On Tuesday, February 4th, 2014, Ken Ham and Bill Nye “the Science Guy” stood before a crowd at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, arguing the viability of Ken Ham’s creation model. This debate, which was watched by thousands of fans, has been dubbed the Creation Debate.
During this debate, Ken Ham took the opportunity to make several accusations to “evolutionists” and non-Christian scientists. He stated:
Non-Christian scientists are really borrowing from the Christian world anyways to carry out observational science, ...Any scientist out there, Christian or non-Christian, that is involved in inventing things, involved in scientific method is using Creation. They are, because they are borrowing from a Christian worldview. They are using the laws of logic. I keep emphasizing that. I want Bill to tell me, in a view of the universe that's a result of natural processes, where the laws of logic came from. Why should we trust the laws of nature? Are they going to be the same tomorrow as they were yesterday? Modern science really came out of that thinking... that we can trust the laws of logic, that we can trust the laws of nature….God is necessary for science...God is necessary because you have to assume the laws of logic, you have to assume the laws of nature.
Ham had an array of creationist scientists standing by to lend their thoughts to the issue. One such supporter was Raymond Damadian, inventor of such technology as the MRI scanner. “The idea that scientists who believe the world is 6,000 years old cannot do science is wrong,” he argued. Ken Ham related this as a problem in, “defining our terms correctly.” "I believe it's all a part of secularists hijacking the word 'science'," he claimed.
Ham went on further to elaborate this issue, asserting that the current textbooks define science as “naturalism”, and are thus forcing the “religion” of naturalism upon kids. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of “naturalism” is as follows: “a theory denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance; specifically : the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena.” Thus, according to Ken Ham, explaining the natural world without involving a god or gods is “indoctrinating and brainwashing” children into believing there is no deity, specifically the Christian God and Jesus.
"Kids aren't being taught to think critically and correctly about the creation issue,” Ham declared.
One of the main arguments from Ken Ham involved Bill Nye and other scientists failing to distinguish between observational science, or what we can see in the present, and historical science, occurrences that we were not there to observe. "We can't observe God creating. We admit that,” he elaborates, “You can't observe the age of the earth. I would say that comes under historical origin science. Yes, we built our historical origin science on the Bible…. When you add up all those genealogies, you get 6,000 years." He then goes on to comment that secular scientists must admit to the same problem, of not being able to test the age of the earth because they were not there to witness it. “You can't observe the age of the earth, you can't see that,” he said,"I believe the students are being indoctrinated by the confusion of terms.
"We do see a decrease of Christian morality in our culture because kids are being taught the religion of naturalism...I believe [Creationists] are teaching people to think critically. I believe it’s the Creationists that should be teaching the kids out there, because we are teaching them how to think...I want to teach children that there is a god who loves them, made them, died on the cross for them, and that they are special,” Ham added.
Creationism and Evolution Debated
Tom Foreman, the announcer of this debate, posed to Ham the question, "What evidence besides the literal word of the Bible supports creationism?"
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And that's the only thing that makes sense...An infinite creator God who created the universe, created matter.. it's the only thing that makes sense...You're not going to be scientifically able to prove [the past]...” Ham hammered this statement home throughout the entire debate.
Another question Foreman asked was, “Since evolution teaches that man is evolving and growing stronger over time, how you can you explain the evidences that man had high intelligence in the past?”
Bill Nye was prepared with an answer. "There is no evidence humans are getting smarter. It's that what happens in evolution, it's survival of the fittest. It means those that fit in the best. Our intellect has enabled us to dominate the world. The evidence of humans is everywhere... It is our capacity to reason that has taken us to where we are now. If a germ shows up, we'll be taken out. We'll be eliminated. Being smarter is not a necessary consequence of evolution. So far, it seems to be the way things are going with the remarkable advantage it gives to us over we can control our environment or even change it, as we are doing today apparently by accident. So, everybody just take a little while to grasp this fundamental idea: it's how you fit into the world around you,” Nye implored.
"It's not survival of the fittest, “Ham countered, “It's survival of those who survive. You're not getting new information. You're not getting new function. There is no evidence of that at all. So, you need to correctly understand these things."
A Change of Mind
One of the major eye-opening moments of the debate was when this simple question was posed to the speakers: “What, if anything, would ever change your mind?”
"I'm a Christian,” Ham clearly stated, “As a Christian, I can't prove it to you that God has definitely shown me very clearly through his word, and shown himself in the person of Jesus Christ, the Bible is the word of God.... I admit, that that's where I start from..As Christians, we can say we know. No, no one is ever going to convince me that the word of God is not true… As a Christian, I have the foundation. As a Christian, I would ask Bill the question, what would change your mind?"
"We would just need one piece of evidence,” Bill responded, “We would need the fossil that swam from one layer to another. We would need evidence that the universe is not expanding. We would need evidence that the stars appear to be far away but they're not. Evidence that rock layers can somehow form in 4,000 years instead of the extraordinary amount. We would need evidence that you could reset the atomic clocks to keep neutrons from becoming protons. Any of those things, and you would change me immediately."
Reality of Teaching Creationism
Mr.Ham, you are not teaching children how to think. By telling them there is a god who loves them and died on the cross for them, you are teaching them Christianity. I know it may be hard to believe, but there are truly other religions out there besides Christianity. During your debate, you stated, “If [the Bible] is the word of God, there's not going to be any contradiction, which there is not."
Let me point out just a few of them for you. Are you aware that the Bible cannot agree who the father of Joseph (Mary’s husband) is? Matthew 1:16 claims it is Jacob, while Luke 3:23 states the father of Joseph is Heli. This book, which is supposed to be so accurate, cannot even get simple facts right. The people who were present to find Jesus’ tomb empty, a significant occurrence in your mythology, cannot be validated. Matthew 28:1 asserts that Mary and Mary Magdalene were the ones to find the empty tomb, while Mark 16:1 says Salome was also there. Yet, John 20:1 says only Mary Magdalene was witness to the event.
You base your worldview upon the chapters of Genesis, which claims god created the world and everything in it. Yet, this divinely-inspired book cannot recall whether god created man or animals first. In Genesis 1:25-26, it says animals were created first. Yet, the very same chapter, Genesis 2:18-19 says that man was created first, and God created the animals to keep him company.
When it comes to the death of your savior, surely your holy book should note the importance of his last words. Yet, what were they? According to Matthew 27:46-50, his last words were, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Luke 23:46 says his last words were, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit,” however. And John 19:30 recalls them as being, "It is finished.”
Your whole religion is based off of the “original sin,” which brought everything negative into the world, and is the reason humans are tainted and needed Jesus to die for their sins. Yet, this is what God had to say about sins transferring down generations, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deuteronomy 24:16)
Do these words sound like the words of a divinely inspired book, which is to be perfect in all ways? Or do they represent the mistakes of a book which has been written by dozens of men, then rewritten, edited, translated, rewritten again, and torn apart throughout history?
You, Mr. Ham, also said, "There is a book called the Bible. It's a very unique book, it's very different to any book out there. In fact, I don't know about a religion that has a book that starts off by telling you there is an infinite god and it starts off by telling you about the origin of the universe and the origin of matter,...life and… darkness,..day and night,.. of earth...,dry land..., plants.., sun, moon, stars..., sea creatures..., flying creatures,... land creatures,... man,... woman,... death,... sin,... marriage,... different languages,... clothing,... nations.”
What about the Islamic religion, which shares your creation story? What about the Hindu religion, in which everything was created by the Lord Brahma? The story of Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon’s rise to power is also very detailed, along with the creation of people and how humans became the dominant species. There are many, many creation stories even more detailed than yours, Mr. Ham. I suggest you look into the other religions of the world before casting your dice on the assertion that you have the right one. Because, as you said, there is no way to prove it.
These other religions are the main reason Creationism will never be taught in science classes. There is no more evidence for Christianity than there is Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism, or the long-abandoned religions of the world. If you would object to the Islamic religion being preached in class, and children being taught to believe they are loved by Allah, then you can understand why non-creationists do not want your “facts” in our science classes.
As you said yourself, “There is no evidence of that at all.”