After Bill Nye the Science Guy recorded a video for Big Think in which he ripped on Creationism and its denial of evolution, the internet briefly exploded with news that he had called Todd Akin a “fucking idiot” and challenged him to a debate. Of course this was posted by the satirical news site Daily Currant and never actually happened, but it showed how suddenly relevant Bill Nye had become after his video had racked up 4.6 million views.
Today he’s back in the news—not to drop F-bombs or challenge anyone to a debate over the science of “legitimate rape,” but he has given a follow-up interview to Associated Press imploring parents not to push Creationism on their kids.
The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old. It’s not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs.
If we raise a generation of students who don’t believe in the process of science, who think everything that we’ve come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you’re not going to continue to innovate.
In the video Nye suggests that American dominance as a superpower stems largely from our scientific innovation (which necessarily includes technological innovation) and that it’s simply impossible to rectify the tenants of Creationism with sound science. “The idea of deep time—of these billions of years—explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that your worldview just becomes crazy. It just becomes untenable.”
“But,” he tells the AP, “I emphasize that I’m not questioning someone’s religion—much of that is how you were brought up.” It’s like the old saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinions and your own traditions, but not your own facts.
AP notes that “46 percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago.”
That’s way too many. However, we should also remember that just rejecting a god mythology doesn’t alone make a country progressive and innovative—look at North Korea.
Still, way to go Bill Nye the Science Guy. Check out the original video below, as well as the non-sequitur-filled response from the head of the Creationism Museum.