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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. Hawk

    Bill Nye is excellent! He hits the nail right on the head!

    August 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  2. OrthoPA

    exlonghorn

    I think I hit the wrong button...not the reply. sorry... Yes I am a Christian and a Catholic (now I'll probably hear from someone that one cannot be both)... I agree that the Teachings extoll one to go out and spread the word, but I also don't feel the "Crusades" was a valid activity. What I am saying is..Yes I believe and to those that don't I say I want you to believe but I cannot MAKE you do so. There is something greater than us at work in the universe..maybe one day we will all know what/who it is. I don't bash those who don't believe. I make my argument and do the best I can. What grinds me are those that can't do any better than to demean the other guy...it really doesn't look good on them...

    August 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      This is America. You can't expect to outwardly state your belief in stupid stuff and not be called on it. It's not like you're an Imam in Saudi Arabia or something.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  3. birdsong08

    to steal one from my man, churches have always been the main reason for churches. and so it goes.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  4. Nietodarwin

    This article makes me so sad about and angry with all the xstians, because like most atheists, I was raised in xstianity and thankfully became educated enough in science to throw off the intellectual shackles which religion "provided" . It really is quite a horrible thing to be telling children these myths, and then have them fail science classes later because mommy and daddy were so ignorant as to shove this down their throats throughout childhood.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  5. Blame the deserving

    Atheism would make more sense if we could show, through experimentation (which is the basis of science), how life could arise from non-life. Right now, one must accept that self replicating organisms came to be through a process never theoretically explained or repeated in a lab, under unknown conditions. That is not science, that is faith.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • putty

      First self-replicating synthetic life in 2011. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/scientists-create-first-self-replicating-synthetic-life/

      August 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Evolution does NOT answer the question of abiogenesis, moron. Saying "I don't know," is a preferable answer to "big magic sky daddy spoke magic spells and did it."

      August 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Blame the deserving

      Puddy, synthetic DNA was put in a pre-existing cell membrane. Not exactly the same thing. You're just being silly.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • putty

      See, the difference between science and religion is that we actually have people working to create synthetic self-replicating life to show that it can be done. We don't take it on faith that it can be done, we do it. The next step will be to build an entirely new genetic code and parent cell from scratch, but you can bet that after this was published, the race is on to be the first.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Blame the deserving

      Moby, just because your faith system has no answer for this most basic question, doesn't make me a moron. Perhaps you would do well to examine your own mental abilities.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • sbp

      The field of Abiogenesis would say otherwise.

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

      Blame, baby steps. This experiment is promising because it shows that it can be done. I'm amused your critique was that it was an existing parental cell, because mine was that it was an existing (but modified) genome inserted into it. Creating a parent cell is ridiculously easy. Creating an entirely new genome not based on anything existing that will allow it to replicate? That's the hard part, but I fully expect it to be published within the next 5 years. And that will be the first truly alien lifeform on earth, not related to anything in current existence.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @Blame

      By what methods can you prove your answer is correct? Didn't think so.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  6. Shawn

    People like to ignore evidence to fit their arguments, and this extends far beyond evolution/creationism. For example, there is no evidence of a "gay gene" (even the APA has recognized this) yet people still insist that a person is born gay.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  7. Klaas Jan

    Bill Nye the atheist guy

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

      compliments are awesome.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  8. 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 |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      ooops – misposted.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  9. PAJ

    The problem with virtually all religions in the world is that they are based on celestial events the modern world has no knowledge of. The story told in the Book of Genesis, for example, is just a childrens tale written for a people who weren't ready for the truth. The facts surrounding the so-called creation would be too fantastic for modern man to accept. Hence, the account given in Genesis is NOT how it really happened. It is sufficient to say that virtually everything mankind thinks he knows is either wrong or heavily tainted with false information. The same is true for the Evolution crowd. The problem with society is that people are so willing to accept things with no facts whatsoever to support them. Religion has blinded mankind to such a degree that he cannot see the forest for the trees. Bill Nye is just another guy who thinks he knows something.

    If I were to advise people, I would tell them to forget about religions of every kind. Stop going to church, stop believing in their grossly inacurate theology, and stop wasting your money on them. Men and Women are the greatest intelligence in this world. We need to love and care for each other, respect each other, and be good to one another. Spread peace and good will, not fear, paranoia, and war. Treat each other with kindness and charity. By doing these things, we will all live in peace and harmony. We don't need false religions and false science to find happiness. The purpose of life in this sphere is to learn how to exist or live in this physical world. The next stage of our progression, beyond this life, will bring joy and happiness on a scale that we cannot imagine. Forget about Heaven and Hell. They don't exist. What does exist, however, brings new meaning to the world "wonderful." 🙂

    August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  10. geenabeana

    A couple of years ago, I was taking an Art History class. There was a young woman in the class, probably 19-ish, who had been home schooled. She had never even heard of evolution! I find that a terrible shame! She learned about it from a collage art history book when we learned about the paintings on cave walls that pre-date the bible stuff. To me, evolution makes a lot more sense than a giant ark that carried 2 of every living being and it all started over from that point.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      My nephew is being homeschooled. I fear for him.

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

      ...its two of every other animal and seven of the domesticated animals! The only ark that size is the one that we're standing on and its been floating in a sea of space! That girl must be bug-eyed from all of the eye opening events in her college life!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  11. carm

    He'll be slamed up side the head unless he repents.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      What a disgusting god you serve. .

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'carm' is a threatening form of the flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      August 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  12. CarolinaKate

    46%!!!??? How can almost half of the American population believe in strict creationism? Did I read that incorrectly?

    August 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Yes you did. That is why the US is losing its technical lead to up and coming third world countries.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Klaas Jan

      Pretty hilarious isn't it?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      You live in the Carolinas where the percent is, like, 70%. How can you not know this?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  13. Klaas Jan

    Bill Nye your god's a lie. BILL BILL BILL BILL

    August 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • sbp

      D'ja spend the whole day thinking that up? Don't think.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Klaas Jan

      You must be upset you didn't think of it first. Literally took about 10 seconds.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • jumz

      he doesnt think

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That drivel took you more than 2 nanoseconds?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  14. PJL500

    Should life be found on another planet... the first communication should be: "did God, that all powerful being up there, send a son here to be crucified and save the souls of your planet? If so, Jesus he never mentioned it on Earth when he "came down"; in fact he made no reference to other planets or extraterrestrial life."

    August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • jumz

      thats because the people who wrote the bible didnt have extraterrestrials close to their minds...though i guess god is extraterrestrial..

      August 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  15. FedUpWithLA

    Bill Nye, the Science Guy!

    Likes to talk with a blue bow tie!

    Bill Nye is the Science Guy!

    August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  16. TG

    Mr Bill Nye has fallen prey to "higher learning", that says that man evolved. He has shown a lack of reasoning in this regard, following along the lines that accepting creation means that basically a person is "stupid" and that educated people believe in this theory. He obviously has failed to do his "homework".

    First, the "creative" days were not 24 hours long, as creationists have proposed, but rather several thousand years long. This can be seen from carefully looking at Hebrews chapter 4 in the Bible, for the apostle Paul wrote that the "seventh day" or God's "rest" day (Heb 4:1-5), was still ongoing some 4000 years after the end of the sixth "creative"day(Gen 1:31), and was far from complete.

    In addition, concerning proteins, that are essential to the structure and function of all living cells, the odds of one protein occurring at random has been calculated as 10 113. Mathematicians has said that anything above 10 50 is impossible. For a protein to form requires that 20 specific amino acids to be in a precise order, but there is a catch, for all must be "left-handed" amino acids, no "right-handed" ones allowed.

    Then factor in some 2,000 proteins serving as enzymes within a cell. What are the odds of obtaining all of these at random ? One chance in 10 40,000, a possibility that even British scientist Sir Fred Hoyle clearly recognized as impossible, with him once stating that this is "the same as the chance of throwing an uninterrupted sequence of 50,000 sixes with unbiased dice!” (The Intelligent Universe, F. Hoyle, 1983, pages 11-12, 17, 23) Thus, reasonable individuals recognize that the evidence around all of us is of a Supreme Designer, Jehovah God.(Isa 42:5)

    August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You're not arguing about anything evolution states. Educate yourself, please.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'TG' contains an instance of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      August 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Try learning about stats before you barf them up half-digested.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • ME II

      The world is 3/4 water. Statistically, you had a 75% chance of being born in open water, right?
      Isn't it amazing that you didn't drown in water when you were born?

      August 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Nitrogen

      Your "interpretations" of the "bible" are purely "subjective", along with all other non-scientific, supernatural "explanations" of origins. Also, "you" should try to "avoid" using too many "quotation marks".

      August 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      It is spectacularly unlikely that any given amino acid assembled itself from atomic components by sheer chance.
       
      Fortunately, no sane scientist has ever claimed that it works that way, and none ever will. This is some kind of parody of science dreamed up by superst¡tious zealots who never take the time to find out what real scientists really have to say on the subject. If they'd ever bother, they'd learn why scientists across all disciplines uniformly believe that descent from common ancestors based on natural selection is the best explanation we have to date for the observed fact of evolution — not only evolution of species but also evolution of complex chemicals like amino acids, RNA, and DNA. Happened gradually, over literally BILLIONS of years.

      But NOT randomly, any more than it's random if you flip 10 quarters 10 times and get 10 heads, if you only flip the ones that come up tails each time. Ratchets work wonders.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Patrick

      There was a time when I was, independently, reading Behe and all about intelligent design and was thoroughly involved in debating "evolutionists" and arguing with people accusing them of thinking only within the "trance" of science. I read all of the books and articles, listened to all of the tapes and seminars and I was COMPLETELY devoted to fully understanding the topic.

      And then I went college and learned what a fool I had been.

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

      The problem with your 'hypothesis' is that chemical reactions are not 'random' they follow a set rules particular to each element. Now it you had actually studied chemistry which is one of the two corner stone sciences that give us evolution, the other being physics, you would know this.

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

      Stop trying to present yourself as an intellectual and that drivel you posted as an argument! Its lame and Pythagorean heresy! Stop litigating your emotional agenda and passing it off as objective.

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

      You have directly contradicted learned biblical scholars who have proclaimed an earth age of only several thousand years. You, my friend, are simply bending religion to satisfy your own perception of it, as all too many have done before you.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  17. Dawn

    Hahahah- we trip over our words and miniscule understanding of the ALL. I have no roblem with creationism and science walking hand-in-hand. And guess what, it really doesnl;t matter what I believe. What is ...well...is no matter what I believe so why argue over the unproveable? If the beliefe in crationism held us back, how did we get to this place? Those who believe in creation grow smaller and smaller so the argument falls on its face that it is holding us back. Then again, if we were not created, what is the rush getting to...to....uhhhh...where are we headed? 🙂

    August 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Anon

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

      August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  18. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    When the Red Sea was allegedly parted, are we to believe that the Israelis were able to swiftly run across the just-exposed sea floor? Hmmm.... I think NOT! At best they would have been slowly trudging through the slop, up to their knees in slimy, viscous mud! Yet they were allegedly able to outrun an angry mob hot on their trail?! BS!

    August 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Just to make sure I follow your faulty reasoning...you grant that God could miraculously stop the flow of thousands of cubic feet of water, but think that drying the exposed surface would exceed his capability? Amazing.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      It doesn't say that does it? Just like it doesn't say that Noah went around collecting all the then-unknown microorganisms so we could all benefit from them today? NOPE! You dumb bible-thumpers can't just keep filling in the blanks as you go! FOOLS!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • SciGuy

      The fool has said in his heart, No God!

      August 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Really!? Is that your only recourse?! To spout out tired old meaningless phrases from an ancient book written by ignorant goatherds?

      You are as much as saying "You are a fool because you don't believe in the same fairy tale that I do. Nah nahnah boo boo!" Don't you realize that? Of course not! You haven't taken enough acid yet, apparently/

      August 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Answer not a fool according to his folly lest you be like him; answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own conceit.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  19. Blame the deserving

    The Bible is a mix a parable, myth, history and fact. Just get over it. It can't be otherwise. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist. There never was a great flood of the whole Earth. But maybe a Mediterranean tsunami, or a sudden filling of the Black Sea. Does that mean there is no God? No.

    August 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      You might want to put "fact" down a bit lower on the list of ingredients for the bible. The FDA will be on your butt.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Blame the deserving

      Don't be silly. There are a few facts. Mainly historical battles and imperial dynasties.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Anon

      It's all myth. Ancient Israelites made it all up.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Spawn of Satan

      @Anon. In fact they borrowed it from earlier civilizations who either made it up or borrowed it from someone who did.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh (from ancient Mesopotamia – whence cometh Abraham) tells the story of a great flood – almost identically to the Noah version. Feel free to read about it:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilgamesh_flood_myth

      Since this region is bounded by the Tigris and Euphrates, it is easy to presume the flood related to regular floods at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates long before there were any tribes of Israel.

      August 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • From Logos to Rhema

      Hmm very interesting thoughts but the minds of people always try to rationalize things that weren't meant to be understood. The problem here is people have to understand 6 days is just a notation. But there was no time as we know it to be now. No such thing! We are living under compressed time. People don't live as long as they used to. Sometime folks take things too literally. But that what happens when you try to start mixing truth and facts. I do remember someone who is good at that as well. Perhaps you may have heard the name Satan. Yes, I said it. He is good at mixing in facts with the truth to mix people up. Some of you are so smart that you are pretty dumb. Oh well, I guess in the end we shall see who is right. I shall pray for the scales to be pulled back from the eyes of unbelievers. Trust me I take no pleasure in watching folks go to hell on things they think are right. But sometimes the best intentions are the wrong decisions. Some of you think your degrees and things of that nature make you more astute to decide what's God and what's not. (sigh) Those who know how to pray and pray in faith lets just pray for everyone making comments either way that this doesnt continue to divide us but that we would one day all come into the full knowledge of God that we serve.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  20. The Gremlin

    The government make R.J. Reynolds get rid of Joe Camel because of concerns over its influence on kids...... Just saying....

    By the way, I think it would have been much cooler to have Jesus riding a Unicorn when he comes back to battle satin!

    August 27, 2012 at 9:18 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.