Monday, September 3, 2012

Bill Nye the Poor Advice Guy

Gilbert: I see the Atheists are at it again, making unrealistic claims about science.

Turtle: They aren't unrealistic claims. Science is the key to humanity's future

Gilbert: Bill's quote is a mishmash of uncorrelated claims.  For instance -How is science the key to our future?  It's true that science and technology have, in the past, produced things that have changed our lives but those changes often result in conflicting results.

TurtleLike what?

Gilbert: Let's take medical advances.  There is no question that technological advances have improved diagnostic abilities but that equipment has driven up health-care costs and encourages physicians to over-use the equipment in order to pay for it.  As result health-care becomes less and less affordable and fewer people have access to it.

Turtle: But people are getting better care.

Gilbert: Some are, but what about society as a whole.  Is it better to have expensive, sophisticated diagnostic equipment that not everyone can afford or less sophisticated equipment with universal access?

Turtle: But as use increases costs go down.

Gilbert: True but then the next thing comes along to replace the obsolete equipment so the costs go back up.

Then Bill says that, "if you don't believe in science you are holding everybody back."  Back from what?  His warning sounds alarming but it is pointless.  Is all scientific advancement good?

Turtle:How can it be otherwise?

Gilbert: What about cloning.  Bill wants science to advance free from 'religious interference' but science is incapable to answering whether cloning, or many other areas of science are good things.

Then Bill says that, "it is fine if you are an adult and want to run around pretending or claiming you don't believe in evolution."  But he just finished saying that if you don't believe in science you are holding everybody back.  Which is it?  Can't he make up his mind? And why is evolution a surrogate for science?

Then he says that, "if we educate a generation who doesn't believe in science that is a recipe for disaster."

What does he mean by, "believe in science?"  That makes no sense.  There is a great deal of lying going on about the relationship of the church and science.  I'm sure that is what is behind his rant but, one cannot "believe in science."  To say that is unthinking. And what 'disaster' is he referring to?

Finally, he alternates between evolution and science.  It seems what he is really promoting is evolution.  In his book The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins writes, "Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence. If superior creatures from space ever visit earth, the first question they will ask, in order to assess the level of our civilization, is: ‘Have they discovered evolution yet?"

Well, speaking for Christianity, it explains why we are here and to say that aliens would assess our level of civilization based on whether we had discovered evolution is self-serving and just plain wrong.  Civilization refers to relationships and infrastructure, etc.  It has nothing to do with a specific branch of science.

Turtle: But overall, science is a good thing.

Gilbert:  But, un-tempered by religious teaching those advancements pose a potential for disaster as has happened in the past.  G. K. Chesterton wrote, "What modern science fails to realise is that there is little use in knowing without thinking.  Nobody is taking the smallest trouble to consider who in the future will be in command of electricity and capable of giving us the shocks.  With all the shouting about new marvels hardly anybody utters a word or even a whisper about how they will be prevented from turning into the old abuses..."

Can Bill Nye's science guarantee that its discoveries won't be abused.  No, because science can not care.

More to come.


  1. Good to see you up and running again! What an interesting concept: "Believe in science". Hmm... always did think evolution required a lot of 'faith'!

  2. Hah, hahahahahaha xD
    That was a funny read! Oh wait.. You’re serious..
    wow... uhm.. alright.. let's start with the basics.

    According to Merriam Webster’s fine dictionary belief can be defined as three different concepts:

    "1 a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing.

    2 something believed; especially: a tenet or body of tenets held by a group

    3 conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence"

    For believing something someone tells you for example a spouse, it would be 1)
    For religious belief it would be 2)
    In this specific case however Bill was referencing the third definition of belief.

    While the basics of evolution are simple to grasp and understand the actual science behind evolution can be quite complex, therefore for most people will only really grasp part of evolution.

    The basics go like this

    We know the planet is approximately 4.54 billion years old, we know this due to theories based on evidence.
    It was debatable up until the 1920ies when the age of the earth was proven via radiometric dating, it is no long debatable, and while the 'believed' age of the earth may still change, it's only changing to become more accurate.

    I won't go into abiogenesis, as it's very complex and a bit off topic, but you are welcome to take a read for yourself

    Based on evidence it is 'believed' that life first started in the oceans about 3.5-3.9 billion years ago, as single celled organisms.
    In laboratories it has been shown that single celled organisms may clump together to produce multicellular organisms.

    Multicellular organisms are far more efficient, since they can collaborate, therefore they were more successful at life.

    For cells as well as plants and animals it goes that the more successful they are at life the longer life they have and the more likely they are to propagate/reproduce during their life time.

    Now we know that everyone has genes, cells, have genes, and genes are made of chromosomes, the chromosomes one has is the recipe for who they are.
    Half the chromosomes come from the 'mother' and the other half from the father so you get a mix both.
    There are at the same time many types of genetic mutations that may happen to the 'recipe'
    Usually it's small things, like a person may end up taller than both the parents.
    If this is beneficial the genes may be passed on, but may be lost later in the lineage.
    However if it's beneficial, not only to the singular person but perhaps to the entire tribe, the average height of the tribe may increase.
    Now the mutated gene is the predominant one, and the species has evolved slightly, this does not happen fast though, it happens over many generations.

    As many mutations happen in every generation evolution is likely, however it's still a slow process and many mutations turn out to be disadvantageous even harmful to the individual and the individual may then die out before passing on the mutated genes.

    There is a lot of scientific information available on the theory of evolution, if you are interested, though I suspect that would not be the case.

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  4. Gordon, you are focusing on an unrelated topic with respect to the subject of this post. The discussion here is whether we should trust science as the key to our future. You have chosen to focus on demonstrations of the validity of scientific theory. With respect to the age of the earth et al, I will deal with that in another post. With respect to the validity of the origin of life, that is an easy argument for science to win. If life originated without intelligent effort, produce a living cell fully created in a laboratory, including the chemical components. With respect to my knowledge of evolution, I took classes in biology and genetics and evolution at the University of Florida and got A's in them. Finally, this post is the first in a series I am working on but I will give you a preview. Bill Nye says that we should rely on science as the key to our future so I ask Mr. Nye a question for science to answer; Why are we here?

    1. Evolution was part of your quotation, and as such it's always good to have a reference as to what it is, the vast majority of creationists after all have no idea how and why evolution works after all.

      Why we are here is a nonsicle question, to ask that you have first aserted that we were placed here, apparently without asking the question who put us here in the first place.

      Can we know for certain that the spores to life were not sprinkled on earth by a parsing alien spacecraft?
      No, it can not be asserted with certainty, doing so would be foolish, can we be pretty sure that it didn't happen?
      Yes, so far no evidence has been found that points to this as a valid answer. All evidence we have at the current point in time points to the case that life can be created from non-life under the correct conditions.

      As for winning the abiogenesis debate, we are not quite there yet, but we are getting closer by the minute.

      It does not take the creation of a whole cell however, it goes smaller than that,

      As for science being the way forward, I have this to say, Science is curiosity, this means that science is also curious about the drawbacks of new technology.
      However without science, we have stagnation, this is what happened in the middle east back, in the good old days they were the science hub of planet earth, they invented the precursor to our alphabet, many forms of mathematics and much more, they had the highest standard of living in the whole world, then religion went on the rise, and science was banished from the lands, and anyone disagreeing with religion was tortured and killed (a bit like the European middle ages).
      They went back to living in their mudhuts and fearing imaginary creations conjured up by fantasy books.
      The same thing could happen to America, away with all the science created technology, back to living in outback mudhuts and fearing imaginary creations from fantasy books.

      P.S. titles and grades have no hold in an anonymous debate, I for exameple hold a doctorate in intelligent design, does that make me more trustworthy on the matter when no body knows who I am, no, only my actions speak for me.

  5. I doubt you have any such degree. My reference to evolution was based on Bill Nye and Richard Dawkins's self-serving statements.


  7. Kevin, you claim evolution is falsifiable but that is a ruse. Any challenges to evolution are denied funding. Any publications challenging evolution are ridiculed and any serious evidence is either denied ad hoc or the goal posts are moved. The challenge is false anyway. It is misdirection. If your theory of origins is correct, and for the record that is not the same thing as evolution, then produce a living cell and stop invoking the tired old Miller/Urey Experiment. If life originated spontaneously then it did not need an intelligent agent working on its behalf. On that basis it should be a snap for anyone reading this to whip up a living cell. Oh, and by the way, you need to create the necessary chemicals too.

  8. In fact there have been several experiments proposed which would discredit the pseudo-science you worship. However, when funding has been requested the projects have been denied. The reason is obvious, if the Biblical account of creation is proved then the pseudo-scientific industry that has grown up after WWII will be unnecessary, or at least the established pseudo-science that currently holds sway will be unnecessary. In my opinion, the money wasted on much of the research today would then be devoted to projects which would really help mankind.

  9. I find it hilarious that anyone can call Bill Nye's and Professor Dawkins' statements 'self-serving' when nearly every argument put forth by creationists is the epitome of such. Where I'm from, that's called hypocrisy.

    When a scientist is asked to prove something, they might get out the microscope, mix some chemicals together, or test something with an electronic meter. When a creationist is asked to prove something, they generally point to a passage in some ancient allegorical text or other.

    I don't claim that science does or ever will hold all the secrets of the cosmos. Only a fool would say any system of knowledge or belief ever could.

    'God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance.'

    -Neil DeGrasse Tyson

  10. Kevin 1 Theists 0

    I'm constantly disappointed by the total inability of theists to accept facts which are blatantly obvious and beyond dispute, in favour of bronze age mythology written for the purposes of self-aggrandisement and achieving control over others, by people with less understanding of how the world really works than the average 10-year old child of today.

    Would you like bronze age medical treatment when you're sick? Or bronze age hygiene procedures to be applied when your food is being prepared? Or bronze age 'justice' if you're ever accused of wrongdoing? No? Why then accept bronze age myths as the single most important thing in your entire life? I just don't get it, it seems to me to be the result of some kind of brainwashing procedure....I really can't understand why supposedly intelligent people can believe the god sad :(

  11. If you want ABSOLUTE proof of the claims made by Nye. Look to the middle east . No science . ALL religion.
    And they are at least 80 years behind us in every way.
    What Nye is saying is the truth. Without science. We would still be savages in Europe.

  12. Dustin, you open yourself up to the counter argument that - If you want proof of what I say, look at Western Civilization. Its rules developed without science's help based on the principles of Christianity which imbue Common Law.

    1. Without science's help?

      You're right. They didn't need scientists at all. They simply burned them at the stake or tortured them.

    2. My point is not to merely be sarcastic. My point is this:

      The fact that the majority of knowledge in the West originated in religion is not in any way an indication of the superiority of religion in any logical, reasoning sense. It is entirely a result of religion oppressing advances in science. You complain in another comment that:

      'In fact there have been several experiments proposed which would discredit the pseudo-science you worship. However, when funding has been requested the projects have been denied.'

      Yet, religion has stifled the advancement of scientific discovery for its entire history. This is another example of religious hypocrisy. You can't have it both ways.

  13. If you wish to participate identify yourself. I have deleted and will delete any anonymous posts.

  14. As for Bill Nye being afraid of a return to the Dark Ages. That is a crock perpetrated on those of you who are willing to swallow lies without question. The Middle Ages were not a time of moribund intellect or stifled science. That is a myth that has been fostered despite ready evidence to the contrary. Stephen Hawking even lied about it in his Curiosity program. TAT post Logic Works by Barbara. I suggest that you read, Medieval Cosmology, Theories of Infinity, Place, Time, and the Plurality of Worlds by Pierre Duhem. Check out Wikipedia's article on the Myth of the Flat Earth. The Church did not oppose Columbus' voyage because it taught the earth was flat, in fact the Church doctrice was that the earth was round, it opposed Columbus' voyage because they believe he underestimated the distance. It turns out the Church was right. It's tie you guys started thinking for yourselves and question what you are told.

    1. Really? You're saying his 'fears' are totally unfounded and without merit?

      What do you have to say about the recent push for blasphemy laws in the U.S? Could that not be considered draconian societal engineering, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 17th century?

      Also, the church at the time of Columbus may have come to the grudging acceptance of the obvious fact that the Earth is roughly spherical, but they still steadfastly believed the sun and the entire rest of the cosmos revolved around the Earth. As a matter of fact, they beheaded, burned or excommunicated nearly every person who even suggested otherwise.

      Can you name any moral value or discovery which humanity would have been thoroughly unable to make if religion had never existed?

      Even chimpanzees have morality, and they have no clue who Jesus or Mohammed are. In fact, Chimpanzee morality can be shown to be far more exacting than that of humans, because motivations such as greed, social order, and control of others don't factor in to their societal equations nearly as strongly.

      My point: Even monkeys know it's wrong to harm others for no reason.

  15. Louis your comment was removed due to vulgar language. I will remove any posts that contain vulgar language. You are all adults and should behave as such.

  16. I will deal with Tyson in another post shortly.

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  18. "Kevin, you claim evolution is falsifiable but that is a ruse. Any challenges to evolution are denied funding. Any publications challenging evolution are ridiculed and any serious evidence is either denied ad hoc or the goal posts are moved."

    Wayne plays the typical creationist coward. Forgets about the ICR (Institute for Creation Research) and AIG (Answers In Genesis). Where is their evidence that falsifies evolution? These organizations have no problem with funds, at all. You're a liar. The creationist is the one making the positive claim yet they cannot back it up so they must resort to attempting to shift the burden of proof. The creationist is intellectually dishonest and willfully stupid.

  19. I should also mention that Wayne fails to understand how science operates. Science isn't good or bad, IT WORKS. Understand, Wanye?

  20. Modernwasteland, first of all, you are posting anonymously. The use of a pseudonym masks your identity and therefore makes you anonymous however, I will not drillers your comments yet because I suspect you are Kevin Larney. Your logic seems very similaaly flawed.

    Also, I normally allow people to withdraw epically flawed posts. I will allow you to do so for your claim that we are not advanced enough to create a cell but are close.

    Of course, when you do that the second bullet will collapse.

    Finally, the third bullet demonstrated KL logic. You first claim to have forgotten to include the cell creation comment, but later you claim to have ommitted it due to my essay making irrelevant claims. You cannot justify both claims. Either you forgot it or intentionally committed it. You should just withdraw that entire comment.

  21. With respect to the claims that some, or all of my post(s) are irrelevant, on the contrary, my posts are relevant and I can not only price that, but I can prove that people like Richard Dawkins, David Dennet, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, Bill Nye, etc., are guilty of logical MALPRACTICE.

    "The first person who actually stated such a precise definition of truth in familiar terms was the Polish mathematician and philosopher Alfred Tarski, who introduced his theory of truth in the 1930s and 1940s.
    Tarski's goal was not to come up with a list of all truths and a list of all

    "Just as it had not been the goal in the grandfatherhood case before to come up with a list of who is a grandfather of whom.

    "Ultimately, it is the job of mathematicians to find out which
    mathematical sentences are true; it is the task of physicists to discover which physical sentences are true; it is the task of historians to determine which sentences about human history are true, and so on. Philosophers should not aim to be the better mathematicians, physicists, historians, or the like. "
    Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy
    Lecture by Hannes Leitgeb
    Lecture 2-3 August 2013
    The Truth Scheme.

    I suspect that Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, and Christopher Hitchens were were or are ignorant of the above and also the below logical constrained:
    "Whereof One Cannot Speak, Thereof One Must Be Silent." Ludwig
    Wittgenstein's 7th Proposition from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

    This, combined with the lectures above create the logical truth constraint that the people named above are out of bounds to comment on GOD. Their motives are clearly economic. With respect to Dawkins his trespass is worse. I suspect that he does know Tarski and Wittgenstein but chooses to violate those principles to sell books.