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. Lagos

    Always interesting when the more obnoxious and simple-minded atheists come out barking fallacious arguments backed up by scientific hypothesis being treated as law while criticizing other, less scientific forms of leaps of faith, they are confronted with a basic rebuttal, and disappear. And before anybody gets their panties in a bundle based off of a lack of reading comprehension, I am not equating atheism with being obnoxious or simple-minded.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      For Pete's sake, you idiots, learn the meanings of theory and law in science!!! Theories do not become laws. God, it's like listening to children pretending to know things that they don't actually understand.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • Dan, TX

      Nonetheless, Bill Nye is completely right on this issue, and the idea some people would deny God by denying evolution is a big problem for everyone, not just atheists. If you believe in God, you have to believe in evolution as well.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • Lagos

      Or like this clown, simply copies and pastes the same idiotic statement reeking of a complete lack of reading comprehension.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:59 am |
    • JP

      Well, there's the pot calling the kettle black.

      Why shouldn't someone cut and paste a response when you're just paraphrasing yourself in multiple posts? The theory of evolution is well proven by the fossil record, carbon dating, DNA analysis and even just looking out your window and watching ongoing changes in species living around us.


      If you've given yourself permission to ignore science and rely on magic so be it. But continually claiming that the science isn't well proven is a lie.

      September 1, 2012 at 3:11 am |
    • Bob Bales

      JP: The things that you say make evolution 'well-proven' do not prove it at all. The fossil record tells us that certain organisms existed, but tells us nothing about how they came to be. (And evolution asserts the existence of countless organisms that do not appear in the fossil record.) Carbon dating deals with periods of thousands, not millions, of years. DNA analysis, again, tells us how organisms are, but now how they got that way. (To say that organism came from a common ancestor because their DNA is similar is to assume evolution and thus does not prove evolution. The changes we see when looking out the window are orders of magnitude less than those require to produce all life from an original life form. Evolution asserts that such small changes add up over time. But we see nothing out our window that validates this assertion.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • David

      Bob Bales, the principle of carbon-14 dating applies to other elements. So we test for decay remnants in the surrounding rock the fossil was buried in. For example, uranium 238 -Uranium ores and granitic rocks more than 10 million years old.
      thorium 232 – Uranium ores and granitic rocks more than 50 million years old. rubidium 87 – Some granitic rocks, sandstones, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks more than 10 million years old.

      There are other methods as well, so if you had any knowledge besides that given to you in the Bible you would know that.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  2. Vash

    The most noticable fact from the thousands of comments these Religion articles generate is that the vast majority of comments from atheists are verbal attacks/slurs/jokes against the religious. Interesting..

    September 1, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • JP

      At least atheists limit their attacks to the verbal. Meanwhile religious zealots are busy performing attacks with bombs and airplanes. Religion has been used as an excuse for more violence than atheism ever will. So long as zealots keep trying to pass laws to inflict their delusions on the rest of us, we will continue to use our words to point out the nonsense in their arguments.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:54 am |
  3. ScottCA

    Excellent discussion

    September 1, 2012 at 2:45 am |
  4. Chirag

    Listen people Santa Clause IS real. He has a purpose he is not just simply a figment of our imagination but a true being in the creators eyes. Jesus come to us all just like Santa and that is the WORD of the day...

    September 1, 2012 at 2:42 am |
  5. Burt

    Atheism is trendy right now because of media addicted, bandwagon jumping Americans. It has nothing to do with brains.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • Chirag

      Jesus is my trend, love jesus and he will love you back.... I think.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:43 am |
    • Dan, TX

      This is about evolution, not atheism. If you believe in God, you have to believe in evolution, because that is the mechanism that God used to create man on Earth.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:58 am |
  6. Andrew

    This blog post illustrates perfectly what is wrong with CNN. In a desperate attempt to not seem "lame stream", baseless beliefs are given equal weight as science; lies are given the same weight as facts, after all lies are just "facts from a different point of view".

    CNN needs to grow a pair. It is okay to say Republicans have gone off the deep end!

    September 1, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  7. Steven B.

    Ignorance is bliss, eh, religious types? Enjoy. The rest of us will take reality, and appreciate life for what it really is.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  8. Bobo

    Yeah! How can anyone not believe that an magical invisible sky wizard makes everything! Doesn't that make much more sense than none of them there thinking! Magic! What made you? Magic! Who loves you? A sky wizard who lives in the sky! Can't we all understand such perfect and sound logic!?

    September 1, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Susie

      How can any sane person believe that the universe just appeared out of nowhere?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • EnoughAlready

      Even if it DIDN'T appear "out of nowhere" there doesn't prove your deity is the one who made it.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • Charles

      Yeah and its funny that people think that HUMANS are so important, that whatever created us is aware of our existence. True, something created us but we definitely aren't intentional. Holy hell, who would create humans on purpose lol

      September 1, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Dan, TX

      A Big Bang, can in no way be harder to imagine than the existence of a supernatural being who talks to you and listens to you.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  9. JA

    I used to be a believer. Then around third grade, I received an education in basic science that went beyond pouring vinegar on baking soda and playing with magnets (we got to make D-cell batteries that year!), and, along with a tad of backyard astronomy, my eyes were opened.

    Proper education, people. It saves.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:30 am |
  10. Kujon

    Like most religious nut jobs don't let overwhelming science an facts get in the way I guess ignorance is bliss

    September 1, 2012 at 2:29 am |
  11. ryan

    Dear CNN,

    Please stop acting like creationists have an argument that is equal and opposite of science. They don't. You are doing the public a great disservice.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Dan, TX

      I agree.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  12. Saddened

    I have found skimming the comments interesting. Those of the commentators who are people of faith, i am happy that you have beliefs that give you hope, direction and comfort. Those who are not people of faith, while i think you are missing something, so long as you are happy and comfortable in your beliefs, so be it, maybe you will change. To those of you who somehow feel you need to denigrate the beliefs of others, whether their faith or lack of it, you I pity, for you are just showing your fears and insecurities.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • Thank you

      Thanks for your kind, well thought logical comment. It bothers me that all people do us bring each other down and bashhh each with these replies to CNN's articles, Its ridiculous. How ever smart or intelligent you are (or Believe) or how much faith you have in your intelligence or God, its pathetic to bring someone else down because you are "Right" (lol) and they are wrong. . . smh

      September 1, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • JP

      Those of us who believe in reality instead of magic would be happy to leave you sky fairy believers alone if only you'd quit trying to make your hateful and bigoted ideas into law. As soon as the religious zealots quit trying to outlaw abortion and stand in the way of equality under the law for gays, we'll let you continue to live in your fantasy world without argument.

      Live and let live only works if both sides do it. So long as the religious folks are making war on the freedom of others to suit their mythology, those among us who are sane must fight back.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • Dan, TX

      If you are in self-denial about the acceptance of proven facts, then you have a problem. When you tell me that facts don't matter you make your problem my problem. Evolution is a fact of nature. The Bible gives examples of genetics and changing allele frequencies in populations – an example of evolution. The Pope and Catholic doctrine agree that evolution is the only scientific explanation for the origin of man on Earth. Evolution is 1) a scientific fact 2) entirely consistent with the Bible. To deny evolution is counter to the facts, and directly contradictory to the Bible.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • Chirag

      its all fun and games till someone gets hurt. Religion=war

      September 1, 2012 at 2:45 am |
  13. obamanoids

    bill nye the perfect example of asperger syndrome, narrow focus. Studies shows aspies couldn't process religion in their brain so they bash it. Aspies like bill nye has zero social skills and loves the theory of evolution because he can't process what he doesn't know and can't see with his own eyes.

    I say keep an open mind and maybe both interpretations are correct.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:22 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Given your handle, and your comment, I say it's absolutely ridiculous for you to be telling people to have an open mind...

      (and as for him having poor social skills due to Aspberger's syndrome – sorry, he is a notoriously well-liked and amiable guy)

      September 1, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • akmac65

      Name-calling is name-calling, whether the names are rude or pseudo-intellectual.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:31 am |
    • Hiro Protagonist

      Not even an open-mind the size of Nebraska will convince me Eve was created from Adams rib. Sorry to break it to you, but carbon dating is real science; creating the Earth in 6 days, along with a boat that housed two of each living species is fantasy at its finest.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • Bobo

      Yeah! Just cause he went to school he thinks he's all smart! We all know magical sky wizards created us! They're invisble cause they love us! MAGIC!

      September 1, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  14. John

    This is sad. Ken Ham uses "made up" science not real science. All he wants to do is further the dogma he has been preaching so he can continue to make money off those he fools. He never states all the facts, only those that promote his wrong view of how the earth was formed, how old the earth is, Noah's Ark fairy tales, etc. This will hurt America and set basic science back 500 years. It will make America a 3rd world nation when it comes to basic science. Why do we put up with foolishness like this. Ken Ham, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Lagos

      Yes, a few idiots teaching a few thousand idiots will cause the U.S. military to replace all guns with muskets and all ships with those constructed of wood, people will tear down electrical lines and believe the world is flat. Clearly this assertion isn't equally as idiotic

      September 1, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • JA


      Thanks a lot, Christians. If it wasn't for you, we'd be sending manned missions to Saturn by now.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:33 am |
    • Lagos

      Clearly. After all, if you simply removed Christianity and all religion from history, it is reasonable to assume that there would be no major changes in human civilization or society that would in any way impact scientific development in any negative way. You love to claim that a phantom flag that killed a drive in the first quarter of a football game cost your team the game, don't you?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  15. TheRonin

    Here is a though, teach them both and let them decide...., I am a parent I am not religious and i think creationism is a joke...a childs story. But i will teach my children about both theories, and let them decided just as my parents never forced either onto me...Life is about choice...Science or relgion must be something one chooses to believe...not forced. Wake up.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • JP

      There is a problem with teaching both "theories" as though they have an equal chance of being true. The theory of evolution is backed up by science – as in peer reviewed journals and hundreds of biologists, paleontologists, zoologist, geneticists etc who all come to the same conclusion – and well established as fact. Any doubt in the scientific community is over very small details and not the general idea as the public knows it. Meanwhile creationism is backed up by a 2000 year old book written by desert nomads. The same book that includes human and animal sacrifice, a story about a man who was swallowed by a whale and lived inside it for 3 days, and a boat that was built to house 2 of every animal... Is it really so hard to understand why "teach the controversy" is so stupid?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • Serge546

      Here is the problem with your way of thinking. The word theory in science has a very specific definition. It is not an idea nor an educated guess (that is a hypothesis). No, in science the word thesis is a set of interconnected ideas that explains a wide range of phenomena and is backed up by countless experiments. There are literally thousands upon thousands of experiments which all back up evolutionary theory.

      Creationism is not a theory. There are no experiments backing up creationism. It is dogma. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it does not belong in a science classroom.

      Hope this clears up some very common misconceptions.

      September 1, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • Bob Bales

      JP: No, evolution has not been established as fact. A scientific fact is something which has repeatedly been observed. The development of all organisms from an original life has not been observed and will not be repeated. It is true that many scientists believe in evolution. But facts in science are nog decided by majority vote. Consider two areas: 1. The spontaneous development of life from non-life. (Strictly speaking, this is not part of evolution but is a part of evolutionary biology.) There is no experiment that shows this to be possible. 2. The development of man and chimpanzee from a common ancestor. If you ask why you should believe this, you will be told that the DNA of the organisms is 98% the same. But where is the experiment that shows that organisms with 98% common DNA developed from a common ancestor? There is none! It is taken to be self-evident - based on the assumption of evolution.

      Also, your char5acterization of creationism is a straw man. By a great majority (there may be exceptions), creations do not want to teach based on the Bible. Let me repeat: creationists do not want to teach creationism based on the Bible. Rather, they want to teach it as a conclusion from observations of present and past life. Those who hold to evolution have no right to prevent those who rech different conclusions from presenting them.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • JAK Da Man


      I'm not sure if I completely buy your phrasing. You wrote: "Those who hold to evolution have no right to prevent those who rech different conclusions from presenting them."

      As far as I know, there is only a miniscule amount of people that are evolution-ists that do not think that the religious have every right to present their views. I think we, by and large, think it's absolutely critical that you and others are free to present your ideas. But some want to re ask the question: Should Hindus, Jews, Christians, Australian Aborigines, Rastafarians, Salafis, Muslims, Buddhists, or any other number of religious groups should be able to present their views on the origin of the "creation" in a science class. The Supreme Court appears to have understood that you don't teach non-scientific beliefs about the origin of the universe in a science class and that appears to be an excellent ruling.

      Can you not understand why we shouldn't teach what the Hindus believe about creation in a science class? I'm guessing you do and if you understand that perhaps you can understand why Christians shouldn't be able to teach what they believe about creation in a science class.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  16. realbuckyball


    September 1, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • ScottCA

      Excellent video. thanks for the very amusing video that shows us the importance of reason and logic.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:50 am |
  17. Don't trust them

    You can teach my child the stengths and weaknesses of evolution if I can teach your child the strengths and weakenesses of your religion.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • lamb of dog

      Ill keep my theories. You keep your fairy tales.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Right. Can you imagine the wailing of the Christians if it was decided to teach the weaknesses of Christianity in public schools? They would lose their freaking minds.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:38 am |
    • JP

      Or, since they supposedly respect blind faith so much, you could always offer to teach their children all the alternative religions that people have believed in throughout our history. All children should be taught the benefits of Norse and Greek mythology, Hinduism, Buddhism, druidism... because they should be able to choose right? If we're allowed to point to ancient religious texts and claim they create legitimate scientific controversy, then surely we should examine whether lightning is really electricity or perhaps instead was hurled by Zeus.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • Bob Bales

      In other words, you'll let me teach science if you can teach religion?

      September 1, 2012 at 7:25 am |
  18. Denker

    Religion, human intellect's cancer.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • Lagos

      Closed-mindedness: The extreme leftist's greatest weapon and most common point of whining.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • JA

      Funny. The exact same thing could be said of the extreme right.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Lagos

      Yes it could, did I ever say or imply otherwise?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • kenny

      there is nothing more arrogant and closed minded than thinking you know the creator of the universe and you will spend eternity with him if you follow his rules.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • Randy

      The opinion of an obviously hurt person. So sad.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • Lagos

      Much like it is arrogant to simply put reason aside and equate a scientific theory (and a weak one at that) with scientific law, assume that you know with absolute certainty how the universe as we know it was created, where that matter and energy came from. Because hey, it's okay to ignore the scientific method if you know you're right, right?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      For Pete's sake, you idiots, learn the meanings of law and theory in science! Hint: theories do not become laws. It's like listening to children trying to pretend they know things that they don't actually understand.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • Lagos

      Likewise, you should probably utilize at least 20% of your available brainpower, gain some middle school-level reading comprehension skills and realize I was in no way claiming that a theory proven beyond any doubt became a law or any such thing.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • Lagos

      Wait, let me save you the mental strain. After all, you're probably busy trying to figure out how to open a can of beef ravioli with your wife out of town and can't be bothered to think.

      "Much like it is arrogant to simply put reason aside and equate a scientific theory (and a weak one at that) with scientific law"
      Big Bang = Theory
      Law = Statement regarding the physical universe based on experimental observation, in a way that can be observed.
      Big Bang != Law

      September 1, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • JP

      The theory of evolution has nothing to do with how the universe came into being. It merely explains the diversity of species currently living on the planet and how they might respond to ongoing pressures in their environment. Abiogenesis refers to how life began from inorganic matter and is less well understood but even so, does not seem to require a supernatural explanation. Neither of those topics covers the creation of the universe as a whole. It is still somewhat odd to assume that just because we don't currently understand all of the physics involved that it must be magic.

      September 1, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  19. Curt

    If Nye thinks that is child abuse... He hasn't seen anything yet.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • Clint

      Says the catholic preist......

      September 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  20. Lagos

    "between 40-46% of the survey respondents believe in Creationism, that God created humans and the world in the past 10,000 years."
    "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."

    Really, what gutter does CNN pull these writers and editors out of? 40-46% of "Creationists" fall into the realm of believing the earth is 10,000 years old? The Earth and the universe are the same age?

    September 1, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Lagos, some where the CNN Belief Blog Editors are sitting back and laughing at both the Faithful and the Atheist. They throw out articles such as this. Others that drag in 80 year old Priest and Radical Atheist. This is just another story meant to define discord.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Lagos

      I'm actually somewhat surprised to see someone that has a clue respond, Mark. I don't think it's entirely on purpose but CNN doesn't go out of their way to hire people with any actual journalistic background, or expect those on their staff to put out quality material.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • Hiro Protagonist

      Babble on.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • Eric

      Mark/Legos – True but the joke is that they will try convince potential sponsors that we actually even notice who is sponsoring CNN, which is a laugh as well. We are all too busy having fun bloviating to notice, so everyone is wasting equal time.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:30 am |
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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.