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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children 1774

Posted by timothy
from the what-orthodoxy-means-now dept.
timeOday writes "BigThink has released a video missive by Bill Nye ('The Science Guy') in which he challenges the low level of acceptance of evolution, particularly in the United States. He does not mince words: 'I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can — we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.'"
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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

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  • Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @11:56AM (#41151041)
    Bill Nye is awesome.
    • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JMJimmy (2036122) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:04PM (#41151235)

      While he's awesome, I wonder how this made it to the front page of Failblog before it made it to Slashdot.

      • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:20PM (#41151619) Homepage Journal

        While he's awesome, I wonder how this made it to the front page of Failblog before it made it to Slashdot.

        Because he's strongly suggesting there's a fail somewhere?

        When I was a wee little tot they gave the the sugar-coated, sterilized version of biblical events and happenings.

        When I grew older the tone of things became more apparent, the Bible is full of very bad things happening and wicked people doing wicked things .. which could certainly color a young child's perspective. Effectively church leaders have known for a while there's some stuff you want to keep away from kids until they're old enough to weigh the full force of the message, not get fixated on details. ("Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?")

        • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Funny)

          by M. Baranczak (726671) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:24PM (#41151749)

          Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?

          They taxed the job creators.

          • Questions (Score:5, Funny)

            by TiggertheMad (556308) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:38PM (#41152049) Homepage Journal

            Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?

            If the practiced Sodomy in Sodom, did they practice Gomorrahy in Gomorrah?

          • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Informative)

            by Abreu (173023) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:59PM (#41152569)

            Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?

            They taxed the job creators.

            Actually, the contrary:

            Ezekiel 16:49 "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."

            So no, it was not the buttsecks

        • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Funny)

          by Wandering Voice (2267950) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:34PM (#41151961)

          "Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?"

          Sodomed liked there was no Gammorah.

        • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:41PM (#41152117) Homepage

          When I was a child, I watched a lot of PBS... NOVA and other science shows. I found an interest in dinosaurs, evolution, archaeology and lots of things like this. By the time I was 10, I thought God was a stupid idea.

          Just put more quality educational programs back on the air and teach the parents it's okay to be lazy.

          (Caveat: I was pre-video-game era... it doesn't quite apply the same any longer.)

          • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by jpapon (1877296) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:05PM (#41152659) Journal
            I was similar. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was little, I read everything about dinosaurs, evolution, Egypt, and Rome.

            Then I moved to Texas, where the first day of school I met a kid who believed in God, thought evolution was a hoax, and that the Earth was 6000 years old.

            I didn't know what to tell him... the only thing I could come up with was something like "...but... what about all the bones...?"

            • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Funny)

              by _KiTA_ (241027) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:37PM (#41153357) Homepage

              I didn't know what to tell him... the only thing I could come up with was something like "...but... what about all the bones...?"

              Oh oh oh, I know this one: "They were sent there by Satan to confuse and test us."

        • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmaiWELTYl.com minus author> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:49PM (#41152327) Journal

          ("Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?")

          They were unkind to their visitors. Xenophobic, you might say.

          No, seriously. All the evangelicals who are worried that GAWD will start turning everyone into pillars of salt if the US constitution isn't amended to ban teh ghey should actually be worried about how anti-immigrant and xenophobic America is.

        • by KingSkippus (799657) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:27PM (#41153127) Homepage Journal

          Funny you should mention Sodom and the tone of the Bible, as having grown up firmly indoctrinated in the Christian church, the story of Lot and his wife were instrumental in me realizing that 1) a lot of it (no pun intended) is hooey, and 2) even if it's not, I don't want to follow this god.

          For those who don't know, Lot and his wife were told to flee Sodom and Gamorrah before it was destroyed by God for being so wicked. They were told to not even look back at it by angels sent to help. On their way out, though, Lot's wife turned back and looked, and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt.

          Obviously, the moral is not to screw around with God. If he tells you not to turn around and look at something, you'd better damn well not turn around and look or else the consequences could be severe. Practically speaking, though, I was never able to get past how insanely petty this was. This woman presumably had family and friends left in the city. There's presumably a lot of hoopla and chaos happening. Why did she turn around? Was it because she couldn't bear the thought of her family and friends suffering? Was it because she wanted to make sure that the rest of her family was going to make it out alive? Was it just a loud noise that caught her attention? Who knows? Maybe she thought the angels didn't literally mean don't look back, kind of like how even today we say, "I left my home and never looked back." In most cases you don't literally mean that you didn't turn around and catch one last glimpse of it, you just metaphorically mean that you moved on with your life.

          At any rate, we have a woman who was probably just an average schmo, likely not particularly evil, else the angels wouldn't have bothered rescuing her. Her crime was taking one last glimpse of the family, friends, home, and life that she would never return to again. She was obviously a loyal follower of God, as she simply picked up and left based on the word of two strangers saying they were angels and her husband who, incidentally, offered two virgin daughters to the wicked men of Sodom intent on raping Lot's guests. So if you're keeping score, Lot offers up his two virgin daughters to be gang raped and gets to live a happy, productive life. Lot's wife commits the cardinal sin of turning around to see everything she knows destroyed by fire, and does she get any measure of sympathy or mercy? Oh hell no, she's killed (or worse, she wasn't and is eternally suffering, being forced to look back at the destroyed city) for something that anybody in their right mind should understand and would probably do.

          Anyway, I empathize with Lot's wife, and like I said, this story made me realize that I don't want to follow a god that is so petty and vindictive that he would do such a heinous thing. If that means I'm going to hell, then so be it. Spending eternity slavishly following such a spiteful creature seems like just another definition of hell.

          Yet here I am, thousands of years later, and people following this crap are teaching their kids to doubt science, that if the Bible is interpreted as A and science says B, you'd better go with A. After all, if God would punish an innocent woman by turning her into a pillar of salt, you don't want to fathom what he'd do to you if you believe in evolution. Bill Nye is right, teaching creationism to kids as anything other than a fanciful myth is crazy and a disservice to them, their community, and mankind as a whole.

      • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Funny)

        by MarkGriz (520778) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:32PM (#41151919)

        While he's awesome, I wonder how this made it to the front page of Failblog before it made it to Slashdot.

        You must be new here. Welcome.

      • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Funny)

        by ArhcAngel (247594) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:38PM (#41152063)

        While he's awesome, I wonder how this made it to the front page of Failblog before it made it to Slashdot.

        Don't worry. /. will make up for this by posting it several more times in the next few days.

    • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:25PM (#41151779)

      Bill Nye is awesome.

      Of course he's awesome. He's awesome because God made him that way. And God clearly made him to test our faith. So he's awesomely like Satan, really.

  • No, he didn't. (Score:4, Informative)

    by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @11:58AM (#41151083)

    Bill Nye said kids shouldn't be taught that certain scientific theories are wrong. He never even said creationism, once.

    This headline is just sensationalist garbage.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:06PM (#41151285)

      Bill Nye talks specifically about denial of belief in the theory of evolution. While he doesn't use the word creationism, his comments can only apply to that "world-view" which he believes is contrary to the evidence around us.

      This headline captures exactly the message of the video, I have no idea why someone would interpret that video otherwise.

      • by jensend (71114) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:01PM (#41152613)

        No, the headline isn't a good summary. However, if it had read "Young-Earth Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children" it would have been just fine.

        The belief that the world is billions of years old and that biological diversity has grown gradually through a process of mutation and natural selection is in no way incompatible with the belief that God created the world or that He has guided the process. From Asa Gray- said by Darwin to be Darwin's best advocate- to the present day, hundreds of millions of people, including a good number of evolutionary biologists, have held both of these beliefs.

        Evolution is, however, inconsistent with an overly literal and naive reading of the first chapter of Genesis. Those misguided individuals who promote the idea that Genesis was a scientific account and try to force schools to ignore the mountains of evidence for evolution and/or to "teach the controversy" are a threat to basic science education. As a science educator Nye has an interest in helping combat that threat. But he is not trying to pick a fight with all theists here.

        • by IICV (652597) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:25PM (#41153079)

          Just FYI, although theologically guided evolution is more accurate than creationism, it's still a couple steps short of the actual theory of evolution we have today.

          The modern theory of evolution simply has no place for God to stick his fingers in. There's no mechanism in it by which divine intervention could happen, and in all the data we have gathered (and there's a lot of data) there are absolutely no divine fingerprints.

          In order to argue that the modern theory of evolution is "in no way incompatible with the belief that God ... Has guided the process", you must use the same dodges and evasions that young earth creationists do - "oh, God just made it look natural, secretly he's doing all the heavy lifting", "God's just sneaky, putting in all that fossil DNA to make it look like this happened naturally".

          Basically, theological evolution is not compatible with the modern theory of evolution, except in the playground "You can't prove he didn't!" way, and arguing that it is is wrong and misleading.

    • Re:No, he didn't. (Score:5, Informative)

      by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:09PM (#41151375)
      It's in the title of the video, "Creationism Is Not Appropriate for Children," http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/bill-nye-science-guy-creationism-evolution_n_1835208.html [huffingtonpost.com]
  • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @11:59AM (#41151107)
    Bill Nye: You are allowed to be an ignorant drain on our society but for the sake of your children's future, don't force them to ignore the things you're afraid of accepting and understanding.
  • He's right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by danbuter (2019760) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @11:59AM (#41151111)
    Of course, most American parents don't understand evolution at all, so it will be impossible to fix this mess. If our population was better educated, we'd be ok, but both parties have done their best to destroy it while telling everyone they are fixing the problems.
    • Re:He's right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:09PM (#41151365) Journal

      Of course, most American parents don't understand evolution at all, so it will be impossible to fix this mess. If our population was better educated, we'd be ok, but both parties have done their best to destroy it while telling everyone they are fixing the problems.

      Umm, Democrats are less inclined to alter science curricula in order to teach nonsense to kids. This "teach the controversy" business is the latest in a long line of right-wing attempts to undermine science education.

      • Re:He's right (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:30PM (#41151897)

        Democrats have been complicit in lowering standards and dumbing down education over the past 4 decades or so. Their motives are somewhat different, but the result is mostly the same. Our public educational systems are a mess and our students woefully undereducated.

        • Re:He's right (Score:5, Insightful)

          by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:25PM (#41153095)

          Democrats have been complicit in lowering standards and dumbing down education over the past 4 decades or so. Their motives are somewhat different, but the result is mostly the same. Our public educational systems are a mess and our students woefully undereducated.

          You may as well say that schools for the blind are complicit in the dumbing down of silent film appreciation.

          The root of our educational system's failure is conservatives and their their special blend of literal Christianism and social darwinism. They have worked as hard as they can to make sure the that public education system has been swamped with needy children and given less and less money to deal with them. Their goal is to prove that a) poor people are irredeemable and b) public education doesn't work.

          There is a big damn difference between actively trying to break something, and doing a less than optimal job of making something broken work again.

    • Re:He's right (Score:4, Interesting)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:12PM (#41151427)
      Meanwhile, the third parties are trying to fix this. Yet intelligent people keep voting for the major parties...
  • Unfortunately... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cplusplus (782679) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @11:59AM (#41151117) Journal
    ...you can't reason with the irrational, so I doubt his point will sink in. If anything, it will likely cause them to react in anger ... "It's an attack on OUR BELIEFS!", and they'll dig their heels in a little deeper.
  • Not so sunny (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:00PM (#41151125)

    I recently surveyed a few of my adult friends. Somewhat surprisingly most did not realize that the stars in the sky are "suns", most attributing their sparkle to reflection from our sun.

  • Fine America. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MnemonicMan (2596371) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:01PM (#41151185)
    Fine. You go America. We'll just see what the power map of the world is fifty years from now once your post-awesome country is filled with idiots and therefore of no relevance in that world.

    But. I would rather you did turn yourselves around as, even with your bad stuff, I think you're generally OK.
  • by slapout (93640) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:02PM (#41151201)

    "we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems"

    Even people who don't believe in evolution can still become engineers who "build stuff, solve problems"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:17PM (#41151541)

      Even people who don't believe in evolution can still become engineers who "build stuff, solve problems"

      "Sir, your foreman reports a large crack in the bridge."
      "My belief system denies the existence of frangible bridges. It is safe."

      Engineers who are willing to let political, religious, or ideological beliefs prevent them from drawing logical conclusions from observed data don't build things and solve problems: they destroy things and kill people.

      If you want a real-world example?

      "Sir, your engineers report that it is unsafe to launch the shuttle when it's this cold. The O-rings will crack."
      "Underling, my political sponsor requires that a Teacher needs to be in Space because his boss's State of the Union speech won't sound as good if we delay the launch. It's worked before. Launch the shuttle."

      In the case of Challenger, it was engineers trying to report their observations, and being overriden by management that was more interested in the politics/optics of a situation, but the same principle applies.

      If an engineer is willing to reject the conclusions derived from following the scientific method in biology class, how can I, driving over his bridge, trust that he didn't also reject its results in metallurgy class?

    • by anyGould (1295481) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:27PM (#41151831)

      "we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems"

      Even people who don't believe in evolution can still become engineers who "build stuff, solve problems"

      Not without a fair amount of mental gymnastics. I've always wanted to sit in on a "Christian Science" class and answer all the questions with "Because God wills it to be so". Seems like an easy A.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:07PM (#41151317)

    From the poor victimized Christians as they suffer the intolerant bigotry of those liberals who just won't let them do the Lord's work.

    Really, how dare those liberals say they're all in favor of acceptance when they reject a religious theocracy.

    I don't know if it's part of their expectations, but it seems Christians always want to make themselves out to be martyrs. They always want the rest of us to believe they're being fed to the lions. They don't grasp the concept of church and state, they think the Muslims are taking over, and they protest that their free speech is being threatened when the rest of us refuse to go along with their will. Apparently we can't say no to them without being bullies.

  • by WillAdams (45638) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:09PM (#41151351) Homepage

    Part of an old post:

    People who believe in the literal Word of God as the Bible remind me of the grand-daughter of a family friend --- he was a woodworker, old school, wanted me to be his apprentice so he could put me to work re-sawing wood rather than purchase a band saw. He made a cradle as a gift for the grand-daughter in question, for her to keep her dolls in --- she was very impressed when her mother told her, ``Your grandfather made this by hand.'' and immediately evinced a desire to see him and to see his shop and to watch him make something. The visit was arranged and upon arrival, the young lady was taken out to the shop and the large door rolled open, revealing rack upon rack of chisels, saws, hand planes, a simply unbelievable quantity of clamps and other hand tools --- the girl let out a shriek such as only a 5 year old girl can and yelled, ``Mommy! You lied! Grandpa doesn't make things by hand! He uses tools!''.

    God is quite capable of using DNA and RNA and quantum mechanics and other theories which we have yet to learn about to make people and the world.

    Moreover, those who believe that humanity is incapable of learning how God works are being blasphemous and not remembering the lesson of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:6) which indicates that humanity's learning capacity is without limit.

    Believing in God doesn't mandate a belief in Creationism (though believing in Creationism requires the belief in God). Anyone whose faith is so fragile that it could be damaged by a rigorous class in evolutionary biology should go back to CCD or Sunday School or whatever their faith's equivalent is.

    William

  • by schitso (2541028) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:10PM (#41151395)
    Bill "The Science Guy" Nye? No no no. It's "Bill Nye The Science Guy"! (Billlll Nyeeee the Scienceee Guyyy.)
  • by Eldragon (163969) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:41PM (#41152133)

    This is the kind of thread I save my Mod points for...

    Awwww crap I posted.

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