As an Antidote to the Ham-Nye Creation Debate Fiasco, Listen to Stephen Meyer Debate Charles Marshall
I'm terribly regretful about Tuesday night's debate pitting creationist Ken Ham against "Science Guy" Bill Nye before as many as 532,000 viewers on YouTube. I say that as someone, an Orthodox Jew, who very much cares that Christians should be strengthened in their own faith. For many who watched, the event was likely corrosive of that faith. That's what happens when someone challenges you on the evidence before such an audience, and like Ham, you choose not to answer adequately.
Unlike creationism, intelligent design is not apologetics -- it's a no-holds-barred search for truth about origins. But it sure is more persuasive than anything that Ken Ham presented. That's why if you were saddened by Ham-Nye, or even if you weren't, you'll cheer yourself up by listening to the recent debate on British radio in which Stephen Meyer, author of Darwin's Doubt, faced off against UC Berkeley paleontologist Charles Marshall and argued most persuasively for intelligent design.
By going here, you'll also find links to Dr. Meyer's published jousting with Dr. Marshall, following Marshall's critical but respectful review of Meyer's New York Times bestseller in the journal Science.
Look, I understand what Ham was trying to do in "boldly" proclaiming his faith. But persuading an audience is different from merely insisting to someone, boldly or otherwise, that what you believe is true, your own good motivations notwithstanding. It's the failure to adduce the most important, real and relevant evidence, given the enormous opportunity, that potentially damaged faith among those who saw the Ham-Nye debate.
As Casey Luskin said last night about Ken Ham:
[T]he great majority of his arguments amounted -- over and over again -- to "Because the Bible says so." Nye's main argument was, "Because the evidence says so," and he cited a lot of reasonable evidence for an old earth. While Ham did make a few effective points that you don't have to accept evolution to do good science, the compelling scientific evidence for design in nature got skipped over.
The Meyer-Marshall debate is very different. There, it's Marshall the defender of Darwinian evolution who's thrown back to a position of faith, basically "Because naturalism says so." Whereas Meyer's main argument is, "Because the evidence says so."
If I were a supporter of Ken Ham and his enterprises, Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, I would be rethinking my support today, considering where my time, passion, energy and perhaps my treasure as well is best invested.
I'm now on Twitter. Find me @d_klinghoffer.