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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. tba

    Sir Francis Crick, the guy who figured out DNA (and an athiest) calculated the odds of a single fully assembled protein made up of a long chain of amino acids emerging as a result of chance at approximately 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
    000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
    000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
    000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

    That's a "one" with 260 zeros behind it. So I guess I'm going with evolution guided by a universal conciousness. Call it God it you want. The random chance thing isent working for me.

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

      Is that the chance every time the molecules come together in the universe, or the chance every second in the universe, or the chance every year in the universe... ?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Saul the Finance Guy

      Think of the amount of molecules all of planets through the whole universe 15 billion years, and you hit those kinds of zeroes. Seriously – a monkey has already written Shakespeare on a typewriter!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • pEvanB

      So correct but people would find a Rolex watch in the desert they would say someone made it due to its complexity. We would never say it was made by random chance. However it is a far cry from as complex as the human cell let alone the eye, ear or brain.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • tba

      I dont know for sure. You'd have to read some of Crick's work to see if you can narrow it down. I take it to mean just what he said; the odds were that great for one single fully assembled protein emerging from random chance. So I guess multiply that however many times you need to make a complex organism.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Try understanding stats instead of barfing them up half-digested.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tba,

      great you are one of the 32%.

      There's still 46% of Americans that believe in abracadabra and that the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • tba

      @ t3chn0ph0b3 : I'm just telling you what I read. Go read it for yourself and explain it better. And no, I'm not going to do it for you. You want to poke holes in Crick's work, you go do the research yourself.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • jimtom

      Big deal. Want to know the odds that any individual religion is right? Based on the total number of religions there have ever been in humanity, it's gonna be one in a billion probably.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • tba

      @ not a GOPer : I'm not a "young-earther". too much evidence around us for that. Speed of light from distance galaxies should quickly tell us the universe is ancient. So why cant the earth be much older as well. I have no doubt that it is. I think Genesis is allegorical, written down in a time when most people were cavemen and couldent understand the complexities of science.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • tba

      @ jimtom : I dont think any religion has it all figured out. The point here is not about "choosing a religion" as you seem to have jumped to. It's about the validty of evolution as a result of random chance. Stay on topic.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  2. Sharoom's post modified

    Only one of the following five points need to be shown to disprove the theory of evolution as it stands now.

    1. Mutations don't happen.
    2. Crossovers (mixing or recombination of genes) don't happen.
    3. If mutations and/or crossovers do happen, they are never passed down to future generations.
    4. If mutations can be passed down, they never produce a phenotype that can selected for.
    5. If they can be selected for, the natural environment never exerts any selective pressure that can skew the next population of offspring.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Allen

      Yeah, changes in genetics don't produce new phenotypes that are inheritable. That's why dog breeding doesn't work.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • steve

      What color was the first man and woman, and how did other colors dome to be? Correct on mutations and other changes. Nothing should be changing if God made it.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  3. Tyson

    Bill Nye is simply upset that he was created with such a funny head.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Tyson

      Honestly, statistics show that most atheists are funny looking. This keeps them from believing in any intelligent design.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Saul the Finance Guy

      Nye vs Tyson in a science cage match with Mr Wizard as the ref! No Acids or use of fundamental forces of nature.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      that is the best post on this whole thing, and nothing has beaten it or will beat it; besides, it's true!!!!!!!!
      hahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      August 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  4. CRC

    Wow Bill, you are very ignorant. I believe my Bible front to back and no gaps in the middle. It is very clear that especially creation is a literal account of a 6 day creation. Only the fool denies this fact. Creation matches up with the science we find today. Evolution has to have all sorts of different theories for every different scientific field and even many different theories in the same field because none of their data matches with the scientific findings and it never will.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • OOO

      totally troll.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • tba

      I'm going with troll as well. One does not need to "prove" a young earth or 6 days literal creation to find the spiritual or symbolic aspects of Genesis. Bible has lots of allegorical language. Check Revelation. I think this guy just wants to stir the pot.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Al

      Fron to Back huh? So you are on board with owning slaves and purchasing wives as property?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Bnode

      You are not making any sense.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Bnode

      CRC ?
      Like in cyclic redundancy check ?
      That's hilarious.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  5. TheVocalAtheist

    There was no God, there is no God and there will never be a God.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      Don't tell poor Mitt Romney that. He fully expects to become a god when he dies and rule his own planet.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      the vocal bonehead

      August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Richard Louis Fairchild

      Prove me wrong and we'll see who the bonehead is.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • pEvanB

      prove it

      August 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @pEvanB
      "prove it"

      Because I said so.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • pEvanB

      Science can PROVE nothing it is only proven inductively which is not at all or do you not have a science degree like me?? And by the by you really should do a search on scientists that are creationists past and present.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @pEvanB

      If you have a science degree I'll eat my pants! You're so full of crap, go away!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      @pEvanB,
      Kinda pointless to list scientists that were also creationists from past times, particularly if during said past times, there were blasphemy laws that allowed for imprisonment/death to speak against the church...

      August 27, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  6. MagicPanties

    Thank you, Bill Nye.

    The GOP wants a theocracy here, which would be a catastrophe.
    Vote for _anyone_ other than a republican!

    August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • freethinkr

      The Romney camp would never agree to it because it would undoubtedly bring up Mormonism, THE craziest religion ever devised by man. Magic glasses, golden tablets, disproven geneology (Mormons think the American Indians came from Israel!), Garden of Eden in Missouri, Jesus appearing in America 2000 years ago. The most unbelievable, far fetched, patently false "religion" ever.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • pEvanB

      WHERE do you fools get the statement that the GOP want a theocracy! are your parents brother and sister?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  7. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    Why believe in God?
    ANSWER:

    * Science has successfully demonstrated that the universe had a specific beginning — and that it is now running down due to the lack of available energy. In fact, the universe in which we live is dying of heat loss. Now since our scientific understanding rules out an eternal universe, and since it is totally irrational to believe that the universe sprang from nothing, the only RATIONAL explanation is that a supernatural being created the world in which we live; and that this being is all-powerful, intelligent, moral, and, of course, self-existent.

    * Atheism is incapable of accounting for the vast array of phenomena which we experience every single day. An atheistic world view cannot adequately account for such things as, the universal laws of logic, laws of science, not to mention, standards of morality. In addition, if there is no God, then there is no ultimate meaning or purpose to life — we are little more than animals.

    * God has revealed Himself to us through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus claimed to be God in human flesh (John 8:58). Now this is an astounding claim, but He supported the claim by His matchless personal character, His fulfillment of predictive prophecy, by His influence on human history, but most significantly, by His historical resurrection from the dead. Now, if you are looking for God — you need look no further than Jesus Christ Himself. He was either a liar, a lunatic, a legend, or He was, in fact, Lord. Now I think if you’ll examine the evidence, you’ll agree that He was the Lord, the one who spoke and the universe leapt into existence.

    SOURCE: http://WWW.EQUIP.ORG

    August 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Mammoth1

      • Crap

      • Crap

      • Mega crap

      August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • CRC

      Amen brother. Those who don't believe today will believe eventually but then it will be too late.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Douglas

      And then some more crap.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Steven B.

      Nonsense, utter nonsense. "God" has not "revealed" anything – you have been fooled by the writings of MEN.

      As for the rest of your post, science and mathematics explain far more than your silly, prehistoric spirit worship ever will.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      I'll give you $300 bucks for all of 'em!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • pEvanB

      Atheists cannot prove their point any more then we as creationist can prove ours. You are welcome to yours and I should be welcome to mine without name calling or a has been TV star voicing an UNPROVABLE point.
      Atheists should not get preferential treatment just as we should not – all views should be taught.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Steven B.

      @pEvanB

      We're not talking atheism, we're talking about scientifically observable principles versus the fantasies of a few human minds.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      @Bob,
      Exactly how much sense does it make that god decides to send his lone representative to go preach to a few million jews, while completely ignoring the other 100 million+ people in the world? Especially knowing full well that 'missionaries' from the old world wouldn't reach the new world for another 1500 years, only to slaughter the heathen non-believers?

      August 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  8. Danno

    Wow, 46% of the US believes in creationism. That scares the crap out of me. We're much more ignorant than I thought. I thought it was just the fundamentalist view of things. It's evidently much more mainstream.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Allen

      Don't listen ... believe in the prophet Jesus Christ after whom cam the Prophet Muhammed, praise Allah!

      Or wait ... maybe the Prophet Joseph Smith who like really dug that Jesus dude, whose brother is Satan and we all get a Planet when we die.

      Or, nah, ZEUS. Because he got their first.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Mammoth1

      yeah we'll get right on that just as soon as you produce DNA evidence he existed.

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

      REPENT AND BELIEVE ON ODIN ALLFATHER, MIGHTY RULER OF ASGARD AND GUARDIAN OF THE NINE REALMS!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  9. Richard Louis Fairchild

    Also, we should be grateful that the creationisists are not in the majority of sceintists these days, because if they were, our world would already be destroyed, since so many things would be being invented, and discovered. We should be glad God put the idiots in control of the majority of sceince these days. At least now we will survive for a while, since the geniuses aren't inventing, discovering. Nye just wants more idiot inventors, dicevorers.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  10. Creed

    What bugs me the most about Bill Nye is his silly theory that the earth is round and orbits the sun. We have known, by the purest faith for over 5,000 years that the earth is the center of the universe, the sun orbits the earth and the world is flat. This has been proven by our finest theologians. Who is this silly upstart, Bill Nye, to question thousands of years of religious dogma?

    August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      "upstart?" Who are you, my great grandma?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • MP

      Super clever! Now all you have to do is find something in the Christian Bible that supports the idea of a flat earth or contradicts the idea of a heliocentric solar system and you've got yourself a funny bit!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  11. southern guy

    I'm a Christian, who believes in evolution. It's undeniable. The bible can be interpreted as being written by men trying to understand their flat world, and this is what they came up with. To say everything in there is "gospel", is just not realistic. People that are completely inflexible in their belief systems are not smart – when cracks inevitably come up in their beliefs, and it has to be all-or-nothing, they're faced with either denying things that are as plain as the nose on their faces, or totally throwing out belief in God.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  12. mydogbill

    When the Moon eclipses the Sun they appear the same size in the sky. Yet you could fit 72 million moons inside the Sun. They appear the same size because the Sun is 416 times further away from Earth as the Moon is so they eclipse perfectly. Wow, what are the chances of that? It would have to be astronomical. Unless of course it was designed.

    If you seek God through Jesus Christ you will find Him. He will let you know of His existence. This is what Christians have known for over 2,000 years. God does exists and he calls you to know Him Through His Son Jesus Christ.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • OOO

      And the bananna fit the hand because it was designed. Never mind that the bananna was a totally different shape long ago... and that the moon was much closer to the earth long ago.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      So, that's your proof that there is a God?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • D

      Argument from Ignorance. FAIL

      August 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • WAYNE

      Creationists are idiots.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • mydogbill

      My proof God exists come from personal experience. I thought I'd give you atheists an example that I'm sure you were aware of but never really thought about until now. You to can have personal proof if you seek God through Jesus Christ. Just persistently call the name of Jesus, invite Him into your life as your Savior.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Nate

      Mydogbill, what an ignorant statement. How is an eclipse "created"? It's funny you use the word astronomical, because that is exactly what it is. There are billions of galaxies each with billions of stars and even more countless planets surrounding those stars. In this light, eclipses are probably quite common relatively speaking given the vast opportunities presented in our almost limitless universe. When you wake up and take off the blinders that retard you, I would love to have a conversation.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • R

      The fact that we happen to be in a stable orbit, billions of years after unstable orbits would have decayed, doesn't really buy you anything. It just means this is a stable orbit, and potential sister planets to ours failed (crashed into the sun, crashed into a surviving planet, etc). It's no miracle that it takes a stable orbit to get the kind of time necessary to evolve complex life, and there are many, many examples of stable orbits out there. Complex life is just a consequence of probability, available resources, and time.

      The moon does not always appear the same size as the sun during an eclipse. That it can cover the sun during a total eclipse just means it's near and at least large enough to do so, and sometimes the angle works out for observers.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  13. jeff

    !!! Bill Nye for president !!! Let elect someone with a brain this time.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  14. theDude

    Bill: "in another couple decades creationism won't exist."

    Me: Yes it will. It's a simple matter of birth rates. The only people who are having large families are fundamentalist Christians. This is true all over the world. Wake up and smell the demographics, bro.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  15. 3511danny

    Bill who?

    August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  16. AgnoAnon

    It's like when kids in school are proud of being awful at math or hating science...when exactly did critical thinking become optional? And why does science have the burden of proof in this situation, for that matter? If evolutionary scientists tried to hold up a copy "On the Origin of Species" and claim it was all the proof they needed they'd get laughed out of existence. Is it because "On the Origin of Species" doesn't have some magical sky-wizard totally vouching for it?

    August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  17. jeff

    Stupid stupid people. The bible was written by humans. Its a horrible piece of fiction. Stupid stupid people..

    August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  18. Jarred

    I for one, dont believe in Creationism.... or the Bible. Science ALL the way!

    August 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • tonythecroat

      Stupid stupid Athiest boo whhooo please feel sorry for me I need attention ! Betting Athiest are 90% BORDERLINE PERSONALITY

      August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  19. Richard Louis Fairchild

    All those people down through the centuries who believed the Bible for what it said were idiots. We are the smart ones. We don't just go by faith, but we have sceince too. They just didn't know what we know; so when they believed God about what he said about the earth being created in six days, they just were ignorant. We have sceince.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • gager

      Yep.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • 3511danny

      Science doesn't answer the question of why. By the way, you sound arrogant.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      Oh yeah, we are so smart and know exactly how the pyramids and stone temples in South America were built, not!
      We are not so smart. We can barely pass on knowledge from one geration to the next. We are pretty stupid really. Nye is an idiot. What happend to the scentist that led their fields for the last 200 years and believed in creationism? Many of them provided what we have today. Sorry you will have to come up with some actual proof that it would harm are kids. Very few plublic schools teach creationism or even mention it, so his idea is just stupid. In addtion, science still can't find that missing link. As a matter of fact, its not really possible that we will find one. You know why? Because there isn't enough time for the the gap to be filled by an evolutionary process.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • D

      Oops, we DO know how the Pyramids were built. Sorry, you FAIL, Rob!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  20. Jeepgirl

    Obviously things evolve that is a fact. However the details of Human evolution are theories – HENCE The Theory of Evolution. I think of religion and god, etc. much in the same manner – theories. To those of you who are bashing on people and calling them dumb for beleiving that both theories can coexist and *gasp* somewhere in there something links them together, you are the truely ignorant ones. The whole spirit and nature of science is to constantly be searching for answers – not excepting the first conveinient and "logical" one (this goes for both sides of the argument).

    I think when teaching theories on either side it is important to point out that they are just that theories, and encourage children (and adults) to review multiple theories. Where did that theory originate? What evidence is there to support it? What are people doing to further this theory? Get people thinking and discussing – not arguing. If we except either theory as 100% fact then we are doing ourselves a disservice.

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

      Indeed. Science, in fact never "proves" anything once and for all, it only hold as true that which has NEVER yet been proven false. And this is a fine and important disctinction... but... when the other side is producing, uh, "theories" which come from nothing else than dogma, there is nothing over which to have a conversation. Dogma is simply not a method of understanding which needs to be valued in any way, and those bringing it to the table have merely removed themselves from the conversation.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Abraham

      I think you may be confusing the word "theory" for "hypothesis".

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • froyo

      The main issue is that no one understands what a theory is. A theory, in scientific terms, is a WELL-SUBSTANTIATED claim. It has robust findings to support its truth. Gravity is a theory, and a well supported one at that. Evolution is held in the same regard (and no one questions the existence of gravity).

      One cannot however call any sort of religion/creationism a theory until it has been tested and overwhelmingly supported. If it is untestable (like faith) it cannot be a theory in the way that evolution can.

      Theory in laymans terms is taken to be more like a 'hunch' or a 'guess', but in science (and reality), that couldn't be further from the truth.

      So for those of you who slough off evolution because "it's just a theory" are wrong on nearly every level, starting with your misunderstanding of the word, theory.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:16 am |
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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.