Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate


Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s true history
Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s true history
by Associated Press
Associated Press
Posted on February 5, 2014 at 3:32 AM
Updated yesterday at 11:52 AM
PETERSBURG, Ky. (AP) — True to his passionate and animated TV persona, “Science
Guy” Bill Nye tapped on the podium, threw up his hands and noted that science shows
the Earth is “billions and billions” of years old in a debate at a Kentucky museum
known for teaching that the planet’s age is only 6,000.
Nye was debating Creation Museum founder Ken Ham and promoting science in the
snappy way that made him a pop culture staple as host of “Bill Nye The Science Guy”2/6/2014 Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s truehistory | Portland 2/3
in the 1990s.
The event was meant to explore the age old question, “How did we get here?” from
the perspectives of faith and science.
Ham, an Australian native who has built a thriving ministry in Kentucky, said he trusts
the story of creation presented by the Bible.
“The Bible is the word of God,” Ham said. “I admit that’s where I start from.”
Nye delivered a passionate speech on science and challenged the museum’s teachings
on the age of the earth and the Bible’s flood story. Like most scientists, Nye believes
there is no credible evidence that the world is only 6,000 years old.
“If we accept Mr. Ham’s point of view … that the Bible serves as a science text and he
and his followers will interpret that for you, I want you to consider what that means,”
Nye said. “It means that Mr. Ham’s word is to be more respected than what you can
observe in nature, what you can find in your backyard in Kentucky.”
The event drew dozens of national media outlets and about 800 tickets sold out in
minutes. Ham said ahead of the debate that the Creation Museum was having a peak
day on its social media sites.
“I think it shows you that the majority of people out there, they’re interested in this
topic, they want to know about this, they don’t want debate shut down,” Ham said
before the debate.
At times, the debate had the feel of a university lecture, with slides and long-form
Responding to an audience question about where atoms and matter come from, Nye
said scientists are continuing to find out.
Ham said he already knows the answer.
“Bill, I want to tell you, there is a book that tells where atoms come from, and its starts
out, ‘In the beginning …,'” Ham said.
Nye said there are plenty of religious people around the world who don’t question
evolution science.
“I just want to remind us all there are billions of people in the world who are deeply
religious, who get enriched by the wonderful sense of community by their religion,”
said Nye, who wore his trademark bow tie. “But these same people do not embrace the
extraordinary view that the Earth is somehow only 6,000 years old.”2/6/2014 Bill Nye: Bible doesn’t tell Earth’s truehistory | Portland 3/3
The debate drew a few Nye disciples in the audience, including Aaron Swomley, who
wore a red bowtie and white lab coat. Swomley said he was impressed by Ham’s
presentation and the debate’s respectful tone.
“I think they did a good job outlining their own arguments without getting too heated,
as these debates tend to get,” he said.
Some scientists had been critical of Nye for agreeing to debate the head of a Christian
ministry that is dismissive of evolution.
Jerry Coyne, an evolution professor at the University of Chicago, wrote on his blog
that “Nye’s appearance will be giving money to organizations who try to subvert the
mission Nye has had all his life: science education, particularly of kids.” Coyne pointed
out that the Creation Museum will be selling DVDs of the event.
The debate was hatched after Nye appeared in an online video in 2012 that urged
parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children.
Ham rebutted Nye’s statements with his own online video and the two later agreed to
share a stage.

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