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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. SixDegrees

    I've never really cared much for Bill Nye. But he went up several notches in my estimation today.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  2. David

    It's about time we stopped having a trickle amount of athiests control everything. Let the majority that love the word of God have our rights back again .

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

      Paranoid? Trust me, if atheists were in control, America would be a very different place.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Doc_77

      There is no god.

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

      As in you want your theocracy back? Which one of the thousands of flavors of the Christian cult should we go with?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Farting Preacher

      *farts* HMM hmm I can smell the gates of heaven!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • kindless

      No cause then you sheep will be running all over the pasture including the places where the poisonous root vegetables grow.

      My goodness. mama kindless

      August 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Adam

      Majority?!?! What are you talking about? Even if we knew there was one religion that was true, by the rules of probability, you would have to assume you got it wrong...

      upload.wikimedia [dot] org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/World_religions_pie_chart.png

      August 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • JustTheFax

      Doc.....prove it.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • the other guy

      Not going to happen, the minds of men wil see how ridiculous all religions are and sooner or later mankind will be free of all gods; if we do not destroy ourselves first.

      Imagine....John Lennon

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

      What exactly is it that you want to control? The natural world?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • 13directors

      No one is preventing you from loving God.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  3. chicago7

    If the way the world was made is too difficult for me to grasp, then I reject it and instead conclude that a wizard must have done it.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  4. Tell It Like It Is

    donna

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

    **Believe what you will. You are going to anyhow. Like I said ~ be careful for that what you wish.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • donna

      How do you know what I wish for? Did you get your mental telepathy from god or evolution?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  5. Mennoknight

    32% believed in evolution guided by God
    This is what the majority of seminaries teach.

    On another note:
    All you need to do it look in a telescope and you quickly realize that the universe is very old. In just my small back yard telescope you can clearly see the Andromeda Galaxy which is over 2 million light years away. That means it took over 2 million years for the light to get from there to here for us to see.

    The age of the earth is not what my faith is based upon. It is based upon the person of Jesus Christ.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Abraham

      This illustrates why Christianity has been able to survive for as long as it has. As each of its bronze age misconceptions is debunked, it quietly assimilates the contemporary view. Then it claims to have known all along.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Mennoknight

      Sort of right, but more like we say, God knew it all along, and we were just schmucks.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  6. Jmac

    Of all the ideas that cripple our society is the reliance on faith and belief over science and math. Where will we end up in this world if we continue on this path? Surely common sense should dictate that these arcane notions, that two thousand years ago where "fact" to un- educated and illiterate tribes people to explain our natural world,should have long since vanished.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Jay-maheheh!

      That was a nice couplet.

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

      Where will we end up? Probably something akin to Saudi Arabia...

      August 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  7. graceministriesaustralia

    I believe in the absolute authority of the Word of God. It's the source of all knowledge. "In the Beginning God Created the Heaven and the Earth." Case closed. Evolution debunked.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Unicorns and talking animals.

      Case closed.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • joe

      You believe everything you read I suppose. So just because it was in a fantasy book, you believe it. Unbelievable!

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

      Wonderful Logic!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Ugh...

      That book of yours also states the world is flat, and it's the center of the universe. Also, the Earth is 10,000 years old. Also, you should kill your children if they misbehave, and you deserve a lifetime of hell if you eat some shellfish. /caseclosed....

      August 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Babs

      There are no unicorns in the bible.

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

      Thank you graceministries. I really needed a good laugh! That was roll on the floor funny.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Babs

      Actually, the bible states the earth is round (sphere) hanging in space. It's in Job and Isaiah. If you're referencing the four corners thing that's in Revelation and has nothing to do about the physical shape of the planet.

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

      Babs,

      Read the Bible sometime.

      – Isaiah 34:7 "And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.” [KJV]
      – Job 39:9-10 “Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?”
      – Numbers 23:22 “God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.”

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

      Babs,

      A circle is TWO-dimensional.

      A sphere is THREE-dimensional.

      Basic stuff.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Doc_77

      In the beginning, a group of semiliterate men plagiarised myth and other bronze age religions.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Babs

      Observer, something is whackadoodle. You readin' the Mormon Bible?

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

      It's "wild ox" home slice.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Observer

      Babs,

      I quoted from the King James version of the Bible. Ever heard of it?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Babs

      You need some commentary help Observer...
      The strength of a unicorn – ראם reem and ראים reim. It is generally allowed that there is no such beast in nature as the unicorn; i. e., a creature of the horse kind, with one long rich curled horn in the forehead. The creature painted from fancy is represented as one of the supporters of the royal arms of Great Britain. It is difficult to say what kind of beast is intended by the original word. The Septuagint translate the word μονοκερως, the unicorn, or one-horned animal; the Vulgate, sometimes, unicornus; and in the text rhinocerotis, by which the rhinoceros, a creature which has its name from the horn on its nose, is supposed to be meant. That no single-horned animal can be intended by the reem of Moses, is sufficiently evident from this, that Moses, speaking of Joseph, says, "he has the Horns of A unicorn," or reem, where the horns are spoken of in the plural, the animal in the singular. The creature referred to is either the rhinoceros, some varieties of which have two horns on the nose, or the wild bull, urus, or buffalo; though some think the beast intended is a species of goat; but the rhinoceros seems the most likely. There is literally a monoceros, or unicorn, with one large curled ivory horn growing horizontally out of his snout; but this is not a land animal, it is the modiodan or nurwal, a marine animal of the whale kind, a horn of which is now before me, measuring seven feet four inches; but I believe the rhinoceros is that intended by the sacred writers.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Babs,

      Actually, this is what the ancient Hebrews thought the Earth and surrounds looked like:

      They had a distinct word for "sphere" or "ball" - they did not use it in their description.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Observer

      Babs,

      – Isaiah 34:7 “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness"

      That's from the KING JAMES VERSION of the Bible.

      Ever heard of it?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Babs

      Last I checked the earth is 3-dimensional?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Babs

      No brah I only read thh NKJV....

      August 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Observer

      Babs,

      The Bible says the earth is a circle. It is not. It is a sphere.

      Know the difference?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  8. Societysucks

    Imagine if the big religions such as Christianity and Islam did not exist, and in 2012 a few guys started telling people about their stories from the Bible and Koran, what the hell do you think people would do, laugh in their face.

    Faith is fine if your scared of death, but the facts are religion does more harm than good. Read a history book.

    What good has organized reilgion ever done on a global scale for anybody? except use fear tactics, persecute people who used their brains, and condone genocide as long as it wasnt their own being slaughtered.

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

      Scientology.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • cliff

      The unbeliever shall have his place "in the lake of fire" so I trust you enjoy warm weather. Actually, it is sad you feel that way. Remember, GOD ALLOWS U-TURNS! BTW, who is Bill Nye? His opinions are no more important than mine.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Evolution is a relgiion

      I love the we evolved from Animals... so guess what we have thugs who act like an animal... Takes more faith in evolution than a creator.. last I checked were not evolving...except back wards.. you believe in a god.. yourself.. big bang would be like a 747 crashing and then mysteriously be put back together.. I say Nye is a sty in my God created eye!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • IMNALEN

      CLIFF... uninformed opinions are not important

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

      Cliff: supporting your opinion on evolution with passages from the Bible is the same as supporting an opinion on evolution with excerpts from the TV Guide. Both are stories authored by many people and neither contain any credible facts.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Sean

      May I just point out that Stalin alone has (in terms of raw slaughter) done as much as the biggest 5 religious wars put together? Furthermore in most of those "religious" wars the religion was simply a tacked on point to justify it in the slightest.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  9. michael

    Within the many schools of thought that co-exist within Judaism there rational point of view that understands Genesis somewhat literally that poses no threat to the scientific definition of creation. I find it interesting that scientists seems more threatened by creationists than the other way around. For Bill Nye, a person that I actually admire(d), to make such comments goes against the the natural order and man's ability to choose what he believes. It goes against the inalienable rights granted through man's unending fight for freedom.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      If someone else making reasoned arguments backed up by more than a century of observation and discovery is an infringement of your inalienable rights, you might be a Republican.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      The reason Bill Nye and scientist like myself are concerned is due specifically to legislation to teach "the controversary" like the governor of my state Rick Parry. It is disturbing that these men are trying to undermine science with fluff called creationism.... Science is not based in FAITH OR BELIEVE or FREEDOM!

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

      Yes – you have every right to be stupid and ignore scientific fact if you want to !

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

      Maybe there was a misunderstanding on your part about Bill Nye, but he has never ever ever ever tried to teach or even imply that belief had any impact on scientific issues.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • donna

      I should say "processes," "issues" was the wrong word choice.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  10. BigDog

    Ask yourself how many people dedicate themselves to proving that Santa Claus does not exist? Answer: Zero, because there is no Santa Claus............

    Atheists work so hard to prove there is no God, because they do not want to answer to a holy and righteous God.

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

      Many don't believe in God BECAUSE they have read the Bible.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • WAYNE

      People don't push iron age laws by Santa in the government do they?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • One one

      Holey as in full of gaping holes ?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • One one

      Not nearly as many people who dedicate themselves to proving god exists.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Abraham

      I have to say that this is the silliest argument so far in these comments. It's so frustrating to have Santa Claus so callously disregarded when he clearly is real. Who ate the cookies I baked if not for Santa? Whose snowy footprints did grace my living room floor if not those of the One True Claus? Repent or you'll only get coal in your stocking for all eternity.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  11. One one

    I wonder why god made Adam and eve from dirt and a rib, and why it took six days.

    I would think that being magic and all powerful, he could just just wave his magic wand and BADDA BING !, there it is!

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

      You were born of dust and to the dust you shall return.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      mydogbill / just sayin / HeavenSent / james / Peter / Atheism is not healthy / ! / captain america / truth be told / observer

      wrote more rubbish

      August 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      but Observer with an upper-case O is not HeavenSent to be clear

      August 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  12. sybaris

    The comments on here are a testament to the appalling lack of education in the sciences and makes it less shocking that the U.S. doesn't even rank in the top 10 in global academic achievement.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  13. mydogbill

    Only the fool says in his heart "there is no God."
    Psalm 14

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

      Yep. "Non-fools" believe in unicorns and talking animals.

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

      wiseman says it in his brain

      August 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  14. Aquaticons

    One thing that creationists mistake about evolution is that they think it has some sort of goal. The theory of evolution proclaims no direction of evolution, it is just a series of mutations and genetic abnormalities that either thrive or die off. To insist that our creator (in the terminology of creationists) is moral is also incorrect, for morals are created by mankind and exist nowhere in the universe. If there is a divine force that started the spark (big bang) or developed mankind, it certainly isn't with moral consciousness. Christians need to realize that they are one of the only religions left who doesn't have a creator/destroyer archetype. This is a humbling balance that makes a lot more sense to someone who lives in this world with their eyes fully open.

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

      You might want to read Revelation

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

      mydogbill said – "You might want to read Revelation"

      Revelation??? Everyone knows some fool crashed his camel in a field of burning poppies to come up with that mess. My goodness.

      mama kindless

      August 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  15. Richard Louis Fairchild

    bill, you are nigh to death, as all we are, take care that you believe correctly

    August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  16. Drew

    "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems." Indicating that one has to believe in creationism to be an engineer that builds stuff and solves problems? Eff off, Mr. Nye. I just lost a great deal of respect for you...

    August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  17. Brian Hartman

    The difficulty people get into is when they make the assumption that evolution excludes the existence of God. It doesn't. It excludes *one narrative* of the existence of God - i.e., that the Old Testament creation story is literally true.

    All of the sectarian nonsense could be minimized if we didn't have people on one side shouting "Your god is a silly myth!", and people on the other side shouting, "You're all going to Hell!"

    August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      OK – I won't yell god is a silly myth.

      But all religion – anything written down or any lore attempting to describe god is a silly myth.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Brian Hartman

      Um, I'm not sure you understood the nature of my objection there ...

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  18. iThought

    It's just my opinion, but my observation is that some people who believe God as creator and controller of all that transpires often use him as the excuse for how things turn out rather then the logic of responsibility due to behavior, good or bad.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  19. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    WHY BELIEVE IN GOD ?
    ANSWER: He has revealed Himself to me 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 with me that He was the Lord, the one who spoke and the universe leapt into existence.

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

    August 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • BoDacious01

      I am God in human flesh as well.... As divine as the next being of light!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  20. halfbakedlunatic

    'god' is an idiotic idea promoted by immoral people to control and pacify the weak minded.

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

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

      August 27, 2012 at 6:29 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.