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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
what if both of the camps are sorta wrong? Still thinking we were what was left of survivors of explorers that crashed here from the stars. We are so different from any other creatures here.........we adapt our environment to suit us.........and can't seem to wait to get back out "there".............just a thought..........
Nice thought but no dice. We share over 98% of our DNA with chimps. No way that would happen if we were extraterrestrial.
Let's ask Giorgio Tsoukalos from Ancient Aliens.
Nice thought but no dice. We share over 98% of our DNA with chimps. No way that would happen if we were extraterrestrial.
You really believe this crap ?
Or did the Aliens tell you that ?
Creationists and theistic evolutionists in a nutshell.
Denying evolution is kind of a symptom to a bigger problem. The bigger problem is that kids aren't being taught critical thinking. When you don't learn critical thought as a kid you grow up not knowing how to approach a claim like evolution, or any other claim, and see that it's passed a rigorous scientific process.
exactly, these are the same crazy people sticking their heads in the sand denying global warming while tornados, hurricanes, floods, and droughts during the past decade are the worst they've ever been in recorded history
not to mention to deny global warming you have to not believe in thermometers either
"As someone who is a born again Christian, (senior) mechanical engineer in the technology industry, and a firsthand witness of the risen Christ,"
If you think you're 2,000 years old and have met a Zombie, you may want to seek psychiatric help
I'll keep saying this until the day I croak. If anyone has a doctorate or bachelors degree in any field of science and absolutely accepts without doubt any form of religious creationism. then you're another fu*ked up in the head christard. No exceptions.
I don't think you are a first hand witness of the "Risen Christ". Wasn't Mary Magdalene the first witness. I never saw your name mentioned in the New testament.
How utterly stupid.
The jewish culture only goes back about ten thousand (10,000) years whereas the african/asian female folklore goes back to long before the "Big Bang" occurred 16 billion years ago. The proof that females go back that far is based on the fact that the mitochondrial (female) DNA goes back into infinity whereas the male DNA only goes back to his mother but not to his mother's mother (his grandmother).
The planet is only 4.6 billion years old. No culture goes back more than twenty thousand years ago, and i doubt that any go back that far.
What the heck are you talking about? People before the big bang?? Get your head checked!
"the mitochondrial (female) DNA goes back into infinity"
Can you back up that claim?
When your wife nags you it just seems like she has been doing it since before the Big Bang
You realize that the vast majority of comments from the faithful could be taken directly from the Republican GOP leaders. Oh, America – WHAT have you become????
Signed, a saddened neighbour to the north
The coming years will be difficult for us.
Religion is a commitment to ignorance... plain and simple.
Hardly, there are quite a few notable scientists who are men of faith and I'm quite sure the work "ignorance" could not be used to describe their intellects. Let me name a few: Nicholas Copericus, Johannes Kepler, Sir Francis Bacon, Issac Newton, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, and more ...
You'll note that a number of the aforementioned scientists were also instrumental into delving into nature and physics, formulating the laws that form the basis of many "scientific" regimens, Newtonian Physics and The General and Special Theories of Relativity come quickly to mind.
Albert Einstein was not a man of faith in any way.
Well what can I except from creationists.
I have to agree that being willing to accept something as true without evidence is not tied to intelligence. Generally, it is based on a desire to want a particular paradigm to be true. People believe what they need to to get them through the day. They could be the most brilliant person on the planet, but they won't scrutinize (or they will rationalize) their beliefs if there is a danger of shattering their view on how the world works. Scientists are no exception, they have the same desires and emotions we do.
Confirming with Anon, Einstein was an outspoken non-believer.
I agree that religion is a commitment to ignorance. do you know that extreme orthodox jews are prohibited from studying science?
First, this is his area of expertise. All you education and science haters PLEASE go ahead and pull your kids out of school and put them in a factory. Second, no, Evolution and Creationism can't co-exist. You can believe that god works through the mechanism of evolution, Sure. But, creationism means you have to ignore facts and science.
And science means you have to ignore faith. It goes both ways, just like everything else. Let people believe what they want.
"And science means you have to ignore faith"
i would say facts trump faith in pretty much every way.
Facts > Faith
Faith is more a case of WANTING to believe something, not believing it because there's empirical data to back it up.
Yeah, let people believe what they want. What's a few more Jonestowns in this crazy world?
Science lovers: please do not argue with the religious people... it is utterly useless... Look around at what all these religions brings us and you will understand just how useless it is to argue with them.
We've become a nation of ignorant hicks. As soon as you use the word faith the argument is over. That means that facts will never influence your view of the world. Roughly 85% of the country falls into this group. 236 years ago this country was founded by a group of men that even without Darwin's work were more open minded than the people of this country and our leaders now. We're going backwards again!!!! People need to actually read their Bible and I dare you to make sense of it!!!! God is described as a physical person walking in a garden in the beginning not the booming voice the films show. Most of the stories in the Bible were taken from other older religions. Even the story of Lucifer's fall is taken from the Prometheus legends where Zeus punished him for bringing enlightenment to his people. Snake and the apple anyone??? It's a collections of stories and fables not a basis for scientific belief!!!! Why is it different than a hundred other religious texts? You have faith? Well the Scientologists have faith that the Universe is trillions of years old. How do they know this? Their leader told them just like the preacher told you last Sunday! People that believe in Bigfoot are the same. There's no real evidence that couldn't be faked but they believe and have faith he exists. Just like God.
Where's the dude that said winged pixie dust throwing unicorns were in the bible? Study up brah. They were one horned animals. Next.
You've still got a talking snake, donkey, and god making sh!t completely out of order (light before stars), and a god sacrificing himself to himself to appease himself to keep himself from torturing people himself. I wouldn't focus that much on the unicorn silliness.
Some folks here have waaaaay to much time.
... and some folks have forgotten 3rd-grade English.
to = toward
too = much
Pharaoh's magicians could duplicate many of the same miraculous things Moses performed. So what's your point? Seems to me the elite of that day were not impressed or surprised. Neither should we.
Why would the opinion of the general public even be relevant regarding the validity of Evolution? would you put any weight on the opinion of the general public on the validity of String Theory for example. Of course not. How is Evolution different?
Or gravity, maybe people that don't believe in "theories" should try jumping off a tall building, since the "theory" of gravity must be wrong.
The theory of gravity is, as the religious types like to say, just a theory. haha what a joke these people are.
The public has a lot of power over the laws governing our people. That would be the main concern. If people are making laws based on things that do not exist, it could be problematic.
Why would your opinion mean squat ?
If you put a newborn on a space station and have it raised by robots with no human interaction, they will not spontaneously develop a belief system that mirrors those here on our planet. They may make speculative assumptions on the phenomenon they experience, but what those are will not relate to any earthly religion.
On the other hand, the scientific method will become an inherent part of their practice, as it is a basic form of interaction with the world around us. Hypothesizing and using trial-and-error methods of discovery will come naturally to a primate, human or otherwise.
Are you teaching your kid to fish? or just giving him the fish and telling him to eat it? How many different fishes has your kid tried? Do you think there is an upper limit? If so, why?
raised by robots with no human interaction...
Would also have no human emotions.
They may not hate, but they wouldnt love.
They may not take, but they would give....
get the idea ?
Not surprisingly, all five (5) posted groupoings are incorrect.
The correct answer is that the earth was created by God, but it was way more than 6,000 years ago. We do NOT evolve, but we do NOT all come from the same two parents either.
Somebody needs to do some research on "serpent seed", "kennites", "nephilim", "chaos before eden", etc.....
I am very impressed about how you've found the correct answer without using the scientific method. please enlighten the rest of us how you know the truth without a shadow of a doubt.
If the earth was created by God, then how do you explain the Planet of the Apes? AHA! Gotcha!
Why don't you just hie to Kolob, if you could ever find it.
The correct answer is....
Ah yes, everyone else has it wrong, but YOU have it correct! Of course. Thanks so much for solving the eternal mystery of the universe today. Jeez, where do we now go tomorrow?
Actually, the correct answer is 42.
You are confusing "god" with "higher intelligence".
They are not the same.
During WW2, Americans landed on desolate islands with people who had never seen white men, or airplanes.
We came from the sky in flying ships, and gave them chocolate.
After we left, they started to build crude replicas of the "ships" and
worshipped them in hopes of calling the "visitors" back.
Sounds like ancient "Sumerians" to me.
Personally I fall in the the second category, of believing evolution and creation both happened. Evolution is and never was a theory of how Man came to be. It simply explained how Modern Man came to be. Yes there is the idea of evolving from single celled bacteria, but science hasn't traced us back that far. I believe Bill Nye is right on the account of letting the facts of evolution be taught, but wrong on the account of creationism dying away. As for the idea of Intelligent Design being taught in school, I believe it shouldn't simply from a factual stand-point. I've researched their "facts" and have come to note that many of those facts have already been disproven by years of archiological findings and studies, as well as mounds of other research conducted in all various other fields of science. Therefore, I believe it shouldn't be taught until the facts behind the science have been completely proven in one way for another. As for Creationism in schools, it should be up to the teacher to teach their students. You wouldn't ask a teacher of English to teach basic vernacular instead of proper English. So why ask a science teacher to teach something that's not about Science?
There is no difference between creationism and ID. ID is just creationism disguised in a trenchcoat and false beard.
Cite examples of your "research". If they came from non scientific resources, they're BS. Archaeology in NO WAY backs up "faith" with anything other than historical data of certain key points within the Judeo-Christian Bible. There's no actual proof of a god, nor is the empirical data that the character known as Jesus even lived. The Jesus mythos was already around in many major world religions THOUSANDS OF YEARS prior to the New Testament.
On the other hand, there's mountains of evidence to support Evolution. Measurable evidence.
The way I see it, there are 3 choices:
1. An invisible, supernatural man in the sky made the first man out of dirt, then because he was too stupid to realize ahead of time that he would need a woman, he later made the first woman out of a rib.
2. An invisible supernatural man in the sky magically "poofed" humans into existence, fully formed.
3. Humans and all other life on the planet evolved naturally from lower creatures going back to one celled animals 4 billion years ago.
Luis, when you draw something does it happen all at once or do you start with a line, make a shape, form another, and gradually it all develops into something else? God is no Wizard who "poofs" things into existence. He uses the properties he has, atoms, cells, organic tissue, to create something. He did this over millions of years, taking his time to create the ultimate masterpiece.
Gabe – Hogwash.
"He uses the properties he has, atoms, cells, organic tissue, to create something. He did this over millions of years, taking his time to create the ultimate masterpiece."
isnt he god? why does he need to take time to do anything? couldnt he just go 'let there be everything'?
Luis, great counter argument. I see you're an academic.
I love how Religious folk seem to know the gender of "God". We're talking about a supposedly omniscient and omnipotent super being...and yet our tiny minds supposedly grasp what gender a "God" would actually be. And funny, he Judeo-Christian god sounds an awful lot like...Zeus.
God is no Wizard who "poofs" things into existence. He uses the properties he has, atoms, cells, organic tissue, to create something.
So he is not all powerfull ?
He is limited to these few items to create ?
He is so bad at it, that it takes him billions of years to get it right ?
And his ultimate creation is..........US ?
This god of yours has too many flaws.
Micro evolution does exist, but macro evolution, which is required to explain the origin of species, is not. So, check the science facts before you speak of science.
Wow! You must have an advanced degree in evolutionary biology. NOT. Grow a brain dude.
Can you back up those claims?
micro + micro + micro + micro + micro + micro + micro + micro x MILLIONS of YEARS = (guess what)
****sigh**** What do you call a series of micro evolutions over the course of millions of years? Devout follower of Christ here- I see the dudes that claim fossilized batteries and hammers, seen the "microeveolution" new earthers.. No disrespect ma'am, but you seem awfully confident in a process that Science nor the Bible validate.
Take your own advice. There is no scienitific acceptance of the terms micro and macro-evolution. There is just evolution. Accept it or not, but don't be intentionally dishonest or willfully ignorant just so you can still have a gap to plug your god into.
"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."
What an odd way to introduce comments in support of teaching evolution. It's not like only atheists would support the theory of evolution in the comments. There are plenty of Christians who respect and support science and appreciate the Biblical story of creation for the symbolical value that it has.
it's the Belief Blog editors' normal way. Most of these "Your take" articles follow that pattern.
The editors do not disclose their own beliefs (and as journalists they should not, for a number of reasons) but atheists (being a minority but being very loud here) are treated a bit dismissively by an editorial team that is eager to attract more believers (and more keyclicks) on their Belief Blog.
"I find it curious how the invisible and the non-existent look so much alike." ~Christopher Hitchens
Beauty quote. Allow me to paraphrase another CH item. "Since humans have gained the ability to write, we've collectively made up around 5,000 distinctly different dieties. All followers of montheistic religions (Christian, Jew, Islam) discount 4,999 of those. As Athiests, we just go them one better."
While a witty, snarky, quote, I fully expect he believed in things he was incapable of directly sensing. I also suspect he believed in things he had not directly observed based solely on the testimony of others.
If you're honest with yourself, you probably do too; it'd be worrisome if you didn't.
To Thinkabout it, Why? You can use your imagination and speculate on things but that doesnt mean you believe in that thing no matter how much evidence proves other wise. The beauty of science is that when new information or data is discovered that was unknown science reevaluates and makes corrections if appropriate. Religon does not. Thats why 43% of the US population believes in creationism despite all the evidence to the contrary
The one thing that most people don't know is that religion is a creation of man, created to control and enforce a form of dominance over your fellow man. Every religion espouses that you MUST follow their creed or you will not reach salvation and the blissfulness of "heaven". If others didn't believe as you did, you had a moral obligation to denounce them ... this led to holy wars. Creationists have the same view to their theory as many religious zealots in the world ... they're just not violent about it. They denounce anyone who doesn't believe that the world is only 6,000 years old and that evolution is only a fabrication of those who lack faith. As was mentioned in a previous post, there are and have been the best scientific minds in the world who are devout Christians, Muslims, Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox, etc. These people have the utmost faith in their God but also live a life of scientific knowledge and truth. Having faith is not just about faith in a single being, it is about having faith in your community and those around you. If you don't have faith in those people first and foremost, you can't have faith in any God. And you can still have faith in the people around you and not believe in a God. They don't go hand in hand. Like logical thinking and Creationism, they are separate.
Here, Here! WHy don't they know this? It drives me crazy!!!!!!!!!!
As you said, the term "logical thinking" is the key.
The twains will never meet.
However, illogical thinking should play no part in politics or running a country.
I am entertained by those who try to sell the age of the earth based solely on biblical genealogies. that would be saying the rest of the world was not populated or the 6000 years worth of biblical lineage magically spread to the rest of the world and somehow that was not written down. I guess they (let's call them non-biblicals) were (are) a product of an evil spirit. Created not in their god's image but just copied. and poor copies at that (the colors are all wrong).
Not true. Creationism doesn't mean "God created the world in six days and the Earth is 10,000 years old" (the actual claimed number). Creationism means "it was created by (a) god(dess)(es)". It is perfectly possible to believe that whatever force created the universe also guided evolution. And considering science spends its days finding out about the impossible, is it really so ridiculous to imagine that the world isn't billions of years old? Theoretically, we could all just be a dream. Perhaps you are not real. Perhaps I'm in a coma and experiencing a fantasy. Perhaps I am not real myself, just a mix of conjoined thoughts in your comatose brain for you to argue with, and my entire life is actually just your imagination. Just things your brain put together when you got lonely. I think therefore I am makes sense, if you live in our world. But what if, in the world of whatever creature is experiencing this dream, thinking is not the big thing, but feeling? Or simply being? What if we're all just in God's imagination, or a computer simulation? It would explain why such horrible things (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, etc.) always happen around the worst times they can; some nerd is just playing with us like SIMS. Maybe one day he'll unplug his computer and we'll be finished.
No matter what science finds, you have to admit that there is a lot we don't know, and potentially science could be wrong about everything. It is unlikely, but the potential is there.