In Monday evening's debate between Creationist Ken Ham and Evolutionist Bill Nye, the two men were given the opportunity to express their view of the origin of man and to debate whether Creationism is a viable modern of origins in today's modern scientific era. The event took place at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, and was moderated by CNN's Tom Foreman.
Ken Ham is the President and cofounder of Answers in Genesis (AIG). His organization believes that Genesis teaches a literal six-day creation, and displays evidences of God's authorship of life at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.
Ham challenged Evolutionist Bill Nye, known widely for his science exploration television show, "Bill Nye the Science Guy," after Nye had released a YouTube video pleading with parents not to teach their children about Creationism. In "Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children," Nye predicts that those who believe the Biblical account of creation will have no interest in scientific innovation, and will grow up to be scientifically illiterate voters who cause the United States to lose its status as a leading innovator of technology.
During Monday night's event, Ham and Nye were given the opportunity to give a thirty minute presentation and to respond to one another's comments in a period of rebuttal. They also participated in a Q&A session with the audience at the end.
Ken Ham won the coin toss, and opted to go first.
Some secularists don't believe that Creationists are considered scientists; Ham argues that the word "science" - which, in essence, means "to know" - has been hijacked. There are different types of knowledge, he explains: observational science (using the scientific method to study things that are observable), which scientists use to produce technology, and origins - or historical - science (things which are not observable), which concerns the past. Human origins are important to discuss because creation bears weight on how people view their lives and how they should think about the afterlife.
In his opening statement, Ham played video clips of several prominent scientists who are also Creationists; an astronomer, for instance, and the man who created the MRI machine attested that they believe in the Biblical account of creation. Ham thus proved that Nye's claim that Creationists are scientifically illiterate and have no interest in innovation is false.
Ham also explained that secular scientists use a part of the Christian worldview when they do scientific experimentation; every scientist borrows from the law of nature, the law of logic, and the uniformity of nature when making predicaments about the future. The fact that the laws of nature do not change arbitrarily is essential for scientific predictions. He poses the question to Nye, "How do you account for the laws of logic and laws of nature from a naturalistic worldview that excludes the existence of God?"
The fact that we cannot observe the past distinguishes observational science from historical science. "It doesn't matter whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist; all scientists have the same experimental or observational science," says Ham, and no scientist is able to observe the past. Although they may have the same evidence, scientists arrive at different interpretations of the evidence based on their worldview - whether it be naturalism or based on the creation account in God's word.
Ham also reasons that what an evolutionary scientist believes about human has no bearing on their observational science. "Can you name one piece of technology that could only have been developed starting with a belief in molecules-to-man evolution?" he asks Nye, implying that observational science and technology have nothing to do with his belief about evolution.
If Creationism is true, then we would expect to find evidence confirming that an intelligence produced life, and that animals produce after their own kind. There would also be evidence of a global flood in Noah's time, and evidence confirming that there is only one race of humans which came from Adam and Eve; these are all evidences which are supported by science, Hamattests.
The term "evolution" has been hijacked by secularists as well, Ham says; Creationists do believe that kinds change within themselves over time (different breeds of canines), but there has been no observable evidence supporting that one kind (dogs) can change into another kind (elephants). Evolutionists assume this is what must have happened, however, since they can't explain the origins of man without this assumption; they then use the term "evolution" as a bait-and-switch, and apply it to historical science as if it were observational. Children in school are thus taught that evolutionary theory is a pretty well-proven fact, and are not usually given significant evidence of the Biblical account of creation as a viable model of origins.
"Students are being indoctrinated by the confusion of terms," Ham proclaims - terms that are "being used to impose an anti-God religion on generations of unsuspecting students." Ham challenges evolutionary scientists to admit the belief-aspects of their scientific theory; secularists claim that they don't want Creationism taught in schools because it is based on religion, yet evolutionists impose their ideology of naturalism - a religion of itself - on students.
Evolution and Creationism both deal with the issue of ultimate authority - does it lay within man, or with God? Because evolution has been taught exclusively in many schools, moral absolute truths have been replaced with moral relativism ("this is true for me") in American culture.
In the closing minutes of his presentation, Ham relayed that the book of Genesis is "foundational to all Christian doctrine;" it explains the origin of life, sin, death, and salvation, among many other things. He challenges Christians and evolutionists to think about how Genesis connects these things together - "Sin and death entered the world, and that's why God's Son died on a cross - to conquer death and offer the free gift of salvation. The flood of Noah's day ... was a judgment because of man's wickedness, but at the same time a message of God's grace and salvation. As Noah and his family had to go through a door to be saved, so we need to go through a door to be saved: Jesus Christ said, 'I am the Door; by me if any man enter in, he will be saved.'"
The whole point of it all is this, Ham says: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."