Creation Museum President and CEO Ken Ham recently found out what Bill Nye "The Science Guy" really thinks of him when Nye appeared on Bill Maher's "Real Time" HBO program. But it's not Nye's remarks that are bothering Ham. What Ham is even more irked by is how other Christians have been critical of him following his debate with Nye on creationism.
"What is sad to me is not what Bill Nye thinks about me. What I found really unfortunate is that after presenting my stand on God's Word, there were a number of Christians who were more complimentary of Bill Nye than of me because Bill Nye was defending evolution and billions of years," Ham wrote in a blog post Monday regarding his debate with Nye earlier this month. "You would think these Christians would be thankful that I presented the gospel at least three times during the debate. But it seems these Christian critics are more concerned about what I believe in Genesis than about people hearing the gospel."
Ham and Nye held a much-publicized debate on the viability of creationism on Feb. 4, which was watched online by an estimated 3 million people. While Nye argued in favor of evolution, Ham defended a literal interpretation of the Genesis account in the Bible and maintained that the earth is only 6,000 years old.
Before the debate, Nye said he had "respect for Mr. Ham and his beliefs" and that the two of them were "more alike" than different. A week after the debate, however, he told Maher that he may have "misspoken" when he said earlier than he respected Ham.
He then said what he really meant was that he respects Ham's "passion."
"I respect his passion," the CEO of science-advocacy group The Planetary Society clarified. "At first I thought he was a charlatan and was just trying to take advantage of people, but I think he might believe [what he teaches]."
While Ham commented on Nye's change in tone, the creationist said he was more bothered by the Christians who seemed to side more with Nye.
Ham defended his strategy during the debate, which has received various commentaries on the internet, and said that he focused on teaching the difference between historical and observational science – something that Nye ignores, he noted.
"It's interesting - some Christians criticized me for not dealing with those items Bill Nye brought up, or for not detailing more 'evidences' in my debate presentation. However, such evidential arguments have been refuted over and over again over the years," Ham argued. "Our science faculty and outside advisers agreed that my debate strategy should be to concentrate on showing that the evolution/creation issue was a philosophical battle over worldviews, and that they were dependent on two different starting points (God's Word or man's word). I also decided to teach the difference between historical and observational science. Bill Nye has totally ignored these arguments - he doesn't want to deal with them at all."
He also noted that he wanted to "gently but firmly challenge Bill Nye with the truth of God's Word and the gospel – and I did this."
"I've had many people thank me for this strategy, as it opened their eyes to the true nature of science and the true nature of the battle. But sadly, even many Christians still don't get it!"
Ham noted that many Christians also criticized him for believing that the earth and universe are only thousands of years old, and said that he does not like being called a "Young-Earth Creationist" but a "biblical creationist" instead.
"What I believe about the young age of the earth comes out of taking the Bible as written. And I've said numerous times over the years that the age of the earth, for example, is not a salvation issue but an authority issue."