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.
I hope Curiosity finds some bones on Mars. The skull wearing a Green Bay Packers cap and the hand clutching a football. What a touchdown, on Mars, no less! The Bible will be re-written.
Jesus was a star football player in the Mars Super bowl didn't cha know.
As soon as it becomes (and it's coming) socially advantageous to accept science instead of creationism where people will feel like they are part of the norm instead of part of the minority. People especially Americans are sheep. Once it HELPS your ability to make money, marry, and be successful to accept science instead of religion the sheep Christians will have a mass exodus.
Science is a religion just like any other and in fact behaves more like a cult. The Christians would just be trading one religion for another.
Scientists might pray over their experiments, but they don't pray to their experiments. Very flawed tu quoque fallacy here...
Who said that you had to have prayer to be a religion? Scientists view science as the ultimate truth so it is a religion.
Creationists always want proof. Look around you. Black, Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian. The race you are is the result of evolution.
Or do you think Adam and Eve were somehow the amalgamation of all of the above and somehow different kids went different ways with different crayola color skins.
The reason you don't see new evolution, a common argument, is because evolution requires a segregated gene pool to thrive because genetic mutations which increase the risk of survival make it through breeding.
A) we are now a global society, in order for evolution to happen it needs to happen on a fairly global scale. We are no longer separated by geological landmarks (mountains, oceans, lakes, or distance in general).
B) You want an easy picture of evolution at work. Look at a black and white parent who have a mulatto child. Most likely the next leap in evolution will be at the point where we interbreed to the point of a single mixed race millions of years from now.
C) Natural selection no longer happens. Sick baby, no problem we fix it. Healthy folks, killed in car crashes before breeding. There is no longer survival of the fittest for most of the human race. We try to slow/stop evolution by taking care of each other and using technology to keep us all alive. The weak no longer die off prior to breeding.
In fact look around you normally it's the dumbest of us that reproduces the most. Watch the movie Idiocracy, it's not the best work of fiction, but it illustrates the fact that the more intelligent folks who refrain from having tons of kids are breeding themselves out of existence because we're being outdone by people who can't hold a job but breed like rabbits. There should be an IQ test to be eligible to have children.
There is a correlation between standard of living and a reduced number of children. For those societies with an interest in consumer goods, they tend to both delay creating a family and having fewer children.
Also, with more affluent families, there is less need to create many children to support the parents in their old age.
The lowest birthrate is seen in the most affluent countries, and the differences within each country reflect the relative wealth of families as well. Differing birth rates cannot be explained simply, however, as many factors can contribute to birthrate, and there are many families that do not fall under a broad statistical distribution, being outliers which are exceptions to the average. Laymen uneducated in statistical analysis usually focus on these exceptions to disprove the statistical distributions, and news media focus on the outliers as well, such as the infamous octo-mom.
I cannot agree with many of your claims, and I'm pretty sure they only add to the confusion among people who don't understand evolution.
Those who "who believe the Earth is about 6,000 years old" continue to amaze me. To be that willfully ignorant is an impressive feat. It is scary to think that people like that walk among us, work along side us, vote in the same elections. Even scarier: 4 out of every 10 people are just like them.
It's very simple so I will try to connect the dots for you. We can count the number of generations back from Jesus to creation using the Bible. It comes out to be about 6000 years old, and that is even accounting for the fact that people used to liver much longer than they do now.
"Members of the earth's earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth.
According to recently excavated clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, thousands of Sumerians—the first humans to establish systems of writing, agriculture, and government—were working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.
"I do not understand," reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. "A booming voice is saying, 'Let there be light,' but there is already light. It is saying, 'Let the earth bring forth grass,' but I am already standing on grass."
"Everything is here already," the pictograph continues. "We do not need more stars."
Historians believe that, immediately following the biblical event, Sumerian witnesses returned to the city of Eridu, a bustling metropolis built 1,500 years before God called for the appearance of dry land, to discuss the new development. According to records, Sumerian farmers, priests, and civic administrators were not only befuddled, but also took issue with the face of God moving across the water, saying that He scared away those who were traveling to Mesopotamia to participate in their vast and intricate trade system.
Moreover, the Sumerians were taken aback by the creation of the same animals and herb-yielding seeds that they had been domesticating and cultivating for hundreds of generations.
"The Sumerian people must have found God's making of heaven and earth in the middle of their well-established society to be more of an annoyance than anything else," said Paul Helund, ancient history professor at Cornell University. "If what the pictographs indicate are true, His loud voice interrupted their ancient prayer rituals for an entire week."
According to the cuneiform tablets, Sumerians found God's most puzzling act to be the creation from dust of the first two human beings.
"These two people made in his image do not know how to communicate, lack skills in both mathematics and farming, and have the intellectual capacity of an infant," one Sumerian philosopher wrote. "They must be the creation of a complete idiot." –The Onion
Frayed knot, so you are saying god created adam and eve but the sumerians were already there?? If that is true he must have created them first. Plus even if the account you are speaking of is accurate, it sort of proves that the earth was there before that supposed seven day long creation event. Think about it
From two geniuses, Michelangelo and Darwin, to.... Bill Nye? Now, that's de-evolution for you!
You don't need to be a genius to recognize proof vs storytelling. What's more likely...Mary was impregnated by god and gave birth having never had intercourse or.......Mary cheated on her husband and had to explain her pregnancy to him so she made up a grandiose story like god put the baby there? I'm going with adultery over omnipotent god baby. Besides, why exactly does an omnipotent being need to murder his own son to allow us into heaven? Why exactly does a loving god turn Lott's wife into a pillar of salt for looking back at her burning home? Why exactly is everything good attributed to god and everything bad is the work of satan when satan is not omnipotent but god is? Please dear christians, feed me your nonsense...
Eric Marrapodi,, and the other writers on the belief blog, seriously underestimates how many Atheists there are. Atheism is growing far faster than any Religion has grown in American history. Many Atheists such as me are falsely recorded in census reports as having the religion our parents had, since we do not always update or change that info.
There are far more atheists out there then it first appears, and they are growing in numbers far faster than these blog writers realize.
It is comical to watch these theology twits jump through hoops in their delusions to try and support their position, that is baseless and without any anchoring in reality. theology is the past time of a lunatic mind.
The United States is the only jurisdiction wherein a law was put forward making Pi equal to 3 because that was the value of Pi as derived from the bible.
No matter how many preachers I talk to or how many religious web sites I read, I just can't understand evolution.
(anyone see the problem here?)
Ya I do... you are dumb
I had a thought about this a few months back and then it came to me. if we evolved from primates.....then Why are there still primates around?
Primates and humans evolved from a common ancestor, get it?
Not only is that not your original thought, it has been addressed a few million times already – and that's just here on this blog.
I understand that but why would only that primate evolve yet no other primate?
We didn't evolve from primates we evolved from a common ancestor. that split into us and primates long long long ago.
This level of ignorance is shocking, this is something elementary students should already know.
Evolution does not dictate that for a species to evolve from another, it must replace the former. Evolution states that in some cases, when a subset of an original group gets separated from the rest of the species, and the surrounding environment of said group changes dramatically, over time significant changes on this new group might occur.
Just google for an evolutionary tree of prikmates, like the one below:
Ryan you seriously need to pick up a book on evolution such as Richard Dawkins " the greatest show on earth".
there are many types of primate now all evolving from a common ancestor. there are many creatures in the past that have evolved into the creatures we see today. It was not just our ancestor who evolved, but also many others, and many many others went extinct.
Pick up a book and study, these questions are things you should learn at school.
That's one of those questions that is hard to answer because it is filled with so many misconceptions. First, no one primate (or any other organism) evolves. Evolutionary change occurs at the population level. Second, all lines of primates have evolved – some into the ancestors of the primate species that we know today, others into extinct lineages, others into ancestors in the line that led to humans.
Try to think of it this way: many Americans came from European ancestors, but it doesn't make sense to ask why there are still Europeans, and it would be just as silly to ask why all Europeans didn't become Americans.
You misunderstand how evolution works. Humans did not evolve from present-day primates. Humans and primates have a common ancestor. Two different things. Two different branches of the same tree. Other primates have evolved, but not in a direction that necessitated sentience. Go back far enough, and all life on this planet is related. Go back even further and the atoms we are composed of were the same ones that were part of a cloud of gas and dust that rotated around a proto-star that would one day become our sun. Go just as far into the future, and those atoms may end up part of a planetary nebula, from which other stars and worlds will someday form. It's the only immortality we get.
Rufus, Well done on the excellent attempt to break things down to a level a layman will be able to understand in a short and concise comment. I applauder your Herculean effort.
I hope Ryan will pick up a good book on evolution, it really will help a lot to simply read it through. The blind watch maker might be a good start, or the greatest show on earth, both by Richard Dawkins.
Thanks ScottCA. I hope that people who have legitimate questions (rather than what they think are "gotcha" questions) will actually seek the answers. There are several good popular books on the basics of evolution. I think the problem is that many of these folks are getting information from biased religious sources rather than reliable science sources.
There is no debate to be had here. Evolution is supported by evidence. Creationism is supported by nothing other than delusions within peoples own heads.
to believe in anything without evidence is to delve into insanity. Just as it is insane to believe in the 5ft tall green monster in my closet without evidence, it is insane to believe in god without evidence.
I agree 100%. Faith is belief without evidence. That's also known as being uninformed. Religion is a ponzi scheme designed to recruit children before they can think critically and keep them indoctrinated so that the money keeps flowing. It's really that simple.
Here is Darwin supporting his claims about evolution:
"Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe in the extreme imperfection of the geological record."
Now here we are nearly 200 years later and the geological record is even less complete than it was when Darwin started to put his theories together in the 1830s!
Evidence, there is a 'missing link' between humans and apes. We have been searching for it since Darwin's time and we have yet to find this mystical creature. Is it not too hard to believe that maybe humans did live to be 800 years very early on as the bible tells us? For if this is correct that man did live to nearly 800 years before the great flood than there is your answer as to why the oldest skelotens look the way they do and why we have tried to label them as a seperate species!
Both theories require faith, evolution is faith that the "missing links" will be found and for creationism, faith in God.
Look at okyourcool's posts over the past several pages. Others have told him to get lost. I stayed as long as I could.
I think you are a fool if you let him play with you any further.
You should all tell him to F-OFF !!!
why are you so upset? I never said evolution wasn't true, all i said is that is has not been proven with scientific evidence like every on here is saying. If evolution was undeniably correct then it wouldn't be a very "theory" it would be a "law" for instance Newton's Laws of motions that can be proven every time! I also never said creationism is true. And still why haven't you answered my question? Did we come from fish?
Everything you have mentioned here has been addressed, many, many times.
I said I am done with you. F-OFF, NOW !!
Proof is only possible in formal logic and mathematics. Physical sciences rely on repeatedly validated predictions to confirm hypotheses. Furthermore, a scientific theory is actually higher in the pecking order than a scientific law. Laws are highly restricted to very specific scenarios/conditions. Scientific theories explain multiple scientific laws. You may want to brush up on your basic understanding of science...
@redzoa: If theories and laws are like comparing apples to oranges as you seem to be saying, then what would this "pecking order" that you're referring to be, and how is it that theories would be placed higher than laws?
Seems to me like they shouldn't be ranked on the same list.
There are far more atheists than Christians would have you believe and growing every day – I was brought up christian but now fight to eradicate religion from every nook and cranny of public life - keep your bible in your pants
Are your parents still alive albie?
If so, how's your relationship with them?
I imagine you've broken their hearts.
Wow these religious people are like vipers. They will try all kinds of underhanded stuff to get people to believe their nonsense. I guess they must be doing what they were taught/indoctrinated and deep down they know that faith is not real but just a persuasion.
One has to wonder what terrible evil Creationists must have perpetrated in the past so that in order to gain redemption from their God they are required to continually martyr themselves against the open gates of Academia.
LOL your video made me laugh but not for the reasons intended. Nice video! Did he win his 8th grade project for it?
Sorry. Wrong post.
Here's another video:
LOL Your video made me laugh but not for the reasons intended. Nice video! Did he win his 8th grade project for it?
Nice – by your reply I see that you're in phase 2 Godoflunatics!
Now what was that about the 8th grade?
The Bible also says that rain comes from a body of water that is trapped above the sky (heaven) and that it rains when windows in the sky are opened. (Genesis 1:6-8; 7:11-12; 8:2). I think I'll trust science instead of the Bible. In fact, I don't think the Bible contains any correct information on the laws of natural science or physics, and a much stronger case can be made that men invented gods in their own images than can be made that a god with supernatural powers created men in his image. The only place the supernatural exists is in the minds of the believers, and their minds are getting smaller all the time.
Clyde Farris: "The Bible also says that rain comes from a body of water that is trapped above the sky (heaven) and that it rains when windows in the sky are opened. (Genesis 1:6-8; 7:11-12; 8:2). I think I'll trust science instead of the Bible. In fact, I don't think the Bible contains any correct information on the laws of natural science or physics, and a much stronger case can be made that men invented gods in their own images than can be made that a god with supernatural powers created men in his image. The only place the supernatural exists is in the minds of the believers, and their minds are getting smaller all the time."
Yeah Clyde, I'm with you on this horribly imprecise labeling of natural phenomena in the Bible, as well as the bronze-age mentality of the National Weather Service using the term 'sunrise'. Those weather scientists need to stop believing in unicorns and spaghetti monsters!
Oh btw, your quote, "The only place the supernatural exists is in the minds of the believers" is a classic example of a logic fallacy known as the 'argument from ignorance'.
I hope that in less than 500 years, religion will be viewed as a quiant bit of history that helped people to not be afraid of the dark. For societies to continually beilieve in this mythology of religion is due to fear and ignorance and a fear of the dark. Religion has served its purpose, it now belongs in the history books as one of those periods of time when mankind was pretty dumb and stupid about the natural world. It gave people comfort and made life and death a more palatable way to exist. That time is now over. It is about time we all accept what science is and what it can do. We are all products of over 2000 years of continual understanding of the way the world works thru science. It is time to put the concept of religion into the history books and say good-bye. Why is that so difficult for a supposed learned and educated society to do?????
Joseph Zawodny: "It is time to put the concept of religion into the history books and say good-bye. Why is that so difficult for a supposed learned and educated society to do?????"
Answer: Because most of the members of this learned and educated society aren't 100% crass materialists.
The truth is, there is no god. Religions are man made. We slowly evolved from something. I hope Curiousity finds a skeleton.
David: "The truth is, there is no god."
And yet another atheist playing fast and loose with Logic!
And to think that I used to worry that I wouldn't be up to the task of conversing with such enlightened, intelligent atheists.
Thank you cnn atheists – your challenges to my faith have only served to increase it!
Thing is, you have two sides of the fence. Once side says "hey, with faith you can actually see the truth" while the other side says "we have all this evience that shows that the universe seems to work like this and this" ... so do you believe its one way based on faith or evidence that exists around you?
Then you have people who say that all that evidence was put there as a way of misguiding mankinds beliefs... that because things exist, that must be proof that something put them there. Its backwords thinking. Honestly, Bill Nye is correct when he states that in a few centuries, creationism will be a thing of the past.
Christians are soooooooooooo stupid. Just plain stupid... Lets hear it for demons.