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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. snowdogg

    "46% of Americans believed in creationism"

    are you kidding me?

    August 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  2. idgaf

    i believe in IDGAFism

    August 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  3. Reality

    DO NO HARM IS THE GOAL OF HUMAN EVOLUTION. ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS?

    August 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Blame the deserving

      Eat, procreate and expand is the goal of all evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  4. hmmm

    Amen.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  5. little flap

    "In the Beginning, God created the Heavens.....( which took Him Aeons of time to do... ), "........and the Earth." ( which also took aeons of time for Him to do ). ( and THAT is what has been proven by True Science. ). Genisis 1:1

    August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      where do you buy your LSD?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Gee, I thunk it said "DAY" not "AEON"

      August 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Blame the deserving

      Actually keep thunking. The original text is a more non specific term meaning "period" not day. Only weird Protestant sects common in USA need to read their English translation literally.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And in the fourth aeon, after previously creating the earth and covering it with the seas, God created the sun and the moon and stars.

      Yep – bass ackwards.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      I think your period key is stuck.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      How come on the sixth day we have:
      --------
      27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
      --------

      And then after a rest, later we have:

      --------
      20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
      21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.
      22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
      --------

      So, does God create woman on the 6th day, or later on from Adam's rib??

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Sure. Make it say whatever you want it to. NOW that you KNOW it is wrong! DOLT! FOLLOWER! You have to keep changing your story. Making it up as you go along! IDIOT!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Not only that, but in Genesis 1 we have:
      ---––
      11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
      12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
      13 And there was evening, and there was morning —the third day.
      ---––

      Yet in Genesis 2 we have this:
      ---––
      5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,
      6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.
      7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
      ---––

      Doesn't this look like someone tried to synthesize two different stories together???

      August 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reposted

      (I can't believe we moved on two pages!)

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  6. duke

    One look at this guy and you can see that he was created. Probably in Dr. Frankenstein's lab.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you've obviously never read Frankenstein. in the book, the Frankenstein monster was a genius.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • little flap

      I am laughing too hard right now! :) :) :) :)

      August 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  7. AtheistSteve

    How can anyone deny evolution when the evidence is plain as the nose on your face to indicate common decent. Ask yourself how many creatures have 2 eyes, 2 ears, a nose, a mouth, 4 limbs...etc. Wouldn't it make more sense that if all were independently created that there would be much greater variation in body design. Does God only have one pattern to work off of.?

    August 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      oops...typo...common descent.

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

      Well, god may be omnipotent, but he also has OCD.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Twitter dont care

      I guess your a monkey then. Do you eat your own crap? Hungry fella!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  8. ArthurP

    Evangelicals Question The Existence Of Adam And Eve

    "Polls by Gallup and the Pew Research Center find that four out of 10 Americans believe humanity descend from Adam and Eve, but NPR reports that evangelical scientists are now saying publicly that they can no longer believe the Genesis account and that it is unlikely that we all descended from a single pair of humans. 'That would be against all the genomic evidence that we've assembled over the last 20 years so not likely at all,' says biologist Dennis Venema, a senior fellow at BioLogos Foundation, a Christian group that tries to reconcile faith and science. 'You would have to postulate that there's been this absolutely astronomical mutation rate that has produced all these new variants in an incredibly short period of time. Those types of mutation rates are just not possible. It would mutate us out of existence.' Venema is part of a growing cadre of Christian scholars who say they want their faith to come into the 21st century and say it's time to face facts: There was no historical Adam and Eve, no serpent, no apple, no fall that toppled man from a state of innocence."

    August 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Kent Bowen

      You heretic! I'm sure you are already dead as God has struck you with a bolt of lightning.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • little flap

      For - ArthurP and Kent Bowen - Is this 'Dinner For Schmucks' ??

      August 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  9. Bootyfunk

    bill nye hits the nail on the head.

    seriously, if you believe in creationism, you should have your head checked.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Mr.Darwin

      If your cnn username is Bootyfunk, you should have your head checked.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  10. OrthoPA

    Until someone can completely validate how one can get "something from Nothing: as is lavishly attested to in the Big Bang Theory, there can be no argument... As great a mind as Mr Hawking is, I find the statement that the universe was created "from nothing" to be wistful at best. It is simple...we cannot begin to know what happened "before the beginning"...as a specie we aren't that smart yet...

    August 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      We're coming close. Research M-theory.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      rthoPA, so your solution is to make an even more massive leap to go "yup, there must be a wizard of Oz at the center of all this!"???

      August 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • OOO

      There can be no argument of what? That there is no god? Do you mean we have to prove that the god you daydream about doesn't exist?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Smoothshocker

      Actually it has been demonstrated and repeated in the lab. The laws of quantum mechanics dictate that given enough time, particles do appear out of a vacuum due to very sIight temperature variations. Point, science!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • niknak

      until you fundies can validate how your god came to be, then there can't be an argument.
      See, it works both ways when you delve into fairy tale land.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • The Gremlin

      Hmm.... then what created God?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Inigo Montoya

      I do not think the word "wistful" means what you think it means.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Smoothshocker

      We created god as a way to explain our natural world around 40,000 years ago

      August 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Nope. Science does NOT say that the universe "came from nothing." We don't know where the singularity came from. That's what smart people say when they don't know...."I don't know." Try it sometime.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Shada

      Do not think of it as we came from nothing, but as we are a beginning of something newer, what form that takes or how, what why, when.... is what makes it all so exciting to be alive in this time of advancement in science and knowledge.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Well apparently god did it, so we do know....*sarcasm my second favorite asm*.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • mrbaryonyx

      good lord enough with the "something from nothing" crap.

      Atheists=The universe came from nothing
      Christians=The universe was created magically by a dude who came from nothing.
      What's the difference?!?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Darren

      "ex nihilo nihil fit" – objects cannot spring forth without reasonable cause. Read the 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics – 1) matter can be neither created nor destroyed; 2) all matter moves toward a state of disorder. Logic dictates a Creator and Designer exists.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it does not. You are incorrect.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • mrbaryonyx

      Ixney on the atline-There. I quoted something in Latin, now everything I say is true. In all seriousness, I do agree with Darren at the end of the day, only because, as I mentioned, I don't think the Universe came from nothing. However, that does not mean I beleive it was created in six days, particularly because the concept of "days" would not even exist.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Darren

      Choose faith in God, or faith in a statisticallly ridiculous series of chance events. No one is trying to change anyone's mind – faith is derived from a core belief that is rarely turned. Peace!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • mrbaryonyx

      Thanks, but I can believe in God and be a man of science. It involves actually listening to scientists like Bill Nye

      August 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Bob Knippel

      So it's better to deflect the concept of something from nothing with the notion that something (God) always existed? Brilliant!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Darren

      Good deal – I'm an engineer that tries to create the sustainable cycles exhibited in nature, specifically in purifying water. Takes a lot of human effort compared to what nature handles effortlessly. Science and God can co-exist.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Darren

      Bob – I am simply stating that we have an effect (an ordered world and universe) and basic scientific principals dictate an effect cannot be its own cause. Something or something causal had to be the determinative force of the effect. Fun to think about.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  11. Smoothshocker

    Hail imaginary Satan!!!

    August 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  12. Becky

    I've always liked Bill Nye.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  13. The Gremlin

    Jesus is make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and eskimos.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      ...but the underpants gnomes are real.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  14. Jesus Christ

    Bill is right.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  15. 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

    August 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are completely incorrect. There are mountains of evidence that back evolution as a theory. There aren't any that back creationism other than the bible.

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

      There is so much evidence of evolution that I don't even know where to start with someone like you.
      For 200 years scientists have attacked it and it has stood.
      Each year we fit more pieces of the puzzle together.
      I am so glad I don't have to live near fundies and people like you.
      Please stay in your redneck corner of the country and howl at the moon with the rest of your fairy tale ilk.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      sharkman, you are completely misunderstanding or intentionally twisting the purpose, mission, and intent of The Genographic Project. It has NOTHING to do with defining where life began, or even where humans evolved. What they ARE describing is how humans spread from Africa across the world based on their DNA. Gosh, even when you DO encounter science you can't get it right.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Bob Knippel

      What makes the bible authorative? Your belief in it? Evolution is at least as well understood by those wishing to understand it as the physics behind what makes your computer a functional device, which, I presume, you do not deny.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • jrg

      Nye is not giving us his opinion, he is merely reporting on the overwhelming consensus of a century of science on this subject. If looking for what science can tell us, that is where we must look, not to any one person's opinion. That clearly shows that life on this planet evolved. There is simply no doubt that the earth is old, the universe older still, and that life evolved.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  16. Rachael N Johnson

    "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.

    Yeah. Cuz religious people are such dangerous architects and atheists have only ever worked for the good of man...

    August 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • caw

      Or maybe we actually need people who can think for themselves.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • niknak

      Yes, religious people are dangerous.
      In fact, I am never more scared then when I hear someone say they are deeply religious.
      The Taliban just beheaded 17 people who went against their religion. You christians have done the same and worse.
      You fundies are heavily armed, violent and can't be reasoned with. You have proven over and over that the only thing you understand is a clenched fist.
      Please stay away from me and my family.

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

      I think you (perhaps intentionally) misunderstand what he said. Many pressing issues of the day (population, climate change, energy, extinction, etc) require an understanding of the science involved to make a reasonable decision. If a voter rejects science then they are basing their decision on something else, which seem far less likely to produce a good outcome. Voters uneducated on such matters are also easy prey for propaganda.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  17. Guy Viti

    Now I can sleep so much better since Bill Nye spoke. Not!!
    Hitler was an evolutionist and look what good it did for Germany!! Our country is going down the tubes because people want to live and let live, instead of loving God and loving one another.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Hitler loved his dogs, too, so you should shoot yours.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • caw

      If God wants me to worship him, then he's more than willing to ask me too. I'll even take a REAL Miracle (something that has a probability factor of 0% of occurring). Funny how those 'miracles' seemed to have dried up since the advent of recording devices.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • HahaUrFunny

      Hitler was also a pronounced "christian". Read, research, read man ... forum spouts are irrational and disregarded if you speak out your.... if you show ignorance towards the topic.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Lol

      when did hitler become evolutionist?.. was hitler computer virus writer too? lol

      August 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  18. Todd

    WOW! Thank you BILL NYE!! We really need more people like this in the world to stand up for whats right in the world!

    August 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  19. Sang Riel

    Y`all really really really NEED to read this...it was written in 1899 and is so utterly fantastic that it cant be "made up" It will help you all understand God a little more.I cried when I understood a few basic truths.I dont cry easily.You will recognize the truth.

    http://www.jhardaker.plus.com/pdf/Through%20the%20Mists.pdf

    August 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Just like any other "spiritual" text, it's full of glittering generalities and rehashed philosophy packaged in a cute wrapper.

      Everybody, don't bother reading this tripe.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Joe

      Sorry but no, I graduated college and am too smart to believe in Santa claus or 'God'. I prefer well thought out answers to blind faith.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  20. mrbaryonyx

    Brace yourself: people with absolutely no knowledge of science are going to try and rebuke Bill Nye. I'd like to hear everyone here try and explain how every major science, including biology, paleontology, medicine, climateology, geology, psychology, anthropology is rendered completely moot by the notion of creationism, yet they rely on it every day.

    August 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Aaron Frick

      http://www.answersingenesis.org

      August 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Aaron FVK: Sure...just say "goddidit" and you're done! Don't bother to ask any questions about how and why!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • ME II

      "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information."
      (http://www.answersingenesis.org/about/faith)

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

      I am sure there ARE answers in Genesis. In fact, religion's been around long enuf that it's heard almost all the questions likely to be thrown at it, and it's come up with answers for all of them. Yes, it's true. Religion DOES have all the ansewrs!

      It's just that most of them are wrong.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • mrbaryonyx

      Maybe you can actually answer the questions yourselves, instead of linking to a website for you? Why must evidence pertain to scripture? What makes scripture absolute? It was written thousands of years ago by people who have no evidence for their relation to God.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:32 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.