Where Men And Dinosaurs Collide: Evolution And Creationism Go Head To Head In Big Debate (VIDEOS)

Creationist Ken Ham and Science Guy Bill Nye Debate Evolution

Bill Nye (the science guy) went head to head against Ken Ham (CEO of Creationist Museum) to debate evolution vs. creationism. Image Credit: Skeptical Science

Bill Nye (the science guy) went head to head against Ken Ham (CEO of Creationist Museum) to debate evolution vs. creationism. And he did it on enemy turf. Within the building that displays humans frolicking with dinosaurs, both men were given the time to make statements, presentations, rebuttals and counter-rebuttals. Tom Foreman of CNN moderated the event.

Nye has been criticized for his entertaining of Ham and creationists. Giving “the oxygen of respectability in the world of real science“, according to Richard Dawkins. To Nye’s credit, he said he had spoken out because he had a moral responsibility to oppose the teaching of creationism.  He’s said creationism is “completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe” and mis-educating a generation of students by teaching creationism will harm our country because “we need scientifically literate voters and tax payers for the future”.

Unlike Ken Ham, most of us believe in evolution.

But from a Pew Research poll, the stats are clear. The majority of people believe in some form of evolution.

Pew Poll -- most of us believe in evolution.

This Pew Research poll shows that — unlike creationist Ken Ham — most of us believe in at least some form of evolution. Yet, a surprising number of us don’t.

The actual question posed for debate was,

“Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

Both men’s opening statements and presentations were entertaining, informational and cordial. It was once the presentations were finished and the questioning began that the arguments started to fly. Ken Ham believes in a world where everything has an answer. When that answer cannot be found, the answer is God and the Bible. Bill Nye believes that all things are not known presently. But that is no reason not to search for a provable answer in the future.

Point, counterpoint.

A major point all evening was from Bill Nye. Science allows for predictability. Creationism does not. If you have a theory, or belief, then you can make a prediction and then prove it.

Ken Ham’s point he hammered home was that there were two different types of science. Historical science and Observational science. You can prove one through observation but the other cannot be proven. You weren’t there in the past so you cannot know. And no methods known today can ultimately prove the age of the earth or the universe.

That is the way most of the evening progressed. From those two platforms are where the gentlemen voiced their views.There were a few verbal jabs at one another but all in all a very entertaining debate.

Yes Ken, but what about…?

One thing I have always found compelling and Bill Nye addressed more than once is that there are 7 billion people on earth. The majority of them are not Christian nor do they believe in creationism. Only a few thousand do. If Ken Ham believes that the Christian Bible is the literal interpretation of the word of God then, what about all those people that are theoretically made in His image that never knew Christianity? What of the nations and civilizations that we have proof of that existed prior to the Bible?

A few very interesting questions were posed to both men.

“What would make you change your mind about what you believe?”

Ken Ham’s drawn out answer inevitably led to nothing. Nothing exists that would make him change his mind about creation. Bill Nye on the other hand responded in direct opposition. Anything. Any proof or evidence that would show the link or disprove the theory of evolution would be welcomed by science. It would change the world. That’s what science is all about. Proving or disproving theory. Bill Nye would gladly change his view if Ken Ham could just prove his.

“What is the one thing more than anything else upon which you base your belief?”

The Bible. Ken Ham says specifically that,

“if you search for God he will reveal himself”.

To me, that’s a lot like saying if you think something is long enough and hard enough then it is. At least you can make yourself believe it is.

Bill Nye, on the other hand, answered that,

“the process of science, the way we know nature is the most compelling thing”.

Literal poetry.

But the biggest slip I saw all evening was when the question was posed of Ken Ham.

“Do you believe the entire Bible is to be taken literally?”

His answer debated the meaning of the word literally as opposed to naturally. But then he made the distinction between the history, typical historical narrative as in Genesis, or poetry as in Psalms.

Bill Nye immediately jumped on his opponent. It sounded to him, as it did most of us, that Ken Ham wants you to believe that we should interpret the Bible as he does. Some of it is literal and some is open to each persons interpretation. That in and of itself is disturbing. When Ken Ham takes Genesis literally and builds a museum around it but then other parts of the Bible are open to interpretation. As a reasonable man, all the things that contradict the original passages unsettle Bill Nye when Ken Ham wants us to interpret the rest of it literally.

In my opinion he’s right. You can’t have it both ways. Either the Bible is the literal word of God or it isn’t. There is no hybrid in Christianity. And that’s where the argument for creationism fails. You can’t just disregard the parts that don’t suit your theories.

Ken Ham is out with the New and in with the Old.

Bill Nye also pounced when Ken Ham was caught between Old and New Testament. If everything that the Creationist Museum is based on is from the literal interpretation of Old Testament Genesis then there are messages in the New Testament, where Jesus is, that are contradictory. Which is how we should live? Or, should we live through what we can prove or has been proven through natural law and experimented theory?

So who won? Ken Ham or Bill Nye?

Maybe it was all of us. Ken Ham got to offer up his ideas about conservative religion. Bill Nye countered with scientific data. Neither are going to change the other’s mind. And I suspect that most religious conservatives wouldn’t acknowledge fact if it meant they had to deny their faith. Just like Ken Ham.

Here’s the video with the first part of the debate.


And here’s the video with the second part of the debate.