Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Response to the Nye/Ham Debate

On Tuesday night, science educator Bill Nye "the Science Guy" and Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum squared off in an epic debate between evolution and creationism.  The night was full of science, questions, and answers.  Both sides were respectful of each other, and coming from someone who generally gives it her all in a debate (a.k.a. gets really upset), that is definitely something I can appreciate.  That being said, I posted on my Facebook page that "I don't think you want to know my position" on the matter.

Well, I'm going to be writing it here instead.

If I could sum up my position on the matter in a few short words, I'd say that Bill Nye completely wiped the floor with Ken Ham in that debate.  Hell, a poll on Christian Today even said that Bill Nye won; 92% of the people voted for him!  Bill Nye provided us with actual scientific evidence, while Ham's only evidence was the Bible.

Oh, yeah, and a lot of logical/argumentative fallacies.  Begging the question, straw man, false dilemma, fallacy of equivocation... need I say more?

In the scientific community, the Bible does not count as evidence.  The Bible is the claim; you need more proof than that if you are going to convince someone outside of the religious community to respect your claims.  It would be one thing if he was not talking about creationism and was only generally witnessing to someone, because yes, religion does require faith, and can usually get by without the necessary requirements for evidence found in science.  But in science, you need proof.  And that is something that creationism severely lacks.

Furthermore, one of Ken Ham's first comments in the debate really pissed me off.  Saying that "atheists have hijacked the word science," imposing a "naturalist religion on unsuspecting students."

Ah, yes.  The Persecution Complex.

To say that this idea has upset me to no end is truly an understatement.  It fills me with fury when other Christians claim that we are persecuted when, in reality, we are often the ones doing to persecuting.  Guess what?  We're the majority!  Not just in the United States, but worldwide.  Laws pushing anti-science, anti-LGBT, anti-woman, and anti-human rights are, more often than not, pushed by Christians.  When someone calmly tells us, "Can you please not involve religion in politics?" or "Can we have the right to choose to not follow any religion?" we're like "WAAAAH!!!!! SOMEONE IS PERSECUTING ME!!  THERE IS A WAR ON CHRISTIANITY!!!!"  And I, for one, am sick and tired of it.  Save the cries of persecution for places and times that actually deserve it, where people are being killed and tortured for it, not when people are saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

Yes, I know that not all Christians are like this.  I'm very lucky to have met some very tolerant and kind Christians in my life.  But nevertheless, it is this vocal part that pushes people away.  Hell, there have been times in my life where I have been so close to pronouncing myself agnostic.

But what does this have to do with the Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate?  In a word, I am ashamed of Ham.  I am ashamed of what Christianity is becoming.  If we don't learn to accept scientific fact, if we don't learn to stand for human rights, then we will die.  Christianity, our way of thinking and of life, will become nothing more than a fossil.  We will become extinct.  The underlying principles of Christianity are good.  Love your neighbor.  Give to the poor.  Care for your fellow man.  The last thing I want is for these basic principles to be weathered away, to be lost to the evolution of humanity, because of the actions of bigots and villains who use the Bible as a tool for undermining the good of humanity.  I refuse to associate myself with such cruelty.

Besides, why can't we have both?  Why can't we believe that God made everything, but that we can find the processes that He used through science?  If you ask me, this divide is ridiculous.

All in all, the debate was very riveting, and I learned so much about science.  Bill Nye, if by any chance you're reading this, you kicked ass, and I hope that one day I get to see you speak in person.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a bow tie.  Because bow ties are cool.

Love and Coffee cups,

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