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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. Beleiver

    My dad was an atheist in the 1950s who tore the first page of genesis as unscientific as it talks about the creation of light in the first day and the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day- but the tables were turned when he encountered a vision from a" speaking God" which motivated him to read the Bible and understand the scientific aspect of it. There are other lights like the "Northern Lights", "Laser" ..etc.which give out lights as well...

    August 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • sam

      I believe what you're trying to say is, he had a stroke.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mark

      Did he take some LSD or something?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • just a John

      LDS or LSD, whatever

      August 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  2. Galileo Galileo

    Man never went to the moon, there are no cell phones, there are no satellites in space, just because species adapt and evolve doesn't mean they adapt and evolve. Just because carbon dating works doesn't mean there weren't dinosaurs in Egypt in 3000 B C. , in fact they used to ride on them. Just because creationism is a made up fable etc. etc. Denial, Denial, Denial. Hubble telescope? Isn't that one of those funny tubes if you turn it you see pretty patterns.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  3. colorado man

    interestingly, there was something i read a while back relating IQ to religion. Basically, the higher the IQ, the percentage of people in that IQ bracket that believe in God declines. Whatever the MENSA or genius club is, I don't think any of them believe. I guess that is why so many religious people are so dumb...

    August 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Pennsylvania man

      Einstein believed in god.

      August 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Joel

    How on earth is it more reasonable to reject our own observations about biochemistry, paleontology, and physics, and instead embrace as true fact the fever dreams of some ancient desert nomads? I will never understand that. Search ancient texts for wisdom about the human condition, but consult scientists for facts about science.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  5. An Atheist's Perspective

    A couple questions for Creationists:

    1) Why exactly do you deny evolution? You say it's because it's counter to what's taught in Genesis; but when I ask you about other things in the Bible those are " just metaphors". Is only Genesis literal? Which account?

    2) Why do you deny ONLY evolution? The Bible says that Jesus went up a mountain and saw the whole world. Geography says the world is round so that's impossible. Why aren't you protesting Geography?

    3) You claim evolution and the idea we came from apes (despite the fact this is a misunderstanding of evolution) is "dehumanizing". Why? You believe we were made from DIRT.

    Thanks,
    -AAP

    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Something I picked up here today:

      The irony of fundamentalist interpretation of the bible is that the literal statements are considered metaphors and the metaphorical statements are considered facts.

      Metaphors: Genesis (Yet fundies believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old)
      Literal: Jesus said adultery is wrong (Yet how many adulterous fundies sit in pews on Sundays?)

      August 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  6. Huey1

    1. If Dinosaurs lived along side humans in Biblical times, wouldn't whatever killed the dinos also have killed all of mankind
    2. If nothing killed off all the Dino's, why don't any of them still exist beyond Alligators and some Lizards.
    3. Space is too big for there not to be live on another plant in another Universe
    4. Global warming is a Scientific made term to scare people when the earth is actually just emerging out of an Ice Age (earth's climit is cyclical)
    5. If God created Adam and Eve (the only 2 humans at the time), then how did Cain and Abel procreate without have incestuous relationships with their own sisters. Wouldn't that mean that every man and woman on earth are related to one another.
    6. If God flooded the earth, then mankind was saved but the above type of incestuous relationships

    7. I don't beleive the US ever went to the Moon. If we did, why is taking nearly 30 yeasr to go back and why are they building the same capsule design they supposedly used in the original mission?

    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • sam

      Oh...god, I just don't have enough palms to facepalm over this as much as it deserves.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • owl96

      To answer number 7...I just saw a new house the finished. It looks a lot like the one further down finished in 1898. Why do they keep building the same houses over. Oh, they are very different inside. The capsules look the same because both the old and new are designed for re-entry. We still have the same atmosphere as we did in 1960. We have not gone back to the moon because at this time we are not ready to expand the science of the moon for the returns we might get. We have not decided to place a base on the moon because of the cost. We will go back when we have a reason to do so and at a price that mankind is willing to pay.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  7. Arch

    just more proof that today's craven republican party (aka, The Very Silly Party) could not care less about the welsfare of the citizens in the US, its care is solely about winning elections – and is willing to lie, distort and bully, to get the result it wants. can't wait for "pray the gay away day" should the republicans win in november.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  8. S-Hug

    If evolution happens to be God's technique for creation, who are we to question His methods?

    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • OOO

      How would you know without questioning?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • factoidjunkie

      What if evolution is a technique all by itself and doesn't need any outside help?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Stan

      Who are we? Thinking human beings. That's who.

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

      @hug that is the kind of il-logic that scares people like us. how can you rationalize rocks being dated by the millions of years, yet you still think "a creator" was required.

      i have to give it to the church they are really really good in brain washing tactics maybe our CIA could learn from them.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • tj

      That is not what Bill Nye is saying. All he is saying is that denying evolution is counterproductive to our future, and that it doesn't matter if you believe whether or not God created evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  9. davidholson

    Remember, the Sun use to revolve around a flat Earth. Thoughts change over time.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  10. rmkzoo

    If Mr. Nye's premise is correct, then how did the nearly 100% creationist culture of the early US produce the economic and technological world leader from almost nothing in a matter of a few hundred years?

    Discussions of spontaneous proteins vs the "little bang" aside, his causal relationship is as much of a stretch as that which he condemns.

    Sounds like the rantings of an angry atheist which, in the end, are indistinguishable from those of the bible thumper.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • naestyoh

      They did it despite ridicule, ostracization and punishment of death. Read your history books.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mike

      you are missing the point, while what we have done is great, we could do so much more, so much quicker if we as a society realize the scientific truths of reality. The earth and universe are billions of years old, evolution certainly happened. None of this means that there isn't something greater at work behind the curtains, but do not believe word for word what a very old book says about our planet and its inhabitants being created in 6 days sometime over the last 10,000 years.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @rmkzoo

      More to the point, why is the world overtaking us?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • rmkzoo

      "Read your history books". Exactly the point however one needs to actually read them, not read things into them.

      And, if one was to look for modern-day examples of "ridicule, ostracization and punishment of death" there can be no better example than China, the worlds premier example of an atheist society.

      They will have their day in the economic spotlight but at what cost, and just how far will the ripples go when it all comes crashing down?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  11. WHO CARES!!

    This is why people hate each other, because everyone has to shove it in each others faces...just live your own freakin life and focus on your own problems

    August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Mason

      We should all care. Left unchecked this backwards thinking leads people to fly planes into buildings.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • darth cheney

      We got half a country that believes 2+2=5 and not only lives life accordingly but campaigns to get the other half to believe same, and your advice is that we should just all bury our heads in the sand? Anything that dumbs down that many of us is a problem for all of us, not just a few of us.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • David L.

      The education, or lack thereof, of our children is all of our problems. I don't care if you believe in God, or you don't. But if parents are forcing our schools to deny our children a proper scientific education, we're all going to pay the price.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • JMM

      If you pay attention you would see that the entire social agenda of the GOP is to push their religious values on the entire country. Thankfully that is also the very reason they keep failing. I agree that we should all just mind our own business, but when you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of religious fundamentalist, they are not going to rest until they subject the rest of us with their forms of control. really sad that people walk over the 1st amendment with zero consequences.

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

      I totally Agree. Live and let live.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • TX Red

      No. This is not the stuff that you just allow everyone to chose what they believe. Not if you want to live in a country that is at all relevant to the future of our species. Denial of science is HARMFUL to our society and creationism deserves not a shred of validation.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  12. 2/8

    .......good ol' U.S.A., always thinking they can explain the entire universe. Good luck guys. This is hilarious.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      On the contrary 2/8, science knows very well there is much more to learn. And it is very exciting. Reality is always more interesting than fiction.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Mammoth1

      And what brain trust country do you herald from?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Which God?

      @2/8. This has got to be your hat size, right? Thought so, such small thought processes.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  13. jackthegeek

    IthinkItThrough , I think you do not think and just agrees on everything like the Solyndra guys who filed bankruptcy. Do your homework further about carbon dating so ou won't be seen as an idiot. LOL

    August 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Mammoth1

      Feel free to go back and read your post and bask in your Neanderthal-like grasp of the English language before you call other people idiots.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  14. Pete

    God is a natural part of the Evolution process. Without god, we don’t exist. God is the very fabric of Life within all living things.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      god is a natural part of insanity.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • just a John

      Nice to know. Ah! which one, no really, which one, should I send my money to in order to get saved...Praise the ????

      August 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Doug

      Prove it.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Which God?

      @Pete. You mean I have an alien being living in me? Aaaaaagh!

      August 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  15. David L.

    I think it is incredibly dangerous, and irresponsible to deny our children a proper scientific education because of religion. If we are going to teach our kids science, they need to learn it all. School is for math, science, language, etc. Church is for religion. If we can't force churches to teach science, churches can't force schools to teach religion.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • nimitta

      Well said!

      August 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Seriously?

      I personally wish adults were banned from teaching children religion at all. Anyone who has ever watched a child cry because he is afraid Santa Claus saw him break mommy's vase knows that children believe pretty much ANYTHING they are told by the adults around them. It is abusive to teach children that some guy is watching everything they do and will torture them for all eternity in a giant fire filled with demons if they're "bad." I don't know why we act like we have to "respect" the "right" of people to make their children mentally ill.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  16. DefyTheGods

    You go, Bill!

    August 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Monica P

    The idiocy of Bill Nye is unique to himself.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • birch please

      ...And the best and brightest from all over this tiny rock we call home.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Mammoth1

      Which part? THe part where he's right?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Karen

      Monica, go wash your dress.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Which God?

      Monica, I think that you are the prime example of idiocy. Doesn't your buybull call for compassion for otheres? Hummm?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  18. Charles

    It is somewhat absurd for an MEP to comment about evolution. I think the man is going somewhat outside of the scope of his expertise. I'd rather hear from someone who has a biology background rather than mechanical engineering.

    It is not too genuine to allow an MEP the ability to comment about a matter outside of his education, skill, training and experience.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Homer

      Ad hominem fallacy.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Which God?

      Hey Charlie. Then you are completely out of your league to comment in the comments section. Your post means nothing. Zip.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Luke Emery

      Look up Richard Dawkins.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  19. just a John

    Have you been sniffing the draino?

    August 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • just a John

      Oops, meant for the janitor.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  20. MasonJar

    Nye is over-reacting.

    A belief in creationism doesn't "hold everyone back". As the article states, many creationists embrace other fields of science without issue. "Belief" in evolution isn't necessary to be a successful doctor, engineer, scientist, or taxpayer. The subject just isn't applicable to normal, everyday life.

    Heck, it's not even applicable to everyday scientific life. "Belief" in evolution isn't going to help launch a rocket, build a bridge, perform a heart transplant, or predict climate change.

    Get over it, Bill. It's no big deal and you know it.

    August 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      @MasonJar

      You are incorrect. It is a very big deal. Teaching our nation's children to believe in myth, superst.i.tion and fantasy is even now having a profound affect on our advancement as a nation and world-wide. A fundamental understanding of reality is our only logical future. We must take back reason and advance as a people to survive.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Matt

      Fundamentally it does hold someone back. By believing the Earth is 6000-10000 years old you are effectively saying dinosaurs and man hung out together. A person doesn't have the right timeline of how old some species and organisms are and just their overall timeline of life is off. It hinders a person's ability to understand other aspects of science and life in general by believing god created the world.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • theamazingwhitebread

      Thanks, MasonJar, that's exactly what I was thinking. To imply that non-belief in evolution stops one from being able to be an engineer or to "build stuff and solve problems," is stupid at best, an intentional misrepresentation of truth at worst. What a ridiculous little man. Maybe he misses his show and wants people to pay attention to him again?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Science

      The mere fact that we still even discuss creationism as a viable is what's holding us back. To equate the same belief in creationism with evolution is what scares most of us and why we can't truly move forward until we all get on the same page.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Horus

      Argue all you wish but it is a fact that you cannot be a truly objective scientist in any field (or person for that matter) if your perceptions are limited to the boundaries of any religion. That's just reality.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • chaseshire

      so does "embracing" include carbon dating???

      August 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Which God?

      @MAsonJar. S'matter, got a bad batch in that jar? Stuff burned out the two braincells you had? Dumb post bud.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Mike

      <>

      Yet it is necessary to be a successful biologist. Which is the point.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • MasonJar

      Nonsense. I'm a teacher, scientist, and engineer.

      You're just blowing smoke. It's no big deal. You just don't like the fact someone doesn't agree with you.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:31 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.