Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique
Commenters were fired up about Bill Nye, creationism and evolution.
August 28th, 2012
10:37 AM ET

Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Bill Nye does not think that children should be taught to deny evolution, and a YouTube video of him explaining why has gone viral. The CNN Belief Blog's report on the video has generated around 10,000 comments and thousands of Facebook shares since Monday.

There were some broad themes in the comments, reflecting a debate that is largely unique to the United States.

While Christianity is booming in Africa, Asia and Latin America, creationism is not, Penn State University religious studies professor Philip Jenkins writes in his book "The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South."

Here are five schools of reaction that have emerged in comments:

1. Those using this controversy to bash religion

Atheists love the Internet, as we've chronicled on the Belief Blog. While they may be a small portion of the population, they seem to make up about half our commenters.  It was their chance to join with Nye and cheer him on:

midwest rail:
"If you're watching 'The Flintstones' as if it were a documentary, you're doing it wrong."

2. Those who say wait a minute, being a creationist isn’t necessarily being anti-evolution

Lots of folks from the theistic evolution camp came out to say that believing God was involved doesn't automatically make you anti-evolution.

"As someone who is a born again Christian, (senior) mechanical engineer in the technology industry, and a firsthand witness of the risen Christ, I just want to say that Bill Nye is on the right track. It is understandable that both sides seem to be entrenched in their own position, but did anyone ever think that both are correct, and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle?"

"I believe in God, I believe in creationism and evolution. I think that we all came from one man and one woman (God created), and I think that the human race has evolved from this paring. I am a Christian and I love science, learning about our world, and I appreciate the contribution that science has made. But my soul/spirit also need God's love."

"FYI, 'Science Guy': One can believe in evolution and creation at the same time. They are not incongruent.

3. Those who say that science is stupid and that young Earth creationism rules

Young Earth creationists, who believe the Earth is about 6,000 years old, appeared to be out in force in the comments.

"As a creationist, why would I want to debate an evolutionist? It (is) all a matter of FAITH. You either believe, and have faith in, what Christians call 'THE WORD OF GOD' or not. No debate. TRUTH IS TRUTH WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

The people who perished in the Great Flood, in the Bible, didn't believe it was going to rain until it was too late. Better start knocking on the door of the ark before it closes."

"Creationism isn't even taught in public schools. Evolution is. So if you want your children to have Christian beliefs, then you really need to home-school them or find a good Christian school. Unfortunately not the other way around!

"It seems to me that evolution requires just as much faith as creationism. You're just putting your faith in our human powers of observation and believe that what we have thought up based on those observations is correct. We've got a few hundred years at best, of scientific observation, that has now told us that one giant, explosive, random event started a chain reaction that, over billions of years resulted in humans, and flowers, and viruses, and dinosaurs. The belief that the unfathomable intricacies of every living thing on our Earth formed themselves completely at random seems just as fantastical to me as believing in a creator."

4. Those who say Nye should stick to his area of expertise

This tweet was the most polite remark we could find on this subject. Other comments and tweets, not so much.

"Thanks Bill ... but leave the teaching of my children to me. ..."

[tweet https://twitter.com/watsup1101/status/240168918109523968%5D

5. Those who say CNN is cooking up controversy where none exists

Lots of people suggested we were generating a story instead of covering one.

Tony Montana:

"Another example of CNN's mostly one-sided reporting. No wonder Fox is (No.) 1. Hopefully CNN will put on both sides in the future if for no other reason than their ratings. Parts of the Bible are dated and contains metaphors. ***SCIENCE IS SIMPLY AN OBSERVATION OF GOD'S CREATION.*** Humans did not make the solar system, billions of stars in billions of galaxies. 'ET' didn't make the universe either. Even if 'ET' did what made 'ET.' "

For the record, plenty of other news outlets covered this story, pointing out that Nye's video was posted on YouTube just before the Republican National Convention opened.  Turns out that Nye taped the segment awhile back and had no say in when it would be released.

Thanks for chiming in. The comments are open here, and you can always hit us up on Twitter @CNNBelief.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Creationism

soundoff (2,811 Responses)
  1. Jim

    The Case for Science and Evolution supporting the Genesis Account
    What Church and State aren't telling us.
    The first thing to understand is, what Genesis actually says in relation to Time. Chapter 1 is described entirely from God’s perspective of time, not man’s. We were not created until the very end of the very last day of creation. Only God was around to perceive what the days of creation were in reference to. And according to a literal reading of the account, the days of creation were in relation to the original source of light that was created on the first day, not our suns. Our sun is what we base our perspective of time from. But again, a literal reading of the account tells us that our sun wasn’t created until the 4th day of God’s creation and that it was created to provide man with a measure of days and years. Therefore, what Genesis is literally saying is, that a day to God is not the same as a 24 hour day as experienced from man’s perspective of time with respect to the rotation of the earth in relation to our sun. With this in mind and the knowledge that nowhere in the Bible does it give an age to the earth, we can start from the beginning .
    In the beginning, God creates the heaven and the earth. However, the earth was at first without form or void, according to the account. In other words, the earth was at first in the form of energy contained within the singularity from which the universe began.
    "And darkness was upon the face of the deep". This describes a black hole from which the singularity that is our universe would eventually emerge. A place with such a concentration of matter/energy and a gravitational pull so great that not even light could escape.
    "And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters". Waters, which have been detected in interstellar clouds throughout the cosmos and would also have been contained within the singularity itself in some form. And the effect of this movement by God, suddenly caused the singularity within to emerge from the deep black hole.
    "And God said, let there be light". And time, space and matter came into existence as the universe was created and expanded in what science refers to as The Big Bang event. The earth is given form and void and the first day from God’s perspective of time, in our universe, has begun.
    "And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters and let the waters gather unto one place to be called seas and let the dry land appear". Science tells us that water has been detected in interstellar clouds that exist in all the galaxies which were divided by great distances. Science also reveals that water contained in asteroids and comets bombarded the early earth and brought much of the water that makes up our seas and that there was a super continent that appeared called Pangea.
    "And God said, let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth". Science tells us that the first living micro-organism was literally Created (formed) from the earth (perhaps from a clay called montmorillonite), evolved, and eventually began the process of photosynthesis (cyanobacteria, the seed from which grasses and trees would evolve) that was needed to generate an atmosphere rich enough in oxygen to allow higher forms of creatures to evolve.
    "And God said, let there be lights in the firmament, and let them be for seasons, days and years". Science has revealed that the moon did indeed form after the earth from the debris of a collision between the already existing earth and another body. Also, the earth and the sun are so close in age that the earth may in fact have existed before our sun had gathered enough mass to ignite. The early cratering we see on the planets and moons throughout our solar system may have been the result of material being drawn into the center of our solar system as our proto-sun took on enough mass to ignite. Also we cannot measure the date of a piece of the sun like we can the moon, therefore the age of the sun is purely theoretical.
    "And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life, birds and whales". Paleontology tells us that this is what happened starting from the Pre-Cambrian through the Cambrian Periods, as many creatures were brought forth from the oceans unto the landmasses where insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals evolved . And later birds and whales would evolve from these.
    "And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after its kind, cattle, creeping things and beasts of the earth". Again paleontology tells us that this is what happened, as a great diversification of mammals occurred following the extinction of the dinosaurs, which led to the modern day cattle and beasts that we see today .
    "And God said, let us make man in our image both male and female and let them have dominion over the earth". And finally we see again that anthropology confirms that man did indeed evolve in only the most recent geological period.
    Now, moving on to the next chapter, Genesis 2, we find that God has made one of the completed modern humans into a living soul. It does not say that Adam was the first man, it merely describes what occurred from the beginning. As the earth formed, there was no rain. Then a mist went up from the ground and watered the whole face of the earth. The first organism was created. It evolved and eventually became man. Our dna can be traced all the way back to that one original organism. Adam evolved from a previous hominid that evolved from a previous primate, that evolved from a previous mammal, that evolved from a previous reptile, that evolved from a previous amphibian, fish, worm, bacterium all the way back to that one original organism that was “quite literally” formed (Created) from the clays of the earth.
    God then transforms an environment to the east, from a dry barren place, into the garden of Eden. He then causes this man to migrate east, out of Africa into the Middle East. And the animals that God had formed followed, as well. Y -Chromosome studies confirm that all living males alive today are descendant from a male ancestor that once lived in the area of the Middle East approximately 60,000 years ago.
    God then creates Eve from Adam. In the previous chapter, God had created both man and woman together. These can be seen as our prehistoric ancestors who evolved up to the time of the completed modern human, Adam. It is likely that it was from one of these earlier tribes of people that Cain‘s wife came from (the land of Nod). But here we must take a leap of faith. For Eve, according to the account, definitely did not evolve. She was a special creation. Formed, by God himself, from the genetic material that was removed from Adam. One has to wonder where the ancient authors of this account came up with such an incredible story ? Of course, today the account is not so incredible. We see that modern day scientists are conducting genetic cloning research, where they take a piece of genetic material from one animal and create an almost exact replica of that animal. We may one day ourselves develop the technology to remove the genetic material, (two X chromosomes) from a male human to create a female human. And if we can do that, it’s not that difficult to believe that God could have done it, as well.
    Now that I have laid out the case for the scientific evidence supporting the events described in the ancient accounts of Genesis, let us consider whether the scientific evidence supports the alternative theories. For example, that Nature formed life from the earth through natural chemical processes without guidance of any Intelligent Being and that Nature forms life on other worlds wherever the right conditions exist. We also have to consider the theory of Panspermia, where life formed somewhere other than earth and traveled here through space inside meteors, asteroids or comets and seeded the early earth with living organisms. The Miller Urey experiments showed that some of the basic building blocks of life (amino acids) can form naturally from naturally occurring conditions. Another scientist by the name of Sydney Fox was able to create what he called replicating proto-cells from these amino acids that appear to mimic some of the basic functions of a living organism. However, none of these naturally created building blocks or proto-cells are considered by the science community to be living organisms. Biochemists have never been able to replicate the formation of life, which is called Abiogenesis. Nor have they ever observed it occurring in nature. The fact is, as far as we know, life formed only once, one afternoon, only on earth, approximately 3.7 billion years ago and has never been replicated since ! Every living thing alive today evolved from that one original organism that was initially formed. Also, no life has ever been detected outside the planet earth. The two Viking Lander missions in 1975 tested the Martian soil at two separate locations and neither one detected any signs of life. No life has been found in any of the hundreds of meteorite samples that have fallen to earth. Even the most famous Antarctic meteorite from Mars could not be confirmed to contain life by the science community. Further, no atmospheric signatures of life have ever been detected in any of the atmospheres of the other planets or moons in our solar system. And from deep space, no signal has ever been detected from any extraterrestrial origin by SETI in over 50 years of searching.
    Now consider for a moment, the capabilities of life here on earth. Once life was created here, it has never been extinguished completely. It has adapted and survived every cataclysmic event that has ever occurred on earth. It has the capacity to adapt and survive in every extreme environment. It has even survived the harsh environment of space on the outside of our spacecraft ! Yet we find not even a hint of it anywhere else? Where is the diversity of life on Mars, as we see it here on earth ? Spirit and Opportunity gave us microscopic images from the soils on Mars. We saw nothing. There can be only one reason why we see no diversity of life on Mars. It never formed there ! If we could demonstrate life forming from naturally occurring chemistry here on earth it would all but prove that life is forming elsewhere. But we can’t ! At least, we haven’t been able too yet !
    But the facts remain, currently, the scientific evidence supports the creation of life on earth according to Genesis MORE than any of the other theories ! Yet the United States Judicial system, which is supposed to be NEUTRAL in matters of religion and protect our rights of free speech and guarantee the free expression of idea’s, has ruled that it is illegal to teach the POSSIBILITY that life was Intelligently Designed ?

    December 29, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  2. Science

    Free speech helps educate the masses................POLITICIANS too !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie or sin !!!..........

    BY the way ...................Splat goes a fairy in the sky !...............bye bye tinker bell !

    Einstein's Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet

    Apr. 25, 2013 — A strange stellar pair nearly 7,000 light-years from Earth has provided physicists with a unique cosmic laboratory for studying the nature of gravity. The extremely strong gravity of a massive neutron star in orbit with a companion white dwarf star puts competing theories of gravity to a test more stringent than any available before


    Hey James Madison................religion has none it looks like.............with the comments on this blog.

    The Big question is ETHICS ! does religion have any ?

    The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

    Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


    April 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |

    May 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |

    Dinosaur Egg Study Supports Evolutionary Link Between Birds and Dinosaurs: How Troodon Likely Hatched Its Young


    And NO ANGELS the pope KICKED them OFF the TEAM last year !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    the wrong path is Adam and Eve !

    Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

    Mar. 4, 2013 — The discovery and analysis of an extremely rare African American Y chromosome pushes back the time of the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage tree to 338,000 years ago. This time predates the age of the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils.


    No god(s) needed or required to graduate from public schools in the US

    Remember : Adam had to POKE himself hard with his OWN BONE to create Eve.

    No god(s) needed................... Old. DNA works..................also catches crooks !

    Ancient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

    Apr. 23, 2013 — Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.


    Ca-nabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) – National Cancer Insti-tute


    Mar 21, 2013 – [1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. ... have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. ... In lung cancer cell lines, CBD upregulated ICAM-1, leading to ...

    Good stuff !

    The fact...............the earth is to old for this nonsemse ! Time to EVOLVE !

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    For what...................... ? Make sure to read what the pope said !

    Where do morals come from?

    By Kelly Murray, CNN


    Learning is fun with facts.......................... and facts work when teaching children.

    Atheist Prof. Peter Higgs: Stop calling Higgs boson the ‘God particle’

    Professor Peter Higgs said recently that there is no God and so people should stop referring to the theoretical partial that
    bears his name as the “God particle.”


    Pope praises science, but insists God created world updated Thur October 28, 2010
    Stephen Hawking is wrong, Pope Benedict XVI said Thursday – God did create the universe. The pope didn't actually mention the world-famous scientist, who argues in a book published last month that the laws of physics show there is no need for a supreme... \



    Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says updated Tue May 17, 2011
    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when...


    April 7th, 2012

    08:32 PM ET

    The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth


    Make sure to read comments

    April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |

    Breaking News

    NASA: Three planets found are some of best candidates so far for habitable worlds outside our solar system.


    NASA: Mars could have supported life

    Star Dust we are


    Holy Hallucinations 35


    The ORIGIN story is bullsh-it...............so is the bible............... nasty !

    From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


    Scientists have unearthed the first direct signs of cheesemaking, at a site in Poland that dates back 7,500 years.

    Human Evolution


    BBC. Planet of the Apemen. Battle for Earth 1. Ho-mo Erectus


    BACKFILL on E =mc2.....

    Einstein letter, set for auction, shows scientist challenging idea of God, being 'chosen'

    By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

    Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a "delusion," one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”


    May 4, 2013 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |

    Cheech & Chong's History of 420


    All cults...........creationists, ID believers and devil cults.................

    The fact...............the earth is to old ...........time to EVOLVE !.

    Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle

    Apr. 24, 2013 — Scientists have long believed that lava erupted from certain oceanic volcanoes contains materials from the early Earth's crust. But decisive evidence for this phenomenon has proven elusive. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago. Their work is published in Nature.


    Dover Trial Transcripts............................................. FACTS.

    Below are the complete transcripts from the Dover Trial. Thanks to our friends at the National Center for Science Education for helping us fill in the missing transcripts.


    Education works for children

    Earth From Space

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.


    February 16, 2013 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |


    May 5, 2013 at 9:34 am |
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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.