Ken Ham: Bill Nye Debate Helped Creationist Museum Get $62M To Finish Ark Exhibit

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Creation Museum founder Ken Ham says his widely viewed debate with Bill Nye the “Science Guy” helped the museum get the rest of the money it needed to build a $73 million 510-foot Noah’s Ark.

Ham announced on Thursday that the museum received a $62 million municipal bond offering and plans to break ground on the ark in May. The project should be finished by summer 2016.

"It did help," Ham told the Dallas Morning News. "We obviously had a big spurt toward the end [of the bond deadline], and I think it was people who were involved in this, who really decided they were going to do something."

Nye told the newspaper Thursday that he’s disappointed the project is moving forward as said he hopes it “goes out of business.”

"If he builds that ark, it's my strong opinion, it's bad for the commonwealth of Kentucky and bad for scientists based in Kentucky and bad for the U.S.," Nye said. "And I'm not joking, bad for the world."

The Feb. 4 debate took place at the museum in Petersburg, Ky. Nye was criticized by some of his fellow scientists for participating in an event at the museum, saying it would help Ham garner donations.

"Me? I've always been criticized," Nye said.

As an engineer, he questioned whether builders would be able to tackle the construction of an ark.

"I challenge them to try to float this ship, to try and make this a seaworthy ship," Nye said.

Pastor Ham’s ministry, Answers In Genesis, has been trying to get the project off the ground for years. The ark is part of a Biblical theme park, but it brought in only about $14 million in private donatons. 

The bonds were issued from the city of Williamstown, 40 miles south of Cincinnati, where the park is set to be built. The bonds will be repaid through park revenue.

Sources: Dallas Morning News, Associated Press