On July 8, the day after AiG opened the Ark Encounter themed attraction to the public, Bill Nye, TV’s famed “Science Guy” who debated me at the Creation Museum in 2014, spent a couple of hours with me. We walked through the three decks of the life-size Ark in Northern Kentucky.
Bill had responded to my public social media invitation to visit the Ark where I would give him a personal tour.
Through his agent, Bill stated that he would like to come, but wanted to bring a film crew that is producing a movie about him. I realized immediately that his film idea was most likely a “set up”—to use us for his own purposes in the movie. But we agreed to move ahead, on the condition that we could also have our own video crew tag along.
As Mr. Nye arrived, a severe storm moved into the area. I met him at the start of the Ark’s queue line area as it poured rain and thundered, including a lightning strike nearby. To get the conversation going, the first thing I said to him was something like, “Do you like the special effects?” (You can hear the loud thunder crack on the video—a dramatic introduction for what was to happen over the next two hours.)
I had offered to give Bill a tour, starting on the first deck right above us. Bill told us, however, that his film team had already checked out the Ark the day before and wanted to start on the third deck instead (which has teaching exhibits on geology, the Ice Age, and so on).
I immediately realized Bill wasn’t really interested at all in hearing me present our teachings as we walked through the Ark.
I tried to persuade Bill to let me walk him through the Ark beginning on the first deck as a regular guest would do, as was my original intention. But Bill and his film team were adamant that they start on the third deck. Now, I wasn’t born yesterday! I immediately realized Bill wasn’t really interested at all in hearing me present our teachings as we walked through the Ark. He and his film crew wanted to go straight to some of the exhibits they chose and to do what I suspected: start attacking our biblical positions.
It turned out to be an intense two hours. As we began walking on the third deck of the Ark, many of our guests (we had thousands that day) started gathering around us. There were a number of young people and children watching and listening, and Bill began interacting with them. He was obviously playing to the crowd for the purposes of his film.
Both of us were passionate for our positions. During the “debate,” Bill stated:
Numerous media around the world reported on this impromptu “debate.”
In regard to Nye’s comments on his time at the Ark, the Washington Post quoted Nye as saying, “The kids are being ‘brainwashed.’” The article also stated that Nye “hopes that the project goes bankrupt and closes before it is completed.”1
On the Nye film’s website, the producer wrote that “the exchange was everything you’d anticipate between a man of science and a man of myth, both trying to win each other over to their side. Neither swayed.”
This statement is interesting, considering that when this same producer was planning his trip with Nye to the Ark, he promised us in an email, “It's our goal to make a fair and honest portrait of The Science Guy and a significant part of that story is the debate about the world's origins that you two reignited in 2014. I am writing in good faith—if you have any questions or concerns, David and I would be happy to talk through them. We want to be sensitive and fair to your perspective here and we are happy to collaborate with you to those ends.”
Well, does calling me a “man of myth” sound like their film will be “sensitive and fair” to our perspective?
The Christian Post reported that Nye, in a written statement, declared,
I chose to visit the Ark Encounter to see for myself the extent of its influence on young people. . . . The influence is strong. I spoke with a lot of kids (and took a great many selfies). Almost all of them do not accept that humans are causing climate change — and that is the Answers in Genesis ministry’s fault. Through its dioramas and signage, the organization promotes ideas that are absolutely wrong scientifically, while suppressing critical thinking in our students — which is in no one’s best interest, conservative or progressive.2
Actually, the issue of climate change (which we agree has happened but for different reasons from what Bill believes) is only briefly mentioned on one small sign in just one exhibit. It’s in a display about the Ice Age that occurred after Noah’s Flood.
The Christian Post article continued, “Nye’s assessment was also optimistic, but in a different way: ‘On a hopeful note, the parking lots were largely empty, and the ark building is unfinished. We can hope it will close soon.’”
Well, it is true that there will always be construction going on as we will be adding many more features for years to come. And it’s also true we have a very large parking lot—it can handle around 16,000 visitors a day (about 4,000 cars)! We built the lot with future phases in mind at the park (which we are now designing). The Ark Encounter will greatly increase in size over the years.
Various media reported that Nye had a great concern that the Ark Encounter (and the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis ministry) will adversely influence children.
Isn’t it amazing, 1) considering all the ardently evolutionary museums across America and around the world, 2) recognizing that evolution is taught as fact to millions of students in the public schools (in the United States and across the globe), and 3) noting all the evolutionary programs on TV and articles in magazines and so on, that secularists like Bill Nye are greatly fearing one Creation Museum and now one Ark?
The secular arguments about origins and earth history are easily demolished.
The secular arguments about origins and earth history are easily demolished. Thus secularists have to censor creation science beliefs from our schools. They fear they may easily lose people to creationist arguments.
Watch some of the most captivating and eye-opening video segments of my Ark tour with Mr. Nye in this recent blog post.
We have been blessed to have received many great testimonies from guests visiting the Ark Encounter in just its first week. Here is one that greatly encouraged me, and it came from a pastor: "[T]he Holy Spirit was strong in that place. I stayed choked up for the first two levels. The longer I stayed and the more I saw, the more I thought on the Word of God and what Christ did for us—I could hardly talk!"
That’s what it’s all about—impacting lives with the truth of God’s Word and its life-changing gospel message!