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.
Good for you Bill. Don't let religious extremists teach science. They don't know any, and have no business teaching fairy tales to our children.
Bravo CNN for following up with a story about the complexity of this particular controversy!
Since capitalism is built on darwinian theory, I'm assuming creationists must be communists.
As a Christian who is a scientist, I find the controversy mostly about people who can't see beyond themselves. As a scientist, I've learned that scientists must decide what to believe. The data are never completely clear or without caveats. As a Christian, I've learned that Christians must decide what's true. Even those who are scriptural experts disagree on what scriptue says. How ironic. I think God is quite pleased with how difficuylt it is, and how we are each responsible for what we believe, despite the "facts". In the end, we all must be brutally honest with ourselves, and it isn't easy, or common.
Ya,great idea-let's give some desert people a hint of my existence, and then let them kill each other for a couple of thousand years arguing over my every thought..Absolute genius.Some design.Some designer..Madness!
How do you reconcile the inability of science to provide a basis for things outside our reality?
How did you settle on the god you chose? Did you use science? If not, what did you use, and why?
Correct. Early humans invented mythologies, which later became religions. We've always created deities in order to soothe ourselves with "answers" to life's big questions about purpose, and in order to cope with the fear of death. Modern religions have become a form of societal control. At any rate, evolution by natural selection is the ONLY rational answer as to why we're all here. The fact that so many people refuse to accept this reality is THE primary reason why civilization may not survive.
Thanks for the speculation and opinion. Aren't you glad we can all express them?
It's not the "ONLY" solution; it's just the best solution we currently have. There could be better ones out there (note, creationism is definitely not one of them).
Young earth creationists misrepresented again. (Sigh!) Look folks, creationists don't have a single problem with science. Science is knowledge. What we have a problem with is the hijacking of science by evolutionists who have somehow duped the populace into thinking that the terms "evolution" and "science" are interchangeable. They are not. Science is the pursuit and study of knowledge and evolution is a theory OF science (with a LOT of holes, by the way).
Bill Nye is just another priest of his religion: the religions of evolutionary secular humanism.
Paul, all knowledge has holes. Science has the task of filling those holes through inquiry. Religion claims to have no holes.
Scientists pursue knowledge through experimentation and observation.. Just because you don't like the answers they find doesn't make them any less true. What do Creationists do? Read an old.
Evolution is the scientific theory of how the current version of the earth developed. The scientific version of a theory is different from your version of a theory. Science never says it is the absolute truth. A scientific theory is the compilation of years of evidence concluding that evolution is by far and large the most accurate explanation for how different species developed. You can compare the "invisible hand of capitalism" to evolution in some regards, you get some sort of order from chaos. If there is ever any evidence that evolution is wrong, science will change its viewpoint to accept that. For example Newtonian gravity had to be altered to take in Einstein's relativistic effects.
Science is not a religion. This is why. I will do a complete U-turn in change my opinion if there is evidence for it, I have an open mind. A religious person will never do that, his (or her) opinion ( or faith if you like) will never change. Please don't tell me the Bible is proof.
Let the 90% dumbos of the world believe in whatever religious BS and fairlytales. Even if they know the truth or the real fact it is not going to change much.
The only hope i have is they stop killing and treating each other like morons in the name of religion. Other than that whatever dream world they live in is ok.
Talk about a dream world. A little one cell omeba crawled out of the ocean and evolved into the hundreds of thousand of species of animal, reptile ,insect and bird life not to mention humans. What i want to know is where the sea and the omeba came from. OR there was an explosion from nothing that made somthing. Talk about dream worlds and fairy tales.
Sharkfisher! You are evolving as we speak. You are getting dumber. There is no point. What you have in your brain. You think you are smart. But you are not. And this what the religious people are using against you. They are using your own "smart" brain to manipulate you. You have become too smart for your own good. It was better if you would have been dumb.
just because I took a lot of drugs in school deson't mean I don't know what I'm talking about, either.
OR there was an explosion from nothing that made somthing....
Or God was just "always" here.
Who created God ?
Grow a pair.
Ironic that you're correcting others about their 3rd grade grammar yet acting like one.
Oh wait, you can't I guess you'll just have to EVOLVE a pair.
Arguing Evolutionary theory with Creationists that clearly don't understand it is like arguing English Grammar with someone who doesn't even speak English.
Yeah, because unless they see YOUR VERSION of evolution, then "they just don't understand it, right?
Oh, please! LOL.
Paul, there are no different VERSIONS of evolution, just debate about the validity of certain interpretations of evidence.
No. It simply comes from their desire that evolution not be true. No stronger force behind what we believe than our desires.
I know logic is hard, Paul. We're sorry.
If I told you that a terrible storm was coming you wouldn't start praying and/or sacrificing to a god of the sea to stop the storm from coming. Why? Today we know what weather is and how it occurs. But in many polytheistic religions thousands of years ago they simply made up deities to be in charge of the things they didn't understand.
Saying the there is a supreme being is a cop-out to what we know we don't know. It doesn't mean we will never understand things that we currently do not. Besides, the story of Jesus isn't even original. There are strikingly similar stories in ancient Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere. The story of Jesus was simply the one told by the winners – and therefore writers – of history.
There's a storm coming? Quick! I need two goats and a serrated knife.
Besides, the story of Jesus isn't even original....
Tell that to a Christian, and they will ignore it.
They refuse to look up "Horus"
and all those who came before him.
Jesus is the one who "stuck" in history.
You will never change the minds of people who believe in talking shrubs and the words of men who never even walked the earth. Dumb people will fall for anything,that's how this junk has lasted for 2,000 years. Grow up already!
Dave, I'd rather be a person of faith than one without. Why would you want to take someone's faith away? There is more to life than some test tube or theories.
I want to take away all faith in things that do not exist. Possible benefits:
2. more free time for the real world
3. confiidence in your paradigm as an accurate representation of reality
4. avoiding passage of false teachings to one's students or children
I could go on an on. Ask yourself: why would I want to prevent anyone from believing in Dianetics? Orange pajama cults? A geocentric universe? Dragons and vampires? Boogeymen under the bed?
I'm just one guy and I don't claim to have better information than the next guy. In my reality, derived from everything I have observed, learned, experienced, rationalized, etc., there are no plausible explanations contained anywhere in any religious text that can be applied to the creation of the universe and the life forms that inhabit it. Saying "you have to have faith" just excuses you from having to counter a good explanation, or at least the most plausible one available via sound science. I have met other persons that I consider to be my intellectual superiors that support religious explanations and the only thing I can rationalize in response is a conscious or even subconscious need of these individuals for the comfort that a caring supreme being provides accompanied by the promise of some life after this. It is 100% unworkable in (my) reality. Whatever it is that others are seeing is lost to me. The Bible, to me, is at best a good collection of stores written by men and manipulated over time by those seeking to make the text conform to the times. The only benefit to humanity that is apparent are the guidlines for the treatment of other human being supplied for those who are seemingly unable to come up with them on their own using common sense. I wish I could grasp the reason for such a divide.
"...there are no plausible explanations contained anywhere in any religious text that can be applied to the creation of the universe and the life forms that inhabit it."
You might want to look at some publications at Reasons To Believe (www.reasons.org).
To you and Luis Wu – thank you – well said. I do not understand what appears to be a diminishing ability to apply logic to thought. That frightens me – especially if it is destined to be part of our "evolution."
Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Waaaaay to much fun!!!!! Bring it.
Again, basic 3rd grade english: TOO
Eat it Tinkerbell.
Sounds like a great idea for a new song:
"Do you know the way to much fun?"
I believe everyone telling Bill Nye that he is wrong must have more education and a far more superior intelligent.
You don't need a higher education to know that your iPhone was designed and made by someone, not by chance. How about a human being?
Awww how cute the watchmaker argument.
So keeeleee, does your iphone have DNA that is a combination of the DNA of two previous iphones that mated, and is therefore unique among all iphones? Is it's DNA subject to mutation? If not, you have no analogy.
I stand by my previous statement.
All religions are nothing more than ancient mythology, written thousands of years ago by members of primitive societies in an effort to explain existence and comfort people in the face of their mortality.
If you'd been born in India, you would argue just as strongly that Hinduism is the only true religion.
If you'd been born in China, you would argue just as strongly that Buddhism is the only true anser
If you were a South American Indian, you'd argue just as strongly for your tribal religion.
Which religion you subscribe to is based almost entirely on where you were born. Not on logic and reason and objectivity. You're indoctrinated into whichever religion practically from birth. It's drilled into by your parents and family and friends. Mom and Dad wouldn't lie to you so you accept it. That's how ancient myths are perpetuated.
People with a little higher intelligence can overcome the indoctrination by thinking about things logically and with objectivity, such as is provided in a scientific environment.
I participated in a study many years ago. A lot of questions were ask of 3 different groups: 1. Members of the general public. 2. Members of Mensa (people with IQ in the top 2%). 3. Members of Intertel (people with IQ's in the top 1%). They asked a lot of questions but one was: "Do you believe in a religion of any kind?" With members of the general public, 87% said yes. With Mensa members, 23% said yes. With members of Intertel, 2% said yes. The more intelligent you are the more likely you will see through ancient fairytales and look at reality in a scientific manner.
All athiests are nothing but a bunch of racists waiting to wipe out all non-whites from the face of the earth.
All very true. You can, however, still believe in a spiritual creative force, "God" if you will. Religions are constructs of the human mind, and are not necessary.
@ bronc – ouch! kinda sprained my brain trying to figure out where THAT comment came from!
In an interview, Albert EInstein was asked if he believed in God. He replied that he didn't believe in a "personal" god but in something more akin to "Spinoza's God". Baruch Spinoza was a 17th century philosopher that believed that there is a "life energy" that permeates the Universe and is in everything, including inanimate objects. And living things are "modes" of this energy. He didn't believe that it was intelligent, just an energy field that's everywhere. This kind of belief is similar to Pantheism and it makes a lot more sense than a 2000 – 5000 year old book of ancient mythology.
Luis, before Einstein there was Paracelsus and a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Obiwan Kenobi believed in THE FORCE. Same same.
The human mind is a highly evolved computer.
It has had some really bad downloads.
Perhaps you should let the scientists do the science writing. Like Bill pointed out, if you want to believe all of Earth's 10,000,000 species were knocked down to a single pair of each,and they all fit in a single boat a few thousand years ago, fine. If you believe the sea shells that make up the peak of Mt Everest's limestone were deposited by flood waters that magically vanished, great. If you think the universe revolves around the immovable pillar of Earth, have at it. But, when you are talking about scientific education, these ideas are not on equal ground with evolution, which has a mountainous fossil and geological record backing it up. There is also a matter of most of the comments not even understanding what the theory of evolution is. Evolutionary theory, tectonic theory, and big bang theory are not all the same thing, even though they share the common thread of aging the universe and our planet on a scale of billions of years, rather than the creationist thousands. Randomly picking, choosing, and interchanging which of these theories you wish to argue against is like trying to discuss the intricacies of a baseball game with people who randomly decide they are discussing hockey and soccer instead without letting anyone else know what sport they wish to discuss.
What Bill Nye said is correct. Evolution is the core of all life science. There isn't much to debate about anymore. The gray areas left are pushed so far back in time it doesn't really matter, at least as far as the creationist vs. evolution debate is concerned. Creation theory states that the Earth was made some 6000 years ago, at the same time as the universe, and that our species consisted of one man and one woman at that time. It also states that a few hundred years later, the populations of all species were cut down to a handful by a great flood of such magnitude that all the Earth was covered.
Evidence gathered can show that this is wrong on every single account. Genetics don't show any bottlenecks of that sort of magnitude possible only 6000 years ago, and the fossil record of anatomically modern humans stretches back much further than that. Well, that is if that radiometric (all forms, not just radiocarbon dating, which gets picked on because of contaminated samples) dating is to be believed. But, if we were wrong about how radioactivity works, there are hundreds of other things that wouldn't work that have never failed us. We know the Universe is older than 6000 years old because we can see light from more than 6000 light years away. Much, much more. We know that we didn't have an additional 30,000 feet of water on Earth 6000 years ago because there is no place for 30,000 feet of water covering the entire area of the Earth to go. We also know that you cannot fit 2 of all 10,000,000 species known to man on a bot of the dimensions described. Especially not if you need room to feed them and go to the bathroom. I'd also wonder how large predators like Trex got along with the cows, sheep, and other mammals that never could have survived along side such a dominating predator.
There is no logic in unobserved miracles. If you want your child to be logical, don't teach them creationism. It is simple. They might grasp some science in spite of those teachings, like I did, but it is confusing to tell them two completely opposing ideas and act like they are equally right. If you tell a kid one morning that God created the universe 6000 years ago, then later that night tell him the star in the sky is really a galaxy 2 million light years away, there is an obvious contradiction. You cannot logically teach both. If you want them to have a career pushing the boundaries of math and science, creationism just isn't the way to go.
(seriously, couldn't agree more)
Superbly well written. Thank you.
Very well said 🙂
Well OK! Very good. I do like Mr. Nye's bow tie, but after reading that, if mama kindless finds herself getting a dance with that cute Mr. Bill Nye and Steve here comes alone, I think she's gonna have to let him cut in.
Concise and irrefutable. No one has even tried. You really picked a handful of great examples.
You don't live in Texas do ya? No, those hillbillys would have hanged you by now for talk like that! HAHAHA Excellent writing Couldn't agree more. 🙂
I would like to think that the "Noahs Ark" story was most likely a collection of DNA samples.
But that would give some credence to the bible story.
The "core" of the bible seems to be the creation of man.
But no matter how i read it, it always comes back to DNA.
God created Adam first, but figured out he messed up and then
created Eve, from Adams rib.
Aliens tampered with Simien DNA mixed with Alien DNA and
created a species to serve them.
They then realised that this "Man" should be able to "procreate" on his own, rather
than the Aliens have to "manufacture" more, so they created "woman"
to perpetuate the species.
It wasnt until these two "paired" to create an offspring that "true" man was born.
This is no more "wild" than your "God" theory, and it makes more sense.
Of course in those early days, there where some deformities,
and you can also read about those, in your bible.
Fallen Gods and angels ?
The ScyFy channel could have written this.
Or Battlestar Gallactica.
Planet in trouble.
Elite space troops sent to nearby planet to mine gold to raise shield around dying planet.
Some stay on ship to monitor, others sent to dig.
Diggers revolt, and supreme council decides to alter local earth population by DNA
and create race to dig for them, and to grow food and serve the elite.
Some of the elite find "earth woman" desirable and mate with them
That leads to the outrage by those in control, that "man"
should be eradicated.
But who is "man" now ?
It is now an "intergrated" species.
It was then decided that "man" should live, but only those of "true" blood
And that people, is where we sit today.
Only those of true blood shall rule.
Now go back into your history lessons, and find out, who has ruled us,
and who still does.
I do not believe in God, gods or the supernatural. That is beyond the definition of atheism, a negative word created by theists to describe someone who has rejected their faith. I never had any faith so I am not an atheist.
Non-Believer or Non-Deist is probably a better word as it has none of the negative connotations that theists have built into the word atheist. Other words created by theists to describe people who differ from their belief system, athesit, agnostic, blasphemer, heretic, apostate...need I go on?
Theists began the bashing, theists continue the bashing, In America non-deists have the freedom of speech and therefore we are speaking. Get used to it. We are raising our kids not to believe in faerie tales too.
I find the whole Creationism thing to be incredibly ignorant and foolish. There are mountains upon mountains of evidence supporting evolution. There is no scientifically verifiable evidence of creationism.
Hey Buddy, I would stray away from saying that believing in something is ignorant or foolish without knowing the truth. While there is evidence, there is no fact.
That's like saying: I believe my shoes were made in Mexico. Evidence being that a lot of things are made in Mexico (cups, shirts, pants, tools)... It would be foolish for me to believe that they might have been made somewhere else. Why must people jump to critisim in debate? I suppose they feel it strengthens their argument, which definitely is not the case.
atheist is a perfectly good word that exactly describes something: theist=one who believes in a god. The prefix a- means not. Put the two together and you find: one who does not believe in a god. Enough said and not a whit too much.
Can you give me an example of where it is logical to believe in something that does not exist in our reality as far as we know?
Better question: if you think it is acceptable to believe in something without evidence, how do you know when to not believe in something? Do you not have to believe in an infinite number of gods then, all that have been or could ever be, even if only potentially?
The point that Bill is trying to make is that people shouldn't be afraid of science and truth. People should be taught to understand the true nature of the world around them, and if they wand to ignore truth and instead follow the stories taught to hem in some archaic book then that's their choice. Stop being cattle, folks. Take the blinders off and follow your own direction. By the way – I wasn't born a sinner and neither were any of you.
You are born a sinner, just ask your mom and dad.