Bill Nye the science Guy and also creationist Ken Ham clash over advancement in an atmosphere reminiscent that a presidential debate.

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PETERSBURG, Ky. — bill Nye the science Guy and Ken Ham the Genesis Guy fought over the use and also the misuse of the word "science" ~ above Tuesday, during a windy face-off over evolution that had the wait of a presidential debate.

The conversation here at the production Museum featured video clips and a breakneck series of slides, a official back-and-forth schedule that speeches and rebuttals, CNN"s Tom Foreman together moderator and also a pack 900-seat auditorium.

The live streaming video on YouTube attracted as many as 532,000 simultaneously viewers.

The focus of the debate wasn"t one election, however a question about world views: walk creationism provide a viable version for beginnings in this modern scientific era?

Ham states yes. He"s the founder of the museum as well as a Christian outreach organization dubbed Answers in Genesis, i beg your pardon marshals evidence for the view that God created the universe just 6,000 year ago.

He led turn off Tuesday night"s debate by do a difference between two varieties of scientific inquiry. Ham said there was "observational science," which have the right to be straight tested by experiment; and also "historical science," which interprets the past based upon existing evidence.

In Ham"s view, the biblical account describing the development of the cosmos in 6 days functioned at least and also scientific views that lay out processes taking millions or billions of years.

"I think the native "science" has been hijacked through secularists," that said.

Bill Nye — the longtime hold of "Bill Nye the science Guy," a renowned TV show around science for kids — countered that natural laws hold just as true because that the previous as they carry out for the present. He joked the without the viewpoint, a crime-lab present like "CSI: Petersburg" would certainly be impossible. Thus, that argued, over there shouldn"t it is in a sharp distinction between observational and historical science.

"These space constructs unique to Mr. Ham," Nye said.

Nye frequently leavened his remarks through off-the-cuff humor: once discussing how science reconstructs the past, he detailed that every little thing we observe has actually happened in the past, due to the finite speed of light. "I"m delighted to view that the people in the ago of the room are that much younger 보다 the human being in the front," Nye said as he hosted his fingers simply a pinch apart.

Bible as science textbook?Both debaters focused on even if it is the bible was a reliable overview for science. "I"m only too willing to recognize my historical science is based upon the Bible," Ham said. Radioisotope date tests may show that the human being is much older than 6,000 years, yet Ham stated those tests all were fallible.

"I find there"s just one infallible dating method," Ham said. "It"s a witness who was there, who knows everything and told us, and that"s from words of God."


Nye responded that the wasn"t viable to expropriate the check out that a Genesis-style flood 4,400 years earlier could define all the geological and also paleontological phenomena observed in the fossil record. "Mr. Ham and also his followers have this impressive view that a an international flood the somehow influenced whatever we observe in nature — a 500-foot wood boat, eight zookeepers for 14,000 separation, personal, instance animals. Every land tree under water because that a full year? now I ask us all, is the really reasonable?"

He listed that Antarctic ice cores display seasonal cycles that high and low temperature that appear to walk back more than 680,000 years, and also pointed come tree-ring documents going back as much as 9,550 years. If the human being were only 6,000 year old, the would imply there to be thousands of significant seasonal ferris wheel in the course of a year. "Wouldn"t somebody have actually noticed that?" Nye asked.

Nye said the check out that the legislations of nature didn"t apply 4,400 year ago, or 6,000 years ago, to be "extraordinary, and also unsettling" — and also he maintained that the controversy was main to America"s future as a clinical leader.

"If we continue to eschew science ... We space not going to relocate forward," Nye said.

Ham, however, played video clip clips native several scientists — consisting of Ray Damadian, inventor of the MRI scanner — who said they had no difficulty reconciling their word-for-word accept of Genesis v their scientific work.

Genesis at center stageThe human being view based upon a literal translate of Genesis was on full display at the 70,000-square-foot, $35 million creation Museum. In the exhibit halls, animatronic dinosaurs live alongside humans, and also the fossils date back no previously than 2400 B.C., as soon as the great Flood occurred. Other displays explain why radioisotope dating have the right to yield wrong period estimates, and how a belief in advancement can cause social ills.

Such insurance claims are what sparked the dispute in the first place: In 2012, Nye tape-recorded a commonly distributed video clip clip that urged parents not to teach their children creationism. Ham responded through his own video, defending what"s recognized as young-Earth creationism. The back-and-forth the followed at some point led come an covenant to hold Tuesday"s event.


Nye"s speak fee and expenses were extended by the museum, which sold out that is 900-seat auditorium in ~ a ticket price the $25 per seat. Return the dues wasn"t disclosed, Nye"s usual fee quantities to tens of thousands of dollars. "The ticket sales won"t cover half the price of this debate," Ham said NBC News prior to the event.

The museum wishes to recoup expenses by selling DVDs and also downloads of the video, titled "Uncensored Science: bill Nye arguments Ken Ham."

Advocates on both political parties of the debate said they delighted in the spectacle. "It"s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Samuel Schmidt, a pro-Nye guy from Taylor Mill, Ky., who wore a bow tie together a authorize of solidarity with the scientific research Guy.

Sonja Smith, a Ham supporter from Loveland, Ohio, additionally came far satisfied. "It proved that world can come together and also have a respectful conversation about something that world are really passionate about," she said.

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MSNBC slideshow: inside the production Museum

NBC News science editor Alan Boyle will certainly delve right into the post-debate evaluation at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on "Virtually speaking Science." reserved guests include evolutionary biologist mock Rosenau, programs and policy director because that the National facility for scientific research Education; and also filmmaker Antony Thomas. Thomas" latest documentary, "Questioning Darwin," premieres on HBO on Feb. 10.