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. Bob B

    Bill Nye is the man. His statement might not be spot on, but he's very close. Also God might be an alien. Think about it. And for the real free thinkers, watch Ancient Aliens or the Science Channel. That should mess with your mind.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Ancient Aliens

      I watched that show and now I think like Tom Cruise

      August 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  2. Red Stripe...Yea Beer

    Name a single religion where it's leaders aren't multi millionaires, or have a set up where they aren't taken care with anything they want?

    August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Russ

      Jesus was martyred as a homeless pauper. And as best we can tell, so did all of his disciples.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • nobody

      Jesus Christ.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Matt

      That is Easy. Jehovah's Witnesses.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Red Stripe...Yea Beer

      Jesus?...you mean the guy who never once claimed to be god, or the son of god.
      If the pope is truely doing jesus' work, why doesn't live like Jesus...because relion is all about gaining wealth from fools like you.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Red Stripe...Yea Beer

      the top leaders of Jehovah's Witnesses basically have the same set up as the Pope. No "personal" wealth yet they live like kings.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Red Stripe:
      a few bible verses to the contrary:

      and even the response of those around him makes it clear they understood him to be claiming divinity: wanting to stone him for blasphemy, saying "only God can forgive sins", worshipping him, etc.

      Your position is untenable – unless you are claiming that 2000 years after the fact, despite the best closest-to-the-events claims and numerous cultural divides separating you & the original context, YOU have greater insight on what Jesus actually meant than the eyewitnesses. At the very least, that's very ethnocentric, if not outright narcissistic.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  3. greg

    It is proven that a catastrophic event, like a flood (Noah's Story), could make the Earth APPEAR to be millions of years old. Also, to this day, we have not found a preserved prehistoric human skeletal system that has been "fossilized".

    August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Allen

      No it has not. That is utter nonsense,

      August 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Irene Done

      "Proven" Where, in your coloring book?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • What the

      How did you figure out how to use the internet?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Already Rescued

      What about the Neanderthal skeletons we have found all over Europe? Chalking them up as just a few odd looking fellows?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Steve

      I'd be interested in those studies. Can you please provide a citation so I can look it up?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • DonnyCee

      If a flood covered the world in 40 days, that would be about 360 inches per hour. Now how did a wooden boat survive that

      August 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  4. Russ

    For biblical Christians, this is not the either-or question the reductionist media so often portrays it to be.

    Here's a short essay by Tim Keller (whom Newsweek once called "CS Lewis for the 21st century") that addresses several of the main fallacies currently popular on both sides of this issue:

    August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  5. Richard Louis Fairchild

    Bill Nye is a genius. We should all become Nyeians. Then maybe we would all be geniuses. After all, isn't that what the world is all about, being a genius, or becoming a genius, so we can build better weapons to kill each other with. Wait! Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot about all that preaching Bill Nye does on love also. I guess he is balanced.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Red Stripe...Yea Beer

      Richard, I'm curious, how much time do you spend per daytype totally meanings posts on the internet?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  6. greg

    It is proven that a catastrophic event, like a flood (Noah's Story), could make the Earth APPEAR

    August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  7. Ricky

    If half of our country thought that the planet is flat, we would know we have a problem. To a smart person, hearing others say that the universe was created in 7 days some 6000 years ago is akin to hearing someone saying that the planet is flat and resting on the back of a giant turtle. It is just ridiculous, and there is no room for argument. You can just feel sorry for them, and hope that as we evolve, they die out.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  8. Chip Fields

    Bill, what do you think of the following creation scientists, upon whose shoulders you stand?


    August 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Richard Louis Fairchild

      Yeah, they should have stayed in the scientific closet, then we wouldn't be so far along scientifically, and not as many people would be hearing stupid stuff from an idiot through a computer and typing about it, yea or nay.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Red Stripe...Yea Beer

      I think Bill would think that most on your list were 18th century scientist who unforunately didn't live long enough to see the advance in science and to see the over whelming sceintic evidence thats supports evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Al

      This is hilarious. A toddler could debate you. Most of these scientists predate the Origin of Species, and/or were never even exposed to the idea of evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • DaTruth

      Hey now, it took him 10 mins to copy and paste that from christianliferesources.com.... it must be true. Can i get a white power???

      August 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Red Stripe...Yea Beer

      I kind of feel sorry for Chip. He took all that ime to look up the names and dates but failed to realize that most of them died before Darwin's theroy was presented to the scientific world.

      Nice try though Chippy

      August 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Robert

      The world was a very hostile place for atheist and nonbelievers during the times of those you mentioned. When I say hostile, I mean burning at the stake type hostile.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • TR6

      In those days it was very bad for your health to not be a creationist (including being burned at the stake by devout Christians). Like now every politician has to be a Christian or at least pretend to be one if he wants to get elected

      August 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Stephen

      You have a couple of names in their two and three times. Voter registration fraud!

      August 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  9. Louis

    Love, sacrifice, unselfishness and the incredible complexity of Each individual and Each animal all point to a Supreme Creator who is behind the whole thing . Those who choose to ignore ALL THAT are practicing "willfull "blindness, the very thing they accuse creationists of practicing. Nowhere in the Bible does it say how long each day was. Light and darkness wasn't even separated until the second or third day. So how long was the first day? A few hours or several billion years? We'll have to ask God when we meet Him, and we will for sure meet him someday.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Red Stripe...Yea Beer

      Love, sacrifice, unselfishness....

      I was waiting for this arguement...FYI – you don't need to beleive in god (or fairies) to be a loving, caring, good person. You think that way because that is what your religious leader told you, right after he told you to put your money in the collection basket.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Scott

      Since the bible is god’s commands to his people and since god is supposed to be omniscient and all powerful, I would expect god’s words would mean what that say. If god didn’t mean a real 24 hour day shouldn’t he have been bright enough to say that? Who are you to say god didn’t mean what he said?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  10. Bob Christian (aka: Christian Bob)

    * Is ARCHAEOPTERYX the missing link – between dinosaurs and birds – as a typical Evolutionist say it is?
    ANSWER: Even the late Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard and Niles Eldridge of the American Museum of Natural History, both militant evolutionists, have concluded that Archaeopteryx cannot be viewed as a transitional form. Don't be a Darwin Dummy !!!

    * See http://www.Equip.org for answer details to this question and many others !!!

    * GENESIS 1:25
    “God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”

    August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Burnz

      Militant? So they armed up and shot people for evolution?

      ARCHAEOPTERYX died out, whether it's an ancestor of modern birds or an "uncle" species, we don't know. It did have feathers though and had some features of theropods from it's time period. Every living thing that passes on it's genes is a "transitional form," no animal is done changing. How do you explain different dog breeds?

      What about lions and tigers? How come they can breed with each other, but not with dogs?

      What about dolphins and whales? We have their ENTIRE evolutionary history from lands to sea.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Steve

      I've read genesis and it's complete rubbish. You can't possibly believe in this fairy tale. I don't really care if you find conflicting beliefs in the scientific community. That's what science is. You find different views and the one with the most evidence gets credit. It's always subject to change because science searchers for truth. The bible discourages the search for truth as it presumes to already be the absolute truth. It's one book. It's creative writing, but only a fool would believe what happens in the bible really happened. 900 year old men? Cain gets a wife when he is the only person on Earth besides Adam and Eve? It's made up.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Red Stripe...Yea Beer

      And God saw that it was good

      but of course it was good...I mean he's god, right? he doesn't make mistakes...but why did it take 6 days to create everything. I mean he is god...couldn't he have done it all in one day...what, is he just lazy?

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  11. Robinhood

    Is it science that the bible predicted the kingdoms listed with in it would rise and fall and how many and when? No.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And what about all the predictions the bible got wrong?

      BTW if I predict the waitress is going to bring me a steak after I order it, that does not make it a "prophacy".

      August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • truth be told

      There aren't any wrong prophecies in the Bible.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @truth be told

      Sure, and I'm part of the English royal family!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • truth be told

      Show one

      August 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Jesus himself is a failed prophet.

      He said he would return before his current generation had died out....2000 years later.... still waiting....

      August 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • truth be told

      Wrong interpretation cheesemaker. His was not the generation Jesus was referencing, it is the last week of the prophet Daniel, the time at the end of time.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • truth be told

      In fact it is recorded in the Bible that Jesus said you would say what you just said.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So Jesus did not mean what he actually said, it has to be interpreted correctly, and your interpretation is correct.....right.

      Wouldn't it be much easier and less confusing to just take Jesus at his word? Ohhh but if we do that you christians have a huge problem...you would have to admit you are wrong about the whole thing. So you play the game of "we have to interpret his words properly".

      Playing that "game" allows you to make up whatever you want and makes your whole book even less reliable. You talk like a politician and should be "believed" just as much.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "In fact it is recorded in the Bible that Jesus said you would say what you just said."

      Of course it did, the bible had to cover its ass, the writers knew a long time ago that it contradicted itself if taken at face value.

      I love it when chirstians say we have to take the bible literally, and then when a literal reading is taken that creates a problem their answer is we have to take it literally EXCEPT when you guys say it shouldn't. It is as fake as a 3 dollar bill.

      August 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  12. Yakobi

    There are no gods or goddesses, demons or devils, ghosts or goblins. Religion was invented by man to control the masses.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  13. Nicko

    CNN overuses the word "slam". Every article is about someone "slamming" someone else. A less sensationalist (and appropriate) news headline would be: 90s Science TV Kids Show Host Releases Online Video Criticizing Creationism.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  14. just a John

    Just looked up creation myths, there is a list of 34 of them on one web site. Anybody know which is the real one, anyone?

    August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Allen


      August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Abraham

      Conveniently, it's the one Allen believes in!

      August 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  15. Eddie

    When religions survive all this years, why would a statement from Bill would change anything. Let alone why it is bothering you for something that doesn't directly impact you. You must have too much time on your hands!

    August 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Ignorance has survived since the original conscious thought. It only takes the form of religion now, but it comes in other shades as well.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  16. Richard Louis Fairchild

    Here's a clue:
    The fool hath said in his heart, "There is no God."

    August 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Allen

      But there is one. Praise Allah.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Cluefull

      And now you are clueless...

      August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      That quote comes from the bible. Why is the bible true? Because god said so. Where did god say so? In the bible.

      That is not a clue. That is cult logic.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Clayton Colwell

      Gotta love the simple wisdom of Zeus.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • rtkMD

      The people who wrote this didn't even believe the Earth is round. Do you?

      August 27, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  17. mydogbill

    God sent a Savior to earth in Jesus Christ because you need one. Without Jesus Christ you have no future, no hope.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Jon

      That really doesn't change the fact that evolution is real and people are morons.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Abraham

      God sent himself to die as a sacrifice to himself to save us from himself. Got it.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  18. Tammy

    It didn't sound like any big "slamming" at all.
    It sounded like a logic, fair, honest, reasonable opinion.

    August 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  19. Robinhood

    Evolution is not appropriate for kids!

    August 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Logical and Religious

      Creationists are vast? Really? You do realize that God has no place in his Kingdom for people who ignore the tools he gave them in favor of blind belief? The Earth is not a few thousand years old. Dinosaurs did not cohabitate with people. You cannot use the Bible to justify hate, persecution, and foolishness like Creationism without consequence.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Your god is not appropriate for anyone, especially kids.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Abraham

      Pray: because doing stuff is hard.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Babs

      ...and according to Nye so does Evolution.

      August 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
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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.