Part way through the Creation Debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, I found myself praying for Ken Ham. I prayed to God for Ham to give up his argument on the age of the earth. The age of the earth will be Ken Ham's Achilles ankle. Bill Nye did in fact make short work of Ham, holding his own while pointing out Ken Ham gave no compelling evidence for his views, specifically of proving a young earth. My Christian faith wasn't shaken, and I still believe in the supernatural creator of the Bible, creating all of the universe. Even so, the debate left me frustrated.
Here are eight areas where Ken Ham missed the boat in tonight's debate:
#1. Ken repeatedly appealed to several PhDs who hold his belief in a young earth, but then Ham finished his debate by saying that a majority rule doesn't mean their view is right, in response to Nye saying how the vast majority of scientists reject Ham's view. It is irrelevant on how many scientists think the earth is young. That point proves nothing about anything other than their view. That information about the views of creationist PhDs did nothing to reveal evidence from nature to explain the actual age of the earth.
#2. Ken Ham should've used Pangaea to his advantage. Instead, Ham made a miserable attempt to say the movement of the Tectonic plates today might not be the rate of movement they've always been. Pangaea is Biblical, and it would've explained why there are kangaroos in Australia.
#3. Ken Ham is mistaken to say that lions were herbivores before the Fall of Adam and Eve. The Bible never says such nonsense. And, the death that the Bible talks about entering the world after the Fall was spiritual. Adam ate the fruit of the tree in Gen 3 and physically he lived over 100 more years, yet one chapter earlier God said, "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, ESV) So either God meant a spiritual death, or God didn't follow through on His word and kill Adam on that very day. The idea that no animals died before the Fall is not supported anywhere in Scripture. There is no evidence to say that the animals would have lived forever if sin didn't enter the world.
#4. Ken Ham should've made a better clarification that micro and macro evolution are two different ideas. He blew a great opportunity there, instead, he elaborated on "kinds" of animals. Ham could've gone into irreducible complexity or spent his time on unpacking the fact that there are no transitional fossils, that all animals in the fossil record are fully formed. Instead Ham let Nye use fossils to Nye's advantage from a debate perspective.
#5. Ken Ham gained nothing and proved nothing to Bill Nye by arguing for a young earth. Nowhere does the Bible give us a date, nor does the Bible command we argue for an age of the earth. Ham should've said, "For the sake of argument, who cares about the age of the earth." And moved on to "why" there even is anything at all. Nye was excited to talk about that. Instead, all Ham did was cite the genealogy of the Bible, added up every one's ages, and gave a rough age of a young earth. What good did that do to prove a Creator created the earth? None.
#6. Bill Nye repeatedly asked for one predictive insight Ken Ham's Biblically based model could provide. Nye said science can make predictions and test those and that verifies the scientific model. For one, Ham could've pointed out one can't test or repeat a test for the Big Bang. All we can do is read the evidence. More to the point, when Nye asked -- begged for one thing Ham could predict, Ham missed his Golden opportunity. "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:10-12, ESV) Click here for Science and Scripture on the End of Time
#7 When Bill Nye mentioned "survival of the fittest" and how evolution brought us to this point, and how intelligent we are as humans, Ham should've asked why do we have an over abundance of intelligence? Quantum physics, nuclear medicine, and sending people to the moon are overkill. We could hunt and gather and evade saber-tooth tigers with a fraction of our intelligence. How does evolution account for all of the unnecessary added intelligence we have as humans? It can't.
#8. Instead of simply asking why life arouse from mere matter, or how does Nye account for the laws of logic, Ham should've driven the point home that the laws of physics do not require nor make life necessary. None of the Laws of Physics dictate the necessity of life existing.
Bottom line: If I needed a consult for heart surgery, I wouldn't go to two people who simply held Bachelor's degrees, yet those are the only credentials for both Bill Nye and Ken Ham. The Origins of the universe is far more significant than heart surgery. I believe in the Biblical account of creation per a Creator, but I could care less about the age of the earth; the Bible doesn't mention the age nor does the Bible command we argue over the age of the earth. Ken Ham argued over the age of rocks, but that won't point people to the Rock of Ages. Bill Nye used an analogy repeatedly about CSI to show we can look at evidence to draw conclusions from the past, and Nye mentioned his acceptance of the scientific method. Nye begged Ham to just show him one testable model that creationists could offer to show a predictable outcome. Ham should've used that opportunity to hone in on the actual topic of the debate and point out that Nye was himself appealing to a "cause and effect" universe, which is proof positive for a creator of our universe. Since the universe had a beginning, that requires a personal choice, so Who made that choice? would've been the proper response to win the debate.
I wish I could debate Ken Ham from a Christian perspective.... The Nye/Ham debate will be online for a few days at debatelive.org and I recommend watching it for yourself.
Click here for Nye's thoughts a few months after the debate
And for comedic relief, even Pat Robertson has a few words to add: