The problem with the Nye/Ham debate was that it accomplished little and further polarized both sides. As an ex-YEC I can say with all honesty that I know and understand Ken Ham's arguments. And let me tell you, no amount of scientific truth from Bill Nye or anyone else can change Ken Ham's mind on the subject. As I have learned in my own life, change truly only comes from within.
There are those of us who fall somewhere in between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. Well, actually much closer to Nye, but we also happen to believe in a God who creates through naturalistic processes. We believe that you can be a Christian and a believer in evolution. More specifically, we believe that there is deeper meaning and purpose found among the chaos and beauty of the universe. This is what separates us from pure materialists.
Matt Stopera from BuzzFeed was on hand at the debate and he came up with a clever idea. He asked to 22 self-identified YECs to write a question or message to "the other side." What he got highlights some of the problems with a fundamentalist view, namely that it drives intellectuals away from the Christianity because of it's blatant denialism and science illiteracy. So, I decided I would write a response to my fellow believers who happen to be YEC.
Let me say right now that I don't think I am better than these people. I'm not trying to make them look stupid or make myself look good. What I am trying to do is first, show non-Christians that not all Christians are fundamentalists, and second, let free-thinking Christians know that they are not alone in their beliefs.
Here is the article:
Here is my response to the questions (well the ones that are questions anyways):
1. Bill Nye, are you influencing the minds of children in a positive way?
He probably is. He had is own T.V. show for kids that was excellent and inspired many to think and learn in more critical ways as well as providing solid science education.
2. Are you scared of a Divine Creator?
I personally believe in God so, no. We probably would have some sticking points on what a divine creator is though.
3. Is it completely illogical that the Earth was created mature? i.e. trees created with rings… Adam created as an adult...
Let’s take this question one step further and ask if God would create a fossil record or remnants of supernovas that are mucholder than 6000 to 7000 years just to make the universe look “old.” Yeah, that’s a little illogical, and misleading.
4. Does not the second law of thermodynamics disprove evolution?
Sigh, no. It’s about an overall increase not an increase within one system. The earth is not a closed system.
5. How do you explain a sunset if their is no God?
“Their”? Seriously? Well, I believe there is a God, and granted, sunsets are beautiful. But, there is a completely natural explanation for sunsets, I assure you.
6. If the Big Bang Theory is true and taught as science along with evolution, why do the laws of thermodynamics debunk said theories?
They don’t, see question 1.
7. What about noetics?
Well, I have leanings toward monistic idealism so we could probably talk. Not sure what angle you are working to fit this in with a literal interpretation of Genesis though. This is a weird question.
8. Where do you derive objective meaning in life?
From the fact that “I am”.
9. If God did not create everything, how did the first single-celled organism originate? By chance?
From the beauty and complexity of self-replicating proteins and enzymes, from chemicals that arrange and copy themselves simply by the way the bonds are arranged and how they attract other specific bonds in repetitive ways. By chance from a completely naturalistic standpoint. By the thought processes of God from another standpoint.
10. I believe in the Big Bang Theory… God said it and BANG it happened.
This is not a question so consider this not a response ;)
11. Why do evolutionists/secularists/humanists/non-God believing people reject the idea of their being a Creator God but embrace the concept of intelligent design from aliens or other extra-terrestrial sources?
Should be “there” not “their”.
What are you talking about? Maybe you are referring to transpermia? This isn't a way to sidestep life arising from natural processes but rather one theory about how life arose on earth specifically.
12. There is no in between… the only one found has been Lucy and there are only a few pieces of the hundreds necessary for an 'official proof’.
Simply not true. Lucy is one in a long string of potential ancestors found. There isn't a perfect linear progression from all of these fossils to us either. By studying the fossil record and genetics we see that there were many starts and stops as well as a lot of interspecies breeding.
13. Does metamorphosis help support evolution?
It probably evolved as a way to alleviate competition of resources between young and mature insects. It worked really well and nature has had a very long time to refine the process.
14. If Evolution is a theory (like creationism or the Bible) why then is Evolution taught as a fact?
Because that is what is observed in nature.
15. Because science is 'theory' – not testable, observable, nor repeatable, why do you object to creationism or intelligent design being taught in school?
Science is not a theory. There are just too many issues with this question for me to answer it. Also, intelligent design is NOT the same as creationism. If you were a true disciple of Ken Ham you would know this.
16. What mechanism has science discovered that evidences an increase of genetic information seen in any genetic mutation or evolutionary process?
Quite a bit actually. Next?
17. What purpose do you think you are here for if you don’t believe in salvation?
I’m going to guess you mean what is our purpose outside of God? We can never be outside of God. We can choose not to show love at times but we are always a part of God. God created the cosmos, we made of that same matter. Our consciousness flows from God’s consciousness.
18. Why have we found only 1 ‘Lucy,’ when we have found more than 1 of everything else?
See #12. Lucy represents a single step in a long line of stops and starts.
19. Can you believe in ‘the big bang’ without 'faith'?
Yes. It’s when you try to answer the deeper questions about the causes of the big bang that you begin to rely on faith.
20. How can you look at the world and not believe someone created/thought of it? It’s amazing!!!
I like your question the best because you associate creation with thought. That’s really deep and it just so happens to be what I believe about God’s creative process. And yes, it’s amazing.
21. Relating to the big bang theory … Where did the exploding star come from?
Let’s sit down and have a long, long talk about science literacy in the U.S. today. If you think the big bang was an exploding star then you really aren't ready to debate anything science related. I mean really, this is a little sad. And, if you went to a public school, it speaks volumes about how we support and fund the education process here in the U.S.
22. If we came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?
We didn't come from monkeys. Modern primates share common ancestry. Thanks for playing though.
I'll end with a quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson:
"One of the biggest problems with the world today is that we have large groups of people who will accept whatever they hear on the grapevine, just because it suits their worldview—not because it is actually true or because they have evidence to support it. The really striking thing is that it would not take much effort to establish validity in most of these cases… but people prefer reassurance to research."