In case your knowledge of current events is limited to knowing the Seahawks decimated the Broncos on Sunday and Juan Pablo finally got rid of Dog Lover on Monday, there was another somewhat noteworthy event this week. Last night, scientist and ’90s TV icon Bill Nye the Science Guy debated creationist Ken Ham in Petersburg, Ky., at the Creation Museum (this place exists — let that soak in for a moment). People are already calling this “The Debate of the Decade.” Personally, I think this title is more deserving of questions pertaining to Daniel Tosh’s sexual orientation or if we should bring back the old Four Loko, but no one asked me. While only 900 people were able to get tickets to the debate, more than half a million people watched the two and a half hour event on a live stream via YouTube.
The central question of the debate was, “Is creation a viable model of origins?” The debaters each had five minutes to make an opening statement, and then 30 minutes to bore the audience into submission. If you want to lose all faith in humanity, you can search Twitter using #creationdebate. If you want to spare yourself from that experience, here are a few highlights.
Ken Ham: God created the Earth in six days, because it says so in the Bible, and we know that the Bible is true because the Bible says the Bible is true.
Well shit. Color me convinced. As long as we’re operating under that logic, is it cool if I have 700 wives and 300 concubines like Solomon?
Bill Nye: Evolution happened because science.
If it’s good enough for Jesse Pinkman (bitch), then it’s good enough for me. That being said, I would respect the points you were making even more had you not chosen to do so with a PowerPoint written in Comic Sans.
Following that, there was time for rebuttals and 45 minutes dedicated to a Q&A session with the audience.
Ham’s main argument was that the same scientific data can be interpreted in multiple ways, and since no one was around to definitively say what happened in the beginning, his idea of a literal creation in six days is valid.
Technically I wasn’t around to “see” what I did while I was blacked out this weekend, but the money missing from my bank account, my ripped pants, my missing keys, and my pounding headache suggest a pretty clear picture of the most likely scenario.
Nye fought back insisting that reliable science should be able to make predictions about the natural world and future discoveries, and he argued that while Ham had come up with compelling explanations about the origin of the Earth and mankind, he had yet to provide compelling scientific evidence to support those claims.
Science, and logic, and facts! Oh my!
Any time that Nye asked Ham to support any of his claims, he deflected by saying, “Well, there’s this book that has a lot of the answers. It’s called the Bible.”
If I remember Sunday school correctly, the Bible taught me that Jesus loves me and I shouldn’t be a total jackass to people, which are both great life lessons. Bill Nye the Science Guy taught me every scientific fact I knew until high school, so let’s try to keep all of this in perspective.
The biggest takeaway from the debate happened near the end of the Q&A. Two questions were posed from the audience, which gave very telling answers.
“Is there room for God in science?” someone asked.
Ham: “God is necessary for science.”
Nye: “So for me, it’s not really that connected to your belief in a spiritual being or a higher power…there are billions of people in the world who are devoutly religious. They [religion and science] have to be compatible, because those same people embrace science. The exception is you, Mr. Ham.”
Drop the mic. The Science Guy is spittin’ fire.
“What would cause you to change your mind?” asked someone else.
There it is, folks. (Also, you can watch the entire debate below.)