There's been a growing push by the religious right and political conservatives to introduce 'creationism science' in the public schools and to deny the validity of the theory of evolution. Evolution has been blamed for everything from "the erosion of Judeo-Christian values" to the German Nazis. Conservatives attending October's "Value Voters Summit" were told by the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer that America cannot have a president who believes in evolution, and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has stated that creationism should be taught in schools because science doesn't have all the answers.
Bill Nye — aka The Science Guy — is a scientist, engineer, comedian, author and inventor. With presentations that make science entertaining and understandable, his mission has been to help foster a scientifically literate society and to help people appreciate the science that makes our world work. Friday, Big Think published a video (embedded below) in which Nye urged parents to allow their children to learn about evolution:
Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. We are the world's most advanced technological — you could say Japan — but generally, the United States is where most of the innovation still happens, people still move to the United States, and that's largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science.
When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in that, it holds everybody back, really. Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like — It's very much analagous to trying to do geology without believing in techtonic plates, you're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.
As my old professor Carl Sagan said, when you're in love, you want to tell the world. So, once in awhile, I get people that really — or that claim, they don't believe in evolution, and my response generally is why not? Really, why not? Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution. I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here's radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but that are in a different point in their life cycle, the idea of deep time of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy. It's just untenable, it's self inconsistent.
And I say to the grown-ups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we've observed in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can — we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.
It's just really a hard thing. It's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of hundred of centuries, that worldview I'm sure will be, just won't exist. There's no evidence for it.