Response to Creationist 1

1. “Bill Nye, Are you influencing the minds of children in a positive way?”

And WHAM, straight in with the most instructive message of the lot. This guy isn’t engaging with the facts. He doesn’t even want to engage with the facts. For him, it’s not a factual issue at all, but a moral one.

Think about it. He’s asking Bill Nye whether he thinks he’s a positive influence on children’s minds. Bill Nye. A man who has dedicated his career to educating children in science, encouraging them to understand the world around them, making them question and learn. Not Ken Ham, the man who thinks their education should be derived entirely from the Bible, and whose life’s work is propaganda toward that aim. He’s not asking that guy. No, he’s asking Bill Nye.

To any right-thinking person, the answer seems so obvious it shouldn’t even need stating: yes, of course Bill Nye is influencing the minds of children in a positive way! But the questioner clearly doesn’t agree: there’s a strong implication in the question that he thinks the answer is no, teaching science and rationality is, in fact, a negative influence on children.

This is the attitude that needs to be focussed on, and needs to be spotlighted in public debates on the issue of creationism. It reveals the dangerous and dishonest nature of the creationist “controversy”.

On the one hand, creationists try to dress up their position in scientific legitimacy, bamboozling with sciency terms, twisting on the definition of “theory”, making easily-debunked claims about the scarcity of evidence for evolution, and presenting creationism as a viable alternative – the Nye/Ham debate itself was supposed to be on the scientifically framed question “is creation a viable model of origins…?”

But when their wordplay is unravelled and their claims exposed for the intangible wisps they are, it becomes clear that evidence was never their motivation. It’s a moral crusade. The fact that the evidence is stacked against them, like the armies of Saladin at the walls of Jerusalem, will only make them more determined to fight for their lives.

It is of the utmost importance to people like 1 that they keep their children within the mind-control grip of religion, and they know that exposure to the dangerous world of facts will jeopardise that. In this worldview, it’s entirely reasonable to believe that keeping children meek, ignorant and unquestioning is better for them – it’ll ensure the delivery of their souls to heaven, after all – and that the efforts of Nye et al are harmful.

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