Monday, June 5, 2017

Nye not the science guy

I have never like Bill Nye, the self-proclaimed "science guy," because he is not really a science guy at all.  He has forgotten what science is and what science is not.  Science is not conclusions but method.  Science is not a set of values, morals, or presuppositions.  Science is not the end.  Yet that is precisely the problem.  People like Nye have defined science by their political, ethical, and religious (or irreligious) beliefs and have worked (rather effectively, I admit) to presume this identity.  They have hijacked science in the name of progressivism and are intent upon tearing down anyone and everyone who will not follow where they lead.  They reject the idea that science and its ends must be constantly compared to the values that determine whether or not this is the path to go or the path to avoid.  Science in the hands of Nye and his cohorts is not science at all -- it is possibility untethered from any estimation of what is good or right or true.  Nye would have us release science from all judgment of what is beneficial and what is harmful.

Science is a wonderful tool and a powerful method for understanding the world around us.It's tools are observation, measurement, testing, experimentation, replication, and the such --  all of which are relatively amoral.  Science is very good at expanding knowledge and learning facts, but science cannot tell us what to do with what it has observed or estimated.  It has no conscience.  We must tell its right from wrong, its good from bad, and its morality from immorality. Perhaps the most dangerous thing that Nye and his kind of self-appointed advocates for science advocates is not only that they blur those critical distinctions but they label everyone who does apply a conscience to science as anti-science. So if you have questions about the morality of reproductive technology, for example, you are anti-science.  Nye is dangerous because he wants to remove every constraint from the free ability of science to do what can be done and to go where it leads.

Finally, the power of science is in the ability of others to replicate what others have done and the scientific consensus is not about what is reasonable but what has been observed.  This is exactly the problem today.  So much of what is part of the current debate over such things as global warming is related to our inability to find conclusive evidence that others can replicate to determine the extent of human cause for an observable reality.  Nye forgoes all such careful judgment and rushes us to conclusions that do not have such replicated evidence and he sets it all free from the value judgment of what is beneficial or humane.  So in his book and in the judgment of others, humans can be seen as intruders to pristine nature and the fetus less than human when it serves their presuppositions.

Real science is no foe to religion and faith no foe to real science.  We need each other.  It is no secret that science flourished under the financial support and moral leadership of the Christian university.  Yes, of course, there were problems.  Scientists and the religious authorities over them are all sinners and sin has a way of clouding every sunny sky, doesn't it.  But the solution is not to abandon science to determine on its own what ought to be done with what is observed and where to go with the technology that makes it possible.  St. Paul said it best.  What is possible is not always beneficial.  This is the moral higher plane that only humanity, the crown of God's creation, possesses.  Even with sin, we have a conscience and we have the Word of God.  Not to listen to these voices is a foolish as not to listen to science.

Read another view here. . . 


Unknown said...

And science is never settled.

Anonymous said...

I understand that Nye has a degree in Mechanical Engineering (just as I do), but he long ago sold out to a progressive liberal agenda. He should be quietly forgotten and ignored, just like the flat earth folks.


Mark said...

The LORD has much to say with regard to global devastation:

"Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.'” Genesis 8:20-22

Carl Vehse said...

"Science is a wonderful tool and a powerful method for understanding the world around us."

Sadly science to a significant extent, has been subverted into a political tool by leftists, some even scientists, to promote their political agenda. Leftist talking points are turned into "crises"; "crises" are turned into proposals for scientific investigations; proposals are transformed into multi-million-dollar research projects; research projects are then turned into recommendations for regulations to supposedly solve the problem; and regulations are generated by expanding federal and state kakistocracies.

The expanded kakistocracies generate more crises and the cycle repeats.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

I know little about Bill Nye, but I would like to compare him to a scientist named Frederick E, Trinklein, whom I interviewed many years ago for our local LCMS newsletter on Long Island, NY. You see, Fred Trinklein was a member of our Lutheran church, a devout believer who also happened to write books about physics for high schools, and gave lectures and did field trips around the world. He and his wife invited me to their home and we spent an hour discussing science and creation. I have long since misplaced the original article and the newsletter, so without a record of our interview, I can only piece together a fragment of what Fred told me that day. He noted that scientists who come from a position of "unbelief" in God will always use unbelief as a starting point when considering the theories and various hypothesis formulas related to evolution and creation ideas. Fred knew many scientists and he told me unbelievers in this community put "faith," even blind faith, in the popular "Big Bang Theory" of creation. On the other hand, scientists who were, as he, creationists and believers in God and the Biblical account, put their faith in God as their starting point. Many other theories of science are subject to full debate, and in many areas, believing and unbelieving scientists can find consensus. But Fred never forgot the "starting point".....which is found in Genesis.

John said...

Fred Trinklein was awesome. He was my teacher at LuHi back in 1978/79. I'll be thinking of him as I view the August 21 total eclipse down in South Carolina (hopefully without clouds). He used to say that the odds of having the moon visual diameter so perfectly eclipse the sun are astronomical and he felt God's hand in that.