CINCINNATI – The highly-anticipated debate next month between creationist Ken Ham and evolutionist Bill Nye has generated so much interest that tickets for the event sold out in two minutes.
As previously reported, Ken Ham—president and CEO of the Christian apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG)—revealed last week that he will be debating Bill Nye “the Science Guy” next month at AiG’s Creation Museum, which is located near Cincinnati. Nye, who is the former host of the PBS children’s program Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an outspoken evolutionist who regularly equates Biblical creation to scientific illiteracy.
In a statement released earlier this month, Ham said the debate “will be one of our major events in 2014 to highlight how children and teens are being influenced by evolutionary thinking.”
“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,” Ham stated. “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.”
During the debate, Ham and Nye will focus on the question, “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” The debate is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on February 4th in the Creation Museum’s Legacy Hall.
Last week’s initial debate announcement was met with enormous public interest, as numerous media outlets publicized the story and AiG’s website encountered record traffic levels. Then, when tickets for the event went on sale Monday, they sold out within minutes—even though the debate venue seats nearly 1,000 people.
“The upcoming February 4 debate has already generated significant attention from national media,” explains a recent statement from AiG, “and tickets to attend live were completely sold out within two minutes of release.”
Since tickets for the event sold out so quickly, AiG spokespersons advise that they would like to stream the debate live. However, details are still being worked out for the online broadcast.
“Don’t miss this ‘debate of the decade’!” the AiG statement continues. “Watch at home, or organize to show the live stream to your small group, your youth group, or even your entire church.”
The debate between Ham and Nye comes at a time when Americans remain sharply divided over the creation/evolution debate. According to a 2012 study by Gallup, 46% of people in the U.S. believe that “God created humans in present form,” which is a slight rise from recent years. The same study also shows that 15% of Americans believe humans evolved by natural means, while 32% believe in God-guided evolution.
In an email interview with Christian News Network, Mark Looy—Chief Communications Officer for AiG—said the creation/evolution debate is an important one, since beliefs on life’s origins directly affect one’s worldview.
“With our viewpoint, there is meaning and purpose in life because there is a Creator,” Looy explained. “With atheistic evolution, there is no meaning or purpose in life—we are just ‘accidents’ in the universe. … What you believe about where you came from biologically helps determine your worldview.”
The enormous response to next month’s debate demonstrates the public’s interest in the creation/evolution issue, Looy added.
“We expected a lot of interest in this debate nationwide, but not quite to the degree that we have seen,” he said. “The fact that we had our highest web visitor total ever the day we announced the debate, 151,000 unique visitors, is one barometer (an average day is 30,000). The creation/evolution issue remains a hot button topic in society as there’s always been a curiosity about the topic, and this public debate reveals that interest.”
Ultimately, Looy hopes the debate between Ham and Nye will bring the message of biblical creation to as many people as possible.
“The creationist viewpoint is largely censored from the public arena,” he stated. “Public schools, mainstream media and museums largely ignore our model of origins. This public debate will enable more people to hear the case for creation.”
Image: Answers in Genesis