Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham: giving credibility to nonsense (or, walking into an apologetic war machine)

Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham: giving credibility to nonsense (or, walking into an apologetic war machine) January 29, 2014

Bill Nye will be debating Ken Ham in a week’s time–inexplicably, on Ham’s home turf, where he controls the terms and the crowd.

Nye is either going to get destroyed by Ken Ham or at least grow extremely frustrated with Ham’s tactics.

I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not (unless I am, but we’ll need to wait and see).

Nye seems to think he is walking into a debate of some sort over science, and that presenting the data will, if not prove victorious, at least put a dent into Ham’s armor.

It won’t. Nye is strolling into a well-tuned, battle-tested, apologetic war machine.

Nye and Ham won’t even be able to agree on what the data are, what science is, and what it means to interpret evidence. Ham will make sure of that.

This is a debate over worldviews, and they get nasty quickly and go nowhere.

Ham is a master of crowd manipulation, with a long and documented track record of interpreting his opponents in the worst possible light, twisting data and logic, and other passive-aggressive debate tactics (praise God).

Ham can’t and won’t give one square inch on his science because if he does his finely tuned worldview will crumble to the ground–a worldview that includes deeply held (and erroneous) views of God and the Bible.

No one who thinks he has a handle on reality as Ham feels he does is actually capable of debate. Such types only lecture, declare, and prophesy.

Ham needs his theology just the way it is in order to maintain his strong grip on his understanding of reality. His theology requires a science that supports biblical literalism. Failure in this regard is not an option for Ham.

If Nye wants to debate, he’s got a week to study theology and hermeneutics so he can address Ham’s unexamined and faulty premises that allow him to handle science as he does.

Nye is clear that he has no delusions of convincing Ham. The debate presumably is aimed at dissuading those who listen to Ham. That may work, for a small number who are already questioning Ham’s agenda, and that alone may be worth the effort.

That being said, this debate strikes me not simply as a general waste of time, but a win-win for Ham.

Ham is an immovable force. He will not in any conceivable universe “lose” the debate, and simply being debated by Nye will give Ham credibility in the eyes of those who might otherwise have successfully navigated past Ham’s treacherous port and found a true and living faith elsewhere.

The ideal opponent, if a debate were unavoidable, would be (1) a theistic evolutionist, who (2) doesn’t lose his/her cool, but (3) isn’t above giving hard punches to the gut, and who (4) knows his/her way around theology, hermeneutics, and the history of Christian thought to expose to a larger crowd was is self-evident to most everyone else:

Ham is not capable of true debate, and his views are not worth debating to begin with.

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  • Benjamin Davis

    Perhaps you should be the one to debate Ham. You seem sensible enough to do the job.

    • peteenns

      I don’t know the science. Plus, as I said, I don’t think the debate is fruitful.

      • Daniel Webb

        I will enjoy reading Ham’s inevitable response to your blog. He gets google alerts whenever his name or AiG come up in a new article/blog. His responses always involve three things: 1) Quotes out of context (and you probably only have a 50/50 chance of him actually linking to your article since he likes to control the flow of information). 2) He’ll talk about how you’ve compromised and replaced god’s authority with man’s authority. 3) He’ll ask his loyal followers to pray about the upcoming debate and for god’s wisdom–and he’ll make “thanks for praying” a hotlink that goes straight to a donation page.

        It’s predictable…but always funny.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          Donation page?
          Are the Kentucky Creation Museum revenues slacking off?

          • Daniel Webb

            Sometimes all-powerful gods just can’t swing the financials on their own.

      • Andrew Dowling

        But like you said, the debate isn’t really about the science. Any “good fruit” that would arise from debating Ham would be undressing him theologically, and you’re more than equipped to do that.

        • sanctusivo

          The real strategy in undermining Ham is the appropriate and just attack on his misuse of the text. Allowing Ham to misuse Genesis to attack science concedes ground to him that he should have to fight for and, in essence, gives him license to misappropriate the message of scripture.

      • Lars

        The debates I’ve watched or attended are rarely fruitful, by which I mean position-altering. I watch primarily to be educated as to what the other side believes and how to better represent my side should this topic come up at the next dinner party. Seeing that I hate dinner parties, I’m probably wasting my time, but I do usually get something out of these productions. At least you can be sure your $25 PPV will last longer than Tyson-Spinks did.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          I’d rather be paying $25 PPV to watch the Gobbledy Gooker hatch out of the giant egg. (“If you paid PPV to see what was in the egg, you belong on Wrestlecrap.”)

    • Brett Bazaar

      You can’t debate someone that can not understand the basic principles of logic and reason. I want to see a debate where the opponents are quelled by a judge every time they make a logic fallacy.

  • ajl

    The problem with Nye is he is very antagonist towards Christians in general. Don’t let his smile and bow tie fool you – the guy can be really nasty. So this thing is going to be a hot mess from all angles.

    Denis Lameroux is probably the best person to debate Ham. But I think even Denis would lose his patience rather quickly with that guy.

    • Brett Bazaar

      I think Richard Dawkins or Lawrence Krauss would be much better choices for this than Nye.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Or put Ham & Nye (Ham on Rye?) into an MMA ring for a steel-cage smackdown.

  • Mark Alien

    Maybe you could debate Ham

  • Randy Hardman

    Unfortunately, Ham and those who follow AiG will no doubt respond to things like this–not just what Nye says but posts like yours Dr. Enns, with a claim of persecution. Ham thinks (or at least claims to think) that anybody that stands outside of the YEC position, even if Christian, are nonetheless compromising the gospel for the sake of worldly satisfaction and I suspect this debate will achieve nothing more than making more explicit that demarcation line–and, even more unfortunately, will increase the belief that it’s either God OR evolution. And as one who grew up with that mentality, there have just been way too many casualties for people who felt they needed to choose…and chose evolution.

  • I wish I could be there. Then again I might pull hairs.

  • Jacob Lupfer

    My understanding is that Nye’s experience with evangelicalism is limited to his wife’s association with Rev. Rick Warren, who presided at their wedding. Thus I do not think Nye understands that Ken Ham and all fundamentalists relish getting destroyed in arguments — the more public, the better. They think they are suffering for their faith. They wear the embarrassment as a badge of honor. It’s pointless to even engage them. But we can’t ignore them because their fringe views have become mainstream.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      And it gives his followers another outside enemy so they can all close ranks around the ManaGawd.

    • Paladin13

      Eugenie Scott told scientists and others not to debate creationists because the pro-evolutionists tend to lose before audiences. Once you expose evolution for the sham it is, people begin to question their indoctrination into that materialistic religion. It is the evolutionists who get destroyed.

  • Collins

    I personally would like to see Todd Wood debate Ken Ham. Then you have two self-identified YEC folks hashing over the science.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Sounds like it’d go like this:

      “DIE, HERETIC!”





  • I’ve been thinking exactly this. Calling it a debate is disingenuous, it’s an ambush.

  • Dean

    I saw a video of him on a panel with a bunch of Christian fundamentalist leaders (Ray Comfort included), he basically monopolized the conversation and browbeat the old Earth Creationists in the group, he truly is fringe, even among that group.

    • Gotham Knight

      Kinda like Jesus is fringe.

      • Dean

        David Koresh too…

  • Daniel Webb

    What’s interesting about this debate is the topic: “is creation a viable model for origins.” If Bill Nye can keep Ken Ham on the topic, then Ken won’t be able to do his usual schtick whereby he “proves” creationism by “disproving” evolution.

    We’ll see if it happens…either way–this debate will just widen the gap between logical believers/nonbelievers and irrational Hamsters.

  • Elizabeth Sullivan

    The ideal opponent is not him/her. The ideal opponent has to be male, this is after all fundamentalist Christianity.

  • Lars

    Not sure how this is really any different than Obama-Romney. Surely there can’t be more a couple of percentage points of fence-sitters on this issue. And those not on the fence are unassailably locked into their positions. Sure it could be a total trainwreck, but I’m actually very curious about how this all goes down. The problem for Nye is if he blows his top and goes Michael Grimm on Ham. That scenario, no matter how deserved, would set his position back farther than any response he might give. Man, I wish we could all watch this in a bar somewhere. That would rule!!

  • Layne

    evolution is bull shit, there is no real evidence to support it. stop being afraid and open your eyes

    • barrydesborough
    • Sven2547

      there is no real evidence to support it

      I still can’t imagine why anyone would think this. Do you know anything about the field of genetics? Anything at all?

  • pCali

    “Bill Nye will be debating Ken Ham in a week’s time–inexplicably, on Ham’s home turf, where he controls the terms and the crowd.”

    This debate will be streamed live over the internet, directly into millions of homes all over the world. From that perspective, Ken Ham most definitely does not control the terms or the crowd. In fact, I believe Ham has no idea what he’s really gotten himself into. For so long now, he really has controlled who hears him. He speaks in lecture halls and classrooms where people pay him to show up and tell them what they want to hear. He runs a museum that people have to go and pay money to see an animatronic Flintstones cartoon. Any involvement outside his comfort zone has been relatively covert.

    But now, his own words are going to go out to a world and an audience that isn’t automatically on his side. A place where his ridiculous assertions will be met not with knee-jerk approval, but with derision and mockery. In the end, I believe that will damage him far more than anything Bill Nye can say.

    • Josh T.

      That’s an interesting take on it, that the audience is unusually predisposed to react negatively to Ham’s arguments. I guess we’ll see. To me it’s pretty clear reading Ken Ham’s (and his followers’) manner of argument that he seems incapable of reading and interpreting the Bible with anything like the same type of literary rules and common sense that normal reading (of any sort of text) requires.

      Personally I’d rather the debate not be taking place at all.

      • Gotham Knight

        Maybe Nye will use Jesus’ words to refute Ham. Well, maybe not.

  • barrydesborough

    “Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?”

    Agree on Debating Conditions.

    It is a pity that the debate is not to be held at a neutral venue with a representative audience, but there we are. Remember, we are not dealing with people who have the slightest sense of truthfulness, honesty and decency.

    Allowing them full control of the conditions will be asking to be ripped to shreds.

    I suggest you ask Ken Ham to engage with you in writing, in public, to come to an agreement on the conditions under which you will debate. I suggest the following:

    You agree the format, giving each equal time to present your arguments and to respond to one another’s arguments.

    You agree not to interrupt one another.

    You agree on what presentation technology you can each use.

    You agree to restrict your arguments to those which are directly relevant to the debate topic.

    You agree on definitions pertaining to the debate proposal.

    You agree to have several independent people/organizations record and publish the debate in full.

    If Ken Ham refuses to engage with you over conditions, and you still wish to go ahead, bring the fact up in the debate.

    Re. definitions, “creation” should be tied down to Ham’s own notion of creation – everything created in six literal 24 hour days some 6,000 – 10,000 years ago. “Origins” can mean origins of the universe, of life, of species, of geological strata, of scripture, or any agreed combination. This is very important, to preempt any weaseling over definitions when backed into a corner, as creationists so often try to do.


    If you can keep the debate to a discussion of the proposal, you can have Ken Ham on the defensive all the time. You are not there to defend biology, cosmology, astronomy, geology and origin of life research. Any mention of these, and you can rightly accuse Ham from straying from the subject of the debate. He is there to defend creationism as a viable model of origins.

    You are there to point out why creationism is not a viable model of origins. Use the evidence, but not in defense of the sciences that creationists abhor. Use the evidence to point out precisely what creationism cannot explain. An explanation makes it clear why things are one way and not some other way. This is creationism’s greatest weakness. It cannot do that. Here are some of my favorite topics that illustrate the point:

    Orthologous endogenous retroviruses. Creationists have no explanation for them. It makes no sense for a creator to place unnecessary, false traces of retroviral integrations in our genomes. See

    Astronomy – esp. supernovae and pulsars, which cannot be explained within a young earth scenario. See

    Consilient dating methods. Why do so many lines of evidence lead to “wrong” results, but happen to agree with one another? See

    In each of these cases, from the creationist viewpoint, God has planted fake evidence unnecessarily. They cannot explain any necessity for it. This is what destroys its viability.

    By the way, I mentioned the origin of scripture above. Is creation a viable model for it? Most Biblical scholars would disagree, and would present very good evidence for their position – but maybe that is straying too much onto Ham’s turf.

    My advice – pick a few topics that you are very familiar with where creationism cannot explain the evidence – topics that include, from a creationist’s point of view, fake evidence for which they cannot provide any explanation. Search the net for any attempts at ‘explanation’ or damage limitation by creationists. Ask them how their “It could be” speculations are testable. Become familiar with creationist ‘answers’ and with the rebuttals of them.

    If you want to discuss this with me, please get in touch. My email is my first name, a dot, my second name, at gmail dot com.

    Good luck! 🙂

    Barry Desborough

  • Matt

    Peter Enns is a smart man with great familiarity with ancient languages, but I’m surprised that he doesn’t seem to be familiar with the Latin phrase ad hominem. Now, I’m fully prepared to believe that Ken Hamm is a despicable person, in fact my theology requires that I do. However, there is not a single reference anywhere in this article to illustrate the points being set forth. That speaks more to the author than to the subject.

    “This is a debate over worldviews, and they get nasty quickly and go nowhere.” That’s good to know! The next time Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins has a debate I can now safely ignore them! Since, you know, those kind of debates go nowhere. Thank you Mr. Enns! You’ve convinced me! My original ideology was that the opposition should get a fair hearing and that I should use logic to determine what the correct stance should be. I’m so glad you put up this contrary argument as my worldview seen a small shifting as a result. This no doubt was your hope in writing the article. Wait…. what?

    “Nye and Ham won’t even be able to agree on what the data are, what science is, and what it means to interpret evidence. Ham will make sure of that.” This, in all seriousness, shows the author is much more perceptive than the average person dealing with Hamm and AiG. He has found the ground level of the debate. That is exactly where the debate lies, and where IMO things should get hashed out if the debate is to be of any use at all. Otherwise they will merely be talking right past each other.

    • Jenny

      Hi Matt,
      I think Peter Enns is assuming his readers are familiar with his previous critics of Ken Ham’s message and methods rather than attempting to commit an ad hominem attack.

      If you are familiar with Ken Ham’s debate tactics, you can guess how this one will go down within a reasonable margin of error.

      • Why is there so much vitriol against Ham? Even if he’s wrong about science and the Bible, I’m assuming he is sincere. Or are you saying that he’s not even sincere in what he says he believes?

        • Klasie Kraalogies

          Mike, having been involved with / interested in creation – evolution debates for more than 20 years, and having switch sides, I can attest to the fact that there is nothing sincere or hnourable about Ken Ham and his cronies. That does not go for all Creationists. For Pete’s sake :), Ham started his own society by stealing address lists, and therefore funding, from older creationist organizations where he worked.

          Ken Ham routinely goes nuclear on all who differs from him. There are histories and unambigious evidence here.

          • “Ken Ham routinely goes nuclear on all who differs from him.

            How is that different from what Peter does in the original post above?

          • Klasie Kraalogies

            Because Ken Ham makes wild assertions, and constantly implies that all those who do not agree with his interpretation of scripture are dangrrous heretics. What Peter stated above is factual, not wild accusations. It has been demonstrated over and over that Ham and co misrepresent facts, wilfully mislead, and constantly vilify.

          • I have recently come across an ID proponent named David Klinghoffer. He is hoping that the upcoming Nye-Ham debate will allow people to see the significant difference between the way YEC proponents argue and the way ID proponents argue. He completely rejects Ken’s faith-based approach to the study of science. Nevertheless, David says this about Ken:

            “Mr. Ham is a polite and candid man — much more than I can say for many of our Darwinist friends. I salute him for that, and wish him a good evening on February 4.”

            David obviously believes that YEC’s are giving ID’s a bad name, and yet he is willing to be charitable to his opponent. Do you think David is wrong to not to condemn Ken in the way that you and Peter are?

          • Klasie Kraalogies

            Yes he is.

          • Wow.

          • Klasie Kraalogies

            Mike, why “wow”? The wars over creationism is almost always ugly. I do not support the manner in which many of my fellow scientists attack all creationists, but they rarely if ever deliberately mislead, falsify or invent.

            Richard Dawkins, for instance, might be over-zealous in his attacks on religion (see De Waals’ comments about “sleeping vigorously”). But his is a battle over atheism vs theism. When it comes down to facts, anyone who deliberately misleads and obfuscates, and then viciously attack and vilify everyone that disagrees with him, deserves to be called out for what he is.

          • All I can say is that my limited exposure to Ken Ham, Peter Enns, and James McGrath leads me to conclude that your characterization of Ken Ham (“misleads and obfuscates, and then viciously attacks adn villifies everyone that disagrees with him”) is excessive. In no case so far have I seen him attack Peter and James more aggressively than they attack him.

          • Bryan

            There is absolutely nothing wrong with either side in disagreeing with one another. The problem that many are suggesting is that when Ham refers to others as heretics or, in reference to Pete, “Please pray for him”, that is where the problem starts. Disagreement is perfectly acceptable. Vilifying another is not.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            Sociopaths are also Polite and Candid. Very very Polite.
            Until the instant you have outlived your usefulness.

          • Can I converse seriously with someone who 1) won’t use his actual name, and 2) chooses to call himself “Headless Unicorn Guy”?

        • Daniel Webb

          Would you excuse the actions of a pregnant woman smoking just because she sincerely believes it won’t harm the fetus?
          Sincerity doesn’t excuse someone from repercussion–especially when they use their “sincerity” to distort the minds of young children with nonsense.

          • How is it distorting the minds of young chldren to tell them that God created the world in six literal days? Even if you think God created the universe over 14 billions years,surely you don’t deny that He had the ability to do it faster, do you?

            Are you objecting because Ken Ham says that God did create the world in six days or are you objecting to the very idea that God was able to create the world in six days if He had wanted to do so?

          • Sven2547

            How is it distorting the minds of young chldren to tell them that God created the world in six literal days?

            Aside from being factually incorrect?

          • Yes, aside from that. That is, is there anything wrong with teaching children that God could have created the world in six days if He had wanted to do it that way?

          • Sven2547

            As a theological hypothetical, that’s fine. Ham, however, is claiming that this viewpoint is scientific, and it’s not. It’s really quite the opposite. AIG corrupts the scientific method as a matter of policy, and it’s wrong to miss-educate kids in this way.

          • How do you feel about the ID guys in this regard?

          • Sven2547

            There are so many flavors of ID. Some ID folks are “young Earth”, some are “old Earth”. Some acknowledge the gradual morphological changes inherent in evolution (though they deny the evolutionary process), and some refuse to even acknowledge the facts of speciation and gradual change.

            ID is so varied and disorganized because ID is not, and never has been, based on the scientific method. It is an invention of the Discovery Institute as a mere re-branding of Creationism so make it sound more scientific, in an effort to wedge it into schools. It’s still the same corruption of the scientific method. It’s still the conclusion-first thought process that is the opposite of sound science.

          • Daniel Webb

            I believe we’ve already been over this in other posts so I won’t speak at length about all the reasons–but essentially, it’s distorting the minds of young people by (1) Presenting an opinion of how the world began as fact (2) Discarding other views as being representative of man’s authority instead of god’s authority (3) Presenting an obvious misrepresentation of established evidence for an old earth(whether created or not)

            It’s not about whether or not god COULD have done it, it’s about whether or not he DID. Ham screams past the “could” and goes right to “did” without sufficient evidence for his position and a whole lot of evidence against his position.

          • Like you, I will avoid a lot of previously plowed ground. I will only say that James comes across just as intolerant of dissenting views as does Ken.

          • Daniel Webb

            That’s really a false equivalency. Being “intolerant” of ignorance is not the same thing as being intolerant of opinions. When Ham presents errors as truth, it’s not “intolerant” to correct it. If Ham was just describing his favorite music and James attacked him or raised a disagreement then we could say that James was being intolerant. People are entitled to their own opinions but they’re not entitled to their own facts.

          • So you are against abortion?

          • Daniel Webb

            What does my personal opinion on abortion have to do with this?

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            So he can paint you as an Enemy of Gawd.
            If abortion doesn’t work, there’s always (reverb) HOMOSEXUALITY!!!!!(end reverb)

          • It’s not directly related to the topic, but I am nonetheless encouraged that you think it’s wrong.

          • Daniel Webb

            I don’t think it’s wrong up until the point where the fetus is viable…I follow the spectrum principle when it comes to abortion.

          • So then you don’t object to a mother smoking up until the point of the viability of the fetus?

          • Daniel Webb

            No, I would object to that throughout the course of the pregnancy. I apply that principle to other things even though I don’t consider them human beings.
            I can tell that you’re trying to lead me into is this idea that “if you don’t think something is a human or you know it won’t ever be born, then why would it matter if you mistreated it in some way.” But, I don’t look at it like that. I don’t destroy or degrade something just because of what its future may or may not hold.

          • I am just amazed that you would condemn a woman for smoking during pregnancy but not for aborting the pregnancy.

            That’s like saying you’d condemn a fellow for kicking his dog, but you wouldn’t condemn him if he killed the dog.

          • Daniel Webb

            Nice try, but you’re just ignoring what the actual analogy was. The point was never to speak to the moral aspect of a woman harming the fetus inside of her, but to compare an action that is a scientifically proven to be harmful to developing life with the teaching of unscientific nonsense to adolescents—and to show how it’s not intolerant to correct someone who is doing something ignorant. I think you understand that, you were just trying to throw a red herring into the discussion to distract. If you didn’t understand that, then you may have bigger problems than trying to grasp evolution vs creationism.
            If you’d like to continue the discussion–I’m fine with that. I’d just ask that you not introduce red herrings or reiterate points that have been explained to you ad nauseam.

          • Pixie5

            Mike: The Bible does not say what you think it says about abortion
            There is described the ordeal of a supected unfaithful wife if a husband had “a spirit of jealosy”. The ordeal was meant
            to determine whether she had been unfaithful and an aborted fetus would count as
            proof. The KJV is rather unclear in its language and says that the woman’s
            “thigh” would rot. “Thigh” was usually used as an ephemism for male genetilia
            but could also be used for a woman’s reproductive organs. Thus a belly swelling
            and a “thigh” rotting are pretty clear indications that this was meant to cause
            a disturbance affecting the reproductive organs. Then it says that if the woman
            was “clean” (meaning no pregnancy) that she was not guilty of adultery.
            the very least it is clear that this potion (poison) was meant to make her very
            sick so it is logical to assume that this would likely have an affect on an
            unborn child and cause a miscarriage.
            Here is a newer translation of these

            “27 When he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself
            and has been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings the curse shall
            enter into her and cause bitter pain, and HER WOMB SHALL DISCHARGE, her uterus
            drop, and the woman shall become an execration among her people. 28 But if the
            woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be immune and be able
            to conceive children.”:

            Numbers 5: 27-28 New Revised Standard Version

            Some people have pointed out that the passage doesn’t actually mention using
            poison as the Priest mixes dirt from the floor into the water. However it would
            make sense that they would not want to give away the exact recipe. It mentions
            the priest writing curses and disolving the ink into the water. It is possible
            the ink was in fact the carrier of the poison.

        • wolfeevolution

          I’m impressed, Mike. You haven’t deleted all your comments off the blog this time. Well done.

          • I wasn’t the one who deleted them. The administrator of that blog did, and I find nothing commendable about that.

          • wolfeevolution

            I stand corrected, and apologize for the tone of my comment(s). Shame on me for that. I’ll delete the other ones.

    • Daniel Webb


      It’s clear that you aren’t familiar with what an ad hominem actually is. Mr. Enns is not discrediting the argument of Ham by saying that Ken Ham is a despicable person or anything resembling that idea. There isn’t enough space on this page to discuss all the different ways that Ken Ham has manipulated and misrepresented both theology and science. If you’re interested in reading about just one example, look at this page and you can hear it from his own mouth:

      If you’d like another example, just watch this video of Ken teaching children a ridiculous misrepresentation of evolution. The part where he shows the children a picture of an ape and tells them that evolution teaches that their grandma and grandpa must have looked like apes (1:21) is disgusting. All he’s doing is seizing the opportunity to teach children who don’t know any better a strawman representation of a scientific theory. It’s insane.

  • PoliticalConnection

    Peter Enns – ever heard of slanted reporting? LOL. It’s against journalistic ethics. Of course, I guess when someone thinks that they have no proof for mythology, they will pro-actively attack ad-hominem-styled, eh?

  • Neither of them is well qualified to debate the science. This is a PR event for both.And Ham does not follow his own rules for understanding the first two verses of the Bible.

  • Kim Fabricius

    A fairer debate would be Ham versus Baloney (though Baloney would still have the advantage).

    • Daniel Webb

      This made me laugh

  • As I understand it, Ken Ham makes the argument that science supports a literal intepretation of Gen 1-2. How then is it that a man who says, “I don’t know the science” writes a 500-word character assassination of a man who says he does?

    • Daniel Webb

      You asked almost this same question over on McGrath’s blog and it was answered more than adequately there. They raise the issue over Ham’s worldview because he claims a level of authority from a corrupted understanding of the theology–and then uses it in a top-down method to evaluate science. The main problem is, which Enns and McGrath both noted in their “character assasination”, is that Ham’s theological interpretation is horribly flawed but he still uses it as the basis for everything else–including his “scientific” conclusions.

      That’s what Enn notes here: “Ham needs his theology just the way it is in order to maintain his strong grip on his understanding of reality. His theology requires a science that supports biblical literalism. Failure in this regard is not an option for Ham.”

      The fact that you have been answered on this point multiple times–yet continue to make it, leads me to believe that you’re not actually asking in good faith but rather just being willfully ignorant.

      • James and Peter have decided to accept evolution as fact. As a consequence, they bend their interpretations of the Bible to conform to it. This is more of an issue for Peter than for James simply because Peter self-identifies as an evangelical Christian and James as a progressive Christian.

        By contrast, Ham clings to his interpretation of the Bible and makes his science conform to that. Peter and James declare Ken to be wrong on science, not on their own authority, but on the authority of a worldwide scientific consensus. Therefore, their indictment against Ken in this regard amounts to no more than, “We trust the scientists and you don’t.” When it comes to theology, they say Ken is wrong to be literal, but they don’t have a biblical rationale for doing so. They just know that if a literal interpretation is true, they were wrong to switch their allegiance from the Scriptures to the scientists.

        All that said, I’m still willing to consider evolution as true, but I am not willing to trust scientists instead of the prophets in order to get there. I need a biblical explanation of how the history told by the Bible comports with the history inferred by evolutionary theory.

        • Daniel Webb

          This is also a point you’ve been answered on before. Ken Ham has created a false dichotomy from the theology so that only his worldview can be alleged as fully compliant with god’s authority. He has used this false dichotomy to literally build an apologist media empire amongst YECs. Enns and McGrath do have a biblical rationale for disagreeing with Ham, and I’m sure that you could locate that with a simple search (at least on McGrath’s site because I’ve read the articles.)
          You’ve allowed yourself to be led into this erroneous idea that you’re either trusting prophets (or other biblical authors) or trusting scientists. Who’s to say that biblical authors intended all of their writings to be taken literally? That’s absolutely not a belief shared by the very jewish culture that passed down the Torah as oral tradition for hundreds of years before it was even recorded. I’ve said this to you before and I’ll say it again–you would be very wise to study the other jewish holy books so that you could understand what the books actually meant to them hundreds of years before Jesus was born. You’ve put a burden on the Torah and other old testament books that was simply never intended to be there.

          • Even if one ignored the Old Testament testimony regarding the historicity of Adam and Eve, you’d still have the New Testament testimony.

          • Daniel Webb

            Yet again a point which we’ve discussed. Consider it this way. We, as patriotic americans, fondly refer back to the midnight ride of Paul Revere and all the great mental imagery that goes with it. But did it ever happen? No, not really. Does it describe an important facet of american history? Does it illustrate the patriotic fervor that was sweeping through the colonies? Does it demonstrate the desperation of a budding nation? Yes, yes, and yes. But it’s not true. Despite it not being true, it’s still referenced and used as a teaching point because in many ways it’s a story that tells the collective challenges and desperation of our country in its infant stages.
            It’s valuable as a story and as a collective concept without having to be true.

            Quit building up each part of the bible as though it needs to be literal truth built upon literal truth. It wasn’t first written or understood that way.Just consider what genesis says about the Nephilim.

          • Bryan

            New Testament “interpretation”

          • The entirety of Christianity stands on what you call New Testament “interpretation.” If you don’t trust it, you have no other basis of trusting Christ.

          • Bryan

            No it does not and I never suggested that I did not trust it. Even conservative theologians like McGrath have indicated that faith does not need to be built on the bible. I wonder, how did any Jew or Christian have faith prior to the canonizing of the scriptures we now call the bible if everything “stood” on it?

        • peteenns

          Mike, you comment here frequently and I usually let it go, but judging from other comments and now this one, I honestly think you don’t understand what makes people like me tick. And I am certain you have never studied Scripture as a serious student of its historical context. Requiring of us a “biblical rationale” for non-literal interpretation states more eloquently the problems with fundamentalism than I ever could.

          • “Requiring of us a “biblical rationale” for non-literal interpretation states more eloquently the problems with fundamentalism than I ever could.”

            Do you really think that a request for a biblical rationale for a non-literal interpretation of Adam and Eve – given the references to them beyond Genesis in both the Old and New Testaments – is an unreasonable request?

          • peteenns

            Mike, again, I know you feel your question is a pressing one and well phrased, but it isn’t. The question itself shows the problem. I am sorry. I know you will not accept that, but it is true.

          • Peter,

            You wrote a book titled “The Evolution of Adam, What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins.” You also wrote an Amazon review of a book titled “Four Views on the Historical Adam” in which you wrote:

            “This book is a great place to begin a re-evaluation of our theology about a historical Adam. The biblical Adam is presented through one theistic evolutionary viewpoint, two old-earth viewpoints, and one young-earth position. All four scholars do an excellent job presenting thier cases considering the relatively newness of this this debate in light of the recent genetic revolution. For some it will raise more questions than answers, but for others it will confirm a nagging suspicion or a previously held position. My only dissapointment was its failure to address ‘original sin,’ a topic all four contributers evaded, and one that is inextricably linked to Adam. I think Zondervan should do a book on four views on original sin. Lastly, for serious students of scripture, I highly recommend Walton’s ‘The Lost World of Genesis,’ Collins’s ‘Did Adam and Eve Really Exist,’ Peter Enns ‘The Evolution of Adam,’ and Francis Collins’s ‘The Language of God’.”

            All this, and yet when I pose the same question to you about Adam, you respond:

            “The question itself shows the problem.”

            Why is the question illegitimate when I ask it, but legimate when it produces all these books?

          • peteenns

            Please check again. I did not write that amazon review. Mike, I also understand, as an apologist, you like to stay in control of the discussion by asking questions rather than answering them. My only suggestion is that you read more widely in these areas, not to prove others wrong, but to learn what the deeper issues are.

          • I did check again and you are right that the review I quoted was not written by you. Sorry for the mistake. That mistake, however, is not material to the point I was making or the question I was asking.

            I have been reading your blog and making comments because I regarded you as a biblical scholar who loved the Bible and had accepted evolution and therefore had worked out a way of integrating the two. I wanted to engage you and others on difficult aspects of that integration. I wanted to know how you overcame them. As I’ve stated, I am willing to accept evolution – even desirous of doing so – if I can work past the difficulties. (Who wants more stumbling blocks in the path to Christ?)

            Your unwillingness to seriously engage, other than to tell me to read more, is a big disappointment to me. I see no less closed-mindedness on your side than that which you and others ascribe to the other side. Therefore, it does no good for me to continue to try to engage on this blog. I wish it were otherwise, but I will not remain where sincere questions are not welcome.

          • What a coincidence! Mike just made a similarly silly announcement on James McGrath’s blog. He is “moving on”. He is “unable to achieve reasonable dialogue” there either.

          • Guest

            Last time, on RJS’s post on Jesus Creed, he actually went back and deleted all his comments. I’m waiting for him to do that here….

        • Bryan

          “I am not willing to trust scientists instead of the prophets in order to get there.”
          This seems like a non sequitur. What do the prophets have to do with science? Also, no one should blindly trust science or any field of expertise for that matter but you are essentializing quite a bit here. You seem to categorize scientists as that “other” who cannot be trusted but then again, when getting a flu shot, I trust them blindly.

          • So far as I can tell, the prophets don’t have anything to do with science…but they have plenty to do with history, both in terms of reporting it and prophesying it. Proponents of evolutionary theory seek to re-write early human history. I’ve heard Peter say that he doesn’t think we have reliable history in the Bible until well into Israel’s monarchy, the time of Omri.

            Christians who embrace evolution are all over the map as far as what biblical history they retain. They have no common and clear-cut way of distinguishing fiction from fact in the biblical text. Thus they have in common a much greater assurance about evolution than they do about what is and isn’t history in the Bible. That’s what I mean by putting more faith in scientists than in the prophets.

          • Bryan

            I think that you assume that “reporting” history, as you suggest, should
            be read in the modern sense of the term. It is far too simplistic to
            just state that the prophets reported it history. And as for the facts,
            what one should be keenly aware of, is that facts do not exist apart
            from the theories that form them.

            When Ezekiel prophesies that
            the King of Babylon will destroy Egypt, and it never “historically”
            occurs, one must start digging deeper and ask more challenging
            questions. Biblical scholars must not only deal with theology but
            history as well and as I have suggested above, history can be very
            difficult to reconstruct. It is never as straightforward as you imagine.

            Also, when you state that scientists are re-writing history,
            you must be assuming that creationists had it right all along. History
            is slippery and often times makes adjustments. At one point in “history”
            theologians asserted that the world was flat because that was
            “literally” what the bible said. And those pesky scientists got in
            trouble when they maintained that the world was round. History adjusted
            and was “re-written”.

        • wolfeevolution

          So Mike, have you read John Walton’s _The Lost World of Genesis One_ yet? Oh, wait, you haven’t — even though everyone on RJS’s blog told you that was the next thing you needed to read before you continued this Inquisition of yours where you falsely say that nobody has given the Biblical evidence? Gee, I’m surprised.

          • wolfeevolution

            Sorry for the bitter tone here, Mike. Poor form of me to comment late at night. It’s just that many of the things you keep posting about, somewhat stridently I might add, could be better framed after a read-through of even just that one book by Walton, in my opinion. I hope you read it some day.

          • No offense taken. God bless.

          • In fact, I have been giving attention to Walton, but he has not so far lived up to the billing given him. That’s no disrespect to him; rather, you never really appreciated my questions.

            If you wish to communicate with me further, please do so on one of my blogs. I have promised Peter not to comment further on his because he considered my questions disruptive.

            (I made an exception for these comments of yours this morning because they had nothing to do with Peter, but I don’t want to continue making such exceptions. Thanks.)

  • I recently reviewed a terrible talk of Ken Ham where he argued that evolution is a conspiracy of evolutionists aiming at “capturing your kids” and bringing them away from the Lord.

    I am sure he is going to make a fool of himself during this debate and will make Christianity incredible for many of the clueless listeners.

    For a more Conservative opinion, you can also take a look at this.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      That’s a variant of the Satanic Panic; SATAN is after Your Children so don’t EVER let them out of their locked room. And everyone and everything outside of that locked room is Part of The Conspiracy.

      • Pixie5

        And to them evolutionists ARE Satanists *facepalm*
        It is rather silly to think that parents can shelter children from other ideas. Eventually they will be exposed to them, at the latest as an adult. Especially if they go to college.

        However the paranoia in this country about science among Christians is at a fever pitch. I read something a former-fundie mentioned is that apparently climate change denial is a prerequisite for being part of the tribe. That baffled me at first because obviously that is not biblical. But I realize that they have an inherent distrust of science altogether (except for technology) probably based on the fact that they feel like they are being lied to about evolution.

        My feeling is that if they are so scared of science then they should join the Amish. At least they don’t expect to have their religious beliefs taught in OUR schools. Of course that would mean that they would have to give up modern technology and medicine (both based on the scientific principles they reject). I doubt any one of them would really want to give up the comforts of the modern SCIENTIFIC age

  • Joe

    Ham needs his theology just the way it is in order to maintain his strong grip on his understanding of reality.

    his strong grip on his understanding of reality empire.

    The ideal opponent, if a debate were unavoidable, would be (1) a theistic evolutionist, who (2) doesn’t lose his/her cool, but (3) isn’t above giving hard punches to the gut, and who (4) knows his/her way around theology, hermeneutics, and the history of Christian thought

    The ideal opponent, if a debate were unavoidable, would be (1) a theistic evolutionist, who (2) doesn’t lose his/her cool, but (3) isn’t above giving hard punches to the gut, and who (4) knows his/her way around theology, hermeneutics, and the history of Christian thought fuzzy-wuzzy jello that can be anything anyone wants it to be.

  • Michael Hardin

    I volunteer, I fit your four criteria.

    • peteenns

      OK, i hereby knight you, Sir Michael the dragon-slayer

  • Joe (about comment 39) nails it: Ham’s empire/status/income/etc. is NOW what makes him totally impervious to real facts and evidences… to true debate. Originally it may well have been his “understanding of reality” and that is still in play, so I’m not disagreeing. Just that now it probably is secondary to the personal empire dynamic.

  • SC

    The more important concern is how many confuse faith and science,

  • James

    I note Bill Nye has done some work promoting critical thinking, Maybe some of this vital ability will come through in the debate even if it appears to the audience an apple is debating an orange.

  • God

    There is no debate here. One of them is a crackpot who has no idea what he’s talking about. The other is Bill Nye.

    • RolandD

      Typical dismissive, evolutionist attitude that provides zero answers to a myriad of scientific data that do not seem to support the millions of years required for evolution to be true and in fact runs counter to it. So, we should just believe that everyone who is a creationist is a crackpot…end of discussion – days before the debate? Are you part ostrich?

      • Klasie Kraalogies

        I can’t speak for the commenter above, but I think your eyes are full of sand right now… 🙂

        • RolandD


        • RolandD

          Hello Mr or Ms Dismissive, Evolutionist Attitude doing what you do best – being dismissive and calling names. Well done for your side! Everyone must be so proud.

  • CJK03

    If evolution states that life happened by chance at a specific point in time,
    i.e.. The big bang etc.. And from that point life has evolved to the level we
    see it at today. Then it seems to me that two questions need to be answered,
    They are, where did the material come from that allowed life to occur before
    the initial big bang event happened and where did the intelligence come from
    for this new life to evolve. What made a flower become a flower, what made a
    dog become a dog? Why did they think they needed to be anything? And if they
    did think, how did they know how to think. If I am correct, the DNA code has
    billions of bits of information that gives instructions on how life is to
    operate. How did that happen by chance? Just because a spark of life occurred,
    what gave it the ability to think? Furthermore when you see the complexity of
    species and the interaction of the whole eco system on every level, who
    organized this, are you saying it happened by chance? I offer these questions
    not as a debate or argument but in sincere curiosity stemming from what I see
    are two legitimate questions involving evolution.

    • Dan

      The Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution are two distinctly different processes. The Big Bang Theory explains the material universe up until approximately 14 billion years ago. This essentially answers your first question of where non-living matter came from. The Theory of Evolution uses natural selection to explain the biological changes we see going from one generation of species to the next. Extremely slow and gradual mutations in the genetic code, due to the environment, etc., lead simple organisms to evolve to more complex organism. A good example of complexity would be the brain. So to answer your second question, intelligence is a by-product of evolution. There are several theories out there that propose how the Big Bang and Evolution started in the first place but that is for a different post.

      • CJK03

        Thanks for your reply, I understand they are two different topics, yet they are both relevant. where did all things or anything for that matter come from, that answer is a mystery. secondly, once this matter appeared and life came into existence, where did intelligence come from, especially at the initial stage, again a mystery

        • CJK03

          What created the material that created the big bang, again a mystery

          • Klasie Kraalogies

            It is turtles, all the way down 🙂

        • Jim-Boa

          Science can’t explain everything at this point in history.
          Scientists do not know where the energy/matter that issued from the Big Bang came from. (Also, scientists don’t know where the matter that falls into a black hole goes to.)
          The means by which inert matter gave rise to life is presently unknown. There are some good hypotheses.
          Living beings evolved by the interaction of random mutation with natural selection. Random mutation made jillions of modifications and natural selection killed off nearly all of them, leaving the few that were adapted to their environment.
          Natural selection acting upon certain plants caused them to evolve flowers because, with flowers, those species could continue to exist. Ditto for dogs evolving from other animals. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto…..For generation after generation, back 3.8 billion years to the first single celled organism.
          “Intelligence” is not a quality that some organisms have and that others do not. Intelligence is an artificial construct created by human beings seeking to explain why some humans have more material success than others. The concept was then applied to animals to help explain which ones win the competition for resources.
          Cats, as much as I love them, are not “intelligent” by the standards applied to humans. However, they are very good at the game of stealth, mouse consumption, and making new kitties. By the standards that natural selection applies to cats, cats are quite “intelligent,” by which is meant “successful.”
          Theory does not say that evolution occurs by chance. Theory says that random mutation followed by natural selection causes organisms to evolve. The “random mutation” part is due to chance. The “natural selection” part is not chance. Natural selection chooses the most fit individuals to survive and those individuals mate (or whatever it is their species does) to produce offspring that perpetuate the species.
          Suppose you want one-inch rocks. You bust up a bunch of rocks to make little rocks, but you can’t just bust big rocks into one-inch rocks. Instead, you get a mixture of one-inch rocks, bigger rocks, and smaller rocks.
          Then you put those rocks through a one-inch sieve. The bigger rocks don’t go though the sieve, but the smaller ones do. Then you put the rocks that passed the one-inch sieve through a one-half inch sieve. The rocks smaller than one-half inch pass through the sieve and the rocks between one-half inch and one-inch do not.
          The process of breaking the rocks is random. You create a large number of candidate rocks which are of various sizes. The process of sieving the rocks is not random. You select from among the candidate rocks only those that meet your criteria–one-half to one-inch.

  • Nancy R.

    Some commenters here believe that Pete Enns is being a bit harsh in his discussion of Ken Ham’s views and tactics, but he’s been the target of Ham’s attacks in a very public forum – the homeschooling convention controversy of a couple of years back. Ham attacked not just Enns’ views but even his right to participate in the convention – and as a result Ham got himself disinvited from that and future conventions, by the fellow YEC proponents in charge of the event. Ham does not exactly fight fair.

  • RolandD

    Now that’s funny. You are already making excuses for Nye loosing! You see, it is Nye who belittles and mocks creationists, thus the debate challenge from Ham. Nye can hold to his beliefs (and they ARE beliefs) and would be simply one of any number of scientists who are evolutionists – no biggie. But it is Nye who continues to degenerate anyone who holds a creationist worldview. I for one would also love to see Dr. Grady McMurtry join in the fray! At any rate, Nye should be ready to put up or shut up without folks making his apologies before the first exchange between the two!

  • Philip Bruce Heywood

    Quoting Dan, I think it was:
    “If you’d like another example, just watch this video of Ken teaching children a ridiculous misrepresentation of evolution. The part where he shows the children a picture of an ape and tells them that evolution teaches that their grandma and grandpa must have looked like apes (1:21) is disgusting.”

    Actually, whether, as the contibutor asserts, it is disgusting, or no, according to the immutable laws of heredity, it is has to be true.

    So Mr. Ham (with whom I have had some small dealings and whom I view with sorrow and something approaching academic distaste) gets some science correct. If it’s in the genes, sorry, it’s in the genes — with certain qualifications.

    Mr. Enns (with whom I have had no dealings and whom I view as seemingly out of touch – sorry – ) may, I suspect, hypothesize that those ape genes somehow got transformed into his genes. This happened by a process some call “Evolution”. Evolution, in the good old reliable dictionaries, means, an unrolling. Is it to be Cuvier’s evolution? Owen’s? Do the ideas of Lamarck, so vindictively trashed by Darwin, play any possible part? What exactly do you intend? Not Darwin’s theory, surely, now so outdated and outmoded?

    Mr Enns owns that he is not a scientist. Einstein possibly was humble enough to admit the same. That did not stop him or anyone else from thinking. The idea of the first parents of a species gradually synthesizing into reality with full genetic diversity as a result of trial and error acting on an entire population, over time, is so contradictory to science and observation that its indoctrination into the minds of students can only produce one result — universal confusion. Adam and Eve, real people, full genetics, just like the first dog and the first cat and all the remainder of it. are the only rational beginning of any species. Deny the Adam and Eve principle, and deny everything science and observation have established. It is up to science to EXPLAIN how they got here, not to build a religion by BELIEVING (mystically) how they got here. You think Darwinism explains species? Science, in fact, is getting very very close to outlining the hands-on procedure. It has very little to do with Darwinism. More with Cuvier, Owen, Lamarck, Kelvin …. . Do you research.

    Ken Ham has one great big item going for him — the obvious.

    • Daniel Webb

      Ham’s questioning of the little children as to whether or not their grandparents looked like apes is not at all true by the “immutable laws of heredity” or any other concept–especially within the context of his speech.
      He’s not telling them that a distant ancestor of theirs’ looked like the ape picture that is flashed on screen. He’s telling them quite literally that evolution teaches that their physical grandparents (whom they have more than likely spent a significant amount of time around) resemble apes. The children react predictably to this gross misrepresentation because they KNOW their grandparents don’t look like that–therefore evolution can’t be true. That type of indoctrination is a calculated effort on Ham’s fault–and in no way “gets some science correct.” Watch the video.

      • Philip Bruce Heywood

        Dear Dan., I was years at university under the best of Darwinist palaeontologists, When it came to speciation, they did not have a clue. I have read parts of books on “The Species Problem”, spent many long nights over at TALKORIGINS/PANDA’S THUMB, trying to thrash it out. Darwinism taken as people accept it, face value, disallows the existence of species! I do A.I.G.’s job for it, providing the most recent science published free of charge (search the ‘Net under my full name). If you do the search, “Questions Arising, Species Origin”, I am almost always top. You don’t create a species gradually. You just might be able to gather information for a species gradually — then activate the information suddenly. But every species is an information outcome and information is timeless. And, yes, heredity is immutable — your ancestors were not apes. Should your ancestors be apes, you must give birth to apes. Science stands. Biology works. Species were real (as pre-programmed information outcomes) before they actuated visibly. Hence, GENESIS gets it right where Darwin was fiddling at the edges. Sir Richard Owen, in fact did get it right — before DNA and quantum infotech..,
        One of my e-books (listed at my sites) is an updated ‘WHAT IN CREATION IS GOING ON HERE?’ – personally presented by myself to Ham about forty years ago. His reaction was perplexing, troubling, and academically fraudulent. This e-book explains geology, species etc.and lays the foundation for the ending of this weird controversy. And that’s merely the beginning. It’s all over. Only the embers glow in this dying controversy. Ken Ham could and should have been the instrument of ending it.

        • Daniel Webb

          I’m sure you do all of that and I award you +10 points in the self-promotion category alone. However, your comment has really nothing to do with what I posted about Ken Ham’s misrepresentations of science and I’m not sure why you quoted from an earlier post of mine and then went on a strange tangent in your latest post.

          • Philip Bruce Heywood

            Yes, well, some people come to sites such as these to talk science, and some people come to talk. I don’t watch videos of Ken and I won’t be watching the proposed debate. His bedside manner with children probably leaves something to be desired (as you presumably document) but if atheists or anti- bible “evolutionists” wish to claim the backing of fact for their brand of evolution, lets see these facts. Heredity is a fact and I suspect Ken Ham will major on that fact and thus could ridicule Darwinism. It isn’t difficult. If Nye is big enough to acknowledge that human knowledge is limited and the results are not yet in, good luck to him.

            And Nye will need to do something more. As RolandD (currently below) states:
            “But it is Nye who continues to denigrate anyone who holds a creationist worldview.”

            I doubt that this is strictly true. Most or all respected foundational scientists, from Bacon through Galileo, Newton & co., to Einstein, were creationist. They mostly weren’t A.I.G. “creationist”. Science by definition is creationist, in the sense that it allows no hokums and superstitions — Nature doing mysterious things like creating matter and information out of nothing. Certain brands of ‘evolution’ give Nature this mystical power. Darwinism itself struggles to keep clear of this departure into mysticism. Nye would be wise to define his terms.

          • Daniel Webb

            I would love to see whatever proof you have that Einstein was a creationist. As for the others, they were all pre-Darwin, when no real opposing theory existed of how life arrived at it’s current position.

            You appear to be one of those people who just comes to talk, primarily about yourself, while randomly including quotes from others. The point I made, which you quoted, was referencing misrepresentations and outright distortion of evolution by Ham. If you want to offer a rebuttal to that point then by all means–do it. Reading from the long version of your resume does nothing to further the conversation.

          • Philip Bruce Heywood

            “I’m not an atheist ……. . We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn’t know what it is. …… ” Wonder who wrote that?

          • Daniel Webb

            Yes the same person who wrote this: “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

            And this: “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”

            The quote you posted above, which you did not include in full for obvious reasons, is talking contextually about the appearance of design to the viewer–no part of the complete quote indicates that Einstein believed in creationism–and certainly not in Young Earth Creationism. I encourage you to refrain from quote mining–especially after the effort you’ve expended in this thread to convince readers that you’re well-read and capable of critical thought.

          • Philip Bruce Heywood

            I’m not going to humor people who can’t even read a dictionary straight. I am beginning to understand why you are so fascinated with Ken. This is what is worrying me about A.I.G., all along. They are o.k. ing the fib and the distortion in the name of truth. You have lost contact with English as she is spoke.

          • Daniel Webb

            Mmk, I’ll take that with a grain of salt.

        • Westcoastlife

          You do understand the difference between heredity and science, right? – Darwin believed in something called heredity, Watson and Crick began the study of modern day genetics. Heredity is a confused version of genetics, genetics isn’t – it is very clear- we are 51% from our mom’s – likely more, and about 49% from our dads. Mom’s give us mitochondrial DNA (extra DNA in our mitochondrial nucleus, dad’s never do).

          Heredity is based off of silly old views that called men’s sperm “seed” as in, a little human, which was what they thought a human started as. If you read Hebrews 7 you will find all this mumbo jumbo ancient nonsense right in the Bible – the writer tries to claim that Levi was in his ancestor Abraham’s loins when Abe gave Melchizedek his tithe. Um, not a blinking chance. See, waaaay back when the Bible was written, people thought sperm were little babies. They thought inside each little male baby was all of hid possible future offspring. So, inside Adam was a mini Seth and inside Seth was a mini Enosh and inside a teeny, tiny Enosh was an even more microscopic Kenan and so on. This is why when Adam and Eve fall, we inherit our sinful nature from Adam.

          If you want further proof, the term ‘barren’ is for an unplanted field, not a defective seed. Hence why, when a woman begins to see how great Jesus is cries out “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” (Luke 11) but not, blessed is your mother, who you are related to” sort of talk, in their view they made women into vessels, or bearers of children, but not actual parents. Notice the complete distancing of Mary as a person in that statement, because, to them, she had no part in Jesus’ being, he just temporarily housed himself in her.

          The problem being, of course, none of this is true. We are not just our father’s offspring. We are actually just slightly more our mother’s offspring. Heredity was the popular view in the 1800s, by then, science realized the mother was influencing to child’s make-up, but they couldn’t work out how or how much. How did and Egg and Sperm mix? remember DNA was still unknown when Darwin wrote is tomb.

          Yes, Mendel did propose genetics about 100 years before, but it wasn’t widely known or accepted in England until a while after Darwin’s book.

  • I agree wholeheartedly.

    In addition, the subject of the debate: “Is creation a viable model of origins?” is firmly in the grounds of theology and has no bearing in science whatsoever.

    I worry that Ham will claim a victory even if Nye demonstrates that Ham doesn’t understand evolution.

  • John Doe


    • Daniel Webb

      Five dollars to the person who can reach over and turn off caps lock on your keyboard.

    • Dogma Hunter

      Nobel prize to the person who can show all the math how John Doe’s life started and got to where it is now without leaving anything out any of the numbers.
      Following John Doe’s logic… if you can’t, then this would “prove” that John Doe was never born and never aged, but apparantly just poofed into existence after a super-duper-sky-daddy said “be!!!” and he was.

      • John Doe

        .dawkins gould morowitz all publically said no one knows how it started..they should at least tell this to the little kids in the text books instead of misleading them like its proven…that is called brainwashing…

        • Dogma Hunter

          Projecting much?
          Not a single science textbook claims that it is known how the universe or life started. They might hold some of the running hypothesis/theories, but nowhere will that be presented as fact.
          When learning about the scientific method, it is also clearly stated that all of science is tentative. So even the things that are nothing short of fact, are still presented tentatively.

          The only people here claiming to “know” the answer are theists. The only people here engaging in brainwashing are theists telling their kids that god-dun-it “and that’s final”. Worse even, a lot of theists tell their kids that god-dun-it and that it is a SIN to question that proposition.
          In short: go back to high school.

    • kevins_76

      There are a thousand different creation myths. I can invent a couple more too. I’d like to see the math that shows your myth is any better than the others.

  • Brandi H.B.

    Please refrain from including personal opinion as fact. The very fact that one immediately discounts Ham as “twisting data and logic” indicates that the author of this article has made his own worldview the standard instead of neutrally listening to the evidence from both sides before coming to a judgment. Please listen to the evidence and then draw your own conclusion, remembering that there will still be someone who will disagree.

    • Daniel Webb

      Ok–deal! Click on the below links and you can see examples of Ken Ham twisting data and logic. Reposting this from an earlier comment:

      There isn’t enough space on this page to discuss all the different ways that Ken Ham has manipulated and misrepresented both theology and science. If you’re interested in reading about just one example, look at this page and you can hear it from his own mouth:

      If you’d like another example, just watch this video of Ken teaching children a ridiculous misrepresentation of evolution. The part where he shows the children a picture of an ape and tells them that evolution teaches that their grandma and grandpa must have looked like apes (1:21) is disgusting. All he’s doing is seizing the opportunity to teach children who don’t know any better a strawman representation of a scientific theory. It’s insane.

    • Klasie Kraalogies

      A number of people here have already provided links. There are also archived material on this very blog that illustrates the matter.

  • Geoff C

    You say: “The ideal opponent, if a debate were unavoidable, would be .. a theistic evolutionist.” Of course you’d say that! Then they only point of disagreement would be whether or not God played any part in the process or simply “watched” it happen. What a boring debate that would be! Hardly a debate at all.

  • CreatedbyGod1031

    I like your point of view as of what you believe in. However, please notice that creation is real. I totally respect your beliefs, but the truth is the truth. Even if Mr. Bill Nye wins, the truth will stay the same. Creation is the truth. Nye says that believing in creationism is “fantastically” confusing, and that it wont get you anywhere. But isnt the fact that you teach children that they came from apes a billion years ago conclude to be more confusing.
    Many people may not believe that an all powerful God exists, but I can assure you that many scientists are also creationists. After reading all your comments, I notice that people view Mr. Ham as a man who is bringing a lamb into a lions pit, saying that the Creation Museum is his home and such and such. Doesnt that only prove that evolutionists have the fear of losing this debate? If evolution is 100% real, no flaws whatsoever, than Mr. Nye shouldn’t be afraid to debate, no matter where the location is. To wrap it up, I will say this, I am not a scientist, I am a middle schooler, but evolutionists, if you are saying that Ken Ham has the upper-hand in this debate, please, understand that if your ideas are real, you shouldnt say a thing.
    One more thing, you didnt come from apes, you came from God.

    • Daniel Webb

      “If your ideas are real, you shouldn’t say a thing.”

      This is potentially one of the most naive things I’ve read in a long time. Ideas that are real (or factual) MUST be shared–especially given the opportunity to address a scientifically illiterate audience. Without being taught real science, those people will continue to be ignorant. You show signs of this ignorance yourself in the distortion of evolutionary theory from your comment.

      You said: “but isn’t the fact that you teach children that they came from apes billions of years ago conclude to be more confusing.” Scientists don’t teach children that they came from apes billions of years ago.

      Further, Nye is not saying that believing in all types of creationism is ridiculous. He was speaking specifically about young earth creationism (created within the last 6000-1000 years) because it ignores so much evidence we have of an old earth.

    • Darryl Stringer

      CreatedbyGod1031: I’m a Christian, so I’m on your side. However, I also believe that God used evolution as His means of creation, and I’m comfortable that this fits with the scientific and the Biblical evidence/account. How can this be? Let me give you an example:

      Were you “knit together in [your] mother’s womb” by Almighty God as the Bible says, or were you the result of a sperm and an egg coming together, progressing through as a zygote, and a fetus, and finally a full term baby? Which is it – God or sperm/egg – you can only choose one?

      Of course the question is wrong. For people like you and me who believe in God, then both sides are right – God “knitted us together” using a process that is well explained by science.

      If we know that this is true for us, is it also possible that this is true for the entire universe? I think it is, so I see no conflict between the HOW of creation (evolution) and the WHO of creation (God).

      As for this debate, the pro-evolutionists are concerned that Bill Nye might lose this debate because Ken Ham has a habit of twisting definitions, so that a logical and reasoned debate is not possible. When logic is not possible, logic cannot possibly win.

    • Westcoastlife

      “But isnt the fact that you teach children that they came from apes a billion years ago conclude to be more confusing.”

      LOL! you do realize we are, in fact, great apes, right? That makes your statement really humorous, dogs are canines, cats are felines, we are great apes, any questions? check this out:

    • Westcoastlife

      “If evolution is 100% real, no flaws whatsoever, than Mr. Nye shouldn’t be afraid to debate, no matter where the location is.”

      You do understand that a scientific Theory concludes what is the most convincing evidence from numerous lines of observation, not a flawless idea, right?

      The concern is: Ken Ham won’t debate, he will just twist scientific words into his own created meanings, and then argue from his new definition of “science” or “proof”. He will win over his audience, at his crazy amusement park, by deception. Everyone else will agree he lost, but to the people in the actual audience, they will only see him as winning.

    • Pixie5

      The fact that you think scientists say that apes were around a billion years ago does not work in your favor. You seem like a nice person but one of the biggest problems in debating these issues is that people don’t take the time to even learn what the scientists have said in the first place. The dino’s went extinct 65 million years ago leaving the path for small underground living mammals to flourish and evolve into larger mammals and eventually us.

  • Darryl Stringer

    Maybe what is needed is a “tag team” debate, either live in an auditorium or online (or in a book?). That way the most appropriate people can be called upon from each side, so that when theology comes up the theologians can address the issues, and when cosmology gets mentioned the cosmologians (??) can jump in. Just a thought …

    Anyway, looking forward to the broad discussion after the debate. I’m expecting it to be like every political debate – both sides will claim victory.

  • TogetherWeStand

    How interesting to see things develop as the debate approaches. When the story first broke the pro-evolution media seemed confident Bill Nye would establish Evolution once and for all. Then high priest Richard Dawkins made the grave and sobering announcement that the debate was not a good idea–and all the evolution acolytes began nodding in agreement. Now the pro-evolution media seems to already be preparing for a defeat?? I think that public debates are a wonderful part of education in a free system. Let the debate begin!

    • Klasie Kraalogies

      Could you prove to articles where the pro-evoltionary side was acting like you describe in the beginning? I have not seen a single one…

    • Daniel Webb

      I always enjoy when people try to marginalize what scientists say by using religious imagery like you used here: “High Priest Richard Dawkins”

      It’s funny because you’re using something that religion takes very seriously and applying to science in an effort (poorly executed) to make it seem more objectionable…while never realizing that it just highlights that the religious imagery you’re using is ridiculous all on its own.

      “I’m going to make science sound dumb by inserting religious terminology and comparing them. If I call science a religion, then it’ll be less credible…” Congrats….joke is on you.

      • TogetherWeStand

        Hi Daniel: Sorry, denial is not an argument and it makes even less sense to claim (again with no facts) that a religion is science.

        • Daniel Webb

          Haha, this is textbook Poe’s law.

          You don’t think that it’s ironic that the method you try to use to undermine the credibility of science is to call it a religion? Classic.

          Don’t get it twisted. I’m not arguing with you TogetherWeStand. Whenever possible, I try to follow Greg King’s advice: “Never argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with his experience.”

          • TogetherWeStand

            Hi Daniel: The “method” being used is the simple observation of facts and has anyone ever told you that your holier-than-thou priestly robes are showing?? Anytime you want to come down and critically think with us common folk, I am available. Your friend, Jim

          • Daniel Webb

            Haha, you did it again! You’re too much.
            I can’t believe nobody has ever told you that it’s not beneficial to mock something by paralleling it with something you believe.
            Now that we’re friends, please take this simple advice. If you want to cast something as being ridiculous–don’t use your own belief system as the parallel.

          • TogetherWeStand

            Actually, I despise the religious characteristics that put my Lord on a cross–no parallel there??

          • Daniel Webb

            You must be forgetting that your lord had to go to the cross regardless of whether or not it was jews that “sent” him there–or else the sin debt would not have been paid. You should actually be thankful for the high priests, because they were a tool that god used to allow your sin to be atoned through the blood sacrifice of the cross. Without that, heaven wouldn’t be an option for you or anyone else.
            Just the facts, Jim.

          • TogetherWeStand

            Hi Daniel: We are getting a little off-topic from the creation evolution discussion, but you have observed an extremely interesting mystery. Which is why did the devil inspire the chief priests to crucify Christ when he (the devil) knew it would be his ultimate demise?? I simply do not know the answer to that question? I do know that what the chief priest did was extremely evil. Additionally so were the common people that were crying “crucify him” along with the chief priests. I fear I also would’ve been a part of that mob–I am also that evil, which of course I am not thankful for nor do I consider in anyway ridiculous. I hope that answers your question.

          • Daniel Webb

            You’re putting the cart a couple miles before the horse. God’s plan was to offer his son as a human sacrifice. He’s all-knowing and nothing operates outside of his will. We can see that concept expressed in Job when the devil has to get permission in order to do ANYTHING to Job or his family.
            At the end of the day, the buck still stops with the omnipotent and omniscient god. The jewish high priests were used to accomplish god’s will of blood atonement for the sins of the human race.
            At any rate, I don’t wish to go much further down this road. I only wanted to point out that it’s a poor idea to try to make science seem ridiculous by paralleling it with religion–when religion is what you hold dear.

          • TogetherWeStand

            Hi Daniel: I have enjoyed my conversation with you. Have a nice day.

    • kevins_76

      IMO it is a waste of time to argue with closed minded religious fundmentalists. People who reject basic science don’t have the rationality to even participate in an actual debate (one that involves evidence and logic). They just do the ‘polly want a cracker’ routine. 🙂

      • TogetherWeStand

        Hi Kevin: Knowing what and how people think before you meet them must be quite a skill. Do not you think we should leave that kind of thing to the psychics??

        • kevins_76

          No, I was raised as a Christian fundamentalist and am well aware of the mental state. You seem to the be one making the assumptions.

          • TogetherWeStand

            Yes. I assumed you where speaking to me not the individuals that raised you. I hope you have nice day. Your friend, Jim

  • joecool

    Give me an example of why Ken Ham isn’t scientific. Also I have been reading articles from evolutionary views and they are all hate messages. Way to make a reputation.

    • Darryl Stringer

      Hi Joecool. Firstly, the hateful comments are sad to read, but they come from all sides. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is.

      Secondly, here is a short article by the Christian organisation Biologos that looks at some of the scientific problems with the flood geology promoted by Ken Ham:

    • Philip Bruce Heywood

      JC: The problem is not that Ken is not scientific (he is and he isn’t): the problem is he disobeys every rule of bible teaching and inculcates it in an alarming manner. He inherited this in some measure from the previous generation of ‘creation scientists’. The late H.M. Morris, for example, in his commentary on GENESIS, unilaterally declared, “Let the waters bring forth…..” to be a mistranslation. Morris went on to subtly obscure (via verbiage) the startling fact that GEN.1:20 in conjunction with 1:24, demand that all complex life, humanity excepted in some real way, was created (ex nihilo) on day 5, yet major segments did not manifest on Earth until day 6 (under a term much less significant than ex nihilo).
      To align these gross omissions with some sort of coherent story, a young earth was enlisted. A young Earth can not be found in the Bible. What the Bible does say is that the foundational parts of the Earth are seemingly of incalculable age. ‘Creation Science’ –against all advice and for no logical reason– turned this on its head and made a dogma of a young Earth! To support these incomprehensible claims, Ken claims that the only part of the Bible with authority in this origins arena is GENESIS. Thus, JOB, “Are thy days as the days of man?”, does not count. If only he would read GENESIS and wake up! The days can not have been our days, for the obvious reason they were evening and morning –not night and day. The seventh was not even evening and morning. It is timeless — a type of Heaven. There is this disturbing and troubling spirit of overriding the harmless intent and meaning of Scripture and therefore of the tenets of Christianity. Let me tell you — contrary to Ken’s insistent and pervasive assertions: millions of years is not ‘pagan religion’; and if I have personal problems, they stem from sin and unbelief — not ‘evolution’ — whatever is meant by that vague catch-all term. The intent of Christianity is to know and love God, who loves us unconditionally. The Bible is a love letter and the word of power.

      • Jaco3121

        Above you failed to give 1 piece of evidence for evolution. all you did was say “Evidence suggests”. What is this evidence? There is more than enough evidence for Penguins, Humans and Dinosaurs all living at the same time. This evidence is in the bones of the animals you are studying. First of all, dinosaur bones that we are digging up today have intact, fossilized RED BLOOD CELLS and BONE MARROW. Both of these things should be completely destroyed, under any circumstances, in less than 50,000 years. that is a LOT shorter than the 60 MILLION years that most evolutionary scientists label dinosaur bones (latest) as. Secondly there’s the fossil record. It is generally accepted to evolutionists that the lower an animal is in the layers of rock strata, the older the animal is. And we are finding bird fossils UNDER dinosaur fossils. Just let that sink in for a second. Any educated evolutionist would “Know” that dinosaurs evolved FROM dinosaurs. (So for the logic impaired, this should be impossible. Thirdly, there is the Ankor dinosaur. There are distinct carvings on DINOSAURS on temples and caves in the area of Ankor. and for the argument above me, I have a simple 1 worded answer to your simple minded “argument”. Yom. Look it up.

        • Darryl Stringer

          Jaco3121: Virtually all living birds today are Neognaths,
          which developed before 75 million years ago, right in the middle of the dinosaurs. None of the listed birds are not supposed to be found here. At the end of the Cretaceous is exactly where bird evolution takes off,
          and is exactly where we would find common bird forms found today. Any of those birds found during the earlier Permian or Triassic periods would be an issue for evolution but once again these have not been found.

          Red blood cells: How do you know red blood cells and bone marrow ALWAYS break down in less than 50,000 years?

          The Angkor Dinosaur in Cambodia is a drawing with a number of possible explanations. I wouldn’t be using it as proof of dinosaurs and humans cohabiting. As one critic said:

          “Did the creationists ever mention the fact that the creature in the image has a short, skinny, droopy mammalian tail and legs at an even height unlike the real Stegosaurus that has a thick reptilian tail and long hind legs and short front legs? Did they mention that the creature bore a big, round, neckless head with a beakless mouth unlike Stegosaurus who has a small, narrow triangular head? Not to mention the fact that the so-called plates perfectly match the embellishments surrounding the animal images and are not being fully triangular, kite-shaped, and arranged in a zig-zag, double row pattern? And why is the so-called plates similar to the decorative embellishments surrounding a circle of modern animals that’s surrounding the animal? Could it be that the so-called plates are in fact just embellishments located right behind the creature and nothing else? Could be!”

          The point is that you don’t have to defend a young earth creationist model in order to defend the Word of God. God can exist with evolution – they are not incompatible, and the death and resurrection of Christ is still a big deal for us regardless of what happened millions of years ago.

        • Joy_F

          I have been through Ta Prohm in Angkor a couple of times and seen the “dinosaur” likely it’s a water buffalo with leaves behind it. The face is shaped more like a water buffalo, if you have seen it and touched it in person. Secondly, there are all sorts of dragons, goblins and other mythical creatures on the walls of the temple, steeped in ancient Buddhist mythology. Unless we are to accept that dancing part man, part monkey, lion-headed goblins are also actual creatures, I would be reluctant to use anything in Ta Prohm to indicate scientific anything.

          • Darryl Stringer

            Well said, Joy.

        • Pixie5

          There are Native American petroglyphs of people that have square heads and triangular bodies. Are they aliens or “modern art”? I imagine Picasso would have recognized them as the latter.
          Just because someone carves or doodles does not necessarilly mean they are depicting reality.

    • Ken Ham

      Well, he isn’t a scientist. His preachings go against all observable evidence. Look at his museum, he has penguins and dinosaurs living amongst white people 6000 years ago. Evidence suggests dinos lived millions of years ago, people evolved out of africa, and the Earth is ~4billion years old.
      You are reading the wrong papers, try reading actual scientific journals or advanced textbooks. I don’t know where you are getting this hate message from, you are either interpreting material that contradicts your world view as an attack or you are reading peoples blogs in context of an anti-religious debate.
      There is plenty of hate speech on Christians end, don’t fail to recognize it. Unfortunately for you, science works. If you don’t understand it, that doesn’t make it wrong.

      • Philip Bruce Heywood

        He is more of a scientist than Mr ???. Or are you Mr. Penguin, or Mr Dinosaur, or are you recently out of Africa. When I went to school (and failed a few subjects) the Earth was 4,600 million years old, so you got most of that right. The laws of physical chemistry then said that reactions which increased order (such as those necessary to creating life, DNA, species, etc.) either had to happen basically as soon as the reagents were introduced to each other, or they would not thereafter happen at all — i.e., time is against orderdness, unless some hidden factor is at work. So if you are a young earther, as the name could suggest, you are out of money and if you are an evolutionist who believes “evolution did it” you are stony broke. Science works. Here I am, trying to be neat and orderly, and something that could once have been on the hoof, so to speak (or, on the trotter?) cuts its scientific throat above my entry. Pshaw, man!

    • summers-lad

      The most fundamental reason why creationism (or more properly, YEC) isn’t scientific is contained in Pete’s post. Science creates hypotheses, tests them , reviews them, develops theories and laws, but must always keep them open to change in the light of evidence. Creationism does none of this. It starts with the answers and forces observations to fit its theories. It is not open to correction. Given this, even if it was true it would not be science.
      A closely related point, which Pete didn’t cover, is that science predicts. A good theory points the way to new discoveries. If its predictions are found to be failing, that is a sign that an old theory is on the way to being refined, improved or replaced. I am not aware of creationism ever making any testable predictions.

  • Helios

    All attendees will get a complimentary 12oz bottle of miracle water. This miracle water is effective as a cure for any illness except stupidity.

  • John Doe


  • John Doe


  • John Doe

    Charles Darwin was Intelligent Design by modern standards…

    Toward the end of his life Darwin’s reluctance to discuss God diminished. It is in the sixth edition of the Origin where this shift is most noticeable. The sixth edition was the last edition edited by Darwin. It was released in 1872 — some thirteen years after the first edition was published. The word “evolution” appears for the first time in the last edition.

    Darwin used the word “Creator” nine times, and the word “God” twice in the sixth edition [iii]. Of greater importance is what he said about life and the Creator’s role in it. Darwin never said that evolution was Godless or directionless. In fact, a reading of the sixth edition of Origin proves that both of these assertions are factually incorrect. The second page of the Origin prominently displays this quote:

    To conclude, therefore, let no man out of a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress or proficience in both. – Bacon: “Advancement of Learning”[iv]

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  • John Doe

    Charles Darwin was Intelligent Design..from the horses mouth…

    One of best-known criticisms of natural selection was that nothing as complicated as an eye could have evolved purely by chance. Darwin’s response was that we can observe many examples of the evolution of light-sensitive cells in nature. The most intriguing thought Darwin had on this subject was that just because we don’t understand how something can evolve does not mean that the Creator wasn’t behind it. His exact words in the sixth edition of Origin were “Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?”[v]. Using the telescope as an example of a man-made optical instrument, he added: “May we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to man?”[vi].

    Read more:
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  • DarwinwasWrong

    The article seems filled with negative stereotyping, presuppositions, and generalizations. All the ingredients for a blogger to go after clicks. Would you be so kind to share with us which views of God and the Bible that Ken ham has which are erroneous? Ken Ham is not a prophet like you falsely say nor has he ever claimed to be, but is simply a passionate God fearing man with a true and living faith. Ken has already debated many theistic evolutionists in the past, but rarely have secular evolutionists have had the courage to, so respect to Bill for that. And saying his views are not worth debating to begin with just shows that you want to silence the debate because you are not confident in your own world view.

    “on Ham’s home turf, where he controls the terms and the crowd”

    I guess that’s why the creation museum have asked a Liberal guy from CNN to be the moderator for the debate…

    “Ham needs his theology just the way it is in order to maintain his strong grip on his understanding of reality”

    A person who is well studied in Biblical theology and believes that it is the inspired word of God usually does have a good understanding of reality.

    • Dean

      “A person who is well studied in Biblical theology and believes that it
      is the inspired word of God usually does have a good understanding of

      So you are saying that the Church has never been wrong about “reality”? Come again?

  • I’ve recently been reading various works of Enns from 2005 onwards. The progression is interesting, and sad. At first, in guarded language, he appears (in his self-presentation – the critical reader will see more than this) to want to appear to believe the same as other traditional evangelicals, whilst applying purportedly helpful correctives, for apologetic purposes. Over time he becomes clearer and clearer as to what his real position is; in his most recent writings which I’ve read (e.g. Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy, 2013), he has given up all pretence and simply pours naked scorn over historic evangelical views, as beneath his contempt.

    As such, it’s interesting to me to see this analysis of his “journey” confirmed here. The creationist view, despite being held by (at the least) vast swathes of the historical and contemporary church, is not simply mistaken, in Enns’ eyes – its so contemptible that it’s not even worth discussing at all.

    May God preserve us all from going on “journeys” like Enns’ one.

    • Darryl Stringer

      David Anderson: You might find it interesting to carefully investigate the history of the Church and how it has understood the creation accounts. The strongly literal view of Ken Ham, which you might refer to as a “historic evangelical view”, didn’t really become popular until relatively recent times.

  • Joy_F

    Yeah – I can see why so many are against Nye debating him. I think Bill Nye is as you said, expecting to go into the debate with scientific data, only to have everything re-explained to fit Ken Ham’s paradigm worldview.

    I understand – it was a tightly guarded worldview that I used to hold as well. Until a decade in Asia made that whole worldview crumble. No “athiest” In Asia (Japan, China, Mongolia, Cambodia etc.) ever brought this up as an issue. They read the creation stories as allegorical and had no issues with it as in Chinese etc. that was what the language implied. While I know of conservative Americans who insisted upon it there, it wasn’t a widespread issue in the national church. I realized that eastern thought was still closer to the culture of the Bible than Greek thought, and that the idea of truth not needing to be literal was simply accepted.

    A decade later, I returned to the US to hear the debates again and they simply seemed bizarre and strange – how did they miss the point of the story so badly? I think a lot of that is the assumptions of the culture. We need to stop reading the Bible through modern American lenses. Seeing things through the glasses of Western Culture hinders us from seeing the true depth of the stories.

  • Steve

    I personally find this debate laughable, and predict that Nye will wipe the floor with Ham. Three main problems:

    a) The academic scientific community (for the overwhelming majority)
    discounts the possibility of the supernatural, simply because “science”
    as a field of study only deals with those things that are i)
    perceivable, ii) measurable, and iii) repeatable. Neither God, nor the act of
    creation, are all three of those things. So most of the
    scientific/academic community are already on Nye’s side, since Ham isn’t
    talking about, well, science.

    b) This debate seems to be in a framework of “creation vs. evolution”,
    which is like comparing the colour red to pop music. They’re two
    distinct things in two different conversations; creation is talking
    about life origins, while evolution is talking about how life
    diversified after it originated. Evolution makes no claims on the
    origins of life. So having a debate between these two positions is
    pointless; they’ll both be talking past the other person because they’re
    not even debating the same thing.

    c) We, as Christians, hold the Bible as an authoritative source of
    knowledge, spiritual knowledge in particular. However, we also have to
    be intellectually honest and admit that yes, that is a claim of faith,
    which is why we use the words “faith” and belief” so often when talking
    about spirituality. We believe in God; we believe God is the highest
    authority; we believe the Bible is the Word of God; therefore, we
    believe that the Bible is an authoritative work. However, simply because
    we believe it to be an authoritative source does not mean that everyone
    believes that it is, and it certainly does not mean it can be held up
    as a be-all end-all authority in a debate with someone who doesn’t
    believe in it. The second Ham uses Scripture to back up his claims, he
    will have lost all credibility in the debate, and I have a feeling he’s
    going to have a tough time arguing his position without citing Scripture
    as a research source.

  • Joe

    Nye is either going to get destroyed by Ken Ham or at least grow extremely frustrated with Ham’s tactics.

    At least he will be expecting it. And presumably will be somewhat prepared to not be frustrated, because everyone is writing about it and everyone says the same thing. And since he doesn’t live in a vacuum, he probably reads a bunch of it. He probably already knows what’s coming anyway even without the internet feedback.

  • Scott F

    Science has never proved, nor will it ever prove evolution… Everything man makes today was made by a “designer”. So, ask yourself, why is man so determined to “prove” that he had no “designer”? It takes more faith to believe in the evolutionary process that has absolutely no foundation, scientific explanation, or proof in existence than it does to believe in an Omniscient, Omnipresent, & Omnipotent Creator.

    • Darryl Stringer

      Were you, Scott F, put together by a Designer, or are you here because of the joining together of an egg and a sperm? Of course, for Christians like us the answer is “Both” – you and I were “designed”, but the great Designer in His wisdom used natural processes as His tools for Creation. As it is with the birth of us, so it is with the birth of the universe.

    • Dean

      Science is not in the business of “proving” anything. Science comes up with hypotheses which are tested and peer reviewed by independent researchers over time and that body of research is used to come up with theories, which are used to explain and predict what we observe in the natural world. This process is continually refined over time and that’s why you are able to post your inane comment on this blog. It’s just odd to me why people like Scott wouldn’t hesitate to fire up his computer and book a ticket over the internet, get in his car and drive to the airport where he can make a phone call while flying through the sky, but when it comes to something like evolutionary biology, suddenly the scientific community is full of ignoramuses. It’s a ridiculous double standard, basically the Bible is critical for teaching us about the fundamentals of biology, but is totally irrelevant when it comes to any other field of science. Please make up your mind. If you were Amish, maybe someone might bother listening to you for one second.

      • Carol Kehoe

        so show me in the natural world today an example of evolution. Not happening!

        • Darryl Stringer

          Carol: One example is a small creature called a “Volvox”. This is a small spherical animal that lives in the water and is made up of individual cells of algae. Separate algae cells have been observed organizing into a Volvox, with the advantage of being able to propel itself in a way similar to an octopus, and capture food inside the sphere. The algae cells operate in a unified manner, just as the cells in a larger organism do. Here is a clear example of increased complexity for the sake of survival.

          Here are some more examples of evolutionary development today that increases the survival rate of various creatures:

          Is that helpful?

          • Pixie5

            Wow! Thanks for the info!

          • RolandD

            So what did these small spherical animals become? They did not exhibit any Darwinian evolution at all. Their behavior changed – but that is NOT (and I repeat NOT) Darwinian evolution wherein there must be a change of “kind.” There is still no evidence for Darwinian evolution – it remains a theory.

          • Darryl Stringer

            RolandD: If you did come across some data that you acknowledged did qualify as evidence of a change in “kind”, how would you fit that into your theology? If you couldn’t currently fit such evidence into your theology, then maybe it would be appropriate for you to first do some reading and discussing and see if you can work through how to mix the reality of God’s existence with the reality of evolutionary development over millions of years. Once you allow room for it to be possible for God to use evolution as His means of creation, then perhaps we can start to dig into the scientific data to see if the evidence is there. But the theology has to come first for you.

            Does that make sense?

          • RolandD

            No, no sense at all. You are allowing your belief in “evolution” to trump what science clearly shows, and allowing it to also cloud your perception of God: i.e your theology. There is zero evidence for millions of years of development, If you were a student of God’s Word, you would know that in Genesis, Moses used the world “yom” for “day.” Unless otherwise indicted, and in the VAST majority of instances where the word is used, the word “yom” means a literal 24 hour period. And if that doesn’t do it for you, God Himself tells us what it means: “And there was evening and morning, the first day.” Also, “And there was evening and morning, the second day,” and so on.
            There is plenty of evidence to show that it is an impossibility for man to have been developing (code word for evolving) for millions of years. Human population statistics, the magnetic field surrounding the planet, the measurement of helium 4 in the atmosphere, the measurement of uranium salts in the oceans, sediment deposits in the oceans, etc. How about the orbit of the moon? The moon is getting further and further away from the earth. Did you know that? It is imperceptible to us year by year – but it has been measured for quite some time now. So get this, just 22,000 years ago, the moon would have been so close to the earth that life would have been impossible. How does that fit into your theology? One more (and there is a TON more), why do we have comets? Do you know what the comets tail is made of? Yes, debris from the comet itself. Scientists have measured a comet as it begins to go around the sun, and again when it come around on the other side – and have been able to measure the degradation. Scientists are in agreement that after 10K years, there should be no comets left! So why do we have comets? Evolutionists say, “Ooooo! it is the Oort cloud!” The only problem is that an Oort cloud has NEVER been seen! Ever! Not by Hubble or anyone/anything. it is a figment of the secular scientists imagination to try and explain why we still have comets! So, who is depending on faith now?
            I would suggest that you lay off the condescending attitude and bone-up on the evidence that contradicts your theology. Begin here: May I also suggest that you tune in to the Bob Dutko show, Monday through Friday from 12 to 4. Listen streaming at He has a call in program on Fridays. Call him with your BEST evidence – your BEST arguments that God used evolution. Don’t worry, I will be there with a fire extinguisher when you go down in flames. (JK). Seriously – CALL HIM!! And finally, YES – God comes first for me. “Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Jesus.

          • Darryl Stringer

            1. On the use of “yom” and “evening and there was morning” in the Genesis creation accounts, I’d recommend reading John Walton’s “The Lost World of Genesis One” where he says:
            “We have suggested that the seven days are not given as the period of time over which the material cosmos came into existence, but the period of time devoted to the inauguration of the functions of the cosmic temple, and perhaps also its annual reenactment. …. Genesis 1 focuses on the creation of the (cosmic) temple, not the material phase of preparation.”

            2. Regarding your evidences for a young earth, I’d be happy to respond to each of those but I don’t think it would get us anywhere because you’re unwilling to change your understanding of science whilst you continue to hold to your particular theology.

            3. I’m not going to call Bob Dutko (apart from the fact that I live on the other side of the world) because I don’t think he would be willing to engage and listen (once again because his theology prevents him from considering any other point of view).

            4. God comes first for me, too. I just happen to take a different approach to God’s Word. You can take this approach and be entirely consistent with God’s Word too if you like. It’s not throwing God out, it’s actually treating His Word the right way, as the writer intended. 🙂

        • YYoungassoun


    • Youngass

      I believe in both. Does that make me crazy?

  • John Doe


  • John Doe


    • Klasie Kraalogies

      Click on John Doe’s name. You’ll find that he repeats the same set of comments on numerous websites – the Dawkins comments, the Einstein time dilation comments, the silly comments with all the numbers…

      It is really quite hilarious.

    • Carol Kehoe

      But, he knows how it ends

  • Lovin God

    Oh gee Peter Enns – you’re not biased – your agenda is far worse than what you think Ken Ham’s is. Sit back and enjoy some reality tonight – the reality of an all powerful, all loving God. Can I get an AMEN

    • Youngass


  • Saddened

    “Ham needs his theology just the way it is in order to maintain his strong grip on his understanding of reality.” Everyone of us needs our ‘theology’ just the way it is to hold on to our beliefs. It’s reality. What we say/do/think arises from our theology, whether we acknowledge it or not. Sure finding it hard to understand how this argument would hold water for absolutely anyone who is thinking.

    • Youngass

      Even is it is an erroneous theology? U still want to hold on to that?

  • Adam Dixon

    If one of you believers can prove to me conclusivly god exists I will sign up. The difference between your god and me is if I see a child being abused or hurt I will do what I can to prevent it, your god Of “morals and love” sits back and does nothing.

  • > If Nye wants to debate, he’s got a week to study theology and hermeneutics so he can address Ham’s unexamined and faulty premises that allow him to handle science as he does.

    With respect Pete, if people could be convinced that inerrantism/biblicalism was wrong, then they already would have by people like you, rather than having critics chucked out of their seminaries.

    > That being said, this debate strikes me not simply as a general waste of time, but a win-win for Ham.

    Nye believes that the debate will bring attention to the fact that 47% of the U.S believing that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old.

  • Craig

    Well, yea, of course Ham’s theology supports his science. Christian’s don’t believe science made God, so wavering on the God part would be equivalent to stating that he doesn’t really think the world exists. Why on earth, if someone believed in an all-powerful creator that will one day bring judgment, would he want to side with science over Him? Science is a set of observations, not an entity. Science cannot create, it can only explain the creating. Science is important, but it is not a requirement. It is the equivalent of bird-watching in a world run by birds. Yes, if you wish to succeed in that world, the skill is vital, but above all, you need to eat and sustain yourself, otherwise you won’t be able to watch anything. A Christian believes that sustaining their eternal life is more important than any finite-life improving activity. Simply put, Christians aren’t afraid of science, they simply have priorities as to who to appease first.

    • Youngass

      Christians are not interested in life improving activities? And Christians are to appease god? hmmm… Interesting thought. Will think on these further.

  • Randy Oftedahl

    This is pure silliness. But we were given a clue: Ham is not kosher.

  • Youngass

    The comments here are even funnier than the article or even the upcoming farce of a debate.

  • EM

    Professor says Bill Nye “destroyed” Ken Ham with hard science:

  • I think that Bill Nye has clearly to be congratulated for his warm and kind tone during the whole debate.

    I offered my own thoughts on the debate here .

    Cheers from Europe were Creationism is really fringe.

  • Randy

    This whole article is filled with ad hominem attacks instead of actually listening to what Ken Ham is saying. There is probably not one commentator on here who would debate Ham, including you, Peter. If you are going to think logically, or write logically, at least use some logic in your arguments.

  • Stephen Nelson

    Sigh, how refreshing would it be to have an American version of G.K. Chesterton or C.S. Lewis, literary geniuses and apologists for Christianity, but with an intellect grounded in commonsense. Albeit, serving as infantryman in the ‘Great War’ may have contributed to this rare synthesis. How embarrassing that Christians have to endure critiques from ‘theologians’ in their ivory towers

    • Stephen Nelson

      Ken Ham should be ashamed of himself, wallowing in the anti-intellectual quagmire of…having a dogmatic belief about something? What, a travesty, instead Peter Enns would have him ascend to the heights of mystery. Bill Nye’ s meta-narrative is profound, “I don’t know” was his answer. Thankfully, Mr. Enns has lived his life in the womb of academia; mystery and theory do not work as well in the real world.