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ICYMI: Bill Nye vs Ken Ham in Debate

While the rest of America was still commiserating over the utter disappointment over Sunday’s over-hyped and un-engaging sports ball event, science nerds and connoisseurs alike were all a twitter about yesterday’s big debate between two scientific minds: Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham.

The question: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

The setting: The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

The moderator: CNN’s Tom Foreman.

Bill Nye and Ken Ham illustration

Before the start of the debate, the two debaters flipped a coin over who would open the forum. Ken Ham, a self proclaimed Creationist, won the toss and was given dibs to speak first. Ham’s five minute opening statement covered such topics as the word “science” was hijacked by the secularists, America’s textbooks indoctrinated the children of the next generation with Darwin’s ideas of evolution. These ideas needed to be taken back, or rather, reconfigured to more specific terms to differentiate one ideal from the other. He then provides visual aids and sound bites from legitimate scientists and inventors who were also creationists, illustrating that the realm of science isn’t inhabited solely by atheists, agnostics, and secularists. Bill Nye, patiently waits for his turn, obviously ready to pounce.

Ken Ham’s five minutes were up, and Bill Nye took his respective podium. Nye opened with a seemingly unrelated anecdote about his father getting his bow tie tied by an undertaker, who only knew how to execute this complicated process on people lying down. Cue polite chuckling. The point Nye was trying to make, albeit not a very good one, was that he was told this story as a true one. You could almost hear the light bulb click on from those few paying attention in the audience. Nye proceeded to his obtaining a fossil and walking through the Grand Canyon, all showing evidence of that the earth is indeed not 6,000 years old as Ham firmly believes. He closes his five minutes with a gripping final statement: if America wants to stay ahead as a world power, then they have to listen to scientific evidence and explore farther (rather than remain content with what someone else told them from a book written thousands of years ago).

Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate 1
Bill Nye talking about evolutionary gaps being filled through continued exploration by scientists.

Overall impression: If only political debates were as well organized and thought out as this one. Both sides presented compelling arguments, one perhaps stronger than the other. One can only say “Well, there’s already a book out there that explains [insert subject here], and it begins with ‘In the beginning….'” It was cute the first time, Ham, but that’s not a satisfying answer. That just tells us you’re content with a text written (ultimately) by a fallible man thousands of years ago. But I digress…

We’re not going to spoil the rest of the debate for you. Whatever your beliefs in the Creationist versus Evolution debate, whether you’re on one side or somewhere in the middle, we urge you watch the whole thing. It is probably one of the most important debates to watch besides the primary and presidential debates — though the latter two are very much a circus in their own rights.

If you be so bold, tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Let us have a spirited debate!

The Author

Christina Janke

Christina Janke

Host of "Intro to Geek" on Shauncastic.com. Her love of all things Mass Effect knows no bounds. She also carries an obsession with comic books, video games, and quirky television shows. Her heroes are Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, and Gail Simone, and hopes to be just like them when she grows up.

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