Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

8 Feb 2014

The Nye-Ham Debate in Retrospect

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Milky WayAlong with several million others, I watched the widely publicized debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham this past Tuesday evening. Since that time, many people on both sides of the origins issue have produced videos, articles, and blog posts discussing the debate. Here are a few of the posts that I found most helpful:

Within hours of the end of the debate, Al Mohler had posted some insightful analysis of the debate on his blog. Mohler, who literally had a front row seat at the debate, rightly points out that the discussion was less about fossils, geology, and astronomy than it was a debate between two diametrically opposed worldviews.

Over on the Reformation 21 blog, Rick Phillips suggested three key lessons to be drawn from the debate. In short, like Mohler, he points out that the debate was mainly about competing worldviews, not science. Phillips notes that Nye employed the common secularist strategy of ridiculing instead of replying. And he warns against the temptation to compromise, which such ridicule creates. The entire post is worth reading.

And then a few writers at Creation Ministries International recapped the debate largely focusing on the fact that Nye was apparently unaware that the numerous “scientific” objections which he raised against creationism have been answered by creationists. During the debate, Ham, wisely in my opinion, did not get sidetracked answering all of different objections which Nye tossed out. Rather, Ham stuck to the fact that historical science involves a great deal of interpretation which is inevitably influenced by the worldview of the interpreter. However, the folks at CMI have provided answers to such questions. At the end of their blog post, the CMI writers give links to places where Nye’s objections have been adequately answered by competent scientists.

If you missed the debate, it can still be viewed here (apparently it will be taken down sometime in the next few days). Some related videos can also be found here.

And if you are curious about star light, tree rings, ice layers, and other such things, in addition to the CMI post mentioned above, you might be interested in these four books, all edited by Ken Ham:

The New Answers Book: Over 25 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible

The New Answers Book 2: Over 30 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible

The New Answers Book 3: Over 35 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible

The New Answers Book 4: Over 30 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible 

1 Response

  1. As I watched the entirety of the debate myself a day later on, I would agree that it was right for Ham to focus on competing worldviews. The Church has allowed the secularists for far too long not to have to address the philosophical assumptions of their adopted worldview of naturalism. Ham took a key step in this live debate to redress this, and all Christians interested in this topic must make it a matter of priority to understand these assumptions and use them effectively in their defense of the gospel.

    While I appreciate the delineation of observational ‘science’ and historical or origins ‘science’, I think Dr. John K. Reed and Dr. Carl Froede of the Creation Research Society offer a better and more nuanced delineation of these two categories: ‘science’ is just that, observable, repeatable, subject to testing and experimentation, with theories and conclusions drawn from the inductive method, whereas ‘history’ and specifically ‘natural history’ as it relates to the objects of creation outside of man, should be defined as ‘history,’ and not ‘science’, or ‘historical or origins science’. It then following Mortimer Adler, “The Conditions of Philosophy”, becomes a mixed question requiring the disciplines of philosophy and theology for insight.