Ken Ham, president/founder of Answers in Genesis and head of the newly-opened Christian attraction The Ark Encounter in Kentucky, had his second public debate with celebrity scientist Bill Nye during a personal tour of the ark Friday. In 2014, Nye said the ark's plans represented an "extraordinary and outlandish, unscientific point of view."
The Friday unscheduled "debate" between Nye and Ham occurred in front of hundreds of people at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Ky. Their first deliberation occurred at the Creation Museum in 2014.
Ham said a few weeks ago, he publicly invited Nye to tour the life-size Ark that opened July 7, and he offered to personally show him through. While Nye accepted, he also brought along a video crew. "Apparently Bill is the host of an upcoming science documentary," Ham stated on Facebook.
Friday's Ark tour turned into an almost 2-hour debate between the two, as they walked through all three decks of the Ark.
Ham said both of them agreed to video the entire discussion as they walked. "Numerous children, teens, and adults swarmed around us as we passionately interacted as the audience grew. There were thousands of visitors at the Ark Encounter, and a large group of them had a unique opportunity I'm sure they will never forget," Ham said.
"Bill challenged me about the content of many of our exhibits, and I challenged him about what he claimed and what he believed. It was a clash of world views."
Ham shared: "At one point I asked Bill: What would happen to you when you die? He said when you die 'you're done.' I then asked him why he was concerned about what we were teaching at the Ark if when we die we're 'done.'"
Ham said Nye stated it's "not crazy to believe we descended from Martians."
The Ark Encounter creator said he then asked Nye if it was "crazy to believe we descended from Adam and Eve!" We have his answer on video."
Young people also came up and spoke with Nye, and asked him questions -- and challenged him, stated Ham.
"When I mentioned AiG's PhD scientists, Bill said they were all incompetent -- so I encouraged him to speak with them," Ham said.
Ham said he also had the opportunity to share the gospel with Nye a number of times as they strolled through the Ark. "As we ended our walk through the first deck in front of life-size models of Noah and his family who were depicted praying, I asked Bill if he would mind if I prayed, and if I could I pray for him. He said I could do whatever I want as he couldn't stop me.
"So while a large group of people were gathered around, I publicly prayed for Bill. I did ask him if we could be friends, but he said we could be acquaintances with mutual respect, but not friends."
Ham said he never expected Nye's visit would turn into a 2-hour debate. "But sometimes those spontaneous happenings can be very fruitful and exciting," he said.
"Let's all pray for Bill Nye. To me, it was so fitting that with the opening of the Ark Encounter, this massive ship is being used to witness to such a well known personality. We ended with a friendly handshake."