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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. nolimits3333

    Only the anti science Republicans would schedule their convention for Florida in the middle of hurricane season.

    Not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  2. Balls McGhee

    In the time of the dark ages, your best guide was a blind man. Today we are in the light and can now see. Creationism made for a great story for those befor emodern science. but its 100% false with zero evidence other than a man-written book

    August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Peter

      and honoring past Freedom Fighters is just a friaoctn of the rich history of Black August. It's a time to study and practice education and outreach about our history and the current con Those honored have died and/or have been imprisoned fighting for freedom, their rights, and

      September 9, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  3. Eric R Palmer

    We are a nation of morons! Only 15% believe in evolution!?

    August 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Look at the number of idiots on this board-do you doubt it? It's extremely sad that our educational system has been undercut and undermined steadily. The fissures are showing up big time.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • GenYer

      No, only 15% believe in Atheist evolution. I think that evolution is correct, because science brings the best case, imo. However, I am not going to go against my feelings that something could have helped it out. I do not think that christian god helped, but until scientists can create life from amino soup, I am not going to believe it. Why? Because that would be being a hypocrite- believing in something out of pure faith.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • OH-Give-me-a-break

      If any creationist actually had the balls to watch this, I would more than willing to take questions, but you do not have the balls to watch it all the way through...all of them.
      zeitgeistmovie .com

      August 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  4. Eriberto Aguilar

    You go, Bill Nye the Science Guy!

    August 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • What?!

      Bill Nye the evolution guy! or Bill Nye the atheist guy!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things,

    August 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ~ .

      August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      if you pray to a rock and pray to God, i bet you get the same percentage of answered prayers.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Veritas

      Then pray for some imagination!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • richunix

      and believing in fantasy is?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Timmy

      He's not saying you need to NOT believe in God, merely stating that there is proof that humans and the Earth have been around a lot longer then the last 6000 years. Pray you understand this SIMPLE fact.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • saywhaaa

      Placebos change things.

      FTFY

      August 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      like rain dances change the weather.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • What?!

      Pray for a god that really gives a @#$%. Just don't hold your breathe.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Invisible friends do not help children

      What exactly does prayer change? Your mental state that something you couldn't change is not going to change. Teaching children to believe in something that has no proof is worthless. We should teach children to always seek truth through the evidence available to them. To say that there wasn't a big bang or that evolution doesn't exist is ridiculous when there is tangible evidence that each of these phenomena are still occurring around us.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • DarklyDivine

      lol @ atheists claiming prayer doesn't work. Can anyone find such a more contradictory statement?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  6. this guy

    If you could reason with a religious person, there would be no religious people.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  7. Paul M

    I can't imagine not teaching my children what I hold to be true. People can believe what they will, but never tell me what I can and cannot teach my child, especially the love and blessings they will receive if they hold God close to them and follow his word. I will go toe to toe with Bill Nye any day on a frank and open discussion on evolution vs creation. I suspect even after that we would part ways still believing what we do. Amazingly, a child can believe in creation and become an excellent scientist.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • this guy

      I doubt it...but you shouldnt teach your child one way or the other. Teach them everything and let them make a choice...Im almost positive most ppl wouldnt believe in god if they werent told to do so at a young age.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      he was speaking in terms that you are not teaching them the other side. you are only teaching them one side which is denying their abilities to learn. wow, logic and reason dont really work with some people.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Spawn of Satan

      Except in all the fields that that believe would exclude – biology, astronomy, paleology, etc

      August 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • saywhaaa

      If you hold your beliefs to be true, then they should be able to stand their own ground against competing ideas and you should have no worries teaching your children multiple points of view.

      Creationists KNOW their beliefs cannot compete in a free marketplace of ideas, and therefore attempt to restrict access to other areas of knowledge from their children.

      And that is:

      A) Immoral
      B) Damaging to society
      C) Against the tenets laid out in your own holy book

      August 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • VetSV

      I am sorry to break your dream .. but if anyone believes in Creationism they cannot be Scientist period..In this day and age really ... just want to put a point to you just because science has not proven everything that does not mean God has.. The day he will prove it science will prove it more. I do believe in God but not when it comes to science

      August 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Adrien

      Although you seem like a very nice person with probably a good heart, you are the reason why your child has many confusing and guilt ridden years in front of them. I say this having been someone that believed in Jesus for many years. I hope they realize all the mythical stories you've told them about your mythical God are just that: stories. And I hope they learn fast. It will save them from a lot of guilt and psychological problems related to that guilt. Death is hard to deal with but there's no reason to waste your life because of your fear of it.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      A person cannot believe in Creationism and be an excellent scientist. You cannot be a good geneticist and believe in Cretionism because you would be denying the fact that genetics and DNA point clearly to Evolution. You cannot be a good Astronomer and believe in Creationism because you would be denying the fact that stars ar observed being formed even to this day and not just when the universe was created. You cannot be a good Physicist and be a Creationist becasue then you would be denying the very physics that explains the creation of stars and the conclusion that it is a process that takes millions of years. The list goes on and on...

      August 27, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • What?!

      I have a feeling Paul that would be a one-sided debate.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Chelle

      "Creation" yes, not "creationism" – there is a distinct difference. To believe in creation can mean you believe God was involved in evolution. Creationism means believing in a literal 6 day creation, believing that the words in the Bible were written in English and the term day was used (it wasn't but that's another argument), and a young 6000 – 10000 year old Earth.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  8. no one gives a sh it

    what billy nye says. is he in the closet or out?

    August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Spawn of Satan

      Evolution obviously didn't have much effect on you!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • What?!

      Why are you looking for a date?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Fozzyspeak

      No that is you no one gives 2 cents about. Bill Nye already has 1 million plus hits. You just have me. And I think you are a little looney and lot hateful.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  9. DP

    TVA,

    My point is simply that there is a fundamental belief that prevents the discussion from moving forward: either God exists or He does not. All the other components of the discussion are secondary because this is the initial condition. All other evidence is evaluated based on the initial condition.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Mark

      DP
      This is where your fallacy lies. In religious studies there is a fundamental belief from which all other ideas are generated. In science there are no fundamental beliefs. Scientific belief comes only after a long rigorous study of a situation. Using scientific inquiry we cannot find any evidence for God. Therefore, science cannot advocate the existence of God. Scientists must provide other reasoning to explain the natural phenomena that are observed. The theory of evolution encompasses a huge amount of observation into a coherent set of ideas that provide a guidance for further study.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • OH-Give-me-a-break

      Mark is correct.
      Whatever are our core fundamental beliefs are subject to continued scrutiny and revision of all theories based on changes to these core beliefs. That is why science RELISHES waiting for the SUper Hadron collider and the possible changes that will cascade from their findings. We do not continue to buttress bad theories against the tsunami of evidence to the contrary of how it suposes the world to operate. That is the difference. Evolution is so natural it had escaped detection for a long time. It is describing a natrual order of how things work. There is no escaping evolution. Even the beleif in gawd will eventually be subjugated to the backroom of mental thinking when we get past this rough patch. Religion required increasing expenditures to support its notions about how it felt the world/universe works. They killed people to support these notions. They have centuries long expulsions from the gene pool of those who did not believe. This was in fact a form of selective pressure for humans to have to deal with. The invading consquistidors made a new king sh|t down in South America and this made it very hard for those peoples to come to grips with the new power structure. Should they continue to support their ruler, or these new guys? THAT is some selection pressure. But, yet it was all in the name of religion. If they adopted the new way of thinking, then they lived. That is why the South Americans are some of the most devout Christianists. Religion is evil.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  10. sam

    the issue i have with creationism is that it does not do justice to the vast and beautiful intricacies of the universe.

    to state that everything and anything in this universe was created by one being in 6 days is a hugely inaccurate and oversimplified explanation that contradicts everything that observation indicates. 2000 years ago it was a good guess, but not today.

    creationists have trouble believing that something could come from nothing and reasonably so, but therein, i believe, lies the true beauty of existence.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Joe

    Bill Nye might check with the entire Muslim world before he singles out Christians for being anti-evolution. And by definition science can never prove or disprove a belief that God played a part in creating Man in His image. Scientists do themselves no favors when they go anti-Christian.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      get off it, we live in a majority christian country. thats where bill nye lives too.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • ME II

      While creationism is not limited to Christianity, you are correct, there are not many Muslims pushing for creationism to be taught in public schools. Christians, on the other hand, try to get legislation passed every year practically.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • saywhaaa

      Yea! Because when discussing the effects of disbelief in science on America we should confront the Muslim world! Because that makes sense! Also, the truth is determined by what you can say that makes life convenient for yourself!

      Now if we can just all be creationists, we can make America be just as scientifically advanced as Afganistan! Yay!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Skibo2000

      Unfortunately scientists are left with little choice but to go anti-Christian when a majority of Christians not only refuse to belive facts, but persuade others to not believe facts as well.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  12. JJT

    obamanoids were you doing drugs before you posted that asinine comment?

    August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • OH-Give-me-a-break

      What are you blathering about Rombot? As typical, you make no sense and talk in non-sequiturs.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  13. jimbo913

    Rick, you are a monkey. Although I bet not as smart.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Ian

    Bill Nye did not "slam" creationism. He made a rational claim and evidence based argument as to why creationism is silly and should not be espoused. He discussed how it's harmful to our society and how it's damaging to scientific progress.
    CNN should stop with the fancy, misleading headlines.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      Ian, you know as well as I do that is there MO. It is their culture like most all news businesses.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • delphin

      He's not even a biologist! How would he know?!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  15. HeavenSent

    You are busy stalking me on these blogs today Scotty *cough* tommie tom. You are jealous of Jesus because you think you can become mini gods. I recycle by using my dead cat bones for toothpicks and saving my feces in tupperware. I don't need any proof to prove that God is the one true God that gives us His truth. Hell is hot Scotty.

    Amen.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  16. DP

    Both can mutually exist. I believe in evolution and creationism. Something or someone had to create the initial atom/particle/organism that evolved into the universe we have today. Science does not have an answer for this.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what? So because we don't yet know what caused the Big Bang, it "must have been a big invisible fairy"?

      Sorry, not a reasonable explanation.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • ChristardMingle.com

      DP, the point is science continues to search for the truth. If science discovers evidence for god, then so be it. But we have not. And we will not make up fairy tales to fill the gap in the interim. What is the point of that?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • DP

      Someone else is now posting under the DP name....

      August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • mcore

      Ridiculous. Just because we haven't found all of the answers yet doesn't mean that "god" caused it.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • rj

      When you say 'both', I take it you mean 'your' religion. What about the many other ones? Say Mormonism... they think the garden of Eden is in America.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  17. Atheism is Healthy for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    Now you know mama kindless is happy as a peach that this Mr. Nye has this new online video ent'itled: "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children." Good for him. Good sensibility.

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. Teaching kids to be agnostic helps reinforce their understanding of the new real things they can see and learn about in life. It helps them properly separate the known from the unknown without confusing them. They just need to be taught things that are unknown, like god, and things that are made up, like all religion.

    Atheists have strong minds, and don't run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, disserving society).

    We have only begun to scratch the surface in using the mind to its maximum. Damaging it with made-up junk that politicians and salesmen dreamed up long ago is senseless, and limits the mind's potential. These politicians and charlatans didn't even do a good job of organizing and being consistent with the stuff they dreamt up to try to control people. Daddy used to say they were caught with their pants down when the bible was first translated so that common folk could read it. Very true.

    Instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    August 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Ace

      Well said. Now if only more people were as clear minded as you. Kudos.

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

      Mama kindless, my guess is you never attended college. Am I correct?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:15 am |
  18. Realist

    So its ok for him to prove his points (which btw science cannot prove something to be real when it comes to THEORIES which is what evolution is, which i believe to be true), yet when someone wants to believe in something that they see points to proof in thats not ok?
    I'm not a scientist or anything and I admit to him knowing tenfold more than I do, yet while I do not follow word-for-word creationalism sounds to me that HE is the one ignoring other facts that some may believe in. Its actually not that hard to see them, and he is just as arrogant to say what he did. After all, just because you live in a world like he talks about being so awesome with science doesnt mean you proved anything.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Hello? Anyone home? Really?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Teabag

      What "facts"?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • brian

      You do know that scientific theory, and a 'theory' are different right?
      If you had a basic understanding of science and the process of testing and then reaching a scientific theory you wouldnt sound so stupid.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Eric

      Of course you are not a scientist. Scientists know what a scientific theory is. Google "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense" to become educated.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • brian

      Learn the difference between a theory a scientific theory. They are different.
      If you took time to learn a few things and stopped preaching non-sense you wouldnt sound like such a moron.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      science attempts to find the answers, and when it comes up with a 'theory' its after scientific inquiry. Religious argument does not rely on science but simply slaps in 'god did it' as an argument.
      And by the way, theory in the scientific sense does not mean the same as theory used in everyday usage, and a surprsingly lage number of people fail to grasp that.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Which God?

      Did you just spout that bullshyte? You call yourself a realist? Wow, you need to brush up on that words and its definition. You are not even close to being one, let alone rational

      August 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Mary

      There are no facts that prove Creationism or that the universe, the Earth and humans came into existence 6,000 years ago with a "let there be" from God. None. Not one. Not even a fraction of a fact. All there is to prove those things is faith in a novel to the US literal interpretation of the creation story in Genesis in the Christian version of the bible. The bible is not history; it's mythology. No facts there.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  19. palintwit

    Those coffee cups are decorated with pictures of teabaggers.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Jack M.

      Nope. That's the evolution of your president! He's still evolving! Or..it could be your mother!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Balls McGhee

      LMFAO!!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • J

      Chicagoans.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      I think I've seen those cups. If you turn them around though – I think have either Michele Bachmann or Jan Brewer's face.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  20. Nor

    God created the universe and everything in it including science.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • brian

      fail.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • mcore

      It's so comforting to know that people like you will always have the same answer for everything. Now, please check yourself out of the conversation as you have nothing more to contribute and the adults here want to exchange ideas.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      What created your God?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Teabag

      Cool, more facts.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • David Richardson

      TRUTH! Whether you like it or not.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Simran

      Nor, God created everything in the universe and then someone grew a brain. So he called him Satan. And then, someone grew a brain again – and he called it SCIENCE!
      What a ptiy? God has no control on his own creation.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Rodboy

      Tell Vocal ,it is the same God that created his matter since Vocal does not know where his matter came from.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:26 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.