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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. sonix1

    Believers, you only DO believe (whether you want to see it or not) because you are afraid of being cast into a hell realm (itself a non-observable and thus faith-based 'place'). The stronger your faith and piety, the further you distance yourself from a horrible fate. Then, you are only motivated by fear. Like an animal.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  2. Cindy

    You Bill Nye are bad for kids.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Humanity

      Please don't teach. Your children are going to dumb me down enough.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Recindy

      You Cindy are bad for kids

      August 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • SCOTTA

      yes and so are GODLESS athiests!!

      August 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  3. ABMiller

    Bill Nye is not good for kids.

    He just wants an electorate to vote for his policies/programs/etc, and a taxpayer base to pay for his secular proganda, as he so clearly stated in his own words.

    Let the people decide, "Science God." And keep your child-rearing advice to yourself, Goebels.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Bill

      If I hear you telling your child the sky is red, a normal human reaction is to say absolutely not, the sky is bliue. Teaching children a bible story as actual fact, instead of a religious representation, is just as ludicrious.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  4. Geekgirl72

    Evolution need not threaten faith as found at http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/preview.aspx?id=236

    How do we today understand the term “laws of nature”? How many persons see the constant miracles in the natural world as awesome signs of divine activity? How many Catholics realize that Pope Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical, Humani generis, indicates that duscussion of biological evolution is compatible with Christian faith (#36)—as long as God’s intervention is recognized as necessary for creating the human soul.

    Pope John Paul II stated in 1996: “[N]ew scientific knowledge has led us to realize that the theory of evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory” (Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution, October 23, 1996).

    Can we not then accept the idea that the Eternal Creator chose an evolutionary way of creating the natural world—and that creation is still occurring?

    Religions based only a Sola Scripture (Protestantism) which was formed on 500 years ago tend to go with the "6000 year" belief. Bill Nye needs to do more research on the history of Chrisitanity before he generalizes.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Joel

      I disagreed with JP2 vehemently about most things, but the guy was smart.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Where is there evidence for a soul?

      August 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  5. Desperate

    Because I've grown up in religious circles, I can smell the desperate arrogance that some religious people have when their theory is questioned. Rather than "answer" or admit they don't have an answer, they just talk louder and make broad accusations against straw-men opponents. This article and the quotes from Nye confirm to me what creationists say: that evolutionists are people of faith as well. He is attacking and arrograntly simplifying his opposition the same way he claims they are doing to him. Not well played, in my view. If you want credibility, at least appear like you have an open mind. Especially when you are well aware that 80-90% of the population doesn't agree with you. It doesn't mean they are right because there are a lot of them – but it does mean that an awfully large number of smart people have arrived at a different conclusion given the evidence they see. At least respect that Bill. You're the one that looks like the crazy here, not them.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • UncleM

      There is no evidence for biblical creationism.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Desperate

      Oh, I can play that game too. "There is no evidence for atheistic evolutionism." Wow, now we've traded authorative faith-statements. Anything else you want to say?

      August 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  6. richunix

    HM,

    It was thinking like you that kept mankind in the dark ages from 405 – 1500CE. Once they removed the church and religion from positive thinking, mankind evolved into a better human being.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Desperate

      you mean like in the atheist-run nations and governing systems of the last 150 years? I'll have to grab my history book here and read again how that turned out.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Cyle

      Well, Desperate, China seems to be doing well. The US owes them $1.2 Tirllion.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  7. ron fenley

    maybe your me maw came from monkeys but mine came from God.and I'm sure she is by his side todaylaughing at you

    August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • richunix

      so are the unicorns on your lawn!

      August 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • God is not real

      the use of the term 'me maw' tells me everything I need to know about you and why you are so deep in this idea that God is your creator

      August 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Cindy

      Amen.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • brian

      Your grandmother has a common ancestor as everyone, the 'monkey'. Evolution seems more plausible than creating a woman out of a single rib.
      But hey, if you make an imaginary person up they can do anything you please.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • What IF

      ron fenley
      "I'm sure she is by his side todaylaughing at you"

      You're SURE about that? Really?

      August 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • SCOTTA

      ha ha most people on here have monkey brains thats why they cant think clearly. wow when satan takes over peoples minds they will believe anything!! all you evolutionists going to tell GOD HE isnt real when you stand right in front of HIM when HE judges you?

      August 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  8. Jkzaw

    Yikes! Did I read those poll numbers accurately? Was the poll localized in some obscure Florida county? Makes me wonder if America is losing its legendary history of scientific achievement.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Invisiblefreindinthesky

      You people have got to be kidding me..any body that believes their is an all powerful being just out there watching over you because you are a christian,jew,musl....We need to find an Island for you people and ship you there

      August 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  9. Hear The Truth

    HearThTruth.imgur.com

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Illegal Memes

      Gosh, another site with viruses.

      AVG saves the day!

      August 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  10. Donny

    Just wondering one thing Bill, Science has proven one of many things, one of the things I find amusing when I listen to someone like you tell me that we all came about in what Vern called the Big Bang Theory. The Human eye, which you have two of has more than 2 million working parts according to science. You are going to convince people that those 2 million working parts came together all because of one big explosion? Think about it while you are reading this.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • pat

      If you think it is amazing that evolution brought you such things as humans, just think of all the other lifeforms, many that are much more advanced than humans, that no doubt inhabit this vast universe.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      there's ample, copious, endless evidence for how the eye evolved!

      You just need to read something that doesn't come from a christian bookstore.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • scentof reason

      Donny, our universe is 13.7 BILLION years old (ish). So that is plenty of time for the universe to expand, cool down, form stars, form planets, and form life. And more than enough time form life and have life forms become complex enough to have eyes. And '2 million' working parts in the eye? Pales to the triliions of atoms in the eye. You obviously don't understand what billions of time and trilions of atoms means. Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean its not real. By contrast, your man in the cloud took a whole week to create the universe? Yah, that happened....

      August 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Come on Donny, you're better than that.

      Linking the human eye to the big bang is idiotic at best, not to mention what other posters have written which is pretty much read the mounds of evidence to show the subtle changes from when the eye had less parts and has since evolved.

      The worst thing though, what I just can't stand, if you holding up the eye as some sort of "perfect" thing that couldn't have evolved. Do you understand the amount the eye CAN'T see. There are so many different spectrums out there that we might actually be incredibly blind compared to whats actually out there. Our eyes allow us to get around and see danger and either fight or flee, but we can't see all the danger (UV light, radiation, etc...).

      Get your head out of your as.s Donny.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • T-Max73

      The human eye is not the product of the Big Bang. The human eye is the (still evolving) product of evolution by genetic mutation and natura selection by the environment. You need to read a book about evolution before you tell anyone else your thoughts. Peace.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Mulehead

      The degree of your ignorance hurts my head.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • JD

      Forget it, Donny, you're out of your element!

      August 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  11. oh.my.gosh

    Reading the creationist posts on here makes me very concerned about the future of humanity. How is this even a discussion?
    let me spell it out for you:
    There. Is. No. God.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Truth

      Prove it.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • oh.my.gosh

      prove that there is. If there's no evidence for or against a theory it's always wiser to assume it is false. for example Unicorns, by your logic I would have to prove that they don't exist using evidence. By definition there can be no evidence for something that does not exist.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • 633music

      God aside, you have to be very gullible to believe in evolution, just a religion surrogate. This silly childish fairy tale takes credulity to a super high level.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  12. Primewonk

    A couple points –

    Science is not trying to disprove your god, or any of the gods we've invented. Science deals with the natural realm. Any god worth his or her salt claims supernatural powers. This means that gods are not falsifiable. And if it isn't falsifiable science doesn't give a rat's aas about it.

    The theory of evolution is the single most confirmed theory in all science. The folks who study gravity wish they had 1/10 the the evidence for their theory as they folks who study evolution.

    For those who claim you can't be a Christian, and understand evolution – There are 2 billion Christians on earth. Of that number, 90% – 1.8 billion – belong to sects whose position is that there is no problem with a faith in the Christian version of a god and an understanding that evolution is a fact. It is only amongst the fundamentalists who adhere to a literalist belief that we see this problem. And unfortunately, the vast majority of these fundies live in the US.

    Finally, if you purposefully choose to be ignorant about science, why would you go onto an internet thread and demonstrate that ignorance for all to see?

    August 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Clayton Colwell

      Thank you for this.

      The simple fact is that Creationism is not science. There is no way to prove or support the 6000-year-old universe of the fundamentalist Bible worldview, just like there is no way to prove or support the hypothesis that the universe was created 2.1635 attoseconds ago in its current state. This is why science investigates the natural world as if there were no omnipotent being controlling it - after all, if there were, then literally anything is possible, and then what would be the point of scientific investigation?

      August 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Brian

      Amen – you said it!

      August 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Simran

      Well said.
      I would only add that there are more than 7 billion people on earth. Only 2 billion are Christians. Now continue....

      August 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  13. Your Origins Matter

    Here is a great point by point answer to Mr. Nye:
    http://www.youroriginsmatter.com/conversations/view/What+Does+the+%22Science+Guy%22+Have+to+Say+About+Evolution%3F/53

    August 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jose

      appreciate the info, and how you went point by point. thanks again

      August 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Illegal Memes

      Not a very good list of rebuttals.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • sbstr

      Bill Nye's point is about science. If you want to rebut him and teach that nonsense in a Sunday school, do so by all means. While you are at it, also, look for links that show the alternate theories from other religions' points view, that non-judeo christian viewpoints. Then your rebuttal will at least be considered.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  14. Truth

    Science knows squat ! Science can't define Soul so How can you define The All, White People can never define this. You can't explain what you don't have. You pat yourselves on the back, For What ? Everything you make destroys The Earth and it's environment. Indiginous peoples know something, They expierience higher mind connection. You still can't build a Pyramid. There are no White Ascended Masters, NONE, EVER ! You copied Christianity from Egypt, But never mastered anything spiritual EVER ! Whites are not written on the walls of any sacred temples built by the indigenous. You weren't even around then actually, you just dug things up and did a poor job interpreting what was written. Our mysteries DWARF your so called satelites in space, but then It was prophesized that you could only get a glimpse of The Heavens. That why you will never get to the nearest star. However we have Myths that tell stories of us all ready being there..... DOGONS >>>>> ANUNAKI>>>>MAYA>>>>even INDIA. You use you own COMIC BOOK BIBLE TO DEBUNK A BADLY TRANSLATED VERSION OF REAL MYTH BASED ON YOUR OWN VERSION OF THINGS and then USE THAT SAME BOOK TO SUPPORT WHAT YOU KNOW IS UNTRUE BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS YOUR COMIC BOOK CREATION. WE WROTE IN STONE. So you can use the BIBLE to support your scientific views by debunking what you mistranslated. THE WISE NO BETTER. OH, Give thanks to the dogons for informing you on SIRUIS B which you could not see until just recently. How did they know ?

    August 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Mark

    Evolution has already so many holes in it that this shouldn't even be a discussion. In addition, much of what we see in the Universe, the earth and in our own bodies can ONLY be explained if there was an architect – not the product of some random events.....!

    August 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Joel

      It really, really doesn't have gaping holes. There is some disagreement about minor details. That's it.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • oh.my.gosh

      name one thing that you can better explain through an "architect" than can be explained by evolution. one.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • MrAnonymous

      Mark

      Evolution has already so many holes in it that this shouldn't even be a discussion....
      August 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm
      ------------------------------------

      The theory of evolution does not have holes. It is as sound a scientific fact as you can get. But, of course, the ignorant always claim it has holes and dismiss it as "just a theory." Do you deny that gravity is what causes things to fall to the earth? Do you deny that viruses, bacteria and other germs cause disease? Both the theory of gravity and the germ theory of disease are "just theories," but ones that no one dismisses like they do evolution. Why? I can't answer that. It seems that the only reason is that neither gravity nor the germ theory seem to contradict a religious book. The reality is, neither does evolution. Believing in an "architect" and the theory of evolution are not mutually exclusive. You can believe both are true. But, to deny a scientific fact which has been supported by just as much evidence and data as gravity or the germ theory is plain ignorance.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  16. the light

    brothers ..sisterss....everyone has a religion and faith right now the science community is saying how evolution is the right way..so then we must assume atheism and evolution is a religious belief also? i think soo..funny how people who arnt faithful to christ come on here and pretend to be christian while dencouning people and what they believe..like i said wether your young or at an old age you will find your path to him if not then i can only hope thing go well for all of you!

    August 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • the light

      also all these thoughts and inventions didnt come from you ..dont be so god like and prideful it came from the master of chess board! oh paul mc carntney so wise theres alot of fools on a hill!! lol

      August 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • HAHAHAHA

      If Atheism is a religion, being bald is a hair style. Also, I don't believe in unicorns – therefore by your definition I am in a religion about unicorns...idiots...geez just stop talking.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    Rather than inculcating our children with the primary-color simple Sunday school legends and myths most people do, might I suggest the following ten comandments to enable them to think for themselves.
    1. DO NOT automatically believe something just because a parent, priest, rabbi or minister tells you that you must.
    2. DO NOT think that claims about magic and the supernatural are more likely true because they are written in old books. That makes them less likely true.
    3. DO analyze claims about religion with the same critical eye that you would claims about money, political positions or social issues.
    4. DO NOT accept it when religious leaders tell you it is wrong to question, doubt or think for yourself. It never is. Only those selling junk cars get frightened when you want to "look under the hood".
    5. DO decouple morality from a belief in the supernatural, in any of its formulations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc.). One can be moral without believing in gods, ghosts and goblins and believing in any of them does not make one moral.
    6. DO a bit of independent research into whatever book you were brought up to believe in. Who are its authors and why should I believe them in what they say? How many translations has it gone through? Do we have originals, or only edited copies of copies of copies– the latter is certainly true for every single book in the Bible.
    7. DO realize that you are only a Christian (or Hindu or Jew) because of where you were born. Were you lucky enough to be born in the one part of the World that “got it right”?
    8. DO NOT be an apologist or accept the explanation “your mind is too small to understand the greatness of god” or “god moves in mysterious ways” when you come upon logical inconsistencies in your belief. A retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered wrong.
    9. DO understand where your religion came from and how it evolved from earlier beliefs to the point you were taught it. Are you lucky enough to be living at that one point in history where we “got it right”?
    10. DO educate yourself on the natural Universe, human history and the history of life on Earth, so as to be able to properly evaluate claims that a benevolent, mind-reading god is behind the whole thing.

    I sometimes think that, if we first taught our children these simple guidelines, any religion or other supernatural belief would be quickly dismissed by them as quaint nostalgia from a bygone era. I hope we get there as a species

    August 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • random

      somebodoy's mad

      August 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  18. HAHAHAHA

    ...and this is why the world laughs at you. Hey, don't hate the messenger – I'm just sayin' you look like fools!

    August 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Sally

    Those who absolutely believe in a god are just as ignorant as those who absolutely believe there is no god. The existance of any sort of god can't be proven or disproven. There might have been ingellegent design in our creation, but it certainly did not come about the way the bible describes it. Or science might some day find out exactly how our world, our universe started.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • pat

      So the existance of God is the same as the existance of unicorns. And I would be ignorant to suggest that perhaps the whole idea of unicorns is made-up.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Noah_Adams

      What about miracles of the Eucharist? What about the miracle of the sun at Fatima witnessed by 70,000 people. What about stigmata of the saints? What about the scientific evidence favoring the Medjugorie visionaries who claim to see the Blessed Virgin Mary? You cannot dispute these because they have already gone through a plethora of scientific evaluation but received little press.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • ThisLady

      If it can't be proven or disproven then how do you know it didn't happen how the bible states? A lot of Christians believe that the bible is not exactly literal.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Sally

      It actually CAN be proven that creation did not happen the way the bible states. That is where science comes into play. You can deny the science all you want, but there are lots of facts that show the earth is much older that the bible states. However, there are no facts to back up the existance of a god or creator (nor are there any to prove one does not exist). It is really funny to me when someone says "well what about all those nuns who said they saw the vigin Mary". What about them? Not proven. Just because something is written in a book doesn't mean it happened. People write fiction all the time. Doesn't make it true.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Noah_Adams

      Scientific studies have been done, the results will shock you. Here's one of thousands of examples... http://www.medjugorje.com/medjugorje/scientific-studies.html

      Also there is great evidence for a creator, see the following for an account of a former evolutionist with a PHD who is now a creationist. Find out why he now supports creationism at http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/

      August 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • ThisLady

      Sally – Not all Christians believe that the six days depicted in the Bible are literal 24 hour periods.

      August 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  20. palintwit

    Teabaggers are required to swear an oath of loyalty to Sarah Palin.

    August 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Thor

      They must also have their brains scrubbed of any useful knowledge.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
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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.