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. Blake

    Please remember "evolution" is a theory and can't be proven( proven meaning 100%). Please think about where you lay your faith, do you have faith in God or the theories of scientists who in the end were made by God? I choose to have faith in God!

    September 1, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Luis Wu

      I don't have faith in 5000 year old myths written by members of a primitive culture. I'll take science any day over ancient mythology.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • john1972

      All things scientific are theories. Gravity is a theory for instance. Remember, scientists gathered tons and tons of data to come to that conclusion. You on the other hand have a theory with data to back it up. In fact not only do you have no data but you are looking for anything to try and back up your claims. You are actually doing the opposite of the scientific theory. We actually have more evidence to prove evolution than we do for gravity.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • iminim

      In scientific terminology "theory" is equivalent to the common English words "aceepted as fact", as in the Theory of Gravity. Likewise, in scientific terminology the word "hypothesis" is the equivalent of the common English term " theory". Yes, I realize that is confusing.

      As for whether evolution can be tested & proven to occur, it absolutely can. The shorter the lifespan of an organism, the faster it evolves so bacteria are a good place to look for evolution and we see it. One notorious example is the antibiotic resistant MRSA strain of Staph aureus bacteria. It became resistant because only the Staph that had resistance genes to penicillin survived in Staph infections treated with penicillin years ago. Those resistant Staph then propagated & spread their penicillin resistance to their progeny. Each time those offspring encountered a new antibiotic the process repeated itself so that the surviving Staph became more & more resistant to a variety of antibiotics. That's "survival of the fittest" and evolution in action. MRSA now flourishes in both community and medical settings. Penicillin sensitive strains of Staph aueus are now rare.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Bill

      Where is your proof that God created man or anything? How do you know? You only believe it in your mind. Consider the following. You buy a car and the seller tells you "Believe me it's the greatest car in the world, it's$100,000". Now you could believe what he says but you want to know why it is $100,000. So you examine the car. And let's say you find no engine under the hood. But the seller keeps saying it's an imaginary engine and it's the best car, just give him the money. Your rational mind starts to question the seller. Do you buy the car? If you do, you deserve it. Now do you buy the argument that everything was created 6,000 years ago when in fact there is tons of evidence that there was a lot of things already 4 billion years ago. Clearly, your mind is screwed, because you were taught and brainwashed to believe and not think!

      September 1, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  2. Luis Wu

    I am really getting sick and tired of Christians and their stupid, ignorant nonsense. If you want to believe that ancient mythology and superst!tious nonsense is fact, fine, wallow in your fantasy world all you want. But your are NOT going to force your ignorance and stupidity on my children.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • iminim

      "Christian" and "creationist" are 2 separate things. "Biblical literalist" and "creationist" are more closely connected. There are both literalist & nonliteralist Christians. Please don't accept incorrect religious terminology while insisting on scientific accuracy.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Luis Wu

      @iminim – whatever. ALL religions are nothing but ancient mythology. So it really doesn't matter.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  3. fryuujin

    exactly what do creationists hit back with? they got any research, verifiable evidence, reports, etc. that is proven to be true? No, nothing but stories written by who knows who. Not good enough.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • john1972

      They do not care about facts, data, or research. They are not the brightest to say the least.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  4. GardenGal

    A primary assumption is that carbon dating is accurate. However, there are flaws with carbon dating.



    Besides the fact that evolution is lauded as a THEORY.

    Why not approach scientific research with an open mind as to all possibilities and consider the possibility that the world was created by God with the appearance of age? Adam and Eve were not created as infants. Within this possibility, God would obviously have the power and foresight to create the world with resources within to be discovered and used.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • john1972

      To discredit scientific dating you cite yahoo news and the new york times? You might want to start with a peer reviewed scientific article.

      The rest of your post is pretty funny. Scientists do have an open mind. They gathered tons and tons of data and came to a conclusion that made sense based on that data. You on the other hand claim to have a solution, with no data to back up, and are trying to look for any shred of evidence to support your conclusions. Maybe its you that is not open minded? Honestly your idea holds no more water than me claiming aliens built our planet a million years ago. Sounds ridiculous right? That is how creationists sound.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • reality check

      You do understand the difference between theory and Scientific Theory, don't you? Of course not and the very reason you wrote as you did. Please look up the definition of Scientific Theory and open your eyes. It replaces the word "Law" as in the Law of Gravity is now more correctly written as "Theory of Gravity."

      Regarding CARBON DATING: Creationists have highlighted numerous anomalies in carbon-14 dating, and have used these examples to justify the conclusion that the entire scheme is flawed and unreliable. For instance, creationist Walt Brown has pointed out inconsistencies in some carbon-14 dates of mammoths - one part was dated to 40,000 years, another to 26,000 years (and wood surrounding it to 10,000 years), and yet another to between 15,000 and 21,000 years before the present epoch [Brown2001]. However, in the scientific results mentioned by Brown, the dates come from different mammoth specimens. Also, at least one of these dates comes from a hide that had been soaked in glycerin, rendering the date invalid. These and numerous other claimed anomalies in carbon-14 dating are explained in detail in Mark Isaak's book [Isaak2007, pg. 146-151].

      September 1, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Jed Clampett

      The world is actually flat and the universe revolves around the earth!

      September 1, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Dearth Vanderbilt

      No, because it is not true.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Luis Wu

      Evolution isn't just based on fossils. Darwin based his ideas on the plants and animals he observed on his trip around the world. Evolution is a "scientific" theory. The definition of a "scientific" theory is "A statement or group of statements that explain the observable evidence." Sorry, but a 5000 year old book of myths and superst!tions don't explain the observable evidence. Evolution does. Evolution is a fact. Life evolves. The "theory" part is the exact mechanism on how that works. There are minor disagreements on SOME of the exact mechanism but 99.9999% of credible scientists agree that evolution is a fact. Ask your doctor if he believes in evolution or not.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Brennan

      I know right! Theories are sooo fickle and who knows if they are really true! Its jsut a theory! Like gravity...

      September 1, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • GMAN

      Hey GardenGal. You're totally clueless. Carbon dating – evolutionary biologists and geologists DON'T use it. It only works for dating artifacts younger than 50,000 years in age. Older than that, scientists use other radiometric dating methods that have none of the carbon problems. Your point is irrelevant.

      You're also totally wrong about evolution being just a theory. It's both a fact and a theory. It's a fact in the sense of referring to change in the geologic record. Things do change. First organisms in the fossil record are bacteria, and everything appears pretty much in order from simple to complex after that. It changes. That's a fact. The theory is the process of how it changes. Please look up what a scientific theory is. It is not any old opinion or hypothesis. It's one that has been tested and tested and has been found to be so solid that it will likely NEVER be overturned in the future.

      If your god created the world to look like it was old and things evolved, then what was the point of that? To trick us? Your god left absolutely NO evidence that he played this trick. Any half-witted person using the brain that your god gave him/her would be fooled. IF you're right, your god is cruel.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Bill

      Scientists know the accurateness of their method. Thus, they can't say exactly how many years, months and days ago happened something. There is an error tolerance and hence they would say that a given bone for example dates back between say 20,000 and 25,000 years. The point is that error, in this case 5,000 years is less than the difference between the lower limit, 20,000 years, and the supposed 6,000 when creation happened. Hence there is clear proof that there was something before 6,000 years ago and creation cannot be true. Only the brainwashed mind will reject such an argument. And unfortunately, creationists want to brainwash our kids and grab power like the GOP. Furthermore, they would then base their political, economic and any other decisions based on belief not rational argument. Very dangerous path!

      September 1, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  5. Lester

    A major problem is that even science writers can seem to communicate the facts. Most scientists believe the universe is 13.7 billion years old, not 4.5 billion as stated in the article.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • john1972

      This is not a major problem. Please look at peer reviewed scientific literature for facts, not a reporter on cnn. Scientists are not arguing over the date. Might help to look things up yourself once in a while.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Luis Wu

      The EARTH is 4.5 billion years old. The UNIVERSE is 13.7 billion years old.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  6. Josh

    Hey creationists: go visit the children's cancer ward at the hospital, and start spouting off about "intelligent design". See how receptive they are.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Frank

      Yeah, Josh, you tell them how their formed from a blob and their existence is an accident and that the reason they are dying is survival of the fittest.

      While I tell them that they are a purposeful and wonderful creation of God who loves them, even though man defied Him and brought this misery on us, God loved us and provided hope in Jesus Christ...that today they can believe in the mercy grace and forbearance of this Great God.

      Yeah, let's see how that stuff sounds in a room full of grieving mothers, brother, fathers and sisters!

      September 1, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • GardenGal

      C. Everett Koop, who has seen plenty of parents of dying children has said:

      "I have found there are very few atheists among the parents of dying children."


      September 1, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • Josh

      You see, the difference between atheists and the god squad, is that we have the decency to not give the dying and their loved ones false hopes and fairy tales. Tell me what purpose an innocent child's suffering has, in your God's grand scheme of things. When things go well, to you, it's proof of a magic sky fairy. When they go wrong, it's just His inscrutable plan that we could never hope to understand.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • Frank

      And by the way we DO visit the children's cancer ward...sad, never see any of you atheist there!

      September 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure you do. You have no clue, because most people, unlike you, keep their beliefs to themselves.

      September 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Fred

      I've never seen atheists visiting the cancer ward except as patients. I see other Christians there, providing love and support to dying people. Atheists? Who knows where they are. Probably sitting at home in their parents basement posting online about how smart they are and how morally superior to Christians they are.

      September 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So because you are there, you know that all the others you meet there are Christians? How? Do you all have a big old group prayer?

      You moron, what you see is irrelevant. You have no idea what others believe. And you have no idea what goes on in the rest of the world. All you have is your own sorry little anecdotal evidence.

      I'd rather be visited by anyone than a buzzard-faced zealot like you.

      September 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  7. Briggsy

    Scientists say earth is 4-5 billion years old, but that the universe is 14-15 billion years old. Making the universe approximately 3 times as old as earth.

    And creationists need to have as much faith in how old the earth is as they do in who wrote the bible.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  8. shaun

    Ok im kinda confused here. A day is 24hours, which is based on the rotation of the earth. It spins around once so thats a day. How do we count the first 2 days of creation if there was no earth (created on the 3rd day) therfore no rotation to account for the passing of the day, That and the detectably slowing (incredibly small)of earths rotation that shows our days wearnt always 24 hours long. A day is a human measurment, so how can we say creation took a week. Also the 7 day week was a roman creation as well.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:08 am |
    • sergiofuentes


      September 1, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • GethetruthW

      Whats the point of providing a scientific explanation to a fictional story.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • Jack

      When I was in Parochial (Catholic) School back in the 50s we were taught evolution and taught there was no conflict between faith and science. A day, according to ournuns, was a metaphor. A day could have lasted a million years. My nuns were so hip and open minded and reality based, unlike these Christian fundamentalists today. Go figure.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Scott Mendelson

      Yes, you are confused. You have a childish notion that the Earth is center of the Universe, and that a God that looks like you created the Universe just for us and has a special interest in what you do. This leads you to think that the spinning of the Earth is the only way to gauge time. If, on the other hand, you are admitting that the biblical story of creation is simply metaphor, then why don't you just say so instead of presenting that stupid fairy tale as if it were literal fact?

      September 1, 2012 at 8:20 am |
  9. reality check

    Creationists...please ignore all science and no longer visit a science doctor instead "Physician heal thyself." Let's see how well that works for you..oh wait, you don't have enough "faith" for that.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • john1972

      This is kinda funny. Yea, you choose not to believe scientific theories, please then stop visiting doctors. In fact, I am not sure why you are using any technology as it was built using theories of physics, engineering, etc.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  10. iminim

    Belief in God and Christ is a completely separate issue from accepting the scientific fact of evolution. The 2 are only linked by Biblical literalists. Please do not equate "creationist" to "Christian". There are plenty of educated Christians who accept the scientific evidence supporting evolution & the "big bang" model of creation of the universe. Our public schools should teach science, not belief. If someone wants to attach their belief to that science being taught, they have that choice. What people teach their children in their own homes is up to them. When you consider how many people teach their kids racism, hate, indifference, violence, arrogance and intolerance, teaching children creationism just doesn't seem too evil in the sceme of things.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • Bill

      Teaching kids hate, evil etc is of course wrong. But teaching kids creationism is also wrong because those teachings contradict to known facts. Therefore, teaching kids something that is not true is lying to kids. And it is as dangerous as teaching hate and violence. Just consider the arguments that God created Earth and God saves humans therefore we don't need to worry about global warming. With this mentality, creationists are dangerous to the world and most of GOP are religious and creationists and they want to rule the country based on such stupid and dangerous ideas. So, don't teach kids creationism! It's purposeful lying to kids!

      September 1, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  11. Pravda

    It is time for the Religion of Atheism to be banned from our schools. Separation of church and state!!!

    September 1, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Chris Mankey

      I'm sorry, m oron, lack of religion isn't a religion. And evolution isn't atheism.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • reality check

      Atheism isn't a religion. Creationism is a religious belief and has No PLACE in science class in a public school... SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

      September 1, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • just sayin

      President George H W Bush said an atheist is not a patriot and should not be a citizen of America. We are one nation under God. God bless

      September 1, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Bob

      Interesting how you state that atheism (the absence of all religion) is a religion.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      President Romney can not only ban atheism but inst itute laws to revoke the citizenship of any and all suspected anti Americans. Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 1, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • terence

      nobody teaches Atheism. they teach Science.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Bill

      You don't need to teach atheism directly. You only need to teach known facts and exiting new discoveries. That will guarantee no creationism in classes.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  12. Reality Check

    Creationism in schools should be taught. As long as it can be used to produce results consistent with observations of the speed of light, the motion of the stars, relativity, the chemical composition and distribution of the universe, and as long as it is a predictive tool for any disprovable hypothesis, sure, teach it by all means.

    What is most pathetic about creationists is that they have so little faith that their gods could have produced such a beautiful system, that instead of celebrating the thing that their god has clearly placed in front of them, they mock it and those who do see the elegance an d beauty.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • reality check

      Nice name

      September 1, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • john1972

      It would be tough to teach creationism since we have no evidence that its true. Why not teach kids that aliens created the earth? Or better yet, vampires created it? Those solutions make just as much sense as creationism.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Converted

      Well said

      September 1, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Fred

      Hey, reality check:
      You're overdrawn at your memory bank.

      All these sad, pathetic little atheists trying to change Christians into sad, pathetic little atheists
      such as themselves...

      September 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  13. Pravda

    I believe that evolutionists truly did evolve from apes...

    September 1, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Chris Mankey

      I think you evolved from a dingleberry.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • reality check

      Not believing in evolution doesn't change the fact of evolution. In fact, there is more evidence for evolution than gravity.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Jack

      All living things evolve from fruitflies to humans. It's a fact. The Bible is not a science textbook. It is a book of spiritual ideas and precepts on how to live life. It relates these things in metaphors, poetry, parables, and allegory. It is a great book but it is not science.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  14. EnufEnuf

    If we are to teach creationism in schools, then we should make a broad subject matter, not focused on Christian creationism, but all the different creationist theories. There are theories for Buddhists, for Hindis, for the Navaho, etc. I would dare say if that was the type of creationism taught in schools, Christians would be unhappy, as it does not reflect what they want, which is a validation of their belief in their religion.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  15. zometimer


    September 1, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  16. shadowdiver

    You gotta love how creationists and the GOTP are just so aggressively ignorant. Why don't you stupid fks get on your dinosaurs and ride off the edge of the world?

    September 1, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Reality Check

      you misspelled "folks"

      September 1, 2012 at 7:59 am |
  17. Datch

    You can't argue with stupid.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  18. Curt

    Believe and Trust are totally different then Facts and Proof. That's the difference between religion and science. Enough said.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:48 am |
  19. Joe

    If god made you all equal in his image then he sucks at it. What god would allow persecution based off of "beliefs" and whose god is right? There are so many now I don't know which god is the real god. All the crazy creationists respond to questions about how it was created is its in the bible, god said so. Science is a proven thing time and time again, and when its disproved for whatever reason they fix it. Wake up and take the blindfold off, your precious rapture was wrong not once but twice. The morals and ethics taught by religion is for the most part great but the catholic church has more scandal and war behind it then any country.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • Roger


      September 1, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 1, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • shadowdiver

      Prayeer=wek minded people wishing.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Bill

      What does prayer change? If you are sick, pray hard and you won't recover you can easily die of simple things. But if you take modern medicine such as antibiotics you recover easily. But modern medicine is based on the concept of evolution. If you don't believe in evolution, don't take the medicine. But don't abuse kids by infecting them early on with belief that contradicts to known facts. It is lying and abusing poor kids and destroying their future. Religion is not safe!

      September 1, 2012 at 8:04 am |
    • reality check

      Believing in the Tooth Fairy as an adult is healthy? I only believe in one less god than you, so you are atheist against Zeus, Thor and etc.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • Fred

      Hey, Shadowdiver:
      thanks for your post.
      I needed a good laugh!
      I always love seeing some illiterate poster trying to convince people
      of their intellectual superiority.

      September 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You mean like you, Freddy? Your posts aren't exactly Shakespeare, honey. By the way, why would you make each phrase a new paragraph? Did you think that was correct?

      I wonder, dearie, do you find Tarver's posts compelling? Have you noticed that he thinks the word is "intellegence"?

      September 1, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
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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.