The highly-anticipated showdown between evolutionist Bill Nye “the science guy” and creationist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis is now over. It remains to be seen in the days and weeks ahead if it changed any hearts and minds.
After watching the debate I still have a series of unanswered questions for Nye I’d love to get his answers to:
1. You admitted during the debate you don’t know where human consciousness and intelligence comes from, yet several times you also urged the audience to maintain your viewpoint’s current status quo dominance of the culture for the good of society.
But if you don’t know where the consciousness and intelligence comes from that guides human affairs in the first place, how do you know that what your advocating for is what’s best for society? How do you know whether or not the source of your belief system is a benevolent or malevolent force? Not to mention if we don’t know where intelligence comes from, how do we even know we know what benevolent and malevolent means? If what you believe has led to some good in human society, how do you know that believing the God of the Bible is the source of consciousness and intelligence wouldn’t make for an even better society?
If you don’t know where consciousness or intelligence comes from, when do you know you’re right and when do you know you’re wrong? Furthermore, how do you know whether or not everything you believe is really a lie? Perhaps we don’t even exist, and you’re unconscious now like in the Matrix, and what you think is reality is not?
Finally, why isn’t someone such as yourself, who claims to be so willing to pursue truth at all costs, at least a little concerned that he’s not even sure what the starting point for his entire belief system is? If you’re not sure how you started, how do you know you’re headed in the right direction? Do you really expect us to believe a brilliant man such as yourself really has no thoughts at all on where human intelligence and consciousness comes from? Surely you’ve thought about it beyond “I don’t know,” and we’d love to know what you think.
2) You admitted it was “a great mystery” what started the “big bang,” which you believe is the origin of human life and the universe.
If that’s what you really believe is the origin of all existence, then shouldn’t the primary investment of our scientific inquiry be devoted to solving that mystery? In fact, how can we truly judge the efficacy of scientific inquiry based on that assumption if we don’t have the answer to that question?
For example, if I don’t understand why an airplane was made to fly and whether or not the engineer that made it intended it to do so, I might just settle for driving the airplane down the street on asphalt since it has an engine and tires. The airplane is capable of doing so, and I wouldn’t know any better. However, if I know why the airplane happened to exist then I know it can do so much more than that, and the airplane can now realize its full potential.
How would I know what the airplane is ultimately for if I don’t know why it was made? I wouldn’t look silly driving an airplane down the street like any other vehicle unless we all knew it was meant to take to the air. But to know that requires me to know why it was designed that way and for what purpose.
You spent a good deal of time telling us what it is you didn’t like about Ham’s answers to those questions, but what are yours? You want us to assume your views and conclusions are what’s best for human progress, yet you won’t tell us what you think the purpose of human existence is in the first place? How do we know what’s best if we don’t know why we exist?
How do we know we’re progressing if we don’t know where we’re from? Suppose I looked on a map for the destination I wanted to go, but had no starting point. How would I know how to get to my destination? How would I know I’m making progress in the right direction?
3) Several times you referred to yourself as “reasonable.”
Does that mean to imply those that disagree with you are “unreasonable.” If so, that is very judgmental of you. Where do you get off imposing your definition of “unreasonable” upon the rest of us? Come to think of it, since you don’t know where human intelligence and consciousness comes from, I’m not even sure if I’m to be insulted of complimented by being called “unreasonable.”
Where does your definition of “reasonable” come from in the first place? If that definition is not fixed, then how do you know you’re always the reasonable one? Couldn’t the definition of “reasonable” change? I assume you’ve changed your mind on a few things over the years, so how do you know if you were “unreasonable” then or “reasonable” now? Are only people that agree with you “reasonable?” That sounds like the sort of statement a bigot might make.
Many of your scientific forefathers like Copernicus, Newton, and Kepler were Christians who were inspired by the Bible. Would you consider them to be “unreasonable?” Was Newton being “unreasonable” when he studied the Bible and “reasonable” when he discovered the laws of physics?
You were concerned about Ham insulting billions of non-Christians by taking the Bible literally, but why aren’t you concerned about insulting the billions of Christians that do as well? What’s so “reasonable” about that?
4. You repeatedly referred to “Ham’s beliefs” and “Ham’s interpretations” throughout the debate.
Is Ham the only person in the world that believes this way? Does that mean you believe everyone that agrees with Ham is essentially a lemming incapable of thinking for themselves? How do we know that what you were asserting weren’t simply “Nye’s beliefs” and “Nye’s interpretations?” Only 15% of Americans believe as you do, that human life and the origin of the universe happened strictly through natural occurrences. If you’re concerned about Ham offending billions of non-Christians, why aren’t you similarly concerned about offending the other 85% of your own countrymen?
5. Several times you admitted in the debate “I’m not a theologian.” If that’s the case, why did you spend so much critiquing the Bible and the conclusions Ham draws from it? If you’re not a theologian, then how do you know your critiques had merit? If you’re not a theologian, how do you even know what you’re critiquing?
Suppose someone admitted “I’m not an astrophysicist” but then went on to criticize a very important research paper on the subject of astrophysics. Would you expect the leading scientific journals of the day to publish their critique as credible despite the fact they admitted up front they have no idea what they’re talking about?
6. In your heart of hearts, Bill, are you really willing to bet your eternal soul on your belief system? Are you really willing to stake what happens to you and your loved ones after you die on “I don’t know” and “that’s a great mystery?” Are you confident enough in your “I don’t knows” to wager your forever on them? Are you sure Jesus Christ isn’t alive? Did all of those men and women that voluntarily went to their deaths without a fight in order to testify to the truth of Christ’s resurrection really die for nothing? If he’s not, then how come we changed all of human existence, including how we even tell time, based on acknowledging that he is?
If you died today, are you 100% certain you have the right answers, and are you willing to face any consequences for the wrong ones? Because in the end, my friend, that’s really what we’re talking about here, isn’t it?
Steve Deace's nationally-syndicated radio show airs coast-to-coast each weeknight from 9-Midnight eastern, including many of the Salem Radio Network's top conservative talk stations in markets like New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Minneapolis. His radio program has been featured in major media such as Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Politico, The Weekly Standard, and National Review among others. In 2013 he wrote the second-most shared column of the year for USA Today, defending "Duck Dynasty" and traditional American values. In addition to being a contributor for Town Hall.com, Deace is also a columnist for The Washington Times. He is also the author of the new book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, which includes a foreword by David Limbaugh and is endorsed by a who's who of conservative leaders. You can follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.
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