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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. Bob Ussery

    I am not sure how to address the ignorance related to evolution since clearly those who wave the flag for evolution ignore the very sciences that are against it.

    Creationism has more evidence for it, beyond a reasonable doubt, than blind luck ever had or could have. Blind luck, albeit evolution, is a dead horse.

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

      Um, where exactly is your evidence for creationism? (Besides an old book written by peasants who would be less intelligent than a 21st century 1st grader...)

      August 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Athy

      Creationism has zero evidence going for it. And evolution, which you apparently do not understand, does not depend on blind luck.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  2. sunpacific

    "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.
    This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well
    as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."
    – Thomas Jefferson

    August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  3. Mark Creel

    Sorry to know that you do not embrace Christian beleifs. When Jesus comes back, you tell him that God did not create humans in his likeness. I want to be there and watch you have the guts to man up, on your earthy scientific thoughts.

    I guess I can add Bill to the list of people I do not really want my kids learning from. Sorry Bill, you are misguided on this issue.

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

      Bill is misguided?

      You believe in talking snakes, walking on water, a devil, angels, two of every animal on a boat, resurrection...

      Again... Bill is misguided?? Get real.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  4. on_the_fence_question_mark

    godisimaginary dot com

    August 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  5. Mike

    This explains how the GOP gets votes. If you can believe in Creationism, you'll believe anything the Republicans tell you.

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

      I have marveled at the sheer cynical adroitness displayed by those who convince others to act against their own economical self-interest.s eg. Main Street repubes vs Tea Party repubes

      A kami-kazee of true believers.

      August 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  6. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    WHERE IS ALL THE EVIDENCE FOR "EVOLUTION" ?
    ANSWER: IT DOES NOT EXIST AND NEVER HAS. Fossil records should contain millions of transitional forms, but THERE IS NOT A SINGLE ONE; instead, fossil records ONLY SHOW COMPLETE KINDS, FULLY FORMED. Every supposed "missing link" between man and animal has been disproved – ESPECIALLY THE FRAUDULENT ONES created by Darwin-Dummy evolutionists to deceive the masses (ie: attaching human bones onto ape bones and ape skeletons; see ie: "Lucy" at http://www.AnswersInGenesis.org ).

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

      A lot more evidence than creationism has.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Oh brother...

      Did you really just list some form of a religion based web site as a place to find facts?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Allen

      NO! First of all, there are plenty of human ancestor fossils, but not a complete record. We ARE lucky enough to have very complete sets for the evolution of a couple animals, like the horse. Fossilization is a RARE event depending on rare factors. Most things that die do not just become fossil, they degrade down to nothing.

      Any "source" you're citing that doesn't even know that simple fact is WORTHLESS.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Yawn....

      The truth is that the existence in nature of evolution, natural selection, microevolution, and macroevolution have been well-established by scientists for over 100 years, there is no legitimate scientific objection to them, and no reason to debate or "dialogue" about them. Scientific issues are not decided that way, anyway, especially when they have been non-issues for over a century! Evolution is a fact, as factual as the existence of gravity and drifting continents, and its factualness has been a noncontroversial subject of instruction at all major universities in the world since the 1870's. In the United States, only Bible colleges teach that evolution is not true. The genuine scientific controversy about evolution–and its opposition by creationism–was the battle fought over a century and a half ago, and creationism lost then.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Cam

      First off, you're an idiot for getting your facts from a place that supports creationism in the first place, and second you're an idiot because there are WAY more scientific facts that point to evolution over creationism. AND, you contradict yourself by saying pretty much saying, keep an open mind by listening to what someone in church tells you or what you read on the internet from a creationism based website. OPEN YOURE EYES THE WORLD WAS NOT CREATED IN 6 DAYS, NOR HAS IT ONLY EXISTED FOR 6k to 10k YEARS, I COULD PICK UP A ROCK IN THE PARK OLDER THAN THAT.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Athy

      You said "Fossil records should contain millions of transitional forms, but THERE IS NOT A SINGLE ONE; instead, fossil records ONLY SHOW COMPLETE KINDS, FULLY FORMED." The plain truth is that every fossil, every living thing, plant animal bacteria, virus, all of them, are transitional forms. Evolution doesn't stop just because some of its transitional forms are trapped in mud and fossilized. Every living thing is continuously changing to better adapt to its ever-changing environment. Is this concept so fucking hard for you to accept? Some good books on basic evolution would really help you if you're able to read above an eighth-grade level.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • fosterspirit

      Evolution (and all science theory) is derived by looking at the facts.
      Creationism is an agenda brought on my a poor translation of an ancient myth used to explain and indoctrinate a far simpler populous in just a few paragraphs. (the literal "24 hour day" folks have a few literal words to reconcile here: http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/genesis.html )

      I suppose the dinosaur fossils are a trick that God is playing on everyone. Yeah, OK.

      The biggest fear of the creationist is that something in the bible they choose to interpret literally cover to cover is wrong. That would shake their world, so they will fight it despite all the evidence in the universe. They are very afraid of that prospect.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  7. Genuflect

    Thank you Bill Nye for speaking intelligently in regards to a subject others refuse to look at as fact instead of folklore!

    August 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  8. tyler

    It's tricky for "religion" to back evolution when they teach that the world was created in 7 days. Well, 6... Sunday was the day of "rest". It's very confusing if you THINK about it.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • K from AZ

      Tyler, obviously you confuse easily! Stick to Legos!

      August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Oh brother...

      I like how there is no mention of dinosaurs either. If god was really looking out for everybody wouldn't that have been listed as the eleventh commandment or something. "Ye watch out for the large scaly inhabitants with giant teeth, they will eat you."

      August 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  9. justinbgood

    The majority of the comments about this are just sad. Anyone who does not believe in evolution is just turning a bling eye to the true beauty of the universe. And atheism is not knowing with certainty that god doesn't exist... there is no proof for his existence, or non-existence. Atheism is the faith in the belief that he does not exist... I'd rather live life for myself, and my loved ones, than for a all-knowing, all-loving, yet all-damning force supernatural ability that watches me every second of my life and determines whether I am good or not...

    August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Engineer

      I would encourage you to study a little more about what God is according to the scripture, I understand the way you feel based on what you may have experienced in the past. The crazy thing is that God wants you to live up to even more than you could be on your own! It's an interesting thought but there is actually greater freedom and joy in living out the plans the Lord has set before you than struggling to find purpose in life on your own. I understand people think thinking like that is being "brain washed" but perhapes there is more going on in this universe than science will ever show us. It can't hurt can it? Will the God of Evolution not let you back into the club if you want to read the bible some?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  10. John in AZ

    People who claim Evolution can be challenged have a basic misunderstanding of what the theory states, what science is, and what scientists do. One of the most ridiculous statements is that you can have "faith" in science. Faith is entirely unscientific both as a concept (how it manifests or what it feels like is not falsifiable), and in what it can be used for or accomplish (if we use religious faith as the definition...it is the cause of nothing we can collect evidence for).

    August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Jeff O

      and that's the great thing about Evolution.. in the end, it's a theory with some scientific evidence. You can't positively prove it or disprove it... religion is theory with no scientific evidence. Both are theories If evolution us a theory, how can it be immune from challenge? explain that one to me...

      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • K from AZ

      John, John, John, everyone has a right to be stupid: you, however, are abusing the privilege! There's nothing to misunderstand. Evolution is the theory that replaces a 'creator' of the physical (and spiritual) universe with a notion that all of this was 'self-created', i.e., a glaring epistemological error (contradicting the Law on Non-Contradiction, without which there would be no science at all.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  11. Frank S

    46% is a scary number. You add evolution denyers to Global warming denyers and pretty soon we're back in the dark ages. For these folks, there is no maybe about it, and they want the public schools to spread the misinformation.

    Crazy stuff. Even the Vatican has a science department and they are not buying creationism. The lord wants you to believe in evolution people!

    August 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • utaz

      God Lives. In God We Trust.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  12. Bob

    It makes me sad that I live in a country where 46% of people are stupid. Its this simple. If you believe in creation, you're a moron. If you believe in god, you're a moron. If you are a logical thinker who rejects the previous two, you're not half bad.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Babs

      I would never call an Evolutionist a moron. That's just mean.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Noneya

      It is sad to see that you, "bob", and apparently a large percentage of the population have devolved into nothing more than a "higher" mammalian species where faith, hope, and love do not exist. We could argue the finer points of the beginnings of life all day but every decent scientist knows, you cannot get something from nothing.

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

      What credibility is to be given to someone who calls others – who do not agree with his view – morons? Bob, you have no credibility, you have the mind and temperament of a child.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • mike

      we believe in god because its right the bibble is the most accurate book out there its all happening even today theres no reason to reject the truth we are in the last days you are decieved and the bibble is happening right now its all true and happening and when you die youll know that whether you deny it or not gods real get over yourself you just wanna believe not so you can live your fake life there are no accidents its all happening and youll see it after death

      August 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Wayne 135

      So Bob, I guess you do not believe in the 10 commandments either. If these 10 commandents were followed by eveyone then we would live in a perfect world. I believe in God yes. Do I believe the world lis billions of years old yes. Do I believe man has been around in our present form for hundreds of thousands of years, yes. But and her is the big But, time is nothing to God. He created the world in his own way at his own time and put man and all the animals etc here in his own time. Present man may have come about around 10 K years ago when God put the breath of life in us. The breath of life is Gods word and his promise of everlasting life in heaven. We do not know His reasons just that he Is.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mike –

      We'll start with the fundamentals.

      Punctuation
      http://www.english-online.org.uk/beginners12a/beg12fun3.htm

      August 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  13. Jay in Florida

    Creationism was born, because allt he hippies of the 60's that decided that smoking funny stuff was cooler than getting an education, have reached the point of publishing books and signing movie deals... mostly about denying men landed on the moon, and alien abductions.

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

      They still deny the moon landings.. just goes to show how stupid people can be.

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

      Bad stereotype. I would say most hippies are less likely to subscribe to the ideas of an organized religion. Hence the reputation that most college campuses have of being overly liberal.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  14. PDirt

    I can understand a scientist who doesn't appreciate the simplicity of the first chapter of Genesis, and tries to unlock the secrets of the universe through observation and careful study. But to not take the totality of the Word of God and the significance of it to our civilization is an insult to the very fiber of our existance and foolishness on too many levels on which to extrapolate. It is a noble endeavor to try and understand how He did it, but to deny His hand in it is, again, foolishness.

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

      I agree, praise Allah.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      What significance to our society? All of the wars and the years of intellectual stagnation that it has caused? Get a grip.

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

      Why do you cretins reject Zeus?

      Why do you fear accepting the truth of all the other gods?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Marv Wainberg

      God must be a very talented individual. Look how many different ways he/she has found to kill people throughout the world and throughout history: wars, disease, famine, etc., etc., But, of course, he does this because he loves us (tongue fully planted inside cheek)

      August 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  15. RickinCambridge

    A mechanical engineer is the first person I'd call if I had a question about evolution, theology, etc.-NOT!

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

      Or fix my collider.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Answer

      Don't call your doctor to offer you health advice.. seek your priest. Don't use science you fvcktards.. use your bs religion to heal you.

      We'll be better as a civilization when you religious tards bite the dust.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  16. ReasonableXX

    People that use the "where is the missing link?" arguement or the "why are there still monkies?" arguement are embarrassing themselve and do not even have the most basic understanding of how evolution works.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  17. Andrew

    40-47% of the country are creationists? that is really, really scary.

    August 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  18. b-rad

    I'll take Bill Nye seriously after he trims his eye brows. Used to like him as a kid but I've grown up. He should stick to children's shows and entertainment.

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

      Really? His eyebrows are going to make you blind and deaf to what he is saying? If this is how some people think, the fact that so many people still believe in creationism is starting to make sense to me now.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  19. Luke L

    creationism needs to accept scientific evidence of adaptation and evolution. at the same time, those who deride the notion of creation might ponder when or where has any scientific experience produced a net change in the sum of energy and mass, and made it either disappear into nothing or arise from nothing. Of the billions of experiments performed over the millennia, there has been none. There have been countless humans, however, who have given testimony, flawed and unflawed, of connecting with their Creator. When science starts to create, it might have taken the first step to dismissing creation from a Creator. It is a good and loving God who gives us life, breath, and the ability to do good and to repair the world we are in. We are stunted as humans when we deny ourselves the ability to give thanks to our Creator for his gifts.

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

      Nowhere in the story is Nye claiming that there is scientific evidence that an Atheistic view of existence is true.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • ME II

      "where has any scientific experience produced a net change in the sum of energy and mass, "
      Not sure what this has to do with evolution.
      Additionally, testimonials aside, what evidence is there of a supernatural origin to the universe, life, or anything?

      August 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Marv Wainberg

      Just want to correct one word Luke L. You said repair, I say destroy – because that is exactly what is happening now.
      Of course, there are no wars; of course global warming doesn't exist; of course, people don't shoot each other; of course, of course, of course

      August 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  20. JTodd

    Bill Nye is a mega nerd. What are his qualifications for his pontifications?

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

      He is an engineer. That puts him way beyond theists without science degrees, don't you think?

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

      The same reply to the same crap you made below..

      The same credentials as your god has.

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

      OOO: We're not discussing bridge construction here.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • ME II

      While it may take serious study to understand the intricacies of many disciplines of science, it doesn't take much to understand that there is no evidence for Creationism.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:42 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.