"Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff, who has 12 children, has fired back against Bill Nye "The Science Guy," who suggested that parents who have "extra kids" should be punished for putting a strain on the world's population.
"Bill Nye raised his anti-science rhetoric to a new decibel level in the final episode of 'Bill Nye Saves The World' — suggesting that people (like me) living in the developed world should be penalized for having 'extra kids.' Why? Because in his view we are woeful contributors to climate change," Hanegraaff wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
"In truth, whether one has two or 12 (as in our case) is less important than whether my children grow up to be selfless producers as opposed to merely selfish consumers," he added.
Nye poised a controversial question on his "Bill Nye Saves the World" show on Netflix on Tuesday, when in a panel discussion he said: "Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?"
When Travis Rieder, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University, said, "I do think that we should at least consider it," Nye responded: "Well, 'at least consider it' is like, 'Do it.'"
The larger discussion focused on the human population and Nye's belief that people put a strain on the Earth's resources.
Hanegraaff, who has recently faced controversy over his decision to leave evangelicalism in order to join a Greek Orthodox Church, has said in the past that he keeps receiving questions about whether people should control the number of children that they have.
"I'll tell you as a 60 year old man now with a lot of kids, knowing my predisposition early on which was with all the ministry that I wanted to do, I didn't want to have a huge family but my wife did. I am so happy that I listened to the wisdom of my wife because I cannot imagine life without my kids today," he wrote in a 2010 article for the Christian Research Institute, where he serves as president.
"So kids are a blessing, and you can't presume on the future, you just don't know what's going to happen in the future, a lot of people who think they can't afford kids fail to recognize that it's not about the arm of flesh; it's about the arm of God. God will give you what you need," he added.
Others, such as Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham's Answers in Genesis organization, have also been highly critical of "Bill Nye Saves the World."
"The overarching theme of all 13 episodes was 'trust science.' Nye frequently declares, 'We might even, dare I say it, save the world?' His show attempts to foster a blind faith in science as the only force that can save the world," AiG writes in its review.
"Bill Nye won't ever accomplish his lofty ambition of saving the world. He might convince some people of his views, but the job of saving the world has already been accomplished by the all-powerful Creator," AiG added.
Nye defended his views last week on CNN, and laid out what he wants viewers to take from his Netflix show:
"There's a couple things I want. I want people to address climate change. I want clean water for everyone on Earth; renewably-produced, reliable electricity for everyone on Earth; access to the internet, or whatever the future of electronic information is, so that everybody in the world can participate in taking care of the planet."