Last February, Bill Nye became the public face of the theory of evolution when he controversially debated creationist Ken Ham at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The biggest challenge, he says now, was not in making his argument in front of a largely hostile audience: “The most difficult part of that debate in Kentucky was doing my best to keep my jaw closed.”
Nye is continuing to educate people on evolution with his new book, “Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation,” although he rejects the mantle of Darwinian defender.
“I would prefer not to call it defending evolution so much as spelling it out,” he says. “I consider the book a primer on evolution. There’s a bunch of fundamental things that I cannot help but notice that many of my fellow citizens are unaware of.
“This is the most important idea in all of biology.”
Evolution is only one of the topics that Nye is discussing on his current tour, which takes the form of a multimedia presentation and Q&A session that he refers to as a “stand-up comedy science routine.”
He’ll also point out the facts supporting climate change, an equally embattled subject in the popular imagination at the moment.
As serious as he is about these topics, however, Nye promises to approach his performance with the dry sense of humor audiences are familiar with from his bow-tied, public persona, saying, “I try to be funny as well as funny-looking.
In the right boat
Long associated with science education thanks to his 1990s PBS series “Bill Nye, The Science Guy,” Nye says that while he hopes a general audience will be receptive to his message, children are his target demographic.
“We don’t want to raise a generation of young people unfamiliar with the fundamental idea in all life science. If you’re indoctrinated that the Earth could somehow be 6,000 years old before you’re 10, it’s a really hard thing to overcome. Ask anybody raised with this extraordinary worldview, and they’ll tell you how hard it is to stop believing when your ancestors and everyone you go to school with is in the same wrong boat.”
Get details about the live showat www.billnye.com.