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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. David

    They shouldn't even have these types of debates because it convinces dolts like this poster above that there's actual parity between the two sides. The Earth is 14 million+ years old. Period. Be as spiritual as you want, but the Bible is rhetoric made simplistic by fables and cannot be taken literally. Ever.
    Next?

    February 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
    • foolishmortal

      You left out a few zeros in the age of the Earth. Cretaceous period was 65 million years ago last Tuesday, and the Earth had been around for a long, long, time before that. Still, it is correct to say the earth is more than 14 million years old. It's just a LOT more.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
      • Christian Crusader

        OMG but you weren't there!!!!! How do you Know for sure?

        February 6, 2014 at 1:59 am |
  2. mtadams1208

    I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic school. I would go to biology class one period and learn about evolution, learn about the big bang in physics, and then head to religion class where we were taught religion and the bible. From the time I was a small child I understood that these ideas conflicted, but I never saw a need to "reconcile" them. As many disagreements as I have with the Catholic church, I applaud them for teaching both religion and science and not trying to reconcile them. I don't see a need for it.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
    • Barcs

      The pope has reconciled it. I see no reason why others can't. God using evolution to create shows way more time and dedication to the emergence of humans, but of course the fundamentalists know best and claim to KNOW that genesis was meant to be 100% literal despite gaps and missing pieces translating from a very simplistic language into English.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
      • Christian Crusader

        This new pope might be the anti christ! A great deceiver! He actually agrees with science and favors good deeds over literal bible translations and rituals. He believes life on other planets could exist and even has supported the most evil thing ever: BIRTH CONTROL!!!!! OMG What's next? Support for abortion?

        February 6, 2014 at 2:01 am |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    2 + 2 ≠ 5

    It never has, it doesn't now, and it never will. YOU come along and say that 2 + 2 = 5. I say it does not. You say it does, I say it equals 4 and I have evidence it equals 4. You say it doesn't because you believe it doesn't. I say 2 + 2 ≠ 5. You say it does, I say it doesn't. The argument/war goes on for years.

    NOW you come along and say "Let's compromise because both sides have valid arguments!"

    Ya know what? 2 + 2 ≠ 5

    And ya know what else? Your "compromise" of 2 + 2 = 4½ doesn't work, either.

    2 + 2 ≠ 5 It doesn't, and I don't have to RESPECT your belief that it does. You're wrong, I'm SAYING you're wrong, I'm telling you to your FACE you're wrong, and if you teach it to your children, it should be considered child abuse. You're wrong, you should be shamed for believing it, and I'm willing to do it. I'm calling you an idiot and you are if you believe it.

    2 + 2 ≠ 5

    February 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
    • St. Lawrence

      ...unless you're talking about Quantum Mechanics, then 2 + 2 = ham sandwich.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • Barcs

        Proof?

        February 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • Math and language

        http://www.storyofmathematics.com/images2/babylonian_numerals.gif

        February 6, 2014 at 2:33 am |
    • Oh Brother ^

      Thus the reason that many people who have studied the science behind the way we teach our origins don't beleive the naturalistic narative. The claim is that all living organisms have evolved from a single celled organism and that the life in this organism spontaneously formed from non-life. Big claims requiring big proof. The best evidence offered as proof is a fossil record that shows that animals adapt to their surroundings yet continue to remain of the same species. Current examples of "evolution" such as the flu virus or fruit flies have shown us one thing and one thing only. An organism can change the way it operates over time and can pass on these changes, yet they remain the same species. Any mutations (used to explain great leaps in the evolutionary process) have proven to be fatal and/or sterilizing to the organism. Forgive those of us who don't accept you 2+2=5 answer.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
      • foolishmortal

        The fossil record tells you you are wrong. Genetic analysis tells you you are wrong. Animal behavior tells you you are wrong. Heck, pretty much all of modern biology tells you you are wrong.

        Watch out! That's a very small T-Rex pulling worms out of your garden bed!

        February 5, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • Christian Crusader

        2+2 DOES equal 5. They just forgot to incorporate god into the equation because they don't see him. What a bunch of numbskulls! LOL at science and empirical data!

        February 6, 2014 at 2:06 am |
        • Observer

          Christian Crusader,

          Excellent job of summarizing the logic of many Christians.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:08 am |
  4. QS

    Nye wasn't there to debate whether or not people should be allowed to believe in Creationism....he was simply there to challenge, as has always had to be done, the idea that beliefs should be taught right alongside science as though the two were not mutually exclusive.

    Beliefs allow us to see the world as we wish it was and would like it to be....science allows us to see the world for what it is.

    And while science may not have as yet explained all the unexplained things in our universe, it has to begin to be seen as, at the very least, having explained enough that we can reasonably dismiss most, if not all, beliefs of this nature. Which is also what I believe Nye was trying to get at.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
  5. ME II

    @Topher,
    "Evolution requires the addition of genetic information. But we only see losses."

    Not sure what you mean by "genetic information", but evolution requires changes in the genes of the next generation of organism, which is exactly what happens with gene duplication, transposition, etc.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
    • ME II

      ... meant as reply to earlier post.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • Christian Crusader

      Nuh-uh! Last I checked mutations were always bad! You are born with 3 arms, it ain't pretty. You don't survive! OMG evolution completely debunked! You atheist cult leaders are trembling in your boots now! Ha! Facts in your face!

      February 6, 2014 at 2:07 am |
  6. chuckb

    Tom... Good job last night and very good article. I wish CNN would do more things like this objectively as you have. I'm so sick of the Pierce Morgans with their own agenda attacking one side or the other. You had many opprotunities to inject your own opinion or make faces and roll your eyes but, you didn't. Class act.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
  7. Ardy

    I thought Tom Foreman did an excellent job of moderating this debate from start to finish. I also thought the crowd was, as Tom stated, very respectful; not once did anyone interrupt the debate. And although the crowd was mostly comprised of Christians, they very courteous in applauding Nye after his presentation. Somehow – and sadly – I doubt the same level of courtesy would have been extended to Ham had this debate been held in Nye's 'backyard'.

    Further, if one removes the emotional aspect from whichever belief is held, it must be conceded that Ham did offer an objective and indisputable fact concerning how the public school system has intentionally excluded the intelligent design argument. Its decision to do so is not on the basis of how the intelligent design community observes science – everyone observes it the same way in real-time. Observational science is something the intelligent design community fully embraces. Instead, and even though Bill Nye admits he has "no idea" how the basic building blocks of the universe came into existence, the school system has arbitrarily deemed evolution through the 'big-bang' model a decided and closed-to-discussion proven scientific fact. Now that, my friends, is scientific arrogance at its highest!

    February 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Science has mountains of evidence and mountains of proof pointing to the way things began and the way things have evolved and the way things work. Science being science, it is always looking for more evidence to expand on our understanding and confirm our understanding of the mountains of proof that things work a certain way.

      Christianity has one old, contradictory, factually woeful, massively fanciful book written by uneducated and very primitive bronze age desert dwelling goat herders that say a magical man in the sky just willed it into existence. NO proof. NO evidence. Nothing. Nowt. Nada. Just a story.

      I'll leave you to decide which should be taught to our children in school.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      'Somehow – and sadly – I doubt the same level of courtesy would have been extended to Ham had this debate been held in Nye's 'backyard'

      And this hypothesis is based on what exactly?

      You think that had this debate been hosted by the National Academy of Scientists people would have been yelling obscenities at Ken Ham?

      February 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
      • Rynomite

        "You think that had this debate been hosted by the National Academy of Scientists people would have been yelling obscenities at Ken Ham?"

        I just got a hysterical vision of a mass of pocket protectors flying at Ham in order to drown out his idiocy.....

        February 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
      • chuckb

        "And this hypothesis is based on what exactly?"

        Looks like it is based on reactions every time a Christian opens his/her mouth. Read these posts lately? There is no respect from the "scientific community" if you claim to be a Christian. You automatically get thrown into the uneducated and deceived catagory. My only problem was with the assumption that a Christian crowd would be anything but courteous and respectful.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Jake

          "There is no respect from the "scientific community" if you claim to be a Christian."

          At least someone finally admits this. You get a lot of Christians on here that claiming scientists respect their views or even that Christianity and science are compatible. You're absolutely right that the scientific community does not respect Christian horse shxx.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Barcs

          False. You only get thrown into that category when you support a fundamentalist view of the bible which is laughably wrong and directly conflicts with modern science. There are plenty of Christian scientists out there, they just aren't bible literalists.

          February 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • Rynomite

          “We must respect the other fellow's religion but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”

          ― H.L. Mencken

          February 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • Christian Crusader

          Somebody needs to tell those meddling scientists to stay out of my church service!!

          February 6, 2014 at 2:11 am |
      • Trevor

        Keep in mind WHO and WHAT the writer is......a Christian, which should say enough. Remember, we "Scientists and Athiests" are all heathens, yet they fail to remember that through us everything that they have, know (for a FACT), and will have and know (for a fact) will come from us.....but it will end up being "Gods divine work".....whatever. I'd rather that they just stayed off my porch.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
    • Jake

      Sigh. No one "arbitrarily" decided not to teach Creationism in school. That decision is based on the fact that it's not science. The fact that some people believe it doesn't make it science when the vast majority of scientists consider it crazy.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • foolishmortal

        In addition: 1) all these arguments were decided in the 1800's right after the publication of The Origin of Species and 2) modern arguments were made in a court of law which decided that creation "science" is nothing more than religion.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
    • Jahtez

      Go ahead and teach creationism in school. All of them, not just your chosen flavor.
      See where that might get sticky ?

      February 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "the public school system has intentionally excluded the intelligent design argument.

      Certainly. That is because Intelligent design violates the first amendment. It is a religious belief and has no place in a public school science class. It is suitable for discussion in a comparative religion class.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
      • Jahtez

        I do NOT understand why people don't get that...

        February 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Christian Crusader

          I just don't get why non believers constantly deny the truth.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:14 am |
        • Observer

          Christian Crusader,

          Do you mean about the Bible being right about unicorns, dragons, talking serpents and the moon and sun suddenly STOPPING in their orbit?

          February 6, 2014 at 2:16 am |
    • JohnCalvin

      The ultimate arrogance is to take a many times translated, many times editorially copied bronze age codex and assign it "literal" truth because of an eisegetical attempt to justify scientific illiteracy. That is what Ham is doing. I read and believe Genesis in a true literal way, as the author intended it. That understanding is poetic and allagorical.
      If you accept the Bible as unquestionably "literally" (Ham's definition), I have one question: How did creation occur? Genesis 1 or Genesis 2? they are directly contradictory, if one is "literally" true, the other is by definition false. However, if the writing is understood as poetic, both can be true as they both point to differing aspects of God's intent for man, as the culmination of creation while being God's primary focus and starting point of the same effort. Also, understanding in this manner allows the inerrency of scripture without the error of man projected upon it. As Augustine (the first Doctor of the Church) said, if your present scripture as requiring the belief of something even the Pagan can perceive with his own eyes as false, the problem is not with the Bible but your understanding, and you need to change your interpretation.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
  8. BenZ

    We are created from one alien race. Nanoo Nanoo. That is way more believable than some sky fairy creating us and a hole lot more fun to think of the possibilities.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
    • Barcs

      Well you can't prove it wrong, so there you go. In creationist eyes, that's a a good a reason as any to blindly believe.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
  9. Chuck Anziulewicz

    Whether someone wishes to believe that God orchestrates the process of evolution, or that God provided the divine spark from which life on Earth first sprung 3.5 billion years ago, or that "Let There Be Light" is a metaphor for the Big Bang, is really none of my concern. But the archaeological, biological, and genetic evidence for evolution is simply overwhelming.

    I don't think Christians do themselves any favors by throwing their lot in with "Young Earth" creationists like Kenneth Ham. To accept that all of Creation took place only 6,000 years ago causes everything we know about astronomy, biology, physics, and even higher mathematics to become meaningless at best, and an elaborate Satanic deception at worst.

    The Bible provides a moral and ethical framework within which we might conduct our lives with decency and humility, but the Bible is NOT a science textbook. Why not let theologians and philosophers debate the WHYS of Creation, and leave it to scientists to puzzle out the HOWS?

    February 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • ME II

      Hear! Hear!

      February 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Seconded!

        February 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      "To accept that all of Creation took place only 6,000 years ago causes everything we know about astronomy, biology, physics, and even higher mathematics to become meaningless at best, and an elaborate Satanic deception at worst."
      ------
      No, the Bible describes God's act of creation as forming everything in its mature state. Therefore it's impossible to date the universe by what we see, since everything was created mature so as to be able to support life.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        *support life here*

        February 5, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Saint LofA
          C'mon, tell us why you demoted yourself? You "sinned" in some disgusting manner and felt guilty about retaining your sainthood, tell us, confession is good for even a mythical soul, some think.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • St. Lawrence

          Demoted? No, different computer in another office in another town, and I just wrote it differently. There, I'll drop the "Arabia" part. Even though I still like the story... The story of how one man can make a difference in this world.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          St. Lawrence
          I am disappointed at such a simple reason. Glad you dropped "of Arabia", the real Lawrence may have made a difference but he hardly maintained Christian standards. His history of pedophile, gay behaviour and the fact he was a ruthless killer should of clued you into the fact that he was not the hero you think he was, good movie though.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
      • ME II

        @Lawrence of Arabia,
        Why is light from non-existent stars needed for life here?

        February 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          The Bible tells us that the stars were created to mark the times and the seasons, and to provide the lesser lights to govern the night.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Damocles

          @LoA

          So, you need, what, four stars to mark the seasons? Seems over the top to create billions of useless stars.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Damocles,
          Have you not heard of biodynamic agriculture?

          February 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "The Bible tells us that the stars were created to mark the times and the seasons, and to provide the lesser lights to govern the night."

          You don't need fake star light for that.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Damocles

          @LoA

          In the interest of fairness I looked up biodynamic agriculture. My tears of laughter blurred the text too much after I read using a 'cow horn stuffed with quartz' to promote growing. Sorry, but I did try.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          The kind of biodynamic agriculture I'm referring to observes the positions of the constellations in the night sky to predict proper planting, harvesting, etc... It works. There's a local farm where my wife volunteers some time that uses this growing method, and it works perfectly. Don't get mixed up in the hocus pocus of the zodiac stuff... It's the seasons, and the moon phase. Trust me, it works.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm |
        • Damocles

          @LoA

          Yes, plant according to the seasons, this has been done for quite awhile.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia,
          "The kind of biodynamic agriculture I'm referring to observes the positions of the constellations in the night sky to predict proper planting, harvesting, etc.."

          That still doesn't require fake starlight.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:42 pm |
      • Pete

        Taht anyone believes that is frightening.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Really? Why?

          February 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
      • Damocles

        What do you mean 'mature form'?

        February 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "mature form" meaning that the original created plants wouldn't have to start from seeds – they were created fully grown and bearing fruits to support life here.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:41 pm |
        • foolishmortal

          He means Adam and Even had belly buttons. That trees were created already decades old, with existing tree rings demonstrating their age; that dinosaur bones were placed in the Earth already millions of years old; canyons were created with layers of sedimentary rock AS IF they had been carved out by water over eons, etc. Therefore any signs we find of vast age are just God f-ing with us. See Omphalos hypothesis.

          High caliber nuttiness.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
        • Damocles

          @LoA

          If the trees popped into existence fully formed, why wasn't this continued? And why have anything poisonous? And why different trees? Wouldn't one fruit-bearing tree be enough?

          The diversity of life and its need to use various means, some of which are pretty haphazard, to make offspring does not speak of a perfect deity.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
      • Atheist Welcoming Committee

        Thank you, St. Larry! You have generated 37 new atheists in the past in the past ten minutes!

        February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          I'm required to preach the word, in season, and out of season.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
        • Trevor

          ....and SOLIDIFIED the beliefs of those that already are. Now I KNOW that I was right all along. Thanks Larry, for ensuring that I will always SURELY know science rules. Oh boy!!

          February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • igaftr

          LoA
          "I am required to propagate the propaganda"
          Standard brainwashing/indoctrination. get them to believe it first, then have them try to spread it.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          and i am required to challenge and ridicule you and your punk a-s-s god

          February 6, 2014 at 5:50 am |
      • Sven

        This position is every bit as irrational as believing that the universe was created last Thursday. Think about it. Prove the universe wasn't created last Thursday by an almighty God who put fake memories in your head and created your car with 90,000 miles on it. It's the same thing. Young-Earth Creationism is no better than Last-Thursdayism.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • foolishmortal

          EXACTLY. And the belief that everything was created exactly as is appears to be just last Thursday (or yesterday, or 1 nanosecond ago) is just the tiniest step away from pure solipsism. Which is just rude.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      • Piccolo

        So why did god put dinosaur fossils deep in the earth? Just to see how funny it would be when humans discovered them?

        February 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • St. Lawrence

          Dinosaurs were called by another name before the mid 19th century... Animals... And many animals go extinct every year. "Dinosaurs" were no different in that regard, and when some animals died, they created fossils. God didn't "put them there" as a means to confuse, or trick, or whatever... How ridiculous.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Piccolo

          Why are there no mixed fossil layers with dinosaur and modern creatures, then? If they all lived together at the same time you'd expect fossil layers to contain all creatures from all time periods, but this is NEVER the case.

          February 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • Sorting Mixed Nuts

        So, uh, St. Larry, where is the evidence of trees being plopped into place fully mature?

        February 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        Lawrence. As an atheist who likes to convert people, I want to thank you for your ongoing hard work.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm |
    • Matt

      Well said Mr Anziulewicz! I completely agree.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • John

      Just because the universe appears ancient, doesn't mean than evolution had time to create the diversity of species it says occurred. And just because a system or an element of a system shows something in common – doesn't necessarily mean common origin – that's flawed thinking – not good science. It's like saying because I found a jelly donut with a hole in it on Main street then the other jelly donut I found on Kerr street without one must have come to from the same bakery because they are both donuts. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't. I would also imagine that a million years from now if an evolutionary thinking society finds the bones of a Dachsund then finds the bones a a Great Dane they will come to the conclusion the Dachsund because it is smaller – or was found deeper in the muck? It must have evolved first. Throw in a bit more nonsense about commonality – essentially guesswork – not science and you come up with evolution. I'm not saying that evolution or adaption doesn't occur on a small scale – it certainly does – and is observable and measurable within certain limitations as any professional breeder in plants or animals will attest. But wait you say! Give it millions of years and ANYTHING can happen. You're right....ANYTHING can happen. So what is it that holds evolutionary forces at bay? How can there be such consistency in random mutations? How is is that two (or more) interdependent natural systems in symbiotic relationships – and the natural world has thousands of examples – simultaneously evolved by chance? That doesn't scream evolution – that screams Design my friend. We can argue until the cows come home about Who Done It but there are those of us reasonably intelligent, educated people who look around and see that Human ordered systems didn't just appear out of thin air how is it that we believe the natural world did? Forgot about whether God did it or not. The whole system and process defies logic and reason.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • foolishmortal

        The Theory of Evolution is used every day in biology to make predictions and design experiments. If the Theory of Evolution were somehow wrong almost all of modern biology would also be wrong. You seem to accept random change but have failed to grasp natural selection and adaption to a changing environment. I suggest you read The Origin of Species for a start.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
      • Which God?

        John, you really aren't that ignorant, or are you?

        February 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
    • Another Voice

      I agree with you but would advise caution with the statement "I don't think Christians do themselves any favors..." since many would interpret that to mean that believing in creationism is part of Christianity. Christianity has many denominations and most of the larger and older of those denominations do not support creationist theory.

      Extremists of every religion try to stake a claim as being the ones with the "true" belief and knowledge, just as the extremists in politics do. When we classify these extremists as "Christians" or "Muslims" as if they define the religion, we do a disservice to the massively larger percentage of believers that do not take extremist positions.

      Let's stop letting the extremists control all religious discussions by claiming the whole of the religion as their own. Call them what they are - Extremist Christians, Extremist Muslims, Extremist and let's reserve the general names for the majority.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
      • Christian Crusader

        You know what? It's very offensive and judgmental of you to categorize me as an extremist, simply because I have extreme Faith and believe every Word of the Bible as 100% literal Word of God, straight from His glorious mouth.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:21 am |
        • Observer

          Christian Crusader,

          So do you ACTUALLY support slavery, discrimination against women, discrimination against gays, discrimination against the handicapped, beating children with rods, etc. just like the Bible?

          February 6, 2014 at 2:23 am |
  10. Lawrence of Arabia

    "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."
    -------
    Christians don't have a problem with science. Actually, we love science! What we don't agree with are some of the conclusions drawn from the same data that we look at by people who would describe the origins of the universe as having created itself. (nothing can create itself, that is a logical fallacy)

    Since "origins" isn't scientific (since science involves observations, testing, etc) then any discussion of origins, whether naturally, or supernaturally, has no place in a science textbook, or a science class.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      "nothing can create itself, that is a logical fallacy"

      then who or what created your god?

      February 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
      • Name*Tiglath-Pileser

        He asked first

        February 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        God is not in the category of things created... It's like asking what does the color blue sound like?

        If you don't believe in God, then you believe that energy is eternal. Why do you have a problem with an eternal "something?"

        February 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Damocles

          And there it is.... matter/energy can not possibly be eternal, but my deity can be and is because I wish it was so.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • George

          "God is not in the category of things created"

          What kind of argument is that? The universe is not in the category of things created....Do you see the stupidity of that argument?

          February 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "then you believe that energy is eternal

          Why would energy be eternal. The universe had a start point, why can't it have an end point?

          February 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • BRC

          Lawrence of Arabia,
          You believe "God" is ever present and eternal. Science says that energy is ever present and eternal. EIther (a god or pur energy) could have been the match that lit the fuse on the big bang. There is a fair chance we will never know fo rsure (certainly not in our lifetimes). What makes yours more likely? Why is it more likely that a supernatural being that doesn't work in or follow any of the universe's rules is more likely to be a persistant factor than the energy that frames and fuels those rules?

          February 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • DK

          How convenient. When all rules of logic fail, simply create an exception.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Why would energy be eternal. The universe had a start point, why can't it have an end point?"
          ----
          That wasn't my line originally. Someone once tried to proveto me that energy is eternal – no beginning, and no end. They couldn't prove it.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Andy

          Well technically speaking, the colour blue is 475nm on the wavelength scale. So knowing 1 Hz per second would give the colour blue an audible sound (you couldn't hear) of 722,105,263.1579Hz. So in scientific terms blue does have a sound.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
        • WASP

          YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU FINALLY GET IT. "then you believe that energy is eternal."

          yes you fracking moron, energy can not be created nor destroyed.............. IT'S F-UC-KING ETERNAL.
          how do we know energy is present? you're made of atoms, which DUHHHHHH are energy.

          where is your god? is he eternal, if i killed every christian on this earth and burned your books, would your god still exsist? NO! it's all in your head. he only exsists inside the christian psychy, nowhere else. your god of gaps has been moved from mountain tops to the farthest reaches of space; why? because like the boogieman under your bed, he isn't real.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Piccolo

          According to general relativity, energy IS eternal.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Andy,
          But in all of that, I do hope you got the point of the analogy? Analogies by definition are not perfect – they are merely ment to help explain an idea. Fine, ask what the color blue tastes like?

          February 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Pete

          usually raspberry.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • John

          Nietzsche is dead. – God

          February 5, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • c-lo

          @WASP
          Thank you for clarifying that the real hatred is toward Christians. If you killed all Christians and burned all our books, yes, our God would still exist, through the Jews, who's God is one and the same as our Christian God, and if you want to push it furter, the Muslim's Alla as well, as we are all decendents from Abraham.

          So before you continue to make a fool of yourself in spouting your hatred toward the Christian faith, maybe you ought to reconsider exactly how your phrasing your rants...this is furhter scientific evidedence (observable, repeatable) that the real issue "atheist" have is not with religion, but with Christians.

          February 5, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Piccolo

          It's not hatred of Christians, it's disagreement with irrational fundamentalists.

          February 5, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Michael

          @WASP,
          'if i killed every christian on this earth and burned your books, would your god still exsist? NO! it's all in your head"

          First of all, this is a disturbing comment, but beyond that no that would not change God's existence. Saying that is like saying that if we destroyed all the textbooks and anyone who claimed to personally have met him or talked about him, then he would not exist. That is false, that just means you wouldn't have known about him, but the reality of his existence is not in question. Same with God, you can say that you know him personally and get rid of everyone who says they know Him and the Bible, but all you are doing is erasing your knowledge of Him. His existence is not in question.

          February 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
        • Michael

          ***Sorry, the first time I posted, I left out the important part of the analogy I was trying to give**

          @WASP,
          'if i killed every christian on this earth and burned your books, would your god still exsist? NO! it's all in your head"

          First of all, this is a disturbing comment, but beyond that no that would not change God's existence. Saying that is like saying that if we destroyed all the textbooks and anyone who claimed to personally have met George Washington or talked about him, then he would not exist. That is false, that just means you wouldn't have known about him, but the reality of his existence is not in question. Same with God, you can say that you know him personally and get rid of everyone who says they know Him and the Bible, but all you are doing is erasing your knowledge of Him. His existence is not in question

          February 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • Damocles

        See, I was going to ask that, but I've grown rather tired of the whole 'oh, my deity exists outside of space/time and is the uncreated creator (whatever the hell that means)'.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          So... God is not eternal, but natural matter is? How do you know? Everything that we can observe exhibits qualities of mutability, and anything that is mutable is not eternal.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm |
        • Name*Tiglath-Pileser

          Yea, really, because this point we understand everything...

          February 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Saint LofA
          You demoted yourself, did you do something disgusting, like a "sin", what ever that is, tell us all the details. You could be honest and just say you do know where the hell god came from, if you will not admit "it/he/her" came from the minds of men.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Oops ....do not know

          February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Damocles

          @LoA

          Ahhh... so since religious beliefs mutate to conform to the individual, we can say that a deity would not be eternal?

          February 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
        • Piccolo

          "So... God is not eternal, but natural matter is? How do you know? Everything that we can observe exhibits qualities of mutability, and anything that is mutable is not eternal."

          And how do you know that god is eternal? If god can be eternal, then the universe can be as well. It's that simple. Your way doesn't automatically win because an ancient storybook says so.

          February 5, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • Michael

        Really good points made by Lawrence of Arabia. Dyslexic doG, I completely understand your point and it is sometimes hard for our finite minds to comprehend, mine included even as a Christian, to wrap our heads around the idea of eternity and things being eternal. Most things that we deal with in life have a definitive beginning and end. However, whether you profession a belief in God or not, you believe in the eternal, because it is just as mind boggling to think that there was ever a time when there was absolutely nothing. What does absolutely nothing look like, sound like, feel like? I guess nothing, but my point is it is just as mind boggling as eternity is. The Bible teaches that God is an eternal being, therefore He was never created by anybody, truth is if He was created, then He wouldn't be God. So Lawrence of Arabia's point is not disputed by your point. Even if you don't want to believe in God, you still believe something like energy was eternal, without creation.

        "nothing can create itself, that is a logical fallacy" is a true statement. There is nothing else other than creation of the universe and the living things in it that you would accept the answer it created itself. You would not say that car created itself or formed over millions of year and just appeared one day after evolving from a lugnut. That is illogical, so why is it illogical to assume that the universe and human beings and animals which are way more complex than a car has a creator?

        February 5, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      LoA: Your lack of comprehension of evolution doesn't mean it is wrong....it merely makes you ignorant but what can we expect from someone who thinks women should be controlled and kept barefoot and pregnant??

      February 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
    • WASP

      i am going to save myself the headache of explaining science to another complete and utter doofus as you "arabia", you have failed at this station.

      how on earth can so many "educated" humans be sooooooooooooooooooo complete stupid?
      SCIENCE HAS MULTIPLE FIELDS THAT COMPLIMENT EACH OTHER.

      read more than one or two fields of study and for crying out f-uc-king loud put down the old book of lies.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Atheists keep telling me that they can be "good without God." Is this an example? If it is, I do hope that you don't teach your children to mock those who disagree with you. Or perhaps it is true, one cannot be moral without God.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
        • Barcs

          Anybody that lies and promotes their faith as fact or attempts to deny a field of science without presenting scientific evidence that contradicts it, deserves every bit of ridicule they get. Intellectual and academic honesty is important in today's world and leads to thousands upon thousands of new discoveries that make our lives better.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm |
        • Pete

          The people who belive in a yong Earth in the face of all of the evidence proving otherwise deserve to be mocked.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • WASP

          nah this is what happen when i have to re-teach elementary school science to a whole butt load of ADULTS. i get stressed and vent. i'm human without a god and allowed to vent my internal anger that prevents me from taking another annoying christians head off their shoulder physically................to answer yes i'm a violent person and i really don't give two cents if i was the only persont hat could save you, i would let you die; it would help the gene-pool later on.

          there is a point to where ignorance, fall into the realm of just flatout stupid. you are on here every fracking day with the same BS every fracking day, so yes you little carp, you do get annoying. how fu-cking stupid can you truly be? everyone has taken time to explain things to you, and you still don't get it.

          YOUR GOD IS A LIE. YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO YOUR WHOLE LIFE.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • pm ohio

          Hate to burst your little bubble, but this isn't a debate of the validity of your "ghost God", but whether creationism should be taught in science class. It should only be taught in theology or sociology classes. The point isn't to argue the merits of your unprovable diety, but whether our children should be confused into thinking creationism is science. It is not.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • sam stone

          do you teach your children to bloviate proxy threats in the name of god, larry?

          if so, how is that any better than mocking someone for their beliefs?

          February 6, 2014 at 5:54 am |
      • Dave

        And they complement each other, too.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm |
      • Big Joe

        Would you mind refraining from posting about certain classes of people being unintelligent when you are unable to form coherent sentences or use the correct spelling of COMPLEMENT when referring to two things making a more complete thing.

        Unless of course you MEANT to say that biology sees chemistry walking down the hall and tells is that it likes its tie?

        February 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
    • Peter

      This is the classic creationist shell game: Attack evolution for what it does not do (claim to explain the origins of things).

      I heard Bill Nye openly admit, nobody knows how matter was created. Science doesn't claim to do this.

      It would be just a smidgen harder to dismiss this creationist nonsense if you guys at least has the integrity to frame the argument properly.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm |
      • Oh Brother ^

        Every science textbook I have ever read in fact DOES attempt to tell us where matter comes from. Right after they present the provable aspects of evolution (adaptation within a species) they throw in the conjecture (transition from species to species, abiogenises). They use several failed experiments that "prove" life came from nothing such as the Urey/Miller expirement (which actually proved nothing and created death, not life) That is the biggest problem that people have with they way it is taught.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
        • Sister

          Hey Brother, Could you please link me to the book you are referring to?

          February 6, 2014 at 2:29 am |
        • Saraswati

          Please cite one single biology text book that claims to have "proof" of the origin of life. ONE.

          Science doesn't provide proofs and any book or article that claims more than a mathematical proof would not pass peer review.

          February 6, 2014 at 6:05 am |
        • Peter

          First of all, where life comes from and where matter comes from are two different things. You are confusing them.

          Second, hypotheses and claims of proof are two different things. You are confusing them.

          Even if I grant you that certain hypotheses prevalent among scientists are based on scanty evidence, that is not in any way an argument that the Bible is literally true. But that's pretty much the creationist line. They have no real evidence of their own outside of the Bible, and their reasoning is that "Science is wrong or baseless in this claim, ergo . . . " It's ridiculous.

          February 6, 2014 at 8:22 am |
        • Peter

          And to be clear, Oh Brother: I have no problem with a criticism of how science is taught. But that is not an argument for creationism.

          I don't get any sense creationists are concerned with reforming science. They are not merely raising questions.

          February 6, 2014 at 8:27 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Some of them are up front about it, Peter. For them it's about bringing souls to Christ.

          February 6, 2014 at 8:29 am |
    • Andy

      I don't know what blue would tastes like, but what evidence is there that it doesn't indeed have a taste? My point is you use a lack of information on your part as solid evidence that something can't be a certain way. If you record electromagnetic radiation from space you get music. If you analyze matter like hydrogen you get a colour. So the only analogy you are stating is that you don't know the electromagnetic nature of the universe. I don't see any proof or idea to support anything you say based on your lack of understanding. I however do see proof that evolution would condition each sense in the most optimal manner to be relevant to survival of the fittest.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
      • foolishmortal

        Blue has a taste to some people. See synesthesia.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
        • Sister

          Blue tastes like ecto cooler, but in a blue way.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:32 am |
    • Thomas

      Agreed. Origins can never be proven – only suggested. Even if proven, knowledge of our origins is in no way relevant to modern scientific pursuits. So long as any scientist keeps his present research consistent with the methods that science has established, he can believe the universe began with the mating of two extra-dimensional antelopes and the results will be no different.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • Christian Crusader

      LOA you are my hero! You are so right. We Christians Love science! It is the perfect tool for spreading God's Word. Don't get it mixed up. Computers and internet are perfect examples of operational science that God supports. Evilution, however, is pure speculation. I mean I might as well get a history lesson from Daffy Duck.

      February 6, 2014 at 2:25 am |
  11. Vicki

    Last night as I was watching the debate on our computer, I was thinking was a great job Tom did as Moderator. You were very respectful of both men and what they had to say and I appreciate that very much. It was so nice to watch a debate with two educated men that did not bash each other. Hope you got home safely!

    February 5, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
    • Topher

      Yes. Good job.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      I think that most of us agree that Tom Foreman did a nice job.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • Devil's Advocate

      I think he did a horrible job.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        You would! 😉

        February 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
  12. silvertop

    Tom Foreman did a good job.
    Nye's premises is all wrong about children believing in creation are behind in the world of Science, thus the idea should be abolished. My co-horts, many have PhD degrees beleive in God's creation. Their studies and exposures to Science only reinforce their belief, that the universe and living organisms are distinctively designed. I have one friend reitred from JPL involed in NASA projects, one still working there. One marine biologist professor, one Math professor, medical doctors, and more. If humans were not designed by a higher authority, how can each individual's DNA be uniquely different among the human species, especially different than the other animals; how can the life sustaining elements be constantly available and exist in exact formulations: O, H, C etc. water is always 2 atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen; sugar, fats, grains, and any bio-chemical products can be broken down to their simplest forms of elements, but can be re-constructed with specific ( not by chance) formula. ( Just by memory of elementary bio-chemistry class decades ago).
    It's people's choice to believe or not; but Christianity does not impede children's interest and curiosity in Science.
    My kind of conservatives are very interested in knowledge, and our offsprings are taught that.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm |
    • Shootmyownfood

      Sadly, your argument loses validity due to your abysmal grammar and spelling. It makes it hard for anyone to believe you work with people who hold advanced degrees, as it is apparent that you do not.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • WASP

      did you "design" your child? or did you bonk/get bonked to reproduce a random offspring of your own species?
      does that offspring exactly look like in in every physical way? or are they taller,shorter,fatter,slimmer? do they have different pigment of hair, or maybe different pigment to their eyes?

      it's a random mesh of genetics that create offspring (children) and that is all left to chance about how they will look and function in our current enviroment. depending on enviromental changes we may see humans increase in body hair(furr) or a loss of more body hair.
      wait here is something new! (sacasim) humans do have different pigments and amounts of body hair due to the enviroments our ancestors developed in. if you don't know that please do some more research.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
    • George

      "If humans were not designed by a higher authority, how can each individual's DNA be uniquely different among the human species, especially different than the other animals; how can the life sustaining elements be constantly available and exist in exact formulations: O, H, C etc. water is always 2 atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen; sugar, fats, grains, and any bio-chemical products can be broken down to their simplest forms of elements, but can be re-constructed with specific ( not by chance) formula."

      WOW, what primitive thinking! Are you from the stone age?!? Biochemistry and chemistry explains these issues very easily....

      February 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
    • ah!

      Heavy water.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
    • Piccolo

      Um, he didn't say it should be abolished. He said that it shouldn't be taught in science class because IT'S NOT SCIENCE. We aren't talking about scientists that believe in god, we are talking about young earth creationism, which does not have any validity in science whatsoever. DNA being uniquely different proves evolution because tens of thousands of mutations take place during conception. There's nothing wrong with believing Christianity, but denial of science or promoting dinosaurs living with humans as a fact is absurd.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm |
  13. LaVerne Wheeler

    I am still trying to find out why these schools of thought have to be mutually exclusive – neither side has in fact heard from God, and it is preposterous to believe any God would demand his subjects remain in ignorance. The whole "Tree of Knowledge" part of the Garden story remains a philosophical debate within religion. Any thinking human knows their God wants them to learn as much as possible about the world in which they live. There are some things that inherently make sense and others that, like Cinderella's sister's feet, can be cut here and shaved there in order to make them fit. The remains of ancient humans have been found and dated. The remains of ancient animal fossils have been found and dated. It is patently obvious from the dating that Triceretops and Neanderthal did not walk side by side. Mr. Ham can believe whatever he chooses, but I suspect he believes what works. I am willing to bet he does not try to cross the street against the light nor he does gaze directly into the sun. In other words, he is willing to accept science when believing otherwise would bring him direct physical harm, he is willing to "believe" whatever it takes so he can get other folks to help him create a J-O-B and a salary from his 'Creation Museum'.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
    • igaftr

      "Any thinking human knows their God wants them to learn as much as possible about the world in which they live"

      false. I am a thinking human and have never seen any evidence that any gods exist.
      Otherwise, well stated.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Any thinking human knows their God wants them to learn as much as possible about the world in which they live."
      This contradicts some of the main points of Judeo Christian theology.
      The original sin for which mankind is forever cursed is attaining awareness.
      When mankind worked together towards a common goal, God destoryed the work and sowed confusion by ensuring humans could no longer communicate effectively.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
  14. bostontola

    Another crucial debate topic:
    The earth was created before the Sun, or the earth formed in the Sun's accretion disc.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      can we find any bronze age experts on the subject to ask? They would know for sure!

      February 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
    • Jesus' Beloved

      The scripture says in Gen 1:1 that God CREATED, and "created" is translated from the Hebrew word: bara.
      However, in verse 16, it says that God MADE and this is translated from a different Hebrew word: asah.

      Question: In verse 16, did God make the sun, moon, and stars – OR DID HE MAKE THEM TO DO SOMETHING.

      What was the "something" that he MADE them to do?
      God MADE the sun TO RULE the day.
      He MADE the moon TO RULE the night.
      How did He bring about this rule – by fine tuning cloud dispersion, rotation of the earth, and orbital tilt of the earth for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

      Ex. when we say, "My boss made me work overtime."
      Does it mean that he created me? Or, does it mean my boss mad me do something?

      Fr: Articles of Configuration

      February 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm |
      • pm ohio

        Hate to burst your little bubble, but this isn't a debate of the validity of your "ghost God", but whether creationism should be taught in science class. It should only be taught in theology or sociology classes. The point isn't to argue the merits of your unprovable diety, but whether our children should be confused into thinking creationism is science. It is not.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Clearly, I was responding to bostonola. If he had asked the question you're posing, then yes, I would agree that "creationism" should be taught under Religious Education or Religious Studies as it obviously does not fall under Science.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
      • igaftr

        You clearly have not been on this planet very long.
        "he made the moon to rule the night"

        Ha ha ha ha ha...the moon is on its own schedule and often appears during the day. Your assertion is observationally and patently false.

        The rest of it is pretty silly as well.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          and while the moon appears during the day (as it clearly is right now), it certainly does NOT rule the day. The sun does.

          February 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Sister

          Ah, but what about a solar eclipse? That would surely be an example of the moon ruling during the day. Plus, how do you explain the new moon? What's the point of a new moon, if the moon was intended to rule the night. Godfail!

          February 6, 2014 at 2:39 am |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    Please stop posting that both sides have a case here and thinking you are being a voice of reason!

    Science has mountains of evidence and mountains of proof pointing to the way things began and the way things have evolved and the way things work. Science being science, it is always looking for more evidence to expand on our understanding and confirm our understanding of the mountains of proof that things work a certain way.

    Christianity has one old, contradictory, factually woeful, massively fanciful book written by uneducated and very primitive bronze age desert dwelling goat herders that say a magical man in the sky just willed it into existence. NO proof. NO evidence. Just a story.

    I'll leave you to decide which way the scales tip on that.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • ck

      I'm sensing 1st amendment infringement......at least you asked 'Please'

      February 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        I'm very polite. 🙂

        February 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
    • foolishmortal

      Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Baa

    No matter what your beliefs are, the most important take away from this debate in my mined is that both men "presented their arguments calmly and respectfully. Neither tried to shout the other down." Debate, discussion, talk on any subject can be done in a respectfully manner.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • geroge washington

      Now, if our politicians and media sources could do that, then maybe there is hope.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
  17. Joel

    Science is the pursuit of truth through the application of the "Scientific Method". In order for this to work, as Bill Nye pointed out there have to be natural laws established and provable, repeatable and predictive of future experimental results that hold up to peer review by the whole world of true scientists. Biblical creationism just does not hold up to this scrutiny. Use the bible for what it was intended, moral stories of how people should act, although current societal norms would certainly preclude stoning and other current justice and civil rights departures from the rigid teachings/interpretations of the bible. Remember that many zealots have their own interpretations of the bible, Koran. Some cultures interpret these writings to mean you can kill your children for perceived honor violations against the family, jihad against any perceived non believers, women's subservient place in life. I don't believe any of this could stand up to peer review.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      there are over 41,000 sects of the Christian cult. Not even Christians can agree on what their book means.

      If it's the word of god then he's one pitiful communicator.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
      • Name*Tiglath-Pileser

        Or it's the way he intended it, in which case he did a great job, but I'm sure you have the answers. (PS, apparently this will be news to you but many scientists don't agree either)

        February 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm |
        • King of Darkness

          They all agree that evolution is a fact. That's for sure.

          February 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Derek

          How convenient, once again, that something that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever can be explained away with an argument that can't be refuted. "God intended it to be confusing!" Uh...ok. "God intended it to not make any sense whatsoever! What's more, you are not allowed to ask why!"

          February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
    • callnews

      Elemental decay dating methods do not hold up to observable scrutiny. Archeological findings do not hold up to observable scrutiny for predicting events that happened at the time of origin. What Bill Nye said twice in the debate is true concerning origins. We don't know where consciousness itself came from. If there was a "Big Bang", where did the atoms that got there come from? "We Don't Know.". It's true, you have to decide whether to believe the account of the Bible,
      but Bill Nye, and every other man doesn't know. Almost all of the scientists who established the provable natural laws that govern modern science agreed with explanation in the Bible, and the fact that they with there senses and mechanisms for aiding their senses could not answer these questions that the Bible answers. Some people just don't like the idea of being told what they don't know. It's a matter of being responsible with the truth.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:35 pm |
      • Pete

        The Bible claims to have the answers, but science has shown that a lot of those answers are wrong.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:44 pm |
      • ThinkRationally

        "..they with there senses and mechanisms for aiding their senses could not answer these questions that the Bible answers."

        Anyone can provide an answer. The tricky part is determining if that answer has any shred of credibility or probability. It may comfort you to have answers, but that lends nothing toward determining whether they are true. It is very like, as with 99.9% of religious people, believe what's in the bible for a single reason–you were taught to.

        I think it takes more honesty to admit to that which you don't know than it does to claim your book has all the answers. Admitting you don't know or understand something is the spark of investigation and discovery. Without, we'd be stuck learning nothing new, as we were for many centuries.

        " It's a matter of being responsible with the truth."

        It sure is. The sooner you learn this the better.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • ThinkRationally

          Correction: "It is very likeLY THAT YOU, as with 99.9%..."

          February 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
    • DCBuck

      Evolution has also never been replicated using the scientific method.

      February 5, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
      • Barcs

        LIE!

        http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

        February 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
      • pm ohio

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHA...DCBUCK, yes it has on both plants and animals...natural selection and genetic mutation happen all the time. Ever hear of "super bugs?" Viruses mutate (evolve) based on thier surroundings all the time. This is 2014, stop listening to the ignorant non-scientists, to get your information about science...or trying to remember your lessons in 1960 something science class. Go on line and look up "evolution" or "scientific method" or any number of millions of scientific evidence that evolution is fact and is happenening every day in our changing environment.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Immortal Technique

          I would never expect to learn about science from a preacher, just as I wouldn't expect to learn about religion from a scientist.

          February 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
      • Joel

        The observation of the world around you contradicts your assertion. Evolution has thus far been very predictive and no contradictions have been found other than help to refine the theory itself.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
  18. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    I bet Australians are happy that Ken Ham moved to Kentucky.

    February 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      we are!

      February 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
      • L

        Doggy, how many times do I have to tell you! Get back to your cage! Bad dog!

        February 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Do they not teach manners in the trailer park?

          February 5, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • bostontola

      smiling

      February 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
  19. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Bill Nye: "Were fish sinners?"

    ROTFLMAO!

    February 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm |
    • Barcs

      I'm surprised creationists don't fight to ban zoos. I mean how many times do you go there and see those hornball monkeys doing it? They are all sinners!!!

      February 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
      • Name*Tiglath-Pileser

        I'm surprised Scientists don't fight to ban Zoos, apparently many of their relatives are being illegally imprisoned.

        February 5, 2014 at 1:35 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.