I haven’t heard anyone say specifically that nature caused itself, in so many words,(other than the Hawking axiom about the laws of gravity causing the universe), but that is the question begged by any assertion that God doesn’t exist. Anyone who maintains that nature and natural causes are the beginning and the end of all reality is begging that question: did nature cause itself?
Perhaps the greatest obstacle to the assertion that nothing supernatural exists is the Big Bang. The Big Bang is accepted science. The evidence is very compelling, though it wasn’t received well when it was first postulated. The thought that the universe was not eternal and had a beginning was thought to be “repugnant” and to “betray the very foundations of science”. This is because a beginning to the universe suggests that the universe had a Beginner.
I have had some time to think about the debate last week in a little more detail, and I have some additional observations. (Disclaimer: I am not a science guy.)
One place where I think Ham made a legitimate point is where Ham drew a distinction between observable science and historical science. He said that creationists do not disagree with evolutionists on the observable science; they come to different conclusions on the same evidencce. Nye kept stating that only science that is “reproducible” is real science, but how can scientists reproduce the Big Bang? How do we observe primordial goo turning into a life form (any life form)?
We don’t. Clearly Bill Nye overstated or misstated the scientific method when it comes to determining what happened in the past. We must necessarily engage different scientific tools than the tools of the laboratory. We need to employ a different tool kit.
Nye’s point that creationists cannot test and reproduce the theory of creationism is not well-taken because evolutionists cannot test and reproduce the ultimate conclusions they reach either. In fact, both conclusions of the origins of man and origins of the earth require scientists to go beyond laboratory science because we can’t reproduce either a 6000 year old earth or a 4.3 Billion year old earth. We must use historical evidence at hand and reason to the best conclusion, and we have to understand that those conclusions will be impacted by our initial assumptions, which are often more philosophical than scientific.
To reach those conclusions requires something more than “pure science”. It requires logic, philosophy and even faith – because we don’t know what we don’t know.
To reach those ultimate conclusions requires us to start with a premise that is not based on “pure science”. That initial premise is often driven by worldview. Worldview has more of an impact on science than the scientific community cares to admit.
In this 30 minute piece called Evolution vs. God, fundamental holes in the evolutionary theory of the origin of the earth and man are exposed. The gaps come out of the mouths of evolutionary theorists themselves in response to questions asked of them. It is well worth the time to watch it.
This is not say that Ken Ham is right about the age of the earth, mind you.
How many people watched the Bill Nye v. Ken Ham, young earth/old earth debate the other night? Apparently, Pat Robertson did, and he thinks that Ken Ham is full of water (as reported by many, including Patheos).
I have to say that I wanted to believe Ham, but it was hard to do. Of course, I do not buy Nye either. Just because one person of faith may not have it right, does not mean the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater (or Noah for that matter).
What is it about people that we want to know everything? We want everything to be tied up in neat bows and make perfect sense. But life is not like that. It just isn’t.
It seems to me, in my imperfect opinion, that we tend to get ourselves in trouble when we insist on knowing. Not that there is anything wrong with knowledge or with wanting to know things. But wanting to know everything and for all of it to make perfect sense is just asking too much this side of heaven. It also plays in to pride that is the root of all sin.
We are finite, limited beings. That we know as much as we do is, indeed, remarkable. That we should expect to know it all is something else altogether. (Interestingly, it was the temptation of knowledge, the knowledge of good and evil, that led Adam and Eve into sin.) Not that either Bill Nye or Ken Ham professed to know it all in the debate; they did not.
Let me say this though: I get Ken Ham: he takes the Bible for what it says, and he stands on faith that it is true. I get Ken Ham more than I get Bill Nye. Without faith, we can’t please God.
But the Bible does not say “the earth is 6000 years old”. It could be 10,000. It could be 10,000,000. I, personally, do not think that any of those scenarios matter much in the big scheme of things. The exercise of considering what if the world is only 6000 years old is interesting. It’s kind of fun, but only in a “what if” kind of way. My faith surely does not depend on it.Continue reading “Debriefing the Nye v. Ham Debate”→