Saturday, January 18, 2014

God's QC 11.0: Nye - Ham Debate

In this series I discuss my thoughts on the debate, on Feb 4, 2014, between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham, President and CEO of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The topic of the debate is stated on the Answers In Genesis website as, "Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?" I've begun the series in advance of the event, in order to discuss some points that were brought up beforehand on the Creation Museum's YouTube channel.

The debate's origins lie in an interview with Bill Nye, published in August 2012 on the YouTube channel BigThink, in which Nye made the following suggestion to superstitious parents:
"If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it."
About a week after the BigThink video appeared, the Creation Museum posted two response videos on its YouTube channel, one video featuring Ken Ham and the other featuring two of his staff members, Doctors David Menton and Georgia Purdom. Ham wastes the first sixty seconds of his video grumbling about Bill Nye and his agenda, but he does finally get around to one of his central points, a point that I suspect will come up in the debate:
"You can divide science into historical science—that's talking about the past, or observational science—that's the science that builds our technology."
Ham mentions this three more times in the next three minutes, so it seems that it's an important point for him. Dr Purdom elaborates:
"Bill Nye is confusing observational science with historical science. Observational science is what I call "here-and-now" science. It gives us inventions and technology; we can observe, test, and repeat it. Historical science deals with the past, and both evolution and creation fall into that category. We cannot test, observe, or repeat them."
It's possible that Ham and his pals got these notions about observational and historical science from a 2007 biology textbook called Explore Evolution: The Case For And Against Neo-Darwinism. The book says that in the historical sciences, claims about past events can't be verified. I think this must be where Ken Ham gets the idea, spelled out by Dr Purdom, that creationism and evolutionary theory are on an equal scientific footing. In the next video, I'll show just how far this idea is from the truth. That's 11.0. Thanks for watching.

No comments:

Post a Comment