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Bill Nye’s Arrogance is Undeniable

November 15, 2014

In his book Undeniable Bill Nye – “the Science Guy” and famed atheist – puts forth his case about why Evolution is “undeniable” and Creation “impossible”.

With his popularity from his TV shows and his notoriety having debated Ken Ham at the Creation Museum, Nye’s book has the potential to influence public opinion if it’s written thoroughly and intelligently. An author of his prestige writing on this subject is worthy of our time and attention.

Therefore, similar to the analyses I performed of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, I’d like to examine Bill’s main points and the structure of his argument supposedly “proving” Evolution and “disproving” Creationism.

A book setting out to “prove” Evolution, but which attacks Creationism on the Age of the Universe?

He summarized his main argument against Creationism in a book summary interview for U.S. News:

It’s just unreasonable. How can you have all these things we observe in nature and then conclude that the Earth is somehow 6,000 years old? Billions of people in the world are devoutly religious, and they’re apparently enriched by the communities that they belong to through their religions. But the Earth is not 6,000 years old.

This is a common tactic of conflating the question of the age of the universe with whether it has a Creator. I can somewhat understand this from Nye, given that his most famed debate on the topic (and no doubt the event which motivated him to gather the notes together which later became this book) was against a Young-earth Creationist, but I am surprised to have to point out that these are actually two completely different questions.

We can see the real reasons for this tactic even more clearly, though, when we consider the scientific evidence for the age of the universe on which Nye can rely (of which there is some), compared to the scientific evidence that the universe – and specifically Life – could have “evolved” without a Creator (evidence which is completely non-existent). For what is supposedly the theme, the main point and in fact the TITLE of his book, that Evolution is “Undeniable”, it is VERY revealing that he chooses to attack Creationism from the side, and in a specific flavor.

Now that we see his reasons for this tactic, I won’t spend too much time pointing out the extreme weakness of that attack itself: “It’s just unreasonable”… “How can you have all these things we observe in nature”…?! “But the Earth is not 6,000 years old”..??!! This is very reminiscent of our review of Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins’ approaches – they obviously haven’t taken the time to study what Creation scientists even say.

Stop for a second and see the true Arrogance of these statements. It seems as though Mr. Nye expects Creationists to read this and say “oh my goodness – he’s right. We hadn’t thought to actually observe the world. What were we thinking?”

Another old tactic: equating technological progress with historical science’s credibility

He then went further in the interview, calling it “ironic” that Creationists use technology in advancing the view that God created the universe:

…there’s a deep irony that [creationists] exploit or take advantage of all that science brings them – Facebook, cellphones… – but then promote the idea that the way we came to have all this is somehow wrong.

This is a tactic I’ve dealt with before in another post, and one which is very common. The truth is that “progress” in technology and experimental science is done right here, right now on an advancing edge of knowledge, whereas Evolution is a narrative theory about what occurred long ago, without any hope of measuring it or observing it, and without any of the correlary evidence Darwin himself stated should be there if his theory were true!

In the book Nye comes right out with this startling claim:

Our understanding of evolution came to us by exactly the same method of scientific discovery that led to printing presses, polio vaccines and smartphones.

Really?! The process of speculating – without any observer being present OR any supporting evidence available to us now – about what has happened in the past, is “exactly the same method” as experimenting with printing presses, vaccines, smart phones, etc. for exploration and incremental improvement??!! He must have different definitions for the words “exactly” and “same” than the rest of us use.

Evolution is so completely different from experimental science and technological advancement that anyone claiming they are identical cannot be mistaken, but must be attempting purposefully to mislead us. He is attempting to borrow the momentum of the (impressive) technological progress in the here and now, for a narrative historical science theory which has no reason for momentum on its own…

The oldest trick of them all: equating micro-evolution with macro-Evolution

Right from the first chapter, he repeatedly trots out what may be the most abused tactic of all in support of Evolution as an explanation of new species, and ultimately of Life itself: using the same “evolution” label for micro-evolution (small e – changes through heredity) as for macro-Evolution (capital E – the appearance of life and new species). From the book:

We all know that evolution happens, because we all have parents. Many of us have, or will have, children. We see the effects of heredity up close and personal…

Ok, I think we can all agree on this – which of course is what he’s counting on… From this he pivots directly to macro-Evolution, without even a wink to confess that he got your head nodding with those first comments in hopes that he could keep it nodding when he unfurls this line of thinking:

…you and I aren’t such a big deal. Humans are just another species on this planet trying to make a go of it, trying to pass our genes into the future, just like chrysanthemums, muskrats, sea jellies, poison ivy and bumblebees… Evolution is one of the most powerful and important ideas ever developed in the history of science. It describes all of life on Earth… It is also the most reasonable creation story that humans have ever found… evolution made us who we are.

So let me get this straight….. the fact that children take on the mixed/combined traits of their parents is proof that Evolution explains the existence and enormous variety of all life on Earth……?

Repeatedly throughout the book, he builds up a head of steam talking about obvious aspects of micro-evolution (small e) and natural selection – children’s traits, our interest in being desirable to the other gender, finch beaks, etc. – only to pivot to generalized comments of how obvious this makes it that Evolution (capital E) has its proof all around us.

Mr. Nye – do you not realize that passing traits to offspring is VERY different from the sudden appearance of brand new species – even more from the original start of Life? Or do you fully realize it but knew that this kind of bait & switch would be effective with enough readers to put some money in your pocket from sales of this book? Either way, you should be ashamed of yourself.

What is Undeniable here is Bill Nye’s arrogance and willingness to abuse logic

The book is full of amateur tactics that he may hope will sound “undeniable” and will impress his pop-science fans, but which he cannot actually expect to influence educated readers.

Christians, there is NO idea big enough to stand against God’s truth! As we’ve studied this supposed “proof” of Evolution, we have seen how weak are his arguments and how loose his reasoning; the book is hardly a proof of anything but the weak intellectual integrity of its author. We can feel confidence in our worldview and in our God, but let us show humility and compassion to those still under the sway of weak secular reasoning like Mr. Nye’s.

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