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Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham says Bill Nye has been painting an inaccurate picture of Ham and those who believe in the literal interpretation of the Genesis creation account. Ham insisted that he is not the leader of a cultic fringe group, as Nye seems to suggest.
"I believe he (Nye) is trying to portray me as some sort of tyrannical leader of the AiG (Answers in Genesis) staff and supporters, who follow me as people might do with some sort of cult leader," Ham wrote on Wednesday. "Why does he continue to say this? I believe he is trying to get the public to believe that AiG is some sort of cultic fringe group! It's all a part of trying to marginalize Bible-believing Christians in the culture, of which there are tens of millions of people in the USA alone."
Ham said that during the much publicized February debate at the Creation Museum, where the two debated creationism, Nye had repeatedly used phrases like "Ken Ham's creation model," "Ken Ham's flood," and "Ken Ham and his followers."
"I don't know his motive in saying such things except it seems he is continuing to suggest that I am the leader of some sort of minority group, with people who just follow me and I dictate what they believe," Ham, who holds a Young Earth Creationism view, wrote.
"It's so sad that he would try to demonize us in this way. That's why at the debate, I stated that there are millions of people across the USA and around the world who believe God's Word as we do and as most of the church leaders did up through the Reformation."
According to Pew Research Center analysis in December 2013, 60 percent of Americans believe that "humans and other living things have evolved over time," while a third, or 33 percent, disagree with evolution and believe that "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."
Among Protestant pastors, 46 percent believe the earth is approximately 6,000 years old and 43 percent don't hold that view, according to a LifeWay Research survey conducted in 2011.
Ham's latest blog post comes in response Nye's recent article in the May/June 2014 volume for The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, where the CEO of science-advocacy group The Planetary Society revealed that he agreed to do the much-publicized debate because he felt it gave him the opportunity to express why he finds the views of Ham and his supporters to be "bad for humankind."
"I held strongly to the view that it was an opportunity to expose the well-intending Ken Ham and the support he receives from his followers as being bad for Kentucky, bad for science education, bad for the U.S., and thereby bad for humankind-I do not feel I'm exaggerating when I express it this strongly," Nye wrote, and shared a number of reflections on the debate, which was reportedly watched online by an estimated 3 million people.
Ham countered Nye's assertion that two of Ham's security people who accompanied Nye and his agent back to their hotel following the debate appeared "absolutely grim," looking like a "team that had been beaten-beaten badly in their own stadium."
"It is so sad to read such a silly, demeaning statement like this. AiG's public safety officers are highly trained and very professional," the Creation Museum president said.
"Most of the officers that night didn't even watch the debate as they were busy watching over the entire facility. They didn't get to experience the debate itself until they watched it later on video."
As to who won the debate, Ham said that he believes the event was able to "spark interest across the world about the creation/evolution issue," and estimated that around 14 million people in total have now had a chance to see it.
He also said that at least Nye agreed to have a public discussion on the topic, while people like evolutionary biologist and atheist author Richard Dawkins have refused to do so.
"They don't want people to have the opportunity to critically analyze the issue. Dawkins and his ilk want their anti-God atheist religion forced on the public," he wrote.
In an October 2013 interview, Dawkins explained that he doesn't do such debates, as he feels that simply engaging with people who believe in the Young Earth Creation theory allows them to get what they want.
"They want to be seen on a platform with a real scientist because that conveys the idea that here is a genuine argument between scientists," Dawkins said. "They may not win the argument – in fact, they will not win the argument, but it makes it look like there really is an argument to be had."
The full Ham-Nye debate can be watched online at the debatelive.org website.