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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. Chuck

    "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," [Nye] said.

    How does believing in Creation (strict or guided evolution) keep one from being able to solve problems? I'm an engineer, and solve problems every day. Of the 30-odd engineers I work with, all but one are Christian and believe in Creation in one form or other. Nye's statement is ridiculous and has zero basis in fact.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Tired of Religion Perverting the World

      So you work with 30 morons?

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

      @tiredofreligion, maybe you need a brief lesson in how Christians have actually influenced science. Prior to the 20th Century, most scientific discoveries were made by scientists who were professed, practicing Christians. For example, Franceso Redi, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Issac Newton, Edward Jenner, Michael Faraday, George Cuvier, Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, and Johannes Kepler just to name a few. I find it ironic that the pioneering work done by Christian scientists are being held in high regard by the atheist scientists of today. If what you say is true, then maybe we should disregard their contribution to science.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  2. Colin

    A friend of mine (who was actually valedictorian of our high school) went into the field of paleontology. He works at the University of Melbourne in Australia, where they are doing research on the earliest Aboriginal settlements in Australia and the development of the manyhundreds of languages spoken by the Aboriginals in Australia.

    Their latest theories suggest that aboriginals made it to Australia at least 60,000 years ago, during the penultimate Ice Age and that their languages diversified as they spread throughout the continent.

    Fortunately, I have a creationist friend, who has informed me that this can’t be right, as the World is only one tenth as old (about 6,000) years and that all Australian Aboriginal languages were made by God in the Tower of Babel. Further, the Ice Ages did not even happen.

    It makes me wonder where Australian Aboriginals come from if they were not on Noah’s ark and evolution is a lie, but I’m sure I’ll find the answers in the Bible.

    Thanks creationists – it’s incredible how much smarter you are than the most gifted archeologists and paleontologists in the World!

    August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  3. Steve

    I believe that God created in an instant an aged world. And, I believe in micro solution, not macro evolution. Evolution within a species, getting taller, etc, but, I do not believe we were ever apes. If, in fact, God created Adam and Eve, they were not embryos when they were created. The we're adults. Therefor, who is to say that the created earth, by God, was not already millions of years old?

    Seems logical to me and not at all against God or science.

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

      That is because you have a fifth grade view of science.

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

      Draw a Venn diagram of what you "believe" and reality. You will find the intersection to be the Null set.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • truMind

      what your describing is "magic".

      Science shows clear paths of evolution from the very beginning til now. also Apes have DNA very very close to that of us humans

      August 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • michael

      Funny that as I read the comments here, the atheists respond to believers with insults. Why? Do you feel threatened? Is your faith in evolution so weak that you have to insult people just to prove that evolution is real? As a Christian I have no need to respond with "You're so stupid" or similar comments, because my faith in God is strong enough that I will believe no matter what, and my degree will enable me to understand and find any flaw in any theory that supposedly "proves" that God doesn't exist.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  4. Tom

    PEOPLE – You are always so polite when it come sto religion, aren't you? ... why don't you talk like that about any scientific "theory" that a scientis comes up with? Why so much hatred towards religion? Are you afraid it might be the truth? ...well, it is, so maybe you shuld be so over stimulated... keep commenting then... lol

    August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Religion asks you to close your eyes and take a leap of faith, science asks you to open your eyes and build a bridge!!! No evidence to support the creationism story whatsoever but plenty to support the Big Bang and Evolution!

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

      Come on... I do see scientific theories as interesting – However, I am open to the idea that it is all wrong, even the theories that were "proven" and became "fact" – Why? Because there are way too much that we don't understand – How do you explain gravity, entaglement, etc, even electromagnetism... ? ... for thousands of years there were "theories" that the world was flat... I guess I'll take everyone's comments as one of those cases...

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

      Religion teaches people to be content with not exploring theory. In fact, the biggest lapse of progress in the history of the world was in the roman catholic dark ages. There are a lot more reasons, but for the sake of time, I will not go through with them. Google has a lot of good reasons on why religion is evil.

      Yes, yes I know religion is not ALL evil. I, myself have a relative who is a nun. She is a kind lady who gives back whatever she can to her community. But a lot of the hate comes higher up. Just like in politics, your precious vatican is not all a big ray of sunshine.

      Read the bible. That should be enough to turn you against religion.

      August 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  5. chris

    It's not evolutionary "THEORY" with no proof... Read a little about science, there is proof about evolution all around us... And to "This Again"? Ummmm there is order from disorder... Lots of scientific discoveries were by accident... X-rays were an accidental discovery... The glue used on Post It notes was accidental. The sweetener Saccharin was discovered because a chemist forgot to wash his hands... Teflon was an accidental discovery while trying to develop a new refrigerant... Pacemakers were accidentally created by a professor that grabbed the wrong size resister. The list goes on and on...

    August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  6. Zaphod

    BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL!

    Bill Nye the science guy!

    Science rules!

    Virus interaction with the DNA of creatures can track their evolutionary progress and confirm what common ancestors they have. This evidence is probably the best proof supporting the theory of evolution.

    http://othersidereflections.blogspot.com/2011/07/endogenous-retroviruses.html

    August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  7. Charles

    Mr. Nye (please read),

    You're supposed to be a logical/reasonable scientific public figure. My comment is with regards to your following statement: "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems." Do you really think that there aren't or can't be "scientifically literate voters" or "engineers that can build stuff and solve problems" who believe that there is an intelligent source of life?? My wife and I are engineers and we have many friends who are MDs, physicists, etc., who believe that God is the source of life. Are you really naive enough to think that theists can't understand science?? I encourage you to do your homework and read up on the biographies of the greatest scientific minds who ever lived and find out what they thought about this topic. You are simply embarrassing yourself.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • JeffreyRO5

      Yeah, but if you can make an exception for Creationism, how are we supposed to know what other exceptions you'll make? Nye is right: either accept science or faith. There's no middle ground. Why make an exception to science for faith? What purpose is served?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • An Atheist's Perspective

      I don't think Mr. Nye has an issue with people who believe God made the universe. He has an issue with Creationists, who say he did it 6000 years ago.

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

      I'd personally be scared to go to an MD that doesn't believe in evolution. I have no issue with believing God created life and then there was evolution, which was guided by God if you are religious, I just have huge issue with ignoring scientific fact that there is this thing called evolution and that the earth is more than 10,000 years old. How can someone be a scientist and ignore the evidence for these facts? That is what Bill Nye is getting at, to be a scientist you need to examine facts.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  8. Dan586

    Didn't anyone watch Thor and the Avengers ? Odin created man

    August 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  9. Dennis

    Thank goodness for Bill Nye.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Jerrold Fink

      Here is a curriculum for teaching "intelligent design"

      1. Accept for the sake of argument the logic of intelligent design, based upon the premise that things which are complicated must result from design.
      2. Assume for the sake of argument that the designer must be intelligent ( ignoring of course many designs/results which from our own experience are flawed or counterproductive )
      3. If something is more complicated, it flows from our experience and logic that the design requires more than one designer ( if logically so, this aspect od "intelligent design" must be ignored as it suggests more than one designer/"god"
      4.Logic teaches us that designs get improved over time and experience. Is our current world ( and all the intelligently designed aspects therein, version 2.0 or version 9.6 or even a later version? Even the literal Creationists recognize from the Scriptures that "God" made many mistakes and even destroyed his own creation at least once
      5. Logic tells us that a designer ofter moves on to create other designs. This suggests that "our" designers most likely have moved on to design/create other worlds and living beings, very likely greatly improved over "our" design. Are Creationists and those who try to shield their Creationism with the "nom d'science" "Intelligent Design" willing to follow their logic to accept that their intelligent designer has moved on to create other and better worlds and beings?
      6. ( and a logical follow up to 5). Designers die, but they tend to design till death. Ergo, are the intelligent designers dead? If not, why would they stop with"our" design as the end product?
      7. As designers move on from project to project, they often lose interest in past projects and care more about current and even future projects. Where is the logic that "our" designers have stayed around and are in any way interested in us?

      An "intelligent design" curriculum based on the very premise that "intelligent design" is logic-based and not entirely "faith-based could never be accepted by those who want to teach "intelligent design" in our schools because logic compels:

      .The likelihood of more than one designer who , while intelligent, has made and has admitted to making numerous mistakes; has moved on to better and more complicated designs and really has no interest in us, a product of an earlier and inherently flawed creation/design

      August 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  10. Skeptic66

    So, nearly 80% of Americans believe in Creationism or "God-guided" evolution... Sweet Jesus on a popsicle stick! I have to move. Now! You have to be ******* kidding me!

    August 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Bear

    Sorry to hear creationism is too complicated for the grownup scientists like Bill Nye. Maybe he should leave thinking to people who have the capacity to comprehend things beyond his limitations without calling them names. His theory is dependent on billions of years to prove. Let me know how that turns out Bill.

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

      Actually it can be proven in a matter of days.

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

      LOL. Bear, you are absolutely delusional. Go back to your book that says the boogie man made man by breathing on the dirt and woman by extracting a rib from him. LOLOLOLOLOL. Dude, it's 2012!!!!! Time to give up this stupidity you're clinging to.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • nala777

      Yes, and Creationists still think the Earth and all of the Cosmos is only a few thousand years old with NO evidence to back it up. Now that is hilarious!

      August 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • clo

      So you're saying evolution CAN be proven. Creationism can't EVER be proven.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • paul.c

      creationism is far from an adult theory,its a child like story with fantasy elements based on myth and NO science,we always hear about these crazy people trying to outlaw evolution.But has you stated we have billions of years of evidence ,thanks for helping us evolutionists out,unfortunately you have none,just a book,no science,no artifacts,no garden of eden,no bones of adam or eve or even the snake for that matter,no ark,no proof of a biblical flood,no proof of a created world by a higher power,no nothing..zip..you really have a poorly construted argument..really really poor

      August 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • David L.

      Billions of years to prove? Remember that next time you have to go in for a flu-shot this year, and think back to last year when you had to do it. Your flu-shot from last year didn't "wear off" so you need another, your flu-shot is no good, because the flu virus developed, through natural selection (the driving force behind evolution), a genetic resistence to the old flu-shot.

      There, it takes at least one-year to prove it.

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

      One word: Fossils

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

      Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

      Bill has nothing to prove. It is proven. Without a shadow of a doubt. Refusing to believe and/or acknowledge the evidence does not change the reality of the truth.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      clo: Exactly! A simple google search will provide you with the basics or is this just like your religion and you're simply too lazy to do research outside of the buybull?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • captain america

      And you are simply too stupid to spell words correctly or mind your own business. There's your sign

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

      actually it is the other way around, creationism is much easier to understand than evolution/science, thus, it is necessary for people that believe in creationism to give evolution/science a moment of thought, or perhaps a lot more.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Adam

      While his theory may take billions of years to verify, creationism has no basis in reality and can never be proven. Not even a shred of scientific evidence has ever been found to confirm or even propose the creationism theory. Its amazing that at this day in age with all the breakthroughs we have had in science and in understandning our universe, there are still those who look to a book written 1500 years ago as a basis for our existence. Hell 1500 years ago, humans thought the world was flat and we were the center of the universe. I beg everyone to leave your religious stories in the past and come into the 21st century. I totally agree with Nye that in 100 years creationism will be dead and completely debunked.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • MikeyNYC

      The problem isn't that creationism is "too simple", the problem is that there is absolutely no evidence to support it. People are free to believe whatever they wish, but don't expect others to share your faith or your belief when the only support you can provide boils down to, "well, its in the bible". In matters of science we require supporting evidence that can be both tested and corroborated and until a creationist can step forward and provide such evidence, creationism will remain entirely a matter of faith. In addition, its rather arrogant and self-serving of Christians to insist everyone accept their faith, their bible and their god, when Christianity has no more or less evidence to support it than any other faith. A Moslem's claim that the Quran is the word of a god is no more or less true than when a Christian makes that same statement, but somehow each faith discounts and dismisses the other, even though they share more than a few similarities. Furthermore, the idea that Christianity is somehow one big, cohesive faith where all agree is far from the truth. There are Christian denominations which deny that the others are "true" or Christian. The rejection of Catholicism by the Southern Baptist Conference is one good example. Its interesting that many Christians deny Catholicism as part of Christianity, but when those Christians claim that Christianity is the "biggest" faith in the world, they somehow add the more than 1 billion Catholics in the world to their ranks.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  12. hank

    If you look up IQ and religious beliefs, you will find that the lower the IQ, the more reliant on Religion the individual. CNN actually covered this topic a few month ago. This is why "Scientist" prove it wrong, and "the holy man" does not believe it. This is also why "Religious Groups" focus thier missions in "poor and uneducated countries" which increases the chances of finding people who will believe without asking questions.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  13. David in Houston

    Don C – this depends on what you consider "proof". If you accept the carbon 14 dating method as accruate as the entire scientific community does, than that woudl be "proof" that dinosaurs and vegitation fossils are as old as estimated. The reason evolution is theory is that there remains no DNA in these fossils to definitely tell that one animals is the ancestor of another and that many of it's traits were passed along.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  14. Rick

    I am a Christian who believes in God. I also believe that God created the universe, but He did it 13 or 14 billion years ago, Then he worked on it from then until now, including evolving life as we know it today from lower life forms. The Bible was written thousands of years ago by men that did not have the knowledge to understand what we know today. While there is lots of good advice contained in the Bible there is also a bunch of crap that might have made sense then but has no application in todays world. To me, God wants us to advance, both scientifically and socially. He doesn't want us to stagnate. He wants us to make a better life for ourselves and to help others achieve the same thing. I believe there is room in this world for many opposing views on where we came from, but calling people names and insulting people is only fostering ill will , and whether you believe in God or not I don't think this is the way to go. Just the way I look at it and you are all free to have your own opinions. Have a great day.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • George Washington

      "Then he worked on it from then until now, including evolving life as we know it today from lower life forms"

      LOL....what he's God?...and if so, as God...couldn't he do it right the first time?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • snowboarder

      without a literal interpretation of genesis there is no original sin. without original sin there is no need for a messiah to symbolicly sacrifice himself on a cross to absolve the masses of their sin and christianity has no basis.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • IslandAtheist

      Why add the woo woo?

      August 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Rick

      As I said George, this is just the way I see things and I'm comfortable with that, Just as I'm comfortable with what you believe. It's not my place to tell anyone else what they should or shouldn't believe. Peace and have a great day

      August 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Sweetenedtea

      Ah, leave Rick alone. I'll take him over pretty much every sinnersinthehandsofanangryGod shout-down-all-rationality-as-evil-defiance Jesus-sends-gays-to-hell-out-of-love keep-the-darkies-out-of-my-government evangelical hatejob. He believes in God, he believes in learning from the world around - no skin off my nose if he finds comfort in the idea of a deity. It's a comforting thought, after all. Nothing wrong with it so long as you don't validate your abuse of others by citing your own belief system.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  15. Pablo

    What sort of "proof" would be needed to change evolution from a theory to a fact? If that proof were to be found, what would happen to the creationist house of cards?

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

      There is no such thing as converting theory into fact. And that's not a bad thing! When people comment like you just did, implying that a theory in science is weak statement. It is not. A theory is the strongest of terms that can be used to describe a process in science. The word fact, is in fact, not used. There are measurements, with are used to provide data. And there are theories which explain the data. A set of ideas that postulated, but not supported by evidence are called a hypothesis. Once it is shown to be supported by evidence, it is then called a theory. That is the end of the line. Theories do not get promoted to fact, ever, in science. And yet people have no problems trusting their lives to the theories which explain aerodynamics, or gravity, or electricity.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Who me?

      Circular logic and the ability to argue from ignorance will prevail.

      August 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  16. The 8th Day

    I suppose if you're a kid and want to expand your love of fossils and become a scientist ...it will become freekin'
    confusing. Give it up bible jocks.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  17. MormonChristian

    I always liked Bill Nye and respected his work. Now I see he's gotten lazy and lumped us into just 2 categories: Scientists and Religious people. What if you believe in Science AND God??

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

      Can't, it's an oxymoron.

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

      He is talking specifically about Creationism, not religion.

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

      Then you are still in the confused group.

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

      Science is not a belief.

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

      If you believe that then you need to improve your science education. It's not too late. Most of us atheists were raised in some kind of faith, and then got a little more education. Read "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, then see if you can still profess to believe in "both."

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

      Then you're kinda stupid. Just sayin'...

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

      Like

      August 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • LaTuya83

      You can believe in God all you like, you just can't deny the fact that the earth is billioins of years old, and there have existed other species that are not around anymore, and that man evolved from another species, THESE ARE ALL PROVEN SCIENTIFIC FACTS, the bible is all based on having faith in what ignorant men made up a couple thousand years ago.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @MormonChristian,

      that would be the 32% of Americans. If you believe in God, the idea that God used evolution as his method for his 'creation' then this is a reasoned approach.

      The article is talking about the 46% who believe that the earth is not 4.5B years old but less than 10,000 years old.

      I suspect your question is a specious attempt at deflection.

      August 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  18. Nietodarwin

    There is no god, creationists may as well deny gravity too, (and most do believe they will ascend into a heaven after death.)
    GOOD FOR BILL. Too bad these people didn't watch his show more instead of being brainwashed by Talibangelicals.
    We killed Bin Laden and the Taliban with bullets, and now we will end the American Taliban, (the GOP) with votes.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  19. Punctus

    So.. let me get this straight. I can use my "faith" to deny the "theory" of evolution even though there is as much scientific data supporting evolution as there is supporting the "theory" of gravity. Hmmm... I did always want to fly.

    August 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  20. Sarah Palin

    Bill Nye is a bad American

    August 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Mitt Romney

      Hi Sarah!
      How are things? Now that you are a millionaire, do you like my tax plan?
      (Hey, has Todd gotten a job yet? or is he still livving off of you?)

      August 27, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Sarah Palin

      Hi Mitt,
      No Todd still refuse to get a job (the lazy bum).
      And yes...I love your tax plan. It will cut taxes for us rich folks while raising taxes on the middle class by up to $2,000 a year...great plan!
      (Hey why won't you let me speak at the convention?)

      August 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • sean74cnn

      Nothing would be more fun than if this post was actually by Sarah Palin

      August 27, 2012 at 1:59 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.