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Bill Nye on teaching evolution

Bill NyeBill Nye

Prompted by Michael B. Berkman and Eric Plutzer's recent column in Science deploring "a pervasive reluctance of teachers to forthrightly explain evolutionary biology," Popular Mechanics asked Bill Nye for his reaction. "It's horrible," Nye replied.

He explained, "Science is the key to our future, and if you don't believe in science, then you're holding everybody back. And it's fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don't believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don't believe in science, that's a recipe for disaster. ... The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong."

Nye was particularly concerned with the characterization of evolution as "just a theory," arguing, "People make flu vaccinations that stop people from getting sick. Farmers raise crops with science; they hybridize them and make them better with every generation. That's all evolution. Evolution is a theory, and it's a theory that you can test. We've tested evolution in many ways. You can't present good evidence that says evolution is not a fact. "

A Supporter of NCSE, Bill Nye "The Science Guy" was the host of the popular science education television programs Bill Nye the Science Guy — which won eighteen Emmys — and The Eyes of Nye; he is currently the executive director of the Planetary Society, the world's large space interest organization.