Science Series: Bill Nye the Pseudo-Science Guy

undeniableI had a former student who went to Harvard University several years back who returned an atheist.  I asked what evidence did he find that showed Christianity to be false.  He informed me that in his biology class he was taught that scientists were able to produce life from non-life in laboratory conditions.  That has nothing to do with Jesus’ existence, his death, or his resurrection, but nevertheless, some people think evolution disproves God.  I am not sure how, but there you have it. Nevertheless I continued the conversation to see where it would lead.  Now, I am no Ivy league graduate, so I was very interested to see what a cutting edge research university had turned up.  To my utter surprise he related the Stanley Miller-Urey experiment.


An Ivy league school was teaching that the 1950s Miller-Urey experiment is our best evidence that nature can produce life from non-life.  Now, I have just finished paying taxes and all the Ivy League schools receive government funding, which in short means I pay for an Ivy league school to teach an out-of-date and defunct experiment to our nations leading students!  Pardon me for being a little upset, but give me a break.  I would expect just a little bit more from a leading institution such as Harvard.

Bill Nye, who starred in the PBS series “Bill Nye the Science Guy” in the 90s, has recently published a book on evolution and guess what it includes.  You guessed right: the Miller-Urey experiment.  For those not in the know, the Miller-Urey experiment was conducted at the University of Chicago in millerurey1952 in which they simulated what they believed to be the early conditions of earth and provided an electrical impulse to produce amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of life.  One simple problem: those conditions simulated in the experiment did not resemble the early conditions of earth.  As Casey Luskin explains in a Stream article: “Nye maintains that the famous Miller-Urey experiments ‘simulate[d] the conditions on earth in primordial times,’ and ‘produced the natural amino acids.’ Yet the Miller-Urey experiments did not accurately simulate the earth’s early atmosphere. An article in Science explains why the experiments are irrelevant: ‘the early atmosphere looked nothing like the Miller-Urey situation.’ ”  Luskin goes on to enumerate other pseudo-science claims in Nye’s book including the 1% myth and the TIktaalik “fisapod” as a transitional fossil and the suboptimal design of the human eye.

The MIller-Urey experiment is a 60+ year old experiment that is defunct and discredited.  Schools, textbooks, and universities need to give this one up.  The origins of life remains a mystery.  In fact, the origins of life studies are so desperate they are asserting a theory called panspermia, which is the idea that extraterrestrial life has deposited the first life on earth.  Sounds more like science fiction than science.


“Does Peer-Reviewed Science Support Bill Nye’s Attempt to Prove Materialism” at

“Real Science vs. Bill Nye’s Undeniable” Casey Luskin at The Stream

“Biology Textbooks Get It Wrong on LIfe’s Origin” by Dr. Fazale Rana at Reasons to Believe

“Psst! Don’t tell the creationists, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began” by February 28, 2011 Scientific American

“How Did Life Begin?” by at Universe Today

“How Did Life Start On Earth?” in Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network