Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Evolution vs. Fundamentalist Creationism

I watched this debate on Wednesday, because I was curious to hear what they had to say.  After I watched it, I had to hope that people will realize this was not a science vs. religion debate--I would hate for Ken Ham to be the example people have of Christian beliefs.

My first problem with Mr. Ham came when he started talking about how there are two types of science--historical science and observational science. According to him, observational science is science which is observable, testable, or repeatable, while historical science is the use of evidence in the present to make assumptions about the past, or finding a primary source of information/eyewitness account.  Historical science, therefore, according to Mr. Ham, is science based on a literal belief in the Bible.

As a Christian, I do believe in the Bible...however, I think you have to look at some of it as figurative language. You have to consider the original audience (a poor, nomadic people with little or no education), and realize that the concept of millions of years would be far beyond their comprehension, as would the concept of there being more to the earth than the part where they lived. So instead, they have a story of creation taking six days, and all happening in one small area---as well as there only being two humans created to start all of humanity.

Because of Ham's belief that the Bible is to be taken as a literal history of creation, he believes that the world is only 6000 years old.  When confronted with evidence which belies that fact, such as trees that are over 9000 years old, Ham asserts that different dating methods all give different results, and none of them can be trusted. So, apparently, even though we can observe that trees add a new ring every year, we can't count those rings to determine the age of the tree because we don't know that it has ALWAYS added just one ring per year, because we weren't there to watch it.

To be honest, after a while I was only half-listening to Mr. Ham, because I was too busy ranting about the things he was saying. At one point, he remarked that all the animals were originally vegetarians, until a point in the Bible where God gives "permission" to eat meat. I don't understand how, if that were true, it would work in his me, that sounds like animals EVOLVING to adapt to their environment.

And if I had heard him say one more time that believing in science (or the religion of naturalism,as he liked to say) was nothing more than atheism, I might have started to bang my head on the table. As Mr. Nye pointed out to him, there are BILLIONS of religious people around the world who believe in science and evolution, and have no problem reconciling the two. Of course, Mr. Ham said those people need to re-examine their faith, as they are being misled.

Bottom line, Mr. Nye was able to present facts to back up his beliefs/opinions, while Mr. Ham's constant refrain was "The Bible says..."  For me, that made determining a debate "winner" a total no-brainer.  Facts will win me over EVERY time.

1 comment:

  1. Both Christians and atheists need to start realizing that religion and science don't have to be against each other.


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