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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. Greyhound

    I don't necessarily think that creationism and evolution have to be separate. Why couldn't God have created life and evolution? I mean, there is plenty in the Bible that is not necessarily true or an exaggeration. Book of revelations, exodus. They all are exaggerations. I believe that if you try to get to caught up in the wording of the Bible, you loose the true message. (Catholic by the way)

    August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Belief in Creationism negates the acceptance of the facts that make up the sciences of physics and chemistry.

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

      Evolution has turned up evidence — TONS of evidence — that species change over time, eventually transforming into entirely new species thru a series of gradual changes. Creationism teaches that this not only has never happened but that it CANNOT happen.
       
      How, exactly, do you propose that these 2 blatantly contradictory viewpoints can be reconciled?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      You LOSE all credibility since you obviously don't know the difference between LOSE/LOOSE and TO/TOO!

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

      "Book of revelations, exodus. They all are exaggerations."

      You got that right. Especially revelation. Someone crashed their camel in a lake of bath salts to come up with that crap.

      mama kindless

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

      What Arthur said. It's as if I studied a Toyota Camry, and could describe the physics of an internal combustion engine, explain how the pistons and cams, etc.. convert the explosive energy into rotational energy, even mathematically calculate the horsepower that should be created by the engine, and back it up with real world data.

      And along comes a Car Creationist, who says "no one has ever seen a piston fire, because men cannot fit inside a car engine. I know for a fact GOD created the Toyota Camry. And since he is omnipotent, he did it by magic. Therefore, there is no need to prove the PHYSICS by which a car works or how god created it. It just works because he said so."

      August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
  2. mrwma

    What makes Bill Lye an expert on the Bible????????

    August 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Nothing. He's an expert on science and somewhat on evolution. Next.

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

      When did he say he was? He's an expert in science. Creationism makes claims about scientific processes, therefore, this subject is his area of expertise.

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

      And what makes the Bible an expert on ANYTHING?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • C

      Why does one need to be an expert on the Bible to know that evolution is is the only theory that should be taught in fact-based science classes? The Bible is not a science text book nor should it be thought of as being such. If you want creationism for you and yours, attend private religious school and knock yourself out.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Quite honestly, if you believe in the validity of Jesus (which I do) then you shouldn't give a damn about origins of the universe. And the Young Earth Creationists are completely ignoring that Genesis wasn't written to tell HOW we got here, but WHY we're here. Ugh

    August 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Greyhound

      amen

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

      There was never a why in the bible. God can go fu*k himself.

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

      Head in the sand.
      Sad way to live your life.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  4. tomparis

    lol at all the buthurt christians

    August 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  5. christ for you billy

    pray for this man, pray for our kids, pray for our nation, pray for all the people who will read this comment and get angry. the devil studs evil like no other in mens hearts.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Anon

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q16KpquGsIc&w=640&h=360]

      August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  6. sharoom

    The core principles of the theory of evolution are genetic variation, heritability, and selection within populations. As any scientific theory, it must be potentially falsifiable. If any of the following statements could be shown to be true for a population of organisms, then the theory of evolution would be false.

    1. Mutations don't happen.
    2. If mutations do happen, they are never passed down to future generations.
    3. If mutations can be passed down, they never produce a phenotype that can be selected for.
    4. If they can be selected for, the natural environment never exerts any selective pressure that can skew the next population of offspring.

    In every population of organisms tested thus far, scientists have demonstrated each of these hypotheses to be false.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  7. Alicia

    LOL atheist's love to suck these kinds of "filler" articles up... they print them out & hang them on their shrine walls......like Bill Nye is a leading scientist.... c'mon people, he's an entertainer..... just like a "reader" is on CNN... and they seem to be entertaining you well.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      So you're as ignorant of Nye's credentials as you are of the theory of evolution? got it.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, honey, you're the one who's making me laugh with the misplaced ellipses and commas and the silly statements you make regarding atheists.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • ME II

      I don't think anyone is saying that evolution is true because Bill Nye says it is. He's just got enough notability to get what he says in the press and we are just agreeing with him.

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

      So, Alicia, what are your credentials? What makes you an expert?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Alicia

      Dear BOING....LOL... did you not read my post?, maybe you did & didn't comprehend... I said "I, a LAY PERSON"...did that somehow, magically prompt you to ask from my credentials? lol....

      August 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Boing

      Where exactly does it say ""I, a LAY PERSON" in your post?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  8. Pete SD

    97% of gay men who wear bow ties are Atheists.

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

      Proof that 81.64% of all statistics are just made up.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  9. Time to Move On

    Creationists can't prove what their book of faith states. Evolutionists can't prove their theory. I'm not sure why we need to keep rehashing whether we teach either in schools. I'm not sure either affects the world today.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • ME II

      You are a prime example of why Bill Nye felt the need to speak about this. We need better science education in this country!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Anon

      And you're too retarded to understand the concept of theory as a scientific concept.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • putty

      Like gravity, evolution is both fact and theory (theory being an explanation supported by a huge body of facts and able to predict new phenomena, not a guess). Things fall. Fact. Organisms change over time (evolve). Fact. How and why do things fall under different conditions? Theory of relativity. How did organisms come to be in their present state and how will they change in the future? Theory of evolution by natural selection.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • John

      And gravity-ists can't prove their theory either. If only you had a basic education before you are allowed to vote in any election.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Wade Tritschler

      Evolution itself is pretty easy to prove actually. We see it in action all the time with bacteria, animals and plants. Sure we don't see the huge changes, but we do see evolution in these organisms as traits they possess change over time. The only real issue is the mechanism. Darwin's mechanism for evolution (or at least the modern version of such) still has some issues. The main issue is people automatically equate the two, when in fact they aren't quite the same deal.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Nah. We don't need evolutionary science. Except in curing disease.And getting fossil fuels out of the earth. And cleaning up oil spills. And in understanding mRNA drift to understand congenital metabolic problems. And about a thousand other things that you depend on daily and don't even realize. Idjit.

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

      Putty- from your statements I can tell you haven't studied much science. Perhaps Nye should be berating the ignorance in high school science teachers. It is amazing to see how much hate is coming from one side of this debate. The fact is we don't know how it happened- on the religious side, that is why you have faith. On the atheist side, that is why you choose to view Bill Nye (OMG) as a real scientist. This astounds me! Choose a real scientist at least- Nye is by his own definition "An entertainer and comedian." The fact that you make your judgment of the universe based on this guy astounds me. Whats next- financial advice from Cartman? Stating that someone else is wrong doesn't make you right. Basic logic- go read your Plato! If you really want to follow pure Darwinian evolution, worms evolve from slimy apples, not genetics. The fact that your highschool teacher told you otherwise doesn't make it science. I only wish that Christians could have the faith in Jesus that Atheists have put in Bill Nye.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  10. Brad

    Ironically, the responses to Bill's video have proven that not all humans have evolved.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  11. Mike

    The thing most people are missing here is that is is possible to both believe in evolution and believe that God created the world.

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

      That's what Pope John Paul II said in 1996.

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

      No, most people are not missing that. Is your belief that they are missing that based on evidence? Have you read through the pages and pages and pages of comments?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Your problem seems to be that you think that understanding the scientific principles involved in the theory of evolution requires belief. It doesn't.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Yes, the 2 ideas you cite are not inherently contradictory, and since nobody really knows where the Universe came from, God remains in the running as a possible explanation, but CREATIONISTS are not stopping with the claim that God created the world, which is the point Bill Nye was making.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Mike, people are missing it because the idea of scientific creationism doesn't make much more sense than creationism.

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

      One accepts the 200 years of evidence stock piled to produce the theory of evolution. You don't "believe" in evolution like one believes in fairies or gods. At least get a basic understanding of science before posting pure ignorance.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  12. uncommonsense

    Sorry. That was mean. True, but mean.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Anon

      Mean to the christards probably.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  13. Alicia

    Unfortunately, Bill's claim that the Christian consensus of the world being 6-7000 yrs old, simply isn't true. There exist sects that believe this, but, it's not mainstream knowledge that's pumped out from the pulpit at large.... even I, a lay person don't believe it AND, no where in scriptures does anything define the age of the Earth.... that being said, Bill is incorrect.

    Nobody can define the true age of the Earth, it's speculation and guess work, even scientifically.....EVERYTHING "evolves" to a point but, the notion that all living creatures originated from one single celled source is an even crazier notion than aliens sticking us here as an experiment... it defies intelligence and is absolutely madness to suggest it because there is a definite "deliberate" character about all life and "randomness" could never be deliberate with what exists now.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You don't seem to understand what the theory of evolution says, Alicia; therefore, I cannot take your strange claims seriously at all.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More gibberish from Alicia, piled higher and deeper.

      There's no evidence that you have a clue as to how to write a coherent sentence.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Nobody ever said all living creatures originated from one single celled source. If conditions persisted to create one cell, it's sensible to think that many cells, some varied from others, would also be created.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • FairyTales Kill

      "There exist sects that believe this, but, it's not mainstream knowledge that's pumped out from the pulpit at large"

      Isn't that the problem. Christianity is only practiced by 1% of the world population and even though they all worship the same book and God, they all disagree with each other and have splintered off into hundreds of "sects." Some say the earth is 2000 years old, some say 7000. The flaw lies in the fact that you worship a mythical god from a 1st century, symbolic text story book that allows itself to be interpperted thousands of ways. All religion must be destroyed.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Anon

      One thing for certain. Christards are fu*ked up in the head, no exceptions.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • putty

      No, Alicia's right. The current hypothesis is that all life arose from a single cell. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100513-science-evolution-darwin-single-ancestor/

      To believe that all species arose independently is what's crazy to me. The chance that all organisms would have DNA as their genetic material, similar organization of that DNA, the same organelles and near-identical signal transduction pathways and molecular mechanisms in each cell without having a common origin is insane.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • putty

      To clarify – its possible that many cell-like structures would have initially arisen, but likely only one of them survived and propagated to become the first self-replicating form of life. Throw together certain acids and elements, and you do quickly get spontaneous aggregates of cell-like structures.

      Alicia – dating the earth and universe isn't exactly scientific "guesswork." There's a margin of error, yes, but science doesn't exactly churn out random numbers and tout them as facts.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  14. 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 and why do they always get so mad when you confront them with the Truth ???
    * Don't be a Darwin Dummy !!!
    * For REAL answers, go to http://www.GodandScience.org !!!

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

      How many Creationists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None! God did it!

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

      Why would you call Maureen O'Sullivan slime?

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

      You are such a complete moron I don't even know where to begin.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  15. BuffaloJon

    Even President Obama, supposedly the smartest president ever, believes in a "fictional" God as his personal Lord and savior. Is he incredibly ignorant or just smarter than Bill Nye?

    August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Fail. This is about teaching evolution to children, not belief in god.

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

      He's telling the churchies what they want to hear.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Blame the deserving

      God and evolution can coexist.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • donna

      Who said he was the smartest man ever? I'm a big supporter of Obama and I don't think that.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • BPollutin

      Really? Talk about irrational and shortsighted. No politician in 2012, that wants an ounce of a chance at being elected President of the US, will EVER admit to not believing in what 85% of the country believes. Geez your dummmm!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  16. kelly51

    The cool dad? Ha. You aren't self absorbed or anything like that are you? LOL

    August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  17. KC

    It boggles the mind that anyone can take seriously the (supposed) writings of some Bronze Age desert nomads. We need to put aside these unverifiable fantasies of a Santa Claus in the sky and start using our rational and reasoned thinking.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  18. mydogbill

    All scientists can put this to the scientific method. Here's the experiment. First, Accept Jesus as your personal Savior. Second, Seek God through Saying The name of Jesus consistently as many time as you can throughout the next month or two. Seek Him with all your heart. When you realize He is with you, you have found Him. Pretty easy.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Your science is strong, young Jedi.

      That makes just about as much sense as what you just said.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Okay, and what will I be able to do when I've "found jesus" that I couldn't do before? I'll need to have some verifiable way to test whether or not I'm deceived or if I've really found him, you know.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Chris

      Wow. Now that's the way to brainwash yourself.
      If I repeat EasternBunny as often as possible for a month, will that make it real?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Why does it take a whole month's worth of auto-brainwashing? Shouldn't once do it, if your guy is really as good as you claim?

      August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  19. Rick

    Really scary to think that so many Americans are sooo ignorant.

    But that's what the rightwingers want – a stupid and compliant nation of sheep who are willing to drink the Kool-Aid and believe what a rich preacher says.

    Perfect workers - willing to work for low wages and believe it's immigrants, gays, Obama, etc. that made things that way. Uneducated so they don't connect the dots on why they get poorer and poorer and a small oligarchy (with the rich preachers) gets richer and richer.

    Sheeple, pure and simple.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, let's do the standardized test word game.

      Q.
      Jesus is to shepherd
      as
      Believers are to ........

      August 27, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      A.

      Sheep!

      August 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • dabble53

      Ignorance is curable by education. We are not dealing with ignorance here as the creationists cannot (or will not) be educated. They are delusional and irrational, little better than animals as far as critical thinking goes.
      It's a waste of time and effort to try and educate them.
      And you're right....stupidity is what the conservatives need and want....a shame the US has such an overabundance of people to meet their desires.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Eve Olution

      that is the word i had been struggling to find, "sheeple" a perfect description for someone so easy to pull the wool over their eyes and say that gays and Obama are Baaaaaaad. Mitt will make the perfect sheeple herder........

      August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  20. God

    You can stop defending creationism, thats not how I did it.

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

      Dad, I read your comment, don't you dare tell them how you did it or I'll cut off your internet access.

      August 27, 2012 at 8:45 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.