Creationists hit back at Bill Nye with their own video
"The idea of deep time ... explains so much of the world around us," Bill Nye said in the viral video.
August 31st, 2012
04:34 PM ET

Creationists hit back at Bill Nye with their own video

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - Bill Nye's viral YouTube video pleading with parents not to teach their children to deny evolution has spawned an online life of its own, with prominent creationists hitting back against the popular TV host.

"Time is Nye for a Rebuttal," Ken Ham the CEO of Answers in Genesis writes on his website. Answers in Genesis is the Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

Nye's criticism of creationism went viral earlier this week, after being posted last Thursday.

"I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it," Nye says in his Big Think video, which has been viewed nearly 3 million times.

Ham writes that Nye is joining in with other evolutionists who say teaching children to deny evolution is a form of "child abuse." That idea comes in part from the atheist scientist Richard Dawkins, who in his book "The God Delusion" argues against exposing children to religion before they are old enough to fully understand it.

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"At AiG and the Creation Museum, we teach children and adults the truth concerning who they are in the Creator’s eyes — and where they came from," Ham writes. "We tell people that they do have purpose and meaning in life and that they were created for a purpose. "No, we are not just evolved animals as Nye believes; we are all made in the image of God."

Ham is the public face of a group that academics call Young Earth Creationists, though they prefer to be called Biblical Creationists. They believe in a literal interpretation of the creation account in the book of Genesis found in the Bible.

The Creation Museum also produced its own rebuttal video on YouTube that features two of their staff scientists, both Ph.Ds, David Menton and Georgia Purdom.

"[Nye] might be interested to know I also teach my young daughter about evolution and I know many Christian parents who do the same," Purdom says in the video. "Children should be exposed to both ideas concerning our past."

For the past 30 years, one popular method for Creationists to advance their cause has been to make an equal-time argument,with Creationism taught alongside evolution. In the late 1980s, some state legislatures passed bills that promoted the idea of a balanced treatment of both ideas in the classroom.

In 1987, the issue made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where a Louisiana "equal-time law" was struck down. The court ruled that teaching creationism in public school class rooms was a violation of the Establishment Cause in the Constitution, which is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state.

A key point between most scientists and many creationists is the timing for the origin of the world.

Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique

Nye's argument falls in line with the vast majority of scientists, who date the age of the earth as 4.5 billion years old and the universe as 14.5 billion years old.

"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, untenable, itself inconsistent," Nye says in his viral video.

Young Earth Creationists say the weeklong account of God creating the earth and everything in it represents six 24-hour periods (plus one day of rest) and date the age of the earth between 6,000 and 10,000 years.

"Yes we see fossils and distant stars, but the history on how they got there really depends on our worldview," Purdom says in the museum's rebuttal. "Do we start with man's ideas, who wasn't here during man's supposed billions of years of earth history or do we start with the Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all?"

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Polling from Gallup has shown for the past 30 years that between 40-46% of the survey respondents believe in Creationism, that God created humans and the world in the past 10,000 years.

The most recent poll showed belief in atheistic evolution was on the rise at 16%, nearly double what it had been in previous years. The poll also found 32% of respondents believe in evolution guided by God.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Creationism • Science

soundoff (5,973 Responses)
  1. John

    Ken Ham... Mr. Dinosaurs of Eden himself!!!! Hahahahahahahaha... Bozo the Clown....


    September 1, 2012 at 2:02 am |
  2. mighty7

    I am beyond sick and tired of both Fundamentalists and Atheists. Both equally arrogant, both equally annoying, both loud mouth cretins that are making life a misery for the rest of us who DON'T CARE: That is the TRUEST of all positions...

    We are born, we live, we die: In between we fall in love (or not), we dance, we eat, we make love, we have children, we go on vacation (or not) we suffer, we learn and that's it.

    God or not...WHo gives a s#it? if there is one he.she/ot obviously has no interest on this planet or intervenes in any form or shape. And if there is not, what's the point? You will never know....or if you know, it makes no ONE IOTA of difference either way.

    So please.......SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY.

    I see one more "christian" or "atheist" billboard I swear I will buy two cans of gas and burn them down. I am an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY OFFENDER.

    Apathetic Agnostics: We Don't Know...And We Don't Care.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • kenny

      religion is for foools.... science wins wars, creationism creates martyrs.... atheists win...

      September 1, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • bostontola

      2 possibilities:

      1) you're trolling, in which case, very funny.
      2) you're serious, in which case you're a profound hypocrite complaining about others pushing their truth on you, then asserting your position is the truth.

      BTW, if this is so annoying, why are you here and posting?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:13 am |
  3. Rich

    You can't have cavemen riding dinosaurs with saddles in your "museum" and claim to be teaching kids the truth. It's an outright fabrication.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:01 am |
  4. James Sullivan

    Creationism is mythology and has no basis that can be verified. Proclaiming things by belief only is bogus. If you can’t prove it, pedal it in your own alternate realty. Hard truth is what it is, skip the smoke and mirrors.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Don

      Can people be so ignorant after 2000 years.
      Remember there were many other "christs" until one caught on.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      There have been others that said the same after him. So it is to wonder why this one was different than the ones that came before him and after him.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • tffl

      Mark from Middle River – better PR firm?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  5. An American

    Just a quick question, who witnessed god creating everything? if adam and eve where created on the six day who witnessed everything before that? and if no one was there how does one know this to be a fact? and if god told adam and eve that god created everything is six days how do we know he was telling the truth, maybe he lied to them so they think he is great.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Are you asking who wrote Genesis?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • An American

      no, I'm asking who witnessed god creating the universe, ie how anyone knows this happens. you don't understand sarcasm do you?

      September 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  6. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Why is it that Creationists are not upfront about how they came about the Truth? Even the ones with a bit of fight in them will never tell you that it was by revelation. They know first that there is a Creator and then that we are creations. They know this because they have direct, clear and plain experience of the Creator – the God of Abraham. They have a personal relationship with it. Any effort they make to square science with what they know to be True has the sole purpose of pulling non-believers into a relationship with this God. They heard this:

    "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some."

    Their Creationism has no other purpose than that. To bring people to their Creator and save them from their unbelief.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Rigel54

      They "know" nothing first hand, they imagine it. They belief it. They have faith, which is belief without evidence or reason. They have exactly what 6 year olds have with respect to Santa, a firm belief and a reason to believe, security and power.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes, very well said.


      September 1, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Don

      Wow. Read some books! Not funny peasant, centurie old ones!
      Ha ha ha ha, funny people.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Don

      Let's quote some old stuff. Makes me feel smart and important. Ha ha ha

      September 1, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • kenny

      the world must be pretty scary for a deluded foool like urself...

      September 1, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  7. bostontola

    Evolution is a fact, proven experimentally.
    You can argue that it is not proven that man emerged via evolution, but science provides an extraordinary amount of evidence for it.
    Believe in creationism if you want, but don't try to argue that it is science, that is lying to your children. Represent it as your religious belief, calling it science is a lie.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Domestication is the proof of evolution. It's the greatest evolutionary experiment humans have ever undertaken.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:49 am |
  8. Olaf Big

    I love the equal time idea. Why don't we teach our future engineers half of the time that two times two is four and half of the time that it is not. I am sure they are going to love it. There is no way they can flunk the exam then. The difference between the evolution and creationism is that the first is a theory and the second is an article of faith. You can argue about a scientifc theory, you can think about ways to test it or improve it, or disprove it for that matter, so there is a great learning value there. But what do you do with creationism in school? It has no connection to any facts of life, no predictive power and really no practical use. You either believe it or you don't.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  9. Markus

    Mistake in paragraph 13: The Earth is dated at around 4.5 billion years old. The universe is around 13 billion years old. The entire history of the Earth occupies only the most recent third of the universe's history.

    It is entirely sensible to compare creationists to holocaust deniers, because they are simply ignoring the facts. Comparing someone to a holocaust denier may be 'offensive', but 2+2=5 is also offensive and must be stamped out to the last brat with clasped hands.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:44 am |
  10. waf98

    “ Nye's argument falls in line with the vast majority of scientists, who date the age of the earth and the universe as 4.5 billion years old.“

    Oops, you blew it, Eric! Scientists date the age of the earth at about 4.5 billion years, but they date the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years. Where's your fact checker??

    September 1, 2012 at 1:43 am |
  11. KrisTaL Mac Leod

    Long Live theKing (elvis)

    September 1, 2012 at 1:38 am |
  12. JMorcan

    To believe we are descended from monkeys, one must first condemn all written history as lies. Time may distance us from those long-ago revelations, but it will never dilute their truth and beauty.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      all written history? do you somehow consider the bible to be actual history?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • Jeff

      You appear to misunderstand the difference between History (non-fiction) and the Bible (fiction). If 2000 years from now people are worshiping Harry Potter ... it won't make hogwarts a real place.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • Heath

      You and your ilk are probably big on Zeus and Neptune and the whole pantheon of Greek gods, too. You fear the hard world, you fear death, and so on some deep psychological level you crave a father figure to protect you. That's all religion is; that's all it ever was. Get your thumb out of your mouth and start using what brains you have left.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Rigel54

      Written history has little to say about evolution, whether cosmic or biological, except to confirm and support it. The factually ignorant musings of the ancients, however intelligent (or, too often, not), are just that, ignorant. Are they beautiful? Often. Important to our history? Often. Pretty fables, empty of reality, but filled with moral lessons. Sure. Descriptions of reality? Rarely.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Olaf Big

      Ignorance is a breeding ground for creationism. Nobody who knows anything about human evolution says that we descended from monkeys. What we say is that modern apes and humans had a common ancestor.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Just wondering

      Man, I am surprised that their is a person here that thinks history is synonymous with fact. There is an act of faith, though in this case misplaced, if i have ever heard one. Faith in a religious truth is far easier believe.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • akmac65

      You are not familiar with the concept of family "trees", parallel development? By that outlook, apes are not our ancestors, they are our cousins. There are quite a few ancestral hominids that look very ape-like. Try not to be so literal in your approach to life.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:26 am |
  13. EZdiditagain

    "Polling from Gallup has shown for the past 30 years that between 40-46% of the survey respondents believe in Creationism, that God created humans and the world in the past 10,000 years."

    Were these polls all taken in isolated rural areas in red states? There's no way 40-some% of Americans believe this. I live in a red state, know a lot of people, and go to a big mainstream church. I can't think of a single person who really believes that – except for this one guy who drools a lot, but he doesn't count.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Mike

      I'm guessing you have a college education and are under 40. You do realize that only 29.9% of Americans over the age of 24 are college graduates and even some of those (e.g Michele Bachmann) don't support evolution, even as a theory. Why then would you be suprised that 40+% don't believe in evolution, having never been exposed to it, finding it in conflict with their faith, or just finding science "too hard".

      September 1, 2012 at 2:27 am |
  14. Rufus T. Firefly

    It's interesting (and by interesting, I mean frustrating and pathetic) how these armchair creationists honestly believe that they know more about science and the natural world than all of the professional biologists, geologists, chemists, physical scientists, archaeologists, paleontologists, geneticists, etc. combined. Researchers spend their entire lives studying and publishing excruciating details based on generations of tested data and established knowledge. Ken Ham wouldn't know how to turn on the light switch in one of their labs. The small-mindedness is staggering. The contempt for intellect and expertise is dangerous.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • Martyr2

      Couldn't have said it better myself. Well put. At this point if you want to hang on to the belief of creationism, you might as well start saying that god created Adam and Eve to be monkeys because that is what we came from through evolution.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Jeff

      AMEN RUFUS! ... hahaha (well, you know what I mean!)

      September 1, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • hondosan


      September 1, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • Mike

      You could give them credit for understanding Pascal's Wager, not in any deep way, but going with the Bible version as a simpler low-risk strategy. The difference between a wave of God's hand and a long, complex sequence of events doesn't enter into the decisions most folks have to make every day. The real problem comes when what the majority hold as articles of faith become barriers to human progress. Religion has been grudgingly giving ground over the last few centuries,
      allowing that the world isn't flat, the earth isn't the center of the universe, etc.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • Chelle

      Firefly – well said!!!! I no longer need to post. You said it for me.

      September 4, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  15. sn0wb0arder

    a lifetime of religious indoctrination is difficult to overcome.

    besides the concern of being ostracized by the religious community there is a lifetime of the threat of eternal torment for unbelievers. it is no wonder religions have such a strangle hold on humanity.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • kenny

      its a powerful form of brainwashing that is pounded into a developing childs brain, in a sense a form of child abuse since it damages the mind to be stunted, ignorant, and weak by explaining the world with fairy tales instead of cold hard truths.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  16. Vega

    Still only 16 percent? Sigh. I believe that there is a huge amount of in the closet atheist. They go with the majority so they don't stick out. Face it, if your a guy and an atheist, it's harder to find girls. So guys just go with the flow . Once the word "atheist" and "agnostic" loses the negative stigma that's been attached to them by god believers, I believe a lot of people will come out of that closet. It happened in the U.K. They are far ahead of us in the whole leaving religion in the past thing. Hopefully, it's just a matter of time that it will even out.

    Will religion ever completely die, and end up in the history books? As long as ignorant people exist, religion will exist...so the answer is most likely no, or not for hundreds of years. However, things are changing at a slow rate, and I'm hoping that poll will eventually be at least 50/50% in my lifetime. .

    September 1, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      i was even married in a catholic church. you do the craziest things when you are in love.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • kenny

      the internet will pretty much destroy religion. the reason most of europe has moved away from it is the dense population and thus people interacting with each that are different and accepting different ideas about the world. most religious people lived in a small town their whole life or "ghetto" in a city they never leave or learn about other cultures til they are fully brainwashed to think their beliefs are the only right ones and all others need to be converted ....

      September 1, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  17. Fin

    Creationist theory is not inherently incompatible with evolution. People of faith should advocate that evolution is God's mechanism for bringing us about, instead of denying abundant evidence of evolutionary progress.

    However, if the faithful insist on casting themselves as the ignorant backwater straw men that society is increasingly apt to mock, so be it.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Yeah, it's too bad. Instead of just saying that they believe that God is behind the engine that makes a car run, they put themselves in the position of insisting that cars don't run....as they ride in one.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • Jeff

      But ... IF they advocate that evolution is God's mechanism they're simply making up a new religion. You can't claim to worship a god because "his" word laid down in his "holy book" ... and make stuff up that isn't actually in the holy book. At that point they're just pulling crap out of they're butts to try and plug the growing number of gaps in their fairy tale version of reality.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • CueBallSTL

      Rufus, I'll bet dollars to donuts that you still fill your car with gas when the gauge gets close to "E", rather than pray to your god to let your car go further. Who's the hypocrite?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Just wondering

      You are correct and a great many people of faith do not believe that they can articulate or understand precisely what their religious scriptures mean in detail.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • Olaf Big

      You can devise any sort of a compromise to reconcile science and God, and you cannot disprove God, of course. The fact is, you just don't need God to explain the world. And if you don't need him, why bring him in?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  18. Mike

    The author of this piece seems to have a case of PRS: "Nye's argument falls in line with the vast majority of scientists, who date the age of the earth and the universe as 4.5 billion years old." Actually the vast majority of scientists date the universe at more like 13.7 billion years old, the sun at 4.57 billion years, and the earth about 350 million years after that. If you're going to write a story, stick to things you have a clue about. PRS – Paul Ryan Syndrome – a selective inability to recall historical facts. In mild cases the syndrome usually presents when the speaker is responding to a question for which they have no real answer. In more serious cases, the speaker becomes fully invested in answers that have been repeatedly proven to be factually incorrect. Once the syndrome has progressed to the point where this behavior occurs in prepared remarks, there is no known treatment.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • waf98

      I know! Obama and his 53 states is a perfect example!

      September 1, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  19. Andrew

    I wouldn't call it child abuse, but it's certainly ill-preparing your child for the reality of the world. This is different than Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy. The parents who actually try to instill creationism/anti-evolution in their children, hoping it will be a lifelong belief, even though evolution has far, far, far more evidence than creationism (which actually has no evidence), are teaching their children to be ignorant.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:29 am |
  20. freddo

    Creationists ... are fools. Belief systems are crutches for the mentally challenged, and the perenially clueless.

    And they're afraid to ask where "God" came from. They're afraid to think outside the "safety" of their little box.

    They never ask questions ... instead, they refer to their sacred book and say all the answers are inside.

    Utter nonsense.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Lagos

      People don't ask where God came from because it's as irrelevant as asking where existence in a scientific sense came from. Yes, the big bang. But where did all the energy and matter that is now the universe, condensed into that single point in existence come from? Another universe? Where did that come from? We can get into abstract or wildly theoretical assertions about the irrelevance of time in such discussions, but in the end, why are your incomplete answers any more valid than anyone else's? Why can you make sweeping generalizations about people of faith and pretend to be enlightened and scientific?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • thebayesian

      Whoa... Belief systems are not for the mentally challenged... The human that believes that a wild tiger is hungry is probably more likely to pass on their genes than the human that seeks to pet it....

      For the record... I am a full fledged atheist, and a statistician... The world of statistics, especially as applied to real data in real science (including the experiments providing evidence for the Higgs), is largely beginning to rely on a statistical paradigm (namely, Bayesian estimation) that directly incorporates the analysts' beliefs, even if those beliefs are founded by available data.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:17 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.