|Illustration presented by Ken Ham and the Creation Museum|
To the contrary, as you can see from the illustration presented by Ken Ham during his creationist presentation, he believes that his fundamentalist interpretation of the first 11 chapters of the biblical book of Genesis somehow trumps all the knowledge that modern science provides to us. The pictures he shows there could have taken directly from my Sunday School class in 1st grade. (We used the flannel-graph kind, colorful cutouts stuck to a flannel board on an easel....those of you who grew up back in the 1950s and 60s in fundamentalist Protestant Sunday School will know exactly what I mean!)
This boggles my mind. The notion that the story of creation as given in Genesis should be taken to be a scientifically and historically accurate account of what actually happened some 6,000 years ago leaves me speechless. It's hard to know how to counter such a weird thought in this day and age. To me, it's akin to trying to prove to Mormons that the Book of Mormon is not historically and scientifically accurate. (In the Book of Mormon, Jews came across the Atlantic Ocean in big boats thousands of years ago, were the ancestors of the American Indians, and welcomed Jesus when he paid a visit to Missouri after his resurrection.)
Poor Bill Nye. He tried very hard to be nice and fair and balanced to Ken Ham in his presentations and responses, and I give him credit for that. But this was a mission impossible, because as Ken Ham openly said toward the end of the 'debate', there is no evidence of any kind that would change his mind about 'creationism', because it is a basic religious conviction for him, and to concede anything would be to (for him) deny his faith in Jesus Christ, which of course he will not do.
Now, I'm not saying that Ken Ham isn't a smart man. He clearly is quite intelligent, and very pleasant and courteous as well. The problem, of course, lies in the nature of his basic religious presuppositions: namely, that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are historically and scientifically accurate and infallible. Why does he believe that? Because--as he said several times during the debate--they are the Word of God, and obviously God cannot be wrong. With those starting points, you pretty much end up where he ends up, modern science be damned.
I've got more to say about this whole thing, but I'll put it in a followup post.