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. tony

    A plane crash that happened yesterday cannot be proven, as the crash can no longer be directly observed.

    Great thinking Ham

    February 5, 2014 at 8:34 am |
    • barcasbc

      as it no longer is observed? ..BUT IT WAS OBSERVED YESTERDAY!




      February 5, 2014 at 8:50 am |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        The only joke around here is obviously you... your dumbassness seems to have no end...

        February 5, 2014 at 8:52 am |
      • igaftr

        We do observe it daily, can confirm it, can predict and test results consistant with prediction, can trace through genetics.

        ALL of that evidence is observed every day. The real question is, what would you accept as evidence since the evidence is everywhere, everyday, yet YOU refuse to examine it properly. If you did really look at the evidence, you would see the same thing that scientists around the world see on a daily basis.

        So let me guess...there is a great deal of evidence showing evolution at work, you examined NONE of it, and then say it doesn't exist, right?

        February 5, 2014 at 9:27 am |
    • Truth Seeker

      Your logic with a plane crash happening yesterday is not analogous to proving origins that occurred long before any living witnesses can attest. Please read this link with an open mind, Tony. (I will keep seeking if you will too). 🙂

      February 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
  2. akmac61

    There is no debate. Religion is a sociological function, belief (a type of opinion) is up to the individual or groups of like individuals who agree in their beliefs. The only time there is an issue is when people confuse opinion with fact, something that occurs in politics as well as religion, hence the admonishment to not discuss religion or politics if you want to keep the conversation peaceful.
    As far as the OT and time frames are concerned, it is clear that what is being defined are the origins of cultures, not the physical environment. Every culture has its own creation story, typically passed down from pre-history by oral tradition. There is zero reason to confuse and compare those with scientific observations in the modern world.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:34 am |
  3. TruthSeeker

    The majority is often wrong – as was predictably the case in this opinion polling. Sad how people seem to prefer embracing the hopeless dogma that they are mere animals with no eternal soul. Ken Ham is a scientist educated at a secular university who, like many former evolutionists objectively studied the actual facts in creation to determine that a young earth is far more plausible. Many have turned a deaf ear and blind eye to his arguments because they have had evolution ingrained in their minds for so long – forgetting it is actually a baseless theory of origins ( which btw has nothing to do with the advancement of technology by those who believe either way). Evolutionist's methods of dating the earth are predicated on the assumption that aging processes have remained constant throughout the millenia. Ironically, this is even more unlikely if you believe in billions of years! I challenge old earthers to seek the answers to their lingering questions on Ham's and other creation science websites. Do not continue in your ignorance which will only lead to further chaos in our world!

    February 5, 2014 at 8:32 am |
    • tony

      You need to keep seeking.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:32 am |
    • JJ

      If Noah's flood carved the Grand Canyon 4400 yrs ago, then it nicely exposed rocks at the bottom, laid 2-billion yrs earlier.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:35 am |
      • Truth Seeker

        Please see the following link and read with an open mind, JJ. 🙂

        February 5, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      You're right, the majority is often wrong. For example, the majority of people in the US think that there is a god that created everything. And they are obviously wrong.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:39 am |
    • akmac61

      "Evolutionists", whatever that may be, are not a field of science. Many other scientific fields support the multi-billion year age of the Earth, without having a bone to pick with religion.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:39 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Lo and behold... a "TruthSeeker" as long it is only the truth that they WANT to hear and believe in.... people like you are the reason why the U.S. is falling behind in math/sciences compared to the rest of the world

      To put it in simpler terms... we need less ignorant people like you

      February 5, 2014 at 8:45 am |
    • JB

      Wow, trying to instill guilt in those who disagree with you. One of the integral parts of brainwashing techniques . . . That is what Ken Ham is all about.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:02 am |
      • tigersfandan

        You could argue that Bill Nye, with his 'save the children' approach, is doing the same thing.

        February 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
  4. barcasbc

    whoever believes in bs "evolution" ..why is there not a single being in this world that "evolved" to our point of intelligence from any mammal?

    Why did apes stay apes and not evolve as well? no logic

    if "evolution" is real how did life happen to begin with? Did "nothing" simply create intelligent life even though "nothing" is still "nothing"

    darwin/science/evolution is one big joke

    February 5, 2014 at 8:30 am |
    • tony

      Everybody else can handle learning and deducing evolution. Time for you to go back to school instead of praying for guidance.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:32 am |
      • David

        Great answer to his questions Tony.

        February 5, 2014 at 8:40 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      There is an animal that evolved to our level of intelligence, US.

      Apes evolved to fill the niche that they are in. You obviously dont understand evolution.

      Again, you dont understand evolution, you're talking abiogenisis. And you're begging the question talking about something "creating" intelligent life. Try reading a textbook instead of a bible.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:34 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      COPY ALL... You are a stupid troll... LET OUT

      February 5, 2014 at 8:50 am |
  5. tony

    I can't believe the heap of just plain daft and magical stuff that Ham came up with.

    But the bad news is that Nye raised listening to that, to the level of a supposed serious debate. That just gives the believers self credibility that they really don't have.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:28 am |
    • Jmo

      I disagree with that criticism. Given the overwhelming number of believers and the ongoing fight to teach creationism in schools, we need to raise this debate more, not less.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:45 am |
  6. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Bill Nye absolutely won this debate.

    My favorite line: "Are fish sinners?"

    February 5, 2014 at 8:28 am |
  7. Colin

    Headline should have read; "Creation Debate Recap; Science and Religion, the terrible Joke."

    February 5, 2014 at 8:26 am |
  8. Reality #2

    Time line of Human Evolution – starting point? Stardust

    name Millions of years ago

    Cells with a nucleus 2,100
    Animals 590
    Vertebrates and closely related
    invertebrates 530

    Vertebrates 505
    Tetrapods 395
    Amniotes, 340
    Mammals 220
    Mammals that birth live young
    (i.e. non-egg-laying)
    Pl-acental mammals (i.e. non-marsupials) 125
    Supraprimates, bats, whales, most
    hoofed mammals
    , and most carnivorous mammals
    Supraprimates (primates, rodents, rabbits,
    tree shrews,
    and colugos) 100
    Primates, colugos and tree shrews
    Primates and colugos
    Primates 75
    "Dry-nosed" (literally, "simple-nosed")
    (apes, monkeys, and tarsiers)
    "Higher" primates (or Simians)
    (a-pes, old-world monkeys, and
    new-world monkeys)
    "Downward-nosed" primates (apes and
    old-world monkeys) 30
    A-pes 28
    Great a-pes (
    Humans, chimpanzees, bonobos,
    gorillas, and orangutans) 15
    Humans, chimpanzees, bonobos,
    and gorillas 8
    Genera H-omo and Australopithecus 5.8
    Contains only the Genus H-omo 2.5
    Humans 2.5
    Modern humans 0.5
    Fully anatomically modern humans 0.2

    Ending Point? Stardust

    February 5, 2014 at 8:25 am |
    • St. Lawrence of Arabia

      Do all of these things have dates right next to their "Made in China" stickers?

      February 5, 2014 at 8:29 am |
      • Reality #2

        Might want to visit a natural history museum.

        February 5, 2014 at 9:35 am |
  9. mike

    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:23 am |
    • David

      One cost's way too much and gives you nothing and the other costs very little and gives you life.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:25 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Right, science does give you life :-). Religion can be the root of many death...ie; prayer healing; child abuse deaths (look up the book Train Up Your Child-it has been found in the home of many christians serving time for child abuse murders).

        February 5, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • David

          Are you saying that bad people claim to be religious therefore it isn't true? Are when then saying that if there is a scientist out there that is a bad person, then science doesn't exist? By far the worst argument I've heard.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:32 am |
        • truthprevails1

          No David, do not twist my words. Re-read them. I merely pointed out that religion can be the root cause for many a death and I gave examples. The fact that you chose your own meaning from what I stated is not my issue.
          You made a blanket statement and I countered it. Feeling a little persecuted, perhaps?

          February 5, 2014 at 8:36 am |
        • David

          I apologize for not being more clear about how "life" is used biblically. I meant life after death.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:42 am |
        • truthprevails1

          There is no justification for believing in life after death, no evidence to support it; no-one has ever returned from the dead.

          February 5, 2014 at 9:10 am |
        • JB

          Please prove that life exists after death in the biblical sense.

          February 5, 2014 at 9:04 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        You're an idiot!

        You're saying that science hasn't given you EVERY piece of technology that you use now including the computer that you're using now.

        What a dumbazz.

        February 5, 2014 at 8:30 am |
        • David

          Great argument. If you read the original post, it was regarding going to the moon. It cost a lot and no, that trip did not bring back the computer I'm using now. Maybe the idiot is not me.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:44 am |
      • Reality #2

        Once again-

        Typically, there are economics built into one's beliefs. For example, is Susan Jacoby an atheist because there is money to be made from books, speeches and columns on the subject? Unless she and others in the business of making good income from books, etc. on religion, secularism, or atheism take a vow of poverty, we will never know.

        Glen Beck, a Mormon, $32 million in 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/08/glenn-beck-earned-32-mill_n_529903.html

        and from guidestar.org

        Ken Ham, $200,000/yr. plus another $200,000/yr. for family members, plus $700,000 travel expenses plus another $100,000 to Tim Dudley, another staff member of Hay's "non-profit"

        Rev. Franklin Graham $800,000+/yr.
        Rev. Billy Graham, $400,000/yr
        Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield $331,708/yr
        Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, $200,000/yr
        Erica Brown $134,221/yr
        Eboo Patel $120,000/yr and his “non-profit’s” investment portfolio of $1.2 million
        Dr. Herb Silverman $100,000/yr. ?
        Imam Rauf and his wife Daisy, $400,000/yr/ea estimated
        Susan Jacoby ????

        The Mormon ti-the empire is tax exempt as are all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits costing the taxpayers billions a year in tax revenue.

        – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama: $385 million/yr. and another $2 billion/yr. in grants.

        And keeping Muslim theocracies in power and/or under control:

        One trillion dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan to keep koranic-driven "fundies" under control.

        – Eighteen billion dollars/yr. to Pakistan

        – Four billion dollars/yr. to Egypt.

        – Four billion dollars/yr. to Israel

        From: lds-mormon.com/time.shtml

        "All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's non-t-ithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million. "

        February 5, 2014 at 8:36 am |
    • Reality #2

      A great line that summarizes the situation quite well.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:26 am |
    • Kate


      The very best response I have seen on this forum!

      February 5, 2014 at 9:03 am |
  10. wth

    Shame on Bill Nye for giving this ridiculous person an ounce of respectability by sharing a stage with his nonsense. Don't give these people a megaphone with which to spread their garbage and thereby embarrass our country and hold back our future. This trash isn't worthy of a debate.

    Shame on you Bill.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:23 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin


      February 5, 2014 at 8:59 am |
  11. alex

    It is not a "big mystery" at all where consciousness came from. What mysterious is about the evolution of nervous system and brain ?

    February 5, 2014 at 8:20 am |
  12. magicpanties

    The bible was written and assembled from multiple sources by multiple men over decades and sometimes centuries after something "allegedly" took place.

    And the stories are eerily similar to previous, older fables from other mythologies, including paganism.

    Do some research, people. Don't just blindly believe something because you were indoctrinated from birth.
    You stopped believing in Santa Claus. Take the next step.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:20 am |
    • shehar39

      actually, there is one author to the Bible, G-d, who used men to write it, the pagan references just confirm the Bible's authenticity

      February 5, 2014 at 8:22 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Oh dear, now you just need to provide evidence that your god exists and we might have reason to accept your fantasy.

        February 5, 2014 at 8:25 am |
        • john roush

          Try looking up the Miracle of the Sun, or the Prophecy of the Popes, or even the fact that over two billion people believe in God, and people have out believed in him, even over the Hindus.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:36 am |
        • truthprevails1

          john: That was childish at best. The sun is not evidence of a god. Try again or perhaps you're missing your grade 5 science class??

          February 5, 2014 at 8:40 am |
        • lorne naismith

          just think about it, is around one hundred years on earth going to hurt you, I mean, should God be real, and you denied his existence, you're in bad luck. If you believe in God, and there is no afterlife, well, doesn't matter then. Still, I recommend not staying sure.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:42 am |
        • truthprevails1

          lorne: Pascals Wager.

          February 5, 2014 at 9:11 am |
        • john roush

          wow, man, this is what I was talking about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Sun

          February 5, 2014 at 8:46 am |
      • akmac61

        Using circular reasoning as you are, proves nothing. Saying the bible was divinely authored because it says it was divinely authored, is meaningless. Additionally, if the supposed 2 billion people who you claim, "believe in God", were polled, you would find huge variations in how they define that god. What about the other 4+ billion people who do not believe as you do, are they all wrong? Every religion throughout time has proclaimed itself to be the true word of some god or another.

        February 5, 2014 at 8:51 am |
        • shehar39

          talk about ciruclar reasoning, let's talk about the way they age the dinosaurs

          February 22, 2014 at 4:04 am |
    • Bails

      hard for me to take some seriously with a name like "magicpanties"......

      February 5, 2014 at 8:26 am |
      • magicpanties

        yeah, much easier to believe in an invisible magical being that is all-powerful but just won't show himself

        I imagine him thinking "hmm, I could appear in the sky to everyone around the world and all would believe, but I'm going to remain invisible and silent and require all to believe in me with no evidence. Yeah, that's the ticket.".

        February 5, 2014 at 8:36 am |
        • David

          So, you would prefer that God force you to believe in him rather than gic ve us all free will to choose him or death. The proof that He exists is written by four different people in their account of Christ's life. Those who accept it, accept it. Those who don't, don't. There is no debate. It's a choice.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:47 am |
        • akmac61

          David…. None of the writers of the gospels ever witnessed your christ in person, the gospels were written long after his supposed time. Additionally, if there was a christ, he was human, not a god. That part was added by the Romans after the original Jewish followers of Joshua, (also a Jew), were forced out of the Romanized church. Believe as you wish but do not proclaim it as any kind of truth for the rest of us.

          February 5, 2014 at 8:58 am |
  13. martin

    All we really know is that our existence as talking monkeys on an organic spaceship turning in and hurtling through space is inherently very, very, very mysterious and this is true from both a scientific and a religious point of view.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:20 am |
  14. shehar39

    Nye presented no specific proof for evolution..

    February 5, 2014 at 8:18 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Maybe this will ease your mind: http://ideonexus.com/2012/02/12/101-reasons-why-evolution-is-true/

      February 5, 2014 at 8:24 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      He presented quite a bit of evidence. Just because you're a creatard doesn't mean that what he said wasnt true. Just becasue you dont understand science doesn't mean you have to be afraid of it.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:24 am |
    • midwest rail

      The debate was about origins. Evolution does not address abiogenesis.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:25 am |
      • JB

        The debate was about whether or not Creation was a viable model of origins. It was not a debate on whether or not evolution is perfect. Origins, based on the premise that God created Earth because it says so in a book, is not viable. That was proven during the debate no matter how many attacks Ham made on evolution. They were not there to debate the viability of evolution as a model for origins, were they?

        February 5, 2014 at 8:59 am |
  15. Reality #2

    What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

    8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

     http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/



    Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

    Rabbi Paul, book by Professor Bruce Chilton




    February 5, 2014 at 8:16 am |
  16. Andrew

    I cringe at the legitimacy granted to pure mythology by all this. You don't debate dogma – there is nothing there to debate. The debate boils down to:

    Cultist: Your wrong. My mythology says...
    Scientist: The facts prove that I am right, here they are...
    Cultist: Your wrong. My mythology says...
    Scientist: But the facts are...
    Cultist: Your wrong. My mythology says...
    Scientist: You are ignoring the facts. Again, they are...
    Cultist: Your wrong. My mythology says...
    Scientist: [burp]
    Cultist: Your wrong. My mythology says...
    Scientist: [silence]
    Cultist: Your wrong. My mythology says...

    February 5, 2014 at 8:12 am |
    • David

      I guess people are getting smarter.

      February 5, 2014 at 8:18 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Another blanketed statement...ignorant at best! Are you incapable of forming a complete thought?

        February 5, 2014 at 8:39 am |
      • Andrew

        I stand corrected, and blushing, on the point of grammar.

        February 5, 2014 at 8:58 am |
  17. Reality #2

    Some of things we do know:

    From National Geographic's Genographic project: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

    "Our spe-cies is an African one: Africa is where we first ev-olved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth. The earliest fos-sils of recognizably modern Ho-mo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago. (vs. the 6000 years or so as noted by the Jewish scribes). Although earlier fossils may be found over the coming years, this is our best understanding of when and approximately where we originated.

    According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time—a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

    Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landma-ss likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe."

    February 5, 2014 at 8:11 am |
  18. spas2k

    I felt sorry for Ken Ham, he seems like a nice guy, but let's be honest, he got trounced here. I guess that would be the only outcome as Ham could not refute simple examples where Nye debunked many of the favorite creationists talking points.

    February 5, 2014 at 8:10 am |
    • Jmo

      This debate was a good start to a topic that deserves more attention. However, Bill Nye missed some opportunities, like explaining better what the scientific method is and what it has brought us, and pointing out that evolution is not a belief, but a conclusion drawn from the evidence that the scientific method has produced.Whatever else belief in the Bible might be, it is not science (since Ken Hamm admits his beliefs are not subject to revision despite the evidence), which is why it does not belong in a science class. That was supposed to be the main topic for debate.

      February 5, 2014 at 9:00 am |
  19. bryan

    what a terrible article. you missed all the key points in your "twitter blogging". way to ruin it bozo

    February 5, 2014 at 8:08 am |
    • Paul

      amen (coming from someone without a mythology belief system 🙂 )

      February 5, 2014 at 8:56 am |
  20. Someone

    Frankly – this was a debate that nno one could of "won". I keep going back to a line in Isaac Asimov's short story Reason (Google it and you'll see what I mean) – "you can prove anything you want by cold logical reasoning – if you pick the right postulates"

    Basically – Ham – the Bible is the word of God, I have chosen to interpret it literally – science that tries to figure out the past is a religion, so the Bible is just as valid.

    Nye – Here is what we know – there is a lot we don't know, but everything seems to be pointing this way....

    February 5, 2014 at 8:08 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.