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.
If I walked up and punched Bill Nye's teeth down his rancid throat I wonder if he would not press charges if I claimed I could not help myself since survival of the fittest traits are hardcoaded through evolution in my DNA?
Apparently they have the internet in Joe's trailer park....
Love me some o' them good christian values!!
No but he rest of the crowd might probably kick your worthless religious a.ss into the ground.
then you would be another moronic criminal with plenty of time in jail to study evolution while pretending to be a Christian so you might get early release.
Funny I guess you don't like that part of evolution huh?
Such actions will more than likely result in your incarceration, reducing your chances to reproduce. In a more civilized society lack of impulse control will be selected against over time.
Joe, you really need to do a lot of reading of something other than comic books. I would suggest Origin of the Species, but you have proven you couldn't possibly comprehend that.
Well, for one, we have secular laws to jail idiots that commit assault and battery. Hopefully, you would be in jail, lose your job, lose your house and suffer for battering another person. And anyway, I'm sure your god said things like "the meek will shall inherit the earth." So, I'm sure that even if you are looking to the christian bible your way of violence is not the way to go. And finally, evolution and "survival of the fittest" are not synonymous. Specifically, survival of the fittest does not mean survival of the strongest, but rather the most adaptable. Simply being a violent bully leaves you out of the benefits of cooperation. Cooperative beings tend to be naturally selected over the lone individual.
It would probably work about as well as if I did the same to you and claimed it was predestination because everything happens "according to God's Plan".
As a Evolutionary believing Christian, I agree with Bill Nye. The fact of the matter is that whether creation was accomplished in 6 days or millions- doesn't make a diference to my faith and salvation. I really do agree that we must teach our children both sides of the equation not just the side we , as adults feel more comfortable with. Answers in Genesis just didnt answer it for me.
Andrea, the only problem I have with what you say is that you assume that there is something on the other side of science that we should teach. If you want to believe in God and you understand that science is compatible with God, then teach your children religion and science. But don't make the mistake of thinking that because somebody has put a name, creationism, to some ideas about how God went about creating the universe, that it should be given equal but opposite footing to real science. I believe in gravity and I don't think that there's another side to that coin that should be taught. etc.
Only 4 points (or any one of them really) need to be shown to disprove the theory of evolution as it stands now.
1. Mutations don't happen.
2. If mutations do happen, they are never passed down to future generations.
3. If mutations can be passed down, they never produce a phenotype that can selected for.
4. If they can be selected for, the natural environment never exerts any selective pressure that can skew the next population of offspring.
Establishing any one of these 4 statements is enough to throw a wrench in the theory of evolution.
you must know nothing about genetics... if mutations dont happen then how does a virus spread to different animals or become air born? you make me sad with your ignorance.
mutations do happen, look at plant life. when you are finished study new zealand
But all of those statements are patently false, so you can't throw a wrench in evolution.
If mutation do not happen then how do you explain new strands of viruses (ex: flu, ebola... etc) everyday? Moreover, some mutations do get pass on to the offspring when the mutation is "fit" for the specific environmental condition. I'm shock that your Middle School teacher did not do a good job teaching you this!
also do you know what sickle cell anemia is right? its a mutation that is passed down through generation. it is a recessive gene meaning you need to get it from both parents. if you have it you will die but if you only get one gene from one parents you are basically immune to malaria. it is obvious that you have the internet use it
This is meaningless babble. It is akin to me saying...only 4 points need to be shown to disprove gravity.
1. Sometimes things fall up when you drop them
2. Sometimes things just float
3. Not everything is attracted to each other
4. Planets do not orbit starts in a circular pattern
Show any of these to be true and there goes the theory of gravity. Guess, what to date, none of these have been shown, just like to date, none of your 4 non sensical rules has been shown.
one absolute followed by three IFS....and that's your whole case>
Wow, you ignorant.
You need to read The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History Stephen Jay Gould.
wow, not my chair, I don't think you understand my post nor what the scientific definition of "theory" is. A scientific theory must be falsifiable to be valid. The core of understanding the theory of evolution rests on three main principles: variation, heritability, and selection. Those three principles are TESTABLE and thus FALSIFIABLE. What I outlined is the criteria needed to falsify the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution has so far survived those tests.
Mutations happen all the time. It is not uncommon. I don't know where you are going with your theory but a simple search on the internet can help you. Recently a polar bear mated with a grizzly bear producing a mutated offspring.
This person proves how truly bad our education system is.
Interesting. Sharoom clearly laid out a solid, valid defense of evolution and everyone jumped to the conclusion that this was an assault on evolution.
explain race? if that doesn't give some validity to mutation, i don't know what will
OK wow, after reading all these replies I need to make sure everyone understands this very important point.
Falsifiable means the same thing as testable. Something that is falsifiable DOES NOT MEAN it is automatically false. In science, falsifiability is essential for a good hypothesis. It determines whether an experiment can demonstrate a hypothesis is false if observations contradict what is hypothesized. Falsifiability is a positive thing in science. Sheesh people, no wonder our science education sucks.
I think Sharoom must have been present at the Tower of Babel and got hit in the crossfire.
CosmicC thank you for actually understanding what a scientific theory is.
Mutations don't happen? Cancer is a mutation of cells. If you are a woman and your mom had breast cancer, you're at higher risk for breast cancer. Seems like that would be passing it down. Why would the 'Creator' create such a horrible disease?
I wish universities and schools would teach the bible in it's literal form. Most people that spout religious nonsense have never even read the bible all the way through. They just go along witht the herd with what they are supposed to believe. The fastest way to turn this country away fromt the religious nuts is to crack open the 'good book' and show everyone how nuts it really is that they are leading their lives on fairy tales written by royal clergy wanting to control the masses.
There is no difference between an inreusive faith and one of science. The inquisition of religion is simply replaced by one of theoretical science. In the end, freedom to choose is challenged and division established.
Bill Nye has stuck his nose where he had no business and instead of furthering his cause, he has now made himself a pariah in many, many families where children will no longer get to learn even the science that doesn't attack their faith.
science is based on repeatable experiments religion is based on faith... look up the definition of faith please
that's funny cause last time I looked that theoretical science was doing things like explaining incredibly accurately how the real world works backed up by little scientific achievements like flying a spaceship to mars while your religion was still doing nothing but having whack jobs hold out the post death proverbial carrot all the while threatening the alternative post death hell for all eternity.
The difference is that science offers an avenue of falsification – any theory or hypothesis is able to be proven wrong given the right outcomes to an experiment. Faith offers no such option and in fact fights to keep it that way. It's non-falsifiable. The biggest difference is that in science, if you're wrong, you have a way to know you are. In faith, you don't.
What is inreusive?
It is hard to convince people who have not studied life scinces and physical sciences about evolution at high school or college level. they cannot think of the process by which life can evolve from simple organisms to complex ones (such as humans). Even with carbon dating of the existience of earth for more than 10000 years (as they think) these simple minded people only believe only what their pastors (with degrees in Theology) tell them about life's origin. No point in arguing with them in a rational way.
It's a free country and Mr. Nye can say what he believes that's fine, it's his right but to say that if someone believes the world was created by God is holding everyone back, I think that's a pretty strong statement to make. No one is forcing creationism down his throat. Let people believe in what they want w/o bashing them.
Let people believe what they want without bashing them? Where do you think you live? Saudi Arabia?
Well, his point is that creationism is being shoved down the country's throat and it's holding us back from embracing science and creating intelligent people and innovations that could improve humanity.
I would rather believe in science, then a God that allows his followers to create their own ideologies of him.
Nice OxyMoron there!
I would never want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member.
when will people simply live life not based on consequence and decide to live right simply because its the right thing to do. religion has its perks and is great teaching tool. there are much bigger issues in the world, and everyone is lied to daily. people expose weakness and feed off of it. wake up people live and love
Scientist: Sees a phenomenon and looks for an explanation. Creationist: Has an explanation and looks for phenomena that supports it.
The scientist's accomplishment is a theory that fits the available facts. New data that seem to disprove the theory provides an opportunity to improve the theory or come up with a new one (think of Newton's theory of gravity, worked very well but didn't explain quite everything, and so along comes Einstein with a theory that explains everything that Newton's theory did, plus explained the things that Newton's theory didn't).
What is the creationist's accomplishment? Finding an exception to the scientist's theory. For the creationist, that's all he needs in order to stop looking. For the scientist, his work now begins, finding a physical explanation to the exception. When he finds the explanation, the creationist wakes up and starts looking for a new "proof" to support his belief.
Basis of science = data. Basis of creationism = belief.
But both have commonalities... MONEY.
Science needs money for continued research, and religion needs money to hold up the walls.
A minor correction, the basis of creationism is faith. Faith is belief without proof.
Love the Believer, hate the belief. Religion should be gone in about 20 years time after Science renders it about as ridiculous as the notion that the God of Atlas holds the world up, standing on top of a giant turtle. (as they once did believe).
Michael John Anthony and Mulehead, let's have an objective discussion about how we date the age of the earth. My graduate coursework includes nuclear physics and relativistic physics, so I challenge anyone out there to answer the last question here: My understanding is any naturally-occurring heavier element, especially above calcium, is generated by a nuclear process, typically fusion. This includes the generation of isotopes that are both stable and unstable. This initial ratio of stable-to-unstable is dynamic until the fusion process, e.g., star core processes, ends, at which point the isotope ratio begins to change depending on half-life. So, any material ejected from a star, big bang, etc., starts to "age" as soon as it leaves the fusion environment, including in deep space as a diffuse material. We have calculated the age of the earth based on isotope ratios. So, the question is this: if the isotope ratio started to "age" immediately after leaving the fusion environment of a star, and we don't know how long it took for this ejected material to leave the star and coalesce as a planet, then how can we use isotope ratios to determine earth's age as an actual body in space? (And by the way, all isotopes that have a sufficiently long half-life should give the same answer +/- 20%.)
I am not a scientist but your statements seem rather fuzzy. All the natural elements are produced by stellar fusion, although only those lighter than Iron are fused by the sun. Radiometric dating depends on known initial conditions which therefore do not apply to a pre-formed, molten Earth where the isotopic ratios are still in flux. The aging process begins once the rocks are cool and solid. The oldest known rocks on Earth are 4.404 billion years old. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth
Good for you, Bill Nye! It's devastating that so many don't believe that evolution is the most obvious reason for our existence there could possibly be. But more important, WHY CAN'T THEY SEE THAT EVOLUTION IS GOD'S PLAN?! Why do so many people who profess to be religious think that God and science are separate?! That's absolutely absurd, and it boggles the mind. Frankly, I think we're still evolving and will continue to do so as long as the Earth exists. Bill, please keep sending your messages - you and others like you - till they finally get through. I believe Genesis is just a theory proposed by someone (many say Moses, who may or may not have existed) to explain our age-old questions: Where did we come from? And why are we here? With their limited knowledge, ancient people drew their reality on what they assumed based on experience and fact, just as we do nowadays. It's too bad this book of the Old Testament was taken literally as the absolute Word of God because it's caused more than enough confusion and anger throughout the ages. How can people be so arrogant that they can't imagine their ancestors as once amoebae in the sea...or apes? Or that it took billions of years for our Earth and all its inhabitants to form? Or that God Himself ordained this? They really need to stretch their minds.
I am a six day creationist, and I respect Mr. Nye; however I think in this instance he stepped over the line. He would do well to stay within his interesting lab experiments, wowing, inspiring, and challenging young people in the field of science. Evolution generates far more questions than answers. Math does not support it. The mathematical probability of it is exponentionally improbable; and there are no intermediate steps to even make such an assumption. It assumes that all of the current processes have always controlled matters, yet catastrophism (non-uniform activity) has been seen to generate changes at an accelerated rate. Even the fossil record does not support it. Time does not support it (there isn’t enough of it). A cursory reading of Genesis 1 implies that God created everything in an adult state; the earth, the cosmos, plant life and animal life with the immediate appearance of age, capable of immediately reproducing itself, thus a young earth and cosmos (6 to 10 k years old) is quite probable.
Just because you dont understand the science doesnt mean that you have to be afraid of it.
So your god created all of existence in 6 days and then had to rest? Not so omnipotent now is he?
How can you say with a straight face that everything was created in 6 days? Did god accelerate the speed at which light travels so that stars over ten thousand light years away would now be visible to us? Please pass the pipe – i want what YOU'RE smokin'.....
If math does not support evolution, why are mathmaticians saying so in droves?
If the fossil record doesn't support evolution why are palentologist and geologists speaking out?
You are talking out of your a55 and it stinks.
why aren't* they saying so...
But doug, he has not left his field. You are encroaching on his field based solely on your belief in a 3,000-year-old creation myth.
I didn't say that well enough. You believe that Nye is speaking out of place, that he is somehow unqualified to speak on scientific matters and somehow ignorant of both the subtleties and the big picture of deep time. Instead you choose to get your science from your religious community, your preachers, websites and various reading material devoted to creationism and attacking an ancient Universe. But how qualified are they to speak on matters of physics, chemistry, biology, paleontology, archaeology, and so on? Surely it's a good idea to get your cosmology from a cosmologist? Look at it this way: of those in your belief circle claiming authority on matters of evolution and deep time, how many are actually pushing the boundaries of research (applying for research grants, publishing papers for peer review) and not merely attempting to find flaws in those aspects of science that jar with their belief system? The answer is a very, very small number, possibly even zero. That's because they're really not scientists at all. They're believers who are worried by science and trying to wind back the clock to pre-Darwinist times. Unfortunately as Bill Nye said, they are acting as a brake, lowering the average speed of progress in our country, reducing the probability of finding the next Einstein, the cure for cancer, the solution to the energy crisis, the fresh water crisis, the climate problem, and the eventual settlement of new worlds. Fortunately times have changed. You can slow our progress but you can't stop it completely. You can't put us all under house arrest like Galileo. We will move on without you.
Place: Central Nevada
Two scientists have recently proven that they can create a human being from dust. They have contacted God and challenged Him to a contest to see who could make a human fastest.
"Ready, set, GO!" shouts the lead scientist, as he scoops up a shovel full of dust.
"Wait just a minute, there, Charlie," says God. "Make your own dust!"
wow CNN, you really know how to drag emotion out from both sides of the coin. Creationism AND ideological scientism are both ridiculous ways to explain the magical world we live in. Creationists subscribe to fairy tales and fans of scientism blindly look at everything in terms of this little physical reality of ours (which does not explain the big picture). Just admit it, no one knows anything.
Quite possibly the dumbest comment I've seen so far.
Creationism is a lot of nonsense. It is neither good science nor good theology. You can believe the biblical account in Genesis as a "true theological statement" but it is not scientific or historic fact. You can be a good Christian (or Jew or Muslim) and also believe in the proven scientific facts that show that the earth is billions of years old and that all creation on the planet has been in the process of evolving and changing for almost as long.
Exactly! Science is science and religion is religion. One is verifiable, one is not.
Creationism = Insanity
Believing in evolution, but believing that God engineered the system and set it in motion I can deal with. I'm not anti-God, but I have a problem with people who are blind to reality. God can co-exist with science.
I'm a science oriented person, but the evolutionary theory is not slam dunk either. Creationism doesn't pass the test for me, but that doesn't mean I default to evolution. Why are we playing the name and shame game? I thought science thrived ion differing opinions, not shaming others to think 'in the box'. Bill Nye is stiffling science as a whole here
Evolution isn't perfect, but creationism is just plain nuts. Neither could be accurate. But what we do know is that the earth isn't only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. If they had a theory that didn't involve taking things that we do know and pretending like that's all not true I'd listen to it. Like the big bang. I'm fine with big bang v.s. God. We really don't know enough to say otherwise. That's arguable, and I'll wait for science to provide more proof before I ask people to get real, but we've already passed the "get real" point with evolution, or at least claiming that we magically poofed into being a short time back.
Actually they can’t. Gods are based on the supernatural. There is no evidence of their existence other than folk lore. One has to have faith to believe in gods… which is pretty much the opposite of science. This extremely modern concept of merging the two is simply a desperate attempt to keep primitive explanations of how the world works alive in the face of over whelming scientific fact. But hey.. maybe I’m wrong and your god out of the thousands of other gods in recorded history is real.
I wonder if it's a coincidence that the percentage of people believing in creationism is approximately the same percentage of people that identify themselves as conservatives. Probably no connection.
I'm a grudging conservative... and, as an atheist, a walking contradiction, I guess. I despise fundamental religious nutbags. BUT... our country is a financial mess and socialism isn't the answer. My wallet comes first.
The evolutionary process continues with contributions from the likes of the historical Buddha, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, the NT scribes, Constantine, Gandhi, Schillebeeckx, the Jesus Seminar, Crossan, Ludemann, Mother Theresa, Armstrong and the Hubble Telescope.
Joe...I'm an athiest...but you'll never hear me say "Your precious Jesus can kiss my &*$. Those comments do two things. 1) They make it impossible to have a discussion to teach people why science trumps creationism/faith. You've already alienated them with that comment. and 2) Religion, for some, is the vehicle that provides some sense of morality or a way to cope. That is a good thing.
I must say to add about athiets...we're not all bad people. Many of us are good people as a matter of face. Religion is NOT a prerequisite for morality.
Don't worry Brad – pseudo science makes it impossible all on it's own to "trump" anything.
Why do you believe there is such a thing as morality if you are an atheist? Morality stems from some foundation of belief that your actions matter beyond this life or at least there's some cosmic score-keeping of good and bad. If there isn't, what is the point of "good" and "bad." Why would that even enter your train of thought?
So your "morality" is based on the idea that you will be punished. If that is the case you are not acting moral, you are reponding to blackmail. Your definition of "morality" is anything but "moral".
I sincerely hope that you (and all others who think like you do) go home and think really hard about that "morality" of yours. Acting good solely out of fear of the repercussions in an afterlife is truly a shallow, pitiful, and inhumane "morality".