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The Ken Ham vs Bill Nye Debate and Apologetic Strategies

The Ken Ham vs Bill Nye Debate and Apologetic Strategies

The strategy in a public formal debate is not only documented, it is formally graded. Although I am not versed on formal debate strategies and rules, it seems obvious that Ken Ham did not stay on track in this debate. We can all learn some things about apologetics from this debate; learn about the deception, the deceptors, and in hindsight declare what should have been said. The observations below show how Ken Ham had trouble keeping the main thing the main thing, and are insightful considerations of a strategy against evolutionist.

Recall the purpose in this apology. It was stated previous that a line divides two sides. On the left is the declaration “The cosmos came into existence and continues in existence by nothing more than natural processes which true science may discover.” On the right is the declaration that, “The Universe came into existence by the creative power of the Most-High-God, and it continues in existence by the natural laws he created AND by his Supernatural involvement in the affairs of man.” These two declarations capture the whole of these divisions. The apology proposed has a purpose to clarify this line and defend the position on the right of that line.

What, if anything, would change your mind?

In the 2014 Ken Ham vs Bill Nye debate the question was asked, “What, if anything, would change your mind?” Ken Ham gave the classic Christian answer, “Once you meet the Lord, the King of Glory, there is nothing that can change your mind.” This is altogether true for a born again believer, there is no going back. There is no changing allowed or possible from the quickening that took place when one is justified in Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. That quickening gives us (present tense) eternal life and God has promised that it cannot and shall not ever be taken away. That is a marvelous truth; there is no going back or changing of the mind allowed for a Christian. However, that is the wrong truth to present in a creation vs evolution debate with Bill Nye the science guy.

In a confrontation with an unbeliever, particularly when they are scoffers of any and all spiritual truth, it is important to meet them where they ‘are at’, to go to the ground where they are standing and deal with the stumbling blocks that they are confronting. In a formal debate we are given points and ‘adaboys’ for how well we remain on topic throughout the confrontation. But that formal grading structure is in place because reaching out to the position and the understanding of the opponent is a wise and prudent thing to do.

Talking about meeting Christ, about a life that is changed forever, and about eternal security might draw a hearty “Amen” and applause from the born again crowd, but it does nothing to forward the debate about creation vs evolution, nor does it have any particular effect on Bill Nye the science guy. Remember the stumbling block where Bill Nye is standing is labeled, “There is a God who does the Supernatural.” He cannot and will not surmount that obstacle in his mind. He has entered into this debate because he “knows” there is a natural explanation for everything. One who believes in a Supernatural involvement is not, in Bill Nye’s opinion, scientific. He is defiant of Ken Ham’s promotion of a Supernatural involvement in creation. Ken’s saying he has personally met this Creator will not bode well in this debate. Understanding where an adversary is coming from is essential for a good defense of Christian truth. Never loose site of your purpose.

An answer that would have delivered a one-two punch to Bill Nye and the topic at hand would have been ideal for the question, “What would change your mind?” I am not in the “hot seat” and I often step back, as an arm-chair quarterback does, and say, “What I should have said,.” or in this instance, “What Ken Ham should have said….” But just the same consider this.

I raise beagles, and we are all familiar with dog shows and the many many dog breeds that they parade across the showroom. Incidentally, the Miss P, the beagle, won first place at the 139th Annual Westminster Dog Show this past February 2015. But if you could keep working with these dog breeds until one of them produced a Clydesdale horse, then I would step back and say, “Whoa, maybe I was wrong about their hypothesis of evolution.” Anything less than that will not persuade me. They hypothesize that by accident and random chance beagles turn into Clydesdale horses, lizards accidentally turn into bald eagles, and completely by random chance, molecules turn into man! Go to now, get down to your laboratories, practice some real science, count your chromosomes, tweak the DNA and change a beagle’s genes to a Clydesdale horse’s genes. Then we true scientists will grant the right to change such a wild hypothesis into a bona fide theory. We might call it, the theory of evolution by natural selection and survival of the fittest. In the mean time, get serious. A theory must be producible and repeatable in a laboratory. God said beagles will reproduce after their kind; Bill Nye, the science guy, says beagles will produce Clydesdale horses. Let’s do some experiments and see which is the truth I need to see some real evidence and some real science before I’d even consider that God got this one wrong.

Because Bill Nye, the science guy, says creationists make no predictions, allow two very formidable predictions with this observation. First, no matter how many dog breeds you bring together, there will never be a horse or hoof of any sort produced from that pool of genes. Second, no matter how obvious and outlandish their unmitigated broach on true science is, no matter how mute their DNA analysis, no matter how silent their cloning laboratories, the “main stream scientists,” that earn and deserve their title “scientist-so-called”, will still insist that dogs accidentally breeding into horses, that lizards accidentally hatching out eagles, and that molecules evolved into humans is still, in their opinion, a valid “theory.” In reality, there is not a shred of laboratory evidence. What they say happened “naturally” in ions of time, they cannot reproduce in the most sophisticated laboratory. It is all an unsubstantiated, inconceivable hypothesis forced on us by main-stream science-so-called. No rational mind could change from a creation account to such a hypothesis without some kind of meaningful evidence, and they have none.

The blunder that Ken Ham made in refuting Bill Nye’s hypothesis in this debate is that he failed to consider the basis of Bill’s reasoning. Every ounce of the evolutionists brain rests on an assumption that everything is natural, and there is no Supernatural existence or involvement in the Universe. Ken’s argument that he has personally met the Supernatural LORD God and would never change his mind will eventually reduce to a “Have not!”, “Have to!”, “Have not!”, “Have to!”, kind of argument which has no place in a formal debate. So to, in a Christian’s defense of truth, such an approach will have little value. In defending against the evolutionist, always keep their major contention foremost in your argument. We want to break up the wayside soil not pack it in harder. They hypothesize that there is no Supernatural involvement in the Universe, and every observed phenomena must have a natural explanation. When they hypothesize a natural explanation that accounts for the species seen today, they must construct an inconceivable molecules to man evolutionary scheme. Ken Ham had an opportunity to confront this total lack of evidence, but he let Bill Nye, his contender, walk away unscathed. It is essential to keep the main thing the main thing in these situations.

Well what about Noah’s Ark?

Another instance where the main thing got set aside, while Bill Nye mocked on and on, dealt with the impossibility of Noah’s Ark. Ken Ham missed this profound opportunity on two fronts. First Noah built an Ark, not a ship. The unsuccessful five masted schooner ship, which Bill Nye used to illustrate his mockery, could have been sunk by pointing out that Noah was not a ship builder, he was God’s Ark builder. God’s Ark had no masts; none; notta; zip. But this second blunder needs to capture our full attention for a moment. The “main thing” that is to be pursued here is the Christian’s solid belief in the Supernatural God who involves himself in the affairs of man. Mainstream science, that Bill Nye the science guy is representing, contends that there is no Supernatural and every thing has a purely natural explanation. In this instance Ken Ham completely departed from the main thing and tried his best to explain the Ark and the Flood, and then the multitudes of species produced after the flood, with all natural explanations. What a shame. What a missed opportunity to point out the main thing that Bill Nye is purposefully missing. Every conversation, with an unbeliever, every dialogue, every contest, must go back to the main thing. There is a God in Heaven, and He miraculously orchestrated the Ark, the Flood, and the re-speciation of this world. Trying to explain any Supernatural event with only natural sciences… well… that is the essence of the unbelievers dilemma isn’t it? Ken Ham tried to play on their “natural” turf and detail a natural explanation for building an Ark, fitting in two of every kind, and repopulating the world with a modified and replaced Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species! (Ken Plays Chess On Friday Getting Suspended)

This post-flood classification, or taxonomy, of living things has been our practice since the turn of the 18th century A.D.. Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (1656-1708), a French botanist, is considered “the founder of the modern concept of genera, and Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), (also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné) was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, is known as the father of modern taxonomy..For example, Canis is a Genus of dogs, in the Family of Caridae. It includes dogs, wolves, coyotes and jackals. The important thing about a Genus is that they can all interbreed, and thus they can align with the distinction that God gave them in Genesis 1:25, “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” It is demonstrable that interbreeding a dog, a coyote, and a gray wolf can produce a golden jackal or an Ethiopian wolf. They are all of the same “Kind.” In God’s order, and in biology’s taxonomy, or ordered system, they are in the same Genus and Family.

Contrast that with a Genus Felis, of the Family Felidae, containing lions, tigers and … cats. (Dorthy was also concerned with bears, but that is yet another Kind, ordered into the Genus Ursus in the Family Ursidae, Indeed they are all in the Order Carnivora, but it is only the whole Family, Canidae, that are interbreeding to produce black, grisly, cinnamon, brown and polar bears.) Now this Genus and Family , the Felis, can interbreed and make all kinds of feline creatures, but woe to the man who breeds a Canidae with a Feelidae. They would get… well… nothing. You see, you cannot breed cats and dogs because they are of different Kind. Everybody knows that. The genes and chromosomes and DNA are completely different in Kind. And yet, mainstream science, i.e. science-so-called, wants to completely ignore this truth and pretend, for the sake of their hypothesis, that these various Kind came from common ancestors. And not only that, they did it by natural selection and survival of the fittest! The magnanimity of this deception is staggering. If evolution were a real science, it would be required that their scientists get down to the laboratory and crossbreed cats, dogs and bears, and re-produce a common ancestral Order Canidae which connects them. But the only place that is even possible is in a fictional ancestral tree, printed in our children’s “science” text books!




Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Subfamily: Caninae

Genus: Canis

Linnaeus, 1758

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Subfamily: Felinae

Genus: Felis

Linnaeus, 1758

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Ursidae

Subfamily: ??

Genus: Ursus

Linnaeus, 1758

Further, the evolutionists have brain washed our society into thinking that if cats , dogs, and horses have a common ancestor then so do mammals, birds, lizards and insects! Their hypothesis includes the unbelievable presumption that two rocks rubbed together in a primeval sea and produced some amino acids which, by pure happenstance, flicked off into accidental life forms. These life forms used natural selection and survival of the fittest to produce a Stanford PhD! Shame on Charles Darwin, he was no scientist!

Gecko Lizard


Bald Eagle

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Scleroglossa

Infraorder: Gekkota

Species ??

Cuvier, 1817

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Struthioniformes

Family: Struthionidae

Genus: Struthio

Species: S. camelus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Accipitriformes

Family: Accipitridae

Genus: Haliaeetus

Species: H. leucocephalus

Linnaeus, 1758

God established that his creatures reproduced after their own Kind. When he miraculously directed them to get on an Ark (not a ship) he said “Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive” (Gen 6:20). He reiterated this Supernatural miracle in case some might doubt what he did:

In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. (Gen 7:13-16)

Bill Nye the science guy, and his mainstream scientists standing behind him, have insinuated that all creatures great and small have arrived at their present Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family Genus and Species, by a natural process starting with two rocks in a primeval sea and driven by a survival of the fittest. They allow no Supernatural involvement whatsoever, and they provide no repeatable laboratory evidence to support this wild hypothesis. Although the vast majority will recite in unison, how beautiful and auspicious are the Emperor’s new clothes1, there will always be a few Bible believing Christians who yell out from the sidelines, “The Emperor has no cloths, the Emperor is stark raving naked.” There is a God in heaven, and he created creatures which reproduce after their own kind.

I said all that to say this, in Ken Ham’s debate with Bill Nye, Ken did not keep the main thing the main thing. Bill Nye is solidly persuaded and most firmly believes that every thing in this Universe arrived here, and continues here, by nothing but perfectly natural and logically understandable processes. He is totally against the inclusion of a single Supernatural event. He purports only Natural Science as his Creator and Sustainer. The main thing in any Christian defense here is to point out the absurdities in that hypothesis. Always keep a focus. Ken Ham did not.

Ken’s attempt to refute Bill Nye’s hypothesis by testament, that he personally met the Supernatural Creator is ineffectual, i.e. a “Have not!”, “Have to!” kind of argument. But his attempted use of the natural sciences to explain an Ark, a Flood, and a re-population of God’s creation, was absolutely deplorable. He was completely off target and Bill Nye the science guy knew it. If Ken Ham’s strategy had kept the main thing the main thing, this debate could have asserted that Creation is not only a “viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era”, but it is the ONLY viable model in any era!

When developing an apology, a defense of Christian doctrine, always know the main thing, the grounds of the detractors, and the strategy which will refute them. If you cannot, it might be better to not answer at all. The Bible says “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like unto him.” The next verse says “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit” (Proverbs 26:4,5).

The untouched “Cambrian Explosion”

Another observation on the evolutionists wild hypothesis that all Creation has a common ancestor (somewhat and somehow removed from the amino acids of a rock) is their hypothesis of a Cambrian Explosion. Because all the present Orders coming from one or two Kingdom-Phylum-Classes is so inconceivable even in billions of fictional years, science-so-called has hypothesized what is called a Cambrian Explosion.2 In this hypothesis, 530 million years (or so) ago, a wide variety of animals must have just burst onto the evolutionary scene. Therein marine animals must have “evolved” most of the basic forms that are observed in “modern groups.” Many of the animal Phyla must have diverged during the Precambrian era, they hypothesize, since plants evolved different than fungi, anthropoids and chordates. They thereby derive ancestors of the lineages that they identify from this Cambrian Explosion.

This wild hypothesis within a wild hypothesis has no scientific evidence whatsoever. They take a precarious stack of fossils back to what they imagine is a half a billion years, then they wave their hands and say there was a Cambrian Explosion. It is unfortunate that Ken Ham spent all his time differentiating historical sciences and none of his time rubbing a Cambrian Explosion into Bill Nye’s face.

A good offense is better than a defense.

What’s more, there was an incorrigible amount of debate time used up introducing creationists who made scientific contributions of late. This was also completely off topic. Bible believers will win nothing by appealing to what the majority are saying or doing. Further, it was defensive posturing even before an offense was mounted. It was ineffective. In an opening statement, when you go first, an offensive jab is far more effective than a defensive posture.

An ideal opening offensive should have been aimed at the evolutionists time clock. They insist that it takes 168,000 years for light to travel 168,000 light years. Their whole world view hangs on this fallacy. It does not take much development to throw a wrench into that thinking and that foundation. The theories of relativity have established that time and distance are interrelated, and somehow “relative” to ones current coordinate system. That is why so many sci-fi ideas concern themselves with time travel, time warps and worm holes through space. There is some basis of truth behind most sci-fi imaginations and evolutionists completely ignore the basis that light traveling through firmament outside of our immediate coordinate system “is not relative” to our tiny little coordinate system. This all unfolds from Albert Einstein’s Theories of Relativity, theories which evolutionists purposefully remain balefully ignorant.

The only reason that mainstream scientists believe and preach that the world is thirteen billion years old, is because the edges of the Universe which they can presently “see” is thirteen billion light years away. They contradict their own logic when they assert that the Universe is also unbounded and infinite, but that needs to be another investigation. Notice that when they get even greater telescopes the raise their estimates, and have for my 50 years of listening to them. They will surely soon get to thirty-two or three-hundred and two billion! They used to believe and preach that the Universe was an astronomical two million years old, but then they kept building bigger telescopes and revising their “known facts” and outlandish hypothesis. They always preach their hypothesis as “irrefutable fact”, and get more and more offended at Christians who will not line up with what they are preaching.

The stark reality is this, Bible believers see that God has revealed a Universe that he created only 6,019 years ago. If the observed supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud occurred 168,000 year ago, because it took 168,000 years for the light to get here, then God has deceived us in his revelation. The tiny remnant of Bible believers who are going to hold to the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s Word are going to reject the preaching of mainstream science. We will contend that their ever changing Godless hypothesizing is still in error, and we will hold out for their more thorough comprehension of Albert Einstein’s Theories, not to mention their own Law of Entropy! Let God be true and every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

Further, when they drill a hole through a large tree and find it older than God’s earth, we will contend that they are mistaken; when they dig down through layers of ice and hypothesize that it is older than God’s Universe, we will sympathize with their ignorance, but we will not reject God’s revealed Word. When they hypothesize about continents drifting at a forever constant rate, about the moon slipping away from the earth while collecting NO cosmic dust, or about planets solidifying at an exponentially slower rate than is NATURAL, Christians have a “going in” position, and it is, “God does not lie.” Evolutionists have a “going in” position as well, it is that there is no Supernatural God involved in the affairs of this Universe. One is right, one is wrong.

A careful strategy against evolutionists- the Main Thing.

Bible believing Christians hold to God’s Word which declares that just over 6,000 years ago the LORD God created the heavens and the earth. Evolutionists hold to (and forever modify) Charles Darwin’s hypothesis that molecules turned into man in (at last check) thirteen billion years of random happenstance. For the Bible believing Christian the Big Bang and lizards evolving into eagles is not a viable model for the creation of the Universe. Now just deal with it, Bill Nye the science guy.

A word about an apologetics strategy which comes from this analysis is in order. We found the purpose in this apology crafted into two declarations. On the left is the declaration “The cosmos came into existence and continues in existence by nothing more than natural processes which true science may discover.” On the right is the declaration that, “The Universe came into existence by the creative power of the Most-High-God, and it continues in existence by the natural laws he created AND by his Supernatural involvement in the affairs of man.” Granted there is a mixed multitude (cf Exodus 12:38 and Nehemiah13:3) running around in between these two lines, but a Bible believer should never cross certain lines. Stand with the clear winner in this purpose, “that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Now, a strategy which would pursue this purpose might be to resign oneself to being the underdog. Just be brazenly obvious that the majority of “scientists”, the majority of “religions” and even the majority of “Christendom” is not going to hold emphatically to dictates of God’s inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word. But let Bill Nye the science guy, or any of his cohorts, know that he just crossed a Bible believer who is emphatic. Aggressively pursuing the notion that God’s creation model is the ONLY viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era is far better than some defensive posture, or some pretense that there are a great number of us holding and defending such a position. Remember the victory which Gideon saw; remember the loneliness which Elijah felt; remember how much they hated God’s Only Begotten Son, and then keep the main thing the main thing.

1 Hans Christian Anderson, “The Emperor’s new Clothes” by Danish author and poet, Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875 A.D.) First published in 1837 currently Public Domain and repeated in entirety in the appendix of this author’s dissertation.

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