Bill Nye: Why I'm debating creationist Ken Ham
Science educator Bill Nye, left, will face off against creationist Ken Ham in Tuesday night's debate.
February 4th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

Bill Nye: Why I'm debating creationist Ken Ham

Editor's note: Ken Ham will debate Bill Nye on Tuesday at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, with CNN's Tom Foreman moderating. The debate will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.com, and CNN's "Piers Morgan Live" will host both Ham and Nye at 9 p.m. Tuesday after the debate. 

Opinion by Bill Nye, Special to CNN

(CNN) - A lot of people have been asking why I accepted Ken Ham’s invitation to debate the origins of life Tuesday night at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

In short, I decided to participate in the debate because I felt it would draw attention to the importance of science education here in the United States.

What keeps this country in the game economically is our ability to innovate. New ideas lead to new technologies, which drive new businesses and new opportunities.

Technological innovations absolutely cannot be created without fundamental understanding of science, the means by which we know nature.

How many young adults and taxpayers use mobile phones? How many of us rely on global navigation systems that use satellites high above the Earth’s surface to find our way around?

Even if you eschew smartphones, you rely on the system to keep airplanes in the sky and ships at sea on their routes. Modern farmers plant seeds in fields with extraordinary precision using information beamed from satellites in space.

MORE ON CNN: Ken Ham: Why I'm Debating Bill Nye 

For the United States to maintain its leadership in technology, we need well-educated science students. To allow our students to come of age without the knowledge gained through the extraordinary scientific insights and diligence of our ancestors would deprive them of understanding of nature and our place in the cosmos.

It would also rob our students of their future. Without scientists and engineers to create new technologies and ways of doing society’s business, other economies in other countries will out-compete the United States and leave our citizens behind.

Tuesday's debate will be about whether Ham’s creation model is viable or useful for describing nature. We cannot use his model to predict the outcome of any experiment, design a tool, cure a disease or describe natural phenomena with mathematics.

These are all things that parents in the United States very much want their children to be able to do; everyone wants his or her kids to have common sense, to be able to reason clearly and to be able to succeed in the world.

The facts and process of science have enabled the United States to lead the world in technology and provide good health for an unprecedented number of our citizens. Science fuels our economy. Without it, our economic engine will slow and eventually stop.

It seems to me that Ham is a fundamentalist. Around the world there are billions of people, who embrace the facts and process of modern science, and they enjoy their faith. By all accounts, their faith enriches their lives. These people have no conflict with their faith and science. Ham is unique in this regard.

Fundamentally, Ham’s creation model is not part of modern science. His idea has no predictive quality or ability. It provides no means to learn more about the world around us. It does not enable students to make consistent sense of nature.

So, we’ll see. We’ll see if his model stands up to traditional scientific inquiry: If a certain claim is true, then we would expect a certain outcome.

I’m excited and very much looking forward to the encounter.

Bill Nye is a science educator and CEO of the Planetary Society. The views expressed in this column belong to Nye.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Evolution • Science

soundoff (2,162 Responses)
  1. Salero21

    God Created all and everything, He is the Creator of all & He is God! He Created all and everything by His Power and Will and He Created all and everything EX NIHILO! All men can do is manipulate God's Creation. Therefore atheism is Total stupidity! The argument even if it comes from someone who knows a lot and thinks knows everything or enough to deny the Creator just because he does not sees HIM. It is like duh can you see to the side of your own head, can you see what's behind a wall, do you have 360° sight. See... Creation is the Evidence of the Creator, the refusal to see it as The Evidence is what atheists do.

    February 4, 2014 at 6:02 pm |
    • Bob

      Atheist don't care about god. They don't care what he did or didn't do. They don't hate him or try to fight against him. The existence or non-existence of a "god" is irrelevant to an atheist. It's your type that gets your panties in a bunch. I'm an atheist, so I know of what I speak.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
      • Kellogg

        Atheists online seem to talk about God and religion more than anyone I've ever met!

        February 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Lucky you don't go to church then.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • Trollin' for Atheists

          Amen! Atheists will start the excuse train of why they bring it up more than believers if they claim not to believe. It's a clear indicator that they really do believe deep down.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Gee we wouldn't need to if it was kept where it belongs-in your home and church, not in the public square.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • Kellogg

          I don't go to church. And most atheists don't talk about God and religion, but there are a few online that do it almost non-stop.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • Trollin' for Atheists

          •Cough• Dog and his atheist buddies •cough•

          February 4, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Spuds Mackenzie

          That's because it's likely we know more about the Bible than anyone you ever met. We just like to point out the parts you don't read and see the reaction. It's kinda fun really. After all, the Bible is one of the leading reasons why Atheists who were Christians became Atheist.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • Kellogg

          Some atheists think they know more about the Bible than everyone else. yes.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
      • Salero21

        "They don't care what he did or didn't do."

        Really!! Was that proof/evidence of what?

        February 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • Eyeroll

      Atheism isn't being debated here.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
      • Trollin' for Atheists

        Atheism is a religion. Has always been a religion so questioning atheism is rational and logical.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
        • Eyeroll

          Atheism isn't a religion, and that's not being debated here, either.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • Trollin' for Atheists

          It's considered a religion. Atheists don't want to admit its a religion because you can't attack any faith on earth if you admit it is. Can you prove you are right? Then you have faith. It's simple really. Atheists are the one people on earth that cannot admit to themselves they have faith. Everyone else does but atheists. I guess it's a superiority complex.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • Eyeroll

          You consider it a religion. So?

          February 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • troll spotter

          It's only considered that by ignorant trolls.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Trollin' for Atheists

          If atheists are more logical than the rest of humanity, wouldn't you be able to accept that you have faith like the rest of us do? Atheists have been denying it for thousands of years. I don't consider it a religion. I know it's a religion.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • Bob

          By definition atheism cannot be a religion. Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods. Since a god is not involved in atheism, atheism cannot be a religion.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • Trollin' for Atheists

          In atheism, you are a god. You are your own god. So it's logical to say that atheism is a religion.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • Bob

          "If atheists are more logical than the rest of humanity, wouldn't you be able to accept that you have faith like the rest of us do" Your argument fails under the "if-then" fallacy of logic. Your argument is based on acceptance of your premise, which is unsupported by any sort of proof. Keep trying.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • mary

          It sure is.. Atheism is faith in science ..Faith in man..
          Faith is believing and Atheists believe there is no creator.. Because a scientist says so. Even though a scientist has not been beyond the universe to see himself either.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
        • Fran

          Most scientists are not atheists.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Don't give the troll of many aliases ammo...it seems to get a cheap thrill out of looking like a fool and fails to comprehend that in doing so, it helps to bury its belief system-who would seriously want to be near such ignorant people, people who show hate at every turn?
        Let it bury itself alone.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Still spinning it to make your imaginary friend seem real? Creationism is fallacious, Evolution not so much. Care to join us in the 21st century???

      February 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
    • filthburger

      so, if god knows it all and can do anything, then he is a bit of a jerk for allowing evil to exist and for letting people hurt each other. if evil exists and god can't stop it, then he is not all powerful. if he can stop evil, but chooses not to, then i go back to my jerk conclusion. I don't really see how it helps anyone to have a crack baby born, or have a parent die at a young age.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
      • Kevin Harris

        Big burden of proof there burger! Suppose God has a reason for allowing it to exist, and yet will eventually destroy it? The Problem of Evil is tough. But it does not show that God does not exist.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
    • HUnter

      If god created everything, as you claim, didn't he create atheism too? So you are calling your god's creation stupid?

      February 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
    • Jordan

      'Evidence'; I don't think that word means what you think it means.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
  2. deathbecomesus

    People fear death. It makes men clutch at delusions for comfort. That's the one thing that keeps religion alive.

    February 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
    • Trollin' for Atheists

      I don't fear death because there's nothing to fear. Why would a believer(depending on the faith) fear death? If they fear death, they don't really believe in the first place. Human nature is to fear the unknown but it anything, I think atheists fear death the most as their belief that we just cease to exist is irrational belief based on faith. Yes, I said faith. We all have it. Welcome to the real world atheists. It's taking you guys a long time to admit you have faith.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
      • Pat

        Atheists have all kinds of theories on why other's believe. No 2 theories are alike, actually.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • Eyeroll

        He said nothing about atheists. Stop projecting.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
    • Salero21

      That's one of the most ridiculous and stupid statement I've ever seen in my life. 😀 😀 😀

      Billions of people don't fear death and still are religious. Billions of other may or may not fear death and still are NOT religious. Your ignorance of the subject is not surprising since atheism is Total stupidity.

      As long as people are alive there will be religions even if is the wrong religion. Simply because believing, having or practicing religion or a religion is something innately Human. God the Creator has granted mankind to have or practice religion. Though most religions are deluded, idolatrous, misguided and utterly wrong. Still is one of many things that separates us Humans from all the other Created creatures. Who do have customs, habits and rituals but do not have and cannot have religion.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
      • G to the T

        "Simply because believing, having or practicing religion or a religion is something innately Human."

        Dogs howl at the moon...

        February 5, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Joe

          Nye used several tactics that revealed himself running out of answers. He questioned Ham's credibility. He avoided difficult questions. He asked the same questions, which had already been answered. Repeatedly. In fact, he went on with a whole paper when someone asked for a ONE WORD answer in his favorite color. As the debate went on, Bill Nye got flustered and nervous. Yes, he did have strong points. Yes, he is a very good scientist. But honestly, I'd have to give this one to Ken Ham.

          February 5, 2014 at 11:26 am |
  3. Bob

    All I hear is the bible, the bible, the bible with respect to evolution v. creationism. The bible began to be written over 5000 years ago. It has been copied, miscopied, translated, mistranslated, interpreted, misinterpreted, expurgated, added to, subtracted from, and generally made to fit the needs of the sem-literate men who were trying to control an illiterate population with scary stories and nice fables. There are over 50 English translations of bible alone. And there are thousands of translations into other langauges. At one time it was under penalty of death to translate the bible from the “vulgate” (latin) King James was the first to tell the pope to go pound sand and translated it. Most of the religious fundies on this board own a King James version of the bible. So which one is right, which one tells us the truth? But you live your life by it, nonetheless. I cannot begin to comprehend what goes on in your minds to allow your life to be controlled like that.. That leap of faith is testimony to a weak intellect. It's a shame. Go ahead and hate me. It won't keep me up tonight. And I'm am atheist, so save that silly comment.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • Gidget

      The Bible is an important piece of literature. I'm a Christian, but I don't worship The Bible. It is not God. Like anything, it can be dangerous if wrongly understood or misused. Unfortunately even science was misused to justify things like slavery, racism and mistreatment of women. I blame human beings, not a book for those tragedies that have and continue to occur.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
      • radar8

        The bible was used to justify slavery. I never heard of a scientific argument used to justify slavery. Enlighten us. What is that scientific argument?


        February 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • G to the T

          Actually there were "scientific" theories forwarded to prove that Europeans were superior to the lesser races. Body measurement studies, etc. Fortunately, science is (eventually) self-correcting.

          February 5, 2014 at 10:53 am |
    • Trevor

      The King James bible was not the first version of the bible translated from latin. It wasn't even the first English version of the bible. The Wycliff Bible predates the KJV by more than 200 years.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
  4. Eba Marie Porter

    Nye stated that Ham's " idea has no predictive quality or ability. It provides no means to learn more about the world around us. It does not enable students to make consistent sense of nature." This rings true not of creationism, but of evolution. Creation: something created for a purpose, which is in fact, quite predictable. Evolution: one thing leading to the next with no clear cut plan or purpose - this is actually the least reliable, rather in his own words "does not enable students to make consistent sense of nature" if it is constantly, randomly evolving. People have the ability to advance in knowledge, of course that's no secret to anyone. Creationists appreciate being given that ability by God, and everything, in terms of creation, is still happening to this day, as it was then, as it was purposed, else the sun would refuse to shine.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Thank you for confirming your ignorance on evolution:

      "Evolution: one thing leading to the next with no clear cut plan or purpose"

      Please go educate yourself and then come back and play on teh inter webs.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
    • robert

      Is it too much to ask that you know a little bit about the ideas you fundamentally disagree with? You have displayed complete ignorance about the theory of evolution as well as the bible. How can one make any predictions about gods great plan when the faithful constantly state that it is no possible to know the mind of god whenever the bible seems to make no sense. Mindless half wits such as yourself are why we need to educate our children to be able to reason.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
    • MadLib

      If Creationism is predictive, rather than science, answer one simple question. Why do whales have hip bones? What is the Purpose?

      February 4, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
  5. Joseph Dupper

    I graduated with Special Honors from the University of Chicago in the field of biology. I entered that school an atheist, evolutionist, and graduated a born again Christian, unsure of how my education squared with my new found faith. Thanks to the work of Ken Ham and so many HUNDREDS if not thousands of creationist scientists, men of God, I now see the man, the world and our universe for what they are, amazing creations of our God. Creationism is the only scientically consistent theory that explains everything we see. – evolution has so many holes it is just not a logically tenable position. It is a shame that Satan has used this false and very flawed theory to indoctrinate our society and pull people away from God. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of Bill Nye and all those deluded like him.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "I pray that the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of Bill Nye and all those deluded like him."

      To bad you didn't study the bible very well.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • Colin

      Yeah, and I'm an astronaut......

      February 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
      • Cpt. Oblivious

        And I'm a captain of anything.

        February 4, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Oh, really? What papers have you published in which scientific journals that prove evolution is false? What's that? None? Why not? What's the matter? Let me guess, it's all just a big conspiracy? Any excuse will do, won't it? Which one? Which one?

      February 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
    • Bob

      What a waste of a good education..

      February 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • Daniel Richard Hazard I

      I find your comment disingenuous at best as there is no scientific element to creationism whatsoever. If you were ever a biologist to begin with, which i doubt, you were a very poor one and most likely never studied or witnessed an experiment because the theory of evolution is very well supported by mounds of evidence. I would not be surprised if you were in fact Ken Ham himself masquerading as some acolyte who's devotion to you is second only to Christ himself. The very fact that you must lie in your defense of Ham is telling of your position and your overall faith.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
    • visitor

      Wow, a bunch of men of g-d. Where are the women? In the kitchen?

      Don't pray for me. I consider a religion that teaches that eternal flames await anyone who doesn't follow it abusive, especially to children and most especially to female children and gays, and any prayers to get closer to that kind of abusive thought ugly. Ignorable, but ugly. Don't flatter yourself. Your influence is zero and your mythic devil is powerless, except over you of course, since you clearly believe in bad gods.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
    • Anthony

      Well spoken Brother Dupper, well Spoken!

      February 4, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
      • Brian

        So? You've proved that even smart people can buy into foolish ideas.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • Anthony

          The wisdom that God gives seems foolish to the finite mind

          February 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
        • G to the T

          Anthony – Yeah, I used to think that too. Good luck on your journey.

          February 5, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  6. Let's Discuss with Respect...

    As far as "scientifically proven" is concerned, creationism is actually more provable because evolution (as far as the species to species transition) has never been proven. Nor CAN it be, because the process of evolution is said to take so long people cannot actually test the theory (people haven't been around that long). Creationism is more logical because evolution doesn't explain where the first cell came from, does it? I have yet for someone to explain where this first cell came from to me, in a reasonable theory. To believe that something was simply created out of nothing is actually more plausible because the universe is shown to be expanding, and The Big Bang would have HAD to take place at some point. Hey, let's actually discuss this topic instead of calling other people names that you don't agree with...that's childish and won't get us anywhere. If you can't discuss a topic without calling names, there clearly is a more volitional reason you do this (you just CHOOSE not to believe the greater evidence), and not because there isn't ample evidence to believe otherwise. I believe God created the heavens and the earth, and mankind, etc. Clearly the heavens are amazing and overwhelmingly beautiful and massive. Also, we know from the laws of physics that order does not naturally come from chaos...in fact, as far as genes of humans are concerned (ape to man viewpoint), ask geneticists...as time goes by, negative gene mutations appear in greater numbers. The traditional theory of evolution is full of holes...and, in case you didn't realize it, Charles Darwin realized it wasn't accurate before he passed away. Please research this stuff before you curse other people.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
    • integratetechno

      In no way, shape or form is creationism more 'provable' than evolution nor can it ever be. I would beg to differ as to evolution being impossible to prove in fact in a sense I was able to see it in action whilst I studied microbiology at university. In observing microorganisms at first unable to survive exposure to antibiotics to then future generations of the organisms able to survive (after low level exposure) suggests to me that they 'evolved' to tolerate the toxicity of the antibiotic they were exposed to. The only other possibility which I would suggest is unlikely is that God made his way into the incubator that housed these organisms and made some able to survive exposure to the antibiotic.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • Lisa MH

      To use your own words about "proof" - Prove there is a God. Let's see that scientific test. Oh wait, we're not supposed to test, are we? "Do not test the Lord your God." Creationism is not science, folks.

      By the way, if you say "science tries to prove ..." you are also incorrect. Science can show what is false, but the evidence science finds points to "supporting" theories (or disproving them) ... not proving theories. Science concedes that there is always a chance that we may find a BETTER interpretation later on. Evolution is one of the best, most-tested theories out there. You know how the flu changes from year to year requiring a new vaccination? It evolves!

      February 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
      • Intelligent Design...

        Lisa, thanks for your response. There are so many things that science cannot explain, such as a person's conclusion of said science experiment. Science only gives us information, but it takes some type of belief system in each individual to come up with a conclusion or theory to a finding.

        The Biblical reference you are referring to: "do not test the Lord your God" does not refer to testing a scientific formula! Taken in context, what you mentioned is from Deuteronomy 6:16, when Moses was telling the people of Israel the commands God gave him. It was referring to "trying" God in the sense of giving Him trouble, because the Israelites had tested God at Massah. So, that has nothing to do with what we are talking about here, and does not refer to us.

        However, in 1 John 4:1-3, John is talking to other believers in Jesus, while inspired by God, saying, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." John goes on to remind believers in Jesus, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (referring to Satan). “They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood." This is all spiritually discerned, so it would not make sense to those who do not believe. But that is the gist of the viewpoint I have of those who profess to be scientists, yet claim God had nothing to do with it. God had everything to do with creation. However, I am not saying that all evolutionists don’t believe in a god. Have you considered how specific is our life on this earth? If our earth were any closer to the sun, we'd be toast. If the earth had a different timing of rotation, was even slightly changed in our orbit around the sun (distance), if the earth axis were to rotate at a different angle, etc., etc., etc...we wouldn't be able to live here!

        People who have faith don't leave their brain at the door, but instead can easily use the discoveries of science to show these previous things to be true, and many more things. What I mention here doesn't necessarily "prove" God, but it does show by logic that SOMEONE created all of this! We didn't/couldn't come up with it ourselves. It had to be an intelligent being because intelligent beings, as we know from how we do things work on earth, are the only ones who come up with intelligent design. Archeologists don't see the creator of a piece of pottery chard, but they know the difference, when they find one, between a piece of pottery chard (made by an intelligent designer) and just another natural stone in the soil. Same goes if you look at Mount Rushmore: you don't say that it just happened, but you realize there is an intelligent designer.

        February 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
        • Intelligent Design...

          @ Lisa, Point well taken about the flu changing from year to year. That is truly an amazing and living organism(s), even though it does make our lives more difficult! However, the flu doesn't change from species to species (macro-evolution), but changes in "type" of flu (micro-evolution). I don't take issue with micro-evolution in that respect, because I believe micro changes DO happen within a species, and that has been proven.

          Also, @ Milk Toast, I see your point, as it is true that people who live in higher elevations have a greater lung capacity than those who live at lower elevations. However, that is not evolution. If a person from below goes to a high elevation to live, it is harder for them to breathe at first; but as time goes on, their body adjusts to the capacity to handle the thinner air. This is not even micro-evolution in example because the person is born with everything they need to live like that. Their body just needs a little time to adjust to conditions.

          February 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
    • Milk Toast

      Here is a small piece of evidence: people who live at higher elevations evolved to have a higher lung capacity compared to people who live at lower elevations. Ever see athletes in Colorado who aren't used to the elevation have to use oxygen masks? They can't handle the thinner air like people who live or train CO have.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
  7. CaptainObvious

    Who says that God and our current knowledge and observation of the ever-expanding universe are at odds with one another?


    "If you could hie to Kolob in the twinkling of an eye
    And then continue onward with that same speed to fly
    Do you think that you could ever through all eternity
    Find out the generation where Gods began to be

    Or see the grand beginning where space did not extend
    Or view the last creation where Gods and matter end
    Methinks the spirit no man has found pure space
    Nor seen the outside curtain where nothing has a place

    The works of God continue
    And worlds and lives abound
    Improvement and progression
    Have one eternal round.

    There is no end to matter
    There is no end to space
    There is no end to spirit
    There is no end to race.

    There is no end to virtue;
    There is no end to might;
    There is no end to wisdom;
    There is no end to light."

    Though these are the words of a centuries-old Mormon hymn, I know that, say, Hindus also share a similar belief in an ever-expanding universe and in the "organization of eternal matter" rather than in the "creation of matter ex-nihilo."

    Here are the thoughts of one well-known, well-respected, and well-published and "believing" cosmologist - i.e., a former professor of planetary sciences and chemistry at MIT and the University of Arizona. I tend to agree with him on this concept. In short, for many of us, God and science are not mutually exclusive, but God is in science and science is in God. For me, the more I learn about science, the more I am able to see into "God's toolbox" if you will.


    February 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • Colt

      Both atheism and belief in God is based in faith.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • CaptainObvious

        I agree with your comment.

        From my part, I believe that "we are required to walk by faith and not by sight." Indeed, I believe that was part of the plan. As rational beings, I believe God expects us to learn as much as possible about both Him and about our observations of the natural universe. It is our duty in a way to learn as much as we can about science and all good things. Nonetheless, from my part, I think it is just a tad ignorant (and maybe a little arrogant) for man to say that just because we have glimpsed into God's toolbox over the last few centuries that this collective observation somehow qualifies us to dismiss the creator himself. To each his own, but I tend to not endorse that philosophy as I find it requires just as much, if not more, "faith."

        For me, science represents man's beginning to understand "God's toolbox." However, like Dr. Lewis, I agree that God and even, in my personal case, religion and spirituality provide an insight to scientific learning that I have never found to be limiting, but rather quite liberating.

        "The more we learn about the natural universe, the less it looks like a great machine and the more it looks like a great thought."

        I could not agree more, but respect others who would have a different personal "faith" in a magical primordial soup. To each his own, let them worship how, where or what they may. I will keep my eternal father, their may keep their primordial soup.

        Best to all honest truthseekers whether they be atheist, agnostic or believers.

        February 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • roccop777

      I think you should have included some of the revelations made by the prophet of Mormonism, which inspired such "scientific" hymns. Here is Joseph Smith's revelation describing the inhabitynts of our moon:
      'The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being about six feet in height. They dress very much like the Quaker style and are quite general in style, or the fashion of dress. They live to be very old; coming generally near a thousand years." (From the Journal of Oliver B. Huntington. a devout Mormon contemporary of Joseph Smith. Copy at Utah State Historical Society. Vol. 2, pg. 166. Also found in The Henry E. Huntington Library, Pasadena, California – I've been there)

      February 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
      • CaptainObvious


        The veracity and the reliability of the writing to which you refer is highly speculative from a historical viewpoint - so much so that many non-Mormon scholars and even some well-known non-LDS critics have fully rejected its veracity. The LDS Church itself has never endorsed said statement.

        In any event, I fail to see how your post was even relevant? My point is that there are many reputable scientists and cosmologists, including but not limited to Dr. Lewis, who also happen to be believers in a "divine creator." My intent was not to promote Mormonism, but simply to disqualify the errant notion that God and science are somehow mutually exclusive subjects.

        Getting back to the subject at hand, God and science are not mutually exclusive for a great many reputable and well-known scientific thinkers both now and throughout history; hence, why is this pending "debate" between two celebrities (neither who hold doctorates in any given field of observation) even relevant?

        February 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
      • jefev88

        Don't forget Brigham Young not only reinforcing this revelation, but adding that there was a similar race of humanoids live on the surface of the sun (Brigham Young Journal of Discourses)

        February 4, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
  8. adam

    i cant pretend believe in something i dont, and i dont. dont tell me we all have our doubts, this isnt doubt. i believe in science, i believe in evolution, i believe in nate silver, neil degrasse tyson and Christopher Hitchens although i do admit he can be kinda an "a"hole. i cant stand behind a supreme being who weights in on the tony awards, but sits back while millions are cut down by machetes. i dont believe a billion indians are going to hell. i dont think we get cancer to learn life lessons and i dont beileve people die young because god needs another angel. i think its all bull crap and on some level we all know that, dont you?

    February 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
  9. Joshua

    Man discovers alot of things, But.....

    In the beginning God created Everything....even Science, that took man thousands of years to even recognize or "partly" understand.

    And even then, man STILL screws it up with their disbelief and sin. So pathetically sad man is without His Creator in charge.
    Worse now than ever.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
    • Pete

      "And even then, man STILL screws it up with their disbelief and sin. So pathetically sad man is without His Creator in charge.
      Worse now than ever."

      Another great example of the negativity of Christians and why it's so bad for our society.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
      • Joshua

        Not negativity my friend, just The Truth. But you can't handle The Truth, for you don't even know who He is, for if you did you wouldn't use the WORD negativity with a Perfect Supreme Creator. A perfect Positive can Never be a negativity.

        Nice try though lashing out because of your unbelief. Reread. Man's unbelief and sin keeps him Blind!....Still!

        February 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • Pete

          Thanks for proving my point with your negative rant making false as.sumptions about me. This is another great example of why your religion is so bad for our socieity.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
      • Joshua

        I think you being a WUSS is the biggest detriment to the world and society in general.. lol!!!

        February 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
        • Pete

          Thanks for another great example of what is wrong with your religion.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        As an atheist, I heartily approve of Joshua's disguting behavior. I'm glad when christards act like he does. I just hope he never becomes an atheist. I want to see more and more of his sort of stupidity from more and more Christians.

        Carry on, Joshua!! Keep the faith, and keep witnessing. Much appreciated!!

        February 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • Pat

          Thanks for another great example of what is wrong with your atheism.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • mary

          Ever hear the term. .'you get what you give'?
          If you lash out and ridicule you get ridicule back.. Atheists are always trying to get a christian angry or upset enough to be human and react..
          Christian's don't actually claim to be perfect.. They only claim to be "trying" to do the right thing.
          So when you try to get a rise out of someone, christian or not..You just might get one~!!
          Don't think that proves anything other than the fact Christians are not saints .. And don't claim to be.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
      • Tablet

        Christard is a pretty disgusting derogatory term to use.

        February 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  10. Provectr

    To believe there is no God is foolish and I think a product of a very closed mind. It would seem to be a fear of a greater authority then your own.
    I think it is much easier to look at everything around you and the universe and believe God created it then to believe everything came from nothing over a long period of time and magically assembled itself together on its own. Which side is the fairy tale?
    It is also illogical. If non believers are correct and there is no heaven what have I lost by believing? I live, I die. End of story. If believers are correct and there is a heaven then non believers have lost everything. Seems like an easy choice.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Pascal's Wagre was refuted as soon as he made it.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • adam

      Yeah, sometimes I wonder if there's things we'll never explain. You know, like, you know, what if we did answer all the questions? You know, would we live on, like forever, happy with our triumph over ignorance? Or is ignorance just a common enemy that once destroyed, would leave our species without a reason to carry on? I guess it doesn't matter what the answer is...because even if supreme knowledge did bring about the end of our species, the thought of obtaining it is just what would keep us together. You know? People will always look up at the sky...and just wonder why we're here. WATER BISON POWERS, ACTIVATE!

      February 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
    • Pete

      Or you are wrong and atheists are wrong and you both spend eternity together in some other god's version of hell.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
    • nanandjfshd

      To think that there is no science between our world is ridiculous. I am not hear to argue religious views or the presence of God however I just want to point out that Science isn't a "fairy tale." Many devices that you take for granted everyday have science behind them, (including the device you used to make your comment). Science is extremely important, it's science that keeps airplanes afloat, combustion engines running, it gave us the ability to land on the moon or even find a protein structure that can help cure HIV. I will admit that I have religious views but I believe more that they are a lesson, that it is morals and ethics that religion helps us understand. For me, religion doesn't interfere with modern technology and science and this is very important to teach people. Currently, I am taking a Biology course. The science behind it has been proven theoretically and experimentally so I think this is what we should teach students. In order to advance society, we must accept science!

      February 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
    • MadLib

      Glad to hear you have accepted Thor as God and will dine with Him in Valhalla!!!

      February 4, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • JTS

      What you have lost is truly living, truly drinking of life with the knowledge that this is all there is (and therefore, make the most of it). What you have lost is perhaps a metaphorical heaven, here in this life. You've also lost an appreciation for the true beauty of the universe that is divorced from anthropomorphisms and fairy tales. You might also not have as high a value for human life if you think there is some "consolation" for humans killed by other humans (e.g., by war). These are just a few of the potential downsides of "believing".

      As a side note, non-deism is usually not a "choice" (like picking a religion), it is a by-product of an outlook that elevates verifiable truth above all else. Among the many bad reasons, your hedge-your-bets rationale is one of the worst for subscribing to a deistic religion.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:47 pm |
  11. Royce Graham

    Many of the comments by those who reject Christianity bring up the theory of an eternally burning hell as a place of torment. I don't blame you for rejecting this revolting idea. I would also be an atheist if I believed that is what the Bible taught. It is not!

    I understand Bill Nye is an engineer and at one point worked for Boeing. Does he think you have to believe in the theory of evolution in order to be an engineer and to build airplanes or design computers. I sure hope they are using intelligent design rather than evolutionary theory to build airplanes and computers.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
    • Francis

      It is usually only hostile atheists and right-wing fundie Christians that preach hell and brimstone. I don't have faith in either one of those groups.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
    • Mark Bradford

      Do you not think that heavier than air flight has not evolved since 1903? Please do some research.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
      • DAD

        Heavier than air flight has evolved, guided by intelligent designers.

        February 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
    • Ashhad Khan

      No, you don't have to believe in evolutionary theory to build an airplane or a computer. However, you do have to believe in the scientific method, i.e. the method through which science progressed to the point where those discoveries could be made. The scientific method is the method through which scientific and technological innovations happen, and the scientific method is the one through which evolution is, for all practical purposes, proved (I realize nothing in science is technically proven, but countless studies and experiments have shown the truth of evolution so using the word 'proved' seems easier). Creationism is the propagation of an untestable, unsubstantiated story written thousands of years ago with no evidence whatsoever supporting it (same goes for things like intelligent design). Teaching it as a scientific theory is utterly ridiculous. You could believe it if you'd like (you can believe in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus too for that matter) but as Bill Nye says, teaching it to children is damaging because it then creates a population that does not accept the scientific method as credible, which would naturally cause the US to be overtaken by other countries in regards to technological innovation and scientific discoveries.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
    • J.W.

      You should look up 'Genetic algorithms'. Many developments in engineering are created by applying randomized evolutionary processes and selecting the most successful for further mutation. Even NASA has applied the principle before, so aeronautics is by no means exceptional.

      If airplanes could reproduce themselves and the most successful were selected, then we would see development without the design of engineers- since they don't, we need the engineers. But life has no such need.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
    • MadLib

      Except things are not "intelligently designed". Humans have internal organs that serve no purpose, reproductive systems mixed with waste systems, whales have hip bones as do some snakes, etc etc etc. These are not "intelligently designed".

      Cuz God wanted to does nothing to explain how or why these occurred and does nothing to advance our knowledge. Evolution on the other had does explain how these unintelligent designs occurred and provides insights both into our past and future.

      February 4, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
      • Mr.Fred

        Good point, watch the Intelligent Design lecture by Neil deGrasse-Tyson on you tube. Good stuff.

        February 4, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
  12. Gumby

    The level of determined ignorance on display by the creationists here is really, really sad.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
  13. adam

    God is nothing but a place holder for what we don't know therefore the religious worship human ignorance. Even more ignorant and ridiculous is to call this non-knowledge knowledge and to call this blind faith some kind of wisdom. A Bizarro world wholly lacking an epistemology. Their power, their glory doesn't come from what we do know or what we can know but from what we don't and that is why the religious work very hard to maintain ignorance and delusion that serves to fossilize the minds of the gullible and stupid.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
    • Gumby

      Yep, hence the concept of the God of the Gaps.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
    • PaulD

      Thanks for sharing your theory. Got any facts?

      February 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
      • adam

        The problem in our understanding is in how we go about understanding anything. We think in a linear fashion of cause and effect. 1 comes before 2 and so on. We find a need to use mechanical thinking because that's how logic works and we're comfortable with that. We're stuck in a box we need to get out of. We seem to be uncomfortable with concepts of timelessness in science. Perhaps energy in all its forms has always existed unbounded by time and space or any other human imposed conceptual limitation. Calling it God only reveals our profound ignorance of understanding what it is and what it isn't. God is our most profound expression of human ignorance. Whenever we find ourselves faced with the unknown, we call in God to fill in the blanks. Very ignorant people are calling in God quite often throughout their day.

        February 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • PaulD

          Speak for yourself. I know people who believe in God that don't fit into your small understanding what and why people believe.

          The God of gaps explanation is a theory. And one that even a lot of atheists and agnostics reject.

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

        We are the children of chaos, and the deep structure of change is decay. At root there is only corruption, and the unstemmable tide of chaos. Gone is purpose; all there is left is direction. This is the bleakness we have to accept as we peer deeply and dispassionately into the heart of the Universe. Yet when we look around and see beauty, when we look within and experience conciousness, and when we participate in the delights of life, we know in our hearts that the heart of the Universe is richer by far.

        February 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
  14. roccop777

    Bill Nye, do you seriously think that if our society would accept creation and reject the theory of evolution, that we would not have cell-phones, radar, satelites, modern economics etc.? You appear to think that Darwinism played a vital role in these technological discoveries. For your information, the patriarch of computer science was Charles Babbage, a main contributor to the development of eletricity was Michael Faraday, The father of microbiology who laid the groundwork for immunization was Louis Pasteur. Gregor Mendel laid the foundation for genetic research - all were professing Creationists. It didn't seem to hold them back from doing substantive research as you claim.
    Bill Nye's put down of Creation research: "We cannot use his model to predict the outcome of any experiment, design a tool, cure a disease or describe natural phenomena with mathematics." Apply that to the theory of evolution, which is defined by it's adherants as: purposeless, without any goal in mind, unguided and unpredictable. Some top evolution biologists have stated that if one could take the same organism, put in the same environment, with the same survival pressures - all outward factors the same - and did it 100 times,it is conceivable that 100 different results could occur. Fully unpredictable. Evolutionary theory cannot therefore accurately predict anything, only make up "just so" stories after the fact. So Bill Nye's criticism of Creation research actually better fits his beloved theory of evolution.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
    • MadLib

      YES!!! The theory of relativity states that objects in gravitational field experience time differently depending on how close you are to the gravity. Translation, one second to us on earth is different that one second to a satellite orbiting earth. The difference is slight but enough that without this theory, all GPS and smart phones would not work if this difference was not taken into account.

      Oh another part of the theory of relativity, that the entire universe was "infinitely small and infinity dense". Translation: the "big Bang" So the fact that your cell phone works pretty much proves there is no God.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
      • roccop777

        Umm, you forgot to include what role Darwinism/the theory of evolution in the scenario you described. Is your silence an admission that the theory of evolution makes no contribution to such operational, testable sciences?

        February 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • Pete

          Here is a list of predictions made by evolution that have been proven to be true


          February 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • roccop777

          Pete, Pete - most of the examples on the site you linked to have been shown to be bogus. For instance the "prediction of Junk DNA". Even top evolution believers have acknowledged that this was bogus - even though Creationist researchers have pointed this out for almost 20 years. A new study - called ENCODE - have blown this myth out of the water, just as the false prediction about vestigial organs was tshown to be incorrect before it. Or the 98 /99% similarity between human and chimp DNA - was exposed as an evolutionary myth in the scientific journal "Science" (Cohen, J., Relative differences: the myth of 1%, Science 316:1836, 2007.)
          Darwin predicted in his book "Origin of the Species" that: “No organism wholly soft can be preserved.” Since then many wholly soft organisms, such as jellyfish, have been preserved as fossils.

          February 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    solace is a soft blankie or a stuffed toy for a scared child. And if you really look at religion, that's all it is. There is no proof of a god or jesus or that any of the stories in the bible even happened, but the stories sure seem to make people feel better.

    so take your solace and feel comforted by your fairy stories, but please, please, please stop trying to tell me that any of it is real.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Dyslexic doG' contains a form of the Appeal to Emotion Argument.


      February 4, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    it makes me frightened for the human race that adults actually discuss this fairy tale foolishness seriously. I can understand kids believing in Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and God and Jesus, but when we grow up we can distinguish fact from fantasy. Grow up you religious folk. Free your infantile slave minds and join the real world. It really is a very cool place.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Dyslexic doG' contains a form of the False Equivalency Argument.


      February 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        What is the false equivalency?

        February 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm |
        • Colt

          He is just expressing his opinion. He wasn't saying that it proves God is false. Because doG has yet to prove God is false. But he makes false equivalencies when he suggests belief in God is the same as belief in Santa or fairy tales. But that doesn't mean he thinks that proves God doesn't exist. He is not that stupid.

          February 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Gumby

          Apparently, the OP equating Santa, Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny with God and Jesus is a false equivalency fallacy according to the self-proclaimed "fallacy spotter". I disagree; there's zero evidence for any of them.

          February 4, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
  17. Kevin Harris

    SCIENCE CLASS DISCLAIMER: "There is a philosophical question as to whether God is ultimately the creator of the time/space/material universe (theism, etc.). Being a science class, we'll leave that issue aside and study the mechanics, cause and effect, and various operations of the universe, whether God or mere natural causes are responsible for it".

    Anything wrong with this?

    February 4, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
    • G to the T

      I would replace "God" (which implies Yahweh) with "supernatural agency". That covers just about all non-naturalistic explainations for the origins of life and the universe.

      Other than that – spot on.

      February 5, 2014 at 10:36 am |
  18. thor

    The amount of energy and likelihood necessary to fold a single protein of a single nucleotide would keep a supercomputer running for longer than your and my lifetime. The likelihood of that happening repeatedly to create one DNA of one cell in one organism is unlikely but maybe (for arguments sake) possible. Then multiply all those nucleotides with perfectly folded proteins throughout every organism on the planet becomes and it becomes not just unlikely but a true leap of faith. So science requires a leap of faith just as religion does. In a universe where entropy rules, there sure is a lot of intelligence. And I'm a science guy. To have science without religion is lame and pointless – we'd be better off just being heathens bc who really cares. If you disagree please give me a non-derogatory, meaningful answer – not the typical high brow answers that present arrogance and confidence over logic and thoughtfulness.

    February 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
    • larsonst

      hmmm, just give it 1/2 billion years and perhaps as few as a hundred tries a year.
      Seems more like likely to me than astronomically improbable.

      February 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Truth is its own agenda.

      Are you christian?

      February 4, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
    • Zeroth

      proteins folding in DNA? ... lots of big words there but all utter nonsense - DNA codes for protein (actually it codes for mRNA which is then used to make protein) DNA is not MADE of protein - oh and RNA .. forms naturally and has an enzymatic action all its own so protein is not even required for some explanations of early life. - Finally and I cannot stress this enough; if I shuffle a deck of cards and then deal them out on the table the odds of me dealing them in that exact way are astronomically small... THAT DOES NOT MEAN ITS NOT RANDOM. The fact that it would take a supercomputer a long time to emulate that exact card shuffling... irrelevant. .

      February 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
      • dave

        You are awesome. Best ever post on this point.

        February 5, 2014 at 2:30 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.