February 4th, 2014
10:05 PM ET

Creation debate recap: Science, religion and terrible jokes

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Did you miss the debate between creationist Ken Ham and Bill "The Science Guy" Nye?

Don't worry, we've got you covered.

The debate was moderated by CNN's Tom Foreman, and, if there's one thing both sides can agree on, it's that he did a swell job.

Here's almost everything else you need to know, from Genesis to um, Revelation.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Evolution • Science • Uncategorized

soundoff (1,469 Responses)
  1. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    “Do you Believe in Magic”

    Do you believe in magic?
    And a young earth myth
    How the bible misleads you
    With ‘inerrant’ tales

    And it's magic
    'Cos the bible is 'truthy'
    It makes you real stupid like a Will Ferrell movie

    I'll tell ya about the magic
    It'll kill your mind
    But you’ll be a believer in a world-wide flood

    If you believe in magic, don't bother to think
    If you're a fundie, or think science stinks
    Just go and listen
    It starts with the bible
    It limits your thinking no matter how hard you try
    Your idea of science
    Will be something God did
    How girls got here
    Was from Adam’s rib

    If you believe in magic,
    Come along with me
    We'll pray until morning, just you and me
    and maybe, if the bible is right
    You’ll believe that Yahweh
    Turned day to night

    We'll go a prayin' baby, then you'll see
    All the magic's in the bible and the bible's in me, yeah

    Do you believe in magic? Yeah
    Believe in the magic in a young earth myth
    Believe in the magic of a world-wide flood
    Believe in the magic that can kill your mind
    Ohhhh, talkin' bout magic

    Do you believe like I believe?
    Do you believe in magic?

    – apologies to the Lovin' Spo.onful


    February 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
  2. SLS

    Creationism, intelligent design, et. al. are simply the result of a "siege" mentality. Religion has a terrible track record when it comes to arguing with science and logic based reasoning. Over the centuries religion has seen tenant after tenant fall, you know the examples: universe revolves around the earth, possessed by demons (actually epilepsy or other ailment), etc. The latest is the DNA proof that a single source of humanity couldn't have existed (Adam and Eve). No Adam and Eve, no original sin; no original sin means JC died on the cross for nothing and wouldn't have risen. You can see why science is seen as a threat. Religion is one structure many people need to deal with life. When it becomes obvious that structure is based on psychological needs not reality or facts then they feel lost. They cling to outmoded beliefs rather than embrace the process of discovery. They prefer to think "Everything has been answered by JC/God so why bother discussing or postulating I might be wrong".

    February 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
    • Science Works

      ID is not science !

      How Bill Nye Won the Debate

      Posted on February 4, 2014 * Leave a comment




      Young-earth creationism


      February 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      Richard Dawkins...
      "It stretches even their creative ingenuity to make a convincing reason why an intelligent designer should have created a pseudogene - a gene that does absolutely nothing and gives every appearance of being a superannuated version of a gene that used to do something - unless he was deliberately setting out to fool us...
      Leaving pseudogenes aside, it is a remarkable fact that the greater part (95 percent in the case of humans) of the genome might as well not be there, for all the difference it makes."

      Then comes ENCODE...

      February 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
  3. Tony

    The fact that a once reputable and hard hitting news organisation like CNN now gives fruit loops like Ham serious credence only flags the colossal decay of the USA media in reporting science. No wonder the country is descending into international laughing stock and jobs created through scientific innovation are steadily shifting offshore when even those charged with educating your children act as if creationism has any validity in the science classroom.

    Good luck with the 21st century USA. Try hard not to act too surprised when your economy gets overtaken by those that look ahead, not 2000 years behind.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
  4. sly

    Um ... did God create dinosauers 50 million years ago, and then wait until 10 million years ago to create humans?

    Makes sense ... I guess. If it took him 7 days to build humans, how long did it take Him to build dinosauers?

    Just curious – sounds like the god-sters have morphed into 'God created Earth, and THEN evolution created humans from apes". So, I'm just trying to get the background. I mean, those dinosauer bones are not fake are they?

    February 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
  5. georgex9

    There is something in the Bible about not being deceitful. That means that telling children that the world and life were created in 6 days is sinful.
    One should not expect religious writings of a pre-scientific age to be accurate about the physical world. And, indeed, the Bible is incorrect in so many areas. Centuries later and during the Dark Ages religion was used to discourage open scientific advancements with dire punishments. Science has since clarified many ideas and errors in the Bible. Unfortunately, some still wish to cling to Bible teachings that have clearly been shown to be wrong, ie. creation in six days.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
    • ECassious2

      Please explain where the Bible is incorrect? Did Nye prove the earth was not created in six days? I would like to hear you cite the scriptures that are errant, and we can begin from there. Also, what has science proven that is not Biblical?

      February 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • gladiatorgrl

        google "teapot theory" and get back to us – you DO realize it's on the person making the CLAIM to prove the claim don't you?

        February 5, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        How entirely fvcking stupid. Can you prove existence didn't start four seconds ago? How many mythical creatures do you believe in because nobody has gotten around to disproving them, yet? Sheer stupidity.

        February 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • truluv4u

          You didn't answer the questions, Captain – only slung out your obscenities. Are we to consider this a great display of your exceedingly great intelligence? 'Obviously' not! Try researching the arguments on the other side – you may actually clean up your language in the process!

          February 20, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
  6. David

    The good news is, God gives man free will to reject Him if they so please.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
    • Science Works

      And what is not in climate science ?

      Climate change sceptics are 'headless chickens', says Prince Charles


      February 5, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Got no proof at all, do you David? While we're just believing things by faith, I'm going to KNOW that you're a child molester-–by faith, of course. So you see, I couldn't possibly be wrong about you.

      February 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      david: if god is omniscient, free will does not exist

      February 8, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
  7. Chris

    I really need to become a reporter for CNN. All I have to do is write one line and then post choppy Tweets. Are we really that lazy CNN?

    February 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
  8. Journey

    I get tired of all the sad, angry arguments put up by the scientific community. It is like these folks get some sick pleasure from oppressing normal people.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
    • TexasBadger

      Normal, what's normal? We go to a debate to present our side and we're accused of oppressing people. And, does your statement somehow make your view correct? I think not. You loose debating points just for making the statement.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
    • bobsyuruncle

      If, in the world you inhabit, "ignorant" and "normal are synonyms, then I agree.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
    • heehee

      So you find the expression of opinions other than yours oppressive? Interesting.

      February 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
  9. diabhal

    I was raised in a Christian household that held a mix of liberal and conservative religious views, depending on which person you asked. When I started to discover the wonders of science, it was game over. Science allows us to postulate, search for, and often answer the hard questions in life. So, to me, there is no debate. But I had to have my eyes opened, and hopefully Nye was able to do that for some young folks in the same position I had been in.

    Honestly, I don't think there is much hope for people like Ken Ham and his most devoted fans. They're too far gone. They completely misunderstand logic and cannot be reasoned with. But, Nye kept it civil, was able to provide evidence, and appealed to the senses where Ham basically kept saying, "very Bible," "such Bible," and "therefore God." On Twitter, even many Christians were appalled by Ham's debating skills. He wasn't very articulate, showed an extraordinary lack of understanding of both science and other religions (actually claiming that no other religions have creation stories), and couldn't even defend his own theory in an intelligent manner. He kept saying, "I have made predictions based on the Bible" but failed to give any examples.

    In the end, it was a much better event than I anticipated. I was thinking it was going to be a lot more like the Ray Comfort-Matt Dillahunty debacle.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
  10. TexasBadger

    We can debate this for the next millennium but there won't be any resolution because we can't agree on a methodology for determining how to solve the problem. Science wants to use reasoning with the collection of data and its interpretation. Assumptions are made up front but most likely they will be overturned the more we know and find out. With time there is the expectation that the true picture will reveal itself. It is also assumed that there will be false starts and false paths taken. That is the nature of the game. Those who believe in creationism want to use the Bible as an infallible source of information without proof that it is infallible. Its infallibility is their base assumption and one that will never change. Debating will not change this.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
  11. Ben

    While I in no way dispute evolution, the Big Bang (theory) has as little proof in real world terms (and show any paper article that proves it beyond a theory), than "let there be light." Just saying, many "forward thinkers" seem to just take what science says on faith, never having read anything on the subject, just because, in the same way they rip into creationists for their beliefs. It is a little ironic (and I expect a lot of people who have never even read an article about the big bang to have a lot to say about this...

    February 5, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
    • ME II

      One difference however is that there are people who actually test and verify scientific hypotheses, not so with creationist ideas. Despite what Ham implied in the debate, I've yet to see a creationist hypothesis, i.e. a hypothesis bases on creationism, as the subject of a peer-reviewed journal.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
      • ME II

        ^ based

        February 5, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
    • TexasBadger

      If you are a scientist you would know that the definition of theory that a scientist uses is not the same as that used by the layman. For a scientist a theory is the ultimate. The body of data is so overwhelming that it is nearly beyond reproach. The layman's definition of theory is equivalent to the scientist's definition of hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement of an observed relationship that may or may not be correct and needs much work to either bear out or refute. Here is a classic example of part of the problem between the two groups. They can't even agree on the definition of the terms they use. This leads to confusion on the part of the general public and helps to deflect you from determining the truth.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • heehee

      Thousands of measurements of the velocities of galaxies by hundreds of people demonstrates that the universe is expanding.

      A very small sample of the scientific literature can be found in the references to the wikipedia article on Hubble's law. I found it in 11 seconds. There are dozens of articles, many of which are meta-studies relying on an enormous number of measurements.

      If you repeat what you just posted again without looking into this – and I mean really looking into this, honestly: spend at least a few weeks – then you are being dishonest.

      February 5, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • RonG

      Just wondering how god explains the expanding universe?

      February 5, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
      • Beth Herron

        Here is how Ken Ham's website explains expansion of the universe:   http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ud/misconceptions-general-relativity-cosmology-big-bang


        February 6, 2014 at 12:18 am |
        • oldblindjohn

          Just wondering how does god explain cancers in little children.

          February 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  12. gladiatorgrl

    So many Christians – so few lions!!! (sigh)

    February 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  13. gladiatorgrl

    So many Christians – so few lions!!!

    There's a REASON they fed them to the lions!! just sayin'

    February 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      What we need is a lion with a taste for Ham!

      February 7, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
  14. gladiatorgrl

    I SO have a girl geek crush on Bill Nye. Is he dating??

    February 5, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
    • Alias

      If I understood what makes a 'girl geek' a special form of crush, I might tell you how to find him.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
      • gladiatorgrl

        it's a girl crush on a geek instead of "like a" pop star or he man thing 😉 Now WHERE is he??

        February 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  15. wardenhallis

    Muhammad: Total joke. Just a man that was looking for power. Probably a mass murderer as well.

    Jesus: Another total joke. Just a man that was looking for power. Likely suffered from multiple mental illnesses including schizophrenia.

    Buddha: Apparently a happy fat guy that never claimed to be a God, son of one, or even represent a God. Probably just liked food and laughing a lot.

    People who follow religion are the most prolific examples of how stupid humans can be. I can tell Muhammad to go straight to hell, that he's a phony. Tell Jesus he needed medication, go to the corner and shut up. And Buddha he needs to get on the Atkins diet. I can say this all day, every day, for the rest of my life. And you know what will happen? I will still live a productive, happy, wealthy, enriched, educated, enlightened and wonderful life. No unseen power from above will strike me down. My children won't be cursed. My life will simply be as successful as it has always been and will be forever. That's because these types of people talk about a God that never existed and never will.

    The only threat to me is the schizophrenic, delusional, mentally ill people that follow these religions. They are the only ones that kill, spread hate, do the finger pointing, judge and condemn via their own eyes and beliefs and generally cause HUGE problems to mankind. Only the humans that believe in this bull.

    February 5, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • gladiatorgrl

      Today we call it "delusions of grandeur"

      February 5, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
    • currin

      Buddha wasn't ever fat in his life.

      February 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
  16. JL

    "You've got us covered?"
    A list of snarky tweets and you think that represents journalism?

    February 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • Tom Bukowski

      Journalism? Why? It involved "creationism", who needs journalism? Why waste more time?

      February 5, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
  17. Universe

    Quran says (Islamic Scripture)

    “They say , "We live only this life; we will not be resurrected. If you could only see them when they stand before their Lord! He would say, "Is this not the truth?" They would say, "Yes, by our Lord." He would say, "You have incurred the retribution by your disbelief." [6:30]

    “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

    “It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is.” [19:35]

    “No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]

    “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

    “Recall that your Lord said to the angels, "I am placing a representative on Earth." They said, "Will You place therein one who will spread evil therein and shed blood, while we sing Your praises, glorify You, and uphold Your absolute authority?" He said, "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

    Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
    • adibese

      The only thing more inaccurate than the bible is the Islamic copy of the bible written by a pedo criminal warlord.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
      • Rich De

        There's no pedophilia and crime in the Bible? While I think both are silly, you clearly are not familiar with the Quran or the Bible.

        February 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
  18. Biblical Evolutionist

    As a scientist and a christian, I believe that both are true. What I mean by that is I believe God created heaven and earth, but I also believe, which can be proven many times over is that things evolve. Does that mean I evolved from a "animal"? I am not sure, I didn't live back then, but as has been proven with finches on the Galapagos, those that evolve, survive, those that do not, perish. Where God and evolution intermingle, I don't know that anyone will ever know, and I don't think we will until we meet our maker.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
    • Seldom

      So essentially, you've reduced your belief in god to a "god of the gaps"?

      February 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
    • Wayne Rizor

      Then you should be relieved to know that DNA studies show 2-3% of our DNA is Neanderthal DNA. Of 665 Europeans who had their DNA tested, scientists found that 20% of the Neanderthal Genome was represented in the modern human population. How would a Creationist dispute this finding? If God created Man in his image, according to Genesis, Is God a Neanderthal? see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140129134958.htm

      February 5, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        Have you visited the Museum of Natural History lately, Wayne? If you saw the Neanderthal man exhibit, you should recall that its inscription now classifies him as fully human. Evolutionists had to concede this because of his skull's large cranial capacity. He was probably very intelligent – and yes, an ancestor of many Germans just a few thousand years later. If you will open your mind and research the creation websites, you will learn that every so-called ape man has been either proven to be error or an all-out hoax. There are only distinct humans and apes in the actual fossil record. See this link about the latest 'big find': http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v8/n1/dmanisi-discovery

        February 5, 2014 at 10:40 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      "Does that mean I evolved from a "animal"? I am not sure, I didn't live back then"

      From a scientist? I don't think so.

      February 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      The term Christian evolutionist is an oxymoron. Here is what today's most acclaimed evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, had to say: "I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity." Evolution requires that death occurred for millions of years before the first humans. Genesis teaches that there was no death before the fall of man. This is a foundational principle of Christianity that cannot be reconciled with a theory derived from an atheist mind. The bible is clear in both old and new testaments that each day of creation was a 24 hour period. True Christianity does not allow for belief in millions of years. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth if you seek Him for it!

      February 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
    • Truth Seeker

      The term Christian evolutionist is an oxymoron. Here is what today's most acclaimed evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, had to say: "I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity." Evolution requires that death occurred for millions of years before the first humans. Genesis teaches that there was no death before the fall of man. This is a foundational principle of Christianity that cannot be reconciled with a theory derived from an atheist mind. The bible is clear in both old and new testaments that each day of creation was a 24 hour period. True Christianity does not allow for belief in millions of years. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth if you seek Him for it!

      February 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Thejackal

    I just have one statement for all the anti-Christians and anti-religion people out there. I choose to believe because God gave me free will. Think about it...I'd rather belive that Christ is my savior and be wrong when I die (I mean, I won't know then will I?) than not believe and be wrong when I die and find out that I was wrong.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
    • Rob

      So, you only gain free will from god? At what age does a human become imbued with this god granted free will? 3? 17? Birth? Tell us!

      February 5, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • What IF


      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century (where have you been?)

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      February 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
      • truluv4u

        WHAT IF, What IF? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M-rPbjmTCI

        February 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      So you choose to believe in a particular as a way to hedge your bets. Fair enough. But there are so many potential Gods. Shouldn't you hedge your bets against all of them?

      February 5, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      No doubt God will be very impressed with you – "So ,,, let me get this straight, you believed in me because it was a safe bet?"

      February 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • gladiatorgrl


      February 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
    • sybaris

      The you need to get busy worshiping all the other dieties. What have you got to lose?

      February 5, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  20. Roland

    This is sort of like the "debate" on global warming.News organizations are asked to "hear both sides" , and give "equal time" but this skews the debate as a tiny number of people believe in the Biblical "creationist" interpretation vs millions who follow science.It provides these nutty people a platform and a legitimacy they should not have.

    February 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
    • scottca

      Agreed, Creationists should be ranting their insane blabber on street corners with the other lunatics, not wasting the time of educated people in senseless debates about fairy tales and superst-itions.

      February 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
      • JH1

        Ham is never going to convince a single thinking person of his worldview. He's preaching to the choir.

        On the other hand, if Nye managed to get even 1% of the YEC watching this debate to start to ponder reality, he wins and the debate is worth it.

        February 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
        • gladiatorgrl

          TRUE. Actually I've read many articles that people really aren't believers but many of these people live in small communities and they literally fear losing jobs and being "shunned" if they don't go along to get along. At least there's no more burning at the stake!!

          February 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • Steve Wilkinson

      How does one exactly 'follow science'? I follow science, and I'm a creationist. Are you speaking of some religion called science?

      February 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
      • rmac

        science requires proofs, theory, and conclusion... creationism requires faith because there is zero proofs...zero evidence.
        pretty simple actually... no need to complicate the issue... live in a modern world created and protected by science, or live in an ancient world created and protected by magic and the supernatural.

        February 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm |
        • Steve Wilkinson

          And guess what worldview created science....

          February 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
      • sandralogan0430

        Steve... I was with you at first about "following science." Its a fair critique, but then you showed how delusional you were when you said you were a creationist... UGH!

        February 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • Steve Wilkinson

          Why is that delusional? Let me know if you've got a better explanation.

          February 6, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
    • clindseysmith

      A 2012 Gallup poll shows 46% of Americans "hold a Creationist view of human origins". (reference: google "gallup creationist view" and it's the first link). This is not the "fringe". This is mainstream America.

      February 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • Truth Seeker

        I believe that the overwhelming majority of people still believe in God – which is amazing given the decades of evolution indoctrination from our public schools. Each of us know deep within that we have a Creator – some have merely suppressed the yearning for Him until they inevitably fall into their 'fox hole'. Every knee will bow some day – let it not be too late for you, readers!

        February 6, 2014 at 12:08 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.