By Ed Schipul (originally posted to Flickr as Bill Nye) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ed Schipul (originally posted to Flickr as Bill Nye) [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Bill Nye answers whether science and religion could ever be compatible.

Bill Nye has taken on the political right before when talking about climate change. More recently, he was asked how to bridge the gap between science and religion, reports Big Think.

Nye noted that anybody who claims that the Earth is only 6,000 years old is just plain wrong, as centuries of scientific study have proven time and again. Analysis of the Earth’s crust and chemicals both present and absent make the strongest of cases that the Earth is millions of years old.

Clearly pointing at creationist Ken Ham and his life-sized Noah’s Ark replica in Kentucky. Nye states that, “there is nothing in the Bible… that informs modern science.”

Nye mentions protons, neutrons, electrons, and modern farming practice, just to name a few, as obvious scientific omissions from the New Testament.

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In a reprise of the age-old argument between the religious and atheists, Nye places not the burden of proof in this case, but the burden of bridging the gap between science and one’s religious beliefs on the believer, not the scientist. “The link is for you…You have to reckon the facts, as well call them, with some belief system that is incompatible with them.”

Nye then turned back to religion, noting that the authors of the Bible, and its readers, didn’t know much about the world around them, so they crafted stories to explain what they saw and hear about in a way that all could grasp.

Nye also shared what he thought was important about organized religion: community. And that people attended church services on a weekly basis to connect, and benefit from that sense of belonging.

As an interesting side note, Nye does credit Biblical authors with a reasonable approximation of Pi (they wrote 22/7). But unfortunately, Nye refers to Pi as the distance around circle. Certainly he just misspoke; the accomplished scientist knows that Pi is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of any circle. 

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