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

Rod Cowie

August 30th, 2012
12:32 am

I believe Bill is right on. It’s time we quite beliving in fairy tales and use common sense instead. I gave our kids the option of church and they quite going and are doing just fine.Thank you Bill

Katie Lawrence

August 30th, 2012
12:43 am

I agree will Bill. Adults should not be forcing children in not believing in Evolution. As Rod said, “It’s time we quite beliving in fairy tales and use common sense instead”; I agree with this! People no longer rely on that common sense and then things become skewed. Somewhere along the line, someone messed up our common sense. Now, it is time to get it back! Thanks Bill Nye :) and thank you Rod.

Tony Rancona

August 30th, 2012
12:48 am

Theresa, I would advise you to change the title of this piece. It should read “Parents, do not teach creationism”. As it stands, it sounds like Bill is denying that any parents have ever taught their children creationism, which is quite the opposite of his point.

Terence Carr

August 30th, 2012
12:52 am

“In the truth of the big scheme of things, it happens to be wrong to teach your innocent children such narrow minded and wasteful teachings ( Religion) which maybe is excluding science and the evolutionary process that is a science in itself and the basis of our existance and creation”. Terence Carr

Bernie

August 30th, 2012
12:53 am

Pastor BOB and his Money changing friends are not happy with you BILL. :)

Terence Carr

August 30th, 2012
12:58 am

“Come up with a new idea that puts some other value in reduction, then that value holder is upset” TRUE!

TheAnalyst

August 30th, 2012
1:45 am

Funny, some of the Greatest scientific minds and explorers in history also happened to be devoutly religious individuals (Hmm, let us also deny the reading of Genesis by Apollo 8, or Colonel Buzz Aldrin’s taking of Communion while on the Lunar surface). Only those who need to compensate for a true lack of intellect dare belittle that which they feel threatened by, and only those weak in fortitude are ever threatened by a competing theory such as this (Not to mention the asinine notion that religion and science must be exclusionary, which has time-and-again been proven inherently false) . Bill Nye yet again slams another nail into his own coffin of relevance.

Eric

August 30th, 2012
2:07 am

used to like the science guy, but now I think there may be an agenda using his influence to undermine religious beliefs,probably getting rewarded for this action.I have been science follower all my life and it has only intensified my beliefs.

jpm5243

August 30th, 2012
2:14 am

Here we have the “science guy” dismissing creationism out of hand while asking parents to blindly push the myth of “science” on their children. Lest we forget that “science” is not the truth, but perhaps can generously be called the “search for the truth.” Is there a single scientific “truth” or “fact” that hasn’t been proven wrong only to be replaced with a new theory that is proven wrong and replaced with the latest “scientific” guess? The Big Bang was a convenient theory…until superior technology allowed us to see that the universe wasn’t acting in accord with this theory…so now what? They invent Dark Matter out of whole cloth because their equations don’t add up and then preach it as a “scientific” fact…until some new guy proves them wrong, of course, and then we’ll be rewriting our kid’s science books again…and again. I’m always amazed by the arrogance of “scientists” who chide others for believing in “fairy tales” while staunchly heralding a unending parade of lies, assumptions and unprovable guesses.

Victoria

August 30th, 2012
2:17 am

Enter your comments here

MountainDawg

August 30th, 2012
5:34 am

Typical sanctimonious drivel from a leftist heathen. He proves that a high IQ and diplomas do not equal total wisdom.

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evolution%20Hoax/evolution_the_big_hoax.htm

Beck

August 30th, 2012
5:42 am

I went to Catholic school back in the 70s and 80s before this new Creationist movement popped up and I must say in retrospect that I’m glad they taught it the way they did, and I’m glad my parents found a place that taught what they taught me.

Adam and Eve and the story of Creation was taught in RELIGION class. The Big Bang Theory was taught in SCIENCE class.

It really is to the detriment of a person’s critical thinking ability to answer everything b/c “God said…” and to formulate the answer around that. If STEM careers are a possibility for your little scientist or mathematician, then let them LEARN science and math.

If their newly acquired critical thinking skills lead them away from religion, then it wasn’t meant to be. If they have faith regardless, than it shouldn’t matter.

NAGA

August 30th, 2012
6:30 am

I am an engineer and believe in creationism. Science has been wrong plenty of times in the past – flat earth philosophy, earth-centric universe, humans would never have heavier-than-air flight, etc., etc.

Ask any evolutionist what do humans evolve into? Answers: (1) we are already evolved to being at the top of the “food chain” (which in itself defeats the theory of evolution) or (2) “I don’t know – It will take millions/billions of years to find out” but Global Warming will prevent us from really ever knowing.

NAGA

August 30th, 2012
6:39 am

Funny also to note that many “world renowned” physicists discounted the Higgs particle (the God particle) as being fictious. This particle was recently confirmed by two research teams as a reality.

catlady

August 30th, 2012
7:02 am

I think in beleiving only in “Creationism” we limit God. I am unwilling to put Him in a box my small mind can comprehend. I can believe God created the heavens and the earth using evolution, and it does not diminish His power and glory.

Aquagirl

August 30th, 2012
7:21 am

My college Biology professor taught evolution, and he was a Bible-believing born again Southern Baptist. And a very smart man. People who say Christianity and evolution are incompatible are insulting him and millions of other Christians.

I’m sure there will be plenty of junk science thrown around here but the bottom line is that if you teach your child Creationism you’re setting them up to fail in both science and faith. 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.

Big Mama

August 30th, 2012
7:59 am

We teach Evolution in our home. I view the biblical stories the same way I view Greek mythology…. fictional tales told by the ancients to explain the world in which they lived. They are not particularly relevant to our lives today. That said, they are plenty of good “rules” for living to be found in the biblical stories and passages (do unto others, love thy neighbor, etc.) as well as Aesop’s fables. But I encourage my children to critically assess the “facts” presented regardless of the source.

There Is No God

August 30th, 2012
8:15 am

Anybody who believes in God in this day and age is essentially retarded. That’s directed at you NAGA and MountainDawg. You are essentially retarded. The mind of a child with Down’s syndrome. Drooling buckets of stupidity. Pathetic lemmings being led around by their little peters that were probably used as sexual tools at Sunday school. Go rot in heaven ya dense dumb freaks.

Once Again

August 30th, 2012
8:15 am

Both explanations are fundamentally flawed. At the heart of their flaws is a complete misunderstanding of the nature of the divine. Of all the world’s major religions, Buddhism and Hinduism have the best understanding of the true nature of the divine and also the best appreciation for the processes involved in the creation and “evolution” of the various speciest. It is all just a divine dance folks.

Jeff

August 30th, 2012
8:15 am

If you don’t like the morality I choose to instill on my children, please sign up for a time this weekend where I can come to your house and tell you what I think you should be doing differently with your family.

mom

August 30th, 2012
8:17 am

If we “evolved” from apes – then WHY are there still apes?

Yellow Jacket

August 30th, 2012
8:23 am

So now I’m waiting for Mr. Nye to put out a spot on how life begins at conception and how parents shouldn’t teach that a baby is just a blob of tissue in the womb…. I may be waiting a while…

M.E.

August 30th, 2012
8:27 am

Ditto Big Mama. One of the issues is that kids are taught “junk religion” and “junk science” at home and then told to ignore real teaching at school and church. Meanwhile, junk religion and science are promoted by the politicos and people who don’t really understand science and religion or have respect for university-level philosophical and theological research and debate. Then our state governments start making laws based upon beliefs by vocal minorities who don’t really know what they’re talking about. Of course, this then results in the dumbing-down of our kids, which makes it easier for politicians and propagandists to run the whole show. And this is where we are right now…

M.E.

August 30th, 2012
8:28 am

Once Again: “It is all just a divine dance folks.”

Exactly. And that is where the joy is.

Mayhem

August 30th, 2012
8:29 am

If Adam and Eve were the first people on the planet, and they had two sons, Cain & Abel. When Cain & Abel married, where did their wives come from?

LeeH1

August 30th, 2012
8:36 am

As we investigate our world, we find that many ideas have to change to match our discoveries. Thus, the definition for a swan had to be changed, when black swanns were seen in Australia. Creationists like jpm5243 want to have a world without change or even an evolution in ideas. They want THE FACT to be unchanging, even if our understanding about THE FACT changes.

This is the problem with Creationism. It is not only that the ideas of the Creationists are wrong, but the mindset is that Creationists tightly bind God to their beliefs, and any change to their belief is an attack on God and a personal attack on them.

Creationists can never make a unified theory of creation, that encompasses all religions. The Creation story of the Jews is interesting, but it is not the same story as for the Moslems. Neither one agrees with Hinduism. None ofthem agree with Shintoism. So in a secular society, why is only the Christian story held true, but the theory that the world rests on the back of two elephants who stand on a turtle who swims in an eternal sea not taught as well? Creationism is full of differing stories, theories and beliefs that change almost daily. Indeed, the evolution of Creationsim is one of the more interesting stories of all. As new facts are discovered, the whole of Creation thought is changed to incorporate these new ideas in a weird method to prove that Creationism still works.

Try reading some Creationist literature from 1850, 1900 and 1920, and then compare them to newer Creationist literature. While science has changed and evolved over this time as new facts are discovered, so has Creationism, and perhaps even more so.

However, those foolish people who insist on unalterable facts are confounded, and are left behind to trudge up and down the blind alleys of their beliefs as the world moves on. Regretfully, they keep their children with them when they teach Creationism rather than truth. And as the Bible says, “The instruction of fools is folly.”

Mary

August 30th, 2012
8:43 am

You mean cavemen didn’t ride on the backs of dinosaurs like they show at that museum in Kentucky?!?

All ignorance aside, I don’t believe it’s strictly a southern thing, but I do believe the south has far fewer critical thinkers than other parts of the US.

motherjanegoose

August 30th, 2012
8:43 am

I am not a brilliant person but I thank God every day for what has been created: from the cardinals in my backyard to the stingrays in the ocean. I am also thankful for science and it’s impact on my life. Do you have to make a choice between science or faith in God?

Yes, we believe in creation but we also appreciate science and marvel at it’s impact. Science was never my best subject but my children have done well with science and they also embrace creation.

There are lots if things I do not understand. Having faith is not always easy but it is an amazing thing when you have had an answer to a prayer that seemed impossible. I know Medical Doctors who offer to pray with their patients and, for this, I am thankful!

Bob Pro

August 30th, 2012
8:44 am

There is such an easy way to resolve this issue. Simply accept that your Bible is a book on religion and not science. Your science book is not a book on religion. Go to your Bible to learn what God did and wants you to do. Go to your science book to learn about how God did some of His wonderful works. ( You won’t find ALL of the answers there, But each new answer gives more insight into His Creation.) Evolution explains, in part, how God created the wealth of life on this planet. It does NOT deny that there is a loving God Who caused these things to happen.
Also, please try to remember that the Bible was not written in modern English. Before you presume to speak about exact meanings you need to become a scholar on the original language and on the culture in which the authors lived.

Progress

August 30th, 2012
8:45 am

Teaching religion to children is simply indoctrinating them into a cult.

Evolution is part of the 9th grade biology curriculum. It’s a shame that so many adults (like mom @ 8:17) don’t have the education and understanding of science that we expect 9th graders to have. This is why we have so few students who are successful in the STEM fields, so Mr. Nye is absolutely correct.

Tom

August 30th, 2012
8:48 am

We didn’t evolve “from apes, mom…..apes and homo sapiens have a common anccestry. Read a (non-fiction) book sometime.

Tom

August 30th, 2012
8:49 am

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

[...] Check it out. [...]

Tom

August 30th, 2012
8:50 am

“I want to put on the table, not why 85% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences reject God, I want to know why 15% of the National Academy don’t.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tom

August 30th, 2012
8:50 am

“… there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

Tom

August 30th, 2012
8:51 am

“People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah’s ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it’s about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.’ – Neil deGrasse Tyson, New York, Dec. 19, 2006. “Letter to the Editor” New York Times published December 21, 2006 in the Read section”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tom

August 30th, 2012
8:51 am

“God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tom

August 30th, 2012
8:52 am

“When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Progress

August 30th, 2012
8:52 am

Bob Pro- First, do you have any evidence for this idea of god and creation? Second, this idea that blindly accepting the bible is a wholesome endeavor requires the presumption that the stories in the bible are moral and positive guidelines for life. However, I can’t accept that. The bible, to many of us, is an immoral and reprehensible guide to life. The combination of the lack of evidence for its assertions (suggesting an adherence to ignorance and lies) and its wealth of immoral teachings makes it a true impediment to human progress.

M.E.

August 30th, 2012
8:52 am

There are thoughtful thinkers here.

M.E.

August 30th, 2012
9:02 am

Agreed, Progress, that the Bible as a whole is not a great guide to life. But there are beautiful and pertinent passages to learning about what joy, forgiveness, and patience are. The problem is that people give it too much power, just as you have. Bob Pro has given a “middle-of-the-road”, reasoned argument aimed at both encouraging education and creating peace. There are two sides to extremism, the right and the left. When you find yourself on one of them, it’s wise to examine why.

Tom

August 30th, 2012
9:10 am

More people need to do some research into the actual paleontological origins and ‘evolution’ of superstition and religion, going back to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic Eras.

Denise

August 30th, 2012
9:21 am

Bob Pro – I agree. I can be a scientist and a Christian and have no issues. I believe that God is in control, period, but that doesn’t mean I don’t go to the doctor and don’t take medication. His answer to my prayer is often “take that medicine!” :-) (I have bipolar disorder and people just tell me to pray and it will go away.)

Kso

August 30th, 2012
9:32 am

@Jpm5423
Arguing that the big bang is just a theory is ignorance. It was confirmed in 1990 by taking a survey of the background radiation left over by it. 1% of the noise/static on our old tube tv’s not on a station is the visual noise from it. But, if you actually want deeper understanding of it, look up WMAP. Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and wiki simply big bang.

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. Science while it has it’s uses is full of theories which change all the time. For today this is true and tomorrow it may not be anymore. When I was a kid the brontosaurus and T-Rex were the biggest and baddest Dino’s respectively. Just two weeks ago while generations of kids have been taught dino’s were cold-blooded now they are switching to say they might be warm- blooded. You’ll never hear the scientists apologize for that. They’ll just say like they usually do “well at the time we thought….”

God made man and all the animals as mature fully grown creations. He took the time to make man and made men and women special with thought and a purpose. This idea threatens many because many people don’t like to be told what to do or feel they have authority over their lives and behavior. Humanity is no accident and if you go and observe the world and Eco-systems like a Leonardo da Vinci and others yours plan to see the order in all of it. I love astronomy and science is cool in its place and when you understand God made it all and how things work together. The “God Particle” idea is in the bible as the bible states “jesus holds everything together (the material world, the visible and invisible) by the power of his word”

Why some scientists and classrooms are so scared of alternative ideas and to discuss them in a classroom is beyond me. In a quest for truth how do you automatically exclude ideas? Only approved thoughts and theories are allowed in the classroom? Theories should be taught as just that and facts are facts. The problem is science teaches theories as facts but what happens when those facts change as they often do. Then they’re teaching lies and falsehoods and who can trust that with a logical mind. Sometimes it’s good to admit you don’t know. God is not a man he can do anything. He can make a planet in 6 days, a man in one day, a small flower or large gorilla and come down from heaven to show man the way. God isn’t bound by science he made it and can operate in it or outside of it. As much as people talk about Christians for “blindly” following the bible they do the same with science and follow without thinking with a logical mind. As was stated before what is man evolving into? Has anyone observed an ape evolve into a man or a man evolve into anything else over the last 10k years? Why is every sea animal perfect for its environment but there’s so much diversity in sea life? If the goal of evolution is to get to the one best form of existence and physical state for a certain environment why all the diversity and not less in life? Creativity, logic, beauty and thought is all over it.

Dodd Squad

August 30th, 2012
9:40 am

Bill Nye is a naturalist. “Science” does not equal “naturalism.” One is a process. The other is a religion. Let’s stop mandating that kids must be naturalists to be great scientists.

There once was nothing. There was potential for something. Then there was something. Potential became actualized. Any physicist will tell you that based on Newton’s laws, potentiality doesn’t become actuality without a force acting on it.
Matter was not formed spontaneously. There had to be a Cause.

Progress

August 30th, 2012
9:41 am

M.E.- I don’t view the “middle of the road” as the place where truth necessarily lies. For instance, when some insisted the earth was flat and others that it was spherical, was the truth to be found somewhere in between? No. One hypothesis was incorrect and the other was correct.

And I do not give the bible power. It has no inherent power. The power it does have in its believers’ ability to influence government, laws, education, the knowledge of future generations, etc., and that is a very real and unfortunate power.

Joy, patience, forgiveness, etc. can be found everywhere in life, and are certainly not limited to religious belief. Those constructs can be found throughout literature, are studied in psychology, and can be experienced in every family regardless of their religiosity or lack of. So I think you’re drawing a false model.

I have friends who view the bible as a collection of allegories, and that’s fine, even though I view them as immoral. The problem is when people insist that those allegories are accurate, factual depictions of reality. And that is where human progress is stifled.

NAGA

August 30th, 2012
9:56 am

“Anybody who believes in God in this day and age is essentially retarded. That’s directed at you NAGA and MountainDawg. You are essentially retarded. The mind of a child with Down’s syndrome. Drooling buckets of stupidity. Pathetic lemmings being led around by their little peters that were probably used as sexual tools at Sunday school. Go rot in heaven ya dense dumb freaks.”

How intelligent of you to try to insult me in such in a juvenile manner. Do you wnat to compare college degrees, military service, W2s, etc. etc., to truly see who is the idiot here?

Progress

August 30th, 2012
9:59 am

Chris,

I don’t think you have an adequate understanding of science. In science we do not use the term “proven” or “proof”. Those are terms for mathematics and the courtroom.

You are confusing the layman’s definition of “theory” and the scientific definition of it. The layman’s definition is that a theory is a hypothesis, which is how you’re using it. In science a theory holds more weight than a fact because by the time it becomes a scientific theory it’s supported by tens of thousands of facts. More facts may emerge to alter the way we view the theory, but the overarching theory will not be disproven. For instance, here are some popular theories- the Theory of Gravitation, the Theory of Light, Germ Theory, Atomic Theory, and there are plenty more. Are you going to tell me that gravity, light, germs, and atoms are all “just theories”? No, they are all facts of life, just like the Theory of Evolution, but they are also all subject to new information, which is what science is all about.

Intelligent design/creationism is not a theory nor is it science. At best it’s an unsupported hypothesis. It is not science because there are no testable hypothesis, no one is researching it, and there are no credible scientific studies published on the subject (actual experiments). I would love to read and examine a study on the subject, but they don’t exist.

As to your assertions about the lack of missing links, that’s simply false. We have found one missing link after another after another. If you studied biology at the college level you would be aware of this. On the other hand, I would like to see any evidence behind your claim that god created man and animals as fully formed creatures or that the earth was created in 6 days, and by evidence I do not mean a 3,000 year old book written by hunter-gatherers. I mean scientific evidence. But there are mountains of scientific evidence that refute both of those claims. If you don’t mind my asking, can you tell me what the extent of your scientific background is?

NAGA

August 30th, 2012
10:03 am

“This is why we have so few students who are successful in the STEM fields, so Mr. Nye is absolutely correct.”

My kids were taught creationism in the house and both attended public schools. The son is about to graduate top of the class in the dental program at the MCOG. The daughter is currently sitting at #2 in her high school class.

Mind explaining what have I done wrong here???