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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  2. Science

    Evolution makes the grade

    Kansas, Kentucky and other states will also teach climate-change science.
    Lauren Morello

    03 July 2013

    http://www.nature.com/news/evolution-makes-the-grade-1.13318

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  4. Jacob Ezekiel

    Creations Order Accurately Stated in the Bible – over 3500 years ago...

    Mathematic­al probabilit­y offers striking proof that Genesis creation account must have come from source with knowledge of the events. The Genesis account lists 10 major stages in this order (NOTE:thes­e events are from a human perspectiv­e on the SURFACE OF THE EARTH-Mose­s 1500BCE)

    Genesis chapter 1
    1- beginning to the Universe
    2- primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water
    3- sunlight (light penetrates the thinning atmosphere and reaches earth's surface, previously the atmosphere was to thick to let sunlight penetrate)
    4- expanse or atmosphere develops
    5- large areas of dry land
    6- land plants
    7- sun, moon, stars discernible in the expanse (previously indiscernible from the surface of the earth due to the thickness of the atmosphere, seasons beginning
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    10- man

    Science agrees that these stages occurred in this general order.

    Chances of randomly picking this order? The same as if you picked at random numbers 1-10, drawing them in consecutive order. Chances of doing this on your first try- 1 in 3,628,800! So, to say the writer just happened to list the foregoing events in the right order without getting the facts from somewhere is not realistic.

    Scientist Jastrow:
    “Now we see how astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”

    June 4, 2013 at 4:12 am |
    • Jacob Ezekiel

      NOTE:these events are from a human perspective on the SURFACE OF THE EARTH-Moses 1500BCE)

      Genesis was written about 1500 BCE (3500 years ago). It was written for and by a human (Moses) on the earth and all of the Bible writers claimed that they were inspired by God to write his thoughts for the benefit of mankind.

      So please note the perspective of these steps are from the surface of the earth.

      That is why the sun and stars were already created but the SURFACE of the earth was dark due to the heavy/thick atmosphere not allowing the light to penetrate tot he surface of the earth...
      2-primitive earth in darkness and enshrouded in heavy gases and water;

      3-light;
      ... and later the light from the sun (due to changing atmosphere penetrated to the SURFACE of the earth...)

      7-sun, moon, stars discernible in the expanse, seasons beginning;
      ... and later the sun and moon themselves – not just there light – were discernible from the SURFACE of the earth (again due to changing atmosphere...)

      Land Plants on Third “Day”

      The Bible account adds: “‘Let the earth cause grass to shoot forth, vegetation bearing seed, fruit trees yielding fruit according to their kinds, the seed of which is in it, upon the earth.’ And it came to be so.”—Genes­is 1:11.

      Thus by the close of this third creative period, three broad categories of land plants had been created. The diffused light would have become quite strong by then, ample for the process of photosynth­esis so vital to green plants. Incidental­ly, the account here does not mention every “kind” of plant that came on the scene. Microscopi­c organisms, water plants and others are not specifical­ly named, but likely were created on this “day.”

      – Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? chap. 3 pp. 31-32

      Fourth “Day” – luminaries, seasons

      NOTE: In the Bible the imperfect state of the Hebrew verbs used in Genesis chapter 1 indicates that creation involved ongoing activity by God. And the creative days of Genesis chapter 1 were not 24-hour days, but they extended over MANY thousands of years.

      [[Day four saw dramatic changes: “Then God continued, saying, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide between the day and the night, and they shall be for signs and for seasons and for days and years. Also they shall be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth’; and gradually it came to be so. Accordingly God proceeded to make the two great lights, the greater light as a ruler of the day, and the lesser light as a ruler of the night, likewise the stars.”—Genesis 1:14-16, Watts.

      Now, for the first time, more concentrat­ed sunlight reached the surface of the earth. The sources of light—sun and moon and stars—coul­d be seen from the surface of the earth. In the account of the first creative day, the Hebrew word for light is ’ohr,
      light in a general sense; but on day four, it is ma?’ohr', meaning the source of the light.]]

      – Awake! 91 6/8 pp. 13-14 Did Each Creative Day Always Finish What It Started?

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  6. vincastar

    Father Robert Barron is really fantastic in his explanation.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZkHv8iTJPo&w=560&h=315]

    October 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  7. fimeilleur

    @vincastar, "to believe there is no God without proof and call people who believe in God hypocrites for believing without proof is hypocritical...and ironic : )"

    To believe there are no leprechauns without proof and call people who believe in leprechauns hypocrites fro believing without proof is hypocritical... and ironic : )... oh this is fun...

    "There is evidence in many ways that have already been discussed and you still have not responded to my previous posts that I directed you to accordingly."

    Personal interpretations of personal events are not proof... no matter how many times you say it... they are still personal, and interpretations...

    "Evolution is a theory."

    Jerry beat me to the punch... so is gravity...

    "My hand hurt for about an hour after the break but with prayer stopped hurting and thanks to God has not hurt since, except the occasional bonk. Thank you for your consideration. and I apologized that you have become so distraught over the last post and I pray that you humble your heart to God's abiding love."

    I'll bet you any money... without prayer, your hand would have stopped hurting and thanks to the way the human body is conditioned, except for the occasional bonk, it would not hurt since... it's called saturation of the nervous system...I can prove it with a simple test... take a bowl of ice water, place your hand in it... take a second bowl of hot water, as hot as you can stand it... and place your other hand in it... after about 5 minutes, remove both hands and place them under warm running water... the cold hand will feel the water as hot, and the hot hand will feel the water as cold... although we both know the water is the same temperature...why? because the neurones have been conditioned to feel one way... just like if you are bombarded with a smell for a long time, you will eventually stop smelling the item, even though it is still in the room. No miracle or divine intervention required.

    October 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      somehow this post got misplaced... do not reply, I've reposted for context.

      October 15, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • vincastar

      You are so wrong about saturation of nerves in a break so that if you brake two bones (a displaced fracture and a fracture) it stops hurting after an hour...that does not just happen. When I was agnostic I broke my pinky toe and it hurt for weeks...just wearing the medical shoe hurt. Another time I twisted my ankle and that was seriously pain full. I used a crutch but the force of the weight was so painful that I could not even walk on a crutch without pain for at least a week maybe two. I saw the hand specialist last Fri and he put a hard cast on me and was impressed that I could move any of my fingers much less all of them...without pain also : ) God's awesome.

      I think I commented to you other comments already.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
      • vincastar

        http://www.wordonfire.org/trackback/f3e1f064-a695-4a85-84ea-e770ba6dab2e/Fr–Barron-comments-on-Scientism-and-God-s-Existence.aspx

        October 20, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • vincastar

        In addition, if I accidentally knock into something with my hand, then it does hurt... which would indicate that my nerves are not saturated.

        October 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • vincastar

        I just told you I talked to a medical Dr and he was impressed so was the ER dr and nurses. Look up the definition of staturation...if the nerves are saturated then why do I feel pain if I knock into something? If intense pain saturates the nerves then why did my other broken bone not saturate and why did my twisted ankle not saturate (that bty was really painful) and why does labor hurt so much? You look for an answer to satisfy your belief to protect your pride instead of accepting the reality of the situation.

        October 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        So you told these doctors and nurses that you prayed for the pain to go away... and they were impressed? You need to go to a better hospital. See the word CONDESCENDING in the dictionary... or refer to the expression "humouring someone"...

        Or better yet, tell me... when the people of India encounter the same medical ailments you describe, and they pray to Vishnu and get the same results as you... does it matter to WHOM they pray to? or is it just the act of prayer to any random god that is effective? When the Blackfoot indians prayed to Naapi, and they got the same results... was it because your version of god decided to step in? You'd think such a narcissistic deity who'd banish a person to hell for all eternity for the simple act of disbelief would reject to help someone who clearly has "other gods before him" What about the Buddha? Does he count?

        I'm not about to spend a whole day explaining to you the human body. Their are many great biology text books available for your reading enjoyment. But in summation: the pain you feel as a result of the initial break is pain #1, the nerves eventually get used to pain #1 and you forget about it; the pain you feel as a result of the bump is pain #2, the nerves now react to this new sensation and tell your little walnut brain "hey that hurt me again" it eventually deadens and you forget about it until you hit the area again. Again, go read a book... other than your buy-bull and get some real information.

        October 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
      • vincastar

        Your explanation does not explain...
        1) why that never happened with my other broken bone
        2) why that never happened with my twisted ankle
        3) why that never happened during and after labor
        ...all before I began to pray

        Also, I said the Drs were impressed that I did not need or take the narcotics and the hand Dr specialist was impressed that I could move all of my fingers without pain.

        I don't know much about Buddah except that he was obviously gluttanus and never claimed to be God. He may have been a profit but I have no knowledge of that. Ghandi was possibly a profit. I believe that there is just one God and other religions may call him by a different name and I think it is possible that some religions think that the one God is really many but never considered the wisdom that it is actually just one God that does many things. I also think it is possible that some religions deify anything just because it has power or control over them (like addiction) but that could actually be sinful temptations of the devil like phallic worship by some ancient Romans and Indians would be an obvious example.

        October 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
      • vincastar

        Really, that is a good question concerning why people worship God differently. People around the world probably try to understand God as best they can. However, I find no greater love or wisdom than Jesus'. I am only a recent convert to Christianity so I would recommend talking to a priest about it or going to http://forum.catholic.org/viewforum.php?f=58&sid=84423e41d0aad06c4119359dbb16560a and posting your question.

        October 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        I already said I'm not going to teach you basic biology... read a science text book. It will explain all you ever wanted to know about the human body. I'm not going to do your homework for you. But here's what your "good book" tells you about child birth: 1 timothy 2:11-15 (now if you're a woman... your book commands you to STFU!)

        You can think all you want about other religions... I'm obviously not going to sway your delusions... but know that they truly ARE delusions. And the way that you shamelessly promote the Roman Catholic Church... I'm going to assume you converted to Catholicism... a church headed by a man who's job it was to shuffle ped ophile priests from one church to another to avoid prosecution... a man who excommunicated a nine year old girl, her uncle and her mother after the nine year old obtained an ab ortion to abort the fetus implanted in her by her incestuous and r apist father, and then FORGAVE the father for the r ape (never will the Catholic Church EVER condemn a ped ophile) because he went to confession... the same man who willingly served in the Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany. This is the same church who openly celebrated the feast of the Führer, well after Hitler's death, and STILL, TO THIS DAY, has NEVER excommunicated him, even though they excommunicated others after their deaths (seems like they are proud to have Hitler among their baptized flock)

        Now onto your moral code: the Buy-Bull.

        Many in the religious culture insist that the god of the wholly buy-bull provide the foundation for all morality.

        With that in mind, take a moment to browse some specific examples of God-endorsed atrocities. Then, ask yourself (honestly) how you would feel about these accounts of r ape, incest, sla very, torture and infanticide if the acts had been perpetrated by a human being: Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

        Doesn’t your moral code require you to denounce these acts as horrific and monstrous? Do you hold your version of god to a different standard simply because "he is god, and he can do whatever he wants?"

        Think about it. Even if Yahweh existed, would he be truly worthy of our praise and allegiance? Or is the truly moral person obligated to shun and denounce this petty, jealous, cruel and murderous tyrant?

        Genesis 34:13
        Genesis 6 & 7
        Genesis 19:6
        Genesis 19:26
        Genesis 38:8-10
        Exodus 2:12
        Exodus 7:2-4
        Exodus 7:20-21
        Exodus 8:6-7
        Exodus 8:16
        Exodus 8:24
        Exodus 9:5
        Exodus 9:10
        Exodus 9:22-25
        Exodus 12:29
        Exodus 17:13
        Exodus 21:20-21
        Exodus 32:27

        AND BEFORE YOU START WITH "THAT WAS THE OLD TESTAMENT"...

        Mathew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Jesus endorses the mass murder, r ape, sla very, torture and incest written about in the Old Testament.

        Mark 7:10 Jesus taught that any child who cursed his parents should be killed according to Old Testament law.

        Luke 12:47 Jesus warned that a servant of God who does not heed his master will be "beaten with many blows."

        Romans 1:26-27 Paul said that hom ose xuals deserve death. (Jesus on the other hand... said nothing of the sorts. In fact, Luke 17:34 clearly states "I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left." At the end of days, one of the two men who share one bed, WILL be brought up to heaven... doesn't look like hom ose xuality is that much of a sin in your saviour's eyes)

        So don't try to peddle your nonsense to me. I've read your book cover to cover. There is no context that can forgive the mass murder of children. There is no context that can forgive genocide. There is no context that can forgive the tyrant you know as Yahweh.

        If you have so much faith in your book, I ask you this: If you contracted leprosy, would you see a medical doctor (biology) or would you follow the teachings of Leviticus 14 (theology)?

        Now that I've given you much to read and think about... please, PLEASE, go to the beLIEf blog. You are done here.

        To quote a great man: "Arguments that explain everything... explain NOTHING" Christopher Hitchens. You've been Hitch slapped.

        October 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  8. Daniel

    Simply show me the fossil records of the morphing species that have taken millions and billions of years to evolve..the half one, half another creatures..OR... just come out and file for tax exempt status like the rest of the religions do. It takes as much faith to believe in evolution as does any other religion. Why don't they ?...Then it couldn't be taught in schools as fact..the most baseless fact that I have ever encountered. I cannot prove my faith to you nor would I try to..but please don't look down your nose at me as being of inferior intellect. Because Darwin or Dawkins said it, its true?..Show me the money and if you cannot...why not?

    October 15, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Jerry

      ".the half one, half another creatures"
      Clearly you do not understand evolution. Evolution is a fact. Some of the supporting evidence is fossils, dna, chromosone2, and a host of other evidence.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • vincastar

        Jerry, Everyone knows that evolution is only a theory it cannot be proven.

        October 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
      • Daniel

        'Some of the supporting evidence is fossils'

        Please show me..(since I do not understand) the sum of the some, or at least "some" of the sum...or even some of the some ?...please ?

        October 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
      • Daniel

        In my inept understanding of evolution, I was led to believe that everything came from nothing, or for the sake of an evolutionist platform..I will give you a primordial sludge. I had always thought and was taught (in school) that everything evolved from said sludge. If we have a voluminous fossil record with a good cross section of species why are we so lacking in the link department. I said half this, half that to simplify what must have obviously occurred, unless I misunderstand. Are you of the opinion that a fish one day birthed a frog ? (please excuse me..I am someone with a high school education and don't have my evolutionary family tree beside me..for the sake or argument..grant me my example. Is that where I am confused ?

        October 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  9. Bea

    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.

    I would disagree.....I think the movie 'Idiocracy' did a pretty good job of just that. lol

    October 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  10. Arokel

    Dawkins is not exactly an unbiased person. Nor is he ,imo, the best person to represent the evolution side of things.

    The guy is nuts.

    October 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Jerry

      @Arokel

      Dawkins is a tenured professor at Oxford. There aren't more qualified people to speak about evolution.

      October 9, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      imho, Dawkins is absolutely qualified as a biologist, but the problem is that the apparent discord between the evidence he sees in evolution and religious accounts have apparently launched him into an anti-religionistic world view,
      and that he is now not so much known for his research work in biology, but as one of the strongest supporters of the "us vs. them" mentality of "science vs. religion" that he in some way has created in his own analysis, along with other contemporary "atheist scientists" such as Pinker and a group of Philosophers/Thinkers such as Hitchens, Daniel C. Dennet and others.
      There may also be business considerations involved in the sensationalism of his publications.

      I don't think there is anything specifically "wrong" with Dawkins ideas per-se, they are definitely a valid position one can agree or disagree with.
      The problem is more the demonization of religion as a whole and the polarization his way of presenting them results form them.
      I definitely think that he as a university professor practices a certain kind of "eroticism of teaching" and that the gestures he makes and the effect he evokes through his language often originate more in the student/professor relationship in which the professor is the wise guy while the student "has his mind blown".
      I think if you look at PT Anderson's "The Master" you might be able to get a glimpse of how something like this works as well.
      I do admire science, I think it's our best shot at many many things.
      But the way Dawkins behaves, his polarizing rhetorics and propagandistic publications, places him in the vicinity of cult leaders.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:23 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      imho, Dawkins is absolutely qualified as a biologist, but the problem is that the apparent discord between the evidence he sees in evolution and religious accounts have apparently launched him into an anti religionistic world view,
      and that he is now not so much known for his research work in biology, but as one of the strongest supporters of the "us vs. them" mentality of "science vs. religion" that he in some way has created in his own analysis, along with other contemporary "atheist scientists" such as Pinker and a group of Philosophers/Thinkers such as Hitchens, Daniel C. Dennet and others.
      There may also be business considerations involved in the sensationalism of his publications.

      I don't think there is anything specifically "wrong" with Dawkin's ideas per-se, they are definitely a valid position one can agree or disagree with.
      The problem is more the demonization of religion as a whole and the polarization his way of presenting them results form them.
      I definitely think that he as a university professor practices a certain kind of "eroticism of teaching" and that the gestures he makes and the effect he evokes through his language often originate more in the student/professor relationship in which the professor is the wise guy while the student "has his mind blown".
      I think if you look at PT Anderson's "The Master" you might be able to get a glimpse of how something like this works as well.
      I do admire science, I think it's our best shot at many many things.
      But the way Dawkins behaves, his polarizing rhetorics and propagandistic simplifications, places him in the vicinity of cult leaders.

      October 10, 2012 at 6:29 am |
  11. Doug

    There are 3 possibilities based on mathematics. Evolution of humans on earth is not one of them.

    October 5, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      fyi, there is a weird censor algorithm that prevents some posts from showing up.
      most of the time, it happens because the world t-it (evidently without the -) is hidden somewhere in the text, for example in "att-itude".

      October 6, 2012 at 2:54 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      Evolution of humans is not a "probabilty problem" anymore, since it is evidently a pretty convincing theory about how things came about to the present state.
      But it doesn't really explain why you and me are here right now.
      It only has a convincing structural description of how "humans" came about.
      You and me just find ourselves right in the middle of it, our presence quite evidently not necessary within all this structural emergence of matter alone.
      There is really no reason why we would have to be strapped into this silly life of ours.

      Since my presence here is so unnecessary, illogical and unreal, yet I am evidently there, I think that there is a lot we still do not understand, despite the fact that so many things "look understood" now.

      October 6, 2012 at 3:01 am |
  12. Doug

    where is the post

    October 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  13. atDissenter

    I'm done here. There is NO god. Live with it.

    October 4, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • vincastar

      Really, you give up? So, how did you sleep?

      October 4, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      So what about the dream in which you met your deceased mother at the bus stop and she was fine?

      October 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Slurp

      Don't be silly! You have to live with the fact that you simply don't have enough knowledge to say "there is no god"! That would be the anti-thesis of scientific endeavour – to solve problems, understand the unknown and gain information that will help improve the quality of life... Millions of people experienced the reality of God's love, forgiveness and real changed lives through the power of his word. You cannot deny that. Now, live with it.

      October 5, 2012 at 5:45 am |
  14. InTheBeginning

    Evolution is a hoax. The science used to cobble together the theory is mostly genuine, but the resulting theory is full of holes. How did live begin? Evolution offers only speculation, and much of that is pretty out there. For every objection Dawkins and others raise regarding a biblical worldview, there are more that can be raised against evolution.

    Oh, and as far as questioning God if he happens to run into Him when he dies; Dawkins won't be the one asking questions and encountering God won't be optional.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Here is what I don't understand. Fundiot nutters, like yourself, purposefully choose to be ignorant about science. Yet, for some bizarre reason you feel compelled to come onto science threads and demonstrate that ignorance for all to see.

      October 5, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  15. spacematters

    Reading all the comments, besides getting a headache, Im thinking let's divide the world into two; those who are theistic and those who are athiest; and, let's see what happens in 100 years.

    October 3, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • vincastar

      You could use China and America as example... Although China is starting to growing in their conversion to God's love (when they are not killed for it). I just read this sad story about a young lady who had to hide in a cave to print Christian material in China. In 1992 her hideout was found and destroyed...I don't recall if they just put her in one of their prisons or killed her. I recommend researching Saints of China...so many people in our country don't know what they have and forget how they got it. Whether you like it or not all our fortunes in this country is founded on Jesus...our founding fathers...our freedom...our equal rights...

      October 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Sorry about all the dashes, it took me a long time to get this through.

        And then on the the-ism side of things, the be-lievers are doing all kin-ds of wo-nd-erful things in the na-me of their go-ds (sarc-asm intended): fly-ing into bui-ldings, cons-tri-cting wo-men's rig-hts. Also, lets not for-get the long Christian tradi-tion of to-r-men- ting non-christians and let's not be all hy-ped up on this god thing; it go-es both ways.

        October 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
      • vincastar

        There is a difference between Christians and "Christians" yes we are in agreement there. Jesus teaches us that killing is wrong and that sinning is wrong. So, if you see a Christian or anyone sin, kindly call them on it and hopefully they will humble their heart...but be careful that you are not sinning yourself...if you are sinning, stop sinning and humble your own heart first. Then you'll be doing God's work whether you believe or do not and perhaps when your judgment day comes God will be merciful. Is that so bad? Is that so hard? : ) Problems have arisen from people dividing the body of Christ and not learning their faith properly/not being taught properly. One day people will get it and Christians will unite in one body of Christ and things will really start to change for the better. We just need enough people to realize not to divide the body, but if there is a problem to standup for what you believe and not run away. If they are wrong, then someone will teach them properly and if they are right, then things will change for the better. So, please pray.

        October 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
      • atDissenter

        I'm n-ot go-ing to pre-tend that it's ju-st religion that is the pro-b-em he-re. All insti-tutions bec-ome cor-r-upt, to so-me ex-tent. It doe-sn't really ma-tter if you're le-ft, ri-ght, u-p, do-wn and every-thing in bet-ween. There are alw-ays go-ing to be peo-ple that t-ake th-ings to-o f-ar and it usu-ally has to do with so-me so-rt fl-aw in their na-t-ure.

        October 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Lets be clear. While China does have an An-ti-Western religious b-i-a-s, they are very spiritual and de-cent people. Of course you hear about those extr-eme examples. One more thing. If you're going to thr-ow out an example like this, do your homework and provide specifics. If you ca-n't, don't bo-ther.

        As far as China is concerned, their nation is not based on being against other religions, they have their issues with any sort of pro-test that go against the n-orm; it's not just religion. They have been purposefully slow in open-ing up their society because of their long history and the in-stability that came in part from us in the West. We're not bla-me-less here. Our policies (British policies) in that region must be considered when being criti-cal of China's actions. China, of course, is not alone in being vic-timized by the West and some of the "hot-test" problem areas in the world are a by-pro-duct of "our" control.

        If you ig-nore those influences, it's only telling half the story and that goes against the idea of the (fiction-al char-acter) Jes-us saying, "Walk a mil-e in m-y sh-oes..."

        October 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
      • vincastar

        Downplaying the problems in China like that was just wrong. I'm praying for you tonight whether you like it or not.

        October 3, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
      • atDissenter

        That was painful to post. If I have to do that again. I'm out of here.

        October 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  16. John

    Half of this "interview" are excerpts from dawkins book The god delusion.

    That set aside no matter if your a thiest, Diest, athiest, what have you, this book is very good reading for expanding the thought process. It encourages the reader to step outside his little box of beliefs to look at the big picture around ones self.

    October 3, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      if you ask me, it's more like "why don't you leave this box and come into this box over here" in the God Delusion. :/
      Sometimes the most dangerous boxes are those that claim to be no boxes, making you think like your are not inside of one but in fact unnoticably constrain your interface of things you can do and look at.

      October 3, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • atDissenter

      lolCAT2000 "if you ask me, it's more like "why don't you leave this box and come into this box over here" in the God Delusion."

      Well, it's better to have a box that actually HAS something in it (mountains of evidence, bones fossils, geology, genetics, microbiology...actual REAL stuff) rather than a empty box full of "pixie dust" and wishful thinking. There really is a difference. Religion and Evolution are far from mutually exclusive. Yes, in believer's heads, but that's not exactly thinking outside the box, is it?

      October 3, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  17. lolCAT2000

    I do see the problem though. All this "suppress the female" and ho-mo-phobic stuff and I really don't need all this violent imagery in my life that someone might interpret the wrong way – it's like a g-un that lies around waiting for someone to use it for the wrong purposes.

    October 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  18. Donald B

    keep the traditions, and embrace science, the world we live in is being more and more defined every day, everything we know has been the same since before we discovered that E=mc2 or that Gravitational light lensing is possible, and yet after all this, this concept is the most inconsistant report of creation (as well as pretty much any non scientific account of everything) but this stems from a fear beat into humanity since well before the fall of the roman empire, and even before its creation, from the codes of hamarabi and so on. I also do not believe there ever will be an atomic war, just a clever smoke screen of fear.

    October 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  19. sam imbecile

    The most successful meme („Ideology“) of all times was perhaps „Jewish culture“, because all other cultures directly or indirectly depend of it: christians, muslims, protestants, capitalists, communists, Marxists, fascists, Nazis, Hollywood cinema, etc. etc. - and no body has understood so far that he is just a slave of this silly 2000year old Jewish tradition, because all “humans” are under the unconscious influence of these “jewish memes” (political correctness)!

    October 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  20. vincastar

    atDissenter... God does not do horrible things but the lack of God is where evil can seep in and then horrible things happen...and often not without warning. Over time God has sent an angel or speaks to someone or sends Mary to warn us ...

    October 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • atDissenter

      I'm so glad you sorted that out.

      October 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • atDissenter

      vincastar said:"God does not do horrible things but the lack of God is where evil can seep in and then horrible things happen...and often not without warning. Over time God has sent an angel or speaks to someone or sends Mary to warn us ..."

      Let's just rephrase this, shall we? Just a little tweaking.

      Santa Claus does not do horrible things but the lack of Santa Claus is where evil can seep in and then horrible things happen...and often not without warning. Over time Santa Claus has sent an angel or speaks to someone or sends Mrs Claus to warn us...don't be bad for goodness sake.

      See how that makes just as much sense?

      October 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
      • vincastar

        1st Saint Nicholas was not God.
        2nd If you say that Saint Nicholas brought joy to people and children where there was none before then I suppose that God's love did work through him to bring joy, giving for the sake of others, and an increased sense of love...yes that is an excellent example.

        October 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "1st Saint Nicholas was not God."

        No, I didn't say Saint Nicholas the person. I'm talking large man in a red suit going down chimneys.

        vincastar "2nd If you say that Saint Nicholas brought joy to people and children where there was none before then I suppose that God's love did work through him to bring joy, giving for the sake of others, and an increased sense of love...yes that is an excellent example.

        And no, don't put words in my posts by responding, "If you say..."

        I'm saying Santa IS god in no uncertain terms. The ONLY god. The TRUE god (for sake of argument only).
        Most people would be laughed at for believing in Santa and I don't really think you would feel any different. Obviously, you think belief in the storybook Santa is ridiculous and that's exactly what I'm getting at. There is no difference between this belief and belief in the god of Christianity. No difference. Fact!. I totally get that believers need it to be somehow different. The only difference is the amount of time.

        October 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |
      • vincastar

        Santa Clause comes from the real story of Saint Nicholas who was very much a real person. So, yes I believe in Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Clause) and many people do. The sad thing are those who overlook the fact that he was a real person and it is in his spirit that we give to others when celebrating the birth of Jesus.

        October 2, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "Santa Clause comes from the real story of Saint Nicholas who was very much a real person. So, yes I believe in Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Clause) and many people do. The sad thing are those who overlook the fact that he was a real person and it is in his spirit that we give to others when celebrating the birth of Jesus."
        2nd post...

        See what you did? You did exactly what atheists do to your biblical stories. You entirely proved my point. We can point to specific origins and reasons for your Christian or Hebrew Scriptures. We can show trends from other counties and sub-cultures that existed within the Jewish communities of "Biblical Times." We can demonstrate clear contradictions and mistakes between gospels. We can clearly show how v-iolnent the christian god is. Point after point, we can show exactly what you find so dis-tasteful in the "pretend" San-ta usurping the "real" St. Nick.

        Most modern people can't help thinking that the claim of S-anta, the big red man with flying reindeer and e-lves, is just s-illy. We all pretty much agree that it's a made up story ba-stardized from something else.What isn't? Meanwhile, be-lievers will swear end that their fictional story of Jesus (ma-gic and all) is somehow factual and true. You wrote that the pretend Santa is an evolution of the real one. So? What difference does that make? Silly is just as plain in any form whether it's Santa, Peter Pan, Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Magical Jesus.

        That's the important detail believers are intentionally ignoring.

        October 3, 2012 at 9:06 am |
      • vincastar

        Your excluding the fact that 1. you think there are contradictions in the Bible means that you did not understand the unfolding story of the Bible. 2. I already addressed the countless verifiable accounts of Jesus which you have yet to refute with logic or wisdom and 3. you have still tip toed around my previous arguments. Again, is that what you mean by troll?

        October 3, 2012 at 9:13 am |
      • atDissenter

        "unfolding story of the Bible."

        NO, I want to talk about the "unfolding story of San-ta."

        October 3, 2012 at 10:24 am |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "Your excluding the fact that 1. you think there are contradictions in the Bible means that you did not understand the unfolding story of the Bible. "

        No, that's an assumption that "I don't understand the unfolding..." Please tell exactly why one gospel has the Josephs father named Heli while the other, it's Jacob? How could "god" get that wrong. I know why people got it wrong but I want to hear why you think "god" got it wrong.

        vincastar "2. I already addressed the countless verifiable accounts of Jesus which you have yet to refute with logic or wisdom and ..."

        I have hundreds of contradictions for you and I've only offered a couple. And just saying, "you have not committed to the cult so you can't understand, is not an excuse. I'm talking real live facts that demonstrate that your bible gets buried with mistakes and atrocities.

        Please explain EXACTLY why you think god is pro-slavery and then changed his mind? Remember, up to 1865, people still used the bible as proof that slavery was just fine.

        vincastar "3. you have still tip toed around my previous arguments. "

        Which argument, specifically.

        If its the one where you gave only "2 options," that's not "tip-toeing" if I disqualify your two option solution and offer a better one. Besides, this is a different topic so don't confuse the issue by dumping that into this one. This topic is specific about god and claims and I added, as an argument, that Santa and the Magic Jesus are simply fictional characters.

        vincastar "Again, is that what you mean by troll?"
        No, I explained, a number of times what I meant by "troll."

        October 3, 2012 at 10:39 am |
      • vincastar

        1. I don't know exactly...I am ganna go with the obvious guess is that God was bringing many cultures and languages coming together and names are not the same from one language to the next. Joseph in Greek is "Yosef". There may have also been a Hebrew or Christian name and a roman name. But here is what is really cool that you overlooked. Religious scholars know that and yet no one changes it. You would think if it was a fictional story they would change it to match, to suite themselves, but the fact that they do not change it and shows that it is an honest account.
        2. Calling other people a liar to their witness is not a reasonable "contradiction" and I have refuted your other contradictions already. And you calling someone a liar who is telling the truth is evidence reflects upon your credibility and open mindedness.
        3. a. Honestly...there was with Adam and Eve the first Man and Woman or many people spontaneously evolved simultaneously (quite miraculous). What else is there? Either there were multiple people at one time or there were not. Evolution into a species means that it is a new species and cannot mate with any previous species...thus there was a first species man and woman or there was multiple spontaneous speciation simultaneously.
        b. (I do not recall who I directed this comment to originally) Don't be fooled easily...there is a reason scientist call evolution a theory... It is not a fact because there is no proof only a theory based on observations. For you to argue that those observations is reasoning enough to believe in evolution and not believe (or tell someone they should not believe) in God based on only observations of God's existence is hypocritical. There are way too many guesses and it cannot be tested except statistically and it would be statistically false without some divine intervention : ) I love how the statistical testing hypothesis symbol looks similar to the Jesus fish symbol. God creates us and he creates us so that we are adapted to our environment as we need but if evolution was so simple, natural and easy, then you'd think that we could just evolve our selves as we see fit. We are smart right? According to evolution all you have to do is put a person in a particular environment say the water for generations and then they will evolve gills to survive...easy as pie no? Do a thought experiment where each generation that does not grow gills dies young because they are not able to survive as well and figure what it would take to get that DNA turned around in one swoop to get gills...of all things. How many mutations? Do you evolve through feathers first as a trial by error? I mean according to evolution all events are random. So how many random mutated events occur like feathers or a long tail or horns before you get to gills?
        3.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • MDAT

        But Adam and eve cannot account For genetic diversity.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • vincastar

        But God can... So, to answer your question more thoroughly, yes, either way it would be quite miraculous. I am not arguing how God has done what he has done... no one knows. I am arguing that both suggestions would be miraculous. I so love science because it does give us a teeny tiny insight into the how sometimes. If you understand now, you may also be pleasantly surprised that that reasoning also applies to the Big Bang Theory. If you want to know more about how this reasoning applies to other aspects of science, please gmail me.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar said:"3. a. Honestly...there was with Adam and Eve the first Man and Woman or many people spontaneously evolved simultaneously (quite miraculous). What else is there? Either there were multiple people at one time or there were not. "

        I've been responding to you and it seems your intention is to demand that there are only 2 possible options. My point is that there are three options and that the whole Adam and Eve is a phoney option.

        Since 1988, there has been an ongoing study that tracked 50000 generations. Look up Richard Lenski and his study on E. coli.

        vincastar said:"Evolution into a species means that it is a new species and cannot mate with any previous species...thus there was a first species man and woman or there was multiple spontaneous speciation simultaneously."

        So you are saying Neanderthal are human? There are also many species that are a-se-xual and in the long tree of life, all the way back to the primordial soup, we could come from any of these lines. Eventually, it goes so far back that it's just molecules operating in the theater. So NO, I say it's neither of your options. There was never one male and female of anything if you just go back far enough. It just becomes unnecessary to have this absurd male/female choice.

        Beides, if a whole line ends and is divided from the other long enough, then they will have no ability to reproduce, as you say, with other lines. However, they didn't just magically appear; they came from something earlier that did genetically share a common ancester; that's why we share are DNA with every species on the planet. Because it goes all the way back.

        Again, I do not think your adam and eve are globs of molecules floating around in the soup. At least, that's not the impression I think you have. Am I wrong? I think you probably have "picture-book" idea of what Adam and Eve looked like and that's all you need to know, right?

        October 3, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • vincastar

        You still have not come up with a third solution. What you are suggesting is that multiple speciation evens occured simultaneously. If we did not come from two of one species, then we came from many...the interesting thing is that to evolve from two as opposed to a large population simultaneously is more realistic. So, most likely there was some event that created the first "Adam" and from him stemmed the first "Eve"...that is called creationism. God created Adam from the dirt and how he did that I do not know and from Adam he created Eve. "Yahweh God shaped man from the soil of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being." Genesis 2:7. That information was give to us over 2000 years ago. That's pretty awesome.

        BTW you still tiptoed around the rest of my post...

        October 3, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
      • vincastar

        at Dissenter there are a number answers to your questions here http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=2315
        The why as well as the overlooked fact that the Universe always exist in a particular modality or instantiation as oppose to another.

        October 4, 2012 at 8:41 am |
      • atDissenter

        One more thing, borrowing from believer's mythology, we are related to that the proverbial Adam & Eve AND the apple that was eaten.

        As a metaphor, religion works great but I wouldn't be planning to cure cancer with it. Remember, "they" once told us, "only god can save us from cancer..." Well, until people started figuring out that people cure cancer not god.

        October 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
      • vincastar

        God gives us the ability to learn which is awesome that's the good news. The bad news is no one has figured out a cure for death.

        October 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
      • vincastar

        You're still tip-toeing...

        October 3, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  21. lolCAT2000

    looking for accurate historical accounts is only one approach to the bible.
    Personally, I do not like the God of the old testament.
    How can he first create human beings and then throw the army of the pharao into the red sea.

    The only way for me to understand this is as an internal drama of myself – to let God throw my own inner pharao+his army into the red sea from time to time and set my people free.
    The Old Testament can be pretty appalling.
    What if the people of Sodom would have been friendly&responsible gay people instead of lusting se-x zombies trying to screw the angels of God?
    A lot to discuss.

    But the stories definitely don't have their value in historical accuracy.
    Even though the creation story gets the order of evolution kind of right! Amazing actually, if anything, given what those stone-age people knew back then.

    October 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  22. atDissenter

    age

    September 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • atDissenter

      ages

      If this posts, it's not the actual word ages but how it's used in the sentence.

      September 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Believers of all ages

      September 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • atDissenter

      I kept replacing words in my post until it let me post. When I changed my wording from all "ages" to all times, it let it through. Who knows?

      September 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  23. atDissenter

    CNN filters messages out if they contain certain words in the message. It took me a while to figure this one out but it filters the word: a.g.e.s.

    September 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Wow, thanks for that. I wonder what it was now because I've left the word complete and it goes through. I just wonder what else it was?

      October 1, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  24. Chris

    Here's something of note:

    We tried giving Religion the Reins of Civilization once before. About 800 years ago.

    The result was The Dark Ages. A period of about 600 years of brutally stifled scientific advancement, rampant disease and famine, and lovely things like the Spanish Inquisition – a religiously-sanction genocide on a scale so large mentioning it immediately conjures mental images of death and destruction.

    Religion has proven that it serves only to control the weak-willed, the sheep who lack the capacity for true critical thought.

    To me you are no different than someone who tells me they still believe in the Gods of Olympus. You're an empty cup being filled with the first thing that allows you to no longer have to think for yourself. Your 'faith' is merely a shield against the reality that there is nothing but us on this miserable little mud ball floating in the cold, loveless vacuum of space, and that no 'Supreme Being' has our backs when things get rough.

    But by all means, continue clinging to a mythology with no proof found outside of the circular logic of "GOD TELLS US THIS, ITS IN THE BIBLE, THE BIBLE ITSELF SAYS ITS GODS WORD!"

    September 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      The problem is that sometimes people get too convinced about everything, and then they start to tell others what to do.
      I think Jesus had it very much right when he said that giving an example is best.
      The Popes in the renaissance were indeed very powerful, but I think it is quite evident that they were morally corrupt by any standard.
      In terms of government, the question is not so much religion or not, but democracy and democratic control of power.
      It so no problem to have an atheist dictator in every way as vicious.
      Anti-religionism is attractive because there seems to be obvious resistance to it, but in fact it doesn't solve any real problem at all imho.

      September 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Chris "Here's something of note: We tried giving Religion the Reins of Civilization once before. About 800 years ago."

      FYI, you should probably look up your dates. 800 years ago puts it at about the beginning of Renaissance.

      September 30, 2012 at 9:59 am |
      • lolCAT2000

        Hey atDissenter,
        maybe you should look a little at the history books and determine whether there actually was a moment when
        "We tried giving Religion the Reins of Civilization once before."
        I don't think this has ever been the case.
        Before the rise of democracy power was stablished in an entirely different way than "us trying to give it to someone".
        What was 800, or better 1000 years ago was the medieval "Ordo" in which the world was seen as conforming to a divine order.
        But that has nothing to do really with "giving rein to religion", it was just a way of seeing the world and what's in it.
        What that meant was that "God obviously must have wanted kings in the world, because that's how things are".

        As a sidenote – please don't assume that people who criticise Dawkins are naturally uneducated jellobrains.
        That is just part of the propaganda that's going around.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:42 am |
      • lolCAT2000

        oups... it seems like you were answering to chris, not to my post. apologies. :/

        October 1, 2012 at 2:01 am |
      • atDissenter

        ;)

        October 1, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • atDissenter

        lolCAT2000 "Before the rise of democracy power was stablished in an entirely different way than "us trying to give it to someone". What was 800, or better 1000 years ago was the medieval "
        Well, the end of the Middle Ages.

        lolCAT2000 "But that has nothing to do really with "giving rein to religion", it was just a way of seeing the world and what's in it."

        Are you saying this or are you quoting from someone else? Anyways, what this actually points to is that god changes his mind depending on what type of civilization us lowly humans happen to wander into. Why not just provide a fully operational democracy from the time of Ur?

        lolCAT2000 "As a sidenote – please don't assume that people who criticise Dawkins are naturally uneducated jellobrains."

        Can we agree that "jellobrains do say the most ridiculous things out in public? Obviously people fall into different categories and I'm not going to adapt everything I write to fit every reader. If someone says something ridiculous or makes some claim outside our abilities to test, I'm going to call them on it. From my point of view, any claim of god equates to any common fantasy that currently lives in our culture (god, s-anta, tooth f-airy...). I see NO difference between these and history shows that some silly ideas have a longer shelf life.

        October 1, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  25. lolCAT2000

    Nobody ever believed that the story of Noah's Ark was literally true.
    People can say about the creation story all they want, it does get the progress of evolution kind of right actually.

    "reason" vs. "irrationality" is definitely an interesting topic!
    But there is also the problem of "compassion" vs. "ignorance".
    There is also the problem of "responsibility" vs. "libertarianism".
    There are all kinds of problems that have nothing to do with evolution – unless you are generating a FUNDAMENTALIST BELIEF SYSTEM from it.

    September 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      I have to take that back.
      People may have believed that the Noah story might have happened for real.
      But it becomes very clear the entire world can not be submerged in water like that when you just think halfway straight.
      What i am saying is that nobody takes that as a reason to stop their religious practices.

      September 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • atDissenter

      People on these message boards demand respect while writing that they think Adam and Eve were real.

      tifischer said:"...I imagine that back in the day of Adam and Eve..."

      tifischer clearly argues for a world in which it originates from Adam & Eve.

      Given that mindset, what does one take as true if even one period is out of place? You say there's "horrendous" material in the Hebrew Scriptures. That's what I say too but fundamentalists (not just a few) refuse to disown any of it.

      Even though I can point to passage after passage where their god actively supports one atrocity or another, the Hebrew Scriptures remain. I say put god up on trial for crimes against humanity. I mean, really. This god has done some awful stuff.

      I'm glad you are able to make that distinction. I'm not sure what religion you are but if you are Christian, I would call your belief Low Christology whereas fundamentalists are High Christology. In other words, you feel free to make a judgement call on particular pieces of that ancient script. Great! I just wonder how any sort of standard or fact can be set. What gives you the authority? What gives them the authority to make any claim?

      In science, ideas are tested and replicated before they are agreed upon or rejected. With Religion, as we've seen, that function is completely missing.

      Most of these "decisions" were made long ago. They came down to us as a result of victors taking the spoils and writing the laws. Had Emperor Constantine not seen the political advantage of opening up Christianity to the power of the empire, we would have had a much different world. In an alternate timeline, had China set the religious stage, imagine how different this dialog would be today. As it turned out so far, Christianity won the battle in the most literal AND figurative sense.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • vincastar

        atDissenter...In regards to the Adam and Eve...the first man and woman...No one denies that there was not once a man and a woman, the first man and woman.

        October 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar said:"atDissenter...In regards to the Adam and Eve...the first man and woman...No one denies that there was not once a man and a woman, the first man and woman."

        Yes, people do think it's possible that there was never a "first" man and woman. The bible is very specific that we were in "his" image and one can be very confident that the text doesn't mean some 60 million year old shrew-like ancestor of ours. Nor is god some early organic molecule that was not actually male or female.

        So which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, it works out if evolution is running things: the obvious answer is neither. Some ancestor came first.

        So, no, the bible didn't get it right at all and one mistake brings the whole house of cards down if the believer thinks it's all the literal word of god. And before your start hollering about how we don't know what built that original life. Just hold your horses. It may soon be here. We just don't know it yet. Remember, there are literally a billion things that believers have told us that, "only god knows..." Well, until we do know. Remember, your god is in those ever-shrinking gaps between what we know and don't know.

        October 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
      • vincastar

        1st who does not think there was at one point a first man and a woman?
        2nd You obviously missed my other post...or you tip toed around it : )

        October 1, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • atDissenter

        By the way, if it's just Adam & Eve, the kids had to mate. Incest is the word that comes to mind and CLEARLY, that's illegal.

        October 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • vincastar

        So, you're suggesting that many people evolved spontaneously at the same time...that would be pretty miraculous : )

        October 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar said:"No one denies that there was not once a man and a woman, the first man and woman"
        If this is what you think I did not answer, you need to read closer. I don't think there was a "first man/woman" because evolution pretty clearly predicts a long string of ancestors back to the "primordial soup."

        I seriously doubt that's the sort of "Adam and Eve" you could handle. Besides, just give it time, the universe runs on real laws and magic/god is not real. Science will probably find the answer but your god will never appear. I'll repeat this again, there are literally a billion examples of how believers have said, in no uncertain terms, that, "only god can know..."

        Until we do know. Look, it's the amazing shrinking god. That is amazing.

        October 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar said:"So, you're suggesting that many people evolved spontaneously at the same time...that would be pretty miraculous : )"

        Nope. I suggest you're not understanding my posts.

        October 1, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • vincastar

        Honestly...there was with Adam and Eve the first Man and Woman or many people spontaneously evolved simultaneously (quite miraculous). What else is there? Either there were multiple people at one time or there were not. Evolution into a species means that it is a new species and cannot mate with any previous species...thus there was a first species man and woman or there was multiple spontaneous speciation simultaneously.

        October 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
      • atDissenter

        I responded to this, my post appeared and now it's gone so CNN appears to be retroactively manipulating this conversation...(probably not intentional – who knows?).

        October 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • vincastar

        I recommend praying : )

        October 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • atDissenter

        By all means, I'm sure praying will influence CNN's ability to sort out messages that use specific keywords or word combinations. Sarcasm intended.

        October 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
      • vincastar

        Well gee, don't say bad words.

        October 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
      • atDissenter

        I'm not saying bad words; there's absolutely nothing controversial in my posts. Besides, I'm writing words not saying words that are in CNN's list of words. If they actually published guidelines we might be able to have a good discussion. I turns out to be a huge guessing game when something appears as though it fits the list.

        October 4, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  26. because...

    So what exactly DOES evolution have to do with the existence or non-existence of "God"?

    September 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • atDissenter

      The people who battle the idea are the people that have the most to lose from something that describes our actual origins.

      If the bible is wrong about our origins, what can be trusted in their book? You know, the whole, "man in the image of god, fantasy? What it really comes down to is an exercise in vanity for humanities sake. If magic didn't create us, as they wish, then we aren't special animals with a "special purpose..." we're just like the rest of "THOSE" animals.

      September 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        look – it's very clear that the stories in the bible aren't literally true.
        Take Noah+the Ark for example.
        Nobody believes that this is really how it happened.
        The message of the bible is on a very different level.
        Of course it can be argued about.
        Throwing it into the trash because we know so much more about creation now than the people through which the creation story emerged is just a cop out because you don't want to deal with personal responsibility.

        I think what this is really about is that people don't want to be told that they have a responsibility in their lives. After all, it;s much more convenient if nothing matters, isn't it.
        Dawkins is not asking you to think, he is actually asking you not to think and to leave it all to science, which you can't do, because you don't have a PhD. Or at least you do not have a PhD in most scientific disciplines.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:47 am |
      • atDissenter

        lolCAT2000 said:"look – it's very clear that the stories in the bible aren't literally true. Take Noah+the Ark for example."

        No you shall feel the wrath of the believers. ;)

        lolCAT2000 said:"Nobody believes that this is really how it happened. "

        I think you correct this somewhere else.

        lolCAT2000 said:"The message of the bible is on a very different level."
        I understand the beauty and tradition and inspiration this book has brought us. That's not what I'm arguing about. Its the literalness which many of it's believers take followed by the absolute rejection of clear scientific evidence that's out there for evolution. On one hand, there's such untested devotion to a book that has so little to offer scientifically vs a flat out rejection of theories with clearly and predictably show a predictable and meaningful pattern. I'm doing my best Jon Stewart look where he drops his jaw and rubs his eyes in disbelief.

        lolCAT2000 said:"Dawkins is not asking you to think, he is actually asking you not to think"

        He teaches and inspires a need to know more. He does the opposite of asking us not to think. He's clearly no dummy and he offers so much information that most of us can't take the time to invest in researching.

        lolCAT2000 said:"...leave it all to science..."

        Obviously, this is where science watches itself. Peltdown man is but one example of this sort of action. That's the nice thing about "leaving it to science" because science isn't "one thing" or one person. It's millions of people doing very hard work and spending a lots of time researching, reading and fact-checking. Follow by a process where other people double checking the claims. Obviously, Dawkins is one person but he spends his time gather up good evidence from all the best research out there. I've read a couple of his books and can vouch for what he does.

        If Religion offered even a thin fraction of this sort of scrutiny that we find in science, we probably would not be having this conversation at all.

        October 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        "science isn't "one thing" or one person. It's millions of people doing very hard work and spending a lots of time researching, reading and fact-checking."
        yes, science has a method, and that method is set up to ask and find answers to certain questions within specific rhetorical frameworks of how to describe the world.
        Science has absolutely 0 footing beyond its own method. But what's worse, there are thousands and thousands of papers published every week that nobody reads much less puts together into a coherent image.
        Our knowledge increases everyday but there is an evident lack of self-reflections of the limits of the framework within which this knowledge exists.
        It is in fact a really long way to reach from a theory of evolution to the way of talking to a mother who's son has died.
        It requires an entirel differeny set of skills to find out about the human genome and to bring families together and create a platform for building communities.
        Much less ways for human beings to deal with themselves.

        I really don't understand how it is not an extremely obvious problem to take a theory like dawkin's so absolute as to say all of religion is nonsense – just because the people who wrote the bible didn't know some of the things we know today.
        What is going on there?

        October 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Oh please let me jump in here...
        "Science has absolutely 0 footing beyond its own method." -So by your own admission, science's method deals in reality, therefore, beyond the scientific method is FANTACY.

        "But what's worse, there are thousands and thousands of papers published every week that nobody reads much less puts together into a coherent image." How is this worse? All those peer reviews papers are PEER REVIEWED. The junk is thrown out, the rest is added to our knowledge banks. It's the guy WITH the PhD that puts it all together to form a coherent image... and like previously stated, it's not just one guy with one PhD. All the peer reviewed data points to Evolution.
        "Our knowledge increases everyday but there is an evident lack of self-reflections of the limits of the framework within which this knowledge exists." The limits of science are reality. For example, veteranary medicine is a scientific field... how many vets do you know specialize in Unicorn deseases? Again, if you want to "reflect" on scientific knowledge, I sugest getting your BSc, followed by your MSc and then reflect as you earn your PhD.
        "It is in fact a really long way to reach from a theory of evolution to the way of talking to a mother who's son has died." and it's not meant to be. Leave consolling greiving parents to the Hallmark Card company. (and before you get on me for being too cruel, my mother burried my brother and I listened to the religitards tell her that only the good die young, and those same people then turned to my grandmother, who has been praying to be reunited with her long dead husband for the previous 15 years, and tell her that God is saving the best for last... so at least Hallmark is consistant with their support for the grieving)
        "It requires an entirel differeny set of skills to find out about the human genome and to bring families together and create a platform for building communities. Much less ways for human beings to deal with themselves." As long as these communities think alike, dress alike, look alike and all the other great things that you can learn in your bible... Have you read the Old Testament?

        "I really don't understand how it is not an extremely obvious problem to take a theory like dawkin's so absolute as to say all of religion is nonsense – just because the people who wrote the bible didn't know some of the things we know today.
        What is going on there?" It's not just the bible, it's the Torah, the Koran, the Vedas, and the hundreds of thousands of made up gods, goddesses, myths, creatures, and the like, invented by man to control his neighbour. It's not just their lack of scientific understanding, it's the cruelties endorsed by the bible... again have you even read the book?

        October 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        "So by your own admission, science's method deals in reality, therefore, beyond the scientific method is FANTACY."
        Actaully not at all. Science is a strategy of dealing with things we can't experience directly.
        The reality that you experience is actually completely irrelevant to science.
        Science would LOVE to just explain all of "you" and "me" away if it only could.
        1)
        "I sugest getting your BSc, followed by your MSc and then reflect as you earn your PhD."
        Look, I have a PhD myself and still stand by my point.
        Peer review is great, it helps to erase "you" and "me" from the face of the earth.

        October 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        2)
        "Leave consolling greiving parents to the Hallmark Card company" good advice! Try it out visiting the greeting card store next time you have cancer and lie in hospital.
        …or read the story of Noah+the Ark.
        I know there are naive believers who think they know better and never listen.
        But wait and see until Atheism becomes more popular. I don't think this has anything to do with being religious or not, it has to do with being insensitive, a jerk, and stu-pid. Just my 5 cents.

        "Have you read the Old Testament?" I indeed have, and I don't like the God character it promotes either.
        Luckily, there is also the New Testament.

        My own take on the old testament is that I read it metaphorically. When God tells the Isrealites to commit genocide, I see it as the description of a possible att-itude I can have toward myself and my own life –
        finding a "promised land", etc.

        October 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        I do see the problem though. All this "suppress the female" and ho-mo-phobic stuff and I really don't need all this violent imagery in my life that someone might interpret the wrong way – it's like a g-un that lies around waiting for someone to use it for the wrong purposes.
        On the other hand, look around you -

        October 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        - violence is everywhere, and if you look at action films, you find all kinds of desp-icable, immoral j-erky behaviors that people evidently like to watch.
        And what are YOU going to do about it?
        And what does Dawkins do about it?

        Well, I tell you what he does, he polarizes people until they can't talk to each other anymore, until all that's left is mutual hate. Good job Mr. D. :/

        October 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        "Have you read the Old Testament?" I indeed have, and I don't like the God character it promotes either.
        Luckily, there is also the New Testament.

        Thank you for admitting that you pick and chose the verses of the Bible you chose to follow...
        MATTHEW 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Therefore, Jesus endorses the mass murder, rape, slavery, torture and incest written about in the Old Testament. So He isn't any better.

        You claim to have a PhD... ok... I'll give you the benefit of the doubt then... but... how many of your text books, or your own dissertations have ever started with "let's pretend the following is true... none of it really happened, but I want you to infer the message I'm trying to convey to you..."

        Yes, let's look at all the desp icable things that are on TV, in the theatres, etc... wait... none of these things try to impose themselves on my life... I can always change the chanel, or not go to the cinema... but when a Xtian trys to tell me that 2 men or 2 women cannot be married because it'll offend their version of god, and try to pass that into law... well I call BS.
        When a pastor cons a woman out of seeking medical opinions as to the status of her cancer, because he told her that he healed her in Jesus' name... so she never went and got tested and then died... I call BS.

        This is what I'm doing about it... I'll post against creationist BS when I see it. I'll call people out on their unfounded beLIEfs when I see it... why? I know it won't change your mind... but someday, some kid is going to see these threads and realize that there is another point of view that DOESN'T include goddunnit, or godwerksinmysteriousways, or hatethesinnotthesinner, or other rediculous BS.

        October 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  27. Burt

    If I were just coming to the table having heard neither side before – I'm thinking I don't care for spewing vitriol. The hate expressed in a simple thread of comments makes me sick. Therefore, I dismiss the speech intended only to dominate another, and strangely enough, I dismiss all your arguments because there is no particular reason I should not dismiss your arguments.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  28. Dee

    Can Dawkins destroy Islamic terror and madness?? if not then let other religions be. In the absence of religions its the tyrant that will win. Only religions can destroy each other.

    September 29, 2012 at 3:14 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      Dawkins is not solving the problem, he is polarizing the people who listen to him.
      I am not sure if there is a benefit to this polarization.
      I don't think that what we really gain from it is an increase in "reasonability".
      The discussions he stirs often end up in a remarkably irrational territory for sure.

      September 29, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  29. HappyBeliever

    Sure I believe in evolution. I believe in all the concepts that form fits function, adaptation, genetic drift, etc. But I also know that I have a soul and only through divine presence does the soul come from creation. We can all drift about as organisms and continue evolving and adapting but only the soul seeks the realization of life's mysteries and I know that in that regard prior to the first explosion, big bang and cosmic boom, divinity was and always was. So I don't care what any atheist biologist says, humans did evolve.
    All species did.
    But only the soul knows that it was created to either ask for the spirit of creation to enter it or not and to guide its journey through evolution, adaptation and atomic booms

    September 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • atDissenter

      test

      September 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • atDissenter

      HappyBeliever said:" Sure I believe in evolution. I believe in all the concepts that form fits function, adaptation, genetic drift, etc. But I also know that I have a soul and only through divine presence..."

      These are two contradictory ideas. Tell me how you "know" you have a soul and, more importantly, that it's united through divine presence?

      September 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Additionally, if you "know," as you clearly stated, you should be able to provide proof as to where this "divine presence" begins and the natural order of the universe fails. In other words, it's either science all the way up and down or god all the way up or down. There's no in between.

      September 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Believers of all times have enjoyed the luxury of picking and choosing which things god controls and which things the god doesn't

      September 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Even with the mountains of proof that are currently available for evolution, believers choose to cling to tired scenarios offered in the bible. Even within their construct, they pick and choose; how many people can claim to follow the bible to the literal word? I haven't hear of a single young girl getting publicly [stonned] (not sure if this word is what is being rejected by CNN) on her father's doorstep for not being a virgin. Have you? That would indicate that nobody in the United States, for the past 100 years, has followed their bible to the exact word. Their book, their rules. For this we can be glad that they don't follow this so called "word of god."

      Having said all that, it's good to know that there are people that aren't being stupid about their belief. If you have not already, think about where your god or soul begins and where the physical natural order of things ends. To start, think about what you eat and how that is metabolized into your system. Think about how your thoughts are an orchestra of forces acting upon them. Consider the affects of having a brain injury and how that changes the so called "spirit." What are you? If you pull one cell out and present it to your family, will they recognize your soul? Where do you begin?

      September 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  30. Michael B.

    Someone should mention to him that God is not hiding from us – you have to simply look and find Him.

    September 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • mandarax

      I could not disagree more. If God exists, he/she/it is very cryptic for some unknown reason. We are left to attempt to decipher a series of self-contradictory old books and some vague emotional thinking in order to believe. If God is all-powerful and truly wants us to know and believe, why doesn't he choose to be as obvious as is everything else around us? Why doesn't he write in the sky that he is here? Why doesn't he reach down and show himself? Or simply speak in a loud booming voice? Instead, he is always kept carefully hidden just out of sight over the mountain, or up in the clouds, or outside of the universe in order to rationalize why no matter where we look, he is not actually there. It would be very very easy to let us know he exists. It seems clear that either "he" doesn't actually want to be known, or he doesn't exist at all.

      September 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  31. Douglas Ledet

    Science is a tool to understand the physical world. It is a sub-system. You can't use it to understand GOD.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • mandarax

      You can only use science if religious people claim that God influences the physical world...which nearly all of them do. Claims about the physical world can be tested.

      September 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        you and douglas are looking at the world from different perspectives.
        Science is really great, but it does tend to make people think it is the only perspective to really look at things.
        Which is not true at all, there is a lot of other stuff we can say, do and become involved with.

        The biggest problem with the Dawkins breed of Atheism is that it believes it has the one and only access to the "truth", the way things really are. But in fact, the things are already, and they happen to us right now, directly.

        I love science too! I think it's our best shot.
        But we must never forget that reality is something that happens to us – you and me – right now. And that reality is the truest thing we have, and it is non-scientific.

        September 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • atDissenter

        lolCAT2000 said:" I love science too! I think it's our best shot. But we must never forget that reality is something that happens to us – you and me – right now. "

        Agreed!!!

        lolCAT2000 said:"And that reality is the truest thing we have, and it is non-scientific."

        OOPS, I spoke too early. :(

        You say science is our best shot and then the opposite (pixie dust and wishful thinking) somehow trumps actual fact-based world views. You're trying to have it both ways. I think the only way for believers to do this is to somehow figuratively set their "empty box" on a magnificently decorated pedestal that is designed to distract the observers into forgetting that it is just an "empty box."

        This is Magician 101. People want/need to be deceived so they intentionally follow the distraction. While we all KNOW that magic is fake, we like to suspend our skepticism in order that we should feel awed by the slight of hand.

        We have clear evidence, and I think you agree, that describes our world with such precise detail on so many topic. We are left with these very small gaps where we just can't fill them in yet. Again, that's where the "slight of hand," that I wrote of, takes place. If we can all agree that the "magician" isn't really using magic by pulling the "rabbit out of the hat," we will also be aware that it's all just fun and enjoyable. Hollywood exists because of it. The problem is that when we define real things, it's not fair to then pretend that the magic is real too.

        That's the root of this whole issue. So far, the "Magicians" have set the rules and have been running the show for 2000+ years.

        October 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        The magician is indeed tricking the audience,
        but the story and the experience the audience has is nevertheless a reality.
        Some of this reality we experience is also measurable from a non-subjective perspective:
        heart-rate variability, skin conductance, EEG, you name it.

        But what I mean is that it is you and me... we are having these experiences, we are experiencing this story.
        Of course, cheating has happened in religion as well.
        But religion emerges from the people, not from someone telling lies.

        Religion is a real thing, it's not something you could just discuss away.
        Your entire existence is based on irrational beliefs.
        For example, why would there be a "you" in the first place?

        October 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
      • vincastar

        lolCAT2000 says "Science is really great, but it does tend to make people think it is the only perspective to really look at things..." This is a great point that many people seem to over look. Thank you for sharing your comments : )

        October 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  32. valwayne

    I believe in God, and don't have the slightest issue with evolution. It seems to me that knowing what we know about the size and scope of the Universe that the concept of God of even the most religious has to expand immensely. Natural law, and evolution seem like an emminently logical way for God, or a creative designer, that could create our near limitless Universe, to go about his/her/its business. And it seems to be no less logical to believe that there is an infinite, ever-living intelligence, as to believe that the Universe, life, and intelligence are equally inevitable and neverending. I'm perfectly happy if atheists like Mr Dawkins prefer to believe in an infinite, self creating, self perpetuating, self recurring, purposeless, uncaring, unknowing Universe that sparks off life and intelligence by accident or as an inevitable side effect if that's what floats their boat. What I find odd is that so many atheist have taken on the worst aspects of the most fundamentally religious. They are intolerant and dismissive of the beliefs of others, they insist on having/doing everything their way, they want to diminish other religious groups, while propogating and expanding their own cult as they go out proselytizing for converts to non-belief, in part by ridiculing the beliefs of others. Knowing what we know about the size and age of the Universe it all doesn't amount to a grain of sand on all the beaches of the world, but you gotta love the irony?

    September 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • atDissenter

      valwayne said:"I believe in God, and don't have the slightest issue with evolution..."

      That's sounds fine. BUT... that's not were it ends, is it?

      valwayne said:"What I find odd is that so many atheist have taken on the worst aspects of the most fundamentally religious. They are intolerant and dismissive of the beliefs of others, they insist on having/doing everything their way, they want to diminish other religious groups, while propogating and expanding their own cult as they go out proselytizing for converts to non-belief, in part by ridiculing the beliefs of others.

      How many schools across this nation are changing curriculum to retrofit their religions into science books that our kids must read? How many prayers must our kids commit to when they pray to our flag in the morning? How many dollar bills (a legally binding contract that says, and I quote, "In God We Trust") must I be forced to accept on a daily basis even though I do not trust in god?

      By the way, and I say this a lot here, if you're going to equate science as a religion, perhaps we should compare how well the "religion of science" gets things right versus "other religions" that have only recently been able to commit that the earth is not the center of the solar system (Pope John Paul's apology for Gallileo).

      Speaking of propagation, given your inclination to lump science into the category of religion, might teachers also be proselytizing? After all, if it's ALL religion...

      valwayne said:"Knowing what we know about the size and age of the Universe it all doesn't amount to a grain of sand on all the beaches of the world, but you gotta love the irony?"

      Again, no problem with that either, if only that's where believers stopped their propaganda. They are many and they WILL NOT stop and they do it all without even an atom of evidence vs literal mountains of evidence for evolution.

      September 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • atDissenter

      valwayne Let's look at what believers are saying, shall we? Just one post below yours was Homers.

      Homer said: "Evolution is without a doubt the most absurd lie ever proposed. One can not think of a theory with less evidence supporting it. So called "scientists" can't prove anything because evolution is a baseless and preposterous idea. Anyone with a fraction of a brain can see through this ridiculous charade which was made up for the sole purpose of causing controversy. If we do not put an end to this detrimental belief, then humanity will surely collapse."

      And this is coming from the religion side. How do YOU reconcile this sort of belief with people on your side of the debate? Are these really equal concepts we're talking about? Is Science vs Religion really mutually exclusive? That's rhetorical because they are not. The fact is, science brings evidence to the debate while religion brings opinion polls and quotes from their book of fiction.

      If quotes for fiction serves as evidence, I've read a lot of fiction and seen a lot of fictional movies I can quote from.

      Looking for prophecies? Here's one for those "believers." Perhaps Wiccans will enjoy this one.

      "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches. … Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies … and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not … and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives. … The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…"

      Harry Potter. given the level of evidence required of believers, this Harry Potter reference is as real as any biblical prophecy...Really.

      September 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • vincastar

      valwayne says "I believe in God, and don't have the slightest issue with evolution." The day I read this I did not have time to respond because I had a Church group meeting. We read out of the Legion of Mary Handbook everyday chapter by chapter. That day I read "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15) That really says it all : ) God has a way.

      September 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  33. Homer

    Evolution is without a doubt the most absurd lie ever proposed. One can not think of a theory with less evidence supporting it. So called "scientists" can't prove anything because evolution is a baseless and preposterous idea. Anyone with a fraction of a brain can see through this ridiculous charade which was made up for the sole purpose of causing controversy. If we do not put an end to this detrimental belief, then humanity will surely collapse.

    September 27, 2012 at 1:36 am |
  34. WJS

    I don't have a problem with Evolution, or Intelligent Design. People confuse Science with Faith. Science asks "how", Faith asks "why?" But this guy is pretentious and sanctimonious as much as those right-wing evangelicals claiming the Earth is 5000 years old. "I'm right, you're wrong and there's no point discussing it."

    Read Dr. Alister McGraths' rebuttals and tell me why Dawkins can't refute them.

    September 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • mandarax

      How is it that one cannot have a problem with evolution OR intelligent design? They are in opposition to each other, so how can you not have a problem with one of them, unless you simply don't care?

      September 26, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • atDissenter

      Faith doesn't ask why, faith REQUIRES that answers are formed before the evidence has presented itself.

      Is 1+1=4? I get something different. Well, faith would DEMAND that it is 4.

      In bible-land, 1+1=4 and it's best that you don't question why...you know, OR ELSE dot dot dot. You know, the burning hell fire. Gotta love the christian flare for drama.

      September 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
      • vincastar

        That's funny because I believe that praying is as easy as 1 + 1 = 2. You should try it : )

        September 27, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
      • atDissenter

        In my example I wrote about the fictional character Jesus coming back to life. Without proof of it, people accept that this metaphorical "addition problem" (resurrection) as the truth even though nobody has ever witnessed a resurrection. The facts don't demonstrate the natural order of the universe. It's in opposition to recorded facts. Consequently, 1+1=something other than the real answer (2). Clearly, believers don't really want to know what the REAL answer is. They are mostly interested in fitting the biblical event into some metaphorical application into their own life. It needs to be 4; without that, humans are just another species on this lump of dirt.

        So you want to pray? Well, why would you pray if there's really no scientific evidence that it matters? Are human thoughts really so powerful? Really? Again, where's the proof? Give me some numbers that add up....Again....I'm speaking rhetorically because I know it's not forth coming.

        September 28, 2012 at 9:08 am |
      • Chris

        Prayer does prove that 1+0=1. When I pray, no one seems to be there, and when I'm done it's still just me.

        September 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
      • vincastar

        God is there but you need to make sure you are praying for the right things. Also, remember that prayers are not always answered right away and sometimes not quite as you would expect because God does know what is best for you. Sometimes God answers, "Yes...wait..I have something better in mind." ; ) Don't give up, God loves you!

        September 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar said"God is there but you need to make sure you are praying for the right things. "

        And of course, you know what are the "right things." Such hubris and all without and ounce of proof. Yet, you are certain that YOU know what it is god is, wants and does.

        vincastar said "Also, remember that prayers are not always answered right away..."

        A statement based on no facts

        vincastar said "... and sometimes not quite as you would expect..."

        Yet another statement based on no verifiable facts.

        vincastar said "because God does know what is best for you."

        More of the same. You have no idea what god knows, you can ONLY pretend. One quick read of Leviticus will contradict your statement. Did you know that god is all for slavery? Kind of funny, if you think about it.

        vincastar said "Sometimes God answers, "Yes...wait..I have something better in mind." ; ) Don't give up, "

        god has NEVER been in the talking picture business. He's quite silent. The only assumptions that can be made is that the human brain has the need to "hear" voices...and all that implies.

        vincastar said "God loves you!"

        Again, you don't know that and the source of your "proof" contradicts itself on this point.

        Let's count how many logical mistakes you made in this post: I count 7. Not very "sciency."

        September 29, 2012 at 10:27 am |
      • vincastar

        I did not say that I actually heard God say that but that is how he answers my prayers (not in the literal sense that he uses that exact phrase but that is what he does)...it is not good to jump to conclusions about someone and then over generalize it. I am seeing a pattern here (no pun intended)...you make up a problem that does not exist for argument's sake and then create your own fantasy reality for it to defend yourself. I will keep praying for you too.

        September 29, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        Chris

        When we seek for "Jesus" in prayer we must come before him in humbleness with a repentant heart. He searches the heart and knows the intents and thoughts of men. It is sin that separates us from the living god my friend. To be forgiven we must first be willing to forgive. You can ask "Jesus" to help you with this, he will help you. He will not cleanse us if we still wish to continue in our sin, we cannot cleanse ourselves.. that is impossible, but we must be willing to accept his gift of righteousness. We must have a repentant heart. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see god. This is what it means to turn to "Jesus".

        This is why most men will never have their proof or verification, will never know the true love of our living god. Not because he has not given a way, but because they do not want it. They are unwilling.

        I pray for Jesus to Bless you with his presence, healing and love.

        September 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        "Jesus" reminded me of something i had forgotten in the past.
        When i was a child I did at one time honestly ask him in prayer if he would save me and after 30 years of hating "Jesus", he still said yes. But it was not before he chastised and broke me severely.

        When i spoke to "Jesus" as a child it was without unbelief. I had no religious understanding nor did i want it. (Still do not want it).
        A little child is not proud, they are humble and trusting.
        They are not wise nor do they hold degrees in theism. They are not creationists or atheists nor do they care to be either."Jesus" does not need or want our wisdom, he does not want our traditions or methods. He only want's us and he will guide us into truth himself. I do not want the burden of religion.
        "Jesus" said "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

        "He who the son sets free, is free indeed."

        Jesus Bless You

        September 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
      • vincastar

        "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation." MK16:15 Jesus is religious.

        September 29, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
      • atDissenter

        That's a pretty sad chorus you have going there. "Oh bless the poor sinner who knows not what he does...." This kind of talk is just so condescending... Invariably that's your only refuge when you have no answers. However, that's a very typical response I get from believers. I see it as way, for believers, to internally reboot the conversation. In other words...stick your fingers in your ears and say, "nah, nah, nah, nah, I can't hear you."

        That being said, I'm not moved at all and it does quite the opposite of what you may think.

        You're not being kind, you're just going to your tired mantra of last resort in order to resolve some conflict that you have within yourself.

        October 1, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  35. pat

    Worship not.

    September 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  36. vincastar

    ...

    September 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
  37. vincastar

    Like God air is tangible at times an non-tangible at others. Good comparison. I also like your description of God's force being tangible. I am not frustrated at all but in a loving manner trying enlighten your spirit to something greater than what you have expressed and I am sorry if that came across as condescending. Even my spirit evolves to a greater level the more I pray...spiritual evolution is possibly an ever continuous process...if you read the beautiful writings of the saints you will see how their spirits evolved throughout their lives. I was not commenting on your lack of spirit but a want for you to be more : ) something that I try to achieve daily. You quickly forget the conversations that we have had over proof so I will not reiterate... it is said allready in this forum.

    September 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • vincastar

      This was in response to atDissenter 'vincastar said: "...Gigabytes are not tangible but they are still real. A black hole is not tangible but real. Feelings are not tangible but they are real. The air is not tangible but it is real. Sound is not tangible but real. God is made tangible through the flesh and blood. However, he is also present in a non tangible form all around us. I hope that helps you open your mind to what God is. It was not your assumption about me regarding to the "he" I used but the fact that you called me a liar that is a personal attack and unkind. I would love for you evolve spiritually through an understanding of God's love and wisdom First, every one of those things are real AND tangible. I know it fits your point to say they aren't but every single one can be measured or "touched" in one way or another. I ride my bike 22 miles to work and back every day and I can attest to the fact that wind is a VERY tangible force. I can comment on the rest but I hope you get my point. Evolve spiritually? That's so condescending and you do it even though you can't provide one atom of proof that you know what you are talking about. Remember, it's up to you, a believer, to prove your point. Just as any scientist is required to prove their hypothesis, it's up to you to prove prove your claim (god). I know this must be frustrating for you not to have any but when you have the mountains of evidence that evolution has, Dawkins has, I'll listen. I'm not holding my breath though. By the way, it's not up to science to prove you wrong because people can literally come up with a new religion every 6 seconds and given the fact that there are billions of believers on this planet, I think it's up to your lot to sort it out before you make any grand assertions. Believers are making unproven claims and it's not very sciency. If you're going to say someone called you a liar, you need to be specific who because you lumped that in with a response to something I said.'

      September 24, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  38. Me

    I am a believer in evolution, however I have to say I find fundamental atheists just as annoying as fundamental christians and fundamental jews and fundamental muslims. They all suffer from the same condition and that is the tendency to claim they are indisputably right without offering an iota of proof.

    September 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • mandarax

      Without one iota of proof? Aside from the fact that science doesn't deal in "proof" and you most likely mean evidence, what are you talking about?

      September 26, 2012 at 2:17 am |
    • atDissenter

      Me said: "...fundamental atheists..."

      That's simply making up a useless term that is based on a need to lump opposing positions into one. Science and Religion are NOT mutually exclusive. Being mutually exclusive involves an equality of fact when the truth is, religion is hardly up to the task of proving their positions.

      We know only as much as science has proven. Our base is that which we know. Anything beyond that core must be proven before a claim is made. On a daily basis, believers come here making claims that they know this or that about what god is, does or wants. They can't even agree on what, exactly, their god really is let alone proving even an atom of this beings existence.

      It's ENTIRELY up to the person that's making the claim to prove their point. It's not up to science to disprove. If I were to suddenly invent a new religion every 6 seconds, it's not up to science to disprove those.

      Of course,there's plenty that can be dis-proven and when it's necessary, it's worth dispelling these fantasy.

      Science tells us what is real and what is not. That science gets adjusted from time to time but it moves in a steady and logical pace.

      Having said all of this, science can also extrapolate evidence which gives us even more room to push their god out of site. Like with evolution of humans, there are gaps (missing links). These gaps are continually shrinking as new gaps are pointed out by creationists. Scientists can make predictions about those gaps even though there is a gap in actual evidence.

      Besides, if you're going to call science a "religion" then science is, based on evidence, more right that other "religions."

      September 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  39. atDissenter

    Anyone else having problems posting? Pretty much every other response disappears. It gets pretty aggravating to lay down a decent response only to see it vanish when the "Post" button is clicked.

    September 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  40. BOM4EVER

    Dawkins is pretty old so he'll soon find out what the plot is. Funny thing is we will all find out eventually. People like Dawkins is just fulfilling the abundant prophesies made by the very men that has helped spread the successful "memes" (moral laws) he's talking about which is the reason why humans still exist in this day. If we started out with more knowledge about god and his plan this life would be a poorly constructed test of the heart. As our condition now is, we give away the desires of our heart every day which is the optimal plan. Good luck with that though! Truly interesting times! see Joseph Smith translation of Matthew 24.

    September 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  41. SomeoneBlue

    well if we have come this far through "survival of the fittest" we are pretty much screwed. not too long ago you had to be smart or strong to make it through life and eventually procreate because you had the means to raise a family. nowadays everyone can breed with everyone. all those talkshow people, those idiots from reality tv like jersey shore, they all can meet up and make even more retarded babies... I believe that evolution has passed its peak a while ago and very very sad times are comming.

    September 24, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • atDissenter

      You're right.

      I always chuckle to myself when I hear believers talking about how great humans are. Of course, they have to ignore the realities of what humans are really like. Jersey Shore? Yep, there's no lack of examples from any time.

      September 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  42. vincastar

    Did you consider that what Jesus did for you was more than just to teach you but to teach others. Your witness can teach others too and Jesus teaches others through you. That was what the apostles did.

    September 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  43. atDissenter

    Troll

    September 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  44. atDissenter

    To each of your points.

    tifischer said:"Religion is supported by observation, prediction and verification of the facts...really"

    Yes, and the Easter Rabbit is real. All I have to do is ask a 5 year old...verified. See how that works? On a basic level, you're not understanding what verification really is. If I were to claim that the Easter Rabbit is real, just because someone thinks it's real is not verification of the existence of said bunny. It just means people will believe whatever they want and they will do so regardless of the facts, verified or not.

    tifischer said:" just think about it for a second : ) Verification of facts can be made cross-culturally, independently through history, and on a personal level amongst billions of Christians around the world. "

    I have thought about it; that's not verification. That's an opinion poll.

    tifischer said: "You can verify events in the Bible by comparing it to the Torah, the Koran, dead sea scrolls, the new testament verifies prophets from the old testament and the new testament Gospel has verifying testaments from multiple witnesses."

    No, that's not verifiable. That's comparing one made up story to yet another made up story. In addition, if people actually bothered to take an intellectual approach to biblical studies, they would realize just how messed up the scriptures are. Tell, what was Joseph's father's name? What you'll find is that in Luke it's Heli and Mat. it's Jacob. So which was it. There are hundreds of contradictions like this within its own book let alone between other versions and other religions that claim to be the "true word of god." Remember if there's one mistake in your scripture, it's all suspect.

    tifischer said:"On a personal level I know that there are sometimes witnesses that can verify observation of God's intercession. "

    That's the problem...it's ALL on a "personal note." intercession, they've done repeated blind studies and found that prayer doesn't help people if they don't know they're being prayed for.

    tifischer said: "In addition, science in fact supports the existence of God. "

    No, Science doesn't support the existence of god. Scientists may, as people, may believe but there's not ounce, let alone even one atom of proof; all of us would have heard about it.

    September 21, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • atDissenter

      tifischer

      One more thing about your posts, in general.

      You seem to misunderstand the purpose of evolution and the big bang theory. Just so you know, they are common names of theories that describe particular evidence about the origins of humans and the origins of the universe. Nothing in these theories describe the "ultimate" origins. That said, what they point to is that the world is governed by the laws of physics and not some made up human vision of authority. If you want to call physics, god, fine. However, you don't get to pretend that Adam and Eve (literary characters) stand equal to these theories.

      FYI, when you conjure up Adam and Eve as though they represent "real evidence," we know immediately how low your standards for evidence are. Your daily posts are also evidence of that low standard. It's proof that fundamentalists shouldn't be running anything that involve scientific direction or education of our young.

      September 22, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Jesus Lives

      These are all excuses. There is only ONE way to know for sure that God is real and that is through "Jesus". No amount of carnal evidence can or will convince anyone. If you never seek for "Jesus" you will never know him.. period! That also goes for all the religious people in the world who also do not know him. Trusting in the "Bible" or in the "Church" is as vein as non belief. It does not matter whether or not you BELIEVE in God, even the demons BELIEVE in God and they tremble before him. The evidence is available through "Jesus Christ" ALONE, and if you truly sought for him you would find him. HE DOES REVEAL HIMSELF TO THOSE WHO SEEK. The truth is that most people will never seek for him because they do not need or want to know him. They are satisfied with the teachings of men and have all that they "think" they need in this life. It is only when we are desperate, suffering and in need that we cry out to him in humbleness and repentance.. it is then that we find him.

      September 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
      • tifischer

        Yes! although, it is also important to teach others; an improper teaching is one reason there is such a lack of unity in the Body of Christ. If they are satisfied with the teachings of men it could be because they were never taught properly the teachings of Jesus.

        September 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        We do not teach others, we only lead others to "Jesus" so that he himself can teach them. We are not worthy. "Jesus" LIVES and does not need us to speak for him. He does not need us, we need him! How can we lead others to "Jesus" if we ourselves do not know him? There is no lack of unity in The body of Christ, the Body of Christ consists of His spirit and those who are led by His spirit. Those who are led by his spirit are the Church. The church is not a building of so called believers led by a man teaching one of the thousands of doctrines inspired by scripture.. he who puts his faith in man, let him be accursed. Will indoctrinating a child with scripture lead that child to "Jesus"? We can only plant the seed and "Jesus" himself makes it grow. I spent my life turning away from "Jesus" because of the fowl teachings of the so-called christian baptist church. My life fell apart and i was left begging for it to end, realizing that no man could help me and nothing on this planet could ever truly stop the pain. It was then that i finally turned to "Jesus" and he came to me in spirit and lifted the pain, the love that flowed through me was so powerful it could have have stopped my heart. No intervention of any man was involved, it was "Jesus". I now realize that the pain was his way of drawing me closer to him and teaching me that HE is ultimately in control. He is still teaching me and i am FAR from being perfected.. but my friend these are things only he himself can teach us. Man can only witness the things he himself has been shown. It's not about us.. none of us are good. It's about "Jesus".

        September 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • vincastar

        Teaching is a way of leading. Do you not teach your children about Jesus? I wish someone had taught me when I was a kid. Even now I am still learning : )

        September 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
      • vincastar

        The church is the people not the building we come together to form the church. Our church is one church despite its many locations because the people are united through the Holy Spirit, prayer and scripture. Will you come with me to my church? If you say no because you do not feel comfortable going to my church for this reason or that, then we are not united.

        September 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • vincastar

        You are welcome to join me at God's church anytime, I am just up the street little ways from you. I too understand how God teaches us : )

        September 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
      • vincastar

        I just got back from church and our readings from the Bible brought up another good point....

        ...Where do the wars
        and where do the conflicts among you come from?
        Is it not from your passions
        that make war within your members?
        You covet but do not possess.
        You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
        you fight and wage war.
        You do not possess because you do not ask.
        You ask but do not receive,
        because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
        Jas 3:16-4:3

        There is war and abortion in our country today and it is not a result of unity but a lack there of. Passions are what keep people from uniting...prideful passion over things that are justified in the Bible.

        Then the Gospel...
        ...he began to ask them,
        "What were you arguing about on the way?"
        But they remained silent.
        They had been discussing among themselves on the way
        who was the greatest.
        Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
        "If anyone wishes to be first,
        he shall be the last of all and the servant of all."
        Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
        and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
        "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
        and whoever receives me,
        receives not me but the One who sent me."
        Mk 9:30-37

        My priest then says let there not be division among anyone.

        Jesus opens his arms to come to him.

        September 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        At that time there was neither
        Existence nor non-existence,
        neither the worlds nor the sky.
        There was nothing that was beyond.
        There was no death, nor immortality.
        There was no knowledge of the day and night.
        That one alone breathed, without aire, by itself.
        Besides that there was nothing.
        Darkness there was enveloped by darkness.
        All this was one water, without any distinction.
        It was inactive, covered by boid.
        That one became active by the power of its own thought.
        There came upon it at first desire,
        which was the first seed of the mind.
        Men of vision found in their meditative state,
        the connection between the Being and the Non-Being.
        All gods were bsubsequent to this creative activity.
        Then who knows from where this came into existence!
        Where this creation came from,
        whether He supported it or not,
        He who is controlling it from the highest of the heavens,
        He perhaps knows it or He knows it not! (Rig Veda X.129)

        So what's my point? You completely ignorant wastes of oxygen... you think because something is written in a sacred text that it is true? This is the creation story to the Rig Vedas, the sacred scriptures of the Hindu faith. What makes you pompous, ignorant little turds think that your holy text is more accurate than theirs? What makes you think that your version of god is more believable than Indra, Varuna, Rudra, Usha, Vishnu or any of the other Hindu gods or their variants? Your religion is a product of your geography. Get over yourselves.

        September 24, 2012 at 3:56 am |
      • atDissenter

        fimeilleur & vincastar

        There's a word for "people" that just post without actually responding...

        Trolls

        September 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • atDissenter

        fimeilleur, sorry for calling you a troll, you actually had a point at the bottom of your post but I didn't bother to read through the junk in front. My fault.

        September 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        fimeilleur

        The difference is that when one calls upon the name of "Jesus" TRULY wanting to know him, HE WILL ANSWER. Yes that is what i said "HE WILL ANSWER". It is not about the so called Holy Scriptures, that is not where "Jesus" is found. He is ALIVE and will accept ALL who are willing to come to him. If you require PROOF then ask him in Humbleness and Humility to cleanse you of sin, then turn to "Jesus" and you will have your PROOF. He resists the Proud and gives grace to the humble. There is no other way, no religion, no book... only "Jesus". That is the ONLY PROOF this world is given. Jesus bless you.

        September 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        vincastar

        I really do appreciate your invitation but i am done with the churches, religions and denominations of this world. "Jesus" did not come to start religion but to free us from it. Once we KNOW "Jesus" is real and he is in control, we must learn to trust in him and listen to Him Only. We cannot live by what we study in scripture, we must learn to have a relationship with "Jesus" and learn to obey him. HE is the "Word of God", not the Bible. The Bible bears witness of him but there is no life in it. I have spiritual experiences almost daily and still have had doubts in my heart, it is a struggle. I am also still learning how to follow and trust him. He did not leave us with a Bible.. he left us with his spirit, if we are willing. Love in "Jesus Christ".

        September 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
      • vincastar

        Jesus Lives says 'vincastar I really do appreciate your invitation but i am done with the churches, religions and denominations of this world. "Jesus" did not come to start religion but to free us from it. Once we KNOW "Jesus" is real and he is in control, we must learn to trust in him and listen to Him Only. We cannot live by what we study in scripture, we must learn to have a relationship with "Jesus" and learn to obey him. HE is the "Word of God", not the Bible. The Bible bears witness of him but there is no life in it. I have spiritual experiences almost daily and still have had doubts in my heart, it is a struggle. I am also still learning how to follow and trust him. He did not leave us with a Bible.. he left us with his spirit, if we are willing. Love in "Jesus Christ".'

        God have mercy. Jesus wanted us to be united. There are many sections about this in the Bible. My favorite is Jesus himself prayed at the last supper

        “That they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me”
        John 17:21

        Ut unum sint

        Lord Jesus Christ, at your Last Supper you prayed to the Father that all should be one. Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear your name and seek to serve you. Strengthen our faith in you, and lead us to love one another in humility. May we who have been reborn in one baptism be united in one faith under one Shepherd.

        Amen.

        I encourage you not to quit on the rest of us just because you don't like the some. We are meant to be one body of Christ. You don't abandon the body because you see a broken toe, you help mend the toe.

        September 24, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Jesus Lives said:"These are all excuses. There is only ONE way to know for sure that God is real and that is through "Jesus". No amount of carnal evidence can or will convince anyone. "

        True but one could also say, "there is only ONE way to know a peanut butter sandwich and if people don't actually go looking for a peanut butter sandwich, chances are, they will not find it. That being said, I'll find a REAL peanut butter before you find actual proof of a god.

        September 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        As i have already pointed out, most people will not seek for "Jesus" because they neither want nor need him.
        I have already found him and he has proven himself real to me in ways you wouldn't believe or understand, whether or not you accept that is your prerogative. "Jesus" will not force anyone, but he does have his ways of making you willing.
        Maybe some day he will lift the veil of darkness from you and draw you to him like he did with me.
        I am not trying to protect any Religion nor am I offended by your pursuits.. there is no way possible to destroy "Jesus", he is not a part of any religion.
        Good luck with that sandwich.
        Jesus Bless You.

        September 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        vincastar

        I believe you are right, we all must be united by his spirit. If we indeed have his spirit we will be one with him and will be united. He is working in each and every one of us in his own way to fulfill his purpose for us. Until he himself leads me, I must wait. I am not abandoning the body of Christ, his spirit is the body. We must not live only by scripture and teachings. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. We must have our own testimony of him. But i also pray that he does unite us.
        Love in "Christ Jesus".

        September 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
      • vincastar

        Did the Holy Spirit tell you I was commenting : ) I pray you put some deep prayer into what it means to be united in one body...we are all given gifts that we need to use together. Please let it be your time : ) we need you. Love in Christ.

        September 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Jesus Lives "As i have already pointed out, most people will not seek for "Jesus" because they neither want nor need him.
        I have already found him and he has proven himself real to me in ways you wouldn't believe or understand, whether or not you accept that is your prerogative. "Jesus" will not force anyone, but he does have his ways of making you willing."

        If this fictional character has his ways, what are they. How do they manifest themselves? How are they verifiable? On what authority to you speak to interpret words in your scripture? On what authority were they originally written (300 years after the fact...)?

        September 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Jesus Lives

        atDissenter
        "If this fictional character has his ways, what are they. How do they manifest themselves? How are they verifiable? On what authority to you speak to interpret words in your scripture? On what authority were they originally written (300 years after the fact...)?"

        The ways of "Jesus" are HIS, not mine.I can only testify of how he made ME willing and that was to utterly break my mind,spirit and will to live. When he has broken you and even taken away death as an option.. it will humble even the strongest of men. He will use whatever means he wishes.

        I have already explained that by seeking "Jesus" for yourself you will find "Proof". He will not turn anyone away who comes to him. He does not HIDE as some like to put it.. If you truly turn to him you will find him.But you must do it on HIS terms, Not yours!

        You have been given the directions, Means of Verification.No man can do the work for you.
        It's not a debate, he will accept no excuses.

        And once again, the scriptures are not "The Word of God". They are not the authority. Though many scriptures DO bear witness of him, they where written by men who KNEW him, not knew ABOUT him. He is the authority, i have no authority unless he gives it. I only share what he has given. My own interpretation of scripture is useless, without him there is no understanding.

        Scripture is not necessary to know "Jesus". He teaches us through his spirit. Even if all scripture and all churches disappear, the "Word of God" will still remain.

        Jesus Bless You

        September 28, 2012 at 4:47 am |
      • atDissenter

        Jesus Lives said:"I have already explained that by seeking "Jesus" for yourself you will find "Proof".

        I totally understand the need to put proof in quotes. It's something you say but never show. Again, just replace the fictional character jesus/god with Santa Claus and you will soon see the silliness.

        Jesus Lives said:"He will not turn anyone away who comes to him. "
        Not proof.

        He does not HIDE as some like to put it.. If you truly turn to him you will find him.But you must do it on HIS terms, Not yours!

        Jesus Lives said:"You have been given the directions, Means of Verification.No man can do the work for you."

        No, I have been given nothing of the sort. You also make it up in your head.
        IJesus Lives said:"t's not a debate, he will accept no excuses"

        Insert REAL proof here.

        Jesus Lives said:"And once again, the scriptures are not "The Word of God". "

        I think you need to go to a huddle with our cohorts before you go making broad statements like that.

        Jesus Lives said:"They are not the authority. Though many scriptures DO bear witness of him, they where written by men who KNEW him..."
        I half agree but ...

        Since the earliest gospels were written roughly 30 years after the fact, given the lifespan of the average human those days, it's not impossible but not all that likely that people actually were witness to the events. That's just the earliest. The community of Matthew was writing about 70 years after. Mark; 40 years and Johannine community: 60 years. Not only that, Matthew community was not even near the events.

        And this assumes the "right" scripture was kept and not deemed heretical as so many were. Obviously, as you attest to, humans wrote these texts. Keeping that in mind, how do you know you've got the important bits in your head?

        Jesus Lives said:" him, not knew ABOUT him. He is the authority, i have no authority unless he gives it. I only share what he has given. My own interpretation of scripture is useless, without him there is no understanding. Scripture is not necessary to know "Jesus". He teaches us through his spirit. Even if all scripture and all churches disappear, the "Word of God" will still remain."

        I doubt you fully buy this. I think you're just saying it because I don't think you can discern between the fiction and the fact when it comes to your book and your god. I really don't trust believers judgement when it comes to "filtering" this god through this ancient book. Addicts say, "oh, I can quit any time..."

        Jesus Lives said:" Jesus Bless You "

        And no you talk for him too. Such a grand authority you presume to have.

        October 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Wow, I should have come back to this thread more often...

        @atDissenter... no problem with the troll comment... glad you read through the whole thing in the end. :-)

        @Jesus Lives... I have heard people speak with the EXACT same conviction you do about the reincarnations of Vishnu... conviction isn't proof. Sorry. How about you take responsibility for your own life, your own actions and your own desires? Your religious delusions don't convince me... If I was lost in a forest, would you expect me to be looking for my parents? or my parents to be looking for me? If I'm "spiritually lost", why would you expect me to search for Jesus? Shouldn't a "parent" try to find his child? Guess zombie jesus doesn't exist.

        October 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • atDissenter

        "zombie jesus"
        That's funny :)

        I'm surprised that it's the first time I've heard it.

        Of course "Zombies" are fake and Jesus, coming back to life, is real. Sarcasm intended.

        October 3, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  45. Doctor Know

    Dawkins is running scared from Dr. William Lane Craig.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Ummmm, no, WLC uses circular arguments, quote mines his opponents, AND has been debunked by lesser men than Dawkins (like YouTube's Thunderf00t). WLC is a joke.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  46. tifischer

    Dimensions of space and time are not 'magic' they are a part of science. Highly educated scientist actually study dimensions.

    September 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  47. Rob

    All knees will bend and all mouths will confess... be ready to accept your eternal fate when that day arrives.

    September 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • MDAT

      I'm having trouble understanding that.

      September 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • atDissenter

      so what if you don't have legs? Bible Babble.

      September 21, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Is that all you have? Empty threats? Here's a thought: Prove it.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  48. EnergyBeing

    I heart Dawkins. The God Delusion was tough to get through but I'm glad I took the time to listen to the audio book. Very insightful and challenging. In some ways ' a rude awakening '. Another insightful author I've grown to love is Howard Bloom.

    September 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  49. WhoSays

    Weird. You started out debating the strengths of an atheist to speak for his belief in evolution and science, and it has turned into a mud fest mocking the Bible and its God. How did that happen? If the Bible is true, then you were all created with a free will to 'believe' or 'not believe' – as you choose. What makes anyone's free will choice 'wrong' in an evolution-based belief? Men have always mocked God. That's nothing new. And Atheism is nothing new. Evolution is not new either – in fact, its ancient! All this mud-slinging is not enlightening to anyone. What is enlightening is Truth, when you find it. You may not like the Bible, but it's interesting that it contains so many ancient prophecies of the 'future' both that have come true, and that at this moment in history are coming true. It's worth checking out. It's interesting to me that you blame people for 'not believing' what you say they don't understand as you relate it to evolution, but then you turn around and mock the Bible and its God and its believers for the things you don't understand in there. Wow. Actually the Bible says that this will happen, and hardly anyone is more outspoken against God than Dawkins. Now why is that? Why does a rational debate about one's science turn into a mudfest about God? Isn't it just because Dawkins' atheist personal views cloud his science – and now yours? I think you should all return to that story about the guy who died and had a hellish encounter, and then was returned to life a changed man. Don't dismiss that. Are you looking for Truth, or are you just venting your hatred for anyone who doesn't believe as you? Science is a search for Truth. You won't find it if you are sadly brainwashed to 'believe' blindly after some clever guy who just tells you what to believe without providing for you any answers to your questions. Do you really want to believe you came from an ape? Where are the answers? All we get are statements without real information. All we get are excuses and mor revisions, and 'new theories' on the old ones. It happens too slow to be seen – it happens so fast, it bypasses a lot of steps. Really? I thought it had to be 'natural', like 'the way we observe things today'. We don't see either one, slow or fast. Why not? There are lots of questions Dawkins won't answer except with snide remarks that make the asker feel stupid. That's not scientific – that's abuse. Demand answers. Don't accept mere 'statements' without evidence and proof. Ask, 'How do you know that?' Where are the proofs we seek? Why does science keep bringing back old 'examples' of evolution that were long ago discredited and nullified? Because they're hoping you don't know they've been discredited and nullified. They're hoping they 'stick' in your befuddled minds, so you'll just repeat the mantra, like you're doing above. You sound inane. Grow up! Check the facts – because there are facts you're not being told about, and they don't want you to know. Don't be duped. Don't be 'useful idiots' for Dawkins. The Emperor has no Clothes on. Check it out.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Mear Stone

      When the Bible can make a prediction that is useful, it will be worthy of attention in that area. It would have been good, for example, if the Bible had given warning of the 2004 tsunami, or some such. The kind of "predictions" it makes are of the same kind as those of Nostradamus: useless for any practical purpose. There is no clear reason I can see for adhering to the wishy-washy except that one cannot be bothered applying oneself mentally to a task that is clearly useful to the human race. Work on finding a cure for cancer instead.

      September 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • tifischer

        It is not fair for you to judge what predictions have been made in the Bible without reading them. The best prediction was the coming of Jesus. Waaaaaaaaaay better than a tsunami. A tsunami may take the lives of tens of thousands but Jesus will save billions among our generation alone...multiply that over the past 2000 years plus the future years and add some growth... hardly a comparison at all. Just think what unity will bring...sigh.

        September 19, 2012 at 12:12 am |
      • Mear Stone

        You have no way of knowing whether I have read the Bible or not, yet you assume that you do. Odd. Furthermore, Jesus has had two thousand years to improve humanity's lot, yet overall humanity continues to suffer as intensely as ever. If this had been his job, he would long since have gotten the sack. Where are the billions you speak of?

        September 19, 2012 at 4:32 am |
      • tifischer

        I am reading the Bible and from what I have read there are a lot of prophesis that have come true...most importantly the coming of Jesus who has saved billions in our generation according to published senses. Perhaps I am wrong, have you read the Bible? If so, you perhaps you should try reading it again with love in your heart.

        Humanity is getting better... As the most obvious example, does our government say innocently crucify people in public as a regular way of dealing with the common criminal? By crucify I mean dislocating their limbs to drive large nails through their flesh and bone to pin them to a cross and leave them to slowly and excruciatingly die by exposure. And he innocently let that happen because he loves us. His love beat the crucifix...Roman's had used it as a symbol of death but Jesus took that from them by making it a symbol of his love. I could go on and on about the amazing changes Jesus has made over time...what people forget is that the greats of our time were great because they were moved by God's love.

        September 19, 2012 at 7:44 am |
      • Mear Stone

        Your words could be recouched to fit any religion with the same amount of strong evidence to support it … that is, none. Many people have done good while unattached to any religion … great good, even, while despising religion. As for prophesies, from my point of view the human who acknowledges that the future is unknown and continues to do their best has more gallantry and self-honesty than those who think they know the future. Indeed, they are more human. I have no need to read the Bible again. I have examined it with open mind and open heart and found it severely, chronically wanting. The excuses Christians make for it do not hold up against logic; but that does not deter them: they ignore all cases to the contrary simply because there is no force compelling them to acknowledge falsehood and nonsense. As for modern events, read the news and tell me that there is nothing there that would fill you with horror and make you vomit had you been present. How do you feel about children forced to murder their own parents and rape their own siblings? How do you feel about babies screaming with withdrawal symptoms from their mothers' drug addictions? Do you think a mother suffers less than Jesus on the cross when she is gang raped, then has her belly cut open and the baby torn from her body while her heart still beats? You are vastly ignorant. You refuse to face the truth. You fill me with disgust. Your religion is a lie and you are a liar, most significantly to yourself. Your words are farts of incense attempting to disguise the revolting stench of your own moral and intellectual corruption.

        September 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • tifischer

        By your mean use of insensitive adjectives I understand that I have angered you and I apologize for that. I hope that you one day fill your heart with the love and wisdom of God because it will bring you and those you speak with happiness. When I was agnostic (from birth) I also questioned and challenged everything which is a good thing. It took something beautiful happening in my life before I understood God's love. Before all that I was able to convince myself that the good was negated by all the bad in the world... no doubt a consequence of being brought up in an atheist home combined with neglect, abuse and encounters with "Christians". Then something amazing happened and I knew that there is a God and he does love me. Miracles do happen.

        How could my words be applied exactly to another religion?

        There are bad things that happen today still but not like it was. It does not take much knowledge of ancient Rome and Egypt to know that. So, unarguably things are better although they may get worse it just depends on what people do. For instance it use to be illegal to kill babies i American and now there is. And notice that there was also a distancing from religion.

        I urge you to read the Bible again. "Chronically wanting" does not describe someone who was reading something with an open heart..but of someone who did not understand the Bible. Tell me about what exactly you found chronically wanting and perhaps I can enlighten you.

        September 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said:"It is not fair for you to judge what predictions have been made in the Bible without reading them. "

        And why would you assume we have not read them? Is it really a prediction if it's so general that it could predict anything you happen to want to predict? Is it really a prediction if the prediction was written 300 years after the supposed event?

        Like the poster above, these "predictions" are meaningless. They are too general and because the scripture is taken both literally and figuratively, it leave for crazy interpretations of the "facts."

        If science were given the free range of fact that the bible is given, we'd still be trying to to figure out if the earth or the sun was the center.

        September 21, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
      • tifischer

        I assume that you did not read it because if you did then you would know the numerous predictions and how astonishing they were...so I suppose if you don't understand did you really read it? It doesn't take much intelligence to realize that numerous predictions are not merely coincidence and I do not find them general at all "king of the jews" is hardly a general statement that anyone I know makes : ) Have you never been able to predict something? Has nothing ever happened to you that was predicted? I myself have witnessed both in my life and I am a humble loving mother.

        You say "If science were given the free range of fact that the bible is given, we'd still be trying to to figure out if the earth or the sun was the center."...Your school teacher may have forgot to mention that Copernicus and Galileo were Catholic for one and for two if you read the Bible you will remember that it says that Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge... giving us the ability to teach ourselves about the things of the world. and for three, most importantly, the Bible gives us what we need.

        September 22, 2012 at 7:45 am |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "I assume that you did not read it because if you did then you would know the numerous predictions and how astonishing they were...so I suppose if you don't understand did you really read it?"

        I'll respond to specific prophecies.

        tifischer said: "Have you never been able to predict something? Has nothing ever happened to you that was predicted?"

        Nope. Not in the way you desire. Have you ever heard of the term "meaningful coincidence?" Humans naturally look for patterns in their lives. Chances are, they will find what they are looking for.

        tifischer said: "Your school teacher may have forgot to mention that Copernicus and Galileo were Catholic..."

        I've read at least four books about Galileo, I've read two on Copernicus, Kepler, five about Newton, Descartes and more. I've read a books about most major Scientist. Sorry, you're not presenting anything that I was not aware of.

        What your list of scientists proves is that science works despite people's personal beliefs. They would have been forgotten had their work not been testable. I don't actually know if you've personally read about these people you have mentioned but I would recommend looking at the context of their belief. It matters. Did you know that Kepler's mother was tried as a witch by the inquisition? That's the context of their "belief." Again, it matters.

        FYI, I once took part in a two year bible study given by biblical scholar. It's been a while since that time so it's not as readily available to me today. The general concepts have stayed.

        September 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer

        It is not fair for you to judge what predictions have been made in the Bible without reading them. The best prediction was the coming of Jesus. Waaaaaaaaaay better than a tsunami. A tsunami may take the lives of tens of thousands but Jesus will save billions among our generation alone...multiply that over the past 2000 years plus the future years and add some growth... hardly a comparison at all. Just think what unity will bring...sigh.

        Speaking of Tsunami, why does the fictional character god send them and why doesn't your fictional character Jesus predict them? Cancer? And why cause them in the first place?

        I suspect you're mixing up the meaning of "save."

        By the way, a prediction of someone coming, that was written after the person has arrived, just in case you didn't know this but that's not exactly a prediction. Also, if that's the "best prediction" you got, you should probably look a little harder.

        Let me guess, the gospel from the "Matthew Community?" When do you think this gospel was written and where? It's kind of important for fundamentalist believers to know this. I usually find they have not.

        September 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  50. Martin

    There are suckers born every minute, look at all the newest religions like Scientology, Mormons, the moonies and all those millionaire preachers (just google weird religions and prepare to be terrified) If you read about them they are completely insane, yet there are millions that somehow by some glitch in their brain can look at you right in the eyes and tell you they believe every word of it. Some people are more susceptive to some diseases or conditions and it’s probably the same with religion, some people will just believe in anyth
    ing and not much we can do but hope they become extinct someday.

    September 18, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      So, what in your point of view is the difference between the inside and outside perspective on a human being? (Between "me" and "you")?
      BTW – Scientology is a not a religion, it started out as a self-help system and L Ron Hubbard started to communicate it as a religion to save on taxes and profit from the special status religions have in society.

      September 18, 2012 at 11:45 am |
      • atDissenter

        Christianity isn't a religion.

        Though, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a religion. See how that works? See how I switched it around?

        By the way, I can literally come up with a new religion every 6 seconds; it's REALLY simple to do. And who are you to say my religion is fake?

        September 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      @atDissenter
      I strongly recommend you do some research on the practices of Scientology. Start with xenu.net, with Tony Ortega's incredible blog on the Village Voice: http://www.villagevoice.com/authors/tony-ortega/

      And if you want to come up with a good religion, by all means do it.
      We are definitely in dire need of some renovation in the spirituality department.
      But I don't think what you're going to come up with is any different than the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" – how do I know that? Because there is only so much you can say from the perspective you are looking at things from.
      You have already cut the cord to where the actual thing might come from.
      Or am I wrong.

      October 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  51. sickmonkey3

    wow. monstermd makes the most sense to me more than anyone else on this forum!

    September 18, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  52. Elliot

    I don't understand why "Christians" have such a problem with Evolution or the Big Bang (not the TV show). If they truly believe in God, they should be able to understand that She (hey – do you know for sure otherwise?) created the first whatever that began these processes and that the Bible was written by fallible human beings who hadn't learned about them yet. One doesn't preclude the other.

    September 18, 2012 at 2:24 am |
    • tifischer

      They don't. They have a problems with people saying that a Big Bang means there was no creationism. One does not discount the other. The father of genetics was Gregory Mandel, a Monk and Lemaître who proposed the Big Bang was also Catholic. The irony is that the Big Bang is obvious prof of God. Genetics is also obvious prof.

      September 18, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • tifischer

        Well, I also see that some "Christians" don't understand... : ( but perhaps that means we just need to be better at helping each other understand.

        September 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Throughout history, Christians have fought tooth and nail against those discoveries that remove humans from the center of the universe. These "humble" believers are not willing to accept that they are a product of the universe, as opposed to special beings with immortal souls for whom the entire universe was created.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:32 am |
      • tifischer

        That is just not true. Gregory Mendel is known as the father of genetics and he was a monk. Georges Lemaître proposed the Big Bang theory and he was a Catholic. Non-Christian's bias against Christians is the unfortunate delima. Why are some non-believers not willing to accept that many humble Christians are also scientists and intelligent? I wonder if they just don't understand that science and religion are not mutually exclusive, but science gives us some understanding of God's existence. For instance, If you think about it, the Big Bang Theory is supportive of God.

        September 18, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • Mear Stone

        No, it is quite true, and the fact that Christians can make good scientists does not falsify the historical evidence for Christian resistance to ideas that contradict their scriptures. Really, this is primary school stuff. Have you never heard of the fear of Church persecution that was a major influence in the lives of people several hundred years ago?

        September 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • tifischer

        No, It is not right to sum up Christians as fighting tooth and nail against scientist as I pointed out that there are many Catholic Scientist who have made amazing contributions to the science. However, you bring up a different point in which there is some vailidity to your concerns but please don't over generalize the problems because your school teacher said so... Some Christians made poor mistakes hundreds of years ago but not all and scrutinizing science is not neccissarily bad...even a good scientist will scrutinze scientific findings (because there have been mistakes and even falsified evidence in science as well). So, it still seems that you are over looking the Catholic scientists even those from hundreds of years ago and are over generalizing. So there are two issues....1) have Christians overly scrutinized people at time, yes believe me I know 2) that does not mean that all Christians fight science. The Church has reformed and is trying to get better. Unfortunately, there has been division amongst the body of Christ which has hurt everyone. If instead of dividing the body of Christ, Christians had stayed to help fix problems that some priests were implementing in the church hundreds of years ago, then things would be much better today.

        September 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
      • Mear Stone

        I never said all Christians fight science. I do believe, however, that Christianity in general resists change, particularly changes that contradict doctrine. This is fact. I do not know why you mention my supposed teacher; it has nothing to do with this discussion. In a nutshell, my point of view is this: Dawkins may be incorrect in asserting that there is no God, but the evidence for God's existence is very poor indeed. Dawkins is fully justified in rejecting a theory that has no good evidence to support it. The evidence in favour of the existence of a Christian-variety creator god is no stronger than the evidence supporting the existence of Odin. A theory without evidence has much in common with a confidence trick.

        September 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • Rufus T. Firefly

        You're correct that it's not fair to paint all Christians as such, but surely it is evident that the Church historically opposed such things as heliocentrism and evolution as heresy, and that the opposition to legitimate genetics and evolution research on this blog is almost universally from Christians. No?

        September 18, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • tifischer

        There is a lot of really good supporting evidence of God and way more than whoever you said...I mean, I have never even heard of him which is evidence in itself in your lack of reasoning.

        September 19, 2012 at 12:17 am |
      • Mear Stone

        It is not good evidence.

        September 19, 2012 at 4:33 am |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "There is a lot of really good supporting evidence of God and way more than whoever you said...I mean, I have never even heard of him which is evidence in itself in your lack of reasoning.

        To whom are you respond to?

        Anyways, there is NO evidence of god. NONE!. ZERO. Not one atom.

        There are literally mountains of evidence for evolution.

        September 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • atDissenter

      What I really wonder is how many Christians, that don't believe in the "Big Bang," watch "The Big Bang Theory?"

      September 21, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  53. jimmydemello

    I pway that all you atheists will go to hell and we good people will be sitting on our clouds sipping tea and watching you writhe in anguish. Heehee. Naw, I'm just funnin ya.

    September 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  54. Chris

    I never heard of this guy. Is dawkins his real name or did he give it to himself for "Dwarwin + Hawkins"?

    September 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Mear Stone

      You mean Jim Hawkins, cabin boy from Treasure Island? Or Jennifer Hawkins, Australian beauty meme?

      September 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  55. DJones

    Dawkins is dreaming. he has faced Creationist's Scientists before and they made him look silly. There are a huge number of scientist who reject evolution because they see it as faulty, social driven nonsense. A recent science article I read noted that there is a steady migration of scientist who are abandoning evolution, but who also reject creationism, and instead are willing to admit that we don't know where life comes from. But for Dawkins to make the sweeping and ignorant comments that he makes just makes him look ignorant. I guess senility had to set in at some point.

    September 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Mear Stone

      Unbalanced, emotive criticism.

      September 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "There are a huge number of scientist who reject evolution because they see it as faulty, social driven nonsense. A recent science article I read noted that there is a steady migration of scientist who are abandoning evolution..."

      As one of those scientists, I can assure you that is an utter falsification. Much of my work involves collaborating with geologists, biologists, and archaeologists and I have literally never come across a professional scientist who has "abandoned" evolution. You might want to reconsider the sources of the articles you have been reading.

      September 18, 2012 at 9:26 am |
      • atDissenter

        Thanks Rufus... Rolling of eyes.

        It's pretty sad that these creationists will do everything in their power to make the nonsense fit. If evolution is wrong, with it's mountains of evidence, then, I wonder, how discredited the bible is with no evidence to offer?

        September 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        I personally like the National Center for Science Education's "tongue-in-cheek" list of Scientists named 'Steve' who support Evolution. If you don't know about it, the NCSE developped the list in response to the Creationist claim that they had a list of nearly 1000 scientists who disagree with evolution, as if this debate will be resolved by popular assent. Knowing that good science is not a popularity contest, the NCSE started their list of scientists who accept Evolution... with the sole criteria that their first name is Steve (or variation thereof)... to date, the list includes over 1200 'Steves'.

        September 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Scientists are not "abandoning evolution." You're making this up or you're reading things that people are just making it up. Do yourself a favor and read about evolution. Like Dawkins said, it is no longer controversial.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  56. tcmavs

    Look at all of these hateful and condescending comments from atheists. If that's the personality type that "evolves" from having no faith, then who wants to be an atheist? (that's rhetorical. Please, no need for comments from atheist that are using their thesauras to show how intelligent they can be on a CNN message board)

    September 17, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • tifischer

      Yes, good observation : ) : ) : )

      September 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Mear Stone

      It is not a crime to have no belief in gods and goddesses. It is not even a misdemeanour. It is probably most likely to stem from the ability to distinguish silly ideas when you see them.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
      • tifischer

        "silly" See, that is what he was talking about...slandering other people's beliefs without even an objectionable argument or considering why he believes that. Have more heart : (

        September 19, 2012 at 12:29 am |
      • Mear Stone

        Can I assume that you have the same level of respect for, say, the Norse, Greek, Roman, Sumerian, Mayan, Toltec, Egyptian, Aztec and Babylonian pantheons as you expect from me towards the Christian? Be that as it may, I would have little issue against Christianity if I had not my life long been subjected to condemnation both mealy-mouthed and aggressive of my chosen way of life and numberless efforts to seduce me to a belief system I find quite implausible, without presenting good reason as to why I should not live as I do beyond that "the Bible says it, therefore it must true". From my point of view, I would be richly justified in hating with all my heart those who taught me to despise myself and my life, and their religion, which is as often as not used for vile and unconscionable purposes.

        September 19, 2012 at 4:44 am |
      • tifischer

        I have respect for everyone. Does that mean that I think they are God? No. They did not innocently die for my sins because they loved me with God's love. Huge difference.

        September 19, 2012 at 7:26 am |
      • Mear Stone

        Faith is the basis for belief in all these cases. The believers of each of these pantheons had faith; the same kind of faith as does a Christian. They would have made similar statements to yours ... stronger indeed, for they would have been puzzled that their belief had been questioned at all ... no significant atheism in their day. But, Christians would hold them to be incorrect in their belief. Do we not sense a taint of unreality?

        September 19, 2012 at 11:55 am |
      • tifischer

        But they didn't and their is a reason for that.

        September 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
      • tifischer

        That is not true. I am a Christian and think that Buddha and Confucius were teachers of truth but not truth or God. Some people have a broader sense of what faith is. Some people use the term faith as in trust and they trust certain truisms. However, Jesus is truth and God which others are not and do not claim to be. When you look and study a person and they may speak a truth but if they also sin then you know they are not truth and are not God.

        September 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
      • tifischer

        Also, it is important to remember as Father Barron points out even Buddha, Muhammad, Confucius and other religious founders did not claim to be the divine son of God or be "the way and the truth and the life" Jn 14:6, but only pointing toward a truth.

        September 19, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • Mear Stone

        Claiming it does not make it true. Being a member of a large community that claims it does not make it true. It is no different to any other claim that lacks good evidence. The claim that someone is a witch was and is still sufficient to persecute the innocent even unto death. Your claims are of the same sort.

        September 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • tifischer

        Did you ever wonder why so many people believe? God works in people's lives on a personal level to billions around the world. The more you put into God the more God will give you, it's really amazing...phenomenal...like opening up a whole new world. I only wish I had more people to share it with and had opened my heart more fully to his love sooner : )

        September 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "Did you ever wonder why so many people believe? God works in people's lives ... "

        Again, that's not truth, that's an opinion poll. You just don't get to say something is real if you can't actually prove the existence of a god.

        You can certain claim that the thoughts of a god work in peoples lives but that's not the same thing as saying "god actually did it."

        By the way, if "god actually worked in peoples lives (I don't at all believe it but I say it just for arguments sake), imagine HOW he had to have done it.

        I'm picturing that football player pointing up to the sky after his successful catch in the end zone. From the beginning of time, god had to manipulate ALL matter in the entire universe to make that one catch possible. This sound really grand but what it means is nothing is changeable. It was set in motion in "the beginning."

        Most christians hate this idea because it means they have no free will. But hey, go ahead and fantasize that you're making a difference by your own self-important mumblings. I'm sure it's therapeutic for whatever makes you feel you need a god.

        September 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
      • tifischer

        If I gave you an accurate model of the universe made to scale from plastic and metal and told you that no one made it would you believe me? So, why is it so hard to believe that someone made the universe? Also, the Big Bang supports the existence of God...I really love the idea and I am a Christian : )

        September 22, 2012 at 8:01 am |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "If I gave you an accurate model of the universe made to scale from plastic and metal and told you that no one made it would you believe me? So, why is it so hard to believe that someone made the universe? Also, the Big Bang supports the existence of God...I really love the idea and I am a Christian : )"

        You really need to direct your questions to someone. Are you responding to Mear Stone or me?

        I know this question make sense to you but perhaps you need to rephrase it? Why would you give it to away? Who gave it to you. Who are you to just give away something that you don't actually own?

        "someone" made the universe? Interesting choice of words. Sounds like you want your god to be a man with a long beard...just like in the movies. Typical.

        When you want to ask some real adult questions, I'll answer them seriously. However, I seriously doubt that's possible given the context of this discussion. Conversing about the existence of Santa Claus is about the level of discussion we can have.

        By the way, the big bang does not support the existence of god. Only your interpretation of that event supports YOUR god...in YOUR head. Science only supports what it can support with evidence. PERIOD!

        September 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
      • tifischer

        at Dissenter says "Sounds like you want your god to be a man with a long beard...just like in the movies" ...You are wrong about me and what I believe and your inaccurate judgment of me tells me a lot about you. That you are somewhat arrogant. Arrogance is from a pride which is a sin as I am sure that you are aware of that is over come but humility. Pride is probably why it is difficult for you to believe in a God. Pride comes from fear. Some people fear giving in to something new like learning to swim for the first time and getting past that want to grab onto something tangible and hold it.

        atDissenter says 'You really need to direct your questions to someone. Are you responding to Mear Stone or me? I know this question make sense to you but perhaps you need to rephrase it? Why would you give it to away? Who gave it to you. Who are you to just give away something that you don't actually own? "someone" made the universe? '
        That was a run around if I ever saw it : ) and somewhat odd. "Why would God give it away?" you ask... As a general concept of everything that I do, out of love : ) Silly.

        September 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: ""silly" See, that is what he was talking about...slandering other people's beliefs without even an objectionable argument or considering why he believes that. Have more heart : ("

        Let's discuss "silly" some more.

        In Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Mayor, rejected a request to allow an image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to sit along with the Christian manger scene on the City Hall. When asked why it was rejected, Mayor Jim Schmitt replied, FSM is "silly."

        Silly?

        In reality, it IS silly. Jim Schmitt was correct but what he miss was that he was, in fact, calling his own preferred religion silly.

        Religion is NO less "silly" than whatever religion people choose to entertain.

        I can literally come up with a new religion every 6 seconds and if those religions are based on unverifiable facts, they are no less silly than other more common silly ideas like the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Invisible Pink Unicorn, Santa Claus or the the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. This isn't meant to ridicule but to demonstrate that humans have really bizarre and senseless ideas that are based on absolutely no evidence.

        Here's a clue for you believers, if there's no evidence, your religion is silly. Mind, this is from the outside of religion looking in. When non-believers look at you religious ideas we see nonsense. We aren't being mean when we say something is silly because we don't see the difference between one child's belief in Santa and another adult's belief in their own personal sky god.

        September 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • tifischer

        There is evidence. By your definition of silly everything that you say is silly...that's so silly : ) Thank you for the smile.

        September 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "There is evidence. By your definition of silly everything that you say is silly...that's so silly : )..."
        Yes, it's so funny to have christianity FORCED upon us through religious displays on OUR public buildings. I'm just cracking up. Sarcassm intended.
        Like I keep saying, believers don't have proof, believers have an opinion poll. Obviously believers don't read very well because they're selectively reading for ways to avoid presenting actual facts in their replies. No, quoting from your own personal book of fiction is not proof.
        No, there are no facts to support your claims, if there were, it would be running in every newspaper and every major network news agency around the world: "Proof of God Discovered." This is the sort of headline you would be seeing; you will never see that headline.
        Before making a claim, scientists must provide proof. Offering the sort of proof you bring would get you fired from any serious scientific position.

        September 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
      • tifischer

        I don't appreciate being called a liar. If you are going to be insensitive and ridicule and berate me on a personal level then I will not engage in discussion with you. I have endured enough abuse in my life and I do not want this to escalate.

        Speaking of prediction, sadly I knew that you were going to say that. I some how hoped that you would not... after all there was no reason to think that you were mean based on what you had said so far. I even googled the words that I was going to say so that it is in my browser's history and I can take a screen shot of it for you so that you have proof to believe me. Please let me know if you would like that? Then you can say that you have witnessed a prediction in your life : ) I pray, God bring you peace.

        September 22, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
      • tifischer

        So, if you do not have anything nice to say, please do not respond to my posts.

        September 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "atDissenter says "Sounds like you want your god to be a man with a long beard...just like in the movies" ...

        You are wrong about me and what I believe and your inaccurate judgment of me tells me a lot about you."

        When you say him or he or she, someone..., you are describing, very specific features. If you don't want us to make assumptions about your beliefs, be accurate in your descriptions of "it."

        tifischer said: "That you are somewhat arrogant. Arrogance is from a pride which is a sin as I am sure that you are aware of that is over come but humility.

        If you're going to call me names, don't respond to me. Didn't I just hear you say that same thing?

        tifischer said: "Pride is probably why it is difficult for you to believe in a God. Pride comes from fear. Some people fear giving in to something new like learning to swim for the first time and getting past that want to grab onto something tangible and hold it. "

        That's perfect. thanks for proving my point..."something tangible," in other words, something REAL. My point is this, if santa isn't real, and all of us adults know that to be true, are we all just full of pride if we dare to KNOW that there is no Santa?

        That's what you're saying to us non-believers without even knowing. You have it wrong because the elephant in the room, "santa," just happens to be your fictional character named Jesus.

        September 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • vincastar

        "he" in reference to God does not insinuate a grey beard at all. My 2 yr old is a he and he most definitely does not have a grey beard : ) If you want to know why I say "he" it is because Jesus is God in person and he is a he. In addition... Gigabytes are not tangible but they are still real. A black hole is not tangible but real. Feelings are not tangible but they are real. The air is not tangible but it is real. Sound is not tangible but real. God is made tangible through the flesh and blood. However, he is also present in a non tangible form all around us. I hope that helps you open your mind to what God is. It was not your assumption about me regarding to the "he" I used but the fact that you called me a liar that is a personal attack and unkind. I would love for you evolve spiritually through an understanding of God's love and wisdom.

        September 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar said: "...Gigabytes are not tangible but they are still real. A black hole is not tangible but real. Feelings are not tangible but they are real. The air is not tangible but it is real. Sound is not tangible but real. God is made tangible through the flesh and blood. However, he is also present in a non tangible form all around us.

        I hope that helps you open your mind to what God is. It was not your assumption about me regarding to the "he" I used but the fact that you called me a liar that is a personal attack and unkind. I would love for you evolve spiritually through an understanding of God's love and wisdom

        First, every one of those things are real AND tangible. I know it fits your point to say they aren't but every single one can be measured or "touched" in one way or another. I ride my bike 22 miles to work and back every day and I can attest to the fact that wind is a VERY tangible force. I can comment on the rest but I hope you get my point.

        Evolve spiritually? That's so condescending and you do it even though you can't provide one atom of proof that you know what you are talking about. Remember, it's up to you, a believer, to prove your point. Just as any scientist is required to prove their hypothesis, it's up to you to prove prove your claim (god). I know this must be frustrating for you not to have any but when you have the mountains of evidence that evolution has, Dawkins has, I'll listen. I'm not holding my breath though.

        By the way, it's not up to science to prove you wrong because people can literally come up with a new religion every 6 seconds and given the fact that there are billions of believers on this planet, I think it's up to your lot to sort it out before you make any grand assertions. Believers are making unproven claims and it's not very sciency.

        If you're going to say someone called you a liar, you need to be specific who because you lumped that in with a response to something I said.

        September 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • atDissenter

      tcmavs said: "Look at all of these hateful and condescending comments from atheists... using their thesauras to show how intelligent they can be ...

      You've obviously never been on the receiving end of Christian condescension. If you pay attention, it comes from both sides.

      By the way, it pays to have evidence to prove your points. Making empty unprovable claims in any forum is going to draw legitimate criticism. Here's a secret, if you don't want to be proven wrong on a daily basis, bring your evidence.

      It's really that simple.

      By the way, if you don't like big/different words, perhaps one needs a dictionary not a thesaurus.

      September 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        WOW! I like your style... you are very eloquent in your writings. 100% agree with you.

        September 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
      • atDissenter

        ???

        September 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        just saying I agree with your post, is all.

        September 23, 2012 at 8:07 am |
      • atDissenter

        fimeilleur,

        got it.

        September 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  57. jiri pinkas

    Whether this guy is right or wrong we may never know. But religion on this planet is the worse plague that has ever
    happened to us. This real danger, some overly religious nutcase may get his hands on a nuke and decide he will
    show us his god. Nothing is worse than someone who believes in god telling everyone else about it. Makes me
    want to puke. Be kind to your fellow man and shut the hell up about what you believe is my motto.

    September 17, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  58. faisal rehman

    nothing new in what darwin or this guy is saying people around two thousand years were also saying same stuff. Its not literacy its going back two thousand years. Religion made us human what we are today now some one want to destroy it and darwin was not atheist also he is misleading. believing in evolution doesnt mean one dont believe in God, God meant to move world like this. this conversation was hot thousands of years ago nothing in this conversation new he is just taking shoulder of science to prove him self right and get some fame alongwith.

    September 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Mear Stone

      I, on the other hand, think that Dawkins is motivated to do what he does because he sees dangerous falsehoods and wants to alert the world to them. Furthermore, the idea that religion is responsible for humane behaviour does not hold up. Dolphins do not appear to have religion, yet they are known to behave humanely. I am saying that humane behaviour has a biological, evolutionary basis. Speaking for myself, people may adhere to their religions and gods if they wish, but I do not want them to come to me any more and state that they alone have the truth and that something bad will happen to me unless I toe their line. Nor do I want them to make decisions based on their false beliefs that subsequently have a detrimental effect on my life.

      September 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  59. John Rivers

    1 Corinthians Chapter 1, Verse 27 KJV (Abraham’s God)
    But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

    September 16, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • Mear Stone

      Why not think for yourself instead of quoting from your manual, which believe me is long, long past its best before date.

      September 16, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • jiri pinkas

      Get on your knees and pray for forgiveness. Nobody is listening!

      September 17, 2012 at 8:00 am |
      • tifischer

        Jesus himself prayed at the Last Supper:
        “That they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me”
        John 17:21

        Lord Jesus Christ, at your Last Supper you prayed to the Father that all should be one. Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear your name and seek to serve you. Strengthen our faith in you, and lead us to love one another in humility. May we who have been reborn in one baptism be united in one faith under one Shepherd.
        Amen.

        Certainly not enough people are listening. No doubt a consequence of division among Christians. Christians need to unite the Body of Christ. No one should have ever divided Christianity, it is not the way of Jesus. Jesus came to unite us. When there is a problem with the Church you don't abandon it and other Christians, you standup for the sake of Jesus and fix the problem. Pray to God for forgiveness and reconcile. Reconcile with the Christians you once abandoned.

        September 17, 2012 at 9:05 am |
      • Mear Stone

        It would be more honest of you if you ceased to try to portray Christianity as a religion with an immaculate history. The hands of Christianity are inundated with blood.

        September 17, 2012 at 9:25 am |
      • tifischer

        Mear Stone, you are very confused about what I believe. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are immaculate. The most precious blood spilled was the blood of the innocent on the cross who died for you. Throughout history not all Christians have walked with their eyes souly on Jesus but it is people like you who can help. People who's spirit recognize those wrongs and are willing to say something about it. But, not to disable the spirit but to enable it through truth. That potential to make change is there you only need the right tools... prayer, read the Bible, go to Church so that you understand not only where people are not to be spiritually but take your intellect to the higher level by understanding where they should be...for instance to understand God's love of others for the sake of others. Start with the Gospel and open your heart and mind to parables, poetry, eternal love and even more. I hope that you like my honesty : ) from me to you with sisterly love.

        September 17, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • Mear Stone

        From my point of view, what you have said has about as much chance of having some relationship with reality as the Elder Edda. Just because something is cute, that does not make it true.

        September 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • tifischer

        By your definition you cannot define truth so then nothing you say is true. Your reality is that you have defeated yourself. The book of Wisdom is really awesome : )

        September 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
      • tifischer

        I must ask... Peter, did you you read my entire post?

        September 17, 2012 at 10:32 am |
      • tifischer

        Apologies about the typo. Peter was on purpose though...I hope that some greater meaning and purpose might be good for your username : ) I hope that you did not take offense to that.

        September 17, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "By your mean use of insensitive adjectives I understand that I have angered you and I apologize for that. "Again, to whom are

        you responding to?

        September 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "There are bad things that happen today still but not like it was. It does not take much knowledge of ancient Rome and Egypt to

        know that. So, unarguably things are better although they may get worse it just depends on what people do. "

        True, hey, look at that, we can agree.

        September 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "For instance it use to be illegal to kill babies i American and now there is. And notice that there was also a distancing from religion. "

        You switched VERY quickly from talking about Egypt and Rome to America. Why?

        September 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
      • vincastar

        tifischer said: "For instance it use to be illegal to kill babies i American and now there is. And notice that there was also a distancing from religion. " You switched VERY quickly from talking about Egypt and Rome to America. Why?

        atDissenter asks why the switch from Egypt to killing babies...it is an example of how things are getting worse. It hasn't been legal to kill babies that I know since the time of Jesus or before Jesus.

        September 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Anyone know why posts just vanish? There doesn't seem to be a good reason.

        September 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  60. robert donaldson

    woooow mr dawkins hes won you over.

    September 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  61. jason

    And the religion of the day is Scientism, with the rocket fish with a science logo... Fundamentalist Atheists, just as religious as the next guy

    September 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • atDissenter

      jason "And the religion of the day is Scientism, with the rocket fish with a science logo... Fundamentalist Atheists, just as religious as the next guy"

      If you prefer to use double speak, fine. For sake of argument, Science is a religion.

      You use your "science" from the bible and we'll use our actual science and we'll have a race to the moon. Let's see who wins. OK? Ready, get set, GO!

      Furthermore, let's also have a list of everything religion has invented and lets compare the evidence for evolution. Lets compare the evidence of having a common ancestor with apes versus the other "religions" that claim their origins are Adam and Eve.

      Well, since there is no evidence for Adam and Eve, that makes the 'religion of science," MORE right. Therefore, if you have your wits about you, you'll choose science as your religion. Unfortunately...

      Meanwhile, those other religions have simply stored their entire god warehouse in the gaps between what science has figured out. I'm not a betting person but I would be safe to say that those gaps are going to continue to get smaller and the religion of science will eventually squeeze all those other false gods out. Poof!

      September 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  62. Jorge

    Hey let me throw my 2 cents here, first of all. Evolution is not science is a RELIIGION, they use words such as we believe and we think, they are many things that have not been proven scientifically at all, we need facts. THE Darwin theory was thrown out as not science. so how it is that people are calling science, these are lies that taught in the text books and we know it lies, yet the evolution is been procted and crontrolling the system, let us oberve it and test and prove it to be true, let us come back to science.

    September 13, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      While the theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has much "evidence" to support it, I do agree with you that there is a strange mix up.

      Science finds things today that seem to be at odds with the bible.
      But doh- what a surprise. Does anyone really believe that the "entire world" was covered in water and that "all of life died and only the animals Noah had on his arch were rescued" as it claims in the story of Noah+the Arch?
      For the science vs. bible discussions, I don't think we need either evolution OR Dawkins.

      Since religion has a very different function and role in people's lives than science, Dawkins is struggles hard to expand his argument so that "the origin of mankind" and the scientific method is not the only place where we supposedly have no use for religion.
      Because that's the way he wants it:

      That religion makes no sense no matter where and under what circ-umstances you encouter it, that its only effect is to turn people into sava-ge, violent, abusive, ignorant, delusional, stupid... *insert negative attribute here* person.
      And that is Dawkins's "belief".

      But it's set up in a tricky way. Evolution and science are indeed different from a religious belief as their statements are derived from a specific method, an it's very easy to loose track of the other colors, the other tastes and feelings when one looks at a mathematical formula + research data table for too long thinking that "the truth comes from there".

      September 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
      • jason

        Historical Science is really not science – any science that would tell you of the past that was not eyewitnessed by a human being – ie no verifiable evidence is false – Testable, repeatable, observable – evolutionism is not either one of these. The biblle is a history book – not a science book, which is great because the products of science change.

        Naturalism – belief that the laws of nature and matter are all that exists is arbitrary. Can you touch, taste, feel, smell, a law of Logic? would they exist in that worldview?
        Materialism – matter is all that exists – no laws of Logic
        Empiricism – all truth claims are found Empirically – cannot find that out Empirically
        Relativism – cannot make a truth claim – but that is a truth claim

        It's pretty funny all of the people who argue for evolution, assume that they evolved correctly, that they are making meaningful statements – when they believe that there is no meaning, that there senses and memory are trustworthy

        I used to believe in that religion, but lost faith in it,

        September 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        @jason
        as a history book, I think the bible is a pretty inaccurate source.
        I would see it as more of a story of "where we come from" in terms of a spiritual history – and also as a sequence of stories that we can interpret as how to deal with our experiencing of right now – the stories that we find ourselves in the middle of, if we are looking for orientation.
        I am repelled by the violence in the old testament too, and only way for me to make sense of it is to see it as an internal drama that happens inside of myself, not as a call to practice violence and suppression in a society.
        But I do see how problematic and dangerous it is.

        October 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • vincastar

        at lolCAT2000 Ok, I change my mind about your comments they are not so good.The Bible is an excellent source...for everything that we need.

        October 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
      • Slurp

        Where did you digg the idea that "as a history book, I think the bible is a pretty inaccurate source"? That was a 19th century criticism that has been completely proven wrong by 20th and 21st century archeology findings and history studies. On the other hand you can say that the Bible holds some of the most ancient sources of history in the world, older than hindu and other asian sources. Does it mean it is inaccurate? One could say that ancient bone findings are highly inaccurate as a history source. Present hebrew calendar states cleary year 5773! Is that inaccurate? Pleeease

        October 6, 2012 at 6:57 am |
      • lolCAT2000

        Look, do you really believe that the red sea was parted and "the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left"?
        There might or might not have been a real crossing of the red sea, and the story might have become told and re-told over the thousands of years it existed until we arrived at the version that is found in the bible and later the Quran (where it says "So it divided, and each separate part became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain."

        Whatever really happened there, there certainly has to be a solution in-line with scientific reality.
        The Red Sea belongs to a seismically active area, the North African "Great Rift Valley":

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

        And it is absolutely possible that a seismic event...
        I'm absolutely sure there is a perfectly causal explanation for what happened if there is more to it than the story itself.

        But the seas definitely part in our lives, and if we see God as a power in our own unconscious that we communicate to by meditation and a specific kind of soliloqui called "prayer", combined with the fact that we are all mirror images of each other in so many ways – and the holographic universe –
        who is to say what really happens to us?

        I'm just saying – whatever happened to Moses and the Isrealites, as it happened, the likelihood that it was a perfectly natural process within the confines of modern geoscience that was misunderstood as something coming from the "personal agency" of a God is just too convincing of an explanation.

        Where it's at is to allow both to exist at the same time:
        Your trust that you'll be saved, that the seas will part, that God will show you the way, don't be afraid of the Pharao trying to enslave you.
        And on the other hand the trust that there are regularities in the physical universe we can discover and trust on, things that appear set in stone to our measurement devices and the way we ask our questions.

        October 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • vincastar

        I am so sorry that I said that I like any of your comments.

        October 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • lolCAT2000

        @vincastar
        I'm sorry to hear that, for once I thoughtt someone understood what I am trying to say... :/
        What specifically are you disagreeing about?

        October 7, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  63. Me

    He might be right about many things, but this guy lost my respect when he demonstrated in a rather rude tone that he really doesn't understand that a woman ending up alone with a strange man, in an elevator in the middle of the night, is a potentially dangerous situation for her. Maybe he needs to stop blah blah blahing so much and shut up and listen to others for a change.

    September 13, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  64. nooooop

    THE REASON IGNORANT PEOPLE CLING TO CREATIONISM IS BECAUSE THERE ARE INDOCTRINATION CENTERS IN EVERY TOWN AND VILLAGE–MANY TIMES MORE THAN A FEW PER REGION.

    Parents who blindly believe what they've been told take their children to these indoctrination centers (churches) that seem to keep spawning up like a plague on humanity and are often-times screwed out of living their life free of a book written by ancient Jews thousands of years ago.

    We are the next generation of Americans and we do not want religion.

    September 13, 2012 at 1:27 am |
  65. Fred Stocking

    Poor Dawkins a cruel trick of evolution the reversed his rectum and his mouth.

    September 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  66. jeru0455

    You can't compare the ethics of religion and the ethics of atheism or science. Science is neither good nor bad, it just is. Atheism is the independence from religion. There is no such thing as atheists behaving badly, because there is no group of "atheists."

    September 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      there also are no "non-music-lover" fans of beethoven.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  67. DJones

    Dawkins tried a couple of times to refute creationist scientist and was so soundly trounced and made to look the fool that he now stays in his place an talks to people who don't know any better. Evolution is a joke, has always been one, and will always stay nothing more than bad social driven science that is erroneous.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • jeru0455

      The foundation of modern biology is a joke? You, my friend, are the joke.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • MDAT

      Tell me.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  68. lolCAT2000

    typo in my comment –
    of course it should have said "...or, if you disagree with anything he says..."

    September 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  69. lolCAT2000

    Evolution might not be controversial as a scientific theory,
    but Dawkins's way of leveraging evidence of evolution against what he understands of religions certanily is.

    Scientists and Pastors work in completely different domains and have very different jobs,
    and one can say about the bible all one wants – it actually gets the course of evolution kind of right in the gradual development of the creation.

    I'm not saying that there aren't dangerous illusions and dangers from "irrational thought" out there, but the way Dawkins and his followers are setting up the "us" vs. "them" and his call for "militant atheism" has strong characteristics of a cult in its own right:
    The world is split into -good, reasonable, rational, clear-thinking- atheists who are up against -irrational, violent, abusive, delusional, dangerous- people defend religion in any way.

    Dawkins uses evolution to generate a split – either you see evolution as "not controversial", which, in his view, automatically makes you an atheist according to his perspective, or you agree with anything – whatever it is – he says,
    in which case you probably also believe that the earth is 6000 years old.

    Seriously, I'm sick of it!
    What place does this guy have on a "science" page?
    He is running a cult.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  70. The Nucci

    wow...this got out of hand real quick...

    September 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • tifischer

      That's absolutely right. That is why it is so important to unite in our faith of God. This is a good read and video... http://www.wordonfire.org/WoF-Blog/WoF-Blog/September-2012/Spirituality-So-What-About-God-.aspx

      September 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  71. Jesus Lives

    None of these arguments matter at all, all religion is wrong because anyone who truly KNOWS "Jesus" by seeking him in repentance, Knows that the "Bible" is not the Word of God anyway. "Jesus" himself is the Word of God. The book of scriptures called the "Bible" does NOT tell the age of the earth nor does it SAVE anyone! Man has replaced "Jesus" with Religions and Churches of all kind and use their precious scriptures to back it up the same way the Pharisees did when the "Word of God" walked among us. Religion was Evil in that day and it remains the same today. The only Hope any of us have is "Jesus" himself and if you truly seek for him he will give you a humble and repentant heart, and he will reveal himself to you. He hides his face from sin, not from man. He loves us dearly and it is not his will that any of us should perish. "King James" did not know "Jesus" and neither do the so called religious leaders today. I agree with "Dawkins" in many ways, religion is Evil. I don't know much about evolution nor about how the earth was formed but I know "Jesus" IS ALIVE. The "Bible" is NOT "JESUS".

    September 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • atDissenter

      In other words, we don't care about those pesky facts...

      We'll simply stick with our fictions and wishful thoughts instead.

      "Think of a wonderful thought, any merry little thought. Think of sleigh bells, think of snow think of reindeer, off you go, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly."

      It's really that easy; you just have to think hard enough and sprinkle a little fairy dust.

      September 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  72. ciroc2323

    Dawkins' main passion is spitting venom towards the God he believes does not exist. This is much like a man composing a vitriolic diatribe against “airies. Who expends time in such an endeavor? Clearly, the professor is bothered seriously by the “God” issue. Dawkins is the most arrogant atheist to which this writer has ever had the misfortune to be exposed, and I have in my library some of the most celebrated works of that misguided persuasion. In his Delusion tirade the author is ambitious enough to boast: “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down.” As Shakespeare has Cassuis say to Julius Caesar: “Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed that he hath grown so great?”

    Where is the consolation in atheism? Totally absent! Skepticism is a black hole of despair. Here is what Dawkins said in an interview some years back regarding human beings.

    You are for nothing. You are here to propagate your selfish genes. There is no higher purpose in life (Bass 1990,)

    And this is the shallow, self-indulgent little man that so many people glorify? It is truly a pity, indeed.

    September 11, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  73. oct4stfrancis

    Reblogged this on The Atheist .

    September 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
  74. swpz

    Evolution does not explain sentience and intelligence. Humans are a radical species that suddenly appeared with intelligence. Via natural selection, far stronger predators should have wiped this race out, the climate changes and the environment was not in the least bit forgiving for creatures as frail as humans – if Darwin is to be believe. This race still exists, and continues to do so. That cannot be explained via evolution – this sudden break of intelligent and sentient thought when the biology at the time was supposedly the same as an ape.

    That said, there is only energy; everything started as energy (the big bang) everything will return to being energy (universe contracting), and eventually everything will recycle and start over. Energy cannot be destroyed and will only change forms. There is no god, but you could say there is sentient intelligent energy out there, and humans are part of that as of... 10,000 years ago? (when humans became somewhat intelligent.)

    September 11, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Primewonk

      Again, why do people who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science feel compelled to come onto science boards and demo strategy that ignorance for all to see?

      Nothing you stated as facts about evolution is correct.

      September 12, 2012 at 8:04 am |
  75. Carlos

    People cling both science that after a while they all start to believe that there was a process of evolution, I'm sorry that you think he came from the ape must have a piece of his ass there or not, because I do not have, I believe that scientists try at all times to prove that God does not exist anymore as it is the same elements that we have in our body on earth and with all this technology there is no way to create a life thinking? If this guy really understand what the Bible is actually accepted and understanding heart would know that religion does not save miguem therefore believing comes by hearing the word of God, I am Brazilian where the country has a large number of CHRISTIAN (followers of Christ ). This country is blessed by God and have faith in Christ more because so much corruption and greed of Men the people suffer. If you read the bible a bit will find that she and the word of God more'll give you a hint to be able to understand it before you should do a little prayer [the Lord God washes me with the blood of Jesus, open my mind so you can understand your word and send your Holy Spirit to help me your interpretation of the word amen], if you do not understand the bible after that give you can say that God does not exist.
    I'll put a letter in a song that speaks so
    MUSIC THE DOOR – CRISTINA DANIELLE SINGER
    There is another path that leads us to God
    Jesus Christ is His name, was made flesh, was made man
    To save you and me
    There is another gateway to heaven, I know
    I hit it and found the answer I sought
    In this world, not found
    Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life
    Nobody is going to the Father except by Him
    He is the key to the perfect dreams
    Miracle for everything that is hopeless
    Beat that port now by faith
    See how you stand
    Walking in the supernatural
    Looking at Jesus of Nazareth
    Go through the door and is now restored
    Go through the door, everything has been accomplished
    Your past need not exist
    Everything is new to you
    Go through the door and walk in the light
    Build your home in Jesus
    He is the Way, the Truth
    He is the Life that won the cross
    Jesus, Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life
    Jesus, Jesus, the Gateway to Life

    September 10, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  76. lexicon5

    I find these atheists and their need to keep convincing themselves and others humorous and sad. If it were FACT…you wouldn't need to convince anyone. When was the last time your doctor told you to get more air? Did he ever say "don't stab yourself because that red stuff is important"? Why? It's a fact oxygen is required to live but we don't need convincing. Blood is life but I don't see any billboards touting it's validity. You don't need to convince anyone of fact. Yet the evolutionist and atheists feel the need once a week to tout their theories. There is NO clear line that PROVES beyond a reasonable doubt that evolution happened. Big bang? HELL yes when God spoke, it was freaking LOUD! Mathematicians have already proven evolution in it's present theoretical form to be impossible. The odds are better for you to win the Powerball every week for your lifetime than for evolution to have EVER happened. One small failure and none of what you see exists. Yet they find THAT easier to believe than Intelligent Design. It also forces them to admit there IS a higher power and a being that exist outside of their understanding. I have YET to have a single evolutionist PROVE their theory with FACT.
    To believe we are Gods ONLY creation is idiotic. Billions of years in heaven and He never played? BS. Gen 1:1…"in THE beginning…" not THIS beginning. Several iteration later we have us…and THIS earth. The NEXT one may be better and different. THATS why we see an "evolution"…God evolved the designs. We were created in HIS image….so go look at a 1952 Corvette and compare to a 2012….distinct differences but the original DNA is still there….it's a Corvette but it evolved…same as life on Earth. I defy you to go look at NatGeo photographs of the Earth and life on it and STILL denounce God. Your REAL conscience cannot dismiss God as it KNOWS it's Creator.

    September 10, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • ME II

      Glad this type of argument didn't convince Galileo, Columbus, Magellan, Salk, Pasteur, etc.

      September 10, 2012 at 10:27 am |
      • Oakspar77777

        How many of the people in your list were athiest? How many of the great scientists of history have been? Even Darwin was a theist.

        Also, while people might have disagreed with those men, they didn't write books and make arguements – that is what theologicans do – Luther, Erasmus, Zwingli, Calvin, Augustus, etc.

        Scientist experiment and work for evidence.

        This is why Dawkins is a second rate philosopher and theologian, not a scientist – because what he does is not science, but rhetoric. That he routinely gets schooled at it is hilarious in the moment, but sad in the long run, since the media and his PR machines (books, lectures, etc) paint him as a winner.

        This is nothing new. Go look and see which side won the Scopes trial (hint, evolution lost), and yet evolutionist hold it up as a victory, because the media slanted the coverage so heavily.

        At the end of the day, the theory of evolution is just bad science. When given the scrutiny of science we give to every other theory (gravity, relativity, light, motion, etc) it falls apart.

        Testabity? Ability to accurately predict outcomes? Repeatability?

        Tweaking the theory to match new evidence is NOT scientific rigor. Scientific rigor constantly questions theories in light of new evidence.

        Does anyone here actually believe that Dawkins would, in light of compelling new evidence, give up his hold on evolutionary dogma? No, his ego would make him hold onto it like a primitive holding onto his mojo idol.

        September 13, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • atDissenter

        Oakspar77777,

        Of course the fictional story of Adam and Eve, Noah and the rest is TOTALLY testable. Sarcasm intended. What a joke. There are LITERALLY mountains of evidence for evolution and ALL of it is consistent. It all works. There are gaps but believers keep losing their god in those ever-shrinking gaps. Eventually... Poof! Hey, who ate our god?

        I suppose there are UFOs to believe in. At least that's possible (though unlikely).

        September 24, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  77. nejtysk

    On that thumbnail picture for the video, he looks like a rapidly aged Assange :D

    September 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  78. Macy

    "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?"

    why did you take such great pains to conceal yourself and hide away from us?
    What?! Dawkins really is an intelligent man, im not putting him down in that aspect, but that was rather a stupid statement. God is trying everything possible to show Himself to everyone. He is not "hiding" from anyone.

    September 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • ME II

      @Macy,
      Dawkins, I think, is referring to the complete lack of any evidence, in nature, of His existence.
      For example, if the universe is fairly young, say less than 100 million years old, why do we see stars farther away than 100 million light-years (not to mention, 10000 years)?
      Another example, if Genesis 1, is true, then why does the fossil record show a different order in the appearance of life?
      Essentially, why does the universe look like it does not need a god in order to function as it does? Why would He go out of His way to make it look as if He did not create it?

      September 9, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  79. WhoIsTellingTheTruth

    I would summarize in layperson terms that Dawkins is trying to find some rationality & order within chaos, ie. after the whole universe was formed as a random result out of nothing, things began to evolve, intelligence and morals developed. The universe will continue forever, but when a human dies, the brain stops and that is it. However, if I can push it further, a dead person's meme will continue as it can "infect" another person's. Survival is of the fittest individual or groups but in the end, however hard we try we become nothing, except our meme evolves higher (if not lower) and all life form lives forever as they evolve to higher (assuming not lower) and become more intelligent and capable.

    For the creationist, evolution is possible after intelligent design took place. However after the universe was designed we human are still at a lost as to who real designer (god) is, and that is why there are so many religions and wars over which is true. Nevertheless, religion somewhat explains the design blueprint and help humans to know their past, live the present and have hope for the future. However, there is confusion as humans are currently facing disorder and irrationality of sorts and as a result many humans have dropped “god”. But the remaining religious humans continue to believe there will be an end of time and earth, and after which there will be heaven or hell.

    Maybe I am wrong but at this stage thought evolution, Dawkins, if he is correct gives me the best option to live as I choose, with complete freedom and no “eternal” consequences. I can live “badly” because my bad meme can be neutralized by some good meme, even if it not, it really is not my problem and also, there is forever for the human race to evolve, unless life on earth is wiped out.

    But if Dawkins is wrong, and the religious are correct, then I will have hell to pay.

    After reconsidering the possibility of hell, I would choose a more difficult option, ie. live well and good morally so that I can get to heaven, for if there is none, at least my meme can live on and contribute to a better universe. If the religious are wrong, at least my meme will contribute to a better planet.

    Forgive me if my simplification of very complicated matters are wrong, but I think my working out of the odds are quite right. So I make my choice, I am a believer of intelligent design, yay there is a God! So help me God!!

    September 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  80. iami1

    It is nice to note that Dawkins is ensuring that evolution is taught properly in the “Bible Belt” and other parts of the US. The unfortunate aspect of his efforts is that he combines spreading reason and science with an agenda for spreading atheism.

    Prof. Dawkins is asked whether on his death, it will just end. His emphatic declaration is, “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.”

    His words, “Of course it just ends” on death, IMHO, show that he is a scientist who has gone wonky and is not a wise man. How can he assert it? Does he really know? It is an unproven opinion of his – that’s it. To clarify, there may be no question that his brain will rot on his death. But it is not proven by science that his thoughts, beliefs and feelings will all disappear on his death. Spiritual masters and mystics who have spoken out of their experience and not only book-knowledge/intellectual analysis have declared/asserted that the beliefs and feelings do not disappear on death of a body.

    An acceptable and sensible answer from Prof. Dawkins would have been that I guess it just ends but I cannot be sure.

    The sad thing for me is that most parts of the West as well as some parts of the East are so enamoured of science & technology that most readers of such interviews and many other “bookish-knowledge educated” people who have not had any spiritual or religious experiences will take what Dawkins says as the “scientism gospel” truth and start believing that on death, it just ends!

    [BTW I am from the "East"]

    September 8, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • atDissenter

      The "East" Bible Belt?

      September 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
      • iami1

        East part of the world. India.

        October 11, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • atDissenter

      iami1 said:"...The unfortunate aspect of his efforts is that he combines spreading reason and science with an agenda for spreading atheism."

      You mean the good thing is that he combines it with atheism?

      iami1 said:..."His words, “Of course it just ends” on death, IMHO, show that he is a scientist who has gone wonky"

      "Wonky"
      First of all the "After Life" was invented by religion. Its a concept without reason or evidence. It's simply an ancient assumption on the part of believers that there is an after life and that it means something. Just because concept has been around for a long time does not make it valid.

      Again, I say this a lot, just making stuff up does not require science to disprove it. Is the Invisible Pink Unicorn pink or is she yellow? You know how many colors there are? These are made up things and just because they're we made up a long time ago, doesn't make them any valid.

      If your standard is to only make claims that are provable, so far, the evidence clearly points to the fact that we simply die, rot and get absorbed once again into everything around us. That's a fact. Adding any more than that, is CLEARLY "wonky." Remember, it's up to those that make the fabulous claims to prove them ....YOU. Having said that, science will continue to narrow in on "where we go." Given the historic record of science and how it has CONTINUALLY answered the "unknowable" questions, I am confident this too will be answered.

      iami1 said:"...Spiritual masters and mystics who have spoken out of their experience and not only book-knowledge/intellectual analysis have declared/asserted that the beliefs and feelings do not disappear on death of a body."

      So you're saying they were authorities on life after death? That's quite a stance. Proof please.

      iami1 said:"...An acceptable and sensible answer from Prof. Dawkins would have been that I guess it just ends but I cannot be sure."

      Had he been asked if Santa really exists, must Dawkins say he doesn't know? Really?

      iami1 said:"...“bookish-knowledge educated” people ..."

      An anti-intellectual statement.

      September 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • iami1

        atDissenter asked, "You mean the good thing is that he combines it with atheism?"

        No, not at all. The bad thing is that he combines it with atheism. In my opinion, Dawkins would have been really faithful to his perception of the truth if he combined it with agnosticism. If I recall correctly I have read somewhere that he says something like he is very close to 100% sure but not really 100 % sure that God does not exist – that makes him an agnostic and not an atheist.

        “Of course it just ends” on death and Wonky: Dawkins made the claim. In my opinion, he does not know for sure and so can't make any such "of course" claim.

        atDissenter wrote, "So you're saying they were authorities on life after death? That's quite a stance. Proof please." This is where belief in a master comes in, many times after people have had some usually subjective 'miraculous' experiences with a master. "Scientific Proof" (objective, measurable & repeatable) is, in almost all such cases I guess, not available (excluding parapsychology kind-of scientific work which I do not know well to comment). The master is at a higher level of consciousness and tells it as he/she 'sees' it. The disciple can follow the path of the master and perhaps achieve a higher level of consciousness where he/she too can 'see' it – but very, very few such disciples/seekers reach such higher levels of consciousness.

        atDissenter wrote, "An anti-intellectual statement." regarding my reference to “bookish-knowledge educated” people.

        Well, perhaps I did not phrase it right. What I meant is that, in my opinion and experience, spiritual/existential experience comes out of a combination of intellectual stuff (reading & understanding) and practice. A meditator has to practice meditation and experience the wonderful experiences that the quietened mind can give. No amount of reading of books on meditation which is not backed by practice will lead to the meditative experiences.

        Similarly, no amount of reading about music will give the experience of losing oneself in the ecstasy of wonderful music.

        I acknowledge that my choice of words ("bookish-knowledge educated") was inappropriate :).

        To atDissenter: BTW, not a plug :), but just in case you would like to know about my views on science and God you may please visit http://iami1.wordpress.com/god-and-science-toc/.

        October 11, 2012 at 2:34 am |
      • Jerry

        "he is very close to 100% sure but not really 100 % sure that God does not exist – that makes him an agnostic "

        No. Atheism and agnosticism are not mutually exclusive. Atheism is a lack of belief. Agnosticism is a lack of knowledge. So someone can be a gnostic theist, which means they know there is a god and has faith there is one. He most likely is an agnostic atheist. Thus he doesn't know there is a god but does believe there is one either.

        October 11, 2012 at 7:26 am |
      • vincastar

        Jerry, Im so glad you said he does believe : ) That would make him a Christian. Belief is something that you know in your heart so to not know something but believe it is contradictory.

        October 11, 2012 at 8:26 am |
      • Jerry

        Wow you really misunderstood what I said. Dawikins is an atheist. He has a lack of belief in a god. He most likely is also a agnostic. He doesn't know there is no god. Thus he is an agnostic atheist.

        Knoledge and belief are two different things. Belief is acceptance without knowledge. Saying you know something in your heart is meaningless.

        October 11, 2012 at 9:33 am |
      • vincastar

        Jerry look up the definition of belief...belief is something you know in your heart.

        October 11, 2012 at 10:44 am |
      • Jerry

        The definition of belief from dictionary(dot)com

        be·lief
           [bih-leef] Show IPA

        noun
        1.
        something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

        2.
        confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.

        3.
        confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.

        4.
        a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

        Where is knowledge, heart, or evidence in this definition? He is an agnostic atheist.

        October 11, 2012 at 10:50 am |
      • vincastar

        Truth. Belief is something that you know in your heart to be true. That is the definition of belief. To use the term believed as the definition of belief is not a definition but restating a fact...there is a name for that error in logic but I forget what it is at the moment. Do you disagree with the reasoning that belief is something that you know in your heart to be true?

        October 11, 2012 at 11:00 am |
      • Jerry

        I gave you the definition of belief. YOU are redefining the word.

        From mirriam-webster(dot)com

        be·lief
           [bih-leef] Show IPA

        noun
        1.
        something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

        2.
        confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.

        3.
        confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.

        4.
        a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

        " Do you disagree with the reasoning that belief is something that you know in your heart to be true?"
        Clearly I disagree. Most people disagree since your definition is different than the accepted definition. Belief is the acceptance without evidence. You cannot know something in your heart. Atheists lack belief in god. Since Dawkins admits there still could be a god, but it is logically impossible to prove something doesn't exist. He is also an agnostic.

        October 11, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • vincastar

        Truth is knowledge so by your definition belief is knowledge.

        October 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
      • Jerry

        Do you have a reading comprehension problem?

        Truth, knowledge, and belief are not the same thing.
        Truth is the conformity to reality.
        Belief is your confidence in something without proof.
        Knowledge is your familiarity with facts.

        Btw: These aren't my definitions. These are society's definitions.

        October 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
      • vincastar

        No sir I do not have problems reading. You are the one who picked the definition and it stated "truth". online def. "Knowledge is justified true belief."

        October 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • Jerry

        Yes and you conveniently left out the "justified and true" piece. I'll stop using adjectives.

        October 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
      • vincastar

        Not conveniently! Mistakenly. I like that even better : ) I love a beautiful blessed world with adjectives here there and everywhere in God's glorious love.

        October 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • iami1

        This is not a reply to atDissenter but a reply to Jerry and the Jerry-vincastar discussion part of this thread below. I don't see a reply button there – maybe the moderator decided to step in. So I am posting the reply here. To get the context please scroll down and read the Jerry and vincastar replies/discussion below.

        To Jerrry: Thanks for the input. I looked up the definitions on the web and it seems you are right from the point of view of some common defintions.

        BTW I think you meant, "Thus he doesn't know there is a god but does *not* believe there is one either." I think vincastar perhaps got misled due to this possible typo.

        I had termed him as agnostic based on some reports I had read like the one here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2105834/Career-atheist-Richard-Dawkins-admits-fact-agnostic.html. So it seems to me that Dawkins does not consider himself to be an "atheist" as he seems to be equating that with a 7 out of 7 on his scale meaning that someone *knows* God does not exist (Dawkins puts himself at 6.9 on this scale).

        I used what I considered to be the layman understanding of these terms which I thought is that an agnostic is somebody who is not sure whether there is a God or not, whereas an atheist is convinced (belief wise/evidence wise) that God does not exist. Perhaps I need to recalibrate my layman understanding of these terms :).

        Regarding the vincastar-Jerry discussion on "something that you know in your heart to be true". My view and experience is that there is an intuitive faculty in humans which some people are very sensitive to (or become more sensitive to using spiritual and other practices). Such people simply *know* certain things to be true from a deep core of their being ("heart"). But then these experiences may not have been scientifically validated and so may not be readily accessible in reference sources like English dictionaries. [I am sure there will be a definition for intuition. But what I am saying is that the dictionary people may want to play it safe and go by scientific/psychology definitions of it.]

        October 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • vincastar

        Science does not disprove God. Science and math support the existence of God.

        October 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • Jerry

        "Science and math support the existence of God."

        That's just a blatant lie.

        October 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
      • Slurp

        Laws of nature may be expressed and formulated verbally to any required degree of precision. In many cases it is possible and convenient to formulate them mathematically as well. As Feynman states [F1, p 41]: “In the last instance mathematics is nothing more than a logical course of events which is expressed in formulas.” Sir James H. Jeans (1877–1946), the well-known British mathematician, physicist and astronomer, said [F1, p 58]: “The Great Architect seems to be a mathematician.” (F1 = The Character of Physical Law, The MIT Press, 2nd Edition 1995, 173 p.) Just think...

        October 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • Jerry

        Everything you just said is in no way evidence of god Basically, you said nature is precise thus god.

        October 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
      • Slurp

        It is interesting that you mentioned "nature" as that is an abstract concept often personified and given human characteristics like when some say that "nature developed strategies", "nature is precise", "nature" did this or "nature" did that. In all encyclopaedias I make a SIMPLE TEST change the word "nature" by the word "GOD CREATOR" and it will work perfectly fine. I guess people who made it are afraid to call it by its real name and that is not science – is a deliberate fraud and a deliberate sin.

        October 16, 2012 at 6:08 am |
      • Jerry

        Precision is not evidence of god. It's only evidence to you.

        October 16, 2012 at 7:54 am |
      • vincastar

        iami1 ... Also the use of belief or any form of the word belief as part of the definition is a lack of logic. You are also forgetting the other definitions provided including the ipso facto of truth is knowledge. I am one in the body of Christ... I am one of God's : ) I am not i mr existentialist.

        October 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
      • iami1

        Oops! The comment above did appear below the Jerry-vincastar discussion. I had not realized that clicking on Reply at the top level would result in the comment getting added at the bottom! Please excuse the confusion.

        October 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @ vincastar,

        When you resort to lying to support your position, it just tells the rest of us that your position really doesn't hold any merit.
        Science and math are no closer to proving the existance of (a) god(s) as they are to proving the existance of Leprachauns and Unicorns.

        You and your ilk, are a joke.

        October 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
      • vincastar

        I did not lie and do not appreciate name calling. Again, there have been many posts on how science supports the existence of God. Please read those and respond to what you specifically do not understand.

        October 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
      • Jerry

        Cite one piece of evidence for god according to science.

        October 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • vincastar

        May people have already said on this forum those discussions of supporting evidence based on science. Please read my past comments and those of others regarding the issue. If you have questions about those pls let me know.

        October 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
      • Sllurp

        Cite one piece of evidence for the non-existence of God according to science. Needless to remind you, that the present stage of science development doesn't have that enough knowledge or the right the tools or technology to even fully define solutions for issues like neutrinos, the universe, cancers, long list of illnesses, life and death, among many others.

        October 15, 2012 at 4:48 am |
      • Jerry

        You can't prove something doesn't exist. You can't prove leprechauns, big foot or aliens do not exist. Theists are making the claim of god. They need to provide the evidence. That's the way it works.

        October 15, 2012 at 7:53 am |
      • vincastar

        Thank you Slurp. It can take easily a week for a room of processors to try to fold a protein and the product is of very little accuracy and if you rely on math and biophysics a lone the results are really bad. The only way scientist come close to predicting structure is by using other protein structures of known similarity and a scientifically trained eye for intuitive analysis. It is also interesting to note the bizarre and week long results from random sampling of space a computer uses as compared to the nanoseconds to microseconds of precise structural folding that occur in nature. God's nature is really fascinating and beautiful in that way.

        October 15, 2012 at 9:03 am |
      • fimeilleur

        @ vincastar,

        Oh no you don't... you don't get to say people have listed scientific support for your claim... not when you don't even know the scientific definition of the word Theory. This simple fact says you don't understand the scientific method. So before you try to send us on wild goose chases, define the following words so we know YOU know what you're talking about:

        Scientific Theory
        Scientific observation
        Hypothesis
        fact
        Evolution
        Gravity

        I'll even let you use definitions found on Wikipedia.

        Why does this matter? Well, if I were to talk about the animal "gopher" would you know that I was talking about a turtle? or a ground hog? language matters and you obviously aren't talking about the same thing we are ON A SCIENCE blog.

        October 13, 2012 at 1:32 am |
      • vincastar

        fimeilleur it seems you are lacking in judgement because I am aware of those definitions and although it does not take an MS to know, I do happen to have such background in science. I am sorry that you have not been following the discussion but I am not going to rehash everything just because you decided to dive in late in the conversation...it is all written down, just search my past post. My hand was recently injured as well so I am not typing much right now. As much as I enjoy such discussions, it is best for you to read what has already been posted.

        October 13, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • fimeilleur

        @Vincastar,

        No, you clearly don't understand the definition of Scientific Theory... you keep refering to it as if it were only a hunch, or a guess... So like I said, until you understand the concepts, you should not be voicing your uneducated "opinions" on these matters. I'm not going to do your work for you... so take care of your injury and get back to us... one day.

        October 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
      • vincastar

        fimeilleur you have put a lot of words in my mouth there. I never insinuated or thought any of the things that you suggested. Meanwhile read what Slurp has to say : )

        October 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Let me quote you on your understanding: "Jerry, Everyone knows that evolution is only a theory it cannot be proven." This is the same garbage that comes out of the mouths of the ilk like Kent and Eric Hovind, Ken Ham, the banana man and his faithful parrot AKA Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron... and the list goes on and on...

        As to Slurp's comment: I'm guessing you're referring to this one: "Don't be silly! You have to live with the fact that you simply don't have enough knowledge to say "there is no god"! That would be the anti-thesis of scientific endeavor – to solve problems, understand the unknown and gain information that will help improve the quality of life... Millions of people experienced the reality of God's love, forgiveness and real changed lives through the power of his word. You cannot deny that. Now, live with it."

        Let me rephrase it to this: "Don't be silly! You have to live with the fact that you simply don't have enough knowledge to say "there is no Zeus"! That would be the anti-thesis of scientific endeavor – to solve problems, understand the unknown and gain information that will help improve the quality of life... Millions of people experienced the reality of Zeus' wrath, power and real changed lives through the power of his word. You cannot deny that. Now, live with it."

        My revamped version of Slurp's genius is just as valid and accurate of a statement...
        This is why I don't beLIEve in your god... THERE IS NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS THE CLAIM THAT GOD (or gods) EXIST. There is exactly the same amount of evidence for the existence of your god, as there is for the existence of leprechauns, fairies, and jedi knights... All these things were written down in some book or another. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.

        So heal your arm... either by seeing a medical doctor (who studied biology) or voodoo practi-tioner (who obtained their powers from the divine), then get back to me.

        October 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
      • vincastar

        fimeilleur to believe there is no God without proof and call people who believe in God hypocrites for believing without proof is hypocritical...and ironic : )

        There is evidence in many ways that have already been discussed and you still have not responded to my previous posts that I directed you to accordingly.

        Evolution is a theory.

        My hand hurt for about an hour after the break but with prayer stopped hurting and thanks to God has not hurt since, except the occasional bonk. Thank you for your consideration. and I apologized that you have become so distraught over the last post and I pray that you humble your heart to God's abiding love.

        October 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
      • Jerry

        "Evolution is a theory."

        So is gravity.

        October 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
      • Slurp

        When you compare gravity with the evolution theory you just comparing different types of things. Though Gravitation is difficult to describe, it well proven as one of the four fundamental interactions of nature, along with electromagnetism, and the nuclear strong force and weak force which, by the way, where there even before we humans could prove they exist. They too, are an evidence of the hand of a Great Architect

        October 16, 2012 at 5:52 am |
      • Slurp

        Any way, when you compare gravity with the evolution theory you are forgetting that gravitation has been established by Newton's law of gravitation to which Planets, Satellites and projectiles all obey. That's not the case with the evolution multiple and often contradicting theories.

        October 16, 2012 at 5:57 am |
      • Jerry

        " Newton's law of gravitation"

        Which has been shown to be incorrect by einstein.

        "multiple and often contradicting theorie"
        WRONG! There is only one theory of evolution and there is nothing contradictory about it.

        Get your science from scientists.

        October 16, 2012 at 7:52 am |
      • Slurp

        Natural science can be described as a census of observational relationships which cannot say anything about first causes or the reasons for things being as they are; it can only establish the regularity of the relationships. The well established regularity of those relationships reveals the realm of information needed to sustain it and that's clearly an very strong evidence of a common designer.

        October 16, 2012 at 8:57 am |
      • Jerry

        "that's clearly an very strong evidence of a common designer."
        No. That's just a baseless claim that you want to be true.

        October 16, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • Slurp

        Paradigm (Greek parádeigma = example, sample): When a certain theory (or a system of hypotheses, or a world-view) pervades entire fields of research or an entire scientific era, it is known as a paradigm. Such a view then dictates the scope for specific researches and delineates the presuppositions used for explaining individual phenomena. If a system of hypotheses has been derived from presuppositions dictated by a world-view, it usually cannot be reconciled with the available facts. Typical examples are geocentricity (refuted by Copernicus), and phlogiston chemistry (disproved by Lavoisier in 1774). We have to uproot the current evolutionary paradigm.

        October 16, 2012 at 10:36 am |
      • Jerry

        Evolution is a fact. Gravity is a fact. Evolution is a theory. Gravity is a theory. Evolution has 150 years of research behind it. There are no presuppositions behind it. Get over it.

        I can only time wrong so many times.

        October 16, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • Slurp

        Evolution IS NOT A FACT. There is NO EVIDENCE of the so called missing links. You mix "evidence" with "facts", "theory" with "facts". Peleaaaase!
        Stop acting like a stubborn child. You cannot compare it with Gravity which is a fact that obeys to the known established and PROVEN Laws of Physics that describe it, so reproducible that it was used by Felix Baumgartner to jump from the edge of space. Evolution remains a theory that why it is today called a THEORY. Evolution has indeed, only 150 years of research behind it most of it based on distortions and frauds mainly pushed by people with atheistic biased presuppositions behind it.

        October 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Reposted for context...

        @vincastar, "to believe there is no God without proof and call people who believe in God hypocrites for believing without proof is hypocritical...and ironic : )"

        To believe there are no leprechauns without proof and call people who believe in leprechauns hypocrites fro believing without proof is hypocritical... and ironic : )... oh this is fun...

        "There is evidence in many ways that have already been discussed and you still have not responded to my previous posts that I directed you to accordingly."

        Personal interpretations of personal events are not proof... no matter how many times you say it... they are still personal, and interpretations...

        "Evolution is a theory."

        Jerry beat me to the punch... so is gravity...

        "My hand hurt for about an hour after the break but with prayer stopped hurting and thanks to God has not hurt since, except the occasional bonk. Thank you for your consideration. and I apologized that you have become so distraught over the last post and I pray that you humble your heart to God's abiding love."

        I'll bet you any money... without prayer, your hand would have stopped hurting and thanks to the way the human body is conditioned, except for the occasional bonk, it would not hurt since... it's called saturation of the nervous system...I can prove it with a simple test... take a bowl of ice water, place your hand in it... take a second bowl of hot water, as hot as you can stand it... and place your other hand in it... after about 5 minutes, remove both hands and place them under warm running water... the cold hand will feel the water as hot, and the hot hand will feel the water as cold... although we both know the water is the same temperature...why? because the neurones have been conditioned to feel one way... just like if you are bombarded with a smell for a long time, you will eventually stop smelling the item, even though it is still in the room. No miracle or divine intervention required.

        October 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
      • vincastar

        No...gravity is a law. I hope you are better at sports : )

        "somehow this post got misspelled" ... no worries, I will not judge you.

        About belief... the point still applies...to believe something that you have no proof of and judge others for believing their own ideas is hypocritical. If someone said they saw a leprechaun and I asked them what that was and they told me a mischievous greedy short old guy I would not be so shocked : ( and could hardly pronounce them liar (I have known worse after all). However, all kidding aside, you overlooked the fact that no one claims that a leprechaun is real.

        October 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @vincastar,

        "No...gravity is a law. I hope you are better at sports : )"

        Why do you post things that are so easily refuted? Google Gravitational Theory and you'll learn all about Galileo Galilee dropping objects from the tower of Pisa, and then onto Newtons gravitational theory and onto Einstein's General Relativity, etc etc etc... any way you cut it, gravity is a theory. Check.

        "somehow this post got misspelled" ... no worries, I will not judge you."

        Please, when you're done here... take a reading class... The actual quote is "somehow this post got misplaced"... my spell check is working just fine. Check.

        "About belief... the point still applies...to believe something that you have no proof of and judge others for believing their own ideas is hypocritical. If someone said they saw a leprechaun and I asked them what that was and they told me a mischievous greedy short old guy I would not be so shocked : ( and could hardly pronounce them liar (I have known worse after all). However, all kidding aside, you overlooked the fact that no one claims that a leprechaun is real."

        Would you prefer the Loch Ness monster? I've met thousands of people who truly believe in her existence... even so much as to KNOW she is a SHE, not a HE. They've even given her a name... what say you now?
        See, you've overlooked the fact that when your ilk claim the actions of other people offend your version of god, and try to pass laws based on a 4000 year old book written by bronze aged sheep herders hundreds of years after the events supposedly took place based on no evidence what so ever......... no, the society for the preservation of Leprechaun Gold does not lobby Washington to have the gold in Fort Knox returned to the rightful Leprechauns of the Irish lands... therefore, we give them a peaceful pass towards their existence... but cross that line... I double dog dare them...

        October 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
      • vincastar

        gravity IS a law. you can test and prove it. all ideas are first theory but with proper testing and 100% accurate prediction of tested results gravity may become law on Earth. Notice gravity varies though and so cannot be extrapolated beyond Earth or any planetary object that we cannot test. U think you know gravity until you step foot on a black hole : )

        October 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        Oh yeah... I forgot...

        Check MATE!

        October 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @vincastar,

        You were insulted when I called you a joke... I apologize... you are in fact a moron. Newtonian gravity is limited and therefore, Relativity was developed to exceed the limitations of Newton's Theory... and then Quantum Mechanics...

        Ever wonder how NASA can launch a probe on a specific date on Earth, have it slingshot around another planet to propel it onwards in it's journey, and do this over several legs of the journey? (see voyageur and voyageur II space probes) I'll save you the trouble of thinking that your god is up to his usual tricks... they use the principals found in gravitational theory, apply the laws of motion and send millions of dollars of research grants to the far edges of our solar system. That, my idiot cousin, is a great testament to the Theory of Gravity... it works not through the hand of your god, but through the science upon which it was built.

        I'm done with you, unless you have something of value to add.

        October 16, 2012 at 12:05 am |
      • vincastar

        Gravity IS law. look up the definition of theory and law and research how theory of gravity became law. All ideas are first theory and with testing and prediction over and over gravity became law on Earth. Gravity on Earth does not apply to gravity on Jupiter...it is different especially when you consider the multiple bodily objects in space. Also these paths are not exactly predicted which you would think would be considering you're math applies to a vacuum.

        I am not insulted. I understand that you become angry when you realize that you are wrong...it is common to resort to a personal attack when you cannot retaliate with a logical attack. That kind of revelation in others is the beauty in understanding God's love and wisdom. I hope that one day you may humble your heart to God's love.

        October 16, 2012 at 1:13 am |
      • Jerry

        "All ideas are first theory and with testing and prediction"

        No ideas are first a hypothesis. Theories in science are more powerful and more highly regarded than laws. Gravity and evolution are theories.

        October 16, 2012 at 7:50 am |
      • Slurp

        In science LAWS are more powerful and more highly regarded than Theories. A Theory remains as such till the truth of it's statement is verified repeatedly in a reproducible way so that it is regarded as generally valid, then we have a natural law. Statements about natural events can be classified according to the degree of certainty, namely: models, theories, hypotheses, paradigms, speculations, and fiction.
        Through the natural sciences the world around us is observed for the purpose of discovering the rules governing it. Experimentation and observation (e. g. measuring and weighing) are the basic ‘modus operandi’. Natural science can be described as a census of observational relationships which cannot say anything about first causes or the reasons for things being as they are; it can only establish the regularity of the relationships.

        October 16, 2012 at 8:53 am |
      • Jerry

        Wrong. A theory in layman's terms and a theory in science are not the same thing. Theories explain facts. Thus they are more important. Read a 7th grade science book.

        October 16, 2012 at 9:10 am |
      • Slurp

        The Laws of nature describe those phenomena, events and results which occur in the interplay between matter and energy. For these reasons psychological emotions like love, mourning, or joy, and philosophical questions, are excluded from the natural sciences. Therefore, it is NOT within natural sciences scope the description or demonstration of God.

        October 16, 2012 at 10:28 am |
      • Jerry

        The United States National Academy of Sciences defines scientific theories as follows:
        The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics)...One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.[13]

        October 16, 2012 at 10:49 am |
      • Slurp

        Theory (Greek theoría = view, consideration, investigation): Theories endeavour to explain facts in a unified representation of models and hypotheses. To put it briefly, a theory is a scientific statement based on empirical findings. Since empirical results are seldom final, theories are of a provisional nature, and the inherent hypothetical element inevitably causes uncertainty – in the best case a statement can be made in terms of specific probabilities. Theories are therefore a means of tying observed facts together, and the best theories are those which attain this objective with the least number of inconsistencies.

        October 16, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • Jerry

        " Since empirical results are seldom final,"
        Wrong empirical results are final. That's why they are empirical. New information may change the context of the results or conclusion, but all empirical data is considered.

        October 16, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • vincastar

        Slurp, thank for that much more sophisticated definition of theory. Peace be with you : ) It can be frustrating like talking to a prideful child that refuses to put on a coat even after you reason that it is cold outside. But once they learn that pride creates a wall in their minds blocking the ability to accept reason they can learn how to take the wall down by merely humbling their heart through God's love.

        October 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • vincastar

        Jerry, hypothesis is the big idea ; ) then theory testing, prediction, law...basically.

        There is law and theory. Law is what allows us to predict orbital paths ... to calculate gravity based on tested formulas that predict accurately what will happen when you drop an object in a particular environment. That is law. Theory is the why. First comes the question of hypothesis, the theory of why, then the test of that theory, then the formula to describe and predict that theory, then it can become law.

        October 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Jerry

        Wrong

        The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics)...One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.

        October 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @vincastar and Slurp,

        Alright you dishonest pukes. I've sat back and allowed this to go on for too long.

        Language: IT'S IMPORTANT.

        If I were to go down to the SE USA, and tell the people there a story about how a gopher was chased through an open field for a good 5 – 10 minutes by a fox, you better believe that they'd think one of two things. Either the fox was very slow, or this particular gopher was unrealistically fast. But if I told that same story in Canada, the people there wouldn't think anything strange about it. WHY?

        In SE USA, a gopher is commonly referred to as a type of box shelled tortoise. For it to be chased by a fox in an open field would mean a really slow fox, or a super fast tortoise.
        In Canada, a gopher is commonly referred as a species of prairie dog. These little buggers can move swiftly and agilely, ducking and dodging from one burrow to the next. It is not uncommon for a fox to chase them for quite some time to get a meal.

        That being said... If the audience does not agree on the definition of the words being discussed, confusion is the only outcome. So, here we are, on a science blog. A SCIENCE BLOG. Everyone here ought to know that when the term THEORY is being used, it is NOT the common meaning associated with guess or hunch. YOU TWO PUKES DO NOT GET TO DICTATE THE MEANING OF THE WORD IN THIS FORUM. IF THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND, GET YOUR DILUTED, SILLY A$$ED NOTIONS BACK TO THE BELIEF BLOG.

        As Jerry has quite properly pointed out, scientists (the guys who do the sciency stuff) use The United States National Academy of Sciences definition of the word theory. We, on the science blog, use The United States National Academy of Sciences definition of the word theory. You do not get to redefine the terms, the usage, the contexts here, not unless you have earned yourself a noble prize in one of the scientific fields.

        We, on the science blog, only except empirical evidence for the claims that are made. That is how science works. Slurp wants to spout out crap about missing links? Screw you... for every link we discover, it uncovers two more links in the chain, one before the transition, one after... that form of reasoning will only accept a 100% complete ancestry tree. Your standard of evidence for science is much greater than any standard of "proof" you accept for your bible. (i.e. how many generations are there between King David and Jesus? Provide your source in your answer). So until you prove your version of god, you don't have a leg to stand on. Get off this blog and go to the BeLIEf blog where your ilk is flourishing. Propagate your nonsense there.

        October 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  81. Lynne S

    The first thing I would say to god – I'm here to see your mother.

    September 8, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • tifischer

      Why did you say that? Do you realize that is the first post of the feast day of Mary's birthday? Would it be to wish her a happy birthday : )

      September 8, 2012 at 12:21 am |
      • Jiang Shang

        Good call... :-) :-) :-)

        September 8, 2012 at 6:16 am |
  82. tifischer

    Geneticist. Biochemist. Self taught programmer. After a thorough study of genetics, even when I was agnostic, I knew that there was more than just random chance design. When I was working as a programmer in a computational biochemistry laboratory a fellow programmer mentioned to me (agnostic at the time) how he was concerned about whether the science of genetics conflicts with the existence of God. I turned to him and asked him, if you were all knowing and all powerful would you sit around going green eyes, brown hair, freckles as every being came into existence or would you create a program? He smiled and said thank you. I had no idea why he asked me of all people that question because he was the devout baptist and i was the agnostic from birth raised in an atheist house and I had no idea why I said what I did. Now I look back and I realize that God does works through people even if they don't believe or are truly indifferent. Catholic.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • Jiang Shang

      "Now I look back and I realize that God does works through people even if they don't believe or are truly indifferent."

      So true... As a Roman Catholic, I agree completely.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Nat Q

      I'll see your anecdote and raise you one of my own.

      I was raised Christian and retained that mantle for nearly 30 years. I was already questioning, but it was a study of genetics that led me to conclude that there was little BUT randomness involved and that I couldn't conceive of a god so cruel as to invent a "program" that produced defects like this (http://listverse.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/11-2bl.jpg?w=246&h=350) and this (http://slucksblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/birth-defect1-758214.jpg) and this (http://pregnan-cy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Common-Birth-Defects3.jpg) in innocent beings. if it was a "design" or "program" it was one of the most abominable, heinous, poorly designed and corrupt/corruptible ones I'd ever encountered.
      Now atheist.

      September 8, 2012 at 11:02 am |
      • tifischer

        Then sadly I can conclude that you were not a good study of genetics or religion. Watch Father Barron's Catholicism series and you will find your answer.

        September 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • tifischer

        In addition, my brother is severely handicap and retarded. To know him is to know what a blessing from God he is. It is really cool to see how he brings out the best in people. He teaches love. Not love like most people know but love of another for the sake of the other. He brings out compassion, a selfless love, and even clues to life processes from genetics. I always found it cool how people and even children are uniquely drawn to him like they could sense an infant like spirit similar to when seeing a baby wanting to touch a foot or a chubby check. Where you see hatred I see love...that says much more about you and me than it says about God.

        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. Please checkout Father Barron's series that I mentioned above.

        September 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
      • Nat Q

        I am truly sorry for your brother. To match that anecdote, another:

        I had a friend who had a baby born with a genetic defect that killed it in 18 minutes. The fallout and grief led to years of counseling, anger, and distress. The couple wound up divorcing with this incident as the primary cause–each quietly blaming the other for passing on the defect. The husband fell into a depression that led to debt, gambling, and eventual suicide. The wife got help and moved on with her life, but never married again for fear she'd "accidentally kill another baby."

        There was no heart-warming lesson in it. No magical good that part of a larger plan. Only suffering and pain.

        I won't even deign to comment on your pointless slam at my educational understanding of genetics or faith. Petty.

        September 9, 2012 at 12:20 am |
      • tifischer

        There is no reason for anyone to apologize for my brother (unless for saying something mean), because if you have to apologize for my brother's condition then you missed my point...and God knows I hope that you are not one of those people who think my brother should have been aborted. Because of my brother's condition he was also determined to die within the first few months of life but by God's grace we have been blessed with him for 29 years now. Not always easy years and I am sure that many people in my mother's situation would have tried to rely on counseling to cope. However, my mom took the high road and became a stronger person because of Jeffrey. Again, it goes to show you how different people persevere. Concerning God's plan through life and death I highly recommend the Catholicism series...your question will be answered. Please don't refer to people like my brother as anecdote, it is very insensitive. I am sorry for your friends. In regards to how your friend handled the situation, it is quite obvious that they needed to rely on God not counseling. If they had relied on God then none of those ensuing consequences would have followed. So sorry that you lost your faith too soon to show them that. I wonder too how much pain in my life I could have avoided if someone had only told me about God sooner....however, then I would have missed God's grace's that I later received. I have found that with strong faith in God through a very difficult situation can result in amazing graces...answered prayers like miracles falling from heaven.

        September 9, 2012 at 9:10 am |
      • Nat Q

        "God knows I hope that you are not one of those people who think my brother should have been aborted."
        I am one of those people who think each parent in that position should have the option to choose such things for themselves, though I can't speak to any particular case. I personally find abortion atrocious, but I do think up to a certain point it should be legal.

        "I am sure that many people in my mother's situation would have tried to rely on counseling to cope. However, my mom took the high road and became a stronger person because of Jeffrey."
        Honestly, this is one of the most dismissive, rude, petty, and self-righteous sentences I've read in months.

        "Concerning God's plan through life and death I highly recommend the Catholicism series...your question will be answered."
        I was a Christian for 30 years. And no, the questions were never answered save with anecdote, personal incredulity, supposition, selective perception, and wishful thinking.

        "Please don't refer to people like my brother as anecdote, it is very insensitive."
        Personal stories ARE anecdotes. And it is no more insensitive than implying people who seek counseling for their personal tragedies are taking a low-road.

        "In regards to how your friend handled the situation, it is quite obvious that they needed to rely on God not counseling. If they had relied on God then none of those ensuing consequences would have followed."
        Who said they didn't? They were Christians at the time, too. Liberal, but believers. God didn't help them anymore than counseling did. You shouldn't have assumed they didn't pray for healing and explanation. They did. None came.
        In fact, the woman tried to lean on that Christian community, but got sick of people telling her god took her child as a test of faith or that god was sparing the child a lifetime of suffering (as opposed to, you know, preventing the disease to begin with) or that–and this is true–she should see her baby as the lucky one because he got to go straight to heaven without a long life in this corrupt world (and yes, people did say to her all these things and more).
        They did rely on god and all that still did happen, so your uninformed point is uniformed.

        "I wonder too how much pain in my life I could have avoided if someone had only told me about God sooner"
        I have wondered the same thing about if I had given up faith sooner. I've never been happier, more productive, or more successful since untying the shackles of faith.

        But hey, to each his own, just keep it out of our secular inst.itutions and laws.

        September 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
      • tifischer

        Due to the list of negative adjectives without any real thought provoking rational I am thinking that I offended you and I want o first apologize for that. The comment worth addressing is that of your friend... I said that they did not rely on God because of their actions that you stated...they were not actions of a person who relies on God. You stated a number of actions from your friends that goes directly against the ideas of Jesus Christ so if you think they were Christian then I would at best call them "Christian". "Christians" are probably why you fell away from the faith so easily. "Christians" are probably why I was agnostic for so long.

        As far as your view of abortion, would you like to tell my brother that? That you think his parents should have the right to kill him? People like you bring me to tears. If you have anything else awful to say regarding your bias towards who gets to live and who doesn't please refrain because I will have no part of it...

        September 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Jiang Shang

      I watched several videos of Fr. Robert Barron on the “Word On Fire” web site – thanks for the reference. The videos are very good and informative. I also subscribed to the videos on YouTube.

      September 9, 2012 at 9:22 am |
      • tifischer

        I did not know that Father Barron is on YouTube also. I find him very enlightening so I will have to look for that!

        September 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • atDissenter

      tifischer said:"God does works through people..."

      You don't know that. You can only pretend to know because you do not have privileged information...you do not know what god does, thinks or wants. Anything more than "I believe..." is all you can say. I know it must be very frustrating not to be able to make any real claims about your beliefs. So, stop pretending, it's annoying.

      For me, I just open a science book and my beliefs are affirmed.

      September 24, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • vincastar

        I personally do know that God works through people because I have witnessed his works and in one irrefutable case there was another witness. He works through people all the time sometimes it is irrefutable...like what happened to me. I believe that similar events happen to people all over the world and of course Jesus is living proof of God working as a person.

        September 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "I personally do know that God works through people because I have witnessed his works and in one irrefutable case there was another witness. He works through people all the time sometimes it is irrefutable...like what happened to me. I believe that similar events happen to people all over the world and of course Jesus is living proof of God working as a person."

        You have no irrefutable proof. None. You can't produce one atom of proof.
        You have opinions and interpretations about a god that you've never heard, seen or measured. Your feelings about your god are real but that does not mean they are accurately proving what you want.

        My favorite story to tell is from Michael Shermer who visited a church that had been witness to a "miracle." There was an image of "Mary" on the glass and people travel from miles away to witness the sight.
        Well, Shermer went around the back of the church and found a man washing the windows that had the same image on them as the front. Apparently, the sprinkler system had gotten all the windows and left a residue on them. One miracle was fine but more than one was embarrassing. I wonder why? These people who ran the church were intentionally fooling these believers who simply wanted to have a miracle. They needed the miracle and the church people were too willing to give it to them. It was a scam and the leaders of this church were fully aware of their part in the hoax.

        People want and need patterns and are constantly looking for them. When they find particular patterns that are meaningful, surprisingly, they are surprised.

        Sorry to say this but if you're looking for patterns in life, you WILL find them.

        If I were constantly walking around thinking about and looking for a tuna fish sandwich, I will find one. In the same manner, if you are constantly looking for signs of a god, you will convince yourself that you have found signs of god.

        From experience, as soon as people discover their chance event, they will not try to fully explain it, they simply stuff it in their folder of "miracles" just like those people at the church.

        September 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • vincastar

        There have been many scams in science but that does not mean that all science is not real.

        September 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "There have been many scams in science but that does not mean that all science is not real."

        True, specifically the Piltdown Man was fabricated to fit the evolutionary missing link and, as we know, it was completely unnecessary.

        The difference being scientists don't actually want these scams whereas believers thrive on it. They depend on ignorance because that is where god must reside...in the gaps between what we know.

        Why is magic so important to believers? Are believers fundamentally missing something in their lives that cause them to latch on to these fantastic fantasies?

        Do you ever wonder why amputees don't ask god to grow their legs back? Yet, they ask for a cure for cancer?

        It's because people fundamentally understand that legs don't just grow back. Cancer, on the other hand, is nebulous and complicated and there's just enough room for god to take over... Well, until there's a cure for cancer. Suddenly, in that happy event, people will no longer ask for god's help in a cure... Poof! God fades yet again. Unfortunately, believers will forget they were ever so silly and they'll look for miracles in ever thinner cracks between what we know.

        September 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
      • vincastar

        Your answers are in Father Barron's Catholicism series.

        September 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "There have been many scams in science but that does not mean that all science is not real."

        By the way, this miracle at the church was not seen as a "scam" by the people doing it or by the people who believed it.

        It was simply entertainment and it was a church that was giving it's people what they thought they needed.

        Science, on the other hand, doesn't rely on giving people what they want to hear...The theory of evolution is a great example. Generally, people don't like to think that they come from a line of ape-like creatures. Science gave it to us regardless of what we wanted.

        September 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "Your answers are in Father Barron's Catholicism series.

        Was this a serious recommendation for me? Why would you think I would find Father Barron useful? These days, I suppose it could be worth a good laugh. Most Bible stuff is just more mumbo jumbo for people that need to be super-human. It's not enough to be regular humans.

        Besides, I'm not looking for fake answer answers. All I need to do is open a science book. It's really that simple; try it.

        September 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • vincastar

        atDissenter... Challenge accepted and accomplished. I have read many science books. I am not afraid of science but love it and did not cower from your request. Father Barron's Catholicism series can answer your questions.

        September 26, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "atDissenter... Challenge accepted and accomplished. I have read many science books. I am not afraid of science but love it and did not cower from your request. Father Barron's Catholicism series can answer your questions."

        You're not afraid of science? OK< good. I'll have to trust you on that.

        However, you're not reading what I am writing. I will not find real answers in a lecture series given by someone who thinks magic is real. Those are not answers, those are studies in fiction.

        I like fiction and fantasy. I like Harry Potter like the rest but I know it's he's a fictional character in both a series of books and some movies but no amount of lecturing is going to convince me that it's real. Unfortunately, that's what your Mr Barron is doing and I don't need that. Of course, Harry Potter and the Bible are different, right? At least that's what I have heard, in the past, from believers.

        Sorry to say this, they are the same. They are fiction.

        I've heard and seen so many angles. I had two years (two hours one night per week) of bible study presented by a biblical scholar. It was interesting but it did quite the opposite that you would expect. It really game me more proof that your bible is really full of it... Mr Barron will NOT have what I am looking for. Trust me. He may have what you are looking for, not me.

        Besides, I don't have all that many questions, really. Like I said, the answers to my questions are in Art books, science books, in a walk outside...I don't even necessarily need anyone to tell me anything.

        September 27, 2012 at 9:57 am |
      • vincastar

        You are wrong about Father Barron. Pride allows people to make assumptions about people without even giving them a chance and pride stems from fear. I have never said anything about magic so that was kind of out of the blue. Perhaps your idea of religion and people is more skewed than I thought. I pointed you in the right direction and if you refuse to walk the walk, then I suppose you are just all talk...Is that what you meant by troll?

        September 27, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar said: "You are wrong about Father Barron. Pride allows people to make assumptions about people without even giving them a chance and pride stems from fear. I have never said anything about magic so that was kind of out of the blue. Perhaps your idea of religion and people is more skewed than I thought. I pointed you in the right direction and if you refuse to walk the walk, then I suppose you are just all talk...Is that what you meant by troll?"

        Again, I've done the "Mr Barron" thing. Did you read my post about having a very extensive bible study for two years? I did it as an atheist. That was two hours almost every week for two years. That's hardly empty talk. I've walked the walk.

        Troll? No, when someone copies and pastes text without really responding to a point, that's trollish. No, you are not a troll after all but just so you know, more quotes from your bible is not more evidence...just in case you didn't know. I can quite easily copy and paste Harry Potter quotes if fiction is the standard of evidence.

        Magic? Well, at some point science must not work and god begins, right? Otherwise, it's all science or all god, correct? If something breaks the rules that guide the universe as we know it, that's magic operating. In other words, if someone pretends to kick the bucket on a cross and then comes back to life after being clearly gone, that's sort of breaking the rules of the universe, correct? Well, that's magic.

        Seeing that we've never actually witnessed a world in which people go in and out of death, one can make a prediction that it never happened. Not nobody I know, not nobody that they know, not anyone in the last 40, 100, 500, 2000 years has that happened.

        If it hasn't happened, you know what, saying it has goes clearly against the evidence. This is a huge projection but conclusion one can start to form is that magic does NOT guide our universe. Science goes all the way up and down in scale.

        September 27, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • vincastar

        "...Again, I've done the "Mr Barron thing." That is not a true statement because Father Barron's Catholicism series has not been out that long.

        September 27, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
      • vincastar

        "it's all science or all god, correct"...No that is not correct. God created science also.

        September 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  83. Jiang Shang

    Richard Dawkins – The worthless scholar...

    The following excerpt is from Lao Tzu’s “Tao Teh Ching” chapter 41...

    “When a wise scholar hears the Tao, He practices it diligently.

    When a mediocre scholar hears the Tao, He wavers between belief and unbelief.

    When a worthless scholar hears the Tao, He laughs boisterously at it. But if such a one does not laugh at it, The Tao would not be the Tao!... “

    September 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • NekoMouser

      And the Bible says that there will be people who don't believe in the Bible and because they predicted that unbelievers would exist, their existence is proof of the Bible's validity.

      Isn't it funny how these religious and worldview texts always say that they are the way and only fools won't believe them? How weird that those with a vested interest should build in such sad defenses...

      September 8, 2012 at 9:55 am |
      • Jiang Shang

        You are poorly lacking in your sophistic skill…

        Neither the Bible, Taoism, nor any other Worldview that I know of attempts to claim validity because of the existence of unbelievers. You consider your self-importance way too highly.

        September 8, 2012 at 10:34 am |
      • NekoMouser

        Sorry Jiang, I was a Christian for decades and both 2 Peter 3:3 and 1 Corinthians 1:18 are often presented and taught this way (at least in Church of Christ and Baptist churches).

        Now you may personally disagree with that interpretation, but it is a common one regardless.–that people who question and disbelieve will come forward and only those who understand the message will be saved and the lord will smite those who disbelieve so don't fall for the arguments of the unbelievers, and in fact, their very existence will be evidence of the accuracy of this and verses like this. I've sat in the pews and heard it all presented this way first hand.

        September 8, 2012 at 10:55 am |
      • Jiang Shang

        Sorry NekoMouser, I’m a Roman Catholic and can’t recall ever hearing any Homilies where the Priest went on & on about “unbelievers”.

        Also, I just did a quick search of the Vatican web site and found that Pope John XXIII in 1963 wrote “Catholics who, in order to achieve some external good, collaborate with unbelievers or with those who through error lack the fullness of faith in Christ, may possibly provide the occasion or even the incentive for their conversion to the truth.” in his encyclical “On Establishing Universal Peace In Truth, Justice, Charity, And Liberty”. I take this as Catholics should engage & collaborate with unbelievers in order to achieve some good. After all, as a Catholic, I should be trying to show a good example. However also, being human, I slip-up sometimes (sorry).

        Regarding the Bible passages that you mentioned, here is a link to the Bible on the Vatican’s web site:

        http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM

        September 8, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • Oakspar77777

        "Isn't it funny how these religious and worldview texts always say that they are the way and only fools won't believe them? How weird that those with a vested interest should build in such sad defenses..."

        Isn't it funny how [Dawkins] always say[s] that [atheism is] the way and only fools won't believe [him]? How weird that those with a vested interest should build in such sad defenses...

        Ad-hom arguements come from both sides, since they are easy and require little in the way of justification. The irony is that defeating an ad-hom arguement IS and ad-hom argument (since someone else's lack of rhetoric does not mean that they are wrong).

        If you believe you are right, then you believe those who disagree are wrong. Those who are wrong and adamant in their wrongness ARE fools. It is little wonder than that EVERY worldview sees detractors as fools.

        September 13, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  84. Steve

    I notice that Dawkins seems to have overlooked a thing or two (or three or four...) His analogy of the "meme" evolving as being like the gene, evolving, seriously undercuts his own argument. In the first Q&A he says he coined the term meme to describe how words and phrases change and "evolve" – It seems to have escaped him that words and phrases change as intelligent (more or less, LOL) people use them – in other words, he actually makes the argument for Intelligent Design...

    He also uses a lot of phrases like, "what it's all here for" – seriously? You simply can't answer a question of why we are here, with a chance-based theory! You might theoretically be able to answer the "How" question, ie: How did we "evolve", How did we get to be this tall, this shape, etc... BUT you simply cannot answer a "Why" question with a theory based in chance, randomness, and chaos!!

    September 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • donna

      Steve, When he says meme is LIKE gene, he is not saying that they involve the same physical processes. It's called a metaphor, he uses them to help people understand difficult concepts. He doesn't actually think that memes and genes are the same things.

      Also, intelligent people participate in biological evolutionary processes all the time. Things like deliberate mating choices are NOT what people mean by "intelligent design."

      September 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
      • tifischer

        Steve did not say that it is the same. I think that you missed his point.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
      • donna

        tifischer,

        His claim was that Dawkins was actually supporting intelligent design with his analogy of memes and genes because memes are passed on by intelligent beings. And that's nonsense.

        I stand by my comment. If you are so sure that I missed his point, why weren't you able to explain how?

        September 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • tifischer

        I thought what Steve said was pretty self-explanatory. I am sort of busy right now... I will try to think of a way to rephrase it when I have some time.

        September 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • donna

        It was self-explanatory. Nice dodge.

        September 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • Nat Q

        Donna, you're right. Steve's argument was flawed and ludicrous. The only self-explanatory thing about it was how poorly it applied to the situation.

        September 9, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • ME II

      "BUT you simply cannot answer a "Why" question with a theory based in chance, randomness, and chaos!!"
      Evolution is not random.
      Mutations happen randomly, but natural selection 'selects' the best adapted for better procreation.
      "The purpose of life... is life" – someone famous, I think.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  85. Wordsmith

    Or to put it more succinctly, scientists form their theory based upon the evidence around them and evolve the theory based on new information gained during scientific research. Young Earth Creationists have the answer from the start and morph their arguments based upon the new information gained during scientific research.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • tifischer

      Scientist and religious do the same. If you realize that science is from God then you would easily see that as we (scientists, religious and religious scientists) constantly try to grow in our understanding of God. I imagine that back in the day of Adam and Eve, trying to explain many of the scientific knowledge that we are privileged to today would have been much like you trying to explain to your dog that there are letters written on pages that all come together to form words which we combine into sentences to convey information in a book. Father Barron did a fantastic job at describing such things in his Catholicism series...very enlightening...very beautiful...and it just might save your soul so I would definitely watch it : )

      September 7, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  86. One one

    Request from intelligent design (ID) proponents:

    Scientists gather facts, develop theories about what the facts mean, and publish their findings for all to test, confirm, or refute.

    It seems the intelligent design (ID) folks approach it differently. They basically say, science hasn't got all the answers so ID most be true.

    To be fair, like scientists, ID proponents should present their theories of exactly how ID brought about the universe and life on earth so that everyone can examine the evidence and determine if the observed facts fit the proposed theory.

    We are all waiting to hear the ID response.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Oakspar77777

      ID proponets are still waiting for Evolutionary Theorist to "test" evolution.

      This is not a game where "if they are wrong, I am right."

      Evolution makes claims about life on this planet. Gathering evidence to fit those claims is not science any more than ID Theorist to go find evidence that supports ID and publish it.

      The burden of proof is on Evolution to be tested and proven if it wants to be seen as scientific. Showing ID to be foolish does nothing to establish Evolution.

      Relativity is tested, gravity is tested, motion is tested, light is tested. Those tests are consistant, repeatable, and predictive. Evolution does not hold mustard compared to actual scientific theories.

      So, rather than ask ID for proof (they don't have any to give), realize that you are only covering the fact that you can do no better.

      What scientific test is there out there that proves Evolution exists? Natural selection can be tested, and is accepted openly by both sides of the issue. Evolution, however, has not been held up to rigor.

      September 13, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  87. Wordsmith

    I always find it amazing the way online Christians tend to act. Look at the posts in this thread. Count how many of them attempt to spread the word of God vs. the number that attempt to spread the boast that their e-enemies are going to burn in hell. Quite bizarre. When people ask me why I stopped attending church, my answer is simple. I don't like being around people who are religious.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • One one

      Personally, I find all the hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo talk kind of creepy.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • tifischer

      You are obviously in a church studying the wrong doctrine because the Bible says not to condem others. Remember it is not the people that make religion it is God. Read the Bible and perhaps you will fall in love. It is sad how people have taken religion and twisted it to their liking. If people would have not run away from the church in the first place but stayed to help mend problems then the one body of Christ would still be United. Don't let others ruin religion for you but let it be an awakening to your spirit...to dig deep into God's love and find the path to salvation. Not alone but united in one body of Christ and know the true doctrine of Christ upheld from the early church.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  88. Dawkinists vs. BibleHuggers

    I've browsed a bunch of these silly posts on here... Let me give yall an impartial summary:

    Dawkinists: You're all brainwashed narrowminded uneducated dumb retarded sheeple, blinded by faith, believing in imaginary blond ghey white man with a "virgin mother" (LOL)

    BibleHuggers: You are ALL misguided Morons with no soul, no spirit no compassion who will BURN IN HELL. Show me proof that God doesn't exist. Show me proof of how men/animals were FIRST created. Read the Bible before you discredit God (LukeSKYwalker 16:31)! Mr. Dawkins is a MORON! Mr. Darwin is a MORON!

    My take: Dawkinists 1: BibleHuggers 0

    Dawkinists: Thinkers (keywords: scientific, balanced, open-minded, educated, rational, wise, truthers)
    Bible Huggers: Anti-Intellectuals (keywords: blind-faith, Crusades, Virgin Mary, "Thous Shall Hasth no odda God Before Meh" "Believer or go Directly to Hell")

    Re: teaching Creationism at Schools
    As it is, American HS educational system is a joke compared to India & China, wanna make the kids dumb & dumber & more igNANT? ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Why the BibleHuggers are epicly hating on Dawkins:
    They read nothing but the bible that when an educated man with proper english & without a lisp speaks, they have a hard time understanding what he's saying. Also, they don't have the intelligence to comprehend the facts, theories presented – simply way above their heads.

    P.S. Remember to kiss your bible, love your neighbor & have compassion towards fellow humans. But feel free to maassacre them when they don't worship THE god.

    September 7, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Oakspar77777

      Dawkinists: Thinkers (keywords: scientific, balanced, open-minded, educated, rational, wise, truthers)

      Where does Dawkins evoke science (other than using the word)? Science is hypothesizing, testing, and analyzing results. Journalism is collecting and publishing evidence (yellow journalism when only publishing evidence for one side of an issue). Which does Dawkins use for evolution?

      Balanced? "All serious scientist believe in evolution." Is that balanced (or even true)?

      Open-minded? See "balanced." If you are looking for balance, look to the synchronist (those attempting to hold both evolution and the Bible). They are the "open-minded." That are, of course, the least likely to be correct on the issue, but they are the "balanced" ones.

      Educated? Based on what? Certainly not using words like "truthers." I prize my degrees, but as everyone with higher education can tell you, a PhD does not add a point to your IQ and the minimium IQ necessary to get one is rather average (education deals more with finances, work ethic, and determination than it does with raw intellegence).

      Wise? Dawkins might be wise, since outrage and controversy make him money. Everyone else who isn't getting a piece of that action and is arguing for him is not wise. Anyone who would follow someone whose stated belief is that personal selfishness is the highest good, is choosing to give up self to someone who has admitted that his only goal can be to take advantage of them to the most profitable degree. Not wise. That is even before you get to greater issues of wisdom – Paschall's wager only speaks volumns to wisdom.

      Rational? There is nothing rational about (publically) being an athiest. Unless you gain something material from it (other than smugness), then it has no benefit. So, it is rational for Dawkins, he is making money. Anyone else is gaining nothing (if they are right) and risking loss if they are wrong (Paschall's wager, again). Theism can offer material reward as well, and comes with community and peace (psycological health).

      A rational athiest would either (1) make money from it (maximize profit), (2) stay quiet about it to better co-exist (minimize cost), or (3) join a faith (to cynically maximize profit AND minimize cost living a hypocracy that would only matter if their was a Universal Moral Force).

      Getting huffy and making emotive or rational arguments to people you presuppose to be non-rational is itself a ridiculous exercise in being irrational, particularly since the only an advantage the athiest can have is that feeling of smugness (which is only present as a cover for insecurity) or the ego boost of feeling supior (another sign of egotistical weakness).

      Note that the only rational athiest, since they have nothing to believe in, and thus no motivation for converting others, is the one who is entierly indifferent to the beliefs of others. The attempt to convert others to atheism denotes insecurity in ones beliefs (like the kid at the party who knows it is wrong to drink and smoke weed, so he tries to get everyone else there to do it as well, so that he no longer has to take full responsibility for the actions he knows is wrong). Again, Dawkins has an excuse: he is using it to make money.

      I guess the question I would ask the militant atheist is this: "Do you spend as much time arguing against bigfoot, aliens, the chewpacabra, and 9/11 conspiracies as you do arguing against God? It must be exhausting spending all of your time argueing against things that have no proof that they exist. How do you have time to debunk them all? Isn't that a waste of your short life, which has no meaning and existance beyond the few short years it lasts???"

      Theist don't have to worry about all of that. If God does exist, then what we do makes perfect logical and rational sense. If we are wrong, it won't matter, since we only wasted a life being happy without regrets in a life with no greater meaning (unless we are wrong about which God, but even then, we are no worse off than the Athiest and we can at least use the excuse that we tried).

      I like to think of religion like going to Vegas. We only have one life to spend, and odds are low that any one of us will win. Even if the game is rigged and we all lose, we at least had fun playing the game. The Athiest, however, refuses to play but still hands over all his money (life) to the Dealer.

      You can't win if you don't play, and if you lose either way, forfeiting is the cowards way out.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        What if you're praying to the wrong god? Not so lucky now are you? See, the god that truly must exist, based on all the evidence presented in my holy dream is that god is a vengeful, spiteful, megalomaniac who absolutely despises people who worship other gods... as punishment, he boils away their flesh in a vat of acid... and then he feeds the bones to his faithful angelic dogs who protect paradise from all the unbelievers...

        end sarcasm now...

        what makes your version of god, more real than mine... I've presented just as much evidence for his existence as you have for yours...

        October 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  89. Stephen Tash

    One thing Dawkins misses is genetic drift. Even if there is no genetic advantage, neutral traits – or situationally neutral traits – can appear and propagate simply by chance, so long as there isn't a genetic disadvantage. But, in addition, I would like to answer a question of his:

    "Of course it just ends. What else could it do? "

    He is taking an assumption that the world is a physical construct because it is in front of his eyes. No one would suspect that a quantum world would exist based on that, and quantum mechanics actually hints at a universe that is mental and plastic, not a narrowly defined physical existence. There is evidence, not unshakably sound evidence, but evidence none the less of imprints of people upon the world around us, where they once dwelled. There are many possibilities of what might happen afterward: one could be reincarnated if there is a non-physical existence, one could travel to a non-physical place in a non-physical existence, one could remain as a ghost which might be nothing more than a memory impressed on the outside world, or it might be more.

    You can believe that isn't the case, and you might be right, but never speak in absolutes when you don't actually know. Dogma is bad, not asking is bad, and that is as true if you are taking a purely materialist worldview as if you are accepting the dogma of a specific religious creed. It breeds intolerance and I have seen militant athiests who are just as bad about their atheism as many theists are about their specific theism. Religion is not the root of these problems, it's intolerance and dogma.

    September 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • ME II

      Perhaps a bad assumption on my part, but I would assume that Dawkins is talking about natural selection as the main driver of evolution, not the only driver. I don't think he intended to exclude genetic drift.

      "There is evidence, not unshakably sound evidence, but evidence none the less of imprints of people upon the world around us, where they once dwelled."
      Imprints, really? What evidence exactly?

      September 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
      • Stephen Tash

        Various ghost stories are the most obvious, but there are also the issue of entanglement which hints at the possibility of such a thing as an imprint. Unless one suggests Ghost Hunters is scripted and produced, there has been some strong evidence of things going on in many of those shows. Unfortunately, ghosts are not my strongest subject on the debate, so I don't have a long list – never actually debated them before. I'm much better at expressing the mental nature of the universe than ghosts in particular.

        September 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
      • ME II

        Entanglement has nothing to do with "mental states" as far as we know. There is no evidence to support that notion.

        The same goes for "ghosts". There is no evidence to support the existence of "ghosts". You may think that some unexplained phenomena on some television show is evidence, but it's not. It is evidence that something is unexplained. That's all.
        In science the null hypothesis is the default, i.e. "this data does not support the hypothesis," should be the starting point, unless shown otherwise.

        September 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
      • Stephen Tash

        sigh, I made a long response, but it seems to have been eaten.

        September 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • NekoMouser

        @Stephen Tash:
        " Unless one suggests Ghost Hunters is scripted and produced..."

        Yeah, I'll suggest that it partially is. The rest is nonconfirmable BS, acting, and hype.

        Here's the FACT of the matter. An ex-plumber and his old high school buddy have not found a single shred of empirical evidence for the existence of ghosts. Period. If anyone had honest, *empirical* evidence of ghosts they'd be publishing it in academic papers, winning Nobel prizes for altering the fundamental understanding of the universe, and making millions, not displaying it on heavily-edited late night cable sci-fi channels after prime time wrestling.

        Stories are stories, not fact, and reality TV, well...that's not fact, either. That show is entertainment, not a science docu.mentary.

        And speaking in absolutes is fine when there is absolutely no chance of that thing being true. I can absolutely say that the moon is not made of cheese, that gnomes don't live in my garden, and that there is no celestial teapot orbiting the sun. Everything you can think of is NOT actually a valid possibility and while we SHOULD remain open minded to claims with supporting, empirical evidence, we should also be wary, if not dismissive, of those that have none or that try to take advantage of gaps in actual knowledge to justify their existence.

        September 8, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • donna

      I can tell you after reading many of his books on evolutionary biology, he doesn't *miss* genetic drift.

      Come on, drift is grade school curriculum- do you really think one of the most prominent evolutionary biologists EVER doesn't know as much as you or I do about the basic forces of evolution?

      MEII is correct, he is talking about natural selection. Drift is significant force, but you cannot get complexity without selection.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • NekoMouser

      There is empirical evidence of a physical world and quantum as well (which isn't a separate world, but part and parcel of the physical one). There is no EMPIRICAL evidence of "imprints" or spirit realms.

      There are anecdotes and fifth-hand stories and people who have attributed physical phenomenon to spiritual origin due to lack of understanding or knowledge of what they were really experiencing, but those are not empirical evidences for spiritual imprints.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  90. Cathartist

    IF there is a God, what would he look like? What would make him feel glorified? What would make him believe, at the end of the day, that his creation is good?

    All people here seek to reach an a state of, as the preceding Buddhism enthusiast calls it, knowledge of an "Absolute" nature. Let us set our own ideologies aside for a while. The argument here is against God. The argument here is an argument for complete randomness resulting in a lucky life for each and every one of us to do what we please.

    To my proposed train of thought – IF there is a God. What would he think about the world?
    Would it not be true that a benevolent, all-knowing, all-powerful being would wish to create something with similar attributes to his own? Wouldn't the creation he takes most delight in be a creation that can truly understand his power and magnificence? What bird flies through the air pondering anything besides where to find its next meal? What orangutan asks another the meaning of life? IF there is a God, I would like to objectively say the most likely scenario of a created universe would have one, and only one, species that understands his nature.

    Unfortunately, I do not have time to finish this thought right now. But it seems to me that without chaos, there would be no order. Just because there are holes in what has been proposed as Creationism, does not mean creation did not ever occur. Perhaps the simple answer is creationism needs a strong revamp.

    September 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • ME II

      "F there is a God, I would like to objectively say the most likely scenario of a created universe would have one, and only one, species that understands his nature."

      Ridiculous assumption, in my opinion. Why one and only one? Why any? Why would an eternal being, suddenly think, "Ok, after an eternity prior to this... now I would like some smart ass primates to fear and worship me." Why not smart ants and smart pigs and smart parakeets. The more the merrier.

      If we humans are so important to God why haven't we been around for eternity, just like Him (Her/It)?

      September 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Correction. The the widely scientifically accepted theory of evolution has a few holes to fill. Creationism doesn't even have a fabric in which one can have holes. If the mountain of scientific evidence backing up evolution were put next to the same body of work for creationism, evolution would be Pikes Peak and creationism would be a golf divot.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
      • Slurp

        The evolution theory is like a Gruyère cheese... full of holes... I'd rather take the Gruyère. x-( There are laws against lying. Be honest and don't lie – You just don't know. Therefore you cannot be dogmatic about things you don't have a clue. Besides Life is much above the Statistical and Sintactical level of Information. I understand that some people just can't take it's complexity. But if you believe and preview life in other space enviroments why can't we christians do the same? And if humanity can already broadcast a song over the outer space 700 million miles from Earth to Mars and back, what makes you think some other higher form of life with other type of communication tools cannot do it, like for instance through prayer? Sadder than Theologians pretending to be Scientists is so called Scientists pretending to be Theologians.... x-(

        September 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
      • donna

        What holes are you referring to?

        September 7, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
      • fimeilleur

        @ Slurp,

        Really? that's the argument you want to put forward? How about this... The theory of evolution has been tested, retested, and then tested again. Over the last 150 years, it has yet to fail in the scientific arena... wonder why that is...

        The only counter argument out there is "goddunnit"... vs "descent with modification over time"... biology, palaeontology, geology, immunology, and others (as many as 27 different scientific fields of study) ALL support the theory of Descent with Modification over Time. Only the religitards support creationism, and even those guys can't agree... 6000 years, 10,000 years, creation through the process of evolution... sorry dude, your argument is seriously flawed.

        October 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • tifischer

      Do you love a dog any less because it cannot understand what you can? Do you love a child any less because it can not do what you do? Would you miss the beauty and smell of a flower if it did not exist because it does not know and understand all that God knows and understand? Do you suppose if you were all knowing and all powerful that you would just use that power and knowledge to create another identical you? Or would you create a whole knew world with a vast variety of creative beauty, intellect, love and gifts of all kinds to live harmoniously together and set one above the rest...your children to do your will and give them the freedom of choice. Think of God's creations in terms of true love not self-love and it will make a lot more sense : )

      September 8, 2012 at 12:17 am |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said:"Do you love a dog any less because it cannot understand what you can? Do you love a child any less because it can not do what you do? Would you miss the beauty and smell of a flower if it did not exist because it does not know and understand all that God knows and understand? Do you suppose if you were all knowing and all powerful that you would just use that power and knowledge to create another identical you? Or would you create a whole knew world with a vast variety of creative beauty, intellect, love and gifts of all kinds to live harmoniously together and set one above the rest...your children to do your will and give them the freedom of choice. Think of God's creations in terms of true love not self-love and it will make a lot more sense : )"

        So, in other words, like a dog not understanding us humans, you do not understand your god? How do you know when you do, in fact, understand you god? That's rhetorical, I know you can't know.

        Beyond that, I think you have the scale all wrong. In other words, how well does dirt understand the most intelligent being in the universe.

        Here's a visual for you.

        Picture this dot right here-> . <- If you stand roughly 12 feet away from your computer (depending on the size of your monitor and default font) and look at that dot, that is the size of Earth from the perspective of the Sun. Everything we know has, is and will happen on that little spot. Do you see all our petty little problems, wars, opinions, prophets on that tiny speck? Nope.

        Religion is just pure vanity. "Oh look at us humans, were so fabulous..." Of course, everything we do is vanity in some form; Hollywood is filled with such stories. That said, when people start to believe their own made up hype, that's when it gets to be really vain.

        Granted, I wish I could be a wizard just like Harry Potter; it's fun to pretend but lets not fool ourselves into thinking Harry Potter, a made up fictional character, is real.

        September 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
      • vincastar

        You are referring to a sinner's way not Christ's. If we all lived by Christ's teachings there would be no war or violence. The irony is that you defined what you see yourself as 'dirt'...A non-believer does not see themselves as more than dirt. According to your comments you are dirt and the best thing that you can find in life is a peanut butter sandwich. I just wanted you to know that God loves you and I hope that you understand that one day.

        September 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
      • atDissenter

        vincastar "You are referring to a sinner's way not Christ's. "

        And now you pretend to be the authority on what a "sinner's way" is? On what authority do you speak? On what authority do you get your facts wrong? Might it be possible someone did some translations incorrect? Might it be possible that the actual intent of god was left out of some biblical redaction that didn't fit Emperor Constantin's (a non-christian) view of how god should operate in his empire? Might the original authors of the gospels have gotten it wrong? What bible is the "true" bible? What interpretation is the "true" belief?

        By the way, I still have not heard for anyone where the community of matthew was writing from and when. Nor have I heard why it was so important for them to tie have a prediction of a coming messiah.

        vincastar "If we all lived by Christ's teachings there would be no war or violence. The irony is that you defined what you see yourself as 'dirt'...A non-believer does not see themselves as more than dirt. According to your comments you are dirt and the best thing that you can find in life is a peanut butter sandwich. I just wanted you to know that God loves you and I hope that you understand that one day."

        You have problem with dirt? Isn't "god" everywhere? That's what believers tell us. Perhaps you shouldn't dis god so. Oh, I forgot, god is the way YOU see it.

        That said, are we not what we eat? Where does dirt stop and where do we begin without dirt?

        Did I seriously say the "best thing that you can find in life is a peanut butter sandwich?" Or, was I saying the opposite? By the way, it's call metaphor. I was using the metaphor of the Peanut Butter Sandwich in place of that which we seek.
        And my point was about having something real to search for rather than a fiction. Of course metaphor is lost on believers when in point supports feeling all hyped up on being human. You know, the whole hyped up vanity thing..."Oh look at how great we humans are....we're the chosen ones and god loves us the best.

        September 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
      • vincastar

        So, all you basically said there was that you can twist my words.

        September 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Let me try this again.

        By the way, I still have not heard where matthew was writing from and when. Nor have I heard why it was so important for them to have a prediction of a coming messiah.

        September 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
      • vincastar

        Again, Father Barron's Catholicism series http://www.catholicismseries.com/

        September 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  91. Erasmus

    ................It's interesting how athiest/evolutionist use Webster's to define Right and Wrong...............

    September 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • ME II

      Atheism is not science.
      Science is not atheism.

      September 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • Erasmus

        ME II, was the earth created by God?

        September 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • ME II

        @erasmus,
        As far as I'm aware, the Earth was created by many stars exploding and gravity coalescing their remains back into a solar system and the planets, etc.
        Why do you ask?

        September 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
      • Erasmus

        an evolutionist (yourself)/a person that does not believe in God is called an ____________ according to Webster's.

        September 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • nojinx

        An evolutionist is called a evolutionist. Many are atheists, many are theists. Being an evolutionist says nothing about one's theism, or lack of theism.

        September 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
      • Erasmus

        Evolutionist deny creation! That denies God, hence a pure blooded athiest!

        September 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
      • nojinx

        It only denies some gods, and only if you believe in that god (or gods).

        September 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
      • ME II

        @Erasmus,
        "Evolutionist deny creation! That denies God, hence a pure blooded athiest!"
        The evidence denies special creation of animals and man. In other words, all animals, including humans, evolved. The fact that this contradicts a strict interpretation of Gen 1:1, is irrelevant. If Genesis is metaphor, then there is no issue. If God didn't actually write (or inspire) the Bible, then there is no issue. If god is not God, but Vishnu, Odin, or Zeus, then there is no issues (at least with Genesis, anyway).
        Lack of belief in the Christian God is not atheism. Lack of belief in any god(s) is atheism.

        September 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • shimmernrot

      @Erasmus
      There is no verifiable evidence of a god. "... was the earth created by God?" When you ask this, you resort to a fallacious premise that there is a god which renders your question invalid

      September 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  92. commonsenserules

    So you believe that life came from microbes from space or through lightning striking carbon... Where's your evidence? Were you there when it was happening or did you see a single proof of it take place in a lab? Or has any scientist provided any shred of genuine evidence to support that position? You believe such a farfetched story about the genesis of life and yet you find it hard to believe that a devine or intelligent being could have created this world? Or have you passed your "thinking" over to false scientists who are driven in their experiments and observations by their own warped believes?

    The fact, friend, is that no matter what we do, none of us can ever know with certainty how our universe originated or how life began in it. Besides, we humans were born into the position of ignorance. While it is our duty to shed that ignorance and move from that position to enlightenment, from darkness to light, we should be very wary of false knowledge which has no more blinding power than ignorance. Don't fall for falsehood.

    September 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • ME II

      The Theory of Evolution does not cover the origin of life itself, just the development of that life once it began.
      The origin of life, or abiogenesis, is not yet known. There are many hypotheses which are being investigated, but no conclusive evidence has been found yet.

      September 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • nojinx

      Exactly. Stick with science, as it is the only method we have to avoid false understandings of the universe.

      Without science, the only way we have to determine what is and isn't true is lost to us.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Your family and pastors have broken your brain. You should sue.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  93. Oynaq

    I was say up front that I am a Priest, Fundamentalist and Pagan.

    You ask some good questions and make some interesting comments in your video and I feel sorry for you.

    1. When you ask God "Which God are you". The answer very well might me, I am God and I am the easiest thing in the world to find. Christians, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus, Pagans and yes even you have found me. I am part of the wonder you feel when you look at a flower and think about all that evolution went through to produce it. I exist in black holes that can not exist in your space-time and rips that fabric of space. I exist in realities that you know exist but can not explain where Quantum Entanglement and David Bohm's "Implicate and explicate order" happen. I exist in realities where time as you know it has no meaning. I am God because I am everything, everything you know and the so so much more you don't know.

    As a modern Pagan we try to look at what and how the Pagans in the past dealt with the "God" questions and how they believed what they did. We do not believe WHAT they believed but try to understand what was at the core of their belief. We hold in reverence the great ancient thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Eratosthenes, Hippocrates, Hypatia (my personal favorite). They were all great mathematicians and scientists. They knew the earth was round 1600 years before Columbus. They were also great Philosophers and thought in terms of things like Pythagoreanism. They knew things that we are just now starting to relearn, that in order to understand our physical world you must also try to understand the non-physical world.

    The vast majority of their teachings were destroyed by followers of the "God of Abraham" and started the Dark Ages. The people that proudly announced that "Religion doesn't have anything useful to teach us". It that case they were talking about all the Pagan type of religions (and there were many) in favor of their view of religion. You know exactly what you are telling us. Except now your case is "Religion doesn't have anything useful to teach us" you are talking about the "God of Abraham" should be replaced by your religion.

    The U.S. Oxford Dictionary defines religion as:"the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion – a particular system of faith and worship: the world’s great religions – a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance: consumerism is the new religion"*http://oxforddictionaries.com/...

    Now your religion is a worship of nature and only the physical world we exist in. And that dogma IS a religion.

    As a Pagan I was taught and am teaching that the path to real truth as far as we can conceptualize it can only be found when you look at something from different viewpoints to search for many meanings.

    For those reading this don't worry Pagans and OTHER religions that want people to search for all the possibilities survived the dogma of followers of the "God of Abraham" and we will survive this dogma of "If you dare to believe in something that you can not physically touch, smell, see, taste or hear something, it can not exist". We see it for what it is, "I don't like a certain religions or religion so ALL religion must be bad" That is not following the search for knowledge that is following resentment and fear. You know exactly what you are speaking against. You have every right to decide that you have nothing to learn from all the people that came before you. Religion was a big part of their lives. You stay there while we KNOW that in our searching for all those things that can not be explained we will discover so much that will enhance our lives and existence. And as you preach and denounce ALL thought of "intelligent design", that also includes the notion that reality is so complex that it has formed it's own form of consciousness.

    Well I will shut up now.

    September 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Wordsmith

      Wonderful post. Thank you. Now please ask the e-Christians to bow to your greatness.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      I smell serial killer all over you.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • NekoMouser

      " When you ask God "Which God are you". The answer very well might me, I am God and I am the easiest thing in the world to find. Christians, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus, Pagans and yes even you have found me. I am part of the wonder you feel when you look at a flower and think about all that evolution went through to produce it."

      Except that while things like this sound great on paper, they simply don't make any actual logical sense. Manny of those religions listed specifically contradict one another so to project a single source is silly. And to merely label wonder as evidence of god...that doesn't actually turn it into evidence of any god. It is evidence of one so desperate to believe there is a god that they'll redefine normal aspects of life to justify it.

      That's great that people want to believe, but like every other religion, you seem to think you have it all figured out and if only people listened to your view we'd all be enlightened. I doubt that is the case any more than it is for everyone else making the same claims.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  94. Common Sense

    Can anyone tell me if they believe science is omniscient. Can all knolwedge be accessed by the scientific method?

    September 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • donna

      Science is the systematic study of reality. It can't be omniscient because it is not a being- and only a being can know something.

      Anything detectable can theoretically be observed via the scientific method. But that doesn't mean that in practice, we have the knowledge and technology to measure anything detectable.

      September 7, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
      • Common Sense

        Ok, I'll accept that answer. I'll ask a second question Can science PROVE anything?

        September 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
      • donna

        It depends on what you mean. Facts are provable, by definition. So if you believe that facts exist, then you believe that things can be proven.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
      • Earthling

        Actually, science can't "prove" anything. Proof is the remit of formal mathematical systems, not science. Science can only garner evidence to support or refute a claim. Even the statement that the earth revolves around the sun is not proved. Its only highly probable (so probable it would ludicrous to deny it without any evidence).

        September 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Earthling,

        When believers start providing real evidence, they can claim they know something as fact. The only thing they seem to be able to provide is opinion polls and scripture (contradictory oral mythology); neither is proof. In other words: "because the bible told me so" is the type of "proof" we are regularly offered as "proof.'

        This is the context of the discussion. The mountains of evidence that science presents as proof does matter when talking about whether something is knowable.

        Jumping to "knowing" without even a shadow of proof is shameful pandering to the masses that are highly motivated to believe that they are somehow "chosen" or special and above the laws of physics.

        September 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • ME II

      "Can all knolwedge be accessed by the scientific method?"
      Technically, no, not at the same time anyway. (see Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.)

      Is all knowledge accessible by the scientific method? Possibly, but we don't know yet. Some things like black holes are inherently unobservable by direct means, but inference can determine a lot.

      Can science "prove" things? No. Science and the scientific method are tools to explore reality and in some sense are inferential or inductive. They can be used to build hypotheses and Theories that fit with the known empirical evidence, but are always subject to new evidence. "Proofs" only apply in deductive systems like Logic and Mathematics.

      September 7, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
      • donna

        I disagree about the proof issue. The scientific method can prove that something happenS; what it can't prove is that it will happen again or that it has happened in the past.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
      • ME II

        @donna,
        This may be a semantics issues. While I agree that the scientific method can provide evidence that certain events did or did not occur, I don't think that is the same as what is meant by a "proof" at least not in the formal sense. In the sense of, "I can prove it was the professor in the library with a wrench, " yes. But not in the sense of the mathematical proof of Pythagorean Theorem, or in the sense that "a proof must demonstrate that a statement is always true (occasionally by listing all possible cases and showing that it holds in each), rather than enumerate many confirmatory cases." (Wiki)

        "... in science there is no 'knowledge', in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth. ... This view means, furthermore, that we have no proofs in science (excepting, of course, pure mathematics and logic). In the empirical sciences, which alone can furnish us with information about the world we live in, proofs do not occur, if we mean by 'proof' an argument which establishes once and for ever the truth of a theory."

        Sir Karl Popper, The Problem of Induction, 1953 ( as quoted by http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/sciproof.html)

        September 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • donna

        I'm familiar with Popper, and it's definitely a semantics issue and a contextual one. However, I don't think semantics issues are trivial. When people ask if science can prove anything, it's important to understand what THEY mean by proof. My experience is that when non-academics ask about proof, they are asking about facts, and whether or not we can know that anything happens for sure. I don't think they are usually talking about mathematical theorems. Which is why I say that the scientific method can prove what happens in the present tense but not in the past or future, because this type of "proof" requires direct observation.

        September 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
      • ME II

        I would take a different approach in that I would emphasize the evidence that supports a theory and at the same time try to explain that science does not deal in absolutes, which is what "proof" means in many cases, i.e. all science is tentative.
        If clarification is not made, I find that the discussion often moves to, "well you can't prove God doesn't exist" type of either or thinking, instead of, "this is what the evidence shows us. If there is new evidence, then it will be re-evaluated."

        Additionally, proof implies something is always true, which gets complicated when trying to distinguish between things like Newton versus Einstein. It's much simpler, and I think more accurate, to explain that Newton was our best understanding until Einstein improved upon it.

        However, I won't say "proof" is absolutely the wrong word to use. ; )

        September 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
      • Earthling

        Nice discussion ME II and Donna. When laymen speak of proof, they often mean something like that used in criminal law, proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet, they often assert its veracity is something more like that of a formal mathematical proof. These seemingly incongruous ideas are compatible so long as new evidence can't be considered. But therein lies the problem. New evidence is always available and the reason why scientific truths are only tentative truths.

        September 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • ME II

        well put, Earthling. It's the equivocation that causes problems, true.

        September 7, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • nojinx

        A good discussion, and a good example of why the notion of the Scientific Method can be problematic for some. We have to be cautious about the facts we use to support our theories and the theories themselves, as they are different things.

        September 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • donna

        It is a lot more fun to talk to people when you don't have to make a case for being rational first!

        September 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  95. Observant Historian

    I don't mean to be insulting to creationists....but when it comes to evolutionary science (or most science, it would seem), they simply don't know what they are talking about. The arguments they present come directly from creationist texts and have been either been proved wrong – yes, PROVED – time and time again, or are factual distortions and out-right falsehoods. They need to understand that they are being lied to by the people who write these books. Evolution is a scientific fact. The "theory" of evolution is not an attempt to prove that reality, anymore than the Theory of Gravity attempts to prove that gravity is a reality. In science, a theory is the explanation of how observed phenomena works – not random guesswork. Scientists are not "theorizing" that evolution is real – evolution is a well-observed and well-proved fact. The theory explains the mechanism of evolution. The Darwinian explanation of how evolution works has been re-confirmed and expanded over and over again by many fields of science. One thing that makes it so difficult for creationists, I think, is that they start with the conclusion and seek evidence to bolster that position. They assume that's what everyone else does, too, but that's also not true. In science, theories and findings are constantly challenged, retested, and updated or discarded as new evidence reveals new knowledge and understanding. Certainly, human failings being what they are, people can get stuck on their positions and refuse to budge in the face of evidence, or they can get their conclusions wildly wrong, but those mistakes cannot stand, as they are rebutted by new evidence. With creationism, the conclusion is not open to challenge and correction, and all the evidence must be interpretted to fit the conclusion. That is a fundamental difference that creationists don't seem to understand. It's hard for people to recognize or admit they are wrong – especially so wrong that you have to acknowledge that your whole world view is based on a considerable amount of dishonesty on the part of those who are supposed to be teaching you truth – but any creationist can prove for themselves the reality of what I'm saying, if they are willing to look honestly at the available information. That can't be done by reading primarily creationist writing, and even if you end up back there, you really should inform yourself.

    September 7, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • ME II

      Hear! Hear!
      Well said.

      September 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • Weheardyou

        The evolution theory is like a Gruyère cheese... full of holes... I'd rather take the Gruyère. x-( There are laws against lying. Be honest and don't lie – You just don't know. Therefore you cannot be dogmatic about things you don't have a clue. Besides Life is much above the Statistical and Sintactical level of Information. I understand that some people just can't take it's complexity. But if you believe and preview life in other space enviroments why can't christians do the same? And if humanity can broadcast a song over the outer space 700 million miles from Earth to Mars and back, what makes you think some other higher form of life with other type of communication tools cannot do it, like for instance through prayer? Sadder than Theologians pretending to be Scientists is so called Scientists pretending to be Theologians.... x-(

        September 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Nice post, but I doubt you'll make much progress.

      You don't need to look any further than the Answersingenesis website. Right on their statement of faith page they state, " By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. "

      See, they go into the "debate" already deciding that any evidence that disagrees with a literal 6 day creation 6-10 thousand years ago, is wrong. That may be a great way to practice religion. But it won't cut it in science.

      September 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  96. LesT

    Do not be mad at any one who denies evolution, they can not help it. The believers believe not only because they are brainwashed since they are born, but also because its in their genes. This genetic craving for afterlife, a second life, their specialness and such is so strong that they are willing to accept any story to satisfy that urge. At some level they must know its all fake. But by then religion to the faithful s like a crooked game to a gambler who knows its crooked but plays it because its the only game in town.

    September 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Common Sense

      I wasn't raised in a christian home.......

      Gross generalizations about christians wont get you anywhere....

      September 7, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
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