Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Keep Creationism Away from Children - Bill Nye

by Salman Hameed

Here is Bill Nye simply saying that evolution is an essential concept in biology, and if we want a scientifically literate society, then it is important to understand it. And for the sake of the future, keep the children away from the idiocy of creationism. This is a short 2 minute video - and I agree with his basic message. I liked his analogy of biology without evolution is like geology without plate tectonics. But what I didn't like was the sole focus on young earth creationism (YEC) - the idea that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. I know that this is the most popular form of creationism in the US, but this is  a geology/astronomy problem and not a problem of biology. If one starts with the premise that the world was created with the last 10,000 years, then the implausibility of evolution would naturally follow from that. From science communications perspective, I think it is better to separate out the the problem of understanding deep time and the fact that species have evolved over billions of years. By the way, this simple video has generated quite a bit of a reaction in the comments - and the video has been viewed 2.5 million times!

We have been looking at the responses to evolution in the Muslim world and find that young Earth creationism is completely missing (though biological evolution - and in particular, human evolution, is rejected by a significant part of the population, depending on the country). The only place it has popped its head is amongst some Muslim groups in North-America - which is a fantastic example of how cultural influences shape these views. 

7 comments:

Faisal said...

Bill Nye should read 'God is nto a Delusion'. then he will understand that creationism is, after all, worth teaching. :)

Salman Hameed said...

Faisal,
You know that "creationism" is a particular idea against evolution (that all species have been created as is - and that there has been no change of species)? This is not an argument about God (at least not a God that can work through the laws of nature...).

Faisal said...

Salman, I think it depends on how you define 'Creationism'.

Creationism, as I have seen in the debates between 'creationists' and evolutionists, have been defined in any of the following way.

1. God created all animals in their form and that has not been altered ever since.
2. God created all animals through evolution and is involved in every step.
3. God created a mechanism through which animals will evolve but is not involved in the process since then.

Then there is the creation of the universe.
1. God created the universe in six calendar days.
2. God created the universe in six phases.

For some, the moment you mention God, you are a creationist. So I disagree that it is "not an argument about God."

This is also why i recomend to read Dr Ali's book -- God is not a Delusion. :)

Faisal said...

In case someone is wondering ...
The link to Dr Ali's book is given below.

https://www.createspace.com/3772911

Thanks Salman, in advance.
Hope this does not get filtered out.

Apple Jam said...

Faisal, Creationism is religion-based it's not science. It should stay out of schools for this reason. Please educate yourself and think before making such ignorant statements. :)

Faisal said...

@ Apple Jam

"Faisal, Creationism is religion-based it's not science. It should stay out of schools for this reason. Please educate yourself and think before making such ignorant statements. :)"

Tell me one good reason why ONLY science should be taught in schools.

Please think before you call others's statements ignorant. BTW, statements cannot be ignorant. :)

Charles Wallace said...

@Faisal
"Tell me one good reason why ONLY science should be taught in schools."

Apple Jam didn't write that, did he?
Besides science, arts and sports are also important.

And if you want to teach creationism, then why not also telepathy classes, or courses in levitation?