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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. yannaes

    When we all die we will find out in the end. Until then, keep the intellectualism going, right. You know you must be right because lazy people, as myself, have faith. And evidence...As a believer in God, I think that micro evolution is a foregone conclusion. Never has it been written how God created the earth...no evidence of it at all.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  2. queruvim

    In the Scriptural record the account of each of the six creative days concludes with the statement: “And there came to be evening and there came to be morning” a first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth day. (Ge 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31) The seventh day, however, does not have this ending, indicating that this period, during which God has been resting from his creative works toward the earth, continued on. At Hebrews 4:1-10 the apostle Paul indicated that God’s rest day was still continuing in his generation, and that was more than 4,000 years after that seventh-day rest period began. This makes it evident that each creative day, or work period, was at least thousands of years in length. As A Religious Encyclopaedia (Vol. I, p. 613) observes: “The days of creation were creative days, stages in the process, but not days of twenty-four hours each.”—Edited by P. Schaff, 1894.
    The entire period of the six time units or creative “days” dedicated to the preparation of planet Earth is summed up in one all-embracing “day” at Genesis 2:4: “This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day that Jehovah God made earth and heaven.”
    Man’s situation does not compare with that of the Creator, who does not reside within our solar system and who is not affected by its various cycles and orbits. Of God, who is from time indefinite to time indefinite, the psalmist says: “For a thousand years are in your eyes but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch during the night.” (Ps 90:2, 4) Correspondingly, the apostle Peter writes that “one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” (2Pe 3:8) INSIGHT OF THE SCRIPTURES

    August 28, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  3. Bill Marvel

    It isn't just ignorance of science that muddles creationists' minds. It's their theology that's defective.
    If God is truly the eternal omnipotent Being we get from the Bible, why would He use six days to make everything? Why would an omnipotent God need to "rest" on the seventh day, and what could a "day" possibly mean to an Eternal God who exists outside of time, who, in fact, created ime? By squeezing God into the anthropomorphic figure of a master-builder, Creationists are guilty of denying God's divinity, of locating His actions in the understandable realm of the human, the day-to-day. This is not the God of the Bible, not the God of the Jews nor of 2000 years of Christianity. No wonder when they hear such nonsense atheists think we're stupid..
    I need to point out that Creationists for the most part limit their attacks to evolutionary biology. When it comes to the evidence for a 4.5-billion-year-old universe offered by astronomy and physics, they fall silent, because few of the have the mental equipment necessary to deal with that evidence.
    I also need to point out here, for those whose view of Christian belief is as reductionist as Creationists' views of science, that Creationists, in fact, make up a vanishingly small portion of Christian beilevers worldwide, most of whom are perfectly comfortable with the science of evolution.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  4. Whyaresomanypeoplestupid?

    Hate to break it to those of you who believe in God, but all the really smart people know it and I'm going to say it:

    GOD DOESN"T EXIST

    STOP HOLDING MANKIND BACK WITH YOUR STUPID IRRATIONAL BELIEFS

    The Bible, a stupid book of unknown origin and certainly little reliability, is not a reputable source of evidence.

    Evolution is backed by science which actually deals with the world we live in.

    Why do only very few people see how pathetic it is believe in a religion? Religion is just people trying to explain their problems in some ignorant way while at the same time trying to become "part of something bigger:" a connection with some illogically omnipotent being.

    WAKE UP!

    Mankind knows way more about our universe now then ever before and it was still a stupid idea to believe in God thousands of years ago when we didn't know as much. I suggest that everyone who believes in God should stop blindly following the beliefs of the uneducated people of the past and really really think about what makes the most sense:

    That if it ain't backed by science it's not true! Evolution is backed by science. Creationism is backed by idiots.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  5. Jim

    Gravity is relative to where you are. There is no gravity in space. There is less gravity on the moon (smaller mass then earth). Gravity is still a big mystery for scientist, and what they thought they knew about gravity, they have proven to be false. Why do people think you have to be dumb to believe in God? That thought process in itself is illogical. Science and God can both be true. Someone else touch on God creating Adam from dust. And evolution evolving elements into humans. Sounds close to me. Questions is it intelligent design or random chance. And people say intelligent design is not the " intelligent " choice. Whether you are on either side; have have you ever thought what there was before the big bang, or God's creation? Was it just God and nothing else? If there was a big bang, why was there a mass of elements that went bang? Either way, there is a bigger picture that man will never comprehend. Don't get a headache thinking about it.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • Gadflie

      There's no gravity in space? LOL! I guess that's why the planets don't orbit the sun. Damn, that was actually funny!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Whyaresomanypeoplestupid?

      Your understanding of gravity is pretty naive. Read some string theory books like I do and see that gravity is real. Gravity isn't relative. I don't know what your argument is but just because gravity is not compatible with quantum mechanics, (im assuming this why you have a problem with gravity but if you don't even know about this then you definitely shouldn't post) doesn't mean that it is "wrong". Our understanding is simply incomplete. Also if you are going to make an argument like that don't follow up with Creationist s**t. Doesn't help you.

      And Lastly:

      WILL YOU PEOPLE PLEASE STOP BRINGING GRAVITY INTO THIS? YOU GUYS OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • kch

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but Science and God both cannot be true. Science is true and is proven. The medium where you posted your message is created by science, not by your non-existing god. Pull your head out of your rear end.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:42 am |
    • kpete

      Hey, Gadflie, in case you were wondering, there is no gravity in space. Gravity is dependent on the mass of a planet or star. since the Sun is the biggest object in our solar system, it makes sense that it would have the strongest gravitational pull, just as it makes sense that we weigh less/have less gravity on the moon since it is not as large or as dense as the Earth. How is it then that the Sun just hangs out there in space? Well, no gravity, no wind, no air, no way to move up or down by way of those methods, therefore it just sits there and pulls things to it. But only things that are smaller than itself. If there were a larger star roaming around close to our solar system, the Sun and inevitably every planet, moon, dwarf planet and space rock would be pulled towards that instead... Simply, really... "LOL!!"

      August 28, 2012 at 1:21 am |
  6. Big Kitchen

    Bill Nye is not good for children, adults or even dogs.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  7. Whyaresomanypeoplestupid?

    Bill Nye: "holding everyone back"

    That phrase right there: I have not heard a lot of things that are more true than that.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:33 am |
  8. Seethrough

    Bill Nye should stay 1000 feet from children unless he has adult supervision with him.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      Because science is dangerous to your religious beliefs?

      August 28, 2012 at 1:06 am |
  9. Reality

    Human evolution: from bond fires started by rubbing sticks to hydroelectric power plants- from gazing at the Moon to actually going there- Indeed we are evolving!!! Are gods necessary?????

    August 28, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • 1question

      Of course they are – to prevent the gays from marrying each other.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Bill Who?

      Is God Necessary?????

      Only if you want to start at the point where humans were created in order to rub the sticks or gaze at the moon.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  10. Whyaresomanypeoplestupid?

    Hate to break it to those of you who believe in God, but all the really smart people know it and I'm going to say it:

    GOD DOESN"T EXIST

    STOP HOLDING MANKIND BACK WITH YOUR STUPID IRRATIONAL BELIEFS

    The Bible, a stupid book of unknown origin and certainly little reliability, is not a reputable source of evidence.

    Evolution is backed by science which actually deals with the world we live in.

    Why do only very few people see how pathetic it is believe in a religion? Religion is just people trying to explain their problems in some ignorant way while at the same time trying to become "part of something bigger:" a connection with some illogically omnipotent being.

    WAKE UP!

    Mankind knows way more about our universe now then ever before and it was still a stupid idea to believe in God thousands of years ago when we didn't know as much. I suggest that everyone who believes in God should stop blindly following the beliefs of the uneducated people of the past and really really think about what makes the most sense:

    That if it ain't backed by science it's not true. Evolution is backed by science. Creationism is backed by idiots..

    August 28, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Who is holding who back?

      Let's see........Einstein, Darwin, Michaelangelo, DaVinci, Reagan........these God believing people held us back terribly!

      August 28, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Tony Montana

      College grads are more likely to believe in God. Science is simply observations of god's creation. Aren't you smart enough to know human's cannot make the solar system, billions of galaxies filled with billions stars. It shouldn't take much comprehension to know this.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Bill Who?

      Wow. This is at least the fourth time I have seen that you have posted this same message. You are an Atheist evangelist.

      I think the more accurate version of the quote I "quoted" earlier is:

      "There is no such thing as a dead Atheist."

      August 28, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Nah

      why: "STOP HOLDING MANKIND BACK WITH YOUR STUPID IRRATIONAL BELIEFS"

      Considering the proofs for the existence of a god are based almost exclusively on pure logic, or a mixture of logic and science, your statement is a bit laughable. Especially when atheists have to deny logic in order to, say, dispute the deontological argument.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Observer

      @Who is holding who back?

      "Let's see........Einstein, Darwin, Michaelangelo, DaVinci, Reagan"

      How could ANYONE include Reagan? Get serious.

      Einstein DID NOT believe in God from the Bible.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:40 am |
    • kenny

      its pretty sad how upset religgy people get when their beliefs are questioned... hits a lil too close to home.. to the real truth that there is no god and when we die that's it... you won't even know it... everyone was raised on fairy tales with happy endings... happy is a state of mind .... life doesn't have happy endings... it just ends....

      August 28, 2012 at 12:48 am |
    • John

      Einstein, michaleangelo, etc. would have been hanged if they disclosed their true beliefs! Every one of the greats knew the truth and sere smart enough to know that going along with the maniacs that would kill them is wiser than not.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:14 am |
  11. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    I have rarely seen so many idiots post so many moronic spews in a single evening.

    Evolution is a fact, you morons. Your inability to understand it won't make it untrue. Your denial of it won't make it go away.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • I'm smarter than you...no, I'm smarter than you...no.......

      Mr Piper,

      Please, just tell me with what authority do you speak? You seem so self convinced.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      He speaks from the authority of 150 years of biological, paleontological, genetic, medical, anthropological, geological, and chemical knowledge all pointing to the same reality. He is absolutely correct.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Nah

      tom: "Evolution is a fact, you morons. Your inability to understand it won't make it untrue. Your denial of it won't make it go away."

      Funny. That's an entirely unscientific stance to take. Namely, asserting something dogmatically as if it were absolute truth.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Sam Chacko

      Then u must think that newton, kepler, and boyle and the rest of those guys must be morons too, because they were creationists. Bill nye said it right, he said evolution is a belief, because he started with, "if you don't believe in evolution", that was his statement.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Who is holding who back?

      Mr Firefly.....if it was the number of years that someone believes something that makes it true....the Christians have you beat......

      I am asking a deeper question.............when you espouse a belief.....state what foundation of education you speak from....what you yourself have discovered......not what is PC or published in USA today by the Democrats.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  12. Scott

    I have a lot of disagreements with Bill, but he's dead right, here. The Biblical fundamentlists' insecurity that causes them to reject science when it conflicts with their world view affects us all when they start pushing their unreality into our politics and education. I say this as a converted Christian. There are allegories and morality tales in the Bible, people.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  13. Estrella

    We really need to strengthen our math and science courses in our schools if we want our nation to not deteriorate in quality of life. I personally have noticed that students with a strong science, math, or engineering background end up with higher paying jobs and very involved in their community.

    I encourage someone religious to learn about evolution and make their own mind up about it, but their exposure to it will make them more well rounded and encourage analytical thinking. I grew up catholic, but i found that it didn't fit with my views about the world. I learned about other religions, but found that I rather live by personal morals on the basis of avoiding hurting others. I am currently an engineering student and like working with tangible projects and seeing what I studied first hand. When I see dinosaur bones or variations of one species in our world, then its personally clear to me of evidence of evolution.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Like! One problem is that when many Christians do try to learn about evolution, what they learn is taught to them by other members of their religion and is incorrect. Christians end up raging against some false notion they don't remotely understand (as is evident in these posts).

      August 28, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • blinky

      Estrella, The Catholic church officially accepts evolution. It does not see a conflict between evolution and faith. Catholics in the biological sciences have won awards and been praised by church publications for their work. Some of the Protestant denominations dispute evolution.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Estrella

      Hopefully more kids learn to use the internet and library intelligently by being able to analyze all the sources to make better judgements. Kids should be encouraged to ask questions of what they learned from all their teachers (especially religiously biased teachers)

      August 28, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Estrella

      Yes, I know that. However, I didn't like other aspects of the church.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  14. asok14215

    It's ok for a lot of Americans to believe in creationism. I need someone to mow my lawn.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  15. Jesus Freak

    Jesus loves you all. Please don't waste your time arguing. God will judge you based on His judgements, not ours.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  16. andulamb

    "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." For such an intelligent person, that's a really naive thing to say. No one who believes one thing is going to encourage their children to believe differently. As certain as Nye is that creationism is wrong, others are just as certain that it's right. And would Nye ever consider urging his children to believe in creationism? Even if someone told him he should? Of course not. So why does he think it's worthwhile to tell others to do what he would be unwilling to do? It's a complete waste of energy. Also, the idea that people who believe in creationism cannot work in technical or scientific fields is insulting. I'm sure Nye has worked with very intelligent people who believe in God. One doesn't have to believe in the Big Bang to develop new technologies or make new scientific discoveries.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Anthony

      Because anyone who actually believes in creationism and defies the existence of prehistoric animals and creatures either 1. is demented, or 2. is so blinded by religious blasphemy that they simply should cease to exist for the greater good of mankind.

      It is truly time for America to wake up from our stupidity and get back to where we belong in the world. On top. Ceasing to believe in creationism is one of them. All creationists have one thing as their "proof," the Bible, which was never intended to be taken literally.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Mahebb

      andulamb wrote "Also, the idea that people who believe in creationism cannot work in technical or scientific fields is insulting. I'm sure Nye has worked with very intelligent people who believe in God. One doesn't have to believe in the Big Bang to develop new technologies or make new scientific discoveries."

      Well stated. One of the best replies to be found in this whole discussion.

      People seem to conveniently forget that most modern science exists as a continuation of the work done by men and women who believed in a creator God. If you investigate the origins of nearly any field of modern science, you will more often than not find a God-fearing, Creator-beleiving Christian as its founder.

      The claim made by Mr. Nye that somehow believing in a Creator disqualifies a person from being able to do any meaningful science is disaapointingly simple-minded and ridiculous on its face. Science and faith are not mutually exclusive arch-enemies. In reality, they coexist and compliment each other quite nicely. Just as religious folk ought not be afraid of science, science ought not be afraid of religion.

      Whether you want to admit it or not, Naturalism (that is, a belief that nature is the highest authority, or the divine per se) has become just as much of a dogmatic religion as the religions which Naturalists rail against. You want to talk about standing in the way of making progress in the sciences, Mr. Nye the Science Guy? Start by removing the plank in your own eye, sir.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:30 am |
  17. Whyaresomanypeoplestupid?

    Creationists read Simran.M's post. Try to understand it even though it might be hard for your small brains. That what truth sounds like.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  18. blinky

    "Evolution guided by God" and "atheistic evolution." Tough to define both these terms–even so-called "atheistic" evolution could be teleological in a Whitehead-like sense. And "guided" sounds much too strong for some, and like it could collapse into creationism anyway, which is to be avoided at all costs. Some of us are going to say that something from nothing and consciousness from insentience are both philosophically inexplicable, and that reductive physicalism has plain failed. God's stamp upon the universe and on our lives looks indisputable. Yet, what that intervening trace is, is a Herculean task to describe. "Guided"? How about "touched" like a lover who strokes your neck so gently you're not even sure if she grazed your skin.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • galaxybeing

      very,very well said.i have finally found that at least one person
      believes similarly to me

      August 28, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  19. Brandon

    This is just another scientist trying to deny GOD because he doesn't want to believe there could be someone or something greater then him. He says we need these children to build things and vote are you serious because someone believes in God means they don't have the mental capacity to do advanced things or even normal things. At the end of the day Jesus will return and Bill Nye and every other scientist that looks at the stars and says oh that just happened will confess that he is Lord.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Gadflie

      No, he won't. Believe in whatever fiction you like, but don't think that you are very persuasive.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, this is another scientist who understands that there isn't a SHRED of proof to indicate that any god exists, and that American kids who are taught creationism will be at a great disadvantage in the future when they try to compete for jobs against children with real educations.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • putty

      You cannot be a molecular biologist or geneticist and not understand evolution, or think it's just a belief. You can probably be an engineer, or any other job that doesn't require understanding how DNA changes over time. If you are raised anti-science, then you will vote anti-science, and anti-science is anti-progress.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Nah

      tall: "Actually, this is another scientist who understands that there isn't a SHRED of proof to indicate that any god exists"

      Alas, another ignoramus who knows nothing about the debates in theism.

      Please, if you haven't studied an issue beyond reading partisan websites on the internet, you have no place holding an opinion about the issue.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Mahebb

      Brandon: well stated, sir.

      August 28, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  20. f4xtrafn

    I don't think creationism is bad for kids any more than the belief in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. It only becomes a problem if adults cling to these silly ideas. It just looks ridiculous to see grown men and women pushing little kids out of their way at easter egg hunts and waiting up for Santa at the age 40. As long as it's taught as a nice fairy tale, I see no harm.

    August 28, 2012 at 12:26 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.