More Post Debate Thoughts On Bill Nye & Ken Ham

This is a continuation of my post earlier this week Post Debate Thoughts on Bill Nye & Ken Ham in which I addressed the very shallow presupposition nature of the continued attack on the credibility of the Bible.

However, after re listening to some of the major parts and points made by both Ken Ham and Bill Nye and reflecting on some of the recent reading I've been doing I thought I would make a few more comments on the subject. Now once again my points quandaries and objections to anything said in the debate will not be specifically scientific. Both Ken Ham as well as Bill Nye beat me out on the subject at that point.

Not to say that I haven't addressed this subject in the past because, in my series God vs. Science I do touch on a number of scientific issues. But I do so with the background that I am not a scientist in the formal sense of the title.

On the other hand, after listening to the debate for a second time I do want to address other issues that popped up during the back-and-forth of the debate. What I found troubling (aside from the issues I addressed in my first post) was Bill Nye's complete lack of reflectiveness on world-views and epistemological(2) issues.

The major problem I see is that along with the push for specialization within studies and disciplines in academia, we see a great many people within the scientific community (not exclusive too but generally so) who become woefully ignorant of other areas of human knowledge. These people seem to think that as long as they know something about science, that that makes you an expert in every field. Case and point: Richard Dawkins' continual writings on philosophy and theology.

In this way, people like Nye and Dawkins, who are extremely intelligent and learned men, write and talk out of an ignorance of issues such as that of philosophy(1), epistemology(2) and theology(3). Discussing without realizing their objectively shallow understanding of such issues.

Nye's position from an outward looking-in perspective was a "we've got it all figured out, trust us because we're smart and we know what we're talking about" type attitude for much of the debate. Funny enough Bill himself does not like that position when Ken Ham expresses it at any measure, but I'm not sure Bill realizes he's doing the same thing.

Nye's constant repetitive theme throughout the entire debate was the statement:

"Here is my concern, what keeps the United States ahead, what makes the United States a world leader is our technology. Our new ideas, our innovations. If we continue to estu science, the process, and try to divide science into historical science and observational science, we are not going to move forward. We will not embrace natural law, we will not make discoveries, we will not invent, innovate and stay ahead. So if you ask me if Ken Ham's creation model is viable, I say no." 
- Bill Nye, taken from his opening statement

The problem I find with this type of statement is that Bill Nye never tried to substantiate what he is saying here. Where within the creation model do we reject natural law? On the contrary, and as Ken Ham did state, the neo-Darwinian evolutional theory cannot tell us why natural law exists, or where it came from. Simply put: how does a purposeless beginning through an amoral process come to natural meaning and purposefulness?

In this way I think Nye has a very strong epistemological problem, he simply assumes these things. In his assumption Nye ends up stealing conclusions from the Christian world-view without realizing it.

This problem continues through-out Nye's statements. In fact, within his closing statement he expresses joy and a sense of awe that exists within the field that he participates in. What he fails to explain is where that all comes from. That given his own world-view, this soon to be defunct piece of star-dust whose memories will disappear and who will be forgotten - why does he have joy in any of it?

Where is the transcendent meaning within this sense of joy that Nye holds? That answer got lost in the narrative of the discussion. In fact, Nye's entire closing statement was deeply religious in the way it was expressed. The universe itself was expressed as being personified. Nye, without realizing it, expressed a very religious presupposition within his closing statement that he thinks is completely natural in nature.

Nye's statements became as religious and presuppositional at certain points as Ken Ham's did, Nye just failed to realized that is what he was doing.

Despite the continued examples of the MRI, the human genome project, the complexity of telescopic arms on satellites, all invented by Christians who hold to creation theory. Despite all that, Nye continued on expressing that we would fall behind in growing in knowledge, discovery and invention if we held to creation beliefs.

No foundation or answer was provided as to why he holds to a joy or drive at all. The trick was to simply describe and not substantiate. Continue repeating that despite rational, sound minded individuals in scientific academia who hold to creation presuppositions, we will all be doomed.

Reasons aren't given. This is where I see one of the greatest problems that lies with people who are scientists but are so specifically trained in one field that they forget that explanation in other fields is required to give balanced answers. Bill Nye kept talking in a way about 'world-views' that excluded him from having a world view. Somehow Nye seemed to think that having a PHD in science excluded him from that presumptive category.

Context is crucial, consistency is key. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about theology and the Bible, or astronomy and the universe. It all comes down to our esoteric(4) presuppositions and our ability to be reflective and knowledgeable on worldviews we attempt to dialogue and rationalize with.

Repeated assertions are not synonymous with substantive reasons and answers.



(1) Phi-los-o-phy: the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline

(2) E-pis-te-mol-o-gy: the theory and philosophy of knowledge, esp. with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.

(3) The-ol-o-gy: the study of the nature of God and religious belief 

(4) Es-o-ter-ic: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with specialized knowledge or interest

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