Last night, after the munchkins went to bed, I watched the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham at the Creation Museum. I wasn't sure what to expect after reading some of the criticism that arose out of Nye's agreement to debate Ham, but I'm glad I watched it. It was educational, frustrating, and a good reminder of why I am an atheist.
On a side note, did anyone else notice that Nye referred to Ham as "Mr. Ham," and Ham consistently referred to Nye as "Bill"? Maybe a minor point to some, but it shows the difference in levels of respect on the stage. Just sayin'.
I admit that there is a lot about science I don't know. But that being said, it was clear to me that Nye won. (Then again, maybe I'm a little biased. After all, bowties are cool.) There are two big reasons I say this: unanswered questions and "because the Bible."
Throughout the debate, there were points raised by Ham that Nye addressed in his responses, asking specifically for clarification, evidence, or further explanation. Many of these issues that were raised--central to discounting Ham's argument--went unanswered. And not just accidentally. Because toward the end of the debate, it seemed that Ham was purposely avoiding answering some of Nye's questions in favor of bringing up additional points he thought would help support his argument.
When he did address the questions raised, it seemed his favorite response was "because the Bible." Which brings me to my second point.
I'm going to be honest with you. When someone engages in a scientific discussion and tries to refute proven scientific evidence with "because the Bible," I start to feel a little stabby. The evidence Ham provided was based on a book he admitted in the debate contains poetry and literature and is not to be taken wholly literally.*
I'm sorry, but when a scientist admits we don't know certain things about the origin of the universe, and then you say, "We do because the Bible," you lose credibility to me.
The issue for debate was whether or not Ham's creation theory is a viable model. Based on the debate, the answer is no. Ham had the burden to prove creation as a viable model--scientifically--and he didn't do it. He didn't provide scientific evidence, and he didn't refute Nye's evidence.
And, let's be honest, Nye proved last night that the math just doesn't add up. That's all there is to it.
In other news, I'm going to justify all my words, actions, and behavior because the Doctor.
*As a writer/reader, that tells me it has an unreliable narrator. And if so, there's no telling what can be believed and what can't. And that's just looking at it as a work of literature, for story's sake, not as a work to be believed and followed as big-t-truth.