This Tuesday sees Bill Nye, the science guy, venture into the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where he will debate the merits of Creationism with Answers In Genesis CEO Ken Ham. Tickets for this hotly-anticipated debate were sold out within 25 minutes, but a global audience is expected to join in via the internet. The debate is due to be livestreamed for free via debatelive.org at 7pm ET.
A storm of controversy has erupted in the run-up to this debate, with scientists sharply criticizing Nye for engaging with Ham. A statement on the Richard Dawkins Foundation website said that scientists “should not debate Creationists, period.” Many bloggers and opinion columnists have echoed this point of view, arguing that simply by offering Creationism an equal platform, Nye is lending legitimacy to the belief.
Others, including Nye himself, have pointed out that as beloved as The Science Guy might be, he is not actually a scientist. Nye holds a degree in mechanical engineering although he has built an extensive media career as a science communicator. While he will go prepared, some people are concerned about a non-biologist attempting to defend one of the key tenets of modern biology.
In an interview with HuffPo Live, Nye explained that he felt compelled to accept the invitation as he is is “scared” of the influence of Creationist beliefs in certain parts of the United States. Nye has previously pointed to the anti-scientific approach of Creationists such as Ham as being a serious threat to America’s legacy of technological innovation.
Although the debate is being livestreamed to the general public for free, when Bill Nye steps out into the 900-seater Legacy Hall on Tuesday, he will be mostly playing to a home crowd looking to support Ken Ham. As the CEO of Answer In Genesis, Ham is a key figure in promoting Creationism and other Biblical philosophies throughout the United States.
Ham is both a skilled debater and a qualified biologist, holding a degree in environmental biology from Queensland University. In 1980, he founded the Creationist organization known as Answers in Genesis, and in 2007 the group launched the Creation Museum, a facility used to question evolutionary science while showing portrayals of humans and dinosaurs co-existing. It has not been approved for membership by the American Alliance of Museums.
Whether he wins or loses in this debate, it seems to be set to provide a big financial boost to Ham’s next project. He is currently attempting to raise $73 million to build a replica of Noah’s Ark in Kentucky as a reminder of “the truth of God’s word.” The project is reported to have so far struggled to find funding. Ham has confirmed that the completed Ark will contain dinosaurs, which he maintains were amongst the creatures rescued by Noah.
Support for Creationism has been slowly waning in the United States over the past two decades. A 1991 Gallup poll showed that 47 percent of Americans believed in a young-earth theory of creation; that figure is now down to 32 percent nationwide. The issue continues to be fought over regularly by individual school boards, with nine states currently having some kind of legislation relating to the teaching of evolution. Bill Nye knows that he is unlikely to change the mind of Ken Ham or any other Creationists attending the debate, but he he hopes to highlight the fact that this is still an issue affecting science teachers in some parts of the country. To see how he does, be sure to tune in on Tuesday night when it will be livestreamed for free on debatelive.org.
By Bernard O’Leary
19 thoughts on “Bill Nye Creationism Debate Livestreamed for Free”
Evolution is not a theory but required for life to adapt and change with our changing environment. For those seeking Noah’ s Ark, if it exists it was probably used as wood to build homes for those that survived the flood so it’s not in one piece. It’s only logical, right?
… or use the wood as fuel to cook with. But what would they eat? Well, there was no shortage of meat on the ship.
Nye keeps mentioning evolution as a “theory”. As a scientist he is well aware that a theory is NOT a law of science and has never been proven. Yes, I would agree that creationism is also a theory so debates are always tit for tat, where no one wins. Recently a forssil was discovered that has evolution theorists going back to the drawing board! Ask Nye this question: what happens when we die? He can give 3 answers, probably, he would say just nothing! But , again as a scientist there is a LAW, not a theory, that says matter cannot be created nor DESTROYED so the DNA lasts “forever and just by statistics alone this DNA will occur again, millions, trillions of years but it WILL appear again so you will be reborn! So the explanation of why each of us is unique, looking out of our bodies and no one elses has 2 explanations , a soull or reincarnation and or parallel unverses.
A *scientific* theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. Evolution is a scientific theory.
Creationism is a religious doctrine based on a religious myth. You may call it a “theory” in the colloquial sense of the word as a speculative or conjectural view, based on the religious doctrine, but it is by no means a *scientific* theory. In particular, in the context of the debate being discussed, we are talking about young earth creationism, and young earth creationism is already known, scientifically, to be factually wrong, precisely because we observe through archaeological and geological science that there was never any worldwide flood wiping out all humans (except for eight) around 4,300 years ago, and through geological science that the earth has been around far longer than just 6,000 years or so, and through astronomical science that the universe has been around far longer than just 6,000 years or so.
In regard to your other comments, they just don’t make any sense, but none of them change the simple fact that creationism is religion, not science.
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:26-29
If God himself appeared to me thirty years ago and decreed, “You can take pictures with your phone,” I would have no idea what that would look like. I would see my phone, hear God’s word, and be confounded. I could never envision an iPhone. This is in my lifetime. If God appeared 5000 years ago and spoke, “Israelites, you can take pictures with your phone,” no one there could envision it either. God doesn’t show up and say “Here is everything you need to know” because we don’t understand until things are revealed to us. Dare I say – our understanding evolves. God told those who wrote Genesis the story of creation in a way they could understand. Because God is smart enough to do that. Aren’t we smart enough now, 5000 years later, to listen to what God tells us about the world through people made in his image? Like, oh, say, Bill Nye?
A genuine God could, of course, just poof an iPhone into existence, along with anything else required – God, after all, is supposed to be omnipotent and omniscient, and performing such miracles as poofing iPhones and cell phone infrastructures into existence along with the necessary angelic managers and administrators – and then show them the iPhone itself and let the people “ooh!” and “ahh!” over such a marvel, finding the power of God magnificent to give them absolutely perfect weather forecasts so as to know when best to plant crops and other mundane advantages.
The problem with arguments intended to excuse the inanities of the Bible is the poverty of their own imagination. This is supposed to be the guy who created the entire universe of trillions of galaxies, yet he can’t seem to figure out how to explain things to people even better than Bill Nye can? Ha!
The evidence for evolution is overwhelming. An important question for creationists: why would God create an Earth that appears to be a few billion years old? Why would he sprinkle the Earth with remains that far predate the Bible’s timeline? Why would he paint such a clear picture of an evolutionary processes? Is God tricking us?
As a believer in God, I don’t think so. The Bible says, “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (1 Cor. 14:33 KJV). I do not believe God is trying to trick anyone. He gave us our brains and I believe He wants us to use them.
Creationists seem to believe that science is completely incompatible with religion. This is false; accepting clear, plain scientific truths doesn’t require the rejection of one’s religious convictions. It just takes faith. I for one believe staunchly in both organic evolution and God.
Anyway, it’s a bit silly that Bill Nye, a TV personality, is being held up as the champion of Darwinism. I would be much more interested to see Mr. Ham debate someone like Francis Collins, where the debate wouldn’t be between religion and atheism as much as about the real issue of the perceived cognitive dissonance between science and religion.
Ham’s beliefs do no reflect those of the people of Kentucky…he isn’t our neighborhood church. We mostly ignore him here.
Why are some people so opposed to Biblical truth? With the complexity of our universe is it not more likely to have been designed by an intelligent creator than to have all happened by chance? The second law of thermodynamics is the law of entropy. The universe is running out of usable energy. So if it is winding down, then what wound it up?
The 2nd law applies only to closed systems; it does not apply to evolution. And evolution does not apply to theory of the origin of the cosmos..
Kevin did specify ‘the universe’, which is probably a closed system by definition.
“Kevin did specify ‘the universe’”
He used a whole bunch of words, but it wasnt clear which ones belonged with which.
“Why are some people so opposed to Biblical truth?”
People are opposed to circular reasoning, because it is an obvious fallacy. Well, at least people concerned about correct reasoning and critical thinking are opposed to fallacious (i.e., erroneous) thinking. The Bible is not true, unless what it says happens to be true, and the only way you can find out if it is actually true is by examining credible, relevant real world evidence to see if what the Bible says matches up with what we learned about the real world by looking at the real world itself. Of course, if what the Bible says does not match up with reality, then we know it is not true.
The Genesis creation story does not match up with reality. And this is the point.
exactly what scientific proof are either of you referring? being neither pro or conI was waiting to see if anybody had any actual scientific proof
One of the recurring problems in this ‘debate’ is the general lack of scientific literacy in the world. ‘Proof’ only exists in math, everything else has ‘evidence’. If you want to see evidence of evolution, pop into your local museum and they will be glad to show you some. Unless it is the Creation Museum, who have absolutely no evidence of anything.
See also: ‘theory’ which is frequently confused with ‘hypothesis’. A hypothesis is just a rough idea; a theory is a hypothesis backed up by evidence and testing. A ‘scientific fact’ doesn’t actually exist, it just means a theory with an enormous body of evidence behind it, which is what evolution is. Creationism is a hypothesis, and a lousy one at that.
I always find it quite strange how creationists, who apparently don’t know anything at all about the science, nor about thousands of research articles published in professional science journals of biology, paleontology, geology, astronomy, and so on (which are these days increasingly available to the public due to “open access” policies), somehow expect respondents on article response pages to provide them with a good science education.
Let me give you a clue: If you didn’t get an education in science when you went to school, and you are too lazy to use Google to go and study the actual science information for yourself, this is a reflection on you, not on people who take science seriously who refuse to spend days and weeks to educate you about the details of various aspects of science only to have you deliberately ignore it all anyway because of the closed-minded nature of your adherence to your personal religious beliefs no matter what the facts are.
Because humanities’ solipsism relating to emotional instability as a result of fear of death, results in; their decision to be ignorant of scientific facts (almost all do not understand what a theory/fact is); this often trumps knowledge based on data.
People still believe in Creationism in 2014!!? There is no debate. How can some people be so ignorant to basic scientific principles?
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