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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. shinden58

    Bill Nye thanks for calling the creationist on the carpet. If they don't believe in science maybe we should deny them any modern medical procedures and let them resort to leeches to cure what ails them. Some people enjoy practicing cognitive dissonance.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Prlytle

      And who allowed all these scientific advancements! One day it will be evident on how the universe was created! You will shudder, oh boy, you will shudder!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Anon

      @Prlytle – Ah that old apologist canard the first cause (kalam crap) which sums everything with god-dun-it!
      Please lunge yourself into the nearest volcano.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    August 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      It's not doing much for the odd placement of your comma.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • shinden58

      Yes prayer changes (decreases) the amount of time you have to act rationally.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Boing

      Where the heck have you been? We're into page 66 of this BS and your just now showing up? God hates a slackaZZ.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Seriously. Comment on the article or go away.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @boing,

      the prayer-bot has been busy depositing its dead seed on the barren earth all day.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Dave

      No it doesn't. Action changes things, not talking or thinking at some false god in the sky. Thinking logically can change the world not burying your head in the sand. Hopefully you'll wake up and see that.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  3. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    * How many Atheists and/or Evolutionists REALLY believe that their Great Grandmother was a piece of slime or Tarzan's sidekick ?
    * Don't be a Darwin Dummy !!!
    * For REAL answers, go to http://www.AnswersInGenesis.org !!!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Chris

      I guess your great grandfather was a clump of dirt and lost one rib used to make your great grandmother so they could find happiness in incest?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Dave

      So we should believe which version of your creation story? There are at least two in the bible. Also, which version of the 3 ten commandments should I follow. Real answers are found in science not in bronze age books written by nomads. But please keep thinking that 2 humans somehow populated the entire planet with only 2 male sons, one of whom was murdered. Idiot

      August 27, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  4. Frank James

    Bill Nye also said that alien beings from other planets are not visiting The Earth. I will not state how or why, but I am 100% certain that beings from other planets are currently visiting The Earth.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Ummm... Well, there you have it. He must be wrong on evolution, too. lol

      August 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Frank James

      " I will not state how or why, but I am ***100% certain*** that beings from other planets are currently visiting The Earth. "

      Actually, I'm 'sincerely' interested to know how you are 100% certain...? Did you have an encounter ?

      Please... do tell !

      Peace...

      August 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  5. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    How many Atheists and/or Evolutionists REALLY believe that their Great Grandmother was a piece of slime or Tarzan's sidekick ?
    * Don't be a Darwin Dummy !!!
    * For REAL answers, go to http://www.ICR.com !!!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I know my great-grandmother wasn't an ape. I'm pretty sure yours was.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Karen

      Bob C, please stop being such a pathetic shill for those pathetic sites, and let mommy have her computer back.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  6. JP

    Mr. Nye best tighten his suspenders. It won't take 2 centuries before his evolved rear end is exposed to God's wrath on an unvelieving, disrespectful world.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      How cute, it's the age old veiled threat to believe or else. Tell me, is fear-mongering the way your god wants converts?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Anon

      @JP – Lunge yourself into the nearest volcano with a bible rammed up your ass.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  7. David

    Everyone has the right to believe what they choose to believe. I personally believe that the earth was formed by something a little more powerful than a god and God was a result of that as well. Early mankind believed the earth wzas flat so why is it so hard to believe that they made up something to rid themselves of fear from the dark and whatever else went bump in the night.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  8. rollotape

    creationism sounds like a Monty Python sketch....

    August 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • donna

      : )

      August 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Particularly the bit where God says "Don't eat the fruit of that tree.",

      and then says "Gottcha, you ate of the fruit from the tree of good and evil"

      But "I didn't know right from wrong before I ate the fruit" said Adam "and anyway my rib here made me do it."

      "Well you do now" says God "Put some clothes on and get out of here."

      August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • truth be trolled

      Yeah and since the olympics, i do still somehow want to see a new film from MP along the lines of the Meaning of Life, but where the nuns are choreographed to do synchronized swimming. I'll see if I can get in touch with some of my producer peeps.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  9. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    * How many Atheists and/or Evolutionists REALLY believe that their Great Grandmother was a piece of slime or Tarzan's sidekick ?
    * Don't be a Darwin Dummy !!!
    * For REAL answers, go to http://www.GenesisVeracityFoundation.com !!!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many posters on here think Bob ever got past 8th grade?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • John

      You've got to be a troll. No one with at least two brain cells can't believe what you're spouting.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Karen

      Bob C, please stop being such a pathetic shill for that pathetic site, and let mommy have her computer back.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Eric R Palmer

      I do!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you're as dumb as he is.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • No Jesus Know Peace

      Fact of the matter is that if you still, in this day and age believe in these fairy tales, you are mentally retarded and not to be trusted or allowed to participate in any debate, political process or priviledge. Religion stunts the growth of humankind.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • HahaUrFunny

      Don't feed the trolls! Yet, I was absolutely amazed at the poll results ... had to read that twice. I had nooooo idea that there were that many who follow this line of thinking, more than the large number of justified sheeple (from what I've read)!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @NJKP

      or as the 11th century Muslims thought of the Crusaders, "Know Jesus, No peace"

      "Deus Vult" after all.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  10. graham

    i have one question could the first day be a day of infinite length, because there was no concept of time then.

    that is why i don't believe in creationism.

    and the best movie that deals with this topic is Inherit The Wind.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      There was no "day" before the sun and planets existed. Light was created on day 1, the sun and the plantes on day 4. Woops. So much for the Bible.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Birds before Land animals yet genetics proves land animals came first . Another oops.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  11. Tom

    Yes, it is possible that something created everything, but the argument is more about saying "my religion" has the god that did all of this. It could just a possibly be 1,000,000 other things than Christianity. I think what turns people off the most is thinking that you have it all figured out and your religion is the right religion. How many people have died for that belief?

    August 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  12. Frank James

    Bill Nye should know better. Creationism has basis in scientific fact. Scientists will be able to create a DNA molecule by moving individual atoms. Moving and connecting individual atoms is scientifically possible today. So in the future they will be able to create very complex molecules and even create DNA molecules made to order. They will be able to create beings that have never existed or recreate ones that have been extinct. Bill Nye should know this will be possible even given the limited technology in this field today. I think Nye is more concerned with bashing the religious form of creationism, than basing his claims in actual scientific fact.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      What is the testable claim with creationism? As far as I've ever seen, it just makes an untestable assertion, that's all.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Anon

      I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
      So much creotardness that it's not funny anymore.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Raven

      This has got to be THE most convoluted and perverted use of rational thought to try to prove an actual blief in Creationism that I have ever seen. Bill Nye is actually a secret creationst because someday he can manipulate DNA and RNA and make a creature and thereby be a Creation-er, leading to him being a Creationist. Wait, i think I hear Bill vomiting in the bathroom.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • putty

      You do realize the fact that all organisms have DNA as their mechanism for heredity is itself evidence of evolution of all life from a common ancestor? You think aliens will have deoxyribonucleic acid?

      The theory of evolution by natural selection is an explanation of why and how organisms exist in their present state based on facts. One such fact is that organisms change over time (evolve). Whether we can create new life in the lab is irrelevant to evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Creationism has ....blah, blah, blah."

      No, it doesn't.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  13. Reason225

    I guess you people that dont believe in Evolution also question the theory of gravity?
    Are you sure the Earth isnt the center of the universe.

    "Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we're just making him madder and madder."
    Homer Simpson

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

    * How many Atheists and/or Evolutionists REALLY believe that their Great Grandmother was Tarzan's sidekick ?
    * Don't be a Darwin Dummy !!!
    * For REAL answers, go to http://www.ChristianAnswers.net !!!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are such a dope, Boob. Do you ever read anything other than the bible?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • sbp

      Their grandmother was Maureen O'Sullivan? I'm sure there are a lot of people who can say that. Is there anyone other than you, however, who believes that evolution states man descended from modern chimpanzees?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      If Christian Boob was arrested, and DNA could prove him innocent in court, he would "believe" in evolution real quick.
      The fact is Mitochondrial Eve has been proven to be the ancestor of all humans, and she lived about 180,000 years ago. The male DNA line is estimated to make "Adam" about 140,000 years ago. Evolution has been proven over and over and over. No real scientist does not accept it as the best working theory we have. 99% of these nut jobs, when faced with the DNA court connundrum, would say to the lawyer, "ok, use the DNA". They DO bepieve in Evolution. They are just to stupid to realize it. If they went to the MD, and he prescribed an antibiotic, would they take it ? If so they believe in Evolution. Would they say, no, I'll go hame and pray, and let my child die. Yea right.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      How many christians believe their grandmother was a "rib".

      For answers that weren't just pulled out of your ass go to talkorgins.org

      August 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • sharkman

      Bill Nye is an actor first and foremost. He is also a mechanical engineer. He is no more qualified to judge the validity of
      "creationism" than he is to comment on the validity of evolution. In the end, there is no shred of evidence that human beings
      "evolved" from some kind of sea creature. To the contrary the science reveals that the human race started as a separate species, a human "adam and eve" in africa..read this National Geographic work......https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html

      bill nye is good on TV but lousy at understanding the facts!!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
  15. Etalan

    You don't need to learn evolution to become a basic engineer, however most of engineer achievement is done by researching animal. The Wright brothers study bird and other flying creature to understand fight. Most of engineer knowledge came from studying the animal that have similar abilities. So yes evolution do play a part in creating engineer.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • donna

      Valuing evidence is important in every science.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  16. Craig

    Stop basing decisions on your conversations with invisible people.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  17. bobster26

    Spencer Tracy in: " Inherit the wind " watch and learn, what came first? the cicken or the egg? the world will never know @ this time... Beam-me-up Neil Armstrong!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  18. Mulder

    Judging by the comments, I don't think anyone has changed their minds about evolution.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  19. TextBooks

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9W6xwy240&w=640&h=360]
    check out the "facts" in the textbooks used in colleges to prove evolution.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Chris Mankey

      That's some pretty complex bulls hit .

      August 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • uncommonsense

      Go to Russ Miller's website. He has a lot od DVD's for sale.

      Scientists are not trying to make a buck off of you.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Don't waste your time. 100% crap.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Chris Mankey

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=360]

      August 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Chris Mankey

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnJX68ELbAY&list=PL126AFB53A6F002CC&

      August 27, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • lukos58

      Here's a "fact" for you. I wouldn't want Kool-Aid swallowing, so-called educated people like you anywhere near my children and their education. If you throw God out of your "scientific" equations, can you reach the preconceived conclusions your Creationists arrive at? No, I don't think so. This will always be an arguement between religious fundies who put the cart before the horse and arrive at the solution they wanted to arrive at in the first place (what a surprise!), and actual scientists who use empirical evidence and real scientific research and methods to arrive at results determined by where the SCIENCE leads them. Religion is like candy. We know it's bad for us and overtime will lead to your head/teeth rotting away, but too many people just can't help sucking on that ole time religion all day sucker.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  20. DR

    I believe in evolution. I believe in science, the power of observation, and more importantly logic as many of you do; however, unlike many of you more vocal individuals, I am not a hypocrite.

    You must understand that it is called the "Theory of Evolution" for a reason. It is a THEORY, and this theory is based off of one's unwavering belief in the truth of scientific observation. Similarly, Creationism is based off of one's unwavering belief in the truth of the bible. Unfortunately, while scientific observation disagrees with the theory of creationism, it is logically possible, despite the complexities, for an omnipotent creator to have created the universe with the observations leading to the theory of evolution. By debasing and insulting Creationism and those who believe it, you are implying that your "scientific observation" provides you superiority over the non-believers in exactly the same way Creationists claim "the word of their god" provides conclusive, superior, irrefutable evidence. Thus, you become a hypocrite.

    Now, should Creationism be taught in schools? Absolutely not. The United States of America was founded with the principle of the separation of church and state, and creationism is a religious belief. Science is a secular subject and must be treated as such in public schools. If private schools choose to teach Creationism, that is their own business. We should not be trying to "convert" the non-believers of evolution or condemning them for their different beliefs; we should simply engage them in discussions, provide them the evidence, and let them choose for themselves. In fact, they should be doing the same thing, for one cannot truly be sure of their own beliefs if they have not been exposed to and challenged by differing ideas.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • sbp

      No, a SCIENTIFIC theory is not just a supposition. It's been tested and confirmed by FACTS. How easy to claim the alternative is "omnipotence." OK, then please explain the mechanism – the physics – of ominpotence. How does god turn Lot's wife into a pillar of salt? How did he turn the Nile to Blood?

      You can't compare a pathway which can be put to the test with one that is, by it's own admission, based on magic.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • DR

      All off those tests are only valid with the belief that scientific observation is absolutely true, and many of the events that transpire in the bible are only possible with the belief that god is omnipotent (and with that belief the mechanism becomes superfluous).

      August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • RichieP

      It is not at all hypocritical to consider evolution to be a superior theory to creationism. Just as you said yourself, evolution is actually based on observation. It's not what the evolutionist wants; it's simply the only conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence. Creationism is not based on any scientific observation; it is simply what the creationists wants to believe. Anybody can dispute any scientific finding by simply saying, "What actually happened is not that which scientific investigation suggests, but rather a supernatural occurrence which coincidentally left any and all indications of whatever said scientific investigation suggests. Furthermore, I require no evidence to support my theory." That is exactly what the creationist claims, and it is unequivocally inferior to science.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • No Jesus Know Peace

      You do not understand the term "Theory." If you are a doctor, then I am Elvis Presley. TROLL!!!!!!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The fraud writes: " It is a THEORY, and this theory is based off of one's unwavering belief in the truth of scientific observation."

      You're no doctor of anything. No one with a doctorate would write such a lousy piece of crap as that sentence, you boob.

      And no doctor of anything would fail to recognize that the scientific use of 'theory' is not the same as the casual use of the word.

      Now get to bed, you little dork. You have school tomorrow. Better pay attention, or you'll be this stupid all your life.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • DR

      RichieP, your are right, anyone can say "What actually happened is not that which scientific investigation suggests, but rather a supernatural occurrence which coincidentally left any and all indications of whatever said scientific investigation suggests. Furthermore, I require no evidence to support my theory." However, that does not make them or their belief inferior, it simply makes them and their belief different. This is exactly what I was attempting to get at in my original post. Claiming that oneself and/or one's ideas are superior to anyone else('s) is dangerous; it leads to anger, hatred and violence. Please don't let this happen.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • DR

      This argument is not a scientific issue; it is a philosophical issue. This issue has nothing to do with whether scientific evidence and the theory of evolution is contradictory to creationist beliefs. It has to deal with the concept of absolute truth and facts. Trust me, I understand that a Scientific theory is a conclusion about the natural world that is based off fact and confirmed through myriad observation that makes falsifiable predictions. The issue here is that Creationists do not believe observational fact to be absolutely true. Their absolute truth lies in their faith that god exists. Don't take me for a simpleton, it is you who failed to grasp the scope of my argument. Though I do apologize for not being direct enough.

      P.S.: DR does not mean that I have a PhD, they're just my initials.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:12 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.