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.
Bill Nye – bah! Who does he think he is, some kinda Science Guy?
I know, huh? Like some people think they know so much...just 'cause they study stuff
Your grandchildren won't question whether or not evolution is true, just like you don't question whether or not the earth is flat.
Reading that truth doesnt matter and that faith determine what is true and crazy stuff like that, seriously makes me woinder how great America could be if all the efford that is put into religion (and sports for that matter) would be put into science and progress. People who put faith into stuff that's been proven wrong about reasoning and logic, are just pitiful. America will so fall behind Asia and Europe with regard to science in this century, it is a true shame.
Remember guys: Science flies men to the moon. Religion flies planes into buildings!
Besides, it is untrue that creationism is not big in Africa and the arabic part of Asia. It is a HUGE issue there and moslem creationists are even worse than christian ones. In Europe with it's huge number of Arab hordes flooding the continent and taking over it is becoming a BIG problem in the public schools now. Do some homework. Nonsense is everywhere where religion rises it's ugly head.
I'm just glad that God is the only greatness to behold. Mankind sure is stupid..
"I'm just glad that God is the only greatness to behold. Mankind sure is stupid.."
LOL mankind created god and the bible.
Make up whatever you want to, say it is the FACTS from the Bible and VOILA! You've got ignorance ignoring archaeology, lab scientists (carbon 14) and all those researching for how long? Oh yeah, throw out real science attempts to struggle through figuring the past and let's just say well that is wrong and I'll prove what I am saying is right, I will build a theme park and a museum. Amazing 2 steps forward, 143 steps back. So just pretend God invented intelligence also and then pretend you have some and then pretend you are using it. As Bugs would say,"What a maroon".
But even archeology has it wrong. There is a scientific studies that show that there was actually a great world flood and that fossils are not inclusive evidence when using any of the top processes to tell how old something else. In some cases they found dinosaur bones several layers on top of other layers of soil supposedly when mankind lived before them. The whole thing is a sham and some of those very well known scientists have recanted their evolutionist viewpoint (I'm not talking about Darwin either..that's not substantiated..)
The scientists are now finding that their counterparts research has too many holes in it to be complete and conclusive.. Science is pointing to an intelligent designer.. It's not a cop out, it's just facts.
This is where you diverge from science. Please point me to published papers that back up your assertions? We are more than willing to listen to evidence, what we won't agree with is heresay. Oh and please don't say Kent Hovind, what he says is not based in science.
Hey CNN, theistic evolution != creationism, so why is that reason even listed?
...yup the fool says there's no God..
Did you even see the video??? Or just post a comment after reading the topic??? Dear baby, the video is actually explaining how you are an idiot!
The idiots guide to Atheism seems to have been too complicated for Eric. we will have to dumb it down even further for him.
"The supposedly immaterial soul, we now know, can be bisected with a knife, altered by chemicals, started or stopped by electricity, and extinguished by a sharp blow or by insufficient oxygen."
— Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works)
Gosh, even I don't believe that. Mr. Pinker, and I'm a "hard-core" evolutionist. Nothing is really "destroyed" in our physical universe, it only changes form. If the phenomenon of consciousness is a consequence of the electricity whizzing around the synapses in that hunk of meat between our ears, then destroying the hunk of meat with some utensil or through deprivation of oxygen does not necessarily destroy the electrons that have been the carriers or transporters of those charges. So our "thoughts," as we would term the sum total of all that electrical activity are not necessarily destroyed, but perhaps diverted - or maybe a portion of them remain to bubble around in all that extra real estate within an atom ... I am not a scientist but it does seem intuitive that thoughts are actually physical things at some point or at some level, and they may change form too. Just as the elements that compose us were once spewed out in some supernova explosion and ended up in our bones or our brains... This sounds wacky, I guess, but I write science fiction, and I have done a lot of reading of predigested physics for the liberal arts major. If our observation of a phenomenon can actually change that phenomenon as in the "living dead cats" experiment, then might not a "thought" that consists of a perception of self continue to exist independent of the meat hunk it once resided in?
You could learn an awful lot by reading the works of Steven Pinker in regards the Evolutionary Psychology and the Human mind. Also rRihard Dawkins on evolution. Consciousness is pretty well understood by neuro-psychology and Pinkers statement is quite accurate with all evidence.
Don't cling to irrational hopes of an afterlife, there is no evidence of such existing.
not sure why there’s still debates about this – atheists might make up a smaller % of Americans, but no "creationist" has a chance at political office outside the states. Few people believe in Roman, Greek, or Hindu gods anymore, and the Judeo-Christian belief stories, including the details of Christ’s life, were adopted from many similar, often identical, origins from earlier figures – for example, details of the life of Horus: Age at baptism: 30. Subsequent fate of the baptiser: Beheaded. Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. Was crucifed, descended into Hell; resurrected after three days.
The second part to the video
Always worth listening to this man. I really want to see Dawkins speak with him.
I would pay a lot of money for a ticket to hear Dawkins, Dennet and Pinker have a conversation.
Three hundred years or so from now, no one will remember Bill Nye or even Charles Darwin, for that matter. (Darwin may be reviled, however, as the perpetrator of the most outrageous hoax in history.) Meanwhile, the evidence for creation science will have continued to mount.
Evidence? You need help.
The hoax is 2000 years old. Bill pay attention and put down the buybull.
In300 years no one will remember you. Probably alot less time then that.
"Continue to mount" suggests you've already collected some evidence. Where is it?
He wont reply. It took him all day to write that comments.
Mr. Black, Bill is correct thanks to a fluke of mathematics. Since he starts at zero evidence and other creationists bring in more zeros, they are indeed creating an enormous amount of zeros, just piling those zeros up sky high. And they can add them as much as they like, their enormous pile of zeros will always end up being a big zero.
"Bill Nye slams creationism says its not appropriate for children and will be gone as a theory in a 'couple centuries'"
I hope it doesn't take that long! Our country is already around #30 in math and science education. If the creationists continue to advance their agenda, we'll be back in the Dark Ages in no time!
Willful ignorance is not a theory!
I believe the "willful ignorance" resides in the evolutionist camp. To cite one very simple example, paleontologists are finding dinosaur fossils with some soft tissues still intact—to wit, Mary Higby Schweitzer's recent discovery of soft tissue inside the fractured thighbone of a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex. Evolutionary science estimates T. rex to have died out some sixty-five million years ago. Since soft-tissue survival after such eons of time is an utter and absolute impossibility by any scientific standard, we are left with the inescapable conclusion that T. rex did not become extinct millions of years ago, but much more recently. No doubt the evolutionist camp will resort to absurdly convoluted theories to explain away such anomalies (of which there are many), but if we apply the principle of Occam's razor, the simplest explanation that requires the fewest assumptions is usually correct.
Another example would be the fact that when fossilized specimens of extant (still existing) species are compared with their modern counterparts, the similarities are uncanny—down to the minutest details. A couple of examples would be the coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), both of which—in their modern forms—are virtually indistinguishable from fossil specimens and were in fact identified from their fossilized remains. If evolution were true, these species would have changed substantially over the posited millions of years.
Are you talking about the collagen extraction? I think you might want to actually read those reports instead of interpreting them as you have. Our knowledge of the tissue's behavior differs from yours, apparently. Regardless, the fossils for T-Rex, the fossil discovered by Dr. Schweitzer, still lies below the thin Iridium K-T boundary signifying the extinction event 65 million years ago (fun fact- no human fossils below this line 😀 ) I could go on, but I suggest just using Google.
As to the examples given, the DNA sequences between the ancestors and current versions of said species show nothing more than the species still existing in its current expressed form, stating you know nothing about natural selection. The current thought with Metasequoia is that the species you mentioned is a living ancestor that due to mutations in populations have spawned the variations of different species. You state that there are no differences. Simple microbiological knowledge states that time and reproduction alone would produce enough mutations in the DNA to separate the current population from the ancestor fossil observed. Though traits may still be expressed, it simply states that any mutative traits that could have taken it in another direction but didn't produce the other populations that we have proof of did not survive, and that the current allele expression was hearty enough to let it survive up to this current time in its environment. I know you don't understand half of the words in this paragraph. I forgive you. Now go open a science textbook, and stop telling us scientists what we know is bull.
I don't get it. The picture on the right is painting of Darwin, and the picture on the left is same after being restored Mr Bean style??
It's not what you believe.
It's why you believe it.
Correct, when you believe in something without evidence to support it, the why is insanity.
When you believe in something due to evidence that supports it, the why is sanity.
And why do people believe in any one particular god?
I would like to see Steven Pinker speak with Richard Dawkins I think the conversation would be mind shatteringly good. Even better than the Dawkins and Dennet conversations.
There are many fantastic interviews already available of debates between Dawkins and other famed creationists. His book, The God Dillusion, tackles many of the arguments made in mainstream creationist apologetics. I'd love to see you youtube those debates or simply read his book 🙂
Eep- sorry- I applied to the wrong post! The joys of 3 am postings...
You misunderstood what I was saying Steven Pinker is not a creationist. He is a Harvard psychology professor, who understands evolutionary psychology very well.
Let's break both sides into the simplest explanation possible, evolutionists believes that everything evolved from one thing. Creationists believe that God created everything, hence everything came from one thing. What's so hard in that?
Creationists believe that their one thing should also dictate how you live your life.
Ya, one is called science and the other religion. Simple solution – keep them separate.
And with science, it si not about beliefs. It is about evidence. With religion, however, it is only belief, no evidence.
Now would you put Mr X in jail bcoz I believe he killed Mr Y?
You can't argue with irrational people using reason.
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"
I like that. But it would be like an extra bran muffin tomorrow for some folks if they think about that long enough.
Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is absolutely right. Most Americans would rather believe in creationism, UFOs, and parapsychology than expend any effort learning something–anything– about real science. My God, what do they think of us in India or China? They are laughing all the way to the future.
Yes. Americas dark age?
It's hilariously telling that the most rational stance is dismissively written off as "bashing religion" in the shortest summary of them all.