'Science Guy' Bill Nye takes aim at evolution deniers
In a video by the online knowledge forum Big Think, science educator Bill Nye urged parents to let their children's schools teach evolutionary biology.
That all known life shares a common ancestor is just about as well-established a scientific observation as you're going to get. It's right up there with ice floating on water and the moon not being made of cheese. And the scientific explanation for all the complexity and diversity of life on Earth – first outlined by Charles Darwin some 150 years ago and continually refined since then – remains the linchpin of the life sciences.
Of course none of this prevents staggering numbers of Americans from rejecting evolution. According to a 2007 Gallup survey, about four in 10 Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so," an assertion that is, by any reasonable standard of evidence, nonsense.
But creationism isn't just ordinary nonsense. It's politicized nonsense. Nonsense that prompts TV shouting matches and comment-thread flame wars. Nonsense that bids rise to multimillion-dollar think tanks. Nonsense that makes journalists see a scientific controversy where none exists. Nonsense that ruins Thanksgiving dinner, causes childhood pals to defriend each other on Facebook, and eventually leads someone to stand up and make an exasperated call to Think Of The Children.