September 6th, 2012
09:52 AM ET

Dawkins: Evolution is 'not a controversial issue'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I understand how difficult it is to believe in God but also how easy it is to live one's life without God. But I have changed and my life and it is now better. I would like to share this scripture with anyone willing to read it and open their heart and mind:

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

    September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Reader

      “Accept His Noodly Magnificence into your heart, into your soul, and ye shall forever be free. R'Amen.”
      ~ Ragu on Pastafarianism

      September 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "I have changed and my life and it is now better. I would like to share this scripture with anyone willing to read it and open their heart and mind:"

      And I would like to share a piece of info with you, johnny. The book you are referencing is nothing more than the words of mere mortals over a long period of time, then edited by more men to fit their agenda of money, power and to convert pagans to christianity. Research your religion with an open mind please.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Judas Priest

      "Bury your head in the sand, and let someone who claims to have a direct line to the almighty do all your thinking for you."

      September 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • JFCanton

      Proverbs is Jewish and has nothing whatsoever to do with converting anyone to Christianity. Perhaps try again?
      There is a limit to what religion is useful for, but the fact that we have been using the texts of the major religions for 2000 years in itself proves some kind of relevance.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  2. LCN

    What's sad is that Dawkin's fans will take the incompetence of his religious critics as confirmation of the truth of his teachings. But the stuff he says in this interview is astonishingly bogus mish-mash of historicism and materialism. It's pure myth-making, just as much as any religious he would criticize for the same.

    Philosophy and morality and mathematics come "out of the brain"? What can that possibly mean? And whatever it means does not religion come equally "out of the brain"? And yet one class is true and the other is false? If math comes "out of the brain", does physics come "out of the brain"? What about the universe that physics describes?

    Furthermore by what standard does he adjudge that morality is getting "better" over time? Does this standard too come out of the brain? Since different people obviously disagree about this standard, by what further standard do we judge whose brain is the best source to consult in these matters?

    I would say that Dawkins writes as if the Germans never discovered phenomenology, but that's being too generous because even when philosophers (and scientists who were acquainted with philosophy) accepted the in the mind versus in the world distinction they still understood that one could not make such a distinction and then in the same breath claim scientific knowledge of morality, the good, progress and the like.

    This man is an egregious example of a scientist applying the concepts of his domain far beyond their proper scope. It has nothing to do with how one is disposed toward religion, this is just dismally bad thinking, and what's worse public intellectuals from decades ago knew better than to make the arguments he's making. He's a living refutation of the idea of intellectual progress.

    Dawkins – in the off chance you read this you should read some Husserl. You badly misunderstand the origins and limits of modern science. And no it has nothing do with any kind of pomo relativist critique.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • lawrencewinkler

      It comes out of the brain, like everything we think, but most of these ideas have fallen away because they don't work! Scientific ideas work. They are constantly verified everyday of our lives by cell phones, tv, radio, vaccines, cars, concrete mixers, medicines, airplanes, car tires, satellites, the Curiosity Rover on Mars. Ideas that don't work are thrown away and die - except for the nonsense of religion. That brain-dead myth keeps popping up for no other reason than lack of intelligence and basic laziness of those for whom basic observation and truth is too hard for them to grasp.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lee

      "What can that possibly mean? And whatever it means does not religion come equally "out of the brain"? And yet one class is true and the other is false?" Yes, religion also comes out of the brain. It's merely ideas expressed to explain, what was at the time unexplainable. They got a locust infestation and how else to explain it but though the disapproval of god? I think the difference you'll find, if you actualy think, is that mathematics and physics are scientifically proveable. Can you say that about religion?

      September 7, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  3. norm

    Religion is a path for those who want to know the truth, but are too lazy to search for it and/or too stupid to understand it.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Religion is a path for those to lazy to use their own rationale, logic, and studies to find the truth. Faith is the act of giving up on searching for the truth and accepting someone else's philosophy despite any flaws.

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

      While I agree with you, I would never state it like that. You have insulted the majority of humanity. Humility and kindness are two qualities that are taught by most religions as well as humanism.
      Human belief systems are the result of cultural evolution. To greatly over-simplify this, these cultural traits are the ones that allow the cultures possessing them to survive and pass them on.
      The vast majority of people react with fear to having their beliefs challenged (a good survival trait). Fear leads to hatred, hatred to aggression, aggression to violence. Be kind with your words or I may not rise in your defense when the religious rise against us.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  4. ha18415

    Why did GOD take such a pain to hide himself from us? What a stupid question? look around you, look around the universe, it is everywhere. It does not mean that something does not exist just because you do not see or feel. There many things we do not see, but we know it exists. very simple explanation: we know that there million galaxies (actually we have taken photos of them) in the universe, and each one has billion stars in it and each star has great distance to one another. We all know that these are the facts and there is no doubt about it. Here the question: how come is it possible for such a galaxy to look amazing like paint of Picasso, except that it is a combination of billion stars? Does he have an explanation for that? Or he just thinks that it is just a coincidence. THE GOD EXISTS THAT IS AS CERTAIN AS HE EXISTS.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      so, taking that you describe GOD by his christian name, do you really believe that a god created this entire expanse of universe with untold billions of galaxies, many of them likely similar to our own with uncountable numbers of planets and probable lifeforms, just to focus all His attention on one tiny tribe of primates in the middle east?

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

        God has created other life forms , YES and are they created for us? NO
        Are we created for a purse, YES
        Qhat is it? Quran explains it.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • W.R.Martin

      As the puddle said to the pothole: MY, HOW WONDERFUL THAT I FIT IN THIS HOLE SO PERFECTLY. THEREFORE: god.
      Is that really your 'logic' and your typing technique – random caps and all?
      Or, perhaps, your 'logic' consists of one huge argument from ignorance? What you do not know fills libraries.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Jay Wilson

      It says in your guidebook, The Bible, that mankind was created in God's image. That means God has form similar to ours, not an etherial existence in nature. So again, how come he has chosen to not reveal himself. Love, devotion, and respect should be earned, not given just because an unseen "force" says we should worship him.

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

        wrong....god was created in man's image, if horses had hands their gods would look like horses. and the christian god's love and devotion are given freely thru his grace (not earned)...sheesh, try reading the NEW testament.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • griz5106

      Is it really any wonder that believers are often perceived as uneducated half-wits?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  5. newtbek

    "if" the formula for carbon dating is off 2 decmal points, or even proved to be scientifically incorrect, who's clock would be correct. I haven't noticed any fish walking out of the surf lately and with all the global warming taking place, does man create conversation for his own enterainment or is it for his profit? Take away a man's notority for what is or isn't popular and whats left? Does one mans opinion trump all others?

    September 6, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  6. Adam


    September 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Is this just an illogical jumble of words with no meaning or relevance, or did you intend to post this as a reply to something someone else posted? Either way, please don't yell (use all caps). It's rude.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
      • Michael George Erdmann

        is this just some 'Slot Machine Language' SML 🙂

        September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  7. Atheus

    Thank you, Richard, for being a light in the darkness. For offering truth where has been only lies and misdirection. For offering reason in place of superst.ition.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  8. JustPlainJoe

    It is hard to offer reason to the unreasonable. Religion as a metaphor has its place in the discussion between people. However, it is this rigid fascist view of religion that just closes the conversation. Dawkins opens conversations and not closes them. Responses like calling his the "antichrist" are a good example of the fundamentalist response to any reasonable discussion. Write on, Richard!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  9. Brian Sarntee

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

    September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

      Yep, "scientists" love to get media attention and money. It would be amazing to see an actual altruistic one share "beneficial" information simply for the good of fellow humans.

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

      "Jehovah's Witnesses share scientific knowledge about the origin of life" Really?!? Did you really just say that? Scientific Knowledge?!? Dude, you need to go read the definitions here. The crap the Jehovas are spewing is as scientific as reading entrails.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

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

        "The Origin of Life – Five Questions Worth Asking"

        "Was Life Created?"

        September 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

        Howie, your response doesn't sound intelligent. Let me quote you: "Really?!? Did you really just say that? Scientific Knowledge?!? Dude, you need to go read the definitions here." If you want to seriously debate my logical statements, then provide an intelligent counter-point. And by the way, back up your statement "you need to go read the definitions here". The burden of proof is on you. You provide the definition, and then explain how I contradict it, if I'm correctly assuming that's what you mean. Have you ever debated before? You may need some help...

        September 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Howie, just wondering what you thought of those links I sent you...

        September 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Howie, here's is part of the BIBLIOGRAPHY of the first journal I sent you the link to, the first 13 of 51 scientific sources cited: 1. How Did Life Begin?
        1. How Life Began—Evolution’s Three
        Geneses, by Alexandre Meinesz, translated
        by Daniel Simberloff, 2008, pp. 30-
        33, 45.
        a. Life Itself—Its Origin and Nature, by
        Francis Crick, 1981, pp. 15-16, 141-153.
        2. Scientific American, “A Simpler Origin
        for Life,” by Robert Shapiro, June 2007,
        p. 48.
        a. The New York Times, “A Leading Mystery
        of Life’s Origins Is Seemingly
        Solved,” by Nicholas Wade, May 14,
        2009, p. A23.
        3. Scientific American, June 2007, p. 48.
        4. Scientific American, June 2007, pp. 47,
        5. Information Theory, Evolution, and the
        Origin of Life, by Hubert P. Yockey,
        2005, p. 182.
        6. NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine,
        “Life’s Working Definition—Does
        It Work?” (
        accessed 3/17/2009.
        2. Is Any Form of Life Really
        7. Princeton Weekly Bulletin, “Nuts, Bolts
        of Who We Are,” by Steven Schultz,
        May 1, 2000, (
        pr/pwb/00/0501/p/brain.shtml), accessed
        a. “The Nobel Prize in Physiology or
        Medicine 2002,” Press Release, October
        7, 2002, (
        press.html), accessed 3/27/2009.
        8. “The Nobel Prize in Physiology or
        Medicine 2002,” October 7, 2002.
        9. Encyclopædia Britannica, CD 2003,
        “Cell,” “The Mitochondrion and the
        Chloroplast,” subhead, “The Endosymbiont
        10. How Life Began—Evolution’s Three
        Geneses, p. 32.
        11. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Second
        Edition, by Bruce Alberts et al, 1989,
        p. 405.
        12. Molecular Human Reproduction,
        “The Role of Proteomics in Defining
        the Human Embryonic Secretome,”
        by M. G. Katz-Jaffe, S. McReynolds,
        D. K.Gardner, and W. B. Schoolcraft,
        2009, p. 271.
        13. Between Necessity and Probability:
        Searching for the Definition and Origin
        of Life, by Radu Popa, 2004, p. 129.
        14. Between Necessity and Probability:
        Searching for the Definition and Origin
        of Life, pp. 126-127.
        (Box) How Fast

        September 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Here's the next 14 scientific sources cited in the bibliography: (Box) How Fast Can a Cell
        15. Origin of Mitochondria and Hydrogenosomes,
        by William F. Martin and
        Miklo´ s Mu¨ ller, 2007, p. 21.
        16. Brain Matters—Translating Research
        Into Classroom Practice, by Pat Wolfe,
        2001, p. 16.
        3. Where Did the Instructions
        Come From?
        17. Research News Berkeley Lab, (http:
        LSD-molecular-DNA.html), article:
        “Molecular DNA Switch Found to Be
        the Same for All Life,” contact: Lynn
        Yarris, p. 1 of 4; accessed 2/10/2009.
        18. Life Script, by Nicholas Wade, 2001,
        p. 79.
        19. Bioinformatics Methods in Clinical
        Research, edited by Rune Matthiesen,
        2010, p. 49.
        20. Scientific American, “Computing
        With DNA,” by Leonard M. Adleman,
        August 1998, p. 61.
        21. Nano Letters, “Enumeration of DNA
        Molecules Bound to a Nanomechanical
        Oscillator,” by B. Ilic, Y. Yang, K. Aubin,
        R. Reichenbach, S. Krylov, and
        H. G. Craighead, Vol. 5, No. 5, 2005,
        pp. 925, 929.
        22. Genome—The Autobiography of a
        Species in 23 Chapters, by Matt Ridley,
        1999, pp. 7-8.
        23. Essential Cell Biology, Second Edition,
        by Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray,
        Karen Hopkin, Alexander Johnson,
        Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts,
        and Peter Walter, 2004, p. 201.
        24. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Fourth
        Edition, by Bruce Alberts et al, 2002,
        p. 258.
        25. No Ordinary Genius—The Illustrated
        Richard Feynman, edited by Christopher
        Sykes, 1994, photo with no page number
        supplied; note caption.
        a. New Scientist, “Second Genesis
        —Life, but Not As We Know It,” by
        Bob Holmes, March 11, 2009, (http://
        mg20126990.100) accessed 3/11/2009.
        26. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence—
        A Philosophical Inquiry, by David
        Lamb, 2001, p. 83.
        27. Associated Press Newswires, “Famous
        Atheist Now Believes in God,” by
        Richard N. Ostling, December 9, 2004.
        (Box) A Molecule That Can Be
        Read and Copied
        28. Intelligent Life in the Universe, Second
        Edition, by Peter Ulmschneider, 2006,
        p. 125.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Here's the next list of scientific sources cited: 4. Has All Life Descended From
        a Common Ancestor?
        29. Biology and Philosophy, “The Concept
        of Monophyly: A Speculative Essay,”
        by Malcolm S. Gordon, 1999,
        p. 335.
        30. New Scientist, “Uprooting Darwin’s
        Tree,” by Graham Lawton, January 24,
        2009, p. 34.
        31. New Scientist, January 24, 2009,
        pp. 37, 39.
        32. Field Museum of Natural History
        Bulletin, “Conflicts Between Darwin
        and Paleontology,” by David M. Raup,
        January 1979, p. 23.
        33. Archaeology, “The Origin of
        Form Was Abrupt Not Gradual,”
        by Suzan Mazur, October 11, 2008,
        accessed 2/23/2009.
        34. In Search of Deep Time—Beyond the
        Fossil Record to a New History of Life,
        by Henry Gee, 1999, p. 23.
        35. Biology and Philosophy, p. 340.
        36. National Geographic, “Fossil Evidence,”
        November 2004, p. 25.
        37. The Evolutionists—The Struggle for
        Darwin’s Soul, by Richard Morris, 2001,
        pp. 104-105.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Howie, here's the final part of the list of scientific sources cited in that first journal I sent you the link to: 42. Acta Biologica Szegediensis, Volume
        46(1-2), “New Findings—New Problems
        in Classification of Hominids,”
        by Gyula Gyenis, 2002, pp. 57, 59.
        43. New Scientist, “A Fine Fossil—But a
        Missing Link She’s Not,” by Chris Bead,
        May 30, 2009, p. 18.
        44. The Guardian, London, “Fossil
        Ida: Extraordinary Find Is ‘Missing Link’
        in Human Evolution,” by James Randerson,
        May 19, 2009, (http://
        accessed 8/25/2009.
        45. New Scientist, May 30, 2009,
        pp. 18-19.
        46. Critique of Anthropology, Volume
        29(2), p. 202.
        47. Science and Justice, Vol. 43, No. 4,
        (2003) section, Forensic Anthropology,
        “Anthropological Facial ‘Reconstruction’—
        Recognizing the Fallacies, ‘Unembracing’
        the Errors, and Realizing Method
        Limits,” by C. N. Stephan, p. 195.
        48. The Human Fossil Record—Volume
        Three, by Ralph L. Holloway, Douglas C.
        Broadfield, and Michael S. Yuan, 2004,
        Preface xvi.
        49. Scientific American Mind, “Intelligence
        Evolved,” by Ursula Dicke and
        Gerhard Roth, August/September 2008,
        p. 72.
        50. American Journal of Physical Anthropology,
        “How Neandertals Inform Human
        Variation,” by Milford H. Wolpoff,
        2009, p. 91.
        51. Conceptual Issues in Human Modern
        Origins Research, Editors G. A. Clark
        and C. M. Willermet, 1997, pp. 5, 60.
        a. Wonderful Life—The Burgess Shale and
        the Nature of History, by Stephen Jay
        Gould, 1989, p. 28

        September 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        Having trouble posting sources 38 through 41, I'll try the one at a time: 38. The Human Lineage, by Matt Cartmill
        and Fred H. Smith, 2009, Preface,
        p. xi.

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

      You need an account.

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

      I try to be kind to everyone, especially someone dressed in a suit on a 90 degree day who climbed the hill to my house, but I find it difficult to do so at 8:30 on a Saturday morning when I just want to sleep in for once. Why is it they always visit on Saturday mornings?
      BTW, I have never had a conversation with Jehovah's Witness that was unpleasant from my end (who knows what they were thinking about my unshaven, pre-coffee visage). When I tell them that I don't share their belief in god, they are fine with that. When I refuse to take their magazine because it's a waste of their money and the energy and material it took to print it, they seem to appreciate the honesty. I wish the same approach would be taken by the fundamentalists who seem to think it ok to legislate their beliefs over those of us who don't share them.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
      • Brian Sarntee

        I appreciate your comments CosmicC! And your honesty too. Saturday mornings just happen to be a time that most people have off work! Other Jehovah's Witnesses have likely come by your house other times when you're away at work. Most Jehovah's Witnesses themselves likewise have Saturdays off work (at least in the United States anyway). We obviously have to go to secular jobs like everybody else, how else can you support a volunteer teaching work on the side? But I hear ya man, it would kind of annoy me too! I try to knock rather than ring the doorbell, or skip a house with lights still on outside, etc. It's up to each individual how to handle it. But we're out at all different times, weekdays, weekends, mornings, afternoons, evenings, you name it.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  10. THX1953

    EVERYTHING is a Maybe.

    You may find that out after you are toast.

    Or Maybe Not

    September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  11. Logic

    When I have children, I will describe God as the grown-up version of Santa Claus.

    If you are good, you will be rewarded with presents (heaven). If you are bad, you will be punished with coal (hell). And no one can deny the existence of either one. You say Santa Claus doesn't exist because I can't prove that he does, just like God.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Adam

      The only difference is the concession that Santa Claus does not exist. It's proveable the he does not exist because he in fact does not place presents under your tree and does not have a workshop at the North Pole.

      ... but I wholeheartedly agree with where you are coming from on this.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
      • memyself

        Ah, but Santa Claus *does* exist. His icy-realm at the North Pole is ethereal, or perhaps in another dimensions, or possibly invisible. And he works through people. So even though it seems like some of the presents under the tree came from mom and dad, they bought the presents because of Santa Claus. He filled them with the sprit of giving.


        September 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Janet

      You hit the nail on the head. One of the primary uses for religion is to keep people in line.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  12. DawkinsDinkus

    Dawkins has no room for faith in his own personal reality. That does not translate or scale to the human experience.

    In all the years of counseling, no person has ever testified to finding hope in their darkest, loneliest moments in a physics book in the drawer of their hotel room. Dawkins can spew his ideology all he wants' the Gideons have spared more lives than he ever will.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • John McDonough

      Faith is not what gets people through hard times or difficult situations. Hope does not get you to finish line in a marathon. Perseverance is the key. Some people find it easier to persevere with faith or with hope. For many of us simply putting one foot in front of the other and keeping a smile on our face is just as powerful.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • robert

      Dawkins makes no claim to. The fact that people have found solice in delusion does not change the fact that there is no evidence for god. It doesn't matter if facts make us happy or unhappy. A fact is a fact.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        Many people believe in God because they have found evidence for God. So when you say "there is no evidence for God," you are really saying "there is no evidence for God than convinces me," and are stating your belief, not a fact.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Howie

      Completely untrue. Physics gives me hope every day. The certain knowledge that our universe operates on understandable rules, and that events are predictable based on these rules is a whole lot more comforting than "the lord works in mysterious ways".

      September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • memyself

      Just to directly contradict your claim: in my darkest hour I found hope in "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" by Julian Jaynes. I have often turned to T.Z. Young's Program's of the Mind for inspiration.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Darkest despair? Nobody has been saved by science? Prove it.
      There's not a day that goes by that I'm not saved by doing art, drinking a good beer, reading a good book (science books included). I hear Randy Travis was saved by a Gideon bible. Why do these "saved people" keep getting "unsaved?'

      September 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  13. AlexK

    Quote: "why it's there, why there's such diversity of it, why it looks designed. "

    🙂 Maybe because it was designed!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  14. Karl from Scottsdale

    Answer these simple questions in the affirmative & you have a convert to 'evolution': (1) Has the chance occurrence of life been demonstrated in the laboratory? Yes or no. (2) Do we really know, as distinct from guess, hope, or imagine, of what the primeval seas consisted? Yes or no. (3) Do we know, as distinct from guess, pray, wave our arms, and hold our breath and turn blue, what seas would be needed for the chance formation of life? Yes or no. (4) Can we show mathematically, without crafted and unsupportable assumptions, that the formation of life would be probable in any soup whatever? Yes or no.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • stoodrv

      science doesn't use "guess" "hope" and "pray". You must be talking about religion.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • really?

      These questions should be directed to the field of Abiogenesis, not evolution. Next.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • memyself

      Answer these simple questions in the affirmative & you have a convert to 'religion': (1) Has the existence of any god imagined by mankind been demonstrated in the laboratory? Yes or no. (2) Do we really know, as distinct from guess, hope, or imagine, of what any god or gods is comprised? Yes or no. (3) Do we know, as distinct from guess, pray, wave our arms, and hold our breath and turn blue, what conditions would be needed for the genesis of a god? Yes or no. (4) Can we show mathematically, without crafted and unsupportable assumptions, that the existence of any god would be probable in any form whatever? Yes or no.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  15. Sly

    Intellectuals are proof that you can be a genius and have absolutely no idea what is going on. This guy is fine on science, but becomes very unscientific when the conversation turns to where morality comes from. One weak little blurb about how morality has "avoilve"in a Darwinian fashion, as if it's in each individual's best biological interest to be kind to and sacrifice for others? That's a joke. Also a joke is how he writes off all religious sources of morality by citing the Old Testament, as if everything people did in the Old Testament was considered instructional for Jews, and as if Christian morality has anything to do with the Old Testament.

    Basically,this guy knows nothin about religion, but he knows that theonly way he will sell books is by interjecting it into an unrelated conversation and condemning it.

    Here's hoping he has adeathbed conversion just like Christopher Hitchens did.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Howie

      Morality has a clear evolutionary advantage. Without it we never could have formed functioning societies that work together for common survival. Hitchens did NOT have a 'deathbed conversion'. Never happened.

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

      Hitchens had no conversion and said he wouldn't have one. The interview is on youtube. Look it up.

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

      Hitchens camer back from the dead to say he didn't have a deathbed conversion? Actually, the interview I read with him, he said he would never say never but didn't expect to have one, but he had a lot of people praying for him, including a very faithful brother trying to save him, and I think it worked. If you read Hitchens and Dawkins, it's obvious that Hitchens was much less comittedto atheism than Dawkins and they argue with each other about it. Hitchens was just very emotionally broken by the tragedy that was his family,including his mother's infidelity and suicide. Atheism was his emotional response, not an intellectual response.

      And there is no biological or evolutionary advantage to true morality. There is perhaps sociological advantage to having an EVER CHANGING "morality" which isn't morality at all, but Dawkins fails to distinguish between the relatively stable nature of religious morality versus the day to day contracts that people sign up for and call "morality". History has proven that those who are most moral and who adhere most strongly to an unchanging morality are amon the world's most persecuted and at-risk inhabitants.

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

        "And there is no biological or evolutionary advantage to true morality."

        I see. "True" morality, meaning the morality you ascribe to.

        There is perhaps sociological advantage to having an EVER CHANGING "morality" which isn't morality at all, but Dawkins fails to distinguish between the relatively stable nature of religious morality versus the day to day contracts that people sign up for and call "morality".

        "Relatively stable nature of religious morality" ? Really? Have you studied theology at all? How about history? Is is moral to keep slaves? Sure. Maybe. No. Is it moral to persecute Jews. No. Yes. Maybe. No. Is it moral to sell your children. No. Yes. Maybe. No.


        September 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
      • atDissenter

        So you're saying Hitchens was "saved" by Atheism?

        September 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  16. ALittleBirdie

    There is no reason to think that we will be the exception and NOT go extinct. Especially, when a certain segment of the population seems determined to thwart our attempt to save the world (and us) by blocking every initiative that addresses global warming. If the increase in Tropical diseases, hurricanes, etc. don't get us, the runaway greenhouse effect will. Ignorant fools.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • atDissenter

      I love how "god told them" to be good keepers of his world and yet, the Christians I talk to are absolutely clueless that we are, potentially, past the "29th day." In other words, past the tipping point of no return.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  17. W Palmer

    I'm not an atheist nor do I subscribe to the three desert religions. I'm educated, have a grasp of evolution and I still believe in God. Richard Dawkins is nothing more than Ted Haggard or Jerry Falwell turned inside out. He's a fanatic and he's equally dangerous.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  18. PigBodine

    Dawkins is one of the few reasonable and intelligent people on the planet.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  19. Fred

    Dawkins has evolved to the point that he really is no longer a scientist. Anytime a "scientist" says they cannot learn from a differing point of view, they are no longer a scientist.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • really

      Science has no obligation to listen to someone's 'opinion'. Bring facts, show them, repeat them, and let your peers examine your work.

      You are saying that anybody can say anything and it should be held in the same regard as something crafted using facts and evidence? No wonder this country's students are getting their a**es kicked by the rest of the modern world.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • stoodrv

      Science does indeed learn from other points of view. They observe, listen, and evaluate whether that point of view is credible. It was decided a long time ago that religion does not offer a credible point of view. To this day that hasn't changed.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Reader

      He has very clearly said he will accept evidence that contradicts his current understanding, if you have read any of his stuff. He simply also states that he does not think there is a god because there is no evidence for it, and for the same reason as he does not think the existence of the tooth fairy, purple elephants, or Russel's teapot is likely,he operates on the assumption that they do not exist.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      science learns from other science, it doesnt learn from fairy stories.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  20. Jim Weix

    Even as a student in a Catholic Grade School (1956 to 1965), we were taught that natural selection and evolution was the most likely cause for the present life forms on our planet today. We were also taught that the earth is not flat and the sun does nor revolve around the earth.
    We were also taught that God gave us a superior brain, through natural selection and evolution, and that is why God expects us to be smart enough to know that the story of "Creation" was used to explain a concept to a very uneducated general public 2,000 years ago.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Does your god offer assurances for the other 100 million species of life on this planet? or just the ones in your species?
      Even if you answer your species, your bible tells that only 144,000 of jewish descent can ascend to heaven out of the 108 billion humans that have existed so far. Nice odds.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • lawrencewinkler

      Correction. Not 2000 years ago, at least 5000 years ago with Egyptian gods. 10's of thousands of years before that, if the anthropological records are correct. We are pretty much the same in that regard. Neither of us believes in the 10,000 of the gods invented before the common era, and I don't believe in the 10,002 gods that were invented before now, adding only Jesus and L Ron Hubbard.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  21. B.A. Gridd

    No, “Evolution is ‘not a controversial issue’” once it becomes the “meme” feeding everything one believes about the reality one inhabits.

    Dawkins believes in a ‘natural’, abstract process that moved primeval, dead chemicals to assemble an integrated biosphere filled with extremely complex life forms.

    Dawkins believes that DNA is the product of a mechanical, code-fabricating happenstance... much like saying that word-meaning arises from the chemicals that form the letters.

    Dawkins believes Evolution is an idiot-savant which “taught” bees to build hives, gather nectar and do their waggle dance, but without any sense of an impending result.

    Dawkins believes in incredible design without a designer, in high intelligence produced by non-intelligence, and in exceedingly complex life generated by non-life. With Dawkins’ blind faith in invisible miracles, there’s “not a controversial issue” anywhere in sight. 🙂

    September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      Please, please read his books before you make this kind of statement. It is so preposterous to refer to belief in evolutionary theory as "blind faith". It has been proven with enormous piles of evidence from a huge range of scientific fields, including real life experiments with fast-reproducing populations, as I've commented elsewhere on here.

      Evolutionary theory may have some gaps here and there, as do all theories (including, say, Einstein's theory of relativity), but it still does an astounding job of explaining the diversity and complexity of life on Earth. Please educate yourself.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Believing in reality is called being sane. Disbelief in the rational and logical examination of the world is called insanity.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • bla

      Try reading a biology book sometime. It'll be good for you. They might even have lots of pictures for you!

      September 7, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  22. Ray

    As is obvious from the comments on this page, most people have already made their choice, either for or against God. It is pointless to talk to these people: Mr. Dawkins (or Bill Nye) will never change a Christian's choice, and a Christian will never change Mr. Dawkins' choice. I want to address the people who have not made their choice, who are truly, honestly, intelligently curious about what is true. To those people, I give this advice: NEVER make your choice thoughtlessly or carelessly (this applies to both camps). To make a reasonably informed choice (and consider the weight of the implications), you should gather information, ask questions, listen to many points of view, and, after having done so, reach your own conclusion. NEVER let anyone tell you what to believe. If you honestly seek this truth, and are determined not to make a commitment until you have reasonably evaluated the options in depth, I am confident that you will find it.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • DrNick

      I started off curious... was taught religion.... then was taught science.... years have thought have convinced me one was written by men 2000 years ago and was awesome for that time... the other is based on thousands of years of discoveries leading up to a more modern version of how we came to be that is based on what we know now.... my decision to follow the latter was not made carelessly.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • bob

      read a physics book

      September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  23. globalblog

    Why did evolution fail on other planets?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • really

      You are confusing terms here, and your premise is ridiculous. Have we been able to observe many of the other trillion trillion trillion.etc other planets out there?

      Evolution happens when life is already present. You are thinking about abiogenesis.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • globalblog

        Evolution happens when life is present really? so what is life? and 1 in a trillion! give yourself break!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
      • Jkhur

        Yes Globalog Really is really right. First your premise is absurd becasue we have not been able to study other planets in sufficient detail to know whether or not lifeforms were or are presen.But ignoring that for a moment life is a prerequisite for evolution. Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. Evolution refers simply to changes in life over time. So for evolution to occur, we must first have life or there is nothing to evolve.

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


        September 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Damsel

      Is this a legitimate question? Because the answer is quite obvious. Conditions on planets change, many of them never able to be inhabited by life, some having the ability and then becoming too hostile for it.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • globalblog

        @ Damsel Seriously what is life? You are defining life as you know it, but it is beyond, proven here on earth, before you guys answer in general be specific.
        @ Syed prove it

        September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • Damsel

        Well, the technical definition of life is an object that posesses signaling and self-sustaining processes. What's your 'definition'? The definition of life is not subjective.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Why would you assume that evolution has failed on other planets? That's a large,fallacious, useless assumption to make.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • John McDonough

      Why didn't god create beings on other planets? This one being so terrible he has to kill infants with floods and by turning them into salt just so they wouldn't grow up not properly worshiping him.

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

        @ John, how you hide behind God for everything?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      who says it has failed on other planets? pretty big assumption you are making there.

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

        @ Cedar , Assumptions are made by you too

        Dawkins assumes too..

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

        Almost an assumption. The only "body" that man has landed on is the moon, and no life was found there. Evolution didn't fail there - it succeeded. It always succeeds! If the conditions are not correct for life to arise, it doesn't.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  24. WhyBother

    At the end of the day, Mr. Dawkins and his followers will lift up their eyes from Hades and ask God to send one of His followers with water to cool their unbelieving tongues. On that day, the questions will be settled, evolution, Pascal's Wager, their rational thinking, their logical thinking, their know it all thinking, and their ignorant thinking will be long forgotten, whether they believe it or not. No need to engage in an unfruitful back and forth with someone who has set their heart and mind on believing a lie. There are many who are seeking the truth. Save it for them

    September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • DrNick

      Are you sure? Have you seen it yourself? Can you take a picture next time and send it to us at least? We'd like to see the evidence.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • really

      "hearts set on believing a lie"

      I think you've got the words correct, but your argument is misdirected. Try the mirror.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • bob

      then why bother even arguing back at all?... what would happen if EVERYBODY became atheist? Does that scare you? Why? Wouldn't God still be ok and still exist? Wouldn't he still be able to send another messiah to re-enlighten us? Wouldn't you RATHER see that happen? What are YOU so scared of?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
      • faithful


        September 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • J

      Hades? So when you say God, you mean who, Zeus?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |

      thats funny all these "ignorant scientist" and there waky beliefs in the natural world with evidence to back up there ever growing theories will one day learn to just not question thing fall in line and believe in an all powerful all knowing being because their ancestors passed down these mythical stories... that really is to funny

      September 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  25. YoozYerBrain

    Hey HM8432
    Here's a counter-balance to your ONE experience;

    I have been blasted out of existence twice in my life by lightning. Nothing is faster or more certain than the quick blast of that power, I guarantee it. I was down for a few minutes each time and let me tell you what's on the other side;

    There is no way to describe that nothingness unless you come back. It is non-existence like when you sleep. The only reason you know anything about the night you just slept away is that you woke up. Otherwise, nothing.

    So now, I still don't believe in a deity or supernatural demon crap because I know that when you shut down the chemistry shop, ie your brain, there's nothing. And you don't sense that because you have to wake up to sense it. You won't wake up. Instead of fear, I've found freedom, joy and dare i say, the sacredness of the one life we have in this revelation.

    But I don't recommend that method for getting that lesson. Take acid instead. Ultimately it will prove to you that it's all brain chemistry and you can toss the obviously politically-motivated brain-washing that the priests and fundies want to scare you with.

    Thanks for your service Marine, Semper FI!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • ViperGuy

      The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 9:5 "the dead are conscience of nothing at all". You do not automatically get ressurected. You are dead and then await the resurrection in a sleeplike state, simply you are really dead. The Bible makes this clear, but false religion defies the truth.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  26. KebKeb

    "Of course it just ends. What else could it do?" So, if he can't fathom it, it must not exist. Not very scientific of him, is it!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  27. mark

    the human race is nothing but a friggin joke anymore. You people disgust me.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  28. Karl

    If christians and religious individuals knew the true origins or their faith, and religious history, they would most likely no longer be religious. I'll even help them out and give them a clue Your religion is just a bunch of mythological stolen stories from earlier ancient civilizations such as: Anceint Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonin ect texts. The rest is all pagan worship.

    Perhaps if they would educate themselves a bit, they wouldn't have to resort to spewing bible quotes 24/7 out their mouths. It's like what Buddha once stated "Ignorance is the cause of all diease of man, healing is acquired through knowledge"

    September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • lawrencewinkler

      I would say that Christianity will fail within years, when scientists find that Jesus was not a white guy with red hair, or whatever the images of Jesus is today, but looked like Yassar Arafat on a bad day.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  29. Roelof

    We all know that Dawkins hates Christianity, but he doesn't have any proof or evidence that Atheism is accurate and correct, nor that Big Bang theory. That's what I call ignorant.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      one does not require proof to disbelieve something.. Rather proof is required to take a preposterous claim (such as the existence of gods) as fact. Your system of logic seems to be working in a backwards manner.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • bla

      You know what's even more ignorant than that? Assuming he's ever said atheism is the "correct" answer instead of what he thinks is the most logical one.

      And more so than that even? Assuming atheism is a belief in itself instead of the lack of one. I can only hope it's painful to be as dumb as you are.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  30. bob

    ....religion is for those who can't handle physics....

    September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  31. Mac

    To state something as a fact without evidence is very problematic for me. Those of faith profess it proudly, but err, I think, when they say there is no question God exists. But on that same coin are those who profess confidently that creationism does not exist. To both I would say "where is your proof?"

    That adaptation exists is without question for it has been observed using the scientific method. Does adaptation itself support the notion of evolution? Of course. But is there evidence that creationism simply does not happen, or could not happen? Of course not. We find a new species in some isolated forest. Did that species evolve from something else, or was it created? It is impossible to know. Even though its biology may suggest evolution how could we confirm that absolutely?

    I believe there is room for both religion and science. That there are things we can observe and proof, and things that we can not. But because we can not confirm something as true while having faith that it does is not harmful in and of itself. It only becomes harmful when ill intentioned individuals attempt to abuse the belief of other for their own purpose.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      The idea that science has to "confirm things absolutely" is called logical positivism. It has fallen out of favor as a philosophy of science because, indeed, you can never really PROVE that the world around you isn't just a puppet show put on inside your brain by invisible purple space fairies, or what have you.

      Instead, science seeks to provide the simplest explanation that fits most closely to the observed facts. Until a better system of explanations comes along, we take that "best theory so far" as the most appropriate way to understand the facts. As an explanation of biological diversity and change, evolutionary theory achieves this as close to perfectly as any other theory in the history of science.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  32. globalblog

    Hmm.. So does Big Bang Still continue? Universe is it infinite or finite? So every leaving substance on this planet came from a single organism? How was intelligence distributed or evolved? How did this complex life form exist on earth and not at all on other planet around us? If a planet has adapted to the a particular orbit then should a life form too! Life does not necessary require water, sun as discovered in earth where life form is found in extreme and hostile where are we now? So is gene relevant or Dawkins Meme? so what then are the psychologist to prove? There are lot more questions than a answer, Dawkins and his clan need to prove it rather than generalizing..So how does a sea sponges share human genes?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  33. DBeck

    RD needs to read Tom Nagel's (one of America's best philosophers and his fellow atheist) new book Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. Maybe its Dawkins who doesn't know anything! His whole sceme fails to account for anything central to human existence: mind, intentionality, meaning, and especially values (not moral behaviors: real obligation).

    September 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • bob

      if you "consciousness" is so "special", so "permanent",... where does it go when you fall asleep and don't dream? Why can't you remember anything during those times? How about when you're unconscious because of a medical procedure or a good knock on the head? Surely that special consciousness of yours should be SOMEWHERE storing memories, right? Oh, but, your brain is needed for memories, so, without your brain, your consciousness is just this magical thing that exists in the air (not even in the air, in the space between atoms, because consciousness doesn't consist of atoms, right?) but has no memory, THAT'S why you can't remember before you were born or the other thousands of hours you've been asleep or unconscious for other reasons... BUT, OBVIOUSLY (because so many people believe it, it MUST be true), your consciousness DOES exist and you will live forever because you can't bear the thought otherwise... hmmm.... that's GREAT logic, I should write a book!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      But none of those topics are part of Dawkins' area of expertise. However, lots of scientific work is being done which does address those issues, and all of it takes evolutionary theory and the corresponding understanding of neurobiology as a given.

      Nagel is indeed a well-known and respected philosopher. Can you sum up a couple of his points on this? I would be genuinely interested to see what his arguments are.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • mark

      Almost Certainly – There's your religious logic for you in a nutshell.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  34. Bob

    Oh to be so smart that you can't see how dumb you are.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • really

      Creationist argument –

      Call names, completely fail to say anything of value, leave.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  35. Roelof

    I believe Dawkins himself is a little bit ignorant. Because where did that Big Bang came from?? Also out of a Big Bang? The way Dawkins describes other believes and existence of the world as ignorant, he can't come up with a proper one his own.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • really

      We do not fully understand gravity yet – so using your logic, we should assume that gravity doesn't exist.

      Oh dear, I'm flying away!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • bff

      Dawkins says he doesn't know where the big bang came from. You call that ignorant?
      Religious people say they know where the big bang came from, god. Now what do you call that?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • ViperGuy

      It's very simple. Darwin actually believed in a creator. Google it. The person that Atheists revere so much, believed that God did exist.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • DrNick

        Why do you say this as a bad thing? I happen to be both an atheist and a scientist.... I think Darwin was brilliant for giving us the theory to the pathway to our existence, just as Mandel ( a monk) gave us the basics of genes and how information is passed from individuals to their progeny. And yet they were both religious. All that does is prove the point that you can believe in your god, while not believing in creationism. Stop shoving creationism down our throats... believe in your god all you want. Dinosaurs existed... the earth is a hell of a lot older than 10,000... and we evolved from apes. Give me evidence to deny those points and you will change my mind.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • NOT MY CHAIR

        i like how you discredit him because he "believed" as in past tense... what kid growing up isn't indoctrinated? but as we grow up some people start to look at things more critically and just dont except them at face value

        September 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • DrNick

      Though I am sure he probably leans towards the big bang as the original event of this universe, this debate is on evolution which is about the pathway to existence of all life on earth (and likely on other planets if we find it there as well). But your post gives me hope as you are starting to just throw a bunch of ... explative... at the wall and hoping something stcks, which might mean that deep down you are starting to doubt your own theories.... If you read Dawkin's books, you will see he has a very well developped theory of his own. So you are misguided in saying, he doesn't offer his own. Everyone has their own idea of how things came to be, the key is to challenge them all and when one theory seems to stand the test of time against thousands of people throwing... explative... at it... that one might be closer to the truth.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      the Big Bang or Cold Start models of universal expansion don't suppose that all existence began with a bang, but rather that matter aggregated and changed form through natural processes, yet was always here. There can logically be no point at which nothing existed in the universe, not even one lonesome god. Matter always existed and it always changes form.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • James Madison

      You have just validated Mr. Dawkins argument. With opponents like you, he needs no defense.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Chum Joely

      The Big Bang is physics. Evolution is biology. Dawkins has nothing to say about the Big Bang, it's not his job. As long as his theories about evolution are not contradicted by our current understanding physics (and they most certainly are not!), then he doesn't have to worry about that question, any more than he should be expected to have a theory of hurricane formation, or grammatical change in Old Slavonic.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • really?

      Time and space are linked. It is relatively simple to state that to ask where the "Big Bang" came from is a meaningless question, because to ask it is to imply time existing before the Big Bang, which is false.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  36. Rocinante

    Consider that evolution is how the Creation was propagated.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  37. Al

    The bible is complete and no need to explain what happen, i think the most important thing to think about is what will happen when man dies? its there and if the bible told us that life is short and fragile,believe it to yourself because it is proven. if the bible mentioned about wars, believed it because it happened and bible was written before WWI and WWII. If the Bible predicted that there will be famines, hardship and men will be lovers of themzelves and money.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • bff

      Yes... believe the bible because the bible says to believe the bible. And the bible is complete and correct because, you guessed it, the bible says so.

      This argument is so old and tired that viagra couldn't rouse it.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
      • Craig Adams

        of course it is old– but it misses the point. And the point is that all religion is metaphor. Only the ignorant get lost in the symbol of the metaphor– the truth is in the meaning or the transendance- athiests alwys miss the point.....dull.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • trvor

        To actually think that humans are going to be exceptional is ignorant or blind! doesnt he hear of fathers killing their daughters, and wives killing their husbands, and in more events each day?! the bible did prophesy all these things and they are happening before our eyes, if people like Dawkins would just look! it is only cause God is long-suffering and kind that Dawkins is alive today, but he should take time to remember Christopher Hitchens, he was given a chance even in his last few days, how God was drawing him to see that man fades, God will endure forever. AND i am among many who are here in this generation to declare that He lives, Jesus lives!you cannot fight against the TRUTH, for you will die, yes that is the only thing you got right Dawkins man will die, and then the judgement!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • bff

        those metaphors you say all religions are were considered certainties by those religions before science cam along. Religion has continously been backpeddling to the point where it is reduced to this "trancendance" you talk about.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      When man dies, his body decomposes and becomes food for insects and the earth. Belief that your "soul" goes somewhere else is just wishful thinking masking your fear of death and finality. In truth it is the shortness of this one single life that maes it so precious and beautiful, similar to how a plucked rose can only share its beauty for a short time.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  38. jdoe

    Not to worry. One of these days the robots will take over and that will be the end of it.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  39. UniversalMan

    in the days of Jesus many that were in His very presence believed in Him – many did not... when He was tortured and hung from the cross many weeped while others mocked, spat, scorned and even laughed at Him... you may ask yourself "is there a possibility that I would have been one of the latter?" Luke16:31 – "He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ "

    September 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • bff

      Have you ever watched "Life of Brian"? Just asking.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      The Jesus in the bible is a myth and has no real connection to the actual messianic cults of the middle east, ecept for sharing one real historical messiah named Judas. History has already proven the innacuracies, and the parables of miracles are all borrowed from older earlier religions. Hence the modern tale of Jesus is a fraudulent one and not worthy of worship.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • UniversalMan

        if you wish, research Flavius Josephus to start ....

        September 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • UniversalMan

        There are other extra-Biblical references to Jesus Christ besides Josephus. The following web page (at "Doxa") has a good list of historical sources (Thallus, Phlegon, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Suetonius, Galen, Celsus, Mara Bar Serapion, The Talmud, Lucian, Numenius, and Galerius):

        September 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
      • nojinx

        What would it matter if Jesus existed historically? Do you think Mohammed existed historically? Neither existence would mean anything regarding the existence of things we have no evidence of.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
      • UniversalMan

        sorry – – link is broken – but check out the names 🙂

        September 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • QMB

      Only a handful believed in Jesus while he was present . Paul was the one who managed to create Christianity, starting by giving his ideas a name (Christianity)

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

        John 12:9 "A large crowd of people heard that Jesus was in Bethany. So they went there to see not only Jesus but Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. 10 So the leading priests made plans to kill Lazarus, too. 11 Because of Lazarus many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus." John 12:42 "But many believed in Jesus, even many of the leaders. But because of the Pharisees, they did not say they believed in him for fear they would be put out of the synagogue" John 8:30 "Then many who heard him say these things believed in him." ...there's more available to read, check it out then decide for yourself

        September 6, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Michael Anthony

      I think a more interesting question is: would you side with Doubting Thomas? I believe the good scientist would ask for proof as Thomas reputedly did.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  40. Evenstar13

    Why is it no one can see that they argue over both sides of the same coin. Creation and evolution are the two sides of the coin. Science does not de-deify God, it displays the sublime majesty of his creation. The bible gives examples of immorality and its consequenses, and of that of the moral and its rewards. Its easy to say there is no God, but there is, and if those who do not wish to believe, that is their choice. God gives us the freedom to believe or not to. His lessons are there are consquenses to ones actions. He wants us to believe in him and he loves us so much he will not force anyone to believe in him. He will however, hold them accountable, and his justice is righteous.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • really

      They are most definitely not from the same coin. One is wishful thinking, the other is based on observable, repeatable facts.

      The rest of your post is pure philosophy and conjecture.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Evenstar13

        Of course they are, God has been around forever and will be around forever...Whats a day to him?

        September 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • really

        Evenstar – You again prove my point. Just more nonsense to back up the other nonsense.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • DrNick

      How do you presume to know what or who god is? Why should I accept on blind faith that you are right and I am wrong with no evidence. When you present your argument this way, it would be like a lawyer me... "my client is innocent", despite the fact that he was in the barn, wth the bloody knife in his hand.. standing over the dead body.... "but come on jury, just trust me. I have no vested interest in this except for the fact that the guy is paying me."

      September 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • Evenstar13

        Have you ever read the bible and learned its lessons, or is that too inconvenient?

        September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • Dan

        It's not blind faith. He'll reveal himself to you if you seek him.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • DrNick

        I was taught the bible as a child... parts of my family are deeply religious... this is not my first rodeo as it were haha... and the argument of he wil reveal himself to you if you seek him... so will the flying spaghetti monster in space... that doesn't mean I'm going to disbelieve any true evidence set before my eyes just because you have been indoctrinated to take things on faith... My main point to this whole thing is that if we as humans are to evolve past the wars and radical beliefs of our past, people like you need to stop taking things on faith. Challenge everything and you wll find truth. Accept things on faith and you will be mislead by those with power.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Dan

      The problem is that scientists decided that evolution was correct 150-odd years ago, long before they had the technical know-how to come to that conclusion. Darwin was not its inventor; it can be dated to the writings of the Greek Philosopher, Epicurus. Modern scientists went looking for what it they had already chosen to believe and, naturally, found it. That is bad science by anyone's measure.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • Michael Anthony

        So you are saying that they didn't have the data back then to support their conclusions but they do now?

        September 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • memyself

        "The problem is that scientists decided that evolution was correct 150-odd years ago, long before they had the technical know-how to come to that conclusion."

        Complete horse-hockey, as you would know if you had ever read Darwin's "The Evolution of Species." The entire book is a summary of evidence gathered over decades that supports the theory of evolution by natural selection. Scientists of the time debated the theories for about 20 years. Evolution won. Today it is the foundation of all biological science. If evolution were somehow "wrong" almost all of biological science would be equally "wrong"

        "Darwin was not its inventor; it can be dated to the writings of the Greek Philosopher, Epicurus." Too funny by half. And Democritus "invented" the atomic theory. Dalton, Thompson, Rutherford, Bohr, just "wanted to believe" in atoms so much that they went out and found evidence to support ancient philosophy.

        "Modern scientists went looking for what it they had already chosen to believe and, naturally, found it."

        And your evidence for this preposterous statement is....


        September 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
      • Michael Haskins

        And just WHERE did you get such a preposterous idea? Darwin was not its inventor – HA! Faith? try RESEARCH! I challenge you! (it is really not that difficult, and it is EXTREMELY rewarding – The TRUTH shall set you free – here is the text of Darwin's 'on the Origin of Species...' – READ IT! note: Alfred Russel Wallace (see – Wallace also independently came up with a similar conclusion as Darwin at about the same time, prompting Darwin to publish his work first. – do some RESEARCH! – dont remain INTENTIONALLY IGNORANT! – you don't even have to leave your computer!!!

        September 7, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Seyedibar

      Which god? Be more specific. There are over a thousand that people worship. Or do you not believe in their gods, but only your own?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Michael Anthony

      I've never been happy with the concept of affording us Free Will but holding our our eternal souls as leverage. Is that Free Will?

      September 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  41. rybl101

    Q: What is the difference between Mythology and Theology?

    A: Perspective

    September 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  42. Dan

    Either way, this guy spends his life with his knickers in a complete knot. I guess the joke's on him. Forty percent of America is living rent free in his considerable brain.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  43. Shenzhou

    World class scients Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, Nicholas Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday... all believe in a Creator God. They knew this universe is too complex and beautiful to be a result of an cosmic accident.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • bff

      Those were the times that they lived in. If they lived now, I bet they would fall in line with the 95+% of scientists today that do not believe in a supernatural fairy.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • Shenzhou

        Has science explained and proved how the first life form come to being? How does it evolve into the the next life form and so on... and eventually form becomes human beings billions years later? Can you explain every step of the way, or even 1% of the whole process? You know the answer is no. We all know the theory of evolution has more holes in the theory than sand on the beach. It takes more faith to believe that human life is a result of millions of unexplained biological accidents than to believe in one act of a Creator God.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
      • LessBias

        No, it takes more knowledge and study to believe in evolution. Science is knowledge as constrained by fact. Faith is belief in the absence of fact.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Shenzhou, why do you ignore the billions of things Science HAS proven?

        Just naming things we don't know YET is not a very sound position given the history of science. Yet more hiding in the gaps.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • bff

      ...and I don't think you are correct about Albert Einstein. He made it pretty clear that he did not think there was a god.
      But it really doesn't matter because there is 0 evidence for one.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Shenzhou

        No evidence? You must not be a scientist. True scientists understand the limitation of science – it only explains the material world, not the spiritual world. You have to use a non-scientifc tool to know God – you heart and soul.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Shenzhou, prove that there's a "spiritual world" first and then we'll talk.

        What were you saying about "Real Scientists?"

        I can only guess what your "spiritual world" is but to take a guess, I would say that it consists, conveniently, of EVERYTHING we don't know... YET.

        September 7, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • LessBias

      It's interesting how you use the terms "know" and "believe" interchangeably. I think this may be the fundamental flaw in your logic.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      Einstein was an a openly-avowed atheist (and a pot smoker). Most of the others lived before the age when history and comparative religion studies disproved the bible, so they would not have had the information to help escape the logic trap. Yet, you can be assured that most of them would have major doubts about the more incredible aspects of the old and new testament.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Petey

        You certainly can't use anybody who lived during the time when if you said there was no god the church would have you executed. I would have lied and said I believe it meant I got to stay alive

        September 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Michael Anthony

      As Dawkins likes to point out, Hitler was a Catholic. I think it is more relevant to say how much some of these men struggled with faith, doubt and guilt (not to mention retribution, imprisonment and torture) in the wake of scientific breakthroughs that came in direct conflict with church teachings.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • bla

      Issac Newton also believed he was an actual angel himself and spent more time trying to turn lead into gold and figuring out the exact measurements of the Temple of Solomon, which he modestly claimed would allow him to predict the exact date of the apocalypse.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  44. rybl101

    "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

    September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Dan

      I dismiss all of the other "gods" because I know the one true God. So how, exactly, will that lead me to understand why Dawkins dismisses the God I know?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • LessBias

        "Because I said so" isn't really an answer. And it certainly doesn't convey a sense of true understanding.

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

        Dan said-

        "I dismiss all of the other "gods" because I know the one true God. So how, exactly, will that lead me to understand why Dawkins dismisses the God I know?"

        Wow Dan really? Do you really know the god you know? I know Yahweh as ADAD the Sumerian GOD OF THUNDER whose priests include Abraham and his family. Sumerian myth fills the bible. You worship the God of Thunder. Not even THOR the REAL GOD OF THUNDER. Do you really know the god you know? Try history instead of priest blather. You worship the thunder god, you worship a thunder god, you worship a thunder god nyaah nyaah. Freakin pagan!

        September 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  45. billyphillips7

    Perhaps scientists,medical researchers, scholars, physicists and others should delve into the teachings of the ancient Zohar which is the true origins of Christianity and the secrets of the Torah before wasting billions of dollars on research. They might find the answers they are looking for, and perhaps come away with less ego, more kindness and tolerance. Twenty centuries later, science and medicine are now confirming what the Zohar had said long ago.
    The Zohar spoke of a round and spherical earth some 1500 years before Columbus set sail for the new world.
    The ancient Zohar revealed the existence of seven continents and seven seas fifteen centuries years before mankind realized there were more than just two.
    The Zohar spoke about time zones, telling us clearly that when one side of the earth was in the dark of night, the other side of the planet was experiencing daylight.
    The Zohar revealed that bad fats in the arteries is the underlying cause of heart disease and illness. And that good fats in the blood engender healing and cardiovascular health.
    The Zohar described a ten dimensional universe two millennia before physicists and superstring theory arrived at the same conclusion.
    And the Zohar said who ever takes the Bible literally is an utter fool and it would have been better if such a person had never been born.
    Most harsh.
    And from that perspective, feel free to see what the Zohar has to say about man, creation and the role of evolution. The Zohar resolves the century old debate with compelling insights that settle the issue once and for all. Just copy and paste this link:

    September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Dan

      The book of Zohar claims to be very ancient, but was not written until at least the 14th century. You can tell by the language, which is not from the time period it claims.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • billyphillips7

        The Zohar does go back 2000 years and this forum is not the place for me to share the reasons and evidence why. Lets just say for the sake of argument we date it to 14th century. Still, its revelations about heart disease and black holes and a big bang creation, and most important, the story of evolution is epic, profound and a game changer for all mankind. it resolves the vile conflict that exists between science and spirituality and it removes the corruption of religion. That is the point here.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • Dan

        Sorry, but a simple linguistic analysis of the text proves that it is not from the time period you cite. Hebrew translations of Spanish idioms of the 14th century are the dead give-away. It's a lie, pure and simple. And, as you brought it up, it is the perfect forum to discuss it.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
      • Dan

        oh...and finding "hidden clues" in the text that come from analysis of the "meaning" of the text based on its numerical value is c r a p too.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • AKC

      I stopped reading when religious types and 'kindness and tolerance' were used in the same sentence – nobody, and I mean NOBODY is more ruthless or intolerant that the religious types.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • billyphillips7

        religious types are ruthless and intolerance and atheists and scientists and rabbis and priests and plumbers are all ruthless and intolerant. its a trait of all mankind. And i agree, religion has caused more bloodshed, the bible the cause of more bullets being fired than any other cause on earth. Science ALSO is the cause of equal destruction with the invention of the bullet and bombs and nukes and other technology that can eradicate mankind from the earth. So instead of pointing fingers, let us become accountable for our own actions. My own intolerance in my day to day life. This is what the ancient Zohar and Kabbalists teach. Kabbalah takes the corruption out of religion and the intolerance out of science and unites them and brings dignity to all people.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
      • Dan

        ...said the intolerant bigot. You are blind to your own words.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  46. Adam G in NC

    Gotta love the Hitch

    September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • ScottCA

      It does need to be driven out of the world and Dawkins was right to question that particular comment from Hitchens. And from the sounds of it Hitchens himself thought about what he had said at some length after he talked with Dawkins. I am sure there is more to the video that would clarify Hitchens remark. Hitchens also says in the video that the end of religion would be a good thing.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  47. Major

    I wonder if religion could teach Dawkins not to be an arrogant butthole, or is that asking too much of even God?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • bff

      It hurts to be confronted with your own ignorance, doesn't it?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  48. JB

    I'd pay to be next to Dawkin when he's on his deathbed. Onward, into the nothingness. Life was all just a waste of time.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Wow, what kind of "Christian" would say a thing like that? You'd like to sneer at his dying body, hoping that he'd say something you could pretend was a conversion, and fantasizing about big sweaty demons probing him in a torture pit? And you say you learned this type of compassion from your church? Ugh. What denomination is it, if you don't mind?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • really

      We aren't all victims of the ultimate wish-thinking – that we go on after our deaths.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  49. NooYawkah

    "If you look back 3 million years, one of the most dramatic changes has been in the increase in brain size."

    So when are you going to bow down to your master the elephant? This clown will only argue with those who don't know what the Bible says, like Catholics and Born Agains, or Young Earth Creationists. He states as fact a ton of evolutionary nonsense, and his followers suck it all up without question. So do many so-called Christians, but there are a lot who don't accept everything on "blind faith", as the Bible itself admonishes not to do.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "So when are you going to bow down to your master the elephant? " Really, that's what you got from reading the article? FAIL. Read again.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  50. The Woof

    To say that something doesn't exist is to give credence that it does. Mr. Dawkins like other atheists was probably brought up by parents who believed in God and who taught him about God. but evidently something happen in his life that turned him and others like him away from God. As a believer, I can only hope that one day they will return but my God is also a God of choice so if the choice made to not believe is the one decided to follow then so be it. I won't judge because my God says that judge not lest ye be judged. So Mr. Dawkins I wish you well in your endeavors and a long and happy life.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Barry's Brother

      To say something like God doesn't exist, is to say you know everything. Essentially, you become your own God.

      We all worship something.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • memyself

        Sigh. Saying "God does not exist " is shorthand for saying "there is no reason to suppose God exists". It is another way of saying "the existence of God is an unnecessary theory", or "an unnecessary complication". Remember that primitives needed God to explain pretty much everything, lightning, eclipses, weather patterns, success or failure at the hunt, disease, birth defects, success or failure in conflicts with other tribes... pretty much anything unknown. One can "believe" God exists purely as a matter of faith, but that is exactly equivalent to "believing" that UFOs exist purely as a matter of faith, or "believing" that fairies exist purely as a matter of faith. There is no credible evidence that any of these things (including "God") exist, and supposing that they do is not a useful theory: it does not help to explain or predict anything better than simpler "materialistic" theories.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • bff

      It's not that something happened. Its the aquisition of knowledge. It's also (I hate to say this) growing up to be an adult in the world we live in. It's understanding human nature and seeing how myths can become religions if they are cultured to do so. It's gaining wisedom.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Rick & Tammy

      that "something" that you refer to should read as "somethings".... Those "things" are science, rebellion, and social tolerance, oh and let's not forget "religion". I am a Christian, when I go into the hospital for a procedure and they ask me my "religion" I tell them Christian, I TRY to follow the word of God, I say TRY b/c I KNOW I'm a sinner. Take the "religion" out of Christianity and ppl will become part of God's fold and embrace Him

      September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I won't judge because my God says that judge not lest ye be judged. " But you say that after saying a bunch of judgmental stuff, so you'll be judged for it. Why is it so hard for you Christians not to hate everybody? You are all just consumed with rage.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Woof said: "my God is also a God of choice"

      Don't quote your books; prove it using science.

      Using made up ancient books with a vested interest in maintaining the myth is not allowed.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  51. Jim in PA

    Dawkins doesn't seem to have a very evolved sense of humor.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Barry's Brother

      He's a troubled man, that enjoys seeing others admire and respect his internal issues with God.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  52. justonehook

    c'mon, if evolution is our conception...then why govern ourselves with law? or why care about anything other than ourselves, if inevitably our finale is the same as our intro...nothing! Frankly, I am very happy to recognize a singular creator, besides if you parish into nothing no harm in believing, But if you die truly convinced and doing your best to abide by his rules now, won't be standing there with your foot in your mouth (sota speak)

    September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Nat Q

      Because we are a social species that depends on social stability to advance? Because we have evolved to a point where we've invented civilization and like it and you simply can't have that if you have to wonder every 5 seconds if the neighbor is going to kill or rape you? Because cooperation has an evolutionary benefit that is greater to our species as intellectually advanced tool users than chaos and selfish behavior does?

      I truly don't understand why people feel that the acceptance of evolutionary sciences and the vast amount of empirical discoveries associate with it suddenly means there is no point to morality and we should all just care about ourselves and the moment and run around like wild men and women. I truly don't get that primitive mindset that it is god or else chaos and disorder.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • God is Dog spelled backwards

        Maybe because the ones who fervently believe in God and HeII have a reason to be worried. They know deep in their hearts that if there wasn't a "threat" of eternal dam-nation that they would indeed murder and rape.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  53. aurelius

    Another demonstration that a vast number of Americans are imbeccilles, and I surmise that most are GOP supporters as bigotry and racism, not knowledge of the facts, are the basis of their opposition to Obama.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Craig Adams

      Well said!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  54. LewDude

    I have a difficult time understanding people who do not believe in something. I am a Christian who does not try to push his beliefs on other people. I can understand why people believe in various religions but the logical side of me has always had a difficult time understanding how anyone cannot believe in a greater being of some kind. Even if I weren't a Christian I would still struggle with this because it is more difficult to believe that we just exist. I drive my wife nuts because I tend to be more open minded than most Christians. I believe it is quite possible that there are many gods that exist somewhere and our God just happens to be the one that created us. I can believe there is a great amount of science and religion that go hand in hand. I still can't buy into the theory that we are just here. At the end of the day I have faith and believe that I am one day going to heaven. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I would rather believe in something and be wrong than believe in nothing knowing that I had the opportunity 🙂

    September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Nat Q

      "I have a difficult time understanding people who do not believe in something. ... Even if I weren't a Christian I would still struggle with this because it is more difficult to believe that we just exist."
      As someone who was a Christian then deist for 30 years and is now an really isn't any harder at all and there is no struggle wondering about it. In fact, having been on both sides of the fence, and I feel far more at home in a universe without a creator or active rule giver. Not because "woo-hoo I can be immoral now" or anything but because far more things fall into place, logically, and make sense without a god for me than ever did with one. Like why, in a universe supposedly made for us, we can only exist on the eggshell surface of one planet around one star and 99.999999999999999999...% of all space would kill us instantly.

      "I would rather believe in something and be wrong than believe in nothing knowing that I had the opportunity"
      See, I'd rather accept a cold, hard, impersonal truth than live with a happy, comforting lie. Now I'm not saying there isn't a god, maybe there is, though I certainly don't believe so myself–and I don't believe so because I see absolutely no evidence for believing so. And thus have no compelling reason to try to convince myself there is simply because it feels better to think of an overseer and happy place to go post-death. I'd rather face up to the reality of our empirical understanding of the cosmos and utilize that to motivate me. Personally, I've done so much more with my life after giving up faith than I ever did with it. With it there was always this underlying mindset of this reality not mattering as much and just being the key to the next one and of second chances...without that safety net though I've taken control of my life and push myself far more feverishly to live it and learn and create lasting works that matter to myself and others. I've drawn infinitely more motivation from a limited life than one with a post-death follow-up.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  55. Tae

    People of faith can understand others who have not experienced faith in God because at one point in their lives, they too were without faith. But those who have not experienced faith cannot understand those who have faith in God now simply because they have not arrived at that point in their lives yet.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Nat Q

      So, I had faith in a god being and gave it up. Who can I understand or not understand going from a position of faith and always being raised with faith to one of no faith by choice?

      September 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • chefdugan

      You got the wording wrong. It should be people of ignorance – people with no mind of their own,.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  56. rybl101

    Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Barry's Brother

      Similar to Pascal's wager, but void of logic.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • wat

        Pascal's wager is only valid if you guess the right god. Pascal was an idiot.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • bff

      How do you know this hypothetical god wants us to be good? Maybe he really wants us to go out and murder, rape and pillage.

      Maybe it's not a good idea to do anything for a supernatural being. Maybe you do things because by themselves they are good.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • Barry's Brother

        As long as God remains "hypothetical", then you can't know. But that's not the question. The question is "Has God revealed Himself to us?" If that is true, then you can look toward what He has said about it all.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
      • bff

        Why look at what he said before you even know "he" is real?

        September 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • bla

        The second part covers that. If they're unjust, then you'd be glad you didn't appease them.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • KebKeb

      How is that fair to the child born in poverty and/or abuse who grows up with no moral compass and commits evil acts based on their own experience, because the station to which they were born hasn't afforded them a functioning conscience? Your way, only the well-reared individual has a real chance at Heaven. I like God's way better, whosoever believes........

      September 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  57. todd

    Creationists are idiots. Just because you don't believe in science doesn't make it not true. Your 2000 year old work of fiction has held us back long enough. By the way, the Earth revolves around the Sun. I know, it's killing you and the church but that was another truth held back by religion. Science prevails.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Barry's Brother

      I would say the same applies to atheism. Just because you hate religion, God, and the Bible, doesn't mean they aren't "true".

      September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Shenzhou

      Renown scients such as Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, Nicholas Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday... all believe in a Creator God. They knew this universe is too complex and beautiful to be a result of an cosmic accident.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • atDissenter

        I love your list of people. "Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, Nicholas Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday."

        First off Einstein was not a believer. He quite clearly stated that he didn't believe in a god. However, within the context of early 20th century culture, he would have been on the streets if he had dared to challenge the Christian Authority just as Galileo learned the hard way not to challenge the ruling authority of his day. Can you say house arrest? By the way, he once said something to the effect, if god had a language, that language was math.

        Copernicus published but, apparently, nobody read it 😉 In other words, nobody dared to say they read it.

        Kepler, his mother was tried as a witch so you can be pretty sure he fell in line with the authority that was out to promote their own beliefs at the end of a sword.

        Issac Newton? You know, I think he was a believer. He also spent years trying figure out King Solomon and was certain there must be some clue in the bible that described how to make gold. By the way, he ended up, working for the Mint under King Charles II. So, I guess he got what he wanted.

        All this to say that there were historical reasons behind your list of "believers." Context DOES matter. Besides, ignorance of Scientific fact is not exclusive to one time. Just in case you didn't know.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  58. billyphillips7

    The evolution debate is resolved and the stunning truth embraces both science and religion. You can discover this profound truth here:

    September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • memyself

      The evolution "debate" was resolved 120 years ago. Evolution won. Where have you been?

      September 6, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  59. Curious

    THE Final Answer. Aliens.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • LuisWu

      Actually, a "god" flying around in a "cloud" with fire coming out underneath. Sounds like an ancient person trying to explain a flying saucer. And the burning bush? Ever see a tv late at night from a distance? It flickers like a fire. Imagine a primitive person trying to explain that... "well, it looked like it was burning, like a umm... bush or something." Maybe Jehova was busy hanging out around Mars and wanted to speak to Moses so he had a video terminal that he could talk to him through.

      And Jesus ascending into the heavens on a ray of light (Beam me up Scotty).

      Sounds about as believable as the usual explanation.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Curious, I suspect that you're being facetious?

      That said, if it was "Aliens," they were small and simple critters that oozed around in Earth's primordial soup. That's not the type of "Alien" that most people would appreciated; its not very Hollywood. Simple creatures are probably not as exciting as, say, god waving his magic wand and creating unicorns, Santa, giants, tooth fairies aliens or whatever other fantasies humans want to make up. It's no wonder that Hollywood exists. By feeding humans a steady diet of fantasies that emphasize how great we are, human vanity is reinforced. Religious text, in almost every case, is no different. In both Religion and Hollywood, the scripts are filled with stories that show how great we can be and also how we fail. With a little magic and fantasy, we leave the setup believing we are special. Since we're the one's writing the script...we get top billing. What a surprise.

      September 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  60. Bob

    Even if you don't believe, the hostility that atheists show toward religion is odd. It's like showing hostility toward culture, philosophy, art, etc. Religion is obviously something that is inate to human beings. It should be viewed and studied as such anthropologically, and not condemned in a self-righteous, judgmental way. Not believing in God is fine but to denounce it like they do is like denouncing cultural customs of Indonesians or something. Learn from it, or ignore it, but stop being so damned angry and self-righteous.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Jacob M

      If art connoisseurs allowed their passion to inform the laws and rules of our society, then those who care little to nothing of art would be just as vocal as atheists in our society. Of that, I'm certain.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • 99Army

      Bob, I have at times found myself hostile towards religion. This is due to the fact that it is always shoved down our throats. Whether it'd be the folks of various denominations that show up at our front door, attending a function in which we have to now do a benediction, and things religious folks say to us for not being religious such as, if you don't believe in Christ you will go to hell...meanwhile, murderer's and rapists can go to heaven so long as they believe in Jesus.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • Bob

        No one in western society has religion shoved on them. Your problem is that you don't want to even be exposed to it at all. I don't like modern art but I see forms of it all over the place. That's my problem and no one else's. Western civilization would be unrecognizable without its religious heritage, for better or worse, probably worse. Just go with the flow...

        September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • atDissenter

        99Army, don't forget the pledge of allegiance that our children are FORCED, quite literally, to say before class. When I was growing up, I thought it WAS prayer. And then they wonder why we are so perturbed?

        When it comes off our money and our laws. It's pretty obvious who is running the show and it's pretty obvious that they're oblivious to their own heavy hand.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
      • atDissenter

        I meant to respond to Bob not 99Army.

        Bob, you're oblivious to your own oppressive hand. The dollar bill is, quite literally, a contract. We don't have to sign this promissory note because our regulatory system has established a system, based on the rule of law and our trust that these notes have more value than the ink and paper they are printed on.

        "In God We Trust." NO, WE DON'T! Yet, we are forced to agree to this "contract" every time we buy something.

        Would you be so casual about it if every time you opened your wallet, you had to agree to a contract that you don't believe in?
        How about this one: "We Trust In NO God."
        or: "In Tuna Fish Sandwiches We Trust"

        If its really such a small issue then you should be open to these, right? The truth is this. Believers don't care about how their beliefs really affect non-believers and if you spent even one second to consider what this means, you'd realize how heavy handed believers really are.

        September 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • LuisWu

      The problem to me is that religious people want to force their ideas on everyone else. In the form of legislation. (school prayer, outlawing abortions and birth control, outlawing stem cell research, teaching "creationism" as if it were real, not allowing gays to have equal rights, passing laws to control women, etc. etc.) if they were content to wallow in their fantasy world and not bother other people that would be fine, but they're not. They want to force their ignorant mythology one everyone.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • God is Dog spelled backwards

      I think most people just want it left out of our Government and Schools, the insidious intrusion is causing most of the animosity. If it is left in the Church and in believers hearts the scorn would disappear.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  61. ViperGuy

    What many Atheists fail to realize is that Darwin still believed that God was the ultimate lawgiver, and later recollected that at the time he was convinced of the existence of God as a First Cause and deserved to be called a theist. While Church and State are supposedly kept separate in the schools, there are clear double standards present in the system. I think religion should be a topic of discussion. Everyone has a religion, whether Christian, Muslim, or Atheist, it's what you believe and practice. Disallowing its' discussion at such an impressionable age has systematically changed the way society operates and thinks today, compared to years back. If the "theory" of evolution is allowed to be shoved down every kids' throat as a fact, why can't an alternative creation "theory" be explored in the classroom? Whether they like it or not, Evolutionists primarily exist in numbers today, not because of a greater understanding of the universe, but because schools have been the medium of brainwashing one-sided theories to religiously uneducated children for the past 50 years. Parents generally don't have deep religious discussion with their children anymore, so where do they get their religion? From the only source teaching them today. (2 Timothy 3:7) While the parents of generation X and beyond are to blame for this, the one sided stand the schools take have eroded faith and beliefs. For example, when presenting the makeup and complexity of DNA, would it be so wrong to explain the other possibility, that it is probable that it was designed by someone, based on the astronomically low chances of such a mechanism coming about on its own? They don't have to name that engineer, simply imply another possibility as being a probable cause. That could prompt the child to ask their parents questions, and spark more conversion at home, something that is lacking today.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • todd

      the alternative christian "theory" cannot be taught in classrooms because it fails to meet the criteria of a scientific theory. It has no ground to stand on. Evolution is reinforced by facts, something creationism will never have on its side.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • DrNick

      Your argument is well laid out, but I think you have missed the key difference between science and religion. A scientific theory has a set of data that can disprove it, whereas a religious theory can accomodate all data and explain ti away. The important teaching behind science isn't always the theory itself. When you teach science, you are teaching a child to challenge the current accepted ideals and see if you can break them. Try your best to break down a theory and think critically about its evidence behind it as well it's implications. Religion teaches acceptance based on faith. These are key differences, which is why they should not be put together in the school system. If you want your kids to learn your way of thought, fine. But in order for our society to progress, we need more and more kids to grow up challenging and thinking critically about accepted dogma. This include evolution. I accept evolution as the most likely pathway to our existence not only because it was taught in science class. I accept it because there are thousands of people constanlty trying to disprove it and so far they haven't been able to. I accept it because it has predicted thousands of discoveries before they were discovered. But I don't accept it on faith. If one day, a set of data came out... say an "adam and eve" species that just popped out of nowhere without any ancestors, that would make me say, well that doesn't fit the evolution model. Either we need to reevaluate, or look for a new model. But so far, we have yet to see this in the data.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • cleareye1

        Darwin was a pioneer who brought the light to us all, but he was still an amateur at evolution as we now know it. There is a lot to learn yet, but at least science is up to the task. Religion is frightened of the truth. That will be its demise.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • atDissenter

        " That will be its demise."

        If done correctly, religion does not need to be proven wrong. It just needs to be obsolete. When people get tired of the contorted positions they must keep in order to hid in the ever shrinking gaps of knowledge, religion will simply become unnecessary.

        When that happens, it will be held in the same disdain as, say, Astrology.

        September 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "They don't have to name that engineer, simply imply another possibility as being a probable cause"

      thats the disguise intelligent design tries to use.....its creationism in a trenchcoat and false nose that still has 'god did it' as its core.
      so yes, it would be wrong to discuss science and throw in religious ideas as well.

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

      Atheism is not a religion. It is a viewpoint. It is not based on faith and dogma, but reason and evidence (or lack thereof). I've had a serious talk about religion with my kids. I've told them it is a lie and to run screaming if anyone tries to indoctrinate them with it. I have explained how at first it was a kind of science – early man trying to understand the natural world. Then it mutated into a political control system – a way for those in power to keep the general populace under control. I have explained how nothing professed by any religion has a single shred of truth or fact, and that any person who claims to believe the tenets of any religion is either a liar or mentally defective.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
      • 21bejay

        How do we help the person who lies and the person who is mentally deffective? thatt is where I should begin to understand the meaning of the exparience I am having at present. It could be as well that the other person is thinking me lier, or mentally deffective. Is it possible that I need to keep a level of detachment, a withdrawal from controversy?

        September 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  62. Patrish

    My forever questions is why, if God exists and is so powerful, would have humans right a 'silly' book, or have some guy dies on the cross to save us from what? Him? If he is all powerful, why not just instill it in us from birth the knowledge of him and his desires for us. Sorry, I think religion is a shame. It's about scaring people, and about power If churches didn't have followers, they have no power. Religions is about power and control. It's easier to say 'it's God's will' then to say 'have no idea' how that happened.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Barry's Brother

      Don't be sorry; you simply don't know what you're talking about. This is why you're confused.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • cleareye1

        "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

        September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Vik100

      The answer is in your heart from where all good and bad comes from. God wants you to be free in a Godly way not in a wordly way. Men's sins come from his heart when he starts believing that he can be bigger and more powerful than God or be like God. You want to reason like God and NONE of us can. Our thoughts are not his thoughts. He created everything and has dominion over everything. True happiness does not come until you trully seek him and find him. Search in your heart.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • bla

        I found blood in there. So is blood happiness and salvation?

        September 7, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • ViperGuy

      Because is he just told us everything from birth, we would be like preprogrammed robots with no purpose. One of our purposes is to freely worship God they way he intended. But it has to come freely and not by compulsion. Which is why he doesn't step in if we don't. We only suffer the consequences later. But he did instill in us qualities that animals do not posses, qualities that reflect him in his image. Love, Joy, Kindness, Faith, and Self Control to name a few. The animal kingdom does not posses any of these, and these qualities are not required to survive and therefore did not evolve.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • God is Dog spelled backwards

        Viper, there is Kindness in the animal kingdom.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
      • atDissenter

        "Love, Joy, Kindness, Faith, and Self Control"

        ALL of these exist in the "animal world." Don't believe your own self congratulatory hype.

        By the way, we're also part of the "animal world."

        September 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  63. John M

    The evolutionist and his opponents always misunderstand each other. The evolutionist assumes that every theist believes in a literal creation story. The theist assumes the evolutionist is giving a fundamental theory of everything, rather than the causal processes which produced our bodies.

    Dawkins frequently aids, rather than dispelling, this misunderstanding.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Vulpecula

      not al theists believe the same creation story. Christians, Jews and Muslims all have roots in the Abraham, but there are billions that aren't, and have their own different versions. Or, none at all.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • John M

      My point exactly. Theists believe many different things. Arguments against them often assume that they believe stupid, foolish things, which isn't exactly fair. If you offer an argument against somebody, attack what they actually think and not a caricature.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • atDissenter

        What you're missing is that you said Atheists believe...

        September 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  64. Cholaso

    if heaven and earth exist then they must be overpopulated, i.e. since creation (when?) all dead humans were taken to one of these places and resucitated.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  65. Journey

    The funniest thing to me in this whole "Science vs. Religion" war is that neither side probably understands one thing they are talking about. It's all about books, money, and fame anymore. Just like that Catholic Nun speaking at the DNC claiming all along she was doing it for the common person. Signing book deals, media, appearances, political speeches. Very humble.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jim in PA

      Biologists and other scientists know exactly what they are talking about with regards to evolution. You see, it's an absolute provable fact that evolution exists. Ever hear of antibiotic resistant bacteria? Ever wonder why you need a different flu shot every year? Microorganisms reproduce and evolve rapidly enough, that the "theory" of evolution can be replicated many times over in a petri dish.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  66. Fred8680

    I thank God ( or whatever) for Richard Dawkins

    September 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  67. M.E.

    I don't think science and religion in particular repel each other. After all, Buddhism is a religion and the Buddha taught followers to question absolutely everything including his own words. I think it's more a problem with religions that are seen as the absolute truth. They're close-minded and must reject anything that doesn't fit with their story. Those religions are less a search for truth and more of a set path to march along. But you can't really learn and grow if you trudge down the same road as everyone before you and you know what's to come, you can only improve yourself and the world if you step off into the grass and endeavor to discover a new path. That happens to be where the sciences and a certain religion that can also just be a philosophy blend very well together.

    In general, I don't care much for religion, I don't bother thinking about it enough to pick a side, which I'm told makes me an "aptheist."

    September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • bff

      Religion can stay out of science's way as long as it doesn't claim anything conflicting with science. The opposite, on the other hand, causes religious certainties to become metaphors.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  68. Derek

    I love how creationists downplay his knowledge as 'ill conceived', and then go back to believing in mystical fairies because it's just easier... what a waste of precious time religion has bestowed upon us. It's like the entire class is being held back in kindergarten because 1/3 of the kids keep eating glue

    September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Vik100

      Go ahead and beilieve in Mr. whatever. I believe in a God that has done many miracles including in my own life. In ihis son Jesus who has shown me the way to eternal life.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • bff

        You opened the door. Can you list your own miricles? Let's get some objective responses to them.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • todd

        Prove it.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • Derek

        Science has proven that the definition for a miracle is a moving target... You call life a miracle? I too think it's amazing, however I liken it to the universe creating a way to know itself... but go ahead and keep your faith in mystical sky creatures, it's none of my business. What IS my business is when religious fervor is fused into public policy. Keep that nonsense out of my life!

        September 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  69. What?

    He is not an intelligent design 🙂

    September 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  70. Barry's Brother

    But if the evolutionary process is purely "survival" driven, then how can we trust anything that comes from the evolutionary side of the fence with regard to morality? Why would notions of morality even be considered from a system governed by natural survival instinct alone? How does morality even have a place there? Why does it show up?

    One of the hallmarks of Dawkins is that he makes grandiose, dogmatic statements declaring his wisdom, but rarely if ever explains himself or backs up his assertions with real science or even sound argument. It's pathetic that anyone really listens to the guy.

    Here's an example: "There are evolutionary roots to morality, but they’ve been refined and perfected through thousands of years of human culture."

    Where are those "evolutionary roots"? How have they been refined and perfected?

    Dawkins is an empty suit that's found a voice among fools – he being the chief.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • bff

      For humans, our shared morality is part of what helps us survive to reproduce.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Reddo

      So you can't see how monkeys have morals? They do know right and wrong. They'll share. There are numerous experiments on that and a quick google search will show you those.
      There are also species of vampire bats that assist each other by donating blood and they also keep track of who is helpful to others and who isn't.
      Dawkins many times explains why he thinks that it is so in his books. Like how a gene that increases helpfulness amongst others like itself has a higher chance of being reproduced.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • memyself

      Chimpanzees grieve when family members die. They suffer mental illness. They take care of sick and disabled relatives. They demonstrate compassion.

      So do we. And we share 97% of their genes. Funny coincidence.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  71. Tips

    Many religions believe that personal agency is one of the most important facets of this life. This answers why God is so evasive; if He were obvious, we wouldn't have anyone with opinions like Mr. Dawkins.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  72. ArthurP


    If God created everything in one go and then the all drowned in the flood why are there no bunny rabbit fossils mixed in with the dinosaur fossils?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Barry's Brother

      There are. Look up "Cambrian"

      September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • memyself

        No there aren't. Go ahead an look up Cambrian (Explosion). Not a problem for Theory of Evolution. And, by the way, dinosaurs didn't exist until about 200 million years after the Cambrian Explosion, and mammals like rabbits 200 didn't exist until about 20 million years after the last dinosaurs (excepting birds) were extinct.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  73. Sara

    The biggest problem with the religions of man has always been that man is put at the center, and called "special" . the Christ followers are the worst of this lot. Lose the ego, gain some broader understanding of epochal time

    September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  74. bill.x

    This pompous assss is so misguided, he dosen'teven know his own logic fails him. "When I die, I will die, as my brain will rot". Well, who is that "I" who knows it has a body that has a brain that is capable of processing thought. If he was just the product of what is produced by the brain, then he would not be capable of knowing he had a brain, he would just be – like the animals he claims are his relatives. That "I" which knows that is within all of us is "God" No matter – who cares what these full of craap know it all's think.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Vik100

      The man has not have an encounter with GOD, his creator. What can I say?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • David Iganov

      I agree with your argument that there is a question about what makes me me and not you or anyone else. However, God is not a necessary explanation for the 'I' you are referring to.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • bill.x

        I suppose you know God. I just know he exist within and throught out.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • DrNick

      If you are so tied into your faith, why even watch any video dealing with science. Your argument is dealing with his use of the word "I", so let's deal with that. I is what he calls himself in the present tense. It is simply a tool he is using in language so that you know which body he is talking about. For example, he could have said... when a human dies, that brain in the skull that was attached to that human's torso will rot. But, I think we can all agree that that would be a little annoying. Secondly, your argument of self is a little more tough to deal with as noone really knows what the self is. For you it's god, which is fine. But don't get all stressed out when someone is talking about evolution. Your brain exists because of millions of years of evolution. That doesn't mean your sense of self can't come fom a god. Personally, I don't see any reason for believing in a god as it doesn't help me get through my day. But for you, if that's what you believe, go for it. It still doesn't mean that the rest of your religion is right in that the world is only 10 thousand years old and that we were formed out of thin air, or some dirt and a rib for women. Personally, the fact that we are 98% geneticaly related to chimps would say to me... evolution is more likely than out of thin air, even if some part of me is derived from a devine being, like my sense of self as you seem to believe.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • bill.x

        No, that is not what I think. I know the difference between my spirit, I, and myself. I know that I have a body that has a brain that is capable of thought. And I know that the brain distinguishes itself from others
        bodies/brains by creating the self – myself – which our parents and society pounded into us to solidfify our physical existance. It is then our mission to figure out our source of true being – or not – either way is ok – but rotting flesh in the heap of mankind is not it – I know that.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • atDissenter

        billx said: "It is then our mission to figure out our source of true being – or not – either way is ok – but rotting flesh in the heap of mankind is not it – I know that."

        First, you don't know if it's "our mission to figure out..." Second, you don't "know that." You feel that.

        September 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • scorp

      The pompous ass here is you. Stop embarrassing yourself, evolution is true no matter what you cretins believe. Seeing you ignoramuses thrash about like children refusing to take their medicine makes me laugh. It is a pity fools are so convinced in their folly that they don't restrain their mouths and let all sorts of foolishness escape their mouths. Science always wins, science is what is true, science killed middle eastern Gods more than a century ago.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
      • bill.x

        Phuc you buddy.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Bill.x, did the bible tell you to say that? It seems your moral master has failed you. ONCE AGAIN.

        No surprise there though.

        September 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  75. MJSouth

    If it is not possible to prove yes, then you can't prove no!!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • David Iganov

      Nothing is proven in science, not even the theory of gravity.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  76. Cmorcat

    FAIL. You'll find out how badly later.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  77. jdoe

    The universal may be unfathomably vast, and humans seemingly insignificant in comparison. But on the other hand, the universe would not exist if there is no one there to observe it.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • cleareye1

      That's why we have imaginations. Most of us don't use them though.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • lawrencewinkler

      Huh? The universe existed before life existed anywhere, before earth was formed, before the Sun formed to become a common if not below average star, and before the solar system formed.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  78. Billl

    smart take on everything from a humble man, good show! (time for the little gods of Man to fade.........)

    September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  79. Vulpecula

    I just can't fathom why so many Americans still believe in a bronze age myth. Any arguement they have to "prove" the existance of their good is no more valid than an argument to "prove" the existance of any other god. The sun rises every morning so the spegetti monster must exist! It's not just a argument about evolution, but geology, physics, astronomy, archeaology, biology, history as well. Religion and all belief in the supernatural is a sham.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  80. Vik100

    Keep Lying to yourself Mr. atheist.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • bff

      You are a troll, right?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  81. hoponpop

    If everyone important to you believed in the Great Pumpkin would you disagree? I hope this ridiculous issue goes away and science wins out, but I don't think it will be soon, most of the Republican side of the House believes global warming is a hoax.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • DrNick

      Here Here Brother.... we've got some serious work to do. What makes this issue so relevant is not the specificity of evolution vs creationism. It's the fact that people who end up in charge with millions of voters behind them, don't understand science at all and are fearful of it, and so our decision making power as a society is severely diminished. Until we leave behind the 2000+ year old books and stop teaching our children the earth is only 10,000 years old, we will never see true progress.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  82. Cholaso

    If a tiger kills a tourist in a safari park in Africa, and the tiger was created by god, will it go to hell when it dies?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • ArthurP

      Animals do not have souls they do not go to Heaven or Hell. Remember to tell your kids that when their favorite pet dies.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • God is Dog spelled backwards

        Dogs and Cats deserve heaven a lot more than most humans.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • atDissenter

        And you're verifiable proof is coming soon? Should I wait for it or should I just assume you're not telling the truth?

        September 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • atDissenter


        September 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Vik100

      Animals have no souls.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • cleareye1

        It would be a very unusual tourist park in Africa if it had tigers.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
      • bla

        And your god created them anyway for what purpose? It's hard more trouble than it's worth to kill and eat other predators. Why didn't your god just make more prey for us instead?

        September 7, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • atDissenter

        Vik100 said:
        "Animals have no souls."

        First, proof please...(I'm not going to wait for you to provide that will NEVER come.)
        Second, we are animals too. You've seen Jersey Shore, right?
        Third, "soul" is but another made up premise, like Santa and the Tooth Fairy and, of course humans have a soul so called animals don't. After all who wrote the rule book?

        Interesting how that works out, isn't it? Hmmmm.

        September 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  83. Jim

    Anyone who says, "Evolution is not a controversial issue" isn't very bright. Dawkins is also more than willing to accept Aliens flying around the universe, sprinkling planets with life-producing material (e.g. sperm), but then scoffs at intelligent design - mind-boggling illogic.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Billl

      um, I think you missed a major point. try reading it again

      September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • David Iganov

      Intelligent design is a massive jump to a conclusion without evidence, and thus it is nonsense.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
      • Link

        I think you're confusing intelligent design with "creationism". Creationism is "Poof, then the invisible being did THAT"!.

        Intelligent design is: "Our dna came from elsewhere in the universe, through a serious of spontaneous or even semi-conductive responses to matter, in which single became multicell, therein allowing our accidental birthing. The transportation is left to speculation, but is seemingly caught in the vast solar winds and celestial bodies, inevitably careening towards one another in catastrophic fashion to destroy, and inadvertently create".

        September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
      • memyself

        @Link You are confusing "Intelligent Design" with "Panspermia", an interesting, but marginally useful theory.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Vik100

      they think of themselves as very intelligent which in itself tells you everything you need to know.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  84. Jim in PA

    Question for evolution skeptics: Please explain why French Poodles didn't exist 5,000 years ago. If god didn't create them, then where did they come from? Animal husbandry and breeding are a form of artificial selection that results in evolution.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  85. m

    and dawkins has nothing to teach us!
    what a silly pathetic "man"!

    September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • atDissenter

      m said: "and dawkins has nothing to teach us!
      what a silly pathetic "man"!

      Like you would actually want to learn?

      September 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
  86. Tips

    When I create I evolve. I'm a programmer and my latest creations have clear signs of earlier creations; I borrow from one to create the other. Is it possible that God created the earth and all life using evolution? If so, then everything makes sense - at least to me.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • jdoe

      It's fine to call evolution "God". It's another to personalize this process, nd then write a book detailing the specific laws, rules, and customs that process demands.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • atDissenter

      To add to what Tips said.

      I deny the existence of a god but to all of those god believers out there, what if god meant you to believe in evolution and you failed to see what he put out for you to see?

      God [put] all of those dinosaur bones in the ground and the believers, instead, relied ancient words written by incredibly ignorant people who didn't even know what those twinkling lights were in the sky.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • bla

      This would be Einstein's god: an unknown force of nature that set up the laws of physics and nature and then vanished without a trace.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  87. Whodat?

    Who really gives a crap? To each his own. I belive what I believe and you belive what you belive.....the only thing we know 100% is that we are all due a date with the dust one day...don't know when....don't know how....but, one day we'll breath our last.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  88. edmundburkeson

    Evolution is not controversial as long as you admit it is a statement of faith. It is when you present it as a law of science when it is justifiably controversial.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Jim in PA

      In the absence of evolution, please explain why pugs, labradoodles, and Jersey cows didn't exist 5,000 years ago.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • bla

      It's called a theory for a reason idiot.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  89. Barry's Brother

    People still listen to Dawkins? Really?

    September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  90. Graham Dennis

    "But who cares what creationists think they don't know anything"

    Amen Richard, always telling it like it is! 🙂

    September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  91. Paul

    Are we getting in the way of evolution? Are we artificially encouraging the continuance of genes that do not encourage the fittest to reproduce, but allow the weakest to suceed? Would weak eyes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, etc be less prevalent if we allowed nature to remove those traits from the gene pool? By encouraging the less capable to live longer and spawn, are we defeating evolution? I would think that if it worked in one direction, tossing a wrench in the works might make it operate differently.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • atDissenter

      Paul, good question. Is it sustainable to keep populating this planet as we are? Unfortunately, believers are told that they don't need to worry because their god will "fix things." Their book tells them that their god will care for us no matter how big their families are and no matter how many people we put on this planet. In US politics, the Right tends to be populated with more fundamentalist religious believers and they tend to think they are immune from the consequences of their greed and carelessness. They say they are "Conservatives" but there's nothing in their policies that promote conservation. They continue their non-stop assault on the environment.

      We may be doomed even if we protect our environment. It would e nice if we could fix what is within our grasp. Then, curing cancer might be workable.

      September 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  92. Nat Q

    I like Dawkins a lot, but I REALLY wish he'd stop using the word Darwinism or Darwinian. Religious people often try to attack evolution as a following of the man (Darwin) and not acceptance of the science and using terms like Darwinism instead of evolution give them fodder for that BS.

    September 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Righton

      Evolution has been embraced and espoused by many well before Darwin. but it was Darwin and Wallce who proffered a mechanism for it, hence leading us out of the dark ages. He is justified to identify the construct as Darwinian.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • NekoMouser

        Justified, yes. But also providing creationists with fodder for their willful misconceptions. And while Darwin did take the idea to whole new levels and get the basics outlined, we've discovered SO much since then that I think "evolution" is a much better catch-all term for the processes involved.

        Matter of opinion, but this is one case where I feel you lose nothing to change the word, and may even be more accurate in doing so, but

        September 8, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • atDissenter

      Good point Nat Q. It's not their beliefs but their science that matters. The history of science is littered with Scientists that were also believers but their science still stands because it is verifiable.

      September 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  93. DrNick

    It is not faith we have in Darwin as rational scientific beings. Science differs from religion in one major way. Religion teaches to accept on faith the teachings of the books/elders/etc. Science teaches you to challenge theories and ideas until the end of time. The whole point to a scientific theory is that it must have a set of data that would prove it WRONG. This differs from a religious theory in that there is no set of data that can tell you a god doesn't exist. A good scientific theory will also be able to create logical predictions of data it should be able to find. So for evolution, the data set that would prove it wrong would be for example a creature that is unrelated to any other that just springs into existence without any ancester(i.e. Adam and Eve). So far, that data hasn't been found. Adam and Eve... turns out they're 98% related to chimps. What makes evolution so compelling is that thousands of predictions have been made, such as predicting specific intermediates between species before they were found and then someone digs up the fossil of a creature that was actually predicted by the science. This is why those of us who have accepted evolution as the most likely pathway to our existence get so angry when the creationists tell us that its all some small chance that it happened, when actually at this point, its a very unlikely, very small chance that it didn't happen this way.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • bill.x

      Yet many scientist believe in god.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
      • super3slug

        How is less than 5%, "most" ?

        September 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • super3slug

        * "many"

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

        Many scientists believe in Astrology, Voo Doo and Scientology. So what?

        September 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
      • atDissenter

        bill.x yes, belief in a god and the scientific method ARE a contradiction. Science works despite the personal beliefs of its creators.

        September 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Seyedibar

      yes, scientists are only human, so they have the same potential for intellectual failure as any other human. They sometimes get things wrong. They also sometimes fall prey to the false claims of religion. And sometimes they even lose in Vegas.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • faithful

      why would there still be sooo many differnet species of ape and monkey, humans are a different species than apes. I m 100% related to my brother but I did not derive from him...theres no link between them

      September 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • the truth

        Theres absolutley no link between apes and human, tottally different species.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
      • Michael George Erdmann

        ...ape, man and you....

        September 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • memyself

        "why would there still be sooo many differnet species of ape and monkey, humans are a different species than apes. I m 100% related to my brother but I did not derive from him...theres no link between them"

        There aren't "sooo" many different species of ape and monkey. There are only a few. You realize that there are 20,000 different species of beetles, right? ("God has an inordinate fondness for beetles." - J.B.S. Haldane). And unless your brother is an identical twin (in which case you *did* derive from him) you are not 100% related to your brother. On the average you share 50% of the genes of your sibling: you are 50% related to your brother.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  94. svscnn

    Always interesting to witness the highly charged debate between affirmed creationists and atheists. I'll never understand what makes either so "sure" of their respective "belief."

    Me, I'm an agnostic. I don't know. I don't claim to know. And, I'm perfectly comfortable admitting that I may never know.

    It seems just as possible that there IS an Intelligent 'designer" of some sort, and that science is simply the means by which "it" accomplishes its end, as that there is NO "designer" at all.

    Either way, I'm not going to lose any sleep.

    And I'm still going to eat a tuna sandwich for lunch.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  95. ArthurP

    How Did Life Begin? RNA That Replicates Itself Indefinitely Developed For First Time

    We are getting closer.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  96. Evolution is one issue but...

    How, let alone where and when, did life originate? Science still does not have a reasonable/widely accepted theory so far as I know. Sure we evolved in some way – I do accept that as fact – but how did the first living thing(s) come into existence? I figure Dawkins would still attribute that to cosmic accident of some kind. However could first forms of life have really started up from non-life processes?

    September 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • John M

      I.e., I can't think of an explanation, so there must not be one.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • Evolution is one issue but...

        No. I think the much more open and fascinating question is on the origin of life, not this so-called debate on evolution. I am certainly open to further research and findings on that front.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jim in PA

      You are right; evolution (a proven fact) is very different from the various theories on the origin of life. When scientists hypothesize that life of Earth might have come from an asteroid (i.e. another planet) then you know they are really punting the football on the issue.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • atDissenter

        They are proposing a hypothesis just as all great scientific discoveries were first proposed. They then communicate their idea to others that may have some insight. As an idea progresses, they find proof to support that new idea. If they can't find that proof, they drop it.

        September 14, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Just because you are not aware of a theory that is well grounded in science does not mean one does not exist.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  97. MarylandBill

    Dawkins really doesn't understand Faith. Most of his attacks against religion are built on his particular view of faith (one that seems to be common amongst atheists.. at least internet atheists), and then attacks that view.

    Lets start with the notion that one can believe that God created the laws that drive the Universe but it does not logically extent to him creating every species. He actually misses a logical connection here. Given enough knowledge, it is possible that God set things in motion in such a way to create exactly the world he wanted, complete with every species, and indeed every individual in it. Its kind of like a display of dominos dropping. Each domino that falls is the result of what the person who set up the dominos has done. He or she is directly responsible.

    Also, he is quite right that there is no direct logical connection between a natural belief in the existence of a god and the existence of Jesus as that God. Its hardly a new idea... it didn't even originate with Atheists. Thomas Aquinas talked about that more than 700 years ago. What is possible is this... coming up with the idea of God through nature, and then linking that God with Jesus from history. In other words, looking at the world as it exists, not just through the eyes of evolution (which Dawkins seems to do), and decide that given that God exists, that Christianity best accounts for what we observe (i.e., the Brutish, nasty way that humans tend to treat each other, the existence of suffering, death, greed, etc.)... yes there are scientific ways to explain them, but the world is more than just science.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • LuisWu

      So where did this god come from? Did he just manically "poof" himself into being? Religious people claim that the Universe couldn't have come from nothing, but they have no problem believing that an invisible, supernatural man in the sky could.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • justonehook

        He has always been, and will always be.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • bill.x

        @justonehook – you are correct. There is nothing above or below, nothing to its right or left – all that ever happenned or will happen happens within god.

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

        "He has always been, and will always be."

        "you are correct. There is nothing above or below, nothing to its right or left – all that ever happenned or will happen happens within god."

        I love the Christian style of thinking, cause it's spoken the same way bad teachers teach science: This is what happens, learn, memorize, repeat. If there was even the remotest chance God existed then you would find people saying "There is currently reasonable grounds for belief in the theory of an omnipotent deity outside the realms of time and space" – and they wouldn't mention it without the word "hypothesis" attached. In stead, you have Scientists who are Christians for reasons unrelated to science, and you get "Christian Scientists" who look at anything which doesn't quite fit our current models, not matter how unverified the data, and then say: Look, this isn't right, it was God.

        If only life was that simple eh? But religions argue all the time about which one is correct. There is only one "science" – only one set of scientific truths which can be deduced by observation and experimentation, and if a theory is disproved you move on and make a new theory, narrowing down the process. If you're religious, it seems the process of narrowing down the right religion is to try and kill everyone who disagrees with you. Then you find disagreements in the small print of people who originally agreed with you, and try and kill them.

        Meh, humans are weird. We'll evolve out of it 😀

        September 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • bill.x

        Pricey – Science is not absolute – they just as well guess, and if they all agree with their guess, then it is science. If it later is found not to be, what ever they all agreed was true, then they claim they have evolved, again, and create a new truth.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
      • LuisWu

        Justonehook – how utterly absurd. The Universe couldn't have come from nothing? Sounds like your god did. "Always existed"??? Why couldn't the Universe have always existed? Some scientists think there are many universes, many big bangs. The Universe can't have come from nothing or can't have always existed, but a magical, supernatural man in the sky could? HA HA HA HA HA. Yeah, right. Whatever. Grow a brain dude.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • Pricey

        Bill.x – You don't know much about the Scientific method do you?

        Ok, they create a hypothesis. E.g. all swans are white. Now, if observations and recorded experiments show only white swans then it becomes more convincing and more well accepted, until it becomes a scientific theory – something based on large amounts of evidence and a wide consensus of scientists, creating a model for the colour of swans: They are white.

        Now, when someone finds a single orange swan and provides reliable evidence for that claim, the entire theory is destroyed, and a new hypothesis is created and tested. E.g. 99% of swans are white, they have a regressive gene which can make them orange. With repeatable, valid experimentation and observation by different groups this hypothesis could also become a scientific theory, developing essentially a new model for swan colour.

        In reality, we can't say for sure that every single swan will be white, yet we can create models based on observations and predictions that they will be. If this turns out to be incorrect, scientists will create a new model based on the new evidence which is closer to what the absolute truth is. The science isn't absolute but the process brings us ever closer to the perfect model (we could never create a perfect model of everything, but every new theory leads up to it).

        Assuming you have followed the bizzarre swan example, let's think a bit differently: Gravity is, scientifically, just a theory. It is a model, part of which states: If you drop a stone, it will fall to the ground. If you drop a stone and it rises through the air then you need to develop another model that accounts for this possibility of flying stones and attempts to explain it. The flaw is not with gravity, but with our understanding of it. The universal laws of which gravity is a part are constant, however our understanding of gravity (and thus the theory of it) can change as we find areas which contradict the current model.

        Think of it like this: We know there is something which keeps pulls us down to earth. The theory of gravity is scientists way of saying: This is our best guess of how it works we can make at this time, it works to explain all known situations (within parameters), if the theory turns out to be flawed, then we will work out in what ways it is wrong and develop a new, more accurate, model, taking account of the new observations. The universal laws haven't changed, but our perception and understanding of them has improved.

        It's not creating new truths, it's refining or discarding previous beliefs about how the universe works based on new evidence. A scientist never argues for something to be completely accurate, it's all models and theories. You can only disprove things in science by providing a contradiction, you can never prove something to 100% accuracy, as the next experiment might provide a contradiction.

        I've wasted a lot more space explaining this than I originally want to, so I'll finish quickly. You finish by saying "then they claim they have evolved, again, and create a new truth." – As I said earlier, we are simply closer to the truth, we haven't created "new truth" even if what we understand by the phrase "the truth" is accurate.

        With your use of the word "evolution" – Technically the theories have evolved, but I would recommend you didn't use the phrase evolution in that context, because, judging from the rest of your posts, you don't actually know what you are talking about, and you will only serve to confuse yourself and the people who believe similarly to you. Suffice to say there is a fundamental difference between "evolution" and "natural selection".

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

        bill.x said:
        "Pricey – Science is not absolute – they just as well guess, and if they all agree with their guess, then it is science. If it later is found not to be, what ever they all agreed was true, then they claim they have evolved, again, and create a new truth."

        Pricey, good post. I fear the people that should read it won't.

        I would guess that Pricey's post is too Sciency. And even if believers do read it, I am certain they would disregard it. From repeated experience with believers, they have NO interest in finding a real solution to the scientific problems that are out there because they sit confident on the "science" in their 2000 year old books. It's obvious they don't care about finding real scientific facts, if they did care, they would have disowned the obvious mistakes in their own religious text.

        Believers trust in science only as far as the extent of current understanding. As each new invention describes our lives in new ways, fundamentalist believers conveniently forget that god once governed the mystery that existed before that discovery.

        As a consequence, their god is forever hiding and shrinking in the gaps between current scientific knowledge.

        September 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  98. Bob Lewis

    Over 2000 years ago, a guy named Siddharta Guatama, aka, The Buddha, explained the universe exactly as it is: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form." It wasn't a parable, lesson, metaphor, or mystery. What he meant was that the universe and everything in it is the Absolute, Awareness, Consciousness (call it God if you like) in form. The Absolute is timeless and eternal, but the form is constantly changing in an eternal, timeless Now. The Absolute is the ocean and we are the waves, under the illusion we are separate beings in a universe of separate objects.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Using terms like "what it meant" eliminates a serious challenge to Dawkins' ideas. All religious zealots use the same trick.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • Archyle

        No, We have seen the age where science was allowed to run almost unchecked and it brought about a term which the mere thinking of sends chills up my spine, Mutually assured destruction....before we allowed science to do so we did war with one another, but more people have died due to scientific advances in the ways to kill one another in world war 2 alone than died in any number of wars previously. Over half a billion people....

        Since the start of the 20th century science has made us more comfortable, but at the cost of the biodiversity of the earth and our own health. Our grandparent's generation lived off the land and didn't ingest chemicals and preservatives like we do now, and they have and will live longer than mine will.

        All science has really done is consolidate power into the hands of the wealthy and made us less independent as people. Our creation of vaccines (a slap in the face of "Evolution" which used them to do away with the weak) has created even stronger diseases by mutating super strains of bacteria and viruses. You see, human nature does not seem to fit in terms of the evolutionary model which scientists like Mr. Dawkins propose. His disregard for the facts when comparing things done in the name of religion and things done in the name of scientific advancement...shows a clear bias and not scientific neutrality.

        but he is the messiah of the athiest. the last word as it were...I'm not buying it.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
      • Sn0wB0arder

        archyle – what is the point of your comment?

        are you suggesting we should intentionally retard scientific advancement?

        do you somehow believe that a greater understanding of our world is actually the root of our problems?

        September 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
      • Facepalm28

        Wow...just wow. First of all, you need to get your numbers right; the total number of deaths in WWII wasn't even CLOSE to half a billion, not even within the same order of magnitude. The only thing that killed that level of the world's population was the Black Death, and oh, by the way, SCIENCE is the only thing that could prevent a similar disease outbreak recurring. Your grandparents may have "lived in harmony with the earth", but they also had a quarter of their children die in childbirth, from random colds, or from infections from minor injuries. I'll take the science that has all but eliminated that, thank you very much.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
      • One one

        Life expectancy is longer now that ever before thanks to science.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
      • Judas Priest

        Religious devotion clearly does not make one less likely to use great extremes of violence and destruction.
        All of the people fomenting those horrible plans, with all those scientific weapons?
        Most of them were religious. People of faith.
        Dwight Eisenhower, who originated the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction? Devout Presbyterian.
        Douglas MacArthur, who wanted to nuke North Korea and China? Devout Baptist.
        Let us not leave out all the devout believers all over this world at this very moment who lament the fact that they do NOT have weapons of mass destruction to smite the unfaithful with.
        No, religion does not make one less likely to slaughter people. In fact the point could be made that it may very well make one MORE likely.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
      • David

        Judas, Sorry being religious doesn't make one more likely to want to kill. Being human makes us want to kill. Go ahead and blame whatever enables you to sleep at night. But eradication of religion whether you are worshiping a god or whether you worship science or something else won't help. The more radically and fundamentally you embrace something the more likely you will kill those who don't think like you. I see the whole Democrat/Republican thing as a clear powder keg. We no longer contain any boundaries on our intolerance once moral fiber however you derive it gets pulled from the picture.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
      • Aimhere


        Science is not bringing about the destruction of the Earth as you are envisioning it. MAN is. Science is nothing more than a tool. Man can use it for good or for evil, but you must blame the man, not the tool, for the world's problems. Science by itself cannot make up for the arrogance of greedy, power-mad men, who would STILL be greedy, power-mad men if we were at a 1800's level of technology.

        Without science, we wouldn't even have the tools or knowledge to "live off the land" as our "grandparent's generation" (or even great-great-grandparent's) did. Even something as simple as a garden hoe had to be invented, then perfected through the application of intelligence and reasoning, which is a scientific process. Likewise, the methods for doing any kind of sustainable farming, or the crafting of clothes and shoes, had to be created though science. Without science, we literally would still be cavemen, restricted to scrounging through wild bushes for our food, or killing animals by hurtling rocks found on the ground. I don't think ANYone would successfully argue that this style of living is preferable to the way we live today.

        If anything, science shows us that mankind is responsible for its own success or failure.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
      • monstermd

        I've spent some time causally observing physicist and evolutionist. The biggest different between the two is that most physicist merely present their findings. They go hey, this is what we found and that's it. So it's pretty hard to argue against physics. But evolutionist are on a completely different scale. They find one thing and blow it up even though in the end it has shown nothing. There is a huge difference between adaptation and evolution. The biggest problem that evolutionist still refues to admit is the fact that there are conditions that need to be met in order for life to be sustained. Next the problem they face is how do you explain the variation of species in a common environment? The last big question that evolutionist cannot explain is why we are the only ones who have intelligence to the point we do. Dawkins himself asserts that intelligence should help us avoid extinction because of our technological advances. I could go on but it's pointless. I think if we intelligently look at species, we will see that they are all built to do something unique that is not driven by their environmental conditions. If environmental conditions drove change, we should see more commonality among species and we don't. If accidentally discovering something like using a stick to get ants out of a whole led to intelligence, then we should see intelligence increasing in certain primates and we don't. And if animals were as intelligent as people try to make them out to be, they should be driving cars and figuring out how to dominate their environment and we don't see that. Humans are not the fastest, nor strongest species on the earth. We're just the most intelligent and that goes a long way.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
      • sqeptiq

        In every generation are Luddites. Archyle is just a recent incarnation.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
      • sqeptiq

        Archyle is simply the latest incarnation of a Luddite...every generation has them.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
      • 21k

        humans have been searching for our origins since they could think. having a deity as the maker of all things is handy, because it allows us to stop thinking for ourselves. the math is too hard for most people to try and comprehend evolution, which is really just another word for adaptation. religions were created to keep tribes under control:"better do what i say or the big guy will be mad!"; again, intellectual laziness. when i reflect on a god that the creationists say is responsible for everything, i think about why he would create hitler. oh yeah, the old free will argument: hitler's free will to murder millions was more important to god that the collective free will of those millions to live in peace. that tells me this god must be something that i would never want to spend eternity with. maybe heaven is really hell: you are stuck for eternity with a monster that would not stop the holocaust. no thanks, i'll take darwin and the big black void at the end.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
      • mark

        @ Archyle – Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! You are the type of person I just avoid at all costs as you seem to live in your own version of reality.

        September 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
      • I Am God

        Archyle I remember when the Christians executed those who spoke differently then what the Christian church wanted people to know. Scientists were executed for what they believed to be fact. Don't start speaking about how science destroys everything.

        September 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • czbetaco

        Cleareye1..provide us evidence that there is no GOD! otherwise, satan is waiting for you to take you to hell. And you think satan would want you to be back to earth to warn the people that hell is a place of misery? Hell no! because satan wants you on his kingdom...

        September 6, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
      • bpuharic

        Archyle is a typical religious revisionist. He confuses ignorance with profundity. The fact religious fanatics like he is are able to use technology to destroy hardly means the basic science is wrong. If it were wrong it wouldn't work. What he's really shown is that religion understands nothing and has nothing to contribute to humanity besides death

        September 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
      • David

        Archyle must of heard the "In my day..." speech and instead of rolling his eyes like everyone else, actually take it seriously. lol

        September 7, 2012 at 1:21 am |
      • Mel

        Trick? You merely have the option of believing what we believe or not. I've been a Christian for 35 years, and not ONCE, have I heard any conversation or sermon where it was dicussed how we were going to "trick" anyone into anything. This truly is the end times.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:18 am |
      • matt

        @ monstermd – you are incorrect – evolution has nothing to say about how it started – it says what happens after – you are referring to abiogenesis, something that evolution doesn't touch upon what so ever. It is an often made mistake, please don't propagate it further.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:54 am |
      • mememememememe

        archyle, it is not science that kills but how we humans use it. we should be using it to improve and advance our lives, not to kill people. as humans we will never biologically evolve much beyond what we are now because the weak and the sick don't die as they used to, most of them get better. hopefully we will evolve socially and intellectually, but only if we get past our overwhelming greed that stomps out all our compassion for our fellow humans.

        September 7, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • Lee

        czbetaco We often hear religious people ask us to prove there is no god. So you're really asking us to prove a negative, something that is almost if not completely impossible to do. Those who advace a theory, such as the existance of a god, should be the ones who need to provide the proof. I will prove you to you there is no god just as soon as you prove to me that the tooth fairy of our myths doesn't really exist.

        September 7, 2012 at 8:48 am |
      • Ted

        @Archyle....LOL. OK.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:09 am |
      • BCJones

        Archyle, thy name is Ned Lud

        September 7, 2012 at 9:14 am |
      • Alex

        Vaccines do not, make super-bugs. Antibiotics do. Vaccines make your immune system stronger towards that particular disease. Antibiotics are like Red Bull for your immune system. They fight the infection, but wear off, and your immune system is no stronger than it was before. The bugs mutate to beat the antibiotics. Vaccines just teach your immune system to fight it. Science has done humanity so much good. We have modern medicine (vaccine), computers, automobiles, etc. Science has its drawbacks, but it is very helpful in general. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot. It is our future.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:41 am |
      • The Dude

        Archyle, scientific discoveries have of course come up with better ways to kill people. People kill people for many reasons. But to say that is has had an overall negative effect is ridiculous.With genetic advances to food, alone, billions of people are feed where otherwise wouldn't have food. Science did that. Those billions will turn into more billions that will be fed. Science has also turned our lifespans from mid 30s to mid 70s to 80s.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • chefdugan

        The man is absolutely right in everything he said. If some of you idiots will read him carefully you will note that he said not one word about politics, or ecology or any other buzz words the ignorant are so fond of. He was just stating the truth as he sees it, without religious garbage to muck it up. He left that to you guys.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:48 am |
      • fsinner

        Archyle – if you don't like the advancement in science so much, please answer me this: assuming you have a family and kid(s), let's say one of them falls really sick and needs a heart transplant. Think about it... the doctor has said that your kid's heart has almost given up and without a new heart, he/she will die. This is completely against the world view of religion; a new heart??? Come on, only god can create and destroy people... you can't simply swap body parts! So... what will you do? Tell the doctor to perform this ungodly act or take your kid to church and pray for a miracle? Come on... be honest to yourself for once in your life and answer it.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:17 am |
      • Glen

        Judas Priest said: Religious devotion clearly does not make one less likely to use great extremes of violence and destruction.

        Are you conveniently forgetting other people who killed million over millions of people over the hundred of years. like Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot, Hilter, Mossolini, Genghis Khan, and on and on are you telling me they were all religious people too. No far more has been done by those claiming no religion and no God because they seared their God placed conciousness, than those who claim to believe in God and those people normally did it because they were attacked first or challenged in some way to do it,at least in most cases, that odes not mean religious people can't do atrocities too.

        The problem is the "heart" of man as Scriptures in Jeremiah explains "it is desperately wicked and deceitful and no human can understand it" only God has the cure to make you whole again.

        You can mock God all you want but in the end He will prevail and you will stand and give an account of every word you ever uttered. Humans are the only ones with a God shaped vacuum that only He can fill. You don't see animals building temples of worship, to a God they may or may not fully know, this is unique to human alone.

        Learn from creation it is constantly singing songs of praise to its Creator and we should do like wise! As Jesus said the stones would cry out if I stopped my people from praising me; He obvioulsy knew what He was talking about since he was there at the beginning and hears that Eternal song time either from creation or from His created people who truly know Him.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • Punkmonk

        @Archyle. The Nazi's were Christians dear. Science does not make Man do evil, the motives of Men make Man evil. The desire for power over others has been a bane to humanity from the time an Ape picked up a stick to wack another Ape. Religion solidifies power over the masses for the wealthy and powerful. Science gives us greater understanding of the natural world around us, it's a tool to use for good or evil. And again, that is our Choice how we use it. Have you ever seen a war fought over principles of Science? or have you see wars fought over the principles of religion?

        September 7, 2012 at 10:37 am |
      • Ezekiel

        'One one' observes, "Life expectancy is longer now that ever before thanks to science."

        In the vein of 'Crocodile Dundee', you call THAT longer? What's five, ten, even fifty more years compared to eternity?

        Slight correction: Life expectancy is longer now than ever before thanks to Jesus.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:59 am |
      • Tyler

        don't feed the trolls people

        September 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
      • Doh

        @Archyle I could beat you with a baseball bat, does that make baseball an atrocious innovation? No. Science and technology inevitably advance. What we do with it depends on us. I'm also sure your NRA would disagree with you when you claim that the invention of the gun was terrible and can only be used for killing people.

        @czbetaco You sound so sure he exists that you must know him personally to buy all that crap! So what does he look like?

        September 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • Julie V.

        Still wondering how evolution theory can get past the Laws of Thermodynamics, specifically the second one.? In the interest of knowlege and learning itself and based on the fact that there are millions who believe in Creationism alone vs. evolution–why can't we all be taught BOTH and make our own decisions based on evidence –by the way, in looking at the lack of a convincing fossil record–most of what was "proof" has been found to be fake (Piltdown man) or just plain wrong. I saw an interview with Mr. Dawkins in which he explained the origins of life stemming from crystals and possbily having aliens involved. I am still wondering where the crystals and aleins came from.

        September 10, 2012 at 11:54 am |
      • peridot2

        Archyle, your WWII numbers are far out. It was false science that led to the extermination of millions in the Holocaust.
        In the Middle Ages the bubonic plague (yersinia pestis) killed 2 out of 3 people in Europe.

        Back to school with you. Pay extra attention in science and math classes.

        September 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
      • max3333444555


        typical failure of logic. based on your own book christ holds the keys to hell. also, there was never a time when any person in the old testament went to hell. the lake of fire was were the fallen angels were cast, not people.

        another failure of logic – prove there is no god. what a statement. prove a negative is a typical argument of religious folks. when you reverse it and say prove god does exist they always fall back to the bible. what says the bible is the word of god? the bible says it of course.

        reminds me of the commercial about everything being true on the internet. "where did you read that?" – "why, the internet, of course."

        September 13, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
      • Slurp - Code Keeping II

        It is now plainly clear to all of us that you never read the Bible and that you formed your opinion about the Bible based on negative films, atheistic indoctrination books and other ignorant people opinions – BUT NEVER READ IT YOURSELF.

        September 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
      • Gjones

        Cleareye1: Dawkins is a drama queen who is full of negative energy, and continues to use two-three key phrases or words, to sound intelligent. He is an idiot, and you are his cool aid drinking moron follower.
        Read the Dawkins delusion, it's written by a scientist too.

        September 18, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
      • Mear Stone

        Ad hom and therefore irrelevant.

        September 19, 2012 at 3:30 am |
      • VHN

        We have "science running unchecked" to thank for modern medicine, computers, the internet, cell phones and the highest standard of living ever. Letting science run free is awesome!

        September 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
      • Poltergiest

        "What it meant" is their response when you try to put words in the mouths of Religious individuals since many athiest seem incapable of anything other than out of context interpetations that support their narrow viewpoint of several billion poeple.

        September 25, 2012 at 11:16 am |
      • atDissenter

        Slurp – Code Keeping II said: "It is now plainly clear to all of us that you never read the Bible...– BUT NEVER READ IT YOURSELF."

        I love how believers always assume that non believers have read their book of fiction. If only it were true, you might actually be able to sustain an argument about your own book of fiction.

        Perhaps you need some example of the mistakes, contradictions and violence in your glorious book? Perhaps YOU have not read them? Well, I know you have but understanding is quite a different issue.

        September 26, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
      • QuintoBlanco

        A lot of your questions have been addressed by Stepen Jay Gould. If you have a real interest in the theory behind evolution (even if you don’t believe in it) you should read his books. A quick reply: evolution is at its heart a random process that uses what is available. In all likelihood human intelligence is a byproduct of the ability to manipulate objects with precision (the part of the brain that makes that possible is also responsible for language) and the ability for complex social interaction. The latter is extremely important for bipedal apes because the human pelvis (designed for walking) makes giving birth very difficult. Human babies are less developed at birth than their counterparts in the ape world, so humans have to work together to provide support for the newborn.

        October 1, 2012 at 1:14 am |
      • Wrenn_NYC

        Alex, your understanding is faulty.

        Antibiotics are to treat bacterial infections.

        Vaccines are to galvinize the immuny system to stimulate the immune system to make antibodies. 1) they are either small amounts of a disease (antenuated/inactivated) of the microorganism (virus) or dead (killed) versions of the virus. 2) They can be small amounts of a toxin (toxoid vaccines), 3) protein subunit – part of the microorganism (a protien fragment) that can stimulate the antibodies. 4) conjugate – protein outer coat used to stimulate. There are other types but these are the main ones.

        But remember – bacteria and virii are not the same thing at all.

        October 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • geckopelli

      Your explanation– from a fat guy who preached self-control– explains nothing.

      Explanation is the exclusive property of SCIENTIFIC THINKING. Philosophy is simply a method of rationalizing one's ignorance. Just like the bible and koran and every other battison of stupidity

      September 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • CC

        Well Said.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • NOT MY CHAIR

        Buddha was not fat, he is depicted of being fat because he was full of knowledge

        September 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • Battison

        Battison of stupidity, eh?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        Not true. Evolution is one conclusion reached by those who start from a certain point and make certain assumptions along the way. It is not known if the starting point represents what conditions actually were. It is not known if the assumptions are correct. Therefore, evolution can never be a fact.

        Dawkins says that "children should be taught where they come from, what life is all about, how it started. . . ." But Dawkins does not know how life started - no experiment has shown that life can spontaneously appear. He just assumes. He also says "we are cousins of gorillas, we are cousins of monkeys. . . ." He undoubtedly bases this on DNA similarity. But there has been no scientific experiment to show that organisms with similar DNA are related in an evolutionary way. Again, it is just an assumption.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • tq70

        so called scienctific thinking explains exactly nothing. Best it can give is the description of phenomena. No answer, what's so ever, to the question "why"!

        September 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
      • LOL

        Everyone thinks they're smart 🙂

        September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • cliff

        yo chair...old budha was full of something...and it wasn't fat! I use to think an athiest was just confused but I now believe they are a little "light" in the upper region.

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

        I'm assuming you were trying to use the word "bastion"? An excellent example of "one's ignorance"...thank you for that.

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

        You are mistaking the Buddha for Hotei. The Buddha was not fat.

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

        philosophy gave rise to many of the sciences we have today. without decarte and his method of doubt the scientific method may not have even gotten started. philosophy is just reasonable answers to open questions. key word REASON. there is religious philosophy but when it comes to metaphysics it doesn't hold water. one of dawkins most avid supporters is daniel dennett, a very well known contemporary philosopher. in fact philosophy gives some of the strongest arguments against a divine creator and absolutely shows the complete contradiction with the notion of an omnipresent, omnipotent and all good creator.

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

        like its any different to listen to a white-blonde-gay guy we call jesus

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

        "But there has been no scientific experiment to show that organisms with similar DNA are related in an evolutionary way. Again, it is just an assumption."

        This is 100% incorrect. There have been many experiments that have shown this. One of the best showed how viruses sometimes infect germ cells, adding random bits of genetic code in an organism and all of its offspring. Scientists are able to determine when these events occured in the past because different species sometimes have the same exact 'garbage' viral DNA in the exact same place in their genomes (containing tens of thousands of genes) because a common ancestor millions of years ago was infected by a virus.

        Try actually reading some real science sometime, instead of just repeating the same old nonsense.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • Dan, TX

        Explanation is not the exclusive realm of science. Roses are beautiful, I think we can all agree with that. Do we need science to explain it? Don't get me wrong, I am a scientist, and I'm an atheist, but there is much science can't explain for a variety of reasons. An explanation gives a reason for what we all already agree to. We can't use science to explain why we should or should not go to war in Iran. We can't use science to explain how much to cut spending and how much to raise taxes.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • little jack

        Well each person has their own belief. But Darwin was off. How can each person have unique DNA, the sun rises and sets. There is something greater than us and that is God. If Christians are wrong than we led the best life we can even though we make mistakes. But, if we are right and i believe we are, your eternity for not following the Lord will be so awful we as humans can't imagine the greatness of your future pain

        September 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • George

        Science explains, Philosophy understands, and it's "bastion" and not "battison" of stupidity.

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

        Buddhism holds one thing above all others- that change is inevitable. This is why they are quick to throw out any old belief if and when science says otherwise. This makes it different from all other religions. It holds no ideology, is constrained to no dogma. It holds science in favour of all else.

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

        Philosophy is the study of "being". The discipline of science came from philosophy moron. Evolution is still a theory. It has not been proved, but it is prolly the best description logically of how we got here. Science, math, logic, are tools. The problem with people like you and dawkins is you exclusively think science will disprove God. You can not disprove a negative. I don't need science to prove to me that there is no God. Rational thought and Reason are way different than rationalization. Which is, by the way what religious people do.....they rationalize their existence through something that is an abstract......why would anyone do that?

        September 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
      • Rob

        You are comparing philosophy to religion have you even taken a philosophy class?

        September 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
      • William

        sure have @Rob, and I was also trapped in the guilt machine a.k.a. religion, as a child. I finally became conscious one day, and escaped the mysticism that clouded my mind, and started to use Reason.

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

        @Bob Bales
        the theory of evolution is excepted based on the overwhelming evidence. Theory in science has a different meaning than what the general population understands it to be. The theory of Gravity is also excepted based on the overwhelming evidence. Would you deny that too? Stop believing in bronze age myths. Your god doesn't exist any more than the thousands of other god or gods that man created and then abandoned. Even you supposed god acknowledged he wasn't the only god when he supposedly said "thou shalt not have any other got before me". Of course, he wasn't speaking English either.

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

        Actually, explanation isn't the exclusive property of scientific thinking (that's a self-aggrandising statement). Science is decidely limited, as it cannot determine anything outside of the physical realm. While science has achieved incredible things, and will undoubtedly do more, it can never go outsideof that limited field: science cannot prove or disprove the existence love, but we know that love exists. Science cannot measure pain, but we know that pain exists. Science cannot measure happinees: would you argue that happiness therefore doesn't exist (applying the same scientific logic that you use)? Look beyond the limited focus and seek the truth – you'll be amazed at what really exists.

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

        That is a gross misrepresentation. You think love does not exist in our realm of the universe? You understand that, by definition, science cannot prove things?

        We already can test for pain, it is a measurable phenomenon.

        Why do you think science will never be able to detect love or happiness? You know we already study the thought patterns of belief, right?

        September 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
      • ajinla

        The only crock is you. The very laws you live by are written, and conceived by philosophers. the natural laws that make it possible for you to live are made by God, they did not just happen to be. Without such laws no life would be possible and chaos would rein supreme. You are the biggest moron to have ever lived. I guess to some point evolution is right you obvioulsy did come from a monkey.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
      • ProPatria

        A thorough study of philosophy begins with the fundamentals of human reason – the selfsame principles all human thought is built upon, including scientific thought. Though science and religion may duel, neither approaches anything that resembles a pure or absolute truth. In terms of absolutes, science is no superior to religion. The labile history of each has only shown for a certainty that they will both always be wrong about everything. If anything, they both might be said to be differently defined mechanisms coping with uncertainty – the one human absolute. One might be more empirically based than the other, but not more comprehensive when posed within an active field of possibility and infinity. In no capacity can the human mind attain absolute comprehensiveness unless it itself (and by itself) is the infinite absolute. In other words, in order to possess universal fact (science) or knowledge of God(religion) you yourself would have to be the entirety of the universe or God itself.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • Steve O

        The question "why?" is tantamount to the purpose of seeking scientific knowledge. Unless you're looking for some sort of cosmic "why", which implies causal reason, which requires a deity.
        In that vein, using science to explain a mythical creature is impossible, in the same way that religion cannot be used to explain how an internal combustion engine works. For you to imply over the Internet that the scientific method has not benefited mankind at all is ironic at best and grossly uneducated.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
      • Satan

        "Explanation is not the exclusive realm of science. Roses are beautiful, I think we can all agree with that. Do we need science to explain it?" -- Science doesn't explain that 'roses are beautiful' all. Beauty is determined purely by the perception of the PERSON looking at the rose. Someone else may look at a rose and find it repulsive. Science CAN attempt to explain why different people have different perceptions about the same things, however. Science can explain how the rose came into existence, it cannot explain why precisely YOU find them beautiful; only YOU can explain that. Also, perceptions change over time as a result of countless types of stimuli and experiences, so to say "roses are beautiful" is actually inaccurate. The correct phraseology would be "roses are beautiful to me at this moment in time because..."

        September 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
      • Sean

        @little jack: Which is more likely to be true? A) Out of thousands of different religions world wide the one you choose to believe in is "the right one", or B) None of them are right. Given that the vast majority of them are contradictory and profess mutual exclusivity, I know which one I think is true. Also, Pascal's Wager is just posturing. As an atheist, I have lived the best life I can, and I do everything I can to make sure that the good that I do outweighs the bad that I do. I just choose not to believe in something that has no evidence of it's existence. If our fate is determined by living a good life, why does belief in a fairy tale alter that outcome? There is no good that is accomplished by or in the name of religion that cannot be accomplished by purely secular means. Religion brings nothing irreplacable to the discussion, and is therefore replacable with logic and reason and free thought.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
      • Jerry


        "Beauty" is entirely subjective, not empirical. You, as a scientist, should understand the difference.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • TKO

        This is simply incorrect. science measures and repeats, and draws conclusions–sometimes wrong–from those repeated measurements. In fact, science does not explain very well–it provides raw information about the world, or one small aspect of it, and when it sets out to "explain" that data it often gets it wrong: the hydrodynamic view of nature from the 19th century, or the clockwork universe of Newton are moribund, to say the least. These stories that science tells are useful–the Newtonian story still works in most cases, nonetheless, the universe is not a clock, nor is it purely mechanical– but they are not "true" in any meaningful sense of that word. They are factua, but inadequate. I.e, the fact is that humans experience some combo of neurochmeical interplay they call love. What that is, however requires other modes of understanding–philosophy, art, and yes, religion.

        We tell stories to explain the raw data of science–and the stories are always just that–stories, some true, some part true, others false.

        Now as for your rejection of religion: there are religions of belief (Christianity, et al) and religions of practice. Do not confuse them. Please educate yourself in this regard. The Buddha told his earlier followers to take nothing on pure faith–practice, meditate, lead a virtuous life and see if it makes you happy. But this is not mere ethic either–more and more studies indicate that meditation practice reduces craving/addiction, reactivity, and depression. It seems to rewire neural pathways to do so. In rejecting such religions in the cavalier way he does, Dawkins, and you, are not really very good scientists, are you? You and he obviously know little or nothing about a physiological/mental religious practice, and yet you feel free to make fun of it and reject it out of hand–like, well, like the fundies reject science. Hmmm....

        September 6, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • You can't be serious

        "Therefore, evolution can never be a fact."

        There is zero doubt, absolutely none at all, that evolution is a fact. Hopefully what you really meant is that you don't believe evolution has been proven to explain the world as we see it, but the reasoning that precedes the quoted sentence suggests that you actually believe there is no evidence that things have evolved, period. That position–that there has been no evolution–is patently false. Forget about the fossil record–there's plenty of evidence of evolution happening in time periods short enough to be observed.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
      • acmecr8tive

        "battison of stupidity" could you mean bastion? I personally like the clip of Dawkins "IS RICHARD DAWKINS REALLY STUMPED? The TRUTH – In His OWN WORDS" on youtube much better. If evolution is the only game in town, how come he can't answer this simple question?

        September 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
      • terri

        Since God created science, I don't see the problem.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
      • QMB

        Bible yes.. But Quran !!! read it sometime

        September 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • Sean

        @acmecr8tive Oh you must mean this one, right? Try being more creative next time.

        \/\/ \/\/ \/\/ [dot] You 2be [dot] co/\/\ ?v = [dot]uz1CiDDIq4

        @terri Please provide evidence to support your claim. We'll wait.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
      • R. Wilson

        Somewhere above, tq70 says that science does not answer "why?" I assume this is a reference to the "why is there something rather than nothing" question. The implication is that religion has the answer. God made it all. But that does not answer the question, why did God make it all? There are creation myths, of course, which try to answer this. Quantum mechanics provides a better explanation. But that is science, and it involves a certain amount of study to understand it. It's much easier to just say, "God did it."

        September 6, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
      • Bill Duke

        Science-ism is just another religion.

        September 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
      • Kevin

        In defense of Buddhism, it really does not have a dog in this race. In Buddhism there is no God, no element of faith, except in one's own ability to achieve happiness, and no polarizing views (expect that there is no creator). In Theravada Buddhism there is an element of "gods," but they have no impact on humanity, so they are irrelevant. It's more in a Hindu sense where it all means something to an individual and his/her psyche.

        It really does not make sense to include Buddhism in this argument. Buddhists would not side with theists or atheists. The buddhist idea is more along the lines of, "Please have your argument in the other room. We will be in this room working things out internally. Eventually, although we will have to keep working at it, we won't need a room at all." At its core, Buddhism does not support concepts, as they lead to what this blog turns into: an argument, a.k.a. suffering.

        Dawkins is extremely logical, and I agree with just about everything he maintains. But, his arguments have the same faults as that of overzealous theists. He only presents one way to look at things, which, despite his research and his rock solid rationale, ultimately boils down to an opinion. I am not a theist, but I do think there are humans who have experienced great happiness being theists. Perhaps it has to do with their level of understanding. Maybe their brains are evolved to understand the world in that way. Who knows? Whatever we say about it is because we have faith in a certain answer, not because we actually know something. If we believe or don't believe, what's the difference?

        It should also be said that Buddha was not an overwieght asian who wore jewels and goofed around all day. If he lived at all, which textual evidence from different sources suggests but doesn't confirm, he was likely nearly emaciated for much of his life, as he was homeless, ate one meal a day, and was reliant on receiving food from others. Also, it is said over and over that Buddhism does not argue with reality, so whatever science presents would be what it would be, from a Buddhist perspective. However, it just won't ever be the bottom line.

        I hope this is helpful for everyone. It is meant to show how Buddhism does not belong in a thread that argues theism vs. atheism, or myth vs. science. It's really a separate discipline altogether.

        September 7, 2012 at 8:56 am |
      • Z_2k

        BATTISON of stupidity...really ?

        September 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • Charles Darwin

        What's a battison?

        September 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • Poltergiest

        Philosophy plays a role in ethics which is fundamental to things like, I dunno "Rights", the atheist equvalent of a sacred text. There is no reason what-so-ever to treat your fellow man fairly regardless of what over-fed professors might think.

        The ethics of not taking humans for invasive experimentation has justifications in philosphy but scientifically it makes no sense. Imagine what could be accomplished he we were allowed to work with living brains when developing cures for diseases, instead of voluntarily donated brains that are already dead. We could accomplish so much, cure so many diseases without the lowsy ethics that philosophy put in the way.

        The only people who think that a decent world arises out of emperical data alone, are just as deluded as the religious indivduals they ridicule. Society has been built over thosands of years, one that could not have existed without religion, philosophy, or ethics; the same as it wouldn't have survived without science, goverment, and education. Also, the fact that most athiest frequently repeat the same talking points over and over makes me doubt the validity of the term free thinker? Or whether or not they understand how religious thinking works?

        If you've limited your thought based on what you want to be true. You thoughts are far from free.

        September 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • aurelius

      You are a reminder of what religion fanaticism is about, as if it wasn't enough that most wars have been fought over the ridiculous theories and believes that you seem so proud of.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
      • Pinewalker

        oh that's right I forgot how deeply religious Hitler was

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

        Nah, most wars are fought for greed.

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

        This statement doesn't agrre or disagree with any thing in the article it's solely a response to your statement. Wars have been fought over religion but "most" over resources (land mostly) or ability to tax.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • W.R.Martin

        Hitler was Catholic, so yes, you are correct. Check the 'pedia, if you wish:
        In political relations with the church, Hitler adopted a strategy "that suited his immediate political purposes"

        Much like most, if not all, people who claim to be religious. How convenient!

        BUZZ. Next. Thanks for playing, though. Consolation prize of the home game awaits you backstage.

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

        Pinewalker, Hitler was very religious. And in case you forgot he also tried to exterminate members of a different religion. All of WWII was about religion. Just as every war is about religion. Why is there so much fighting on the Middle East? Religion. Why do Middle Easterners want to get rid of Israel? Religion. Why do Republicans keep insisting that Barack Obama is a Muslim? Because they know that most people who will vote for them think that's a negative thing. If religion went away most of the world's problems would be solved.

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

        W.R. Martin: Hitler was NOT a "Catholic". He may have been born into a "Catholic" family – who knows how much if any of it they practiced – but he rejected Catholicism and despised the church and all other religions when he became an Atheist. Plenty of Catholics died in Hitler's death camps – Look up Edith Stein or Maximillian Kolbe who died heroically in a starvation chamber to allow a father to be reunited with his wife and children.

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

        Hitler 1933

        “By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. It will observe the agreements drawn up between the Churches and the provinces; their rights will not be touched. The Government, however, hopes and expects that the task of national and ethical renewal of our people, which it has set itself, will receive the same respect by the other side. The Government will treat all other denominations with objective and impartial justice. It cannot, however, tolerate allowing membership of a certain denomination or of a certain race being used as a release from all common legal obligations, or as a blank cheque for unpunishable behavior, or for the toleration of crimes. [The national Government will allow and confirm to the Christian denominations the enjoyment of their due influence in schools and education.] And it will be concerned for the sincere cooperation between Church and State. The struggle against the materialistic ideology and for the erection of a true people’s community (Volksgemeinschaft) serves as much the interests of the German nation as of our Christian faith. …The national Government, seeing in Christianity the unshakable foundation of the moral and ethical life of our people, attaches utmost importance to the cultivation and maintenance of the friendliest relations with the Holy See. …The rights of the churches will not be curtailed; their position in relation to the State will not be changed.” Adolph Hitler – 1933

        September 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
      • JoJo

        “I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord’s work.” Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
        “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. ….. As a Christian ……I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.” Adolf Hitler

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

        There have been lots of little wars through out history that were fought because of religion, But for the most part these wars used religion as an excuse for war, As for the two greatest wars ever fought neither one was over religion, Neither has America ever gone to war to defend religion. Unless you consider Oil a form of religion. This is just the first thing a Athiest fires out of his mouth in his tirade against God, You may have an opinion that there is no God and I have an Opinion there is a God Neither one of us can tell the other there Opinion is wrong, Its just different. So as a Country we have to find a way to Live together and get along, We are not going to change each others minds. The belief in God or the Non belief in God is a choice we all make, It cant be forced or taught. Its just part of our own personnel evolution.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Chad

        @ Wizard: "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure." "The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death." - Hitler, 1941

        September 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
      • Ken

        I love how religious nuts point to Hitler as an example of how great religion is. The facts are that Hitler could not implement his secular views, the Christian Germans rebelled when he tried to take the crosses out of classrooms, when he wanted to remove mentions of God in oaths sworn by civil servants. He could not rule without support, so he backed down on those things. But kill Jews? No problem. The Bishop of Berlin even wrote letters to British and American Bishops defending the Night of Broken Glass. Also Hitler targeted people because of their religion, he saw some religions as better than others.

        Anyway keep spouting your ignorant argument.

        September 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
      • Shootmyownfood

        Religion is often used as a justification for conflicts rooted in greed.

        September 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Craig Adams

      Dawkins and the other athiests lose me when they fail to see that all religion/mythology is in reality metaphor. And, the truth of the metaphor is of course not the symbol that is obvious but the underlaying transendant meaning. I have no complaint about his view that the truly literal religious folks miss the boat but he loses me when he denies a supreme being and metaphor. It is as plain as evolution is. Dawkins can't answer the how and who of creation.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • J

        Maybe, but the metaphor is presented as truth. Clearly many commenters on this blog assert the dire consequences for non-belief. Unfortunately, not many will donate money for clergy, and church hierarchy, and buildings raised to honor metaphor so it is unlikely any church would ever take that position.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • pauleky

        So why do you leap to the supernatural, something of which there is zero evidence. At least there is evidence to support Dawkins' views. Show me something – anything that proves any sort of deity and I might listen. Until then, your argument is the same as arguing the existence of the Easter Bunny.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • Kenja

        Craig, do you believe in life after death?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • Michael

        What you have in common with atheists is that you don't know how the universe was created, or whether or not God exists.

        Where you differ from atheists is that atheists admit they don't know anything, instead of assuming the Earth was created in a story which involves a magic boat, a talking snake, and a burning bush.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
      • Link

        The reason he lost you is because you've yet to read up on it. Don't backpedal, you're already snagged in it. Had you actually studied up on the idea of the hairpin evolution, you would understand how it makes evolution comes to reason with people who claim it's "just a theory with missing pieces". At one time, yes it would be a plausible argument; unfortunately, Dawkins, as well as three of the founders of the Human Genome Project cleared this topic up in "The Greatest Show On Earth", detailing how it is that if humans came to be, why are there still lingering creatures of such likeness to man. By all means, have your Unitarian Universal idea in mind, as it treads on no feet and reinforces most religions in a positive manner. It doesn't change the fact that they're referring to an invisible deity with whom no one has shared sentient contact with, nor does it have any visual representation.

        Evolution shoved past religion in the past 15 years, almost violently. You may agree with his idea of the literal translation of religious texts being childish, but unfortunately that's how the world is motivated to view it, because without it theological ideas would slowly lose control over people, and they'd sway into something they felt was deeper in meaning. People HAVE TO see religion as 100% undeniable fact and literal interpretation, otherwise all it is, is another magical anthology of folklore.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
      • therealbartonfunk

        I think that Dawkins and other atheist understand that some religious folks treat the Christian Bible as metaphorical and not as factual. I think he said so much in the interview. however, I know a lot of religious folks that think that since they don't take the bible as fact then clearly no other Christians do either. This is also wrong. Many, many Christians believe that Christian Bible is the factual word of god. Scary.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • Seriously...

        Just because science doesn't know everything doesn't mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairytale most appeals to you.

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

        Craig, you should really learn to type coherent sentences. There is no proof for a supreme being, so why believe in one?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • Andrew King

        Truth is relative, depending on who is espousing it and for what underlying motive. Facts are concrete and can be measured/weighed. Having a belief system that disagrees with itself by fragmenting into multiple factions tells my reasoning mind that there cannot be a Real Deity. Call it Human Nature or Human Ignorance....whatever you call prevents the human race from coming to a unanimous conclusion of the existence of a deity. Buddah was not a deity, he was just a man...however he came to "truth" as he sees it by his own effort. I myself believe the Universe is Alive...we are all part of the universe down to the molecular level. I don't believe the Universe has a Human type of Intelligence. I don't believe the Universe is a Deity. I DO believe there is more to existence after death, I don't believe in "Heaven" or "Hell". where does that put me?....waiting to see what comes next.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • Johnny on the Spot

        It is as plain as evolution is. REALLY, did you just write this? neither are plain and obvious in any way. that's the argument. although Science has years and years of proven theories followed up by facts, and religion has absolutely none. This does not say that there is no higher power, BUT science has done alot more to prove itself than Religion.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
      • religion; a way to control the weak minded

        "Dawkins and the other athiests lose me when they fail to see that all religion/mythology is in reality metaphor."

        LOL if the bible is the word of god like most think, then it is hardly a metaphor. It should be absolute, which it isnt.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
      • atDissenter

        "Dawkins can't answer the how and who of creation..." and "nobody can be certain whether the Earth or the Sun are at the center of our solar system...blah, blah, blah. Well, that's what they said to Galileo when he dared to challenge the Aristotelian Authority. You are incorrect that Dawkins "can't answer." Dawkins, like Galileo, can't answer everything YET. That does not mean they CAN'T. That is, unless, you have information that you would like to share that proves they can't ever prove every gap in knowledge. If the past is prolog, they WILL.

        Your "how" and "who" suggest that there was a beginning in which there wasn't something and then...magically, there was. The suggestion here is that you believe in magic. In other words, if the rules of the Universe are not universal for ALL time, then god MUST use magic. If you believe in god, you believe in magic.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
      • Mike,Albany

        Perhaps creation is little more than spontaneous fluctuations of the vacuum. If you study quantum field theory, which is a very accurate theory of the fundamental forces in the universe (for example, quantum electrodynamics matches experimental observations to some 9 or 10 decimal places), then you find out that the vacuum, i.e., the state of "nothingness" is actually a very complicated state with particles popping in and out of existence constantly and space-time roiling with small bumps and "bubbles". Out of all this complexity, big bang scenarios that give birth to universes are not inconceivable and, given infinite time, will all happen.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • shimmernrot

        It's obvious how religion exists to make people feel good. Even when something unpleasant happens to the devout, religion is a tool that tells them it's part of "god's" grand design. Hey, it's all part of the plan. Don't worry your pretty little heads. Everything will eventually turn out very well for you. Religion is a drug. Science does not stoop to pacify people's fear of the unpleasant aspects of nature or life. It presents facts whether favourable or not. Science = Earth will ultimately be extinct through any one of various ways (at least we have options). Religion = The world will come to an apocalyptic end but wait ... you get to go to a utopian scene and live happily ever after.

        September 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
      • bla

        "Dawkins can't answer the how and who of creation."

        And you can? You're more arrogant than you claim he is you imbecile.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • James Madison

      You should be in politics. You have just written an entire paragraph and successfully managed to say absolutely nothing.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • mk

      Even though I'm an atheist, I do believe that some evolved enlightened people who have lived on this earth had great things to say. Even though what Buddha was describing sounds "religiony", I think he was speaking in terms of science, that is, everything is made up of energy. He just used metaphors to describe it.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • craig a stewart

      It is too bad that Dawkins' work is not as well thought out and as well grounded in the scientific method as it is well publicized.

      I believe evolution is the best scientific explanation of the history of life on earth. But as a John Lennox once pointed out there is a difference between mechanism and agency that seems simply beyond Dawkins. Also beyond Dawkins is even a rudimentary grasp of any concepts of epistemology. No amount of understanding of the mechanisms and progress of evolution disproves a whit of the concept of universal agency found in any major world religion.

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

        Epistemology from the religious perspective could be simply reduced to "if I think it is to be true , it must be true". Same as most of the "theological reasoning" it makes any term meaningless, not just the epistemology

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

        Anything simplistic is going to lose out there. But the limits of our ability to perceive are a problem for epistemology that specifically excludes religion. There is a limit to what we can know firsthand and thus a reasonable limit to the conclusions that we can reach through that path. And it is quite plausible (maybe more common?) to find a construct with a divine/ethereal/dead-people agency to be a more complete explanation of our total experience than one without.

        September 6, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • nojinx

        " And it is quite plausible (maybe more common?) to find a construct with a divine/ethereal/dead-people agency to be a more complete explanation of our total experience than one without."

        The problem is that a more complete version in opinion does nothing to tell us the nature of the universe. In fact, it could damage our ability to accept the things that actually are true. That is the crux of the problem with belief in things without evidence. How do you know when to not believe in something?

        September 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
      • JFCanton

        Who says that one would be drawing that conclusion without evidence? Among other things the universe seems to favor irony, and until a theory is developed that explains that, a world with invisible actors is just as valid an explanation as randomness (which is the other option). It couldn't be an anthropomorphic God duplicating the context of a particular religion, obviously. But no one who claims to be self-aware should expect it to be.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Mark Cohen

      When one can accurtately describe how somethingness comes from nothingness....I will ascribe to the idea that this fruitbasket and Darwin may be on to something. Until then, its just cheap talk and entertainment.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
      • Nick Cellino

        And yet you believe fervently that God came from nothing or always existed. If God can be the reason for his own existence, why can't the universe?

        September 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • scorp

        Look at this "intelligent" man just wave away 150 years of research in one of mankind's most well supported and evidenced theories. What does it feel like to be so wrong and yet think you are correct? How many years have you studied evolutionary theory to just hand wave it all away and say it is wrong? Just another fool who thinks his opinions on science are worth more than a pile of dung. So sad this country is fool of imbeciles who ignore hard science in favor of their deluded fairy tales.

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

        There is a such thing as "something from nothing" at the subatomic level. There are particles, similar to but not the same as the Higgs Boson, that spontaneously appear and disappear from nothing. It happens.

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

        "When one can accurtately describe how somethingness comes from nothingness....I will ascribe to the idea that this fruitbasket and Darwin may be on to something. Until then, its just cheap talk and entertainment."

        So apparently the sentence "God said let there be light" is an accurate description...

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


        September 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
      • Seyedibar

        something never came from nothing. That is an inaccurate description of the Big Bang theory (which doesnt describe how the universe came into existence, but merely describes how matter came to spread outward. Matter has always existed in some form, once in a tightly clustered mass. The very concept of nonexistence is an abstract idea, but there was never actually nothingness. It's an impossibility, and knowing that makes it useless to presume what could create something from nothing.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
      • BioHzrd420

        Except that Darwin and evolution make no claim about how the world began. Only how species derive from other species. Please tell me what part of evolution and the process of natural selection states how the world began. And no, the big bang theory is not part of the theory of evolution.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • A Believer in Stephen Hawking

        The following is an excerpt from an article on Lawrence Krauss' recent book."

        "In just under 200 pages of his book, "A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, Krauss walks us through a hundred years of mind-bending breakthroughs in astrophysics, which have led scientists to the inescapable conclusion that our universe sprang out of nothing — "without design, intent or purpose" — and is destined to return to that bleak, cold, dark space."

        "A professor at Arizona State University, Krauss clearly relishes his iconoclastic role, gleefully demolishing all theories of creation that require a creator — that is, most religions."

        Stephen Hawking also states that "because gravity exists, the universe can and will create itself from nothing." He also says that "God did not create the universe and does not exist." Many other scientists have also denounced the existence of God. It is time to adhere to logical, factual and well-established scientific truths and discoveries rather than subscribe to an illogical, ancient belief system that was invented by primitive people thousands of years ago. This is, afterall, the 21rst Century! I very much appreciate the excellent responses to Mark's post!

        September 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
      • End Religion

        "When one can accurtately describe how somethingness comes from nothingness....I will ascribe to the idea that this fruitbasket and Darwin may be on to something"

        September 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Michael Haskins

        Mark – Just exactly what makes YOU an authority on biology so as to belittle the WELL substianted views these very intelligent men (Darwin, Dawkins)?I am allways entertained by the comments after atheism is mentioned! – it brings out some of the most intelligent as well as some of the most ignorant replies. Mark – try to READ Dawkins or Darwin – It IS a bit scientific, however rather understandable. you can use wikipedia to help with the big words.

        READ IT! I DARE YOU! – Darwin – On the Origin of Species..

        September 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
      • Lee

        When one can accurately describe how God came from nothingness... I will ascribe to the idea that you fruitbaskets...

        September 6, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
      • MOCaseA

        That is a few more words that you needed.

        *Hand wave* "These are not the Droids you are looking for."

        There... I fixed it for you.

        September 7, 2012 at 4:11 am |
      • Don Camp

        Nick, scientists long argued that the universe was eternal – though we now know that it is not. Even now with with the multiverse hypothesis there is the assumption that some thing is eternal. If science can imagine an eternal thing, why is it that you have trouble with an eternal God?

        BTW it is not the idea of an eternal thing that is the problem logically but an infinite series of things. The impossibility logically of an infinite series of real things is the reason that an eternal universe or multiverse is difficult to imagine. The impossibility logically of an infinite series of real things does not exclude an eternal God.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Lucke

      Dawkins and many other say they are atheists. Some others claim to be “true believers”. What about the “in between”? I believe the “true believers” are correct on what they say they know and what they believe on because it came from Faith. That is not true in the case of the atheist, simple because they came from reason and thus, knowledge. Knowledge is from what we call “science” at its best. Now, how much does science “knows” about the quest of “after death”? Nothing: a blind ignorance. Are there any models, hypothesis or theories about this issue? If not, then no one can claim to be an atheist for sure. The best approach for them is to reject faith for reason default. That, however, doesn’t bring any assurance to their atheistic believe. We must beware of words usage, such as “truth” and “knowledge”, an old disagreement since Plato and Aristotle, till today…

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

        Faith is the acceptance of a belief without proof. The scientific method develops a theory to test an observable hypothesis. You have set forth a test of something that is not observable.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • Sn0wB0arder

        lucke – your comment is ridiculous.

        faith comes from indoctrination and knowledge comes from observation.

        the two are in no way similar.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
      • datru1

        Exactly! Dawkins, although indubidly intellectual and intelligent, is just as much of an ignoramus as the people he claims to be such who believe in a higher power or beingness. (Forgive me, the human language is sooo limited in actually being able to discuss these matters). He can't prove that a creator, power, source doesn't exist, so how can he and his findings be all inclusively, authoritative?

        There was a scientist (forget his name) who has researched into all this evolution vs. creationism stuff. This is what that scientist concluded: "That creation coming together as it did being seen as just some "matter of happenchance" taking place, is insipid. It is like a tornado blowing through a junkyard and assembling a fully workable automobile. Chances of that happening....pretty much impossible"

        September 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
      • Greg

        datru1 – It was a 747, said by Fred Hoyle, and he was using the metaphor to argue for panspermia as opposed to abiogenesis, not intelligent design or a god, and only referring to how the first living organisms came to be in the ancient primordial seas. He was also not arguing against evolution, fully accepting it to be true.

        September 7, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • braxtonleo

      I think most people are atheists at heart. If people really believed in God and really believed there was an afterlife, why do we try so hard to prevent death? When a doctor gives us a grim diagnosis and tells us we only have months to live, why is that not received as great news– a chance to finally be with The Lord and live in heaven? The reason is that for all the talk about angels and God and Heaven and such, deep down, we all know the truth: Death is the end.

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

        Because most of those people understand how temporary and how precious a gift life is. Even though I believe in the afterlife I want to experience life to the fullest and be here with my loved ones. I want to see history marching on. Life is a trip and personally I believe its boot camp for the soul. How can you be so aware of your own existence and not contemplate that there must be a Creator? Even if you take humans out of the picture, animals, etc. and are only left with the universe and expanse of space, planets, and the did it get here? How did existence happen? I don't really understand how anyone breathing can look around this beautiful planet and all the amazing things on it and not come to the conclusion that there must be a God. If evolution is as powerful a force on the scale that Dawkins and so many others propose I should be able to dig in my yard and find all sorts of crazy fossils. Think about what they want you to believe...that every living species evolved from the same single cell. That humans not only evolved from fish but from chimps and so on. (Not to mention Darwin's theory of evolution is racist. Does racism stem from the belief that African Americans are more closely related to apes, chimps?) That is one hell of a metamorphis. The only answer they can ever give is it took billions and billions of years. That is not really an explanation though. You are not just a skeleton walking around with a voice box. You have a spirit, a soul. You need to really consider what you sense deep in your heart. You do not need to divorce yourself from intelligence or science in order to acknowledge God. God created us because he wants us. He wants a relationship with us. Forget about religion and just seek God.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
      • starkey

        Death may be the end right now, but if everybody would put their minds together and learn about science and build on our technology, death might not have to be the end. And just think what might be possible if all the great minds in the past were still alive today.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
      • memyself

        "If evolution is as powerful a force on the scale that Dawkins and so many others propose I should be able to dig in my yard and find all sorts of crazy fossils."

        When I dig in my "yard" I do find all kinds of crazy fossils. It depends on where you live.

        "Think about what they want you to believe...that every living species evolved from the same single cell. That humans not only evolved from fish but from chimps and so on."

        This is not a matter of belief. There is independent confirmation from many different sources.

        "(Not to mention Darwin's theory of evolution is racist. Does racism stem from the belief that African Americans are more closely related to apes, chimps?)."

        Any modern biologist will tell you that race does not exist. It is a social construct. African Americans or even Africans, in general, are no more closely related to apes or chimps than any other group of humans. That you could believe such a thing demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of most of biology.

        "You have a spirit, a soul."

        This is a very old and outdated philosophical belief called "dualism". A couple of hundred years ago there was a vast laundry list of things that the "spirit" supposedly "did". Since then, scientific experiments have demonstrated that all of these things are actually done by material processes in the brain.

        "The cell is a machine. Animals are machines. Human beings are machines." - Jaques Monod. I find this a much more awe-inspiring thought than any of the stories found in the Hebrew or Christian theogonies.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
      • smh8494

        The reality is God does live and Jesus is the Christ, Gods son born in the flesh, who died and overcame death through His ressurection. This is no myth, fable call it what you will, this is absolute truth. No person can know for himself until he applies the laws and principle prescribed by Christ himself. John 7:17 "If any man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." There is only one sure way to know.Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. No one would ever know unless they experience it for themselves and the first requirement is faith or belief in Christ.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • tascman

        I know people who have done EXACTLY that; they have seen deaths doorway, and choose to continue without treatments that would extend life. But that in itself is still not enough. The Bible records a large collection of evidences of supernatural events. The question is are they genuine? The flood for example has left a record of its reality, but evolutionary scientist ignore evidence such as fossil trees through layers purported to have hundreds of thousands of years represented. Mt. St. Helen has been and incredible opportunity to observe the effects of disaster; a lake of acid with organic matter and finally trees, which after their bark was soaked off and fell to the bottom, then sunk root ball first to form a virtual forest at the bottom; this is exactly what is seen in coal beds, but the evolutionist says it was swamp forests. But they have no explanation why leaves and fossils appear in complete forms. Or why the same mo is found in all coal beds. I remember distinctly being taught millions of year old swamps produced coal.
        Or what of the recent discovery of blood and tissue in T Rex fossils? Reading the Smithsonian article, every science of fossilization is being reconsidered, but the age is not questioned. Again, all known science is questioned, but NOT the AGE. Amazing. Strong evidence of a evolutionary bias. I have read that there have been numerous evidences of tissue discovered in other fossils. It appears nobody thought to look inside the fossil; you don't spend time and money to dig it up and clean it to cut it open I guess...
        The main point of faith is the existence of the supernatural. The Bible records evidences of them. It declares the Cosmos of which we are a part is a testimony of divine power. It testifies of spiritual realities like love being more desirable than silver or gold and political power. We can KNOW that love is real because we can put others needs before our own. But to the natural man, the evolutionist, it is foolishness. His mode of operation is self preservation.
        The Biblical Story of Jesus makes no sense to the natural man. It reveals a love beyond the visible limitations of the world. We have only two options, to declare that Lover is foolish, and all who believe in it; or to declare it is real, practice it and recognize the greatest act of Love ever made, the Life, Death, and Resurrection of the Son who through Love, overcame Sin and Death to declare, "I have overcome the world; I have the keys to death; I came to give you life, and life abundant!"
        I believe because Love is real. To deny it, to fight it, and argue against any supernatural reference to Love is the ultimate manifestation of foolishness, and to trust in Love and its author, the greatest gift we can ever know.

        September 8, 2012 at 10:11 am |
      • atDissenter

        Maggie said: "... I don't really understand"

        Exactly. OK, that was unfair taking it out of context. However, read on, it's clear you don't really understand.

        Maggie said: "how anyone breathing can look around this beautiful planet and all the amazing things on it and not come to the conclusion that there must be a God. If evolution is as powerful a force on the scale that Dawkins and so many others propose I should be able to dig in my yard and find all sorts of crazy fossils. "

        If you knew just a little bit about geology, which you clearly don't, your "back yard," would need to be in the correct strata. If you happen to live in a part of the world where the correct layers are at the surface, sure, it should be in your back yard; I doubt that's the case.

        Maggie said: "Think about what they want you to believe...that every living species evolved from the same single cell. That humans not only evolved from fish but from chimps and so on. "

        Yet, that is what the mountains of evidence show. We have predictable and consistent evidence of this process. We also have proof in your post that you have very simple understanding of how evolution works. Without having conversed with you, I can't really tell but I suspect that you're working on a "gut feeling." Anyone that understands evolution knows that we did not evolve from chimps. To sound like you actually know what you're talking about, you would say, "evolved from a common ancestor as chimps."

        Maggie said: "(Not to mention Darwin's theory of evolution is racist.Does racism stem from the belief that African Americans are more closely related to apes, chimps?)"

        No, I think you just said that, Dawkins and evolutionary theorists said NOTHING of the sort. By the way, racism would be if one said that ONLY black people evolved from a common ancestor as chimps. That's not what they are saying, is it? No, what they are saying is that all of us humans evolved that way.

        Maggie said: "... The only answer they can ever give is it took billions and billions of years."

        What took billions cells or humans took billions?

        Maggie said: "You have a spirit, a soul. "

        Insert proof here. Any scientific claim requires it just as someone claiming to have a cure for cancer YOU must bring extraordinary evidence for your extraordinary claims. We'd take norm evidence though...

        Maggie said: "You need to really consider what you sense deep in your heart. You do not need to divorce yourself from intelligence or science in order to acknowledge God."

        Yet, you clearly have divorced yourself.

        Maggie said: "God created us because he wants us. "

        A claim without proof.

        Maggie said: "He wants a relationship with us..."

        Yet another empty claim that is made as though YOU have the authority to know what this fictional character wants.

        September 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
      • vincastar

        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 are 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 ourselves 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? Also, be sure not to confuse selection with evolution they are two different things. So, you could choose to select for someone with a God give gift to be a better swimmer perhaps but that is not evolution.

        October 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Diane


      September 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • bob mc

      Religon is a social demographic event and is considered a relality to those who fully accept it, Tha include Buddhism. The person who got i right was Plato in the Allegory of the Cave. People on neo-lithic periods would huddle in caves and society emmerged, nights when animals growled and storms were about. They would sit around a fire, and be collective wishing or praying, that they can make into the next dawn. They all sat staring at a fire all seeing a different shadow so perception and organized religon spawned with time with one prime. to make into another day, and to ensure the safethy of the elders and the children. Language and writing evolved, and because of social demographics religons became a way to allign oneselve to the better sense of the community one lived in. Then Greed and Avarice and Pride kicked in and power fights were initiated and hence they still exist today, Very few societies have lived peacefully nor ever will. That is the random Chaos evolution has put in play. One thing I will guarantee all is"we are nt getting off this planet alive". So carpe diem, and be good respectfully citizens of this very small place called Earth.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
      • PJ P

        Not sure where you got your Philosophy 101, but your interpretation of the Cave Allegory is twisted. The cave dwellers are chained so they can only perceive their reality as shadows of the truth. In short, according to Plato, it is those who do not believe in God who are looking at a "material realm of shadows" as distinct from the world of pure eternal ideas. If your assessment of the allegory were correct, I would certainly wonder why Plato was not an atheist.

        September 7, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • TM

      Not to diminish the work of our ancestors, but why do we always look to " absolute truth" in our past, as if they were more informed than us now? They are observations as influenced by their times. They may be pithy and insightful. They may be truth and facts. But they are of their time and not now. We have grown as a society because of them, and at times despite them. I revere Darwin, Newton, Galileo and their special minds that conceived truly novel ideas. But take them into our times, with our knowledge and our technology, they would alter their perception of the same questions of how the world works. Darwin with genetics, Newton with quantum mechanics, Galileo with a computer! Imagine the advances. We have evolved as a species and as a society to even have these conversations without a pyre, excommunication or inquisition. So learn from the past but live for the future.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • M Theory

      Ever looked into the nights sky and wished you were off this planet?

      What is the meaning of life, is it just as simple as to experience it ?,... all the good and bad and destructive components of it? Is it up to us to clean up and refine humanities acts , or has god spun a sym universe that is in essence a set of variables of cause and effect that will take care of itself .... is god the building blocks of all matter and energy and all we can currently see with our eyes and neural imagination.... where do we stop this analysis of cleverness and thought...

      here is something simple that I think all the masses can TRY in this earth based moment...., try not to be hurtful, nor a bully, nor use your wit and cleverness to verbally or physically hurts others intentionally, .... just try.... that's all we can do for the moment in this 7 Billion + world....tip the scales in that direction and we will evolve sooner than later....,

      also, in order to escape this us verses them (vice versa) we need to evolve into a higher being or energy, unfortunately it will take time but we'll get there one way or another, our version and current cycle of life will be a temporary thing, statistically the variables will ultimately align and we will once again (earth included) be part of the cosmos in some form or other and experience eternal rest and peace, ... nobody has come back to tell us otherwise...... not yet at least.....

      M Theory

      September 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • kevin mchugh

      Come on Bob do you tell yourself that when the doctor tells you you have three months to live or you just lost your job and your home you have been paying for is next? Or your child that has spinabifada asks you why the kids make fun of me?Come on Bob you can do better.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • Kevin in Tx

        Yep, Kevin...just as you console yourself when the doc tells you you have pancreatic carcinoma and have only six is human to console ourselves, whether it is the myth of religion or the myth of those who interpret scientific findings (the "hows" into "whys" as many scientist tend to do, thereby stepping out of the lab coat into the blazer of the philosopher or the decor of the priest). Only your experience can tell you...but it cannot explain my experience, because that is my own...and the exciting part? Who knows if our "experience" is even reality? This makes life exciting for me...not you?...I accept that...

        September 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • jennymay

      And our feeling of separation is the cause of suffering. 🙂

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

      ...Excellent! beat me to the "punch"

      September 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Karl from Scottsdale

      If it is eternal it is immutable by definition!

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

      The quote given about empty form is misused and misunderstood. The Buddha said that form (body), feeling, perceptions, thought formations and consciousness is empty of anything we call soul or self. Buddhism is the only religion that does not believe in a creator god nor a soul. There was no mention or teaching on a universal consciousness or god (which the Buddha specifically called a delusion). The fat "Buddha" is Ho tie (Chinese culture) and has nothing to do with the Buddha who lived over 2,500 years ago. In short, the Buddha taught that mind/body is merely a process and is impermanent, subject to stress and without soul.

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

        Ahem.... what is this thing called reincarnation then?

        September 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • You're high

      What the hell are you talking about?

      You must be high or on an extreme acid trip.

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

      Here is what we know. We as humans only see in a limited spectrum called "visible light". We can only hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. Science is our attempt to apply a man made system of measurement to that which was not made by man, the universe. The universe exists and is essentially everything by definition.

      Mr. Dawkins,

      attempting to understand God is like an Ant attempting to understand what a human is by its small scope of perspective in which it see a flesh colored mountain before it that is our toe....Can it rationally determine what it is to be human by seeing a small peice of the whole. Is it safe to say that God does not exist because you wouldn't recognize if you saw one single aspect of him, if you did you wouldn't recognize it as God, but as something familier because that is how your brain works.

      Mr. Dawkins you cannot observe God because you are an ant which believes you are the biggest and best thing out there in existence. The reason you think this is because you have never seen anything to prove you wrong. The fallacy is that you believe your scope of perception to be infinite, which it clearly is not.

      If God exists your limited perspective only allows you to see a piece which your finite understanding cannot comprehend and therefore attributes it to the familier. You want to talk about delusions, you're experiencing one of the biggest of them all.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
      • nojinx

        I disagree a few of your points:

        1. understanding gods is a relatively easy prospect and a field of study for generations. It is science that we cannot understand thoroughly.
        2. the sense limitations you listed do not account for our ability to build devices and methods that let us extend our senses and our ability to measure.
        3. You are suffering from a desire to believe in the paradigm you want to exist. This will prevent you from objectively dealing with the world you live in. How many gods did you try (of the infinite number of possible gods) before you settled on yours? What made you stick with your currently worshiped god?

        September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • erikc

        Also, it's "Dr." or "Professor" Dawkins to you.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
      • Jon


        Are you able to see better than us? Do you know the absolute truth? Please, enlighten us.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • Larry

        Bravo! Well put...

        September 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
      • mvac

        Very well said!!!

        September 7, 2012 at 3:43 am |
      • Chon

        We went to the mountain to find God. He wasn't there.
        We took to the skies to find God. He wasn't there.
        We left our atmosphere to find God. He wasn't there.
        We left our solar system to find God. He wasn't there.

        I think your ant analogy is a little flawed. Every level up the "flesh-colored" toe we go, we find nothing but things we have come to understand, through science.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:14 am |
      • LetsThink123

        u said, 'attempting to understand God is like an Ant attempting to understand what a human is'.

        This analogy is already false because u have assumed that god exists.

        What if i believed in the tooth fairy and said to u, 'attempting to understand the tooth fairy is like an Ant attempting to understand what a human is'. As u can see my statement holds no merit as i have assumed that the tooth fairy exists and is outside my understanding. The obvious and correct answer is that the tooth fairy does not exist. But i have made the assumption that 'the tooth fairy exists' (just like u did with god) and the rule 'that we cannot understand the tooth fairy' (so that the tooth fairy and also god and conveniently hide away). Why not admit the obvious and simpler answer (Ocaam's razor) which is that the tooth fairy/god does not exist.

        September 10, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • James

      What Buddha said has been greatly misinterpreted. But given this example you give, Buddha was factually incorrect. Emptiness is neccesary for form to exist im. It is not the same as form. Buddhism has gotten most things wrong, but fortunately in a way that can be explained clearly exactly how they are wrong.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • emmnuel

      Creationists know nothing! We shall find out in death. Very soon.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • picllb123

      this man is very dangerous in so many ways. He is the human face of pride and arrogance. #1 problem in our world today is lack of faith and trust in God. Faith and trust in God leads to hope, optimism, and finally inner peace and joy, and finally love. Nobody wants to admit it…nobody wants to talk about it, but ‘man’ cannot function properly without faith in God. It’s the way it was designed and encrypted by God himself. If we convert our hearts and learn to depend on Him (not the gov’t), we might stand a chance of saving our world. We must become humble…and thankful, everyday of our lives! There is a ‘natural order’ to things. This is how God ‘programmed’ our world from day 1. If this natural order is broken and we lose our ‘divine connection’, then our societies will begin to break down, leading to degeneration, disaster, and war. This is no doubt, what is happening in our world today. Currently, abortion and atheism are destroying our society from the inside out. Corruption of individual hearts, minds, and souls are rampant and common place. People have become shallow, materialistic, and lacking in any sort of divine connection.

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

        "Faith and trust in God leads to hope, optimism, and finally inner peace and joy, and finally love."

        Many, many things lead to those qualities. I am a life-long atheist and have found all of those.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • atDissenter

        Do you think "faith and trust in god" was a slight problem for Galileo?

        September 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
      • AthyA

        Actually, picllb123, I function quite well with no faith in any god whatsoever. You cross clutchers may need a god to help you along, but I'll stick with the truth.

        September 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
      • troysdeathpool

        Our #1 problem is lack of faith in "God"? Really? I don't think so buddy. I stopped believing in imaginary friends long ago.

        September 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Aliel

      It will be quite interesting to watch human reaction after October 12 this year. Will surely say a lot about our specy.....

      September 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      Yes, I had a similar vision when doing acid years ago.
      The brain is truly amazing and we understand so little about it thus far.
      But... that does not mean we should entertain fairy tale explanations just because our knowledge is incomplete.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • cwi

      I'm a geophysicist so I have a great love for science and mathematics. There was a period in my life where I thought that humans were really nothing more than an evolutionary overshoot. I'm not a church going sort of person. But I have come to the conclusion for a variety of reasons that there is no way what we experience and what we are could have come from nothing spontaneously without purpose or design. We reason, if God is there, why play games, come out. And why don't you answer me when I try to talk to you. Now, I've gotta tell ya, if God did that there would be no meaning, no mystery, no challenge and no requirement for faith. By the way, atheism is a belief system just like any other. So, clearly, the reality that we can't sense in our 4D world is not material but it is there. Come to think of it, if you drill down there really isn't anything there. People made of chemicals and compounds, which are made of molecules which are made of atoms which are made of subatomic particles and, as one theory holds, are made of one dimensional vibrating strings (emphasis on the one dimensional aspect). So what's down there. Are we just made of subatomic forces and what are they made of, etc. Are we in fact only "light beings" on a journey which has not been completely revealed to us. No way, when someone says, when you die, your brain dies, and therefore that's the end. Maybe who we are has taken a form that gives us the "physical" experience that we have and when we die it is merely a transformation of energy. Morality, conceiving of a Creator, our drive to understand are imaged right into the fabric of the Universe. We cannot prove or disprove. We can only choose to believe and this comes from a different part of the mind than scientific thought. If we had an almost infinately high frame rate movie of God's creating of the Universe, I would want to slow it way down and watch the details as each atom and molecule get put in it's place. I think you would see a very ordered sequence of things. It might just be evolution. Time, remember is only a perception and it is not real. A mosquito landed on Einstein's nose. The mosquito stalked around for a while and then concluded that there was no intelligence there and flew off. The mosquito's name was Dawkins.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • aj

      Darwin's theory was proven FALSE and a fraud. FACT
      100% He was paid to finish a book first.

      WAKE UP your research.. dont fall victim to these fakes

      September 6, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
      • BH

        Thank you for this.

        September 6, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • Janet

        Yes, and the world is flat too. I think religion has proven time and time again that it needs to stay out of the science business.

        September 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
      • Michael Haskins

        WOW! – Here is what is REALLY scarry – they let idiots like aj VOTE! – THEY (the self rightious yet IGNORANT) are a true danger to soceity. – NOTE to aj and the other 'buy bull' thumpers out there – here's a challenge: Just for 1 day, put down your prejudice, and pick up a BOOK (other than further religious indoctrination) try some NON-fiction. Before you bash Darwin – READ Darwin! (although written about 150 years ago and containing big words, it is fairly understandable – however you do have to know how to use the back button on your browser between chapters). before you bash Dawkins, READ Dawkins! – I suggest 'The Greatest Show on Earth' for a start. After reading 'The Ancestor's Tale' , you might be able to actually start to understand the concept of evolution – WARNING! it is comprehensive, not written at a 3rd grade level, and requires EFFORT. get a clue before you start typing and embarrass us (as members of your species) with your ignorance.

        September 7, 2012 at 7:25 am |
      • atDissenter

        aj, thanks for that, it's not often that one gets to laugh at pure ignorance. It's quite funny. Perhaps, if you sprinkle a little fairy dust around, you can make your beliefs real.

        September 18, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • Mear Stone

        Yes, and the evil Powers That Be are responsible for 9/11, shark attacks, and the fact that I cannot get a Bacon and Egg McMuffin after 10 am. Regarding the notion that Darwin's theory was proven false ... chapter and verse, please. If you can provide good evidence, you should be maintained in luxury at state expense for the rest of your life.

        September 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • TAS

      Is it possible that we haven't discovered everything yet and just maybe some future knowledge may change we what now believe is true?

      On a different note, I find the comment, "Who cares about creationists? They don't know anything" quite disgusting. To place value on a human being based on their knowledge, or lack thereof is disturbing.

      September 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
      • ME II

        Not certain but I think there was an implied "Who cares about [the thoughts of] Creationists?..."

        September 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Tyler Sprague

      Science created man, man created God, God created illusion, illusion created war.

      September 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Fausto Martins

      I am sorry but this man is just trying to sell books and get wealthy out of people ignorance.
      An atheist always says that God does not exist. But he can not keep this dogmatic position. If he wants to make that statement with authority, he should know the universe in its entirety and master all knowledge. If someone had those credentials, by definition, would be God. Since Mr. Dawkings is not omniscient, he can not make such a dogmatic statement about the existence of God. He can only indicate that it is uncertain whether or not there is a God, and that's agnosticism, not atheism.
      Agnostic, is usually someone who does not know whether God exists. Fuzzy minded about God. It should be a skeptic. Some are more aggressive than others in search of truth, which we applaud. Unfortunately, most do not make a real effort to know if God exists. He already decided the issue is not crucial. However, it is. The fact that an agnostic is unsure, makes it logical that he should consider the claims of Christianity. So agnosticism is not a reason to reject Christianity, but is a reason to examine Christianity.

      September 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
      • Barooq

        Agnosticism and Atheism belong in different realms. Agnosticism is about knowledge, and to say someone is agnostic means that he claims no absolute knowledge about the existence of god: Your point actually. Dawkins have explained it many times. He is also agnostic about tooth fairy or a flying teapot in the earth’s orbit. In fact you can make anything up and strictly speaking one has to be agnostic about it. For example can you say with absolute certainty that there is a 33 head monster that is living in the molten core of the earth? But it’s not very likely now, is it? Now Atheism is about belief. Dawkins lives his life with no belief in God and thus he is an atheist.

        September 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Sven Stevensen

      Everyone on the message board, except me, is a GIANT D.O.U.C.H.E. Cheers buddy!

      September 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • Paul

      I agree with Bob. It's interesting that in the Vedic scriptures they say that in this age of darkness What is truth will be considered false and what is false considered true. God and the individual soul are eternal (the essence of truth) all other things transient, only true for awhile and hence false by vedic thought

      And yet today only things we can see are considered true (and NOTHING that we see we ever last forever) and God is considered false. Topsy-turvy

      September 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • nunya

      I suggest if any one wants to know real science then read the old and new testiments and then meet Jesus. Now that is real science..anything else dawkins and other atheists like have to say is meaningless because he has his head buried so far in the sand that if he burps sand comes out his behind. There will be a day when all questions are answered and I promise that the atheists got all the wrong answers.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Richard

      Just the statement "Religion has nothing to teach us" is a cognitive distortion. Goes to point out that someone who's really smart in one area can be a total idiot in other areas.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • WhoIsTellingTheTruth

      great, so how would that help me love my wife, feed my family, enjoy my vacations and stick around with friends. nothing? that theory is too big or there is nothing to be of any practical use. guatama and dawkin surely are telling us a lot of nothing! when you are against something, we can find all kinds of arguments against it. what am i for and what am i doing about it is the question we need to ask and find answers to.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
      • atDissenter

        So what are you for?

        September 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • admin

      Just in case anyone is counting, "might" beat "fact" 13 to 1.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • K

      There are great minds on both sides of the argument about whether or not there is a God. It is a question that everybody asks themselves some point in their lives. What I have found that makes it an easier question to answer is the fact of how life all began. You can either believe that the Universe was created by intelligent design or simply the fact that life came from nothing. I have heard the single cell particle theory that says life started with one molecule that started all of life but I ask where did that particle come from? Now on the other hand people ask will if God created the universe then who created God? My answer to them would be, if God was created, he wouldn't be God then would he. I don't have vast knowledge on the issue but I can sure prove more that we came from a creator than from nothing at all.

      September 6, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
      • atDissenter

        K said:"K

        "My answer to them would be, if God was created, he wouldn't be God then would he. I don't have vast knowledge on the issue but I can sure prove more that we came from a creator than from nothing at all."

        Interesting use of "he."

        Your answer is more mumbo jumbo, voodoo and pixie dust.You can't just say that your can "sure prove" that a creator was involved solely because they are complicated. Besides, that is exactly the point of evolution. Things evolve in the most fantastic ways because they needed to for one reason or another.

        September 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • jeff

      September 6, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
      • ScottCA

        More religious lies.
        What science really knows from evidence

        September 6, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • m o smith

      I teach evolution to college students. We just finished the unit on creationism and intelligent design today (debunking both). I make it clear to students that evolution is an explanation about how living things adapt to ever changing environments and that it is a Theory (capital 'T') because of the preponderance of irrefutable evidence in its favor. Evolution says nothing about the origin of life (no life = no evolution). There is no viable alternative to natural selection. Period. Evolution cannot be used to negate the existence of a Creator as science cannot quantify the supernatural.

      I have no spiritual or intellectual objection to Richard Dawkins atheism, but I wince when it is used to support an atheist cosmology. Evolution is biological process which should be accepted at face value and not used (or distorted) to support a world/spiritual view. I live for the day when accepting Evolution is no more a spiritual crisis than is the earth revolving around the sun. I guess I had better live a looooong time.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
      • nojinx

        Your issue is not with Dawkins, then. Your issue is with the large groups and faith-based organizations which try to prevent evolution from being taught and try to add Creationism to education curriculum. Dawkins purpose is to teach evolution in schools and keep it there, and to keep mythologies out.

        September 6, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
      • m o smith

        We all know there is a complex 'straw man' of distortion and inaccuracies leveled at Evolution by nay-sayers which will take many years of science education to detangle. As the author of "The God Delusion," Dawkins has unfortunately made his atheism the face of Evolutionary Theory to many fundamentalist Christians. I would rather a modern-day Teilhard (or any Theistic evolutionist) argue for science-only in the classroom....

        September 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
      • m o smith

        We all know there is a complex 'straw man' of distortion and inaccuracies leveled at Evolution by nay-sayers which will take many years of science education to detangle. As the author of "The God Delusion," Dawkins has unfortunately made his atheism the face of Evolutionary Theory to many fundamentalist Christians. I would rather a modern-day Teilhard (or any Theistic evolutionist) argue for science-only in the classroom.... (I had a computer glitch; if this posts twice, I apologize)

        September 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
      • atDissenter

        smith said: "Evolution cannot be used to negate the existence of a Creator as science cannot quantify the supernatural. "

        Well, if you claim that your god created things in a certain manner and the evidence clearly displays how things actually evolved, yes, you can use evolution to debunk their creator.

        Creators, don't get to make even one mistake. The evidence clearly displays mistakes. Evolutionary "wrong turns" and dead ends are everywhere.

        September 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • tifischer

        You cannot debunk creationism. To try to you would have to assume that you are all knowing and all intelligent of all things to try to debunk creationism. You merely debunked your own lack of understanding of what God is and hopefully not the faith of those poor children who may have fallen subject to group think.

        September 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
      • atDissenter

        tifischer said: "You cannot debunk creationism. To try to you would have to assume that you are all knowing and all intelligent of all things to try to debunk creationism. You merely debunked your own lack of understanding of what God is and hopefully not the faith of those poor children who may have fallen subject to group think."

        First of all, you're right, we can't debunk creationism because it's not a real thing. That aside, it really doesn't take much to debunk them. No god is needed to understand how things evolve. It's really pretty obvious if one bothered to read that science.

        By the way, your use of the phrase "group think" is incorrect. Group think implies that the group (Scientists in this case) is somehow wrong about what they are thinking about. By it's very nature, the scientific process self regulates itself from falling victim to the failings that is standard in religion. Through observation, prediction and verification of the facts, the negative group think is avoided.

        Religion, on the other hand, doesn't bother with verification. It goes right to observation and prediction. That's where it stops.

        September 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • tifischer

        "we can't debunk creationism because it's not a real thing" is not a rational argument. There are many rational arguments for creationism and to argue against it with "I just don't think it is real" is not a rational thought processes but merely an argumentative statement to spite what I had said. So, with historical evidence,

        I also did you group think correctly but you did not understand who I was applying the statement only twisted my obvious intention to apply to whatever you felt like...again, an argumentative method and not a rational thought processes. By suggesting the possibility of group think, I was referring to group think as you being the teacher with whatever supporting others were present that the rest would mistakenly fallow being easily influenced by the so called authoritative figure and any others in support.

        Religion is supported by observation, prediction and verification of the facts...really, 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. 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. On a personal level I know that there are sometimes witnesses that can verify observation of God's intercession.

        In addition, science in fact supports the existence of God. Think of the Big Bang and genetics...there are a number of post on this topic already that I hope you take time to explore one guy going by Slurp... something was really interesting.

        September 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
      • atDissenter

        m o smith said: "I teach evolution to college students. We just finished the unit on creationism and intelligent design today (debunking both)."

        I can just imagine our classroom if the believers get their the way, they already started...

        "We're going to have a class on wizards and witches. Next week, class, we're going to do a unit on Santa Claus followed by a section on the Easter Bunny. And just to pacify those Pastafarians, we're gong to finish off the year with a section covering pirates and noodles. For extra credit, you can read about the Invisible Pink Unicorns."

        When the year is over, students won't know a thing about how the world ACTUALLY works but they'll leave thinking the world is swell. The Nation of Idiocracy will have arrived.

        m o smith, You must have such an easy job finding examples to debunk...keep it up 🙂

        September 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Michael Vick©™

      I think the Bible taught us that crusade is not over. We've yet to take back Jerusalem. Bible taught us global warming is a lie. The extreme drought we have this year is nothing to be worried about.

      September 7, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • mlblogscbgoldsmith

      Your certainty is precious but always start a fairy tale with "Once Upon a Time".

      September 7, 2012 at 4:53 am |
    • Nemo Neminem

      Matter does not exist. There is no matter. All arguments that Dawkins uses are matter based. Therefore, he is wrong.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • syendu

      well said bob lewis, but before siddhartha (budda), i mean way before him, the vedas have explained about the formation of universe. in fact, the vedas can be interpreted as "rules that describe the universe". sure u will see hymns etc, but most of it is symbolic. like for example lord vishnu lies on a million headed snake in an ocean. ocean here is consciousness and the way heads of a snake twist and turn show you the endless possibilities or dimensions..... only vedas (from all historical books) quote the earth was formed billions of years ago. infact the vedas include a clear calculation as well.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • Cody

      That doesn't mean there's a god. It's just a silly way he described things. It doesn't mean he's right and it sure doesn't mean we should put any stock into it. Live a good life and don't be a's that simple.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:01 am |
      • Dawkinists vs. BibleHuggers

        I scanned quite a bit 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 5:25 pm |
    • Danie

      OMG Bob Lewis, I am so happy you posted!!

      iIt is so very refreshing to see someone else here who can see truth. Science is what convinced me of the truth of Buddhism. For me it absolutely hit the nail on the head. Everything clicked. Such truth. I also am intrigued that he also said that his teachings were not for everyone, because it may not be their time in cyclic existence....Great Post...

      But to me it smacked me dead in the face and in just a few moments gave me every answer to questions I had been asking my whole life....that was 15 years ago...

      September 7, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • JimChemist

      Mr. Dawkins, or whoever can correct these assumptions or answer these two questions (objectively):

      I have a graduate degree in chemistry, have taken graduate courses in nuclear physics, relativistic physics, and work in the R&D department of a multi-billion dollar chemical company.

      I have a couple questions regarding the use of isotope ratios for determining the Earth's age. First, my assumptions:

      1. Aging measurement methods for the Earth are based on isotope ratios of sufficient half-life.

      2. These isotopes are generated during natural solar fusion/fission processes. Once these materials leave this environment via Big Bang, supernovae, etc., the ratio is at time-zero and begins to change based on half-lives.

      3. We don't know how long it took for ejected solar material, already containing these aging isotope ratios, to coalesce into Earth, etc.

      So, how can isotope ratios be used to determine the age of Earth? How old are the pre-Earth isotopes before Earth formed?

      September 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • satanfornoreason

        the molecular clocks used in radiometric dating are not created only during solar events. it happens every time a volcano erupts and magma solidifies. you – surprise – don't know what you're talking about. you creationists never do, and then dishonestly ignore that fact and move on still trying to prove your point. that's not very honest. sounds like something the devil would do. manipulative and ignorant, wow, what kind of god do you stand for?

        September 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
      • Slurp

        How dare you to talk about "honesty" when you are publicly stating that the "Evolution Theory" is fact based when, instead, you are stating suppositions ?
        When and where was it agreed by the scientific community that the "Evolution Theory" is now a Law? Honestly... that's dishonesty.

        September 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
      • atDissenter


        You probably shouldn't be a scientist. I recommend learning pressure flaking. It's all the rage.

        September 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
      • Mear Stone

        Dear Slurp: not fact, just a very very *very* good theory ... better than creationism by the ratio of an anteater to an ant.

        September 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Noah Fect

      Well, I guess I can take *that* to the bank.

      September 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Mark

      Buddhism is philosophy,not "religion" in the western sense. Dawkin's book "The God Delusion" is getting all the press, but I found that "The Blind Watchmaker" give an even more convincing "argument" into Dawkin's "views" (they shouldn't be called views as much as proofs.)

      September 9, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Pierre

      II am so glad people are at last openly denouncing these absurd middle-age beliefs. "Say it loud" as James Brown would put it ...

      September 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • satanfornoreason

      What you've just said is absolutely nothing. The universe is "absolute", "timeless", "eternal", "changing" and "now"? Aside from the contradictions of the words with each other, you've conveyed no information at all. You could say the same thing about the soul, or beauty. Based on this post, a person would know nothing at all about the universe, except that it has at least one being in it that is unsuccessfully trying to sound profound.

      September 12, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • Mike

      Buddha was a very wise man.
      Imagine the peace in the world without religion, sad but so true.

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

      Maybe in the next life I could be a monkey, swing thru the trees as a banan junky , stare at the sun with an IQ of 30, scratch my asz, lick my fingers when they are dirty...

      September 22, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Doug

      I can prove the following mathematically. There are only 3 possibilities.

      1. The bible is correct.

      2. Humans did not evolve on earth.

      3. We came here from somewhere else.

      Enough said. Understand the laws of thermodynamics, entropy, and the answer is clear.

      October 5, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
      • pliberato

        Those "laws" are mere theories which give rough approximations of events, not the real truth. Science has still a long way to go before knowing anything about whatever. However, it has become a kind of religion as well with its high priests and powerful hierarchy. I would say: remain humble and observe.

        October 9, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • pliberato

      Thank you. That is also very poetic and I believe it's true.
      The author believes that when he dies it all ends because his brain dies. However, he has forgotten that it is his brain which perceives time, so, when he dies, the notion of time vanishes, and that this may happen even before his brain dies. I believe that when we die, we remain in a timeless dimension with all our good memories forever and ever.

      October 9, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • Jerry


        Memories are stored in the brain. Your brain is dead thus no memories.

        October 9, 2012 at 11:48 am |
      • pliberato

        But the perception of time halts before the brain is dead, so you are suspended in a timeless dimension.

        October 9, 2012 at 11:52 am |
      • Jerry

        Problem 1: When you are asleep you are unaware of time, are you in a timeless dimension then?
        Problem 2: Demonstrate a timeless dimension exists.
        Problem 3: Memories are stored in the brain, show that these memories are moved to the timeless dimension.

        October 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
      • pliberato

        Hi Jerry! Thank you for your reply to my posting. Good that you brought dreaming about. I recall having very elaborated dreams with plots worthy of a Hollywood movie and all the time elapsed was less than 10 minutes. So, maybe we don't even have to die in order to sense that timeless dimension. The world is as real as the perception we have of it. How does a tree perceive the world? Science will say it doesn't because it has no nervous system. To me that is shortsightedness. I don't have to proof things in the lab in order for them to be real. Most important things in life, like the emotions that bind us and drive our efforts to thrive, have not been proven by Science and probably never will as long as Science keeps following a religious course as any other religion. Of course I can't prove this, but i have observed a lot and given it a lot of thought. It is worth of being a working hypothesis.

        October 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • Jerry

        You are basically saying that you do not care about reality you only care about what makes you feel good. I prefer my beliefs mirror reality as much as possible.

        October 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • pliberato

        either are your beliefs too narrow for me or is your reality too sad.

        October 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • Jerry

        First there is only one reality. You're confusing perception with reality.

        Second, you've used phrases like "can't prove". That demonstrates you do not care what is demonstrable.

        October 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • pliberato

        I say that perception of reality is the only possible reality because there is no other way to perceive it. Of course it is important to demonstrate the veracity of facts. However, I read every day scientific articles where demonstrations fall short of proving anything. However, they are taken seriously because they are politically correct or backed up by strong lobbies. By the way, i am a scientist, but i recognize that not all facts could easily be proven.

        October 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Jerry

        Then you are not a very good scientist. Science has nothing to do with lobbies.

        Science is observation. The scientific method is based on the concept of people checking each others work. You would know that if you were really a scientist. Also, perception changes. Reality does not change.

        "not all facts could easily be proven"
        You need a dictionary. If it's a fact, then it can be proven.

        October 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • dragonfire77

      Science and religion are not mutually exclusive, as they are answering fundamentally different questions. Science seeks to answer the questions of 'how', where religion seeks answers to 'why'?

      October 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
      • Jerry

        No. Religion predisposes the question why and gives no answer.

        October 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
      • vincastar

        dragonfire77 is correct. Without why even science is useless. The how is insignificant without the why. For instance, who cares how molecules come together to form compounds unless you are trying to create a pharmaceutical drug to save someones life? It is the why that is most important not the how. Any scientist will tell you that getting funding in science is dependent on the 'why' you want funding...there are many people that propose how they will do something but cannot get funding because they do not have a good reason.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • Jerry

        You assume their is a why.

        October 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
      • pliberato

        that's a fallacy of most scientists. There is no "why" just a "how".

        October 10, 2012 at 9:57 am |
      • vincastar

        No sir, there is no funding without a 'why'. And from a pschological or philosophy point of view you might wonder how does that works but if you don't care, then why would you ask why do you care to know? That is what is important. and if you ask how for no good reason no one else will care and your how becomes insignificant. So, the importance of the how is relative to the importance of the why...there is a direct correlation. Right a grant for funding a 'how' with no 'why' and see how much money you get ; )

        October 10, 2012 at 10:23 am |
      • pliberato

        i only want to know how and what. "Why" is no science. However, sometimes the line is thin. Nobody will write a grant with me. I am the kind of scientist who has been enslaved by others. I do have my own views of things, but nobody cares until they find there is some way to make a profit in what i have to say.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • vincastar

        pliberato you are inslaved by your own myopic view of you. People only pay for things they care about...only things of significance to them some good and some bad. You also have to know that you asked the question for a reason...a why would you care to know how? You are searching for an answer a meaning to something to give you understanding that your spirit craves. But you are still left with why? Why does your spirit crave that question? Perhaps it is trying to lead you to a greater answer. Perhaps that thirst of how will never be quenched until you figure out what you are really thirsting for.

        October 10, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • Jerry

        You're talking about 2 different things. To get research funding, yes you may need to provide a why. That's economics. But the scientific method does not care about why.

        October 10, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  99. Bill Charsley

    God Almighty reveals himself in 2 ways: through the Bible (John 1:1), and through His handiwork (Genesis 1:1). In terms of the Creation they both describe the same events – it is our interpretation of the Bible and the natural world and how they link together that is at fault. Maybe somewone will work out the puzzle, maybe they won't – but it's really only secondary to the main points of Christianity: that God loves us, that He wants us to love Him thorugh a defined relationship, and that He wants us to love each other while we are alive on Earth.

    Unfortunately, these messages have been so corrupted by so many for so long that it's no suprise Christian's don't have much standing. But – Mr. Dawkins, God does love you and He sent Christ to die for you so that you don't have to go to Hell (John 3:16). Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as 'substance .... and evidence..." ; and after being alive over 50 years, I can attest that I've seen and heard enough to convince me the God of the Bible is real.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • LuisWu

      The bible is nothing but an archaic old book of ancient mythology. Written thousands of years ago by members of a primitive culture in an attempt to explain existence and give people comfort in the face of their mortality. It's no different than other ancient mythology. Science on the other hand requires evidence. There is absolutely no evidence whatever for the Christian god or any other god, other than ancient mythology.

      If the kinds of things described in those ancient texts we real and happened then, they would be happening now. But it's funny that I don't see any god flying around in a cloud and a pillar of fire. I don't see stick turning into snakes, water turning into wine, manna appearing from heaven, etc. etc. etc. It's just ancient mythology from a primitive society. Get over it.

      September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
      • Diego

        We are all agnostic by default!

        September 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
      • 99Army

        LuisWu, I couldn't agree with you more. Science has answered the questions that religion was once used to explain. People put faith in God but calls others crazy when they believe in aliens or ghosts. Yet, there is not a single shred of evidence that God actually exists. Too many peole have a hard time believeing or don't want to believe that there is no after-life as it is too depressing.

        Your right on point with these old scriptures, they written by a man for crying out loud.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
      • UniversalMan

        in the days of Jesus many that were in His very presence believed in Him – many did not... when He was tortured and hung from the cross many weeped while others mocked, spat, scorned and even laughed at Him... you may ask yourself "is there a possibility that I would have been one of the latter?" Luke16:31 – "He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ "

        September 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
      • cheyenne

        go back and read the parable of Lazarus

        September 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
      • goodasyours

        you will mr wu - you will

        September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
      • samperkinz

        dawkins tottaly foolish and ridiculos....

        September 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        "We are all agnostic by default!"

        no we are all atheist by default, we know nothing about any gods at birth. Its only later we are taught to do what one particular one says or suffer an eternity of their love and mercy.

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

        Amen, brother. Right on – from a muslim.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
      • i12bphil

        No book of 'mythology', as you put it, parallels and records historical events with any accuracy, much less coming anywhere as accurate as the scriptures, nor has any book of mythology had any of its events proven to have happened through lineage and archaeology in the way that the Bible has. Jericho was found in the very state and condition as it was described in the Bible. Your attempts to label it as myth fall very flat indeed.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
      • 21bejay

        It is possible that evolution is a very personal experience; that is no one can help me to understand anything about my environment. I have to want to understand my environment. There has been three books that helped me take a deep breath. Two of them by Andrea Puharich: "the Sacred Mushroom" and the othe book is "Uri. The third book is "Arigo" by John Fuller.
        To my understanding at present, what is important is not where I came from nor where I am going. What is important is where I'm at, that is due to the dialogues presented in those three books, together with observation of natural phenomenas,which lead physisists to the hyposisis of the existance of level of reality indepandent of time. The hypothesis that a photon that had left a galaxy million of years ago had complete knowledge of the maners it is going to be detected and where it is going to be absorbed, together with the idea that the photo adjustes its polarity and t's location in a manner to be the most useful to the environment. My question to the reader is whether morality is a law of nature.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
      • faithful

        The differance is Jesus was in THE history books of the world and even in other religions Books , such as the koran( he was mentioned as being a phrophet in the muslim koran)...Those pillars of fire and manna from the sky came as they needed to , to help Gods people. Now days if you dont think things happen that are just as astonishing as manna from the sky , then you are not opening your eyes to see what is clearly there for all who will fill thier hearts with faith. Look , even when Jesus was performing miracles in front of people ...his own people ...they still crucified him and still some did not believe...the natural human nature is disbelief and needing of a in your face proof the other guy said ..Gods message is Love ...Love all, many people distort the bible aND THE FAITH OF CHRISTIANS FOR PERSANOL GAIN SUCH AS WARS AND TAKING OF MONEY FOR FORGIVEINESS , BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE TRUE MEANING AND PURPOSE OF RELIGION AND GOD ARE NOT GOOD. tHE DIIFRANCE OF OTHER SO CALLED RELIGIONS IS EACH BOOJK OF THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN 100S EVEN THOSAND OF YEARS APART , BUT YET THEY WERE ALL STILL TAKILING ABOUT THE SAME THINGS HAPENING TO THEM IN THE SAME WAYS , NOW DAYS THATS EASY WITH TECHNOLIOGY , BUT IMAGINE BACK THEN , THOSE PEOPLES IDEAS AND THOUGHTS AND EXPIRIANCES ALL BEING SIMILAR AND THEIR PHROPECIES COMING TRUE THOSANDS OF YEARS LATER AND BEING PUT TOGETHER IN A BOOK THAT HAS LASTED THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS...ITS REMARKABLE...TO EACH HIS OWN BUT I WOULD HATE TO BE IN A WORLD WITH NO GOD LIFE IS TOO SHORT AND I PRAISE GOD FOR MY SALVATION AND THE WORLD TO COME.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
      • nojinx

        Actually, the Jesus story existed before Jesus' time, but using different names: Moses, Gilgamesh, etc.

        It is a common story. Being a real person in history makes no difference in the likelihood that there is a divine god or gods, nor does the historical existence of Mohammed, John Smith or Jim Jones.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • Big Satch

        I love to see how everyone thinks they have the answer. Well I say this. If we all are right then why don't we agree? Hmmmm...People fear what they don't understand. If some of you don't believe in God then don't! What I will tell you is that when you're on the brink of death, I PROMISE you will question that belief whether you like it or not. God said that a non believer will say in his heart "there is no God." Clearly that is true on all accounts. If you want to question things in the Bible because it doesn't "fit" with your logic go right ahead. But my question is this: Is murdering someone wrong? If so then why is it? Who told you that it was wrong, and where did they get that from? Some things don't require explanation or clarification. Deep down somewhere you just know. Hence the reason why people believe in God. Science is all based on theory. If you weren't present at the time all this happen to attest it to be truth, then you shouldn't be speaking in the literal sense. It is fruitless.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
      • Dante 2060

        The Word of God is not easily understood and almost impossible unless you really want to know and ask for it.

        Or if your stubborn like many of us are, demand the truth and even ask for some form of proof. (Eventually you'll probably regret that tone but hey,, you should be honest with yourself going into this)

        Then read it. Like a Science project . King James version is as good as any to start. Everyday for 1/2 hr ,,E2E. No Church, no coaching, just say (think) every day prior "God show me what you got" and read.

        If your lucky(blessed is the official term) you'll understand and know more that most clergy. From there no one else needs to know or you can decide what to do with your new found discovery.

        September 7, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Worried Christian Mother

      Praise Jesus. You'll burn in hell Dawkins for your common sense and reasonable way of thinking!!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • dee

        But...there is no hell.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • stoodrv


        September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • 1234

        Stop making us look bad, Worried Christian Mother. Seriously. I am tired of telling people like you that the only one who saves or condemns is God. This is NOT your job. Unless you think you're God. In which case you should look into getting psychiatric help.
        "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Matthew 7:3. Read the Bible next time. Thanks.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • robert

        "Judge not lest ye be judged". Looks like you'll be joining him.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • Howie

        Not sure, but I think this is sarcasm. You guys take stuff way too seriously.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • Jim

        I'm sure.

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

        Nah, Dawkins, and all others "KNOW" God, no one is without excuse. The problem is that they do not give thanks and honor to God. That is the issue.

        Read Romans 1:18-25

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

        Praise Jesus... or burn in hell?
        (Let me take a wild guess – Are you a Republican?)

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

        Sarcasm detector fail, check your batteries.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • a human

        lol! trollin' hard (I hope)

        September 9, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • LOL

      man, people are dumb

      September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • HYFR

        YAY! I like bread!

        September 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • David Iganov

      Yea, let's quote the bible as a defense of creationism. What a cretin you are.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Worried Christian Mother

        Thou shall not suffer a witch to live. You'll burn too.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • really

        Ah, yes. The inevitable death threat from the faithful (worriedmother) coupled with a quote that involves imaginary beings (witches).

        Please stop with the fairy tales, there is already enough crazy to go around.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • basketcase

        I'd much prefer quoting the bible than quoting some ridiculous pseudo-scientific garbage.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • J

      well said bill. 🙂 Sad to see so many people turning against their own GOD. I'd rather have faith here on earth then find out i was wrong later. Being wrong about GOD's existence is the worst decision we could EVER MAKE. Please know to open your hearts, God loves you and pursues you.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
      • Michael

        Right, J. You're a perfect example of the sort of thinker Dawkins describes when criticizing a sort of false morality: God has given you morals, through fear. Fear that if you don't please him with adequate praise, you'll burn in eternal punishment (making, as you put it, the "greatest mistake") – and from therein springs your glorious sense of morality? Right.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • LuisWu

        Delusional much?

        September 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • J

        Fear of God isnt a problem you should fear God. But I also love him and want to do his will. That isnt living in fear. Perhaps you don't run a RED LIGHT or murder someone MICHAEL BECAUSE your AFRAID of JAIL? POLICE ? LAWS?
        Similar .

        September 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • AKC

        You've just proved his point (Dawkins not god) by saying essentially that you're hedging your bets in case you find that there is a god after you die. By definition then, deep down, you don't really believe, you're just afraid that not believing might be wrong. Be honest with yourself and really ask the question do you believe the rubbish the religions tell you and you will find the real truth.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        So, according to you, God is a stalker, since he "pursues" me? Explains a few things.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • stoodrv

        lets hope you believe in the right god then. There are thousands to choose from.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
      • wat

        J: I don't run red lights primarily so I don't hit someone or get hit. I don't murder people because I'm not a terrible person.

        Kohlberg's stages of moral development: the lowest level is acting in a way to avoid negative consquences from an authority. Those whose moral basis is the fear of retribution from a higher power are, morally speaking, children.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
      • Wes Scott

        "I'd rather have faith here on earth then find out i was wrong later. Being wrong about GOD's existence is the worst decision we could EVER MAKE."

        Now, THERE is a ringing endorsement about one's spiritual beliefs. It's like, hey, I could be wrong, but I am going to hedge my bet just in case and say that I actually believe in something even though it might not be true. Accepting things on faith is for the weak, feeble-minded among us. Science seeks to prove and validate whereas religion seeks to browbeat and intimidate through fear for a political/financial purpose of the proponents of that religion. That's like a Christian going out and sinning like the devil all week knowing that he or she can go to chcurch on Sunday and ask forgiveness – how utterly convenient!

        If I ever see somebody who claims to be a Christian actually living the life they claim to believe in, then I might be convinced of, or at least amenable to, the possibility of god and the sanity of religion. If such a person exists, then he or she is definitely not in the GOP or the Tea Party! "Do as I say, not as I do" is not a ringing endorsement for what one claims to believe.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • Rico


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

        And being wrong about God's NON-Existence is worse, as you live a lie all your life and never bother to really grow as a person. Instead, you live by the rules of long-dead charlatans who in no way could have possibly set down life rules that would apply to the modern world.

        If you could be utterly proven wrong, how much of your life has been wasted?

        September 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
      • Jay Wilson

        J: That's not belief, it's covering your bet. Ever hear of Pascal's Wager?

        September 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
      • griz5106

        The thing is J, either you believe or you do not. It is not really a decision that you simply make.

        September 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • God hates religion

        J...God will know what is in your heart, hedging your bet is not gonna work. You don't have "faith" because you are worried about the consequences, you have faith because you believe deep in your heart that God loves you and everyone else no matter if they are Muslim, gay, black, white, Episcopalian, or a Democrat. The point is that if God loves anyone he must love everyone.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
      • Tim

        @J, people like you terrify me. The only thing that keeps you from being a serial killer is believing that some sky god is watching you 24×7 and will roast you in flames for eternity if you mess up. Please do us all a favor and never lose your faith/delusion.

        September 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • angryersmell

      John was written 1500-1800 years ago (?) and Genesis was written 3000-5000 years ago (?), and any version of either that you've read in your 50 years has been heavily edited and translated multiple times since then. This is proven fact; not theory and not assumption. I don't need faith to believe it. If you believe that the version you read is somehow the perfect "word-of-God" direct from his lips to your brain, you are wrong, and anyone who taught you that was either misled themselves, or they were lying for some reason.

      Aside from this, any personal experiences you've had that bolster your faith in the almighty have nothing to do with what's written in that book, and if they do, it's only because you were taught to interpret those experiences through the filter of said book.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jacob M

      Please demonstrate that your God is the right one, and that all believers of other faiths – many of whom believe in the targets of their worship just as fervently as do you, if not more so – are wrong.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • J

        yes many religions, but only one man (JESUS) who died on a cross to remove sin. SELFLESS.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • Skillet

        Jesus has already proved he is the only God. Christians be ready, and keep the faith as our redemption draws near, and our Saviour returns to Earth. As it was in the days of Noah, shall it be the coming of Jesus return.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • Randomguy

        There is no evidence, and they can't come up with any to prove it.

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


        What was selfless about it? Jesus not only KNEW that he'd have to die, but also KNEW he'd be rewarded eternally for it. Especially if you believe the whole "God is Jesus, Jesus is God, they are one etc etc" There was no sacrifice to be made.

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

        I find it funny that people will say that Jesus is their savior...the bible tells us that God made Jesus to spread HIS word – not Jesus' word. He was the voice of God on earth – NOT GOD. If you are Christian then you should be praying to God, not Jesus.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • YoozYerBrain

      Bill, gog hates it when you only use a single source for all of your information. YOU are the one who's got the problem. You worship a book, not a god, and the book came from Sumerian priests, including Abraham the priest of ADAD the THUNDER GOD. So really, what the heck, why do you 1) worship a book, and 2) worship ADAD the Sumerian THUNDER GOD instead of like THOR the NORSE GOD OF THUNDER? Selective god-choice is your human right?

      Maybe CNN will let this response post? I've been having a lot of my ADAD-explaining posts stopped by the editors apparently, who also, apparently, don't want the truth about Yahwehism out. What up with that? Let my posts be free!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • ggargoyle

      If Mr Dawkins were responding to you he would probably say (this is a Dawkins quote), that it is depressing that if there is a 'God', that 'He' was not clever enough to find a better way to forgive humanity than to manifest himself as a human on ealth and to have himself tortured to death in a most demeaning way. Why could he not simply have forgiven humanity?

      September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • QMB

        He would be right .. Had he believed, he would have gone for Judaism or Islam where God will forgive or punish based on good and bad deeds.

        September 6, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Rick & Tammy

      As Christians all we can do is show them the path that they can choose to walk or not to walk in, as Christians all we can do is testify and live by example, those who CHOOSE not to follow and accept by faith, will be judged and for those ppl who CHOOSE not to follow and accept by faith as Christians we can pray for them. Those who have personally CHOSEN not to accept will also be held accountable for other souls in which they influence and lead astray. You can lead a horse to water but if he chooses not to drink then he will not and will eventually wither away. Once you have heard with word of God you are held accountable for your actions, your thoughts, your beliefs, and even inactions..... I do not judge, I just speak what is true

      September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
      • Scott

        You make a false assumption that your path is true. Religion and gods are nothing but imaginary friends that you have adopted. You and your cronies assume you're right without one shred of evidence. You attempt to use your bible as law even though it is NOT the law of the land rather the law of the loonies.

        You assume we have souls that will be judged by your imaginary friend. You assume to much really. Gullibility has made millions of people like you the laughing stock of the world and as we move into the 21st century and into the 22nd your imaginary friend will fade as real knowledge is uncovered and we learn to understand our universe.

        What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. There is no god except the one in your mind and if you keep listening to those voices in your head you may find yourself in a place that doesnt allow visitors.

        September 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
      • MrHanson

        Well Scott, you are nothing but reoranized matter, put together by a random process. You don't really exist. Why should we listen to you? Oh by the way, people like Charles Babbage, the Wright Brothers, Tolkien, Werner Van Brahn, Faraday, Newton, etc.... were idiots to laugh at?

        September 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
      • lhrmk

        How do you know it's true?

        September 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
      • ThirstyHorse

        Rick & Tammy, there's a flaw in your self-superior proselytical adage. And since parables are your preferred simplification method, let's look examine it thusly:

        "You can lead a horse to water..." But if there's no water there, it will wither and not only will you have wasted a perfectly good horse, you'll be stranded, horseless, in the desert. And just continuing to insist that water is there isn't going to do either of you a lick of good.

        Thankfully, some horses are bright enough to find water themselves. They go on to use critical thinking and science to create real-world solutions to real-world problems. Just like your version of Jesus, they sacrificed so that you could live comfortably (or live at all) - in the actual world, not in a fictional afterlife. The more horses can break free of your inept guidance, the better this world will be. Stop luring horses to your empty well, and try to contribute something useful to this world before the "randomly" organized matter you so readily dismiss is disassembled by the provable, unavoidable process of entropy.

        Also, please stop USING randomly CAPITALIZED words for EMPHASIS. It's kind of a CLICHE for bible thumpers when they're REGURGITATING rote falsehoods.

        September 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • LessBias

      The failure of logic from folks like Bill Charsley always amazes me. Does he not realize that there are others – millions of others – in this world with equal if not greater faith in ideas that directly contradict his own? If that faith gives him the power to condemn others to hell for not believing as he does, then surely he must realize that others, again with equal or greater faith, must have the same power over his "soul". But never fear. I have just as much power to sentence you to eternal damnation as you do me.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Hughena da Silva

      Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth and all that is therein is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent and you will meet your Maker one day Mr. Bill Charsley. If you don't repent, you will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity whether you believe it or not.

      September 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Coger

      And another of the profoundly ignorant 40% explains the depth of his stupidity.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • xirume

      50 years under a rock must have left you flat as a stamp...

      September 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Necrosis

      Billions of people have died over the thousands of years modern and primitive man existed. So, the fact that Jesus died does not impress me.

      Millions of people have died in much more agonizing ways than Jesus did, and suffered their agony over much longer periods of time. Jesus's death has nothing on the excruciating pain experienced by bone cancer patients over many months. So, again, I am not impressed.

      Jesus knew his father would resurrect him shortly after his death, so it wasn't really much of a death. More of a sham, really.

      And torturing and killing his son was a pretty cruel and cowardly thing to do, whatever the supposed reason. Guess what? I'm not impressed.

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

        You will not say that to his face. In fact, you will bow your knee and confess with your tongue that he is God. The truth is independent of your belief and whether you are impressed. The crux of what you are saying seems to be that Jesus' physical death wasn't so excruciating as to impress you. Although that seems like a very odd thing to latch onto, the concept you are discounting is the unbearable emotional agony Jesus suffered alongside the physical death, i.e. at that moment on the cross when he was dying and called out to God asking why he was being forsaken, he was enduring total abandonment and wrath of God in our place, as he bore the weight of the world's sin. It was literally hell on earth that we will never have to experience because Jesus provided a way to restore our relationship with God that had been broken due to our sinful and rebellious nature. God desires to save all who repent and accept Jesus as Savior – he is the way God chose to reconcile sinners to him. God does not want to send people to hell – they go there because they persist uncleansed in their sin when God is just, pure, and cannot abide by sin. (Again, that is the moment when Jesus felt abandoned by God, when he took on the world's sins and the presence of God departed from him.) How very sad to hear the gospel and still refuse to believe. I pray regularly for the unsaved.

        September 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • kathy holloway

      Thank you, Mr. Charsley for standing up and speaking the truth. We can deny it, fight it, fear it- but quite simply-we cannot change it.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Mario

      Bill, your first sentence is perhaps the most childish statement in this entire thread. Don't you understand that I can say that I know Zeus exists because of his "handiwork", just like your god? Don't you understand that the fact that anything exists is not proof of any diety? Please think critically. Nobody knows whether or not any diety exists. Claiming that you do know makes you look silly. Saying that you have faith that a god exists is a whole other thing entirely. Having faith is fine, just don't claim that you KNOW not only that a diety exists, but which one it is.

      September 6, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • t3chn0ph0b3

      Christians don't have much standing?!?!? What country do you live in? Certainly not the US.

      September 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
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