home
RSS
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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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 • Faith Now • Science

soundoff (14,640 Responses)
  1. Tallyman

    What are the odds that you are the smartest person on earth? 1 against 6.7 billion. What are the odds that you are the strongest and the smartest? 1 against 6.7 billion squared. Now add most morally good. 1 against 6.7 billion cubed. Keep adding 1 to the exponent for each of the qualities that God is the "best in the universe." However, God isn't supposed to be just the best out of humans, but out of all enti-ties to have ever existed. So instead of the base number being 6.7 billion, try some unimaginable number. That, 1 against "near infinity" you come up with is the odds of a judeo-christian God. Love you all.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Odds Are

      Gamble much?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • longtooth

      I have no religion. Your theory as to the odds of a judaeo-christian god are interesting, but meaningless. If there is a god, odds mean nothing.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Tallyman

      longtooth, my point is that the odds of there being a God are calculable, like vegas does for the complex system of winners and losers in the NFL (GOOOO RAVENS). Then, after we know what those odds are, we consider whether the chance is so small as to be for any practical person no real chance, like for the Lions to win the super bowl. Odds are just abstract logic. So if you want to doubt your own logical abilities, I think that means you can't trust your mind or senses.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
  2. RMelnick

    What I find interesting is that this article (and Bill Nye) really faiil to address the 32% of Americans who believe in evolution guided by God. I think you'll find "Young Earthers" to be a vast minority among Christians. God brought order from chaos – without order the universe would be chaos. We observe this order through the blessing of scientific discovery. Science (and math) provides us with a window through which we can see more deeply into the infinite marvels of God's creation. Atheists would have you believe that science and faith are in conflict. Not true. There is no evidence against God in any scientific study or outcome. Moreover, God's existence as part of a rational ontology has been the object of debate forever. Extremist views – on either side – rarely have merit. The truth typically lies somewhere in the middle. Count me in the 32%.

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

      It's still not know whether evolution owes more to very sudden changes or very very gradual over time. some animals that have found a very great niche are deeply old and have not evolved in a long time. Like the shark. If you're going to seize on a gap to place God; this *is* your best candidate. But claiming that all life was created in its exact state (or roughly close to)? That doesn't square up at all with basic biology, or even simple natural facts about the world. It literally the same league as believing the Earth is flat.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • RMelnick

      Again, there's no basis for suggesting that the existence of God and the occurence of evolution are mutually exclusive.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  3. evolved one

    Creationism – yeah, right.....and I have some swamp land I can sell you.

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

      Oh yeah, and where did you get that swamp land. It was CREATED!

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

      richard Fairchild, are you joking or just stupid.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  4. Tell It Like It Is

    It's possible that both evolution and creationism exist. But neither side wants to ever come to any understanding of this. The key is the missing link. 'Nough said..

    August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Thus showing your lack of science education.

      WHICH missing link?

      There will likely always be gaps in the fossil record, due to the fact that fossils are actually rare occurences. We have been slowly filling in the fossil record over the past 100 years.

      Your 'god of the gaps' idea gets smaller and smaller.

      Learn something. All you've done here is parrot something you were told by some preacher.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  5. gager

    Creationism deserves slamming. Thanks.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  6. Anne

    We evolved..no doubt about it and ignoring and pushing that fact away only limits scientific research. Religion has been the bane of this world for to long.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  7. Louis

    Don't forget that "Scientific Conclusions" have always evolved over the centuries as more information becomes available. Don't put all your eggs in that basket.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • ME II

      Whereas religion has been consistently wrong for centuries?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • JT

      Of course it does. That's what science is. Just don't fill the gaps in our knowledge with "god did it and it's magic" for that's when science ends.

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

      Some of you "Scientists" worship science as if it's a god itself. As I see it there is a lot of the pot calling the kettle black.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  8. Yakobi

    Here's something to consider:
    The Earth doesn't care how old you think it is. It doesn't care what arbitrary date you assign today to. It doesn't care what mythology you believe. It will go on rotating and revolving long after you become part of it.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Babs

      Would we be so cavalier to cut down trees if they screamed? Probably, if they screamed for no good reason.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @Babs,
      Probably meant as a joke, but... yes, we would. we do it to animals all the time.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  9. ...

    Just give it some time. Eventually, humankind will be able to explain everything in the universe through science, as it has slowly done throughout history. Religion will gradually lose ground to science as it explains more and more. Religions won't be able to halt the inevitable advance of science and humanity. In a few centuries, posterity will look back and wonder how the hell anyone in their family could've believed these religious fantasies.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • ME II

      I doubt that humanity will ever understand everything, but I do think that will happen long before God shows up to explain it to us.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  10. Chuck88888

    "your worldview becomes crazy, untenable, itself inconsistent," Nye said in the video"

    Funny, I did not realize Hitler, Pol-Pot, Stalin, and Mao were young-earth Christian creationists?

    Sorry Mr. Nye, it is epic fools like you who rationalizied the Nazis concentration camps. Do the world a favor and keep your evil to yourself.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Jon

      His point isn't that some atheists are crazy too. It's that religion causes people to become stupid and dangerous. Good people do good things and bad people do bad things, but for a good person to do bad things takes religion.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Yakobi

      Uh-huh. He's "evil" because he points out how foolish your belief system is.
      What are you going to do, burn him at the stake?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • gager

      Nye uses reason, not force, like your examples.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Saul the Finance Guy

      This just in, Bill Nye is evil! Thanks Chuck, you snapperhead, you.

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

      Hitler was a strong believer in god.

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

      Re: "Funny, I did not realize Hitler, Pol-Pot, Stalin, and Mao were young-earth Christian creationists?"

      Nice of you to try to connect those evil tyrants with atheism. You're aware, I assume, that Hitler was a Catholic, are you not? And that Stalin had been an Orthodox seminarian? Just saying.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Chuck88888

      @gager – Hitler believed in EVOLUTION and EUGENICS.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Chuck88888

      @Psi Cop – Did I say anything about atheism? Please don't put words in my mouth. My point is that NONE of them were young-earth Christian creationists, which Nye dimisses as crazy??? Crazy is sending 100's of millions to gulags and concentration camps.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Al

      You and Hitler both believed in oxygen to keep you alive. Therefor, both of you probably share beliefs in every other aspect of life... including the slaying of a million Jews.

      See how stupid your logic is?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • sam

      Chuck...keep your crazy to yourself.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Chuck88888

      @Al, unlike evolution, oxygen can be observed, tested and verified; and you called me "stupid"? LOL, your stupidity and lack of critical thinking skills knows no bounds. Please stay away from children, you're dangerous.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  11. Edwin

    When it comes to rationing vaccines, lets give them first to those who aren't antagonistic to the science that makes them possible. Everyone else should just pray they don't get sick.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • tonythecroat

      All are greatist medicine have been found on accident on God's terms not man's. A vaccine isn't a cure. We have not found a cure look it up.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Xdoc

      @tonythecroat. He never said they were the cure, but in any case, his point is that man created vaccines, not God. If you get polio or roubella, etc, don't go to the man made vaccine for assistance, pray to God and see where that takes you.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • JWoody907

      Here Here Edwin, lets start by giving all atheists the vaccine, then the agnostics. After that we tell the religious to pray for their own cures and wait and see what happens. Hopefully they come around before the disease takes them and proves them wrong.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:02 am |
  12. ArthurP

    What Creationist fail to realize is that in order for Creationism to function God has to preform each and every chemical reaction himself. Which means I can make God do my bidding simply by taking a glass of vinegar and adding some baking soda to it I can make God come and preform the reaction that produces the CO2.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  13. Being

    Irrelevant.

    Whether one believes that man evolved from monkeys or that
    man is a child of God is irrelevant if one does nothing with that
    knowledge to help his fellow man.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Babs

      Monkey man-child.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Matt

      In the Genisis account the word day in some translations is rendered age. Day is not restricted to one 24 hour period. many those who claim to be Christian say that all things are possible with God and that is true, but to ignore the scientific evidence that the earth went through millions of years as it developed into the 3rd planet from the sun is neither rational or logical. Saying that does not mean that it was created by an intelligent being. The earth and everything in it shows beautiful and detail design. This can be seen from the smallest ant to a giant whale. From the water cycle to the proper positioning of the earth from the sun to make life possible. All of this just did not happen by chance. To say so would be like saying to take all the ingredients to make a pizza and throw them up in the air together and when they come down they are perfectly combined and form a pizza that is ready to be baked. A bang or an explosion causes damage, but a creative event is orderly and has a purpose and is caused by someone or something, not by chance. The laws of physics that we see in the universe did not come about just by chance.

      It took millions, even billions of years to form the earth and make it ready to produce plant life and to be inhabited by all the living creatures, including man. The Genesis account does not ignore these facts, but actually goes right along with what actually happened. Each animal is unique, just like humans are unique. Each kind is different.

      One area which most scientist over look is how humans learn to speak. We do so by imitating other humans and our language develops by listening to those around us even from the womb and we learn to speak the language, usually one or even more if we are exposed. With that in mind if our ancestors are those of creatures other than humans with language, then how did we learn to speak. Language did not just happen by chance. It was a gift from our loving creator.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  14. DaTruth

    Bill Nye for president! He is one of my heros and will hopefully be as inspiring to the next generation of young minds as he was to mine

    August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      Bill Nye is a freak.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Babs

      10-4

      August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Wow..

      "Dear God, please let Christians stop being so judgmental and ignorant."
      Welp, nothing happened. Guess prayer doesn't change everything.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • truth be told

      @wow the only prayer available to you is the sinners prayer. God will not listen to you until you are one of His.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Irene Done

      It obviously hasn't made you any smarter.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • JWoody907

      The only thing prayer is good for is wasting time and making the day pass. If you want to be productive get off your knees and use your hands and your mind to further the cause you want. One pair of hands working is more productive than 2000 pairs clasped in prayer.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  16. TR6

    “Ah, the brilliant scientist explaining how order came from disorder”

    Typical dim wit Christian. The theory of evolution is not about creation.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      You make so much sense I forgot to sigh.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Being

      Perhaps, but creationism has everything to do with evolution.
      Unfortunately, man cannot see the forest for the trees.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  17. Stevo

    Bill was telling us just the other day (in his infinite wisdom) that there's no intelligent life out there in the universe. No possibilities of aliens and the like. Man, this guy is a joykill.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  18. just a John

    Looked up creation myths, one web site has a list of 34 myths. Can anyone tell me which one is the correct myth, anyone?

    August 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  19. Mike

    Yet another liberal who is trying to force feed us science as fact when science has so many times been proven wrong.
    How many times do I have to hear eggs are bad for me? Wait they are now good for me. Oops just changed again, I can't eat eggs. Just give it a couple minutes and they'll be good for you again.
    How many times do I have to hear that something is between 10 and 20 billion years old? 10 and 20 billion years? That's the best you can do? You can't even narrow it down to 1,000 years, give or take?
    If that is the best your science can provide then I'd say your whole process if flawed.
    Come to me when you can narrow the age of something to within a few years, and show me the proof, then I might at least give your thought process a little more respect. Until then I'll believe what I've always believed. And THAT has never changed.

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

      Agreed 100% no truth or fact that we came from an athiest chimp named BJ Macay.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      And your Bible is proof of what and how and when? You're a fool.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • WAYNE

      Name one time in the history of science when supernatural explanations ever proved to be correct, or actually improved our understanding of anything, rather than impeding or retarding all progress.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mike -

      You're a knucklehead, Mike. Thanks for the laugh.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Al

      Sometimes scientists cannot say whether something is closer to 10 billion years old or 20 billion years old because scientists do not presume something they do not know, and they will not pretend that they know an exact date when they don't. Sounds like a pretty honest system to me.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • What the

      Wait. So you believe in something you can not see but you want to see science to believe it?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • tommy mack

      You believe in a talking snake. GAME OVER.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Creed

      What you believe has never changed. Now there is a statement that I believe.

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

      I see your point. I get frustrated at those reports as well. There is a difference, though, between these 'studies' finding correlations (not causation) and centuries of evidence for evolution. Hell, I can whip up an experiment with fruit flies and show you within a week that this stuff happens. And all of those fossils are hard to argue against...

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Get a clue

      Scientists are just arrogant enough to beleive thier carbon dating is actually accurate. It's easy to explain the facts, when you make all the rules.... Regardless of what side you fall on, we will all know the truth eventually.
      All I know is that we are not here because of some random cosmic accident where matter collided and begain this amzing transformation into the perfect envirinment for life to exist........

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

      Wait, you want proof and precision for things you don't accept but believing in invisible superheroes that fly around in space requires no proof??

      August 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • TR6

      “and show me the proof, then I might at least give your thought process a little more respect.”

      Can you say hypocrisy? Show me the proof your god exists and your bible is god’s own words, then I might at least give what passes for your thought process a little more respect. Actually I’d be impressed by even one scrap of testable evidence; but, you can’t even provide that.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Fernando

      Mike – I think they've finally settled the egg yolk, steak and hashbrown breakfast debate. It turns out that people of faith are immune to these mythical molecules scientists call "cholesterol", "saturated fats", and "simple carbohydrates". You have to buy into the science in order for it to give you a heart attack. Probably more to do with the stressful lifestyle of believing in scientists rather than God.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Stephen

      Mike, the most important part of this article was when BNTSG said you can believe what you like, just don't make your kids believe it. I guess if you wanted to really make people on this blog go crazy you would have said you wanted kids to believe what you do. Thanks for keeping your beliefs to yourself.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  20. tonythecroat

    the masses have been out of controll even with religion.

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

      And shoulder pads in the 80's.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Advertisement
About this blog

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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.