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Sunday, Sep 21, 2014

'Evolution Weekend' Organizer Says Ken Ham-Bill Nye Debate Has 'No Intellectual Purpose'

  • (Photo: Michael Zimmerman)
    Michael Zimmerman, founder and executive director of The Clergy Letter Project, is seen here.
January 31, 2014|11:50 am

The organizer of the annual "Evolution Weekend" event has stated that he feels the upcoming Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate "serves absolutely no intellectual purpose."

Michael Zimmerman, founder and executive director of The Clergy Letter Project, which hosts "Evolution Weekend," told The Christian Post about his views on the much publicized debate.

"I do not believe that holding debates on the merits of science is either a good or productive thing," said Zimmerman, who thought the debate will at best "make for good theater."

"Bill Nye has said that he doubts the debate will change the minds of any creationists. I suspect he's correct about that," said Zimmerman.

"Unfortunately, this debate, like so many others before it, regardless of its content, will lead people to think that evolution and creationism have equal standing and that there's something significant to debate."

Earlier this year, it was announced that Bill Nye, former host of the public broadcasting children's program, "Bill Nye The Science Guy," agreed to debate Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham on the merits of creationism.

The debate has garnered much attention, with tickets reportedly selling out within hours of being put up for sale. Some pro-evolution groups have expressed concern over Nye's decision to debate Ham.

Dan Arel, a freelance humanist writer, posted a blog entry earlier this month arguing that Nye debating Ham was "a bad idea" for multiple reasons, including the concern that Nye lacks good qualifications to defend evolution.

"…a Google search only turned up that Nye has nothing more than a bachelor's degree in engineering and three honorary doctorate degrees," wrote Arel on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science website.

"We fault Christian apologists almost daily for trying to ride their honorary degrees, it would seem only fair we hold Nye to the same standard."

"Cowboy" Bob Sorenson, organizer of the anti-evolution Question Evolution Day, told CP in an earlier interview that he picked Ham to win.

"[Ham] is well read, educated and knows how science works. Bill Nye has demonstrated that he does not know the difference between operational and historical science," said Sorenson.

"I hope that Ken Ham can keep Bill Nye on topic instead of letting him indulge in the fallacy of elephant hurling, changing the subject and so on."

The debate between Creationist Ken Ham and Evolutionist Bill Nye will take place at the Legacy Hall of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Titled "Is creation a viable model of origins?" the Nye-Ham debate will also be live-streamed online for free.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/evolution-weekend-organizer-says-ken-ham-bill-nye-debate-has-no-intellectual-purpose-113754/