Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Deny Evolution

If adults want to deny evolution, that’s fine. Sure. Whatever. But those adults better not make their kids follow in step because we as society need them to be better.

Bill Nye: Denial of evolution is unique to the United States.  I mean, we’re the world’s most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens.  People still move to the United States.  And that’s largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science.  When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.  

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology.  It’s like, it’s very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates.  You’re just not going to get the right answer.  Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

As my old professor, Carl Sagan, said, “When you’re in love you want to tell the world.”  So, once in a while I get people that really—or that claim—they don’t believe in evolution.  And my response generally is “Well, why not? Really, why not?”  Your world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don’t believe in evolution.  I mean, here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they’re at a different point in their lifecycle.  The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us.  If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent.  

And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them.  We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.  We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.  

It’s just really hard a thing, it’s really a hard thing.  You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I’m sure, will be, it just won’t exist.  There’s no evidence for it.  

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

If adults want to deny evolution, sure. That’s fine. Whatever. But those adults better not make their kids follow in step because we as society need them to be better. Bill Nye, everyone's favorite Science Guy, explains the importance of promoting evolution education for America's future voters and lawmakers.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Originally Poe envisioned a parrot, not a raven

Quoth the parrot — "Nevermore."

The Green Parrot by Vincent van Gogh, 1886
Culture & Religion
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1949) is considered one of America's great writers.
  • Poe penned his most famous poem, The Raven, in his 30s.
  • Originally, the poem's feathered subject was a bit flamboyant.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less