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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. Charm Quark

    Turns out that there is a live stream on the internet @ christiantoday.com. I'll have to get all liquored up to watch it though, if I start now.....

    February 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  2. 74

    This is an impossible debate. You can't argue fact against belief. The Creationists aren't bound by facts and proof. Their argument is one giant logical fallacy. The last line in the article about what Ham "choses" to believe sums up everything.

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

      Please offer proof as to how a non-living pool of mud gave birth to a single-celled organism. Please off proof of where that mud (or primordial soup) came from? Please provide proof that a single celled organism evolved into a human being. Don't give me faith statements about billions of years and random chance. Don't give me nonsensical talk about the size of finch beaks or bacteria adapting. In either case we are still dealing with the same kinds (bacteria is bacteria and finches and finches). Give me proof of molecules to man evolution. Go!

      February 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • Damocles

        Non-living to living? Like the non-living atoms that make up your body?

        So, we have a long series of events that chained non-living atoms, molecules, compounds into the person you see in the mirror from time to time. Life from non-life.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
      • bizzare

        None of that happened.
        A bearded guy in the sky, who made a woman pregnant to give birth to himself, and then sacrificed himself to himself, in order to save his own creation from destruction (but wont save anyone who doesn't believe that he killed himself to please himself enough to spare his own creation, even though he loves them very much) created it all.

        February 4, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  3. Feslmogh

    re: Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham at the Creation Museum...
    I think this shouldn't even happen. Christianity is not about trivial things like dinosaurs or how old the earth is or began. -2 Timothy 22:Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.- I like both men but let us do something more productive and find a common bond between science and Christianity.

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

      If you select only crap to listen to, then you'll believe in just crap.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • igaftr

      There are no common bonds. Christianity is belief based on nothing.
      Science is the persuit of truth.
      Once you learn to separate belief fromo truth you can learn how things REALLY work., not just taking the word of ignorant superst!tiuos men.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  4. gspot

    I would like to quote Joe Rogan " I'm not a Scientist but I like to read scientific Facts. The Fact is the human genome shows we are 96% monkey. Maybe God created a monkey that lies alot and doesnt like being called a monkey. If I made you a sandwich that was 96% dog crap and 4% ham would you be willing to call it a ham sandwich" I love that quote!

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

      You just quoted Joe Rogan........ FFS you should be ashamed of yourself!

      February 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • gspot

      Want a ham sandwich Bubbles

      February 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  5. ryan050973

    There are persons that have evidence that meets the criteria of scientific evidence for God's existence in their personal lives.

    There are also persons that do not have this evidence, nor do they want it.

    A person's intents do factor into whether or not Jehovah reveals himself to a person.

    For the word of God is alive and exerts powerm and is sharper than any two-edged swordn and pierces even to the dividing of soula and spirit, and of joints from the marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is not a creation that is hidden from his sight,o but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account. Hebrews 4:11,12

    Debating the matter publically is somewhat redundant.

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

      when you are as gullible as that, yes.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Sorting mixed nuts

      "There are persons that have evidence that meets the criteria of scientific evidence for God's existence in their personal lives."

      LOL

      February 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
  6. Carlos Marin

    Absolutely no evidence exists that the Bible is the word of God.

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

      No evidence suggests that it is NOT either

      February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        asinine

        February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      the bible is the word of god because it says so in the bible. LOLOLOLOL

      February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • Who are we to judge?

      Ya see, the meaning of Ph D is a “doctor of PHILOSOPHY”. The key is Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. But no person really knows (read your medication information. The manufacturers always have a disclaimer saying they don’t know how it works, but here is their guess…). Although I am an astronomer and believe in black holes, dark matter, and dark energy, no one really knows for sure! So, who am I to judge? And who are you (Ah) to judge? Never say never.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
  7. joe

    There is no explanation for the Cambrian explosion in the fossil record. The fossil record support well the evolution of species, but not evolution between kinds. Believe in creationism acknowledge it has some holes, believe in evolution at least be willing to acknowledge it has some holes as well. Even Darwin noted the Cambrian explosion was the biggest unexplained threat to his theory.

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

      "kinds"?
      What are you talking about.
      Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus or Species...no "kinds"

      February 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Fossilization is a very complex process and only happens under specific circu.mstances. The animals of the Precambrian era were typified by soft body structures that would not have fossilized. The post-Cambrian “explosion” (which took hundreds of millions of years so is not really an explosion) body types were more bony and therefore were able to fossilize.

      This is your explanation. I’m sure that you won’t except it because a god didn’t write it down thousands of years ago but there you are.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  8. Responding to the Pride

    Mark. You state that the Bible is: "highly edited to exclude some material that didn't quite fit with the religion's political and social goals at the time" Can you direct me to the unedited texts to compare please.

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

      *points to the incinerator*

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

      Gospel of Judas existed apparently, but there are plenty of references to others.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
    • Detached Observor

      The Gnostic Gospels, dozens and dozens of them. "Christians" tired to destroy them all, but some were hidden in a cave and only discovered in the 1940's.

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

      google would be your friend, if only you would believe in it and accept it into your heart.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • mistamista

      Yes, turn to page one....read until you get tired. Now, look back over the texts that you've read. THOSE are all of the texts that have been translated, edited and verbally modified over time. Fairytales.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  9. UrineTrouble

    "God is dead. I killed him"

    – Science

    February 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Atheism believes that but there is no honest scientist who will say this!

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

        You cannot kill what never existed.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          John 15:9-11

          9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Fathers commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

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

        That's because despite the evidence that suggests otherwise, scientists still can't PROVE god doesn't exist so won't that. It's what being a good scientist is all about. Whereas OTHERS say they know for certain REGARDLESS of evidence to the contrary.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • Atheist, me?

          Atheists actually believe in Empiricism not Science.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • igaftr

          AM?
          "Atheists actually believe in Empiricism not Science"
          Empiricism is APPLIED to science...not an either or thing.

          Bearing false witness again...for shame.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
  10. stevelb1

    I want to see the Ancient Alien guys participate as well.

    February 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
  11. Horus

    You should clarify when you make statements like "considerable dissent exists in the scientific world" ... of course there does... just not about 'creationism'. "dissent" is what makes science superior to dogma. Science is open for the world to challenge. Dogma simply reduces to circular logic when challenged.

    February 4, 2014 at 1:02 pm |
  12. Detached Observor

    As some thinker already posted, if it rained for 40 days and nights so that all the land was covered – including Mount Everest, where did all the water go? It couldn't run into the ocean as the ocean was covering the whole planet up to the height of Everest. That's a lot of water. Where did it come from? It couldn't have come from Earth. Think about it. It's impossible. How can anyone believe it actually happened!?

    February 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • RB

      How much water is underground?

      February 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
      • Observer

        RB,

        ONE percent.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
      • Detached Observor

        Think about it. But if you can't, then simply believe the Bible. Or you could do some research to see if all that water could fit underground. It may be a good exercise against gullibility.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        If all the Earth's waters mixed 4,000 years ago, where did all the fresh water come from?

        February 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • Damocles

        Seriously?

        February 4, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tom

      Genesis 7:11 – The fountains of the deep burst forth. This means that there was water beneath the surface of the earth, which explains where some of the water came from. Also, Genesis 1:6 tells us there was a firmament, or water above the earth as well as water in the earth.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • Observer

        Tom,

        There is not nearly enough water underground (ONE percent) or in the clouds to create a flood even REMOTELY REMOTELY like that in the BIBLE.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
      • Damocles

        Where was all this water when crops were failing and people were thirsty??

        'I can use this water to help, or harm. Psht, such an easy choice'. -super, all knowing, all loving, fairly idiotic deity.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
  13. Duffman1982

    Bill Nye is going to wipe the floor with this moron.

    February 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  14. joe

    stevie g

    February 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  15. Alias

    "It takes more assumptions and theories to believe that we came from a comic plasma than it does a creator"
    Yes, it does.
    However, I have proof and you have blind faith in a book with flaws and logical disasters.

    February 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  16. JMC

    Still do not understand why people will not accept that both theories could be valid. To the evolution crowd, science explains the process. To the creationist group, could not evolution explain how God created the universe?

    February 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
    • Alias

      Because evolution directly contradicts other parts of the story.
      Adam and Eve cannot be reconciled with the science.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • draconian139

        Christianity is a narrow branch of creationism though.

        February 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • Horus

      Could there be a 'creator'? who knows? But that's not what Creationists argue. Go to the Creationist Museums website and read what it is they believe. To answer your question: No, they can't both be right. The planet can't be both 6k yrs old, and 4+ billion. Creationism doesn't just argue for a 'creator'. Creationists promote a theory (and I use that word very loosely) based entirely on the 'bible'. In fact during an interview (search on YT) a 'scientist' with the Creationist Museum was pointedly asked: "what do you do if the evidence doesn't match the biblical account?" Answer: We go with the word of God.... That says it all right there.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
  17. Sivick

    The word of god, who I have never met or actually heard in person, written down in a book thousands of years old edited by humans through the ages with conflicting agendas, is more trustworthy than the sum of human knowledge pushed forwards by men and women who've dedicated their lives to studying this world and how it works and can show work and reproduce experiments.

    yeah, this "debate" is gonna be short and sweet. pick him apart bill!

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

      You can lead a horse to an artificial water pond, but you can't make him believe you put it there earlier.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  18. Bilbo Jargon

    Everything seemed somewhat reasonable (except refusing to believe in evolution of course) until this line:

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

    Ok, so unless you were given these words directly by god then you are still merely taking the word of fallible humans. Humans wrote and translated/mistranslated the bible. You have no way of knowing they copied everything down correctly and that it was translated properly (assuming god did give words to people instead of people making up the words for their own ends).

    February 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm |
    • Carl Hungus

      Excellent point, Bilbo.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • Phillip

      There are gigantic holes in everything they say, and sadly it begins right where you said it: with the words given to them by another human being.

      The art of science is about having an open mind and realizing that you can, and will, be proven wrong by smarter, and well-practiced human beings. The fallacy of religion demands that the followers automatically reject anything they do not understand, refuse to accept being wrong, and point to imaginary, improbable, and unscientific beliefs as the answer to fill any hole in their reasoning.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
  19. Jake

    non believers should be forced to evidence the missing link between Cro-Magnon and humans, and explain why modern quantum physics theories state that our existence is nothing but a hologram, before they claim that their beliefs are "proven". It takes more assumptions and theories to believe that we came from a comic plasma than it does a creator. I can trace back my beliefs to Abraham, you cannot even show me how humans evolved because there is no link just a flip of a switch from humanoid to human when it took 100's of thousands of years for even the smallest of changes.

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

      Christians shoulbe forced to provide evidence of a god's actions in the last 13 Billion years or so since what we call the big bang event.

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

        How can you attribute the beginning of our universe to the non existence of a god? whether there is a god or not, it had to begin somehow and just because we claim to know how it was begun does not mean we know what was there before. As of now the theory is that quarks contacted and exploded, another is that it was a white whole. However, we just do not know. Therefore, the "big bang" is just a concept that in fact there was a beginning. Do you even care ? or do you just hate people of faith?

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

          @jake, nearly all things once attributed to be of supernatural origin have been determined to be of natural cause. the realm of the supernatural is an ever shrinking area of ignorance simply waiting for the determination of that natural cause.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Religious texts include an origin story and all are different. They were the best attempt of primitive peoples to explain their world. Over the last few hundred years we have gained a lot more knowledge and don't need a god to explain natural phenomena. Those origin stories are the credentials of each god and are therefore invalidated. No credentials, no personal god, no basis for a given religion.
          As you have no evidence, there is no reason to believe that there is a god.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Happy Atheist

          I can only speak for myself but I don't hate people of faith. I don't believe their nonsense and laugh a little as they do their little rituals and dances to please their non-existant God but I certainly don't hate them. They may hate me because I dismiss their claims, but that doesn't make me angry at all, in fact it is understandable.

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

      Believers should be forced to drink a mason jar filled of my urine and repent that this glory liquid is a product of their almighty powerful deity

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

        Now there's a really hate-filled statement....sorry for your deep hate and sadness. God's love can heal that hurt
        brother.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
    • mistamista

      No Jake, you can trace the stories of your beliefs back to Abraham, nothing more. Ironically, Abraham traced HIS stories further back than that....but the fatal flaw is that the stories are all STORIES! This is why you fail.

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

        My point is that the main attack of atheist on creationist is that we cannot prove our faith yet atheist have the same issue in not being able to prove their beliefs. Links are made and theories take the same weight as facts in an atheist's life. All I am saying is that the hate for creationist and the constant attacks about it being "fairy tales" is no different than a belief of no creator.

        February 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • snowboarder

          "Links are made and theories take the same weight as facts in an atheist's life"

          that statement is plainly false. theories are not facts and accepting them as theories requires no "faith" or has any bearing on the lives of the vast majority of the population.

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

          You truly don't understand what atheism means. Atheists don't have a believe in a god. Atheism is not a belief, so it not provable. What we do know is that there is no evidence to support the concept of a god and additionally, we can prove that the Christian version of god is fictional.

          February 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
    • Patrick

      This was truly painful to read, painful! I laughed out loud when i saw that you tried to reference Quantum Physics. This rant proves one thing, you haven't got a clue about Science, never mind quantum Physics. Sheesh, these articles sure bring them out of the wood work!

      February 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • "Sleepy" Slade Baroni

      "I can trace back my beliefs to Abraham"
      .
      And we can trace back to much older civilizations that your cult plagiarized from. The record is pretty clear that your god is false and made up.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • "Sleepy" Slade Baroni

      "I can trace back my beliefs to Abraham"
      .
      And we can trace beyond and show that your cult plagiarized and yoru god is false.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • Barcs

      Jake, stop lying. Read about science. Your ignorance is making you and others like you look stupid.

      February 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
  20. Brad

    There's really no way to win this debate. You can't prove nonexistence.

    February 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The debate is not about the existence of non-existence of God.

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

        It doesn't matter as long as one can always fall back on "God" no matter which direction the debate takes.

        February 4, 2014 at 12:59 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.