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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. Bryan

    I have no qualms believing in both evolution and the Bible. I fit under the "Believe in evolution guided by God" bit. This world is far too fantastic to have happened by chance, and people are far too intricate and dynamic to just be a blip in a chaotic process. We have divine origins and so does our world.

    As for embracing evolution, when the Bible says "6 days," I have no problem interpreting that as "6 very-very-long periods." Time is measured to man. Why would a "God-day" be the same as an Earth-day? And I'm OK with the human bodies being developed over time, but when it comes to the spirit, God put Adam's spirit into that prepared body..not an intelligent monkey spirit.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      There's nothing chaotic about the process of evolution. But you'd rather believe that something infinitely more intricate and fanstastic than ourselves existed on it's own, itself with no creator, yet it's not possible for us to be.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      But a day is not a long period, even thousands of years ago, a day was only 24 hours. If the fiction authors of the dribble wanted it to be long periods, there are many other words to use.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Terri

      Any belief, even that of evolution requires some bit of "faith" whether we like it or not. The big bang, what started it? Was everything that started it just always here? If there is a God, was it just always here? I have more faith in science, at least there is some evidence to that, rather than religion that depends on ancient texts by man.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  2. snowboarder

    without a literal interpretation of genesis there is no original sin. without original sin there is reason for a messiah to symbolically sacrifice himself for the sin of the masses.

    without a literal interpretation of genesis there can be no christianity.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  3. inkhogneato

    6k to 10k years? What a hoot! Oh well, sheep will be sheep.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  4. Mike

    I find it hard to believe that everything just happened....that science is the reason for everything...I think it's actually nieve to think that God didn't create everything has to have a start...the idea that cells just came together to create everything is far fetched

    August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • oooooor...

      you could open a biology book. just sayin'

      August 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • cleverdd

      yeaaah, thats far fetched, Have you read the bible?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • 666

      So who created God?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • AAAAHHHHhhhhhhh

      And yet some supernatural being that is even more complex yet has no source intricately "put cells together" to create all organisms in the universe isn't "nieve"?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Mike

      explain why it says in the Bible that people will be confused about the truth in the last days? a collection of books that's hundreds years old can accurate predict the future?? and that's just by chance? seriously?? if science is the reason things are the way they are then explain why scientific theories are always changing? people that say religion clouds reality are being hypocritical because their lack of faith is clouding reality too

      August 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Terri

      And how many years did it take "the church" to pardon Galileo?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  5. Alan

    As we all know, science has proven that God doesn't exist, and this earth, and all life on it, evolved from a beginning of nothing, over billions of years, into what we see today.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bryan

      Rule #1: Science never proves, only suggests.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Mike

      so the universe just interacts perfectly and that's all by chance? for example a species of bee's that are native to Mexico migrate to the northern region of the U.S. every year because of Mexico's climate...they just happen to know to do that just by chance and not because they were created to fulfill a purpose and if they don't migrate they die??

      August 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  6. Joe Smith

    Creationists believe that God is a lying trickster who creates a world already billions of years old in order to make it impossible to believe in him. LMAO

    August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  7. Huey1

    I'm kind of caught in the middle. I can't definitively say I beleive in Creationism, the existance of God, or Evolution. I don't see any proof that any of them are what I should beleive in. There are so many unanswered questions that I can't firmly place all of my faith in one decision nor do I want too. I want to leave my mind open to explore all possibilities. I guess I'm more of a have to see it to believe kind of person

    August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • oooooor...

      it takes a lot of time and effort but you could start by educating yourself in biology. just sayin'

      August 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • ndg114

      There aren't any significant unanswered questions in evolution – it's been proven long ago. If you took the time to read about it a bit, I'm sure you'd quickly realize it's the truth.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  8. todd cook

    So Nye, how's the search for that missing link coming?

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Observer

      todd,

      How's that search for unicorns coming?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  9. 2/8

    ....and no, I don't believe in religion.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  10. bencoates57

    Real genius there, BIll.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  11. Jeff

    What is startling to me is the detail which both "sides" of this issue definitively know the answer. A true believe of God would acknowledge that we don't know all the answers. A true scientist would acknowledge that we don't know all the answers. I honestly don't know how anyone who knows anything about either "side" of this issue can dismiss the other "side" outright, or say that their "answers" exist only to serve their "side." Truly religious and scientific people do not have an agenda and are seeking truth. Those of you who slam science outright, and those of you who slam religion outright- you are both part of the problem.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • 2/8

      Well said. I agree, nobody knows. I believe science is absolutely necessary, but I also believe that we have absolutely no idea what's beyond our own limited knowledge. It's kind of cool actually.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Anon

      No, you are pretending that both sides have equally valid arguments. On one side we have a moutain of forensic evidence. On the other, we have the Bible. Let's stop pretending that some bronze age myths are as equally valid evidence as observations we make today with scientific tools.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • ndg114

      While it's true that we can't know everything, evolution is absolutely true. It is so logical and has so many mountains of evidence supporting it, it is completely safe to say that it's been 100% proven.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  12. Bird

    Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they do!

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • sbp

      What's your Dad have to do with this?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Jean Sartre

      Ahh... but we do!

      Take away the fog of fantasy and come into the light of reality... the TRUTH really will set you FREE...

      August 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  13. dr. livingstone

    Bill needs to have his blood checked for too much science.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  14. GT

    Typical evolutionary rhetoric... mock creationists as small minded, yet refuse to acknowledge your own theory of evolution is so full of fatal flaws that if Darwin were alive today, he would have dismissed it as fantasy. Questions for evolutionists... do you believe in Right and Wrong? If so, by what standard are they measured? Morality and Evolution cannot be reconciled. If you claim one, you must reject the other.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • sbp

      Morality and Evolution cannot be reconciled? Says who? Let's PRETEND that the Bible, which you claim is the source of morality, was actually written by JK Rowling. It IS just a collection of words, you know, so theoretically, at least, it COULD be written by a person. Does that mean the morality contained in it is suddenly invalid?

      Morality is subject to the same forces as other traits. If over time, it confers a genetic advantage, it is passed down. "Thou shalt not kill" developed because societies that said so were more successful to the individuals comprising it.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • TommyTT

      Sloppy thinking. Morality and evolution do not contradict each other any more than apples contradict elephants. They simply do not relate to each other. And by the way, your understanding of the word Theory is also sloppy. In science, a Hypothesis is a supposition. It doesn't get to be called a Theory until it has passed rigorous and repeated testing–at which the words Theory and Law become interchangeable. Thus Newton's Theory of Motion is the same as Newton's Law of Motion. And if your religion does not let you believe in Newton's Theory of Motion, then don't bother stepping on the brakes the next time your car veers toward a tree.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      There is no point in using logic and reason to debate with a Creationist. it's just a waste of energy.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  15. 2/8

    I believe in evolution, but I also believe in God. I seriously doubt that Bill Bye "The Science Guy" has all the answers. He needs to step off his high-horse for a bit and stop trying to claim knowledge of things that he has no confirmation for, or against. Yes, we know you went to school, yes we're all impressed that you have a working knowledge of science and had a kids television show, no, we're not all going to agree with you. Give it a rest.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  16. Charlie

    If these evolutionists are so convinced then why are they so disturbed when someone disagrees with them. If monkeys evolved into humans, then why do we still have monkeys?. Evolution will always be a theory because you can't ever duplicate it in a 'clinical' trial. OH WAIT, maybe I'm wrong - how else would you explain the evolutionists – they really once were monkeys.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Walter

      You can demonstrate evolution in clinical trials involving bacteria in a matter of days.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • George Marshall

      Evolution does not claim that monkeys evolved into humans. Try to learn something about science before you make such foolish statements.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jean Sartre

      Not all sub-groups within a given species evolve at the same time... if they did, we would not have YOU!

      August 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bill T.

      Cite your source that states that monkeys evolved into humans.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  17. Matt

    The bible isn't always literal. I'm a Christian but I don't believe God literally created the universe in 6 days (7 with rest). Those days could have spanned millions/billions of years and God could have used evolution in his creation. Science doesn't prove that God doesn't exist, but it does prove that forms of evolution exist. I believe in creationism in the sense that God used his power to create the universe and that's where my faith comes in. There's nothing to argue. You either believe the universe was created in a random instance or you believe something omnipotent started the random instance.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Jean Sartre

      The universe always was and alway will be... it is not a construct of time.

      I doesn't really need a GOD to explain it...

      August 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  18. Dolores

    I am Christian and I believe that God used evolution over a long period of time to create all living things. That is the stance of many non-evangelical Christian demoninations (those that require extensive education for their clergy). The scriptures are inspired by God but were not dictated word-by-word.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  19. Walter

    Humans figured out evolution long before they realized what it was they were figuring out.

    Do you think toy poodles existed in the wild?

    August 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  20. Franco

    I choose to believe in a Creator God, not the literal Genesis beginning, but a Creator that started it all. I also choose to believe in Scientific facts, but by no way does that diminish my spirituality. The Catholic Church has conceded that evolution is real and that is the way God decided to create life. All I know that is certain for all of us is that one day we will all die, either there is life after death or not remains to be seen or not.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:10 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.