In a video recently published by Big Think, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” said that some people favored religious beliefs over the theory of evolution because they could not accept the finality of death.
“The problem is the same thing that allows us to recognize patterns to imagine shapes and things and routes and ways to get things done before we actually start doing those things — that ability also enables us to understand that despite our best efforts we’re all going to die,” he said. “And I think that makes all of us a little nutty. We all find it a little troubling.”
“And so because it seems incredible that all this stuff that we store in our brain, all the memories we have, all the mental images that we are able to keep, all the algebra that we learn, that all that goes away when we die is really hard for all of us to accept,” Nye explained. “And along with this is that we are not nature’s last word. We are not the final answer that nature came up with. That we are not what some entity created as his or her very best work. We’re just one more step on the evolutionary timeline.”
“And for many people that’s so troubling they can’t accept it at all. For me, of course, it’s empowering and amazing and it makes me want to live every moment of every day in the best way possible. But for a lot of people it’s literally unimaginable.”
Nye also addressed controversial comments he previously made about creationism. In a Big Think video published in 2012, he said creationism was not appropriate for children because “we need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future…. we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”
After the video was published, “people went a little crazy on the electric Internet, the computer machine that the kids use,” Nye remarked.
“My concern is not for the grownups who take the time to write these inflammatory things and react to your fabulous website and so on. My concern is for the people who are still in school, the people who are the future of the U.S., the future of the U.S. economy.”
Nye said that creationists like the group Answers in Genesis were more than happy to use modern technology, “but apparently they don’t seem to appreciate the science that led to it all.”
“And what I find so troubling with the Answers in Genesis people is they have a very diligent or complete indoctrination program for young people. They have quizzes and workbooks and classroom curricula designed to indoctrinate young people in the extraordinary and obviously wrong idea that the earth is somehow 6,000 years old and there was a flood 4,000 years ago and somehow land plants survived and salt water and seawater mixed but there’s still freshwater fish and so on. All these bits of evidence in nature that point out how obviously wrong it is, they press on and they work very hard to indoctrinate young people.”
Watch video below: