© Original content written by James R. Carlson
Bill Nye, an evolutionist, and Ken Ham, a creationist, had a debate in February 2014 in which they discussed the topic of whether or not Creationism could stand in the modern context of science. Nye has taken the liberty to write a book, Undeniable (2014), in which he attempts to present a concise view of evolution. Nye presents his thesis of evolution with philosophical zeal but as I read his book I was struck with the fact that he never offered solid empirical evidence of evolution’s reality. Future debates should discuss the question of whether or not Evolution can stand in the context of modern (empirical) science. This review of Bill Nye’s book explores just that question.
History of Evolution
Bill Nye is a great teacher of ideas, even false ones. He got his name, the ‘science guy’ by teaching young people about science on TV. However, he is missing many points of history as he tries to teach us about the evolution of evolution itself.
We can go back into history as far as ancient myth or ancient philosophy born of ancient myth to find the historic roots of evolution. But let’s fast forward to the ideas of science linked with medieval alchemy in 16th and 17th century Europe. History records that 17th century Alchemy led to 18th century Transformationism, which led to 19th century Evolution. Not only was Lamarck an 18th century French Transformationist, Erasmus Darwin (Charles Darwin’s grandfather) was 18th century English Transformationist. Evolution in the 19th century came from the old metaphysical ideas of alchemy.
The argument of 17th century alchemy would go like this, ‘the same material substance found in the species of lead is also in the species of gold, just in different forms. But through the process of the transformation of species, lead can become gold.’ Fast forward to the 19th century the argument would go like this, ‘the same material substance (protoplasm, protein, albumin, etc.) that is in the species of an amoeba is in the species of a man, just in different forms in the amoeba and man. But through the process of the transformation of species, an amoeba can become man.’ These are the exact same arguments of metaphysics. Modern evolutionary theory is nothing more than 19th century biological alchemy.
Nye went on to praise Lamarck’s Complexifying Force (Le pouvoir de la vie). Rejecting the chemistry of Lavoisier (father of modern chemistry), Lamarck believed in the basic elements of alchemy in the 18th century. His view of biology was also influenced by alchemy as he believed living organisms spontaneously generated (an alchemical idea) from simple forms and developed into more complex forms up a ladder of progress by the action of a complexifying force on matter. Nye’s stands firmly on this foundation of alchemy – a foundation that will crumble.
Nye missed the historical fact that Darwin’s only degree earned in college was in Theology; he was a failed med. student beforehand. Darwin was an avid reader of William Paley’s Natural Theology and even lived in his dormitory while in school. Darwin also read the Bridgewater Treatises and became intimately familiar with the ideas of natural theology from them. Darwin was eager to become a member of the English Clergy who traditionally studied natural science in support of natural theology as a part of their work (Joseph Priestly, etc.).
Darwin’s natural theology was natural selection; he rejected the divine selection idea. Darwin also rejected the idea of a spiritual agent acting in nature to make changes in species and embraced a view of materialism that he grew up with in the Unitarian religion. Modern evolutionary theory still carries the theology of Darwin’s materialism as a central thesis of evolution.
In fact, Creationism and Evolution are both the grandchildren of 19th century natural theology. We are distant cousins born of the same family tree and as members of the same family, we argue over natural theology using the philosophical tool of Induction. Induction was used in the 19th century to support arguments of natural theology and it is still being used today by both sides. Sadly, as Induction cannot refute an errant thesis, these debates will never end. Only empirical science can refute an errant thesis.
Politics of Evolution
Nye is not careful in telling us how to live our lives. From preventing the onslaught of future asteroids, to taking care of our crops, and promoting genetic stem cell research, Bill Nye is busy helping us along the evolutionary time scale. Yet while Nye is busy helping us, he neglects the dangers in promoting man directed evolution.
We witnessed the horrors of eugenics during the Nazi holocaust that killed 11 million people. Margaret Sanger, an American eugenics advocate helped found Planned Parenthood that has killed another 55 babies in an American holocaust. Eugenics is a product of man directed evolution that has killed literally millions of people as a result.
Racism is at the root of evolution as Darwin’s title proves: On the Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Nye attempts an argument around this but continues to embrace the idea of monkeys-to-man evolution that is inherently racist. Man directed evolution will always have the stain of racism.
These are but two examples of the horrors of man directed evolution that are based upon history. Man direct evolution cannot produce beneficial progress for mankind. However, Nye feels compelled to try and he is ready to produce results.
- Global vs Polar Warming (Chapter 14)
Nye is convinced he’s in the catbird seat, able to save our planet from global warming – my hero! However, the idea of global warming is not based upon empirical science as much as science speculation. Following the data one may derive a different viewpoint.
Empirical data from NASA data graphs reveal that the warming trend on our planet is centered on the poles, especially the North Pole. This is why polar bears are floating on ice cubes. Further empirical data (from northern Alaska and Oklahoma) reveals that nature-made CO2 levels are rising without any contribution from man-made CO2. [NASA Data Graphs: <http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/a004200/a004252/2014_update_robinson_composite.mp4>, <https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=4252#>; CO2 Data <http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/>]
For those acquainted with science, we are supposed to follow the data not speculation. Real science follows the data to make conclusions. Instead of global warming caused by man-made CO2 production it appears we are experiencing polar warming caused by nature-made CO2; at least that’s how I read the data.
The earth has experience magnetic pole reversals, mini-ice ages, etc. throughout its history. However, Bill Nye is not content to allow nature its role without his intervention. The real problem isn’t that the temperature is rising. The problem is that the hunger for power is rising. Man directed evolution puts men like Bill Nye into the seat of power over mankind making him god.
Bill Nye has clearly said that the children of pastors need to be rescued (Chapter 2) from their parents and indoctrinated with evolutionary thinking. While he is content to indoctrinate other children in public schools with his view of evolution, he is not in favor of a parent’s right to choose the best education for their own children. As creationism has been kicked out of public schools, evolution should also be removed. Instead of teaching the philosophy, theology, and metaphysics of evolution we should be teaching biology, chemistry, and physics of empirical science. Let’s put science back into science curriculum.
Nye even thinks there needs to be a religious test for voters that would exclude creationists from voting (Chapter 2). The idea of voting rights is lost in his world of man directed evolution. This is a throwback to the day of the Nazi’s who put Jews in ghettos. Putting creationists into political ghettos is extreme and dangerous. Nye is fast becoming a fascist.
Nye criticizes religious people in general who do not understand science but continue to use it (Chapter 31). He thinks a little knowledge in the hands of the wrong people is a dangerous thing. Pro-lifers use the science of embryology to advocate a religious viewpoint that he disagrees with. However, as evolutionists support abortion they suggest the fetus is not yet a baby (based on Recapitulation). This idea has led to the mass slaughter of millions of innocent babies and the rape of as many women at the hands of an abortionist. Indeed, Nye’s lack of understanding is terribly dangerous.
Nye is so convinced that his religious beliefs are right, he thinks he has a right to put people in jail who disagree with him (chapter 31). This is a throwback to the days when Nazi science imprisoned people for having different viewpoints on the science of the master race. If you equated Jews with Germans you were being unscientific and went to jail or concentration camps.
Nye expands his condemnation to include more than creationists; he condemns all Christians in general for disagreeing with his views. Nye wants to use the government to enforce his religious and political views of evolution upon all society in violation of the no establishment clause of the U.S. First Amendment. Nye is blind to the fact that evolution is not real science, the fact that evolution does not produce any new science, and the fact that evolution hinders real scientific discovery in medicine or in technology. Although he is sincere in his views, he is sincerely wrong. He and others like him should have nothing to do with real political power.
Although Bill Nye presents a mountain of information to support his thesis of evolution, his arguments are primarily philosophical. In the end, Nye fails to validate his thesis empirically. Far from being the ‘science guy,’ Bill Nye has now become the ‘philosopher guy.’
Bill Nye is a graduate of Cornell University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. While at Cornell, he attended an astronomy class taught by Carl Sagan. Nye later worked with Boeing in Seattle, Washington where he produced training films that he starred in. Bill Nye has enjoyed his lengthy career as a science educator working in many television comedy roles and even Dancing with the Stars. His experience with ‘edutainment’ includes his role as the ‘science guy’ in his popular TV series.
Nye has recently become the Executive Director of The Planetary Society, an organization dedicated to exploring planets in our solar system. Nye is also involved in the popular science of Global Warming and has his own Climate Lab at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California. Nye is also involved in the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, a secular humanist organization attempting to expose scientific errors. Nye’s recent book, Undeniable, has drawn praise from people whose skepticism runs against the ideas of Creation Science. Nye continues to appear on TV and write on subjects of interest.
James Carlson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Aerospace Engineering. He was a student of Hans Mark, former Deputy Director of NASA (mentor of Sagan), who recommended Carlson for an internship with NASA Ames. Carlson is currently a test engineer with the White Sands Missile Range and tests military hardware. He uses the test process to capture data, reduce data, and present data in reports.
Prior to earning his bachelor’s degree in engineering, Carlson was a History major with a minor in Religious Studies. The history of ideas is his passion. He has studied the evolutionist creationist debate for more than 30 years and his writing background includes research into the long history of ideas that led to evolution. His 1,000 page manuscript, The Evolution of Evolution: A Theory in Chaos, presents the extant record of history to prove that evolution is an idea born of ancient myth. Carlson’s subsequent work, The Alchemy of Evolution, proves that evolution is an idea born of medieval European alchemy.
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