Thursday, February 6, 2014

creation vs. evolution debate

Outside my window, there are tons of birds doing what birds do.  Watching (and photographing) them is one of my favorite things.  My favorites are the male blue jays and cardinals that we have in great abundance around here.  Their bright colors are so distinctive and just plain beautiful.  As I look out on the tiny little bit of nature in my back yard, I am often amazed by the world around me and even more so by the infinite creativity of God.

There has been quite a bit of talk over the last few days regarding the debate between Ken Ham of the Creation Museum and Bill Nye (you know "The Science Guy").  I watched the debate on Tuesday night with great interest.  I love debate and was excited to see one on this topic - especially with Ken Ham participating.  Although I didn't know much about Bill Nye before the debate, I was also interested in how he would back up his stance that you cannot be a Christian and a scientist at the same time.

The debate went pretty much as I expected.  Both men were respectful of each other on stage and neither man was swayed by anything the other said.  I was a little surprised at the debate format, which allowed for very little interaction between the two men.  I was also surprised by how little actual science was discussed.  Bill Nye kept to his demeaning attitude of creationists aren't real scientists and thus have no place in either science or education, while Ken Ham showed many examples of men and women who are managing to be both at the same time.  Both Nye and Ham gave some scientific evidence for their respective positions, but it was relatively shallow on both parts, probably due to time constraints and an attempt (at least on Mr. Ham's part) to stick to the debate topic of whether or not "creation is a viable model for science in today's modern, scientific world."

Several people have asked me who I think won the debate.  My opinion on this question is much like many others I have read over the last couple of days ... who won ultimately depends on your worldview.  Because of this, I have been reminded of how critical it is to have a biblical worldview.

Watching this debate took me back a few (and by a few, I really mean, like 25) years to when I was in my high school biology class and other classes where we were debating the creation/evolution question.  Thankfully, I had great teachers, most of whom didn't teach evolution as fact (though it was presented that way in our textbooks) and I also had great parents who taught me that not everything taught in school is true, so I wasn't swayed by the evolutionary worldview.  

BUT, at that time I had never heard the term "worldview" and to be honest, I didn't really know what I believed.  Of course, I believed the Bible, but I didn't know how to reconcile that to science ... and neither did the people teaching me. Basically my beliefs went something like this ... I believe the Bible, so anything that contradicts the Bible can't be true.  Don't get me wrong, I still believe this, but I am not sure that I would survive in today's far more aggressive educational climate.

The problem was that I really didn't know what I believed when it comes to the age of the earth or if the creation account in Genesis was literal or allegorical ... the list of questions to which I would only answer the Bible tells me so was too long and I am not sure that I could have defended my faith in the face of someone who challenged me with their own beliefs.  Worse than that, I was not capable of sharing my faith with someone who came to the table with scientific questions.  

That isn't to say that God isn't bigger than my lack of understanding, thankfully, He is quite capable of filling in the gaps in my abilities.  But as a Christian and as a parent, I want to be able to give my children a greater understanding of the world they live in ... not so that they will look to science for their understanding, but so they will understand that science and the Bible aren't mutually exclusive ... in other words, the Bible is the final authority for every facet of life - not just religious study.

I have a lot more that I want to say about worldview, but that will have to wait for another day.  I do have one final comment about the debate, though.  If you really want to know who I think won, here is my opinion.

I think that Ken Ham "won" for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He clearly presented the Gospel more than once during the debate and with the huge audience watching online, who knows what God will accomplish?
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11
I don't know where God sent His word, but I believe that it will accomplish HIS purpose.  It doesn't matter who the world thinks won the debate, the only thing that matters is what God will do with His Word.

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