Sunday, February 15, 2015

Why I can't take Bill Nye seriously

In his latest book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, Bill Nye the "Science Guy" sounds more like those ignorant creationists he likes to ridicule than an objective, reasonable man of science:
In general, creationist groups do not accept evolution as the fact of life. It's not just that they don't understand how evolution led to the ancient dinosaurs, for example, they take it another step and deny that evolution happened at all anywhere, let alone that it is happening today. They want everyone else in the world to deny it, too, including you and me.

Inherent in this rejection of evolution is the idea that your curiosity about the world is misplaced and your common sense is wrong. This attack on reason is an attack on all of us. Children who accept this ludicrous perspective will find themselves opposed to progress. They will become society's burdens rather than its producers, a prospect that I find very troubling. Not only that, these kids will never feel the joy of discovery that science brings. They will have to suppress the basic human curiosity that leads to asking questions, exploring the world around them, and making discoveries. They will miss out on countless exciting adventures. We're robbing them of basic knowledge about their world and the joy that comes with it. It breaks my heart. (p. 10)
So, according to Nye, creationists have no interest in exploring the world around them, nor do they understand the joy of discovery. He is probably thinking of creationists like Francis Bacon, who gave us the scientific method. Maybe he is thinking of Johannes Kepler and his laws of planetary motion. Or perhaps he has in mind Isaac Newton, who revolutionized mathematics and physics.

Oh, but all those guys came before Charles Darwin, the patron saint of evolution. I suppose, then, Nye must have been referring to creationists like Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology. Or James Joule, whose work with heat led to the law of conservation of energy and the first law of thermodynamics. Or Joseph Lister, the father of modern surgery. Come on, Bill.

I submit that it was a love of God and his creation that fueled the curiosity of these Christian scientists. The same can be said of modern creationists. After all, scripture is full of curiosity-inspiring passages:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

"He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing." (Job 26:7)

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" (Psalm 8:3-4)

"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

"By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible." (Hebrews 11:3)
Undeniable, at its outset, demonstrates Nye's ignorance of science, history, and what creationists actually believe. It also showcases his willingness to lie in order to demonize those who disagree with him. It's this kind of nonsense that makes it extremely difficult to take him seriously as a scientist.

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