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. Bob

    Science belongs in the classroom and religion belongs in church. That said, why can't Christians find what God did and why He did it in the Bible, and how He did it in science?

    September 1, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  2. jzolt

    Those silly Jesus freaks!

    September 1, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  3. Stephen

    ...or do we start with the Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all?"

    Ahem – surely we can all agree there was no 'eyewitness account' of creation? There is not one word in the Bible that was written by god or Jesus, and none of it was written until at least 50 years after the assumed death of the assumed Jesus son of god. The Bible is a collection of good stories, bad stories and plain silly stories. Unfortunately this collection of parables and nonsense has become the cornerstone for the Christian religion. May god help you all.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  4. dsjsfr

    Creator of big bang theory = A Catholic priest.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  5. Felix Unger

    The universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old (not 4.5 billion as the article states). Earth was formed approximately 4.5 billions of years ago through a slow process, I believe, termed "accretion" which arises from the electrostatic attraction of small dust particles. Electricity in the dust particles heated them so that they melted and formed rocks. As these processes continue, the rocks became large enough so that their gravity started to attract other particles and rocks. Ultimately, over millions of years, the earth and the other planets were formed. The spherical shape of the planets arises when there is sufficient mass for gravity to crush it into that shape. OR YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT POOF THE EARTH WAS HERE AND POOF MAN WAS HERE.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Club for healthy atheists and their chidren

      Did you see the article, building blocks of life found around young star, Aug 28, 2012? So science has discovered that complex molecules can form in clouds of dust and gas that are required to form a building block of life, RNA. This is before planets have even been formed explaining how life formation is already in progress and only needs the right enviroment to replicate. No god needed to create. That young star could be comparable to ours 4.5 billion years ago.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Felix Unger

      Club, I did not see the article but interesting.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  6. Loyd

    The earth is 4.5 billion years old, but the universe is 13.7 bullion years old. Get your facts straight!

    September 1, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • N. Onnimus

      It's not that hard, Loyd... the Earth is not the oldest thing in the universe.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • truth be told

      13.7 bullion ? now that's rich

      September 1, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  7. Rev

    And which creation story in Genesis are they referring to? The first or the second? While literlaists try hard to reconcile the two, the vast majority of contemporary Biblical scholars agree the two stories come from different Hebrew traditions. Perhaps the creationists are missing the point of the two stories. It isn't about what happened exactly when, because the two stories differ on those points. From the perspective of these ancient writers, it is about God's relationship with humanity, the living things and the planet, humanity's relationship with God, one another and the earth. THe writers here who point to many other creation stories in different cultures are absolutely correct. All of these cultures were struggling to make sense of their beginnings, their purpose and how it all fits with a Divine presence. Even the atheists miss the point that many Christians are not of the ilk of the evangelical right literalists but many of us find a deeper meaning rising up from the texts. It may not be persuasive to one who has no belief in a greater power, but at least open yourselves to the fact that millions of us don't climb on the literalists bandwagon of creationism and yet find a profound truth within the texts not based on literalism. Many of us embrace both the science and the Divine.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • iminim

      Eloquent answer Rev. Thank you from all of us considerably less eloquent Christians who share your views on this issue.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • sybaris

      But Rev, you miss point as well, "All of these cultures were struggling to make sense of their beginnings, their purpose and how it all fits with a Divine presence".

      Just as they made up stories about how it all started, so too they made up stories about a divine creator.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  8. Inigo Mantoi

    Evolution has evidence from fossils and remains. Creationism has a book and closed eyes as evidence.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  9. Pypuan

    Chinese culture dates back to more than 7000 years. So, how come earth was "created" about 4000 years ago?
    Can't you do the math? Or creationists are just plain morons? What about dinosaur fossils? Were they "planted" in deep soil and rocks just to embarrass the creationist theory? Who had the technology to do that thousands of years ago? Aliens? Iran? North Korea? Democrats? Hollywood? Bollywood?
    Creationists = pathetic retards!!!!
    Anyway, keep amusing the world!!! Keep showing all the other non-Christians how wacko Americans can be!!

    September 1, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • 2tor

      Apparently you can't do the math, since you're the only person I've ever seen saying Christians think the world was creat 4k years ago? Not a clue....

      September 1, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • sybaris

      Even if he put BCE in front of 4k there are man made structures, evidence of cultures and events that are much older than the c.umulative 6k year age of the earth proffered by creationists.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:50 am |
  10. TWT

    Recommended reading- Case For Faith by Lee Strobel

    September 1, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • sybaris

      Lee Strobel, seriously?

      I've read his books. He couldn't make a case out of wood.

      His books utilize junk science and flawed logic for support and contain nothing but feel good arguments by the faithful for the faithful.

      Nothing convincing there.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Gregg

      This is the best comment by far of any here. Atheists, want a perspective from one of your very own? Read this book and learn.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Jeem

      Lee Strobel is clearly suffering from some sort of dementia. When you find someone who knows how to use reason and logic, come on back and tell us about them. Thanks for stopping by.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Gregg

      Suffering because you can't understand him or because you're too busy clinging to your narrow view to open your mind to what he's actually saying?

      September 1, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Jeem

      He couldn't argue his way out of a bathroom stall at a gay singles bar. I understand he can't reason or use logic to save his life.
      My mind is open to intelligent and rational information. If you can't argue, don't bother trying to find someone to do it for you, for you clearly don't know how to figure stuff like that out.
      You don't have a clue or maybe you're just getting paid to be here. You are the one who has to argue, not someone else.
      Don't quote anyone if you can help it. It will just get torn to pieces because you don't know what you're talking about or are deliberately lying.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Gregg

      "for you clearly don't know how to figure stuff like that out"

      Your astute and intelligent command of the English language is amazing. Thank you Jeem, but I can figure "stuff like that" out just fine. Thanks for your thoughts.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  11. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Time for the FSM to take to the skies once more! I prefer my creationism with a side of balls. May you all be touched by his noodly appendage. R'amen!

    September 1, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Club for healthy atheists and their chidren

      May the sauce be with you.

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

      Isn't it wonderful how low-brow, insulting, and puerile the comments from many of the non-believers are, while the supposedly bad guys (ie Christian's) comments are all passive and thoughtful. It really goes to show you how ignorantly insecure and nasty atheists and their ilk really are. So much for the humanistic, enlightened mind! When you scratch the surface the atheism crowd is as hate-filled and vile as any. Worse, actually than those they would seek to condemn.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Jeem

      Opposition is not hating, so you are really sounding stupid. What a shock.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Gregg

      "Opposition is not hating, so you are really sounding stupid."

      You're so smart, it must make you feel real good to reinforce my point by personally attacking me with snide remarks and insults. Go humanism! By the way, what kind of name is JEEM anyway, just saying...

      September 1, 2012 at 9:34 am |
  12. RC

    Purdom says that children should learn about both ideas of our past. The problem with this is that the "idea" of creation is a religious concept and not a scientific one. Also, the biblical creation account is not the only creation account known in human history. Should we also teach the Babylonian and Egyptian creation accounts? Afterall, they too are ideas of our past. The bible doesn't have a monopoly on this idea. I say keep only scientific theories in the classroom. Evolution is not debated in the scientific community. It is a well established theory and the foundation of many science disciplines. Please, let us move forward and not backwards.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  13. Andrew

    "There is no god."
    -Bishop Pickering

    September 1, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  14. Russ

    Sorry, but seriously – none of creationist's theories have a single shred of objective factual supporting information – so who cares what they say? Anybody can say anything – that doesn't mean it's true. Until any objective, factual information supports their claims, people should take it for what it is – nothing more than an uninformred, unsupported opinion.

    Many great things come from faith – social gatherings, support groups, a sense of belonging, etc. However when this overtakes rational / factual thought – that's a serious, serious issue.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:28 am |
    • 2tor

      The problems always been. Fact are good, till new ones come along. To take either side in this battle will be self endured ignornace.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  15. GreggEsq

    Many creationists realize the fallacy of their position, hence this shift to "intelligent design" which allows them the comfort of still believing that "God" is in the driver's seat and controlling everything in the universe, while also allowing them to tacitly acknowledge that evolution is a scientific fact. What worries me are the strict creationists who continue to insist that the universe was created in six 24 hour days by "God". This flies in the fact of an overwhelming mountain of scientific evidence and how these people can be so blinded by faith mystifies me.

    All I can say to you folks is don't take a cruise, because the ship might sail off the edge of the world. Also, don't let anyone take your picture, because they'll steal your soul. And most important, please go and have a vasectomy or tubal ligation so that you cannot have kids and continue to spread your ignorance.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  16. settino

    "eye witness account of the eternal God who created it all" Who? Oh yes...Santa and Virgin Mary!

    September 1, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  17. Club for healthy atheists and their chidren

    Not to mention there are about 40 or so creation myths written by man from all parts of our world, can they all be right? Probably why religion is the scourge of mankind, our god is right and yours is wrong, making you a heretic and unworthy of life (see the slaughter of the aztecs, mayans and other aboriginal groups).

    September 1, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 1, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • bitphr3ak

      LOL, Ken Ham's rebuttal video on youtube has the comments disabled. Why? Because he can't handle critical thought.

      Bil Nye is right and Ken is...well, a ham!

      September 1, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • flyer222

      I wonder if Biblical Creationists ever consider that the Holy Bible is full oc contradictions and inconsistencies. I mean if it is suppsed to be the gospel truth then why would there be so many errors in it? That alone convinces people like me that these are mere "campfire" stories handed down from generation to generation, which ultimately became part of a "Holy" piece of work. And what about the other stories that have bee removed from the Holy Bible by people?

      September 1, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • bananaspy

      Either this is some kind of bot account or you literally have no life. If you spent as much time reading books as you did posting that prayer changed things, you might actually be educated enough to realize it actually doesn't. You can scientifically prove that prayer doesn't change anything.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  19. jeeplin

    The reason people who are not saved or received a spiritual birth can't see that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth is because they are spiritually deaf dumb and blind to the things of God .That is why they make the most ridiculous statements ever.People like them believe them because they are in the same spiritual condition as the people making the incredulous statements.You can't fight Almighty God.He will win in the end.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • RickN

      Sit back and relax. Close your eyes and tell me about your relationship with your father...............

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

      describing yourself, i see. Dumb!

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

      You are a brainwashed idiot who believes in fairy tales. So, in the beginning God created Adam and Eve. What race were they? I'm sure in your feeble mind you believe they were white just like you. Doesn't really matter what race you think they were. The real question for you is where did all the other races come from? Do you deny what science knows about genetics? It is not possible for two black people to give birth to an Asian baby, for example? Pull your head out of your bottom and face reality! Stop positioning what you believe to be true as known fact. Just because you feel it so intensely doesn't mean it actually happened. It only means you have drank the Kool-aid right to the bottom of your glass.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Russ

      hmm maybe. Or maybe they actually have a brain and believe in science, math, etc. as opposed to just throwing away any factual information and trusting stories written thousands of years ago and edited several times since that there's an all knowing, all creating, all-everything man in the sky.

      So telll me – why are all relgions wrong and Christianity is accurate? Celtic, Ancient egyptian pharonic, greek, mayan, incan, etc – all those gods have been proven wrong. We're fairly certain thunder isn't Thor, rough seas aren't caused by Neptune and the sun isn't Rah. All THOSE gods were fake, but YOUR god is real though, right?

      September 1, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Club for healthy atheists and their chidren

      Once you lose your mind to jesus, you have lost you ability to reason, is that your point? Ok, if it is, I agree and hope you have a happy delusional life. Could you do me one favor, do not give any money to the priest, pastor, minister, evangelical or whomever, they are just taking advantage of you. Try, thanks.

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

      Since your god does not exist, I guess you'd be wrong about...well...just about everything connected with that, right?
      But how could you ever face the waste and damage caused by believing in lies for most of your life?
      You would refuse to even think of it, not even to wonder or imagine or even check to see if your soul is really going to go somewhere after death or not.
      You would not seek the truth if it were so scary, so you will refuse to face the truth – there is no god and magic just isn't real at all.
      You say we will "find out one day", well some of us have already done just that. We discovered the truth and the truth is that there is no god wrapped up over your inner dialogue or who cares what you do with your own body or what happens to anybody.
      Your imaginary god does nothing in the real world. He is only in your head, unable to effect any magic at all.
      When you pray, you are talking to yourself and no one else. You have one-way conversations with your imagination.
      Your god speaks to no one but you. You are schizophrenic.

      September 1, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  20. fryuujin

    I can disprove intelligent design with just one letter. W

    if that dimwit, not to mention that dimwits that voted form him twice, didn't show there is no such thing as intelligent design I don't know what does.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Jeem

      Yes! When all the physical evidence points towards no ID, and all they have is lies and fallacious thinking to say otherwise, it is clear that ID is a farce, a hoax, a desperate attempt to keep their wealthy followers from leaving forever...

      September 1, 2012 at 8:35 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.