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What I learned moderating the creation/evolution debate
Creationist Ken Ham makes a point in Tuesday's debate with Bill Nye, the "science guy."
February 5th, 2014
08:49 AM ET

What I learned moderating the creation/evolution debate

By Tom Foreman, CNN

CNN's Tom Foreman moderated the "creation debate" Tuesday night in Petersburg, Kentucky, between Bill "the Science Guy" Nye and creationist Ken Ham.

(CNN) - It says something when a person shows up at the Creation Museum wearing a top that says, "This is my atheist T-shirt."

At least that's what I think it said. I saw it in a blur as she passed in the parking lot; a thirtysomething with a young boy in tow, striding through the bitter winds of Kentucky to visit a place that proclaims those who deny the existence of God are dead wrong.

I thought about chasing her down to ask her what had compelled her to come, but it would have been a foolish question.

She was here to see a fight. And I was here to play the referee, to moderate a debate on a question that has raged for well over a century: Was humankind created by God in a rush of divine power, or did we evolve over time with only nature to take the credit?

Or as the organizers put it: "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?"

About 900 people snapped up tickets to this event just a few minutes after they went on sale, and I was told they expected at least "hundreds of thousands ... maybe a million or more" to watch as it streamed online.

It was not just the topic drawing the throngs. For this crowd, the debaters really mattered.

On the left (literally for the audience, and figuratively in every other way) was the champion for the evolutionary side.

Bill Nye, "the Science Guy," made fundamentalist Christian heads snap recently when he declared it was flat-out wrong for children to be taught creationism.

I met him in a room behind the stage as the audience milled around, waiting for the event to begin. Having just spoken to an adoring crowd of science fans at a university the night before, he feared he was in hostile territory.

MORE ON CNN: 'Creation debate' recap: Science, religion and terrible jokes

"I think my agent is the only one on my side," he said, only half-joking. "I think the other 899 people in here don't really see it my way."

It was hard to tell. Aside from the woman with the T-shirt, there were others wearing pro-Nye gear, but no good way to count them.

Still, it looked like his supporters were probably in the minority, and I mentioned to him that some scientists were grousing online he was validating the creationist argument by even showing up. "So why are you here?" I asked.

"I'm here for the U.S. economy," he said. "See, what keeps the United States in the game for the world economy is our ability to innovate, to have new ideas, and those inventions come from science."

"And you see creationism as sort of poisoning the well for science?"

"Yes. I mean, I'm all for (creationism) in philosophy class, history of religion class, human psychology class," but bring it into science class, and Nye gets upset.

And that is what disturbs Nye's debate opponent. Ken Ham is a rock star in the creationist community who is quick to point out his own educational credentials and those of other scientists who support creationist views.

He is one of the founders of the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs are depicted as living alongside humans and the Great Flood of Noah is an indisputable fact.

He believes it is fundamentally unfair of folks like Nye to push creationism further into the educational shadows and to deny what Ham sees as its scientific components. (Ham concedes, though, that the great number of scientists and citizens agree with Nye: evolution is real.)

I first met Ham back when the museum was being built, and he greeted me Tuesday night in his affable, Australian manner just outside the room where Nye was waiting.

"I must admit I'm a little nervous," Ham told me looking out at the audience. "I want to passionately present my case and defend what I believe, but we never imagined it would become this big. It's amazing. Just shocked all of us."

It was impressive to see how much interest the event generated. A riser with a phalanx of production cameras sat in the middle of the room, 70 or so journalists were clustered to one side of the stage, and security officers seemed to be all over the place.

I was told that metal detectors were being used to screen the audience, and I saw what I presume were explosive-sniffing dogs quietly working the hallways.

Both sides in this debate know the subject matter can spur extreme feelings, and they did all they could to make sure extreme actions didn't follow.

Just the same, one organizer pointed out a corner some 30 feet behind my spot on the stage. A door there opens to the parking lot, he said, "just in case, for any reason, you need to get out fast."

The advice was appreciated but unnecessary. The crowd proved to be polite, attentive and admirably restrained through the entire 2½-hour debate.

So were the debaters. Although they were firmly on opposite sides of the fence, Ham and Nye presented their arguments calmly and respectfully. Neither tried to shout the other down.

I spent my time listening to what they had to say, watching the clock to make sure they got equal time and trying to ensure people in each camp felt their man was treated fairly. Both debaters shook hands at the end to rousing applause. It was not a fight after all.

MORE ON CNN: Ken Ham: Why I'm debating Bill Nye about creationism

Considering the depth of feelings people have about this issue, I asked both men before we began if they expected to change anyone's opinion.

Ham said, "I will present (my information) trying to change people's minds, but knowing as a Christian it is God who changes people's minds, not me."

Nye said, "Here is my hope: I will remind Kentucky voters that this is a serious issue and that it is inappropriate to include creationism as an alternative to ... the body of knowledge and the process called science."

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

By the time the debate was done, a fierce winter storm had settled in. I waded through the Creation Museum parking lot ankle deep in snow, with sleet pelting down. And I think it was a worthwhile evening - a debate humankind was created to have, or to which we evolved.

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (3,342 Responses)
  1. scottca

    "I think my own personal philosophy – one that I think offers a sounder basis for knowledge and wisdom than religion – is based on reason.

    Now as soon as soon as we’re having this conversation, as long as we are trying to persuade one another of why you should do something or should believe something, you are already committed to reason. We are not engaged in a fistfight. We’re not bribing each other to believe something. We’re trying to provide reasons. We’re trying to persuade, to convince. As long as you’re doing that in the first place, you’re not hitting someone with a chair, or putting a gun to their head, or bribing them to believe something. You’ve lost any argument you have against reason. You’ve already signed on to reason whether you like it or not. So the fact that we’re having this conversation shows that we are committed to reason. That is the starting point. And from reason many other things follow.

    I think science is just the application of reason to the natural world. There’s no such thing as the scientific method in the sense of a recipe or a formula, because techniques in science are always changing to handle the problems in front of us. Science is really an attempt to explain things, to answer the question of why it’s the way it is as opposed to some other way it could have been. And it’s an attempt to do your darndest to figure out the things that you believe are true. It’s the application of reason in the most purified and concentrated form, in a way that I think is continuous with philosophy, with law, with political organization if it’s done right. And I think it also provides much of the grounding for ethics and morality.

    At heart, morality is treating other people the way one would want to be treated oneself; and some version of that, of interchangeability of perspectives. It’s the fact that I’m not the only ent-ity in the universe, and I have no grounds for privileging my interests over yours. That’s really what most or all moral systems ultimately boil down to.

    And again, as long as I’m talking to someone, as long as I am providing reasons, I can’t say that I am a unique, privileged person and hope for you to take me seriously. Why should you? You’re you, I’m me. Anything that I come up with as a code of behavior … any reason that I give you for how you should behave has to apply to me in order for me not to be a hypocrite or to contradict myself. And once you do that, then I think much or all of morality follows.

    And I think that the alternative that many people appeal to, mainly faith, is … immediately refutes itself. Faith means believing something with no good reason to do it. Once you’re talking to someone about what they … what is good to do, what they ought to do, or what they have reasons to do, you cannot appeal to faith. You’re committed to reason."

    February 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
    • scottca

      Quote from Harvard Professor and Cognitive Scientist Steven Pinker.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
    • Truth follower

      At heart, morality is treating other people the way one would want to be treated oneself ( says who? Is this your opinion? What if someone else came along such as Hitler and thought that the morally right thing to do was to exterminate a large group of people. Why is he wrong and your right based on your view? Ultimately on the atheistic view, there is no objective moral and why would there be.

      February 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
      • Shadowflash1522

        First of all, half-decent punctuation is a helpful skill. Especially in an text-based forum. Please use it.

        Secondly, saying "I declare x moral" doesn't make it so, even in a relativistic view. If I declare "I am a Christian", I can be as un-Christlike as I want and you can't declare me "not Christian" without committing the No True Scotsman fallacy. This being the internet, we must assume that anyone who claims to be something is telling the truth. However, if we agree on a definition beforehand (such as "A Christian is a person who is kind, loving, generous, and believes in the resurrection") and I don't live up to it, then I can't be a Christian no matter how many times I say I am. Scottca has already laid out a definition of morality, which you have to live with if you wish to engage in discussion with him. Start your own thread with your own definition (or about the definition) if it bothers you. Debating using two different definitions is just incoherent.

        Thirdly, under scottca's definition of morality, here's why Hitler would be wrong: If Hitler were a rational human being of sound mind and body (and I'm not saying he was), he would not want to be killed as part of a mass genocide. Since he would not want to die as part of a mass genocide, he should not inflict mass genocide on others. Saying "I think mass genocide is OK" does not make it so; you could be shortsighted or even be flat-out lying. Similarly, I may observe that I would not like to die in a mass genocide, therefore no one should inflict mass genocide on anyone else. It's taking the "Golden Rule" and applying it at a societal level using personal observations.

        February 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • scottca

          Thanks, for your excellent contribution. The definition I posted belongs to Harvard Psychology Professor and Cognitive Scientist, Steven Pinker. All credit for that passage belongs to him.

          February 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Didn't you say yesterday that killing almost everything on earth in "Noah's flood" was a moral act on the part of your god?

        February 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
  2. AverageJoe76

    CHURCH – a 'book-of-the-month' club where they talk about one book. Forever. (like at what point do you say, "I think I know this book inside and out"?)

    Oooooh yeeeeah........ a lot of them don't even read their book. But they'll bet the farm on it. [because THAT makes sense]

    February 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      a 'book-of-the-month' club where they talk about one book. Forever.

      Too funny. And some of them even have wine!

      February 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      🙂

      February 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      The bible: the most printed book in history, yet the least read.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        SO TRUE. It could really use a sequel too.

        February 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
  3. scottca

    Science makes accurate predictions about the stable reality that exists around us, and these correct predictions enhance our ability to navigate that reality and survive within it, through a steady flow of discovery.
    Religion fails to make any correct predictions about reality, nor does it enhance our ability to navigate that reality and survive within it, for it does not have any discoveries anchored to reality through predictive power to offer us..

    February 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
  4. JFH

    Hey Tom Foreman! Which side do you fall on?

    February 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
  5. Mex Seiko

    So, Bill Nye says he came to the debate for the economy. What economy Bill? At $17 Trillion in debt and counting and ObamaCare with a deeper economic prognosis, just what economy are you talking about. Most economist hold a catastrophic outlook of the American Economy waiting for the dollar to collapse and devaluating every asset valued in dollars on sight.

    Go back to the US history books and notice the national decline, basically in all aspects, starting in 1973. This was the year when Creationism began to get kicked out of the education system. It was also the year where our Supreme Court found it sensible to justify a woman's right to kill the baby in her womb under "privacy right."

    The Theory of Evolution is a Victorian concept which Science has invested all it's efforts and even newer discoveries in physics and biology and inventions to prop up and justify it. Bill Nye and the general Scientific Community demands from Creationism what they can't deliver themselves: Observable Evidence. A process that would require billions of years to complete, occurred also more billions ago. So, it's all hidden in time passed, and that's what's being taught in school exclusively.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
    • Rochester

      And here I thought the fall of America started when prayer was taken out of school in 1963. Huh.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
    • No Evidence

      There is plenty of "Observable Evidence" for evolution...... how ignorant of you.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
  6. Bradley

    .

    February 6, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
    • igaftr

      Well put.

      February 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
    • Susan Raber

      This is a great recap, and I appreciate knowing that both men were able to present their arguments with courtesy and respect while not having to dampen their passionate stance for their beliefs. We could all learn from this debate how to have a positive interaction between opposing viewpoints.

      Even when minds aren't changed, the very act of considering another person's perspective is in itself a valuable exercise.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Sungrazer

    Live4Him, you stated the following:

    "Genesis 1:4 (day one) has the creation of time, so time existed prior to the fourth day. On the fourth day, the stars (incl. sun and moon) were created."

    "Your argument is premised upon the sun and moon, but we could also define 'day' as the period that it takes for the earth to rotate one time."

    How then, could there be days before the creation of the Earth?

    February 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
  8. OTOH

    Brittney

    "Yep, evolutionists are so arrogant that they think all things came from nothing."
    - No. Evolution states nothing of the sort. You need to do some reading. Also, a huge number of Christians take the "God-guided" slant on evolution.

    "Not only that, they trust the scientific community (which is run by Man) to be infallible and true."
    - No. Efforts to prove and disprove prior studies is ongoing – constantly and continually, unlike religion's "MY god wizard did it with magic – end of story" because some men in Israel said so.

    "It's a business like any other, and there is big money in it."
    So is religion.

    February 6, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
    • OTOH

      sorry, posted in the wrong spot

      February 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
  9. El Tomato

    It amazes me that scientists even agree to debate against such a non-scientific argument. Nye is right that creationism belongs in a philosophy, theology, or even psychology classroom, but not a science classroom. It is simply not a scientific argument, period. Evolutionary scientists have gathered mountains of evidence– from fossil records to carbon dating, etc.– to prove beyond any doubt that the Earth is MUCH older than 6,000 years. In fact, to suggest in 2014 that the Earth is only 6,000 years old isn't being religious; it's being uneducated and ignorant.

    The rows and rows of books in libraries are filled with data and evidence supporting evolutionary theory. Scientists debate many issues related to evolutionary theory. For example, there are discussions about neutralism vs. selectionism in molecular evolution, adaptationism, group selection, punctuated equilibrium, cladism, "evo-devo," the "Cambiran Explosion," mass extrinctions, and so on. Scientists debate the interpretation of evidence in these issues, but NO scientists anymore refute the evidence itself. Creationism simply isn't a scientific argument at all because there is no scientific data to support it at all. It is a religious argument, not a scientific one. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong.

    February 6, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
    • El Tomato

      And by the way, some older people in this thread who don't actually read science journals are probably not aware that paleontologists are always collecting data, but there's no big search for the "missing link" anymore because they've already found it. In fact, they've found multiple ones, many collections of irrefutable fossils that support evolutionary theory. It may disturb people that chimpanzees and humans share over 99% of the same DNA because we share a single, common ancestor, but the mounting evidence is making it increasingly difficult to deny.

      February 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • Sungrazer

        Creationists are so very clever though. When presented with the "missing link" between one species and another, they say "Now you have two missing links! One between the first species and the missing link and one between the missing link the second species."

        February 6, 2014 at 12:44 pm |
        • El Tomato

          That's my point. As paleontologists discover more and more and more of these links, it becomes more difficult to simply brush away the extinct "in-between species" as separate species when presented with evidence showing that it's really long chain of slow changes to a particular family or species of life.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Yes, it does become more difficult. They still manage it anyway.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
  10. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Pmike

    "Just because you don't understand God doesn't mean you have to be afraid of Him"

    I though that the fear of god was the beginning of knowledge. Or is the bible wrong? Hmmm....

    February 6, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
  11. AverageJoe76

    Nothing will ever be resolved with humans, concerning 'god'. And that's the REAL problem. Because you have 'faith', doesn't mean squat. Just means you have a really good imagination, and you're relying on that imagination. I like science, because it doesn't BS-you. The ONLY way a 'god' could be proven is by that 'god'. If that 'god' doesn't care to be found, or materialize in front of us, we'll just keep on arguing with no resolution. So instead of following people's perceptions of 'god' b/c it's popular, try saying, "I don't know", first. And move from that point. How anyone can be certain of what a 'god' wants is far beyond my understanding.

    February 6, 2014 at 11:41 am |
    • Madtown

      How anyone can be certain of what a 'god' wants is far beyond my understanding.
      -----
      Indeed. Arrogance combined with insecurity.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:52 am |
      • AverageJoe76

        AMEN to that. The entire human race is being strung along on THE INVISIBLES

        February 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
  12. aliciaz2004

    Tom Foreman, I just wanted to let you know that I thought you did a remarkable job moderating the debate! I would love to see you moderate a Presidential debate in the next election! I was so disappointed in moderators during the past Presidential debates, but I would really look forward to watching one you moderated. I thought you showed respect to both sides at the Nye-Ham debate. You were lighthearted, but also took it seriously. Great job!

    February 6, 2014 at 11:39 am |
  13. Doris

    One thing we heard in the debate from Mr Ham a few times was a reference to a Dr Snelling, geologist that supports the young-earth view. It's important to note that Dr Snelling obtained his credentials to consult on some large projects by learning and understanding geology – to include dating rocks billions of years old. Simultaneously, Dr Snelling has been employed as a "Creationist Assistant Professor of Geology" by the Institute for Creation Research in the USA.

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

    "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."

    So is $$$$$$ why we have Creationist (bad) science still promoted from certain individuals within the science community?

    February 6, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Doris
      Nicotine and cigarette tars are good for you and you can still find scientists that will spread that myth if you pay them enough. enough.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:42 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Every scientist knows that smoking Chesterfields is the best thing you can do for your T-Zone.

        February 6, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • igaftr

        Charm
        Did you accidentally or on purpose, reference Woody Allen's "Sleeper", where Woody wakes up in the future and they found out smoking IS good for you?

        February 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          igaftr
          Not a big fan of Woody, so no not on purpose, although I did like The Purple Rose of Cairo,

          February 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
  14. highplainsparson

    Despite Pat Robertson, let's remember Arcbiship James Ussher. Click on my name to see the new post "Remembering James Ussher"

    February 6, 2014 at 11:26 am |
  15. lunchbreaker

    So I'm still tryin this whole taking Genesis 1 litarrally thing. How could there have been literal days when God did not "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night" until the fourth "day"?

    February 6, 2014 at 11:15 am |
    • bostontola

      Not to mention the firmament isn't firm...

      February 6, 2014 at 11:21 am |
      • Paul

        Since you don't know what "firmament" means, let me define it for you.

        firmament: the heavens or the sky

        February 6, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • ME II

          Did you use the full quote?

          "firmament
          NOUN • literary
          1the heavens or the sky, especially when regarded as a tangible thing.
          "
          ( http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/firmament, emphasis added)

          February 6, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • bostontola

          Paul,
          Either you are ignorant of the historical record on firmament or you are intentionally misrepresenting. The old use of firmament was absolutely intended to mean the sky was solid. It later evolved into a shell, then it evolved into the open space sky idea.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : especially when regarded as a tangible thing.

          Why do you claim that a that one cannot be capable of something underconstruction?

          @bostontola : Either you are ignorant of the historical record on firmament

          Right back at you: Either you are ignorant of the fact that 'firmament', being an English word, doesn't appear in a Hebrew manuscript or you are intentionally misrepresenting. Try being a little more respectful of others with a different opinion than yourself.

          That aside, why do you think that a gas or liquid is not 'firm'. Clay is flexible when moist, but once it has dried it is more firm. Are you arguing that clay isn't 'firm' when it is moist?

             <><

          February 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "Why do you claim that a that one cannot be capable of something underconstruction?"

          Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker : How could there have been literal days when God did not "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night" until the fourth "day"?

      Genesis 1:4 (day one) has the creation of time, so time existed prior to the fourth day. On the fourth day, the stars (incl. sun and moon) were created. So, why do you see an issue with literal days?

         <><

      February 6, 2014 at 11:22 am |
      • Rochester

        If you take Genesis literally, why won't you accept literal days?

        February 6, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Rochester

          Apologies. Misread.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • lunchbreaker

        day noun
        1. the interval of light between two successive nights; the time between sunrise and sunset:

        With no sun and moon...

        February 6, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Live4Him

          @lunchbreaker : With no sun and moon...

          Your argument is premised upon the sun and moon, but we could also define 'day' as the period that it takes for the earth to rotate one time. Thus, 'day' is only a measurement of time, not necessarily based upon the existance of the sun and moon.

             <><

          February 6, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Then how can there be a "day" before the earth was created?

          February 6, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • ME II

          "And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day." (Gen 1:5)

          How was there a morning and evening without a sun or moon, not to mention an Earth without a Sun.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      • Science Works

        L4H it might help ?

        Understanding Evolution For Teachers

        http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evohome.html

        February 6, 2014 at 11:41 am |
      • Navin R. Johnson

        "I know we've only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days.
        The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days.

        And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days.

        And the fifth day you went to see your mother and that seemed just like a day, and then you came back and later on the sixth day.

        In the evening, when we saw each other, that started seeming like two days, so in the evening it seemed like two days spilling over into the next day and that started seeming like four days, so at the end of the sixth day on into the seventh day, it seemed like a total of five days.

        And the sixth day seemed like a week and a half. I have it written down, but I can show it to you tomorrow if you want to see it." – The Jerk

        February 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
    • Paul

      There was light on day 1.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:31 am |
      • Rochester

        How?

        February 6, 2014 at 11:35 am |
        • Paul

          "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Genesis 1:3

          February 6, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Rochester

          I guess I got confused when the source for light wasn't created until the fourth day. But he's God, so no explanation as to where the light comes from is necessary. Good thing people were so gullible 4000 years ago; that wouldn't go over today.

          Oh, wait.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:48 am |
        • Madtown

          Glowsticks?

          February 6, 2014 at 11:54 am |
      • In Santa we trust

        From the MIT site
        After the Big Bang created the universe 13 billion years ago, the universe remained enshrouded in darkness. Based on observations of the radiation left over from the Big Bang, astronomers have theorized that several hundred million years after this event, gravity caused hydrogen and helium particles to condense into clouds. The energy from this activity eventually ignited those clouds, setting in motion a chain of events that led to the birth of the first stars.

        February 6, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • El Tomato

          I studied in Europe in the mid-1990s, and the people there sometimes defined Americans this way: "people who will deny a truth without evidence even after you've proven it."

          February 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        But no sun, moon or stars.

        February 6, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • Jack Brooks

          "Light" = energy. Energy is the building-block of everything.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:45 am |
        • lunchbreaker

          Where can I literally interpret that from the Bible?

          February 6, 2014 at 11:51 am |
        • Sungrazer

          If "Let there be light" was meant to be "Let there be energy", why doesn't it just say so? Why is god so very unclear amd ambiguous? An all powerful being would have no difficulty bringing about a holy text that was so clear and accurate that it left no room for interpretation or debate.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Live4Him

          @lunchbreaker : But no sun, moon or stars.

          All things that create light are not suns or stars. Thus, one does not need a sun to create light.

          @Sungrazer : If "Let there be light" was meant to be "Let there be energy", why doesn't it just say so?

          Basic science recognizes the fact that any light is energy. Thus, in the beginning, God created matter, energy and time (Gen 1:1-4).

             <><

          February 6, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Jack Brooks

          Exactly. One can't complain about the use of synonyms. 21st century Western scientific jargon is not the standard for all literature throughout time.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "Basic science recognizes the fact that any light is energy. Thus, in the beginning, God created matter, energy and time (Gen 1:1-4)."

          There was a time before this was known. So there was a time when it was decided unclear that "light" was "energy".

          Also, you seem to be happy to embrace science in this case but reject it in others.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          "Exactly. One can't complain about the use of synonyms."

          Okay, fine. That is just one example. The point is that the bible is in numerous cases not clear at all and outright contradictory to boot. Why wouldn't an all powerful god see it it that his holy text was 100% clear and unambigous?

          February 6, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
        • Bradley

          The Bible is accurate and leaves no room for debate. The debate comes in because we as humans fall into many differing categories of people. Some have a preconceived idea of how things should be & will only accept our predetermined conclusions. Some have a misunderstanding & refuse to change. Some want to only use what they feel is in their best interest or further their agenda. Some have done no research and mimick back what they've been told.

          We have multiple news agencies and millions of people watching events unfold all over the world. These events cause great contraversy. The events don't cease to exist because of human desire or misunderstanding. The events simply are & then are filtered through fallable human minds. The Bible simply is & then is filtered through fallable human minds.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
        • Madtown

          The Bible is accurate and leaves no room for debate
          ----
          Which version?

          February 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Bradley,

          I just don't buy it. God is all powerful, remember? He could create a text that humans could read without debate. And it is not the fault of the reading comprehension of fallible humans that that there are so many outright contradictions.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
        • Bradley

          Madtown

          I'm glad you ask, there is only one version of the Bible. You're probably referring to translations of which there are many. Most differences are as simple as; cried, wept or shed tears. Language uses change over time and new updates are presented for the current culture. However the original Hebrew and Greek are unchanged.

          It's an interesting study but because I personally demand evidence I had to research the reliability of the original texts. Based upon a comparison of what academics consider to be an accurate and reliable preservation of history in the preprinting press world the Bible stands above all others based upon a number of criteria.

          Sungrazer

          I was at a wrestling tournament yesterday. The rule book gives specific instruction on scoring points. Our guy threw the other guy to his back with a bear hug. He was awarded 2 points for a take down and then 3 points for a near fall. The guy on his back was able to roll to his belly and then our guy put him in what we most affection ally call a "warrior salute" rolling onto his back again for about 20 seconds until the completion of the period. 3 additional points should have been awarded. They were not any everyone watching was in disagreement with the ref.

          If something that simple and straight forward pertaining to a 6 minute time frame could be mistaken by fallable human beings with differing desires for outcomes it isn't much of a stretch for a world of fallable human beings to misinterpret or misrepresent in a much larger time span with an exponentionally larger numbers of desired outcomes.

          We individually decide how we want to use information that we are given for any number of reasons. Our use or lack there of doesn't validate or invalidate the information.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Bradley,

          Genesis refers to "days". Some people say this means a literal 24 hour day as we know it on Earth. Some people say it means something much longer. You would say that "day" leaves no room for debate, that fallible human beings interpret it differently. So why should I believe either side? You are basically admitting that whatever interpretation you favor, it could be wrong. I would say: Good, that's a start. Say you don't really know.

          You can ask the referee to see if he thinks he was correct or not. Maybe he would say he wasn't. That would invalidate your point – the rule book was perfectly clear and he was in error. Maybe he would say he was – then the rule book was NOT specific enough, or perhaps he just doesn't want to admit he's wrong, in which case we're back to the rule book being clear enough and your point having been invalidated.

          An all powerful, all knowing god could come up with something so specific that it left no room whatsoever for doubt. That is inescapable.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Bradley

          Sungrazer,

          We are in agreement "We individually decide how we want to use information that we are given for any number of reasons". We decide how to use the information.

          In regards to the "days" as listed in Genesis we need to first know the word that is used. Then we would need to know the Hebrew definition. We could then look at that word in other writings to determine in it's usage in that time period.

          Once we discover the word that is used we can evaluate it's definition. Then we can work to determine how a misunderstanding could exist.

          February 7, 2014 at 12:29 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        You can conflate "fiat lux" with the background radiation of the big bang if it makes you feel better.

        But you cannot divide time into equal hours of day and night – specifically defined as hours of light and darkness – without the light source which empirically does illuminate the earth.

        We know that it is the sun and the rotation of the earth that makes night and day. How can this exist before the sun is "created" on the fourth day?

        February 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
          5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

          Yet it is not until the fourth day that we have:

          16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

          Based on a simple understanding of astronomy, it's absurd.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • Gene

      The Bible says God created light and divided the day from the night before He actually created the celestial bodies that give us light today (Genesis 1:3-5; Genesis 1:14-19). As far as the Bible describes it, this light was not attached to a source originally... but it is clear that there was already day and night before the sun, moon, and stars existed. Of course, to believe this requires faith. On the other hand, so does the idea that matter and energy created themselves out of nothing. I believe it really comes down to which faith system you subscribe to.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • lunchbreaker

        I guess I'm just trying to figure out "how" literal is the correct way to interpret the Bible. A day as we define it today is based on the earth spinning inbetween 2 celestial bodies.How did God define a day back then?

        February 6, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Jack Brooks

          God, being the eternal and omniscient Being, knew what a day would be. Moses is applying the word "day" retroactively, with God's mind as the presupposed basis of reality.

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

          A day is not defined by a deity, it is defined by its followers.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Rochester

          Of course Mises was applying the word retroactively; but he got the words from God himself. Did something get list in the dictation process?

          Also, a non answer, Jack.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:59 am |
        • Jack Brooks

          Prove that it is a non-answer.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Rochester

          The question:
          "How did God define a day back then?"

          Your answer:
          "God, being the eternal and omniscient Being, knew what a day would be. Moses is applying the word “day” retroactively, with God’s mind as the presupposed basis of reality."

          Where is the definition of what God decided a day would be?

          February 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
        • Paul

          @Rochester
          "Where is the definition of what God decided a day would be?"

          And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5)
          And the evening and the morning were the second day. (Genesis 1:8)
          And the evening and the morning were the third day. (Genesis 1:13)
          And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (Genesis 1:19)
          And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:23)
          And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)

          February 6, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
          5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

          It seems pretty obvious that this refers to a 24 hour rotation of the earth.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Gene

          Lunchbreaker, it sounds like you are asking about "hermeneutics", which is the science of interpretation (usually regarding the scriptures.) I believe the best mode of interpretation is the historical-grammatical method. This basically says that we should take a literal historical interpretation of scripture unless the grammar clearly indicates that it is meant to be otherwise (for example, figures of speech such as "the apple of his eye"... or parables told by Jesus with a spiritual meaning... or the poetry of the Psalms [literally "songs"].) These are the same allegorical devices that we are taught to recognize in any other literature. Genesis 1, however, is not written with allegorical language but as a historic event, with specific details about each of the six days of creation (number of the day and a description of morning and evening.) The Hebrew word used in Genesis 1 ("yom") never means anything other than an ordinary day when it is attached with a number and the sequence of a morning and evening. There is also a theological problem with interpreting the word day as an "era"– the problem Ken Ham pointed out regarding how millions of years of death could exist before sin when Genesis 3 and the rest of scripture clearly teach that death is the result of sin. God created all things good, and it is because of our own disobedience that there is pain and suffering a disease and death today. But God loved us enough to send His Son to pay the ultimate penalty so that we could be freed from the curse of sin and ultimately have eternal life with Him!

          February 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • Theogony

          Gene
          No way, god sent us Dionysus and Bacchus to teach us to party and hold our liquor and of course the girls. The Flying Spaghetti Monster will see to my after life both his heaven and hell are acceptable.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
        • No Evidence

          ridiculous mythology.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
  16. Live4Him

    Why early evolution was scientifically impossible

    1) Given that the earth receives a fixed amount of solar energy (i.e. solar constant: 1.37 Kw/m^2), and
    2) Given that the earth is a balanced ecosystem, and
    3) Given that evolution is a rare occurance, and
    4) Given that a critical step in the history of evolution required a single-celled life form to produce a multi-celled life form, and
    5) Given that reproduction for a single-celled life via mitosis requires less energy than a single-celled life form evolving into a multi-celled life form,

    Then there is insufficent free energy to allow the course of evolution to create a multi-celled life form. Therefore, evolution can be falsified by using the laws of thermodynamics and known scientific facts.

    Note that this posit does not address evolution once multi-celled life forms exists, but only the step between single-celled and multi-celled.

       <><

    February 6, 2014 at 11:07 am |
    • henry

      "Why early evolution was scientifically impossible"

      true – it was impossible as far as we know before the big bang. there's just not enough info on things before then

      February 6, 2014 at 11:09 am |
      • Live4Him

        You think that the big bang happened after life formed on earth? Why?

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

          why do you believe evolution is only limited to the big bang forward?

          February 6, 2014 at 11:13 am |
        • Live4Him

          @henry : why do you believe evolution is only limited to the big bang forward?

          Evolutionary scientists postulate that evolution began after the formation of life on earth. If you want to posit an alternative approach, go for it.

             <><

          February 6, 2014 at 11:25 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Insufficient free energy per the laws of thermodynamics?
      Which laws of thermodynamics? I'm very interested to see the math behind this hypothesis.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:10 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Doc Vestibule : Which laws of thermodynamics?

        Energy cannot be created nor destroyed.

           <><

        February 6, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • henry

          how have you determined insufficiency?

          February 6, 2014 at 11:21 am |
    • Charm Quark

      L4H
      Totally false, at least you are consistent. More apologist nonsense.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:13 am |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      1) Not sure what you mean by "balanced", but "free energy" is not determined by input – output at the global level, but by amount of energy available to an organism in its environment, i.e. food, heat, etc. in the immediate vicinity.

      2) Reproduction energy is not the only consideration for "fitness" to the environment. If a higher energy cost during reproduction equates to a higher incidence of survival-to-reproduction then the extra cost may be worth it. The top minnows (?) mentioned by Bill Nye are a good example; se.xual reproduction is more "expensive" than ase.xual reproduction but the offspring are healthier.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:23 am |
      • Live4Him

        @ME II : "free energy" is not determined by input – output at the global level, but by amount of energy available to an organism in its environment

        Any system is the sum of its parts. So, what applies to the macro level will also apply to the micro level. Yes, free energy will exist at times, but this energy will be employed by those organisms striving to survive. Those that are more efficient will survive, and those needing more energy will die off.

        @ME II : higher incidence of survival-to-reproduction then the extra cost may be worth it.

        How would you know if they die before being created?

        Think of it this way – some free energy becomes available when a cell dies. Two cells are able to use this free energy. One has a mutation that will allow it to 'evolve', while the other one does not. Thus, the first one will 'pursue' evolution while the other is constrained to mitosis. Which one will succeed? The one that is most efficient at the work that needs to be done – mitosis. Thus, evolution will always be out-competed until multicelled life forms exist.

           <><

        February 6, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • ME II

        @Live4Him,
        "Yes, free energy will exist at times, but this energy will be employed by those organisms striving to survive. Those that are more efficient will survive, and those needing more energy will die off."

        You oversimplify, it is not a case of 'least energy requirement' wins, but the 'most able to get their needed energy' wins. Another example of this is flowering plants, angiosperms. Flowers, nectar, etc. cost energy, but because of the extra benefits, like dispersal by animals, cross-pollination, etc. angiosperms far out number non-flowering plants, gymnosperms, even though gymnosperms have been around far longer, 50-100 million years.

        "Think of it this way – some free energy becomes available when a cell dies. Two cells are able to use this free energy. One has a mutation that will allow it to 'evolve', while the other one does not."

        Again, you oversimplify. Show me any situation in nature where there are only two cells in a closed environment with only enough energy for one of the two cells to reproduce. As has been said before, often by me to you, populations evolve not individuals. A more likely scenario is a whole population of cells where energy sources are available to support it and one or more cells have a mutation and then compete with non-mutated, or other-mutated, cells for resources, i.e. energy, and reproduction.

        Additionally, I doubt that the evolution of single cell life to multi-celled life occurred in one step with one set of mutations. I'm not up to date on this transition, but I suspect that it occurs over multiple steps in a cell-colony environment, i.e. a close-knit group of tightly interrelated, but separate cells.

        February 6, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : 'most able to get their needed energy' wins.

          If you have a two life forms of the same species, which life form will 'most able to get their needed energy'? All other things being equal, they will be balanced with no favoritism.

          @ME II : where there are only two cells in a closed environment with only enough energy for one of the two cells to reproduce.

          In a balanced thermodynamaic system, all the energy is being used. This happens 100% of the time. Thus, all that is needed is to define your thermodynamaic system properly. The sum of the parts equals the wholde.

          @ME II : Additionally, I doubt that the evolution of single cell life to multi-celled life occurred in one step with one set of mutations.

          By definition, a species is one that can reproduce with another individual of the same species. So, how do you propose to 'evolve' a multi-celled specie from a single-celled specie in multiple steps?

             <><

          February 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          " All other things being equal, they will be balanced with no favoritism."

          Not sure what your point is, rarely are all things equal even within the same species.

          "In a balanced thermodynamaic system, all the energy is being used. This happens 100% of the time. Thus, all that is needed is to define your thermodynamaic system properly. The sum of the parts equals the wholde."

          Again, I'm not sure what you mean by a "balanced" system, but I doubt the Earth is "balanced"; it's definitely not closed. If you mean a system in thermodynamic equilibrium, that does not mean that "all energy is being used". It is essential at a dead stop; no change or flows:

          In a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, there are no net flows of matter or of energy, no phase changes, and no unbalanced potentials (or driving forces), within the system. A system that is in thermodynamic equilibrium experiences no changes when it is isolated from its surroundings.

          If you mean input = output, on a global scale, how are you measuring the output?

          A bare rock may absorb sunlight and then emit infrared at night, sum zero. But put moss on that rock and that energy that would have been emitted a night is now turned into chemical energy via photosynthesis, sum positive due to stored energy.

          "By definition, a species is one that can reproduce with another individual of the same species. So, how do you propose to 'evolve' a multi-celled specie from a single-celled specie in multiple steps?"

          My thought is colonies, but as I said I'm not up to date on it.

          Individuality is a complex trait, yet a series of stages each advantageous in itself can be shown to exist allowing evolution to get from unicellular individuals to multicellular individuals. We consider several of the key stages involved in this transition: the initial advantage of group formation, the origin of reproductive altruism within the group, and the further specialization of cell types as groups increase in size. How do groups become individuals?... Our answer is that the selective pressures leading to reproductive altruism stem from the increasing cost of reproduction with increasing group size. Concepts from population genetics and evolutionary biology appear to be sufficient to explain complexity, at least as it relates to the problem of the major transitions between the different kinds of evolutionary individuals.
          (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17494748)

          February 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
        • ME II

          Sorry, first quote in italics is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamic_equilibrium

          February 6, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • bostontola

      I hope this is a poser and not really L4H.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:23 am |
    • Sungrazer

      Please, show your math.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • Billy

        TwistIt4Him seems to be STUMPED

        February 6, 2014 at 11:41 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Sungrazer : Please, show your math.

        See my post to ME II. Near the bottom.

           <><

        February 6, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • henry

          that's not math

          February 6, 2014 at 11:57 am |
        • Sungrazer

          I looked and I didn't see anything. But I doubt it showed math, because I doubt you know physics at a high enough level.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Jack Brooks

          Insult! We win again.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Sungrazer : I looked and I didn't see anything.

          Okay, let me spell it out for you.

          Thermodynamic system: Three single celled life forms (i.e. algae)
          X = energy needed to sustain one single celled life form for a single cycle
          Assumes it takes 1 cycle to build 1/3 of a life form

          Iteration 1: system = a(1X) + b(1X) + c(1X)
          Iteration 2: system = a(1X) + b(1X) + c(1X) – c(1X)    * Note: one life-form dies
          Iteration 3: system = a(1.5X) + b(1.5X)
          Iteration 4: system = a(1X) + d(1X) + b(1X)    * Mitosis completes in cell A, spawning cell D. Evolution attempt dies.
          Iteration 5: system = a(1X) + b(1X) + d(1X)

          @Sungrazer : But I doubt it showed math, because I doubt you know physics at a high enough level.

          Insults are for fools. Aren't you better than a fool?

             <><

          February 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm |
        • Sungrazer

          Doubting that you could do high level physics is not an insult. I doubt that of most people on these boards. I sure can't do so myself. In fact, I'm not in a position to evaluate your proof. But it seems very slim. I think a physics paper showing there isn't enough energy to get from a single celled organism to a multi celled organism would be much more substantial.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Chemosynthetic bacteria have a constant supply of energy from the earths core at hydrothermal vents, care to comment on the diversity of life at these vents. Can't make much sense of your last post, you do know the sun goes through cycles and earths orbit around the sun is not a perfect circle but varies in distance in its elliptical path.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
    • igaftr

      "Why early evolution was scientifically impossible"

      The reason it was impossible is because of a bunch of misrepresentation of scientific principles, and assumption that we have taken into account all variables, when we have only focused on one, and it disagrees with the bible, which is smarter than science. (sarcasm, but it IS what l4h and LoA keep trying to post. Their minds cannot fathom the actual science, so they parrot creationist websites that try to poke holes in science, unsuccesfully I must add.)

      Why is it , the only thing these sites have is negative arguments of scientific principles. They have NO information of their own, only goddidit.
      It is so sad that the only argument they have is to attack the sciences.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:56 am |
    • truthprevails1

      L4H: 101 reasons why you're wrong: http://ideonexus.com/2012/02/12/101-reasons-why-evolution-is-true/

      February 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      evolution is a rare occurance?

      how's that tailbone?

      February 7, 2014 at 7:44 am |
  17. Rochelle

    I use Answers In Genesis science curriculum with my children and so here is how I see Mr. Nye's argument that teaching creation-based science will not further scientific progress:
    Today we learned about solar energy and did an experiment to reinforce the concepts. As I t prepped and taught the lesson, I couldn't help but see the error in Bill Nye's assertion on teaching creation. In AIG's curriculum I've found history and experiments that encourage my children to search for answers , experiment to find answers and to think about ways they may aid in scientific progress in all manner of areas. Many scientist who have changed the face of science and life as we know believed in a Creator God. The science Bill Nye uses comes from their findings. Belief in a creator, in a six day creation, does not limit a person to numb dumbed-down science; instead it leads itself to limitless possibilities when all things are possible with God.

    February 6, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Hmmmmm

      Answers in Genesis Science Curriculum
      Great Depression
      Jumbo shrimp
      Clearly confused
      Deafening silence
      Pretty ugly
      walking dead
      only choice
      virtual reality
      small crowd

      February 6, 2014 at 11:00 am |
      • Rynomite

        Funny

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

      "I use Answers In Genesis science curriculum with my children"

      I am so sorry for their loss. I hope they can someday recover from such a travesty.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:00 am |
      • Jack Brooks

        As opposed to teaching them what? That they are nothing but meat-puppets? That reason popped into existence by magic? That morality is based on nothing? That the universe is an un-caused effect? Anyone who believes the latter is deifying the universe.

        February 6, 2014 at 11:17 am |
        • henry

          you assume way too much.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Rynomite

          "That reason popped into existence by magic?"

          How about they popped into existence due to the reproductive process?

          "That morality is based on nothing?"

          How about that morality is an ever evolving concept based on the sum total of the human experience?

          That the universe is an un-caused effect?

          How about we don't know, but here are the current legitimate scientific theories.....?

          February 6, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Sungrazer

          Is god an uncaused effect?

          If so, why not pose that the universe is an uncaused effect and stop there? Why introduce the unnecessary condition of a god?

          If not, what caused god?

          February 6, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The concept of a Universe that is less that 10,000 years old contradicts physics, geology, and biology.
      In science, "supernatural" is a null word.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:03 am |
      • Paul

        "The concept of a Universe that is less that 10,000 years old contradicts physics, geology, and biology."

        No, it doesn't contradict science. It contradicts an atheistic worldview. One of the points made in the debate.

        "In science, "supernatural" is a null word."

        The word "science" means "knowledge." But those with an atheistic/naturalistic worldview have hijacked the word and redefined it so that it only fits their worldview.

        February 6, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • tallulah13

          Wow, Paul. I'm impressed by your determination to deny fact.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        • Rynomite

          "No, it doesn't contradict science. It contradicts an atheistic worldview. One of the points made in the debate."

          Sorry, but it contradicts science. Your assertion is doubly wrong, because science having an accurate age of an earth does not necessarily mean that a god/creator concept does not exist. It does invalidate a literal interpretation of Genesis, destroys the inerrancy of the bible, and invalidates the resurrection, but does nothing in so far as proving or disproving a god/creator.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          sci·ence
          /ˈsīəns/
          noun
          noun: science1. the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

          Science is not concerned with the supernatural.
          The universe doesn't work the way we want it to. The universe IS. We can only describe it and chronicle it's workings.
          The supernatural, by definition, is unprovable and undisprovable – ergo, it is the domain of theologans, not scientists.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:22 am |
        • Rochester

          I'm impressed by the level of projection by both Jack Brooks and Paul, tallulah. I doubt they know even one atheist.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Paul

          @Doc
          That is a modern definition of science. Certainly not the definition of science that Newton, Galileo, Kepler, etc were using. The word "science" come from the Latin which means "knowledge". But like I said, you're going to use the definition that fit your worldview.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Rochester

          I like the use of "worldview" as a sort of epithet. I'm going to use that, thanks.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Paul
          I'm afraid that isn't so. You do know that we have dictionaries that date back hundreds of years, right?

          As far back as the 1400s, science was defined as "experiential knowledge;".
          By the beginning of the 16th century, it was defined as "collective human knowledge" especially "that gained by systematic observation, experiment, and reasoning".

          February 7, 2014 at 9:24 am |
    • Sungrazer

      "Many scientist who have changed the face of science and life as we know believed in a Creator God."

      Maybe they did. But they were doing science, and they didn't propose supernatural explanations for anything. It is not logical to say "this scientist believes in god and made a revolutionary discovery, so god must exist".

      "Belief in a creator, in a six day creation, does not limit a person to numb dumbed-down science"

      A six day creation is not dumbed-down science, it is contrary to what science says.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • Paul

        "A six day creation is not dumbed-down science, it is contrary to what science says."

        It's not contrary to what science says. It's contrary to what people with an atheistic/naturalistic worldview says. "Science says" is a reification fallacy. Science is an abstract concept. It's a tool we use that helps us understand and evaluate the world around us. It's physically incapable of speaking. Scientists are the ones that say things.
        Again, one of the main points brought up in the debate was that the operational science is exactly the same, whether one is an evolutionist or creationist. The debate is really about philosophical worldviews.

        Here's the inventor of the MRI scanner – a Creationist.

        [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOM0v0dQnjI&w=560&h=315%5D

        February 6, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • Paul

          Let me try this embedded code again...

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOM0v0dQnjI&w=560&h=315]

          February 6, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • In Santa we trust

          Paul, So how do you account for the fact that the earth was formed 10 billion years after the Big Bang. That humans took about 3 billion years to appear. That DNA and fossils confirm that. etc. etc.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Jack Brooks

          That is not a fact.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Sungrazer

          "Again, one of the main points brought up in the debate was that the operational science is exactly the same, whether one is an evolutionist or creationist. The debate is really about philosophical worldviews."

          That does not mean it's a good point. The worldviews are different, sure. But

          "That is not a fact."

          Technically, you are right. Modern humans came along much more recently. 10 million years or so ago? Not 1~.5 billion that Santa stated. I think he just did not take the time to do the math.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • tallulah13

      Congratulations. You are limiting your children's career choices, or at the very least, putting them well behind other children who are being raised with an understanding of real science. Science is the future. That is where the most stable, best paying jobs are going to be. You are compromising their future because a glib salesman convinced you to buy his product.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • Joni

        And this is the problem right here. We are not dumbing down our children. And we are not educating them only to make money. We want them to live their life for others and do what God has called them to do...proclaim His name.

        February 6, 2014 at 11:46 am |
    • The Running Twit

      Rochelle,

      I know you want the best for your children. But you have to take them to a true scientific program, which does not mix scientific methodollogy with myths. Aig is mixing science with myths in order to confuse children into believing that a supernatural being is influencing natural processes and poofing things and beings into existence.

      If you continue with aig, some day, your children will confront you about all the nonsense they were brought up with. There should be science and only science taught in class and not myths, like 6000 year old earth and the same...

      Wish all the best

      February 6, 2014 at 11:13 am |
      • JB

        I was raised the way that she's raising her kids and I turned out perfectly fine. I may not be that science savvy but Than again, science doesn't interest me that much.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • igaftr

      Rochelle
      " all things are possible with God."

      LOL...Without injuring yourself, put your right elbow in your right ear. Take a picture and post it, since it is IMPOSSIBLE even with your god.

      If you grant you god unlimited power in your mind, then you will believe what you tell yourself to believe.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:29 am |
    • ME II

      @Rochelle
      "I use Answers In Genesis science curriculum with my children..."

      Please be aware that AIG may not be presenting all the data.

      By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record.
      AIG http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith

      February 6, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • Rochester

        Not to mention that the home-schooling requirements in science for some states must be extremely lax if this is the only science she teaches her kids.

        February 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
  18. Questions for the religious

    If tomorrow, the tenants of religion were disproved to the point where even the most ardent and unintelligent believer had to acknowledge that religion was false, would you religious live your lives any differently going forward (other than not attending church that is)?

    If the Bible god is an all powerful, all loving god, wouldn't it have made more sense for him to
    a. pick a chosen people who only offered non-violent resistance and refused to kill?
    b. interecede for these people in non-violent ways?
    c. perhaps find non-violent solutions to "wickedness" as oppose to say global floods or slaying of first borns?

    Did god ask for Mary's consent before he impregnated her?

    February 6, 2014 at 10:56 am |
    • Dani

      When Mary heard what the angel told her concerning the child she was to bear, she said, "May it be unto me as you have said." Yes... Mary gave her permission. As for your other questions, God did what God did because He knew that was the best way to do things. The same as you, hopefully, choose to do things. They may not seem the best to those who don't know the whole situation or why you chose to do things the way you did, but you DO know the whole situation, etc...

      February 6, 2014 at 11:15 am |
      • No Evidence

        And where is your evidence of what you mentioned dani?? these are just stories from mythology.....

        February 6, 2014 at 11:26 am |
    • Bradley

      To your 1st question, religion can not be disproved if you are saying a belief in an all powerful god. However if you speaking of specific religious beleif systems then some can be shown to be inaccurate and or false.

      Your next set of questions are worth mentioning but aren't necessarily relevant to the question of the exixtence of a god. They are relevant in regards to what we believe about God but only after establishing that there is or isn't a god. No matter the answer they don't impact the existence of a god anymore than us disagreeing with decisions of government impact the existence of our government.

      Your A, B & C again are good questions to explore, if there is a god why would these sequence of events occur in the way they did? If there is no god then it really doesn't matter.

      February 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
  19. Ronnie Watkins

    The moderator did an excellent job.

    February 6, 2014 at 10:51 am |
  20. Charly Curran

    Most of these comments are just people repeating and arguing the same thing we heard in the debate; depending on which side you were on. Just watch the debate and draw your own conclusion.

    February 6, 2014 at 10:43 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Are you surprised by that?

      February 6, 2014 at 10:45 am |
    • ME II

      @Cahrly Curran,
      I've heard your point before...

      February 6, 2014 at 10:48 am |
      • tallulah13

        Hee!

        February 6, 2014 at 11:01 am |
    • Doris

      One thing we heard in the debate from Mr Ham a few times was a Dr Snelling, geologist that supports the young-earth view. It's important to note that Dr Snelling obtained his credentials to consult on some large projects by learning and understanding geology – to include dating rocks billions of years old. Simultaneously, Dr Snelling has been employed as a "Creationist Assistant Professor of Geology" by the Institute for Creation Research in the USA.

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

      "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."

      So is $$$$$$ why we have Creationist (bad) science still promoted from within the science community?

      February 6, 2014 at 10:54 am |
      • Bradley

        You bring up a great assessment. Follow the money, there isn't a single scientist that truly beleives in evolution as the origin of life. It's a scientific impossibility. You can however determine their beleif about a creater. A creater doesn't neccessarily equate to the Bible. It would probably be safe to say they may not beleive in a soul and life after death and therefore they must pursue their desires in this life. Sceintist especially in the educational areas such as Universities are told they must come to certain conclusions in regards to life science or lose funding.

        For science to exist we must accept some assumptions. A couple of assumptions being that governing laws and information must exist. Governing laws and information have always been expierenced to originate from a conscious mind. To make reliable predictions and conduct test the laws must remain constant. Evolution for the origin of life requires the beleif that the current state of laws is not constant and followed to it's logical ends destroys science.

        However for the laws to change then a force acting outside the system must be introduced. That force bringing us full circle that a god of some sort must exist or the laws couldn't change.

        That still doesn't bring us to the Bible, it just allows us to follow the evidence that a powerful intelligent force must be acting upon the system.

        February 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • Luis

      This is the most reasonable and smart comment that I have ever read about this matter.

      February 6, 2014 at 10:59 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      It's always the same ole' arguments on this site, OR any other site for that matter. Because you can only argue about God in a limited range. There's nothing to go by. No evidence. Just the accounts of humans which yield nothing new. Everything comes from the 'heart'.

      February 6, 2014 at 11:11 am |
      • No Evidence

        Exactly, it's all based on "feelings" and no amount of word salad from supposed intelligent people can change that fact.

        February 6, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • Jack Brooks

          You say that because you have never read Christian philosophers, of today or of years past.

          February 6, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        • Rochester

          You have an way of projecting your baseless opinions as fact, Mr.Brooks. A common thing that I have noticed with most of your posts here today.

          Might want to stop that.

          February 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
      • Bradley

        Most everything we do is in a limitted range. We can only study what we can observe. We don't question the existence of roads, bridges, dams, buildings meals, vehicles and any other designed objects simply because we don't know the designer. Although we can know things about the designer based upon the design. What we can observe should lead us to the most plausable answer. Laws and information, in what most will admit in our limitted expeirence no matter our point in life, has always originated from a conscious mind.

        Any other conclusion requires faith because nobody has expierenced any other source. That faith then becomes an unintelligent religious belief system. Unfortunetly as with past generations we do not have all the answers and the next generations will build upon the discoveries of this generation. However from all that we have expierenced in the 6,000 to 4.6 Billion years of existence is that laws and information have always originated in a conscious mind.

        February 6, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
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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.