Ham-on-Nye Debate

Well, I followed a link on my Facebook feed which brought me to a live streaming of the debate between Ken Ham (President and CEO of Answers in Genesis, a young-Earth Creationist organisation) and Bill Nye (the Science Guy).

Link to YouTube video.

I started watching it live at the 1hr-something mark, and then decided to call my 11yods over to watch it with me. So we ‘rewound’ it and started from the beginning. He periodically paused the video and gave his comments. I have to say I was very impressed that he was able to identify some of the poor arguments made (mostly by Ken Ham).
My scattered thoughts:bill-nye-ken-ham-debate

Why does Ken Ham, who has lived in the US for decades still have such a strong Aussie accent? I guess he must be like the proverbial leopard and its spots. (I know that my accent has changed since living here and my accent changes depending on who I’m speaking to. Get me in a room with a Malaysian, an Australian and an American and watch me struggle to find the right accent!)

I think both men behaved well and spoke calmly. There were a couple of moments I felt that Bill Nye was trying to keep his temper under control (he seemed more animated), but overall, it was good. The audience members were polite and applauded only when they were allowed to.

Ken Ham repeated over and over the YEC spiel of the distinction between Observational Science and Historical Science. Both Creationists and Evolutionists look at the same evidence, but that they interpret it differently. Also, no one was there to observe the past, so we can never really know what happened.

Bill Nye commented several times that Ken Ham is basing his ideas on an ancient 3000-year-old document that has been translated into American English. At the start of the debate, he also got a bit technical and went into detail which probably went over the heads of some people. But he toned it down after that and stuck to the debate.

Ken Ham showed video clips and mentioned by name several science PhD holders who believe in a young Earth, as described in the Bible.

Bill Nye stated that science has predictive value, ie, that we can make predictions based on what we observe. He asked, several times during the debate, whether the Creation model makes predictions. As far as I can work out, Ken Ham never answered that question.

I like that Bill Nye always referred to Ken Ham’s position as ‘the Ken Ham model of Creation’ and not merely ‘Creation’. He made a point several times that there are billions of people who have faith in a deity, but who reject ‘the Ken Ham model of Creation’.

Ken Ham, I feel, went off topic several times during the debate.

Ken Ham made a point to mention that a belief in a young earth is not a salvation issue – only belief in Jesus is – but then he had to add that one cannot be a consistent Christian if one believes in evolution.

Finally, during Q & A time, there were very loaded questions from the audience members directed at one or the other debater. It was during this time that Bill Nye got asked questions like ‘What started the Big Bang?’ and ‘How did consciousness come from matter?’ where he basically said, ‘I don’t know, but it is a very interesting and exciting area to explore and discover.’ And Ken Ham had the chance to give a rebuttal, where he started off by saying, ‘Well, Bill, there’s this Book…’ 

The question that really sums up the whole debate, I feel, came near the end (around the 2:04 mark).

Question: What, if anything, would ever change your mind?

(I’m paraphrasing.)
Ken Ham: Nothing. (The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it.)
Bill Nye: Evidence.

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Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014, in Answers in Genesis, Creation Scientists, Creation vs Evolution, Education, Evolution, Faith and Culture, Logical Fallacies, Religion, Science, Young Earth Creationism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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