By Denny Burk
The creation debate just ended. I do not plan on giving an extended commentary and analysis of this, but here are some of my initial impressions:
Ken Ham has an unwavering commitment to biblical authority and to the gospel. I admire that about him and do believe him to represent the most compelling position. I am grateful that he is out there fighting the good fight. He's one of the good guys.
Bill Nye believes that scientific innovation will die unless creationists abandon their beliefs and embrace Bill Nye's view of science. That is why he treats creationists as a hindrance to the public good who must be stopped. The only problem with this belief is that it is empirically and verifiably false. As Ken Ham demonstrated, there have been and are many great scientists who have innovated from within a theistic/Christian worldview. Nye's public service announcements warning Americans about creationists were therefore more condescending than helpful. Regardless of your view of creationism, Ken Ham showed that there is no opposition between Christianity and scientific innovation.
Bill Nye came across as a more impressive speaker than Ken Ham. Nye has a delivery and presentation style that many will find very compelling. I'd be interested to see if anyone actually scored the debate on points. It seemed like Nye probably won on that measurement.
Ken Ham was cordial and winsome throughout. Bill Nye was combative and condescending throughout. I doubt that Ham won many converts through his cordiality, and I'm certain that Nye didn't win any with his condescension.
I doubt that either of these men persuaded anyone to switch their view one way or the other. If you watched this debate as a naturalist, you probably weren't challenged to change that worldview. Likewise, if you watched the debate as a theist, there was nothing here to undermine your worldview either.
Bill Nye does not appear to have even a rudimentary understanding of the Bible or theology. When he ventured into questions of hermeneutics or biblical interpretation, he was way out of his depth.
There's much more that can and should be said about this debate. I'm looking forward to reading post-debate commentary and analysis from others. Mine ends here. I encourage you to watch the debate for yourself below:
- At least 5M tune in to watch Nye, Ham debate Earth's origins • AP
- And the debate winner is ... God's Word, says Ken Ham • OneNewsNow
- Pat Robertson to Ken Ham: 'Let's Be Real, Let's Not Make a Joke of Ourselves' • Christian Post
- How Long were the Days of Creation? • SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
- Issues in Genesis • SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
- Debate Reactions Mixed • Answers in Genesis