Bill Nye, The Science Guy, Says Creationism is Bad for Kids and America’s Future

Bill Nye will tell you that he’s a man on a mis­sion. He’s out there try­ing to “help fos­ter a sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly lit­er­ate soci­ety, to help peo­ple every­where under­stand and appre­ci­ate the sci­ence that makes our world work.” From 1993 to 1998, Nye host­ed Bill Nye the Sci­ence Guya Disney/PBS chil­dren’s sci­ence show that won 18 Emmys along the way. A grad­u­ate of Cor­nell and a stu­dent of Carl Sagan, Nye has also pre­sent­ed shows on the Sci­ence Chan­nel, the Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel and oth­er media out­lets.

If you’re famil­iar with Bill Nye, you’ll know that he’s not exact­ly an in-your-face kind of sci­en­tist. He’s no Richard Dawkins. Nye is mild-man­nered, affa­ble and wears a bow tie. But, like Dawkins, he’ll tell you that if you deny evo­lu­tion, you’re not liv­ing in the world of basic facts. And if you teach cre­ation­ism to kids, you’re not prepar­ing them to com­pete in a world where sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­cy means every­thing. That bodes ill for your kids in par­tic­u­lar, and for Amer­i­ca’s future more gen­er­al­ly.

Now you might be inclined to say that Amer­i­ca has always had cre­ation­ists, and that did­n’t stop the coun­try from becom­ing an eco­nom­ic and mil­i­tary super­pow­er. Per­haps that’s true. But you need to recall this. Amer­i­ca reached its zenith when every oth­er pow­er had blown them­selves to smithereens. We were the only game in town. And it almost did­n’t mat­ter what we thought, or how much we thought. We just need­ed to show up to work. Nowa­days, we don’t have that lux­u­ry. We face stiff com­pe­ti­tion from ambi­tious nations that take sci­ence and edu­ca­tion seri­ous­ly. A coun­try that scoffs at sci­en­tif­ic rea­son­ing, that dis­miss­es it all as “elit­ist,”  has only one way to go, and that’s down. God help us.

You can find more clips from Nye’s talk here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Carl Sagan Presents Six Lec­tures on Earth, Mars & Our Solar Sys­tem … For Kids (1977)

Grow­ing Up in the Uni­verse: Richard Dawkins Presents Cap­ti­vat­ing Sci­ence Lec­tures for Kids (1991)

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Comments (18)
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  • Steve M says:

    “Amer­i­ca reached its zenith when every oth­er pow­er had blown them­selves to smithereens. We were the only game in town. And it almost didn’t mat­ter what we thought, or how much we thought. We just need­ed to show up to work.”

    Bull­shit. Every oth­er one of those pow­ers were sec­u­lar and believed only in the pow­er of man and sci­ence. I sus­pect you’re too young to remem­ber, or you actu­al­ly believed the false, revi­sion­ist his­to­ry taught in your “sci­en­tif­ic” school.

  • Mr. Thomas of Ohio, in America, but of a good nature; says:

    ^Ohh­hh ‘ere­body watch out big man Steve M pulls out the age card. Way to not stay classy, Mr. M.

    Haha I like how you put sci­en­tif­ic in quotes. Oh yes, sci­ence is so quotable it’s like putting whiskey in cof­fee, it just works.

  • @Steve M says … | August 27, 2012 / 5:08 am

    Sleep­less Nights May Put The Aging Brain At Risk Of Demen­tia

  • joe arrigo says:

    Yes, in the mod­ern world, sci­ence has become even more impor­tant. Unlike the past when the U.S had lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion, we are now being seri­ous­ly chal­lenged. Our need to inspire sci­ence in our youth is essen­tial, not pooh poohing in the name of indulging belief sys­tems.

  • Gina says:

    I agree that a great deal of cre­ation­ism advo­ca­cy is polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed. Those com­bat­ing it don’t do them­selves any favors by being sim­i­lar­ly par­ti­san. The sus­pi­cion of acad­e­mia and the edu­ca­tion sys­tem in gen­er­al on the right can­not be sep­a­rat­ed from the deter­mi­na­tion on the left to co-opt edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions for their own agen­da.

  • Willie Stoker says:

    He has it exact­ly back­wards, We were doing well as a nation until the pro­gres­sives start­ed con­t­a­m­i­na­tion the minds of our chil­dren in the gov­ern­ment schools.
    Teach­ing our chil­dren fool­ish­ness and call­ing it a sci­en­tif­ic fact has brought us down to the lev­el of the coun­tries that have failed. We only last­ed as long as we have, and been the great­est nation that has ever exist­ed on the face of the earth, because of our moral­i­ty. In this per­verse soci­ety, that the pro­gres­sives have thrust upon us, we will per­ish like all the oth­ers who suf­fered the same degra­da­tion of their soci­ety.
    Sci­ence with a polit­i­cal agen­da is very destruc­tive to the wel­fare of our coun­try.

  • Karl says:

    Where is the evi­dence that a belief in cre­ation­ism is anti-sci­en­tif­ic?

    A quick look into his­to­ry shows that many of the most bril­liant sci­en­tif­ic minds have been Chris­tians who believed in a cre­at­ed world made ratio­nal and under­stand­able because of God. This is true of Isaac New­ton, who for­mu­lat­ed the­o­ries on grav­i­ty, accel­er­a­tion, and optics.

    Present­ly, you can find the renowned math­e­mati­cian and philoso­pher John Lennox lec­tur­ing at Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty. He declares that the uni­verse is, in fact, cre­at­ed and has suc­cess­ful­ly debat­ed Richard Dawkins about this issue.

  • tom rogers says:

    It seems we are indeed in a race against time. Will we sur­vive the right-wing onslaught against sci­ence and rea­son until those who are irra­tional­ly opposed to progress have died out, or will the des­per­ate weapons of igno­rance have enough time to “win” the bat­tle?

  • Willie Stoker says:

    Many sci­en­tist along the way have had some pret­ty out­landish the­o­ries that were tak­en for actu­al sci­en­tif­ic fact until some­one came along and proved them wrong.
    The alchemist try­ing to make gold out of base met­als, The the­o­ry of spon­ta­neous gen­er­a­tion which stood for two thou­sand years, and was held by the smartest men around until some­body came along and showed them how stu­pid they were.
    Doc­tors or bar­bers used to “bleed” their patients, try­ing to get the sick­ness out of them and if that did­n’t work they would attach leach­es to them and fin­ish them off.
    Doc­tors used mer­cury in med­ica­tion which killed many patients.
    Sci­en­tist thought that the atom was the small­est thing in exis­tence until some­one came along and bust­ed it open and found the great­est ener­gy that exist­ed on the earth.
    Now the Smart peo­ple of the world want to make us believe that a human evolved from noth­ing. How absurd! This is even worse than any of the pre­ced­ing fal­lac­i­es tat were accept­ed by the unknow­ing mass­es.

  • Dr. Jay Lee says:

    Whoa! Willie, your exam­ples of “Smart” peo­ple being wrong are pre-sci­en­tif­ic rather than sci­en­tif­ic exam­ples. The big fea­ture you’re miss­ing is that sci­ence is self-cor­rect­ing (unlike reli­gion). The only rea­son you scoff at these exam­ples is because a “Smart” per­son even­tu­al­ly applied sci­ence (as a tool) and dis­cov­ered the error. Cor­rec­tion did­n’t occur because a dum­my (as opposed to “Smart”) fig­gered it out.

  • Willie Stoker says:

    Dr. Jay, Sci­ence is self cor­rect­ing, that is what I was say­ing. When peo­ple think that they now have it fig­ured out, and have arrived at the final solu­tion, Just like the sci­en­tist of old, they thought they were pret­ty smart too, this is the prob­lem, they call peo­ple Stu­pid because they don’t just blind­ly fol­low and agree with them.
    I haven’t said any­thing about reli­gion, and I haven’t said any­thing about dumb peo­ple cor­rect­ing any­thing, I just dis­agree with the The­o­ry of evo­lu­tion, that they want to call a sci­en­tif­ic Fact. Like I said before, this is more absurd than some of the for­mer mis­un­der­stand­ings of sci­ence.
    And, by the way, what is pre-sci­en­tif­ic?
    We all get smarter as time goes along, and dis­cov­er new sci­en­tif­ic prin­ci­pals but what gives sci­en­tists today the idea that they have arrived and there is noth­ing more to add to their knowl­edge.
    I call that intel­lec­tu­al arro­gance, and I don’t want to fall into the same cat­e­go­ry as those before who thought that the sci­en­tist of the day had all the answers just because they told them that they were smarter than them and that they had arrived at the final answer to the mys­ter­ies of life.

  • Mike Springer says:

    Willie, the the­o­ry of evo­lu­tion is not a fact. It’s a the­o­ry which is in agree­ment with the facts. There’s a huge body of evi­dence gath­ered by sci­en­tists from around the world and across mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions which sup­ports the the­o­ry, and not a sin­gle cred­i­ble piece which con­tra­dicts it. If even one tru­ly cred­i­ble piece of con­tra­dic­to­ry evi­dence should arise, then the the­o­ry will be obso­lete.

    If you’re not per­suad­ed by evi­dence, how do you jus­ti­fy your beliefs? And if you don’t allow the facts to enter into the for­ma­tion of your beliefs, are you a respon­si­ble cit­i­zen?


  • Willie Stoker says:

    Mike, I always use facts to estab­lish my under­stand­ing of a sub­ject but when there are no facts, I dis­re­gard the hypoth­e­sis.
    To ques­tion things makes me a very respon­si­ble cit­i­zen, to fol­low along blind­ly because some­one, who seems to be an intel­lec­tu­al, tells you some­thing that does­n’t make sense is very irre­spon­si­ble.
    I was an intel­li­gence agent and an inves­ti­ga­tor, I relied on facts to find the answers to ques­tions. With­out Facts you have noth­ing.
    I have looked into this the­o­ry and have found it very unre­al­is­tic. There are no tran­si­tion­al remains on record any­where, if things made such dras­tic changes over the years there should be an indi­ca­tion of the change, oth­er than “we use to be an amoe­ba and now we are humans.
    where was the split between ani­mal and plant? Are we relat­ed to a banana or some oth­er plant life or did the begin­ning of life have two dif­fer­ent gen­e­sis, one for plant and one for ani­mal?
    From what I can deter­mine from this teach­ing of evo­lu­tion is that it is a thin­ly veiled attempt to dis­prove God, and is an impor­tant step to bring soci­ety into a posi­tion for the peo­ple like Marx and Engels to achieve the goal of trans­form­ing the soci­ety into what they believed to an utopia. They were both elat­ed when Dar­win came up with his the­o­ry.
    A let­ter to Karl Marx from Fredrick Engels after read­ing Ori­gin of the species:
    Dar­win, by the way, whom I’m read­ing just now, is absolute­ly splen­did. There was one aspect of tele­ol­o­gy that had yet to be demol­ished, and that has now been done. Nev­er before has so grandiose an attempt been made to demon­strate his­tor­i­cal evo­lu­tion in Nature, and cer­tain­ly nev­er to such good effect.
    Engels even attempt­ed to incor­po­rate Dar­win into Marx­ism.

    You said ” There’s a huge body of evi­dence gath­ered by sci­en­tists from around the world and across mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions which sup­ports the the­o­ry, and not a sin­gle cred­i­ble piece which con­tra­dicts it.”
    The fact that there is no tran­si­tion­al skele­tal evi­dence is a glar­ing bit of evi­dence against the hypoth­e­sis, if this hap­pened there should cer­tain­ly be some evi­dence.
    Anoth­er ques­tion I have is, why is the human the only liv­ing being with a soul.

  • Mike Springer says:

    There are many exam­ples of tran­si­tion­al forms with­in the fos­sil record, Willie. And there’s a moun­tain of genom­ic evi­dence point­ing to com­mon descent. Since I get the feel­ing that reli­gious beliefs are at the core of your denial, per­haps I should just end off here by point­ing out that there are mil­lions of reli­gious peo­ple who accept evo­lu­tion. They tend to believe in the­is­tic, or guid­ed, evo­lu­tion.

  • Willie Stoker says:

    Mike, maybe you could show me some tran­si­tion­al forms with­in the fos­sil record. Also there is some fraud involved in this, like the The Pilt­down man fraud. Some peo­ple will go to great length in an attempt to prove some­thing that they want to believe.

    A com­mon tac­tic of lib­er­al mind­ed peo­ple is ad hominem attacks to those who dis­agree with them. The core of my denial is not based on reli­gion, but on log­ic, and total lack of evi­dence of such an out­landish the­o­ry.

    I agree that there is no need to try to con­vince each oth­er. Truth and log­ic will always be my guide to find­ing the answers, and if you buy into a the­o­ry that is accept­ed by those you look up to and feel the need to agree, to avoid look­ing naive in the eyes of the intel­lec­tu­al elites, then truth and log­ic will not be impor­tant to you so I will not try to con­vince you to to accept any­thing that would require you to think for your­self.

  • Bill Lommey says:

    Does the sun revolve around the earth? If you answer no, the earth revolves around the sun, then how do you know this? Have you done the research nec­es­sary to estab­lish this as true? I doubt it. I sus­pect that you, like most peo­ple, accept the body of evi­dence and research that sup­ports the Coper­ni­can sys­tem. It’s much the same with evo­lu­tion. Evo­lu­tion is a fact. The the­o­ry part comes in with HOW evo­lu­tion hap­pened. Dar­win­ism is just one the­o­ry of how evo­lu­tion hap­pened. It maybe the most famous but it’s not the only one. There is a HUGH body of sci­en­tif­ic based evi­dence that sup­ports evo­lu­tion. If your not going to do the research your­self, then you need to accept the sci­ence based facts.
    I believe in God. I don’t believe in the orga­nized wor­ship of God. I don’t begrudge any­one who wants to par­tic­i­pate in orga­nized wor­ship. There are sci­en­tif­ic based ideas that I accept as fact. You don’t have to. But then you’ll end up being like a geo­cen­trist. Behind the curve.

  • Willie Stoker says:

    Bill, There is evi­dence that the earth revolves around the sun, most of us under­stand the uni­verse and besides that we have seen pho­tos and video from out in space.
    You are right to a cer­tain extent evo­lu­tion is a fact, every­thing changes as time goes on but the species stays the same. There are many dif­fer­ent breeds of dogs but they are all dogs and they will nev­er become a cat or a banana or even a hum­ming bird.
    We are humans and that is all we will ever be, we may become short­er with big­ger heads because of all the brains we have, or think we have, or become taller and maybe with less com­mon sense about real­i­ty, like is hap­pen­ing more late­ly but we will not become any­thing oth­er than a human, like we always were and always will be.
    If a per­son claims to be a Chris­t­ian and calls God a liar when He said that he cre­at­ed man in his own image. Then there seems to a con­tra­dic­tion. If He is God he would not deceive us. Either you believe that we all came from noth­ing mil­lions of years ago, or you believe that God is truth­ful. You can’t do both.

  • Layman says:

    “Now the Smart peo­ple of the world want to make us believe that a human evolved from noth­ing. How absurd! This is even worse than any of the pre­ced­ing fal­lac­i­es tat were accept­ed by the unknow­ing mass­es.”.

    Willie, as far as I know, no sci­en­tist has EVER made that state­ment. We are all made of atoms and mol­e­cules — and all sci­en­tists accept it. What sci­ence can prove is that to cre­ate sim­ple sin­gle celled crea­tures, that can repli­cate itself — you do not need a God.

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