Bill Nye, “the Science Guy” and Ken Ham of the Creation Museum squared off for two and a half hours in a spirited debate on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 in Petersburg, Kentucky. The debate that included many aspects of the Great Flood of Noah should be a motivation to all people of faith to defend the great miracles of the scriptures. These miracles require a non-uniformitarian, catastrophic or extraordinary interpretation of events.
God uses natural laws as He performs His great works. But He also overrides some of those laws or uses higher laws as He performs great miracles as part of “his work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) This concept was behind the points Ken Ham made about observational science vs. historical science.
Normally, our observations of the laws of nature in the present make good predictions of how things were in the past. However, that is not true in the case of many great miracles such as the Great Flood where God acts with his superior power and wisdom outside what is considered normal in the world. In fact, that these miraculous events are outside of the norm is a testimony that God exists and is active in the affairs of men and this earth. (Joshua 4:6-9 “What mean ye by these stones? … the waters of Jordan were cut off.’)
Bill Nye brought up excellent points about the Great Flood. Where did the water come from? Where did it go? How did Noah and his family alone construct such a huge boat that was seaworthy? How did the kangaroos in the ark get back to Australia from Turkey after the flood? How can we find trees with tree rings over 5,000 years old that should have decayed in the almost a year that the water covered the earth? How did the millions of species on the earth come from the animals on the ark?
These are great questions? Particularly as latter-day saints with the restoration of the gospel, there are plausible theories to answer many of these questions. There are also many things that we take on faith and where the Lord says that “I will try the faith of my people.” (3 Nephi 26:11)
The great miracles of Genesis and the Bible overlap in such a way that just explaining away some of the “hardest” of the miracles as figurative then forces the same question on another interrelated miracle. With the benefit of modern revelation, latter-day saints do not have to defend the implications of the six 24-hour earth-day option on the creation periods. However, the interrelated miracles of the terrestrial world of the Garden of Eden with our first parents Adam and Eve, the fall, the flood, the tower of Babel, the longevity of the patriarchs, the crossing of the Red Sea, three million Israelites surviving in the desert for 40 years, the crossing of the River Jordan at spring flood, the victory at Jericho, and many more miracles are attested by modern revelation and modern prophets as an additional testimony of the Bible.
If we do not defend these miracles with both testimony and reason, with the current state of disbelief in the secular world exemplified in the debate, it is likely that the only religious belief that will be passed down to our posterity will be limited to the social and service club aspects of the churches as Bill Nye mentioned in his ending statements extolling only certain aspects of religion.
See this link to theblaze.com article that includes the full debate video.