"Science Guy" Bill Nye and Christian leader Ken Ham are slated to debate next month at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., where the two will participate in a public face off over life's origins.
Ham told TheBlaze on Tuesday that he believes the event will offer the public a rare and unique opportunity to hear a prominent creationist and a famed evolutionary theorist fully air their views on life's origins -- something that doesn't often happen in one place.
"I just think it's really healthy for the public to actually hear two people like this that are really polar opposites in many ways, because what you believe about who you are [and] where you came from affects your whole worldview," Ham said, pledging to show Nye "love and respect" when he heads to Kentucky for the debate on Feb. 4.
Credit: Answers in Genesis
The roots for the sold-out debate were apparently set in 2012 when, as TheBlaze previously reported, Nye lambasted creationists in a Big Think video and proclaimed that teaching ideas contrary to evolutionary theory is damaging to both children and society.
At the time, Ham and his organization, Answers in Genesis, responded with video critiques of their own. And when an Associated Press reporter contact both Ham and Nye to discuss the back-and-forth, Answers in Genesis asked the reporter to inquire whether the "science guy" would be interested in going head-to-head with Ham.
Nye inevitably agreed -- and more than a year later that debate is slated to become a reality.
Ham said that he hasn't spoken personally yet with Nye, though the two parties are working through their representatives to hash out the details of their debate.
"Right now, we're still working with his publicist on the terms. We've made a proposal to them and they're getting back to us supposedly [on Tuesday]," he said. "The proposal we've made ... 40-45 minutes for each presentation, [there will be] time for rebuttal and the moderator will take questions. A normal debate format."
Ham said he's hopeful that, despite sometimes being ignored in the mainstream media and public schools, people will see that creationists also have valid arguments about life's origins.
"People will see a person who is a creationist and Christian who's prepared to defend position ... in a logical and challenging way and I'm hoping that it will challenge many people in regard to the whole issue of origins," he said.
The creationist thinker also said he's concerned that generations of children are being taught that they are merely animals and that there is no God. Such teachings, Ham contended, have an impact on how children view both themselves and the world around them.
The debate itself has been met with some scrutiny and skepticism, particularly among non-believers.
Since announcing Nye's participation, Ham said he's seen atheists and secularists urging the former PBS host to pull out of the event, claiming that, by debating Ham, Nye is giving credence and a platform to creationist ideas.
Presenter Bill Nye speaks on stage at "Hub Network's First Annual Halloween Bash" on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, Calif. (Credit: Invision for the Hub Network)
Ham told TheBlaze that this sort of censorship has been rampant for quite some time.
"For a long time now the secularists have really been able to censor information -- censorship of information in the public schools and very much in the secular media," he said, arguing that secularists have "won the day" when it comes to instilling their views in the wider culture. "Legislation has been used to protect evolution in public schools ... and not allow students to hear alternatives."
He's obviously hoping to change that.
Like others who see secular ideals coming together to form their own philosophy or religion, Ham said the debate he'll be having with Nye is representative of a battle between "two religions" and two "philosophical worldviews that are very, very different."
He believes that evolutionary theorists and their enthusiasts are intent on suppressing the truth.
The debate will be live streamed on AnswersLive.org starting at 7:00 p.m. on Feb. 4.
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