It’s funny how some audiences can be inspired by preachers or politicians, but the TAM audience was inspired by Bill’s dedication and excitement about science and the great things that come from it. Bill starts out his talk with the insider’s view of the debate on Creationism that he participated in last February at the Creation Museum in Kentucky against Answers in Genesis’ Ken Ham (Video of the debate). He was in front of the home crowd, in the facility dedicated to their idea about how the 6000-year old world works – the “lion’s den” as Nye calls it. Bill was open about his trepidation and need for preparation. He praised the NCSE – Josh Rosenau and Genie Scott, Don Prothero and Michael Shermer for the assistance. He understood that this could be a giant mistake. Yet, it was the right thing to do – to stand up to nonsense ideas that send society backwards. And he was victorious.
In this just over one-hour talk, Bill’s passion for communicating science comes alive. He talks about the geology of Kentucky (oh the irony!), the beauty of evolution and the utility of the theory, while scratching his head about how Ham’s congregation can ignore such fabulous things right under their feet.
A second important topic was revealed during the Creation debate, Ham’s denial of climate change. Bill discusses why this is such an important concept for humans all over the world. He points out the critical need to be science literate and, as a country, to be innovative. As examples of problems we can solve, he discusses energy production and distribution, deflecting asteroids, thinking about the MH370 mystery, all with his witty, comedic style. We can solve problems, but will we?
Bill appreciates that TAM is an appreciative audience. Even though we are all just little specks on a speck in space, we can comprehend our position in the universe and have the capability to solve problems. And we can, dare I say it… “CHANGE THE WORLD”.