Response to Bill Nye

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Bill Nye posted this recently.

If you don’t want to watch it, I don’t blame you. It’s a completely vacuous argument against creationism. His arguments are roughly:

  1. There’s too much evidence for evolution.
  2. We need your kids.

Honestly, I can form a retort to him that would look the same, using the same words, but substituting Creationism for evolution.

Let me reiterate why a God-less universe is not only illogical, but impossible.

First, you cannot disprove the existence of anything without examining all of the universe. Since we don’t have space ships or sensor arrays that can peer around corners of the galaxy and universe, we can no more disprove God than we can disprove that someone named Schmortz lives on the planet Fooble.

Second, supposing the technology, time, and energy exist, and someone actually does survey the universe. Not only can they disprove that Schmortz lives on Fooble, they could disprove that there is a God in this universe—but only a God who is confined to natural laws. We don’t believe in such a God, so such a survey would be pointless.

You can, however, prove a positive. If you sincerely want to know whether God exists, and what kind of a being he is, and what he wants you to do with your life, you can find out for yourself through sincere prayer and devotion to his commandments as found in scripture.

Which religion is true? You can investigate the claims of each until you find one that actually preaches a consistent and verifiable religion. I believe the LDS religion is such a religion,. No, I know it is. I have long ago left the realm of belief because what I have seen is enough to prove to anyone that what I know is true.

Now, the second point I want to talk about is how the universe cannot exist without God. See, God is the one that orders the elements, IE, provides the framework for the natural laws. Without him, the natural laws don’t exist. Everything is chaos and nothing would make sense. We know this because for the many millenia that man believed that God or the gods acted arbitrarily, rather than acting in accordance to universal laws that do not vary over space and time. It was this modern Christian concept of the marriage of religion and logic and the universe around us (accepting things as they are rather than as they ought to be) that lead to the foundations of modern science. Our universe simply wouldn’t be the way it is without those laws in place from the sub-atomic level to the inter-galactic level.

Some would argue the anthropic principle here. The universe exists, we exist, and therefore, the universe must be governed by laws and parameters that allow us to exist. The weakness of this argument is that it can be used to justify any explanation for the universe, if the explanation allows for the possibility of it at all. It is sort of the opposite to Occam’s Razor, a favorite theory that is often abused.

I, instead, argue that the laws must come from somewhere. There must be a reason that this universe exists of all universes, despite the improbability of it all. And that reason, that organizing and stabilizing force, is God. Can it be anything else? Luck or chance cannot explain it, or rather, if we relied on luck or chance to explain it we would be in a sorry state. IE, we would be forced to accept the anthropic principle and all the lunacy attendant to that. Instead, if we accept that there is a God that orders the universe, modern science survives intact.

This might seem like odd reasoning to many who aren’t used to reasoning. Without X, things don’t make sense. With X, things do make sense. Therefore, to preserve sense, we must assume X. Physicists have been doing this all along. Somehow, it’s acceptable to use things like Electrodynamics for X, or the General Theory of Relativity, or the Standard Model, but God? Without God, the universe doesn’t make sense. With God, it does.

Bill Nye’s final appeal is for us to sacrifice our children to meet his desires. This is a thought process that bewilders me. Why should I sacrifice my self-interests for Bill Nye’s self-interest? I am as offended as he should be if I demanded he teach his children according to what I thought was best, so that I could benefit the most.

Logic and reasoning are not the strong points in the Atheist world view. To be an Atheist, you must be what you claim your enemies are: ignorant of the universe around us.

Let me help you understand why, using evolution. In no case have I seen such a relationship between science as in geology and evolution. Geology assumes an ancient earth, not because there is evidence that supports this (which there isn’t, unless you assume all geological processes occur at a constant rate, which is absurd), but because they find so-called ancient animals in the strata they observe. On the other hand, evolutionists claim as evidence that their fossils are old that they are discovered in ancient rocks. One relies on the other, and the other on the one. Why does no one talk about this?

Bill Nye mentions radiation. I remember, growing up, how firm a foundation carbon dating was, and yet, how absurd a concept it was when you examined it in any detail. It assumes things we cannot assume. One, that at the time the animal or plant was covered, the ratio of carbon isotopes was similar as it is today. Two, that carbon, like all elements, decay at a constant rate, that is, no outside influence can change the decay rate of any substance. The former has been thoroughly debunked, so much so that carbon dating is only accurate within timescales of written human history,and that only because we have documents with dates on them. The latter is being questioned today, as two independent physicists have discovered that decay rates seem to change over time. What conclusions this has, no one knows exactly, except to say our assumptions were worth as much as the paper they were written on.

Any historical science suffers from the same critical flaw: We cannot rewind the clock to see what happened in ancient history. The “mists of time” obscure the past so thoroughly and so quickly we have a hard time figuring out when, exactly, a body was killed, and what exactly killed it, unless we have a fresh corpse. As time marches on and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics imposes its toll, we know less and less about what happened, until we can known nothing at all, even if there was a body to begin with. There simply isn’t enough data and there isn’t enough certainty to rewind the clock more than a few years in the past, at best. Those who claim they know what happened thousands, millions, and billions of years ago are lunatic. At best, we can guess, and even then, it is likely wrong.

Bill Nye is a prophet of the pseudo-scientists Atheists wish was taught in our schools. I say, good luck imposing that religion via the power of the state on the rest of us. I would rather live in a world where people are free to choose what they believe is right and wrong, rather than a world where our ideas are constrained by the ideas of others.

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4 Responses to “Response to Bill Nye”

  1. tensor Says:

    His argument, that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution, is the strongest possible scientific argument one can make. It is the very opposite of “vacuous”.

    Honestly, I can form a retort to him that would look the same, using the same words, but substituting Creationism for evolution.

    Yes, you certainly could; in fact, you already have claimed that Creationism is:

    Testable and repeatable: To the same degree that evolution is.

    However, later in the very same thread, you finally admitted this was not true:

    I don’t have an explanation for why the creatures are the way they are. I don’t need an explanation. My understanding of the Creation of the earth isn’t something that’s testable anyway, and I don’t care to see it put to the test.

    Bill then went on to say that our nation’s children need solid educations in science, so that our nation can remain competitive in the world. He noted that Creationism is not appropriate for children, and he is exactly correct. Feeding a child a diet of Creationism, and claiming it is equivalent to science is, intellectually and morally, equivalent to feeding a child a steady diet of soda pop and potato chips, and claiming that “Creation Science Nutrition” has found this diet to be varied, balanced, and healthy.

    I’m very glad that Bill Nye has made this statement, even if he made it less forcefully than I would prefer.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      (1) Bill Nye offers NO evidence, but merely asserts it is true because he says it is true.

      (2) My two statements are not contradictory. Evolution has no testable or repeatable claims, just like creationism.

      Bill Nye offers no evidence for his subsequent statements on what we should teach children.

      His video is exactly the opposite of science and reason. It is just assertions made without basis.

      I know you are the sort of person who likes to see science done this way: Let the loudest, most obnoxious person win! This goes hand-in-hand with every Atheist’s refusal to accept basic logic and reason, and their inability to grasp the most fundamental concepts of science and knowledge and reason. Which is why they try to be as loud and obnoxious as possible, and forego any reasonable discussion in the process.

  2. Andrew Han Says:

    1. You have a lot of nerve calling some of the most prolific scientists in the world “pseudo”-scientists.

    2. Your argument that god must exist because he is the source of all order in the universe, and order in the universe exists, is a textbook example of the Begging the Question Fallacy.

    3. Your argument that one of the many world religions must exist is a false dilemma fallacy, only with several choices rather than two.

    4. You quite blatantly use Appeal to Sentimentality; that if you realllyyy can feel god in your mind, he must exist (really, you are much too intelligent to conjure something this ridiculous).

    And you actually defeated your own argument. No, we can’t prove that God does not exist; but science does not work that way. We can’t prove that flying monkeys don’t exist on Mars, either. But we can state conclusively that they do not exist because the probability is very low.

    Occam’s Razor: god is an unnecessary variable. There is no mathematical formula to describe any scientific theory that posits a god variable. The First Cause argument does not work either, because then we get into the question of where god came from; an even bigger question, and therefore adding the variable god solves nothing and just makes the dilemma literally infinitely more impossible to solve.

    You can tell that the Bible is a story, rather than a scientific theory, because:

    1. It adds in unnecessary details that do not explain anything or conform to any experimental or observable evidence. Its explanations are complex rather than simple. This is characteristic of a fairy tale, not a scientific theory.

    2. It includes no math or evidence to support its theory. This is characteristic of a fairy tale, not a scientific theory.

    3. It is not independently verifiable. Do you think that a super-intelligent race of aliens could have independently derived the bible through heavy scientific research? Of course not, because it’s not universal (as science is). This is characteristic of a fairy tale, not a scientific theory.

    • Jonathan Gardner Says:

      1. I’ll call pseudo-scientists pseudo-scientists. They deserve no respect for falsely representing the scientific process and claiming knowledge where there is none.

      2. Begging the Question Fallacy is when you conclude an assumption. Hopefully you knew that. Tell me how I begged the question, rather than just declaring it.

      3. Why is it an argument that religions don’t exist? Of course they exist. Again, explain the false dichotomy rather than just asserting it. You want to speak logically, right?

      4. My “appeal to sentimentality” is an appeal to bservation. What makes you so certain that what you see and hear are real? I claim the same for my feelings. It is another sense just like any other. Since my goal is to feel happy, I claim it is the most important sense. All other senses merely direct once on how to achieve the sense of happiness.

      Science DOES work the way I claimed. You can only disprove things, never prove things.

      You’ve cited Occam’s Razor, which is a convenient cliche that doesn’t do what you think it does, logically speaking. If you had been paying attention, God exists beyond logic and reason, and is the source of logic and reason. You can no more write a mathematical equation describing God than you could write a mathematical equation that would give rise to logic from nothing. Your resort to mathematical equations suggest you really don’t understand how math works, at a fundamental level. Perhaps this is because you have a difficult time reasoning with logic.

      Besides, all logical reasoning starts with assumptions. Without an assumption, nothing is nothing is nothing. What are your assumptions for the universe? Mine are that there is a God and he governs the universe through logic and reason. I also believe that man can attain the knowledge that God has. This leads me to investigate the laws that govern the universe. What compels you to do the same? My assumptions lead to good results: modern science. Where do your assumptions lead you?

      Your diversion to the Bible is pointless. It has no relevance whatsoever. Nevertheless, your infantile interpretation of the Bible is common among atheists, who claim they know more about what the Bible really is and yet can’t understand what it is. “Seeing, they do not see” as the Bible says.

      (1) The Bible is a story, and you aren’t surprising anyone by saying so.

      (2) The Bible is not a mathematical text, and you aren’t surprising anyone by saying so.

      (3) The Bible IS independently verifiable. Pray to God and ask him to tell you what he thinks about it.

      Finally, your logic of “A is like B, therefore A is a B.” is absurd, and you know it.

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