Evolution, STEM, President Obama, and Bill Nye

On May 27, President Obama hosted the “White House Science Fair.” The White House describes this fair as featuring “extraordinary science projects and experiments from some of America’s most innovative students.”

President Obama introduced various government officials, and then the fifth person he introduced was Bill Nye “the Science Guy” of TV fame. Nye received the loudest applause, and President Obama then commented on that response. I actually thought it was ironic that Bill Nye was present. Let me explain.

President Obama honored these innovative students at the White House for their extraordinary science projects and experiments. We have embedded the first minute and 16 seconds of the video where President Obama introduces these officials—and then Bill Nye and the response he received. Watch this very short clip:

Now here is a very important point I wanted to share. I debated Bill Nye at the Creation Museum back on February 4. (You can watch the debate—and notice the topical drop-down menu—at debatelive.org.)

During that debate, Bill Nye made disparaging statements about the state of Kentucky, claiming that if students were not taught evolution in school, it would undermine technology. In fact he’s made many similar statements before and after the debate. For instance, an article from 2012 reported Bill Nye stating,

Scientist Bill Nye, responding to criticism from creationist organizations of his opinion that children should only be taught evolution in schools, has said he also believes that the innovative process of America is threatened by a belief in creation.

“If we raise a generation of students who don’t believe in the process of science, who think everything that we’ve come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you’re not going to continue to innovate,” Nye said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Now—let’s get back to the White House Science Fair. You can read about the students who were honored, and the details of their innovativeness and extraordinary science experiments, on the White House blog.

I have a question about the fair and its experiments: Please tell me what the role of a belief in evolution played in any of these experiments and innovative ideas? The answer is none! Evolution is not mentioned. The students could all be biblical creationists and that wouldn’t change even one aspect of their experiments and ideas. Isn’t it ironic, that Bill Nye, who has stated over and over again that students will not be innovative if they believe in creation, was present for these innovative students to be honored—and evolution had zero to do with their accomplishments!

Now, I have publicly challenged Bill Nye in writing—and verbally at the debate—this way:

I challenge Bill Nye to name one thing, one invention that would not be possible without believing in molecules-to-man evolution. Tell me one way a belief in evolution has contributed to innovation and developed our technology. Did the Apple company use evolutionary beliefs in developing its software and computers?

Here is the actual text that was on one of my slides when I challenged Bill Nye at the debate in February:

Question for Bill Nye:

Can you name one piece of technology that could only have been developed starting with a belief in molecules-to-man evolution?

Well, the White House in a sense has answered it for him. It’s no! This fair had some of the brightest students in the nation who were honored by the president for their extraordinary experiments and ability to innovative. Wouldn’t you think if evolution was so critical to seeing more innovation in technology, that it would be so obvious there?

Yes, in light of his recent comments about evolution-based science, it was quite ironic that Bill Nye was present for this special White House ceremony.

Now, President Obama also mentioned STEM a number of times at the ceremony—and its importance. So what is STEM? It is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM is growing in popularity, and more and more people are becoming familiar with the term.

Well, an AiG board member (Dan Wooster) has been conducting STEM programs for years—and now he has developed a camp for a unique and powerful STEM program. Here is the text of what I wrote about this special camp recently:

I have a very exciting opportunity to announce for young people. This summer Camp Infinity is offering two identical weeks of their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Introduction Camp for Middle School. This is a unique opportunity for young people to learn about technology, science, and the Christian faith—all at the same time. They will also spend time at the nearby Creation Museum.

Space is extremely limited for these two inaugural camps here in northern Kentucky. Apply for your child now (for students entering grades 7 through 9 later this year) to reserve your place for an unprecedented camp experience. Here are the links to find out about the programs and also apply for the camp:

Dan Wooster is the founder of Camp Infinity, a computer science professor, cofounder of the Worthwhile Company, and a member of the board for Answers in Genesis and The Wilds camp. He lives in Greenville, South Carolina.

By the way, you can still register your students for one of these camps this summer—I urge you to do so. They will also receive presentations from AiG speakers (including me) and then visit the Creation Museum (and they will have fun, too, such as riding on the best and biggest zip lines in the Midwest at the Creation Museum).

Now, wait a minute. The person running this STEM program is a creationist, and those making presentations are creationists. How could that be? After all, Bill Nye said if students are taught creation and don’t believe in evolution, they will not be able to be innovative and develop technology.

Actually, the topic of origins is connected to STEM! Here is the text of how I challenged Bill Nye during the debate about science and naturalism: “How do you account for the laws of logic and laws of nature from a naturalistic worldview that excludes the existence of God?”

At the debate I said that “Bill Nye has no foundation for his worldview and is borrowing from the Christian worldview.”

It’s not beliefs in evolution that are foundational to technology—it’s the Christian worldview founded in the Creator who created the laws of logic, the laws of nature, and the uniformity of nature!

To help your students love science and be innovative—don’t let them be taught by Bill Nye. Send them instead to the Creation Museum, and sign them up for the STEM camp this summer that is run by biblical creationists.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken