Bill Nye: no science guy?
Scientist made popular by his educational television show bashes creationism
Creationism is once again under attack. In a recent “Big Think” video entitled “Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children,” Bill Nye argued against parents teaching their children creationism. The two-minute-and-30-second video was filled with false data and misconceptions.
Nye stated that the U.S. is in danger of losing the status of the most technologically- advanced country because of the prevalent teaching of creationism.
However, Marcus Ross, who has a doctorate in Geosciences and is the assistant director of the Center for Creation Studies at Liberty University, disagrees.
“Young-Earth creationism has only grown stronger and more powerful as an explanation for life’s history over the past several decades, while at the same time the U.S. continues to lead in science and technology,” Ross said.
Nye went on to say that he believes that students who are taught creationism would not grow to become problem-solvers like engineers.
“Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology,” Nye said.
This, however, confuses empirical science with historical science.
“The former is where technology is derived from and is based on experimental science that we can repeat. The latter interprets the past,” Dr. David DeWitt, director for the Center for Creation Studies at Liberty University, said.
Nye’s statement that creationism beliefs will conflict with problem-solving is also a careless fallacy. Simply looking at some of the beliefs of modern science founders will demonstrate that this point is incorrect. Isaac Newton, Johann Kepler, Robert Boyle, Francis Bacon, Blaise Pascal, Charles Babbage, Gregor Mendel and Lord Kelvin were all known Christians and creationists.
These scientists made discoveries in mathematics, celestial mechanics, chemistry, hydrostatics, computer science, genetics and thermodynamics. These men were not only profound problem-solvers, but also furthered modern science with their creationist background.
Nye also said that creationism prohibits engineering because of an “inconsistent worldview.”
DeWitt said those claims were “quite ironic,” given that engineers create and design things.
“This notion would come as quite a surprise to several engineers that I know, including Stuart Burgess,” DeWitt said. “Dr. Burgess has received numerous awards for his mechanical engineering designs, including work on ENVISAT, which is the largest man-made satellite orbiting the Earth. He is a creationist.”
Indeed, what is engineering but design? Creationism is founded on the belief that there is purpose to every structure in nature.
“When we look at plants and animals as the product of design, then we immediately ask what functions things have and why they exist,” Ross said. “Engineers who look at nature’s designs for inspiration…use creationist principles all the time, and the results are often spectacular.”
Nye ended his video by stating that creationism is dangerous because it is illogical and there is no evidence for it. Nye listed such evidence as the fossil record as proof of evolution. Perhaps no other claim reveals Nye’s true bias than this one. Instead of directly attacking creationism arguments, he blindly stated that it was “illogical” and that there was “no evidence” for it.
Ross believes that the “no evidence” claim is an unfounded one.
“It is all around him (and us), but he does not see it for what it is, because he’s decided that science must only accept processes without reference to God,” Ross said. “The rocks and fossils of the world speak of a terrible destruction at the time of Noah, but instead he sees ‘life through time.’ The fossil record isn’t a record of life, it’s a record of death and judgment.”
With proper analysis, Nye’s main points in his video are shown to be merely misconceptions based on bias against the notion of God. By blindly stating that it takes belief in a historical science theory to develop problem-solving skills, Nye freely abandons the science and facts that he claims to love.
Based on facts, a creationist can be a problem solver, a “literate citizen” and even an engineer. Maybe it takes a rocket scientist to figure that out.