In a clip posted to online knowledge forum Big Think via YouTube, former children's show host Bill Nye spoke out against the denial of evolution, saying such views harm young people especially and hamper scientific progress.
Nye, who hosted the educational show "Bill Nye the Science Guy," which aired on PBS Kids from 1993 through 1998, made the statements in a clip posted online on Thursday, and has since been viewed over one million times. In the clip, Nye praises the United States for its contribution to technological innovation, but says that the denial of evolution is unique to the country.
"People still move to the United States. And that's largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science," Nye said in the clip. "When you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.
"Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place," he added.
Nye made a three-stop tour through New Hampshire earlier this summer to tout President Obama's education policies while making a push for science and engineering programs. He has endorsed Obama's reelection bid.
In the clip, Nye said that one's "world just becomes fantastically complicated when you don't believe in evolution."
"Here are these ancient dinosaur bones or fossils, here is radioactivity, here are distant stars that are just like our star but they're at a different point in their lifecycle. The idea of deep time, of this billions of years, explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your world view just becomes crazy, just untenable, itself inconsistent," he said.
Nye then goes on to urge adults not to deny the teaching of evolution to young people.
"And I say to the grownups, 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.
"It's just really a hard thing, it's really a hard thing. You know, in another couple of centuries that world view, I'm sure, will be, it just won't exist. There's no evidence for it."