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Eric Sundrup, S.J.April 25, 2017

Bill Nye always made me laugh as a kid. He stoked the fires of my curiosity and spurred me to a lifelong love of science. When I taught high school biology, most weeks included some Bill Nye clips in my classroom. I used to laugh along with my students. We would all chant “Bill, Bill,” as the theme song started.

Something has changed. After I binged on his new Netflix series, Bill Nye seemed a little less like the science guy and more like the condescending guy.

Mr. Nye says that he is back to save the world—with science! His new show is corny and his gags are every bit as goofy as they were in the ’90s. But now they are weighed down by a condescending attitude. And while Mr. Nye’s takes on divisive topics like contraception and designer babies will have culture warriors grabbing their pitchforks, that is not the most troubling part of this show.

Mr. Nye is not wrong about the science involved in the political and social issues he is tackling. Climate change is real and it is getting worse. The strain the human population is putting on sensitive ecosystems is beyond debate. Science continues to discover fascinating complexity in human sexuality and piles of evidence show us that vaccines save vulnerable lives. But too often Mr. Nye’s humor and wit seem meant to prove that people who disagree with him just need to understand the science more clearly.

Too often Mr. Nye’s humor and wit seem meant to prove that people who disagree with him just need to understand the science more clearly.

Consider this telling moment from Episode 5. While trying to explain the origins of life, Mr. Nye finds a replica of Noah’s Ark mixed in with all the other props that he is using to make his point. His manic behavior helps keep the discussion moving, and I found myself remembering why I love him so much. But when he notices the ark he asks if the producers are playing a joke on him. Then without any reflection, he whisks it off the table and says: “There’s no freaking Noah’s Ark. I’m sorry, people; it did not happen.”

Well, yeah Bill, there is plenty of scientific evidence that the flood did not happen as it is written in Genesis. Creationism should annoy us as much as scientism. But Mr. Nye’s fleeting moment with Noah’s Ark points to the core of the problem with his new show. He doesn’t allow his normally insatiable imagination to consider that Noah’s Ark—or the religious point of view more broadly—have any place in a discussion about saving the world. He will not let his imagination (or his audience) explore the possibilities because that ark has been, figuratively and literally, shoved under the table.

Too many leaders in the scientific community—and Bill Nye surely now is one of them—are dismissive of other domains of knowledge. While science has done, and will continue to do, great things for us all, it is folly to act as though it is the only realm of knowledge worthy of time and attention, or as though the scientific method is the only method with any power to unite us and employ our creative energies to save the world.

As Michael Rozier, S.J., pointed out in a previous discussion of vaccines (a topic covered in Episode 7 of Nye’s series), we make decisions for a wide range of reasons, and when people make conclusions contrary to good science, hitting them over the head with more and more scientific explanations is not going to move the needle. We need to understand why people reject good science. Condescension and snarky dismissal are not going to change hearts. I agree with Mr. Nye that conversion therapy for gays is ridiculous, but a short cartoon lampooning the “science of feelings” in Episode 9 is not going to convince anyone who disagrees with him on this subject.

But changing the hearts of adults—whether climate change deniers or creationists—is going to require more

In his previous incarnation, Mr. Nye tended to stay squarely in the domain of science. His new show is all grown up and so are all of us who were kids in the ’90s. No more playing in the lab; we have to tackle adult topics: climate change, sexuality, artificial intelligence, G.M.O.s, the ever-growing human population. When I was young Mr. Nye touched my heart and got me excited about science. But changing the hearts of adults—whether climate change deniers or creationists—is going to require more than getting a 13-year-old to fall in love with lab work. If we are going to get anywhere on the important issues Mr. Nye is raising, we cannot ignore sociology, philosophy and, yes, the wisdom to be found in religious traditions.

There is still hope. Recently, Mr. Nye, famously dismissive of philosophy, told Olivia Goldhill of The Atlantic that her article and the avalanche of criticism against his philosophical ignorance lead him to explore epistemology. With this recent development, perhaps Season 2 will feature the Science Guy stripped of his condescension and humbled, I hope, by an appreciation for other important realms of knowledge.

More: TV / Science
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JR Cosgrove
6 years 10 months ago

Science is politicized as much as any discipline in academia. Most scientists are atheists and donate heavily to one political party. Thus, they have agendas. The image that science has of being based on facts is in reality not true in too many cases. And Mr Nye is an arch politicist and not really a proponent of science in general, only science that fits his politics.

The writer reveals his prejudices when he uses the terms "deniers" and "creationists."

A Catholic by definition must be a creationist. He must believe that God created the universe and our world and that specifically God created man.

To use the term "denier" is also an anti science term. It assumes that there is not room for discussion and that the person disagreeing with the delivered orthodoxy is to be shamed or even shunned. Hardly a process that leads to good science or good anything.

Fr. Sundrup, you apparently have a background in biology. There is no explanation for the origin of life so whether Mr. Nye brushes away an ark or not is irrelevant. Whatever else he is talking about is nonsense. There is also no explanation for the evolution of major capabilities in life forms and there is definitely no explanation for the rise of man in any biological process that we know of.

Science is wonderful at a lot of things but it is terrible at origins. Origin of the universe, origin of life, origin of multi-cellular life, origin of new proteins, origin of complex life capabilities, origin of consciousness, origin of the Earth are all mysteries with no seemingly possible explanation. But can be explained by a creator. So is that creationism? A Catholic must be a creationist, but not the YEC (Young Earth Creationist) type.

A non creationist is the real "denier." Science points very directly to a creator of mass intelligence. A word of advice, take anything Mr. Nye says with suspicion.

Eric Sundrup
6 years 10 months ago

In my experience, most people don't use "creationist" in the way you are presenting it. Perhaps a more precise term would've been "biblical literalist" or YEC as you mentioned. Regardless, the claim that "a catholic by definition must be a creationist" is just a debate about terms, not a substantial disagreement. As a Catholic priest, I believe in God and that God is the author of all being. I think our substantial disagreement is about the process of evolution by natural selection. There are many good material explanations for the evolution of "major capabilities in life forms." and they are frequently explained by "biological process[es] that we know of."


JR Cosgrove
6 years 10 months ago

Fr. Sundrup,

I think our substantial disagreement is about the process of evolution by natural selection.

My undergraduate background was in physics and mathematics and have to know biology for my business. I am a science junkie and read about science all the time. I have a library of about 40 science video courses from the Great Courses on everything from particle physics to the universe and just about everything in between.including about 8-10 courses on evolution and genetics. I have read textbooks on biology mainly for the sections on evolution and have read most books by Richard Dawkins, one by Jerry Coyne and a couple others by those who claim evolution is due to natural causes.

In not one of these books on biology or evolution have I found an example of any major capability arising due to any biological process known to man. There are a lots of assertions but no evidence. All the examples are trivial ones.

You mention natural selection but natural selection is a winnowing process not a building process. The gene pool of a species will typically contract over time through natural selection and other processes as coding sequences fail to survive environmental pressures and are not passed on to future generations of the species. So the gene pool contracts.

The question is how do new coding sequences enter the gene pool and survive. I once had an extended debate with an evolutionary biologist on this and he claimed there are about 50 natural processes that modify coding sequences or create new ones in the gametes causing a change in the DNA of an offspring. This is fairly well understood and while rare, happens enough to cause changes in the gene pool over time. Supposedly these new sequences will someday code for a slightly different protein or act as a new regulatory sequences affecting the coding or suppression of genes which will cause differences in the offspring.

While the previous process happens, what doesn't happen is the rise of a new coding sequences that leads to a new protein or set of proteins that cause a substantial change in the physical capability of the offspring. New proteins are extremely rare and to see the origin of one or more that affect the species in any major way is beyond the mathematical resources of the universe.

Evolutionary biologists recognize this and there are movements within this community to find other ways that these proteins could arise. Here is the manifesto of one called the Third Way

The vast majority of people believe that there are only two alternative ways to explain the origins of biological diversity. One way is Creationism that depends upon intervention by a divine Creator. That is clearly unscientific because it brings an arbitrary supernatural force into the evolution process. The commonly accepted alternative is Neo-Darwinism, which is clearly naturalistic science but ignores much contemporary molecular evidence and invokes a set of unsupported assumptions about the accidental nature of hereditary variation. Neo-Darwinism ignores important rapid evolutionary processes such as symbiogenesis, horizontal DNA transfer, action of mobile DNA and epigenetic modifications. Moreover, some Neo-Darwinists have elevated Natural Selection into a unique creative force that solves all the difficult evolutionary problems without a real empirical basis. Many scientists today see the need for a deeper and more complete exploration of all aspects of the evolutionary process.

Notice how they use the term "creationism." It is intentionally vague and broad and would include every Catholic if they believe in their religion. Also they have not yet found any mechanism for the biological changes they say are not caused by natural selection.

JR Cosgrove
6 years 10 months ago

There is a fuller discussion of the problems with natural selection and evolution in a past America article four years ago (http://www.americamagazine.org/content/good-word/science-and-biblical-interpretation there have been others but this has a lot of details.)

Tim O'Leary
6 years 10 months ago

Fr. Sundrup - I'm sure you recall Cardinal Schönborn's Op-Ed in the NYT on evolution (quote below) and the paper's apoplectic attack on him as a creationist. The secularists want to conflate 6-day creationism or Genesis literalism with the Catholic understanding of creation, primarily to avoid dealing with some of the complex issues and real gaps in evolution that science is still trying to elucidate (esp. the origin of life, replication & selection before nucleic acids; the development of consciousness & the interaction of the mind and the body, entropy, causality, reason and purpose in nature, etc.). If you read Cosgrove's several comments below, it is clear that he has studied the issue in great length and his position is highly nuanced and well worth considering, if only to be better informed of the arguments.

I am a medical scientist and also well versed in the controversies within evolutionary and psychological theory - much remains to be worked out and to deny the gaps and contradictions is no better than substituting God's mechanistic intervention to explain each & every gap. Scientism or eliminative materialism is an ideology and Bill Nye is a secularist popularizer who tries to present his personal beliefs for established science.

In any case, I agree with you that Bill Nye's new turn is very unfortunate, especially the immorality he is peddling (his support of abortion, anti-natalist policies, his other anti-human ideas, his swallowing of the latest fad of non-genetic genderism, etc.) His even goes as far as promoting Rachel Bloom's advocacy for anal sex - Bill introduced her as having something very special to say!

Bill Nye has become the Secularist guy.

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna: “Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not.”

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

"Science is wonderful at a lot of things but it is terrible at origins. Origin of the universe, origin of life, origin of multi-cellular life, origin of new proteins, origin of complex life capabilities, origin of consciousness, origin of the Earth are all mysteries with no seemingly possible explanation. But can be explained by a creator."

This is a weird mashup, but the underlying idea of putting a god into natural processes that we might or might not have answers for is not a scientific answer. Bill Nye is a science advocate, and science can only ask and answer questions about the natural world, its power and limits come from this "methodological naturalism". In a sense this makes science a-theist, but only in the sense that it is indifferent to theology. From a science perspective, a god has no explanatory power, no prediction power, and should not serve as a final answer as long as questions remain to be asked. Catholic teaching is that science describing the natural world is describing the work of god. Investigating the natural world through science can then become something of a religious calling, but to be effective must be rooted in science, not theology.

You mix actual beginnings with changes. The universe origins we have at least the start of a good understanding but we run into barriers like the Planck time, so earlier than a tiny fraction of time after the big bang remains clouded in ignorance. Putting a god into that mystery is fine theologically, but utterly useless scientifically. You have a problem with biological evolution, but your examples on this and other posts about gene transfer and similar replacing natural selection is off the mark. Once a molecule starts replicating, Natural Selection acting on all sorts of things like gene transfers comes into play as a natural law similar to F=ma or E=mc2. Once the things you mention happen, they must also be selected for and passed into future generations. That's how natural selection worked. Where the words of Darwin himself are weakest are his speculations on what sources of variation Selection is able to work on. Darwin wrote long before Wilson and Crick gave us the first modern look at DNA. That doesn't make Darwin wrong, just incomplete. Newton wrote his laws of gravity before Einstein, and the results are similar.

Where you see mysteries that you want to answer with god, scientists see questions and future employment. Cosmology, Abiogenesis, the nitty gritty of biological processes, are all ripe fields for future scientists, to include my children. But the questions are so big, the problems so complex, many of those questions will remain ripe for new work for a long time. Considering Darwin wrote Origin less than 200 years ago, and Big Bang is less than 100 years old, we are still pretty new at those games. Before Hubble, we thought the Milky Way and the Universe were synonymous, and that was also less than 100 years ago.

We have many answers ahead. Wondrous, strange, and challenging to current notions. From a scientific perspective, that is truly exciting. I see science as finally allowing humans to use our greatest gift, that of intellect.

John Linton
6 years 10 months ago

I always thought Jesus saved the world, and that his economy of salvation does not require a further intervention by Nye.

Nye is a poor substitute insofar as he has a track record of deception -- during a recent TV interview with Tucker Carlson he claimed that 100% of global warming was caused by humanity -- which borders on intellectual abuse of the young. This sort of hysteria-mongering and apocalyptic vision is anti-science in the extreme.

I do not know that Jesus would have been a very good scientist (his claims about life after death suggest not so much). But I am fairly certain that Nye is not.

Stanley Kopacz
6 years 10 months ago

Actually, given certain cooling factors like a slight diminution of solar radiation while global temperature incteased, humans may be responsible for 110% of global warming. "Greenhouse" gas science correctly predicts how atmospheres of any planet cause thise planets to have surface temperatures higher than they should be, given their respective solar irradiations.
As for Nye, the science is fine but he can shove the arrogant scientism. I'm still a Mr. Wizard guy.

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

Catholic teaching on science and scripture agrees with Nye on topics like Evolution. The Ark story didn't happen. Neither did the Garden of Eden. Those science fields have been supported by every pope since Pius XII. Evolution was never denied by the Church, though early on it met proper skepticism due a new and challenging but powerful theory. By 1950 the debate was over and the Church knew it. An ancient universe is also settled science, a priest/scientist building on prior work by people like Einstein and Hubble to come up with what we call Big Bang Theory which led directly to the current age estimate of 13.7B years for the universe and 4.5B for the Earth. Somewhere around 200K years for humans as we know them. There is zero evidence for the Flood and Noah story. It's a fable and not remotely factual. t's possible the Exodus didn't happen either, at least not as written.

Catholic teaching is that Evolution and an ancient Earth and Universe ar being correctly understood through science at present, that the facts and evidence are undeniable. To say otherwise isn't skepticism or critical thinking, but exactly what Nye said, denialism. It's just not up for debate any more unless some profoundly contradictory data is discovered in large amounts. Denialism is real, and it is distinct from scientific and logical skepticism.

JR Cosgrove
6 years 10 months ago

the facts and evidence are undeniable. To say otherwise isn't skepticism or critical thinking, but exactly what Nye said, denials

I am sorry but you do not understand the science and are misinformed. There is certainly the appearance of new life forms in the past 3.5 billion years. That is obvious from the fossil record. But there is no know mechanism to explain these appearances. Certainly not the theories of Darwin and its later iterations. That is the dirty secret of science. They do not have a process that can explain the appearances of these new life forms. Until that time, it will have to remain a mystery.

Darwin's ideas only explain minor trivial changes in gene pools and his classic book should have been titled "The Origin of Variants." There is no known process that can explain the origin of new protein sequences that are necessary for the cellular operations of species, especially the very complicated species the inhabit the world since the Cambrian Explosion.

As an example, of this misunderstanding, Darwin was suspect till scientists saw the progression of the so called "Darwin Finches" on the Galapagos. In real time they could see the finches morphing into different shapes based on the scarcity of different food supplies in the islands. People were ecstatic that they had proof of natural selection. Until later research revealed that all the finches were one species with different shapes and could inner breed and that the morphing of the size of the finch and especially their beaks were caused by epigenetic causes that expressed one protein more or less depending on food supplies. The example of the finches fell apart. It is the same with every other example brought up as proof of natural selection.

So it is Nye who is in denial.

There is good science to say that a flood did happen in what is now the Black Sea when the last Ice age melted and the rising waters from the Mediterranean flooded through the Bosporous and flooded out cities located there. I also know of no science that disproves the Garden of Eden or a first parents. Humans are incredibly different from any other close species, mainly in regulatory DNA sequences that affects the expression of proteins that develop neural tissue. There is no explanation on how this could have happened.

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

The Augustinian friar Gregor Mendel, somewhat a contemporary of Darwin, was the first to crack open the idea of how heredity works and founded what is today genetics. Modern understanding of how genes function through both straight reproduction with its mutations as well as epigenetics, another layer of genes governing how which gene works and when and how strongly, etc. Our understanding is relatively good at this point, and is only increasing.

But even in Mendel and Darwin's day, it was obvious that even if we didn't yet know how it happened, the facts showed that it did happen. As we got an increasingly precise date for the age of the earth and what life came when, and the genetic proof that all life on earth shares a common descent, to deny the facts of the universe is beyond cognitive dissonance. Catholic teaching is that science is a tool for humans to discover not only what happened but how it happened. Catholics also believe that science is the tool to know the work of god more precisely. Catholic teaching is that science unveils the work of god. To deny science is to deny god.

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

While the Black Sea flood, and the earlier Mediterranean Sea flood, possibly happened and are possible original sources for the myth, they were much longer ago than a literal reading of Noah would allow, more than 10K years ago on current estimates (the Mediterranean was more than 5M years ago). It was also regional only, not global, negating that aspect of the fable. Humans at the time lived everywhere in the world, so a Black Sea flood hardly wiped out everyone except Noah and family. Maybe coastal dwellers in the area that could walk fast enough. But even as close as present day Turkey and Ukraine, humans might not have even known it happened till well after. There is exactly zero evidence fore weeks of global rain and a flood lasting a year with no land at all. Even a local boat on the Black Sea could have found land sooner than a year. Or the source of Noah was a really bad ship captain. Sorry, the Noah fable at most has a large regional flood as it's source material. Any global human genocide didn't happen.

Genetically, there is also no evidence. Humans and predecessors like Homo Erectus have experienced population bottlenecks in the past, but never as severe as described in either Noah or Adam/Eve. Maybe a global population down in the thousands, but no fewer from the genetic record.

JR Cosgrove
6 years 10 months ago

I am well aware of Mendel and have read his history from his earliest days being refused admittance to the university and then his persistence and the implications of his findings. It is a very interesting story. This is the origin of modern day genetics and explains how genes are expressed and passed on and nothing more. The issue with evolution is in the appearance of completely new proteins. If there was time, I could provide you with the received wisdom of today on how this happens but space is not available. However, the received wisdom really cannot explain the incredible interactions of proteins, RNA structures and the most complicated machine on the earth, the human cell. Functioning proteins are extremely rare and the likelihood of one arising through mutations is not likely to happen more than a few times. Then proteins have to fit and work with other proteins. No biological process can explain how these interacting functional proteins arose.

There is no known predecessor to humans though the books will talk of transitional species and point to chimpanzees and the similarly of the genomes. But the differences are not in the coding proteins per se but in the regulatory mechanisms in the genome that affect neural tissue. There is no known lead up to humans. Whatever happened probably happened in South Africa many thousands of years ago.

Whether Noah happened exactly as the bible says it did and when is up in the air and essentially irrelevant. There could have been a Noah who reacted to flooding and took animals and family with him and this group started a line of descendants. The timing of the bible is not literal so Noah could have easily been 10k years ago.

You are focused on the wrong things. Focus on why the science is being distorted to support a narrative that is false.

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

Perhaps you started with Mendel, but you've ended up with Behe and the Dicovery Institute, neither one of which are remotely catholic or support catholic teaching on science. You describe Irreducible Complexity, which at its heart is not only illogical but also profoundly anti science. Not bad science. Not denialism. Anti science. IR is an argument from ignorance, where you cannot conceive of the answer therefore it is too complex to answer. Just because you cannot personally understand it doesn't mean others cannot. IR is a textbook sample of illogical thinking and the common mistake of Argument from Ignorance (or incredulity if you prefer). It is also profoundly anti science because science starts with something we don't know and investigates it until we do. We thought a feather and a cannonball had different gravitational falling rates until we demonstrated they are identical. Science uses the unknown to fuel curiousity and hard work that leads to knowledge. IR uses the unknown to stifle curiousity and prevent hard work and deny knowledge. IR is profoundly anti science and also goes profoundly against catholic teaching. Catholics for nearly a century now believe in Theistic Evolution, where humans and every other life form evolved from previous animals as described by Evolution, but that the natural process was guided by god, a miracle worked over eons. The science on this is fully accurate, accepting new data without too much trouble, and encouraging curiousity and hard work and new knowledge. The Catholics add a theological layer to the accepted science.

Before Mendel some farmers and breeders had a gut instinct of inherited traits and the power of harnessing variation, but Mendel was the first to start describing it accurately. Before him it was a mystery. Now we have a pretty good idea of the common descent of genetics and how long things take to work, and an earth 4.5B years old is plenty of time. We can even trace the mutation that separates human from other great apes, where two chromosomes combined into one, leaving the human chromosome 2 and only 23 chromosomes vs the 24 of other apes. It's an obvious copying error, and is shared by the Homo species of Sapiens, Denisovan, and Neanderthal. We also have a decent idea on how long populations have to split to make interbreeding impossible and the species split complete, somewhere around 2M years. Since Sapiens demonstrably interbred with Neanderthals around 40K years ago, we must be more closely related than 2M years, possibly as little as 200-400K years.

Noah being literal or not matters. And it would leave physical traces. Since there are no physical traces for a literal global Flood, we are left with either the story being a fable with perhaps a moral lesson but not historical, and the science being correct, or the opposite. Since Catholics believe that science explores the universe as god created it, then denying the science denies god.

For another example, what about Homer's Iliad? Were there heros who were half god, half human? Or was there a city called Troy on the Turkish coast that feuded with Greek cities and that's it? Was Spider-Man really bitten by a radioactive spider and fights crime in New York?or does that reflect the angst of mega city dwellers trying to deal with life? New York is real but Spider-Man is not. Troy is real but half-god warriors and a human war as Olympian proxy battles are not. The Black Sea or Tigris/Euphrates or similar floods might have made a impressioned core for an epic fable, but modern humans are not the incestuous progeny of less than a dozen family members. For comparison, native Americans possibly descended from as few as 70 individuals, and aboriginal Australians descended from maybe 100-200.

JR Cosgrove
6 years 10 months ago

This is getting nowhere. If you want to discuss science, fine but you now want to put people down and make up things. I never said anything about irreducible complexity. It is obvious from your comments that you don't understand the scientific issues. The issue is the origin of proteins and the expansion of the gene pool.

I never said who was and wasn't a Catholic and don't know what that has to do with it.

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

"The issue with evolution is in the appearance of completely new proteins. If there was time, I could provide you with the received wisdom of today on how this happens but space is not available. However, the received wisdom really cannot explain the incredible interactions of proteins, RNA structures and the most complicated machine on the earth, the human cell. Functioning proteins are extremely rare and the likelihood of one arising through mutations is not likely to happen more than a few times. Then proteins have to fit and work with other proteins. No biological process can explain how these interacting functional proteins arose."

What you describe here is Irreducible Complexity as propagandized by the Discovery Institute and a small handful of "scientists" like Michael Behe, who was smacked hard in the Dover trial for basically making stuff up and being ignorant of his own field. You talking about not know the subject kinda looks like projection.

Are there unknowns in biology, a science who's foundation is Evolution? Sure. Scientists still have work to do, and future employment is certain as long as people don't take the "it's too complex/would take too much time" argument seriously. The fact is that it did happen, and we are fairly confident on how, that being natural selection of Evolution working through various levers, like variation of individuals, mutation both through radiation and copy error, and time. Others, like sexual selection are important though possibly secondary. Survival, the often misunderstood term, depends on environment which varies over geography and time. Neanderthals were an amazing fit for ice age Europe, but now they are gone, for example.

I'm still wondering if you understand that America is a Jesuit magazine, and catholics teach that Evolution as described by Darwin and those who followed is fact. Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître, who took the work of Hubble and Einstein (neither was catholic or even christian) and formed the basic theory underlying Cosmology today, Big Bang, was a Catholic Priest. Modern Catholics believe in an ancient universe in direct contradiction to a literal reading of Genesis, and accept Evolution as how nature changes living things over time, resulting in what we see around us. Birds out of dinosaurs, Men out of early primates, both Birds and Men from ancient tetrapods and fish before, if you go back far enough. There is real beauty and awe here in the facts we've discovered. Catholics believe this is how god did it. I'm not sure why you are pushing a non-catholic view of science on a catholic comment section.

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

Out of curiosity, are you conflating Evolution with Abiogenesis? The original start to life on Earth is shrouded in mystery. We have good ideas and a few working Hypothesis, but no over-arching Theory for the actual start to life. Once you get a reproducing molecule, then Evolution takes over and we have a pretty good idea how that works. Not so much Abiogenesis.

Mike Pekarek
6 years 10 months ago

The title of this article is silly. Of course even Bill knows he can't save the world by himself. That's why he made the show.

His science is spot on in every episode. You might not like it, but scientific facts don't care about theology or philosophy. Scientists are famously snooty about philosophy and for good reason: philosophy hasn't cured a disease or lit up the night. Purported miracles aside, religion will not feed the hungry, but science CAN through things like smarter farming, clean water powered by renewables (important where no power infrastructure exists, like Africa), and GMOs to increase yield and resist pest damage. GMOs are especially important to remove pesticide pollution and prevent resistant pests from evolving before our eyes. Even his sexuality episode should be given more credence by Catholics. Bill is correct: humans are simply not a binary species on sexuality. Catholics need to understand the science supporting that statement, because facts mean something and should affect moral views.

Ysais Martinez
6 years 10 months ago

Eric, I think you indulged in being overly charitable to Bill Nye's new show. The episode with the little ice creams orgy or the one with the horrible song about a woman's vagina having a voice totally did it for me. A show about science should be something I can sit down with my children and watch and not something I'd be terrified to let my boys watch. Not to mention the condescending tone and smugness with which he addresses believers. The show is quite frankly unintelligent and repulsive.

Michael Craig
6 years 10 months ago

Bill Nye as far as I have learned is not a "Science Guy" at all but someone with an Engineering Degree who made us laugh back in the day because he looked and acted the part of the nerdy scientist. Now I interrupt this program for a SMUG Alert as it has become apparent that all scientists that agree with Bill are right on but anyone who disagrees with him is shamed and left out in the cold. It seems that all the infotainment guys like Bill Nye and Bill Maher have the same disease and its called knowitallitus. Everyone else is just an idiot and should be treated that way right? Well, Bill's actually No, not if you want people to listen. Where are your scientific credentials to make you even worthy to listen to? Bill Maher and other political pundits like Steven Colbert have no background or training in politics yet we are supposed to take their word as gospel truth? Climate Change science has cost Americans over $165 Billion dollars in tax dollars over the years and is 99.99% about perpetuating the Groupthink that the world is getting warmer and man is to blame. Never mind that back in the 70', 80's and even in the 90's the predictions about ice melting and climate change has been utterly wrong. Data has been shown to be manipulated to get the results that "scientists" want yet scientists are not idiots and know which side their bread is buttered on. If tomorrow the US Government said we are creating a $150 Billion dollar fund to disprove Climate Change suddenly the science would all change.
I don't buy that science is unbiased when their livelihood depends on Government funding.
I also take offense to Liberals in colleges and on TV so quickly and easily put down people of the Christian faith when God forbid ANYONE say ANYTHING negative about Muslims.

They will talk ad-nauseum about religious fanatics in all religions but in reality, have to go back to the Crusades to do so. If looked at scientifically with the number of Terrorist attacks they are from Muslims as well as Left Wing Radical Group. If you check out the FBI's pie chart of who is doing the Terrorist attacks-Christians and Right Wing Groups don't even get a sliver of the pie but Left Wing Groups and Radical Islamic Terrorists do. If Bill Nye is such a "Science Guy" why doesn't he use his math skills to count the 109 verses in the Quran that say to kill the infidels, behead them, and other acts of violence? I am into science and facts are important to look at but when our public schools have been Muslim-Washed to change the meaning of Jihad into something peaceful while radicals are blowing up innocent men, women and children in the name of Allah-I strongly take offense! Nye knocking down the Noah's Ark prop was uncalled for and just nasty and mean. How is the Noah's Ark story hurting humanity? We get it that he is an atheist but the double standard in American TV is that if he even REMOTELY put down Muslims he would be banned from TV yet he can humiliate and denigrate Christians and Catholics all he wants with impunity. Bill needs to realize that a heart is not just something biological but something that he and the Grinch that Stole Christmas need to grow in order to be human and more humane in this cruel world. Maybe he should study the Science of Happy people. He just might find that more of them are people of faith who don't put everything in this world into the science of X's and O's.

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