Secularists Use Ham-Nye Debate for Fundraising

by Ken Ham on July 28, 2014
Featured in Letter from Ken

Well, here is an interesting twist on the Bill Nye debate—and perhaps you will be surprised that it made me smile and in a way, greatly encouraged me!

One of the leading secular humanist groups is using the Bill Nye debate as a basis for their latest fundraising letter. But to me, there is something very glaring about this that caused me to chuckle a bit. I think you will be intrigued by this, too.

Pro-Science or Anti-Christian?

The NCSE (National Center for Science Education) is actually an anti-creationist organization that works to prevent any possibility that students in public-school science classes will be told about creation, or even problems with evolution, etc. The current chair of NCSE’s Advisory Council and their former executive director, Dr. Eugenie Scott, who retired this year, is an avowed atheist.

Now here is a photo of their envelope for their May 2014 fundraising letter:

NCSE Envelope

Note the tag line they used:

‘NCSE gave me the information I needed to overwhelm Ken Ham.’ — Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’

In their letter they explain how Bill Nye came to them for advice on what to say at the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate that was held at the Creation Museum, February 4, 2014.

As they discussed a strategy for Bill Nye to use in the debate, they state in their letter:

A particularly delicious strategy emerged. As Genie Scott observed, creationist debaters tend to engage in what she calls “the Gish Gallop” [a misrepresentation of what the famous creationist Dr. Duane Gish did]—a recitation of supposed problems with evolution delivered so rapidly that there’s no way to rebut all of them.

By the way, for me as I was preparing for the debate, I believed it important to answer the question Bill Nye wanted as the debate topic—which is what I did. Bill Nye didn’t really do this—he just attacked the creationist position, belittling the people of Kentucky, and made a number of demeaning and disparaging comments about me and biblical creationists in general.

The NCSE letter also downplayed the viewership of the debate, stating:

And on February 4, 2014, when Nye went into the lion’s den of the Creation ‘Museum’ auditorium [note they put ‘Museum’ in parentheses—Bill Nye wouldn’t even use the word museum when referring to where the debate was held] to debate Ham before a live audience of a few hundred and a web audience estimated in the six or low seven figures.

Actually, we have publicized extensively that our web technicians estimated that conservatively 3 million watched the debate live, and as of the date of this letter, it is estimated conservatively that around 14 million have now watched the debate—and thousands continue to watch the archived debate. Not only that, CSPAN broadcast the debate a number of times after the debate.

The Influence of the Debate

Now, here is what intrigues me! This secular humanist group is using the debate as a fundraiser, but they very obviously play down the influence of the debate. Not only that—they asked people to donate to their anti-God cause by suggesting various donation amounts. They offered certain books and other items for the suggested donations. They have six different offers of items in response to the donation amount one gives.

Guess what is missing from any offer?

Wouldn’t you think if the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate was able to so “overwhelm Ken Ham” they would be making the debate DVDs a big part of their offers? After all, Bill Nye was given a master video of the uncut debate, and he is able to distribute them as we at AiG are.

In fact, at AiG, we have archived the debate on our special website, and offer study materials to go with it. We make the debate DVDs available and to date have sold over 20,000 of them.

If Bill Nye was able to “overwhelm Ken Ham,” you would think they would want everyone they could to see this debate!

If Bill Nye was able to “overwhelm Ken Ham,” you would think they would want everyone they could to see this debate!

Instead, they don’t even mention the debate can be viewed for free on the Internet—or that people can obtain the DVDs!

And do you know why? Well, I’ve had many people tell me that their atheist friends watched the debate, and since then, they are much more open to discuss issues surrounding the origin of life and the Christian faith.

I have also received many testimonies—like this one:

. . . thank you soooo much for your debate with Bill Nye. My son who was raised a Christian and began going to college . . . need I say more . . . turned away . . . . But, after watching your debate . . . he's beginning to turn back to the Lord and his faith. Would you say a ‘quick’ prayer for his salvation? Thank you . . . you probably brought a lot of people back to the Lord and maybe even won over some die-hard atheists! Anyway, you have made a mom very grateful to you!!! The Lord used you mightily in this debate.

Or this one:

A friend from Maine related to us that his family was praying for a young man, Kyle, who was having a hard time trying to reconcile science with faith. The family had witnessed to him many times and invited him to watch the [Nye] debate, which he did. Afterward, a friend was able to get him into the Scriptures, and Kyle finally repented and received Christ.

When asked what part the debate played in him finally receiving Christ, Kyle’s friend replied, ‘If anyone actually won the debate, it was Ken Ham. [Ken’s use of] the orchard model of species (versus the evolutionary tree) impressed him in particular, but that it was a greater trust in the Bible that helped him receive Christ.’ — C.M.

And then I believe there is something the secularists like those at NCSE do not want people to know about. After my debate with Bill Nye, one reporter said to me, “Well, the cat’s out of the bag—and once it is, it’s hard to put it back in.”

This was in relation to a topic I emphasized over and over again during the debate—the difference between origins or historical science and experimental or observational science—illustrating that molecules-to-man evolution is a belief, a religion.

NCSE certainly doesn’t want that “cat out of the bag.”

All About God’s Word and the Gospel

Now there is one quote from Bill Nye when he appeared on CNN after the debate that I just love:

I was and am respectful of Ken Ham’s passion. At a cognitive level, he believes what he says. He really means it, when he says that he has ‘a book’ that supersedes everything you and I and his parishioners can observe everywhere in nature around us. I respected that commitment.

Ah yes—the most quoted phrase from the debate “there is a book . . . .”

And that’s what the AiG ministry is all about—“there is a book”—God’s Word and the saving gospel message it proclaims.

I think another reason the secular humanists don’t want people to watch the debate is because I clearly honored God’s Word and on at least three occasions presented the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The secular humanists are using Bill Nye and the debate (which they really don’t want people to watch) to try to raise funds for an anti-biblical organization.

As we faithfully stand on the authority of the Word of God and proclaim the saving gospel, we thank you for your donations and prayer. We continue to do battle to counteract the false teaching of Bill Nye and organizations like NCSE.

Oh—and let’s not play down the debate—let’s continue to get as many people to watch it as we can. After all:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Editor’s note: Some secularists have claimed that the February 4 Nye/Ham debate was primarily organized by AiG to raise revenue for our Ark Encounter, arguing that because the Ark was in desperate need of increased sales of bonds to fund the project, the debate was the means to promote the Ark Encounter and raise more bond sales. The reality is that—as we state on our website—the date to register for the bonds had passed before the debate, “The date of the debate with Bill Nye had been on the AiG calendar months before it was known what the final delivery date of the Ark bonds would be.” At the same time, Ken Ham remarked that “in God’s timing, not ours—and although the bond registration had already closed before the February 4 debate and thus no more bonds could be purchased—the high-profile debate prompted some people who had registered for the bonds to make sure they followed through with submitting their necessary, and sometimes complicated, paperwork.” In the end, the debate may have motivated a few registrants to make sure they submitted their needed paperwork to complete their bond purchase. But the claim that the debate was used to get people to purchase more bonds is not true.


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