These are my thoughts on the recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye
I am a creationist. I agree with the central premise that Ken Ham put forth: God created the world by the breath of his mouth and the work of his hands. But not just that! I am also a student of science, a lover of the natural world, and I also almost entirely agree with Bill Nye. The truth is, I don’t see science and religion to be at odds and as much as I affirm the existence of God, I also affirm the principles of science because I will observe this world with eyes that search for principles, a mind that looks for order, and a belief that through observation we as people might learn about the functioning of reality. I love science. So faith and science are two things that are integral to my character, and because they have both shaped the way I view reality, I find that this farce of a debate is perpetuating a false view of a necessity of conflict on the nature and reality of truth.
I started this with the statement that I am a creationist, and I am. As a firm Christian I affirm that God created the world. Therefore, it would be totally inconsistent to believe in an omnipotent God and not believe that God created. So I make assertions that science has thus far been unable to observe: the world began because of God, order is an underlying reality of the universe, and life has an intrinsic purpose beyond mere existentialism. These are untestable claims and God is an untestable reality. Where science is and must be observation and inference, untestable and up observable realities cannot by the nature of science be proven or disproven. To prove or disprove a creative God is beyond the tools and means if science. Therefore, I argue that That this world was made for the purposes of a being that transcends reality, a being that gives order to the functioning of the universe and allows for the very rules and principles of science to function.
I am also a scientist and to this end I am so happy that Bill Nye made a firm distinction between the vast majority of religious and the followers of the “Ken Ham theory of creation,” and I lament how Ken Ham utterly discredited all other Christians by calling his teachings “Biblical Creationism.” I am a creationist, but I am not a young earth creationist. Ken Ham holds at his core an untestable reality, but he makes testable and false claims. The very nature of science is that it is rooted in observation; it is rooted in starting with data and building inferences. It makes utterly no sense to observe a 10,000-year-old tree and go “this tree must have only existed for 6,000 years because the Bible says so.” It makes even less sense to assert that there is a difference between “observational and historical” science. Science is only observation, that is to say, while Mr. Ham might be right about the creation of a mature world, such a concept seriously undermines the concept of knowledge (for who is not to say that you weren’t created in the middle of reading this post with all your memories) and I am forced to reject such a premise outright without further reason to believe it. We can only observe the past and so all science is historical, and all science is observational. To say otherwise is to undermine the principle of science as observation. I refuse to affirm a belief that utterly denies observation for a single interpretation of scripture and fits data into a model rather than builds models from data. So I strongly urge Christians to learn both about science and about theology (because, I must say that I makes for a great but sad irony to see sermons from a person who supports an old earth on a page dedicated to the redefinition of science run by Ken Ham). Truly, I am a creationist, but I am not a creationists that forgoes the principles of science and the tools by which we study this world.
There is one question asked that defines what really matters. “What is the one thing that would dissuade from what I hold to be true.” I fully agree with Bill Nye and the nature of science with regards to what I may believe about the natural world. Show me the evidence and I will change; this is the nature of science. However, Ken Ham’s answer I found gravely lacking because really his answer should be the same as Bill Nye: show me the evidence – show me a dead Jesus Christ. Christians hold as the central premise of faith, not the creation account, but rather that God took on flesh so that we as people might find life, and not just that but also that Jesus rose from the dead. The ultimate blow to Christianity would be a dead Christ. I firmly believe that Jesus Christ did die, but also that he rose from the dead that we as people might not have death but rather life. And it is my firm hope that this absurd farce of a debate would not dissuade anyone from the Christian faith and it is always my hope that all may come to see Jesus as something more than a moral teacher, but as the very Son of God come to give life to those who believe. This is Christianity; it is the Christianity that I live and the Christianity I share and the Christianity that I hope that all, that you, might join so that all might find life.