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Bill Nye: Creationism Threatens U.S. Science

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The man known to a generation of Americans as "The Science Guy" is condemning efforts by some Christian groups to cast doubts on evolution and lawmakers who want to bring the Bible into science classrooms.

Bill Nye, a mechanical engineer and star of the popular 1990s TV show "Bill Nye The Science Guy," has waded into the evolution debate with an online video that urges parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children.

Nye has spent a career teaching science to children and teens with good-natured and sometimes silly humor, but has not been known to delve into topics as divisive as evolution.

Christians who view the stories of the Old Testament as historical fact have come to be known as creationists, and many argue that the world was created by God just a few thousand years ago.

"The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old," Nye said in an interview with The Associated Press, citing scientists' estimates that it is about 4.5 billion years old. "It's not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs."

Millions of Americans do hold those beliefs, according to a June Gallup poll that found 46 percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago.

Nye, 56, also decried efforts in recent years by lawmakers and school boards in some states to present Bible stories as an alternative to evolution in public schools. Tennessee passed a law earlier this year that protects teachers who let students criticize evolution and other scientific theories. That echoes a Louisiana law passed in 2008 that allows teachers to introduce supplemental teaching materials in science classes.

"If we raise a generation of students who don't believe in the process of science, who think everything that we've come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you're not going to continue to innovate," Nye said in a wide-ranging telephone interview.

The brief online video was not Nye's first foray into the combustible debate, but "it's the first time it's gotten to be such a big deal."

 
"I can see where one gets so caught up in this (debate) that you say something that will galvanize people in a bad way, that will make them hate you forever," he said. "But I emphasize that I'm not questioning someone's religion – much of that is how you were brought up."

In the video he tells adults they can dismiss evolution, "but don't make your kids do it. Because we need them." Posted by Big Think, an online knowledge forum, the clip went viral and has 4.6 million views on YouTube. It has garnered 182,000 comments from critics and supporters.

It drew the ire of the creationism group Answers in Genesis, which built a biblically based Creation Museum in Kentucky that teaches the stories of the Old Testament and has attracted headlines for its assertion that dinosaurs roamed alongside Adam and Eve.

The group produced a response video featuring two scientists who say the Bible has the true account of Earth's origins, and that "children should be exposed to both ideas concerning our past."

Nye, who is prone to inject dry humor into scientific discussions, said Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

"What I find troubling, when you listen to these people ... once in a while I get the impression that they're not kidding," Nye said.

Ken Ham, a co-founder of Answers in Genesis, said dating methods used by scientists to measure the age of the earth are contradictory and many don't point to millions or billions of years of time.

"We say the only dating method that is absolute is the Word of God," Ham said. "Time is the crucial factor for Bill Nye. Without the time of millions of years, you can't postulate evolution change."

America is home to the world's biggest creationist following, Ham said, and the $27 million Creation Museum has averaged about 330,000 visitors a year since it opened just south of Cincinnati in 2007.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/bill-nye-creationism-science_n_1908926.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

 

by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 10:26 AM
Replies (261-270):
cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 2:37 AM
1 mom liked this
Yeah, your brilliant. They are still fruit flies...


Quoting JuneH:


Oh by the way, the second link I gave on fruit flies happened to describe a second study with two MORE species of fruit flies. What, three species in two papers? Gasp!

There are MANY. Closest I can come to an estimate is that there are about 3,953 species of drosophilidae, and 5,000 species of tephritidae. But then I'm not an expert.

That's about 9,000 species of fruit flies. Were they all on the ark, you think?


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shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 4:15 AM
I know I'm late into this thread, but I would love to see Cammi's "evidence" that supports creationism...
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6AM
by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 4:55 AM

Those were scientist with an agenda for that museum. They are calling them religious scientist now. They are not the same as an actual one. I agree with Bill and am happy that he is speaking out for education. The bible has a place in theology class but not in a science class. If you want to question the big bang or what caused it or if there is another power out there that is one thing but evolution and biogenesis are no longer theories.

meriana
by Platinum Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 9:36 AM

To answer the question, I think it's more the other way around being as often those who believe in a higher power at work or believe that both are possible are basically told they don't understand science, etc. I know that there are scientists who have a religious belief but generally speaking there seems to be a push for everyone to accept and believe in evolution completely and dismiss any belief in a higher power.

JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM
1 mom liked this

Yes, and dinosaurs were lizards. Head out of the sand Cammi, fruit fries evolve into different species quite quickly. If you want them to evolve into a different phylum while you watch you will have to eat more oatmeal because it's a long wait.

I can't say your explanation is quite as brilliant, since you are basing your argument on fruit flies being fruit flies on the fact that you define them that way. That is of course, circular logic. In reality it's not that simple - unless you are 3 years old. Next you are going to tell me cats are cats, am I right? and insects are insects and animals are animals.

By the way, since you are keeping an open mind, what do you think about the fact that D. pachea had lost the ability to convert cholesterol into 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC)? As the article says, this enzyme constitutes "the first step in a pathway that produces an essential hormone for flies to metamorphose from larvae to adults". Other flies, of course, have that enzyme, so they are quite different. They are a different species, but evolved from a common ancestor. Another few mutations and they are different again. 

Ignorance of science is NOT a valid excuse for creationism.

I've quoted an article below on fruit fly divergence rates. Please try to wrap your head around the time-period of evolution. Not being able to count above 6,000 is NOT an excuse. The original fruit flies have diverged many many many times since they first appeared on the planet. In the real world (not in your world but the REAL world), fruit flies have indeed evolved. The rest of this article does help to explain it. Don't cover your eyes and ears - READ IT. I can't paste in the entire article here: http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/36.full

"Our analysis of 2977 pairwise sequence comparisons from 176 nuclear genes reveals a long-term fruit fly mutation clock ticking at a rate of 11.1 mutations per kilobase pair per Myr. Genomic mutation clock–based timings of the landmark speciation events leading to the evolution of D. melanogaster show that it shared most recent common ancestry 5.4 MYA with D. simulans, 12.6 MYA with D. erecta+D. orena, 12.8 MYA with D. yakuba+D. teisseri, 35.6 MYA with the takahashii subgroup, 41.3 MYA with the montium subgroup, 44.2 MYA with the ananassae subgroup, 54.9 MYA with the obscura group, 62.2 MYA with the willistoni group, and 62.9 MYA with the subgenus Drosophila. These and other estimates are compatible with those known from limited biogeographic and fossil records. The inferred temporal pattern of fruit fly evolution shows correspondence with the cooling patterns of paleoclimate changes and habitat fragmentation in the Cenozoic."

Note MYA=million years ago.

Quoting cammibear:

Yeah, your brilliant. They are still fruit flies...


Quoting JuneH:


Oh by the way, the second link I gave on fruit flies happened to describe a second study with two MORE species of fruit flies. What, three species in two papers? Gasp!

There are MANY. Closest I can come to an estimate is that there are about 3,953 species of drosophilidae, and 5,000 species of tephritidae. But then I'm not an expert.

That's about 9,000 species of fruit flies. Were they all on the ark, you think?



JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM
1 mom liked this


Dear Cammi,

I took the time to go to the bioinformatics site ensembl.org and search for a gene tree image. I got something, but you won't like it because it's a bit tricky to follow, so I went further to flybase.org and found this tree:

Synteny Table

It's a little more "cartoon-y", so maybe you like it, yes? It's an attempt to show the divergence of the fruit fly populations, and show the serious variation within the genus drosophila. However this map is limited to fuit flies. I only include it to show you what kind of time-line we are looking at, since I know you have problems with browsers and probably didn't look at my link above. The tree above shows 40 million years of fruit fly evolution, HOWEVER, if we had instead followed an alternative branch starting 40 million years ago, we would have come to the different "kinds" (to use your word, since we need to use that kind of vocabulary here) of animals. They would NOT be fruit flies. But the fruit flies exist today ARE fruit flies, just as the monkeys that exist today ARE monkeys. They are the end of an evolutionary branch, representing present day.

Here is a picture of a chordate (phylum chordata). Note the fins, and the scales, and the fact that it lives underwater.It looks nothing like a fruit fly.

The divergence of the chordatae from a common ancestor to drosophila for a single gene which I chose (in this case the NMDA receptor, which is a glutaminergic receptor), can be seen in this figure, taken from ensemble.org:


You see cammi, species DIVERGE, meaning if you want to see what fruit flies have evolved into, you have to go back in time, pick a common ancestor, and work forward from there. Get it? They don't do it overnight. The fruit fly on your banana will NOT be a monkey tomorrow.


(note this is bioinformatics data you have to pull out from the existing databases. You can't google this stuff)

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM
1 mom liked this

The Creationism Movement is an embarrassment to America.


Quote:

America is home to the world's biggest creationist following, Ham said, and the $27 million Creation Museum has averaged about 330,000 visitors a year since it opened just south of Cincinnati in 2007.

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM


Quoting JuneH:


Dear Cammi,

I took the time to go to the bioinformatics site ensembl.org and search for a gene tree image. I got something, but you won't like it because it's a bit tricky to follow, so I went further to flybase.org and found this tree:

Synteny Table

It's a little more "cartoon-y", so maybe you like it, yes? It's an attempt to show the divergence of the fruit fly populations, and show the serious variation within the genus drosophila. However this map is limited to fuit flies. I only include it to show you what kind of time-line we are looking at, since I know you have problems with browsers and probably didn't look at my link above. The tree above shows 40 million years of fruit fly evolution, HOWEVER, if we had instead followed an alternative branch starting 40 million years ago, we would have come to the different "kinds" (to use your word, since we need to use that kind of vocabulary here) of animals. They would NOT be fruit flies. But the fruit flies exist today ARE fruit flies, just as the monkeys that exist today ARE monkeys. They are the end of an evolutionary branch, representing present day.

Here is a picture of a chordate (phylum chordata). Note the fins, and the scales, and the fact that it lives underwater.It looks nothing like a fruit fly.

The divergence of the chordatae from a common ancestor to drosophila for a single gene which I chose (in this case the NMDA receptor, which is a glutaminergic receptor), can be seen in this figure, taken from ensemble.org:


You see cammi, species DIVERGE, meaning if you want to see what fruit flies have evolved into, you have to go back in time, pick a common ancestor, and work forward from there. Get it? They don't do it overnight. The fruit fly on your banana will NOT be a monkey tomorrow.


(note this is bioinformatics data you have to pull out from the existing databases. You can't google this stuff)

lol

The fruit fly on your banana will NOT be a monkey tomorrow.


futureshock
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 11:44 AM


Quoting JuneH:

Yes, and dinosaurs were lizards. Head out of the sand Cammi, fruit fries evolve into different species quite quickly. If you want them to evolve into a different phylum while you watch you will have to eat more oatmeal because it's a long wait.

I can't say your explanation is quite as brilliant, since you are basing your argument on fruit flies being fruit flies on the fact that you define them that way. That is of course, circular logic. In reality it's not that simple - unless you are 3 years old. Next you are going to tell me cats are cats, am I right? and insects are insects and animals are animals.

By the way, since you are keeping an open mind, what do you think about the fact that D. pachea had lost the ability to convert cholesterol into 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC)? As the article says, this enzyme constitutes "the first step in a pathway that produces an essential hormone for flies to metamorphose from larvae to adults". Other flies, of course, have that enzyme, so they are quite different. They are a different species, but evolved from a common ancestor. Another few mutations and they are different again. 

Ignorance of science is NOT a valid excuse for creationism.

I've quoted an article below on fruit fly divergence rates. Please try to wrap your head around the time-period of evolution. Not being able to count above 6,000 is NOT an excuse. The original fruit flies have diverged many many many times since they first appeared on the planet. In the real world (not in your world be the REAL world), fruit flies have indeed evolved. The rest of this article does help to explain it. Don't cover your eyes and ears - READ IT. I can't paste in the entire article here: http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/36.full

"Our analysis of 2977 pairwise sequence comparisons from 176 nuclear genes reveals a long-term fruit fly mutation clock ticking at a rate of 11.1 mutations per kilobase pair per Myr. Genomic mutation clock–based timings of the landmark speciation events leading to the evolution of D. melanogaster show that it shared most recent common ancestry 5.4 MYA with D. simulans, 12.6 MYA with D. erecta+D. orena, 12.8 MYA with D. yakuba+D. teisseri, 35.6 MYA with the takahashii subgroup, 41.3 MYA with the montium subgroup, 44.2 MYA with the ananassae subgroup, 54.9 MYA with the obscura group, 62.2 MYA with the willistoni group, and 62.9 MYA with the subgenus Drosophila. These and other estimates are compatible with those known from limited biogeographic and fossil records. The inferred temporal pattern of fruit fly evolution shows correspondence with the cooling patterns of paleoclimate changes and habitat fragmentation in the Cenozoic."

Note MYA=million years ago.

Quoting cammibear:

Yeah, your brilliant. They are still fruit flies...


Quoting JuneH:


Oh by the way, the second link I gave on fruit flies happened to describe a second study with two MORE species of fruit flies. What, three species in two papers? Gasp!

There are MANY. Closest I can come to an estimate is that there are about 3,953 species of drosophilidae, and 5,000 species of tephritidae. But then I'm not an expert.

That's about 9,000 species of fruit flies. Were they all on the ark, you think?



Exactly.

Ignorance of science is NOT a valid excuse for creationism.

Athena410
by New Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Everyone has their right to believe what they believe. I'm not religious but I believe in god. But I believe also that science is absolute. As a biotechnology major ice seen and witnessed on a first hand basis the sure fire correctness of science. And in an science math and technology based world creationist are setting their kids up to be failures or major hypocrites. Nothing personal.
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