WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (Christian Examiner) – A much-anticipated and life-size replica of Noah's Ark opened to the general public last week, and one of America's top critics of the biblical flood story – Bill Nye "The Science Guy" – paid a visit.
Nye was the guest of Answers in Genesis founder and President Ken Ham, who debated Nye in 2014 and who wanted him to get an up-close look at the replica, which is known as the Ark Encounter and is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high. It was built by Answers in Genesis, which also was behind the nearby Creation Museum.
A camera crew followed the men through the ark, and Ham recounted the conversation in Facebook and blog posts.
"We had a very passionate discussion," Ham wrote. "It was like the  debate all over again but more intense at times. Though it did get tense due to our differences in worldviews, it was an amicable visit."
Ham is a proponent of young earth creationism, which holds that the universe is thousands, and not millions, of years old. Nye – whose television science program was popular among children in the 1990s -- affirms evolution.
Their tour of the ark lasted about two hours.
"Numerous children, teens, and adults swarmed around us as we passionately interacted as the audience grew," Ham wrote. "... Bill challenged me about the content of many of our exhibits, and I challenged him about what he claimed and what he believed. It was a clash of worldviews.
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Eventually, the conversation turned spiritual.
"At one point I asked Bill: what would happen to you when you die? He said when you die 'you're done.' I then asked him why he was concerned about what we were teaching at the Ark if when we die we're 'done.' He also stated that it's 'not crazy to believe we descended from Martians.' I then asked Nye if it was 'crazy to believe we descended from Adam and Eve!' We have his answer on video," Ham wrote.
Video of the exchange has not been released. Ham said he was able to share the Gospel with Nye during their visit. The Ark Encounter, just like the Creation Museum, includes a Gospel presentation that every visit sees.
"As we ended our walk through the 1st deck in front of life-size models of Noah and his family who were depicted praying, I asked Bill if he would mind if I prayed, and if I could I pray for him," Ham wrote. "He said I could do whatever I want as he couldn't stop me. So while a large group of people were gathered around, I publicly prayed for Bill. I did ask him if we could be friends, but he said we could be acquaintances with mutual respect, but not friends.'
Ham concluded in his post: "Let's all pray for Bill Nye."
The two men ended their visit by shaking hands.
The Ark Encounter also includes a zoo, zip lines, and a restaurant. For more information, visit ArkEncounter.com.