Some thoughts on tonight’s debate: Bill Nye is a very good speaker. He is very personable and inviting. He has a good sense of humor. He is very likeable. I also think that his debating skills are very good. But … he presented only one real argument. His main argument, indeed, his only argument was based on a grand presentation of doubt. He did not prove evolution. He did not debunk creationism, or a young earth. He did not prove the superiority of naturalism. He simply raised the specter of a single question: is it reasonable? He failed to prove that creationism was unreasonable. He failed to debunk any argument that Ken Ham presented. He simply exalted man’s ability to be skeptical and doubt what he does not want to accept.
At the core of Bill’s argument was the philosophical position that man’s doubt and skepticism are the ultimate authority. Notice, that while he promoted science, he only presented skepticism. Even the so called scientific arguments he presented were actually props to raise doubts about creation. For example, he presented ice cores, and said that in order for those cores to be created in four-thousand years, that there would most likely have to be around 170+ summer/winter cycles per year. However, he did not present scientific evidence that those cores are old, and that they were developed in the manner he suggested. He did not present a scientific argument based on evidence that they are as old as he said they were. He simply used an assumption that they are old (he mockingly spoke about injecting bubbles into the ice) to raise doubts that the world is young. He succeeded in that endeavor, but failed to present any real scientific argument that would have led one to a reasonable conclusion that creationism is wrong – based on evidence.
Ultimately, Bill Nye the “Science guy” is a product of his culture. Instead of promoting science, he promoted man’s ability to declare himself the sole authority on matters of truth and falsehood. Notice, he had no problem appealing to “mystery” when it was convenient to do so. But when Ken Ham appealed to God, Bill mockingly said Ken was relying on “magic.” His appeal to “mystery” however, was intended to promote the unlimited imagination and wisdom of man; and was instead to be a grand appeal to man’s ability to define the boundaries life for himself. According to Bill, an appeal to God is small and unworthy of man’s intellect. But, an appeal to mystery, and man’s ability to imagine the possibilities, is the real god that should be enshrined.
If Bill Nye proved anything, he proved that man’s quest for self-deification has only intensified since the fall (we are the universe becoming itself). I did not walk away from Bill’s arguments having gained one shred of information that was meaningful. I walked away from him with the feeling that man’s only legitimate quest is to enshrine human imagination as the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge.
In the end, he proved Ken Ham right.