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. Mmhmm

    I love whenever people try to use AnswersinGenesis as a source for anything. Makes me laugh until my face hurts. Atheists make a mistake by engaging creationists in debate. You cant teach willful ignorance. The only thing such people deserve is mockery and ridicule and to otherwise be ostracized from society.

    February 6, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • Happy Atheist

      "You cant teach willful ignorance." I disagree, Pastors and Priests do it every Sunday...

      February 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Veritacity

    Atheopaths are afflicted with the inability to think beyond the limits of naturalism, yet they do an awful lot of judging of a being infinitely more advanced than them, who they do not believe in, yet passionately argue against. They then refer to themselves as "free thinkers" despite that under their evolutionary worldview, their thoughts are mere interactions of brain chemicals obeying the fixed laws of chemistry and physics—i.e. they cannot help what they believe.

    February 6, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
    • Chikkipop

      Whew! Massively boneheaded!

      "inability to think beyond the limits of naturalism"

      Ha! There are NO limits to what you can imagine, but that tells us nothing about what actually exists.

      "they do an awful lot of judging of a being infinitely more advanced than them"

      How dare we judge the "infinitely more advanced" being that someone has imagined!?

      "who they do not believe in, yet passionately argue against"

      Uhh, yeah...... cuz everyone knows that if you don't believe something, you should just stay silent. ("Capital punishment? Well, I'm against it, so I keep my mouth shut.")

      "They then refer to themselves as "free thinkers" despite that under their evolutionary worldview, their thoughts are mere interactions of brain chemicals obeying the fixed laws of chemistry and physics—i.e. they cannot help what they believe"

      First, not all of us use the term "free thinker", but in any case it refers to rejection of conventional ideas, & has nothing to do with the issue of free will. Nice try, conflating the two!

      My goodness. The comments of believers range from naive to misinformed to willfully ignorant & cynical, to downright hilarious!

      February 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
  3. In Reason We Trust


    February 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  4. Mamabear

    Thank you, Tom Foreman, for the excellent work as moderator. More debates like this would do the public good. Opportunity for thoughtful deliberation can only occur when information is presented in a deliberate, thoughtful presentation instead of the shouting matches or 30 second sound bytes that are so often presented. Again, thank you for your contribution.

    February 6, 2014 at 10:11 am |
  5. rzimny

    Science is the pursuit of understanding of the world around us. It allows us to analyse what we interpret with our senses. It relies on our subjected perspective of the reality we are experiencing around us. It only attempts to define existing patterns in the natural world.
    Creationism come from a philosophical Christian worldview. Science and theology are not mutually exclusive. The pursuit of truth is a fundamental characteristic of the Christian worldview. Christians in particular are very cognitive of the limits of this knowledge.
    One cannot prove or disprove the other. These are apples and oranges.

    There exists a huge tragedy where we as humans abandon logic and attempt to use fallacies in a method of abusing or marginalizing the ideas or belief system of others. A reasonable man acknowledges the difference between the pursuit of knowledge for the understanding of the human race, and a worldview that also has an ethic of how we should obtain, use, and respect this knowledge.
    We can quantify and define the world using the scientific method, but it is as fallible as we are. Science can not provide and ethic, give us a measure of morality, or tell us how to treat one another. If anything, I hope all my fellow humans take the time to open their mind to the need for an ethic, virtue, and morality.

    February 6, 2014 at 9:31 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      We don't need religion to provide ethics, virtue, and morality.
      The main debate is that many christians deny the findings of science to insist that the bible is literally true; when if you're going to ignore modern knowledge, what ievidence s there that the christian creation myth is the correct one.

      February 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
  6. wardenhallis

    I am deeply offended by everything that every religion has done to mankind, to the earth, to life in all its forms itself. Whether it was the Helios, Zeus, Anshar, Di Cang, Thor, Jesus, whoever.., there has always been a God and a religion to exploit mankind.

    Go back 2,500 years and tell those people that Zeus is just a myth, and they would do to you the same thing these followers of todays Gods will do to you today. Enslave, condemn, exploit, torture, execute, subjugate, murder, judge and think of you as lost and unfortunate. Exact same thing. Because today God is the REAL God. And so were the Gods of yesteryear.

    For the billions who have suffered at the hands of organized religions and those who believe in them, and all that they have always stood for, my heart goes out to you. One day humanity will be rid of this cancer. Until then, the educated must teach.

    February 6, 2014 at 8:45 am |
    • igaftr

      The Greeks made Socrates kill himself because of the offence of questioning peoples gods. The religious prefer to kill iconocalsts.

      February 6, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • rzimny

      Religions do not kill people, people kill people. Bad ideas, interpretations, bad executions of things will undoubtedly lead to tragedy including death. The same could be said for bad/ incomplete science.
      A world view that respects all life, protects the vulnerable, pushes for truth above all, that is not a bad or immoral thing.
      In many of us, a lack of understanding manifests itself as a horrible illness, hate.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:11 am |
    • Veritacity

      Very nice emotional rant. Yet loosely associated with reality. To be truthful, the 20th Century was the bloodiest period of human history. Would you care to venture a guess as to the 'religion' of the most heinous of the genocidal world leaders? It's real easy. I'll give you a hint: it starts with an A(theist).
      Darwin's survival of the fittest – applied Socially by Neitzche – adopted by world leader Hitler = Holocaust (to hurry up the social/evolutionary process). This by the way was vigorously opposed by Bonhoeffer (devout Christian).
      P.S.: don't you just hate all of those hospitals (Christian origin), Ivy League Universities (all started by Christians to train clergy), and orphanages?

      February 6, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • autumn

      The real problem is not religion by itself, but politics. Mix religion and politics and you have one nasty brew. I always wondered that the gentle message delivered by Jesus could be perverted to the point of witch burnings and the Spanish Inquisition. But that was power politics more than religion. I respect the Amish, who quietly practice their religion without the need to convert others. I do not respect the Fundamentalists, who do feel that need, to the point of trying to force their religious views into the schools.

      February 10, 2014 at 5:23 am |
      • False prophets, antichrist Beasts. Vote now.

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        February 10, 2014 at 8:49 am |
  7. Gravinaut

    Ham is selling. Nye is teaching.

    February 6, 2014 at 12:35 am |
  8. Tony

    Of course, the profound irony in all this is that if the creationists get their way and Creationism and not evolution gets taught in schools, we will see the evolutionary effect on American society and America's ability to function and compete in the 21st century and beyond in a world outside it's borders that keeps teaching science without religious interference.

    That would be almost worth seeing as they try and explain why the good ole US of A becomes a backwater lost in the wake of other scientifically advanced economies charging ahead.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
    • T

      Just as they can't explain or comprehend evolution today, they won't be able to explain or comprehend evolution in this dystopian future that you describe...

      February 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm |
    • Gabriel

      Tony, you said..."Of course, the profound irony in all this is that if the creationists get their way and Creationism and not evolution gets taught in schools..."
      whilst the above article explicitly states Ken Ham as saying:
      "While we are not in favour of mandating that creation be taught in public school science classes... "

      February 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Ham may not be but there is a well-funded campaign to elect creationists to school boards solely with that goal. Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, et al.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
  9. jpduplec

    These kinds of debates need to take place. There are a lot of people in the US who latch onto Creationism because of a lack of scientific literacy. People like Ham and other proselytizers are very interested in filling this knowledge gap with anti-intellectual brain dribble. There's a lot at stake here when people actually want to teach young children that the world is 6000 years old. I watched the entire debate (which was actually more of a plea for sanity). After Nye finished his first thirty minutes and for the remainder, Ham was bobbing back and forth and might as well have been speaking in tongues. He had no real arguments other than what amounted to "Jesus is Lord" and the "Lord is Jesus".

    Funny that Dawkins would criticize Bill Nye for taking part though when he's made a name for himself by antagonizing religious people. There are probably a hundred videos on Youtube of Dawkins doing this very thing.

    Bill Nye the Science Guy!
    Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!

    February 5, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
    • Veritacity

      Hi there. I guess I am one of those 'anti-intellectuals' that you refer to here.
      JP, could you please humor me and provide just one empirically observed case of macro-evolution (evolutionary change at or above the specie level). If you can't, then please confer with Richard Dawkins or maybe even Bill Nye and get back to me.
      I'll make this real easy for you JP – there are no (not even one) empirically observed cases of macro-evolution.
      I do admire you for you great faith in you religion of naturalism absent this evidence.

      February 6, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        I refer you to the detailed pages of "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution":


        February 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • Veritacity

          Again, just one single empirically observed instance of macro-evolution...anyone....please...I'll give you a billion years...just one....;)

          February 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm |
  10. alchemon

    By believing that the Big Bang can/does explain the origin of the universe, you are assuming that it is plausible that it indeed could be the "first cause". Yet, even by Nye's own admission, he nor any other scientist can say for scientific certainty what is the "first cause". If it isn't the first cause, then it couldn't be the origin of all energy, matter, mass, etc. So, to accept it, you are necessarily assuming these qualities.

    Therefore, the Big Bang, from a purely scientific standpoint regarding creation is unproven. If it unproven but accepted by the scientific community as "fact", then science in this regard is really no different than religion.

    Further, regarding evolution, to my knowledge no one has found a truly undisputed "transitional form". Obviously, there have been some partial discoveries, recreations, etc. However, for evolution to occur macroscopically, there must've be millions upon millions of transitional forms. So, my question is: why aren't we finding plentiful fossil evidence of their existence? We have found fossil evidence of dinosaurs, relatively speaking, plentifully. Yet, from an evolutionary standpoint, dinosaurs are necessarily older than modern man or neanderthals, etc. Further, to truly proven evolution, we would need plentiful evidence of transitional forms showing macroscopic progression. An isolated fossil will not do, since that one individual organism could've been mutated, malformed, etc. True proof would be plentiful, logic, chronological fossil evidence of progression. Yet, the fossils do not exist.

    So, to accept evolution, you must necessarily speculate that these fossils exist since obviously, we as modern humans, do not have a long enough written detailed history to "see" macroscopic interspecial evolution. So by speculating, you are placing faith in something (i.e. fossils) that do not visually exist. Yet, the same scientific community would mock the religious community for their unseen beliefs.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
    • Tony

      Dude, your question just displays your lack of knowledge. WE DO SEE TRANSITIONAL FORMS IN THE FOSSIL RECORD. try reading, it works wonders for curing ignorance.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
      • Paul

        How do you know they are transitional forms? Did you see them reproducing?

        February 6, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Historiansortof

          I would ask you the same question about your god. Did you see him/her create the universe or just read about it in a bronze/Iron Age book of co-opted Assyrian and Babylonian folk tales?

          February 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • DerpDetector

          transitional forms are determined by comparing transitional fossil B to fossils A & C to see if it shares qualities similar to each, to see if it lies in strata BETWEEN A & C, and to see if carbon dating determines an age between A & C. The concept is not rocket science. Also, not all species can be fossilized. For those that can, it depends on many conditions

          February 6, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
      • Veritacity

        Hi there Tony.
        Could you please 'cure my ignorance' by providing one empirically observed case of macro-evolution (evolutionary change at or above the specie level)? All I need is one and I'll be 'cured'.
        Also, from a more philosophical standpoint, could it not also be considered 'ignorant' to accept this theory given the said lack of empirical evidence?

        February 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          In case you missed it in the other place I posted it, there are some detailed articles on evidences of macroevolution here:


          There are 29+ evidences. More than the one you requested. I'm taking you at your word that this is an honest request. So you should not balk at reading the articles, and with an open mind.

          February 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
      • Pixleator


        Respectfully, can you name a few undisputed transitional forms that are abundantly evident in the fossil record? I would love to read about these.

        February 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Tony

          Read anything you want, all you need do is a simple google search and steer clear of the creationist blather that tries to drown out the credible articles. Anyone can do it, yet so few can be bothered stepping outside their comfort zone of reading what lies outside their dogma. It's all there for anyone who can be bothered looking to find, so go find it. You will have more than enough examples to choose from. Just look.

          February 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • T

        I want to see all "transitional fossils" from old monkey to me. till then its just your theory.

        February 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Pete

          For every fossil they find you will just complain about the two new "missing links"

          February 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
  11. RedKate

    "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."

    Deciding to accept an authority implies that there may be a decision not to accept an authority. Ken Ham, why do you need an authority? And if God is infallible while people are fallible, and the Bible was written (and translated) by fallible people, why do you accept the words in the Bible as being true and the stories literal? In addition, in light of the previous commenter's (Trevor's) point, where does it say that the authors of the stories in the Bible were witnesses? If there were no people around while the earth was being created, who witnessed it to write it down? And who did god tell the story to that they could write it down?

    I'm so confused.

    February 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
    • Treelady

      He lost all credibility when he stated " If you believe ... then there is ultimately no meaning and purpose in life..."; total projection on his part.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
  12. Trevor

    What I don't understand is that Ham claims the Bible is true because there was a witness who wrote it down. By this same logic Harry Potter is true because someone wrote it down. Star Wars really happened because someone wrote it down. 1984 really happened also. Just because someone wrote something down makes it true?

    February 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
    • AgentX

      The authors of those books claim those stories are fiction. The authors of the bible claim it was a message from God. No that does not mean everyone that claims they have a message from God does.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
      • Trevor

        So how do you their claim is true? No one even knows who actually wrote the bible, it could have been a con man.

        February 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • Tony

          Well, we do know it was written by mere mortals, years after the events its supposed to describe, by people that weren't there, not divinity.

          February 5, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
      • Tony

        L Ron Hubbard doesn't claim his book Dianetics as a work of fiction. He says it's all true. Therefore it must have the exact same credence as the bible – there's no way to disprove his ideas as fiction, so they must be true – right?

        February 5, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
      • Tony

        Why not Agent X – what makes one "message from god" more credible than any other? Why should we believe the bible as the only message from god yet discount all the others as crackpots? What is the difference? I'm sure the other deluded souls out there who think they have a hotline to god's thoughts are just as earnest in their belief they speak with gods voice as the initial authors of the bible did. Why do I have to discount them yet unreservedly accept the bible – other than you telling me to? What makes the bible any different, at the end of the day? Nothing really, when looked at objectively. just because a legend has been carefully nurtured by people with a vested interest in it's survival for millennia doesn't make it true – otherwise you would have to accept that hindu's, aboriginal dreamtime stories, and every other religious text that has been around for centuries is equally valid. and you will never do that because it contradicts your blind acceptance of the bible that was brainwashed into you from an early age.

        It's funny how every person who claims to be the son of god is universally accepted as being in need of psychiatric care – except the first one that started it all off.

        February 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm |
        • AgentX

          One way to know who is a true prophets of God is if they predict future events perfectly.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:48 am |
        • Tony

          Well, in that case, we haven't had one yet then

          February 6, 2014 at 7:38 am |
  13. Ahutch

    Science is all about critical thinking... why is approaching scientific evidence with a different explanation looked down upon? If Nye's goal was to urge our youth to pursue questions... pursue science (so we as a nation can be a leader in the field)... then sadly he demonstrated no support for those students who ARE pursuing truth and forming explanations along the way. Isn't explaining data what science is all about (yes). In the pursuit of truth and forming their own explanations based on data, I have no doubt we would have a generation of self thinkers. Why would we not consider another explanation simply because the explanation begins with someones faith? That doesn't neccessarily mean it should be totally dismissed. I see creation scientists using the same data, but having a different explanation for it. In public schools, encourage it all. Encourage students to form THEIR OWN explanations... not piggy back on textbooks and current public opinion only, or what only prominent leades from either side say. Research! Sometimes when we assume something to be true, we completely miss what is right in front of us. Scientists know that this is the nature of science... always revisable in light of new evidence, or perhaps a new explanation. What if? Let's really look at this other explanation. Change in main stream ideas always causes controversy. Can you imagine living your whole life thinking that the world was flat? People had evidence right in front of them, but dismissed it. This happens over and over as we evaluate science as a human enedeavor. What is that's happening right now? What could we be missing to innovate? Hey, maybe the country that does this will be the next leader in the field. Are we missing anything... worth exploring... That's my 2 cents... for what it's worth.

    February 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
  14. Dr_Apoc

    Does anyone else see a problem in Ham's putting forth the opinion of an astrophysicist as a reason to argue the validity of a biology question? If I wanted to debate the Special Theory of Relativity I would, perhaps, speak to his friends but they have nothing to add in this argument. Its like asking a plumber for an educated answer on a electrical problem.

    Its obvious that Ham is playing the same old game – look for a hole in a scientific theory and then inject the word, "God" as if that just solves the issue and ends the debate. If we listened to people like Ham, we would still think the world is flat and the reason that you see a ship's mast as it sails away is that its, "God's Will."

    And BTW, teacher's ARE allowed to point out the flaws in current Evolutionary Theory, they are just not allowed to frame the questions in a theological context. The entire strength of the Scientific Process is for holes to be noted and explored so that answers (scientific answers...not faith based beliefs) can be found to either strengthen or replace the theory.

    February 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
    • ME II

      "Does anyone else see a problem in Ham's putting forth the opinion of an astrophysicist as a reason to argue the validity of a biology question?"

      The debate question was "Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?"

      So, yes an astrophysicist would have input on the "creation" model, especial on origins of the universe. Although I honestly don't see how one could reconcile astrophysics, like CMBR, with a young universe.

      February 5, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
      • Paul

        "Although I honestly don't see how one could reconcile astrophysics, like CMBR, with a young universe."

        If you watched last night's debate, you'd know that it was about origins, which doesn't fall under the category of observatoinal science. The origins debate is about philosophical worldviews. If one has a secular worldview, he isn't going to believe in a young universe.

        February 5, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
  15. cdaniels317

    Many people commenting here have way too much time on their hands. Instead of rattling on and bashing others, they need to listen to the debate again and pay attention to the parts where Ken showed that the dating methods are not reliable. Also, there is no example of an animal that has, or even a plausible explanation of how any animal could, become another animal over time. The evolutionists just talk about how they "believe" this could have happened. When a person talks about something they believe, that is called a "belief". But the time would be even better spent reading the Bible itself.

    February 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
  16. Manmohan(NJ)

    There will always be three ways to look at this eternal question. One is through the eyes of a Scientist, another as an artist, and another as a Religious person. The first is totally objective in its views and has no regard for emotions, the second sees and expresses everything through his heart. There exists a third way which is that of a true religion. It does not have faith because it only believes in the knowing through subjective experiences. All questions die eventually and there comes a understanding of why it was this way, why it will be this way. And there could be as many religion as there are minds in the religion because each's awakening to the truth is unique.

    February 5, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  17. Tony

    The fact that a once reputable and hard hitting news organisation like CNN now gives fruit loops like Ham serious credence only flags the colossal decay of the USA media in reporting science. No wonder the country is descending into international laughing stock and jobs created through scientific innovation are steadily shifting offshore when even those charged with educating your children act as if creationism has any validity in the science classroom.

    Good luck with the 21st century USA. Try hard not to act too surprised when your economy gets overtaken by those that look ahead, not 2000 years behind.

    February 5, 2014 at 4:10 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.