“Science Guy” Bill Nye visited Real Time host Bill Maher on Friday to discuss not only the problems “young earth” believers like Ken Ham pose for the U.S. now, but the danger creationists pose to education for future Americans.
“As a patriot, as a guy who grew up in the U.S., if we raise a generation of students who are scientifically illiterate, we’re not gonna have the next iPhone,” Nye explained to Maher. “We’re not gonna have the next innovation.”
“They take this so personally, the evolution thing,” Maher said of creationists. “It’s not abstract to them — it’s threatening: ‘Don’t tell me I evolved from an ape. I am much different from an ape.’ Okay, we give that to you. You are different from an ape.”
“Somewhat different, yeah,” Nye clarified, getting a laugh out of Maher.
Maher also expressed surprise that Nye would have kind words for his recent debate opponent, Creation Museum founder Ken Ham, mentioning that he and Ham had an unpleasant run-in as part of the filming of Maher’s religion-slamming documentary Religulous.
“You were so nice to him,” Maher said. “Then I saw you on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show saying that you respect him. I’m like, ‘Really?'”
“If I said that, I may have misspoken,” Nye answered. “I respect his passion. At first I thought, you know, maybe he was a charlatan that was trying to take advantage of people. But I think he might really believe that.”
“Oh, he totally believes it,” Maher chimed in. “That’s why I don’t respect him.”
Watch the interview between Maher and Nye, as posted online on Friday, below.