I finally had a chance to watch the debate between Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham of the Creationism Museum. Ken Ham, and anyone who still believes in creationism should be ashamed. What a sad commentary that we have digressed in this country to the point where we even have to have this discussion.
Keep in mind that I am a Christian, so I don’t discount everything in the Bible. But let me clear, I have studied it enough to know that it is not, cannot be, literal and inerrant. Most blatant and applicable to this argument is there are two creation stories that have significant differences…so which one is correct. The Gospels tell stories of Jesus where the details often differ, and there are conflicts and disagreements with the writings throughout the book. Not to mention, while it may have been inspired by God, it was written by men, often well after the events that are recorded. It has been translated over and over with some translations based on other translations.
Yet here’s one of the most interesting things about “this book”: you can’t find an original copy of it anywhere. It’s like one of those missing link fossils Creationists are always going on about. The Bible is a compilation of thousands of codices and pieces, sometimes fragments, written in many ancient languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Syriac). Sure, big chunks of the Bible are found in the four great uncial codices: Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus. Then there’s the Dead Sea Scrolls. But not a single one of them are the Bible, are they?
And then there’s the dirty little complicated secret of the biblical canon. Some books got in, some were rejected. Some are in one Bible, not in another.
If you didn’t watch it, let me sum it up for you. Bill Nye used science, proven facts, and logic to make his arguments. He explained radiometric dating, bedrock layers, tree rings, the expansion of the universe, evolutionary patterns of animals, technological advancements of ships, common sense and all sorts of scientific data which has been proven by some of best and brightest over many years.
Ham’s arguments can be distilled around to:
- The Bible tells me so…seriously, over and over he said, “Well, there’s a book which tells me…” Sadly, this was usually followed by applause from the “believers” in the audience.
- Since we weren’t around billions of years ago, and didn’t observe the earth, then we can’t know. Never mind that in most cases, the Biblical writers weren’t around during the events they wrote about. Even most of the Second Testament was written well after the death of Christ and many of the original Disciples.
That’s it. I’m not lying, that’s all Ham had to offer as “proof” of his point of view (I won’t even dignify it by calling it a theory).
But, here’s where it all fell apart. After spending the entire debate using only the Bible as proof that all this is true, during the question and answer section when someone submitted a question for Mr. Ham asking if he took all parts of the Bible literally (citing a part about touching pig skin or having multiple wives). That’s when Mr. Ham proved himself to be an absolute hypocrite. During this part he stumbled over what is or isn’t taken from natural parts, Essentially admitting you can’t take every word of the Bible literally because it doesn’t make sense.
What was most sad were some interviews after the debate. Way too often people would respond about their belief, even after hearing the debate, “Well, I’m a Christian, so I believe in creationism.” Again, a false dichotomy. As if one must, automatically reject science and fact, to be Christian…or perhaps most insulting, one must believe that the creationist point of view to be a Christian. God gave me a brain, and sometimes flashes of reason. I intend to use it.
But as I read recently, “You can’t reason a person out of position they didn’t reason themselves into.”