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.
If conservatives have so little respect for science why should we assume they take any other facts seriously? Maybe they just make stuff up and expect the rest of us to believe it.
If conservatives have so little respect for Jesus.....
When they put "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the dollar bill,
they made it clear who they worship.
The all seeing eye, has nothing to do with god or jesus.
The scientific law of Entropy states nature moves from order to disorder.... The chances that all million or billion conditions it would take to create life from nothing came together in perfect harmony is so astronomical that to believe it would require an enormous amount of faith ;). Also, If the big bang created everything where did the 2 particles that collided come from? What were they floating in? what are the statistical chances they would collide while floating around an infinite universe of nothingness. Also What is nothing? What really is dark energy? It seems like science leaves a lot more questions than answers to me.
"The chances that all million or billion conditions it would take to create life from nothing came together in perfect harmony is so astronomical that to believe it would require an enormous amount of faith."
-Yes the chances ARE astronimcal, that's why it has only occured once to our knowledge in the entire universe, out of hundreds of billions of galaxies each of which contains hundreds of billions of stars, each potentially containing exo planets...I'd say we won the life lottery with those odds.
"Also, If the big bang created everything where did the 2 particles that collided come from? What were they floating in? what are the statistical chances they would collide while floating around an infinite universe of nothingness."
– First off whats harder to contemplate, 2 random particles just popping into existence, or a fully formed all knowing all seing god popped into existence? However, you should be referring to a singularity, and not two random particles.
"Also What is nothing? What really is dark energy?"
– There is no "nothing". Take some phsyics courses.
" It seems like science leaves a lot more questions than answers to me."
– EXACTLY. Science asks questions and doesn't just believe on blind faith (or because our parents told us it was so)
God just popped into existence and created everything else.
God always was
Incredible that America can go to Mars and still have half the country believe the world is flat. Thankfully we don't have republicans. I thank God for that!
This sums up the epistemological - and ILlogical aspects pretty perfectly. A comment from a believer: "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."
Interesting... "you either believe [...] or not" and then, "Truth is truth whether you believe it or not"... Hmmmm, to know the "truth", you have to have faith and BELIEVE it, and yet, the truth is the truth whether you believe it or not. So, how can one know a truth that apparently transcends belief and yet, apparently can only be known by belief? Folks, there IS a reason that reason and science are more reliable ways of knowing truth than faith and belief... they make more sense!
There is a lot of ignorance in the world. People who raise their children based on a book written thousands of years ago are fools raising fools.
I guess that the science books that are being written today should not be believed 2,000 thousand years from now. Science is about science and it can stand on its own merits. Faith can stand along with it. They do not need to be reconciled on paper. Let those who believe reconcile it the best they can...or ignore one or the other. I will let them stand side by side for me.
I believe the religious debate is why the United States has fallen so far behind the rest of the world. It is a vicious cycle – because a large portion of the population is (to put it bluntly) not intelligent enough to fully understand the science, they believe a much more primitive approach that is an all encompassing one-stop-shop for all that was or ever will be. The easier the answer, the less liekly they are to seek out the real truth because it's too hard to understand. The simple facts are these: YES something CAN actually come from nothing. "Gods" were created by human beings to account for the things they did not fully understand. The earth is not special – if you think this, do some research on how many planets and stars there are in the universe and see how insignificant this rock actually is. What makes the christian God the one true God? There are older, more robust religions which many of the more popular religions have stolen from over the years. The bible was written YEARS after the events it describes. We can't even keep anything straight in the digital age with recorded audio and video. People embelish. People lie for personal gain. It happens. We don't need religion as a morality barometer – we have plain ole morality for that... dont hurt me because I dont really appreciate it, and i certainly won't hurt you because I'm sure you won't like it either. Where is religion in that?
What is harder to imagine, a fully formed, all knowing, all seeing omnipotent God just came into existence on another plane of reality we are not privy too, and formed the universe and all of its contents including millions of billions of planets (also out of nothing I might add) and take a full 6 days to create just 2 humans, a garden and a snake. Was he tired at this point after the countless other galaxies and solar systems? OR that at some point there was a big bang and over billions of years a very slow process of expansion and cooling and random events taken over an enormous timeline all added together got what we see today.
Unfortunately these lower IQ religious people don't believe in birth control and will eventually breed out all of the intelligence by having significantly more babies than educated people,,, oh snap, that's evolution!
Your particular views on evolution are not a matter of salvation, but If you can skew the bible enough to justify macro evolution, then I doubt you will interpret it well enough to obtain salvation. PP
The person who brings Hitler into the discussion has lost.
because you say so?
Lol...agreed. Notice it's always the Christian who doesn't realize Adolph was a good little Catholic boy who grew up to do the good work of the church?
Why would you tell your children to believe in something you can't empirically prove is true? You're cheating them and doing a poor job of preparing them for reality. Be responsible parents.
They believe that with enough people with the same IQ as them, people would stop calling them stupid, since they are the average.
The carnal mind is emnity with God, faith is in the heart, every human being has enough faith to obtain salvation, but some have chosen to believe phiilosophy,biology, ect, over theology. You have faith just not in the right thing. Its called faith for a reason, anyone can believe what they see with their eyes and hear with their ears, it takes faith to believe what you cannot see. PP
I do not think I could sit down with a 7 year old and PROVE that quarks exist. I believe they do, and have some idea of their role in physics. Its not like I could take them to a museum and show them samples they could touch. Its the same with God. I believe God exists and have some idea of His role in our salvation. The best I can do is to expose a 7 year old to other believers and see how he/she accepts it.
The Big Bang and Evolution are proven and the Catholic Church agrees with that. The evidence is irrefutable. Check out the Pontifical Academy of Science web site (www.pas.va).
Muslims were the TOP scientists investors etc etc etc UNTIL RELIGION interfered. Neil DeGrasse Tyson will explain this to u. Bill Nye is fearful the religious nutcases are going to cause this to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. if the NEW Radical GOP gets there way this will be the Theocratic States of America. Oppressing women, science education and common sense.
" The existence of God is based on faith, not evidence"
Thats because it's hog wash.
I believe in creation. I do not believe the world is only 6,000 years old. A 24 hour "day" is unique to the Earth and to humans. I believe each Biblical creative "day" refers to an undisclosed period of time – millions of years even. I do not believe a creative day to be a 24 hour period anymore than I believe someone is referring to a literal 24 hour day when he/she uses the expression, "Back in my grandfather's day..."
I am curious to know if Bill Nye is so adamant/presumptuous to say that life on Earth as we know it is the only life in the Universe. If a teacher were to say to his students that he believes that there exists other forms of extraterrestrial life, would Bill Nye – and the other commenters here – be so quick to condemn this teacher as corrupting the minds of our youth, or as having a "childish"/uneducated mind? Why is it so unacceptable to say that you believe one of these other beings has the intelligence and power to create this Earth and all life on it?
The existance of a god is based on faith, not evidence. Schools don't teach religion because who's religion would they teach? No matter what they chose it would not be fair to some other group so better to stay out of that relm. Schools teach science. Science is about things you can actually see and test. I doubt anyone on this list would actually say that he had seen and interacted literally with God. In other words, the existance of God can't be proven in ways we normally think of as proof. That doesn't mean there is no god – we don't really know. However, creationism is based on the assumption that a god exists. Therefore, it's not science. There is a lot of scientific observable evidence for evolution – it's not just a minor theory. The observable evidence is in the form of changed life forms and life forms that no longer exist. There can't be any scientific evidence for creationism because it's all based on a belief system. People can have any belief system they want but creationism shouldn't be taught in science classes because it's NOT science. It's not the job of schools to promote your religion – that's the job of parents. (I'm a teacher and it seems to me too many parents want us to do their parenting along with teaching our subjects, but that's another rant.) As a math teacher I see nothing logical about religion – it makes no sense to me at all. However, if you want to believe it, go ahead. Fo all I know, creationism and evolution may both be wrong. The fact that there are a lot of religious scientists must mean, on some level, religion and evolution can coexist. Why is this such a big deal? If you want to learn about religion go to church. If you want to know what SCIENTISTS think about human development, take a biology class. Logically, kids should be exposed to evolution at school and whatever religion the parents want at home Actually it would be even better to expose the kid to a variety of religions. The more the better. Then let the kid decide what he/she wants to believe. What I object to is people who think everyone must believe what they believe. People should think for themselves.
it was 100% based on FACT until science put a HALT to that. how many human beings died at the hands of the roman catholic church to oppress this?
every time science proves religious fairy tales to be WRONG u change what the good book says or twist it to something else. intelligent design i s a fine example of NUTTY... then there is the Gay Marriage thing... no bible says anythign about it but MAN says it does. mr jesus didnt preach hate yet u all r full of hate.
CNN's summary: 1 quote from an atheist, 3 quotes from theist-evolutionists, 4 quotes from young-Earth creationists and 1 critique of CNN. I've yet to see a debate on this subject where the playing field is level.
u cant have a level playing field when nutcases bring fairy tales to the argument.
Why do you creationists believe the Earth is a sphere? Have you gone up into space yourself and looked back at the Earth or are you actually taking the word of those evil scientists who have done so or of the obviously Satanic satellite pictures? Your bronze age text says the Earth is a circle flat disc so there must be an evil atheist conspiracy afoot trying to fool True Christians®.
The Bible describes the earth as an "orb". Inferring not a 2 dimension plate but a true sphere.
"Circle flat disc" (sic)?
Your poor grammar aside, nowhere in the Bible does it say that the planet is a circular flat disc.
Another example of someone who has never read the Bible trying to tell people what it says.
And they accuse Christians of being idiots! They need to check that guy out.
"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (From the NIV Bible, Isaiah 40:22)"
So we are able to get God to wait at the edges of the circle to transport the aircraft to the other side. Which is essentially Man getting God to do Man's bidding, moving us from one side of the circle to the other when 'we' want.
Luke, are you aware that the founding fathers were NOT Christians but deists. And America has prospered because of FREEDOM, separation from warring European nations and a treasure trove of natural resources.
God did not invent the cotton gin, or railroads or airplanes. Men did that using science.
The concept that the founding fathers were not Christians is a recent one and revisionist at that.
The vast majority of them were church members. Go ahead and check it out.
You mention the cotton gin as a product of science. That's amusing considering the origin of the
cotton gin. You might want to reread how it was invented.
What are you babbling about?
in this case @Fred is correct. The founding fathers lived in colonies which had established churches – meaning you could not vote or own land unless you were a member of THE official church of the colony.
Some of them did not believe this way and were, as you state deists, particularly people like Jefferson and Madison.
What is truly remarkable about the founders is that despite being from a culture with ZERO separation of church and state, they created a new country – not only with freedom of religion, but with NO requirement for ANY religious expression.
What a brilliant idea!
When you deny evolution, you deny all science. Thanks to the creationist knuckle draggers, their illegitimate home-schooling efforts that have pushed the United States off its pedestal as the leader of science and technology in the free world.
Truly! Home schooling makes me very nervous. Many children may only be learning what their parents wish them to know, and probably leave out stuff they themselves do not agree with. I feel bad for the kids these days, because when they grow up, they will be far behind their peers in other nations.
When God and prayer were in schools, we were number one in everything worth having.
Now? Aren't we something like number 25? Good work, atheists. The nation is going downhill
fast just like you wanted.
100% spot on. when religioin interferes with facts u get what happened to Muslims... #1 #2 #3 top scientists to #100 or worse.
This is a FREE country as long as u r a christian.
If you believe in Creationism then you are a "the earth is flat" type of person, and many years from now people will look back and say "wow, people used to actually believe that?"
You either believe in Creationism, OR you believe in Science, there's no middle ground. If think you believe in both then you are only fooling yourself. Believing in Creationism means believing in something that has absolutely no scientific basis or evidence to support it...
there are so many holes in evolution and big bang, to deny that is like saying the earth is flat
I agree with you but want to correct you from using the creationists word of "believe". When speaking of science the word is "accept" as in one accepts evidence of 200 years of undisputed evidence. One believes in magic, fairies, gods, ghosts, etc. Facts are things one accepts.
Luke, there really aren't holes in evolution. Evulution is simply change in genetic makeup over time. It has nothing to do with how The Earth began or how things got here. It doesn't mean people came from monkeys either. It means that things adapt to their environment over several generations and the frequency of certain genes in a gene pool changes.
I was once told by science that there were 9 planets. Now... 8. When Science cannot get something as simple as this right, you must understand, thus defer to, the continued belief in something that has not been proven incorrect.
Just because people who don't want you to believe in evolution say there are lots of holes in the theory of evolution, doesn't mean there are lots of holes in the theory of evolution.
Luke is 100% correct. There are so many holes in the THEORY of evolution that I'm surprised that people are
willing to defend it to their last breath. The theory has been modified and changed a lot over the years in attempts
to cover all the bases and all of the corner cases. There have been plenty of non-Christian scientists who have
questioned the validity of evolution of species, but the defenders of the evolutionary faith tend to shout them down.
You say there are holes in evolution, what exactly are these holes? Which non-Christian scientists have questioned evolution? Do you even know what evolution is? It isn't the creation of a new species. That is speciation. Evolution is a change in the frequency of certain genes in a gene pool over time. That is it.
This weekend I was in D.C. and visited the Natural History Museum with has a whole section on evolution. To say the least, it was sickening to see that our national stance and all the funding of science goes to showing people how they are derived from monkeys. Irronically, I visited the Holocaust museam next and got a real display of what humans do when they think they are derived from animals. Among many other atrocities, there was a video tape of a buldozer pushing thousands of rotting bodies into a pit. Hey, in an evolution world, what was wrong with what Hitlet did. In fact, under the evolution mindset,one could argue that Hitler was doing a great service for the human race by getting rid of a all sick and crippled. This is sad becuase morality is optional under an evolution mindset, and histroy teaches us that when morality is optional, the end result is a lot of blood. If Hitler was made in the image of a monkey, he did no wrong. However, if Hitler was made in the immage of God, he did great wrong and will recieve justice before almighty God.
Evolution is never about what human think, it about the body adapting to the environment. What Hitler did was in the name of Christianity, not evolution. Hitler didn't feed or help those people, because they were Jew. Hitler believe that the white Aryan should control the world, because they were the image of God, white, blond and blue eye(the image of Jesus or Christianity version of it.)
Hitler was a staunch evolutionist.....
Excellent comments Luke.
HIlter bless his solider with a Christianity's priest. He better he is a better people, because god told him, not because they were the super solider of all human.
Did you next visit your Catholic church and get sickened byt the tens of thousands of children your priests have raped and the genocide of millions and the burning of thousands claiming they were witches?
HIlter bless his solider with a Christianity's priest. He *believe his people were the better race, because god told him, not because they were the super solider of all human.
Now reallly. Taking the position that if you believe in evolution then you are like Hitler is the kind of logic that makes creationists look like idiots. Let's suppose the statement "If you are Hitler, then you are an atheist" is true. That does not mean the statement "If you are an atheist, then you are Hitler," is also true. That's a common error of logic. Being inflamatory gets you attention, but not the kind you want.
If we were created in gods image, why aren't we invisible?
Q. What religions were the good Germans who carried out the orders of Hilter (born a Catholic by the way, and used religion in his speeches)?
A. Lutherans and Germans
Ooops – "Catholics" not "Germans"
I hit post too quickly.
What you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Science flies planes, religion flies plans into buildings...
tell that to George Washington
Couldn't have said it any better.
Religion is the reason for the hate, NOT the answer.
So Luke, by your logic we should just say "Aw fuk it, George wouldn't agree" and just wallow in ignorance.
Science invents atomic weapons and was responsible for lovely things like bleeding people to heal them.
Have an idea of your heritiage and where you came from. If you turn your back on the fathers that founded this great nation, dont expect the prosperity to continue
Science builds nukes. Bombs, guns. What's your point?
If you want to lump Christians in the same bunch with Islamic terrorists, no amount of sanity or reasoning will stop you.
But, since you want to play that game, how about the bad things that have been done in the name of science?
Things like exposing innocent and unknowing people to diseases and radiation just for the sake of research.
By your twisted logic, that means science must be banned! Guess it's time for you to rethink your position.
@Fred...one of the worst things science has produced is to allow frothing at the mouth Taliban Christians such as yourself the luxury of sitting in your air conditioned trailor, log onto the Internet and spew your extreme ignorance to the entire world for all to see your breath taking stupidity. Are you wearing your suicide vest right now and ready to meet your 17 virgins?
Must be tough for a grade school dropout such as yourself to hold your own in a discussion with the adults.
Logic and reason is wasted on a mouth breather such as yourself. You've bought into the evolution lie for so long
that you wouldn't know the truth if it walked into your parents basement where you live and sat down next to you.