Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bill Nye debated the question 'How did we get here?' with creationist Ken Ham

By Dylan Lovan, Associated Press

Published: Tue, Feb. 4 7:00 p.m. MST

 Bill Nye

Bill Nye

(J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press)

PETERSBURG, Ky. — TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye and the leader of a Kentucky museum who believes in creationism debated a question Tuesday that has nagged humankind: "How did we get here?"

Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum, believes the Earth was created 6,000 years ago and that the Bible tells the factual account of the universe's beginnings and the creation of humans. Nye said he, and the rest of the scientific community, believe the Earth was created by a big bang billions of years ago and people have evolved over time.

"I just want to remind us all there are billions of people in the world who are deeply religious, who get enriched by the wonderful sense of community by their religion," said Nye, who wore his trademark bow tie. "But these same people do not embrace the extraordinary view that the Earth is somehow only 6,000 years old."

Nye said technology keeps the U.S. ahead as a world leader and he worried that if creationism is taught to children the country would fall behind.

"If we continue to eschew science ... we are not going to move forward," Nye said. "We will not embrace natural laws. We will not make discoveries. We will not invent and innovate and stay ahead."

Ham showed the theater audience of about 800 people — and those watching the debate live on the Internet — slides backing up his assertions.

"Creation is the only viable model of historical science confirmed by observational science in today's modern scientific era," Ham said.

He also introduced scientists who he said were also creationists.

"I believe the word 'science' has been high-jacked by secularists," Ham said.

Some scientists were critical of Nye for agreeing to debate the head of a Christian ministry that is dismissive of evolution.

Jerry Coyne, a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, wrote on his blog that "Nye's appearance will be giving money to organizations who try to subvert the mission Nye has had all his life: science education, particularly of kids." Coyne pointed out that the Creation Museum will be selling DVDs of the event.

The museum quickly sold out its 800 seats, thanks in part to Nye's celebrity as the former host of "Bill Nye The Science Guy," a 1990s science education TV program that is still played in some classrooms. Some people in the audience wore "Bill Nye is my home boy" T-shirts. Another fan wore a bow tie and Nye's signature lab coat.

Ham said there were hundreds of thousands of visitors to his Facebook page Tuesday, and the Creation Museum hasn't had the spotlight shined on it like this since its opening in May 2007.

Nye waded into the evolution debate in an online video in 2012 that urged parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children. Ham rebutted Nye's statements with his own online video with comments from scientists who work at the museum.

Since the debate was announced in early January, attention has been heaped on the Creation Museum and its directing ministry, Answers in Genesis, which is raising money for a theme park built around a replica of Noah's Ark. The project was announced in 2011 but fundraising has been slow and its groundbreaking date is in limbo.

The Creation Museum said visitors from 29 states bought seats for the debate.

Bill Nye debates Ken Ham

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1. JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC,
Feb. 4, 2014

"He believes the Earth was created 6,000 years ago by God and is told strictly through the Bible."

And when a kid with this upbringing gets to a geology class, or science class or learns about dinosaurs do they just come to believe that school is a waste of time?

How is this sort of religious indoctrination useful to anyone who has to compete in the real world?

2. The Hammer
lehi, utah,
Feb. 4, 2014

How about we look at theories and debate the different evidences and what merit they have. Both have answers that we just don't know or are lacking scientifically. Religiously we have our different views and these have answers that require us to have faith.

As far as Evolution, Why are there virtually no connecting animals (dead or alive) or other connecting plants that link us back together? Darwin stated we should find thousands of these linking life forms and yet I know of only two that can be quasi connecting species if you squint hard enough. Also the explanation of how chimps became more intelligent and evolved to earlier homo sapiens is a shot in the dark out how we became so sophisticated. And intelligence would tell us that a world with such details as ours distinguish us as a planet formed by a creator not by pure chance.

There is reason to doubt the theory of evolution as having the complete grasp of all the scientific principles that have brought about a planet as amazing as ours.

3. eastcoastcoug
Danbury, CT,
Feb. 4, 2014

I don't get the either-or mentality. I believe what Science tells us about the age of the earth and evolution AND I believe God created the earth USING evolution. To ignore what we find in Geology and Paleontology is to paint ourselves into an indefensible corner. The Bible is not meant to be an exact recording of the earth's physical creation just as it is not an accurate depiction of chronological history.

I believe Science and I believe in God. I don't follow these people who say I have to choose. God is the ultimate Scientist. We need to be open and learn all we can about Science. In my view, Science and Religion are both about discovering and learning all we can and not about setting limits or creating dogmas.

4. jparrish001
Burlington, NC,
Feb. 4, 2014

Reading the news article posted by Deseret News, I feel that the writer of this article is themselves in favor of Creationism. How can anyone take this writer seriously, when it is very evident that they were trying very hard to back Ham and not tell the facts as they actually are. I hope that anyone who reads this post, have the intellect to read other posts on this topic that clearly show how Nye blew Ham out of the water in the debate, and show that the way this article is written, that it is without doubt, the nature of the story has conflicted with the way the writer believes, and therefore led the writer to dumb down this article in favor of their own religious belief.

5. JSB
Sugar City, ID,
Feb. 4, 2014

I have believed that evolution was the way that God populated the earth with life. There are some serious questions about evolution that I can't answer, however. The "Cambrian Explosion" of many different kinds of animal phyla without any fossil record of the animals that lead to these more complex animals was something that Darwin couldn't explain and I've not heard of any good post Darwinian explanation for it. Also, Darwin's evolution stressed a steady, slow evolution and the "Cambrian Explosion" was, in geological time, rapid. Also, I can't grasp how anything as complicated as a unicellular life form could just spontaneously develop. These developments violate the third law of thermodynamics. In effect, if you have organization, there must be an organizer. Intelligent design makes a lot of sense.