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 mistrust any human being that claims to know what God wants. Fundamentalists worship a book, not a god.
To argue heatedly about something no one really knows the answer to is ridicluous and that is the ultimate nature of existence, it's all opinion or 'faith' if you will. Creationism is religion and not science and should not be in public schools, neither does science comment on a 'divine spark'. However I would have hoped that the 'Flinstones' theory of our origians would not be taken seriously in the 21st century.
You chose to quote this guy? :
"As someone who is a born again Christian, (senior) mechanical engineer in the technology industry, and a firsthand witness of the risen Christ..."
Really? "Firsthand witness"? This statement should give us all pause. This is what is wrong with this country; we have an enormous percentage of the population that will make statements like this, and even more horrifying, their statements will be treated respectfully.
Perhaps he's just really old ;-} Lot's of folks in the bible lived quite lengthy periods.
I think he's spent too much time hanging out with the 'Third Eagle of the Apocolyplse'. Perhaps he is the other co-prophet of the end times?
Not that Im "born again" but you make your own point better than the original poster. People read thigns and give them their own meaning. I was curious based on your comment and did 2 minutes of research and found that contextually the term "witness" in this case means "experience" the original poster was merely stating that they have experienced Christ in their lives – who are you to argue that?
As I said, you make your own point far better – there are far too many closed minded idiots (like you) that don't learn anything about what they're trying to talk about, but instead see the world only through their own experiences – discounting all others. Open your mind and learn instead of preaching about learning only to find that you don't truly know anything about your subject.
No, what is wrong with this country is the intolerance that supposedly enlightened people have for the ideas of others. The "racism" of this century is not about skin color or national origin as it is about tolerance of ideas. Never dismiss another person's thoughts just because you disagree with them, instead, remember the statement by Will Rogers that "everyone is ignorant – just about different subjects."
What's the difference, Robert? Witnessed Christ or experienced Christ... still rings nutjob to me. Besides, if you experience something, aren't you technically a witness to it? Oh I get it... this is his way of twisting words... saying he saw Christ without sounding crazy to his own people.
Nice try though.
You are all atheists to Zeus. Why not Zues? He's a cool guy. Atheist heathens!!!
"(Atheists)...they seem to make up about half our commenters"
Greatest news I've heard all day, maybe humans aren't all gullible idiots.
There are a lot less who believe the biblical myth than say they do. If they didn't say they believed they'd be shunned by the one's who actually do believe the biblical myths.
I never trust anyone who wears a bow tie. They are the true embodiment of the ultimate evil.
"Atheists may be a small portion of the population, they seem to make up about half our commenters."
We (or agnostics and you got a lot of those responses too) make up half becasue that's probably a more accurate number than the published 9 or so percent. Coming out as agnostic or athiest can cost you your job, promotions, friends, family and spouses. The wickedness that is religoin has a long reach even for skeptics and non believers.
That is so true! I have been at the bad end of this in the past and my kids have been bullied for it too! We are good people, period. We do not need to pretend to believe in a god to be good people. Yet people do not want to accept this, they automatically think there is some wrong with us. This is why people hide behind it, I'm sure. I have a hard time explaining this to my kids. They don't want to be pressured into religion any more than I do, yet they are shunned for not going to church like all of their friends! I too believe the percentage is much higher than the media reports. If any good has come from the internet, this is one good thing, just knowing there are so many others out there who can relate!
Science looks at the evidence first and then attempts to draw a conclusion. Religion draws a conclusion first and then creates evidence to support it.
Exactly, and they claim they have scientists that are evangelical, what a crock.
Don't let a few facts get in the way of a good creationist theory 🙂
Very well put. Exactly.
So they "create evidence" instead of "finding evidence"? That's a good way to prove something.
Is there anything wrong with a creationist learning about evolution? Isn't it always better to know both sides of the story, knowing what other beliefs and ideas are out there? Why are there creationist out there that don't want thier kids to learn about evolution? Don't they want their children to be well rounded educated individuals?
If you are a creationist that doesn't want your kid to learn about evolution, please answer these questions becuase I really want to know.
With science, there are no two sides to every story. There are hypotheses, but they must be researched, evaluated and proven.
Let's teach evolution and "Creationism" in the classroom.
Thanks Tam, I understand that. I was hoping to get an answer from a creationist who wouldn't let their children learn about evolution, someone who would rather homeschool their child just to keep them from being exposed to something that very intelligent scientists have spent their whole lives working on.
Blaqbox, but 'Creationism' is not science any which way or form. I'm ok with teaching creationism in a religious studies class or even a history class but not a science classroom where scientific method is used. What do you think Blaqbox?
Ah, nevermind...I see the link now. You aren't who I want to discuss this with, we share the same opinion.
No matter how many millions of people believe a thing, it doesn't make it fact or truth except in their minds. One of these theories can be proven and one cannot. You decide which.
Actually, neither can be proved – that is why it is called the theory of evolution.
I like science and am often amazed at what scientists discover or invent, but I also leave room for a little doubt on both sides.
Just for the sake of argument, let's say you are God and are trying to explain where things came from to a group of people who are just barely into the Bronze age. You may have to simplify things a bit. The Biblical account of development is not far off basic evolutionary theory. Many scientists believe that a huge flash of light initiated the development of all the universe. Genesis 1:3 fits into that pretty well.
Theories are just that – theories. You would be shocked at the number of ideas we were taught as fact that have been disproved and have changed. Good scientists keep an open mind.
So I suppose Gravity hasn't been proven either then?
"""neither can be proved – that is why it is called the theory of evolution"""
No, that's not why. Read about what theory actually means in science. It's apparently not what you think.
@Mark You keep using that word I don't think it means what you think it means
Here, Mark. Read this:
DEVO says man evolved from snails.
Are we not Men?
You are missing the most important category: 0. Of course he's right. The mainstream of America does not believe literally in Adam and Eve and 7 days of creation.
The problem with religion is that once a proposition has been accepted on faith, one can no longer judge that proposition based on evidence.
There can be no logical answer to an emotional argument, and faith is indeed a powerful emotion.
If we completely ignore all the evidence we have that supports evolution, just pretend fossils don't exist, just pretend the Earth is only 6k years old and we were created by a higher being, where does it show it was the Christian god character that did it? Where is the link? What is the reason people claim it was THEIR god character that did it? Oh, there is none.
I find it very interesting that if the bible were never written, we wouldn't be having this useless debate. We could focus soley on evolution and facts.
I think the people who wrote the bible were old fashioned trolls, and the whole thing was a joke gone bad.
Hope they find the "dead sea scroll" from the head troll...find out it was Henny NOT VERY Youngman! Hey, Take my book of Fairy Tales, please!
Evolution is impossible! I was taught in biology classes that once many millions of years ago a amoeba crawled out of the primordial soup of a swamp, caused by catalytic action of the sun upon the mineral combo, and viola out comes this thing which evolved over aeons of time into dinosaurs, elephants, man etc. Here is why it is impossible among other things. It took how many aeons for the amoeba to develop lungs? Nothing lives over 2-3 minutes without oxygen. Did the amoeba come first or the lungs? If the lungs, where was the heart to pump blood and oxygen to the the lungs? It is preposterous and everyone knows it. You see my friend everything had to be in place for this 'evolved impossiblity' to survive even one minute. God created everything! Never doubt it.
The only people that scare me are the ones that believe something absolutely without the ability to recognize they could actually be wrong.
A good scientist is one that discovers something important. A great scientist is one that proves that the 'good scientist' was actually wrong. Unfortunately, there are some who use faith in religion as a shield to keep them from having to re-evaluate their beliefs.
Agreed. This whole argument between creationists and evolutionists is equivilant to a group of ignorant children/teenagers arguing with fully grown, educated adults.
Right. Let's not forget, however, that eventually some things become known, absolutely, and it's pointless to remain "open-minded" to the possibility that they are not so. For example, we know with certainty that the Earth is roughly spherical and revolves around the Sun - not flat and at the center of the solar system, as was once erroneously believed by people in a greater state of ignorance than ours at present. We can never - should never - return to those discredited beliefs. It is likewise with the "Young Earth", and with Creationism.
Beautifully stated. Being able to look >objectively< at your position (regardless of which side you're on) is something that is so often overlooked. We tend to blindly root for our ideas/beliefs as if they were a sports team, when in fact we should be trying to look for the right answer, knowing (and being OK with) the possibility that we could in fact have been wrong.
There is no controversy. There are 2 groups of people: Those who understand evolution and those who "don't believe in it". If you do some research with independent sources you will find that all evidence supports it and the scientific community is in full agreement on the theory of evolution.
"""Those who understand evolution and those who "don't believe in it""""
There is also a small subset to the believers. These are the people who understand evolution but also jump through hoops of rationalization because their childhood brainwashing is so deeply engrained.
MY definition of "believers" is the faithful, BTW. Just to be clear. I could have worded that better.
Evil one here. I hate god. I hate the profit mohammed, Jesus, vishnu and the rest of the candy-colored clowns. They've been keepin' me down for too long now. You want prayer in your public schools? Pray to me. You want to make more money? Pray to me. Just because you can't comprehend that I'm the second most powerful being that ever existed, doesn't mean that I don't. I rode a tank in the generals rank, when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank. Pleased to meet you.
I'd hate the a**holes too if they actually existed. And remember, just as every cop is a criminal, and all the sinners saints, as heads is tails call me Lucifer cause I'm in need of some restraint.
i wish these forums were more like discussions instead of arguments, there are a lot of interesting and challenging questions for both creationists and evolutionists and it would be nice to hear serious ideas to explain them. for example, assume there is a god who exists in heaven, does that really answer questions about creation or just push them back to another time and place? where did god and heaven come from?
also consider the size of the universe. either it's infinitely large or it ends somewhere. one of those two has to be true, but neither one makes much sense to me. same with time, either our universe always existed or it started at some point, either explanation leaves unanswered questions
How can you have a debate when one side had observable data, evidence from all over the planet, genetic research on its side and the other has no evidence just magic?
Screw it! I'm off the creationist, evolution band wagons. I'm just going to assume the Lord of the Rings is true, and just wait for Gandalf to take me back to the elves.
Amen. Let's smoke a J too.