Skeptical Inquirer has published an exclusive first-hand account by Bill Nye the Science Guy regarding why he decided to participate in a Creationism debate against Ken Ham, how he prepared for it, and how he thought it went:
As you may know, once in a while I am invited to offer my thoughts on Fox News. And I love it — I love being in the studio right there with those reporters with the opportunity to look them in the eyes (or lens). As you may infer, I’m not much for their style, and I usually disagree with just about everything a Fox commentator has to say, but I relish the confrontation. I had that same feeling about Ken Ham’s building. I wanted to be in the belly of the beast.
After the debate, my agent and I were driven back to our hotel. We were, by agreement, accompanied by two of Ham’s security people. They were absolutely grim. I admit it made me feel good. They had the countenance of a team that had been beaten — beaten badly in their own stadium. Incidentally, if the situation were reversed, I am pretty sure they are trained to feel bad about feeling good. They would manage to feel bad either way, which is consistent with Mr. Ham’s insistence on The Fall, when humankind took its first turn for the worse. And by his reckoning, we’ve been plummeting ever since.
Maybe the most surprising revelation is that Bill Nye didn’t think this would become the major spectacle it turned out to be.
While I think the debate ended up being a net positive for the science side, there’s no doubt in my mind that Ham benefitted just by being on that stage. He’s been talking about the debate almost non-stop since it happened as if the event itself somehow supports his views.