I just saw your video rebuttal of Bill Nye. I can attest, as I was a fundie evangelical for the first 28 years of my life. I dropped out of college because of my creationist beliefs. As a result, when I was finally taught the truth—verifiable and undeniable truth—I realized that my dissatisfaction with my life was that I had taken a much despised career in Customer Service over a far more satisfying and stimulating one. Because that’s what god wanted.

That video’s arguments are all fallacious and factually incorrect. How is it a college drop out understands evolution and 2 doctors within the field don’t? Well, I know the answer, and I suspect many of you do also but are afraid to admit it to yourselves.

Destroy your childrens’ lives with this drivel but please stop pretending that your barbaric Bronze Aged myths are in any way affected by or comparable to observed and repeatable evidence. This was another disgusting example of the lies of Creationism. I hope one day you stop wasting your money battling what we know to be real and maybe feeding the starving and the poor as your Jesus commanded. But then why listen to that guy? Nobody else does.


I just saw your video rebuttal of Bill Nye.

Thank you for sharing your concerns and giving us the opportunity to answer. I will assume that you saw not only the video by Dr. Menton and Dr. Purdom but also the two videos by Ken Ham. I will just address the first here, since that is the one you mention, but the videos by Ken Ham offer additional insights, and I encourage all readers to watch them.

I can attest, as I was a fundie evangelical for the first 28 years of my life.

You do not specify what you do or do not believe now, so I do not want to make assumptions. I realize that you could be a very disillusioned Christian or a non-Christian who was part of a conservative religious group for some time. Those who read this letter will include both, so I hope you will forgive me if I unknowingly attribute beliefs to you that you do not have.

I dropped out of college because of my creationist beliefs. As a result, when I was finally taught the truth—verifiable and undeniable truth—I realized that my dissatisfaction with my life was that I had taken a much despised career in Customer Service over a far more satisfying and stimulating one. Because that’s what god wanted.

You say that you “can attest” to the way creationist beliefs essentially ruined your life by prompting you to “drop out of college.” You do not specify your original career path or whether you accepted creationist ideas prior to college or while in college. Perhaps you were raised with certain basic creationist beliefs but not given the thorough answers you needed. While many people understand the Bible and still reject it, oftentimes young people are exposed to “what to believe” without being equipped with the “whys” and the “how we knows.”

Many parents and churches fail to deal with basic apologetics issues—and not just those questions specifically concerning Genesis. Yet many answers require a clear understanding and faith that God’s Word—from the very first verse—has the answers God has provided for us. He has not left us to flounder about in our own philosophical meanderings (Colossians 2:8) but has revealed the truths we all need for those who are willing to study His Word (2 Timothy 3:14–17). Parents and churches need to teach not just “what” to believe but “how” to find those answers by a careful, consistent, prayerful study of God’s Word (Acts 17:11; cf. 2 Timothy 2:15). They also need to provide solid answers (1 Peter 3:15) showing how science affirms what we read in God’s Word.

Whether or not you received those answers, we recognize that accepting or rejecting biblical answers and the worldview behind them was (and is) your choice. Regardless of what each of us understands intellectually, the ultimate choice of worldview is our own. Perhaps your choice of worldview was affected by the very dissatisfactions you mention. Perhaps you harbored resentment against God for the choice you feel He demanded of you. Perhaps your initial beliefs were choked out by the “cares, riches, and pleasures of life” or you fell away in a “time of temptation” (Luke 8:13–14). Again, since we don’t know your heart, we cannot be sure of the reason(s) for your unbelief; however, the Bible reveals that unbelievers knew God but they “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18), they do “not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28), and that “although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God” (Romans 1:21).

You say you dropped out of college because “that’s what god [sic] wanted.” But did you have a clear view of God’s will for your life? Some people, including immature Christians and those who profess Christianity intellectually without having yet received Christ’s saving grace, err in their understanding of God’s will for them. It is easy for even a mature Christian to misunderstand God’s direction for his or her life, but a mature Christian is better equipped to patiently and prayerfully search the Scriptures while seeking God’s directions.

Creationist beliefs are not a reason for dropping out of college. In fact, we encourage people to get an education while biblically evaluating all they are taught (by anyone). Perhaps you felt your creationist or fundamentalist Christian background being challenged and found yourself unable to answer adequately. Perhaps that discomfort led to additional discomfort as you questioned your own faith. An evolutionary biologist who teaches at an evangelical Christian university recently posted on his blog1 indicating that he purposely creates a crisis of faith in his Christian students. I am very sorry if this describes your experience. And I am even sorrier you were not able find the answers you needed to resolve that crisis by trusting God more fully.

For whatever reason, you are not the first person “raised in church” to walk away, and surveys—such as those reported in the book Already Gone—indicate the majority of those who walk away for church as adults failed to receive the answers they needed as young people. Your worldview determines how you view the interpretations of data related to historical science (origins science), and that explains why you now consider evolution to be the “verifiable and undeniable truth.”

That video’s arguments are all fallacious and factually incorrect. How is it a college drop out understands evolution and 2 doctors within the field don’t? Well, I know the answer, and I suspect many of you do also but are afraid to admit it to yourselves.

You mention that you consider Dr. Menton’s and Dr. Purdom’s arguments “fallacious and factually incorrect” and that they do not actually “understand evolution.” You, on the other hand, say that you not only “understand evolution” but know that it is “verifiable and undeniable.” Obviously, there are many people, including a number of well-informed and highly educated people, who deny evolution for various reasons, so perhaps “undeniable” isn’t the best word to describe it.

Let’s be clear here about a few of the words being thrown around. You equate “not believing” and “not accepting” with “not understanding.” These terms are not synonymous. By analogy, there are probably a number of things you yourself understand (both true and fallacious) and yet do not believe. You probably understand Santa Claus quite well and do not believe in him. Dr. Menton and Dr. Purdom have both the education and the experience to understand evolution and to understand the nature of historical science—to understand how science works. And it is because they understand these things that they are able to see the flaws (both biblical and scientific) in evolution. Because they do understand evolution, they do not believe evolution.

Before addressing the specific points in Drs. Menton and Purdom’s video, I note that you think many of “us” (at Answers in Genesis, I presume) do understand the “verifiable and undeniable truths” about evolution “but are afraid to admit it” to ourselves. You imply that we are lying about our beliefs if we do not agree with yours. While it may be true that you were pretending to yourself and others that you believed fundamental Christian doctrines (including what God’s Word says about creation), you are wrong to project your own inconsistencies upon others.

Just as we cannot see into your heart, you cannot see into ours. In Scripture we find that Jesus during His earthly ministry was faced with many people who were impressed by His words and works for a time but later fell away. This was no surprise to Him “because He knew all men” and “knew what was in man” (John 2:23–25). We hope that as your own journey through life continues you will find the answers you need to better understand God’s character and His Word. We hope that you will turn from your rebellion against your Creator and learn to trust Him. But as for each of us in ministry here at Answers in Genesis, we have learned to trust God’s Word from the very first verse and therefore have a firm foundation for understanding the reason for Christ’s coming, His atoning sacrifice, His claim upon our lives, and how He said to live our lives.

I hope one day you stop wasting your money battling what we know to be real and maybe feeding the starving and the poor as your Jesus commanded. But then why listen to that guy? Nobody else does.

You accuse us of ignoring what Christ says by not “feeding the hungry,” yet you have no way of knowing how the individual Christians who are employed at or support Answers in Genesis utilize their own resources to fulfill all the sorts of ministry opportunities the Lord provides. But one of the things Jesus Christ told us to do is to teach people all over the world all that He has commanded. In order to teach “all,” we must teach from Genesis how God created a perfect world, how man rebelled and spoiled himself and the world, and how God planned to redeem man by the sacrifice of Christ’s blood. Furthermore, Jesus Christ Himself is the Creator. “By Him all things were created” (Colossians 1:15–16). The Author of my salvation is the Author of all creation, and Jesus Christ expects me to spread that truth.

Belief in “young earth creation” is not necessary for salvation. For that matter, neither is “feeding the hungry” or being a missionary. Salvation is available to each of us freely by grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God as the payment for our sins and our sinfulness. Yet the message of the gospel makes so much more sense if we understand why we are guilty of sin in the first place. That information is found in Genesis. Jesus Himself explained how believing what Moses wrote (which includes Genesis) is connected to belief in Him (John 5:46–47).

Destroy your childrens’ lives with this drivel but please stop pretending that your barbaric Bronze Aged myths are in any way affected by or comparable to observed and repeatable evidence. This was another disgusting example of the lies of Creationism.

You write that evolution’s “truths” are “verifiable” by “observed and repeatable evidence.” While both evolutionary scientists and creation scientists make scientific observations and collect scientific data in order to draw conclusions about the untestable, unobservable, and unrepeatable past, that observable data must be interpreted. Our “origin” has already happened. We cannot go into the past and perform scientific experiments in it. And when we try to extrapolate tests from the present to the time of origins, we must make assumptions about the conditions then. Yet the only infallible record we have of those conditions is that provided by God our Creator in Scripture. Interpreting observable scientific data to draw conclusions about origins therefore involves a scientist’s worldview—a worldview that either accepts God’s eyewitness account or rejects it.

Bill Nye’s evolutionary conclusions about our origins—and evidently yours too—are based on a secular (humanistic) worldview with a prior commitment to reject the eyewitness account God provided in the Bible. We say “humanistic” because such a worldview ascribes ultimate authority to the opinions and ideas of fallible humans instead of to our holy Creator God who never makes mistakes, who has always been here, and who proved His love and His power through the death and Resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

You claim the video’s arguments are “fallacious and factually incorrect.” Yet unless you yourself were present prior to the origin of all things to conduct scientific tests and make observations, you have no basis for those claims. Let’s take a look at the specific arguments in the video.

  1. Dr. Menton disputes Mr. Nye’s contention that opposition to evolution is unique to the United States. While evolution is criticized by at least 40 percent of the population of this country, he points out, it also falls afoul of Muslim beliefs in many countries. Dr. Menton also points out that many people around the world are critical of evolutionary dogma. These critics include biblical creationists as well as people of many persuasions who understand flaws in evolutionary arguments and believe that the origin of life cannot be explained apart from some sort of intelligent design.

  2. Dr. Purdom disputed Mr. Nye’s contention that parents are doing a disservice to their children by teaching them biblical creation. You agree with Mr. Nye, as you say we “destroy … childrens’ [sic] lives with this drivel” by “pretending” that “barbaric Bronze Aged myths” can compare with what evolution has to offer. Dr. Purdom explained that children’s needs for critical thinking skills and discernment are best served by understanding the claims of both evolutionists and creationists. By critically analyzing the claims of evolutionary dogma, children are often able to see not only that (unlike evolutionary claims about the past) experimental science must be observable, testable, and repeatable, but also that evolution cannot provide evidence for many of its fantastic claims. Molecules-to-man evolution rests on worldview-based interpretations of scientific data and imaginative story-telling about the past.

  3. Dr. Purdom specifically shares the example that despite evolutionary claims about molecules-to-man evolution, evolutionary claims suffer from “the complete lack of a genetic mechanism that allows organisms to gain genetic information to go from simple to complex over time.” You say you understand this material better than she does, yet neither you nor evolutionary scientists have provided evidence for such a mechanism. Imagining is not the same as having evidence.

  4. The esteemed chemist Dr. Ronald Breslow recently wrote that science has not demonstrated that even a collection of homo-chiral (mirror-image specific) “building blocks could assemble into structures with the exciting properties of life.”2 And, when given genetic raw material as a starting point, evolutionary geneticists propose that mutations and random genetic duplications (so-called “pseudogenes”) provide the raw material on which natural selection acts to create new genetic information. Yet natural selection of copies (duplications) doesn’t make something new. Similarly, mutations represent a loss of genetic information, not a gain.

  5. Dr. Menton disputes Mr. Nye’s contention that “the world becomes fantastically complicated if one believes in creation.” Dr. Menton says, “But I would argue that the world becomes fantastically complicated if one believes in evolution.” By way of example he points out that only a good deal of convoluted and complicated imagining can conjure a way that a hummingbird’s parts came together through “random purposeless change combined with natural selection (which is nothing more than differential reproduction).”

    Differential reproduction simply means that those organisms better able to survive until they reproduce and then reproduce robustly are likely to fill the population with organisms carrying their genetically transmitted traits. Since organisms reproduce after their kinds, natural selection—differential reproduction—produces varieties of the same kind of organism, not new kinds of organisms. There is no mechanism by which organisms can transmit to their offspring genetic material for more complex kinds of organisms than themselves.

  6. Dr. Purdom points out that Mr. Nye is confusing observational science with historical science. From your comments extolling evolution’s “observed and repeatable evidence” above biblical history and the scientific models and principles supported by it, I conclude you are likewise confused. Dr. Purdom made the difference clear. Her synonym for “observational science” is “here and now science,” the kind of science that “gives us inventions and technology like computers and vaccines.” This sort of science takes place in the present and is amenable to present observations and repeatable controlled tests.

    Yet how can the events of our origins be subjected to repeatable controlled scientific tests? They cannot. We do see fossils and distant stars, but their present existence does not tell the story of their origins. Our conclusions about the unobservable past must depend on what we already believe about the past. They depend on our willingness to accept—or determination to reject—the word of the eternal God about what He said He did and when and how He did it.

  7. Finally, Dr. Menton disputes Mr. Nye’s contention that “evolution is fundamental to all life science, that life science can’t be practiced without it.” Mr. Nye is alluding to the famous statement by Theodosius Dobzhansky asserting, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”3

    By way of rebuttal, Dr. Menton shares not his own explanation here but that of a famous evolutionist, Adam Wilkins. In the year 2000, in the journal Bioessays, Wilkins turned Dobzhansky’s argument upside down, “observing that evolution occupies a special, and paradoxical, place within biology as a whole. While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,’ most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. ‘Evolution’ would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.”4 Technology marches on, and scientists of all sorts continue to make discoveries—such as the momentous ones recently published from the ENCODE project,5—yet these discoveries do not rely on evolutionary beliefs about our origins but on testable hypotheses about “here and now” observable phenomena.

I am sorry that you consider the Bible to be just a collection of barbaric Bronze Age myths. The ancient world was a barbaric place. (A good look at recent history shows today’s world is technologically more advanced but arguably no less barbaric.) While some of the history in the Bible was recorded contemporaneously during times today’s archaeologists describe as “Bronze Age,” (e.g., Genesis–Joshua and Job), much of it is not from that period, so your objection is flawed at this point. (Perhaps you were just trying to be alliterative.) Also, you have committed the logical fallacy known as chronological snobbery by assuming the age of an idea demonstrates its truth or falsity. The age of the biblical record does not invalidate its witness or render it irrelevant. Its history has guided creation scientists in the development of insightful scientific models that explain such things as the geologic column. On the other hand, those who insist on disregarding the Bible’s history to explain life without God adopt alternative uniformitarian positions that require them to make a host of assumptions. Those assumptions form the basis for their evolutionary claims.

You believe you have found the answer to your life’s disappointments by blaming the God of the Bible for your own trials and decisions and embracing what you believe to be evolutionary truth. Unfortunately, you have traded the truth of God and the love He offers to embrace the falsehoods of evolution. (I am not accusing evolutionists of intentionally lying; Mr. Nye and others sincerely believe what that claim. But they are wrong.) Evolution’s errors stem from the same sort of philosophy that began 6,000 years ago when the “father of lies” (a name for Satan drawn from Jesus’s words in John 8:44) asked Eve, “Has God really said …?” (Genesis 3:1–5). Denial of God’s truth is at the root of evolutionary thinking. I hope you ultimately discover God’s love and truth for yourself.

Meanwhile, we shall continue equipping parents and churches to teach children the truth—that real science affirms biblical truth, and that biblical truth is not disputed by the genuine facts of observational science. What we teach children does make a difference. We are not “destroying their lives with drivel” but equipping them for fruitful lives and eternal life with the Creator and Savior. We want them to understand and participate in the scientific discoveries of the future thanks to their discernment and ability to think critically about what they are taught. Moreover, we want them to be able to trust the Word of God since it is able to make them “wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

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Footnotes

  1. News to Note, September 15, 2012 and It’s an Epidemic Back
  2. R. Breslow, “Evidence for the Likely Origin of Homochirality in Amino Acids, Sugars, and Nucleosides on Prebiotic Earth,” Journal of the American Chemical Society 134 (16): 6887–6892, DOI: 10.1021/ja3012897. Back
  3. Dobzhansky wrote this in The American Biology Teacher (March 1973) 35:125-129, posted at http://media.fastclick.net/w/pc.cgi?mid=750368&sid=6471 and quoted in Chapter 14: Can Creationists Be “Real” Scientists? Back
  4. Based on Wilkins, A. S. 2000. Introduction (issue on Evolutionary Processes). BioEssays 22, no. 12:1051–1052. As discussed in An Evaluation of the Myth That “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”. Back
  5. News to Note, September 15, 2012 and ENCODE and the Dark Matter of the Genome, Part One and Part Two Back