Bill Nye, the Science Guy, went on a private tour of the Ark Encounter after receiving an invitation from Answers in Genesis president and founder of the Creation Museum, Ken Ham. The new biblical theme park is located in Williamstown, Kentucky, while the Creation Museum can be found 45 minutes away in Petersburg, Kentucky. Both were built as a result of Ham and his Christian group, Answers in Genesis.
— KOMO News (@komonews) July 9, 2016
Ham’s group seeks to teach that stories from the Old Testament of the Bible are historical events. They believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. The Ark Encounter was built in an effort to demonstrate that the Old Testament story of Noah’s ark and a worldwide flood actually happened. The wooden ark replica measures 510-feet long and is supposed to be made according to the dimensions given in the Bible.
Well known for his TV show in the 1990s where a variety of topics in science were explored, Nye believes in evolution. Nye previously said he didn’t want the ark to be built because it would be a danger to science education and “indoctrinate children into this extraordinary and outlandish, unscientific point of view.”
Nye chose to see what the Ark Encounter theme park is like for himself after being invited through social media back in May and June.
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) May 23, 2016
According to Ham, who gave Nye the tour himself, Nye toured with his own film crew on Friday, July 8. Uproxx reports Nye filmed his tour of the ark for an upcoming science documentary.
In a post after Bill Nye’s tour, Ham wrote, “During his visit, I was able to personally share the gospel with him very clearly.”
— Ken Ham (@aigkenham) July 9, 2016
Ham also wrote that Nye challenged him about the content of the exhibits in the ark, and Nye was challenged back about his beliefs. Ham and Nye talked their differences in their worldviews, a discussion which lasted nearly two hours, and called it “a clash of world views…”
“Ultimately, this is the heart of the issue — we have two different worldviews and two different interpretations of the same evidence because of our different starting points.”
Ham said he also prayed for Bill Nye at the end of the tour after asking if he minded. Nye said he could do whatever he wanted. When Nye was asked if the two could be friends, Ham wrote that Nye’s answer was they could be acquaintances with mutual respect, but not friends.
Back in 2014, Nye and Ham famously had an online debate about evolution versus creationism at the Creation Museum. The Courier-Journal reports the scientific community wasn’t happy with Nye at the time because they felt he legitimized Ham’s position.
Nye told U.S. News & World Report in 2014 that he believes the Answers in Genesis group “crosses a line by working hard to influence students and kids.”
“There’s a deep irony that [creationists] exploit or take advantage of all that science brings them – Facebook, cellphones, the food system that we have here in the United States, which is extraordinarily safe – but then promote the idea that the way we came to have all this is somehow wrong.”
The Ark Encounter theme park gave the media a preview on Tuesday, July 5, and officially opened to the public on Thursday, July 7. More than 15,000 visitors have toured the ark so far with the ark boasting 132 exhibit bays. Critics believe the true reason the ark replica was built was to revitalize interest and revenue that’s reportedly been waning at the Creation Museum.
What are your thoughts on Bill Nye’s tour of the Ark Experience and the differences between his beliefs and those of Ken Ham?
[Photo via Twitter]