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.
Big 'ole FAIL Bill. The wrong assumption is that if you reject classical evolution (not that species can change but that they can change into new species) then you are illiterate scientifically. I just defended my dissertation on a new form of orbital mechanics and work for the government as a senior engineer.
Christians and science have had a rocky history but some of the most outstanding scientific minds have been devout believers. Read a biography about Kepler and Newton.
Just because a scientist believes in "a" god doesn't mean that he's a great person. Christians seem to pick and chose rather willfully when it comes to backing their beliefs.
Why are you so concerned about what one single man believes? Christians that attack the idea of god NOT existing should question their own level of faith...perhaps it scares you to think that you might be wrong?
Engineers aren't scientists, they're technicians.
It is not a question of if there is a supreme diety out there. It is a qustion of facts used to support a hypothysis.
Einstien predicted that gavity can bend light. It took a trip around the world to observe the bending of light around the sun during an eclipse to prove his theory. Now general relativity is pretty well accepted.
In "The Origin of the Species", Darwin predicted a large fossile record of thousands of intermideate species that showed a slow change of one species to another due to external pressures similar to how we can change domestic animals by selective breeding (Darwin was crazy about pigieons for some reason). Guess what, we are still digging for the evidence.
Bigger FAIL John. Bill is not saying that if you reject evolution you are scientifically illiterate (I will say that though), he said that if you accept Creationism you are scientifically illiterate (really can’t be denied).
Hi John: THANK YOU for your statement. It's amazing to me how "some" scientists find it so easy to attack "Biblical" understanding. For those that say "Christian's are hypocrites" – don't realize everyone that "calls" themselves "Christians" don't truly follow "The Holy Bible" from cover to cover. There are plenty of hypocrites out there, in Science, religion, pretty much every belief system. We are all responsible for searching out truth for ourselves. It's extremely insulting to me how Bill has the arrogance to state "Creationism is bad for kids". Foolish statement – he's lost half of his audience.
Now, he will be known as Billl Nye the Sacrireligious Guy. There is room for both beliefs. When I was a curious child, I was allowed to explore both Creationism and Evolution. I am grateful for that experience.
Christian creation though, right? Not the Mayan God of creation, Itzamna?
What conclusion did you come to?
I don't believe Mr. Nye is addressing divine-guided evolution, only literal creationism. Evolution and religion are not mutually exclusive. Creationism and evolution are. You can believe in evolution and still believe that it was guided by whatever god or goddess you believe in. Even the poll in the story addressed the difference. Strict creationism goes against everything science has found thus far. And for all of you people still claiming that "evolution is only a theory", please go back to school. That is the most uneducated response you could possibly come up with, as "theory" and "scientific theory" are two entirely different things.
"divine guided evolution" doesn't really make any sense, when given thought. Unless this 'divine force' which guides everything is Death. Because thats the only true aspect which single handedly guides the evolution of species.
So if man evolved from whatever it is that evolution says life started as, why are we stuck as humans and not continuing the trend?
hit your pause button, and come back in a million years or so
We are continuing the trend. Evolution is constant. It takes a really long time to work. Longer than your pea brain can comprehend apparently. Humans are taller now that they were historically, that is part of evolution at work.
We are still evolving, It just happens on a time scale that is millions of years long. That is why you don't notice it in your 80 year life span.
Evolution doesn't quite work like that. We are not so special. We are merely a blip in the evolutionary data base. 99% of everything to have ever existed has gone extinct...we also will at some point and sooner than later if we keep disrespecting our planet.
Really? I mean, really??? Do you think we became this way overnight? The evolution to our current form took millions of years. And evolution is still happening, but it is not going to be noticeable in your lifetime. Here's one – humans are generally taller than they were a couple of thousand years ago. May seem insignificant, but it is a change.
They (we) are still evolving:
Who says we're stuck? It took billions of years for us to progress this far. What makes you think you're going to see a change in a few brief centuries?
My BS sensors grow stronger every day.
Why do you think we are not? Because you arrogantly believe you are the "crown of creation?" Go to the mall and look around and tell me you think this species can't improve.
"We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems" Just exactly how much "stuff" has been built primarily due to a belief in Evolution vs Creation? You're barking up the wrong tree Bill.
He is talking about a belief in science and the scientific method.
Stefan: Not really. A lot of advances in medicine and biology have come from research in evolution and related areas. And think about how learning about DNA has helped modern medicine – much more of that to come.
How about the entire field of Genetics, Bio-engineering, or Medicine? The understanding of evolution allowed us to make advances in every single field related to biology.
...and it won't matter in the slightest.
[meant in reply to Tom, below... :( ]
Science has never been wrong. Oh wait, it's been wrong all throughout the ages. Things we thought were true 100 years ago have been proven wrong and things we think 100 years from now will likely be proven wrong. I don't have a problem with Nye's beliefs at all. I do have a problem with his arrogance. I am confident in saying however Nye things the world was created is probably wrong as well. And I love science, I really do. I think you have a limited view of the world to think that science and religion can't coexist.
Oh, they do coexist. It's just that religion is wrong.
Science and religion can't coexist. Science is constantly seeking truth and revising its self. Religion claims to have all of the truth, dogma, and labels anyone who questions dogma a heretic.
You obviously do not understand science. The goal of science is to present the best model of reality based on current data. As new data is gathered, the model is examined and adjusted to fit the facts. What you consider to be a weakness of science is actually its most amazing strength: It changes as we learn more. Contrast this with religious dogma, which is the polar opposite of this method.
Dr. Greg Graffin's PHD thesis found that the overwhelming majority of evolutionary biologists see no conflict between religion and science – so long as religion is recognized solely as a sociological adaptation.
Science constantly changes on whether trans fats are good or bad, coffee is good or bad, eggs are good or bad, etc.. How the heck can I believe in evolution that occurred millions of years ago when scientists can't even prove what living humans eat is healthy or unhealthy? They have a fricken working model right in front of them and their advice changes every year!
No one's arguing that science and religion can't coexist, just that religion and faith cannot be passed off as science, which requires evidence. Yes, science evolves (haha) as we gather more information about the world around us and invent new tools to make such discoveries. But facts and data gathered by these methods are NEVER wrong. The interpretation of them might change, but the facts won't. That evolution occurs is a fact. The interpretation that all species came to be by natural selection will and is changing, but what is changing is minutia that is beyond general public understanding (mutation rates and such), not the whole theory. To say that you're going to ignore it because it will be wrong in 100 years is like saying you're going to ignore gravity because Newton's classical mechanics was replaced by Einstein's relativity.
The difference between science and religion is that one can learn from their mistakes, and one refuses to acknowledge that they made a mistake.
To David in NC: From another David in NC...very well said.
Ken, the reason for the discrepancies is that anything you put in your body, including food and medication, has positive and negative effects. One effect can outweigh another depending on how large the study population was and who they are composed of (age, gender, race, medical history, environment etc etc).
When you have everything, you forget about God. When you have nothing, you seek God.
When you die, it will be too late...
When you die, all seeking will stop
Hmmm... Pascal's Wager.
Post by 'Tom' is a form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.
Really? I never heard of him... thx for the reference. :)
Look-up "Blaise Pascal" and his famous 'Wager.'
The org that supplied that article, Creation Ministries, has this on its Statement of Faith page:
"6. By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information."
Idiot post, creationtard. Same outdated BS "christian" science (oxymoron) day in and day out, read a book.
Christians = retards.
That's right, they need instead to learn about Heather's two Mommies, and Bil and Bob nobbing each other
Correction: That was Bill and Wade.
Thank you, wade, for providing the classic example of the contemporary faux Christian. Well done.
gee, wade, what an insightful comment. captain of the debate team, were you?
Really hoping you're a troll because this comment it truly infuriating. However, I'm sure Christians everywhere would be thrilled to hear me say that I'm not surprised at all that one of their brethren reduced this important debate to "Ew! Gay people!"
I find it amusing when religious wingnuts come on these boards and go off about evolution "is a THEORY and unproven blah da de blah". I can only shake my head and wonder if any of them actually went to school and learned anything about the terminology of the scientific method?
They seem to single in on the term theory and it's common usage, which implies something unproven or speculative.
ATTENTION NUMBSKULLS: THAT IS NOT WHAT THE TERM THEORY MEANS WHEN SPEAKING ABOUT THE SCIENTIFC METHOD. A scientific theory is a hypotheses that has been repeatably and reliable confirmed through observation and experiment.
And the fact of the matter is the theory has not been proven. If anything the more we learn the more we realize that life on Earth could not possibly have arisen the way evolution pretends it did.
MZ, you are so ignorant, do you even know what a "theory" is in science? "OH IT'S JUST A THEORY!" Yeah, it is, just like GRAVITY is a theory, just like the Earth being ROUND is a theory!
Rynomite, I get it, its all in the books... Science can explain the how, but will never explain the why..
And you know what, whenever I actually corner them with the real questions, they either disappear or start calling me a hateful creature, Satan's goat......
I am yet to get even a single decent answer from their end.
Just think about this, if a day is 24 hours based on the rotation of the Earth (rise and fall of the Sun) then how did that work the first half of the week before there was a Sun or Moon?
Lol, you're making it too easy for them. Here's how they will respond. "You don't have to understand how it worked, God works in mysterious ways. You're just a mere mortal and creation cannot understand its creator."
The blind belief in creationism is genetic, that is the only explanation I can come up with for ignoring the abundant evidence for evolution. Just like gays can not help being gay, the creationists can not help believing blindly. I also think the numbers of true creationists are much lower. Our society is so skewed towards religion being a requirement for being a good person that I believe many people conform to peer pressure even if survey is semi-anonymous.
The blind belief in evolution is the product of a thorough indoctrination. In school you are taught to question many things, but evolution must be accepted without reservation. Ask yourself why.
The difference is, more and more evidence is being discovered right before our eyes. It's not something we have to imagine. You can go to the museum of natural history and see the actual bones that have been discovered. And if you do not know what carbon dating is, you have the internet. And if you also want to actually do a carbon dating test to make sure these scientific nutjobs aren't just pulling your leg, YOU CAN ACTUALLY DO THE EXPERIMENT! Much better than "imagining how God created the universe"
Reading these comments blasting Billy Nye and evolution has made me lose a lot of faith in humanity. Those who bash it must not fully understand it, nor do they try to understand it. Evolution is a proven fact and has stood the test of time. (HURR DURR IT'S ONLY A THEORY), if this is your defense, you don't understand what the word "Theory" means. I'm appalled that people would rather believe fairytales from a 2000 year old book than something that has been proven time and time again. You people sicken me.
Lets get real: Evolutionism is just as much religion as any other creation story. Evolution is not science, it is not testable and repeatable. It requires faith just as well as belief in any other story of where we all came from.
ARE YOU RETARDED??!?!?! Go take an anthropology class at your local community college! CHRIST! You sound so ignorant!
Chris: False. Evolution has been demonstrated in the lab many times using fast-breeding species such as fruit flies, and there are tons of other evidence for it. Look also at the speciation in the Galapagos. No faith required.
Nice try at promoting your flat earth beliefs though, but their time has passed. Only fools still cling to them.
Stop abusing language. Thank you.
Wrong. It is testable and observable. It has been repeated many times in controlled experiments. It is as much a scientific fact as it is possible for something to be.
Obviously, there is indisputable scientific evidence supporting evolution and none supporting creationism. Try again.
Actually, evolution is backed up by science, while creationism is not. You have to believe in god, you have to know your facts to understand the evolution
It is testable, and repeatable. Unstead, you choose to stay ignorant by your lack of curiousity, because you believe fairy tales from 2000 years ago.
Actually Tim... What's ironic is any kind of scientific/engineering/mechanical development is based on hard science and fact... not sitting back pretending it all just magically happened. "Wow!!! Look at that huge building!! It wasn't there a year ago. It must have magically appeared!! I bet you God built it in three hours!"
So, what you are saying is, if I see a new building that wasn't there before, unstead of trying to figure out how it got there, I can assume it got there by some magical being? So I don't need to think about it? And scientists, when they can't figure out the origins of a phenomenom, should just assign it to an unknowable God, and move on? Just assume that there are things we can not know? I'm with you. this scientific method thing is way overated, and way too much work! The hundreds of scientists today, working on furthering our understanding of evolution, well they can just pack up and go home.
The science classrooms should be balanced based on known truths and scientific progress to date. Evolution is not a FACT but a theory so it should be taught that way! Evolution, Intelligent Design and Philosophy should be all taught together if you want a more accurate curriculum based on current known truths. Also why not discuss some of the newer emerging hypotheses as well? Modern secular scientists have been poking holes in the theory of evolution and those criticisms should be openly discussed in the classroom and not swept under the carpet. Also the classroom should present what modern scientists teach on evolution because the theory has changed over the years. No longer do scientists prescribe to Darwin’s theory of slow evolutionary process but now state evolution is sporadic! But high school and middle school teachers continue to teach the outdated theory known as Darwinian Evolution which is no longer scientifically valid. True progress in science will occur when criticisms are no longer overlooked and brought to light! Also the divorce of philosophy from science has been truly tragic. Philosophy is also part of science and can contribute greatly to modern thinking.
You must have no clue what the word "theory" means in science. Go back to school.
Darwinian Theory has not been discarded, but it has certainly been expanded upon. Creationsism is totally made up – just like when the ancients could not explain soem natural phenomena, they would assign it to a god. As they started to figure things out, they discarded these gods. Eventually we got monotheism.
Theory means the explanation for a phenomena or observation. Gravity is a theory. As is evolution. The theory of evolution is an explanation of what we observe in nature. Trying to water down as if evolution is someone mirky, uncertain, up for debate, not agreed upon, those are just blatantly stinking in your face lies. LIES LIES LIES !
This kind of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), is injected from creationists source, like the ones coming from Kent Hovind, that then proliferate through scams like creationism for your websites and its spinoffs.
Ray Comfort is another one of those lying wackos. Bananaman. Plus his buddy Kirk Cameron. Crocoduck boy.
can you substantiate anything you're saying?
I think all life was the great lord Xenu came down to earth on his DC-8 spaceship and put souls into the inanimate objects he found lying around. And thus from trees came birds and from the ground came ants, and from the rock came man.
TEACH THE CONTROVERSY
To notalotaemail: Yes, it can all be substantiated. Do a little homework. There is not room in this forum for all the substantiation that is available. Google is a valueable tool to get started.
So why are we taking parenting advice again from someone without children or isn't a credible child psychologist?
Because he doesn't want our country to be taken over by scientists from Asian countries – and that's a reality look around you – most of the new scientists and engineers are not Americans!
You can believe in creationism and be ruled by foreigners if that's you choose.
I'm with you. Why are we listening to this guy? What makes him so important? He hosted a fun little kid's show. I'm thinking that's about it.... I'll stick with the Bible on what I should and should not teach my four children.
So, Jennifer, that means you'll be teaching your poor kids some pretty horrid behaviors, given that the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible contains horrid stuff like this, from both NT and OT:
17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”
Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.
Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.
And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.
So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
Personally I think "atheism" is the next step in human evolution. Like the cro magnon was to the neanderthal, atheism and agnosticism will eventually wipe out all religion due to its foundation of superior intelligence.
Agreed. Its really the only option for humanity to survive into the long term future. We must stop dividing each other with meaningless beliefs and begin working towards common goals. We also must stop fearing science.
Well shoot...I guess we better get busy telling all the creation believing scientists that they can go home.They're employer's are going to be very disappointed.
I have a problem understanding why Mr. Nye bemoans the supposed lack of design acuity in people who believe in a Designer.
I'm afraid his bias is showing...
there, their, they're. You had a 33(.3333)% shot, and you missed.
Additionally, you should refresh yourself on the rules of using apostrophe's. (Note my clever use of typed sarcasm.)
Hey Mitch, I'm reading about all these "creation believing scientists" but not one shred of scientific evidence has been presented to support creationism.. Where I come from we have a saying..
"Put your money where your mouth is"
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.