Why is Bill Nye fund-raising for creationism?

A lot of people are excited about the upcoming debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye at the Creation Museum in February. Some think Bill will be completely unprepared for standard creationist debate tactics, others think he’ll mop the floor with Ham. To me, that’s not the issue. The important thing to me (and probably to Ham) is that no matter how the debate goes, the fact that it happens at all is going to be a huge revenue stream for AnswersInGenesis.org. I’m sure if he loses, Ham will cry all the way to the bank.

According to the AiG web site, tickets to the event sold out in two minutes. God only knows how much money that raked in (and AiG isn’t telling), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They’re also looking into setting up a pay-per-view live stream, and they’re already taking advance orders on the DVD. Some of the comments on the site are enthusiastic about how much money Nye is going to help raise for creationism.

Comments About the Live Streaming of the Debate

  • “5 bucks is not unreasonable at all.”
  • “I am all for you making money off this event … it can fund the Ark project! Can’t wait to get my DVD.”
  • [In countering a critic who said that the live streaming should be free:] “So you all are against fundraising? How else do you propose they raise their necessary operating funds? I think this is a GREAT fundraiser, and apparently so do a lot of others if tickets sold out in 2 minutes!”
  • “There are costs involved in doing anything like this of this magnitude. I am thankful to AiG for standing for truth and don’t begrudge them making a bit of $ that they will surely use for good!”

And by “good,” of course, they mean “preaching creationism.” And that’s just for the live stream, a one-shot event that some people may not have the time or equipment for. Ham will be able to keep selling the DVD for years, and make money off of it. This whole debate may turn into a cash flow that keeps the Ark afloat! Even if the debate goes badly for Ham, he can make money off of secularists buying the dvd—and since they don’t believe in creationism anyway, it’s no great loss for him ideologically, and a big profit financially.

So why is Bill Nye a willing partner in this scam? I like him a lot, but I have to say it really looks like he got suckered big time here. I’m hoping maybe there’s some secret deal I haven’t heard about yet, but from what AiG is saying it looks like they’ve rigged the finances so that it will be a win-win situation for them.


  1. Alex says

    I don’t know how much the DVDs will rake in, but 25 $ * a few hundred seats is such an measly amount that would not even be noticed on the Ark park balance sheet. Maybe he’ll be able to sell tens or hundreds of thousands of DVDs, then we’re talking… I’d rather guess he’ll sell a few hundred units at best.

  2. jesse says

    Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    First, I can’t imagine Bill Nye is that dumb, he must know they are selling tickets. I’ll assume he is doing this for free, but if he isn’t, when who got suckered? Everyone has to make a living, as they say.

    Second, even if it is a fundraiser for AiG, lots of people will hear Bill Nye. Lots of people who mightn’t ordinarily. Some small percentage might be inspired (dare I say it) to rethink creationism. That’s no bad thing. Such debates can be silly, at one level, but they aren’t completely useless.

    On balance, I’d put it down to some fundraising for AiG against the possibility that some people stop looking for answers there as a result. Not a win-win, but more of a slow chipping at the AiG folks. Long term that might be better, you know?

  3. says

    It wouldn’t even be so bad if it weren’t for the venue and the fact that secularist organizations have been locked out from getting tickets, and the creationists will probably have the only recording devices there. The audience is probably going to be unmovable regardless of what Bill says since I doubt folks who are wavering would go to this event, and it’s unlikely that the video of the event would be unedited, so anyone who might be convinced by Bill won’t see any of his actually convincing arguments since they’ll be left on the cutting room floor.

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