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LONGVIEW, January 30, 2014— LeTourneau University will stream live video of a debate on evolution vs creationism between Bill Nye, “the Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis, free of charge and open to the public at 6 p.m., CST, Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Berry Auditorium in the Glaske Engineering Building on the LETU main campus, 2100 S. Mobberly Ave. in Longview.
The highly anticipated evolution/creation debate will take place at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., where tickets sold out online in two minutes for the 900-seat theatre. The debate will seek to answer whether creation is a viable model of origins. The debate is also available live and online free of charge at www.debatelive.org.
“With our unique emphasis on both science and faith, LETU is an important venue for this conversation,” said LETU President Dr. Dale A. Lunsford. “It’s vitally important to understand that you do not have to choose faith or science. God is leading us to truth using both. The key is to look at today’s cutting-edge science with a Christ-centered perspective and that is our mission at LETU.”
In light of that mission, nearly two weeks later, at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, LETU will host a panel discussion response to the debate in Room 117 in the Education Building on the LETU campus. The response will feature local theologians and a biologist to provide a thoughtful and constructive discussion on the topic of science and faith.
Panelists will include Wilson Cunha from LETU’s theology department, Karen Rispin from LETU’s biology department and J. Warren Johnson from ETBU’s theology department and former naval oceanographer. The panel will be moderated by Matthew Henry, dean of Innovative Education at LETU.
Each panelist will prepare a 5-minute response to the Nye-Ham debate, followed by 10 minutes for panelists to discuss the responses before answering questions from the audience.
Pro-evolution guest Nye is the former host of a television program for children called “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” He currently is executive director of the Planetary Society. Nye asserts that Creationism is not appropriate for children.
Ham is a leading creation apologist, the founder of the Creation Museum , CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis, and a best-selling Christian author.
LeTourneau University Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Larry Frazier said the university embraces the opportunity to host these educational events.
“At LETU, we want our students to be engaged with the discussions and debates that are relevant to our world,” Frazier said. “Through the use of technology, we can bring this debate right to our students, and the community, and then our faculty members can help them think through these questions in an informed, yet critical fashion.”
LETU physics professor Dr. Steven Ball said both Nye and Ham have been successful in communicating their respective messages about how to view the input of science and biblical faith, however when Bill Nye charged that creationism negatively affects young people, Ham challenged Nye to a debate.
“While the debate may not achieve much consensus or agreement, it should serve to highlight their differing vantage points,” Ball said. “LETU is an institution of Christian education committed to the integration of faith and learning, and supports bringing science and faith together without hindering one or the other.
“We hope to encourage Christian believers to carefully consider the premises of both debaters, particularly to examine whether conflict is a necessary approach to origins questions,” Ball said. “Rather than rooting for one or the other debater to win the debate, we want people to learn from the debate and hopefully identify pitfalls that can and should be avoided. Our goal is to help people find that both science and the Scriptures offer us valuable information on how to understand origins and that these can be mutually supportive.”
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