Recently on August 23rd 2012 Bill Nye, known for his PBS TV program “The Science Guy” posted a video on YouTube called “Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children.” I would much commend Nye’s efforts to get kids interested in science. His TV program was meant to get kids interested in science and present it a way that made it fun. Bill Nye has spoken about evolution before. However, he made some statements against creationism that I would say are unrealistic. He has also told parents not to teach their kids creationism. I would say Nye’s comments are unfortunate and they reflect several common miconceptions about creationism.
One major misconception from Nye is that evolution is only questioned in the United States. Boy, is this wrong! Several nations, other than the U.S. have sizable creation ministries, including Russia, Britian, Australia, and South Korea. These are just the larger ones. These organizations would all be likely to have some full time staff, including well qualified scientists. Some of them may have hundreds of people involved, including people with science degrees. The Creation Research Society based in the United States has over 600 voting members. A voting member must have a graduate degree in a field of science. I’ve heard the organizations in Moscow and in South Korea are also large but I don’t have numbers. Creation Ministries International (CMI) is out of Australia and they have a large readership in their technical peer-reviewed journal and their nontechnical magazine. CMI has offices in Canada, Britian, and United States. Then there are probably hundreds of smaller creation groups, some of college students, some not. These are not just in the United States, though it’s true the U.S. probably has more of them. There has even been several European conferences on creationism where people come together from all over Europe.
The home school movement has also had a big part in “spreading” the creation message, for parents who do not agree with Bill Nye and actually want their kids to be exposed to creationism and intelligent design. Home Schooling is not done only in the United States either. Home schooled kids often are a bit better at critical thinking, I think partly because of the different points of view they are exposed to in their home education.
I could tell stories that suggest that in some places in Eastern Europe and Russia, there may actually be more openness to creationism than in the United States. So I would say there is great promise of creationism growing in acceptance around the world. This is not just true among scientific lay people, but also among people trained in science. Knowing more science does not necessarily make someone more likely to believe evolution.
Nye also makes a statement to the effect that to reject evolution makes things complicated for you because there is so much science understood to support evolution. Well, there are indeed implications that if creationism is true, there is much about origins science that needs to be completely rethought! But creationists have answers to the questions that come up, depending on the research they have done. Some questions still need more research and there are things we may not have enough evidence to be sure about. But the answers from creationism are better than the answers from evolution. Nye mentions fossils, radioactivity, and starlight as evidence for “deep time” (billions of years of time). I’ve been studying these questions for a long time and evolution does not deal with the evidence nearly as well as scientists generally think. Creationists do not have definitive answers to everything, but creationism can handle the questions at least as well and often better than evolutionary science. In the articles on my website (creationanswers.net) I try to glean from the best work from creationists and make it understandable for readers. If Bill Nye wants to find out about the creationist view on these questions, he would have a lot of study to do. While scientists have been saying for years that creationists don’t do research and don’t publish in peer-reviewed journals, creationists with a science background have been doing a lot of research. There is a lot of published peer-reviewed technical material from creationists that goes back to the 1960’s. If anyone wants to know how to get this information they can ask me I’ll tell them.
In the video, Bill Nye says parents should not teach their kids creationism because that would make their kids illiterate. This is completely wrong and parents know better than this. It is not illiterate or ignorant to reject evolution. Some believe evolution and some don’t but you cannot infer that those who reject it do not understand it, or that they do not know enough science. What Nye apparently cannot fathom is that many people reject evolution with full accurate knowledge of it. There are thousands of people around the world who at one time were people who taught evolution, were well informed about evolution, and promoted evolution but who changed to a creation viewpoint because of the scientific evidence. I’m not just guessing when I say thousands because of what I know about creation organizations; but I wouldn’t have exact numbers. But there are very few, in comparison, who were well-informed creationists (of the young age literal Genesis perspective) who promoted creationism but then rejected it and started promoting evolution because of the scientific evidence. Note that I do not consider college students starting college believing Biblical creation to be “well-informed.” So I would not include them in this. Why would this be so, about the lopsidedness of well-informed people changing views?
Bill Nye says that creationism, which he refers to as a world view, in a couple of centuries will no longer exist. I hope Nye isn’t holding his breath for this to happen. Creationism has grown in its acceptance by more and more people over the last 30 years, in spite of being shut out of public schools and universities. I think the unfair discriminatory treatment of people questioning evolution tends to make more of the general public reject evolution and move to a creation perspective. The dogmatic way evolution is often taught in public schools is also a factor in people accepting creationism. There are various views on creation from Christians, Jews, and Muslims. (There is also a Muslim creationist organization by the way in Turkey.) I wish Nye would take the time to seriously investigate creationism, but from the best sources.