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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. Jesse

    Creationists aren't adapting to the modern environment. If they understood evolution, they'd realize they are dying out.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • manbearpig

      Unfortunately, even though the creationists disavow science they still manage to benefit from it. They still manage to use our scientific gains to benefit themselves. Hypocrisy, thy name is religion...

      September 1, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  2. SM

    "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Psalm 14:1
    "Tell them this: 'These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.' But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding." Jeremiah 10:11-12 (the "gods" mentioned above include the theory of evolution)
    "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

    September 1, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • manbearpig

      BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH...
      Why do you people insist on posting bible verses? They don't mean anything to non-christians. Those verses are just some words written down by an amalgamation of primitive Middle Eastern men looking to consolidate their power.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  3. Ron

    I am an ape. Not just and animal, not just a mammal, but an ape. I am proud to say I am smarter than the apes at the Creation Museum.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  4. Guest

    Hey CNN- if you are going to include 3 links to Nye's video, how about you also include a link to the creationists? Oh yeah, you don't actually want to provide balanced journalism. Now, let's go back to counting how many openly hate- filled emails i have from CNN political commenters scaring me to donate money NOW to the Democratic party...

    September 1, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • David

      Rotate your tin foil hat 90 degrees and try again. I have never heard of ANYBODY getting emails from CNN asking for donations to anybody. Could it ALL be in your mind, or what's left of it?

      September 1, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 1, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      a prayer troll

      September 1, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • christopher hitchens

      a prayer truth

      September 1, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      when faced with a problem it is better to have one man with a strong back and a sharp mind than one thousand men on their knees in prayer.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  6. Andrew

    What I find even more inaccurate with creationism is ..the earth can't be just close to 6,000 years old. You'd need to eliminate a large part of the BC calender and the beginning of civilization to believe that load of horse crap. If a god exists it created everything with a purpose from every particle in the universe. To say god created man in his image.. then what created the universe. Your only giving god acknowledgement for less than 1% of anything.. Religion is a narrow minded approach to answering unexplainable or difficult questions. God is not an answer to the "why?" or "how?".. Religion is blind faith.. which is Faith basically is to follow without fact or evidence of your belief. I do believe there maybe something greater.. or an internal feeling imbedded into our DNA to ask what is the point to living.. or the universe. Yet, Religion provides no factual evidence to the existence of GOD nor does it dis-prove .. but without evidence your already on the loosing side of the argument. Science has a system and a well constructed theory based on test to generate real facts..

    September 1, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  7. Marc L from NY

    The difference between Nye and the creationists is that Nye is willing to at least question. You can not debate with creationists because they are not willing to hypothesize that the book of genesis may not be god's words.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  8. charles bowen

    Go saddle a Dinosaur and follow Jesus to the promised land..... Give Me A Break Get Real..... Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    September 1, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  9. Greg

    "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". We don't know when that was. There is no reason why this verse in the bible has to be attached chronologically with the sentences that follow.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Correct, but what are the chances that god got the order of events completely wrong like Genesis states

      September 1, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      So to be consistant with cosmological observations that line should read:"In the beginning God created the heavens, waited for about 8 billion years, then created the Earth, waited another 4 billion years and then created man." Given the statement that follows the sixth day I don't understand why he needed to rest when he spent nearly all this time doing exactly that...resting.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      you realize that there is no reason to lend any veracity to the story whatsoever.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  10. Voodoo Idol

    I can't believe CNN is even giving "creationism" the time of day as if it's a science. It isn't and it doesn't deserve equal footing with science. Stop giving these nuts a platform.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Alien experiment

      Creationism/intelligent design is an alien experiment, not by some magical spirit in the sky that waved a hand and poof we are here.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:08 am |
  11. Russ

    Since 42-46% of people believe in the literal account of creation in the Bible, that accounts for why people can be led so easily by evil people, and why they will commit crimes against humanity. It is the same blind faith and follower thing in action. People have to learn that they have a brain for a reason. They are supposed to use it and question everything.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • GoldenChild

      Let's pretend that people only want to believe things that are true.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  12. Aezel

    "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."

    **FACEPALM CNN** The Earth is 4.5 billion years old, the universe is 13.7 billion years old. Try and keep up.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • manbearpig

      Yeah...that was pretty bad.

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

      Glad I wasn't the only one who caught that!

      September 1, 2012 at 9:13 am |
  13. Colin

    Any parent who teaches their child creationism/intelligent design is committimg intellectual child abuse. You might as well teach them that, any time they encounter a scientific fact that runs contrary to their religious desires, they can pretend it away.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • GoldenChild

      So many people pretend so many things away. Let's pretend that people stop pretending.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • christopher hitchens

      God created order, male and female of all kinds interacting each with their own kind in perfect harmony. With evolution, a billion years passes man crawls out of the oo ze, woman crawls out of the oo ze. But oh no, he is in Africa she is in Asia. Back to the evolutionary drawing board !

      September 1, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      chris – that statement is just exactly the ignorance of evolution and the natural order that nye is talking about.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • chris hitchens

      You dip stick Nye is an ex kids show tv host not a scientist. Does pee wee herman do all your thinking for you?

      September 1, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      chris – yet he apparently has an immeasurably greater knowledge of the natural world than yourself.

      the creation story is just that, a fanciful story told by ancient men to explain what they did not understand of the natural world. that idea that people still espouse such ideas in the modern age is a travesty.

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

      "You might as well teach them that, any time they encounter a scientific fact that runs contrary to their religious desires, they can pretend it away."

      We call that magical place Texas!

      September 1, 2012 at 9:55 am |
  14. tacostand

    What do Creationists hit back with? A book burning? Stink-eye? Chanting? Bill Nye is right, let children explore and learn without blinders. They'll make their own decisions. The Taliban loves to keep people in the dark and hates education because it burns down their story. Creationists who don't allow their kids to grow up with an open mind exposed to science are, in effect, the same as the Taliban or al-Qaeda. And, BTW, Creationism is not science. Believe it or not.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • manbearpig

      tacostand-
      And there's the dilemma for creationists – they don't want their children to think for themselves. They want children that believe whatever brand of BS their parents sell them. Children that think for themselves make bad christians.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:05 am |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Other One

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

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

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

    September 1, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  16. Alien experiment

    The one thing in the bible that makes sense is the ten commandments. Whether or not you believe in a higher power, they are just basic human decency rules that people should follow no matter where they came from.

    September 1, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      How do you follow the first commandment if you don't believe in a god?

      September 1, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • saggyroy

      But they are not the first nor are they unique to the bible....Bhudda and Confiucus come to mind....

      September 1, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Emilio Largo

      @Moby... You don't have to be religious to recognize a good idea. These creationist tools may be willfully ignorant, brainless turds, but there are still kernels of decency in religion worth the attention.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:13 am |
    • Alien experiment

      Moby. Ok, 9. But I think you get my general point. 🙂

      September 1, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  17. Bill C

    The creationists say "No, we are not just evolved animals as Nye believes; we are all made in the image of God." The problem I have with this is that it is humans who made up all the images of god. When did god tell us we lo0ok like him. IN the Bible?? The bible is a book of myths mixed with oral histories, and priests decided what would be in it. They excluded many texts which did not meet with their human approval, because they did not support their beliefs. Throughout history priests and priestess alike made their living by hitting up people for money to support their lifestyle. Sometime they become rich like the catholic church, the evangelicals and most other organized religions!! Even the creationists take advantage by starting a museum supported by cash infusions of duped believers.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  18. ProfBill

    These "creationist" nut jobs are just children sticking gold stars on their foreheads with their own spittle...

    September 1, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  19. buckshot

    Of course those brain dead creationists would come back with their asinine fairy tales and quotes from that booof magic and make believe. Bill has it down pat they don't. still wanting to press the issues of crap as they always have done.

    September 1, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  20. michael

    i guess you could argue that evolution doesnt exist because there are still people walking around believing in creationism

    September 1, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Jay

      No, evolution will leave them behind like the Neanderthals. Those who refuse to evolve die out, that's the irony.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:08 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.