Bill Nye: Why I'm debating creationist Ken Ham
Science educator Bill Nye, left, will face off against creationist Ken Ham in Tuesday night's debate.
February 4th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

Bill Nye: Why I'm debating creationist Ken Ham

Editor's note: Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye on Tuesday at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, with CNN's Tom Foreman moderating. The debate will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.com, and CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" will host both Ham and Nye at 9 p.m. Tuesday after the debate. 

Opinion by Bill Nye, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A lot of people have been asking why I accepted Ken Ham’s invitation to debate the origins of life Tuesday night at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

In short, I decided to participate in the debate because I felt it would draw attention to the importance of science education here in the United States.

What keeps this country in the game economically is our ability to innovate. New ideas lead to new technologies, which drive new businesses and new opportunities.

Technological innovations absolutely cannot be created without fundamental understanding of science, the means by which we know nature.

How many young adults and taxpayers use mobile phones? How many of us rely on global navigation systems that use satellites high above the Earth’s surface to find our way around?

Even if you eschew smartphones, you rely on the system to keep airplanes in the sky and ships at sea on their routes. Modern farmers plant seeds in fields with extraordinary precision using information beamed from satellites in space.

MORE ON CNN: Ken Ham: Why I'm Debating Bill Nye 

For the United States to maintain its leadership in technology, we need well-educated science students. To allow our students to come of age without the knowledge gained through the extraordinary scientific insights and diligence of our ancestors would deprive them of understanding of nature and our place in the cosmos.

It would also rob our students of their future. Without scientists and engineers to create new technologies and ways of doing society’s business, other economies in other countries will out-compete the United States and leave our citizens behind.

Tuesday's debate will be about whether Ham’s creation model is viable or useful for describing nature. We cannot use his model to predict the outcome of any experiment, design a tool, cure a disease or describe natural phenomena with mathematics.

These are all things that parents in the United States very much want their children to be able to do; everyone wants his or her kids to have common sense, to be able to reason clearly and to be able to succeed in the world.

The facts and process of science have enabled the United States to lead the world in technology and provide good health for an unprecedented number of our citizens. Science fuels our economy. Without it, our economic engine will slow and eventually stop.

It seems to me that Ham is a fundamentalist. Around the world there are billions of people, who embrace the facts and process of modern science, and they enjoy their faith. By all accounts, their faith enriches their lives. These people have no conflict with their faith and science. Ham is unique in this regard.

Fundamentally, Ham’s creation model is not part of modern science. His idea has no predictive quality or ability. It provides no means to learn more about the world around us. It does not enable students to make consistent sense of nature.

So, we’ll see. We’ll see if his model stands up to traditional scientific inquiry: If a certain claim is true, then we would expect a certain outcome.

I’m excited and very much looking forward to the encounter.

Bill Nye is a science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society. The views expressed in this column belong to Nye.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evolution • Science

soundoff (2,162 Responses)
  1. Ben

    Science doesn't disprove the Bible..nowhere in the Bible does it say the earth is 6,000 years old, just the creation of mankind is 6,000 years old. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"..nowhere are we told it was this was 6,000 years ago..I know science, I graduated with a degree in it, but I know the my God created everything which we base science on

    February 5, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • dean

      Science says that man is much much older than 6,000 years old so there's that.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • Ben

        science hasn't proved that, they theorize that man evolved which isn't proved..they can prove there were living beings before then, which doesn't contradict any part of the bible

        what amazes me more than anything is that you can look at all of creation and the complexity of our frames and imagine that we weren't created

        February 5, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • Michael B

          What!? Of course science has proved man is over 6000 years old because man is far older than that and civilization didn't even start truly developing until after the ice age about 12k years ago.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Jahtez

          They have found remains of men who are much older than 6000 years old. Sigh.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Drew

          This statement a perfect example as to why we need more science education in the US.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:52 am |
        • saysame

          Yeah, they've proved that man is older than 6,000 years. In fact the bible doesn't even suggest 6,000 years. That was the work of one man who counted begats in the bible. Creationists don't even agree. Some say 6,000, some 10,000, some 100,000 and some say a few million tops. Some creationists admit the Earth is a few billion years old and just argue about the arrival of man.

          February 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • ksocreative

      including the talking donkey. yes, the bible is totally true and accurate. /end sarcasm

      February 5, 2014 at 11:45 am |
    • WalterWhiteDisapproves

      You're a scientist who believes in God? I'm guessing you're also an adult that believes in Santa Clause as well?

      BTW, real science is hard science.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • anthrogirl

        You can believe in both. For me, God created the universe where the big bang can take place, where celestial bodies form, on which amino acids can form chains, where life can evolve and where humans can discover and explain our world through science. The science of souls, afterlife and faith in a higher being is left to the theologians. And most scientists I know are okay with that. Science and faith can co-exist.,,,,, just not Mr. Ham's type of faith that severely narrows the power of God, confining him to the words of humans.

        February 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • Poppa

          Why does that require a god?

          February 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
    • anthrogirl

      Oxford U just radio carbon dated decorative beads that were about 35,000 years old. From an archaeological site in Ksar Akil, north of Beirut.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:58 am |
      • 867-5309

        No word if the bead's diet could have given a false result?

        February 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
  2. cmiucan

    Darwin's theory of evolution has more scientific proof against it than for it. The followers of Darwinian, and even Neo-Darwinian, thought are now simply nothing more than religious fanatics standing behind popular idea rather than science. As J.Y.Chen said, "In China, we can criticize Darwin, but not the government. In America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin". Interestingly enough, even Darwin questioned his thought process and pointed out problems with his theory.

    February 5, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • dean

      That's so unbelievably false. You can argue that the evidence behind evolution is wrong but you cannot argue that the amount of information is less. It encompasses genetics, chemistry, geology, history, and many more and if the cornerstone of biology. There are hundreds of journals and stacks of papers which pile miles high in support of the theory of evolution. There's more evidence than you or I could dream of in support of evolution and the alternative evidence against evolution is comprised of a small fragment of disjointed "scientists" who allowed personal faith to bias anything their finding and skew results.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • cmiucan

        Nonsense is exactly correct. I hold three doctorate degrees (MD, PhD and DMD) in the biologic and health sciences. After spending more than 16 years studying the "evidence" it is clear the so called "evidence" for macro-evolution and the Darwinian theory of a single common ancestor is exactly nonsense. The general public, unfortunately, is not aware of the more than 100 years of disagreement within the scientific community on this subject. The fact that there are increasing calls for a new theory on evolution with the scientific community signifies that Darwinian theory is not validated by any of the current fossil record or genetic evidence. Evidence in nature does reveal that adaptive changes and micro-evolution occurs (and the Earth is older than 6,000yrs). There are many that hold to the idea of intelligent design that disagree with Ham. But, only the gullible and desperate hold on to the classic Darwinian evolution theory...

        February 6, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • larsonst

          You, friend, are one of about 10% of scientifically literate people who grasp onto the 'since it is not proven, then it is a guess' position. Everyday another thing is found that makes this stance more marginalized. Whatever will you think when it becomes 'proven' or extraterrestrial life is found?
          I would rather you stood for 'we do not know yet', than cling to ancient fables. That kind of knowing is, at best temporary (ok, for centuries), but is bound to fail.

          February 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
    • Doron Regev

      Nonsense! Scientists know and understand that there are gaps in evolution, some gaps that cannot be accounted for, but this does not justify believing in fairy tales as the truth! We share protetins and genes with microscopic bacteris, with mice and with apes. Many animal embryos look identical in early stages of development. Fossil records, carbon dating, genetic analysis, computer modles etc etc etc. There is so much knowledge and evidence out there to support evolution. If you chosse to deny and ignore reality, that is your choice, but it leaves you behind the rest of the educated people and slows down the progress of science and humanity!

      February 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
  3. Joe

    Nye used several tactics that revealed himself running out of answers. He questioned Ham's credibility. He avoided difficult questions. He asked the same questions, which had already been answered. Repeatedly. In fact, he went on with a whole paper when someone asked for a ONE WORD answer in his favorite color. As the debate went on, Bill Nye got flustered and nervous. Yes, he did have strong points. Yes, he is a very good scientist. But honestly, I'd have to give this one to Ken Ham.

    February 5, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • bostontola

      Nye is not a scientist, he is an engineer/entertainer. He did trip up a few times. As a debater, I would give him a C for last night. Ham had no evidence based answers, had preposterous bases for many answers (if you didn't see it, then the evidence is not real). I'd give Ham an F.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:45 am |
    • redzoa

      Fortunately, the validity of science is not contingent on public debates, it's based on useful predictions and applications. For example, mainstream geology is used to locate oil/mineral reserves. Similarly, evolution is directly applied in medicine, agriculture, engineering, etc. The only "useful" application of creation science is apologetics.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
  4. scripturepassion

    Scientists used to claim they could estimate the total mass of the universe, then, with the discovery of dark matter, scientists learned they were at least 90% wrong. And we also have dark energy and . . .

    Let Bill Nye defend the observable world and let Ken Ham defend what exists beyond the perceivable world.

    As archeologists and historians continue to validate the observable parts of the Bible, it should cause us to reflect on the Bible's explanation of the unperceivable world.

    February 5, 2014 at 11:17 am |
    • In Santa we trust

      They've only validated locations and some people not the foundational stuff found in Genesis; all evidence points away from the creation myth.

      February 5, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
  5. Mr. Chaos

    The real question...does it matter?

    It's fairly obvious that there is a need for science in this world. Without it we wouldn't enjoy the majority of the things we do today. It's also fairly obvious that (most) religions have benefits as well, such as the teaching of basic morals and the like.

    The point is, why do we have to continuously try to prove we are "correct" to each other? I personally believe creationism should be taught in schools as a theory simply because it allows children to look at an issue from multiple sides, weigh the evidence, and come to their own conclusion. If they decide evolution feels wrong to them, so be it. That doesn't hurt you, nor does it harm our education system. When did we pass "that's what you believe and even though I don't agree I can respect your opinion" and get into "you're wrong and stupid and here's why even though you didn't ask"?

    February 5, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • Sungrazer

      It does harm the education system when creationism is taught as science. Teach it in a religion class if you want, but not a biology class.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:11 am |
      • Mr. Chaos

        I didn't say we should teach it as a science, I just said that it should be taught. Teaching it in the context of a religion class works too. I agree that it certainly shouldn't be labeled as a "science" because it isn't. I'm just saying that students should be given the opportunity to understand that there are multiple viewpoints on the issue, and whether or not you or I find those viewpoints laughable is irrelevant.

        February 5, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • Sungrazer

          "I'm just saying that students should be given the opportunity to understand that there are multiple viewpoints on the issue"

          That implies teaching them in the same classroom. Evolution and creationism should not be taught TOGETHER and presented as multiple viewpoints. If that is not what you mean, okay.

          Just curious, would you be okay if the religion class taught other creation stories? Greek, Roman, Norse, Native American, etc.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • saysame

          There are always crackpot views. Kids have a limited amount of time to absorb basic information. Should we teach the points where Astrology and Astronomy differ or where Alchemy and Chemistry part ways, or give the moon landing hoax people time to address the subject in front of an audience of seventh graders learning about Apollo 11?

          Ham's YEC creationism is promoted by certifiable people who lie for fun and profit. They attack a dozen branches of science with "the bible says" and loads of outrageous non-scientific gibberish. Kids can hear it at the local Baptist church or from their crazy parents. You will not teach lying and insanity to my kids.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • Mr. Chaos

        Sorry, that was a bit misleading and that wasn't my intention. You're correct, I don't believe they should be taught "together" but both should be offered in some context.

        And yes, I believe more than simply the Christian viewpoint should be offered, whether it be Roman, Greek, Islamic, etc. Besides, even if no student seriously considers any of them they will still carry that knowledge with them and that is never a bad thing.

        My apologies for not responding to your second comment but for some reason CNN won't allow me to so I had to respond to this one instead.

        February 5, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Sungrazer

          No problem. Thanks for responding.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:33 am |
      • DRJJ

        Macro evolution (monkey into man) is a religion based on missing links taught as gospel in schools I would argue! Where the separation of church and state? Science is empirical, measurable and logical, macro evolution is not!

        February 5, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • saysame

          There are a number of historical sciences that look at evidence of changes in the past. The evidence from DNA and fossils clearly show that man evolved over a few million years. That's real science. Your ranting on the internet doesn't change that in any way. People like you are simply marginalized and ignored, which is best.

          February 5, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
      • UncleM

        Teach creationism in a religion class and teach creation myths from all religions (then they will all appear foolish).

        February 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
    • saysame

      Creationism as Ham espouses it is factually wrong and it's certainly not science. Creationists have admitted that it's not science in court. That's why it's not taught in science class. If you want it taught in school teach it in a religion class that covers all of the world's myths. You don't get special status for being the majority myth.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:12 am |
      • Mr. Chaos

        I think we fundamentally agree here. I would certainly not teach it in a science class, I just believe it should be offered in some form, and a religion class (not a Christianity or Islam or etc. class) would be a good forum for that.

        February 5, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      • Mr. Chaos

        Sorry, for whatever reason I can only reply to certain comments and it won't let me reply to your other one above.

        You definitely illustrated my point though. Instead of attempting to understand why others believe what they do and become more informed about their beliefs we immediately label them as ignorant and dismiss them. If my children grow up to be Christians because they see any worth in it or derive some benefit from it I have no problem with that. If they choose to believe God doesn't exist I can live with that too, because it isn't my choice.

        Why deride the belief systems of others when they aren't harming you? I for one can't say with 100% certainty whether Christians are crazy. To do that I would have to do a systematic study of their religion and beliefs, compare it with the evidence or lack thereof for every point, and be able to dismiss every single one before I could honestly say that I saw zero worth in their religion. However, I know quite a few Christians who gain quite a bit from their faith, and since that faith isn't demanding that they kill me or any such thing I have no reason to spend my time attempting to dissuade them from believing in it.

        February 5, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Sungrazer

          "Why deride the belief systems of others when they aren't harming you?"

          I think most nontheists would agree with this. The problem is that the beliefs are too often harmful. I know you personally don't believe creationism should be taught in the science classroom, but there are plenty of people who do. There are plenty of people who use the bible to support policies of discrimination. Believers want to legislate their beliefs into law. Some think that man has dominion over the other animals and over Earth, and the result is the degradation of the environment, the loss of species, and rising temperatures. After all, Jesus is coming soon, it won't matter anyway. Wars are fought over religious beliefs. If beliefs were just a private, personal matter, then you would have a point. But there are just too many examples where beliefs brings about harm and this has to be stopped.

          February 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • saysame

          Christianity and creationism are two separate issues. YEC creationism is demonstrably false yet they persist in trying to get their outrageous lies taught in school. I find that offensive. Christianity in no way requires someone to be a creationist in that sense. I find Christianity childish but it's not offensive in the way that creationist insanity has become.

          February 5, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
      • Sam

        You couldn't even teach it in a class on religion because his version isn't even accepted by the majority of Christians. People walking with dinosaurs is ridiculous in science and religious circles.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
  6. 1984

    Im behind Bill Nye 100%. There is a difference between fact and faith. Religion gives people hope when they are oppressed thats why man uses it and has manipulated it. At one time the only people who could read where the people associated with the Church, etc.. the normal serfs/peasants of the day could not so they trusted these religious people telling them truths. and through out history you can see where people that are oppressed can be easily led with the power of words.. Science is discovery, it opens imaginations. This it totally different than creationism

    February 5, 2014 at 11:00 am |
    • ko

      The error of your comment 1984 is that religion is void of fact. Yours is a worldview that holds that science is the only fact which can be held in truth. This was a view developed during the period of Enlightenment. In that period, value became part of a nebulous realm and science became part of what could really be known. Christianity (and I can only speak from that tradition) holds as a bases of their faith fact statements, which have been authenticated through a span of centuries, vs science- which is- as compared to all time- a relative infant.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • Paul

      " There is a difference between fact and faith."

      Is it a fact that everything came from primordial soup or do you take that on faith?

      February 5, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • 1984

        the point i was trying to make was that having faith is different then scientific facts. If i believe in a deity and you believe in one who is to say yours is better, but we fight about that all the time.. we start wars over it. Scientific facts are what they are facts I dont see how there can be any dispute. but as I said we fight over religion all the time.

        February 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
        • redzoa

          Science invariably converges to yield facts and it doesn't matter if your a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, an Atheist, or a Christian, you likely accept that DNA is the hereditary material, objects on Earth fall at 9.8 m/s^2, etc. Contrast this convergence to religion, which is ever diverging into an ever greater number of sects, each convinced that they alone are right and all the rest are wrong.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Bill Nye should not have given this nut job the credibility by debating him. What's next, debating if unicorns exist?

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

      I thought that to but whats really scary is that there are people in America who really believe this stuff. Its terrifying that in this day and age people could seriously be discussing whether dinosaurs and people lived at the same time. I suppose they believe the Flintstones was filmed before a live TV audience.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
  8. Doris

    Ken Ham mentioned Andrew Snelling at least a couple of times during the debate. What is it with these charlatan scientists from Australia?

    – – – – – –

    Andrew Snelling, Ph.D is an Australian and a qualified geologist. According to his biography he " ... completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Geology with First Class Honours at The University of New South Wales in Sydney ... ".

    Andrew Snelling is also a leading creationist who, despite his scientific qualifications in geology, purports to believe the Earth is only several thousand years old. He is employed as a "Creationist Assistant Professor of Geology" by the Institute for Creation Research in the USA.

    Andrew Snelling, as his biography states, worked in the exploration and mining industries in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory and has been involved in research projects with the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation).

    His biography also states that he has been involved in research with Australian, US, British, Japanese and Swedish scientists as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    None of this would be at all surprising if Andrew Snelling was a working geologist operating within the ethics of his discipline, nor would it be surprising that, again according to his biography, " ... Andrew is involved in writing scientific papers that are being published in international scientific journals.".

    But it IS surprising! It's surprising that a geologist who obtained his qualifications writing about billion year old rocks and later accepting " ... work in the exploration and mining industries in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory variously as a field, mine and research geologist.", continues to tout his qualifications and prostitute his learning in order to convince the gullible that mainstream geology is wrong and only geology as practised by Andrew Snelling, Ph.D is valid.

    It's not that Andrew Snelling has abandoned mainstream geology altogether for, to quote from his biography once more, " ... he is still called upon as a geological consultant to Cogema Australia Pty Ltd for their Koongarra uranium project."

    As Dr Alex Ritchie wrote in his article Flood geology: a house built on sand (below):

    "If any geologist were to be caught salting a deposit, falsifying results or engaging in other forms of behaviour likely to bring his/her discipline into disrepute, they would be promptly dealt with by their peers.

    In my opinion it is equally abhorrent for anyone claiming to be a professional geoscientist to indulge in deliberately misleading and deceptive conduct aimed directly at lay audiences and especially at young people."

    February 5, 2014 at 10:44 am |
  9. OldMo

    Has science come up with anything from repeated experimentation or observation where non-life turns into life (abiogenesis)? There are millions upon millions upon millions of fossils on record, can you name one that is an intermediate or one that shows the transition between types of species (NOTE: don't give me an example of variation within a species, that's not Darwinian evolution)? If you can, immediately contact the British Museum of Natural History Museum because they have the largest collection of fossils and its Director, who has written a book on evolution, said he didn't include any illustrations of transitional fossils in his book because "If I knew of any, fossils or living, I certainly would have included them."

    Whether you admit it or not, you're filling in the missing "evidence" of Darwinian evolution with blind faith. If macroevolution happened, there would be mountains of transitional fossils because creatures would have to spend more time in transition than in their complete form. Honestly, the more you discover about legit science, the more you're pointed towards a Creator. Do your own legwork on the subject, don't take what characters like Bill Nye, the Eugenics Guy has to say. It will be worth the time and effort.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:40 am |
    • Dave

      The problem with what you are saying is that you believe the fact that we haven't discovered evidence of life from where there was no life fundamentally supports a creator and no other possible explanation. This is where the science and religion differ. Science works to fill that void in knowledge by conducting experiments and gathering data so that the questions we can't answer today will be answered tomorrow. The creation model does not encourage this type of thinking. At its most basic level, the creation model and Ham's point of view is that, if you can't prove it today, then it must be an act of God. This is what Nye is trying to drive home. If we taught our students that if they can't answer a question, only God can, then that is the death of science and the death of learning in general. If you don't question anything, how can you ever learn anything?

      February 5, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • redzoa

      The evidence for evolution exists regardless of how life actually began. Most of the fossil record consists of marine invertebrates, and while the record is dominated by punctuated equilibrium, there are still examples of classic Darwinian gradualism (e.g. the Foraminifera). We do not expect to see fine scale species level change in the fossil record because the change takes place relatively quickly (i.e. 10K – 100K yrs) and the populations are too small to effectively ensure capture in the fossil record. Then again, we don't need to see speciation in the fossil record because we have observed this in the lab and in the wild in virtually every group of organism. When moving to higher taxonomic levels, we do see intermediate and transitional fossils, e.g. bridging the alleged specially-created "kinds" are forms bearing traits which bridge the major vertebrate classes (fish with tetrapod features, reptiles with mammalian features, reptiles with avian features). Add to this phylogenetic analyses which corroborate the progressive order of the fossil record.

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

      The theory of evolution covers the change in life over time. It doesn't address the origin of life, which is abiogenesis. There are many transitional fossils that creationists have cried about for decades but more importantly today are the genetic links that have been discovered which confirms what the fossil record suggested previously. That all life shares a common ancestor.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:18 am |
    • Sungrazer

      "Has science come up with anything from repeated experimentation or observation where non-life turns into life (abiogenesis)?"

      Well, there were the Miller-Urey experiments. It simulated the conditions of early Earth. A spark was applied to simulate lightning. The result was over 20 different amino acids. This is not life, but it is a promising lead. Why do you make the assumption that future experiments won't either life arises or we can determine with reasonable certainty how it did? The god you invoke here is a god of the gaps: if something is currently unexplained, it must be god. Throughout history, those gaps have disappeared and shrunk.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:20 am |
  10. nikatomuirhead

    Bill Nye Didn't convince me. i would have to take his viewpoint on faith.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:40 am |
  11. nikatomuirhead

    Anything short of Ken Hamm walking off-stage crying is a victory for Creationists. I think Ken Hamm Did Great!!. Bill Nye presented Science as humanistic, anti-life and Terminal, in that it promotes a big poof version of life. You live, you die and that's it... Goodbye.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:35 am |
    • ben

      In other words, regardless of facts, you didn't get a "feel good" from Bill's truth.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • saysame

      So religion taught you to be a liar.. Interesting.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:20 am |
  12. Cygnus

    All of Mr. Ham's claims and Christians in general, argue out of ignorance.

    We don't know/understand something. God did it. We didn't understand the sun and moon, god did it. We don't understand lighting and thunder, god did it. The more we know, the more we understand, the more we learn, the less and less god fits as the explanation.

    I applaud Mr. Nye for the way he conducted himself in the face of ignorance and stupidity, I would have been more aggressive and challenged the circular nature behind Mr. Ham's essential belief. The Bible. He believes the bible is god's word because the Bible tells him that it is god's word. There is no proof/evidence that it is god's word other than the text itself stating it is. This is in essence illogical and circular.

    I challenge any christian/muslim/hindu etc. to prove the existence of their god, since they are asserting it's existence. They fail to realize, that they cannot. There is not one shred of scientific evidence for the existence of god. They are not rational nor critical thinkers when it come to this subject.

    February 5, 2014 at 10:32 am |
    • Mr. Chaos

      I think you may be missing the point here. Christians believe what they believe on faith, which is in essence the absence of evidence. Scientists do the same thing to an extent, although not with the same mindset. Even you do it, I'm sure. There may be a lot of scientific principles that you believe in and would defend but I'm willing to bet you haven't seen "hard evidence" of quite a few of those principles.

      The theory of evolution works in much the same way. "How did consciousness arise from matter?" "I don't know." Well...there you go. A perfect example of a well-known and respected scientist taking something on faith. He believes that it happened although neither he nor anyone else has figured out how or when or been able to show definitive proof.

      My point is that there is no need to be disrespectful and tear down someone else's beliefs just because you don't happen to share them. Debating is one thing but calling anyone who practices a religion ignorant and stupid is quite another. A scientist knows that there is always the possibility that they are wrong. Shouldn't you?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • Sungrazer

        "The theory of evolution works in much the same way. "How did consciousness arise from matter?" "I don't know." Well...there you go. A perfect example of a well-known and respected scientist taking something on faith."

        What is exactly is being taken on faith?? The answer was "I don't know." The answer was not "I don't know, and I don't have any evidence for this, but I'm certain it was because of XYZ."

        February 5, 2014 at 11:31 am |
      • Cygnus

        Mr. Chaos,

        Where to begin. Saying you don't know something then inserting god as the answer, is at it's core an argument from ignorance.

        Please don't mix my words and insert them as you please. I did not say that if you believe in a religion, you are stupid. I said that you are not a rational nor critical thinker when it come to the subject.

        I applauded Mr. Nye in the face of ignorance and stupidity from his opponent Mr. Ham, as the content of his debate about the question had no proof other than the bible says so. His "evidence" was a terrible attempt to discredit scientific data and conclude that since there maybe some variation of this data we should just throw away everything and irrationally believe that the "truth" comes from the bible, because it's the word of god, and we know this because the bible says its the word of god. t's ignorant, It's stupid. If he applied his own system of not being able to witness the past therefore we cannot say if any conclusions from it are true, then he would understand that the bible falls directly into this category and he should not believe a word of it, because he was not there to witness it being written.

        If belief in a god makes you a good person, then good for you. But don't try to force your religious beliefs onto others. Creationism is a religious belief.

        Let me ask all my theist friends out there, do you believe that your god is the "one true" god? Most theist do. You do realize then that you are then an "atheist" to every other religions god. Why is it so easy to look at another religion and surmise that their "god" is fantasy, that you are correct and that they are wrong?

        February 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
  13. Benjamin

    Science created by...............................OK Mr. Science.....prove that God did NOT create science....Faith wins.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:53 am |
    • Angry Hillbilly

      That is the single greatest argument I've ever heard.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:05 am |
    • Tim

      Stupidity created by....Ok Benjamin....prove that you are not some kind of an idiot...Reason winds

      February 5, 2014 at 10:05 am |
    • Econ301

      Faith and Science are at odds.

      Faith is the idea that you should believe something no matter what, and Science is the belief that you should only believe things which you can prove true though repeated experimentation.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:08 am |
      • Sven Moshen

        NOT TURE ECON301.
        "Science is the tested belief that you should only believe in thinkgs you can prove through repeated experimentation. "

        We also believe in Gravity, however it's existence is only a theory, not a proven fact on how it works.

        February 5, 2014 at 10:41 am |
    • Dan

      He wasn't debating the existence of god. Just creationism.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:19 am |
    • Thomas A. Hawk

      Benjamin, did Mr. Nye claim that God doesn't exist? If so, then he does bear the burden of proof. However, there's that if.

      I think it's highly unlikely that Mr. Nye, considering his track record, would make the claim that God doesn't exist. It's a very foolish statement for a scientist to make.

      Instead, Mr. Nye claims that science is used to predict events in nature. We can predict that if our computer is capable of functioning properly (not broken) and is connected to a reliable power source that if it is off and we press the button that almost always the computer will boot. That information isn't in the Bible. It is is science.

      None of this says the Bible is incorrect. It merely says the Bible doesn't cover the details of how computers work.

      In summary, unless Mr. Nye broke character and claimed he could prove God doesn't exist, it is very inappropriate and, IMHO is a sin, to claim he did. This is not how you love your neighbor. If he's your enemy, it isn't how you love your enemy. Further, it isn't how you fulfill your responsibilities under the Great Commission.

      So, what gives?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:43 am |
    • Disproving Negation

      Ok Benjamin...... Prove that the Earth was NOT pooped by a giant space unicorn. Unicorns win.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:59 am |
      • Poppa

        Belief in science and god are not mutually exclusive. I'd agree. It is also not mutually exclusive to be a scientist and to believe the universe was created by a giant cosmic waterbuffalo that farts new universes. It is equally unprovable and until evidence is provided to the contrary, quite acceptable to believe in.

        February 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          That seems to be the problem for many people; they think it is acceptable to believe something with no evidence, because they want to believe it. They then state that they will continue to believe unless someone can prove that their belief isn't true. So they can believe in an Invisible Pink Unicorn or any of thousands of gods mankind has invented to explain the world when humans could think of no other mechanism to explain the world around them.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
    • saysame

      Which god, how many of them, and what do they want? Oh wait, let me guess, whatever the majority religion of your birthplace taught you? Wow, you really stretched on that one.

      February 5, 2014 at 11:22 am |
    • mindstorms1

      Benjamin, Prove that God exists.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • nasty123

      So who created God?

      February 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
      • Sam

        That will be explained in the sequel which just so happens to be a prequel.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
  14. BC

    This is why it is important to read between the lines when you are reading. Bill Nye stayed married for 7 days. Do you really want to trust someone's opinion that is that unstable? I know drug addicts that have stayed married longer than that.

    February 5, 2014 at 9:47 am |
    • Davo

      Ad hominem attacks don't change the validity words that he spoke. Surely you're smart enough to understand how Ken or Bill are right or wrong, and not just taking their word for it? If not, I suggest you educate yourself a little bit.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  15. me

    There was no need for Nye to go into great scientific detail to prove his point. To disqualify Ham, go philosophical: Faith in God does not require evidence (the tale of Job makes that point). Ham was providing a boat load of "evidence." Why does anyone that has Pure Faith need evidence at all? NUMBER 2: If we teach the Christian "alternative" to naturalism, why not the Bhuddist creation theory? Or the Hindu theory, or the Hopi one? Or any of the hundreds of others that exist. Why is Christianity the only religion that would get air-time in science class? If we let them, I say, let them ALL in. That is all. No need to point out sedimentary layers at the Grand Canyon, and the argument is done in less than five minutes. Feel free to use this, Bill!

    February 5, 2014 at 9:39 am |
  16. Adam

    "Casting off the shackles of religion". You know who the first person to use that phrase was? Karl Marx. Your influences are showing

    February 5, 2014 at 9:36 am |
    • TrueBlue42

      OK, all that statement proves is that, for all of his faults, Marx was actually right on this one point. Next?

      February 5, 2014 at 10:05 am |
  17. countingdown

    Ok science freaks, when and only when you can definitively answer this one question will you be able to provide a valid argument to the existence of God.

    What would be the result when an object that can't be moved is struck by an object that can't be stopped?

    February 5, 2014 at 9:36 am |
    • want2believe

      Every object in this universe is moving. If you're standing still, the Earth is still rotating on its axis, around the sun, the sun around the galaxy, while the galaxy itself is moving. Movement is only relative from one point, but nothing is stationary.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:50 am |
    • ajs11

      That's the thing about science: because of a few inviolable rules, we can answer questions like yours without a blink.

      The answer is, it's irrelevant.

      The sum of the forces is equal to mass times acceleration.

      If you want to move or stop (both are acceleration) an object in a certain direction, you can. The mass just determines how much force you need to apply. There is no such thing as an unstoppable or unmovable object.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:53 am |
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About this blog

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.