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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 (251-260):
cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 7:08 PM
Funny, except I didn't say evolution had below zero probability. I was talking about origins, and information, and DNA evolving by chance or necessity. ;)


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting cammibear:

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting cammibear:

I don't deny that saying God created...involves faith. But making statements about everything evolving over millions of years...also involves faith.

In what?   Faith in scientists?  In human nature?

Faith in below zero probability.

*sighs*

CREATIONIST

Thinks the probability of evolution having happened is "below zero"


Sorry cammibear, that quote was too funny not to immortalise for the sake of the rest of the internet.


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Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM
Quoting cammibear:

Funny, except I didn't say evolution had below zero probability. I was talking about origins, and information, and DNA evolving by chance or necessity. ;)

*nods encouragingly*

Ok, so how are you defining "information" ?

romalove
by Roma on Sep. 28, 2012 at 7:16 PM
We all want to know where everything came from. Science is still searching for answers and doesn't substitute God for "we don't know yet".

Quoting cammibear:

Who wrote the code? Or did it just happen by chance?



Your building on information already there. Information built upon by intelligence. (admittedly, I just skimmed over your links but when you refer to "source code", it led me to assume it began with information)



When I asked where information came from, I want to know it's origin. ID is the most logical answer, whether you believe that intelligence was God, or aliens.




Quoting Clairwil:



Quoting cammibear:

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





Yes.   The mathematical underpinnings apply to more than just biological evolution.   The same mechanic can be used to evolve software programs.

Here's one fun example:


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futureshock
by Ruby Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 7:57 PM


Quoting IhartU:

 

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.

 I wonder how many Southerners are included in this 46%...

 

lol

futureshock
by Ruby Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting cammibear:

I would disagree because Intelligent Design has objective support behind it, ie. Irreducible complexity.

Didn't we already have a recent thread discussing with you the failings of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory?

‘Intelligent Design’ Not Enough For Creationists, Now The Push For ‘Divine Mathematics’


If you have further evidence in support of it, not yet debunked, perhaps that would be the right place to post it.

It would be great if this could happen.  lol

not yet debunked,

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Sep. 28, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Awesome!

How many Americans were polled? What's the error rate? What order were the questions asked in? What were the choices of answers? How many people contacted refused to answer any questions... and how many refused to answer that one?

I love polls.

You can say pretty much anything you want with them... including claiming a massive percentage of any population you feel like segregating out agreeing with you.

Quoting futureshock:


Quoting IhartU:

 

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.

 I wonder how many Southerners are included in this 46%...

 

lol


LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Sep. 28, 2012 at 8:49 PM

You're talking of the origins of what?

Why is the idea that DNA evolved by chance any less sensible than our particular star developed the way it has --by chance? There are clearly a great number of alternatives, isn't it convenient that ours just 'happens' to support life on the planet that 'just happens' to be this far away from it... with this much oxygen and CO2 available...

Quoting cammibear:

Funny, except I didn't say evolution had below zero probability. I was talking about origins, and information, and DNA evolving by chance or necessity. ;)


Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting cammibear:

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting cammibear:

I don't deny that saying God created...involves faith. But making statements about everything evolving over millions of years...also involves faith.

In what?   Faith in scientists?  In human nature?

Faith in below zero probability.

*sighs*

CREATIONIST

Thinks the probability of evolution having happened is "below zero"


Sorry cammibear, that quote was too funny not to immortalise for the sake of the rest of the internet.



AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 9:46 PM
I'll be waiting here still for some type of evidence. I'll even have an open mind.
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JuneH
by Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 10:01 PM


Some of these are just way too easy Cammibear. Why do fruit flies not evolve into different species? That's your question? Really? Answer: Well because they DO evolve into different species and well, scientists are well aware of that, and have seen it, and have described it. This is why scientists know more than you about evolution and are able to make informed decisions about whether it is happening in our world, and you aren't. Because they do experiments, they observe, and they read stuff: http://the-scientist.com/2012/09/27/evolving-dependence/

Can't you be just a little challenging Cammibear? I just got back from two days on the beach and I was able to flatten that in two minutes. Fruit flies do mutate and evolve into other species - check the link above.

But I know where you got the idea, because I've seen another creationist on a different site claim that fruit flies don't evolve into other species and she cited a scientist from the 1930s who failed to create a new fruit fly species in his lab. By the way, another good article for you to read if you want to understand on a genetic level how species develop, ie why matings between mutated and non-mutated offspring eventually result in sterile offspring (after genetic population drift), then read this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC59771/?tool=pubmed

Since you've had trouble clicking on links before, I'll cut and paste the first few paragraphs of the first article here:

UNINTELLIGENT DESIGN : Mutations in a metabolism gene make some fruit flies dependent on a rare cactus.

"Mutations to a cholesterol-metabolism gene are responsible for restricting one species of fruit fly to life on a particularly rare cactus, according to a report in Science, out today (September 27). But despite causing this loss in diet diversity, the mutations were under positive selection and appear to provide flies with a fitness advantage.

“One generally thinks of things that drive evolution as things that would expand the niche, whereas this is actually restricting it,” said Michael O’Connor, a fruit fly biologist at the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the study. “That seems very curious.”

Indeed, the new study on the fruit fly species Drosophila pachea stands in stark contrast to the generally held belief that loss of a metabolic activity happens by chance rather than being selected for, explained Virginie Orgogozo, an evolutionary biologist at the Institut Jacques Monod in Paris, France. Orgogozo and her team were interested in why D. pachea has become utterly dependent on the senita cactus, which is found only in the Sonoran desert of Northwestern Mexico and the Southwestern United States. They knew that D. pachea had lost the ability to convert cholesterol into 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC)—the first step in a pathway that produces an essential hormone for flies to metamorphose from larvae to adults. They also knew that the senita cactus, which doesn’t produce cholesterol, is the only plant in the desert to produce alternative sterols that D. pachea can use. But what drove D. pachea to this restricted metabolism and diet, however, was unclear."

truncated.

Quoting cammibear:

That things change over time is a fact. That one species evolves into another is still just theory.

Demonstrate where mutations (birth defects) + natural selection (death of the weak) = More complex organisms

Interestingly enough, after decades of mutating millions of fruit flies in genetic research, they are still...*gasp*...fruit flies.




Quoting lga1965:

 Does it seem like very religious people are afraid to even consider the possbility that evolution is a fact...because then they would be disagreeing with the Bible and the supposed word of God and risk not being saved and admitted to heaven?



JuneH
by Member on Sep. 28, 2012 at 10:14 PM


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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