On an Undeniable Review

UndeniableBillNyeIn February 2014, Bill Nye debated Ken Ham (President, Answers in Genesis, AIG) about evolution-creation at AIG’s Creation Museum on Cincinnati’s Kentucky-side of the river. This book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, is a result of Nye’s preparation for and participation in the debate.

Although Nye initially trained and worked as a mechanical engineer, the general public got to know him as The Science Guy through his television shows in the early 1990s.

Bill Nye is noted for a fast-paced, engaging style to explain scientific topics in laymen’s terms to the masses – and that style is what readers get in this book. His wit, sense of humor, knowledge, and ability to stay at the layman level is his brand. Those familiar with him may even hear his voice while reading.

The chapters a short – actually rather bite-sized with most chapters being less than 10 pages. Nye intertwines stories and analogies amid the chapter’s main premise while using historical and present-day applications.

Typically, each chapter focuses on a specific topic; and Nye covers a wide range of topics, such as evolution, natural selection, punctuated equilibrium, biodiversity, fossils, thermodynamics, convergence, competition, extinction, gene flow, genetic bottlenecks, homologous structures, selection, mutations, and population isolation. Given these topics and his simplistic approach, Nye explains the natural process of evolution.

Although Nye frequently mentions claims made by Ham about evolution, he does not address faith … but to his defense, faith is not the intent of this book. Those desiring more about the interchange between science and religion will be disappointed.

Given that’s the science-religion interchange is not his intent, I don’t like the “Science of Creation” portion of the book’s title … but that’s me because of my level of understanding about the interchange. On the other hand, the “Undeniable” portion of the title is very appropriate – even for the pun lovers who see UndeNEYable.

Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation is Bill Nye’s latest effort in bringing science to the masses. Given the debate about appropriate subjects in public school science classes doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, I applaud Nye’s efforts because the majority of the public is poorly informed.

One for the bookshelves? Maybe, depending on the reader’s background … but definitely not for those with a firm understanding of evolution and its subtopics. Yes, it covers the basics, thus Undeniable is a primer … a good place to start … but it lacks the depth and breathe that others may desire because Undeniable is not a book for extensive study of evolution.

Bottom line – the reader must decide if this is a good book for them … but for the vast majority of people, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation by Bill Nye is a good read.

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39 thoughts on “On an Undeniable Review

  1. Thanks again, Frank. First, I like seeing you back posting on a more regular basis. Second, you are always a good source for interesting reads or resources on the science/religion interchange. This one sounds more science resource, but Nye’s style should make it entertaining.

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  2. ANYTHING to get people into science and thinking is a good thing. The book sounds user friendly and entertaining. And you do have to start somewhere. (all this stuff is so fascinating – you have to hope some grab concepts and run to find out more). Good review.

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  3. Thanks for the review, Frank. I saw a few of the Science Guy episodes and did, in fact, enjoy them. I may pick up the book and read it on my Kindle. It’s always nice to revisit the basics. Plus, I do like Nye’s style.

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  4. If I’m ever held hostage in a room full of books and this is one of the books, Frank, I will definitely peruse this one thanks to your review. But, as long as I’m free, I’ll just keep reading the New Yorker in my very limited reading time.

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  5. I plan to buy the book “Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation” by Bill Nye, and put it on my bookshelf alongside my November 2004 National Geographic Magazine with the front page cover article, “Was Darwin Wrong? NO. The evidence is OVERWHELMING.” by David Quammen, and my March 2015 National Geographic Magazine which included the article by Joel Achenbach, “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?”

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  6. I don’t understand why there is a debate. We know evolution has occurred and is still occurring. Can God–(creator by whatever name one calls his or her higher power)–not have ‘created’ the single cell that ‘evolved’? Love Bill Nye, although it was painful to watch him on DWTS.

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    • Renee,
      Well … it complex. At one end of the continuum are the literal Christians who see Genesis as the literal creation story, thus don’t accept many scientific findings. At the other end are is a group of Atheists who not only combat the literal Christians, they also tell the non-literal Christians that they can’t believe in evolution and the Bible. Even as a collective, these groups aren’t the majority. To complicate materials, I am will to say that if evolution is taught, odds are that it is taught poorly. Therefore the majority of people don’t know what it’s about – and since they go to church – they must be against what they don’t know. Hence, the importance of this book as a primer …. hope this makes some sense..

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  7. Nice Job Frank. The nice part of all of this controversy is we will get the answer someday. Each individually with no way to give a hint to those left. Always reminds me of Woody Allen’s Sleeper when he says after the doctors of the future give him a steak and cigarette to cure him, “can you believe we thought cigarettes and steak were bad for people.”

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  8. Thanks for the recommendation, Frank. My son LOVED Bill Nye the Science Guy — we watched it together for years and did a lot of the experiments in our kitchen. great fun.

    As to the issue about the great divide, I think that you’re right that the majority of folks don’t believe in a literal bible. The scary thing is that the majority of folks who are running for/being elected to office DO. Hence the passage of more and more restrictions on things that 20 years ago were not even thought of as controversial.

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  9. I think I’d enjoy this book, Frank. I tend to enjoy Bill Nye, and although I have read quite a bit, I would enjoy hearing his voice through the text. I bought three new books today with a birthday gift certificate! Wish I’d read your post first…I may need to wait a bit. 🙂

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