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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. tony

    Religion is a by product of evolution. Prevents brains being overly frightened by dangerous but statistically rare and random natural threats like lightening floods, earthquakes, preators t.c.

    August 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  2. DrTom

    Anyone who believes in God and is, therefore, a Creationist and who denies in evolution, is a person of very weak Faith. They refuse to believe in God and the Bible unless they can understand it using their limited human knowledge. Evolution and other scientific theories, such as the atomic theory, are the facts that should be taught to our children and that should guide most of our human activity during our short time on this planet. Religion should be kept out of the public arena, not taught in public schools and not factor into civic decisions (such as voting), at least in a non-theocracy. I fully believe in Evolution and I also believe in God and the Bible. To those of you who think that is inconsistent, I say "Oh, you of little faith, I hope one day you can see the way."

    August 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Saby

      Do you believe in the miracles of the Bible?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • web

      Miracles of Bible? You mean stories?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  3. Evolution is a relgiion

    Stephen Hawing and Bill Nye hang at strip clubs... to solve the mystery of the universe and . I'm suppose to believe in the Nye monkey religion? Most of you on here never studied the Bible but are authorities.. at least be intellectually credible and study it before you make stupid statements. such as there are facts? what the appearing CNN monkey man ever 2 years that turns out to be a farmers pig? Stop reading evolution books for your for you evidence.. take your dollar bills and go with Hawking.. .he is the evolving brain.. make love to him.. as there are no moral absolutes.. in your universe!

    August 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Evolution is a relgiion –

      Parody, right? Oh lord, please tell me this is parody.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Religious scientist

      Maybe you should try studying evolution before you make absurd extrapolations about it.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • sybaris

      evolution is a religion

      Obviously you've never studied evolution

      August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      That being said... I would KILL to go to a strip club with Bill Nye and Stephen Hawking!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • tony

      Religion without collection plates would have died out thousands of years ago.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Science

      @GodFreeNow

      That's exactly what I was thinking too. THat's the only thing I understood from the post anyways.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Chris

      You're talking about intellectually credible, yet your comment is totally unintelligible. Nice.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "there are no moral absolutes in your universe!"
       
      True!
       
      GOOD!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • wiredone

      Studying Alice in Wonderland you be more productive.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Dr. K

      Wow... coming from a scientist (geophysicist), that is a very sad sad comment. Please read more scientific publications (peer reviewed) on the subject and brush up on the scientific method while your at it :)

      August 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Ian

      Its people like you that slow down our evolution on earth, science is better than religion...religion is just a bunch of deluded people hanging on to a fictional story because they are to scared to face the truth that there is no Heaven in the after-life and that it is just YOU...Not a crazy man watching your every move that can't hold on to money!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  4. Dick Izinya

    America: God, Guns and Groceries! :D

    August 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dick,

      no the American pantheon is God, Guns, Money and Divinely ordained exceptionalism.

      They have appropriated the divine right of kings for themselves.

      Dieu et mon droit the motto of the English monarchy.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  5. Nietodarwin

    PRAISE BE PRAISE BE UNTO HIM THE ALMIGHTY...............BILL NYE

    August 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  6. FedUpwithLA

    Pencil-neck geek with a lousy physique . . .

    August 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • filthburger

      who is extremely intelligent and understands things.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Huzzah

      Yup, we'd much prefer it if he could only look like Joel Osteen or Rick Warren :)

      August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Big Bang Theory

      The Big Bang Theory

      "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." – Genesis 1:3

      August 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      You think HIS physique is lousy, look up a pic of Stephen Hawking.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Saby

    Those who equate evolution and science are mistaken. The proof is that there was science before Darwin.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  8. paulbark

    Imagine that...a science guy slamming a theory that is totally non-supported by even a shred of scientific evidence. Good for him. Shame, shame on those who want to push creationism in our public schools. Keep religion out of the public schools.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Evolution is a relgiion

      Monkey religion is not a fact.... Communism was the utopia of evolution... anyone moving to China or Cuba that is for evolution... thought not!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Evolution is a relgiion,

      ........... huh?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • paulbark

      Evolution is based on scientific fact. Creationism is based on belief, with no scientific evidence. I'm Jewish and have my religious beliefs. But my beliefs are based on my faith, not factual. So, I wouldn't want my beliefs presented as facts in our schools. And, I don't want your religious beliefs to be presented as facts either.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  9. TJ

    Wren, I find it sad that you believe our chief Founders were Deists. It demonstrates exactly how little you know of them, or understand their writings. Even with your cognitive distortions and poor reading comprehension skills, you should know they were not the end-all and be-all where faith is concerned. My remark stands, and holds up to your distortions; They were Christians, along with the Pilgrims, and if it weren't for Christians, and their quest for freedom, you would not be free to speak the way you are today. Not even remotely close.

    Have a nice day anyway.

    August 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Do you believe that Thomas Jefferson was a "chief Fonder"?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @TJ

      I know I'm jumping in here between you and -Wren... but, being a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, I can tell you that the "pilgrims" wanted to practice their own crazy evangelical brand of Christianity. They (the pilgrims) could be very much just as oppressive to non-believers, and then some.

      BTW– There is -0- mention of "Jesus" "Christianity" etc... in our Consti tution. If they were so "Christian" seems like a big error to not even mention these things, yes ?

      Peace...

      August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Observer

      TJ,

      Speaking of knowing and understanding little, the FACT is that Thomas Jefferson thought that the Bible contained so much NONSENSE, that he edited his own copy down to less than 50 pages.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      A few of the Founders were indeed Christians, but the most famous ones were deists. You aren't by any chance getting your "information" from THE LIAR David Barton, are you? Try reading actual history by actual historians.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • CNew

      Many came to the US to escape religious persecution by other Christians claiming they had the 'truth'. Christians have a rich history of denying freedom to those who disagree with their narrow view of the world.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Jduff

      So then we should run and operate our country as a CHristian Theocracy? Let's see how Saudi arabia is doing with their theocracy....

      August 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  10. Copy Paste Errata

    Every word that you have ever read in a Bible (any version) was copied (with changes sometimes) from another copy.

    The original words were written down after someone took stories passed down orally and committed them to various written records.

    Everyone is aware of the parlor game telephone: Alice whispers a message to Bob, who whispers it to Carol, who whispers it to Dave, etc., until Zachary receives the message. When Alice and Zachary repeat their messages the two messages have absolutely nothing in common.

    Translation also changes information:

    Also, try translating a phrase in google translate through 6 languages and see if the original matches the result...
    Zkuste také překládat fráze v Google Translate přes 6 jazyků a uvidíme, jestli původní zápasech výsledek
    Probeer te vertalen zinnen in Google Translate meer dan 6 talen en kijken of het overeenkomt met de oorspronkelijke
    Kokeile Google Translate kääntää lauseet yli 6 kielellä ja katso jos se vastaa alkuperäistä
    ಗೂಗಲ್ ಹೆಚ್ಚು 6 ಭಾಷೆಗಳ ವಾಕ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಭಾಷಾಂತರಿಸಲು ಅನುವಾದ ಮತ್ತು ಮೂಲ ಸರಿಹೊಂದಣಿಕೆ ನೋಡಲು ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಿ
    جوجل ترجمة لترجمة الجمل لأكثر من 6 لغات، ونحاول أن نرى مباريات الأصلي
    Google Translate to translate sentences of more than 6 languages​​, and try to see the original games

    August 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      You forgot language drift. A word means something now, that it didn't mean 100 years ago. Now add that to differnt languages and thousands of years.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Copy Paste Errata

      Excellent point, Wrenn_NYC!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      One of my favorite stories was about feeding a common phrase into an internet translator, then feeding the result back in and having it translated back to English.
       
      This went in: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
       
      It got converted into Russian. THAT went in. THIS came back: "Ghost is wh0re, and meat is rotten."

      August 27, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  11. Will

    Anyone want to disengage? I want all the creationists together in one place where they can be as dumb as they want, kill each other if they want to. Wouldn't you guys like that? WOuldn't you like to live all by yourselves, away from the evil scientists and evolutionists that are ruining your lives by providing you with technological advancements and good health care? Wouldn't that be your dream come true?

    August 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  12. Jared

    Over 4000!

    August 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  13. Shirley

    Shame on Bill Nye. I thought you were smarter than to deny Intelligent design (ID)

    August 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Nye is a scientist; ID is a conclusion. Learn the difference.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  14. little flap

    Not all people who read the Bible believe in 'Creationism'. I don't even know what that is. I've never heard of it. A 'Creative Day', itself , can and may have been, thousands of years in span. And the Bible say's there were six of them. Six creative 'periods'. A very simple example of this idea would be if a person 100 years old today, would say, "Back in my day.....they didn't have such a thing as......blah, blah, blah......." The 100 year old person is NOT referring to an actual 24Hour day. They would be talking about a 'peroid of time'. A whole entire generation different than the current one. Back in their 'Day'.

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

      @Little Flap

      Creationism refers to people who believe that god created the world 6,000 years ago. However, what you wrote about is the apologetics answer in reconciling the bibles genesis with what we've scientifically proven to be earths age (close to 4 billion years I believe). Even if the "day" that you speak of was 1,000 years, or even a million years, you'd be billions of years off from the actual age. More importantly however is that ancient hebrew had words for spans, eons and other long periods of time. When they said day, they meant day. It's pretty simple, if you understand and accept earths age to be greater than a billion years then creationism is absurd.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Many fundamentalist Protestants believe you are spouting dangerous heresy by daring to question whether "a day" really MEANS "a day". To quote a bumper sticker popular among them: "The Bible said it. I believe it. That ends it." IF those guys still ran the world the way they did back in the Dark Ages, you'd be looking at the dunking stool at a minimum.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Yes, not all people who believe in Christianity or believe in the bible are Creationists.

      We know that.

      What you need to know is that these people – who believe in Creationism – will tell you that YOU aren't a Christian, because you don't believe in the literal interpretation of the bible.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Scott

      I expect god is smart enough to say what he means. Or are you smarter than god?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • little flap

      In reply to the post called' Science' - Reason, meaning the ability to use reason, thinking ability, - does not mean the same thing as 'Apologetic'.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • little flap

      In reply to the post called 'Science' - True science, proven science, fact, reinforces the Bibles account of Creation as true, when the Bible speaks of there being 6 'Creative Days'. 6 'Creative Periods'. Using proven Science, and seeing that the Earth is aeons of time old, and using reasoning ability along with that information, ( thinking ability ), it is easy to conclude that A 'Ceative Day', a 'Creative Period', was quite some time.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • little flap

      In reply to the post called 'Science' - The ability to think , andf use 'Reason', ' reasonimg ability' , and draw conclusions, is NOT the same thing as, 'Apologetic' .

      August 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  15. Linden

    It boggles my mind that ANYONE accepts creationism as truth. To believe that nonsense shows nothing less than laziness and foolishness. I am definitely a member of the 15%.

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

      Me too!

      August 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • One one

      Among Millennials, it's more like 32%

      August 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Love me Millenials.

      Like talking to them. Finding out how their preacher has told them that the end of the world will come, in their life time. Finding out how long they've been with their church, how long their preacher has been teaching this 'end of the world in their lifetime' shtick.

      Then asking them how many of their church members have died in that time.

      In their lifetime... right.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • frog

      ...right, you're one of the 15% that believes "in the beginning, environmental pressures, and self generating matter accidentally made the heavens and the earth."
      Interestingly enough, Isaac Newton, da Vinci, Pascal, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pasteur, Cuvier, Herschel, Stokes, Fleming...all of them were members of the 46% I don't see how their belief interfered with science. Why should it? Nye's world view doesn't seem to keep him from being productive, though maybe it has – has he discovered anything?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  16. One one

    Revaluation is a hoot. It actually depicts god, creator of the universe sitting on a throne like some c rated movie.

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

      Revelation - an early sci-fi / horror / fantasy script.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Screenwriter – yup.

      What we have is a tome including fantasies, parables. Some highly romanticised histories, poems, more parables and aphorisms, an erotic poem. four divergent character studies, some letters and a horror story.

      All coming in at about 300,000 words short of the Harry Potter books.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  17. Tony Montana

    The bible is a dated book although it has many metaphors. Human's aren't capable of making the solar system or universe. Science is simply an observation of god's creation and how god created the universe. People like Bill Nye or Hawking become increasing arrogant. Hawking attempts to use reductionism and claims gravity made the universe. When matter(energy)combines it makes gravity. What made gravity or more likely what had the power to make billions of suns, galaxies and the universe. That energy and resulting gravity comes from the creator. It wasn't humans or ET. Even if it was ET what made ET and why?

    August 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Tony, how should we go about testing your theory?

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

      Wow, man. You're right. You just totally blew Hawking out of the water!!

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

      So who made the creator?

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

      wrong questions, the point is no one should pretend to know the answer to things they have no way of possibly understanding

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

      then your left with the age old questions what came first the chicken or the egg.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • daisyyy1

      Amen!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Who created your imaginary friend?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Hitchslapinator

      Nothing like the mind of a follower to think they can argue with evolutionary biologists, astrophysicists, geologists, and mathematicians using nothing more than some words out of a 3k year old book of stories told by illiterate middle eastern sheep herders. True arrogance is thinking you have something to contribute to an argument that you know absolutely nothing about, not dedicating your life to a scientific discipline and radically changing the way the world is viewed.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  18. Josh

    In other news, Max Headroom hates Pepsi

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

      Have YOU taken the Pepsi challenge?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  19. chrisrobnorcott

    Correction: Reading the comments on this topic, I see nothing but a bunch of know-it-alls and bullies. It almost effects a couple of minutes in my day, almost...

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

      Thank you.

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

      still wrong but nice try

      August 27, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Wut the holey fvck?

      August 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      haha. But at least comprehensible this time.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  20. creation_myth

    This is an old debate, but the reason Scientists vehemently oppose it is precisely because creationist teachings ARE one of the first lessons we teach our children. Bill Nye is talking about the damage to scientific inquiry being done to CHILDREN being taught creationism. The damage done to future generations of Americans who we need to be scientifically-oriented and inquisitive and able to objectively evaluate the evidence available through experimentation.... the future of scientific progress and technology. Not Americans who blindly believe a myth-story about creation that has no evidence whatsoever and is really a proxy for religion to control your mind.

    Let's face it people, creationism is the "canary in the coalmine", it is the first stone thrown in a battle that is world-over... That is, the over-reaching influence of religion in areas that should be left to scientific thought. We need BOTH religious teachings for moral/social well-being, and scientifically-derived thought for technology and understanding nature. Religion needs to know what it can handle, and what it needs to stay out of... and that is explaining how the world got here and how we developed.

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

      excellent

      August 27, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • frog

      Where did matter and antimatter come from originally?
      Does science have an answer? It shouldn't. Science is about observing the here and now. As soon as "scientists" begin to fling about hypotheses that cannot be tested, they've taken off their lab coats and put on occult robes.

      Religion isn't automatically counterproductive. Many great scientists were religious men – consider Newton, Kepler, and da Vinci.

      It's SCIENCE that needs to learn its place. Science is a process, not a world view, not a belief system. As soon as it becomes a world view, it ceases to be science.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Ruby

      Well done. Leave the why to the religions to debate, but by all means turn to science for the how.

      August 27, 2012 at 7:35 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.