In case you didn't know, there was a debate this week between Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Ken Ham, from Answers in Genesis. I watched it online from my home in Mexico. I don't want to get into the topics of the debate, but it's pretty fair to say that both evolutionists and creationists are saying their representative won the debate. Obviously, since there was no score kept, it is hard to say who “won.” I do, however, want to talk about Bill Nye and his courage.
He Showed Up
I'm not saying I agree with Bill Nye or even want to be like him, but I will say that from my point of view, Bill Nye showed courage in the debate. One of those reasons is because he showed up. Many scientists who believe evolution is true say that even debating the topic of creation is bad because it gives “crazy creationists” a hint of hope that their position might be true. In fact, many evolutionists have said that Bill Nye lost the debate before he even spoke simply by talking about it. However, in any academic discipline, we know that debating and speaking with those who oppose your views helps you better formulate your own thoughts about your field. To me, this takes courage.
He Was the Visiting Team
Another way that Bill Nye showed courage is by showing up at the Creation Museum. Nye was certainly in hostile territory. I would suspect that many of the members of the audience were well acquainted with the creation museum and were “on Ken Ham's side” of the debate. Bill Nye showing up to defend evolution at a place called “The Creation Museum” is much like going into Cameron Indoor Stadium as a conference opponent and hoping there might be a slim chance of the Dukies not booing you out of the stadium. But Nye did it. That takes courage.
He Wasn't Hostile
Bill Nye's courage was also on display in one of the last questions they asked each debater. The question was, “What, if anything, would make you change your position?” Nye answered, “If there was evidence.” He then listed a number of things for which creation scientists should be looking to observe scientifically in order for him to change his mind as an evolutionist. This, to me, was interesting and showed some courage to say that maybe, just maybe, Nye isn't as hostile to creationism and God as his arguments (and viral videos) make him appear.
The debate really wasn't really “won or lost” by either participant or either side. It wasn't really even a very good debate. But it was worth watching, and I believe that Bill Nye's persona may have won in the end by the courage he showed just by showing up.