Excerpt from Unreliable: The Science and Logic of Bill Nye by Heath Henning. This book can be downloaded for free.
During the debate with Ken Ham, Bill Nye held up a rock before the audience and stated, “We are here in Kentucky on layer upon layer of limestone. I stopped at the side of the road today and just picked up a piece of limestone that has a fossil, right there. Now in these many, many layers, in this the vicinity of Kentucky, there are coral animals…. They live typically 20 years, sometimes more than that if the water conditions are correct, and so we’re standing on millions of layers of ancient life. How could those animals have lived their entire lives and formed these layers in just 4000 years? There isn’t enough time since Mr. Ham’s flood for this limestone that we are standing on to have come into existence.”1) Bill Nye Presentation (30 minutes) during the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origin In Today’s Modern Scientific Era?” Feb. 4, 2014; transcript at http://www.youngearth.org/index.php/archives/rmcf-articles/item/21-transcript-of-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-debate There are a number of errors evident in Bill Nye’s statement that betrays his ignorance of what the creation model teaches and that of basic geology (including that which is established by the current consensus of evolutionists).
First, his query exposes his view of geology is uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism is the philosophy that natural processes throughout all of earth’s history have been acting at similar rates as observed today. However, we will find this as another inconsistency for Bill Nye’s thinking as he frequently presents argument imbedded with uniformitarianism in the premise but he claims that he rejects the philosophy altogether. For example, he wrote, “Once you let go of that old uniformitarian way of looking at things, the situation becomes a whole lot clearer.”2)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 121 The comment at the debate as cited above implies these layers had to take millions of years to form through uniformitarian processes. Evolutionists as a consensus have rejected the idea but still inconsistently hold to the conclusion of millions of years based on the teaching of uniformitarianism.
The major difference between evolution and creation science is how evidence is interpreted –whether by uniformitarianism or catastrophism. Creationist Gary Parker expressed: “…because of the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence, many evolutionists are now calling themselves neo-catastrophists. They want nothing to do with old-fashion catastrophism (Noah’s flood!), but they agree that most layers of fossil-bearing rock were produced rapidly and broadly by flooding on a catastrophic scale… It’s these short periods of terror, it seems, that caught plants and animals off guard, buried them too deeply and quickly for them to escape or to be obliterated by scavengers, and turned them into fossils. Clams and snails, for example, are not normally knocked dead and fossilized by a few sand grains or even by huge shifts of sand induced by hurricanes, but zillions were buried and fossilized, it seems, in the first overwhelming deposit of ‘Flood mud.’”3) Gary Parker, Creation: Facts of Life, Master Books, 1980, p. 218-219 Evolutionist Robert H. Dott is an example of one who attempted to avoid the “old-fashion catastrophism” when he wrote about what he called “episodic sedimentation.” He says: “What do I mean by ‘episodic sedimentation?’ Episodic was chosen carefully over other possible terms. ‘Catastrophic’ has become popular recently because of its dramatic effect, but it should be purged from our vocabulary because it feeds the neo-catastrophist-creation cause…. I hope I have convinced you that the sedimentary record is largely a record of episodic events rather than uniformly continuous. My message is that episodicity is the rule, not the exception.”4) Robert H. Dott, “Episodic View Now Replacing Catastrophism,” Geotimes, vol. 27 (Nov. 1982) p. 16 Indeed, the sedimentary record is caused by a catastrophe – Noah’s Flood!
Secondly, contrary to what Bill Nye indicated at the debate, the Creation model does not claim that layers of limestone formed after the flood by an uniformitarian process. One wonders whether he is truly ignorant of the elementary basics of the creationists’ model or if he is using deceptive methods during the debate such as setting up straw-man arguments. We will see many of such odd misrepresentations presented in his arguments which seem to prove the later to be true. Nye could have easily viewed the Answers In Genesis website to see what creationism teaches. “Evolutionists argue that although some sedimentary layers may have been deposited relatively quickly, the deposition of the entire column required hundreds of millions of years. Creationists suggest that the bulk of the fossil– bearing sedimentary rocks were deposited during the one– year period of Noah’s Flood and its associated geologic events. The uppermost surface of each layer should allow us to determine which explanation fits the evidence.”5) Roger Patterson, “Geologic Column,” January 20, 2011; https://answersingenesis.org/geology/geologic-time-scale/geologic-column/ Nye’s straw-man arguments implied that the layers formed after the flood but it has been consistently explained that the layers would have been formed during the flood.
Thirdly, the fact that limestone is found in abundance in Kentucky bearing marine life is clear evidence that yields to the creationist/flood model. An evolutionary website states: “Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the form of the mineral calcite. It most commonly forms in clear, warm, shallow marine waters. It is usually an organic sedimentary rock that forms from the accumulation of shell, coral, algal and fecal debris. It can also be a chemical sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from lake or ocean water.”6)http://geology.com/rocks/limestone.shtml This fact tells us the limestone so prevalent in Kentucky is evidence that the entire region was under water. Henry Morris wrote, “On the other hand, there are in the geological column many massive limestones which are of such a uniformity as to defy explanation in terms of any modern parallel. Nothing less than massive precipitation from solution in chemical-rich waters, when conditions of pH, temperature, etc., changed suddenly, seems adequate to account for them. The phenomenon is explicable in the context of a hydraulic cataclysm, but difficult to explain otherwise.”7) Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, Master Books, 1985, p. 104 So how does Bill Nye supposed to explain it without evoke the flood model? While the burden of proof lays on his lap for such an explanation he in turn attempts to accuse Ken Ham with believing uniformitarianism.
|↑1||Bill Nye Presentation (30 minutes) during the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origin In Today’s Modern Scientific Era?” Feb. 4, 2014; transcript at http://www.youngearth.org/index.php/archives/rmcf-articles/item/21-transcript-of-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-debate|
|↑2||Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 121|
|↑3||Gary Parker, Creation: Facts of Life, Master Books, 1980, p. 218-219|
|↑4||Robert H. Dott, “Episodic View Now Replacing Catastrophism,” Geotimes, vol. 27 (Nov. 1982) p. 16|
|↑5||Roger Patterson, “Geologic Column,” January 20, 2011; https://answersingenesis.org/geology/geologic-time-scale/geologic-column/|
|↑7||Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, Master Books, 1985, p. 104|