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December 19th, 2011
12:08 PM ET

Christianity goes global as world's largest religion

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Christians are by far the largest religious group on the planet, and the religion has gone truly global over the past century, according to a new report out Monday, which finds some of the world's biggest Christian communities in surprising places.

Europe was the clear center of world Christianity one hundred years ago, but today the Americas are home to more than a third of all Christians. In fact, the United States has the world's largest Christian population, of more than 247 million, followed by Brazil and Mexico.

China also appears on the list of top 10 largest Christian populations - with an estimated 67 million Christians, it has more followers of the faith than any western European country.

There are nearly 2.2 billion Christians around the world, making up about one-third of the world's population - the same percentage as a century ago, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Islam is the world's second largest religion, with about 1.6 billion followers worldwide, the Washington-based organization calculates. That's just under one-quarter of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

Sub-Saharan Africa has seen the biggest explosion in its Christian population in the past century, going from about 9 million Christians in 1910 to about 516 million today - nearly a quarter of all the world's Christians. Three of the world's ten largest Christian populations are in Africa: Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.

The study, "Global Christianity," is based on demographic and opinion data from 232 countries and territories. It's part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, which has also included reports on the current and projected number of Muslims in the world.

It does not measure practice or belief, merely counting as Christian anyone who says they are.

The report calculates that half the world's Christians are Catholic, 37% are Protestants, and 12% are Orthodox. The remaining 1 percent belong to other traditions such as Mormonism.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (2,648 Responses)
  1. Seriously?

    @George
    I'm not letting you off the hook for this bit of ignorance and wickedness:

    "Slavery is permitted in the Bible. I won't argue that. But the difference is that no where in the Bible does it say that it is a sin not to keep slaves as it clearly is in the case of h.om.o.s.e.x.uality."

    So, by your own admission, your holy books say it's OK if you don't own slaves, but it's also OK if you do. Welcome to Iron Age morality...INDEFENSIBLE! I believe modernity and reason trump!

    Can't wait for your reply.

    December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • George

      So now it's Iron Age morality? Yesterday, it was Bronze Age morality. I wish you'd get your story straight.

      Again, while slavery is permitted in the Bible, it is not commanded. Also read the Bible. Biblical slavery bears little relation to the African Slave Trade of the 18th and 19th centuries. Do you not agree that those who fought against God deserved to be punished? Or would you rather have them killed outright? If you fight against God, you cannot complain about the plight that befalls you.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • gman

      slavery and the wild sayings in Deut. and leviticus are brought up time and time again by atheists or Christian haters. It has been cogently answered by many blog posts – if you do a google search. I admit that this was a sticking point with me too when I was an atheist. these were rules for a specific group of people at a specific time ... some atheists go further and take Jesus' saying of not one mark of the old testament shall pass and then apply that to the slavery writings – clearly out of context from a man that preached brotherly love and sacrifice

      December 20, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @George
      "So now it's Iron Age morality? Yesterday, it was Bronze Age morality. I wish you'd get your story straight."

      Since you obviously don't have a calendar George, let me make it clear...Old Testament = Bronze Age / New Testament = Iron Age...try to keep up.

      Your cowardly obfuscation is obvious George and confirms that, simply because your dogma says so and you refuse to think for yourself, you accept that slavery "has it's place". You're not only a fool George, but an immoral fool. Shame on you.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Real America

      Christ addressed the condition of the individual and revolutionized society by doing so. It turns out that changes in evil social insti.tutions occur as the people who hold to them change.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @gman
      And you're hero who "preached brotherly love and sacrifice" also introduced the idea of eternal torture and suffering for infidels...that's nowhere in the Old Testament. So much for brotherly love.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Seriously?

      ...sorry, "you're hero", of course, should read "your hero", but regardless you know I'm talking about that twenty centuries dead Palestinian.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Seriously?

      ...sorry, "you're hero", of course, should read "your hero", but regardless you know I'm talking about that twenty centuries dead Palestinian.
      ============

      December 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      " these were rules for a specific group of people at a specific time "

      So, the only way that you can claim that the bible is a moral book is to claim that god is a moral relativist. Slavery and stoning children is moral – so long as its relative to a specific time period.

      December 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  2. gman

    Atheists want evidence for God and as you supply it they still say it is not good enough. The new testament was written within 20-50 years of the death of Jesus. The fundamental belief in Jesus dying for our sins and being resurrected was recounted in Corinthians which was written before 50AD. There are more early copies of the gospel and nt than any other recorded piece of literature. We could even take the church letters written around 120AD and reconstruct the entire NT. the NT agrees with the writings of pliny the younger, taticus, josephus and many other greco-roman works

    December 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Brett

      That is proof that the Bible exists. Not proof that God exists. Incidentally, how do you explain the striking similarities between the stories of the Bible and the stories of Egyptian, Babylonian, and Sumerian texts which existed thousands of years before the NT was written? Some ancient plagiarism is what I call it.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • George

      @gman

      And the atheists keep falling back to the same tired old arguments. If they were intellectually honest, they would simply say that they don't want to believe and that's it. But they feel the need to argue with religious people. This "Belief Blog" is a den of atheists.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Even if true that only "Proves" that a Guy name Jesus existed and said some pretty incredible things. Not that what he said (or reported to have said) is true or valid or "inspired" by a Deity.

      That's the same as saying that the existence of Bach and Coltrane is proof that God exist, (Only God could have inspired such music) I submit that it only proves that Bach and Coltrane exist.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • gman

      Brett, that is a common claim by atheist but please bring up the exact text. Many secular writers state that the idea of a dying and rising God was also copied but when you get down to the details you see that they are talking about fertility gods that die at the end of the harvest and rise again (nile valley) every year. Read the book the real jesus – there are tons of references in that book for you to look at – secular ones in nature

      December 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • gman

      JohnQuest, not true. The early works were published and recounted while the very people that would repudiate them were alive – all people had to do was label the early letters and gospels as wrong. History proves otherwise – Jesus and Caesar met in the Colosseum and Jesus was the victor

      December 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      We keep falling back to the same arguments because you keep using the arguments. Give us something new like real evidence, the same kind that you would except as proof that some other God exist.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • TR6

      “Atheists want evidence for God and as you supply it they still say it is not good enough.”

      I call BS on you. I’ve been looking for evidence of god for all my life and the only things Christians have shown me so far is an old book of sadistic fairy tales. So let’s hear about your “evidence”. If it is testable, repeatable and verifiable I’m all ears

      December 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @gman
      How in the he.ll do copies of a doc.ument give veracity to the original doc.ument?! Are you kidding me?! Using your logic (Chad also put forth this bit of tripe) the fact that 200 million copies of "A Tale of Two Cities" have been sold is proof that Charles Darnay existed. Think gman, think.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      The new testament was written within 20-50 years of the death of Jesus.
      -Most scholars put the dates much later, as late as 100AD Where are you getting your information from?

      The fundamental belief in Jesus dying for our sins and being resurrected was recounted in Corinthians which was written before 50AD.
      So, someone who never met jesus wrote about his resurrection 20 years after it supposedly happened ... how is this evidence of anything?

      There are more early copies of the gospel and nt than any other recorded piece of literature.
      -There are lots of copies of Harry Potter running around. I don't believe in magic. Do you? (hint: you should – your bible says it exists)

      We could even take the church letters written around 120AD and reconstruct the entire NT.
      -Letters written after the books recount what's in the books. This is proof of what, other than the chronology of the letters?

      the NT agrees with the writings of pliny the younger, taticus, josephus and many other greco-roman works
      -Please state where any historian ever vouched for the divinity of jesus. Dan Brown books are accurate on many levels, but you still find them in the fiction section. All you have is an argument that jesus really did exist and he had some followers – nothing else. You're arguing the equivalent of saying that because we know Joseph Smith was a real person and people followed him, that the book of Mormon must be true. That's some really bad logic.

      If this is your "proof" then you really can't blame us atheists for wanting a LOT more.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      gman, now that's not true, plenty of "Religious" text were not included in the Bible and some that were removed over time. My question then is, since we know that Men chose which books to include and which to remove how can we really trust it, especially since we have only read a fraction of them called the Bible? I think every Christian should ask themselves who were council of Nicene and why did they chose the books they did? Also who was Martin Luther and who decided what to remove to make the KJV of the Bible.

      The Book of Enoch, Apocrapha, boook of Mary and of Thomas
      These books where very popular with early Christian, you have to wonder why they were not included? If all of these critical decisions about the Bible were made by men (many of whom would be considered unstable) you have to consider their motives.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • gman

      secular writers put the dates near 100AD for just the gospel of John. Where are you getting your info think from the Jesus Seminar (which hates Jesus)? Mark, the earliest gospel is dated before the fall of Jerusalem by most – even secular scholars. Read the Real Jesus for additional references.
      The 120AD comment makes sense because if for some reason there was bad archealogical evidence for the early gospel – the attestation to the very scripture is astounding and remarkable in ancient times – remember this was before the printing press and amazon dot com

      December 20, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • gman

      JohnQuest, the answer is in the dating. the other "gospels" were written well after – many in the middle ages. The gospel of thomas was a second century writing (so still early) and looks to by Syriac sayings taken from the other gospels.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • J.W

      Hmmm I thought that the gospel of Thomas was dated early like 40 AD. Maybe I am confused. But many of the apocryphal books in the Catholic bible but not the Protestant Bible was because those books did not appear until the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, and it was believed that there was 400 years that there were no divinely inspired prophets.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • Madtown

      George
      And the atheists keep falling back to the same tired old arguments.
      ------–
      And yet, they contain more logic than anything you have to offer! Keep it up, this is entertaining. Better than any sitcom out there right now.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      gman sez:
      "Atheists want evidence for God and as you supply it they still say it is not good enough."
      gman, atheists are looking for the same type of evidence that is given in YOUR Bible, the evidence that Jesus gave Thomas.
      From the most evangelical of all the Gospels:
      "Then he [Jesus] said to Thomas, put your finger into my hands. put your hand into my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!"
      Christains take this story as a lesson of the next line:
      "... Blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway."
      Which is all well and good. HOWEVER, Jesus STILL gave Thomas exactly what Thomas wanted. Empircal evidence!!
      I would venture to guess that every athiest in the world would convert tomorrow if Jesus gave them the same evidence that he willing gave Thomas ( assuming they knew they weren't halucinating ).
      THIS is the evidence we are talking about.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Tony

      "I would venture to guess that every athiest in the world would convert tomorrow if Jesus gave them the same evidence that he willing gave Thomas ( assuming they knew they weren't halucinating ).
      THIS is the evidence we are talking about."

      That's not evidence – evidence means outside of the bible. Plus when you factor in everything written about jesus was done 50 years after his death. Tell you what go into your local nursing home and ask an 70 year old person the details of their lives when they were 20 most of them will have scattered memories. Religious people are nuts.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      @tony
      Hey ... I think you missed what I was saying ... or maybe I didn't say it clear enough
      I'm NOT saying that the story of Doubting Thomas is evidence of Jesus. I'm saying I / atheists want the same type of evidence that Jesus GAVE Thomas ... EMPRICIAL evidence. Thomas demanded it ... Jesus gave it. Atheists demand it ...Jesus is silent.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Tony

      Thomas demanded it ... Jesus gave it. "

      You have no proof of that, it's what the scribes wrote. Outside of the bible what proof do you really have, none.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      @tony
      Ah I see what you are saying. You are taking the tack that the bible is at best her.sey and therefore is false. I would not argue with you on that.
      However, Christians believe it is true and instead of debating them with reason, rational, and historical evidence ( which will not work because belief does not follow these ) I use their own bible.
      Christian "Jesus existed"
      Athiest "I need emperical evidence"
      Christian "You must believe"
      Athiest "You mean like Thomas? "
      Christian "YES"
      Athiest "I will believe when I put my hand in his side ... "

      December 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Christians believe it is true and instead of debating them with reason, rational, and historical evidence ( which will not work because belief does not follow these ) I use their own bible."

      Of course the problem with this is that not all Christians feel the Bible is 100% accurate in content.
      Also, your little Thomas example is faulty.

      December 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      Uncouth Swain sez:
      "Also, your little Thomas example is faulty."
      so I'm not sure if you are short on time and couldn't give a full response, but ...
      If you are going to debate / challenge what I say give some counter arguement
      Otherwise your statement is the Pee Wee Herman answer "I know you are but what am I?"

      December 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tony

      "Athiest "I will believe when I put my hand in his side ... ""

      DUH! Your jesus is dead – six feet under and never was the son of a god. Why don't you spend some time researching pagan religions and see the similarities of them to the story of your christ. It was made up. No need to put hands in his side, cause the whole story is just a bunch of made up crap.

      December 21, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      @Tony
      EXACTLY my point
      I'm with you man. I AM an atheist. REALLY I AM. I don't even believe that Jesus existed, let alone the son of god
      Your missing my point. You cannot argue jesus existance from a stance of reason. Belief, which Christians use exclusively, by definition does not use reason. Christians say " There is evidence all around" and then they ask " What evidence do you need? "
      I say " EMPIRICAL evidence!!" They at this point usually quote the bible saying " God want believers" then I say "Maybe ... but jesus also supplied emperical evidence to Thomas" That forces them to give ME emperical evidence because their bible has presedence

      December 21, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Brother Maynard- Very well since the obvious doesn't stand out to you. You made up an argument, designed it's counter and then act like it's evidence for something.
      What if someone had chosen a disciple other than Thomas? Then your argument fails....that is why it is faulty.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "That forces them to give ME emperical evidence because their bible has presedence"

      Ummm..no. It forces no one to do anything.
      That would be like saying that since Darwin sent out and explored the islands in the Pacific to understand evolution...you must also do that to understand evolution. You are forced to or you are wrong.
      Now come on....that would be a silly thing to expect, just like you saying a believer is forced to give you evidence of your chosing.

      December 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  3. Curious

    For someone who is not an evidentialist, what is the problem with using belief in God as a foundational belief – no evidence required?

    December 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  4. Brett

    You religious people scare the bejesus out of me!

    December 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • George

      You atheists give me white hair.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, if your god is all-powerful, Porky, get him to change it back.

      December 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Thinkster

      It's a pleasure, George – go for that white hair – you'll look particularily righteous, I'm sure!

      December 21, 2011 at 5:15 am |
  5. Seriously?

    @George
    I'm posting this at the top because I don't want it to go unnoticed.
    Re: "Ok, I get that I really stepped in it this time. But I am not afraid to say, yes, ho.mos.e.xual behavior is SINFUL."

    So, do you believe that women capture in battle are to be treated as slaves? Do you agree that owning slaves is ethical and moral? Both of these are extreme cases of discrimination (only a liar or fool would compare them to the "discrimination" involved in deciding what to eat or wear) and both are justified by your holy books.

    Really George, you heart cannot be that hard and your head that soft.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • George

      Slavery is permitted in the Bible. I won't argue that. But the difference is that no where in the Bible does it say that it is a sin not to keep slaves as it clearly is in the case of h.om.o.s.e.x.uality. Moreover, you are going back to the OT with "women in battle" verse.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • HellBent

      George – your not wearing any cotton blends, are you? Because the bible says that's a sin as well. So, just for those of us keeping score at home, slavery – ok. Polyester-cotton blend shirts – burn in hell. Got it.

      Where do I sign up, again?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Madtown

      George
      Slavery is permitted in the Bible.
      -----
      As human beings wrote the bible, they've since come around to admit their mistake.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @George
      So, by your own admission, your holy books say it's OK if you don't own slaves, but it's also OK if you do. Welcome to Iron Age morals...INDEFENSIBLE! I believe modernity and reason trump.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  6. JohnQuest

    George, how is the belief in God consistent with the belief in Free Will? It seems to me that unless you are a Deist, the two are mutually exclusive.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • George

      Why do you find them mutually exclusive? Omniscience is not the same as causation.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @George: it is when you throw "infallibility" into the mix.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • gman

      again John, what kind of God would He be if he made everyone robots? We are made in his image with compassion, love, sacrifice ... if you use your free will not to believe in Him or use your brain to follow the evidence then he will not force you to spend eternity with Him – it is very simple

      December 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Inigo Montoya

      "use your brain to follow the evidence"

      'evidence'. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • gman

      we use a methodology called inference to the best explanation – it is the same in a court of law. Does some unknown or evolution of the gaps best explain the fine tuning of the universe or does an intelligent being best explain it. Does life forming the instant liquid water was present on the earth best explained through greater probabilities than hitting all powerball lotteries at once or does an intelligent being with purpose the best explanation? if you want to say God does not exist and you do not know the answers to why our universe is so finely tuned then you are following a path of faith as much as a person that believes in God

      December 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      ' if you want to say God does not exist and you do not know the answers to why our universe is so finely tuned then you are following a path of faith as much as a person that believes in God"

      As in a court of law, the burden of proof is always on the claimant. To a rational person "I don't know" is an acceptable answer – as it is to a scientist. Some believers, however, cannot accept this and must substi.tute god in for what they cannot explain. This line of thinking has been shot down time and time again since our ancestors wanted to explain floods as being the wrath of their vengeful gods.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • George

      @gman

      Exactly. People aren't thrown in hell by God. Everyone who is burning in hell freely chose to go there.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bob

      gman, again, I challenge you: cite any evidence for your god. So far, no one has been able to present any that stands up.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • George

      @ThinkForYourself

      Life is not a court of law.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Curious

      Maimonides: "Does God know or does He not know that a certain individual will be good or bad? If thou sayest ‘He knows’, then it necessarily follows that [that] man is compelled to act as God knew beforehand he would act, otherwise God’s knowledge would be imperfect." Is God's knowledge of all events over all of time – past, present and future – perfect?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' – Carl Sagan.

      @George, If the burden of proof is not on the claimant you should find it absolutely acceptable that I should state 'purple unicorns are responsible for the big bang' and expect you to prove me wrong.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      "George
      @gman

      Exactly. People aren't thrown in hell by God. Everyone who is burning in hell freely chose to go there."

      And god created those people knowing that he would allow them to burn in hell. He's at least complicit in torture. He's sadistic.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      gman, "Fine Tuned" for who or for what? Even if I were to agree with your first premise the the universe is fine tuned, it does not lead to who or what the fine tuning is for. I would submit that it could not be for us, we are roughly 250,000 years old (6,000 according to some) but the universe is about 14 trillion. If fine tuning were true it took a long time before God to got around to us.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • gman

      thinkforyourself – all you need to do to falsify that God created the universe is to provide evidence for 1 material way that it was created – it is falsifiable .. ie according to modern physicist there is no evidence for a multiverse or for a quantum fluctuation to have created the finely tuned universe you call home
      God is not a sadist – just because he lives outside of time does not mean that you did not have the free will that you are currently exercising ... wrg to hell – much has been written on that today so why be consumed (no pun intended) with burning in hell when you can make the logical choice to believe?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • George

      @Think

      You can make that claim, and I might think that you are crazy, but I can guarantee you that I wouldn't fill up page after page arguing the point like the atheists here do.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Madtown

      George
      Exactly. People aren't thrown in hell by God. Everyone who is burning in hell freely chose to go there.
      ----
      We're told by people like you that non-belief is a "sin" worthy of eternally burning in hell. What of human beings(God's creation) who were born into a part of this world where they never learn of christianity, Jesus, or the bible? What happens to them?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • ThinkForYourself

      @gman,

      No, it is not falsifiable. Whatever material explanation I can come up with, anyone could come up with some reason why some invisible deity would have been behind it. You can insert god ANYWHERE you want, which is why the idea of god is not falsifiable.

      "God is not a sadist – just because he lives outside of time does not mean that you did not have the free will that you are currently exercising ... wrg to hell – much has been written on that today so why be consumed (no pun intended) with burning in hell when you can make the logical choice to believe?"

      -I never said that free will didn't exist. I'm saying that creating something you know will get eternally tortured is sadistic. if omnipotent, god has the ability to stop the torture and chooses not to. That's sadistic. It's even MORE sadistic when you look at the fact that the supposed rules that need to be followed for not getting tortured are about as clear as mud.

      I'm not consumed with the idea of burning in hell, I'm consumed with the idea of an argument that is completely and entirely illogical and with people who choose to worship a narcissistic sadist.

      December 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      Seems John has not yet found his quest...although so close to reality that GOD just do not come and go but rather sent Messangers to transmit reminders of the original message...

      December 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Thinkster

      Having an omnipotent God automatically puts an end to free will – if your diety knows all, then all is predicted – free will is gone. You can only do as you're predestined to do. Sin becomes impossible as well – how can you punish a person that is predestined to do whatever they do, without choice – since all is known before hand. Primitive though we may be, even we see that we cannot punish someone for something they cannot help themselves from doing – yet religionists insist that a person should be punished forever for something they can't help but do – there is no logic or reason here (not that I or anyone else would expect reason and logic from someone addled by religious ideals).

      December 21, 2011 at 5:20 am |
    • Muneef

      Free will we been granted to us to choose from which path for us to follow and be repaid for during life and after life.
      There were three paths been mentioned that we find our selves at by controling or non controlling our deeds...
      Read it here in the opening of the Holy Book at verse (7) ;

      Surah Al-Fatiha (The Opening).
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful (1)
      Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, (2) The Beneficent, the Merciful. (3) Owner of the Day of Judgment, (4) Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. (5) Show us the straight path, (6) The path of those whom Thou hast favoured. Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray. (7). Amen.

      December 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  7. Uncouth Swain

    Gotta love the CNN faith boards. 27 pages of atheists arguing and proving very little. Religious ppl arguing and proving very little. But lots and lots of ego all around.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      It makes me laugh because it is a Belief Blog.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Exactly...proving belief, but it keeps going and going.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • gman

      uncouth, can you think of a more powerful topic to debate and find truth than our origins and spirituality?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @gman- oh no..I enjoy the topic very much. It's just that comment boards are very limited when it comes to debating a topic like this.
      And how many ppl are so smug in their beliefs (or belief in no beliefs), it's just a bit funny.

      December 20, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Thinkster

      Proof is your problem – I don't need to prove anything – it's obvious to anyone that the Emperor has no clothes. Only you insist that there is anything to it – proof is your problem. It's also your duty – read your bible – it damnds this of you – it is your responsibility to bring other into the fold, after all – not mine.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:23 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      I'm pretty sure the Bible/Torah/Tanahk doesn't say anything about proving it to be true.
      Though there are historical aspects that have been proven with archaeology.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  8. Ungodly Discipline

    George said, "Look at it like this. When we have a baby, we cherish that baby and sometimes feel like we know every hair on that baby. We expect that that baby will grow up, get married and have a child of his/her own. But sometimes it happens when our baby turns out to be a h.om.o.s.e.xual. At that point we disown him/her. We saw their life, but they exercised their free will to sin. Also, all-knowing is not the same as causing it to happen. Free will causes things to happen."

    Ok so George, you are a ho.m.ophobe, got that. You don't believe what is written in the Bible so you make things up. got that. Thank you for contributing NOTHING to the world. Besides hate. Christians, you can have this one.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Seriously?

      @George
      I know this will be lost on you, but it still needs to be said...if your religion (any religion) justifies discrimination, you either need to come to the conclusion that you misinterpret your religious doctrine or you need to discard your current religion because it is unethical and immoral.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • George

      I absolutely believe the Bible. But I don't believe in your twisted interpretation of how to read it. You want to say that omniscience denotes causation. I will never agree with that. We cause things to happen due to our own free will.

      Secondly, that I or any other true Christian are opposed to ho.mos.e.x.uality should not be news to you. Just as I am opposed to for.nication.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • George

      @Seriously?

      You discrimminate every day from the food that you eat to the shoes that you wear. The Bible tells us that this behavior is wrong and sinful.

      Ok, I get that I really stepped in it this time. But I am not afraid to say, yes, ho.mos.e.xual behavior is SINFUL.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • gman

      as an atheist, ungodly, how do you put up with anything that is not stronger and better than the last? to this end, why do you want equality for weak people, hom o sx, women, men, etc? it is not congruent with the belief in building a superior race that can one day reach the stars as you said in your best Sagan voice

      December 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bob

      George, if as you say, the bible can be so readily misinterpreted, then it is demonstrably a flawed book. Thus, claims that it is a divine or divinely-guided book wherein the guide is a perfect being must be wrong.

      You, as usual, will claim that some of the readers are getting it wrong or some other dodge like that, but that is indefensible if your god is a perfect, omnipotent being. And if it isn't omnipotent, then "why call it god?" (Epicurus).

      That fact is yet one more piece of evidence, among many, that your whole religion is nonsense

      December 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Madtown

      George
      I absolutely believe the Bible. But I don't believe in your twisted interpretation of how to read it.
      ----–
      Hysterical! In regard to scriptural interpretation, give 10 people the same verse of scripture and you'll typically get 10 different interpretations. Yet, any interpretation that differs from George's is twisted. This is great comedy! And, we haven't yet even mentioned the multiple variations and differing editions of the bible. Classic!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Madtown

      I or any other true Christian are opposed to ho.mos.e.x.uality
      -----
      A "true" christian, yet opposed to something God created directly. You are funny! Priceless comedy!!!

      December 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • TR6

      @gman:” why do you want equality for weak people, hom o sx, women, men, etc? it is not congruent with the belief in building a superior race”

      I think you have confused eugenics with atheisum

      December 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Snow

      It is a simple principle of "Live and let Live" that you christian fools do not understand (not all, only the likes of gman and george).

      George is the idiot who will love his son from the moment of his birth, but if he shows signs of gayness, will disown him and burn him at stake
      gman is the idiot who wants to argue that there some kinds of human slavery that are good and will make you god's pet..

      I am not sure I should scorn them or pity them

      December 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  9. Ungodly Discipline

    gman,
    There is misconception being perpetrated by YOU that you know something. It has become increasingly clear that you are blow hard and you know very little. I have not heard so much horse sh.it since...well since George.

    December 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • gman

      wow you have a personality disorder – you go from having a civil discourse to name calling – I must have struck a nerve

      December 20, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  10. Reality

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • .........

      do reality a favor
      hit report abuse every time he puts this up.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  11. Ungodly Discipline

    @George
    Come on George, we are on page 27, there are two things I sent you to respond to. Come on you can do baby! If the page flips you will never figure out how to use your browser's back button!!!!

    December 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • George

      I answered your questions.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Now I wish I hadn't asked. You are a real creep. I wish there was a hell because that is exactly where you would end up.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Ungodly Discipline

    @George
    George I know I told you that you were in detention, but you are so amusing I can't help it. When you say the Universe is not infinite, what exactly do you mean?

    For example, do you mean that you believe in the Big bang and that in many trillions of years from now, the Universe will collapse into a singularity in the Big Crunch, at which time there will be no matter whatever left out of which your God can continue to play?

    Or are you saying that we have uniform static universe that is a finite size and will stay that way? (Although right now the universe expanding.)

    Thanks.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      gman
      I belive you are making up some groovy sh.it man! Are you writing your own Bible? I don't recall seeing that in there...

      December 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Sorry posted wrong place but I believe you get the point.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • George

      I mean that the universe is topologically compact.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Old Man Winter

      George, if I thought you knew what you were talking about I'd talk with you about the universe we inhabit. As it is, I can only hope you are young and just need some time to grow and learn. If you are an old person, there is little hope for you in terms of learning about anything beyond using your Jesus toaster.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      That is a start George, but I did not ask you about the shape of the universe, and your reply doesn't answere that question either, I asked you what you meant by, "it is not infinate". Shape and Size are two different things.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • George

      I'm not talking shape either. Topology is not geometry. Topological compactness means roughly that no part of the universe wanders off to infinity. It might turn back on itself, but it does not wonder off to infinity.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Curious

      George: "I mean that the universe is topologically compact"- admitting no singularities? Why so nice and smooth? Aesthetics?

      December 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  13. Ungodly Discipline

    @Your Bible says that your God knows the exact time and date of life and death for every person. If that is true, then he has determined, in advance, who will be aborted. Therefore there necessarily cannot be free will. How is the absurd? It is only absurd because you can't answer it my friend. Unless of course you are saying the Bible is absurd, in which case I agree.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Oop, sorry. That one is for you George

      December 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • gman

      Again, God lives outside of time and knows the end from the beginning. You still have free will and are in control of your own destiny. We can go through the parade analogy but I believe you get the point.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • HellBent

      I will agree that knowledge of an event does not mean control of an event. Thus, I do see the possibility of the coexistence of free will and an omnipotent being. However, in the case of the christian god, who creates life, he would know ahead of time whether that person would be tortured for all eternity. Thus, he knowingly creates something that he knows will be eternally tortured. That's sadistic – that's evil.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Old Man Winter

      If we have free will then there should be no coercion whatsoever and no eternal consequences to our free-willed choices, otherwise there is no free-will worth speaking of.
      The total lack of actual "god"-based rules, communications, signs, monuments, or anything resembling proof of your "god's" existence precludes any claims to "divine" truth, morals, guidance, etc.
      And to top it all off, we experience our lives and our self-awareness in error-prone physical bodies with error-prone brains - so holding an innocent person as guilty, with nothing less than infinite punishment for any so-called "transgressions" is totally and completely insane and delusional.
      Christians assume every innocent baby is damned to burning in hell forever for the mere reason of being born.
      If you can't see the insanity of this then you need to be locked up and given strong medication.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • gman

      HellBent, there is misconception about hell. I do not claim to know the whole truth but I have researched it quite extensively when I was an atheist. It is quite probable that after the great white throne judgement (judgement of those who do not choose to be with God – rejected him in their time on earth due to pride,etc) that their body and soul will be destroyed in hell – this will not be an ongoing torment.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • George

      Look at it like this. When we have a baby, we cherish that baby and sometimes feel like we know every hair on that baby. We expect that that baby will grow up, get married and have a child of his/her own. But sometimes it happens when our baby turns out to be a h.om.o.s.e.xual. At that point we disown him/her. We saw their life, but they exercised their free will to sin.

      Also, all-knowing is not the same as causing it to happen. Free will causes things to happen.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • HellBent

      "that their body and soul will be destroyed in hell – this will not be an ongoing torment."

      Regardless of the length of time (which is a ridiculous idea when discussing something that exists outside of the physical universe), the point is that the christian god must necessarily create something which he is well aware will suffer great torment. The argument remains the same.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • HellBent

      "But sometimes it happens when our baby turns out to be a h.om.o.s.e.xual. At that point we disown him/her."

      What a sad, hateful, ignorant person you are. I feel sorry for you.

      Of course, the ana.logy, even in your warped mindset, isn't valid since you didn't know the baby was gay ahead of time.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Madtown

      when our baby turns out to be a h.om.o.s.e.xual.........but they exercised their free will to sin
      -----
      Except, that God created your baby to be that way. That's not an example of free will, since individuals don't decide to be that way, no more than you decided to be an individual with an exceptionally low IQ.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • George

      @Madtown et. al,

      Like it or not, while one may not control his orientation, he certainly chooses to act on that, hence he chooses the evil behavior. Just as a for.nicatior chooses his evil behavior.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Madtown

      he certainly chooses to act on that, hence he chooses the evil behavior
      --------
      Of course he chooses to act on it! This is the way God created him, "acting" on his natural tendencies is the way God designed him. Evil? Only according to ignorant, hateful, judgemental people such as yourself.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      George says: "When we have a baby..."

      Ahahhhahha.

      George can't have had a baby. George has never had s e x.

      December 20, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      George is against fornicators but has already said that he would vote for Newt. George, please explain how this aligns with absolute morals.

      December 21, 2011 at 5:37 am |
  14. Ungodly Discipline

    George
    That is handy! That way you don't have to answer any questions or defend your positions.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  15. Maya

    It is pretty revealing that this article completely fails to mention the fact that while self-reported Christians are the largest religious group in the world, they are NOT the majority. Considerably less than half of the world's population is Christian.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  16. Ungodly Discipline

    gman
    By Primorial Soup I hope you are not thinking of a bubbling goo at Yellowstone Park. It be the ocean, it could be frozen water.

    The data are all geochemical based on the isotope chemistry of graphite and other mineral inclusions in quartz and quartzite from the appropriate sediments. The rock that has been discovered from the appropriate age is not extensive. It is much easier to find rock from 2 to 3 billion years old than it is to find 3.5 to 4 billion year old rock. The articles below provide the complexity of the question while leading to the simple answer- yes there is geological evidence of the Primordial Soup.

    Delano, John W.
    2001 "Redox History of the Earth's Interior since ~3900 Ma: Implications for Prebiotic Molecules" Origins of Life and the Evolution of the Biosphere v.31(4-5):311-341

    Farquhar, James, Huming Bao, Mark Thiemens
    2000 "Atmospheric Influence of Earth's Earliest Sulfur Cycle" Science v.289(5480):756

    Farquhar, J., B. A. Wing, K. D. McKeegan, J. W. Harris, P. Cartigny, and M. H. Thiemens
    2002 "Mass-independent Sulfur of Inclusions in Diamond and Sulfur Recycling on Early Earth" Science 2002 298: 2369-2372

    Xiong, Jin, William M. Fischer, Kazuhito Inoue, Masaaki Nakahara, Carl E. Bauer.
    2000 "Molecular Evidence for the Early Evolution of Photosynthesis" Science 298(5485): 1724

    UENO, YUICHIRO, HIDEYOSHI YOSHIOKA, SHIGENORI MARUYAMA, and YUKIO ISOZAKI
    2004 "Carbon isotopes and petrography of kerogens in ~3.5-Ga hydrothermal silica dikes in the North Pole area, Western Australia" Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 573-589.

    Sleep, N. H., K. Zahnle, P. S. Neuhoff
    2001 " Initiation of clement surface conditions on the earliest Earth" PNAS-USA v.98 no. 7: 3666-3672

    Rosing, T. Minik
    1999 13C-Depleated Carbon Microparticles in >3700-Ma Sea-Floor Sedimentary rocks from West Greenland. Science 283 (5402): 674

    Rosing, Minik T. and Robert Frei
    2004 U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of >3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis" Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 217 237-244 (online 6 December '03)

    Pavlov, Alexander, James K. Kasting, Jeninifer L. Eigenbrode, Katherine H. Freeman
    2001 "Organic haze in Earth's early atmosphere: Source of low-13C Late Archean kerogens?" Geology v.29 no. 11:1003-1006

    MOJZSIS, STEPHEN J., T. MARK HARRISON, ROBERT T. PIDGEON
    2001 "Oxygen-isotope evidence from ancient zircons for liquid water at the Earth's surface 4,300 Myr ago" Nature 409, 178-181 (11 January )

    Lollar, B. Sherwood, T. D. Westgate, J. A. Ward, G. F. Slater & G. Lacrampe-Coulloume
    2002 "Abiognic formation of alkanes in the Earth's crust as a minor source for global hydrocarbon reserevoirs." Nature (letters) Vol 416: 522- 524

    Lasaga, Antonio C., H. D. Holland, and Michael J. Dwyer
    1971 "Primordial Oil Slick" Science 1 October 1971 174: 53-55 [DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4004.53]

    Horita, Juske, Michael E. Berndt
    1999 Abiogenic Methane Formation and Isotropic Fractionization Under Hydrothermal Conditions. Science 285 (5430): 1055

    Foustoukos, Dionysis I., William E. Seyfried
    2004 "Hydrocarbons in Hydrothermal Vent Fluids: The Role of Chromium-bearing Catalysts" Science Vol 304 1002-1005

    Fedo, Christopher M., Martin J Whitehouse and Balz S Kamber
    2006 "Geological constraints on detecting the earliest life on Earth: a perspective from the Early Archaean of southwest Greenland" Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 361, 851-867

    Edited to add:

    Manfred Schidlowski, Peter W. U. Appel, Rudolf Eichmann and Christian E. Junge
    1979 "Carbon isotope geochemistry of the 3.7 × 10^9-yr-old Isua sediments, West Greenland: implications for the Archaean carbon and oxygen cycles" Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 43, 189-199

    December 20, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Ungodly
      I despair that all your intended audience heard in their head while reading this well researched post was Charlie Brown's parents....

      December 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      That is funny doc, cuz that is acually how I sound when I talk! lol

      December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • gman

      thanks for posting and I will review. Like you, I have my doubts, for example, how does the sulfur paper really help show that there was an abundance of nitrogen rich material in the early earth? It would seem that this would be a huge win for ambiogenesis and yet it is listed on many sites as lack of support.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • HellBent

      "Like you, I have my doubts"

      Any rational person should be skeptical when present with new claims. Inserting god into the gaps of knowledge, however, is intellectually lazy.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  17. Iggy Agnostic

    I really get a hoot out of watching religious zealots and atheists go at it. One side is as bad as the other.

    Atheists say that the burden of proof is on the believers. From the agnostic standpoint both have the burden of proof because both are making extraordinary claims with certi.tude. I don't think that any side can support their certainty with the current state of science. I think that the future will bring ground-shaking new evidence, but probably not in my lifetime. Until then I am content saying, "I don't know."

    Then we have the religious who know with certainty that their particular brand of religion is the only true way. And they know this by looking at their holy book which not surprisingly supports their point of view. Note to believers: you cannot prove God by referring to your holy book; the holy book is itself in question.

    I don't know if there is a God or not or if that God is Yaweh, Zeus, Shiva or any other. I am content not knowing. I'm not troubled by people who do believe in God, and I'm not troubled by those who don't. I don't have a problem saying, "Merry Christmas," and I don't understand atheists who do. It seems that both sides has its zealots. And I am happy to live in America even if Christianity is the majority belief system.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Maya

      Your agnosticism will be legitimate when you are ready to concede that it is possible that unicorns exist, even though no one's ever actually seen one.

      Of course, it is POSSIBLE that unicorns exist. That isn't the point. The point is that there is no evidence the points to their existence, so it is irrational to assume that they do. Is it such an incredible claim to say that unicorns don't exist?

      December 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • warmesTghosT

      You are confusing atheism with gnostic atheism. Being an atheist is not a statement of knowledge either way, it simply means that one does not "believe" in the existence of the supernatural. The "agnostic" is implied and therefore redundant.

      I'm glad you've found a way to feel superior to both though.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • Iggy Agnostic

      Maya,

      The difference is that we can and have cataloged all, or nearly all, the animals on this planet. It is within our experience. But since no one has been around since the beginning of the universe no one can say for sure how it began. Similarly I can't say that unicorns don't exist on other planets. That would be unscientific of me. You can argue lack of evidence, and that's fine. I have a problem with your certainty.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  18. Jon

    Don't you mean as the world's most maligned and hated religion?

    December 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • gman

      how is Christianity maligned? to what end? maligned to a society full of selfishness? Is that progress?

      December 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • rick

      feeling a bit put upon, jon?

      December 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  19. Louisa Ferre

    Louis are you Hindu?

    Shinto.

    short answer fu-ck you FCC

    December 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  20. Ungodly Discipline

    Louisa Ferre

    I will agree that nobody know how life started, just as know one know what preceded the big bang. However, your comments, especially with a science background, are difficult for me to comprehend. You would take sky fairy over primeval ooze? It seems most likely that life arrive on an asteroid and over many billions of years of molecules bashing into each other, eventually there was spark. Like a cave man trying to make fire only we have to thing over mind-numbing time scales. That all makes perfect sense to me. Certainly far more so than something as ridiculous and "intelligent design" We are made from the chemistry of trillions of stars. It is beautiful. We are, all of us, start stuff.

    I think this is what people struggle with, that "life" was an accident. I say yes and no. It is possible that it wouldn't have happened here. But it is impossible that it wouldn't happen anywhere, since every possible thing must necessarily happen in an infinite universe which is how I tend to belief. But, to each there own.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Sorry or type-o's. Typing too fast.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Louisa Ferre

      I just prefer to say “I don’t know.” Works better for me it easier to believe and I avoid hubris

      December 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hey, back on the Hitchen's article there was a post that was very impressive. I disagree with your position but at the same time the way you posted was fantastic.

      Much Respect

      L'Chaim

      December 20, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • gman

      there is absolutely no evidence for a primordial soup as it would be extremely rich in Nitrogen and geological evidence does not corroborate a primordial soup. the first cell appeared as soon as liquid water appeared then at 500MM years ago the Cambrian explosion occurred and 38-40 of life's body plans appeared fully formed

      December 20, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • gman

      ungodly, I like the multi-verse theory but all it does is kick the creation aspect up a notch – now God created a machine capable of spitting out multiple universes. Energy is key here – even in a quantum fluctuation argument, it needs energy and a vacuum which is not nothing. God transcends the universe and that explains how he is able to know the end from the beginning – time is a creation of God.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • George

      @Ungodly

      The universe is not infinite. You seem to be taking a lot on faith yourself.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Thanks Mark, nice of you to say. Was it this one? (I am going to get in trouble cuz I re-posted this earlier, oh well)

      I feel the most exciting thing about atheism (weak atheism in my case, or Temporal Agnosticism) is that no possibilities are ruled out. One can revel in the cosmos and the joy of learning without the burden of guilt. Just as Einstein, Hawking and many other thinkers of our time and space, the universe still holds many secrets, and those secrets are far more enjoyable when you don't have a pre-disposition to a believe in any God; whatever shape that may take.

      How can we think freely and explore scientifically the theories of the multi-verse, string theory, intelligent life on other planets, space travel and what preceded the Big Bang when we are anchored to the Earth by a ball and chain called religion.

      It is enough to look up at the Milky Way and say, here is my church.

      I am not commanded to worship. I am COMPELLED to be astounded by its magnificence. And no matter what you believe or say, none of us has the slightest idea what will happen when we die. So live and learn, then die knowing you have embraced life.

      Be nice and fear not.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      George, you are in detention mister. You don't get to argue with me anymore antil you answer my other posts.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • George

      @Ungodly

      First of all, I am free and don't have to answer questions dictated by you. Second, I go with the pages. When a page turns over, I'm on the current page. I don't go searching through past pages looking for some questions you may have posted.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • J.W

      I just look at it as the universe still needed to have a cause and effect. If there was nothing outside of the single ball of mass and energy, then why did it expand and form the universe? I know I still have the problem of well if God did that then who created God. I am still working on that one.

      December 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      gman
      You are ent.itled to your beliefs, yours are no more or less "fantastic" (in the weird way) then mine. I can't argue the "energy of God with you" or how Time works across multiple universes or even at the event horizon of a Black Hole. You have no proof. It sounds like you have married science and a belief in God pretty well. Good for you! I am still looking for something more than the convenience of a "God".

      December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.