[NOTE: This piece includes quotes from Bill Nye that were hand-transcribed from the referenced video. Any errors in wording or punctuation are unintended.]
Bill Nye contends that creationism should not be taught to children. In a short video entitled, “Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children,” Nye makes his case with several illuminating statements and poses a condescendingly curious question. We will address his statements and answer his question below in the form of The Bill Nye Challenge.
We urge anyone skeptical of those defending evolution to watch the video, as Bill Nye’s approach typifies the kind of weak reasoning that passes as sufficient in science circles today, but as insufficient for anyone questioning the truth claims of evolution.
Bill Nye is a smart guy. He is smart guy in more ways than one, being truly accomplished in many fields. But we find Bill Nye to be characteristic of scientists who, when it comes to origins science, take leave of their true brilliance for one simple reason: they are naturalists first and scientists second.
Bill Nye assumes a worldview in which all of nature must be explained—regardless of the evidence—by natural processes alone. And this adopted view of reality forces explanations for the origin of human beings that may or may not correspond to a true view of reality.
The worldview of Bill Nye and like-minded others demands a practice of science often termed “methodological naturalism,” which means that the methods of scientific practice must lead only to natural causes and explanations. When it comes to origins science, such people are necessarily evolutionists first, and scientists second. They have no other choice of creation stories; the required story is imposed on them and their science must fall in line.
Should we trust such people on the ultimate question of our human origins?
Bill Nye is not alone in practicing science according to his assumed worldview; it is the practice demanded by all who assume the same view. This group includes virtually every science organization, university, public school, and government organization. But must we (and our children) conform ourselves to Bill Nye’s assumptions about reality and ultimate causes in nature?
What if Bill Nye and others assume wrongly about reality? For virtually all scientific disciplines such a wrong assumption causes no mischief: Methodological naturalism is a “no harm, no foul” practice for most of science. But when it comes to origins science—understanding the creation story for human beings—wrong assumptions critically handicap the practice of science. If Bill Nye is wrong in his worldview, then his wrong assumption risks making it literally impossible to determine truth.
For all but the already convinced or the easily persuaded—and they are the majority—there exist reasons to be suspicious of Bill Nye’s reasons to believe evolution as related in the video.
First, Bill Nye expresses a curious notion when he states, “Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, and all of biology.” Is this true? Let’s test that statement with just one example. Is evolution the fundamental idea behind the ultimate of all life sciences and biology: the practice of medicine? No.
In fact, like doctors, most life scientists and biologists work in vastly diverse fields that do not depend one bit on the “fundamental idea” of evolution. Like a self-serving sign in a coffee shop boasting “World’s Best Coffee,” Nye’s oft-repeated sentiment reflects institutional wishful puffery. Believed only by self-interested evolution-purveyors, Bill Nye’s statement otherwise stands universally doubted by everyone else in the real world.
Next, Bill Nye attempts to bolster his inflated opinion of evolution in life sciences by saying, “It’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You are just not going to get the right answer, your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.”
Can we also test this notion? Did you know that geology was practiced by the ancient Greeks in the 4th century? Geology was “done” for thousands of years before plate tectonic theory was proposed in the mid-1940’s. And in those thousands of years people were still getting the “right answer.” In fact, plate tectonics is not fully understood today, and yet the field of geology continues chugging along as always. A quick look at a list of the top careers in geology reveals that virtually none of the top career fields has anything to do with “believing in” tectonic plates. The idea that a mine geologist working in a mine in central Asia will not get the “right answer” if he or she does not “believe in” tectonic plates seems a bit of odd reasoning.
Bill Nye’s reasoning goes from odd to fully misplaced when he alleges that the world becomes “fantastically complicated” when you don’t “believe in evolution.” Why does he say this? Mr. Nye goes on to state that, “dinosaur bones or fossils, radioactivity, distant stars, deep time, explain so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your worldview just becomes crazy, it’s just untenable, inconsistent.”
But note: No one holding a different worldview is “ignoring” anything in his list. And, more importantly, not one thing in his list has anything to do with evolution in the sense of any biological processes to create human beings. Nothing in his list is “untenable” or “inconsistent” with a view of creation of human beings by the God of the Bible.
Finally, Bill Nye asked a question that spurred the idea for The Bill Nye Challenge. Feigning polite deference he says, “Every once in a while, I get people that claim they don’t believe in evolution. And my response generally is: ‘Why not? Really, why not?’”
Why not? Really, does he really want to know why not?
Has Bill Nye truly never had anyone answer him? There are 101 reasons why not to “believe in evolution” as a cause for the creation of human beings. And to casually treat someone’s rejection of the claims of evolutionary theory as if there cannot possibly be any good reason “why not” reveals a massive blind spot of modern evolutionary scientists. This blind spot not only keeps Bill Nye from a curiosity that he may find revealing, but it instantly reveals a dogmatic view of science that most people sense as suspiciously religious in nature. Neither effect helps Bill Nye’s cause in hoping to prevent children from learning evolution from educators inclined to teach them.
In the unlikely chance that no one has ever answered Bill Nye with any of the 101 reasons, we will answer him with one. We do not believe in evolution because when we carefully consider the role of natural selection in nature, we find a paradox: Natural selection played no role in the origin, development, or existence of any currently living species on earth.
And here we propose The Bill Nye Challenge “slightly revised” from first publication.
We invite Bill Nye to carefully read The Natural Selection Paradox and answer one simple question that derives from it and must have answers from evolutionists:
For any organism in the human line of descent from first life, what did natural selection do for it that contributed to the evolutionary development of human beings?
Can Bill Nye answer our question? Can anyone answer our question? For attempts, see our Facebook page where many commenters have sought to answer this Challenge question: Creation Reformation World. Enjoy!
We welcome all attempts to answer our simple question and WIN the Bill Nye Challenge. For the more intrepid, we invite formal rebuttals to The Natural Selection Paradox.
Bill Nye (and others) can respond directly and confidentially here: email@example.com. With permission, we will post entire, unedited responses on our blog: www.creation-reformation.com, and/or on our Substack, and/or as well (if possible) on our Facebook page: Creation Reformation World.
Let the discussion begin!
PS: The question of The Bill Nye Challenge should be answerable in one or two sentences (if evolution is true). We predict that any proposed answer will be a non-answer of multiple pages filled with jargon and/or unsupported implications of our “not understanding natural selection.” Let’s see.