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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. NODAT1

    get ready for the wackadoodle religious nut bags to start firebombing everything he touches

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

      What is a nut bag. I know a nut job but am unfamiliar with nut bags.

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

      uh, really?

      nut bag = scrotum

      August 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  2. Smoothshocker

    I am absolutly certain that evolution is the underlying truth of the universe, but deep down inside me, I do hope that there is a god. The reason being is he is numero uno on my $h!t list and it is going to get stomped if I ever get my hands on it for the sole reason that god's "plan" involves allowing little kids to suffer from cancer, starvation, war and abuse.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • John Sharp

      Well said, "What a Dick!"

      August 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • The Hammer

      Good luck with that!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  3. Timmy

    I guess Einstein wasn't so smart after all... he whole heartedly believed God. I guess Bill is smarter than ole Al...

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

      Hardly:

      "It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems

      August 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Answer

      Call to an authority figure that steadily (even unto his own death) was neither an atheist nor a believer.

      Timmy – you are stupid. You want to believe that Einstein was a part of your boat. But time and time again – he was not.

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

      Lots of smart guys used to insist the world was flat. It's called evolution of ideas but I wouldn't expect a person who drives their life by dogma to understand.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Marshal

      When did Einstein ever disagree with evolution and say he was a creationist?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Timmy,

      Einstein can be wrong just like anyone else.

      Issac Newton was a great scientist....but he also believed in alchemy.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • pdough

      @sbd – Hardly.

      Typical that an atheistic apologist such as yourself would selectively abstract Einstein's actualy quote and bending the context to suit your agenda. Let me help you (liar): Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details."

      August 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Check your facts. Einstein believed at best in Spinoza's god. Spinoza is the inspiration for many early agnostics and atheists.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • MiddleWay14

      Wrong. He did not believe in a supernatural "God" in any traditional sense of the word. Be careful of how you interpret his semantics. He used the word "god" as a stand in for the natural universe. God is a term which many people relate to on an emotional level, and Einstein was keenly aware of this and leveraged it to help people grasp his concepts and philosophies. Einstein believed that the natural universe is the eternal originator of all things that we have come to know. The word "create" is less of an appropriate term here than the word "transform", however. In Einsteins's envisioning of the universe, matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed-only transformed. This is the thermodynamic law of conservation of matter and energy.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  4. Mohair

    Lets all have this discussion again in 4279 years. Your descendants will have new views to share! in just over 740 years, an amazing new religion will be formed to help explain everything to everyone, and in a wonderful twist, the deity will be female! (personally I've been waiting over 3000 years for that one, Bast and Athena were truly the bomb diggity baby) FULL DISCLAIMER: actually not quite everything will be explained... but on a brighter/darker note, the asteroid P745659c will make deep impact on Earth in 17,056,412 years and wipe out everything (except for roaches, which gain sentience merely 3 millennia afterwards)

    August 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Who the hell is this Bast my cats have been telling me about?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  5. Locker

    Religious fervor plus American superiority make these non-thinkers impossible nuts to crack. They don't understand, accept or relate to science so they don't really have a leg to stand on in the argument.

    The only reason this is even an issue is due to the INSTANCE by these religious zealots that their brand of voodoo is included in Science Classes! How about you keep your fictional stories and myths to your church and out of the secular school room.

    Then again you could just keep pumping your kids full of this stuff, send them to Christian schools and then watch their transcripts get rejected by real colleges who don't accept science classes based on Christian mythology.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • paperwaster666

      APPLAUSE!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  6. SCOTTA

    RAJA NOPE NEVER BEEN THERE SO IT DOESNT EXIST.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Micheal Valentine Smith

      Fail troll SCOTTA fails...

      August 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • the other guy

      You probably have not examined your colon through your an*us, oh! wait maybe you are doing that now.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  7. Chris Mankey

    "In Billys case he may have Apes or monkeys in his bloodline."

    Wow, look at the moron insulting people

    August 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  8. Richard Louis Fairchild

    hello

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

      Hi Richard. How are you doing?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  9. southernwonder

    the whole idea of science is to undo religion. in 2012 the choice is clear: if you believe in religion vote for romney, or vote for a chicago guy.

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

      Wow, someone who actually does not believe in the very CONCEPT of science! The poster child for the religious right. PS: Next time you're sick, don't see a doctor, as their expertise is based wholly in science. Put your faith in God. We'll send flowers to your funeral.

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

      The whole idea behind science is to investigate the universe based on real evidence, measurements and experimentation. Just because the scientific method means humans don't have to "make it up" any more doesn't mean the goal is to kill religion.

      Then again even though Christians and Creationists are in the HUGE majority in this country, they still act like persecuted victims. Just like this guy.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Ricky

      Terrorists believe in Religion. So if you are a terrorist, vote for Romney, if you are not a terrorist, vote for the smart and honest guy.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • someGuy

      No the whole idea behind science is to discover the truth using observation and objective logic and/or rationality. It just often happens to debunk religious beliefs because said beliefs were developed as a method to answer questions which were previously unanswerable thousands of years ago. What that has to do with the current potus election, is beyond me. Especially when you consider that one candidate is wearing underwear which is said to deflect bullets and believes he will inherit a planet to rule after his death, and the other is said to be a kenyan muslim who was raised with the one goal to become potus and then....idk I guess extend unemployment benefits and prevent the keystone pipeline from happening. AND HE SHALL RULE THE EARTH WITH SOLAR ENERGY AND THE STRENGTH OF AN UNEMPLOYED UNMOTIVATED ARMY OF STONERS AND BURNT OUT MIDDLE AGED WOMEN.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • cg

      As Locker says, science is about gaining an understanding of how things work based on testing, evidence, and rational thinking. Religion doesn't even enter into the picture unless religiously-minded people suddenly feel threatened when certain beliefs start to conflict with our best understanding of reality. But contrary to what religious authorities have asserted in the past, I think you'll find that most people today will agree that the Earth is round instead of flat, that it revolves around the Sun along with the rest of the planets in the solar system, instead of everything revolving around the Earth, and for that matter, that the Earth is in fact, not some kind of island supported on the back of an enormous turtle.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • MiddleWay14

      Evangelical Christians are terrorists of the mind (and real terrorists, too).

      August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  10. Rev Danny Kolander

    In Billys case he may have Apes or monkeys in his bloodline.

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

      In your case, you believe that mankind is founded by generations upon generations of inbreeding.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Locker

      So do you buddy. Check your DNA. Oh wait, you probably don't believe in DNA either. It's a liberal plot I'm sure.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Yeah, and you think you grandmother was a rib.

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

    While I completely agree with and understand the need to pursue how humankind came into existence, I find it incredibly egotistical that any one person thinks they have the answer.

    I believe in God as our Creator. Yet, I do not deny Evolution; nor do I believe science to be in direct contrast with the notion of a Creator. Science does not disprove Creation / God. If anything, one of the largest scientific breakthroughs (Big Bang Theory) only helped prove that the universe was created, because it purports that the Universe had a beginning.

    As one who follows and loves both science and religion, I find it harder to believe in an atheistic approach than a Creationist approach. To believe we came from nothing, and to believe we are here due to randomness and "dumb" luck, seems a lot more far fetched than being created by a vastly superior intellect.

    To each their own. We will all know some day soon enough. Heck, millions claim to have died and come back and know for sure that life / consciousness exists after physical death. But, even with this level of proof (eye witness testimony), many still deny what seems plainly obvious to others.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " I find it incredibly egotistical that any one person thinks they have the answer."

      Yet you believe in a god as your creator, meaning you "know" the answers....SMH @ circular arguments.

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

      The survey quoted above is deeply and lamentably stupid. There is not an "atheistic evolution" and a "creationist evolution". There is just evolution. It doesn't need a God to have driven it along, but if you choose to believe God intervened somewhere, that's fine.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Lance

      My faith is in God as our Creator. Faith is the operative word. Yet I have no way to prove God's existence to you with 100 percent clarity. Yet many egotistical people, that I am referring to in my OP, believe that science has or will disprove the existence of God. That was my point. I cannot prove it to you anymore than you can disprove it to me.

      However, with that said, I do find NDE's to be a great example / proof of consciousness surviving physical death / life after death.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  12. tonythecroat

    The science is fact either. I don't get ti it's theory! Evolution has not been proven fact?

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

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

      August 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  13. t3chn0ph0b3

    If the sum-total of fact-based, peer reviewed hypotheses and research into evolutionary theory were a full bucket, that same total on the side of creationism would be... an empty bucket.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  14. jacksuns

    The problem a lot of scientists have is that they assume that creationism and evolution are mutually exclusive. I'm a very religious person and I fully believe in the evolution of life. I believe that God "created" everything. But one of the methods that he used is to allow for life to evolve over time. You'd have to be literally crazy to not see that evolution takes place. Even in the past one hundred years there are species that have evolved. That's irrefutable. But that doesn't disprove the existence of God. It just proves that evolution happens.

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

      It doesn't disprove that fairies and leprachauns exist either. That's not science's role.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  15. M.E.

    I never understand how people find it so difficult to figure out how life was started without god. Ok, I'm good at geology, and you need the chemicals volcanoes spew and the lighting their ash clouds produce to kick start things, but I suuuuuuck at biology and I can still figure it out. Take the right mix of chemicals that just happen by coincidence to be in the right place at the right time (y'know coincidence like you happening to go to the right store on a whim when they're having a great sale, that's not difficult to figure out) and zap the mix with lightening. Et voila, amino acids! Those are the building blocks and it's easy to go from there. Again, I'm good with enviro and earth sci, not living things, and even I can figure this out sans god.

    I can tell you this much though, with the parentage of my husband and I, no child we have stands any chance of ever being anything other than a science nerd. Sure, they'll hear fairy tales, but we intend to tell them that there's a huge difference between fairy tales and reality. Dragons, witches and gods all go in the unreal category.

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

      Umm.. you haven't explained anything with your response in regards to the creation of the human species. Even your "forced to be close minded" children will ask you this very next question: "Umm, but where did matter and all of these neat building blocks for life come from, Mommy?"

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

      Just tell them the magic man put them there!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  16. Allen

    Can someone who rejects the simple, intuitive, essential, rudimentary fact of evolution in the name of a literal belief in Genesis, please explain to me how talking snakes are possible? (Btw, it is a talking snake. Nowhere does it say the snake is Satan).

    August 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  17. JBB

    I don't know where Bill Nye gets this idea that Creationism is not scientific. As a scientist, there as much, if not more, evidence for it than there is in any evolutionary model. And with what science is finding in biology, genetics, archaeology, and other fields, all have ample evidence for creation. Second thing is that Mr. Nye, like most scientists, never define evolution, so there's no way to know if he's talking about classic Darwinian evolution (all life coming from one life source) or Natural Selection, which is a completely different process.

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

      Okay Mr.Scientist, how do you explain the fossil record? Why do we never find wee little bunny fossils at the same layer we find dinosaurs? Or how about trilobites, who dominated the Earth for millions of years. Where did they go? How come we don't find wee little bunny fossils beside them?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @JBB,
      "As a scientist, there as much, if not more, evidence for it than there is in any evolutionary model. "
      What evidence?

      Evidence for evolution, just a few highlights:
      Fossils like Ambulocetus, Tiktaalik, Archeoptyrx, etc.
      Biogeography like marsupials, peguins, etc.
      Genetics like Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs), Human Chorosome-2, etc.
      Experiments like Richard Lenski's long term e.coli experiment http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/

      August 27, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Kind of like your don't define creationism as the literal 6 day variety or if it is the "natural creationism" that can in no way be differentiated between just plan ol nature.

      "As a scientist, there as much, if not more, evidence for it than there is in any evolutionary model."

      Really? And what evidence would that be?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      Please provide EVIDENCE of creationism. This should be good.

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

      Hey Mr. "Scientist". Where were you during the Dover, PA trials? Your fellow creationists sure could have used you and your mountain of evidence for "god did it". Stop embarassing yourself.

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

      I'm replying to some of your commenters replies. Most people that are against religion (at least Christianity ... the Bible, etc.) assume that Christians all believe that Genesis refers to the earth being created in a few days. The problem is that a "day" is not defined. Other than the word "day" being used, there is nothing that discounts the idea of a "day" being an undisclosed amount of time. Someone grand enough to be a God is not functioning on a 24/7/363 clock like we are. When the creation happened "time" as we look at it now didn't exist. Why doesn't Genesis talk about dinosaurs? It doesn't talk about a lot of things. I don't see any predictions about iPads. But that doesn't mean the "days" were not millions, if not billions, of years. Let's face it, I don't think the world happened in the blink of an eye. There was obviously a LOT of time that passed to create the earth as we know it. But that doesn't mean a God (someone not constrained by our knowledge of time) could slow mold things the way he wants. If you were immortal, you could probably do a lot of things also ... assuming knowledge and time were not an issue 😉

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

      As I scientist myself, I would like to see this evidence for Creationism as the rest of us in the scientific community have yet to see these groundbreaking results.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • SaveFerris

      Jacksuns is illustrating what makes arguing with creationists infuriating. In one hand creationists want to quote the bible word for word, but in another it is merely not "defined." Quite a convenient argument to make if you ask me. Creationists make a lot of arguments about missing pieces of evolutionist theory, but just want to brush over the blatant potholes in the bible. The real difference between the evolutionist and the creationist is that evolutionists are always seeking to fill in the blanks, and if those blanks point to an alternative conclusion then it will be scrutinized and theorized as well. Creationists, on the other hand, rely solely on an ancient manuscript and a lack of desire for any alternative. One thousand years from now the evolutionist theory will expand and elaborate on itself. One thousand years from now the bible will still have the exact same text.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • ME II

      @jacksuns,
      I suspect you might just be saying that science doesn't exclude God, or God could have acted through evolution, which technically may be true.
      However, I think, what Bill Nye was arguing against was a literal interpretation of Genesis, or as was mentioned in the article, "Young Earth Creationism", which does not fit with the evidence that we have so far.

      Additionally, doesn't Gen 1:5 say, "And there was evening, and there was morning —the first day."? How is that not a 24 hour day?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  18. Willy

    Bill Nye the Science Guy! Love his science shows. I still don't see how things and we got here matters for science to march forward. I don't think it does.

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

      It seems like it said "Satan entered the snake".

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

      Well that, weird. I replied to myself instead of the intended. Oh well.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  19. Truth1117

    So we've got Bill Nye smashing creationism and Ben Stein supporting it.

    It's a "smart TV personality" wash. The fact is that there is much scientific evidence to support both theories (why they're still theories).

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

      Totally agree!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • ME II

      Creationism is not a scientific theory and it has no evidence to support it.

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

      @ME II: No more evidence than coming across a complex device and assuming it was designed. What is your definition of evidence? Oh I forgot, you ninnys run to your "improbable, but not impossible" unbeatable mantra when you get backed into a corner... yet we're stupid for believing an intelligence could have created the complexity we actually observe in our world.

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

      Please provide scientific evidence of creationism.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "yet we're stupid for believing an intelligence could have created the complexity we actually observe in our world."

      Only you aren't saying it "could have" happened with creation. You are saying it did happen through creation.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • pheadbaq

      @religion; a way to control the weak minded: Ah, so I see that your hangup is the thinking that I am forcing creation down your throat. I believe it for myself, I will debate with people about it, but you don't have to believe what I believe.

      Lol, I could just as easily say "You are saying it did happen through evolution." So because you want to believe evolution and I don't, then you're right. But because I want to believe creation, and you don't, then you're still right.

      Try again.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • ME II

      @pheadbaq,
      Evidence?
      Let's start with, something that is testable and verifiable.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  20. McCave

    "Bill Nye slams creationism" really?? that's a headline? What's next? "Bill Nye, Pro-evolution" that would be a shocker!

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

      Look at who the article was written by "By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor", that explains the bias. Bill Nye has done a lot more in his life than most people and is a very smart human being, the people who don't agree with him aren't on his level of intelligence and are just plain ignorant to science.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " the people who don't agree with him aren't on his level of intelligence and are just plain ignorant to science."

      LOL WOW talk about ignorance.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:21 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.