Bill Nye vs Ken Ham: Science, creationism debate was to 'expose' Ken Ham as 'bad for humankind'

Bill NyeWikimedia

Television personality Bill Nye does not regret debating young Earth creationist Ken Ham at all. In fact, Nye believes he "bested" his opponent.

The February debate generated an enormous reaction online, receiving nearly 2.8 million YouTube views. Nye stated in an article that he did not anticipate such a response.

"At first, I figured this appearance and this encounter would get about the same amount of notice as a nice college gig," Nye wrote in the Skeptical Inquirer.

"There'd be a buzz on Twitter and Facebook, but the world would go on spinning without much notice on the outside. Not here: the creationists promoted it like crazy, and soon it seemed like everyone I met was talking about it."

Nye goes on to say that he emerged from the contest victorious.

"After the debate, my agent and I were driven back to our hotel. We were, by agreement, accompanied by two of Ham's security people. They were absolutely grim. I admit it made me feel good. They had the countenance of a team that had been beaten—beaten badly in their own stadium," he wrote.

But Nye's goal was never really to "win" the unscored debate. Many researchers, including evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, have stated that scientists should not be debating creationists. Nye contends that he accepted Ham's challenge to disprove young Earth creationist theory.

"I held strongly to the view that it was an opportunity to expose the well-intending Ken Ham and the support he receives from his followers as being bad for Kentucky, bad for science education, bad for the U.S., and thereby bad for humankind—I do not feel I'm exaggerating when I express it this strongly," Nye wrote.

In the end, Nye stated that he respects Ham's passion, but he hopes that Ham's Creation Museum in Kentucky does not influence young minds.

"I very much hope this whole business galvanizes the people in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and in neighboring states to take the time to think critically about creationism and to vote to remove it from science classrooms and texts," he wrote.

"I frankly hope that in the coming few years not a single student in Kentucky is indoctrinated by the Answers in Genesis facilities and staff."