How can you not love Bill Nye the Science Guy? This was my favorite episode.
Maybe you heard that tonight, Bill Nye the Science Guy will face Ken Ham in a debate entitled: "Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins?" Ken Ham is the President and Founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum.
This will be a creation vs evolution debate, with my childhood hero Bill Nye as the enemy of God! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
But is that really the case?
Is belief in evolution totally opposed to belief in God?
Ham would say yes. In a nutshell, Ham believes that if you can't take the first chapter of Genesis literally, then you can't take the rest of the bible literally. Which would mean that you can't take anything Jesus said seriously. Which would mean Christianity is a sham.
So Ham has devoted his life to proving that a literal interpretation of Genesis and the creation account is not only possible, but is the way it actually happened. He shows how dinosaurs and humans could have walked the earth together. He shows how carbon dating techniques must be totally flawed.
I've never been to the creation museum, but know plenty of people who have been. By all accounts you could spend numerous days walking through and seeing the evidence for creation that Ham has laid out. And apparently, the place is pretty awesome.
If you'd like to watch the debate live from the Creation Museum, you can do so here.
But if you do, here are a few things I would encourage you to keep in mind:
1) There are several views of how God created the world. The main ones are listed in this graph:
|Acceptance||Humanity||Biological species||Earth||Age of Universe|
|Young Earth creationism||40% (US)||Directly created by God.||Directly created by God. Macroevolution does not occur.||Less than 10,000 years old. Reshaped by global flood.||Less than 10,000 years old (some hold this view only for our solar system).|
|Gap creationism||Scientifically accepted age. Reshaped by global flood.||Scientifically accepted age.|
|Progressive creationism||38% (US)||Directly created by God (based on primate anatomy).||Direct creation + evolution. No single common ancestor.||Scientifically accepted age. No global flood.||Scientifically accepted age.|
|Intelligent design||Proponents hold various beliefs. for example, Behe accepts evolution from primates||Divine intervention at some point in the past, as evidenced by what intelligent-design creationists call "irreducible complexity"||Some adherents accept common descent, others not. Some claim the existence of Earth is the result of divine intervention||Scientifically accepted age|
|Theistic evolution(evolutionary creationism)||Evolution from primates.||Evolution from single common ancestor.||Scientifically accepted age. No global flood.||Scientifically accepted age.|
2) Evolutionary theory is what is on trial, not God. No matter what Ham or Nye try to say in this debate, the real issue at hand is how the world came into being. Was it literally the way it is written in Genesis 1? Or was there some sort of "big bang" involved? I love the way Louie Giglio says it, "I tend to believe that when God spoke the universe into existence, it would have created a fairly large bang." Our God is big enough and powerful enough to have created the world in numerous ways.
3) Science is not the enemy of God. Instead, I would say that science is one of the coolest ways to learn about God. It doesn't disprove God, but shows the amazing complexity to the way in which God works in this extraordinary world that has been created.
4) Ham is not the elected representative for all of Christianity on this topic. At least, I didn't vote for him. It is always a little unnerving to me when someone speaks in such a way that they hold themselves to be the apologist for God and all things Christian. That feels dangerous to me.
5) Christians are allowed to think. Faith is a good and beautiful thing, but it is ok to try to discover solid answers. Faith is meant to fill in the gaps, but has too often been used as an excuse to suspend logical thought. I believe God wants us to search and discover scientific truths that will reveal more and more of just how awesome he is.
So I wish both Ken Ham and Bill Nye the Science Guy good luck tonight. My hope is that in all of this, people will come to discover the awesomeness of God, and maybe...just maybe...Bill Nye will build an awesome model of a working volcano or something.