Bill Nye The Science Guy debated creationist Ken Ham, contrary to the advice of fellow scientists who worried that it would legitimize creationism as a possible alternative to the accepted model of evolution.
The debate was hosted in Kentucky at the Creationist museum founded by Ham. Despite having the home advantage the audience was respectful of both participants and applauded at the end of each side’s arguments.
“Tonight’s question to be debated is the following: Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?” posed moderator Tom Foreman from CNN.
Nye cited examples like the nearly 5,000-year-old Methuselah tree that would not have survived the Great Flood that supposedly occurred 4,000 years ago, as well a literal mountain of evidence known as fossil records.
The fundamental sticking point for Ham is what he calls observational science and historical science (anything that has not be directly observed). As such, he discounts scientific methods of dating the Earth such radiometric dating (radioactive dating) or inferring the big bang from the expansion of the universe.
Ham reads the Bible literally except for the psalms, which are poetry and therefore open for interpretation according to him. He contends that the Earth is only 6,000 years old so humans and dinosaurs co-existed like the Flintstones. Noah even took dinosaurs on the Ark, which wasn’t a problem because despite their sharp they were vegetarians, as were all animals (Genesis 1:30).
Nye pointed out that fossil records show clear distinctions between species and there are no dinosaurs found alongside human fossils.
When asked what if any anything would change his mind about evolution, Nye’s answer was overlapping fossil records consistent with a Great Flood washing them together.
Ham, on the other hand, said nothing could sway his faith in the Bible because we can never observe any physical evidence to the contrary.