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.
Big Bang, I am the Chief. I gotta lotta raps but I'll be brief.
I never need Genesis, I like to chill so I create Earth with my own free will.
Darwin went down in the hall of fame 'cause he sent Creationism up in flames.
Miracle for miracle I will never break down, no sir I don't mess around.
Point 5! Who cares what this guy thinks except for news groups looking to blow up their comments section.
Who cares who or what created the universe? We'll never ever know. The only FACT adults should know by now is that MAGIC doesn't exist (contrary to all Religious texts). Additionally, just because you can't fathom an answer to something (insert profound question here) doesn't automatically mean "God(s)" did it. Just means we don't know yet (if ever). Blindly attributing something good or bad to "God(s)" is crazy.
The difference between religion and reality is that one is in your imagination (faith), and the other you can pick up and feel. Of course if this was the 15th century, if you said that Adam and Eve was a product of evolution, you would be burnt to death. Religion has come a long way, so maybe in another 500 years we’ll all be on the same page (in a science book).
I believe in God. I also believe that the Bible is meant to be taken as allegory, not scientific fact, and that young earth creationists and evolution deniers are among the dumbest people on the planet.
I'm happy just living my life. In my opinion there are some things that are just unknowable. Deciding whether or not there is a God or some sort of great creator is non of my concern. The only way to know the truth in these matters is to die. If there is a God, perhaps I'll meet him when I'm dead. If there is no life after death, I'll find out when I'm dead. In the mean time, I just have to live!
"Another example of CNN's mostly one-sided reporting. No wonder Fox is (No.) 1."
Er...was this supposed to be a joke comment?
All right. Get back to work before Jesus swoops in on his dinosaur and kills everyone in the village! I mean it!!!
The people who responded that it's about faith, clearly have no understanding of the basics of the scientific process. Faith is the belief in something without proof. Science demands proof.
To claim that Evolution isn't real, or lacks proof shows the ignorance of a large percentage of the U.S. population. Without evolution, vaccines wouldn't be possible. Without evolution, we couldn't make predictions about how life will progress in the future or where life came from in the past.
Which we can. The fossil evidence is clear and unequivocal: life has evolved over hundreds of millions of years and putting your fingers in your ears and singing "LALALALALA" won't change that FACT.
Creationism is nothing more than a religious supposition unsupported by any facts. As shown by the Dover trial, creationists will use any underhanded, sneaky, backdoor attempt to get their religious views accepted as on par with science. Which it can't because it provides no proof. All creationism does is attempt to use the same lame questions and make it appear that Evolution isn't real without offering any evidence to show that creationism is real. If you are claiming that your idea is just as valid as mine, then you need to show your proof. That is how science works (see my opening lines).
Without proof, creationism should be taken as seriously as the claims of the Vikings that a giant serpent encircles the Earth underground or that of the Egyptians who believed the Sun was pulled across the sky by a chariot. We scoff at such ideas because science has shown otherwise, and the same should be done to creationism.
No. Science has 'faith' that the scientific method produces reliable information. But, your acceptance of the results of that process are still predicated on faith in the process itself. You cannot 'prove' the process. Just because we can typically see/observe the results of science does not make it 'truth.' You pointing to the scientific method as the source of 'truth' is no less based on faith that the person that points to the Bible as 'truth.' Get over it.
MDH, false. Even the process is open to examination. No matter how much you try to paint around the problems with religion and dodge the issues, religion still sucks the big dong.
To summarize Nye offers no data, evidence but by an illusory peer group seeks to persuade parents to let their babies be atheists. Blah. A few more thoughts: Nye-""Denial of evolution is unique to the United States," " That's just factually ignorant. Before there even was a USA there were creationists. ""when you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in it, it holds everyone back." " Umm, for 30+ yrs we've led the world in technology, liberty, all as a superpower with 78% believing in creation and only 15% atheist. ""Your world becomes fantastically complicated if you don't believe in evolution," " Has old Bill ever read the creation story in only two chapters (very simple) vs. the ever changing views of humanistic man? Now that's complicated. """The idea of deep time of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your worldview becomes crazy," Really Bill? Have you ever read the countless conversion stories of those like me who were once crazy told life has literally no purpose and then finding out with God there is more than purpose, there's a loving Father who saves our eternal souls. Whose crazy? The one who thinks an explosion can create order and love, and truth, etc or one who thinks design demands a creator? The idea of creationism has been scorned by the mainstream scientific community since shortly after Darwin introduced "The Origin of Species" in 1859. By 1880, The American Naturalists, a science journal, reported nearly every major university in America was teaching evolution. [This doesn’t mean they just taught evolution but likely would’ve introduced it into their curriculum. The totality of evolution into American schools wouldn’t happen until quite a bit longer. But by wording it as it is the impression is given that schools switched instantaneously like Nye expects of parents for their children. It’s a conscious use of wording to persuade and do so manipulating the reader who doesn’t question the statements and seek the facts behind the truth.]
"In another couple centuries I'm sure that worldview won't even exist. There's no evidence for it. So..." Nye ends his video. [Hmm, here’s some evidence. Voltaire said the same thing a LONG time ago (OK 1700’s isn’t that long but…) and how’d his prediction work out? FAIL!]
If you love creationists, you will love Mitt Romney and should vote for him. Of course in the 1800's golden tablets were thrust down from the sky by the angel Macaroni. Anyone who does not believe this should be banned from the gene pool. I agree with the comments about a giant serpent circling the globe to watch the sun chariot perform its miracles. If Houdini could come back from the dead, why not accept the fact that some radical rabbi did. Thank dog for the flat earth and all it wonders as the heavens revolve around us. Bless you all.
Thi spost serves asm a sad commentary on the failure of the American education system. How can an educated person think this way. Answer: they can't.
I merely wish that people of faith would realize the nature of faith – it is, by definition, not proof. By definition, people of faith believe that which contradicts the evidence of our senses, which is why faith is required. It cannot be self-evident to outsiders. In science, however, which is fueled by skepticism, which actively tries to disprove itself, the "evidence of our senses" builds up to the point that we have a preponderance of evidence and it becomes impossible to deny, if you take it seriously. If I drop my keys, "science" says they will likely fall. Natural selection is based upon evidence just as solid. It has become an applied science, with astounding predictive power. Creationism has no predictive power at all. It seems based upon the idea that it MUST be so. That is faith. Frankly, I can't tell the difference between that and people who trust in the Tarot rather too much. Neither can prove anything.
After man, dino, elephant etc. 'evolved...and were standing there fully developed after billions of trial and error failures, what fired off, or put in place the electrical system to make everything work in sequence as 'designed' to do? Who or what programmed the firing sequence of the electrical systems? How did each item live long enough to reach full maturity and completion? Must have had eternal life, for as each item in progression died, how did the replacement know, or remember the complete replacement pattern of the former in order to be able to continue the process? It is an impossibility and everyone knows it. One has to bury their mind and logic to believe in evolution, the evil solution to creation.
The answer to your question would seem to be nature. It's mysterious and quite wonderful, but the appearance of design is not any better evidence for the existence of Yahweh than it is for the existence of Zeus.
"After man, dino, elephant etc. 'evolved...and were standing there fully developed after billions of trial and error failures, what fired off, or put in place the electrical system to make everything work in sequence as 'designed' to do?"
What electrical system are you talking about? In fact what are you talking about?
Wow you obviously know little about physics, biology, genetics, biochemistry or you would not even need to ask those questions.
"""you obviously know little about physics, biology, genetics, biochemistry or you would not even need to ask those questions."""
And yet here we are debating this. Sad, isn't it? We can put a rover on mars but we can't explain simple science to these people.
You're right. The idea that you proposed is incredibly far-fetched and unlikely as a method of divergence of species. However, nothing you said has anything to do with evolution. I can understand your disbelief in evolution if that's what you think the Theory of Evolution is.
It is insane that we pay homeschooling parents to teach this nonsense. Homeschooling should be treated like private school . If you want to afford this education for your children pay for it yourself. Do not expect the government to give you dollars or vouchers to educate your children. There should be a Bill introduced banning this practice. Public school continues to lose money to homeschoolers and charters. No charter teaching creationism should get state or federal funds. I am worried 15 to 20 yrs from now when the product of the homeschooling experiment are out voting, but God forbid meeting and dating my children. We are regressing instead of progressing!!!
Religious indoctrination of children through home schooling should be treated as child abuse.
Exactly right. And most of them (not everyone, but...) don't think they should pay any more taxes to educate children, even as they have their hands out. Many don't think they have a stake in a broadly educated public. And a disturbing number these days don't think they should pay anything at all. But they use the roads.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but neither side really has close to all the answers on origins, existence, consciousness, etc., at least in a verifiable scientific manner.
As a Chistian and an educated (BS Biology & Chemistry) person who loves science and it's search for physical truth, I am often amused at these non-sensical arguments. Whether it is science believing they have all the answers on origins and life; they don't or creationism/fundametalists who seem to reject science routinely, humans are much like an ant walking up to the Empire State building. You can sit with the ant and talk structural/civil engieering all you want, the ant doesn't get it. We are much the same. We as a species have some great insights, but the mystery of the universe and our faith is ok with me. It is OK to not have all the answers definitively, and if it is not for you, get used to it.
I find it odd that you got educated in science but you are ok with 'the mystery of the universe'. The science you learned in school was figured out by people who were not simply 'ok' with the mystery of the universe.
Just because you have a few degrees doesn't mean you're the least bit intelligent. I believe Oral Roberts college also issues degrees... 'nuff said.
Good dog, what a refreshing comment and what a sane view. Careful, you might be excommunicated from your church for having so much common sense. We can and never will know it all. Thank you for your post.
You did not get a very good education with your degrees then if you think creationism belongs in a science class. You cna believe what you want to but creationism is not a scientific hypothesis or theory threfore does not belong in a science class.
Dude, my 6 and 7 year old brothers were invited to a bible school where they 'prove' dinosaurs lived with man. Almost 50% of people believe in creationism over evolution. Sorry, it's relevant.
And you can't believe in a literal creation story and believe in evolution.
It is the literalist, young – earth creationists that scare me. Building a creationist "museum" replete with dioramas where men and dinosaurs coexist is absurd.
How can anyone argue that the earth has only been here 6,000 years? That does not take faith. It takes ignorance.
It's a good thing god made Jesus Chinese because he was able to save so many more people that way than had he made Jesus, say, middle eastern or some such.
Growing up Catholic, having attended parochial school as well, with a family that is still mostly Catholic, I DON'T believe in God and frankly I think the whole concept is nuts. However, I am not going to get into a debate on here. I think it should be left up to the parents to decide what their children are taught. I have never taken my children to a church nor do I ever plan to. Having a priest at family funerals is about all I can take. I don't believe church and state should be mixed and I'd honestly prefer the God portion of the saluting of our flag were dropped as well. I'm sure some people will automatically jump to "I must have horrible children" blah, blah, blah when in reality just the opposite. Both are high honors students (one in college and one in high school), both hold jobs, and both have never been in trouble with the law. They have manners and they know respect. You don't need a "God" to have a good moral upbringing. I don't try to push my anti-religious beliefs on others so I don't appreciate others pushing theirs on me. My children also both know that once they are on their own they are more than welcome to explore whatever religion they want if they choose - just don't drag me into and don't become a cult member are my only stipulations. If I could, I would have sent my children to a school where there is NO mention of God or creationism.
Science entails posing an hypothesis, testing, and modifying results accordingly, according to the results and facts observed. Creationism, which poses as a science, starts with the conclusion, and disregards any evidence to the contrary – it is not justified to call itself a 'science'
Absolutely you got it right. Creationism is not a scientific theory therefore has no place in a science class. In a religion class or a class looking at the bible as literature-fine, butnot in a science class.
Everyone knows that Bill Nye is not a scientist correct? He studied mechanical enginerring. Everyone knows that mechanical engineers are the dunces of the engineering community maybe just a tad higher than a civil engineer. Bill Nye's opinion would lessen the value of a dog poo.
A engineering "dunce" is still smarter the 95% of the population
What...and story tellers from before the time science existed knew better? religeon is a plague on mankind
You know you're full of cr@p right?
What different does it make that he is a mechanical engineer-he is still correctly pointing out the fact that creationism is not a scientific hypothesis let alone theory and therefore has no place in a science class.
Forget Mechanical Engineers...Jesus made your hot rod right?