It might not have had the epic quality of the famed Scopes “Monkey Trial” (or perhaps it did), but the 2014 debate between the Darwinist Bill Nye and apologetics teacher Ken Ham will surely go down as one of the most watched events of its kind.
Held at the Creation Museum, the debate pitted two classically opposite worldviews: naturalism vs. supernaturalism. Nye, a seemingly affable TV host presenting the philosophy of naturalism as hard science to young audiences, agreed to a much-anticipated forum with Ham, generally regarded as the top creationist speaker in the world.
Ham’s ministry, Answers in Genesis, is an astonishingly successful entity that has clearly brought the debate over origins to the wider culture. It’s legacy – and Ham’s – will no doubt be a part of overall church history.
One must give Nye credit for agreeing to such a format. For many years, the Institute for Creation Research touted its own Dr. Duane Gish as a formidable debater, and quite often his debate opponents grumbled about their own lackluster performances.
Today, Ham is unquestionably the world’s foremost go-to spokesman on the early chapters of Genesis from a Christian perspective. The debate was watched by a huge audience.
Now, Master Books has produced a valuable resource: “Inside the Nye-Ham Debate – Revealing Truths from the Worldview Clash of the Century” – and no Christian at all interested in these subjects should be without it. It’s that good.
Partial transcripts from the debate, along with insightful commentary, provide the basis for this book; and even if one did not see the debate, the book provides all one needs to know. Sprinkled throughout are illuminating points, such as the “Nye Opening”:
“Mr. Nye opened with a story about his father that was quite humorous, then transitioned to say that he and Ham would be debating two stories: one being that of ‘Mr. Ham’s story’ and the other of ‘mainstream science.’
“Now I would like to comment on the two things positioned here. First, it is not Mr. Ham’s story but rather about biblical creationism as revealed in God’s Word and confirmed by observational science.”
This is an important point (and the book is filled with such commentary), because it shows clearly how evolutionists manipulate language to convince audiences of the claims of Darwin. Ham was able to make several salient points that enabled the viewing audience to see how biased evolution is (I believe I can speak for creationists here, as well, by saying that they admit their own bias).
Note: the entire transcript from the debate forms Appendix A in “Inside the Nye-Ham Debate.”
For Bible believers, Appendix B is invaluable, as well. For there, Ham and AiG make the compelling case that it very much matters what we believe about the age of the earth. Christian apologists across the spectrum often argue that this is a non-essential part of the Christian faith, but is it? With young people well aware that denying the Genesis accounts of origins logically concludes with questioning the historicity of the New Testament (including the crucifixion and the resurrection), the question of the age of the earth is critical. Apologists like William Lane Craig disagree, and I think this is one of their key weaknesses in presenting the case for Christianity. Ham has no such qualms and in fact rightly and boldly insists this is a key question.
Further in the book is the helpful “Topical Links to Subject Matter.” There, the reader can understand big picture realities related to topics ranging from Noah’s ark to the search for ET life.
All in all, “Inside the Nye-Ham Debate” is an extraordinary achievement, and one can say that while the book is biased in favor of Ham’s position, it is more compelling to point out that the liberal stranglehold on media has ensured that generations of many millions of people have been subjected to evolutionary bias with little counterpoint. Kudos to Master Books, and Ham/AiG for making this book available.
“Inside the Nye-Ham Debate” should be widely read within the Christian community.
Highly, highly recommended.