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.
a casual perusal of the comments (now a large set of observable data) would indicate that anti-creationists (who presume to be the exclusive proponents of science) use assumption and ad hominem ad nausea to support their conclusions. Please disprove this hypothesis.
Uuuh. Since when is theory scientific fact? Micro-evolution (small adaptations over time that allow a species to be better suited for it's environment, but remaining the same species) is the only evolution that has ever been factually noted. There is zero evidence what-so-ever of macro-evolution(the idea that bacteria evolved into multi-cell organisms, which then evolved into, invertebrate, which evolved into fish, which evolved into amphibians, which then evolved into reptiles, which then evolved into birds and mammals, which then evolved into apes, which then evolved into humans). Isn't a bit just as zealous as a creationist that tells you creationism is fact, to force an absolutely unproven theory, with zero physical evidence as scientific fact, rather than a wild theory that many scientist desperately hold onto? The idea that some being took dirt and air and created man is a bit silly, but taking hope and faith from humanity is also scientifically unsound. This is a naturally occurring thought process in human beings, or it wouldn't have been a world wide occurrence throughout all of known history, pre-recorded and post. Grow-up, and except that we will never know where we come from, we exist. Period.
Creationism cannot be proven and disproved with science. Science is the wrong tool for proving whether God exists or not. Science can not answer the first casue why, like why does the universe exists. But if God does exist (again science cannot prove or disapprove God), everything makes sense. It's logical.
Nye was absurdly correct when he said we need scientifically literate voters.
Scientific theories are never "proven". A theory ties together the facts, best explaining what it all means with the facts given. As more facts are revealed, including those that may contradict the existing theory, the theory is updated or discarded appropriately.
My point isn't whether, or not God exist. My point is, the scientific community has pressed the theory of macro-evolution as a scientific theory that has lots of proof supporting it. The fact is, there is absolutely NO proof supporting this theory what-so-ever. There isn't a single fossil record showing this and on top of that, literally billions of bacterial generations have been witnessed and there hasn't been a single bacteria to become a multi-celled organism. There have been millions of fruit-fly generations observed and the best scientist could do was show that the smarter flies have a better chance of survival under certain conditions, thus improving the genetic cesspool with-in the species. So, I guess my point is that the scientific community and the people who follow them blindly are just as zealous as the creationist that do the same. They are both an imaginary substance that people have placed their faith into. Some people, on both sides can support their side very intelligently. There are PLENTY of highly intelligent God fearing people who have contributed much to society, just as there are many nihilist that have done the same. Until I physically see a single fossil record supporting macro-evolution, or a bird give live birth to a mammal, or a monkey hatch from a chicken egg ( I am being ridiculous intentionally, because macro-evolution is literally that ridiculous), I will go with the FACT that the theory of macro-evolution is hogwash and just as imaginary as an all powerful creator of the universe.
davidhmittelberg, so it has never occurred to you that after thousands of micro-evolutionary changes, over millions or billions of years, that you might end up with a creature that can no longer successfully mate with its ancestors? I think the reason you find this so hard to believe is that you have no idea how macro-evolution works. A mother of one species does not give birth to a child of another species, that's not how it works. The changes are extremely gradual, they cannot be observed over the short time span of human civilization so far, and the term "species" is a man-made concept to make categorization of life forms convenient...it is not an immutable feature of the natural world as you seem to think it is. Any theory sounds silly if you grossly misrepresent it.
Can science explain the entire process of evolution of human being starting from the beginning of nothingness in the universe? How does nothing become something and so on? Explain every step with scientific evidence. You can't? that's why it's called a "theory" of evolution (with a lot of holes), It's not proven fact. It takes more faith to believe in all these accidental/abnormal processes from billions of years ago that eventually lead to intelligent and complex human beings than beiliving a Creator God.
It was Theory in Darwins time. First paleontology, then geology, and finally the DNA proved it.
While it's true that science hasn't explained all of it, religion has explained none of it. That's why creationism was discarded as a scientific explanation over a hundred years ago. Better science may replace what we think we know today, but religion won't – it already had it's day in court and failed.
Can religion explain how God came in the first place? Who created him (and why him/ why not her)?
And even if I do agree to believe what you believe, why is there no uniformity in your beliefs? The Christian says one thing, the Muslim another, the Hindu another, the Greeks yet another???? How do I believe this?
Which Creator God?
Mankind has dreamed up thousands of them throughout the ages.
The DNA proved it? How? How would something like DNA which is information decoded by cellular machinery prove that it all came about by accident?
@Think about this
You said, "It takes more faith to believe in all these accidental/abnormal processes from billions of years ago that eventually lead to intelligent and complex human beings than beiliving a Creator God."
No, it leads gullible people to jump to a conclusion not supported in any evidence. There is nothing that shows that your imaginary friend had its fingers in anything. To assume there must have been a creator is an excuse for feeble men who can't handle not knowing.
Your "goddidit" scheme provides a nicely packaged answer for questions we may not have answers for. But it merely provides this answer by making shit up. Its only purpose is to ease the mind of the sheeple.
Every time science provides an answer, it's the "goddidit" people that get all riled up and defend their indefensible position. Every time science proves religion wrong, it's seen as an "attack" on religion. But every time the "goddidit" argument is trotted out, the sheeple provide another opportunity for science to prove them wrong, and eventually it will.
You may want to get used to the simple fact of life that when science and religion disagree, religion is wrong. No exceptions. And if they agree, religion got lucky, probably by accident.
So the Bible is proven? Why believe one and not the other then?
Wait, so the problem with Creationism is that it "makes up" answers to questions man does not have real answers for by finding an idea that fits all the observable criteria in a meaningful and consistant way?
Itsn't that the exact same definition as a scientific theory? An idea that answers the question we do not have real scientific answers for by finding an idea that fits all the observable criterian in a meaningful and consistant way?
The only difference is the presupposition:
(1) Presupposes a world where a supernatural power or yet-to-now undiscovered superpower can direct or change things in this world in a way we cannot (or cannot yet) observe. Thus, God, aliens, the Q Continium, or whatever, designed or directed life on this planet.
(2) Presupposes a world where there can be no supernatural or yet-to-now undiscovered superpower could ever direct or change everything, because it is impossible for us to be decieved or fooled about our apparent intellectual and technological superiority in the universe.
Either of thise presuppositions require faith. Either faith that there is a supernautral (or natural superpower) or faith that there is not. True, there is no absolute evidence for either, and the burden of proof should be on the person who is making the claim (the one claiming a superpower or supernatural influence).
That said, to hold evolution to be true is to state that there is no way there could possibly be, in all of the universe(s), a power more intellegent and advanced that ourselves, capable of affecting life on earth in any way. Considering the vastness of the universe, claiming that we are the pinnicle of universal intellect and development is a rather bold assertion of faith as well.
You said, "Wait, so the problem with Creationism is that it "makes up" answers to questions man does not have real answers for by finding an idea that fits all the observable criteria in a meaningful and consistant way?"
That's one, but by no means the only problem.
You said, "Itsn't that the exact same definition as a scientific theory? An idea that answers the question we do not have real scientific answers for by finding an idea that fits all the observable criterian in a meaningful and consistant way?"
The difference, of course, is that a scientific theory is supported by evidence.
You said, "The only difference is the presupposition:"
Of course not.
You said, "(1) Presupposes a world where a supernatural power or yet-to-now undiscovered superpower can direct or change things in this world in a way we cannot (or cannot yet) observe. Thus, God, aliens, the Q Continium, or whatever, designed or directed life on this planet."
Which is, of course, not supported by even so much as a single shred of evidence. Thus, this is "making shit up".
You said, "(2) Presupposes a world where there can be no supernatural or yet-to-now undiscovered superpower could ever direct or change everything, because it is impossible for us to be decieved or fooled about our apparent intellectual and technological superiority in the universe."
No such presupposition is made. There are very few rational people that preclude the existence of an as of yet undiscovered superpower. But, it is simply completely ridiculous to assume there is such a power without so much as a single shred of evidence. It's irrational to believe in creationism.
You said, "Either of thise presuppositions require faith."
Since no presupposition is made, no faith is required.
You said, "That said, to hold evolution to be true is to state that there is no way there could possibly be, in all of the universe(s), a power more intellegent and advanced that ourselves, capable of affecting life on earth in any way."
Evolution is true. The biblical story of creationism is bullshit. Neither excludes the possibility of some power to exist.
You said, "Considering the vastness of the universe, claiming that we are the pinnicle of universal intellect and development is a rather bold assertion of faith as well."
No rational person asserts that. It's the religiots that do. It's the sheeple that seem to believe that their god made them to the best of its abilities. Make that god kinda sad, don't you think?
When I run into people who believe in creationism, it gives me a hint to expect irrational behavior in other areas of life. That is what politicians exploit.
I'm still wondering who created her.
Nothing created her
I love what PumpNDump said below! We need people to make those french fries, so no need to teach science in school.
I trust we've made sigificant discoveries since the Bible was written. Back then, the Earth was flat. Ya'll cling to your Bible. I'll take thousands of years of scientists' trial and error. And don't claim aything about this "humans as the higher standard, rule over the animal kingdom" B.S. People kill much more indescriminently than any animal ever did. My dog is kinder than all of you!
Because you feed it food from a can, or from a bag. If your dog had to fend from itself and feed off of the local environment, it wouldn't be so gentle about it.
Actually the men in the Bible knew the earth was round way before everyone else figured it out.
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
A circle is not a sphere.
The Hebrew word used in the original text is "Chug", which means a flat circle, like a coin.
The word for orb/ball is "Dur".
The Bible posits a flat earth.
The word “duwr” translated as “ball” also describes a circle. It is used at Isaiah 29:3 to mean “encircle”.
Creationist comments in a nutshell:
"I don't understand how this works; therefore you are a fool."
Nice!!! So true.
Explaining evolution to creationists is like explaining calculus to a three year old. You can't have a meaningful dialog on differentials with someone who thinks 2 + 2 = lamp.
That is one of the most idiot statements I've ever read.
Very well said.
It is the matter of initial assumptions. If I discuss differentials in a spherical coordinate system and you are arguning in Cartesean then we will talk past each other if we don't know that. If you believe in a flat Earth and i believe in a round-ish one then our equaitions will never match!
If you assume no creator, then evolution is the best you have to explain the world around you. If there is a creator then it is more reasonable to assume that it is created.
Awesome comment, Sigh. It actually made me laugh out loud.
Also even a 4 year old can understand the concept of evolution. Happy mistakes happen. Happy mistakes get preserved through natural selection. So you are telling me scientists now exactly how complex bioligical systems came about by chance and anyone who dissagrees with their purposeless world view is an idiot? Tell me how evolution isn't taken as faith.
"That is one of the most idiot statements I've ever read."
Your version looks something like this: Universe + Complexity = God which is the same as saying 2 + 2 = lamp. If you are unable to understand this simple fact then yes, you are an idiot.
When you make a statement like this, it helps if you use correct grammar.
I always thought it was 2+2 = chicken. Live and learn.
bill nye you simpleton.. what the deuce?
The principles of the Theory of Evolution and it's 5 laws are applied on a daily basis in a wide range of fields.
Tracing genes of known function and comparing how they are related to unknown genes helps one to predict unknown gene function, which is foundational for drug discovery and Epidemiology.
Directed evolution allows the "breeding" of molecules or molecular pathways to create or enhance products.
The evolutionary principles of natural selection, variation, and recombination are the basis for genetic algorithms, an engineering technique that has many practical applications, including aerospace engineering, architecture, astrophysics, data mining, drug discovery and design, electrical engineering, finance, geophysics, materials engineering, military strategy, pattern recognition, robotics, scheduling, and systems engineering.
Many statistical techniques, including analysis of variance and linear regression, were developed by evolutionary biologists, especially Ronald Fisher and Karl Pearson. These statistical techniques have much wider application today.
The same techniques of phylogenetic analysis developed for biology can also trace the history of multiple copies of a manuscript and the history of languages.
The study of genetics and the belief in evolution are not the same thing! From a creationist point of view, the gene is very litterally the computer code of life written by the creator. We can study it and learn how it allows a species to modify themselves to adapt to thier environment, we can even manipulate it and see the resulting change.
The part that is almost impossible to imagine is that it wrote itself.
We need to stop calling it a theory. It is not. Evolution is fact with evidence to back it up. It should be the theory of creationism since there is no way to prove or disprove that hypothesis.
I shouldn't read articles like this, all they do is make me feel isolated in my own society. Only 15% of us live a reality based life? No wonder things are as they are in this country. Idiocracy isn't the future, it's something that we have yet to overcome.
I think that number is way off. A lot of people claim to be religious so they don't rock the family boat.
Isn't the Bible written, editted, and assmebled by fallible people?
and no one answered this:
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?
God placed the Earth in a tachyon bubble when creating the universe, thus allowing for extended space/time fluctuational variances.
That's the Star Trek writer's way of saying "maaaaaagic"!
To answer your question the bible was authored by God but penned by men. God used men to write the bible but they didn't create it. In regards to your other question and contrary to popular belief the earth wasn't created in a literal 6 days. 2 Peter 3:8 tells us "... that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. Therefore we can't measure the earth's creation in man's way of thinking about time.
Science and God go hand in hand but people that descredit the bible miss out on the scientific facts it talks about. It was humans that thought the world was flat but God had already told us that the earth was round (Isaiah 40:22) and it hangs upon nothing (Job 26:7).
In the end we can all believe what we want. I know that believing God created everything isn't holding me back.
nope the dope: yep!
Man so many of you are calling him an idiot for stating his point of view on something, I'm sorry but I agree with him fully, I believe creationism is a stupid, baseless invalid theory that's based off of writings in a book, Evolution at least has some signs in the natural world of that it is happening. Now I know you can say "Oh god is allowing that evolution." So be it but don't expect everyone to believe that line of bull, GOD DOESN'T EXIST!
The next time you fall inlove, the next time you watch a butterfly land on a beautiful flower with sweet aroma, the next time you apologize because your conscience has spoken..........the next time you hold a child to your breast, tell me there is no God.
The next time: None of those things require a god. Too bad you're too gullible to comprehend this!
The use of supernaturalism to manipulate and control people is the world's oldest confidence scheme, it relies on the ritual abuse of children at their most impressionable stage by adults who have themselves been made childish for life by artifacts of the primitive mind.- Your Mom on a CNN comment in this Belief Blog. She is correct.
I just don't want to die on the toilet like Elvis did.
bill nye the retarded guy
You said, "bill nye the retarded guy"
...says the adult who still believes in the Tooth Fairy.
I am going to guess that you are married to your sister and have never taken a course in science. That is the only explanation for your uneducated, juvenile response.
This was a response that was too good not to repost!
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.
Jesus invented spell check.
And they are finding it almost every day.
We have overwhelming evidence. We've been continually filling in the fossil record as we continue to find more and more intermediate species, not just for humans, but many others. Saying there isn't evidence for evolution is beyond ignorant. It's a dangerous denial of reality.
If a real engineer had built this comment board he/she would have added spell-check! Everyone knows that if you can do math you can't spell. The two are mutually exclusive!
But much evidence has already been found to support it. Are you claiming that because we haven't found the "missing link" for our specific species, that evidence supporting evolution hasn't been found? In fact, much evidence for other species have been found, and it is extraordinarily difficult to find because you can't just look up in the sky at something that still exists in order to find proof, you have to go carefully digging all over the world for stuff that has for the most part been buried, destroyed, decayed, etc.
We have found countless tansitional fossils.
Do some reading up on Tiktaalik.
It's absurd to say that we are still waiting on evidence in the fossil record supporting evolution. There is TONS of evidence.
A few transitional fossils:
You mean still digging for MORE evidence. It is an accepted fact, at least for those not aflicted with retardation, that birds developed from dinosaurs, that whales went back to the sea, and far too many more to list here. Oh, and another reason for digging is intellectual curiosity, which something that bible thumpers have sublimated into "Who's going to win American Idol".
For evolution to work, the changes have to be tiny. If I was born with a third arm and it somehow made me more likely to catch food but it is not considered atractive, then I will be fat when I die without offspring. The changes have to be small enough that it provides an advantage but still allows me to mate within my old species to pass the trait along (unless I am lucky enough to find a three armed woman;).
Finding a dozen versions of a dog, deer, fish, or plant is not the same as finding the slow change of a plant into a fish, into a dog. Most likely finding changes in base species that are adapting to their surroungings due to environmental chagnes.
Creationists need to let go. Its a falsehood that you keep perpetrating. They are probably the same people who still think the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth. In other words, you are crazy.
Love how you skew your argument away from creationism towards flat earth and geo-centrism then slam those fallacies instead of dealing with the gaps in the fossil record.
There will always be gaps Deacon, but that is because fossils aren't easy to come by. Not every living thing will leave behind bones that last through the ages. But we have a tremendous amount of them that speak to the issue. Put it this way, when you are putting together a puzzle, you don't need every single piece to know it is a picture of a cat driving a pink corvette. According to your logic we can't make that assessment until every piece comes in. I think you try to hard to defend your beliefs. It must be hard to always be discounting reality and the evidence because it doesn't fit with your narrow world view.
Bill, please provide your evidence for Creationism. Thanks in advance.
I responded to you below but I wanted to make sure that you see this. Your post did it. I guess I was wrong after all. I didn’t think that you all would be able to squash my viewpoint so quickly and easily but you’re all right. I will now change my viewpoint.
Evolution is correct.
I am not being sarcastic. I literally made a 180.
I can only hope that you are sincere. If so don't let me be the only source of evidence you collect. A quick reading of the Wikipedia page on evolution and speciation (i don't know if i spelled that right) will give you hundreds of other sources to peruse if you want other information.
Don’t worry I am sincere. I was certainly wrong. Let’s bury the hatchet. Friends?
I never had the hatched out sorry if i gave you that impression. I will gladly accept your offer of friendship.
It’s an expression. Thanks for the nice words.
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.