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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. LookAndSEE

    How much of our brain do we really use?

    That's right , not very much.
    Therefore, we put limitations on the God we imagine.

    If we could draw God or explain God with a mathematical equation, it would be only man made.
    It's like asking a kernel of corn to explain the farmer.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • mastershake

      so r u implying that the kernel has a brain or that man made the kernel?

      August 28, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • eric ribellarsi

      actually that is a myth. we use 100% of our brain 100% of the time.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Clint

      Actually, if those of you who believe in religion would just use more of your brain, you would see beyond your fairy tale.

      I know, your scared of dying, but hey, we all do it. It's just part of life. Don't let that cause you to ruin your whole life by believing in myths about religion.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  2. Brooks

    An infinitely small, infinitely dense speck of matter becomes unstable and "explodes" resulting in the incredible precision and order of our surrounding universe.

    It takes a great deal of FAITH on the part of scientists to believe THAT story.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Gadflie

      Not really, there is quite a bit of evidence supporting it. And none supporting creationism.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Eh

      Especially since no one is saying anything like that you maroon.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Brooks

      Of course "no one is saying anything like that"...

      Pretty standard mathematical conclusion of the Big Bang theory. It's also generally a good idea to spell the insult correctly when you're questioning someone else's intelligence. I believe you meant "moron."

      "A singularity means a point where some property is infinite. For example, at the center of a black hole, according to classical theory, the density is infinite (because a finite mass is compressed to a zero volume). Hence it is a singularity. Similarly, if you extrapolate the properties of the universe to the instant of the Big Bang, you will find that both the density and the temperature go to infinity, and so that also is a singularity." Jagadheep D. Pandian–Cornell University

      August 28, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Joe

      It is impossible, beyond reason, that the earth was created over six days several thousand years ago. The creation story in the bible is just a story. Not to say that it casts doubt on the rest of the Bible, or that it doesn't have, but it is most certainly not how it happened.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Joe

      And by the way, "Maroon" is a reference to Looney Toons, and wasn't a misspelling.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • jpl89

      No it doesn't. The event you describe left evidence behind. No faith is required.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Brooks

      There are reasons why scientists use the terms "Big Bang THEORY" and the "THEORY of Evolution". They are THEORIES because they are unproven. If they were proven they would be called facts. Unproven THEORIES, by definition, require faith to believe.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  3. ArthurP

    Creationism is a failed concept because it gives Man dominion over God.

    Creationism negates the laws of physics and chemistry. Therefore God has to perform each and every chemical reaction Himself. God gave man free will so he does not know what Man is going to do. So if I start a process that requires a chemical reaction God must come and do it. I force God to do my bidding. I have dominion over God.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  4. rp421

    gadfly you are a dolt

    August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Gadflie

      That's all you have. Why not supply evidence. As if you have any...

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  5. brad

    .funny every time you ask an atheist to prove their belief or faith they attack you.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • ArthurP

      atheists have non beliefs that is why they are called atheists.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • JBullets

      Learn what a null hypothesis is, and then re-post someday. It will be good for you.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Gadflie

      Kid, that argument is a logical fallacy known as "Negative Proof". Look it up and alleviate your ignorance.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • brad

      prove atheism was the question why dodge or deflect where is your reasoning? waiting

      August 28, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Funny, brad, every time you pretend you have a brain you prove otherwise.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Gadflie

      Again Brad, look up the logical fallacy "Negative Proof". It shows why your argument is just stupid.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "prove atheism was the question why dodge or deflect where is your reasoning? waiting"

      Who has the Idiot Translator Ring?

      August 28, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Art Roz

      What happens when you ask a religious fanatic to "prove" their faith? how do you prove faith and belief. the very words stand for having a conviction un-proven by facts. if you could prove faith or beliefs they would be facts

      August 28, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Observer

      brad,

      You are claiming there is a God. The proof is on you. If I claimed that unicorns existed the proof would be on me. It wouldn't be on you to prove unicorns don't exist.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  6. jed

    They don't believe in algebra either.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Zippy

      No?
      My wife is a Christian, has a Bachelor's in Computer Science and is working on her Master's in Math Education.
      But I guess that doesn't fit in with your stereotypes of what "they" believe.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Zippy

      I wonder how many people realize that the guy who proposed the Big Bang theory was a priest, astronomer and professor of physics?
      Religion and science are not mutually exclusive.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Sid

      jed, your wife tells you a lot of things, but ask her about me next time. I know the spots that you don't spend enough time on.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Sid

      Actually that was for Zippy

      August 28, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Zippy

      Sure, I'll ask her about "Sid".
      Some anonymous loser posting BS on CNN's message board.
      I'm sure she's heard of you.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  7. ArthurP

    the bible is a publication crated bu a government committee. Do not trust it.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  8. harinder

    I beleive everyone is trying to answer which came first egg or chicken. Foe all who believe in big bang theory – plse advise what was there before the bang – and to those who believe that god created erath 6-10 thousand years ago, what was god doing before that – was he on holidays and obe day he decides to create Adam and Eve – guess he was bired with the rest of the universe and created this awful. If he exists I dont think he would stupid creatures like human being – just read these comments – iNO BODY KNOW anything about this crap neither scientist not reilgous fanatics

    August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • JBullets

      Science makes no claims to what happened before the Big Bang; only to the events after that event.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Cq

      JBullets
      What do you mean about "before the Big Bang"? If time itself began with the Big Bang, then talking about "before" it occurred is like asking what's north of the North Pole. It just doesn't make any sense, right?

      August 28, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Clint

      Gee, let's see, "the north pole" is a definite and defined place on this planet that we can go to and see with our own eyes, and know that nothing is "north of the north pole". It is a thing. A physical place.

      "before the Big Bang" would be a reference to a time. It would be like asking what was there before your parents had fornicated? (a big party perhaps...)

      August 28, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  9. Pk

    God doesn't need evolution, but evolution certainly needs God. Evolution cannot explain how things went from no life to life.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      "I don't know" doesn't prove god. It only proves that you are too intellectually lazy to actually seek answers or even wait for them.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Because evolution is hinduism, absurdity of hindu's, ignorant s.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • putty

      Evolution explains the diversity of life. It was never intended to explain the origin of the universe.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Gadflie

      Er, neither does plate tectonics kid. But, then on the other hand, neither theory pretend to either.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • MonarchzMan

      That shows your fundamental misunderstanding of evolutionary theory. Evolutionary theory has nothing to say about the beginning of life. That is Abiogenesis, and a completely different biological concept. Evolutionary theory simply explains transition from one form to another.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  10. this guy

    i always thought evolution was a bunch of crap when i was a kid and now thanks to all of these post of ppl whom believe in this new form of religion i now know it is indeed a bunch if not a all crap.... steamy, fly infested, big old (but not millions of years old cause thats stupid) pile of cow crap. p.s. if you believe in evolution please dont have kids. and as far as that war comment my grandpa's were in those wars and they were heros that kept nazi's from killing your hippie parents.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • this guy

      indeed sir indeed

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  11. DeeBeeEss

    So, let me see. I am an omnipotent and all powerful being seeking the adoration who these folks I just created. I can do anything, you know, look, I just created the universe. Anyway, back to these folks. Remember, I can do anything. So, naturally, I choose to have my son be born to these people, then have them persecute my son and kill him. Then I will raise him, and have these people eat his body once a week to remember what a great guy I am? THAT'S what I choose to do? Have these folks remember through canabalism? THAT instead of, oh, I don't know... ANYTHING else??

    August 28, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  12. Rufus T. Firefly

    It is absurd and shameful that in arguably the most advanced country in the history of the world, half our population believes the equivalent of babies coming from storks.

    It is equally amazing that these same ignoramuses (and it is indeed outright ignorance) will sit wrapped in a cocoon of scientific wonders and use a computer linked to satellites to send a quixotic message insisting that science doesn't work. And the teachers, leaders, and scientists are expected to pander to their ignorance.....

    August 28, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      WORD, Rufus. WORD!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Zippy

      That's a very over-simplified and narrow minded way to phrase things.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It is incredibly disheartening to see such ignorance and stupidity on this blog. I can only hope, desperately hope, that this is not a true representation of our nation's population. If it is, we are doomed. The rest of the world will overtake us in no time because our citizens are idiots and uneducated boobs.

      Truly sad.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • putty

      Oh my God, Rufus, you're a breath of fresh air. How Nye managed to be so gentle in his comments I don't know. After a few hours of debating these people, I'm about to tear out my hair and scream F- you idi-ots!!!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Tante Waileka

      let's see... who believes babies are delivered by storks.... you mean the illegal aliens who are invading our country??? the uneducated succubi? perhaps!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Mudassir

      Nothing in creationism points to babies being brought by storks. Things just don't happen and there is a God that makes things happen. Having said that, whether the six days were literal 24 h x 6 or longer than that to accommodate evolution is a matter of one's interpretation. As far as human beings are concerned, evolution does not have to be the only logical explanation as it should not be beyond the capacity of God to design and create them without evolution.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:31 am |
  13. Xfan

    Mr. Nye needs desperately to have some education regarding parental rights and tolerance for views other than his own!!!!!

    August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      Xfan, no one can stop you from damaging your children by telling them religious lies. What Mr. Nye is advocating is that you allow your child to be taught the real science that will enable him/her to be competi.tive in a job market that increasingly requires scientific acu,men. Hey, it's your kid. You can mess up their lives if you want, but don't expect them to thank you for it in the long run.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • putty

      Evolution is not a view. Creationism is not a science. It is imperative to the future of this country that we educate our children about science and that some of these kids grow up to go into STEM fields. This isn't about tolerance – it's like a flat earther insisting that their viewpoint be given equal consideration despite how counterproductive it would be.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  14. Shayn

    Problem is that science has become almost as dogmatic as religions have, in fact science is a religion to many people. I don't believe in a male patriarch sitting up in another dimension, but I don't believe that the metaphor of the machine is appropriate for every element of our life either, from our buildings, to our forms of agriculture and medicine and even us, as Richard Dawkins says after all we're just a bunch of lumbering robots. BS. That's scientific dogma. The view that life is an accidental outcome of "material" complexity, is viewing only the "material" as real. Quantum physics has already expanded that view. And viewing the "material" as the only real thing, has set up us exactly for the kind of economy that we have, as in materialism and individualism. And yet we know the earth is finite and the kind of growth our economy has come to rely on, valuing life only as a marketable commodity, operates by the moral code of a malignant cancer. I share Nye's angst for people who don't believe in evolution, but until people of science, realize that simply framing things in dualities just creates more polarity, we are not going to see this craziness end anytime soon. Seeking spirit, seeking purpose is not the issue, it's dogma and being stuck in the past, and yes religions are bad for it, but some people in science are no different.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  15. GOD is watching

    Read in the New Testament, Book of Mathew, chapter 24, verse 9-14. The false prophets are now taking the stage. GOD is pulling away from the world. The unbelievers will fool those as GOD allows. But look out god haters, your days are numbered. Quit being so wise in your own eyes! You don't know how all came to be. Scientists are as reliable for fact as the bankers that took down the economy and now claim its not their fault.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Bob

      Speaking of "hate', the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible is a prime source of hate, with fine instructions for violence and murder like these, from both OT and NT:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelations 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • WillH85

      Thank you for helping illustrate his point.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  16. reality check

    Nice try, Bill, but if you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't be any religious people.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • GOD is watching

      You guys are clearly clueless when it comes to the Bible. The New Testament (Christ) said to love your enemy and do good to those who hate you. GOD will do the punishing. The Old Testament is before Christ and the New Testament fulfills the old.
      God gave man laws before Christ came to the world because people were lawless. AND because man is not perfect, he failed at following the laws which is why Christ came and saved man. Is the miracle of birth and existence so mechanical? The fact that you cut yourself and you heal is not a miracle ? Show me one scientist that can make life? Is it because of some equation? People today are taken by all this empty evolution talk as if they were there and witnessed it. I think science is wonderful and you can learn a lot about what GOD has created. But don't take anyone's word for it. Read the Bible and research how many scientists are changing their views and coming back to the Maker.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  17. Thomas Henley

    Nye is right, and the tragedy is that most people cling to these outlandish fictions because they were indoctrinated into them at birth.

    They adopted these beliefs through peer pressure and maintained them through a vast support group that revolves around promising unearthly rewards in the after life for believing them, while convincing people that paradise can not exist on this earth because of these beliefs.

    With absolutely no evidence to support these claims they only become valid by the volume of people who keep perpetuating them by indoctrinating young impressionable minds into the belief and using peer pressure to keep anyone from straying to far from it.

    Try running for President without saying you believe in this fantasy land and you'll never be elected into office.

    Fearful and intollerant of one another to the point of supporting preemptive wars against others with competing belief systems, the religious represent an inherent danger and should stop bribing children into these beliefs with presents on Christmas morning replete with a book full of fairy tales they are tasked to adopt as fact in exchange for the gifts.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  18. Mary

    The war on Christianity continues.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Mary' is a conspiracy theory.

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

      August 28, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Right, because standing up to the political pressure to teach our children lies in science class constitutes a war on your religion. It is not your right as a Christian to dictate reality for the rest of us.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  19. j

    So it has been 130 years since the Scopes Trial, Darwin him self said if over the next century science could not discover support for complex evolution then his theory was false. We all know and understand evolution exists. Simply sleep in a bed made in the 1500's with your toes hanging over the bed and you understand over time we change. But there has been no source of how organisms become complex virtually overnight on a relative basis. Good science if founded by hypothesis supporting by facts which are not there. Tell me, would you say you cant have communication without intelligence...then how about the genome and the communication of DNA from one generation to the next, this is more complicated than any computer created by man. God is there, just open your eyes and mind. He will amaze you if you let him.

    August 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Really? Where exactly did he say that? And, there is abundant support for "complex evolution" in the fossil record.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'j' is an instance of the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

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

      August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Violet Weed

      And Darwin recanted his own 'theory' as the hour of his death drew near. The hubris of those who deny God is very sad to witness.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Gadflie

      J, Communication is always two ways. And, DNA is not. Ooops, sucks to be your argument.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Darwin was high on pot of hindu sanatan, filthy shaman while he was spewing his hinduism, absurdity of evolution, borrowed from hindu's, ignorant of hindered gutter land india,

      August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Gadflie

      Violet Weed, no, he did not. An evangelist who was nowhere near Darwin in the last years of his life started that rumor. But, his sister, who was right by his side when he died, said it was a lie.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • kch

      That doesn't mean you subscribe to supidity. Get a life!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Bob

      Thank you, Gadflie, for taking the time to post that correction to what Violet Weed said.

      That lie that she reiterated about Darwin is a particularly repugnant one.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Weed is a good word for this azzhole.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  20. M B

    Who said God created the world in six days? Actually, He didn't even create "days" until the fourth "day"...

    August 27, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • f4xtrafn

      Who was counting? Did math even exist then? And where did the pen and ink and paper come from to write all this down? Or was it word of mouth for a few thousand years until these items and skills were invented so that someone could write them down.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • Tante Waileka

      Evolution does not prove that God does not exist. As for 'six days', who cares if that means 'six days' of 24 hours each? There is symbolism in the bible after all. But as far as I am concerned Bill Nye is a fool who's only useful for showing little kids how to make 'volcanoes'.... he is good for tv (if you are stupid enough to HAVE a tv, which I do NOT, never did). But smart people homeschool their children and raise them to be God-fearing adults with integrity as their key word, and putting God first, family second, and work third... Praise Jesus!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:06 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.