Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham (Full Transcript)

Full transcript of the debate between Bill Nye (“The Science Guy,”) and Ken Ham (“Answers in Genesis”) on the question: “Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?” This debate was held February 4, 2014, at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here:


MODERATOR: Now, let’s welcome our debaters, Mr. Bill Nye and Mr. Ken Ham. We had a coin toss earlier to determine who would go first of these two men. The only thing missing was Joe Namath in a fur coat, but it went very well. Mr. Ham won the coin toss, and he opted to speak first.

But first, let me tell you a little bit about both of these gentlemen.

Mr. Nye’s website describes him as a scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor. Mr. Nye, as you may know, produced a number of award-winning TV shows, including the program he became so well known for, Bill Nye The Science Guy. While working on The Science Guy show, Mr. Nye won seven national Emmy Awards for writing, performing, and producing. The show won 18 Emmys in five years.

In between creating the shows, he wrote five kids’ books about science, including his latest title, Bill Nye’s Great Big Book of Tiny Germs. Bill Nye is the host of three television series. His program, The 100 Greatest Discoveries, airs on the Science Channel, The Eyes of Nye, airs on PBS stations across the country. He frequently appears on interview programs to discuss a variety of science topics. Mr. Nye serves as executive director of The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space interest group. He is a graduate of Cornell with a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering.

Mr. Ken Ham is the president and co-founder of Answers in Genesis, a Bible-defending organization that upholds the authority of the Scriptures from the very first verse. Mr. Ham is the man behind the popular high-tech Creation Museum where we’re holding this debate. The museum has had two million visitors in six years and has attracted much of the world’s media.

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The Answers in Genesis website is well trafficked with two million visitors alone last month. Mr. Ham is also a best-selling author, a much in-demand speaker, and the host of a daily radio feature carried on 700-plus stations. This is his second public debate on evolution and creation. The first was at Harvard in the 1990s. Mr. Ham is a native of Australia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science with an emphasis in Environmental Biology from the Queensland Institute of Technology as well as a diploma of education at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

And now, Mr. Ham, you opted to go first. So you will be first with your five-minute opening statement.

KEN HAM: Well, good evening. I know that not everyone watching this debate will necessarily agree with what I have to say, but I’m an Aussie and live over here in America and they tell me I have an accent, and so it doesn’t matter what I say. Some people tell me we just like to hear you saying it. So I hope you enjoy me saying it anyway.

Well, the debate topic is this: Is Creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?

You know, when this was first announced on the internet, there were lots of statements like this one from the Richard Dawkins Foundation: Scientists should not debate creationists, period.

And this one from one of the websites: Should scientists debate creationists?

You know, right here I believe there’s a gross misrepresentation in our culture. We’re seeing people being indoctrinated to believe that creationists can’t be scientists. I believe it’s all a part of secularists hijacking the word science.

I want you to meet a modern-day scientist who is a biblical creationist.

(Video Clip: My name is Stuart Burgess. I’m a professor of engineering design at Bristol University in the UK. I have published over a hundred and thirty scientific papers on the science of design in engineering and biological systems. From my research work, I have found that the scientific evidence fully supports creationism as the best explanation to origins. I’ve also designed major parts of spacecraft launched by ESA and NASA.)

So here is a biblical creationist, he is a scientist, he is also an inventor. And I want young people to understand that.

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You know, the problem I believe is this. We need to define terms correctly. We need to define creation, evolution in regard to origins and we need to define science. And in this opening statement, I want to concentrate on dealing with the word science.

I believe the word science has been hijacked by secularists. Now, what is science? Well, the origin of the word comes from the classical Latin scientia which means to know. And if you look up a dictionary, it’ll say science means state of knowing, knowledge. But there’s different types of knowledge and I believe this is where the confusion lies.

There’s experimental or observational science as we call it. That’s using the scientific method: observation, measurement, experiment, testing. That’s what produces our technology: computers, spacecraft, jet planes, smoke detectors, looking at DNA, antibiotics, medicines and vaccines.

You see, all scientists whether creationists or evolutionists actually have the same observational or experimental science. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a creationist or an evolutionist. You can be a great scientist. For instance, he’s an atheist who is a great scientist, Craig Venter, one of the first researchers to sequence the human genome.

Or Dr Raymond Damadian. He is a man who invented the MRI scanner and revolutionized medicine. He’s a biblical creationist.

But I want us to also understand molecules to man evolution I believe has nothing to do with developing technology. You see, when we’re talking about origins, we’re talking about the past. We’re talking about our origin. We weren’t there. You can’t observe that, whether it’s molecules to man evolution or whether it’s a creation account.

When you’re talking about the past, we like to call that origins or historical science, knowledge concerning the past. Here at the Creation Museum, we make no apology about the fact that our origins or historical science actually is based upon the biblical account of origins.

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Now, when you research science textbooks being used in public schools, what we found is this: By and large, the origins or historical science is based upon man’s ideas about the past, for instance, the ideas of Darwin. And our research has found that public school textbooks are using the same word science for observational science and historical science. They arbitrarily define science as naturalism and outlaws supernatural. They present molecules to man evolution as fact. They are imposing, I believe, the religion of naturalism or atheism on generations of students.

You see, I assert that the word science has been hijacked by secularists in teaching evolution to force the religion of naturalism on generations of kids. Secular revolutionists teach that all life developed by natural processes from some primordial form, that man is just an evolved animal which has great bearing on how we view life and death.

For instance, as Bill states…It’s very hard to accept for many of us that when you die it’s over.

But you see, the Bible gives a totally different account of origins, of who we are, where we came from, the meaning of life and our future. That through one man sin entered the world and death through sin (Romans 5:12), but that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, whoever believes in Him should not perish and have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

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