Assessing the “Debate:” Ham Was Wrong On Both Religious and Scientific Grounds

Huff Post: by Michael Zimmerman —  

It’s probably fair to say that much, and many might say too much, has been written about the “debate” between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on the nature of science and the relationship between religion and science. Nonetheless, I feel it might be useful to provide a bit of context for the critical moment in the evening.

When both were asked by moderator Tom Foreman, “What, if anything, would ever change your mind?,” Ham responded honestly by saying, “The Bible is the word of God. I admit that that’s where I start from. I can challenge people that you can go and test that.”

While we can, and should, praise Ham’s honesty, it doesn’t mean that his position makes any sense scientifically or that it should be endorsed as a shining example of critical thinking skills. But his position is fully consistent with the long-standing creationist worldview.

Indeed, back in 1982, Federal District Judge William R. Overton referenced exactly this point in his decision outlawing an Arkansas law that mandated that “creation science” had to be taught in the state’s public schools whenever evolution was offered. In footnote 7 of the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education ruling, he cites the “statement of belief” that members of the Creation Research Society had to sign to become members of the organization.

Like Ham, they ascribed to a particular interpretation of the Bible and made it clear that no data would be able to sway themselves from this position. The statement reads, in full, as follows:


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