“Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill Nye the Science Guy!” My days in elementary and middle school science were often filled with episodes of Bill Nye teaching the class, through songs and terrible puns, about gravity, matter and atoms. I had not thought about Bill Nye recently, since high school meant no more fun ways to learn information.
I was surfing YouTube not looking for anything in particular, when I came across an older version of the Bill Nye I was used to seeing. Instead of doing the reading for my Political Science class, I invested two and a half minutes of my life seeing what good ol’ Bill had to say.
In a video put out by the website, BigThink, Nye spoke about the implausibility of creationism and the certainty of evolution. In his opinion, any adult who subjects their child to the belief of creationism is basically ruining our nation’s chances at being competent enough to compete with other nations. Nye stated in the video, “we need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future” and when we “have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in [evolution], it holds everybody back.”
From what, exactly? During the time Nye had to make his point, he said only that our country is being held back by faith in an idea. Instead of stating what the country could be and reinforcing his argument, he skirts the issue and makes blanket comments.
In my opinion, the issue with believing solely in science is that it only explains the how, where, and when. We know that the Big Bang theory is based on actual evidence that has been collected, so I’m not here to debate the validity of such findings, but rather to point out that science cannot explain why these things happened.
Creationism serves as a possible reason for why the world as we know it came into existence. Depending on your religious denomination, the version of how the world came to be may differ, but most end in the same way: a higher power put the necessary components into action.
While Nye is justified in believing that parents shouldn’t just be teaching their children about creationism, he is wrong in thinking that, by informing them of it, parents will hold our nation back.
Faith in things beyond our understanding, things that are bigger than ourselves, are often what drives humans to their full potential in order to make meaning of the life they have been given. To settle with the idea of evolution would be to settle with the idea that, no matter what, someone will look at your life and the way you lived and adjust theirs to ensure they don’t end up like you. It will no longer be about what you have accomplished, but what you didn’t accomplish.
Science and religion go hand in hand. Albert Einstein stated that “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” With that in mind, for Nye to believe so firmly in the need to have evidence to prove everything seems to be a one dimensional way to look at life and all of its wonders. If we don’t believe that there is a reason for our existence, what reason do we have to continue investigating the rest of the world around us?
It is at this point Nye loses me completely because he has been trapped by his own belief. If, as humans, we feel we have no purpose, nothing will be accomplished. This is exactly what Nye believes will happen if the idea of creationism, and others like it, are fostered in the minds of children.
There is nothing wrong with believing in a higher power that gave our universe a push in the right direction toward existence. It means each person has something to strive for because they have meaning. It is that idea that will create new and sleek technology, write the next great novel and find cures for diseases never thought to be within reach. All of these things are certain to come to fruition and can be proven with the evidence Nye so clearly desires even if there is a “portion of the population that doesn’t believe” evolution is the correct mode of thinking.