Since the dawn of time, this age-old question has remained life's greatest mystery: where did man come from?
Was it by a "big bang" or an "intelligent designer?" Was it by mere chance or is there some higher power that puts purpose to our existence?
On Feb. 7, Bill Nye, The Science Guy, debated evolution with Ken Ham, founder of Northern Kentucky's controversial Creation Museum, which presents the Biblical creation story as fact.
The debate was viewed live on NPR.org, which, according to the news service, at one point received 500,000 live viewers and 830,000 views later on YouTube.
Ken Ham, who won the coin toss jokingly "not tossed by Joe Namath in a fur coat," initiated the two-hour debate. Ham began by showing multiple recorded mini documentaries of well-respected scientists who happen to also be creationists.
After five minutes he is cut off and Nye presents his question, "Is Ham's theory of creation viable?" The debate is long but the topic possesses an inescapable magnetism that kept my eyes glued to the screen.
Nye challenges creationist's estimate of the age of the Earth (4,000 years), by showing tree ring examples and fossil evidence. Nye said, "There's a famous tree in Sweden, old tico is 9,550 years old. How could these trees be there if there was an enormous flood just 4,000 years ago?" The Noah story comes in for particular scrutiny.
The debate, as you could imagine if you have not yet been able to watch it, continues this way. Ham said that theology and science denies all traces of the evolutionary theory and Nye continues to state evidence and facts pertaining to his beliefs.
So, "Who 'Won' The Creation Vs. Evolution Debate?" According to an NPR poll, Nye won by 92 percent and Ham by 8 percent. Which to me is not at all shocking.
I found Ham's view, from both a Catholic background and an atheist mindset, absurd. With the overwhelming amount of evidence ranging from the discovery of 'Lucy' to modern biology, denying evolution is like denying the Holocaust.
The Bible is written in parables, taking the story of Genesis as documented history is an extraordinary claim. I know as a fact that the Catholic church does not accept the Biblical story of creation as documented history.
Some years ago, the Vatican hosted an international conference on human evolution; in 1996, Pope John Paul II issued a statement saying "fresh knowledge leads to recognition of the theory of evolution as more than just a hypothesis." Today, the official view of the Catholic church is that evolutionary processes do occur, but that the human soul is of divine creation and not subject to evolutionary processes.
I think this is an ideology that all Christians should take into consideration, and I believe this would not be an issue if evolution were taught more adequately in public schools.
For the Christians and other skeptics still reading, here are some clarifications on the common confusions associated with evolution.
I've heard many people ask, "If humans evolved from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?" Or, "If evolution happens why don't we ever see new species?" Let's clear this up: we did not, repeat, did not, evolve from monkeys.
According to "An Introduction to Physical Anthropology," "The earliest human ancestor evolved from a species that lived some 6 to 8 million years ago. The ancestral species was the last common ancestor we share with chimpanzees. The lineage that eventually gave rise to apes and humans separated from a monkey – like ancestor and monkeys are still around because as early primate lineages diverged from one another, each went its separate way."
Whether or not you believe God to be the "intelligent designer" or that life just happened one way or another, there is no excuse to deny the remarkable amount of evidence regarding evolution.
Bill Nye, The Science Guy, I too deem you the crowned victor on this age-old debate.
Kaila Curry is a freshman in English. She can be reached at email@example.com.