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Bill Nye: Why I'm debating creationist Ken Ham
Science educator Bill Nye, left, will face off against creationist Ken Ham in Tuesday night's debate.
February 4th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

Bill Nye: Why I'm debating creationist Ken Ham

Editor's note: Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye on Tuesday at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, with CNN's Tom Foreman moderating. The debate will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.com, and CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" will host both Ham and Nye at 9 p.m. Tuesday after the debate. 

Opinion by Bill Nye, Special to CNN

(CNN) – A lot of people have been asking why I accepted Ken Ham’s invitation to debate the origins of life Tuesday night at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

In short, I decided to participate in the debate because I felt it would draw attention to the importance of science education here in the United States.

What keeps this country in the game economically is our ability to innovate. New ideas lead to new technologies, which drive new businesses and new opportunities.

Technological innovations absolutely cannot be created without fundamental understanding of science, the means by which we know nature.

How many young adults and taxpayers use mobile phones? How many of us rely on global navigation systems that use satellites high above the Earth’s surface to find our way around?

Even if you eschew smartphones, you rely on the system to keep airplanes in the sky and ships at sea on their routes. Modern farmers plant seeds in fields with extraordinary precision using information beamed from satellites in space.

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

For the United States to maintain its leadership in technology, we need well-educated science students. To allow our students to come of age without the knowledge gained through the extraordinary scientific insights and diligence of our ancestors would deprive them of understanding of nature and our place in the cosmos.

It would also rob our students of their future. Without scientists and engineers to create new technologies and ways of doing society’s business, other economies in other countries will out-compete the United States and leave our citizens behind.

Tuesday's debate will be about whether Ham’s creation model is viable or useful for describing nature. We cannot use his model to predict the outcome of any experiment, design a tool, cure a disease or describe natural phenomena with mathematics.

These are all things that parents in the United States very much want their children to be able to do; everyone wants his or her kids to have common sense, to be able to reason clearly and to be able to succeed in the world.

The facts and process of science have enabled the United States to lead the world in technology and provide good health for an unprecedented number of our citizens. Science fuels our economy. Without it, our economic engine will slow and eventually stop.

It seems to me that Ham is a fundamentalist. Around the world there are billions of people, who embrace the facts and process of modern science, and they enjoy their faith. By all accounts, their faith enriches their lives. These people have no conflict with their faith and science. Ham is unique in this regard.

Fundamentally, Ham’s creation model is not part of modern science. His idea has no predictive quality or ability. It provides no means to learn more about the world around us. It does not enable students to make consistent sense of nature.

So, we’ll see. We’ll see if his model stands up to traditional scientific inquiry: If a certain claim is true, then we would expect a certain outcome.

I’m excited and very much looking forward to the encounter.

Bill Nye is a science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society. The views expressed in this column belong to Nye.

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (2,161 Responses)
  1. albertleslie973

    "Happy Velentine Day With Red Flowers"

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    February 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  2. achristian1985

    Chapter Six. Prehistory p.102

    I. The “Creation versus Evolution” Controversy; or:
    “Much Ado About Nothing”
    II. The Methods Utilized in Divine Creation:
    A. Evolution
    B. Catastrophism
    C. Direct Divine Intervention
    http://www.amessageforthehumanrace.org

    February 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
  3. achristian1985

    III. Creationism aka 'Intelligent Design' are not scientific disciplines and therefore should not be taught as such in schools.

    "The scientific view of the Universe is such as to admit only those phenomena that can, in one way or another, be observed in a fashion accessible to all, and to admit those generalizations (which we call laws of nature) that can be induced from those observations."

    Any explanation of observed phenomena, that invokes to any extent supernatural influence such as divine motivation, is thus inherently self-disqualified from being a scientific discipline.

    IV. Evolution is valid
    Evolution, however, is the only valid scientific theory which adequately explains the know data. And it has been verified by the correlation of the relevant data corresponding to its testable conclusions.
    Dear reader: please lay aside any and all traditional, biased schools of thought within the realm of prideful, puffed-up knowledge. Objectively consider that God may have used evolution to create man. Do not disregard so doing due to bias, dogmatism, or love of argumentation.
    http://www.amessageforthehumanrace.org

    February 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
  4. achristian1985

    The Specific Cause of the "Evolution vs. 'Creationism'" Controversy, and of the apparent discrepancy between science and the Bible

    1. Human beings cannot understand abstract, invisible realities without first learning visible, concrete references. Electricity is a good example. Spiritual matters are likewise not amenable to direct mental comprehension.
    2. It is impossible to understand the Bible merely with the finite human mind alone, regardless of how much time and theology you employ to do so. The truths contained in the Bible must be REVEALED spiritually in order to be correctly understood mentally.
    3. The best means to convey this is the illustration of learning a language. You cannot directly learn a language, the components of the language must first be directly correlated to visible concrete objects. A human being (a child, for instance) is first shown a visible picture of a physical object and then the audible or written symbolic language component is linked to it to give comprehension.
    4. Likewise, the spiritual reality to come forth in the New Testament would be totally incomprehensible without firstly having the detailed typology of the Old Testament.
    This is the crux of the reason why the mind alone is incapable of understanding the Bible: some of the accounts are literal, and some are allegorical. Without revelation, you confuse the two and fall into systematized error.
    5. For example: "Behold the Lamb of God". Certainly allegorical- Christ is not being described as the 4-legged offspring of a sheep here. 'The New Jerusalem, the bride of the lamb'. Is the lamb marrying a physical city? No! Again, obviously allegorical. If the Bible is the Word of God, then scientific, empirical knowledge cannot help but verify it. Any apparent discrepancy is due to one of three things: A. Unjustified, inductive extrapolations of scientific findings. B. Incorrect, dogmatic (present on both sides of the E. vs. C. issue) interpretations of either secular or scriptural evidence. C. Lack of evidence in critical, specific areas for the purpose of preserving free will. Example: IF science ascertained factually that there was no fossil record prior to 6,000 years ago (i. e.: Adam and Eve, the human race magically and instantaneously appeared) don't you realize that this would be such prima facie evidence of direct Divine intervention that it would interfere with free will?
    Now, to apply these parameters to the crux of the matter.
    Life, like electricity, is abstract and mysterious: it cannot be analyzed and comprehended directly. So any depiction of the process of life must be communicated allegorically.
    6. The Bible is a book of LIFE, NOT a book of knowledge. Genesis Chapter One is an account of the propagation of life, NOT creation per se. It is an allegorical depiction of the relationship of the Spirit, the Word, light, and life. It is NOT a scientific chronology of creation. If a person interprets it literally instead of allegorically, then they are doomed to try to fit the square peg of the fossil record into the round hole of their mistaken (and incorrect scripturally) dogmatic, religious fallacy.

    February 14, 2014 at 11:58 am |
  5. maria4truth

    The law of God is written in everyone's heart so that everyone knows there is a God. However, sinful man prefers to live in rebellion and that is why God's wrath is against sinful humanity. Man wants to live according to his own ideas and his own standards so God gives them over to their foolishness. Man makes so much of himself that he thinks he can escape God's judgment upon him by suppressing the reality that God does exist. Man makes so much of himself that with his finite mind he tries to debate an infinite God. The other side of the coin is that sinful man makes so little of himself that he would rather embrace a theory that says he evolved from an animal who cannot think or reason because he does not want to bow the knee to God, the Creator and sustainer of all life. It is God's electing love that brings a rebellious man to humble himself to God. No man can come to God unless God draws him and God does that through the preaching of the gospel of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I praise God that He was merciful to me when I was still a rebellious sinner, and that is what is so amazing about the gospel, and He is still saving spiritually dead sinners every day. Salvation is of the Lord, it is not based on human effort or man's own will, if it were no one would be saved, read Romans 9. May God be merciful to Bill Nye and the rest of you who are still deaf, dumb and blind to the truth.

    February 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  6. johnn23

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w&w=640&h=390]

    February 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
  7. PeterVN

    This debate, and the debate about the debate, just brings to mind what is still my favorite blog quote:

    "Religion is for the ignorant, the gullible, the cowardly, and the stupid, and for those who would profit from them."

    With online advertising, blogs can even go on profiting long after the event.

    February 7, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
  8. FromNoahtoHercules.com

    History proves the earth is young. Josephus tells us where the first nations settled and who their first patriarchs were. There are genealogies from Noah to kings of Europe. Read After the Flood by Bill Cooper for information on that. The book is free online. If Noah was a real man, what evidence for an old earth do we have left?

    February 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
    • I wonder

      Josephus spoke about Hercules as if he (and his fantasy feats) were real too.

      February 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
  9. Sam

    Religion is such a massive scam how anybody can still believe this nonsense any more is beyond belief. I can understand 200 or 300 years ago when information wasn't as available as today or when there was just no other explanation for things but how modern human beings can believe any of this nonsense with so much information available to them is an embarrassment. You would think just going through a normal american education would give them enough information for them to realize religion is non sense. Look at the oldest civilizations believing in many gods to answer questions. Look at the amount of religions that pre date Catholicism and Christianity alone that share the same stories and same dates and the pagan religions that lead into them again with the same dates. Fortunately the number of religious people is shrinking and hopefully in a hundred years or so it will be completely gone in civilized countries.

    February 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
  10. genome852

    We know exactly what makes the car run and what makes the phone work, it's not magic. Nuclear physics has been studied and used to develop nuclear weapons (unfortunately), nuclear power, etc. Microwave ovens use microwaves to cook food, which is EM radiation that can be directly measured. These are scientific facts, and the fact that these things even exist is good enough reason to convince even the most religious nut that the science behind their operation is valid, whether or not they actually understand it.

    Now, belief in God (or gods) where there is no tangible evidence is where everything gets fuzzy. Of course, that's what they call 'faith'. If God(s) descended from the clouds today in front of everyone's eyes, there would be no more arguing. That will not happen. What is eventually going to happen is that the religions of today will eventually end up in a museum, next to statues of Artemis and Apollo, and people will look back through history and wonder how it is possible that in this day and age, we still have people that believe the Earth is flat or was created only 6000 years ago.

    February 7, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      HAMMY ANSWER:
      You can't know if your microwave oven would work in ancient Palestine, therefore God.

      February 7, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • Duane Shannon

        Wow, you're right, that statement makes no sense.  Thanks for making that crystal clear.

        February 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • Happy Atheist

          Doc's answer does make it clear for anyone with half a brain. He is stating that Ham's argument against microwaves would likely be that you can't prove that they worked in the past because that would be "historical science" vs the way it works now which is "observational science". Ham has invented a rationale that states "Just because we know how something works right now is no guarantee it has always worked that way." to which I would posit that Ham might want to try putting a loaded gun to his head and pull the trigger to prove his point. Just because science says that pulling the trigger of the gun will ignite the gun powder behind a ball of lead pushing it out of the barrel at a high rate of speed likely destroying any human tissue that gets in the way doesn't in Mr. Ham's logic mean that it has or will always work that way...

          February 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • Joel's Bar

        I zap therefore I am.

        February 10, 2014 at 12:40 am |
    • callnews

      No, you are wrong, Christ returned after his resurrection for forty days exhibiting many infallable proves before above 500 people. That's the primary historical account of the physician Luke. Above that, I have witnessed, as have countless other missionaries as myself, supernatural and medically confirmed healings, recreative miracles, and natural wonders performed. I hope you have the opportunity to see something beyond the myopic mind of man within your lifetime. No, God is available, and those that seek him find him. Acts 17:27, Hebrews 11:6 (I thought that referencing the words that God said he authored would be sufficient without fear of slander or plagarism. He even stated (by primary source) in His Word that there would be those, who would doubt and ridicule; so it's to be expected.

      February 7, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
      • Happy Atheist

        "exhibiting many infallable proves before above 500 people." of whom none left any record other than less than a handful of supposed direct followers written down decades after the events supposedly happened...

        February 7, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
        • Sam

          Exactly! these religious nuts walk around regurgitating this garbage that they have learned and some don't even read the entire bible or make any effort to look into when it first appeared what evidence there is about who wrote it what religions were saying before it magically appeared. If I came to them with a new bible today and told them to follow you bet your ass they would ask questions. You build a building and sing some songs they follow like lemmings.

          February 7, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • Duane Shannon

          Well, for the sake of the witness in myself of God's Word, it's enough for me, but God never stopped doing these miracles, and what I've witnessed is first hand, not stories; not second-hand accounts.  I hope that within your lifetime you find that there's something more than just the fallible mind of man.

          February 7, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
      • Sam

        You can apply your logic to any story that exists any where in the world. Maybe zeus performed those miracles? Maybe Santa did or maybe they were just good things that happened. Your logic is seriously flawed you need to take a very big step back and re evaluate your life.

        February 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • callnews

          No sir, I've seen the blinded eye restored, and diseases fall off like hot butter. Yes, I believe the accounts of the Bible, but I've tested them myself, and I am a witness of these things, God has done this to confirm His Word. Mark 16:20 I let the Lord evaluate my life, men don't qualify; they didn't make me, nor does history show they have any answers.

          February 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
        • Sam

          God is the fallible mind of man, it was created by man for man and continues with the consent of man. Your religion is a book of answers that was invented many years ago to help people understand the world they lived in. All the proof is in your head and doesn't exist anywhere else. The fact that you find something beautiful doesn't prove the existence of any god.

          February 7, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • Duane Shannon

          Numbers 23:19  God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

          February 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • I wonder

          callnews
          "I've seen the blinded eye restored, and diseases fall off like hot butter."

          Why aren't these "healers" volunteering in all hospitals and hosp.ices? Selfish bustards... or more likely, despi-cable HOAXERS.

          February 7, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
      • RB

        Good post callnews, thanks.

        February 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
        • Sam

          All you have done is fooled yourself into believing you've seen anything. I'm sure you see a picture of jesus in your cherios in the morning as well. There is no bases to your belief its all you and your choice. You could have picked any religion and thanked whatever deity it worshiped.

          February 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
    • pgardner31

      Chapter Seven. Past History: The World System p.145

      I. The Material System
      A. The Origin of the Material System
      B. The True Purpose of the Material System
      II. The Religious System
      A. The Source of Religion
      B. The World’s Religions
      C. The Jewish Religion
      D. Christianity, the Religion

      http://www.amessageforthehumanrace.org

      February 8, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
  11. Sivick

    FOR SCIENCE!!! seriously, creationists are just an embarrassment to humanity.

    February 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • callnews

      Ridicule is the is sure act of someone who has nothing to say.

      February 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • Sam

        Or of somebody who is in absolute disbelief that a person could be so completely wrong. Some people laugh some people ridicule. Lets be honest here if you believe those fictional stories in the bible are the truth then the only thing left to do is laugh at you there's no point trying to help you understand. It would be like trying to explain to a man who is married to a horse why they cant have babies. Just leave them be.

        February 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • callnews

          Well it's certain you've made your conclusion; so there must be nothing else for you to say. Yes, ridicule delivers that kind of message, and you've done it.

          February 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
    • callnews

      Ridicule is the sure act of someone who has nothing to say.

      February 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • Happy Atheist

        "I think the earth is flat!"

        "I think man faked the moon landing!"

        "I think the earth is only 6000 years old!"

        Ridicule is the sure act of someone who has no other reply to blatant stupidity.

        February 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • Is the is

      the poor grammar from morons who have no defense of their imaginary fantasy game aka their religion.

      February 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
      • Duane Shannon

        The first word in a sentence should be capitalized.

        February 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Darryl

          The bible is a load of horseshit.

          February 8, 2014 at 9:40 am |
        • Word vs letter

          THE first word in this sentence is the.

          February 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm |
        • callnews

          Capitalize just the first letter, not all three.

          February 9, 2014 at 12:51 am |
  12. Chris_Mann

    I'll always side with science but still leave my mind open to other possibilities because we simply don't know. Science isn't as cut and dry as people think. At one point scientists KNEW the earth was the center of the universe. They KNEW the earth was flat. They KNEW the atom was the smallest thing till they split it open and all this crap came out.

    Imagine what they'll know tomorrow.

    February 7, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
    • callnews

      An evolutionist's opinion does not equal science. Science is observable, demonstrated, and repeatable knowledge.

      February 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
      • Steve Larson

        Make you a deal? You creationists can have all of the evolutionary gaps, but only if you give them back when their science is understood. You will get a bunch now and not have to do anything (ahhh, the ease of religious belief). Sorry but every week your haul shrinks.
        This way we can ignore you, and you can gloat on your spoils. Deal?

        February 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
  13. 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 8:24 am |
  14. Brian

    I love how Ham's evidence is true believers who believe. Laughable

    February 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
  15. Manmohan NJ

    Hahaha Neil must be showelling the snow in New york. I thank Science for giving me comforts of life and thus saving me time which I can use in pursuit of God. Imagine if Rat plague killed half of Europe and imagine Polio killed India. As a double edged sword Science can also provide Mad politicians like Hitler tools to destroy earth 10 times in hours. What a waste of thousands of years of evolution if we self destruct. One Jesus and One Buddha can make the entire universe joyous , imagine the joy when we recognize our divinity within one day. It will be heard and echoed throughout the universe I think.

    February 6, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
  16. Mmhmm

    Creationists are such embarrassments. It should be considered child abuse to teach children such lies.

    February 6, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
    • Paul

      What about lies told by evolutionists like "life came from primordial soup?" Would you be fine with those lies?

      February 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        That actually is not what evolution says; evolution comes into play once life has formed. Primordial soup is a better explanation that a god created itself and then the universe with all life on earth fully-formed. The evidence does not support that.

        February 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • larsonst

          Hey dude, it wasn't primordial soup, it was mud. Get it straight.

          Believers gonna believe. I believe I'm gonna have a beer.

          February 6, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • Paul

          "That actually is not what evolution says"

          I didn't say that's what evolution says. I was implying that is what someone with an naturalistic or materialistic worldview believes. By definitoin, naturalistists can't believe in God because they've already presupposed that he doesn't exist. So they had to create their own fairy tale.

          February 6, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Paul,

          "...can’t believe in God because they’ve already presupposed that he doesn’t exist. So they had to create their own fairy tale."

          (facepalm) Paul! Come on man! Let's try this. Do you presuppose dragons don't exist? Do you presuppose Ishtar does not exist? Or do you not believe these beings, because there is no evidence for them? Is it fair to say that if you don't believe in Thor, that it is a fairy tale to not believe in him? Is this reasonable?

          As a Naturalist myself, I'm completely willing to consider your God claim. Please define this God and provide some objective, verifiable, repeatable, testable evidence for his existence. This is what we ask for any other claim about the objective reality we live in. Why should we expect any less for your God claim?

          February 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • Star1

          You want repeatable, testable proof of God? Look around you, your breathing, but do you need to be told you need proof of it? Can't see wind, but we see the tree branches blowing. Can't see gravity, but we are not floating around. God has a name, it is Jehovah and the name itself has meaning. His qualities are wonderfully described as Justice, Power wisdom and above all, Love. He created a beautiful earth that as a Naturalist you see all around you. If you want to get to know him, why not read the Bible for yourself and you can learn all about him through his dealings with mankind and through his son Jesus while he was here on earth. He wants us to know him and love him and explains how to do just that. As we do in real life, you can't say you don't know someone if you don't at least try. He gives us the free will and the choice to know him, it's up to us to decide to do so and after researching so many things, I for one and very happy that I do know him and love him and know he loves me too.

          February 7, 2014 at 2:24 am |
        • Dandintac

          "You want repeatable, testable proof of God? Look around you..."

          Star, you do not list out any actual evidence for your God, nor do you provide a clear definition. A misconception is that we must be able to "see" God, but that's just one sense that is commonly used and discussed. If God even had as much evidence for his existence as the wind, that would at least be a step forward. But the existence that you sweepingly refer to with "look around" is evidence for existence–not God. I could just as easy say the existence around us is proof of evolution, the theory of how planets form, the various theories of physics, etc. You still have no evidence an actual god exists.

          February 7, 2014 at 10:58 pm |
        • Duane Shannon

          From what source did the concept of evolution come from; a man's thoughts, fueled by his limited perception, and an eagerness to believe he knows everything.  To believe that everything comes from nothing takes superior ignorance.  I prefer superior intelligence.

          February 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Who says the universe came from nothing? Usually I hear this from theists, who claim to know all about an all-powerful being, and claim to KNOW that this being created everything from nothing.

          Scientists will usually say "we don't know" but there are theories, like the Multiverse theory, for which we have some actual evidence, unlike the God claim.

          It is far wiser to admit your ignorance, and accept, provisionally, those theories that have some hard evidence, rather than blindly accept huge sweeping supernatural claims which have absolutely no evidence, and then build your whole life around such unsupported claims.

          February 7, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • callnews

          Have you considered the prophet Daniel, who from the 5th and 6th century B.C. accurately described the course of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires including the course of nations to this day?

          February 8, 2014 at 3:30 am |
        • Dandintac

          Please give three examples where Daniel accurately predicts the course of events in nations today. Let's see how va-gue they are. This is often claimed of Nostradomus, but in reality his "predictions" are va-gue ramblings, that can be interpreted in many ways. I could probably drop some LSD and do the same–or some other combination of drugs, or even just tap into our imaginations. If you have exact dates, and specific events, that would be more impressive.

          Many "prophecies" are either va-gue, written after the facts, or are self-fulfilling, or just good guesses–often among many other guesses. If you put on a blindfold, and throw enough darts at the wall, a few of them will hit the bullseye just out of chance. I'm not impressed with the establishment of Israel. People did it BECAUSE it was a prophecy. If I declare: "Prophecy: let's us go to the grocery store tomorrow!" and a group of us thought it a fine idea and we did it–would this make me holy? Back in 1990, I accurately predicted we would go to war with Iraq. Does that make me Holy? Of course not. I looked at their behavior and the events unfolding. Nothing magical about it.

          February 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • callnews

          Well sure, but I would refer you to the text reference, because the size of the text would be prohibitive for this space. Read Daniel 2:29-44 the interpretation of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar's dream describing the successive empires from his time till now (and the future beyond earthly empires). The development of the description of these empires (how they will rise and fall) continues in Daniel Chapter 7, and resumes in Daniel 8:3-25. The details of the present and future periods appear in Daniel Chapters 11 and 12. In the middle text Medo-Persia is spoken. Also Greece is spoken, but Rome was not yet known at the time of Daniel, so the nature of Rome as iron legs (the East and West that the Roman Empire was divided into is referred to. Today is the Roman Empire broken (as the feet and toes of clay and iron). Today some nations are strong, some are weak, but none rule the known earth as the previous empires did. The end is Christ's return to set up His Kingdom in righteousness.

          February 8, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Seems this was blocked by the censor. I'll try to make some changes and try again.

          Please give three examples where Daniel accurately predicts the course of events in nations today. Let's see how va-gue they are. This is often claimed of Nostradomus, but in reality his "predictions" are va-gue ramblings, that can be interpreted in many ways. I could probably do some drugs, or even just tap into our imaginations–and do the same. If you have exact dates, and specific events, that would be more impressive.

          Many "prophecies" are either
          1) va-gue,
          2) written after the facts,
          3) self-fulfilling, or
          4) just good guesses–often among many other guesses.

          If you put on a blindfold, and throw enough darts at the wall, a few of them will hit the bulls-eye just out of chance. I'm not impressed with the establishment of Israel. People did it BECAUSE it was a prophecy. If I declare: "We're going to the grocery store tomorrow!" and a group of us thought it a fine idea and we did it–would this make it a prophecy and me holy? Back in 1990, I accurately predicted we would go to war with Iraq. Does that make me Holy? Of course not. I looked at their behavior and the events unfolding. Nothing magical about it.

          Finally, let's suppose Daniel did predict these things, and other prophecies are true also. People sometimes get it right, and who knows–they could be psychic. I don't believe in psychic phenomena, but it at least suggest there are plenty of alternative explanations. It does not prove the existence of any god.

          February 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • callnews

          The nation of Israel was scattered to the four corners of the earth after 70 A.D. From there they were persecuted economically, physically, spiritually; and this small people has had genocide attempted upon it multiple times over the past 1900 years alone. Hitler half-way succeeded, and three years after his attempt this people form their nation again. They have lived surrounded by regimes whose determination is to push them into the sea. I watched the six day war; hundreds of Egyptian tanks on their way to overrun Israel brake down. Israel fixes the tanks to send the attack back to Egypt. Total losses are 18 Arab for every 1 Israeli, though the Israelis are out numbered 2 to 1 in personnel and 3 to 1 in armaments. In six days the war is over, and that's no coincidence. Any other nation would have been wiped off the map long ago.

          Yes, the prophecies of Daniel are true. The descriptions of the empires are accurate. Daniel bothers secularist terribly, because their only avenue to claim that Daniel couldn't have lived when he did, because that mean a great supernatural event had take place. That is the crux of this whole matter. Man doesn't want to believe the supernatural he sees God post, because he doesn't want his errors to be meddled with. However, aliens are o.k. because they're elusive and Hollywood can paint them as cute or something we can courageously defeat. Well God has place a thirst for eternity in us. It's unfortunate that some just want a mediocre, temporary existence.

          February 9, 2014 at 12:25 am |
        • Paul

          @Dandintac
          "As a Naturalist myself, I'm completely willing to consider your God claim. "

          Maybe you should find out what naturalists actually believe.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)

          February 6, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Paul,

          If there were hard, repeatable, verifiable, testable evidence for God, that would mean that God is a natural phenomenon that we could observe.

          This is why I asked you to define what you meant by a "god".

          February 7, 2014 at 1:23 am |
        • Sue

          Putting aside the question of the existence of any god in general, one thing that we can be absolutely certain of is that the specific god described in the Christian doctrine does not exist. This is so because that doctrine presents contradictory characteristics for its "god" and is internally inconsistent in other ways, among many other reasons.

          February 8, 2014 at 9:45 am |
        • callnews

          Primordial soup is the term that evolutionists use. As far as God is concerned, He has no need of defense; He sent His Son to defend us from what we deserve. We each choose whether we want that defense.

          February 8, 2014 at 10:20 am |
  17. SimplyStated

    Mr. Nye,
    Just a reminder, Raymond Vahan Damadian, the inventor of the MR Scanning Machine, has credentials in the field of science AND has a belief in the Bible as the Word of God. No conflict there.

    February 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • saysame

      A medical doctor who has no scientific theory of creationism is just another guy with an opinion. The world is clearly not 6,000 years old, however much that poor man wants to believe it.

      February 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
      • Steve Larson

        Just because a minority of interested/ educated people have contrary ideas doesn't mean we should throw in with them. I'm not saying they are ignorant, just different and in a way I don't agree with. I'm glad the creationists found some allies. I too have friends who were believers but have fallen away. I think that is their path and not a sin.

        February 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
      • Star1

        Can it be said 1 more time for the record, for all on this discussion, that the Bible does NOT say the earth itself is only 6,000 years old. It only states that mankind itself, based on the date of Adams death, was created 6,000 years ago. Clearly if anyone reads the first few verses of Genesis that the Earth was here before God created man.. Also, the Bible does not state that all plant life was destroyed by the Flood as Noah used a bird to know when the water was receded enough to leave the Ark and the bird came back with a twig or branch. The book of Genesis is quite clear on the creation of life on earth, even how the Luminaries, such as the sun and the moon were created. it goes on to describe the ceation of plant life and more specifically that animals were created according to their kind, flying creatures, creeping creatures and wild animals according to their kind. The earth is able to sustain life because of how accurately God created it. It is exactly the right distance from the sun, it rotates at the exact way, the water cycle is precise to create the air we breathe. Bill Nye used the word "mystery" more times than explanation. It's not a mystery. There is no need to prove Creation because the evidence of it is all around us, yet after hundreds of years evolution has not been proven as it not only doesn't make sense, but in the words of Bill Nye himself "it's a mystery". That is not a very scientific word.

        February 7, 2014 at 2:12 am |
        • saysame

          Creationists don't agree on the age of the Earth or the age of man. Sort it out with each other before you try bothering the rest of us with that rubbish.

          February 7, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        • Star1

          I did not say I was a Creationist. I am a Christian and believe in what the Bible says about Creation, so I don't need to sort anything out with anyone, I said "the Bible says...." I did not say "Creationist say...". Hope that clears that up for you.

          February 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "I am a Christian and believe in what the Bible says about Creation..."

          I would say that's a perfect definition for a Creationist. Whether you are willing to own up to it or not, by your own self-description, you are indeed a Creationist.

          February 9, 2014 at 2:36 am |
        • Star1

          As I said, I am a Christian who believes in the Bible's account of creation. Not all Christian religions are the same, the teachings many vary, including whether there is a fiery hell, the believe in the Trinity, etc. Neither of the 2 teaches I just mentioned are Bible based, so not no, I would not say I am a Creationist. As indicated by the debate, some on this discussion are saying that Hamm did not have a satisfying comment on whether the earth itself was 6,000 years old. The answer to that is that the as I said that Bible does not say the the earth itself is 6,000 years old and if Creationist believe that, than I can no, I don't agree with that. I believe that Bible's accoung of Creation, I believe in 1 God whose has a name and his son Jesus. I believe as it states in Genesis that God's purpose for the earth was to have perfect humans have everlasting life on earth in a perfect paradise like earth. That due to Adam and Eve sinning by disobeying his only requirement was not to eat from the 1 tree in the garden that he told them not to. He told them, if they did, they would die. God never said they would die anyway if they didn't eat from it. Why would he create a beautiful earth and put mankind on it only to live a sort time to die then go to a "better" place. Although they did not obey him, that does not mean God would allow that to derail his purpose for the earth and mankind. His right to rule was challenged and his has allowed time to pass to allow mankind to prove if they in fact would be better without his guidance. He does notice the suffering on this earth and he will end it. In the meantime he is allowing time for people to decide whether they believe in him and have faith in him and every day people do. It certainly has proven that man is not capable of ruling each other and that is proven by the fact that even if leaders are well intentioned, they can't solve the world's problem of violence, disease and death. It is only getting worse, not better. We have free will and can chose to believe in what the Bible promises or not. I choose to believe it based on so many things, it would take forever to post them all. So, no I am not a Creationist, I believe in Jehovah, not mankinds explanations for creation.

          February 9, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
  18. TG

    Bill Nye displays nationalistic interests of the United States rather than the true nature of science, wanting "the United States to lead the world in technology." What is his objective ? Is it to promote science or nationalism ? And of Ken Ham, is he accurate in the literal interpretation of Genesis with regard to the "creative" days at Genesis 1 ? Is the universe, the earth and all life created by God between 5,700 to 10, 000 years ago and preparing the earth for human habitation in six 24 hour days ?

    The Bible does not concur with Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis organization, flying in the face of scientific fact. Why not ? Accurate science establishes that the universe is billions of years old, if not older. And had Mr Ken Ham examined the Bible carefully, he could of seen that each "creative" day is several thousand years long.

    For example, at Genesis 1:1, it says that "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", establishing no time marker as to when "the beginning" started and the earth as unique and set aside as special by God. But it does set a time marker for earth's preparation for life, beginning with "day one" showing diffused light as evidently penetrating the earth's atmosphere and then concluding: "And there was evening and there was morning, first day."(Gen 1:3)

    With each successive day through "day six", they all had closure, saying: "And there was evening and there was morning." However, "day seven" is not seen as having closure. In fact, the apostle Paul says that "day seven" was still ongoing in his time, some 4000 years after the end of "day six".(Heb 4:1-4)

    And when a person comes to understand our Maker, Jehovah God's purpose for the earth (Isa 45:18), of it to be transformed into a paradise for "meek" ones (Matt 5:5), and that we are now some 6,000 years removed from our original forefather, Adam's creation, now living in "the last days" of this corrupt "world" (2 Tim 3:1), and that there is the soon upcoming millennial reign of Jesus Christ, who will see that the earth becomes a paradise for everyone who meets the requirements of being "meek" or teachable by God, resurrecting the majority of the billions that have died over the course of mankind's history (Luke 23:43; Rev 20:13), and thus bringing closure to the "day seven" at its end, then it can be established that each "creative" day is about 7,000 years long and not 24 hours.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
    • igaftr

      You have gone a long way to rationalize belief, but it is still nothing more than belief. There is nothing indicating that there are any gods.

      February 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
    • saysame

      Well at least you realize that Young Earth Creationism is crazy. Now just go the extra mile and dismiss the rest of the creationist stuff and you'll be alright. Man is far older than 6,000 years.

      February 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
  19. corinthian

    A literal interpretation of The Holy Bible is actually a very recent phenomenon in Western civilization. It surfaced during the challenges presented to the role of the Church during the Age of Enlightenment in the 17th century; it makes strides upon the publication of The Origin of The Species by Charles Darwin in the 19th century; its has gathered force in the 21st century as the role of science in Western civilization is being presented with its own challenges...of still yet unanswered questions.
    Throughout history, the Church has not actually stood in opposition to the advances of science, nor disbelieved in the discoveries made by science: the Church only stood in opposition of the dissemination of knowledge of the advances of science, believing, quite rightly, that the masses would only be confused with such knowledge, with the facts of science and the truth of religion, and would grow conflicted between the two...
    In our present day, the masses are indeed confused and conflicted with the facts and the truth...
    Debates between evolution and creationism are fallacious; intelligent design as well. Science and religion are as opposed to one another as botany to medicine; as grammar to poetry; as walking to soccer. If there had been no concept of family, where would humans have developed the concept of community, society, government and law? Religion answered the questions concerning the origins of humankind and nature and the universe; science expanded the questions as well as the answers. The truths of humankind and nature, however, are different from the fact of humankind and nature. Who, What, When, Where, and How are scientific questions with empirical answers; As to Who For, What For, When and Where Ever, and Why...science does not concern itself with such unanswerable questions.

    February 6, 2014 at 3:52 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      The Church (I assume you mean the Roman Catholic Church) has stood in opposition to advances in science when it perceived such advances threatened its grip over the minds of those contributing to its coffers. E.g., when it burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for "the doctrine of the infinite universe and the innumerable worlds" and his beliefs "on the movement of the earth" and put Galileo on trial for heresy for advocating heliocentrism. It was protecting itself.

      Though there have been other instances where clerics have contributed greatly to the advance of science. Today, the Catholic Church, like many Protestant churches, e.g., the United Methodist Church, supports evolutionary theory finding no conflict with it and the teachings of the Church. But, unfortunately, there are other fundamentalist Protestant denominations and some Christians even in denominations that accept evolutionary theory that still deny all scientific evidence that they believe conflicts with the Genesis creation and flood myths.

      When you say "Religion answered the questions concerning the origins of humankind and nature and the universe" it provided answers to important questions humans had regarding where they came from, why devastating natural calamities sometimes struck, etc. But those answers came from the imagination of storytellers rather than an understanding of the natural world. The answers may have offered some comfort when scientific understanding was lacking, but continuing to cling to them can hamper the acquisition of knowledge about how the workings of the universe as we see in the case of individuals such as Ken Ham.

      February 6, 2014 at 8:07 am |
  20. Danz

    Bill was good. Neil deGrasse Tyson would have wreaked havoc!

    That's my scientific prediction based on observations from the past.

    February 6, 2014 at 3:30 am |
    • Dandintac

      I agree. Tyson would have mopped the floor with Ham. Especially if he was fired up.

      February 6, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
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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.