Questionable Motives

January 5, 2010

Why bother attacking religious beliefs?

One small part from a wonderful essay by Russell Blackford over at The Philos0pher’s Magazine:

For a start, a revived Christian philosophy is well entrenched within Anglo-American philosophy of religion. More importantly, perhaps, religious organisations and leaders continue to exert social power. All too often, they seek to control how we plan and run our lives, including choices about how we die. At various times, religious lobbies have opposed a vast range of beneficial, or at least essentially harmless, activities and innovations. Even now, one religion or another opposes abortion rights; most contraceptive technologies; stem-cell and therapeutic cloning research; physician-assisted suicide; and a wide range of sexual conduct involving consenting adults. We still see intense activism from the religious lobbies of all Western democracies, and even in relatively secular countries, such as the UK and Australia, governments pander blatantly to Christian moral concerns.

The situation is far worse in the US, where religious conservatives regrouped with dramatic success during the 1970s and 1980s, establishing well-financed networks, think tanks, and even their own so-called universities. Slick attempts are made to undermine public trust in science where it contradicts the literal Genesis narrative; a rampant dominionist movement wants to establish an American theocracy; the recent Bush administration took the country some considerable way down that path; and the election of a relatively liberal president has produced hysteria on the religious right (polling shows that many American conservatives now believe that Barack Obama is the Antichrist). American religiosity is real, and there is nothing subtle or liberal-minded about its most popular forms.

Meanwhile, we are confronted every day by the horrors of political Islam, with its ambitions to extend sharia law universally and its ugly violations of human rights wherever it actually has power. Many critics of religion were radicalised by the traumatic events of 9/11 when thousands of people were murdered by terrorists. Islam doubtless has moderate and even liberal manifestations, but prominent, politicised forms of Islam take a hard line against secularism, modernity, and all forms of liberal thought.

In a different world, we might be content to argue that the church (and the mosque, and all the other religious architecture that sprouts across the landscape) should be separate from the state, and that discussions about public policy should rely on secular principles such as the Millian harm principle. More radical attacks on religion’s truth-claims and moral authority would be less urgent if the various sects agreed, without equivocation, to a wall of separation between themselves and the state. Unfortunately, however, they often have good reasons (by their own lights) to oppose such strict secularism. Many religious sects, including many mainstream Christian denominations, do not distinguish sharply between guidance on individual salvation and the exercise of political power. They may be sceptical about the independence of secular goals from religious ones, or about the distinction between personal goals and those of the state. Some groups do not accept the reality of continuing social pluralism. Instead, they look to a time when their (allegedly) righteous views will prevail.

When religion claims authority in the political sphere, it is unsurprising – and totally justifiable – that atheists and sceptics question the source of this authority. If religious organisations or their leaders claim to speak on behalf of a god, it is fair to ask whether the god concerned really makes the claims that are communicated on its behalf. Does this god even exist? Where is the evidence? And even if this being does exist, why, exactly, should its wishes be translated into socially-accepted moral norms, let alone into laws enforced by the state’s coercive power? When these questions are asked publicly, even with a degree of aggression, that’s an entirely healthy thing.

Atheists and sceptics should, no doubt, defend secularism. But if we are realistic, we will understand that the idea of secularism has little traction in societies where the authority of religion is considered legitimate and taken for granted. For many religious groups, moreover, secularism is not an attractive ideal. Advocating secularism and directly challenging the authority of religion should not be viewed as two alternative strategies for atheists and sceptics who wish to resist the political influence of religion. Rather, these strategies are mutually supportive and ought to be pursued in tandem. That is the lesson that we need to learn.

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112 Comments »

  1. Very profound and true – organised religion is ugly, and should not be in control of state matters in any shape or form. The truth is that religion is and has always been used as a political and social tool for the control of the wider ‘unthinking’ and god fearing public. The sooner ‘believers’ realise this the better, and if they still want to believe in invisible men in the sky, then they are welcome to do so in the privacy of their own home or church club.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 5, 2010 @ 10:15 pm | Reply

    • Why is it, do you think, that so many theists see no problem extending their religious beliefs into the public domain, as if doing so carried with it not only no cost whatsoever but as an actual benefit to all?

      Comment by tildeb — January 5, 2010 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

      • and you’re not doing the same with your views?

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 6, 2010 @ 2:04 am

      • This is a really important issue to understand: secularism is inclusive where everyone has the same rights – atheist, believer, woman, homosexual, it doesn’t matter. That’s my view. That’s the view of the Constitution. That’s the original Pledge of Allegiance. That’s J.F. Kennedy’s view: “I believe in America where the separation of Church and State is absolute.” That is what is required to maintain freedom of religion: the State cannot take sides without taking away this freedom.

        The religious view is to dominate the public with one theological view, and that’s a christian theocracy. That’s why there is the hard push to falsely present the US as a christian nation, manipulate and turn the historical founders into evangelical christian supporters, twist the original and intentional separation of church and state as some kind of secular myth. It’s all a very intentional warping of history to favour one agenda: turn the secular democracies into christian theocracies.

        That’s why we see the US military become a christian organization, led by christians, evangelize occupied territories, use the military to distribute evangelical christian materials. We see the power of this agenda in the way politicians pander to the christian evangelical Right in policies and platforms. That’s why so many Americans seem to think that they pledge allegiance to a christian flag, promising life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all who believe. That’s why we hear and read and see a growing number of christians going to what they describe as war (and all is fair in war, don’t forget) with the secularists, as if one cannot be a secularist and religious, which is patently false. We see, hear, and read media personalities and former presidents telling us that one cannot be a real American – a patriotic American – and a non-believer. It’s a hostile takeover attempt of the public domain by the religious. It is an agenda to abuse private religious belief and turn it into political support as the means to affect change away from the secular and into theodicy.

        The cost of this agenda is YOUR fundamental freedoms and rights as much as mine. YOUR freedom of religion is under attack, but the religious supporters who want the state to push this religious agenda are too blinded by piousness and certainty and uncritical assumptions in the assumed righteousness and moral superiority assured by the leadership of their religious beliefs to recognize the harm they are actively doing not just to others who do not share their beliefs but the pervasive undermining of the very right to hold such contrary beliefs.

        My support is aimed to respect the rights and freedoms established by founding documents for all. That is secularism, and it is the engine that drives our liberal democracies (‘liberal’ meaning the respect for individual liberty). Attack secularism, and you are attacking the root of your democracy. And that root is unquestionably secular, which is not anti-religion as so many people mistakenly believe, but anti-theocracy. Cast in a more accurate light, your view to undermine and fight against secularism is the undermining and fighting of your own religious freedom.

        Why should you be disappointed with anyone or any identifiable group who is willing to stand up to theological bullies and help you maintain your religious freedom? More importantly, how can you rationalize your condemnation of their commitment on behalf of your child’s freedom of religion? Might it be that… you are morally and ethically wrong to do so?

        Comment by tildeb — January 6, 2010 @ 4:43 am

  2. I think some of them really do believe that they are doing gods work – but they are short sighted, they do not see that religion is causing massive problems for the world.

    I think all religions play on people’s insecurities regarding life and death. I also think a lot of it is to do with education. I am lucky, I live in the UK which is pretty much secular, religion is not popular here in the main, and there is growing objection to the church being involved in government at all, but even so most of the people I know get married in church, have a religious funeral, and have their children christened – which has always seemed hypocritical to me, ask the same people after church (wedding etc.) if they believe in god, and most if not all say ‘no’ – but the same people do like the fact that the church does promote some sort of social bonding and networking – community. I do find it frustrating that politicians pretend to be religious so that they win the religious vote and I would like to see a politician get into power who does not support religion, and will promote social reform in this area.

    So I think there are different kinds of religious people:

    Those who are in religion to gain fame, and money, votes – evangelist and political scum!

    Those who believe in the bible – because they have been brainwashed (normally by evangelists) or have suffered a tragic event and use their faith as a crutch to help them through life.

    Those who believe in the bible – literally (or at least they like to think they do) and take it far too seriously, possibly because they are not educated enough to understand science (namely maths) properly.

    Those who are not sure – but do not want to challenge society (conflict avoidance).

    Those who do not really believe, but worship – just in case they may be judged.

    Those who don’t believe in god, but believe that the church does not do much harm, and actually benefits their local community (i.e. short sighted).

    Those who saw the trap of religion, but it was too late, religion took hold and their lives are based around religion, they have jobs and families that depend on it – so they put a brave face on it and just go through the motions – I think there is lots of these people including clergy.

    And rational people who see through the manipulation, corruption and wrongs that religion generally causes in the wrong hands.

    I think education has a big part to play – in the UK the education system, despite what people say is quite strong, in addition, the BBC provides lots of topical science debates, that are normally well researched and presented, which helps – taking the edge off science a little to make it accessible, entertaining, informative and understandable.

    As an atheist with slightly pagan tendencies, I do find ID theory threatening – it is the fundamental nature of ID, and the sly way that it is trying to infect our education systems – it terrifies me. I find religious people irrational with regard to science, they are afraid of science, and I can not bring myself to trust them with anything I value as a result, especially the education and care of my children.

    And it is for this reason why I engage with religion at any opportunity (on the front line), to debate with their representatives – and educate their believers, in the hope that they will understand a wider view. Lets not forget that some religious people are very naive, and actually need someone to point out that they might be taken for a ride by other religious people who are using god and the bible to manipulate them.

    However, I do think some atheists can be too sure of their reasoning, and in some cases can let the side down – I would encourage informative debate, rather than just slagging religious people off, and if possible engage with religious people for as long as possible, and where possible inject some humour into the debate. However, unfortunately, and all too often I get censored by religious group – they just block my responses and posts – which really just demonstrates how intellectually dishonest religion can be – but as far as I am concerned that is a win, I must have said something that made them think, or that they are afraid of and do not want publishing.

    All this said, science does need to be clean, as scientists we need to ensure that our work is ethical and our motives are in the best interest of society. In addition, atheists need to be more active in the community, we need to promote thinking and thought through discussion groups, and science activities for children – we need to show the public that science is not something that needs to be feared but something that needs to be embraced, as learning about science allows us to understand nature (which is our creator) better, and allows us to be able to get the most out of nature for our future generations. If we take that approach, we will open minds rather than close them and that will be a good thing for science.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 5, 2010 @ 11:23 pm | Reply

    • I’m not sure where you see our constitution being manipulated. Religion is protected so each person has his/her right to choose the religion they would like. HOWEVER, when it comes to abortion and intelligent design – abortion was illegal unless you were raped – the Roe vs. Wade case that made it legal was actually not a rape case – the woman was denied an abortion and then lied and said she was raped. So this is not the constitution – and we need to protect the sanctity of life! Otherwise, as we have discussed, what stops us from killing just unborn children. As for intelligent design not being taught in schools – why not? Why just evolution which is not proven? The goal should be to teach children both ideas and then let their families do the rest. I do agree that religion must remain separate because there are many different beliefs out there but they all do believe in God. So God creating the universe is ok but I would not want my children to learn certain beliefs from other religions like muslim, buddhist, etc…Evolution is only a belief as well so what is the difference to an atheist between God and Evolution – seriously? A belief is a belief and there is no proof for Evolution – missing link!!!

      I wanted to share a comment made by one of our founding fathers (George Washington) to the delegates at the Constitutional Convention: “If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of GOD.” Do you see that?

      Amendments to the constitution – The Bill of Rights – Amendment 1: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” So you should not be worried with what you have stated above.

      As for the religious blocking your comments – I have to say – it’s not dishonesty it’s because you can be downright insulting and arrogant (sorry) Have you looked at the blogs just under God alone – over 2 million out here – amazing! If you are nervous about your children – you can always home school them.

      You honestly believe that people go to church and pretend to believe? That would be odd! What a waste of time! The bible is to be used to learn salvation history and the history of Jesus (who is God)

      As for math – what a joke – probabilities everyone learns from middle school through college so sorry but it’s just that a probability! How can you say that religion plays on everyone’s fears of life and death? If you truly believe, you know we leave this plane and go to another – there is nothing to fear at all!

      Comment by 4amzgkids — January 6, 2010 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  3. I also think a lot of it is to do with education – you are correct – the educated believe because there is HISTORICAL truth – yet atheists cannot PROVE anything!

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 6, 2010 @ 2:05 am | Reply

    • Even if you do believe in a historical Jesus, how do you know that he was the true son of god? Other religions also have individuals that make similar claims.

      First you have to question – our interpretation of such claims – for example, I believe we are all a product of nature, therefore by definition we are “all sons and daughters” of the creator in a evolutionary sense.

      Second you have to question the reasons why the individual (in this case Jesus) may have claimed to be the son of god – could it have been a title that he was given, could it have been a title he used to help spread his word. Is it a way of gaining power and popularity within a society that was ruled by legal system – such as for example the roman empire at the time.

      Thirdly, you have to question why there are so many ‘sons of god’ – in the time of Jesus, there must have been many preachers, and people who were telling stories about how they spoke to god. There was no alternative, people died of curable illness – life was hard, and people had to be spiritual to get by emotionally – the average life expectancy was 30.

      There may be some historical fact in the bible, but it is not the only source of information from that time – and should not be believed just because it makes tall claims, about god talking to people – and some miracles that defy everything we know about the world, and are not repeatable.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 6, 2010 @ 8:49 am | Reply

      • That is not true – other religions like Buddhism, Muslims, call their people prophets – they didn’t claim to be God but Jesus did. The bible is a tested, proven, reliable, historical document by non-religious. You must understand the bible, you must look at history, which is proven, even by non Christians that Jesus was real, Please visit everystudent.com and look at their examples for proof of Jesus as God. Jesus worked miracles, brought people back from the dead, fed over 5,000 people with literally nothing. Miracles do defy everything and they are worked by God – and they are repeatable if God so chooses. Many have been cured of terminal diseases and the Doctors can attribute nothing but a miracle cure.

        What are you talking about many sons of God? We are all sons and daughters of God. Can we perform miracles? Do we tell people we are God? Jesus fulfilled over 100 prophesies from the OT – how is that possible? Being born in the right place at the right time from the right descendants?? People that spoke to God are called prophets – not Gods.

        Evolution is not proven – it is theory – the missing link is still missing. Jesus is proven (God) and was here – historical proof.

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 6, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

  4. “You must understand the bible, you must look at history, which is proven, even by non Christians that Jesus was real.”

    I have checked with history, and what I found was that the time between the death of Jesus and first Gospel been written was about 40 years – yes, that’s right 4 decades! Who is going to remember you in 4 decades time?

    Do you even know how the bible was written or how Christianity was spread?

    I can tell you, most of it comes from the apostil Paul, and most of what he wrote came from a vision (a dream) – in the dream he claims that god told him to go forth and spread the word of Jesus, and he did. As he travelled, he taught people (from his dream) about Jesus, and the early Catholic Church was formed.

    He also wrote letters, about 80,000 words on the Christian religion. But here is the really interesting thing, if Jesus was a human that had recently lived, no one told Paul – Paul NEVER mentions, Mary & Joseph, Bethlehem, John the Baptist, King Herod or any of Jesus’ miracles. He never mentions Jesus having a ministry of any kind at all. In fact Paul does NOT know anything about the story of Jesus. In fact the only thing he does mention is that Christ dies on the cross, and is then resurrected and the ascension to heaven – but even these Paul never places on earth.

    Paul is not even aware that Jesus was a human being – and he is the link between Jesus’ supposed death and the writing of this historical fact that is based on witnesses!

    This is the historical fact that you are referring to!

    This is the reason you do not here many Christian leaders talk about the early days of the Church, because it was made up by some guy that had a dream – they don’t want you to know this because it causes too much doubt.

    The death, resurrection of Christ is identical to about 25 other religions – as a Pagan I know this, because I celebrate Christmas – but I call it Yuletide, I also celebrate Easter, but I call it the spring equinox – both of these dates are to do with the alignment of the earth with the sun. During this time the sun dips in the sky for three days, and it is then resurrected. This also happened at Easter, and is clearly visible. The sun gives us all life on earth, and it is for this reason our ancient ancestors worshiped it. Before Christians came along, people worshiped the Sun and the moon, because they changed the weather, and caused crops to yield of fail. When the Christian’s came a long they had to promote their own faith, so they replaced the Sun with Christ to make it more palatable.

    So actually, when you say you are worshiping a historical Christ, you are worshiping the SUN.

    “What are you talking about many sons of God? We are all sons and daughters of God. Can we perform miracles? Do we tell people we are God? Jesus fulfilled over 100 prophesies from the OT – how is that possible? Being born in the right place at the right time from the right descendants?? People that spoke to God are called prophets – not Gods.”

    I am saying that we are all products of nature – and nature is not sentient, it is a process, like the sun is a process – you do not need to pray to it because it will not judge you in that way. Natures law is survival of the fittest nothing more and nothing less.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 6, 2010 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

    • Where is your proof? Where did you learn such nonsense about Paul, etc…??? I’m sad for you!

      Comment by 4amzgkids — January 7, 2010 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  5. Do you realize that Jesus and God are the same?

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 7, 2010 @ 9:49 pm | Reply

    • “Do you realize that Jesus and God are the same?”

      Depends who you ask – many people have claimed a human individual to be a god. I don’t believe Jesus is god anymore than you would believe Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh to be god.

      Yet there are people who claim Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh is a god in the village of Yaohnanen, a cargo cult in Vanuatu.

      Here is a LONG list of people who have been considered deities:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_considered_to_be_deities

      Jesus is just one of them…

      The Egyptians claimed many of their leaders were gods – and their evidence is older than the new testament, in addition their evidence is written in stone – and has not been altered, it is as it was when it was first written in stone – for everyone to see – do you believe in their gods? If not why not?

      Why should there be only one god? Why are the Christian’s and Jews right about god – why not the Egyptians?

      If you want to base your religion on something that has evidence in history, then pick something that is less likely to have been altered and must have had many witnesses to create it.

      If I was religious (which I am not), then I could say that the pyramids are evidence of god – after all they are massive, and hard to construct even by modern standards. I reckon you would need a mechanical digger and crane to build them today, and as diggers were not invented until much later in history, then an alternative could have been the gods built them or helped the Egyptian people to build them.

      Someone must have witnessed the building of the pyramids, probably more witnesses than saw Jesus, and there is rock solid physical proof that the Egyptian’s believed in their gods – I can if I choose fly out there and climb all over them – so it definitely happed.

      So if you ask me the pyramids have more religious value than any paper based text book – that has been manipulated, translated, changed and interpreted over the years.
      We don’t believe in the Egyptian gods because they are ridiculous and there is no evidence despite the pyramids that they ever existed.

      But if you believe in the bible you believe in a book that has been changed, translated, and edited by an organisation called the church over 100s if not 1000s of years and you also believe in miracles, ghosts and strange beasts that never existed: unicorns, Noah’s ark, Job living in the belly of a fish, booming voices in the sky, oceans parting and people walking through them, walking on water and stuff, then why is this any less ridiculous?

      The truth is it isn’t – it is legend, just like Robin Hood, King Arthur, Dragons, Mermaids etc. A heavy pinch of salt needs to be used when interpreting the bible, in the same way as you would with any other religious relic.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 8, 2010 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

      • Mermaids aren’t real? I’m crushed.

        Comment by tildeb — January 8, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

  6. I know this is a shock to you – but you have to check my sources yourself, and you find the 40 gap between Jesus’ death and the writing of Gospel. It is actually very interesting – so enjoy yourself.

    There is nothing I can say here that will convince you that what I have said is true, so you have two choices:

    1) Disregard what I have said – like you are doing, and close your mind to it (just like the Church teaches you to)
    2) Or for once in your life, you can do some independent study, to either prove me wrong, or reassure your own belief in god.

    But what ever you do – make sure you apply some academic discipline to it, that means, you check the sources, go direct to the source. Speak to clergy, find clergy that dropped out of religious school, and ask them as well.

    But remember this – the bible is a book, it had a human creator, those humans had motives, morals and beliefs, from 2000 years ago, and they wrote most of it in Greek, so it was also translated many times.

    If you judge the bible as you would any book by any modern standard you will see that it has many faults. If you want to put your faith in life to something like that – then it is you that a I really feel for, because you are very vulnerable, unable to make a decision about truth or discover the truth by yourself. You have religion to thank for this – so you have my sympathy.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 8, 2010 @ 8:50 am | Reply

    • Asking a believer to go and research and provide a sound logical argument, is asking them to defy the belief process in itself. As faith does not doubt and only doubt can question and find answers.

      Comment by wrightless — January 14, 2010 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

      • Doubt requires a beginning, and the most anyone can do to reveal the lack of a foundation for any certainty based on religious belief I think is to plant the seeds and let time and human inquisitiveness do its work. But your point is quite valid; those who can be convinced by another person’s argument against faith itself are very few. If that’s the goal, then time’s a-wasting; if the goal is to show various weaknesses of religious justifications, then it has many benefits: the first is to provide some means for the person of faith to understand why religious belief needs to be a private matter, and the second is to provide some means for the person of faith to begin to appreciate that maybe the faith is not the only right answer.

        Comment by tildeb — January 14, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  7. I encourage you to go to newadvent.org and search for all that you question – it is there! Proof of historical accuracy, Christology, etc…May God bless you on your journey! I know all details on the bible and how the Catholic church put it together – that is why you should trust their interpretation. Look to both sides and judge for yourself – but be sure to do the work – don’t give up. I went on this journey several years ago and it was amazing – I had many questions at that time myself – though I never gave up on God.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 9, 2010 @ 2:11 am | Reply

  8. newadvent.org – don’t make me laugh, this isn’t an impartial site – to take any evidence from these people is like going to a heroin addict for drugs counselling. These people push religion and obscure the the truth.

    I think you are so blinded by your ‘faith’ that you can not actually tell when people are being intellectually dishonest. When researching, you need to identify bias – and disregard it with fact. If the facts match the bias, then and only then is there any truth in the bias.

    I don’t believe that you have done any research into the origins of the bible or the origins of the species, if you had you would not have accused me of lying about St Paul’s dream, and you would not be so confused about evolution.

    Evolution is true – as it has the same academic and experimental standing as our understanding of atoms – it is fact, there is no dispute in the scientific community about evolution – the same scientific community that provides gene therapy, vaccines, and studies the origins of new viruses and disease.

    In contract to the bible – which is disputed massively within both within the religious community, and the secular society – the bible is nothing more than folk law, and the bible is a work of fiction.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 9, 2010 @ 11:12 am | Reply

  9. I’m sorry you are lost. New Advent is the Catholic Encyclopedia not some website where people make it up as they go. Evolution is NOT proven – not sure why you don’t understand that yet. You are also wrong about disputes among the scientific community – you really need to do a better job researching. There are many more scientists that believe in God than do not. Look it up. You have to be willing to be a good student, look at both sides and find the answer for yourself. Not look at just one side as you are doing. I’m sorry you think I have lied about the bible and evolution – not sure why I would ever do that though- it only hurts me to lie. I am not a dishonest person. You need to look at New advent and see exactly what the origin of the bible was and all about St. Paul – They are the people that put the bible together – The Catholic Church. Good luck on your journey!

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 9, 2010 @ 11:44 am | Reply

    • There are many more scientists that believe in God than do not. Look it up.

      So I did.

      From leading scientists (http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html) to general scientists (http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=474), the percentage who believe in god is not only in the minority but is a fraction of the general population. The numbers are hedged upwards by references to ‘spirituality’ and some kind of universal intelligence, but the important data here is how starkly different are the percentages between scientists who believe in god to the population as a whole. The difference is dramatic, which leads to wonder why?

      Comment by tildeb — January 9, 2010 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  10. “About two-thirds of scientists believe in God, according to a new survey that uncovered stark differences based on the type of research they do.”http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/050811_scientists_god.html

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 9, 2010 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

    • This site: http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/050811_scientists_god.html is nothing to do with science, and everything to do with creationalisim.

      You need to read a book by Ben Goldacre called ‘Bad Science’ in this book, which is a brilliant read, Goldacre gives you a though understanding of the scientific method. It is not religiously themed – so you should find the information useful, whether you are a believer or not.

      The book will help you to distinguish nonsense ‘pseudo science’ from good science.

      Goldacre, even shows you how he applied good science to uncover the truth about Pharmaceutical industries use of ‘bad science’ to sell drugs. So overall Goldacre, gives very balanced view of the world, and is obviously worthy of intellectual respect.

      Read this book first, understand it – and then apply your new knowledge to livescience web site, and you will quickly see through the techniques that are used to bias articles.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 9, 2010 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

    • While there at LiveScience, did you happen to pop over to

      http://www.livescience.com/topic/human-evolution ?

      Comment by tildeb — January 9, 2010 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

      • I did, the trouble with all science journals, is that many of them have religious authors who have an agenda.

        http://www.inquisitr.com/20039/new-scientist-censors-anti-creationist-article/

        And sometimes it is difficult to see it.

        For example I admire the work that Robert Winston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Winston) has done – I found his documentaries fascinating, and I know that he believes in Darwin. However, he is religious, and I know that Dawkins has debated with him (as he and Dawkins are personal friends) about creation. What I don’t understand is why scientists of such distinction can come to such irrational conclusion about creation.

        May be there are other reasons for there public support of religion (these people are public figures)… belief is also personal and I doubt anyone will find out.

        Never the less, all scientists, rational thinkers, christian and atheist should be aware that there is bias in articles published both within and outside the science community both for and against a supernatural god, and sometimes it is hard to spot ‘true’ science amongst this soup of political and religious agenda that is propagated from both sides of the debate.

        Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 11, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

      • Very true. The language on these sites and within comments are an excellent indicator of bias. We are all biased, mind you, but it’s a matter of recognizing your own and accounting for it (being honest about it).

        I remember the fallout from New Scientist doing this, and many came out to condemn the move. As a result, I know that many people no longer consider New Scientist a legitimate source… or, should I say, a source with its scientific reputation tarnished by editorial bias.

        Comment by tildeb — January 11, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

  11. “Half of British adults do not believe in evolution, with at least 22% preferring the theories of creationism or intelligent design to explain how the world came about, according to a survey.”http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/feb/01/evolution-darwin-survey-creationism

    “According to the aggregated data, 47% of Americans agree that God created humans pretty much in their present form either exactly as the Bible describes it or within the last 10,000 years. That leaves about half of Americans who agree that humans developed or evolved, either with or without God’s help in the process.” http://www.gallup.com/poll/21811/american-beliefs-evolution-vs-bibles-explanation-human-origins.aspx

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 9, 2010 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

    • Isn’t terrible and tragic that such large numbers of people can remain so ignorant for so long in spite of so much evidence to the contrary? It’s a failure of the public education system, spurred on in large measure by the ignorance of far too many parents. The scope of the error, to give an analogy, is equivalent to believing that the continental United States is a few meters/yards wide and steadfastly refusing to consider any evidence against the assertion. The error is so large, so truly titanic, with an ignorance so astoundingly profound and shielded by religious belief that hasn’t any evidence beyond the slim bindings of a Bronze age collection of incompatible writings to back it up, that it makes one shake one’s head and give thought to just how vapidly stupid and slavish to religious beliefs so many people can be.

      To the pious, such data is cause for celebration. This is like celebrating or bragging that half the population denies the Roman Empire ever existed. It is a cause for shame because it is an admission of ignorance.

      Comment by tildeb — January 9, 2010 @ 8:18 pm | Reply

  12. These statistics do not prove whether evolution is true or not. And even if they did I doubt a survey of 2,060 respondents, is representative of the 60+ million people that live in the UK, for all we know they interviewed the most religious town in the UK.

    A more reliable source of religious belief is:
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/profiles/commentaries/ethnicity.asp#religion

    and here: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/xsdataset.asp?vlnk=1451

    I don’t doubt that lots of people believe in ‘god’ – I know this to be true, why do you think politician’s rarely say that they are atheists? Perhaps because they know they will get votes if they say they are Christian.

    In the UK lots of people believe that it is OK to spit their chewing gum out on the floor in the street, if they did not believe that it was ok, they would not do it.

    So how do I know that they do it?

    Because I can see the gum on the floor, and since chewing gum does not grow out of the ground, I am fairly sure people believe it is ok for them to spit gum on the floor, it doesn’t mean they are right to spit their gum out on the floor though does it?
    The fact that lots of people believe in something does not make it true or morally right – all you are measuring is belief, in other words, the only fact that is being measured is how many people believe in something – which is almost meaningless in science.

    I believe in belief, I believe that people believe in god – precisely because I can measure their beliefs. In no way does it mean they are right, or prove that god exists, all it does provide is evidence that the church and religion is influential in society. Which is hardly surprising since there are monuments made out of stone all over the place, and religion is built into the fabric of society, from birth until death. This just means, many people are brainwashed into believing stuff, and do not have the critical thinking skills to think any wider than what they have been conditioned to accept – normally this conditioning starts from a young age, and is tantamount to child abuse by my moral standard.

    The good news is that this is being undone and belief is in decline in the UK as the public becomes more better educated, more secular, and more sceptical of authority:

    http://www.vexen.co.uk/UK/religion.html

    The only time when a large group of people can demonstrate that what they believe in is true, is when their belief is based on anything BUT just belief via the submission of observable evidence which is repeatable and demonstrable. This is the fundamental difference between science and public opinion – which you seem to have a difficulty to comprehend so I will explain further.

    I believe in the existence of the sun, I have not been there, but it is reasonable to believe it is there because I can see it. Furthermore, I know that everyone who is not blind can see it too, adding further evidence to the fact that the sun exists. Even if I was blind, I would believe the sun exists, because on a hot day, I would get burnt by it, and so does everyone else. It is this strength of evidence that I require in order to believe in a supernatural god. As yet I have not experienced any evidence of that magnitude, and neither has anyone else I know (except mentally ill people speaking gibberish) – and this why I doubt gods existence, and prefer pantheism instead.

    The UK is still a religious nation, it’s head of state ‘the Queen’ is religious and has her own religion, called the Church of England. So it is hardly surprising that people are religious in the UK, but then it doesn’t surprise me that we have chewing gum on the streets either….

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 9, 2010 @ 8:41 pm | Reply

  13. Yet you believe in evolution and there is no proof for the origin of life or man……isn’t this having “just belief via the submission of observable evidence which is repeatable and demonstrable. This is the fundamental difference between science and public opinion – which you seem to have a difficulty to comprehend so I will explain further.”

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 14, 2010 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

    • Okay, 4: tell us what evidence you would accept that would convince you that evolution was true?

      Comment by tildeb — January 14, 2010 @ 8:32 pm | Reply

    • “Yet you believe in evolution and there is no proof for the origin of life or man……isn’t this having “just belief via the submission of observable evidence which is repeatable and demonstrable. This is the fundamental difference between science and public opinion – which you seem to have a difficulty to comprehend so I will explain further.”

      There is it is called DNA analysis, and the fossil record.

      Now show me the evidence for the existence of Jesus? and when you have show me the evidence that he is the son of god? (please don’t say the bible – because it is gibberish written by a bloke who had a dream).

      There is a film called “The God that wasn’t there” – you should watch it, it is by a Catholic.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 15, 2010 @ 9:18 am | Reply

  14. I want proof of the origin of man/life – how it all began. You cannot say man evolved or that the planet and all of the life on it just came to be without proof. You don’t have this proof or you would have stated it long ago – you also would be a very famous scientist 🙂

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 14, 2010 @ 10:33 pm | Reply

    • I’ve already asked what kind of evidence would you accept and you have simply substituted the word ‘proof’ for an answer. But that’s no answer; that is a word game, as in “The evidence I would find convincing is proof.” So tell us more clearly to avoid the word game, what kind of evidence/proof would you accept as convincing and please give us an indication of what this evidence/proof should look like to be convincing for you please.

      Comment by tildeb — January 15, 2010 @ 12:03 am | Reply

  15. You can’t be serious. How about reliable scientific information – not hogwash from some personal site. Why can’t you just admit there is no proof for the origin of man/life and the missing link is still missing?

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 15, 2010 @ 4:34 am | Reply

    • So now you call convincing evidence/proof ‘reliable scientific information’.

      Okay.

      To convince you that evolution is true, we send out agents looking for something, some “it”, some evidence, some proof, some reliable scientific information. I want to know what that ‘something’ would have to be to convince you. In other words, can you describe what this evidence/proof/rsi (reliable scientific information) must look like so that we can focus on finding it for you… if “it” is there? Before I admit that we cannot find “it” (evidence/proof/rsi) we need to first identify what we’re looking for so that we can go and see if “it” is there or not. You are convinced “it” is not there, so I’m left wondering what the “it” is in your mind. What does that missing ‘something’ actually look like? I’m just asking for a clarifying description from you. If evolution is true, then the origin of man must look like something. Nothing previously collected convinces you because you say “it” isn’t there. So let’s cut to the chase and have you describe what “it” is using a physical description please, that is missing?

      Comment by tildeb — January 15, 2010 @ 5:00 am | Reply

      • Verifiable, reliable information. I want to see it replicated – I would like to see how it all began with whatever scientists believe works. I would also like to see evolution – you say it began with a fish? So from a fish, evolve it through to a human 🙂 Do you honestly believe we don’t know anything about evolution? We learn it in school – it is not a fact – it is a theory and a work in progress. I don’t discredit all of the work that’s been done – I say don’t dismiss God, because the origin of man has not been proven – really the origin of life/the earth, etc…You know what I’m getting at so I’m not sure why you are playing word games. I think science is amazing! I am grateful beyond grateful for all it has done, especially in the medical fields but to try and say something is true when it is not complete is ludicrous. I honestly don’t understand why scientists have a hard time with this. We are not discrediting all that they do, people are just trying to show, that it is not proven and therefore, does not mean there isn’t an Intelligent Designer (God 4 me). Science is testing and re-testing, trial and error right? Have they created an earth? A human the way say a human was made?

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 16, 2010 @ 2:10 am

      • So are you asking for an example of abiogenesis – the very first life?

        Comment by tildeb — January 16, 2010 @ 2:31 am

      • Let’s start with the earth – but I want to see it done.

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 16, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

      • I don’t understand… you want to “start with the earth.” Start what… life?

        Comment by tildeb — January 16, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

    • “You can’t be serious. How about reliable scientific information – not hogwash from some personal site. Why can’t you just admit there is no proof for the origin of man/life and the missing link is still missing?”

      How is it that in order for you to accept evolution is true you need scientific hard fact 100% indisputable flawless and reliable evidence, yet you believe the bible which has more faults in it than a broken tea pot – first ask yourself this question.

      I stopped believing in god when I was about 14 years old. Not because I had an advanced understanding of science, I was 14 and had only really just started to read properly, so I knew nothing of science; but because when I prayed nothing happened, and god never spoke to me. I also found that the bible was a difficult read, difficult to understand, and that there were many things that god commanded me to do that I knew was not right to do – if I followed all of gods commandments, I would surely be arrested and cast out of society.

      Therefore I have moved from someone who was taught to be religious in school and was a boy scout, to someone who believed that god was watching – and I mean genially believed (I used to pray at my bed side as a child, and was afraid of doing anything wrong or thinking any wrong thoughts in case I did not get into heaven, or that Jesus would be disappointed in me), to someone who had doubt that god existed, because he was not there, to someone who started to look for answers of why we are here, and god doesn’t seem to be, to someone who now has a lot of doubt.

      Eventually I realised that the more I have looked for god, the less evidence I have found for his existence, and yet still even now I am not 100% certain that god is not there in some form or other – that is how strong my faith in god is – I have actually gone out there looked really hard for him, both materially, spiritually and supernaturally and found absolutely nothing that can 100% convince me of gods existence, or that the bible is true, or any other religion. I have prayed and I did believe in god.

      And this is how I know that anyone who is 100% sure that god exists is deluded, because I used to be 100% sure as well, and now I am 99% sure that the god of the bible does not exist – but I am not 100% sure, and I doubt I ever will be, because to be 100% sure is delusion.

      But one thing I have learnt in my search for god, is that the most religions are not something that any all knowing being would want – such a being would not want us to fight over his existence or his name.

      When you add that reasoning to the world situation you start to think would god want the people of Haiti to be suffering, children crushed, orphans crying for their mummy, people hungry, cold wet, with no homes. Would he want disease and suffering? And if he does then is it a god that I want to worship?

      If you were god, and you could change everything, including our memories, wouldn’t you just fix Haiti, right now, and then make everyone forget?

      To believe in god, you have to have total 100% belief that god exists, that means you have to close your eyes to Haiti, you have to accept that god wants suffering and pain. As yourself is this what you really believe?

      Think about it – god is imaginary.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 15, 2010 @ 10:27 am | Reply

      • What really happened that made you not believe? It is a lot deeper than not finding Him and he does talk to you – pray and listen – quiet your mind – think things through! You needed to be taught to understand how the bible is written and how it is to be read – you can’t just pick it up and start reading it. It is so much deeper than a surface read as well. I have always believed in God but did question a lot!! You have to search and not give up. Start by going to the site I suggested. It is very helpful. The reason those people in Haiti died that way is because they were supposed to (sadly) it was their time. WE could NEVER know good if we didn’t have any bad in the world. God wants us to come to Him – if we all did, this world would be very different. Anyway, I could go on and on about this. You really can search and find the answers and proof for God. What about all of the saints and the miracles they worked? All throughout history? What about their incorruptible bodies? You are right that God wouldn’t want us to kill for His name but he would want us to fight for Him – to spread the Gospel. He is absolutely a God of love – just like you cannot possibly know everything about our universe let alone the planet, we cannot know everything about God. Just trying to be helpful – please don’t get angry and send a nasty note. God bless!

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 16, 2010 @ 1:59 am

      • You want black and white and it’s not black and white just as evolution is not and you choose that over God???

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 16, 2010 @ 2:11 am

      • The reason those people in Haiti died that way is because they were supposed to (sadly) it was their time.

        And all those who are currently suffering – the crushed bones, the infections, the hunger and dehydration, those who have had to drink unsanitary and polluted water and who now have dysentery on top of homelessness and abject poverty, with those who have had to watch their children and parents and brothers and sisters and neighbours suffer ongoing indescribable pain from a lack of medical attention… it is “their time” to suffer so because…? Ah yes, the ways of god are inscrutable, but let’s assume that there IS a reason or the whole house of cards that insists on an interventionist god worthy of the name goes down the toilet:

        If god is willing to prevent evil, but is not able to,
        Then he is not omnipotent.

        If he is able, but not willing,
        Then he is malevolent.

        If he is both able and willing
        Then whence come evil?

        If he is neither able nor willing,
        Then why call him god?

        Epicurus, Greek philosopher, c.341-270 BC

        Comment by tildeb — January 16, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  16. “You needed to be taught to understand how the bible is written and how it is to be read.”

    You mean you have to be brainwashed to believe it.

    Have you read the Gospel of Thomas? In this Gospel Jesus turns his friends into animals and stuff for a laugh – it’s great comical read, right up there with Harry Potter…

    Have you read the Gospel of Peter? In this Gospel responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus to Herod Antipas rather than to Pontius Pilate – hmm strange historical fact.

    Have you read the Gospel of Philip? The text is perhaps most famous as a very early source for the idea that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

    Can you even name the Gospels that I have not listed above?

    Your belief is based on a book that has been edited, translated and manipulated – the Gospels above are not in the current version of the bible because someone (a human) decided that they should not be in there… possibly because they saw the contradictions in the story, history and life of Jesus. The bible is NOT evidence of the standard that I require to believe in the god it depicts.

    By the way I was taught to read the bible, I was brought up in a religious school – my teachers were highly religious – for example my music teacher was so deluded that he thought that Mozart’s music was so perfect that god must have told Mozart what to write. My German teacher, believed that all fossils in the world were fabricated by man (or satan depending on which day you asked her) in order to falsify god (or in the case of Satan to test our faith).

    These people are insane – they are making tall claims based on a book that is clearly fabricated – with absolutely no evidence what so ever for its authenticity, but even more scary than that, they were in charge of children, with impressionable minds.

    Ironically, it was my religious teacher, who pointed me towards the other Gospels – I suspect he knew that it is all a myth, and could see how dangerous the teaching was in school.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 16, 2010 @ 9:35 am | Reply

  17. What bible have you read? Wow! You are not reading the bible misunderstoodranter…. Have you read this book? The Case for Christ it was written by an antheist, Yale Law School graduate – his name is Lee Strobel. He went on a 2 year search, Good starting point. Those gospels you mention are not in the bible. You have been seriously mislead.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 16, 2010 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

    • antheist,= atheist

      Comment by 4amzgkids — January 16, 2010 @ 7:06 pm | Reply

    • He will tell you exactly where the bible documents came from and why they are reliable or visit newadvent.com and type in any topic on God or the bible, etc…

      Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 2:14 am | Reply

  18. Makes you want to take a cheese grater to your nipples for some relief, doesn’t it MUR?

    Comment by tildeb — January 16, 2010 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

    • truly intellectual! So ignorance breeds ignorance I am told 🙂

      Comment by 4amzgkids — January 16, 2010 @ 7:08 pm | Reply

      • I wrote that because most people are aware that the bible is a compilation of texts selected from many. Some of those not chosen were written by disciples, such as Thomas and Peter… people as much ‘in the know’ as Matthew or Mark, for example. It raises a question about a group of men 300 years after the fact and comfortable wearing dresses to work deciding which texts from those who knew Jesus were acceptable and which were not. It is that element of reasonable doubt that MUR is pointing out that undermines anyone’s who insists on the ‘truth’ of the bible, that the actual ‘editing’ of the book is well known and information about its history widely available to anyone who is actually interested. The fact that you seem ignorant about these well-known historical roots of what has become known as the Bible and assume that anyone who questions its truth value deserve the title of ignorant is so ironic that it makes one who wishes to have a meaningful discussion very frustrated.

        Comment by tildeb — January 16, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

      • Tildeb, You have no idea what you are talking about…I thought you did your research??? You lied?? Why?? Some things weren’t chosen because the don’t pass the tests….there are several stories in the bible that have been retold in different ways but they are the same story….The bible has passed many tests….please research it and stop with this foolishness.

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 2:10 am

    • “Makes you want to take a cheese grater to your nipples for some relief, doesn’t it MUR?”

      It is worse than that, it makes me want to dip them in TCP or bleach afterwards.

      4amzgkids, the bible is a lie – here is a LIST of JUST the English versions of the bible:

      http://www.bible-researcher.com/versions.html

      Many Christian’s are so gullible, that they didn’t even bother to check the origin of bible, let alone the origin of the species. I put it down to religious teaching in school – kids are like sponges, they believe what adults say – even delusional adults, especially if they are involved in chanting, singing and a bit of happy clappy.

      This is exactly why the Church hates evolution, it makes people think about origin, and when they do that, they might start to look into the origin of the tales they keep repeating in Church.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 16, 2010 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

      • Here we ago again…..Evolution IS NOT PROVEN….HELLO….Why do you insist on nonsense? YOU have NO proof of the origin of life/man – none anywhere!So instead of condemning those that believe and know there is a God based on history, research and find what you need to prove evolution – just think of how famous you will be.

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 2:06 am

  19. “Those gospels you mention are not in the bible. You have been seriously mislead.”

    My point is they used to be – and they are no longer in it – someone took them out. So how can you claim it to be historical fact when someone has tampered with it.

    The bible we have today is not the bible that was originally written – ask your self why?

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 16, 2010 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  20. They were never in the bible – NEVER – you need to do your research! The bible today is the same one they put together and used from the beginning of Christianity and it’s far deeper than a surface read – example: The flood is not just a flood – it represents baptism and washing away sin same with parting of the red sea…..the miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana has to do with bringing joy – not from the wine – from Christ who will die for their sins and open the gates of Heaven, etc…You have NO IDEA what you are talking about so DON’T! Be an intelligent,honest adult – seek the truth – look at everything and then decide.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 2:03 am | Reply

  21. How can you deny God who has been worshipped from as far back as we can tell? How could so many be living a fasod for over 2,000 yrs since Christ…You are beyond arrogant.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 2:16 am | Reply

    • It is arrogant to presume that you are 100% correct – i.e. that you know that there is a god. I do not make such a presumption.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 17, 2010 @ 9:40 am | Reply

      • How can you presume there isn’t one?

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 10:58 pm

  22. “Gospel of St. Thomas – Why isn’t it in the Bible?

    The Gospel of St. Thomas is considered “Gnostic” in origin and viewpoint by many fundamental Christians, and is possibly the reason why the book was kept from the original canon of the Holy Bible (if the text was even known by early Christian followers at all). Generally, Gnostics hold that salvation of the soul comes from a quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the universe and of secret formulae indicative of that knowledge. Since Christians view the Bible as a supernaturally-inspired collection of God’s word to humans, which is totally integrated in thought and doctrine, there is no such thing as a “lost book” of the Bible with special secrets for the wise. Even from a non-supernatural perspective, if the Bible that we have read for the past 2,000 years reflects the beliefs of original Christianity, then any texts that were originally rejected, discarded or “lost” are not books of the Christian Bible, by definition. A church that adds the Gospel of St. Thomas to its scriptures would move outside the simple lines of fundamental Christianity, and we know of no established denomination that has any notion of doing so… nor should they.” wiki

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 2:38 am | Reply

  23. I can find deeper meaning but don’t want to confuse you.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  24. Firstly 4amzgkids, it is clear to see from your response above that you didn’t even know about these Gospel’s before I mentioned them – so not only are you ignorant about your own religion that you follow blindly, you are now making up excuses to cover its tracks – the only person you are deceiving is yourself, and possibly your family, which is exactly what the Church wants, because without believers the Church does not exist. Don’t be a puppet to the Church, without reading about alternatives.

    I appreciate that finding out that your religion is a fraud is difficult or hurtful to comprehend, and , I can’t prove it 100% that it is a fraud, just as I can not prove 100% that a murderer killed someone. But I can give you evidence that all that you see with your religion (as well as many others) is not what it seems to be or what the religious leaders want you to see.

    Evolution is easy to understand, really easy, its simplicity is what makes it believable – it explains the origin of all species on earth, not just man, using one method called natural selection. It is not random chance, and the statistical maths that it uses is not beyond the comprehension of a secondary school pupil. It explains, life on earth, the life you can see with your own eyes, no magic, no superstitious nonsense, just plain understandable logic. It is important to understand it, because our entire understanding of biology is based upon it – so if you choose to neglect it, or refuse to understand it, you are just not in touch with the rest of the world, and you are not educating you or your children properly.

    Don’t put faith in an imaginary god that you have been told to believe in by some people wearing funny hats, instead put some faith into your own mind to go and observe the natural world you live in.

    You are probably ready to read Dawkins, and I highly recommend that you do, you owe it to your faith in god, human nature as well as science. Remember that knowledge is power, the more you understand about evolution and science, the more you will be able to contribute to discussions like this one to disprove it – if you still feel it is worth disproving.

    But as far as my debate with you goes, I think I have exhausted my argument, if I can not convince you to look for yourself, beyond information that has a religious bias, then any further discussion is futile.

    Put your bible down, and read something else – when you have, then I will be happy to engage with you further.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 17, 2010 @ 10:07 am | Reply

  25. You cannot convince me because you have NO proof! You cannot PROVE life evolved or the earth just came about with a big bang – it’s laughable. I give you explanations for your misunderstanding of the bible and you think I don’t know what I’m talking about – what a joke.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 10:19 pm | Reply

  26. If there is no proof for evolution as you say – and you refuse to give any indication of any kind of evidence you would accept as proof/evidence/reliable scientific information – then how can you explain why the science of biology accepts the theory of evolution as established fact?

    Comment by tildeb — January 17, 2010 @ 10:42 pm | Reply

    • I have given you info on what I would need for proof and no one can do it.

      Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

      • No you haven’t. You have asked for proof. You have asked for evidence. You have asked for information. You have not said one word about what any of this might look like in hard, physical examples.

        Comment by tildeb — January 17, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  27. What about this? The Cambrian Explosion is enough to tear down the theory of evolution

    The world of living things is divided by biologists into such fundamental groups as plants, animals, fungae etc. These are then subdivided into different “phyla.” When designating these phyla, the fact that each one possesses completely different physical structures should always be borne in mind. Arthropoda (insects, spiders, and other creatures with jointed legs), for instance, are a phylum by themselves, and all the animals in the phylum have the same fundamental physical structure. The phylum called Chordata includes those creatures with a notochord or, most commonly, a spinal column. All the large animals such as fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals that we are familiar in daily life are in a subphylum of Chordata known as vertebrates.

    THE CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION TEARS UP THE EVOLUTIONARY “TREE OF LIFE” The above illustration is taken from The Book of Life, published in 2001 under the editorship of the late Stephen Jay Gould, one of the world’s most prominent evolutionists. The illustration explains which different groups of animals emerged in which periods. On the left, the various geological periods are listed, starting 2,500 million years ago. The coloured columns show the major phyla of animals. (The colours in the columns refer to different periods.) When we examine this figure, the miracle of the Cambrian Explosion is obvious. There is only one phylum before the Cambrian Age (the Cnidaria, which include jellyfish and corals). In the Cambrian Age, however, 13 completely different phyla suddenly emerged. This picture is the opposite of the theory of evolution, because evolution maintains that living phyla increased in stages, like the branches of a tree. The evolutionists who drew up the figure try to gloss over this gap by talking about “theoretical links.” We can see pale lines at the bottom of the figure joining the coloured boxes (in other words, genuine phyla of which fossil remains have been found). These are imaginary links required by the theory of evolution, but of which no evidence has ever been found. If the theory of evolution were true, if these links were real and not imaginary, then fossils of transitional groups should have been discovered. Despite all the fossil research of the last 150 years, the fact that these links are still just a dream shows that the theory of evolution is nothing but a fantasy.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 10:55 pm | Reply

    • That’s very amusing. This time frame for this ‘explosion’ covers more than 3/4 of geological time. For anyone challenged by the math, that’s more than 3,000 MILLION years! That’s what the word ‘sudden’ means, as in during 3,000,000,000 + years, 13 phyla ‘suddenly’ emerged. Note that we now have a very pronounced genetic link between each of these thirteen ‘kinds’ of life revealing a common ancestor, but that genetic evidence commonly known now was unavailable to Gould. Phyla do undergo natural selection and the record is rich to back this up… unless you refuse to attempt to explain the evidence by natural means. In addition, we now have intermediate critters between some phyla living today, including a remarkable snail that is capable of photosynthesis in the marshlands of New Brunswick in Eastern Canada. So take note whenever someone claims that there is no evidence and backs it up with a old quotation from what once was a reputable source. Also, take care when someone claims that fossils of transitions ‘should’ have been found: this reveals a deeply flawed understanding of the fossil record.

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 12:13 am | Reply

  28. I googled to find reliable info on human origin and nothing…..I can not find a reliable non-Christian site. So I was stuck with the encyclopedia which proves nothing either. Have you really read it? Things change over time – (their theories) and there are a lot of words like (possibilities, lack of fossil intermediaries, even Darwin said it does not provide proof of the human’s moral capabilities or mental capabilities)

    It doesn’t explain much and is not complete! That is the point of this argument. Why give up on God when evolution is not complete?

    If we really evolved from apes – why do we still have apes? Why aren’t they human? Why do we speak over 7,000 different languages? Why do we all like different things? It makes no sense – seriously.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 17, 2010 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

    • Evolution will never be ‘complete’. And for the last time, you reveal your profound and willful ignorance when you suggest that

      1)’evolution’ fails to provides us with evidence for abiogenesis (it is a theory about how life evolves, not how life began so evolution makes NO CLAIMS – never has, never will, has nothing to do with, the origin of life!), and

      2) evolution does not suggest that humans evolved from apes.

      Your consistent unwillingness to understand what evolution means is remarkable, but your willingness to condemn that which you obviously do not understand is astoundingly arrogant.

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 12:20 am | Reply

      • Yes, I wanted to be more like you 🙂

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 1:39 am

      • The difference is that I DO understand evolution, and yes, I sincerely wish in this regard that you were more like me.

        Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 2:04 am

  29. Look up evolution in the encyclopedia – clearly the ape theory – we evolved from chimps/apes…whatever. I never said evolution was origin of life – origin of life is your big bang theory which also has not been proven.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 1:31 am | Reply

    • No, the Big Bang theory is cosmology and there’s very good evidence it occurred about 13.5 billion years ago. That has nothing whatsoever to do with the theory of evolution.

      As for your answers about what might be considered by you to be ‘evidence’ about evolution, you repeatedly said to show you the proof about the origin of life and later included evidence for the origin of man. I’m pointing out that origin has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution.

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 2:01 am | Reply

      • So then tell me how life began – please….we have the big bang theory for the earth and then what happened for life? you amaze me!

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

      • Why are you playing word games? We have been back and forth here and on my site and you need to prove that we evolved and from what, and then prove that it actually happened, we also discussed the origin of the earth, none of these things can be replicated and you know it – so you choose to play around with how something is worded to skirt around the issue. Get over how it’s worded and admit that there are holes in all of the scientific THEORIES you can read it right in the encyclopedias out there – they think….it’s possible….we are missing…….

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

      • Its kind of you to call me amazing. It’s true, I admit.

        I don’t know how life began.

        Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

      • There are huge gaps in our knowledge, but that doesn’t mean the theory is false.

        What we build from each piece of evidence we collect, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, remains within the framework of evolutionary theory. No individual piece by itself is proof for the theory any more than one piece of a jigsaw puzzle proves that it alone is the final proof for the completed picture. But after many pieces have been collected, we assemble a few of them them by what seems to be the most reasonable fit, and a picture begins to emerge. This picture is the theoretical framework. If it is wrong, then when we assemble more pieces of evidence, more pieces of the puzzle, the picture will not be coherent. Imagine mixing up several jigsaw puzzles of let’s say farm animals and asserting that the completed picture should be a horse. Or a chicken. As we assemble pieces, we immediately run into trouble not only with the fit but with the emerging picture. These pieces begin to show that the theory – the explanatory framework of what the picture should look like and where pieces should go – simply isn’t working. That’s not the case with the theory of evolution.

        We really are getting a cohesive picture, one that successfully allows each piece to be fitted in some way into the overall picture. All the pieces do belong to the same puzzle and all the pieces are finding ways to fit. We use an assortment of overlapping and mutually supportive data sets that all show a very cohesive picture. This evolutionary framework continues to work and work really well as we attempt to fit our knowledge of what is with what probably was.

        Once you see evolution as a framework and individual pieces of evidence as a gigantic jigsaw puzzle rather than a chain, then you begin to appreciate just how beautifully the theory matches up with all the various avenues of the evidence. A piece we thought might belong over here turns out to fit much better over there, and so on. There is a lot of rearranging to be done and many people get very passionate about their special pieces of evidence belonging here rather than there, but in no way does that kind of discrepancy mar the fundamental acceptance of the explanatory framework. The picture remains highly cohesive. That’s why almost all biologists accept the theory of evolution as a fact, that the picture is correct, that no explanation has even come close to the same very high degree of explanatory power that the theory of evolution offers us. As importantly, no piece of evidence – like a rabbit fossil in the Precambrian – has thrown off the picture, has not fitted, has not been successfully incorporated. Not one. That’s pretty remarkable if the picture is wrong.

        On top of that theoretical framework are today’s highly successful applications that simply wouldn’t work if the theory was wrong, just like the design of the wing on aircraft wouldn’t work if the theory of gravity was wrong. Applications tend to fully test the boundaries of theories and evolution continues to be at the front of the class.

        When people criticize the theory in some very small and simplistic way and claim that therefore the theory MUST be wrong in its entirety, they always fail to offer any other framework in its place to more thoroughly explain the evidence we have or why the applications still work as they do. That is why biologists for the last fifty years have mostly waited for the general population to catch up with modern knowledge, what is obviously true regarding evolution as a fact, that makes evolutionary theory as accepted as any other theory like gravity.

        The truth of evolution as a framework of explanation simply has no peer in the biological sciences. Just because we don’t yet have either all the pieces of the puzzle or every specific piece that directly links apes with humans, for example, doesn’t mean it’s wrong; we can think of these gaps in our knowledge as missing a piece of the jigsaw puzzle that links let’s say a chicken’s foot to its thigh. We can deduce what the piece should look like but we are startled when someone else insists that because we’re missing that piece the picture must be of a pig. That explanation is a terrible deduction because it fails to adequately refute all the evidence we do have that paints a lovely picture of a chicken… except for a few pieces here and there. The chicken framework makes sense on the evidence we do have rather than this sudden new assumption that a missing piece means it must be…. a pig, a supposition that has NO evidence to back it up.

        In the same way, the lack of a direct transitional fossil of a common ancestor between humans and apes is like a missing jigsaw piece between chicken foot and thigh; claiming that there cannot possibly be a linking piece fails to explain the rest of the picture we DO have, like similarity in bones structure, similarity in function, similarity in DNA, and so on. What we do know is that the picture ain’t no pig. We have too much in common with other great apes to refute with missing a few pieces of the puzzle – now in virology that shows the same sections of junk DNA in apes and humans to be the same viruses that can be easily explained by assuming a common ancestry that was infected and absorbed the virus into the DNA to then be replicated.

        And that’s why I’ve asked you to come up with a better explanation than evolution, some explanatory framework that allows us to assemble the actual evidence we have with a different picture than common descent.

        Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

  30. “Scientists have estimated that humans branched off from their common ancestor with chimpanzees – the only other living hominins – about 5–7 million years ago. Several species of Homo evolved and are now extinct. These include Homo erectus, which inhabited Asia, and Homo neanderthalensis, which inhabited Europe. Archaic Homo sapiens evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago.

    The dominant view among scientists concerning the origin of anatomically modern humans is the “Out of Africa” or recent African origin hypothesis,”[4][5][6][7]

    This is all taken from wikipedia under human origin

    “species close to the last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees and humans may be represented by Nakalipithecus fossils found in Kenya and Ouranopithecus found in Greece. Molecular evidence suggests that between 8 and 4 million years ago, first the gorillas, and then the chimpanzees (genus Pan) split off from the line leading to the humans; human DNA is approximately 98.4% identical to that of chimpanzees when comparing single nucleotide polymorphisms (see Human evolutionary genetics). The fossil record of gorillas and chimpanzees is quite limited. Both poor preservation (rain forest soils tend to be acidic and dissolve bone) and sampling bias probably contribute to this problem.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 1:38 am | Reply

    • The key words you are missing in your comprehension is the term ‘common ancestor.’ A commmon ancestor is one from which BOTH apes and humans evolved. This means that that common ancestor would have BOTH the genes shared by humans as well as apes, and that means that the common ancestor would be NEITHER human nor ape.

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 2:03 am | Reply

      • Yes a common ancestor like my great, great, great, great, great, etc…..grandpa was a HUMAN MALE

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

  31. Of course, blame it on the soil

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 1:40 am | Reply

    • ?

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 2:04 am | Reply

    • 4amzgkids, you need to read Dawkins, read that first then come back because your contribution to this debate is pointless, you know so little about the theory of evolution and the evidence that is abundant, that you are limited to DNA and fossils, which is frankly boring – once you have read some stuff on evolution, you can then talk to me about the process of natural selection, which is apparent both in our species, and in the natural world.

      If you don’t want to read it – get the audio books instead – or you tube some BBC documentaries about it – anything, but please raise your consciousness of the subject – as in doing so you will learn something, and you will demonstrate to others that you have an open mind and can contribute sensibly to an open and fascinating debate about where we came from. And if you still want to say that ‘god’ did it, then fine, but at least your argument will have some credibility – at the moment, it is a joke, and is starting to go beyond frustration.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 18, 2010 @ 8:39 am | Reply

      • Only if you promise to learn about what the bible really means and what books are actually in it! Not make up a bunch a bologna and put it out there as fact!

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

      • But it’s not bologna, 4amzgkids. And that’s IS the point.

        Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  32. Human evolution is the theory which states that humans developed from primates, or ape-like, ancestors. http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/biology/humanevolution/humevol.html

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

    • Yes. That does not mean we descended from today’s version of apes, 4amzgkids, but that we share a common ancestor! So do you and I.

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  33. Yes that would be human ancestors tildeb……Adam and Eve or whatever you would like to name them but they were human – nothing else has been totally proven.That’s all I’ve been trying to prove to you. NOTHING else has been proven….there are flaws and possibilities out there but no fact.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

    • You like to use the word ‘proof’ but I haven’t a clue what you mean by that. There is good evidence that homo sapien is directly related to Ardipithecus and Australopithecus to name but two, and neither of these family members are homo sapiens. Now you throw in the word ‘totally’ to go with your insistence on ‘proven.’ Again, I don’t know what that means. You then say that you have been attempting to prove why evolution in the case of humans is totally unproven. If you really want to do that, then explain with at least as much reasonable sense why homo sapien shares so much DNA with these other similar humanoid critters. What’s YOUR explanation… god works in mysterious ways?

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

    • This has got to be joke – you can not believe in Adam and Eve… where did all the races and colours of the world come from, if we descended directly from one set of parents 6000 years ago.

      Do you know why inbreeding is normally illegal? I suggest you look up the consequences of inbreeding.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 18, 2010 @ 5:54 pm | Reply

      • Mitochondrial Eve http://www.cambridgedna.com/genealogy-dna-genetic-genealogy.php

        mtDNA has now been used to trace back through all of these natural mutations to the origins of all modern human existence to a woman known poetically as ‘Mitochondrial Eve’, who lived around 150,000 years ago.

        ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ is most recent common ancestor of all humans alive on Earth today with respect to our matrilineal descent. Note that this does not necessarily mean that she was the only woman alive at that time. Presumably there were other females alive at that time, but her lineage is the only female lineage to have survived through to the modern day. Since then, as people have migrated across and out of Africa (see Ancient Migrations), their mtDNA has changed slightly owing to very occasional mutations in the genetic structure, offering us the wealth of different mtDNA types now.

        The concept of ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ is in some sense a purely mathematical fact. Consider the number of all women living on earth today, ‘A’. Now consider the number of the mothers of all women living on earth today, ‘B’. Obviously, B is either the same size or less than A. As you go back through the generations, B reduces, ultimately to one woman. That woman is popularly referred to as Mitochondrial Eve.
        Y chromosomal Adam

        Because the Y chromosome is passed down exclusively from father to son, all human Y chromosomes today trace back to a single prehistoric father, “Y chromosomal Adam”, whose time we can date to more than 100,000 years ago using statistical methods.

        You of all people should know this information since you claim to be a scientist.

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 19, 2010 @ 12:42 am

      • Excellent research. I commend you. (But why assume that I don’t know about any of this?)

        So now you know about how chromosomes are passed down within the genetic code and can appreciate the notion that genetic identification allows us to establish not only lineage but migration of human populations. (This is a fascinating field of research having much to say on discrediting any meaningful notion of different ‘races’.) One of the ways we do that (human migration) is noting where (and when) mutations take place. This is key.

        So we share the same mtDNA-type as our mother, our maternal grandmother, our maternal great-grandmother and so on. In fact the exact same mtDNA code will track our direct genetic line back until the point at which a natural mutation in the mtDNA code occurred – on average about every 10,000 years.

        What we know by genetic studies is that homo sapien direct lineage should date back to roughly 150,000 years ago. This is the mathematical calculation but it makes good sense that our direct lineage should be traceable to a single female we can call mitochondrial Eve. Also, using the same reasoning, we should find the same time line for the Y chromosome if common ancestry is true, and this is indeed what we find. Chromosomal Adam should also date to about 150,000 years ago and that seems to be the case.

        So now we are 150,000 years in the past. We have an Eve and an Adam that are the modern fore bearers of homo sapiens we have come to know and love (mostly). But where did these people come from? There are those who want to look no further and assert that these two are the biblical Adam and Eve and we have the science to prove it. That’s true (mathematically) in a manner of speaking and as far as modern lineage goes but is that as far as we should go with mutated lineage? If we have the means to investigate further, why not do it? So we have.

        As we find more fossils of humanoids pre-dating this time, the assumption from evolutionary theory is that we should find humanoids whose genetic makeup approaches 99+% of Adam and Eve’s human DNA. We have other humanoid species that do offer us this increase but we have high hopes to find remains much closer in total DNA to show when the mutations created the modern homo sapien branch – the hominoid ancestors of Eve and Adam. This is why many hypothesis abound about cross breeding with Neanderthal (but this is losing traction) and other interactions with archaic homo sapiens like homo heidelbergensis, homo neanderthalensis, and homo rhodesiensis that are now extinct even though the fossil and archeological evidence show us that these species were more prevalent in some places than homo sapiens were even 75,000 years ago. But this search takes us much further back than hundreds of thousands of years and well into millions. Remember, the pieces of puzzle will not fall into our hands in nice and neat fitting parts like two exact pieces of a jigsaw puzzle probably aren’t side by side and ready to be fitted. We are collecting the pieces and they seem to continue to work very well inside the framework of evolutionary theory.

        Fascinating stuff, eh?

        The difficulty here is understanding that the first modern woman – mitochondrial Eve – was in fact a mutation from parents close to but slightly different in a very meaningful way from their offspring Eve. The chances of finding those exact parental fossils is infinitesimally small if not impossible if the geographic conditions favoured faster rotting of remains. If evidence is to be found, the approach now used is one that narrows down fossils with DNA that show extremely close association of the mitochondrial cell. Fossils with DNA are very rare so the search will take time but, so far, so good. It remains a great mystery slowly being solved but one worth following closely.

        Comment by tildeb — January 19, 2010 @ 1:29 am

      • Another really important point to remember is that we like to pack our stuff neatly into categories. We draw our categories with artificial lines between related stuff to help us accomplish what may sound like neat and tidy categories but we have to remember that these lines are artificial. Think of these lines like entrance marks to university set at 88.71% and compare the quality of difference between the student who has this average and one who has a 88.70 average. The difference in reality is negligible but as a category line it makes a big if artificial difference to the university. In this light, the daughter Eve, for example, will have a slight mutation in her mitochondria from her parents and that’s where we slide this category line, but in reality she would have been an obvious daughter of her parents and not some weird and vastly different species of hominoid.

        Comment by tildeb — January 19, 2010 @ 2:29 am

  34. Why did you delete my info on humans from apes in the encyclopedia versions??? They were what you have been telling me. Not from creationist sites…

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

    • I deleted it because it was hugely long and pointless. Your link in #32 is much clearer. Please don’t cut and paste huge swaths from other sources; perhaps a snip from a link and make a comment of your own.

      Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

      • I was just trying to show you more than one source

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 19, 2010 @ 12:43 am

      • I know. I didn’t do it to cause offense; I did it because you had already posted another really good source.

        Comment by tildeb — January 19, 2010 @ 1:34 am

  35. That’s really not fair tildeb…..

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

    • So anything that challenges your comments gets deleted?

      Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

      • It didn’t challenge my comment; it supported common ancestry.

        Comment by tildeb — January 18, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

  36. “Only if you promise to learn about what the bible really means and what books are actually in it! Not make up a bunch a bologna and put it out there as fact!”

    4amzgkids, I was brought up in a religious school. The books I listed before were in the bible, and were taken out – what you have left in the current bible is only half of it. My point is the bible has been changed through history it is not fact, it is a story book – if it was written by an all powerful god, he would have made it perfect and complete from the start. But I am waiting for your made up explanation of how this was not so…

    Get some lessons on bible Canon first – go ask your local Church leader, if you don’t believe me – all you are demonstrating is that you believe in something, that you do not know the full history off, and that you will not believe anything else.

    So I can’t win at all – I am prepared to read the bible, I own 4 copies of it, and some of my copies have different books in them – so which one do I believe, the latest version or the oldest version? You tell me – because I am dammed if I know, and dammed if I don’t.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 18, 2010 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

  37. How about MUR you start with a real bible – not sure what you have – those books were NEVER in the bible, I have taken the classes, I have read and understand the origin of the bible. Those books NEVER passed the test and were NEVER put in. Get an American version – for example New American Bible by Catholic Press – it goes into detail on what verses actually mean and the history behind each book.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 18, 2010 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

    • They were in the early versions of the scripture of Christ – before the Canon (“the test”) – which was a group of people who made a decision of which scriptures to include in the bible and which not to – i.e. another mans word, and not the word of god. They had to do this because people argued about what Jesus said and what he meant, so they had to come to some consensus and some consistency – I would like to add, they didn’t make a very good job of it. It was a human editorial – that the Church puts down to ‘revelation’ – i.e. more dreams and visions, which now don’t happen anymore, so the Canon is closed – funny that.

      It’s a book that was changed and translated countless times – I think about 400 times may be more. The translations and Canon predate America, the bible was not designed for America, it was designed for Europe, the English version was designed for England. We got fed up with the Catholic Church, and replaced it with the Church of England – we did that so that we could have our own interpretation of the bible, because we disagreed with the Pope on a few issues. Our Queen is the defender of the faith – to some she is just as holy as the Pope.

      So how can you put 100% faith in something that others changed and manipulated to their own ends throughout history – a fossil stays in the ground, it doesn’t change, people can not fake it everywhere, and it can be easily discovered a fake by comparison with another fossil. In addition, secular texts or historical texts from multiple faiths or societies that build a picture of history are more reliable than a single source which could be biased. So if you want a good view of history, look at the whole picture and not just one book.

      You would have thought that a man like Jesus, who went around curing the sick, walking on water etc. Would be in the history books other than just the bible wouldn’t you?

      You would have thought that the bible texts if they were the original word of god, would be perfect from day one – there would be no need for the Canon at all – the other Gospels such as Thomas, Peter etc would have stayed in there?

      Imagine if such a man existed today – everyone would believe, there wouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind – so why are there religions out there – that say Jesus was just a prophet, or a preacher or a false god.

      Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 19, 2010 @ 8:53 am | Reply

      • It wasn’t that long ago when modern technology revealed that some biblical manuscripts (I think copies of copies) actually contained new writings on top of old, deduced to be some scribe’s clarification and even invention substituted in parts of the original. The one I saw under examination (several years back now) was one the more popular ones – perhaps even a section from the sermon on the mount. I’ll look for that when I have the time.

        Comment by tildeb — January 19, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

      • MUR….you are wrong! I’m serious here. They were never accepted, never in there. The Catholic church made the decision of what would be in there. There are different writers from different periods and they would write a version that was similar with their (time period info) but it was the same basic story. They have found many copies of the same stories for the OT. The worked with the manuscripts that had been passed down – Peter was the first Pope and churches broke off and interpret for themselves and that is exactly the problem we have today. Jesus cannot be in the history books or he would – separation of church and state. Those gospels aren’t really gospels that you mention and they do not agree like the other books of the bible and that is why they are not in there. They are obviously not inspired. Just because others don’t believe in Jesus doesn’t mean it’s false. They need to be taught about Him and they aren’t because their societies don’t allow it. Common sense.

        The church has considered the bible inspired and it has not been proven wrong in 2,000 years. What do you mean the bible wasn’t meant for America? Our country was founded for freedom of religion – bible and all. That is an odd statement to make. Have you noticed that we are the most religious and we do the most good for other countries when tragedies strike them? The people of America are very giving and wouldn’t you think that goodness comes from somewhere?

        Anyway, I’m done blogging here. Tildeb repeatedly deletes my information because I can show other sides with more than one source and he obviously doesn’t like that. Please look up mitochondrial eve – many great sites! One common ancestor!!

        Comment by 4amzgkids — January 19, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

  38. It didn’t challenge my comment; it supported common ancestry. It showed the ape theory (lineage) which you denied.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 19, 2010 @ 12:44 am | Reply

    • My point was – and the article backed it up – that today’s apes and today’s humans share common ancestry. To interpret that to mean that we descended from apes rather than carefully clarify that we descend from an ape-like creature is the same as suggesting that today’s apes descended from men, which is as ridiculous, rather than carefully clarifying that apes descend from a man-like creature. The essential point is that we share a common ancestor.

      Comment by tildeb — January 19, 2010 @ 1:48 am | Reply

  39. Here are two videos, which help explain:

    The first thing you need to get your head around is that we are an animal, we breath, we shit, we have sex, we drink, we have muscles, bones, eyes, teeth, hair, brains, we die, just like all other animals. In fact, if you take a anatomy book say Grays Anatomy, and look at the pictures, you will see humans stripped of flesh, if you take a look at the legs, it looks like any other piece of meat you can buy at a butcher – we are just animals, it is clear to see – we are made of the same stuff.

    When we discovered DNA, we started to decode genes, and we found that like the pictures in anatomy books, we look the same chemically as well – it is the same process, it applies to all living things.

    This is why when you eat an animal or a plant it contains stuff (chemicals and nutrients) you need to live – it is all one system, that has evolved through the death and life of everything else on the planet. God clearly didn’t create everything at once as the bible says if he did – everything in the fossil record would be all together in one place – complete and intact.

    In reality, what we see is what the first video describes – simple life forms gradually getting more complex as time progresses.

    Now god could have created this process, I am happy to accept that, but it is not the only possibility, and since all the things that bible is telling us about the earth being 6000 years old, and Adam and Eve etc. looks to be wrong in the face of our observable evidence set in stone, then it brings into question the bible and its story, it also brings into question the motives by religions to push the story.

    It is just a story, developed by primitive people who didn’t understand the world they lived in and had no way of knowing what we know now about science – it is out of date, just like the Egyptian gods are out of date.
    Suppose god did create everything, would that being be simple or complicated? The bible says man was created in gods image, and since we are complicated organisms then god must be even more complicated. An all knowing being, that knows everything we are thinking and doing and are about to do, would be massively complicated. So what created god? And if god does exist, does he / it believe in god? Or is god an atheist?

    So what happened then?

    How did simple things just happen? Surely they can not just happen – changes can not just occur without being started by something – but they can, and there is a mathematical theory that explains it, it is called chaos theory, and it explains how elements can self organise into patterns.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-organization

    Alan Turing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing) was a mathematical genius, and he stumbled upon this idea, shortly before his suicide. Others have taken this work to fantastic levels, and it can be applied to engineering, chemistry, biology, physics, and may even provide the key to artificial intelligence.

    This is amazing (in fact the whole programme is brilliant), but this is fascinating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1ZZ6n2DMOU
    More information if you require it: http://www.naturalmotion.com/downloads.htm

    You should note that Turing killed himself because at the time in the UK it was illegal to be a homosexual, and he was chemically castrated, which caused depression – he then killed himself. I put this down to religious interference with legislation.

    It is prejudice like this that religion sponsors (the UK at the time was less secular), and holds back research – just think what we would have known about maths if this man had lived longer, if it was acceptable like it is today to be a homosexual without prejudice.

    Most recently, the UK public demanded an apology to be formally given.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8249792.stm

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — January 19, 2010 @ 12:57 pm | Reply

  40. Tildeb….where is my DNA article on EVE??

    Comment by 4amzgkids — January 19, 2010 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

    • Do you mean one of the replies to comment #33?

      Comment by tildeb — January 19, 2010 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

    • You posted it under comment 33 and I responded to it. As I wrote earlier, I don’t delete comments out of some sense of stopping people from posting their views (unless they are intentionally beyond the bounds of what I consider acceptable). I deleted your post because it was a huge cut and paste that said less well what your link said.

      I think you will do us both a favour if you don’t jump to conclusions about my intentions but take a moment and simply ask if I do something out of the ordinary.

      Comment by tildeb — January 19, 2010 @ 3:35 pm | Reply


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