On Feb. 4, science educator Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham went head to head in a “Evolution vs. Creation” debate at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. To say Nye dominated the debate in both his presenting of scientific evidence and in his rebuttals to Ham is an understatement.
Ham was the first opponent to present his 30-minute case on why creation is a viable model to explain the origin of mankind and the universe. Ham boldly said, “Creation is the only viable model of historical science confirmed by observational science in today’s modern scientific era.” Ham failed, however, to give any substantive scientific evidence for why creationism is actually reliable.
As some “proof” for creation, Ham often pointed out a handful of accomplished scientists who also believed in creation – as if a theory is made plausible simply because a few authoritative individuals say they believe in it.
Ham also utilized circular reasoning by pointing back to the Bible as presupposed proof. He based many of his “facts” on the assumption that the Bible is a 100 percent accurate text, and he therefore reasoned it to be a reliable source to support his argument.
On the flipside, Nye incorporated mainstream scientific facts as evidence and examples in his arguments that evolution was a more viable model of origins.
Some of Nye’s most insightful examples included how scientists have found that snow-ice layers, trees and rocks have been dated to be significantly older than 6,000 years – the age that creationism presupposes the Earth to be.
One interesting piece of evidence Nye highlighted was the vast number of species that are living on the Earth today: an estimated 16 million. According to Ham’s creationist belief in “The Flood,” there would have been roughly 7,000 “kinds” of animals on Noah’s ark – around 14,000 in total including male and female of each “kind.” These 7,000 types of animals would then have to make up for the estimated 16 million species we have today in a mere 4,000 years. Nye pointed out that roughly 11 new species would have to have been created every day according to the Biblical account of “The Flood.”
Although Nye did not completely cover some important evolutionary explanations and his overall presentation was far from perfect, in comparison to Ham, there is no question that Nye’s argument was superior.
Unfortunately for biblical creationists, Ham failed to give any robust evidence for why creation should be considered viable in today’s growing scientific world. He began most of his rebuttals against Nye with “there is a book out there” – in reference to the Bible – and thus attempted to prove why the creation theory of the Bible is accurate by using the Bible itself, a debating technique that is obviously futile.
One insightful and thought-provoking observation Nye made was in response to how Ham could so adamantly, and perhaps ignorantly, hold the Bible as a scientific authority, even over proven scientific facts and observations that can be performed and tested today.
No matter where you stand – pro-creationist theory, pro-evolutionist theory, neither or perhaps a mixture of the two – one thing is for certain. Most will agree that, in the debate between Ham and Nye, Nye definitely came out on top.