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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. Spendlove

    Jesus freaks tend to forget their religion was founded on the basis of a series of rather extraordinary theories.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  2. Dan

    It amazes me that people still believe in creationism. No amount of evidence will make these people take their heads out of the sand.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Dana

      It makes you look foolish. That is all that it changes.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! . ,

      August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  4. achepotler

    I am sick of these lintuurds and thier "logic" and "science". They should just burn all their books and study the only book with all the answers anyone would ever need...The Book of Mormon.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • QS

      Mitt, is that you?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  5. Wowowow

    The only people that believe in creationism are people too dumb to seek out actual knowledge.

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

    Stop sticking your heads in the sand and educate yourselves.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  6. David D

    Davetherave, you ask a very good question that has a very reasonable answer:

    "So God creates the world, mankind, and everything in the universe in 6 days. He also creates all this evidence that scientists have discovered pointing to the fact that the earth, mankind and the universe have been around far longer that 10,000 years. Why is God playing with our minds?"

    The answer, I believe, is that every miracle has a appearance of age. When God created trees (for example), He didn't create seeds which eventually grew into trees. He created mature trees which HAD THE APPEARANCE OF AGE. When Jesus miraculously created wine from water, the wine was considered "the best" wine–with the appearance of aged fermentation. God isn't "playing" with people. It's just the nature or miraculous creation is an earth that possesses the characteristics of maturity.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Sweetenedtea

      That's a complete non-answer, though. It does nothing to resolve the issue of *why* God would bother.

      And it's certainly not necessary to include fossils to create the "appearance of maturity." There's no benchmark for creating something from nothing...it's not as if God created the earth and went "Hmm...it's not mature unless I throw in the fake bones of fake creatures because that's how all mature planets are set up and I don't want anyone to do a compare/contrast." It's a glib, meaningless explanation that only has resonance if you've already presupposed that the fossils are fake and therefore must have justification.

      Incidentally, trees do, in fact, grow from seeds. This is not in dispute by any rational person.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • LaTuya83

      Jesus didn't create jack you babbling i. d. i. o. t.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Oh my god

      That is the most scary and troubling writing I have ever read

      August 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • David D

      My response in no way left out the reality of dinosaurs. I'm not suggesting that God made a young earth and threw in bones to confuse people. I'm saying that every miracle has the appearance of age. Now, if a persona discounts God and doesn't believe in miracles, this answer doesn't satisfy. But, if you believe there's something bigger in the universe, it shouldn't surprise you that whatever God creates will not look "new" but present the appearnace of age.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • kindless

      Gosh if we even knew the first thing about god, that would be a pretty neat story. But we don't. Now other men will sell you stuff . . . . . . . . . . .lots of stuff.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • David D

      David D

      Latuya, I didn't specifcally state that Jesus created anything, so you jumped the gun way too early. However, since you brought the topic up, the Bible states that Jesus is, in fact, the Creator of all things. John 1:3 states, "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." Similarly, Colossians 1:16-17 declares about Jesus, "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Yes, Jesus gets credit for the universe.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

      except when it comes to sin, then he just denies everything and says man did it.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • David D

      Actually, He doesn't "deny" anything. He just places responsibility where it's supposed to be: In the hands of men. Ironically, sin is an attempt to elevate ourselves higher than God and claim that we know a better standard than he does. Adam did it. Bill Nye does it again. It's in all of us.

      August 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  7. Steve

    Remember, God is Billions of years old. His designs evolved, getting better and better each time he tried something. He gave the birds their songs, the lion its roar and man its brain. Look at how man had to "evolve" the computer and has discovered DNA. The first created Model A Ford didn't just evolve into a Mustang, it was designed through many years of test models in between. it's hard for me to be convinced a jelly fish and man came from the same pond.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • QS

      Your indoctrination is what makes it hard to convince you, and I'm sorry for you for that.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • J@son

      So you're saying that your God needed practice to get humans right? What happened to omniscience, infallibility, omnipotence...? Heretic.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • MRF_2010

      God has an age??

      August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Dan

      He had people like you in mind when he made the video.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Who me?

      I bet the god that created god is waaay old eh?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Scott

      So at first god created a bunch of defective things and over the millennia has been improving them? So he is not omnipotent or omniscient. He just bumbles along like the rest of us, doing his best and releasing new versions when he discovers defects.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "Remember, God is Billions of years old. His designs evolved, getting better and better each time he tried something"

      why does he need to get better each time? why wasnt he perfect from the beginning? he is god after all.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  8. Skeptical1

    There used to be a time where people would admit that they are not educated in a certain area, and they would rely on the experts to explain the impact of an issue to them. Today, we have people that barely passed high school biology, if they even took high school biology, make scientific claims about the world we live in. They are deomostrably wrong, but they don't care because the alternative does not fit their world view. My advice, although you don't want it, is stick to your belief system but don't intrude on the science. It is better to keep your mouths shut on the subject than to open them and demonstrate your ignorance.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • The 8th Day

      What you say is akin (no pun-okay, pun intended) to certain politicians in power.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  9. Tired of Religion Perverting the World

    I enjoy these articles b/c they provide entertaining proof of the existence of idiots (the religious).

    August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • james

      so anyone who has ever believed in religion is an idiot? I can name at least 10 people who were tenfold more intelligent than you are and they believed in a deity

      August 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      lol

      that HeavenSent/james/Peter/truth be told/captain america/"Atheism is Not Healthy" idiot
      once again tries her hand making enlightenment sayings for fortune cookies with:

      "so anyone who has ever believed in religion is an idiot? I can name at least 10 people who were tenfold more intelligent than you are and they believed in a deity"

      August 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Ron from Jersey

      And your education comes from?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  10. Walter

    Have you ever gone to a museum and looked at the suits of armor from the middle ages? Did you notice that they were all made for people about 5 foot in height. Doesn't that seem unusual to you? Why would you choose extremely short people to be your soldiers?

    The answer is that you wouldn't. It is proof that humans have evolved. Part of that evolution is an increase in the average height of humans since this time period, by about 8 to 10 inches.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Erik

      Good question. However, evolutionary theory does not consider such short time scales, but rather developmental changes occurring over millions of years. A subsistence diet most likely explains the shortened stature of humans from this historical era, rather than an actual evolution in body height since then.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Walter

      Erik...

      The problem with the 'malnutrition' response is that the suits of armor were very expensive and contained intricate non-functional aspects such as engravings. It makes no sense that a starving individual would pay for either the suit of armor or the non-functional aspects on the suit.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • LaTuya83

      As much as I believe in evolution, I think that you are misguided, people are bigger today because we have better nutrition, just look at North Korea, they are smaller on average than everyone else and the reason is their lack of food.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Walter

      LaTuya83 – Why are North Koreans more comparable in height to other East Asians than Europeans? Nutrition or evolution?

      August 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  11. J

    If you are interested in truly considering each side, consider this debate between John Lennox and Michael Shermer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szUINFDF8EQ

    August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • QS

      "If you are interested in truly considering each side"

      I'm interested in considering reality – one "side" of this is as far from it as you can get and should never be considered.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • J

      QS, isn't that circular reasoning?

      As an initial problem with Mr. Nye's statement, evolution is not a theory of creation. The theory of evolution does not explain why there is something rather than nothing. The theory of creation does. So, no matter how convincing you think evolutionary theory is, it does not follow that it debunks the belief that there is a self-existent creator.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      "The theory of evolution does not explain why there is something rather than nothing. The theory of creation does."

      There is no 'theory' of creation, theres a religious believe of creation, and each religion has their own one that explains how everything came into being.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  12. paperbottoms

    Reblogged this on paperbottoms.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Sookie Stackhouse

    Every being evolutionizes except the Chirtians. Poor things.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      I really think you're onto something!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  14. CS

    If pope John Paul II can believe in evolution, so can I.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  15. jd

    last I head the fossil record is a big joke... no transpecies fossils for all of the billions of instances of animals that have supposedly evolved from one species to another.....

    Darwin had a theory....still unproven.

    same goes for phyiscs... they now know everything about the big bang, except for what a actually caused it.... hmmm?

    science is great and useful, it does not explain everything though.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Jim Rossiter

      99.9% of truth. .1% of uncertainty. and yet you say it fails!?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • gimmeslack12

      Religion is quite useful too, but it does not explain any physical facts. The Bible is a moral guide, not a history book.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Skeptical1

      Clearly you are poorly educated on the matter. "Theory" is the overarching fusion of proven hypotheses. Hypotheses are the test systems that show that predicted outcomes are in fact produced. In order for a scientific system to reach "theory" stage, we have a solid structure of facts that when tested, reproducibly produce predictable outcomes. The fact that you don't know this is further proof of your lack of knowledge. Go back to school, and this time, pay attention.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • IthinkItThrough

      This is the most idiotic statement. Uneducated religious nuts say the believe in god. How do YOU KNOW god exists? Have you seen him personally? I thought not. The only thing you KNOW is what your five senses tell you. This is exactly why people BELIEVE in god... BELIEVING IS WHAT YOU DO, WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW!!! Science neither proves or disproves god, but certainly disproves creationism (aka magic wand theory). CLEARLY RELIGION POISONS THE RATIONAL MIND. Also, SCIENCE HAS PROVEN THAT THE EARTH IS BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD...IT'S CALLED CARBON DATING. Clearly this is beyond your level of comprehension... keep living in the stone ages.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'last I head the fossil record is a big joke... no transpecies fossils for all of the billions of instances of animals that have supposedly evolved from one species to another....."

      then you need to open your ears if thats the last you heard. You know for example they have a fairly comprehensive fossil record for the evoution of whales right? no of course you dont, you hadnt 'heard' that.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  16. Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

    Ph.D._and_Believer: This debate has gone on for so long and the primary outcome is anger and hate. The only true statements in the debate between creation and evolution is this: Evolution is still a theory otherwise the scientific community would refer to it as fact.

    Evolution is a fact. The theory models how it works and explains it, just like every other theory.

    ~~ Paul

    August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      please tell us what it changes

      August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ` .

      August 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi prayerbot

      August 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  18. Tired of Religion Perverting the World

    Mot for nothing, but Nye is creepy as hell. I'd investigate him ASAP re: Sandusky-like behaviour.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  19. jackthegeek

    I don't believe in carbon dating. There is no real proof that the earth was created billions of years ago, and humans was created thru evolutions. This Nye thinks he is God because he can experiment thru physics and chemistry.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • JakeAZ

      there's lots of proof , but you are too blind to see it. the grand canyon.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      You are kidding, right?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • David L.

      I can't tell if this post is tongue-in-cheek or not, because it sure seems like that.

      You don't believe in carbon-dating? Do you believe in gravity? Do you believe in chemistry? Do you just choose not to believe things that are readily repeatable, and proven in just about every way possible, because it doesn't fit in to your convenient world-view?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • gimmeslack12

      Just because you don't believe, does not make it false. Radio carbon dating is a simple technique based on counting the carbon in a molecule and is quite accurate.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • IthinkItThrough

      This is the most idiotic statement. Uneducated religious nuts say the believe in god. How do YOU KNOW god exists? Have you seen him personally? Stop lying to yourself. The only thing you KNOW is what your five senses tell you. This is exactly why people BELIEVE in god... BELIEVING IS WHAT YOU DO, WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW!!! Science neither proves or disproves god, but certainly disproves creationism (aka magic wand theory). CLEARLY RELIGION POISONS THE RATIONAL MIND. Also, SCIENCE HAS PROVEN THAT THE EARTH IS BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD...IT'S CALLED CARBON DATING. Clearly this is beyond your level of comprehension... keep living in the stone ages.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • jackthegeek

      I am not kidding. I do believe that those dinosaurs did exists, but billions of years ago is a joke because carbon dating are only accurate to measure in few thousands of years. That is the reson why those idiots used assumption to date back dinosaurs. My physics teacher could not even show me how they can prove the accuracy past thousands of years. That is the reason that I don't believe that earth was created in billions of years.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Michael

      Carbon Dating is absolutly the most accurate method of determining distant age due to a simple chemical and physical fact (not theory for all you that don't understand the difference) ... Carbon-14 degrades at a known rate. Determining the ratio between Carbon-12 and Carbon-14 gives you the APPROXIMATE age. The further you go back, the wider the "window" of probability. And Bully on any that decree that the world was created with oil and dinosaur bones buried in the earth or are boind and determined to "prove" that seashells near the top of Everest were placed there when the earth was created. So the mountain ranges were created in place too? So Plate Techtonics is only a "thoery" too? Yeah, right ...

      August 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  20. Jason

    Hey, one other thing Bill... The US is and has been behind most of the significant inventions since we started up as a country. If you want to be scientific about it, evidence would directly dispute Bill's assertation. Since this country has both been largely Christian and the leader in scientific discovery for more than 250 years, it seems the evidence proves that being a Christian nation has made us better off scientifically than other countries without our core values. However I'll bet that fact doesn't fit into Bill's theroy so he tossed it.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Tired of Religion Perverting the World

      That's a painfully bad argument.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • IthinkItThrough

      This is the most idiotic statement. Uneducated religious nuts say the believe in god. How do YOU KNOW god exists? Have you seen him personally? I don't think so. The only thing you KNOW is what your five senses tell you. This is exactly why people BELIEVE in god... BELIEVING IS WHAT YOU DO, WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW!!! Science neither proves or disproves god, but certainly disproves creationism (aka magic wand theory). CLEARLY RELIGION POISONS THE RATIONAL MIND. Also, SCIENCE HAS PROVEN THAT THE EARTH IS BILLIONS OF YEARS OLD...IT'S CALLED CARBON DATING. Clearly this is beyond your level of comprehension... keep living in the stone ages.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • David L.

      Ok, to go along with this incredibly fallacious line of thinking, how come, as the rest of the world embraces evolution, they have also surpassed us education of just about every discipline. We rank 34th in the world in math. The children of this country are getting stupider compared to the rest of the world.

      By no means would I attribute that directly to our failure to embrace evolution, but since that seems to be your line of thinking, I figured I'd humor you.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • godoflunaticscreation

      Actually the main reason is due to our foreign exchange students. The majority of Christians in this country come from the South and their educational record is appalling. You lose...again.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • btech

      That's excellent reasoning.

      You can say also that, since we as a country are getting more and more obese, that our obesity problem directly relates to how knowledgeable we are about science.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:56 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.