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Bill Nye on Evolution Denial: "Troubling as a Citizen of the U.S."

Bill Nye the Science Guy addresses the national risks associated with producing a generation fraught with evolution deniers. He also addresses critics who claim evolution doesn't exist and attempts to examine why they can't bring themselves to accept the facts.

Bill Nye fears the consequences of producing a generation fraught with evolution deniers. Outside of the fact that ignorance is frustrating, Nye's concerns lie with America's ability to keep up with the rest of world in science and innovation. "Evolution," says the Science Guy, " is the fundamental idea in all of life science." To deny evolution is to deny biology, which is therefore a denial of the foundation beneath medicine, anatomy, neuroscience, etc. 


"United States keeps in the game economically by innovating – having new ideas, new products, new ways of doing things. That’s what the United States produces and brings to the world. And if we raise a significant fraction of our students who don’t understand science we’re not going to have the engineers and scientists to continue this tradition. So for me it’s troubling objectively or subjectively as one can be and as a citizen of the U.S."

In the above clip, Nye attempts to pinpoint the reasoning behind evolution denial. He argues that creationists and the like choose to deny factual evidence of evolution because of a memento mori fear of death:

"It seems incredible that all this stuff that we store in our brain, all the memories we have, all the mental images that we are able to keep, all the algebra that we learn, that all that goes away when we die is really hard for all of us to accept. And along with this is that we are not nature’s last word. We are not the final answer that nature came up with. That we are not what some entity created as his or her very best work. We’re just one more step on the evolutionary timeline. And for many people that’s so troubling they can’t accept it at all."

Nye knows that there's little he can do to sway the opinion of adults in groups like Answers in Genesis, but the influence of those adults on their children and students can have broad consequences for the nation. The more young people they indoctrinate with shoddy, porous interpretations of world history (such as the world being 4,000 years old), the harder it will be for the country to make necessary strides in the advancement of science.

For more on the subject, check out Nye's new book: Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation.

Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
  • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
  • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
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Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

Videos
  • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
  • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
  • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.

Coronavirus
  • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
  • Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
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Better reskilling can future-proof jobs in the age of automation. Enter SkillUp's new coalition.

Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.

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