- (Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Television personality and scientist Bill Nye recently spoke out in support of evangelical Christian leader Pat Robertson, who in a late November episode of "The 700 Club" challenged the Young Earth creationist theory that claims the earth is about 6,000 years old.
"If Mr. Robertson's followers follow him ... it could change the world," Nye told The Huffington Post in a Dec. 7 report.
"If the Earth's most technologically innovative nation changes the way it educates many of its kids, and they in turn embrace science and the process of understanding nature, it could lead to a progressive approach to all kinds of social and technical challenges," Nye continued.
"Mr. Robertson has great influence," Nye added, saying "I am very hopeful that he'll emphasize science quite a bit more in the coming weeks."
Nye was referencing Robertson's comments on the Nov. 27 airing of the Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club", in which the former televangelist stated that the existence of dinosaur fossils proves the earth is more than 6,000 years old.
"Look, I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this, but Bishop Ussher wasn't inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years. It just didn't," Robertson told viewers, referencing a 17th century clergyman credited with suggesting the world was created in 4004 BC.
"You go back in time, you have carbon dating, all these things, and you have the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time." Robertson told viewers.
"They are out there. And so there was a time when these giant raptors were on the earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So don't try to cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years, that's not the Bible."
Robertson's comments contradict the claims of Young Earth creationists, who believe the earth is 6,000 years old and that humans lived in harmony with dinosaurs during Earth's beginnings.
Creationism, in the broadest sense of the term, is the religious belief based on the Bible that God created the entire universe and all human life.
Ken Ham, CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, chastised Robertson for his Nov. 27 comments, saying the former Southern Baptist minister was providing "destructive teaching" to America's youth.
"Not only do we have to work hard to not let our kids be led astray by the anti-God teaching of the secularists, we have to work hard to not let them be led astray by compromising church leaders like Pat Robertson," Ham wrote in a Nov. 28 Facebook post.
"Pat Robertson gives more fodder to the secularists. We don't need enemies from without the church when we have such destructive teaching within the church," Ham added.
This is not the first time Nye has expressed his opinion regarding creationism.
In an Aug. 2012 video produced by BigThink.com, Nye urged all parents believing in creationism to teach their children about evolution, adding that he doesn't believe the creationist worldview will exist within the next few centuries.
"I say to grown-ups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world where everything is completely inconsistent with the universe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and tax payers for the future," Nye said in the video.
Nye later appeared on "CBS This Morning" to assert that he did not intend to attack religion through his video, but rather was attempting to share his belief in science.
Forty-six percent of Americans believe in creationism, while 32 percent believe in evolution with the guidance of God, and 15 percent believe in atheistic evolution, according to a June 2012 Gallup poll.
Young Earth creationists believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, while other creationists say the Earth is closer to 4.5 billion years old.