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.
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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.
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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.
We have already forgotten the lessons of the last 100 years where thousands of lives were lost for intolerance. Stalin killed all...I said all those who publically espoused 'religious beliefs.' Hitler murdered those believers from Judaism and certain Christian sects, .........why.........they were 'wishing to advance'.......making a better society.....inflicting THEIR beliefs which were of course considered PC and scientifically provable......at the expense of free choice of each family unit. We are dangerously walking the same ground under a different guise today.
Hitler was raised as a Catholic and got his support from people believing his Christian statements. Try again.
Godwin's Law is getting a good workout here tonight.
Oh COME ON ALREADY!
I mean seriously, you haven't seen the other posts using this idiotic logic? First, Hitler was killing more than just jews, he was killing off everyone not part of the master race. He was employing eugenics in a way to create, in his mind, the perfect human being. Not only did he use christianity to further his advances, but this wasn't just about religious intolerance. Stalin killed the millions of people because of his crazed idea of communism and his lust for control. He killed in the guise of communism and his great need to control the proletariat. Bringing up both Hitler and Stalin and not appropriate in this thread as it doesn't pertain to anything you said in your post.
Exactly what do a couple of dictators have to do with the reality that creationism is a desperate effort by evangelicals to undermine scientific advancement, and that teaching it as equal to evolution is detrimental to future generations?
Hello....Duh! using history in a twisted way, eh? Whatever works to support what you believe, eh? Hitler killed the Jews because they were Jews, not Christians. He killed someother non-Jewish people (e.g. Polish) not because they were Christians. If those Jews were Christians he probably wouldn't have killed them, especailly the German ones.
Please don't compare peaceful valid opinions to the terrors of the 20th century. They're completely unrelated to this video. Your sheer ignorance is proving Bill's point.
This post, I think says much..........Bill Nye is a person of authority and leadership and influence.........he is using that bully pulpit to discredit other humans with different thoughts..........and........to tell them that society should shut them down....because in HIS mind, they are 'holding' the country back.
Stalin and Hitler made it easy with a bullet to the head.
Why are you afraid that your children will be taught to value evidence? And to make decisions based on evidence and not dogma?
My fellow Atheists:
Do not continue to argue. History is always on our side. Religion will continue to be pushed into the background. Science will continue to properly explain our world. Antiquated ideas will fall by the wayside. They always do. The idea of God is not long for this world, and eventually the people who so fervently and blindly stand by their beliefs will die off. God will die with them.
This may be true, but it never hurts to challenge someone's ridiculous beliefs – especially when those beliefs hurt others.
I hope you're right!!!
The problem is that with what we are seeing with religious zealots worldwide, it seems like the ignorance is growing like weeds. Too many are too weak to examine the real reasons for their beliefs and the alternative. I was brought up that way, but once realizing what was what, makes life much more meaningful.
The idea of god will never die.... The reason? Babies are born ignorant.
Atheism is a different side of the same coin. Atheists claim God does not exist. Religious people claim God exists. Both don't know for sure. Both share surprisingly similar conceits.
It's not going to happen just because time passes. People actually have to cause those changes through action.
You clearly dont understand the concept of atheism. Atheists do not believe in the existence of god – that is all. Also, you'd be hard pressed to fidn many atheists that assert that god does not exist – that's just as stupid as asserting that he does. Most atheists simply see no reason to believe in the existence of gods.
I don't understand why evangelical christians have to spend so much time denying evolution and global warming. Why cant they accept that the vast majority of scientist believe in both of these and that the only people who deny either one are those that profit from doing so. It would be nice if Christians actually helped to make the world a better place for their children instead of holding back progress and making us a global embarassment.
The 'Christians' as you call creationists, did not stand up in a public place and make purposeful speach degrading the thoughts of others. It was the enlightened one who performed the hate speach.
They don't? Haven't gone to a fundamentalist church lately, have you?
I really miss your point: Denying that Christians make speeches degrading other people is equivalent to denying that evolution occurs.
I think the world of Bill Nye... but the poor guy looks like a skeleton with skin stretched over it.... kinda like a death mask.
Anything for a laugh Bill....we love ya.
Yeah, too bad he can't be a stunning porker like his page mate up there (Rick Warren) 🙂
Nye is the "man"!
I am so surprised to see that so many Americans are so "unscientific." It seems there is some small number of sceintifically-aligned people and rest of the people use their glory to call themselves Americans.
Creationism says that the world is 6,000 and change years old. It tells us that humans and dinosaurs lived together. Both defy scientific FACT and are PROVEN false. Believe in God if you wish. I get it, can't prove he exists, can't prove he doesn't. But Creationism has been disproven. Don't believe 2+2=5. Please.
That you equate religion with the existence of a god is kind of sad.
That you equate the existence of a god to the weakest argument for his possible existence is pitiful.
Do you always argue using fallacies?
Nah, all the arguments are pretty much equally weak.
The only reason christians are not still burning each other ...
is because the secular state stopped them.
yes that's right – we cancelled all of our Sunday burnings at our church because of a new law passed a few years back
More than a few years Ted
And yes, the church burned thousands!!
Some truth to that, but it certainly does not prove the silly theory of evolution, gullibility of the highest order.
633music. Anyone who uses "proof" and "theory" in the same sentence as you did just shows total ignorance of science. Theories are never proven and indeed cannot be or they wouldn't qualify as theories.
Whacko Religious Zealots
It is YOUR hell, you burn in it!
Gadflie, typical comeback by a zealot, the religious guys do that to....my vocabulary, choice of words, is not the evidence that proves evolution.
666 – theories have a lot of evidence behind them, and are required to be able to predict new behaviors. No one's going to have proof that all life arose by evolution by natural selection without a time machine, but we've got darned good evidence for it, it is fact that evolution does occur (species change over time) and it beautifully explains what we see in the lab and the natural world. Laws have the proof you're looking for, not theories.
Let your children develop their own beliefs with age. In the mean time teach them what can be observed, measured, and tested.
Yeah, who needs to learn about those abstract things like kindness, love, perseverance, sacrifice, joy, etc. anyway? Those things can't be measured, therefore, we shouldn't teach them to our children. We should probably also praise school bullies for reminding us that only the fit survive. Heck, why not encourage the behavior––eat or be eaten? Thank you Darwin!
People will rage with all their might to cling desperately to their own ignorance, punching, stabbing, and pushing away the very liferaft of science that keeps them afloat.
The complexity and brilliance of man, the stars in the heavens and even an organelle in a single-celled organism screams of a Creator. God has wonderfully and meticulously created each one. The Lord God is awesome in all His workings! As complex as we are, chance and billions and billions of years could never come up with the blueprint for man or even a chloroplast in the leaf of an oak tree. Macroevolution has still yet to be proven, there are too many chinks in the armor. Where are the missing links? There has only been a dot here and a dot there found concerning the origins of man. Most of which are minute fragments without enough to go one. Other hominid remains have been more substantial, but thousands and thousands of years between forms if not millions of years. There has been no definitive line drawn. It actually takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Science is absolutely thrilling through the eyes of God! I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
That entire post was an amazing example of the logical fallacy known as an "Argument from Ignorance". Thank you.
Your emotions and scientific ignorance are not proof of god. They are simply proof that you are scientifically ignorant and emotional.
"Let the woman learn in silence with all submission. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." – 1 timothy 2:11
If you believe in "the good book", stfu and make me a sammich.
Wow Fred, you're quite the gentleman. I bet if we applied the Scientific Method to your life we could test and prove without a shadow of a doubt that you are the missing link.
There is no way for what I said to be offensive. If she believes in the bible, then I have given her a command, and she has no business attempting to teach men anything concerning religion. She should be thanking me for correcting her with such leniency, when the bible says I should "stone her with stones". What do I get out of this benevolence? A sammich, quite simple my man.
If she now doesn't believe, then I have done her a solid, saving her anywhere between 3 and 15 hours a week for the rest of her life and she should be thanking me? Furthermore, if she passes on my teachings to her children, that time saved will grow exponentially. Perhaps even a deification of fred might be in order? But, lets not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Your biblical exegesis is superb Fred. You have an amazing grasp of the historical/grammatical context of the passages you referenced–you are clearly a scholar. Pat yourself on the back. I can see why you think people should deify you. I wonder if your girlfriend or mom think you're as great as I do?
To Gadflie, Fred and the like: Most mutations that take place within a species are harmful or neutral, rarely are these mutations beneficial, but there are those cases – however they are biochemical changes that do not transform the organism from one life form to another. 90% of the changes occur in existing species. There has yet to be the origin of a new species through the process of variation and selection. Even with the "juggling" and changing of the fruit fly genome, the results of such have been normal fruit flies, defective fruit flies or dead fruit flies. "Origin of Species" has never been solved in science – inconclusive, lots of common design yes. However the mechanism has not been found scientifically to show that one species originates into another. It's just not there, the fossil record does not show it. I am not knocking fossils they are pretty awesome – love hunting for them. Praying for you all! God is amazing!
SINCE 1960 WHEN COUNTRIES started ranking students.....USA finished 11th out of 12 countries.
WE need to focus more on science, instead of religion.
Perhaps one of these days one of you illustrious fans of science "fiction", lol, can explain how you debunk the flood that covered most of the Earth...(see, Noahs Ark)..and how YOUR science discovered SEA life (including real sharks!!!) at high elevations such as 8500 ft abv.. sea level........AND , NO! you can't say those stereotyped words "plate tectonics"... because sharks swim faster than plates move... LOL.....
Don't get me wrong... I love science... applied in proper ways other than trying to prove God doesn't exist..
So, Alicia, are you actually saying that shark FOSSILS swim? If not, think about your post.
Dead sharks don't swim very fast, though.
SO funny! LOL "Explain something to me, because whatever your explanation, I know that you're wrong! But you can't mention the actual reasoning to me, because my personal understanding of it is completely and utterly lacking!"
what is this "your science" business anyhow? You are sitting on a chair probably covered in polymers created by scientists. Typing on a keyboard, sending all this data across the globe to potentially billions of people, and you use nonsense like "your science".
And, to answer your moronic question. The plate techtonics explanation isnt to say it moved the live animal up a mountain. It is saying that plates move and collide. A dead animal can form a fossil at the bottom of a lake, and through the interaction of plates, be pushed up to the top of a mountain. Its really rather elementary.
Your comment of " sharks swim faster than plates move... LOL..... " proves Bill Nye's point better than he ever could have. We are becoming a nation of complete idiots because some people refuse to put their Jesus cult teachings aside. It is so moronic, I don't know how he even stays as calm as he does. Next I expect you to say "but Zeus is the god of Lightning, how dare we use electrical devices!!! Who are we to attempt to harness the element of lightning, of which Zeus is the master?"
Science attempts to understand how the universe works. If it comes in conflict with your sect of your religeon's narrow interpretation of a single text that has been through at least six different translations during the last 6000 years...maybe it's you.
Bill's message is you have the God given right to be ignorant, don't cripple your children in the same way. On an aside, I love how folks like you use science's other creations, like the Internet. I guess picking and choosing inconsistently doesn't just apply to Leviticus.
Alicia, you may wish to reconsider your statement. The shark fossils found at high elevations are from dead sharks, whose remains were projected up by plate techtonics. If you look at the techtonic lines you will see rifts and mountains depending if the plate is sliding under or over another thereby raising the plate above sea level or below. Your statement about a global flood is unfounded. There is no geological evidence of a world wide flood, just localized. Many of the flood accounts in different cultures are not consistant when it comes to the time they were initiated and are often recalled by societies that lived close to sea level. There is no global flood story in mountainous cultures.
You folks are being very patient with Alicia. Thank you.
I'm afraid I would ask her what a 12 year-old like her is doing up so late... and send her back to her Mrs. Noah coloring books.
Are you for real, Alicia? Honestly. You may love science, but you don't really know much about it. I don't mean to ridicule, but your statement about sharks swimming faster than plate tectonics is simply one of the most ignorant things I've ever heard on this blog.
We won't miss you.
Bill Nye is a MECHANICAL engineer! I love the guy, but he's someone I would listen to when it comes to the Evolution vs Creationism debate. Darwin evolution is still debated today. Adaptation doesn't take into account how the Human are so much more advanced than any other species. Bill Nye believes he's ancestors are monkeys; and I don't.
Darwinian evolution is only debated today by you idiots. It hasn't been a debate in science for almost 100 years. Seriously.
As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
" DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.
"Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.
Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.
It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."
For your $99 and a DNA swab:
"Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."
Science does not know much;
you should probably reconsider your stance about listening to a mechanical engineer versus theology and evolutionism. Somehow they are all right . . . except for the guy that designs hvac systems for 7-11 stores
Darwin said human evolution came from early primates. Nye only said evaluate that before you buy into the whole adam and eve thing. I get it. Your a product of interplanetary colonization. No worries. I dont have the resources to get your alien squatter ass off my planet.
"Science" knows a lot more than you do. A relatively intelligent fourth grader knows more than you.
Creationism is a failed concept because it gives Man dominion over God.
Creationism negates the laws of physics and chemistry. Therefore God has to perform each and every chemical reaction Himself. God gave man free will so he does not know what Man is going to do. So if I start a process that requires a chemical reaction God must come and do it. I force God to do my bidding when I want to . I have dominion over God.
Arty. you're repeating yourself.... I've seen this very similar post 4x now... have you been checked for Alzheimers lately?
The truth needs repeating until it sinks in just ask an Biblical scholar. For additional proof of this just read the proBible/Creationist posts. The keep repeating the same nonsense.
Alicia, I told you before.
SHUT UP YOU IDIOT!
Eric; thats your definition of "slamming" ??? somewhere between, like anything else with 2 opposing stories is the truth. Eric obviously suffered extreme failure to launch syndrome if he thinks this is slamming.
Bill Nye, you are just angry....
It's frustrating to fight religious zealots who try to drag society back to the dark ages.
Even prayers are evolving. One example:
Only for the new members of this blog:
The Apostles' Creed 2012 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(References used are available upon request.)
Bulls**t. I'm only censoring because I don't know if CNN allows curse words.
"If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims." -Dalai Lama
I (and I don't believe anyone else) could've said it better. Or need I bring up the burden of proof argument? As it's not my job to disprove unfalsifiable claims (such as religion) but your (the religious fanatic) job to prove them yourself. Theories are called such for a reason, because there's always the possibility that they could be wrong... i.e the big bang theory.. It's not called the "god theory," and I wonder why. So God put two white people in the jungle and they eventually led to a population of 6 billion? with very few having an extra 21st chromosome?
p.s. I was raised Christian, I do agree with a lot of religious teachings...but the christian God isn't one of them. My definition of god is what ever created us. So by (my) logic, if the big bang happened, then it is god.
Pretty well said.
Also, liked the example of "Russell's Teapot" in there.