Friday Flicks: Bill Nye’s Big Think

 

Hey Friday Flicks Fans, I’m letting my good buddy, friend of NCSE, lover of science, and movie blogger, Max Yip, pick this month’s Friday Flick! Max had a million ideas, but I was able to convince him to select just one video (not a conventional ‘flick’, but definitely worth a watch.) Never one to hide from controversy, Max chose the surprisingly controversial Bill Nye Big Think video called “Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children.”

Why this video in particular?

“Bill Nye is one of my childhood science influences. Best known for his show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, he exposed millions of children to a variety of science topics over the span of five seasons during the 1990’s. After the show's run, Bill Nye went under the radar for a while, popping up briefly with another show, The Eyes of Nye, which tackled more mature and controversial scientific topics.”

Max points out that this Big Think video got Bill Nye back on peoples’ radar, and he has been hitting the TV circuit ever since. Featured on CNN, the Colbert Report, and even receiving the honor of being the plenary speaker at this year’s National Science Teacher Award (lucky duck!)

The Big Think video generated a lot of controversy among creationists, garnering responses from the likes of the Creation Museum’s Ken Ham. Some folks in the scientific community were also upset about the video, as they felt it was dismissive of people’s religious beliefs independent of creationism. Watching it again now, I don’t see it as being controversial at all, but maybe I’ve been working at NCSE too long!

What do you think of the video? Do you think it was dismissive or do you think Bill Nye used the right words when trying to talk about creationism and evolution? One criticism: Nye has not studied biology (he actually was a mechanical engineer) should he be taking on a topic that is outside of his field? Are there other scientists that you think would be more reliable? What else could Bill Nye do as an advocate for science?

Take a look at the video and tell us what you think in the comments below!