In the video for BigThink.com, which amassed over 2.5 million views in one week, the former host of the PBS children's show "Bill Nye the Science Guy" describes the worldview of those who deny Darwinian evolution as "crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent."
Answers in Genesis (AiG), an apologetics ministry of scientists who support biblical creation, which operates the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, released their own YouTube video featuring two Ph.D. scientists, David Menton and Georgia Purdom, refuting Nye's claims.
Casey Luskin, an attorney and earth sciences expert with the Discovery Institute, a public policy think tank which supports intelligent design, also critiqued Nye on Discovery's evolutionnews.org website.
While Nye's video had been on the Big Think website for months, it was only uploaded to their YouTube channel on Aug. 23. It immediately went viral.
In it, Nye argues that a belief in evolution is the key to the technological advancements made in the United States, while also critiquing the number of Americans who reject the evolutionary theory of human origins.
According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 46 percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form, 32 percent hold that humans evolved with God guiding the process, and 15 percent believe that humans evolved with no divine involvement.
Nye's main point, in the video entitled "Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Deny Evolution," came toward the end when he spoke to specifically to parents.
"If you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine," Nye said, "but don't make your kids do it because we need them."
Luskin, in discussing Nye's refusal to support a parent's right to teach their beliefs to their own children, said, "It's scary to think what the world would look like if these people had their way."
Menton and Purdom, along with Luskin, challenge the manner in which Nye uses the term evolution, pointing out that many scientists deny materialistic Darwinian evolution, but nonetheless agree with observable evolutionary changes.
"We need to understand in the video that Bill Nye is confusing observational science with historical science," Purdom says in the AiG response.
"Observational science is what I call, 'Here and Now' science. We can observe it, test it and repeat it. Historical science deals with the past, both evolution and creation fall into that category. We cannot test, observe, or repeat them."
Nye's scientific education and experience falls under the observational science realm. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, worked for the aerospace corporation Boeing and has served as an aeronautics consultant.
As he closed, Nye asserted his belief that those who deny Darwinian evolution will eventually disappear.
"You know, in a couple of centuries that worldview, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist," Nye said. "There's no evidence for it."
Both those at AiG and Discovery disagree.
"He is wrong," wrote Elizabeth Mitchell, a medical doctor and columnist for AiG. "The evidence affirming God's explanation is all around us and even beneath our feet in the fossil record."
"Bill Nye is welcome to believe and say whatever he wants about evolution," Luskin wrote.
"But perhaps Nye has some catching up to do, both in his scientific understanding of the current status of Darwinian evolution, and his commitment to liberal values like freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry, and parental rights."
Aaron Earls is a writer based in Wake Forest, N.C.
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