This is a guest post by my husband Joshua Duvall on the interesting debate February 4th on NPR. I contributed a little but man these things get me fired up! =)
Evolution vs Creation. Wow, talk about a hot topic!
If you spent any time on a college campus with a Christian student group then you’ve probably been involved in or at least seen some heated debates among fellow students about this very topic. In fact, if you’re paying attention to our culture and current events you should come in contact with these ideas and their consequences regularly.
The global debate was taken one step further tonight, as two well known scientists went head to head in a live streaming event hosted by National Public Radio at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Bill Nye, yes, Bill Nye the Science Guy! ...
and Ken Ham, the Australian creator of the Creation Museum and founder of answersingenesis.org, spent nearly three hours giving power point presentations, cross examinations, rebuttals and defense for their respective view points on topics such as the age of the earth, the origin of man, the mysteries of the cosmos, and other questions which came directly from the audience itself.
But, like most other heated debates in our national dialogue, the rule is that you left the event as convinced of your viewpoint as when you entered it. The exception is that the presented material actually got you thinking about the other side. I’m writing in response to nearly 100,000 twitter comments…to help those who aren’t bible believers understand what Ken Ham was trying to communicate.
#1 Science is science except when it isn’t.
Here is the definition of science: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” This means that the goal of science is to explain what we observe in the “natural” and “physical” world. It speaks NOTHING of what has happened in the past. Unfortunately, for most of the debate we heard topics such as the origin of the universe, the big bang theory, evolution and the age of the earth. All of these topics are historical in nature, not readily observed by people today and none have ever been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. Ken Ham tried over and over again to define the terms and show the difference between “historical science” and “observational science”. Creationists have no problems with observational science like testing gravity by throwing a ball up in the air. What creationist’s debate is the merit of historical science, such as proof of events that took place in the past, when no one was there to observe them, like the big bang theory. However, I believe Nye did not understand the point Ham was trying to make here. Most people commonly misunderstand this premise. Faith is believing in what you can’t see. Both Ken Ham and Bill Nye displayed a lot of faith in arguing for the evidence of events that neither of them were able to observe.
#2 When asked the question: What, if anything, could change your mind? Bill Nye replied evidence, facts, and a new understanding or observation. Ken Ham replied that he was a Christian, and that the bible is true so nothing could change his mind.
A lot of people had a problem with this, but the point is simple. Over time, scientific findings change constantly, but the truth of God, if actually true, is unchanging. Truth doesn’t change, despite what the majority thinks at the time. The majority once believed the earth was flat, that didn’t make it true. Therefore, since Ken Ham is convinced that the bible is God’s truth…that it is the standard of what is true… what could possibly change that? Truth is always true no matter what we believe this month or this year about “science.”
#3 Finally, many people instantly dismiss the idea of a creator, God, miracles and other supernatural events as stupid and illogical simply because, “things don’t happen like that”.
In all actuality, this anti-supernaturalism viewpoint is the exact opposite of science. Science looks at observable evidence and arrives at the conclusion the evidence points to, regardless of what that conclusion means for the individual scientist or their beliefs. If you don’t believe something, even if the evidence points to it, you are actually bigoted, not scientific or logical. This story just hit the web last week, about a demon possession, backed by police, family members and social workers….all swearing to what they saw. Whether you chose to believe in the supernatural or not…there is solid proof of its existence.
Ken Ham continually pointed to the bible as evidence and clarification for predicting what we observe in the historical scientific record. Just because it’s from the bible, doesn’t mean it’s not true, unless you’re not scientific enough to follow the evidence where it leads…and the historical evidence of events in the bible can fill a room.
The most important question to address: What does this mean for me?
If you’re the type of person who immediately refers to other people as “stupid” because you don’t understand their point of view, you may be insecure in your own beliefs, or not mature enough to consider another side of an issue without immediately adopting it. This is completely necessary if we are to gain a better understanding of our world and those who live in it. This is important because the real issue of Evolution and Creation has more to do with the condition of our heart than the observable evidence. After all, when a creationist and an evolutionist look at a fossil, they are both looking at the same bone. It's their viewpoint that determine the way they think about it. Bill Nye highlighted this perfectly. At multiple times, he brought up the fate of those that don’t believe the bible or have never heard of the content of it. “What happens to them? Are they just lost?”
When he asked these questions, he got at the real meat of the issue. You could see his humanity, vulnerability and underlying mindset in asking it. He wasn’t just a scientist, he was a person and he was concerned. It seems to me, that people who actively seek to observe the world through any other lens besides the bible, have at their core, a major problem with how the bible explains the fate of human beings. Simply, if the bible is true…what does it really mean for me? What happens to me? What happens to my family? My friends?
Until you get to this question, you can go around and around with different theories and ideas explaining the universe and where we came from. Once you do arrive at this question, you’re forced to face it head on. If God doesn’t exist and evolution is true….that we came from matter and energy…than ultimately our lives serve no purpose… we are just one random event in a universe of infinite randomness…we are no different from any other organism that lives, dies, and is forgotten.
To watch the debate on NPR click here.
To watch some videos about Animals that Defy Evolution Click here!
Hello friends! I am Lisa. Lover of Christ and family, a former television reporter, and a wife and mom who strives to live a healthy, toxic free lifestyle.