I really hate to disagree with a hero, but that is something I am going to do.
In an interview on the show Mid-Point, Bill Nye was asked why the idea of evolution is so disliked in so many households. His answered that it is “the troubling and compelling fact of life. We’re all going die and try as you may, it’s really hard not to die. And, so, I think it drives us a little crazy.”
I am sorry Bill, but that is not the reason. The reason is religious based and we are afraid of denouncing religion.
If evolution is fact, along with the big bang theory, then the bible is not inerrant and if the Bible is wrong on the formation of the earth and planets, then its other stories may be wrong. And if the stories in the Bible are wrong, then there may not be a god or gods.
Nye is right when he says that religion’s idea that the earth is not 6,000 (or 10,000) years old, but 4.54 billion years-old. This is from science, not a storybook with characters that live for hundreds of years. We can test these ideas and verify the timelines. It deals with what Nye calls “deep time,” a length of time so great that it is hard to fathom.
It seemed that Nye was afraid to attack the cause of the problem. He speaks of the evangelical view of the Bible, but he seems to stop short from saying that they are wrong. He does say that they are holding the children back in science and raising children who cannot think. “That they are discouraged from thinking.”
Children are not born with a sense of a deity, it is taught to them by their parents and eventually by others of authority, ministers, priests, rabbis and imams. They are taught that if they believe anything other then what is being taught, if they question the lesson, they will be punished by their god or gods.
Science is saying, OK, if you do not believe us, test it for yourself. Here is the evidence and you choose the test. If your test meets certain criteria and if it is faithfully performed, you will come up with an answer. But there are rules.
- First, you cannot prove a negative.
- Second, you have to have an open mind to the fact that the result may disprove your theory.
- Third, you must let others verify what you did and how you did it.
This is not to say that I do not envy Bill Nye the Science Guy. He had a lot of chutzpah to walk into the Creation Museum and debate Ken Ham. I have watched the entire debate and think Nye outpaced Ham by miles.
Ham, like many apologetics, wants to believe that the Bible is the word and the word if God. That the bible is inerrant, the perfect book. He, and others of his ilk, will believe that way regardless of the evidence you show then that the Bible is wrong. There were no talking animals. There was no great flood and ark. The Red Sea did not part to let the Jews escape from Egypt. Physiologically those things just could not happen.
Nye needs to stop coddling the fundamentalist and apologetics, he need to take the stance that if evolution is right, and there is no doubt about that, then the Bible is wrong and that is the fear that must be conquered.