Bill Nye (the Science Guy): Creationism is not appropriate for children - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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Bill Nye (the Science Guy): Creationism is not appropriate for children

A few days ago, Bill Nye put out a YouTube video slamming creationism. You can see the video here: Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children - YouTube

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Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we're the world's most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens. People still move to the United States. And that's largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science. When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, "When you're in love you want to tell the world." So, once in a while I get people that really—or that claim—they don't believe in evolution. And my response generally is "Well, why not? Really, why not?" Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they're at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.

And 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.

It's just really hard a thing, it's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist. There's no evidence for it.
He has since gone on CBS and re-iterated the same view.

We've discussed creationism here a few times in different contexts. I think that Romney and Huntsman were the only GOP candidates this time around who actually believe in evolution and do not support teaching creationism or intelligent design in science class.

The most recent Gallup Poll reveals that 46% of Americans believe in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God and 15% believe in evolution without a theist influence. Those are remarkable numbers and should shock people.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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I still remember in the mid '90s attending a school board meeting with someone questioning whether my high school should start teaching AP Biology because the recommended text book concentrated too much on evolution.

I cringed. It's scary how many people believe in a creation story no less mythical than Gaia and Uranus.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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I believe in God and in science, don't think that the two are always and necessarily mutually exclusive. I think God would believe and trust in science too.

I believe that science should be taught in school, and that kids can bring their own developed religious views into it (outside of school) at some point when they're old/mature enough-if that's what they want and choose to do.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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I believe in God, but I also believe in evolution in which God played a role in it. I know there are some people who find it hard to understand how someone could believe such things, but that is how I see the world.

I am also embarrassed that so many Americans support creationism as according to the Bible. We were so advanced in science, and promoting creationism is a major step back for us. It kind of puts us in the Dark Ages.

Sometimes I think parents who only want their kids to learn creationism either don't understand the long term effects of that or they seriously want to establish the U.S. as a Christian country based entirely on the Bible.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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While I feel strong disdain towards creationism, I'm not keen on the tactic of linking it to the US' track record in generating future sci-tech workers. The attrition rates within science-related majors at American colleges and universities are indeed troubling--twice that of all other majors combined--but we already have a pretty good idea from studies what the primary reasons for that are: Science education that emphasizes open-ended problems and interactive approaches at the elementary and secondary levels, but then at the tertiary level morphs into a grim slog of highly abstract, lecture-based courses (which by contrast their foreign classmates are often much more accustomed to). A cultural fixation, particularly among children from socioeconomically privileged backgrounds, with settling for nothing less than the highest possible GPA, leading many to switch to humanities fields where (again, at least for elites) their already well-developed writing and speaking skills give them a leg-up they don't enjoy in those skull-crunching math and science major cores, where your answer is either all right or all wrong. Professors who are under far more pressure to bring in research grants than to teach undergrads, and act like it.

I don't think 'Culture Wars' struggles like whether creationism belongs in science class are irrelevant to all this--you could say it's one more symptom of not taking the challenges of preparing our children for the 21st century seriously--but I'm always wary of our national tendency to dodge the tough, tedious work of systemic overhaul in favor of the fantasy that instilling the correct worldview in children's minds will magically also serve to equip them with the tools they need to succeed.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

~Genesis 1



I believe those ten words.

It's way beyond my brain to speculate
on how it was accomplished.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

~Genesis 1



I believe those ten words.

It's way beyond my brain to speculate
on how it was accomplished.
Who wrote them?
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PhilsFan View Post
Who wrote them?

Most Biblical scholars agree that Moses wrote the Torah.
The first five books of the Bible.

After that, it's called faith my friend.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

~Genesis 1



I believe those ten words.

It's way beyond my brain to speculate
on how it was accomplished.
But what about the rest of Genesis? There's no mention of the dinosaurs or Neanderthals. Do you just shrug that off?
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
Most Biblical scholars agree that Moses wrote the Torah.
As someone who is nearing a PhD in ancient cultural history and has done a 200-book preliminary field in the Judeo-Christian tradition, I will say that no credible biblical scholar believes that Moses wrote Torah. The tide was already turning against that perspective in 1880, and in fact there are mountains upon mountains of evidence that no single person wrote all or even one of those texts. What you have said here is an abject lie.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
But what about the rest of Genesis? There's no mention of the dinosaurs or Neanderthals. Do you just shrug that off?

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was God.

I believe the Bible is God's message to us.

I know there's a lot of questions, seemingly contractions, things we
don't understand, and so forth.


But by faith I accept this mystery
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

~Genesis 1

I believe those ten words.

It's way beyond my brain to speculate
on how it was accomplished.

Don't try to hard to think, don't think at all.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #13
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I don't think those ten words have to be mutually exclusive with evolution.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anitram

The most recent Gallup Poll reveals that 46% of Americans believe in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God and 15% believe in evolution without a theist influence.
oh my god
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was God.

I believe the Bible is God's message to us.

I know there's a lot of questions, seemingly contractions, things we
don't understand, and so forth.


But by faith I accept this mystery
So you simply ignore the contradictions, which are glaringly obvious?
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