Friday, February 14, 2014

Ken Ham Bill Nye Debate Response: Q/A Part 2

Here is the finale of this series. Addressing the remaining 9 questions asked to both Ken Ham and Bill Nye to wrap up the debate.

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. 

Final Thoughts

  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. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ken Ham Bill Nye Debate Response: Q/A Part 1

  This is near the end of this series on the Ken Ham - Bill Nye Debate. The last segment: the Question/Answer period. The moderator, who by the way did an excellent job and was truly neutral throughout the whole debate, sorted out the questions from the audience into two piles, one for each speaker, starting with Ken. Each person got two minutes to answer and the other got one minute to rebut. There were 14 questions in total finalized by one question to both speakers. For the sake of keeping this short, I'll break up this section in half, so you don't have full length novel on one post. Here is what they said along with my responses to them.

 Question 1: Ken, How does the Creation Model account for stars, planets, galaxies, ect. moving away from the center of the universe? 

  Ken:  God created all the stars, planets, and galaxies, then in the Bible God stretched the heavens. What is happening fits with what is described in the Bible. The universe shows how big God is. Yet it is remarkable how small we are, and yet God still focuses on us, died for our sin, so that we might have eternal life with him.

  Bill: The first question we all ask ourselves: Where did we come from? This is why we invented all our science fields. When "God created the stars also." that's satisfying. We can stop there. He wants to know more. Can Ken come up with something he can predict?

  Me: As I have already explained earlier, Russel Humphrey's model is a pretty good one that explains this expansion. His model accounts for everything including the Pioneer Anomaly, the Hubble Constant (which is a problem for Big Bang, and why they had to come up with it), and the acceleration of the expansion. Ken did not mention this specifically, but it's a good one to have up your sleeves. Bill is partially right. We invented the science fields in part to answer how we got here, but not from a naturalistic position. We invented them to discover what God did. We don't stop with 'God created the stars'. We start there. Big difference. Can Ken come up with something Biblical models can predict? The planetary magnetic fields of Mercury, Mars, Uranus, and Neptune is a good place to start. Dr. Humphrey's did that. He was dead on. That doesn't include what Ken already mentioned that Bill seemed to not recognize happened.

  Question 2: How did the atoms that created the Big Bang get there?

  Bill: Great mystery. Hit the nail on the head. That question is what drives us. We used to think it would expand, contract, expand, contract, repeatedly. But it is expanding faster and faster. Why? Nobody knows why. That is why we have dark energy, dark matter, which are mathematical expressions for what we are seeing. What if someone from Kentucky were to figure out the answer?

  Ken: Bill, actually, there is a book out there. It's the only thing that makes sense. Same with information and language. Matter cannot produce information or language. He quoted Hebrews 11:3.

  Me: Bill basically said "I don't have a clue. Someone go out and find the answer." Ken gave the best answer of the whole debate here: "There is a book." Also, Bill references dark matter and dark energy. He doesn't know that no scientist in the world has any clue what it actually is, let alone observed it. Bill said: I don't know. Ken said: We know exactly how matter got here. Which one is more reasonable?

Question 3: What supports the Bible besides a literal interpretation of Scripture? 

  Ken:  The majority of scientists have presented evidence of an old earth but the majority can often be wrong. What supports the Bible? He made some predictions. All life originates from their kinds. We have one race. The issue is historical events, not present science. You can't scientifically prove the age of the earth.

  Bill: If anyone makes a study that forces us to re-look at natural law, the scientific community will embrace him. The majority only has sway up to a point. Evolution's mechanism is adding complexity over time. The sun adds energy to the earth to make life forms more complex.

  Me: Good response from Ken. It is not a scientific issue. It is a worldview issue. He did present scientific evidence in his case that matches what the Bible predicts. Bill, you love how science is supposed to act, but it doesn't act that way. The Big Bang is explicitly held in today's scientific community by majority opinion, not anything else. Adding complexity over time? I'd love to see that one, Bill. I'd also love to see the sun adding energy to make more complex life forms. There is no such thing as a 100% efficient machine invented by man or in nature. 100% efficiency just breaks even. To add complexity, you need GREATER than 100% efficiency or you need intelligent intervention.

Question 4: How did consciousness come from matter? 

  Bill:  Don't know. Dogs are now known to have consciousness. We know it is deep within us. Could life start "another way"? Our tax dollars are going to look for those answers. Could there be another sci-fi esque type of life-form? If we do not embrace "outside" science, we will fall economically.

  Ken: Bill, there is a book out there that documents where it came from. Genesis 2. But when you die, do you no longer exist? Then what is the point of the thrill of discovery? Creation gives us reason to love the joy of discovery.

  Me: A lot of great enthusiasm for "I don't know," from Bill. Yes, are tax dollars are try to seek the answers but as Ken clearly pointed out: there is a book out there that tells us exactly how consciousness came about. They are doing whatever they can to support their theory and find the unknowns when those unknowns were given to us 3500 years ago. But the scientists on the "outside" want nothing to do with any divine intervention because ultimately if we are created, we are held accountable to the Creator. And that is what these "outside" scientists will never consider. Ken nails it on the head about the joy of discovery without God in the picture. It is meaningless. Why learn anything at all about science if there is nothing after death and the entire universe is going to go back to nothingness? There won't be a legacy to keep on. Creation demonstrates the joy of discovery to be reasonable and ability to create again. 

Question 5: What if anything would ever change your mind? 

 Ken: I'm a Christian. I can't prove it to you, but God has very clearly shown himself through Scripture and Christ. You can check out the prophecies and the statements in Genesis. I can't prove it to anyone else. But if you search, God will reveal himself to you. Nothing will convince him that the Bible is not the word of God. But models based on the Bible are not Gospel truth. Those can change. The historical account cannot change, but how we think it may have happened is subject to change.

  Bill: We just need one piece of evidence that contradicts dating methods or supports the Biblical account. Just one would change him immediately. What can you prove? All Ken did was try to explain away problems but didn't prove anything. He needs predictability as per the scientific method.

   Me: Once you are born-again, there is no turning back. If you have been eating dung your whole life and then get a super-nice fine fillet, and you can get that and more every meal, you will never go back to the dung. The truth is not open to change or to compromise. You cannot re-write history. What happened did happen no matter what anyone says. Bill, I can't believe you on your claim that just one piece of evidence would change your mind. Ken brought quite a few and you treated it like he never did. You do not know how the scientific community actually acts in practice. And you also forget a key fact about science. It does not deal with proofs. Logic, math, and religion do, but not science.

Question 6:Besides radiometric dating, what is the best evidence that supports the age of the earth?

  Bill: Radiometric dating is pretty compelling. Deposition rates, referencing Charles Lyell, a geologist. It was a mystery on how there would be enough time to enable Evolution to take place. Radioactivity is why it all works, and is why the earth is still warm and why the earth was able to sustain it's eternal heat all this millennia. It is asking "If there is any other way?" Radiometic dating does exist. Neutrons do become protons. Universe is expanding. It's provable facts. Flood is not provable. Evidence for me as a reasonable man is that it could not happen. Ken never addressed the skulls.

   Ken: No earth rock has ever been dated to 4.6 billion years. Only meteors. Over 90% of possible dating methods show the earth to be less than billions of years old. No scientific method can produce an absolute age. Can't prove young or old scientifically.

  Me: Radiometric dating sounds compelling but it's actually not what he thinks, because he's not checking with realism of the process. Bill references Charles Lyell as a geologist. Lyell is as much of a geologist as Bill is: not at all. Lyell was a lawyer who was an amateur geologist. In his most famous world: "Principles of Modern Geology", Lyell falsified data about the erosion rate of Niagara Falls to demonstrate the earth was older than what the Biblical account described. With the heating of the earth, yes, radiometric decay does heat the earth, but is that the only factor? Bill says radiometric dating does exist because neutrons become protons. No, Bill, radioactive decay does happen, but you have no way of knowing how long it has been happening or how fast. The Flood has something that Evolution does not: an historical account of the event. He claims there is no evidence for it, but actually, he is just not looking for it and won't look at it when it is presented. Ken was good on mentioning that no method has ever actually dated the earth itself to be 4.6 billion years old and refreshing the audience that 90% of possible dating methods don't show billions of years. Some show less than 10,000 years. Science alone cannot date anything. Not without a known starting point and an established historic account.

Question 7: Can you account for Continental Drift? 

   Ken: This demonstrates the core issue between observational and historical science. Tectonic plates do indeed move. Ken would support catastrophic tectonic movement due to the Flood. What we see today is a remnant of that movement.

  Bill: It must have been easier to explain a century ago before tectonic plates was discovered. Not every clock in a clock store will ever read the same time. Are they all wrong? We see sea floor spreading and the earth's magnetic field has reversed and they leave signature marks as the plates drift apart. Mt. St. Helens is due to a subduction zone.

  Me: Ken is right. We see movement today and how they move today. But there is no historical documentation of how it moved before. Noah's Flood, with the fountains of the deep bursting forth, gives us an idea that massive tectonic movement was going on. No geologist in the secular world to my knowledge can explain how the tectonic boundaries got there. They know full well how they work and interact, but why isn't the crust one solid piece of rock? Noah's Flood gives a reason for that. And Bill really doesn't have a clue about how to address this issue. Will ever clock ever read the same time? Address calibration first. How are clocks calibrated? How are the dating methods calibrated? Bigger question. ARE the dating methods calibrated with historical events? The answer is no. They are calibrated with each other. If you have a room full of clocks that roughly agree but are all calibrated on a wrong clock, yes, they are all wrong. Bill would do well to study Mt. St. Helens a bit more. It gives a mountain worth (pun intended) of evidence that supports the Flood account.

  Okay, this is getting pretty long and here is the half-way point of the Q/A session. I'll cut it here and continue with my next post. And that will wrap up the Ken-Ham, Bill Nye Debate Analysis and response.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ken Ham - Bill Nye Debate Response: The Rebuttals

  So, now that we've addressed the major points of each case, now let us to address how Ken Ham and Bill Nye addressed each others arguments in their rebuttals. Each had 5 minutes to rebut any argument from the other, then each had 5 minutes to counter rebuttal the other. Let's dig in.

Ken Ham's 5 minute Rebuttal

 Ken opens up with a light joke on how if he were to try to answer Bill's comments, he'd be going on for millions of years. All the stuff Bill brought could not be answered in five minutes or any reasonable time in a debate. Even my responses do not provide the answers justice because if I went through all my sources and explained every detail, you'd be reading for millions of years. 
   Ken first addresses the claim of even being able to date the age of the earth scientifically and puts it under historical science. Again, for historical science to work, you need 1). A starting point. 2). a historical account. and 3). An ending point. All of Bill's evidences do not contain a starting point or a historical account, so one MUST be assumed. Ken then addresses how the creation account is also historical science, but then Ken proceeds to explain how he has an historical account to go by. So with an ending point and a historical account, one can make a fairly good estimation of what the starting point looked like. But the key question here is: is the Bible an authority to use such an account. Ken admits he believes it is and it should be understood that if the Bible is false, so is all the models that come from it.
   Ken next addresses radiometric dating. He does not deny radioactive decay. Just that we can calculate the age of the earth due to key unknowns: original amounts, leeching, and the decay rate. He provides a counter-example where wood dating at 45,000 years old was embedded in basalt dated 45 million years. This inconsistency shows that the rocks were not laid over millions of years. He then points out how Mt. St. Helens lava dates between 0.35 and 2.8 million years. The lava was as per the K-Ar requirement of age 0 due to it being molten, only 30 years old or less. This is a problem for radiometric dating methods. All the assumptions prove you cannot absolutely age date the earth scientifically. 

  Ken addressed the charge of millions of Christians who don't believe YEC. He clearly states it is not a salvation issue, because that is only based on faith in Christ, but it is inconsistent to have any form of death preceding sin. Ken addresses how all animals were vegetarian pre-Flood and how thorns and thistles showed up post-sin. I'm not sure I would have brought this up, but he does make a valid point that every Old Earth model has death before sin. 

  Ken next addresses how there are hundreds of dating methods and about 90% of them show a younger that billions of years old earth. He then addresses how there is only one infallible dating method and that is having a historic witness who was there and knows everything and told us. And as his cited scientists have said, there is nothing in observational science that contradicts what the Bible has clearly stated. And this is true. I'll pick just one. The earth's magnetic field. If the same dating principles used for ice cores and radiometric dating are used on the earth's magnetic field, at around 20,000 years ago the magnetic force would actually overcome the Strong and Weak force and rip atoms apart. Can't have a billions of years old earth if it can't hold together at 20k years ago. 

Bill Nye's 5 minute Rebuttal

   Bill starts by addressing how wood on top of rock could easily indicate two different event. He doesn't see that the wood was embedded in the basalt. 

   Bill then claims that all radiometric dating methods are very accurate and then explains why all asteroids all seem to have the same date. With asteroids, you really have to assume everything, especially initial composition, leeching, and decay rates. No scientist I know of has tested the decay rates of these isotopes in the vacuum of space. I do wonder why they all seem to have the same date and all lining up precisely with the age of the earth. Are they following the evidence or standing on a presuppositional theory? 

   Bill then attacks the Bible itself as being a book translated countless times into English. He clearly has no idea how the Bible has been preserved. The Dead Sea scrolls show it hasn't changed in 2000 years or more. He did not take the time to learn how the Bible has been carried on through the generations, let alone consider the men who gave their lives to get it translated into English. He then claims how it is not reasonable to depend on that instead of what science can observe. Problem. Bill brought up nothing that can be observed. Ken did. And the two line up. Bill then asks if fish were sinners. The answer is no. But man sinned and because he had authority over the Creation, all creation was affected by the sin. Bill needs to do some more research, and that's way too much to put in this post. 

  You can't observe the past? Bill addresses how light proves we observe the past. Because what we see is actually an event that happens before the light gets to our eyes. This argument doesn't work the way Bill wants it to. He fails to understand the one-way speed of light is undetectable. He uses to this to argue that to separate the natural laws of the past from the present is the heart of the disagreement. The problem Bill has is that this is not what YEC is saying at all. Because we don't know everything that happened in the past without a historic document showing what happened, we cannot assume that what happened today is as it has happened for all of history. 

   Bill then addresses vegetarian animals. He says lions don't have teeth for broccoli. I use my incisors to eat broccoli. And Bill should visit the zoos. Lions actually tend to be pretty healthy under a vegetarian diet. 

  He then says Ken believes the Bible is a science text and this is unsettling. Ken didn't use the Bible as a science text. He used is as a historical text from which you can apply the scientific method to test if it is possible. Bill then talks about the five human races and says the prediction Ken mentioned of Caucasians being superior is false. He failed to see that this was an Evolutionary prediction, not a Biblical one. The Biblical one matches the records.

Ken's 5 Minute Counter-Rebuttal

  Next Ken answers back. He clarified the wood in the basalt. And confirms natural law hasn't changed, and neither has logic, uniformity of nature, which only makes sense from a Biblical worldview and explains why we can do science. Ken also addresses how Bill kept addressing it as "Ken's Model" when it is actually the Biblical Model held by many different people outside AiG.

  Ken addresses "species" vs "kinds" due to Bill's strawman account of the Flood. Bill's numbers only include the land animals pre-Flood but includes everything post-Flood. That simply doesn't work. There may be less than 1,000 kinds that went onto the Ark.

  Ken brings up the WWII planes in Greenland and teeth. Many animals have sharp teeth and are primarily vegetarian so teeth do not determine diet. This is true. Only watching an animal eat it, examining an animal's stomach, and examining an animal's droppings can determine its diet. Ken brings up the boulders in Mizzula Lake in Washington. He says the Flood likely didn't cause it but there have been catastrophes since. I believe the Ice Age would explain those boulders. He addresses Noah's skill. How skilled was Noah? We didn't meet him. He was 500 years old when he started. How much have we learned today in the last 500 years? We cannot assume he was ignorant. How were the pyramids built? We cannot replicate them today and have them last 3000 years. Ken's Ark Encounter replica would have three interlocking planks that would prevent the twisting based on Chinese research. Ken wraps up his counter-rebuttal by bringing up the Horizon problem. Big Bang can't account for all the Background Radiation. It's a problem for everyone. Ken then points to his website for answers.

  Ken did a great job at addressing some major points blow by blow but no way he could have addressed all of them. He lacked a "left hook" a final punch that would knock it out of the park, but there were too many issues to deal with to decide which would be a good one to use. 

Bill Nye's 5 Minute Counter Rebuttal

    Bill was unimpressed and Ken didn't address the 'fundamental' issues like how Ice Cores prove the earth is old, how the animal population is unaccounted for based on Noah's Flood. No, Ken could not have addressed everything, but he did demonstrate how Ice Cores would not be annual layers due to the finding of the WWII planes. Ken could have been a little more clear on that but time was short. Ken also could have addresses the flaw in Bill's math, but making it clear that only the land dwelling animals were on the Ark, not every species on the planet. Ken hinted at that, but didn't have the time to address it in full. Bill is unsatisfied because he hurled elephants, addressing too much stuff for Ken to be able to address in his short rebuttal times and because he didn't do his own research to find out what the answers that Ken would have for his complaints in more detail. It's all there on the AiG website.

  Bill complains about Noah's skill because his family's ancestors spent their whole lives building ships. How long was that? 30, 40, 50 years? Noah was already 500 years old at the time and he spent 100 years doing it. Plenty of time to make sure he was doing it right. He thinks Noah has superpowers. Well, he had supernatural wisdom on what to do, instructions and blueprints from God.

  Bill then disagrees on the nature of what can be proved to yourself. He should know science NEVER deals with proofs, just the most 'reasonable' (pun intended) explanation of what is seen and observed. He claims the assumptions are based on previous experience. Yes, the laws don't change but he misses the point that he does not have record that no changes in the environment and the conditions on which the tests were done did not change. We have a record of major changes: Noah's Flood. He claims that Ken claims that natural law changed, when five minutes earlier, Ken said they don't change. He just said the conditions have changed via catastrophe.

  He claims the pyramids are older than the Flood. Really? Dated by whom. Historical record? Cultures older than the Flood. Really? Egypt? Those calendars conflict with every other culture around them unless they consider overlapping rulers, which lines up right up with the Biblical account? China? Their calendars start when they estimated the earth began, so there is an offset. All of world history traces back to one location and one time period 4300-4400 years ago, with the Tower of Babel dispersion and Noah's Flood. Bill Nye could learn some from Bodie Hodge's book: The Tower of Babel and the historical research of the world's major population groups. The Table of Nations in Genesis 10 is considered one of the greatest and most important historical documents on world history by many historians.

  He again brings up the non-YEC religious people. Again, Fallacy of Appeal to Majority. It does not matter that they think. What matters is the truth? Bill then says how the creation model is based on the Old Testament, defends himself by saying he is not a theologian, yet when you bring in the New Testament that is out of whack. Bill should read the books of Romans and Hebrews. Bill wants a model based on pure science where you can outguess the forensic crews on CSI. It's not going to happen because science cannot address origins issues. Only a worldview can address origins issues.

  Bill claims that when science finds an idea that is untenable and doesn't work, they toss it out. Excellent in theory and that is how science SHOULD work. But it doesn't work that way. The way it actually works is that the prevailing theory is held and any evidence against it is either ignored, silences, or even modified so that the prevailing theory can be held. Thomas Khun noticed this back in 1970. It hasn't changed 44 years later.

  He concludes that we need scientists, especially engineers, to help keep America at the top and that needs science education. I completely agree. And that is another reason Ken Ham does what he does. To teach the real science that considers all the facts. To teach what science can do and to understand when science has reached its limit. Bill Nye does not get where science stops. YEC does not hinder innovation. It encourages it. But science is a method, it cannot be a worldview methodology. Bill does not understand this or want to. 

   Bill Nye's best defense is repeating claims that have already long been refuted and continuing to attack a strawman of what Ken Ham actually believes. And he did Ken Ham a lot of favors by not bringing anything new to the plate or addressing any of the already well established documents that long ago addressed his arguments.

  Okay, that is the rebuttals. Next post will be on the Q/A section. That may be a long one. I counted 14 questions but I am re-watching the debate as I type this up and I am missing stuff on my notes from the debate. And that will wrap it up on this series.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ken Ham - Bill Nye Debate: Response to Bill Nye 30 Min Case: Part 2

Okay, here is the rest of the analysis of Bill Nye's 30 Minute case. I left off halfway through it and had too much to keep going. So back at at.

Bill Nye: 30 Minute Case: 2nd Half

 One thing Bill Nye keeps saying and he say it again at the 1:14:00 mark is the repeated references to the scientists outside the Creation Museum in comparison to the scientists inside. He seems to be making a claim that AiG or YEC scientists in general cannot be considered real scientists because they do not agree with Bill Nye's origins assertions. Yet every scientist Ken Ham mentioned in his statement were not on the payroll of AiG. And I do believe this is why he did not include Russel Humphreys. Because Humphreys is known to be part of the Institute for Creation Research and part of the RATE Project that put radiometric dating, the darling of Evolution's time measuring, into severe question. But the idea that non-YEC scientists get it right and YEC scientists do not just because they place the Bible as the center of the source for their authority shows ignorance about what kind of research is really going on. YEC scientists usually can't get the funding that the mainstream scientists can do so that is why they can't put up the research totals that everyone else can do. But that does not make them any less scientists. And no scientist is free of bias, especially when a bunch of scientists who have the same bias get together (peer-review anyone?). 

  Bill talks about how real science can make accurate predictions. I full agree with this. He missed the part where Ken brought several scientific predictions that we can make from the Bible that science has fulfilled. 

  His attempts to prove this point that if there is supposed to be a common ancestor for all life, there should be gaps that need to be filled. He then says Tiktallik is a perfect example of the predictions that Evolution-based science should make. Here is the problem. Tiktaalik is NOT the missing link he hoped it would be. In fact a few days before the debate, a paper came out showing the "hip feature" of the Tiktallik actually had nothing to do with forming legs but everything to do with helping it swim. Tiktallik was 100% fish and 0% amphibian. 

  Bill then says that the Biblical model cannot make such predictions. Again, Ken gave six in his presentation just 30 minutes before Bill made this statement. I wonder if he was even paying attention to what Ken was saying. Bill did say before he came up that he learned something. Apparently not what he needed to learn with this comment. 

  His next evidence is with top-minnows who can reproduce sexually or asexually. He wonders why sexual reproduction is so necessary. His reasoning is because enemies including parasites, viruses, germs. So life evolved sexual reproduction to mix the genes and provide protection against these enemies. Problems. There is no time for anything to "evolve" defenses against these things. You are either already protected or you aren't. This is how antibiotic resistant bacteria actually have resistance. They are already immune before the antibiotic is introduced. I don't have time to explain that one here. So his argument actually works much better for the creation model than it does for his own model. Then he makes the wild statement that this is a "prediction" that evolution makes. It is not a prediction at all. This is reverse engineering. Big difference. 

  Bill then addresses a church sign that mentions the Big Bang, and Bill wonders why a pastor would do that unless said pastor didn't believe the Big Bang was real. The sermon was likely on the problems of the Big Bang and there are many. Bill did, however, a great job at bringing some up as "evidence" for the Big Bang. He then went to explain why the Big Bang is accepted. Here is the real reason why. Majority opinion amongst the scientific community. That's it. It's just the more popular model of the ones out there besides the Bible. But let's see what Bill thinks is why the Big Bang is accepted. 

  Edwin Hubble found out that stars were moving apart. This discovery brought up the idea that it was by a "Big Bang", because everything is moving apart. Yes, this is true, everything is moving apart. In fact they are moving apart faster and faster. And what is more, they are moving apart in precise concentric spheres in sections. We have a bunch of stars, a break in space, a bunch of galaxies, a break in space, a bunch of galaxies, etc. Totally against what the Big Bang predicts, which would require uniform spacing. But the Bible talks about the stretching of the heavens. It makes perfect sense with the stretching of the heavens, and with that the stretching of time with it. The expanding universe is actually a problem for Big Bang because of HOW it is expanding.

   Next Bill address Cosmic Background Radiation. He claims this is a prediction that Big Bang successfully makes, however he has a problem. Of this Cosmic Background Radiation only 1/4 of the radio waves generated actually remotely point towards a Big Bang center. Bill shoots himself in the foot by citing evidence as a "prediction" that is actually much more of a problem for his model. I actually wonder if this can actually be classified as a prediction because in what I heard, they found the background noise, then did some numbers and figured out what it was.

  His next thing is Radiometric dating, namely Rubidium-Strontium. He tells how he attended a lecture by the guy who discovered how stars created all the elements we see. Oh really? What he means is the guy who came up with an idea of how starts come up with elements. Not one of us have been close enough to a star to see any of this happen. We don't even see it happening in our own sun. We can't get close enough to see it.
  He describes how Rubidium's radioactive decay is useful for medicine. I agree. Rubidium is a great tool that allows us to see into the heart instead of doing open-heart surgery all the time. But Rb-Sr has a half-life of 48 billion years. I've been doing a lot of research on this personally and the numbers are not good. Based on the maximum amount of time we have observed Rb's decay, we have observed it for about 0.00000002% of the time. What is more is that to observe a decay of just one part per million, we'd need to observe it for nearly 68,000 years. These are totally unrealistic numbers. I really doubt Bill Nye knows how the half-life is determined. I honestly cannot find it on any of the major cites that have all the major info you need for radiometric dating.
   Bill says you cannot find an undergraduate program for radioactive medicine in Kentucky which has been proven false. He makes a jab at the entire state of Kentucky for being "uneducated" in this particular field. Why? Because the Creation Museum is located in Kentucky? Would he have said anything different if they were in Colorado or California? It is interesting that Bill continues to talk about the need for America to stay ahead so Creation needs to stay out. He fails to see that YEC is most predominate in the US and the US is ahead of the rest of the world. He fails to see that Evolution is very predominate in Europe and they have fallen by the wayside. 
  His final evidence is the Starlight Distance Problem. It is an issue for YEC. They understand this. It is also a problem for Big Bang. Bill does not understand this. He references the Parallax distance method but has a problem. It is only accurate for most astronomers up to 6000 light years away. Then the angle of measurement is too small to make an accurate reading. The absolute best case scenario if we can get within 10 decimal places of a degree with our telescopes is just one million light-years away. Does that invalidate YEC because the numbers are still bigger than 6000 years? No, because what it does is invalidate the Old Universe thinking.

  Bill considers himself to be a reasonable man. If he was being reasonable, would he not have done some homework and found that all these objections have well be answered? He makes the claim of being a reasonable man as though Ken is not. Really? It did not take long to figure out the problems of each one of Bill's evidences against a young earth, but it is really interesting in that some of his evidences are actually better supporting of the Creation model than working against it.
  The last thing he says is that the US Constitution calls for the advancement of science and the arts. Very good point and I fully agree. He calls upon the Kentucky voters and taxpayers that they need great US scientists who know their place in the cosmos and know natural law. He wants innovators who can keep the US at the top. I fully agree with this. His problem is that it is the Bible believers who put the US at the top. It is the Bible-believers who discovered the natural laws. It is the Bible believers who, while allowing for miracles and supernatural activity, support the natural laws. He fails to see that Evolution has done the greatest amount of damage to the US by undermining the authority of Scripture and actually degrading the understanding of science. He fails to see that Evolution has been a primary cause of the US' decline because of how it teaches students to confuse philosophy with actual science. And he fails to see is that we, as images, as reflections, of our Creator carry the creative gene to be able to about to do this stuff. Evolution has no explanation for intelligence or the ability to create. But Creation does. 

  That concluded Bill Nye's 30 minute case. Next post will cover the two 5 minute rebuttals for each and the two 5 minute counter-rebuttals for each. The one after that will address the Q/A section.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ken Ham - Bill Nye Debate: Response to Bill Nye 30 min Case: Part 1.

    Part 3 of my series on my response to the Ken Ham / Bill Nye debate. Now I will look at Bill Nye's 30 minute case. I counted  at least 18 major points he made and none of them are looking good. This may take more than one post, so let's get at it.

Bill Nye's 30 Minute Case Against the Biblical Model as a Viable Origins Position 

     The first thing Bill talked about was how Kentucky is upon thousands of rock layers and that clam fossils lived their entire lives and that there are thousands of layers with these clams. His claim was that there was not enough time for them to live their whole lives and have these layers form. He's got bigger problems than this. The fact is we have marine fossils in a non-marine environment. Kentucky is NOT near water. So how did the clams get there in the first place? Evolution states that the ocean once came up to Kentucky, as it does to Texas. Mt. Guadalupe outside El Paso, Texas is at 8700 feet, the highest point in Texas. It is filled with marine fossils. How did they get there? Interestingly enough, Evolution has to believe the entire planet was covered with water at one point. The question is just when and was it all at once. Bill did not demonstrate he researched how the fountains of the deep would burst forth, and bring tsunami wave after wave, carrying both marine fossils and sediments with them causing the rock layers. More on that later. 

   His next evidence is ice core dating. The claim is that when we pull a ice core that contains 680,000 ice layers that are supposed to be annual rings, representing summer/winter, summer/winter. This math leads to if the Flood was 4000 years ago, that would lead to 170 rings per year. There's a problem here. In WWII, several planes had to land on Greenland and they got lost. 50 years later, they were found, under 500 feet of ice, three miles away from where they landed, with about 137,000 "annual rings" between the planes and the surface. That's interesting. Now Greenland does get more precipitation than Antarctica, but two things are noted here. 1). The rings do NOT demonstrate annual trends, but warm/cold, warm/cold trends. 2). Glacial ice churns and rotates and moves. The planes did not just have snow fall on them, the glacier pushed them down. And if the glacier pushed them down, that means the ice around them was also pushed down. These two factors completely nullify any ice core dating because you cannot demonstrate any ages. 
  Next is dendrochronology. Tree-ring dating. The idea is that a tree produces a ring every year. Some trees date to 6800 years or even 9000 years. This is supposed to refute the Flood happening 4000 years ago. However, it has long been scientifically demonstrated that in years of heavy rains, trees will produce several rings in a year. A little research, Bill Nye would have at least heard this argument and would know not to use it. 

   Next he goes back to the Grand Canyon. He talks about how layers are rather uniform and shouldn't the flood have it all mixed up? Problem. There is no erosion in the layers. No indication of wind or water erosion in these layers. What does that tell us? They were not exposed for erosion to take place. It means that the layers were laid down very quickly in rapid succession. Not all at once as Bill seemed to think. But in rapid succession. If Bill had studied some Flood Models, he would get that we have addressed this issue already.

 He claims that in studying deposits on the Mississippi River, it takes a long time for deposits to take place. This is a standard auditing case. In audits, you don't have time to examine every single receipt and transaction, so you take a sampling and use that to estimate how much you spend over a week/month/year etc. Here is the problem, when you have a major one-time expense that did not land on the audit's magnifying glass, your estimations are totally skewed. Likewise, if that major one-time expense is hit, still the rest of your results are skewed. Yes, we can examine the deposits of the Mississippi River to find the rates this is happening. Examine the differences when there is flooding to normal. A lot of water moving much faster will deposit much more than a little water moving slower over longer periods of time. Slow waters can't move or carve boulders. Fast and large amounts of waters can.

   Still with the Grand Canyon. Bill makes the claim that the Colorado River carved the canyon and asks why aren't there other Grand Canyons in every continent. Well, let's look at a few. Fish River Canyon, Namibia; Blyde River Canyon, South Africa; Yarlong Tsengpo, Tibet; King's Canyon, Tibet, and while we are at it, the brand new Mt. St. Helens Canyon that is a 1/20 scale of the Grand Canyon and carved literally overnight. Again, fast moving water in large amounts will carve through solid rock. I now ask Bill, if the Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon through solid rock, why hasn't every other river done the same thing through softer soil? 

  Still on the Grand Canyon, Bill addresses how lower level fossils are only found on the bottom and upper level fossils are only found on the top. Again, is the evidence of evolution or is this evidence of location and habitat? If the earth were to be flooded today, would you be found next to a lion? Not likely because you don't live by one. It is important to note that the Geologic Column is NEVER found anywhere in its entirety anywhere on the planet. Many layers in some places are missing. Why is this? It makes sense under Noah's Flood. It doesn't under deep time. 

  Bill then makes an extraordinary claim that if you found a single piece of evidence that would show Evolution to be false, they would laud you and embrace you. That is how science is supposed to work. What has actually happens is anything but. Any evidence found against evolution is typically ignored, silenced, or even modified. And if Bill did some basic research on his opponent, it would take him a very short time to find MANY examples of this counter-evidence. 

  Next, Bill shows a big collection of skulls that supposedly represent more than just apes and humans. And he asks where would he put modern humans amongst those skulls. He says we are on there, but says nothing else. All skulls and skeletons that have been attempted to be suggestive of a common ancestor between apes and humans have all proven to be 100% ape or 100% human. Nothing that is both. 

  Bill now switches topics to address the Flood itself. He wondered how Australia got Kangaroos and very unique creatures. He said we'd expect to find bones and fossils of kangaroos along the way. Well, you won't find fossils because you need quick and sudden burial to do that. Land Bridges? What routes were he looking for? Take the water levels about 300 feet down, and it doesn't take much to get across from island to island in Indonesia into Malaysia. And what if at the Tower of Babel, those that ended up in Australia took some kangaroos and koalas and platypuses? Just a theory but another explanation that is feasible and defeats Bill's claim of it being impossible. His expectation is not met because he has a false picture of what would realistic happen. 

  Then he addresses the number of species that would be on the ark. He gives an estimated 7000 kinds on the ark. He gives an estimated 16 million species alive today. That equated to about 11 new species every day. However, he has a major problem. His 16 million species includes all fish, plants, fungi, protists, and bacteria. He needs to count only the land-dwelling, air breathing vertebrates because those are who came on the ark and those who came off it. Bill's problem here is that he has the wrong equation because he has a strawman of the account he is addressing. 

  Next claim is large boulders on the ground in Washington State. His argument is that the Flood could not put them there. He's got a problem. Is that our explanation for how they got there? I've never heard it. What I've heard is that glaciers during the Ice Age got them there. The Ice Age would require heavy amounts of warm water more than we have today to create additional moisture in the atmosphere. Only Noah's Flood provided the conditions for generating a major Ice Age. Bill never addressed how they got there. He only address they are a problem for the Flood account. I don't know of any YEC who says the Flood put them there. He's making an argument against YEC that is not being made. 

  After that, Bill addresses the building of the Ark. He wonders how Noah and his family could build the largest wooden vessel ever build when in the 1900's their best shipbuilders could not do it. Several issues. Yes, the 1900's ship twisted, and buckled and eventually sank. But that ship was made with time and cost factors playing a role. Those ships were made with single planks on the hulls and NOT made out of gopher wood. He claims that Noah was unskilled. Noah was 500 years old when he started. His peers would all lived to the 900+ range. How much technology can you develop when you live 900+ years? Quite a bit. How do we know how skilled Noah was? We know God told him how big to build it, what wood to build it out of it, and how to seal it. Studies have been done on the ark that Bill is not aware of. Studies that show that Gopher wood is the best ship-building wood out there. Studies that show that the ratio of the 550 x 50 x 45 feet is the perfect, ideal ratio for all ship building that perfectly balances strength, stability, and comfort. Studies that show that the Ark's dimensions are the largest possible for a wooden vessel to float. Bill's ship that sank was made to sail. Lots of extra forces going on with a sailing ship that wouldn't be going on with the Ark.

  His next issue is how could Noah and his family keep track of all the animals when at the National Zoo in Washington DC, they have a zoo with 400 different species over 163 acres. It can be seen from space it is so big. Lots of problems in that zoo, so Bill thinks that 8 people covering 14,000 animals could not manage it. But what are we dealing with on the Ark? Noah would not have taken full grown adult animals. He would have taken eggs or babies. Why? They take up less space. They eat less. They sleep more. They poop less. They live longer to reproduce longer when they get back off the Ark. John Woodmorrape has an excellent book called "Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study". Bill Nye would do well to get this book and check it out BEFORE he continues to make this claims again. 

  Well, that is a good stopping point for this post. Half-way through Bill's 30 minute case. It will take another post to do the rest of it. Look for the 4th post of this series and 2nd part of Bill Nye's case shortly.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ken Ham - Bill Nye Debate: Response to Bill Nye's Opening Statement

In my last post, I took apart Ken Ham's opening statement and 30-minute presentation and addressed the issues he brought up. Now I will do the same for Bill Nye. Just doing the opening statement filled a good post's length, so I will cut it here. Looking at Bill's claims in the 30 minute presentation, I'll likely have to break that up too for bite sizes pieces.

Bill Nye's 5 minute Opening Statement
 Bill did a great job at breaking the ice for his opening statement. He told a story about how and why he wears a bow tie. It was comical and related to the audience quickly. It was a good move by him. 

  He then quickly makes a claim how observational science and historical science are one and the same and he references the CSI and forensic crime scene shows where the audience often wants to try to outguess the scientists in the shows. CSI does not make a distinction between the two types of science. But that does not mean the distinction is not there. CSI has some issues in their science that are far from realistic. In CSI, you can scan a computer lickity split and no matter how poor the quality video feed is, you can zoom in and get the tiny print on a document that you only have a glimpse of. This is totally unrealistic and is passed off as science. Bill would have made a stronger case if he used the Mythbusters. That is the best illustration of historical science put to the test and working. Why? Because there are three things you must have for historical science to have any validity. 1). A starting point. You need to know the initial conditions. 2). A historical record of what happened. You need to know what was supposed to happen. And 3). And ending point. What was a result of these events? Everyone has the ending point, otherwise it would not be historical science. CSI units typically have a starting point. When someone dies, they know how the body usually acts before a tragic event would kill them. When a fire burns down a building, they know what the building looked liked before the fire started. From a starting point and an ending point, you can figure out through science a possible scenario of how you got from the starting to the ending points. But all this can do is demonstrate that such a scenario is possible. It does not prove that was the case. You can scientifically demonstrate Christopher Columbus could have sailed the Atlantic and discover the American continents. But you cannot prove he did it. You need a historical record that shows this is what he did. The Mythbusters do this correctly. They have a starting point, they have the account, and they have the ending point. They can accurately, scientifically test if the account is valid. 

   Bill then talks about how he found a fossil on his way to the museum and made a comment about how he was standing on millions of years of rock. He said nothing else about how he knows that the rock was millions of years old. There is observational science that even when used in a historical context that can show that rock layers can form over millions of years. More on that later. 

   Bill talks about the fossils found in the Grand Canyon, and claims that there is nothing that shows animals trying to swim up to the top and mixing between layers. That is true. There is nothing that shows this happening. Nor is it anything that WOULD happen by a creature that is fossilized. To be fossilized, you need a quick and sudden burial. You can't have gradual burial or a creature attempting to escape. It would not fossilize if that was the case. There are polystrata fossils with trees and this could not happen gradually. They show quick and sudden burial. Any of these creatures would already be dead so no attempt to swim out would be possible. What is also interesting is how the vast majority of fossils we find are totally mangled and scattered. This is something we should expect in a massive worldwide flood. Animals being smashed against each other and other objects before being buried quickly. This argument shows Bill did not take the time to research and study the various Flood models and how they would have happened. 

   Bill then appeals to the masses of proclaimed Christians who don't embrace the YEC view. It is true that YEC is not a majority view but this is just an appeal to majority fallacy. What people believe is not the determining factor of what is true. The majority has often been wrong. 

  Bill then talks about how it is science that keeps the US ahead in terms of technology etc. I do agree that science and technology has helped us keep ahead and be a world-power. However, believing Creation will do nothing to hinder that drive. In fact, by understanding the world and it being a creation, helps encourage scientific discovery. The founding fathers of the majority of science fields we know today were Biblical creationists and they were not just satisfied with "God created the universe" as Bill said. They sought out what God did when he made the universe.

  Bill closed his opening claiming that the Biblical account is not a viable account for origins. 

  Post is already getting quite long so I will cut it off here and continue with Bill's 30 minute case in my next post. That may take two posts to do because he had a lot of bad science and strawmen of the actual accounts Ken Ham believes. More to come.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ken Ham-Bill Nye Debate: Response to Ken Ham

  On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, the biggest Creation/Evolution debate in the last several decades if not the last 100 years since the Scopes Trial took place. Never before had two very well established public names gone head to head like this. All other debates had high level scientists debating high level scientists but they weren't so well known like Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis. So I will take apart the debate point by point to discuss the strengths and weaknesses in Ken Ham's presentation. Then I will do another post (or two) on Bill Nye's presentation. Then I will do one on the two rebuttals for both. And then I will do yet another one on the Q/A. Just to keep this relatively bite sized. The debate topic is "Can Creationism be a viable model for origins in today's scientific world?" So brace yourself. It was a long debate and I've got a LOT to say.

  Ken Ham's 5 Minute Opening Statement

    Ken Ham won the coin toss and opted to go first. I personally think this was a mistake because while going first in a debate, you can get the tone laid out, in going second, you get the last word and you have the opportunity to address points the opponent may make in your statements. In breaching the topic, Ken made the argument that the debate was not about science but about worldviews. He did so by pointing out several major scientific discoveries by both Young-Earth Bible believers and by Evolution-believers. This was a good move because he showed that observational science and technology development is readily done by both sides of the issue without problems.

    Ken then addressed the key distinction between observational science and historical science. The distinction is critical to make, but Ken could have used an extra few seconds to illustrate exactly what the difference is. In historical science, you can take an initial setting, apply a few laws of science, and come up with an expected result. That is forensic science in a nutshell. The Mythbusters are great at this. But this can only demonstrate it can happen. It does not 'prove' that it did happen. You need a historical record or historical account for that. Ken could have used this to demonstrate what he means by historical science and avoided allowing Bill Nye to remain flustered about what it was. But Ken has another issue here in that he seemed to give the impression that historical science was invalid. I don't think it was intentional but I can see where someone would get that impression. That historical science is invalid is not true. It is valid, but when used correctly. It is not with Evolution.

   Ken argued that the terms 'science' and 'evolution' had been hijacked for secular purposes and this is true. Science is now being used to only refer be valid when you consider naturalism to be true. "Evolution" has several definitions and as Ken correctly pointed out, textbooks start out with one definition and suddenly start talking about another. It is bait-and-switch along with Equivocation Fallacies. Ken was right to clearly identify what definitions he was using so this confusion would not be there. He concluded that the debate was about worldviews and that Biblical Creation is the only one that observational science agrees with.

Ken Ham's 30 Minute Case 

   Now the fun begins. Ken Ham opened his 30 minute case by addressing more science performed by Bible-believing Creationists, some of whom have indicated there is nothing scientifically that puts the Biblical account into question. It's a good move. It addresses the issue that those who believe in Creation can and do perform very solid science. Ken's big point was that the debate is not "science vs religion" but "worldview vs worldview". He delved deep into what historical science and observational science looked like and even pointed out that many public school textbooks, namely in Geology, clearly recognize the difference between observational and historical science. The difference is critical, but Ken should have added just a little more that you need historical documentation to show a historical event to be true. A big point that was added from one of the scientists Ken brought up was that many scientists in every field including biology are sympathetic to the creationist position but are afraid to speak of it due to media and boss outlashing. This is a very valid point. The extreme majority of scientific papers and work have absolutely nothing to do with the discussion of origins. But the moment any scientific discovery has an implication on putting the Evolutionary theory in doubt, it is attacked HARD. Bill Nye suggested that science loves change or contrary evidence but he's grown up with a mindset where anything that questions what is believed to be science is thrown out as whacky. Ken could have dwelt on this one longer but that would have been a tangent not worth following for the purpose of the debate.

   Ken makes an excellent question for Bill and asks him where the Laws of Logic came from, where the Laws of Nature came from. He does not say that Evolution could not use them. But he asks how a naturalistic worldview where only natural causes can be considered without supernatural intervention can account for logic and the consistency of the laws of nature. How did they come about? Why are we able to rely and depend upon the scientific laws we have discovered? He then asks Bill to name a single piece of technology that could have only come about from an Evolutionary/Naturalistic perspective. This is solid stuff because he is forcing Bill to consider things that cannot be explained by science but can only be addressed by one's worldview.

   The issue of evidence was well addressed. There is not more evidence for one side or the other. Both sides are looking at the same evidence. I completely agree. Evidence does not speak. It does not have an opinion and it does not take sides. It is the person's opinion of the evidence that does this. When someone says "the evidence says x" they are committed the Fallacy of Reificiation. Ken understands this.

   Ken then moves on to suggest that if the Bible is a historical document, you should be able to test and observe things that would be expected from such accounts. And he lists things like Intelligence, life reproducing after its kinds, results of the Flood, results of the Language dispersion, and the claims that all of mankind is one human race. Ken emphasized on reproduction after kinds and one human race.
   On kinds, Ken argued that a "kind" is close to the modern classification system of "family" and that all observations are that everything that was from these 'kinds' gave rise to the variations we see today. And this is what we see. Secular science has shown that all dogs have come from one type of dog. They have a different time frame but their model matches what we expect from the Biblical account. An argument is always brought up that says "what is the limit that keeps us from being able to go back". My response is, show us the ability that it could when all observation suggests otherwise.
   Ken from here suggests that even the word "Evolution" which literally means "change over time" has been hijacked via a bait and switch. I call this using the Fallacy of Equivocation, where you change the definition of a word used in the same context. If evolution means "change over time" it cannot ALSO mean "a model of origins where all life comes from a single common ancestor" in the same context. Because one is simply not the same as the other. It would be no different than saying a "day" is a 24-hour period AND a "period or era of time" in the same context. "Day" does have these two meanings, but the context makes them different.
   Ken also makes an interesting observation how the "Tree of Life" for Evolution is considered fact but the "Orchard" for Creation is religion. The "Orchard" for Creation is the exact same as the tree for evolution. We just don't connect all the branches to one big tree.
   Then Ken addressed the races and how all humans genetically trace back to one race. In fact it goes deeper than that. All of mankind traces back to four primary gene pools. Who were these four people or four families? Look at Noah's Flood. Who was on the Ark? Noah and wife along with their three sons. Then Shem, Ham, and Japeth each had their wives. Noah's and their sons would represent one gene pool and the sons' wives would represent the other three. It makes perfect sense.

   Ken from there gave a brief presentation of the Gospel and why the Creation account is so foundational to Biblical doctrine. And wrapped up by emphasizing that the Creation account is the only origins model that is supported by observational science.

  On the presentation, Ken brought a pretty solid general case but I just felt there was a lack of a "nail in the coffin" or major left hook that would leave people with no reasonable doubt about the Creation account. I understand that no logic or reasoning we give will change minds. A person who can be reasoned into Christianity can also be reasoned out. I will mention this later, but Bill Nye was anticipating to see if there was any pure scientific prediction that could be made based on a Biblical worldview. And the best one I know of was Russel Humphrey's prediction of the planetary magnetic fields being dead-accurate. I think if Ken readily understood this, I can see why he wouldn't include this. Humphrey's has been involved with ICR and a number of other YEC projects and see Ken was making an effort to not mention any other scientist that was directly under his payroll except when referencing papers on the AiG site. I also would have liked to have seen how genetics trace back to 4 gene pools. That detail is significant. But Ken has so much he was trying to fit in at once it is hard to know what to include and what not to include.

   Overall, Ken stayed on topic, avoided major fallacies, especially ad hominum, or equivocation, and did not present anything that a fact check would prove false. But it wasn't, in my opinion, the strongest evidences he could have presented. I do understand however that some of the strongest evidences would take much longer to discuss. It was really good that Ken Ham did not focus on how Evolution was wrong, though he did point out a couple flaws including how to account for logic or the consistency of the laws of nature.It was a good presentation.

  My next post will address Bill Nye's 5 minute opening statement and his 30 minute case. That one could be longer because fact checking will play a big role.