Bill Nye versus Ken Ham - you don’t have to choose

The Internet is buzzing about the upcoming debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. If you haven’t heard, prominent Young Earth Creationist Ham is hosting Nye, “the Science Guy,” at the Creation Museum on Feb. 4 to discuss this question: “Is creation a viable model for origins?” Predictably, most of the buzz about the event pits science versus faith, as though we have to choose one or the other.

At BioLogos, where I serve as president, we maintain that you don’t have to choose. You don’t have to give up Christian faith in order to accept the best, most compelling science. We expect that we’ll agree with most of what Bill Nye will say about the science of evolution. Fossils, genetics and other disciplines give compelling evidence that all life on earth is related and developed over a very long time through natural processes. But we’re also brothers and sisters in Christ with Ken Ham. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for our sins and rose from the dead and that the Bible is the authoritative word of God.

Unfortunately, many people accept what they’ve been told about evolution - that it is the source of all kinds of evil and a dangerous step toward atheism. Many others accept what they’ve been told about religion - that it reflects delusional thinking and a deep irrationalism in one’s worldview. Both extremes are built on the same premise - that evolution is fundamentally opposed to God. We reject this.

“Evolutionary creation” is the label we’ve used to describe our position that evolution is the means through which God created. In accepting the science of evolution, we do not reject Biblical faith. In fact, many Biblical scholars find that the original intent of Genesis 1 has little to do with science and has everything to do with God’s purposes in creation. And in accepting God as the ruler of the natural world, we do not reject science. In fact, core Christian beliefs give a strong motivation for using our minds to explore the world He created. Applying ourselves with diligence to both God’s world and God’s word gives the best answers to the question posed for the Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate.

And we’re not alone in rejecting the extremes. A Barna survey of clergy found that over 40% of pastors do not hold to young earth creationism. And a recent Pew survey found that large numbers of Christians accept evolution. While the percentage is higher for other Christian demographics, even 27% of white evangelical Protestants accept that humans have evolved over time.

Debates like the one between Bill Nye and Ken Ham perpetuate the misconception that you have two choices: an atheistic view of evolutionary science or a young earth interpretation of the Bible. We wish the audience could hear about another, better way - that great science and Biblical faith can go hand in hand.

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Some fossilized questions for a deep parallel debate, for instance: is there evolution if there is no time? How will evolutionary biology meet new physical paradigms about time, space and so on? Will new conceptual changes deny evolution? Or on the contrary, will it become a more extraordinary process, full of astonishing implications? If so, will past human beings and the rest of living beings become different as science progresses? After all, is life something fix-finite-defined? That is, can one understand it by means of using a brain and its limited words, dogmas, and so on? Does the whole of life fit into a bone box? Indeed, will science add indefinitely without understanding completely? Anyway, is it possible to understand something completely? Along these lines, there is a different book, a preview in http://goo.gl/rfVqw6 Just another suggestion
If forced to choose between faith and science, Deborah, I choose pizza. Why let someone else dictate the terms? And besides, pizza's my favorite.

Cheers,
Tim
http://timfall.wordpress.com/
Ms. Haarsma – I am in full agreement with your statement “You don’t have to give up Christian faith in order to accept the best, most compelling science”, as well as However, when you speak of “the science of evolution”, you grant the theory of evolution legitimacy that is undeserved.

I understand the desire to create a synthesis of Christian beliefs and evolution. But is it true? Did God really use evolution to create the earth and all of the universe?

The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Bryan Fischer… “Darwin himself said, ‘The number of intermediate and transitional links must have been inconceivably great.’ But, sadly for Darwinians, after more than 150 years of digging in dirt all around the world, there are still no transitional fossils at all – not one! The most famous paleontologist in the world, Harvard's Stephen Jay Gould, said, "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology." (Note" "extreme rarity" is Harvard-speak for "nada, zilch, zippo.")

Colin Patterson of the British Museum of Natural History agrees with Gould that "there are no transitional fossils," not even a single one "for which one could make a watertight argument." In other words, people who study fossils for a living know there are no transitional forms but they don't want you and me to know it, because it might prompt us to stop imbibing the swill of evolution. Gould developed an absurd theory called "punctuated equilibrium," a theory that evolution happened so fast, in such rapid bursts, that it left no trace in the fossil record. Imagine that: the only evidence he has for his theory is the total absence of any evidence whatsoever! And this guy taught at Harvard!

What the fossil record teaches us, in contrast to the theory of evolution, is that increasingly complex life forms appear fully formed in the fossil record, just as if they were put there by a Creator.

This is especially true of what is called the "Pre-Cambrian Explosion," the vast, overwhelming, and quite sudden appearance of complex life forms at the dawn of time. Evolutionists are at a total loss to explain the Pre-Cambrian Explosion. The biblical record indicates quite clearly that all things, including increasingly complex life forms, came fully formed from the hand of God.”

Not only are there several thousand creation scientists in this nation, an intelligent design movement has emerged from within the evolutionist community (including some prominent evolutionary scientists) who have come to the conclusion that the complexity of the universe cannot be explained by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, but reveals evidence of design by a conscious being.

All of which is totally consistent with the Biblical account of creation by the sovereign, living God.

Best regards,
Mark Peterson

 

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