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Emily Popek

February 15, 2014

Creation debate brought back memories


For example, at no point did Ken Ham declare, sneeringly, “I didn’t come from no monkey!” as one of my classmates did. (There were cheers. I had no ready rejoinder.)

But the end result was, essentially, the same.

A series of photographs taken at the debate recently made the rounds of social media. The photographer asked 22 people to write a message to Nye. Many of the questions sum up perfectly why the idea of an evolution vs. creation “debate” is so absurd. And since Nye didn’t answer the questions, I’ll take a swing at a few of them here.

Are you scared of a Divine Creator?

No. There’s nothing scary about the idea of a higher power. I just don’t happen to believe that one exists.

If God did not create everything, how did the first single-celled organism originate? By chance?

Yes. My biology professor in college used to call it “the crapshoot of evolution” — her way of reminding us that it’s not scientifically accurate to ascribe agency to the evolutionary process.

If evolution is a theory (like creationism or the Bible) why then is evolution taught as fact?

Evolution is a scientific theory, which means it relies upon observable regularities and posits a structure that best explains those phenomena. Creationism does not; the Bible does not. Are there “holes” in the theory of evolution? Undoubtedly. But it remains the best explanation that science can offer, to date, for the information available to us.

How do you explain a sunset if their (sic) is no God?

This is my favorite. What other than arrogance could make someone imagine that the colors of a sunset were carefully crafted for our own aesthetic enjoyment? A sunset merely is; no explanation is required.

I don’t know what it is about this last idea that some people find so troubling. But it’s just this kind of fundamental inability to see eye-to-eye that makes any kind of debate simply fall apart.

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