[Excerpt from Unreliable: The Science and Logic of Bill Nye by Heath Henning. This book can be downloaded for free here.]

Bill Nye wrote, “about my recent debate with a creationist… I emphasize that I did not disparage anyone’s religion. I did not mention anything about The Bible.”1)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 9 This statement is the easiest comment he makes that can be tested since the debate was recorded. Did he make mention about the Bible? In fact, what he said about the Bible was recoded:

Your assertion that all the animals were vegetarians before they got on the Ark, that’s really remarkable. I have not spent a lot of time with lions, but I can tell they have teeth that really aren’t set up for broccoli. That these animals were vegetarians until the Flood, is something that I would ask you to provide a little more proof for. I give you the lions’ teeth, you give me verses as translated in the English over 30 centuries, so that’s not enough evidence for me. If you’ve ever played telephone –I did, I remember very well in kindergarten where you have a secret, and you whisper it to the next person, to the next person, to the next person, things often go wrong. So it’s very reasonable to me that instead of lions being vegetarians on the Ark, lions are lions, and the information that you use to create your world view is not consistent with what I, as a reasonable man, would expect.

So, I want everybody to consider the implications of this. If we accept Mr. Ham’s point of view, that the Bible as translated into American English, serves as a science text, and that he and his followers will interpret that for you, I want you to consider what that means.2)Bill Nye’s 5-minute rebuttal during the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origin In Today’s Modern Scientific Era?” Feb. 4, 2014; transcript at http://www.youngearth.org/index.php/archives/rmcf-articles/item/21-transcript-of-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-debate

By comparing the Bible to the game telephone he says “things often go wrong” by which he is implying there can be found errors often in the Bible.

It is almost humorous that Mr. Nye refers to himself as “a reasonable man,” yet in this short comment he commits no less than seven logical fallacies and reveals his ignorance of a number of things.

  1. When he refers to himself as a reasonable man he is guilty of bifurcation – that is a false dilemma as if you are either reasonable or you live by faith. He is emphatically implying you either accept evolution or you are unreasonable which is why his book is titled Undeniable. As we have seen, the scientific method was developed by men of faith who expected God’s creation to be understood by rational minds. We have also identified that the evolution process could not produce minds that are reasonable.
  2. When he says “I give you the lions’ teeth, you give me verses,” he is again guilty of bifurcation expressing his opinion that science and scriptures are incompatible and a reasonable person would have to choose one or the other. This is the repeated proposition underlining his entire thought process during the debate and in his book, and it was the easiest argument Ken Ham demolished by showing videos of scientist who believed the literal creation account of the Bible. Even other evolutionists that criticized the debate were embarrassed for Bill Nye’s reasoning on this point.
  3. Bifurcation appears again with his claim that lions are either carnivorous or vegetarians, which is also a hasty generalization. Obviously Bill Nye is unaware of “Little Tyke” the famous vegetarian lioness, Paramahansa Yogananda wrote of another vegetarian lioness in India in 1936 and there was also Lea who was vegetarian for her first seven years of life until being transported to a preserve in South Africa where it took months to become acclimated to eating meat.3)See, Georges F. Westbeau, Little Tyke: True Story of a Gentle Vegetarian Lioness, Quest Books, 1986;or for short articles see, http://www.animalliberationfront.com/Saints/Authors/Stories/LittleTyke.htmDavid Catchpoole, “The Lion that wouldn’t eat meat,” http://creation.com/the-lion-that-wouldnt-eat-meat

    Bodie Hodge, “Unexpectedly Vegetarian Animals-What Does it Mean?” https://answersingenesis.org/animal-behavior/what-animals-eat/unexpectedly-vegetarian-animals-what-does-it-mean/

    Dr. Georgia Purdom, “No Taste For Meat?” https://answersingenesis.org/animal-behavior/what-animals-eat/no-taste-for-meat/

    “Vegetarian Lioness: Little Tyke” http://vegetarismus.com/vegepet/tyke.htm quotes Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, for the vegetarian lion he saw in India. Bill Nye is not being reasonable or scientific with his argument about the lions’ teeth. Consider a bear which has teeth that can shred meat but most of its diet is not meat, especially the panda bear which sole source of food is bamboo yet has the same teeth as other bears.

  4. His statement “Lions are lions” tells us nothing about the nature of lions. This fallacy -expressing ambiguity, redundancy, and circular reasoning- is called tautology.
  5. He makes an appeal to novelty, saying “you give me verses as translated into English over thirty centuries” (implying evolution is modern science and the Bible is old outdated and erroneous). An inconsistency to this is found in his book when he appeals to antiquity for evolution mentioning Anaximander.4)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 5
  6. He offers a straw man argument by misrepresenting Ken Ham, asserting he claims the Bible to be a “science text.” Any nominal perusal through creationist literature will reveal that the claim is false and frequently denied by creationists. It has never been considered a scientific text but rather that it is completely compatible with and cannot contradict science.
  7. The false analogy of the telephone game shows Bill Nye is utterly ignorant of biblical manuscripts exist to prove it has been preserved since the earliest ages. The Bible is not words passed down by oral tradition.

 

This last point deserves an expanded explanation as in it lays at the heart of Bill Nye’s deception. He claims to have not said anything about the Bible but his word cut to the very heart of the faith – the Bible. His agenda is exposed at this point as he is deliberately attacking the word of God. He is recorded saying, “I am by no means an expert on most of this,” but later admitted, “In this situation, our skeptical arguments are not the stuff of Ph.Ds. It’s elementary science and common sense.”5)Lovan, Dylan T. (April 16, 2014). “Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact”. AP Online. Yet common sense needs to be consistent with logic which he has not expressed, nor an adequate knowledge of evidence to reject the creationist position or to even confirm evolutionist views. The whole debate started over his comments, “If we raise a generation of students who don’t believe in the process of science, who think everything that we’ve come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you’re not going to continue to innovate.”6)Lovan, Dylan (September 24, 2012). “Bill Nye warns: Creation views threaten US science”. AP Online. This is a slippery slope fallacy appealing to emotions, not logic or reality. However, that ancient text is exactly what caused the innovation to begin and has kept it continuing, though he refuses to see what most other evolutionist will be reasonable enough to admit.

His false analogy of the telephone game crumbles under the shear mass of manuscript evidence. Henry Morris wrote of the New Testament manuscripts, explaining “Although there are probably available today over 5,000 handwritten manuscript copies in Greek and at least 15,000 more in other languages. Nothing remotely comparably to this abundance exists for any ancient writing.”7)Henry M. Morris with Henry M. Morris III, Many Infallible Proofs, Evidence for the Christian Faith, Master Books, 1990, p. 33 The New Testament confirms the creation account of the book of Genesis and we know the Jewish nation painstakingly preserved the scriptures for thousands of years.

For thousands of years, God had preserved the accuracy of His Holy Scriptures through the careful reproduction of the manuscripts by these extraordinarily dedicated Jewish Masoretic scribes. When the scribe copied the manuscript of Genesis (which contain 76,064 Hebrew letters), he would literally count out the precise number of times each of the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet occurred in the text. He would also make notations on the margin of the page to assure that no letters were added or taken away. If even one letter was missed or added improperly, the master scribe would destroy the imperfect copy, lest an error creep into the holy text of the Word of God.8)Grant Jeffrey, The Signature of God; The Hand Writing of God: Two Bestselling Works Complete in One Volume, Inspirational Press, 1999, p. 450

    There are two points of Nye argument that are valid to address Ken Ham. First, in attempting to appeal to a new evangelical constituency, Ham has in the last decade or two reject the Authorized King James Version for a modern “Bible as translated into American English,” as Nye puts it. Nye is essentially ignorant of the point he made here (and so are most Christians) but these modern Bible versions are not even translations (most are dynamic equivalents and paraphrases) of a revised text produced in 1881 by textual critics.9)See David Cloud, For Love of the Bible: The Battle for the King James Version and the Received Text from 1800 to Present, Way of Life Literature, fifth edition 2008 Secondly, Ken Ham’s major error was perpetuating the “science versus religion” myth by arguing the doctrine of inerrancy at a science debate with an atheist.

Another way Bill Nye indirectly attacked the Bible was by identifying it as a synonym for “Mr. Ham’s worldview.” Consider the method of scorning the Bible by doubting the migration of kangaroos to Australia after exited Noah’s ark. He argues,

one of the extraordinary claims associated with Mr. Ham’s worldview, is that this giant boat, a very large wooden ship went aground safely on a mountain in what we now call the Middle East. And so places like Australia, are populated, then by animals whose [ancestors] somehow managed to get from the Middle East all the way to Australia, in the last 4000 years. That to me is an extraordinary claim. We would expect then, somewhere between the Middle East and Australia, we would expect to find evidence of kangaroos. We would expect to find some fossils, some bones; sometime during the last 4000 years, somebody would’ve been hopping along there and died along the way, and we would find them.10)Bill Nye Presentation (30 minutes) during the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origin In Today’s Modern Scientific Era?” Feb. 4, 2014; transcript at http://www.youngearth.org/index.php/archives/rmcf-articles/item/21-transcript-of-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-debate

Paul F. Taylor points to the error of this argument as it is embedded with uniformitarian thinking.

But the expectation of such fossils is a presuppositional error. Such an expectation is predicated on the assumption that fossils form gradually and inevitably from animal populations. In fact, fossilization is by no means inevitable. It usually requires sudden, rapid burial. Otherwise the bones would decompose before permineralization. One ought likewise to ask why it is that, despite the fact that millions of bison used to roam the prairies of North America, hardly any bison fossils are found there. Similarly, lion fossils are not found in Israel even though we know that lions once lived there.11)Paul F. Taylor, “How Did Animals Spread All Over The World from Where the Ark Landed,” The New Answers Book, (ed. Ken Ham) Master Books, 2007, vol. 1, p. 144

    The deception of Mr. Nye is obvious that while he makes this argument against “Mr. Ham’s worldview,” he is well aware of the answer and he utilizes the facts when it is suitable to defend his own worldview. He wrote, “Most living things never get fossilized, and most end up in places where they are impossible to discover.”12)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 95 As an evolutionist he knows his opinion is riddled with gaps from the fossil record. The lack of finding the evidence for evolution is defended by saying it is impossible and we should not to expect to find evidence in the fossil record because most things never get fossilized. We see here the logical fallacy of special pleading; he is holding a double standard when he argued “That to me is an extraordinary claim. We would expect then, somewhere between the Middle East and Australia, we would expect to find evidence of kangaroos. We would expect to find some fossils, some bones…” Why should we?

He, again, is guilty of special pleading as he explains in his book how fossils are formed. “Let’s step back for a moment and consider what it takes to become a fossil. First of all, you have to get buried. …getting your specimens buried alive is the best thing for a paleontologist. The resting place generally has to be wet in order for the organism to get buried effectively. Then that wet sand or soil has to dry out completely… Then it has to sit there for years…generally millions of years, while minerals slowly trickle through and turn once-living structures to stone.”13)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 96 The very conditions he offers to make fossils (minus the “millions of years”) are best met by the world-wide flood of Noah’s day which he rejects. He also writes, “In general, the difficulty of making fossils guarantees that the fossil record will be full of gaps… It could not be any other way.”14)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 101 Unless of course, you are debating a creationist, then it would be expected to find fossils of kangaroos hopping along.

He scoffed at kangaroo migration in the creation model, saying, “And furthermore, there is a claim that there was a land bridge that allowed these animals to get from Asia all the way to the continent of Australia, and that land bridge has [since] disappeared in the last 4000 years. No navigator, no diver, no U.S. Navy submarine, no one’s ever detected any evidence of this, let alone any fossils of kangaroos.”15)Bill Nye Presentation (30 minutes) during the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate, “Is Creation a Viable Model of Origin In Today’s Modern Scientific Era?” Feb. 4, 2014; transcript at http://www.youngearth.org/index.php/archives/rmcf-articles/item/21-transcript-of-ken-ham-vs-bill-nye-debate Can he confirm that statement? Has he spoken with every navigator, diver, and submarine crew member to validate his opinion? We wonder if it should be called special pleading again or just hypocrisy. Evolutionists generally accept non-existing land bridges as ways of migration, even when they were not necessary (as in the case of humans who can build boats). Nye wrote, “people moved from northeast Asia (low ultraviolet) across the ice-age land bridge that is now the Bering Strait into North America…”16)Bill Nye, (ed. Corey Powell), Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, St. Martin’s Press (New York), 2014, p. 252 Of Course, an “ice-age land bridge” is now melted and has left no evidence other than the fact that man is living on north American continent. This is coupled with the presupposition that man was primitive and could not build a boat. But the only reasonable mechanism for the ice-age is offered by the creationist’s flood model and would have followed immediately after the flood so there is no reason to reject land bridges allowing migration. Paul F. Taylor explains,

Many of them [animals] could have floated on vast floating logs, left-overs from the massive pre-Flood forests that were ripped up during the Flood and likely remained afloat for many decades on the world’s oceans, transported by world currents. Others could later have been taken by people…. A third explanation of possible later migration is that animals could have crossed land bridges. This is, after all, how it is supposed by evolutionists that many animals and people migrated from Asia to the Americas—over a land bridge at the Bering Straits. For such land bridges to have existed, we may need to assume that sea levels were lower in the post-Flood period—an assumption based on a biblical model of the Ice Age.17)Paul F. Taylor, “How Did Animals Spread All Over The World from Where the Ark Landed,” The New Answers Book, (ed. Ken Ham) Master Books, 2007, vol. 1, p. 145

The more ice the less liquid water so the sea levels would be lower.

We must further wonder if Bill Nye ever questioned the evolutionist belief of kangaroos evolving and migrating to Australia. Nathaniel Jeanson explains what the evolutionary view is.

The evolutionary predictions for genetic similarity among these creatures derive from the evolutionary understanding of both the fossil record and of continental drift. The southern mole, the common wombat, the banded anteater, and the kangaroo are all classified as marsupials, and according to the dates that evolutionists assign to the marsupial fossil record, their ancestors existed in North America about 80 million years ago. The descendants of these creatures moved down through South America and across Antarctica around 35 million years ago, when the latter two continents were still connected, and finally crossed over to Australia about 10 million years ago when Australia and Antarctica were still linked. Since their arrival, these marsupial ancestors supposedly evolved into today’s wombats, marsupial moles, banded anteaters, kangaroos, and all other marsupial species that exist in Australia today.18)Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D. 2014. New Genetic Findings Tackle the Toughest Evolutionary Questions. Acts & Facts. 43 (3). p. 18

So the marsupials traveled from South America into Antarctica, survived this frozen waste land for millions of years while trekking their way to Australia. Is this reasonable for a science guy?

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