Debates of this sort are big and staged and have clear battle lines drawn. The unfortunate thing is that most people will not experience it. ♦
In case you missed it, there was a Creation vs. Evolution Debate this past week between Creation Museum founder Ken Ham and education advocate Bill Nye (“the Science Guy”). An estimated five million people either watched the event online or via archived video. The debate winner is really dependent upon your bias as a fundamental Christian, atheist, secularist, evolutionist, Christian evolutionist, or even secular Christian. This is how most of these debates go. The only thing missing is the “Spin Room” after a political debate where media and handlers alike prop up their candidate and declare victory.
Casting bias aside, actually both men handled themselves fairly well and stayed in their known lanes. Bill Nye came across honest and sincere, although betrayed an astounding lack of understanding in theology. His patronizing “I’m not a theologian” is quite right. Ken Ham came across as a technical Bible preacher/theologian who has made this presentation/sermon many times.
The problem really with this debate is that most people won’t experience it. Most will hear or read the summary text and points of view of the secular mainstream media or their own favorite news feeds and blog sites. They may declare victory for Science or, in the case of some Christians, get the media buzz that Ken Ham didn’t perform as well and that Science/Evolution held their own. Such is the power of the media and written word.
Having watched all of it, the fascinating thing is that Ken Ham hit it out of the park.
The Hijacking of Terms: Science and Evolution
He made a key point: there’s been a hijacking of terminology by the secular/evolutionists. This is particularly true in the education arena. Many are not fully aware how these terms are being used to impose an anti-God religion on generations of unsuspecting students. In some academic settings any support of a Biblical perspective is grounds for ridicule as anti-science or the scientific process. At the same time, the word evolution is used interchangeably for observable changes we see all around us (dogs and cat species differentiation, for instance) and then for unobservable changes such as molecules to man transformation. There is no evidence for Darwin’s molecules to man theory. This should be openly discussed.
One needs to be confidentially equipped to state publicly that they don’t believe in evolution. In many ways, unfortunately, it’s like shouting in a public theatre, not “fire!” but that you don’t believe in man-made global warming. Be prepared to support your position. Given the science/evolution hijacking, this is easily interpreted to mean one doesn’t believe in observable change over time, an obvious fact. However this is only true within species, again like dogs and cats, i.e., dogs do not evolve into cats but change within their own kinds. It’s a similar point made in a previous post (see 3/1/13 post Macroevolution and Microevolution).
Perspectives and Predictive Power
Ken Ham rightly explained that creationists and evolutionists have varying views and perspectives on the same body of evidence. They have their own observations and interpretations on the Grand Canyon layers, fish and dinosaur fossils, interpretation of data from space, radioactive dating assumptions, origins on planets, human life, and origins of the races. It’s all actually a battle of conflicting philosophical worldviews and assumptions applied to interpretation of evidence.
Evolutionists look at the present and apply a Darwinian model in interpreting the past. Creationists look at the present and past in light of the testimony of Word of God. It is interesting that Bill Nye kept repeating that science is predictive and that the Bible and creationist thinking are not. Ken Ham addressed this well. Actually the Bible contains predictive evidence that a higher intelligence produced life, that plants and animals produced after their own kind and not into another kind, that the world experienced a global flood in Noah’s day, that one race emerged from the original couple, Adam and Eve, and that the Tower of Babel led to the dispersion of multiple global languages.
It’s at least worthy of review, study and discussion. That Bill Nye refers to the Bible as a book written “3,000 years ago and translated into English” and therefore is suspect and not reliable sounds more like a 1970’s college professor who has not kept up with the times and the volumes of evidentiary books and studies that would refute his stance.
Let’s Teach the Debate
The Intelligent Design crowd got it right. Neutralize the polemics and let the issues be debated in the public square and the public schools. It will not dumb down a generation, but rather increase the knowledge base and coherence of logical thinking, analyses and study of facts, not simply parroting tracts, talking points and political public policy.
There should be freedom to speak out without fear of healthy Biblical and scientific debate on either side. Debates like what took place this week in Kentucky should be commonplace with the supporting arguments and information freely passed between everyone, not just unique individuals, one in a thousand, like Ken Ham and Bill Nye who can articulately engage in fair-minded discussions of Biblical truth and scientific evidence.
Are you equipped to engage in the Bible and science debate?
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. – Romans 1:20