At the end of a multi-guest episode of StarTalk, host Neil deGrasse Tyson is joined by Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” and I F*cking Love Science blogger Elise Andrew in a free-wheeling discussion that ranges from the loss of Pluto as a planet to evangelicals attempting to re-jigger the scientific method in an effort to bolster creationism.
And then talk turned to the Pope’s recent pronouncements on science.
Addressing Nye, Tyson asks, “Bill, I want to distinguish between someone who says God created humans because the Bible says, and God created humans because we found scientific evidence to support it, right? One of them is sort of religious thought, and the other one is putting a science patina on it. So someone who says ‘I believe science and there is science in the Bible,’ so you must have confronted that.”
Referring to his debate with Kentucky creationist Ken Ham, Nye replied, “I don’t know if you got this far into this thing in Kentucky, but the guys has ‘observational science’ and ‘historical science.’ In other words, if you weren’t there, it doesn’t count.”
Elise Andrew jumped in to say, “The whole idea is to scrap the idea of forensic science and trials, unless you were there and unless you saw it. And it’s ironic because if you know anything about forensic science and the criminal justice system, you know that eyewitness testimony is the least reliable.”
Talk then turned to comments recently made by Pope Francis on science and evolution, in which he said that “God is not a magician.”
“Do we write you a check, Catholic Church?” Nye laughingly remarks. “Thank you. You’ve now joined the last two centuries. Welcome aboard.”
Andrew then gave credit to the church for having accepted the Big Bang theory previously.
Addressing Andrew, Nye asked, “So did you hear about this debate in Kentucky about evolution?’
After admitting that she had, Nye asked her, “So why did the Pope go out of his way to mention this now?”
“I don’t know, I find it really bizarre, ” she replied. “It kind of cracks me up anyway. I mean, American evangelists, when the Pope thinks you’re taking the Bible too seriously, it might be time to rethink your life choices.”
“I mean, he’s the Pope. When he thinks you’re taking this whole religion thing too seriously? Just take a step back and take a look at yourself.”
Listen below from StarTalk, creationism discussion begins at the 50 minute mark: