Debating evolution: Christianity covers more than creation
The Bible is the foundation of the Christian faith. Doctrinal beliefs, one of which is the creation of the earth, tie Christians together.
At 7 p.m. Feb. 5, evolutionist Bill Nye and creationist Ken Ham debated one another on this very topic — in hopes of providing an answer to the question and topic of discussion — “Is Creationism a Viable Model of Origins?”
The debate was streamed live — for free — from the Creation Museum in Kentucky. I heard about the debate a few weeks prior and made a mental note to tune in. As a Christian and someone who looks at scripture as the direct account and word of God, therefore the ultimate truth, I believe as Ham does — that God created the earth in six literal days — just as it is recorded in Genesis chapter one.
On the night of the discussion, I began watching with high expectations, curious to see how Ham would defend his belief in God and creation.
Ham and Nye discussed genuine, well thought out points and questions, which made for an interesting scholarly debate — but when it concluded, I was somewhat disappointed. In my opinion, Ham’s debate fell flat.
The reason for my disappointment wasn’t because I thought Ham lacked the ability to effectively defend scripture on the biblical account of creation — I respect that he defended his position and agree with him when he talked about the need for young students who are being taught evolution in school, to have the opportunity of hearing and evaluating both the options of origin.
The reason for my disappointment was because, although one vital aspect of the Christian faith is that God created the world and everything in it, there are passages in scripture that are not crystal clear in every aspect — leaving them open and susceptible to interpretation — and the account of creation seems to be one of them.
Christians disagree with fellow Christians — even about the creation of the earth. There are creationists like Ken Ham, who believe God created the earth, but claim it took longer than six literal days, even thousands of years.
I say this to make the point that we don’t have to have all the answers — we can’t have all the answers. Whether or not God created the earth in six literal days or thousands of years (which God may see as six days), it is not vital to our growth as Christians or vital to our ability in understanding other key aspects of the Bible.
I believe we’re called to seek to understand the information provided to us through God’s word however, just as there is debate in the scientific community concerning evolution — there is also debate among believers regarding God’s creation of the earth.
For two hours and forty-five minutes, Nye stated his belief in the theory of the big bang, providing with it, evidence based upon his research in which he believed disproved the creation of the universe by an all-powerful God. Ham challenged Nye’s perspective with biblical evidence, pointing out that evolution does not provide viable answers on how the world came to exist.
Ham and Nye entered a debate — with no common ground— other than their love for science and what Ham stated in an interview with CNN, “the understanding of what it [science] has brought to us, from cell phones to space shuttles,”— but that is where the commonalities end.
I find it difficult to label the discussion between Nye and Ham as a debate. How can there be a debate when neither side has all the evidence to prove what they believe? The debate didn’t seem to accomplish much because there are so many grey areas in evolution as well as creation.
So much emphasis is put upon the finite details, and it might tempt Christians to believe that they should understand every aspect of the Bible and Christianity completely — but that is simply not possible.
The account of creation is not the basis of our faith. Creation is not what we cling to — it is not where we find our hope and our confidence. We find all of that through Christ because he conquered death, providing a way for us to do the same.
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