Bill Nye The Science Guy engaged in a debate on February 4th, 2014, in, of all places, Kentucky. I only know Kentucky as a state renowned for its blue grass, moonshine and sleek thoroughbred race horses, plus that murky little joke about Kissing Cousins: “In beautiful Kentucky, everyone is related to everyone.”
At this particular venue, the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Mr. Nye sparred with Ken Ham, the museum’s founder, who claimed that all the answers to universal origins are inside of the Bible.
As an explanation for most rational people, the Bible’s tales were written in an era when the concept of science didn’t exist, you know, sort of like the GOP in its current form.
Move forward to the more modern 1500s, and Galileo, whose iconic disproval of geocentrism landed him at odds with the Vatican, and under house arrest for the remainder of his days. Though Galileo corroborated the phases of the planet Venus, and made the huge discovery of the four largest satellites of the gas giant Jupiter, his solid theory that the earth rotated around the sun, rather than the universe circling the earth, dropped poor genius Galileo in a vat of boiling hot water. He fell victim to the socially sophisticated, yet scientifically backward bullies in the Holy Office. Yesiree, it was all about control, not enlightenment.
To date, the Catholic Church is still trying to shove the concept of Adam and Eve into my puny human brain. Had the entire Christian faith not attempted to downplay every creation story for every other human culture and religion, I may have approached the idealism of the Garden of Eden with a more open mind. Yeah, and a snowball’s got a chance in Hell.
The Europeans invaded the already settled continent of North America, and ignored the stark evidence of an established population of diverse cultures, each with a unique creation story. The Washoe people claim to have arisen from the clean blue waters of Lake Tahoe, while the Lakota speak of Wind Cave, and White Buffalo Calf Woman.
Why are these tales any more difficult to discern than two naked people gallivanting through a lush tropical garden, useless and indolent, not required to make any effort at all to feed themselves, until they suddenly figure out how fun (or amusing) sex truly is? It’s a conundrum that a cranky God would set forth two heterosexuals already in a state of undress, and forbid them to fool around, while requiring humanity to go forth and prosper. After the fall of humanity, and subsequent cowering behind a fig leaf, that’s when the game of Show-N-Tell was born.
However one chooses to believe in the evolution of their origins, science itself remains steeped in, well, faith. One has to be terribly hopeful to clearly grasp the concept of the Big Bang Theory, wherein the existence of nothingness prior to the theoretical Big Bang is actually “somethingness,” e.g., if the concept exists then nothing is something.
God Almighty stated, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” the beginning and the end. In Native American lore, the circle is central, an existence that has no beginning or ending, but can be marked by numerous stories of creation. We are a linear species, so for some reason the circle and the beginning are concepts we accept without fail, just like the entertaining fiction of the Bible.
For me, the Big Bang and Alpha/Omega are similar to wrapping one’s head around a Quantum Paradox—the Star Trek story line, where a character goes back in time to save themselves and their colleagues, and when time has been dutifully changed, so has the future, and…now, how would it be possible that someone in the future could then go back to the past and change it, when once the past is changed, so does the future acquire a new reality—ugh! My brain just seized.
At the Creation Museum, Mr. Ham contends that the emergence of the universe is an open and shut case, as reflected by the writings in the Bible, many of which were doodled when humanity’s definition of Science tended toward Ignoramia. Mr. Nye then reminds Mr. Ham that billions of people worldwide who are deeply religious do not necessarily embrace the idea of a universe poised to celebrate 6,001 years from its moment of inauguration with a cosmic Champagne bottle.
As an individual who eyes my church’s doctrine skeptically [because, let’s face it, all churches want to keep the money spigot flowing straight into their pockets, simultaneous to a 501(c)(3) status—there’s a control freak factor in every religious institution], I also view science with a practiced air of incredulity.
Yes, I know humans and dinosaurs did not exist side-by-side. Yes, I realize that a giant asteroid nearly obliterated the earth, leaving its evidence in a charred layer in the fossil record worldwide. And yes, I do believe fervently in evolution, because I know the intelligent people will prevail over the idiots. Huh…though evidence suggests I may actually be wrong about that last one.
One thing I’m absolutely certain of—there is a God, and they love me.