September 6th, 2012
09:52 AM ET

Dawkins: Evolution is 'not a controversial issue'

Atheist. Biologist. Writer. Thinker. Richard Dawkins has developed an international reputation of spreading the word that evolution happened and that there is no "intelligent design" or higher being, as you might gather from the title of his book "The God Delusion."

But no matter what you think about his convictions, his ideas have gone viral - including the word "meme."

CNN caught up with Dawkins while he was passing through Atlanta earlier this year. His next U.S. tour is in October.

Here is an edited transcript of part of the conversation. Watch the video above for a more focused look at Dawkins' ideas about evolution vs. intelligent design.

Today, a lot of people think a "meme" is a LOLcat or a photo that's gone viral. How do you feel about that?
In the last chapter of "The Selfish Gene," I coined the word "meme" as a sort of analog of "gene." My purpose of this was to say that although I'd just written a whole book about how the gene is the unit of natural selection, and that evolution is changes in gene frequencies, the Darwinian process is potentially wider than that.

You could go to other planets in the universe and find life, and if you do find life, then it will have evolved by some kind of evolutionary process, probably Darwinian. And therefore there must be something equivalent to a gene, although it may be very, very different from the DNA genes that we know.

I wanted to drive that point home. And rather than speculate about life on other planets, I thought maybe we could look at life on this planet and find an analog of the gene staring us in the face right here. And that was the meme. It's a unit of cultural inheritance, the idea that an idea might propagate itself in a similar way to a gene propagating itself. It might be like catchy tune, or a clothes fashion. A verbal convention, a word that becomes fashionable, like "awesome," which no longer means what it should mean.

That would be an example of something that spread like an epidemic. And the word "basically," which is now used just to mean "uhh." That's another one that's spread throughout the English speaking world.

These are potentially analogous to genes in the sense that they spread and are copied from brain to brain throughout the world, or throughout a particular subset of people. The interesting question would be whether there's a Darwinian process, a kind of selection process whereby some memes are more likely to spread than others, because people like them, because they're popular, because they're catchy or whatever it might be.

My original purpose was to say: It's not necessarily all about genes. But the word has taken off.

There are people who use meme theory as a serious contribution to the theory of human culture and I’m glad to say that the idea of things going viral has also gone viral.

How do you think evolution should be taught to children?
You can't even begin to understand biology, you can't understand life, unless you understand what it's all there for, how it arose - and that means evolution. So I would teach evolution very early in childhood. I don't think it's all that difficult to do. It's a very simple idea. One could do it with the aid of computer games and things like that.

I think it needs serious attention, that children should be taught where they come from, what life is all about, how it started, why it's there, why there's such diversity of it, why it looks designed. These are all things that can easily be explained to a pretty young child. I'd start at the age of about 7 or 8.

There’s only one game in town as far as serious science is concerned. It’s not that there are two different theories. No serious scientist doubts that we are cousins of gorillas, we are cousins of monkeys, we are cousins of snails, we are cousins of earthworms. We have shared ancestors with all animals and all plants. There is no serious scientist who doubts that evolution is a fact.

Why do people cling to these beliefs of creationism and intelligent design?
There are many very educated people who are religious but they’re not creationists. There’s a world of difference between a serious religious person and a creationist, and especially a Young Earth Creationist, who thinks the world is only 10,000 years old.

If we wonder why there are still serious people including some scientists who are religious, that’s a complicated psychological question. They certainly won’t believe that God created all species, or something like that. They might believe there is some sort of intelligent spirit that lies behind the universe as a whole and perhaps designed the laws of physics and everything else took off from there.

But there's a huge difference between believing that and believing that this God created all species. And also, by the way, in believing that Jesus is your lord and savior who died for your sins. That you may believe, but that doesn't follow from the scientific or perhaps pseudoscientific that there's some kind of intelligence that underlies the laws of physics.

What you cannot really logically do is to say, well I believe that there's some kind of intelligence, some kind of divine physicist who designed the laws of physics, therefore Jesus is my lord and savior who died for my sins. That's an impermissible illogicality that unfortunately many people resort to.

Why do you enjoy speaking in the Bible Belt?
I’ve been lots of places, all of which claim to be the buckle of the Bible Belt. They can’t all be, I suppose. I enjoy doing that. I get very big audiences, very enthusiastic audiences. It’s not difficult to see why.

These people are beleaguered, they feel threatened, they feel surrounded by a sort of alien culture of the highly religious, and so when somebody like me comes to town…they turn out in very large numbers, and they give us a very enthusiastic welcome, and they thank us profusely and very movingly for coming and giving them a reason to turn out and see each other.

They stand up together and notice how numerous they actually are. I think it may be a bit of a myth that America is quite such a religious country as it’s portrayed as, and particularly that the Bible Belt isn’t quite so insanely religious as it’s portrayed as.

In situations such as the death of a loved one, people often turn to faith. What do you turn to?
Bereavement is terrible, of course. And when somebody you love dies, it’s a time for reflection, a time for memory, a time for regret. I absolutely don’t ever, under such circumstances, feel tempted to take up religion. Of course not. But I attend memorial services, I’ve organized memorial events or memorial services, I’ve spoken eulogies, I’ve taken a lot of trouble to put together a program of poetry, of music, of eulogies, of memories, to try to celebrate the life of the dead person.

What’s going to happen when you die?
What’s going to happen when I die? I may be buried, or I may be cremated, I may give my body to science. I haven’t decided yet.

It just ends?
Of course it just ends. What else could it do? My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain. My brain is going to rot. So no, there’s no question about that.

If there were a God that met you after death, what would you say?
If I met God, in the unlikely event, after I died? The first thing I would say is, well, which one are you? Are you Zeus? Are you Thor? Are you Baal? Are you Mithras? Are you Yahweh? Which God are you, and why did you take such great pains to conceal yourself and to hide away from us?

Where did morality come from? Evolution?
We have very big and complicated brains, and all sorts of things come from those brains, which are loosely and indirectly associated with our biological past. And morality is among them, together with things like philosophy and music and mathematics. Morality, I think, does have roots in our evolutionary past. There are good reasons, Darwinian reasons, why we are good to, altruistic towards, cooperative with, moral in our behavior toward our fellow species members, and indeed toward other species as well, perhaps.

There are evolutionary roots to morality, but they’ve been refined and perfected through thousands of years of human culture. I certainly do not think that we ought to get our morals from religion because if we do that, then we either get them through Scripture – people who think you should get your morals from the Old Testament haven’t read the Old Testament – so we shouldn’t get our morals from there.

Nor should we get our morals from a kind of fear that if we don’t please God he’ll punish us, or a kind of desire to apple polish (to suck up to) a God. There are much more noble reasons for being moral than constantly looking over your shoulder to see whether God approves of what you do.

Where do we get our morals from? We get our morals from a very complicated process of discussion, of law-making, writing, moral philosophy, it’s a complicated cultural process which changes – not just over the centuries, but over the decades. Our moral attitudes today in 2012 are very different form what they would have been 50 or 100 years ago. And even more different from what they would have been 300 years ago or 500 years ago. We don’t believe in slavery now. We treat women as equal to men. All sorts of things have changed in our moral attitudes.

It’s to do with a very complicated more zeitgeist. Steven Pinker’s latest book “The Better Angels of Our Nature” traces this improvement over long centuries of history. He makes an extremely persuasive case for the fact that we are getting more moral, we are getting better as time goes on, and religion perhaps has a part to play in that, but it’s by no means an important part.

I don’t think there’s a simple source of morality to which we turn.

What might come after humans in evolution?
Nobody knows. It’s an unwise, a rash biologist who ever forecasts what’s going to happen next. Most species go extinct. The first question we should ask is: Is there any reason to think we will be exceptional?

I think there is a reason to think we possibly might be exceptional because we do have a uniquely develop technology which might enable us to not go extinct. So if ever there was a species that one might make a tentative forecast that it’s not going to go extinct, it might be ours.

Others have come to the opposite conclusion: That we might drive ourselves extinct by some horrible catastrophe involving human weapons. But assuming that doesn’t happen, maybe we will go for hundreds of thousands, even million years.

Will they evolve? Will they change? In order for that to happen, it’s necessary that a reproductive advantage should apply to certain genetic types rather than other genetic types. If you look back 3 million years, one of the most dramatic changes has been in the increase in brain size. Our probable ancestor 3 million years ago of the genus Australopithecus walked on its hind legs but had a brain about the size of a chimpanzee’s.

Will that trend continue? Only if the bigger brained individuals are the most likely to have children. Is there any tendency if you look around the world today to say that the brainiest individuals are the ones most likely to reproduce? I don’t think so. Is there any reason to think that might happen in the future? Not obviously. You can’t just look back 3 million years and extrapolate into the future. You have to ask the question: What kinds of genetically distinct individuals are most likely to reproduce during the next hundreds of thousands of years? It’s extremely difficult to forecast that.

What are you working on next?
I’m thinking of working on another book and it might be some sort of autobiography, but it’s very much in the planning stage.

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Filed under: CNN Ideas • Human ancestors • On Earth
soundoff (3,789 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Why is it that when we reach a certain age we all agree that it's ridiculous to have ever believed in Santa Claus yet nobody seems to have a problem believing in God?

    September 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      Because while crushing Santa may be occasionally a little traumatic for a kid, the child is likely to go on receiving gifts later (the real reason they're initially traumatized is fear of losing gifts in the future). However, crushing the belief in an afterlife can have devastating consequences for humans of all ages, with nothing much to soothe them.

      Many people will see no reasonable excuse to bother with the pain of life. Deaths of loved ones will become all the more tragic knowing they will not ever be seen again. Some people fear humans without religion will have no morality, and a future world like that is frightening for them. They've also likely grown up ingrained with the community spirit of religion, meaning to lose it means to possibly lose that connection. Humans are very social. Religion is truly a crutch to give people reasons to go on marching through life when those people can't appreciate life for what it is - a marvelous feat of mathematical improbability. I guess its not even that; an improbability. Given the time span of the planet life was not improbable. It just seems that way because we can't comprehend long time scales very well.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  2. scorp

    Is the Fox news crowd coming to post over here or what? Most of these comments are against evolution, which is amazing since evolution is true and we have over 150 years of evidence in multiple fields that all support and verify that evolution happens. How can we be a global leader in the 2000's when most of our population is interminably stupid??

    September 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • scientist

      Scorp you make a fundamental mistake that is shameful for one who uses science as a defense, you say evolution is verified by science. That is an impossibility. Science can only hypothesize and test, never prove. Evolution as a theory may in time be proven false but it can never be proven true. At the moment you say it is proven true you make a theological claim that is outside science. Yes, Scorp your rant makes you a reglious nut. Lets stick to science, please, because you have just blown your argument. For evolution to beat the odds and not become a theology we need to rid the world of religious fanatics thought such as yours.

      September 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  3. cwewill

    this is fine! he does not have to believe it to make it so! the truth stands alone...if we had to wait for him to come along to establish it, where would all the people be who came before him?

    September 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  4. sanjosemike

    Even though I have been an atheist for at least 30 years, I wouldn't use evolution as a reason for atheism. A supreme being certainly could have used evolution as a "motor" to install intelligent life in the universe. It's an excellent tool to do exactly that.

    Churches should support and actually TEACH evolution as the "word of god." I see no reason for them to be threatened by it in the least.

    If you support atheism, do it for the suffering and pain on the earth. But you can't use evolution as an excuse. Evolution is exactly how a supreme being could or would operate to produce us, as assisted by cometary attacks on earth and mass extinctions.

    sanjosemikke

    September 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  5. Oakspar77777

    Mr. Dawkins dies, and meets God.

    He asks, "Well, opps! Which one are you?"

    God replies, "I am Apollo, God of the Sun, though I have been called many other names by man!"

    Dawkins replies with his Bertrand Russell quote, "Why did you take such pains to hide yourself?"

    God replies, "Your petty planet spun around my awesome (correctly used) firey blast daily and annually for millinium while I looked over you, warmed you, gave you life, and witheld my wrath from burning you to a crisp! You saw my blinding greatness every day as you walked in the light of MY glory! I was the most obvious thing in your existance!!!"

    Dawkins: "To us, you seemed as a nuclear reaction burning brightly in the sky."

    God replies, "Did you expect to see the face of GOD in life? Without burning? Without blindness? You could have looked upon me at any time, but you knew the cost of such a vision in life and chose not to."

    That little story is to point out that Dawkins is a fool with a warped standard to begin with. Sure, he wins any logic games you start with his rules, but those rules are flawed.

    "No serious scientist denies evolution" is a perfectly true definition if you define a "serious scientist" as one that does not believe in evolution. If you define it any other way, he would likely be wrong, since there are many scientist in labs, the field, and the classroom who do not hold to evolution.

    "God has hidden Himself" makes since if you define everything percievable as "Natural" and defined "Supernatural" as only that which can never be seen or percieved. The problem is, if God has been revealing Himself clearly and openly through all of time and creation, then Dawkins would assume that revelation was a natural rather than supernatural process (like in the story above).

    Dawkins is correct that the possibility of him being wrong is no reason to jump onto one religion or another, that includes, however, jumping onto the religion of Atheism. If Dawkins truely believed there was no God, he wouldn't preach the athiestic gospel – the correct response to a true lack of belief would be apathy, not antagonism, to religion.

    The opposite of love is apathy – you can only hate something you care about. His antagonism reveals his own insecurity in belief.

    Of course, you could say that he is following some Darwinian motivation. But which? Money? Well, then he would be using that money to sire as many like Dawkin's DNA babies as he could hump his way into (and I have not heard of any baby farms or oceans of child support about the man).

    Could he want to spread his meme, instead of his gene throughout society and leave a memetic impression on mankind in his ideals of Atheism? If so, he is an idiot. If there is no God, then what ideas you spread are inferior to how well they spread and he could coldly, calculatingly develop a set of religious beliefs far more likely to last in society than Atheism (which even if it does become a global belief is unlikely to attritbute much of anything to Dawkins, since he is no more important than any other spokesperson – like Penn & Teller).

    September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      Your argument is unsound and illogical. It is self-contradictory. You can't seriously think anyone is going to fall for your deception, do you?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • End Religion

      "Mr. Dawkins dies, and meets God."
      For the sake of argument we'll let you proceed with this fallacy. Mr Dawkins cannot die. He is a robot. Wait... I mean he can die, he just won't meet god of course, since there isn't one.

      'God replies, "I am Apollo, God of the Sun, though I have been called many other names by man!"'
      I guess here, again, we have to grant you someone has supernatural powers. Neither god nor Dawkins would be able to talk as they have no functioning brain at this point, which is a big part of the equation that allows for speech. I suppose if they're both talking, they must both have godlike powers at this point. Yeah! Dawkins is God!

      'God replies, "Your petty planet spun around my awesome (correctly used) firey blast daily and annually for millinium while I looked over you, warmed you, gave you life, and witheld my wrath from burning you to a crisp! You saw my blinding greatness every day as you walked in the light of MY glory! I was the most obvious thing in your existance!!!"'
      Are you implying you believe the sun is god? While our sun is immensely behind life as we know it, you can probably wiki "sun" and see the materials of its composition such as hydrogen and helium. It doesn't have a beard.

      'Dawkins: "To us, you seemed as a nuclear reaction burning brightly in the sky."'
      No "seeming" about it. The nuclear reaction bit is a fact.

      'God replies, "Did you expect to see the face of GOD in life? Without burning? Without blindness? You could have looked upon me at any time, but you knew the cost of such a vision in life and chose not to."'
      Huh? I've looked at the sun plenty of times. It leaves that stinking blue splotch on my retina for a few minutes after I look away. You know the one? Ah, you looked too, eh?

      "That little story is to point out that Dawkins is a fool with a warped standard to begin with. Sure, he wins any logic games you start with his rules, but those rules are flawed."
      Wherein did it show Dawkins a fool? Was it the part where he talked to an imaginary being? I guess you're right. That would be foolish... The rules he plays by are how we derive facts in our world and distinguish reality from fantasy. When you're in a plane I suppose you believe its the hand of god holding you up in the air and not the principles (facts) of flight as we have determined them? I guess there's no fighting crazy...

      '"No serious scientist denies evolution" is a perfectly true definition if you define a "serious scientist" as one that does not believe in evolution.'"
      At this point it must be that you're trolling. The field of science rests on logic, reason and testing hypotheses based on such, which is why religion has nearly disappeared from its upper echelons and is filtering down through the various levels of those who practice it. Yes, there is a small percentage of religious folks left. There is nearly no credible scientist left who does not believe in evolution as it has been tested and is accepted as fact in the same way other science hypotheses are accepted as fact. One can almost not reasonably hold a position as a scientist if one refuses to believe in evolution as it is equally as absurd as not believing in gravity.

      "If you define it any other way, he would likely be wrong, since there are many scientist in labs, the field, and the classroom who do not hold to evolution."
      This depends on our definitions of "scientists in labs, field and classroom". And also "many". Sure, I'd assume frighteningly that there remain high school science teachers who don't believe in evolution. As teachers progress into higher echelons though, its less and less common for the facts I mentioned earlier. You could tell us "1000 scientists is what i mean by many" but we'd have to first see those 1000 names, prove they were in a credible field of science and then come up with a percentage versus ALL credible scientists. I suppose the main thrust here is that we'd quibble over credible since creationists don't subscribe to what the majority feels is credible science.

      ""God has hidden Himself" makes since if you define everything percievable as "Natural" and defined "Supernatural" as only that which can never be seen or percieved. The problem is, if God has been revealing Himself clearly and openly through all of time and creation, then Dawkins would assume that revelation was a natural rather than supernatural process (like in the story above)."
      You don't know what Dawkins would assume. If Dawkins follows the tenets of science, and as other atheists point out, if god showed up and said, "hey i'm god, watch me raise this mountain over here" and then he proceeded to do so, and then other scientists were allowed to come and ask him to again raise the mountain and god did do so, then all the folks there would record the event and get back to the drawing board on whatever theories they need to re-assess on learning there is someone who can suspend and bend the laws of nature at his will. Scientists and real truth seekers would relish having god come prove his existence. Though they'd later have a heck of time factoring him into equations.

      "Dawkins is correct that the possibility of him being wrong is no reason to jump onto one religion or another, that includes, however, jumping onto the religion of Atheism."
      this old thing again... you can't claim to not have a dictionary handy. Atheism is a lack of belief in any religion.

      "If Dawkins truely believed there was no God, he wouldn't preach the athiestic gospel – the correct response to a true lack of belief would be apathy, not antagonism, to religion."
      Since when are you an authority on how others should act? And religious folks call atheists arrogant... The correct response to a true lack of belief is whatever that given person responds with. You're missing the point of Dawkins' "antagonism". Religion can no longer be shrugged off as simply your cute delusion. While its always been a dangerous game, responsible for the heinous deaths of millions, it now has the potential to be catastrophic for all other humans. We let you play out your fantasy when it was only devastating to man, but now it can be cataclysmic, and that won't fly. The time for apathy is gone. End religion now.

      "The opposite of love is apathy"
      Not if you check a thesaurus.

      "you can only hate something you care about."
      maybe that's you, in your specific delusion, and not everyone else.

      "His antagonism reveals his own insecurity in belief."
      You feel that is so. Doesn't make it a fact. I feel his antagonism is a response to repeated attempts to enlighten those who are willingly mired in delusion. Doesn't make it a fact. Which is why you should ask him why you perceive him as antagonistic, and then take him at his word.

      "Of course, you could say that he is following some Darwinian motivation. But which? Money? Well, then he would be using that money to sire as many like Dawkin's DNA babies as he could hump his way into (and I have not heard of any baby farms or oceans of child support about the man)."
      This I found funny. The visual of Dawkins baby farms is hilarious.

      "Could he want to spread his meme, instead of his gene throughout society and leave a memetic impression on mankind in his ideals of Atheism? If so, he is an idiot. If there is no God, then what ideas you spread are inferior to how well they spread and he could coldly, calculatingly develop a set of religious beliefs far more likely to last in society than Atheism (which even if it does become a global belief is unlikely to attritbute much of anything to Dawkins, since he is no more important than any other spokesperson – like Penn & Teller)."
      I think we covered this, but its so often spouted even in its un-truth-i-ness-is-ity i should probably say it again.
      a=not, theist=one who believes in a god
      we keep saying it. You keep not letting it sink in. Atheism does not have religious beliefs. Repeating that atheism is a religion is a religious person's way of projecting our feelings back. We find religious people a little crazy, you know that, it hurts your feelings a little and you shout it back at us. I understand the name-calling aspect, but it doesn't help your camp to continually shy away from facts, which only makes you seem that much more crazy.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  6. Dyslexic doG

    Evolution – 95% proven
    Creationism – 0% proven

    All you knuckleheads who say evolution is not proven need to read the endless proof that is readily available anywhere outside a christian bookstore.

    America has become the laughing stock of the modern world. What an embarrassment!

    September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      You are wrong.
      Evolution 100% proven.
      Creationism, 100% nonsense.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • veggiedude

        Let me re-phrase your statement: Evolution, just like Electricity, has been proven.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • A Believer in Stephen Hawking

        Dan, Excellent and factual reply! I could not agree with you more!

        September 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  7. Moar Aytheizts!1

    Dawkins is a genius. Anyone who believes the intelligent design myth is a moron.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Moar Aytheizts!1

      You are smart!

      September 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • thinquer

      Calling people who don't agree with you "knuckleheads" and "morons" is the effort of a weak mind trying to assert itself forcibly, when the argument lacks weight.

      However, sticiking to the facts, there are no half-monkey hallf-humans in the zoo. In the face of such facts, evolution fails.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • William

        We did not come from monkeys......your argument fails.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
      • nojinx

        You have not completed a modern education program. Your comment fails.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
      • William

        @nojinx I would venture to say that your modern education program would be from a Christian University? Your life is a failure....

        September 6, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • nojinx

        I am a life-long atheist.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • William

      What about the Flying Spaghetti Monster? I disagree with you sir....

      http://www.vengaza.org

      September 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    Another 10 or 20 generations and the human race will look on your God and Jesus the same way as we look on Zeus and Thor and Ra (and santa claus and the tooth fairy) today. What a giggle!

    September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  9. DD

    You NEVER close your mind to possibilities. LOL. Another dude likely gonna get bit in his incorporeal ass.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Nat Q

      Never close your mind to rational possibilities. One should not keeps one's mind open to magical nonsense for which there is no evidence. Or do you HONESTLY keep an open mind that water molecules are formed when invisible fairies slam hydrogen and oxygen atoms together as a form of fairy currency? Hey, it's "possible."

      Never close your mind to RATIONAL possibilities...

      September 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  10. joetalks

    He talks that that RELIGION can not teach us any thing and he is right, JESUS did not come here to offer a religion JESUS came here to give us life and life abundantly not from this earh but from HEAVEN,,

    September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  11. Snorter

    I'd prefer to enjoy this life, which is a certainty until it ends, rather than waste it worrying about a possible after life.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • cigarlover

      Absolutely and very well said!
      It boggles my mind that the fools who kill themselves or others on the name of religion, just dont get it.

      September 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Jon

    It is so frustrating to "listen" to you delusional, religious people. God is an intangible (conveniently) that science cannot prove ot disprove. Is it plausible? No fu@cking way. The concept provides comfort and explanation to those that don't require fact or common sense.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  13. Rick

    So from this article I took away that Christians and other religiously deluded folks are not capable of understanding something that 7 and 8 years old would be able to....hahahahahah

    September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  14. Dyslexic doG

    The bible is like a "Nigerian Email" from the bronze-age.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  15. Canadian

    You want my proof as to why God does not exist....I'll tell you why. Peolpe who sought to answer "Why" over millions of different questions smartened up, got wise and found those answers.

    I'll give you an example, how many civilized people today know who the Greek God Poseidon is? Most of you probably do – he was considered by the Greeks as the God of the oceans. In ancient times if there was storm or loss of life at sea, it was considered to be due to the act of Poseidon.

    Now, if a CNN weather forecaster came on tv and said, "Poseidon is angry with us. To punish us, he has summoned a hurricane which is heading towards us and will arrive within in the week." – How would we as 21st century people react to such a forecast? Well, some of us would come up with a logical explanation as to why Hurricanes exist, how they're created, etc.

    So, if it is possible to debunk the myth that there is a very old man holding a trident who holds power over all the world's oceans, then what's stopping us from debunking the myth there is almighty God looking over us? I'll tell you – NOTHING IS STOPPING US.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Madtown

      Nice try, but the truth is that no one who offers a definitive "answer" for any of these questions is ever correct. "We don't know" is the only correct answer.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • WOW

      One point you did not make. God, To an unknown god, has stood the test of time. Paul speaks to the Greeks: Acts 17....23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

      24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

      25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

      26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

      27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

      September 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • End Religion

        @wow: all gods "stand the test of time" until their time is done. Your god's time is finally coming to an end. Maybe you kooks will upgrade Barney the Dinosaur to god status or something equally insane. You seem to need a certain level of crazy in your life. "I love you. You love me. We're one happy family. Now drink my blood and eat of my purple flesh."

        September 6, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Rick

      But......Poseidon exists!!?!....doesn't he??????

      September 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  16. SilverHair

    Just a footnote – promoting book sales??

    September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  17. Dan

    "The mind of man is enmity toward God" and not just the minds of atheist. We have the choice; knowledge or faith and the dumbest of us have the advantage.
    My personal belief is that God knows nothing, not even 0 +1 =1 because he does not have to.
    God is spirit, an INTELLIGENT being without shape or form; the only intelligence and source of intelligence.
    Knowledge is not intelligence it is only man's conception of it.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • End Religion

      We asked all you New Age kooks to leave your Hawaiian shirts and incense at the door.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  18. Tom

    "Evolution is 'not a controversial issue'." Then have the scientific community remove "theory" if they have proof to move it to fact. I have yet to see anything. If it's so abundant, then where is it and why do they cry we have the missing link every year or so if they already have it? All they have is a theory they're pushing as fact. You can't use science to disprove God when you have no proof. If you don't believe, then that's fine. But stop making up stuff and pushing it on school kids.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Aquaria

      Scientific theories can never be proven true, they can only be proven wrong through experiment. A scientific theory is a proven model of objective facts.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " Then have the scientific community remove "theory" if they have proof to move it to fact. I have yet to see anything."

      This one sentence cuts to the heart of the whole matter. It shows the profound depths of the ignorance you nutters have. You don't even freaking know the scientific definitions of theory and fact, much less understand the basic lexicon involved.

      Yet, bizarrely, you feel compelled to come onto internet message boards and demonstrate that ignorance.

      It is like this – I choose to be ignorant about ice hockey. Don't have a clue as to how it's played or what the rules are. So what if I went onto an internet message board about ice hockey, and started posting that the refs (umps?, officials?0 are calling the icing penalty all wrong? Hopefully, the folks who did understand hockey would try and explain things to me. But instead I called them all liars, told them they were going to hell, and demanded I was right.

      That is what you nutters are doing.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Nat Q

      Scientific theories are NEVER "moved to fact." That is a grave scientific misunderstanding and I am sorry that someone foisted it off on you.

      A theory, in scientific terms, is the HIGHEST form of acceptance there is. Theories contain facts, laws, observations, empirical evidence, hypotheses, even other theories. Virtually all of the science you know is deemed theory. From the Theory of gravity to cell theory (the FACT that your body is made of cells is part of cell THEORY) to heliocentric theory. Theory is as good as it gets in science and it doesn't ever get "promoted" or "become" fact.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
      • nojinx

        Thanks, Nat Q, you beat me to it.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  19. Steve from Canton

    Special revelation is the key to faith in anything. My faith in God rests primarily in the fact that those who saw Him, wrote about him, declaring His words and what He claimed about Himself. I'd recommend anyone read the New Testament with an open mind and heart before earnestly rejecting the existence of God. Compare these writings against other writings. Put these teachings to the test, and see if your mind isn't at least swayed by the Bible. Blessings to all.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Madtown

      If the bible is proof of God, how come only a subset of all human beings have access to it? If it's "God's word", how come God doesn't make it available to all human beings on this planet? Are you special, just because you were born into a part of the world where christianity exists, and is practiced?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • Just Me

        Not sure just what subset you are talking about. The Bible is the most sold and most reproduced book in the World. It has been translated in to most languages and projects are in the works to translate it into the remainder. No one has a corner on God. His grace is available where ever you are and whom ever you are.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Steve from Canton

        Madtown...it's a great question, and yes, one that I cannot answer (though I've been trying for years...LOL). Ultimately, I had to weigh everything that I was taught about God, Man, science, life, etc... I honestly believe that the eyewitness accounts of Jesus miracles, his life/death/resurrection are in fact geniune and not the ravings of various mad men. When I read from John, Peter, and Paul who all claimed to be eyewitness of the resurrection, and went to their deaths or prison for the soul crime of teaching this doctrine, my interest is further peaked (peeked?). I have no idea why my faith journey is the way it is (compared to others as you rightly claim). But I truly believe, having weighed all the evidence given to me, the Christian faith is indeed reasonable and believable. I have placed my faith in Christ and have also been greatly blessed in ways to numerous to mention here. It is my genuine hope that, as God's word declares, "all come to the knowledge of the truth and [are] saved"...for "God is not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance". Hope u r well.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • Madtown

        Just Me
        Not sure just what subset you are talking about. The Bible is the most sold and most reproduced book in the World
        --------
        JustMe – the subset I'm talking about, are all the millions of human beings in this world who will never even hold a bible, much less be able to read it, or understand the principles of christianity it defines. Regardless of how widespread it's published, there will always be millions who will still never have the chance to read it. Think of a primitive tribesman living in the rain forest of South America. That tribesman is every bit as human as you or anyone else, and is of equal human value to any christian. If the bible was the "only way" acceptable to God, he'd make it available to all his equal creations.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @WOW
      You make this too easy. You're quoting a priestly-class addition to a compendium of Sumerian myths and as it turns out you are worshipping ADAD the SUMERIAN THUNDER GOD, otherwise known as Yahweh. SO, true God? You believe that a god of thunder is the "true" god? Did you know that thunder is caused by the inrushing of air into a vacuum created by lightning? Now what are you going to do? You no longer need ADAD the SUMERIAN THUNDER GOD. The question is what would change? Would you suddenly lose your moral compass? Become unethical?

      To me, it's weird that you all do this bronze age crap and expect those of us who may be atheist, and maybe are even still spiritual, to give you any credence. You quote something you know nothing about, and out of context, and you'd reject the historical research that corroborates my statements.

      To be clear, you worship a BOOK, about ADAD the SUMERIAN THUNDER GOD, you don't even actually worship a "One-God" by definition. ADAD, THOR, APOLLO, et al were all members of a pantheon. ADAD happened to have the most jealous and violently active priesthood, so he gets passed down. A god that stands the test of time? Sorry, hasn't been invented yet.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  20. Belizean

    If it really is a non controversial issue, why keep mentioning it over and over? Why fight for something or against
    something if you claim it isnt there? Please answer that one....

    September 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Because creationists are trying to eliminate any scientific progress that doesn't exactly match up with their odd and widely varying interpretations of their religious texts. There are LOTS of them and they need to be beaten in order for us to progress as a species in the way that we should be able.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • bff

      Belizean,
      Did he answer that one for ya?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
      • Belizean

        Nope, he sure didnt. And if he, and all the rest of Anti Christ's think that religion is the answer, youre crazy, because religion is NOT the answer. I understand why there is so much negative feeling when the work religion is mentioned. It is because it shouldnt ever exist. Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism, etc.... is not the answer. GOD is the answer. Simply God, not all the distractions that came up later. And I know religion has done many evil deeds. Thats why we need God.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
      • t3chn0ph0b3

        Belizean – Your invocation of the antichrist marks you as a Christian whether you like it or not. At best, you're a religious nut who doesn't like going to church. At worst, you're a true Deist, (i.e., someone who needs a justification for their actions, but, since they can't find a rational one, attributes them to an amorphous god concept, allowing him to do anything he wants in the name of his god without the normal societal direction that comes along with an organized religion.)

        September 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      Amen t3chn0ph0b3

      September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Primewonk

      99.95% of the 400,000 professional scientists in the relevant fields acknowledge the the ToE describes the diversification of life on earth. The vast majority of rational civilized folks in the world accept evolution.

      It is ONLY amongst the ignorant fundiot nutters, who insist on a literaalist interpretation of Genesis that we see this disconnect. And unfortunately, the vast majority of these nutters live in the US.

      And as long as you nutters keep trying to shove your religious idiocy into our laws and schools, you should expect us to continue fighting back.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • MrHanson

      How does not believing life is a giant accident going to hold us back? That argument is getting quite old and is nothing but fear mongering. Islam is the exception.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
      • bff

        The theory of evolution does not describe biogenesis. So don't say in your underhanded way that people who understand evolution as the fact that it is also say life began as an accident.

        However, most of us, based on what science has discovered so far, feel that it is far, far, far more likely that life came from an accident than from a supernatural fairy. So scientists are actively investigating this.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • t3chn0ph0b3

        Evloution is anything but a "giant accident." It's hundreds of millions, if not billions of years of selective pressure and genetic drift.

        Also, understanding it requires no "faith" or "belief." In fact, understanding it is the basis for understanding biology, where almost all life-prolonging and improving medical inventions come from.

        Denying it is denying science in favor of myth. Forcing children to do so is a form of child abuse in that it destroys their ability to use logic and reason in determining their actions, which is one of the primary problems the human race is facing right now.

        Denying evolution is symptomatic of everything that is wrong with current human decision-making. That's why it is so dangerous.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Rick

      Obviously, because the barbarians are at the gates.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  21. trex

    I believe in GOD, and I believe evolution is GOD's way.........................."A day is but a THOUSAND YEARS...."

    September 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • bff

      Why would someone even use the term day then?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Believing in evolution gets you half way to freeing yourself from religion entirely.

      Now apply Occam's razor to the problem.

      Envoking god to explain the existence of the universe does not answer anything, it just compounds the original question with many more complex and unnecessary questions. The initial simple question of "how was the universe created?", becomes through the evocation of god: "How was god created?","How did god create the universe?", "How does god make immaterial souls interact with material bodies?", "how does god control events in the universe when everything in the universe appears to evolve complete fine by itself following the laws of physics?", etc.

      Occam's razor states that the simplest answer is most likely the correct one. In this case the simplest answer is that there is no god.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Terming a thousand years as a day in a delusional attempt to justify the initial delusion of a god with no evidence to support its existence still isn't enough. The earth is 4.54 billion years old. The universe is 14.6 billion years old. You will have to lengthen a day much further than a thousand years, And even once you are done, there still will remain no evidence outside your imagination for the existence of god. There is no evidence whatsoever.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • End Religion

      tres, congrats to being a part of the new wavering. Christianity had foisted the bible off as "direct words of god" for too long. So much discrepency and untruths in the bible. The religion has splintered so many tmes, with different groups pronouncing differing opinions on how much of the bible is literal, until now when plenty of religious people have finally been forced to see adam and eve did not ever exist, we've evolved, and so now that's being incorporated. So congrats to you on the new religion where evolution is now adding to the further watering down of "the word of god". how much will it take for you to all finally take the last step and admit there never was such a god. There never was a book dictated by any god anywhere. there is no one true religion. there is only this life, an amazing, seemingly improbable chance time in the hostory of the universe when the planet stabilized enough to allow us to evolve and further to learn and understand how it all happened. There's no more need to develop fantasy around it.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  22. Olaf Big

    It is very refreshing to listen to and read Dawkins, exactly because he says with such precision what he thinks. There are so many intelligent educated americans, who definitely don't believe in God, but are afraid to call themselves atheists and choose a less threatening word agnostic instead, which is rather inaccurate. Come on folks, it's 21 century, not the 11th. You will not be burnt alive, and you will be in good company if you call yourself atheists. This will also help to marginalize wingnuts whose claim to atheism is that they demonstrate against putting up a Christmas tree in the state capitol.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Madtown

      Agnosticism is actually the only legitimate position to take in these discussions. There are no concrete answers to any of these questions! No matter which side you associate yourself with, there are no definitive answers. We don't know!!!

      September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
      • Olaf Big

        Actually, no, it is not the only position, or a very defensible position. It is true that it is impossible to disprove the existence of God logically, but that does not mean that we don't have to take sides in the debate. Both because of practical consequences, and for reasons on intellectual integrity, we do have to take a side based on the preponderance of evidence.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Madtown

        that does not mean that we don't have to take sides in the debate
        ------–
        Take a side if you want. It's a simple fact, that neither side is proveable. The bottom line must always be "we don't know", because......we don't know for sure.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
      • Olaf Big

        Madtown, while you are placidly stating that you don't know because you cannot know, the other side unburdened by the purity of philosophical argument very vocally makes a point that they do know, and that creationism is right and evolution is wrong, and that's what they want to teach our childeren in school. So, maybe you should get off your podest and make up your mind which makes more sense and what should be taught as scientific theory and what belongs in the Sunday school as an article of faith.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • Madtown

        maybe you should get off your podest and make up your mind
        -----
        LOL!! Ok. Make up my mind. I suppose I could certainly get off the fence, and follow one way or the other. It's just that I'd be doing so without actual proveable and testable factual information definitively supporting that decision. No thanks, I think I'll just continue to accept reality, and say that "I don't know" for sure. I actually do have my hunches about these things, which are personal and I'll keep to myself. But, I certainly do not know for certain that my hunches are correct. Anyone being honest with themselves similarly has to admit this.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • End Religion

        Madtown, I see your point. I was there for a long time and have some friends in that same space. I think a lot of atheists these days could be defined as agnostic on the point of the origin of life in the universe but who've chosen a side in the debate because not doing so makes one's view irrelevant. When you define yourself as agnostic you don't feel you have a stake in things since you can't argue either way. You probably don't even see a need to argue since we don't know.

        The truth is that none of us knows what started it all and likely may never know with the same degree of accuracy we need for a proven hypothesis (a.k.a scientific fact). But not knowing the answer to a supposed creator, and building a religion around something we can't know but what people assert they DO know, is another matter. The facts remain that religion produces nastiness. It almost invariably suppresses women, freedom of thought and accepts abuse of children. It seeks to become a repressive power structure, similar to government except government's laws are chosen by people and amended over time, however religious laws are based on bronze age believes that some assert should never change.

        Religion has had its good points. Of course there's something positive about teaching people to be good to each other, however with religion, on the next page of its magic books it promises eternal torture for the silliest of things. Religion forces people to stay ignorant of facts, and makes for violence in many cases as a glorious and correct ending to all our existence. Its not just the death cult of Islam that seeks apocalypse. There are plenty of cults of a Christian god that seek "end times". And while these delusions may have been cute for a while, even "relatively" harmless in recent years, in these times of easier to obtain weapons of mass destruction religion is the top candidate of causes for causing global catastrophe. It's bad enough we have to deal with volcanoes, hurricanes and such, but why take a chance on nuclear holocaust brought about by the accepted insanity of having imaginary friends?

        We're not saying outlaw religion, or send people to jail, or crucify/burn believers as believers have done (and still do) to non-believers. We're just saying, "wake up". There's no point in this childish fantasy. If you want to believe in a god, fine, just keep it to yourself and stop creating these ridiculous death cults driven by "guilt rules" that attempt to control other people's lives through violence. Stop ignoring facts like evolution simply because you can't come to grips with reality.

        Agnosticism is not, as you assert, the only legitimate position. Religious people assert "there is a god because i believe it" while atheism asserts "i don't believe in a god because i see no proof". While some atheists claim "there is no god" atheism itself is simply a disbelief in the existence of god because we see no proof. There's plenty of atheists that if given proof would then become believers, since what many of us seek is the truth about the situation. This aligns with your agnosticism. It's just that you don't envision yourself as a part of a group that does contain some arrogant members who will assert what can't be proven, that there is no god. Just know there's a spectrum of atheists since "god factually does not exist" is not the definition of atheism. I sometimes think the "there is no god" thing is a phase atheists go through after becoming free from religion. They want to rebel against it so they go to an extreme. After they learn more about atheism and generally think about it long enough most of begin to realize its about saying "i don't know".

        When you're asked if you believe in god, there's only yes or no. We're not asking "is there" – that can be "i don't know". We're asking "do you believe?" "I don't know if I believe" isn't factually correct. You do know if you believe or not. Yes or no. It's OK to say "from what i see right now i can't bring myself to believe but I just don't want to rule out the possibility". That's called atheism.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • WOW

      You will be cast in the lake of Fire in the second death.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Rick

      So Olaf, if I were to make propose another god, let's say...the proverbial flying spaghetti monster. Does that mean people should from now on debate whether or not it is true? Of course not. Someone at some point made up God(s) without the least proof it/they existed. So it is clearly a waste of time even giving the idea any merit whatsoever, let alone debating it. If someone is going to propose such an idea they should have proof, not just coincidences presented as truth. While I can excuse this in primitive man searching for explanations without science, it is inexcusable in anyone who wishes to be considered intelligent.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Olaf Big

        Rick, I don't mean debate for the sake of a debate. I mean taking a position and standing up for it where it has important practical consequences, such as school curriculum.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  23. MrHanson

    Well Richard Dawkins' (a big supporter of junk DNA) life has just got more difficult now that the lasted ENCODE research has determined that 80% of our genome is functional. I'm pretty sure they will find a function for the remaining 20%.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  24. ScottCA

    Atheism gives life infinitely more meaning and importance than any religion ever has, precisely because we admit that this life is the only life we have evidence for having. We cannot afford to get things wrong in this life, because this is all we have here and now and when its over its over, so we better get things right while we can.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • WOW

      You are only looking at it through your eyes for me this is only a temporary life with a better one to come. My life here is precious as well but what I store up here with physical things I will not be able to take with me but my spiritual blessing will follow me.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Dan, TX

        I don't believe you are living your life nearly as closely to God's teachings as you seem to imply you are. You have sacrificed how much? How much did Jesus sacrifice for you? How much have you really sacrificed for God? You could do more, you know you can.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • MrHanson

      "In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference."

      Richard Dawkins

      September 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  25. Richard

    Most scientist who are studying the brain would never say his thoughts were in his brain. How does he know that?

    September 6, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • ScottCA

      I study the brain actually, and we know that the brain is designed to be an excellent rational detector of the real world. This is why when you reach for an apple you do not end up trying to eat a rock by mistake.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Primewonk

      I work with the brain as well. If thoughts aren't in the brain, where are they? The spleen? The pancreas? The left lower lobe of the lung?

      In fact, it is from studying TBI and CVA patients that we can map out how the thought process works.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  26. bob mc

    What is ironic here the majority of Scientific Genius were affilated to their Church, yet dedicted to Science pursueing to benefit the our Human Species .......... That's what cracks me up here. 80% of the Nobel winners are strongly affiliated with Judaism. He just wants to be in the chair and demand an audience, and some slick money, where's Clint when you need him.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Judaism is one big metaphor. They don't fall for the sticksnakes, etc.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Except, of course, what bob wrote is a typical fundiot nutter lie. From Dawkins book, The God Delusion:

      Richard Dawkins (2006) summarizes on the religious beliefs of Nobel-Prize winners, the members of the top scientific organisations in the USA and the UK, and finds that only a small percent believe in a personal God, even in countries where god-belief is extensive. Because those who do not subscribe easily to dogmatic lines of thought are naturally more inquisitive, they are the ones more likely to discover new facts about the world. This is perhaps why most scientists are atheists. A large survey confirmed that becoming a scientist does not leads to a loss of religious conviction2; but, those who are free from it are simply more likely to want to study the world objectively, and therefore to become good scientists. The less religious they are, the better they become at science.
      “The only website I could find that claimed to list 'Nobel Prize-winning Christians' came up with six, out of a total of several hundred scientific Nobelists. Of these six, it turned out that four were not Nobel Prize-winners at all; and at least one, to my certain knowledge, is a non-believer who attends church for purely social reasons. A more systematic study by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi 'found that among Nobel Prize laureates in the sciences, as well as those in literature, there was a remarkable degree of irreligiosity, as compared to the populations they came from.'52
      A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientists considered eminent enough by their peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to being a fellow of the Royal Society in Britain) only about 7 per cent believe in a personal God53. This overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost the exact opposite of the profile of the American population at large, of whom more than 90 per cent are believers in some sort of super-natural being. [...] It is completely as I would expect that American scientists are less religious than the American public generally, and that the most distinguished scientists are the least religious of all. [...]
      The overwhelming majority of [fellows of the Royal Society], like the overwhelming majority of US Academicians, are atheists. Only 3.3 per cent of the Fellows agreed strongly with the statement that a personal god exists [...] while 78.8 per cent strongly disagreed [...]. There were a massive 213 unbelievers and a mere 12 believers.”

      September 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
      • George

        Primewonk, please don't proclaim. The examples, bring on the examples. I have never heard of peer reviews on the propoganda of this clips introduction. Not sure what you are talking about here except to say that there are no peer reviews of this clips introduction. But I repeat myself.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
      • George

        Interesting facts if they are true. But your conclusion of the non-existence of God based upon another groups beliefs is off the mark. Haven't you heard of ivory tower academics out of touch with the world. Each area that these Nobel winners studied is just a small part of the scheme of things. A very small part my friend. They are masters of their own little part of the universe and they deserve praise for their accomplishments. But they are not masters of the totality that most athiests proclaim. Thinking themselves to be wise they became foolish to replace their notions and ideas for God. Athiests have no real and viable solutions whatsoever to the human condition. Research this and you will find it to be true. All they do in proclaim God does not exist and pretend it's a solution. Athiests have become unwise and have forgotten the paradoxical nature of man.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  27. Van

    Hasn't he been ranting on about religion enough? Yes, yes he has. I don't see how this is news, he's been saying this type of stuff for a while now.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      but it generates clicks, man. It generates clicks.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  28. Rynomite

    "if as the Atheist believes there is no God, then life has no meaning." I see the religious make this sort of statement all of the time.

    As an Atheist I cannot agree with the statement. Life and love and your legacy are all meaningful in and of themselves. The people we impact and the threads we weave into the tale of history are all important. Consider the impact certain people have had on the world and the advancment and betterment that has come about due to their existence. Remove the existence of a Caesar, or a Tesla, or a DaVinci, or any of millions upon millions of others from the tale of humanity and there is a vastly different story. Even yourself. You may think you are inconsequential, but maybe one day a descendant of yours will cure cancer. Life is not meaningless.

    I contend that life is only meaningless if the religious are correct. If our earthly bodies are just a temporary stop on the way to some better life, then they are indeed pointless. And honestly if you believe that point of view you may as well take insane risks and try to get to that next life as soon as possible...

    September 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      A reasonable philosophical argument. I don't really think that atheists should argue that people shouldn't believe in God or be religious. It is pretty clear that gay people are born gay, and it seems likely that some believers are born believers. Certainly most people just fake it to fit in, but we shouldn't criticize religious people for being religious, anymore than religious folks should criticize atheists for being atheists. We are all frail humans. We all live, love, and die the same way. You can let God sort it out later. Either way, when you are gone from this earth, the only thing you leave behind are the types of things the poets and historians have already told us about.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  29. TheAlaskaCurmudgeon

    Drink Beer and Be Happy.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  30. One More

    Dawkins is one man, with a Sphincter and an opinion like everyone else. He has no more insight into the nature of the universe, God or other similar topics than you, me or anyone else.

    CNN is simply a company looking to make money with page hits by running inflammatory material.

    Make up your own mind about God, and leave others to make up theirs.
    .

    September 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  31. ScottCA

    The evidence for evolution
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7tQIB4UdiY&w=640&h=390]

    September 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • George

      I've watched four minutes of this video and so far it's nothing but propoganda. Science observes what is through the scientific method. Evolution remains only at the stage of hypothesis. No one has then, or yet observed first hand a species evolve. If you have please let me know.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • Primewonk

        George, then you should have absolutely no problem posting the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research supporting your contention.

        By the way, we observe species evolve each day.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • George

        Primework....Your arguments are thinly veiled ad-hominem attacks.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
      • ScottCA

        Asking you to present evidence to support your unfounded opinion is not ad hominem. Funny how the evidence begins at about the 5 min mark. the video is over an hour long filled with evidence and you decide not to view the evidence and remain ignorant of it. It is okay to be ignorant, but to choose to remain ignorant especially when someone else has worked hard to present you the evidence clearly, is morally detestable. This is the very same ignorance that permitted the 9/11 attacks to occur. Your ignorance results in human suffering and death.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:11 am |
    • George

      The timeline for the appearance of each creature and its attending bone structure is interesting and compelling. However, it might be a good argument for a gradual process of creation starting with less complex forms of life. In the bible it says that there was a process of creation (7 days). The duration of these biblical days has been called into question. Man and the other forms of creature came later in this process of creation with man being the last. Man himself creates....note the evolution of the modern tractor from its beginnings. The part about the similar bone structures found in evolving animals is cute but not compelling. The first tractor has elements to it that compares with modern tractor parts. The weakness of evolution is that it relies exclusively on an imaginative comparative intelligence.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  32. jdub

    Dawkins, just another fool.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Perhaps at times. but he is sane and rational and understands that logic and reasonable deduction of the natural world, known as science, explains and predicts things in the world. Religion explains and predicts nothing.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Mear

      Is that all you've got?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • George

      A M E N.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  33. Bill

    For a "thinker" Richard Dawkins is a moron. His answer on morality coming from evolution is illogical on its face. There is no benefit to the furthering of the species in morality, altruism, art, beauty, humor.
    Of course he is right about not getting morality from the Old Testament in and of iteself. But then Christianity doesnt do that. Christianity takes its marching orders from Jesus himself and had Dawkins bothered to read the New Testament he would have realized that Jesus fulfilled all of the old testament so that we are no longer required to.
    Jesus teaches love, grace, mercy, equality for women, grace, peace. Not quite sure what problems Dawkins has with those teachings.
    And, for the record, God has NOT hidden himself, He took human form and allowed himself to be tortured and killed for the forgiveness of our sins. Then He rose from the dead, defeating death and offering the promise of eternal life. Interesting, that in all the Jewish history books, they NEVER dispute the existence of Jesus, his life, death and resurection. Nowhere do they claim that the early aposteles were lying.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      why do you think there no evolutionary advantage of people helping each other? Oh wait, you're a republican, aren't you.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
      • Primewonk

        BAZINGA!

        September 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Mear

      Straw men galore.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  34. Tim

    Dawkins is full of crap.

    http://www.timandjulie.org

    September 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Mear

      If you consider this a pearl of wisdom, go to this person's website for more. Speaking for myself, I have a toilet to clean. That takes precedence.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Olaf Big

      Well, he certainly offers more convincing arguments than just saying that religion is crap. You may want to work on your debating skills.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  35. toby

    "for you see that not many wise men or noble men will come to salvation....for God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.....and the things which are despised God has chosen..for the foolishness of God is wiser than men......that no flesh should glory in his presence....1 Corinthians chapter 1 ..... "Let God be true and every man a liar"

    September 6, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • bff

      Speeking to your base? You'll never convince an atheist/agnostic with a bible verse.

      Remember that. Never.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Mear

      Don't look it up, friend: think for yourself. Reciting is an admission that your brain is currently not functioning independently.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  36. Shenzhou

    True scientists know the limitation of science. Science is a study of the material world. Used propely, it advances quality of life for all. But science is useless when it comes to the non-material world (spiritual world). It's amazing that some who called themself scientists have the audacity to declare science can proof tha there is no God. Either they are so full of themselves or they do not know the boundry of science.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Aquaria

      Please list one objective piece of evidence that a "supernatural" world exists. Supernatural is just a linguistic placeholder for gaps of knowledge.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  37. russ

    May I add my two cents:1)Faith is about belief. It can't be quantified like a physical observation. 2) As science looks further into the substance of matter, only another layer is revealed. Every layer is thought to be the last layer until, of course, the next one is found. The same goes for looking outward into the universe and beyond. 3) We are limited by our senses. We don't know "everything". 4) the subject of the article lost me when he decalred morailty, a completely subjective term, eveolved over a few thousand years, while what we call humans took hundreds of thousands of years to eveolve. To me, that doesn't compute.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  38. Bible Clown©

    May I just say that despite all the hatred and fear you people are putting out, I don't think you would be forgiven by God for murdering him. I really hope no one here today is anything but a hot debater, but this is an odd world. He's not the head of the "Atheist Church," as one fellow suggested, or the leader of an atheist army, or the AntiChrist; he's not that popular and he's kinda snooty sometimes.
    Come on, people, murder is a bad idea. What if your god's actually there and sends you to hell? Let him live.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  39. insightinsite@gmail.com

    Scientists say religion can't teach them nothing, nonetheless they lose sleep over religion. There are religious scientists too. So, being a scientist doesn't mean being atheist and you don't have to be a scientist to be an atheist. That is simply a personal choice. But like it or not, atheist scientists belong to their own church, they worshippers and priests of 'reason'. They also want every body to believe that reason and religion are incompatible. So is common reading people bragging about reason and intelect and mocking religious people as ignorants. They want all of us believe that sicence has the answer for everything, which is not true; not even in the scientific realm. Their theories are constantly under scrutiny and in doubt and, frequently, revised and updated and even tossed away. Science plays a big role, there's no doubt and deserves praise. But instead becoming humble for the magnificence of what is being discovered they are becoming arrogant. That arrogance turns them blind. And this is not being said to convey the idea that all religious people or religions are setting a good example; mostly all religions are not. Still the Bible is the book of books.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  40. ScottCA

    Faith requires one to believe in something even in the absence of evidence and in the presence of evidence to the contrary. This suppression of the minds ability to logically reason leads to belief in untruths that send ripples of distortion into every area of examination and study. This in turn leads to political and social decisions based in misinformation. The end result is the suffering of people.

    Just as it is insanity to believe in the 6ft tall green monster in my closet without evidence of its existence, so is it insanity to believe in god without evidence.

    To argue on the side of religion against the process of rational and logical deduction of the natural world, is to paint yourself asinine, for you doom yourself to be proven wrong. A small thing called reality keeps getting in the way.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  41. Faisal Habib

    .....nai amar vojon-shadon, chirodin kupothe gomon......

    in english:: " ....i always choose the worse path ., cause i don't 'beg'..."

    September 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  42. toughcool

    Even the pope and other religious leaders have said the evolution and creationism can coexist, so I disagree with him on this. What is so hard about having faith in a God that would create the process that starts evolution? It had to start from something and where would that come from? I know the argument can be turned around but its legitimate. As far as the Bible. I'm of the opinion that the OT and creation, etc are more stories to teach and that the OT is more a fact based following of Jesus.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      yes, you can believe in both supernatural and natural phenomena. But when science shows a truth about nature. The supernatural has to take that to heart. Some religions will adjust to the new science, others will die out by denying what is demonstrably true. Science helps us to learn more about God by showing the limits of where God does and does not directly interact with nature.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Madtown

      What about the millions of human beings in this world who will never learn the principles of christianity, hold a bible, or even know who Jesus was? Are they just screwed?! If course not. This is why you don't need religion: it's a creation of the human mind, and not all in the world are privy to the teachings of any religion in particular. If God truly intended for there to be only 1 "right and true" religion, all people in the world would have exposure to it. You can believe in God without religion. God didn't create religion, man did.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
      • toughcool

        Madtown, how do you know that these civilizations or remote areas don't believe in their own version of God. How do WE know that God, Allah, etc is still the same God but just changed for that areas ideas? Most religions have the same basic tenets afterall. So I think religion and science can easily coexist. Again, I believe in the science that is out there, I just believe that God created it to start and got the ball rolling. There are always gaps in science that can't be expplained and even Dawkins admits that he doesn't know where that first atom came from.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • Madtown

        how do you know that these civilizations or remote areas don't believe in their own version of God
        ----–
        That is precisely what I'm saying. Other civilizations most certainly do believe in their version of God. In fact, that is how religions developed in the first place, culturally. There's no "1 correct" religion, across all cultures across the entire world. Therefore by extension, no 1 religion is any better, or more correct, than any other. Therefore by further extension: there's no need for religion. They don't provide any "answers", these questions can't be answered by us. We can believe in God, but in a general view.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  43. Just Me

    What gets me is why these people who believe life and therefor people are just an accident of nature, with no purpose or meaning beyond that of a rock or dirt, adhear to laws and have any consideration for other people, or creatures. If we are nothing more that a freek accident of nature, then my neighbor should mean nothing more to me that one rock does to another. Seems if there is not higher purpose to our lives than the purpose of any molecules of water, dirt or iron then why should we care about anyting and anyone. If God did not creat us in His image and for His glory then when asked the question "What is the meaning of life?' the answer truely is "There is no meaning." But there is good in people's hearts. That good was put there by the creator. Not everyone recognizes him, but in my faith "God is Love." and where there is love you will find God at work in the hearts of men and women.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • kosherkow

      if god created us in his image, he must have been one violent, selfish, intolerant dude (or dudette)

      September 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • WOW

        Well he created you so you must have a very low opinion of yourself. Sorry for you.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • Dan, TX

        God created Hitler and Osama Bin Laden, I think those are the types of people he is referring to.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  44. Fiona

    Three cheers to Dawkins for standing up for the truth, and three cheers to CNN for carrying it.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • WOW

      You need to watch the video in the other comments... Fiona you have no clue do you?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
      • Diane

        Fiona DOES have a clue. A bunch of yahoo yappin' at the heels of an actual thinker haven't got clues, friend.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  45. Nancy59

    One needs to understand that we know about the existence of the material world (including our material bodies) through our consciousness (input from our senses, and thinking) – there is absolutely no other way. We cannot talk about anything that exists in this world or the universe that is not experienced in our own mind (anything that exist outside of this mind-experience). It is through our (limited) consciousness we observe the world, learn about it and come up with theories. Evolution may have happened (considering that there is a lot of evidence), but there can be much more to that process than we understand, considering the limits of the human mind. What the Buddha did was to explore this consciousness element using a “wisdom path.” The mystic traditions of other religions also do the same thing using a “faith-based” approach. Ultimate aim is to understand the “way it is” in terms of this world and the universe.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Madtown

      Very true. However, religion invents what it cannot prove through observation and experience. There are many things we are just not capable of knowing, and that's ok.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
      • Nancy59

        Buddhism does not invent things – it makes observations through mindfulness – too long to explain in a blog. In fact the Buddha encouraged one not to accept any view just because it was handed to them by tradition, parents, teachers or even out of respect for the Buddha himself, but to examine everything very critically by analyzing the teachings the way a goldsmith analyzes gold- by cutting, scraping, rubbing and melting. When you think of it, it is science that makes assumptions (and clings to views) – science assumes a reality independent of our sense experiences and the mind.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
      • Madtown

        Good point about Buddhism. I was thinking more along the lines of christianity.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  46. Dev

    If evolution is what has driven everything in this world of ours, and biologists, scientists, atheists, etc, etc, say that such has been the way of life, then how come NOBODY can explain how the first single living cell was formed? We're talking about science, right? There must be some sort of viable explanation, right? verifiable right? Take your pick at any living thing in this world, and PLEASE let us all know how that living thing's initial cell was created? I'll make it easy for you, the E.Coli bacteria's cell, PLEASE let us know how that cell came to be, the E.Coli's cell is one of the simplest in this world of ours to describe, YET, such simple initial cell requires so many proteins, enzymes, walls, blueprints, etc, etc. that it is impossible to ascertain that it was created due to a random occurrence or by random explosions. I'm an engineer and although I marvel at the wonders of science, I have to admit that it is impossible to ascertain that we all (all living things) are the results of simple random acts of nature and random explosions in the universe. Logical arguments fall short to answer the most simple question of all, how do living cells are formed and how did the first living cell or any living thing, including man happen? If you can't explain the E.Coli first single living cell, don't even try a human's living cell because it would be plain stupidity to speculate on that one. So, even if you don't believe in God, there's clear proof in front of you that things did not come to be out of randomness in the environment. And this guy, Dawkins is one of the d-u-m-b-e-s-t persons to try to give an explanation. Darwin never proved anything, he just wrote a book and speculated.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • WOW

      Well said Dev.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Atheist

      There were many molecules in the primordial soup, somewhere attrackted to another on one side, and repelled by it on the other side. This droove them together into a tiny shell, inside the cell, the first DNA found its home and started to multiply. Which through hundreds of millions of years evolved into our ancesstor pollyps, which evolved into our ancesstor the starfishfish, and fish, some lakes dired out during the summer, so some fish developed leggs and primitive lungs to breathe air, this was the most important part in the human evolution, these were the first amphibians, which evolved to dinosaurs. but 65 million years ago they all vanished, but the foreigners of dinosaurs survived, which evolved to mammals, then later evolved to apes, which evolved to humans. The history is of course alot more complicated than that, but it is a short explanation for ignorant minds,
      Also, this is a video showing how the Jesus Christ Fairy tale was copied from prior fairy tales. watch?v=88GTUXvp-50
      Religion is the greatest fraud ever, Religion brings hatred and ignorance, science brings knowledge and understanding.
      Your religion is a fairy tale, wake up: watch?v=cpZRTTQl6nc
      In a few decades, the majority of europeans will be atheist, then america will follow, then the rest of the world.
      secularism and atheism is on the rise.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  47. CJ

    Well said Professor Dawkins. If anyone thinks that science is based just as strongly on faith as religion is, then why does religion, time after time, inevitably bow before science? The answer is simple: Science works, and we know that just making stuff up without evidence causes human suffering. Thank goodness for reason and the scientific method!

    September 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • WOW

      Watch it! Enough SAID!
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&w=640&h=390]

      September 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        typical religious thought. Take one section of a conversation out of context and think you've proven a point. That's not what Dawkins was saying at all!

        Ben Stein's finest moment was "Beuler ... Beuller ... Beuller ..." He should stick to that.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • WOW

      CJ you got served!!!! Evolution cannot answer the questions.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • CJ

        That's a God of the Gaps argument: You are suggesting that, because we don't know something, we should give up and throw a God on it! Religions have been using that argument for thousands of years, and time after time those gaps have been filled by science. Religious forfeiture has been relentless, one directional, and entirely predictable.

        And FYI. Tthe origin of the first replicating molecule is the study of Abiogenesis, NOT Evolution!

        Read Jerry Coyne's book "Why Evolution Is True" to understand the FACT of evolution.

        ....and CHECKMATE!

        September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        The theory most scientists currently favor for the origins of life is called “abiogenesis,” the gradual emergence of life on Earth from non-living matter. To understand why it is thought that life arose on Earth from non-living matter, one has to understand some basic biochemistry. This is where you “talking snake crowd” have such a problem. You have to actually understand some very basic science, you can’t just rely on what you were taught at Sunday school as an eight year-old.

        All life is comprised of complex arrangements of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, all orchestrated by DNA and/or RNA. DNA/RNA and proteins are by far the most important components of a living organism, carrying out virtually every function in a cell. Fats and carbohydrates are generally simpler molecules and play critical, but subordinate roles in cells.

        DNA and RNA are made of five nucleotides – adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine and uracil. They act as the cell’s “mission control,” orchestrating the cell’s activities. Proteins are made of 20 amino acids. They are the workhorse of the cell – the nails, wood, steel beams and machinery that make the cell run. It is the order of amino acids in a protein that determine its shape and, therefore what it does. This order and shape of proteins is itself dictated by the DNA through RNA.

        So, in short, life is made up of complex arrangements of:

        The five nucleotides – adenine, thymine, cytosine, guanine and uracil – arranged into DNA and/or RNA
        The twenty amino acids – that form all proteins, including enzymes and the other 100,000 or so proteins in a complex organism’s body.
        Carbohydrates – literally “water-carbon,” which include sugars and starches. These are much simpler elements than proteins or DNA/RNA and act as an energy source.
        Fats – also called lipids, these are important in constructing cell membranes.

        The simplest cells are prokaryotic cells. They exist today principally as bacteria. Stromatolites and other fossils from all over the planet suggest that, for the first billion years of life on earth, all life was simple, prokaryotic life. These cells consisted of a fatty cell membrane, like a balloon skin, with DNA/RNA, proteins, fats and carbohydrates on the inside. They had no nucleus. Cells with nuclei, called eukaryotic cells (which make up virtually all multi-cellular organisms) are much larger and more complex that prokaryotic cells and likely resulted from the early combining of prokaryotic cells.

        So, can a simple prokaryotic cell come into existence without the intervention of God, Allah, Shiva, Vishnu, Yahweh or any other divine/magic being?

        Beginning in the 1950s, scientists started trying to mimic the conditions on the early Earth to see whether some kind of “life-fairy” was necessary to get things started. In the most famous experiment of this era, the Miller-Urey experiment of 1952, Stanley Miller demonstrated that heating and running an electric spark through an atmosphere of water vapor, ammonia, methane and hydrogen for a few weeks resulted in these very simple molecules self-assembling into all 20 of the amino acids upon which life on Earth is based. This is a startling result. All 20 building blocks of proteins, which comprise over 99% of the cell’s functional structures, self-assembling without a magic wand from God, Shiva, Vishnu, Allah etc!

        The experiment was groundbreaking because it suggested that, under the perfectly natural conditions of early Earth, the building blocks of life can and will self-assemble. Indeed, it now seems that major volcanic eruptions 4 billion years ago would have created an even more diverse atmosphere than Miller used, including carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen (N2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). When these were added to the mix in subsequent experiments, they have resulted in the creation of all 5 nucleotides, all 20 amino acids and basic fatty membranes and various carbohydrates. That is to say, with no magic/divine intervention, all life’s building blocks WILL self-assemble.

        But nails, wood, wiring and bricks a house do not make. Even the simplest life requires these building blocks to be arranged in very, very complex ways. In various experiments with various conditions, scientists have been able to create a wide range of cell-like structures of increasing complexity on the road toward a simple self-replicating organism. These creations are called protobionts or coacervates and if you “you tube” or google these terms, you will see many examples.

        This is still a far cry from a cell, but the important thing is that the experiments uniformly demonstrate that organic molecules have a natural tendency to clump together in increasingly complex ways under early Earth-like conditions. They are not being pushed into doing something “against their will”.

        Where it gets really suggestive is that scientists have been able to isolate what they believe to be some of the most primitive genes of Earth, by comparing the DNA of two organisms whose last common ancestor lived soon after the formation of the Earth. For such genes to be common to both such organisms, they must be very, very old. When these ancient genes produce amino acids, they are rich in the amino acids most common in the Miller-Urey and similar experiments! This suggests that these experiments do indeed reflect early Earth conditions and that life itself did arise under such conditions.

        The other important factor is that these impressive results have been achieved in laboratories over small periods of time. Imagine the whole Earth as the “Petri dish” and hundreds of millions of years as the timescale. Simple life gradually emerging from such a “soup” does not seem at all incredible, certainly not incredible enough that we in the USA have to give up and call the remaining gap in knowledge “God,” while our Indian colleagues do the same and attribute it all to the Lord Shiva.

        Scientist are also approaching it from the other side too, gradually stripping away at prokaryotic cells to see how stripped down they have to become for life to “stop,” while others continue to build up from coacervates and protobionts. The gap is narrowing as our knowledge continues its inexorable march.

        The Christian sky-fairy is being pinched out! There’s not a lot of room left for him now. The pincers of science are closing in from both sides, squeezing out the phantom of religion and ignorance. Soon, the two sides of the pincer will meet and this unnecessary holdover will have to flutter off and find another dark corner to settle in, where the penetrating light of science and knowledge has not yet shone. Fortunately, the weak, forgiving mind of the believer will always be there for him, acting as an eternal refuge from enlightenment and advancement.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • CJ

        And by the way. Thank you for posting that video. It demonstrates well, the humble non-dogmatic nature of an honest scientist like Professor Richard Dawkins.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • WOW

        You both just can't accept there is a true one God can you. Well I feel sorry for you because you will find yourself int he lake of fire in the end.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • nojinx

        You just can't accept that the god you believe in is the Wrong One.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  48. sillybonobo

    He is right, evolution is not controversial. So much of our modern understanding of the world depends on evolution, people that dismiss it don't seem to understand that fact.

    September 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  49. mattmchugh

    I argue that Richard Dawkins is the greatest single cause of religiously motivated scientific ignorance in America.

    For 40 years, he has been the architect of the "Evolution = Atheism" meme (to borrow his very useful word) that's permeated our culture and served as the bulwark of fundamentalists’ opposition to the grand unifying theory of biology. Nobody ever wrote books or stumped the lecture circuit saying "If you believe in magnetism or the atom or universal gravitation, you cannot believe in a god!" - yet this is EXACTLY what Dawkins did for evolution. He blended science with faith. He decreed they were mutually exclusive. The damage he has wrought in America has come in the form of the defiantly paranoid ignorance by which legions of unsophisticated people, presented with the echoes of his absolutism, desperately defend their faith against an assault that simply does not exist. Accepting the fact of evolution no more invalidates belief in a god than accepting the existence of hydrogen.

    It is Dawkins who sought to make it otherwise. In the name of rationality, under the banner of the cause of enlightenment, Dawkins has repeatedly exhibited astounding degrees of closed-minded bigotry, provoking the same from a threatened populace. There was no need for this.

    Richard Dawkins, you're a pompous who chose to make enemies when you should have worked to earn allies. You are the owner of a superior mind that elected to insult, rather than encourage, weaker ones. You deemed those who did not accept your beliefs (and, make no mistake, atheism is a faith system as irrational as any) as unworthy of science. You are a disgrace to the intellectual community.

    Seriously.

    – mattmchugh

    September 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Mear

      Whatever else he does, he is not your equal when it comes to plumbing the depths of personal insult. I have never seen him level a personal insult at anyone; not even a mild one. He is a better person than you.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • mattmchugh

        What? The man constantly uses antagonistic rhetoric. He routinely levels words such a buffoon, ignoramus, ignorant, uneducated, gullible, etc. etc. at his opponents - direct and indirect, public or common. And we won't even talk about calling something people base their lives upon as "The Flying Purple Spaghetti Monster." It's precisely his penchant for counter-productive insults and routine lack of civility that I fault him for.

        And, yes, I fault him harshly.

        - mm

        September 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  50. Movie Fan

    I am going to take popcorn and enjoy this so much.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  51. Fred Flintstone

    My problem with this whole issue is that these attacks leave out the silent majority of christians (and most other religtions) and attack the extreme. Most christians I know believe in god, they also recognize science, and the two seldom conflict. This is because most people have used religion primarily as a tool of learning a set of values, in this case the judao-christian values. For most it's not about conflicts between the age of the Earth and dinosaurs, it's about learning values and morals, how you treat people, etc. Yes, you have the crusades, etc, but for most being a Christian (or whatever you are) is really about the basis of how you treat others.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Roy

      Atheism is the absence of a need to believe in a god.

      My own strict personal moral code has never required enforcement by a god-idea.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
      • Fred Flintstone

        That's nice, I'm glad you speak for the entire world. And you are most likely wrong if you believe that the teachings of some religion has not influenced your life at some point.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Madtown

      We don't need man-made religious principles, to be inspired to treat each other well.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  52. Alicia

    The main reason for atheism is that, for the most part, they are well educated and "expect" a complicated answer(s) to life.

    That being said, atheists look inward (mankind) for these answers and call it science. Science is all based on observation as a foundation , then progresses into the remaining steps to make conclusions but, with all the observations ans conclusions ever made thus far, none of them makes a factual resolution that all life originated from a single source. Without that, you do not have what's needed to be convincing.

    God, on the other hand offers simple answers to life, too simple for some to be even preliminarily interested and it's only because God is too incredibly simple for our minds to ever comprehend. He made "simple" so even the most simple people could understand.

    I don't doubt that we have "evolved" in certain ways and I never doubt science in many ways, just the ways in which it has eliminated God from the process of design.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  53. The Real Deal

    Dr. Hawkins I'd like you to meet Dr. William Lane Craig. lol
    Go watch some of their debates.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Mear

      "Hawkins?" Would that be the cabin boy from Treasure Island?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  54. alpg49

    Catholics don't require or promote belief in biblical creation. The argument put forward by fundamentalists is, without biblical creation, man doesn't need salvation. I know man is sinful and requires salvation by observing anyone for about an hour. For some people, even less!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Mear

      Alternative explanation: people are biological organisms whose behaviour has been largely shaped by eons of struggling to survive.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  55. ggrieser

    Whatever science concludes, there will always be a step beyond. I guess we'll eventually learn "what" is happening, it's the "why" part that smacks of god.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • robert

      why is the sky blue? why is the ocean deep? why is a leaf green? The question 'why' implies a decision. But just because you can ask a question doesn't make the question valid. In the case of why, because it implies a decision then it requires a decider. That is a fallacy. In a court of law they would call that, assuming facts not in evidence. We know how a sky is perceived as blue but unless you can prove that some intelligent being decided to make the sky blue, asking why is a logical error. Nothing more.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • ggrieser

        I'm not religious Robert. I mean beyond the color of the sky. I mean why "universe" or "universes". Why/where anything?

        So we'll eventually be able to explain everything to the beginning of time and space, the big bang. Which we know happened, right? But nothing caused it? Matter and space just spontaneously happened? Somewhere?(That's a good argument "for" a god). You can say, "it came from another dimension". Ok, so where is that dimension? How many dimensions are there? Infiinty?

        God will always have a place as the answer to the unanswerable questions whether he exists or not. No matter how much we understand, there will always be another question in the queue. Its believable that life and existence has no meaning at all, and I lean in that direction. But things do exist, no?. Is it all in one's mind? This breaks the argument away from science into philosophy, which basically hits the same dead ends as religion. i.e. Unanswerable questions and the concept of god.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  56. Roy

    There's no question evolution is a fact.

    What's funny is how religion's biggest detractors refuse, in a very religious fashion, to accept that evolution applies to humans. Most will never, ever concede that human races have their own evolutionary heritages, with not only inherent physiological differences, but cognitive ones as well.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Mear

      Well, that is a point of view I have never encountered before. I see people acknowledging that humans are the result of evolution all the time, wherever I look.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  57. wolfpackbob

    Why is Dawkins only slamming Christians? Why are the trolls here not slamming Islam?

    September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Mear

      Consider it slammed. But that does not lessen the need to debunk the lies Christians foist on the world.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  58. siberiangrits

    Well said, Richard. You say religion has nothing to teach us. Atheism, on the other hand, teaches us quite a lot, that sooner or later we will all die and become nothing, that all of our works and achievements will count towards nothing, that the love, friendship and triumphs we faced in life will vanish into nothing, that life means nothing, and that ultimately one day, sometime in the distant future when the universe itself is at its end, humanity will most likely cease to exist, and everything we have worked for, strived for and sought after will be for nothing. Bravo, you've made your point quite well.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Mear

      We humans have the potential to accept such things. I see human existence in the same way Shakespeare seemed to: "all the world's a stage", etc, except that I extrapolate it from the life of one human to the life of the human race. If that is the truth of the human race, should we not find a way to try to accept it? Doing so does not mean a life of despair. Far from it. It is more like taking a conscious decision to enjoy the time you have.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  59. the TRUTH - Atheist - Theist

    You will now the truth when you die and it will be in the next 30 years.

    if there is loving God = excellent
    if there is no God = nothing to lose
    if the God is wrong One – not Loving God = all of us doom atheist / theist

    YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH .... LOL

    September 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Useless Debate

      By your math: 1 out of 3 chances of being right. 1 out 3 chances of being wrong. 1 out of 3 chances of it not mattering. Since 1 does not matter, through it out. So there is a 50% chance of being right.if you are a believer. 100% chance of being wrong if you are not. (Unless, you assume that "loving God" means he embraces you after your death no matter what you did.)

      September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • robert

      A deranged version of Pascal's wager. If god rewards people for hedging their bets then maybe we shouldn't be worshiping him in the first place.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  60. Useless Debate

    It really comes down to two simple types of people –
    1. Those that need concrete proof that there is a God to believe in Him (but yet even if that proof is provided, they discredit it and don't let facts get in the way of their beliefs.)
    2. Those that need concrete proof that there is no God in order to not believe in Him (but yet, even if that proof is provided, they discredit it and don't let facts get in the way of their beliefs.)

    Both types of people have more in common, though, than they think. Both believe that their "beliefs" are "facts" and will see my comment as supporting the belief (sorry, FACT) of those other side that they perceive as a threat, and try to pick it apart.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  61. ShaneB

    You lost me at "X has nothing to teach us." its the epitome of arrogance. You can learn something from just about anything.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • i12bphil

      Very well said. It is a fool who assumes that science is the only method by which we gain truth.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • robert

        Like to see you in a court of law when the prosecutor claims you should be convicted based on his faith that you are a criminal. Hopefully the judge won't believe that truth doesn't depend on evidence.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • robert

      You're right, you can learn that religion is meaningless in modern society. You can also learn that the reason we have so many conflicts today is because of ignorance and blind faith.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  62. ggrieser

    I still admire his work on Family Feud

    September 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  63. jose

    after all the sound and noise done by these evolutionist, not even one has been able to prove that evolution exist. They say that they have proven it and keep talking in that matter, but none of them have proven what happens to a species while in the transition of changing and why they are spared extintion since if a specie is going through a morphic stage, it becomes very vulnerable and not even the same specie will tolerate or help that changing individual. And why are we not still chaging now? we are related because all species are made of the same ingredients and should be similar in some parts, but where are those monkeys we know changing? other animals or plants, why not now? Darwinism pure hardwash, people are being stupidized every day by these morons whom also provable deny global warming- if we evolve, then what is our ultimate form are we poketmon, ben 10 aliens or x-men characters> really, evolution! hahahahah they are funny

    September 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Useless Debate

      trouble is, Darwin has only been dead 140 years. Evolution takes MILLIONS of years when we are at the scope of watching a species evolve. It is not something we can observe in a laboratory when you focus it on the human race. That is why it is the "Theory of evolution", not the "Fact of Evolution."

      September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  64. J Smith

    I'm neither religious or atheist. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not smart enough to figure it out myself and too hard-headed to believe anyone else has either. One thing I won't do is live in fear, either that my existence is meaningless or that I am subject to the condemnation of a God I've never sensed.
    I hope to end my life having done more good than bad and whether it's all for naught in a pointless cosmos or results in eternal agony for incurring the wrath of a vengeful God I'll be at peace with myself when I die.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Useless Debate

      That is probably the healthiest approach of anyone on here. Best of luck.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  65. JR

    Psalm 53:1-3
    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.
    God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
    Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mear

      Supporting evidence for these assertions, please?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • JR

        All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). That's all the supporting evidence that I need.

        Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

        On Christ the solid ROCK I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.
        As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.” (Romans 9:33)

        September 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Well, to put it simply, he was wrong. In general, I think that non-believers are responsible for more good in human history than believers. Most of useful science is a result of freethinking.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
      • JR

        Romans 3:4
        Let God be true, and every human being a liar.
        As it is written:

        "So that you may be proved right when you speak
        and prevail when you judge.” (Psalm 51:4)

        September 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • TomPaine

      @JR – Quoting from your particular religious text is never going to be persuasive to those who have their own or don't have one at all.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
      • JR

        God disagrees with you.
        His word says in Isaiah 55:10-11

        As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
        It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Mear

      Open Bible, turn off brain.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  66. WOW

    Islam has a BUNCH to teach us!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  67. Agnostic

    For all of you Dawkin's and Darwin fanboys as well as Evolutionists.... how did life come to be?

    September 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • WOW

      From a pond that lightning stuck.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
      • Agnostic

        So pure chance?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • i12bphil

        There is no evidence of that.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
      • WOW

        [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&w=640&h=390]

        September 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • stoodrv

      Google it. There are plenty of theories.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Agnostic

        So if there are plenty of scientific theories on how life began, then why can there not be more than one interpretation of God? Since this seems to be one of the arguments against God. If you notice there is a familiar story line throughout history and the different God's that people have worshipped. There is a great flood, a hero (born of a virgin) who is the son of a god. Just read some of Joseph Campbell's work. So just like being able to theorize differently about the beginning of life as an Evolutionist, can't those who believe in God to have different interpretation of who that may be?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • stoodrv

        I certainly wouldn't stop anyone from theorizing. The problem is, religion hasn't made the jump from mythology to valid theory. Until it provides legitimate evidence it will not play a role in answering our questions. Theoretical science does not require "god". The theory of gravity does not require god just like abiogenesis does not require god.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Mear

      There are theories dealing with this matter. Be that as it may, science does not insist on knowing everything ... unlike religions. Science is very good, though, at debunking false explanations, or exposing explanations that lack good evidence.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Nat Q

      We don't know yet, which is a completely honest, valid, and acceptable answer. Further, not knowing yet DOESN'T change the empirical evidence for evolution after life did begin.

      Leading hypotheses suggest that naturally occurring self-replicating molecules grew in complexity as they combined and separated until eventually, something sufficiently complex to be deemed "life" arose from those naturally occurring reactions. We already know of a number of naturally-forming, self-replicating molecules, many of which are crucial to life processes, though we are a long way from figuring out the whole puzzle.

      And for what it's worth, even today, the line on what is and isn't "life" isn't clear. there is no scientifically agreed upon definition of what "life" even is, though there are several possible definitions out there. Even in biology, many scientists do not consider viruses to be "alive" in our traditional understanding of the term, though they meet some aspects of what may be considered living.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • CJ

      The origin of the first self-replicating molecule is the study of Abiogenesis, NOT Evolution! Scientists that study Abiogenesis are currently working on solutions to how a self-replicating molecule could have formed, and they have some promising leads, but they don't yet know how it happened. AND THAT IS OK! Just because we don't yet know something, doesn't mean we give up and forfeit all of what we do know. Gaps in our knowledge are filled through honest investigation, not by placing a God(s) in the Gap. Tiime after time, religious claims that 'God must have done it' have been filled in by the working methods of science. The scientific method gets results!

      Read Jerry Coyne's book "Why Evolution Is True" (It's a short book and an easy read) and learn how scientists have come to understand that Evolution is as strong a FACT as "your mother gave birth to you!"

      And thanks (again) for posting that video. It demonstrates well, the humble non-dogmatic nature of an honest scientist like Professor Richard Dawkins.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  68. Jaec

    Richard Dawkins believes intelligent design is a possibility but only as to ET's seeding life on earth. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIHiggcVZvY. This conclusion does not appear to be supported by science. Also it appears to show a desperation on his part to deny God, even though he admits design is possible.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Rick

      He admits design is possible by other creatures...not by a "god". Amazing, you actually correctly write what he says then deliberately misinterpret it to support your preconceived iron age notions, wow.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  69. crappygovernment

    Wolf Blitzer's people have always tried to de-Christianize the West. Who do you think promotes this garbage?

    September 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Rick

      People with functioning brains I imagine.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • Michael George Erdmann

        ...Brain, Mind and Psi.... better yet, enroute to a more Integral Christianity

        September 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  70. imcivilized

    If Jesus IS god, and he is immortal, how is "dying" for our sins, and coming back to life ANY sort of sacrifice?
    If he's immortal, it was more of a parlour trick...

    September 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • robert

      People on a daily basis suffer more than Jesus did and they didn't have the promise of ruling in heaven. If I knew for certain that I would be sitting at the right hand of god when I died and all I had to do first was spend a bad weekend on the cross, sign me up. Jesus did nothing and contributed nothing. A person who stops to pick up someone else's garbage or volunteers for his community does more to help humanity than Jesus ever did.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  71. TomPaine

    "If there were a God that met you after death, what would you say?"

    Gotta love his answer to that one.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  72. Scott H

    Either Dawkins or the Gospel of the Bible are TRUE. They cannot both be true. With that said, whether you *believe* the TRUTH is irrelevant. That is, your beliefs have no impact on the existence or efficacy of the TRUTH. The TRUTH, however, could have a major impact on you.

    I would urge you to search diligently and choose wisely... or not. One caveat. IF a Creator DID, indeed, create the universe and everything in it, would you really presume to be able to *know* the mind of this Creator?

    It really comes down to a faith in either TIME or GOD, doesn't it? It's your life. Search for the Truth (or don't). Then choose. Your heart will know if you have chosen wisely... believe me. 🙂

    September 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Mear

      "Believe me?" Why?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • OTOH

      Scott H,
      "Your heart will know if you have chosen wisely"

      No it won't. The heart is an organ which responds to chemical stimuli from the brain. Richard Dawkins (and all atheists/agnostics/non-believers) can also get heart flutters, palpitations and a blood rush from their ideas.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  73. Pinewalker

    Reminder CNN itself admits 60% of its comment authors consider themselves Atheist even though they can only count themselves 4% of the US population. These comment sections are bound to be slanted towards atheistic tendencies.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  74. Tony Cerc

    I thank God every day that I'm an Atheist.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  75. jaimie

    God bless you all. The Lord loves everyone, no matter who you are. Faith is what it is about. Have faith!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Why bother? Like a Catholic priest and can fornicate my way through this existence, rob, cheat, stel, even kill...and then beg forgiveness and I can walk into wherever you are going as an equal! Go figure.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mear

      I love the fluffy invisible pink bunnies that make the clouds move! Yay!

      September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  76. Bible Clown©

    Wow, such hate from the followers of the god of love. I can see what a difference this Religion of Peace has made in your lives. Why all the lies? "He must be an evil person. I'm sure he just lives to defraud people. He thinks life is worthless" and so on, about a guy you know nothing about. Pardon me, but I can't imagine Jesus Christ snarling "I'd like to be nearby when he dies just so I could laugh."

    September 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Mateo

      Yet you have no desire to be Christ-like?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
      • Mear

        Being human is enough.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • crappygovernment

      Part of being a Christian is intolerance of corruption.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  77. crappygovernment

    They need a more charismatic leader than this old windbag if they want to win new lemmings to the Atheist Anti-Christian cause...

    September 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      uh oh, looks like you are failing the whole 'love everyone' creed of the christian faith. You know those that hate go to hell right? pack light.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Mear

      You demonstrate that you, at least, are beneath him in terms of conduct. He does not personally insult those who disagree with him. Fail.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  78. Ricardo

    The thing is, science is the new religion, and Dawkins is a priest.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Mear

      One major difference between science and religion is that science is subject to consistent, continuous, merciless peer review. That is why science is always eliminating theories that do not measure up, constantly improving itself. That is the nature of science. Religion lacks this mechanism and so is inferior when it comes to determining how it can be improved. Anyone who understand scientific method even a little could never honestly assert what you have asserted. It is a false assertion.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  79. HugoCorv

    I wonder if "Professor" Dawkins realizes that he doesn't have free will to make choices. That he isn't even conscious, by any meaningful definition. That he isn't alive. That he was never alive. And that there is no such thing as being alive.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  80. Abrondon

    Atheists believe the evidence backs them. Theists believe the evidence backs them. Given the inability of one side to persuade the other, the "argument from satisfaction" may be worth considering: After death ... 1. If atheists are right, they will never know it. 2. If theists are wrong, they will never know it. 3. If atheists are wrong, they will know it. 4. If theists are right, they will know it. The most satisfactory position by far is #4.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Madtown

      What if you're just a deist? Theists can't be "right", because there's no universal correct religion.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • cleareye1

      About as ridiculous as they come!

      Why not just fall to your knees and beg forgiveness from Larry Flynt?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      you miss out another option.......there is a god but it isnt the one you are worshipping, in which case you will be just as s-crewed as the rest of us. Tell you what, add an option 5.....worship all the deities to cover all the bases.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • TomPaine

      The problem is, deists have too many gods from which to choose. It's not like the choice is either no god or one particular god; it's no god or one of many gods. How do you know which to choose (assuming you actually make an informed choice and don't just blindly follow what you were taught as a child).? You still risk choosing the wrong god and meeting whatever punishment you get from the "real" one.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • TomPaine

        Correction, I meant theists, not deists. And @Cedar Rapids, it seems we posted the same idea at the same time.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Mear

      Pascal's Wager ... again???

      September 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • What IF

      Abrondon,

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century.

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Rick

      Unless you find yourself in hell. Guess that shoots down your simplistic theory doesn't it?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  81. QMB

    Off all the people on Earth, Dawkins is most affected by what creationists have to say about him so that is why he has to come up with a statement 'Who cares about creationists'

    Sorry to break the news Dawkins, you just cant stop thinking about them.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • robert

      does that give you some sense of satisfaction. The world can't stop thinking about the nazis, does that make the nazis a good think?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  82. dave

    Evolution has brought us to a point where altruism can be disussed and understood as natural to our species when cultivated through teaching and learning.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  83. Chuckie

    Why not join in the fray. It is simple one day we will all know, some choose to believe that there is a point to life and Christ came to reconcile us to the Creator. Some choose to believe that we were the result of some random act that caused life to exist and man is the result; we live, we die, and then it is though we never were. Those worship their own intellect. How meaningless to exist for nothing. On the final day all will come to know there is a God and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess – but for some the revelation will be too late. Don't be deceived by your own 'wisdom' – it is foolish and selfish.
    Go ahead and take your shots call me ignorant and all the things the unbelievers like to say, but remember today you had a choice for life and chose your own way rather than His way.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Observer

      I am sick and tired of people trying to scare me with their religion. Why not join in the fray, you ask? Because then I would be a hypocrite. Just because I have chosen to deny your mythology doesn't mean my life is meaningless. If you have to scare somebody into believing the way you do, you have to really question what is behind those beliefs. I have never tried to scare somebody into believing natural selection.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • i12bphil

        You're paranoid. No one is trying to scare you into religion. If you don't want to believe...don't. No one is holding a gun to anyone's head.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
      • Observer to i12bphil

        i12bphil How many people involved in this discussion have told us (the people who chose not to believe in god) that we are going to burn in hell? Look at the message that I am responding too. "On the final day all will come to know there is a God and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess – but for some the revelation will be too late. Don't be deceived by your own 'wisdom' – it is foolish and selfish." Are you trying to tell me that they aren't trying to scare me with talk like this? Yes, a major component of most religions is to try to scare the "believers" into conforming to what has been considered a accepted set of beliefs. I am tired of people attempting to scare me.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • robert

      Pascal's wager. Do you really think your god will reward people for hedging their bets? By the way, while you're casting your lots with the christians what happens if god is thor, zeus, bal? You are taking the same risks as atheists in dismissing the majority of gods. The only difference is atheists go one god further.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Rynomite

      "How meaningless to exist for nothing."

      Not believeing in a god does not imply that one believes that humans exist for no purpose. Love, Life, Legacy are all purposes in and of themselves. The people we impact and the threads we weave into the tale of history are all important and definitly not meaningless. Consider the impact certain people have had on the world and the advancment and betterment that has come about due to their existence. Remove the existence of Caesar, or Tesla, or DaVinci, or any of millions upon millions o fothers from the tale of humanity and there is a vastly different story. Even yourself. You may think you are inconsequential, but maybe one day a descendant of yours will cure cancer. If you didn't live, then perhaps it doesn't happen. Don't tell me life is meaningless.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mear

      Observer is right. A little self-examination on your part might just lead to the conclusion that you are attempting to scare people into thinking like you. Not very Christian of you ... actually, very Christian of you.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Rick

      ok...you are ignorant. Choosing to believe what some ignorant iron agers decided was the reason for everything is actually beyond ignorant given that said ironagers had little or no science with which to investigate the true meaning and origins of the universe and life. I am pretty sure if I said, you know, I found an old book, same age as the bible, that says there's no god you wouldn't believe that. But why? Why give so much devotion and credence to one book and not my book? Like I said, ignorant.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  84. Mateo

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8&w=640&h=390]

    September 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      Mateo, Mateo, Mateo....don't you know back peddling only counts if you are conservative or religious? For everyone else its just expansion of their intellectual thought process.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • HugoCorv

      Haha thanks for the video:)

      September 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      and?
      ther eis a difference between the idea of aliens seeding the earth and a deity existing. A HUGE difference and its disingenuous to try to claim otherwise.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Mear

      He was speculating, not making a firm assertion. Secondly, he was being open-minded. He is in fact quite rigorous in his interviews and speeches, a fact that is highly admirable in itself.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • CJ

      The origin of the first self-replicating molecule is the study of Abiogenesis, NOT Evolution! Scientists that study Abiogenesis are currently working on solutions to how a self-replicating molecule could have formed, and they have some promising leads, but they don't yet know how it happened. AND THAT IS OK! Just because we don't yet know something, doesn't mean we give up and forfeit all of what we do know. Gaps in our knowledge are filled through honest investigation, not by placing a God(s) in the Gap. Tiime after time, religious claims that 'God must have done it' have been filled in by the working methods of science. The scientific method gets results!

      Read Jerry Coyne's book "Why Evolution Is True" (It's a short book and an easy read) and learn how scientists have come to understand that Evolution is as strong a FACT as "your mother gave birth to you!"

      And thanks (again) for posting that video. It demonstrates well, the humble non-dogmatic nature of an honest scientist like Professor Richard Dawkins.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  85. mike

    Belittling someone due to their belief system, often ingrained at a young age, is in error, as it has nothing to do with understanding physics.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  86. tony beel

    Well if he thinks god is hiding then he should look at himself how come he is handsome or ugly bad or evil education and science no where contradict god it, i think gives us more reasons to believe in god this man is no wiser then einstein but einstein was not atheist he belived in god till death. find god in your self talk to him you will get him really.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  87. Bob

    CNN has gone from a decent rag to nothing but liberal BS with an agenda. Nothing good can come from CNN.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  88. amarjeet

    There is no religion everyone knows when they cannot see & only hear in illusions, ideas, moral evolving constraints & commitments to family life that too is evolving. If the word of God is eliminated & religious books are taken of the shelves, human beings will become emotionally & economically stagnant with mental inertia taking its place making life dull, without desires & motivation. It is great people still believe in God when not found in any physical form to help in despair & desolation of miseries of economic struggle. People do good as God makes them fear in day life, sleep hours & waking ours unseen but seeking peace & purity of life after death. It is a search for illusion to make humans move in materialistic life & do well for after death life that does not exist. It is a chase of mirage in living life never achieved by anyone and replaced by spiritual emancipation by some.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  89. wolfpackbob

    "What are you working on next?
    I’m thinking of working on another book and it might be some sort of autobiography,.... " Boy, what a surprise!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Brian Sarntee

      Yes! somebody else noticed the self-absorption of this guy! Richard Dawkins shares his knowledge for a fee. His book is $30 hardcover $20 paperback. His speaking events either require an admission fee, or collections are taken at free ones, and his fundraising events require minumum donations of $500 or more. In STARK contrast, Jehovah's Witnesses share scientific knowledge about the origin of life for FREE. They FREELY give of their time and resources, and in the last 10 years over 20 BILLION magazines and books have been printed and HAND-DELIVERED to people in 236 countries in over 540 languages. Jehovah's Witnesses have no motive other than to freely share information. Everything Richard Dawkins has to say is clearly crafted to gain popularity and fame in the media to support his own selfish financial interests. A wise person would not waste their time with such an individual, and conversely should not waste their time with any RELIGIOUS person who has a selfish monetary interest either, which would be EVERY major religious organization EXCEPT Jehovah's Witnesses.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  90. Bob

    "Thinker Richard Dawkins" – HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.......BWA HA HA HA HA! Thinker? The man cant even follow his own opinions. Good luck buddy.. Oh, and by the way, I hold the same opinion of most Atheists, but I will NEVER NEVER call myself one. Live and let live is my motto. If a little faith makes you feel good and be a good person so be it. THis Dawkins is a true moron.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • robert

      what the heck are you talking about? Obviously you think alot of yourself. Perhaps you can show us how you changed an entire field of science. What have you accomplished in your life? What do you know? Nothing apparently. Your just a mental midget with an overblown ego.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • Bob

        Sounds like you and Dorkins are partners in crime. Not sure what prompted your response, which has nothing to do with what I posted. Genius! Angry little atheist maybe?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Out of curiosity, if you hold the same opinion as most Atheists, why would you "NEVER, NEVER" call yourself one?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • robert

      what made me comment was the sad joke that someone as mentally challenged as yourself would be under the delusion that he was some great thinker. You call Dawkins a moron while showing a complete lack of understanding about the issues being discussed. I guess the reason you think you are so clever is because you are too ignorant to understand how little you know.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • i12bphil

      I can't believe he calls himself a scientist. Like all other bloviating atheists 90% of what the man uses for "reason" is pure logical fallacy.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  91. Observer

    When will people learn that you can't use "read the bible" as your evidence of the existence of god. You can tell me "Read the Bible" and quote all the scripture that you want, but you have not moved one millimeter closer to convincing me of God's existence. The fact that there is a collection of texts (written, edited and selected by man to become the contents of "the bible") that was written thousands of years ago does not count as evidence and you can't use it in support of your argument anymore than I can say Read "The Hobbit" in support of my belief in Elves.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Brian Sarntee

      I would say: Richard Dawkins shares his knowledge for a fee. His book is $30 hardcover $20 paperback. His speaking events either require an admission fee, or collections are taken at free ones, and his fundraising events require minumum donations of $500 or more. In STARK contrast, Jehovah's Witnesses share scientific knowledge about the origin of life for FREE. They FREELY give of their time and resources, and in the last 10 years over 20 BILLION magazines and books have been printed and HAND-DELIVERED to people in 236 countries in over 540 languages. Jehovah's Witnesses have no motive other than to freely share information. Everything Richard Dawkins has to say is clearly crafted to gain popularity and fame in the media to support his own selfish financial interests. A wise person would not waste their time with such an individual, and conversely should not waste their time with any RELIGIOUS person who has a selfish monetary interest either, which would be EVERY major religious organization EXCEPT Jehovah's Witnesses.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  92. Keith Chadwick

    All the people who believe in God are 100% correct, the end of times is coming. Problem is its the end of there beliefs and the acceptance of science, so in the context of there beliefs it is the end of time. Can't wait for it to happen we will all be far better off!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  93. wolfpackbob

    Hey, Richard. We see you only slam Christianity. Show some conviction for your faith in no-god and also slam Muhammad. Don't just ridicule those who turn the other cheek. Unless of course you have an agenda AND no courage.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      He absolutely does slam the other religions on a regular basis, especially conservative Islam. In fact he deplored the scientific ignorance of conservative Islamic populations quite frequently in his book "The Greatest Show On Earth". Now, in those same sections of the book, he also pointed out that the only places in the world where large numbers of (supposedly) educated people don't believe in evolution are the United States on the one hand, and fundamentalist Islamic countries on the other.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      he does slam other faiths, and on a regular basis.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  94. mike

    comparing science and religion is like comparing apples and oranges. One is based on observable, testable, and most importantly, re-testable events, and religion is a belief system based entirely on faith which is impossible to observe and therefore un-testable. So I guess my point is , the arguments on this message board don't make a lot of sense.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • robert

      I agree comparing science and religion is like comparing evidence and delusions. I would never compare religion to science but I would certainly judge the claims of religion scientifically. It may be an act of faith to say, the concepts of peace and brotherly love are good for society, but the claim that god exists is one that can be evaluated scientifically. There is no evidence for the existence of god. Believing that their is, is delusional.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • Jaec

        Robert do you really believe throughout the exsistance of time there is no evidence of God? Have you done your homework to come to this conclusion? I would assume you believe in evolution, but have you done your homework to know personally this theory should be deemed a law in science? What about asking if there is a God. Every day for one month why not pray or talk to the sky or say out loud "if there is a true living God please reveal yourself to me." It would take less than a minute and if nothing happens you have another excuse why not to believe.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  95. Baby Jesus

    Sad that if you take away "god", people's whole moral and spiritual existence comes crashing down. People are weak.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Rynomite

      God is not required for "moral" existence. Largely secular countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway etc have much lower crime rates than religious nations. In fact, of the top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Observer

      That is mularkey and nothing but an excuse. My morality is not tied to a belief in God, which I have not done in a very long time. Yet, I try hard to be a good person, treat others well and teach my kids to do so also. I have never broken a law (other than a couple speeding tickets), work hard, contribute to society and look out for my fellow man and I don't do ANY of that because I am trying to please god. I live that way because I think it makes me a better person. In my opinion, that makes me an even more moral person than somebody who tries to be "good" so they can get their ticket to heaven.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Observer – Exactly!

        In all honesty, I believe religion (Xtianity in particular) gives people an excuse to be immoral. After all, they can be horrible people their whole lives, and as long as they have Jebus in their hearts and are regretful for what they have done on their death beds, they get into paradise!

        September 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Ryno, back in college my friend's religious girlfriend used to get drunk Saturday night and go all pr0nstar on him till dawn, then scurry to church, confess it all, and be saved until next Saturday. And she was a Baptist!!

        September 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Baby, I actually don't think I ever believed it. I was a skeptic from the start. My morals and ethics have developed since then, because when I was a child I was selfish and gluttonous, but they never depended on church. But sometimes people suddenly decide church is a hoax, and if they've got nothing but 'fear God' to base their lives on, they could get pretty cynical.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  96. Johnny doughboy

    Fascinating–Dawkins has all the answers. Perhaps he can keep looking for the 'Fountain of Youth" and never get old himself and one day he may be as old as the World, and designate himself the 'everlasting guy".

    September 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Baby Jesus

      The word "world" does not require capitalization. Maybe you could write something truly substantive and you wouldn't have to assign importance to a word by capitalizing it to make a point. See it all the time. Crude.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • i12bphil

        Well, thank you ...Captain Spell Check! Perhaps instead of addressing the actual premise you could point out the other person didn't have part of their shirt tucked in.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  97. bob

    ....religion is for those that can't handle physics....
    ....
    .... go ahead and prove me wrong by reading a physics book...

    September 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • bill.x

      Lame

      September 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • i12bphil

      I read and study physics all the time. Relativistic and quantum. I see nothing about it that proves or disproves the existence of a higher power.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • HamsterDancer

        I agree. At this point in time objective experiments and observation to determine the existence of a higher power or god cannot be done.
        Although extreme atheists like to say science proves there is no God it actually doesn't even address the question since the subject can't be studied at this time. As far as I know, no one has come up with a working hypothesis to use for study. Nor is the answer needed to continue studying the nature of the universe at this time.
        If someone chooses to believe in divinity for themselves there should be no problem with it. But it becomes difficult for them to function at their best in the modern world if their divine beliefs oppose what has been found to be fact in the real world.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      i12bphil is correct; lacking miracles, a world containing God would operate exactly like one that was completely mechanical. Christian Existentialism says you will never see one particle of proof, and you must live your entire life on faith in the hope that you will be saved.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  98. Steve D

    As a scientist, I want to make something clear: Dawkins' assertion that evolution excludes God or a guiding deity is a statement of his atheism, not science. Evolution might be a totally random event, or it may be guided by God, we don't really know. Furthermore, because that question defies scientific inquiry it isn't a scientific question. Evolution is a scientific fact. That it involves changes in DNA is a scientific fact. That those changes are due only to random mutations is pure speculation with no basis in science.

    Dawkins is certainly free to claim there is no God in evolution or anyplace else, as an atheist. If he does it as a scientist and claims there is any science behind his claim then he is a charlatan. The claim isn't scientific and has no place in science.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Brian Sarntee

      Again I say: Richard Dawkins shares his knowledge for a fee. His book is $30 hardcover $20 paperback. His speaking events either require an admission fee, or collections are taken at free ones, and his fundraising events require minumum donations of $500 or more. In STARK contrast, Jehovah's Witnesses share scientific knowledge about the origin of life for FREE. They FREELY give of their time and resources, and in the last 10 years over 20 BILLION magazines and books have been printed and HAND-DELIVERED to people in 236 countries in over 540 languages. Jehovah's Witnesses have no motive other than to freely share information. Everything Richard Dawkins has to say is clearly crafted to gain popularity and fame in the media to support his own selfish financial interests. A wise person would not waste their time with such an individual, and conversely should not waste their time with any RELIGIOUS person who has a selfish monetary interest either, which would be EVERY major religious organization EXCEPT Jehovah's Witnesses.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • Tom Veil

        This is true. I have seen this firsthand and have to agree.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • Diane

        Hahahaha! "Jehovah's Witnesses share scientific knowledge..." Hahahahahahahahah....!

        September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Here are links to just TWO scientific journals published by Jehovah's Witnesses that you can download FREE OF CHARGE. There are many others:

        "The Origin of Life – Five Questions Worth Asking"
        http://www.jw.org/apps/index.html?fileformat=PDF&output=html&pub=lf&langwritten=E&option=TRGCHlZRQVNYVrXF&txtCMSLang=E

        "Was Life Created?"
        http://www.jw.org/apps/index.html?fileformat=PDF&output=html&pub=lc&langwritten=E&option=TRGCHlZRQVNYVrXF&txtCMSLang=E

        September 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Diane, is "ha ha ha" the best intelligent response you've got? Take at look at those scientific journals, especially the first one, and note the Bibliography that cites 51 scientific sources for its material. Then maybe you could attempt an INTELLIGENT refutation that proves Jehovah's Witnesses don't publish anything scientific? I expect everyone will simply see you have no follow-up post, and I won't be surprised by your silence...

        September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
      • End Religion

        The infamous "every religion is kooky but ours" argument. At least they understand Christmas was stolen form the Pagans; there's one redeeming feature. Alas, so many other nonredeemable ones... They believe God has a "slave" class - what? God wants slaves? Gee, doesn't sound kooky at all. Their faith believe the Protestant biblical canon is the inerrant word of god. Inerrant they say. Inerrant. I see why the have a slave class, since the Bible says we should not abuse our slaves thereby implying we should own other humans. Inerrant as in we should kill others who work on the Sabbath. Inerrant is in we should sell our daughters into slavery. Kind of like the Libertarians of Christianity but without the bitcoins.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
      • One one

        You get what you pay for.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
      • sqeptiq

        Dawkins is a single individual trying to earn a living. Would you deny him that because you don't like his views? The JW are an organization whose members donate time to the proselytizing mission of that group...if you can't see the difference you are myopic.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
      • Scott

        http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary?cdrid=537399

        Mr. Sarntee, calling your little brochures scientific journals does not make it true, any more than calling Intelligent Design a theory makes it so. I suggest you follow the link provided and educate yourself on what criteria a paper must meet before being called a scientific journal so you don't make this embarrassing mistake again.

        September 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
      • Mulehead

        I was a Witness, and that is simply a bald faced lie. They restrict and openly discourage scientific discovery, are the most money grubbing misogynistic CULT and only pale in comparison to the idiot mormons. Sell your swill elsewhere.

        September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
      • Kevin in Tx

        "...NO MOTIVE..." Really?! Concrete has no motive...humans, on the other hand, have nothing else but motive...it is a hardwired trait now...but thanks for highlighting the mythology of JW's and Atheism

        September 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        At sqeptiq: I do clearly see the difference in Dawkins versus Witnesses. My point was simply that I see primary motive in Dawkins sharing his "information" with ths public is financial. Therefore he has taken the tack of presenting views that have great shock-value for media attention. Therefore I would question it's validity. In fact, he likely doesn't really believe everything he says, but he knows what gets attention, and that's his goal. I don't really care, I'm just trying to encourage some people to consider not being so gullible. I care about my fellow humans!

        September 7, 2012 at 3:06 am |
      • Brian Sarntee

        At Scott: You are absolutely right. Poor choice of words on my part! Thanks for informing me. I should not have used the actual term "scientific journal", because our literature does not meet the technical definition. I honestly didn't mean it in that technical literal way, I just thought the word "journal" fit. Insert any other synonym instead. Let me re-phrase that as "scientific publication" or "scientific literature". But the information therein is certainly scientifically accredited.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:13 am |
      • Brian Sarntee

        At End Religion; Hey man, I get your point about the word “slave”, but you have to understand that the meaning in its context is “a slave of God”. It simply means we humbly acknowledge and submit to our Creator’s authority over human activity. We believe he's given everyone a chance to either disregard his easy requirements, or willingly follow some basic laws and requirements for the benefit of one another. But we believe that soon those who just don't want to live in accord with some very simple laws of God will no longer be allowed to live on this planet, and those remaining will make for a wonderful place to live and learn and explore and enjoy life to the full!

        September 7, 2012 at 3:38 am |
      • Brian Sarntee

        At Kevin in tx: I agree with you that everything is done with motive, I meant that Jehovah's Witnesses truly have no SELFISH motive. I’d rather sleep in and rest from my secular work than volunteer my time knocking on doors searching for people who want free answers, but I’m convinced through my study of the Bible that it is a work our Creator expects us to do, he expects us to care enough about fellow humans to offer ourselves willingly as teachers of what we ourselves were taught. We feel it’s the least we can do to show our appreciation. I was just contrasting that with someone who could easliy be motivated to say anything, no matter how fictional, just to get media and public attention to bolster their own bank account!

        September 7, 2012 at 3:42 am |
      • Brian Sarntee

        At Mulehead: Sorry you feel that way, my former brother, but I simply do not agree whatsoever. I feel our Creator totally encourages discovery, of all sorts. That’s why he made us with our insatiable desire to learn and explore!

        September 7, 2012 at 3:43 am |
      • Brian Sarntee

        At One one: Alright, I gotta admit, that's hilarious! I know you're totally making fun of me, and I have a great sense of humor, so I can laugh at myself. "You get what you pay for", so you pay nothing, you get nothing! Good joke man! But seriously, Jehovah's Witnesses do have awesome factual and scientific information to share, very educational stuff! Many people just don't care for the idea of a Creator, and that is for many reasons, but mostly I think people have been turned off by most religions' horrible abusive misused track record, and failure to reason logically on matters. Unfortunate.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:48 am |
      • Cody

        You don't have to buy his book to watch his lectures free online...I've done it for I dont know how long. He isn't preaching and atheism isn't a religion. Atheism Is a Religion Like Abstinence Is a S3x

        September 7, 2012 at 8:03 am |
      • End Religion

        @brian: "Hey man, I get your point about the word “slave”, but you have to understand that the meaning in its context is “a slave of God”.

        You're explaining to me that an all-powerful creator, who can create whatever he needs via magic, wants slaves... and that's OK with you? What does he need slaves for? To spread his word? He can create a planet but can't just make people his followers out of the gate? Oh wait... maybe he's fighting with Satan. I forgot about that old guy in the ground, hanging out in all that liquid hot magma. I forgot he and god have a bet for $5 and an ice cream over who can get the most souls. Brian, I understand it gives you a deep sense of pride to have suspended your logic and reason in this area. If you can't see how childish and man-made religion is, all I can do is keep pointing it out with the hope it sinks in one day. You're hoping I surrender my logic and I can hope you begin to understand what facts and proof are. Just don't start any wars for your sky fairy. When it all begins to crumble and the one dude that's left at the top of your cult begins to talk of "war" or "suicide" you get out of there with your family and think about it long and hard before you waste anyone's precious life for the fairy tale.

        "It simply means we humbly acknowledge and submit to our Creator’s authority over human activity."

        if your imaginary friend actually had authority over humans there wouldn't need to be any proselytizing. but yet all religions feel the need to convince us their one kooky set of rules is the real set, even though their all-powerful wish dude can't seem to fulfill even that wish. By the way, calling yourself "humble" is actually performing the opposite. But I guess you probably have your own churchy definition for that too.

        "We believe he's given everyone a chance to either disregard his easy requirements, or willingly follow some basic laws and requirements for the benefit of one another."

        But just in the last paragraph you egotistically asserted you were humble. Isn't it one of these "easy laws" to walk humbly with god (Micah 6:8). "Humble" is a word others decide to use for you; you don't use it on yourself unless you're arrogant. So now you've broken a second easy rule. You've challenged his authority. He told you to be humble, and you disobeyed him. Obviously these rules aren't so easy. And of course what's worse, its childishly transparent this game of rules is just a game made up by some other men a long time ago to control people. And it succeeded for a long time. Folks like you surrender to it partially, when it suits you, and then get up on a perch to tell others they need to live by rules you yourself can't even live by. Brian, you don't need to continue living your life in ignorance. There's no heaven or hell. Its just a kids game of guilt that works on adults because they're scared and don't understand how the planet could have ended up in this state when it seems so mathematically improbable. But we do understand many of the real reasons we're here, and are closer every day to understanding it all. Maybe that's arrogant but I don't have any silly life rules telling me I can't be a little proud now and again of mankind's achievements, while you are forbidden of being proud of anything.

        "But we believe that soon those who just don't want to live in accord with some very simple laws of God will no longer be allowed to live on this planet, and those remaining will make for a wonderful place to live and learn and explore and enjoy life to the full!""

        So how do you feel now that I've pointed out that even you cannot live by your god's game rules? Does this mean you're no longer allowed to live on the planet? Yikes. It stinks to be on the outside of that little rule, eh? but I suppose your twisted rule set allows for some sort of contrition so i rest easy knowing you'll find a way to be forgiven. Yes, absolutely you must never break any of god's rules but if you do, well, just say some more magic words and it'll be all better. You can sit on daddy's knee again and bask in his light.

        I'm curious, when you say folks that will be left after your loving god destroys millions of non-believers in the apocalypse will be allowed to "enjoy life to the fullest," does that means they will be allowed to be arrogant and disobey god's rules like you've done here today? Cuz if they aren't allowed to do that then you maybe ought not say they're living life to its fullest. There will still be rules preventing the living of life to its fullest, right? So maybe you can amend that sentence to something like "...those remaining will make a place to continue to be slaves for eternity to a god who, if all-powerful shouldn't need slaves unless he wants them only for his own pleasure; and to learn, except only to learn up to a certain point beyond which begins to reveal god and heaven are simply imaginary at which point god will cap the learning so as not to banish his eternal monarchy into irrelevance; to explore and enjoy life to the extent that slaves are allowed to, meaning nearly no exploration or enjoyment since it begins to anger and embarrass the supposedly infallible (yet prone to human emotions) god.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Brian Sarntee, those are NOT, IN FACT "Scientific Journals." One of the headings says, "What Does the Bible Say?"

        Using a made-up story as evidence would get you laughed out of the scientific community. It's equivalent to quoting from the book Peter Pan as proof the boys can really fly if they just believe hard enough.

        No, your "Scientific Journals" are just propaganda pieces meant to thwart you minds from thinking too hard about how the world ACTUALLY works.

        September 17, 2012 at 8:43 am |
      • atDissenter

        Brian Sarntee, those are NOT, IN FACT "Scientific Journals." One of the headings says, "What Does the Bible Say?"

        Using a made-up story as evidence would get you laughed out of the scientific community. It's equivalent to quoting from the book Peter Pan as proof the boys can really fly if they just believe hard enough.

        No, your "Scientific Journals" are just propaganda pieces meant to thwart young
        minds from thinking too hard about how the world ACTUALLY works.

        September 17, 2012 at 8:43 am |
      • VHN

        I checked those links, and while they do show a lot of pictures of guys in lab coats and use some REALLY big words, there is nothing scientific contained in them. They basically say Here is this theory, doesn't it sound stupid? Over and over again about pretty much every basic tenet of molecular biology. I understand that molecular biology does not make a lot of sense to you, but trust me, when you actually understand it (try reading some of the papers your pamphlets discount) it makes a very clear and elegant sense.
        There is no way to get around the fact that evolution fits with every factor of biological science. the only argument against it is that you don't like the way it sounds. There is not now and has never been a single piece of scientific evidence against evolution.
        People with no understanding of how science works think that scientists get together and say "This is what we want to believe; how can we prove it?" When in fact it's "This is what we observe; how can we explain it?" The evidence forms the explanation. People attempting to "prove" creationism have an idea in their head and try to make the proof fit it. That methodology will never result in a single valid scientific discovery.

        September 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • robert

      that the changes are due to random mutations is not speculation. You cannot consider god to be a cause of anything until such time as his existence is proven. If you are claiming that because we have no proof their is no god therefore we must consider him to be a candidate creator, then you may as well include the flying spaghetti monster, elves and dragons and even me. Science is about proof not disproof. The theory of evolution does not require a god. It is that simple.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • tq70

        how would you possibly prove existence of God? It's like you would try to discover the content of somebodies' experience of trauma by analysing the chemical composition of his tears. It's kind of insane.
        Do you have mind? Show me it! Where is it? In your brain? It's sort of insane.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • austin lada

        There is factual information that Jesus rose from the dead. What more proof do you need?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
      • cleareye1

        There is no evidence that he even existed, let alone rose from the dead.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        We have records of His life from Biblical and non-Biblical sources. That evidence may not be persuasive to you, but it exists.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • PJ P

        "The theory of evolution does not require a god. It is that simple."

        It does not exclude a God either. And it's not simple.

        September 7, 2012 at 1:19 am |
      • max3333444555

        bob bales,

        there is no authoritative proof that christ existed from a non corrupted source.

        September 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
      • Slurp - Code Keeping

        Do you think History is a science? Or are you only thinking about biology? Do you consider Historians as stuoid people too? It seems to all of us that you don't know anything about History. Even the daily calendar that you use was influenced by Christ life on Earth... x-(

        September 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      surely you contradict yourself? you cannot claim evolution is right, and then claim that evolution is possibly guided by a deity. If its guided then it doesnt meet the definition of evolution, its becomes intelligent design, which is creationism, which is 'god did it'

      September 6, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Mear

      You are speaking outside your area of expertise. You may be a good scientist; I don't know whether you are or not. But, you are not applying the same rigour to areas outside your specialty as you presumably do within it. Otherwise, you would acknowledge that gods are on an equal basis evidentially as are, for example, the nature spirits that are supposed by some to be responsible for successful plant growth. The concept of gods is not necessary to a reasonable explanation of the universe.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mark Cohen

      "...Evolution is a scientific fact..."

      Seems like an oxymoron to me. Now, if you had said Evolution is a scientific theory based on what man thinks to be true....thats more believeable. Man puts their own interpretations and meanings on the things they find in search of a plausible answer.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • Jkhur

        Ever get the flu? Pay attention to the rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens? Evolution, which is simply changes in biological systems over time, is a fact that we see all around us,

        September 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Aquaria

        Scientific theories are proven models of objective facts.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
      • veggiedude

        Electricity is also 'just a scientific theory'. Putting a man on the Moon was based on many 'scientific theories'. What's your point?

        September 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • sqeptiq

        Gravity is a scientific theory...do you doubt the factual nature of gravity? Until you present facts that contradict evolution, it remains the ONLY scientific explanation of biological diversity.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
      • Poltergiest

        If evolution so well understood why can I use gravity to figure out Jupiters location 3 million years from now, but I cant use evolution to even predict when bacteria might become resistant to anti-biotics?

        September 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • i12bphil

      Since you are (or claim to be) a scientist I would like you to answer a question for me. Can you give me an example either observed or from the fossil record of any case of macro-evolution ever taking place. That is to say, evidence of one species in a transitional stage becoming another species, but not a completed transition where it is already become the other species?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
      • Eric

        i12bphil: Instead of asking people on internet forums, why don't you just do a few google searches and read articles about how macro evolution has been observed already in the laboratory.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      You had me up until the random mutation part. Selection may be directed by God. Granted, God might shine brighter and heat the Earth. This would set up selection among individuals with different alleles of genes – some of which are pre-existing in the population and other arising by mutation which we can reasonably say is hits a random spot in the genome. But no, we know that God does not specifically change certain nucleotides – that is a fact.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • George

      Dawkins idea of the "meme" sounds very close to Carl Jung's idea of the archetype. He seems to be copying to suit his argument. I don't understand how evolutionary scientists stubbornly continue to proclaim evolution as fact. Similarity of forms does not prove evolution any more than as a liquid, vinegar "evolved" from water. The fact of evolution will come when we see such an example of evolution occur in our sight. We have not yet have we?

      September 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • Vulpecula

        well actually, yes there have been examples of evolution right before our eyes and not just in labs. Any creator that has a fast reproductive period, and isolated in an enviroment that favors a random trait, can be show to evolve over several generations. There have been plenty of such examples among fruit flies. But even in the wild, shrimp that only lived on one side of Central American gained access to the other side when the Panama Canal opened within about 10 years, tey were a new species. still looking much like there old relitives, but no longer able to breed with them because of genetic mutations over several generatins. All the evidence is out there, you just have to be willing to look and learn from it.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • William

      You mean a statement of his agnosticism......

      September 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      Dawkin's claims are absolutely scientific.
      The burder of proof is on the theists, and they have none. No one "proves" a negative (i.e., there is no god).

      I say my invisible pink unicorn created the universe. Is that silly? You can't "prove" I'm wrong.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • enemyofdogma

      I couldn't have said it better myself, thanks for enlightening all the evangelical atheists.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Flower

      LAUGHABLE.
      EVOLUTION WAS PROVEN TO BE FALSE.
      If evolution was true we would have wings and webbed feet.

      false

      September 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
      • MDAT

        It was not.We share 98.5% of DNA of chimps.

        September 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
      • Slurp

        American doctors tried using chimp organs in the 1960s, but in all cases the organs were totally unsuitable. The claim of 98% similarity between chimpanzees and humans is not only deceptive and misleading, but also scientifically incorrect. Today, scientists are finding more and more differences in DNA from humans and chimps. For instance, a 2002 research study proved that human DNA was at least 5% different from chimpanzees—and that number probably will continue to grow as we learn all of the details about human DNA (Britten, 2002). Sorry but you are oudated.

        September 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
      • Slurp - Who's the scientist here?

        Although it has commonly been stated in the past that humans and chimpanzees have 98.5% DNA similarity, this figure has recently been found to be incorrect. Newer research has suggested that there is approximately 96% genetic similarity between Humans and chimpanzees overall. Of course the fine details depend on what specific chromosomes one is looking at. Although 96% of the DNA is similar overall, there are some very significant differences in some chromosomes, where other chromosomes are nearly identical. Specifically, 18 of the chromosomes of humans are nearly identical to those of chimpanzees, the rest are very different (eg: chromosomes 4, 9, 12, 21, and y).
        Some specific examples of differences include:
        1) Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes in total while chimpanzees have 24.
        2) Chimpanzees and other apes have telomeres about 23 kilobases long, whereas humans are completely unique among primates with much shorter telomeres only 10 kilobases long.
        3) The Y chromosome in chimpanzees is smaller than that of humans and only 60% of the genes are similar to those of the y chromosome of humans.

        REFERENCES:
        Jennifer F. Hughes et al. 2010. Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content. Nature. Online first. January
        Archidiacono, N. et al. 1998. 'Evolution of chromosome Y in primates.' Chromosoma 107:241-246.
        Britten, R.J. 2002. 'Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5% counting indels.' Proceedings National Academy Science 99:13633-13635.
        Fujiyama, A., et al. 2002. 'Construction and analysis of a Human-Chimpanzee Comparative Clone Map.' Science 295:131-134.
        Gagneux, P. and Varki, A. 2001. 'Genetic differences between humans and great apes.' Mol Phylogenet Evol 18:2-13.

        Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_DNA_do_humans_and_chimpanzees_share#ixzz26Op1Ruvw

        September 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
      • Slurp - Coding

        But as the human genome contains over 3 billion base pairs, a 1% difference between our species means that over 30 million nucleotides have changed! Considering that a single base pair change can completely change the way a protein works—or where and how much of a protein is produced—those changes can easily account for many of the differences between our two species. After all, individual humans share 99.5% of their DNA, and that 0.5% difference, plus environmental factors, is responsible for the diversity we see in the human population.
        Being a professional programmer working with code it occurs me to say that a comma or a point produce different results and errors – so what about 30 million nucleotides!!! Actually that's a completely new program...

        September 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
      • Slurp - Coding II

        Being a professional programmer dealing with thousands of binary code lines, it just occurs me to think that, if in billions of self-reproducing, self-correcting, quaternary code lines just a few 30 million nucleotides are different, then it is highly, highly probable that the programmer is the same guy! 😉

        September 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
      • tifischer

        Thank you for all your comments...very enlightening. And I especially like the point about the programmer...eloquently said.

        September 14, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • m o smith

      Well said. Thank you.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • JimChemist

      Steve D:

      I have a graduate degree in chemistry, taken graduate courses in nuclear physics, relativistic physics, etc., and work in the R&D dept of a multi-billion dollar chemical company.

      I'm looking for some objective comments regarding my assumptions, and question below:

      1. Aging measurement methods for the Earth are based on isotope ratios of sufficient half-life.

      2. These isotopes are generated during natural solar fusion/fission processes. Once these materials leave this environment via Big Bang, supernovae, etc., the ratio is at time-zero and begins to change based on half-lives.

      3. We don't know how long it took for ejected solar material, already containing these aging isotope ratios, to coalesce into Earth, etc.

      So, have can isotope ratios be used to determine the age of Earth?

      September 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • satanfornoreason

      Ehhh! Wrong Steve. Science requires evidence, it's that simple. To say God is behind evolution (or has anything to do with it) is NOT scientific because there is not a shred of evidence for such a claim. To date, no experiment has been performed to test this claim, but that doesn't mean one never will be.

      One day it is possible (anything is possible) that evidence for God will be found, or scientists will device a way to determine whether God exists (or drives evolution).

      You could just as well say evolution excludes the tooth fairy or ghosts, and it would still be a scientific statement, there is just no evidence for it. It might never be disproved, but it can certainly be proved, if evidence for the tooth fairy or ghosts are found to be the driving force of evolution.

      As a matter of fact, either evolution is driven by God (or the tooth fairy, or ghosts), or it isn't. Either it is or it isn't, and that's a scientific claim, one that – to date – has not a shred of evidence in the affirmative.

      Scientist or not, you are uninformed about evolution. Natural selection is not a matter of chance. It is not a random force. Mutation is a matter of chance, and it is random, and it provides the variation on which natural selection operates. Natural selection removes unsuccessful genes from the gene pool. Genes are non-randomly chosen for their ability to create organisms that survive and reproduce.

      At that time

      September 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • tifischer

        satanfornoreason clearly does not have a scientific mind either. If there was no evidence then no one would have believed in the first place....it is the evidence that first allowed people to realize there is a God. Science requires an observation that stimulates a questions then a hypothesis is created that is put to tested. As I mentioned before...The genetic material is amazing. What seemed to be this jumbled up knotted strand of mostly "junk DNA" is actually the super structure of a life processing machine. It may seem dumb to the unknowing like informing an infant that the letters on a page come together to form words that are combined to create sentences in a book to share information and ideas.

        How we became what we are today is through God, but who you choose to be is your choice. Someone once told me that there is a fine line between insanely intelligent and someone who is mentally disturbed and I argued that there is not...there is actually a really big difference...the difference is reason. I truly hope you find enlightenment in God's wisdom.

        September 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • satanfornoreason

        @tifischer says " If there was no evidence then no one would have believed in the first place".

        Ehhh! Wrong tifischer. Based on your "reasoning", Zeus actually existed, and Thor existed, and the god of Islam exists now, and everyone who has ever believed in a god did so because "if there was no evidence then no one would have believed in the first place". Looks like that line of reasoning means your god isn't the only one. It's impossible for someone in your position to be honest and speak about reality, because you end up contradicting yourself or being deceitful. That's pretty satanic if you ask me.

        September 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
      • tifischer

        Now like a good scientist please don't jump to conclusions...did you ever consider that it is all the same God...but one God? So, those who were not instructed by God directly were miss-interpreted the power of God as being multi-supernatural beings. If anything that is more supporting evidence of God's existence. The fact that many diverse and non-related cultures came up with the same observation independently.

        I have only been Christian for a short time and I have not not studied Jesus but only have tried to read the Bible. However, I have noticed an amazing, fantastic and undeniable love and wisdom in him. In his choice of words, phrasing, parable usage, questioning, his actions... I encourage you to read some of his parables and see his poetic wisdom and read his passion through his death and resurreccion and be over come with true love and enlightenment.

        September 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  99. anonymous

    This guy is an idiot.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • fsinner

      Wow, what a profound statement! You must be really smart to have said something like that. Bravo!

      September 7, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  100. Mark

    I'm now reading The God Delusion for the 2nd time and am just as impressed with Dawkins as when I first read The Selfish Gene. The guy is brilliant, articulate and well worth reading!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Tim

      You would also enjoy The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan who was also one of our greatest thinkers/rationalists.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
      • jon

        Demon haunted world is a great book. My favourite section was when Sagan talked about the advent of alien abduction which started happening less than a hundred years after witchcraft was no longer believable. That there is not one recorded instance of aliens showing up until the late 19th century.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:28 am |
      • Punkmonk

        @Jon, that's not entirely true. There are old Egyptian Hieroglyph’s that depict beings in spacecraft and other older cultures also speak of people from space. There's an old Native American tribe that belives that they came from space, they'll even point out the exact star.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:51 am |
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