Starting last night, the website Christian Today held an informal poll on its website asking who won the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate. As of today, the clear winner, by a landslide, was Bill Nye, who captured a whopping 92% of the vote. Ham was struggling along with a mere 8% of the vote. Some may be surprised that the stunning victory was recorded on a specifically Christian website, but anyone who watched the debate might have a difficult time defending Ham, who offered no scientific evidence to support creationism. Instead, he stuck mainly to the Bible, Jesus and the concept of salvation.
According to PEW research, about 60% of Americans accept Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, while another 33% think humans have co-existed, in the same form as they do today, with all other animal “kinds.” The idea of animal kinds was illustrated last night by Ham, who believes the Bible is a literal transcription of history.
The Christian Today poll reflects not only the majority viewpoint with regard to evolution, but some say it’s also indicative of the fact that Nye’s skillful debunking of Ham’s claims is what caused Nye to have won the debate. Ham believes that Noah and his family built a gigantic ark that housed about 7,000 animal “kinds” right before God sent a huge flood to destroy the earth. It was from these animal kinds, Ham says, that all other animals sprang forth.
Nye pointed out that there is no way Noah could have built an ark that was able to withstand the rigors of the sea and explained that an experiment has been done which disproves the Noah story. A huge wooden ship was built by the best ship makers in the world, but it was not able to survive on the open ocean. Because it was so big, the ocean’s waves cause the boat to twist back and forth until it finally began to suffer structural damage. It eventually ended up sinking.
Nye also delved into the question about the age of the earth, and he showed examples of fossils, trees and ice spheres which are all much older than 6,000 years. Ham is what’s known as a “young earth creationist” and he counts the age of the earth by stories in the Bible.
Commentary online this morning also is trending toward the Nye camp, with several major websites and online magazines declaring Nye the winner. However, the Daily Beast, a popular online news magazine, heartily disagrees. Author Michael Schulson says Nye did a terrible job and that the debate was “a nightmare for science.” Schulson says Nye was boring, “geeky” and that he rambled. Schulson also says he was so disinterested in Nye’s talk that he had to start drinking in order to make it through the rest of the show.
Apparently, though, Schulson’s sentiment is not shared by the people who participated in the poll at the Christian Today website, because that poll states that Bill Nye won the debate against Ken Ham by a huge landslide. With the debate over and the commentary beginning to wind down, questions linger over whether the debate helped or hurt Ham’s cause. With all the publicity and attention the debate delivered, one thing’s for sure: both men are undoubtedly walking away with fatter wallets.
By: Rebecca Savastio