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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 (321-330):
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 1:51 AM
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting cammibear:

And here...since I'm sure you still want a definition of information.


“Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. -- Perry Mashall


(best simple definition I could find)

That doesn't produce a number.  That doesn't let you compare two genepools to decide which contains more information.

Please go for a more complex definition.  That one is too simple.

Not sure why you are comparing gene pools. I just wanted to know where information came from. Actually I know where it came from, but I'd like to know where you believe it came from.


What you asked was:

Quoting cammibear:

Has science ever demonstrated that mutations + natural selection = more complex organisms?

Because all the "evidence" I've seen involved a loss of information.

If everything we see has evolved by adding information to the genome, why do we not have observable evidence now?

Where did DNA come from? Better yet, where did information come from?

The answer to your question involves comparing the information content of the daughter species' gene pool, to the information content of the parent species' gene pool, and examining the mechanism by which it changes.

cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 9:51 AM
So, you are not open minded? No surprise there.

Typical answer. I expected no more from you. Your secular worldview - not science - leads you to whatever answer that doesn't credit God for life.


Quoting AdrianneHill:

Good god reading those articles.



It if true that you can get any info to say anything if you torture it long enough.

Science is pretty good for bringing forth evidence but they evidence doesn't hold a candle to millennia old, third hand translations of "eye witness testimony" from the Bible. Yeah, let's see that hold in any real court of law that isn't ruled by a brutal theocracy

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JuneH
by Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 11:09 AM
1 mom liked this

I thought it had been obvious at least for the last few pages that I'm a scientist - not an armchair scientist who tinkles in their basement, but an associate professor at a medical school researching in the area of molecular neuroscience. I have five degrees and have been a scientist for 21 years. I had my third baby quite late so I'm old but not too old. (Hence the crying baby in the earlier post I mentioned).

I have worked as a research scientist in 8 countries (lived in more than that, but that was earlier), and can compare the way science is done around the world. I'm a bit adventurous so I recently took a job at a medical school in a third world country because they give me lots of perks and I was sure I could make a difference.

But the "scientists" in this country are using the word very loosly, because the country as a whole is fundamentally Christian, as many third world countries with poor educational systems are. I gave the students here an interpretation test and most failed it miserably. Having been taught to take things on faith all their lives, they cannot think for themselves or draw conclusions from existing data. One girl refused to beleive that the data even existed because it went against her understanding of scripture, and this isn't even in the field of evolution.

You can't choose to beleive that data doesn't exist. You may interpret it a different way, but fundamental Christians tend to beleive that when an experiment is done and shows something that goes against what they learnt on faith, then it wasn't done and it doesn't show what it shows. These students are going to get science degrees, and you may even choose to call them "scientists" because they have a degree. But anyone who selectively chooses to ignore some data and accept other data simply based on what their non-scientist mother drove into their head when they were five is a poor scientist indeed.

They exist, these Christian scientists but they aren't helping to progress our understanding of the world because they never make an attempt to try to interprete why some data might at first glance not show what they expected it to show - they simply close their eyes to it. To interprete data you sometimes have to think outside the box, and flip what you previously believed onto it's head. People that can do that make good scientists, but show me a Christian that can think outside the box when push comes to shove. The students I teach in med scool here think the best treatment for a patient is prayer, followed by all else. You want to call them "scientists"? Really? There is experimental evidence supporting the non-prayer treatments. As a scientist you have to have respect for evidence - it's essential, otherwise what is a scientist basing their conclusions on?

But I am making inroads. Some of the lecturers are finally starting to follow my lead and exposing the students to primary source literature. However when I present to these same lecturers new data that tweeks the existing view on some of the information they are trying to teach, even the lecturers themselves dismiss it and revert back to the out-of-date textbooks they have. They beleive that the information they memorized when they were a student is set in stone. This inflexibility is typical of Christians, because they never learnt that keeping an open mind was an option, let alone a necessity! I'm trying so hard to teach people here to think critically and question everything, but it goes against everything they have been taught.

However, if you want to call them scientists, then fine, call them scientists.

Quoting mommajen32:


Quoting JuneH:


Quoting mommajen32:

The Bible doesn't definitively state how old the Earth is or the process in which the animals ,land masses, stars, etc ... were created. It's all a mystery. I would add to Mr. Nye's sentiments that one should not put their eggs in the basket of "science" either as new discoveries change what a generation before held as absolute truth or gospel. The next generation of science may find the 4.5 million year figure to be grossly incorrect.  

But we never claimed to be right all the time - we go through a process of gathering empirical evidence and making the best conclusions based on that evidence. Science is undiscovered truth, but scientists are simply normal people who have a fever or 39 degrees C (102 F) and a baby that is screaming hungry and needs to be fed and have had their back go out today on top of everything else and can't get out of bed. ...at least one of them is.

Creationists are people who refuse to beleive that the evidence infront of their own face even exists and don't help with trying to grasp what the truth might be, but just close their sences to the world and beleive a 2000-year old text based on unsubstantiated passed down claims and faith alone.


Who is "we"? **highlighted in red**

I am well aware of the scientific method. DH is an engineer with 2 babies and reports to his R & D team 6 days a week.  I have a myriad of Tesla-based experiments going on in my basement (including my light saber). Yup, I know first-hand scientists are human. I'm a fuddy-duddy in the social sciences ...

There are extremes within creationism, intelligent design and even evolutionary theorists (e.g. eugenics). There are Christian evolutionary scientists as well as athiests, so where do they fit? 

Just as man can study time until the end of time, he can and will not ever create time ...and may never truly understand time. I feel the same applies when it comes to how this all came to be, it is mental masterbation and squabbling over what we may never be able to know ...but hey, some enjoy the journey ..and the information picked up along the way ... good for them. 



JuneH
by Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 11:52 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting cammibear:

So, you are not open minded? No surprise there.

Typical answer. I expected no more from you. Your secular worldview - not science - leads you to whatever answer that doesn't credit God for life.




Question:

An experiment is done where one inbred mouse strain is separated into two groups on the basis of a behavioural trait. Two groups now exist, which the scientist calls "good mothers" and "bad mothers". This is based in the fact that one group is attentive and nurses with an arched back to ensure that all the pups have access to the teets, while the other group consists of mice that don't do this.

The progeny of the arched-back nursers go on to be arched back nursers themselves with their own progeny, while the progeny of the non-arched back nursers go on to be non-arched back nursers.

You should already now be able to answer the question: is this behavioural trait passed on through genetic inheritance or not?

  But I'll add more details: if both groups have pups, and the pups are switched at birth so that the good mothers have the bad mother's pups and the bad mothers now have the good mother's pups, then the good mother's foster children go on to be arched-back nursers with their own progeny and the bad mother's foster children go on to be bad mothers with their own children.

Keeping in mind what the old testament says about God's wrath on the decendants of bad people, pick the answer which best interprets this experiment:

A) the experiment never happened and the scientist is obviously a manipulator making things up in order to further his agenda that there is no creator.

B) the behavioural trait is not genetically passed down, meaning the transmission to the next generation must be epigenetic.

C) These are mice, what are you crazy? You seriously want me to extrapolate this to humans? Humans are NOT animals and are in no way related.

D) I couldn't be bothered to read this and you're stupid. I'm outta here.


And.... go!

JuneH
by Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM


Quoting mommajen32:


Quoting JuneH:


Quoting mommajen32:

The Bible doesn't definitively state how old the Earth is or the process in which the animals ,land masses, stars, etc ... were created. It's all a mystery. I would add to Mr. Nye's sentiments that one should not put their eggs in the basket of "science" either as new discoveries change what a generation before held as absolute truth or gospel. The next generation of science may find the 4.5 million year figure to be grossly incorrect.  

But we never claimed to be right all the time - we go through a process of gathering empirical evidence and making the best conclusions based on that evidence. Science is undiscovered truth, but scientists are simply normal people who have a fever or 39 degrees C (102 F) and a baby that is screaming hungry and needs to be fed and have had their back go out today on top of everything else and can't get out of bed. ...at least one of them is.

Creationists are people who refuse to beleive that the evidence infront of their own face even exists and don't help with trying to grasp what the truth might be, but just close their sences to the world and beleive a 2000-year old text based on unsubstantiated passed down claims and faith alone.


Who is "we"? **highlighted in red**

I am well aware of the scientific method. DH is an engineer with 2 babies and reports to his R & D team 6 days a week.  I have a myriad of Tesla-based experiments going on in my basement (including my light saber). Yup, I know first-hand scientists are human. I'm a fuddy-duddy in the social sciences ...

There are extremes within creationism, intelligent design and even evolutionary theorists (e.g. eugenics). There are Christian evolutionary scientists as well as athiests, so where do they fit? 

Just as man can study time until the end of time, he can and will not ever create time ...and may never truly understand time. I feel the same applies when it comes to how this all came to be, it is mental masterbation and squabbling over what we may never be able to know ...but hey, some enjoy the journey ..and the information picked up along the way ... good for them. 


Here is the difference between you and Tesla - Tesla contradicted a prevailing theory and stuck to his guns in spite of enormous ridicule and financial pressure resulting from a smear campaign by Edison. You are now tinkling with Tesla-based concepts which today only exist because Tesla had respect for evidence and data and thought for himself. He didn't think what other scientists told him to think or do what other scientists told him to do. He worked it out on his own and changed the direction of what was really a poor idea being promoted by Edison.

Have you changed the direction of Tesla's thought? Or do you think it is perfect because someone taught it to you that way? Have you challenged prevailing notions to try to find the truth, beyond what is currently known? Have you refused to believe what others take on faith and question whether what you have learnt is really the truth?

Some "scientists" collect a pay check never having contradicted any prevailing idea. But a good scientist understand that their job is to strives beyond what we know now and INCREASe the body of knowledge out there. Unless you have moved beyond the ideas that Tesla proposed 150 years ago, don't tell me you understand the essential components of being a scientist.

You maybe do know the scientific method - not saying you don't (don't misunderstand me), just that nothing in your post prompts me to arise at that conclusion. I'm not being hard on you in particular, but I'm just pointing out for the sake of clarity that following experiments like they are a recipe in a book does not make someone a scientist or show that they understand scientific method. It shows they can do what they are told, and science is more than that.

Some people that do no tinkering whatsoever understand that, and where I live, some people with PhDs in science don't.

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Actually, I read them but my mind did kind of reel when the author said that all of this scientific data is not as believable or to be given as much weight as a first hand account and the Bible is trotted out as a first hand account with no questions on who wrote it, when, and why. Maybe who wrote those passages never head intention of them used as a science book four thousand years in the future, they likely wrote the passages to explain god, not science.

And I can tell you first hand/eye witness accounts are notoriously unreliable but you already know that. Would you want the jury that decided your fate to be the type that ignored all of the physical evidence in favor of an eye witness who died thousands if years ago and wrote in a language that had been translated several times since its initial writing? I think you'd rather swear on that book than take the chance of letting someone 's interpretation of a book that may differ from your own decide your future.

I read it with an open mind until they introduced evidence I do not hold as factual or reputable in any way.
Quoting cammibear:

So, you are not open minded? No surprise there.



Typical answer. I expected no more from you. Your secular worldview - not science - leads you to whatever answer that doesn't credit God for life.



Quoting AdrianneHill:

Good god reading those articles.





It if true that you can get any info to say anything if you torture it long enough.


Science is pretty good for bringing forth evidence but they evidence doesn't hold a candle to millennia old, third hand translations of "eye witness testimony" from the Bible. Yeah, let's see that hold in any real court of law that isn't ruled by a brutal theocracy


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cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM
I don't care how many degrees you have or how smart you think you are. You lost my respect when you equated Christian with third world.

You have just proved my initial point. Thank you.


Quoting JuneH:

I thought it had been obvious at least for the last few pages that I'm a scientist - not an armchair scientist who tinkles in their basement, but an associate professor at a medical school researching in the area of molecular neuroscience. I have five degrees and have been a scientist for 21 years. I had my third baby quite late so I'm old but not too old. (Hence the crying baby in the earlier post I mentioned).

I have worked as a research scientist in 8 countries (lived in more than that, but that was earlier), and can compare the way science is done around the world. I'm a bit adventurous so I recently took a job at a medical school in a third world country because they give me lots of perks and I was sure I could make a difference.

But the "scientists" in this country are using the word very loosly, because the country as a whole is fundamentally Christian, as many third world countries with poor educational systems are. I gave the students here an interpretation test and most failed it miserably. Having been taught to take things on faith all their lives, they cannot think for themselves or draw conclusions from existing data. One girl refused to beleive that the data even existed because it went against her understanding of scripture, and this isn't even in the field of evolution.

You can't choose to beleive that data doesn't exist. You may interpret it a different way, but fundamental Christians tend to beleive that when an experiment is done and shows something that goes against what they learnt on faith, then it wasn't done and it doesn't show what it shows. These students are going to get science degrees, and you may even choose to call them "scientists" because they have a degree. But anyone who selectively chooses to ignore some data and accept other data simply based on what their non-scientist mother drove into their head when they were five is a poor scientist indeed.

They exist, these Christian scientists but they aren't helping to progress our understanding of the world because they never make an attempt to try to interprete why some data might at first glance not show what they expected it to show - they simply close their eyes to it. To interprete data you sometimes have to think outside the box, and flip what you previously believed onto it's head. People that can do that make good scientists, but show me a Christian that can think outside the box when push comes to shove. The students I teach in med scool here think the best treatment for a patient is prayer, followed by all else. You want to call them "scientists"? Really? There is experimental evidence supporting the non-prayer treatments. As a scientist you have to have respect for evidence - it's essential, otherwise what is a scientist basing their conclusions on?

But I am making inroads. Some of the lecturers are finally starting to follow my lead and exposing the students to primary source literature. However when I present to these same lecturers new data that tweeks the existing view on some of the information they are trying to teach, even the lecturers themselves dismiss it and revert back to the out-of-date textbooks they have. They beleive that the information they memorized when they were a student is set in stone. This inflexibility is typical of Christians, because they never learnt that keeping an open mind was an option, let alone a necessity! I'm trying so hard to teach people here to think critically and question everything, but it goes against everything they have been taught.

However, if you want to call them scientists, then fine, call them scientists.


Quoting mommajen32:


Quoting JuneH:



Quoting mommajen32:

The Bible doesn't definitively state how old the Earth is or the process in which the animals ,land masses, stars, etc ... were created. It's all a mystery. I would add to Mr. Nye's sentiments that one should not put their eggs in the basket of "science" either as new discoveries change what a generation before held as absolute truth or gospel. The next generation of science may find the 4.5 million year figure to be grossly incorrect.  

But we never claimed to be right all the time - we go through a process of gathering empirical evidence and making the best conclusions based on that evidence. Science is undiscovered truth, but scientists are simply normal people who have a fever or 39 degrees C (102 F) and a baby that is screaming hungry and needs to be fed and have had their back go out today on top of everything else and can't get out of bed. ...at least one of them is.

Creationists are people who refuse to beleive that the evidence infront of their own face even exists and don't help with trying to grasp what the truth might be, but just close their sences to the world and beleive a 2000-year old text based on unsubstantiated passed down claims and faith alone.


Who is "we"? **highlighted in red**

I am well aware of the scientific method. DH is an engineer with 2 babies and reports to his R & D team 6 days a week.  I have a myriad of Tesla-based experiments going on in my basement (including my light saber). Yup, I know first-hand scientists are human. I'm a fuddy-duddy in the social sciences ...

There are extremes within creationism, intelligent design and even evolutionary theorists (e.g. eugenics). There are Christian evolutionary scientists as well as athiests, so where do they fit? 

Just as man can study time until the end of time, he can and will not ever create time ...and may never truly understand time. I feel the same applies when it comes to how this all came to be, it is mental masterbation and squabbling over what we may never be able to know ...but hey, some enjoy the journey ..and the information picked up along the way ... good for them. 




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Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 5:21 PM
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting JuneH:
Quoting mommajen32:
Quoting JuneH:

But we never claimed to be right all the time

Who is "we"?

I have five degrees and have been a scientist for 21 years.

I don't care how many degrees you have or how smart you think you are.

She never mentioned her IQ.

She mentioned her qualifications as evidence that she is, by profession, a qualified scientist engaged in research, thus entitled to refer to "scientists" as "we".

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 30, 2012 at 5:27 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting JuneH:

I recently took a job at a medical school in a third world country because they give me lots of perks and I was sure I could make a difference.

But the "scientists" in this country are using the word very loosly, because the country as a whole is fundamentally Christian, as many third world countries with poor educational systems are. I gave the students here an interpretation test and most failed it miserably. Having been taught to take things on faith all their lives, they cannot think for themselves or draw conclusions from existing data. One girl refused to beleive that the data even existed because it went against her understanding of scripture, and this isn't even in the field of evolution.

You can't choose to beleive that data doesn't exist. You may interpret it a different way, but fundamental Christians tend to beleive that when an experiment is done and shows something that goes against what they learnt on faith, then it wasn't done and it doesn't show what it shows.

You lost my respect when you equated Christian with third world.

You have just proved my initial point. Thank you.

Which initial point was that?

Read again what she said.   She claimed that many of the particular third world countries that have poor educational systems are predominantly the type of Christian she is terming "fundamental Christian", which she then goes onto illustrate what she means by that.

That is very different from equating all the countries in the world that are 'third world' as being the same as the set of the countries in the world that are Christian.  Rather she is speaking from direct 1st hand experience of teaching in a wide variety of such countries.

romalove
by Roma on Sep. 30, 2012 at 5:41 PM
2 moms liked this
I just want to say, one more time, that science not having provided an answer to a question does not mean the answer is therefor God. Some things we just don't know yet. I take exception to people in denial of facts that we already do have.
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