Bill Nye Debates Creationist Ken Ham: Were Any Minds Changed?

Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 11:47 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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It is unclear whether Bill Nye "The Science Guy" or creationist Ken Ham changed viewers' minds during their highly publicized debate in Kentucky Tuesday night, but the event certainly generated a great deal of interest.

The debate at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., just west of Cincinnati, was a sold out event and was streamed live on television. The Associated Press reported that the debate attracted dozens of national media outlets, and about 800 tickets sold out in minutes. 

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"I think it shows you that the majority of people out there, they're interested in this topic, they want to know about this, they don't want debate shut down," Ham said.

Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum, said during the debate that the Bible is the only reliable source explaining the world's creation. 

"The Bible is the word of God," Ham said during the debate. "I admit that's where I start from."

Nye challenged Ham and his teachings, arguing most scientists that the earth is much older than 6,000 years based on scientific research.

"If we accept Mr. Ham's point of view ... that the Bible serves as a science text and he and his followers will interpret that for you, I want you to consider what that means," Nye said. "It means that Mr. Ham's word is to be more respected than what you can observe in nature, what you can find in your backyard in Kentucky."

CNN reporter Tom Foreman moderated the debate but for the most part gave Ham and Nye free reign while the audience gave polite applause to both sides.

"Your assertion that there is some difference between the natural laws that I observe today and the natural laws of 4,000 years ago is extraordinary and unsettling," Nye told Ham.

"I challenge the evolutionists to admit the belief aspects of their particular worldview," Ham replied. "The battle (over creationism) is really about authority. It's about who is the authority, man or God."

Supporters on both sides said Nye and Ham handled off the event well. 

"It proved that people can come together and have a respectful conversation about something that people are very passionate about," Sonja Smith, a Ham supporter from Loveland, Ohio, told NBC News.

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