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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 (271-280):
Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 1:10 PM
Quoting JuneH:

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:


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

*applauds*

For those whose browsers won't show the PNG image as an embed, here is a link to it:

http://flybase.org/static_pages/images/species/muller_chromosomes.png

JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Are my images not showing up? What am I doing Clair? I'm new to this site and need to get this sorted.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting JuneH:

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:


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

*applauds*

For those whose browsers won't show the PNG image as an embed, here is a link to it:

http://flybase.org/static_pages/images/species/muller_chromosomes.png


Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM
Quoting cammibear:

They are still fruit flies...

Do you know the difference between "species", "family" and "phylum" ?

JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 1:18 PM

excellent start. So much to explain, so little time.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting cammibear:

They are still fruit flies...

Do you know the difference between "species", "family" and "phylum" ?


cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 2:39 PM
I really don't know how many times I've tried to explain this. *sigh*

It's the SAME evidence. The difference lies in the interpretation of that evidence.


Quoting shannonnigans:

I know I'm late into this thread, but I would love to see Cammi's "evidence" that supports creationism...

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cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM
Yes, do you know that a fruit fly is a fruit fly? Just like a dog is a dog? You know what my point is. I don't have time to worry about correct terminology. You both can play that game with someone else.

I take the liberty to change "species" to "kind", so Clair and June can move on...


Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting cammibear:

They are still fruit flies...

Do you know the difference between "species", "family" and "phylum" ?


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:05 PM

No no no - the problem was that you THINK a fruit fly is a fruit fly, when in reality there are many species of fruit flies, and some species of fruit flies that developed millions of years ago HAVE evolved into non-fruit fly animals. It was that point that you didn't get, and that point isn't a matter of "interpreting the data" - that point is irrefutable because under the definition of species there simply ARE several species of fruit flies. You don't get to 'decide' that there aren't! That's like deciding there are no dogs, just cats with long noses. It's not a matter of opinion.

If you want to change "species" to "kind", then under the definition of "kind", which is synonymous with the definition of "species" as per our agreement here, there are 9000 "kinds" of fruit flies and some of the earlier "kinds" of fruit fly prototypes (common ancestors) have since evolved into fish. The present "kinds" of fruit flies presently look like fruit flies because we are including in our group refered to as "present kinds of fruit flies", only those kinds which are currently fruit flies. I could spell it out using modern symbolic logic so you don't go circular on me again, do you want me to do that?

I don't think there is really any need for us to move on until you correct the logical structure of your argument.

Quoting cammibear:

Yes, do you know that a fruit fly is a fruit fly? Just like a dog is a dog? You know what my point is. I don't have time to worry about correct terminology. You both can play that game with someone else.

I take the liberty to change "species" to "kind", so Clair and June can move on...


Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting cammibear:

They are still fruit flies...

Do you know the difference between "species", "family" and "phylum" ?



cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:12 PM
You really are clueless...

Macroevolution doesn't exist. I'm really not interested in variations within a kind. That is NOT evidence of macroevolution.


Quoting JuneH:

No no no - the problem was that you THINK a fruit fly is a fruit fly, when in reality there are many species of fruit flies, and some species of fruit flies that developed millions of years ago HAVE evolved into non-fruit fly animals. It was that point that you didn't get, and that point isn't a matter of "interpreting the data - that point is irrefutable because under the definition of species there simply ARE several species of fruit flies. You don' get to 'decide' that there aren't! That's like deciding there are no dogs, just cats with long noses. It's not a matter of opinion.

If you want to change species to "kind", then under the definition of "kind", which is synonymous with the definition of "species" as per our agreement here, there are 9000 "kinds" of fruit flies and some of the earlier "kinds" of fruit fly prototypes (common ancestors) have since evolved into fish. The present "kinds" of fruit flies presently look like fruit flies because we are including in our group "present kinds of fruit flies", only those kinds which are currently fruit flies. I could spell it out using modern symbolic logic so you don't go circular on me again, do you want me to do that?

I don't think there is really any need for us to move on until you correct the logical structure of your argument.


Quoting cammibear:

Yes, do you know that a fruit fly is a fruit fly? Just like a dog is a dog? You know what my point is. I don't have time to worry about correct terminology. You both can play that game with someone else.



I take the liberty to change "species" to "kind", so Clair and June can move on...





Quoting Clairwil:



Quoting cammibear:

They are still fruit flies...

Do you know the difference between "species", "family" and "phylum" ?





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Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:19 PM
1 mom liked this
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting cammibear:

They are still fruit flies...

Do you know the difference between "species", "family" and "phylum" ?

Yes, do you know that a fruit fly is a fruit fly? Just like a dog is a dog? You know what my point is. I don't have time to worry about correct terminology. You both can play that game with someone else.

I take the liberty to change "species" to "kind", so Clair and June can move on...

No, this is important, and I'll explain why.

The formal latin name for the domestic dog is Canis lupus familiaris.

In full, the categorisation is:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C. l. familiaris


The 'family tree' (the phylogenetic tree) for the family Canidae is:


(source)

So it does make a big difference whether you're talking about the family ("Canidae") or the species ("C. lupus") when you use the word "dog".

I've never yet seen the biblical word "kind" defined in any way that doesn't assume the answer (ie that refers to creatures from two different kinds not sharing a common ancestry), so kindly stick to scientific terminology, please.


"fruit fly" can be used to refer either to the common fruit fly ("Drosophila melanogaster") or to the whole family ("Drosophilidae"), which is precisely the same difference as between the domestic dog and the family that includes everything from foxes and wolves, to jackals and dholes.

cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM
This was my original statement.

Quote
"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."


I think what I said was pretty clear. I do not like having my words twisted.



Quoting JuneH:

No no no - the problem was that you THINK a fruit fly is a fruit fly, when in reality there are many species of fruit flies, and some species of fruit flies that developed millions of years ago HAVE evolved into non-fruit fly animals. It was that point that you didn't get, and that point isn't a matter of "interpreting the data" - that point is irrefutable because under the definition of species there simply ARE several species of fruit flies. You don't get to 'decide' that there aren't! That's like deciding there are no dogs, just cats with long noses. It's not a matter of opinion.

If you want to change "species" to "kind", then under the definition of "kind", which is synonymous with the definition of "species" as per our agreement here, there are 9000 "kinds" of fruit flies and some of the earlier "kinds" of fruit fly prototypes (common ancestors) have since evolved into fish. The present "kinds" of fruit flies presently look like fruit flies because we are including in our group refered to as "present kinds of fruit flies", only those kinds which are currently fruit flies. I could spell it out using modern symbolic logic so you don't go circular on me again, do you want me to do that?

I don't think there is really any need for us to move on until you correct the logical structure of your argument.


Quoting cammibear:

Yes, do you know that a fruit fly is a fruit fly? Just like a dog is a dog? You know what my point is. I don't have time to worry about correct terminology. You both can play that game with someone else.



I take the liberty to change "species" to "kind", so Clair and June can move on...





Quoting Clairwil:



Quoting cammibear:

They are still fruit flies...

Do you know the difference between "species", "family" and "phylum" ?





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