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. cjonline

    The Bible simply states "in the beginning". The universe may indeed be millions or billions of years old. The rest of Genesis details the sequence of events to make the planet earth suitable for life. These have been verified by science. Creationists have taken an extreme position that is at odds with both science and the Bible. Belief in creation, however, is in harmony with both the Bible and reliable science. Take note however, that there is junk science out there...ever hear of Piltdown man? In contrast, the Bible has been challenged many times over many centuries, and each and every time has been verified by science, archaeology, and history.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Kingofthenet

      Trust me when I say this, the whole 'Noah Flood' has NEVER even REMOTELY 'Been Verified'

      September 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • edweird69

      Not it has not! The earth does not sit on pillows. Bats are not birds (per Leviticus). There are countless scriptures that have been debunked over the years. Besides, science need not debunk them. They debunk themselves with their own contradictions.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • edweird69

      Oops... I meant pillars not pillows... geez

      September 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      But edweird69, if you just follow Jesus, you would just know that he does in fact have the world on a soft, protective pillow.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • edweird69

      If the earth was ever, completely covered in water, it would throw its orbit around the sun, completely off course. Besides, the water would be so salty, where would all the fresh water fish go?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  2. FOXlemming

    Wouldn't it be kind of hard to hit back when you have nothing substantial or tangible to hit with?

    September 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  3. Jack Sparrow

    Athiests are angry little people who are confuzed beacuase they don't know to explain how everything was created so they come up with all these funny little reasons some going extreme and some just not even caring. I have met a couple athiests they don't want to answer to nobody but yet they will say they seen things in the dark or the day but they have no explanation for it.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • I am God

      Yawn. Says the angry creationist that does not want to face reality.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Kingofthenet

      Just because science doesn't have ALL the answers, doesn't mean Religion has ANY.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Karlokarl

      As opposed to what, believing in fairy tales spun by three centuries old goat herders? Jack Sparrow, you chose a fictional name... try not to drown in the irony.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  4. Kingofthenet

    "We tell people that they do have purpose and meaning in life"-Ken Ham

    Individually our lives might seem kind of pointless, say you were a carpenter in the 1800's building houses, it is doubtful ANY of your work still stands today, some religious people get hung up on that, they NEED a God to make life have meaning, but without that carpenter(and others like him) in the 1800's our Great, Great,Great Grandparents would have died from exposure and we would never be here now. A strong society in the future is our everlasting legacy for our work Today

    September 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  5. Rock Doc

    Taking the Old Testament literally is patently, objectively, factually absurd. The word "day" in the creation story is mistranslated from the Hebrew for "time" or "period." It's not about 24-hour periods at all. That's why there are no Jewish creationists.

    And so the idea of a very young earth does not even have Biblical support!

    And consider this: Who are we to put an age limit on God? Isn't a very old, eternal God even greater than a young one?

    September 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  6. Evolved One

    I think, therefore I am. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Move along, nothing to see here.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  7. paulb

    Actually Mr Nye...it was science and popular belief that the world was flat. The Bible clearly states that the Earth is a sphere, 2500 years before Science "discovered" that the world is indeed a sphere.
    read any science book from 100 years ago, and you will be amazed at all the inacurate information. As where the Bible has stood the test of time, for over 3,000 years.
    you mention the fossil record, which amazes me again. How do you explain the Cambrian Explosion? The fossil record shows that all vertebrate creatures started at that time.
    I choose to believe the Word of God, and not the latest scientific theory

    September 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • donna

      There's nothing about the Cambrian explosion that contradicts evolutionary theory.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fine. Keep your ignorance out of public education. It has no place there.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Evolved One

      Red pill or blue pill?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Here's a nice explanation of the Cambrian Explosion for you.


      Really, it's okay that you believe in your particular god. However, it's a great disservice to future generations of Americans to teach your particular mythology to them as fact.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Mitch

      Well paulb, you freely advertise your lower intelligence by having such a disregard for facts. In the scientific community, something is considered fact by two criteria. First, that the evidence mounts so heavily in its favor that to not believe it would be perverse, and second, that evidence in contrast fails to mount. By these criteria, almost the whole of the scientific community agrees that evolution is fact. Only a tiny minority of scientists who's minds are poisoned by religion remain in conflict with the acceptance of evolution as fact.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • guest

      which scientist argued that the earth is flat? The ancient Greeks and Egyptians argued the Earth was round before the ancient Hebrews wrote the texts you now call the Old Testament. Without our modern understanding of atoms and subatomic particles we would still have the Biblical method of health (praying and herbs), the Biblical method of communication and transportation (riding animals), and the Biblical method of entertainment (stoning the weirdos to death). So let's give the scientists of the past a nice big thank you.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Peter

      Actually, in that the bible exists or has existed in over 30,000 different translations, it is impossible to say what the bible originally "said" about whether the Earth was round or whether if it did that necessarily qualifies the bible as trustworthy a scientific text.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • edweird69

      Revelation 7:1
      1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (KJV)

      Job 38:13
      13 That it might take hold of the ENDS OF THE EARTH, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (KJV)

      Jeremiah 16:19
      19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ENDS OF THE EARTH, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. (KJV)

      September 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Max Powers

      It was not science that the Earth was flat! It was religion. That is why the church persecuted Copernicus!

      September 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  8. SteveG.

    Accepting the fact of evolution is NOT tantamount to disbelief in a Creator. Ken Ham and his ilk seem to, at the very least, suggest such when they proffer their anti-science arguments. One can believe firmly in the existence of "God" and also accept the facts of science. Young-earth-creationism is devoid of any scientific support whatsoever. Bill Nye is correct.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  9. edweird69

    1. God is satisfied with his works
    Gen 1:31
    God is dissatisfied with his works.
    Gen 6:6
    2. God dwells in chosen temples
    2 Chron 7:12,16
    God dwells not in temples
    Acts 7:48
    3. God dwells in light
    Tim 6:16
    God dwells in darkness
    1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2
    4. God is seen and heard
    Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
    Ex 24:9-11
    God is invisible and cannot be heard
    John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16
    5. God is tired and rests
    Ex 31:17
    God is never tired and never rests
    Is 40:28

    September 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Evolved One

      God seems rather fickle, mental or both.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • .


      September 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  10. See Novak

    Believe it or not, the world was MUCH more ignorant 3000 years ago than today. Much of the Bible's teachings are allegorical and meant to be understood on a child-like level. Illiterate shepherds wouldn't understand the human genome and Unified Field Theory. Interestingly enough though, the sequence of events in Genesis is correct; for example, other animals were here before humans, etc.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Chicken Paradox

      True. For all we know, the dinosaur fossils may be evidence of Nephilims.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Sad but true: Americans are much more ignorant now than they were 30 years ago. We need to fund out schools better and focus on teaching kids things that will strengthen this country, like science and mathematics, not religious nonsense like creationism. Let the churches and humanities classes teach mythology.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  11. maddawg

    what a lemming joke of a rebuttal that was....

    very typical of the brainwashed, and dare i say it, brain damaged lemmings of the world today.

    also, to answer tokencode, some brains (most in this world it seems) are extremely susceptable to influence and manipulation to the point where even their common sense takes a back seat to some grandiose delusion.

    as i've always said, gods are for the weak minded and those that need a scape-goat for all the good and bad in the world.

    good job Bill Nye....Excellent information that explains the simple truth versus a blind, lemming like mind-set and the severe, long lasting impact and negative effects of such brainwashing.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  12. Jack Sparrow

    Scary video on the nut job creation museum site. They don't believe in neanderthal or cro magnon, but they believe in the story of Noah's ark. What a dangerous sect of society. Scary people.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Ponce de Leon

      The white guy's argument is that muslims don't believe in evolution so neither should we. Christians are brain dead zombies willing to believe anything, as long as it's christian and doesn't involve logic.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • maddawg

      hahaahahhaha....yea,,,,i got a major laugh hearing that too.....

      one that really bust my sides with idiocracy is how some god created the female of the human species by removing a 'rib' bone from a human man and making her from that......hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha...

      stop....please....the laughter is almost hurting, it's so funny!

      September 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  13. your mom

    How many of you would put faith in this? If Oboma wanted to create a new christian bible cause the old is just confusing with all the denominations, catholism, mormons, ect. So he calls together several hundred christian leaders to vote on what to put in it. Even on just exactly what Jesus was, man, prophet, god in flesh, ect. Would you put any belief in that at all?

    Cause a roman emperor did just that 1000s of years ago and it was called the "Council of Nicea."

    Then you take a king who wants a divorce and bam we're all protestant instead of catholics... I believe in a God but I don't believe in the inerrant word of god i.e. the bible.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • your mom

      also it doesn't make sense why a creator being couldn't put into place evolution and all the other stuff we're discovering. It wasn't long ago that we believed everything was made up of 4 elements, center of the universe, ect. Heck even stuff I was taught in school is now proven wrong, i.e. nothing smaller than the atom. Our understanding in just a 100 yrs if we survive as a species will make what we all know today laughable.

      September 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  14. wjeri

    Bill Nye does sort of look like a hairless white monkey.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • maddawg

      yea....but he's got a level head to use throughout his life with common sense and logic....

      also, he is not susceptable to brainwashing.

      nothing wrong with that.

      you on the other hand, are likely one of the many easily manipulated lemmings on this planet and i do have a great piece of beach front property for you to buy from me for only $150.00....

      (contact me to get it ASAP as it is sure to go quick at this price, but i'll save it for you for 24 hours because you seem so intelligent and i'm sure you make other good decisions in your life)

      September 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  15. Chicken Paradox

    Bill Nye looks like he has horns growing out of his head, in that photo above, look at it closely....See the horns? Now close your eyes and count up to 300 billion. Good luck!

    September 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |

      Shall we start in on the looks of his page mate up there, Rick Warren?! Look out!

      September 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  16. Ej

    Slight mistake there CNN. Scientists do not say the universe is 4.5 billion years old. They say that the Earth is, but that the Universe is closer to 11-14. The number varies as theories are updated with new evidence. 13.5 seems to be the currently accepted age. When doing science stories, it is really important to check your facts.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  17. miskidomleka

    "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."
    Dear CNN, how about you go back to school. (A real one, not creationist one). The Earth is 4.5 billion years ols. But the Universe is about 14.5 billion years old

    September 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  18. blinky

    There is a fact of the matter over evolution. But, let's face it, there is also a fact of the matter that describes what is most productive for the economy for most people for x period of time, as well. And conservatives and liberals each argue their case, and have been for about a century, when these contrary positions began to represent each political party.

    Even though there is a fact of the matter, and many of us think we know what it is, we have to be tolerant of those who disagree. I think the idea that the human species is 10,000 years old is insupportable. But many of those who disagree bring up their children to become law-abiding people making a positive contribution. And that's all I can ask.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • donna

      In a democracy, what people use to form their beliefs matters to everyone quite a bit. When we teach kids to reject evidence, how can they help society make rational decisions?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  19. Blue Dog

    Religion can provide the moral compass for society and better stay away from challenging science which has been accurately proven with measurements and experimental data.
    I'm not an atheist and will continue believing in almighty God till science can prove what caused all the matter in the world to contact in infinitely small space and eventually cause Big Bang. But please spare me from all the creationism nonsense.
    I have no problem with atheists finding there moral values outside of religion. God bless them too.

    September 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Him up North

      Thank God that I'm an atheist

      September 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  20. tokecode

    And on Dunday Jesus rose from the grave and ate the brains of all his followers...

    Seroiusly, how can anyone possibly believe the earth was created in 6 24 hours days when there is a
    preponderance showing it is significantly older and that not all species were created at the same time. Did your god plant the dinosaur bones to trick us? How can you explain carbon-dating results? The creationists are a joke.

    September 1, 2012 at 1:59 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.