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“And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution… that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them.”
An anti-creationist diatribe by Bill Nye, “The Science Guy” of PBS TV, went viral on YouTube this past fall. After “Creationism Is Not Appropriate for Children”1 was highlighted by TV networks and well-trafficked websites, Nye’s rant was watched by an impressive five million viewers. His claim: America can’t be competitive in technology unless it teaches kids evolution as fact.
Such a claim ignores the fact that evolution and technology employ completely different types of science. Evolution tries to reconstruct the unobservable past and is heavily influenced by worldview preconceptions, while technology deals with present, repeatable phenomena, and the researcher’s worldview has little or no influence on the outcome. An engineer does not need an evolutionary outlook to design new computers and spaceships, nor does a doctor need evolution to figure out how to cure a disease.
The frequent repetition of this spurious claim indicates that something deeper is going on than a worry about science. A person’s worldview affects more than technological advancement; it affects life. As the 2010 humanist of the year, Nye can’t afford to consider the merits of a worldview that calls his core beliefs into question. His only alternative is to dismiss any view that reminds him about his desperate need for reconciliation with his Creator (Romans 1:18–20).
It is God’s Word, not humanist (that is, atheist) dogma, that teaches us how to make sense of the past and the present. We can better understand how the universe works and how it came into existence, if we start by trusting the words of the One who made it. That is the only “appropriate” message for children.