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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. Jim in Georgia

    We are doomed!

    August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  2. Babs

    Does truth really hurt?

    August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  3. Brian

    GUYS!!! This Archie comicbook says RIGHT HERE... "And Jughead just ate 1,000 hamburgers!" WOW!!!! That guy must either have the biggest stomach in the world or is in the hospital or something!! I wouldn't normally believe something so ludicrous but it says it RIGHT HERE in this book. SO IT MUST BE TRUE. QUICK!! Does anyone know where Jughead lives!?!? I want to go visit him and make sure he's not dead! I hope he's ok!

    August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  4. Answer

    Consider this point..

    Your government has laws implemented to protect technology trade secrets. They don't care about religious bs.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  5. caseythebrash

    Earth is also the center of the solar system...

    August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  6. Mr. X

    Way to go Bill!! When you consider the millions of people that have been slaughtered over the years in the name of religion .. which still continues to this day, it's about time we make an effort to educate the masses on the feasibilty of GOD ... whether it's Buddha, Allah, JC, etc.., it just doesn't fit within scientific knowledge. We will always have narrow minded individuals that are going to say carbon dating is wrong, evolution is wrong, etc. but the more people we convince on the reality of the situation, the better it will be for all ...

    August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • RickinCambridge

      Where do these "slaughtered in the name of" wierdos come from? They seem to have a sixth sense for detecting anything to do with religion and show up with their pointless blather.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Mr. X

      You must be part of the 46% huh? You are probably under the impression that none of the religious wars ever happened, there are no such things as dinosaurs, and despite the billions of planets out there .. we are the only ones .. and we are all created in God's image so the fossil records are all just monkeys .. BUT, you believe some dude gathered up 2 of every species of animal on earth and sailed around for 40 days, the Red Sea was parted, a talking bush on fire, etc. .. give your head a shake man!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  7. michiganhockey11

    Scientism is self-refuting. The statement “we should only believe what can be scientifically proven” cannot be scientifically proven (because it is a philosophical statement), and so based on its own criteria it should be rejected.

    Scientism has proven disastrous from a moral perspective. Militant atheism asserts that if religion can be banished, then humankind will have peace and harmony. But even a cursory look backwards at history since the Enlightenment says otherwise. Instead of resulting in peace, the Enlightenment ushered in one secular bloody revolution after another that climaxed in the twentieth century, producing the largest mass grave in history. Ironically, one of atheism’s chief heralds – Nietzsche – predicted (correctly) that because he and others had supposedly killed God in the nineteenth century, the twentieth century would be the bloodiest ever.

    “There are not many options – essentially just two. Either human intelligence ultimately owes its origin to mindless matter; or there is a Creator. It is strange that some people claim that it is their intelligence that leads them to prefer the first to the second.”

    August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • caseythebrash

      Where as religion has done peachy for us all... willful ignorance is still ignorance.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • michiganhockey11

      And at best all you can offer is a BELIEF that God does not exist, we as people are amoral and nothing but dust in the wind.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • ialsoagree

      The crusades, by themselves, account for more deaths than can be attributed to atheism or secularism in all.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • MKinSoCal

      If you read the article, you will read that Bill is not disputing whether God exists or not. He is merely arguing that a very literal interpretation of creation as recounted in the Book of Genesis clashes with a lot of scientific evidence to the contrary. He is not arguing against God, just against some of the beliefs of God's stupidest followers.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • caseythebrash

      And all you can offer is hate, bigotry, crusades, human bombs, suffering and greed. We could have done all that without a figurehead... science isn't an attack on God, it's an attack on ignorance.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  8. Jeff T

    Bill Nye is a mega nerd. What are his creditials?

    August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Jeff O

      He is a mechanical engineer, and a Bob Villa style scientist (practical work but no real sheepskin)

      August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Answer

      The same credentials that your god has.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      An engineering degree from Cornell. What are your credentials smart guy?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  9. MormonChristian

    So said to see the unnecessary polemics we create in our society. I will always love both Science and Religion. Both are the search for truth. I don't see how you can deny the forces of Evolution, nor do I understand how someone can deny the unseen and the spiritual.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Jon

      Because the whole foundation of science is based on facts and evidence. The whole foundation of religion is someone did something a long time ago that no one saw or has any records of. But we all believe it now because people told us it was true. But then again, people are inherently stupid in America. Just look, people voted for Sarah Palin.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  10. rosey1@prodigy.net

    Even though I am an atheist, I feel that evolution has nothing to do with religion. It is "possible" for a god to create one or many universes in which there exists the possibility, or even the probability of intelligent life. Actually, evolution would be a logical way to accomplish this, if a "supreme being" wanted to do it.

    I don't understand why christian churches deny evolution. It makes more sense for them to embrace it and even teach it in their churches. Evolution has a fine logic of its own, and is completely consonant with religion.

    A person can be an atheist or a believer, but evolution certainly cannot be used as proof that god doesn't exist.

    sanjosemike

    August 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • JayJ

      As a Christian I would like to thank you for your view. I hold a similar concept in my mind. I feel that the evidence for evolution is as close to a scientific fact as you can possibly be, but I do not believe that evolution disproves God. I've always seen God as an engineer. He's methodical and logical. He creates in such a way that natural paths move everything forward. Evolution is a completely viable path for his creation to take shape.

      Sadly, many of my fellow Christians aren't as open minded. I feel that there is more than enough room in the universe for both science and God. They are not mutually exclusive, but having an understanding of both proves to be mutually beneficial.

      Just because you cannot prove Gods existence, doesn't mean you shouldn't automatically dismiss him. The key to faith is understanding that there is more to the universe than we'll ever know. Though faith shouldn't stop our seeking a greater understanding of the universe either. It's a balance that could bring us all closer together.

      Simply: If I'm wrong about God, then I've lost nothing. If I'm right, I've gained everything.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Joshie-Poo

      I think it's because as soon as the church folds on this issue, what issue will they fold on next?

      Embracing evolution is telling believers that what they read in the book of Genesis was not true. It's either one or the other.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  11. Hear The Truth

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    HearTheTruth.imgur.com

    August 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  12. R Burns

    How about creation through evolution? The steps listed in Genesis outlining the phases of creation AND evolution are correct scientifically. The unfortunate use of the word "day" to signify these phases has mislead many a well-meaning faithful leader to direct his congregation to believe that these periods of change were 24-hour days. It's time for both sides to meet.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Erik..

      I honestly don't think that is the main issue with evolution over creation.....

      August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Russ

      Uh, you weren't home-schooled by any chance where you? Fail.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Reality

      Judaism is evolving and it is time for all "abrahamics" to do the same.

      To wit:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  13. Jason

    I have faith in science. Religion continuously fails me.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • ArthurP

      You do not have faith in science. You either accept it or you do not. Faith has nothing to do with it.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Erik..

      Can't have faith in science? How do you think a hypothesis is developed? A faith that your calculations and observations will prove your hypothesis correct.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Erik.. –

      Sorry, Eric, but your understanding of science is flawed. Do some reading on the null hypothesis and you'll see where you've gone astray.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  14. nino

    You can believe what ever you like, but don't teach my child that crap. Your believe is yours, keep it to yourself!!! Religions are the accepted mental illness. It is called Schizophrenia!

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

    Religion is very unpopular now.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      thank god and greyhound!

      August 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Babs

      Yeah, Greyhound isn't so popular now either.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  16. Sivick

    Creationist are morons. People who believe in it should have their technology privalages revoked. You can't just throw away one branch of science while continuing to enjoy the benefits science has given us. Take away their computers and cars and electricity and make them go live like the amish. There's your science free life you religious fanatics.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Babs

      You just can't do that. Although the Amish lifestyle seems quite idilic.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Sivick

      Can't we? If the scientists and engineers of the world went on strike would you know how to put togeather a smart phone? Maybe if you pray hard enough god will give you one.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  17. ArthurP

    The organism that is Man is still evolving. We see it every day in every hospital. Only we call them birth defects. Some are survivable, six fingers/toes, some are not, heart outside of the chest.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  18. Lee T

    The ancient Hebrew text does not say that all of the creation acts occurred in 6 consecutive days. The Torah says one day, a second day, etc. In light of that, there is no provable conflict with a scientific account dealing with a time span.There could've been an undeterminable amount of time between God's creative acts. The conflict comes when you throw in the part about man evolving from the apes or an amoeba-type organism.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  19. truthseeker777

    I STILL can't figure out, how that lizard, on his way to evolution, when he jumps out of that tree- passes on to the next generation, that they should be developing wings, when he crashes to the ground and is DEAD.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • GodNotReligion

      PLEASE read up on Evolution. It makes perfect sense when you consider that traits evolve over millions of years and countless mutations.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • laen noser

      To truthseeker777,

      Read a book about genetics, random mutation, fitness, and selection. Then start to understand.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • truthseeker777

      Evolutionist / Athiest are SOOOOOOOOO funny, always try to make anyone who believes in the Bible out to be 'uneducated'.
      As in, 'you gotta read, you have to understand, you should be more informed', etc.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      what an ignorant comment for some with the handle truthseeker

      August 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Russ

      Oh my... the amount of ignorance in this post makes me lose a little faith in this country. How about you do basic research on a subject before you make yourself look like a complete idiot on a public forum by trying to denounce it by making one of the most illogical comment I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • GodNotReligion

      You are proving yourself ignorant by not understanding hoe evolution works. If you want to have a debate, you have to come armed to the table.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Reality

      As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
      https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”. (bible time line is about 6000 years)

      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

      Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

      It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

      Send National Geographic $99.99 and a mouth swab and you will find what evolutionary tree you come from.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • W. R. Martin

      Admitting your ignorance is the first step towards learning about reality.
      What you can't "figure out" fills libraries. Many libraries.
      If you need help please ask a 10 year old for assistance.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  20. GodNotReligion

    I love all the people pointing to the Bible as if it was a text book. Tell me, who wrote it? When was it written. Why do you take what it says as fact?

    August 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • truthseeker777

      Written over a 1500 year time frame, by 40 authors, in 3 diff languages, on 3 continents. Wow, sounds like GOD doesn't it !

      August 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      truthseeker777 wrote: "Written over a 1500 year time frame, by 40 authors, in 3 diff languages, on 3 continents. Wow, sounds like GOD doesn't it !"

      No, sounds like trade worked well between some areas, and the politicians and salesmen kept something going that was good for them.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      truthseeker777
      "Written over a 1500 year time frame, by 40 authors, in 3 diff languages, on 3 continents. Wow, sounds like GOD doesn't it !"

      Not really, it sounds like a book which includes *some* history of primitive Hebrew culture, and *some* good advice for practical, beneficial human behavior, but mostly it is a compilation of ancient Middle Eastern historical fiction, myth, legend, superst.ition and fantasy.

      The NT is a collection of the writings of various 1st century evangelists who were promoting their new offshoot religion.

      There is not a whit of verified evidence for any of the supernatural beings and events in that book.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • GodNotReligion

      Written over 1500 years by whom? Ever play Telephone? Don't you even care how stupid you're being? How could something that was written over so many years and translated into so many languages be accurate? Are you really saying you believe what's in that book? We can't even get accurate reporting from eyewitnesses with cameras and computers.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:41 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.