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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Nye’

Nye_UndeniableThis week’s installment o f our series on Bill Nye continues our review of Chapter 2 of his book Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation.

Bill Nye Asserts The Consequent

Suppose for a moment we were having a conversation about my car and I said to you, “If my battery’s dead, my car won’t start.” “Okay,” you replied, “that makes sense.”

So we go out to my driveway; I hop in and try to crank the engine. Nothing happens.

“Alright,” I say, “obviously this is scientific proof that my battery’s dead!”

What would you say about my logic? Well, if you had any sort of mechanical background, or had just a little bit of training in logic, you’d probably point out to me that I was jumping to conclusions. You might say something like, “Not so fast there, Steve. Sure, your battery may be dead, but there are many other explanations why your car won’t start. Maybe you didn’t check your oil and your engine’s locked up (I had this happen once), or maybe your ignition switch is broken. You could have a bad battery cable. In fact, there are probably dozens of reason why your car won’t start that have nothing do with a dead battery. Don’t you think you’re getting ahead of yourself by claiming you know your battery’s dead?”

This little story illustrates a common logical fallacy called asserting the consequent. This fallacy is the result of the misuse of a form of argument called the hypothetical argument. In my illustration above, you can easily spot where I go wrong in my thinking. I conclude that my battery is dead, even though there are many other reasons that can just as easily explain why my car won’t start.

But here’s the shocking part: the logical fallacy of asserting the consequent is foundational to the scientific method. That’s right. All the supposed great “truths” discovered by science, the very ones that Bill Nye and others like to use to try to intimidate Christians, are built, as it were, on the logical equivalent of quicksand.

On pages 14 and 15, Nye attempts to solidify the invincible logical rigor of science by providing the reader with an example of a successful prediction made by science. In Nye’s mind, this example illustrates the validity of science, but all it really does is underscore his own poor reasoning skills.

Nye relates the story of a University of Chicago scientists who, reasoning that there must exist the fossil of an animal showing the transition between fish and land animals, led a an expedition to an area in northeastern Canada where he thought he would find what he was looking for. As it turned out, the expected fossil was found leading Nye to claim that this is sound science, because the scientist’s prediction of the fossil turned out to be true.

The hypothesis the scientist used to make his prediction is left unstated by Nye, but it probably ran something like this: If land animals evolved from fish, then I should be able to find the fossil of an animal in such and such a place that has features of both fish and land animals. Eureka! I did, in fact, find the fossil of such an animal in the place where I expected, therefore it is true that land animals evolved from fish.

This argument is in the same form as my example above about my car and the dead battery. There could be any number of reasons why the fossil – the name of the fossil in question is the Tiktaalik – was found where it was that have nothing to do with the professor’s particular hypothesis or even, more generally, evolution.

It’s remarkable how smart people like Bill Nye can be so easily misled that they mistaken obvious logical fallacies for the truth. Worth noting is that the Bible itself predicts Nye’s fallacious thinking, giving as the reason for it the fact that men, in their unrighteousness, suppress their innate knowledge of God. And refusing to acknowledge God, they will move heaven and earth to drive him from their conscience by erecting their own intellectual constructs, however full or logical errors they may be. The world calls this sort of humanistic reasoning wisdom. But God calls it foolishness.

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Nye_UndeniableThis week’s installment of the series on Bill Nye continues our review of Chapter 2 of Nye’s book Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation.

As was mentioned earlier in this series, Chapter 2 of Undeniable bears the title “The Great Creationism Debate,” which was inspired, as Nye tells us, by his 2014 debate with Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. You may view the full video of that debate here.

Nye Blasphemes God’s Word

Nye picks up his description of the debate thus, “When it was my turn, I hammered away at Mr. Ham’s claim that there was a big ole flood and that all the animals we see today are descendants of the few pairs that Noah and his family were able to save on a big boat, the ark of Biblical myth” (11).

The Apostle Paul tells us that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. Doubtless, the other messages of the Bible are also likewise foolishness to unbelievers, so it really should not come as a surprise that that the unbelieving Nye would write sarcastically about “a big ole flood” and “a big boat, the ark of Biblical myth.” Still though, it’s sad to see a man so hardened in his unbelief that, not satisfied with simply disagreeing with God’s revelation, he feels the need to revile it.

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Nye_UndeniableThis post in a continuation of Unbelievable:
A Quick Look at Bill Nye’s Views on Evolution, Science and Creation, Part 2
published on 5/28/2017. In that post, I began to examine Chapter 2 of Nye’s book Undeniable, Evolution and the Science of Creation. That post went through page 10 of the book. This week will pick up my review starting on page 11.

The US is lagging in science, and it’s the creationist’s fault

Bill Nye seems to be very worried about the state of US science education and achievement. He writes, “[W]ithout young people entering science fields, especially engineering, the country will fall behind other nations who do educate their kids in real science rather than the pseudoscience of creationism” (10).

This is one of many manifestations of Nye’s unspoken, fundamental, and flawed assumption that one cannot be a Christian and at the same time a scientist. Nowhere does Nye offer any proof of this contention. He simply asserts is expecting his audience to swallow it without question.

But in truth, Christians accept that the very Logos, the Logic, of God spoke the universe into existence. And not only that, this same Logos, and the Gospel of John tells us, is the light which lightens every man who comes into the world. The very logical architecture of our minds is what is it as a result of the creative work of Jesus Christ.

As such, not only is there no inhibition preventing Christians from studying the sciences, but it is the Christian alone who has sound reason to expect the universe to exhibit regularity and rationality, being, as it is, the creation of a rational God.

Further, a Christian scientist doesn’t need to waste a lifetime of research attempting to explain the origin of the universe or of life. He already has these answers revealed to him and can go about his work secure in the knowledge that he has a correct understanding of the universe.

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Nye_UndeniableLast week we looked a Chapter 1 of Bill Nye’s book Undeniable, Evolution and the Science of Creation. This week’s post will examine Chapter 2 of that same book, a chapter titled “The Great Creationism Debate.”

Bill Nye Debates Ken Ham

On February 4, 2014 Bill Nye and Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis (AiG) debated the question “Is creation a viable model of origins?”

The debate must have made a big impression on Nye, for he states at the beginning of Chapter 2 that “in many ways it [the debate] was the impetus for me to write this book.

According to Wikipedia, the origin of the debate were in a video posted by Nye on Big Think titled Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children.

In the video, Nye laments the that “Denial of evolution is unique to the United States.” This is a problem, Nye tells us, because it threatens to retard our progress and prosperity as a nation.

What’s interesting about Nye’s remark about the unique failure of the United States to bow down before the altar of Darwin is that he immediately follows it by saying “We are the world’s most advanced technological [civilization?]. I mean you could say Japan, but generally the United States is where most of the innovation still happens. People still move to the United States. And that’s largely because of the intellectual capital that we have, the general understanding of science.”

As Nye sees it, the stubborn resistance of Christians to accept Darwinian evolution is a threat to all this.

Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, it may be worth asking, just why is that, at least according to Bill Nye, the one nation where there is strong resistance to Darwinism is also, in Nye’s opinion, at the same time the most technologically advanced civilization?

These two ideas appear to be in conflict. If believing the Bible is really the social retardant Nye thinks it is, would it not follow that the US would be among the world’s most backward nations, not among its leading lights?

It seems to me that Nye, who claims to have a great curiosity about the world around us, would be curious enough to look into this strange [according to his world view] phenomenon, but the thought does not seem to occur to him.

For those interested, a video of the 2014 debate can be seen here.

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Nye_UndeniableIn recent years, Bill Nye has become something of an icon with the humanist, progressive, environmentalist, social justice warrior crowd.

As a result of his popular children’s science show in the 1990s, he may even be thought of as a sort of Millennial version of Mr. Rogers, a trusted fatherly figure who would never lead his followers astray.

But unlike Mr. Rogers – yeah, I’m a Gen-Xer who grew up on Mr. Rogers and Captain Kangaroo – Bill Nye has gone full social justice warrior in his later years, pushing not only evolution, but the climate change and LGBTQ agendas as well.

Nye has been particularly active in recent years having penned Bill Nye’s Comic History of the United States: The Human Side of the Story (2014), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation (2014), Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World (2016). This year will see the release of this latest book Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem.

Just this year, Nye served as one of three honorary co-chairs of the March for Science, an organization dedicated to proposition that it is right and just to use government force to take money from the American people and use it to subsidize scientists dedicated to pushing the false narrative of man-made global warming/climate change or whatever new crisis of the day that happens to be popular.

For my part, I’ve only recently begun to pay much attention to Nye. His science show didn’t start until well after I graduated from high school. When I was in school, we had Julius Sumner Miller as our “science guy,” whose programs were educational, memorable and, on occasion, pretty funny too.

As for Miller, I couldn’t tell you what his religious or political beliefs were. For unlike Nye, he didn’t wear them on his sleeve.

Although I had heard of him previously, Nye really didn’t come onto my radar screen in a big way until his February 2014 debate with Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis.

My best summary of Nye’s argument in that debate runs something like this: Evolution is based on the same scientific principles that have brought us electricity, polio vaccines and the internet. You cannot at the same time use and appreciate any of these scientific breakthroughs without also agreeing that Darwinian evolution is true. If you don’t insist and believing in Biblical creation and a 6,000 year old earth, not only are you contradicting yourself by accepting the benefits of science while at the same time rejecting its truth claims about the origin of life , but you’re stupid too. What is worse, if you teach the Biblical doctrine of creation to your children, you’re guilty of making them stupid. And not only that, your insistence on believing Biblical mythology over science endangers the very future of the United States of America.

Well, that’s quite a bit to unpack. Far more than time and space allow in a single blog post. And this doesn’t even touch on the rest of Nye’s body of work. Lord willing, I hope to begin a new series on Nye later this year. But for now, a few short observations on Nye’s thought will have to do.

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