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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. Demigod Vadik, CA

    A debate is supposed to be between two points which may both have science and some proof behind them...

    ...but this "debate" is like a debate whether the rain is wet or not...

    February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  2. massconn72

    That man is a fool.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Ham is most definitely is a fool. 🙂

      February 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
      • JP

        The fool has said in his heart there is no God–Psalm 14:1

        The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." -Psalm 19:1

        February 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • doobzz

          The book says to believe in the book. The book says if you don't believe in the book, you are a fool.

          And you fall for that? I know a Nigerian banker, let me introduce you to him. You'd be a fool not to.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Jp: How cute...of course the book says that, they don't want you leaving their group. I find it funny when theists use scripture with non-believers...do you honestly think it changes a thing? I know the bible...I'm a recovering christian-5 years clean to be exact and loving life more than ever. It truly is enlightening to leave the fears and lies of christianity behind...the world takes on a different meaning now and the evidence based answers are endless, leaving for an endless realm of learning.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
  3. Stevie G

    Nobody is allowing creationism to be presented as an alternative to evolution in science class? True. As The Onion recently pointed out, nobody is teaching "Intelligent Falling" as an alternative to the theory of gravity either. Why? Because there is no scientific foundation to it. Evolution is demonstrable fact. The theory of evolution is an ever evolving attempt at explaining how that works. Unless we want to open every class up to this concept of "alternatives" without basis (Perhaps a class on the reproductive cycle including the "stork theory"?) we shouldn't even lend credence to these people by even debating them. When I walk down the street and someone tells me the sky is falling, I don't stop to explain what rain is, I just let them try and kill it and go on my way.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • joe

      Stevie G, the fallacy of your example is that the reproductive cycle is known and demonstrable and scientifically proven and tested. Scientific consensus has stifled innovation in this debate and other debates, including physics.. Evolution is a theory, creation is a theory. Evolution cannot explain the pre-Cambrian explosion of the fossil record, where different kinds of species suddenly appear, yet there is a great fossil record of evolution of species, but not evolution of kinds. There is no fossil record showing how butterfly evolved into a cat, drastic example, but there is not fossil record to support evolution between kinds. Darwin himself noted this was the biggest downfall of his hypothesis that has not been accepted as fact.

      You don't want to believe in God, fine, you have chosen belief in evolution, also fine, but be open to acknowledging holes in your belief, similar to many holes in the belief in God.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
      • WhyMe

        but be open to acknowledging holes in your belief

        You mean like creationists do with every "transitional" fossil that's ever been found.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
      • Barcs

        Are any of you evolution attacker EVER honest? I counted several lies in your post, beginning with the claim that evolution is not proven. It is. It has been observed. Experiments prove it. Scientific theories are backed by evidence. The fact that you don't even know the difference between a scientific theory and a guess once again shows nothing but intellectual dishonesty. I just don't understand how you can just flat out deny something with so much evidence behind it, while dismissing it in favor of ancient fairy tales that cannot be verified. That's absolute joke, sir. Thank you for once again demonstrating the absolute idiocy of creationism. GOD HAS ZERO EVIDENCE. EVOLUTION HAS MOUNTAINS OF EVIDENCE. Your entire posts screams of scientific ignorance. You can't criticize a scientific theory without falsifying it with science or presenting a scientifically valid alternative. This has NEVER been done. And you people wonder why you get laughed at and think atheists are so mean to you.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
  4. 1984

    You want to learn about creationism thats what Church is for. the problem I have with creationism is that man took it and made religions out of it. which gave them a good excuse to kill people that didnt believe in their particular religion.. take a good look at a lot of the wars that have been fought. It sure wasnt over evolution.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • MythBusters

      Most wars are not fought over religion. That is a myth.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • Wrong again

        Actually, until modern times they were. It's not a myth.

        February 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
        • MythBusters

          In modern times atheistic regimes are more terrifying than religious regimes.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • Happy Atheist

          I would have to agree with Mythbuster only in the fact that most wars were really fought over more mundane things, greed, food, access to goods, national pride and many other petty reasons, they just have been cloaked in the righteousness of the Church to condone the murder of your neighbor who doesn't believe the same way you do, plus you get to take their stuff and feel holy about it.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  5. doug

    God created planets and stars that are so far away from us, that if we could travel 1000 times faster than the speed of light, it would take millions of earth years to get there... All the while passing by billions and billions of galaxies that contain billions of billions of stars with billions and billions of planets, of which billions and billions could support life....And this same god gets heart broken and would eternally torture the soul of a deceased man whose penis touches another man's butthole.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • Fred

      Yeah well when it comes to MY butt hole i tend to side with God on that one but what others do with their a$$ is none of my business

      February 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Milton Platt

      Same god is okay with commanding his followers to commit genocide, though..........

      February 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  6. josh

    Here is the current generally accepted cosmological theory.

    All of the matter and energy currently in the universe sprang from a point in space at a point in time (a big bang). The matter accelerated outward from that point at extreme speeds. The universe continues to expand and is expanding at an accelerating pace, meaning there is an unknown force counteracting gravity on a large scale.

    Pockets though of this expanding matter collapsed (where gravity over came both the initial impulse and the accelerating force) to form galaxies and and stars (and other bodies) within them.

    On at least one planet, orbiting an average sized star, life formed some how from inanimate matter. This life evolved, from simple forms to forms with more and more complex organization, to the point were the life came to comprehend the above.

    There are so many points in the above that are not known.

    Why did the Big Bang happen? Where did the matter/energy come from? Why did it come in such a form and why are the laws of physics such that intelligent life can form? How did life form from inanimate matter?

    In any event, the leading scientific theory (the Big Bang Theory) is a creationist theory. It is in direct opposition to the theory, espoused by Einstein and many others, that the universe has been here forever.

    I do understand the other interpretations of the Big Bang Theory, by Hawkins and others that due to the curvature of space time the universe is a closed multi-dimensional loop. This theory (which is only advanced to attempt to find a way to justify the big bang without a creation force) requires us to ignore the concept of time before the big bang. We as scientists should just right this off as silly to discuss? The obvious concept that makes the closed-loop theory at best a partial theory?

    February 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • Alias

      Um .... No.
      Fail in many levels. your trolling needs work.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • josh

        Your debating skill are not very impressive.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • tony

      The problem with supposing a god causied the big bang, is that "he" hasn't been seen since. Which is rather strange.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
      • josh

        It could have been a God. It could have been a intelligent alien. It could have been something well beyond our comprehension, but the current laws of physics, can't account for the big bang. Matter and energy are conserved, not created. Where did it come from?

        February 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  7. goober4354

    Nye sure is on a crusade against those who believe in a supernatural or God-like origin to the universe. Myself, I shut the door on no theory be it evolution or creationalism or some combination of both. What is troubling to me is a guy who is out there "teaching" children is out pushing his set of beliefs. No, there is no hard evidence of God. But there are mysteries in this world neither he nor anyone else can explain. So in the end we are all left with our beliefs. Like I say to the Religious...don't push your beliefs on me. I also say the same to Nye. Don't push your beliefs on me either. Debate all you want – neither of you are going to solve the mystery to the origin of the Universe.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
  8. anon

    How do we know we aren't being lied to by evolutionist science. How do we know what they are telling us is true, and not made up?

    February 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • tony

      Education.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • CoryTE

      Ummm, because we can watch evolution in progress? Because we can directly observe it happening?

      February 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • igaftr

      anon
      It is science, so you can verify any part you would like, all by yourself.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      because of independant peer reviewed studies that don't just make a claim without repeated expiriments to back it up and because it is given with the reearch and data and asks others to test the hypothesis when there are errors they are relatively quickly found and corrected or exposed.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • Barcs

      Peer review. This means that all the experiments are open for others to test and see if they get the same results. This means they have been tested over and over and over again. If you wish to try to debunk science, become a scientists and run the tests yourself. If it's so obviously wrong and everyone lied, it should be quite easy.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
  9. Yes, really

    America couldn't wrangle together two PHDs to lend this satire-masked-as-debate a little credibility? Sure, Bill Nye was a pretty great escape from the droning of my high school chem professor, but when we arm him with the reigns of any real scientific debate, even this farce, it's scary. What a sideshow!

    February 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • Barcs

      Bill Nye knows his stuff, and it doesn't take a PHD to argue against an ignorant creationist that doesn't even understand the basics of science.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  10. 74

    These debates have disappeared over the years because it's not worth it. It's like arguing with a child.

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

    Way to be a critical thinker. what's so scientific, as Ham claims to be, about this sentence?

    February 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • Barcs

      If he really said that, that is hilarious! He trusts god over the fallible words of man, yet blindly believes the bible as LITERAL ABSOLUTE TRUTH when man wrote it. I love self pwnage.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
  11. THETRUTH

    Big Bang Theory......now that is laughable. Everything came from nothing. yeah, thats what happened.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • Doge

      About as laughable as your mere existence

      February 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • THETRUTH

        Thanks Dog!

        February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Doge

          *facepalm*

          February 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
    • can

      thats what science tells us. themal dynamics.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Ben

      then why do accept that a complex being such as god came from nothing?

      February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      What created your god? If your god can just exist why not a singularity.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Observer

      THETRUTH,

      So God came from NOTHING and then created EVERYTHING from NOTHING. Laughable too.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
    • Stevie G

      A singularity isn't "nothing." Open a book.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        How would you describe what was there pre-Big Bang?

        February 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • REALLY?

      if the universe didnt come from "Nothing", what did god make it out of? because before that instance of creation(if thats what you chose to believe), according to commonly accepted dogma, there was nothing. Maybe the vehicle for Gods creation of the universe was the big bang, and maybe the vehicle for gods creation of mad was evolution.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
      • Barcs

        It actually makes sense that if god created the universe it would happen in a big bang of energy. It's hilarious when creationists deny the big bang which actually supports their case more than naught. Creationists just aren't very bright in general and love to act like authorities on science when they haven't learned the basics.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  12. Alias

    I believe that if there was one all powerful god, there would be one religion. If the god of the bible existed, we would have a bible with one possible interpretation, not thousands of different christian denominations. I believa all the ancient civilizations created their own religion, and the civilizations that proved to be strongest passed their religion downto us today.
    There is wisdom and some truth in the bible, but the same wisdom if fould in Islam, buddhism, confucinism, an dmany other religions and philosophies.
    There is no god, just old stories that many people are better off believing.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
  13. bill

    Funny how a creationist is portrayed as an adversary of Science. I accept science and evolution, yet I believe in a creator. Why? because I think multiple branches of Science back the existence of God. The typical God hater/atheist only cites archeology as the "Science" behind disproving a creator. However looking at the modern theories of subatomic particles in Quantum physics clearly shows that we have barely any idea of what the hell we are talking about when it comes to where we came from and how. I challenge any atheist to google double split experiment or the research of physicist Alain Aspect. However, atheist do not care about Science they only embrace atheism for the medium it offers them to express their hate speech which in irony is a mirror image of radical islamist, against Christians. Atheist embrace selective conclusionary evidence of a few branches of science, but if science ever proved the existence of a God they would refute science altogether, because the root of their problem is their hate.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • Observer

      bill,

      "The typical God hater/atheist"

      NO atheist EVER hated God. ONLY believers can do that. You didn't think that through.

      The most hate comes from HYPOCRITICAL believers who ignore the Golden Rule so they can pick on gays or believers who PRETEND the Bible ever mentions abortion so they can pick on pro-choice supporters.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jahtez

      Atheism is lack of belief in any gods. No more, no less.
      The rest of your assertion is mere projection. You don't like atheists. Got it. But you don't have to spew lies to bolster your misconceptions about atheism.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • Barcs

      Creationists are portrayed as adversaries of science, BECAUSE THEY ARE. Read some of the posts on here where they attempt to disprove evolution with no basic fundamental understanding of biology or even the scientific method. It's a disgrace. Granted they aren't all like that, but they are portrayed that way for a very good reason and Ken Ham is a primary anti-evolution advocate. I love how creationists try to flip the script on the scientists and non believers. If they were constantly attacking things they know nothing about, they wouldn't be constantly laughed at today.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  14. Atheism is good for you!

    America deserves a nice atheist regime. It would be awesome to live like in the old USSR or like in North Korea... Can't wait!

    February 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • Frenchy

      Oh i never heard that one before........NEXT!!

      February 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • AH

      We could just round up all the religious people into camps. You know, concentrate them in one area. And rid the world of belief systems that aren't as rational and logical as our imagination tells us we are.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • Rick

      We need a christian regime.. like hitler that was great!

      February 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
      • AH

        Hitler hated Christianity.

        February 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • JW

          The only Christians he hated was the Jehovah's witnesses!

          February 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • ScottM

          "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited."

          -Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

          February 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
      • Barcs

        Or like the crusades and inquisition. Those societies were truly enlightened enslaving Africans and natives and committing genocide on people because they never heard of Jesus.

        February 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Alias

      Would you be happy with the same type of theocracy that brought about the dark ages?
      One that would control what the schools taught and not allow science that did not agree with their faith?

      February 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • Barcs

      Unfortunately due to religious bigotry, no atheist or even non Christian will be elected to the presidency any time soon unless they pretend to be a Christian. Christians will dishonestly vote against the person just because they don't believe. It's wrong, but the majority of Christians are not honest people and don't truly believe in religious freedom.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
  15. No2theprideofman

    It seems the majority of agnostic/atheist community speaks to those who disagree with them (on rational, factual basis) in a dismissive, belittling, we-are-superior tone. The lesson from history is that it eventually finds itself seated at a table with a large helping of humble pie. I suggest one mark of real intelligence is the ability to see an opposing view, and to do so without the arrogance or name calling.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
    • Barcs

      And it would also be nice we didn't constantly get the self righteous condescending att.itude from believers. I don't belittle people for their beliefs, but I DO belittle people who know nothing about science, yet claim evolution is wrong and cite all these false reasons that only show you haven't done ANY research. They deserve every bit of ridicule they get because denying evolution is like denying the earth going around the sun. People only attack creationists when they say something stupid.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • No2theprideofman

        Denying evolution as an mechanism within nature for allowing adaptation is a mistake people make. However, I will deny the validity of your statement – that evolution is undeniable as a mechanism for creating species and as an explanation for life on this planet. And their is a big difference in attacking people who make mistakes out of ignorance verse belittling them with an air of superiority because after all, I can't be wrong.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
        • Barcs

          But that's what science is. When creationists attack science without presenting science or valid reasoning they get ridiculed as they should be. Intellectual dishonestly is wrong. Denying evolution would be alright like 100 years ago, but we have so much more now, like the entire field of biology and the field of genetics. If you honestly think evolution is wrong, without scientific reasoning to do so, then yes, you are part of the problem with American and society today. Don't deny, READ. LEARN. The information is all out there and all you have to do is type a phrase in google. Evolution is not a mechanism for creating life on the planet. It's a mechanism for changing life on the planet. If you don't understand that very basic concept then you have no right to attack science.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  16. T

    We just want to tell the truth, teach the controversy, the failings of "evolution" as a cure all. but No! you cant do that.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Barcs

      What failings of evolution? I keep hearing this and the only responses I get back are from scientific illiterates that have no business answering.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • T

      Evolution cant explain how a land animal became a freaking blue whale.

      Evolution is missing many "transition fossils" so its pure conjecture that I am a modern monkey. show me all the fossils from monkey to me.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
      • WhyMe

        @T
        show me all the fossils from monkey to me.

        even if it were possible to that, you'd still deny the facts.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • Barcs

        Thanks for proving yourself a scientific illiterate that isn't worthy answering, just as I predicted. You have to understand the basic fundamentals of a scientific theory (compilation of facts and results that paint a picture) BEFORE trying to debunk it. You should like you haven't even opened a high school level biology book.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils – transitional fossils

        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03 – whale evolution

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_evolution_fossils – here's a list that contains the 20+ species found in between ancient ape and modern humans.

        I can't wait to see your next response full of lies.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
      • Jake

        Who said modern? Your views seem about 2,000 years old.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
  17. Brian Fallon

    I accept that science has limitations (i.e., we don't know what came before the big bang), but I don't think any scientists dispute Darwin's theory of evolution. How could you? I mean, really, that should not be in conflict with whatever faith you follow. Now granted, we haven't figured out exactly how life on this planet originated, but the comparative simplicity of one-celled organisms and their similarities with "non-living" organic compounds (to me anyway) implies that life did indeed originate spontaneously.

    I don't see how belief in God and belief in Darwinism has to be in conflict...can't we say that "God" created the laws of physics, and then sat back and watched what happened next? He doesn't have to necessarily micro-manage things.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Sungrazer

      That is not the kind of god that people want to believe in. They want to believe in a personal god who answers prayers and performs miracles and gives them hope of a better life after this one.

      Evolution doesn't necessarily conflict with the idea of a god, but it certainly conflicts with creationism, and that is what the debate is about.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
    • WhyMe

      We could also say that leprechauns created the laws of physics and then sat back, but there is good reason why we don't. The very same reason we shouldn't say it about god.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • josh

        Then why are the laws of physics as they are?

        February 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
        • WhyMe

          Your question makes no sense, it's like asking why is the color blue blue? They are what they are whether we observe them or not.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • josh

      You just described the "Intelligent Design Theory". The theory is simply that a creator set the initial conditions of the universe to evolve in a way planned in advance. This theory doesn't preclude interference by the creator (or others outside the universe) during evolution. Intelligent design is a theory of evolution.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
      • LessBias

        josh – Unfortunately, that's not what Mr. Ham will be debating tonight. He will be intentionally positioning creationism at direct opposition to evolution. You'll hear him say that there aren't any transitional fossils, or that some organs lack intermediate benefit, etc – the same claims that have been explained and systematically debunked on a plethora of websites and scientific articles. Mr. Ham and Answers in Genesis does not believe in the same intelligent design that you do. They believe that science must be wrong in order for their faith to hold its meaning. It sounds like you believe in an intelligent designer that takes over where fact leaves off. That's called faith. They believe in an intelligent designer *instead* of knowledge and reason. That's called ignorance.

        February 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
  18. Rocinante

    Consider that Evolution is how God propagated the Creation.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Brian Fallon

      Just saw this...you said in one sentence what I was trying to say with two paragraphs. Succinctly put.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
    • No2theprideofman

      Consider that evolution is simply an adaptive mechanism for already created species, but it never causes changes that result in new species. Also consider that if God can make a man "full grown" with apparent age, could He not do the same with the universe?

      The willingness to consider alternate explanations other than the atheist/agnostic one within the origins debate is what is missing. That unwillingness makes science appear to be biased and act as if it has something to hide.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
      • josh

        This is always a good point. The universe may have begun at 9 AM this morning. All of our bodies and memories and environment loaded. This may just be a simulation that lasts a few hours to see how we perform, given the initial conditions. There is no way to disprove this concept and therefore, it can't be tested by the scientific method. In fact we have no method to determine the truth of this concept.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
      • Barcs

        I hate to tell you this, but speciation has been proven in a lab. New species arise via evolution all the time.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
  19. anon

    I'm not going to debate creation vs. evolution, or God vs. no god. However, I think if people want to truly be "free thinkers" or smugly consider themselves to be "outside the box" type people, then I think it is important to remember something crucial here that no one has mentioned before:

    Regardless of WHO wrote the bible or what it was inspired by, please think of the beginning of the world from ancient mans point of view. People back then simply had no concept of any number as large as a million. Never mind millions and billions of years. They had no concept of the intricate, and scientific workings of this world. NONE. Even the so called prophets and scholars who wrote this down had any concept and therefore it would have been useless and discouraging to them and everyone else to expect to write down and remotely understand the science of it all in a book for others to read. So it was dumbed down, or toned down to fit the state of mind of the people AT THAT TIME. That's called being higher minded, and considerate. It's also called wisdom.
    It's like explaining where babies come from to a four year old when they ask. You certainly don't lie, but some things they just don't need to know yet. Neither would they understand. So you bring it down to their level. Now how the early writers could even had known as much as they did; like knowing about the void, then the land, then water, animals in water, THEN on earth, and finally and last of all man, is to say the least intriguing. What limited, yet bizarely accurate understanding of the overall order of events has always fascinated me.

    But come on. Let's not fight over the stork. He brought the baby and thats that. 🙂

    February 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm |
    • Barcs

      The bible wasn't dumbed down. The people at the time were legitimately dumb, which is why there are countless demonstrably wrong concepts in the bible. You can claim god dumbed it down, but where is the 21st century updates? Why hasn't he updated his work to reflect the times we live in?

      February 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
    • snapnturtle

      I like that anon I never really considered that perspective and I should have, as I teach Western Civ as a General Ed requirement in a univeristy. I may actually use this the next time I approach the scientific revolution. I always talk about faith verses "natural history" (term for science in 16th Century) but I never considered the larger application, ie there simply wasn't any other explanation but the supernatural.

      I hope Sheldon Cooper is on this panel somewhere.

      February 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • Herman

      Except the Greek's and Egyptians were both excellent book keepers, enlightened thinkers, and philosophers hundreds (thousands for the Egyptians) of years before the birth of christ. And the Egyptians actually had roughly a 340 day Calender based upon the Nile, so their time estimates are pretty accurate. They even have references to Moses who was a political hostage at the Egyptian court who led a few hundred slaves (they have good slave records actually) into a revolt. And Moses was a polytheistic man of the cult of Yahweh. So while the stories are partially accountable a lot of the biblical stories are clouded by mysticism (lol as if the Egyptians could keep and sustain tens of thousands of slaves, when they barely kept themselves fed)

      February 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
  20. JBHedgehog

    Oy the cognitive dissonance!!!

    Uhm...I'll cut the debate short here...if you believe in creationism you cannot believe in creationism.

    Mmmmkay?

    February 4, 2014 at 12:41 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.