Bill Nye, best known as television personality “The Science Guy,” will visit Louisville, Kentucky, to debate evolution and new earth creation with the founder of the Creation Museum on Feb. 4.
The debate will likely draw much attention in both science and faith communities as Nye is a renowned advocate of science education and supporter of evolutionism, while Ham is a respected Christian figure who believes that the Bible’s account of heaven and earth’s beginnings is factual—that the earth was created in six 24-hour days by an all-powerful and self-existent being, otherwise known as God.
Museum founder and president of Answers in Genesis apologetics ministry Ken Ham invited Nye to northern Kentucky after Nye declared last year that educating kids on creationism is bad for them and the future of science. The statement was recorded in an online video viewed nearly 6 million times on YouTube.
Nye is an American science educator, comedian, and executive director of the Planetary Society best known as the host of popular PBS children’s science show Bill Nye the Science Guy which aired on Disney and PBS network channels from 1993 to 1998.
He said in the Associated Press interview last September that guiding children to teachings of creationism rather than sharing with them the views of evolution will hurt advancements in the world of science as each of the two views so comprehensively cancels out its opponent. In full support of evolution and its scientific evidence, Nye said, “If [evolution] conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs.”
Nye agreed to the trip to Kentucky early last month, though in an interview he said he would do so on the condition that the museum pays for his trip.
Ham looks forward to the event, to take place in the museum’s Legacy Hall, and said in a press release last Thursday, “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.”
The Creation Museum has drawn the attention of both passionate creationism supporters as well as challenging scientists. People come to see exhibits that assert that the Earth was created in six days approximately 6,000 years ago. The exhibits display dinosaurs and humans in coexistence, contrary to scientific research discoveries that say the two species’ generations were separated by more than 60 million years.
People on the side of science have initiated debates with Ham and the Creation Museum staff members before, but the museum has declined. Ham, who called them “mocking, strident evolutionists,” chose to debate the Science Guy instead because Nye’s words and opinions “carry weight,” ultimately implying that a debate with Nye would be a vicarious debate with many members of society who hold to the science advocate’s beliefs.
The event will be called “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origins?” and tickets will go on sale at $25.