Judging by the interest this subject draws in the comments on our site and elsewhere online (more than 500,000 people watched the live feed last night), you guys definitely are, notwithstanding the shining truth of USA Today’s headline. (The futility of debate was acknowledged at the debate itself.) Sample exchange:
Moderator Tom Foreman of CNN had a list of audience-submitted questions directed at either Nye or Ham, with the other given a chance to respond. When asked about what existed before the Big Bang, Nye began his answer with “I don’t know.”
“This is the great mystery—you’ve hit the nail on the head,” he replied passionately. “What was before the Big Bang? This is what drives us, this is what we want to know. Let’s keep looking, let’s keep searching.”
For Ham, the answer is simple. “There’s a book out there that tells us where matter came from,” he explained. “It’s the only thing that makes logical sense.”
Partly because it’s futile, some scientists are irritated with Nye for showing up. He says he did it because creationism is a political fact of life in most of America that won’t go away by ignoring it, but his critics think the debate is the equivalent of teaching both theories in school. Even if the teacher offers no judgment on which is correct, the fact that they’re treated as equally respectable is a win for creationists.
I didn’t have time to watch but NBC has a nice recap — evidently, “observational science” versus “historical science” was a key point for Ken Ham — and Time magazine has a nearly minute-by-minute blow by blow. Ham isn’t just a believer in creationism, he’s the founder of Kentucky’s Creation Museum, where the debate was held. He’s also a young-Earth creationist, which makes some of the exchanges about evidence extra zesty. Three clips for you here, two of them snippets and the third the whole shebang in case you’ve got the time and interest. Enjoy.