Ham-on-Nye debate pits atheists, creationists

Promotion photo for the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham.


Promotion photo for the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham.

Photo courtesy of

Promotion photo for the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham.

(RNS) Bill Nye may be “The Science Guy,” but Ken Ham is the “Answers in Genesis” man, and a debate between the two over the origins of life has nonbelievers and Christians wringing their hands.

Nye, host of a beloved television science series, and Ham, president of a creationist apologetics ministry, will meet at the Creation Museum, where Ham is also the president, on Feb. 4. In what some wags are calling “the Ham-on-Nye debate,” they will weigh this question: “Is creation a viable model of origins?”

In truth, both sides answered that question long ago — Nye with Charles Darwin’s work on the origin of species and Ham with the first book of the Bible. Yet many observers — both religious and nonreligious — say the debate is a very bad idea.

“Scientists should not debate creationists. Period,” wrote Dan Arel on the Richard Dawkins Foundation’s website. “There is nothing to debate.”

Arel, a secular advocate, is echoing the position of Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and outspoken atheist who has long refused to debate creationists.

“Winning is not what the creationists realistically aspire to,” Dawkins said in 2006. “For them, it is sufficient that the debate happens at all. They need the publicity. We don’t. To the gullible public which is their natural constituency, it is enough that their man is seen sharing a platform with a real scientist.”

In a twist that might surprise Ham and Nye, some Christians find themselves agreeing with Dawkins.

“It is this huge stereotype that all Christians reject science and an event like this reinforces that stereotype,” said Deborah Haarsma, president of the BioLogos Foundation, an organization whose motto is “science and faith in harmony.” “It looks like science versus Christianity and it ignores the people who have accepted the science of evolution and have not let go of their faith.”

And that is a considerable number of people. A 2013 Pew Research Center poll found 60 percent of Americans believe “humans have evolved over time” while 33 percent reject that statement. Of those who believe in evolution, 24 percent say they also believe “a supreme being” used evolution to create life forms.

Bill Nye, host of the beloved television science series "Bill Nye the Science Guy". Photo courtesy of Bill Nye the Science Guy

Bill Nye, host of the beloved television science series “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Photo courtesy of Bill Nye the Science Guy

“A debate like this sets up a false choice” between science and religion for viewers, Haarsma said. “We don’t want them to have to choose.”

Other Christians are concerned that Nye, an inexperienced debater with a background in engineering, will not perform well against Ham, a skilled debater. Tyler Francke, a 25-year-old Christian who writes about the intersection of science and religion at the blog The God of Evolution, said he knows many “young Earth creationists,” as Ham and his supporters are called, and that the presentation of scientific evidence alone is not enough to persuade them.

“Young-Earth proponents like Ham have all kinds of tricks they play to make their view seem reasonable,” he said. “They claim they don’t ignore evidence they just look at it with a different lens.  … Bill Nye seems to be a very smart man, and I’m confident that he’ll come prepared. But if he shows up expecting a fair fight purely on the basis of what the available evidence most reasonably indicates, I think he’s going to be sorely mistaken.”

Nye may be an inexperienced debater, but he has a background in entertainment. He has hosted six popular science television shows — including the irreverent and informative “Bill Nye the Science Guy” — and appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” — where he was the first contestant to get the hook in its 17th season.

“Bill Nye is not a professional scientist; he is an entertainer and a science communicator,” said Joshua Rosenau, policy director at the National Center for Science Education, an advocacy group that discourages scientists from debating creationists. “So I am optimistic this could turn out better than some others. But don’t try this at home, kids.”

Both men have described their reasons for engaging in the challenge. Nye, an agnostic, told The Huffington Post he hopes “to show people that this belief (creationism) is still among us and it finds its way onto school boards.”

Indeed, there have been four laws introduced at the state level that challenge evolution in public school science curricula just this year — two in Missouri, one in Virginia and one in Oklahoma, according to the National Center for Science Education. Currently, laws in Texas, Louisiana and Tennessee permit the teaching of “alternatives” to evolution.

Ken Ham, president of a creation science apologetics ministry.

Photo courtesy of Creation Museum

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, a creation science apologetics ministry.

As for Ham, he has said he extended the debate invitation to Nye out of concern that young people are too quick to dismiss creation in favor of evolution. But critics note another reason — the financial rewards of increased media attention. The Creation Museum is up against a deadline for raising $29 million in municipal bonds to construct a proposed replica of Noah’s Ark. Even if he loses the debate, critics say, Ham wins at the bank.

In fact, the debate, which will be held in the Creation Museum’s 900-seat Legacy Hall in Petersburg, Ky., sold out its $25 tickets within minutes. The museum will stream the event live and for free.

But while some of the strongest voices against the debate have come from the non belief community, some nonbelievers are looking for a silver lining.

Maggie Ardiente, director of development and communications for the American Humanist Association, went to so far as to say she wishes the debate had been her idea.

“It is very simple,” she said. “I am looking at statistics (like the Pew Research Center’s poll) and they tell me people like Ken Ham and other creationists are being very effective and that is a serious problem. We can’t just ignore that. We have to challenge people like Ken Ham so I support the debate 100 percent.”

Debbie Goddard, director of outreach for the Center for Inquiry, another humanist organization that supports science education, is less certain. She said she was “originally on the fence” when she heard about the debate, concerned it would only attract the already convinced, but has reconsidered.

“If we don’t let their ideas see the light of day we can’t develop the tools to address them,” she said. “And we don’t just need the tools of facts and evidence, but also of understanding their views and compassion for them if we want to be effective at changing their minds.”


About the author

Kimberly Winston

Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


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  • I can’t wait to hear the creationist arguments. Even if Bill cannot knock them down during the debate, there will always be time to refute them with evidence, or disable them for lack thereof. Bring it on!

  • I have no idea who will actually win this debate, but this Darwin cultist “Bill Nye” is gonna get put through the wringer! Wring him up good, Mr. Ham!

  • The notion that anyone would defend ‘creationism’ at all is ridiculous.
    We should be an advanced country by now!

    Instead it is all Dark Ages and monks in caves.

  • “A debate like this sets up a false choice” between science and religion for viewers, Haarsma said. “We don’t want them to have to choose.”


    This is a debate where religion will and must lose. Just google religion debates on Youtube and watch every proponent of religion just founder in disgrace. The pro-god movement is coming to an end.

    You are either on the side of Voodoo and magical incantations
    or Rationality and using reason to find out what is true.

  • I learned long ago that you can’t use evidence, logic and reason to change beliefs that were not developed with evidence, logic and reason. Nye could provide all of the evidence for evolution and point out every logical fallacy in creationism and it will not matter. The only person who will win is Ham, because he will use the event to promote and raise funds for his sinking Ark Park, regardless.

  • Science versus Pseudoscience.
    Facts versus beliefs.
    Truth versus faith.
    Smart versus stupid.
    Everyone is allowed their own opinions but not their own facts.

  • He have to debate this crap. I wish we didn’t, but we do.

    Ignoring Ridiculous Beliefs Won’t Make Them Go Away –

    I just wish they would poll the audience before and after the debate and measure how many people were swayed by the debate one way or the other. I have seen a few British debates do that and I think that is a great format to prevent both sides from claiming victory at the end of the night.

  • What do many scientists claim? Many who believe in evolution would tell you that billions of years ago, life began on the edge of an ancient tidal pool or deep in the ocean. They feel that in some such location, chemicals spontaneously assembled into bubble-like structures, formed complex molecules, and began replicating. They believe that all life on earth originated by accident from one or more of these “simple” original cells.
    Other equally respected scientists who also support evolution disagree. They speculate that the first cells or at least their major components arrived on earth from outer space. Why? Because, despite their best efforts, scientists have been unable to prove that life can spring from nonliving molecules. In 2008, Professor of Biology Alexandre Meinesz highlighted the dilemma. He stated that over the last 50 years, “no empirical evidence supports the hypotheses of the spontaneous appearance of life on Earth from nothing but a molecular soup, and no significant advance in scientific knowledge leads in this direction.” What does the evidence reveal? The answer to the question, Where do babies come from? is well-documented and uncontroversial. Life always comes from preexisting life. However, if we go back far enough in time, is it really possible that this fundamental law was broken? Could life really spontaneously spring from nonliving chemicals? What are the chances that such an event could happen?
    Researchers have learned that for a cell to survive, at least three different types of complex molecules must work together—DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), and proteins. Today, few scientists would assert that a complete living cell suddenly formed by chance from a mix of inanimate chemicals. What, though, is the probability that RNA or proteins could form by chance? Many scientists feel that life could arise by chance because of an experiment first conducted in 1953. In that year, Stanley L. Miller was able to produce some amino acids, the chemical building blocks of proteins, by discharging electricity into a mixture of gases that was thought to represent the atmosphere of primitive earth. Since then, amino acids have also been found in a meteorite. Do these findings mean that all the basic building blocks of life could easily be produced by chance?
    “Some writers,” says Robert Shapiro, professor emeritus of chemistry at New York University, “have presumed that all life’s building blocks could be formed with ease in Miller-type experiments and were present in meteorites. This is not the case.” Consider the RNA molecule. It is constructed of smaller molecules called nucleotides. A nucleotide is a different molecule from an amino acid and is only slightly more complex. Shapiro says that “no nucleotides of any kind have been reported as products of spark-discharge experiments or in studies of meteorites.”3 He further states that the probability of a self-replicating RNA molecule randomly assembling from a pool of chemical building blocks “is so vanishingly small that its happening even once anywhere in the visible universe would count as a piece of exceptional good luck.” What about protein molecules? They can be made from as few as 50 or as many as several thousand amino acids bound together in a highly specific order. The average functional protein in a “simple” cell contains 200 amino acids. Even in those cells, there are thousands of different types of proteins. The probability that just one protein containing only 100 amino acids could ever randomly form on earth has been calculated to be about one chance in a million billion. Researcher Hubert P. Yockey, who supports the teaching of evolution, goes further. He says: “It is impossible that the origin of life was ‘proteins first.’”5 RNA is required to make proteins, yet proteins are involved in the production of RNA. What if, despite the extremely small odds, both proteins and RNA molecules did appear by chance in the same place at the same time? How likely would it be for them to cooperate to form a self-replicating, self-sustaining type of life? “The probability of this happening by chance (given a random mixture of proteins and RNA) seems astronomically low,” says Dr. Carol Cleland, a member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Astrobiology Institute. “Yet,” she continues, “most researchers seem to assume that if they can make sense of the independent production of proteins and RNA under natural primordial conditions, the coordination will somehow take care of itself.” Regarding the current theories of how these building blocks of life could have arisen by chance, she says: “None of them have provided us with a very satisfying story about how this happened.”6
    Why do these facts matter? Think of the challenge facing researchers who feel that life arose by chance. They have found some amino acids that also appear in living cells. In their laboratories, they have, by means of carefully designed and directed experiments, manufactured other more complex molecules. Ultimately, they hope to build all the parts needed to construct a “simple” cell. Their situation could be likened to that of a scientist who takes naturally occurring elements; transforms them into steel, plastic, silicone, and wire; and constructs a robot. He then programs the robot to be able to build copies of itself. By doing so, what will he prove? At best, that an intelligent entity can create an impressive machine. Similarly, if scientists ever did construct a cell, they would accomplish something truly amazing—but would they prove that the cell could be made by accident? If anything, they would prove the very opposite, would they not? What do you think? All scientific evidence to date indicates that life can come only from previously existing life. To believe that even a “simple” living cell arose by chance from nonliving chemicals requires a huge leap of faith. Given the facts, are you willing to make such a leap? Before answering that question, take a closer look at the way a cell is made. Doing so will help you discern whether the theories some scientists propound about where life came from are sound or are as fanciful as the tales some parents tell about where babies come from.
    Professor Shapiro does not believe that life was created. He believes that life arose by chance in some fashion not yet fully understood. In 2009, scientists at the University of Manchester, England, reported making some nucleotides in their lab. However, Shapiro states that their recipe “definitely does not meet my criteria for a plausible pathway to the RNA world.”
    Dr. Cleland is not a creationist. She believes that life arose by chance in some fashion not yet fully understood.

  • By starting off with “scientists who believe in evolution” you have already pegged yourself as being full of crap. Your citations are probably either fictitious, or dishonest quote mines. Its far too common with Creationists.

    Scientists don’t accept evolution as a belief. They accept it because it is the most reliable and vetted theory for dealing with questions of diversity of life. It is a theory which undergoes constant study and analysis but still comes up as the most viable tool for interpreting research on the subject of biology.

    The fact that you throw in issues of how life began pegs you as someone using a canned nonsense Creationist site as your source. Evolution does not address how life began. Only uninformed laypeople make that error.

    All Creationists are liars. You cannot be Creationist without being a bald-faced liar. They lie about their level of proof. They lie about the level of acceptance of Evolution and their own ideas. They lie about the basis of their ideas.

    Most of all they take a POV which forces them to lie about their beliefs in public. Creationism is all about denying faith and pretending your religious beliefs have objective credible support. Such views would logically require that one can disprove their religious beliefs by the same token. That will never happen with a Creationist. Once they inevitably admit their belief is based on faith, they refuted Creationism.

  • Ham is a liar, as are all Creationists. Creationism requires lying by its nature.

    Its easy for liars to win in debates. Not being bound by things such as logic or evidence its amazing what things you can say in public. I expect Ham to do a Gish Gallop and spew as much nonsense as he can to try to overwhelm Nye with a tidal wave of idiocy. Its what they do in such situations.


    You said, “…despite their best efforts, scientists have been unable to prove that life can spring from nonliving molecules.”

    So what?

    The vast tonnage of what we have learned from science continues to build every day.

    I can’t prove there is no god. But I can show that if he exists he is useless. In 600 C.E. God made sense as an answer to many questions.

    Not anymore:

    “The world is flat, because God made it flat”
    “The sun goes round the earth because God made us the center”
    “women bleed because they are wicked in God’s eyes”
    “You are sick because of a spell from the devil”
    “If you don’t sin, YOU WON’T GET SICK AND DIE, you can live forever”
    “Lightning is God’s anger for your sins”
    “Floods are punishment for your sins”
    “Drought is punishment for not sacrificing a goat”

    Only Science has taught us that these things are nonsense

  • St. Augustine had it right… over 1500 years ago:

    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.

    “If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

    – St. Augustine of Hippo, 5th Century AD (considered by some Protestants to be one of the theological fathers of the Reformation)

  • This is the same St. Augustine, by the way, who believed that:

    (1) the age of the Earth is less than 6000 years.

    (2) the global Noahic Flood was real and literal.

    Imagine that! St. Augie was a Young-Earth Creationist. Most evolutionists who quote him aren’t quite aware of that aspect.

  • Anton, I’m 100% in agreement with your statement. No more attention should be payed by to this clown by those not challenged mentally by supernatural belief than to the “Beib”, and Rodman and their antics.

    Religion is poison!!

  • St Augustine had an excuse. He lived 1200 years before the scientic method was formed. You don’t.

    Modern day creationists are just the kind of Christians St. Augustine was criticizing. Those willing to lie or accept lies to avoid calling out fellow Christians.

  • “If we don’t let their ideas see the light of day we can’t develop the tools to address them,” she said. “And we don’t just need the tools of facts and evidence, but also of understanding their views and compassion for them if we want to be effective at changing their minds.”

    Isn’t this for both sides of the camp? Do the believers really want “losers” that resist faith further, and do evolutionists really want “losers” that double down and hide even deeper? We always need to address hearts as well as minds. I am that hybrid with a strong, I even say stronger personal faith than I ever had when I accepted evolution as the means that God created. I don’t take away any scientific evidence to make it “work” for me, but I do carefully look put away scientism, the religion of atheists injected into much explanation. That’s really what people of faith reject. I firmly believe good pure science and good pure faith are completely harmonious. A fight does no one any justice.

  • Copied from Karl Pilkington’s page – but this is just as credible as the theory of evolution:
    Karl Pilkington
    “I can’t get my head around how the Brain was created. I have this theory that the brain might have come from another planet where brains ruled. A planet where there was no atmosphere and the brains just floated around thinking about stuff all day. It quickly became advanced because of the amount of thinkin’ that was being done, and then somehow they came to planet Earth but found that they were useless because they couldn’t move about by floating anymore. So one of the brainier ones got into a Monkeys head… and the rest is history…..”

  • Larry said “Ham is a liar, as are all Creationists. Creationism requires lying by its nature.”

    I don’t think so. I think that most Creationists are sincere in their beliefs. But I also believe that people can be sincerely wrong.

  • Some fossilized questions for a transitional and healhty debate, for instance: is there evolution if there is no time? How will evolutionary biology meet new physical paradigms about time, space and so on? Will new conceptual changes deny evolution? Or on the contrary, will it become a more extraordinary process, full of astonishing implications? If so, will past human beings and the rest of living beings become something different as science progresses? After all, is life something fix-finite-defined? That is, can one understand it by means of using a flesh brain and its limited words, axioms and dogmas? Does the whole of life fit inside a bone box? Indeed, will science add indefinitely without understanding completely, is there an infinite pool of knowledge and ignorance waiting for us? Otherwise, will religions use the word God forever and ever, as if it were a death thing, a repetitive thing that is part of human discussions? And, in order to speak about God, are they using his limited brain or do they use unknown instruments? Along these lines, there is a different book, a preview in Just another suggestion in order to freethink for a while

  • I don’t buy that Anton. I know people who were formally Creationists who now except Evolution as the most plausible explanation. It was not because they had atheists barking at them, but because they discovered religious biologists like Kenneth Miller, Dennis Venema and Simon Conway-Morris (to name a few) who staunchly defended the science of Evolution against the anti science brigade. People like the above have also striven to explain the science to them.

    They are unlikely to be reached by ranting at them. This will only further polarize them. There is far more chance that they will listen to co-religionists who except the science and are prepared to educate them about it.

  • Max:

    Perhaps you might want to spend a little time looking at the DNA Helix and the delicate yet marvelous design behind it before you finalize your position on creation. Incidentally, I am confident that you may also be confused with regard to your Human-‘pro-God movement’ position. Both Scripture and human history have settled that matter over the long course of many generations. The reality is…It’s a God-‘pro-human movement’! Nevertheless, I do agree with you regarding 1 element of your comment…The movement is coming to an end. Get ready.

    Best regards.

  • “Lies”? I suspect that if Bill Nye accuses Ken Ham of lying, Nye will find out just how good a debater Ken Ham can be. Nye would very likely regret making such an accusation.

    Then again, if certain evolutionists’ fears are correct, Nye may regret debating Ham anyway, especially if Ham successfully holds his ground throughout the debate.

    Evolution is incompatible with Christianity, so I am hoping that Ham wins the debate, thus defeating the religion of evolution.

  • No, they don’t have a sincere belief in creationism. They have a sincere belief in their religious belief borne of faith. Creationism is merely a tool to support such faith. A creationist will tell any form of lie to further their faith. They have zero sincere belief in the gathering of objective evidence or the methods used for doing so. So their claims of being capable of sporting their religious belief in such a way is a lie. Window dressing.

    Creationism requires people to lie about their faith and pretend their belief is from something else.

  • You mean Ham will pile on more lies to sport himself. It’s called the Gish Gallop. Its a popular form of creationist debate Dadaism.

    The fear being, that Nye has set himself up to be attacked by a horde of self-righteous ignoramuses. 🙂

  • Rudy:

    Truth v. Faith? The apostle Paul tells us that ‘Faith’ is the hope in things not seen. Also, that “the things seen are made up of things that CAN NOT be seen”. My question to you is: If things unseen do not exist why does the field of Quantum Physics spend so much time, energy, and resources trying to identify the building blocks of material matter that are the substructure upon which even atoms are built? Interesting that Paul made such a revelation 2000 thousand years ago and that man, with so many tools at his disposal, can not prove him wrong. Let’s talk about truth and facts without dismissing truth and facts. Okay?

  • That is called begging the question.

    Perhaps you can point to any intelligent design papers published in peer reviewed scientific journals accepted in the field of biology. Oh wait there are none. That is just one of many lies they tell. That and the one that they actually pay attention to scientific methods of proof. There is no scientific evidence for creationism. There is no acceptance of creationism by the scientific community in any professional capacity at large globally.

    You accept creationism because of your faith in God and scripture. Not because you have any interest in science or its methods. You admit that much. By doing so you refute creationism’s central tenet. That the Biblical god can be proven true without requiring faith.

    Your creationism is just a PR ploy a lie to tell others to support your faith.

  • sorry but dna or any other development can be explained by the natural forces of the universe, even if humans dont quite know all the rules of the universe yet. good example ever heard of the “tree of gold”? a self assembling phenomena that looks like magic .
    t physics and chemistry explains it but if you dont know any better it looks like “spirits” or god or supernatural powers are at work!!!

  • People don’t accept creationism based on evidence. They espouse creationism because of their faith. You merely confirm this.

    Its not that these people mentioned were convinced with compelling scientific evidence for evolution. Its that they accepted that their religious faith did not require denying scientific evidence. Faith being the source of belief, not the alleged scientific evidence Creationists claim to support their view.

    Its not that Creationists are ignorant (in most cases). Its that they willfully lie to themselves and others because they feel their faith in their religious beliefs demands it.

  • if there is a “god” then why are there so many different gods around the world and throughout time?
    the answer : because each culture creates an imaginary “god” to suit their time and place.
    so “god ” is a imaginary construct of man!!!

    end of debate, lets go have a beer!!!!!

  • Obviously you missed the 2006 debate hosted by CNN between Richard Dawkins and Dr. Francis Collins. Google it, I dare you.

  • Faith is belief in the absence of evidence. If you accept Creationism because your faith demands it, you have already refuted Creationism.

    Btw Democritus and his ideas (which would eventually become atomic theory) predate Paul’s birth by about 4 centuries. Paul predicted nothing.
    He merely put to religious text what has been old hat for philosophical and engineering ones for a very very long time. Your argument is typical of some Christians. To take credit based on their ignorance of the history surrounding their own texts.


    You said, “the DNA Helix and the delicate yet marvelous design”

    This is what I am talking about. You claim “God did it”. But there are some religions with hundreds of Gods – Hinduism for example. How do you know Vishnu didn’t create the world? Or Ganesha? Or Aphrodite?
    You don’t seem to have any understanding of the abject emptiness in your claim that “God did it.” It answers not one question!

    Suppose a God did create DNA. Where is your evidence that this is even possible? The bare minimum of your argument requires a God which must be more intricate than the DNA – yet that would open up the next question – WHO CREATED GOD?

    The Creationists want to say “God did it” and force the rest of us to just sit around a shut up and worship….but worship what? Where is this God?

    The Scientists just want to keep looking for the answers to ALL of the questions and pursue them with JOY and LOVE and RESPECT and CURIOSITY.

    Nothing is more dead than ‘faith’.

  • How is an argument from incredulity credible? Everywhere but in discussion with religious fanatics it is considered an irrational fallacious argument.

    “God in the Gaps” is the dumbest argument in the Creationist canon. Rather than spur further research on an unknown subject, just claim “God did it” and walk away. Never mind that such thinking contributes nothing to scientific knowledge or methodology. It works well for people who lack respect in those things.

  • b:

    In the interest of discussing freethinking, may I propose that you make a quick read of the Preface, found within Volume 5 of Matthew Henry’s Commentary on The Bible, and only the simple 5 pages of it. For a man of your apparent command of diction I would think but 20 minutes of your time would suffice. I’m confident you can google it or find it available at no cost at Amazon. I found it quite enlightening to my freethinking mind.

    Let me know your thoughts.

  • Great site

    Favorite parts:
    “Does real science glorify God? When practiced with integrity by Christians, yes! We are studying God’s creation. When we attribute to God the wonders of the universe, the Earth, and life which are discovered using a methodology that does not espouse deceit, we are bringing glory to God.”

    “Do we really need to hire organizations to try to prove God, and do it in a way that makes a mockery of true scientific disciplines? Whatever happened to faith?”

  • I am so sorry Larry. If it were possible I would offer you a hug. Maybe, offer you a hot cup of Chamomile tea. I can plainly see that your life has been profoundly affected by a lie. I can tell that you are struggling and living day to day with that lie which is evidenced here by your comments. Again, I am sorry for that. I will pray for you that the burden of this lie be lifted from you and that the truth be shown to you so that you might be at peace. I wish you all the best Larry. May you have a great rest of your day and weekend and may the burden of this lie be lifted from you soon.

  • And God said “let the Earth bring forth” and “let the Earth yield” and “a kind after it’s kind”.

  • Also “God said let there be light” and with a BIG BANG there was light. It’s all in the bible. He breathed the breath of life (Zoe) into Adam and Eve. “Zoe” means spiritual life as opposed to Bios -physical life. So Adam and eve were the first humans with a spirit. The first true humans so to speak.

  • Matthew Henry’s commentary are lifeless and purely for devotional purposes.

    The Midrash is a much livelier commentary on the Bible. It was meant to spur debate and engages discussion rather than shutting it down with stenorian pronouncements.

  • Thanks for being a patronizing self-righteous nabob Nathan. I can plainly see that I have hit a nerve with you.

    I am familiar enough with passive-aggressive fundie-speak to know that “I will pray for you” means “go —- yourself”. =)

  • Max:

    Enjoying this! Can’t understand the reason why the concept of a living, active, caring and relationship oriented God is so hard to fathom. As to which god, I suspect He would be the one who has revealed Himself through creation, the Scriptures, His Son, and providence. Surly you won’t deny that The Bible, viewed simply as a history book, has proven itself to be accurate in it’s statements. I can’t imagine that you would deny it’s authenticity as well as it’s rise from antiquity. I assume that you are aware that no other book has not yielded to the cause of it’s destruction like the Bible and that no other book can be compared with it on any basis as no other book speaks to life as 4 dimensional, incorporating the dimension of “spiritual” into the 3 dimensions of the natural. This the Bible does quite compellingly. I can’t speak to the amount of time that you may have spent within the Scriptures, however, I can speak to that regard with respect to myself. Years and countless hours (and I don’t mean listening to some preacher preach). I can tell you this as a truth: As to Christ’s cross, who can argue it’s influence? As to Christ’s words, who has spoken within any generation with the power and majesty with which Christ has spoken to every generation through not only His words, but, His deeds as well? He has pointed each of us to The Father as creator and He has pointed us to a plan designed to redeem what has fallen from His grace. As I have evaluated the various plans, put forth to effect redemption, I can find no plan so clearly defined, designed, and implemented as the plan set forth within the Gospel narrative. Interestingly enough, It is the unfolding of the entire history of the children of Israel, clearly chronicled within the pages of Old Testament books, that methodically points to God as creator, redeemer, restorer, and sustainer. As to your question, “Who created God”, He has answered that question Himself…”I AM” as in I was, I am, and I will continue to be.

    Now, one may continue to seek wisdom in the things that are seen along with the postulates of finite human cognitive ability, even that ability at it’s highest achievements, only to find that those postulates may very well be flawed by their own limitations. Or, one may continue to hold fast to many other gods and religions only to find that both those gods and those religious systems who’s elements are, in varying measure, taken from the ideals propounded within the Judeo-Christian system are but shadows of a living God and a living religion. Remembering, of course, that Christ did not address such ancient religions as those of the corn gods and the like, because, as the true and living God all others must be understood in the light of Himself.

    Finally, once again, we have partial agreement within your closing words. However, this time in your view, “Nothing is more dead than ‘faith’ “, while, in my view, Nothing is more dead than ‘dead faith’. That notwithstanding the reality that nothing is more alive than ‘living faith’.

  • “That notwithstanding the reality that nothing is more alive than ‘living faith’.”

    And…there is the refutation of Creationism. Thanks for playing.

    Once you are admitting your religious belief is based on faith, you have forgone the lie that it is based on objectively credible scientifically obtained evidence. Thus have refuted Creationism.

  • Surely you don’t believe that ‘Faith is belief in the absence of evidence’ can be twisted to mean, ‘Faith is the hope in things not seen’. I asked my 8 year old grandson, visiting with me today, if they mean the same thing and he intuitively replied: No.

  • Larry, what’s up with all the venom in your comments man? Is all that really necessary?

    I am sorry that you took my comment in a negative way. I meant no ill will and was not meant to be an attack of any sort. It saddens me that you felt the need to reply in the way that you did.

    Now that that has been cleared up, I respectfully ask that you not inject what YOU think I meant to say with that of what you wanted me to say. Ok? Cool? Thanks man, I appreciate it.

    Again, I wish you all the best. May you have a great rest of your day and weekend.

  • But you had to give him a cookie to get the answer. I know how that works =)

    Surely the word “faith” can’t be twisted to equal “objectively credible evidence”.

    There is always the clear definitions of:

    “strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof”.

    “firm belief in something for which there is no proof”

    Nowhere in those definitions is belief based on clear objective evidence which can be proven and subject to critical review.

    Of course Creationism posits the notion that faith is not necessary to religious belief. That it can be proven true through Science. By stating your belief based on faith, you refute such ideas.

  • editor-b,

    I like your questions.
    The religious can’t ask them, though. It would be heresy.

    Regarding evolution, it is interesting to contemplate that 4 Billion years from now, when the sun explodes, the creatures who shall witness the last days will definitely NOT be human. That is really humbling.

  • CPJ,
    You said, “God said let there be light” and with a BIG BANG there was light. It’s all in the bible.”

    You don’t get to say science is ridiculous in one tone of voice BUT then say science proves it is all true in another tone of voice. Have the dignity to choose one or the other.

    “Every great scientific truth goes through three phases.
    First, people deny it.
    Second, they say it conflicts with the Bible.
    Third, they say they’ve known it all along.”
    —Neil Degrasse Tyson

  • Larry:

    In that a reply button was not available within a 2:14 retort, I will reply here…

    I trust that you realize that the object of one’s faith is the component that brings value to one’s faith. Scientifically obtained evidence? If this is the foundation of your faith, your faith is founded on sinking sand. The very nature of scientific discovery is every changing. Thereby, new discoveries refute old ones and the discipline of science is in a continual state of discovering. Refuting your own position would come quite necessary if your information is in a state of exploring and defining new discoveries.

  • Christianity is no different than any other religious Cult throughout hitory. It’s a massive, cultural delusion, and it takes an understanding of the ego to admit you’ve been drinking the kool-aid. Most people find it easier to just defend the delusion. This then bleeds over into the lives of children which vastly impairs their logical and critical thinking abilities. Which is why I think it is important to distinctly draw the line between logic/reason, and religion. Yes, the world of science is ever changing, the point of it is to accept it as it is, and be flexible enough to change your understanding of the world, when we have better ways to measure it. No one ever dreamed we would one day be able to see inside a cell. This Doesn’t mean what we knew at the time was wrong, just that it’s been refined. An impeccable model with which to interact with the universe.

  • And there is your concession that the idea of Creationism is hogwash. The idea that your religious belief can be proved to be true by scientific evidence.

    You just denied that scientific evidence can even be of value in the foundation of your religious belief. So any pretense that Creationism can be on par with Evolution as a scientific idea is thrown away. You don’t even take Creationist arguments seriously. Such notions are just lying in service of faith.

  • The actual debate question: “Is creation a viable model of origins?” is not a realistic (or proper) debate question. Evidence cannot really be garnered (at least so far in our development) one way or the other about actual “origins”, leaving the science side disadvantaged. What COULD have set up Nye to be able to pile up mountains of evidence would be “Can the ages of the universe, the earth and humanity be reasonably estimated?” THAT would have left Ham without a leg to stand on. Hopefully Nye will concede that the question, as worded is a philosophical/theological one, not scientifically answerable, and deal with the many things contra Genesis 1-3 that science CAN show.

  • Your comment was meant to be taken in a negative way. You certainly intended insult and cast aspersions on my posts as if they were the product of angry ramblings. Your tone is patronizing, passive aggressive and deliberately dismissive.

    I am familiar enough with Christian fundamentalists to know “I will pray for you” it is meant as an insult to those who would pick up on it. =)

    There is no venom here. Its simply a matter of cutting through nonsense. There is not a shred of honesty in Creationism. It cheapens both science and religion. Why belabor the point?

  • This position held by evolutionist is illogical. The laws of physics deny their claims. They claim intelligence was not involved in universe’s existence, yet we are intelligent. What is intelligence and where did it come from? How did we become intelligent? A law is in fact intellectual property made by an intelligent being. Thus the laws of physics are in fact intellectual property of an intelligent being. Every atom obeys these laws. All physical matter has a design because without being instructed by these laws there would be no designs or atoms to form designs. There would be nothing. The only thing that can over come nothing to make it become something is intelligence commanding the nothing to become something. Absolute resistance is absolute nothing a force greater than the resistance can over come it and that is intelligence. And God said let there be light.

  • Your insistence that people fit into these little boxes you’ve made for them and you’re generalizing of the majority of people on the planet, and intentional, dishonest manipulation of what words like Creationist means in order to fit your own agenda, makes it easy for me t put you in the same category I put dishonest, Kent Hovind-esque Creationists.

    When you say, “For anyone to believe differently than me on this issue, they must believe X, Y, and Z!” (Which is what you are doing when lumping all Creationists together since that is such a ludicrously big tent of beliefs,) it makes it very, very easy to live a life with no actual introspection and scientific thought. After all, no need to analyze any viewpoint you already know where it leads! It is very convenient, and very pseudo-scientific/pseudo-intellectual.

  • LOL!

    You are a riot man, I’ll give you that. 😉

    You may not be able to discern it yourself but you are 100% incorrect about the venom part. Sorry man, it just pours off the screen with every post. It is in fact what inspired me to reply in the first place. I just had this overwhelming feeling that you needed a good big hug or something. No really! That is what I thought, I swear it. LOL!

    I am sorry that you have been treated that way by Christian Fundamentalists. I am not such a person and have no affiliations with such. Where I am from, saying one will pray for someone typically means that I will stop whatever I am doing and say a quiet pray for that person, and then go about my business. Much as I did for you earlier.

    At any rate, you are welcome to think and label me as you see fit. It is clear that you are more knowledgeable and know other people and what they think better than they know themselves. That much is clear. 😉

    I thank you for helping me get through my day at work. Its been an entertaining time I must say. Enjoy the rest of your day,evening or night.

    Peace out homeslice, its been real.

  • I like to think that God made us by way of evolution. Evolution was His design. It says, “And the EARTH GAVE FORTH” to all this life each according to it’s “KIND AFTER IT’S KIND”. No way to prove any of this with science of course. And if a truly all powerful God exists, it seems fitting that he would create us in this way. Disguising himself from science. Forcing us to choose Him because of Love and Faith and Hope over simple dead reasoning. Where’s the joy in that kind of existence? We would be nothing but robots.

  • Creationism requires the presupposition of a creator, a designer, of the universe. It doesn’t matter if one is a Young Earth creationist, or believe that the creator was formative in the evolutionary scheme that produced this universe, the creationist demands a responsible supernatural agent. If the argument between the creationist and the methodological naturalist is to be decided on empirical grounds, the creationist loses for two reasons: First, the proposition of a creator is not testable, non-falsifiable, and, second, the natural evidence for evolution is scientifically overwhelming and undeniable. The writings of the Discovery Institute are nonsensical. If the argument is evaluated from a religious perspective, the creator hypothesis turns out to be unconnected to a required and readily acknowledged empirical world. In short, there is no reason to conduct this debate. Doing so lends credence to creationism that it doesn’t deserve.

  • Shapiro is hardly completely accepted by the scientific community. I attended a lecture by Shapiro a couple years ago wherein he propounded his conclusion that Darwin is outmoded and that natural selection is not the driver of evolution. He was unconvincing to anyone acquainted with biologic evolution. I checked his credentials and reviews of his work. This is a brilliant man! However, he stems from a line of semi-creationists who don’t quite propose supernatural beginnings to the universe. He’s very closely associated with religious institutions. Anyone who uses his conclusions as empirical proof of his above thesis is going in the wrong direction.

  • Yeah there’s no way I can prove that God exists. I know that. But it’s interesting to me how so many atheists discuss and ponder (the idea of) God than most Christians do. If there is no God then what’s the evolutionary purpose for man’s God-complex? Why did we have to invent this God? Why couldn’t we have been objective about everything we didn’t know, and content with not knowing. Why did our brains evolve to have to care about the “why”? I think if there was no God then there would be no religion. We wouldn’t have felt a reason to fill in the gaps in our knowledge with made up legends. But we did. Why? Is the God-complex counter evolutionary?

  • The thing you don’t know about me is that I am NOT a creationist! I believe God created everything in the universe but “creationist theory” says he did it in 6 days only about 6000 years ago which is pure ignorant denial of scientific facts! The Bible is full of symbolism and metaphor so the six creative days were likely actually thousands of years long. This isn’t hard to understand when you look at scriptures that say, “one day with God is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day”. (2 Peter 3:8) I believe proven scientific facts (not theory). And the FACT is there are so many holes in Darwin’s “theory” that GOOD SCIENCE blows that “theory” out of the water. I believe animals (by design) adapt to conditions of their surroundings but a fish never became a bird and man didn’t come from apes. There’s no PROOF…. mostly it’s conjecture and artist renditions of how apes became man. Darwin thought that all life might be traced to a common ancestor. He imagined that the history of life on earth resembled a grand tree. Later, others believed that this “tree of life” started as a single trunk with the first simple cells. New species branched from the trunk and continued to divide into limbs, or families of plants and animals, and then into twigs, all the species within the families of plants and animals alive today. In recent years, scientists have been able to compare the genetic codes of dozens of different single-celled organisms as well as those of plants and animals. They assumed that such comparisons would confirm the branching “tree of life” proposed by Darwin. However, this has not been the case. What has the research uncovered? In 1999 biologist Malcolm S. Gordon wrote: “Life appears to have had many origins. The base of the universal tree of life appears not to have been a single root.” Is there evidence that all the major branches of life are connected to a single trunk, as Darwin believed? Gordon continues: “The traditional version of the theory of common descent apparently does not apply to kingdoms as presently recognized. It probably does not apply to many, if not all, phyla, and possibly also not to many classes within the phyla.” Recent research continues to contradict Darwin’s theory of common descent. For example, in 2009 an article in New Scientist magazine quoted evolutionary scientist Eric Bapteste as saying: “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality.”The same article quotes evolutionary biologist Michael Rose as saying: “The tree of life is being politely buried, we all know that. What’s less accepted is that our whole fundamental view of biology needs to change. In reality, the vast majority of fossils show stability among types of creatures over extensive amounts of time. The evidence does not show them evolving from one type into another. Unique body plans appear suddenly. New features appear suddenly. For example, bats with sonar and echolocation systems appear with no obvious link to a more primitive ancestor. ▪ The first life on earth was not “simple.”
    ▪ The odds against even the components of a cell arising by chance are astronomical.
    ▪ DNA, the “computer program,” or code, that runs the cell, is incredibly complex and gives evidence of a genius that far surpasses any program or information storage system produced by humans.
    ▪ Genetic research shows that life did not originate from a single common ancestor. In addition, major groups of animals appear suddenly in the fossil record. In light of these facts, do you think it is reasonable to conclude that the evidence is in harmony with the Bible’s explanation of the origin of life?


  • Belief in Evolution—An Act of “Faith”
    Why do many prominent evolutionists insist that macroevolution is a fact? Richard Lewontin, an influential evolutionist, candidly wrote that many scientists are willing to accept unproven scientific claims because they “have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.” Many scientists refuse even to consider the possibility of an intelligent Designer because, as Lewontin writes, “we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” In this regard, sociologist Rodney Stark is quoted in Scientific American as saying: “There’s been 200 years of marketing that if you want to be a scientific person you’ve got to keep your mind free of the fetters of religion.” He further notes that in research universities, “the religious people keep their mouths shut.” If you are to accept the teaching of macroevolution as true, you must believe that agnostic or atheistic scientists will not let their personal beliefs influence their interpretations of scientific findings. You must believe that mutations and natural selection produced all complex life-forms, despite a century of research that shows that mutations have not transformed even one properly defined species into something entirely new. You must believe that all creatures gradually evolved from a common ancestor, despite a fossil record that strongly indicates that the major kinds of plants and animals appeared abruptly and did not evolve into other kinds, even over aeons of time. Does that type of belief sound as though it is based on facts or on myths? Really, belief in evolution is an act of “faith.”

  • 70 years ago, Erwin Schrodinger gave a famous lecture to scientists in Dublin, titled “What is Life?” Approximately 70 years later in 2012, J Craig Venter was invited to Dublin to give another lecture on the topic. Venter is one of the scientists who researched the human genome. In 2013, Venter’s book titled “Life at the Speed of Light: from the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life” was published. It is based in part on his Dublin lecture.

    Anyone interested in the so-called debate between “creationists” and “evolutionists” would find Venter’s book well worth reading. A few years ago (about 2009, I think), Venter, his not-for-profit genomic research organization, J Craig Venter Institute, and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. created the first synthetic life form, implanted it in a bacterial cell, and it was able to reproduce. An amazing accomplishment.

    The scientific research into “What is Life? and how it came about continues apace. Some day, it will be possible to transmit a “recipe” for particular life forms to other planets, put the appropriate chemicals together, and “create” life. A godly creator was, and is, not required. This is not science fiction. It is real and it is now.


    You are all over the place.

    You said, “I can’t imagine that you would deny [The Bible’s] authenticity as well as it’s rise from antiquity.”

    So what? The Egyptian Book of the Dead is much older than the bible and just as ‘authentic’ as are The Analects of Confucious and Homer’s Illiad. The Q’uran is rather ancient also.

    What does any of that prove? Should you believe the “12 Caesars of Rome” also? Caesar was born of a Virgin, did miracles and rose up to Heaven also.

    You need to study the styles of ancient literature and learn how completely ‘normal’ the New Testament really is.

    What makes the Bible special is that it was the first book printed by Gutenberg. It was our first Western Literature. It was our first Healthcare. It was our first philosophy which could be shared across the cultures, again because it was the FIRST PRINTED BOOK.

    That doesn’t mean it is true. And it doesn’t mean that it matters to modern people.

  • You know what I would consider an evolutionary step in our society? That schools, colleges or universities teach both sides of the coin equally. !!!!

    Think about it, we could have countless people in the nation who could freely think about the two sides and compare all the best data from both and critically think about it and come to their own conclusion. Talk about expanding the minds of our nation and the youths of our nation. Both sides could be equally respected as possible explanations to how things are. No more of this trying to shove the other one out and no more of this I am bigger and better and smarter then you business. Allow the information to be presented and allow the individual decide on which they feel is the best answer to all the riddles. We as a people would benefit greatly I would suspect.

    I grow so tired of our national, local governments and educational systems trying to force feed people what they think and feel is what they should be learning about. Just give us all the information and allow we the people the freedom to choose our own paths of education and beliefs. Stop all the fighting and hateful attitudes towards whichever side and just come together as a nation of smart people who are fully and equally educated and able to freely decide for themselves. I mean, this is supposed to be the United States of America, home of the free. Why must we try to smash out each others free thoughts and opinions? Seems rather immature to me.

    But it seems that at every turn there is some entity trying to tell me what I need to learn and how I need to learn it and what I need to think and how I need to think about it. But what if I want to learn about this or that? Oh no, you cant learn about that, that’s stupid and incorrect. Here here now, this group over here thinks correctly and is the what and the way we want you to learn so this is what you will learn and how you will think. It’s just ridiculous to me. Why do we have this need to make each other feel like idiots an morons if we all don’t conform to what the other sides thinks is right.

    I don’t know, maybe I am just insane and just need to go to bed. I am sure that I am just THINKING about it in the wrong way.

    Goodnight all.

  • Robert,

    The reason why the concept of a living, active, caring and relationship oriented God is so hard to fathom is simple.

    It is because such a god cannot be shown to exist.

    Those who claim it exists beg the question (as your comment does) by declaring that creation demonstrates its existence. However, as in so many areas where we no longer ascribe events ti god, we are learning that it is unnecessary to invoke the “god did it” response.

    Many would debate the influence of Christ’s cross, not least the victims of Torwumada and the many thousands doomed to slavery by the Portuguese on the strength of the then Vicar of Christ’s letter of 1452.
    Christ’s cross has been one of the greatest causes of suffering in history, a fact made more appalling by the utter lack of evidence for it;s ever having existed.

  • Whether or not a particular trait provides any evolutionary benefit is completely dependent on the environment. If there is any sort of God-complex, it developed at a time when people were ignorant, and it may have provided some benefit at that time. But the environment today is not the same as it was then. Today, we practice scientific methods to make sense of our world and any persistent God-complex is counter-evolutionary in this environment. It is now just a vestigial remnant of evolution, sort of like an appendix. And although it would probably be best if people had neither, we are currently stuck with both.

  • I quit reading after your second sentence, since the two-sided coin you are referring to actually has hundreds of sides. I suppose we could accord all of them equal weight but I think it is much wiser to limit our discussion to only those that have scientific merit.

  • “I am NOT a creationist”. “. . . how apes became man”. Apparently you are not a scientist or evolutionary biologist either. And there is no correlation between the number of words used and the validity of an argument.

    You try to use debate WITHIN the realm of scientific study to support the introduction of supernaturalism into the discussion. But your attempts to conflate science and religion fails miserably. One is based on evidence, logic and reason, and the other is based on the a particular “faith”.

  • I agree with you, but I also love it when scientists used their evidence.
    Evolution is a scientific topic, so fitting to use the scientific facts and logic, Ken Ham!

  • I think, it is not about how the first organisms evolved or who created it. This can not be scientifically demonstrated. The question is whether it was formed out of the Earth’s biosphere, or sudden creation in evolution?

  • It is not about how the first organisms evolved or who created it. This can not be scientifically demonstrated.
    I correct my sentence: The question is, how did the Earth’s biosphere. Evolution or creation, made ​​in a few days?

  • Interesting how many deeply offended atheists there are who actively evangelize what they believe. Scientists, but more usually those who follow a godless sort of science, really do actively seek out people, web sites, comment threads, or whole organizations expressly to ridicule people and belittle them. They constantly invoke Evidence, Facts, and Human Reason as sole and paramount arbiters, but must constantly concede that there are mysteries, unknowable things, ineffable things pointing to more than just . . . us. The way many evolutionists get … so angry … the way they sort of bully and are devoid of compassion for those they feel don’t “understand” or who they feel are “several centuried behind” or who they feel should “get with the program” — this attitude is discouraging. I will therefore anger atheists everywhere by being one more Christian on this thread and in the world. Praised be the Lord, who has made heaven and earth! I feel compassion for those who insist that science has empirically proven that God is impossible.

  • CM Roberts’ basic question is, “What are the odds of non-living elements accidentally being organized into chemistry which would, under some natural condition, become a self-replicating form of what we would call life?” as if our not being able to explain this today, right now, in the 21st century, must mean that it did not happen.

    Never mind that it was only a short time ago that we understood that single-celled organisms even existed and that new things are being learned every day and his question may be answered a shorter time than now, from the time we learned about the existence of single-celled organisms.

    Instead, why not apply Roberts’ question about the origin of single-celled life to the origin of a being so powerful as to be able to create the entire universe by speaking it into existence. What are the odds of a being so powerful as that spontaneously coming into existence where nothing existed before?

    I know… the answer is that God had no beginning and always existed. If that is so easy to accept, then why not the possibility of the spontaneous reaction of chemistry into single-celled lichen-like life?

    I would submit to you that the spontaneous existence of a self-replicating single-celled organism of ANY kind is infinitely more likely than the spontaneous existence of a being which could create such complicated life forms as a male human from simple dust… and that male human’s female mate from one of the male’s ribs.

    Science is only getting started and WILL eventually work it out.

  • Ham-on-Nye, by the way, does NOT pit atheist and creationists against each other as groups. It only pits Ken Ham against Billy Nye, and those of us who care to indulge ourselves in discussion groups.

    Nothing is proved, ultimately, except by it being testable.

    The spontaneous transition from chemistry to what we call “life” has not shown itself to be testable, in that it has not been demonstrated.

    Yet. To be fair to Science, Leeuwenhoek was the first person to see a single-celled organism just over 300 years ago in 1675, in a microscope he made in his own workshop. In the year 1675.
    Religion has been explaining what cannot otherwise be explained ever since mankind acquired speech, while Science has barely begun to explain things.

    The sun no longer orbits the earth, either, and the stars have been transformed from tiny lights in a huge dome to actual planets and even suns and ours is no longer even the only solar system in the universe.

    We learn things, and will continue to learn things, in spite of the Ken Hams of the world.

  • I am glad someone finally admitted it cannot be explained today. Like those of us who have faith in God you have faith that one day your beliefs will be proven true.

  • Very mature debating skills. Can anyone use the word ‘liar’ more than you? Let me guess, you were the kid in school who would just shoot back with “liar liar pants on fire” if anyone disagreed with you or called you out on something. Just keep insulting the people and their motives who argue with you.

  • I’ve read all of the comments — so any words and absolutely NO ONE persuaded of ANYTHING! The upcoming “debate” might be entertaining. But it won’t change opinions of anyone who insists that their beliefs are absolute. Anyone who suggests THEIR views are the ONLY ones that are correct is inherently WRONG. (That goes for scientists as well as creationists.) There are too many factors, too many variables for that to be the case. If someone believes in creationism, that is their First Amendment right. That creationists want to impose their religion on others violates the First Amendment rights of others. A foundation of science is that it is based on factual activities — experiments, observations, testing, the replication of outcomes. That justifies the teaching of the THEORY of evolution in taxpayer-funded schools. If I choose to believe in the tenants of a religion — ANY religion — that is also my right (as an American and as a human being). To impose my religious beliefs on others is wrong. Based on my admittedly humble understanding of religions, no God demands absolute belief. People are “invited” to believe. Even statements of right and wrong — something that may seem so obvious to others — isn’t absolute. Consequently, genocide (physical or intellectual) is WRONG. And all of the rhetoric from true believers and from atheists/agnostics, from scientists and philosophers is an exercise that will expend energy but won’t change any hard-core adherent. The value that will come out of this “debate” — maybe some folks will spend some time thinking about their values and beliefs. And, hopefully, maybe this will all be interesting. If I were Nye, I’d be very careful, given that this intellectual and physical event is sponsored by an organization that is committed only to its own “truth” and has shown in the past it does not respect others’ beliefs and value systems.

  • Forgive my misspellings and typos. I should have proofread why I typed. In the first line, the word, “any” should be “many”. Typos happen when one is typing in the middle of the night, I guess. LOL

  • Bible is true…EINSTEIN’S RELATIVITY EQUATION SAYS 13.7 BILLION YEARS AND 6 DAYS ARE BOTH TRUE DEPENDING ON SPACE-TIME COORDINATES; T1=T2/(1- (v^2)/c^2) ½;13,700,000,000 x365 = 5000500000000 days;5000500000000 = 6/sqrt 1-.999999999999999999999999999­­99999% velocity of photons (farthest photons);5000500000000 = 6/sqrt .000000000000000000000001;5000­­500000000 = 6/1.19988001199880011998800119­­988e-12; PLACING YHWH 1/2 a millimeter from the farthest photons YHWH is in all reference frames.
    distance of YHWH from farthest photon inthe estimated size of the universe=46500000000 LY radius; 299792458 m / s x60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 46500000000=439,622,855,430,19­­2,000,000,000,000 meters;439,622,855,430,192,000­­,000,000,000 meters x .99999999999999999999999999999­­999= 439,622,855,430,191,999,999,99­­9,999.99956 meters distance;439,622,855,430,192,0­­00,000,000,000 – 439,622,855,430,191,999,999,99­­9,999.99956 = .0005 meters difference, YHWH half a millimeter from farthest photons
    space time stretched 1000,000,000,000 times since first matter (something slower than light survived, hence time kicks in), this means time has slowed 1000,000,000,000 times, 5.1 days genesis x 1000,000,000,000/365=13.9 billion years, YHWH looking into the universe would experience 6 days while the universe experiences 13.9 billion years; 6 OF OUR DAYS ARE STRETCHED OUT AND CONTAIN 14 BILLION EARLY YEARS OF THE UNIVERSE

  • did everyone forget that time is different on the moon and satellites than the earth?…EINSTEIN’S RELATIVITY EQUATION SAYS 13.7 BILLION YEARS AND 6 DAYS ARE BOTH TRUE DEPENDING ON SPACE-TIME COORDINATES; T1=T2/(1- (v^2)/c^2) ½;13,700,000,000 x365 = 5000500000000 days;5000500000000 = 6/sqrt 1-.999999999999999999999999999­­99999% velocity of photons (farthest photons);5000500000000 = 6/sqrt .000000000000000000000001;5000­­500000000 = 6/1.19988001199880011998800119­­988e-12; PLACING YHWH 1/2 a millimeter from the farthest photons YHWH is in all reference frames.
    distance of YHWH from farthest photon inthe estimated size of the universe=46500000000 LY radius; 299792458 m / s x60 x 60 x 24 x 365 x 46500000000=439,622,855,430,19­­2,000,000,000,000 meters;439,622,855,430,192,000­­,000,000,000 meters x .99999999999999999999999999999­­999= 439,622,855,430,191,999,999,99­­9,999.99956 meters distance;439,622,855,430,192,0­­00,000,000,000 – 439,622,855,430,191,999,999,99­­9,999.99956 = .0005 meters difference, YHWH half a millimeter from farthest photons
    space time stretched 1000,000,000,000 times since first matter (something slower than light survived, hence time kicks in), this means time has slowed 1000,000,000,000 times, 5.1 days genesis x 1000,000,000,000/365=13.9 billion years, YHWH looking into the universe would experience 6 days while the universe experiences 13.9 billion years; 6 OF OUR DAYS ARE STRETCHED OUT AND CONTAIN 14 BILLION EARLY YEARS OF THE UNIVERSE

  • if people would go by the HEBREW of genesis actually matches modern science..excpet the odds of life by chance appear to be impossible still…theres no more need for a split..GENESIS (HEBREW ) matches science on 19 items, darkness on face of abyss, one light-big bang, stretching-space, time,stars( Job38),atmosphere, seperation of continent, sea, continents and seas, primitive plant life, haze clears and suns luminosity reaches earth(made-asah-expand),small life in seaSherets(small animals to large) tanniym(large reptiles), flying insects(owph-can be birds or winged insecst which make a perfect match),transformed(create-bar­­a-transform..change shape form function substance etc )into distinct kinds,land animals(transformed to kinds)modern man,finished1 in 10^17

  • CM Roberts,

    Children are beginning to be born without wisdom teeth. Up til now they have been extremely dangerous as they are no longer needed by our species as we have left life on the plains of Africa.

    That is macroevolution happening right under your nose – literally.

  • Chris,

    You said, “Like those of us who have faith in God you have faith that one day your beliefs will be proven true.”

    We see no God at work now. And no reason to believe in one.
    We see no reason for a different answer. And we have no ‘faith’ something will be known.

    Don’t assume atheists are ‘believing’ in something when the only thing we agree on is that there is no reason to believe in a God.

  • “Creationism requires lying by its nature.”–this is so juvenile and I would challenge you to support this absurd claim. How is creationism, by its nature, dependent on lying? You don’t know much about this debate (not the televised debate in this article but the debate as a whole) do you? You make so many unsupported claims in this one paragraph it’s hard to believe you’re an honest individual. And why would you be? You have no moral authority by which to make such decisions. You really have no idea. The more I read your comments the more I’m certain you actually know very little about this stuff or the debate in general.

  • “The pro-god movement is coming to an end.”

    really? is that why the VAST majority of the planet earth always has and current does believe in the supernatural? What planet do you live on?

  • That awkward moment when evolutionists don’t know some of the biggest non-believers have turned to Christianity because they can’t prove it wrong. Lol

  • As I read comments by both professional scientists and the laity who adhere to evolutionary teaching, I am struck sharply at the deceptive work of the devil, who has blinded even those who identify themselves as Christians to believe the strong delusion of evolution. And don’t tell me it doesn’t matter whether or not God used evolution to create, because that is not what Genesis teaches. And you can ask Hebrew scholars about the wording in Genesis. They are literal days. And Genesis is not allegorical, because if you want to play that game, then maybe Jesus death on the cross was allegorical, which praise be to God, it was not. Wow, the devil has his slimy hands all over this issue. May God give ears to hear what Ken Ham will say on this grave matter.

  • An exposition of both sides in schools everywhere sounds good to me. Sign me up.

    It should be more comprehensive than what you’ve suggested, though, including teaching awareness of the psychosocial manipulations inherent to inculcation of faiths.

    I would guess, implemented widely, most theists would eventually be of a universalist bent.

  • Nye did not attack any Christian apologetics. He taught science, not religion. He showed the total difference between the two. Ham used his distortion of science to preach Christianity.

  • And religion is not “testable.” Nye defended science and its methods. Ham distorted science in an effort to use it to support his religious beliefs.

  • True, you cannot change anyone religious notions in any single discussion. There is a lot to be said for not trying. Religion is belief. Science is fact. Religious belief makes people feel secure. Accepting the demonstrated, proven facts of science are not purported to be comfortable, but facts. They can be used for good or for evil. History has numerous examples of both. The saddest contradiction is when religion uses science for evil ends.

  • Your introductory sentence has absolutely nothing to do with evolution! When any aspect of science is treated that way, it only worsens the reputation of religion.

  • What do all these comments show? That religion and science have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Ham’s so-called debate with Nye was not based on science. Ham is a preacher who is trying to defend religion against its weaknesses exposed by science. He tries to do that by distorting both the mythology of religion and the demonstrable proofs of science. He fails in both efforts.

  • It is so sad that this article has received so much attention, especially so much immature and uninformed attention. I suppose that’s to be expected when the ancient mythology of religion is pitted against the demonstrated, replicated facts of modern science.

    It can only be hoped that the thinking it promoted may help many to see the vast difference between religion and science and not attempt, as Ham lamely did, to distort science in its latter day as a support of the ancient mythology of religion.

    Even though religious people may use science to invent things like Magnetic Resonance Imaging while still holding to the comforts of religious beliefs, that does not put a scientific foundation under religious beliefs as Ham attempts to do.

  • There is such a bias against design arguments that accredited scientists
    with Doctorate Degrees in their given disciplines cannot get published in “peer” reviewed journals. Evolutionists stifle discussion out of fear and bias, not scientific objectivity. Whatever happened to so called free inquiry? As far as the falsehoods perpetrated by evolutionists, do a little research on Ernst Haeckel, Peking man, Java Man, and Piltdown Man.

  • Aaron: No Creationists do not make up the majority of people on the planet. They do not even make up the majority of people calling themselves Christian.

    Creationists all make the argument that their religious views are capable of being proven objectively to be true. It is dishonest because such claims are not even supported by them once they get talking.

    There is no generalization required. Just an honest assessment of what arguments are employed.

    Chris: I explained clearly why Creationist arguments are dishonest in of themselves further downthread. Nobody has called me out on my premise: That once a Creationist admits their belief is based on faith, they have refuted all pretensions of it being scientific and thus admitted their prior statements to such effect was dishonest

  • But it is hardly untrue. I did explain it further down

    Creationism is dependent on making statements to the effect that Genesis 1 is proven to be true by scientific methods. The problem with such statements are the implication that Genesis 1 can be disproven by the same methods. That faith is not required for their belief.

    No creationist ever accepts that their ideas can be disproven. All Creationists admit their belief is based on faith.

    Therefore they lied about the necessity of faith and the evidence they claim supported their views.

  • None that was ever discovered by a Creationist. They don’t believe in evidence.

    What have creationists given to the world of scientific discovery? Nothing.

  • That bias being that scientific papers have to rely on scientific methods and evidence. That such papers must be capable of withstanding criticism of professionals in the field concerning methods and conclusions.

    Free inquiry doesn’t mean you can publish something with the credibility of scientific study without it being actual scientific study. That is simply protecting the veracity and credibility of methods.

  • And once a creationist starts talking about “materialism” and “naturalism”, they are admitting that they do not accept evidence which is objectively obtained and would be considered to be reasonably credible on its face. It gives the game away and renders any pretension of caring about science or its methods to be utter fiction.

    The primary lie of Creationism is that religious belief can be objectively and scientifically proven to be true (using those methods employed in “materialism” and “naturalism”)

    It is an admission that observation and study are never going to be accepted unless it produces the results they are looking for. So it also puts to lie the notion that Creationism is any form of useful or honest study of a subject.

    The alternative to gathering evidence based on “materialism” and “naturalism” is nothing. Faith. Voodoo. Blind acceptance of mythology for its own sake. There is no supernatural in science because science is the study of the natural world. There are no methods of inquiry or evidence gathering in the supernatural. Just statements of faith and enforced ignorance.

  • If your belief involves attacking science education for the general in favor of your personal mythology, it deserves to be denigrated and insulted. The bullies are the ones using political clout to force their sectarian religious views into public education and science classes. If the Creationists had kept their nonsense to the Sunday Schools where it belonged, nobody would care or take offense. Sorry Cal, but my tax dollars were never meant to subsidize your mythological belief.

    “Evidence, Facts, and Human Reason as sole and paramount arbiters”

    Because the alternative is….blind statements of faith, willful ignorance, making stuff up as you go along. Nothing which can possibly be of use to society in general.

  • All religious claims are based on delusion at best, dishonesty at worst.

    Care to try and prove otherwise?

  • Sorry but your appeal to incredulity fallacy is duly noted. You cannot win a rational debate by using fallacious arguments.

  • Your bible has been translated and mistranslated, edited, etc over the centuries. In the 400CE timeframe a bunch of politicians got together and picked and chose what they wanted to include. Heck, they could not even get the translation of “Do not suffer a POISONER to live” correct, mistranslating poisoner as witch.

    If it could not even get that right, so much for the ‘infallibility’ of the bible.

  • In the US religious position is dropping fast, especially amongst the young.

    As for why so many still believe in imaginary friends in the sky I can sum it up quite easily… the significant majority of humans are quire ignorant, delusional and/or gullible.

  • This debate is something of a misnomer here over the Atlantic.Surely it is simply that the creationist movement are hell-bent on holding on to the best science around at the time of writing. If the Genesis account were written today the writers would be adopting the latest science available now.
    Anyway, on the subject of life and how it arose it has to be said life did not begin with the arrival of the first cell as the cell organicals were busy before that big consolidation. The cell finally is not a rigid exact housing. It is rather like a soft suitcase holding a big variable amount of items.
    Nobody argues against the findings of particle physics where energy/particles are detected blip-ping in and out of existence. Creation and annihilation.
    We do have a cross sectional way of slicing up chance and it’s mostly the slice of time and place containing us. It is the definition of synchronicity, i.e. where two unrelated events coincide and provide meaning for the individual.
    Causality is that everything basically had a precause, as opposed to random just is where bad things just are. Somewhere in there we arose to ask and so put in place religion to preclude ultimate purpose.
    Causality leads to God though he has maintained his monopoly to the extent that he does not need a cause.
    We tend to think of chance in a limited way. Looking outside our experience the chance of something or not must be entirely different. Much is said against the chances of the the Uni getting started, less about the chance of it not. If in the beginning there were no background conditions the odds against becomes meaningless.
    Less is said or thought about the stupendous chance that we were born. The cold fact is that we do not lose sleep over this at all. The randomness of our being does not personally register with us. The fact that we are here to know concurs all. Alas, we are unwilling to apply this to the rise of life and intelligence. Going into all the details of the huge number of proteins and enzymes necessary is akin to saying well of the huge number of Great Grandfathers that had to be in-place its lucky chance that my great grandfather to the 100th power did well to be born in the tribe next to the lady attracted enough to him to have offspring. Or that its lucky my grandfather parked his car on the 4th floor that day as on the way down he met my grandmother, who in a number of chance events the same day had her car stolen and accepted his offer for a lift and did not meet anyone else before their second date and was free to be in a relationship, etc.
    Those who have this big chance of ever being born also go on to have children who will be asking the same question. We are not going against chance too much in our lives for the most part we see what life throws at us before reacting to it. This will greatly affect our descendants in stupendous ways they will not loose even a wink of sleep over, but they will still ponder the role of chance in the age old questions.
    It is who won the lottery, not how many won the lottery and went on to buy a Ferrari and be subsequently killed on the road.
    We see the stars and think and wonder of all his hand has made. That is not to say that the present format was the intended finish, we are seeing it in our own slice of time. Beyond that we might agree the earth was finished when it had coalesced but was still to hot and molten for us.
    Finally, it is pointless to say that something like life that has clearly happened is impossible. It only had to happen once on one planet of the innumerable out there. Many give colossal statistics against it on the basis of there being no intelligence and life thus being a load of lottery balls. Atoms and molecules cannot be compared like this as they have a thing for getting together very quickly and building up. Forget evolution and think works. Things that work tend to get with other things that work and work better. One of these might break apart with the help of others and regrow into exact copies. Once started the difficulties ease and odds against decline. As for randomness the theory of gravitation and other forces ensure nonrandom cyclic forces. Wherever there is disorder there will also be order. Think of the tides or bubbles from troubled waters. Think of the stability of water however it is disturbed. There will also be selection of matter by these regular forces where properties match. Also are those talking about non-living matter breathing regular oxygen.

  • Neal, your comments are useless. Evolution (at least macro-evolution) is a theory as you say, so shut up and keep an open mind about what might be true.

  • Larry, turn that around, you hypocrite. Atheists have ZERO sincere intentions to find out the truth about the supernatural spiritual realm and will bring up all types of excuses and smokescreens to avoid dealing with it or looking into it. When presented with evidence for miracles for example, instead of opening their minds and considering the truth of them, atheist instinctively reach for the usual get-out-of-jail cards: “where is the scientific study”, so you present several scientific studies, so it’s “Where are the peer reviews of those studies”.

  • No, that would be the atheist approach. I distinguish scientists from atheists by the way. All an atheist is is a nihilist, who is destined to lose, but somehow survives today because of the inability of science to deal with the supernatural at this point in time.

    The real delusion is indulged in by atheists alone, i.e. their delusion is: Because science can’t deal with the supernatural (I’m talking about genuinely compelling things like the rock of Our Lady of Las Lajas, the Lanciano Eucharistic Miracle or the Medjugorje phenomenon, ALL STUDIED BY SCIENCE), therefore my atheism is justified. So atheists hide behind science when it suits them and take advantage of scientists current inability to explain such events. Dishonesty in the extreme. Real scientists don’t think that way. Their mind is constantly open. They studied these phenomena with an open mind. Atheists just sit there and hope science never will be able deal with them. How do you sleep at night?

  • We don’t believe in evidence you say? Ha! that’s rich. We have plenty of evidence we wish to share. The problem is that science can’t deal with it or at least cannot conclude anything from it. You can never conclude that “God actually exists” with what science can produce from any event or situation.

    Atheism relies on another failure in the scientific process – the process of peer-reviewing. Apart from the process being quite corrupt, atheists know full well that very few if any scientists would be able to peer review a paper on, say, the Lanciano Eucharistic Miracle or the rock or Our Lady of Las Lajas. Scientists afraid of losing their funding or damage to their reputation wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot barge pole.

    So, while we certainly have the evidence (e.g. a museum full of blood-soaked hosts which science has determined to contain human heart tissue), the fact that science cannot draw a conclusion is exactly the “out” that atheists covet and exists tenuously on.

    Creationists don’t need to provide anything to the world of scientific discovery. It’s just that, a process of “discovery”, of who God is and what He is capable of. Creationists actually just need to sit back and wait for the truth to dawn on atheists as those good scientists go about their passion of discovery.

  • Atheist Max, so the theory of multiverses or abiogenesis or whatever else you have do a simply perfect job at explaining how we got from gas to Gus? Till you come up with something better, I’ll believe the ancients and monks in caves. Makes more sense.

  • Of course there are none. Peer-review process is corrupt anyway, not to mention scarcely any scientist would know how to peer review anything related to intelligent design, not to mention scientists would tend not to touch that with a 10 foot barge pole for fear of loss of funding or credibility. Bottom line: It’s is perfectly reasonable to believe in a theory of creation, given the lack of any other sensible competing theory (call it god of the gaps if you want). What isn’t reasonable is atheism, which denies the existence of a god outright based on science not having an peer-reviewed evidence and which says science will ONE DAY have a natural explanation (call that science of the gaps – I do). Silly. Why not just say “I don’t know if God exists; He might”. Why not be reasonable?

  • smith, ah, science of the gaps. We don’t know all the rules of the universe YET, so I guess that empowers you to dismiss outright, without further ado, e.g. the Lanciano Eucharistic Miracle or the rock of Our Lady of Las Lajas, which look for all the world like never being capable of having a natural explanation. How do you change a wafer host into human heart-tissue or colour a picture of Our Lady onto a rock several feet deep without any type of dye or colouring? Science will never explain such things naturally.

  • No, we just look at the evidence that is available to all. Unfortunately, for a so-called free-thinker, your brain is seized and frozen solid. You arrogantly believe you’re more intelligent and evolved than the significant majority of the world’s population. You arrogantly sweep aside millenia of belief and tradition just because you can and because it rolls off the tongue easily and you just feel in that sort of belligerent mood.

  • Wrong, many believers accept God’s existence based on evidence, initiated by faith. Atheists weren’t given the initiation and had no impetus to search for, and weigh up, the evidence. Maybe their parents had no interest in God or openly rejected the notion. Most theists go through a stage of unbelief themselves. Some fall into atheism. Others find the evidence that confirms their faith. The evidence is out there. It isn’t, and can’t be, peer-reviewed, but it is there. Who cares to look with an open mind will find it. I can already hear the close-minded strong atheists getting their protests and arguments ready. Save it, shut up and look at what evidence is available. When you feel that urge to strenuously object and reach for your copy of “how to answer theists by saying things like “but there are many gods” and “where is the peer review”, put a sock in it and look up evidence for the supernatural. While looking up evidence for the supernatural and your mouth wants to open and profusely protest and you feel Dawkins shouting in your ear, jam a cork in it and look for more evidences. Give it an honest try with the most open mind you can muster. You are supposed to be free-thinkers after all.

  • Larry, useless comments. Silly and inane and straight out of the “atheist guide to being useless, obtuse and annoying when speaking with theists.

  • Whether or not you believe in one or the other evolution vs.creation…it’s really not the point … the point is one of morality. The Bible is a rulebook for life. Like it or not, you can’t solve the mystery, and you Won’t until your dead.

    Our society keeps the Devil alive and well through many ways, and the most powerful one is money secondary to power.

    You can’t be perfect. Nobody can be. Give up on this if it is your hope. Be grateful for what you earn for yourself. Don’t boast about it. Find someone to love. Follow the rulebook. Easy. Why do so many want to complicate something so beautiful that cannot be understood, that will not be understood?

  • We are here on purpose, not by accident
    Bill Nye should consider debating John Lennox are William Lane Craig. I have a Sunday school student that has been effected by Bill Nye’s debating. The fact is that the Universe has a beginning so something outside of space, time, and matter (transcendent) created the universe. The universe itself is ordered and the constants that govern the universe cannot be by chance because it is so finely tuned. There is absolutely no logical reasoning of how DNA came to be. DNA contains very sophisticated information which means there is an intelligent designer. There are a number of other facts that can only be explained by an intelligent designer.
    The bible is a library of books that were written over 1500 years by several authors. There are many prophesies in the bible that proved to be true. Mankind yearns for a God because it is what we were created for. We were created out of love to love.