The most interesting thing on TV last night wasn’t even on TV. It was a livestreamed debate between Emmy winning scientist Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and CEO of “Answers in Genesis,” Ken Hamm. Bill Nye debated Ham about the age of the Earth, and I saw as many as 600,000 people watch the stream as I stayed tuned in for the full two and a half hours. You can see it for yourself above.
The two sides couldn’t be more different. On one you have Nye representing the overwhelming majority of the scientific community. He tried to educate the audience both at the Creation Musuem (where the debate was held) and online about how scientific discoveries like radioactive dating and the expansion of the universe show that the Earth and the universe are billions of years old, not 6,000 as Ham believes. Ham, meanwhile, uses the Bible as essentially a scientific text, the argument being that the book is the divine word of God, and has all the answers, scientific and otherwise, that we’ll ever need.
I won’t get into the science of it, but the notion that one book as every answer to the universe and we should just stop looking for answers to questions like “how did we get here” and “are we alone in the universe” is troubling. As Nye says, without scientific research and advancement, the US will fall behind the rest of the world who strives forward without them. He pleads that we should be giving our children correct scientific information rather than teaching them young Earth creationism as some do.
It really is a fascinating debate (which at times feels like a very long SNL sketch), and is much more civil than say, a presidential debate. I highly recommend you watch the Ken Ham / Bill Nye debate above.