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. mark

    The thing is, only the religious nut jobs will take the damn thing seriously. Those of us that have a greater grasp of reality will just point at them and laugh as we always do.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      And only laughable idiots do not understand the importance of the Biblical stories in relation to our culture. The reality is that the stories were told and many likely annexed from older pagan stories to explain concepts that people without the benefit of our level of technology needed in their society. However, Constantine's conversion to Christianity and his subsequent naming Christianity the State religion of Rome along with the standardization of the Bible by the Nicean Council (deciding which books to keep and which not) caused these stories of a people's understanding of their spiritual world to become politicized. THAT is the true corruption of the books of the Bible and why the stories that should have enlightened humanity with spiritual understanding of part of this world's history came to be used as the weapons of power in a religious, political society. However, just like stories we tell our children to help them understand the world around them – these stories were meant to instruct people who had little education about deep spiritual concepts in a simple way they could understand. The idea that they were meant to be literal is a politcal invention of those who wanted power and to use religion to their own ends. But that does not remove the value of the stories or that they are likely based on some true events.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:27 am |
  2. Harv

    A belief in a god is a matter of faith: one either believes or does not believe. Evolution is a matter of understanding: If one does not understand, one is either intellectually lazy or intellectually dishonest.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Harv, you toss the word 'believe' out like it exists in an intellectual vacu.um.
      One cannot believe something without understanding at least part of the body of knowledge that asks to be believed.
      This applies to not only the secular but also to spiritual knowledge.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  3. Ceri

    As a Christian, I find the creationists an embarrassment. For a start, which account in Genesis? Clearly there are at least two, right after each other. The writers (or should we say, early storytellers, as it was originally word of mouth) never intended these stories to be taken literally, they were expressing themselves in the way that was natural to them – parables if you like. They didn't have a problem with putting two different accounts right next to each other because they both expressed their belief that the Creator was responsible. Taking these stories seriously is quite ridiculous and I'm fed up of people thinking all Christians are Creationists, because we are not.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      but if the creation story is not literal there is no literal adam and eve. without a literal adam and eve there is no original sin. iwith no original sin there is no requirement for a messiah to symbolically sacrifice himself to absolve said sin. hence christianity has no basis.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Lee-Anne

      Well, do you believe the universe it self was created by God? Or do you believe it is a random chance in the "multi-verse"? I accept evolution, but I certainly think that how the big bang occurred has never been explained. We know what happened, but not how it initially occurred. At some point, we are all technically creationists if we accept God started it at some point. Mr. Nye does not accept any theory of creation that involves God.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      lee-anne – bill specifically spoke about biblical literalists, like the "folks" at answers in genesis. those who disregard the world because of a book written by primitive man.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Um, snowboarder, with which part of le-ann's short comment re Mr Nye do you disagree?
      Are you inferring that Mr Nye may be a Deist like Einstein, therefore a believer in an impersonal Spinoza-type god?

      September 1, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      b4bigbang – lee-anne specifically stated that if we believe that god is at the crux of the big bang we are creationists, but that is factually incorrect. a creationist by definition is one who believes in a literal interpretation of genesis.

      i see you like to use the lie about einstein, too.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • b4bigbang

      "i see you like to use the lie about einstein, too."

      Um, then i guess i better take the statements the atheist regulars post here with a grain of salt, seeing as how i didn't know jack re Einstein's beliefs until i read one of them supposedly quote Einstein re his alleged Deism...

      September 1, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      an atheist quoted einstein as a deist? seriously?

      September 1, 2012 at 2:04 am |
  4. GSK

    "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?" – HAHAHAHA!!!! Do we believe the evidence based information confirmed by many fields of science or fairy tales written by simple people who thought that disease is caused by the devil and that stoning people people for picking up sticks during holiday is just. What do you think? lol

    September 1, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      I think that people, who did not have the benefit of science, held intense curiousity about where they came from. They also had a firmer grasp on spirituality than we do in this technological age. There is a simple explanation you have failed to consider – evolution may simply be the description of the process of creation. Considering that idea requires an expansion of your limited understanding of the spiritual needs of civilized but untechnologically advanced people. Further, there is research that we humans may be prewired with a need for the spiritual – the so called God gene, however, that has been debated.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      inphinity – i expect one day it will be determined that religious spirituality is just another of the traits which make up an individual. some part nature. some part nurture. that instills in a person that "feeling" of spiritual connection. probably not significantly different than the trait which instills in an individual an attraction to ones own gender.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  5. Jude

    the gullible child is enticed with santa and bunny and then scared with ghosts and stuff and when that child eats it up, hook line an stinker...you have you a "believer" the rest of the children who do not buy the stuff either go along just because it's convenient...you know marriage vows and other rituals that the fam expects... or they flat out admit they know it's all fantasy.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  6. ImvotingforObama

    I believe God created everything a long time ago and the war in heaven destroyed it all and God had to recreate it. Genesis 1:1 could conceivably cover billions of years if you think about it.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • GSK

      I'm glad you are voting for Obama, but come on, open a science book from time to time and learn something.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  7. tony

    Religion is Satan's gift to the Earth

    September 1, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  8. NYOMD

    What a pathetic joke. And CNN thinks this is newsworthy? Who cares what these living fossils (cough creationists cough) think?

    September 1, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  9. t3chn0ph0b3

    Shut your ignorant faces, creationists. There isn't one reputable scientist on your side. You don't exist in the scientific community and never will. Go away.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  10. sn0wb0arder

    ironic how not a single word of the new testament was written during the life of jesus, yet we have thousands of direct quotes. the veracity of every utterance is questionable.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      Right, because you want to write everything down from your inspirational leader – who was executed for his beliefs. Use your head. Aside from tradition that some ancient cultures had to hand down their beliefs in an oral tradition vs a written one, you don't run around leaving written evidence of beliefs that will get you executed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      hence the questionable veracity. thanks for sustantiating that for me.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • sn0wb0arder


      September 1, 2012 at 1:02 am |
  11. @sparky

    Best comment ever!

    September 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  12. wordclock

    The fact that atheists care so much about if others believe their argument is in itself a form on insecurity. I'm not a believer or religious but I honestly don't see anymore harm in telling kids about the Bible than I do telling them about Santa Clause. It's time for atheists to stop pretending that the creation story is dangerous, it's just as dangerous as the tooth fairy. It's time for atheists to get a life and stop talking about so much about how everyone should see things the way they do.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Gadflie

      wordclock. That analogy would only be valid if the parents kept insisting to the child that the tooth fairy were real forever.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • GSK

      Hmm let me guess.. The Sant story talks about someone who brings presents and the Bible talks about a powerful being who will inflict pain on them for eternity if they don't do as asked in the Bible.. Yes you are right, the same type of stories except the kids who grow up and realize Santa doesn't exist forget about him quickly while the people who grow up after being terrorized by the stories from the Bible take years to fully forget the threats of hell.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • satirical architect

      Not dangerous? So then you'd believe that Holy Wars are not dangerous? An innumerous amount of people have been killed as a direct result of religious extremism and you think it isn't dangerous. Anyway, I also think this Ham guy's quote is pretty hilarious..."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?"
      Umm...and whom does he supppose wrote this Bible? I don't think it was God Almighty. No, in fact I'm sure it was mere mortals...of the same species in which we entrust our scientific discoveries to. If we're not supposed to believe in the theory of evolution (hypothesized by man) then why should we believe in the Bible (written by man). Religion is the greatest ponzi scheme ever fathomed.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:38 am |
  13. sn0wb0arder

    "the eye witness account"

    the first written passage was in the range of 2500 years after the fabled event. i call that a story.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  14. GregE

    Creationism is 0% fact and 100% hogwash

    September 1, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  15. Rufus T. Firefly

    It's like neurosurgeons vs. witch doctors.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  16. Benjamin

    Ironically, the writers of the Gospels state quite clearly that they are mortal men and that they are writing their interpretation of the oral account of Jesus that was passed down to them (that is to say, they didn't actually know Jesus, the Gospels were written decades after he was dead), because they found previous, now lost accounts to be insufficient. So the Bible itself states it's not the word of God, and yet we have this debate with people who claim to hold it so dearly. You'd think they'd read their own book.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      The part of that argument you missed is that the holy spirit of god was supposed to have infused the writers of the bible, thereby rendering their accounts accurate and true. This is a basic teaching, of at least the Catholic faith. If you are going to disparage a religion, at least do so accurately and educate yourself about what the belief actually is before criticizing it so you don't spout an uneducated opinion. Now, I am not saying I believe that, mind you – I believe the accounts were written by men who believed in what they writing, having been moved by Jesus' disciples' & follower's descendants and their beliefs. But, I have taken the time to educate myself on WHY that is the belief and how people came to hold those beliefs.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      inphinity – you actually state that as if it were a reasonable argument.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      No, Sno, I state it from the understanding of the beliefs of the Catholic Church. My personal opinion is that evolution is a description of the process of creation and that these concepts are not mutually exclusive. In our society, we have an understanding of science that those early societies simply didn't have. They explained their world in the only way available to them. The Biblical stories should not be taken literally, but they can teach us about our past, about spiritual concepts of right and wrong – such as it is wrong to lie, to murder to steal. Believing all life is simply an accident of evolution is as unbelieveable as believing the world was created in 7 days.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      inphinity – but that logically does not fly. without a literal genesis there is no original sin. without original sin there is no requirement for a messiah to symbolically sacrifice himself to absolve from said sin.

      without a literal genesis there is no basis for christianity.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      You need to do more research on the Bible itself, its history and a bit of anthropology too. Genesis was written in 600-400 B.C.E. Jesus was a social, religious protester, essentially. You simply cannot compare the two parts of the Bible. Jesus said he came to replace the covenant previously held between the Jewish people and their God. He did not come simply because of original sin – which, in theory, could have been considered corrected after the Flood, if you were to take the Bible literally. Original Sin was simply a concept for religious control – control a people's reproductive rights and you control their world as procreation is a built-in, hardwired instinct. Christ believed he came to replace the old covenant of the Jewish people with a new one and he believed he was the messiah for the Jewish people. His teachings became popular amongst the Gentiles later on.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      The basis for Christianity is Christ Himself, I might add, not the stories in the Torah, which were written many, many years before his birth.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      inphinity – the basis for christianity is the need for a messiah. not that it really matters. it is simply mythology regardless.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  17. palusko996769

    Clearly, religious belief of a child are determined by the environment she's born into rather than her own independent thinking.

    September 1, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Gadflie

      God wants it that way damn it!

      September 1, 2012 at 12:02 am |
  18. John M

    HA!!!... I'm sorry, I know it's really rude. I couldn't help myself.... HAHAHAHAHAHA!.... I can't control it, I'm weak!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  19. This is gold!

    Why are all of you smart, highly educated people wasting your time arguing with people who believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old and was created by god? Remember the quote, often attributed to Mark Twain:

    "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. "

    I'll leave you with this: How did Noah get 1.4 million species of insects onto the ark? That must have taken a long time and really tiny tweezers! Not to mention how hard it must be to capture male and female hippos and crocodiles! Forget the Crocodile Hunter – Noah was the original!

    August 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Noah didn't need to capture the animals. Here's what the Bible says:

      ..."Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark,..."

      September 1, 2012 at 12:13 am |
    • Gadflie

      The Kangaroos had a SERIOUS swim to get there.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • This is gold!

      See, if I were to rebut your riidiculous response, I would be arguing with a fool. Get it? So you're right, that makes total sense.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Kangaroos swimming isn't the only explanation.

      September 1, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Clues from Modern Times

      When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, the island remnant remained lifeless for some years, but was eventually colonized by a surprising variety of creatures, including not only insects and earthworms, but birds, lizards, snakes and even a few mammals. One would not have expected some of this surprising array of creatures to have crossed the ocean, but they obviously did. Even though these were mostly smaller than some of the creatures we will discuss here, it illustrates the limits of our imaginings on such things.

      Land Bridges

      Evolutionists acknowledge that men and animals could once freely cross the Bering Strait, which separates Asia and the Americas.[1] Before the idea of continental drift became popular, evolutionists depended entirely upon a lowering of the sea level during an ice age (which locked up water in the ice) to create land bridges, enabling dry-land passage from Europe most of the way to Australasia, for example.

      The existence of some deep-water stretches along the route to Australia is still consistent with this explanation. Evolutionist geologists themselves believe there have been major tectonic upheavals, accompanied by substantial rising and falling of sea floors, in the time period which they associate with an ice age. For instance, parts of California are believed to have been raised many thousands of feet from what was the sea floor during this ice age period, which they call “Pleistocene” (one of the most recent of the supposed geological periods). creationist geologists generally regard Pleistocene sediments as post-flood, the period in which these major migrations took place.

      In the same way, other dry-land areas, including parts of these land bridges, subsided to become submerged at around the same time.[2]

      There is a widespread, but mistaken, belief that marsupials are found only in Australia, thus supporting the idea that they must have evolved there. However, living marsupials, opossums, are found also in North and South America, and fossil marsupials have been found on every continent. Likewise, monotremes were once thought to be unique to Australia, but the discovery in 1991 of a fossil platypu.s tooth in South America stunned the scientific community.[3] Therefore, since evolutionists believe all organisms came from a common ancestor, migration between Australia and other areas must be conceded as possible by all scientists, whether evolutionist or creationist.

      Creationists generally believe there was only one Ice Age after, and as a consequence of, the flood. The lowered sea level at this time made it possible for animals to migrate over land bridges for centuries. Some creationists propose a form of continental break-up after the flood, in the days of Peleg. This again would mean several centuries for animals to disperse, in this instance without the necessity of land-bridges. However, continental break-up in the time of Peleg is not widely accepted in creationist circles.

      Did the Kangaroo Hop All the Way to Australia?

      How did animals make the long journey from the Ararat region? Even though there have been isolated reports of individual animals making startling journeys of hundreds of miles, such abilities are not even necessary. Early settlers released a very small number of rabbits in Australia. Wild rabbits are now found at the very opposite corner (in fact, every corner) of this vast continent. Does that mean that an individual rabbit had to be capable of crossing the whole of Australia? Of course not. Creation speakers are sometimes asked mockingly, "Did the kangaroo hop all the way to Australia?" We see by the rabbit example that this is a somewhat foolish question.

      Populations of animals may have had centuries to migrate, relatively slowly, over many generations. Incidentally, the opposite question (also common), as to whether the two kangaroos hopped all the way from Australia to the ark, is also easily answered. The continents we now have, with their load of flood-deposited sedimentary rock, are not the same as whatever continent or continents there may have been in the pre-flood world.

      We also lack information as to how animals were distributed before the flood. Kangaroos (as is true for any other creature) may not have been on any isolated landmas.s. Genesis 1:9 suggests that there may have been only one landmas.s. ("Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.") For all we know, kangaroos might have been feeding within a stone's throw of Noah while he was building the Ark.

      It may be asked, if creatures were migrating to Australia over a long time (which journey would have included such places as Indonesia, presumably) why do we not find their fossils en route in such countries?

      Fossilization is a rare event, requiring, as a rule, sudden burial (as in the flood) to prevent decomposition. Lions lived in Israel until relatively recently. We don't find lion fossils in Israel, yet this doesn't prevent us believing the many historical reports of their presence. The millions of bison that once roamed the United States of America have left virtually no fossils. So why should it be a surprise that small populations, presumably under migration pressure from compet.itors and/or predators, and thus living in only one area for a few generations at most, should leave no fossils?

      September 1, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • satirical architect

      b4bigbang, someone actually did research on that subject? What a waste. I just let out a beer fart that would garner more respect.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • b4bigbang

      @the drunk: I'm not surprised in the least that you'd find research a waste of time – in fact, I'd be surprised if you valued research.
      Enjoy your beer!
      PS: And uh, maybe check your shorts.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      A simpler explanation, BigBang, is simply that a region experienced a flood and not the whole world. It was the whole world to the people living there. You also make a lot of general statements about what you call "creationists" that are really religious fanatics who are incapable of bridging the gap between creation and evolution. It would be like a creationist saying all you science guys are the same and spiritually empty and yet there are many scientists who reconcile the science with their religious beliefs.

      September 1, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • b4bigbang

      Inphinity, what generalizations on my part are you referring to?
      If you're referring to the long comment I pasted above, I simply cut and pasted it from another site, and the reason I did that was to shed some light from the other camp onto a question raised by another commenter re kangaroos.
      So any generalizations there were not mine.
      In light of the large amount of rude ridicule and even outright cussing at non-atheists by atheists, I think I've done a pretty good job of keeping my flaming to a minimum, the beer fart ridiculer notwithstanding.

      Of course if you disagree, I invite you to point out my transgression(s).

      September 1, 2012 at 1:20 am |
  20. sparky

    When I see how many people are losing their jobs, their way of life, and their childrens' future, my heart aches.

    But then I hear that 40%-46% of them believe in fairy tales, and I realize that it all makes sense.

    August 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • satirical architect

      I'll drink to that, brother!

      September 1, 2012 at 12:40 am |
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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.