'Science Guy' Defends His Debate with Creationists

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Wednesday, 30 Apr 2014 01:03 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Bill Nye "the Science Guy" has defended his participation in a highly publicized and controversial debate earlier this year with Creationist Museum President Ken Ham, saying he hopes he did more good than harm.

In an interview Tuesday on NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers," Nye fended off criticism that his involvement lent legitimacy to the creationist movement.

"First of all, I will say to my academic colleagues, about criticizing me for taking this on, I will say, you may be right," Nye told Meyers, "but I don’t think so," adding he never would have participated in the debate if he didn’t believe it was a "good thing" to do.

"We want to raise awareness of science literacy," or in this case, "science illiteracy," Nye said. "And the reason I bring this up, you can hate me, you can hate everything, but science education is what leads to innovators," like "that kooky Internet that the kids use."

Nye took it a step further saying that it's very important to raise awareness of the contribution of science for the sake of the quality of the country's education system over the longer term.

"This is deeply important to me," Nye said. "And I hope that in the coming years, awareness will be raised, and voters and taxpayers will not let these people with these extraordinary, wrong views about nature — not be allowed to try to get on school boards."

Meyers agreed with Nye’s sentiments and said, "On behalf of all of us, I really appreciate your efforts," adding that unlike his critics, he thinks it's "great" that Nye did the debate.

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