Tuesday, February the 4th , Ken Ham hosted Bill Nye for a debate at the Creation Museum. This debate was highly anticipated and had a rather large audience, as it was streamed live online. Maybe it is the cynic in me but from the creation of this event, I knew it was going to be an obnoxious 'debate.' First off the event touts a big name celebrity guest. Second, it is AT Creation Museum, not a neutral location. Third, it is undoubtedly a fundraiser event, the audience is going to be largely Ken Ham supporters in the first place. And as I researched articles and talked to other people, I was not the only person who noticed these things. Michael Schulson of the Daily Beast wrote in an article that "Nye never had a chance. Ham won this debate months ago, when Nye agreed to participate." Michael goes on to show how the hype was all in favor of Ham, even if his debating skills were weak, he had little to lose in hosting this fundraiser. Another item that flashed my mind is the fact that neither of these two guys had much prior debating experience and it showed Tuesday night. I did not watch the full debate, I did not have to. By only watching the highlights and reading the quotes, I could tell that the debate was everything I imagined it to be and more.
Does it make me a bad Christian that I did not enthusiastically support Ken Ham? I do not think so. There were many Christians who did not support Ken Ham. Christian Today, did a poll to see who 'won' the debate, after 37,000 votes on Wednesday, 94% of the voters selected Bill Nye as the winner. Controversial televangelist, Pat Robertson also disagrees with Ken Ham. Another Daily Beast article by Brad Kramer explains that you can be a Christian and not agree with Ken Ham. The majority of the debated centered around the age of the earth. That is fine. The biggest irritation for me, personally, though was that one this issue the debate left a false dilemma. There was no compromise and no satisfactory solution. Bill Nye said "I don't know" to all the hard questions. Bill Nye believes that the earth is millions of years old. And Ken Ham would only use the Bible to answer questions that the Bible simply does not address believes that the earth is only about six thousand years old.
Ken Ham's goals were to present the Gospel and he did. As a Christian I am okay with that. I hope that someone needed to hear the Word and listened. The second goal was to promote the Creations Museum's position of a young earth. This is where Ken Ham lost a lot of Christians. Not all Christians believe in a Young Earth. So at the end of the debate, one is left with no compromises or middle ground between these two extremeness. I personally believe that there is a middle ground. There are more options than the two sides offered at this debate. I believe you can be a Christian and not be a Young Earth Christian. Maybe you too have been curious after the debate about the evidence that Ken Ham presented, or lack of it. Maybe you too noticed that Ken Ham is able to read the Bible literally when it is convenient and when it fits with the Young Earth perspective, but he is able to explain away parts of the Bible that do not go to his favor. If so, you are not alone. Fortunately, faith and science can stand together. I offer a list of awesome resources for you to check out below:
Veritas: A space for investigating questions at the intersection of empiricism and spirituality
Ravi Zacharias offers resources on the topic
Probe ministries offer great articles discussing how Faith and Science can go together
The Apologetics.com team decides if the earth is old or young based on science