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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 • Faith Now • Science

soundoff (14,640 Responses)
  1. Brandon

    The comments listed here are very disappointing. An engineer, there is a lot of science required by my job. Hence all my coworkers and friends are educated professionals. I guess that is why there are very few people I deal with on a regular basis with the kind of beliefs Nye is speaking against. So the statistics listed in this article are hard to swallow.
    Science and religion are not supposed to be at war with each other. Though out history the two have gone hand and hand. Many of the history's greatest scientists and thinkers were devote Christians. Accepting evolution does not hurt Christianity or reduce god, yet rejecting evolution does slow scientific learning and, by extension, America's future advancements and business. We need to interpret the Bible in a way that includes evolution. Its not hard to do. (Each day is thousands of years, and/or evolution is part of Gods plan, etc.) Christians are already doing this for other parts of the Bible. (For example Corinthians 11:5, says women must cover their hair during prayer. Or Mark 12:19, which says if your brother dies, you need to sleep with his widow. Or just about anything in Leviticus) So why not interpret the Bible in a way that acknowledges evolution as a reality of our world?

    August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Mike

      Sorry, but there is a LOT more wrong with the Bible as merely the 6 day thing. Like ooooh, walking on water. Humans from Adam + Eve (and incest), really old people, parting oceans, languages from fallen towers, feeding thousands from few bread loafs, virgins giving birth, rising from the dead. The utter crap just goes on and on and on. And oh, the rampant killing, burning, and raping that your pathetic little excuse of a "god" does.
      Here, read this, science boy: evilbible (dot) com. It's all there. All it's doing is quoting literally from your little "Bible".

      If you want to push for a divine being, that's fine, but don't use a 100% unscientific retarded religion such as "Christianity". It's no sane no matter how you look at it.

      But, you're probably in the midst of a community that depends on this crap, so you're stuck. Good luck living the lies.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • uhh..

      So everytime there is a discrepancy between the bible and reality, you'll just water down the bible and 'interpret' it differently so it still fits? Sounds like you just really WANT it to be true.

      Science has been at war with religion since the inception of modern science. Remember Galileo, who dared say the entire world did not revolve around us? Religion wasn't so friendly to his 'heresy'.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  2. dtboy

    Never trust a guy who wears a blue and yellow bow tie.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  3. iknow

    Evolutionists are in for a hell of a surprise!

    August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Brian

      Why do you seem happy about this? You should dread our demise, if that is indeed what it comes down to. Instead, you appear to revel in the idea of millions of atheists burning in hell. Seems very un-Christ-like.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Bilie Nicholas

      You people are all the same. And, I am guessing that since you are on the recruit (as you people ALWAYS are), that excuses you from saying 'hell'? I'm glad you have your big fuzzy teddy bear called Christianity, but I'd rather make my decisions on the proof around me. Not out of some arbitrary book, that you are always making excuses for (the crazy things in the old testament). Sorry, I'll take my proof from what I can see, not from what somebody tells me to believe. AND what somebody just like you and me (human) says is actually what God said. Really? Ok, that's enough evidence for me. Sign me up!!! Not.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:39 am |
  4. Tom

    It has the nickname of God's particle .... what is Higgs Boson!

    August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  5. Wow!

    It's really funny...we don't want to tell our kids about it because it's too complicated? That's probably the same argument that they were using when they were trying to convince their kids that the earth was flat. Just because you can't possibly explain creative intelligence with your limited knowledge, does not mean that it does not exist. Evolution...by the way...is not proven either...so...

    August 28, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Tom

      We are on the same wavelenght.... lol
      I agree.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • fintastic

      Evolution is not proven? oh boy.....

      August 28, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Mike

      Again, another creationist lying through his teeth, regurgitating the utter crap nonsense from blogs like Kent Hovind's drivel.

      YES, evolution has been proven ! Countless time it has ! There aren't any actual normal real scientists that dispute it. Heck, even the freaking POPE accepts it.

      If you want to push a story about how there is a god, fine, go for it. I can't disprove that. But to sit there and try to make a case by saying such retarded things as "evolution is not proven", is completely and utterly stupid, dumb, ignorant, and a blatant in your face LIE LIE LIE LIE LIE.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Kim from Pittsburgh

      A scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment." The difference between evolution and creationism is that evolution is confirmed as more fossils are found....while creationism is debunked as we learn more about the Earth.

      Gravity is also a scientific theory, by the way. No way to prove it, but there's no evidence that it's not true, and the theory is confirmed by observation and experiment, so it's accepted as a scientific theory. Evolution is the only theory that is currently doubted even though there is a lot of observation and experiments that prove it is true...because of the creation story in the Bible (even though there are two conflicting creation stories in the Bible).

      Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the center of the universe, that the Earth is not at its center and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to "abjure, curse and detest" those opinions. What a shame that any scientific evidence is automatically doubted if it proves the Bible to be WRONG.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  6. Anonymous

    It's funny how all the you anti-religious have names like "Realist". You may go and say "Well why do Christians have names with God or Jesus in them?". As your name is BASED that you are against people who do not take in your atheistic/evolutionary views. Christians have those names because they have a religion, as this is America and people have names like "Proud American" etc (except many don't seem to proud). So why pick on them if you keep looking for more evolutionary evidence and are now looking to even take over genetics... There are 2 Billion Christians in the world. So my message to Christians and the "Realists" alike, please, stop hating on the Internet and go listen to a song like "Over the Rainbow" (I suggest the one that the Hawai'ian guy made, better than the other ones). Go help somebody in the world, make someone feel better. But if you're so damn stuck on proving your point, get out to the world, posting on a blog does nothing to affect the opinion of the masses.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Mike

      Stop lying and stop making false claims. Stop brainwashing your children. Stop threatening the world's sanity with religious nutballs. stop disputing science. Stop trying to push your belief based nonsense on others. Stop taking my tax dollars for your belief based clubs. Stop keeping us in the dark ages.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Brian

      So you mention the 2 Billion Christians all over the world. Great. Why is it that only the American Christians don't believe in evolution? I mean, the Pope, who is a Christian, accepts evolution. European Christians accept evolution. Are you afraid?

      August 28, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  7. Tom

    The world is flat, and it is the centre of the universe! Everyone know that... that's just science!
    and because of that FACT, religion is BS!
    Oh... oops, I thought this was the 1400's blog.... nevermind.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • sam stone

      So, that's a "no"?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • sam stone

      science is self evaluating. religion is not.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:34 am |
  8. Major

    The problem is that atheists are so intolerant that they try to turn everything an either-or, black or white debate. The answer, as the majority of Christians understand, is right in the middle. Both the Biblical creation and large parts of accepted evolution theory are true. There is no contradiction.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • fintastic

      Where is the scientific evidence to support creationism?...

      We're waiting...

      August 28, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Alex

      You realize how much of a dick move that is right? Like on one hand scientists have been fighting tooth and nail to show exhaustively why evolution is true while the religious right have kicked and screamed, and now that you literally have nothing left to hid behind you can offhand declare that they're both true?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Mike

      NO! It's the other way around! *WE* have evidence for things, while *YOU* do not! *YOU* are the ones that refuse to accept that evidence. It is *YOU* that is intolerant. Stop hinging on idiotic false claims.
      And no, Jesus never lives. There is no evidence he ever did. The Romans kept records all over the place, and yet, not one single mention of him. Only decades after his alleged death did the stories emerge. And then those miracles. We know what's possible and we know what is not. The Jesus myths are impossible. Face it, they're just STORIES ! All a bunch of MADE UP CRAP ! Crap after crap after crap after crap ! What the hell is WRONG with you people anyway ? Do you have any idea at all how absolutely retarded you religious wackos seem to normal intelligent rational thinking people? You *ACTUALLY* think you're normal? RRRIIIGGHHHTTT ! ! !

      August 28, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • fintastic

      Ignorance is bliss

      August 28, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      The Bible will need to be scaled down, then. The beginning is too murky, and I didn't see Dino in there. Nor Fred Flintstone.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  9. Tim

    "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.
    This is ironic, because thats exactly what creationisem teachs. Our world was designed in a very organized way by God. Evolution teaches that things just happen. Bill. How can big bang teaches engineering?

    August 28, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is wrong with you people? Evolution has nothing to do with the Big Bang.

      Why can't you learn something instead of bragging about your ignorance?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      The smug ignorance in these posts is just painful. We are SO proud of not understanding.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      We used to call it "country dumb and proud of it."

      August 28, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Cq

      If God designed it he did a pretty shabby job. Our eyes are upside down and have a huge blind spot. Poor design compared to even the simplest human-designed cameras, and God is supposed to be the most intelligent thing imaginable. That's just one example of many.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Huebert

      @Tom Tom

      Creationist have trouble separating the big bang from evolution because they believe that all creation occurred in one moment. to them life is as old as the universe, heck man is only 8 days younger than the universe. They have trouble imagining the vast amount of time that passed before the universe contained life and light. Basically they don't realize how young and insignificant humanity is.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  10. yeah yeah

    "ShawnDH

    Creationism is religion, not science, and should absolutely never be mentioned in public schools. If you want to fill your kids' heads with the fantasy fairy tale of creationism, fine I guess, but keep it at church where it belongs. You may NOT pollute my child's mind with that nonsense."

    HERE HERE!

    August 28, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  11. Brian

    ...another annoying angle to these zealot lemmings is that 98% of these "Christians" (yes, I used quotes intentionally) pick and chose what to strictly observe and what not to. Creationism? "Damn right God created the Earth and mankind in six days!!" How about killing of slaves?? "When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished., But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner's property. Ex 21:20-21" "Ohhhhh... well... we don't really have slaves any more"... WHY NOT???

    August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  12. jubeikinogame

    I agree, a Day in the bible is not a 24 hour period. thats a blatant attempt to discredit the bible, it's beneath most serious evolutionists to use. in the greater scheme of things, as time was created for us as a means of seperating the day from the night but god, the idea that when God made the heavens and earth before establishing time, many billions of years may have passed by, even the time frame I mean men according to the bible used to live for 600-11 years old. now were lucky to hit 70, and some of us 30. Creationism isnt unfourtunate, or unique to America, it's all about perception. who is authorizing these perception articles for CNN/?

    August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      Yes, and when the Bible says there was a talking snake it doesn't mean a real snake...

      August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • kenny

      sry, if u believe in a book written by men over a few thousand years that includes all kinds of silly stories as a basis of actual history you are an IGNORAaNT MOROON...

      August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      When the Bible says that a man lived inside a whales belly for 3 days it doesn't mean that literally...

      August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Cq

      If a Day is not a 24 hour period then why were Jews compelled to take the seventh Day off work? The Jewish creation story does establish the sabbath, right? God took the seventh day off to rest and so should Jews. Did God mean taking a break after every six billion years?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      When the Bible says that donkey talked that was meant literally as well, but when it says that a man came back to life after being dead for 3 days, well, that part is true.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Jesus freaker

      When the Bible says that donkey talked that wasn't meant literally as well, but when it says that a man came back to life after being dead for 3 days, well, that part is true.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • truth be trolled

      Jesus freaker said – "When the Bible says that a man lived inside a whales belly for 3 days it doesn't mean that literally..."

      well of course that depends on whether it is discussed in a sunday school class or if they are arguing with you. no one can jump fence so quick to make a point as a christard.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  13. grist

    Evolution is essentially a fact. There has never been any scientic evidence that is inconsistent with it. The only way for evolution to be wrong is if there is a god with a really big sense of humor who made the world look like it (a god) did not exist. We need to grow up and stop getting advice from bronze-aged men who wrote the Bible.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • uniblob

      Evolution occurs around you every day, everyone takes it for granted. If two pure-bred dogs, of different breeds, have a litter of puppies, they are mutts!! Viola!! Evolution.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  14. Dave

    If there is a God, I think you owe it to him/her to ask yourself "Why do I believe what I believe?" If you were raised as a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist etc. chances are you believe because of people around you. There are over thirty unique organized religions in the world, they all can't be right. Are you worshiping the wrong God? Maybe the right God in the wrong way. The odds are against you. Have you looked into other religions and made an educated choice? Or do you believe just because some one told you this was the truth? Faith is great, it gets you through some tough times. Religious people demand that science explains everything or it's not true. But if you ask them to explain things they can't answer they just say some things only God understands and that they just take it on faith. Thousands of years ago men made up Gods to answer questions they couldn't now we can. It's time to reevaluate your position.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • MARK WHITE

      You totally nailed it!! No pun intended.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  15. Rufus T. Firefly

    "Woe unto ye beetles of South America!"

    August 28, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  16. eliaswittenberg

    Evolution is not good for kids. "You come from a milions of years of evolution, most recently from monkeys, there is no God, no one cares about you, it's a dog eat dog world so live for yourself and live only for today, and nothing matters that you do because you only have this life."

    August 28, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why are you so ignorant?

      August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Cq

      It's obvious you don't know anything about evolution. No scientist says we evolved from monkeys.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • grist

      Just because you don't like the idea of a godless world, does not speak to reality.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • lar9166

      No one cares about you?
      I have a wonderful fiance, and family, and friends who care about me.
      And yes, it is a "dog-eat-dog" world out there, and I would rather my children be more prepared for that, than living in some fantasy world.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Heliocentrism is bad for children.
      It says that we're only a tiny blip in the Universe – an inconsequential mote in the outer spiral arm of a conventional spiral galaxy trillions of light years wide.
      It says that nothing we do can have any impact whatsoever on the universe and therefore there is no reason live.
      Much better to teach kids that the Earth is the centre of all creation and that the universe exists for the sole purpose of having us in it becuase we are the predilect object of God's Creation,

      August 28, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • ShawnDH

      Yawn. The typical and desperate "athiests don't believe in anything" nonsense. I believe in freedom, justice, equality, human rights, compassion, charity, environmental protection and democracy.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • eliaswittenberg

      You know Isaac Newton was a profoundly religious man who believed in the Creator God of this Universe?

      There is more to the Bible than you realize, but you do not read it. There is more to God than you realize but you have been blinded to His care and His calling to you.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • georgebailey

      "No one loves you..." Really? So, their family and friends are chopped liver, then. Brilliant reply, mate.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • sam stone

      evolution does not comment on "god" either way. try to come back with a better argument

      August 28, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • eliaswittenberg

      "freedom, justice, equality, human rights, compassion, charity, environmental protection and democracy."

      Each of those, every single one of them, come from God. They are completely inexplicable from an evolutionary standpoint.

      Recall the words... endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...

      August 28, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  17. Steve

    Why are bible-thumpers afraid of science?

    August 28, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • jim

      Because they are pathetic and weak!

      August 28, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • brian

      Because it contradicts their fairy-tale fantasy world they live in.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • eliaswittenberg

      Evolution is not science. It's deeply flawed theory.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it isn't "deeply flawed theory." You don't know what a scientific theory is or you wouldn't write such complete horsesh!t.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • eliaswittenberg

      Tom, Tom etc.

      The easiest theory in the world to disprove is evolution. It is against all the laws of thermodynamics. Things tend to chaos, not organization. If you come upon a resort in the desert, you know humans were there. If you come upon a world with life in this Universe, you know God was there.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • ABMiller

      Not afraid in the least. Just don't belive your fairy-tale about Big Bang and Simian > Man. Your fairy-tale is no less fantastical than ours. Deal. Hater.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Sigh

      Come on Elias, if that were true (which good grief the analogy of the oasis is flawed but I digress), then why is that that nearly all of the worlds scientific community subscribes to this "easily disprovable theory"? You purport to know more on the subject of evolution than the world's collective greatest minds? Talk about the height of hubris.

      Then again, people who believe in God get to always fall back on "God did it" whenever they can't explain something or don't understand what their intellectual superiors do.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  18. IslandAtheist

    I wonder if flat-earthers were this stuburn?

    August 28, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • MRH

      Maybe so...but they could probably spell "stubborn"

      August 28, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Huebert

      probably.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Chris

      There are still flat earthers out there. So I would say yes.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  19. Jorge

    Creationism is a simpleton's interpretation of biblical text, which is often written in hyperbole and parable. What is an astrological day? What would a day be in the Divine circadian cycle of an omnimodal, omnipotent being, 24 hours, 24 billion years, 24 milliseconds??? Nowhere in the Bible coes it say that evolution does not exist within the living realm, but Simon Peter does say that to the I Am "...one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day..." (the Bible DOES recognize the effects of animal husbandry, which is a form of artificially-induced evolution on livestock species, and narrates accounts of Divine intervention to influence it, so you cannot factually say that it is outside the realm of Divine probability by biblical accounts, as Divine probability contains, by textbook definition, the sum of the laws of nature.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • KennyTheChemistbob

      The bible is plainly wrong on a lot of fronts such as basic biology and even what disease is, so stop making excuses and just toss your supersti.tions like the vomit that they are.

      And careful where you step or you'll be off the planet.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  20. ShawnDH

    You really have to wonder about people who think ancient Middle Eastern fairy tales are real. It's clear from the comments here that these aren't the brightest people around.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • brian

      I think the worst part about religion is people picking and choosing what parts they preach from. You dont hear people preaching about if woman isnt a virgin at marriage they have to kill her, that its ok to own slaves and even beat them.
      The part that annoys me is they make it sound like christianity is nothing but peace... its not.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:37 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.