Bill Nye’s Dilemma

September 4, 2012 at 9:52 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I heard about this the other day and wasn’t really going to say anything about it, but I decided to go ahead and post something. Bill Nye has a 2 minute video on Youtube called “Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children” in which he makes a number of statements about the importance of science and the irrelevance of religion. He doesn’t come out and name a specific religion, but it’s not that hard to figure out which one he’s thinking of…I’ve posted a transcript of the video (seen here) and will also address a few of the comments he made a day or so later after Christians responded to his video. I’ve added links to a couple of those at the end of the post.

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States.

Really? I can’t help but wonder if Nye actually understands what he’s saying. He’s just said that every single person outside of the U.S. is in full agreement with the general doctrine of evolution (GDE). I find this extremely hard to believe, especially considering I know of biblical creationists in both the U.K. and Australia.

I mean, we are the world’s most advanced technological… I mean you could say Japan, but generally the United States is where most of the innovation still happens.

It may be possible that this is true, although I would like to see where Nye is getting his numbers from, however, this has absolutely nothing to do with whether evolution or creationism are valid. It is the beginning of a fallacy that is woven through the rest of the video. This fallacy is one which equates modern, day-to-day science with the ability to know things about the past due to experiments done today.

People still move to the United States.  And that’s largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science.

Again I would have to disagree. I know of a number of people who came here, not because of science, but because of the liberties and freedoms that this country offers compared to any other place in the world. I don’t doubt that there are those who come here in order to receive their education in a scientific field, but I would still argue that even then it has nothing to do with evolution.

Nye, like many other evolutionists, believe that because we can build computers or bridges, or can develop vaccines and medicines to combat disease, that this is the same as being able to determine what a dinosaur supposedly ate 500 million years ago. The problem with this is a fundamental and very simple understanding of science that Nye (and others) seem to ignore in order to put forth their beliefs. The science that allows us to build bridges, create vaccines, and advance technology takes place in the present. These science experiments are repeatable and can be witnessed here and now. They are based on physical and chemical properties as we currently observe them and laws that allow things to be consistent.

The science that involves things that took place in the past (archaeology, paleontology, etc) consists of things that are not repeatable and were not witnessed by anyone alive today. Because of this, the facts involved in these sciences are susceptible to the interpretations of the person studying them. If one holds to the evolutional worldview, that worldview will interpret the facts in order to fit. If one holds to a biblical worldview that too will interpret the facts. This means that it is not the same type of science that builds computers or creates vaccines. Therefore, it is the worldviews that should be questioned and compared.

Most of the biblical creationists that I know would have no problem with modern (operational) science. Many of them use this type of science in their own experiments on a daily basis. I don’t have the experience that Nye has, but I have a number of years of lab experience working for two different DNA companies as well as a contractor for NASA and not once did evolution impact my daily experiments. The idea that operational science totally depends on evolution is a false construct that has been built up by evolutionists in order to give their theory more credibility.

 When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in it, it holds everybody back; really.

This portion of the population is a large group of the entire populace and includes many scientists that have contributed to the very scientific endeavors that Nye will claim need evolution for their explanation. I would like to hear Nye explain how those scientists hold everyone back…

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology…

This is just an assertion with no actual substance. Just because Nye states this doesn’t mean that it’s true and there are many problems with the idea of biological evolution alone…

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. 

I really don’t think it’s anything like that at all, but Nye has to have some sort of something to try and refute creationism. He surely can’t use science…

Speaking of plate tectonics, I wonder if Nye realizes that it was creationist Antonio Snider who first suggested that the plates were drifting apart? I also wonder if Nye realizes that a slow-and-gradual version of plate tectonics has issues that have yet to be solved while a view based on the biblical worldview (including the Flood) handles all that the slow-and-gradual view does and many of the problems that slow-and-gradual presents?

Your world is just going to be a mystery, instead of an exciting place.

Again, I have to wonder what Nye really thinks about Christians? Does he think that we’re all cave-dwelling Neanderthals who are just learning to use fire? What’s funny is that there are just as many (if not more) things that are inexplicable by evolution as there are for creation. The fact that there are things that I don’t understand as a Christian and creationist doesn’t mean that I don’t find my world an exciting place. As a matter of fact, knowing what I do about God and His creation makes my world a very exciting place to live.

As my old professor Carl Sagan said, ‘When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.’ 

Finding out that Carl Sagan was one of Nye’s professors explains a lot. Sagan believed that “the cosmos is all that is, ever was, and ever will be”.

I do agree with Nye that “when you’re in love, you want to tell the world”. The truth is…I’m in love with Jesus Christ. Not in the puppy love kind of way or the erotic kind of way. I love Christ to the point that I would give my life for Him and His cause because He has done the same for me when I didn’t deserve it. Because I love Him, I call friends, family, and complete strangers (including those that hate Him) to repentance so that they can come to Christ and be reconciled to God. Ha! Who knew that we would agree on something?

Once in a while I get people that really… that claim they don’t believe in evolution. Any my response generally is [shrugs shoulders], why not; really [silly grin], why not?

They claim they don’t believe in evolution? Does Nye not believe them when they say they don’t believe in evolution? That’s interesting. What makes it interesting is that I believe that those who deny that God exists do so in spite of the evidence and not because of it. They subdue their conscience and the evidence of God’s existence in the world around them in order to use the very breath He gave them to blaspheme His name and deny He exists.

Nye says that he asks those that don’t believe in evolution why they don’t believe. I would ask him why he believes in evolution. What proof was it that put him over the edge as to the truth of evolution?

Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution.

Really? My life is fantastically complicated when I don’t believe in evolution? I believe in an eternal, just, holy, righteous, merciful, forgiving God who created everything that exists for His own good pleasure. I believe that He created mankind for His glory and that even though those men rebelled against Him and deserve death in hell for eternity, He sent His one and only Son to earth to live a perfect life, die on a cross for sin, and rise again on the third day as a victor over death. Because I believe in God doesn’t mean that I neglect, reject, or check my brain/logic/reason at the door. As a matter of fact, it is precisely because God is who He is that we even have logic and reason to begin with. Nye would probably say that logic and reason are the products of billions of years of evolutionary selection. The problem is that evolution is an undirected, natural system that has nothing to do with concepts like logic.

In spite of all of this, Nye tells me that my life is extremely complicated because I don’t believe in evolution. So, let me get this straight. Nye believes that somehow nothing at all (which was the size of a pinhead) exploded (not quite sure how) and created everything we see in the entire universe. This stuff (whatever it was) then spent millions and billions of years cooling off and coming together (but we can’t explain how) to form heavier elements, then those elements swirled together (again we don’t know how) to become planets and over more millions of years water came to be (still not sure how) on planet Earth. Then (in a process that we can’t explain) rocks and inert chemicals formed life. Although we can’t understand why the chemicals came together, or how they stayed together in the presence of water (or was it the absence of oxygen?), or where the actual information found on the DNA came from (since a code is always evidence of intelligence), or how all of the amino acids found in living things are “left-handed, we’re going to go with that. Then, somehow, this living cell in a non-directed, purposeless process taking millions of years developed the very specific organs that it needs to live, consume nutrients, reproduce, and locomote. Then, even though we can’t show one mutation that adds new and useful genetic information, these unicellular creatures somehow (symbiosis?, fission?, asexual reproduction?) turned into multicellular creatures.

These creatures then somehow developed completely compatible sexual reproductive organs at the very same time (even though this will cost more energy and seems to be evolution going in a specific direction when it can’t because it’s random chance) and ended up producing simple sea creatures (over millions of years of course) which (eventually, though we don’t know how and can’t really show how) became fish, which then (again we don’t know how) became amphibians (after specifically developing legs that they would have no need of as fish), which became reptiles (including dinosaurs), which became birds (even though there are two different ideas of how birds evolved from reptiles and each one refutes the other), then mammals, then humans (all the result of millions of mutations that haven’t shown to be able to add the new information needed to actually evolve).

All of this sure seems a lot more complicated than my worldview. And I didn’t even include a number of other problems both in biology and other sciences…

Here are these ancient dinosaur bones, or fossils…

And here is a little evidence that Nye either can’t or won’t acknowledge the difference between operational and origin science. No one alive today can repeat anything that happened in the past and they weren’t there to observe it. However, we all have the same bones and fossils to look at and interpret. So, the question really becomes, which worldview actually makes sense of the facts that we see. Evolution changes its story all the time to fit new “evidences” and “proofs” that are found (and almost as often proved to be fakes…Nebraska Man anyone?). Biblical creationism starts with the truth of the Bible (which doesn’t change) and uses that revelation to make sense of the world around us. While we may change models as new information becomes available, we do not change the foundation of the Bible.

Here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but at different states in their life cycles.

How does evolution explain radioactivity and what does it have to do with evolution (other than confusing and unreliable dating methods)? It seems that evolution has become a plastic word that changes definitions depending on what the scientist speaking wants it to mean. This is silly to say the least…

 the idea of this deep time, of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. 

It does? We need billions of years to explain everything around us? I disagree Mr. Nye. As a matter of fact, I find that the biblical worldview is just fine for explaining things in our world as well as the things that evolution is unable to explain. For instance, if you take the amount of salt being added to the sea and extrapolate that rate back into history, you come up with about 12 million years (not billions). You could do the same with the rate of silt settling on the seafloor and other evidences that would give something much less than billions of years…

 If you try to ignore that, your worldview just becomes crazy – it becomes, uh, untenable; it’s self-inconsistent.

MY view is untenable, crazy, and “self-inconsistent” (is that even a word?)? Anyone that might agree with Mr. Nye needs to go back up and read the paragraphs explaining the general idea of what evolution proposes if they want crazy, untenable, and inconsistent.

 And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution, and live in your [waves hands around] world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine.

Ironically, Nye hasn’t given one bit of evidence to show how a biblical worldview is inconsistent with “everything” we observe in the universe. I have, on the other hand, given a few of the many examples that show that evolution is inconsistent with everything…and it is so from the very beginning.

But don’t make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. 

So Nye doesn’t want us to impose our beliefs on our kids so that he can impose his beliefs on our kids? Uh…yeah…that makes a whole lot of sense. The implication that those who hold the biblical creation are somehow scientifically illiterate doesn’t go unnoticed, but it isn’t surprising since he doesn’t have any actual evidence to back up his viewpoint. What’s funny is that Nye would most likely deny that his worldview could be considered a religion, but that’s exactly what it is. He has developed a philosophy of how the universe and everything that is in it came to be (without God) and has put his faith in this system of beliefs. This naturalistic, humanistic view of the world is no less a religion than Christianity; we just happen to be honest about our faith…

We need people that can, uh– we need engineers! People who can build stuff, solve problems.

Again we see the disconnect between operational and origins science. Engineers build stuff and solve problems based on operational science that is observable, testable, and repeatable in the present. It has nothing to do with and no dependence on evolutionary theory.

It’s just really a hard thing.  It’s really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries, that worldview will be [shakes head] just won’t exist. 

This is interesting and funny for a couple reasons. One, Nye has been unable to identify Christianity/the Bible as his focus even though it can be nothing else. Two, I wonder if Nye knows anything about history? If so, he might know that the famous writer and religious critic Voltaire stated that within a century of his death, the Bible would disappear. Not only was Voltaire severely wrong in this (he died in 1728 and the Bible is still going) but, years later the first edition of Voltaire’s works sold in France for a total of eleven cents. At the same time, the British government paid what amounts to half a million dollars for a Bible from the czar of Russia.…

I mean, it’s [shrugs] … there’s no evidence for it.

This is just another attempt to make an assertion for his beliefs without providing any evidence to back them up. It’s interesting to see that Nye can be so matter-of-fact about the uncertainty and invalidity of Christianity, but can’t provide any sure proof of evolution. Hmmm…

Ironically, Nye claims that he wasn’t attacking religion, but the truth is otherwise. He implies that those who believe in creationism are holding the rest of the country back, how our view is just not going to get the right answer, how it is all just based on mystery (which implies that we explain everything that we don’t understand with “God did it”), how it’s scientifically illiterate, fantastically complicated, untenable, self-inconsistent, crazy, inconsistent, and (of course) inappropriate. But, it’s not an attack on religion at all. Laughably, Nye makes a differentiation between all science and provable science in his comments trying to smooth things over a little bit on CBS a day or so after the video was posted. He also implies there that those who believe in creation somehow seem to think that we can’t land spacecraft on Mars or that we won’t believe in radioactivity or geology. He then said (to the HuffPo) that the Bible shouldn’t be taken literally in regards to creationism. But it’s not an attack on religion. He uses the old canard of how the Bible talks about the sun lighting the day and the moon lighting the night and says that the Bible shouldn’t be trusted because the moon really doesn’t light the night, it reflects the light of the sun. Really? Is that really an argument for not trusting the Bible? I’m going to guess here and say that Nye doesn’t trust the weatherman or women and their forecast because they say that the sun rises (even though everyone knows that it doesn’t).

Below are two links from Answers in Genesis in response to what Nye has said. I hope that you will enjoy them! (PS – I didn’t watch them until after I wrote my response…lol)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxX11c1cSWU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-AyDtD6sPA

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