Bill Nye slams creationism
August 27th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

Bill Nye slams creationism

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(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. vwickert

    The world doesn't change because of your phoney presuppositions or lack thereof. It remains the same and TRUE scientists can still OBSERVE, RECORD, MAKE AN HYPOTHESIS, and SEEK DUPLICATION. This is real science, seeing the miraculous complexity God created and trying to understand it.
    By the way, evolution can not do either the first -Observe evolution nor can they do the last, measure of true science Seek duplication
    Thank you "Bill Nye the Propaganda Guy" but please stick to observable stuff !!!

    August 28, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • richunix

      He's better than, Simon says or in your case YAHWEH say's, whichs sounds better?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  2. Sam

    I really have no problem with any religion – except when they behave like the Taliban. Stay out of our schools and stay out of our government. Remember separation of church and state? Worship any way you want and anyone you want, but you have no right to make me follow your beliefs because you think they are best for me.

    There are rules (laws) for general society, and then there are beliefs for each religion. My whole problem with religion is when people start putting their beliefs into the laws for general society. You wouldn't want to live under Taliban rule. Why do you think we want to live under your rule? I just don't get it.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Harry 101

      I agree San and you have no right to force your believes on those who believe because for many it's not just done sunday. But I dee you feel it's OK to force the reglious into certain hours of the week.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • sheshie

      I understand what you mean Sam. Just replace the word religion, with the word liberal in your post, and that is exactly how I feel.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Pat

      Where do you think our laws come from? Do not murder. Be kind to one another. etc. God's law is written on our hearts. We can't escape it, only deny it. Those "God" laws create our sense of morality as a community. Which then turn into governmental laws we can all live by. Without God's laws and societies laws we would have chaos. There is no separating God from state. He is in us. All of us!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bullsh!t, Pat. Our laws do not come from a god. They are common to cultures of many kinds. They are based on principles that have nothing to do with religious belief and predate the Bible. They aren't based on morality, but on the preservation of rights we are guaranteed by our Const itution.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  3. tdiamond

    The story of creation is not about the beginning of the Earth but about the beginning of our relationship with God. We are sinners who need to find our way with God and his Son Jesus. That is the basis of the creation story. If you are a religious person, this is what you take from it. If you are a non-religious person, you see it as an attack against reason and science. I choose to find my way with God and his Son Jesus.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  4. lola

    And stop coloring you hair – looks ridiculous, evolution or not !

    August 28, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  5. downtoearthguy

    Christ is alive

    August 28, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • vike1322

      No, Jesus of Nazareth is dead – he died over 2,000 years ago.
      Wake up.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Which God?

      @downto earth guy. Where is he? Did you see him at a Starbucks? At the gas station filling up his pickup? Where is that elusive little fukker? I wanna talk to him mano a mano, face to face. Oh, right he's DEAD.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  6. edunbar

    I thought non-Christians were suppose to be the bright ones. I assume the "Christians are the definition of dumb" have heard the name Copernicus? Even though he was persecuted by the Church, you do know he was a Christian and believed in God, didn't you? As Copernicus said, ""[It is my] loving duty to seek the truth in all things, in so far as God has granted that to human reason." The fallacy of amateur atheists is that they do not realize how many past and present scientists believe in God (we're not talking about believing in tv preachers). They mistake the mainstream church with faith in God. They are not the same thing.

    It is disturbing that so many folks like have no idea how much science has been advanced by "them there dumb Christians." Other dumb Christians? Isaac Newton, Roger Bacon, William of Ockham (Ockham's Razor,) Galileo, Robert Boyle, Lewis Pasteur, Freeman Dyson, and etc etc.

    You do not have to believe in a 6,000 year old earth to be a Christian.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  7. Hitchslapinator

    Never underestimate the power of fear and denial. The fact that so many people still believe in the mono-theistic garbage is just jaw dropping. I guess I can take a little solace in the fact that somewhere around 15% of us are smart enough to realize how incredibly silly these fairy tales are.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • lola

      Easy: old religion helps to cope with death while science – not.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • brett

      The only fairly tales are evolution and your birth.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • edunbar

      The hubris displayed by amateur atheists, those completely ignorant of Christian faith, is astonishing. They assume (incorrectly) that no true scientist believes in God. However, Science is their actual God...supposedly capable of discovering the answers to the mysteries of the universe. However, Science is a lousy deity. Until recently, Science didn't even know over 84% of the universe existed (Dark Matter.) Until 1929, the entire universe was assumed to be the Milky Way Galaxy. New data supports new theories, yet decades pass before the old guard dies off, and the new can publish their work. Scientists are quite notorious for resisting new ideas, clinging to old priestly dogma while secure in their University Tenure.

      I guess it's sort of nice to feel superior to "The Other Side," regardless of whether you are Christian or not. It is a failing of the human race. You CAN believe in God and String Theory. You CAN believe in a being that exists outside space/time, and still research Evolution. You CAN believe in a God that love enough to die for His own creation, and still publish works relating to Event Horizons of black holes.

      August 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    There is a Chinese creation myth that says the ancestors of mankind were the fleas and lice on the body of the God Pan Gu.
    In the beginning, Pan Gu escaped from the great universal egg by cracking it open with a broadaxe. The light part of the yolk floated up and became the heavents while the cold, hard part stayed below to form earth with Pan Gu standing between them like a pillar to keep the separated. When He died, His breath became the wind and clouds, His voice thunder, His eyes the sun and the moon, his beard and hair turned to the stars in the sky, His blood the water. His veins became roads and his muscles fertile land.

    So how is the Chinese myth any more or less credible than the Abrahamic one?

    August 28, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Hitchslapinator

      Sounds much more plausible than god sending himself down to earth to die... in the form of his son, for our sins, which we have not yet committed, so that we can commit them and then accept him into our lives so he can forgive us all over again, to let us into paradise with all of our dead friends and family members.

      Or that a schizophrenic warrior prophet received the word of god then proceeded to wed children, lay waste to his enemies and ascend to heaven on the back of a winged steed.

      Yeah sounds about right to me.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  9. Nathan

    Bill Nye believe in EVOLUTION instead of Creationism.To me it's 50/50 how the life began.But the only thing I have against EVOLUTION is how can nothing make something.What intelligence created nothing to create something ?How can gases create life who create the gases to do that ?Did anybody ever heard of God ? But who made God.That my son is another mystery .I know this we all find out when our time comes.But right now I'm not in a hurry to fulfill my curosity...lol

    August 28, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Intellectual Ideas

      The be sure, nothing did not create something. Something was reformed by natural processes into something else. That is, chemicals were rearranged by the forces of nature into eventually self-sustaining organisms. Creationism is not a valid theory, so don't use a "God of the Gaps" mentality and just put "God" where you can't see the answer easily. There is overwhelming evidence for evolution.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  10. johndanger

    Gosh, Bill (may I call you Bill?) I remember when you had a kids show on a local station in Seattle. You were a dorky science nerd wearing a comical bow tie. You haven't changed a bit. You should stick to what you do best.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Austin

      Golly, what a well thought-out retort. I'd be surprised if he can continue to function under the weight of such a blistering repudiation.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  11. blake

    Nye is a fool. Evolutionary theory is not good for children. It teaches them them that they are nothing more than an advanced ape, rather than created in the image of God. It teaches them that there are no moral absolutes and no purpose in the universe or in their individuals lives. I teaches them that there is no ultimate accountability for their choices. It teaches them to be self focused and narcisstic. It teaches them to start with the assumption that there is no God and then seek to come with explanations for things built on the premise, regardless of how far fetched and absurd. It teaches them to ignore the obvious, there is an intelligent design behind creation.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Will

      No, it just teaches evolution. Your fear of these things is what teaches them these things. And it is appalling if you need to have religion or a god to teach your kids morality.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • WASP

      @blake: then please explain to us what god looks like seeing we were created in his image.........................did you happen to notice that you never see a depiction of god, only of jesus.
      people never scream "i saw god" it's always i saw jesus or the virgin mary. lmfao

      August 28, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Seth

      You are a prime example of how the USA is rapidly dumbing down. Evolution teaches nothing about morality, philosophy, or ethics of any kind. It is a study of change in species over time; that is all. This is what Bill Nye is going on about: we have a nation full of knee-jerk reactionaries quick to dismiss what they don't even posess a high-school level understanding of, simply because it doesn't fit perfectly with the mindlessly repeated dogma they've been indoctrinated with since birth. Develop some critical thinking skills. Pick up a book. Learn before you simply react. And above all, THINK.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  12. lola

    Don't you know that science is the modern form of religion?LOL

    August 28, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • midwest rail

      False. But you already knew that.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  13. Tom

    God of the Universe, help us all!!!

    August 28, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • kerfluffle

      He's busy over at Skull Island–give him a few minutes.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  14. Cameron

    This is a Belief blog right ? Not a disbelief or absent of belief blog. It always amuses me when people rage against the Light. Atheist today remind me so much of atheist in the Bible. Jesus own follower Thomas didnt believe what Jesus had done until Jesus showed him. So my atheist brothers and sisters continue to deny but let all be respectful of each other. We all are on different paths and points in our lives.

    May you live long and prosper and continue learning.

    August 28, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • ME II

      "It always amuses me when people rage against the Light. "
      So now condescension is respect?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • joe

      And the book of Thomas was intentially left out of the bible for heresy. Amazing how gospels were excluded from the bible. They don't teach you that in bible school, do they?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Ronney

      Just like Jesus, I too can feed thousands with just two fish and a few loaves of bread.
      What? You don't believe me? I have to show you?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  15. Major

    Nye is being a little over the top here, but over the top is what he does.

    I doubt that the whole "evolution vs. creation" debate is high on most kids' agendas. Only a tiny percentage probably even care.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  16. TheTraveler

    I think it was summed up in Men in Black very nicely: "1500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

    When Bill Nye achieves omnipotence then I'll listen to his opinion.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • ME II

      Are you using scientific discoveries to make a point that science isn't important?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • joe

      Malevelonce is a good quality also! Don't forget about all the murdering god personally did and instructed others to do on his behalf.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  17. Matt S

    As a Creationist, I find the idea that I have to believe in such radical concepts as "Science," and "The Laws of Physics" offensive. PS, I believe that the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and Big Foot are real. PSS, I live in Texas and support the right to bear arms by having a large AK-47 collection. Yes, I am serious.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • BiologistKiki

      When I saved my wisdom teeth and put them under my pillow for the tooth fairy, everyone laughed at me. Joke is on them. She reimbursed me FIVE WHOLE DOLLARS on my operation.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  18. Barney

    Regardless of how I feel about this: What in the world does what you believe (Creationism or Evolution) have anything to do with you zeal for science? That's just a foolish thing for him to say. Very foolish. In fact, one could argue that if someone believed in Creationism is more motivated to find out how everything works; i.e. How did God do it? His work is amazing!

    August 28, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  19. Ken

    What Bill fails to understand, or chooses to ignore, is that the two beliefs are not mutually exclusive. One can believe in creationism and still believe in evolution. Creationism is nothing more than a belief that God created the earth. His methods are not known and there is nothing in the Bible that precludes His use of evolution as a method of creation.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Mike

      6-10k years?? Come on. Open your eyes and your brain. At least go back a billion years to make it look like you are not in the middle ages.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Shakingmyhead

      Gee Mike, had no idea you were there to tally the years? I will have to re-read my Bible under the Chapter "Open you Brain for Life According to Mike"..I am so sure all your ideas are infallible. My brain is open Mike, is your MIND?

      August 28, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • ME II

      Bill Nye is, I think, talking about Young Earth Creationism, which is a belief in a strict literal interpretation of Genesis, which is inconsistent with the evidence we have available.

      August 28, 2012 at 9:20 am |
  20. divine582

    How can you claim to know what "all athiests" do?? Have you done any reliable research? Have you read or studied any books or articles on the subject?? Could it not be as easily said that certain "believers" abandon their faith when misfortune strikes and the God of their imagination has betrayed them?

    August 28, 2012 at 8:57 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.