Tuesday, February 04, 2014

The Debate

So, the Ken Ham-Bill Nye debate was tonight. Did you get to watch it? I did.

Ham had his usual talking points of the bible being the only source of truth and having evidence that points to “thousands of years” instead of “millions of years”. He also had video clips of scientists who espouse YEC beliefs. What was new to me was that he made a difference between experimental science (things we can hypothesize and test) and observational science (things that happened in the past).

Nye was a little slower getting started. His five minute opening wasn’t all that great, but he improved quickly. In the thirty minute segment, he finally got to what was important; he showed that evolutionary theory could be predictive. That is, observational science is no different from experimental science. I wish he would have been a little more overt about it, though. Anyway, he showed how scientists predicted that there should be a certain fossil in the record and how they eventually found it. Real science.

What I would really like to see debated, though, is the theology of young-earth creationism. There are a lot of Christians who are really confused because they hear that science supports things like and old earth and evolution, but the bible doesn’t. What they need to hear is that there are other interpretations of the book of Genesis that “real” Christians believe. You don’t have to give up your faith to believe something besides young earth creationism.

Did you see the debate? What did you think?

1 comment:

Luke Holzmann said...

I'm still mulling the debate over trying to see if I have anything useful to add.

One point of clarification: Ham's distinction was between historical/interpretive and observational/experimental science. Nye said that those "on the outside" made no such distinction; Ham came back with an example from a textbook that seemed to indicate that even "real scientists" agree that there is a difference between seeing things and interpreting them. I don't feel like the underlying idea was particularly well-discussed or communicated here.

I agree: It would be great to get more "Old Earthers" to work through some of the more sticky pieces of theology and Scriptural interpretation. You absolutely do not need to give up your faith because you find evidence for something other than Young Earth Creationism compelling.