Skip to content
October 1, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Christian Response to Bill Nye Criticism of Creationism–Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

From the Bill Nye video:

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we’re the world’s most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens. People still move to the United States. And that’s largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science. When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It’s like, it’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You’re just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, “When you’re in love you want to tell the world.” So, once in a while I get people that really—or that claim—they don’t believe in evolution. And my response generally is “Well, why not? Really, why not?” Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they’re at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.

And 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.

It’s just really hard a thing, it’s really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I’m sure, will be, it just won’t exist. There’s no evidence for it.

But Bill Nye’s argument is flawed–it posits a conflict which doesn’t exists or implicitly asks the viewer to apply such a conflict:

In terms of his rhetoric or logic I would offer one additional criticism–which is rather unfortunate for someone who comes from a rationalist perspective.

Nye’s argument has the embedded or hidden premise that the theories are mutually exclusive without actually proving it. Yes, in some veins of ideology or thought they have tension, but they don’t have to be. Old Earth Creationism & Theistic evolution are both systems of thought and belief which posit an overlap between the two theories.

Its only his embedded assumption of mutual exclusivity or materialism/reductionism that allows him to lay out his claims in an “argument.” He asks the viewer (implied) to infer that premise of his argument.

Even in the Genesis account, the word for day, could be translated as age, which accounts for an old earth creationist view.

For more on this view:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Earth_creationism

Hugh Ross is the best articulation of this view, to my understanding, although there are many others (particularly among the ranks of scientists who are believers).

Here’s a link to additional criticism of Bill Nyes critique of Creationism. Here is a short video from the Creation Museum which makes an argument:

About these ads

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. ivonprefontaine / Oct 8 2012 6:23 pm

    My 88-year old mother who is a devout and conservative Catholic has no problems with bringing evolution and her faith together. I often wonder why supposedly better educated Christians struggle with this.

  2. commpassioninpolitics / Oct 13 2012 2:00 am

    Ivon,

    I would suggest three of the following:

    1. Identity & community commitments
    2. Lack of exposure to alternative points of view
    3. There is “science” on both sides. I haven’t looked over the science of flood geology, but thats one of the justifications given.

    Realize, this can happen in almost any community. For instance, when I lived in DC, it created an ideological bubble, which it was hard to see other points of view (exposed to a lot of different people culturally–but perhaps 75% or so are democrat). Also, I think a lot–particularly these days–believe in micro-evolution, but not in marco-evolution. Others just prioritize the role of faith in their lives–and see this as a worldly debate–versus a spiritual one.

    To be fair, both sides of this debate have set up a polarity. I think there are just a few in the middle ground–although thats just speculation on my part. I would also speculate that Catholics have a unique organizational and historical context–in which that is in some ways more viable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 202 other followers

%d bloggers like this: