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Popular Mechanics: “Science Guy Bill Nye Explains Why Evolution Belongs in Science Education” Bill Nye, the “science guy” of children’s television fame, recently answered a few questions for the magazine Popular Mechanics. Although Ken Ham tackled Nye’s answers in a blog entry, we thought our perspective could bear re-emphasizing.
The interview started with Popular Mechanics asking Nye what he thought of last week’s news showing only tepid support for teaching evolution among high school science teachers. Calling it “horrible,” Nye explained:
Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution.
Later, Nye discusses why he supports strong elementary school science programs:
Nearly every rocket scientist got interested in it before they were 10. Everybody who’s a physician, who makes vaccines, who wants to find the cure for cancer. Everybody who wants to do any medical good for humankind got the passion for that before he or she was 10. So we want to excite a new generation of kids . . . about the passion, beauty and joy . . . of science. These anti-evolution people are frustrating in two ways. The first way is, almost certainly they know better. Those people really do believe in flu shots. They really do understand that when you find fossil bones of ancient dinosaurs, you are looking at deep time, not just 5000 years. And secondly, and much more importantly, having raised a generation of kids who don’t understand science is bad for everyone. And with the United States having a leadership role in science and technology, having a generation of kids not believing in science is bad for the world.
Nye suggests that the root of modern creation beliefs lies in “wanting the world to be different than it is.” He adds, “We all want the world to be different. But to deny evolution is in no one’s best interest.”
Our disagreements with Nye’s comments generally fall in three categories:
Kids not accepting evolution is the same, to Nye, as “kids not believing in science”; he says much the same about all creationists.
Overall, Nye’s attitude toward young-earth creationists is typical of what we’ve seen from other prominent evolutionists over the years: no indication of awareness of or engagement with actual creationist views, the unquestioning comparison of evolutionary theory to modern technology and undisputed fields of science, and a refusal to acknowledge that any qualified scientists reject molecules-to-man evolution. Sadly, this sort of ignorance, misperception, and inaccuracy appears all the time in mainstream portrayals of creationists, and it usually goes uncorrected.
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