Bill Nye: Why I Debated Ken Ham—A Skeptical Inquirer Exclusive

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2014
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director - (207) 358-9785


Plus: Joe Nickell Investigates the “200 Demons” House

Exclusively for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, science communicator Bill Nye “The Science Guy” gives his personal take on his controversial debate with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, explaining in his own words why he chose to take part, how he prepared, and who really “won” in the end. 

Nye Ham

Initially balking at the invitation to debate, Nye saw a chance he couldn’t pass up. “I held strongly to the view that it was an opportunity to expose the well-intending Ken Ham and the support he receives from his followers as being bad for Kentucky, bad for science education, bad for the U.S., and thereby bad for humankind.”

Nye makes the case that the event was less a debate than a TV show, saying of his strategy, “I did not choose, as I was advised, to attack, attack, attack. My actor’s preparation helped me keep things civil and be respectful of Mr. Ham despite what struck me as his thoughtless point of view.”

Writes Nye, “I sensed that Mr. Ham was nervous, while I was excited.”

Read the complete piece by Bill Nye here!

Also in Skeptical Inquirer: A small house is declared infested by 200 demons by so-called clairvoyants, the children living there believed by their mother to be possessed, and a media frenzy begins. Skeptical Inquirer sent famed paranormal investigator Joe Nickell to the “Demon House” of Gary, Indiana, to find out what was really going on. Nickell meticulously explains away the ghostly occurrences, and while he doesn’t find a single demon (let alone 200), he does find something just as nefarious: “The dark aspects of superstition, ancient dogma, lust for notoriety, the greed of cynical hucksters, and the stubborn unwillingness of some to be reasoned with.”

This issue also includes a cover feature by Joe Nickell and James McGaha on Mount Rainier as a “magnet” for UFOs;a call for spiritual gurus to stop abusing the language of quantum mechanics by Dale DeBakcsy; an exposé on the public funding of pseudoscientific alternative medicine by Eugenie V. Mielczarek and Brian Engler; and so much more.

The May/June 2014 edition of Skeptical Inquirer is now available on newsstands, in the Apple App Store, or on Pocketmags for Android, Kindle, and other platforms. For more information, visit

Skeptical Inquirer is the official journal of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. CSI encourages the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view. Learn more about CSI and SI at

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at