Reflections on the Debate

To preface this, I enjoyed live blogging the debate last night! Here’s my live blog post if you want to look at it. It was so much fun that I’m looking for another event to live blog, so let me know if you have any suggestions! In hindsight, I think it would have been helpful to give more details as to what was actually happening, to better contextualize the statements. But it was a good first attempt! What the live blogging did for me was capture my thoughts as I had them, so today I can just run through my comments to remind myself of what I was thinking.

Anyways, to the actual debate.

The debate demonstrated that the creationist model is reasonable and backed by scientific evidence. Bill Nye kept insisting that Ken Ham was demanding the world accept his own interpretation of the Bible against the obvious evidence of reality. However, Ken Ham made it clear that the creationist model does not contradict science. A person does not have to choose blind faith or science, and the debate made that clear. There are many leading scientists today, as there have been throughout history, who have embraced the creationist model and it does not prevent them from doing legitimate scientific work. The evolutionists try to create this false dichotomy between Christianity and science, but Ken Ham proved these two are not mutually exclusive. He also made the excellent point that the basis of science (laws of nature and laws of logic) have no sure basis outside the Biblical worldview. It is only the existence of a Creator which gives us confidence to trust these laws as the groundwork of science. Without a God, there is no absolute truth, and that undermines even the laws of nature.

The debate also demonstrated the fundamental impossibility of persuading someone to change their worldview through scientific evidence or logical reasoning. The debate revealed the gulf that separates secularists from Christians. When asked what, underneath everything else, they base their beliefs on, the two men answered very differently. And the answers were a poignant summary of their lives. Ken Ham, without hesitation, pointed to the Bible as his ultimate source of truth and the fundamental source of his beliefs. Bill Nye waxed poetic about the sheer joy of scientific discovery and his optimism about our ability to find truth through science. It is from these worldviews, their philosophies about the world, that these men derive their different perspectives about our origins. It isn’t a debate over science or logic, it is a clash of worldviews.

There were a couple threads running through the debate which I wanted to specifically comment on:

1) Ken Ham gave the example of some wood found within a layer of basalt. Using the commonly accepted carbon dating method, the wood was dated to thousands of years, the rock to millions of years. The wood was embedded within the rock. Throughout the entire debate, Bill Nye kept saying, “just give us one piece of evidence, one example of geographical layers intermixing, just one example.” And yet here Ken Ham was giving an example of exactly that. But Bill Nye was in a hard place, because he either had to accept that these objects, ostensibly from different time periods, were found together, or he had to question the accuracy of modern dating methods. So he ignored the issue instead.

2) I was really frustrated with Bill Nye’s constant reminder that only evolutionist scientists embrace progress, and without progress the United States will lose global supremacy and economic growth (was he assuming that our economy now is in good shape? Haha…). This was illogical, preposterous, and simply irrelevant. I could forgive him from bringing this up once or twice, but he consistently referenced this issue, and he even included it in his closing remarks. The point seemed very politically charged but not relevant at all. Besides, Ken Ham took great pains to demonstrate that there is amazing research and scientific advancements done by creationist scientists. Bill Nye appeared to ignore all this, and just keep pushing his point about needing secular science in order to maintain our place in the world. There’s so much I could say about that, but it isn’t really necessary, haha.

To conclude, the debate, I hope, raised awareness about the reality of creationism as a valid model for explaining our origins. I imagine it has led to a lot of conversations, pondering, and discussions throughout the country. I think it was great just for that reason. It hopefully has made people wonder about creationism, and has maybe inspired them to do their own research and studying. But the debate also made it clear there are limits to what we can achieve through science and logic. In the end, it comes down to the presuppositions we hold, and these don’t change without divine intervention.

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