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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

(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. evilution

    Creationists must not stoop-down the evilutionists' level.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:59 am |
  2. DaButter

    Clearly everyone is wrong. Everyone knows a giant duck-billed platypus created the universe. All hail the platypus in the sky. You can't prove it's not true, so it must be real.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:53 am |
    • Chris

      LOL!

      September 1, 2012 at 6:10 am |
  3. Big_D

    I think there is a God and assuming an omnipotent deity would have a problem with evolution is ludicrous. Maybe God designed evolution and is mad religious types deny his good work and call it magic.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:52 am |
    • Chris

      Interesting point.

      September 1, 2012 at 5:57 am |
  4. Daydreamer

    There's nothing wrong with believing in God, but when we think that God has left a path or story for which we are to live by, via a Bible or Quran, or whatever, then we become delusional. That said, science doesn't explain everything. For instance, to say that the universe is 13 billion years old is silly. Like time itself, the universe has always been here. The universe has no beginning, or outer limit or maximum mass. It is, quite simply, endless. How could it not be? What would we call that area beyond its borders? Likewise, God has always been, or else God would have had a creator. So then, isn't God simply the universe and everything in it? You, me, a truckload of dirt, the oceans, everything. When you think about it...that makes sense.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Proof? Also, science does know everything, it's just up to scientists to discover it.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:07 am |
  5. Pinewalker

    You know these supposed intellectual thinkers, scientists, atheists, whatever they want to label themselves that are anti-anything to do with faith or religion.....I think they all deep down feel connection to this earth and other human beings that really can't be quantified or rationalized....is it human spirit, is it God, is it the effect of cosmic rays on our bodies..... Does anyone know what it is or isn't? NO, but since everything is relative we try to box it and label it and if need be, deny it....but deny as they may, they know its there.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:45 am |
  6. Chris

    The more I see how ridiculously stupid people continue to be, the less I fear death. Who the hell would want to spend an eternity with this species?

    September 1, 2012 at 5:35 am |
  7. AizuCamellia

    CNN made a mistake; the Earth is 4.5 Billion years old more or less, but the UNIVERSE itself is far older, closer to 13.9 Billion years, by most scientific understanding (expansion rate, cosmic radiation background, and associated computer models). Anyhow, Creationists' absurd denial of facts in order to justify their faith is deserving of a psychiatric ward. To answer one of Sagan's characters (Palmer Joss) 'Are we of faith in God all just suffering some kind of mass delusion then?'...and emphatic "Yes, yes you are."

    September 1, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  8. coldbreath

    One can be a rational, science believing human being and at the same time be a immortal and spiritual being.

    Advances are made by answering questions – discoveries are made by questioning the answer.

    There is a conception with God that is perfectly compatible with science – even a God that requires evolution.

    A view of God that can be defended logically, is rational, sensible and does not violate the law of Physics.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:28 am |
  9. JimfromBham

    Those who believe in God look at the same world as those who do not. They follow the same observations, the same set of facts, the same lack of absolute certainty – and both the believer and non-believer make the same William James-style "leap of faith" to their divergent conclusions. They merely leap in opposite directions.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:22 am |
    • Derski

      I Don't believe that both sides make the same leap. I believe that the religious make a bigger leap, personally. Socially, it may have once been a comparable leap, now it's not that big unless you're in a very religious area.

      I do agree with what I read as your statement that religion doesn't need to contradict science. I'm not exactly settled on where I am religiously. My study of biology actually rekindled my belief in God, only a deist God. Then when I think about it, I ask why God needs to be a part of that belief. I think I'm coming back to religion gradually but I pray that I don't go so far as to think to take ANY part of the bible literally.

      It's not a problem to take it metaphorically and/or allegorically. They're GREAT stories to live by with morals that were relevant 2000 years ago and will be relevant in another 2000 years.

      September 1, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • nemo0037

      No, there is NOT any same level of uncertainty. Look at the differing ways in which creationists and scientists explain our ability to observe objects millions of light-years away. Scientists explain this fact using facts. Creationists explain this fact using ever-increasing levels of silly new myths that have no possible basis in the real world. BIG DIFFERENCE in certainty.

      September 1, 2012 at 5:32 am |
    • Pinewalker

      Nemo, you are just a different version of a jihadist....there is no other way but your way.

      September 1, 2012 at 5:39 am |
  10. Fox

    To: Every cause has an effect-

    Two things:

    1. Even accepting your postulate doesn't mean that a mystical deity was the cause. If you're referring to what caused the universe, there are millions of possible answers ranging from scientific to utterly preposterous. Based on simple reasoning, scientifically testable evidence and logic, your idea for a cause fits into the latter.

    2. The appeal to authority or argumentum ad verecundiam doesn't make your belief in a God any more legitimate. Jastrow's entire point with his writing was that he believes the unknown to be possible through agnosticism. He never made the claim that Christianity was correct or that Creationism was in any way shape or form to be taken as anything more than religious mythos.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:07 am |
  11. Mike

    There is no credible evidence to support creationism.
    If creationist get their way they will try and claim that earthquakes, thunder, lightning, ect.. are caused by God.

    Creationist want to revert society back to the Dark Ages.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:03 am |
  12. Bryan Frances

    Shame on CNN for giving time to idiots like the Young Earth Creationists. You might as well give up space to discuss the "controversy" regarding the views of the Flat Earthers.

    September 1, 2012 at 5:00 am |
  13. rt

    Jesus died for your sins! But then he rose 3 days later and now he'll set you on fire forever for your sins lol.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:54 am |
  14. WillH85

    It's kind of scary that someone that has such a lack of reasoning capability can get a PhD. Ham is only helping prove Mr. Nye's point. These creationists feel alone and without purpose so they turn to things like creationism which tell them that they're special and make life easy to understand, as long as they don't try and use reason that is. You don't even have to believe in creationism to believe that the universe was made by God. Science and faith can coexist to a degree as long as you don't take religious texts like the Bible as absolutely true.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • dito

      Didn't say WHERE they got their Phd's from. Probably a Bible college that is teaching that garbage

      September 1, 2012 at 5:27 am |
  15. Anton

    If we are made in the image of "God" then "God" must have 100,000,000,000 eyes...

    That is one scary insect...

    September 1, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Congratulations!

      The most incosistent statement for the day.

      September 1, 2012 at 4:58 am |
  16. Tom H

    When Einstein was asked how he would feel if his theories of relativity were not proven correct, he responded:

    "I would pity the Creator for not making the Universe as perfect as Mathematics said it could be."

    The knowledge is out there, stop denying it.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:44 am |
    • Alan

      This was more a reply to the arguments of quantum physics (God does not play dice with the universe) than an argument for God, any God.

      September 1, 2012 at 5:34 am |
  17. Every effect has a cause that is

    "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."
    – Robert Jastrow

    September 1, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • ScottCA

      Only in their heads. theology is not a field of study. It is a delusional attempt to build ever greater delusions to justify the first premise that is founded without reason. Faith is to believe in something without reason, it cannot tell us anything about what is or should be, both of these require reasons..

      September 1, 2012 at 4:48 am |
    • dito

      ...what ScottCA said!!!

      September 1, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  18. Every effect has a cause that is

    It is early here, sorry

    September 1, 2012 at 4:34 am |
  19. Oyster

    This debate is irrelevant. As any good Creationist will tell you, God made corporations, not man, in His image.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • clem

      tee hee

      September 1, 2012 at 5:29 am |
  20. RBSG

    I don't believe in evolution.
    I understand why evolution is true.

    People who believe in creationism usually do not have a clear understanding of evolution by natural selection and speciation, or else they would be inclined to chuck their silly creationist beliefs when they realize how foolish they are.

    I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but it's the truth.

    September 1, 2012 at 4:25 am |
    • Every cause has an effect

      I suggest you look up Robert Jastrow.

      September 1, 2012 at 4:32 am |
    • pray

      and that was said with an open mind? Doubtful. The very basis of evolution and creation requires a leap of faith, either a God or energy and existance always existed without any possible explanation. So take your pick on what you prefer to throw your faith behind.

      September 1, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • Anton

      Evolution does not require "faith" it is Science and has been proven...

      Read a book...

      September 1, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • ReaZ

      @pray no one is required to have an open mind to incorrect ideas. If I had a child who wrote the number 4 like, W, would I be expected to have an open mind and consider this an equally correct representation or would the better parental response be to help correct the child so that later the child would be able to live and interact in the real world. We don't tell you these things to anger you, we tell you them because creationist ideas of the origin of life is wrong. It is incorrect. It's not about faith or beliefs, it is based on the fact that creationist ideas are absolutely, totally, wrong.

      September 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Rhubarb

      "Evolution does not require 'faith' it is Science and has been proven..."

      The theory of Evolution tells me I came from a rock. That requires far more faith than I could ever muster.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
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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.