Bill Nye The Science Guy: Parents, do not teach creationism

Bill Nye The Science Guy has created a two-minute You Tube video for online knowledge group Big Think in which he defends evolution and ask parents not to raise creationist kids. Nye hosted a popular kids science show in the 1990s.

From NBC News via Channel 11’s website:

“Denial of evolution is unique to the United States,” Nye says in the video. After praising the U.S. as the world’s most advanced technological society, he credits that ranking to “intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science. When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.”

Nye goes on to say that he asks those who don’t believe in evolution to explain to him why they feel that way, and that “your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution…”

“And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine,” Nye says. “But don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can – we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

What do you think of Bill Nye asking parents not to teach creationism? What are you teaching at home? Do you have a hard time bringing together your faith and evolution? Does Nye’s argument sway you? Is this just an issue in the South?

(This is a hot-button issue. Please try to use your best manners on the blog.)

216 comments Add your comment

Regnad Kcin

August 30th, 2012
2:12 pm

Chris

August 30th, 2012
9:33 am

“Number one evolution is a “theory” and has NOT been proven as the whole idea hinges on the “missing link” which has not been found and which they are still searching for.”

Your ignorance of evolution is staggering.

Science need not be a threat to your world view – wiki “non-overlapping magisteria”.

Cornermeet

August 30th, 2012
2:13 pm

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/ answers to all Creationist claims.

jpm52433

August 30th, 2012
2:19 pm

Progress…56 men signed the Declaration of Independence…40 men signed the US Constitution…how many were provably deists? I hope the class you’re teaching isn’t history.

“the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men.” – Benjamin Franklin, Constitutional Convention, 1787

baphemetis

August 30th, 2012
2:23 pm

True Creationism isn’t really about the human species, it’s about religion itself. Every belief system that has ever risen (and many fallen) on this Earth are all the “Creations” of man!!

I disagree with Bill to the extent that our children should be censored to a single belief system, instead they should be taught a broad spectrum of ideas. Then as parents, we should all have the respect to allow them the opportunity to make their own decisions, even if it is different than our own!!

Regnad Kcin

August 30th, 2012
2:27 pm

Intelligent Design:

The flaw is not in the explanation, it is in your definition.

A “bad” mutation is a mutation that fails to self-replicate. The fact that these organisms exist is ipso facto evidence that these are not “bad mutations”.

BTW – it is silly to characterize mutations this way – an organism with a mutation survives, or not. There is no “bad”".

Rickster

August 30th, 2012
2:29 pm

I don’t know how anyone can look at the variety of animals, plants, trees and more and NOT believe that Creationism (or Intelligent Design) isn’t a viable theory.

Physics teaches that matter can neither be destroyed. If that is true – then who or what created whatever it was that exploded in “The Big Bang?” It didn’t create itself.

If life supposedly began in some “primordial soup” – how did the primative life form that crawled out of that soup change itself into plants, trees, fish, apes, birds and then humans?

If Evolution is valid as a theory, are we to assume that humans are the highest level of evolution possible? If not… how do we decide what we want to evolve into?

Bill Nye is entertaining… but he’s woefully misguided.

Jessica

August 30th, 2012
2:32 pm

I recommend reading The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel or Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe. If you are going to slam creationism as ‘unscientific,’ at least have the courage to explore the argument in favor of it first.

iRun

August 30th, 2012
2:45 pm

Progress, if you come back I just wanted to make a couple comments.

1. I agree with everything you said, except
2. I don’t think the Bible is inherently immoral. I think it’s amoral. It’s just a book. It’s humans who have morality and some humans use the book to derive it.

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2012
2:46 pm

Aquagirl, why does a belief in God require a rejection of anything “science” offers?

It doesn’t. And your assumption I said that is based in either poor reading skills or poor thinking skills.

And as far as evolution is concerned, it’s a nice theory, but it has too many holes, inconsistencies and leaps of faith to be labeled “fact.”

Let’s see…anonymous blog poster vs. virtually every Biology department in every major university. I’m quite comfortable with the Biologists, you can take the interwebz posters, they’re all yours.

You’re free to hold an opinion, but as the previous quote from Neil DeGrasse Tyson says “the good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” Your opinion on 2+2 does not change the fact it = 4. If you want to teach your kids something that will put them at a disadvantage, that’s your choice. It doesn’t change the fact of evolution. It may change their ability to compete in the world though.

Tom

August 30th, 2012
2:49 pm

Behe? Someone wants to use Behe as a source?

#facepalm

jason

August 30th, 2012
2:52 pm

Progress-
I am not a creationist, nor did I suggest that the founding fathers were all Christians. In fact I went out of my way to identify the Tora separately from the teachings of Christ. Most of the philosophers of the Enlightenment were opposed to Christianity of any form – and especially the Roman Catholic strain. But the founding fathers were not solely influenced by the philosophers of the enlightenment. And considering the amount of our formative documents and supporting documents (such as the Federalist Papers) which contain ideas and text lifted directly from Biblical passages, I would say it is a fair statement that the founding fathers – at the very least – did not reject the Bible as a bunch of superstition, as you do. That is not the same as saying they believed in the trinity and in the virgin birth. They simply respected the text. It must also be noted that the founding fathers varied greatly in their religious views. It was never my point to defend creationism or Christianity.

My principle objection was the way you so blithely brushed aside the teaching of the Bible as a bunch of superstition. It is possible to reject someone else’s final conclusions while still recognizing that their ideas have merit. Further, it is possible for you to reject the notion of a supernatural god while still acknowledging that the teachings contained in the Bible and other religious texts have inspired a lot of good on this earth. The language of the civil rights movement, for example, and specifically the words of Dr. King, were largely inspired by, if not outright copied from, the Bible.

There is enough about the world that we do not know (dark matter, e.g.), such that sometimes reasonable minds may differ. Sometimes even brilliant minds may differ. And it seems an awful amount of hubris to summarily dismiss a document in which so many other bright minds have found inspiration through the ages. I would say the same thing about the Koran.

Mike

August 30th, 2012
2:57 pm

It’s about time someone came out and stated it clear and simple. For too long people get away with being in denial and believing in fairy tales in the name of religious freedom. Sure believe what you want, but please don’t brainwash the children with lies and made up stories about some imaginary man in the sky.

Chad

August 30th, 2012
3:07 pm

Just would like to respond to a few of these comments. Read “Project Steve” 99.73% of scientists believe in evolution. By saying my biology professor is smart and believes in God is what is called an outlier in statistics. As for the “myth of science”. For something to be a THEORY in science it has to be obervable, testable, repeatable with a known outcome. This means if you dont believe things like the THEORY of evolution all you have to do is go dig up ONE skeleton showing that man didnt evolve sharing a common ancestor with apes. To date all skeletons show just that. A THEORY also has to be peer reviewed in a scientific journal so nobody can just say anything they want. Hopefully, everyone understands that the word THEORY in science doesnt mean an “idea” like it does in everyday language. FINALLY, the “MISSING LINK”. Humans evolved in many many small changes. Only religious people are looking for a monkey body with a human head. Archeologists have found many skeletons with several human traits and several traits of a creature that shares a common ancestory with apes. These transitional fossils have been found in many animals as well. http://www.transitionalfossils.com/

jpm52433

August 30th, 2012
3:13 pm

Tom…what was that “common ancestor?” Right…some kind of proto-ape…and before that?

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2012
3:15 pm

Someone wants to use Behe as a source?

The Dover Area School District should tell Jessica how well that works.

iRun

August 30th, 2012
3:16 pm

Chad,

No, you’ve got the science thing wrong.

A theory doesn’t have to be testable, etc. A hypothesis does.

How is science a myth? You don’t have a TV? You never take antibiotics?

Same thing about peer-review. Take it from someone who writes peer-reviewed stuff. A manuscript that is peer reviewed doesn’t present a theory, it presents a hypothesis that was tests.

Chad

August 30th, 2012
3:17 pm

For Jessica who recommend “The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel or Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe.” You may want to search Strobel’s “scientists” in his dvds. They are all members of the Discovery Institute. Unfortunately their “science” isnt science. They dont use the scientific method (require work to be observable, testable, repeatable with a known outcome) and they dont post their work in peer reviewed scientific journals. In that way, they can tell the public anything they want and nobody is there to say, this is not correct. Fortunately, Storbel and Behe’s science did make it to court. Watch “Judgement Day:Intelligent Design on Trial”. I am sorry that you have been mislead into thinking that Strobel and Behe’s work was actual science.

Chad

August 30th, 2012
3:24 pm

IRun
If a hypthesis has to be observable, testable, repeatable with a known outcome. And a theory has to be a hypothesis first. Then Theories are also observable, testable, repeatable with known outcome. Never said science was a myth, quoted someone else. And yes, again, a hypothesis goes through peer review and a theory has to be a hypothesis first, so theories have been peer reviewed.

Chad

August 30th, 2012
3:37 pm

Good question: Rickster If life supposedly began in some “primordial soup” – how did the primative life form that crawled out of that soup change itself into plants, trees, fish, apes, birds and then humans? ANSWER: I just visted the field museum in Chicago. They have a display there called “evolving planet”. It takes you step by step through everything. Very amazing display, spent a few hours there. If you are not near Chicago, call around, I am sure most science museums have an exhibit similar to that one.

Tom

August 30th, 2012
3:40 pm

“Humans are primates. Physical and genetic similarities show that the modern human species, Homo sapiens, has a very close relationship to another group of primate species, the apes. Humans and the great apes (large apes) of Africa — chimpanzees (including bonobos, or so-called “pygmy chimpanzees”) and gorillas — share a common ancestor that lived between 8 and 6 million years ago. Humans first evolved in Africa, and much of human evolution occurred on that continent. The fossils of early humans who lived between 6 and 2 million years ago come entirely from Africa.”

- from Museum of Natural History/Smithsonian site http://humanorigins.si.edu/resources/intro-human-evolution

iRun

August 30th, 2012
3:42 pm

Chad, not quite:

A theory is an idea supported by a body of evidence. Some of that body of evidence will be AGAINST it but most are FOR it.

Evolution certainly has more evidence for it than against it. It’s just creationists who deny evolution refuse to accept the evidence.

Lookit, I grew up Catholic. It was Catholic priests who were some of the world’s premier scientist.

So, relax, the idea that God (who I admittedly don’t believe in) created everything there is AND that evolution is real…they can co-exist. Easy. You just have to say “God did it all and exactly how is one of His great mysteries!”

(google scientists priest to see the list of them)

jason

August 30th, 2012
3:47 pm

I believe that a woman’s right to choose whether Michael Vick should be allowed to play football in spite of dogfighting allegations hinges on whether Chic-fil-A can be served at a reception for a gay wedding.

/clubs baby seal

jason

August 30th, 2012
3:48 pm

Sorry, I blacked out for a second.

dd

August 30th, 2012
3:52 pm

Dear God, I believe!!!

Michael

August 30th, 2012
3:54 pm

Just as you have the right to believe in Evolution, I have the right to raise my children as I was raised, as a Christian. Christ never forced people to believe in Him. The belief in God is personal and guaranteed as one of our liberties. Thank God!

Chad

August 30th, 2012
4:04 pm

Are you suggesting that there are skeletons that go against evolution? Please provide me a list.

I agree, a God can co-exist with evolution. But not the God of the Bible. The Bible has the earth being created 6016 years ago (Bishop Usher and others using Biblical lineage). Some may get into a day isn’t a day. But that is called rationalizing. I am into education, not wishing, hoping and rationalizing to make things fit. Evolution takes millions of years (in many cases) and therefore can’t co-exist. So I will accept a God could have made it is illogical to think the God of the Bible did it.

BigdaddyJ

August 30th, 2012
4:07 pm

To those who don’t believe in God and His son, gonna suck for you when you find out you were wrong! There’s your Big Bang – your head in hell.

Tom

August 30th, 2012
4:15 pm

Which “God”, Big? History has given us accounts of nearly 2,800 unique entities (just the ones we know of) that fit the broad definition of ‘god’. How did you come to believe in the ONE you did? Was it because of when/where you were born? Was it based on what your parents/family believed?

How did all the other civilizations…..current and past…..who have or had gods different from the one you’ve chosen to believe in come to follow their god or gods?

600 years ago, no native inhabitanats of the Americas had ever heard of the God of Abraham or Jesus. Today, Latin/South America is approximately 90% Catholic. Guess how that happened?

PS

August 30th, 2012
4:17 pm

It seems to me that the issue of creationism vs. evolution seems to be more of a problem to those who subscribe to the literal 7-day creation story outlined in Genesis. I know certain denominations stick to that, and that is certainly their prerogative (SBC, for example). However, I consider myself a devout Christian, and yet I also believe evolution has occurred. The difference is that I believe the 7-day creation story in Genesis is figurative, and not literal. The Bible even says that a thousand years to a man are but a day to God.

Hey, Progress...

August 30th, 2012
4:21 pm

…for all your scholarly vebosity, you may not be as smart as you think you are – wehn referring to the Bible, you used a small “b” every time you wrote the word when referring to it as a book. Since The Bible” is the name of a book, the “B” should have been capitalized…and if I recall correctly, you are the only one who made that mistake (though I must confess that I did not read each and every response after the first 100)…

And, The Bible is mostly a historical document, written by many eye witnesses, with the “stories” being passed down among generations, just as recorded history is. But, you choose not to believe it, as do others, so I guess WW1, WWII, the Roman Empire, etc did not exist either…

Kat

August 30th, 2012
4:36 pm

It doesn’t matter how much you earn in revenue if your thinking is flawed. You are not better or worse if you earn more or less than someone else. Knowledge is power.

NAGA: You spell words wrong.

Tom: You are wonderful. Neil is my favorite!

Kat

August 30th, 2012
4:38 pm

It’s interesting the people on this blog who decide to threaten those who do not believe in God with the dramatic inclusion of “you’re going to hell” in their responses.

Do you understand that atheists do not believe in hell? Therefore, the threat is meaningless!

Kat

August 30th, 2012
4:41 pm

Yes, Bill Nye did host a popular kids’ science show in the 1990s; but be honest, TWG, he has done a WHOLE LOT since then too. Do not paint him as a 1990s educator with no accomplishments since then.

Once Again

August 30th, 2012
4:49 pm

Whether the big bang or the creation story, what do you find when you go before all of that? What was there first?

When you ponder that long enough that your head hurts and you finally realize that there is no way to fully comprehend the infinite divinity that is not only everything but all of nothing as well, then you are beginning to touch on the reality that is the divine.

To think that it is anything less extraordinary and more understandable than that is to insult the truth of the divine.

Neither western religion nor science will ever be able to see eye to eye until they both get their deluded ideas about “god” out of their heads.

I was raised an atheist by a “disgusted” catholic. I was a hard-core believer in evolution and science as the complete and total explanation for reality. I attended a Catholic high school but otherwise was religion free until I bothered to find out for myself what reality was really about. Buddhism and Hinduism provided the greatest insights I have ever found for the explanation of reality – hint – it cannot be explained, it can only be experienced.

Everyone would do well to step back from their notions of reality, do some meditation, visit a Hindu or Buddhist temple, read some great books by some of the great men/women in these religions and see for yourselves if their description of reality and the divine is not more in line with your own experience.

It is a hard thing to do – opening yourself up to reality – but most beliefs are little more than a crutch and when one’s eye’’s are opened, a whole new reality awaits.

jpm52433

August 30th, 2012
4:52 pm

*** And if you had any familiarity with the Bible at all, you would recognize that we won’t ever be able to prove the existence of God. The text is meaningless without faith, and faith is completely obsolete the second we can prove the existence of God.

Exactly right…and yet, the science faithful have no compunction whatsoever believing in dark matter…invisible stuff that they admit they know nothing about and can’t prove exists, except that it must exist because without it their other theories and calculations don’t add up. That’s a lot of faith in that there “science.”

catlady

August 30th, 2012
5:22 pm

Betting those that DO teach their children creationism won’t give a flip about Bill Nye’s suggestion.

jpm52433

August 30th, 2012
5:22 pm

*** It doesn’t. And your assumption I said that is based in either poor reading skills or poor thinking skills.

You said…” At a certain point they will leave your little bubble and if their belief in God requires rejecting overwhelming evidence in evolution, there’s gonna be a problem.” So maybe the poor thinking was in the writing, not the reading,

*** Let’s see…anonymous blog poster vs. virtually every Biology department in every major university. I’m quite comfortable with the Biologists, you can take the interwebz posters, they’re all yours.

Of course, I very happy to side with the critical thinkers rather than the bobble-heads who simply nod every time “science” comes up with a new theory.

*** You’re free to hold an opinion, but as the previous quote from Neil DeGrasse Tyson says “the good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

And as I responded previously to that quote…which thing about science is true? The “fact” about science is that what is true today will probably not be true tomorrow. But you cling to your faith…you’re free to hold an opinion, even if it’s an unsupportable, ever changing one.

*** Your opinion on 2+2 does not change the fact it = 4. If you want to teach your kids something that will put them at a disadvantage, that’s your choice. It doesn’t change the fact of evolution. It may change their ability to compete in the world though.

I simply teach my children to think for themselves, not be spoon-fed tripe and simply accept it. You may consider evolution a fact, but I haven’t seen you explain the anomaly of the Cambrian Explosion…or why creatures that still have primitive “eyes” haven’t evolved more sophisticated eyes…or how modern humans managed to live alongside the Neanderthals we allegedly evolved from?

http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/irreducible_complexity_03.html

jpm52433

August 30th, 2012
5:30 pm

*** This means if you dont believe things like the THEORY of evolution all you have to do is go dig up ONE skeleton showing that man didnt evolve sharing a common ancestor with apes. To date all skeletons show just that.

So you’re asserting that because one thing is kind of like another it means the one thing evolved from the other? And you consider that the “truth?”

Tom

August 30th, 2012
5:34 pm

Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals) share a common ancestor between 200K-500K years ago. Humans did not evolve from Neanderthals.

Mrs. Wright

August 30th, 2012
5:37 pm

and Cobb County, please stop making us look bad to the rest of the world, you know who you are. Highly ranking science people in the system who still believe in creationism, my kids have told me some pretty disturbing stories.

Piper

August 30th, 2012
5:39 pm

It’s sad watching these science-minded grown-ups argue with your average everyday creationist believer. You don’t stand a chance winning, b/c you can’t grasp even the simplest points of fact or make reasonable points to argue your case. So sad

FCM

August 30th, 2012
5:40 pm

***Your opinion on 2+2 does not change the fact it = 4.*****

Other’s opinions that God doesn’t exist doesn’t make it a fact. Your opinion that believers are wrong doesn’t make it a fact.

I once heard it said “Just b/c an atheist doesn’t believe doesn’t mean they are not in relationship with God. It is just not the relationship I choose to have with Him.”

I have read text after text reporting He does/does not exist. I have questioned (and still do) everything I have ever known about Him. What I have learned has lead me to one fact:

I choose to believe due to the evidence I have accumulated in my lifetime. That makes all the difference.

jpm52433

August 30th, 2012
5:43 pm

*** Do you understand that atheists do not believe in hell? Therefore, the threat is meaningless!

To paraphrase our “scientific” friends here…”Hell might be true whether or not you believe in it.” ; )

jpm52433

August 30th, 2012
5:49 pm

And yet there they are…always sitting, arms folded and a little pissed off at always being placed before cro-magnons on the “evolutionary” timeline.

Taylor

August 30th, 2012
5:52 pm

Actually, more lies have never been spewed out. Creationism is, in fact, scientifically and philosophically supported with much evidence, more than that of evolutionists. In fact, macroevolution has no basis of truth/evidence whatsoever. None. It does not exist. Rather, they are a bunch of contradicting fantasies that atheists fabricate to rid the world of Christianity and the Truth. I challenge anyone to give a single piece of evidence that does not contradict itself. :)

Stephen Hoover

August 30th, 2012
5:53 pm

It pains me to see the freedom of individual thought and the right to believe being under so much attack like this. I respect Bill Nye’s opinion, just like anybody should, but I think he should have a little respect for what I believe, instead of insinuating that I lose an IQ point for every verse of scripture I take to heart. If he wants to go on believing that the world is the product of random rolls of the cosmic dice, then so be it, but for me, that’s only an opinion. I can be an intellectual and still believe in the Bible because instead of limiting myself to the prevailing thought of my culture, I’m bold enough and daring enough to think for myself and go against the grain for the God who has shaped my life. I’m on his side and people who complain about that are just well…. holding me back. ;)

Tom

August 30th, 2012
5:56 pm

Ok, Taylor’s either simply trolling or a complete duh mass.

Darth Vader

August 30th, 2012
6:30 pm

I find your lack of faith disturbing.

Check this out

August 30th, 2012
6:32 pm

As Romans I says, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…”

mark

August 30th, 2012
6:38 pm

“God wanted that Way” I hate that answer, I get it about once a week from my students. That answer demonstrates our problem as Americans. It is easier not to think, than it is to think.