Over 7 Million Tuned in for Historic Bill Nye and Ken Ham Evolution/Creation Debate
Tuesday evening’s event takes half of Twitter’s trending topics
PETERSBURG, Ky., February 5, 2014 (revised Feb. 14) – A minimum of seven million viewers watched last night’s evolution/creation debate between “Bill Nye the Science Guy” and Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum (the location of the much-discussed event). In what some observers have dubbed “Scopes II,” Nye and Ham sparred in a cordial yet spirited debate in front of a live audience that braved a winter storm. At least 10,000 groups watched a live stream in a public venue.
Almost 2.5 million computers logged on to the debate. With the thousands of groups viewing the debate in churches, schools, and other places, and with families watching at home, it is reasonable to estimate that per log in, a minimum of 3-4 people were watching per log-in via www.debatelive.org. One location, Liberty University in Virginia, reported 1,500 debate viewers on one log-in they watched inside a large hall on campus.
Facebook reported that the debate was the number 1 trending topic for many hours before the event began. On Twitter, #creationdebate and Ken Ham occupied the worldwide twitter trending, during and after the debate. For a time, the event was half of Twitter’s trending topics.
The debate was moderated by the capable Tom Foreman of CNN. Right after the debate, Nye and Ham were interviewed on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live,” and then by Dan Harris, a correspondent with ABC TV’s “Nightline” program. Also last night, MSNBC “The Last Word” interviewed Mr. Nye by himself inside the Creation Museum. About 70 media representatives were able to beat the incoming storm to attend.debate was the number 1 trending topic for many hours before the event began. On Twitter, #creationdebate and Ken Ham occupied the worldwide twitter trending, during and after the debate. For a time, the event was half of Twitter’s trending topics.
The topic for the debate was: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis, which owns the Creation Museum, presented the argument for creation. Ham based his arguments on a misrepresentation of the definition of the word science, particularly in the differences between observational and historical science.
“There is a distinct difference in what you observe and what has taken place in the past,” said Ham. “Creationists and evolutionists disagree on how to interpret data regarding the origins of our universe, and we can’t prove either way observationally, because all we’ve got is the present. When it comes down to it, this is a battle over philosophical worldviews.”
The argument against creation was presented by Nye, the Emmy-winning host and producer of the popular “Bill Nye the Science Guy” PBS-TV program for children. Many of Nye’s arguments were based on an advanced age of the Earth, pointing, for example, to the layers in the Grand Canyon.
One of the high points of the debate occurred when Ham showed short clips of prominent creationists who are involved in high-tech science and medicine, in order to counter Mr. Nye’s contention that science advances when society becomes more evolution-based. One of the creationists was Dr. Raymond Damadian of New York, inventor of the MRI scanner, and who is an outspoken creationist and whose invention has saved countless lives. You can watch Dr. Damadian’s clip here.
In addition, thousands of people watched the debate as it was signed by nationally certified ASL interpreters at a special website: www.debateliveASL.org
At 8 p.m. tonight on the same debate stage, Ken Ham and museum scientist Dr. Georgia Purdom will hold a 25-30 minute post-debate analysis. It will be live streamed (also at no cost) through debatelive.org/answers. The live streams are powered by Google+ Hangouts On Air, through YouTube. The debate last night was available in HD for large-screen viewing in schools, churches, or other public venues, at no cost.
The debate has been archived at www.debatelive.org and will remain there for several days for viewing. C-Span will air the debate on TV on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. ET.
AiG has often told media that it is willing to hold public debates with serious evolutionists with credentials. Even though some mocking, strident evolutionists have challenged AiG to debate, their requests are not considered. As a serious advocate for his beliefs, Nye’s opinions carry weight in society. Ham, who debated at Harvard in the 1990s, points out that evolution/creation public debates featuring serious debaters have become rare.
The Creation Museum is an outreach of the Bible-defending organization of Answers in Genesis. For information on its numerous outreaches, visit www.AnswersInGenesis.org.