Over at the paragon of intellectualism called Buzzfeed, they posted a series of 22 questions posed by creationists in attendance at the Creation Museum where Bill Nye debated a talking ham.
I will now answer all of their questions.
1. Bill Nye The Science Guy teaches children about reality. What are you doing at the Creation Museum? Lying about reality, telling people not to listen to scientists, undermining science teachers, attempting to replace science education with religious indoctrination. Are you telling me it's healthy to tell children that an after-life of eternal torture awaits them if they question what you teach them?
2. No. I'm not scared of something that has not been proven to exist. I'm also not afraid of Big Foot or a Flying Spaghetti Monster or Sharknados.
How's this for a question. Are you afraid to imagine that you cease to exist when you die, and that you won't be reunited with loved ones and that death is final? Are you so afraid of not existing that you'll seize on the fairy-tale that you will live forever in a magical land despite no evidence to back it up? When smart people come along and point out that the book which you claim proves this fairy-tale ending is actually riddled with falsehoods and contradictions and doesn't match up with the nature of reality, will you plug your ears and insist that the scientists are lying? Will you be willing to brain-wash your children to ignore the facts of reality in order to keep alive your fairy-tale idea about your immortality?
3. I'd add: too many layers of ice, visible stars that are billions of light-years away, dinosaur fossils from millions of years ago...
Sure, it's possible that it was created like this. A god could make the earth and make it so that stars that are billions of light years away already have their light 99.9999% of the way to earth so that we can see them even though the light hasn't had time to get here, or he/she/it could manipulate the composition of radioactive elements to make it erroneously appear like things are billions of years old...
But why would god go out of his way to make all the evidence point to a universe and an earth that are really really old?
Don't you find it a little weird that your god is using the nature of existence to lie to you?
You think you have a prankster god? I'll let Bill Hicks handle this...
4. No. It doesn't. Thinking that it does shows that you don't understand thermodynamics.
The second law of thermodynamics basically says that a closed system will grow more disordered over time. Order in thermodynamics is really refering to usable energy, so like a small pocket of high heat surrounded by areas of low-heat. This is ordered.
Over time that heat will spread out and the whole area will be the same temperature.
In other words, you don't pour a room temperature bath and then discover hours later that there are ice cubes floating in one end of the tub and hot water on the other end.
You can throw ice cubes into a hot bath, but over time the whole bath will end up at a uniform temperature.
The 2nd law says that you always go from more order to less order and inevitably to the lowest-ordered state.
Creationists then take this to mean that you can't go from low-order (primordial soup) to highly ordered (complex living things).
However this is a completely wrong assessment for a number of reasons. For one thing, the 2nd law isn't talking about this kind of order, and even if it was, the Earth is not a closed system, there is heat pouring in all the time.
For another thing, there is no mechanism in a closed system by which a bath of uniform temperature would then stratify into ordered layers...but you could create such a mechanism, and evolution is a mechanism that creates order out of less order. That's the whole beauty of evolution.
Saying that evolution violates the 2nd law because it creates order out of less order is like saying that your freezer violates the 2nd law because it creates ordered ice cubes out of disordered water.
It's a nonsense question that only sounds smart if you don't know anything about thermodynamics...
6. The laws of thermodynamics do not debunk either The Big Bang Theory nor the Theory of Evolution. At the big bang we had essentially a soup of highly charged particles, nothing but the simplest of things. But from this lack of order we get ordered galaxies, stars, people, etc.. This kind of order (spiral galaxies, planets around stars, DNA) is not the kind of order talked about in thermodynamics. And there are processes that create this order. You can see computer models of dis-ordered clouds of dust and gas becoming ordered solar systems. Gravity and the conservation of momentum will create this order. But all the time, the thermodynamic order of the universe is decreasing, in fact, eventually, if the universe doesn't collapse, if it is a closed system, then we will reach a point when the universe will be at the lowest possible ordered state of thermal equilibrium. At that point no work can be done, not even computation. This possible end of the universe is called The Heat Death of the Universe.
5. A sunset occurs when the sun dips below the visible horizon on a round planet. Why do we need god for a solid object to block light?
This question might as well be "How can you explain that anything exists without a god." So we all ask where the universe came from, and we say that the earliest thing we can explain is the big bang, and you say "what was before the big bang," and we say, well, before that, space and time did not exist in our universe. Our universe may be part of some bigger structure, a multi-verse, a series of bubbles or branes in 9 or 11 dimensional space, but here in our universe, we can't see outside of it and so we don't know.
You say "god made the universe." Where did this god come from? Has it existed always? If you have no problem saying that god has always existed then we have no problem saying the multi-verse has always existed.
Why are you anthropomorphizing something that has nothing at all to do with people? There are a septillion planets in the universe, but you think god is an understandable personality similar to the intelligent apes found on one of those planets? Or do you think it's more likely that whatever creatures reach intelligence are likely to invent a god that is similar to them?
7. Wikipedia says: "In philosophy, noetics is a branch of metaphysical philosophy concerned with the study of mind and intellect."
So this isn't really a question, but I guess she's trying to imply that intelligence and consciousness come from a soul and can't be explained by physical processes.
We have evidence of consciousness. We have no evidence of souls... We have plenty of neuroscientists that can tell you all the ways that physical processes in the brain create consciousness. You can shock a part of the brain with an electrode and make someone become instantly euphoric. Zap another spot and they become suicidal. Cut out a section and you can make a sociopath. Insert a tumor and you can remove all inhibitions. Where's the soul in all of this?
8. Inside our heads. It's nice when questions are posed in a way where you can actually answer them. Meaning, experience, love, anger, you name it, it's in your head. Go study evolutionary psychology if you want to know the origins of these things.
Life arising from non-life is called Abiogenesis.
The Miller-Urey Experiment set out to show that a soup that was like the ancient Earth, with simple compounds, if exposed to heat and electric sparks (like lightning) and given a long period of time, could produce more complex amino acids which are the basic building blocks of life. The experiment created at least 20 more complex amino acids from simpler compounds. In other words, a soup made in a lab given a few years can make the building blocks of life. Now lets make that soup so large it fills the oceans of the planet, and rather than a few years, lets give it a billion years and see if something happens by chance in all of those countless chemical reactions and protein interactions all over the planet.
There are over a septillion planets in the universe. Perhaps one in a billion of those planets are potentially habitable. That leaves a quadrillion habitable planets. Let's let 13 billion years go by and see if any of those quadrillion planets might at some point spontaneously create life out of non-life. Remember, we're not talking about an ape crawling out of the ooze. We're talking about something that is microscopic and barely removed from a chemical process.
Do you think that quadrillions of oceans with billions of years might once in a while create life?
Or is it more likely that a complex, thinking, all-powerful, omniscient life existed already at the start of the universe?
Centuries ago, when it was thought that the Sun or even the Earth was the center of the universe, and there was only one star, only a half-dozen planets, then it might seem more likely that a god existed than life spontaneously coming about on one of those few planets. But now that we can see literally septillions of planets, it doesn't seem so unlikely does it?
Creationists will counter this by saying that the odds of life arising on Earth are miniscule, so the fact that we are here shows that we are special. Let me ask you this: if life hadn't occurred here, if our ocean wasn't the right composition and life didn't arise here, would we be here to think about it?
If life can arise from non life and perhaps a thousand intelligent civilizations have arisen across the universe, all of those civilizations will be on a planet where life was possible to arise, all of them had long odds...but it happened somewhere... To say that we are special because we are here is like saying we are special because we are the sperm that made it...of course we are! You don't see the sperm that didn't make it walking around do you? Or it's like the lottery. If you are the one person in a million to win the lottery, you might think you are special and it happend to you for a reason. But to the person pulling the balls out of the machine to pick a winner, it's not magical at all that somebody is going to be a winner.
10. Genesis also says more.
"Nye calmly riled everyone up, by bringning up Genesis 1:16, which reads, “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.” Nye then corrected the Bible. “The lesser light is not a light at all, but only a reflector.”
At this point, the Waco Tribune records that one mother jumped up from her seat and screeched, “We believe in God!”, then ran away crying, dragging three of children away with her. As she ran off, the mother was seen visibly cupping the ears of the child in her arms so her baby would not have to hear any more of Nye’s science."
So God created two great lights. The Sun and the Moon...
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Take note, when god said "let there be light" he is talking about our SUN. Not the big bang. Also, the book puts The Sun as the main light, then the lesser "light" is the Moon, and oh yeah, by the way, he also made the stars. See the order of importance? The other stars are just an "oh by the way." That's because they didn't know that the sun was just one of billions and billions of stars. They thought it was the only sun. So basically Genesis, at best, is an account of the creation of our solar system and that's it. Not the universe.
Now if Genesis had talked about the big bang, and galaxies and supernova that created the heavy elements and then collapsing dust and gas clouds that created our solar system and then the nuclear fusion that powered the sun, that might be quite a story, one that would show that the writers had some knowledge that was not available to scientists in that time. That might show they were divinely inspired. Instead it has every hallmark of being written by people who had no more knowledge than anyone else at the time...
11. Umm...they don't?
The idea that life on earth was engineered by aliens is an interesting one, but is not at all embraced or accepted by the scientific community.
This is called Exogenesis or Panspermia.
It's certainly possible. We are now capable of genetic engineering. We could theoretically go out and find a habitable planet where life has yet to arise and then seed life there... However, ultimately, if we wash away the problem of life arising from non-life by saying Aliens did it, we still then have to explain the origin of Aliens, and ultimately they would have to arise from non-life.
I think this person is watching too much Ancient Aliens on the (NOT)History Channel.
12. Evolution says that humans arose through gradual changes, with each generation being almost identical to the generation before it and after it. But those small changes add up over time, and so if you go back a thousand years, people won't be much different at all, but if you can find the fossillized remains of people from a million years ago or two million years ago, you'll find that they are different and see how humans changed.
Lucy is one of many examples of these intermediate human forms.
Check it out and you'll see the idea that there is "one lucy" is absurd.
All living things undergo some kind of metamorphosis. Look at human fetuses and infants and then look at an 80 year old. We change. Animals change too. There's nothing magical about it.
14. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.
The bible is not a theory.
Gravity is a theory. Theory does not mean "wild guess."
15. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation.
Creationism is not a scientific theory. It is absolutely not well-substantiated, nor is it testable or has it ever been comfirmed through any kind of experimentation. Intelligent design is absolutely not science, it is religion and does not belong in a science classroom.
Why do you object to the teaching in schools that a flying spaghetti monster created everything?
16. All genetic information has arisen through evolution. All of it. A common point made by creationists is that the human eye is "irreducibly complex." That is, that you can't have half of an eye, it offers no advantage, and so evolution then must be saying that things without eyes suddenly had awesome eyes out of nowhere by random chance...this is not how evolution works.
The eye began with the creation of light-sensitive cells. Simple cells that could tell light from dark and that's all. Look at the diagram on that wiki page. If you make a dip and put the cells in that dip, then you can have very rudimentary directional vision of light and dark. From there the pinhole camera type of eye can arise, and from there the evolution to modern complex eyes has no trouble. Eyes have evolved in different ways and seem to have arisen multiple times. We can even see the early form of the pinhole camera in creatures still alive today: the Nautilus.
17. Purpose is an objective human construct. Things are, there is no why, only how. We have consciousness and we get to decide what our purpose is. You have chosen that a bronze-age book has the answer to your purpose. Congratulations...
If you want to know what science says about the origin of human motivations, emotions, and so on, try watching this.
19. Can you believe that Australia exists if you have never been there? I have never seen Australia with my own eyes. However I see all kinds of evidence for the existence of it. I have seen pictures. I've met Australians.
We see the signature of the big bang in the Cosmic Microwave Background.
We can see that all of the universe is flying apart, as if coming from a central explosion at some point far in the past.
I think there was a big bang, but if evidence were provided that pointed to a different origin, then I would be willing to change my mind.
If evidence were produced that showed that the bible were full of contradictions, would you continue to believe it to be true?
20. Because I paid attention in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Astronomy class. Amazing does not mean designed. Order can arise from non-order. A big bang of energy and particles and given the laws of physics will produce stars and planets and sunsets and rainbows. Why must there be a creator for these things to exist?
21. The Big Bang was not a star, but a singularity. We don't know where it came from. If the answer to a question is "we don't know," that doesn't then mean "god did it."
If you were to ask a Christian where illnesses and plagues come from in the 1700s, they would say God is punishing us. But some people were not satisfied with such answers and we discovered germs and viruses. Just because science didn't have an answer then does not mean that god was responsible.
22. We did not come from monkeys.
Humans and monkeys share a common ancestor from millions of years ago. Humans and Giraffes have a common ancestor from millions of years before that. Humans and trees have a common ancestor from millions of years before that. All life came from a single origin, and we are all descendants from that origin.
Let's suppose that we take a pack of wolves and breed them, selecting the nicest, friendliest wolves of the bunch and allowing them to breed. After dozens of generations we could have animals that are like dogs, floppy eared, bushy tailed, very friendly, very nice.
And if you do, and come up with a new kind of animal, that doesn't mean that there are no longer any wolves.
Humans did not come from monkeys. Monkeys and humans are descendant from a common ancestor. The line to monkeys has been evolving all this time, the line to humans has been independently evolving all this time. The common ancestor which both humans and monkeys come from is not still around.