The recent creation/evolution debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye was pretty good. It was not excellent. The rules of the debate didn’t require the contestants to engage one another to any great extent, so the back-and-forth that challenges reasoning didn’t happen.
One of the things Mr. Ham said that begged for discussion was his remark that just doing science presupposes God and creation. Christians schooled in apologetics promptly said rah-rah, but the argument was left as a mere assertion. Nye declined to ask for explanation, and Ham obliged.
Why should there be any such thing as natural law? Why should nature be orderly and predictable? Why should gravitation behave according to a rule so precise that you can measure its effects and write a mathematical equation that tells you exactly what’s going to happen? A Christian would argue from the creation account that God intended His universe to function in an orderly way. Creatures bring forth “after their kind,” it says ten times. The motions of the earth, sun, moon, and stars provide day, night, signs, and seasons. There is order in this, and Paul tells us that the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by what God made. (Rom 1:20)
But the deeper question for Mr. Nye would have been this: What is it about your thought process that leads you to look for orderliness in the first place, and why does your mind naturally recognize it and latch onto it?
Based on Nye’s frequent and brave admissions about what he doesn’t know, I can only surmise that he’d admit again that he has no idea why the Bing Bang resulted in law and order rather than sheer chaos, and he’d likely admit that he has no idea why his mind should be structured to look for order. Or he might just say it evolved this way, which is the same thing.
But the Christian can say that if we take the Word of God as our starting point, the first thing we learn is that God is, that He made the universe, and that He did it in an orderly manner. Further, God immediately set about revealing Himself to man with that revelation being set in a framework of reason and logic. The imago dei means our heads are hard-wired to look for order, to recognize it at once, and to latch onto it when it’s found.
For science to exist at all, all these Christian teachings about creation and human nature have to be assumed as prerequisites. They must be presupposed.
The questions for Mr. Nye and everyone who investigates science from a naturalistic viewpoint are these: How does the Big Bang account for the fact that the resulting cosmos functions according to fixed laws? And second, how did the mind of man come to look for such things? Christianity has an answer for these questions. Naturalism can’t do any better than offer a shrug and say that’s just the way things are — which is the opposite of true science.