The Ham/Nye debates were my introduction to Ken Ham (and to Bill Nye for that matter). I wanted Ken Ham to be my champion of a biblical view of science, but I just came away unsettled. (See Debriefing the Nye v. Ham Debate)
As I’ve admitted before, I am decidedly not a science guy. I tend to put these things on my back burner and let them simmer, and that is what I did with the debates. Quite some later I came across Hugh Ross and Reasons to Believe. He made sense of the science and the biblical creation account in Genesis. He still does to me, though I tend to take all of these things with a grain of salt because I still don’t know what I don’t know.
I have consciously avoided criticizing Ken Ham because so many Christians love him. And again, I don’t know what I don’t know about the science. But, I am changing on that score too. It isn’t the science that I am chiefly focused on at this point, but something far more fundamental to the Christian faith – the Gospel.
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.