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Bill Nye slams creationism
August 27th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

Bill Nye slams creationism

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–Famed TV scientist Bill Nye is slamming creationism in a new online video for Big Think titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children."

"Denial of evolution is unique to the United States," Nye begins in a YouTube video posted on Thursday.  The video quickly picked up steam over the weekend and as of Monday morning had been viewed more than 1,100,000 times.

Nye - a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program, "Bill Nye the Science Guy" - said the United States has great capital in scientific knowledge and "when you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in it, it holds everyone back."

"Your world becomes fantastically complicated if you don't believe in evolution," Nye said in the Web video.

Creationists are a vast and varied group in the United States.  Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

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In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world, and everything in it in six days.

For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution.  Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth, and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique

The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans' views on creation and evolution for the past 30 years.  In June it released its latest findings, which showed 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

During the 30 years Gallup has conducted the survey, creationism has remained far and away the most popular answer, with 40% to 47% of Americans surveyed saying they believed that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years.

Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins

"The idea of deep time of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your worldview becomes crazy, untenable, itself inconsistent," Nye said in the video.

"I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, 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 engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.

Creationists' beliefs about the origins of the Earth are often a narrow focus, based in large part on religious beliefs, and while they reject evolution as "just one theory," they often embrace other fields of science and technology.

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In "The Genesis Flood," the 1961 book that in many ways help launch the Young Earth creationism movement in the United States, the authors write: “Our conclusions must unavoidably be colored by our Biblical presuppositions, and this we plainly acknowledge."  Their goal for the book was to harmonize the scientific evidence with the accounts in Genesis of creation and the flood.

The idea of creationism has been scorned by the mainstream scientific community since shortly after Darwin introduced "The Origin of Species" in 1859.  By 1880, The American Naturalists, a science journal, reported nearly every major university in America was teaching evolution.

"In another couple centuries I'm sure that worldview won't even exist.  There's no evidence for it. So..." Nye ends his video.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Creationism • Science

soundoff (14,640 Responses)
  1. Doc Vestibule

    Why is the Abrahamic creation myth the only one that should be taken seriously?
    There are plenty of others from which to choose, all with the same level of evidence.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Perhaps because other creation myths do not depict an angry, vengeful, confrontational "god" who threatens eternal punishment for not believing in "him" and only "him". Adherents to confrontational religions are guilt-tripped into spreading their cancer as often and as far as they can.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  2. HoneyPot

    Mind your business about our beliefs and go away

    August 28, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Then keep your beliefs out of our business and go away.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  3. Greg

    Thanks Bill.....but leave the teaching of my children to me.......

    August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • rightstuffxoxo

      Yeah no. Your types should not be allowed to reproduce much less raise your own children. Bill is doing you a favor since you're too lazy and/or stupid to do it yourself.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  4. bob

    Crazy people... As god's personal representative, he would like everyone to know he didn't do anything to create any of you freaks. He's just out there chilling. Big bang = gods fart. He let one loose and forgot about it!

    August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  5. Dan

    Creationism, scary stuff with so much proof for evolution. But, there's plenty of sand to bury your head in if you support the six day model.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • paco128

      you so smart.. where are all the fossils of your proof. there would be tons none around

      August 28, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  6. Roxie

    You can have faith. That doesn't mean you need to believe in silly things. Evolution happened and is still happening. Period. This is not open to debate.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  7. Andy

    Go back to making your little projects on TV cause you sure have no clue of what yourbabblin about.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  8. richunix

    Brad,

    As an Atheist, I agree with your comments, at least they are not filled with “Fire and Damnation” as the religious fundamentalist would like for you to believe.

    Stephen F Roberts: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

    Atheism is not a religion nor is it a belief.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • DBizzle

      You are a moron. Atheism is a belief, and is therefore a religion. Atheists are the most hard core religious people I know. I don't care if you're Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Jewish, whatever – stop pushing your unfounded beliefs on the world at large.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • richunix

      DBizzle, does your trailer park manager know your using his computer again?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  9. Living in Texas but trying to escape

    Take your god, your bible, your bronze-age mytical belief and put them where the sun don't shine. Or otherwise stay in your churches and keep your nonsense to yourself but don't insult the rest of us with your babbling about Adam and Eve (or Steve – who cares), some old dude and a boat or a guy who got nailed to a tree

    August 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  10. Charles Roesch, Ph.D., M.D.

    Finally a prominent scientist is speaking out in a public forum to decry the regressive anti-science philosophy. Denying evolution is exactly the same rationale as flat earth advocates.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Chaz

      Really?? The THEORY of evolution is not on the same factual plane as the shape of Earth. The complexity of life and the universe did not magically evolve from dead matter [slime]. Bill Nye the slime guy and yourself need to read up on DNA.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Huebert

      Chaz

      You are confusing planetary formation, which we do understand, and abiogenesis, which is not understood, with evolution. Evolution is one of the most supported theories in science right now. Evolutionary theory is actually on firmer ground than gravitational theory.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Nietodarwin

      I agree. A few movie stars and athletes saying the same would help too, instead of the likes of certain qb kneeling before games. I think Mr. Nye pointing out that this is "doing harm" to kids is most important. Religion is child abuse in the form of education abuse.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Ryan82

      Chaz: Before you tell someone that they need to do research on DNA, please learn the difference between a theory and a scientific theory. If you don't know the difference then you don't even understand 4th grade science. We have more evidence for the theory of evolution than we do for the theory of gravity, but I don’t see you guys trying to get gravity out of the class room.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  11. Jack

    Hello. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 28, 2012 at 9:40 am |
  12. AC

    Thank you Mr. Nye for pointing out the ignorance of Americans. Like you said, the belief in creationism holds back American science and education akin to Europe in the dark ages.
    Get real people Evolution is a given. Just because there are a few "holes" in knowledge that haven't been solved yet, doesn't mean it is not real.
    People used to believe that fire was created by Gods, they used to believe weather was created by gods. throughout history, man has used "GOD" in one form or another to explain the unexplainable.
    But science doesn't do that. Science builds on knowledge and fills in the holes over time. There is indisputable evidence that evolution is a fact. In fact, it is evident everyday in the world around us.
    My only hope is that someday when the "little green men" come and visit us, the narrow minded among us will finally realize that we are not part of some "master plan" and just another lucky coincidence in the universe.
    Well done Mr. Nye. Keep preaching the truth.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Josh

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • serveJBR

      Most of us love Bill Nye and the great quest for science. He is of course correct about so much, that which is knowable. However, he cannot know the metaphysical unknowable, the difference between infinity and eternity. Lets we forget, there are many ultra smart folks who see the same "indisputable" facts that you see, but know that we can never be sure but can hope and even believe in unseen "things", in ways that help civilization. Of course there will always be morons incapable of crunching all the variables to be 100% sure as you are. So, guess we are glad you're so smart, thank you. Ask a theoretical mathematician what the odds are of nothing turning into DNA given several billion years. Or that women would be so beautifully different than men, or that music would second only to babies as the best things ever. Etc. Etc. Obviously completely random. No chance of any other explanation. So, we can move on to... the pathology of truly evil TV that entertaining and the nuerochemistry that makes it so. Right.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Josh – and remember the founding fathers also considered black folks to only be 3/5 of a human. And women were property.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  13. Josh

    "Denial of evolution is unique to the United States" and "the United States is where most ot the innovations still happens". And this supports your thesis, Bill? Logic FAIL.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      He was trying to explain the importance of his statement. If we continue to believe in fairy tales then we will lose these edges that we have.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Josh

      US history (which is observable) does not support either of your statements.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  14. noteasilyswayed

    Same all BS argument, with neither camp changing their minds..... Religion is faith based, so it needs no proof. Either you believe in its tenets or you don't. Science is based on hypotheses that are either confirmed, shot down or modified through repeated tests and observations.
    Seems like mankind "needs" religious beliefs in order to justify its existence and purpose here on this planet.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • cicadasystem

      You're post makes little sense. Why should science change its mind on evolution when science has vast amounts of evidence to back up its theory? Religion still needs proof if it makes monumental claims such as how mankind originated. The fact that people claim religion gives them purpose is bull. We decide our own purpose in life, not some deity.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:49 am |
  15. MakeThemEatCake

    Jed, do you have an open mind? Other than a book that was written down centuries after the events it speaks about occurred, what proof can you present? Especially when the book has been used, since its inception, as a tool used by those in authority to justify some of the worst treatment of our fellow man ever conceived.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  16. Brad

    I'm Christian and believe in evolution. It's not possible for things to change over night. Even in the bible what's to say it only took 1 day being 24 hours. No one existed the day the sun was created. Is it possible parts of the bible are to be taken in nonliteral translation and is rather just an understanding that God was a part of it. To the atheists out there, I'm not to say I condemn your understanding. Just because I believe in something you don't doesn't mean I'm absent minded to think there's no room for other ideas. Let's leave stereotypes aside and coexist and use reason and logic to learn with, not unexplainable heresay.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  17. Saint

    When Scientist can create something out of nothing, tell us exactly what happens after death, resurrect the dead, then I will take science more seriously. Clearly this proves that Science has its limitations too. I will continue to worship my creator and Savior thru eternity.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • richunix

      Tell me the difference between AN and YAHWEH?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I take science seriously because it attempts to learn how our world works instead of throwing up its hands and wailing "Goddidit!"

      August 28, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Justin

      I'm assuming you're Christian. So tell me whats the difference between Mithra and Jesus, does your Bible explain why Mithra who was born before Jesus was born on Dec 25 to a virgin mother, to be later crucified and resurrected 3 days later.

      Nah cause Christians live in blissful ignorance to the real world. Nose to deep in their Bible to see how the world really is.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      When a religious person can create something out of nothing, tell us exactly what happens after death, resurrect the dead, then I will take religion more seriously.

      Why is religion not held up to the same standards? Let's see it – resurrect someone for us. I'll watch for it on the news.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Living in Texas but trying to escape

      What channel do I tune to? SCIFI or Comedy Central?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Timothy (yes from the bible)

      None of the things you list as proof for Science is happening in Religion either. There is thousands of times more eveidence that science is based in reality than religion.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • cicadasystem

      So you think that just because a book written BY PEOPLE around 2k years ago is more credible than research done by people in the last 150 years? I might add that the people who do research now are vastly smarter than those who wrote books a couple thousand years ago. Somehow because you are incapable of conjuration, communication after death, and raising zombies science has no credit? I mean seriously, WHAT?!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • guest

      Science can do all of those things.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  18. heyitskm

    Oh how I would love to be there, Mr. Nye, when you meet your Creator.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • putty

      God, please save me from your followers.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Sputnick1

      How do you know there is one you FOUL

      August 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Justin

      You Christians do seem to enjoy the idea of others being tormented forever, its pretty disgusting that you think like that. You may want to look into some psychological help.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • smokecheck

      For sure!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Fred Evil

      Too bad you won't be, because there is NO creator.
      Oh, to know how disappointed you WOULD be, if you had enough time to realize how wrong you have been.
      But you won't, you will simply die, and rot. Just as I will.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Creator

      Dear heyitskm,

      Unfortunately, I am nothing more than the vivid imagination of humans. So please don't worry about Bill Nye, he will be fine.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  19. Keel Hauler

    Bill Nye is right. Parents who insist on teaching Creationism to the the exclusion of theories to the contrary are setting their kids up to fail.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  20. Noxy

    Evolution is a theory based on circular reasoning. There is no proof or smoking gun.
    Simply rocks in the ground. Science can't even prove evolution using the scientific method.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      evidence for evolution does not come exclusively from teh fossil record.
      Vestigial features, study of ebryonic development, biogeography, DNA sequencing, examining pseudogenes, study of endogenous retroviruses, labratory direct examination of natural selection in action in E-Coli bacteria, lactose intolerance in humans, the peppered moth's colour change in reaction to industrial pollution, radiotrophic fungi at Chernobyl all add to the modern evolutionary synthesis. We have directly observed speciation in Blackcap birds, fruit flies, mosquitos, mice, Shortfin molly fish.
      If you would like to see exactly how the improbable can happen, you can use the computer simulation of life's development called Avida.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • David

      Would you look at that...A creationist saying that evolution is circular reasoning. BWAHAHAHA!!!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • putty

      We can prove evolution because it is fact that species change over time. You can observe this happening, and understanding the rates at which this happens is vital for the progress of biomedical research, the fruits of which you enjoy when you take medication. We cannot prove that all current diversity of life was produced by evolution by natural selection because that would require a time machine for direct observation. The theory is beautifully consistent with what is observed in the natural world though, and it is possible to observe species, including humans, continue to evolve in response to changing environmental pressures.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      That's right Noxy, keep telling yourself and your church friends that, and remember to keep your fingers in your ears and carefully avoid any non-bible books.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Brianne Suldovsky

      The fact that you can say 'there is no evidence, just rocks' says a lot about your level of education. There is insurmountable evidence, and (had you been trained in a scientific field, you would understand this part) rocks themselves ARE evidence. So, please go learn some things, perhaps take a geology class or something, and report back. K'thanks.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Which God?

      The statement by noxy is the most pitiful, piece of reasoning I have yet to read. This is simply staggering in its ignorance. I'm just betting that it took noxy 4yrs to get out of the 6th grade.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:03 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.