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Bill Nye battles back at critics.
Popular TV personality Bill Nye, whose awarding-winning PBS-TV programs teach science to children, decided to engage in some video preaching last week. His YouTube video had logged over 2.3 million showings in its first week and drew enough criticism to prompt him to appear on CBS This Morning to defend his point of view.
While denying that he is attacking religion, Nye continued to prove that his concept of “provable science” falls short of reality. Nye fails to distinguish between genuine “provable science”—experimental, observable, and operational science,the kind of science that invents new technology, figures out how things work, finds cures for diseases, and tracks hurricanes—and historical (origins) science.
In the CBS interview, Nye said:
This morning, talking about Hurricane Isaac, and we're watching satellite maps made with spacecraft orbiting the earth, and this all comes from science. If you have this idea that the earth is only 6,000 years old, you are denying, if you will, everything that you can touch and see. You're not paying attention to what's happening in the universe around you. As I say, this is bad for kids.
Nye does not seem to realize that no scientist alive can “touch and see” what happened 6,000 years ago, much less what happened in the “deep time” supposedly billions of years in the past. Hurricane tracking, orbital satellite deployment, and space exploration are experimental, operational science, not historical science. But claims about the big bang and molecules-to-man evolution are completely different. It is absurd to suggest that a young earth creationist is somehow unable to “believe in” meteorology and space exploration.
Historical science is the kind of science that draws conclusions about the untestable, unrepeatable, unobservable past.
Historical science is the kind of science that draws conclusions about the untestable, unrepeatable, unobservable past. The origin of the universe, the earth, and all life already happened. With all due respect to science fiction writers from H.G. Wells to Gene Roddenberry, no scientists can go back in time to observe, examine, and perform repeatable controlled scientific tests to evaluate what happened. The scientific method can be applied to the world of the present—observing rocks, genes, and stars in the present—but in order to extrapolate the information gained back to the unobservable past, those facts must be interpreted. And those interpretations depend on a person’s worldview.
Evolutionary humanists like Nye have a prior commitment to reject the eyewitness account of the Word of the Creator God and are therefore prejudiced against any explanations for our origins that “allow a divine foot in the door.”1 Creation scientists recognize that accurate conclusions about our unobservable past must accord with the eyewitness account of the Word of God.
Nye’s remarks in his viral video are an example of the increasing tendency among evolutionists to frighten people into thinking biblical creationists are incapable idiots whose presence inhibits progress. For instance, he said, “When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in it [evolution], that holds everybody back.” He demands that adults keep their creationist views to themselves. Nye has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Perhaps he is unaware that many scientists who discovered key principles important in his own field—like Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and James Clerk Maxwell—believed in a Creator God and expected to find His orderly handiwork in the world of science. Despite Bill Nye’s assertions, a worldview that honors God as Creator of the universe and the physical laws in it did not hold these scientists back at all.
Bible-believing creation scientists at Answers in Genesis try to educate adults and children to know that the conclusions we come to about our distant past depend on where our thinking starts.
Bible-believing creation scientists at Answers in Genesis try to educate adults and children to know that the conclusions we come to about our distant past depend on where our thinking starts. If our thinking, like Nye’s, were to start with a prior commitment to reject the only available eyewitness account of our origins—the one in the Bible—then we would have to make up stories to explain the origin of life from non-living elements through random processes, stories to explain the origin of information from random chaos, stories to explain the source of orderly reliable physical laws, and even stories to explain the origin of matter and energy from nothing. If on the other hand we are willing to start our thinking with the one reliable source of information about the past, then we find that what we see in God’s Word often helps us makes sense of what we discover.
Read our complete analysis of Nye’s statements, “Bill Nye’s Crusade for Your Kids,” learn why God cares what children believe, and be sure to watch our two YouTube videos, below, as Dr. David Menton and Dr. Georgia Purdom, both veteran educators and scientists, share their insights about Nye’s crusade to gain your children’s hearts and minds for evolution, and then one by Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham:
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