Two-and-a-half months after creationist Ken Ham publicly debated evolutionist Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy,’ Nye has written a column for a skeptics magazine, in which he lambasts Ham’s biblical Creation beliefs.
As previously reported, Ham, president of Answers in Genesis (AiG), and Nye discussed the question, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” in a February 4 debate. AiG has estimated that a total of 12 million people have viewed the historic debate so far—either live in early February or through recordings of the event.
Since February 4, Ham has written numerous commentaries and articles on the debate. In comparison, Nye has remained largely silent. However, in a 3,000-word opinion column published this month by the Skeptical Inquirer, Nye offered his perspective on the debate.
Throughout the column, Nye disparages the biblical creation point of view, describing it as “thoughtless,” “completely unreasonable,” and “useless from a practical standpoint.” Nye also says he agreed to debate Ham in AiG’s Creation Museum because he “relish[es] … confrontation” and “wanted to be in the belly of the beast.”
“I held strongly to the view that [the debate] was an opportunity to expose the well-intending Ken Ham and the support he receives from his followers as being bad for Kentucky, bad for science education, bad for the U.S., and thereby bad for humankind,” Nye wrote. “I do not feel I’m exaggerating when I express it this strongly.”
Nye also asserted that his evolutionary beliefs are founded on “elementary science and common sense.”
“I did my best to slam Ken Ham with a great many scientific and common sense arguments,” Nye boasts. “I believed he wouldn’t have the time or the focus to address many of them.”
Overall, Nye believes his performance in the debate was superior to Ham’s, and hopes it creates a pro-evolutionary legacy.
“By all, or a strong majority of, accounts, I bested him,” Nye asserted. “I frankly hope that in the coming few years not a single student in Kentucky is indoctrinated by the Answers in Genesis facilities and staff.”
Following Nye’s claims, Ham responded on Wednesday with both a blog post and a thorough online commentary.
“There was so much misinformation and so many demeaning comments found in Mr. Nye’s attack against Answers in Genesis and me personally,” Ham wrote, “that I decided to respond to a number of his statements in a commentary.”
“Not only do Bill Nye and I hold totally different positions on origins,” he said, “we also have different accounts of the history surrounding our debate at the Creation Museum on February 4.”
“It was encouraging that Mr. Nye repeated the most-referred-to quote from the debate: ‘There is a book (the Bible),’ Ham stated. “And it’s also encouraging that Mr. Nye has changed his mind, from at one time thinking that I was some sort of charlatan (as he once said in an interview) to recognizing that I do believe what I am teaching, and that I’m passionate about it.”
“Sadly, though,” he added, “he has once again made out that the AiG staff and our supporters are my ‘parishioners,’ almost as if I lead some sort of cultish group.”
Ham then encouraged people to visit the AiG website and explore numerous articles which deal in detail with topics covered in the February debate.
Overall, Ham remains optimistic about the debate outcome, remarking, “I believe this debate did and continues to spark interest across the world about the creation/evolution issue, and has opened the door for Christians to witness to their friends and family.”
“And I have two questions for Mr. Nye, which are the same questions I challenged him about during the debate and continue to be left unanswered,” Ham concluded.
- “How do you account for the laws of logic and laws of nature from a naturalistic worldview that excludes the existence of God?
- “Can you name one piece of technology that could only have been developed starting with a belief in molecules-to-man evolution?
“I await the answers,” he said.