‘Science Guy’ wins debate on evolution

Evolutionists attempt to influence, enlighten others.

Evolutionist Bill Nye (left) and creationist Ken Ham (right) speaking during televised debate. Photo courtesy of ABC News.

Bill Nye the Science Guy clashed with professional village idiot and young-Earth creationist Ken Ham in a debate about evolution versus creationism last Tuesday.

Many people thought the debate would be a waste of time and would not change anyone’s mind. This type of thinking is unhelpful, as it perpetuates the stereotype that all creationists are idiots that refuse to even consider the other side.

While that certainly describes Ken Ham, it is not true of all creationists. Some of them are simply misinformed (usually by people like Ken Ham) and have been sheltered from hearing any of the overwhelming evidence that contradicts their beliefs.

Most who deny evolution are unaware of even its most basic concepts.

For example, many who oppose evolution often say “it’s just a theory,” which by itself portrays a shocking amount of scientific ignorance.

There is a difference between a layman’s definition of a theory as an unsubstantiated hypothetical and a scientific theory that has been substantiated through extensive repeated experiments.

Another example is when people ask, “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”

This is a common misconception. Man did not evolve from monkeys. Both monkeys and man share a common ancestor. When Ken Ham was asked if there was anything that could change his mind, he said nothing would ever change his mind and admitted he couldn’t even imagine a hypothetical scenario in which he was wrong.

When the same question was posed to Nye, he said, “Just one piece of evidence, just one fossil in the wrong layer, just one piece of evidence that the universe is not expanding or that rock layers can somehow form in 4,000 years or that the stars appear to be far away, but are not. Bring on any one of these, and you would change me immediately.”

The problem with creationists is they encourage people to ignore scientific knowledge. It doesn’t make them less intelligent, but it does teach them that if they don’t agree with something, they can just ignore it, and how on Earth could doing that help anyone?

Science doesn’t work like this. If a scientist disagrees with a hypothesis, he does research, experimentation and testing to show exactly why it is wrong. In fact, a great deal of science is falsifying claims, meaning scientists actively try to prove themselves and their peers wrong all the time.

This is why creationism is not science; it starts by making unsubstantiated assertions and then goes out of its way to back them up by using faulty data, deliberately ignoring evidence.

This shows that creationism is not a scientific belief — it is a religious one. It is based entirely on a religious text, defended only by religious people and completely ignores how the scientific method works.

The first amendment to the Constitution protects everyone’s right to believe whatever he or she wants to believe. However, this amendment isn’t only about freedom of religion,.It can also be about freedom from religion.

The reason the pilgrims first came to this country was because other people were trying to force a specific version of Christianity onto people, and that is exactly what creationists want to do now. Teaching creationism in schools forces an extremely specific religious view onto children.

Nye definitely won the debate. Ham’s arguments were inherently self-contradicting to the point of absurdity. He kept insisting that it was impossible to know anything for certain about the past, yet later on he said he was so certain about his own beliefs that he couldn’t even imagine a hypothetical where he was wrong.

Meanwhile, Nye encouraged the audience to not take his word for it (like Ham wanted them to do), but to do the research themselves. I would encourage anybody who still doubts evolution to do the same.

Michael Rauser is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].