What I learned moderating the creation/evolution debate
Creationist Ken Ham makes a point in Tuesday's debate with Bill Nye, the "science guy."
February 5th, 2014
08:49 AM ET

What I learned moderating the creation/evolution debate

By Tom Foreman, CNN

CNN's Tom Foreman moderated the "creation debate" Tuesday night in Petersburg, Kentucky, between Bill "the Science Guy" Nye and creationist Ken Ham.

(CNN) - It says something when a person shows up at the Creation Museum wearing a top that says, "This is my atheist T-shirt."

At least that's what I think it said. I saw it in a blur as she passed in the parking lot; a thirtysomething with a young boy in tow, striding through the bitter winds of Kentucky to visit a place that proclaims those who deny the existence of God are dead wrong.

I thought about chasing her down to ask her what had compelled her to come, but it would have been a foolish question.

She was here to see a fight. And I was here to play the referee, to moderate a debate on a question that has raged for well over a century: Was humankind created by God in a rush of divine power, or did we evolve over time with only nature to take the credit?

Or as the organizers put it: "Is creation a viable model of origins in today's modern scientific era?"

About 900 people snapped up tickets to this event just a few minutes after they went on sale, and I was told they expected at least "hundreds of thousands ... maybe a million or more" to watch as it streamed online.

It was not just the topic drawing the throngs. For this crowd, the debaters really mattered.

On the left (literally for the audience, and figuratively in every other way) was the champion for the evolutionary side.

Bill Nye, "the Science Guy," made fundamentalist Christian heads snap recently when he declared it was flat-out wrong for children to be taught creationism.

I met him in a room behind the stage as the audience milled around, waiting for the event to begin. Having just spoken to an adoring crowd of science fans at a university the night before, he feared he was in hostile territory.

MORE ON CNN: 'Creation debate' recap: Science, religion and terrible jokes

"I think my agent is the only one on my side," he said, only half-joking. "I think the other 899 people in here don't really see it my way."

It was hard to tell. Aside from the woman with the T-shirt, there were others wearing pro-Nye gear, but no good way to count them.

Still, it looked like his supporters were probably in the minority, and I mentioned to him that some scientists were grousing online he was validating the creationist argument by even showing up. "So why are you here?" I asked.

"I'm here for the U.S. economy," he said. "See, what keeps the United States in the game for the world economy is our ability to innovate, to have new ideas, and those inventions come from science."

"And you see creationism as sort of poisoning the well for science?"

"Yes. I mean, I'm all for (creationism) in philosophy class, history of religion class, human psychology class," but bring it into science class, and Nye gets upset.

And that is what disturbs Nye's debate opponent. Ken Ham is a rock star in the creationist community who is quick to point out his own educational credentials and those of other scientists who support creationist views.

He is one of the founders of the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs are depicted as living alongside humans and the Great Flood of Noah is an indisputable fact.

He believes it is fundamentally unfair of folks like Nye to push creationism further into the educational shadows and to deny what Ham sees as its scientific components. (Ham concedes, though, that the great number of scientists and citizens agree with Nye: evolution is real.)

I first met Ham back when the museum was being built, and he greeted me Tuesday night in his affable, Australian manner just outside the room where Nye was waiting.

"I must admit I'm a little nervous," Ham told me looking out at the audience. "I want to passionately present my case and defend what I believe, but we never imagined it would become this big. It's amazing. Just shocked all of us."

It was impressive to see how much interest the event generated. A riser with a phalanx of production cameras sat in the middle of the room, 70 or so journalists were clustered to one side of the stage, and security officers seemed to be all over the place.

I was told that metal detectors were being used to screen the audience, and I saw what I presume were explosive-sniffing dogs quietly working the hallways.

Both sides in this debate know the subject matter can spur extreme feelings, and they did all they could to make sure extreme actions didn't follow.

Just the same, one organizer pointed out a corner some 30 feet behind my spot on the stage. A door there opens to the parking lot, he said, "just in case, for any reason, you need to get out fast."

The advice was appreciated but unnecessary. The crowd proved to be polite, attentive and admirably restrained through the entire 2½-hour debate.

So were the debaters. Although they were firmly on opposite sides of the fence, Ham and Nye presented their arguments calmly and respectfully. Neither tried to shout the other down.

I spent my time listening to what they had to say, watching the clock to make sure they got equal time and trying to ensure people in each camp felt their man was treated fairly. Both debaters shook hands at the end to rousing applause. It was not a fight after all.

MORE ON CNN: Ken Ham: Why I'm debating Bill Nye about creationism

Considering the depth of feelings people have about this issue, I asked both men before we began if they expected to change anyone's opinion.

Ham said, "I will present (my information) trying to change people's minds, but knowing as a Christian it is God who changes people's minds, not me."

Nye said, "Here is my hope: I will remind Kentucky voters that this is a serious issue and that it is inappropriate to include creationism as an alternative to ... the body of knowledge and the process called science."

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

By the time the debate was done, a fierce winter storm had settled in. I waded through the Creation Museum parking lot ankle deep in snow, with sleet pelting down. And I think it was a worthwhile evening - a debate humankind was created to have, or to which we evolved.

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (3,342 Responses)
  1. Sharron Gregory

    I was very pleased at your moderating ability. You didn't become part of the debate, and you treated both sides with respect and fairness. Thank you.

    February 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
    • The Running Twit


      February 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  2. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Fisher, how do you know that you're following the real god?

    February 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  3. bostontola

    When people experience love, we can observe activity in specific brain locations with specific chemicals (adrenalin, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, etc). I wonder how we will feel that when we don't have a brain any more.

    February 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
    • The Running Twit

      people could also say that the bible was written in the 60's. With all the LSD and others drugs going around.

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

      Why would we not have brains?

      February 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
      • The Running Twit

        I think he means a primitive neural cortex, just to coordinate movement, like zombies.

        February 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • bostontola

        Because the physical body died. I'm commenting on the notion of a disembodied spirit. You wouldn't have nerve endings in skin anymore so there would be no sense of touch. You wouldn't have eyes, so no sight, same for hearing, smell, etc. Is that all synthesized in the spirit world? Yuk.

        February 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • The Running Twit

          people imagine it is like a dream. But a dream gets his basic information from stored data in your brain and your imagination plays with it.

          Since no one has returned with a proper explanation, it was just a dream

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

          Obviously the answer is god makes it happen because He is omnipotent. It is disturbing that God is doing supernatural acts every day by the thousands for dead people, but no supernatural acts for us alive people.

          February 6, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
        • The Running Twit

          yep. weird hey?

          February 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Akira

          Ahhh. I see. Must not have had enough coffee today.

          February 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Boston , Iv'e heard it described as an awareness. The soul without the brain to process the info. The soul is able to absorbe huge amounts of info and also to talk telepathically with other souls including God. Learning consists of asking and instantly receiving the detailed answers. Able to receive vast amounts and to understand everything.Kindof like a scramjet instead of a prop plane.

          February 7, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
  4. KT

    You did an excellent job of moderating. It was refreshing to see neutrality sitting at the moderator's desk. I have no idea what your ideological background is and that is how it should be. If you moderate future political debates, I may actually watch one!

    February 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
  5. bostontola

    Young universe can only be consistent with a "deceptive God" theory, where God created the universe to look billions of years old. If the universe were only thousands of years old then the farthest star we could see would only be thousands of light years away. If the billions of galaxies we see were contained within a sphere thousands of light years across, we would feel the gravitational effects, heating effects, etc. Did God create the universe's galaxies with much older light signatures? If so, then maybe God created the universe 1 second ago with all the older signatures and implanted memories from before 1 second ago.

    February 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    • The Running Twit

      and he created langoliers to destroy the past?

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

        A nod to SK. Well done.

        February 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
  6. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “I can read in red... I can read in blue...I can read in pickle color too.”

    February 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
  7. Up Your Rear Admiral

    Fisher, I'll see you in the Rapture Capsule with the Unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

    This time, though, when the swirling starts and your head gets pulled down, don't forget to close your mouth so those brown floaters don't get in again like they did in your last practice.

    February 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
  8. sly

    I believe in fossils and dinosauers and carbon dating. Y'all can believe in some book.

    I couldn't care less what you think about your President, your God, your favorite football team. Why should I?

    February 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
  9. Ana Gushen

    You did an awesome job as a moderator! Your candidness and professionalism is appreciated.

    February 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
  10. Gerry Gilbert

    We live in a great country when a civil debate can be had on an emotional subject. Thanks to both men for taking the time and for a civil debate.

    February 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  11. lunchbreaker

    "Your argument is premised upon the sun and moon, but we could also define 'day' as the period that it takes for the earth to rotate one time."

    Well if there was no sun for the earth to revolve around, why assume the earth is rotating in an empty void. Which the key word there would be assume. My whole point of bringng this up is how literall can something be interpreted. How can one take literally what is not there. God did not say "Up until I create the Sun, a Day shall be known as ___________." Unless God said, "and the first rotation was completed" or "24 hours had passed." His definintion of day, atleast before He made the Sun, is 100% conjecture, on our part.

    February 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
    • bostontola

      Obviously, if you have omnipotence, anything goes. That's exactly why it's useless.

      February 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      I do love how certain Biblical Literalists have no problem inferring things that aren't even hinted at in the text but that bolster their worldview.
      For example, I asserted that the maximum practical size for a wooden ship is around 300 feet.
      While there are some that have been built that exceed that limit, none of them were very practical. They needed large crews working aroudn teh clock to pump out all the water that leaked through the hull and many of them needed metal reinforment for the hull.
      And the fundamentalist reply I got was:
      "How do you know there was no metal on the Ark?"

      So I guess we are to infer that Noah was not only a master ship builder but also an expert ore refiner and metallurgist, despite the fact that Genesis mentions only wood as a construction material.
      But who knows – maybe "gopher wood" comes from metal trees?

      February 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
      • The Running Twit

        Actually, the flood happened on another planet. The ark was a spaceship where they put DNA samples of animals in, with a kind of Lost in Space Family Robinson in.

        You could say that Zachary Smith is the devil.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
      • David Schaffer

        Doc. That answer you were given was weak indeed. The best answer I can give through my faith in God as the Creator is this: God created the Heavens and the Earth, why do you not believe that He was able to have a massive ship built and keep it a float?
        In all honesty I find it foolish that if you believe in God you have trouble that he could do this. Just my $.02

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

          David Schaffer, I'll see you in the Rapture Capsule with the Unicorns. Don't forget to wear your nose ring – the big steel one that I padlocked the chain onto when we were practicing for the Uplifting.

          This time, though, when the swirling starts and your head gets pulled down, don't forget to close your mouth so those brown floaters don't get in like they did in your last practice.

          February 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      "You guys are way overthinking this. Just read Genesis 1."

      – Topher, L4H, etc

      February 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  12. Science Works

    The what creationists ?


    February 6, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
  13. Donna

    You did a great job. Thank you very much! Glad you had a safe trip home.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • Gary

      I agree with Donna. You moderated fantastically, giving each their allowed time and even understanding when they went maybe 5 seconds or so over, but when approached 10 seconds or more you muted their mic and firmly but respectfully said 'and that is time'... Exceptional moderation! Thank you for your unbiased approach in this all too important issue and extending respect to both sides. God bless! 😉

      February 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
  14. A christian

    Please know that Ham speaks for a very small minority of Christians. His ideas and all those who believe in them boggle my mind. Christian faith does not conflict with the big bang theory at all. In fact, a Catholic priest is responsible for convincing Einstein of this theory. To believe God would change the rules of physics 6000 years ago and add layers of snow, dirt, animals, etc just to throw us off from really discovering the truth is crazy.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
    • bostontola


      February 6, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
    • Another Believer

      With respect, you are mistaken. Evolution and the Bible are not at all compatible. The most straightforward reason is that for theistic evolution to take place, death had to have happened before the Fall, before sin entered the world, which would make God a liar. It's either evolution or Biblical Creation; it's impossible to have it both ways. And I am a scientist specializing in biology and chemistry, and I come from a long line of Biblical Creation believing scientists, my father still a professor of Engineering at a public university, so I have looked into these things in great depth. And I would venture to guess that many scientists, if they were completely honest, would have to admit to themselves that there is no way the universe and all that in it is could have come about without some designer.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
      • Rochester

        What's your father 's name?

        February 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Yet another illustration of the chimera that is "the one true faith".

        February 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
      • bostontola

        "specializing in biology and chemistry"

        Specialists specialize in a portion of one field, e.g. a biologist specializes in genetics, or a chemist specializing in organic chemistry. If I am to believe you, you are a generalist taking on two fields of science.

        Also, being a professor of engineering is indeed at laudable achievement but it is not science.

        I hope your lack of precision doesn't affect your performance as a scientist.

        February 6, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
      • El Tomato

        The distinction is between those who read the Bible literally, and those who read it figuratively. A figurative reading is NOT to deny the truth of the text, but simply to recognize that some of the stories written in it have truths that are expressed through metaphor and symbolism. So, when the Bible say a "day," that could represent the passage of time of 100,000 years, etc. And when it says there was no "death" before the Fall of Man, it may not mean physical death, but rather there was no spiritual death because there was no sin and therefore no need for redemption. This seems so elementary and obvious that it feels a little depressing to explain this to adults.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
        • A Christian

          First of all, the bible is not a single book of literal history. It is a collection of books, songs, poetry and letters written over many years. Some of the books are meant to be historical accounts, but historical accounts even today are not all written objectively. We believe these books are inspired by God and written by humans. Genesis is not a history or science text book. In fact the two Genesis creation accounts conflict. In one, man was created before animals, and in the other, man came was created after.

          It is an allegory. Genesis can tell us about things without being a detailed history. For example, it tells that the universe had a beginning and was created by God. It tells us that humans are special among animals and were created with purpose and not just by chance, and so on.

          We have a God who gave us reason. Why would he do that but then change the laws of time and physics just to conform from someone's idea that the universe is only 6000 years old? Why did God have to rush to do all that in 6000 years? Did he have a problem with waiting 14 billion years? What difference does it make to him? I pray for those bible literalists... Truth is truth, but it is not always literal.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
      • G to the T

        "which would make God a liar." Nope – it just means that the Gensis stories weren't meant to reflect actual history. They are mythology through and through. It's only if you think the bible is somehow the literal "God-breathed" truth, that you should have any issues with evolutionary theory.

        February 7, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
    • Jake

      The bible says that the Christian god made the earth 6,000 years ago. In my view, if you don't believe that to be true, you are not a Christian. If people can pick and choose what they believe from the bible, then Christianity ceases to have any meaning.

      February 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
      • Jake

        In other words, if you believe in the big bang theory and that the earth is older than 6.000 years old, you can't also claim to be a Christian.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        • Ted Goodwin

          Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. There is nothing in the Bible that say you must believe in 6,000 or you go to hell.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • igaftr

          there are many "christians" who think you are not a christian for your beliefs.
          Look up the idiocy of No True Scotsman.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • lngtrmthnkr

          Jake, If you choose to take the narrow view, that's your choice , but don't judge others for using their God given intellect to see a much bigger picture and a much bigger creator.

          February 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
      • Janica

        So actual belief in Jesus Christ is secondary? Do you worship the Bible, or Him?

        February 6, 2014 at 2:04 pm |
      • bostontola

        I personally regard any person that believes in Jesus as their savior a Christian. The bible is essential as fact to some, essential as poetry to others, and non-essential to yet others. But that's just me.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
      • Pip

        Chapter and verse where Gid said the age of the earth is 6000 years old. Stop lying. God doesn't like that.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
      • El Tomato

        First of all, the Bible never actually specifies the number 6,000 anywhere to characterize the Earth's age. Secondly, to refuse to admit that Truth can be expressed as effectively through figurative rather than literal language, is to deny most of the Truth to be found in the Bible. Using metaphor and symbolism is often a more effective way to express the truth.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The 6,000 year thing comes from adding up all the "begats".

          February 6, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
        • Jake

          Why do you capitalize the word "truth"? I'm no bible expert, I just know that bible believers claim the earth is 6,000 years old. It's pretty convenient to say you can pick and choose which parts are true and which are fables. Obviously, that doesn't exactly instil confidence in the possibility that there is any truth to any of it.

          February 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
      • Jake

        What does believing in Jesus as a savior mean? Do you mean the Jesus who is described in the bible? If so, he was the son of god who created the earth 6,000 years ago. If you don't believe that, then whatever Jesus you believe in, it isn't the Jesus Christ of Christianity and therefore, you're not a Christian in my opinion.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
      • lunchbreaker

        Just out of curiosity Jake, are you saying that as a Christian?

        February 6, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
        • Jake

          No, I'm saying it as someone who thinks it's laughable that people basically write off everything in the bible as being obviously untrue, but still claim to be Christians. It just illustrates how much social pressure some feel, consciously or unconsciously, to identify themselves as Christian. They pretty much don't believe any of it – if you ask them about what they think god is, many of them will describe basically the same view that I have as an atheist (in other words, we don't know but the guy in the sky is insane). Yet, they still adamantly claim they are Christians!

          February 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm |
    • J

      Please do not claim to be a christian.

      February 7, 2014 at 8:50 am |
  15. bostontola

    I don't care what a person believes, it is their right. I don't think it makes you stupid to believe, I know many very smart believers.

    What makes a person look stupid, is when they attack some technical point in science, engineering, medicine, law, etc. when they are not qualified. Opinion should stay clear of matters of fact or risk looking stupid. You are free to believe in Genesis or any other creation story. If you attack scientific accounts of origins with erroneous assertions you deserve backlash.

    Most of the criticisms of science I read/hear are grossly naive at best and are way off the mark scientifically. Lack of understanding of the science is no excuse for proposing preposterous scenarios as evidence against the science. No one values criticism more than scientists. It is part of their method. Some scientists are the most critical of all, but their criticisms are founded on a deep understanding of the subjects, subjects that take years of study and work to understand.

    That doesn't mean only scientists can criticize science and scientists. There are many ethical and moral issues associated with certain lines of research and the potential consequences of abuse of the knowledge gained. That criticism is invited so we can regulate appropriately. But when lay people attack things they don't know with naive arguments, they look stupid. I recommend avoiding that situation.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Well said. I'm not always the best worded but it does get to me that some of these discussions are still being had.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
    • RB

      scientific accounts of origins ?

      February 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
      • bostontola

        You are right, the inane criticism of science is not limited to origins. Basic scientific processes and results are sometimes criticized with little basis. Origins are more hypothetical in some cases (e,g, big bang, abiogenesis, and the criticism is usually off the mark), but there is also origin of species, origin of matter, stars, etc that is quite extensively supported scientifically that is factually criticized with wrong science and weak logic.

        February 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm |
        • RB

          I think unless we can watch an origination of something, there will always be a.s.s.uptions involved, regardless of the degree of their support.

          February 6, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • bostontola

          I agree, though assumptions are not always bad as elements of a larger collection of ideas. Scientists test many aspects of the assumptions to "surround" the problem. Many of the theories are validated by independent tests, some in other disciplines. Most scientific theories are multidimensional tapestries, not threads. They are consistent and make sense from many view points. If they are wrong, then many other areas that are observable would have problems that we don't see. Still not proof, I agree, but they stand on very firm ground.

          February 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
  16. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. – Douglas Adams

    February 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
  17. Spinner49

    The creationist approach of trying to poke a few hole in the theory of evolution, and concluding therefore "the God of my particular religious text did it" is ridiculous. It's like saying "There is a tree, and I know it's not a pine tree, therefore it must absolutely be a maple." Errr....no. Even if, despite all the supporting evidence, scientists got the theory of evolution wrong, it does not mean that creationists have it correct. (Not A) is not the same thing as (B). They fail on science and they fail on logic.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
  18. Charm Quark

    And god created himself out of nothing better still nothing created god or nothing created nothing, creepy magic rules.

    February 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
  19. scottca

    Anthropic Principle.

    The anthropic principle is the philosophical consideration that observations of the physical Universe must be compatible with the conscious life that observes it. The universe's ostensible fine tuning is the result of selection bias: i.e., only in a universe capable of eventually supporting life will there be living beings capable of observing any such fine tuning, while a universe less compatible with life will go unbeheld.

    Thinking that this universe was designed to have us in it, reminds me of .Douglas Adam's Puddle:

    "This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise." – Douglas Adams

    February 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The world is a better place because Douglas Adams was in it.

      So long Mr. Adams, and thanks.

      February 6, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        ...for all the fish

        February 6, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. – Douglas Adams

          February 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • scottca

          Good reference for one of the members of the 3rd smartest species on earth.

          February 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • The Running Twit

          Where's my towel?

          February 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
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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.