Unde-Nye-Able

Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, by Bill Nye, (St. Martin’s Press), 320 pages, released November 4, 2014

Back on February 4 of last year Bill Nye (the Science Guy) debated Ken Ham founder of the Creation Museum of Kentucky (which I am not going to grace with a link)—if debate is the right word when a system based on developing and testing hypotheses is put up against a system based on faith (and an over-reliance on a text whose original form is buried under centuries of rewrites and later inventions). That’s where Undeniable had its origins.

If you’ve been looking for (or even if you haven’t) a clear, thorough laying out of evolutionary science, Bill Nye is your guy. Her knows his material. He also has a delightfully colloquial voice that makes difficult concepts accessible for the everyday reader. Take, for instance, his description of the fossil record:

The fossil record isn’t a tidy, clean recording. No one went to a studio and methodically laid down some tracks, the way a rock and roll band records an album. The evidence imbedded in the Earth’s rocks is more like the work of a band that recorded with a faulty microphone and then accidentally recorded over most of the tracks. On top of that, when they were finished, they lost almost all of the final versions.

Nothing Nye’s writing is really new, though it’s certainly up-to-date. What makes it so interesting is the way he can bring his material to life and help even those already familiar with it to see it in fresh, new ways. This is a book that will delight both adults and younger readers, that addresses both without talking down (or up) to either group.

January 29 2015 06:13 am | Uncategorized

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