park, but it was mostly swing-and-miss by Ham. Ham barely touched on the evidence of a young earth besides pointing to a graphic without explaining it. He didn't defend the mindless argument of the telephone game and millions of translations that are easily defended by the fact that the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek and there are actually people today that speak those languages and are able to translate them once into another language. Also, his argument concedes a creator God even though he scoffs at God's word. Ham could have shown examples of the very things Nye offered as a falsification of his belief; but Ham lost when he not only failed to provide the most basic challenges to the fossil record, young earth scientific predictions, circular reasoning to date fossils and rock layers (not radiometric dating), by using confusing terms like "historical science" when he could have called it what it is: religion, but he lost big time when he failed to give a falsification for his own belief. He basically put up the white flag and said, "no matter what the evidence is, I will never change my belief in this book that Nye argues is unreliable". He could have given a number of conditional arguments, e.g. "if it could be demonstrated unarguably that a random mutation was able to produce a beneficial mutation arising from new information..." But no. Big blow to Christians fighting this fight. I'd rather watch the Broncos lose the super bowl again than to recommend anyone watch this debate.
Cliff N., United States, 5 February 2014
Thanks for putting together your post-debate article on the exchange between Ken Ham and Bill Nye last night. I am grateful that Ken Ham repeatedly turned the conversation towards the glory and greatness of God, and his marvelous grace given to sinful men in Jesus Christ. It is easy to see in events like last night’s that the real underlying battle is between the lies of the Devil and the truth of God. Since “science” is conducted by fallible mankind none of its tenets are going to be absolute certainties. At best, it is a partially accurate but incomplete grasp of reality. Former Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer Vannevar Bush in his 1967 book “Science is Not Enough” said, “Science proves nothing absolutely. On the most vital questions, it does not even produce evidence”. On the other hand, the word of God is absolute truth (by definition, since it is the word of God) and that word states, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God”. This makes the oppositions of atheistic evolutionists to be nothing more than insane ravings. The scripture declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”, and atheistic oppositions to the truth are nothing more than the desperate attempts of wicked men to shut out the light of the truth flooding in upon them from every quarter. The real issue last night, and at any other time, is that God is true and every man without him is a liar. Additionally, while men waste their time here in unprofitable pursuits, the time is drawing closer and closer to when the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Gary M., United States, 5 February 2014
Thank you so much for writing your article so quickly. I agree with Eric M. and Morris G.'s comments. I want to be frank. I feel you were very gracious to Ken. I would not have wanted to be in his spot of course, but I was tremendously disappointed in his representation of the scientific answers we have in the Creationist position. I finally had to stop watching. As a Bronco fan, this debate was more disappointing and hurtful than the Super Bowl! I was waiting for Ken to step up with confidence and give good, solid scientific answers to the points raised. He seemed unprepared to address the science of the matter and this debate was about science. I felt the debate was framed in such a way that put the creationist position in the dock with no light being shined on the weaknesses of the science behind evolution. Much to my chagrin I'm afraid Bill Nye came across to the general public, as believable, courteous, knowledgeable and an excited scientist. Ken probably came across (to the uninformed) way to much as a marginalised Christian crank. I having seen Ken many times before I expected so much more. This was such a wonderful opportunity missed to make real inroads into the minds and hearts of the undecided. Thank you so much for putting links to many of the answers to questions that were raised and went unanswered. Unfortunately, the press that were in attendance and the public who watched will probably never take the time or opportunity to read them.
Peter T., Canada, 5 February 2014
Overall it was a good debate. I think the Ken underestimated Bill's ability as a debater and that is why he seemed to be on the ropes a few times. I too think Ken could have answered some of Bill's questions more directly and also have challenged Bill more directly. In the end, have an answer for every person and be steadfast in what you believe.
Kenneth L., Canada, 5 February 2014
I regret to say that, as a YEC Christian, I watched the debate with sadness. Despite my respect for Ken Ham' immensely beneficial work (from which I have benefited greatly) and my affection for him, I have to say, in all honesty, that Bill Nye won the debate hands down. Why do I say that? Not because Nye had the facts on his side, which he did not. No, it was because Nye spent 90% of his time laying out scientific (albeit bad science) evidence for his long ages world view, and 10% of his time on that world view, whereas Ken Ham spent 90% of his time laying out his Biblical world view and 10% talking about the scientific evidence for YEC, hardly responding to Nye's arguments scientifically. Tragically, a golden opportunity to lay out our science and refute theirs in the public arena was lost. Evolutionists continually portray their side as being about science and our side as being about religion. If I were watching the debate without any background on either side, that is exactly the impression I would have left with. I expect the evolutionists are positively crowing today, knowing they can use this debate to reinforce that idea in the public's mind. If we want to break that ideological hold they have on much of the public, we have to do what Nye did, i.e. go on the offensive scientifically and debate them primarily on science. Otherwise they will continue to portray us as being about religion while they are about science, and that gives them the excuse to keep creation science out of science classrooms. So my message to Ken and the YEC community is: When debating evolutionists, confront them with scientific reasons to doubt long ages and evolution, and defend our science using scientific arguments. Otherwise you play into their narrative: 'science' vs 'creationism'.
Connie L., Canada, 5 February 2014
I agree that Ken "won" this debate hands down by being the ever calm, clearheaded, well-prepared Christian gentleman that he is and sticking to the point. However, Bill won the issue over the authority of Scripture when he pointed out that if you expect some of it to be authoritative then you must expect all of it to be authoritative. I am eagerly waiting for the day when one or all of the Creationist ministries moves on to the next stage of maturation. This would be recognizing that the Creator expects all of His children to trust and obey EVERYTHING that He told us in His Word. When they insist that ALL of it is still in effect for us today, the Bill Nye's of the world won't have a leg to stand on.
Michael S., Canada, 5 February 2014
A debate like this is fruitless, and one could argue, creation ministries are not even needed. Jesus said to make disciples and Paul said not to have silly, fruitless arguments about words or any other topic that does not involve Christ crucified. You are not going to convert anyone by arguing that creationism is viable because it is the darkness of their soul and their desire to stay in the darkness that prevents them from hearing the gospel. Talking about species, the ark, birds and bees, and such is probably just about the creationist not wanting to appear silly before a scientific world. What if that is exactly what God wanted us to look like? After all, how do you really explain a supernova that is millions of light years away anyway? The only explanation is that God must be putting on a show to confuse the issue.
The atheist also, is not going to be drawn towards a "God" answer in a science debate anyways, as is it not even science to them. So, other than this being an exercise in pride on both sides, what is the point of the argument/debate or even of "Creation" ministries?
Gary Bates responds
Hmmm! What is fruitless is having people post public comments on websites like ours, make hurling accusations based on ignorance, non reality or years of practical experience (like CMI has). If you had been exposed to this debate for any time, or received our newsletters you would understand that evolution is a major stumbling block to people believing the Bible and how people have
been saved by getting answers in this area. For example, you raise an old canard about distant starlight that has been answered time and again. See this article for starters How can distant starlight reach us in just 6,000 years
. The fact you would raise such a question on a site like this that has answers displays an incredible amount of naivety, for all to see. I think you could do yourself a favour by becoming more informed.
Paul A., United States, 5 February 2014
I noticed Bill Nye's attempt to use arguments from the Scopes Trial when he questioned Ham's interpretation of the Bible. Since Nye readily admits that he isn't a Biblical scholar, he seems unqualified to debate this issue in detail. Anyone who has objectively read the Bible knows that the Bible uses many parables to make concepts more understandable, but not to be taken literally. However, creation is not told in the form of a parable. Ken Ham responded to this briefly, but if he had more time he could have given a more convincing argument. Ultimately, I think Ken Ham's arguments were far more convincing that those of William Jennings Bryan.
Teddy M., New Zealand, 5 February 2014
This wasn't a debate; could have been but wasn't. Two conflicting philosophies were presented on the same stage on the same night. The notion that Ken Ham, or any of us really, should respond "with gentleness and respect" when discussing this topic takes 1 Peter 3:15 out of context; especially in this case given the context and nature of this event. Why not look at how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees when they challenged him in public? On the one hand, Jesus treated them with respect, as He did all people. But He was just as willing to publicly vilify them as sons of Satan. Let's be reminded that the relationship between the Pharisees and Jesus often called for a verbal cuff because they were misleading the people and were perpetually trying to trick Jesus into saying something to discredit Himself. Jesus never let the Pharisees get the upper hand when they challenged Him in public. He only submitted to the evil of some of them, not all, when it was His time and then under the cloak of darkness. I am not suggesting that Ken Ham should have attacked Bill Nye the moment he walked on the stage; just when Nye presented the easily anticipated evolutionist misinformation with the smug know-it-all attitude Nye is known for. (Ya think maybe that's why he agreed to appear?!) Ham could have delivered a sharp rebuttal based on scientific evidence. No one would have cried foul. That didn't happen. Which then begs the question, what was the purpose of hosting this event if both sides were left with the same opinion of the other after it was over? With the exception that Nye can laugh at Dawkins, et al, for being a bunch of pollyannas.
Jim B., United States, 5 February 2014
I thought the debate was well presented and the moderator did an excellent job for the time allowed by each presenter. I would like to see a debate on details of creation and evolution to answer particulars of science and or Biblical each presented. Mr Nye repeatedly mentioned the Bible as a document that has (in my words) had throughout history somehow been changed. I wish Mr Ham would of spent some time on the history of the Bible and how we have what we have today, the Word of God given to man as directed by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for hosting this debate.
Joseph M., United Kingdom, 5 February 2014
This debate was always going to be a win for creation, not necessarily a win for Ken Ham. This is because evolutionists such as Bill Nye was going to pull out their best questions against Ken Ham and creation. Their best attack questions has been exposed now and these questions have all been answered by creationist organisations. This webpage is an example of the answers. But the best questions that creation poses to the alternative view namely, evolution has not been answered such as functionality in the cell, information in the cell, origin of life, dinosaur DNA, etc. Creationist organizations have an opportunity to push harder in the public space now using answers to the questions posed in this media debate and using those media orientated answers as a tool in neutralizing the media. I thank CMI for being on the frontline and defending the faith.
Robert M., United States, 5 February 2014
Too little time, too little time; but an opening. The debate spurs interest and it is the 'conversation' that will really show the Truth. The evolutionists continually try to close out Creationists from speaking out, denying access and opportunity to show the science behind the Creationist interpretation. As with our Faith we need to be ready with an answer in this arena as well.
Anna J., United States, 5 February 2014
On point #5 you forgot to mention the fossilized tree trunks punching through many layers in the Grand Canyon... although you are offering three pictures of it. (By the way, that was the exact same example I thought of the moment Nye first mentioned the fossil layers!)
Steve K., Canada, 5 February 2014
I have yet to watch the whole debate, but seriously folks, let's get real, do you expect a creationist to admit that an evolutionist won the debate? Likewise, will an evolutionist admit that a creationist won the debate? Who is fooling who? Come on now...perhaps the man on the Moon can decide. In this whole issue, one man's proof is another man's disproof. Both sides of the debate will walk away vindicated and proclaim themselves the victor. End of story.
Scott Gillis responds
Hi Steve. Thanks for writing in. We certainly have not implied that either party "won" the debate, and I doubt either party is directly making that claim. We were merely reporting our observations and giving people answers to some of the challenges proposed. Ultimately, it's not about who "wins", but what the ultimate truth is.
Phoebe A., United Kingdom, 5 February 2014
A poll in Christian Today of, I would assume, Christians, showed 92% felt Nye had won. I would be in that number. Bill Nye said there was no conflict between religion and science. Many Christians, agnostics and atheists also see no conflict between evolution and belief. I know you publish many articles to the contrary but I am never convinced by them. I think Bill Nye did Christianity a huge favour by opening the minds of creationists to perhaps a more wonderfully inspiring creation worthy of our God.
Gary Bates responds
Actually most of our articles merely support the authority of the Bible. If you continue to believe in evolution and millions of years then it is really God's Word that you are not convinced of. With great respect to your position, would you mind just reading Did God create over billions of years?
and What is your authority?
Choong L., United States, 5 February 2014
I agree with Mr. Nye on one of his last comments. "Keep science in the classroom." Therefore, we should get rid of the false religion of evolutionism from our classrooms!
Joel C., United States, 5 February 2014
Thank you for an excellent report on the debate! I was unable to watch it because I work nights, but I had high hopes that many people would be exposed to the evidences for creation. Dr. Ham is admirable in his ministry, but I would have been excited to see Dr. Sarfati or another of your ministry's scientists in such a debate.
Chris H., Australia, 5 February 2014
Thanks guys for posting such a swift response to the debate. I haven't watched all 2-3 hours of it yet; however at several points I found I was able to think through Nye's arguments and address them, thanks to CMI's faithful ministry. As you say, the real rubber hits the road now as we go to our various spheres of influence and discuss the issues raised in the debate. May God bless all our efforts to defend the Gospel.
Carl W., New Zealand, 5 February 2014
Thank you for the summary of the debate and for giving answers to Mr Nyes attacks on the creationist view point. For me it was a bit disappointing. I've seen Ken speak 20 years ago and know he can refute many of the evolutionists arguments. But I very frustrated that very little of what Mr Nye attacked with was not answered since I know most of the answers myself to his attacks.... when he mentioned ice core samples as evidence I nearly laughed, knowing Ken would have a field day, but he only gave an answer of a plane found buried under the ice, this only makes sense if you know when the plane was buried and what the core ring dates where. (ice rings are not seasonal markers but can happen with any change in temperature even daily.) Pretty much any person who has done some study and read articles could have refutted Mr Nyes arguments. Ken's explanation of the Biblical world view was good, hopefully the message will bear fruit. Having 5 mins to respond to a 30 minute speech seems pointless. I hope there can be more debates in the future, because I know the evidence supports the creationist world view far more than the evolutionists. But you need to change the respond time significantly to allow the evidence to come out.
Kayne H., Canada, 5 February 2014
This article is a cheap shot, rebutting things that Bill cannot rebut in the future. Any self-respecting creationist would ignore this article. I find it sad that this article was written in the first place. I'm also waiting for that fossil that just swam up. Find it, and you will disprove evolution forever.
Gary Bates responds
Thanks for the further ad hominem rhetoric that doesn't deal with all the actual detail, facts or any of the wealth of information actually contained in the article. And just who was it taking cheap shots again? Thanks for letting everyone see the vacuousness of your arguments. :)
Lucas P., Australia, 5 February 2014
I believe the debate, and especially the responses to the debate, did an excellent job of showing the massive divide that exists between those who identify themselves evidentialists and presuppositionalists. For Mr. Nye, the fundamental issues, the core of the debate, rests upon a "reasonable" interpretation of the evidence. He wishes for a "neutral" position. For Mr Ham, the arbiter of truth is the Bible. To quote RC Sproul Jr. "Creationism isn't true because their science is better. Their science is better because it is true." The fundamental issues then, have not to do with interpretation of evidence, but to do with the presupositional axioms one starts with. It is telling that most of those Christian's who complain about Mr. Ham defending the creationist position do so because they did not like the fact that the Bible was his authority. They wanted him to answer the facile shotgun type debating method that Mr. Nye used, instead of cutting to the heart of the issue and pointing out how the non Christian world view can justify no science.
There are some legitimate areas where Mr. Ham could have done better, but those lie more with his debate experience than anything else. The same could be said of Mr. Nye a thousand times over. His continual reference to "Kentucky" and "Bible as translated into American English" (which only puts his knowledge of textual criticism on par with the average KJV onlyist), as well as his continual reference to "[us] on the outside" was laughable.
Steve S., United States, 5 February 2014
Ken DID display a long list of proofs for a young earth anyone can review, Ken DID reference several Creation Scientists, Ken DID state how modern science began with its forefathers who were creationists and Christians and thus had reasons to pursue their immense scientific discoveries, Ken DID reference [deleted per feedback rules re: linking to outside sites] more than once where many scientific articles from Creation Scientists can successfully answer challenges, Ken DID keep from getting bogged down in having to explain and thus argue things like one skull or fragment from another (part of the evolutionary dump trick to sidetrack), Ken DID essentially all that it was said he did not do within the confines of the debate, and most importantly, Ken DID say that those who truly seek God will find Him which will certainly include the evidence of His eternal power and divine nature clearly seen in what has been made. Romans 1. God bless you, Ken. You did an excellent and wise job.
Michael R., United States, 5 February 2014
God bless Ken Ham for taking this on. There are many who would not do it. He is a warrior in God's army, and we need more like him. I just didn't understand why he left so very much of the argument left unspoken. He could have easily, and should have (my opinion, of course) put evolution on the defense. We all know when it's dissected, evolution just can't sustain scrutiny. But the average person is never exposed to any such scrutiny. It seems like a golden opportunity was lost. When it was over, I couldn't help but think to myself that I would love to see this debate again with Jonathan Sarfati or Rob Carter standing on the other side of the stage. Nevertheless, God bless Ken, and all of those involved creation science/apologetics. My prayers go out to you all!
Callum H., Australia, 5 February 2014
It's a shame that I wasn't able to see the debate myself, but from the sound of it I didn't miss much. Nye's movements and arguments clearly indicated that he didn't take any meaningful time to prepare for the match. He didn't analyse and research his opponent's capabilities and position beforehand; nor did he prime and evaluate his own weaponry, preferring to throw out as many arguments as he could so that Ham would be overwhelmed during the (disproportionately short) rebuttal period. Unfortunately, while Ham gave a valiant attempt at defence, his offensive capabilities were obviously lacking and were far too passive to be effective. Although given Nye's dismissive attitude, even if Ham had dished out multiple fatal hits to the broadside the 'Science Guy' would've continued to ignore it even as his head went under. I honestly can't say why more of these Militant Atheists and Anti-Theists don't openly engage Creationists like you lot head on, if they are so assured of their position of being right then they have nothing to fear. As Sun Tzu said: " If fighting is sure to result in victory then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it." Unless of course they actually realise that there is a high probability of defeat, if which case avoiding open combat would be the wisest choice.
Rhonda S., United States, 5 February 2014
We watched the debate at our church....if I wasn't a strong Christian....I would of been swayed by Bill Nye....he was down to the average persons level ..like common sense tatics he was using...Ken Ham was way to in depth ....way technical...like over the average persons head kind of
Hugh W., Canada, 5 February 2014
I appreciate the posting of CMI comments. It was interesting. As to whether the debate was fruitful or fruitless, I'm not going to comment on. Even if one soul was to come to the knowledge of sins forgiven and obtain eternal life, all praise & glory be to God. The value of one soul (saved) is worth more than all the world. First, I want to quote Heb 11:1,3 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Nye goes by what he sees not by faith. Ham goes by faith. The second point I make is that the bible is not a scientific book. The bible is all about God and Christ. Moses in Deuteronomy 29:29 says "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law (word of God)." The third point I want to make is, 1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Nye will never understand creation as taught in the Holy Scriptures because he doesn't have the Holy Spirit of God within him. He doesn't know Christ. The same goes for the gospel, 2 Corinthians 4:3 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (spiritually lost - Ephesians 2:1). I'm not a scientist nor an engineer. I'm just a retiree who knows Christ as my Saviour. I have always found it safe to stick to quoting the scriptures. God's Word can say more than I could ever say. Sometimes I wonder if these debates is like shoveling fog. Just my opinion. God bless.
Gary Bates responds
While the value of debates is questionable in getting meaningful information conveyed, we have to disagree that one should disengage from the debate and use the Scriptures alone. Our experience of over 35 years reveals the opposite. I suggest you read the article Caged Lions
. The Scriptures actually tell us to love God with all our heart, soul and MIND
Marilyn K., Canada, 5 February 2014
First of all, I find Creation Magazine to be very helpful and a great tool in defending The Biblical account of creation. Thank you for this summary as well. Please answer this question. I know people have most likely been praying for this debate, but to your knowledge was there concentrated specific prayer going up for Ken during this time? We do not fight against flesh and blood but against evil powers who rule this dark world and I think we should have had more communication about a concentrated prayer effort. I really am convinced the battle can only be won through prayer, but we need to do it.
Gary Bates responds
We do not usually answer questions in the comments system as there is a specific section of our site for that. However, I am sure that lots of Christians were mobilized in prayer. But if AiG organized something then you would have to find out from them. I can say that our office was praying for Ken.
dean R., Australia, 5 February 2014
Its a pity its been set up as religion vs science in the sense that secular scientists also reject the evolutionary narrative....didn't they make a full page statement or something like that.
Jeanne S., United States, 5 February 2014
I will be honest that there were so many facts thrown out there in over 2 hours that I had a major headache listening to it all. Bill Nye spoke hardly of anything but animals. There is more to God's creation than animals. I was satisfied with Ken Ham although felt so much more could have been said with too little time. I have listened to many creationists and my favorite by far is Kent Hovind. The way he speaks and presents his case he can clearly make you see the point he is trying to make. Ken Ham seemed slow to answer. Thank you for posting information on the debate now that I no longer have a headache from too much information.
Carolyn T., Australia, 5 February 2014
Last night during the debate, I kept remembering articles by CMI that refuted Bill Nye's arguments. I even commented on Facebook first thing this morning that friends should check your website for articles concerning claims Nye made. I have shared this email on Facebook as well. The links will be very helpful.
Ron V., Canada, 5 February 2014
One expects a lot to be written on both sides as an aftermath to this debate. Thanks for your assessment. You mentioned “if Nye had been more acquainted with creationist literature, he would have known that we have long had explanations for each of these”. I am not sure that is helpful even if they do know; take, for example, the evolutionists’ continuing recourse to Haeckel’s diagram’s and gill slits in the textbooks. His talk was revealing in terms of the type of arguments the evolutionists will drag out for their case. Too bad Ken Ham had not responded to Nye’s request for examples of fossils mixed between layers. Nye seemed to present this as his definitive argument and suggested that that any counter-evidence would provide a knockout punch to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. A lot was covered. I found Ken Ham made a strong case to dismiss Nye’s argument that you can’t be a good scientist if a creationist, which, of course, Nye ignored. I thought Ken missed an opportunity when Nye made a reference to CSI when responding to Ken’s presentation on the difference between operational and historical science. CSI is trying to reconstruct the past and places a lot of weight on the testimony of witnesses. Ken could also have emphasized the unfairness where only one side is allowed to present its case. I appreciate that Ken Ham shared the Gospel. Nye mocked the Bible and those who believe in a book written thousands of years ago and, in his view, has been translated and mistranslated over time. I recall him saying something like if the early parts of the Bible are shown to be untrustworthy through ‘science’, the same would also apply to the latter parts. Something those who try to compromise the Bible with fallible man’s evolutionary theory should seriously consider!
Tim G., United States, 5 February 2014
From my notes Nye offered 14 points, Ham countered 7 (50% ratio). Ham offered 8 points, Nye responded to 2 (25%). Beyond that Ham addressed Nye's main point of needing scientists to believe in evolution, Nye ignored his challenge. Nye barely addressed Ken's main point: observational vs. historical science. He mentioned CSI. Yes, they use forensics to recreate the past. He failed to mention that many times an eye witness steps up and the evidence has to be reinterpreted. Due to the 50% answer ratio for Ham vs. Nye's 25%, and Ham accurately addressing Nye's main issue and Nye ignoring his - I have to hand the debate to Ken Ham - whether you agree with his philosophies or not.
Jon S., Australia, 5 February 2014
I agree with this article. This debate clearly isn't about science. Science is about making falsifiable claims, and since Ken clearly doesn't believe the biblical account of creation is falsifiable, calling his view scientific is extremely misleading.
Errol B., Australia, 5 February 2014
Wow, it’s great to see so many interested in this debate. Nye’s continual reference to ‘Ham’s Creation Model’ was clever but misrepresentative. In reference to the ‘ape to human skulls’ + verifiable predictions like Tiktaalik & big bang’s CMB- show the religious ‘atheistic’ nature of evolution. I.e. these predictions are neither ‘specific’ nor ‘exclusive’ even if we restrict all allowable explanations to atheistic explanations, regardless of the data. I was surprised Ham didn’t pull Nye up on these, particularly with CMB radiation. Real science demands predictions have a limit in regards to their exclusiveness & specificity (didn’t Gamow predict a lumpy 5 degrees K then change it to 50 degrees K); also Dawkins defines ‘evolution’ simply as change in gene frequency. How can such vague predictions & definitions claim to be exact, or be seen as scientific? Didn’t creationist Dr Humphreys make ‘specific’ predictions regarding helium diffusion in zircons + magnetic fields of gas giants? I would love to see prominent atheists debate CMI & the likes of Dr Sarfati. I suspect that will never happen except in a responsive (& probably expensive) media debate / presentation- originated by creationists. This may force their hand. Imagine primetime television programming ‘’Evolution’s Achilles’ Heel’ straight after a David Attenborough documentary. Funny how Dawkins incites crowds to publically mock Christians [links deleted per feedback rules] particularly in regards to claims about the origin of the universe, demanding we substantiate such claims... but he won’t tolerate Christians who defend their beliefs in a 2 way debate, huh???
Marie T., United States, 5 February 2014
If it is the view of many that Ham did not win the "debate," because he spent more time on the Christian worldview than on science, then maybe it is the Lord's view that Ham won/led "souls" to Christ for that exact reason... he used his time in front of a world audience to lift up the Name of Jesus and to share the Gospel in a loving and respectful way. At the end of the day, this is not about persuasive scientific presentations but about souls. I have heard many ministers say that during those sermons when they felt like they had totally bombed out, is when the Lord moved in the greatest way. The ones who needed to hear the Christian worldview heard it, and that outweighs any human estimation about who did or did not win a debate. Who knows what the Lord Jesus Christ is doing behind the scenes even right now because of Ham’s willingness to share his faith and be humble—grace under fire. A wise man wins souls, and at the heart of this issue is souls. Way to go, Ham!
Keith C., United States, 5 February 2014
I do share the same world view as you do however I don't agree that we can convert others to the truth by arguing and having the I told you so attitude for that will only drive them away. For example I was able to talk about this topic on creation vs. evolution this last week or so at English class when we did our "American Dream" project and speeches. I had a couple students who were interested in the subject after the talk and we had some friendly conversation about it. But that was only because I was going from a more neutral ground looking at both sides and discussing the differences between the two and discussing the evidences for and against both sides this is how we should do it. It is not about who's right but about winning souls when Christ had talked with the pharisees while visiting Jerusalem during his twelfth birthday he conversed with them as a student rather than a teacher asking questions and answering questions that is how he was able to "amaze" them with his knowledge. Any other way will only drive other people away from the truth and cause them to harden their hearts against it.
Gary Bates responds
I'm not sure where you read we should advocate arguing in the article (actually it's not there). The Bible tells us to be prepared to give a defense for what we believe. That's what apologetics is. We always try to win people over by answering their questions. The Scriptures also tell us to demolish arguments that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Victor B., Australia, 5 February 2014
Many Thanks CMI - for filling in the blanks that listeners to the debate may be left pondering with. Indeed Bill Nye presented some arguments that 1) have all been addressed before by Creationists and on the CMI website. 2) There was not enough time for Ken Ham to respond to all of Bill Nye's questions BUT I assume the attendees physically there would have more information available through the Creation Museum, the Answers in Genesis website and of course by checking the Creation Ministries International website as well. In my humble opinion - I applaud Ken Ham for his unequivocal stand on the authority of scripture, his clear defining of the different scopes of Science (Historical vs Observational) and importantly how differing worldviews affect the way Historical Science is conducted.
Rich R., United States, 5 February 2014
Wait..Mr. Ham says there was no death before sin..yet God killed an animal to provide clothing to his human creation?
I know it's more philosophical but..since Ham veered into that terrain, would have been great to hear Ham respond to why an all knowing God created man with no fur and had to introduce murder to procure a pelt for his intelligently designed ultimate Earthly being. Or why a loving God created sinners needing flooding, scattering and the killing of his son..with yet still a final solution looming? That from "intelligent design"?
Gary Bates responds
Usual uninformed elephant hurling that shows someone has never actually bothered to carefully take the time to understand what the Bible says or what Christians actually believe. Yet, you came to a site with over 9,000 articles just to remain uninformed and post an ignorant comment for all to see. We also have a search engine that could point you to answers if you are really interested (are you?) Try reading this article about The Fall.
David ., United States, 5 February 2014
Ken Ham won the war and lost the debate. Ken Started strong - finished weak. Bill N started weak finished strong. Ken's big strategic mistake - he won the toss and went 1st - hence giving Bill N the last word in a 2 hr + debate....bad move. Weak point for Bill N was the Tiktaalik reference but Ken didn't answer it!! AIG [and the CMI site] has many articles on that already posted - it is a debunked idea and Ken Let him get away with it. Ken seemed inflexible - the opening statement - good. The original 30 minute presentation - good - but the rebuttal was weak - he stuck to a canned presentation and did not go after Bill's points with force. Last comment - Ken did not stress strong enough that the "we will fall behind" ideas is debunked and proved wrong by the Creation Scientist - he showed some of them - but did Not Use them Properly or strongly enough. Sorry - that's how I saw it.
Pastor Brian S., United States, 5 February 2014
I watched the entire debate last night with one resonating observation. At least on two occasions MR. Nye said that what excited him most was discovery. In fact, at the end the discovery that he referenced, included the potential to find fossils in one's own back yard. It seems to be a pretty meager existence and mundane discovery, to find such "scientific" evidence far more exhilarating; than discovering a real and active God. You would think, as Mr. Ham alluded to several times. that the discovery of an intelligent God of design, who makes understanding scientific principles and laws possible, A God who loves men so much that he spared no expense to be united with them in eternity future, would be far more significant and fascinating. It is too bad that there are so many who earnestly try to explain away possibility of God. The fact of the matter is that evolutionists are snared by their own trap. Their claim that creationist have a closed mind to the possibilities of science. Yet, in their so called open minded search for truth and evidence, they fail to see the possibilities of a magnificent God.
Jeffrey S., Canada, 5 February 2014
Keep up the great work!
Manuel T., United States, 5 February 2014
It's not about "facts", it's about a clash of worldviews. It's about underlying presuppostions that determine what one will allow as "facts". To debate a materialistic atheist, attempting to use his worldview to demonstrate the truth claims of christianity, is folly indeed. Prov. 26:4 "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him." Instead, Scripture tells us EXACTLY what one must do: Prov. 26:5 "Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes." One must assume the worldview of the fool (the Atheist), and demonstrate that his worldview reduces to absurdity. For science to even be possible, one must presuppose the uniformity of nature. But, under an atheistic worldview, what justification is given for this uniformity? Without this uniformity of nature, we could not use the laws of induction. For one would have no valid reason to suppose that any event would happen again under the exact same circumstances. Without the ability for induction, science is not even possible. For an atheist to respond, "We don't need to posit a God, to assume the uniformity of nature. We can rely on probability, for since we have observed this phenomena before in similar circumstances, then it will probably happen again." What has the atheist done? He has begged the question! One cannot assume that "probably" something will happen because it has happened before, for the very issue is that one CANNOT assume that past events will be like future events! Under a Christian worldview, a sovereign God of order created the universe, and the uniformity of the universe is reflective of God's nature. But under an atheistic worldview, such order is not justified! Nye is Borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to do his science.
Terry D., Canada, 5 February 2014
I missed the debate but found the reference to it online and came here to see what had transpired - hoping for a 'point-counter-point' analysis on the big questions. It appears that many points were made but the 'counter-points' were either missed or glossed over at the time, being substituted for here by 'creationists have covered that' references. Evolutionists likewise dismiss creationist counters (as with thermodynamics) by saying that they have answered that one and move on to other topics. It's some of the crucial counter-point arguments that I had hoped were thrashed out, head-to-head, since that is where the undecided observer can guage the probity and the depth of the case being made. It seems only that two very familiar and capable presenters, presented some very familiar arguments for 'their side'. Too bad, really, because science has no 'sides'.To expect to hear of resolution in these matters is less than realistic, I guess. To expect a committed evolutionist to say 'uncle', less so.
Aaron F., United States, 5 February 2014
A few things went wrong for Ken Ham. The first was agreeing to debate not just too broad topic, but a defensive topic. "Is Creation a Viable Model etc"...this puts you on defense as a premise. How about a topic like...."Is evolution really a fact"? That would have turned out much different I think. The stage was set for Nye to simply launch a massive barrage at Ham in a format where he had no time to defend himself, much less mount an offense in the process. Candidly, on top of this, Ham did not seem well suited or prepared for this type of format where quick thinking on your feet is the name of the game. I believe the movement sustained some damage. Personally, I have had to do some damage control with individuals I had been witnessing to who watched the debate because Nye was so dominant. To those of us that know the answers to Nye's challenges, we see through them. But to the unbeliever, Nye appeared to be the reasonable one, and Ham the irrational one. This was a tough one.
S. Y., United States, 5 February 2014
A very timely and welcome article! My science students have been studying this issue of "young earth and fossils" and "creation or evolution" for the past 4 weeks, and so we knew many of the "points" that could have been made during the debate by Mr. Ham, but he did not mention. Our knowledge base has been greatly enhanced by the CMI website, and we have benefitted immensely from the articles and research that you present on this website. We look forward with anticipation to discussing the debate in class, and using the points made in your article for discussion. The debate was a "real-life" application of what they have learned. This has been the most fascinating unit my students and I have studied yet this year, and I owe much credit to CMI for publishing the Truth about creationism and evolution.
Rich R., United States, 5 February 2014
An intelligent designer who repeatedly has to reboot his design? Some links here are pretty interesting. http://creation.com/why-death-suffering "death is an intruder into the world, not the way God originally made it. The New Testament calls death “the last enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26) and “the wages of sin” (Romans 6:23). Thus the Bible is consistent throughout in linking death to sin. Indeed, God apparently directly caused the first death in the world—an animal was slain to make clothing for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). As a result of God’s judgment on the world, God has given us a taste of life without Him—a world that is running down—a world full of death and suffering."
Anonymous, Canada, 5 February 2014
I was a little disappointed in Ken's answers to Bill's questions and comments. I think he was trying to to avoid attacking him or really "beating" him (maybe in hopes of having further debates?) After all, if you really trounce the other guy then they (the evolutionists) don't want to debate any more. I think he was also using this as a platform to present the gospel. It really did seem that Bill was talking about "so called" science topics and rather than responding to the points he raised Ken was talking theology. Just my two bits worth. Please don't use my name or initials.
John M., Canada, 6 February 2014
Great review and articles referenced! Your answers to some of the subsequent comments here are also very appropriate and enjoyable. I wish I had had CMI as a resource back in high school and university but the internet had not been intelligently designed yet. (Notice I didn't say evolved;) Jonathan Sarfati would have left the Nye guy speechless, but alas, for there do not seem to be any believers in evolution who are willing to have an open forum with such a strong scientist. I pray that the work at CMI will continue with the fervor that you display. I believe the apostle Paul would have endorsed CMI and likely would also have participated in your annual superconference!
Cameron M., Australia, 6 February 2014
For me, while neither of the participants "won", nor could one easily say which one won (or even could have one). I see that out of this Creationism is the winner. Why? As it brings it to the fore of everyone's knowledge. Twitter went off. Imgur has gone nuts with it. Sadly 90%+ are very much anti-religious in commentary, even a few Christians that are all for billions of years (as covered here:http://creation.com/do-i-have-to-believe-in-a-literal-creation-to-be-a-christian). Even the major newspapers are incredibly biased. Many of my own comments to the Herald Sun's article were moderated out. Why? Most likely because I was attempting to post material contrary to Nye's, and other commentators', beliefs. Examples being fossils and that bats, cats, dolphins etc have always been just that and the disappearing quote as is pointed out here: http://creation.com/dinosaur-soft-tissue. But even if out of the 3 million plus viewers that 1% were so convicted to look into Creationism, then I'd say that's a decent 'win'.
Darryle & Kimberly B., United States, 6 February 2014
Thank you, CMI, for the continually outstanding work you do in this field. The above analysis is tremendously detailed and will no doubt prove enlightening to all those who sincerely seek greater revelation of our Creator God through deeper understanding of His awesome works. It is imperative that organizations such as AiG and CMI continue to lift their voices high amidst the din of secular humanism in helping us, as parents, to convey a truthful Biblical worldview to the next generation. Please keep up the good work in bringing "science" full circle to where it rightfully belongs -- in the forefront as All Truth! We sincerely thank you for honoring God in all that you do.
Wildee R., Philippines, 6 February 2014
That debate was won long before Mr. Ham stepped into that auditorium. We can all play armchair analysts to “what ought to be” or “what should have been” all day, but as far as the Gospel is concerned, that Christian objective was given a hearing far and wide and that is all there is to it. Moreover, the run up to the debate and the aftermath definitely gave audiences an opportunity to learn that, whether one accepts it or not, biblical objections do have answers. There is definitely a book for that (and sites like this one and many others) and the Bible for those “that’s a mystery” questions. One only need give the answers reasonable consideration and an unhardened heart. After Mr. Ham spoke, all I saw in that debate was a Christian contending with a clueless opponent. It was like watching a caged match with one fighter winning with both hands tied behind his back.
Lachlan R., Australia, 6 February 2014
Do any of these evolutionists ever get acquainted with creationist literature?
Scott Gillis responds
Take heart, they do. However, it is not so much in the public arena this happens, but when believers, equipped with a defense for their faith are proactively sharing the truth.
Ralph T., Australia, 6 February 2014
Actually, there are plenty of other successful predictions by creationary scientists. They predicted 'junk DNA' would be useful - now confirmed. Also 'vestigal' organs have a functioned - confirmed. Evolutionists were on the wrong side of these predictions, and also predicted that wheels and magnetic devices couldn't be in living things since they couldn't evolve - they were wrong! (though they were correct about Not being able to evolve). I could go on and on........
Kathern W., United States, 6 February 2014
GOD forgives all!
Scott Gillis responds
Thanks Kathern. I think I know what you are trying to say, but we would need to add that only through God's grace through faith and the sacrifice of His Son can sins be forgiven.
Bobby D., United States, 6 February 2014
I really admire and respect mr. Ken Ham. hes a great speaker and motivator. as the debate went as someone else has mentioned this already, the 1st mistake Ken did was choose to go 1st. 2nd, Nye threw so many things on Ken at one time Ken didn't really have the time to counter back on all of them. I wouldn't say that Ken was intimidated or anything like that, but it seemed to have him searching/trying to figure out which to answer 1st. to me Nye bettered on the 30 minute sections only because of this. it was almost a draw to me on the 5 minute rebuttals. I really think Ken done a lot better on the question and answer portion of it. Ken did a great job as being polite thru out this debate. I cant say so for Nye. he showed a lot of arrogance as he stood there smirking and making some weired faces as Ken was talking. condescending is a way of putting it. I just wished that each debater could have had a couple of chosen experts to help field some of the questions. I believe Ken still done a good job. he just didn't enough time to answer every question that was thrown at him. I do hope he'll have another chance with Nye. GOD bless you Ken Ham.
Loretta T., United States, 6 February 2014
I felt the primary question of the debate focused on whether or not creation science is credible, thereby putting the creationist on the defensive from the start. Strange premise with which to start. Debate coaching would have helped. Mr Ham is very good at what he does, however, debating is obviously not his expertise. Mr Nye used wily, deceptive tactics, repeating certain ideas, like "Mr Ham does not agree with natural law" or some such malarky, even after Mr Ham clearly stated he did. This is a trick of a liar, below the belt. An experienced and skilled debater would have tools to take that apart. I believe it would be beneficial to follow up this debate with ones pairing evolutionist cosmologist vs creationist cosmologist, ditto for biologist, geologist, geneticist, etc. to really get to the meat of this issue.
Colin L., Canada, 6 February 2014
I think Ken Ham did a very good job. One thing he might have done a bit better was answer more precisely what predictions creation makes for science. 1. The Bible predicts creation out of nothing - as at least the Big Bang in principel. --evolution did not allow this for years. 2. The bible predicts catastrophism on the earth =-- evolution did not allow this for years. 2. The Bible predicts the gaps in the fossil record. It took evolutionists until 1970 to recognize this.
Scott Gillis responds
Thanks for the comment Colin. I would caution using the "Big Bang in principal" idea. Take a look this
, and you will find a section about problems with the Big Bang Theory. Thanks.
Blair S., Australia, 6 February 2014
What if Bill is onto something, and that maybe evolution is how God created life. Maybe the bible could be a metaphor and we are now learning the extent of what God can do and how his power manifests? What if everything being created in 6 days, are measurements not of our days, but in a span of a day to God which could span eons or fractions of seconds. Of which case to us it could seam billions of years, but to God be only a day? I can see the benefits of discovering how God 's power manifests to help us appreciate the greatness of his creations. Let me know what you think?
Scott Gillis responds
Hi Blair. Certainly, this idea has been raised before, but it is not at all possible to reconcile the ideas that you and Mr. Nye are suggesting with God's Word, the Bible. The articles embedded in this report state this clearly, but since your comments indicate that you have not been exposed to an accurate representation of the creationist position, I suggest you start with this article
. After that, please go to creation.com and click on the topics button. There you will find thousands of articles that you will find compelling.
B. L., Australia, 6 February 2014
Eileen T., United Kingdom, 6 February 2014
I suspect that 'proud' militant atheists won't debate creationists simply because they are afraid they will influence the general public into thinking that maybe there is an intelligent alternative to evolution. Unfortunately theistic evolutionists are becoming more aggrressive towards creationists too. A few days ago I wrote a post on my Blog (url removed per feedback rules) to publicise the Creation Evangelism cause. God bless CMI.
Kenneth L., Canada, 6 February 2014
Response to Marie T's comment: I have to agree with you. Watching the debate, I was extremely frustrated and downcast that Ken Ham did not present a global scientific case for YEC in his opening comments as the debate topic called for. I knew that Nye and the evolutionists around the world would just love to have a debate in which Nye would talk about science and Ken Ham would just focus on religion, in order to buttress their narrative of 'evolution' vs 'creationism' and 'science' vs 'religion' that propels their drive to exclude teaching of creation science from science classrooms, so watching that happen was very frustrating and downright irritating for me as a YEC Christian. Especially since I imagined scores of viewers being impressed by Nye's presentation and not being very impressed with Ken Ham's (I have to say it in all honesty) weak response on a scientific level (the only response I was really impressed with was his mention of wood in coal). And yet, I am aware that God has his own plan working out and could surely have arranged for Ken to make the scientific case for YEC more than he did. So I do have to wonder why that didn't happen. I have to conclude that you are right, that the Lord had something in mind other than Ken winning the debate in a conventional sense, and that would seem to be linked to Ken's focus on the Biblical worldview in his comments. Maybe one day we will know what that resulted in among the audience, perhaps the salvation of souls, and if that is the case, I can only say "Praise the Lord!" Still, I would love to see Bill Nye agree to a debate with a YEC scientist who has prepared a comprehensive scientific presentation for YEC that would demolish Nye's arguments (not difficult) and convince many to investigate the Christian faith.
Graham M., United Kingdom, 6 February 2014
One of the posts accuses Nye of using 'blind, unscientific faith' in evolution. Belief in creationism amounts to blind, religious faith.
Scott Gillis responds
Wow Graham. To be honest, that was not a very informed response. If you had read the articles embedded in this report, you would have learned, among many things, that Nye's beliefs are just that, based on his faith in a different worldview. Give the articles a read and get an informed view of the creationism position.
H. N., United States, 6 February 2014
So do you have any scientific proof offered up by people that aren't involved in the creation clique? The whole point of science is to look at things from a balanced point of view, if you have the bible as your "wingman" why would you not swing science in religions favor, knowing full well 75% of the religious community don't understand the science to refute it? It reminds me of kids that find out Santa isn't real, some kids are fine and some kids become angry at their parents, I'm worried the scientists and their proof that can be found above might be the latter and are lying to themselves.
Scott Gillis responds
Hello H. N. As with others that are leaving comments to this article, you are uninformed and throwing out an argument that has been addressed multiple times on our website, creation.com. The evidence, or the facts, are the same, and whichever worldview you use as your "wingman" will influence the way you will interpret the evidence. Please take the time to start with this article
, then click on the topics button on our home page, creation.com, to become informed.
Terry F., United States, 6 February 2014
What a great analysis! Thank you for the reference notes. Personally I agree with your assessment. I think Ken could have focused more on holding Bill Nye's feet to the fire as Nye kept hammering away at the same points repeatedly.
Frankly, I have found that when evolutionists are pressed to provide evidence for their claims they quickly turn to misrepresentation and personal attack. So I keep pressing them the same way Nye did to Ham on specific points.
His emphasis on the ice core rings was a complete joke. Temperature differences create the rings not years. I wonder how many rings there would be if a core sample was taken of the planes buried in 1942 under 250 ft of ice there would be for example.
As much as I enjoy and love the bible, I would rather have seen Ham concentrate on dismantling Nyes scientific claims and press him for more evidence of his claims. The fossil skulls were another joke of evidence that could have been dismantled for example.
I wondered how someone like Jonathan Safarti would have done in such circumstances. On the one hand it was a good outlet, but I was expecting more from Ken Ham and was left a bit disappointed with his emphasis on the bible to the exclusion of focus on provision of evidence as in some of the questions like: Where did the atoms in Big Bang come from? Nye's response- I don't know! There could have been a lot more of that and should have been in my opinion.
Still, it is an active topic and don't think either side changed their minds as a result of it though. Thanks again for the references. They will come in handy in the future I am sure.
K. C., Australia, 6 February 2014
I understand that there were time constraints, but I was disappointed that neither Ham nor Nye were given time for closing arguments.
Overall, I felt neither side really won the debate since neither Ham nor Nye really made an effort to debate the actual topic: "Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?" Ham did well to mention many working scientists who hold to creation models, but should have given more examples of its predictive power and persistently pushed Nye to answer how a model could be unviable when people are actively using it for science. Nye, instead of begging the question and saying things along the lines of "we need real scientists for our future", should have attempted to show how, in his opinion, holding to a creation model would make a scientist ineffectual. Then they might have actually been debating the topic as given. Although I feel there were points that could have been made better, I commend Ham for his work on this debate, especially in organising and publicising it, and for doing his best to point to the good news of Jesus Christ. I pray that God would use the debate and the interest it generates to bring many people to look more closely at what God has done through Jesus. There is much rejoicing in heaven for every man and woman who comes to faith; regardless of their understanding of science, history and philosophy. Thank you to CMI for your prompt reporting on the debate.
Josef L., United States, 6 February 2014
I'm sort of scratching my head from the comments that claim Ken Ham lost the debate. I watched the debate for the first time last night, and considering the very short rebuttal periods, I don't feel that Ken could have done much better than he did. As Ken pointed out, there was no way he'd be able to answer every one of Bill Nye's questions. But Ken did rightfully point out that things like radiometric dating are based on assumptions, and he even gave brief examples of how different dating methods disagree, sometimes by great magnitude, over the age of the same rocks. Ken also did refute the claim by Bill Nye that the terms operational and historical science could only be found at AiG, as Ken cited a public school geology text that basically says the same thing, albeit with different terminology. (And Bill just flat out ignored this and still refused to acknowledge the difference). There were many other examples like this. Unfortunately, Ken was perhaps too gentle in his approach and Bill was pretty aggressive, which may have led some to believe Ken was, "on the ropes". But we should remember that debates aren't (or shouldn't) be about showmanship/personalities, but about the actual arguments. I believe Ken Ham did accomplish his goal of showing that creation is a viable model, and it has not at all hindered scientific advancement as evidenced by PhD creationists who have made great contributions to their fields. Overall, I think the debate format of 5 minute rebuttals were a hindrance to having a truly fruitful debate. Still, I thought Ken did well with the limitations that were in place. I certainly don't think either could be "hands down" declared the winner.
Dayeton L., Canada, 6 February 2014
It was an excellent debate, but Bill Nye was attacking Ken, the Bible, fear mongering, romanticizing and politicking... Too bad he didn't deal with real science. I would have liked Ken to have shared with Bill some real facts of the validity and history of the Bible - I guess that will be for another time. Also, it seems that no one notices the attitude the "scientific/evolutionist" mindset that is being projected toward Ken Ham and the audience. Bill is always using his platform trying push his "superior" beliefs by talking "past" Ken ~ rather actually answering the questions presented, etc... so much to say on that - but that's my opinion. Great debate... not long enough and sure appreciated Ken's Godly accommodating responses to Bill's jabs and digs.
Chris S., United Kingdom, 6 February 2014
Thankyou CMI for an excellent report. In contrast....I've just seen the ID organisation Center for Science and Culture's verdict on the debate. Here is a quote representative of their whole report: 'Since he's [Ken Ham] not a scientist, the great majority of his arguments amounted -- over and over again -- to "Because the Bible says so." Nye's main argument was, "Because the evidence says so," and he cited a lot of reasonable evidence for an old earth.' There's more in this vein. They berate Ken Ham for wasting time talking about the Bible when he could have used that time for presenting evidence for design in nature. It's really brought home to me the gulf between ID and Creation Science.
Loran G., United States, 6 February 2014
Nye kept asking about Creationists predictions. I was hoping Mr. Ham could have mentioned Russell Humphreys predictions on the magnetic fields of our Solar System's planets and moons. Humphreys predictions were right and the evolutionists were so far off it was silly. I truly enjoyed the debate, though. Ken did a great job, Nye had no real evidence to stand on.
Need A., Australia, 6 February 2014
Can anyone out there prove the Bible is the word of God , not created by man and interpreted over and over again into English from various sources?
Scott Gillis responds
Hello Need Answers. As was the case with so many that have made comments to this report, your comment asking if "anybody out there" can answer these challenges, shows that you have not made an honest attempt to find the answers, readily available at our website, creation.com, as well as addressed in the articles linked within this report. Regarding the false claims Nye made about the origin of the Bible, and that you repeat here, see this collection of articles
for starters, then click the "topics" tab at creation.com to find more compelling articles that will inform you on the creationist position which you have misrepresented here. Thanks.
Dave M., United States, 6 February 2014
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch the debate, but I have read commentaries on it thus far. As usual, opponents of creation science are using every propaganda technique to turn the entire debate around from what it was, to somehow favour them. What people tend to forget is that, while designed to sway opinions one way or the other, a proper debate more often provides a chance to get to know the opposition's position better, and come away with a better understanding of the reasons behind accepting positions we reject. Whomever "won" the debate, I would personally say everyone, on both sides, won something from it. Having said that, I must add this: as a survivor of child abuse, and the brother and son of survivors of child abuse, I take great offense to Nye's former statements about what he thinks child abuse is. My guess is that he's never experienced such pain first-hand. While his passion for his beliefs is understandable, he has both insulted his opponents unfairly, and insulted other survivors of real child abuse. Perhaps he should spend some time with abused children, before he goes shooting off at the mouth about things he doesn't understand.
Scott Gillis responds
Actually, I believe it is Dr. Richard Dawkins, not Bill Nye, that equated the term "child abuse" to the teaching of creationism.
R. D., United Kingdom, 6 February 2014
Thanks guys. I was hoping that CMI might post an analysis of this debate. I looked around yesterday to see if any other creationists had done (like I'd trust any report written by an evolutionist!), since so many Christians seemed to think that Ken had come-off second-best. Seems, disappointingly, that he didn't do all that he might have done to demolish the illicit evolutionary criticisms, if admittedly hamstrung by the time constraints. BTW, thanks a bundle for the Wilson and Mayr quotes, I'd never read them before, I'll add them to my collection. When it comes to emphasizing that the historical\observational matter is not some sort of arbitrary creationist demarcation but rather an obvious distinction which creationists are keen to point-out and evolutionists are keen to blur, I've only ever had three until now. One is the quote from Dr. James Conant which CMI has on-site, the other two are: "Although the idea that all good scientists employ a single method for testing hypotheses is popular, an inspection of the practices of historical scientists and experimental scientists reveals substantial differences." (Cleland, Carol E., 2001. "Historical science, experimental science, and the scientific method". Geology, 29(11):987-990.) "... they can never be tested by experiment, and so they are unscientific"... "No science can ever be historical."
(Gee, Henry, 1999, In Search of Deep Time. New York: The Free Press.) (I particularly like the latter one!) We need to be much more proactive in correcting this anticreationist misconception!
Gerda P., Canada, 6 February 2014
Bill Nye,...went through a long list of arguments that supposedly pose problems for creationists. Indeed. That is what struck me as I watched his debate with Ken Ham. It was cheap and low to throw out 'a LONG LIST of arguments, knowing the tight time frame allowed within the debate constraints. Then to triumphantly crow that Ken had not answered his 'science'. For all that Nye is lauded for being a scientist, this debate showed him relying far more on skillful psychological manipulation of the audience. Plenty of warm fuzzies and emotive words, thin on any scientific proof of his evolutionary stance.
Olakunle A., Nigeria, 6 February 2014
What a nice debate! This is good spiritual intellectual exercise especially for Christians who have been hoodwinked into accepting the evolution timeline. I discovered that Mr. Bill Nye's arguments suffered the necessary deficiencies because he (just like his ilk) doesn't believe in the supernatural! Christians do. And that's why he (Nye) found it quite "unsettling" and "extraordinary" to accept Bible accounts of creation, the Fall, the Deluge, the Tower of Babel etc. He believes everything 'can be' and 'will be' (in due time) explained by 'science'. In other words, there is no supernatural phenomena in human affairs. Kudos to Mr. Ken Ham. I'm more educated...
Tomislav O., United States, 6 February 2014
Is it possible for creation scientists to objectively study evolution if there's an implied threat of torture and damnation should they change their mind?
Scott Gillis responds
Tomislav: Yes, and since this is the very arena where our ministry focuses, the scientists we employ understand the evolutionary position better than most scientists, actually. If you believe that evolution is an irrefutable fact of science, you would be best to inform yourself by clicking on the "topics" button at creation.com. Thanks.
Grahame A., Australia, 6 February 2014
Joel C., U.S ... 'high hopes that many people would be exposed to the evidences for creation. Dr. Ham is admirable in his ministry'....,(thanks Ken Ham!) I was talking with a young, very busy, mum of 2, today, who is watching the debate, bit by bit on Utube, just finished Ken Ham's 30 minute opening. This lady is so excited, Ham's definitions, explainations, gave perspective, understanding, greater clarity, in seeing the bigger picture. Not enough space to elaborate. Early evening, yesterday, my neighbour looked over the boundary fence to say 'g'day', and asked 'what did you today'? (I am retired) -I told him I watched the evolution/creation debate at AIG on livestream (started at 11.00am Wednesday, in Eastern Australia, you will never catch up USA we are 16 hrs ahead!) He listened openly. The conversation extend further from that topic. Discussions are continuing. Joel, 2 conversations. I am just one of many, for sure. Need to keep in mind, one of the purposes of God in His creation, so we can understand His invisible qualities--'his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.' But more than that, we can get to know him personally through Jesus, with a broken relationship with our creator, restored. The debate! >another alternative, launching platform, to share God's good news!<
Scott Gillis responds
Grahame. We find your action very encouraging. What you are doing is at the heart of our ministry at CMI, to see believers not just equipped with a defence for their faith, but proactively sharing with others, and answering the challenges posed in our culture that stand contrary to the historical account of the Bible.
Hywel G., United Kingdom, 6 February 2014
As a former young-earth creationist, and a child who sat through several Ken Ham lectures, I find the arguments cited above of great interest. I find it fascinating to hear all the arguments I used to use, and to see the approach I used to employ in my effort to discredit evolutionary biology. At the age of 25, I finally realised the importance of critical thinking; there's a difference between what you want to be true, and what is true. I recognised the importance of humility, and I understood where my bias had prevented me from approaching the subject of evolution in a truly open way. Once I explored the subject as objectively as possible, I quickly began to see the error of my ways. I learnt that all my arguments for creation were based on misunderstandings. Once I actually dedicated time to reading the other side of the argument, I developed an appreciation of a) how I'd allowed my bias to prevent me from seeing what is strikingly evident about nature, and b) how my entire understanding of evolution (and Cosmology, Geology, etc) had been formed predominantly through the study of those that shared my creationist view point. Next time you look at the stars, challenge yourself to ponder how it is we are able to see them if the world is really just a few thousand years old. Why do so many people accept the scientific consensus that they're so far away? How do we know the speed of light? Explore these claims, and immerse yourself in the various sources available to you via the wonder of the internet! It took me a long time to change my mind, and I spent almost every evening for about two years doing research on everything from evolutionary biology to psychology. Certainty is dangerous. Delight in being wrong. Questions before answers!
Scott Gillis responds
"Certainty is dangerous" yet you seem to be "certain" of your conclusions ... The position we take is actually based on "critical thinking" and I can assure you, given the nature of the debate in our culture, our scientists realize the "importance of humility". So, you are claiming that you are now bias-free and no longer "wrong"? :) If so, I suggest that now you "humbly" and thoroughly read the articles linked in this report, as well as the flood of information found on the "topics" tab at creation.com, and "think critically".
mark M., United States, 6 February 2014
Mr. Ham did a wonderful job. As far as Light before creating the sun God revealed Himself as He is Light. Our Light of the world.
Scott Gillis responds
Hi Mark. You would find this article
about "God as light" interesting. Thanks.
W. Wade S., United States, 6 February 2014
We all once again owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the faithful staff at CMI for the astounding swiftness and thoroughness of their recap of this debate. This article is far more informative than the debate itself; particularly in regard to the question of "how did kangaroos get to Australia?", which seems to be the debate's "buzzworthy" component. I have shared the link with numerous family, friends, and acquaintances, taking care to direct them to the article on Biogeography that addresses that issue. May God continue to richly bless CMI!
Paul O., United States, 6 February 2014
It may be a clash of worldviews but you have your understanding of the worldviews incorrect. The two worldviews in play here are:
Nye - observable facts, reason, and common sense. Ham - a 2000 year old book, while rejecting observable facts, reason, and common sense. Wake up to reality and stop scamming people out of money.
Scott Gillis responds
Paul, like others who have commented on this article, you are demonstrating that you are ignorant of the details of the creationist position, choosing to remain uninformed by not actually reading the articles linked in this report. If so, you would have seen how the "observable facts, reason and common sense" support the Bible's historical account. And I can assure you that we are not scamming anyone out of money, for our scientists and professionals work for CMI at sacrificial salary levels, out of passion for the ministry.
Uni C., Australia, 6 February 2014
Do you people believe in unicorn as well?
Scott Gillis responds
Hello Uni :)
Ummmm ... no. But believe it or not, we do have an article
about unicorns. While you are on our site, you will find our other articles compelling.
Robert B., United States, 6 February 2014
Saw the debate in church with the entire youth group in attendance. As CMI has rightly commented, indoctrination into a materialist worldview is a major cause cited by many who fall away. All in all. I think that Bill Nye won. Did any of our kids start to doubt the gospel somewhat as a result? God knows. Ken Ham lost, not because he held a flawed position or he was a lightweight as a debater; Ken Ham lost because the tightly structured debate format stacks the deck against the truth. A liar will always best an honest man who is gagged.
It's a basic asymmetry that is unavoidable. In discourse, it's always easier to state a lie than to refute it. In this article you started to counter some of the falsehoods that Nye kept repeating but barely scratched the surface. You referred to articles on the excellent CMI website for more thorough treatments. Nye used very few words to dismiss the Bible as a byproduct of a long-running "game of rumor". How many thousands of words would it take to adequately refute that falsehood? Maybe Coyne was right. Creationists shouldn't debate Evolutionists unless the debate can be open ended.
John S., United States, 6 February 2014
I also wanted to hear them answer each other's questions but they rarely did. And Nye is much more 'audience friendly' and charismatic so to many that will carry the day regardless of content. among other things I wish Ham would have responded (besides naming a few Scientists) to the badgering assertions that Creationism hinders Science and Darwinism advances it. In the public schools it has been Darwinism only for a couple generations now. Our youth, however, continue to be outscored in math and sciences by other countries and we have been dropping. Observable science (ie evidence) refutes his argument! How can Creationism be a cause of lagging science scores in the US when it hasn't been taught for decades?! If anything it's the fault of Darwinism. (who wants to work hard when tomorrow you're gone forever? who wants Nye's 'joy' of Science that requires years of study and school when kids can pursue instant 'joy' in entertainment, drugs, and sex?). And we spend more money on Education than anyone too. My 'prediction' is that atheistic countries are the ones who lag. also Nye kept saying many other religious peoples believe in long ages. But they (including our ID brothers) are ridiculed and ostracized just the same (see Expelled film), refuting his apparent willingness to accept theists just not Creationists.
Doug L., United States, 6 February 2014
There's so much I could say that it take up an entire article to do it and I wouldn't do as good a job as CMI did already, so thanks for an outstanding effort. Let me add 3 small things: You mentioned dendrochronology (aging via tree rings.) Nye presented a couple of trees whose age is reputedly greater than 6000 years. One was Old Tjikko. Apparently Tjikko was dated via carbon 14 dating the roots, not dendrochronology! The 9000+ years are therefore completely wrong. Because of space constraints I'll have to leave it the reader to see why that's so. Russell H from the US tried to claim that many of the links to articles on CMI had been refuted. He is confusing responses (i.e. challenges) with refutation. The responses ATTEMPT to refute but if he were to search out creationist responses I believe he would invariably find that the responses, the challenges, were themselves refuted. I have always found this to be the case. I had to agree with many of the comments that Ken Ham could have done much better, especially when asked for predictions. The first thing that came to my mind was Russ Humphries' predictions on planetary magnetic field, which you covered nicely. I was at the debate and wanted to scream out "what about junk DNA!" Although I can't cite a particular creationist who said it wouldn't be "junk", nevertheless it is an implied prediction. I wanted to also scream out "what about genetic entropy!" Deterioration of the genome is certainly an implied prediction of the fall of man and John Sanford's work brings it home dramatically, and IMHO, irrefutably. Thanks for giving me space to stick in my 2 cents. :)
Graham M., United Kingdom, 6 February 2014
You, rather patronisingly, claim that your 'scientific facts' support creationism. The overwhelming number of people in the scientific community disagree.
Scott Gillis responds
Graham, we not only claim that the facts support creationism, but if you would take the time to check out the articles linked inside this report, as well as click on the "topics" tab on our homepage, creation.com, you too will discover this to be the case. And your argument about the scientific majority is a logical fallacy. See this article
for more on this. The majority of scientists have been wrong about many claims, not just in the distant past, but the list of scientific mistakes in the recent past would be vast. In fact, great scientific discoveries are usually made in contrast to the opposition from the scientific majority.
Andrew M., South Africa, 6 February 2014
Bill Nye did not state the topic properly. Instead he mangled it to his liking, and then played the man over and over in a most petty display -- over and over "Ken Ham", and not the topic. I do not much care for anyone's private theories, and if Mr Nye is only addressing Mr Ham's private theories, then he's not worth hearing out. I reject the Bill Nye Theory.
D. F., United States, 6 February 2014
Honestly, CMI, I feel many of your responses to the posted comments, were just impolite and un- Christian of you. I believe it would be possible to get your information through without resorting to name calling, don't you?
Scott Gillis responds
DF. I am not aware that we called anybody names. We have attempted to be cordial, but if someone is leveling a challenge at the position that the Bible's account is historically accurate, and is using arguments that portray that position inaccurately because they have failed to inform themselves of that position by refusing to read the articles that we conveniently included in the report, we will say truthfully that they are uninformed or ignorant of the position. That is neither impolite nor "un-Christian". The Bible tells us we are to ... demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). If people claim the high ground without being informed of what we believe, it is a pretension.
Sherman W., Canada, 6 February 2014
First of all, let me say I'm definitely interested in equipping myself with the numerous articles you guys have. The debate helped me discover this excellent database/website CMI have. Praise God! Something that I've been learning lately is to simply be faithful to planting the seeds of gospel and let God cause the seed to grow. (1 Co 3:7). Ken Ham did a great job being a Christian in this debate. Stood firm in His faith. Defended the gospel with love. Ham was victorious in this debate because he took up his shield of faith (Eph 6:16). Keep up the good work!
M. J., New Zealand, 6 February 2014
It really is great that you got this analysis out so quickly - thank you. All in all I believe that Ken did a pretty good job. He could have been more forthright in shutting down Mr Nye's repeated requests for evidence of scientific predictions by Creationists. Ken did give examples but they either went over Mr Nye's head, or they were deliberately ignored. A simple comment pointing out the examples he had already given and asking how many more Mr Nye required might have done the trick. It may be that Mr Nye was asking for a prediction that Creationists got right and evolutionists got wrong, although I'm not sure he specifically asked for this. A comment about the observed decay of genomes, predicted by Creationists due to the Fall and exactly the opposite of what evolution requires, would have really hammered home the point. I would also like to have seen Ken start his rebuttal by pointing out that every single one of the challenges to Creationism that Mr Nye offered has been addressed and answered by Creation scientists. Ken did a good job in the answers he gave but, as you have pointed out, there were too many to answer in the time allowed.
K. M., Canada, 6 February 2014
Thanks so much! This was so helpful!
Ian M., Australia, 6 February 2014
I thought as I read your comments that the use of the "creation" tag before the word "scientist" in the following quote, was accepting that there are different qualities of scientists. "As our Australian office had a wealth of Ph.D. creation scientists on staff, and the leading lights in atheism would be converging in one place, it seemed to be an ideal time to match up." If we accept the tag, we agree with them and it is more difficult to refute their argument on scientific ground. You are correct in saying this is a world view argument, but we need to insist that our Scientists are Ph D scientists credentialed from the same institutions that their Ph Ds came from, so let the science stand or fall on it's quality. If it is truth, it will stand, as in the case of Pasteur and "Spontaneous Generation." If we let them apply tags to each scientist, the waters become clouded (pun intended) by world view presuppositions and attention is diverted from the quality of the science.
Scott Gillis responds
Ian. Yes, we understand your point. We sometimes use such labels as differentiation, just as we might say "evolutionary scientist", to define the worldview and presupposition of the individual. We also use labels such as Christian and Atheist in the same way. And by the way, the Ph.D. scientists that are employed by CMI around the world studied in the same types of secular universities as did their evolutionary counterparts, so to say that creationist scientists are not scientists is a false claim.
Daniel B., United States, 6 February 2014
I just recently introduced Apologetics as a topic in Youth Bible Study at my church. What I’ve begun to notice and will start to emphasize to the teens I work with, is that there are a handful of ways to assuredly lose a debate with an evolutionist. Interestingly enough none of these ways are based on the evolutionist being armed with more facts or knowledge on a given topic. They are based on one or more of these crucial mistakes: #1)Allowing the evolutionist to define the definition of science #2)Allowing them to frame the debate of faith vs science #3)Allowing them to blur the line between operational science and historical science #4)Allowing them to stack the deck (one sided amount of time in debate/discussion). Of course there are other deceptive tactics along the way like appealing to authority, diversions, red herrings, and all sorts of logical fallacies that many are familiar with, but those are the four main pillars that will set you up for failure. You simply cannot allow them to brand themselves as objective fact-based seekers of truth and you as the blind follower of a sacred text. That's a losing proposition every single time. And while there is nothing wrong with Presuppositionalism, if you use from the onset and allow them to use those four tactics and it will just further reinforce the false narrative. Ken Ham may have had a lot of great points and he kept his composure but the entire topic of this debate set Nye up to use all four of those tactics to control the narrative.
Also let us not look at this debate as a disaster but as a learning lesson going forward. And may God Bless Ken Ham for his efforts even if strategically he may have a few areas to work on. And may God bless CMI for their dedicated staff and wealth of material.
Mario M., Argentina, 6 February 2014
I'm a christian.... But [profanity deleted] people, you really, really dropped the ball in this one. Nye utterly destroyed Ham and all of you’re blinded by faith. The only logical explanation here is that you are all crazy. When people cannot see the facts when the facts spit them right in the face, then you are [expletive deleted] crazy. I'm more of a Intelligent Design man. Taking the Bible literally is just dumb. I would like to find another word, but is really dumb. Considering is composed by many books, written in different time periods by different people would be more than enough. Really people, open your eyes and your minds, don’t be just sheep following a [profanity deleted] shepherd like Ken Ham. Think for yourselves instead of accepting everything as it comes. You cant even understand how much pains me to read your comments and know that there are really ignorant people out there. I'm not saying your belief in God is wrong. I believe in God. But I think even Him would face palm himself in account of your ignorance and stubbornness. Thank God we are in the present day, if not half of you would be on a Crusade or some other idiot concept. Religion is a choice, Faith is believing without the need of proof. Science isn’t a belief, is built on hard fact. The only thing you are doing is shaming yourself as you keep an old and dusty concept in your head, instead of opening your mind to possibilities. At the end of the day, God wants us to live the fullest of our potential. Not chained by the ties of Dogma, like you are. You follow a Dogma, something created by men to ‘regulate’ belief. The Dogma is flawed. Open your minds to all the truths and wonders God left you to discover in the world. Not only the ones people with old minds hammered into your heads.
Scott Gillis responds
Wow Mario. Thanks for your emotion-free tirade and list of old canards that have already been addressed by the vast amount of information found on creation.com. Rather than address the specific facts included in your respectful and thoughtful critique, I hope you don't mind us addressing the one issue that stands out the most. You claim "I'm a christian", yet you clearly imply you do not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, but something created by men. If that is the case, then your authority can be anything you desire it to be, relegating "god" to a "dogma" and belief system created by you. Consider that these ideas have been "hammered into your head", so please, "open your eyes and your mind" to consider the "truths and wonders God left you to discover" in His Word, the Bible.
john P., Australia, 6 February 2014
Great Ken debated this bloke. Carl Wieland debated Prof Ian Plimer, another anti-creationist, in Australia some years back and trumped him. Ken has been around for a while, back in the Answers in Genesis days when the Creationist ministry began in Queensland with Carl. As you say in your excellent article, one blogger admitted it was one religion pitted against another, and we all know God's truth wins every time. This is why atheists and evolutionists are frightened of debating creationists, they know they'll lose-badly. God bless your ministry
Scott Gillis responds
Thanks John. And indeed, some of the debates Carl and other CMI scientists have participated in are highlighted in this article, and available in our webstore at creation.com.
Douglas J., United States, 7 February 2014
Dear CMI a question and an observation. Does any of your staff scientists engage in debating evolutionists or old earth creationists?
When Nye made the defense that "science can make predictions" , Ken seemed off guard or unable to appropriately respond. Your example of the legged fish would have been adequate,however, a response citing fulfilled old testament prophesy and yet to be fulfilled prophesy of the second coming and the judgement have been the most effective refutation of Nye's argument.
Scott Gillis responds
Yes Douglas, as just stated in the previous response, DVDs of debates with our scientists are highlighted in this article and more are available in our webstore at creation.com. We encourage you to contact our office and have a CMI speaker come to your church. We make it easy for you. Just contact us and we'll take care of the details.
Chandrasekaran M., Australia, 7 February 2014
I read this article and I saw the full program and it is a good start from my point of view. But it will be really good for the sake of science to have a public debate like this one between a creation scientist and an evolution scientist. Why not such a debate between Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Zoology Professor Richard Dawkins with President Obama as a moderator in a following format: -- a world view presentation from each side -- five question from each side and a two minute answer from the other side -- ten questions from the public and a one minute answer from each side -- two questions from the moderator and a one minute answer from each side.
Scott Gillis responds
Chandrasekaran, thanks for your enthusiastic idea! As we referenced in this report, we have formally challenged Richard Dawkins and company to a debate, yet they refused. See this article
Gary H., Australia, 7 February 2014
“The turnout shows that it is by no means a ‘settled issue’ in the minds of laypeople” It simply does not matter what lay people think. Why do you think that the layperson is not entrusted when it comes to issues of environment or medicine? It’s because science is not a democracy. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are however, entitled to submit evidence to support your claims. Creationists have yet to submit a single peer-reviewed research paper demonstrating that Intelligent Design is real, or that there is even a designer. Clash of worldviews? Doubtful. I know over a hundred Christians that were supporting Bill Nye even though he’s an atheist/agnostic. It is about science vs superstition. Ham did not even have honest intentions for the debate. I believe he was trying to create a false dichotomy, the illusion of a controversy, the illusion of censorship and while doing so, gain publicity and raise money for his projects. It’s hard to stomach why creationists who have legitimate PhDs would support somebody who has less education than an 8th grader. I would congratulate Nye but claiming victory over an illiterate like Ham (we can both agree he is one) would just be silly. Even the fundamentalist Pat Robertson has cringed with embarrassment over this. Warm regards.
Scott Gillis responds
Hi Gary. Putting aside your attack on the man rather than the ball, we have submitted ample peer-reviewed support for the position, much of which is reported in the "topics" tab at creation.com. Give it a try. But a good place to start would be this article
that addresses your false caricature of "science vs. superstition". By the way, we "stomach" scientists with legitimate Ph.D.s everyday here at CMI. We suggest you take a antacid and read our information :)
Curtis C., United States, 7 February 2014
I actually think the debate went about as ideally as I could have ever hoped for, at least for the thinkers in the audience. It was so striking how many times Ham did the very things Nye demanded, yet Nye kept pretending he didn't. The audience saw that Bill Nye was in blatant denial even about the man standing a few feet away (and very out of date about science). Another thing people need to keep in mind is that God has a bigger picture intention in all of this -- so many people who have been complaining about the debate seem to have not noticed that we have been advancing the line, to the point that now the "mainstream" media cannot (entirely) ignore a debate with a biblical creationist! (And evolutionists can no longer refuse debate.) Let's pray and do everything else we can to keep moving it forward, and help many more come to strong faith in Jesus. :) Incidentally, nearly everything people are saying Ken should have cleared up in-debate -was- cleared up in the post-debate show immediately after, with Eric Hovind, which was linked to on Ham's blog, so vast numbers of people saw that as well (probably not as many as saw the debate itself, however). Much thanks to CMI for this article. (I do wish AiG had been as prompt with a similar article, though.) One thing I noticed (apparently) wasn't covered, that confused me a lot from the debate was when Nye displayed an image of a canyon side, and for some reason I couldn't understand seemed to think it disproved the Flood, without explaining it. I haven't yet seen anyone explain what the alleged challenge meant, or what answers we have. My only guess is it might be about "desert" dunes, which CMI has answered conclusively as underwater sand waves. Have I missed something?
Scott Gillis responds
Sorry, Curtis. I'm not sure what Nye's point was as well.
Michael H., Australia, 7 February 2014
Thank you CMI, This shall be bookmarked in my head for years to come!!!
Jordan M., Australia, 7 February 2014
Bill Nye was the clear winner and you all know it. If you're saying that Nye couldn't prove anything he was saying, he proved a [expletive deleted] of a lot more than Ham did.
Scott Gillis responds
Jordan, as we have been repeating to many commentators here, Nye's position has been comprehensively addressed, including in the articles that were referenced in this report. Please read them so that you can be adequately informed. Thanks.
G A., United States, 7 February 2014
Scott said, "...your authority can be anything you desire it to be..."; friends, that is the definition of faith. Faith is not science, faith is belief. Using one or another interpretations on the meaning of what is written in the Bible - whether they be literal interpretations (which don't all agree), or metaphorical interpretations (they vary as well) - all depend upon a prerequisite belief that the Bible is the word of God. The very disagreement on whether the Word is literal or allegorical implies the confusion of tongues described in the allegory of the Tower of Babel. Hence, "...your authority can be anything you desire it to be..." describes the Creationist basis for wanting to debate Bill Nye and science.
Such a set of arguments are generally referred to as circular. When you come around the circle to the point where the truth of the beginning premise is justified only by a set of following premises, then you have come nowhere that is provable.
How do we know that the Bible is God's word? Because it says so in the Bible. That is a circular argument. That is faith. There is no science in it. It is a false pursuit to try and present faith as science, and no resolution is possible. Apples and wombats, you know? Faith can't be disproved to the one having it, you can take comfort in that.
Scott Gillis responds
G.A. I will have to be honest. I tried to understand the main point you were trying to make, and was unable to do so. I asked my associate, and he had the same result. You made a number of points that have already been covered in these comments, as well as the articles referenced in the report, but there was one point you made twice regarding faith vs. science. To get informed on this issue, I would start with this article
, but try reading the other articles referenced in this report as well. The evidence and facts support the historical account of the Bible, as we have amply demonstrated at creation.com. True biblical faith is not a blind faith.
H. D., United States, 7 February 2014
I have been a Christian for decades. I guess you could say I have been around the block as a Christian. I watched the entire debate. The main thought I was left with after watching the debate was this... I believe we Christians should debate creationism versus evolution but I do not believe it requires us to cling to the idea that the earth is only 6,000 years old because it makes us look like a bunch of fools. It is true that if we attempt to calculate the age of the earth by counting who begat whom we can arrive at the number 6,000. But... are we sure that we know what we are doing? Are we getting the count right? Is there something we might be overlooking, disregarding, or completely missing? I absolutely trust that God could bake creation to look older than it is. Maybe the earth really is 6,000 years old. But I did not give you permission to cling to the 6,000 year number and hold that number up as a cornerstone of the Gospel, because it is not. Jesus never mentioned the exact age of the earth. Jesus never told us that we should debate the exact age of the earth. I realize my plea will fall on deaf ears but I must say something. We could easily have held a robust debate against evolution without jarring the entire world yet again with the 6,000 figure. It is not critical to our beliefs because we are doing the adding and we might not be adding correctly. I'm sure you believe you know everything about adding up the Bible, but the Bible itself states clearly that there are things inside that will not be revealed to everyone. Maybe the exact age of the earth is one of those things. I encourage you to stop standing on the pillar of 6,000 to make your argument for creation. I do not feel that is required.
Scott Gillis responds
Hello H.D. I too have been a Christian for decades and "been around the block as a Christian". Trust us, we are definitely making "our argument for creation", for that is what our ministry is all about, but it is doing so based on the the Bible's account. If we don't believe what the Bible clearly says regarding God's Creation, why should anyone believe us when we share the Gospel? Do we get to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe? You are right when you say "It is true that if we attempt to calculate the age of the earth ... we can arrive at the number 6,000", however, than you ask if we are making errors, without specifically pointing out where those errors might be. H.D., do yourself a favor and read this article
that demonstrates in greater detail how this calculation comes directly from the Bible. The only reason a Christian would add millions of years into the Bible is due to the evolutionary interpretation that is so prevalent in our culture. Millions of years are simply not found in the Bible. And unlike what you say, the biblical account of Creation and the Fall is the "cornerstone" of the Gospel, and adding those millions of years into the Bible creates some serious problems to that very Gospel. See this article
for a better understanding of that idea. Bottom line: as a Christian, God's Word is authoritative not only in our behavior, but our understanding of the history of God's Creation.
g A., United States, 7 February 2014
Scott, let's get to basics first. I may be unclear as to your position on the creation myth and the articles you reference seem to immediately go into a lot of dense detail that will involve much work to sort out. Would you do us all a favor and present an "abstract" for your beliefs on this subject? Important elements of an abstract include: -short and concise. -should make sense even if you haven't read the original report. -should be written in language that is appropriate for the target audience. Thank you.
Scott Gillis responds
Wow, g A., that is a tall order. If I were to ask the same from Bill Nye, he too would not be able to do much more than hurl some general statements, like "evolution has been proven, etc.", yet not provide the evidence or details behind that position. Furthermore, this forum is for people to comment on this article after they have read it, not to summarize the flood of information we offer in a single paragraph. However, do you really want to know the basics? Your reference to the "creation myth" would indicate otherwise. However, if you honestly are open to learn, then start with the "key articles" here
, then search through the other categories for those topics where you are seeking answers.
Bradley B., Canada, 7 February 2014
Thank you very much for writing this article.
I have to say that Ken Ham had a lot of good points and you(CMI) refuted a lot of Bill Nye's arguments but while I was watching the debate I felt some doubt in my mind as to the veracity of creation in part because of bills point about ice cores. So thanks again for this article which explained that very well.
Mike W., United Kingdom, 7 February 2014
It's interesting to note the responses from the UK, this is what you're up against: a church very much entrenched in the secular culture and afraid to trust in the Word. I would hazard a guess that the people appealing to science and reason are not actually scientists. Perhaps science is their god?
Joe P., United States, 7 February 2014
I appreciate the rapid clarification of unanswered questions from the debate. Though I have great respect for debaters, I watched the debate (as a Christian) wondering about its impact on a non-Christian, and felt the questions, like the species/math problem should have been answered specifically for the sake of such a person. Your website has done this, and I've posted it on my facebook page for anyone that wants to know the creation explanation. Thank you for diligence!!
Joe P., United States, 7 February 2014
I appreciate the rapid clarification of unanswered questions from the debate. Though I have great respect for debaters, I watched the debate (as a Christian) wondering about its impact on a non-Christian, and felt the questions, like the species/math problem should have been answered specifically for the sake of such a person. Your website has done this, and I've posted it on my facebook page for anyone that wants to know the creation explanation. Thank you for diligence!!
James T., United States, 7 February 2014
I never saw the debate but im glad that cmi wrote about it.Its all over youtube but i refuse to watch it because of all the evolutionist that are just going to defend nye and i just think there would be no point in even commenting.I mean just look at the evolutionist on here.You guys linked articles and pretty much gave logical answers to there points but they still mock you and repeat themselves.I just feel that it seems pointless to even bother trying.
Keaton Halley responds
Some people may be unwilling to listen, but that doesn't mean all are. I encourage you to get informed and speak up, because God can use this information to reach people. You never know—we just have to do our duty and leave the results to God.
Denese K., South Africa, 7 February 2014
Well I set my alarm for 2am South Africa time, and got up to watch the debate. I kept wondering whether to go back to bed because there were very few Creation evidences presented. I'm glad I watched it through though. I prayed that the Lord would speak through Ken, and reading similar commentary from so many others, I have to conclude that it was very important on so public a stage for the gospel to be proclaimed to a world that is systematically shutting out the possibility of hearing it.
I am thrilled at how big the response has been. I believe that fence-sitting Christians are the main reason the debate went the way it did. They need to pick a side and not be "lukewarm", risking being spat out by the Lord.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of CMI, AIG, ICR and others, thousands of Christians have been equipped, and can take the debate forward into their own spheres of influence, presenting the evidences, and providing the reasons for the hope that is in us.
One part of the debate that stuck in my mind was Bill Nye's response to a question (if I remember correctly) - "Where did intelligence / information come from once life had formed?" and he said: "From energy. From the sun beating down." (or words to that effect). I couldn't help wryly thinking that before corporal punishment was outlawed, teachers tried to energetically instill knowledge into learners, perhaps by beatings too. While it might have caused motivation to learn, the energy was not the means by which info was transferred. Similarly, the sun can hardly be credited with adding information to life. In fact, it has been linked to delirium, madness and loss of sanity!
Thank you so much Ken and all our YEC outreach teams. May God bless your work with abundant fruit.
James Y., Philippines, 7 February 2014
I was not able to watch the debate since it was not available in my country. I have heard and read a lot of articles ridiculing Mr. Ham. I will try to read a trancript of the debate this week. More power.
w G., Australia, 7 February 2014
Over and over Ken Ham and other creationists keep saying that the Bible tells us that the world has been created in literally six days. It would be great if they at least could acknowledge that it is their interpretation that makes the Bible say that. Just read Augustine, N.T. Wright, Peter Enns and others and see that literal reading of Genesis is not the only viable option. If only that could be acknowledged instead of again referring to some articles that only give one interpretation ...
Christians should not be divided over how God created, we should stand united against the negative impact of natural materialism on our culture (and that worldview is not a necessary result of accepting theistic evolution as means of creation).
g A., United States, 7 February 2014
Gee, Scott, an abstract is like two paragraphs outlining your position. Some refer to it as an elevator pitch, something that catches your audience's interest in one minute. It's a basic communication tool that you might consider adopting to improve communicating your message.
One thing I wanted to know is if your creation story is only the one found in the Bible, or if other versions of creation qualify for the competition against evolution? Your abstract might begin, "Our contention is that the creation story presented in the Christian Bible is literally true; that the age of the earth is approximately 6000 years, based upon information presented in the Bible; etc.; etc. The following paper demonstrates this to be true through an analysis .....; furthermore, this paper presents evidence and arguments against this, that, and another thing promulgated by so and so's scientific theory of evolution.
Unless your desired audience does not include those who are not Biblical scholars, maybe not even of the Christian religion?
If your fundamental premise is that the creation myth of the Christian Bible provides the facts for your argument, then you will first have to prove that the aforementioned story is factual. If your proof of that is to say that it is God's word, and you know this because the Bible says so, then you have a very simple circular argument (the point I made earlier that you and your colleague didn't understand), and circular arguments have no credibility in the establishment of facts.
If you want to believe the Christian creation myth as factual, based on your faith that the Bible is what you believe it to be, you go right ahead. That's your preogative. But if you try to tell me that you have some facts because you believe you do, well that's funny!
Tom G., Canada, 7 February 2014
Deepest thanks to CMI for promptly doing this very informative and balanced review of the debate, and including the long list of feedback. There is much to be gained from all this information, including your website, for the equipping of (young) saints at church and at the Bible College where I teach, and to those I meet in daily life - as the Lord leads. Blessings in Christ to you all for your godly leadership, and Christ-like attitude, in this battleground of our age.
Gary Y., United States, 8 February 2014
Thanks for sharing your detailed analysis as I have been personally involved with this spiritual battle for nearly 40 years now, with chairing both AIG and ICR seminars in different parts of the country as well as teaching courses within churches and a Josh McDowell teen seminar.
CMI providing greater detail to the "charges" Bill Nye brought is certainly beneficial and as you noted there was no real time to debate such a controversial and critical topic which is undermining America and the world.
The only comment I would like to make is it seemed CMI was somewhat critical of Ken not "holding Nye's feet to the fire". I greatly value CMI but I think it may have slighted Ken in suggesting that he missed an opportunity. I must admit I thought that maybe he had too but after dwelling on it I realized that he did and said what the Lord wanted him to say, principally in "Sharing the Truth in love" and not trying to "hammer" Bill with his apparent lack of knowledge of the facts in some important areas as you noted. There clearly was not time for everything I or CMI would have liked. Isaiah tells us that God's Word goes forth and does not return void. It did in a powerful way Tuesday night even if it seemed Ken could have been more forceful. He is known for his quite wit and often with a "sting" but he was what I saw as unusually placid in wanting people to hear the Gospel message which does more to convict the heart then intellectually trying to dismantle an atheist's foolish thinking, though important in its own right.
Lastly, you noted that neither is a scientist but maybe you can clarify what constitutes a "true scientist". Is it his/her "PhD" in a scientific field or one's vocation such as a science teacher vs being a research scientist. That almost seemed insulting
Lita Cosner responds
We cited the time constraints as a likely reason why Ken Ham was not able to answer everything, and we were not overly critical of him in the review. However, an honest analysis will point out possible areas where both sides could have done better. You are of course free to disagree.
john P., Australia, 8 February 2014
Once again, Scott, Keaton and Lisa, God bless you for an excellent coverage of the debate and your responses to the various people commenting.
I would like to point out to the evolutionary sympathisers -eg Gary H, G.A. and others that before endlessly repeating themselves, engaging in straw man tactics and circular reasoning, they do some real research and read some of the articles on your website, then try to rebut them- or are they, as I remarked in my previous blog- afraid of losing?
You know- if you build your faith (and evolution and humanism are faiths-philosophies to be more exact) and you get a tidal surge- your house is going to come crashing down around your ears
You evolution sympathisers make out you're so sure of your facts-try reading John Sanford's book on the impossibility of any mutation adding new information, let alone shuffling beneficial information over billions of years to evolve from microbe to microbiologist.
Incidentally, I am a scientist myself-Bach Appled Science-Parks Heritage and Recreation- and have picked up some knowledge of genetics through John's book and articles read on this site
I won't hold my breath on G.A. and his mates coming up with concise answers rather than ducking and weaving, but I 'd like to see them try. As I said previously God's truth always wins but challenging His opponents might force them to truly examine their position- the rest is up to the Holy Spirit
Rudi J., Denmark, 8 February 2014
From the deepest of my heart, I want to thank Ken Ham for his overall headline: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
That is what it all boils down to.
Gang Z., Sweden, 9 February 2014
I think Ken Ham did a great job pointing out the metaphysical issues, kind of feel Bill Nye doesn't get it with things like worldviews determine interpretations of evidences, law of logic is non material and required in human reasoning, morality, we should apply different set of natural laws in a catastrophe situation that doesn't mean the natural laws are changed.
Scientific theories may change over time, some of the best arguments for creation could become not as plausible as they look now, those arguments may not have lasting impacts, if we look at this debate in the long run. And it's really difficult to communicate scientific arguments in a debate format.
I appreciate CMI doing the post debate scientific analysis here, and I believe both AIG and CMI serve the same purpose with slightly different roles with this debate.
Mark B., Canada, 9 February 2014
Very good review. I was anticipating that Nye would do quite badly precisely because he didn't seem to be familiar with creationism. Your article points this out but he didn't do that badly. Here are my observations:
Ham's presentation was standard fair for him. It basically wasn't that different than the presentation be makes to churches. I would describe it as a Gish gallop* with major mufti-media content. He knows how to deliver the same message in a convincing way.
Nye's presentation was an evolutionary Gish gallop. The content wasn't that great but his presentation made an impression.
There was an interesting exchange concerning the issue of post flood rapid speciation. Ken's response to this challenge completely missed the point of the argument. Nye was just as bad however as he didn't notice that Ham missed the point. Nye's comeback assumed that Ham did understand the argument and therefor was inappropriate.
My conclusion is that neither one is a very good debater but it was interesting anyway.
* For those who are unfamiliar with this term just do an internet search to find out about it.
Denese K., South Africa, 10 February 2014
Almost a week after the debate, I am thrilled at the groundswell of interest that has grown since the debate. Having had time to ponder the debate and many of the responses, I have two lingering thoughts which I wonder if CMI might be able to respond to:
1. At a point in the debate, Bill Nye stated: "I learned something." Has anyone asked him what it was that he learned? I am sure that there are many people on either side that are wondering what it was.
2. Has any commentary been forthcoming from the athiest lobby after the debate? I am particularly curious what Richard Dawkins might have had to say.
This certainly is an incredible time in history to be alive. Praise to the Lord for His mighty works.
Keaton Halley responds
I'm curious about the first question too, but I haven't seen this clarified anywhere. As for the second question, I'm sure you can find all kinds of responses with a quick web search.
Josiah S., Japan, 10 February 2014
This debate was COOL! I'm glad it really brought the public eye towards it - personally, I think Kent Hovind is a much better debater. I just keep thinking of all Nye's flawed assumptions that Ken Ham could've addressed, but he didn't. Kinda discouraging.
Evolution is a religion, not 'science'!
Erik W., United States, 11 February 2014
Thank you for the atheist quotes on operational vs historical science. Many people at my university have made the persistent claim in the week since the debate that this is a false distinction, one that Ham has made up himself.
'Reminds me of a similar claim about "micro-evolution."
Danzil M., United States, 12 February 2014
I was impressed by Ham's presentation and thankful for the event and his representation. My only concern is that Ham being such a veteren could been more effectifve if he had focused a little more on countering Nye's "scientific" arguments more directly and by actually stating that Nye's willingness to accept the kind of evidence he was using as scientific proof was illogical. To claim that something is accurately dated when the dating methods are so clearly faulty and not even acknowledge it, is to openly disrespect thinking people and shows a desporation for avoiding any intelligent alternative.
Ham should have also pushed our eye witness point (God) verses Nye's (human assumptions). I also think that Ham should have called Nye on his constantly warning that our view of historical science would hinder our countries progres in science which was an untrue cheap shot and should have been directly exposed by Ham as such.
While it is important for us to be civil and loving, it is also important that we be prudent and clear as to the goal of such comments. When we make sure that the audience is aware that our arguments are scientific and that our opponent's unwillingness to acknowledge that fact reveals an ILLIGICAL bias, we do them a great service.
It is my prayer that future debates will show a greater assertiveness on the part of creationists that make it clear that we will not be intellectually disrespected by non-believers in the tradition of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthews 22:46.
My thanks to CMI and all of our creation organization on the front lines.
Paula S., United States, 13 February 2014
Bill Nye loves to use the scare tactic argument that belief in Biblical creation somehow stifles scientific advancement. I've had this same argument presented to me several times in debates and conversations with evolutionists. I simply ask them this question: if evolution or even geological dating are so fundamental to science, they surely they could present just one example of a significant scientific or medical advancement in which 'knowing' that the earth is 4.3 billion years old, or in which 'knowing' that mammals evolved from tetrapods, or birds from dinosaurs, or humans from prosimians was a crucial factor. The question is always met with silence, angry retorts or simplistic examples of natural selection, which is not in question. Personally I think science would be best served all around by simply relegating ALL sciences related to origins or other untestable past events to a philosophy of science class, where competing ideas could be properly debated.
David R., United States, 13 February 2014
I guess I am a little surprised that all those history classes I took at my Presbyterian bible college didn't prepare me for Ken Ham's use of "historical" evidence. I've never seen a Dodo, but other people have, and there are stuffed ones in museums. Is that historical evidence I should question? It seems so innocent to me.
Keaton Halley responds
We're not against all inferences about history. The point was simply that we no longer have the past and can't observe it directly or replicate it in the lab. Obviously some assumptions are more reasonable than others, but evolutionists often fail to even see that they are making assumptions, or that there is any difference at all between history and the regularities of, say, physics or chemistry that occur in the present and are governed by the laws of nature.
Andrew M., United Kingdom, 16 February 2014
In terms of "Clash over worldveiws" neither presenter acknowledged that the "World" has 3 Billion Hindu's and Buddhists whom do not adhere to the Creation model. The world has had many teachers, Jesus, Krsna, Buddha, Allah. Who are we to say which one was wrong and which one is right. All the best.
Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
Rabbi Chaim D., United Kingdom, 17 February 2014
Tiktaalik's evolutionary dating is just evolutionist imagination, as we know from the Torah (Bible) that it is no older than 6000 years, like the rest of Creation. The dating of the Polish footprints is also just their imagination, so how can we fight evolutionists with their imaginary dates? They will just change the dates to fit in with their theory. If they, for their own reasons, want to cling on to their imaginary dates, they will just say that Tiktaalik existed at the time of the Polish footprints but we have just not yet found fossils of it from that time. Surely there is a better way to disprove evolutionists than by quoting dates they invented just to fit in with their theory that have no way of being verified and that we don't believe in ourselves?
Keaton Halley responds
We're using a reductio ad absurdum argument, which exposes an internal inconsistency in the evolutionists' thinking. We don't accept the dates, but we're granting them for the sake of the argument to show, in effect, that even if they are right about the dates, they are wrong about Tiktaalik's
transitional status. But, yes, we have also shown that it's not transitional for other reasons. See A Fishy 'Missing Link'
and It's all talk, Tiktaalik can't walk
Danzil M., United States, 22 February 2014
Bill Nye has been given a pass that he does not deserve. He failed to answer many questions.
Ham asks Nye how he accounts for the laws of nature and logic coming from a naturalistic viewpoint. Nye did not answer this question.
Ham stated the fact that evolutionist must borrow from our worldview to do science. (31:10-32:00), But Nye never replied to this point.
Ham asked Nye if he could tell us one technical science invention that was arrived at using an evolution starting point, (35:10-33), but Nye never answered this question.
Ham acknowledges that there should be predictions that we can test using observational science and there are. Then he lists several predictions (36:52-41:50). Nye ignored all of Ham's predictions and continued to say we had no predictions even in his post debate interviews.
Ham pointed out that both groups rely on the same data but interpret it differently based on their worldview. Nye did not reply. Ham admitted that his worldview and starting point begins with the Bible and God, (36:25-52), but Nye never acknowledged his atheistic worldview starting point.
Pointing to the work of evolutionist Richard Lenski haled as proof of evolution but refuted by the work of creationist Andrew Fabich, Ham made the point that evolutionists make public claims of creationists science being proven wrong when in fact their so-called evidence is nothing but false or misleading claims that do not really support the actual conclusions of scientific research. (44:00-46:25). Nye did not reply to this. [URL deleted as per our feedback rules]