To the editor:
Several months ago, Bill Nye (of the 1990’s PBS/Disney TV show The Science Guy) posted a short video on bigthink.com expressing his views concerning the mindset of Americans who subscribe to creationism. Recently this video clip has received a great deal of media attention.
In this video Mr. Nye expresses the idea that people who believe in the Biblical account of creation are a liability to our nation and to the scientific world. He states that these people “… are holding us back;” that the world view of creationists is “crazy” and “untenable;” and that teaching creation to children will somehow keep them from being engineers and solving problems.
Basically he is saying that creationists are uneducated dolts who ignore obvious reality in order to embrace hokum, and that teaching creation is harmful to children.
I find this view distressing and offensive.
I am an Evangelical. I believe in the literal account of creation in Genesis. And I am fully aware that there are apparent disparities between current prevailing scientific views and religious beliefs. And so, I make it a point to research those areas where science and religion seem to conflict. Over time, I have found resources in support of a literal understanding of creation that use as much science as those that refute religious views of creation.
As a result, I have found there are two points that can be made consistently: 1. The tenets of religion have much more evidence and scientific validity than some people want to acknowledge, and 2. The theories of science are not as air-tight, solid or universally accepted as some people would like us to believe.
Now matter how intelligent a person is, it is still possible to be narrow-minded. And this is true for both the religiously minded and the scientifically minded. My hope is that people of faith and people of science will more intentionally engage in respectful and robust dialogue that will deepen our understanding of both areas.
Rev. Patrick Crough
Senior pastor, First Baptist Church in Tiverton