There was no shortage of controversy leading up to the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye “Bible vs Science” debate held Tuesday night at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., and live streamed around the world.
It’s a debate that has seemingly been rehashed over and over in multiple forums and styles of debate. But Tuesday night’s public forum, moderated by CNN’s Tom Foreman, was perhaps the most anticipated and widely publicized since the Scopes Trial of July 1925.
Christians in the community looking forward to the event staged a number of “watch parties.” One was held at Computer Pro in downtown Newton, where owner Adam Vandall, his wife and about a half-dozen others watched the debate intently.
“I thought the debate went well,” Vandall said. “Interesting topics on both sides. I get the feeling Bill Nye was more concerned with making the United States smarter in science and not necessarily worried about the spirit and souls of men.”
Bill Nye, who is famously referred to as “The Science Guy,” represented the science side of the debate but had been chastised by evolutionary theorists and atheists for taking part. In the lead-up to the event, he explained what his role would be.
“I’m not going into this as a scientist as such. I want to remind everyone — I’m a mechanical engineer,” Nye said. “I am going in as a reasonable man, and I think that to just call attention to his belief system has value.”
Ken Ham, who is president of both Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, represented the creationist side of the debate. He laid out his argument in his opening statement, often referring to his peers throughout the course of the remainder of the debate.
“It’s wrong to assume scientists can’t also believe in creationism,” Ham said. “I believe science has been hijacked by secularists who seek to indoctrinate the religion of naturalism.”
The format of the debate started with a five-minute opening statement by both men, followed by 30-minute presentations for them to further their sides of the debate. They each had five minutes of rebuttal, after which they answered questions submitted by members of the audience.
Those who didn’t see the debate will be able to watch the archived video at www.debatelive.org.
“I highly recommend watching the debate, no matter what side of the issue you are on,” Vandall said.