Question and Answers Part 2
Question 8: What is Your Favorite Color?
Bill: I'll go with most folks and say Green. But did you know that plants are green because they reflect green light?
Ken: May I have 3 words since he used 300? Observational science: blue (as he lifts up his tie)
Me: Quotes Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Blue....NO YELLOWWWWWW!!!
Question 9: How do you balance the Theory of Evolution with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?
Bill: Quote that says if you question Newton, great. If you question Relativity, you change the world. If you question the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, you have no hope. 2nd Law basically says everything tends towards disorder. But the earth is not a closed system. The sun gives the driving energy that makes the earth work. Plants in particular. About 1/2 of oxygen we breath is made in the ocean by plankton. The Law provides everything we see in technology. Our power is calculated by how much energy we can use from burning fuel. It governs every turbine that generates power.
Ken: No matter how much energy you have, energy or matter will never produce life. It was God who imposed information and language. Pre-Fall there was things like digestion and stuff but Post-sin things have been falling apart.
Me: Every machine known to man, artificial or natural, is less than 100% efficient. This is basic engineering which Bill knows full well. 100% efficient just breaks even. To gain anything you need something greater than 100% efficiency. Bill does not understand that energy is ALWAYS destructive in every case unless there is a mechanism to direct and control that energy. We added a whole lot of energy to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I didn't see any sign of new development from that. Ken seemed to hint that pre-Fall, things could be 100% efficient but after sin, we lost that ability.
Question 10: Hypothetically, if evidence showed up that the earth was not 6000 years old, would you still believe in God, and in the historical Jesus Christ?
Ken: You cannot prove age of anything scientifically. There is no hypothetical case. Absolutely nothing in observational science disproves the Biblical account. If you are going to be a Christian and you believe the long ages of the fossil record, you have a problem with the Bible: death/disease before sin.
Bill: You can prove the age of the earth with great robustness just by observing the universe around us. It's Ken's word for it. His interpretation of a book written 3000 years ago, translated into American English is more compelling than what we can observe around us. Life cannot come from non-life? Are you sure? So we should not waste money looking for water and life on Mars? What can you predict? What can tell us about the future, not just your vision of the past?
Me: Ken makes a good point. All ages are not scientifically proven. They are worldview issues. He says without a young earth, we have problems with the foundation of why Christ came to earth and what his death delivered us from. Bill then just repeats the same arguments as though Ken never addressed them. I won't go over it again. But I will address if he is sure life cannot come from non-life. That is the one Law of Biology that every science textbooks has and every biologist knows. It is the Law of Biogenesis. All life has always come from other life. Then Bill asks what about the future. Bill doesn't want that answer because the Bible does talk about the future. It was right about the coming of Christ the first time and it also talks about Christ's return. And the news headlines are looking VERY familiar to the signs of the end of time.
Question 11: Is there room for God in Science?
Bill: There are billions of people who accept God and embrace science. Is there anyone who doesn't have a cell phone? Is there anyone who doesn't eat? Farms are set up based on satellites. That is how we can feed 7 billion whereas before we could only feed 1 billion. Science and God are two completely separate issues. Many accept Science and God, but Ken Ham is the exception in the attempt to blend the two together. He then wants Ken to address the problems with ice cores, his problems with the Flood, etc in one minute.
Ken: God is necessary for science to be possible. Yes, we have great technology and we are using it. But God is necessary because we have logic and uniformity of the laws of science. Both go hand in hand. Inventions and talking about origins are two very different things.
Me: Technology is great and it does a lot of wonderful things. What we can observe is excellent. But origins is a worldview issue and cannot be determined by empirical means. Bill hurls elephants at Ken trying to get him to explain every one of his problems before he has time to address. Bill should have done his research before the debate began. Ken has actually done a really good job at focusing on the core of the issue: worldviews, not answering every single point Bill throws at him.
Question 12: Should the entire Bible be taken literally? Should those who touch pig skins be stoned? Can men marry multiple women?
Ken: How do we define literally? If we mean naturally, that is history as history, poetry as poetry, etc, then yes. Lots of misunderstandings with the Bible. We have laws in our civil government, and likewise there were laws in Israel. The problems are taken out of context. Use the whole Bible. When polygamy took places, lots of problems. The Bible is a real book.
Bill: There are certain parts that you can pick and choose what genre the Bible's parts are. As a "reasonable man" if the first few verses don't make sense, why should I trust the rest of it?
Me: Ken is dead-on here. It is very easy to tell what genre each book of the Bible is. It is no different than telling the difference between the story of Lord of the Rings by Tolkien and The Raven by E. A. Poe. You cannot just pick and choose what parts of the Bible you can take for which genre. Bill complaint is aimed at Ken, but it actually hits hardest against those Bill is using to defend his case: the Old earth creationists and the Theistic evolutionists. They are the ones that pick and choose which genre Genesis is. Ken made a great comment about the realism of the Bible. It is not just fluffy stuff. It contains some real events with real people who had real problems. King David was a prime example. He has lots of problems, including polygamy, and it never went well. Bill is also right, if the first few verses of the Bible don't make sense why should he trust the rest of it. Again, this was targeted at Ken Ham but it actually is reflective of the OEC/TE positions, the ones Bill said was perfectly valid.
Question 13: Did you ever believe Evolution was caused by means of a higher power? Why or why not?
Bill: You cannot prove or disprove a higher power. This becomes a case of agnostic: you can't know. I'll grant that. Intelligent design has a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of nature. If you found a watch in the field, you'd recognize that it was designed. But that's not how nature works. Evolution is a process that adds complexity. Evolution has weak designs eaten by good designs. Perception of a designer is not necessarily true. Design is a top-down structure. Nature is bottom-up. It's compelling and wonderful and inconsistent with a top-down view.
Ken: Bill needs to demonstrate any new information that was not genetically already possible from bottom-up. There is no such example. Lenski's E-Coli. It was just a flip of a genetic switch. It was already there.
Me: Bill finally gets it for a moment. Science cannot address the issue of God or no-God. But that does not mean we cannot know. It just means we cannot know from science. Bill's problem is that he only considers empirical knowledge and does not consider the prospect of God being able to reveal himself. Bill does not understand nature because it has never been observed for any new function to arrive that was not already present. Yes, the bottom up view is inconsistent with a top down view, but Bill did not demonstrate that bottom-up view is possible, nor did he demonstrate that top-down is not an option.
Question 14: Name any organization that is not a church, ministry or AiG, that uses Creationism to produce its product?
Ken: Any person Christian or non-Christian inventing anything is using Creation. They have to borrow from the Biblical worldview of logic, reasoning, and consistency in nature. Should the laws of nature ever change? Many of the greatest scientists in the world were creationists. Newton, Faraday, etc. Modern science originally came out from "thinking God's thoughts after him". A good number of Creationist scientists can get published in secular papers because their topic doesn't touch on Creation/Evolution.
Bill: Creation has no predictive quality. Ken's "interpretation" of "most parts of the Bible" is correct and that is troubling. What became of those who never heard of it? China, Native American's etc. Ken said there were no examples, and yet there are thousands of examples of how science makes predictions.
Me: If Creation was not true, how did logic come about? How did the Laws of Science come about and hold consistently? Bill could never address that. They only make sense in light of an all-knowing, all-powerful God. Bill complains about the predictive quality of the account of Creation again, completely ignoring the repeated claims of some of the claims it does make. What about those who never heard the Gospel? That is what our job as Christians is. That is why Ken Ham was doing right after the debate: going to the Dominican Republic to preach not just Creation but also the Gospel of Christ. Bill said Ken said there were no examples. Example of what? Ken was addressing the bottom up claim, not how science can make predictions. Bill is complaining about an argument Ken didn't make.
Question 15: Evolution is about the increase of man's intelligence. How can you address obvious intelligence in the past?
Bill: No evidence that humans are getting smarter. "Survival of the fittest" is not one in most shape, it means those that fit in the best. It our ability to reason that has taken us to where we are now. In WWI, more were killed by the flu than by combat. If the right germ shows up, we're dead. Intelligence does not affect evolution. It is apparent due to technology. Dinosaurs once ruled the earth, wiped out by a big fireball, likely an impactor and we are the result.
Ken: A biology professor, "these fish have evolved the ability not to see": blind cave fish. It's not survival of the fittest. It's the survival of those that survived. Again, nothing new. No new information, no new function.
Me: Bill did not really address the question. The question was referencing past evidence of man's technology to building things like the pyramids or the Mayan temples where you cannot fit a hair through adjacent stones. We can't do that today, even with our technology. How does Bill know that a meteor impact would have caused a big fireball and wiped out the dinosaurs? The main question was not actually answered.
Question 16: What is the one thing above anything else that you base your belief?
Ken: There is a book. No other religion has a book that starts with an all powerful God and origins of absolutely everything in the universe. We have an account of a worldview Flood and language dispersion. If that is true, we also have a Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ken did go through some predictions. It is so specific you can predict stuff. If you believe God, if you seek out the truth, God will reveal himself to you.
Bill: Old professor Carl Saigan, when in love you want to tell the world. Science makes you want to seek out and do everything. We are one of the ways the universe knows itself. We are here because of the universe's existence. Are we alone in the universe? The process of science is the most compelling thing. What is at stake? If we abandon all we learn from our ancestors, if we stop driving forward, we in the US will be out-competed. So we have to embrace science education.
Me: Ken starts with the Bible and ends with the Bible. The ultimate question is "Can the Bible be trusted?" For Ken, it must be trusted because he's tasted and seen that it is true. Ken had no time to bring it all up in one debate, but all of world history is easily derived from the Table of Nations. And Ken makes a key point in that if you seek God out, he will show himself to you, but if you don't, he is not obligated to do so. Bill's stance is made very clear when Bill revealed his old professor was a famous atheist: Carl Saigan. Science does want to make you go out and explore, but can science be the only source of knowledge. Bill claims we are the way the universe realizes itself. Last I check the universe could not care what we think about it. Pluto doesn't care if it is a planet or not. Bill makes a great claim that if we do not stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before us that we will fall behind to the wayside. Of all he said in this debate, that was the one truest statement he made. He doesn't acknowledge that the giants we stand on were Bible believers and that the ones that made US great were Bible-believer leaders. He does not recognize that Europe has fallen to the wayside and that Evolution is very dominate there. YEC is next non-existent. Bill wants us to embrace Evolution to keep us ahead, but fails to see that Evolution has actually done a big role in bringing us down, and away from any standard of truth.
In conclusion, I have seen the debate several times now. And while at first I had some skepticism about Ken's approach to the debate, the more I listen, the more I see he really knew what he was doing. He kept the issue right where it needed to be: on worldviews and by the time the Q/A session came up, it became obvious that Bill was spouting worldview points, not scientific points. Was there a winner? It simply depends on the judge's worldview. A Christian will think Ken Ham won it soundly and a non-Christian will think Bill Nye won it soundly. I will not hide the fact that I am a Christian and I do hold to a YEC view. But I hold to that view in spite of what Ken Ham has said and I held to it long before I ever heard his name. Bill Nye did not win this debate by any means. He showed he did not do research and he showed that he did not really listen to what Ken Ham actually had to say because he kept repeated things as though it was true when Ken clearly stated otherwise. Ken did have some areas I personally think he could have done better on. A debate does not determine truth. It only determines who can present a better case. Ken made a stronger case because his case was full of well-established research. Bill did a poor job at attacking the YEC position because he did not do his homework. He did not demonstrate that he even knew about very well-known counter-arguments against his claims, many of which I addressed in this series. Bill Nye demonstrated he loves science but rejects the YEC account because he knows that to do so is to also bow the knee to the Creator. And that he will not do. I really enjoyed this debate. There is a lot more I can talk about on all these issues but that is enough for the time being. Thank you for reading my take on this debate.