Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Faculty revisit debate between Ham and Nye

Liberty hosts panel of three science professionals to refute Nye’s claims against Creationism as the origin of life

Dozens of students and professors gathered in the Terrace Conference Room of the Jerry Falwell Library on the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 17 for a panel discussion about the Ken Ham versus Bill Nye debate that took place Feb. 4.

Assistant Director of Creation Studies Marcus Ross mediated as Dr. Terry Mortenson, a guest from Answers in Genesis, and Liberty University professors Dr. David DeWitt and Dr. Andrew Fabich participated in the panel.

According to Ross, each panelist gave a short presentation that addressed and refuted points Nye made during the debate based on each panelist’s area of expertise. DeWitt spoke about Nye’s slide with 51 skulls and explained which skulls were human and which ones were extinct apes. Fabich, a microbiologist, shared research regarding E. coli and explained that what evolutionists claim to be new bacterial traits were not derived from new information.

According to environmental science student Rebekah Stites, viewing the debate and attending post-debate panel were valuable experiences. She said DeWitt’s explanation of the skulls Nye presented was particularly insightful.

“It helped me to see that I do not have to understand everything right away,” Stites said. “If I take a step back and do my own research about the things I do not understand, that will help.”

According to Stites, she learned that research is a powerful tool and walked away with a greater appreciation for the faculty that are dedicated to educating from a biblical standpoint.

“My biggest takeaway from the post-debate panel was that I feel so blessed to have awesome professors like this who are godly, intelligent and on fire for God,” Stites said. “That’s what I love most about Liberty.”

In addition to participating in the panel, Fabich had the opportunity to contribute to the debate the panel analyzed. According to Fabich, he traveled in January to the Creation Museum, the site of Ham and Nye’s debate, and was filmed for a short segment broadcasted during Ken Ham’s presentation. He refuted Lenski’s bacterial evolution experiment and claimed that microbiology is consistent with the biblical model of creation.

“Overall, it was a fantastic opportunity for our position to be laid out clearly for the audience,” Fabich said.

Following the presentations, Ross opened the floor to questions from the audience. Students and faculty asked the panelists for further clarification, opinions about comments made by both Nye and Ham, and questions about how to defend creation when speaking to people who do not believe the Bible is true.

According to Mortenson, more than 10 million people viewed the debate from 212 countries and territories, and he hoped that the debate and panel discussion would encourage students to continue learning.

“I would hope that they are motivated to think carefully and critically about evolution claims as well as scriptures and how to think biblically,” Mortenson said. “I want students to be motivated to keep thinking.”

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