Ken Ham: Why I'm debating Bill Nye about creationism
Bill Nye and Ken Ham will debate the origins of life Tuesday at the Creation Museum.
February 3rd, 2014
01:15 PM ET

Ken Ham: Why I'm debating Bill Nye about creationism

Editors note: Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye on February 4 at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, with CNN's Tom Foreman moderating. The debate will be livestreamed at CNN.com at 7 pm ET, and Piers Morgan Live will interview Ham and Nye on Tuesday at 9 ET.

WATCH TUESDAY NIGHT'S DEBATE HERE: http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/cvplive/cvpstream1.html

Opinion by Ken Ham, special to CNN

(CNN) - Public debates on evolution and creation have become increasingly rare. Several hundred well-attended debates were held in the 1970s and 1980s, but they have largely dried up in recent decades.

So I look forward to a spirited yet cordial debate on Tuesday with Bill Nye, the "Science Guy" of television fame.

I also look forward to the opportunity to help counter the general censorship against creationists' view of origins. While we are not in favor of mandating that creation be taught in public school science classes, we believe that, at the very least, instructors should have the academic freedom to bring up the problems with evolution.

Even though the two of us are not Ph.D. scientists, Mr. Nye and I clearly love science.

As a former science instructor, I have appreciated the useful television programs that he hosted and produced, especially when he practiced operational science in front of his audience.

He and I both recognize the wonderful benefits that observational, operational science has brought us, from cell phones to space shuttles. But operational science, which builds today’s technology, is not the same as presenting beliefs about the past, which cannot be tested in the laboratory.

For students, the evolution-creation discussion can be a useful exercise, for it can help develop their critical thinking skills.

MORE ON CNN: Bill Nye: Why I'm Debating Ken Ham 

Most students are presented only with the evolutionary belief system in their schools, and they are censored from hearing challenges to it. Let our young people understand science correctly and hear both sides of the origins issue and then evaluate them.

Our public schools arbitrarily define science as explaining the world by natural processes alone. In essence, a religion of naturalism is being imposed on millions of students. They need to be taught the real nature of science, including its limitations.

Nye, the host of a popular TV program for children, should welcome a scrutiny of evolution in the classrooms.

As evolution-creation issues continue to be in the news - whether it relates to textbook controversies or our debate - there is an increasingly bright spotlight on the research activities of thousands of scientists and engineers worldwide who have earned doctorates and are creationists.

On our full-time staff at Answers in Genesis, we have Ph.D.s in astronomy, geology, biology, molecular genetics, the history of science, and medicine. Yes, creationists are still a small minority in the scientific community, but they hold impressive credentials and have made valuable contributions in science and engineering.

I remember the time I spoke at a lunchtime Bible study at the Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington. I was thrilled to meet several scientists and engineers who accept the book of Genesis as historical and reject Darwinian evolution. They shared with me that a belief in evolution had nothing to do with their work on the Hubble Space Telescope. Why should our perspective about origins be censored?

Our young people and adults should be aware that considerable dissent exists in the scientific world regarding the validity of molecules-to-man evolution.

It’s an important debate, for what you think about your origins will largely form your worldview. If you believe in a universe that was created by accident, then there is ultimately no meaning and purpose in life, and you can establish any belief system you want with no regard to an absolute authority.

Ultimately, I have decided to accept an authority our infallible creator and his word, the Bible over the words of fallible humans.

Ken Ham is founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis (USA) and founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The views expressed in this column belong to Ham.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Culture wars • Evolution • Opinion • Science

soundoff (4,336 Responses)
  1. ogamidiagoro

    What a bunch of BS.

    February 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  2. johnn23


    February 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
  3. Reality #2

    It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks.

    And for the new members:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc.) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    February 7, 2014 at 8:21 am |
  4. Mmhmm

    I love whenever people try to use AnswersinGenesis as a source for anything. Makes me laugh until my face hurts. Atheists make a mistake by engaging creationists in debate. You cant teach willful ignorance. The only thing such people deserve is mockery and ridicule and to otherwise be ostracized from society.

    February 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "You cant teach willful ignorance." I disagree, Pastors and Priests do it every Sunday...

      February 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
  5. Veritacity

    Atheopaths are afflicted with the inability to think beyond the limits of naturalism, yet they do an awful lot of judging of a being infinitely more advanced than them, who they do not believe in, yet passionately argue against. They then refer to themselves as "free thinkers" despite that under their evolutionary worldview, their thoughts are mere interactions of brain chemicals obeying the fixed laws of chemistry and physics—i.e. they cannot help what they believe.

    February 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
    • Chikkipop

      Whew! Massively boneheaded!

      "inability to think beyond the limits of naturalism"

      Ha! There are NO limits to what you can imagine, but that tells us nothing about what actually exists.

      "they do an awful lot of judging of a being infinitely more advanced than them"

      How dare we judge the "infinitely more advanced" being that someone has imagined!?

      "who they do not believe in, yet passionately argue against"

      Uhh, yeah...... cuz everyone knows that if you don't believe something, you should just stay silent. ("Capital punishment? Well, I'm against it, so I keep my mouth shut.")

      "They then refer to themselves as "free thinkers" despite that under their evolutionary worldview, their thoughts are mere interactions of brain chemicals obeying the fixed laws of chemistry and physics—i.e. they cannot help what they believe"

      First, not all of us use the term "free thinker", but in any case it refers to rejection of conventional ideas, & has nothing to do with the issue of free will. Nice try, conflating the two!

      My goodness. The comments of believers range from naive to misinformed to willfully ignorant & cynical, to downright hilarious!

      February 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
  6. In Reason We Trust


    February 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  7. Mamabear

    Thank you, Tom Foreman, for the excellent work as moderator. More debates like this would do the public good. Opportunity for thoughtful deliberation can only occur when information is presented in a deliberate, thoughtful presentation instead of the shouting matches or 30 second sound bytes that are so often presented. Again, thank you for your contribution.

    February 6, 2014 at 10:11 am |
  8. rzimny

    Science is the pursuit of understanding of the world around us. It allows us to analyse what we interpret with our senses. It relies on our subjected perspective of the reality we are experiencing around us. It only attempts to define existing patterns in the natural world.
    Creationism come from a philosophical Christian worldview. Science and theology are not mutually exclusive. The pursuit of truth is a fundamental characteristic of the Christian worldview. Christians in particular are very cognitive of the limits of this knowledge.
    One cannot prove or disprove the other. These are apples and oranges.

    There exists a huge tragedy where we as humans abandon logic and attempt to use fallacies in a method of abusing or marginalizing the ideas or belief system of others. A reasonable man acknowledges the difference between the pursuit of knowledge for the understanding of the human race, and a worldview that also has an ethic of how we should obtain, use, and respect this knowledge.
    We can quantify and define the world using the scientific method, but it is as fallible as we are. Science can not provide and ethic, give us a measure of morality, or tell us how to treat one another. If anything, I hope all my fellow humans take the time to open their mind to the need for an ethic, virtue, and morality.

    February 6, 2014 at 9:31 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      We don't need religion to provide ethics, virtue, and morality.
      The main debate is that many christians deny the findings of science to insist that the bible is literally true; when if you're going to ignore modern knowledge, what ievidence s there that the christian creation myth is the correct one.

      February 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
  9. wardenhallis

    I am deeply offended by everything that every religion has done to mankind, to the earth, to life in all its forms itself. Whether it was the Helios, Zeus, Anshar, Di Cang, Thor, Jesus, whoever.., there has always been a God and a religion to exploit mankind.

    Go back 2,500 years and tell those people that Zeus is just a myth, and they would do to you the same thing these followers of todays Gods will do to you today. Enslave, condemn, exploit, torture, execute, subjugate, murder, judge and think of you as lost and unfortunate. Exact same thing. Because today God is the REAL God. And so were the Gods of yesteryear.

    For the billions who have suffered at the hands of organized religions and those who believe in them, and all that they have always stood for, my heart goes out to you. One day humanity will be rid of this cancer. Until then, the educated must teach.

    February 6, 2014 at 8:45 am |
    • igaftr

      The Greeks made Socrates kill himself because of the offence of questioning peoples gods. The religious prefer to kill iconocalsts.

      February 6, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • rzimny

      Religions do not kill people, people kill people. Bad ideas, interpretations, bad executions of things will undoubtedly lead to tragedy including death. The same could be said for bad/ incomplete science.
      A world view that respects all life, protects the vulnerable, pushes for truth above all, that is not a bad or immoral thing.
      In many of us, a lack of understanding manifests itself as a horrible illness, hate.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:11 am |
    • Veritacity

      Very nice emotional rant. Yet loosely associated with reality. To be truthful, the 20th Century was the bloodiest period of human history. Would you care to venture a guess as to the 'religion' of the most heinous of the genocidal world leaders? It's real easy. I'll give you a hint: it starts with an A(theist).
      Darwin's survival of the fittest – applied Socially by Neitzche – adopted by world leader Hitler = Holocaust (to hurry up the social/evolutionary process). This by the way was vigorously opposed by Bonhoeffer (devout Christian).
      P.S.: don't you just hate all of those hospitals (Christian origin), Ivy League Universities (all started by Christians to train clergy), and orphanages?

      February 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • autumn

      The real problem is not religion by itself, but politics. Mix religion and politics and you have one nasty brew. I always wondered that the gentle message delivered by Jesus could be perverted to the point of witch burnings and the Spanish Inquisition. But that was power politics more than religion. I respect the Amish, who quietly practice their religion without the need to convert others. I do not respect the Fundamentalists, who do feel that need, to the point of trying to force their religious views into the schools.

      February 10, 2014 at 5:23 am |
      • False prophets, antichrist Beasts. Vote now.

        $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ :) :) $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

        February 10, 2014 at 8:49 am |
  10. Gravinaut

    Ham is selling. Nye is teaching.

    February 6, 2014 at 12:35 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.