Nye versus Ham: Creation, Evolution, and Where the True Debate Lies


Tonight’s the big event that I’ve been dreading since it was announced: Bill Nye (The Science Guy on TV) vs. Ken Ham (renowned Young Earth Creationist) debating Evolution versus Creation (watch live here or on Bill Nye’s site that I linked to above).

Here’s what I’ve noticed about Bill Nye’s statements on the internet regarding Evolution and creationism: he’s confused, he’s vocal, he misrepresents, he doesn’t seem to understand the other side at all, and rightly claims that this is a worldview issue (totally surprising when he admitted that bit).

But here’s what I’ve noticed about Ken Ham over the years: he’s vocal, misrepresents opponents, is quick to tear down fellow Christians that don’t hold to Young Earth Creationism, and misdiagnoses this issue. Often-times, he accuses Christians (who adamantly reject naturalistic evolution) as compromising truth, breaking the Scripture, and issues a warning to avoid such teachers  (like John Lennox and William Lane Craig).

Here is my problem: the exceedingly mistaken view (on both sides) that Young Earth Creationism is Creationism proper.

But, Creationism isn’t just Young Earth Creationism. Old Earth Creationism isn’t an embrace of naturalistic evolution. Progressive Creationism isn’t naturalistic evolution. They’re all creationism. The only one that approaches a vector of naturalistic evolution is Theistic Evolution and, even then, they superimpose God on the process. In other words, on one side you have a complete misunderstanding of the strength of the Creationist position; and on the other you have in-house debate going public.

I remember hearing Lennox in a debate, charged by his evolutionary opponent for holding to a tale of seven 24 hour days and Lennox turning about, denying the claim for himself and pointing out that the bigger issue isn’t that the information is there, in the species, but rather where the information comes from. His opponent was totally deflated and left to making spurious claims. Naturalistic Evolution does not offer an answer.

Both the representatives (whether we like it or not) of this (very) public debate seem to believe that Young Earth Creationism Is The Only Creationism That’s On The Table and I fear they will argue accordingly.

Thus the line is drawn: you can either side with science that has a broken naturalistic model at it’s heart—while being the only game in town for naturalists—or you can side with faith and this limited model now labeled “Creationism”. Nye won’t convince Ham and vice versa, but the audience watching will sit there drawing a tiny belief sphere around a specific—and Scripturally debatable—view. (More on belief spheres here.)

But that is not where the true debate lies. John Lennox rightly asks a pointed question: has science buried God? (You can also read his book.) Alvin Plantinga sums up 25 years of philosophical study to point out that the conflict is not faith versus science  but actually much deeper. William Lane Craig demolishes opposition because he focuses on the fundamental flaw in the starting point of naturalism.

The true debate lies right at the point where naturalism shrugs off God to construct any system that persists without Him. The lesson learned at Babel is the same lesson learned at an empty grave in first century Jerusalem: God is fundamentally involved in this picture and you can not get around it.

My prayer is that Ken Ham does act the part as a faithful representative of Christ and that the only shame the debate brings is the one that is already built into the Christian position.

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