That’s a hell of an argument

The Christian News Network has caught Bill Nye the Science Guy deliberately and even flagrantly indulging in reasonable thought and rejecting pious fallacies.

In the latest issue of a widely-circulated science magazine, Bill Nye ‘the Science Guy’ defiantly defends his evolutionary beliefs and says that even if he ends up ‘going to Hell,’ it still won’t prove that the earth is young.

Imagine that. You know what else would not be proved if Bill Nye was condemned to Hell by a vengeful God? Lots of things: that the earth was flat, that the sun orbits around the moon, that Jesus was a marmot with an addiction to penny loafers, lots of things. You can threaten people with horrible suffering and/or death unless they believe what you tell them, but that has nothing at all to do with whether or not the things you say are true.

I’m sure the Christian News would admit that when ISIS threatens to kill people who do not convert to Islam, that’s not a legitimate proof that Islam is the one true faith. And it’s no less a fallacy when it’s God who is allegedly issuing the threats. Defying fallacies is actually a good thing. Go Bill!

Of course, no defense of creationism is complete without a good twisted quote mine.

During the debate with Ham, Nye repeatedly claimed that technological developments would not be possible if everyone believed in biblical creation. He reiterated these allegations in the Popular Science article, saying evolutionary “science” makes technology possible.

“We would not have this, all this, without the body of knowledge of science,” he asserted. “And to have people suppress that, ignore that, it’s certainly their First Amendment right, but it’s not in our best interest. And I don’t just mean the people of Kentucky or America, I mean humanity.”

Notice how they snuck the word “evolutionary” in there to make it sound like Nye was claiming that evolution invented computers? But that’s a misquote. He didn’t say “evolutionary science makes technology possible,” he said “the body of knowledge of science” is what enables the things we have today. That’s science, as in checking your answers and adopting those answers that are most consistent with verifiable reality. Science as opposed to gullibility (accepting some story people told you just because they told you). Science as opposed to superstition (attributing things to unobservable magical agents even though you can’t point to any particular connection to them other than your attribution). The reason we have technology today is because we’ve learned to reject superstitious myths and accept reality itself as the ultimate source of infallible revelation. That’s what science is all about.

Of course, Answers in Genesis fired back with an article of their own, trying to make Ken Ham sound like a reasonable and faithful alternative to Bill Nye.

“Both Ken Ham and Bill Nye use reason—the difference is that Bill Nye believes we can use autonomous human reasoning to determine our worldview concerning origins, whereas Ken Ham uses reason with God’s word (the Bible) as the foundation, for using this reason to develop his worldview,” the article states.

The difference is that Ken Ham using  the kind of “reason” that assumes its conclusions up front, before examining any of the arguments or evidence. But that’s not actually reason. That’s rationalization. No one is allowed to measure Ham’s assumed conclusion against the infallible standard of reality. Instead, the Bible is assumed to be the infallible standard, and if reality is not consistent with the Bible, then reality is presumed to be incorrect. That is the essence of the Christian faith, and of creationism, and of gullibility in general. You believe what you’re told, and truth itself cannot persuade you to believe any differently. Meanwhile, reality doesn’t care what you believe, and reasonable men like Bill Nye are wisely putting their money on reality, despite believers’ threats.


  1. Deacon Duncan says

    I left a comment on the Christian News web site; we’ll see how that turns out.

    It’s funny. AiG claims that evolution is false, yet they themselves believe it is true, and their museum even has (or had) an exhibit showing how the millions of modern species today evolved from a relatively few thousands of common ancestors on board the Ark. Genesis can’t account for all the species we have today unless evolution is true, because there are far too many species for a mating pair of each species to fit on board the Ark. AiG’s explanation is that there were only a few thousands of pairs of “kinds” on the Ark, and that all modern species are descended from them. But that’s exactly what On the Origin of Species was describing: new species arising by descent with variation from common ancestors. AiG knows that Darwin was right about new species evolving, AiG needs the evolution of species in order to reconcile Genesis with reality, and yet they still preach that evolution is false.

    Makes you think, doesn’t it?

  2. Jason Chou-fleur says

    Even if evolution is wrong, it does not mean Genesis is true, which seems to be the thinking of the YEC crowd. Genesis to most Christians (at least in western Europe) are allegorical tales, nothing more than ideas of the nature of mankind and his origins. AIGs pathetic attacks on the science community seem to be getting less & less lucid. He bases all of his so-called science on a few pages in a book against millions of published papers. And yet enough people believe him (and worryingly, fund him.

    This is my first post, really like your articles, sorry if this reply is a little dry, I do not want to break any rules or offend anyone.

  3. busterggi says

    “You know what else would not be proved if Bill Nye was condemned to Hell by a vengeful God? ”

    That the all-loving god is really a petty prick?

  4. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    Yes, Jason, and Hello! It’s called a false dichotomy. They just opened up the field to any other explanation, not just their favorite.

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