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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
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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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

"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. jim atmad

    The Book of Genesis is not a science manual. It was written for Bronze Age understanding. They didn't even have a word for 'billion' so how could they describe the age of the universe? How would they describe the distance of a light-year, let alone billions of them?

    The scientific case for a universe that is billions of years old, and for an evolutionary process that has been tracked for hundreds of millions of years, is just as strong as the case that the universe does NOT revolve around the Earth.

    If you choose not to believe the science, you need to recognize that you are simply making a choice.

    Do NOT pretend to your children that there is some scientific explanation for your choice.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • chris hitchens

      When I was a child science estimated the age of the earth at about a million years. Now science estimates the earth to be 4 billion years old. The earth sure aged in one short lifetime !

      September 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Universalist

      Yeah, now science has telescopes so you can finally find your pud.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      When you were a child, aspirin was likely the only pain reliever on the market. When you were a child, there may not yet have been a vaccine against measles. When you were a child, personal computers didn't exist. When you were a child, cars had no seatbelts or air bags.

      Shall I go on, or do you get the picture?

      September 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  2. roger watson

    this is why its a good idea to separate church and state . the idea behind creationalism is absurd and thats the reason religions like to introduce children to it when there young.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • chris hitchens

      Too bad no one ever introduced you to spelling

      September 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • nolibtards

      The idea that we must accept the evolution theory as fact is absurd as are many of its principles.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's really absurd is nolibtards thinking that everyone is as ignorant as he is.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • nolibtards

      Tom, tom... I don't believe people who believe in evolution are ignorant. However, I find it interesting when the "great minds" tell us what we should believe and, if we don't fall in line, we are labeled as backwards, ignorant, etc. This is particularly concerning coming from the scientists and politicians. Others, like you, are just a nuisance.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      nolibtards, you ARE ignorant. It's not an insult–it's observable in your posts. You don't have the first clue as to the meaning of the word "theory" and you should have no say in what is taught in a science class until you look it up and figure it out, jerk.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  3. Universalist

    What killed the dinosaurs 400 million years ago?

    September 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Leashon

      My guess is Chris Christie farted and it was so foul smelling and powerful, it traveled through time and killed them all.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Universalist

      Chris Christie is as fat as a dinosaur.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • CA Liberal

      The dinosaurs were killed 65 million years ago (except for the birds) not 400 million years ago.
      Also I have always thought the Greeks made up much better stories than the Hebrews. If you want to believe stories.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • jim atmad

      The big dinosaur die-off was between 60-70 million years ago, not 400 million. That was likely caused by the Chicxulub impact off the coast of Yucatan, probably in conjunction with ongoing lava events in western India. Each would have caused a tremendously toxic environment. The Chicxulub event is generally viewed as the Big One that really took down the dinosaurs.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Universalist

      I think the dinosaurs of 400 million years ago were killed off by the dinosaurs of 70 million years ago.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Universalist

      The Greeks scripted modern religion, except for mormanism, which is on its on planet.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  4. whitepine

    Are the people in the USA living in the 21st century or the 1960's? Now one knows why we have to have at least one party that is progressive.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Ronald Regonzo

      Right you are ... the tea party. A party that will progress this country right back to moral decency ! Romney / Ryan 2012

      September 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      captainherbieRonnieRumbutt, can it.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  5. Timothy

    Creationism falls apart because there is no such thing as magic.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Universalist

      There is magic creation. The God particle.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • The great amazo

      Poof you're a pile of sh it

      September 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  6. faithfilledamateur

    Christians who continuously debate and argue with non-believers regarding God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will find themselves physically decimated. Although debate is healthy, one cannot continue "beating a dead horse" hoping others will accept God's Word. Jesus told his disciples to spread the Gospel, the Word, and news of Him and He who sent Him. If the people to whom the disciples were speaking did not accept Him as their Father, Lord and Savior (respectively), then leave that city and shake the dust off of one's sandals because their unwillingness to believe will be their own undoing.

    We, as Christians, must be examples for others. We cannot go to Church on Sunday and then behave like the rest of society away from Church. Show others what it means to be a Christian. Stand up for what is right, which is exactly what the Bible expects of us. Know that others gain "talking points" when they see a Christian basking in his or her own hypocrisy.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • greg

      well, you have no idea if the bible is god's word. even in the creationist worldview, the bible was written long after the creation event took place. we all have the same capacity for faith. and i trust someone who has tested their faith a whole lot more than someone whose faith is nothing more than obedience to a faith they are told to accept. but then some people believe our purpose is obedience.i believe we are the made in the image of god, and so i see our purpose as one of creating, of being creators, of our world, our souls. if you see our purpose as mere obedience, then you see us as nothing more than children who will never grow up. i believe in a much grander vision of what life is about.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • faithfilledamateur

      The aspirations of man are not in question. It is how we go about getting there that is questionable. Moreover, I am not a blind, obedient "slave" to others who share my faith. My obedience is to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Man distorts the Word to suit his own worldly pursuits. Even the Church has people to whom God is unknown.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  7. GonzoG

    Arguing with ardent Evangelical Protestant Christian Creationists is a waste of time.

    They hold up the Bible as proof of its own correctness and infallibility.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Linda

      I remember as a child going to bible study with my grandmother and wondering how they could think that quoting a passage from the bible was proof of their point. Grandma should have known then that trying to get me religion just wasn't going to take.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  8. rick52

    Had a friend years ago who told me that when confronted by a creationist, he would say that he belongs to a religion that believes "the world was created yesterday." Hard to prove him wrong.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  9. axolotl

    Creationists, please explain:

    dictionary.com defines "day" as "the interval of light between two successive nights; the time between sunrise and sunset." Your literal interpretation of the Bible is that God created the sun on the fourth day. If there was no sun on "days" 1, 2 and 3, and thus no sunrise/sunsets, how could there be days? Doesn't your whole premise fall apart?

    September 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • sn0wb0arder

      why bother to quibble over the wording of ancient myths?

      September 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Chad

      The word translated "day" (Hebrew – 'yowm') can be translated several different ways:

      1) day, time, year
      a) day (as opposed to night)
      b) day (24 hour period)
      1) as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1
      2) as a division of time
      a) a working day, a day's journey
      c) days, lifetime (pl.)
      d) time, period (general)
      e) year
      f) temporal references
      1) today
      2) yesterday
      3) tomorrow

      As you note, the lack of sunlight until day 3 is powerful evidence that the author of Genesis did not have in mind a day (one revolution of the earth on it's axis) in mind when he wrote that.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Joe

      This sort of obvious logic doesn't work with the indoctrinated religious types. It still baffles me how some religious doctors, dentists, and others working in scientific fields can rely on the scientific method throughout their daily work, yet still deny that evolution is our best current theroy.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  10. greg

    anyone–and everyone-who believes the world is only 10,000 years old has not bothered to think. such people do no more than recycle what someone else told them to think–in this case, men who've been dead for a long, long time and who had a very immature understanding of our physical world and material universe. that doesn't mean they did not have deep spiritual insights. the idea that one's faith depends upon embracing a patently false idea such as creationism is simply not true.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  11. putty

    I hope teachers out there are paying attention to these threads. Useful to know what the popular misconceptions about evolutionary biology and physics are, so that we can address them. I'm not sure about the origin of these misconceptions though – was it the textbooks or the teachers? Are there misconceptions about everything else in biology textbooks too? Maybe history and physics as well? It's hard to believe that this is all limited to ignorance in one specific field only.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not limited to one field. The problem is that textbooks are not always chosen by teachers but by school boards that consist of people who who are elected by the general population; in other words, by the sort of people who are posting here.

      That should tell you something.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jason

      Try teaching evolution is the bible belt and see how long that lasts before there is an uproar by a small minority of the parents. This small group will be loud enough, it sends the school board scrambling and changing what is taught.

      So what you end up with, are kids growing up believing that some magic spaghetti monster in the sky created everything and evolution is nothing but a "liberal" conspiracy.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  12. Mythbuster

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0DT6uljSbg&feature=player_detailpage

    September 1, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Lilith

      Glad to see that video explained where God came from & where God got the matter or even the knowledge to create the entire universe .. and just where did all the empty space that the universe occupies come from & where does it end?? I guess if we can't answer that we might as well come up with an anthropomorphized omnipotent being to expain it .. but not explain "him". LOL

      September 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  13. jb

    "the written revelation of the eyewitness account " ...huh? The was an eyewitness?

    September 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, I noticed that one as well.

      Sometimes you just have to laugh at these wackaloons.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • levgram

      here's the deal, right here. the illogic of this is so fundamental it blows the mind of any thinking child or adult. read it and then I'll come back:

      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?"

      so the history of fossils and distant stars, which are hard facts, depend on the 'our worldview'? really? does the fact that the ocean is wet also depend on 'our' worldview? it is the same sort of fact. the use of the word 'our' tells it all. the arrogance of ignorance strikes again. and as for the eyewitness – please provide name address phone number and driver's license identification. this is pure and utter you know what.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • alperry

      yea there was an eye witness. it was the camera man!!

      September 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  14. slason

    I don't understand why our tangible reality is so hard for some to understand. Religion is just a form of culture. Passed on from one generation to the next. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so it will take many generations to week our society of such fantasies. It's amazing to know that more people in USA believe in angels than global warming. Very sad.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  15. MikeA

    Humans have DNA code for making tails. Rarely, humans are actually born with tails, functional complex tails that can move. The normal process is for the tail to develop and then get reabsorbed at the embryonic stage. But even without the tail showing up at birth, the dormant tail DNA is still present. Now that the mouse genome has been sequenced we can see that our tail DNA is shared with other species including the mouse.

    If we are made in the image of a god, I guess the god has a tail.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • pensimmon

      You're right, we do have vestigial tails. And in the very early stages of embryonic development, we have rudimentary gills!!!! Very rarely a child is born with them- and the doctor closes it. Of course evolution is true, and it doesn't preclude the existence of a supreme being- who was not a guy on a cloud with a wand saying 'let there be light"

      September 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  16. Will Draven

    "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-

    The Earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old. The universe is around 14.6 billion years old.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • HumanityHater

      I was about to write this. Pathetic that was written.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • donna

      And there doesn't seem to be any way to tell them either...

      September 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  17. sparky

    creationists hit back at Bill Nye

    or

    creationists hit back at logic, common sense with the proof to support it

    September 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  18. Byrd

    Creationists hit back at Nye. Gee,but it must really hurt having a figment thrown at you. Hope he's alright.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  19. Albert Einstein

    I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own - a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      a truer statement has never been made.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  20. eqgold

    The sad refusal to see the real universe we live in and instead subscribe to a make-believe fable makes the US the laughing stock of the world. It's embarrassing to live in such a backward country.

    September 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Future historians (& school children) will look at our current religious systems with the same eyes as we look at the Greeks, Egyptians, Mayans and the Westboro Baptist church.

      September 1, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • DavidT

      @eqgold – Do you suppose the US is the only country that has citizens in it that believe in God? The majority of the world's population believes in a supreme being. Or, is this another opportunity to bash the U.S. – which is your probable real intention.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Thomas

      Then leave and save yourself from embarrassment.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • nolibtards

      Yes, please leave and perhaps move to a country where opposing ideas are not allowed. The scientists want us to accept their theory as fact. And that's what evolution is – a theory.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      nolibtards=another uneducated dimwit who thinks the word "theory" means the same thing as "guess."

      Get a clue, you bozo. Look up the scientific use of the word and compare it with the casual use. Stop ignorance in its tracks–grow a brain and get an education.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:16 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.