Recently the well-known, Bill Nye the Science Guy, posted a Youtube video entitled, “Bill Nye: Why Creationism is Inappropriate for Children.” It has received 4.6 million views and counting. The jist of the video is that Creationists make for incompetent scientists and that we do our children a grave disservice by teaching them Intelligent Design.
This isn’t the first time Bill Nye has expressed his disparaging views on Creationism and Intelligent Design. In an interview with PopularMechanics.com, he said:
“Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong.“
It would seem Bill Nye is conflating historical science with operational science by using the word science synonymously with evolution. In the above quote he lists the examples of the Internet and weather forecasting, and in later dialogue mentions physicians and vaccine makers and those researching cures for cancer – fully equating the science of biology with evolution. He goes on to say:
“Gravity is a theory. People have landed spacecraft on the moon within a few feet of accuracy because we understand gravity so well. People make flu vaccinations that stop people from getting sick. Farmers raise crops with science; they hybridize them and make them better with every generation. That’s all evolution. Evolution is a theory, and it’s a theory that you can test. We’ve tested evolution in many ways. You can’t present good evidence that says evolution is not a fact.”
Evolution is a theory (which yes, may well be a fact too, I’m not contending that) about our initial origins which states that after a cosmic “Big Bang,” which came from nothing, we gradually and blindly evolved by pure chance over billions of years through genetic mutations and natural selection. This is called “historical science” because it happened before we existed, and no one can travel back in time to witness the alleged transaction of events. (More accurately, it ought to be called pre-historical science, since it all took place before recorded history.) Evolutionary scientists admit that they don’t know what happened before the Big Bang and this is what I want to address.
See, according to the Big Bang theory*, there was absolutely nothing, I mean nothing, and then suddenly that nothingness expanded and the universe came into existence.
Take a moment to look around you and realize that at one time (before Time began) we are told there was absolutely nothing. No doubt you are envisioning empty space, like a starless black sky or an all-encompassing white horizon; but here’s the hitch, you’re still picturing matter (particles, atoms) and space and dimension. Even a so-called empty vacuum quantum field is something that is real, something that exists, something that we can’t help picturing in our minds. Try to picture absolute nothingness and you’ll find the brain is forced to create space for its thoughts.
To claim that science has disproved the existence of an intelligent Creator or that science will eventually disprove it, is to say that even though man wasn’t there to witness the universe before the universe began and before there was linear Time, we are nevertheless completely certain that there was no God there who decided to make it. Of course, being unable to prove the existence of something doesn’t mean that it therefore exists, that’s not my point. What I actually want to look at is the ad infinitum conundrum: If there was an empty vacuum quantum field prior to the Big Bang, where did that come from? And then whatever that was, where did it come from, and back and back forever.
The evolution which Bill Nye purports we “can test” is actually nothing like the macro evolution of our so-called origins (i.e. a single-celled organism evolving into a complex animal over millions of years, and one kind of animal transforming into a different kind). He is referring only to micro evolution (DNA and the ability to adapt or mutate in concordance with the genetic blueprint/disposition of a species; like the many varieties of dog breeds, or grapes which can be made seedless). Contrary to slanderous media representation, micro evolution (genetics) is perfectly in line with the theories of creation science / intelligent design. What people fail to understand is that micro evolution does not produce the new and improved genetic information of a different kind as the theorized macro evolution would; it simply shuffles around its already existing deck of cards for each species, rearranging what was there to begin with. A wolf and a dog are both still canines at the end of the day.
See, in order for a full-fledged ape to evolve, followed by a sentient man, there would need to be an endless succession of genetic additions; brand new organs, for example, as well as genders and complementary reproductive systems. I’m not saying this didn’t happen, I’m only questioning how this could happen randomly without being an utter disaster. In real life, that is, life that we can see and test, babies and animals alike are born normal or with birth defects. Seeds are removed from fruit, making them sterile. Genes can be rearranged. People can have brown hair or blond hair, blue eyes or green, dark skin or light; dogs can be short or tall or long-haired or wire-haired. These are variances within the species, a built-in genetic ability for diversity. Bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics just as we can develop resistance to certain diseases by producing antibodies (or obversely, we can develop resistance to benign things too, as is the case with allergies). But our children are not born resistant to disease because of the antibodies we developed in our lifetime, and that’s why the vaccine programs are still necessary.
We are not improving over time, we are degenerating. Scientists may one day figure out how to remove predisposition for disease from embryos, or how to change hair or eye color, but this will have been done through intelligent manipulation and design, which incidentally is the exact opposite pattern of our supposed origins (random, blind chance).
There is one major flaw in Bill Nye’s view and here it is:
He said we built spacecrafts and landed on the moon because of the laws of gravity, that we developed vaccines and antibiotics to heal the sick, that farmers learned to hybridize to improve their crops. But spacecrafts didn’t evolve over time, the vaccines and antibiotics didn’t grow randomly out of nothing and situate themselves in capsules and bottles; watermelons and oranges didn’t evolve away their seeds through mutation (and they wouldn’t anyway, for then they couldn’t reproduce); and crops didn’t gradually develop pesticides to spray on themselves, or irrigation systems to water themselves.
Man did this.
Human beings developed these things. They learned from the science and biology all around them, which can be tested in a lab, learned how things worked and about the laws of the universe, and then applying those sciences, began to create their own adaptations and manipulations through engineering. Or in other words, operational science.
Bill Nye, guess what: This is called INTELLIGENT DESIGN.
A few months ago, I was listening to a Ricky Gervais podcast where he discussed with Karl Pilkington how the computer chip is made from sand. Ricky is an atheist and I’ve also seen him mock creationists for believing that God formed man out of the dust of the earth. So, let me get this straight: man can create and design and build a computer chip (which is much like the human brain) out of sand, but the idea that God made man (and the human brain) from dust is lunacy?
In his YouTube video, Bill Nye mentioned the necessity of believing in evolution in order to be a good engineer, but what does an engineer do? He designs things and builds them. Engines do not build themselves blindly. It’s impossible. Nor is the engineer born knowing how to build an engine. He has to first learn the science behind it; which is clearly not that machines evolve randomly by chance. We build upon the knowledge of those who came before us, and we learn through trial and error (i.e. testing theories). We study the findings of those who came before and then we add our own discoveries to them. This is how technology “evolves” and there’s nothing random about it. A heart surgeon does not need to believe that the human heart evolved randomly over millions of years in order to know and understand how the heart runs today. Whether the engineer or the physician believes he was created by God or just by chance is completely and utterly irrelevant to his ability to build a machine and to fix a heart.
I’ll conclude with this excerpt from an essay called, “Two Lectures,” written by C.S. Lewis more than half a century ago:
“On any view, the first beginning must have been outside the ordinary processes of nature. An egg which came from no bird is no more ‘natural’ than a bird which had existed from all eternity. And since the egg-bird-egg sequence leads us to no plausible beginning, is it not reasonable to look for the real origin somewhere outside sequence altogether? You have to go outside the sequence of engines, into the world of men, to find the real originator of the Rocket. Is it not equally reasonable to look outside Nature for the real Originator of the natural order?“
*Note: An atheist asked me how there could be an uncreated Creator, if the theory of Intelligent Design were true.
Well, we know the universe had a beginning. The evolutionists claim the earth is 4.54 billion years old and that the universe began 13.7 billion years before that with the Big Bang. Based on the laws of causality, we know there is both a cause and a corresponding effect for everything. And as Aristotle pointed out, there is also magnetism / attraction which controls the heavenly bodies – the stars and other planets in their rotations. One thing must always first attract. So, taking cause and effect as well as magnetism into consideration, something had to have triggered the Big Bang (or the empty quantum vacuum field), and “nothing” is a strange catalyst to claim indeed, especially in the name of science.
But that aside, like the egg-bird-egg sequence, cause and effect can not go backward forever. Why? Because of Linear Time. Time as we know it began when the universe came into existence (or at least, after the Big Bang). There was indeed a starting point. And whatever triggered this starting point would have to have had no beginning (or we still would not have found the First Cause, the true beginning, the uncaused cause). This Uncaused Cause, before Time began, would thus have to be eternal: outside of both the universe and linear time. In a word, God.