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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. Turku gbsdj

    Just shouldn't be.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  2. Yakobi

    "46% of Americans believed in creationism"
    It's scary to think that these people are allowed to vote.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      yup.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      It's scary to believe where those who don't believe in Creationism are going.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      How do you say adios in Kenyan. Romney / Ryan in 2012

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

      ...And drive, breath, eat, sleep and hold down a full time job.

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

      Ronald Regonzo
      How do you say adios in Kenyan. Romney / Ryan in 2012
      ______________________________________________

      They don't speak "Kenyan" in Kenya. They speak English and Swahili. You would know that if you had a proper education.

      People in America should be required to take an IQ test before voting.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  3. Richard Louis Fairchild

    Could Bill Nye just be THE DEVIL?

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

      Why?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      If Bill Nye is the devil, what deity would bin Laden be?

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

      Kali

      August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  4. JT

    To creationists – please crack open a 2nd grade science text book and learn a bit about the scientific method and what a scientific theory is before spouting your extreme ignorance showing you think the term "theory" in the context of science just means wild assed guess. You obviously have access to the Internet so there's no excuse to be so willfully ignorant. Stop listening to only your pastor and do some of your own research. Just spend at least 1/100 of the time you spend in chruch actually educating yourself about the real world. You believe the most out-landish claims of your cult without question and out of fear but then denonce hard science were we have more understanding than the germ theory or the theory of gravity. You are doing yourself, your children, your country and all of humanity by continuing to believe in talking snakes, gods, fairies, leprachuans and other ridiculous things.

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

      Easy Jr. They have to crack open the text books because it's the only thing taught in public schools.

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

      ok...so where exactly did life originate? what created the universe? what came before the universe?

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

      You mad bro?

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

      @Scott familiarize yourself with the God of the Gaps logical fallacy.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  5. BikerMiker

    In my humble opinion, this is a much more important question to pose to our politicans than the ongoing abortion debate. If any poiitician today does not believe in evolution and instead believes in the ridiculousness of creationism (or was that cretinism!), then one has to question whether or not they are capable of leading and making decisions in the complex 21st century.

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

      Quite true.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  6. JL

    How exactly does being an atheist makes you smarter than everyone else? Is it possible that because atheists don't believe in God that they give all the credit to themselves and therefore have a false sense of intellectual superiority? Yes, I think that just might be the case.

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

      For the same reason you are smarter than a baby, because you know 1 + 1 = 2 and the baby doesn't. It's kind of like that. Atheists use their brain, Religious people make crap up and believe it.

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

      A disbelief in god doesn't suggest an intellectual superiority, only a disbelief in god. It's as simple minded to suggest all atheists believe the same thing as it would be to suggest all christians are tea party members.

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

      Jon,

      Einstein, Copernicus, Galileo, Plank, Kelvin etc. All believed in God. All smarter than you. I guarantee it.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      An Atheist will read dozens of books in his lifetime and still believe they have much more to learn...a Theist will barely read one book and think they know it all!
      I give credit where credit is due in this world, not a deity that can't be proven to exist. It was the Dr's skilled hands that performed my surgery; it was science's intervention that gave us the medicine to heal my Mother temporarily; it was my daughter's hands that wrote me Mothers Day cards...credit where credit is due!!

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

      Atheism is just simply the default position one must take if you dare to ask questions and demand actual evidence and care to learn how the real world works. If you only listen to your pastor and read Harry Potter and the bible that was witten by primitive man then you're going to remain ignorant.

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

      Bob,

      The fact that you refer to my comment as "simple minded" illustrates my point beautifully. And true, it's possible there are humble atheists in this world, though I have yet to meet one.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      JL: All those men you mentioned, what century did they reside in? What would have happened to them had they admitted to not believing?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Xdoc

      @JL: There are a lot of atheists who believe they are smarter than the theists. But I think the majority of atheists look at theists in this manner: How could intelligent human beings still believe in fairy tales? Please note that this is meant as a credit to the intelligence we know religious folks have, but still cling on to fantasies.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  7. Sean Ellis

    I speak for most Irish catholics when I say we can't admit to believing in evolution unitl our mother's pass away.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  8. Abraham

    Psh. Everybody knows that Zeus is king in heaven. We know this is true because it is written that "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence." This is irrefutable proof that Our Father Zeus is simply riding out Christianity, Islam, and the other weak religions of his misguided children.

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

      ZEUS !!!!!! Your Son Has Returned !!! I BRING THE DESTRUCTION OF OLYMPUS !!!!!!!!!! – KRATOS !!

      Beware when the ghost of sparta comes !! He will destroy man and god alike !!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  9. potentato

    Here's the thing: Science doesn't care what you believe. It would be inappropriate for a scientist to attempt to shape theological ideas using science, just as it's inappropriate for a theologian to attempt to shape a scientific theory using theology. Yet the latter is exactly what this debate is about. Bill doesn't want theology to be presented as fact in a science classroom because it's not useful to science. What's worse, even after creationism unravels as a scientific idea, proponents still want it to be taught as relevant. To knowingly present either outdated or factually incorrect ideas as science is outrageous and irresponsible.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  10. Nissim Levy

    How is it possible for creationists to make such stupid comments. I am amazed.

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

      Don't be amazed. Be astounded!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      Really? The things of God are foolishness to those who do not believe. You shouldn't be amazed.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • stupid followed to its logical conclusion

      becomes atheism

      August 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      HeavenSent / truth be told / Atheism is Not Healthy . . . / and many other handles blabbed:

      stupid followed to its logical conclusion
      becomes atheism

      No you cannot have your job back at the Pat Robertson Enlightened Fortune Cookie Co.!

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

      Hey Christard...another handle this poor crazy uses is Just Sayin.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  11. Hannah

    There is not a direct correlation between evolution and science. There are creationist are not all "Young Earthers." Many of us believe that micro-evolution has taken place, and that the universe and earth are billions of years old. And there are places that civilized dialog does take place. They are just not highlighted by the media, as most like the extremes, rather the middle view points.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Sorry, Hannah. As creationists go, you're in a severe minority.

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

      Your "middle view" only provides the shade under which the lunatics are allowed to flourish. Your position is merely a tacit acknowledgment that we have learned a few things in the last two thousand years, and necessarily comes from OUTSIDE the bible. While I applaud your concession to some facts of our universe, I bemoan the fact that all you seem to be doing is separating your adherence to a particular dogma (that the Bible is a book unlike any other book) from rational discourse, like you would have on any other topic.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • niknak

      Sorry Hannah, there is no middle point of view.
      There is no "a little bit god."
      It either exists or doesn't.
      And to date, there is zero evidence of some grand architech.
      But there is so much evidence of evolution, from so many different scientific fields that is it beyond proof. The theory of evolution has been the most tested theory science has ever put forth, and for over 200 years it has withstood every test anyone has put it thru.
      This is why the rest of the world has moved foreward and teaches this instead of creationism.
      Not only is science correct, it is soo much more interesting then religion.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  12. saggyroy

    People who don't believe evolution are the ones who need it most.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  13. ryanalbery

    It's unfortunate that this conversation is destined by human nature to denigrate into condescension, heated remarks, name calling and condescension. From either side, you can't really listen if you're talking all the time; you'll never understand if you think you already know it all.

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

      "you'll never understand if you think you already know it all"

      Theism claims to "know it all," end of conversation.
      Science wants to "know it all," and endeavors to do so.

      There is an asymmetry in culpability I think you are ignoring here...

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

      What is there to listen to Ryan?
      Creationists using 2000 year old myths to try to "understand" our physical universe and how and why things are the way they are.
      Then only for them to say, "well, god works in mysterious ways." as a get of jail free card anytime they can't explain something.
      When someone believes that 2 plus 2 equeals 5, you can't have a discussion about mathematics. Same here.
      There is nothing to listen to when the other side is using magic to support their argument.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  14. science only?

    He'll figure it out one day.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  15. wjeri

    You look like a white Monkey BIll Nye.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  16. mydogbill

    God sent the world a savior in His Son Jesus Christ because it needed one.

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

      That is a poor hypothesis.

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

      Prove it

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

      I think he was needed a lot more between 1914 – 1919 and 1939 – 1945. Too bad he said, "Screw that, I may get hit with an a-bomb, these creations of mine are getting too violent for my tastes".

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

      Prove that Bill.
      I think your dog has more intelligence they you do.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  17. Ricky

    If our species is to survive, we need to continue evolving. Thus, I hope that the morons that do not believe in science soon start to die out.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      Sorry, but your hope is futile, just like your rejection of truth.

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

      It's Gods science.

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

      We aren't evolving, our population is too large to evolve, if we want humans to evolve we need a small, isolated group and a few hundred thousand years.

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

      @mydogbill – Isn't that an oxymoron?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  18. Frank

    It is fine believing in Santa Claus if it makes life of many people happier. To say that Santa Claus exists is something else!! Evolution is a scientific theory (more than a hypothesis) which principles extend to many modern scientific disciplines taught in elite universities around the world. Modern science has proven correct the main principles of evolution at the molecular and genetic levels and now we have disciplines such as evolutionary molecular biology, evolutionary genetics, etc. Denying evolution is simple ignorance but some people have chosen to continue living in a tunnel, with the illusion of eternal Christmas. Don't be afraid of looking outside

    August 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Theism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes nothing.

      See? Just as convincing.

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

      Would you care to provide any support for your assertion?

      Believing in things for which there is no evidence is not healthy!

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

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

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

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

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

      "And other living things?" You're saying that living things need to "believe" too?

      Seriously. There is no God.

      Get over it.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  20. Burnz

    Rev Danny Kolander "In Billys case he may have Apes or monkeys in his bloodline."
    You have extra chromosomes in yours.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:29 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.