August 31st, 2012
03:24 PM ET

soundoff (1,077 Responses)
  1. Alex

    Denying Science in the 21st century is beyond ignorance, it is actual stupidity.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  2. whirled peas

    Both views are theories. Nothing has been proven. Get off your computer and help someone, if you haven't already.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  3. RoseFlorida

    There have been events in the course of human history that have profoundly influenced how we live. For example, when mankind first understood the role of men in procreation, that pregnancy did not come "from the wind", it resulted in matriarchal societies being replaced by patriarchal ones. When people learned that the Earth was not the center of the universe and thus man was not necessarily the focus of existence it was very uncomfortable and it was a difficult concept to adjust to. Then along comes evolution, that claims mankind developed out of a long line of other living beings, that man is not so unique among the other living things as previously imagined. We are still dealing with the consequences of that, how that effects our behavior, why "mankind", if it does not represent something "special" still should behave in a special way, towards each other and towards other living things. Another jolt is coming – when we discover, as I am certain we will, that Earth is not the only spot in the universe that is populated with living things.

    The ultimate problem is not the obvious facts that evolution occurred and the Earth is not so young, it is how do you develop a belief system that Mankind is special and has to behave in a special manner because of that. Without such a system we will be following an evolutionary path alright, and destroy ourselves.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  4. Andrew

    Scientists may be right about chemical and physical facts of this life but their knowledge gives birth to Cyclone-B and Hiroshima. Myths, legends, fairy tales and religious parables may be completely wrong about those facts, but they ignite in people courage, faith, love and self-sacrifice... I know that the issue is a lot more complicated than that, yet being brought up as an atheist and living half a century on this Earth and comparing the fruits of Science and Religion I tend to respect the Science less and less and understand the Religion more and more. The Evil can manifest itself through either of the two, but in our day and age Enlightenment of the Mind becomes Endarkenment of the Heart and blind heart is the worst affliction human beings can have.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • RoseFlorida

      Yes, a lot of beautiful work has been created in the name of creation, religion and belief in God. Nobody has written a song or poem saying "Oh apes are our brothers and isn't that a wonder thing ...", but there is Haydn's The Creation. The belief in a guiding God has been an important evolutionary survival tool. One can assume that tribes that did not have such beliefs ended up dying out, so it must be as important as development of technology for survival.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's Zyklon B, and science is not to "blame" for its creation.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Syd

      "In God we Trust" was written on the uniform of those who created Cyclon B.
      And those who authorised Hiroshima bombing was deaply relegious people.
      And we have not even started to talk about religious and sectarian wars.

      September 5, 2012 at 1:52 am |
  5. IslandAtheist

    I think Bill Nye has done his job, but so has religion, therein lies the problem.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  6. aurum79

    Its about time intellectuals were more vocal about this creationist nuttiness. Its holding back progress and ruining the future of our children.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  7. Chris

    The issue with evolution and science in general is that our science has come so far, it is beyond the understanding of most people. For example, try talking to your average middle class fundamentalist Christian about the Higgs boson. You will undoubtedly get a blank stare, followed by some biblical nonsense. Its not that persons fault though, as they have not had the years and years of careful schooling and education to even be able to begin to understand the mathematics of physics and chemistry that PROVE much of what we claim to be true. This is why education in science and math, even for students not planning to use it heavily in their careers is SO important. Science and mathematics help explain the nature of the world around us, without them you are lost.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • megadave1994

      I don't give a crap about math, but science I absolutely love. With science you can discover, with math you can map out that discovery.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Ward

      My emphasis in CAPs:
      The results of work at the European research agency CERN SUGGESTS that the Higgs boson exists. More investigation is needed to establish this. Scientists THINK that this boson gives mass to elementary particles.[1]
      On the 12 December 2011, the two teams at the Large Hadron Collider looking for the Higgs Boson, ATLAS and the CMS announced that they had seen spikes in the data WHICH COULD represent the Higgs Boson particle;[2] however, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THIS WAS JUST AN ERROR.
      On 4 July 2012, the teams at the Large Hadron Collider declared that they had discovered a particle which THEY THINK is the Higgs Boson particle.[3]

      Is this the best the evolutionist have?

      “I think...”
      “Which could...”

      September 1, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Vintage Serious Science Student

      That is NOT the problem with science today. I was carefully trained in science at what is considered one of the top ten public universities in the USA; part of that training included inculcating a very healthy dose of skepticism, ESPECIALLY regarding claims of science. That is no longer true today, as science has become a religion in and of itself, with those that toe the party line being rewarded handsomely, and those that challenge said line being ostracized.

      While it is of clear value to derive theory from math, one must always keep in mind that math is based upon assumptions and conventions, or in other words, math is based on agreements that may or may not eventually be true, but always true within specific constraints.

      Bottom line, today's science fact is just as likely to be tomorrow's out of date fact as has been the case with most of science fact for the last few millenia.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Jonathan Hatch

      Imagine yourself on a plain planted with wheat. All around you are "amber waves of grain". Far off in the distance you see a tiny dot against the horizon. You may say to your self "What is that?". The dot appears to be getting larger and you think "Oh, it's moving towards me". You think "Maybe a person? An Animal? Harvester?". As the thing approaches you see a person. Then a woman. Your neighbor.

      The Large Hadron Collider is examining very small things.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • sunflowerpower

      Exactly, Ward: they're hypothesizing and INVENTING THINGS – exactly like the religionists. That is NOT the science I was taught. And I was accepted at Cornell. And I knew Carl Sagan. PS, at the end, with cancer, Sagan reversed quite a few of his ideals. You should all talk with Ann Druyan sometime. The truth about Sagan's end might just surprise you.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  8. brian

    If you look at the complexity of the universe and everything in it, to think it happened by accident from some chemicals mixing together and eventually mutating into humans and other animals is way more difficult to believe in than god.
    It is funny how disbelief has become a religion unto itself.

    September 1, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Sam

      Mathematically speaking, no it isn't. Think of the billions upon billions of things in the universe where it could have happened. The fact that people think they are so special that it only happened once is more unbelievable than that. Also, disbelief is not a religion in any sense of the term. Believing in only things that can be proven has zero dogmatic ideals, and no master to give your life to. It is merely being a person who has a sense of what is going on around them.

      Just because you can't wrap your head around the actually complexity of what happened doesn't make it not reality...

      September 1, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Keith

      Pretty much be definition anything defined as outside the realm of physical reality is infinitely implausible, if not necessarily mathematically impossible. Therefore, any theory based on physical reality is, de facto, more likely to be true and more worth of "belief" as you put it.

      More to the point, your comment doesn't sound witty or insightful. Rather, it is a simple illustration is precisely the kind of scientific illiteracy Nye and others are arguing against in the first place.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Jonathan Hatch

      You can believe what you stated above but if you attempt to explain why it is true to anyone you will fail every time. Try an experiment:
      1) Get a friend or family member to sit across a table from you.
      2) Say to that person "If you look at the complexity of the universe and everything in it, to think it happened by accident from some chemicals mixing together and eventually mutating into humans and other animals is way more difficult to believe in than god."
      3) Have the person ask you "Why?"
      4) Attempt to explain it to them.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • takawalk

      Sam just because you can't wrap your mind around the possibility of a supreme being that might exist, who would be well above what we know a science doesn't mean there is no such thing.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  9. Patm

    400 years ago Galileo had to deal with the church telling him the sun revolved around the earth and that the sun must move because the bible said that Joshua brought it to a halt. I'd like to know how many creationists also still believe the sun revolves around the earth. There's a fundamental flaw in ignoring obvious evidence and picking and choosing what you take literally because "it feels right." Those of you who say that taking the bible as a parable is picking and choosing might benefit from looking in the mirror (or a book on scientific history) and realize that most of the things you use rely on seeming contradictions with the bible. General Relativity effectively describes the Earth-Sun system better than any previous theory. It's also used in all of the GPS systems designed today. If, because you believe the story of Joshua, you decide that, like evolution, General Relativity is not true, then you can send those GPS systems to me. I'm just a poor grad student who gets lost all the time while driving.


    September 1, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  10. Joe

    To the point, Scientist use facts to attempt to prove the fundamentals of life, just becuase it contradicts with the learnings of religious beliefs doesnt mean that was their intended plan. Religion has cuased Wars on a massive scale (crusades) and still continues today in the middle east. When have the facts a scientist tried to prove started a global war? (if it has the please enlighten me) i have no problem in the belief of a creator who wants to promote the good of human nature, but those beliefs have led to millions of human deaths. To another point i cannot defend either as being innocent as there are aggresors on both side of the spectrum who cuase the friction between the beliefs of science and religion leaving both at fualt. How long did it take humans to believe the world wasnt flat, the center of the universe orbited by the sun even when hard facts (not trillionth of partial scientific theorys but easily observable truths) becuase the teaching of religion contradicted them? If science was given to humans to benefit them from the almighty why do we refuse to learn from it. I'd imagine my argument seems onesided but this is not my intended pupose, i simply wish to understand why this friction prevents us from coexisting in harmony, free will was given to us for a reason, we have the ability to decide what we believe in and to be prosecuted for those beliefs should be considered inherently evil unless those beliefs would cuase harm.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  11. sunflowerpower

    I love Bill Nye, I love science, and I believe in evolution; however as an Agnostic I have two problems with this. One, there is nothing in Bill's statement or mindset distancing themselves from the "Believe as we do or you are flawed" mindset of fundamentalism we doubters and nonbelievers supposedly dislike. Two, we have not begun organized and coordinated scientific analyses of whether a master designer exists. We're just presuming it does not; and to me that is Bad Science. To believe a thing without evidence is what we call FAITH - and if you have "faith" in something YOU CANNOT BE A PURE ATHEIST. We Agnostics are closer to the truth than today's testosterone Atheists will ever be. We're suspending our opinions, loyalties and beliefs until presented proper scientific evidence. We refuse to accept a thing on faith.

    Many, many Atheists are turning out to be exactly as shiny-eyed and cultish as the religious people they despise. This statement from Bill Nye is no different from reading something the Pope just decreed in Rome. He's a high Atheist Cardinal, demanding we recite the Credo.

    No thanks, "atheists".

    Demand evidence and earn your capital A.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  12. User 0

    Henri Poincaire, the famous French scientist and mathematician, said, "Science progresses, funeral by funeral." evidently, so does common sense as the Judeo/Christian/Islam transcendent, earth-repudiating, warrior God will naturally attract those of similar inclination.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  13. lukennedy

    So, what do we and everything else in the universe devolve back to exactly? In the absence of creation the universe must exist as a constant. As a constant, the universe itself must be subject to infinite evolution, evolution being a rule necessary for constants that can not be proven to exist always in the same state, which our universe can't be, because we just know we're only 14 billion years old or so in this genesis (that we scientifically pretend that the facts of this genesis of our universe apply also to the infinite universal possibilities subject to evolution absent of creation is a bit strange to me, but I digress). It all came from somewhere, no matter the timeline. Evolution does not explain existence, it merely explains morphology, and that it does with a great deal of holes. I mean, we use evidence from 1 trillionth of a trillionth of the known universe to try and explain the whole universe by limiting the universe to what is known. I find it strange that in a universe absent a god, on one planet we have seemingly infinite morphology over the course of just a few billion years, yet we do not see evidence of evolution of life on our nearest neighbors. Science claims "Goldiclocks Zones", where the universe just happens to have a rule that evolution of life can only happen at specific temperature ranges where liquid water is possible. But how did an unintelligent universe capable of infinite morphology decide that certain things just aren't possible? Well, there are more rules, rules that ultimately come back to the fact that absent a design at some point the universe has to have tried everything in order to prove what worked by rules, meaning we should see evidence of sugars not just in random births of stars, but absolutely everywhere–the building blocks of life should be on every planet in every solar system around every star in every galaxy throughout the whole, because the universe is unintelligent.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Damocles

      So without using phrases like 'my deity's ways are mysterious' or 'you can't know what my deity thinks', explain to me why a deity would create so many empty planets.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • takawalk

      Damocles uh maybe because he likes to create stuff? not trying to be sarcastic just sayin

      September 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  14. Colin

    What I love most about evolution is that it otally undermines the whole Christian belief at its very core. Recall that Christians believe that Christ died on the cross to save us from the stain of Adam and Eve's original sin. Now that we know that Adam and Eve was a myth, their justification for Jesus being crucified is totally gone and their dogmas about grace, salvation, baptism are all shown to be nonsense.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • GoldenChild

      Let's believe a lie about Evil.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • nope

      @ colin

      September 1, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • snopes is just sayin

      nope to nope

      September 1, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • takawalk

      No it does not undermine the Christian belief, only your limited understanding of it.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why are all the Christards making such a huge fuss about it?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • takawalk

      tom tom not all of the Christians are. One told me to reread the first book and realize that when God put Cain out of the Garden he put a mark on him so folks would leave him alone. He thought that this would mean preexisting life outside the garden which would mean the way organized religion teaches the story needs a little refinement. I thought he might have a point. After all the translations and various men mucking around with the thing who knows. But the basic truths of the bible are pretty cool.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • takawalk

      tom tom not all of the Christians are. One told me to reread the first book and realize that when God put Cain out of the Garden he put a mark on him so folks would leave him alone. He thought that this would mean preexisting life outside the garden which would mean the way organized religion teaches the story needs a little refinement. I thought he might have a point. But the basic truths of the bible are pretty cool.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • takawalk

      sorry about what seems to be a double post but the filter seemed to block the first one

      September 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  15. wryawry

    I have yet to meet a single soul incapable of understanding those simple cartoon panels depicting evolution - you know, the ones where the fish is seen crawling out of the primordial ooze, sprouting legs, developing bi-pedal locomotion, and ending up as a Wallmart shopper .....

    September 1, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 1, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • KT

      Please elaborate.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Keith

      What a pleasantly bigoted name...and an empty unsubstantiated comment to go along with it.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  17. cobber

    For those of you who don't "believe in" science, please abandon all of that technology which is based on centuries of the cycles of questioning, observing, experimenting, repeat. I'm thinking you'll end up in the woods, digging roots and praying for survival. Good luck with that.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • truth be told

      Why? God gave science to man not to believe in but to profit by.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  18. giggleplex

    Who let all these Yahoo commentors in here?

    September 1, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  19. Bob

    I can't believe some people still talk to invisible beings in the sky... seriously? How is this not considered a mental illness?

    September 1, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Rob

      It IS a mental illness....

      September 1, 2012 at 11:07 am |
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    September 1, 2012 at 8:31 am |
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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.