Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bill Nye the Science Guy May Be a Very Good Scientist – But He is an Awful Advocate for Science

A Useless Debate with a Creationist

 In science a set of ideas and beliefs is called a "theory", open to challenge and subject to critical examination and when the evidence warrants it, change.  In religion a set of beliefs is called "dogma".  That pretty much sums it up. What's to debate?

The problem, not the main problem but rather a problem, with the debate over evolution as opposed to a universe and world created about six to eight thousand years ago is that by even engaging in such a debate the proponents of truth and logic and intellectual honesty give credence to a position, namely creationism, that has no business being even considered.  So when a famous person like Bill Nye debates an intellectually void creationist like Ken Ham, Mr. Nye is loses.  He loses for himself, for the scientific community and for the idea of knowledge in general.

The problem of course is that such a debate cannot take place, because the creationists start with the position that the world of the Bible is the absolute literal truth. They start with the belief that the divine basis for their positions cannot be challenged.  What exactly is there to debate?

(The Courier-Journal, Matt Stone/ Associated Press ) - Creation Museum head Ken Ham, right, speaks during a debate on evolution with TV’s “Science Guy” Bill Nye, at the Creation Museum Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Petersburg, Ky. Ham believes the Earth was created 6,000 years ago by God and is told strictly through the Bible. Nye says he is worried the U.S. will not move forward if creationism is taught to children.

Ham, an Australian native who has built a thriving ministry in Kentucky, said he trusts the story of creation presented by the Bible.

“The Bible is the word of God,” Ham said. “I admit that’s where I start from.”

So a debate is not possible about the literal interpretation of the Bible if one side starts from the position that no matter what evidence is presented otherwise, the literal interpretation of the Bible is the only true and correct story of creation. 

Mr. Nye provided millions of dollars of publicity for the Creationist view.  He naïveté brought far more support for those who would destroy science and knowledge in the name of religion.  With friends like this, science needs no enemies.  As for Mr. Ham, well he’s making a nice buck from running a Creationism museum.  That’s okay, separating yahoos who believe Noah's flood made the Grand Canyon from their money does sound like doing God’s work.

1 comment:

  1. For thousands of years, Jewish and Christian scholars believed that the Bible was divinely inspired and absolutely correct, but refused to give it a literal interpretation when it clearly did not make sense or conflicted with observable evidence. Instead, those scholars considered the Bible's implied or allegorical meanings to be its inherent truth.

    Fundamentalists like Ham not only disregard the observable world in asserting the Bible's literal truth, but also ignore these thousands of years of interpretation and analysis. Their views are ignorant in every sense of the word, and willfully so. And as you say, a debate with the willfully ignorant is no debate at all.