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Creationism Vs. Evolution: The Debate Is Live Tonight

After two weeks of hype about a football game that turned out to be far less exciting than expected and after what feels like two months' worth of reports about wicked winter weather, it's nice to have something completely different to talk about — even if it's a topic that sparks heated discussion:

Tonight at 7 p.m. ET, it's evolution vs. creationism when Bill Nye "the science guy" and Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., debate onstage (and live online, for free, here and here).

Update at 6:58 p.m. ET: The Debate Is About To Begin

You can watch on this page — and we'll be collecting some of the exchanges in a new post, as well.

Our original post continues:

As Louisville's Courier-Journal explains:

"It began with an online video, viewed 6 million times: TV's 'Bill Nye the Science Guy' arguing that teaching biblical creationism was bad for children.

"That got under the skin of Ken Ham, founder of Northern Kentucky's controversial Creation Museum, which presents the biblical creation story as scientific fact. Ham fired back with a video of his own, and with the viral buzz growing, the two sides agreed to a public showdown."

They'll be onstage at the museum. According to the Courier-Journal, "the $25 tickets ... sold out in two minutes, and discussion of the event has lit up cultural blogs, attracted national attention and stoked an ages-old fight between science and religion."

CNN's Belief Blog has posted pieces about the positions that Ham and Nye take:

From the NPR Newscast: Cheri Lawson of member station WNKU reports on the Nye-Ham debate

-- Ham: "Most students are presented only with the evolutionary belief system in their schools, and they are censored from hearing challenges to it. Let our young people understand science correctly and hear both sides of the origins issue and then evaluate them."

-- Nye: "I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it. Because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems."

Nye's video is here. Ham's response video is here. We'll watch for news and update.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.