It was not all that surprising that Bill Nye's Big Think video on evolution versus creationism went viral on Youtube this week. After all, the video contained many of the elements of viral content: it tapped into controversy, it was an authentic statement, and yeah, sure, it didn't hurt that some people thought the science guy was dead. (Reports of Nye's death turned out to be greatly exaggerated, thanks to Twitter and a fictitious report in The Onion.)
There is, however, a bigger idea at work here than Nye's takedown of the creationist rejection of evolution: if you reject science, there is a cost. If you refuse to allow your children to learn about evolution, they will not succeed in the 21st century knowledge economy. Moreover, there is a cost to society as well: you are holding the rest of us back, as we desperately need a scientifically literate population.
Then there is a second, countervailing idea as well. Is science compatible with religion? Can either discipline "bend" to the other? In he meantime, here's the problem for science: large majorities of Americans don't believe that humans are the product of evolution alone. In other words, science is losing the argument.