(Photo: CNN video screengrab)
Young earth creationist Ken Ham and Bill Nye "The Science Guy" continued their debate on creationism and evolution on CNN's Piers Morgan, tackling the question of whether humans co-existed with dinosaurs.
"Based on the Bible, I believe that all the land animals were made on day six, and Adam and Eve were made on day six, and people try to make fun of us for believing that dinosaurs lived with people, but there are a lot of animals living today that evolution says lived with dinosaurs," Ham, president and CEO of the Creation Museum, said in response to Morgan's question.
Nye's rebuttal: "When it comes to humans living with dinosaurs, to me that's an extraordinary claim for which there is no proof at all."
Nye repeated a point he made often during the main debate with Ham on Tuesday evening at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, saying that America will be left behind by the rest of the world if its students do not believe in real science and instead are taught creationism.
The topic for Tuesday's debate, which was covered by over 70 media representatives, was: "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?"
A. Larry Ross Communications estimated that close to 3 million people followed the debate, with about 750,000 computers logged on. The PR group estimates that considering some hosted viewing groups in churches and schools, there were a minimum of four people watching per log in.
Kentucky Kernel reported that many students watching the debate at a viewing party at the University of Kentucky sided with Nye on the issue.
"Where Ham really faltered was when he mentioned that his group is the minority in science," said Anita Shanker, a biology and French sophomore. "Christianity is really the majority in America, and when he mentioned there's only one book (the Bible) that defends his theory, he forgets the other religious texts that also have a creation story."
Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and who supports young earth creationism, was present at Tuesday's event. He saw the debate as being "about the central worldview clash of our times, and of any time: the clash between the worldview of the self-declared 'reasonable man' and the worldview of the sinner saved by grace."
Mohler pointed out that Nye, who identifies as an agnostic and as a "reasonable man," has failed to acknowledge that man's reasoning has been corrupted by the fall (of man), as described in Genesis and other passages in the Bible.
"This is what theologians refer to as the 'noetic effects of the fall.' We have not lost the ability to know all things, but we have lost the ability to know them on our own authority and power," the theologian argued. "We are completely dependent upon divine revelation for the answers to the most important questions of life. Our sin keeps us from seeing what is right before our eyes in nature."
Not all Christians believe in young earth creationism. Protestant pastors are split on the age of the earth. A LifeWay Research survey conducted in 2011 found that 43 percent don't believe the earth is approximately 6,000 years old while 46 percent believe it is.
As for who won the debate, some who agree with evolution and Nye's views said Ham was better prepared.
"All Ham had to do was sit still for two-and-a-half hours, sound vaguely professional, and pander occasionally to his base. Sure, if you listened closely, what Ham was saying made absolutely no scientific sense. But debate is a format of impressions, not facts. Ham sounded like a reasonable human being, loosely speaking, and that's what mattered," the Daily Beast wrote on Wednesday.
"Nye, meanwhile, spent three-quarters of the debate sounding like a clueless geek, even if his points were scientifically valid. He went on strange asides and made awkward appeals to the obviously hostile audience, which he at one point referred to as 'my Kentucky friends.' He spent 10 minutes delivering a dry lecture on geological sediments and biogeography, using the kind of PowerPoint slides that a high school junior might make for his AP Biology class."