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Bill Nye Falls Flat

Paul Taylor September 14th, 2012

A little while ago, I blogged about Bill Nye’s nonsensical comments on creationism. Well, it appears that he has been making even more foolish and ill-informed comments on the subject of attempting to ban creationism from education.

In a piece to CNN, he described belief in creationism as being like belief in a flat earth. This is a common accusation by evolutionists, and it is an interesting comparison, because belief in a flat earth has never really existed among Christians.

I am well aware of the existence of a Flat Earth Society, though I am never fully convinced of how serious they really are. Nevertheless, it is notable that there is an item on their forum suggesting that belief in a flat earth is an inevitable corollary of belief in evolution!

The point is that the idea of Christian belief in a flat earth is, and always has been, a myth. Jeffrey Burton Russell’s excellent book, Inventing the Flat Earth, catalogs the spread of this mythology. He shows how, even in Columbus’s time, the argument was not about whether the Earth was round or flat, but about how big the circumference of the Earth was. Columbus’s opponents believed that the circumference of the Earth was too big for Columbus to be able to make his way west to India with the amount of provisions that he was proposing. In fact, Columbus’s opponents were right about the Earth’s circumference, and Columbus was wrong, but Columbus was lucky enough to find another continent in his way!

It is worth mentioning that our friends at Answers in Genesis posted a video in reply to Bill Nye. He and his evolutionary friends were publicly insulting of this video, which featured two PhD scientists (Nye has only a first degree in Mech. Eng.) So Dr. Georgia Purdom of Answers in Genesis has challenged Nye to a public debate. Nye has so far declined, obviously knowing that he would lose, and lose badly. Yet he feels the need to trot out the old tired “flat-earth” accusation, which is demonstrably false. Nye’s level of argument appears to be unscientific and insufficiently intellectual. His comments are the ones that deserve to be treated with contempt.