Up for Debate: Bill Nye on creationism

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 11:37pm

Bill Nye, "the science guy," has weighed in on teaching creationism and denying evolution to children in a YouTube video. Do you agree or disagree with the points he makes?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

173 Comments on this post:

By: slacker on 8/29/12 at 9:53

The real science guy was Don Herbert.. Mr. Wizard. He had no religious or political opinions, he just taught science.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 9:53

"Ben, there is much more to life than academic education but that should be pursued outside of school!"

That's not what Nye is saying and it doesn't seem to be the consensus here since their only criticism of Nye is that he's right but he's politically incorrect for saying it out-loud.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 9:55

Ira Flatow was also better than this Pee Wee cross-over guy who suffers that primary symptom of a liberal... "everyone else is an idiot".

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/29/12 at 9:58

Once again, Ben - the guy is allowed an opinion!

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 9:59

It is ironic to me that so many "deny" or ignore the scientific facts because the facts don't comport with their world view . . . I'm talking to you evolutionists

I have yet to meet an "evolutionist" that would ignore weaknesses in the theory. The difference is that the quest for knowledge continues, while the Creationist is absolute. There isn't anything to search for...you just take Genesis as fact and move on.

Remember, at one time everyone thought the Earth was flat and the center of the universe. Guess what happened?

We evolved.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/29/12 at 10:00

Go ahead and teach your kids about Creationism and rocks in a circle but don't stunt the education of other kids by requiring this fairy tale stuff in Science classes at public schools.

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:02

Ira Flatow was also better than this Pee Wee cross-over guy who suffers that primary symptom of a liberal... "everyone else is an idiot".

Pot, meet kettle.

What happens when you become what you abhor?

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:11

The only thing, blanket, and which is what Nye was really ranting against, is that these kids, once out in the real world, are stunted intellectually. This, on a large scale, has a detrimental effect on society.

I had a discussion with my 6 year old about the Earth's rotation. She asked why we don't all get dizzy (she's really cute, isn't she?). After explaining gravity and such, I had a thought...this is a conversation that likely never takes place in certain homes...remember, as I said above, some people don't believe the Earth rotates.

How does that not scare you?

By: rawhide on 8/29/12 at 10:14

"Rocks in a circle"? Whuh? Kids, in public schools (including the children of almost every commenter I have seen here) who get spoon-fed evolutionary theory are NOT taught the weaknesses in the theory. It is more important, when teaching a science, that the student learn the skill of critical thinking than that they learn by rote, "BOOM, there was life, and over as-many-years-as-we-need-to-make-it-emotionally-PLAUSIBLE-for-things-to-evolve-from-a-single-cell we became what we are today!!" Uh, let's just take that as fact and move on, huh gdiafante?

By: jvh2b on 8/29/12 at 10:15

It's just so much eaiser when the awnser is 'because God made it so'....

I'm convinced the majority of people out there just find thinking entirely to hard/confusing...so they jsut fall back on because God said so.

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:18

Breaking Liberal Media Bias News: Looks like Isaac, the storm system created by Democrats, is reeking havoc on Louisiana. 500K without power, flooding, people trapped in attics and roofs...the National Weather Service is saying that the storm has slowed to almost a stall and isn't even half over.

This is almost 7 years to the day after Katrina...unbelievable.

I'll connect this back to the topic...this (media conspiracy against Romney) is what happens when these idiot fundamentalists have a forum to spread their ignorance. This is what Nye is talking about.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/29/12 at 10:18

rawhide, do you also teach them to use critical thinking skills when it comes to the Bible as well?

btw....the "rocks in a circle" comment has to do with a common conversation we have with Ben. He believes that if you come across rocks in a circle in the middle of a forest, it could not be a natural occurance.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/29/12 at 10:19

Obama and God are punishing the GOP by detracting media attention. It's part of their grand plan, you know.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 10:21

Rocks in a circle goes back to a statistical point I made a few years ago that any reasonable person who was walking through the woods and found 10 equally sized rocks arranged in a circle would immediately conclude that someone put them there.

These same people believe that 3 billion bits of data somehow organized itself into the complex program of life we know as DNA... and that life somehow was bootstrapping itself out of the mud in such enormous quantity and diversity that chemical compounds combined to form what we cannot intentionally reproduce in a laboratory even with a blueprint.

By: Kosh III on 8/29/12 at 10:22

"God said it, I believe it and that settles it."

I've lost track of the number of times I've heard that. I'd much prefer what a practicing adulterer once said about treaties with the Soviets: "trust but verify."

By: Blanketnazi2 on 8/29/12 at 10:27

Uh, Ben.....you seem to have a Muddy Mudskipper understanding of evolution! LOL

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:31

It's too bad that quantum mechanics also teaches us (again, verified by experiment) that the universe is not certain, it's full of probabilities.

In other words, the probability of Ben stumbling across ten stones in a certain array can be predicted. Even though Ben can't comprehend that nature would arrange the stones that certain way, the math says otherwise.

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:33

These same people believe that 3 billion bits of data somehow organized itself into the complex program of life we know as DNA... and that life somehow was bootstrapping itself out of the mud in such enormous quantity and diversity that chemical compounds combined to form what we cannot intentionally reproduce in a laboratory even with a blueprint.

You neglect to include the following sequence: at this time.

Using this logic, splitting the atom wasn't possible until it was possible. lol

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 10:33

If you came across those stones as described... around the same size... equally spaced in a circle. What would you think, gd?

By: Kosh III on 8/29/12 at 10:34

I can show Ben a collection of rocks in a particular pattern, but as they are several tons each, they had to have been placed there by the forces of nature, not by humans. Common sense is nonsense.

By: jvh2b on 8/29/12 at 10:35

With the Universe being so vast...ie we are a grain of sand on a MASSIVE beach...I'd say its statistically impossible for life NOT to have randomly formed somewhere the entire beach.

I don't understand humans need to feel like they are so special that a mythical sky daddy decided to create us for his amusement and to be worshiped.

We are insignifgant people...get the hell over it.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 10:38

It is perfectly good for everyone to have there own opinion about sciences or religion, so long as it meets fringe right perception. If you do not meet these customs then you’re going to hell.

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:38

I would think that there are two probabilities: either the stones are that way naturally or they aren't.

If I rip the pages out of a book and throw them up in the air, I'm almost certain they will not land in sequence. However, it is possible for them to land in sequence. I may have to throw them in the air billions of times, but it's not impossible.

Nor is it impossible that those stones lie that way without any interference.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 10:38

When I hear the term Creationism or Intelligent Design, I get the picture that these “religious” people or talking about UFO’s and such.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 10:39

Well why don't you just whip us up some life in a test-tube there jvh. Having intention and a blueprint should be a great advantage and save you a few billion years I'd think.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 10:41

Please enlighten me on the “GLARING weaknesses, rawhide.

By: slacker on 8/29/12 at 10:42

So.. if a tree fell on a guy whilst he arranged stones in a circle in the forrest, and no one was there to hear his pathetic scream.. would it make a noise?

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:43

Ben, do you think that atoms could have been split in 3000BC had the technology existed?

By: jvh2b on 8/29/12 at 10:50

I'd be willing to bet if we hadn't have been hindered by 1000 years of prior religious nutbaggery (the universe revolved around the earth!) we'd probably already know how to create DNA there Ben, but as it stands we are just now beginning to understand how the universe works much less re-create it...give us 200 years of unhindered (ie religious stupidity) scientific advancement and let’s see where we are.

Again, with BILLIONS of galaxies, with TRILLIONS of planets you somehow think that life COULDN'T happen? Again...statistically impossible for it NOT to happen.

I realize that realizing your entire existence is based soley on pure luck/happenstance is enough to make a simpleton's head explode because horror of horrors - we aren't the most important thing out there...but yeah...it happened. Get over it.

By: gdiafante on 8/29/12 at 10:56

I can buy intelligent design far more than creationism. For one, the designer doesn't have to be a god. There is the probablity that an advanced race of beings could advance far enough to create a universe. It may be a small probablity, but it's there, nonetheless.

How is that any more difficult to understand than a higher being with beginning or end?

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 10:58

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 10:39
Well why don't you just whip us up some life in a test-tube there jvh. Having intention and a blueprint should be a great advantage and save you a few billion years I'd think.

Life’s First Spark Re-Created in the Laboratory

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/ribonucleotides/

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 11:02

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 10:21
Rocks in a circle goes back to a statistical point I made a few years ago that any reasonable person who was walking through the woods and found 10 equally sized rocks arranged in a circle would immediately conclude that someone put them there.

These same people believe that 3 billion bits of data somehow organized itself into the complex program of life we know as DNA... and that life somehow was bootstrapping itself out of the mud in such enormous quantity and diversity that chemical compounds combined to form what we cannot intentionally reproduce in a laboratory even with a blueprint.

I go with the mixing of different paints to make a new color Ben. Or the mixing breed of dogs to have the diversity of dogs we have today.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 11:04

I'm not saying evolution didn't happen exactly as Darwin suggested (especially since he knew better than most people the problems with his own theories).

I'm simply saying that it's not an unreasonable position to question whether all of this just happened by an accident of time and probability. Penrose put the probability of our universe forming to support basic matter in the first place at 10^(10^123):1... that's a lot of zeros to overcome right there before we even start bootstrapping ourselves out of the mud.

Bringing this challenge up though is academic heresy... mostly because the teachers don't know the subject well enough to defend against the questions. When you consider this a lot of what we are taught is science is actually just another faith based religion.

By: Kosh III on 8/29/12 at 11:05

"There is the probablity that an advanced race of beings could advance far enough to create a universe. "

A Vorlon leader once said "we have no interest in the affairs of others." LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 11:10

And if you believe that Kosh, I got a brigde on the moon to sell you. ;-)

By: brrrrk on 8/29/12 at 11:14

Bottom line....science should be about the natural, not the super natural.

By: jvh2b on 8/29/12 at 11:15

Honestly Ben - I was able to agree with you on your last post right up until: "When you consider this a lot of what we are taught is science is actually just another faith based religion."

Biggest error in your statement here is that science is based on observable/repeated and calculated fact, admits its fallibility and once evidence is presented and verified to challenge its current 'belief'...it changes to adapt.

Actual religion is hardly so thoughtful or fluid.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 11:17

But that is not what Creationism teaches Ben. To them it was done in 7 days. It is a lot easier to explain creation in 7 days than trying to give details of 14 billion years to sheep herders.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 11:22

But religion has the advantage that it acknowledges it is based on faith.

Most of the disciples of the religion of science have no idea how much faith is involved in their dogma. Most of the vehement atheists I meet have no idea how carbon dating works... or its assumptions and limitations. That does not preclude them from calling creationists idiots in the same way ignorant evangelicals condemn people who don't believe in literal creation to hell.

By: brrrrk on 8/29/12 at 11:23

Captain Nemo said

"But that is not what Creationism teaches Ben. To them it was done in 7 days. It is a lot easier to explain creation in 7 days than trying to give details of 14 billion years to sheep herders."

And it's easier to teach someone that the rainbow is a sign of Gods love rather than go into teaching the refractive properties of water droplets, especially when you consider that the authors of the Bible didn't even understand the refractive properties of water droplets.

By: brrrrk on 8/29/12 at 11:26

BenDover said

"But religion has the advantage that it acknowledges it is based on faith."

Science is the search for truth, faith is the acceptance that the truth has already been found and it shall not be questioned.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 11:36

That doesn't fit though brrrrk because there are many people who believe and teach that science and Darwinism has disproved God and render Christianity meaningless; and nothing could be further from the truth.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 11:36

Ben, Creationism stand on the beech and looks out at the horizon and states that this is all there is. While Science is a ship that goes to the horizon to see what is there

By: brrrrk on 8/29/12 at 11:37

BenDover said

"That doesn't fit though brrrrk because there are many people who believe and teach that science and Darwinism has disproved God and render Christianity meaningless; and nothing could be further from the truth."

Based on......................

By: brrrrk on 8/29/12 at 11:38

Captain Nemo said

"Ben, Creationism stand on the beech and looks out at the horizon and states that this is all there is. While Science is a ship that goes to the horizon to see what is there"

Nice one....

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 11:39

Ben if we go by your argument, then the people on Wall Street worship at the, alter of commerce.

By: BenDover on 8/29/12 at 11:42

Science has still not overcome the overwhelming statistics of life just bootstrapping itself out of the mud. In my world complicated systems don't just create themselves out of nothing. Yet evolution as a contradiction to God is taught as rote and to question it is scientific heresy as I said before.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 11:43

If Christian had more faith in their beliefs, they would not be trying to corrupt that religion.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/29/12 at 11:47

Ben, why should it matter if man was created from dust or primeval soup? We are here!

By: Kosh III on 8/29/12 at 11:47

Most of the vehement atheists I meet have no idea how carbon dating works... or its assumptions and limitations."

Then you've met the wrong people. I am quite familiar with archaeology and the professionals in the that discipline are very knowledgeable about dating: stratigraphy; carbon-dating, which is reasonable accurate btw, epigraphy, paleography and other techniques. And some are NOT atheists or even agnostics; for instance Kenneth Kitchen.