“creationism is not appropriate for children”

From “Bill Nye, the Science Guy.”

I was surprised to find that the argument seems to me at first glance fluffy and question-beginning, but I think it might be fun to analyze it with a class. One might end up with a good sense of what the arguments really are.




5 thoughts on ““creationism is not appropriate for children”

  1. Seems like a fairly solid but well-worn IBE / simplicity argument to me, from skimming transcript. Wasn’t too clear on why specifically it was inappropriate for children though.

  2. Nye was clear enough: parental gen-now–you have largely embraced irrational views of human origins that shuts out large segments of biological science as integrated with your world-views (anti-biotic resistant bacteria, finch beaks, the false dichotomy of micro/macro, the vast fossil record, radiometry, etc), but please for the rest of our sakes don’t burden your children with your ignorance. Nye’s is a pragmatic argument for the betterment of the future of everyone leveraged off facts. Maybe too terse but valid IMHO. Or maybe not so H.

  3. Sympathetic to the conclusion, but suspect argument would only be persuasive to someone who accepts their deeply held beliefs about evolution constitute harmful irrationality but continues to hold them as a sort of ‘guilty pleasure’. Perhaps those people are out their, but seems like a narrow target group.

  4. This argument equates creationism and the denial of evolution. Perhaps that’s what “creationism” means in effect…

    Yet there are religious adults capable of embracing creation mythology within a spiritual practice while also recognizing that it holds no empirical water. (Similarly, there are people who love astrology but don’t take it to the polls.)

    I was hoping for a sophisticated argument (clearly not in Nye’s repertoire) to the effect that some adults may be able to handle the hermeneutic challenge of being responsible participants in a faith that celebrates a myth of origins, but children are not able to handle such double-vision.

    Myths, like psychoactive drugs, should be shared among adults only.

  5. A follow-up from another angle: fundamentalist dogmatism is a conceptual sibling of monotheism — the attitude that one’s god is The God. (I’ve heard something like this suggestion from Latour, I think, but there may be others.)

    It’s worth entertaining the thought that there’s a kind of scientism that’s just as pernicious: Science yields a single authoritative map of All Things worth taking seriously.

    The origin stories of many indigenous and pagan peoples, meanwhile, may also be “unscientific”… yet they seem not to crowd science out.

    See, for just one example, Winona Laduke:
    http://www.lastrealindians.com/category/guest-writers/winona-laduke/

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