The debate over God's existence heats up next week as leading physicist and atheist Sean Carroll is pitted against William Lane Craig, a top theologian and philosopher, to discuss their views about philosophy, cosmology, and the role of God and the cosmos.
The two experts will debate on Feb. 21 under the theme "God and Cosmology: The Existence of God in Light of Modern Cosmology." Organizers announced Wednesday that the event will be held at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as part of a Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum in Faith and Culture Weekend Conference. Modern cosmology is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which attempts to bring together observational astronomy and particle physics.
"Though Carroll is as fiercely anti-theistic as other cosmologists I have debated, he differs in being philosophically informed and civil in demeanor," Craig wrote in a statement about the event. more >>
The age of the earth is a hotly debated issue among evangelicals. Old Earthers believe, like most scientists, that the universe is billions of years old. Young Earthers measure the age of the universe in terms of thousands of years. The debate is not new, but the insistence by some Young Earthers that belief in the inerrancy of the Bible demands a Young Earth position is relatively new.
The Biblical Status of the Young Earth View
In order to establish the Young Earth view, one must demonstrate that there are (1) no time gaps in the biblical record and that (2) the "days" of Genesis are six successive 24-hour days of creation. Unfortunately for Young Earthers, these two premises are difficult to establish for many reasons. more >>
Bill Nye "The Science Guy" revealed that following the much-publicized debate with Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham last week, a person defaced his or her own car to take a shot at him.
"Somebody out there hates me enough to actually deface their own car," Nye told CBS 58 News on Monday, showing a photo that was sent to him. The photo is of a car with its windows marked with the lettering "Bill Nye the Science Lie."
"I think that car was a caravan which has fuel injection. People use the technologies without really appreciating where it all came from. It's troubling," Nye added. more >>
Experts in creationism and intelligent design continue to respond to Tuesday night's debate between Ken Ham, founding president and CEO of Answers in Genesis, and Bill Nye, known popularly as "The Science Guy" for his scientific kids show, about whether the six-day creation model is scientifically viable.
Michael Egnor, a neurosurgeon and intelligent design supporter, praises Ham for marking differences between observational or experimental science and historical science, and for also making the point that historical science is particularly influenced by metaphysical assumptions.
"Darwinists like Bill Nye do their historical science from a materialist and atheist perspective, and it clearly taints their insights," writes Egnor, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Stony Brook University in New York for more than two decades, on the Evolution News and Views website. more >>
Viewers of the Ken Ham and Bill Nye debate on Tuesday were left with the impression that Christians, or creationists in particular, all hold to a young earth view. The debate, however, ignored other Christian perspectives, most notably "old earth creationism" of the intelligent design movement – another Christian approach to faith and science.
"Young earth creationists believe that the world was created in six twenty-four hour days and that the earth is no more than 6,000 years old," explained Jay Richards, senior fellow at The Discovery Institute, in an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday. By contrast, "Old earth creationists try to connect the days to long geological time periods." Richards, co-author of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery, holds to this latter view.
In the debate, Ken Ham articulated his belief in the young earth view, and attacked Christians who hold to the old earth as inconsistent. He argued against the evidence of radiometric and astrological dating – where scientists study the decay of minerals and the distance of the stars to claim that the universe is at least millions of years old. "I claim there's only one infallible dating method – a witness who was there and who knows everything and who told us – that's the Word of God," Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said. more >>
Christian experts on science explained that there are more than just two perspectives on the relationship between faith and science, articulating a position that neither Ken Ham nor Bill Nye represented in their Tuesday debate at the Creation Museum.
"My objection to the format of the debate, is that it's Ken Ham verses Bill Nye, and I want people to know that there are more options out there," Jack Collins, professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary, told The Christian Post in an interview Thursday. Collins, who also served as Old Testament chair on the translation committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, argued that the most important argument for Christianity and science is not the age of the earth, but the Christian foundations of science itself.
Stephen C. Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, and a leading voice of the intelligent design movement, argued that Ken Ham made a grievous tactical error by focusing on the age of the earth rather than the weaknesses of evolution. "Ken Ham has made a very significant mistake by focusing on that subsidiary issue and giving Darwinists a pass on the more significant issue that there is evidence for design," Meyer explained. more >>