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Friday, September 14, 2012

Bill Nye Says Creationism Is Inappropriate For Children

I am a little behind on this, because I was busy with a project at the time of the video's posting. However, I feel it is important to address it now while people are still talking about it. In the following video, Bill Nye, also known as "the science guy," states that creationism is inappropriate for children, and that, "There's no evidence for it [creationism]."


I realize it's hard to condense one's thoughts and/or arguments into a two-minute video, but if Bill Nye is going to state that there is no evidence for creationism, then he should at least try to provide some evidence apart from the claim that "we need them [your children]," and that "creationism is not appropriate for" them.

Creationism is treated as an enemy of education. Why? "Because," as Ron Rhodes states, "Creationists want creationism taught in public schools as an alternative to evolution, creationists are caricatured as enemies of education because they want myth to be taught alongside the facts."


It would seem, then, that Bill Nye's implications are eerily similar to the motive behind the establishment of our public school systems. Don't get me wrong, there are some good, Christian and secular public schools. But Dewey explains his main reason for setting up "progressive education systems" (as he called it) as follows: "Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent." This is applicable, because it is the public schools that teach children evolution -- and, in many cases, that evolution is the only way to interpret the world, an idealogy to which Bill Nye agrees. J Dunphy stated, "I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level.... The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new –the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism..." (As a disclaimer, I will also say that many teachers in public schools do not share this agenda; they are just trying to do their job.) What better way to promote evolution than to teach it in the classroom? So, although, Bill Nye doesn't mention the classroom setting, I believe he has the same idea in mind.

But this provides a dilema for those like Bill Nye who believe in evolution: since many people do not believe in evolution (more than you would think), parents have begun to teach their children their views -- creationism -- at home. They recognize that creationism doesn't stunt American progress at all, even if it is in the minority of opinions; and to many, it actually makes better sense of explaining the world around us, emphasizing a Creator who is responsible for it all. "Creationists... are very happy to teach their kids about evolution and teach the problems with it; and teach their children how to think critically, and the difference between historical science and observational science. Isn't it interesting that Christians are not frightened to teach their children about evolution?" says Ken Ham, president of Answers In Genesis. (See the THIS video for more information...)

In fact, teaching both creationism and evolution side-by-side has even been known to encourage critical thinking in children:
“No teacher should be dismayed at efforts to present creation as an alternative to evolution in biology courses; indeed, at this moment creation is the only alternative to evolution. Not only is this worth mentioning, but a comparison of the two alternatives can be an excellent exercise in logic and reason. Our primary goal as educators should be to teach students to think and such a comparison, particularly because it concerns an issue in which many have special interests or are even emotionally involved, may accomplish that purpose better than most others.” ~ R.D. Alexander, Professor of Zoology at the University of Michigan, evolutionist; "Evolution versus Creationism: The Public Education Controversy," p. 91; as quoted in Duane T. Gish's book, "Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record."
This is why Nye stresses, "don't make your kids do it because we need them." But let me ask two questions: Who is "we"? And I always thought parents were entitled to teach their children their religious beliefs according our First Amendment rights. Bill Nye says to people who don't believe in evolution, "Why not?" But by the same standards, why doesn't Bill Nye believe in creationism? Apparently, it is because "There is no evidence for it" -- evidence that he doesn't even bother to provide for or against either side. But if Bill Nye, as an evolutionist, is entitled to his beliefs (and evolution and creationism are beliefs, or world views), certainly we creationists are entitled to ours and may teach it to our children if we so choose!

Furthermore, Bill Nye makes those who don't believe in evolution out to be... well, stupid. He states, "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." Excuse me, "science guy," but there are plenty of scientifically literate voters, taxpayers, and engineers who, although they don't believe in evolution, are responsible, educated human beings. To say anything less is to be dishonest, or perhaps, blind to reality. What would the "founding fathers" of science such as Newton, Pasteur, and others who were all Christians who rejected evolution, think of such a statement? Many of the foundational principles and laws of science are dependent upon their discoveries... These were not inconsistent with what we observe in the universe, and they solved lots of problems with their discoveries. And, as many have already pointed out in the numerous responses that escalated concerning Bill Nye's statements, evolution has absolutely nothing to do with being a good taxpayer or voter or being a good engineer; these are not the result of some random processes... If they were, we would have some serious problems on our hands! Creationism is completely compatible with what we observe in the universe; and if Mr. Nye wants to imply that we are "bad" for being creationists and therefore can't be "good" at engineering, taxpaying, voting, etc. that is a logical fallacy!

Non-belief in evolution doesn't hold people back. It's just another -- and I believe, more accurate -- way to interpret the world. One does not simply look at his own a priori belief and say, "This is correct; that is wrong!" without examining both sides of the issue. And, even though Bill Nye is called the "science guy," I don't believe he has done this. Therefore, it is an unfair statement supported by no evidence.

1 comment:

  1. I'm confident that Richard Osborn, past president of Pacific Union College and currently the Associate Director of WASC, will be advising LSU as to a reasonable resolve of this issue.

    ReplyDelete

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