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.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
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.
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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.
Actually this is not a black and white answer. Many Christians believe in Creationism, but don't neccessarily believe it only happened 6000-10000 years ago. I am a Christian, but I believe that a day to God could be anything not neccessarily the 24hr day we recognize today. I recognize science and how it defines what is going around us, but I also believe that God set this all in motion with a plan. Yes a lot of faith also goes with that, but that is why ot is called faith, the belief in something you cannot neccessarily see. Yes you can be both Brad Nye for I am a scientist and a Christian.
Only a sadistic creator would make this dog eat dog world. That's why I prefer to think of it as a mindless process, it makes more sense.
Unfortunaly Parkerman, you cannot speak for the vast majority of Christians that believe otherwise, however, as always, time dictates how as humans, we grow with each new decade and new ways of veiwing our old beliefs.
I happen to believe in both. Everything is possible in God's world. Nothing in this argument can or should be put in a neat little box and tied with a bow. I used to believe that it was 6 24hr days in Genesis, but with scientific facts that couldn't have been right. So using the brain God gave me and a comic from Frank & Ernest (lol Frank talking to God " So if a million dollars is like a penny to you, and a second is like a million years, can I have a penny?" God to Frank, " Yeah, in a second! lol), it made sense that God's time is not the same as ours time today. Why we would think it was is naive. The other thing is in talking to a priest, he said that most theologians don't take the Bible literally. That people back then didn't write literally like we do today. Just like Jesus taught in parables. My point is that yes, the Big Bang did happen, because God did that in creating the universe. I do believe in evolution, but also believe that God did create humans. I'm not saying that there weren't "human like" creatures that evolved, but they didn't evolve into what we are today. Even Darwin was frustrated with how scientists took his theory of evolution that he came up with when studying the Galapagos wildlife. Science has NOT been able to make the lineage of primate to human complete (missing link?). There is room for both God and science in this world. The Bible tells more about how we should treat one another and love one another. Name calling and belittling isn't part of that.
P.S. I always got a laugh that Stephen Hawking used the long life (that God gave him) with a disease that kills most in a few years to prove there was no God...
“it made sense that God's time is not the same as ours time today”
Since god went to all the trouble of having someone write it all down and being omnipotent and omniscient I expect that he meant real 24 hour days when he said days. If you can’t take god at his own word who can you trust?
Of course anything is possible in god's world.
When stuff is made up to begin with, then changing the rules to whatever fits at the time is just fine.
When I was a kid I played with GI Joes and in that world anything was possible too.
It's good to know that we can still share a laugh even after 40 years.I still think about her every day.. I bet some of you think Obama lit the fuse on the Big Bang and he built all of this.Glad to say I won't see any of you IN Hell..
Wow, such hate, such controversy. You would think the thought of a God would be a comforting thought. Something to keep an open mind about. I guess until he can be scientifically proven then he would be real to the "intelligent" ones.
No Ken, the thought of a made up being is not comforting.
It is cute then a little child has an imaginary friend, but really creepy when an adult has one.
I was a card-carrying "creationist" for the better part of 20 years. I can attest to the fact that believing in such pseudo-scientific drivel has nothing to do with the actual evidence but rather everything to do with religious preconceptions. I was conviced of a young earth, a global flood and the co-existence of dinosaurs and humans, not because the evidence led me to that conclusion, but because I was certain that that was what was required of me due to what I honestly thought the Bible "taught", (and groups like ICR and AIG reinforced). I took an honest, open-minded inquiry into the actual science behind the theory of evolution to finally convince me of my error. It was a long and painful process but a necessary one. I still have a firm faith in God but now understand that "descent with modification" figured prominently in His creative process.
Thanks for your candid story, Greens. A lot of people like you believe science and religion are compatible.
Yeah, we don't know exactly how all things were created. We really don't need to know the exact details. I view science as fun and interesting but take it with a grain of salt since they can't even cure disease let alone know what happened a million years ago. Evolution has uncovered some facts about creation but leave out the actual force that caused it. Most groups are polarized at this point. Haters on both sides.
" Evolution has uncovered some facts about creation "
Any chance you could post these facts about creation?
Nice going, Greens. Now just keep working on it and maybe you'll take that final step someday.
You are half way there brother.
Take the next step and free yourself from religion.
Science is not only right, it is so much more interesting than religion.
I'm going to recomment the book "Flatland", because it shows how People can not look beyond what they know and see right in front of their faces and stare into the face of possibility and truth. This holds true for evolutioinists and faith based believers.
I have changed my mind on evolution. As Super Smart Creationist, Ph.D. said, "If humans come from apes, why can't humans procreate with apes?"
I have no response for this so I was wrong about evolution and now realize Creationism is the way to go.
Ignorance is bliss.
Again, evolution does not say we came from apes. But there was more than one human species on earth and our ancestors interbreed with them.
that super smart creationist phd obviously didn't have his degree in biology
You’re right, I’m back to being an evolutionist again.
While I realize you aren't being serious, to answer the question, humans do procreate with apes because humans are apes.
"Ape" is NOT a species. It's not even a taxonomic category. It's a general category for large, tailless primates.
And, reproductive isolation is how species are defined. So when groups are diverging, when they get to the point that they can no longer reproduce, they are a separate species.
Show me a Crocoduck!
Pat, you are very wrong. Evolutionary theory most definitely says that we evolved from apes.
Donna...it states a common ancestor. Don't let me get in the way of you being wrong, though.
Sam, What states a common ancestor? In the comment I was replying to, Pat says that we didn't evolve from apes, but we did.
I'm not wrong. We are apes, we evolved from apes, chimps are apes, and our last common ancestors were apes.
Saying that we did not evolve from apes is a false statement.
Do you know what an ape is Sam?
Donna, we didn't evolve from apes, because we are apes. We share a common ancestry with other great apes. The most recent was a primate that diverged into chimps/bonobos and hominids. This primate lived some 6 million years ago. This primate was not a human or a chimp. We share other common ancestors farther back that diverged to other grat apes. These primates were not human or gorillas or orangutans. Goingg back further we share ancestry with a primate that diverged to old world monkeys. But that primate was not a monkey or a human either.
Primewonk, you don't make any sense. Just because we are apes doesn't mean that we didn't evolve from critters that were also apes.
I will prove to you that I am right, if you will take the time to look up the information yourself.
1. Define ape.
2. Read about the last common ancestor with humans and chimps. Would it fit the definition of an ape?
3. Tell me which of these critters fit the definition of ape:
Hint: ALL OF THEM WERE APES.
God, Jesus, Allah, Easter Bunny, Santa Clause- all from human imagination made up to make us better or scare the crap out of us that we will 'go to hell'. Ancient stories with no proof. People once belived in Zeus just as blindly as people now belive in Jesus. Get a grip you freakin idiots. Science is science- fact and observation. Religion is story telling tool used to control weak minded – overpopulated- uneducated idiots. Mind control that empowers the church, and public figures that understand the usefulness of this manipulation and allows them to control the masses by taking their money, or votes and/or raising mighty armies that will fight to the death for thier 'whatever' beliefs in the name of god. Go to church, you stupid lemings.
Thank you. Now I no longer have to continue to do the convincing. Your post pretty much tells the story. Religion was concocted. The bible written by men. Religion, all religion, is a form of cult worship. Lets hope the fools who believe in this crap don't destroy the earth trying to prove that their non-existant made up dude is better than the next guys.
You show absolutely no understanding of the material which you are posting about. No mastery whatsoever. The fact you move into insults rather quickly proves to me you yourself undertand this point, which is why you have one sentence of "logic" followed by a paragraph of insults directed at people who you would most likely label as bigots. Uneducated idiots? You have no idea who is typing this. How can you claim to know such things?
I gotta tell y'all – God be up there in the clouds somewhere and he watches over me and my Senatemates all the times, so for a man like Mr. Nye to question His gift to us Americans, well, I gotta say that this is nonsense: how else do you think I won so many elections if there was no God? Christ (His Son, of course), I won three golf tournaments in the same weekend – you can't tell me there is no God! Oh, and over at the Piggly Wiggly, I had a two week running streak on the state lotto – again, no God? I think not! And NASCAR, being my favorite sport, especially when they go real fast in Phiily, I won a bundle "under the table" from Johnny Lynn Briscoe, a friend of my girlfriend, and he set me up straight: no God, huh? I made what, $37,233.00 off of who then? Oh, maybe that was from the tax payers. Moral here bein' if we ain't got no God, then the tax payers owe me a whole lot more, which I'll have to collect before December for tax purposes. Ain't no God? Y'all just puttin' me on!
Haley...so clever and well put. I almost fell off my chair. I think I snorted, too. You should write satire...you are good.
To those scientifically rational folks who think you can sucessfully debate against these creationists, intelligent designers and 6,000 year young earthers, you cannot. You should know they lack any relevant knowledge to debate in the first place so it is pointless in that regard. But that is not the point with them. Their reasons for wanting to 'debate' is not to win or lose any argument but to just keep the arguement going so that they can maintain relavance among us. The debate itself is the oxygen they need to stay in the game. Without it they wither in numbers as their belief systems decay and rot from within. They all know this and will prevent it if they can. They do this by getting to our kids a a young age. If they are exposed to these beliefs when they are young and impressionable then they become innured or psychologically conditioned to the belief system. This is done by incessant religious indoctrination by peers and superiors. The only way to break this cycle is to ignore the debate and attack them on the political level when they try to use the government's legislative powers to force these belief systems into the public classrooms. The younger the better as far as they're concerned. We have to protect our kids from being psychologically damaged by these people's misguided attempts to rescue their 'souls'. We must use our voting power to rid ourselves of these people and their intellectually poisonous belief systems. Only then can we make any serious progress into the far future.
Crabby lil' atheist.
The unfortunate part is that it is more difficult to teach a child the truth of evolution than the fallacy creationism, and so once the seed of creationism is planted it is difficult to remove.
Oh fritz, as a scientifically rational folk, I would think you would know that your statements are false. People have become Christians without ever going to church, or hearing about Christi in their childhood. There no elementary brain washing. Children are taught stories from the Bible, who to live a life that is not revolved around me, and are encouraged to question peoples faith. Hardly a brain washing. As a scientifically rational folk, then you would know mankinds biggest fault is being able to pass information on from one generation to the next. Ancient humans felt this knowlege was so important that they were able to pass it on vertually unchanged for thousands of years. These are people that, we know from archology, in many cases were more advanced than us. Don't go thinking our current technology makes us any smarter than the Ancients. So I feel you are very misguided and seem to have allot of resentment towards Christians. Did you have some tramatic event as a child that would cause you to think this way? I can assure you, "Jesus loves me," does not brainwash or hurt the intellectual capcity for any child.
Virtually unchanged AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!
Oh that's a good one. Next you'll tell me you can use the bible instead of a history book, or a science book!
Enough with the DNA argument, as it is a logical fallacy. Trying to say
1) If humans and apes have the same ancestor, then they will share DNA
2) Humans and apes share DNA
3) Therefore they have the same ancestor
Is equivalent to saying
1) If it is snowing out, then it is cold out
2) It is cold out
3) Therefore it is snowing
Here the logical fallacy is quite clear and is why the DNA argument falls flat.
Hmm. You continue to prove to be most hilarious.
You do know what DNA is, right? Or is this an imaginary theory as well?
They're not the same thing. you're mixing it up
If it is cold enough to freeze water, and there is precipitation
Then it is snowing
That is equivalent to saying
If apes and humans share a common ancestor
Then they must share common DNA.
I am in fact not mixing it up, and yes I do know what DNA is, do you? Asking to go into complete detail in a forum like this isn't possible, however the argument stands.
Then how do you explain the fossil record?
Or were all those bones put there by the devil to throw man off his fairy tale illusions?
Playing with logic is fun – but I'll show you how to make it logical, using your own example.
What the scientists ACTUALLY say is:
1. If humans and apes share DNA, then they share the same ancestor.
2. Humans and apes share DNA.
3. Therefore, humans and apes share the same ancestor.
Logically valid, as you can see.
You don't understand enough about it obviously, those two comparisons arent equivalent. Not only that but there's also RNA and Protein comparative analysis which provide evidence for what DNA already shows. That human's and apes are evolutionary cousins.
@Matt Your series of logic is simply re-iterating your original conjecture.
@niknak What are you considering the fossil record? I don't disagree that there are fossils that have be un-earthed all over the world. However I don't believe in any sort of radio-isotope dating that involves extrapolation way beyond any sort of responsible degree. I also have yet to see any "missing" links in the fossil record.
We share DNA from a common ansestor, we do not have the same DNA. There is a huge difference. There is a gap that can not be filled by evolution, so there is no missing link. The obvious more probably cause do some shared DNA, humans mated with apes. Oh shocking? Allot more resonable than humans came from apes.
@Duker – that was my point exactly. You restructured the real argument to make it sound illogical.. when it is, in fact, not. All you were doing was playing with logic structure, not disproving the argument.
@Rob-Texas I am aware of the actual theory, it does not change the argument.
@Matt Your conjecture
"If humans and apes share DNA, then they share the same ancestor"
Is not a known fact. The reverse, as I have stated it is.
"If humans and apes share the same ancestor, then they have common DNA"
Why would it be such a big deal if this was all a happy accident? Why can't people handle the idea of life on earth being total fluke? Why does it need to be designed by someone somewhere? Why does there have to be an afterlife? A heaven? A hell? Why can't we just accept that it's a big lonely universe, that we may or may not be totally alone, that no one is watching over us, and that in a few billion years, we will all be just another puff of cosmic dust?
One word answers all of the above. Fear. Religion is based on fear. Fear that there may be no one running this ship. Fear that when we die, we die. Fear that we are not the perfect vision of some dude in the sky (do you really need a church to figure out that we aren't perfect?). Fear that what you see is what you get.
Religion is also based on our fear of our fellow men. Back when we came out of the caves and started talking to each other, it became clear to the smarter ones that the dumber ones had the tendency to revert to cave dweller behavior, i.e. actinglike unevolved barbarians (which lots of us still are). We needed law. But who's gonna listen to a wimpy little law maker? Better come up with a story to scare people into behaving like civilized people. Enter religion.
And now, long after the stories religion offers seem ridiculous, those who insist on clinging to them the hardest constantly fight each other over which story is the best one. Irony of ironies, it is now these religious zealots who are acting like barbaric cave dwellers more than anyone else. The very constructs designed to keep the peace are now destroying it.
Bill Nye is spot on. Religion is keeping us from evolving.
Exactly right Rob, religion tries it's hardest to keep us stupid.
It closes minds to anything that could condradict it's teachings. Does not matter which religion. They have that in common.
Fundies can't possibly entertain the idea that they could be wrong. That would mean that all the people in their lives were wrong.
They will keep clinging onto their stone age fables, all the while using the fruits of science to heal/cure/support/entertain them.
Here's a weird concept for you, What's your favorite color?
Doesn't matter what the answer is, whatever color pops in your head or you say out loud, is irrelevant. Why? Because according to science and the scientific proof that so many people take stock in, you don't have that favorite color. Why is that? Because there's no substantial evidence, there's no backing elements to support your thesis.
You can say that the color you mentioned is your favorite color. But how does anyone else know that? You could be lying, you could be delusional, you could be wrong! Just because you buy clothes, paint your house or your walls, have matching accessories, or even cars in that color, it doesn't matter. It all could be a deliberate attempt to mislead the people around you. At the very least it could be some sort of weird manufacturing accident.
Without any reliable proof, how can you backup your claim that your favorite color is indeed what you say it is?
There's no way that scientists can come up with a formula, write physics, analyze genetics and/or biology, or even use good ole' psychology that will with 150% certainty convince everyone whom reads that evidence that in fact your favorite color is indeed what you say.
Because in order to do that, it actually needs to be so mind blowing, so water-tight, that it will make anyone who reads the evidence doubt their very own notions of what they consider their favorite color to currently be. You will probably change their minds after they read it, and switch their favorite color to the one in question.
Now how is it, that as adults, we all know what our favorite color is. We don't need people telling us, or anyone to provide proof that our favorite color is indeed our favorite color, we just know it. And with NO PROOF!!
Isn't it interesting, that something as simple as having a favorite color, breaks the concept that 'proof' is some sort of 'end all' to an argument. As humans, our lives have several of these things that make us who we are, things that we just KNOW. Yet science can't and won't be able to 'prove' them to anyone else. Yet here we are still arguing over them.
What does it matter if some people have the favorite color of orange? Blue? Green? Do we really need to teach our children to stop thinking and tell them that in fact Yellow is the way?
How about we just teach them how to learn, teach them everything we know, about all ways that we currently know about. And then let them decide for themselves what they want to believe, why must it be one way or the other?
i think you should look into the difference between a fact and opinion. we can prove that genetic codes change from generation to generation we can not prove an opinion... its sad that you are trying to use that logic. i agree teach kids to learn not in doctrine them from birth into believing in magic. that why creationism (which is not based on any facts, its based on the bible that was written by men hearing voices) should not be taught to children
Well done! I agree with your opinion totally, but everything you wrote meant nothing to these creationist minded people. In their minds you are just another lost soul that needs to be saved. You're preaching to the choir here. But well done anyway. ;oD
You are one of the people we are ignoring. I bet you thought you had a clever argument. Complete gibberish, illogical and unrelated.
Actually what I was talking about is neither facts nor opinion, it was about choice.
Someone can make certain choices and science won't be able to prove it wrong or right, or in fact that you were going to make that particular choice at all.
Yet people are using science, and proof, to try and tell others what choice(s) they should be making. Nor do I believe that religion should tell others what choice to make as well.
And from what I learned through all my Science classes and all related materials, is that Science is for the most part built upon un-refuted Hypothesis.
Last time I checked, an un-refuted Hypothesis does not equal a fact. It's simply our best guess with the current technology and understanding that we currently posses, and nobody else can say it's wrong.
Existence > Non-existence
Evidence that Bill Nye exists.
No Evidence that God exists.
Therefore, Bill Nye > God.
He may want to change his name to Bill Nuy, the pseudo-science guy, as anyone who elevates the THEORY of evolution to the category of scientific fact & furthermore, suggests there is "no evidence" to support Creation science, clearly is a little deluded & unscientific in his conclusions. Be open to the REAL evidence, Bill! Young earth, no, but an abundance of evidence for design, everywhere!
Garry, Garry, Garry. You poor lost soul.
You're a dull, dull person, Garry. Your entire life is a waste. Your parents were losers and you should feel bad about that.
Garry – I suggest you begin your education by looking up the term 'scientific theory'.
No love for scientific theories? Newton would be very sad to hear that.
Enough of this.
I'm going outside and see what grand and wondrous results Evolution has wrought.
You evolutionists are such idiots! It's obvious those fossils were implanted by the Jews.And creationists, it's obvious the evolutionists are just spending their time debating online with you to test your faith. Not because it's like having a cat chase a laser pointer dot.
I planted most of those fossils myself. It was fun as hell.
i dont get it if creationism is correct then why do we have appendixes, a tail bone, and tonsils? i guess god had a few extra parts laying around?
lol, that's your reason?
Don't you know that god works in mysterious ways?
Like when children are born with cancer, tidal waves kill thousands of people, airplanes are flown into buildings etc.
Or they actually play a role that our scientist haven't figured out yet...evolution between the ears – or do you have it all figured out already?
It's all just God pranking you guys. It's HILARIOUS.
78% of all the people in this country believe in at least some guidance by God. So why are these boards just FLOODED by atheists? And why are they so intolerant? Live and let live.
because people talk about divine intervention like its fact. its not its never been proven and never will be! we are tired of people using faith as a way to guide our country. this is why America is falling behind in every category of school! atheist believe in truths and a provable reality, theists believe in magic and the supernatural see the difference?
I nevr have been able to uderstand why atheist are so angry at and so afraid of somthing that they claim doesn't exist.
Because you fundies want to push your mystisism on us and society as it is fact.
You want our politicians to pass laws based on nothing more then belief, not supported by know facts.
You want to turn this country into the xtian version of Saudi Arabia.
And you bet we are intolerant of all of that.
niknak: who's been pushing what upon whom these past 50 years or so? Religious people have their beliefs, fine. But atheists simply cannot accept any difference of opinion. It is all BELIEF (atheism included). The ONE compelling arguement I have heard from either side to date is: if life had spontaneously begun, it would continue to do so. therefore, if life was NOT created by an outside source, life would have continued to spontaneously develop at least for part of the earth's development. Scientists would also be able to create life simply by replicating the right conditions. Scientists know those conditions, and can replicate them quite easily, but in no case has a scientist been able to reproduce the results. Ergo, outside influence. Call it what you will; I call it God.
NOT MY CHAIR- There is no fact to the ape to man evolution. The continuing argument is just ridicules. There is a gap that will never be filled by a missing link. The gap is too small for the evolutionary process to close that gap. There would have had to have been a link that went through a light speed evolutionary metamorphosis that has never been seen on this planet in any species. So your might want to rethink what is actually the crazy idea.
It is because Jesus (God) is a sign to be spoken against and thus reveal the heart of many.
To Boing....how can you honestly expect an answer to the question "where did God comefrom?....what exactly is God ? But the short answer is ..."from the mind of Man...man created God in his own image. Anyway ...good for you Bill Nye the Science Guy !! Another voice of sanity in a sea of religion-fueled delusion.