Earth Below

06 Dec 2012

Bill Nye for Big Think:

If you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.

We have to live in the world. Regardless of what you believe about tomorrow, regardless of where you believe we originated, regardless of your spirituality, your religion, and your mythology. We have to live in this site of physics and biology, where gravity operates and species evolve. This earth is our home and we exist here, now. It serves us no good to pretend otherwise or claim that that which we experience here is false. Our theory of gravity may not be true, but it is our current best explanation of the world – in such a way that we are able to build skyscrapers and land robots on Mars. So too of evolution which has led us to better understandings of biodiversity, of agriculture, of health and medicine.

While it matters a great deal what you believe of the world beyond this world, that does not absolve you of your responsibility to this world. “Science” is our collected best answers to the questions of this universe in which we currently live. To not “believe” in it is not some form of noble skepticism nor is it a show of faithful devotion. It is willful ignorance of one of the most basic of truths of the universe, a fact that comes even before worship and God: we live in this world. Heaven above requires earth below.