The creationist Ken Ham Debates Bill Nye the science guy in this Video
They both present 5 minute opening sequences, and continue to grapple with the definition of science and belief.
Ham hopes to separate science into present observations and “historical science” that explains geological formations, and origins. He thinks historical science requires a type of faith because there is no way to presently observe it. Instead scientists must rely on “natural laws” that may have been different when the biblical god worked on the early earth.
Hams acceptance of evolution in more modern contexts shows a change for the creationist vs. science debate. Recent discoveries in microbiology show evolution in the laboratory, and Ham claims that Darwin’s finches did evolve from a common finch ancestor.
Creationists remain hung up on applying current fact to the past. Ham refers to this process as historical science. Instead he proposes that natural laws and reality do not apply equally throughout time. So finches can evolve new forms from other finches, but could not have a common ancestor with a parrot.
Relying on Authority
Throughout Ham’s argument he interviews scientists who have publish and accomplished great discoveries, but believe in a young earth theory. By displaying their awards and scientific discoveries he argues that they must be credible to determine whether creationism is true.
Ham shows a segment by Stuart Burgess who is a professor of engineering design at Wister university in UK and a well published bioengineer and is a biblical creationist.
Religious arguments often rely on authority, and ultimately come down to an absolute authority provided by the bible
Opening remarks by Bill Nye
Bill Nye begins with a comical bow tie story, to show the use of stories in our understanding of the past. He succeeded in showing that stories do not need to be true to be compelling or powerful emotionally, with the comedy, and seem like a serious statement of fact to be repeated.
Is ken ham’s idea viable?
Instead of arguing in dry logic Nye referenced popular culture television with CSI. In the show there is no distinction between the 2 types of science when solving a mystery. Even though the crime happened in the recent past, and cannot be directly observed. By putting together clues about the past the characters move forward to convict.
Natural laws that applied in the past apply now as well….
This is the assumption that judges, lawyers, and CSI operatives convict under. When you apply this logic something that happened a week ago should be similar to 7000 years ago. This argument is compelling since there is no evidence to show that natural laws were different in the past except for the bible.
Why would natural laws matter for creationism?
For example the supernatural flood would devastate all the evidence of evolution. All land plants would be drowned under water, and the arc presents rediculous engineering and biological challenges without divine intervention.
Lack of Common Appeal & real danger of young earth theories
Billions of people in the world are religious and do not accept the creationist model 6000 year old world. Other countries are moving ahead in science education and modernizing into the tech workforce. If the christian world and the United states abandon technology and science education in favor of young earth and anti-evolution stances we cannot stay ahead and innovate in the modern world.
Ham’s Testable Theory
Ham argues that the Atheist lobby is keeping prominent scientists quiet, and that the bible is more convincing than assuming a historical uniformity in natural law. (the assumption that things happen the same in the past, present, and future)
He offers many things to test his young earth predictions.
- evidence of a flood
- evidence of a single race descended from 2 individuals (adam and eve)
- animals only stay within family groups
- ex. darwins finches. but they all come from finches
- ex. kind only refers to family (dogs stay dogs) (finches become finches) so…. observable parts of the tree are ok, but taking it back further is not ok…. No single base form “molecules to man”
- The tower of babel produced the worlds different languages and people
- evidence of one universe made to support Humans
Providing testable tennants of his argument Ham unravels his own credibility and argument. This is where Nye cut in and dominated.
Watch this video for a quick recap