Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Creation vs. Evolution (Part 3)

This post was written on the occasion of the recent debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, which my wife has just blogged about and which you may view here, for a limited time (forward past the 13-minute countdown at the beginning). The image above was captured during Ken Ham's presentation.

Even though I said that Ken Ham set the bar too high for the debate, I think he was far more prepared than Bill Nye and built the stronger case. Nevertheless, both debaters raised some very good points, which their opponent failed to counter. And likewise, both made statements that they failed to back up with proper reasoning.

No Death Prior to the Fall?
The lynchpin behind the Young Earth model that Answers In Genesis promotes is their Biblically-derived belief that there was no physical death whatsoever before Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the Forbidden Fruit. Ken Ham made the point that since there was no death before mankind’s fall, then the fossil record cannot predate the existence of man, hence it cannot be used to show that the earth is much older than mankind. However, as a man who has studied the Bible for many years, I don’t see Scripture making a strong case for this belief, and Ken Ham did not spend any time explaining the theological reasoning behind it. He also missed a golden opportunity to point out Bill Nye’s lack of preparation, when Mr. Nye incorrectly stated that Ken Ham believes that there was no death prior to Noah’s Flood, which actually occurred long after the Fall.

Belief in Creation Hampers Innovation?
At the core of Bill Nye’s arguments is his often-stated declaration that only an acceptance of evolution leads to innovation, and that belief in Creation greatly hampers it. But he made no effort at explaining how he arrived at these conclusions. Quite to the contrary, Ken Ham gave specific examples of Creation scientists throughout history, who made significant scientific discoveries and technological inventions. He also challenged Bill Nye to give a single example of an innovation founded upon evolution; Mr. Nye ignored the challenge altogether, choosing instead to restate his belief, without any further explanation.

Problems With the Fossil Record
Ken Ham failed to mention any of the problems related to the mainstream analysis of the fossil record. A series of books and videos, called Evolution: The Grand Experiment, expose the remarkable similarities between supposedly ancient fossils and modern animals. In case after case, scientists gave totally different designations to fossilized samples that had no significant difference from modern-day counterparts.

Magnetic Field Changes, Ice Cores, and Tree Rings
Bill Nye mentioned three compelling arguments for an Old Earth model, apart from the typical radiometric techniques. By observing rocks at the ocean floor, it has been noted that the polarity of the earth’s iron core has reversed multiple times. Although the process has never been observed in recorded history, there is compelling evidence that it has happened many times in the past, requiring much longer time than 6000 years. In addition, layers in ice cores extracted from the polar regions and annual rings in trees, also raise serious questions about the Young Earth model. Yet, Ken Ham failed to provide any counter-argument or flaw, in response to these points.

One of Intelligent Design’s strongest arguments is that the incredible complexity of DNA and the molecular processes inherent in multi-cellular life forms could not possibly have come about by random, gradual mutations and natural selection, as proposed by the Theory of Evolution. I personally find this field of science to hold the most compelling evidence that we were indeed created by God, and yet Ken Ham barely even mentioned this.

I doubt anyone expected this event to settle the Creation vs. Evolution question, but the debate at least gave people some food for thought and, I'm sure, spurred many discussions and internet searches on science and the Bible.

1 comment:

nitewrit said...

Greg, like you I too was one an atheist, but I was an activist atheist who would even go to churches and argue with the ministers. I of course changed a lot of my opinions when I came to Christ.

I find it much more illogic and difficult to believe in the theory of evolution than in believing God created it all. Perhaps that is because the truth will out and God did create it all.

Nice reviews here. The problem with a debate like this is the subject is too big to fit into the limitations of such a debate. I don't understand Bill Nye's claims about innovation at all. It is obvious from Scripture that God created man to be innovative and the Bible has often been ahead of science in the truth of how things work.