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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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. Fred Strutton

    Let me throw out a few names: Von Braun, Boyle, Faraday, Kelvin, Linnaeus, Kepler, Maxwell, Mendel, Newton, Pasteur, Pascal. All familiar names to my fellow scientists. That’s just a small part of the list of the “founding fathers” of modern science who embraced special creation, not evolution, as their model of origins. It seems very peculiar, in light of that, to assert that science is somehow “held back” by not accepting evolutionary dogma.
    It will of course be argued that most of these (with notable exceptions such as Wernher von Braun) lived at a time when there was no alternative view of origins. Nice try, but that won’t fly. Charles Darwin did not invent the theory of evolution, ya know! He wrote his book, but that kind of thinking was around long before that, and these scientists were well aware of it.
    Nor did they fear persecution that could result from any deviation from creationist beliefs; that’s clear from the writings many of them left. No, they held to creationism because they were convinced it was true, and they saw no conflict between it and the natural world they were exploring and seeking to accurately understand. Say whatever you want about their reasons for embracing that worldview, but one thing is indisputable: They certainly were not “held back”, or holding anyone else back, because of it. It’s just plain silly for Bill Nye, or anyone else, to assert such a thing, when modern science to this day is deeply indebted to, and dependent on, the accomplishments of these men and women. For a bunch of creationists, they sure came up with a lot of “right answers”, Bill!

    August 28, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers

      Newton believed in alchemy....

      Ideas stand on their own accord, arguing from authority is meaningless.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Fred Strutton

      I did not argue from authority. I never said anything was true just because they said it. Scientific truth does indeed stand on its own, regardless of who uncovers it, but my point is that they uncovered an enormous amount of it, thus demonstrating that Bill Nye's comment that you "won't get the right answers" if you are a creationist is just nonsense.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Jared McKee

      At the time most of those people were alive fossils and their geological links to certain rock layers hadn't even been discovered. That wasn't even until the 19th century, it wasn't until the 20th century that radiometric techniques were used to date these fossils. So when it comes to the discovery of fossils, realization of their place in geological aspects, and the continual discovery and search for more being within the last couple hundred years and comparing these facts with the observations and explanations of scientists of the prior era to evolutionary science is irrelevant.
      Mendel was literally observing evolution in how he observed genes and the traits of pea plants over several generations. He kind of had to chalk up the unexplained parts up to God since he was an Augustinian Friar.
      All the other Scientists specialized in their fields when the theory of evolution and so many other undiscovered sciences hadn't even come about. If it seems I've rambled I am a little distracted but that's the best I can say at the moment.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers

      Fred,

      My point is that the fact they believed in creationism had nothing to do with them coming to the right answers.

      Science doesn't know everything ....religion doesn't know anything.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Duker

      Fred, please don't use ad hominem to prove anything.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • exlonghorn

      @Fred,

      Search "Neil Tyson presentation about intelligent design" on youtube. He does a brilliant job of explaining your observations.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • donna

      Fred,
      It would be foolish to actually argue that they had the same evidence and access to information that scientists do today. It would also be wrong to assume that anyone posters list like this just happened to live in families and cultures that would welcome alternative theories.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Fred Strutton

      You're still not following the logic, Cheesmakers. These are Bill Nye's exact words (not quoted in this particular article but in others): "You're just not going to get the right answers." (if you reject evolution and embrace creation). Sounds to me like he means you WILL NOT get the right answers from a creationist worldview. These founders of science prove beyond question that he is mistaken.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • exlonghorn

      The familiar story of Isaac Newton and Pierre Simon de Laplace is a cla.ssic example of the God-of-the-gaps argument. Newton devised a mathematical equation for the force of gravity that he used to explain and predict the motions of planets with outstanding accuracy. With pencil and paper, the orbit of the planets around the sun could be calculated with great precision. But planets also have gravitational interactions with each other, not just with the sun. For example, when the Earth pa.sses Mars in its orbit around the sun, there is a small but significant gravitational interaction between Mars and Earth. Because these tiny interplanetary interactions occur often — several times per year in many cases — Newton suspected that these gravitational perturbations would acc.umulate and slowly disrupt the magnificent order of the solar system. To counteract these and other disruptive forces, Newton suggested that God must necessarily intervene occasionally to tune up the solar system and restore the order. Thus, God's periodic special actions were needed to account for the ongoing stability of the solar system.

      Newton also thought that God was necessary to explain how the planets all happen to be travelling around the sun in the same direction and in the same plane. His theory of gravity was entirely compatible with planetary motions in any direction and with orbits tilted at any angle to the sun. But this is not what we find. The planets travel in the same direction, and almost all of their orbits are in the same plane. The planets move around the sun like runners on a track: very orderly. Newton thought only God could have set things up so elegantly:
      "The six primary Planets are revolv'd about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. […] But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. […] This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."
      In both of these examples — one related to the ongoing motion of the planets and the other related to the origin of the motions — Newton is employing textbook God-of-the-gaps reasoning. Scientific theories are proposed to explain as much as possible, and then God is brought in to cover any remaining unexplained gaps in the explanation.

      Later on, Laplace completely fills in the gaps and uses a more complete understanding of calculus (perturbation theory) to explain all celestial motions. Hmmm...not God after all. But Newton was SELF-LIMITED by his own frustrations in explaining the motions of the planets with incomplete understanding....he attributed it to God and GAVE UP. That is the danger in belief over science.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Athy

      Fred, most of the people you listed weren't aware of Darwin's work. So your argument has no validity.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • donna

      Yes, he said that if you believe in creationism you won't get the right answers about life history. Why do you have a problem with that?

      August 29, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • Fred Strutton

      Ad hominem?? Argumentum ad hominem is the logical fallacy of attempting to undermine an opponent's argument by attacking the person instead of addressing the argument. I clearly addressed Bill's argument, not the man himself. I have no doubt that Bill would make a fine next-door neighbor. I'll assume that Duker had something else in mind and simply chose the wrong term.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Mahebb

      Well stated, Fred. Exactly the point I have been making. The secularists try to argue that the oodles of religious, creationist scientists who laid the foundations for most fields of modern science somehow just got lucky and accidentally did good science. In reality, they advanced science BECAUSE of their faith, not in spite of it. Faith and reason are two sides of a coin; religion and science are complimentary, not mutually exclusive. After all, part of the Greatest Commandment is to love God with all of our mind.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Well said Mahebb!

      August 29, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers

      Yes Fred that is what he said and that is what I said. The creationist world view did not lead to the right answers for the scientists you listed either. It was the scientific method that lead to the correct answers. Being a creationist in no way helped them prove anything, the fact that they believed it is beside the point. If those guys were strictly creationist no one would know who they were. Doing science made them famous, the fact they belied in creationism was just baggage.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Their point went right over your head cheesemaker.
      The point is that some of the great scientists of old began and continued their scientific investigation and experimentation because their belief in God created a great hunger in their minds to find out how God made [and runs] the universe.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers

      Yeah and my point went right over yours. I don't care if they thought a magic unicorn started everything, their belief in god did Nothing to get the right answer.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • b4bigbang

      The over-riding point is that if it took religious faith to inspire the man to begin the work in the first place, then barring that faith, there's no reason to assume that the man would've even begun the work – hence, no accomplishment whatsoever.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Oops, getting booted off my pc.
      Gnite all.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • Blessed Are the Cheesmakers

      So what? Many people have been motivated to do things for a variety of reasons...and subsequently failed. The point is HOW did they do it, not WHY they did it. They did not use their belief to prove anything.

      You could plug in any belief as their motivation, the belief itself wouldn't matter, the common thread that runs through science is the method, not he belief in any religion.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • Mahebb

      Cheesemakers wrote: "The point is HOW did they do it, not WHY they did it. They did not use their belief to prove anything. You could plug in any belief as their motivation, the belief itself wouldn't matter, the common thread that runs through science is the method, not he belief in any religion."

      So in other words, exactly the opposite of the nonsense being spouted by Bill Nye the Not-So-Sciency Guy. Glad we all finally agree! Discussion closed! 🙂

      August 29, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Cq

      Benjamin Franklin didn't believe in meteors. If he lived today he would see the evidence for it and most likely believe. All your "founding fathers" of modern science were basing their knowledge on what was known then. Modern scientists are basing their knowledge on what is known now. There is a huge gap in between, and much of what they believed to be true has been overturned. As it stands today science supports evolution overwhelmingly and it seems very unlikely that anything could be discovered that discredits all of the evidence supporting it.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      No Mahebb,

      You are too daft to get it. What Bill Nye is saying is that if children are only taught creationism (and though he does not say it I would guess he is talking about young earth creationism specifically) they will not have the tools or knowledge to discover anything. Like I said above, if all those scientists only had creationism as their world view and were not taught science, the scientific method and the actual knowledge of the world (not made up religious fantasy), no one would know who they were. The SCIENCE made them famous, the religion did not play a significant part.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • What IF

      Benjamin Franklin was roundly castigated by Christians for his discoveries about lightning and the invention of his lightning rod.

      "As late as 1770 many religious Americans still felt that, since thunder and lightning were tokens of the divine displeasure, it was impiety to prevent their doing their full work. It took a few decades for the devout to abandon their religious prejudices regarding the use of the lightning rod, but eventually it was demonstrated to all but the most dense that both the "vengeance of God" and the "Prince of the Power of the Air" were forced to retreat before the lightning-rod of a heretic." – A. D. White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology & E.T.B.

      http://etb-pseudoscience.blogspot.com/2012/04/lightning-and-enlightenment-ben.html

      August 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Fred Strutton

      Well, after a night's sleep and a day's work I guess I'll weigh in again. First, a little about me: I am a scientist by profession (specifically, an analytical chemist), as well as by God-given nature (oh my, I used the dreaded G word!). I hold a B.S. in chemistry. I can assure you that I well understand the scientific method. I am also a believer in special creation. In my six decades plus four years of life I have become increasingly convinced that science supports scripture. I see beautiful harmony between the natural world and the scriptures, when both are properly understood. I realize this may bring a flood of responses pointing out supposed conflicts between the two, and I welcome them, as long as you're interested in open, honest discussion and not just throwing grenades.
      I agree that you don't necessarily get good answers solely by being a creationist - or an evolutionist, for that matter. You get them by doing good science and employing the scientific method. On that point, Cheesemakers is quite correct. But I strongly disagree with the idea that being a creationist makes doing good science and using the scientific method impossible.
      Something I've noticed in this string of posts is that many of the purported evidences for evolution have this in common: they all refer to genetic adaptation and variation within one specific type of living organism. If that is all that's meant by evolution, then I am a firm believer. That kind of evolution is a perfectly valid scientific principle, and there are indeed many examples and a huge amount of evidence for it. Almost every living organism has plenty of genetic information to allow for considerable variation in its phenotype (the physical and physiological makeup of an organism as determined by both its genetic code and its environment), But only within the limits of its own genome! Someone mentioned Mendel and his work with peas. It was a pea when he started, and it was still a pea when he finished! Dog breeding has led to many new varieties of dogs in the last 200 years, but they're all still 100% dog! They bombarded fruit flies with radiation to create accelerated mutations, and got wingless fruit flies, one-eyed fruit flies, all sorts of distorted versions of fruit flies, but they were still fruit flies. They never managed to mutate one into anything else. The famous peppered moth of England shifted its predominant color variation, as allowed by its genome, according to its changing environment, but it always remained a peppered moth. Whether you're breeding new strains of corn or roses or microorganisms or anything else, its a (fill in the blank) when you start, and it's still a (fill in the blank) when you finish. Every living thing is limited to the variation allowed by the boundaries of its own genetic information, although those boundaries may be wide.There is no evidence, either in the lab or in nature, that a living thing has ever transformed into a completely different living thing, no matter how much time has gone by. To extrapolate from the perfectly valid principle of evolution within a kind that I described earlier, to the unsupportable idea that all kinds came into being through purely mechanistic evolutionary processes from a primitive ancestor or ancestors, requires a huge leap of faith, which I just can't seem to muster.
      Well, if I don't get to bed, I won't be able to do good science tomorrow, so good night, all.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • redzoa

      @Fred – You are effectively stating inches exist, but cannot add up to miles. We witness the formation of new species and rather dramatic novelty of functional morphology in relatively rapid time frames. We know organisms are inherently plastic and that mutation does in fact, add "new genetic information."
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417112433.htm

      We have a fossil record which wonderfully matches this plasticity with a clear progression in the appearance of the major classes of organisms and a phlyogenetic tree of extant organisms which matches the fossil record appearance. This fossil record is so strong that literal creationists must devise all manner of magical explanations to explain the order. Your problem with evolution appears to be an inability to properly match the scale of change within the appropriate time frame. Again, you are effectively restricting your analysis only to the span between adjacent inches or the 1st inch from the 4 inch, rather than honestly examining distances between the first, the 20,000th, and the 63,380th inch.

      To deny evolution is to effectively deny the practice of science itself given the conclusions of every relevant discipline must necessarily be so flawed as to be functionally useless (including your own). Furthermore, as a scientist, one might expect you to recognize the limitations of your training and research experience. I don't pretend to understand the techniques involved in analytical chem and I would humbly defer to your expert opinion in that specific discipline. Why would you pretend to understand evolutionary theory? This is not a grenade. It's a question of primary motivation for your argument where you've clearly not considered the evidence, but instead have relied primarily on an a priori faith position and intuitive teleological thinking.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  2. . . . . .

    This dude's face tells a lot about him....
    He looks like a q'ueer
    Uh, he must love to get around those little kids!

    August 28, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      The above is at least as stupid as if i was to respond that a man that wants to diddle kids is almost assuredly a catholic.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  3. RBSG

    I don't "believe" in evolution. I understand why evolution is true.
    That being said, evolution and the origin of life are different subjects.
    So many people can't accept a universe from nothing (because they don't know the physics behind it and why it's actually plausible), yet they freely accept a god from nothing.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • donna

      They aren't separate things if your creation story seeks to explain things that evolved. The whole point to Creationism is that god created us to be us- while evolution is what science says caused us to be us.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • Cq

      donna
      But a creation story's aim to explain the relationship between people and the gods can't be taken as being a literal explanation of how we came to be like evolution is. Creation stories are myth. That's not to say that they're lies. They're poetic means of explaining religious beliefs, not scientific explanations of how nature actually works.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • donna

      Cq, you are misinterpreting my comment. I was never suggesting they should be taken as literal (far from it, I am a rational person), I was addressing the specific comment above that the creation or origins of life is a separate issue from evolution.

      In the case of the Christian Creation Myth, that myth seeks to explain the diversity of species at the time of their creation. Therefore, it is related to the issue of evolution which describes the diversity of species based on the evidence.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  4. myVu

    From nothing, comes nothing. For nothing can come from nothing. But something can not come from nothing because from nothing, comes nothing. What have we learned from the preceding??? That without an Eternal AND Intelligent source, existence is impossible. For if there was ever a point in time when there was nothing (including God), there would STILL be nothing. BECAUSE........From NOTHING comes NOTHING.

    August 28, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tim Brooks

      Snap out of it, that is a bunch of babbling silliness. Read something from Lawrence Krauss.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  5. young&intrigued

    I love science. I love God. I love combining the two. Many of you have very good thoughts that were very interesting to read. I hope that one day each and every one of you will find peace in whatever you choose to believe. One thing that might help, I think (you may or may not be of those willing to try it) to broaden understanding in each one, do field experience in both. There is an endless amount you can learn. For those with faith, educate yourself by going and listening in to a speaker in the area or just speak to some scientists(if they be willing) with some questions that you specifically want answered(be humble and don't get offended. Listen openly and learn). For those well educated, seek out someone of faith that you know who is strong in faith and lives by high standards and ask them why they believe, and try one prayer (if nothing else it can be an outward expression of venting your days stresses). That would mean each of the parties are trying to understand the other and if nothing else respect the other. If you think this idea is not well thought out, I encourage you to ask why not? If this offends anyone It is an indicator that maybe some people are already comfortable in what they know, unwilling to understand more. Being scientific is all about trying to understand more about the world and people and the environment we are surrounded by. Being with faith means that you strive to do good and understand everything you can with knowledge and love. Whoever kept reading this absurdly long note I've just created thank you. If you didn't, more power to you. It is long after-all.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Apply your best and most critical thought to what you believe. That's just advice from a (fairly) old fellow.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Tim Brooks

      God and science do not mix.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Faith and science mixing or not mixing is irrelevant to the fact that people should learn both.

      August 29, 2012 at 1:28 am |
  6. indygirl

    Science, as we know it has its limitation of the progress made by the human race. If something cannot be articulated by science, it's just that we the humans have not found the answer as yet. No need to fill it with God and/or religion. it's okay to say "not known".

    August 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      science has proven nothing can exist without truth absolute nor any one is above truth absolute, limit less is truth absolute and truth is God, human deny "HIM" truth absolute not for facts but by their hindu soul, ignorant desire in their hindu Judaism, criminal self center ism, secularism..

      August 28, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Tom Dolby

      @indygirl

      It's poetry in motion
      She turned her tender eyes to me
      As deep as any ocean
      As sweet as any harmony
      Mmm – but she blinded me with science
      "She blinded me with science!"
      And failed me in biology

      😉

      August 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  7. Kate's mom

    If you can't see it, hear it, touch it, taste it,
    smell it, measure it, observe it,
    understand it or verify it.

    Worship it!!

    August 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Indeed, and claim it's the source of everything we can see, taste, touch, and smell, but unlike those things, it didn't need an originator.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Unleashed

      God works in ways mysteriously similar to random probability

      August 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  8. Geoff

    HeavenSent
    YOu are doing nothing to further the cause of the Kingdom or The Church of Christ. Anger is not a part of the Ministry of Christ unless it was He that was anger and judging. We are not to judge. You may be better off reading the Bible, try Matthew 5-8 for a start and remembering the two greatest commandments, "Love God with all your heart, your mind and your soul" and "Love your neighbor as you want to be loved." Thus endeth the lesson.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  9. Geoff

    HeavenSent
    Please stop talking or typing. You aren't doing anything to further the Kingdom or The Church of Christ by calling names, judging and offering hate filled opinions.

    Frankly you'd be better off reading Matthew 5-8 and remembering the two greatest commandments, "Love God with all your heart, your mind and your soul" and "Love your neighbor as you want to be loved". Thus endeth the lesson.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Geoff you've been h umping the Wh ore of Babylon. Look at her. Her mouth is an open grave.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  10. Susan Clark

    It is amazing what we will accept...
    when it is presented as religious ideology.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      In conversations I've found that deeply religious people are rational and objective about most things, but have a strange, well, almost terror that their thoughts will somehow betray God. That reinforcement of their religious indoctrination is a terrible thing to see.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Susan Clark

      Because Religion is the byproduct of fear.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  11. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    I am all for teaching the strengths and weaknesses of Evolution if we can also teach the strengths and weaknesses of everyones religious dogma.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  12. clcapps

    I too am incredibly embarrassed about the ignorance of my fellow Americans. 46% believe in creationism? I should consider moving to Europe.

    Let me briefly explain how the scientific method works. (for the second time)

    1) Make objective observations
    2) Formulate a theory that best fits these observations. This theory can be a general mechanism (as in the Theory of Evolution) or extremely specific with mathematical formulas (as in the Theory of Relativity.)
    3) Determine how closely the theory matches the observations. Go back to 1) and repeat.

    The word "Theory" seems to throw people for a loop. Scientific knowledge is not absolute. This much is true. It's an iterative process and theories are constantly being refined. We may never have so-called "perfect" laws of physics.

    HOWEVER, Theories are not to be trifled with. You can't write an opinion piece on your blog and determine that a theory is incorrect. You can't use a passage from the Bible to discredit a Theory. A Theory is based on years and years of observations, and a determination that the theory best fits the evidence.

    It's not an opinion. You can't argue science in politics. You can't let your religious beliefs influence a scientific theory. It's an objective conclusion based on the evidence.

    It has often happened in history that 2 scientists in opposite parts of the world simultaneously develop the same theory without any communication, because it best fits the facts.

    A religion has NEVER COME INTO BEING IN 2 PLACES SIMULTANEOUSLY, because it's NOT BASED ON OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE that can be obtained anywhere on the planet.

    Case closed.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Your last point is a particularly good one. No two religions ever arrive at the same conclusion independently, yet it happens relatively frequently in evidence-based thinking.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      And you are seriously willing to forfeit eternal life with JesusNotReligion based on what you believe is a "case closed" statement like the one you just wrote? All I have to say is what the fairy-tale Bible quoted Jesus as sayimg: "repent or perish".
      You, my fellow bloggernaut, are playijg Russian Roullette with a gun that you hope is make believe, with bullets that you hope are not real. And if you think that by being a good and moral person will hedge your odds for gaining "heaven" if you find that in the end you are wrong, let me share the gospel with you: Being "saved...is by grace through faith (alone in Jesus the Messiah)...NOT OF WORKS LEST ANYONE SHOULD BOAST." (see Ephesians 2:1-8)
      JesusNotReligion – SavedByHimNotByUs...or anyone else for that matter...

      "COMMUNICATION" IN ANY FORM, SUCH AS CREATION, LANGUAGE, or MATHEMATICS, EVIDENCES AN INTELLIGENT BEING...

      I CAN HEAR ALL THE "PRO-ABORTION ACTIVIST'S" NOW IF JUST "ONE CELL" IS FOUND ON MARS: "There's LIFE there!, There's LIFE THERE!"

      August 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      CORRECTION: See Ephesians 2:1-9 (I forgot verse 9)...Here it is for anyone truly concerned – READ IT SLOWLY AND THOUGHTFULLY...Perhaps make believe it carries the authority that it claims to carry...for just one moment of time in your life....
      Ephesians 2:1-9
      "1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast."

      August 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Sheila

      Times and Seasons were created by God for the benefit of mankind. However he is not obligated to any human determined schedule. God is Truth. Yet you are trying to promote Science as Truth. So you are trying to prove Science is God, but Science often fails as much of it is not based on Truth. So why do you keep trying to prove that non-truths are Truth ? Just what is it that you are seeking ? Truth ? If so then why do you not seek God ?

      August 29, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • sam stone

      sheila: youo are delusional. take the pills that good doctor tells you to, and stop listening to the voices in your head

      August 29, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  13. Get Your Own Dirt

    Funny how creationism gets locked into an argument about whether or not evolution is true. Evolution or any other physical theory can only describe changes in what already exists. Creation really is about where the stuff came from. What scientific theory even attempts to explain the existence of anything at all? That is the real issue of creation. The evolution argument seems more to be an attempt to discredit the Bible as if that would discredit and deny there being a God. It is science that is in denial when faced with the impossibility of the existence of this universe. Every atom stares science in the face with the question, "where did I come from?"

    August 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer–especially when its the truth. Or, you could say, "big magic fuzzy wuzzy sky wizard did by speaking magic spells" even though you don't have a single piece of evidence for that statement.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      YES! See my post to ArthurP below...Right on...
      JesusNotReligion

      August 28, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • JesusNotReligion

      Moby Schtick! One of my favorite Godless bloggernaut's (only because that tag name cracks me up every time I see it)
      🙂
      Obviously you know that my post of affirmation below was not to you but to GET YOUR OWN DIRT...

      C'ya...Wouldn't wanna be ya...

      August 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @CheeseMustRotMyvision

      Yeah, I figured you for the "Stuff is just sooooo cool!!! Magic Sky Wizard did it with Magic Spellzzzzz!!" sort of guy.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      There are whole fields of science oriented toward understanding the origins of matter, but you're right that biological evolution is not one of them. However, it's absurd to argue that the whole theory of evolution is just an attempt to discredit the bible. As has been crowed from the mountaintops by many creationists, many of the framers of evolutionary theory believed the bible to be true. They were just honest and objective enough to be open to where evidence led them.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  14. Dennis Davis

    Good for you Bill. A sane public service message. We need more sanity, maturity and less make believe.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Susan Clark

      Well Said!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  15. Eric

    There was once a time, when everybody believed in some form of god, and religion ruled the world. It was called the dark ages.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Athy

      And we're slowly climbing out of the dark ages, some a little slower than others, but the slow ones will eventually fade away. It'll take another three or four generations, but it will happen.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  16. transplantednorth

    Moses Maimondes, who was both a rabbi and a doctor, a man of science and religion, believed both creationism/evolution can co-exist but in parallel spheres. You don't have to pick one or the other. And there is a whole wing in the Museum of Natural History that makes me amazed that there are those out there who don't want evolution taught in schools. But at the same time, I teach the story of creation every year, but I do it in a religious building. Still, I believe that there has to be a higher being that had to be the master behind the creation of the entire universe.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Athy

      Why?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  17. cmp-anon

    I don't care to argue creationims vs evolution I don't I will change anyone's mind. However, one thing that bothers me is when creationist bring up the second law of thermodynamics to disprove evolution. Unfortunately, the creationist understand only an abbreviated portion of the second law. They claim the earth and all life on it are were instantly created and that life on earth is in a state of decay, since the second law states that energy systems go to lower energy states with each process that occurs. They understand that with each process, the system is at a greater discorder (which true for a closed system). They think this claim disproves evolution, stating that you cannot create order and evolve complexity in life forms. What they fail to realize is that the earth is not a closed system and receives nearly 173 PWatts of energy. The creationist energy model does not take into account of the energy flux entering and leaving or planet, thus providing no merit to their argument. Our planet is not a closed system. Creationist, please stop playing the "thermodynamics" card if you don't truly understand what your are talking about.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Athy

      Well put. We also receive thermal energy from radioactive decay within the earth.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Duker

      I think you should try and understand what leading creationists believe before building straw man arguments.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Splishkid

      Most creationists never took a college course in biology, botany, physical chemistry, etc. they are generally lower educated. They would not know the difference in entropy and enthalpy or why lichen grows or why a whale has 5 " fingers" in their lateral fin. They believe in creationism because they know nothing else......

      August 28, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • cmp-anon

      @Duker, Honestly, I don't believe most creationist take thermodynamics into account when declaring what they believe. Again, I don't believe anyone's comments on this feed will change anyone's position, nor I am the authority of what creationist believe. It just irks me when I see comments from folks claiming evolution is impossible because of their truncated view on thermodynamics.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Duker

      @splishkid Really, that's all you got? Nice straw man.
      @cmp-anon I have never seen a credible creationist use that argument.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  18. rebb

    Well said Bill ! I totally agree.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Jenkins

      In order to see the Bill Nye You Tube video I was caused to watch/listen to an ad for Mormonism! Anyone who disagrees with Bill Nye need only look up a history of Joseph Smith and Mormonism...so that's what "faith" is all about, huh? Now I don't believe that evolution as we know it today is necessarily the last word on the idea, but doesn't it implore Americans to employ reason as we seek to discover the truth of our natural being and not suspend our reason in blind obedience to a set of man-made myths–and I am not singling out Mormonism here. Peace be with you all.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  19. Neil Samuels

    I assure you that if you analyze that 46% faithful followers of Brother John Birch and the Holy nonsense grail of authoritative biblical poop YOU will find dear ladies and gents that the TEA Romney and Ryan committed conservatives comprise 95% of that 46%! There was a mistake in the article, though, there are others who share and flock to same beliefs...and guess what? It ain't even the Vatican. It is the kissing cousins of idiocy and stupidity and fanaticism supreme, for example: The Taliban!

    August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Jonathan Delafield

      You will also find that the average educational level is lower. Education and religious fervor are negatively correlated. Why is this?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  20. Jack

    Greetings folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Greetings folks. Everyone is cordially invited to spam the fu*ck out of – thestarofkaduri.com

      August 28, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
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About this blog

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.