The overall majority of people in the scientific community have presented valid, physical evidence such as carbon dating and fossils to support evolutionary theory. What evidence besides the literal word of the Bible supports creationism?
Ken Ham: First of all, you know, I often hear people talking about the majority. I would agree that the majority of scientists would believe in millions of years. The majority would believe in evolution but there's a large group out there that certainly don't. But the first thing I wanna say is that it's not the majority that judge the truth. There have been many times in the past when the majority have got it wrong. The majority of doctors in England once thought that after you cut up bodies, you can go...and wonder why the death rate is high in hospitals until they found out about a disease caused by bacteria and so on. The majority once thought that the appendix was a leftover organ from evolutionary ancestors. When it's okay, rip it out. When it's diseased, rip it out. These days, we know that it's for the immune system and it's very, very important. It's important to understand that just because the majority believes something doesn't mean that it's true.
One of the things I was doing was I was making some predictions. I made some predictions. There's a whole list of predictions. And I was saying if the bible is right, there's Adam and Eve, there's one race and I talked about that. If the bible is right, God made kinds and I went through and talked about that and so you know really that question comes down to the fact that we're again dealing with the fact that there's aspects about the past that you can't scientifically prove because you weren't there but observational science in the present. Bill and I have all the same observational science. We're here in the present. We can see radioactivity but when it comes to talking about the past, you're not gonna be scientifically able to prove that. That's what we need to admit. But we can be great scientists in the present as the examples I gave you. Dr. Damadian (?), or Dr. Stuart Burgess (?) or Dr. Fobich (?) and we can be investigating the present. Understanding the past is a whole different matter.
Bill Nye: Thank you Mr. Ham. I have to disabuse you of a fundamental idea. If a scientist, if anybody makes a discovery that changes the way people view natural law, scientists embrace him or her. This person's fantastic. Louis Pasteur, he made reference to germs. If you find something that changes, that disagrees with common thought, that's the greatest thing going in science.We look forward to that change. We challenge you. Tell us why the universe is accelerating. Tell us why these mothers were getting sick and we'll find an explanation for it. The idea that the majority has sway in science is true only up to a point and then the other thing I just wanna point out, what you may have missed in evolutionary explanations of life is the mechanism by which we add complexity. The earth is getting energy from the sun all the time. And that energy is used to make lifeforms somewhat more complex.
How did consciousness come from matter?
Bill Nye: I don't know. This is a great mystery. A dear friend of mine is a neurologist. She studies the nature of consciousness. Now I will say I used to embrace a joke about dogs. I love dogs, who doesn't. And you can say this guy remarked "I've never seen a dog paralyzed by self-doubt." Actually, I have. Furthermore, the thing that we celebrate. There are three sundials on the planet Mars that bear an inscription to the future. To those who visit here, we wish you safe journey and the joy of discovery. It's inherently optimistic. That the future of human kind that we will one day walk on Mars. But the joy of discovery. That's what drives us. The joy of finding out what's going on. So we don't know where consciousness comes from but we wanna find out. Furthermore, I tell you it's deep within us. I claim that I've spent time with dogs. That I've had the joy of discovery. It's way inside us. We have one ancestor as we can figure. And by the way, if you can find what we in science call a second Genesis. This is to say did life start another way in the earth? There are researchers, astro-biology researchers supported by NASA, your tax dollars that are looking for an answer to that very question. Is it possible that life can start another way? Is there some sort of a lifeform akin to science fiction that's crystal instead of membraness. This would be a fantastic discovery that would change the world. The nature of consciousness is a mystery. I challenge the young people here to investigate that very question. And I remind you, taxpayers and voters that might be watching, if we do not embrace the process of science, I mean in the mainstream, we will fall behind economically. This is a point I can't say enough.
Ken Ham: Bill, I wanna say that there is a book out there that does document where consciousness came from. And in that book, the one who created us said that he made man in his image and he breathe into man and he became a living being and so the bible does document that. That's where consciousness came from. That God gave it to us. And you know, one thing I wanna say is I have a mystery. And that is you talk about the joy of discovery but you also say that when you die it's over and that's the end of you and if when you die it's over, you don't even remember you were here. What's the point of the joy of discovery anyway. I mean it in an ultimate sense. I mean, you know, you don't even know you were here. So what's the point anyway? I love the joy of discovery because this is God's creation and I'm finding more about that to take dominion for man's good and for God's glory.
What if anything would ever change your mind?
Ken Ham: Well, the answer to that question is "I'm a Christian." And as a Christian, I can't prove it to you but God has definitely shown me very clearly through his word and shown himself in the person of Jesus Christ. The bible is the word of God. I admit that that's where I start from. I can challenge people that you can go and test that, you can make predictions based on that, you can check the prophecies in the bible, you can check the statements in Genesis, you can check that and I did a little bit of that tonight. And I can't ultimately prove that to you. All I can do is to say to someone look if the bible really is what it claims to be, if it really is the word of God and that's what it claims to be then check it out. If you can't believe that he is, he will reveal himself to you. And you will know. As Christians, we can say we know. And so as far as the word of God is concerned, no, no one's ever gonna convince me that the word of God is not true. But I do wanna make a distinction here and for Bill's sake. We build models based upon the bible and those models are always subject to change. The fact of Noah's flood is not subject to change. The model of how the flood occurred is subject to change because we observe in the current world and we're able to come up with maybe different ways this could've happened or that could've happened and that's part of that scientific discovery. That's part of what it's all about. So the bottomline is that as a Christian, I have the foundation. That as a Christian, I would ask Bill the question what would change your mind? I mean you said even if you come to faith, you'd never give up believing in billions of years. I think I quoted you correctly saying something like that recently. So that would be my question to Bill.
Bill Nye: We would just need one piece of evidence. We would need the fossil that swam from one layer to another. We would need evidence that the universe is not expanding. We would need evidence that the stars appear to be far away but they're not. We would need evidence that rock layers can somehow form in just 4000 years instead of the extraordinary amount. We would need evidence that somehow you can reset atomic clocks and keep neutrons from becoming protons. Bring on any of those things and you would change me immediately. The question I have for you though fundamentally and for everybody watching "Mr. Ham, what can you prove? What you have done tonight is spend most of it, all the time, coming up with explanations about the past. What can you really predict? What can you really prove in a conventional scientific or in a conventional "I have an idea that makes a prediction and it comes out the way I see it." This is very troubling to me.
Outside of radiometric methods, what scientific evidence supports your view of the age of the earth?
Bill Nye: The age of the earth. Well, the age of stars. Radiometric evidence is pretty compelling. Also the deposition rates, it was Lael (?) a geologist who realized in my recollection he came up with the first use of the term deep time when people realized that the earth had to be much much older. And in a related story, there was a mystery as to how the earth could be old enough to allow evolution to have taken place. How could the earth possibly be three billion years old. Lord Calvin did a calculation that if the sun were made of coal and burning, it couldn't be more than a hundred thousand or so years old. But radioactivity was discovered. Radioactivity is why the earth is still as warm as it is. It's why the earth has been able to sustain it's internal heat all these millenia. And this discovery, it's something like this question without radiometric dating, how would you view the age of the earth. To me it's akin to the expression "Well if things were any other way, things would be different." This is to say that's not how the world is. Radiometric dating does exist. Neutrons do become protons and that's our level of understanding today. The universe is accelerating. These are all provable facts. That there was a flood 4,000 years ago is not provable. In fact the evidence for me at least as a reasonable man is overwhelming that it couldn't possibly have happened. There's no evidence for it. Furthermore, Mr. Ham you never quite addressed this issue of the skulls. There are many many steps in what appears to be the creation or the coming into being of you and me. And those steps...(mic got cut off).
Ken Ham: I just wanted people to understand too. When it comes to the age of the earth being billions of years, no earth rock was dated to get that date. They dated meteorites and because they assumed meteorites were the same age as the earth left out from the formation of the solar system, that's where they come from. People think they dated rocks on the earth that's four and a half billion years. That's just not true. And the other point that I was making and that is I said at the end of my first rebuttal time that there are hundreds of physical processes that set limits on the age of the earth. Here's the point, every dating method involves a change with time and there are hundreds of them and if you assume what was there to start with and if you assume something about the rate and you know about the rate, you make lots of those assumptions. Every dating method has those assumptions. Most of the dating methods, 90% of them contradict the billions of years. There's no absolute age dating method from scientific method because you can't prove scientifically young world.