Bill Nye - Science Guy - insults homeschoolers?

Discussion in 'Homeschooling in the News' started by pecangrove, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. pecangrove

    pecangrove New Member

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  3. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    Doesn't surprise me. Just one more reason I've never liked the guy.
     
  4. Actressdancer

    Actressdancer New Member

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    He's ... Yeah. That's insulting, but I'm not surprised.
     
  5. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    I've never been crazy about him either.
     
  6. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    We watched a few of his videos when the kids were younger. I couldn't stand them, because they jumped all over the place. Very hard to follow. He was there to entertain, not to teach or inform.
     
  7. Actressdancer

    Actressdancer New Member

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    Idk... Beakman's World is the same way (was the same way) but my boys learn a whole lot from watching. He's even more chaotic than Nye. But as long as they're learning, I don't care at all if they're also entertained.
     
  8. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    I think your kids are enough younger than mine. I've never seen Beakman's World. And it's probably better; I doubt I would have liked it much! :)
     
  9. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    Frankly, both he and Ken Ham have personality issues. It's such a shame, because both are good communicators. In the meantime, science gets forgotten in this personality battle.

    My son watched the debate in college. One of the things that stuck out to him was their answers to the question "would your opinion change if evidence came to light that clearly contradicts your position?" Bill Nye answered "yes", as would any true scientist. Ken Ham answered "no", which is very revealing.

    How I wish Francis Collins or John Polkinghorne or one of the other Christians who are leaders in science were asked to events like this. The truth is, though, that they are not "entertaining" enough. :(
     
  10. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    My guess would be that Ham's response came from a different definition of "evidence". Fact is, there's tons of "evidence" out there already, the difference being in the interpretation of the same evidence by either side. They could both look at the same bone, and one call it evidence of Creation, and the other call it clear evidence of evolution, for example.

    PS: I didn't see the debate.
     
  11. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    From a purely objective point of view, the evidence has overwhelmingly undermined Ken Ham's position - but he refuses to acknowledge this. There comes a time when you have to accept what the evidence says. His argument is that we can't "prove" evolution because we have no time machine. That's ridiculous. We've never been to the sun or to another star, but we know a lot about them from deduction.

    The clincher for me is that the science of evolution (quite distinct from the "philosophy" of evolution) has made precise predictions which the science of genetics has confirmed in every respect. That, ultimately, is the proof of the pudding, as they say. On the other hand, the two fundamental principles upon which Ken Ham's "theories" ride have been completely and utterly disproved.

    Centuries ago, Martin Luther refused to accept that the earth orbits the sun. He took a Bible passage, which is clearly historical in nature, and took it literally - namely, that God made the sun stand still. Surely this means that the sun orbits the earth and not vice versa. What Luther failed to understand is that the Biblical writers expressed things in the context of their understanding at the time. They were human writers whose words were God-breathed'; what they wrote was not meant to be a scientific textbook.

    When we refuse to accept the evidence and claim that God "planted" evidence as a test of faith, we make God out to be a liar. What else does God plant? The message of salvation, for example? Maybe it's all one big joke. But it's not, because we can totally believe his word! A fundamental principle I learned from the writings of E. Stanley Jones is that the law is not so much a prescription for living as a description of a person. In other words, God will never bear false witness, and this validates science.

    I know I swim against the tide on this, and it's even reached the point where many at my church would simply prefer that I leave, but so be it. Sometimes we have to stand up for the truth, no matter how strongly Christian culture of the day rebels against it. As believers, we don't have to choose between faith and science: They are two sides of the same coin.

    I can believe in a God who created the vast expanse of life through the incredible process of evolution. I can't believe in a God who created man, as if out of playdoh, in a way that contradicts all the evidence. He is far far greater that that! Pretty much only in the US is this an issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  12. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I won't go into details, but Ken Ham is a bully. I'm aware of some of his tactics, and those of his organization. He tries to enforce his version of orthodoxy on the Christian community, but stifling opposing views is a sign of weakness, not of strength.

    Now, Bill Nye falls into the same trap. However, we shouldn't write off the theory he tries to espouse simply because of his personal agenda. What matters is objectivity.
     
  13. MagnoliaHoney

    MagnoliaHoney New Member

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    Actually one little teensy weensy critique....about the Bible writers.

    I personally believe God's spirit would of had the Bible writers write things JUST right! No imperfections, nothing incorrect regardless of the writer personal knowledge.

    I think where the mix ups can be found is in translations.

    No one knows exactly how to translate all the scriptures completely correctly, it's the best educated guesses of the translators, and I think the translators, are some of the people who add in, or interpret to their own knowledge...
     
  14. ochumgache

    ochumgache Active Member

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    Steve, is evolution really the truth upon which you wish to stand? I think we'd both agree that God is the author of all truth. I think we just disagree about how He conveys that truth. I'm not debating the scientific evidence, but let's talk about the importance of it.

    When a fellow Christian tells me that God didn't really mean that He created the earth in 6 days when He had Moses write it down, I have to wonder if he believes that God actually spoke to Moses. How much of the history in the Pentateuch is just a symbolic story? A great deal of it defies our knowledge of natural laws. Was there no worldwide flood? Were the waters of the Red Sea never parted? God wrote the natural laws; is He bound to them or can he defy them? Our salvation is based on faith in one who defied the laws of nature; He was born of a virgin. He healed the lame, blind and ill with just a word. He died, was dead for three days and then rose to life again and ascended into heaven. Modern evidence and scientific thought would lead us to believe that those things are impossible. Is science the tool by which we measure the truth of Scripture or is Scripture the tool by which we measure the truth of science?

    Genesis is written in a very peculiar way. It’s written as if God anticipated this debate. Each time a creation day passes, the writer defines what is meant by a day, “there was evening, and there was morning.” In addition, repeatedly, it is clarified that the plants and animals will reproduce according to their own kind. Why on earth would an ancient writer include that passage? What a stupidly obvious thing to say—unless God knew that one day someone would try to dispute that fact! So, by what evidence do we say that this account which is written as an account complete with genealogies was not intended to be a true account?

    Is it foolishness to believe in a God who could speak the world into being? I don’t think it’s any more foolish than believing that God sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. The creation account is way more believable than that!
     
  15. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I'm a scientist by training. As you know, I have a PhD in physics. I can't help but think as a scientist, and I even approach Bible studies that way. Forget my preconceptions or those of anyone else: Let's just go to the raw facts and see where they lead us. If our faith and our Lord are real, we will never have anything to fear. My anchor is Jesus Christ, God made flesh, who rose from the dead.

    One of the big problems is the definition of evolution. The theory does not explain how life or the universe were created. It simply explains how simple life forms were transformed into complex life forms. The basic assumptions of the scientific theory could be brought down with just one piece of contradictory evidence, out of the millions of specimens and fossils and genetic analyses available to us - just one - but no such example has yet been found. More than that, the theory has made predictions that only in recent years could we test genetically, and every prediction holds up. That is the definition of a strong theory.

    But we've set ourselves a couple of traps. First, we've equated the science of evolution with the ideology of naturalism that has built up around it (a mistake that even wonderful people such as RC Sproul and Ravi Zacharias have fallen into). Second, we've allowed Ken Ham and others to create a wedge between faith and science, as if they are mutually exclusive. This is disastrous for our young people, in particular, when they realize that evolution is pretty much a proven theory.

    Very difficult for us, I know, but let's try to think outside of time and how God can effectively communicate with all people across all culture and all time. How could he validate Jesus, for example? There are two ways: By speaking outside of time (precise prophecy) and by raising Jesus from the dead. These are two things we can never, and never will be able to, do: only God can.

    Now how would you explain the origins of our condition (which is the main point of the creation story)? You'd use a story that can be understood by anyone and that clearly explains the situation: God created man in his own image; man chose to rebel against God; that rebellion separates us from God. What would be the point of explaining the scientific process and DNA and genetics and so on? No one for millennia would have understood a word of it. Our God speaks with amazing clarity, but she shouldn't miss the wood for the trees. The Bible is not a book of science. Luther fell into this trap with heliocentricity and caused some believers to be burned at the stake for believing it. It's sad that we persecute fellow believers today for essentially the same thing.

    We can go into each of these if you wish. Evidence is available to provide a good indication.

    Jesus could walk on water, so there are times when he will defy them. On the other hand, he won't plant evidence to imply one thing when another is true. The more fundamental principle is that God will not "bear false witness", which is the only reason, when it comes down to it, that we can believe his promise of salvation.

    A minor point, but the definition of night and day, as we know it, never even existed during the first period of creation, which points to the nature of the writing.

    No, it's not foolish to believe in a powerful God who can speak the universe into existence. I would say, though, that history has shown us time and again that it is dangerous to cling to a literal interpretation of some Bible passages. The foundations of the earth, for example, can be moved. God did not make the sun literally stand still. There are not four corners to the earth. It is quite OK to accept both the words of the Bible and the evidence that comes to light over time. The mechanism of evolution, for example, is truly astounding and something we would expect from a marvelous creator. We don't have to run from new information when it comes to light.

    I understand this is a controversial topic, and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone, but this is a major issue for today. We are no less Christian today when we believe the earth orbits the sun, even though Luther would write us all off as heretics. Do you feel guilty believing that the earth is not the center of the universe? Does your faith rely on it? There was a time when church leaders responded quite differently to those questions than we do today. I believe Luther was wrong, but I respect his rationale and the genuine nature of his faith. In two centuries' time, fellow believers will look back on us in the same way. I only hope that they understand the sincerity of our convictions and why we believe what we do.
     
  16. ochumgache

    ochumgache Active Member

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    Thank you for that explanation. I don't agree with your conclusion, but I think I understand your line of thinking. It is particularly interesting in light of a Old Testament study I am doing at church. I'll ponder it as we go.

    It is a controversial topic. I do think that we as the big "c" Church could use a little work on learning how to disagree and discuss.
     
  17. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    And thank you for being so reasonable in this discussion.

    For years, I've bitten my tongue in church so as not to upset people. I've listened and not responded when some (too many, actually), with little knowledge of science, make forceful statements with which I fundamentally disagree, because I don't want to cause a ruckus and distract from the gospel message. I bite my tongue when anyone with a science degree is criticized (I was once called a heretic, liberal, and papist is one sentence - which is quite amazing) while those with advanced degrees in any other subject are respected for their knowledge. I've witnessed mild-mannered Christians literally lose it in a matter of seconds on this subject and start to berate me. When this happens over and over, it's really isn't easy, but I never take offense.

    This year, I've resolved to try, as gently as I can, to push back and to correct when I hear obvious errors. It raises eyebrows, but so be it. I respond to Facebook posts from friends, which is also causing consternation, but so be it. I've approached the elders about the matter, just so they are more aware of the issue. After staying quiet for months at this forum, I've taken the liberty this time to respond. I'm trying so hard to go about this the right way, to engage in a reasonable dialog.

    In addition, I'm putting together material to write a book that challenges what I call "the new orthodoxy", which infiltrates many aspects of our lives - from science to politics to patriotism to finances to gays to abortion and more. Rather than upset too many at one time (!?), I'm hoping that a carefully written book will have a bigger impact while making the dialog less personal. Let's just say that it's easier to deal with "hate mail" than it is with personal insults delivered face to face. It's sad to say this in the context of the church, but it's indicative of just how far we've allowed this new orthodoxy to take over.

    Anyway, I've written too much already. Again, many thanks for your respectful approach in this thread.
     
  18. cliffjohnson

    cliffjohnson New Member

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    Steve,

    I watched the debate with my Wife and we thought it was weak on content. Ken Ham doesn't do himself any favors by being so rigid and Bill Nye is a spokesman, not a scientist. Overall, (I admit my bias here) I don't think any true substance could have been derived by that debate. In my opinion it was more of a media event than a true debate. Others may disagree, but I would have like to have seen a debate with less popular media figures and more trained experts.
     
  19. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Like!
     
  20. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    And I 'like' too! Brilliant scientists who are Christians are out there. There's a whole new generation of them. But they aren't creationists like Ken Ham, so the media has no interest in highlighting them. They don't make news. They aren't spoiling for a fight. They don't sell newspapers or air time.
     
  21. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Steve, yes, many of them ARE Creationists. Maybe not like Ken Ham, but they are Creationists just the same.
     

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