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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 • Faith Now • Science

soundoff (14,640 Responses)
  1. Jim

    The Case for Science and Evolution supporting the Genesis Account
    What Church and State aren't telling us.
     
    The first thing to understand is, what Genesis actually says in relation to Time. Chapter 1 is described entirely from God’s perspective of time, not man’s. We were not created until the very end of the very last day of creation. Only God was around to perceive what the days of creation were in reference to. And according to a literal reading of the account, the days of creation were in relation to the original source of light that was created on the first day, not our suns. Our sun is what we base our perspective of time from. But again, a literal reading of the account tells us that our sun wasn’t created until the 4th day of God’s creation and that it was created to provide man with a measure of days and years. Therefore, what Genesis is literally saying is, that a day to God is not the same as a 24 hour day as experienced from man’s perspective of time with respect to the rotation of the earth in relation to our sun. With this in mind and the knowledge that nowhere in the Bible does it give an age to the earth, we can start from the beginning .
    In the beginning, God creates the heaven and the earth. However, the earth was at first without form or void, according to the account. In other words, the earth was at first in the form of energy contained within the singularity from which the universe began.
    "And darkness was upon the face of the deep". This describes a black hole from which the singularity that is our universe would eventually emerge. A place with such a concentration of matter/energy and a gravitational pull so great that not even light could escape.
    "And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters". Waters, which have been detected in interstellar clouds throughout the cosmos and would also have been contained within the singularity itself in some form. And the effect of this movement by God, suddenly caused the singularity within to emerge from the deep black hole.
    "And God said, let there be light". And time, space and matter came into existence as the universe was created and expanded in what science refers to as The Big Bang event. The earth is given form and void and the first day from God’s perspective of time, in our universe, has begun.
    "And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters and let the waters gather unto one place to be called seas and let the dry land appear". Science tells us that water has been detected in interstellar clouds that exist in all the galaxies which were divided by great distances. Science also reveals that water contained in asteroids and comets bombarded the early earth and brought much of the water that makes up our seas and that there was a super continent that appeared called Pangea.
    "And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth". Science tells us that the first living micro-organism was literally Created (formed) from the earth (perhaps from a clay called montmorillonite), evolved, and eventually began the process of photosynthesis (cyanobacteria, the seed from which grasses and trees would evolve) that was needed to generate an atmosphere rich enough in oxygen to allow higher forms of creatures to evolve.
    "And God said, let there be lights in the firmament, and let them be for seasons, days and years". Science has revealed that the moon did indeed form after the earth from the debris of a collision between the already existing earth and another body. Also, the earth and the sun are so close in age that the earth may in fact have existed before our sun had gathered enough mass to ignite. The early cratering we see on the planets and moons throughout our solar system may have been the result of material being drawn into the center of our solar system as our proto-sun took on enough mass to ignite. Also we cannot measure the date of a piece of the sun like we can the moon, therefore the age of the sun is purely theoretical.
    "And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life, birds and whales". Paleontology tells us that this is what happened starting from the Pre-Cambrian through the Cambrian Periods, as many creatures were brought forth from the oceans unto the landmasses where insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals evolved . And later birds and whales would evolve from these.
    "And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, creeping things and beasts of the earth". Again paleontology tells us that this is what happened, as a great diversification of mammals occurred following the extinction of the dinosaurs, which led to the modern day cattle and beasts that we see today .
    "And God said, let us make man in our image both male and female and let them have dominion over the earth". And finally we see again that anthropology confirms that man did indeed evolve in only the most recent geological period.
    Now, moving on to the next chapter, Genesis 2, we find that God has made one of the completed modern humans into a living soul. It does not say that Adam was the first man, it merely describes what occurred from the beginning. As the earth formed, there was no rain. Then a mist went up from the ground and watered the whole face of the earth. The first organism was created. It evolved and eventually became man. Our dna can be traced all the way back to that one original organism. Adam evolved from a previous hominid that evolved from a previous primate, that evolved from a previous mammal, that evolved from a previous reptile, that evolved from a previous amphibian, fish, worm, bacterium all the way back to that one original organism that was “quite literally” formed (Created) from the clays of the earth.
    God then transforms an environment to the east, from a dry barren place, into the garden of Eden. He then causes this man to migrate east, out of Africa into the Middle East. And the animals that God had formed followed, as well. Y -Chromosome studies confirm that all living males alive today are descendant from a male ancestor that once lived in the area of the Middle East approximately 60,000 years ago.
    God then creates Eve from Adam. In the previous chapter, God had created both man and woman together. These can be seen as our prehistoric ancestors who evolved up to the time of the completed modern human, Adam. It is likely that it was from one of these earlier tribes of people that Cain‘s wife came from (the land of Nod). But here we must take a leap of faith. For Eve, according to the account, definitely did not evolve. She was a special creation. Formed, by God himself, from the genetic material that was removed from Adam. One has to wonder where the ancient authors of this account came up with such an incredible story ? Of course, today the account is not so incredible. We see that modern day scientists are conducting genetic cloning research, where they take a piece of genetic material from one animal and create an almost exact replica of that animal. We may one day ourselves develop the technology to remove the genetic material, (two X chromosomes) from a male human to create a female human. And if we can do that, it’s not that difficult to believe that God could have done it, as well.
    Now that I have laid out the case for the scientific evidence supporting the events described in the ancient accounts of Genesis, let us consider whether the scientific evidence supports the alternative theories. For example, that Nature formed life from the earth through natural chemical processes without guidance of any Intelligent Being and that Nature forms life on other worlds wherever the right conditions exist. We also have to consider the theory of Panspermia, where life formed somewhere other than earth and traveled here through space inside meteors, asteroids or comets and seeded the early earth with living organisms. The Miller Urey experiments showed that some of the basic building blocks of life (amino acids) can form naturally from naturally occurring conditions. Another scientist by the name of Sydney Fox was able to create what he called replicating proto-cells from these amino acids that appear to mimic some of the basic functions of a living organism. However, none of these naturally created building blocks or proto-cells are considered by the science community to be living organisms. Biochemists have never been able to replicate the formation of life, which is called Abiogenesis. Nor have they ever observed it occurring in nature. The fact is, as far as we know, life formed only once, one afternoon, only on earth, approximately 3.7 billion years ago and has never been replicated since ! Every living thing alive today evolved from that one original organism that was initially formed. Also, no life has ever been detected outside the planet earth. The two Viking Lander missions in 1975 tested the Martian soil at two separate locations and neither one detected any signs of life. No life has been found in any of the hundreds of meteorite samples that have fallen to earth. Even the most famous Antarctic meteorite from Mars could not be confirmed to contain life by the science community. Further, no atmospheric signatures of life have ever been detected in any of the atmospheres of the other planets or moons in our solar system. And from deep space, no signal has ever been detected from any extraterrestrial origin by SETI in over 50 years of searching.
    Now consider for a moment, the capabilities of life here on earth. Once life was created here, it has never been extinguished completely. It has adapted and survived every cataclysmic event that has ever occurred on earth. It has the capacity to adapt and survive in every extreme environment. It has even survived the harsh environment of space on the outside of our spacecraft ! Yet we find not even a hint of it anywhere else? Where is the diversity of life on Mars, as we see it here on earth ? Spirit and Opportunity gave us microscopic images from the soils on Mars. We saw nothing. There can be only one reason why we see no diversity of life on Mars. It never formed there ! If we could demonstrate life forming from naturally occurring chemistry here on earth it would all but prove that life is forming elsewhere. But we can’t ! At least, we haven’t been able too yet !
    But the facts remain, currently, the scientific evidence supports the creation of life on earth according to Genesis MORE than any of the other theories ! Yet the United States Judicial system, which is supposed to be NEUTRAL in matters of religion and protect our rights of free speech and guarantee the free expression of idea’s, has ruled that it is illegal to teach the POSSIBILITY that life was Intelligently Designed ?

    December 29, 2013 at 9:36 am |
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  4. thomas

    Love you bill nye.but ok,I'm christian,I promise if you ask a smart and honest priest or other religious official,they will tell you that Adam and eve and the like was created to convert vikings,there creation story? Ash and elm,elm came from ash,Odin found the trees on beach,made them man and woman,it was used to convert,,creationists are people who don't interpret the bible,if it says and it does ,do not eat unless your hands have twenty drops of water fall off,they don't eat unless twenty drops come off.it really means,wash your hands you nasty ! Oh and most Christian churches,in a meeting decided evolution is truth and can coexist with god .

    November 6, 2013 at 12:08 am |
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    October 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  6. Science

    Creationist are full of IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And the only miracles are in the soup !

    Origin of Life: Power Behind Primordial Soup Discovered

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404122234.htm

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/

    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/08/atheist-prof-peter-higgs-stop-calling-higgs-bosen-the-god-particle/

    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/28/pope-praises-science-but-insists-god-created-world/

    Science

    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/17/heaven-is-a-fairy-story-scientist-stephen-hawking-says/

    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/07/the-jesus-debate-man-vs-myth/comment-page-137/#comment-2281915

    Are creationists smarter than a 5th grader ?

    Listening to the Big Bang – In High Fidelity

    Apr. 4, 2013 — A decade ago, spurred by a question for a fifth-grade science project, University of Washington physicist John Cramer devised an audio recreation of the Big Bang that started our universe nearly 14 billion years ago.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130404170154.htm

    April 16, 2013 at 6:17 am |
    • Science

      It is an illusion ..................gods.

      Engineering 'Ghost' Objects: Breakthrough in Scattering Illusion

      Feb. 19, 2013 — A team at the NUS Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering led by Dr Qiu Cheng-Wei has come out with an optical device to "engineer" ghosts.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130219090643.htm

      April 16, 2013 at 6:19 am |
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  8. Bob

    One of the most famous trials in history was the monkey trial pitting evolution against creationism. Well now I wonder if we should declare a mistrial because sciences own findings are falling way short of the claim, that we are decedents of monkeys. Only recently has this link become even more impossible with the new findings. This one court ruling was why we have evolution taught in schools today and it is based on the wrong conclusions by sciences own findings. while we waited for the proof that this statement was true we have found that it is a lie or a wrong conclusion. While science is absolutely important we must never forget science as the predictor of events falls far short because it is based on the ideas of man not the knowledge of God. Now we have structure and laws based on a lie that are hard to reverse but built on the myth of man.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Pax

      Science has never said that we are descendent of monkeys, but rather that we descended from the same species.

      Please know what is and isn't before preaching falsehoods.

      February 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
  9. diane

    God does not believe in atheist, therefore, they do not exist!

    December 13, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Pete

      Diane does not even understand basic grammar. She is stupid.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • diane's 3rd grade teacher

      diane always was a bit slow - and with that lisp, she can't pronounce "atheists". I did try to teach her proper plurals... *sigh*.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • End Religion

      Diane, nice to see you're carrying on the tradition of religious stupidity. You're dumber than tits on a wheelbarrow.

      December 13, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      Do you know how Diane knows what her god is thinking? She made him up.

      December 13, 2012 at 2:01 am |
      • Warbo

        Maybe it's just me, but Diane doesn't sound particularly religious.

        December 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  10. diane

    God does not believe in atheist, therefore, they do not exist ;)

    December 13, 2012 at 1:02 am |
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  12. ..

    why do people confuse creationism with intelligent design? because they all follow the evolution religion!

    November 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      It's not confusion. ID is creationism with a new cover. This was proven at the Dover School Board trial – the creationist text books were mass edited to replace "creationism" with "Intelligent Design". Even without that the ideas are the same just more pseudo-science.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
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  14. Brian Forbes

    Albert someone just did a shameless promotion of his book, and I think I should too.

    History proves the earth is young, that we descend from one man and woman, and that pagan gods were mortal men, deified by their descendants. Science may be fuzzy on the origin of man (it's not; we can act like it is), but history is clear. Mankind starts somewhere around the time of Hercules.
    http://FromNoahtoHercules.com/

    October 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  15. Jess

    Not looking for an argument, but I don't think evolution and belief in a creator contradict each other.
    (Also, don't use a Hasty Generalization fallacy, deeming all who believe in God as those who are simply ignorant).
    As far as I am concerned, evolution is the adaptation to our environment for survival... It doesn't automatically mean we came from monkeys! :P
    And even the bible says life started in the water.
    Science agrees. But that doesn't mean we came from fish, either.

    They call Christians bigots these days, which literally means "a person who has prejudice against those who hold different opinions."

    I don't have a prejudice against atheists, agnostics, or just people who are unsure. The majority of the people commenting on here, however, clearly have prejudice against Christians. So, remind me, who are the bigots?

    Science is beautiful! I love it! I'm studying it.
    But, I love faith, too.

    None of you here have experienced death. Therefore, no one, including me, has right to say "this world is all that exists," or, "there IS a heaven!" But admire others for their opinions. Here them out. Humbly disagree.

    You do not have to believe in Christ, God, and so on.
    But Just as science should be considered and appreciated, faith should be recognized as a beautiful thing too.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Warbo

      Hear Here! If only people on both sides of this dispute could be more open-minded. You're not going against God by admitting you don't really know HOW the creation happened, and you're not going against science by admitting there might be intelligence behind the reality we know. This is all just a problem of a lot of people who are unwilling to say the three hardest words in the english language: "I don't know"

      December 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  16. BillNyeScienceBolshevik

    Bill Nye is a typical European Jew. It's part of their ideology and culture to attack Christians and by extension Europeans. They're the same Talmudic Jews that murdered Christ and set a murderer free. They're the same Jews that deny Ethopian Jews from access to Israel. They're the same Jews that Dostoyevsky warned about. Years later they created and ran the Bolshevik party that murdered tens of millions.

    More Ukrainians were killed in the Holodomor, the winter of 1933, then Jews in the Holocaust but we can't know about this. Instead we have Bill Nye stirring up hatred of those "backwards", "Christian", "rednecks" just like the Bolsheviks.

    September 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Ted

      You racist jerk.

      September 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Jess

      We cant know about the Holocaust?! What?!
      But, regardless, Bill Nye's ethnicity has nothing to do with his views.
      This is attack is full of racism, false facts, and fallacies.
      -_-

      September 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • casey

      that is a remarkably well spelled editorial from a fanatical lunatic and anti-Semite. The holocaust wasnt mind blowing because of its numbers, it was(the first) state sponcered INDUSTRIALIZED genocide. it took genocide into the modern era, all by a very "civilized" nation.
      stop picking on the jews for no good reason its very cliche, almost as old as adam and eve.
      this is really for the readers not the looney toon who wrote the original comment :)
      -a jew who google "bill nye jewish?"
      .

      April 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Warbo

      You know, I'm Christian, I don't necessarily like Bill Nye's hardline stance on religion, and I guess somewhere in your twisted mind you probably somehow think you're helping the cause of Christianity by spewing hate on the Jews, (or perhaps you're just an Atheist who's trying to make Christians look bad) but you're not helping. Christ didn't hate the Jews, so why do you think you or anyone else should?

      December 2, 2013 at 4:55 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.