February 8, 2014

Transcript Of The Bill Nye Vs. Ken Ham Debate: Question And Answer Portion (Part III)

Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV

Can you reconcile the change in the rate continents are now drifting versus how quickly they must have traveled at creation's 6,000 years ago? Can you reconcile the speed in which continents are now drifting today to the rate they would have traveled 6,000 years ago to which where we are now?
Ken Ham: This again illustrates exactly what I'm talking about in regard to historical science and observational science. We can look at continents today and we have scientists that have written papers about these on our website. I'm definitely not an expert in this area, I don't claim to be but there are scientists even Dr. Andrews Spelling (?) a PhD geologist has done a lot of research here too as well and there are others out there into plate tectonics and continental drift and certainly we can see movements of plates today and if you look at those movements and if you assume at the way it's moving today the rate it's moving that it's always been that way in the past. See that's an assumption. That's the problem when it comes to understanding these things. You can observe movement but then to assume that it has always been like that in the past, that's historical science. And in fact, we would believe basically in catastrophic plate tectonics that as a result of the flood the time of the flood, there was catastrophic breakup of the earth's surface. And what we're seeing now is sort of a remnant of that movement. And so we do not deny the movement. We do not deny plates. What we would deny is that you can use what you see today as a basis for just extrapolating into the past. It's the same with the flood. You can say that the layers today can only lay down slowly in places but if there was a global flood, that would have changed all of that. Again, it's this emphasis on historical science and observational science. I would encourage people to go to our website in Answers in Genesis because we do have a number of papers. In fact, very technical papers. Dr. John Bumgardner (?) is one who has written some very extensive work dealing with this very issue. On the basis of the bible, of course we believe that there's one continent to start with cause....into one place.So we do believe that the continent has split up. Particularly the flood had a lot to do with that.

Bill Nye: It must have been easier for you to explain this a century ago before the existence of tectonic plates was proven. If you go into a clock store and there's a bunch of clocks. They are not organized exactly the same thing. Do you think that they are all wrong? The reason that we acknowledge the rate at which continents are drifting apart, one of the reasons is we see what's called sea floor spreading in the mid-Atlantic. The earth's magnetic field has reversed over the millenia and as it does it leaves a signature in the rocks as the continental plates drift apart. So you can measure how fast the continents were spreading. That's how we do it on the outside. As I say I lived in Washington state when Mt. St. Helens exploded. That's a result of a continental plate going under another continental plate and cracking and this water-laden rock led to a steam explosion. That's how we do it on the outside.

What's your favorite color?
Bill Nye: I will go along with most people and say green. And it's an irony that green plants reflect green light. Most of the light from the sun is green yet they're reflected. It's a mystery

Ken Ham: Can I have three words since he had three hundred? Observational science, blue.

How do you balance the theory of evolution with the second law of thermodynamics? What is the second law of thermodynamics?
 Bill Nye: Oh, the second lay of thermodynamics is fantastic. And I call the words of Eddington who said that if you had a theory that disagrees with Isaac Newton, that's a great theory. If you have a theory that disagrees with relativity, you've changed the world, that's great. But if your theory disagrees with the second law of thermodynamics, I can offer you no hope. I can't help you. And the second law of thermodynamics is basically is where you lose energy to heat. This is why car engines are about 30% efficient. That's it, thermodynamically. That's why you want the hottest explosion you can get in the coldest outside environment. You have to have a difference between hot and cold and that difference can be assessed scientifically and mathematically with this word entropy, this disorder of molecules but the fundamental thing that this questioner has missed is that the earth is not a closed system. So there's energy pouring in here from the sun, if I may day and night, cause at night it's pouring in on the other side and so that energy is what drives living things on earth especially for in our case plants. By the way, if you're here in Kentucky, about a third and maybe a half of the oxygen you breathe is made in the ocean by phyto plankton and they get their energy from the sun so the second law of thermodynamics is a wonderful thing. It has allowed us to have everything you see in this room. Because our power generation depends on the robust and extremely precise computation of how much energy is in burning fuel whether it's nuclear fuel or fossil fuel or some extraordinary fuel to be discovered in the future. The second law of thermodynamics will govern any turbine that makes electricity that we all depend on and allowed all these shapes to exist.

Ken Ham: Let me just say two things. One is you know what, here's a point that we need to understand,  you can have all the energy that you want but energy on matter will never produce life. God imposed information, language system, and that's how we have life. Metabytes can never produce life no matter what energy you have. Even if you have a dead stick. You can have all the energy in the world on the dead stick, it's gonna decay. And it's not gonna produce life. From a creationist's perspective, we certainly agree, I mean, before man sinned, you know there was digestion and so on but because of the fall now things are running down. God doesn't hold everything together as he did back then. So now we see in regard to the second law of thermodynamics, we'd say sort of in a sense a bit out of control now compared to what it was originally which is why we have a running down universe.

Hypothetically, if evidence existed that caused you to have to admit that the earth was older than 10,000 years and creation did not occur over 6 days, would you still believe in God and the historical Jesus of Nazareth and that Jesus was the son of God?
Ken Ham: Well, I've been emphasizing all night. You cannot ever prove using the scientific method in the present. You can't prove the age of the earth. So you can never prove it's old. So there's no hypothetical because you can't do that. Now, we can certainly use methods in the present in making assumptions. I mean creationists use methods that change over time. As I said, there's hundreds of physical processes that you can use to set limits on the age of the universe but you can't ultimately prove the age of the earth. Not using the scientific method, you can't ultimately prove the age of the universe. Now, you can look at methods and you can say that there are many methods that contradict billions of years, many methods that seem to support thousands of years as Dr. Folk (?) said in the little video clip I showed you, there is nothing in observational astronomy that contradicts a young universe. I've said it to you before and I admit again that the reason I believe in a young universe is because of the bible's account of origins. I believe that God who has always been there, the infinite creator God revealed in his word what he did for us. And when we add up those dates we get thousands of years. But there's nothing in observational science that contradicts that. But as far as the age of the earth, the age of the universe, even when it comes to the fossil record, that's why I really challenge Christians if you're gonna believe in millions of years for the fossil record, you got a problem with the bible. And that is you're gonna have death and disease and suffering before sin. So there's no hypothetical in regard to that. You can't prove scientifically the age of the earth or the universe, bottomline.

Bill Nye: Of course, this is where we disagree. You can prove the age of the earth with great robustness by observing the universe around us. And I get the feeling Mr. Ham that you want us to take your word for it. This is to say your interpretation of a book written thousands of years ago as translated into American English is more compelling for you than everything that I can observe in the world around me. This is where you and I I think are not gonna see eye to eye. You said, you asserted that life cannot come from something that is not alive, are you sure? Are you sure enough to say that we should not continue to look for signs of water and life on Mars, that that's a waste. You're sure enough to claim that. That is an extraordinary claim that we want to investigate. Once again, what is it you can predict? What do you provide us that can tell us something about the future, not just about your vision of the past?

Is there room for God in science?
Bill Nye: Well, we remind us, there are billions of people around the world who are religious and who accept science and embrace it and especially all the technology that it brings us. Is there anyone here who doesn't have a mobile phone that has a camera? Is there anyone here whose family members have not benefited from modern medicine? Is there anyone here who doesn't use emails or is there anybody here who doesn't eat? Because we use information sent from satellites in space to plant seeds on our farms. That's how we are able to feed 7.1 billion people where we used to barely be able to feed a billion. So that's what I see. That's how we have used science and the process. Science for me is two things. It's the body of knowledge. atomic number of rubidium. And it's the process, the means by which we make these discoveries. So for me, that's not....that connected with your belief in a spiritual being or in a higher power. If you reconcile those two, scientists, the head of the National Institute of Health is a devout Christian. There are billions of people in the world who are devoutly religious. They have to be compatible because those same people embrace science. The exception is you Mr. Ham. That's the problem for me. You want us to take your word for what's written in this ancient text to be more compelling than what we see around us. The evidence for a higher power and spirituality is for me separate. I encourage you to take the next minute and address this problem of the fossils, this problem of the ice layers, this problem of the ancient trees, this problem of the ark, I mean really address it. And so then we could move forward but right now I see no incompatibility between religions and science.

Ken Ham: Yeah I actually want to take a minute to address the question. Let me just say this, my answer would be God is necessary for science. In fact, you talked about cellphones, yeah I have a cellphone, I love technology. We love technology here in Answers and Genesis. And I have email. We have millions of them as we speak up here. And satellites, and what you said about the information we get, hey I agree with all that. See, the other things that can be done in the present and that's just like I showed you. Dr. Burgess (?) who invented that gaia (?) set for the satellite. Creationists can be great scientists. But you see God is necessary because you have to assume the laws of logic. You have to assume the laws of nature. You have to assume the uniformity of nature. And here's a question I have for you. Where does that come from if the universe is here by natural processes? Christianity and science, the bible and science go hand and hand. We love science. But then again, you gotta understand inventing things, that's very different than talking about our origins. Two very different things.

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