August 27, 2012
Well-Known Science Guy Says Current Generation Should End Their Beliefs In Creationism
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Americans like to celebrate their freedom to believe in anything they want, from paranormal activity to ancient aliens, but educational presenter Bill Nye said the belief in creationism should end with the current generation in a recent web video for Big Think.“So, once in a while I get people that really – or that claim – they don't believe in evolution,” Nye said. “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” he added. “If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.”
The crux of Nye´s argument lies in his implied purpose for speaking out–that Americans need to embrace science over belief for the sake of a better society.
“We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future,” he said. “We need people that can – we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”
Nye began his message by saying that the United States is unique in its fairly mainstream opposition to evolution, a position held by mostly religious Christian conservatives.
Creationism has a history as long as civilization itself, with many pre-Christian religions containing some type of origin story. These beliefs have often translated into tangible effects within a particular society. Ancient people have a well-documented history of constructing monuments and even fighting wars over religious beliefs that include some variation on Creationism.
Even the modern day faithful have spent large sums of money in tribute to the book of Genesis. A 70,000 square foot museum in Petersburg, Ky attempts to bring “the pages of the Bible to life” as it depicts dinosaurs roaming along Eden´s rivers. The Creation Museum was established in 2007 to promote the message that all life was created 6,000 years ago in six days.
Creationism and those dedicated to Genesis dedications aren´t restricted to North America either. A Dutch creationist, Johan Huibers, has built a 450-foot long replica of Noah´s Ark that took four years and three months to build. The ship was constructed without technical drawings, which led to delays in receiving permits and passing inspections.
The latest web video by Bill Nye is not the first time the former mechanical engineer has dipped his toe into the waters where science and politics intersect. Nye railed against the media in July for what he believed was a lack of coverage on the issues of climate change.
"The environment is a very important issue. I guess, if I understand this, it's fallen by the wayside for a few months while we talk about the economy,” Nye told CNN, who he singled out for particularly poor coverage of the issue.
A study by the left-wing media watchdog group Media Matters supported Nye´s assertion, claiming that CNN mentioned climate change less than Fox News during coverage of the July 2012 nationwide heat wave.