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Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins?

 

Here, you will find an overview followed by a line-by-line analysis of a debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. It is a study in logic, focusing on the use and application of logic and logical fallacies.

Conventions: Bill Nye's quotes are in red. Ken Ham's quotes are in blue. Comment on these quotes are in green. In most cases, logical fallacies are hyper-linked to descriptions of those logical fallacies even if the actual name of the fallacy is not mentioned directly in the text. References are also hyper-linked.

Logical fallacies can be used as deliberate method to deceive others, but, more often, the deceiver is also deceived. For example, famed Atheists Dr. Richard Dawkins and Dr. Lawrence Krauss advocate deliberate use of the logical fallacy of appeal to ridicule as a way to intimidate and to control. (reference) In addition, thousands of teachers and websites teach irrationality posing as logic in defense of ideas such as the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story or Atheism/Agnosticism. At the same time, most of those who follow these leaders are simply fooled. They learn to accept totally irrational thinking as logic, science, and even fact.

Logical fallacies can be tricks or just errors in thinking. Fallacies are most effective when they are nested. That is, when several fallacies take place in one statement, it is more difficult for the human mind to sort them out, evaluate them, and know that something doesn't make sense. Nesting fallacies is common. We do it to ourselves. We do it to others, Others do it to us. So there is room for mercy, and we ought not to get angry, but it is important to take time to think, especially when the questions at hand have eternal consequences.

This work will focus on truth. There is no effort to match anyone's definition of the word, logic, or the word, fallacy. Rather than looking at logic and logical fallacy as a way to win debates, the focus is on using logic to recognize what can be known and what cannot be known. In other words, to know the difference between lies and truth.

If you are a Christian reading this analysis, keep in mind that there is never any necessity for you to use logic that is unsound. You, as a Christian, can remain fully rational in your reasoning, while it is impossible to find a rational reason for lies such as big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man, Atheism, or Agnosticism.

However, most Christians make gross mistakes in explaining their faith to unbelievers, mostly because they don't know how to present their faith rationally. The mistake is to over-complicate by adding the assumptions of Naturalism. This mistake is not necessary. The hope is that this article will provide a firm understanding of the reasons that we believe the recorded history that we find in the Bible as well as the spiritual truths found there. It also provides a guide to help you see through the unsound reasoning of the "skeptics."

As Bill Nye and Ken Ham debated, it became clear that the central issue concerns the real basis for thought. Thought must have a foundation. Bill Nye insisted that arbitrary assumptions are a good foundation. Ken Ham insisted that Divine revelation is a good foundation. Bill Nye insists that made-up stuff is the best basis for thought. Ken Ham insists that the best basis for thought is the revelation that God gives as He reveals Himself and His history through the Bible.

The anti-Creation side asserts that the following assumptions are necessary for science, even claiming that not accepting these assumptions makes science or engineering impossible to do: A thought chain is as strong as it's weakest link. Add one assumption and you can prove anything.

  • the assumption that assumptions are necessary for scientific conclusions (the conclusions can be based on assumptions).
  • the assumption that we can use assumptions to establish knowledge
  • the assumption that there is no difference between knowledge established by direct observation and knowledge established by arbitrary assumptions, made-up stories, plus direct observation so long as a majority of scientists accept the assumptions and stories
  • the assumption that anyone who will not accept the anti-Bible assumptions cannot do science or engineering
  • the assumption that anti-Bible assumptions are not arbitrary like all other assumptions but are based on "experience"
  • the assumption that there is no Creator God enforcing all the natural laws, but rather random chance--Naturalism, and the laws of nature just happen to be the way it is for no particular reason
  • the assumption that God didn't create but everything just happened
  • the assumption that the big bang happened even though we don't know how nothing could have caused everything
  • the assumption that God sent no worldwide, catastrophic Flood (the arbitrary assumption of Uniformitarianism)
  • the assumption that the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story is science and to question it is unscientific
  • the assumption that all the thousands of other arbitrary assumptions and stories that are needed in order to keep big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man alive are valid and to be accepted as true without any evidence
  • the assumption that science will eventually find ways to explain how matter could have created itself, how information could be added to cells, how the first self-replicating life could have formed, where the laws of nature came from, and all the other unanswered questions (mysteries) that seem to indicate that the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story is just a lie

The Creation side asserts that the following revelation (which God speaks through the Bible and through personal experience with Jesus Christ) is the necessary for science, since not accepting this revelation results in science based on arbitrary assumptions:

  • the revelation that assumptions are arbitrary and not a valid basis for conclusions
  • the revelation that when we go beyond what can be observed or what God has revealed through Scripture, we ought not to be dogmatic
  • the revelation that God is the source of all the laws of science and the reason that we can know that those laws will be faithfully upheld
  • the revelation that God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them in six days
  • the revelation that mankind fell into sin, and having been given dominion over the Earth, brought Creation into the Fall
  • the revelation that the curse of death and sorrow is the natural consequence that followed from the Fall into sin
  • the revelation that God sent the worldwide, catastrophic Genesis Flood as the consequence of sin
  • the revelation that God caused the confusion of languages because of the rebellion of mankind
  • the revelation that mankind was, and is, not able to fulfill righteousness by obeying rules
  • that God came to Earth in the form of Jesus to save us by paying the price of sin and God's plan to remove sin from anyone who will come to Him
  • the revelation that God will ultimately judge of every person according to His wisdom and holiness
  • the revelation that part of science is logic. If logic is used in a way that creates the illusion of being able to know something when the thing claimed is not really known, then logic is useless. It is a fallacy. It is a lie.

(15-minutes to Understand Logic)

Logic is tied to truth. Consider that the word, logic, comes from the Greek word: logos. The word, logos, is applied to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Logos. "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God." (John 1) Jesus is also the Truth. Truth is another word for reality. Jesus is the reality. The word, science, comes from the Latin: to know. It means knowledge. In Christ is hidden all knowledge. (Col. 2:3) Jesus is the revealer of science.

However, legalism leads to abuse. There are always those with the lawyer mindset that twists the laws to prove their point. If the rules of logic are taken as "the letter of the law," logic can be, and often is, twisted to deceive self or others--that's what fallacies are all about. Real logic rests in Truth, and real Truth rests in Christ. Logic is not self-contained but needs a starting point. That starting point is either Divine revelation or made-up stuff. Read on to learn why this is true.

An Atheist may read this and think that, by identifying logic and science with Christ, we are rigging the game so that they can't win. That can be troubling to them, since they like to play a game that illogically claims that logic and science can only work for Atheists or people who try to reason without God. There is no attempt here to rig the debate. What is actually happening is that we are describing reality. Reality has rigged the game so that untruth cannot win ultimately. However, untruth can fool a lot of people for a very long time.

Another debate, from back a few decades when debates still were allowed, raised multiple false accusations for the same reason that this debate did. Evolutionists are not able to present real evidence for their claims. Here is a quote concerning that debate: "We, along with two other men, attended the debate anticipating a thorough discussion of the scientific evidences, however, we were sadly mistaken. During over 11/2 hours of discourse between them the two U.T. professors failed to present one single argument favoring the evolution theory. Mind you, they introduced not one affirmative argument which defended evolution! It was thoroughly disappointing! One would expect, as we did, that men with Ph.D. degrees and supposed specialists in their fields, could give at least some defense of the theory." (source) See also, censoring and message control.

However, their speeches abounded with broad generalizations completely evading the real issue. They constantly strayed into philosophical and religious areas, when the debate was supposed to be centered around scientific information. In fact, they made fun of conservative Biblical interpretation and tried to cast reflection on anyone not believing in the molecules-to-man story. Yet, the whole time they offered no scientific material to support their opinionated speeches. They repeatedly said they believed the molecules-to-man story to be a better explanation of life than Creation, but were utterly destitute of reasons WHY they felt this way!

Debate Issue #1: Assumptions Versus Divine Revelation

At its core, the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye was about the basis, the foundation, of thought. It was not about scientific observation since both Bill Nye and Ken Ham use the same observations. See the analysis

Fake Reality is build starting with experiences that have been filtered through assumptions, other fake-realities, made-up stories, arbitrary assumptions, and outright lies. Truth can only be built on divine revelation of Jesus Christ, His Will, and His Reality.

Fake Reality is build starting with experiences that have been filtered through assumptions, other fake-realities, made-up stories, arbitrary assumptions, and outright lies. Truth can only be built on divine revelation of Jesus Christ, His Will, and His Reality.

Evolutionists violate the scientific process and slow the growth of scientific knowledge. Their attempts to exercise message control and to silence any opinions other than those they already have are not conducive to scientific progress.

Debate Issue #2: Historical Science and Observational Science versus Just Science

Ham spoke of historical science versus observational science and attempted to explain the difference between the two while Bill Nye attempted to misconstrue what Ken said. Bill Nye denied that there was any difference between historical science and observational science and insisted that those classifications existed only in the Creation Museum and could be found nowhere else--we can easily verify the fact that Bill Nye is wrong. See the analysisExplanation of the difference between operational and historical scieinceKen

Debate Issue #3: The Topic of the Debate

One would think that the topic of the debate would not be at issue since that was determined by an agreement before the debate, but Bill Nye made it a major contention. The topic is, "Is Creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?" Bill Nye repeatedly stated the title of the debate differently in order to focus on Ken Ham rather than the question at issue, so he kept calling it Ken Ham's model. This is known as an ad hominem fallacy. Any time a person uses ad hominem fallacies, it is an indication that the person is not interested in finding the truth but is only interested in swaying the crowd. See the analysis

Which is science? Evolution or Creation?

 

Debate Issue #4: Predictability

Ken Ham presented several predictions made by the Creation model. Bill Nye countered by not acknowledging that the predictions had even been mentioned and by saying that he wanted Ken Ham to provide some predictions. Ken Ham presented more predictions. Bill Nye countered by not acknowledging that the predictions had been supplied and still insisting, in denial of reality, that Ken Ham could not provide predictions. This is known as the logical fallacy of proof by repeated assertion. Bill Nye continued to repeat this assertion throughout the debate. See the analysis

Debate Issue #5: Personality and Other Irrelevance

This debate included presentation style as prooof, argument by personal charm, halo effect, appeal to celebrity, ad hominem, marginalizing/demonizing, appeals to authority, bandwagonappeal to the common manplain folks, stories as proof, innuendos, genetic fallacy, red herring, hasty generalization, rationalization, statistical fallacies, false open-mindedness, far-fetched hypotheses, shoehorning, paradigm as proof, assumptions as proof, circular reasoning, ipse dixit, trust me fallacy, framing fallacy, proof by intimidation, tossing the elephant.

See the analysis

Bill Nye consistently used intimidating facial expressions and body language whenever Ken Ham would speak.

proof by intimidation fallacy

Each Man's Purpose in Debating

Bill Nye made no bones about the fact that this was not about what is true. Since the debate, Bill has admitted, "The fundamental idea that I hope all of us embrace is, simply put, performance counts as much or more than the specifics of the arguments in a situation like this." "I held strongly to the view that it was an opportunity to expose the well-intending Ken Ham and the support he receives from his followers as being bad for Kentucky, bad for science education, bad for the U.S., and thereby bad for humankind-I do not feel I'm exaggerating when I express it this strongly," (Bill Nye, May/June 2014 volume for The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry) It was and is about politics, in his eyes. Ken Ham's main objective was to give the way of salvation to as many people as possible.

The Debate

You can watch the uncut debate here.

The following detailed analysis should be helpful for understanding the techniques used by Bill Nye.

Use the transcripts on the links below as you watch the debate. You will see the tactics in action and learn a lot about logic and fallacy. You will also understand better what is happening in the debate.

The line-by-line analysis of the debate can be viewed on these five links:

  1. Opening Statements  
  2. Presentations
  3. Rebuttals
  4. Counter Rebuttals
  5. Questions from the Audience

 



Author/Compiler
Last updated: Aug, 2014
 
 


Creation Debate Issue #1: Assumptions Versus Divine Revelation

Creation Debate Issue #2: Historical Science/Observational Science versus Just Science

Creation Debate Issue #3: The Topic of the Debate

Creation Debate Issue #4: Predictability

Creation Debate Issue #5: Personality and Other Irrelevance

Creation Debate: Each Man's Purpose in Debating

Creation Debate: Opening Statements

Creation Debate: Presentations

Creation Debate: Rebuttals

Creation Debate Counter Rebuttals

Creation Debate: Questions from the Audience



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