Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nye-Ham Creation Origins Debate, 2/4/14, Creation Museum, KY

Nye-Ham Debate
Is creation a viable model of origins today?  2/4/14
Ham (5 min)-There are scientists who support creationism.  Lots of rapid-fire slides of sciency images, often just a couple of seconds each.
“Molecules-to-man evolution.”  Asserts that HS textbooks definitions of science presumes atheism by equating it with ‘naturalism.’  “Historical science” vs. “observational/experimental science”
Nye (5 min)-bow ties and tuxedo rentals.  Two “stories” presented tonight.  Critique’s Ham’s faulty distinction between historical and observational science.  Is the literal narrative of the Genesis flood reasonable?  Grand Canyon—no evidence of different types of fossils in the layers.  If the flood were accurate, they should be spread throughout the canyon.
What keeps the US ahead, globally, is our technological capacity.  If we continue to eschew science, we will fall behind. 
Ham (30 min)--Introduced several more scientists who are creationists.  Stellar astronomer from IU.  Biomimmetics engineer—says his colleagues are amenable to creationism but are afraid to speak out. 
A geology textbook—distinguishes “physical geology” vs. “historical geology”.  Scientists can agree on many things despite being creationist vs evolutionist.  Question for Nye—is there any piece of technology that could only have been invented based on ‘molecules to man’ model?  All scientists have the same evidence, but this is a battle over interpretation, and thus a worldview.
Predictions based on Bible—species reproduce by “kinds” they don’t change kinds.  Humans derive from single origin. 
Darwin’s diary, drew a phylogenetic tree for finches, with a side note “I think.”  The creationist “kinds” is scientific “family.”  On the ark there only needed to be 2 dogs, and all subsequent species of dogs come from this one pair.  Cited a paper which claims all dogs came from one origin. 
The words “science” and “evolution” have been hijacked by secularists.  Creationists don’t deny species changes.  They don’t agree that one species can change into another species.  Refers to Lenski’s experiment, growing E Coli on citrate, which is claimed to disprove creationism.  Video from microbiologist who says the study doesn’t disprove creationism.  Old science textbook that used Darwin to teach there were 5 different races.  But since modern science proves there is “one human race” it disproves Darwin.
Showed clip of Nye questioning how creationists can accept modern technology and medicine, but not science supporting evolution.  Ham emphasizes the distinction between observational/experimental and historical science.  Argues that creationists are using critical thinking, and admits there is a ‘belief’ aspect, but evolutionists lack critical thinking and are refusing to admit a ‘belief’ component.
Quotes Matthew, and other bible verses about sin and salvation, connecting creationism with the Biblical story.  He admits that many recognize that creationists make this connection, and therefore want creationism out of schools because it’s teaching religion.  Went on a long monologue about how naturalism is destroying the moral fabric of society because it leads to moral relativism, abortion, etc.  Believes that if you teach students evolution, then you aren’t really teaching “science”, since it’s wrong, so you need to teach them that Jesus died on the cross, so that they will understand how things work.
Nye (30 min)---In KY there is a lot of limestone.  This is millions of layers of animal life.  There wasn’t enough time since the flood for this layer to form.  Ice cores from Greenland reveal 680,000 layers of ice, each of which is a winter/summer cycle.  That’s 170 per year if the earth is 4000 years old.  Rings form annually on trees, many of which are far older than 4,000 years, which could not have survived a year under water.  If the flood created the grand canyon, wouldn’t there be grand canyons everywhere?  There are discrete layers visible in the GC-there aren’t mixing of animal types embedded in the other layers.  There is not one example anywhere.  The flood should have created mixing. 
If the flood happened 4,000 years ago, and the ark landed in Turkey, somehow humans got to Australia—an alleged land bridge existed to Australia.  There is no evidence of such a bridge, nor any animal evidence from 4,000 years.  There are perhaps 16,000,000 species, that allegedly originated from Ham’s claim of 7,000 kinds.  That’s 11 new species per day if this happened in 4,000 years.  Boulders on top of mountains in Oregon—how would they have got there in 4,000 years.
Early 1900s a large wooden ship was built by some of the best in the world at ship-building, but it twisted in the sea and sunk—it was not as large as the ark, which was built by people with no skills in ship-building.  Picture of a zoo with 400 species and a huge staff—is it reasonable that Noah’s family could have crammed 7,000 species on a boat for a year and take care of them? 
Based on a gap in the fossil record, scientists predicted what should fill in the gap—they found it in an ancient lake that was calculated to be the right age.  Evolution can make predictions that are fulfilled, Ham’s model cannot.
Sexual reproduction-topminnows.  Useful to develop immune systems to resist germs and parasites.  Scientists made a prediction about this process, and it worked.
The big bang.  Hubble noticed that the stars were moving apart.  Astronomers predicted background noise, which was discovered.  Periodic table—rubidium and strontium—this is locked into place from volcanic eruptions, and you can tell how old it is.  You can go to national parks where there are fossils around these ancient eruptions—millions of years old.  RB also used in a heart attack detection technology, where there is no degree for in KY, highlighting the need for science literacy.  There are billions of stars, far more than 6,000 years old which couldn’t exist by the creationist model.  There are ice, trees, rocks, starlight, etc, far far far older than 6,000 years, so the creation model is not viable.
US Constitution 1.8—“to promote science and the useful arts”

Ham (5 min)—can’t ‘observe’ the age of the earth.  Bible translation says God made the universe in 6-days, and following the genealogy, that makes 6,000 years.  Radioactive decay-one geological dig, basalt was several million years, a wood sample was tens of thousands.  A volcanic eruptions gave lots of different dates.  Lots of assumptions built into radioactive dating—that’s ‘historical’ science, since there’s no way to absolutely historically date things. 
There is a problem for Christians who believe in long-earth.  The bible shows that death happened after Adam sinned, so if death happened millions of years ago, that was before Adam sinned.  The Bible says ‘thorns’ happened after Adam sinned, so that must be less than 6,000 years old.  There was only one person there, that was God, so we have to believe him.  We have hundreds of kinds of ‘dating’ methods, 90% of which prove young earth.
Nye (5 min)—Rocks of different age in the same place are from rocks sliding on top of each other, not bad dating methods.  Are fish sinners?  If death happened after Adam, why did the whole earth start dying?  All astronomy is, is looking at the past, because current starlight is from light originating in the past.  Light from the people in the back of the audience getting to Nye is older than the light from the people in the front of the room—either way, both are from the past.  Ham asserts you can’t know the past.  Ham argued that everybody were vegetarians before the flood—but lions have teeth made for killing, not for surviving on plants.  Ham wants us to believe that his interpretation of the Bible is more accurate than our observations about the world around us.
Ham (5 min)—We can only do good experimental science because we can trust the laws of the universe, which was created by god—that’s why we can trust those laws.  Ham doesn’t claim that ‘species’ got onto the ark, but ‘kinds.’  There was plenty of room on the ark.  We didn’t see tree rings forming, or ice cores being formed.  Ice can build up catastrophically—it’s inappropriate to presume things happen in steady way.  Pandas and other bears have teeth similar to lions, but they eat plants.  Creationists believe that post-flood catastrophes that create the appearance of long ages.  Why would Nye presume that Noah was unskilled and unable to build a big boat, we haven’t met him.  Chinese made large boats.  Astronomers are having problems fitting their predictions into the observable data.
Nye (5 min)—Ham seems to believe that Noah had superpowers with him and  his 7 family members able to make a viable ark.  Ham claims that when people make assumptions about dating, about astronomy, about genetic mutations, he presumes they don’t know what they are talking about, and that catastrophes created many of these appearances.  Why should we accept Ham’s interpretation rather than all of these scientists, when Ham claims that everything in our world changed 4,000 years ago, which shifted how we can interpret science.  Ham claims Christians with old-earth views have a fundamental problem, but is that fair to these Christians?  There is science—not observational and historical science.  Scientists throw away ideas that don’t work, and is built on testing predictions.  Ham’s view based on a translation of an ancient text that seems to deny the world we see around us, seems like an untenable approach.  We need science and innovation in education today.
Q&A Period—with addressee for 2 min to answer, and 1 min for opponent to respond.
How does creationism explain the vast number of planets and the expanding universe, and what is God’s plan for that? 
Ham-Bible says God ‘stretches out’ the heavans for his glory.  It’s to tell us how amazing, big and infinite God is.
Nye—Does Ham have a prediction that can be tested?
What was before the big bang?
Nye—That’s a great question.  Let’s keep looking and find out.  A science student from KY may discover that.
Ham—There is a book that exists that tells us where matter came from, the Bible, and it’s the only answer that makes sense.  Matter can never produce information, language.  Only intelligence can create information.
What science beside the bible supports creationism?
Ham—“Majority” isn’t a judge of truth, so just because the majority of scientists believe something doesn’t make it true.  Ham made predictions—if the bible is right, there should be one race. That’s true.  There should be kinds.  That’s true.  Ham showed videos of scientists who believe in creationists.
Nye-If a scientist changes the way we view science, then we embrace it.  Pasteur and pathogen theory was embraced and radically changed our view of science. 
How did consciousness come from matter?
Nye-That’s a great mystery.  The joy of discovery drives us.  We don’t know, but the mystery drives us.  Nye challenges the KY future scientists in the audience to find out.  If we abandon good science education, we will fall behind.
Ham—The bible documents where consciousness came from.  If you are gone when you die, as Nye claims, then what is the point of anything?
What would change Ham’s mind, if anything?
Ham-As a Christian, he can’t ‘prove’ religion, that’s a starting belief.  You can check prophecies in the bible, and verify the science described in the bible.  Nobody can convince Ham that the bible is wrong.  The creation scientists make models based on creation science.  What would change Nye’s mind?
Nye—Just one piece of evidence—that a fossil swam from one layer to another.  Or that you can reset atomic clocks.  Or that layers that appear millions of years old can form in a few thousand years.  What can Ham ‘actually’ ‘predict’?
What supports Nye’s view of the age of the earth.
Nye—Starlight.  Radiometric dating methods are compelling.  Deposition rates.  There is no evidence that there was a global flood 4,000 years ago.  The fossil record of skulls takes time to go from one species to another.
Ham-4.5B date isn’t from dating earth rocks, but meteorites.  Hundreds of dating methods exist, and they are all different, and they all make assumptions.  90% contradict the billions of years theory.
Continental drift occurs at a certain speed.  Can Ham account for how fast they must have gone 6,000 years ago to get to where we are today?
Ham-Assumptions are made based on current rates, that they were similar in the past.  But we didn’t observe those past movements, we just assume them.  Creationists believe in catastrophic plate tectonics that created the current appearance.  That’s the difference between historical and observational science.  Creationists believe there was originally one continent, but the flood caused a break-up of the continents.
Nye—That must have been a lot easier to demonstrate 100  years ago before tectonic plate theory was proved.  Scientists can measure how quickly plates were moving in the past.
How to balance evolution with 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Nye-2nd law is that you lose energy to heat.  Entropy, disorder of molecules.  However, this questioner ignores that the earth is not a closed system.  The sun is constantly providing energy to the earth. 
Ham-Energy and matter cannot produce information.  God imposed information and language.  Decay is what happens to matter, things go towards disorder.  Only God could have imposed order onto disorder.
If it could be proved hypothetically that the earth was older than 10,000 years old, would Ham still believe in God?
Ham-You can’t ‘prove’ the age of the universe, so there is no hypothetical, so it doesn’t matter.  There is nothing in observational science that contradicts the young universe.  If Christians believe in old earth, they have a problem with the bible, because it contradicts that death only occurred after Adam.
Nye—Ham wants us to believe that his interpretation of a book translated into English from 1,000s of years ago, is more credible than everything that we can see around us.  What is it that Ham’s theory can predict, not just about his theory of the past.
Is there room for God in science?
Nye—There are billions of people in the world who believes in both God and embrace science and technology.  Science is the body of knowledge and the process by which we understand the natural world.  That doesn’t seem to be related to one’s spiritual belief.  There are important scientists who are Christians, so it seems there is no incompatibility.  Ham hasn’t addressed any of these problems with the ark, the ice layers, etc. 
Ham-God is necessary for science. 
Should the entire bible be interpreted literally?  Can people touch pig skins, and marry multiple people?
Ham—We have to define terms.  Some parts of the Bible are poetry, some are history, some is prophecy, some are cosmological accounts.  You have to read it as the types were intended.  Some people misinterpret the Bible and try to impose it on other people.  When men were married to multiple women that caused a lot of problems, and the Bible condemned that. 
Nye-It sounds like there are certain parts of the Bible that should be interpreted literally, and other parts should be interpreted poetically.  Scientifically, it doesn’t seem reasonable that all of the things that contradict Ham’s interpretation of the first section of Genesis, doesn’t lead us to believe that those sections should be interpreted literally.
Did Nye ever believe that evolution could have occurred by design?
Nye—You cannot prove or disprove the existence of a God that created the universe and causes things to happen.  Intelligent Design has a fundamental misunderstanding of nature.  Evolution is a process that adds complexity through natural selection.  The perception that there is a designer isn’t true because there are other explanations that make stronger predictions.  Nature is bottom up, not top down as the creationists propose.  Science is inconsistent with a top-down model
Ham-Nye needs to prove that a ‘new’ thing has come into existence, but those examples don’t exist.  The E Coli that developed an ability to live on citrate isn’t a new thing that developed, but a gene that was turned on that was already there.
Other than the Creation Museum, what is producing products and ideas from creationism?
Ham-Anybody who is a creationist who is doing research.  Nye should explain why we can trust the laws of nature and logic unless God created them. If we don’t trust children where these things really came from, then they won’t know science.  Scientists are borrowing from the Christian worldview when they talk about the constancy of natural law.
Nye-The reason Nye doesn’t accept the Ken Ham model is that it has no predictive capacity.  If the Bible is the only literal word of God, what happened to all of the people who never heard about the Bible?  Are they all inherently lost and misguided?
What is the one thing on all else on which you base your belief?
Ham-The bible is the most unique book, and no other religion talks about the origin of everything.  It offers redemption from sin.  The Bible offers predictions, and if it’s true, it should be able to be tested and found true.  Other religions have flood and creation narratives.  If you want to find God, He will reveal himself.
Nye-Science is true and is constantly helping us discover the universe.  We are a product of the universe, and have come to be because of the universe’s existence.  These amazing questions drive us.  If we abandon the process that we know works, we in the US will be outcompeted by other countries.  We have to embrace science education. 
The debate will be archived for several days at debatelive.org

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