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. monbois

    Belief in a single god today is no different than belief in several gods 1,500 years ago. People eventually realizes how silly it was and one day people will realize how silly it is to believe in any omnipotent being. What I find incredible is that any god would even need me to worship him (or her). Why? Does "God" have such an over-weaning ego that "He" needs me to kneel before "Him"? I've explored much of Christianity and some of the others, and in the end I've come to the conclusion that all religion is hokum, and the most devout are delusional. Not knowing why someone gets better from a disease isn't a "miracle" because there's a scientific reason that person got better, it's just that no one know what the reason is because it wasn't detected or wasn't detectable with today's scientific instruments. Religion breeds and justifies prejudice and promotes ignorance. Why anyone would want any part of it is beyond me.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • BubbaGump

      the Atheistic nations of nazi germany and the soviet union (just to mention a few) murdered millions of people in the name non-belief...so tell me again, who holds the delusion cards?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Anom

      BubbaGump has gone full-retard. Never go full-retard.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  2. Bob

    I think it is time we all realize who the one true God is and be embraced by His noodly appendages. Remember, in His heaven, there is a beer volcano. Pastafarian for life!


    August 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • sam


      August 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  3. Howdydoody

    Didn't Kurt Cameron prove that God created man because our hands are shaped to hold a banana? That can't be a random coincidence can it?

    There's a difference between faith and blind faith. Faith in the Bible or Koran or Torah require blind faith as the events in those books is only corroborated BY those books. Look at it this way. If in a thousand years, the only book to exist and people could read, was the Lord of the Rings books, there would be people that thought that's how the world was in 2012.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Just like that Star Trek episode with the gangsters...

      August 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  4. BubbaGump

    what an unfortunate waste of time, energy and resources (including my foolish investment of time and energy to read this article and post this comment)...debating the basis of one's belief (i.e., did God create humans, or everything to the believer) is like asking the scorpion and the rattle snake to play nice...enough with the foolish debate, either you believe or you do not believe; period. beyond that, while believers are concerned for non-believers, only God cares.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Howdydoody

      The reason it is a hot topic is because one group (science belivers) don't want the other group (religious fundies) to keep spewing religious beliefs as facts. The Fact that science has proven that the Earth and universe is BILLIONS of years old doesn't stop religious fundies from thinking it's only 6,000 years old because a book says so.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • BubbaGump

      Howdydoody...you should, at a minimum, be intellectually honest enough to admit the connection between primordial soup and its evolution into humans is theory, at best...creationism and evolution both require an extraordinary amount of faith

      August 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  5. I love science

    "Thanks Bill ... but leave the teaching of my children to me. ..." This concerns me more than anything else in this entire discussion. Please teach your children the truth and only the truth, not your perceived truth. Teach them what science has proven and no more. Answer them with "I don't know" at the appropriate time and don't pretend you know more about the afterlife or faith then any other human being that has ever lived because that's not true. Let children discovery the world for themselves with the aid of proven science, they can fill in the gaps as required, they will be OK. The dark cloud of the middle ages once again is knocking, next comes the rack and iron maiden.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      "Let children discovery (sic) the world for themselves with the aid of proven science." Your words come close to echoing the philosophy of education of the Pythagoreans, a community of scholars, both male and female, about 25 centuries ago. They believed that education was a learning process in which the educator served as guide. Unfortunately, education became a teaching process in which the needs, interests and abilities of the individual students are mostly ignored and neglected. In English class, most students learn to loathe reading and writing, and especially poetry (which most young children enjoy). In gym class, they are embarrassed and build a life-long aversion to exercise and physical fitness. In math class they learn to fear and avoid numbers. If this view od the education system is even partly correct, a numerous reports suggest it is, is ther perhaps something wrong with the overall philosophy.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  6. Grady L. Gentry

    How did Bill Nye get here? Didn't Mommy and Daddy create him? Who should have the final say about who teaches Bill Nye? His creators that made him or the society that doesn't know Bill Nye? Whatever Bill Nye creates should be run by me first or should Bill Nye be free to create. Why Bill Nye created this statement? Is he mimicking the one who created him? Don't create Bill just put your fingers next to the computer and let your work evolve.

    August 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  7. prince waryor

    creationism is just a vehicle for white supremacy. explain to me how black Africans, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Mongols and blue eyed blonds descended from a Jewish Adam and Eve?

    August 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Duck Dodgers

      Adam and Eve?

      Incest and climate ?

      August 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  8. PRISM 1234

    Man's knowledge profits some, but it puffes up those who pursue it in thinking to gain answers to questions to life's deepo mysteries... But to know God our Creator through His Son Jesus Christ, is THE GREATEST KNOWLEDGE OF ALL!

    August 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • sam

      Same thing you always post, no matter the topic.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      You follish man! The same One and only God, the Creator of all things IS the REAL topic, because ALL THINGS point to Him. But you can not understand that, because part of you that was meant to understand IS DEAD. Thats' why you see it the way you do!

      August 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Duck Dodgers

      God Bot.
      Must delete bad programming.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  9. Mike R from Tampa

    Athiests are like disappointed children that find out Santa clause isn't a living, breathing person. Religion (whether you believe in creationism or not) is meant to establish guidelines to bring in order and civility to society, rules in which everyone can agree on. To completly dismiss the Bible (or any sacred books of wisdom), just because you don't believe in a giant person on a throne in deep space, is just plane stupid because you are missing the original point of these texts that has survived through oral history by countless generations of our mysterious past. I believe the definition of God is as different to each person as there are as many people in the world when it come to the details of what is literal and what is symbolic. God isn't ever a single living person, I believe god is a collective conscious of every human in the world. Wars on religions and atheism is just tearing our world and minds apart from what we can agree on what is good and positive for you everyone on Earth. What isn't good for the world is not good for the country, which wouldn't be good for politics and religion for each and every citizen. What is sad is that the true devils of the world, certain hidden societies, encourage this war for selfish gain. Its up to us and god to help each other out. God bless this planet before we foolishly destroy ourselves!

    August 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  10. Interested In Your Opinion!

    I thought Tony Montana's opinion was of particular interest: "even if ET did what made ET?" How insightful... NOT. I also thought #3. was of particular interest:

    "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."

    Call me crazy but to believe that the earth is younger than human history alone doesn't make any sense at all...

    I created a Yak for anyone interested in discussing this issue in real time. Would love to hear all sides of the argument! http://www.yakka.im/yak/5-reactions-to-bill-nye-s-creationism-critique

    August 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  11. mmaxum2002

    splovengates, you as have many creationists, overlooked the scientific geological record that there was no flood.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  12. John Goettsche

    Bill Nye the science guy...not surprising he sides with science. I wish the religious zealots would tone down their agenda and stick to their religion and stay out of science and other people's faiths.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  13. sanjosemike

    Even though I am an atheist, I cannot "use" the excuse that god doesn't exist because of evolution. It is highly likely that a god or "supreme being" would USE evolution to create intelligent life. It's like setting the stage: Mutations occur after exposure to radiation and other "irritations." Comets strike planets periodically and cause mass extinctions, which might be designed to spur or give intelligent life an opportunity to take hold.

    I cannot understand why Christian churches are against evolution. They could be teaching it as proof that god exists. They should embrace it.


    August 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  14. mark

    If the above responses aren't an indication of the wave of ignorance and 'selective truthiness' that is washing over this country perpetrated by the religious psychos, I don;t know what is.
    This country is truly screwed if these people get any more plentiful.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • theoldfool1950

      Count on it, brother. You cannot escape it on the left or the right.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  15. 2/8

    Typical American arrogance. "Y'all" always seem to have an answer for everything, and you guys constantly have to stomp on other people's belief system. Give it a rest guys. Sure we probably did evolve from monkeys (some of us have a lot more evolving to do), and yes, we need science. But no, I don't believe anybody has 100% confirmation of where we came from or even why we're here, and anyone who says they do know, really needs to get off their high horse and join the rest of us down here. BOTH sides of argument.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • mark

      Only problem is2/8, that people are using FAITH instead of FACTS to base their arguments on. FAITH has NOTHING to do with FACTS. Science is purely FACT. Religion is purely FAITH. The two are mutually exclusive.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Duck Dodgers

      One side of that argument is going to use that book
      to shove laws down peoples throats.

      I for one dont want anything to do with that kind of Theocracy.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  16. RDM

    Interesting how the religous find no difficulty in believing that some super being just appeared out of nowhere and created the entire complex universe out of nothing (not even thin air) in just 6 days; and then they belittle the science of evolution as some kind of fantasy! I personally think those who cling so hard to 'faith' as a way find explanatins of the way the world works just have difficulty with basic reasoning, or perhaps are just too lazy to go to the effort of understanding science.

    Of course the nice thing about faith-based thinking is you can make up anything you want, so I can sort of see the appeal. But I prefer reality.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  17. James

    People are responsible for both god and science; at least there's proof of evolution...

    August 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • N_L

      What proof?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Jon

      Uh...how about the fossil record?

      August 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Mop


      People are responsible for both god and science; at least there's proof of evolution...

      I am not so sure.
      Have you listened to Republicans lately ?

      August 29, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  18. Dave

    You left out all the words that get you flagged. I would tell you what they are but then you wouldn't get this message. You can guess what they are.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Gary

      Man has lived on this planet for 100,000 yrs give or take a thousand. So did your god watch over this planet while we cannabalized, maimed, tortured each other with his arms crossed for 98,000 yrs and THEN decide to intervene in the middle east where illiterate, simple minded people lived to spread the word of god through a savior? Please.....not so long ago the earth was flat, the universe revolved around us and now we have this boogey man watching every move 24/7 yet somehow cant manage money. Pass the collection basket this way.... I suggest a good dose of Christopher Hitchens...

      August 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  19. Mayla

    When testing a theory or hypothesis you need two things, a variable and a control. What creationists are doing is trying to use the variable (the unproven) as the control, and control (the proven) as the variable. This way they can dismiss all of science because it can't be proven by the bible, the church, by faith etc, which then becomes the control.

    ALSO, if Christian/Catholic creationists want their ideas to be accepted by the scientific community, up to and including their 'formula' for proving their god exists, then what is to prevent other religions from applying the same weak and baseless formulas to prove THEIR god exists? If religion A's god is the "One True God" and religion B uses the same formula and proves THEIR god is the "One True God" then we will have an enormous amount of unrest throughout the world. If you think now is bad.................

    August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  20. Jason

    Intelligent Design is a viable option for the teaching of creation of the universe. Not only have peer-reviewed journals been released, books on the subject have been printed by well respected scientists (Signature In The Cell – Stephen Meyer). I can see evolution within a species, however I do not believe that I have the very same ancestors as a fruit fly.

    Intelligent design, not creationism, should be taught in schools. Students should have the option. Darwin himself said that if a organism could be found with no previous fossil record or mutations, his theory falls apart. Well, that happened (look up the Cambrian Explosion).

    Intelligent Design is not religion, it is science and its research is growing.

    August 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • jungleboo


      August 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You could not be more wrong. ID is a conclusion as it has no hypothesis to test. Evolution is proved over and over and over in hundreds of labs around the globe every minute of every day. Not only do we have excellent fossil records that prove the theory, but now we have the incredible science of genetics. Educate yourself and stop believing stupid fairy tales.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • saggyroy

      Intelligent design is just creationism in disguise. A bad disguise. Meyer is a philosopher of science, not a scientist.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • johannflobberschnoggit

      Intelligent design is nothing even close to science. It's steeped in religion. It's a wolf in sheep's clothing. The courts weren't fooled in Kitzmiller vs. Dover and neither am I.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Mayla

      Define the term "Intelligent."

      August 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Tony B

      Sorry Jason – that is totally untrue. Creationism – I hate the phrase Intelligent Design as it is deliberate attempt to add legitimacy – may have a couple of scientists who advocate it however their work have never been peer-reviewed and accepted.
      Creationism can be taught in school, though in a religious lesson not a science one. It is a religion.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Paul K

      How do you distinguish between intelligent design and random design?

      August 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • czeh

      Intelligent Design is pseudo science. It starts off by stating what the "Scientist" wants to find...dogma... then goes on a hunt to find tidbits and distorts facts to try and make it prove his "Hypothesis".

      "Intelligent Design creationism is all about hiding Jesus under a blanket of pseudoscience and smuggling him into the public schools. Nothing more, nothing less. " -PZ Myers

      August 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • QS

      The only way I would agree that any of these religious themes and notions should be taught in school, is if they are taught as part of a fiction course.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • TheChosenJuan

      I think you need a more thorough education on basic science if you think ID is an equal alternative to it. Intelligent Design is NOT science. I repeat it's NOT SCIENCE. Will never be science no matter how many times you repeat it to yourself or pray that it will be.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • mark

      And YOU are why athiests (or at least THIS athiest) hate religion and it's followers. Your truth is a fairy tale. Sciences truth is proven. Give it up you psycho.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Ray

      You know. Here in Louisiana they try to sling that B.S. that "Intelligent Design" is not "Creationism". That's a load of crap. Both start with God. I have faith in a god but I believe in evolution because I have seen the evidence. The Cambrian Explosion does not disprove the Theory of Evolution. It was the rapid evolution of many organisms filling various niches over a time span of several million years (which is rapid on the geological time scale.)

      August 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • sharoom

      No, that was not what Darwin said. These were his exact words: "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case." He was talking about the parts (organs) that make up the whole (organism). And to this day, scientists are still looking for any exceptions to what Darwin said, but there are no such cases.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • JmboK

      If you think the "Cambrian Explosion" somehow A) Refutes evolution, and B) Has no antecedent fossils in the Pre-Cambrian, then you don't know what you are talking about.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • saggyroy

      @JmboK ...oh never mind, I thought you said "Kirk Cameron Explosion". Carry on.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • EX - PRIEST.

      As an EX man of the cloth, and as a teacher of Geology.

      My take on Intelligent design is, IT IS NOT ...(intelligent). God is present in everything, including Science, the Earth is NOT 6 or 10.000 years old, and whoever claims that by reading from the Bible, has not and cannot understand the teachings of such a Holly book nor the lessons entailed within.

      " ...for truly blind is he who does not want to see."

      August 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Mop

      Intelligent Design is when you look into a telescope and see god looking back.
      Hasnt happened yet.
      All i see are stars.

      August 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37
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.