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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 (281-290):
JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM


Clueless? I showed you the picture of the fish - did it look like a fruit fly? If you didn't get the picture to turn up in that post then my bad. I'll explain it again:

If you look at the genetic sequence of the NMDA receptor gene, you see that there is a common ancestor (now I'm not sure when, but tens of millions of years ago at least), that evolved into fruit flies eventually. However another branch from this common gene in a common ancestor can clearly be seen through the genetic evidence of evolving (ie mutating) until it forms the NMDA receptor in what are now fish.

The evidence for this was on a gene table I gave you from ensembl.org showing genetic drift. With no problem at all I could pull up the exact sequences of these prehistoric genes and explain to you exactly why this constitutes evidence, but as I said earlier, not understanding what I'm talking about isn't enough reason to say that the evidence I'm trying to present to you doesn't exist. I am telling you that almost all of these genetic sequences that form the main points of the gene tree do exist in concrete tangible form that we can see and touch (although we have to use flurescent labelling techniques, because genes are rather small). They are physically there, so you can't argue that these things don't exist.

They constitute only a portion of the evidence for what you want to call macroevolution (which is kind of like me calling "walking to the corner store" microevolution and "walking into town" macroevolution. Kind of the same thing, but whatever. - if I can walk to the corner store what's stopping me from walking into town?)

So again, you don't get to look at the sequences I am directing you to and claim that these actual peices of evidence don't exist. You only get to claim that you have no idea what I'm talking about and are making no effort to know. That, you can claim with no argument from me.

Quoting cammibear:

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...










Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:28 PM
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting shannonnigans:

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

The problem is that you have not substantiated that claim.

I've asked you about several pieces of evidence that support evolution, and asked you to demonstrate that they are compatible with non-evolutionary creationism, or better yet, that they actually more supportive of non-evolutionary creationism than they are of evolution.

And we're still waiting for your demonstration.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:31 PM
Quoting cammibear:

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.

The reason why what you said isn't totally clear is:

"fruit fly" can be used to refer either to the common fruit fly ("Drosophila melanogaster") or to the whole family ("Drosophilidae")

JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:36 PM


unless you are three, then it's just "fly", which is why education beyond toddler level is a good thing.

Quoting Clairwil:


The reason why what you said isn't totally clear is:

"fruit fly" can be used to refer either to the common fruit fly ("Drosophila melanogaster") or to the whole family ("Drosophilidae")


cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM
I'm just not interested in microevolution. Nobody denies that changes occur.


Quoting Clairwil:

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.


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cammibear
by Gold Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM
My demonstration??? lol




Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting cammibear:

Quoting shannonnigans:

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

The problem is that you have not substantiated that claim.

I've asked you about several pieces of evidence that support evolution, and asked you to demonstrate that they are compatible with non-evolutionary creationism, or better yet, that they actually more supportive of non-evolutionary creationism than they are of evolution.

And we're still waiting for your demonstration.


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Gaily.Daily
by on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

The second somebody starts off with "Evolution is just a theory" I know right off their level of understanding and I pretty much know what's to follow and maybe it's dismissive but if you won't even do enough research to try and understand what it is you are so against...I feel you are just regurgitating words.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting Clairwil:


(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'm just not interested in microevolution. Nobody denies that changes occur.

So you happily accept that an artic fox and a jackal from Africa share a common ancestor?

JuneH
by Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM

And not apparently interested in the changes that seem to cross your imaginary threshhold of: "But THAT didn't happen", which you have yet to define. Because if changes occur and common ancestors have clearly become different "kinds", whether you define "kind" as kingdom, phylum, class, order, family genus or species, you cannot claim these different "kinds" were created by a creator and didn't evolve. The evidence is overwhelming and thousands upone thosands of scientists actually possess this evidence and can show it to you.

You would have to deny the existance of tangible measurable sequences, some of which I have in my lab, which happens to be only five minutes away. I can SEND these to you if you want to look at them. You can't simply deny these peices of evidence EXIST. They constitute the evidence to what you continue to call macroevolution, even though the only good definition which is logical that you have put forth for what 'macroevolution' is is: "that which I don't believe in". Again, circular logic. I understand that you believe that that which you don't believe in can't exist, because that is how you have defined it. It consists of a group of non-existant integers in your definition.

Quoting cammibear:

I'm just not interested in microevolution. Nobody denies that changes occur.


Quoting Clairwil:

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.



Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Sep. 29, 2012 at 3:53 PM
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting Clairwil:
Quoting cammibear:
Quoting shannonnigans:

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

The problem is that you have not substantiated that claim.

I've asked you about several pieces of evidence that support evolution, and asked you to demonstrate that they are compatible with non-evolutionary creationism, or better yet, that they actually more supportive of non-evolutionary creationism than they are of evolution.

And we're still waiting for your demonstration.

My demonstration??? lol

Yes.   You backing up the claim you made.

I'll bump the relevant reply.

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