Scott: You know the phrase ‘survival of the fittest,’ right? Well, it comes from a theory that has stirred controversy for more than 150 years. And Tom Hanson has the most recent debate over the origins of mankind.
Announcer: Mr. Bill Nye and Mr. Ken Ham.
Tom: It is the debate that has been going on for years. Creationism…
Ken Ham: I take Genesis as literal history, as Jesus did.
Tom: …versus evolution.
Bill Nye: Mr. Ham, what can you prove?
Tom: The founder of Kentucky’s Creation Museum, Ken Ham, taking on TV host and scientist Bill Nye, the Science Guy. The pair squared off Tuesday night in a two-and-a-half hour debate that was streamed online.
Nye: Your view that we’re supposed to take your word for this book written centuries ago is somehow more important than what I can see with my own eyes is an extraordinary claim.
Ham: We do see the collapse of Christian morality because generations of kids are being taught that the Bible can’t be trusted.
Tom: Creationism is the belief that the Bible’s story on how humans came to be is true and that humans did not evolve from other species. It is what many people believed until Charles Darwin came along. In 1859, he published The Origin of Species using scientific evidence to support evolution, the theory that over millions of years, humans gradually evolved from animals.
The idea was controversial back in 1859, and it is still causing controversy today. A recent survey found that a-third of Americans reject the idea of evolution. But that is everyday people. What do scientists think? Well, there is really no debate. Ninety-seven percent of scientists believe in evolution. And that is why the National Center for Science Education told CBS News it finds debates like the one on Tuesday to be a waste of time. In part, because quote, ‘for a scientist to engage in a formal, on-stage debate with a creationist is to legitimize the creationist position.’ But Nye says he wants to draw attention to the importance of science in education.
Nye: Please, you don’t want to raise a generation of science students who don’t understand how we know our place in the cosmos, our place in space, who don’t understand natural law. We need to innovate to keep the United States where it is in the world.
Tom: In fact, four states have anti-evolution laws on the books. And four others are considering such measures. A proposed bill in Missouri, for example, would allow parents to pull their kids from classes that teach evolution. And South Dakota is considering a bill that will allow teachers to teach creationism or a similar idea, intelligent design, if they so choose. But similar laws have already been struck down by the Supreme Court. So, the debate is far from over.
Ham: No one’s ever going to convince me that the word of God is not true.
Nye: Is Ken Ham’s creation model viable? I say no.
Tom: Tom Hanson, Channel One News.