Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 28, 2012

Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #1

Bill Nye (2007)

Should children be taught Creationism?

Bill Nye the Science Guy, says “No.” He wants children to be taught only evolution.

This begins a series of weekly posts responding to Bill Nye’s wildly popular recent YouTube video in which he urges parents not to teach Creationism to their children. The purpose of this series is to rebut Nye’s thinking and critique his remarks, identify his mistakes, analyze his bias, and apply Biblical passages to see whether Christians should follow Nye’s advice with their children.

This first post of the series contains two sections:
1. Nye’s Video with Transcript
2. Critique of Nye’s Remarks

1. Nye’s Video with Transcript
In this recent YouTube video Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children, Bill Nye warns against teaching creationism to children. The two-and-a-half-minute video is from the online think tank Big Think.

The video has had over 4,700,000 views, 196,000 comments, 78,000 Likes, and 16,000 Dislikes since it was posted on August 23, 2012.

Bill Nye is best known for his “Bill Nye the Science Guy” TV programs on PBS in the 1990s. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and worked for Boeing. In 2010 he received the Humanist of the Year award from the American Humanist Association.

Here is a transcript of Nye’s video remarks:

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we’re the world’s most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens. People still move to the United States. And that’s largely because of the 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.

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It’s like, it’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You’re just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, “When you’re in love you want to tell the world.” So, once in a while I get people that really—or that claim—they don’t believe in evolution. And my response generally is “Well, why not? Really, why not?” Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they’re at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.

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, 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.

It’s just really hard a thing, it’s really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I’m sure, will be, it just won’t exist. There’s no evidence for it.

2. Critique of Nye’s Remarks
I don’t know why Nye’s video is so popular. It’s really a very poor argument for teaching evolutionism and censoring creationism. Nye gives no solid evidence for his position and uses bait-and-switch tactics to drive his insupportable claims, as I will explain below. This in itself is against reason and rationality, besides being unethical. The video is not at all a well-reasoned, cogent, or convincing argument that one would expect from one of evolutionism’s leading popularizers. The weakness of his presentation is a strong argument against his position.

Nye is not interested in an objective intellectual assessment of the two origin models: the creationist model and the evolutionary model. Evolutionists like Nye want to restrict students’ access to information and teach only evolution.

Creationists are the true intellectuals–we teach both models and encourage critical examination of both. This develops critical thinking skills in children. Nye wants propaganda, indoctrination, and brain washing with evolution. Creationists support full disclosure of information and careful examination of all options.

Moreover, Nye does not understand the difference between operational (or observational) science and historical science. Operational science uses repeatable experiments and observations to draw conclusions about how the world God created works. Most of today’s advanced technology comes from operational science. In this area evolutionists and creationists agree.

Historical science draws conclusions about the unobservable, untestable, and unrepeatable past from present-day evidence. Both sides have the same physical evidence, but they disagree about the interpretation (explanation) of that evidence. Interpretations are driven by worldviews, so those with differing worldviews will develop different interpretations.

Albert Einstein recognized that interpretations of evidence are driven by worldviews when he said, “What you call a fact depends on the theory you bring to it.”

Interpretations cannot be tested. You decide for yourself which interpretation best explains the evidence.

Nye uses a bait-and-switch technique by trying to apply the well-earned credibility of operational science (technology & engineering & problem-solving) to support his favored evolutionary interpretation in historical science. This is neither logically nor philosophically legitimate.

Nye admires America’s technological advances and says, “We need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.” He realizes that the development of technology requires intelligent creators. Yet how can he believe that the far more complex creators of the technology arose by chance? It’s ludicrous!

Moreover, there’s not a single technological development or invention that required evolutionary beliefs for its discovery. Evolution is irrelevant to technological advancement.

It’s interesting that Nye undermines his own argument in his first paragraph of remarks. He says, “Denial of evolution is unique to the United States” and goes on to say that the U.S. is the “world’s most advanced technological” country. If both statements are true, as Nye believes, then the logical conclusion is that belief in evolution is holding all the other countries back; at least the denial of evolution has not hindered the technological advancement of the U.S. as compared with other countries of the world. If Nye wants to promote technological advancement, maybe he should support creation instead of evolution. He should support shifting research time and funds away from evolutionary studies and apply them to operational science challenges.

Nye says, “Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology.” This is incorrect. The fundamental idea of biology is the Law of Biogenesis which says that life only comes from life; life never arises from non-living material. This was first demonstrated by Louis Pasteur (1822–1895). The Law of Biogenesis directly contradicts the evolutionary story that life arose from a primordial soup of non-living chemicals. The Law of Biogenesis comes from operational science; it has been observed and tested countless times. Molecules-to-man evolution is a proposed interpretation from historical science that cannot be observed or tested or repeated.

Nye throws out the words “ancient dinosaur bones, fossils, radioactivity, distant stars, deep time, billions of years” as if these terms obviously settle the argument and win his case. But they do not. Creationists believe in dinosaurs, fossils, and radioactivity, but we have different explanations for them.

We don’t believe in “deep time and billions of years,” and we don’t believe “billions of years” is proved by “dinosaurs, fossils, and radioactivity.” There is no scientific evidence supporting “deep time.” The radioactive dating methods are badly flawed (see Age of the Earth 5 — Radiometric Dating). No fossils are found with dates stamped on them; there are no eyewitness records of deep time. The eyewitness record of creation in Genesis only goes back about 6,000 years (see Age of the Earth 1 — Essentials).

Evolutionists like to appeal to certain evidence in order to support billions of years–such as fossils and rock layers–but that evidence can be much better accounted for by the global Flood of Noah of about 4500 years ago (see Noah’s Flood—Key to the Past).

Nye ends by saying, “There’s no evidence for it [Creationism].” But he’s dead wrong. Clear evidence for the Creator surrounds us all. Scripture says, “That which is known about God is evident within them [men]; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” But men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18-20)

This 4:50 video displays some of the amazing creatures the Almighty created. It features colorful coral reefs, schools of tropical fish, sharks, humpback whales, underwater caves, scuba divers, and marine life among the Fiji islands and Tonga in the south Pacific.

Reader Poll
Please give your opinion in this anonymous poll.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Read the prequel on Bill Nye’s campaign against Creation:
Worldview Analysis – Science Guy Bill Nye

Read the sequel:
Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #2

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Friday September 28, 2012 A.D.

We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
For He established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers,
That they should teach them to their children,
That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments. (Psalms 78:4-7)

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Responses

  1. […] Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation #1-5 by William T. Pelletier, Ph.D., at the blog Bible-Science Guy. […]

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  2. Thanks to Kathryn Frazier for her blog post My 10 Favorite Blog Reads of 2012 for naming this series of five blog posts on Bill Nye’s Campaign Against Creation to be #7 on her Top Ten List of blogs for 2012.

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