After the ‘Debate’

I’m going to refer to last night, February 4th, as that sort of kind of almost debate-ish thing. I can’t bring myself to really call it a debate, as it was more of one man preaching, and another man showing facts.

To clarify, Bill Nye, ‘The Science Guy’ and Mr. Ken Ham, a Young Earth Creationist, met at The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Now, I hail from Kentucky, and while I love my state, there are times I just want to move elsewhere – last night was one. I was excited to watch this debate, and see what all would be said by both men. Personally, I side with Bill Nye and the rest of the scientific community in the belief that the Earth is billions of years old.

Throughout the debate I opted to have a tab with Twitter open, another with Google+, and a third with Facebook. Twitter kept rolling, and I realized I wasn’t the only person that was completely confused by the circular logic of one Mr. Ken Ham. I finally started making jokes about his circular answers with the #recursion hashtag, because I just couldn’t believe people were listening to him anymore.

Then, this question, given by the audience, came up. I’m glad that the moderator picked this one, as it very closely mirrored mine.

“Mr. Ham a new question. Ah, this is a simple question, I suppose, but one that is actually fairly profound for all of us in our lives.
What, if anything, would change your mind?”

The answers, from both parties were not surprising, however, the answer from Ken Ham absolutely confused me.
(If you’d like to listen to it, here’s a direct link to the starting point of this particular question >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI#t=7440 <<)

Here’s his answer, and my commentary.

Ken Ham: “Hmm. (long pause)
Long pause indeed, I already know his answer, nothing, but I want to hear him say it
Well, the answer to that question is, I’m a Christian.
We knew that. We knew that before the debate, and if we didn’t well, we knew it in the first 5 minutes of the debate.
And, as a Christian, I can’t prove it to you,
Bravo. Finally he admits he can’t prove something. 
… but, 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.
Okay, I get that. I agree with this, at least for most Christians. However there are several translations of the Bible that different branches of Christianity use. We could sit here all day and argue semantics about which branch is correct, however that is not my point. And I don’t want to go crazy this late at night.
I admit that’s where I start from.
Knew that already, you have said this many times.
I can challenge people, that you can go and test that.
Test what? Test words and phrases, to see if they line up with other phrases? Can you test that Jesus is a real person? Can you test that God exists? You cannot use your one and only documentation to prove your one and only documentation. That’s why so many people prefer to ignore Christians, in general, because you can’t use circular logic to prove circular logic. 
You can make predictions based on that.
No, you can’t. Predictions don’t come from one source, and only one source, that are then proved by that one source. 
You can check the prophecies in the Bible, you can check the statements made in Genesis, you can check that. And I did a little bit of that tonight.
Same source, obviously. You need to check them against other sources, other historically accurate sources. 
And I can’t, ultimately, prove that to you.
You sure can try….
All I can do, is to say to someone ‘Look, if the Bible really is, what it claims to be, if it really is the Word of God, and that’s what it claims, then, check it out.’
More circular logic. ‘If this says this claim, and this claim is covered later in the same book, then it must be true.’
Now, the Bible says, ‘If you come to God believing that He is, He will reveal Himself to you, and you will know.’ As Christians, we can say we know.
You can safely say you have a good idea. One cannot, with 100% certainty, state that you know this is true. You can have a good idea, and yes, I know faith is a big thing here, but faith shouldn’t be used to cover up gaps that accurate science fills, just because it makes you reconsider your faith. 
As far as the Word of God is concerned, no, no one is ever going to convince me that the word of God is not true.
THIS RIGHT HERE, THIS LINE!
I’m willing to bet that if God, came to visit Ken Ham, in the flesh, and said ‘Hey man, that was a work of fiction. It was something I used to explain it at the time… you’re taking this waaaaay too literal.’ He would be like, ‘But, that’s not what it says. You weren’t there, you don’t know.’ or something equally silly.

I do want to make a distinction here, for Bill’s sake, we build models based upon the Bible, and those models are always subject to change. The fact of Noah’s flood, is not subject to change. The model of how the flood occurred, is subject to change.Because we observe in the current world, and were able to come up with different ways this could have happened, or that could have happened.
Wait, we have models of Noah’s flood? A whole earth covering flood? How does that work, no, really, how does it work?
The scientist in me doesn’t like understand how scientists around the world, and through time, have discredited the story of Noah’s Flood. (Oh, and for those of you who don’t know, the story of a great cataclysm have happened in other cultures, cultures prior to the writings of Moses that covers Noah and the Flood.) 
And that’s part of that scientific discovery.  That’s part of what it’s all about. So, uh, the bottom line is that, as a Christian I have a foundation that as a Christian, I would ask Bill the question ‘What would change your mind.’
I would have hoped, by now, that he knew that the question was also meant for Bill. 
I mean, you said, even if you came to faith you’d never give up believing in billions of years, I think I’ve quoted you correctly, you said something like that uhm, recently.” (Hands question over to Bill)
Mr. Ham, just because you’re a Christian, and you’re a Young Earth Creationist, doesn’t mean that all Christians are. 

The Moderator, Tom Foreman (CNN), called time, and passed the question to Mr. Nye.

Bill Nye: “We just need one piece of evidence, we would need the fossil that swam from one layer to another.
If we could find this one piece of evidence, I’m pretty sure most scientists would reevaluate things. I’m not saying that they would openly accept Creationism immediately, but they’d see that there are some problems with the current theories. 
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. We would need, uh, evidence that  rock layers can somehow form in just 4,000 years instead of the extraordinary amount…  We would need evidence that you can somehow reset atomic clocks and keep neutrons from becoming protons. Bring on any of those things and you would influ(ence?) change me immediately.
This is everything that Ken Ham lacked, evidence. You need evidence to convince the scientific community of anything, and it can’t just be a one time event – what you saw as evidence must be able to be reproduced, multiple times. 
The question I have for you though, fundamentally, and for everybody watching, Mr. Ham, what can you prove?
So far, Ken Ham can’t prove anything, and that’s why almost everyone has a problem with him and ‘his method’. I’m glad that Bill Nye, respectfully, called this model ‘Ken Ham’s Creation Model’ not just Creation, or Creation Model. He’s showing that this is just one sub-group that prefers to believe this way. 
What you have done, tonight, is spent most of th-all of the time, is coming up with explanations about the past.  What can you really predict, what can you really prove, in a conventional scientific, or in a conventional ‘I have an idea that makes a prediction, and it comes out the way I see it,’ this, uh, very troubling to me.

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Please remember, not every Christian is a Young Earth Creationist. You can’t just be a scientist or just be a Christian, you can, in fact, be both.
Even The Vatican does not support the Young Earth methodology of creation, they actually support the Big Bang Theory. Go figure…

There’s been other commentary, and mine really isn’t all that great as I only focused on one specific (less than five minute) portion of the two and half hour presentation.

Here are some others if you wish to read them.

http://ncse.com/blog/2014/02/how-bill-nye-won-debate-0015369
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/05/what-i-learned-moderating-the-creation-debate/comment-page-5/
http://www.reddit.com/r/Christianity/comments/1x14gi/discussion_thread_nyeham_creationism_debate/
http://www.reddit.com/r/EverythingScience/comments/1×1452/bill_nye_debates_ken_ham_live_15_mins_from_post/

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