Australian “young Earth” creationist pastor Ken Ham said on Facebook Tuesday that Bill Nye “The Science Guy” does not “understand science correctly” because Nye does not believe in a literal interpretation of the Biblical book Genesis.
“Bill Nye still doesn’t understand the difference between historical science and observational science–so he may be known as ‘Bill Nye the science guy’–but he doesn’t understand science correctly,” Ham wrote about a discussion between Nye and Bill Maher on Maher’s HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher” in which both men mocked creationists.
P.Z. Meyers wrote of Ken Ham and “historical science” that the philosophy possesses “that delightful combination of arrogant pretense in which the Bible-walloper gets to pretend he understands better than scientists, and simultaneously allows them to deny every scientific observation, ever.”
According to “historical science” creationists, no science is valid that you did not personally witness, so-called “observational science.” They say that in order for evolution to be real, someone had to witness one species physically transforming into another. It’s not enough for the fossil record to show that bacteria evolved into a different kind of bacteria or fish evolved into different types of fish. To a creationist, this is false because “the bacteria are still bacteria and the fish are still fish.” Therefore, only God can affect real change.
We can reconstruct the evolutionary history of fruit flies. We do this by observation. That does not mean we watch different species of fruit flies speciate before our eyes (although it has been found to occur in reasonable spans of time in the lab and the wild), it means we extract and analyze information from extant species — we take invisible genetic properties of the flies’ genomes and turn them into tables of data and strings of publishable code. We observe patterns in their genetics that allow us to determine patterns of historical change. Observation and history are intertwined. To deny the history is to deny the observations.
Ham wrote on Facebook of Nye and Maher’s discussion, “What a load of nonsense. These two mock the Bible and totally distort the Bible’s account of the creation of the sun and the moon.”
Ham’s organization, Answers in Genesis, believes that God created the Earth and sun and moon and stars in seven days. He created one man, Adam, and one woman, Eve, who displeased God and were exiled from Eden and went on to populate the planet with their offspring and their offspring’s offspring.
“Answers in Genesis seeks to give glory and honor to God as Creator, and to affirm the truth of the biblical record of the real origin and history of the world and mankind,” says the group’s website.
Watch video of Maher and Nye’s discussion, embedded below via YouTube:
[image of Bill Nye via Shutterstock.com]