Bill Nye: Without evolution, “your worldview is crazy, untenable.”

Angry old man Bill Nye argues that we have to eradicate creationism, because “we need scientists and engineers.”

Evolution is fascinating to me… and an integral part of how I see the world.  But it is preposterous to propose that one can’t be a scientist or engineer without believing in evolution.  Partial list of people who did not believe in evolution: Galileo, Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Mendel, Gutenberg, Faraday, etc.

Science is a process, not a body of facts to be memorized.

 

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4 thoughts on “Bill Nye: Without evolution, “your worldview is crazy, untenable.”

  1. As for engineers yes you don’t have to accept evolution to be an engineer, but he was making a broader point and you honed in one that one sentence. It is true that if half of the population sees science as an atheist conspiracy or sees science as being the cause of the holocaust or the kind of garbage the creationism movement promotes then yes, we will graduate fewer scientists because fewer people will have an interest, and the world and the country and our economy will be poorer for it.

  2. Agnophilo – Your hypothesis is that – in areas where more people believe in creationism – the economy will grow more slowly, since the average intelligence will be lower and fewer kids will grow up to be scientists. Fair enough, might be true.
    But some of the healthiest economies are in the South, where creationism is presumably more prevalent.
    Again, I’m on your side. I believe in evolution. But I’m not sure that it’s as important *as a belief* as you think it is. And we pro-science people should be very careful about throwing around unproven hypotheses as if they are obvious facts.

  3. Um, the main thing regarding all the men you mentioned was that they were all born long before, and lived most of all their lives, the theory of evolution existed. Kind of hard to believe in something that hasn’t been discovered yet. Galileo didn’t believe in electricity either, because nobody knew about it in his day.

    • Mark – Of course. My point is that they were perfectly capable of doing science, regardless of their beliefs about the origins of human life. Being a scientist is domain-specific. You look at some micro phenomenon and generate hypotheses, tests, and ways of accurately measuring the results. It’s a craft. More accurately, it’s a whole bunch of different crafts, since the methods of ecology will be completely different than the methods of particle physics or cognitive psychology.
      The ability to be a good scientist has absolutely nothing to do with where you stand on the big political issues of the day or what you believe outside your own tiny domain.
      More importantly, why are we going around telling people that their belief systems are garbage? It’s impolite, and futile. Draw them in with promises of mysteries revealed. Wow them with tricks. (Like my HS physics teacher did.)
      Calling them stupid isn’t a winning strategy.

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