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What I learned moderating the creation/evolution debate
Creationist Ken Ham makes a point in Tuesday's debate with Bill Nye, the "science guy."
February 5th, 2014
08:49 AM ET

What I learned moderating the creation/evolution debate

By Tom Foreman, CNN

CNN's Tom Foreman moderated the "creation debate" Tuesday night in Petersburg, Kentucky, between Bill "the Science Guy" Nye and creationist Ken Ham.

(CNN) - It says something when a person shows up at the Creation Museum wearing a top that says, "This is my atheist T-shirt."

At least that's what I think it said. I saw it in a blur as she passed in the parking lot; a thirtysomething with a young boy in tow, striding through the bitter winds of Kentucky to visit a place that proclaims those who deny the existence of God are dead wrong.

I thought about chasing her down to ask her what had compelled her to come, but it would have been a foolish question.

She was here to see a fight. And I was here to play the referee, to moderate a debate on a question that has raged for well over a century: Was humankind created by God in a rush of divine power, or did we evolve over time with only nature to take the credit?

Or as the organizers put it: "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?"

About 900 people snapped up tickets to this event just a few minutes after they went on sale, and I was told they expected at least "hundreds of thousands ... maybe a million or more" to watch as it streamed online.

It was not just the topic drawing the throngs. For this crowd, the debaters really mattered.

On the left (literally for the audience, and figuratively in every other way) was the champion for the evolutionary side.

Bill Nye, "the Science Guy," made fundamentalist Christian heads snap recently when he declared it was flat-out wrong for children to be taught creationism.

I met him in a room behind the stage as the audience milled around, waiting for the event to begin. Having just spoken to an adoring crowd of science fans at a university the night before, he feared he was in hostile territory.

MORE ON CNN: 'Creation debate' recap: Science, religion and terrible jokes

"I think my agent is the only one on my side," he said, only half-joking. "I think the other 899 people in here don't really see it my way."

It was hard to tell. Aside from the woman with the T-shirt, there were others wearing pro-Nye gear, but no good way to count them.

Still, it looked like his supporters were probably in the minority, and I mentioned to him that some scientists were grousing online he was validating the creationist argument by even showing up. "So why are you here?" I asked.

"I'm here for the U.S. economy," he said. "See, what keeps the United States in the game for the world economy is our ability to innovate, to have new ideas, and those inventions come from science."

"And you see creationism as sort of poisoning the well for science?"

"Yes. I mean, I'm all for (creationism) in philosophy class, history of religion class, human psychology class," but bring it into science class, and Nye gets upset.

And that is what disturbs Nye's debate opponent. Ken Ham is a rock star in the creationist community who is quick to point out his own educational credentials and those of other scientists who support creationist views.

He is one of the founders of the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs are depicted as living alongside humans and the Great Flood of Noah is an indisputable fact.

He believes it is fundamentally unfair of folks like Nye to push creationism further into the educational shadows and to deny what Ham sees as its scientific components. (Ham concedes, though, that the great number of scientists and citizens agree with Nye: evolution is real.)

I first met Ham back when the museum was being built, and he greeted me Tuesday night in his affable, Australian manner just outside the room where Nye was waiting.

"I must admit I'm a little nervous," Ham told me looking out at the audience. "I want to passionately present my case and defend what I believe, but we never imagined it would become this big. It's amazing. Just shocked all of us."

It was impressive to see how much interest the event generated. A riser with a phalanx of production cameras sat in the middle of the room, 70 or so journalists were clustered to one side of the stage, and security officers seemed to be all over the place.

I was told that metal detectors were being used to screen the audience, and I saw what I presume were explosive-sniffing dogs quietly working the hallways.

Both sides in this debate know the subject matter can spur extreme feelings, and they did all they could to make sure extreme actions didn't follow.

Just the same, one organizer pointed out a corner some 30 feet behind my spot on the stage. A door there opens to the parking lot, he said, "just in case, for any reason, you need to get out fast."

The advice was appreciated but unnecessary. The crowd proved to be polite, attentive and admirably restrained through the entire 2½-hour debate.

So were the debaters. Although they were firmly on opposite sides of the fence, Ham and Nye presented their arguments calmly and respectfully. Neither tried to shout the other down.

I spent my time listening to what they had to say, watching the clock to make sure they got equal time and trying to ensure people in each camp felt their man was treated fairly. Both debaters shook hands at the end to rousing applause. It was not a fight after all.

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

Considering the depth of feelings people have about this issue, I asked both men before we began if they expected to change anyone's opinion.

Ham said, "I will present (my information) trying to change people's minds, but knowing as a Christian it is God who changes people's minds, not me."

Nye said, "Here is my hope: I will remind Kentucky voters that this is a serious issue and that it is inappropriate to include creationism as an alternative to ... the body of knowledge and the process called science."

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

By the time the debate was done, a fierce winter storm had settled in. I waded through the Creation Museum parking lot ankle deep in snow, with sleet pelting down. And I think it was a worthwhile evening - a debate humankind was created to have, or to which we evolved.

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (3,342 Responses)
  1. magicpanties

    "... a debate humankind was created to have, or to which we evolved."

    C'mon, Tom. If the debate was on the existence of Santa Claus, would you give equal credence to both sides?

    February 5, 2014 at 9:57 am |
  2. Vince Medlock

    I didn't know Ham is Australian. With respect to my Aussie friends, what did we ever do to you? First Murdoch and now this crackpot? Why can't you keep your crazies at home?

    February 5, 2014 at 9:55 am |
    • Bruce McClure

      Someone should have asked Ham why there were no kangaroos mentioned in the bible. Surely an all-knowing god would have taken a moment to talk about them. And assuming kangaroos did live in the middle east and were saved by Noah, how come there is no evidence of them there, only down under?

      February 5, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • Doug

        *queue comment about "mysterious ways"*

        February 5, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • Jack Brooks

        Who says it should?

        February 6, 2014 at 11:24 am |
      • kermit4jc

        Excuse me? Did the Bible say somewhere on the front cover it was a zoology book? a science book? The Bible is CLEARLY a historical book! It outlines the history of God's people.. SO WHY ask why are kangaroos not mentioned in the BIble? Why are skunks, zebus, elk, bobcats, beavers, (the list goes on and on) not mentioned in the Bible? Because it is NOT a zoology book. Get over it. The PURPOSE of the Bible was to tell the history of Gods people, and the message God has for all of humanity. The purpose was NOT to be a science textbook or such. Use your brains that God gave you!

        February 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
  3. Rynomite

    Many of us often question the point of a debate such as this. Why give a charlatan like Ham media attention and additional funds to sink into his museum? Why bother engaging in a dialog when we know that it will ultimately boil down to "god done it" & "satan makes you think like that", two irrationalizations that no thinking man can overcome?

    WHY are debates such as these important?

    It's simple really! Somewhere in some Kentucky Trailer, a family of creationists decided to turn off Honey Boo Boo (ok I know this is already straining credibility), and decided to tune in to root on their Hero Ham. While mom and dad hold their bibles and cheer on wild eyed enthusiasm, a bright 12 year old boy sits there watching intently. He is an avid reader. He has read the entire Bible. He has read lots of history. He has read comic books. He has books of greek & roman mythology by Edith Hamilton. He can't help but see many of the similarities between these myths, the comics, and the bible. His brain bugs him. Surviving firey furnaces? Living in the belly of fish? Millions of animals on a boat? A trumpet breaking down a wall? These seem awful fanciful. Why don't these things happen today? So he listens. He listens to Bill Nye talk about evidence. He listen when Bill Nye says "we don't know". He compares that to "god done it".

    AND HE THINKS.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:54 am |
    • Team Nye

      Quote of the day. Well said.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:02 am |
    • cmills88

      You might be the second coming of Bill Hicks. Take your talents to a bigger stage, if you haven't already.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Whitney

      YES. Thank you!

      February 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
    • Jack Brooks

      You resorted to making fun? Creationists win. Insulting people is the lowest form of discourse. Not to mention that world history is filled with geniuses who believed in God, and still do.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:26 am |
      • Chopper007

        Well, creationism is absurd so yes, looking at it critically will produce some humor.

        February 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
      • Rynomite

        "Not to mention that world history is filled with geniuses who believed in God, and still do."

        World history is also filled with geniuses who thought the earth was flat. Genius level IQ does not imply that one exerts that genius into all areas of thought. Indoctrination is a powerful thing.

        P.S. I did not make fun. I do not find ignorance amusing. I merely commented on why debates such as these are important.

        February 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  4. Jose17

    I would have loved to have seen Ham Hitch slapped, he sure deserves it. Hitch would have never put up with the double talk. I could almost hear the beginning of his every response to Ham....Non Sense!...Pure Babble!!! God I miss him!

    February 5, 2014 at 9:47 am |
  5. Janine

    You did a very good job moderating the debate last night! Thank you!

    February 5, 2014 at 9:44 am |
  6. Reality #2

    What we knew before the debate:

    : (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

    8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

     http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/

    solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Asteroids‎

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/us/wus-supervolcanoes-yellowstone

    Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

    Rabbi Paul, book by Professor Bruce Chilton

    https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

    http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/study-finds-star-formation-declining-throughout-the-universe/

    http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/

    February 5, 2014 at 9:42 am |
  7. Pam Sommer

    Love the Creation Museum! Thank you Ken Ham and your very gifted staff. We are with out excuse if we do not read and pay attention to Genesis.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:42 am |
    • Reality #2

      Tis the bible that is outdated. For your perusal and a starting point for a new tomorrow:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
      Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

      The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."

      February 5, 2014 at 9:48 am |
    • Pandamonius

      Out of curiosity, what excuse do you give for ignoring science and established facts?

      February 5, 2014 at 9:56 am |
    • Whitney

      Pam, my excuse is that I prefer to live my life guided by facts. What is your excuse for taking advice from a 2,000 year old compendium of badly translated folklore and tribal customs?

      February 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  8. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    "He (Ham) believes it is fundamentally unfair of folks like Nye to push creationism further into the educational shadows and to deny what Ham sees as its scientific components." I hope that Creationism will continue to be taught, as was suggested, in a historical context – in philosophy courses and in the history of religion and science. It is always valuable to see where we've come from – what we've escaped. It's important to never forget the incredibly strange and elaborate thought-scapes that have made things like Creationism possible. That's not the "educational shadows."

    February 5, 2014 at 9:39 am |
    • Tannim

      I'm still waiting for the research paper that accurately describes and reproduces all of the biochemical, chemical, and physical reactions that occurred in the Creation myth, and the same speed. What's that? It doesn't exist? Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it's because it didn't happen that way so it can't be reproduced!

      February 5, 2014 at 10:45 am |
    • UncleBenny

      "o deny what Ham sees as its scientific components."

      What scientific components?

      February 6, 2014 at 11:12 pm |
  9. Al J Cat

    As an Aussie, I would like to say that this Ham guy represents nobody I ever met in Aus. There is probably a reason he can only get an audience in America

    February 5, 2014 at 9:38 am |
  10. Dan Payne

    Everyone seeks proof of the existence of God as presented in the Bible. The Greek word transliterated as "pistin" and translated into English as "faith", is also translated as "proof" in Acts 17:31. This "proof" is a direct gift from God. You cannot see it under a microscope or through a telescope.
    A believer has his or her "proof" in the form of faith from God. A non-believer has their faith in seeking proof there is no God.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:37 am |
    • cmnsns

      One of the definitions of faith is a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Faith is not proof. They go completely against each other...except in religion which doesn't require proof. Non-believers don't believe because of the utter lack of any evidence to support the claim. Therefore, we do not seek proof. That would be a waste of time. There either is proof, or there isn't. No proof, no god.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:48 am |
      • letsberealpeople

        Following that logic, science has been inadequate throughout its history. Many things are discovered at a point in time, before which time no proof existed. No proof, then it's not true? Science thereby contradicts itself with every new discovery.

        February 5, 2014 at 10:01 am |
        • Econ301

          You miss the point of Science. We believe things to be true, when we find out things which we once thought were true, are not true (Earth is Flat, Earth is Center of Universe, Lightning is Gods Anger) we change what we believe.

          Faith is the exact opposite of this. The whole point is that no matter what you keep believing.

          The fact that our knowledge of the natural world has changed and our belief about the cause of natural events has changed over time only highlights the importance of Science.

          When was the last time you changed your belief about how the walls came tumbling down? When was the last time you changed your belief about Noah's Ark?

          February 5, 2014 at 10:22 am |
        • letsberealpeople

          I totally get the point of science. What I don't get, is how people attempt to use science to justify a non-belief in God. The way you just described science aligns with my understanding. Said another way, science and faith are not a contradiction. It is acceptable to subscribe to both.

          So why do people attempt to use science to invalidate faith? That would be like people in the past using science as a foundation to proclaim, "You who believe the world is round are incorrect."

          With our new found knowledge, we can only look back at those people as short-sighted. Would we not look at today's critics in the same light?

          February 5, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Whitney

          Um, wow, no, you totally misunderstand science. The earth was not something other than round before we figured out it was round. The sun does not cease to shine half the time just because we can't see it. Just because we didn't know something yesterday doesn't mean it didn't exist yesterday, and just because we misunderstand it the first time we encounter it doesn't mean that it somehow changes as our understanding changes. Look at it this way: if you'd never seen an orange before, but you knew what a baseball was, you'd probably assume the first orange you ever saw was a weird kind of baseball. You would not try to eat it because no one eats baseballs. However eventually through trial and error and accident (IF you cared enough to investigate and IF you were open to learning and thus challenging your previous understanding) you'd come to see that oranges and baseballs, while similar in some ways, are fundamentally different in others, until you could with confidence state that they are in fact not the same. However religion teaches you that no matter how much orangina you drink, oranges like baseballs cannot be eaten, except last week when they were created and baseballs were in fact edible. That they are not any more is a great mystery and therefore proof of God.

          ::headdesk::

          February 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm |
        • Whitney

          Science can only be used as evidence for that which exists if people are willing to believe in facts, and are willing to have their understandings shaped and nuanced and developed–yes, even changed–as science reveals more and more intricate information. Faith does not allow for change. Faith would have you believe that baseballs were edible a week ago and they mysteriously became inedible. Science would trace back the genetic origin of the hemp and leather and tell you exactly where those materials came from, how old they are, and the merits of its current nutritional content and the wisdom of eating it or not. But science will never proclaim something to be true just because you want it to be true. Faith does exactly that and only that. Hence science cannot be proof for faith, because faith relies on infallibility and constancy, and science relies on the belief that there's always something more to be learned because we *don't* understand it all yet by a long shot.

          February 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm |
        • Whitney

          Oh and by the way the world is not entirely round–it's slightly elliptical. 🙂 Thanks, scientists, for clearing that up. For now. Until we refine our measurements even more and understand our world even better.

          Only faith has the hubris to say we know it all. Science has the humility to know we'll NEVER know it all–but at least it *tries*.

          February 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • letsberealpeople

          You are all over the place. If I had never seen an orange before, but had seen baseballs, then seen an orange, I would absolutely NOT assume it is a weird kind of baseball. You've got to be kidding me with that analogy.

          I'm not debating the definition of faith nor the definition of science. Maybe this is some sort of baseballs and oranges confusion for you, I don't know.

          My point is that religion has not been unproven. And proof itself, can be philosophically debated. To be true to science, as you defined it, would be to accept that claims made by Christianity and others religions has not been proven nor, nor proven untrue, so subscribing to science would be subscribing to acknowledgment that either is possible.

          Is that a bubble to you? Please to confuse it for a baseball or an orange just because it's round.

          April 25, 2014 at 8:32 pm |
      • Knucklehead

        Faith is not knowledge. The things faith concerns itself with cannot be proven. Trying to prove the things faith concerns itself with are akin to looking for a point further north than the north pole. Science and Faith approach ignorance from two different vantage points, arriving at different conclusions. But I fail to see how the mythical language of the Bible is at odds with scientific theory. "Let there be light?" = The Big Bang, maybe. Or perhaps God took millions of years to create humans. But what I don't get is why would a God give me a mind like this and then hold it against me that I used it?

        February 5, 2014 at 10:02 am |
        • Whitney

          As long as the mythical language of the BIble is left as myth and not taught as fact, there's no problem. It's when the two are conflated that it's a problem. And you don't see scientists doing that–only the faithful who can no longer tell the difference between the geomagnetic north pole, and the "point north of the north pole" (whatever that is–but I leave that to you to figure out and damn to hell those who don't believe you).

          February 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
    • ajo

      Well put but that is exactly why it cannot and should not be part of a science class. Science needs to be testable, evidentiary, and falsifiable. Non of these things apply to the Bible.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:56 am |
      • Tannim

        ...and reproducible, too.

        February 5, 2014 at 10:47 am |
    • Pandamonius

      I agree with you; however, your argument is damaging to the very points you are trying to defend. "Faith" is not Science. In fact, I would go so far as to say that "Faith" is the opposite of "Science". Faith is believing in something despite no proof, or even proof to the contrary. Science is all about having proof. Ham claims that the term "Science" was hijacked by secularists, but your very statement illustrates to us that Science was not hijacked at all... it never had a place with the creationists to begin with.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:02 am |
    • Yuri

      No, non-believers do not seek proof there is no good. That would be ridiculous. Do non-believers in unicorns seek proof there are no unicorns? Non-believers would gladly change their minds should proof of a god's existence be presented. This shouldn't be hard for an all-powerful being to provide.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:09 am |
    • Whitney

      Non believers do not generally seek to prove there is no god–they seek evidence of (not proof) what is, whatever it is. Believers seek proof of that which they have already decided exists–it's called confirmation bias. Scientists seek evidence of reality and follow wherever the evidence takes them. So far it hasn't lead to anything remotely resembling a Christian god (let alone a Hindu, Greek, Roman, or ancient Egyptian god).

      February 5, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
  11. Pam Sommer

    Love the Creation Museum! Thank you ken Ham and your very gifted staff. We are with out excuse if we do not read and pay attention to Genisis.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:36 am |
    • Gaunt

      There is nothing more amusing, nor telling, about a frothing zealot who cant even spell the first book in their own bible.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:39 am |
      • Janine

        Bible should be capitalized, Mr. spelling police.

        February 5, 2014 at 9:46 am |
        • teeto

          No, it should not be capitalized. He is not referring to THE Bible but A bible.

          February 5, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • Guest

        You sir, are my hero

        February 5, 2014 at 9:48 am |
      • Rynomite

        I'm an atheist, but to be fair, using spelling on an internet forum as evidence of.... well anything, is pretty nonsensical.

        NOW IF SHE HAD TALKED IN ALL CAPS AND NEGLECTED BASIC PUNCTUATION Well then we have someone we can mock!!! 🙂

        February 5, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • Tannim

          Proper use of the language and its elements, including proofreading before posting, is a sign of intelligence. Not doing so is a sign of a lack of intelligence. Proper communication matters.

          February 5, 2014 at 10:49 am |
        • Rynomite

          It's an internet forum. People are not turning their replies in for a grade or for perusal by their boss. Remove the stick from your butt.

          February 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Whitney

          Given that sloppy thinking and a general disregard for the importance of detail and fact are attributes of a non-scientific mindset, I'm somehow not surprised. Still amused, but not surprised.

          February 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
  12. octopus

    So what did you learn moderating the debate? I kept waiting for the article to reflect the headline.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:35 am |
    • brianzack

      Exactly. Thank you for pointing this out. I learned, yet again, never to get my hopes up when reading CNN.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:54 am |
  13. Eep

    Thank you, Tom. It was incredibly refreshing to see a respectful debate of ideas without mudslinging or personal attacks. I wish there were more formats like this one where people could speak freely about the things they are passionate about simply for the sake of sharing ideas and understanding one another. When we take a moment to walk in someone else's shoes, I think we also learn a lot about ourselves in the process.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:29 am |
  14. Craig Cottongim

    Great job last night moderating! Also, myself as a Christian, I think Nye won the debate and Ham missed the boat with an opportunity to make a case for a Creator. The age of the earth is so irrelevant to proving a Creator! http://craigcottongim.blogspot.com/2014/02/one-christians-view-on-creation-debate.html

    February 5, 2014 at 9:25 am |
    • Rynomite

      Well to be fair, evolution does not disprove a creator. There still could be a creator (though I find it unlikely). Evolution merely disproves Biblical Inerrancy and Young Earth Creationism.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:15 am |
  15. mjbrin

    Ham said, "we never imagined it would become this big"
    I don't believe him. When I went to the site to watch it (10 minutes prior) I scanned down to check out the site and right there they already had DVD's to sell of the debate! (it hadn't even happened yet!) Plus the site kept saying "in 2014 children are free to the museum"
    They knew if they could get Bill Nye then they would bring in the money! This Ham guy only cares about keeping the money coming in. He know a sucker is born every minute.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:25 am |
    • Dave

      And those suckers are evil right wing Republican hypocrites who enjoy lying to themselves.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:44 am |
    • Pandamonius

      I have to disagree. I find it hard to believe that someone would found a Creationist museum in hopes of raking in unlimited amounts of cash. The "Kids are free" part is most likely a ploy to try getting more customers to come visit, after all...a free kid is likely to have a paying adult with him, and it probably only affects those 3 or 4 and under.

      The DVD's are just merchandise. If you haven't been to any Zoo, Aquarium, or Museum lately, you may not realize this, but merchandise is one of their main ways of income.

      Sure, they hoped it would pan out, but I tend to believe Ham when he says he didn't think it would pan out this big. Had he really thought that, he'd have gotten a larger auditorium, and sold more than just 900 tickets.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:12 am |
  16. Mark Causey

    The first question Nye should have asked was, "which god are you defending?" Since there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations, 73 different types of Islam, 3 major forms of Buddhism, over 33 Million Hindu gods... shall I go on? I personally like Anqet (I like both water and lust).

    February 5, 2014 at 9:20 am |
    • SB

      Totally agree with you. First question should always be, it is not just the rational science these people are arguing against, it also the numerous other faiths, many of whom have their own doctrines of how the world started. That should have been the question. I don't if the question of other faiths was ever brought up!!

      February 5, 2014 at 9:28 am |
      • Mark

        Other faiths had nothing to do with that debate, why bring it up.

        February 5, 2014 at 9:35 am |
        • pagro182

          So now only you brand of Christianity counts? If you are montheistic, then you'd be forced logically to agree all monotheistic religions must be praying to the same god, who one would assume would be telling them the same version of history. But, since that is clearly untrue, you are left with two choices:

          1) Your religion is likely a misinterpretation of your gods words, or
          2) God is a great joker

          Either way, to believe that "your" religion is correct is simply a conclusion, which is what you come to when you are tired of thinking for yourself.

          February 5, 2014 at 9:53 am |
        • ajo

          Because of the focus on Biblical accounts. Biblical by definition excludes the other faiths and widens the debate, such as it is.

          February 5, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • Rynomite

          Asking about which of the 41,000 sects of the Christian cult he is representing is valid. Or asking if he is representing a sect of Judaism. All of these claim to use the bible. Which of those thousands of god concepts is his?

          February 5, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • Mark

      Christianity regardless of the branch all have the same God so there is only one he would be debating for. Unfortunately people like him give most of us Christians a bad name since he pretty much ignores science and tries to argue the earth is so young.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:29 am |
  17. durt mcgurt

    i love how the Media loves to paint this as "either, or". you are either for creationism or for science while ignoring what people such as myself believe that, yes, God created us but through the process of evolution according to the laws of His Nature.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:14 am |
    • JMD

      Thank you, that is exactly what blows my mind because I believe we are in the majority! I think it's a clever trick to make people (young people generally) who don't know much about science to think you have to be on one "side" or the other (God's side or Satan's side?) so they will reject science totally. I learned about evolution in Catholic school and went to mass on Sunday so most Christian religions do not believe in creationism. Creationists do no own God or Christianity!

      February 5, 2014 at 9:40 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Because there is no evidence for your god claim. It's an irrational position to hold.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • Pandamonius

      The media loves to paint this as "either or"? Did you even READ the article?

      Most creationists refuse to accept any form of evolution, even the possibility that evolution happened according to God's plan. Because the book they worship, that was written a few thousand years ago by men, doesn't allow for that.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:18 am |
    • gadaadhoon

      First, evolution requites hereditary material capable of change and the ability to harness energy of some kind, in other words life has to happen before it can evolve. Second, if his nature if to sit back and let his creatures create themselves through natural selection, i.e. through selfishness and death, I don't think the pronoun requires a capital letter. Though your side makes some sense there is no point in living in such a universe.

      February 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  18. Angry Hillbilly

    Just end this silly debate. Let Creationists have their completely wrong museums and benefiting from the research and discovery of legitimate science.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:05 am |
    • Vineyard

      The problem is that Creationists are taking up public money to teach lies to children, who will in turn believe those lies and teach them to their friends and children. Teaching Creationism as an alternative to science damages science, damages trust in science and in truth. It is wasteful, damaging for the kids, and terrible for the US, and should simply not be allowed.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:17 am |
      • RayRay

        Thank you! 🙂

        February 5, 2014 at 9:29 am |
  19. Honey Badger Don't Care

    The only real reason for this debate is because Ken Ham and his museum are going under and he wants to drum up one last bit of cash before he can run away.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:02 am |
    • Pinewalker

      Curiously that pretty much the same sentiments the Romans had about Christ and a couple centuries later here we Christians still are "running away"

      February 5, 2014 at 9:49 am |
      • teeto

        Really, that's what they thought? Prove it. BTW – it is two thousand years and not "a couple of centuries".

        February 5, 2014 at 10:07 am |
        • Krista

          Don't confuse the creationist... They refuse to understand the difference between science and religion... how can you expect them to understand the difference between a century and a millennium?

          February 5, 2014 at 10:16 am |
        • Pinewalker

          what does it matter now anyway

          February 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
  20. Edison

    Nice job! A very neat format!

    February 5, 2014 at 9:00 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      I agree completely. The format of this debate was very constructive.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:03 am |
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About this blog

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.