A Creationist Responds To Bill Nye
Bill Nye is a mechanical engineer, inventor and actor. His science videos are widely respected earning many accolades and awards. As a former public school physical science and biology teacher, I’ve used Mr. Nye’s videos in my classes and I can say they are well researched, well produced, high quality and were generally well received by my students. I have a great deal of respect for his science videos.
But recently, Bill Nye was interviewed about his views on creationism – and his comments deserve a reasoned response from a creationist. The resulting 2 minute and 32 second video has gone viral on YouTube bringing in more than 3 million views, 57,000 likes and 11,000 dislikes.
In this video, Mr. Nye expresses concern that denial of evolution is “holding everybody back” in the United States. From Nye’s point of view, without an evolutionary foundation a scientist will simple get the “wrong answer” just as a geologist would get a wrong answer without accepting tectonic plate theory. He feels strongly that denying evolution leads to a world-view that is “crazy, just untenable” and “inconsistent”.
Bill Nye’s is also concerned about the educational health of children. He says, “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.”
So – from Mr. Nye’s point of view you cannot be a scientifically literate voter or taxpayer without accepting the theory of evolution as a fact of history. Creationism is crazy, untenable, inconsistent and shouldn’t be taught even to the children of creationists. Obviously, in Mr. Nye’s opinion even engineers need to be evolutionists in order to “build stuff” and “solve problems.”
So, Mr. Nye – I stand truly amazed. From your scientific, reasoned position as an engineer you are convinced that a belief in evolution is necessary in order to be scientifically literate and to have a sane world-view? But, if I may, I submit to you that the “science” behind the evolutionary position if far from a slam dunk. In fact, I think a person can be scientifically literate and sane without having to bend their knee at the evolutionary altar.
Let me explain…
In the first place, Mr. Nye, you are obviously confusing science with evolution as if they are one in the same concept. You are essentially saying that to deny evolution is to deny science itself. But…I don’t mean to be mean here… the definition of science in the dictionary is “organizing knowledge based on observation and experimentation” and the definition of “literate” is “having knowledge in a specified field.” There doesn’t seem to be any requirement in the definition of science that one must accept the theory of evolution as an actual fact of history. Furthermore, just as one can become “literate” in Greek mythology without actually believing in the historical reality of the myths themselves, one can certainly “have knowledge in the specified field” of biology (and even evolution) and not be an evolutionist.
Now – of course you know Mr. Nye – Evolution is the idea that all life forms began when chemicals combined in some unknown, unobserved way into reproducing proteins.
- But no one has ever seen random chemistry produce self-replicating proteins.
- No one has ever reproduced this miracle in a lab (and that includes the Miller-Urey experiment which only produced racemized amino acids that could not be used by any life form).
Nevertheless, you and your fellow evolutionists have faith in chance even though it has never been observed, directly or indirectly.
This is what experiments and actual observation actually show us sir.
And even if we were to “believe” in this chemical miracle, evolution states that these self-reproducing proteins (that no one has ever seen) morphed naturally into the single most complicated molecular structure in the known universe – DNA. From here, DNA coded for single celled organisms.
- Never mind that no one has ever observed random chemistry developing specific, directed information into a chemical code.
- Never mind that no one has ever actually observed or figured out how random mistakes in chemistry could produce the semi-permeable membrane of the cell wall, the myriad internal organelles of the cell or developed the sophisticated messenger system between the chromosomes in the nucleus, the ribosomes, the mitochondria and so forth – all in the right order, at the right time to maintain life!
- Never mind that no one has ever observed a “simple” cell since you know that the “simplest” cell we actually observe is fantastically complex – micro-machines building other micro-machines with complicated blueprints encoded using an information laden, self-replicating, self-repairing “brain” in the nucleus. How all of this came about by just an accident of chemistry is beyond even the most brilliant minds in bio-chemistry today.
- Never mind that DNA is used to build proteins but you need proteins to make DNA in the first place.
But Mr. Nye you and many scientists have a secular belief that chemistry alone – in some way that no scientist has ever seen - created the first single celled life form.
Mr. Nye – If science is about observation – how is THIS science when it’s never been observed?
But this is what we actually observe in nature. So – how is this inconsistent with…how did you put it… “everything we observe in the universe?”
From here, Mr. Nye, these single celled life forms supposedly reproduced and became multi-cellular life-forms by accidental mistakes in their DNA codes.
- Never mind that no one has ever observed any single celled life form becoming a multi-cellular life form simply by a mutation in its DNA. Sure, we’ve seen bacteria mutate to resist a drug but the bacteria is still a bacteria and the capacity to adapt was already built into its DNA. It didn’t mutate into a dandelion.
But the story continues, doesn’t it sir?
Yes, supposedly, over millions of years, these life forms changed into a stunning variety of creatures – all by completely random mistakes in a DNA code.
- Never mind that no one has every actually observed a beneficial DNA mutation – they are either neutral or lethal in actual scientific observation.
- Never mind that no one can fathom nor has anyone actually seen in nature how mutations could happen at random and yet be perfectly designed in step-by-step fashion toward building a completely new structure (such as a lung) all without any plan and without disrupting the life of the creature as it supposedly evolves.
But if this incredible story is actually true we should see trillions of examples in the fossil record of transitional series of creatures slowly and gradually morphing into completely different forms over time. But you know, Mr. Nye. that we’re not talking about simple variation within a kind but major shifts in complete morphology. For example, we should see fish becoming amphibians. We have billions of fossil fish and who knows how many fossil amphibians – but nothing that is truly a series of gradual steps in the fossil record from one kind to another. Not even one example.
Oh sure, there are plenty of strange mosaic creatures. And there are plenty of life-forms over the years scientists once thought were transitional forms. But every single one of them has been shown not to be transitional after study. In fact, one of your own fellow evolutionists said…
“The abrupt appearance of higher taxa in the fossil record has been a perennial puzzle. Not only do characteristic and distinctive remains of phyla appear suddenly, without known ancestors, but several classes of a phylum, orders of a class, and so on, commonly appear at approximately the same time without known intermediates…(Valentine, James, W. And Cathryn A. Campbell, “Genetic Regulation and the Fossil Record,”American Scientist, vol. 63 (Nov/Dec 1975), p.673.)
So – where are those transitional forms Mr. Nye? Isn’t science supposed to be about what we actually observe – not what we speculate about the past?
Based on this embarrassing situation, some evolutionists think these transitions happened so fast they simply did not have enough time to leave any fossil evidence. This theory is called “punctuated equilibrium”.
But a lack of evidence cannot be the evidence Mr. Nye. That’s called wishful thinking – or even, dare I use the word…faith?
Mr. Nye, you wondered why someone wouldn’t believe in evolution. I’ve just given you the very tip of the iceberg of reasons. I don’t have time to go into the probability against any functional protein happening by random chance (1 x 10 40,000, a number larger than all the atoms in the universe). I don’t have room to go into the myriad of irreducibly complex structures (such as our own blood clotting cascade – where if one part of the system doesn’t function, the entire system doesn’t function and you cannot get to what is actually observed in nature by any natural means nor is there an example of a simple system in nature from which the system we have could have developed)
I don’t have enough room on this blog to go into how the second law of Thermodynamics directly opposes the theory of evolution. Or to comment on the Cambrian explosion that shows exactly zero precursors in Pre-Cambrian strata. No – not enough time to cover the Law of Cause and Effect, probability barriers, information theory, problems with the Big Bang theory and dozens of examples of what used to be considered evolutionary examples that have since been debunked (such as the peppered moth, Piltdown man, Nebraska man, the fossil horse series and so on).
I think the bottom line, Mr. Nye is that creationists can be quite literate, actual taxpayers, fully sane and even…hold your applause…engineers. In fact, I imagine that in your engineering training you had to study hydrology. You likely used the textbook Applied Hydraulics in Engineering since it is used by well over 100 universities and its author is in Who’s Who in engineering. Well, it just so happens that this author, one of the foremost experts on engineering hydrology in the world was Dr. Henry Morris – a creationist and the founder, along with my friend Dr. Duane T. Gish (PhD, bio-chemistry) of the Institute for Creation Research.
An engineer? But wait – he wasn’t an evolutionist.
You know, this supposed “science” of evolution has more missing links than length of chain. I think I’ll continue to teach my children that evolution is not an established fact of science. And I’ll do that without fear that they won’t be scientifically literate.I’ll show them that what we actually observe and what real experimentation concludes – that life could not have a random origin.
And that’s not crazy Mr. Nye – that’s science!
Patrick C Marks is the author of the suspense novel “Legend” (Kindle price $1.99, http://amzn.to/uwHATL) and a Christian apologetics, non-fiction book about evolution and creation called “Someone’s Making a Monkey Out of You” (Kindle price $2.99, hard copy $15.95, http://amzn.to/snubN1). He is also a husband, father, pastor, and a poor excuse for an oil painter – but he likes getting his fingers colorful anyway.