Friday, 31 August 2012 14:00

“Science Guy” Attacks Parents Who Teach Children Creation "Story"

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Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” the techno-geek turned actor who turned kids on to science through an innovative weekly show that aired on PBS during the 1990s, has lately become a secular evangelist, preaching to parents about the dangers of allowing their children to be sucked into believing that someone bigger than man created the earth.

In an online video (see at bottom) entitled “Creationism Is Not Appropriate for Children,” produced by Big Think, a secularist “online knowledge forum,” Nye claims that the “denial of evolution is unique to the United States,” and insists that “your world becomes fantastically complicated if you don't believe in evolution.”

In the video, which has garnered nearly three million views on YouTube thus far, Nye says that while America is the world leader in science and technology, “when you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe” in the theory of evolution, but hold faithfully to creationism, “it holds everybody back.”

Declaring that evolution is “the fundamental idea in all of life science,” Nye says that without embracing it religiously “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.” Likening his own embrace of evolution to a love affair, Nye insists that the world “just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution.”

Condescending to address the “grownups” who believe that God was behind the world's creation, the Science Guy challenges that “if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that is 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.”

Waxing reflective, Nye complains that it is a “hard thing” to tolerate people with such imbecilic notions as a God who intelligently designed our living space. “You know, in another couple centuries that worldview, I'm sure, just won't exist,” he predicts hopefully. “There's no evidence for it.”

Apparently, there are a lot of Neanderthals in America who are not reaching Nye's intellectual standard. A recent Gallup poll found that 46 percent of Americans believe in “the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.” The same poll showed that 32 percent believe in evolution in which God played a role, while only 15 percent believe in atheistic evolution.

A few days after the release of Nye's video, the folks at Answers in Genesis, a creationist organization based in Kentucky, offered a reasoned response in their own YouTube video (see at bottom).

Refuting Nye's claim that devotion to creationism is confined largely to the United States, Dr. David Menton, who holds a a Ph.D. in biology from Brown University, notes that evolution is also rejected by Muslims, who make up a significant portion of many countries in Africa and Asia. Likewise, “creationism is certainly taught in South Africa, India, South Korea, and Brazil,” and smaller factions of creationists “are found in Japan, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.”

Another creationist scientist on the video, Dr. Georgia Purdom, who has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Ohio State University, says that while Nye implies that parents and other adults are doing a great disservice to children by encouraging their belief in creationism, she, along with other faith-minded parents, teach their children the theories of both evolution and creation. “Children should be exposed to both ideas concerning our past,” Purdom recommends. “Being a good scientist and a mom, I want my daughter to be educated about evolution, so that she can see the inherent problems with it.” She cites, for example, evolution theory's “complete lack of a genetic mechanism that allows organisms to gain genetic information to go from simple to complex over time.”

Addressing Nye's claim that the world becomes “fantastically complicated” for those who embrace the creationist view, Menton argues instead that the world becomes complicated for those lacking the belief that a higher power was behind earth's creation. “You see,” he says, “in evolution you have to look at that hummingbird feeding at your feeder, and assume that all of its parts have somehow come together by random, purposeless change combined with natural selection.”

Purdom points out that in his effort to promote evolution, Nye confuses observational science with historical science. Observational science, what Purdom calls “here-and-now-science,” is responsible for the world's many modern technological advances, “like computers and vaccines,” she says. “We can observe it, test it, and repeat it.”

By contrast, historical science, the category into which both creation and evolution theories fall, deals with the past. “We cannot test, observe, or repeat them,” she explains. While things such as fossils and distant stars definitely do exist, the theory of how they got here depends upon one's worldview, she said. “Do we start with man's ideas about the past, who wasn't here during this supposed billions of years of earth history?” she asks. “Or do we start with the Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all” — voicing the view of many creationists that Scripture is the inerrant record of the creation process. “Rather than being inconsistent, as Bill Nye states,” Purdom argues, “observational science confirms the literal history in Genesis.”

In a blog post that accompanies the Answers in Genesis video, the organization's president, Dr. Ken Ham, noted that a “recent tactic by evolutionists in their battle against creationists, one that is especially used by Richard Dawkins, is to employ an ad hominem argument — that creationists are committing a form of 'child abuse' when they teach creation to children.” That, he added, is the driving force behind Nye's video.

Ham explained that at Answers in Genesis and its Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, “we teach children and adults the truth concerning who they are in the Creator’s eyes — and where they came from. We tell people that they do have purpose and meaning in life and that they were created for a purpose.”

He added that, in contrast to Nye's futile worldview, the Creator of the universe actually loves humanity, even in its sinful and unbelieving condition. “Christ paid the penalty for our sin and offers a free gift of salvation. No, we are not just evolved animals as Nye believes; we are all made in the image of God.”

Photo of Bill Nye at top: AP Images


12 comments

  • Comment Link Philip Bruce Heywood Saturday, 01 September 2012 04:53 posted by Philip Bruce Heywood

    Here are some questions I infrequently ask our furry friends, Ken Hamster, Richard (Dawkins) Rabbit, and, occasionally Whiskery John (Mackay). They gnaw about things. I have personally spoken with the two of Australian origin, and would have been more profitably employed, gnawing an adamant. “1.) Why don’t you defer to the authority of Scripture?”
    “2.) Why don’t you take advice re. Scripture from great men of God?” “ 3.) Here is an all-day sucker, which you would possibly be able to tackle if only you would engage in common procedure as per 1) & 2). According to Genesis, all plants were made on the third day and were in some real sense alive at that time. According to the same authority, flowering and fruiting vegetation were made to grow during the day of Adam’s creation (six), and from the context, were full grown from scratch on that day. According to Genesis, all complex life (above plant grade)without exception was created on the fifth day. The same authority demands that aspects of complex life were made or formed of earth on the sixth day. Explain, without contradicting the Bible. “ “ 4.) Why is it so quiet around here?”
    Here is one I frequently sent to Richard (Dawkins) Rabbit, and likeminded bunnies.
    “Ahem, Prof. Dawk.. In the beginning, nothing got together with nothing, they made some gaseous extrusions or exuberances or emanations or whatever, these turned into rock, and in time your publications arose. Nothing you publish originated from intelligence? Your research shows there is zip, zero, zilch intelligence behind any of what you say or write?”
    These people rely on each other.
    For the science involved in species revelation, see http://www.creationtheory.com The controversy is out of date. Mr Stanford is out of touch. Technology has spoken. Honest technology speaks the same language as the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
    Philip Bruce Heywood, ex. Geological Survey of Queensland (Australia).

  • Comment Link Coenraad Saturday, 01 September 2012 01:41 posted by Coenraad

    Everybody wants to be somebody and that is why mankind want's to be a "God" is his own right.We are not gods-have never been and never will be!We are GOD'S creations and live in a world He created.The new world order or Eliminate will stop at nothing to convince mankind that we are all creating our world and destiny.People like this idiot will come and go but the Bible and God will be there in another million years.Parents-teach your children the right way.I will bet a years salary that children brought up in house were God and dissipline is present will turn out a much better person /succses, than a child brought up with science and to much "rights".Think about it and then you place your bet on one of these sides?

  • Comment Link Rick Friday, 31 August 2012 19:34 posted by Rick

    Creationists once said only God could have magically created the species. Evidence for evolution proved them wrong. People once thought an angry god made volcanoes erupt. Geology proved them wrong. People once thought God created the rivers and continents as they exist now. Geology and plate tectonics proved them wrong. Even Isaac Newton was absolutely certain that God's hand set the planets in motion, and he was later proved wrong by cosmology and discoveries about planetary formation.

    Every mystery of nature ever solved turned out to be NOT magic. Natural phenomena (including human origins) have natural causes. Let's teach this to our children for the simple reason that it's the truth.

  • Comment Link Connie Guest Friday, 31 August 2012 19:23 posted by Connie Guest

    I AM a slave to my Creator...I don't argue that. I also think science is wonderful. It's fascinating. Over and over, the Bible proves scientific facts. Stop demeaning Christianity just because you've never read the Bible. You, obviously know nothing about God, therefore you can't speak intelligently about Him or His Book. Learn before you speak... :)

  • Comment Link Matthew Faust Friday, 31 August 2012 18:31 posted by Matthew Faust

    Ha Ha ha. It's quite funny to see you creationists get so defensive. I love Jack Coleman's especially. He doesn't know the true scientific definition of theory and I find that quite comical. Also your belief have even less proof and you may as well believe I am a talking penis with legs for ears. So before you mock his belief look at your own. I've began to think one reason you creationists get so defensive is because the logic part of you knows it isn't real, but you just want to force yourself into denial. Unable to accept the truth because that truth conflicts with what you have been taught to believe. You are slave to your up bringing. You have believed it for so long you just hate to think it can't be true, you don't want to accept that your church is more than just a fiction book club. Why can you all just let your minds be free? My 2 cents.

    Please go read God Delusional by Richard Dawkins. That should clear this whole God mess out of your mind, and help you on the path to reason.

    Sorry to hear about that Brant, that's quite a shame that people can't move forward.

  • Comment Link john Friday, 31 August 2012 18:26 posted by john

    I don't know how much science you want to throw out the window, maybe you would turn down services in a hospital emergency room if you were dying from a heart attack too because it's "science"?
    I myself trust science over belief, until something is proven it is just a belief. For some reason humans have this need to have it all laid out, cut and dried, one way or the other, while missing the larger point that part of the beautiful mystery is we just don't know.
    One more thing, both science and religion, theory, and belief can be used as a destructive force or, an excuse to use destructive force on our fellow human beings and our planet itself.

  • Comment Link Brandt Friday, 31 August 2012 18:12 posted by Brandt

    Here in TN, they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

  • Comment Link Jack Coleman Friday, 31 August 2012 17:52 posted by Jack Coleman

    Some kind understanding soul should point out that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is just that. A theory and will remain that until it's proven a scientific fact.
    It should not be taught as a fact when it isn't.
    Didn't any of these people ever go to school?

  • Comment Link Bob Donohoo Friday, 31 August 2012 13:09 posted by Bob Donohoo

    One more guy who thinks he knows more about how to raise my own kids than I do ... Well, if he is so brilliant then why does he FORCE me to pay for his PBS program? If his idea is so great why doesn't he trust the free market place with his show?

    Mr. Nye would probably call me "self-righteous" for being a "creationist" Christian ... and yet he is the one who wants to FORCE his way on me ...

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