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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.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

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

February 4th, 2014
10:05 PM ET

Creation debate recap: Science, religion and terrible jokes

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Did you miss the debate between creationist Ken Ham and Bill "The Science Guy" Nye?

Don't worry, we've got you covered.

The debate was moderated by CNN's Tom Foreman, and, if there's one thing both sides can agree on, it's that he did a swell job.

Here's almost everything else you need to know, from Genesis to um, Revelation.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Evolution • Science • Uncategorized

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

Bill Nye: Why I'm debating creationist Ken Ham

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

Opinion by Bill Nye, Special to CNN

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

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

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

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

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

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

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

Ken Ham: Why I'm debating Bill Nye about creationism
Bill Nye and Ken Ham will debate the origins of life Tuesday at the Creation Museum.
February 3rd, 2014
01:15 PM ET

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

Editors note: Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye on February 4 at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, with CNN's Tom Foreman moderating. The debate will be livestreamed at CNN.com at 7 pm ET, and Piers Morgan Live will interview Ham and Nye on Tuesday at 9 ET.

WATCH TUESDAY NIGHT'S DEBATE HERE: http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/cvplive/cvpstream1.html

Opinion by Ken Ham, special to CNN

(CNN) - Public debates on evolution and creation have become increasingly rare. Several hundred well-attended debates were held in the 1970s and 1980s, but they have largely dried up in recent decades.

So I look forward to a spirited yet cordial debate on Tuesday with Bill Nye, the "Science Guy" of television fame.

I also look forward to the opportunity to help counter the general censorship against creationists' view of origins. While we are not in favor of mandating that creation be taught in public school science classes, we believe that, at the very least, instructors should have the academic freedom to bring up the problems with evolution.

Even though the two of us are not Ph.D. scientists, Mr. Nye and I clearly love science.

As a former science instructor, I have appreciated the useful television programs that he hosted and produced, especially when he practiced operational science in front of his audience.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

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

Vatican seeks to rebrand its relationship with science
Pope Francis graduated as a chemical technician before moving on to study philosophy, psychology and theology.
April 11th, 2013
03:13 PM ET

Vatican seeks to rebrand its relationship with science

By Florence Davey-Attlee, CNN

(CNN) - Dropping to his knees before the 10 cardinals of the Inquisition, dressed in the white shirt of penitence, Galileo Galilei was forced to retract his "heretic" theory that the Earth moved around the Sun. Threatened with torture and interrogated for 18 days, the scientist, who was imprisoned in the 17th century, promised to never again teach the theory and spent the rest of his life under house arrest in his small farmhouse outside of Florence.

Galileo's fate was very different from that of other scientists at the time of the Inquisition. Some were executed for threatening the church's teachings. Italian astronomer Giordano Bruno, an Italian philosopher who argued that the universe was infinite, was burned at the stake.

Now in 2013, as Pope Francis settles into his new role as leader of the Catholic Church, the Vatican's head of science is urging a re-think of the "mischaracterization" of the relationship between the church and science.

The Vatican would like the world to see how much this relationship has changed.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Francis • Science

Medical advice from the Dalai Lama's doctor
A Tibetan temple. Tibetan doctors think we get sick when our physical, psychological and spiritual well-being are out of balance.
December 5th, 2012
07:49 AM ET

Medical advice from the Dalai Lama's doctor

By Jen Christensen, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - A young girl bravely stood to ask the Dalai Lama's doctor a question, and he gave her an unusual answer.

Dr. Tsewang Tamdin, a world-renowned expert in Tibetan medicine, visited Emory University in Atlanta on Monday as part of his effort to reach more American medical practitioners. He wants to develop collaborative projects between the Tibetan medicine system, which is more than 2,500 years old, and Western medicine.

The little girl told Tamdin she suffered from asthma. She wanted to know if there was anything in Tibetan medicine that could help her get better.

Tamdin, who spoke through a translator for the hourlong lecture, immediately switched to English. In a gentle, almost too-soft tone, he explained what might help.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Buddhism • Dalai Lama • Faith & Health

November 23rd, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Explaining the Pope's Christmas debunking book

(CNN)–CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi explains how the Pope's new book challenges long held Christmas traditions.

Read the full story on the Pope's new book here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Christianity • Jesus • Pope Benedict XVI • TV-CNN Newsroom

Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist's as claimed, scientists say
A reliquary box thought to have been used to carry the bones of John the Baptist.
June 22nd, 2012
07:55 AM ET

Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist's as claimed, scientists say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN)– When the tools of modern science are applied to religious relics, the results are almost always the same: Science says the relics aren't what their supporters claim.

The most famous of them all, the Turin Shroud, is widely regarded as a Middle Ages forgery, and even the Catholic Church does not insist the shroud was actually used to wrap the body of Jesus himself.

So when Bulgarian archeologists announced two years ago that they had found the bones of John the Baptist, Tom Higham was skeptical.

He got a surprise.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity

Justices deny review over students' religious messages in classroom
June 11th, 2012
05:08 PM ET

Justices deny review over students' religious messages in classroom

By Bill Mears, CNN

Washington (CNN) - In what have become known as the "Jesus pencil" and "candy cane" cases, the Supreme Court refused Monday to consider appeals from the families of elementary school students over distribution of religious-themed gifts on campus.

At issue was whether school officials can be sued for violating the First Amendment rights of what the students claimed was their "private, non-curricular speech based solely upon its religious viewpoint."

A federal appeals court had ruled in favor of school officials in Plano, Texas,on the liability question, and the justices without comment let that decision stand.

The full 16-judge panel from the New Orleans-based court last September concluded while the constitutional rights of the students were violated, school administrators could not be sued under the "qualified immunity" legal standard. The litigation continues on other aspects of two separate incidents nine years ago, both involving schools at the Plano Independent School District in the Dallas suburb.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state

April 27th, 2012
02:52 PM ET

Teacher who was fired after fertility treatments sues diocese

By Leigh Remizowski, CNN

(CNN) - A teacher at a Catholic school in Indiana is suing the diocese where she worked after being fired because the in vitro fertilization treatments she received were considered against church teachings.

Emily Herx, a former English teacher at St. Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne, filed a federal lawsuit against the school and the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

She says in the suit filed Friday that she was discriminated against in 2011 after the school's pastor found out that she had begun treatments with a fertility doctor, according to the complaint.

Herx says the school's priest called her a "grave, immoral sinner" and told her she should have kept mum about her fertility treatments because some things are "better left between the individual and God," the complaint said.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • TV-CNN Newsroom

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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.

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