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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. Gadflie

    God, by the common Christian definition (omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.) is the most complex possible being. By Occam's razor, this means that he, or his actions, are the least likely answer to ANY question.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Clint E

      God is the simplist thing in the Universe. He is uncreated.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Clint, why would "uncreated" equate to simple? Or was that just another piece of spewed ignorance in lieu of an actual legitimate argument?

      September 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Clint is not representing God very well. The important thing about God is that it can have any property or ability you need.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • check it out

      Clint E – your simple because you don't understand – simpleton.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • check it out

      Tom, Tom is simple too.

      September 1, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  2. sgurdog

    If God created man in his image then what purpose does the appendix serve? Can your bible tell me what it will be used for in heaven? Science hasn't been able to distinguish that one yet either but rest assured a scientist will one day, assuming the new new testament doesn't come out the next time Christ appears and disappears again.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Plus, well, we don't all look alike. How many images of himself did God use? Was he looking in a series of fun house mirrors?

      September 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Clint E

      Wow, deep arguments.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • End Religion

      @clint: if their arguments are too simple for you perhaps you should re-examine your "simple god" theory.

      September 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  3. lamb of dog

    Science only? Your name should be science not at all.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • science only?

      I guess you didn't see the question mark. Another of the 93 percent!

      September 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      No dummy i did. Its right there. Are you blind? Oh why yes you are.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a riot watching science only stomping its foot like Rumpelstiltskin: "You're one of the 93%! And so are you! And so is he!"

      September 1, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  4. Gadflie

    I'm curious, do any Creationist/ID types here have any arguments in support of Creationism/ID that do not rely on either:
    1) An obvious logical fallacy
    or
    2) An equally obvious misuse of statistics
    ?

    September 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well, there is some use of outright fabrication of evidence. That works for them when (1) or (2) can't be used for some reason.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
  5. Richard Dawkens

    So they are created in the eye of god? That means they are not creationists, but religious followers. When you hear such whacky, made up stuff it is hard to argue because there is no logic of evidence to support it. How can you dismiss something that has ever existed? To all of the major followers of religion – YOUR GOD is the same person. If you claim to love each other why do you hate the jews, muslims and christians? You all believe in the same god and even the same profits. Idiots. Religion is only for the weak of mind.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  6. sgurdog

    Creationists are wackos, plain and simple. To teach a child about the bible before they've been taught about biology and space is really brainwashing the child.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  7. JosephNF

    These creationist cannot see their own folly. There have always been creation myths, thousands of them actually. Somehow they think that their religion deserves precedence over everything else. In a country that was made in the image of secularism that kind of middle aged thinking is unhealthy. One of the main reasons we have a massive unemployment rate is because our science and technology is being muted by people blocking beneficial research and politicians who think the science is not important.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  8. Tex71

    One of the clearest indicators that we Americans have a unique and serious problem is the absence of anti-science organizations elsewhere in the world. Why is there no "Answers in Mahabharata" or "Answers in DaodeJing"? Of course, there are hardline Muslim fundamentalists who preach the same kind of absolutist nonsense from the Koran as Ken Ham does from Genesis, but we all know where THAT leads. That is where the Religious Right has already taken the GOP, and where we are all going if Romney wins. God save us from fundamentalists.

    September 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  9. Mark

    "scientists ... date the age of the earth and the universe as 4.5 billion years old"- um this is a rather embarrassing mis-statement. Scientists say that the earth is around 4.5 billion years old, but the universe is older, around 14.6 billion.

    September 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • chubby rain

      They were just giving equal time to the "young-universe" crowd.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  10. chubby rain

    Can any creationist provide scientific evidence of anything that that say they believe? Intelligent design? 6,000 year earth? Just one thing!

    September 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • science only?

      Let me see you design a tree that grows from a seed or an eyeball that actually works. Let me see you design anything that can reproduce itself.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That isn't proof. That's simply silly.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • science only?

      Silly because you can't do it but won't admit a higher power did.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • chubby rain

      That's basically the "Evolve this!" argument, which is unscientific. And it would be nice if God would design eyes that don't require glasses, develop cataracts, or generally become sucky (macular degeneration). And the people born without eyesight? Well, sucks for them...but God designed their eyes that way for a reason.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you dimwit, it's silly because pretending that if I can't do it, a giant sky-fairy must have is not proof of anything. Simply because we don't know yet how the universe began is not proof that a god must have done it. Saying that man cannot produce an eyeball is not evidence that an omnipotent being did.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • settino

      "Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all?"
      Yes, Santa, the tooth ferry and the virgin mary witnessed it all!

      September 1, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • science only?

      I'm not named from a children's rhyme as I have better guidance in my life. You're part of the 93 percent idiots in this country.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Richard Dawkens

      Bible thumpers can't even back the bible itself. There is only one actual historical reference to a person named Jesus and it was a much later footnote. It is all BS made up to brainwash simple minded and uneducated followers. Kinda like the current Republican party. Create a myth, back it with fear and boneheads will follow.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, that's surely a convincing argument, science only.

      It just gripes your azz that you can't present a single bit of evidence to back your beliefs, doesn't it?

      I'm not sure where you got this 93% figure but the way you attempted to express your belief surely did strike me as quite amusing.

      Just out of curiosity, dear, what is your field of expertise? What did you major in during your college years?

      I'd love to know, since you obviously view yourself as part of the 7% who are not idiots, and it would help me tremendously to know how you became a member of that illustrious group.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      About 7% of people in the UK will get appendicitis at some point in their life

      Only 7% of people claiming sickness benefits were unable to do any sort of work, new figures have shown

      September 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Andrew

      "Let me see you design a tree that grows from a seed or an eyeball that actually works. Let me see you design anything that can reproduce itself."

      do I get several billion years, like nature did?

      September 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Harald

      Science only?
      you are missing something important here. There are many things we don't have answers for (as of yet), but that's not a justification to explain these questions resorting to the supernatural.
      That is a thing of the dark ages when people had no explanation of what a lightning or thunder is and therefore believed it was the doing of the Gods.
      Today we know better and apply science to find answers to our unanswered questions.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  11. DarthWoo

    It's pretty telling of the Creationists that their Youtube rebuttal was issued with comments and ratings disabled.

    September 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  12. science only?

    Again, 93 percent stupid people in this county – These posts prove it.

    September 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What? Each person is 93% stupid? Well, if I were basing my opinion on your posts alone, that might be plausible.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  13. DancingInPDX

    My son is in his senior year at the School of the Holy Mother of Losers where he has a tough final semester:

    – Science: Creationism
    – Medicine: Advanced Blood Letter with Leeches
    – Children's Health: Curing Life-Threatening Illnesses with Prayer
    – Theology: The Sudden Death of Children and God's Will
    – Astronomy: Understanding the Stars Orbits Around the Earth
    – Physical Eduction: Boating Without Falling Off the Edge of the Earth
    – Career Development: Proper Techniques with Toilet Brushes

    If he keeps his grades up the nuns say he should make head janitor right out of school, provided he continues practicing his oral stimulation skills on the Priest. And to think they said he would be a nobody after he failed 6th grade for the 3rd time in that stupid public school where they taught all that worthless math and science stuff. My son is going to be a head janitor and I'm so proud!

    September 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • mdamone4

      Don't forget a bright future as a TV Evangelist! Big money in that. "I'd like you to reach deep into your hearts...and your wallets...and answer god's call."

      September 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • slupdawg

      Maybe the best post I've ever read.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Dan

      In fairness, I doubt many catholic schools teach young earth creationism.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • What IF

      DancingInPDX,

      Very clever writing!

      The only thing I would change would be the type of school - make it Christian home-schooled kids or some of those Bible colleges (and you know, even they teach lucrative, marketable skills - 10% of more is *more*). The Catholic schools actually do a pretty good job of trying to teach math and science and real stuff - they sort of compartmentalize the fantasies & superst'itions; of course there is *some* overlap, but nowhere near the amount that the Christian Evangelicals do.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      You shouldn't be so rude to janitors.

      September 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Vera

      Can't stop laughing. I made the nuns happy by reciting the answers they wanted me to give as opposed to the answers I knew to be correct. Loved your post

      September 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • frespech

      I'm just curious. Why are not any of you self proclaimed mental giants, running the country? Say as the President or a Senator, or a congressman. You know, you are the intelligent ones. You should be able to convince and enlighten us all by perhaps healing all the sick, feeding all the starving people in this world. Convince us you are worth following where it is you believe we should follow. I'll continue to side with the 97% and you fellows be on your self indulgent merry way.

      September 5, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Uhm – we do heal the sick. Doctors are able to treat and cure more ailments than ever before.
      All modern medicine (beyond practical nursing) is predicated on an understanding of the theory of evolution.
      We are feeding the world.
      Modern high yield agriculture relies on resistance management, which is a practical application of the theory of evolution.

      September 5, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • truth be trolled

      frespech wrote: "I'll continue to side with the 97%"

      well we were not expecting a less lemming-like response from you

      September 5, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  14. GodFreeNow

    I love the creationists' argument that children should decide for themselves which teaching is correct. Since when do we give children a choice of what they should learn?

    I'm curious if creationists also willing to have "abortion studies" along side of their "abstinence only" classes?

    September 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  15. Mountain Lake

    To those of you pushing your Creationist agenda , BE WARE. The God's been around a long time and resents your denial
    of exactly how long it took to get to this point. Genesis is a creation myth among thousands of other creation myths which pre-dates the Bible by thousands of years. Your insolence will get you sent to Hell quicker than anything. The God is bigger than you are , smarter than you are and doesn't subscribe to your crawl on His lap and call Him Daddy beliefs . You should be warned of the error of your ways , because the God is Coming and it's furious.

    September 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • science only?

      Do you even know what you're talking about?

      September 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • rocinante

      Sounds good to me. How can I be saved from this furious God? How much cash do I need to pay you?

      September 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  16. rocinante

    The equal time principle makes no sense. There's a thirty thousand religions and they all have a different creation myth. It you give them all 5 minute to tell their story, students would have to spend something like 60 weeks just on creation myths.

    Besides that, science is science. Religion is religion. The two things are totally different. So why would we expect a science teacher, who might be a Budhist for all we know, to give a religon lesson at public school? Are we expecting him to teach Genesis despite he might not even know a word of the Bible? Stupid is as stupid tries to legislate.

    September 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • mdamone4

      We are witnessing something very interesting in the relationship between science and religion. It will no doubt be written about in future history books.

      Science has backed religion into a smaller and smaller corner for thousands of years, explaining what religion thought only it could explain. Religion has pulled a genius move recently: they now claim that just about all science is correct – but that god must have set it up that way.

      Religion is trying to out flank science in this way. But it won't last too long.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • rocinante

      Don't underestimate the power of the Dark side. At any moment religion could strike back with a bunch of anti-science nonsense, and throw us all back into a second Dark Age.

      Neil DeGrass Tyson said it best.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti3mtDC2fQo&w=640&h=360]

      September 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  17. SPW

    The Denisova cave girl is over 800,000 years old...

    September 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • rocinante

      A Creationist would say God created her to APPEAR 800,000 years old, to trick us into not having faith. He is a sneaky God who wants to fool as many people as possible, so he can send them all to Hell to burn for eternity in a lake of fire in anguish and pain.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Andrew

      you have it all wrong rocinante. the devil made her appear 800,000 years old to trick people and get them sent to hell, because he and god have $5 and an ice cream riding on who can get more souls.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  18. Caihlyn

    "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." – This is either a misquote of Bill Nye, or an inadvertant mistake made by Bill Nye in an effort to be concise.

    I am amazed that the poll shows nearly half of Americans are creationists. No wonder our country will be trailing far behind the rest of the world in science, math, technology and engineering.

    September 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Universalist

      God will create jobs for them.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      The writer of this article is not really a science guy apparently. Either an honest mistake or he doesn't understand that the universe is older than the earth.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • donna

      Why do you assume that Nye said that? It wasn't even a quote, so couldn't be a misquote. ; )
      It was the author's error.

      September 1, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  19. science only?

    MAC's one of the 93 percent.

    September 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Universalist

      And the %7?

      September 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  20. Universalist

    Religion/Prayer massacred millions in the Dark Ages, good job!

    September 1, 2012 at 6:35 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.