Thoughts On the Nye/Ham Debate

If you haven’t heard already there was a debate last night (02/04/2014) between Ken Ham and Bill Nye.  Here is a link to the two and a half hour debate.  The topic was “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins in the Modern Era?” It was held at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

I think the debate was good. Although it could have been shorter. The thirty minute main arguments were too long. Too much was presented which could not be addressed by the opponent. Both speakers stayed on target and seemed prepared. While I enjoyed the debate, I do not think anybody’s mind was changed. I found it interesting because I used to be on the Ham side of the issue and now I am on the Nye side.

There are a lot of people more qualified than I to comment and give in depth analysis of the arguments. I just want to point out a few things which stood out to me about Ham ‘s position.

Appeals to Authority

Ham spent a lot of time showing videos of PhD professors who were also young earth creationists. I know that a person with a relevant degree from a reputable university gives them credibility. Yet smart people with big degrees can be wrong. The professors shown mentioned they believed in a young earth, but offered no evidence.

Despite what Mr. Ham says, the Bible does not count as an authority. The Bible gets many things wrong in scientific accuracy.

A Contradiction

Ham argued that Nye was relying on a Christian worldview when he practices science. According to Ham, Nye is assuming the continuity of nature. It is the assumption that the laws of nature are constant. Science does rely on this assumption. Scientists work thinking the laws of physics will be the same tomorrow as they are today. This continuity is supposed to be evidence for God.

The contradiction was Ham’s argument about “historical science”. He argued that the age of the earth could not be proven because we weren’t there. Then when Nye brought up dating methods Ham said Nye was assuming, falsely, that nature was acted the same in the past as it does now. Wait a minute… Isn’t the “continuity of nature” a Christian Worldview? Ham never offered evidence for why we should think nature behaved differently in the past.

Messianic Manic has a great short video about the debate.