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. Gee

    G to T
    Is your statement a fact? Laws are involved I will admit. Why have matter and energy always existed. Again faith has us at the edge of what came next or what brought them into existence. Thank you for at least being kind or understanding.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Faith is a poor thing to use in place of actual answers. Sometimes you have to live with ignorance. There may be things that can't be known even in principle. Sometimes the answers do come along.

      February 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
    • G to the T

      Conservation of energy – energy cannot be created or destroyed. Matter = energy (E = MC2). Thus – energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, only changed in form.

      February 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
  2. Franklin

    There is nothing Ham can say, NOTHING, that will make these people abandon their belief that the world came from nothing and we evolved from monkeys. Once they've gone this potato, there's no going back. Just let them be.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
    • Observer


      And the other side will continue to believe that God came from NOTHING and then created everything from NOTHING.

      February 3, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
      • Another Observer

        ...and in only six thousand years, no less! Hahahahahahaaaaa!!!

        Pure scientific ignorance always makes me laugh hysterically. Nye is going to wipe the floor of reality with this guy.


        February 3, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
      • MadeFromDirt

        God did not "come from." God always was, and always will be. That's what God is - absolute eternal perfection and power. You can't apply a physical limit or standards on something that is not physical. And we know the physical world has limits. Nothing physical could exist without a force outside of those limits. Every scientist and secular philosopher knows that effects are never greater than the cause.

        February 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • Barcs

          Prove it?

          February 3, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • sam stone

          god is mythology

          February 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Observer


          Not ONE WORD from you how God created EVERYTHING from NOTHING.

          February 3, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • G to the T

          That's one definition of god. But isn't it god that supposedly said that? If so, how do you know he's right? Maybe he was created and only thinks he was "eternal"? Once you open the floodgates...

          February 3, 2014 at 8:10 pm |
        • MadeFromDirt

          Observer, the explanation is there, but you are refusing to see it, because your heart has been hardened by unrighteousness. How did God create everything? With the sheer power of His will.

          G to the T, you can go around in circles as long as you want to delay facing the truth, but in the end the answer lands on one absolute infinite source, or there would never be anything. And that's not because God said it, it's because logic demands it.

          February 4, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      I know you see "evolved from monkeys" as some kind of put-down but the fact remains they are in our evolutionary chain; if you trace it back far enough we are descended from fish and beyond;

      February 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
      • axepilot

        Came from monkeys...unbelievable ignorance...get an education you dumb twit.

        February 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          I was using Franklin's phrase which is why I put it in quotes. I thought evolutionary chain was clear, I guess not.

          February 3, 2014 at 8:49 pm |
        • axepilot

          Common ancestry, I believe is the correct terminology.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:42 am |
      • Daleks

        I'll be a little more polite than axepilot (though I'm often worse): humans didn't evolve from monkeys. Humans and monkeys had a common ancestor.

        February 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • Barcs

      That's true because Ham is a moron and knows nothing about science. He will appeal to his god and say stuff like "You can't prove it wrong" or "OMG a cell is so complex! It couldn't have arisen naturally". Crap that has no relevance at all to science. Anybody with a high school or high understand of biology will be laughing their ass off when they see this interview.

      February 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
  3. G to the T

    Creationism is the ultimate argument from incredulity. In the end, all their arguments come down to "I can't see how", or "it doesn't make sense", "it seems highly unlikely".

    Find a theory that fits the facts better and/or falsify evolution. Otherwise, let it go.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
  4. frederick johnsen

    Creationist have no counter to evolution because it would be like offering an orange to discredit the existence of an apple. I would, however, like to see a critical evaluation of the "flaws" in evolution in which the presenter is not trying to discredit the entire theory in favor of Creation. Conversely I would like to see a "scientist" do the same without plastering over the flaws. Probably not going to happen.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
    • Barcs

      Which one of these "flaws" would you like addressed? Heck, I'd like to see a critical evaluation of the flaws of creationism as it would far outweigh the so called flaws in evolutionary theory.

      February 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
    • Pat

      You want to see criticism of evolutionary theory? Read evolutionary biology journals. Or just biology journals. Or hell, even Science and Nature. Criticizing evolutionary theory is what scientists do. It's how science is advanced. Peer review is nothing but criticism, and unlike a debate with a creationist, it's criticism from somebody who knows that they're talking about.

      February 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
  5. Pegasus

    I kind of have a feeling Ken Ham is going to win this thing. Yesterday I had a good feeling about Seattle, too. So it may not be even close for poor ol "science" guy.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
    • Barcs

      He will only win in the minds of the audience, which will be mostly creationist as the event is hosted by the museum. The audience cheering will falsely make people think that Ham won. The worst part about it all is that Ham is probably lying on purpose to promote ticket sales to the museum. I wonder how much they are charging people to watch this sillyness. There is no debate on evolution. There are stubborn creationists that deny science.

      February 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • Pegasus

        And everybody thought the refs were going to let Peyton get the win to promote the NFL.

        February 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
  6. JenK

    So basically you are debating science vs one religious creation myth. Why just one? How about the other religious myths, such as Native American, Aborigional, and pagan mythology as well? It is egocentric to assume your one religion has all the answers. The difference between religion and science is that science looks at actual evidence to come up with results, and religion looks at evidence to try and make it fit with what a book says.

    Sad that you are even think this is valid.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
  7. Barcs

    Attention all evolution deniers. You should be denying false information and ignorance, not science. Don't blindly believe what any of these mainstream fundamentalists like Ham say. Research his claims and try to validate them for yourself. They will not stand up to scrutiny.


    I have yet to see a creationist present a case against any one of those facts. Every time I post it, it gets ignored. Evolution is a valid science. Educate yourselves. Don't bury your head in the sand.

    February 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
  8. Davee

    Evolution is a fact, or Is it? It is a number of facts, interpreted to support evolution. Ie. The facts of natural selection fit very well within a Creationist interpretation. The specific facts of the fossil record, abiogenesis, population growth, genetics and more fit very well within a Creationist interpretation. Yes there are facts that fit the interpretation of evolution, but there are also facts that don't. You won't hear about those facts by people who boldly assert, "Evolution is a fact."

    February 3, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
    • Barcs

      Evolution is a fact.


      February 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
    • G to the T

      "You won't hear about those facts by people who boldly assert, "Evolution is a fact.""

      OK – what have you got? Falsification is the very essence of a good theory. If you think can falsify evolutionary theory, I'll be willing to hear you out...

      February 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
    • ME II

      "The specific facts of the fossil record... fit very well within a Creationist interpretation."

      No, they do not. A young earth Creationists approach does not account for the order of the fossils record nor the geological strata in which they are found. As some scientist, I think, said, "It is easy to disprove evolution. Just show me a rabbit in the pre-cambrian." This works both ways why is it that we don't find rabbits in the pre-cambrian, or reptiles, or birds, or flowering plants, etc.

      "The specific facts of the abiogenesis, ... fit very well within a Creationist interpretation."

      What does this even mean what "facts" are there about "abiogenesis"?

      "The specific facts of the... population growth... fit very well within a Creationist interpretation."

      No, they do not, especially as it relates to biogeography. How is it that marsupials appear only in Australia and the Americas?

      "The specific facts of the... genetics ... fit very well within a Creationist interpretation."

      Oh please. How exactly does the creationist approach explain Human Chromosome 2, ERVs, CytoChrome-C, etc?

      "Yes there are facts that fit the interpretation of evolution, but there are also facts that don't."

      Such as? AFAIK there is no evidence that disputes evolution.

      February 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
  9. Doris

    "There are people who believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed, that they roamed the Earth at the same time. There are museums that children go to, in which they build dioramas to show them this. And what this is, purely and simply, is a clinical psychotic reaction. They are crazy. They are stone-cold-fvck nuts. I can't be kind about this, because these people are watching The Flintstones as if it were a documentary." –Lewis Black

    February 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      February 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
  10. Ron

    "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." ...II Corinthians 10:5

    February 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      We are overcoming your superstitions. At one time you had all the power. Now you look ridiculous.

      February 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
      • Ron

        Tom, sorry to burst your bubble, but the godless are still quite the minority. That will NEVER change! Get a clue amigo.

        February 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • Barcs

          appeal to popularity fallacy?

          February 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Ron, you don't have to be the ridiculous sheep of an imaginary owner. The size of the flocks don't matter, really. And you don't have to be one of them.

          February 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
    • Vivienne

      True indeed!

      February 3, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
    • Sigmundfreud

      Really, Ron? You should check out the rest of the world. Maybe in your little corner of the world, but the rest of the world (and I include Archbishops, Rabbis, and Ministers) accept evolution. Maybe creationists think that the universe revolves around the USofA. After all, many of them accept the universe revolves around the earth

      February 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
      • Ron

        Sigmun really? You should stop following men and follow God. God spoke all this into existence. God's people understand this. The godless look for another way and end up looking pretty foolish.

        February 5, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
  11. Ron

    "A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge is easy to one who has understanding." ..Proverbs 14:16

    February 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • Vivienne


      February 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
  12. Ron

    "Avoid worldy and vain babblings, and oppositions of "science: falsely so called. Which some have professed and have erred concerning the faith." ..I Timothy 6:20

    February 3, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
    • Vivienne


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

        Indeed, PTL GBU

        February 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
  13. Ron

    "In Him we live and move and have our existence." ..Acts 17:28

    February 3, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
    • Vivienne

      Amen to that!

      February 3, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
  14. Ron

    "He upholds all things by the Word of His power." ...Hebrews 1:3

    February 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
    • Vivienne

      Amen & Amen to that!

      February 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
  15. Ron

    "The heavens declare the glory of God, and their expanse the work of His hands." ...Psalm 19:1

    February 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      There's no evidence you can produce that any of that is true.

      February 3, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
      • Ron

        Sorry Tom, but only a fool would contend that its not. "The fool has said in his heart there is no God." ...Ps 14:1/53:1

        February 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • ME II

          "...anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." (Mt 5:22)

          February 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Ron, it's not wise to use a book written by superstitious men under the supernatural guidance of an imaginary invisible superbeing to determine who's foolish and who's not.

          February 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
        • Ron

          Me II, unless of course it is used in the context of quoting the Lord who says it. Which in this case, it is. Nice try. And nice to see that you've come around to believing the Bible. lol

          February 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
        • Ron

          Tom, right. That would not be wise. Stay away from such literature. I am quoting the Word of God.

          February 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
        • ME II

          "unless of course it is used in the context of quoting the Lord who says it. Which in this case, it is."

          I didn't see that exclusion in your book, but it's your book. (shrug)

          " Nice try."

          I'm just quoting your book. If you feel no hint of guilt then I sure that your supposed God would agree with you.

          "And nice to see that you've come around to believing the Bible. lol"

          As you said " Nice try." "lol"

          February 3, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Ron, you're quoting the writings of people of a long time ago. Some of it is of their best, some of it is appalling, but common to all of it is that you must accept it because it's God speaking. God is imaginary and the Bible has to stand on its own merits, such as they are.

          February 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • Wm.Russ Martin

          "Cripple fight!" South Park 5:3

          February 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • sam stone

          quotes from your book are only relevant to members of your cult, ron

          February 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • Jahtez

      What do you think of this debate?

      February 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • Vivienne


      February 3, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
  16. Gee

    If you want to you can find fault with any belief. Science or belief in God. Science has falsified discoveres for 1000s of years, which is a fact. People who say they believe in God have not taught the truth as well. Does one not being right prove the other?
    The bible does not say how long God took to create the heavens and earth. The 1st chapter of the bible begins with God's attention toward developing the earth.
    The days of creation of what has taken place on EARTH are more than likely 1000s of years not 24hrs. The word day in Hebrew can mean that.
    The sequence of events of these "days" are proven by science to be accurate. How did Moses, reporting these days,who was not around then, get it right?
    The bible speaks of the earth being a circle 1500 years ago. Yet science at one point said it was flat, held up by atlas or on a elephant, undoubtedly pushed by religion not truth of what the bible really says.
    When you don't except a view other than your own, you can not see both can have more fact in them than you want to believe.
    Science is very very limited on what it can prove when you try and prove God never set all this in motion.
    Sometime in the past you can't escape the FACT that something came from nothing that started it all, either energy or matter.
    Fact is both views are a matter of faith, period. Teach your children to be reasonable. All of us sometime or another will face reality. When you say very disturbing things about people's character if they believe one way or another it PROVES one is not opened minded and only they should stand as the one having the TRUTH. The bible says pride comes before a crash.

    February 3, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
    • G to the T

      "Sometime in the past you can't escape the FACT that something came from nothing that started it all, either energy or matter." As.sumption. Neither can be created or destroyed, but when you are temporal and you try to see beyond time/space, things get... complicated.

      February 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
  17. Rich

    Just exactly what is the argument here? Evolution itself was created.

    February 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
  18. Charles

    Creationism should not be taught as science because it is not science. It is religion. If the author feels that it should be taught in school than fine. Teach it as religion. No matter how cordial he acts, there is no scientific basis for creationism. I admire Mr. Nye for doing this, but he is wasting his time trying to reason with faith-based thinkers.

    February 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
  19. Doris

    Just to keep the mood light, Bill should bring along Lewis Black with him to the Creation Museum. And to add to the atmosphere there, Lewis should just hold a portable DVD player, with non-stop episodes of the Flintstones playing in it. Lewis wouldn't even have to say anything – it would be like he's Penn's Teller.

    February 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • Jahtez

      Have you ever known Lewis Black having nothing to say? I love him, but he isn't the silent type.
      Better to have the real Teller there, lmao

      February 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
  20. iangullett

    If creationists can come up with a credible challenge to evolution then by all means, teach it in school. I haven't seen a "challenge" yet that didn't rely on a faulty understanding of the principles behind evolution.

    Maybe we should teach confirmation bias in the public schools. Seems like that's slipping through the cracks a bit.

    February 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
    • AJ

      Creationists will fight the teaching of critical thinking or philosophy because the inevitable result of learning how to think is the loss of the ability to accept nonsensical belief systems.

      February 3, 2014 at 5:22 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.