CINCINNATI – Well-known apologist Ken Ham and outspoken evolutionist Bill Nye have agreed to a public creation-versus-evolution debate in early February.
Nye was the popular host of the children’s TV show Bill Nye the Science Guy, which was produced by Disney during the 1990s. An outspoken evolutionist, Nye was also featured in a YouTube video last year titled “Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children.”
“Denial of evolution is unique to the United States,” Nye says in the video, which has received nearly six million views. “…When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in [evolution], it holds everybody back, really.”
Nye, who was recognized as the “2010 Humanist of the Year” by the American Humanist Association, claims that the “whole world” becomes “fantastically complicated” and “a mystery” for those who do not accept evolution—rather than “an exciting place.” Furthermore, he predicts that, “in another couple centuries,” the creationist worldview “just won’t exist,” saying “there’s no evidence for it.”
“If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe, that’s fine,” Nye continues. “But don’t make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and tax-payers for the future.”
One week after Nye’s video attacking creationists was published, Ken Ham—president and CEO of the Christian apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis—published a four-minute YouTube video, in which he responded to Nye’s claims and argued that evolutionists are intent on brainwashing children.
“Bill Nye has an agenda to teach children not to believe in God,” Ham says in the video.
“The way to convince kids about evolution is you have to do what ‘Bill Nye the Humanist Guy’ wants,” he continues. “You protect them from hearing anything about creation, you totally indoctrinate them, you brainwash them, you don’t teach them to think critically at all, [you] don’t teach them the difference between historical science and observational science—you just want to make sure they only hear about evolution and that’s it.”
“Creationists, of course,” he adds, “are very happy to teach their children about evolution and teach the problems with it and teach their children how to think critically. Isn’t it interesting how Christians are not frightened to teach their children about evolution!”
Following the release of the YouTube videos, Ham challenged Nye to a public creation/evolution debate. At first, Nye did not respond to Ham’s invitation. However, in a statement released on Thursday, Answers in Genesis announced that Ham and Nye are finally scheduled to face off in a February 4th debate at the Creation Museum. The Creation Museum is located near Cincinnati, Ohio.
“A debate with Mr. Nye, nationally known for his children’s TV program and for promoting evolution, will be one of our major events in 2014 to highlight how children and teens are being influenced by evolutionary thinking,” Ham wrote in the statement. “… Having the opportunity to hold a cordial but spirited debate with such a well-known personality who is admired by so many young people will help bring the creation/evolution issue to the attention of many more people, including youngsters.”
“I hope to show Mr. Nye and our debate audience that observational science confirms the scientific accuracy of the Genesis account of origins, not evolution,” Ham added.
The debate next month will not be the first time Ham has faced off with evolutionists, as according to the Answers in Genesis statement, he also participated in debates at Harvard University in the 1990s. However, the specific purpose of next month’s debate will be to answer the question: “Is creation a viable model of origins?”
After the debate was announced, dozens of evolutionists railed against Ham and criticized Nye for agreeing to debate the Answers in Genesis president.
“Don’t do it,” one commenter advised. “It only lends credibility to liars and scoundrels.”
Another commenter suggested the debate is nothing more than “a fund raiser for the kooks” and a “totally bad idea.”
In a Friday blog post, Ham said such derogatory comments “illustrate the hatred many of these secularists have for Christians.”
“You see, the atheists are actually insecure in their beliefs,” Ham suggested. “Not only that, but atheists in many ways have managed to censor information concerning creation from the public—they have been involved in getting legislation to protect the teaching of evolution in public schools and thus stop students from even hearing about creation. These secularists do not want people hearing about the evidence that confirms the creation account in the Bible.”
“Now that a well-respected personality like Bill Nye will be debating me on the origins topic,” Ham added, “many of these atheists are worried. They just do not want people to hear such a debate! But why would they be so worried if it is so obvious that evolution is true?”
Ham explained that their ministry has received enormous media and social media attention following the debate announcement, and that the Answers in Genesis website hit record traffic levels as of Thursday.
Image: Answers in Genesis