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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. required

    whatever mr. nye. it seems to me that the primary objective is to scientifically prove evolution as law. as it stands now, it is nothing but a fairly tale of missing holes. at least creationism as a pseduo-science has myth to fall back on. evolution has nothing. and as a scientific theory it is nothing but improbable speculation. until the origin of life can be explained sufficiently in scientific terms this debate will go nowhere, just as it has for the past 100 years. move over darwin, intelligent design is here to stay.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Even if intelligent design was correct, it does not prove the existence of God.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Horus

      Evolution has:1) fossil record 2) has been observed in nature 3) vestigal organs in living species including humans....I can go on but you will never learn what you think you already know.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • donna

      Evolution is an observable fact. It doesn't matter whether you call it a law or not (and "law" is no longer used in science, btw).

      August 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • ME II

      @required,
      Incorrect.
      science doesn't deal in "proof".
      In Science theories are not promoted to laws. Theories are well substantiated well tested explainations of how the world works.
      There is plenty of evidence supporting evolution:
      fossils such as ambuloceteaus, tiktaalik, archeooptyrx, etc.
      biogeography such as marsupials, peguins, etc.
      genetics such as Endogeneous Retroviruses (ERVs), Human Chromosome-2, etc.

      The origin of life is referred to abiogenesis and is not part of biological evolution.

      Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory and doesn't have any evidence to support it.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Joe

      Fairy tale with missing holes???? sounds like the bible not evolution

      August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  2. dawn

    If God wanted to win us over on faith so that our love for him would be more pure, could he not create everything in 6 days and disguise it to look like millions of years of evolution. I think most Christians believe in evolution. Heck, you see proof of it all the time. It does not cancel out a creator having a hand it it.
    I think most Christians realize that the idea of a God seems far-fetched. On the other hand, from a scientific viewpoint matter is neither created nor destroyed therefore everything you see, smell, taste and touch shouldn't have come into existence.
    The whole idea of something coming from nothing is so completely impossible in it's own rite that is no less impossible than the idea of their being a greater conscience that created it. If both options are equally quite impossible, why would it be considered ignorant to choose one impossible belief over the other since when it comes down to it either option is a choice of faith?

    August 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  3. Lucy

    Why are you atheists even on this religion board if you don't believe? You protesteth too much!! I think you're all afraid you may be wrong. And you are!

    August 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Lucy, we are here to fight for intelligence and reality and defeat stupidity and mythology worship. It matters to us.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • ME II

      From this very site, emphasis added:

      "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 Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero."

      When Religion no longer has a role in our lives, as Bill Nye is stating in this very article, then you may claim this blog your own.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • donna

      Did you even read this article?

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

      Yes keeping waiting for your Saviour to show his face any day now. You'll be waiting the rest of your life and so will your kids and their kids, and their kids.......

      August 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • John

      Yes, we're afraid. We're afraid of ignorant imbecils such as yourself who are taking us back to the dark ages.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  4. kirk

    lol calling them self wise they became as fools

    you twits how finite understand infinite lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

    August 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Try again in English and use grammar next time.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  5. Heather

    Believing in Creationism and believing in a higher power (God, Allah, Big Sky Genie - whatever you decide to call it) are NOT the same thing. Creationists believe the Earth is around 6000 years old and humans just appeared. Believing in God means you believe there is some higher power that created and/or guides everything on Earth. Why people insist on making these things mean one and the same, I have no idea.

    My major was in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and one of my minors was Comparative Religion. They are mutually exclusive and you can believe both without contradiction.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • required

      moral of the story: never trust guys wearing bow ties.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Josh

      Mutually exclusive means that they cannot exist at the same time. Are those degrees from univ. of phoenix?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  6. Observer

    By far, the greatest proof of the existence of the talking animals in the Bible is Mr. Ed.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  7. Joe

    Try and see the world for what it TRULY is and not what a book tells you it is. You see, all biblical accounts/events found in the gospels were recorded years, and in some cases hundreds of years, after the death of Jesus. If a book, written eons ago, tells me that long ago pigs could fly and walk on water, am i just to believe what it says despite what I know? Did you know that there are many many more gospels written about your precious 'Jesus' that are not in your beloved book. Some that portray him as a mortal (like Islam) and some as not such a nice individual. Those found in the bible today were in effect 'voted' in by the Holy Roman Emperor Constantine in the 4th century and all others deemed heresy. I believe Religion has run it's course, today it does more harm than good. Over hundreds of years wars, have been fought and millions of lives lost due to religious prejudice and beliefs. Not of it was worth it. We, as a society, should have moved past this by now. After all, it was the Ancient Egyptians who initially believed the moon (Amun) and sun (Ra) were gods. We know today what these are and they're not gods. The Ancient Greeks followed Zeus and his gods. We now know today no gods reside on Mt.Olympus. Only a matter of time before the same happens with Christianity and Jesus.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Lucy

      Hey Joe. There can only be ONE truth - the rest is either ignorance or deceit. And your discussion of the Bible is wrong.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Joe

      Lucy I'm an educated individual and have studied the bible. My history on the bible is in fact correct. I know, ignorance is bliss

      August 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  8. XAQ

    Some things are impossible, but anything that is possible, however unlikely, WILL occur given enough chances. Chances in this case would be the amount of time since the big bang, divided by the average amount of time it would take for life to evolve from the correct ingredients, and then multiplied by the number of celestial bodies. In geology, we call these "rare events," like a bollide impact. They're called "rare" because they almost never happen over human timescales (or human history), but over millions or billions of years, they happen many, many times. Given enough chances, even the most improbable event becomes inevitable.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  9. Grumpy

    I do not now, never have, and never will see the inconsistencies between religion and evolution. Religions exist to help us live together in this world. Attributing creation to our "gods" is a spiritual activity, not a scientific one. One can be religious and accepting of evolution. Any questions?

    August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • donna

      It depends on what religion you are referring to. But creationism specifically opposes scientific evidence.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  10. Phil

    believing in God does not mean you can't believe in evolution as well. It's obvious that animals and plants change over time. 6 days at the beginning of time could translate into billions of years as God is timeless. for those of you who bash Christianity and creationism need to consider this. With all of our knowledge, have we ever been able to create life from amino acids as our brilliant scientists say happen? I find it just as unlikely that "life" just happened out of nothingness. so if Christians can't prove god exists, just create life and I'll reconsider.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Scientists don't believe life happened out of nothing. The hard science is done and verified. You are uneducated.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • donna

      Maybe you aren't following, but creationism and evolution are not compatible ideas. And just because we can't do something, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen in the universe. Are you truly under the impression that we can replicate every existing process in the universe?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Angelad

      If I were God I would want to have fun with the things I have created. So why not have evolution? I learned in high school – a CATHOLIC- highschool how to pair scientific facts with events in the bible. The plauges that hit Egypt were all proven by science...the locusts, for example – a natural phenomenon SO yes, Phil – I agree with your train of thought – don't take the bible at "face value" remember folks back then had to have things "dumbed down" for them to understand it better. Anyway – I am sure to be bashed by others so let the bashing begin....

      August 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • BioHzrd

      Evolution doesn't make any claim about how the earth or time began so yes you can believe in God and also "support" (not "believe" since evolution is not a belief system but a testable scientific fact, big difference) evolution. Evolution makes no claim about how amino acids, RNA and DNA came to being. Never has. What we as scientists object to is creationism being held as an equal "scientific" theory to evolution by when it cannot be experimentally tested, cannot undergo scientific rigor, and above all addresses a completely different question (origin of LIFE vs origin of SPECIES).

      August 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • H. Tiberius Miser

      The fact that in order to get you to even begin reconsidering your religious you require that we CREATE LIFE FROM NOTHINGNESS speaks volumes about the debate.

      I'm an atheist. Throw me ANY evidenciary bone and I'll reconsider my whole world-view. That's what science is about.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Jayboom05

      Well they made a synthetic cell

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559004575256470152341984.html

      August 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Christopher

      Phil... WE have created life. It was a simple single-celled organism made in a petri dish, but we have created synthetic life. That was achieved last year. This year, we have also developed artificial DNA that we call XNA. You should really read more scientific papers; we are achieving things that our cavemen ancestors credited the Gods with doing because they didn't know how the natural world worked and needed some supernatural explanation. Now, when you get sick, you do not 'pray' to get better, you go to the hospital and get help from a professional doctor who is trained in healing you through 'natural' means – we were burning witches at the stake 300 years ago for doing the exact thing that pharmacists and doctors are doing now. We allow the blind to see again by implanting a special microchip, use lasers, or stem cells in the eye socket. We can send astronauts into the 'heavens'. We can allow the paralyzed to walk again by giving them artificial legs or by re-stimulating broken nerves. We don't need God anymore to fill in the gaps – science has shown itself to be the only truth and hope for humanity's future. Why cling to something that was written at a time when man thought that the world was flat, that didn't know anything about dinosaurs or germs. The only thing that the Bible is ... is a story – a fictional story.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  11. solex

    Moral = Doing what is right no matter what.
    Religion = Doing what you are told no matter what.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Dan Wood

      The problem with the theory of evolution is that it is just a theory.
      We have yet to see any scientific evidence to support this theory.
      If evolution is an on-going process, where are the species that
      are currently in transition?
      I think it takes more blind fait to believe in the theory of evolution
      thant it does to believe in God. . .

      August 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Alex

      What do you mean Dan? Humans are in transition ourselves. The human appendix, coccyx (mini tail), wisdom teeth are all examples of organs that are no longer of use to humans but still encoded in our DNA. We are witnessing these structures (slowly) go away.

      Google "vestigial structures" and promise me you're not a troll

      August 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • W-squared

      @Dan Wood

      You are clearly not scientifically literate and do not understand the concept of evolution. Go find a dictionary and look up what an Allele frequency means. Hopefully that'll shed a bit of light on your understanding of the Universe.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • nateblouin

      Dan, you are the person being referred to by my man Bill. First look up the definition of "theory", then do some research on evolution and then let us know how you feel. Why don't we see these processes in practice in front of our eyes? Because they take tens of thousands of years for the changes to occur. And yes, the earth is actually many tens of thousands pf years old.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Bender

      Wow Dan Wood, you are one of the people that Mr. Nye is talking about. "evolution is a theory, not yet proven." Really? If you believe that I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Take your blinders off and accept it. When the majority of these people who believe like you die off the world will be a better place. Your arrogance is astonishing.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  12. mk

    It's interesting to me that the atheists who post on these sites seem to be the most uncaring, non-charitable people I've ever heard. Every word is calling someone else a name and ridiculing someone's beliefs. They provide a wonderful example of intolerance and I'd rather never be a part of a group like that. War is not created because of religion. It comes from intolerance of others. Some people can be more intolerant of others. The atheists on this string are showing their strong warring side right now.

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

      It's cute that you think you can tell who's atheist on this board.

      Let me guess: "does not agree with my views or says something mean = atheist".

      I have news for you...

      August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • solex

      Sorry, but nothing and I mean NOTHING has caused more death, misery, and destruction than organized religion. Entire cultures have been wiped off the earth in the name of "God", "Allah" or whatever invisible man in the sky is the flavor du jour.

      Atheists do not try to convert anyone to anythig. We pity the lack of self respect and dignity that religious people show themselves by submitting to group think.

      It is easier for you to be judgemental when you have millions of people that share your delusions.

      BUt don't you DARE accuse others of being unwilling or unable to accept another's point of view.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • snowboarder

      ironically, i can not think of one time in this country that an atheist ever attacked another individual whose beliefs differed from theirs.

      i bet you can't say the same for your religion.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • just a John

      I assume you have one religion or another, are you as tolerant to the people of other religions or only those that you are in bed with, that mumble the same prayers to the idol you approve of. Most religious sects are the most intolerant of people that do not believe as they do and you prove it.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Berman

      Solex, actually atheists have become extraordinarily "evangelical" lately. They take to the internet in droves (although it would be ridiculous to assert there is some sort of central coordination) and lambaste the false faith of others and try to convert people to atheism. The people I know who are the most likely to constantly try to get me to share their religious (or lack thereof) views are my atheist friends. The only people who REALLY don't try to convert others are us (Jews) and maybe the Buddhists.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • krad1964

      An unfortunate characteristic of holding a ridiculous position is the tendency of attracting ridicule.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • W-squared

      You know sometimes when 1+1 = 2, but some people tell you its a window? The argument is sterile and pointless. Please let scientists do their work.

      Its not an intolerance of religion, its an intolerance of ignorance.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Bender

      No war is crated over religion AND Intolerance. Crusades ring a bell? Fights between extreme Muslims and Jews? I have no problem with you believing in what you believe, I just don't want you spouting it to everyone as truth.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  13. MM

    Well if you believe man rode around on dinosuars like creationists do then we are never gonna advance in science vs the rest of the world. We might as well believe the world is still flat and the earth is the center of the 6,000 year old universe.

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

      Haven't you seen the Flintstones?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  14. Cody

    Either this board is full of trolls...or I weep for the future.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  15. Burnell

    A inability to distinguish faith and science shows inflexibility of mind. It is true that many scientists in the past believed in a creator, why did they have no problem with evolution and why do so many people of today have problems, maybe they don't understand science.

    Science isn't atheistic, if you are believer, and are flexible enough evolution shouldn't be problem. Its presuming you can prove your faith that becomes a problem, don't try to, otherwise what's the point of faith in the first place?

    Separate your belief in God and science, the two do not mix, despite so many attempts to make them fit, take as your example all the other believer scientists who had little problem with evolution simply because they rightly thought it made their God even more magnificent.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  16. Thrasher

    Bill Nye stated: "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,"

    Funny that Werner Von Braun (the man whose brilliance and determination led the USA to overtake the USSr in the 1960's space race to the moon) was a Christian who believed in Creationism. And his technical accomplishments DWARF those of almost every other engineer who lived in the 20th century. There are many others. Bill Nye needs to check his facts before opening his mouth.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Sagian

      I can walk into a WalMart and find 25 creationists working there.

      I bet you can't do that at CERN.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • just a John

      Not to mention that old Werener was A Nazi that was snapped up by us because he knew how to build rockets that bombed Britian, the U2. He did give up using slave labor when he worked for NASA a step in the right direction for rehabilitation.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Thrasher

      The Nazi comment is cute but is a spin from the facts. There are many other God-believing people who contributed significantly to our society: Johannes Kepler (mathematician & astronomer), Rene Descartes (mathematician & philosopher), Gregor Mendel (geneticist), Robert Boyle (chemist et al), Lord Kelvin (scientist), Michael Faraday (scientist on electricity and magnetism), Max Planck (atomic theory). I could go on and on. The bottom line is that believing in God does not reduce one to being an idiot. Bill Nye may be the "science guy" but he is not a politician and as such should buy better-tasting shoes if he is to continue stating such nonsense.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  17. mrjackson777

    Scientific facts are derived from things we observe and prove. Evolution is a THERORY! No one has seen a monkey turn into man. Believing in Evolution is beleiving in something without the evidence to prove it. Sounds like faith to me. We all have faith in something. Critisizing some ones beliefs beacuse yours are differnt is exactly what intollerance and bigotrary is about.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Reality

      Might want to invest in an evolutionary product called a spell-checker.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • sbp

      You have a kindergardener's understanding of evolution and the definition of scientific theory.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • snowboarder

      you really don't know much about evolution do you?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • creative36

      Evolution is not a theory. Scientist see evolution all the time in the lab. Viruses and bacteria evolve very rapidly. Its child abuse to teach children any religion.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Sagian

      There is plenty of evidence for evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Sean

      LMFAO!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Thrasher

      creative 36 is wrong. Scientists do not see evolution with the microbes – they see adaptation. Those viruses and bacteria adapt to new conditions in order to maintain the population but are still viruses and bacteria. The scientists do not see a bacterium turn itself into a multi-celled organism with a different number of chromosomes. That's what EVOLUTION requires!

      August 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  18. Jesus was a space alien

    Tell that to the 10,000 lunatics at the GOP convention. Half of the creationists are down there this week.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sadly at 46% theres still 143 million believers in creationism who are not at the RNC convention in Tampa

      August 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  19. Dan in Missouri

    To me this is the pinacle of our self-endulged self-adulating American culture to think that we know all there is to know... Think about it for just a minute. We know we are on a spec of sand within a universe we do not understand beyond what we can see in the night sky and deduct from sending objects into near orbit, yet based on that limited experience Bill Nye is willing to claim that in the entirity of the universe there is no God... If Bill were to apply the scientific theory to the evidence he has and then estimate the evidence within the universe he would have to conclude he does not have enough data within his grasp to make a valid scientific conclusion... WHAT HUBRIS

    August 27, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Burnell

      I don't think we read the same article, he wasn't denying the existence of God, just the stupidity of creationism, believe it or not God could still have created the universe and there could still be evolution, the two are not mutually exclusive.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Bender

      He's not claiming to know everything. Which allows me to turn the table on you and claim the same thing. So you and others who have this view are "self-endulged self-adulating American culture," because you will not open your mind to the possibility that there may not be something that crated you, just a random cosmic accident.

      I challenge to think on the possibility that when you die that's it and there is no more, but you won't know any better because you ceased to be once your brain dies. But since your ego is so great (along with a great many other people) you just can't be wrong and there MUST be a god, a heaven and hell. Because who wants to die and not be anymore?

      August 28, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things says

    See proof of creationism at saladandchips.com.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:30 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.