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. malik

    Evolution explains how species developed over successive generations. This theory is fine and acceptable, but it fails to explain how species originated in the first place. Bill Nye, you are the one who is narrow-minded! You can't slam creationism without scientifically explain how life created itself from dirt, let alone how dirt created itself.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Pander Bear

      Life didn't create itself from dirt you moron. You should stop posting your idiocy.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • ME II

      Science does not currently know how life first began, correct. That does not, however, have any effect on the Theory of Evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Tim_Yarro

      Electricity explains how electrons flow. This theory is fine and acceptable, but it fails to explain how electrons originated in the first place. Bill Nye, you are the one who is narrow-minded! You can't slam the belief that electricity does not exist without scientifically explain how electrons created itself.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Sue

      And how did god create himself?????

      August 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  2. ArthurP

    If you believe in Creationism you have the refuse to accept the basic premises of chemistry and physics. In doing so this removes you from the job pool for advanced and technological jobs. However, not to worry there will always be a requirement for people to have jobs the entail the phrase "Welcome to WalMart" and "Would you like fries with that?".

    August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  3. Michael

    When I look at I building I know there had to be a builder. The same holds true for the universe and all its splendor.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Karen

      Willful ignorance and blind extrapolation there on your part, Michael.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Mike

      So if there is a creator then there has to be a creator for the creator.
      In other words who created God?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • ME II

      Is a cave a building?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  4. Babs

    Let's ask the Hadon Collider...

    August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  5. All In Good Fun

    The slamming you hear are the states of TX, KS, and MO removing all references to Mr. Nye, and repudiating his very existence.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  6. The Myth

    It's not "creationism" per say that is the real story here. Every notable christian worth his weight ( I am myself, but I also studied evolution, anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, and the like in school) knows that things evolve in the universe. EVERYTHING on this planet evolves, even the man made objects we create ourselves have evolved.

    The question is what created evolution? In order for anything to evolve, it must first be created. No scientist on this planet can explain that question as fact, so Mr. Nye needs an education himself.

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

      You are actually taking some positive steps, but the claims of your religion for how speciation happened, how diseases spread, what causes disesases, and many other claims of your religion, are inconsistent with modern science such as evolution. You should pick either one or the other, and you know which one is supported by evidence.

      You are almost there. Toss the religion and move forward.

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

      The typical atheist wants you to reject creationism and religion out of hand, and take a scietific I.O.U. for all of those things that they can't explain "yet". Things like the concept of "nothingness". Ask them to explain the origin of the universe and "nothingness" to them is gas. They consistently start their "books" somewhere in the middle.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • JamesW

      Very true. It is funny Scientist pointing fingers and calling names of those that do not agree with their theory. Sounds familiar and not more smart than anyone else.And yes, it is a theory, it can not be proven, nothing regarding creation can. If you say it can, that is your opinion, but opinions are just that, they are not fact.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • fsjunkie

      Karen, you just seem perfectly at peace with the FACT that science will never be able to answer definitively all of those things around which your view of the world is centered. I've had more than my share of education up to the Masters level and beyond, and i'm 100% certain that evolution does not fully answer all of the questions. Organisms alone are just too...perfect to have "evolved" entirely from some pool of slime...that, by the way, just existed on its own. Science consistently starts its book from about chapter 5 and plows forward on assumptions. Consider the planet and the complexities of its species, the solar system, the galaxy, the universe, the unlikelihood that we humans are alone in it. That's a lot to take in and chalk up to evolution...some idea that some other human conceived while sitting on the toilet. Give me a break. Lol.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  7. innerselfdom

    For those who are using the "my kids" statement here: Just because you gave birth to them does not mean you own the rights on the full capabilities of their brain. You have a responsibility to teach them how to think LOGICALLY.

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

      I don't think belief in God stopped Newton, Kepler, Faraday or Sir Francis Bacon from achieving great scientific discoveries. No, they did it because they were Christians...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  8. Angel

    Any odds that Todd Akin believes in creationism?

    August 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  9. Kita

    I am a Christian, and I interpret the Bible as a series of parables and metaphors all designed as the moral guideline for my faith.

    I acknowledge that it was written for man and by man and is therefore not perfect, but I believe it has lessons for us all.

    That said, I do not take it literally in the least. The idea that there was a preconceived notion of "days" before there was even light and a solar cycle to base the "day" on is silly; as is the idea that all animals were simultaneously created when paleontology proves otherwise just by its existence.

    Moral guidebook; yes.
    Literal account of the world? Hardly.

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

      If you are a Bible believing Christian then you believe the bible is the ONLY Truth and the whole truth, the word of GOD and LITERAL.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Kita

      I'm a GOD believing Christian, thank you very much.

      The Bible may be his word and thus divinely inspired, but it was still written and printed by flawed mortal men.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Karen

      Why would you pick the bible to believe in, when there are so many other books with (similarly absurd) creation stories? Had you grown up in a different place, you probably would have picked the popular fantasy creation book of choice there, rather than your present one.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • innerselfdom

      You may be a "God" believing Christian, but not a bible believing Christian. And you are welcome.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      Remember Kita, only 3 of the 10 commandments are morality codes. The rest are all about a jealous god-thing protecting its priests' political and economic power. Try to fight the fear you feel when people contradict your programmed-since-birth religiosity. It's hard, but you were abused by religion-contact at a young age and have no choice. Now that you're an adult you can make that choice. Fight the fear, do the research, free your brain, and make god happy. He wants you to use your brain, it's really what this is all about. Morality and ethics are NOT supernaturally derived, they come from us and don't require mindless fear. Fight it Kita, fight it!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
  10. Matt

    The article states that the #1 answer is creationism yet when you add together the other two scores they favor evolution slightly. Besides that the article was fine.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  11. truthseeker777

    Seriously, some people Really BELIEVE that 'we' slimed out of the sea? Really.
    Takes WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY more FAITH to belive that CROC than to
    just believe that GOD did it ALL !

    August 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      No, truthseeker777, it doesn't take faith. That is the point. It is a proven fact.

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

      Yes, especially since there's actual science and testing involved in one (who wants to do all that gosh darn worl), and a complete non-answer that gives you the feel goods by saying "god done it all!". I mean, would you rather have a way to try and find the truth, or a fell good non-answer?

      August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Jesus was a space alien

      No, many us believe life may have arrived on earth from an astroid or comit before we evolved in the ocean. There is a lot more evidence for this than having an omnipotent being creating the world in 7 days.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • RillyKewl

      not funny, jerk.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • truthseeker777

      For all of the 'fact' folks on here, it's STILL called the 'THEORY' of Evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • ben

      Just as the Bible is the number 1 best selling work of Fiction of all time. Thank you, thank you

      August 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • blogger formerly known as Who invited me?

      it is only still called a theory by those too idiotic to accept it.
      the rest of us refer to it simply as evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Allen

      No it doesn't you just know nothing about Biology because you're not interested.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Allen

      In science, the term "theory" refers to "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment." -Wikipedia. Looking up, not hard.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • mulehead

      truthseeker – I'd like to add that Gravity is also only a THEORY. Please be so kind to the rest of us by testing this THEORY with a large boulder over your head held with dental floss.......assuming you have teeth and know what that is.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Go look up what a theory is when it comes to science.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • John

      I hope one day you'll look back at what you once believed and will be embarassed that you were one of the ignorant masses spewing further ignorance.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  12. Jesus was a space alien

    Being an atheist does not mean being non-charitable or not being compassionate. I give more to charities and good causes then many of my religious friends. I just choose to give directly to causes that benefit people instead of some figment in the sky.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • innerselfdom

      Recently, I had a group of Christians say they could not believe I was an Atheist because I have so many "Christian" characteristics like selflessness, kindness, etc. I told them that you do not need to be a Christian to do good things. I told them that the "kindest", and most giving folks I have known in life, were not affiliated with any religion or Faith. Present company not excluded.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  13. Babs

    I'm sorry there is so much hate.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Babs, why is it your fault? Stop it then.

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

      …so much ignorance.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • this guy

      idk why ur apologizing.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  14. LTC

    Adding Bill Nye as another of my mentors! We are falling so far behind in the scientific arts that in a few short years we will become a 3rd world country when it comes to science. It is a shame, since we have the potential to be the greatest country on earth for science. But it will never be until we are able to separate science and politics from religion and I personally do not see it happening in my life time or possibly ever in this country. I weep for the children of tomorrow....

    August 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  15. RillyKewl

    "15% believed in atheistic evolution"?????? No wonder, when you reword it like that!!!
    Gimme a freakin' break!
    Is that how you asked the christian fundamentalists?
    You asked them if they believe in "atheistic evolution"? What'd you expect?
    God, you people are so sneaky. You're really treacherously deceitful.

    FYI, evolution is not about atheism or any religious belief.
    Its just a plain, ordinary scientific fact. Shown to be reliable through the usual scientific methods.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • David R

      No.. That is why it is still a theory and many evidences are contradicting it... But the reason why it is still a theory is many atheists do not want to give up on that reality.. Evolution is the very basis of going against God.. All this just happened and randomly, things were created by some "change" through trial and errors.. That all the world we see just happened out of nowhere.. The whole premise of evolution is denial of supernatural and non-existent of God... Because if everything was random, God would not be in the picture period... That is why it is such a heated discussion.. Lastly, genetics conclusion contradicts Evolution in a macro-scale... That is the whole premise that micro-evolution leads to macro-evolution.. And there just has never been any proof... As a scientist, you are supposed to drop the theory and rid of it as being false.. How amazing that evolution goes against scientific theory in still being a theory.. Quantum mechanics which is a theory has SHOWN APPLICATIONS but since we can't see the various atoms or fully understand it, we view as theory.. Evolution's evidence failed on their own evidences over time (which evidence had to diversify their ideas and concepts from gradualism to leap /missing link) but it does not happen in the natural world still of micro to macro-evolution....

      August 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Karen

      David R, re "that is why it is still a theory and many evidences are contradicting it..", present your evidence that you are claiming. I bet it won't stand up to real scientific scrutiny.

      Furthermore, there is no such concept in evolution as "macro" vs. "micro". That came from creationist fraudsters, as usual.

      And go look up what "theory" means. Religion is not even a theory.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • David R

      Karen: Again, look at the evidences provided by evolutionist and google those refuting... BTW, that is why it is still a THEORY.. If you have so much overwhelming evidences, it would be a LAW by now... Just by that, it should present a strong point of argument.. Again, what evidence do you have to prove evolution? It is not I but EVOLUTION.. I have stated that their evidences FAILED TO hold weight to prove evolution.. Micro evolution is coined and used in genetics so it is not created by some Creationist.. Macro was to distinguish Micro (genetics) from evolution because Evolution could not be validated by Genetics (then and still now)... Both are coined from Evolutionists and was distinguished when they had an issue with their own fossil records that contradict gradualism and that it went into punctuated equilibrium (species are the same until a certain threshold let to a new species)... Again, you might want to check your facts..

      August 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • David R

      Karen: If you wanted my proof against it
      1) 2nd Law of Thermodynamics that natural all things tend to let to disorder.. Ironically evolution believes that naturally, we lead to higher order and structure
      2) Genetics – no evidence of new species developed through time (gradualism, punctuated equilibrium, etc.) and any major changes in genetic structure (again, that is what you need to go from micro to macro for evolution) was a complete detriment for the species and fossil records show no gradualism or correlation (those are assumed if any)
      3) Information Theory: you could only learn something you had to know beforehand to know.. If you state that evolution happened, all life had to have started with a supercell that had to have ALL instructions from reproduction, synthesis, metabolism, secretion, excretion, etc. What you see from cells are the amount of chromosomes are going up as the organisms become complex. But that contradict # 1 as well as the fact that the bacteria should have more genetic material since you can't learn something you haven't learn how to (you need to genetic instruction to have that before hand)... That is natural (and shown in genetics) and it contradicts evolution... The amount of information to perform should be degrading if anything from one primary Supercell to all these different animals... But somehow, we are evolving into a newer and better species?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • notjustatheory

      @David R

      A theory never becomes a law. In fact, if there was a hierarchy of science, theories would be higher than laws. There is nothing higher, or better, than a theory. Laws describe things, theories explain them. An example will help you to understand this. There's a law of gravity, which is the description of gravity. It basically says that if you let go of something it'll fall. It doesn't say why. Then there's the theory of gravity, which is an attempt to explain why. Actually, Newton's Theory of Gravity did a pretty good job, but Einstein's Theory of Relativity does a better job of explaining it. These explanations are called theories, and will always be theories. They can't be changed into laws, because laws are different things. Laws describe, and theories explain.


      August 28, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  16. this guy

    If you could reason with religious people...there would be NO RELIGIOUS PEOPLE.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  17. Josh

    Take a look at the ways scientific research is done. Not specific but in general, a thesis is stated based on some findings, this thesis receives some more input and develops. More fact´s/information is gathered. And Practical testing gets on it´s way, trying to underline the thesis or if fact´s demand it, changes are implemented. Simply to enhance the potential of the thesis.
    If you put the result at the begining you may need to bend fact´s to accomplish, thats totally opposite to sientific research. So if evolution is denied, there has to be a good explanation for all the other fact´s that support the scientific approach.
    All physics and cosmology support the existence of planet earth long time before 6000 – 10000 B.C. If those are denied, it get´s quite difficult to stop the downward spiral of thinking. What I want to say is this:
    If you see all those evidences as hoax, on what fact´s are you going to rely? Just those who suit your conviction? Those are just opinion. And if no scientific evidence is true fo you, how come you think yesterday was a real experience and not just a fidgement set into your mind to make you believe otherwise? How come you think you actually read this? Even slapping your face may not solve the problem of reality/ perception if you don´t settle with science.
    I concluded, it´s me who felt the pain in the cheek. I needn´t to hold out the other.
    You want to read something enlightning for a change: Eric Kandel´s " In search for Memory" is still my favourite book. And a wonderful example for true scientific research.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  18. Jeff O

    Creationism has nothing to do with our failure as a nation in math and science. It's a cop out... so he doesn't have to look at the people who signed his paychecks for many years and point the finger at them...

    August 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Jeff, all lies lead to failure.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  19. Antonio

    It's funny, because he really didn't saying anything that hasn't already been said before.

    Creationists are so ridiculous it is just sad. It is sad that this debate continues, and I guess its good for Bill Nye to get credit for his pretty mild and straight-forward statements about reality, but it's just disheartening to see so many people that are not only blindly religious, but blind to simple facts that have been proven and published for...well, we're going on "centuries" now folks.

    If you have to be religious, please just keep it to yourself. It's 2012.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  20. Bill's Brother

    For all those scientific types that refuse the evidence that recent discoveries show RI decay rates have been shown to change, go here: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-08/strange-unexplained-solar-influence-over-earths-radioactive-material-could-herald-solar-flares

    Just saying "no, not it hasn't" doesn't cut it anymore. You need to be informed.

    Some people just won't let go.

    August 27, 2012 at 3:51 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.