Skip To Content

    Everything You Need To Know About The Bill Nye And Ken Ham Debate

    A recap of my night at the "is creationism a viable model of origins" debate.

    The scene: Petersburg, Ky., at the Creation Museum.

    The crowd.

    ROUND 1: Five-minute opening

    Ken Ham: He goes into this whole thing about experimental vs. observational science. If we weren't there to see it, then we don't know exactly how it happened. The Bible was written by people who were there.

    Bill Nye: Basically goes into a story about how his grandfather used to wear bow ties. For those wondering, Bill was told his grandfather rented a tux that came with a bow tie. He didn't know how to tie it, so he went to the hotel room next door. The guy asked him to lie on the bed. His grandfather asked why? The guy said because he's an undertaker. *Everyone laughs*

    ROUND 2: Each person gets 30 minutes to lay their case out.

    Ken goes first. He presents his arguments of all the things the Bible has proven.

    He then goes into this long thing where he introduces a bunch of *real* scientists who also believe in creationism.

    He keeps on talking about defining the terms for "science" and "evolution."

    He goes into the six C's of history. The six C's are big at the Creation Museum.

    He again emphasizes that creationists have a stigma against them.

    He starts talking about how everything is crumbling or something.

    Bill Nye: Bill starts his argument by disproving the age of the earth by showing examples of various natural dating methods.

    He does the math. He claims in Ken's model, that means there could have only been 170 winter-summer season cycles.

    His shows this 9,000-year-old tree. Bill says it's not possible that this tree could have survived such a disastrous flood that Ken believes happened.

    Bill's favorite argument he would bring throughout the night: If there was a great, insane flood, then all of the species in the soil/sediment layers would mix.

    The species argument. Ken believes in kinds. A kind of animal is like a cat, dog, or elephant. There were 7,000 kinds of animals on the ark.

    The ark. The ark was made of wood. He shows examples of other ships.

    Bill goes into a big argument about how the problem with Ken's model is that he can't actually predict anything from it. Bill says we've observed things that happened in the past that have repeated today. That hasn't happened in Ken's view.

    Bill brings up the big bang. He shows this church sign he saw in Virginia.

    He ends with a plea to the parents in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky that kids need to learn science. In order to stay ahead, we need to teach the correct information.


    Ken: Ken launches into how we make a lot of assumptions when we date rocks.

    Bill: Bill goes more all over the place.


    Ken: Ken goes after Bill because he keeps on saying "Ken Ham's model" when referencing his belief system.

    Bill: His main argument this time is that there are billions of devoutly religious people worldwide.

    Q&A: The questions are apparently submitted by the audience completely at random.

    FYI, I missed some questions because some were confusing. Also Bill and Ken kind of just went off on random things during them. Sorry! You can watch the live stream and catch them.

    What about planets?

    Ken: God created them to show his power. God is a great God. He created the stars as almost an afterthought. He snuck it into the Bible. "Oh yeah, here are the stars." Wow, what a God.

    Bill: Bill basically makes the claim that Ken uses God to say "I'm done." It's easy to make claims when you just base it on one text.

    How did atoms from the big bang get there?

    Bill: He says this is a great question. It makes him want to wake up every day and discover. It's great.

    Ken: Ken says there's an answer to that and it's in the Bible. It's the only thing that makes sense.

    How did consciousness come from matter?

    Bill: He doesn't know. He says the joy of discovery is what drives him. The drive is in all of us. He encourages young people to go out and discover.

    Ken: Ken says that he has a book that says it, and God gave it to us. Ken also says something about what the point of discovery is if you're just going to die. He likes to discover because he loves God's world so much.

    What would change your mind?

    Ken: Ken says no one will ever convince him that the Bible isn't true.

    Bill: Bill lists a bunch of things that Ken claims the Bible says. He tells Ken that what he did there tonight was give explanations of the past.

    What's your favorite color? One word only.

    Bill: Green because... (Bill goes on, everyone laughs).

    Ken: Observed science. Blue.

    Hypothetically, if we have concrete proof the earth was older than 4,000 years old, would you believe it?

    Ken: You can never prove the age of the earth.

    Bill: Bill launches into another attack on Ken for saying that he is relying on a book written thousands of years ago and translated numerous times.

    Is there any room for God in science?

    Bill: Says that there are billions of people with different faiths. No.

    Ken: Says God is necessary for science.

    Should the Bible be taken literally?

    Ken: If it's history like Genesis, then literally. If it's pslams, then it's poetry. He says something about one man–one woman marriage.

    Bill: He says Ken decides what he wants to take literally and figuratively. He does what he likes.

    Why aren't humans getting smarter than they were in the past?

    Bill: Being smarter isn't a necessary consequence of evolution.

    Ken: Talks about cavefish.


    What is one thing more than anything else you base your belief on?

    Ken: "There is a book I've been talking about." Says God will reveal himself.

    Bill: The process of science. Says that we need to embrace science education to stay ahead.


    Then we all left and drove home in a "level 2 snow emergency." I am alive. Last thing, I may have missed some things because I am not a scientist. I was sitting in the audience and could only write so fast!