Two weeks ago, Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy) created an internet sensation with a You Tube video arguing that creationism is not appropriate for children. Almost 4.5 million views later (as of this morning), that video has certainly made quite the splash.
His basic premise is that since “evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science,” anyone who teaches their kids that evolution isn’t true is really holding their kids back. As he says,
I say to the grown ups, if you 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.
Now the people from Answers in Genesis have responded. In the video below prominent creationist Ken Ham calls Bill Nye “the Humanist Guy” and critiques him for having an agenda of his own, creating lots of little humanists. And (big surprise) Ham contends that teaching kids evolution is the truly harmful thing to do.
You can watch the video exchange below. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Nye has obviously struck a chord. Not only does the video have 4.5 million views, but at last count it also has 72,855 likes vs. only 15,245 dislikes (again, as of this morning). And Ham’s response isn’t likely to do much to change that. Besides the fact that it’s only been viewed a little over 87,000 times, Ham just doesn’t engage Nye’s basic point. Nye isn’t saying that there’s anything inherently harmful about creationism (regardless of whether or not he actually thinks that). His basic contention is simply that creationism ignores the best evidence and the best explanation of that evidence. So, in essence, creationism teaches kids to think un-scientifically. That’s what he’s so concerned about. He doesn’t want us pumping out thousands of kids who have learned that it’s okay to ignore the data and just believe whatever you want to. Regardless of whether Nye is right, that is his basic point and the one that needs a response. Ham either doesn’t understand that, or just doesn’t want to engage it.