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Modern Parenthood

Bill Nye and Ken Ham prove theory of coexistence

Bill Nye and Ken Ham debated about the value of the creationist origin model in a modern scientific age, but more important, they proved the theory that civil coexistence is possible.

By Correspondent / February 5, 2014

TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye speaks during a debate on evolution with Creation Museum head Ken Ham at the Petersburg, Ky. museum on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Dylan Lovan/AP

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Bill Nye probably had a better chance of winning “Dancing with the Stars” than making headway in a debate Tuesday night with Ken Ham, creationist expert and director of the Creation Museum.

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Correspondent

Lisa Suhay, who has four sons at home in Norfolk, Va., is a children’s book author and founder of the Norfolk (Va.) Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) , a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth via mentoring and teaching the game of chess for critical thinking and life strategies.

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However, Mr. Nye and Mr. Ham offered a powerful example of how to respond, instead of react, when someone challenges your beliefs.

In kid terms, I suppose you could say to Nye that, “he started it” with the production of his video “Creationism is not appropriate for children.” The video went viral, prompting Ham, author and founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., to invite the scientist over for a debate Tuesday night.

The debated question was this: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

However, the questions on my mind were, “Should I let my ten-year-old watch this, and will these men behave like adults or ten-year-olds?”

Having been once burned by “The Bible” miniseries being inappropriate for children to watch, I was twice shy about Biblical tenants clashing with science on TV with the kids watching.

I opted not to let my son watch.

In retrospect, I wish I had, because both men handled themselves with dignity and restraint.

While my belief in the science of evolution remains unaltered, I came away from the event ready to proselytize to parents about the wisdom of not shouting down the opposition on such emotionally-tied issues as those discussed last night. 

Over the past 20 years of parenting, there have been times when my kids have witnessed me in heated debates with other parents over abortion, gay rights, and creationism.

I went ballistic when my sons, who were attending a Catholic high school at the time, were promised that science and religion classes would be kept entirely separate, only to find the religion teacher visiting science class to tell kids the other teacher was wrong.

That led to my husband re-enrolling my boys in public schools. We then learned the kids would have to repeat science classes because, despite receiving “A” grades, the parochial school’s courses didn’t match state standards. 

Perhaps some people will call me a bad Christian, but I believe in evolution. I also believe that global warming is real and that women should make their own choices about their bodies.

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