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Kentucky Seminiary President Weighs In On Nye/Ham Debate


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#1
shiloh357

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 Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate

Albert Mohler - President of Southern Seminiary, Louisville Kentucky

 

 

Wednesday • February 5, 2014

 



 

Last night’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham attracted a huge international audience and no shortage of controversy—even before it began. Bill Nye, whose main media presence is as “The Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, co-founder of Answers in Genesis and founder of the Creation Museum, squared off in a true debate over one of the most important questions that the human mind can contemplate. That is no small achievement.

 

I enjoyed a front row seat at the debate, which took place even as a major winter storm raged outside, dumping considerable amounts of snow and ice and causing what the local police announced as a “Class Two” weather emergency. Inside the Creation Museum there was quite enough heat, and the debate took place without a hitch. Thankfully, it also took place without acrimony.

 

The initial controversy about the debate centered in criticism of Bill Nye for even accepting the invitation. Many evolutionary scientists, such as Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, refuse to debate the issue, believing that any public debate offers legitimacy to those who deny evolution. Nye was criticized by many leading evolutionists, who argued publicly that nothing good could come of the debate.

Interestingly, this points back to the famous debates over evolution that took place in nineteenth century England, when Anglican churchmen faced early evolutionary scientists in (mostly) civil public exchanges. Back then, it was the churchmen who were criticized by their peers for participation in the debate. Now, the table has turned, indicating something of the distance between the intellectual conditions then and now.

 

Of course, Bill Nye might have felt some moral obligation to debate the question, since he had launched a unilateral attack on creationist parents in a video that went viral last year. In that video, Nye told creationist parents:

 

[I]f you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

 

But if Nye had launched the attack, he did not arrive at the debate in a defensive mode. A protege of the late Carl Sagan and the current CEO of the Planetary Society, Nye was in full form last night, wearing his customary bow-tie, and immaculately dressed in a very expensive suit. He took notes with a very fine writing instrument. I like his style.

 

Ken Ham is a veteran debater on the issue of origins, and he was clearly prepared for the debate. Ham’s arguments were tight and focused, and his demeanor was uniformly calm and professional. The format allowed for a full expression of both arguments, along with spirited exchanges and questions submitted from the audience. What the 150 minute event lacked was any requirement that the debaters answer each other’s questions. That would have changed the way the debate concluded.

 

The central question of the debate was this: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” Ham stuck to the question tenaciously. Nye, on the other hand, tried to personalize the debate and kept changing the question from creation to “Ken Ham’s creationism.” Ham was unfazed, and kept to his argument.

 

As the debate began, it was clear that Ham and Nye do not even agree on definitions. The most friction on definition came when Nye rejected Ham’s distinction between “historical science” and “observational science” out of hand. Nye maintained his argument that science is a unitary method, without any distinction between historical and observational modes. Ham pressed his case that science cannot begin without making certain assumptions about the past, which cannot be observed. Furthermore, Ham rightly insisted that observational science generally does not require any specific commitment to a model of historical science. In other words, both evolutionists and creationists do similar experimental science, and sometimes even side-by-side.

 

Nye’s main presentation contained a clear rejection of biblical Christianity. At several points in the debate, he dismissed the Bible’s account of Noah and the ark as unbelievable. Oddly, he even made this a major point in his most lengthy argument. As any informed observer would have anticipated, Nye based his argument on the modern consensus and went to the customary lines of evidence, from fossils to ice rods. Ham argued back with fossil and geological arguments of his own. Those portions of the debate did not advance the arguments much past where they were left in the late nineteenth century, with both sides attempting to keep score by rocks and fossils.

 

In this light, the debate proved both sides right on one central point: If you agreed with Bill Nye you would agree with his reading of the evidence. The same was equally true for those who entered the room agreeing with Ken Ham; they would agree with his interpretation of the evidence.

 

That’s because the argument was never really about ice rods and sediment layers. It was about the most basic of all intellectual presuppositions: How do we know anything at all? On what basis do we grant intellectual authority? Is the universe self-contained and self-explanatory? Is there a Creator, and can we know him?

 

On those questions, Ham and Nye were separated by infinite intellectual space. They shared the stage, but they do not live in the same intellectual world. Nye is truly committed to a materialistic and naturalistic worldview. Ham is an evangelical Christian committed to the authority of the Bible. The clash of ultimate worldview questions was vividly displayed for all to see.

 

When asked how matter came to exist and how consciousness arose, Nye responded simply and honestly: “I don’t know.” Responding to the same questions, Ham went straight to the Bible, pointing to the Genesis narrative as a full and singular answer to these questions. Nye went on the attack whenever Ham cited the Bible, referring to the implausibility of believing what he kept describing as “Ken Ham’s interpretation of a 3,000 year old book translated into American English.”

 

To Bill Nye, the idea of divine revelation is apparently nonsensical. He ridiculed the very idea.

 

This is where the debate was most important. Both men were asked if any evidence could ever force them to change their basic understanding. Both men said no. Neither was willing to allow for any dispositive evidence to change their minds. Both operate in basically closed intellectual systems. The main problem is that Ken Ham knows this to be the case, but Bill Nye apparently does not. Ham was consistently bold in citing his confidence in God, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in the full authority and divine inspiration of the Bible. He never pulled a punch or hid behind an argument. Nye seems to believe that he is genuinely open to any and all new information, but it is clear that his ultimate intellectual authority is the prevailing scientific consensus. More than once he asserted a virtually unblemished confidence in the ability of modern science to correct itself. He steadfastly refused to admit that any intellectual presuppositions color his own judgment.

 

But the single most defining moments in the debate came as Bill Nye repeatedly cited the “reasonable man” argument in his presentation and responses. He cited Adolphe Quetelet’s famed l’homme moyen—“a reasonable man”—as the measure of his intellectual authority. Writing in 1835, Quetelet, a French intellectual, made his “reasonable man” famous. The “reasonable man” is a man of intellect and education and knowledge who can judge evidence and arguments and function as an intellectual authority on his own two feet. The “reasonable man” is a truly modern man. Very quickly, jurists seized on the “reasonable man” to define the law and lawyers used him to make arguments before juries. A “reasonable man” would interpret the evidence and make a reasoned judgment, free from intellectual pressure.

 

Bill Nye repeatedly cited the reasonable man in making his arguments. He is a firm believer in autonomous human reason and the ability of the human intellect to solve the great problems of existence without any need of divine revelation. He spoke of modern science revealing “what we all can know” as it operates on the basis of natural laws. As Nye sees it, Ken Ham has a worldview, but Nye does not. He referred to “Ken Ham’s worldview,” but claimed that science merely provides knowledge. He sees himself as the quintessential “reasonable man,” and he repeatedly dismissed Christian arguments as “not reasonable.”

 

In an unexpected turn, near the end of the event, Nye even turned to make an argument against Christianity on grounds of theodicy. He asked Ham if it was “reasonable” to believe that God had privileged a personal revelation that was not equally accessible to all. Nye’s weakest argument had to do with his claim—made twice—that billions of religious people accept modern science. He provided a chart that included vast millions of adherents of other world religions and announced that they are religious but accept modern science. That is nonsense, of course. At least it is nonsense if he meant to suggest that these billions believe in evolution. That is hardly the case. Later, he lowered his argument to assert that these billions of people use modern technology. So, of course, do creationists. There are few facilities in the world more high-tech than the Creation Museum.

 

Nye is clearly not a fan of theistic evolution, since he argued that a purely natural argument should be quite enough for the “reasonable man.” He seemed to affirm a methodological agnosticism, since he sees the question of a “higher power” or “spiritual being” to be one of little intellectual consequence. He did argue that nature is a closed system and that natural selection can allow for absolutely no supernatural interference or influence. In this respect, he sounded much like Stephen Hawking, who has argued that God may exist, but that there is nothing for him to do.

 

Ken Ham is a Young Earth Creationist (as am I), but the larger argument was over worldviews, and the debate revealed the direct collision between evolution and the recognition of any historical authority within Genesis 1-11. As if to make that clear, in making one of his closing arguments, Bill Nye actually went back to cite “this problem of the ark.”

The ark is not the real problem; autonomous human reason is. Bill Nye is a true believer in human reason and the ability of modern science to deliver us. Humanity is just “one germ away” from extinction, he said. But science provides him with the joy of discovery and understanding.

 

The problem with autonomous human reason is made clear by the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 1:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things” (Rom 1:18-23 ESV).

 

The problem with human reason is that it, along with every other aspect of our humanity, was corrupted by the fall. This is what theologians refer to as the “noetic effects of the fall.” We have not lost the ability to know all things, but we have lost the ability to know them on our own authority and power. We are completely dependent upon divine revelation for the answers to the most important questions of life. Our sin keeps us from seeing what is right before our eyes in nature. We are dependent upon the God who loves us enough to reveal himself to us—and to give us his Word.

 

As it turns out, the reality and authority of divine revelation, more than any other issue, was what the debate last night was all about. As the closing statements made very clear, Ken Ham understood that fact, but Bill Nye did not.

 

The central issue last night was really not the age of the earth or the claims of modern science. The question was not really about the ark or sediment layers or fossils. It was about the central worldview clash of our times, and of any time: the clash between the worldview of the self-declared “reasonable man” and the worldview of the sinner saved by grace.

 



#2
nebula

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 In that video, Nye told creationist parents:

 

“[I]f you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

 

It seemed to me that Ken Ham was addressing this issue more than “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

 

Presenting Creationists who have and are working remarkably in the science field shows that Creationists can be scientifically literate, build stuff, and solve problems. It however does not explain what makes the creation model viable.

 

 

At several points in the debate, [Nye] dismissed the Bible’s account of Noah and the ark as unbelievable. Oddly, he even made this a major point in his most lengthy argument.

 

I can understand why he went after the ark, since the Flood is used by Creationists to answer for geological layers and the rules of nature changing. But I likewise thought going after the the plausibility of the ark came across more as an attack against the Bible and Christianity than debating the viability of the Creation model.

 

 

Both men were asked if any evidence could ever force them to change their basic understanding. Both men said no.

 

Odd, I recall Nye responding that he would be persuaded by appropriate evidence.



#3
FresnoJoe

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 Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate

Albert Mohler - President of Southern Seminary, Louisville Kentucky

 

Wednesday • February 5, 2014

 

....The initial controversy about the debate centered in criticism of Bill Nye for even accepting the invitation. Many evolutionary scientists, such as Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, refuse to debate the issue, believing that any public debate offers legitimacy to those who deny evolution. Nye was criticized by many leading evolutionists, who argued publicly that nothing good could come of the debate.

 

Interestingly, this points back to the famous debates over evolution that took place in nineteenth century England, when Anglican churchmen faced early evolutionary scientists in (mostly) civil public exchanges. Back then, it was the churchmen who were criticized by their peers for participation in the debate. Now, the table has turned, indicating something of the distance between the intellectual conditions then and now.

 

Of course, Bill Nye might have felt some moral obligation to debate the question, since he had launched a unilateral attack on creationist parents in a video that went viral last year. In that video, Nye told creationist parents....

 

....“[I]f you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

 

....The central issue last night was really not the age of the earth or the claims of modern science. The question was not really about the ark or sediment layers or fossils. It was about the central worldview clash of our times, and of any time: the clash between the worldview of the self-declared “reasonable man” and the worldview of the sinner saved by grace....

 

:thumbsup:

 

As I See It

 

"Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me. Luke 11:23 (NLT)

 

This Debate Was Between The U.S. Government Mandated State Religion Of Scientism

 

"Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands '? Isaiah 45:9 (NASB)

 

And A Follower Of The LORD Jesus Christ

 

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
 

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (KJV)

 

As I See

 

"If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42 (ISV)

 

It

 

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

 

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.

 

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:3-6 (NIV)

 

~

 

Praying For All Of The Little Children

 

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. Psalms 119:160

 

Who Fall Into The Hands

 

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalms 119:11

 

Of

 

Yea, hath God said, Genesis 3:1(c )

 

Evil

 

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. Psalms 74:4

 

In The Name Of Jesus Christ The Almighty Creator I Pray

And Thank You Abba For Answered Prayer

Your Son Is So Magnificent

And So All Powerful

And My LORD

I Love You

Joe



#4
LookingForAnswers

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The central issue last night was really not the age of the earth or the claims of modern science. The question was not really about the ark or sediment layers or fossils. It was about the central worldview clash of our times, and of any time: the clash between the worldview of the self-declared “reasonable man” and the worldview of the sinner saved by grace.

 

 

Can a sinner saved by grace also not be reasonable?  Why does it have to be an either or proposition?



#5
shiloh357

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 In that video, Nye told creationist parents:

 

“[I]f you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

 

It seemed to me that Ken Ham was addressing this issue more than “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

 

Presenting Creationists who have and are working remarkably in the science field shows that Creationists can be scientifically literate, build stuff, and solve problems. It however does not explain what makes the creation model viable.

Ken Ham presented those scientists to answer the charge that Nye made about how creationism is a hindrance to doing good science.   Ham was was staying on topic, whereas Nye was all over the page.   Nye was having a different debate, really. 

 

 

I can understand why he went after the ark, since the Flood is used by Creationists to answer for geological layers and the rules of nature changing. But I likewise thought going after the the plausibility of the ark came across more as an attack against the Bible and Christianity than debating the viability of the Creation model.

 

 

But from the vantage point of someone like Nye, they are one and the same.   If they can destroy the credibility of the Bible if Noah's flood and other accounts in Genesis can successfully be shown to be mythological, then the creationist model collapses on its own weight.   If the stories in the Bible are fictional, it kicks the legs out from under creationism.   The BEST way to defeat the creationist model is as follows:

 

1.  Show that the Bible is NOT 100% trustworthy, that the Bible is full of errors, particularly in Gen. 1:1-11

2.  Show that man is NOT created from the dust of the earth in God's image, but that man is just another primate, just another cog in the evolutionary machine.

3.  Show that there was no actual "fall" in the Garden of Eden, that it was just a parable.

4.  Demonstrate that Genesis was really just a polemic against the gods of the pagans and that the stories don't actually have to be true in order to serve that purpose.

 

If someone can successfully do that, the YEC model simply disentigrates into dust.  YEC presuspposes the 100% inerrancy of the Bible, and that the historical record of the Bible can be trusted without hesitation.   So all one needs to do to destroy creationism is prove the Bible cannot be considered a reliable account.

 

 

Both men were asked if any evidence could ever force them to change their basic understanding. Both men said no.

 

Odd, I recall Nye responding that he would be persuaded by appropriate evidence

 

.Yes, and it was a good thing that Ken Ham said no.   There is an assurance of faith that comes with being a Christian that not even a scientist can have in science.  Nye said yes, because in science, falsification is possible in a lot of areas, so if the evidence led a certain direction, at least Nye is honest enough to say that he would follow where the evidence leads.

 

But as a Christian Ham has full assruance that comes from God and is more real to him than science.   It comes down to that.   Will a person trust God when everyone else says they are foolish to do so?   At what point, does the intimidation and pressure and need for approval and acceptance drive a person to the point that they will compromise with the truth in order to be respected?  When every external indicator tells you that the Bible is wrong on this that point, when it comes to choices, what choice will they make?



#6
shiloh357

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The central issue last night was really not the age of the earth or the claims of modern science. The question was not really about the ark or sediment layers or fossils. It was about the central worldview clash of our times, and of any time: the clash between the worldview of the self-declared “reasonable man” and the worldview of the sinner saved by grace.

 

 

Can a sinner saved by grace also not be reasonable?  Why does it have to be an either or proposition?

 

Nye defines a "reasonable man" as a naturalist.   You cannot be a "sinner saved grace" (another term for "Christian) and be a naturalist that denies the very core of Genesis1  which is that creation is the result of God creative acts.



#7
nebula

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In that video, Nye told creationist parents:
 
f you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

 It seemed to me that Ken Ham was addressing this issue more than [i]“Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”
 
Presenting Creationists who have and are working remarkably in the science field shows that Creationists can be scientifically literate, build stuff, and solve problems. It however does not explain what makes the creation model viable.

 

Ken Ham presented those scientists to answer the charge that Nye made about how creationism is a hindrance to doing good science.   Ham was was staying on topic, whereas Nye was all over the page.   Nye was having a different debate, really.

 


I guess then that we just have different ideas of what “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” means.

 

 

I can understand why he went after the ark, since the Flood is used by Creationists to answer for geological layers and the rules of nature changing. But I likewise thought going after the the plausibility of the ark came across more as an attack against the Bible and Christianity than debating the viability of the Creation model.

But from the vantage point of someone like Nye, they are one and the same.   If they can destroy the credibility of the Bible if Noah's flood and other accounts in Genesis can successfully be shown to be mythological, then the creationist model collapses on its own weight.

 


Like I said, I understand why he went after the ark. But in a public debate, one should consider the principle of "know your audience." Nye made a few botches in this area. Knowing there would be Christians in the audience, he should have separated attacking the theory from attacking the religion better. Likewise, knowing the audience members were mostly from Kentucky he should not have taken those jabs at Kentucky like he did.


 

The BEST way to defeat the creationist model is as follows:
 
1.  Show that the Bible is NOT 100% trustworthy, that the Bible is full of errors, particularly in Gen. 1:1-11

You cannot be a "sinner saved grace" (another term for "Christian) and be a naturalist that denies the very core of Genesis1 which is that creation is the result of God creative acts.


We can battle this til the cows come home. Just because a Christian wants to dig into the process of creation beyond, "God said and it was", it doesn't mean he or she is questioning God or doubting the Scriptures. To regard Genesis 1 as something that was not meant to be interpreted with science in mind is not doubting the historicity of what is presented.

Countless of Christians in the scientific field with varying ideas of how to work out the correlation between what is found in the studies of the earth and universe with the few words written in Scripture are fully confident in the fact that God is our Creator, and all this is came from His creative acts no matter what we believe or not about the process and how Genesis 1 is to be understood.



#8
shiloh357

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I guess then that we just have different ideas of what “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” means.
 

No, I don't thnk so.   One of Nye's arguments was essentially that you cannot be a creationist and do anything as a scientist that matters.   Ham responded to that aspect of Nye's reason for creationism not be being "viable" or worthwhile.   Nye's foolish approach was to argue that a creastionist can't be a good a scientist and produce anything useful for man in the area of science.   Ham pretty put that notion to bed, by presenting scientists who were  creationists and who were making important contributions to science.

We can battle this til the cows come home.

Why would we???   A naturalist is someone who rejects God and believes that the natural world is all there is..   How can someone be a naturalist AND be a Christian???   How could you possibly object to my statement?

Just because a Christian wants to dig into the process of creation beyond, "God said and it was", it doesn't mean he or she is questioning God or doubting the Scriptures.

I never said that someone who wants to dig around like that is questioning God or doubting the Scriptures.  Again, my comment was aimed at LFA’s comment about the “reasonable man.”   One cannot be the “reasonable man” for whom the naturalistic explanation should fully suffice and have a biblical worldview.   Creation isn’t naturalistic.  It is supernaturalistic. 

To regard Genesis 1 as something that was not meant to be interpreted with science in mind is not doubting the historicity of what is presented.

But that is exactly what is presented by Nye, which was what I was responding to, essentially.   Nye isnt’ talking about simply being scientific in one’s thinking.  He is talking about being naturalistic in his thinking.   It is the scientist who is naturalistic in his thinking that stands opposed to the historicity of the Bible.

Countless of Christians in the scientific field with varying ideas of how to work out the correlation between what is found in the studies of the earth and universe with the few words written in Scripture are fully confident in the fact that God is our Creator, and all this is came from His creative acts no matter what we believe or not about the process and how Genesis 1 is to be understood.

Nothing I have said would contradict that.



#9
nebula

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I'm sorry, Shiloh. I was hearing your words towards Nye as similar to what you've said towards those who are not YEC and reacted accordingly. I was in error.



#10
shiloh357

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I'm sorry, Shiloh. I was hearing your words towards Nye as similar to what you've said towards those who are not YEC and reacted accordingly. I was in error.

That's okay. No worries.



#11
FresnoJoe

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 Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate

Albert Mohler - President of Southern Seminary, Louisville Kentucky

 

 

Wednesday • February 5, 2014

 

....The central issue last night was really not the age of the earth or the claims of modern science. The question was not really about the ark or sediment layers or fossils. It was about the central worldview clash of our times, and of any time: the clash between the worldview of the self-declared “reasonable man” and the worldview of the sinner saved by grace.

 

Can a sinner saved by grace also not be reasonable?  Why does it have to be an either or proposition?

 

:thumbsup:

 

Of Course A Sinner Saved By Grace

 

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

 

Can Be Both Reasonable

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

 

And Respectful

 

I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Isaiah 42:8-9

 

Too



#12
FresnoJoe

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The Battle Over The Minds And Hearts Of A Nation's Children

 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
 

Nye and Ham weren’t going to convince each other. But the debate symbolized something deeper for both men–an opportunity to sway parents about what their children should know.

 

“What you teach children about who they are and where they come from is very important, because if they’re just the result of natural processes, and if like Richard Dawkins says and even Bill Nye says, that’s the end of you, that’s it, you won’t even know you’re ever alive,” Ham told msnbc in an interview Monday afternoon, “then what is the purpose and meaning of life?”

 

It was Nye’s brief remark about children and creationism from a 2912 YouTube video that set off the chain of events leading to Tuesday night’s debate, billed as the Mohammed Ali vs. George Foreman of creationism vs. evolution debates.

 

“I say that to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe that’s fine,” Nye said in the video, “but don’t have your kids do it because we need them, we need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.”

 

Creationism needs the kids too. Every inch of the $27 million dollar Creation Museum, from the towering mastadon skeleton in the lobby to its zip lines and petting zoo, is designed to appeal to children. Animatronic puppets explain the exile of Adam and Eve from their paradise of frolicking vegetarian dinosaurs and the construction of Noah’s Ark, while videos showing teenagers consuming Internet pornography or wives dissing their husbands behind their back are used to illustrate the fallen nature of the world. With its alternative narrative of a world where the biblical flood carved the Grand Canyon, racial differences were created by a mass migration following the destruction of the Tower of Babel, and all human suffering can be reduced to a rejection of Christianity, the Creation Museum offers hope for parents who want to arm their children against the atheist indoctrination of evolution.

 

Other than its appeal to children, it’s the fear of death that permeates every corner of the Creation Museum. As expensive and professionally produced as it may be, the museum amounts to a fragile shelter against the storm of realization that we all die alone.

 

“For someone who is an atheist, if there’s no god, when you die, from your perspective you won’t know you ever existed,” Ham says in a Creation Museum produced 2012 YouTube video responding to Nye. “When people near you die, they won’t know you existed, eventually everyone dies, no one will know anything ever was, no purpose or meaning in life, what does it really matter anyway?”

 

Speaking to msnbc in his office the day before the debate, Ham struck the same theme. “Bill Nye talks about the joy of discovery, that’s what science is all about, but so what?” Ham asked. “When you die that’s it? you won’t know you ever discovered anything, so what’s the point anyway?” http://www.msnbc.com...ml_mda_20140205






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