You should really spend a few minutes today reading this New York Times profile of Bill Nye the Science Guy published this week.
The quotable, pro-science stuff in the NYT piece and in the accompanying video below got us thinking that Bill would make an excellent Texas State Board of Education member. OK, maybe a little wishful thinking on our part for that one. Still, a Texas-based nonprofit organization committed to fighting creationism in public schools can dream, can’t it?
But in any case, here’s the money quote from the article:
The earth’s not 4,000, 6,000, 10,000 years old. I’ve got no problem with anybody’s religion. But if you go claiming the earth is only 10,000 years old, that’s just wrong.
Amen. Let’s hope the SBOE keeps this simple quote from Bill Nye in mind as they work toward adopting new science textbooks later this year.
Also happening this year: Bill Nye comes to Austin for TFN’s EPIC Evening. Full details are at tfn.org/epic.
6 thoughts on “Bill Nye for Texas State Board of Education. Please?”
When we lived in the Seattle area way back in the 90’s we’d see him on a local comedy show called “Almost Live.” A few of the skits were noble attempts @ humor. I’d LOVE to have Bill Nye on our Texas SBOE, dist. 10. Too many of my fellow voters would not….
I’m trying to stay off these comment boards, I just get too wrapped up in trying to cure chronic stupidity. Some of the religious among us think that if you accept the scientific method as a way of understanding the world, that does not make you a heathen or atheist.
When I am trying to see where someone stands in the debate, I will say something like, “some of the most religious people I know are scientists, their concept of God is mostly based on what they observe, and they are awed by God’s work.” Then I sit back and listen to their absurd responses and try to keep a straight face. They cannot hold fathom this and it is a shame.
My favorite quote is the one by Dr. Bruce Prescott, head of the Mainstream Baptists of Oklahoma, when referring to Christian fundamentaliast science denial:
“Their problem is that their God is not big enough.”
It sort of reminds me of a pentecostal uncle I had, who in his later days before his death and after I was already an adult, tried to get me into visualizing what God is really like. Here is what he said:
“When I think of what God must be like, I see a really, really, really old looking man dressed in white with a really, really long flowing beard that is solid white… and he’s a sittin’ on this throne…”
Aside from the fact that Christian fundamentalists despise pentacostals (Is there any group they don’t despise other than themselves), these simplistic views (including the earth being 5,000 years old), are all a failure to do what the Bible says to do when you are an adult:
“Put away childish things.”
I like your comment and the story about your uncle. Your example is succinct and far more engaging than my comment. Your world view seems to be intact. Some say intelligence is being able to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time. That doesn’t necessarily apply to me, but I think you get pretty close to being able to do that.
Well, as the countdown to the Great Textbook War begins, this seemed like the right time to show a sample of what sensible people are actually battling against in this was:
Here is another really good video that explains in detail how the Christian fundamentalist types we see on the TSBOE came to be as they are:
I agree with the lecture up until the very last point that he makes. It is not possible to engage people with this belief system in friendly conversation to find a meeting of the minds. Knowing as much as he does about Christian fundamentalists and their avowed militancy, this suggestion really surprised me. It is impossible to have a meeting of the minds with them because they believe that the pathway there and the result will be sin charged to them. It is a place they cannot possibly go.
There is only one way to deal with them that works. Go around them. Go over them. Go under them. Go straight towards them and mow them down like an Alabama tailback. The key thing is to reach the other 85 percent of the American population that has not gone over to the DARK SIDE of the Christian faith and convince them beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Fundie 15 percent is Looney Tunes—which it really and truthfully is. Then the 85 percent surrounds it and defeats it on the American stage.
Then the rest of those in the United States who wish to do so can get on about the Jesus business of loving their neighbors as themselves (including any fundies who are willing to be loved)—and every American is left to be free and unthreatened by ideologies that are different from their own. If there is any sorting out to do, God does it and not men.