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.
The way I see it, God created evolution and the laws of science, but used the bible as a way to explain it. If he went to a caveman and the caveman asked where he came from, the answer "You evolved from a single cell and over a time of millions of years and ebcame a multi-celled intelllegent human" would probably not be understandible by him. "What's a cell?". So the idea that we came from dust sort of resembles evolution. Adam is close to the ancient hebrew word for man sowhy can't we assume that Adam is merely the first set of men and Eve is mereley the first set of women?
...typical comments from those completely ignorant of theWord of God
Why assume anything. Go read about human evolution and you will know where we came from.
no drewcurtis this is the typical comment from someone who actually took the time to think and use the brain God gave them, instead of going through life being an ignorant person.
No, God didn't do one thing and then tell us another...that's not what the Bible teaches at all...that's what YOU THINK – and btw, you're wrong!!!
Who created God? We, the people, with our 4.2 billion neurons!
I'm not ignorant of God's word. I just see it differently. If God was so litteral, how come Jesus taught in parables? God can say it like that if he wants. He's God.
The bible is in fact contradictory to molecules to man evolution in almost every way. A primary example is God said that animals shall bring forth from their own kind (which they do, in every case!). Also the order in which Genesis says the earth, sun, land animals etc. were created is completely different from what evolutionists claim. It is almost as if evolutionists read Genesis and decided that to turn people from their faith they would teach that the exact opposite is true. Of course they don't know when or how matter was created, but they teach it as if it were fact. Another reason you can't meld evolution and Christianity is that it completely undermines the gospel message. If man simply evolved from billions of years of time, chance, struggle and death, why is he accountable for sin. If death leads to creation, why is murder sin? The bible teaches that God created the earth very good and it was man that sinned and brought death into the world. In a fallen world, Christ has reconciled believers to God through His sacrifice.
@JL. The bible claims certain things – that doesn't make them fact. Human DNA shows ascent from fish through mammals through apes. That is one of many facts that support evolution. Scientists, contrary to what many believers say, is not trying to disprove the bible – the facts do that. Darwin withheld his theory for decades to avoid the furore that he knew it would bring as it challenged the power and privilege of the church – the church makes a lot of money from pushing this myth.
...Bill Nye isn't good for children....maybe his mom and dad came from monkeys – but not mine....if you beleive evolution you do so in speculation – NO PROOF whatsoever. Even IF we did evolve – can't explain the jump from nothing to something – sorry – whiz bangs don't happen. If you put an empty shoebox in your closet for one billion years and then check it – you'll still have asolutely nothing.....just sayin'
isn't it quite ironic that a creationist is bashing evolution for lack of proof?
....no bashing....both are taken on faith....creation just appens to make more sense....
@Ginr....no bashing....both are taken on faith....creation just appens to make more sense....
either can make sense to however you look at it.
but to those who value EVIDENCE, evolution is the one that makes sense.
Creation takes much more faith and much less evidence to believe in.
drewcurtis you are showing your ignorance when you says you didn't come from a monkey. That is not evolution. It's just your ignorant understanding of evolution.
You obviously do not understand the basis of evolution. No one is saying you 'came' from a monkey. Evolution is simply stating that around 2.3 million years (fossil records for proof, not a book) state the evolutionary 'tree' branched. Thus causing humans, apes, chimps, etc. And if you 'put a shoebox' in a closet for a billion years, without question when you opened it there would be something. Even if it was only single cell organisms. But ignorance is bliss, so carry on.
"If you put an empty shoebox in your closet for one billion years and then check it – you'll still have absolutely nothing." How do you know? You have absolutely no proof.
Wow, the ignorance you show is astounding, no evidence of evolution? Are you serious? Humans have evolved over the years, were taller now..live longer..bigger stronger faster smarter..the list goes on. Animals have changed and evolved over the years. The theory of evolution has been up for peer review for well over a 100 years and it stands up to scrutiny. How does religion stand up to scrutiny...oh yeah it can't that is why it has to all be taken on faith..becuase it lacks evidence
Human Chromsome-2 is direct evidence of a common ancestor between humans and chimps.
"We conclude that the locus cloned in cosmids c8.1 and c29B is the relic of an ancient telomeretelomere fusion and marks the point at which two ancestral ape chromosomes fused to give rise to human chromosome 2."
Amazing... taught to hate and critique evolution by a pastor, and you think Creationism makes more sense. Rather than attacking with your talking points, fed to you by people adamantly opposed to evolution, why don't you sit down with a book by an expert who LIKES evolution and read their perspective? Maybe you've been told some lies about what it means?
Dare you think your pastors aren't lying to you to keep you in the fold? Baaaaaa Baaaahhh my sheep.
You're confusing the origin of species with the origin of life. As to the latter – who created god?
drewcurtis, I am a creationist who has bothered to read "The Origin of Species" by Darwin. Please don't state the common line "man came from monkeys" – that is not what evolutionists believe. It makes us creationists look like idiots who can't be bothered to read anything scientific, much less understand it.
There is also plenty of evidence supporting the theory of evolution. Whether you choose to accept the evidence or not is your business, and it's also your business to say so. However, you can't simply state that there is no evidence to support the theory because there IS. It isn't a group of people standing around agreeing with one another that a fossil is old. It's a rigorous testing that proves the age of the molecules, etc., in the fossils.
Despite evidence to the contrary, I am still a creationist because I deeply believe that the Bible is true. How and why it is true, I leave that up to God. I trust that He will explain the evidence to me when I get to talk to Him.
Ultimately, I've found these arguments to be pointless because you can't convince a creationist that evolution is the way to go and you can't convince an evolutionist that creation makes sense. HOWEVER, you CAN point your passion and energy toward telling people about the Gospel. I know a LOT of Christians who have made their peace with God concerning our origins and are passionate about sharing their salvation. They are "just as Christian" as a creationist Christian and God loves us all!
The proof of evolution is all around you unless you refuse to see it. People confuse the word theory with hypotheses. A theory is a frame work of ideas that explain the world around us. A hypothesis is a testable question about something. Theories are revised and improved based on the results of testing hypotheses. The theory of evolution has stood the test of many hypotheses and is the best explanation for all that we have learned about the details of the world that science has exposed.
Reply to Jenny K. I agree with you somewhat that there is evidence in support of evolution. However, evolution is too loosely defined to let off the hook that easily. In terms of common ancestry, there is in fact very little fossil evidence or biological evidence that suggest the life evolved from simple compounds. If you've taken the time to read Darwin's book, can I suggest a good creation book. It's called "Creation: Facts of Life" by Gary Parker. He is a former evolutionist turned creationist that does a brilliant job showing how unlikely molecules to man evolution is.
....yeah suzy and others....I just happen to realize that when monkey devolving didn't quite work out on paper it all changed to single cells and from the slime off of the worlds garbage can and so on...I just happen to know more than you think... In another ten or twenty years the science books will all have a new teaching....the Bible has been around and hasn't changed one word in over two thousnad years..and won't...got an explanation for that one???
drewcurtis, there are over 30,000 sects of Christianity alone. Try again.
In fact the bible has changed many times over those 1000s of years. Gospels were omitted, translation errors occurred, transcription errors occurred, conscious editing for desired meaning,etc resulting in 100s of different bibles. Despite various attempts at "standard" bibles there are still many versions of the bible – and that's just in your religion.
Hey Randy! What? The devil! Oh! The devil is everywhere...
Hey Randy! What? Liquor! Ooh! The devil is everywhere...
Hey Randy! What? Tobacco! Ooh! The devil is everywhere...
Hey Randy! What? Evolution!!... oh... uhh... The devil... is... everywhere... Let's take a breather and pray...
It's gonna be terrible in hell knowing that you could have been washed in the blood of Jesus and made right standing with God.
Nah, It's gonna be terrible when you die and discover there's nothing there. Wasted life chasing some fantasy man in the sky when you could have been doing something useful.
But NO! You won't know this – you'll just be dead.
So what good is free will? What about the infinite love of Jesus? Who are you to judge anyone, anyway? There are verses for people like you... read up on them.
You know, its really starting to sound like that religion is simply a means for humans to control the actions of other humans.
So who has more to lose? The guy who believes in God and finds there's nothing or the guy who believes in nothing and finds out there is a God and just blew his one chance at eternal life in Heaven?
Threats of eternal punishment betray a weak argument....
Matt: How about the guy who believes in one god and finds out there is a god, but a different one than he imagined?
So let me understand this: Creationism bases there entire argument on one verse, in one chapter, in one book (the bible). WOW, what was I missing in college, the amount of money I spent for books talking about evolution…could have saved me a bundle…Had I gone to the local hotel and taken the bible room copy.
That is why the Republican education plan is such a money saver. Only one text is required for all subjects and the Gideon's give it away for free.
Bill Nye is FAR from being a real scientist
That being said he is way closer to being a real scientist than a Creationist is.
Amen! What a moron. There's much more evidence for creationism than evolution.
How is a Mechanical Engineer not a scientist?
In your undeniably expert opinion, what makes a "real scientist"?
Someone who takes Creationism seriously?
Larry, there is more proof for creation then evolution? What proof? The book that another human being wrote? That's your proof? The bible isn't written by 'God'. The bible is a compilation of passed down stories. Religion is a bunch of hear say passed down through the generations to help people cope with life. Religion makes people feel better about their insignificants. If some guy started going around today saying "I am the second coming of God" people would think that guy is a nut and should be committed. I have nothing again Religion. It helps a lot of people deal with things which is good. It also creates miss conceptions and hate. Look at all the wars and blood shed throughout the years. It's been mainly based around religious fighting. We need more people in this world that want to search for answers and less people blindly following a fairytale story told to them growing up.
Larry; Where is all this evidence?
God is crying in his beer knowing that over 46% of Americans have failed his test of intelligence.
Is it possible that Bill has evolved into a lower life form?
No, but it is a fact that your post is stupid.
Bill Nye is an Atheist.
It's funny how no where is this article that is mentioned.
All thinking men are atheists.
I am an atheist too.
he IS a scientist.
You can't be an atheist, dad. I don't think you exist.
Two questions: What source are you basing this assertion on, and how is that relevant to his opinion?
we are atheists, some of us just don't know it yet....
Athiest or not, one thing Bill Nye certainly is not is a scientist.
Dave: And who are you to make this determination?
Way to go Bill Nye! Join the ranks of the Richard Dawkins. I'm so pleased he that he posted this video. When you study physics and science for so long, it really is quite irritating to see so many brainwashed sheep that believe in Santa Clause errr God. I used to be one of those sheep, and when I finally pulled the blanket off me, I realized how full of nonsense religion is, and how it holds people back. I understand that some people are weaker then others, and the feeling of a God brings them peace. To those, that's great for you. Your going to believe your make believe buddy, that listens to you and is responsible for all. Just don't push your beliefs down other people throats.
It's about time people start leaving religion in the history books where it belongs. Religion has done enough harm. Let it die.
If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities." [Voltaire]
How condescending to anyone with a beliefe other than yours. Glad you had a bit of a chuckle. Give yourself a high five, pat on the back and a gold star!
Man that Bill Nye is one creepy looking dude. I wouldn't want that guy as a science teacher.
Attend one his lectures, if you have the opportunity. I wish my high-school Chemistry and Physics teachers were even a fraction as intelligent and entertaining as him.
Geez, perfect example... did you actually read the text or just look at the pictures??
"did you actually read the text or just look at the pictures??"
Most of my followers find reading overrated...
They also prefer "feeling" to "thinking" and "truthiness" to actual truth.
How about this, evolution created everything physical; god created souls.
What's a soul? And how do you know?
One is a belief based on evidence, one is not. You decide which is which
You pretty much just summed up the Vatican's position.
Your wrong on both counts, and nothing natural was created.
Also, the Easter Bunny created the chocolate specter eggs. Can't forget that one.
Firgured out that dark matter problem yet ? or how about light speed ? what is a Merkahbah ? so far physics is at a complete stand still. Were supposed to be in flying cars by now. you can't even figure out how to keep healthy during long space trips. Star Trek is a farce. YOU WILL NEVER GET THERE ! Doubt you ever went to the Moon, Can't seem to make it back there can you ?
not impressed with your go cart on Mars, If it's really there.
My world isn't complicated at all. Clearly Bill Nye's world is complicated if he is so frustrated the concept of freedom of thought, belief and expression.
you are free to be as ignorant as you like, you are also free to expose your ignorance toward others. though, we would rather you didn't. we find it embarrassing, as we share the same species with you.
Levi, aparently you have a problem with freedom of thought, otherwise you would not go attacking peole to give yourself some webz cred...
mama kindless news update: mama kindless for the first time in many years fell in love with a man named Bill Nye just yesterday. now this famous Mr. Nye is too young for me, but I guess you could say we have a spiritual affinity. my goodness.
It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and let's them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, are just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago; and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.
Atheists have strong minds, so you don't see them running and hiding their misdeeds within some religion (and by doing so, disserving society).
So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.
"We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said."
So, Bill Nye believes, if you don' believe in evolution, you cannot function as a useful member of society? Wow. The arrogance of scientific thinking on full display.
He's got a point. Look at George Bush.
I would much rather have a person who believes in things that have evidence writing and/or voting on my fiscal policies then someone who believes in something due to faith and has no evidence. Rationality goes a long way in the world.
I think his point is if you lack the critical thinking skills needed for separating science from fiction, you will struggle with an education system in general and be somewhat behind the average global citizen in skill sets.
Thank you for commenting Bill. Actually Bill Nye states nothing of the sort. He is trying to talk about the ability to think critically. How to ask questions, not just nod yes when something truly does not make sense. Had he blasted the fact that kids are spending much to much time playing video' games that its impacted their ability keep up with other important concerns like socialization and education. You would of most likely commented, "So, Bill Nye thinks that if your kid plays a video game, they'll grow up to be a moron." No Bill, Bill Nye is just trying to reach out to people like yourself
Bill, that's what you got out of it? Reading comprehension fail.
Soooo, people with faith can not think critically? I highly doubt that. Most people of faith can look at science and see what is fact and what is not. Because you have faith in something does not mean you loose all capacity for reason.
What a complete FRAUD this guy is!! Go back to being an engineer and go away....you are what's wrong with this country.
...That we are having this conversation.
Why do you think he is a fraud, Mary?
I take it you disagree with something.
Yes Mary, Bill is a "fraud". U r a m o r o n. Although you are right, he is what is wrong with this country, not enough people just like him. Too many head-in-the-sand ignorant religious types praying the tooth fairy is going to make everything alright...
how is he a fraud, mary?
Yes Mary, Bill is a "fraud". What??? U r a m o r o n. Although you are right, he is what is wrong with this country, not enough people just like him. Too many head-in-the-sand ignorant religious types praying the tooth fairy is going to make everything alright...
Mary- YOU are whats wrong with the country. You are the reason why abortions should be legal.
HEY, Hey... get off Mary's case. Unlike the rest of us, she's only had 6000 years to evolve.
I'm always entertained by Christians who take metaphor like the creation myth and turn it into divine truth and direction for their belief, yet take divine direction like "sell what you have and give it to the poor," and call it metaphor. And I say this as someone who's a conservative Christian.
I would like you theists to just ONCE use your idea of teaching children the "stengths and weaknesses" of something and apply it to your religious beliefs.
Theory- a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena.
I don't normally think that dictionary definitions bring much to any argument, but in the case of creationism vs evolution, its shameful that one side can't even be bothered to know the meaning of the word that they're using in highly semantic arguments. If you're going to attack something for being what it is, at least try to understand the words you're using in your attack. Saying that evolution is "just a theory" is akin to saying that the Christian god is "just a god". Its a meaningless and toothless argument.
bill nye where have you been, hoss? All those years of watching your show in elementary school and now you just randomly pop up? Trying to become relevant again, eh? Atta kid Nye
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.