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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. rb

    science and faith can go together...its the evolutionists that try to pry that apart....evolution is a belief in itself when every supposed fact can be argued against by science itself. In short, evolution is not real science, but just a belief by atheists which has worked on some religious folks who cannot think for themselves....i like Bill Nye, but I disagree with him on this one. He is wrong

    August 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Science studies the natural world. Religion the supernatural. So you are wrong.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "In short, evolution is not real science, but just a belief by atheists which has worked on some religious folks who cannot think for themselves"

      Wrong, Evolution is a scientific theory. It has nothing to do with atheists and everything to do with observation.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • SaveFerris

      I believe you meant to say "worked on religious folks who CAN think for themselves." Following what an ancient book says to the letter despite evidence to the contrary would be NOT thinking for yourself.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  2. Bob Davis

    In Glen Rose, Texas, one can visit the Creation Evidence Museum and see a glass-encased diorama of Noah's Ark w/ dinosaurs walking in pairs up the gang plank and gaze on giant human footprints and dinosaur three toed prints in the same rock. Three miles down the road one can visit the Dinosaur Valley National Park and stare at giant dinosaur prints in solid limestone. The visual choice is riveting. Said another way, the native tribes hunted buffalo, but not a T-Rex. With apologies to Dr. Baugh, the Young Earth museum director, who pontificates this nonsense to uninformed folks. Davis.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  3. Thomas

    So God can't make old rocks?

    August 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  4. ProudAtheist

    For the love of all that is intelligible and right in this universe THERE IS NO PROOF OF A GOD!!@!!!!!! Do you, the religious community belive in Zeus? Thor? Isis? Saturn? NO because all these gods have benn proven false what gives you the audacity to say yours is a real god? Simply because someone wrote something down about him? You think there was never anything written about those other gods?!! Atheists dont believe in ANY gods and we simply take that belief one god further. I mean I realize that death is a scary thing but having the courage to say, "Yes I do not know what will happen after I die and I will confront that when I pass from this plane of conciousness into whatever oblivion awaits" THAT is courage, THAT is knowing oneself and takes more self awareness and faith than any christian, muslim or Hindu will ever know or have. I mean the heights humanity could reach if we just put this stupidity of believing in a creator being aside, it really boggles the mind. What is WRONG with you people. THINK FOR YOURSELVES. Just because your parents told you it was true doesnt MAKE it true, they also told you the tooth fairy and Santa Clause were real for a time. Do you still believe in them?!?!

    August 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Thomas

      "audacity to say yours is a real god". So now we are audicious to state what we believe? As utterly ridiculous as you thinking you can't prove that there is no god.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Answer

      Another stupid comment..

      "prove there is no god."

      HAHAHAHA. Read about proving the positives.. it should help you to understand what is the foundation of reality.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Dr Woodward

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don't think there will ever be a time when people don't believe in some sort of God or Gods. The general masses need religion to fulfill their lives, to guide them, protect them and keep them in fear so they don't do anything wrong. That's fine, let them have their religion. I am just so happy that I am not under that delusional spell and neither are my children. I a raising the next generation of Atheists!!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  5. pheadbaq

    How can evolutionists expect sound debate when they can't even decide what "species" means?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species#Definitions_of_species

    Most of the evolutionist's assertiveness and confidence comes from the labyrinthine semantics that they themselves have yet to work out. When creationist picks out some of these terms to make an argument, the evolutionists whine and complain that the creationists have it all wrong.

    Lol, at least with physicists you can argue using specific terms that have remained relatively unchanged, many for HUNDREDS OF YEARS. But evolution has made its foundation a moving target of terms and ideas that aren't really nailed down that well and that are constantly changing. Yesterday this species means "this", tomorrow phylum means "that."

    Tell us, evolutionists, what does "evolution" mean to you? Form a consensus for crying out loud. It's so touchy-feely, I can't tell what evolution actually means to anyone. And yet some of you claim it's "right." Lol, what's so "right" about it. Today 2+2 = 5, tomorrow, could be 6, but both days you'll be screaming about how right it is.

    You guys want to have your cake and eat it too. Create a clear-cut set of ideas and definitions, then let's debate. If those ideas and definitions change, there needs to be new debate! Duh!

    August 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • DAS

      If you're looking for credibility, I would suggest you expand your horizons past WikiPedia.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I'll bite... Evolution to me, means that every species on this planet shares a common ancestor when you go far enough back in time.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Manley

      I don't believe that you've bothered to look into evolution. If evolution can be called a "moving target," it's only because scientists are willing to follow the evidence. In it's simplest form, it is the theory that inherited characteristics change over time through non-random selection. If you are confused, it is likely because you have been reading too much Intelligent Design literature.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  6. tonythecroat

    nonsense scientist

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

    hey george wait til you die then you will meet HIM!!

    August 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Raja

      Scotta: You are such a moron. There is a proof that France exists. You can take a plan and land there or see the country on TV or browse through narrow lanes of Paris on Google streetview. Now, give me a proof that God exists. Of course, you would show Bible, which in reality was written by sheep herders in the Middle east. You have the same IQ of those sheep herders. America, as we know, would be doomed if she produces more morons like you.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Answer

      Laughable.

      Always the wager comment when you're a beaten down slug of a religious nut.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  8. DolphT

    Man created "god" in his own image - probably during a thunderstorm. Since that creation, men have spent the milenia killing those who don't buy into their particular brand of the scam. Those who believe Mickey Mouse is the true son of god attack those who believe it's really Daffy Duck and the sane portion of the world just counts and buries the dead.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  9. Cam

    Everyone who is trying to argue for Creationism is making themselves look so incredible ignorant. You're arguments are ridiculous and have no factual based knowledge to back it up. OPEN YOUR EYE'S, ITS 2012, WE DON'T NEED RELIGION TO EXPLAIN THE UNKNOWN ANYMORE, WE HAVE SCIENCE NOW.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  10. Al

    Meanwhile, all of the rest of the 1st world countries are laughing and pointing at how stupid we are... going to church every sunday and then shooting each other up at shopping malls and schools. Yeehaw.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • JustSayNnn

      That doesn't make sense either. How can this country be so powerful and yet so stupid then???? Where's your logic there?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Al

      We're powerful because we have the strongest military, and we use force (war) to get our way. We invest in military rather than education. Sad.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  11. Bo

    Well said Bill Nye! Its utterly fascinating how many humans still believe in a creator deity. Simply because the tiny human brain can't explain all matters of 'life' doesn't mean we need to create a deity that does.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • ahren

      So you don't think we have souls?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Answer

      –quote–
      ahren

      So you don't think we have souls?
      –end–

      And you want to be special?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Al

      Souls? What is your definition of a soul? Soul is just a word we came up with to make us feel important about ourselves. We understand how we breathe, drink, eat in order to keep ourselves alive, but you interjecting this "soul' has nothing to do with the fact that blood carries oxygen to every part of my body in order for me to stay alive. There is no "soul" in science. You are either alive or dead.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • ...

      I'm sure the ants tell their children every morning that they're special too.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Souless in Seattle

      No we don't have souls.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Souless in Seattle

      Religion was created by man as a way to gain control and wealth. How do you think the Vatican became the riches nation per capita in the world...funny when you think that Jesus lived and died a pauper.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Jesus

      yo man how do I get my share of some of that Vatican stratch?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Moiphy

      Ahren.....the idea of a soul was invented by the christians to scare and control the actions of those who would believe it. And when you were good and scared, they passed the basket.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  12. George

    There is also a creationist movement in Europe and a budding Islamic one as well. The science of evolution is well established at all levels and in all disciplines. Genesis does not conflict with the scientific view if you read Genesis using the broadest interpretation of Hebrew-words; most definitely, not the King James Version. Such literalism is a throwback to Medieval times. The human brain is designed for thought and inquiry; not mindless follower-ship.
    [for an objective rendering of this subject,read: Processes and Perspectives; Sacred and Secular]

    August 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  13. Open-Minded Individual

    Interesting. Creationists hold fast to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence indicating that they are wrong. Scientists, for the most part, deny the existince of a supreme being or that beings hand in the creation of the universe. Nobody seems to even try to see how the two ideologies can co-exist. However, when they say six days, they never say six days as measured by human standards. How long is a day to an all-powerful, immortal supreme being anyway?

    August 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Al

      Prove there's an all-powerful being first, then debate about how long a "day" is to him/her/it. You lack the logic to hold even a basic, elementary-level debate. Go water your plants or something...

      August 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Answer

      Don't try to prove that step two comes after when you haven't proven step one.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  14. Alex

    organized religion – last bastion of the ignorant

    August 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  15. Al

    It's shocking and embarrassing to me that we are still having this discussion in 2012. If all of the evidence for evolution, and the lack of evidence for creationism has not convinced you yet that evolution is true, then there is nothing in this world that will convince you, and you have officially crossed over into the "mentally disabled" category. Talking snakes? Walking on water? Two of every species that ever existed all on a boat? Devils? Angels? Get Real. Everything in that book is obviously a fairy tale. Creationists' views on what is real and what isn't are incredibly blurred. I really view it as a mild form of mental retardation.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Bo

      agreed Al!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Chuck

      Where is the evidence for evolution? Dawkins now says that life was "planted by aliens of superior intelegence." I that the proof you speak of?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Burnell

    Perhaps it might help to explain science better as not so much about certainty but about uncertainty. No scientific theory is ever a hundred percent certain, all science from the so-called laws to evolution is up to debate, and is constantly being refined updated by new evidence. The difference between evolution and creationism is I think to do with certainty, we are certain there is a creator who created all these life forms x years ago, but science isn't about utter certainty. We are not certain about a great deal when it comes to evolution, that's the entire basis of all science, it changes in response to new evidence, faith religion, doesn't as the premise is always we are certain it was a creator that created these life forms.

    In the end it is because it can not be disproved that makes it not science, and more of a belief, a belief in certain existence of something.

    People think that because they hear there is uncertainty in a theory, or that it is a theory at all, proves it is invalid. But uncertainty doesn't by itself disprove a theory, its the ratio of certainty to uncertainty, and even then its not proven for all time. If new evidence comes along it can easily be disproven.

    To the standard refrain 'evolution is just a theory', well yes it is , but Einstein's theory of relativity is just a theory, so is Quantum mechanics, so are a great many things in science, yet we still build a civilization on it. Evolution went through and is still going through those same tests as those other just theories, yet still some think it is less valid, it doesn't disprove God, just a literal belief in God and the Bible.

    It might help if you just keep your religion and science separate, save some trouble.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Veritas

      Do you mean a creator in the sense of a supernatural being? That is not certain at all.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Mark

      Who's certain about god you say? And I believe in evolution without the guidance of a god. Now what?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Moiphy

      We have more proof of evolution than you have of a god. Your comments are for high school students.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Burnell

      A truely scientific understanding is not about belief, it is about x ratio of certainty to uncertainty, and that is never set in stone, and open to new evidence if it arrives.

      A belief isn't open to new evidence, and does not typically change as new evidence arises. Typically the believers just hold steadfast to their beliefs. So the 'science' of creationism would have to be open to be disproved, it has to be able to be falsified, if it is not open to be disproved then it is a belief not science.

      Perhaps I wasn't clear, not a believer, just a agnoistic, just trying to say science isn't about utter certainty, and that might help explain better why people who are belivers in God have so many problems with science as it isn't about a hundred percent certainty anything.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  17. robertjay786584780

    The bible as science book? Where else besides Genesis do we find science in the bible? Is there a discussion of electro-magnetism that I missed somewhere? Thermodynamics? Algebra?
    The unknown writers of Genesis must roll in their graves thinking that these few sentences are being held up as Science. I believe (contrary to the poll numbers) that most Christians are embarrassed by the concept of fundamentalist creationism. It reeks of ignorance and intolerance, which are not the principles of Jesus.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • ReasonableXX

      Good point. How come the all knowing bible, written by the omnipotent creator, fails to mention so many things we take for granted in modern life.

      No discussion of bacteria, viruses, atoms, dinosaurs, other galaxies, other planets, electricity, gravity, magnetism, etc. The list goes on and on. Surely god was aware of these things when he was penning his masterwork.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • ...

      Humans like to claim they know the minds of deities. That's true, since they invented the deities themselves. If deities were so all-powerful and so fantastically amazing as to be beyond our comprehension, we wouldn't know jack about them and what and how they think. To claim to know or understand them is to show that either they were man-made, or that we're nearly godlike ourselves. How could someone that's perfect create something imperfect? Why would they not just destroy everything right now and start over from scratch? And if they're all-powerful, wise, and completely pure, why do they have vain feelings like anger and rage, jealousy, etc.? That would make them powerful, but not all-powerful. Perhaps the writers were trying to make their characters more personable so readers would empathize and be more believable? If a deity made something and thought it was "good" rather than "perfect," wouldn't that make them powerful, but not all-powerful?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  18. Answer

    Then you deny that pink unicorns exist. Congrats on being stupid.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Answer

      Above comment for Scotta.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  19. ArthurP

    Thank God (pun intended) for Creationists, for with out them who would we have to do the menial service industry jobs.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • the other guy

      Cleaning toilets for god, there was bob the janitor posting earlier but his message was well stupid.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    * Lee Strobel is a former hard-core, self-proclaimed Atheist - who became a Christian.
    * He had wanted to prove, once and for all, that God did not exist.
    * He started doing very EXTENSIVE research and conducted NUMEROUS interviews to achieve this goal. Check out his experience at http://www.LeeStrobel.com.

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

      Fail: Philosophy is not reproducible scientific evidence.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Nospam

      You can't prove a negative...except job growth under Obama.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Actually, a reading of the bottom of page 14 of Stobel's "Case for Christ" indicates that he was already converted prior to the writing of the book, and was actually writing it not from the perspective of an atheist, but as a converted Christian. He was a convert prior to the book – not as a result of doing research for it. IMO

      August 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Truth

      Actually Obama's job growth is just about the same as Reagan's was during his first term. That is, of course, if you don't count the 8 million government jobs reagan created. And we all know Reagan was wrong to create those jobes because government doesn't create jobs...right

      August 27, 2012 at 5:24 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.