Just watched the Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate. Ken Ham’s main argument was that “observational science” proves Creationism right and “historical science” – i.e. anything that’s about “the past”- is automatically suspect. Bill Nye’s main argument was that the Creationist claims are extraordinary and require evidence, while our observations do tell us things which are contrary to the Bible. He also pointed out that billions of people are religious and yet disagree with Ken Ham’s cosmology.
In the Q&A, Bill Nye drove it home with his passion for science, while Ken Ham came limping to the barn with repeated assertions that the Bible has all the answers. I think Ken Ham was more focused and overall a better speaker, but Bill Nye was more on point with his replies, had the better arguments, and was more conscious of the message he was there to deliver.
From a technical standpoint, Ken Ham lost the debate by himself. His main argument is that “historical science” cannot be trusted because natural law changes. But another of his main arguments is that only God can explain the uniformity of nature, and therefore science. This is a major contradiction in his position, and destroys everything else he’s said.
In the end, I think both sides won the debate. Ken Ham won simply by having the debate actually happen, and he just slid through the actual debate without taking any risks. I would tend to agree that the debate itself was a bad idea, but Bill Nye hammered the points he was there to give and showed up Creationism’s flaws, so I think he also won.