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Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

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Published on Aug 23, 2012

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. According to Bill Nye, aka "the science guy," if grownups want to "deny evolution and live 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."

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-- Transcript:
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.

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd

Comments • 402,961

Gary Bell
US Christians blaming gays for hurricanes, earthquakes and diseases is one of the many reasons that Christianity is dying so quickly in the US.  No one wants to be associated with hatred nor stupidity.
View all 323 replies
Samuel Vimes
Creationists are very good at creating atheists
Jose Bonilla
ergonomover Like i said it is crazy rhat homo freaks identify as preachers and priests. Why do they lie? There are many homo freaks who did great things dispite there dysfunction. Does helping make a pc absolve him from passing disease around?
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Bluebottle 99
Denial of evolution is spouted almost exclusively by those who have absolutely zero understanding of it. Coincidentally, their comprehension - of science in general - is so poor; I can imagine 3rd graders cringing with embarrassment at the sheer stupidity of it.
View all 29 replies
Gary Bell
She chose Genesis or death, death wins every time.
jebstuart
Nonsense? How so, Futile? How so?
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Nicholas Christie-Blick
One more time: The theory of evolution depends on evidence, mountains of evidence, evidence that is so overwhelming that the historical fact and overarching mechanisms of evolution are universally accepted by academic scientists – the people best qualified to make a determination. You disagree? Then check the scientific literature. How life started is inherently of interest, an area of active research, very hard to establish given that it occurred more than 3.5 billion years ago, and utterly irrelevant to the theory of evolution. There is nothing about what we do not yet understand that changes the understanding that exists. The origin of life is also irrelevant for the purpose for which it is claimed by people of faith and creationists in particular. If god-did-it is proposed as an untestable non-explanation, and evolution then took over in the way that is clearly the case, there is no basis for connecting that event with any of the mutually incompatible gods in which people actually believe – gods that care about our sins and sex lives, and respond to prayer. Those gods are imaginary a) because they cannot be simultaneously true, and b) because they are assigned characteristics and roles (like creating humans) that are incompatible with empirical evidence.
View all 12 replies
Hydrogen Peroxide
+Erin Quon: "Evolution may not be COMPLETELY 100% fact (though it may as well be), but it's damn well the best theory we've got, and makes a hell of a lot more sense than creationism." Argument from Ignorance. "My proposition must be true since it has not yet been shown to be false."
Erin Quon
Nicholas Christie-Blick Excellent post. Evolution may not be COMPLETELY 100% fact (though it may as well be), but it's damn well the best theory we've got, and makes a hell of a lot more sense than creationism
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Nicholas Christie-Blick
The theory of evolution is settled science. It has been settled for decades. The evidence is overwhelming, and easy to check. I have supplied helpful leads repeatedly. The research frontiers relate to the arcane details of what happened, and how it happened, not to whether it happened. There is no plausible alternative explanation for the diversity of life. All versions of creationism are known not to be true because they conflict with the very same evidence upon which evolution depends. Misrepresenting science and refusing to become informed don't change the science. Cutting and pasting the same nonsense day after day, week after week, doesn't change the science. That you believe otherwise is irrelevant. No-one cares what you believe.
View all 9 replies
Hydrogen Peroxide
+ergonomover: You really have no answer, no explanation, no WAY of making a direct, UNAMBIGUOUS CONNECTION between DNA mutations and the appearance of the fossil record! ♥ Love it! ❤
ergonomover
Fake chemical: All you need now is to speak from a single account like a rational honest person and to provide a single shred of positive evidence indicative only of your position. Everything about you is ambiguous. Go home.
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Nicholas Christie-Blick
"Were there anything to what the fundies are pushing, it wouldn't be necessary to rely on such patently stupid people to push it. How is it possible to post the same nonsense day after day, week after week, no matter how many times it is explained that what she is saying isn't true. The crux of the false argument is that evolution cannot explain order and complexity because it depends upon a 'random' process. In addition, it is argued, evolution isn't science because it cannot 'predict, model, formulate or falsify' mutations. How does that even make any sense? Never mind the hundreds of thousands of peer-reviewed articles in the scientific literature. The Cambrian radiation, an extraordinary interval of time to be sure, supposedly makes evolution impossible. Never mind that no-one who knows anything about the evidence agrees. Finally, for good measure, evolution is impossible because our understanding of how life began is incomplete. Yet the theory of evolution does not and never did depend on figuring out details for which there is virtually no record preserved. It's like saying that it isn't possible to construct a family tree for more than several generations because we don't know the day of the week on which early humans first ventured from Africa."
View all 3 replies
Gary Bell
So the core explanatory power for the history of life is natural selection which is not random.  We're making progress.
Nicholas Christie-Blick
You devote a huge amount of effort to claiming that evolution is random and not science, among standard creationist rationales for arguing that it is impossible. How can complexity and order arise randomly? Right?
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Gary Bell
A creationist calling someone else, "clueless of the laws of evidence",  really?   From 476,323 comments we have precisely zero evidence presented for any gods and precisely zero evidence against the Theory of Evolution, that's a hint.
View all 212 replies
jebstuart
I'll be honest, I have no idea what your complaint is. If you're looking to me to show you why there is no god, you've lucked out. I don't know. You don't know. Nobody knows. To complain about "nobody knows" being a "positive claim" while semanticcally true, is a wordgame. YOU NEED TO MAKE A CASE. You say something needed to cause our origins. I can only presume you mean something intelligent. Let's not call it a god, if that will make you stop complaining about "false charges". So you don't believe in a god, but you want ME to answer your charge that I should be able to prove its non-existence. As you say yourself - how can you be so dishonest about all this? Make a case for your .... "not god" or whatever it is you're claiming. Let's see if we can investigate. Double-negatives, sprachspiel, and a whining tone about how you feel you're being unfairly treated will not do. MAKE A CASE (for something - anything)
Nidair
So again you ignore my arguments for a god or something similar, very conveniently, and lie again about my position because again, I never claim the laws of nature are prescriptive. I said you need to account for their origins, which you still refuse to do, like you still refuse to acknowledge atheism is both a belief and a religion, using the philosophical definition of belief and religion. Then, you made a claim with absolute certainty (nobody knows the answer to our origins) which you say isn't a positive claim. This would get anyone laughed out of a philosophy class, but let's entertain you by saying it is. The statement is so vague that you could mean anything from abiogenesis to the origin of the universe, but let's assume the latter, and we certainly have some answers: that the laws of nature MAKE it possible, and something has to be responsible for creating the phenomena described by the laws of nature. They cannot be created by nothing. Afterwards, you pretend I am making a case for a specific god again, to which I can only answer: how can you be this dishonest in arguing and still claim I am the liar?
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jebstuart
Mutations, molecular events serve as rock-solid, formulaic, take-it-to-the-bank foundational explanations for why the FOSSIL RECORD looks the way it does.
View all 5 replies
jebstuart
You will now explain the abrupt appearance of Haikouichthys in the fossil record by merely stating the mathematical formula(e) associated with the supposed sudden creation by a designer.
jebstuart
I didn't see Gary Bell in this thread. You need to count to ten and slow down your heartbeat before you post, miss. How sweet, though.
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jebstuart
"Evolution supposedly starts with a an informational change in the genome via one or more random DNA mutations..." So you're saying the first life was DNA-based? Talk us through your research. Leave nothing out. Include a Materials and Method section.
View all 6 replies
ergonomover
Isn't the faker assuming there was no self-contained genetic material prior to the first "fully functioning, viable cell"? oops. Faux triumphalism falls flat again.
Hydrogen Peroxide
Incorrect, Stuart. To have access to a genome, you need an extant organism. You lose again, Stuart.
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Scientist Flanders
"Intelligent design (aka creationism) still works in science-fiction movies" - Michael Behe It's the only place it can work, because it's nothing but fantasy - pure imagination.
View all 4 replies
Scientist Flanders
@Gary lol
Gary Bell
We're experts here Al,  we do it everyday.  Say something!
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Bluebottle 99
Genetic mutation and natural selection are the backbone of evolution. ✔ Only religiously motivate woo-peddlers see it as a problem . ✔
View all 3 replies
Narva77isback
Scientist Flanders LOL. What a lowlife she is!
Scientist Flanders
@Narva Yes. It's the only defense creationists have against truth and facts.
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