bill nye, ken ham, creationism debate

Children’s TV personality and scientist Bill Nye asked Creation Museum head Ken Ham to “consider the following”: The Earth is not 6000 years old and the Bible does not explain how we got here.

Nye ventured to Petersberg, KY, home of the Creation Museum, to debate the founder on the topic of evolution. Ham is a Young Earth Creationist, which means he believes the literal interpretation of Genesis — that is, the Earth was created in 6 days by the Christian God.

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The 70,000 square foot “Answers in Genesis” features a walk through history in accordance with what is written in the Bible, but also features a botanical garden and petting zoo. Some explanations for creationism found in the museum include a sign, which reads: “God was there from the beginning and He wrote down in the Bible when and how He made everything.” Other claims the museum makes include that dinosaurs used to be vegetarians, but Adam and Eve’s sins caused them to attack each other; and that since most dinos were very small, it was easy to fit pairs of them on the ark. It’s the dinos that didn’t make it on the ark whose bones were washed all over the world, and their extinction was caused by an inability to adjust to the world after the flood.

While many Christians do not believe in a literal interpretation of the Creation story, the debate between whether intelligent design should be taught in schools rages on. The debate itself was sparked by a video Nye made claiming that Creationism was not an appropriate thing to teach children.

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During the debate, which aired live on, Nye and Ham responded to each other’s arguments as well as took pre-submitted questions from the audience. Nye stuck to his position that scientific evidence could not support the Bible, saying, “Mr. Ham and his followers have this remarkable view of a worldwide flood that somehow influenced everything we observe in nature — a 500-foot wooden boat, eight zookeepers for 14,000 individual animals. Every land plant under water for a full year? Now I ask us all, is that really reasonable?”

Ham, as predicted, stuck to his faith that the Bible is the ultimate authority.

Ham was quick to admit this, saying, “I’m only too willing to admit my historical science is based on the Bible.” Any scientific tests that could be produced to indicate otherwise he claims could be inaccurate or flawed, and the only true way to know what happened was to believe the only witness — God. This is obviously problematic for secularists who do not believe in God, or for other religions who have alternative creation beliefs.

The debate was respectful, and well-attended. The 800 tickets to the event sold out in a matter of minutes, and the debate attracted over 500,000 online viewers. Despite the excitement surrounding the debate, it should be noted that neither side is likely to change their mind about the whole thing.

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