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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.

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. Butthole

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    September 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Beat off

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      September 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Halkes

      Nice, my post about the founding fathers' views on religion won't go through, but the butthole pirate has no problems.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Lilith

      @ Halkes LOL

      September 1, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Halkes,

      See hints on the next page (34).

      September 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Halkes... make that page 35.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  2. LittleHero

    What do you make of the fact that CNN couldn't even get the facts correct – "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."

    I'm sure that Bill would point out that the universe is much older than the earth and that our sun is actually a 2nd generation star.

    I work at a major corporation and I have to explain simple math to most of the people I work with (Indian immigrants excluded – they know their math).

    September 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  3. Lick My Butthole

    I found the you tube video extremely difficult to beat off to.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  4. Atheism is Wrong

    Closed minded atheists. You know so little about the world. Statistics prove the more religious you are, the smarter you are.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Halkes

      Source, please.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Pope Benedict

      Which statistics?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Atheism is Wrong

      God is my source. Maybe pagans like yourself should get onboard, moron.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      I hate to be the one who tells you this but .. you just proved yourself wrong.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Delusional nonsense.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Halkes

      Christians are the largest group of pagans there have ever been.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Lilith

      Say something profoundly stupid but call others who simply ask for a source morons lololol .. tear ..lololo .. stop it your killing me .. lolhahahasnort ... sigh ..

      September 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • tony

      Atheists don't need collection plates, or con men to pass them out.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Kelly Frost

      Actually, statistics show that atheists are more likely to be better educated on all topics, including religion, than any religious group. Now what happened to your precious "Thou shalt not bear false witness," with your statement? That's right, you only have to pay attention to the parts of your bible that you like.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is Wrong", but your assertions about atheism are unfounded. I see that you keep repeating these falsehoods. Would it be helpful if I recommend a book on Alzheimer's? I feel confident that this may help.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • kindless

      Actually that is entirely wrong. What is true is this:

      Agnostic Atheism is Healthy for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

      It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and let's them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, are just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago; and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.

      Atheists have strong minds, and don't run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, disserving society).

      So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

      mama kindless

      September 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Paul B. Huntington III

    Historians estimate Jesus Christ took it in his butthole over 14,000 times. Many of his lovers were black and long. That's how I like it.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Pope Benedict

      This is blasphemous!!!

      September 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  6. Reality Check

    We who have faith also have an understanding of those who don't. We understand from our faith that, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (The Bible, Proverbs 14:12, NKV). When the thinking of men runs contrary to the knowledge provided by G-d, we who have faith understand that this will not have a positive end for those who pursue such a course.

    Think about driving your car. Men and women in our society developed a set of rules to follow when we drive. Colloquially we call these the rules of the road. We drive on the correct side of the road, we stop for red traffic lights, we yield when the sign says to do so. Why do we do these things? Because we want to maximize the possibility for having a safe driving experience. Can we ignore a red traffic signal and not have an accident? Possibly, as long as there is no traffic about to enter the intersection and relying on its green traffic light. But it's more probable that you"ll have an accident by ignoring the red traffic light.

    Similarly, there are rules for our having the safest life experience possible. They were given by the Creator of life. As the Creator of life, it is likely that He would know what should be in those rules. Yes, they are in the Bible, and are colloquially known as the Ten Commandments. We all know some of them, like don't murder, don't steal, don't commit adultery, honor your father and mother, and don't covet you neighbor's wife. Think about it – following these rules would increase our opportunities for having a safe life experience. Like following the rules of the road when driving, there's no guarantee of safety, but there is a significantly increased probability of having a safe and better life experience.

    It is sad for us who have faith that there are intelligent individuals who haven't yet recognized the importance of the Creator who gave us the rules for life.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Halkes

      Actually, we follow the rules of the road to avoid punishment, and sadly it seems most people who describe themselves as true followers are simply trying to avoid being punished and sent to hell. Faith through fear rather than love isn't faith at all.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Max Stirner

      I know only rules set by me. I break them or not as I choose.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • kenchandammit

      And... which part of all of that is evidence that god exists?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      When you provide verifiable proof of your "creator" then I will believe in such a being. Until then, I will continue to follow the rules of my society, which are basically the same rules that have governed societies long before your god was invented: Don't kill, don't steal, don't cheat.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Pope Benedict

      Aren't you contradicting yourself? I mean, you are trying to be logical about normal things in life like driving a car, but you're apparently supporting creationism too, in which can't be explained by logic.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Jerlwayne

      Just like the rules of the road, the ten commandments were written by humans. Doesn't make them invalid...well, at least not the ones about human interaction. The deity-worship ones are still folly.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  7. zaglossus

    Darwin won this battle a long time ago.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  8. Incredulus

    The author needs to learn the difference between science and religion. After that, maybe he can write something that makes sense.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  9. leo

    evolution is not biblical, God is.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Pope Benedict

      That's exactly why they should be kept separate, and is why teaching kids about creationism is child abuse.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  10. AtlJack

    Billy Nye has a 4.5 BILLION year fossil record and the scientific method.

    Creationists have a book – much of it oral history – that was written over a 2000 year period by nomads.

    Creationists have not ONE shred of evidences. But they do have an arrogant BELIEF based on.... nothing.

    Bill Nye has logic, reason and science. Creationists have fantasy.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  11. Just Have Faith Your Child's Butthole is Not in Danger

    If it was possible to reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • AtlJack

      Amen.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  12. Linda Shinn

    I am 63 yrs. old and in spite of my mother having been religious, I was never, ever, able to see, evan as a young child, how anyone could not see how illogical any of the religious teaching were.
    And, that so many wars, and so much suffering and bloodshed, over the centuries has been over, simply, one group of people feeling that, "Their beliefs, are right and good, and therefore they, are right and good, and anyone who does not believe what they do, then has to be evil, and therefore destroying them, from infant to mothers, fathers, and grandparents, is good." has always been so painful for me to see.
    I once ran into a guy who I had gone to highschool with, and for whatever reasons, his conversation came to, "Oh, and what church do you attend?"
    When I told him, that, I, "actually was not religious.", his response to that, then was, "You're a DEVIL WORSHIPPER??"
    And, I responded to him, "Paul, WHY, if I DON'T believe in the existance of a God, would it make ANY sense at ALL, that I would believe in a Devil?? I DON'T believe in ANY of it. Why do so many religious people, seem to have to feel, that, if someone, does NOT believe, what they do, then, that person, could not POSSIBLE, simply believe something else, that might have just as much merit, as what they believe, and they might be EVERY bit, as good, and kind, and caring a person, as they themselves are, but that they HAVE to be EVIL??"
    That is a REAL shame. In my family, ONLY my mother was a religious person. My father and two brothers, and myself, did not believe, and later when I married, and had two sons neither of them believed, but ALL of us, believe it or not, were ALWAYS, VERY loving and caring people, who went out of our way to help others, and be there for others.
    My one son said to me once, "I simply, have never been able to accept what I was told, as being fact, or believable. But, I am a VERY good person."
    And he IS, and has always been kind, loving, caring toward everyone around him.
    I just wish that people could accept that it is ALL, JUST beliefs. We ALL believe something, and what we believe may be very different, but we are ALL good people, and it would be nice if the differing sides could see that, and stop seeing people who believe differently from them as "evil". The world would be a much better place, if that could ever happen, but, I don't believe that I will ever live to see that occur.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Miss P

      Amen to that! (Just a little joke, there, but I really like your post and agree with every word).

      September 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • brian

      Nicely stated. Completely agree.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Pope Benedict

      I was the same as you when I was 5 years old. It was obvious that religion is the biggest scam in the history of the planet – something like 4 billion years. Teaching kids that the earth is only 6-10,000 years old, in spite of all the logic and meticulously scrutinized evidence, by thousands of well-trained scientists in many fields, IS child abuse.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Topher

      Linda ... have you ever told a lie?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Vash

      what bugs me is the amount of people who think like you out number those who don't almost now a days yet its still the super religious who have the loudest voice. I believe in higher power myself but cannot grasp religion. I feel universally we all should do good by each other as if a higher power wants us, but I'm sure they would not care if we read there tales and believed them. I'd like to think myself agnostic but that's always described so sarcastically. I believe in a higher intelligence but also in science and facts. Heck I'm 30 years old and learned more from Billl Nye then any church could have told me and I'd like to think of myself as a decent person.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Topher

      Vash ... do you believe in an afterlife?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Mom of 4

      Yes, Linda Shinn, yes.

      I am in a similar age group and background as you. I did buy into the myth for quite a few years, though, and did the "go along/get along" thing. I finally just couldn't, in good conscience, keep passing along those fantasies and superst'itions to my little kids, who trusted me to be telling them the truth. I (and the world) now have 4 lovely, upstanding, adult non-believers.

      I'm all about over-population 'n stuff, but I am so glad that I contributed these children of mine (and their children) to today's and tomorrow's society.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  13. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    I would be happy to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolution if we can also teach the strengths and weaknesses of everyones religion.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
  14. david weissman

    While the age of our Earth is considered to be around 4.5 billion years old, the universe is some 12+ billion years old. This article gives them as the same age.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • tony

      We understand that all the fundamental particles pretty much were formed or condensed out shortly after the big bang. So the age of the Earth is just a coming together of those, via few cycles of star deaths, much later.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  15. steelej

    "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."

    Fail, but this is CNN.

    The earth is dated as 4.5 billion. The universe however is 13.7 billion, and we'll have to leave it there.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  16. Christ Lover

    Behind all attrocities are large groups of people who refuse to question their leaders.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  17. blinky

    By lumping "creationists" under a huge, broad tent, CNN has polarized the debate and made the discussion a bigger mess than it already was.

    The creation literalists (10,000 years and all that) are at one extreme. They are arguing over empirical data, not only beliefs, and can't be taken seriously because the evidence is overwhelmingly against their side instead of for it. Since they make a factual argument, they must win or lose by facts, and they do not have facts in their favor.

    There are also proponents of intelligent design, which is not one idea only but has several wide variants. For example, "designists" propose 1) that evolution occurs only within species, or 2) that evolution occurs within and across species but God nonetheless guides the process (between a lot and a little, depending on the argument), or 3) that God was required for the existence of basic life forms that spawned a process as highly complex as evolution. These are three different positions, there are differences within each, and each of these three progressively makes God's role more subtle.

    Another group makes objections on philosophical grounds which are not debatable on scientific grounds alone. They wonder regarding the Big Bang how there could be something from nothing, and regarding evolution how there could be consciousness from insentient matter, without the instrument of God. Some introduce the age-old free will problem and find that free will both exists and is incompatible with the scientifically described material world. There are several other classic philosophical issues brought to bear as well. These kind of arguments don't doubt that evolution and cosmology are scientifically valid but wonder instead about their comprehensive authority.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • AtlJack

      Let's simplify.

      We have Science.

      We have religion and philosophy.

      Let's keep these apart, shall we.

      If you are a creationist please refrain from pretending there is ANY science in your conclusions. You are wishing your way towards something you WANT to believe without evidence.

      Science is the exact opposite. You draw conclusions based on the evidence.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  18. Robert

    Bill Nye has no credibility with me. He's got the background of a gradeschool science teacher. I with one of the leading science groups in the world. Nye knows nothing.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Christ Lover

      Please learn how to read and write, fvcktard.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Christ Lover

      The worst grade school science teacher in America has more knowledge in his thumb than the entire christian community.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Your assertions regarding Mr. Nye's qualifications are absolutely false.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • HTRE

      Wow. What?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Albert Einstein

      I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
      – Do I qualify to answer you if you feel Bill Nye isn't qualified?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • AtlJack

      Does your big-time science group have an issue with grammar?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • donna

      In my state, evolution is third grade curriculum, so I think he can handle it.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Can anyone tell me what a "science group" is and does? Who would use that term? I'd think it would be called a "think tank" or "research firm" or something a bit more imposing.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  19. ???

    Semi-random words there. Don't know what you are talking about.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  20. jl

    future Antichrist , and False Prophet will have theri work cut out for them for sure. God still has open invitaiton . John 316

    September 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • sybaris

      John 3:16, that's a funny one.

      This almighty creator of everything could only create one "son" which was actually itself after getting another mans wife pregnant.

      Nice god you got there.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • 1 Corinthians 13:11

      .. "When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things."
      Try some of your bible's own advice ...

      September 1, 2012 at 1:30 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.