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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. Geo Bruno

    The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.
    Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

    February 5, 2014 at 10:29 am |
    • Truth follower

      Geo,

      Do you believe that Julius Caesar was assassinated and if so, what do you base this belief on?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:38 am |
      • Harry Johnson

        Do you believe that Hercules completed his twelve labors and what do you base this belief on?

        February 5, 2014 at 10:53 am |
        • Truth follower

          Harry, not trying I be rude. I'm just taking a well accepted historical event to try to determine what method or methods he uses to validate the believe. Just trying I see how he validates ancient history. You can also answer if interested.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • redzoa

          @Truth Follower – It's quite clear where you're going here, and yes, it's reasonable to look at historical records (as we were discussing in the other thread), but Harry's question is directly on point. It's one thing to accept someone existed, that they died, even that they died in a particular fashion, etc; it's quite another to accept a supernatural narrative in the absence of any supporting physical evidence.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • cedar rapids

        I can accept the claim that he was assassinated until such time as we have other ideas suggesting otherwise.
        However if the claim came out that Caesar then rose from the dead 3 days later or walked on water then I would dismiss those.

        February 5, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • saysame

        Do you believe that Joseph Smith took golden tablets from the Angel Moroni and his other assorted claims? There are sworn statements backing him up. Surely you cannot doubt them. So you must be a Mormon.

        February 5, 2014 at 11:58 am |
      • Geo Bruno

        Historic records written at that time

        and not centuries later

        And that Thom Jeffs quote not mine

        Do you believe TJ existed

        February 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
  2. Geo Bruno

    History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.
    Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:29 am |
  3. Geo Bruno

    So what about Shiva and Vishnu and Thor and Apollo and all the other gods

    When do they get a creation museum for their work

    February 5, 2014 at 10:27 am |
  4. oneslydragon

    "Most students are presented only with the evolutionary belief system in their schools, and they are censored from hearing challenges to it."
    In todays society the church is more likely to censor and ridicule non accepted beliefs and force that censorship on the masses than the governments.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:15 am |
    • John

      As in every society, throughout time.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:27 am |
  5. Bill

    If evolution is so indisputably true then why is the public school system so afraid to allow creationalism to be taught along side of it? Bill Nye asked to see where the Bible could predict something that would take place in the future.....Ken should have pointed him to Revelation chapter 21.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:15 am |
    • RonFromNM

      The public school system isn't "afraid" to teach creationism along evolution as a scientific theory because it isn't science. It's just a Trojan horse to teach religion in the public schools. When Sunday school allows evolution to be taught alongside scripture by someone who actually understands it. then we can talk.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:17 am |
      • really...

        Churches are for a specific belief system as opposed to schools are public place which should not back a specific belief. Your argument is mute.

        February 5, 2014 at 10:36 am |
        • cedar rapids

          correct, they not should not back a specific religious belief system, which is why creationism has no place in schools.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:03 am |
        • redzoa

          Evolution is no more a "belief" than the Germ Theory of Disease, Cell Theory, Atomic Theory, or the Theory of Gravity. Evolution is both a fact (i.e. a change in allele frequency in a population over time) and a scientific theory (i.e. the fact of evolution in combination with empirical physical evidence from every relevant scientific discipline (physics, chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, etc) to explain extant and extinct biodiversity).

          P.S. it's "moot" not "mute"

          February 5, 2014 at 11:05 am |
      • Geo Bruno

        Please be specific when you mention "Christian" creationism

        There are many other religions with their own creation dogma.

        Why do you think the Christian one is the only one that is correct

        If you can

        February 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • visitor

      Are you open to all creation stories being taught in science classes? Or just yours?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:18 am |
    • SFC Mike

      If you're going to teach mythology in science class, why just the Christian literal interpretation of Genesis? It's far from the only creation myth out there.

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

      Because creationism isn't science, it's religion. If you teach creationism, then why not teach all the other religious and cultural creation myths as well?

      There are some awesome creation myths out there, but not a single one can meet the test of science:

      1. Repeatable
      2. Makes testable predictions
      3. Those testable predictions are tested to be true by independent observers

      Creationism can't even meet 1.

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

      What exactly is the creationism story that people want taught in school? It is one thing to believe the universe was created by some design (but billions of years ago), and another to say earth was created in 6 days a few thousand years ago. Both are a form of creationism, but the former can even incorporate evolution and can never be proved or disproved, while the latter has been scientifically debunked.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:34 am |
      • nev

        thats Panthrotheism what you are proposing.to add more,that God willed everthing,that we are part of Him matterially amd spiritually,that we are evolving to higher levels of intelligence and cosciousness,that gradually with evolution give to us the responsibility of charting or making our history and that all religions are His will and had serve Its purpose and intentioms but has a limited specific applications for its time of existence.

        February 5, 2014 at 10:51 am |
    • Jackson

      Do churches teach evolution? Hypocrite. You want your beliefs everywhere, but don't want others beliefs to have the same right.

      Choke on the steaming pile you're dumping here.

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

      Because creationism isn't science. It has no scientific theory and no way to be falsified which has been admitted by creationists in court. It's not the school system but the courts that decided it has no place in a science class. Teach it in a comparative religion class where you cover all of the world's myths.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • Geo Bruno

      If you want to teach you kid a particular religious dogma

      Send them to a religious school

      Nit a public one

      February 5, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
  6. Lawrence Johnson

    People in this country are scared of christians.They know down deep in there being ,that Jesus was right.They want to be there own God.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:13 am |
    • Bill

      Amen

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

      and you want to own god. MINE. ME ME ME. Universe created for ME. god is MINE. heaven is MINE. i am CHOSEN. i am SAVED. Not you, ME ME ME ME.

      Scary? Sometimes, especially when this ignorant women-hating baloney is trotted out like ghosts of the past and forced into our public schools.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:17 am |
    • Chris

      Who ever said we want to be a God? That is a pretty bold claim to make now using the scientific method?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:37 am |
    • cedar rapids

      nice claim LJ.
      complete nonsense of course but never mind.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:05 am |
    • saysame

      They've brainwashed you so well that you can't even have a conversation on the subject. Well done.

      February 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
  7. oneslydragon

    Not long ago, the bible said the earth was 6000 years old, and god told the writers that, why did he mislead these guys 1700 years ago?
    How does the bible explain that scientific and undesputed facts say the earth is 5 billion +/-. Only the leaders of religeous groups explain it by re-interpreting the words written in the 3rd/4th century AD.
    How does the bible explain that the same creatures evolved differently in different places? Why are there people of color from Asian tints, african tints, european tints, american tints etc... If we are all in the image of god?
    Why is there a Jewish bible, a christian bible a muslim bible if there is just one god?

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

      Bible never says how old the earth is. Archbishop James Ussher from the 1600s counted up the generations listed in the Bible and decided that the earth was created on October 23, 4004 bc.
      It was a Teusday.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:25 am |
  8. DL

    Creationism is self centered arrogance – thinking that HUMANS are SO special that there is a universal, all knowing, eternal being that's obsessed with each & everyone of us.... words escape me trying to decribe the absurdity of that notion. Puts us on a level with gods to do anything we want in 'His name'.... it's sociopathic

    February 5, 2014 at 10:08 am |
    • Bill

      It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” Romans 14:11

      February 5, 2014 at 10:19 am |
  9. Geo Bruno

    When will god send down an arch angle to settle this.

    He seemed to use them quite regularly in the past?

    February 5, 2014 at 10:07 am |
  10. Geo Bruno

    If folks here mention god, they should point out they mean the christian one and not all the other gods that billion of non christians worship

    February 5, 2014 at 10:05 am |
  11. Rawker Jazzo

    How come we have colors of human beings? How come human languages are subjected to change over period of times? How many languages do we have now on earth? As we see everything is ever-changing, ever-moving, ever-going, etc., everywhere here and beyond universe... Hence it is Infinity!!! In other words, nothing is impossible for what you see is what you get!!!

    February 5, 2014 at 10:02 am |
  12. Geo Bruno

    God law for menstruating women
    Leviticus 15:19
    19 " 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

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

      It is written. Amen.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:36 am |
  13. I AM

    Teach creation in church / Teach evolution in science class. Easy enough.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:57 am |
  14. Debra

    I thought that Ham was by far the more polite debater. He did not attack Nye personally. Whereas Nye kept saying Ham's ... as if he is the only person who beleives this way. That being said I wish Ham had said more to discredit evolution and talked more about the scientific proofs of creationism and a great deluge.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:57 am |
    • cw

      The reason for that: Ham's views are NOT science. Sorry. End of story.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:08 am |
    • I AM

      What scientific proof is there of Creationism ?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:10 am |
      • oneslydragon

        Let me see, there is non that anyone can find, only the word of a group that wrote the bible, as we know it a couple millenia ago.

        February 5, 2014 at 10:25 am |
        • Jeff

          That's analogous to saying that Spiderman is real because it's written in a (comic) book.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • md22mdrx

      It's because there ARE NO proofs of creationism.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:12 am |
    • visitor

      There aren't any. He didn't bring up the bogus talking points because he knows they are fully debunked and he will have no rebuttal. He saves those for the ignorant believers. Much like a politician.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • Rich De

      Well, is there a polite way to tell someone their beliefs are stupid and absurd?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • saysame

      There is no scientific theory of creationism. None. They've admitted that. So there isn't much to talk about in terms of science.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:55 am |
    • cedar rapids

      'and talked more about the scientific proofs of creationism and a great deluge.'

      because there is no scientific proof.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:09 am |
  15. Leigh

    Creationists may feel free to expound upon their belief that the earth is 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs moseyed around with Adam and Eve in some garden somewhere while Eve ate an apple that a talking snake cajoled her into eating.

    I, in turn, am also free to laugh my butt off at them.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:55 am |
  16. Geo Bruno

    Most fish are either salt water tolerant or fresh water tolerant and can not live in the other habitat.

    How did they survive the flood?

    February 5, 2014 at 9:54 am |
  17. Geo Bruno

    There is way more data and evidence of evolution than anything mentioned in the bible.

    When does Ham mention that

    February 5, 2014 at 9:51 am |
  18. Geo Bruno

    So which major US university has a Dept of Creation Science.

    Could someone name one?

    February 5, 2014 at 9:48 am |
    • Armando Ortiz

      Oh man – that was on last night's Jeopardy...geeze...what university was it????

      February 5, 2014 at 9:50 am |
    • cedar rapids

      well to be fair Liberty University in Virginia does but I am not sure if that counts as a 'major university' or not.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:15 am |
  19. Lolly

    So how do we know the bible is the word of God?

    February 5, 2014 at 9:46 am |
    • Geo Bruno

      Blind faith

      February 5, 2014 at 9:55 am |
    • Geo Bruno

      Which god?

      Ham's god?

      What about all those other gods?

      And they lesser gods?

      February 5, 2014 at 9:56 am |
    • Elizabeth Russell

      God told us and God is infallible. Since God is infallible what he tells us is true. Chase your tail until you get dizzy and believe that stuff.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:04 am |
  20. Geo Bruno

    So when does this museum teach the creation theories of all other religions.

    Some how they are less than the christian theory

    February 5, 2014 at 9:45 am |
    • Milton Platt

      very true. But you give to much credit to them by calling their unfounded stories theories. they do not have any supporting evidence to prop up a legitimate theory.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:48 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.