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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. Horus

    Where's Neil Degrasse Tyson when you need him....oh yeah...he's probably still explaining to Orielly that we DO understand why the tides go in and out ;-} Here's what I say to creationists – you don't have to agree with science; nobody can force you to be right.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • jrzydvl

      There is a reason they call it the "THEORY" of evolution. There is no scientific proof of evloution. There are bits and pieces that scientists are trying to put together. Just today I read about the discovery of another species of "man". Is there enough conclusive scientific proof to accept any "THEORY" ? Scientists seem to be sitting this out as they gather more and more data.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • incredulous argument

      Jrz,
      Buddy ol' pal, proof is for math and good whiskey, not science. Science deals in theories, based on evidence, ever heard of The Theory of Gravity? Yeah thats just a theory too, but I don't see you disbelieving or railing against gravity.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Uncle Spooge

    I love stories like this, I a so tired of pandering to crazy christian nuts. Because the crazy Christians vote we have change the way people are educated in order to mix their made up BS in with actual facts. You are all holding back your children and the human race, if politicians didn't need your votes nobody would give a crap about you.... Sorry its just the elephant in the room.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  3. Steve

    The debate over origins took a sharp turn toward an intentionally engineered universe and away from accidental causation when fine tuning became apparent. The most popular argument to explain fine tuning in a naturalistic framework is the "multiverse" argument which states that there are billions of universes and this one just happens to be the one where it all worked out. Makes me wonder who is really relying on faith...

    August 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • T

      I love the tacit admission you make that faith is a bad thing. I laugh at the notion that you think scientific opposition thinks everything happened by chance. Read up on determinism. It will set you straight.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  4. Margaret

    It is fine to believe in God and the Bible, but consider that if God made the world in 6 days, maybe his days are not the same as ours. If God is great, God is big, then He can have as many hours in his day as he wants. Don't be so limiting. How many hours are there on a day on Mercury? How many hours are there on Jupiter? Why judge God on Earth hours?

    August 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • snowboarder

      why ascribe to any belief in a god at all?

      one thing is certain, with the innumerable deities, religions and doctrines today and throughout history.

      man is very adept at creating god.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • luvnpeace

      Actually Margaret your right, the bible makes it very clear that a day to god is like a thousand years to man. It actually took 6,000 years, not days. 🙂

      August 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  5. Curly

    Bill, Why dose the world use the seven day week? I know that during the French Revolution the 10 day week was tried but soon reverted back to the seven day week. Why not a week of five days or 15 days but no the world has used the seven day week through out recorded history. That is because God did created the world in six days and on the seventh day He sanctified it and made it a memorial of creation.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • T

      See, curly, that's the kind of erroneous thinking he's addressing. Your argument is:
      1. We have a 7 day week.
      2. Therefore, god exists.

      I hope you're just trolling for lolz.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Lee

      Wow, if that's your argument, I'd hate to spend even one second inside your tiny brain!

      August 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • sam

      Wow.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Monica

      Nice try, but before you try to seem, keyword there 'seem,' like you know more than Bill, you should learn how to spell does, or at least use your spell check, browsers come with that now. But of course they didn't teach you that when you researched 7 day week on wikipedia now did they?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  6. happyhshoe

    Nye is a tool. From the goo, through the zoo, to you. If evolution really works, why haven't there been any fully assembled 747's come flying up out of the massive airplane graveyards in Arizona? Or even a primitive one? If we are all the result of random chance, then why don't you Rolex owners who believe that, take your Rolex, place it in a Crown Royal bag, pull the drawstrings closed, and smash them into little bits with a hammer? I mean, they'll reassemble themselves if you just give them enough time.
    What a tool!

    August 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Brandon

      please don't breed

      August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Get over it

      lol, seriously? Are you that stupid? Don't you have a cheeseburger to flip?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Um

      Um – Airplanes and Rolexes aren't alive. You vote republican don't you.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • T

      This would make sense if evolution had anything to do with mechanical engineering and meteorology. Have you ever wondered why the person who made that argument hasn't won any awards for destroying the theory of evolution? I'd put money on it being because the argument makes no sense whatsoever.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • JC

      Evolution is not random. Yes, there may be random mutations in an organism, but the organisms that survive are anything but random. Only those mutations that bring about improvements are likley to carry forward.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • sam

      Sigh. Are you for real?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Monica

      Obivously you don't recall anything from high school biology, you probably didn't graduate. Ahem, Galapagos islands ring a bell? Natural Selection? Darwin maybe? Luckily for you social darwinism isn't enforced in our society and you're allowed to pollute the gene pool of humanity with your ignorance. Keep thinking inanimate objects can go through evolution, maybe your computer will become a transformer and eat you.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Steve

      So what is your rebuttal for the fine tuning argument? The multiverse? Good luck with that one. All of you who sat in college biology and nodded you head while you were not given all the evidence need to get current. The latest research points to a universe ENGINEERED for life. Darwinian evolution has had to scramble to attempt to plug the holes in the theory.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  7. basic123

    Our school system should promote rational thinking and intelligence, not the other way around!

    August 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  8. Sean K

    check out the video UNLOCKING th MYSTERY of LIFE on google video. this is one of dozens of videos with actual evidence and not just idle pontification. If you have have a shred of intellectual integrity then u with jump from nye and his kinds ship and embrace TRUTH. Evolution = a fairy tale for grownups

    August 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Eric G

      The evidence you speak of is not verifiable and cannot be tested. This makes it the definition of pontifiication.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • colonelklunk

      Evolution will prove you to be obsolete.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  9. Who

    Who created God??????

    August 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Margaret

      God's father and mother?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Who

      With a BIG BANG?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Margaret

      LOL ! 😀

      Peace...

      August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Steve

      God is the prime mover. From him everything was set into motion no matter what mechanism one chooses to believe.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Horus

      Insecure humans.....

      August 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Sean K

      i believe there is a book about it.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  10. Torrance Kilpatrick

    The world is so messed up when full grown adults still believe in talking snakes, devils, and virgin births... crazy to think this is even a discussion. Let's read books and learn science math and history. Knowledge is the only way to find the true answers and true peace and love...

    August 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Steve

      Some very knowledgeable and intelligent people are responsible for some of the most horrific man made events in history. True peace will not come through knowledge.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  11. julmarie

    Christians who believe in literal 7 day creation are a small (but vocal) minority. The majority of Christian Americans, in fact, do believe in evolution, and, like Charles Darwin did in his later years, God as Creator. Through fossil evidence, we can prove that species evolved according to their types (ex – aquatic species, mammals, humans, arachnids, etc.) In Genesis, it says that all the species of the world were created according to their KIND. The evolution of kinds, including dinosaurs, are extremely Biblical, and support creationism. As for the time frame, the top Hebrew scholars of our day, including Southern Baptist John H. Sailhamer, would assert that the familiar phrase "In the beginning," that we usually skip over is packed with meaning. It was used throughout the hebrew torah (or Old Testament) to capture a span of time at the beginning of a king's rule. It could be months, or many years. By this logic, it is very possible – and likely – that the 7 days were sections of that unspecified span of time. Bill Nye, practice what you preach and do some research before getting on a soap box.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  12. L.W.

    I completely disagree with Bill Nye. The Lord created us and even from a non-Christian perspective, it totally makes sense. How in the world could humans, animals, and other organisms evolve enough to have the abilities to do certain functions (example: digest, breathe properly, etc...). God made us after His own image and specifically created us to glorify Him, so obviously He gave us different abilities in our bodies to live. Yes, things can evolve, but think about it–how can such an advanced community evolve (the world–Big Bang) and somehow prosper? It is implausible to understand. This theory was only created because humans could not admit that God created the universe. He even sent His Son to die for us because He loved us so much! There is much supportive evidence in Creationism and I suggest looking into it. I hope that everyone will see the truth in this matter and realize that God is the only way. I also pray that you will one day become one of His beloved children.

    In Christ,
    L.W.

    Psalm 96:13
    Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam

      I'm just going to go find something to bang my head against for a while.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • ME II

      Makes sense?

      You're just asking a bunch of questions. You're not offering any sense at all.

      "How in the world could humans, animals, and other organisms evolve enough to ...?"
      "how can such an advanced community evolve (the world–Big Bang) and somehow prosper?"

      August 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • PudninTane

      There is no, ZERO, none, nadda, zip scientific evidence for creationism. There isn't any because it didn't happen that way. However, just because it didn't happen the way it says in the Bible doesn't mean you can't believe in God or can't be a Christian. It just means you have to use your brain more. Science will never be able to answer everything, and there will always be plenty to have faith in. The Big Bang certainly did happen. But saying it originated through "quantum fluctuations" is about as descriptive, meaningful, and accurate as saying the flying spaghetti monster started it. Maybe we will eventually know, but we'll likely always be chasing after ultimate causality. I'm fine calling that God and I'm still fine as being Christian.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • cg

      With all due respect, just because you can't personally grasp how something could have happened does not mean it is ultimately un-graspable.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Rich

      If there is a god that created us, the mechanism would be perceived by humans in some way. Evolution does a pretty good job of explaining how we got here.

      If you believe that babies are a gift from god, then great. That doesn’t mean you can’t understand the path from intercourse, to conception, to gestation and finally birth. Evolution is kind of the same thing.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  13. Steve

    I don't think a "Big Bang" or explosion could result from a perfectly round sun that hasn't burnt out yet and planets that systematically revolve around a sun with such accuracy. And yes, there may be other Gods in charge of other gallaxies like ours competing in a creativity game. Winner take all someday!

    August 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Rich

      I think God can do whatever he wants. I mean, he's God.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • TravisL12

      It's all based on equilibrium. That's how the planets and stars have come to be where they currently are. They continue to move and change according to the forces around them. It's really not that complicated

      August 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  14. JL

    So Bill Nye continues to throw his atheist hat into the ring. I think it's time to see how smart he really is. Let's see him debate Dinesh D' Souza or perhaps Jason Lisle or Gary Parker. Granted, they don't do a lot of cheesy experiments for toddlers and tweens, but they write pretty insightful books and would blow Bill Nye out of his bow tie.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • ME II

      Too bad they don't do any actual science.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • bczu

      So if you're a good debater thats all that matters?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Science is not atheism

      There is copious data proving the universe is 13+ BILLION years old and that Earth is also a few billion years old. There is no data supporting the existence of an omnipotent being that created everything in 6 days. Religion is and always has been made up by people attempting to explain the world around them. Science has shown the true explanation for so many things.

      I will concede that we do not know everything there is to know. We will never know all there is to know. That does not prove the existence of a god. You should read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In it there is an interesting proof that God does not exist through the proof that he DOES exist.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  15. John

    apparently this guy was there

    August 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • ME II

      You mean there when the science was done? When the experiments were performed?

      He might have been there for some, I guess.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  16. icanthinkforme

    "As for me and my house; we will serve the Lord"(Joshua 24). This is what makes America great! Everyone has the right to believe or to reject the truth of God's Word. Most of the posters probably have not read much less studied the Word of God to see what is. I believe a big part of the reason for the rejection of God's Word is aconsequence of the very poor example that Christians have given of who and what we are. Jesus would be appalled by a lot of the things done in his name. The Church(the true church reflected in the scriptures) is the light of the world whether you believe it or not. I challenge you to read the Word and to have the courage to ask the God you don't believe in to help you understand it and I know your life will never be the same. If you choose to not do this..so be it. To coin the phrase from an old spiritual: On the great getting up morning, fare thee well, fare thee well.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      ican,

      1. Most non-believers have read your book. There is simply not a shred of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events told about in it.

      2. You did not "coin a phrase" with your old gospel song... that means that you originated it. You only quoted it.
      Here's another old one:

      Long-haired preachers come out every night,
      Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
      But when asked how 'bout something to eat
      They will answer with voices so sweet:

      Chorus:
      You will eat, bye and bye,
      In that glorious land above the sky;
      Work and pray, live on hay,
      You'll get pie in the sky when you die.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  17. D.Noble

    It's funny..Not all Christians believe in a Young Earth theology. I am a Christian and I belive that Micro Evolution is consistent with the Biblical creation account, just not the timeline.

    On the other hand..There is no evidence of Evolution between species..To believe that Human beings came from Apes is a leap of faith.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • PudninTane

      Except it's not. There is fossil evidence.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • MIchael

      Biologists, geneticists, and scientists make no distinction between microevolution and macroevolution; those terms only apply for people who can't understand evolution as a whole. A monkey doesn't "turn into" a human. A monkey evolves one small adaption after another over billions of years, be it a taller stature, a little less hair, a smaller nose, etc. A monkey doesn't turn directly into a human. There have been many offshoots evolved from monkeys which have since gone extinct.There are many species of fossils we have found that are "in-between" monkeys and humans. It requires no leap of faith at all. In effect, microevolution over billions of years equals macroevolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • ChokeOnYour Bible

      Except we didn't "come"from apes. Nothing in the fossil record states that. it actually shows that we SHARE A COMMON ANCESTOR with them....!!!! You have to actually understand what the "THEORY" of evolution means in order to understand how evolution works!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  18. LookAndSEE

    Evolution is pure religion based on bad science !
    NO where is there PROOF that matter came from nothing!
    Evolution breaks the natural laws of science. things left on their own will not get more complex.
    Let's say if the 1/10E250 chance of evolution happened and If a living species was to be 1st then what would it feed on?
    How would it feed it's self ?

    August 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      Your "logic" and "reasoning" are atrocious.

      Evolution is a fact. Modern biology and medicine depend on it.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • KC

      Even scientists don't think humans came from apes. Go crack open a science book and read it sometime.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Adam

      If evolution was based on bad science, then breeding of plants and animals for specific traits would be impossible. Matter did not come from nothing it came from a singularity. Entropy does not disprove evolution or really challenge it. The second law of thermodynamics doesn't include systems in which energy is put into it. Energy like the sun and chemical energy. Evolution has been proved in the lab. You can make a new species of fruit flies in a few weeks. PLEASE TAKE SOME SCIENCE COURSES!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • sam

      :: shakes head ::

      August 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • SSE

      And where, exactly, is the proof that matter came from God's magic wand?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • cg

      You seem to have no grasp of deep geological time, or you simply have a very poor understanding of how the theory describes the process of adaptation. At any rate, it doesn't state that organisms just pop into existence out of no where.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  19. spockmonster

    Honestly, I don't think 45% of people believe in creationism. I think what is happening is that people are taught from birth that if you profess not to belief in Christianity, then you are going to go to hell for all eternally, suffering terrible endless burning. So, to be safe, people continue believing in Christianity Religion, but if you told them there really wan't hell waiting for them, then 90% would admit they don't believe in it.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • LookAndSEE

      Read your Bible 4 yourself! Don't take other people opinion.
      Ecc 9:5 "The dead know nothing"
      Psalm 115:17 It is not the dead who praise the Lord,
      those who go down to the place of silence.
      Go to helltruth dot com to see the truth about the state of the dead!

      August 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  20. hopelessinseattle

    Thanks for the distinction atheist, I have debated with believers over what you call "new earth creationist" or creationism.

    It is difficult to fathom the power of God and reconcile that with scientific evidence that appears to be to the contrary. Could there be some other meaning to the words found in the creation story then what is generally accepted by Christians? Perhaps, I don't profess to know for certain. The thing is when you start picking out which parts of the Bible you believe and which you don't it creates issues, you then become the final judge and arbiter of what is from God and what is not and it isn't possible to know which is which. Thus one must accept the Bible as written or reject it as written. I for one accept it as written, however I am willing to concede my understanding and interpretations of specific parts of the Bible could be wrong.

    I believe with God all things are possible, He could have created everything in 6 days. I also concede there is physical evidence to the contrary and I have no idea how to reconcile the two.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • SSE

      The easiest way to reconcile the two is to get rid of the God part. It is just a bunch of mythology made up by people who thought the earth was flat.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Cordodriwood

      1 Samuel 16:14-15? You believe that part too? Careful my friend; not even the Rabbi studying the Torah eight hours a day take the Word as rigidly as you profess....
      Faith requires the use of the brain God gave you. His Word requires study and, importantly, interpretation.
      Genesis, evolution, macro and micro biology, physics etc. can be reconciled if you stop preaching dogma and open your mind.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Rich

      How about he's God and can do things any way he wants?

      How about the meaning of the bible is vastly more important than the historical accuracy of the bible? Why is that so hard to reconcile?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:25 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.