Even though everyone else has weighed in on the “Great Debate,” of course I had to, as well. More in the context of what World Net Daily wrote than a balanced view, though.
For those who were under a rock the last few months, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” debated against Answers in Genesis CEO, Ken Ham (termed by the media for this, “The Creation Guy”). It must be stated that many of us on the science and/or atheism side of the non-debate were against this because it is, as I just said, a non-debate. I’ll use the comic that most have been using to illustrate my point:
So, not only is this NOT a debate among people who don’t take the Christian Bible literally but it also gives the wrong impression to the public that science is decided in a debate format like political debates (in fairness, the other Abrahamic religions also have their young-Earth creationist adherents, but they are MUCH more in the minority). Not only that, but it elevates creationism to give the impression to the public that there actually IS a debate among scientists on the issue of evolution … and there isn’t. Yes, there are debates about what, in layperson terms, would be minutia. But, the overall false dichotomy argument of evolution versus creationism is non-existent among scientists, and it is only existent among YECs. Even most theists who are not YECs tend to accept evolution, it was just guided by their deity.
With that all said and done, many on the science side were reasonably impressed and their reluctance somewhat mollified by how the debate went. I could refer you to any dozens or hundreds of articles, but perhaps I’ll just take three: Who Won the Big Evolution/Creation Debate via “Why Evolution Is True,” The Nye/Ham Debate Was a New Win for Science via “The Friendly Atheist,” and even a poll on “Christian Today” that shows 92% of 47.5 THOUSAND respondents thought that Nye won the debate (poll is on left side near the middle). There are of course some detractors. But, you know you’re on the wrong side of crazy when even Pat Robertson thinks you’re crazy.
Meanwhile, if you want a running commentary of the debate, Time has one posted. I kinda, in my own snarky way, think the debate went a bit like this:
And that brings us to World Net Daily. Prior to the debate, they published at least four articles:
- “‘Science Guy’ Plans to Take on Creationists“
- “Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham“
- “It’s Creation vs. Evolution on Stage“
- “Will Evolution Debate Blow Up in Science Guy’s Face?“
Afterwards, at least another four were written:
- “Creation Smackdown Draws Massive Audience” (by Alyssa Farah)
- “Nye-Ham Debate a Nightmare for Science“
- “5 Million Watched Online Creation Debate” (by Bob Unruh)
- “Taking Science Away from ‘The Science Guy’” (by Tom Flannery)
I’m not going to bore you with what the articles say. You can pretty much get it from the titles. What I would say is that, in the end, WND (if you can call it a “major news source”) is pretty much the only major news source that said Bill Nye “lost” and Ken Ham “won.” The debate ended with both being asked what would convince them they were wrong. Nye responded, “just one piece of evidence.” Ham responded, “no one would convince me the word of God is not true.”
As goes Ham’s thinking, so goes much of WND’s. The comments — between all the posts, there are thousands — for the most part also tow that line of thinking. In skimming them for a minute or two, one of the common themes really seems to be fear: Creationists think that non-creationists are “afraid” to teach “both sides” (there are not two even sides to this issue, as I said, and that also sets up a false dichotomy). But it seems to me when reading these that it’s really the creationists who are afraid: Their view of God is so small that it is wholly incompatible with evolution, and their reading of the Bible is so literal that evolution cannot be fit into it, and if evolution were for realz, then that means other parts of the Bible – such as salvation and life after death – may also not be true.
At least, that’s my take on it.