Debate: Can Creationists be Intellectuals?

Ken Ham and Bill Nye debate viewed by over 800,000

On Tuesday, Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and Creation Museum CEO Ken Ham participated in a highly anticipated creation vs. evolution debate at Mr. Ham's museum in Northern Kentucky. The two-and-one-half-hour debate was streamed and viewed by over 800,000 people on the web.

There were mixed reactions on Wednesday. Not surprisingly, both sides claimed victory -- highlighting the strong divide in the country on the matter. Some went as far as to say that it was insulting that a scientist would lower his standards to debate a creationist in the first place.

Which brings up a point that recurred during the debate of how creationists are viewed by many in the modern culture; It is the idea that scientists are academics while creationists are -- well, creationists. From a modern scientific worldview, a creationist is not viewed as being an intellectual. 

Mr. Ham presented a quote from an NBC Dallas Fort Worth story surrounding a proposed change to science textbooks that would de-emphasize evolution. The writer said:

Textbook and classroom curriculum battles have long raged in Texas pitting creationists -- those who see God's hand in the creation of the universe -- against academics who worry about religious and political ideology trumping scientific fact.

Mr. Ham used this statement to highlight the biased language often used against creationists. He said in the debate:

Notice…creationists can't be academics; creationists can't be scientists. See, it's the way things are worded out there. It is an indoctrination that is going on.

There is a notion that exists among secularists that view creationists as anti-science and anti-intellectual. Mr. Nye believes this and uses it to assert that scientific advances cease without a fundamental evolutionary worldview. Admittedly, creationists make up a small minority of scientists across the board but to conclude that having a literal biblical worldview somehow impedes scientific breakthroughs is simply dishonest. 

To disprove this perception, Mr. Ham pointed to several scientists that hold to a creationist point of view who have made incredible advances in science. He cited Dr. Raymond Damadian who invented the MRI scanner. Another example was British Professor of Biomimetics and Engineering Stuart Burgess, who designed the deployment mechanism for a robotic arm on the Envisat satellite for the European Space Agency. These examples, and others, are meant to show that academia and creationism are not incompatible things.  

Mr. Nye's main assertion, as TruthRevolt previously reported, is that without a thorough teaching of evolution to students, the future of science and even the American economy are at stake. It is that notion that leads Mr. Nye to believe that teaching creation will prevent new discoveries and halt scientific advances. Mr. Nye belabored this point during the debate and even pleaded for the citizens of Kentucky that were gathered to desire "scientifically literate" students in order to have a better tomorrow. In his conclusion, he double-downed on his assertion that without teaching evolution, America will lose the scientific race.

[I]f we stop driving forward, if we stop looking for the next answer to the next question, we in the United States will be out-competed by other countries -- other economies. Now that would be ok I guess, but I was born here and I'm a patriot and so we have to embrace science education. To the voters and taxpayers that are watching, please keep that in mind. We have to keep science education in science and science classes.   

Both men are obviously passionate about science but both men have a different worldview that dictates how they view scientific evidence. Both agree that science does not answer every question -- but where Mr. Nye says science will "eventually" churn up the answer to the origins question, Mr. Ham says the answer is already found in Genesis of the Bible. 

The entire debate is available at the Answers in Genesis YouTube channel.