If You Think Creationism is Bad, Just Wait till You See What’s Next

Creationism. It’s been finding its way into schools by hiding behind the facade of intelligent design. We’ve written about it in the past.

One argument in particular seems to appeal to all the rational, open minded people out there. The Creationists ask, why can’t we tell both sides of the story? We can teach the controversy and let people make up their minds for themselves.

This sounds nice and democratic and all but the argument has several fatal flaws:

  1. We don’t teach Chinese in Spanish class because, although Chinese is great and kids should be able to learn it if they want, Chinese is not Spanish. Creationism posits that there are supernatural, unexplainable causes for things and that’s the exact opposite of the scientific method.
  2. There is no controversy to teach. Among anyone who has actually studied biology or genetics there’s really no controversy. The controversy is between virtually all the experts on one side and a very loud group of non experts on the other. To go back to the Spanish example, would you let someone write the Spanish language text book if they admitted they don’t speak the language, had never spent any time in a Spanish-speaking country, and they disagreed with what native speakers say is the proper grammar?
  3. We separate church and state for a reason. No one (in the U.S.) ever talks about teaching Hindu creationism or Navajo creationism in public schools. Teaching from one religion’s beliefs and not another’s in discriminatory. Other that counting the warm bodies in the pews, how can we judge which mythical creation story is worth teaching and which isn’t? Some religions have books older than the Bible.
  4. Creationism is an intellectual dead end. If the conclusion to every mystery is “God did it,” where can we go from there? We certainly can’t discover DNA, decode the genome, create new drugs and therapies, use evolutionary techniques to create computer algorithms, fight drug-resistant bacteria, etc. To beat a dead horse, it’s like a Spanish class where the teacher answers questions about conjugating verbs in the past tense by saying “it’s too hard, it’s unknowable, you can’t learn it unless God reveals it to you.”

The list goes on. There’s one argument I generally don’t like to make, which is the slippery slope argument – that is, if we allow one thing to happen, that will set society on a slippery slope toward some crazy scenario that no one would be happy with. I don’t think creationism in public schools puts us on an inevitable path to the Middle Ages. But let me ask you this: do you really thing the very religious people leading the intelligent design movement will stop at Creationism?

Exhibit 1: Geocentricity. That’s right, the old notion that the Earth was at the center of the Solar System / Universe ( the two were conflated together at the time). There are people actively campaigning in favor of geocentrism, even writing books!

Of course to do so, you would have to throw out hundreds of years of observations, experiments, technologies, etc. I suppose if we’re already doing that in the case of evolution, maybe it’s not so bad. Wow, those Apollo astronauts sure were lucky to get to the moon and back while being so completely wrong about the structure of Universe.

Exhibit 2: The Earth is Flat. You don’t find mainstream churches teaching that the earth is flat but for some Bible inerrantists, it’s a strongly held belief. If the Bible is literal and always true, then when it mentions the four corners of the world, it means that the world is flat and square. I don’t think I have to even mention the problems with this one. But hey, teach the controversy, right?

Exhibit 3: Faith Healing. My guess is that the belief that prayer can heal a person from a sickness or injury is even more widespread than belief in creationism. And in many cases, prayer can be a conduit for things that do have benefits for patients like hope, social support, etc. I certainly wouldn’t throw the chapels out of the hospitals if they help people deal with loss.

But, and this is a big issue, there are plenty of people who profess that faith alone can heal, that modern medicine is a sham or unnecessary. Given the huge gains in life expectancy, recovery from injury and disease, lower infant mortality, etc., I would hate to live in a world where faith healing is considered worth teaching to potential doctors and scientists in school. Faith had thousands of years to cure Polio and make breast cancer survivable.

There are more examples we could give. HIV/AIDS denial in Africa is a particularly nasty one. I’d hate to have the creationist misunderstanding of thermodynamics put into textbooks. If you’ve run across any you’d like to share feel free to post in the comments below. I think the pattern is pretty clear – creationism is a wedge into public schools and public discourse. And they’re not going to stop there.

Written by Jason

Last 3 posts by Jason

  1. I really hate that smart people still push creationism over evolution. I like the idea that you can have both some intelligent design included into evolution. For example, wouldn’t it be intelligent if a creator designed for living things to be able to adapt to their environment? Why is it so hard to find a middle ground?

    The worst part for me is, I’ll meet someone new and I’ll think they are really smart and we will get to talking and then somehow it comes up that they think evolution is a scientific scam. And then I lose all respect I have for that person. The single mindedness following that the faithful have really kills me. I just wish people would look at the facts on both sides and make a decision based on what they believe, not what they are told to believe.

    Alouette
    June 16th, 2008 at 12:11 pm
  2. Let’s be frank. There are scientists and fools on both sides.

    It is true that nobody ever talks about how the Hindu or Navajo creation story should be taught in schools, but then again, you have to remember that America is about 86% Christian. Yeah, there are other religions, but they only make less than about 4%. In addition, America was founded by Christians for Christians to lead their Christian faith.
    And the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament, which is the first part of the Bible) are probably the oldest religious writings ever found (older than the I Ching and the Iliad and the Odyssey). And age doesn’t mean you should teach it, influence does. That’s why a lot of Chinese schools teach about The Little Red Book (Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-tung). The Bible is the most influential and most bought book ever.

    In every major religion, a deity and/or deities allow/make everything happen, mystery or not.

    Moreover, who said humans had to know everything? We’ll never be able to. The human mind can only grasp so much. It’s like your dog trying to grasp the mystery of a radio tower. It just thinks that the humans did it. It will never be able to understand the idea of a radio tower or an office building.

    You said some people still believe in geocentricity. Christianity doesn’t necessarily mean believing in the world is the center of the universe or that it is flat. In fact, the Bible states that Jesus said that at His return some would be asleep at night while others would be working at daytime activities in the field (Luke 17:34-36). This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night occurring simultaneously. And in Isaiah 40:22:”He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth…”

    And faith healing is a common misconception. It isn’t as much as having faith as it is having faith in believing that God can heal you (Acts 3:16).

    And there is indeed controversy on atheist views. They believe that there was nothing. Then, it blew up into everything. The laws of physics state that matter cannot be created nor destroyed.
    …OK. Suppose we do get the earth with deserts, oceans, and mountains. Where do we get life? Anyone who has studied biology (sound familiar?) knows that there is not such thing as spontaneous generation. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s when people thought (some people still do) non-living things would produce living things. The Egyptians, for example, thought that muddy water off the banks of the Nile would “give birth” to frogs. So before you go off trying to explain how humans came from single-celled creatures, how do you explain life?

    According to evolution, occasionally we should witness a new kind springing into existence. Yet, this has never been observed. On the contrary, as Scripture explains, since the curse on all creation, we observe death and extinction (Romans 8:20-22).
    The Bible and history reveal that countless people have endangered or even sacrificed their lives for another. This reality is completely at odds with Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest.

    We all know that blood is the source of life and health. Up until 120 years ago, scientists (who claimed they had science to back them up) “bled” sick people and many died as a result (e.g. George Washington). Today we know that healthy blood is necessary to bring life-giving nutrients to every cell in the body. God declared that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” long before science understood its function.

    For evolutionists, the chicken or egg dilemma goes even deeper. Chickens consist of proteins. The code for each protein is contained in the DNA/RNA system. However, proteins are required in order to manufacture DNA. So, which came first: proteins or DNA? The ONLY explanation is that they were created together.

    The first three verses of Genesis accurately express all known aspects of the creation (Genesis 1:1-3). Science expresses the universe in terms of: time, space, matter, and energy. In Genesis chapter one we read: “In the beginning (time) God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter)…Then God said, “Let there be light (energy).” No other creation account agrees with the observable evidence.

    While evolution has no mechanism to explain how male and female reproductive organs evolved at the same time, the Bible says that from the beginning God made them male and female in order to propagate the human race and animal kinds.

    …These are only a couple of ideas from the Bible that have been backed up with science.

    running gal
    June 19th, 2008 at 3:52 pm
  3. Thanks for the comment, Running Gal, it’s great to get some constructive debate on Unsought.

    I think you maybe be factually mistaken on a couple of points. For example, the Jewish scriptures are most definitely not the oldest religious text, that honor probably belongs to the Hindu Rigveda, composed between 1500–1300 BCE and still in use today. There are also older Zoroastrian texts, and the pic of Gilgamesh, which involves gods and other supernatural elements, is older still. Now worries, this is a common misconception among Christians in the US.

    Your argument about the origin of life mentions very old, obsolete notions of spontaneous generation that existed before the use of the scientific method – surely you can’t blame science for the beliefs of ancient Egyptians! The truth is that there’s a lot of interesting work being done on the chemistry of the origin of life–it’s a very exciting field to work in, actually, because there’s so much progress being made. Wikipedia gives a good survey – make sure you scroll down to the “current models” section, you wouldn’t want to get caught up in ancient history again.

    The evolution of new species has indeed been observed. Your argument that altruism disproves survival of the fittest is based on a very shallow understanding of the concept, since many species rely upon the sacrifice of large numbers of individuals to better survive their environment (ants are a good example).

    The “chicken or egg” question can also easily be answered with a bit of Google searching and reading. Proteins are made of amino acids, which can occur through natural processes.

    It’s also unfair to say science has no explanation of the evolution of gender – there is plenty of work going on here as well, and sexual reproduction confers a number of well-known evolutionary advantages.

    I think, from these points, you may be largely arguing from ignorance. For a less scientific example, you say “No other creation account agrees with the observable evidence.” Did you examine all the other creation accounts? I’m not sure I can just take your word on it.

    Do a little reading and get back to us. I think you’ll find that to modern science the world is a wonderfully mysterious place, but not quite as mysterious as you think.

    Jason
    June 19th, 2008 at 9:48 pm
  4. Running Gal articulated my position very eloquently.
    I can’t imagine thinking that life, the universe and everything just randomly happened. It is too intricate and perfectly balanced. I think the crux of the origins debate is really authority. i.e., If there is a God, and He created everything, including me, am I then subject to His authority over me?

    It fits the fallen state of man to think, no God, no authority, I can live as I please. All creation is happenstance and ultimately futility. That is pretty depressing. Thinking that your short lifespan is IT. I used to think that way, before I gave my life to Jesus Christ, repented of my sins and gave God authority over my life. Now I see the world as a glorious creation and manifestation of God, with the promise of eternal life at His side.

    Darwinism requires more faith than Christianity.
    June 21st, 2008 at 12:50 pm
  5. Running Gal: I would like to point out some flaws in your argument.
    1.)
    “The Bible and history reveal that countless people have endangered or even sacrificed their lives for another. This reality is completely at odds with Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest.”

    This notion is based on that animals as individuals survive better the better adapted they are. However, by sacrificing ones self, the species as a whole gains.

    2.)
    “It is true that nobody ever talks about how the Hindu or Navajo creation story should be taught in schools, but then again, you have to remember that America is about 86% Christian. Yeah, there are other religions, but they only make less than about 4%. In addition, America was founded by Christians for Christians to lead their Christian faith.”

    If the US was indeed founded “for Christians to lead their Christian faith.”, then why didn’t the founders throw separation of church and state out the window themselves?

    Chris
    June 23rd, 2008 at 6:29 pm
  6. Chris, your 2nd point is not thought out or researched at all. If you knew what “separation of church and state” was about, you’d know that it doesn’t support you and any kind of argument against Running Gal.

    Separation of church and state is a concept found in a LETTER of Thomas Jefferson’s. He used the phrase to acknowledge that the 1st ammendment made it so that no one religion could have a chokehold on a nation the way that the Anglican church had on England. This would be supported by the founders, as they would never want to subject others to the kind of religious persecution that they escaped from in England

    Kris
    June 23rd, 2008 at 10:57 pm
  7. Ok, I apologize for my ignorance on the religious texts subject. But then again, age doesn’t matter, influence does.
    ——————–
    I read the wiki page, and the same page said that abiogenesis is a theory, has not actually been proven, and (I quote) “As of 2008, no one has yet synthesized a ‘protocell’ using basic components which would have the necessary properties of life.”

    They also say that two if the possibilities are exogenesis and panspermia. For those of you who don’t know what those are, exogenesis is “life on Earth was transferred from elsewhere in the Universe” and panspermia is “the hypothesis that ‘seeds’ of life exist already all over the Universe, that life on Earth may have originated through these ‘seeds’ and that they may deliver or have delivered life to other habitable bodies.”
    ——————–
    Creationism, you your self said this Jason, is the opposite of science because it breaks so many of the science laws. You forgot the fact that evolution itself breaks many of the same rules, such as saying that living things cannot come from non-living things, except at the creation of life. And I know you gave me a Wiki page on how through the slightest chances organic compounds can form amino acids to form proteins. But rules are rules. Nature cannot break them, but an all-powerful being beyond the physical world that is above nature, could possibly…
    ——————–
    Altruism in nature is not the same as human sacrifice. Altruism in nature refers to behavior by an individual that increases the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce of another individual while decreasing the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce of the actor. Human sacrifice is always spurred by emotion for the (sometimes) physical and (always) emotional betterment of another person or group.
    ——————–
    …which reminds me. How does evolution exactly explain emotion?
    ——————–
    Plenty of work on the development on the creation of gender? I’d like to see some. Atheists believe that we evolved from single-celled creatures. However, if asexual reproduction worked so great, why did we suddenly grow genitalia? To grow them, at least two organisms would have to be in some sort of agreement to grow, not the same, but corresponding parts. Then, they would have to be able to magically have the instincts to put “that” in “there”…or to release “this” on “that.”
    ——————–
    “‘No other creation account agrees with the observable evidence.’ Did you examine all the other creation accounts? I’m not sure I can just take your word on it.”

    I challenge me to prove me wrong.

    …And I think you too are “arguing from ignorance.” Remember how you thought the Bible was always literal, and that creationists all thought that the world was flat and believed in egocentricity, and let’s not forget the fact that you said there was no science in the Bible and then I proved that the Bible did have some, actually a lot, of scientific information way before it was even discovered. Why don’t we look at some more:

    –The earth free-floats in space (Job 26:7), affected only by gravity. While other sources declared the earth sat on the back of an elephant or turtle, or was held up by Atlas, the Bible alone states what we now know to be true – “He hangs the earth on nothing.”

    –The Bible specifies the perfect dimensions for a stable water vessel (Genesis 6:15). Ship builders today are well aware that the ideal dimension for ship stability is a length six times that of the width. Keep in mind, God told Noah the ideal dimensions for the ark 4,500 years ago.

    –When dealing with disease, clothes and body should be washed under running water (Leviticus 15:13). For centuries people naively washed in standing water. Today we recognize the need to wash away germs with fresh water.

    –Sanitation industry birthed (Deuteronomy 23:12-13). Some 3,500 years ago God commanded His people to have a place outside the camp where they could relieve themselves. They were to each carry a shovel so that they could dig a hole (latrine) and cover their waste. Up until World War I, more soldiers died from disease than war because they did not isolate human waste.

    –There are mountains on the bottom of the ocean floor (Jonah 2:5-6). Only in the last century have we discovered that there are towering mountains and deep trenches in the depths of the sea.

    –Joy and gladness understood (Acts 14:17). Evolution cannot explain emotions. Matter and energy do not feel. Scripture explains that God places gladness in our hearts (Psalm 4:7), and ultimate joy is found only in our Creator’s presence – “in Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).

    –Our bodies are made from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7; 3:19). Scientists have discovered that the human body is comprised of some 28 base and trace elements – all of which are found in the earth.

    –The universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12). Starting with the studies of Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and continuing today, science has confirmed the biblical view that the universe had a beginning. When the Bible was written most people believed the universe was eternal. Science has proven them wrong, but the Bible correct.

    –Ocean currents anticipated (Psalm 8:8). Three thousand years ago the Bible described the “paths of the seas.” In the 19th century Matthew Maury – the father of oceanography – after reading Psalm 8, researched and discovered ocean currents that follow specific paths through the seas! Utilizing Maury’s data, marine navigators have since reduced by many days the time required to traverse the seas.

    …and there’s even more, but we’ll save them for later.
    ——————–
    If according to atheists, there is not a God, then there is no way to prove that God doesn’t exist. And to truly know if there is a God, you would have to be all-knowing and omnipresent so you could know where God was or if he was…all-knowing and omnipresent…sounds like the only way to know if God exists is to be a/the God.

    just a gal
    June 24th, 2008 at 5:15 pm
  8. Faith healing… im surprised that that hasnt reminded any one else of the placebo effect. truly believing in something can have effects that scientists dont understand yet. how does anyone know there arent other explanations for biblical events that they couldnt understand at the time? maybe they arent just made up. and it seems like religion must have a useful purpose if it has continued to exist this long. read this: http://xkcd.com/435/ perhaps religion, inlcuding chirstianity, is just a really “impure” form of science. for example, although it may one day be possible, biologists cannot explain how the brain works in terms of biology. however, psychologists study the effects, because no one, not even biologists can explain the causes. so no one can explain religion. but i think it has its purpose. This also has the right idea about religion: http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/103933 you have to watch the whole thing or you wont know wat im talking about.

    running boy
    June 24th, 2008 at 6:10 pm
  9. I doubt this running gal here understands the concept of non sequitur. If one purports to have an intelligent discussion on the scientific method which overwhelmingly supports the concept of evolution and you start throwing out random passages from the Bible (which are so vaguely worded as to have one of several possible meanings) it has no bearing on the discussion. It’s an invalid argument. The Bible cracks me up. While we’re throwing out random arguments that do not follow rhyme nor reason let me ask you gal if you are aware that the version of the Bible from which you quote is based upon the translation by William Tyndale, who first printed the Bible in middle English and was murdered by the Church in the 16th century? Convicted of heresy in a sham trial he was brutally strangled and burnt at the stake.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/tyndale_william.shtml
    Apparently the Church felt threatened with irrelevancy and had anyone in possession of a Bible in English thrown in jail and/or murdered. Gotta love the violent history of your Christian church. How about the persecution of THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of innocent women and children as witches in the name of Christ?
    http://atheism.about.com/od/christianityviolence/ig/Christian-Persecution-Witches/Witches-Satan-Court.htm

    But I digress as you did. Gal, you are hung up on the moment when inanimate form first became living. You fail to understand that the theory of evolution does not try to explain the origin of life on earth, only the origin of the incredible diversity of species that inhabit this planet. A key piece in understanding and accepting this is to reject the Biblical statement that the earth is a few thousand years old, when in fact our planet has sat in space for approximately 4.5 billion years. This allows a multitude of time for the model of natural selection to run it’s course and ultimately spew you out into this world. But there’s little point in arguing that truth, as you will not come to my way of thinking except by your own timely examination of the facts. Which I doubt will occur. As well, since natural selection encourages the passing along of inherited traits, I’m sure you will pass these ignorant ideas of yours on to your own spawn so they shall linger much longer than you in this earthly sphere. Ultimately, you won’t even know that you’re wrong because when you’re dead, you’re dead. And that’s it. No heaven. No hell.

    bigz
    June 26th, 2008 at 3:56 pm
  10. it bugs me when i see people throwing bible quotes like the thing is full of greatness, and everyone really should read it. Well i was choir boy in a catholic school, i got A* at Religion in school, and read the bible. Its not all that, actually it reads like its some kind of propaganda. If jesus, or the writers of the bible knew real science, why do i need you to point it out to me? next you will tell me to check out nostradamus, he was about as specfic.
    gal, since you like to throw down questions you would like answered, can you translate the following quotes for me:

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29
    If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

    Numbers 31:7-18
    7 They fought against Midian, as the LORD commanded Moses, and killed every man. 8 Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 9 The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. 10 They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. 11 They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals, 12 and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest and the Israelite assembly at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho. [a]

    13 Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.

    15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    So God is quite happy to encourage war, and the killing of everyone, except virgins, lets keeps those… what a nice saviour.

    Also gal:
    the references you made to parts of the bible where there are common sense ideas about being clean, and even notions of astrology. These are not proof of anything special about the bible. There have been many civilisations in history, independently discovering astrology (stonehenge predates the bible, go there on summer solstice as i have, watch the sun rise!)

    There was a time when religious scholars were the most intelligent people in society, and conducted scientific experiments, to better understand the wonders of Gods world. During the dark ages Christianty went backwards. Its like Stalin was in charge or something.

    I would love to live an eternal life after death, and know i will see all my love ones ect. ect. but its prob not going to happen.
    How much value do you place on the religious texts/ideas of the other religions? Does the voo-doo stories of tribal people seem silly to you? Why is your 1000year old story of magic, reincarnation, war, rape, jesus and peter in a boat naked (marks gospel), global flooding, talking snakes……. any better than any one of the countless religions?
    have a little faith in mankind!!!
    In the near future we as a whole species on this little planet of ours are going to have to face up to some real challanges. There will only be two outcomes: extinction, or survival.
    For the latter we are going to need new ideas to sustain projected population. Food, energy, lebensraum! If we continue to war, and ignore science, we could head back into another dark-age, and that would suck!!

    Explain:
    “Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?” — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief

    If there is a higher being, then it seems more likely that our universe is a simulation in a giant supercomputer, or its a culture on a petri dish. Either way, the God creature you love so much dosnt give a shit about, and dosent listen to your pathetic prayers. At least moses’ army will rape you and take you as a wife tho.

    If on the other hand this universe is part of a larger multiverse, in a dimension we have no access to, at least we got hear all by ourselves, and perhaps a creature capable of asking difficult questions is rare in the multiverse, and we should do all we can to protect this little planet and all its creatures….

    Anyway, im bored of this topic now Gal, if you want to spend ages arguing in favor of your silly religion, check out this site:
    http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com/god-toc.htm

    Baron
    June 26th, 2008 at 10:51 pm
  11. It’s quite ironic how the secular american society, founded for the most part by deists, is so christianity-obsessed, while anglican britain has reverted to half-arsed agnosticism. Makes me smile.

    Sky
    July 2nd, 2008 at 8:26 am
  12. What bothers me is that atheism has been turned into a religion in it’s own right.

    Here’s the thing: Why couldn’t God (or, if you prefer, “a god”) created the universe in a way that is scientifically sound?

    Why do so many creationists insist that God is incapable of setting into motion things like evolution?

    “God is all-powerful!” they scream from the rooftops, while simultaneous limiting his abilities by insisting that he is incapable of creating the universe via a big bang and bestowing life by assembling some amino acids that can self-sort and self replicate.

    God, according to most Creationists, is not capable of creating man through a process of evolution. He just doesn’t have the mad skillz necessary, and so must instead make them in a way that contradicts all the rest of the rules in the creation that he made. Why?

    There is no disconnect between religion and science. Science allows us to explore how Gods works work.

    And for those who say that things like fossilized dinosaur bones were placed by God in order to test our faith, I say that I don’t picture God as an insane trickster. If God exists, and if he purposely created us, then he gave us the ability to explore the macro and micro portions of his creation. For him to have done that and intentionally filled it with misleading things points to the idea of an insane God. This makes no sense.

    If we are ever to comprehend the mind of God, it will be through a combination of religion and science, each informing the other. God is the ultimate scientist.

    I think a lot of people would suddenly “get it” if, when the large hadron collider switches on in the next couple of months and discovers some new fundamental particles, they name the most fundamental particle they find, “Word”. They can name them anything. The name “quarks” was just made up. So call the building blocks of quarks “Word”. Because that would instantly reconcile so much of creationism with science. I doubt they’ll name it any such thing, but I think such a name for the most fundamental building block of the universe would be a beautiful thing.

    Wayne
    July 2nd, 2008 at 10:37 pm
  13. [...] it. Of course Maher acts like a total ass in the process but what else is new. This is part of a growing trend of people questioning the notion that religion is an essential and necessary part of society and you can’t be a [...]

    Religulous - Unsought Input
    July 3rd, 2008 at 10:13 am
  14. I didn’t have any non-sequiturs in my post. They were responses to Jason’s last posts. Before you post, read all the posts before you and see what the general flow of the argument is.
    ——————–
    If the scientific method “overwhelmingly supports the concept of evolution,” then why is it still a theory?
    ——————–
    The Bible has many vague and clear parts. You have to remember that this is not a textbook. An example of very clear passages in the Bible:
    “The Bible specifies the perfect dimensions for a stable water vessel (Genesis 6:15). Ship builders today are well aware that the ideal dimension for ship stability is a length six times that of the width. Keep in mind, God told Noah the ideal dimensions for the ark 4,500 years ago.”
    ——————–
    You’re right. The Church has had a very dark and violent past. But the Bible says that nobody is perfect and that we are all sinners, people part of the Church are not exception.

    But since you’re so into looking at the facts and into the history of violence, let’s take a trip down memory lane.

    …And you’re right. THOUSANDS have been killed in the name of Christ. But let’s look at the facts:
    1.Hitler was an atheist and despised religion, especially the concept of God. He killed more than 11 million people. He killed in the name of an atheistic communism.
    2.Stalin was also an atheist who despised religion as well as the concept of having a God. He killed about 60 million (give or take), 100,000 which were priests, monks, and nuns. He killed in the name of an atheistic communism.
    3.Mao Zedong was, you guessed it, an atheist who truly hated religion and the concept of God. He killed about 70 million in the Great Cultural Revolution alone. Millions more died of starvation and disease. He killed in the name of an atheistic communism.
    4.And let’s not forget about the little people who were also mercilessly slaughtered because of atheistic communism: Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, Korea, Laos, Philippines, Afghanistan, to name a few. I’ll be generous and say about 4 million.

    …11 + 60 + 70 + 4 = 145. More than 145 MILLION people have died in JUST the name of atheistic communism. Hundreds of Christians are persecuted daily in areas where Christians are not exactly welcomed.

    …+145 million > “THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS”
    ———————————————
    …one of Hitler’s top scientists in his sick obsession of twisted experiments, named Dr. Josef Mengele, conducted a truly grotesque experiment:

    “I remember one set of twins in particular: Guido and Ina, aged about four. One day, Mengele took them away. When they returned, they were in a terrible state: they had been sewn together, back to back, like Siamese twins. Their wounds were infected and oozing pus. They screamed day and night. Then their parents—I remember the mother’s name was Stella—managed to get some morphine and they killed the children in order to end their suffering.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust#Medical_experiments
    )

    That is a trillion times worse than being “brutally strangled and burnt at the stake”
    ——————–
    “As well, since natural selection encourages the passing along of inherited traits, I’m sure you will pass these ignorant ideas of yours on to your own spawn so they shall linger much longer than you in this earthly sphere.”

    …Parents tend to do that. I’m pretty sure you’re going to do that, too. Oh, and you should review you’re facts on the merciless and blood-thirsty Christians and the joyful and pacifist atheists like Chairman Mao or Hitler or Stalin. I hope your children, or “spawn,” don’t get those ignorant ideas of yours.
    ——————–
    “Ultimately, you won’t even know that you’re wrong because when you’re dead, you’re dead. And that’s it. No heaven. No hell.”

    Now, now, now. I thought you were into all that scientific method and “science proves all” stuff. Why don’t you go test your hypothesis and see if there is an afterlife?
    ——————–
    Now onto Baron boy…

    If the Bible isn’t so great (which is just your opinion, not a fact), then why has it survived for sooooooooo long. Why is it the most bought, read, and influential book of all time?
    ——————–
    The Deuteronomy one says that if a guy gets caught bumping uglies with a chick, he has to marry her (and stay with her forever) and pay her father.

    Imagine how many children would have fathers and mothers because they couldn’t run off or get divorced. Imagine how low teen pregnancy rates would be.

    Personally, I think this would do our country some good, but I’m just a person who happens to like children to have both their parents present in their childhood.
    ——————–
    The Numbers passage doesn’t encourage war. It more discourages people to mess with God’s people. If you read before that passage, you see that Midian had started a war with the Israelites, which explains their attack. Moses ordered them to kill the women and children because they were foreigners that would “taint” the Israelites. The Bible constantly shows that foreign people, especially women, always bring their idols and statues of gods from their home lands, which makes the Israelites turn from God and thus being defeated. Notice how they said to spare the “girls,” and to kill the “women.” The girl virgins are sexually pure and because they are also younger, they were usually religiously clean, so they would not taint the Israelites.
    ——————–
    “Common sense ideas”? Are you serious? They might be common sense today, but back then, it wasn’t. Why do you think disease constantly hit Rome and early Europe? They didn’t know about sanitation because they pooped where they wanted and didn’t wash their hands. God commanded His people to wash infected stuff and people in running water, to poop away from camp and in a hole that would be covered after you’re done, and have people with disease quarantined, over 3,500 years ago. If it was “common sense” then why didn’t EVERYONE do it?
    ——————–
    The Bible does indeed have many special qualities to it. An example would be the Jewish dietary laws. They probably eat the healthiest and cleanest diet on the planet.
    And just because you don’t think that the Bible has any “specialness” to it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t. That’s your opinion. I’m not saying that my opinion is better than yours, but the Bible has to have some type of special quality for it to have lasted this long.

    I’m not saying that the Bible gave birth and discovered every field of science, but it’s stupid to say that the Bible has no notions of science and is 100% fiction. (An example again, would be the sanitation laws.) I’m also not saying that Christians are the sole discovers of science and its many fields. But I’m pretty sure that Jews or early Christians didn’t get their material from Stone Hedge.

    I’m also assuming you mean “astronomy”…
    ——————–
    “I would love to live an eternal life after death, and know I will see all my love ones ect. ect. but its prob not going to happen.”

    Probably? So there’s a scientific chance that it is more likely for there not to be an afterlife then for there to be one?

    So you admit there is a chance of there being an afterlife?
    ——————–
    Nobody said that Christianity is better. However, Christians think their religion is right and that it is the only way, but not necessarily better.

    “have a little faith in mankind!!!”
    Do you mean other religions? Having faith in other religions is against Christianity.
    ——————–
    “Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?” — Epicurus, as quoted in 2000 Years of Disbelief

    God is omnipotent, which means he can do anything. Whether he wants to or not, nobody knows because only God knows. I assume He does. There is evil in the world because humans (or at least Adam and Eve) let evil into the world. When they first disobeyed God, we were doomed to live in evil. God also gave the gift of free will, and sometimes the actions of people are evil. Evil can also be used as a test to Christians, and although we aren’t perfect and will always do evil things, it helps us become stronger.
    Jesus constantly said that He and His Father loved us. And He does hear our “pathetic” prayers.
    ——————–
    What truly is pathetic is someone who throws out insults to people because of their beliefs. I believe that is discrimination…
    ——————–
    God is omnipotent. The Christians you heard saying that God cannot create evolution are wrong. God can do anything.

    However, God did not create man through evolution or the universe through the Big Bang.
    ——————–
    Religion is a very necessary element of society. I don’t think I can name a society that grew or is without religion. Can you?

    Religion offers a set of morals and ethics that are essential in keeping social harmony. People don’t always follow the law just because it’s the law. Most laws also originate from religion. If the world never had religion, then killing a man wouldn’t be necessarily bad because religion has given worth to human individuals. If we truly are just a product of nature, then human lives are worthless.

    running gal
    July 3rd, 2008 at 5:25 pm
  15. Running gal, your last post starts off with one of my biggest pet peeves about people who argue your side of this discussion and revealed to me that there was no need to read the rest of it, since it would be nothing but mindless tripe.

    Here’s what you said:

    ‘If the scientific method “overwhelmingly supports the concept of evolution,” then why is it still a theory?’

    Yeah, you people love to throw that one around because it sounds as if “theories” are unproven.

    You don’t know what a theory is. In the scientific community the word theory is entirely different than the word theory in general parlance. Because it suits your needs to do so, you mix the two meanings together to discredit people.

    1+1=2, right? Well, it does according to number theory. But that’s just a theory.

    Scientifically speaking, a theory is defined as a system of rules or principles.

    That’s entirely different than the colloquial definition, which is a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.

    When you use that second definition of a theory to discredit a scientifically proven system of rules and principals you do one of two things: You spread a lie (if your listeners beleive you) or you make yourself look like an idiot.

    Learn the meanings of words before you use them.

    w

    Wayne
    July 3rd, 2008 at 6:15 pm
  16. Okay, I went ahead and read your post after all. And, I must admit, you make some good points about the history of violence in religion and atheism. (And, in fact, I’m Catholic and in agreement with you on many of those points.) So, my apologies about the “mindless tripe” comment. (Though the whole “theory” thing IS, in fact, mindless tripe, so I don’t apologize for that portion of it.)

    However, towards the end, you say:

    ‘God can do anything. However, God did not create man through evolution or the universe through the Big Bang.’

    Really? How do you know? Did you read his diary?

    Why on Earth would you think he didn’t?

    You prefer to think of him as an insane trickster god?

    Do you worship Loki? (I thought not, since it’s the bible you are quoting and not American Indian tradition, but it’s Loki that you describe.)

    I want to know how you came about this amazing knowledge that didn’t use evolution and the big bang to create us.

    I’m sure the last couple Popes (and the current one) would all love to hear it too, because they’ve all acknowledged that evolution does not contradict Christianity in any way. Are you more knowledgeable about Christianity than three Popes? (If you aren’t Catholic then I don’t expect you to depend on a Pope to give a correct answer, and that’s fine – but I think you’ll have to admit that you’ve got to be a mighty fine theologian to get the job. You seem to think your an even better theologian.)

    w

    Wayne
    July 3rd, 2008 at 6:27 pm
  17. Who ARE you people??

    KY_Prof
    July 8th, 2008 at 5:06 pm
  18. Wrongo, Wayne! There are more than 2 definitions to “theory.”

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory

    #7: a guess or conjecture

    Obviously the scientific community uses it differently than mathmeticians or common people.

    If you cannot tell what definition a person is using for a multi-definition word, than YOU make YOURSELF look like an idiot.
    ————————–
    I’ll work on learning my words while you learn to think before you type. M’k, sweetie?
    —————————-
    And don’t pick at the unimportant parts. The question STILL stands(but this time I changed it just for you):

    “If the scientific method “overwhelmingly supports the concept of evolution,” then why is it not a fact?”
    —————————-
    I’m not Catholic, so I don’t really abide by what the Pope says. I do not know if I am a better theologian than the Pope.

    However, God (in Christinaity) is most definietly NOT ANYTHING like Loki (which is actually Norse) or any other trickster god.

    Loki was a coward (when he was captured by a giant, he begged for his life and promised to give him the goddess Idun), liar (in Lokasenna, all gods called him a liar), cheater (he tricked Idun into being captured by the giant and only went to save her when threatened by the gods), thief (he stole Sif’s hair and stole various things from the giants; he also stole Freyja’s necklace and got beaten by Heimdall who was sent by Freyja to get the necklace back[3]), and as a murderer (he killed the god Baldur by tricking his blind brother Höðr into using a projectile made of mistletoe). He also changed into a women many times and gave birth as a women.

    God has never done anything like so in the Bible.
    ————————
    In Genesis 1, God created the earth before the sun and stars. The Big Bang theory requires it to be the other way around. In Genesis 1, God creates the earth, sun, moon, stars, plant life, animal life, and mankind in a span of six 24-hour days. The Big Bang theory requires billions of years. In Genesis 1, God created all matter by His spoken word. The Big Bang theory begins with matter already in existence and never explains the initial source or cause of matter. It also says that God “created” and does not say anything like “put into motion” or “set it up.”

    In Genesis 1, God breathed life into the body of the perfectly created Adam. The Big Bang theory requires billions of years, and billions of chance circumstances, to get around to the first human, and it never can explain how the first microscopic life form happened to “evolve” from a non-living atom. In the Bible, God is eternal and the matter and the universe are not. There are different versions of the Big Bang theory, but in most of them the universe and/or matter is eternal. In Genesis 1, the existence of God is assumed, “In the beginning God…” The true purpose of the Big Bang theory is to deny His existence.

    running gal
    July 17th, 2008 at 12:39 pm
  19. Let’s get this “theory” definition thing out of the way once and for all.

    I tell you I set my watch on the table. You tell me you don’t see there and I tell you that you shouldn’t see it there because I put it on my wrist. “But you said you set it on the table.” No, I said “I set it on the table.” I calibrated it to show the correct time, and I did so on the table. At this point, all confusion is removed as long as you acknowledge that what I meant was that I calibrated my timepiece and did so on the table. However, if you continue to insist that what I really said was that I set it on the table and “to set” means “to put”, then we cannot have an intelligent conversation about where the watch is or whether or not it is calibrated. Set has more definitions than any other word in the English language. But the confusion in this example deals with two of them.

    A scientist tells you he is working with a theory. You say he admits that he’s just guessing. He tells you, no, what I meant was I’m working with a system of rules or principals. You insist that what he really meant was that he’s guessing. A theory is a guess, and he said he has a theory, so he’s guessing. No matter how many times you are told that he meant a system of rules and principals, you blindly stick to “guess” as the definition of theory. This is as foolish as insisting that I put my watch on the table even after I’ve made it clear I never did any such thing.

    When the word “theory” is used in science, it is used to describe a system of rules and principals. Not matter how well proven and how factually correct that system is, it’s still a theory. God himself could come down in all his resplendent glory and say, “Okay, I’m sick of you guys arguing over how I did everything, so here’s how it all works. Have fun with it, and have nice day.” Suddenly, we know how it all works: We know the system of rules principals that govern everything. We have the Grand Theory. But it’s still a theory. Not because it’s a guess but because it’s a set of rules and principals.

    If you don’t get it yet, then read all the above again and again and again until it sinks in. Because when you insist that theories are guesses even when they aren’t you are acting just as stupidly as you would be if you were insisting that I put my watch on the table because I set it there even after it’s been explained that I was using a different definition of that word.

    Now that we have that (hopefully) out of the way, let’s address your other points.

    >> I’m not Catholic, so I don’t really abide by what
    >> the Pope says.

    That’s fine. I don’t expect non-Catholics to abide by what he says.

    >> I do not know if I am a better theologian than the Pope.

    Uh, what? You don’t know? Okay, let me inform you of the answer on that one: You AREN’T. He knows more about the bible and biblical history and Christianity than you or I ever will because neither of us has devoted our entire life to that study. Regardless of your opinion of his opinions, the guy knows his Bible. So when he doesn’t see any conflict between evolution and Christianity, it should at least give you pause. You may disagree, but you must admit that he’s coming from a position of a lot of education and knowledge on the subject and he just may have a point.

    >>However, God (in Christinaity) is most definietly
    >>NOT ANYTHING like Loki (which is actually Norse) or
    >>any other trickster god.

    I agree. You’re the one who says that he created us, loves us, gave us inquisitiveness and logic and the ability to investigate things and to learn about his creation and then filled that creation with things to trick us into believing false things like evolution. Why is he tricking us? If he planted a fossil record of creatures that never existed then he’s either a trickster or insane. Or, perhaps all that stuff isn’t fake after all and maybe scientists are on the right track. I prefer to not worship an insane trickster god. Apparently, you’re okay with it.

    >>In Genesis 1, God created the earth before the sun and
    >>stars. The Big Bang theory requires it to be the
    >>other way around.

    Actually, it says he created the Firmament first. You’re just assuming that means the Earth. Either that or you are using a poor translation of the Bible. How do you know the Firmament is the Earth? The Firmament would be the foundation of his creation. Sounds like the infinitude of m-branes in which our universe exists. And those were created long before the stars and everything else. So yes, He created the firmament first. But not the Earth. The Bible says no such thing – only an interpretation of it does, and it is my opinion that such an interpretation is wrong.

    >>In Genesis 1, God creates the earth, sun, moon, stars,
    >>plant life, animal life, and mankind in a span of six
    >>24-hour days. The Big Bang theory requires billions of years.

    Nowhere does the Bible specify 24 hour days. In fact, it goes so far as to say that a year is as a day. If a year is as a day, then “day” becomes meaningless as a discreet unit of time. A millennium may be as a day. God is not constrained by time – he’s omnipotent: He can take as long as he wants on something and to him it is as though no time passed at all, for he is eternal. I doubt God was keeping an eye on his watch and making sure he met any deadlines. So what is a day? In this sense, there is no reason to interpret it as anything but a particular epoch. And he created everything over a series of epochs.

    >>In Genesis 1, God created all matter by His spoken word.

    Finally, something we agree on. But what is God’s “Word”? Clearly it isn’t just a word – if it was, we’d be inadvertently spewing forth universes with every conversation. God’s Word is different than our word. So what is it? Clearly, it is powerful, creative, mysterious, and ubiquitous. It is what everything is made of. Everything. It is the stuff of Creation.

    You know… we’re about to turn on the Large Hadron Collider and hopefully discover the Higgs boson. If we do, then we’ll finally have a full matched set of particles. The problem is that each of those particles is different, which means they must each be built differently, which means that they themselves must be made of of smaller stuff yet. Some day maybe we’ll build a collider to detect that stuff. When we do, we’ll be able to see how the basic blocks fit together to make the particles we can detect now. What are those basic blocks? They are powerful, creative, mysterious, and ubiquitous. They are what everything is made of. Everything. They are the stuff of Creation. I think a good name for them would be “Word”.

    Personally, I doubt we’ll ever be able to build a machine able to show us Word, but we know it’s there and it is where I think science and religion meet. Where did Word come from? God’s mouth.

    >> The Big Bang theory begins with matter already in
    >> existence and never explains the initial source or
    >> cause of matter.

    Clearly, you don’t understand Big Bang theory. Matter didn’t exist for some time after the bang. It was all energy. And even that energy didn’t exist until it came into existence through the Bang. What was before? It’s a nonsensical question because the word “before” implies time, and time didn’t exist “before” the Big Bang. Our brains are not equipped to contemplate existence without time, so while we can eventually discover the status of the universe at the instant of the creation, we can never pierce the veil of the singularity and see how that creation came to be. But God can, because God is independent of time. He made time, and space, and planets, and cows and chocolate chip cookies. This is where science needs religion. It cannot explain the cause of the Big Bang without resorting to mystery. Science cannot comprehend the world without chocolate chip cookies. Er, time.

    >> It also says that God “created” and does not say
    >> anything like “put into motion” or “set it up.”

    Yep. He created it alright. And we can figure out a lot about what he created even if we can’t figure out how he wielded such amazing power to breath out the Big Bang to do it.

    >> In Genesis 1, God breathed life into the body of
    >> the perfectly created Adam.

    Yep. But did Adam have a belly button? (I’m serious with that question.) We all have a common pair of ancestors at the top of our family tree. Adam and Eve are as good of names for them as any other name. You say God created Adam by molding him from clay and Eve by taking a rib from Adam. Okay, then they need no belly buttons. I think the story of Adam and Eve is allegory and that our common ancestors had belly buttons because they were born like anybody else. Since Genesis presents more than one story of creation, how do you know which one to take literally? Clearly, when taken fully literally, they contradict one another and so at least one of them must be allegory. Why not both? Perhaps that point is why they are both there to begin with: To point out that this is allegory, not history.

    >> The Big Bang theory requires billions of years, and
    >> billions of chance circumstances, to get around to
    >> the first human, and it never can explain how the
    >> first microscopic life form happened to “evolve”
    >> from a non-living atom.

    I don’t know how many tubes of lipstick you carry in your purse. Does that mean that everything I know is wrong? Science isn’t finished. It would be a boring field if it was. Maybe we’ll never know how life began, but that doesn’t mean it’s unknowable. I believe it began because it was God’s will for it to begin. But I also believe that he made it in accordance with the universe he created. He created the universe and gave it life. Why would he create a universe in which life couldn’t form and then make it form anyway? Life formed, somehow, because God made a universe in which life would form. We may someday know how life formed. But we’ll never know how the universe was made because that would require the ability to see what went on “before” the Big Bang. Life formed much later, and so it’s knowable. We just don’t know it yet, just like I don’t know how many tubes of lipstick you have in your purse.

    But here’s the thing: The Big Bang may require billions of chance circumstances, but it doesn’t require an infinite number of them. It requires a large but finite number of them, and there have been far more than billions of times for them to have possibly come to light. So it’s no surprise that they did. And when you figure in God, who made all this so that it WOULD happen, suddenly the odds are pretty good. In fact, I’m pretty sure God knows what he’s doing.

    >> In the Bible, God is eternal and the matter and the
    >> universe are not. There are different versions of
    >> the Big Bang theory, but in most of them the
    >> universe and/or matter is eternal.

    Again, you are betraying the fact that you apparently don’t know much about Big Bang theory.

    The Big Band theory does not postulate an eternal existence of matter or universe. It gives the universe an age that could be calculated to the picosecond if we could determine and complete all the calulations. The universe and the matter in it are no older than that age, and so are not eternal. In fact, matter didn’t exist for some time after the bang, so it’s even younger.

    The Big Bang theory gives three possibilities for the end of the universe as well:

    1. Gravity will eventually cause the universe to contract and there will be a “Big Crunch” and time will end. What happens next is as unanswerable as what went on before the Big Bang. But time stops and everything ceases to exist. That’s hardly eternal.

    2. Expansion will win out and the universe will expand forever. The problem is that matter is made of energy, and entropy increases over time. Eventually, matter will all evaporate into it’s energy components and then the energy will dissipate until the universe is uniformly filled with energy. At this point, entropy cannot increase any further and so time (which the universe experiences through to increase of entropy) will stop.

    3. Maybe everything is perfectly balanced. Dark matter pushing out, gravity pulling it, and everything sticks around forever. The odds of this are vanishingly small and it’s really not taken seriously by anybody. But, if it’s true, then it would really just be further proof of God’s hand at work because the odds of this happening by chance are infinitesimal. This is probably the outcome you are thinking of when you say that the Big Bang says matter and the universe are eternal. But this outcome isn’t considered seriously by anybody so your argument is invalid.

    >> In Genesis 1, the existence of God is assumed,
    >> “In the beginning God…”

    Yep. He was there In the Beginning, and he created it all. At last, something we can agree on.

    >> The true purpose of the Big Bang theory is to deny
    >> His existence.

    Poppycock. The true purpose of the Big Bang Theory is to figure out how the universe works and how we got to where we are.

    And if we survive long enough to figure out everything about how the universe works, then we’ll understand the system of rules and principals behind it, and we’ll call it the Grand Unified Theory. Scientists all of the world are looking for the Grand Unified Theory (GUT). They don’t have one yet. They have many guesses, but no working theory. And that’s a huge difference. But once they get it, they will be able to prove it over and over and over and God himself could show up and confirm that they got it right, and it will still be called a theory. Because that’s what it is: A set of rules and principals. Not a guess.

    Wayne
    July 18th, 2008 at 6:18 am
  20. The “Who are you people” comment above compels me to explain myself a little bit regarding why I’m spending so much time refuting the poppycock bullpucky being spewed by Running Gal.

    There is a large and growing perception by atheists that Christians are a bunch of uneducated blind idiots who don’t understand science and stick blindly to faith as the only way to explain anything. If they don’t understand it, it must be magic. And, according to this perception, Christians can’t even understand what a scientific theory is.

    The fact of the matter is that this describes an increasingly vocal minority of Christians. Most of them Fundamentalist, and all of them irritating to the n’th degree. The theology they spout is nothing short of heresy. The problem is that the majority of Christians are so confidently fine with concepts like evolution and Big Bang theory that they don’t get involved. They just watch the silly people make fools of themselves.

    However, because they don’t get involved, the silly fools that they are ignoring are suddenly able to do heinous things like pass laws against teaching evolution in schools. These ignorant people are causing irreparable damage to the minds of our youth. And they are alienating atheists from Christians in general by portray Christianity as outdated superstition.

    Christians who accept scientific fact need to start speaking up more. And I can’t say that without being hypocritical unless I start speaking up more myself.

    So to answer the question, that’s who I am: An advocate for the usage of a brain when contemplating religion.

    Science without religion will always be impotent. Religion without science will always be blind.

    Wayne
    July 18th, 2008 at 7:02 am
  21. Well, if Intelligent Design is taught in the school my future children go to, I will have some fun and hopefully make a nice profit from it.

    For exams I will tell my children to write that The Old Ones were responsible for the creation of life on Earth on the Plateau of Leng.

    If the Creationist fails them for not having Christian ideas, then they are being biased and I can cash in on the lawsuit.

    The Emperor
    July 24th, 2008 at 2:24 pm
  22. Heh. That’s quite excellent. As long as you involve the Plateau, you should add Atlach Nacha into the mix. Tell them to write that the Men of Leng help her build her bridge and that the end times will comes as Atlach Nacha completes Her web bridge to the waking world and comes to devour us all. They’ll have you in for a parent-teacher conference so fast that you might break the light speed barrier. And it all adds fuel to the lawsuit. ;)

    (What, you didn’t expect a Christian to be well-versed on the Plateau of Leng? Grew up on that stuff!) ;)

    Wayne
    July 27th, 2008 at 5:12 am
  23. Sorry, guys. It’s summer in America, so I’ve been busy.
    ——————————————————
    I understand exactly what you’re saying. But your stubbornness keeps you from listening. “Theory” CAN be a system of rules or principals. It can also CAN be a conjecture or guess. It has multiple definitions. LOOK IN A DICTIONARY.

    I know that “theory” CAN be a system of rules or principals. But it can be other things.

    I’m the scientist person in your poor metaphor. I used “theory” with the meaning “a guess or conjecture” (because a “theory” can indeed be that) and you keep insisting that I’m challenging you. You didn’t even use the word! I was the one that asked a question with the word “theory” in it.

    “Theory” CAN be a guess or conjecture. It also CAN be a system of rules or principals.

    My Example: If the scientific method “overwhelmingly supports the concept of evolution,” then why is it still a theory?

    Example #2: What’s your theory on the creation of Stone Hedge? My theory is that Oompa Loompas built it.

    It is not a system of rules or principles that Oompa Loompas built Stone Hedge; it’s my guess that they built it.

    Another example: The Big Bang Theory. It’s a theory because it still isn’t fact (and most definitely not system of rules or principals) but merely a “guess” on the birth of the universe.

    I was right when I used it.
    ———————————————-
    God is most definitely not tricking us into believing evolution. He gave us free will. If He could trick people into believing things, don’t you think He would trick them in to being Christian and believing in Him?

    I don’t recall anything about controversial bones or fossils that were of animals that might of not existed. Could you show me some material?
    ———————————————-
    WRONG! God did not create the Firmament first. The Bible says in Genesis 1:1:

    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

    The Firmament is the vault or expanse of the heavens (the sky) and was created on the Second Day (Genesis 1:6).

    It’s nice that you have an opinion about such an interpretation is wrong, but I have facts to prove that the “interpretation” is right.
    ———————————————-
    The Bible said that everything was created in 6 days, not epochs or “periods of time” or years. It specifically says days. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible and was inspired and lead by God on how to do so, and I’m sure Moses didn’t put days when God said “I made everything over a period of billions of years.” Also, God is omnipotent, which means He can do anything, right? So, Why would he have taken so long if he could do it in a shorter amount of time? We know it’s days because these represents the Jews’ life style of working 6 days and resting the 7th. The passage you have from 2nd Peter (I think) about years being days and vise versa, It actually represents how to Jesus, while waiting to return for the second time, days are like years and years like days. For Jesus, not for us.
    ———————————————-
    The big bang as it is understood today is an inadequate theory. There are many fundamental problems that are seldom mentioned in popular literature. Some of the “missing links” in the theory are:
    –Missing Origin: The big bang theory assumes an original concentration of energy. Where did this energy come from? Astronomers sometimes speak of an origin from a “quantum mechanical fluctuation within a vacuum.” However, in the big bang theory, no vacuum existed before the explosion. Actually there is no consistent secular origin theory, since every idea is based on preexisting matter or energy.
    –Missing Fuse: What ignited the big bang? The mass concentration proposed in this theory would remain forever bound as a universal black hole. Gravity would prevent it from ever expanding outward.
    –Missing Star Formation: No natural way has been found to explain the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies. An explosion should produce, at best, an outward spray of gas and radiation. This gas should continue expanding, not form intricate planets, stars, and entire galaxies.
    –Missing Antimatter: Some versions of the big bang theory require the equal production of matter and antimatter. However, only small traces of antimatter-positrons and antiprotons, for example-are found in space.
    –Missing Mass: Many scientists assume that the universe will eventually stop expanding and begin to collapse inward. Then it will again explode and repeat its oscillating type of perpetual motion. This idea is an effort to avoid an origin and destiny for the universe. For oscillation to occur, however, the universe must have a certain density or distribution of mass. So far, measurements of the mass density are 100 times smaller than expected. In fact, there are indications that the universe is accelerating outward instead of slowing down. The universe does not appear to be oscillating. The necessary mass or “dark matter” is “missing.”
    –Missing Life: In an evolving universe, life should have developed everywhere. Space should be filled with radio signals from intelligent life forms. Where is everybody?
    –Missing Neutrinos: These small particles should flood the earth from the sun’s fusion process. The small number detected raises questions about the sun’s energy source and man’s overall understanding of the universe. How then can science speak about “origins” with any authority?

    Scripture
    1)All elements made together
    2)Earth formed before stars
    3)Plants formed before the sun
    4) Birds created before reptiles, mammals
    5)Sun formed on the fourth day, after the earth
    6)Sun, moon, and stars formed together

    Big Bang
    1)Elements beyond hydrogen and helium formed after millions of years
    2)Earth formed long after the stars
    3)Plants evolved after the sun
    4)Birds evolved from reptiles
    5)Sun formed before the earth
    6)Sun formed from older stars

    You don’t realize that there are differing versions of the big bang model—and not everyone agrees. By inserting a few unprovable assumptions at your starting point, you can end up with virtually any model you like.
    ———————————————-
    Never in the history of human experience has a chaotic explosion been observed producing an intricate order that operates purposefully. An explosion in a print shop does not produce an encyclopedia. A tornado sweeping through a junkyard does not assemble a Boeing 747. No building contractor dumps his materials on a vacant lot, attaches dynamite, and then waits for a completed home from the resulting “bang.” The idea is absurd. Evolutionist Donald Page was correct when he wrote: “There is no mechanism known as yet that would allow the Universe to begin in an arbitrary state and then evolve to its present highly ordered state”
    ———————————————-
    I don’t know what you mean about two creations stories. In Genesis chapter one, it explains that God made man and woman. In the second chapter, it goes back and explains how God made the woman. How do they contradict each other?
    ———————————————-
    Let me get this straight: I’m not against science.

    “He created the universe and gave it life. Why would he create a universe in which life couldn’t form and then make it form anyway? Life formed, somehow, because God made a universe in which life would form.”

    Once again, The Bible specifically states that humans were created and not formed. He made the perfect place to live (Garden of Eden) and we ruined it.
    ———————————————-
    “But here’s the thing: The Big Bang may require billions of chance circumstances, but it doesn’t require an infinite number of them. It requires a large but finite number of them…”

    That’s like saying it’s possible to make out with Brad Pitt while writing a book on how to use a pencil on top of a giant whale that is giving birth to a baby whale in a pink tank, which is filled with grape juice and one drop of vinegar, which is actually on top of an orange, live-size replica of the White House which is on top of a glacier in Al Jaffer, Saudi Arabia, with only green fireworks going off in the middle of the day while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is happening around us, which is being led by Will Smith in a white with rainbow spots “I Dream of Genie” costume while drinking pig pee mixed with lemon juice out of a jar made out of human feces and decorated with 400 diamonds and a dinosaur tooth and the Queen of England in a chicken suit with one purple, 18-pointed star-shaped eye and blue feet while yelling “I’m a pruken brick” with a Russian accent with a loaded revolver in one hand and the original Mona Lisa in the other on November 25, 2008 from 3:45:16 am to 3:45:19 am.

    It’s possible, but it’s ridiculous even considering thinking about it because although it has a finite possibility, it’s still basically not possible.
    ———————————————-
    Once again. The Big Bang is a guess, it has not been written in stone and is still being debated by everyone, even scientists among themselves. Remember the saying: Today’s science is tomorrow’s superstition. Years ago, scientists thought that the universe was infinite in existence, and they pushed to teach that in schools. And they were wrong!

    My opinion is that we should not teach things until they are fact and undeniable. Until the students reach a mature level, like senior year in high school, then we should introduce different theories and guesses people have. However, they should be taught as unproven theories, not as a fact.
    ———————————————-
    Although I don’t think that Intelligent Design is ever going to be taught in schools (because of all this hubbub) I do think it should at least be presented as a possibility. (Evolution and the Big Bang Theory are already being taught as a possibility, if not as a fact in some schools.)

    running_gal
    August 3rd, 2008 at 8:52 pm
  24. Isn’t the internet great? Thank goodness we learned how to walk, then discovered fire, and learned a language to share info and experiences, including supernatural experiences. What blows me away is we figured out how to document things to share with future generations. We figured out basic math,,then figured out electricity, and binary code, I can’t wait to see what humans come up with next! Sadly though, it’s guaranteed that someday,,,God or no God, all of it will cease to exist on this little speck of dirt in the universe. Maybe, because of science, humans may figure out a way to survive on a different planet many,,many years from now, unless some global catastrophy happens sooner than expected and wipes us out.
    I love the topic of science and religion but I don’t care how educated anyone is in either field,,,we’ll never really know the answer! Why waste precious time studying God or the first trillionth of a second after a big explosion? What’s the real purpose? I can understand the desire to want these questions answered but just look at how much time has been wasted trying to explain why creationism should/should not be taught in schools. I personally like Wayne’s logic, but at the same time it’d be nice to go to heaven,,if there is one. Just live a good, honest life and raise your children to the best of your knowledge. By the way, that knowledge has been passed down to you,,so be careful not to distort it too much.
    Public education should only teach what we know as facts. How does anyone teach a subject they don’t have answers to? Most of the people in this forum seem to be correcting each other. Anyone who teaches either subject is just misguiding the minds of any one who listens. It’s a vicious cycle. This is a topic that is taught in the home, amongst peers or college classes. There are basic principals that must be taught in schools in order for a student to understand science subjects that will ultimately fall under the “evolutionary” catagory but who can deny this?

    ps. please don’t quote bible verses to a non-believer, you may as well be quoting passages from Star Wars.

    Lets B. Reasonable
    September 13th, 2008 at 5:11 am
  25. That’s just it. There is no cold hard fact that 100% supports eith er one. I religion, it is of faith, in science, it is becuase it is a still very undiscovered field. Both are theories, there are no facts. So what should we tell our kids?

    running gal
    February 22nd, 2009 at 9:49 pm
  26. Jumping in again – in response to Lets B., running gal, and others – the scientific method is the only side of this discussion that promises the possibility of new knowledge and refinement, and the only one with any track record of real-world results. Do you really think a bunch of studious clerics, arguing in circle over how many angels can fit on the head of a pin, would have ever come up with the internet, let alone transistors, integrated circuits, fiber optics, etc.?

    Jason
    February 23rd, 2009 at 12:38 am
  27. Running gal, creationism is not a theory. Theories by definition make falsifiable predictions. Creationism is religion, and it makes no predictions that you can prove false to prove the “theory” false.

    Frank
    February 25th, 2009 at 2:19 am
  28. Once again Jason, you jump to quickly to conclusions. Christianity is NOT, repeat NOT (as in N-O-T), against science or gaining knowledge. Nowhere in the Bible is learning, the scientific method, or science in general accussed of being a “dark craft” or whatever. In fact, through time, clerics were the educated ones in society who strove to learn more in science, art, history, literature, and arethmitic.

    And your question is flat-out dumb. Clerics and modern day advanced electronics are worlds apart. It’s like asking if the medicine men of the wild African villages in the rainforests of Congo could ever develop open heart surgery, chemo therapy, plastic surgery, or things as simple as vaccines or anti-biotics. It’s stupid to even consider it.

    running gal
    March 20th, 2009 at 6:46 pm
  29. ——————————————————
    I understand exactly what you’re saying. But your stubbornness keeps you from listening. “Theory” CAN be a system of rules or principals. It can also CAN be a conjecture or guess. It has multiple definitions. LOOK IN A DICTIONARY.

    I know that “theory” CAN be a system of rules or principals. But it can be other things.

    I’m the scientist person in your poor metaphor. I used “theory” with the meaning “a guess or conjecture” (because a “theory” can indeed be that) and you keep insisting that I’m challenging you. You didn’t even use the word! I was the one that asked a question with the word “theory” in it.

    “Theory” CAN be a guess or conjecture. It also CAN be a system of rules or principals.

    My Example: If the scientific method “overwhelmingly supports the concept of evolution,” then why is it still a theory?

    Example #2: What’s your theory on the creation of Stone Hedge? My theory is that Oompa Loompas built it.

    It is not a system of rules or principles that Oompa Loompas built Stone Hedge; it’s my guess that they built it.

    Another example: The Big Bang Theory. It’s a theory because it still isn’t fact (and most definitely not system of rules or principals) but merely a “guess” on the birth of the universe.

    I was right when I used it.
    ———————————————-
    So, let’s discuss this: what that dude was saying is that: the evolution is not a theory as a guess, but a theory as a system of rules and principals.
    You are basically saying “The Evolution is a theory (a guess)”. He was saying: “The evolution is a theory (a system of rules and principals)”.

    Understand now?
    And the thing is, doesnt matter which definition you use for theory when speaking of evolution, IT IS A SYSTEM OF RULES AND PRINCIPALS. Doesnt matter that theory has 2 or more definitions, THIS one is the one used for science, and THIS same one is used for evolution (because IT IS science).

    So, to answer: “If the scientific method ‘overwhelmingly supports the concept of evolution,’ then why is it still a theory?”
    Because IT IS a system of rules and principles! A theory, in science, it’s the best thing something can be. Theories are composed of laws, and the whole set was possible by proof of evidence when the hypotesis were put into question.

    And to explain in yet another way: then why it isnt possible that a system of rules and principals be called FACT, when it is proved by evidence? Because science doesnt work that way. Please follow the link below. It’s part of a larger picture which includes what could be offensive to a religious person, so I edited it out.
    http://yfrog.com/0psciencetp
    Explaining the image: Start with an idea. If:

    - The evidence DOESNT supports the idea: bad idea, go back to the start.

    - The evidence supports it after many experiments, we have a theory (this is a REALLY simplistic way of explaining. It envolves more steps, but that’s the general idea). That theory then will be used to test every possible evidence that appears. If the theory fails in explaining something, it’ll be modified so it can explain the new evidence. Proof to this is the Ideal Gas Theory. It was modified when new evidence appeared, which it couldnt explain. The modification gave birth to the Real Gas Theory. In loose terms, ideal gases doesnt take into account the interaction between molecules (and their volumes), but the Real Gas Theory do. The Ideal Gas Theory is STILL used, studied and all simply because it’s useful. Within certain limits, it gives the same results as the Real Gas Theory. And it’s simpler. And it’s easier. So why throw it away?

    When it cant be modified, as in it completely disrespects everything the theory stands for, we have a revolution! And go back to the start.

    Now, quoting myself: “That theory then will be used to test every possible evidence that appears”, it’s the basis of science. Getting a system of rules and principles, testing it, confirming it, testing again and again and again and again. So THAT’s why something cant be called a fact, but a theory in it’s “top shape”: because that theory will be constantly be tested, and we MAY or MAY NOT find evidence (now, tomorrow, in 500 years) that the theory cant explain.

    And by the way: You were wrong when you used it.
    ————————————————————————————————————————

    I don’t recall anything about controversial bones or fossils that were of animals that might of not existed. Could you show me some material?
    ———————————————-
    I believe he mentioned it because, by the bible, the Earth is not billions of years old. The fossils that were found all date way back (millions of years, when speaking of dinosaurs) than the age of Earth in the bible (thousands). So yea, there’s a contradition.

    ———————————————-
    The Bible said that everything was created in 6 days, not epochs or “periods of time” or years. It specifically says days. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible and was inspired and lead by God on how to do so, and I’m sure Moses didn’t put days when God said “I made everything over a period of billions of years.” Also, God is omnipotent, which means He can do anything, right? So, Why would he have taken so long if he could do it in a shorter amount of time? We know it’s days because these represents the Jews’ life style of working 6 days and resting the 7th. The passage you have from 2nd Peter (I think) about years being days and vise versa, It actually represents how to Jesus, while waiting to return for the second time, days are like years and years like days. For Jesus, not for us.
    ———————————————-
    Well, I believe that dude meant that, days in the God or Bible time can be different measured. Our day is 24 hours, right? I assume he meant that, since the bible doesnt tell how the day is measured, it could mean 1 day = 1 year, 1 day = 100 years, etc. I’m just trying to clarify it, I dont have basis to support this.

    And btw: “Also, God is omnipotent, which means He can do anything, right? So, Why would he have taken so long if he could do it in a shorter amount of time?”. So why didnt he make it in 1 second? :) if it took him 6 days, means that there are limits to its powers. Therefore, not omnipotent.

    I’ll also counter my logic, just so you can see yours is flawed too. He may have taken the 6 days, just because he was enjoying it as he did it.

    ————————————————–
    The big bang as it is understood today is an inadequate theory. There are many fundamental problems that are seldom mentioned in popular literature. Some of the “missing links” in the theory are:
    –Missing Origin: The big bang theory assumes an original concentration of energy. Where did this energy come from? Astronomers sometimes speak of an origin from a “quantum mechanical fluctuation within a vacuum.” However, in the big bang theory, no vacuum existed before the explosion. Actually there is no consistent secular origin theory, since every idea is based on preexisting matter or energy.
    –Missing Fuse: What ignited the big bang? The mass concentration proposed in this theory would remain forever bound as a universal black hole. Gravity would prevent it from ever expanding outward.
    –Missing Star Formation: No natural way has been found to explain the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies. An explosion should produce, at best, an outward spray of gas and radiation. This gas should continue expanding, not form intricate planets, stars, and entire galaxies.
    –Missing Antimatter: Some versions of the big bang theory require the equal production of matter and antimatter. However, only small traces of antimatter-positrons and antiprotons, for example-are found in space.
    –Missing Mass: Many scientists assume that the universe will eventually stop expanding and begin to collapse inward. Then it will again explode and repeat its oscillating type of perpetual motion. This idea is an effort to avoid an origin and destiny for the universe. For oscillation to occur, however, the universe must have a certain density or distribution of mass. So far, measurements of the mass density are 100 times smaller than expected. In fact, there are indications that the universe is accelerating outward instead of slowing down. The universe does not appear to be oscillating. The necessary mass or “dark matter” is “missing.”
    –Missing Life: In an evolving universe, life should have developed everywhere. Space should be filled with radio signals from intelligent life forms. Where is everybody?
    –Missing Neutrinos: These small particles should flood the earth from the sun’s fusion process. The small number detected raises questions about the sun’s energy source and man’s overall understanding of the universe. How then can science speak about “origins” with any authority?
    ————————————————-

    Do I love misinformed people! The big bang is the theory that currently explains the most noticeable events that occurs today (like the expansion, for example). Popular literature? They arent science books then, gladly. The ones I can retort:

    Missing Life: wrong. The conditions to generate life (in it’s most basic components) are really strict (life as we know it, by the way). It depends in many factors, like distance from the star that the planet is on (not too far [cold] nor too near [hot]), the type of star (if it’s too large it will “explode” way faster), the size of the planet, collision with asteroids (the ones large enough can destroy life in evolution), components of the planet, etc. Saying that there should be life EVERYWHERE is to be ignorant.

    Missing Origin: the same way you assume God is eternal. How did God came to be? But I wont get into that matter. Instead, it is assumed that the scientific community doesnt know what was before (if there was a before), and how it came to be. Believe me, if there’s a way to find out, we will find it. You are assuming that, in the present state, the bible can explain the origin, but the science cant. Which is true, NOW. Science is limited by it’s instruments, and as these becomes more and more advanced, so does the reach of science goes foward.
    Dont be fooled tho: just because something isnt explained yet doesnt mean there are not people working on it, trying to.

    Missing Fuse: I did read something about it (an hypothesis), but cant remember… In any case, this falls down to the item above.

    Missing Star Formation: Please dont use terms such as “explosion” and “outwards” when speaking about the big bang. I wont be explaining these (far too long already), but please read: http://www.astronomycafe.net/cosm/bang.html

    For star formation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Big_Bang

    Missing Antimatter: There is one version of the Big Bang, if there’s anything else, it’s possible modifications. Again http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Big_Bang, hadron and lepton epoch. It seems it doesnt give a reason as to why there’s more matter than antimatter, but I did a quick read and didnt research further.

    Missing Neutrinos: Yea: “Most neutrinos passing through the Earth emanate from the Sun, and more than 50 trillion solar electron neutrinos pass through the human body every second.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino . Completely right.
    ————————————————-

    You don’t realize that there are differing versions of the big bang model—and not everyone agrees. By inserting a few unprovable assumptions at your starting point, you can end up with virtually any model you like.
    ———————————————-
    There are different views of it, maybe new future modifications, but there is one big bang model. It’ll change, because that’s science. Not everyone agrees? Amém! Science improves that way.

    ————————————————
    Never in the history of human experience has a chaotic explosion been observed producing an intricate order that operates purposefully. An explosion in a print shop does not produce an encyclopedia. A tornado sweeping through a junkyard does not assemble a Boeing 747. No building contractor dumps his materials on a vacant lot, attaches dynamite, and then waits for a completed home from the resulting “bang.” The idea is absurd. Evolutionist Donald Page was correct when he wrote: “There is no mechanism known as yet that would allow the Universe to begin in an arbitrary state and then evolve to its present highly ordered state”
    ———————————————-
    Not an explosion, read a few items above. And what you are describing it probably one of the ends of the universe, the entropic death (cant remember the name). Someone here already said it, actually. As the universe expands, the energy will dissipate. Things in an ordered state contains more energy than disordered ones. But that is for the end of it. Big Bang happens, stars forms (read the link a few items above), we get ordered states that, in time, possibly will transform into more ordered states.
    Example? Life. Any human being is in a highly ordered state, which ends when it dies.
    My room. It’s perfectly ordered after I clean it (present universe), will be a mess in 3 days (end of the universe as we know it). Got it?

    ———————————————-
    “But here’s the thing: The Big Bang may require billions of chance circumstances, but it doesn’t require an infinite number of them. It requires a large but finite number of them…”

    That’s like saying it’s possible to make out with Brad Pitt while writing a book on how to use a pencil on top of a giant whale that is giving birth to a baby whale in a pink tank, which is filled with grape juice and one drop of vinegar, which is actually on top of an orange, live-size replica of the White House which is on top of a glacier in Al Jaffer, Saudi Arabia, with only green fireworks going off in the middle of the day while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is happening around us, which is being led by Will Smith in a white with rainbow spots “I Dream of Genie” costume while drinking pig pee mixed with lemon juice out of a jar made out of human feces and decorated with 400 diamonds and a dinosaur tooth and the Queen of England in a chicken suit with one purple, 18-pointed star-shaped eye and blue feet while yelling “I’m a pruken brick” with a Russian accent with a loaded revolver in one hand and the original Mona Lisa in the other on November 25, 2008 from 3:45:16 am to 3:45:19 am.

    It’s possible, but it’s ridiculous even considering thinking about it because although it has a finite possibility, it’s still basically not possible.
    ———————————————-
    It’s ridiculous considering our life time. We have about 75 years to live, therefore the chances of you to see that happen are next to impossible. I’m not saying that the chances increases as time passes, but it gives more room for the event of it happening
    By one of the most accepted theories, the conditions of initial earth could give origin to life. Associate that with the age of the Earth, the favorable position in the solar system, etc. and you have life.

    ——————————————————————————
    Once again. The Big Bang is a guess, it has not been written in stone and is still being debated by everyone, even scientists among themselves. Remember the saying: Today’s science is tomorrow’s superstition. Years ago, scientists thought that the universe was infinite in existence, and they pushed to teach that in schools. And they were wrong!
    —————————————————————————
    The big bang is a freaking system of rules and principles, with evidence (follow the link about timeline of big bang) supporting it. A guess is what I do when someone comes to me and asks “guess what?”.
    OF COURSE IT’S BEING DEBATED. As I explained, NEVER a theory can be a fact, simply because to be a fact, we would need a infinite number of experiments! Within a certain amount, tho, the theory is acceptable.
    They were right with the tools they had. With more advanced equipments comes more evidence and the rise and fall of theories.

    My purpose here was to clarify some misguided information.

    Alisson
    May 9th, 2009 at 10:13 pm
  30. I’m not going to write a huge missive because I just wrote one and was informed I am unable to add two numbers together (tell me, when does the number ten plus 5 not equal 15?).

    To summarise my comment, which this site so heartlessly devoured, I’ve read every single word of this entire discussion. Not only that, I actually CONSIDERED and THOUGHT about each of the arguments from either side of the fence.

    I take issue with the argument that running gal puts forward that, because the bible is really old and a lot of people read it, that speaks volumes of it’s validity and value over other religious texts and stories.

    This argument is similar to saying that because Chinese is spoken by so many people, and it’s been spoken for years and years and years, that makes it the right language, and we should all be speaking that.

    Age and popularity do not prove validity. THat is so grossly reductive that I had to laugh out loud that you actually put it forward as a point supporting your opinion.

    Also, people who do good just because God tells them to seem to me less admirable than those who do good for no other reason than they feel like it. Atheists who do good are less self-serving than someone who does good because they don’t want to go to hell. If the only thing keeping you from murdering someone is the thought that you might go to hell for doing it, that does not make you a good person.

    Christianity is also playing it part in a huge amount of death and suffering as we speak, through refusal to promote safe sex in African nations where AIDS is rampant, and instead promoting abstinence. Look, obviously people aren’t going to stop having sex. Need these religious institutions perpetuate the birth of HIV positive children who did nothing to deserve the short life of pure suffering they are to endure? That whole situation, far more than people in the Congo developing open heart surgery or antibiotics, is what I find STUPID.

    casbot
    May 10th, 2009 at 9:16 am
  31. Okay lets lay down some facts:

    The distance to Alpha Centauri in light-years: 4.7 (approx) [Therefore we can assume the area of easily observable universe to be 3.30710745 × 10^18 meters.]

    The surface area of the earth (derived from a mean radius of 6371km) is 510,064,471,000 meters.

    Given this we can work that at any given time our species as a whole can only observe 0.047 percent of the easily observable universe and all the data regarding creation and life contained therein.

    After reading these FACTS how can ANYONE claim to know ANYTHING about the universe began?

    Professor Pain
    May 11th, 2009 at 5:21 pm
  32. Huh? Isn’t that kind of like saying, “Dunkin Donuts produces 100 million donuts per year, you only had 10 donuts last year, after reading these FACTS how could you could know ANYTHING about how donuts are made”?

    Jason
    May 11th, 2009 at 11:05 pm
  33. Wow. It’s refreshing to see some really smart people debating on this subject for a change. Jason, you write quite elegantly on the subject. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. Wayne, you do to. I’ve been reading your responses to “running gal’s” posts, and I have to say I’m quite impressed and grateful to you for sticking up for the science even when it conflicts with the traditional interpretations of your religion.

    It’s a shame running gal is so determined to confuse herself over your arguments and then continue to debate points that have already been settled, but it just may be that she does so in an attempt to “save face” and maybe she’s having second thoughts on the matter. She certainly wouldn’t be the first.

    In any case, I myself am an atheist so it seems we must disagree on our answers to “What is the meaning of life?”, but I would still like to hear your thoughts on the matter, and perhaps challenge you with a few questions. I’m reluctant to open this debate simply because it’s so rare for me to encounter a Christian who acknowledges evolution. (I live in Ohio of the U.S.A. and I attend a liberal arts College founded on Christianity)

    If all practitioners of religion could also acknowledge the legitimacy of science then I would be less reluctant to raise the issue. But as things currently stand, I sometimes worry that by arguing against a “God” in general, using evolution as an a-priori assumption, I may cause certain believers to equate the theory of evolution with atheism, and I certainly don’t want that. I’d much prefer we had a world full of scientific “believers” than of religious fundamentalists who were turned away from science because they felt that it killed their God.

    But still, out of curiosity (and perhaps misguided egotism–though I hope not), I must ask: Given the fact that a God is not required to explain how life as we know it arose, what basis exists for postulating an intelligent creator?

    What created the universe? I myself used to believe that “God” started the Big Bang. That was when I was in my transition phase from Christianity to agnosticism, then eventually to atheism. Though, by
    atheism, I do not mean to imply that I “insist” that an intelligent creator can not, or does not exist. I simply don’t consider it a probable hypothesis. For one thing, one can always ask: Who or what created God? Did God create “himself?” If so, how did “he” do it and how do you know? Or, if God is timeless, can we not simply say the same of the universe itself? Is the universe God? Perhaps that’s what most people believe or mean when they use the word God, but in my experiences, typically when people use the word “God” they’re referring to the “big man” in the sky. Note, I keep emphasizing the gender-specific words just to underline some of the sexism inherent in Christianity–though that is only one of the many problems I have with it. Of course, I get into all sorts of trouble here, because there isn’t just ONE religion–not even ONE branch of Christianity. But for now, take is given that I’m referring only to the “God” notion that I think is typical in America at the moment–the notion of an intelligent agent who created the universe for a purpose.

    First and foremost, we simply have no evidence for an intelligent creator. To date, all of the intelligent systems in nature that were previously thought to be the handiwork of an omnipotent creator appear to be produceable through an utterly neutral, goal-less process. To me, the lack of evidence undermines any further debate on the matter.

    That is, when we have no evidence for a hypothesis, that hypothesis is just as likely as any other hypothesis that is similarly lacking in evidence. Since there are an infinite number of possible hypothesis in addition to the “God” hypothesis, (all of which lack evidence), one could argue that this makes “God” infinitely improbable.

    However, that doesn’t really settle the matter for me, since a common rebuttal is to suggest that there IS evidence for a God, and this is where I think we’ll come into conflict.

    The primary candidate as evidence for God is the “ubiquity of ‘X’ in human societies.” One can replace ‘X’ with quite a number of different concepts or traits. For instance, ‘X’ could be: morality, belief in supernatural agents, belief in life after death, etc. . .

    People will often suggest that because these common elements have existed in all known human societies (depending on where you want to draw the line of “humanness”–though that’s always a moot point when debating fundamentalists) then they must be grasping at some higher truth that exists beyond the human experience. This implies a certain human-friendly order to the Universe, and feeds into our tendency to
    attribute “agency” to the world around us.

    Originally I found this argument quite compelling. It wasn’t the typical write-off of the conflict, it was a genuine attempt at providing evidence for an objective order of some sort. However, it wasn’t enough for me. I felt uneasy about the parsimony of such an explanation, so I wound up reading a few excellent books such as: “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural phenomenon” and “Religion Explained”.

    Primarily what these books did for me was to provide solid theory on how and why this ubiquity exists, and they did so in terms of natural processes and scientific thinking.

    Assume, for a moment, that there are rational (non-supernatural) explanations for the common trends in human societies (including religion). For instance, suppose that we can show–through statistics/evolutionary rationale (i.e. reverse-engineering)–sufficiently powerful reasons for people to believe in supernatural agents, invent cultural artifacts such as gods and rituals, or act morally toward one another. What I mean by “sufficiently powerful” is that the reasons for indulging in these activities are “good moves” in the evolutionary race. Good enough that they would, without reasonable doubt, be seized upon by a non-trivial percentage of the population. And I don’t mean that the “goodness” of a move is actually appreciated by anyone. The move merely occupies a favorable niche in competition space–given the environment of the time.

    So, if we take it as given that we can show how these trends came to exist from the naturalistic perspective, what ground remains for a God or Devil to stand upon? Do the laws of physics and chemistry require an intelligent creator? Why or why not? Do we require more than the laws of physics and chemistry to explain human behavior? If we discover something apparently inexplicable, is “God” the next best “guess?” Why or why not?

    For the record, my belief is that the laws of physics and chemistry do not require an intelligent creator. I simply see no compelling evidence. Further, I have seen a great deal of compelling evidence for mechanistic explanations of all sorts of wonderfully complicated phenomena that left our ancestors baffled or terror-stricken (our own minds, for instance). I have seen much compelling evidence to suggest that “intelligence” is a nearly inevitable result of natural selection acting on the initially chaotic ordering and complexity of our physical universe. The intelligence that “evolved” in our universe is the only kind of intelligence that we know anything about. We’ve never encountered another kind of intelligence before. Why would we throw ourselves into circular reasoning by placing that intelligence at the beginning of the long process? Is there any reason to do so? Yes, but the reasons are subjective and psychological–a product of what it means to be conscious in the only way that we know how. From what I’ve read, we have a pretty good understanding of these reasons, and there are no serious alternatives on the horizon. We must go only where the evidence leads, lest we invent a host of superfluous explanations that inhibit our rational thinking. That is my stance.

    How do you respond?

    Charles Matthew
    May 31st, 2009 at 6:45 pm
  34. There is a controversy, but it is not scientific. I teach science for non-majors at a small college and I teach the controversy, because I want my students to understand the sociological context of science. I show “both sides” of the issue, and show how creationism falls apart upon inspection. Those who insist on either 1) teaching creation “science” or “intelligent design” as science, or 2) not teaching the controversy, do their students a disservice. The former because they are perverting science; the latter because they are leaving the students ignorant of the larger context. Go ahead, teach both sides, honestly. That’s the best way to expose the falsehood.

    tj
    June 9th, 2009 at 11:31 pm
  35. Intelligent Design was a scientific theory that was dis-proven in the mid 1800′s by evolution.

    Everything in science is a work in progress. Scientists aren’t stupid enough to assume they already have all of the answers. Only religion could be arrogant and stupid enough to think that they have all the answers to life. If your God and bible have all of the answers already then why didn’t you invent all of the technological advances? If the bible really had all of these scientific revelations in it then why weren’t the priests the ones to introduce the ideas? Why did priests kill people for claiming that a round earth orbited the sun if the bible proves it? Maybe it is because you are simply projecting your knowledge of the world into the bible. If the bible really held all of the answers to the world then we wouldn’t need science. The bible would already have cured cancer, ended all war and poverty, given us perfect leaders, and given us absolute understanding of the universe. Were are your results, what has the bible given society? It hasn’t given us a code of ethics; Buddhism, Greek philosophy, and rational thinkers of the modern era (who unanimously rejected the church) did that for us. Their codes of ethics are stronger, better thought out, and more moral than anything found in the bible. The bible did not teach us how to cure disease; logic and reasoning did that (i.e. science). Religion has not brought us peace but has instead caused endless wars and strife. BTW Hitler was a christian, the oath of the third Reich “I swear by God this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich, supreme commander of the armed forces, and that I shall at all times be prepared, as a brave soldier, to give my life for this oath.” mentions God in the first line. He also killed the enemies of the church and Christianity, Jews, homosexuals, and gypsies. As for the Stalin, Mao, etc. being atheists. No one has ever claimed that being an atheist made one a good person. Christianity claims that being a good disciple of Jesus makes you a good person, but history has proven that one a complete falsehood.
    Anyways, did the bible bring us freedom and equality? No, it was a rejection of absolute religious rule that brought us equality and freedom. When religion rules a country you have a totalitarian state of absolute power and evil. Look at the Taliban and medieval Europe, two terrible places to have lived.

    On to the science. Is there a debate among scientists as to whether evolution is true? Not even close. The “controversy” in evolution is the effect of genetic drift, which exact species are the common ancestors of certain other species, and when did certain species die off, to name a few. To use a metaphor, biologists are debating whether the peanut butter should be labeled as crunchy or mildly crunchy based on its peanut content in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You are trying to claim that there is not only no sandwich, but that kitchens and all of their utensils aren’t real and so sandwiches can’t exist. If you really want to understand how evolution and abiogenesis work (two completely different topics) then watch the video series http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=0696457CAFD6D7C9&search_query=origins+series as it explains it well.

    The primal, and irrevocable problem with using religion to try and understand the world is painfully obvious in the comments by running gal. Religion approaches a problem and asks “what does the bible/priest/shaman/spirits/etc. say?” Whatever the source of their religion, they look to it and get the answer they are looking for. It does not matter if the answer agrees with reality or the facts, it only matters what God says. The problem is that God didn’t say anything. Some people dreamed up what they thought the answers were and then wrote them down. These people didn’t try to prove their answers because they didn’t have anyway to. Now, thousands of years later, we are still relying on the guesses of bronze age tribesmen. Religion looks into the past, it supposes that there was once a great age where God spoke to the world and people knew all of the answers. So why wasn’t this age actually great? Why was it such a nasty and brutish place compared to today? The central myth of religion is that authority (be it your parents, your priests, or your king) know truth and that you have no right to question their wisdom. Hell, the first sin in the bible is eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis chapter 3 Verse 22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” The first sin in the bible is to become like God knowing good and evil. That is because thinking is to be reserved for our priests and kings.

    Science does the exact opposite of religion. Where religion looks backwards, science looks forwards. The scientific method is to take actual evidence of the world around you, form a hypothesis about the evidence, and then test to see if the hypothesis holds up. Thus science is based on reality rather than on the faith in a book/priest/shaman/spirit/etc. The only faith science requires is faith that your senses are not deceiving you. Of course science even tests this faith constantly (psychology and the study of perception). Science never assumes that we have the answers, it never asks us to accept what someone else has told us. If you don’t believe in a scientific theory (like evolution) then don’t just claim it is wrong. Go out and perform experiments to test the theory. Science encourages you to test their claims, to try and prove them wrong. Everyday in high school and college science classes the theories of science are being proven to students through experimentation and observation. Science does not ask you to accept anyone’s authority, no scientist or bureaucratic can tell you all the answers and expect you to believe them blindly. Science thrives on debate. The problem is that debates with religious logic deniers is never a debate. A debate can only happen if both sides are willing to look at the evidence and are willing to change their minds. Logic deniers refuse to look at the evidence presented, and refuse to allow any possibility of being convinced. The scientific community ignores the claims of intelligent design because they are the same arguments that were dis-proven 150 years ago. The arguments are always the same and rational people simply tire of explaining their reasoning over and over again to people who absolutely refuse to listen.

    Religion and spirituality can have many positive effects on the human psyche. However it must be tempered with rationality. In our day and age, knowing what we know, it is no longer possible for a rational and intellectually honest person to continue believing that all of the answers to life are contained in a 3000 year old book. The people who wrote this had no idea what life today would be like. Our society has grown in the last 3000 years since bible was written. To claim that it has all of the answers is to throw away everything that has been created since then. Our morale compunctions against slavery, genocide, racism, sexism, and tyranny must be thrown out the window. Democracy, freedom, equality, capitalism, socialism, republics, and human rights must also be done away with. Sanitation, philosophy, cars, the internet, banking, science, space travel, and airplanes must also be banished. We have moved on since them and Moses would not have recognized even a hundredth of our society. One can look for inspiration in the bible, one can see that there are some good ideas in it. However to think it has all the answers is foolishness. The bible is no more the true word of God than the Qur’an or John Locke’s Treatise on Government. All of them have wisdom in them, all of them have lunacy. If there is a God then he/she/it is big enough to account for all of the evidence in the world. If evolution is proven true (which is has been) then God is big enough to contain evolution. God is bigger than the bible, he is not limited to being the bigoted, racist, murder happy, zealot in the bible. God is big enough to realize that all religions are made by man, for man, and accept this. God is big enough to love all people, not just those who are like us. This is what Jesus tried to teach, but the world wasn’t ready for it. The fact that there are still people pushing aside logic in favor of superstition and preconceived notions says that maybe the world still isn’t ready to actually believe in God. If you want to see the real grandeur of God then look at the universe. A universe billions of years old, spanning distances our minds can’t even comprehend. Life forming from one form to the billions of forms that it now holds. The vastness of it, the complete intricateness of it all cries out a majesty that we cannot even begin to comprehend. If there is a God then he isn’t American, he isn’t even human. God existed long before there were humans, before there were countries, before there were even stars. If God exists then he is the God of bushes, insects, algae, frogs, granite, lava, fusion, nebulae, thermodynamics, emptiness, stars, and gravity. Humbleness before the almighty comes when we realize that we are not special, we are not the center of creation. The world was not created so that humans could occupy it. Humans are but one more aspect of the vast symphony of the cosmos. This quote from Carl Sagan sums it up perfectly http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/skyimage/pbdwords.jpg.
    To deny science, to deny the evidence before us, and the true majesty of creation is to deny God. Not only is it foolish, arrogant, and false, it is also a sin and a heresy against the true creator of all things. Remember, when you fight against reality, reality will always win.

    D'n
    October 27th, 2009 at 4:36 am
  36. Waatch out, walls of text that absolutely no one is going to read.

    grif
    August 19th, 2013 at 12:23 am

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