Friday, October 5, 2012

Bill Nye needs your children...



Children's television personality Bill Nye the Science Guy™has a You Tube video in which he takes parents to task who teach their children to ask questions about Darwinism.

Nye, with my commentary:

Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we're the world's most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens. People still move to the United States. And that's largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science.  
When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in that, it holds everybody back, really. 
The U.S. leads the world in science.

And most Americans reject Darwinism.

That would seem to suggest that "denial" of evolution doesn't hold America back. It might even suggest that it makes our science better.

I'm not sure I understand Bill's logic.

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology.

Nye is an atheist, by the way.


It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates.
Several differences between the theory of tectonic plates and Darwinism:

The theory of tectonic plates isn't the atheist creation myth masquerading as science.

The theory of tectonic plates isn't a tautology ('plates that move, move').

And people can ask questions about tectonic plates in schools without being sued in federal court.

Oh, and one other difference: the theory of tectonic plates, unlike Darwinism, isn't some ideologically-motivated junk science that held back research in molecular genetics for a half century (the theory of 'Junk Tectonic Plates' never really took hold)


You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

"You're not going to get the right answer" about evolution sounds like indoctrination, not science. I thought science was about asking questions, without censorship, not about "getting the right answer".

As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, "When you're in love you want to tell the world."

Sagan, like Nye, was in love with atheism. It shows in his science.

So, once in a while I get people that really—or that claim—they don't believe in evolution.

Actually, most people don't believe in evolution, if by "evolution" you mean Bill Nye's atheist creation myth.
 

And my response generally is "Well, why not? Really, why not?"

The truth is that Nye and his Darwinist buddies don't really ask people to explain why they are skeptical of Darwinism. Actually, asking questions about Darwinism really pisses them off. The whole point of the Darwinist "education program" is to prevent you from asking questions. They take you to federal court if you ask questions about Darwinism in school, and they fire you if you are a scientist who asks questions.


Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution.

You get taken to court and fired.

I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they're at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent. 

Nye lumps all Darwin skeptics-- teleologists, ID folks, old-earth creationists,  in with young-earth creationists. Young earth creationists at least believe that there is an Intelligent Cause to existence and life.

Nye believes, much more rationally, that everything comes from nothing and that life evolved by survival of survivors. That's scientific.

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,


Thank you Mr. Nye, for permitting 150 million Americans to hold their deepest personal beliefs.

... but don't make your kids do it because we need them.

You need our kids? What the hell do you need them for? They're not your kids, Mr. Nye.

You've already admitted that this 'most creationist country in the West'-- the United States-- is the world's leader in science.  Not bad for a nest of creationists. Would reciting Darwinist orthodoxy make us the world's leading leader in science?

Again: what, pray tell, do you need our kids for?


We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.

Oh. He needs them to give money to scientists.


We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.

Engineering is intelligent design. What does that have to do with Darwin?

It's just really hard a thing, it's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist. There's no evidence for it.

Bill Nye the Science Guy™and his atheist co-religionists are trying damn hard to make sure that belief in God doesn't exist much longer. They need your kids to help them. Actually, atheists have already tried really hard, with a substantial body count to show for it. Now they need your kids to help them, and they'll drag you to federal court if you try to ask questions about atheist "science" in your kids' schools.

I must say that atheists' efforts to exterminate belief in God has hit some bumps in the road. We believers can be a bit persistent.



42 comments:

  1. Oh let's see what Francisco Ayala, winner of the 2010 Templeton Prize and former Dominican priest says about evolution:

    "The overwhelming majority of biologists accept evolution. Those who know professionally the evidence for evolution cannot deny it. Scientists agree that the evolutionary origin of animals and plants is a scientific conclusion beyond reasonable doubt. The evidence is compelling and all-encompassing because it comes from all biological disciplines including those that did not exist in Darwin's time. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Darwin and other biologists obtained convincing evidence from a variety of disciplines, which had reached early maturity during the nineteenth century: anatomy, embryology, biogeography, geology, and paleontology. Since Darwin's time, the evidence for evolution has become much stronger and more comprehensive, coming not only from traditional sources but also from recent disciplines such as genetics, biochemistry, ecology, ethology, neurobiology, and molecular biology.

    ... Because the evidence is so overwhelming, ... evidence for evolution no longer engages the interest of biologists except when explaining evolution to the public or arguing with those who refuse to accept evolution. Although not sought and no longer needed, the evidence for the fact of evolution continues to accumulate.
    "

    It looks like you are pretty far out on a limb pretty much all by yourself on this one Egnor. There's a reason your Discovery Institute buddies are laughed at. Its because they, like you, contribute nothing of value to the scientific effort.

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    1. The Darwin debate isn't scientific, it's philosophical and ideological, and we're cleaning your clock.

      The DI (which is a tiny non-profit with annual expenditures of a community college biology department) has radically changed the debate, and you are getting your ass kicked.

      Heh.

      Delete
    2. The Darwin debate isn't scientific, it's philosophical and ideological, and we're cleaning your clock.

      If by "cleaning your clock" you mean "getting laughed at because you're ridiculously silly", then you'd be right.

      You are right on one thing: the Darwin debate isn't scientific. The science is settled. Darwin won. The Darwin debate is political, and your side is populated entirely by scientifically vacuous political ideologues.

      The DI (which is a tiny non-profit with annual expenditures of a community college biology department) has radically changed the debate, and you are getting your ass kicked.

      Scientifically? Not at all. The DI hasn't been able to demonstrate any of their silly ideas are valid science in any way shape of form.

      I seem to recall Dover v. Kistmiller, where the DI members ran like scared children rather than testify after Behe got shown to be the scientific ignoramus that he is. Every time the DI has played on a level playing field, it has run scared. Just like you.

      All you and your DI cronies are are scared children, running from any real fight that threatens your precious and indefensible claims.

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    3. @anon:

      Yea. We sure act scared.

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    4. One might also point out that the biology department of most community colleges produces more useful material in one semester than the DI has produced in its entire existence.

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    5. Yea. We sure act scared.

      You ran away from Dover v. Kitzmillter.

      You run away from doing any research to try to prove your claims. You run away from peer review. You run away from anything resembling a real test of your claims.

      You're terrified. Its obvious to anyone who pays any attention at all to you children.

      Delete
    6. Then you have nothing to fear from us.

      Rest well.

      Delete
    7. No one "fears" the ID movement. You're a localized American phenomenon that won't hinder science in the long run. If real science isn't studied in the U.S., it will be studied elsewhere. The only people the ID movement could hurt would be the American children you hope to miseducate with your mythology.

      Thus far you have lost on all fronts. And managed to contribute exactly zero to the advancement of science.

      Delete
    8. The entire Scientific Enlightenment since the 16th century, really tracing to Bacon in the 13th century, has been based on the inference to design in nature.

      The inference that everything came from nothing and survivors survived is an ideological fad from the 19th century, which is dying fast. 1989 and 1991 were particularly bad years for it.

      Darwinism is a silly ideological mistake; it really has little to do with science, which pays little attention to it anyway, except an occasional hat tip, like protection money.

      The recent avalanche of papers refuting the junk DNA crap is a signal from the highest echelons of science that they are fed up with your Lysenkoism as well.

      You assholes know it (cf Larry Moran, Pigliucci).

      Pretty funny to watch.

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    9. The recent avalanche of papers refuting the junk DNA crap is a signal from the highest echelons of science that they are fed up with your Lysenkoism as well.

      You are so funny when you try to talk about science. Who was it who wrote those papers? Was it members of the "ID movement"? Nope. They were written aby actual scientists who remain convinced of the truth of Darwinism, despite your bleating.

      But since the "ID movement" is comprised of scientific half-wits who cannot do their own research, you glom on to actual work and try to pretend it means something it doesn't.

      You are a truly pathetic bunch. Maybe if you did some actual scientific research your "movement" might be taken seriously. But if you did, you'd have to face the fact that the evidence doesn't support your silly presuppositions, so you won't.

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    10. Darwinism has held back research in molecular genetics for 40 years with its "junk DNA" hypothesis. It is the worst mistake ever made in the field, and it is entirely because molecular geneticists took Darwinian inferences seriously.

      Much of the slap-down that Nature and the ENCODE gave you Darwinists was motivated by their disgust with your junk science and the damage it has done to their work.

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    11. Darwinism has held back research in molecular genetics for 40 years with its "junk DNA" hypothesis.

      Oh yes, it held it back so much that the field has advanced by leaps and bounds. How much assistance have your DI buddies given to that effort? Oh right, zero.

      It is the worst mistake ever made in the field, and it is entirely because molecular geneticists took Darwinian inferences seriously.

      And they still do, your childish rantings notwithstanding.

      Much of the slap-down that Nature and the ENCODE gave you Darwinists was motivated by their disgust with your junk science and the damage it has done to their work.

      ENCODE was done by mainstream scientists dealing with actual science. It is no more a "slap down" of "Darwinists" than finding DNA in the first place was. How many of your DI buddies were involved in any way with the ENCODE research? Oh that's right, none. But since you are too intellectually stunted to comprehend anything about ENCODE, and you don't have any research conducted by your allies to point to, you have to try to mischaracterize it to prop up your failed ideology.

      It will be very amusing to see you try to explain away the ENCODE data in a year or two when it becomes painfully obvious that it not only doesn't support your claims, it serves as yet more refutation of them.

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    12. Was the Darwinist prediction that the vast majority of the genome is junk correct?

      Delete
  2. “The truth is that Nye and his Darwinist buddies don't really ask people to explain why they are skeptical of Darwinism”

    That’s because all their arguments have been refuted a thousand times over. It’s frustrating having to deal with moronic ideologues who don’t know how to crack a book.

    -KW

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    1. Michael,

      A 'book' is a carbon-based data retrieval unit.

      Delete
    2. I thought that's what a grad student is.

      Delete
  3. "The U.S. leads the world in science.

    And most Americans reject Darwinism."


    And that would mean something if the majority of Americans were scientists doing science where the science gets done. But they're not. The majority of American scientists doing the science where the science get done do consider evolution to be the most substantiated explanation.

    Here are the most common American jobs from May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.htm


    First Time Caller (calling Again)

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    1. So if most children don't become scientists, and our country leads the world in science as is, what is so pressing about indoctrinating our non-science majority in your creation myth?

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    2. Because I would think even the American education system is based on preparing children with the best possible pool of skills, correct information and experience they can draw from before they specialise in whatever field they're going to go into in adulthood. That's how it seems to work here. Not every child will require Craft and Design (I believe that's Shop in the US), Art, Chemistry, etc in their job but they still do it as part of their education curriculum. What you seem to be advocating is some sort of policy where it's okay to tell children whatever you want if they're maybe not going to use it later.

      "Creation myth". Yes, very droll, sir.

      First Time Caller (Calling Again)

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    3. FTC:

      "Because I would think even the American education system is based on preparing children with the best possible pool of skills, correct information and experience they can draw from before they specialise in whatever field they're going to go into in adulthood."

      So you believe that they should be taught the intelligent design debate-- pro and con-- in schools, so they can engage the debate as adults?

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    4. So you believe that they should be taught the intelligent design debate

      No, because sophistry such as ID has no place in science class.

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    5. But ID is merely the affirmative answer to the question "is there evidence for design in biology?", of which Darwinism is the negative answer.

      If ID is a philosophical argument (sophistry), its negation is, by definition, a philosophical argument.

      If "there is design in biology" is not science, then "there is no design in biology" isn't science either.

      ID and Darwinism are the same kind of assertion, with mirror image-- yes and no-- claims. Their status as science stands and falls as one.

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    6. ID and Darwinism are the same kind of assertion, with mirror image-- yes and no-- claims.

      And with this sort of statement you demonstrate conclusively that you don't even understand the basic science that elementary school children comprehend.

      It must be very difficult being so dense and ignorant.

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    7. No, because I don't think children should be exposed to partisan political ideology or faith based opinion masquerading as science in the guise of education. Proponents of creationism, ID or even Raelism, such as the Truth in Science group, are perfectly free to advocate what they want in their own homes and churches though. The reason these groups are not allowed to discuss such ideas in our schools is because they also tend to have a number of very poor misapprehensions on other scientifically verifiable and accepted issues.

      First Time Caller (Calling Again)

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    8. Dawkins and his co-religionists make the strong case that Darwinism is intellectual fulfillment for atheists. Does this disqualify it from classrooms? Of course you will claim that it is the scientific consensus, but I reply that creationism was the scientific consensus at least until the past century.

      Was it constitutional to teach creationism in schools in 1925 (Scopes), when (say for argument's sake) most scientists believed in creationism? How about 1825?

      Should we poll scientists about their belief, and continuously adjust our Establishment Clause jurisprudence according to the polls?

      Delete
  4. Another point Bill Nye might want to consider.

    When Alfred Wegener first proposed tectonic plates in the early 20th century, he was a voice in the wilderness. It was not part of the scientific "consensus" of his time. People thought he was dead wrong. Even the experts. Especially the experts.

    The scientific consensus came around to his way of thinking, but it took about fifty years. He was "outside of the mainstream" you could say. The reason why the consensus changed is because people challenged it. Challenging a scientific theory is not "hating science." It's quite the opposite. Just don't try to tell that to a global warming true believer who will tell you what you must think and accuse you of being a "science hater" if you ask questions or come to a different conclusion.

    Wegener was also derided because he was a meteorologist and not a geologist. He was therefore not qualified to speak on the matter. And yet he was right.

    JQ

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    1. @JQ:

      I thought "science" meant never asking questions and never thinking for myself. If I'm outside the mainstream, I must be wrong. The group is always right. That's what my college professor told me.

      I think you hate science. You're really holding us back.

      Joey

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    2. JQ:

      Excellent point. There are many parallels between Wegener and the ID movement.

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    3. There are zero parallels between Wegener and the ID movement. When Wegener's critics pointed out that he had insufficient support for his theory, he went back and gathered more data, did more research, and did the legwork necessary to support his theory. The theory was accepted because the evidence that he and others gathered supported it.

      The "ID movement" has never done the legwork necessary to support its theories. The ID movement is an entirely political animal pushing a theory that is devoid of evidentiary support. There has never been a useful scientific discovery to come out of the ID movement. In fact, they don't even check their own claims. They just shout their hypotheses loudly and hope that a real scientist will check for them. And then the IDers whine when it turns out that work that is done doesn't support their favored conclusion.

      ID is a scientific vacuum of uselessness. It is a scientifically, ideologically, and philosophically bankrupt political movement pushed by charlatans and liars.

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    4. I don't know much about the ID movement. I do know that liberals like to "win" debates by refusing to engage in them. They believe in the arena of ideas, just as long as they are the only gladiators in it.

      Their favorite tactic to insulate themselves from criticism is to put their ideas behind a sanitized glass pane of unquestionability. Here are a few of their favorite phrases: "This is a civil rights issue." (If they say that, they never have to explain why it's a good idea.) "You can't legislate morality." (Except, apparently, to force racist restaurant owners to serve black customers, then you can legislate morality.) And my favorite, "It's just science." If they call it science, they think it becomes unquestionable. Real scientists know that everything in science is questionable, and they never demand that you treat what they say as dogma.

      I have never cared much for the debate between Darwinists and IDers. Maybe they're both wrong.

      JQ

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    5. I do know that liberals like to "win" debates by refusing to engage in them.

      The Darwin/ID "debate" (such as it is) is not a debate between conservatives and liberals. It is a debate between science and the lunatics. Many conservatives are squarely on the side of science on this: look at Ayala, a former Dominican priest has to say about the subject. He's no liberal, and yet he points out that ID is an empty cause.

      If one pays attention to such things, one would note that the Catholic Church has come out in favor of evolution. Egnor, despite professing himself to be a devout Catholic, is at odds with the Pope on this issue. The only people who support ID are (1) the ignorant, and (2) the charlatans.

      Egnor is a charlatan.

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    6. "But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

      If you didn't get it, creationists are Bozo the Clown.

      Delete
  5. JQ,

    No. Wegener didn't propose tectonic plates. He proposed continental drift, which was rejected because its only partially correct. It's an incomplete theory.

    AGW is correct because of the well known and understood physical properties of greenhouse gases. Without greenhouse gases, the average global temperature would be -18C instead of 15C, a 33C warming, because of the well understood property of absorbing infrared radiation and retaining heat.

    Humans are adding CO2 to the atmosphere at 2-3 ppmv per year increasing CO2 levels from 270 ppmv preindustrial to 390 ppmv resulting in a 0.7C increase in global temperature.

    What will be the increase if we are lucky and manage to limit the increase to 450 ppmv by 2050?

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    1. Why has the global temp stabilized over the past decade, while CO2 has continued to rise?

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    2. 390 ppmv - 270 ppvm = 120 ppmv for 0.7C
      450 ppmv - 390 ppvm = 60 ppvm for 0.35C

      Nice balmy weather and a boost to agriculture. Great future!

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    3. Sorry, I meant to say continental drift.

      Actually, they told him to shut up and stick to meteorology. He stood outside the mainstream for his time. He was right and the consensus was wrong. That's because science isn't done by consensus.

      The problem with global warming fanatics is that they discount the natural ups and downs of temperature that existed long before the burning of fossil fuels, which is why they had to invent their fake hockey stick graph.

      The historical temperature, as represented by the IPCC's second report, was probably correct. It's at least the best representation we have.

      The problem was that it hardly supported the theory. A keen observer might notice that while temperature is now showing a rising trend, it is not outside of historical ranges. He might notice that it was warmer during the Middle Ages than it is now. He might notice that we're still coming out of the Little Ice Age. He might notice that temperature is not static, but rises and falls all the time, with no help at all from man.

      And thus they had to scrap their own graph and come up with one that supported the theory. They fudged their asses off to get the graph they wanted, and now they expect to be taken seriously because they're the smartest scientists in their field, and we're laymen. (By the way, the people who made the graph from the IPCC second report were also experts.)

      And now, whenever you say something to the extent that the earth was warmer during the Middle Ages, they accuse you of "lying." You're lying because that one has been "debunked" by the now debunked hockey stick graph.

      JQ

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    4. You're lying because that one has been "debunked" by the now debunked hockey stick graph.

      No, you're lying (or ignorant) because it has been debunked by data.

      Delete
    5. JQ,

      Evolutionary biology, AGW and tectonic plate geology are 'correct' (the parentheses are necessary because no scientific theory is ever complete), because they all have mechanisms underlying them.

      Continental drift, Intelligent Design and the absence of any relationship between increasing CO2 levels and temperature are incorrect or at least not science because they don't have any plausible mechanism.

      ID is 'God did something somewhere somewhen for completely unknown reasons and by completely unknown mechanisms'.

      Continental drift wasn't accepted because Wegener didn't have a mechanism for moving the continents. It's actually ironic that you mention Wegener in relation to evolution. One of the evidences that Darwin used to support origin of species was the geographic distribution of species; species on oceanic islands resemble those on the nearest continent, not each other, even though the climate on oceanic islands is similar, and a Creator could have put the same set of species on oceanic islands of similar latitude, but didn't. Wegener used the same argument, the geographic distribution of the same fossil plant on a limited number of continents to support continental drift.

      If you want to reject AGW then you have to explain why the logic is incorrect:

      Greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation emitted from the Earth, retaining heat and warming the atmosphere. Without greenhouse gases, the average global temperature would be -18C instead of 15C.

      Increasing greenhouse gases will cause more infrared radiation to be absorbed, causing more retention of heat and increased warming.

      Humans are dumping 9 billion tonnes of carbon in the form of CO2 each year increasing CO2 levels at 2-3 ppmv per year.

      Therefore humans are causing global warming over the temperature the Earth would otherwise have had. This last point is important, because greenhouse gases aren't the only factor determining global temperature. There are other factors too, such as solar output, aerosols from volcanic activity, changes in oceanic currents as with el Niño/la Nina events, etc which can work in opposite directions, which is why temperature graphs wriggle around a trend line.

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  6. Never liked Nye.
    Always saw him as a materialist idiot.
    This is yet another confirmation.
    I almost feel sorry for him. Look at that tie.... man.

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  7. The contempt I have for creationists (including IDiots) is endless.

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