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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. Eddie

    A time traveler from higher dimension went back in time and to our dimension. The time traveler show a video of creation of life in 7 days.

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

      Must have been faster than the speed of light lol. Time dilation still wouldn't help you cover billions of years in a week.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  2. on judgement day

    look for bill nye it will be one of the ones with the Oh sh it look on its face.

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

      Do you approve of a God that will send otherwise decent people to eternal torment just for not believing in Him? I don't.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • alex

      wow. seriously? judgment day huh?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • truth be told

      It is called justice and there are no decent people, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

      August 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Mel

      You spelled "judgment" wrong.

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

      Why oh why did we let ignorant fools have access to computers? Judgement day? Tell me another fire and brimstone fairy tale.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  3. delphin

    No one is asking you to believe in God so don't offend those who do. The world's best scientists behind the technology we enjoy today, historically, had strong holy convictions. Why is it that in the 21st century it's suddenly uncool to have faith? Just as we are annoyed by preachers in uplifted trousers rubbing it in our faces, we are repulsed by your offensive and intrusive statements.

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

      'Faith' was the only explanation we had for many centuries, that's why, and information did not move quick. Creationism has no evidence besides the bible, faith is a contradictions to logical inquiry.

      Calm down, we're saying your religion and beliefs are stupid, not burning you at the stake. If your faith can't stand up to common sense.... CONGRATULATIONS, +3 INT for you.

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

      delphin, Really? The world's greatest scientists who brought forth the technology we enjoy had strong religious faith? Name some of these religious scientists. The National Academy of Sciences is 93% atheist. 93%. That says something.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • niknak

      Just like it is uncool for adults to still believe in santa claus.
      You have zero proof that your magic man exists. Yet you want our society to make rules and policies based on your "beleif" being a fact.
      Acknowledging your beleif is giving you and all you fundies cover for society to cling onto fairy tales.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Enlightened doesn't mean informed

      So you are trying to tell me that you believe in a book that has talking animals and unicorns. Cool. I believe in less fanciful things like science. Perhaps when you and your ilk crawl out of the 1600's, America might stop being the developmentally challenged country as viewed by the rest of the world.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  4. tonythecroat

    Nothing came from something right. Even nothing has some value or measure. A designer a creator had to make it right? Scientist think they have the answers. Could you imagine describing a cell phone to someone living in the 12th century? Their spectrum of understanding could not even comprehend it. The same scenario with our modern day science, they have a small window of understanding, much is to come, more accurate ways to get even more confused.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      So modern scientists have a small window of understanding but ancient man had all the answers. Are you serious?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      tony, you're lack of critical thinking keeps you confused.

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

      "Nothing came from something". So where did god come from? You use circular logic to justify your belief in the imaginary.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • niknak

      No dude, just because science can't yet answer everything about the natural universe does not mean there was a creator.
      I understand that you have been brainwashed since birth to believe in a fairy tale. But you can change and break away from the people who are still clinging onto these 2000 plus year old goat herder tales.
      Find salvation and free yourself from religion.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  5. Brad Jones

    If anyone is narrow minded its "Billy Bob" him self. he wasnt there 6000, 10,000 or Billions of years ago, so how the heck does he know any way. We know because the people that were there closer to the Beginning, Moses, who wrote the first few books of the bible and handed those stories down so we can know where we came from. His problem, Billy Bob, is that he cant fathom the fact that their is a smarter being than himself who knows ALL science. Billy, you are in fact STUPID!!!!!!!!!

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

      Brad, I would have to defer to you being the stupid one. You have no argument, no proof, just a bunch of babble.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Nissim Levy

      I am amazed at the volume of stupid comments made by creationists. And they say the human species is intelligent?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Al

      Brad, your stupidity is mind-boggling. Really I am in awe. Your crap isn't even worth a legitimate response.

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

      Neither were you there Brad. How do you know for sure that those stories from Moses were not made up?
      You don't.
      In fact, the vast majority of this planet think your stories are false.
      How do you know out of all the countless thousands of gods that have been postulated by various peoples that your god is the true one?
      Again, you don't
      You only have faith that god exists and that yours version of it is correct.
      But science has proof.
      You benefit from it everyday of your life.
      And everyday, science is pushing your theory further and further into oblivion.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  6. Smoothshocker

    Jesus was an alien and probably ate some killer mushrooms

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

      Jesus was English.

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

      Jesus was just some guy... named jesus.. that's all folks.... fairytale fodder.

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

      1 billion following a fairy tale? Don't think so fintastic. But evolution is correct, all Christians should get on board with this.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  7. Ken

    Bill, are you implying that our country cannot move forward unless we are all of the same opinion? No diversity of thought? No second opinion? No freedom of speech? All one belief or nothing? Science itself progressed only because scientists question the status qua. Don't close your mind and refer to yourself as a scientist.

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

      He's suggesting our country can't move forward while people are fantasizing about bronze-age myths and pretending they are true without providing any shred of evidence. It's rare that any scientist or atheist will say with finality that there is NO god. Rather, we wait for verifiable evidence and suggest that believing without some basis is not different than believing in unicorns and leprechauns or zeus. Your claim has just as much to back it up as these others do... so why do you deserve a seat at the same table where people work tirelessly to provide concrete results by way of intense study and effort. By comparison, religion is lazy at best... Of course I can't speak for Nye...

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

      There is a difference between diverse thinking and lack of it. If half of our country thought that the planet is flat, we would know we have a problem. To a smart person, hearing others say that the universe was created in 7 days some 6000 years ago is akin to hearing someone saying that the planet is flat and resting on the back of a giant turtle.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  8. Ken

    So right now the popular idea in science in Evolution. From my research evolution isn't complete. Complete in the sense that it can still be proved otherwise. I'm not saying there is more evidence for anything else, but there are still holes in evolution that remain unsolved. Like how did life start? The Stanley Miller experiment seemed to find a way to prove this but after new evidence was found this was debunked. Everyone is stuck on Evolution and even if we had enough evidence to prove something else, it wouldn't fly.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      It appears we've been "stuck" on it since 1859.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Stanley Miller

      I didn't run my experiment long enough...
      In the meantime... please see: en wikipedia org /wiki/Abiogenesis

      August 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Burnz

      Your "research" should lead to the knowledge that Abiogenesis and Evolution are different things. We cannot yet make living beings from scratch, we DO know that DNA is the blueprint for how our bodies form and that DNA changes over the generations, generally with beneficial changes staying, and burdensome changes (mutations) causing the organism not to produce.

      Dog breeding? Horse breeding? People with 6 fingers? How do you account for human diversity if we all came from Adam and Eve, and then Noah's family?

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

      Evolution doesn't address the origins of life Ken, include that in your future research

      August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Abraham

      The beautiful thing about science is that if an idea comes along that can be tested and proven that does a better job of explaining the world we live in, that one will be accepted until the next one comes around. You know, in case the illiterate herders of the ancient middle east got a few things wrong.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  9. Ryan

    If you don't believe in evolution – you're an idiot.
    The evidence is overwhelming.

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

      Believe is just a lie surrounded by a b,e,v and another e.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • RonFromNM

      I don't "believe" in evolution, I think it's the best theory to explain the natural world we've got thus far. The word "believe" implies faith.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  10. Smoothshocker

    Lets take a poll...Which god do you prefer:

    1. Old testament vindicdive, destructive, murdering god
    Or
    2. New testement loving, forgiving god

    Funny how he changed his tune so quickly. I think he finally got some somewhere around 100 C.E.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Robinhood

      What do you mean athiests are not the only ones that don't believe in God?! If you dont believe in God you are an athiest regardless of what carreer tract you decide to pick up ie. Scientist..

      August 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  11. cg

    Ok creationists, how about this. If I agree not to belittle the philosophical elements of your religious convictions, then will you please stop trying to distort and deride the empirical elements of my scientific convictions?

    August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      We creationists look like fools now; but when those who reject Christ are writhing in hell and seeing us worship the Supremely Intelligent Creator, then the shoe will be on the other foot.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • SPLAT!~

      Richard, how exactly will we see that? Please reread your statement and think logically.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • cg

      All I am suggesting is that religion should stick to matters of spirituality and the human condition rather than staking so much on ancient theories that put forth supernatural explanations for processes of the natural world. Otherwise you might find yourself at odds with reality as we continue to unravel the mysteries of the physical universe.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  12. Justin

    Yup, Americans are mostly dumb as hell. Ignore facts and evidence and blindly believe a book that was written by men thousands of years ago.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      yep, I guess you proved your point. Americans are dumb. They ignore the Bible

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

      Silly.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      Yes, you are.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • SPLAT!~

      Great comeback Richard, get 'em at recess!~

      August 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  13. Dustin

    Bill shows his true roots. "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 says it like Bible believing people don't pay taxes. Nor can they build things or solve problems. C'mon Bill! Just say it. Bible believing creationist are just dumb people.

    I was a big fan of Bill Nye growing up but now I have to say that I am very disappointed in the way that he is influencing children's minds about this topic. I am a designer, and I would be unhappy if someone told me that I did not create that, but that it just blew up and happened all by itself. It makes absolutely no sense. If anything it goes against science.

    Science needs to be "proven." Evolution is still in the hypotheses state.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Clayton Colwell

      Are you implying that people not believing in creationism makes God cry? Really?

      The main reason that creationism doesn't belong in science is because any support or proof for it lies outside the realm of science, and creationism brings no useful predictions or insights into the workings of the world/universe. If you subscribe to "With God, all things are possible", you've destroyed any real chance for analysis - reducing the body of scientific work to "God made it that way" is the cheap way out.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "Science needs to be "proven." Evolution is still in the hypotheses state."

      Dustin,

      The overwhelming consensus in all the related sciences to evolution is that you are wrong and that evolution is a fact.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Dustin

      I am not saying it makes God cry like you are implying.

      By the way God did not make the earth this way. God created the earth originally to be perfect. It was man's sin that brought all of this upon the earth. This was not the intention of my post however. It was that Bill was making people that believe in the Bible out to be non-creative people who don't know how to do anything.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Dustin

      "The overwhelming consensus in all the related sciences to evolution is that you are wrong and that evolution is a fact."

      I will say it is the overwhelming consensus in the science community, but that does not make it a fact. Just because a group of people believe something doesn't make it true. It takes proving it, and so far scientist have tried, but there are holes that other scientist have shot through their theories. Again evolution is still a theory.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      I'm sure nobody meant to hurt God's feelings. I certainly hope he doesn't get angry and drown half the planet. It's bad enough that he's going to torture most of us for the rest of eternity once we're dead. Jeez he's like a teenager.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Clayton Colwell

      Dustin, if that's not what you're implying, then why did you deliberately use the words "designer", "unhappy", and "someone told me that I did not create that"?

      "It was that Bill was making people that believe in the Bible out to be non-creative people who don't know how to do anything."

      That's disingenuous, in the face of millions of people who believe in the Bible and believe in evolution at the same time.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  14. Ildaron

    Home schools test better than public schools. One of the most cited reasons in my community for home schooling is so God may remain part of their education. As much as some may wish for the belief that loving God and believing in the Bible makes others stupid, bigots, or out of touch with reality those with Faith in God and the Bible (such as creationism) have helped move science forward up until now and will continue to do so in the future.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  15. Sao

    EVOLUTION IS SHALLOW THINKING. WHAT A MARKETING SCAM.....WAYS TO BE EMPLOYED...AND...RESEARCH FUNDED BY THE GOVERNMENT. WASTING TAX DOLLARS AND FOOLING THE GOVERNMENT. HAAA!

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

      Evolution was started by Amway.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  16. Bribarian

    Bill Nye...is a communist jew.

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

      And you are a brainwashed christian fvcktard. We would have flying cars by now if it weren't for you fvcktards.

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

      Bribarian is a fascist anti-semite.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Clayton Colwell

      Technically, Jesus was a communist Jew. (Look at the setup of the Christian community in the book of Acts if you doubt that.)

      August 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  17. Joseph Smity

    You have to make the distinction between evolution and science first off. Evolution is a belief and more closer to a religion than anything. It was a belief fostered by Charles Darwin's dad and uncle. All brilliant men to be for sure. However Charles kept the torch going and like many theistic religions made a pilgrimage to an island to find proof to substantiate his belief. Then wrote a book, achieved followers not happy with common theistic beliefs and now you have a movement. This is the same psychological principal by which theistic religions are made. Disenchanted people not buying into the common belief find a new belief that makes sense to them. This has nothing to do with science. The issue creation people have is that evolution in all its denominations, change as scientific facts come to light. And there are denominations of evolution and different camps of beliefs. The problem with creation is that it is based more on ancient legend and myth and mostly misunderstood. However if one looks at more analytically the bible never talked about the earth created 6000 years ago in six days. It said it was restored in six days and underwent before that a great destruction. A destruction that sunk all land mass, blackened the skies and killed great creatures. Could this be dinosaurs and their demise? It also talks about the six days of restoration one land mass coming out of the ocean and it later dividing. Maybe real, maybe Moses just lucky in guessing. If you go the route of intelligent design then you can be evolutionists with alien influence or creationist with alien influence but mostly likely gets you ignored by both purist camps. The whole argument plays out in this example: The big bang theory was created by a Catholic priest who tried to scientifically explain how all things were created at one time, at one location by a creator. Eisenstein called the theory ridiculous, yet the Pope canonized it as the proof of creation. Evolutionist largely ignored the theory as ridiculous as well. Eventually evolutionist began to accept the big bang theory as plausible mainly because of the hubble theory of everything moving outward. Eventually the belief became an evolutionary belief and creationist began to discount it. So the theory is the same when it was a theistic belief proving creation and then eventually an evolutionary belief proving evolution. Only difference is which "side" adopted it. I believe that evolution has facts, creation has facts and if examined scientifically, we find they both match up to the exact same conclusions. But it will be many years before we "evolve" to that understanding and can put "faith" in it.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Magicman357

      God is a Myth. Case closed

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  18. Richard Louis Fairchild

    Bill Nye is a genius and a prophet! And I thought he wasn't religious. He said "In another couple centuries I'm sure that worldview won't even exist. There's no evidence for it. So..." Wow! A prophet who condemns prophets! Maybe he should look in the mirror at who he is really condeming. (snark, snark)

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

      If you can't tell the difference between opinion and prophecy, then I understand why the religious are zealots.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  19. Spinster

    Religious people need to break free from mental slavery and join modern humans.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      you mean join modern All Intelligence rejectors?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Babs

      And start wearing foil hats...

      August 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  20. pinkjewellery

    pEvanB – most of those scientists you listed lived centuries ago when scientific knowledge about the history of the earth and universe was still in its infancy. In any case, hardly any, if any, would have accepted a 10,000 year old earth. They were not young earth creationists, even if they believed in a doctrine of creation. Personally I can\'t see why both a belief in creation and some kind of evolutionary process over billions of years can\'t both exist in harmony.

    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.