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.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
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.
soundoff (14,640 Responses)« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 Next »
About this blog
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.
Most Americans need something or someone to save them. God has become their excuse for everything and their belief in a constant prayer line to him gives them a false sense of security. I see nothing but a random sequence of events that affects everything on this planet.
Admitting you're blind is no way to win an argument son.
As a graduate degreed organic chemist, and Research Fellow at a multi-billion dollar chemical company, I find Nye's opinion about the status of US science (and many of the comments below) as non-scientific, biased, and presumptuous. I challenge any objective scientist, who understands biochemical synthesis, to explain how critical well-known chiral molecules were synthesized in sufficient concentration, and in the right mixture with other required complex molecules, to provide life processes, even over billions of years. By the way, invoking electric discharges in the presence of other inorganic materials is not an explanation. And remember, science understands that systems inherently proceed toward disorder, not orderliness. I find it very difficult to explain random biosynthesis, and therefore being a Christian and scientist are infact highly compatible until proven otherwise.
JimChemist – Bravo sir! While i disagree with you, that has to be one of the most lucid arguments I've read on the initial *spark* of life. However, given the degree of progress we've seen in just the past century of enlightened scientific study and accomplishment, I would have to think that the answer to your argument would be closer to us than we may know. There are many competent scientists, like yourself, that hold the position that 'god' started it all, but i can't think of any that have supported the notions of young earth creationists.
Just because abiogenisis has not been figured out (yet) does not therefore mean we should accept "god did it".
"God did it" has been asserted as an answer for many things, and not once was it ever confirmed, it has been disproven as an answer many times over.
The current absence of one of the final links in the chain of evidence does not prove divine intervention. Put it this way, if we prove biogenesis tomorrow, what will you do with your beliefs? Incidentally, there's a Christian in the thread above who sees no contradiction between creation and evolution, while there's another type of Christian who believes the Earth is 6,000 years old. Since this is rather outwith the purvue of science, I suggest that you persuade the Young Earthist the error of his ways while the evolutionist Christian teach you the error of yours. It seems to me the debate is not really science versus religion but religion versus religion versus science, or perhaps religion playing religion for the right to debate science.
I just noticed that you cited entropy as evidence against evolution, but this is a common fallacy. Thermodynamics states that order decreases over time in a *closed* system. The Earth's biosphere is not a closed system since it receives energy from an external source, ie. the sun.
Michael John Anthony, regarding your comment about "closed system", a definition is: A closed system is a type of thermodynamic system where mass is conserved within the boundaries of the system, but energy is allowed to freely enter or exit the system. So if you think the sun makes earth an "open system", how? And sunlight is not an argument, since by definition photons have zero mass.
JimChemist, Earth receives about a million tons of meteorites each year, plus solar wind particles. Earth loses water vapor into space, ergo it is an open system.
If there was only one universal religious belief, it would be easier to sell. Well, each religion has been trying to sell that they are the only one that is right since man first feared death was the end. They will go so far as to kill you if you do not believe they have the one and only. If there is one god, he must be amused.
Including the religion of naturalism, and naturalistic atheism. Agreed.
Earth life is little different than a parent sending us off to college to figure things out on our own. And now the kids blame the parent for their mistakes because the parent was not running interference to protect them from themselves.
Nye's argument on the age of the earth is outdated. There is no reliable way to date anything using radiometric dating. It's been shown to not be constant. Nuff said.
The article does not corroborate your claim. It does not change decay rates to a degree that would render radio-dating invalid. This is just another fine example of creationist misdirection – using wholly unrelated scientific "evidence" to represent something it doesn't really represent.
lot's of dating possibilities exist, but 6 to 10 k history of earth only shows up in the writings of a small group of uninformed men from a couple thousand years ago.
And here is a response to your implied assertion.
This new discovery may, in fact, change that level of accuracy; however, it hasn't been identified that the decay rate of any of the commonly used dating isotopes has been observed to be affected, nor does this article state how significant the variations that have been observed have been.
I'm assuming your end-game is to suggest that the dating methods could be so inaccurate as to re-validate genesis based dating on earths age... in order for that to happen based off of this reported variation you would need to expect the new error to be nearly 100%...
Seems unlikely to me.
That's the basis of your whole argument? Oh, you.
Way to go Bill!
Why is Bill Nye preaching to us? Science's ability to rationalize based upon its hypothesis, mimicry, and attempts to reverse engineer have produced little more than Scientific Arrogance. Scientific Doctrine is still a Religion.
It also produced the computer you used to type that inane comment. Please abandon your use of heathen religious tools like the computer...and anything with a power supply.
Science is not a religion. No wonder our country is falling so far behind in math and science. 46%...!?!? That is really alarming. No wonder the whole world laughs at us....
that was for Faith-Isn't...
Apparently, denial is all some people have to rationalize their existence.
No it's not; science is based on OBJECTIVE FACT.
Let say the Greek belief in Zeus et al started in 2000 BC and ended approximately when the Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome (and Greece) in 312 AD. So it took about 2,312 years to make the change. Based on history, it looks like it will take another 300 years to change once again, this time with no gods needed or required but the following statistics show that we are evolving:
Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion
Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion
Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion
Hinduism 900 million
Chinese traditional religion 394 million
Buddhism 376 million
Animist religions 300 million
African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
Sikhism 23 million
Juche 19 million
Spiritism 15 million
Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million
Baha'i 7 million
Jainism 4.2 million
Shinto 4 million
Cao Dai 4 million
Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
Tenrikyo 2 million
Neo-Paganism 1 million
Unitarian Universalism 800,000
Rastafari Movement 600,000
History isn't that simple. We don't live in the same situation, and there are far too many variables to account for if you want to make a prediction.
For example, during the time of the cults of things like Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus and Demeter (probably the oldest, btw), belief in each cult was not legally mandated. Rome fell after people were forced to discard their beliefs and follow Christianity. And it didn't change from Zeus to Christianity, it changed from personal belief in THOUSANDS of cults to the forced worshipping of a single cult.
Christianity became widespread by force, so are you saying that we should do the same with atheism? I guess it's a thought...
No force needed, desired or required. Why?
Putting the kibosh/”google” on religion to include Mormonism:
• There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.
• There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.
• There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.
• There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.
• Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.
• Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.
Added details available upon written request.
A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.
"The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.
Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
how many non believers, deists, agnostics?
Force is needed if you are going to equate the transition to Christianity to the potential transition to atheism. It was your comparison, not mine. If you don't think it's going to occur along the same processes, your prediction about the timing (which is based on those processes) is irrelevant. ; )
He is tell us that he evolved from Reptiles, so pay attention.
As can be seen by looking at any Republican.
It's especially baffling when people try to defeat evolution by saying it makes claims that it has never, even once, made.
Advice: In order to argue against evolution, you are going to have to actually learn what it says. See if you can do that without believing it, because right now it's pretty obvious that you have no idea what the theory even is.
You are absolutely right. Not everyone evolved from reptiles. Some directly evolved from even lower forms of like clay.
It's fun to sit back and watch all those religious fundamentalists who supported the owner of Chik-fil-a and *his* right to free speech, now suddenly having a problem with Bill Nye's same right.
I guess you only allow the people you agree with to speak up about stuff.....typical.
who challenged his right to say it?.. you've got 36 pages for proof... get to work
Huh? Everyone on both sides got their say after the feathers flew over Chick-filet. Nobody's allowed or not allowed anything here that I've seen.
Wow, the knee jerking ad hominem tu quoque types are raging today, yeah I could waste my time regarding my doctorates in biology, microbiology from Cambridge and MIT respectively, but with the lack of frontal lobe activity demonstrated, I am only casting pearls before swine. So go feed at your slop troughs of ignorance, cling desperately to your failed belief system and your dead god Dawrin. Feast yourselves on the blindness you so desperately claim only Christians have. If it helps you to sleep at night. Too bloody funny!!!!!
For any scientist to BELIEVE that EVERYTHING is explained because a lot of time passed, is no better than a crack head.
Any true scientist cannot get beyond cell theory, nor the idea that parts just decided to come together, Miller failed. The more anyone with any neurons to synapse studies science, the more evident it is that there is a design behind it. Evolution is a belief that if you throw enough Scrabble tiles in the air, eventually Beowulf will just APPEAR!!! So really Bill, who is the nut?
Way to not even understand the most basic premises of evolution, jpw. Go back to school and study some modern biology, stupid.
Which scientists do that? And how is evolution like Scrabble? I think you don't really know what you're talking about...
That's an easy one.... YOU
I'll still have to say you are.
I assume you mean the word "Beowulf" and... well that's a statistical truth. If you throw enough scrabble tiles in the air, at some point the letters will spell "Beowulf". What this has to do with evolution though, I haven't the foggiest.
Actually if you throw enough tiles, for long enough, eventually you will get that result, among many others.... so.... yeah, there's that.
You're still the nut.
You attempt to sound intelligent falls very short.
Um... I hate to break it to you. If you throw enough tiles in the air, with the right mix of letters, Beowulf just might actually appear. It's not just a possibility but a probability. That probability goes up or down depending on the number of tiles and what letters appear on those tiles and in what ratios. Regardless, there is some level of certainty that it can and will happen given the variables.
Great example for your argument but not the way you wanted it to go, I suspect.
i don't think i've ever seen anywhere that evolution is in any way relatable to scrabble. ur confused. and as for creationalism being "the law of the land", you are also very confused if you think that will get past. if god was real and he wanted that to be known, he would have just made you a lot smarter so you could at least state a point that was plausible.
I cannot wait until the Republicans get swept into office and legislate Creationism as the law of the land. Then all the high tech jobs and investment will move to Canada and our unemployment problem, which is already less that the US, will vanish.
Gad there's a silver lining for someone in that scenario...
So, that hasn't happened yet? wake up, it's 2012, not 1912.
Nothing like coughing up a staw man
So let me get this straight; Approx 1/2 of Americans would actually accept a 'MAGICAL' explanation of the origin of life as opposed to the reasoning of people who've dedicated their lives to discovering the truth through experimentation and observations? Most interesting.
I don't understand why scientists catch flak from those that just don't understand science. Just admit, "I don't understand" instead. You weren't good in science, and if you were good, you just scored good on the test, but didn't absorb it. WHY OH WHY do people believe in something NO ONE can prove, as oppsoed to what WE CAN prove?!? It's childish.
Could it be the comfort factor? (Things in the bill of goods sold like life after death, life after death with virgins on the side, etc.)
I think the point Bill is trying to make is that...HE evolved from Reptiles. so pay attention students.
I guess you flunked biology.
And you obviously took the ape branch. Idiot.
So 'you am" are you. WHy would you choose that name ?
I hope it wasn't because you think it has to do with the mistranslation in the Moses myth, (of the word Javeh).
Javeh was the Egyptian volcano god, and the Edomite mountain god. Yahweh, however was the 70 son of El Elyon, from the Sumerians. They were two entirely different deities. That got "merged", when they cooked up Genesis.
You did.... as mammals evolved from the therapsids....and therapsids from the synapsids.
Although there does seem to be a more direct link between the reptiles and say Michele Bachmann or Jan Brewer.
Too bad the RNC convention was postponed seems like the creationists crowd are sitting in their hotel rooms and have nothing better to do than hammer out posts on their laptops. Things will probably quite down once the bars and str*ip joints get rolling.
Evolution and Creationism do NOT have to be mutually exclusive. I am 48 years old and I have witnessed change (evolution) in my world, but that only enhances, it does not detract from, my belief that God has wonderfully made us the way we are so we can adapt to the changes that the earth is making.
Which god, what creation myth, who should I send my money to so I can be saved...Praise the ??????
It's clear you don't understand what evolution means.
You haven't a clue what biological evolution is. You're 48 years old and have seen TVs evolve from Tubes to flat screen HD models but that's not the same thing. But...at least you sound smarter than a "I didn't come from monkees" creationist.
Bill Nye The Idiot Guy seems to think that being an engineer (or a doctor, biologist, architect, physicist...whatever) requires that the person not believe in the Bible. In fact, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. In fact, in order for one to be a "proper" scientist, one must only observe and report and research on the facts laid out before them. They must not actually "believe"...because "belief" in evolution is a bias in and of itself. Nye mind is too narrow to be a "proper" scientist. He knows a lot...big deal.
There is nothing to believe with evolution. It is just a fact of the universe we live in.
Do have to believe in gravity? No, it just is. Same with evolution. Not believing in it doesn't make it go away.
You are misinformed. It's okay to believe things, as long as those beliefs are based on evidence.
People like you are the reason the US continues to decline in science and engineering compared to the rest of the world. These are the jobs and industries of the future and we're throwing it away because someone would rather believe in magic rather than actual evidence. Really sad.
Evolution is a *stronger* theory than gravity, but you probably believe there is no such thing as gravity and that we stay held to this planet by baby jesus' tears.
"What would Bill Nye do?" stickers for everyone!!!
Religion Flies You Into Buildings,
Science Flies You To The Moon
You meant Faux News.
How many times are the evolutionists going to change their timeline? It seems every other month we hear of another discover that blows holes right through the evolutionists "THEORIES". That is all they are, theroies. The bible is based in fact and has been proven over and over for the past 2500 years.
I'm sorry you believe in evolution for then you do not believe in God, and how many of you drive around with a co-exist bumper sticker on. If you believe we should co-exist then get your nose out of our business. Why does it bother you so that we belive in a higher being? God is easier to believe in than thinking you came from the primordial soup.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA the bible is fact and has been proven hahahahahahaha thats funny
The bible is based in fact and has been proven over and over for the past 2500 years.
Wow.... just ..... wow...
There is not a single proven fact in the bible.
You have no idea what the definition of a scientific theory is.
All science changes with new discoveries. That is how we learn and that is what separates it from religion. It is free to change if facts come along that contradict previous assumptions. There are always new discoveries about evolution and their probable aways will be. The thing is that with all the discoveries that have been made so far, not a single one is inconsistent with the basic theory of evolution. They all fall right in line with exactly what one would expect to find if they actually understood evolution.
@ Reasonable Try and be reasonable. "There is not a single proven fact in the Bible" talk about ignorance. Take into account basic accuracies about historical rulers and dates and congruency with ancient events and dates and you are being just stupid. Even more, based on witness account and how historical fact is studied the resurection of Jesus is just as fact as any ancient texts we study.
Please tell me you're only 11 years old and can not vote.
God created everything!!!!!.... my personal view is that the 6 days acount is allegoric......it's God's time!!!!.....it's not human time!!!!!.....I think evolution took (and still takes) place with the guidance of God.
thanks God the Science Guy doesn't talk about his view on his DVD's......my kid (who deeply believe in God) loved them.....yesterday he got many at the library.
Bill Nye is my new hero.
46% of Americans believe in creationism?! How embarrassing!
It is embarising that you do not belive in God, after all that is the name this great country was founded upon. One Nation Under GOD. Let's see who is praying for God when they are on their deathbed! How many times have you ask God for something? Think back, that is if you can.
@Keith – And before Christians, nations were built on the 'Pagan' gods. And they were great in their time.