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.
Who give a fly you know what about "Bad Hair Bill" thinks. Only on CNN with our economy going down the tubes could this get so much coverage...zzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Let's not forget evolution is a theory that has yet to be proven.
There are no absolutes in science and to be declared a theory something has to undergo extensive peer reviewed assessment.
It's like the argument that terrorists alone attacked on 9/11 vs a faction within the U.S. government set up 9/11 and blamed it on terrorists they hired.
A theory is still not proof it is true. It can be completely wrong.
A theory can be wrong. Though it is far more likely to be right. I would rather fly in a plane designed based on modern theories of physics than on myths about angels and magic.
Oh, is that why they call it a theory? You mean it hasn't been proven either? But evolution is a scientific theory, and scientist are never wrong.
You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
Curt, you don't seem to understand want a scientific theory is. In science, a "theory" is something that explains observations with empirical evidence. It is falsifiable and not based on mere speculation.
Mr Bill with the bad hair piece or bad hair dye job has a lot of nerve telling me how to raise my kid.
You are right, you have the right to limit your child's potential.
You have a lot of nerve raising your kid to be an ignorant and counter-productive member of society.
Thank you, and that's just what I'll do. So don't tell me how to raise my kid.
Your kid is not yours to abuse in any way. That is one thing that's going to have to change in the way we treat children around here. If I have to protect your kid from you, I will. That kid is not your personal experiment. You are not a god and can't even guarantee you'll protect your own child from yourself.
That's why you may mean well, but you can do horrible damage to another person if you don't know what you're doing and have no self-control. I see too many people who should never have had kids. It's not always their fault, either.
That's no excuse not to find some way to help those kids, though.
It shouldn't matter what you used to think about job security and the economy, you just have to face the reality or become part of the problem.
You need to think clearly when you are around children.
They don't have any rights or protection from nutcases beyond a few token laws and need more protection and help than they are getting these days. They need protection. They don't get hardly any of that. The numbers are pretty bad and it wouldn't take much to turn a lot of that around, but who will do the right thing when they are getting paid to do the wrong thing?
Anyone who supports mythology science such as Creationism, is the reason US Science scores are the lowest in the developed world. Stop blaming those who teach when you refuse to let them use the scientific method.
I'm okay with the belief that God created evolution and guides it. If you need to believe in God, you should be able to explain anything with the simple phrase "The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways". Now, if you believe that the Bible is the explicit word of God, well, then you are just uneducated. The bible is a book written by mortal mena nd translated multiple times over many hundreds of years.
...and i love you too.
I want a divorce. You can have the imaginary stuff and I'll have the real stuff. Whaddya say? 😀
For everyone that states that evolution is a proven theory, I've never understood where you guys believe everything started. For the big bang to occur didn't the right conditions have to be in place? How could "conditions" exist when nothing existed? To believe that something comes from nothing takes a certain degree of faith. Whether its faith in a supreme being or in chance or some form of science, it still requires faith and the honesty of realizing no one knows for sure. Right?
Matt, you're equating two totally different theories. The Theory of Evolution says nothing about origins, only about the change over time of existing and former species leading to new species. Abiogenesis is the theory of life coming from lack thereof, and the Big Bang Theory is a theory on its own. Evolution IS true, we see it every year in the new flu vaccines that are required because the flu evolves every new flu season. Please take some time to do a basic search and learn at least the top layer of the Theory of Evolution, it will prevent you from looking so foolish next time.
Thanks for pointing that out Blarg. I admit I don't have the credentials to jump into this kind of discussion. But isn't the article equating those two concepts? Nye is "slamming creationism" saying that the "world becomes fantastically complicated if you don't believe in evolution". The two must at least go hand in hand. So my point was more about creationism vs abiogenesis. Since creationism seems to be the point of the article, doesn't it take some level of faith to believe in either? Or does the scientific community really believe that they have proven abiogenesis to be a fact?
What does evolution have to do with the Big Bang Theory?? Two completely different topics, one a part of biology and the other is cosmological model. The big bang does not state that something comes from nothing, and the rest of your argument is ludicrous.This is why Bill Nye is right- a lack of scientific understanding results in a nation full of ignorance and lack of critical thinking; not good for a nation that is basically making money by being on the cutting edge of technology.
Matt, please point to any chapter and page in the Origin of Species where darwin discusses the big bang or the creation of the universe. No? Thats because one has NOTHING to do with the other. They are entirely different fields of science. Please try and be a little bit smarter next time you post.
Matt, the Miller-Urey experiments strive to explain things through natural processes. It may be that we don't know how it all began- and its fair to say I don't know. To say that because we don't know, then God must have done it is an argument from ignorance, a known fallacy. Knowing these things is crucial for critical thinking- I wish that would be taught in the schools, just so that the entire country does not go down the damn drain. Just a simple Wikipedia read would inform people.
Thanks Andrew. That's what I was wondering about. Again I admit I have obviously not studied up on this and have no place in a discussion with you people that seem brilliant. I just am always puzzled when people make it sound like knowing how the universe came to be is a no brainier. Helps to know that there are still question marks, even in the atheistic view. I still say both sides requires a degree of faith. I choose to believe that God is the one that designed the sciences and physics that made all of this possible. But I also have respect for others that believe otherwise. Especially ones that are so dedicated to their beliefs.
Creationism explains the GoP !
'Nuff said ! ! !
Also, was not trying to bash you- trying to point out that you are making arguments that need a bit more depth to them.
Bill Nye for president.
i don't need anything,idiot.peace and love to every living thing.
Sorry, but I refuse to give peace and love to every living thing. Only an idiot would think that is the way to go.
We are at war while you continue to attack people like me. Take your peace and shove it. But I love ya way down deep. Really.
Bill Nye teaches science concepts in a very fun learnable way – i used to show his videos all the time! But i absolutely disagree with him on this video. He says we should NOT teach our children creationism because, "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said. I say: Bill - BOO! Bill, Christian scientists have done just fine and what we need more than anything in our children ... is Godliness – integrity, honesty, character, kindness, empathy, compassion, humility ... way more important than any other accomplishment!!! Without God none of that other stuff matters one whit! Without recognizing that science is simply a system of organizing our understanding about God's creation and without seeking God's wisdom for how to use that understanding and information ... SAD & Meaningless!!!
He didn't say you had to be an atheist, but rejecting evolution is a purely anti-science belief because of religious motivation. Religion is a poor justification for abandoning science.
You've been brainwashed. Time for a cleansing.
Let's compare belief systems shall we? The "christian view" goes something like this, "there is a benevolent sky daddy who made some arbitrary rules that include condoning slavery and stoning unruly children to death, and if I don't follow these rules, I burn in hell for all eternity....unless I ask for forgiveness at some point before I die, then all is forgiven and I live in heaven for all eternity, even if I'm a baby rapist!". The "atheist view" no god exists, I have 1 chance at life, I could choose to live by the rules and make myself successful, or I could choose to live an immoral existence, ignore the rules and spend my one shot at life in a prison cell, I'll pick option "A"." As you can see, there is a reason that the population of religious inmates severely outnumbers that of the population on non-believers, even if you account for population percentages.
An agnostic person is just an Atheist hedging their bet. No God. Move on people.
You silly fool. An agnostic is someone who isn't trying to sell their god to someone else. Because they are sensible and admit they don't know the nature of god more than anyone, but where they are comfortable with the notion that no one knows.
Mama kindless is an agnostic when it comes to deities. But it is true that mama kindless is a flame-throwing, fire-breathing atheist when it comes to religion, since all of that is junk made up by politicians, salesmen, and lobbyists since the beginning of mankind.
What a stupid remark by this "Fire breathing athiest" – oh and with atheist misspelled. Sounds like something that lunatic idiot HeavenSent girl would write on here. my goodness.
Cast no stones at me Mama. If you were sharp enough to read what I wrote you will see that Atheist is indeed spelled right. A name can be spelled anyway I choose. God wanted me to be dumb you just got lucky.
Well after reading another post of yours, it's pretty obvious you are not the idiot HeavenSent girl. I guess you are saying you're an atheist through and through. No god. That's OK too. I always think it's too presumptuous to be that way about god (even though I don't claim to know anything about a god), but if that works well for you then I hope you do move on and do well. Sorry I jumped all over you before – I just didn't care for the callous description of an agnostic.
Wow....all this hate speech and CNN continues to allow it.
You mean you read this stuff?
Wow. Get a life, Michael.
infinity is the concept that is hardest to grasp,just stop thinking of
everything else and think about infinity.if your mind isn't totally blown
in 15 seconds start thinking of infinity backwards.think about the very
edge of space and time as far as we can sense it and then realize
that this nowhere even close to the tip of the iceberg.
who is to say that lying just beyond our senses is a reality TOTALLY
different from everything we know and understand about the laws of
physics and nature..
how anyone can say that they know everything about everything
is the height of stupidity,and paradoxically is stated by some
extremely intelligent people in this forum.
i do not know up from down,in from out about the totallity of every thing
that exists or is beyond my perception,and neither does any other person
who exists or ever existed.
i think any organized religion is the zenith of ignorance.people get over
yourselves.you don't even know if this is all a dream within a dream.
anybody who claims to know everything about everything is on an
idiocy level equal to that of all the bible thumpers.any religion is far too
myopic to explain the nature of totallity.
you know next to nothing and i don't know anything more than you.
endless space and time =endless possibilities.
I don't see anyone claiming to know everything, so I guess you're just talking about your god or something right?
Did you need an "amen" or anything? Can I get you another dose of meds? I think it might help.
Um – it was organized religion that came up with the Western concept of infinity you describe, and which contributed volumes of scholarly writings on the topic.
Thank you Bill Nye.
You can try and teach me the THEORY of evolution in school, but I have the right to walk out and be taught something else. Whether it'd be elementary school, high school, or college. Many say the Holy Bible is fiction, but really who's going to fake over 22,000 scriptures from over 2,000 years ago. I'm going to stand by my God til the day I die. And I'll marry a wife who does the same and I'll teach it to my kids to believe in the one and only God Jesus Christ. Thank you for reading and please comment below I'd like to see some responses on your thoughts.
the world being round is still a THEORY and so is gravity, want to test it on a cliff?
You can try and teach me the theory of creationism... oh wait it does not quality as a theory. Scientific terminology is tough I know.
You are perpetrating lies, and interestingly, it's only Christians that are doing this of course. Let's think about this for a second... most Creationists I would assume reside on the right side of politics, probably with the Republicans. They're vastly more Christian and at that more militantly Christian than Democrats or left-leaning people. You wonder why we can't overcome a deficit when we don't teach our children correct science? Science is the basis of the economy; our lack of good education in the sciences (newsflash: we're way down the list from other countries) is what is driving us into the ground. Your lies are keeping us from advancing, and that's what Bill Nye is getting at.
@Ben: Do us all a favor and don't raise children. We don't need more kids growing up with idiotic beliefs like yours.
You also have the 'right' to claim Mathematics is the invention of Satan and all wrong, and gravity makes things fall up. You have the 'right' to claim any bafflingly stupid, anti-scientific false claim to want. And your intellectual betters have the right to point out that you are wrong and laugh at your deliberate ignorance.
There are not 32,000 scriptures, there are 32,000 verses IN scripture, most written long after the supposed death of Jesus to reinforce the power of the church and its control over the people.
Evolution is a scientifically proven fact. Creationism is a scientifically disproven fairy tale.
This is a debate that no one ever wins. Creation vs. Evolution. I swear somewhere there's a third party laughing it up while the two sides fight a battle that no one will ever win. I've seen amazing things in life, things that religious people would call a miracle and that scientific people would call a fluke of nature. When I witness these things I don't choose a side to categorize what just happened. It's just life, and life is amazing. Believe in what you want, it's your own life. Arguing about it will never accomplish anything. In this debate there is no right and wrong, there is only what you believe in. And there is never a reason to argue about what 'you' truly believe in.
Rejecting evidence in favor of personal beliefs is never a wise thing for a society to be willing to condone. It hurts fostering analytic and critical minds.
I have NEVER seen anything that could not be explained by perfectly natural means.
I have NEVER seen anything that could be considered even remotely supernatural, although I have seen some people claim that the same perfectly natural things I saw were actually the work of God (no evidence provided for that conclusion-jump).
I think your argument is a fallacy. In the end, the truth will win. The goal of science is to find the truth no matter what. It won't be "god done it" that reveals the truth to people, just like it wasn't "god done it" that discovered antibiotics, electricity, etc. Everyday we learn more and more about our origins and guess what? It ain't "god done it"
No there actually is a wrong here; it's not a belief system, that's what science is for. Finding truth. Creationism IS wrong. Do not say there is not a right and wrong in this debate; there's a right, and an ignorance of the right, whether that ignorance is because of lack of education in biology/chemistry/theoretical physics or a choice to ignore facts so that a person can comfortably keep their faith intact or both.
I like your spirit, jda82. But sadly we have to think about protecting the country from dumb and dumber from that republican party. mama kindless can sense when some religious candidates have on their agenda to try to go around our laws that keep religion out of our government.
Here's a fun question for everyone! We live in a world of 'cause and effect'. I know all the scientists will agree with me here. We all came from our parents, and they came from their parents and so on and so on all the way back to the 'big bang'. So cause and effect is a 'fact'. Everything comes from something else. We follow this fact all the way back to the very beginning of life, which is who knows when. My question being, where did the 'first thing' come from? Whether it be an atom, an electron, or something else. Where did this first 'thing' come from? A scientist will clearly state that 'something' cannot come from 'nothing'. But in a cause and effect universe there had to be a time when there was 'nothing'. So, scientifically, how did something come from nothing? You will never find a logical answer to this question, because scientifically, religiously, or logically 'life' doesn't make sense.
Just a heads up Christians, you'll be hearing a lot more of this "Christians are holding back the rest of us from evolving" schtick in the near future. It's something that has been in the works for a long time. Go check out some speeches or writings of New Age (in reality, old age/Luciferian) Barbara Marx Hubbard ('84 Dem VP nom) and know she was simply regurgitating something that predated her. It'll fall in line with this "group consciousness" and "we're all one" routine where, if you don't fall in line you'll have to be "removed like a cancer from the body of humanity" (her phrase, not mine). Christians, the Bible tells us severe persecution is on the way so prepare. This poison from Bill Nye the Eugenics Guy is going to become commonplace. If you go back 70-80 yrs. there was a German fellow with a funny mustache who was saying similar things abouts Jews and others.
You are one crazy bast@ard.
he was a christian..... :O oppps argument lost :[
"If you go back 70-80 yrs. there was a German fellow with a funny mustache who was saying similar things abouts Jews and others."
Do you mean the guy raised Catholic who said everything he did was for God?
O and Barbara Marx Hubbard was a nom but was quickly thrown away for her extreme ideals....don't make it sound like she was close to being picked........
Bill Nye for president.
nah Neil Degrasse Tyson for Pres. Bill Nye for Vice 😛
He does have a nice bow tie. Mama kindless hasn't felt this way about a man in a long, long time.
His brain is way more interesting ;P
I don't care what people believe in. I only care that they apply the scientific method when they do science, and share that science without censorship. When they go home they can go on the record saying "unicorns fart bubble gum" as far as I care. As long as the science is proper and vetted. Who knows maybe science will someday discover data proving that indeed unicorns do exist and fart bubble gum. That's the beauty of science, it has the capacity to correct itself if the evidence is overwhelming.
Your comment makes too much sense. Clearly faith and no proof what so ever, thousands of years of brainwashing, and the scary thought that this ride is over when your quarter runs out, is too much for most people to comprehend. Some day, if the earth isn't blown up by a religious fanatic, people will shake their heads that anyone believed in a God.
That may be the dumbest thing I've ever read. I think we are all dumber for having read it.
The point is that you don't have to believe in science to do good science. Many scientist perform science in disbelief. In fact if you don't ask questions then you are not a good scientist. It is all about validating as much as possible. Just because creationism is not proven with data of this generation, doesn't mean that data from another may prove otherwise. It's just that it's not "science" until there's data to prove it. In the future it's possible the definition of creationism may change to include universe sized intelligent systems.
You don't have to believe in a universe created in 7 days to believe there is a creator. Just consider the laws of physics themselves. If any of those laws were adjusted only slightly (such as the law of gravity being slightly stronger or weaker) we could not have the UNIVERSE we currently have, let alone the life we enjoy on this planet. Did we just get stupendously lucky, or is it something else?
The Bible violates nearly every law of science and physics. Read it.
No, we're just something that could have happened under the parameters that exist in the universe.
We're no more lucky than black holes or supernovas are.
Just more full of ourselves. And it's really hard to be more full of yourself than a black hole.
Gravity is different depending of the mass of the planet that you are on. We are on one planet of trillions, one that happens to be supportive of life. Just because the odds are against a planet being able to support life doesn't mean it doesn't happen, particularly when there are so many planets. It's like playing the galactic lottery, the odds are stupendously against winning, yet people do every week because of the sheer number of tickets bought.
That only makes sense if you actually have zero understanding of the numbers of the universe...
Where do you get such an idea? The laws of physics could be considerably different and some form of life may have evolved. Even if you are right, there may have been any number of failed universes, we just weren't here to count the failures. Your whole argument is meaningless.
Yes, gravity depends on mass. I'm sure one of the geniuses on this board can provide us with a ratio, which is what I'm referring to. I'm not talking about the gravity on this planet, as that would vary depending on the mass of the planet. I'm talking about the fact that gravity exists AT ALL, which allows orbits to exist, etc.
@knightforx, Not following... now your argument is... Because gravity exists at all... god?
Your argument doesn't really make much sense. Basically, while our universe wouldn't work if some things were changed slightly, who is to say that another universe that wouldn't have appeared that would have been capable of sustaining life? Think of it like earth. While all we know life can live on is earth like planets, there's nothing to rule out life living on other types of planets.
Look into the sentient puddle.
Observer said "The Bible violates nearly every law of science and physics. Read it."
That's not all it does. Damn thing plays with itself. Most conflicted, unorganized piece of junk anyone ever tried to sell to someone. my goodness.