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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. JP10

    Strict adherence to religious doctrine reveals a genuine lack of curiosity and the inability to question the information source. In essence, it is the 21st century's version of illiteracy.

    Yes, you may able to read the structure of sentences but you lack the ability to take your mind further. For this reason, American minds are falling behind in science, and math. The stats are already there and adherence to religion is part of the problem.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      "Strict adherence to religious doctrine reveals a genuine lack of curiosity and the inability to question the information source."

      Very true, and they call us closed minded.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Care to show us the stats JP10?

      I remember the US being higher in the World's academic ratings back when *more* people believed in God than do currently.
      The fact is that the US began falling in math and science when the Schools began wasting the students' time teaching them political-correctness – gay and gender studies, situational ethics, etc, etc.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're not really very up to snuff on how statistics work, are you b4? Do you think that nothing else changed during the time period you're referencing? Like a drop in school funding? Like requirements under the ADA? Like mainstreaming?

      Go ahead and look up those mandates. Get back to me when you actually know something about public education other than your fundy propaganda.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      So it appears that tom tom agrees that our drop in world academic standing was not because of Creation-thinkers but rather the reasons tom stated.

      No argument from me on that.....

      August 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  2. Christian1

    It always amazes me to see how many hate filled comments are posted about Christians and their beliefs in Creation. To those who look at the world and say “see how old it is, therefore God does not exist because the bible states that it is only 6-10 thousand years old” you may never get this comment. God is all powerful. Based on that couldn’t God have created the world old?

    August 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Of course god could "create the earth old" but then he'd be a deceiving azzhole.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Why I'm the Science Guy

      So you're saying that God planted a complete world of evidence for evolution, and zero for Creationism? Why would He do that? Because He wanted to test your faith? Is your God that devious?

      August 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Bibletruth

      Actually He did...and adam as a grown man

      August 27, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  3. Adam

    Those who completely eliminate a creator (God) from the equation are as close minded as anyone. Creationism, the Bible, Christianity are only strengthened by science.This becomes more and more apparent all the time. You can break this down to be true in just about every discipline, including the most complicated science. The more you try to fight the existence of God, the more unanswered question you have. The deeper you get into a discipline to disprove God's existence, the more evidence you find that he is a powerful reality.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • WAYNE

      Cite examples please.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Adam's brain virus has taken over the majority of his grey matter.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Bro.

      Are you serious? Why don't you mention any aspect that needs God to function in the Universe. What unanswered questions are there apart from what was before the Big Bang, which we might be able to figure out later... You have nothing to show for your theories while evolution has everything to show for itself. Now go grow a brain.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Adam

      Stoebel's arguments are made by the 20+ professors and scientists that he interviewed.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Adam, it doesn't matter where he got the arguments from, they're stupid as fvck, as any rational, critical thinker knows. Pull your head out of your azz.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  4. brad

    Both are based on faith. It comes down to a risk vs reward. Costs nothing to believe in God reward is heaven and no hell. The alternative is live the same life believe in evolution die and become dirt. Even the stock market sounds more attractive. This is always a silly argument. I always struggle with the fact that in the early 1900s we were flapping our wings on a beach in NC. Almost fifty years later we are on the moon. How do we sit around caves for millions of years just scratching and sniffing, just doesnt make sense. Thank goodness we live in America where we have the freedom to believe in God or whatever. For me I just don't buy the somewhere in nowhere something farted and human fell out of a monkey's butt.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good grief, what a bucket-load of manure.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Why I'm the Science Guy

      Nice try, but you fail. Believe it or not, you can believe in both God and evolution. Just ask the 32%.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • cosmicsnoop

      Sorry, I feel that your argument is a bit silly. I don't believe in hell and figured out rationally at the age of 12 that it could not possibly exist. Why would I then irrationally believe in something in order to avoid a punishment that doesn't exist?

      August 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • sbp

      Pascal's Wager. So full of holes even priests don't believe in it.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Ryan

      Are you kidding. It took a long time for cavemen because they were evolving and learning many new things. Also they were to busy trying to stay alive then going to school for 16-20 years. I hate this argument with anyone who is religious because they will make up some BS reason for not looking at all of the facts. Oh i would hate to think that cavemen sat around for 50,000 years and didn't do anything?? You didnt make any points!!

      August 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  5. ArthurP

    God must be crying in his beer. Forty-six percent of Americans have failed his test of intelligence.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  6. theseconddavid

    "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. " Of course, commrade. I've got a better idea, let's kill the commies. Then you won't need to worry about anything anymore.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  7. GeorgeFear

    Bill Nye? Yeah, right! And I accept evolution! But the existentialist in me doesn't object to anything a person finds meaning in. The epistemologist in me says that the human mind has rather low standards of proof and always has, even the scientific rationalists. In fact, I think Bill Nye is just the flip side of the Pat Robertson coin. The Bill Nyes truly believe we are farther along than we are and that the human mind can comprehend ultimate reality and the Pat Robertsons and Islamists truly believe that the Bible and Qu'ran have literal meaning. Personally, I dont have much respect for either. Either way, scientific or religious fundamentalism, in the big picture, are equally accurate. None are the truth but tools for here and now.I don't object until the preachiong starts whether the preaching be from Nye opr Robertson ( or Dawkins, etc.). Nye is just another damned preacher.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Oh, bull sh!t. Evolution is proven science and Bill is behind the times if anything in coming out in a video like this one. He should have done it long ago.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      When you're in the hospital with a cellulitis and the only thing that will save your life is more than a century of research and development, I'd like to be there to see if you take a side.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  8. Meerelda

    Amen, Bill Nye...right there with you

    August 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  9. Adam

    Those who completely eliminate a creator (God) from the equation are as close minded as anyone. Creationism, the Bible, Christianity are only strengthened by science. This becomes more and more apparent all the time. You can break this down to be true in just about every discipline, including the most complicated science. The more you try to fight the existence of God, the more unanswered question you have. The deeper you get into a discipline to disprove God's existence, the more evidence you find that he is a powerful reality.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Then provide your evidence, instead of making assertions.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Too bad the Bible and the Qu'ran are totally refuted by History.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZY2eeozdo8&w=640&h=390]

      August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Adam

      Look up an author by the name of Lee Strobel. He is a lawyer and investigative reporter who set out to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ and a Creationism in general, with science.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Adam, Stroebel's arguments are surprisingly easy to defeat. They're so immature and just plain stupid. Do the research yourself, why don't you?

      August 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUFUujSNpEU&w=640&h=390]

      August 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • melissa

      Wow! There is very little in true science (not science bent to fit the bible fairy tales)to support creationism, christianity and the bible. I don't fight the existence of god. In fact it would be great if there was a god. There just isn't one. And no amount of hoping or praying (same thing) will make him/her appear. Of course there are many unanswered questions. It's taken us thousands of years to figure out what we know now. What makes you think we would know everything to date. Just because you failed to understand the Chemistry 1A class you took at the community college doesn't mean that no one understands it and that god just made it happen.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      "...it would be great if there was a god. There just isn't one. And no amount of hoping or praying (same thing) will make him/her appear. Of course there are many unanswered questions. It's taken us thousands of years to figure out what we know now. What makes you think we would know everything to date. Just because you failed to understand the Chemistry 1A class you took at the community college doesn't mean that no one understands it and that god just made it happen."

      Melissa, I can't comment on who may or may not have passed or failed a Chem course at a community college, but did you pass Critical Thinking/logic 101?

      Your statement: "...a god. There just isn't one" is a classic example of the logic fallacy known as the 'argument from ignorance'.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  10. rp421

    It was a good try Bill Nye, but this country is behind in science for a reason.

    Didn't the Scopes trial make the case that science and religion can live peaceably together? No, zealots in our country insist that the Bible is true .....word for word.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopes_Trial:

      "The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes and commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial, was a landmark American legal case in 1925 in which high school science teacher, John Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach evolution in any state-funded school.

      The trial set modernists, who said evolution was consistent with religion, against fundamentalists who said the word of God as revealed in the Bible took priority over all human knowledge."

      Despite the outcome of the Scopes trial, 46% of Americans STILL believe in the fundamentalist viewpoint, almost a century later!

      August 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • kindless

      "No, zealots in our country insist that the Bible is true .....word for word."

      Where do you live, child? In the closet of some mansion?? My goodness. Many people in this country will tell you that and they haven't even read it word for word.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  11. C4N4D14N

    There are only 4 possible ways the Universe started before the Big Bang (read all 4 and try to prove me wrong).

    1. God existed forever .
    2. God came into existence from absolute nothing.
    or
    3. Matter/Energy existed forever.
    4. Matter/Energy came into existence from absolute nothing.

    If you can believe something as complex as a God can pop into existence from absolute nothing, why can't you believe something as simple as energy can pop into existence from absolute nothing?

    If you can believe something as complex as a God always existed from infinity, why can't you believe something as simple as energy can exist from infinity?

    The big question is what happened before the big bang. When you break it down to these 4 possibilties, its makes it a lot easier to understand.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Good luck using logic here. To the "faithful," God is the alpha and the omega. All existence for all eternity is God to them.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Maybe if that's the extent of your creativity, the only 4 you can cook up are those. Idiot. There was no spacetime "before" the Big Bang. What happened "before" the Big Bang is meaningess.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • C4N4D14N

      @realbuckyball

      Never go full retard.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  12. C4N4D14N

    There are only 4 possible ways the Universe started before the Big Bang (read all 4 and try to prove me wrong).

    1. God existed forever .
    2. God came into existence from absolute nothing.
    or
    3. Matter/Energy existed forever.
    4. Matter/Energy came into existence from absolute nothing.

    If you can believe something as complex as a God can pop into existence from absolute nothing, why can't you believe something as simple as energy can pop into existence from absolute nothing?

    If you can believe something as complex as a God always existed from infinity, why can't you believe something as simple as energy can exist from infinity?

    The big question is what happened before the big bang. When you break it down to these 4 possible, its makes it a lot easier to understand.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Personally I favor the theory that the Universe was created by a troop of Girl Scouts out of boredom after they'd sold all their cookies and didn't want to work on that crocheting merit badge.
       
      Heck, if we're going to allow made-up stories in lieu of "Who knows?", I can make 'em up with the best of them.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  13. kindless

    Bill Nye is my new hero. mama kindless is getting a tingly feeling she hasn't felt in a long time. That smart bow tie might have a little to do with it.

    Yours in loving agnostic atheism!

    August 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  14. opinionguru

    Those who purport to know "Science" as being capable of explaining creation, don't know enough science. Quantum tunnelling as a mechanism for borrowing energy to create this universe (big bang) is probabelistic at best.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Probabilistic indeed.

      Was that pun intentional or inadvertent?

      If you say "What pun?", I guess I have my answer.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  15. Gil

    46% of Americans believed in creationism and 32% believed in evolution guided by God? These numbers are surprising and terrifying. I would have guessed that 46% believe in atheistic evolution. Religion is based on pride, fear and ignorance. Evolution is fact whether you believe it or not!

    August 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Epica

      Agreed. It really scares me that our country is so backwards that they are still essentially praying to some all mighty deity in the sky and dancing for rain.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  16. David Banner

    Six days of our time is not the same time frame as Jehovah God. A thousand years of our time is equivalent to one day to Jehovah.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • On my knees for God's pleasure

      OK, so that equals 6,000 years to create everything. What happened to the other 13.5 billion years?

      August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • ArthurP

      A proof requires at least three sources (data points). You have listed one. The other two are ?

      August 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • David Banner

      1. There is no record of time recorded for the earth age due to the fact, according to the Holy Scriptures, The earth existed before the "First Day" of six, preparing the earth for life needs. (Genesis 1:1,2)

      2. The earth started to be prepared for life on earth beginning with the distinction of day and night and evening and morning ON the first day. (Genesis 1:3)

      So, there is not a precise age of how old the earth really is. Man's thoughts are dictating an approximate time frame, (Psalms 118:8; Jeremiah 10:23, Ecclesiastes 3:11)

      August 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  17. Everyone has to give an account!

    You arrogant, evil-thinking liberals. One day you will have to face judegement, whether you want to or not. It is not your "choice" its a date set by the One who created you in the first place. You can dance around and act as though you can say and do and believe in what you please, but ultimately it's not your say, its His. Of course its easier to ignore this. Of ourse its "easier" to deny the existence of Someone who is so Holy, so Perfect, that it embarasses you that He would have as much patience as He does with you.
    You are pathetic, and you don't even realize that all of your "brilliance" and "genius" is noting but a little piece of insignificant dust compared to Real Wisdom and Truth

    August 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • kindless

      Mama Kindless Can Capitalize Letters Too! Don't Mean A Damn Thing.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      kindless is right. Your capitalization is pretty laughable.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • sbp

      If there is a god and he is perfect, then he isn't an insecure child who requires his ego to be stroked by constant worship. Meaning he would not condition heaven on whether or not you believed in him. That very thought is an insult to him, and you'll probably go to hell for saying it.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • skeptical

      Wow. Just wow.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  18. Poclevious

    Christian Fundamentalists!!!! Please drop the Young Earth thing and go with God-driven-evolution. Just drop the idea that one Earth-Day equals one God-Day. What's an Earth-Day anyway? The time it takes our planet to spin once as it orbits our star? God has better ways to mark time I'm quite convinced.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  19. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    There is an excellent movie on the topic of evolution called "Inherit the Wind". Check out the 1962 version. Great cast!

    August 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Wasn't 'Inherit the Wind' a thinly veiled retelling of the Scopes Monkey trial?

      August 27, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Yes it centered around Scopes, but it features Spencer Tracy, Dick York, Gene Kelly, Harry Morgan, Frederick March. Awesome! And maybe it was 1960, not 62. Anyway!

      August 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  20. Bill P

    Andrew said – "Remember, citing the bible to prove the bible is like citing harry potter to prove harry potter."

    Have you ever actually read it? The Bible, that is. I have spent the past year+ reading it in its entirety, end-to-end, though I already was a believer. I read it slowly to study, to enhance my understanding and knowledge. It is not a chaotic, nonsense collection of the "writings of man". It is consistent and it commands attention. I believe and am certain that it is God’s Word. The one constant throughout, despite man’s disobedience and sin, is that God is Holy and Perfect and has incredible love for his creation – us. We were created for His purpose, for fellowship, for eternity. However, being that He is perfect and Holy, we are separated without forgiveness, provided by Jesus. If you subscribe to a "dead", atheistic view of life, then that is your decision. If you have honest doubts and are wondering, given a God that has created us for some reason, what then is that purpose? Surely, a Being that has the knowledge and power to create everything, the author of the laws of physics, must also be perfect in purpose. True “order” cannot be derived from chaos. Hence, a lack of purpose for us is equally illogical. Consider that this Being, God, created the Universe some 14 billion years ago. Set the "young earth"/"young Universe" argument to the side. Does it really matter that God, Whose "day is as thousand years", really took 14 billion years or made it look that way? Given 14 billion years and our world average of 70 years of life, that is only one-half billionth of the existence of the Universe. In other words, God takes 14 billion years to place the Universe into existence and men’s lives are like unto a “vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” For a moment, stop and try to comprehend that God sacrificed His Son to die for our sins, and then you might realize that this life on this earth is not about sowing and reaping, or being born or dying, making money, getting ahead, etc., it is about a decision. A decision that will stay for all eternity.

    August 27, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      Seek medical help.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Fact

      Well said, Bill P.
      Keep up the good work, brother, there may be those on this site who are really searching for truth.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      "It is consistent"

      Matthew 1:23-25. You can't even get out of the very 1st chapter of the very 1st book of the New Testament without a grossly blatant contradiction, which is read aloud from pulpits all across the land every Christmas, and apparently NOBODY EVER NOTICES. You guys and your selective blindness just floor me.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • CeltcFire

      What a complete im be cile.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Joel

      Have you carefully read the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Bhagavad Gita, to mention just a few holy books? Millions of people are fully convinced that those books are the word of God and are quite sure that the Bible is not. What makes you so sure? It is highly likely that if you were born in Saudi Arabia you'd be a Muslim, and if you were born in India you'd be a Hindu, and so on.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Fact

      And then there are those of whom the scripture addresses with, "the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing."

      August 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • sbp

      I have read all of it, and it is far more internally inconsistent than Harry Potter. And most clergy of many denominations who address the subject do not deny it was put on paper by more than one author. It is also clear that your "loving god" can also be cruel and petty. Particularly in the Old Testament. New covenant or not, since you believe we are talking about the same god, then he most definitely ordered entire tribes – men, women and children – killed.

      August 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Bill P

      sbp – "I have read all of it, and it is far more internally inconsistent than Harry Potter."
      An interesting conclusion, if what you say is true – that you actually read ALL of it. And, how did you manage to assimilate ALL of it and actually draw a conclusion that it is more inconsistent than Harry Potter? Can you denigrate something more than that? Perhaps there is an emotional element involved in your assertions. If, after reading the Old Testament, all you conclude is that God is petty, then your eyes were closed at the time and you only saw alphanumeric characters on paper. Just the opposite, I was profoundly struck by the depth of God's love in the OT. While you might view wrath for unrepentant behavior as "petty", get ready for the big ride to come. – Get right and get ready.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:59 am |
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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.