Reasons to Believe

How to Engage a Science Guy (or Gal)

A few weeks ago, Bill Nye the Science Guy jumped into the science-and-faith conversation with the claim that “creationism is not appropriate for children.” He claims that by denying evolution, “your worldview just becomes crazy, untenable.”

Creationists across the spectrum might promptly disagree with Nye, but it’s helpful to first clarify Nye’s interpretation of creationism. From his perspective, creationism ignores findings such as ancient dinosaur fossils, radioactivity, distant stars, and billions of years.

Jeff Zweerink explains that, while it’s true that some variations of creationism deny any evidence that suggests a billions-of-years-old creation, others “think the scientific community largely has the record and the history of the events correct.” In fact, Jeff and the rest of the science-faith guys here at RTB have written plenty on the evidences creationists (as defined by Nye) allegedly ignore. Here’s a smattering of resources on dinosaurs, billions of years (i.e., big bang), and radioactivity, for starters.

The claim that creationists deny evolution serves as another point in Nye’s video that could use clarification. Much in the same way that there are various types of creation perspectives (old-earth, young-earth, theistic evolution, to name a few), there are also various types of evolution, not all of which we at RTB would find problematic. The types of evolution deemed “noncontroversial” are microevolution (variation of traits within a population), speciation (one species produces a closely related sister species), and microbial evolution (evolution of single-celled organisms).

If Nye’s video teaches us anything, we can learn that it’s important to avoid generalizing perspectives. Jeff concludes his video response with this proposal:

When somebody has a differing opinion, we can simply just argue and yell and talk past one another, or we can engage their position, ask questions, understand what their position is, and why they have that position. And I think as a society we would benefit greatly from learning how to interact with opposing viewpoints.

In other words, ask questions, get curious. You never know what you might discover.

–Sandra

Interested in teaching creationism? You’ll find helpful resources and courses here:

http://www.reasons.org/education/educators-help-desk/videos

http://www.reasons.org/education/overview

http://www.reasons.org/education/reasons-academy/course-description

http://www.reasons.org/rtb-101/daysofcreation

http://www.reasons.org/videos/through-the-lens-astronomy-the-bible-and-the-big-bang-sd

Subjects: Biblical Evidence for an Old Earth , Scientific Evidence for an Old Earth, Worldviews