Bill Nye defends evolution in debate with Creationist Ken Ham

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate

PETERSBURG, Ky. — Did you miss the debate between creationist Ken Ham and Bill “The Science Guy” Nye? Well, you can re-live it again in full in the video player above, or read on for the highlights below.

The debate was moderated by CNN’s Tom Foreman, and, if there’s one thing both sides can agree on, it’s that he did a swell job.

Here’s almost everything else you need to know, from Genesis to um, Revelation.

True to his passionate and animated TV persona, Nye tapped on the podium, threw up his hands and noted that science shows the Earth is “billions and billions” of years old in a debate at a Kentucky museum known for teaching that the planet’s age is only 6,000.

Nye promoted science in the snappy way that made him a pop culture staple as host of “Bill Nye The Science Guy” in the 1990s.

The event was meant to explore the age old question, “How did we get here?” from the perspectives of faith and science.

Ham, an Australian native who has built a thriving ministry in Kentucky, said he trusts the story of creation presented by the Bible.

“The Bible is the word of God,” Ham said. “I admit that’s where I start from.”

Nye delivered a passionate speech on science and challenged the museum’s teachings on the age of the earth and the Bible’s flood story. Like most scientists, Nye believes there is no credible evidence that the world is only 6,000 years old.

“If we accept Mr. Ham’s point of view … that the Bible serves as a science text and he and his followers will interpret that for you, I want you to consider what that means,” Nye said. “It means that Mr. Ham’s word is to be more respected than what you can observe in nature, what you can find in your backyard in Kentucky.”

The event drew dozens of national media outlets and about 800 tickets sold out in minutes. Ham said ahead of the debate that the Creation Museum was having a peak day on its social media sites.

“I think it shows you that the majority of people out there, they’re interested in this topic, they want to know about this, they don’t want debate shut down,” Ham said before the debate.

At times, the debate had the feel of a university lecture, with slides and long-form presentations.

Responding to an audience question about where atoms and matter come from, Nye said scientists are continuing to find out.

Ham said he already knows the answer.

“Bill, I want to tell you, there is a book that tells where atoms come from, and its starts out, ‘In the beginning …,”‘ Ham said.

Nye said there are plenty of religious people around the world who don’t question evolution science.

“I just want to remind us all there are billions of people in the world who are deeply religious, who get enriched by the wonderful sense of community by their religion,” said Nye, who wore his trademark bow tie. “But these same people do not embrace the extraordinary view that the Earth is somehow only 6,000 years old.”

The debate drew a few Nye disciples in the audience, including Aaron Swomley, who wore a red bowtie and white lab coat. Swomley said he was impressed by Ham’s presentation and the debate’s respectful tone.

“I think they did a good job outlining their own arguments without getting too heated, as these debates tend to get,” he said.

Some scientists had been critical of Nye for agreeing to debate the head of a Christian ministry that is dismissive of evolution.

Jerry Coyne, an evolution professor at the University of Chicago, wrote on his blog that “Nye’s appearance will be giving money to organizations who try to subvert the mission Nye has had all his life: science education, particularly of kids.” Coyne pointed out that the Creation Museum will be selling DVDs of the event.

The debate was hatched after Nye appeared in an online video in 2012 that urged parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children. Ham rebutted Nye’s statements with his own online video and the two later agreed to share a stage.

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • Al Verum

    Frankly if what evolutionary scientists say is true then the evolution / creation debate should have been settled a million years ago.
    God spoke into existence a universe with the appearance of age. It has to be this way. Everything created by man has an appearance of age especially when taking into account the sum and history of a product and its parts.
    To me the most amazing thing is that around the globe “Recorded History” is recognized at about 4-6000 years BC. Isn’t it fascinating that with the millions upon millions of years we have with humans evolving in complexity we only have recorded events and dialogue for the last 6-8000 years.
    Shouldn’t we have evidence of recorded history long before this or did humans not attain the necessary skill set until 6000 years ago? This would be millions of years after much of our cognitive and social skills were developed and reinforced throughout human culture and subcultures.
    It does not make sense – at all. We should have a much longer documented and recorded history if evolution is true.
    Do not rely upon “cave paintings and drawings” as examples – these cannot be dated. They will use material found in the vicinity of a “cave painting” date that material and then extrapolate the results to the painting or drawings. Hardly scientific.
    If any recorded information could be found that was 20 – 100 thousand years ago then evolutionists would have a case, but they can’t make a case without evidence. They have to admit that the oldest recorded history we have is under 10,000 years old. That admission up against millions of years of complex human evolution doesn’t look good – at all.
    Doesn’t it seem peculiar that humans have only recently figured out the intricacies of written/visual communication and the means to accomplish this “higher level of communication”. These facts, against the backdrop of millions and millions of years of evolution seem to make the evolutionary model implausible. Evolutionists are not fighting creationists at this point they are trying to fight historical facts. We should be discussing existing documentation that goes back hundreds of thousands if not millions of years…but there is none.
    It is too much to swallow that it took millions of years to get to an era when knowledge and the means to gaining knowledge just happened to explode over a 6000 year period. Another Big Bang of Pure Fantasy.

Comments are closed.