Bill Nye the Science Guy has been pontificating on the subject of creationism. In a rambling two and a half minute YouTube hit, he said this:
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.
To paraphrase what he was saying; grown-ups, believe whatever nonsense you like, but don’t tell the children!
It is true that we need more young scientists and engineers. Mr. Nye has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, one of America’s prestigious Ivy League Schools. It must have been an interesting degree course! If Nye’s views were consistent, then he would not have bothered designing machines. He would simply have scattered the raw materials around and waited for them to evolve into something useful.
In his short piece, he insists that “Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science.” Yet, design, not evolution, is actually the fundamental idea in biology. Even arch-atheist Richard Dawkins has admitted “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”1 Of course, Dawkins went on to deny the actual existence of design, but one has to say that if it has the appearance of having been designed for a purpose, a good scientist would normally conclude that this was because it had been designed for a purpose.
What is notable about Nye’s piece is that he offers no evidence for evolution whatsoever. He simply assumes it to be true, in order to criticize those who do not accept it. The irony is that he assumes that creationists believe education about evolution should be banned. Nothing could be further from the truth. Good science teachers encourage and train their students to criticize ideas scientifically. This includes evolution. When I was a young science teacher in England, I remember the first occasion that I introduced evolution to a class that had been trained to think scientifically in this way. The concept that many scientists believed this concept of evolution had many of them in fits of laughter, because they could immediately see the many problems with the concept.
It is Nye and his fellow evolution popularizers who want censorship of the science curriculum, not creationists. We want our children to be taught what is true, and to have the skills to discern what is not true. Without a basis of biblical truth, there is no foundation for the laws of morality, the laws of logic or the laws of science. If Nye had his way, we would have a generation of children unskilled in scientific investigation. Unfortunately, the Bill Nyes of this world do indeed seem to be getting their way.
- Dawkins, C.R. (1996), The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton & Company), p. 1. ↩