Over the past few months, and especially since the evolution/creation debate in February, I’ve blogged many times about statements that Bill Nye “the Science Guy” has made to the media. Many of these statements are inflammatory against creationists (and really Christianity in general) and are simply not true representations of the nature of science or the creation/evolution controversy.
Well, Bill Nye made more of these kinds of comments in a recent interview with Newsmax TV. Earlier, I wrote about Nye’s statement that denying evolution is unique to America and showed that this is simply not true—there are creation ministries and outreaches going on all around the world! Well, in the same interview, Nye also said that teaching biblical creation to kids will create “a generation of young people that can’t think.” This is utterly untrue and I want to expose this popular misconception. In fact, I personally think that one of the reasons Bill Nye (and other atheist organizations) don’t encourage people to watch my debate with Bill Nye (nor do these groups sell the DVD as AiG does) is because of what I said right at the beginning of the debate. I played video clips of Christians who are renowned scientists (like Dr. Raymond Damadian, who invented the MRI scanner). I will comment on this further below.
What Nye Is Saying NowNye complains that creationists are "indoctrinating" young people into believing in a young earth and special creation. But who is really indoctrinating children in false science and dangerous ideas? Nye and many other secularists like him are hard at work trying to keep any mention of creation out of the public sector, and thus are attempting to indoctrinate generations of children in meaningless, purposeless evolutionary naturalism—atheism!
They do not want an honest presentation of the facts, they only want one side—their side—to be presented. They are vehemently intolerant of anything to do with Christianity in the public arena. And why does it even matter to them? At my debate with Bill Nye, he said in response to a question that he loved the “joy of discovery.” I then asked him why the “joy of discovery” even mattered if, when he died, he won’t know he even existed—based on his naturalistic (atheistic) perspective. And then I pointed out that when everyone who knew him dies (and ultimately everyone dies), from his perspective no one will ever know anyone or anything ever existed—so ultimately what is even the point of the “joy of discovery”? I believe I saw a momentary look of shock on Nye’s face because I brought up something he refuses to face!
In this age of supposed value on education, it’s mind-boggling to find that having teachers and educators simply being allowed to teach the problems with evolution has become a big fight! And by and large the governments in our Western world have legislated to protect the teaching of atheistic evolution and do not even allow students to know about other beliefs or even consider some of the very glaring problems with evolution. This approach by secular academics is not encouraging kids to think. This is indoctrination. And it’s really indoctrination in an atheistic religion. In America, the government is endorsing a state religion—by and large, it’s the religion of naturalism or atheism!
Nye argues that kids who are taught to start with God’s Word will not be able to think critically and that we are raising kids who “will not have this fundamental idea that you can question things, that you can think critically, that you can use skeptical thought to learn about nature. No, they will have to suppress . . . everything that they can see in nature to try to get a worldview that’s compatible with the adults whom they trust and rely on for sustenance tell them.” Obviously, Dr. Raymond Damadian’s having been taught creation and being a Bible-believing Christian didn’t stop him in any way from becoming a leading innovator in science and a world-renowned scientist!
But, really, is teaching children only one side of the debate (as Nye wants)—silencing the opposition and not even discussing the inherent problems with evolution—really teaching kids to “question things,” “think critically,” or to use “skeptical thought”? No, it’s not! It’s teaching children to accept what’s popular and not even consider other options. This is not critical thinking. This undermines true education. And it will ultimately undermine science education and technology in our culture.
Secularists like Nye are bemoaning the low science scores of students in America, and they try to put a lot of the blame on the teaching of creation! But students have by and large been taught evolution as fact in our schools. Teachers have for the most part not been allowed to teach students about creation, and most textbooks have presented evolution as fact for many, many years! It’s not the teaching of creation that is resulting in poor science scores.
The Problems with EvolutionEvolution has major problems that should cause critical thinkers to question the entire paradigm. For example, naturalistic biological evolution breaks the Law of Biogenesis (i.e., life only comes from other life, not simple chemical elements). This is one of the fundamental laws of biology that has never—not even once—been observed to have been broken in nature or in the laboratory. And everything we observe in the world also demonstrates that information can only come from other information. Yet based on the teaching of evolution, people believe information has spontaneously created itself multiple times—to change a fish into an amphibian, for example, you have to add a lot of information! But there is absolutely no known process that can add new information (that previously did not exist) into the DNA to make these types of changes. Also, in nature we only see animals reproducing according to their kinds: dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, and finches produce finches. Yes, we see different genera and species within a kind (a kind usually being at the “family” level of classification)—but this is not evolution in the molecules-to-man sense. Evolution requires that one kind (e.g., family) of animal turns into another kind (family). But this has never—not even once—been observed to have happened. These problems (which are only some of the problems I could list!) should cause critical thinkers to reject evolution as many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, have done.
When Nye claims that we are “raising a generation of kids that are discouraged from thinking,” I would sort of agree with him. But I disagree that it is creationists who are teaching children not to think. I believe that our society and public education system are raising a generation of kids who are discouraged from thinking because they are not presented with the problems with evolution, nor are most kids presented with the strong arguments in favor of the biblical view of origins. They are indoctrinated into believing in evolution and millions of years without even being given the chance to honestly examine the other side. Of course this discourages them from thinking!
And the more we see generations of children being indoctrinated into the atheistic religion to believe that the universe—including all life—arose by natural processes, the more these children will believe there is no purpose and meaning in life, except for what a person determines in the here and now. Therefore, when they believe there is no absolute authority, as the Scripture says, everyone will do “what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
Creationists Are Scientists, TooNye claims that if we teach kids creation they “will not be able to participate in the future in the same way [as other kids].” But did a belief in a Creator hold Sir Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, or Sir Francis Bacon back? Not at all! These men and many like them studied nature because they knew that there was a Creator who had made an orderly universe that could be expected to operate by certain laws. Science is filled with men and women who believed in a Creator and who made great advances to our knowledge about the world.
Now, Nye repeatedly made the statement that America is the world’s most technologically advanced society and that we will only stay that way if we raise a generation of innovators. And, of course, he believes that children who are taught biblical creation will not be innovators or inventors. But what does a belief in evolution have to do with developing technology? Absolutely nothing. Bill Nye still hasn’t answered the question that I gave him during the debate that challenged him to name one piece of technology that was developed by starting with the idea of evolution. He can’t name one because . . . well, there isn’t one!
In claiming that creation scientists can’t be innovators, Nye is ignoring the scientists who start with God’s Word that I highlighted during our debate. As I stated earlier, Dr. Raymond Damadian, a biblical creationist, invented the MRI scanner, which has revolutionized medical practice. Dr. Stuart Burgess, a biblical creationist, developed major technologies used on NASA and ESA spacecraft. Believing in God’s Word certainly didn’t stop these innovators and many others from inventing incredible things! That’s one reason why I think Nye is so hesitant to encourage people to watch our debate.
The Biblical Worldview Explains ScienceBill Nye wonders who is going to keep America innovating if “you raise a generation of kids that can’t do physics or chemistry or can’t do biology. Do you want doctors who can’t, who don’t understand biology?” Well, understanding physics, chemistry, and biology does not require a belief in evolution. Sir Isaac Newton, perhaps the greatest physicist of all time, was a biblical creationist, and that sure didn’t hinder him from making incredible observations about the universe that we still rely on today to do physics. Actually, the biblical worldview is the only worldview that can explain physics. If this universe is simply the result of random processes, then why should it predictably follow laws? Where do these immaterial laws come from in a naturalistic worldview? In fact, during the debate, I asked Bill Nye to account for the laws of nature on the basis of his worldview of naturalism. He could not do it! We can only do physics because there is a Creator who made a logical universe that operates by laws that do not arbitrarily change. We can have confidence in the reliability of the laws of nature because God is upholding the universe (Hebrews 1:3).
Nye claims that evolution is the “fundamental idea in all of biology, the main idea in all of life science—it is the fact of life” and implies that scientists and doctors who don’t understand evolution won’t understand biology. But, as I showed earlier, molecules-to-man evolution runs contrary to what we have observed in biological studies. How can something that goes against what we observe from our studies of biology be the fundamental idea of biology? Also, a belief in evolution has actually held back medicine. Because many researchers and doctors started from an evolutionary worldview, they quickly accepted the idea of “vestigial” organs because it was consistent with their worldview. Vestigial organs are organs that are considered useless leftovers from our evolutionary past. Evolution expected us to have many such vestigial parts, so organs that weren’t known to have a function were simply labelled vestigial and were often not seriously studied in the past. But we now know that these “vestigial” organs actually have a function!
Another good example of a belief in evolution holding back research and medicine concerns so-called “junk” DNA. Ninety-eight percent of our genome was considered to be useless junk, left over from our evolutionary past. Junk is hardly worth studying so, until recently, not much study has been done on these large portions of our DNA. But we are now finding that around 80% of the “junk” DNA has a useful function and many researchers predict that, as more research is done, this number will rise to 100%. A belief in evolution actually held research back! But if you start from God’s Word and the belief that we were designed by a wise Creator, then we shouldn’t expect our bodies and our DNA to be littered with junk. The evidence confirms God’s Word, not evolutionary tales.
Your Starting Point Determines Your ConclusionsNye further claims that we are raising kids who are “unable or uncomfortable with using the scientific method.” Besides the fact that the scientific method was developed by a creationist, this statement highlights how Bill Nye ignores the difference between historical and operational science. He scoffed at this distinction during the debate because, if he admitted this was the case, he would have to admit that evolution is a belief and that he wanted to indoctrinate generations of children in his belief or religion.
The scientific method involves testing a hypothesis, repeating that testing, and observing the results. Historical science deals with the past and therefore it cannot be tested, repeated, or observed in the same way—you can’t use the scientific method directly on the past. You can only look at what you have in the present and make interpretations based on the present in relation to the past. Because of this, your starting point is going to determine how you interpret the evidence. If you start with man’s word, then you will look at the evidence and interpret it from an evolutionary/millions-of-years perspective. But if you start with God’s perfect Word, you will look at the same evidence and interpret it from a biblical creation perspective (e.g., Creation, Flood, and so on). With historical science, your starting point determines your interpretations. Observational science can be used to confirm which interpretation is correct. And overwhelmingly, observational science confirms the interpretation of the past based on the biblical account of creation in Genesis.
Now, the kind of science that uses the scientific method to test, repeat, and observe is observational science, and that is the kind of science that enables us to build technology and make medical innovations. That’s why both creationists and evolutionists can invent technology, but at the same time have differing beliefs about the past.
We need to be bold and purposeful in teaching our children to start their thinking from God’s Word. We need to raise a generation of kids that can critically look at man’s ideas and realize how bankrupt these ideas really are. We need a generation of scientists and researchers who are dedicated to doing science for the glory of God! We need a new generation of scientists who know how to distinguish between observational science and historical science. One great way of doing this is to teach your children using curricula that starts with God’s Word—not man’s ideas—as the foundation for looking at the world. You can find all kinds of helpful resources in our online store. I encourage you to be bold in training up your kids in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) so that they will look at the world beginning with the Bible and will follow in the footsteps of many great biblical creation scientists!
It’s sad, but Bill Nye is increasingly on a crusade in our Western world to destroy true science and the basis for innovation and technology, and instead indoctrinate generations in his atheistic religion.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.