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PETERSBURG, Ky. — For true believers of all stripes, Tuesday night was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Nine hundred people streamed into the Creation Museum for the debate between founder Ken Ham and Bill Nye, the "Science Guy" of television fame.

There was little hint of the worldwide livestream that organizers were hoping would attract as many as 1 million viewers online.

Yet the audience beyond Petersburg, Ky., apparently was large. The debate was a hot topic online; at one point the top four trending topics on Twitter, the social media site, were related to it.

"Science rules" read one T-shirt worn by a 12-year-old in the museum, with the sound of mechanized dinosaurs braying in the background.

Misty Brewer of Tulsa, Okla., said she has "traveled my journey to atheism." She drove 12 hours to bring her son to the "debate" and was getting in the car to drive back home immediately after it ended.

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