By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Bill Nye's viral YouTube video pleading with parents not to teach their children to deny evolution has spawned an online life of its own, with prominent creationists hitting back against the popular TV host.
"Time is Nye for a Rebuttal," Ken Ham the CEO of Answers in Genesis writes on his website. Answers in Genesis is the Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
Nye's criticism of creationism went viral earlier this week, after being posted last Thursday.
"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," Nye says in his Big Think video, which has been viewed nearly 3 million times.
Ham writes that Nye is joining in with other evolutionists who say teaching children to deny evolution is a form of "child abuse." That idea comes in part from the atheist scientist Richard Dawkins, who in his book "The God Delusion" argues against exposing children to religion before they are old enough to fully understand it.
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"At AiG and the Creation Museum, we teach children and adults the truth concerning who they are in the Creator’s eyes — and where they came from," Ham writes. "We tell people that they do have purpose and meaning in life and that they were created for a purpose. "No, we are not just evolved animals as Nye believes; we are all made in the image of God."
Ham is the public face of a group that academics call Young Earth Creationists, though they prefer to be called Biblical Creationists. They believe in a literal interpretation of the creation account in the book of Genesis found in the Bible.
The Creation Museum also produced its own rebuttal video on YouTube that features two of their staff scientists, both Ph.Ds, David Menton and Georgia Purdom.
"[Nye] might be interested to know I also teach my young daughter about evolution and I know many Christian parents who do the same," Purdom says in the video. "Children should be exposed to both ideas concerning our past."
For the past 30 years, one popular method for Creationists to advance their cause has been to make an equal-time argument,with Creationism taught alongside evolution. In the late 1980s, some state legislatures passed bills that promoted the idea of a balanced treatment of both ideas in the classroom.
In 1987, the issue made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where a Louisiana "equal-time law" was struck down. The court ruled that teaching creationism in public school class rooms was a violation of the Establishment Cause in the Constitution, which is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state.
A key point between most scientists and many creationists is the timing for the origin of the world.
Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique
Nye's argument falls in line with the vast majority of scientists, who date the age of the earth as 4.5 billion years old and the universe as 14.5 billion years old.
"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 says in his viral video.
Young Earth Creationists say the weeklong account of God creating the earth and everything in it represents six 24-hour periods (plus one day of rest) and date the age of the earth between 6,000 and 10,000 years.
"Yes we see fossils and distant stars, but the history on how they got there really depends on our worldview," Purdom says in the museum's rebuttal. "Do we start with man's ideas, who wasn't here during man's supposed billions of years of earth history or do we start with the Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all?"
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Polling from Gallup has shown for the past 30 years that between 40-46% of the survey respondents believe in Creationism, that God created humans and the world in the past 10,000 years.
The most recent poll showed belief in atheistic evolution was on the rise at 16%, nearly double what it had been in previous years. The poll also found 32% of respondents believe in evolution guided by God.
The only thing I do not like about fellow christians is all they are concerned about is faith when they go to church on sundays. In the Bible it says you must worship in spirit and in truth but today they all just owrry about the spirit minus the truth. Science is truth and they get all hush hush hush about it.
"Do we start with man's ideas, who wasn't here during man's supposed billions of years of earth history or do we start with the Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all?"
This had me rolling on the floor. An "eyewitness account", thats rich, I'm going to write an amazing fantasy and say its true. What? You don't believe me? Trust me guys, I saw it happen, I swear
So they're attacking a scientist's criticism of creationism with more creation theories. I guess there's no accounting for belief in fairy tales. I went to junior high at a private christian school in MS, and they taught creation as fact. Evolution was considered an abomination by our "science" teacher. The facts of science do not match up with the the beliefs that creationists have. I personally like to stick to the facts. Some people like to just believe things happen in a mystical way, so let 'em. I don't let it bother me. I'll teach my children facts and science and let them decide if religion is worth their time.
USGS:" Nevertheless, scientists have been able to determine the probable age of the Solar System and to calculate an age for the Earth by assuming that the Earth and the rest of the solid bodies in the Solar System formed at the same time and are, therefore, of the same age."
Notice the mighty big assumption paid for by the Masters.
When is that quote from the 1950's?
My mistake, I understand now. Yes it is true the earth formed at about the same time as the rest of the solar system. I thought it said the earth is formed at the same time as the universe, hence my wt-f moment.
USGS:"So far scientists have not found a way to determine the exact age of the Earth directly from Earth rocks because Earth's oldest rocks have been recycled and destroyed by the process of plate tectonics. If there are any of Earth's primordial rocks left in their original state, they have not yet been found."
That is why we tested moon rocks. The moon is made from the same rocks as earth but it is geologically dead. The moon is about 4.6 billion years old so it is easy to as.sume the earth is about that old.
Examination of DNA shows the earth is older than the 6000 years you are trying to say. Even if the age of the earth is off by a few million years that doesn't discredit the facts of evolution.
Creationists believe the world started 10000 yrs ago? So do creationists believe that dinosaurs lived with man like the Flintstones or do they believe that dinosaurs are a myth? Seriously though, Nye was critical of literal interpretation. If you want to believe god created the world, that's alright but don't teach your kids he did it in 10000 years based on 2000+ year old stories transcribed by oral traditions that have been altered, twisted and mistranslated countless times over. Taking stories written to teach morals as fact is just plain foolish, especially since much of those morals don't even apply to modern society.
Dude one of these bizarre christian stories that are taught to kids that I have heard/seen is that jesus was in the united states 5000 years ago, the world was created in its entirety 6000 years ago, and god put dinosaur bones on earth to test man. Look up mormon beliefs (http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/fourteen) and read some fu***ery. The way mormons sells their story is by saying that they are christians. I agree its one thing to believe these things but its a serious injustice to feed it to the next generation. We did that last generation and gave rise to the tea party.
If Jealous gave the earthlings all the details they could have built the bomb sooner, thwarting His purposes. You think He's that nutso?
Genesis was not interested in the origins of mankind as in the nature of mankind. In a sense, Genesis and evolutionists agree. Apparently, evolutionists believe that humans originated from the primordial slime. Genesis says man came from the dust of the earth. The ideas sound similar. Evolution minded atheists insist that belief in God is a delusion. From Darwin's theories it is a short step to the idea that man is nothing more than a biochemical machine that can process data from the senses. But what works better? A delusion that teaches we should treat each other as children of God? Or Social Darwinism with its idea that "mongrel" humans are not fit to survive and therefore disposable?
@CE. That is a false choice. Do you really believe one needs religion to have morals, ethics, etc
It doesn't sound like you care so much about what is true, as what is comforting.
Some of us care about what is true.
What most people don't think about is that your religion and set of beliefs is not absolute and is determines highly by you geographical birthplace and time. Say I was born in the middle east most likely I would be Islam or Hindu if I was born in India worshiping gods that is different from yours. If i was born in ancient Rome then Zeus would be the one true god. Just a small factoid to keep in mind before you say that your god is the true and absolute god. Because if your god is then who are Hindus praying to? And if you say a false god, then what do you think they say about your magic god?
@JC. Ummm you forgot the "H Fukking," as in "jesus h fukking christ." There, fixed it for you.
Must watch for all creationist trolls...
Richard Dawkins demonstrates laryngeal nerve of the giraffe
So how does this prove evolution? It was designed that way and has worked perfectly for the last 6000 years! You are also assuming that we think the same as God and you are also assuming we know all. The fact is we don't. Only a few hundred years ago, the human race still thought the world was flat. Besides all of that, if you google this topic, you will see MANY sites refuting this claim scientifically... I doubt you will read it!
That's right Clay don't let facts and evidence get in the way of your delusion.
Democrats are godless heathens
Mormons believe in a con artist called Joseph Smith. Christians believe in a fraud magician called Jesus.
romney is a diseased inbred mother mounting gash
Good! It's about time we fought back against these secularists who think that their religion is the only one that matters! Enough is enough! You have woken up the sleeping creationist giant!
You mean that the "creationist giant" has slept through the past 200 years of scientific discovery, right?
tparttpatriot: secularist religion? wow, aren't you the bright one....
You haven't learned to think in a cogent manner, let alone write coherently. Sad. Ignorant fool.
"woken up"? Wow. Sounds about third grade level, doesn't it?
In all fairness, "woken up" is a tricky one... and I'm not all that sure that it is incorrect here (and there is even a different British take on it).
"Nye's argument falls in line with the vast majority of scientists, who date the age of the earth and the universe as 4.5 billion years old."
That's not true; the vast majority of scientists date the earth at roughly 4.5 billion years, but the universe at much older, roughly 13-14 billion years old.
Course, you could always have the child genetically tested before birth and kill it if it flunks. That saves a lot of work for allah's devotees. 911 everyday and 20 per cent of americult's population dead! The downside is Jealous might not approve.
Umm, MUDDY DEAR? If your god does exist, then your god is obviously responsible for doing just what you've described – genetic screening. Do you know what "spontaneous abortion" is? Where the pregnancy self-terminates? For a number of reasons, of course, but primarily because the fetus is not viable. A recent University of Ottawa study estimated the rate of spontaneous abortion to be approximately 50 %. So what's with that? Why is your god putting women and families though the mental, emotional and physical risks and stresses? It doesn't sound like an Intelligently Designed system at work here.
Anencephaly (without brain) is a neural tube defect that occurs when the head end of the neural tube fails to close, usually during the 23rd and 26th days of pregnancy, resulting in an absence of a major portion of the brain and skull. Infants born with this condition are born without the main part of the forebrain-the largest part of the cerebrum. Infants born with this condition are usually blind, deaf and unconscious. The lack of a functioning cerebrum will ensure that the infant will never gain consciousness. Infants are either stillborn or usually die within a few hours or days after birth.
Now, if a mother has given birth to a previous child with anencepahaly and she wants to know whether the second child is afflicted or not, and decides to terminate the pregnancy in case the prenantal screen is positive for NTD -– you recommend that she should continue through 9 months of hell, only to deliver a baby who is either born dead, or is a vegetable and will die soon!!!
20? Try 80 in America.
You guys just want to marry your nieces like Darwin did. Inbreed a little and pop out some bleeders just like European royalty. BGB's, yeah, that's it. Breed, Greed, Bleed!
Who are the "you guys" referenced in post, MUD? And once you've identified who it is you are referring to, you no doubt will be able to provide us with clear and cogent evidence to support your assertions. You DO understand the concept of requiring sufficient reliable, credible and probative evidence to support a claim or as-sertion, don't you? And I'm sure you also understand that the quality and quanti-ty of evidence required rises as the claim becomes more extraordinary.
The religions of Abraham are based on fear. It is no different than terrorism. Imagine telling a young child that unless they follow what you tell them is the word of their god, they will be punished and will go to hell. That poor child, scared out of its wits. So much blood has been spilled in the name of this so called creator. How awful!
Creationists must believe the dinosaur bones were manufactured by evolutionists and not scientifically dated.
When John Lennon wrote "Imagine", he said it all:
"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace"
Let us all hope our species wakes up before we kill ourselves in the name of religion.
YES, 1OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OF GODS.....
YES. there are 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 of gods...
LOVE THE SNAKE GOD.. SNAKE GOD LOVES YOU...
SNAKE GOD LOVES YOU.. SNAKE GOD SAVES YOU
Come to India, WE WORSHIP SNAKE GODS HERE! We actually have an entire festival for them google Naag Panchmi) – but we only love the cobra. Nope, other snakes not worthy of our worship.
Whatever it is you believe in becomes your reality. Take this story of a group of vultures circling a carcass. After circling for some time, they alighted beside it. Seeing that it wasn't quite dead, the head vulture said to his companions, "A few more circlings should do the trick."
It becomes your reality, but that doesn't make it the actual reality that all of us live in, right?
A collection of evolution evidence
Scientists are mere technicians engaged in reverse engineering. Many have seared consciences. Keep em on a short leash.
Which supposition does not disprove or negate evolution in any way, shape, or form
Yep, they can find no evidence to support your cherished myth so there must be something wrong with them.
Thinking to much can make you question your faith. Better stay ignorant.
You clearly lack even a child's understanding of the logical use of reason to deduce objects and predict events in the natural world, Otherwise known as science. Science explains discovers objects and predicts events. Religion predicts nothing and explains nothing. Religion is a failed science.
Perhaps, one day, they may even be able to reverse engineer an M&M large enough so that J.C. may eat it without it falling through the hole in his hand. Oh, I hope so.
@ Beez; Jesus walks into a hotel, puts a couple of spikes on the reception counter, and says to the manager; "Can you put me up for the night?"
ScottCA, You talk like a man who thinks he invented reason......'Isa 1:18 ¶ Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'.....That's only a few K years ago.
Using an evolutionary clock that's like 5 min ago.
Try this one, it's more on topic.
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.