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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. monomial

    Creationists are not idiots. My family has 2xPhd's, 2xME and 1xschool eacher. Four of these believe in creation. They are very intellegent so to call them idiots is totally off the mark and un-enlightened. They have religion required blinders but are not idiots.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Jon

      They are idiots.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Exactly. I wish creationists were idiots. They'd be far easier to get rid of.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Bill

      Which is shameful, a lack of intelligence or the refusal to use it?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  2. sane

    Bill – It is extremely dangerous being an intellectual and speaking you mind in a backwards society. When the Right Wing Nuts take over, you will be on their Fatwah list. Take care.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  3. John

    I find creationists as incredibly mislead people. I am a Christian, but believe in the Big Bang, 7 Billion+ year old universe, and evolution as a general plan which has led to today. Those who read this who are creationists please think about what you believe in.

    Thank You

    August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      13.7 billion, give or take 50 mil.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      wow, you are not a christian. you do not believe the bible.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And about 32% of Americans agree with you. The universe is believed to be about 13.8B years old by the way.

      What is crazy is that 46% of Americans claim a belief that presumes the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sorry, 13.7B years old.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Pensacola Pete

      Try 14 billion years for the age of the universe (this one, there are likely many more).

      August 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Tell It Like It Is

      Please don't paint all Christians with that broad brush of yours like the atheists do. Thanks. I also believe in evolution. Only that it falls within God's greater scheme of things. I don't believe the earth is only 6 thousand years old ~ I know it's much, much older than that.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @tell it like it is,

      and 32% of Americans agree with you. Which is a good start, but there are still 46% on the looney notion that the earth is less than 10,000 years.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      John I appreciate what you are posting. However, science is not based in believe. Believing in the big bang (which is in doubt in many circles) does not make it true. We search for evidence in terms that can be measured calculated and repeated to determine whether theories have any weight.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  4. Tell It Like It Is

    sybaris

    Evidence?

    Let me help you, you have none.

    ********the evidence is in the way one treat others. Thanks for providing it.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  5. OldMo

    Abiogenesis, life being created from non-life has never been observed or created through experimentation. That means it doesn't qualify as science. Microevolution, variation within a species, can be observed so it's science. Macroevolution, one species turning into a completely new species, can't be observed in the fossil record or with the naked eye so it isn't science. The absence of fossil proof created a need for an additional theory called punctuated equilibrium. The theory suggests evolution happened very quickly and in isolated areas. No evidence can be found for punctuated equilibrium. So when evolution is moving too slow to see, I suppose it's moving too fast.
    If creatures spend more time in transition than complete form, shouldn't most of the fossils we find be intermediate fossils? How come there's no intermediate fossils? How come we don't many examples of creatures transitioning between species today? If legitimate science backs up the theory of evolution, how come all the "missing links" turn out to be outright frauds? I could go on and on but I'll stop.
    Atheists, please look into what your beliefs are really based on. It's the most important thing you'll ever do in life. We've all seen the cartoons in the high school science books and they're usually very convincing. Search out the evidence that those cartoons are based on and you'll be shocked. Once you take away the extrapolation and fraud, you're left with little more than air and imagination. Christians aren't opposed to legitimate science so don't be afraid to join our ranks. 🙂

    August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • darren

      Transitional fossils are found all the time... all fossils are transitional fossils.

      Some creationist circles have latched onto the idea that a "transitional fossil" is some incomplete hybrid of what came before and what came after, rather than the reality of them being complete organisms of all their own.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Steve

      If you believe in the bible fairy stories, you can believe any dumb talking points they shove at you. The fossil record shows very clearly the course of evolution over the past billion years.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Artificial Life Student

      The study of abiogenesis is only 50 years old. The earliest datable evidence for life is 3.5by and the Earth is estimated to be 4.5by, giving autocatalytic processes 1by or less to occur. Give the study some time...

      Also, refer to the post made by Sharoom earlier a few pages back; someone reposted it also.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • CatSh

      You are assuming all existing species are finished and are not in fact in transition. It's hard to tell because a 'rapid transition' may take a few hundred thousand years.
      Do you believe in DNA? How do you explain that you share a portion of your DNA with rabbits?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Actually, they've syntesized RNA in a lab. They're working on it.

      Of course, when they actually can do it, it will be 'micro' not 'macro' with you lot. Even though micro upon micro upon micro equals macro.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  6. joe smith

    who created god?

    August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      now that question is only posed by a genius.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  7. Abraham

    Creationists: a simple proposition. You claim that yours is the only true religion, right? If you can disprove every other religion in history in a way that does not also disprove your own, we can begin to have an intelligent conversation.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      sorry, the onus is on you, mr evo

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

      It's on me to disprove every religion? By that logic, every religion is equally true until proven otherwise, and that still leaves you to show that yours is the standout.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Brian Hartman

      You're both wrong.

      It's not necessary to prove that no gods other than the Christian God exists. (It's impossible to prove something doesn't exist.)
      It *is* necessary to prove that the Christian God *does* exist, if you're making the claim that it does.

      Someone refuting the claim that God exists doesn't have to prove anything, because they're not making a positive claim.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Abraham

      I stand corrected. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  8. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    WHY BELIEVE IN GOD ?
    ANSWER: The next reason I believe there’s a God is that 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.

    SOURCE: http://WWW.EQUIP.ORG (See website for other intelligent reasons to believe in God).

    August 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      don't be so serious to these people, they are not serious to you...

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Observer

      You really have a low opinon of Christians. Apparently they would have no morals if a 2,000-year-old book hadn't told them. They aren't smart enough to figure things out by your logic.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  9. Jon

    I guess I'm just missing what all the fuss is about on this one. I believe 100% in evolution; I think God's work is so incredibly complex that we don't yet understand how evolution is actually a natural law that He created and uses. I don't get how all my fellow Christians deny the hard, obvious evidence such as skeletal remains that is placed in front of us. I don't get how members of the scientific community think that because evolution is real, God doesn't exist? Could God not have created us by evolution? Is it wrong to think that a race actually evolved to the point that Adam and Even could house spirits created by God? Yes...I would accept that I descend from a monkey...and that God put things in motion so that the monkey would evolve into a human and my spirit, created by God, would be able to inhabit that human form. God lives. Science is real.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      evo is for evo lovers, emo is for emo lovers

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Adam

      What you are missing is that some people ACTUALLY believe what they SAY they believe. And some people, when they say "I believe the Bible is the revealed word of the Creator of the Universe," ACTUALLY mean that. And this is where conversation stops, because that book just so happens to deny evolution, and for these people, that is the only salient point to be made.

      I would revise my position if I were you, as I don't think you are quite on the side I think you think you're on.

      What you are saying is tacitly admitting to the hammer blows that secular scientific discourse has wielded upon the myriad claims of the Bible. Of course you are right to do so. But do not think that all who have the same book beside their bed as you do feel the same way. Sometimes we have to take people at their word. And some people just aren't worth listening to at all.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • niknak

      Science is real, and I can prove it to you.
      god is imaginary, and you can't prove that otherwise.
      When you do, then I will believe in it.
      But until then, it is just an unproven hypothesis and meaningless to me.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • donna

      I know a lot of atheists, but I don't know any who have formed that belief because they think evolution exists.

      And, just to point this out: evolution doesn't require a god to "put it in motion."

      August 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  10. Jeff

    I never thought that in the year 2012 we'd still be having this conversation. Just about everything in the first couple chapters of Genesis is logically, practically, and scientifically impossible. Science is imperfect but at least it knows its imperfect and works towards working out the kinks. Evolution may not be complete, but we know it works. We share 96% of our DNA with chimpanzees, who in both behavior and physical taxonomy not that different from us. That doesn't do it? OK, how about the domestic dog? Humans forced the evolution of wolves into everything from a Great Dane to a teacup Yorkie. We did that in only a few thousand years; now stretch that out to millions and evolution starts making a lot of sense.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • fableanne

      We have also have an anatomy very close to that of a pig.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  11. Big R

    Rubbish! This guy is trying to connect a person's intelligence to their belief in evolution or creation? Hogwash! And stop calling it "Science"... call it "Evolution". Science is a much broader world of knowledge... Evolution is a much smaller subset of scientific studies. I don't need my son to choose sides (as Bill would have him do) just to explain how electricity works or how a motor fires. Give me a break... Booooo hisssss!

    August 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Murphy

      Evolution is a scientific theory.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • donna

      Biology is the study of evolution. There's no way around that.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • TJ

      Without Christians you'd not be allowed to write whatever you want (though you do tow the party line quite well). You'd not be allowed to critique the president (whomever he is), or not even be allowed to be an atheist. ALL your rights would be alienable, given to you by man, and easily taken away by man. Human "rights" simply would not exist, except quietly in the minds of fearful people. And, like an insect in the woods who has never seen a human, man becomes to the universe, believing he is "all that", and there is nothing more intelligent or more powerful than he.

      Is THAT the world you wish to live in?

      Go ahead, be like that insect in the woods. One day your eyes will see far beyond what you can see now, and you'll understand what I've written here.

      By the way, I too am a scientist. I simply don't put all my eggs in one basket – as life should have taught you by now.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      A non-mathematician who claims that Trigonometry is wrong and stupid is himself wrong and stupid. Same deal with those who deny evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Without Christians TJ?

      Nope. Most of the founding fathers were Diests. See... there was a thing/period in history called the Enlightenedment, and.... Go and read about it.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      TJ, don't be a moron. You have no idea what rights we would or would not have if Christianity had never existed. As a scientist yourself, what part of evolution do you disagree with?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Enlightenment. was a cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe and the American colonies. Its purpose was to reform society using reason (rather than tradition, faith and revelation) and advance knowledge through science.

      It's got those bogey man words... reason, intellectuals. Science.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Big R

      Last time I checked, "Biology" was the study of living organisms... It's not just origin and evolution... it's structure, growth, function... This isn't an either/or situation...

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  12. Richard Louis Fairchild

    4 people were standing in line at the grocery store, and one of them realized he wasn't in his proper place, so he went back to another era and lived with his brothers a sisters, the amoebas.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  13. Azhar

    If God affected our universe in ANY way, every mathematical formula in the universe would have to have a G(for god) in it to compensate for his affect. For example the force formula F=MA would have to rewritten F=MA+G. So if mathematics disproves god in every formula, is math the teaching of the devil.OH NO!!

    August 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  14. Allah

    organized religion is the opiate of the masses.... just say no.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      you're crazy for evolution, it's crazy for you. la la la, crazy, you're crazy... la la la

      August 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • TJ

      Mao... is that you? Here to murder another 60~70 million people again?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  15. David

    The notion that what each individual believes about the beginning of the Universe somehow impacts that advance of science or medicine specifically... I think is way overstated by folks like Mr. Nye.

    Their passion and urgency to have things accepted as facts more than theories borders on religious fervor as well.

    Debates will go on and on.... Evolution, Creation, a mix of both.... There was a Big Bang... All matter that exists has always existed... Yada yada yada...

    Keep looking... Keep asking questions... But at some point relax. Stop being so arrogant on both sides...

    Because in the end there is no End. We will never know absolutely what happened. And science will still advance regardless.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Another convenient position, backed up by zero evidence and denies the evidence to the contrary.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • donna

      There is a whole lot of useful, life saving medicine that exists only because of the understanding of evolution. Most of the people saving lives and inventing things like a personal computer are very very big on science and the importance of evidence.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  16. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    WHY BELIEVE IN GOD ?
    ANSWER: The first reason I believe in God is that we are totally incapable of rationally explaining the world without a God. Take the universe, for example. 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.

    * SOURCE: http://WWW.EQUIP.ORG (See website for more intelligent reasons to believe in God).

    August 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Observer

      Even if intelligent design is correct, that does NOT prove that God exists. The universe could have been created by a committee of zombies for all we know. ZERO proof it wasn't.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Jack Kieser

      Ok, first of all, we can't currently COMPLETELY explain every phenomenon in the universe, but as time goes on, we inch ever closer to the answers we seek; as of now, it's only a matter of time, thanks to human ingenuity and curiousity. Second, it is utterly INSANE to say "science cannot answer EVERY question right now, so that means the ONLY alternative is to say God did it". First of all, "God" is not an answer: it's a bigger question (because if God did something, HOW did God do it?). Second, there is NOTHING WRONG with saying "I don't know", and you are assuming there is. If science doesn't have an answer to something, it says, "I don't know yet, but I'll try to find out." The theist, by invoking God, is saying "I don't know, I won't ever know, and I don't want to try to know." That. Is. Not. Rational. Or. Admirable. It's cowardly and stupid.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • erikc

      Just because you can't explain something doesn't mean you can jump to a conclusion about it. That's like saying just because you can't explain an object in the sky, it must be aliens.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Bryce

      Then what/who created god? Your argument is a non-starter.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • donna

      Nope, Hawking totally blew that argument out of the water and showed that the universe could exist without a deity. Just like Darwin showed that different species could exist with a deity.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Codepwned

      Bob... let me help you out here with your own post:

      WHY BELIEVE IN GOD ?
      ANSWER: The first reason I believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster is that we are totally incapable of rationally explaining the world without a the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Take the universe, for example. 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 (the Flying Spaghetti Monster) in which we live; and that this being is all-powerful, intelligent, moral, and, of course, self-existent.

      So... using your own worlds and changing a noun... doesn't it sound a little... i dunno... how about stupid? Regardless of if there is a God or not, ALL of the scientific evidence (things we can repeat and show evidence for consistently) conflicts with the literal translation of the bibles account for creation. That means either the bible is not literal and 7 days means a LOT longer... (billions and billions of times longer)... or it was just a great human invention to create hope and law in a time where there was none.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  17. Chip Fields

    first there was nothing...then it exploded

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

      there was a singularity that expanded. Now you can no longer tell your lies.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Chip Fields

      and what preciptated singularity

      August 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Nope, try again.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      chip, when an honest person doesn't know the answer to the question, they say, "I don't know."

      What do you know about "horizons?" For instance, there's a "light horizon," and beyond that, we cannot see. It appears that what occurred "before/outside" of the big bang is beyond another type of horizon. If it's beyond that horizon, why lie? We don't know. It's called honesty.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  18. Tell It Like It Is

    Religion in this country is the only thing keeping this place from total chaos. Be careful what you wish for ~ you just might get it.

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

      Evidence?

      Let me help you, you have none.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • donna

      Right, if we were all meek little believers in dogma things would be a whole lot smoother. Sorry to disappoint.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Bryce

      Yeah, it would go to hell like Norway or Sweeden... some of the lowest crime rates in the world.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • niknak

      Let me get this straight Tell It, if there was no religion we would all decend into chaos?
      I have never believed in god. Yet I have lived a very stable and happy life.
      I have never been arrested, or caused anyone any harm. I have a great job, contribute to my communtiy, have a loving family and really dig every minute of my life so far.
      All without a schred of religion.
      Why can't you do the same?
      Why do you need a big brother to keep you in line?
      Why can't you be a stand up guy because you want to be a stand up guy, not because of some threat to do so?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Religion in this country is causing chaos.

      Religion in this country is attempting to toss over the words of the founding fathers. Attempting to rewrite them. Learn about the society that produced the men who were the founders of this country. Learn about the Age of Enlightenment.

      Please. Research. read. learn.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  19. Snap

    What about cro magnon? Nearderthal? Anything from you creationist fvcktards on that?

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

      Apparently you didn't read the article, or at least not very well. Your imbecilic post is quite telling.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  20. Chip Fields

    why is there something and not nothing?

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

      Good question! How do you think we should go about figuring that out?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Chip Fields

      why, Science, of course.....Science gives us ALL the answers

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Because there was a tiny bit more of something than anti-something in the primordial universe and virtually all of the anti-something annihilated virtually all of the something.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:26 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.