Bill Nye, whose website describes him as “scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor,” may need all of those skills when he debates the creation-evolution controversy with Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham, a native Australian with formal training in applied science and teaching.

The debate is scheduled Feb. 4 at the 900-seat Legacy Hall at the Creation Museum operated by Ham’s organization in Petersburg, Ky., near Cincinnati.

Tickets for the event sold out in two minutes, according to organizers.

The question they pose to Nye and Ham: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?”

Nye is the former host of the popular PBS program “Bill Nye the Science Guy,’ which originally aired from 1993 to 1998.

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Nye, now executive director of the Planetary Society, frequently appears on television and radio.

Ham is part of an effort that will begin construction soon on a full-size Noah’s Ark.

Nye has declared that teaching creationism is bad for children and that creationists shouldn’t oppose the teaching of evolution.

Ham said he’s looking forward to the encounter, telling reporters: “I think it’s important for there to be public debate on this issue rather than debate being shut down, as it has been by many of the ardent evolutionists.”

Ham told OneNewsNow: “That whole creation-evolution issue we see as a very, very important issue particularly in regard to influencing children – what they believe about who they are, where they came from. I mean, if they are taught that they’re just animals, that has a great bearing on how they view themselves and how they view morality.”

Ham’s books include “Already Compromised,” “Already Gone” and “How do We Know the Bible is True?”

He’s heard daily on his radio show, “Answers … with Ken Ham,” and he has appeared on the CBS News program “Sunday Morning,” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “PBS NewsHour.”

In his appearances, Ham addresses from a biblical perspective some of the hot-button topics of today, such as the trustworthiness of the Bible, how someone can know there is a God and why suffering exists.

Nye’s website says he won a Steve Martin look-alike contest and “developed dual careers as an engineer by day and a stand-up comic by night.”

His latest work is a show on Planet Green called “Stuff Happens” about environmental choices that consumers make.

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