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Published: Thursday, 9/27/2012

Core belief

Bill Nye respects everyone's right to be religious. The mechanical engineer and former host of Bill Nye the Science Guy just wants to keep religion out of the classroom when science is taught.

He has created a video extolling science education for children that has garnered 4.6 million views on YouTube and nearly 200,000 comments.

As a television personality whose show attracted many young people in the 1990s, Mr. Nye encouraged viewers to approach the world with curiosity, passion, and joy.

Mr. Nye didn't dabble in controversy or politics as a science teacher on television. But he has become more outspoken as efforts to introduce religion into public school science classrooms have grown.

Conservative Christians are pushing school boards across the nation to allow the biblical story of creation to be taught as an alternative to "godless" evolution. Creationists argue that science supports their belief that the Earth is no more than 10,000 years old -- not 4.5 billion years old -- and that humans and dinosaurs coexisted. This is nonsense for anyone who takes the integrity of science seriously.

There are more creationists in America than in any other country. That hasn't been lost on Mr. Nye or his allies as they try to counter the pernicious effects of religious fundamentalism on science education.

American public school students already trail much of the world in science performance. It's not just Mr. Nye's job to speak out against the unwarranted intrusion of religious dogma into the classroom. It's everyone's.

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