Friday, February 7, 2014

"Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins?" Debate

This are my opinions on the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham on whether the creation model is a viable model of origins.

Before I start, let me just make it clear that I'm personally 50-50 in terms of my opinions on the model of origins.  Not undecided, but rather my opinions (or belief, perhaps?) on it draws from both elements of creationism and mainstream science.

In both the Quran and the Bible, it is stated that God created the universe in six days.  Do I doubt this?  No I don't.  I personally believe that during the period of the formation of the Earth, everything was so volatile, so unstable, one day could've easily been much much longer than 24 hours.  Other planets in our solar system have different lengths of days.  For example, this excerpt from Universe Today, "A day on Venus is 243 Earth days.  Venus' day is actually longer than its year.  It only takes 224.7 Earth days for the planet to orbit around the sun. (Read more:".

As proven, time is, for lack of a better term, flexible.  A day CAN be longer than a year as a day is defined as time taken to complete a rotation on its axis, and a year is defined as the time taken to complete a single orbit around the Sun.

So did the Earth take 6 days to be created? Perhaps but what about the length of those days?  The entire solar system was in such a limbo that we'll probably never know.  The literal interpretation from Biblical texts would insist that the Earth was made in 6, 24-hour days but from a scientific standpoint, that's impossible.

For me, religion and science always complement each other.

When it comes to evolution on the other hand, I partially agree with the creationist belief in a sense that we did not evolve from a single-cell organism.  Did animals change and diversify and adapt? Yes, they did.  But did the chicken evolve from the Velociraptor?  I find that a bit of a stretch.  I will not dismiss genetic links, but I find it difficult to believe one random day, one of the eggs of a mother Velociraptor hatched and the hatchling had a beak.  I was initially going to use feathers but I realized that it is not beyond reason as their cousin, Deinonychus has feathers thereby making it plausible that Velociraptors had the genetic potential to grow feathers but I digress.

Another aspect debated was the age of the Earth.  On this topic, I full-heartedly agree with Bill Nye.

Enough jabber.  Overall, I felt that both sides brought up interesting points.  I felt that Mr. Nye was trying to keep his arguments simple and understandable, almost to the point he was holding back so as not to overwhelm the audience.  Whereas Mr. Ham almost literally kept on harping on the same few topics.  There wasn't much evidence from Mr. Ham, either.  If there was, it was drowned out by his constant reminding of his 'definitions'.

Mr. Nye was constantly bringing up evidence after evidence to disprove Mr. Ham and I felt Mr. Ham was blindly ignoring them.  My favorite was regarding the carbon dating.

Mr. Ham argued that the methodology for dating is still very inaccurate and that different methods would provide dates that could be different by a few million years.  First of all, carbon dating is a fairly reliable method in the fact that it is meant to narrow the age of really old objects to within a few million years, not days.  Given that scale so to speak, it's dead on.  Also, even if one takes into account the 'discrepancies', My. Ham's argument is shot as ALL the dates on the particular object they were discussing would've been much older than 60,000 years.

Regardless, the debate was pretty on the fence until the second rebuttals.  At which point, Mr. Ham's arguments just fell apart and as a former competitive debater, I feel that was the point when he lost the debate.  His counter rebuttals were basically him shooting himself in the foot.  I could see he was basically scrambling to find rebuttals and facts that would prop his arguments up.

I do wonder whether Mr. Ham falling apart was due to him simply unable to disprove the evidence provided by Mr. Nye or his lack of experience in competitive debating causing him to be unable to prepare and organize his counter rebuttals in time.

I couldn't watch it any further past that point.  Also, I have work to do and I had already blown off too much time watching that, hehe.

I know this a terrible post so I apologize profusely for the lack of quality arguments.  I have included a video of the debate I snagged off YouTube for your viewing pleasure.  Be warned though, it is a lengthy debate.

Au revoir