Ken Ham & Bill Nye “The Science Guy” in a Celebrity Deathmatch!
I think this debate is a terrible idea. I’ve met Ken Ham, sat through his lecture, and read several of his books. I thought his presentation was excellent and he delivered it with humor and wit. I found him eminently likable. Here’s why I think he get’s it wrong. He’s attempting to prove something by using a text that was never intended to answer his questions while asking questions irrelevant to the original storytellers. Why is he doing this? He believes – rightly or wrongly – that people can be argued into his worldview. I think he get’s this one wrong too. There’s a point at which all of us need to decide whether or not we’re all in on our beliefs and decide at what point we can no longer stay silent and/or compromise. In matters of empirical data you actually can show a chart with repeatable results and claim truth. When it comes to matters of belief…I can’t even begin to define how to argue or debate you into my worldview. I don’t think it’s possible. You believe because…you believe. I find science often times as wondrous a source of inspiration awe as my faith. I don’t find one negating the other. I know that I am in a very small minority here. To clarify what I mean by “science” I invoke the definition put forth by Neil Postman, “science then is the quest to find the immutable laws that govern processes, presuming that there are cause and effect relations among these processes,” i.e. science seeks empirical data that we can all objectively observe
Those within the church that believe in evolution and those that adhere to *creation science* have appropriated the text for purposes that are quite foreign to the biblical narrative. Neither understanding has anything to do with the oral tradition of the Hebrew people and their understanding of the universe and God. The first account of creation reflects Israel’s understanding of the structure of the cosmos. They viewed the earth as flat and circular. Above the earth was a dome-shaped sky or firmament that rested on the mountains around the edge of the earth. Water above the sky was the source of rain. The earth rested on pillars that floated in the water below the earth. These waters supplied the springs, streams, and rivers.
The Genesis account of creation does not allow a great deal of observation concerning immutable laws nor does it offer any empirical data that science can quantify. The account was not meant to be an expository piece regarding the methods, processes, and elements Yahweh used to create. Rather, it addressed the more practical aspects of creation that surround our experiences of living and surviving, e.g. the author does not attempt an analysis of the physical properties of light nor is he concerned about its source or generation. Light is the regulator of time. The functioning of the cosmos was much more important to the people of the ancient world than was its physical makeup or chemical composition. They described what they saw and, more important, what they experienced of the world as having been created by Yahweh.