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Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age
January 10th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.

When asked if “God used evolution to create people," 73% of pastors disagreed - 64% said they strongly disagreed - compared to 12% who said they agree.

Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.

A movement called Young Earth creationism promotes the 6,000-year-old figure, arguing that it is rooted in the Bible. Scientists say the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors, also found that 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people.

“Recently discussions have pointed to doubts about a literal Adam and Eve, the age of the earth and other origin issues," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a report on LifeWay’s site. “But Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly Creationists and believe in a literal Adam and Eve.”

The phone survey was conducted in May 2011, sampling ministers from randomly selected Protestant churches. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent, LifeWay said.

A 2010 Gallup poll found that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, versus 54% who said humans developed over millions of years.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Science

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soundoff (6,504 Responses)
  1. jon

    Truly amazing that people can simply disregard all scientific evidence of an Earth being billions of years old, in favor of dinosaurs running around in the Garden of Eden 6000 years ago. These people actually disregard all evidence of archeological findings as simply something having been "planted" there by the scientists. WOW! What a conspiracy theory.

    January 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      jon, not our fault that you don't know nor care to read the Bible. The science community changes their statistics on how old they think the earth is. I find it fascinating what other believers have uncovered in the past century pertaining to Jesus' truth written in the Bible at the following site regarding the katabole (the destruction of the first earth age) http://www.biblestudysite.com/answers12.htm#6 , since the Bible has always stated that there are 3 earth ages and 3 heaven ages. You can't sit there and say Christians of today made up new scriptures to match what science believes, when believers know that true science and Jesus' truth are in agreement. Christians will sit back as usual watch when scientific theories are no longer that. Until then, science will continue with their research and scriptures in the Bible remain, as always, an unraveling of God's glory and truth.

      Amen.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Timmy

      you can say that again....the bible's "truth" sure is "unraveling", just like your mind.

      Amen, and again I say Amen, and I shout Halleluia. Praise be. Uh huh.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • What?

      "Until then, science will continue with their research and scriptures in the Bible remain, as always, an unraveling of God's glory and truth. "

      LMAO that's why over time the scribes added parts to the bible and changed words around, but christians like you don't want to hear that TRUTH. LOL!

      January 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Har. God's truth is "unraveling"?

      Brilliant.

      January 10, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      As I stated in my previous blog, not our fault that you (non-believers) don't know nor care to read the Bible. I stand by my statement, and you non-believers, as usual, will foolishly gloat without realizing science has NOT disproved Jesus' truth. Therefore, we are in the same debate mode as always. Believers unraveling Jesus' truth as each generation passes ... science discoveries and Jesus' truth are in perfect harmony ... and you unbelievers will stay the fool.

      Amen.

      January 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Ferd the Turd

      Wow. Amen. If she says Amen, then, hell, it must all be true. Amen.

      January 10, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • sharoom

      HeavenSent, scientists may not be able to pin down the age of the Earth to a fraction of a second, but it's nowhere near 6000 years. You speak as if the ability of science to review itself in its measurements is something bad, while going even further by making the bewildering conclusion that this automatically makes your Bible measurements correct. W T F mate.

      January 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      This whole thing about a "God" who wrote the "Bible" then all of a sudden, 2000 yrs ago decides "He" is no longer going to write anymore. . . .sounds a little fishy to me.

      January 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      As I stated before, true science is proving Jesus' truth in scriptures.

      Amen.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • MNWriter

      HeavenSent,
      Repeating over and over that 'Jesus's truth' (which of course is everything you believe) always is in harmony with science is completely self-serving. You're saying "well, I'm not willing to challenge anything I believe, so I'm going to believe that everything that will ever be discovered will somehow match up with what I believe, and then I never have to imagine anything I believe being wrong." In any context but religious faith, this would be considered narcissism. Please grow up a little. Religion has evolved just like everything else. Gods that were just nature changed to gods that were people changed to an absolute god that's almost a concept, which will change to something else. The world is actually much much bigger and more interesting than anything your religion imagines.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      MNWriter, I don't believe in matching scriptures with true science. It's true science that is proving Jesus' scriptures to be true. Read my original post S L O W L Y.

      Amen.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • MNWriter

      HeavenSent,
      I did. Please don't insult others' intelligence. It makes you look small and childish.
      Don't worry though, I take comfort in knowing that "Jesus's truth" will always be smaller than reality.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Jessy

      You do realize that the bible has been manipulated by the church fathers ages ago and enforced the literal beliefs of such scriptures at the point of a sword, right?

      January 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      MNWriter, you posted “HeavenSent, I did. Please don't insult others' intelligence. It makes you look small and childish. Don't worry though, I take comfort in knowing that "Jesus's truth" will always be smaller than reality.”

      Answer: Jesus teaches subject, article, outcomes on life and the hereafter. Spiritual righteous outcomes versus spiritually dead unrighteous outcomes. It is difficult and takes courage to live a spiritually righteous Christian life when challenges come upon one’s path. It is easy to take the spiritually dead unrighteous path any time challenges in life get tough. Righteous means what is good for the individual involved, as well as ALL involved. Unrighteous means what is good for the individual only, and caring less what happens to anyone else.

      As for the scientific debate. I, as well as other true Christians have always acknowledged how true science is proving Jesus’ scriptures to be true. Science, however, is not the issue with Jesus’ spiritual teachings. Spiritual Righteous vs spiritual dead unrighteous behavior is taught by Jesus throughout scriptures. It comes down to do you care about your soul, as well as all others or are you going to hide the spiritual aspect of Jesus’ truth by bogging it down that it must be a debate with science? I’ve never denied science and true science is proving that Jesus is not to be denied.

      Amen.

      January 11, 2012 at 4:57 am |
    • setnommarih

      Hey heavensent-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and HAHAHAHAHA!

      January 11, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • mark

      Hey Heaven Sent... were the people last year that drove around in vans claiming the end of the world happening in october (or something) a bunch of nut jobs? Cause I can tell you they were at least (if not way more) committed to their belief than you or I.. Some of these idiots wasted their life savings in the name of this belief, that theysaid they could prove via their precious bible.. so.. were they right or wrong? Is their belief no good.. but yours is? See how ridiculous it gets when you take proof out of the equation and just blatantly believe whatever it written or told to you by some schmuck in a robe? You really can't see this??? REALLY???

      January 11, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • NotInContext

      Trying to convince anyone of any religion that what their holy scripture says is plain "wrong" is akin to telling Wall Street Moguls that they're criminals. The divide between the believers of one side vs. the other is simply too deep, too engrained into the psyche of a person... just look at some of these posts. It's quite evident that most people take the retoric personal.

      My personal perspective: Believe whatever you want, whatever makes your house float. But keep your bible in your house. Keep your religion in your church. Keep your retoric for your dinner discussions. I don't subscribe to your version of what is right is wrong other than what the law of the land says. If it says the speed limit is 55, it's 55. It's not 30 'cause the bible said so 2,000 years ago. If you really want to live the ways of 2,000 years ago, there's plenty of room out west. Go live off the grid, cut the chord, and bury your head in the sand. Eventually you'll meet your "maker", whoever/whatever it is. A billion years from now you'll be space dust just like me and everyone/everything else, no matter what we say or do today. And what are those bible readers going to say then? That the earth is one billion and six-thousand years old? Silly.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • HeathensAllOfUs

      At some point in history, every religion with its "true believers" has been surpassed by another religion. Mostly, the old religions are now viewed as mythology or simply as historical artifacts. Even Christianity is in that process right now. No matter how much you flap your wings and get puffed up, it's gonna happen. But don't worry. Someone will come along and rewrite the bible yet once again. Maybe they'll call it the reformed reformed bible or bible 2.0. Heck, if memory serves me right they probably can't call it 2.0. That was like 1800 years ago. They must be at version 25 or 30 by now. Maybe just start using sub-numerals, like 25.1 and 25.2 and 25.2b "beta". They should really do more beta testing, if you ask me. Really let the "market" sink their teeth into it, get all the bugs out. Start with the bit about 6,000 years. It's simply too far fetched – no instruments will back that up. Maybe go for around a billion years, 'cause then you really have an intelligent argument with those pesky "scientists". It'll be easier to argue about a 3x or 5x multiplyer rather than, you know, a 700,000,000 to 800,000,000 multiplyer. Honestly, that's not even in the same galaxy (never mind ball-park). It makes creationists sound way too much like zealots. Tone it down a bit in your next beta-release, and after some field-testing ... maybe then it'll become sustainable?

      January 11, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Jeebus

      Because science unlike religion requires proof. As we continue to learn more and more about our universe, we will find paths that were just theories and paths that become more than that. Now with religion, you're taught to just believe and require no proof. You call this blind acceptance as "faith". So of course you feel like science always changes while your beliefs don't, because you wouldn't care to truly question anything so you can maintain the lie.. I mean faith. I've heard this argument before and it's one of the sadder ones.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Rick W.

      Jon,
      Just show me your proof. Just because scientists say its billions of years old does not make it proof. Radio carbon dating from what I understand is totally unreliable... and you cant prove it otherwise.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Jeebus

      The sad thing is, heavensent has been heavenbrainwashed to see all this evidence that God and religion is a fake as yet another test of faith itself. He/she will just stand strong where he/she is because that's how faith works. So as much logic and evidence is tossed towards him/her, it won't matter.. faith overcomes all forms of logic. Non-believers are the ones really free heavensent.. I hope one day you really do wake up and realize how long you've been shackling your mind.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Rick W.

      Mark... your precious scientists predict the date for end of the Earth, NOT THE BIBLE. The Bible says it will happen but CLEARLY says no one knows the day. Only the Father knows.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Rick W.

      Mark... just so I'm clear. Just because people say its in the Bible does not mean that it's actually in there. Are you going to blame the Bible when next year rolls around and the Mayan "prediction" does not come true. The Mayans are not in the Bible either so dont get that confused too. P.S. it's not a prediction... it's just when their calendar ends. My calendar ends this month by the way.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      To all the Peter and Patricia Pans that responded. All I have to write is thank you science for uncovering the truth that there are spiritually immature folks that do not take responsibility for their thoughts/beliefs/actions walking among us in chronologically aged bodies throughout society. Jesus teaches us many truths, one being how to grow up righteously taking responsibility for one's thoughts, beliefs, actions in life.

      Thank you CNN for this debate to show the the spiritually immature are just as Rikki Gervais describes in his act ... on the mentality level of 1st or 2nd graders and stay on that level of knowing Jesus' teachings.

      Amen.

      January 11, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • northern light

      A note to "Heaven Sent"....

      Can you write back and tell us all where you get the stuff you smoke......from what you write it seems dam good .....is it expensive?......and who is your supplier?......

      January 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  2. Colin

    I have a good friend who works for Exxon-Mobile. He is a geologist engaged in searching for oil and other fossil fuels in Africa. They know where to look for oil based on the ages of the rocks and their location during the Carboniferous Period, which is when the vast mats of plankton and other small sea creatures were laid down, that gradually turned to oil over the tens of millions of years.

    Fortunately, I have a friend who is a protestant pastor. He has told me that fossil fuels are not made of fossils at all, as the world is only six thousand years old and started with the Garden of Eden and a magic talking snake! So, I will write to my friend and tell him to stop looking where they usually find oil, as that has just been a lucky coincidence. God must have buried some there to fool them.

    What a playful, loving god we have, and aren't Bible-cuddlers smart!

    January 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Real America

      I know a geologist who graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. She does believe that the world is 6000 years old. People will believe what they want to believe in the face of any evidence.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • ama01

      ExxonMobil. But the rest of your post is spot on!

      January 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Jesus

      Some people want desperately want to believe in an afterlife and that true justice will someday be dispensed. The fear of one's mortality and the unfairness with the randomness of life's outcomes (e.g. sudden death at a young age, success and wealth in the life of evil people, failure of to succeed of good people, etc.) cause many folks to grasp for something to cling to-–even though that something may be irrational, delusional, and contrary to reality.Christianity offers an afterlife and a judgment day where bad people go to Hades and good people to Heaven. What a lovely children's story....too bad it is all nonsense.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Jerry C

      "when the vast mats of plankton and other small sea creatures were laid down, that gradually turned to oil over the tens of millions of years"-prove it. Lol, that's what I thought. Pure belief. Recently a volcano erupted & the lava was measured to be over 10 million years old. "Science" changes all the time. Those vast mats of plankton and other small sea creatures could have been laid down in a very quick (say 40 days & 40 nights) under a massive, huge pressure like Noah's flood. Unbelievers have much more faith than believers ever could.

      January 11, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Jeebus

      Real America, that has got to be the dumbest thing I've ever read. If that is true and your friend does believe that Earth is 6,000 years old despite being a geologist, then may sanity have mercy on her brain.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Jeebus

      Nothing against you Real America, more of directing it towards the geologist. I also realize now that I'm in error by stating that she was your friend.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Rick W.

      Colin. I believe in science too. I really do but not to prove or disprove my faith. I know science can determine when to find oil but that does not mean that it's billions of years old. Can you ask your buddy @ Exxon Mobile why we are running out of oil? Seems like if Earth has been producing it for billions of years it should be getting cheaper not more expensive. Did the pankton stop dying?

      January 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Rick W.

      Jerry C... didn't Mt St. Helens also produce petrified wood overnight? Funny how trees can be living and growing one day and then really really old the next.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • mendrys

      No, the trees around Mt. St. Helen's were not petrified trees, they only bore a slight visual similarity in some cases.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:49 am |
  3. Colin

    I have a friend who works for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. He was telling me how a new strain of Bird Flu has evolved with a resistance to the strongest antibodies we can throw at it. The best immunologists in the World believe it evolved in parts of India or China where the regular contact between chickens and humans allows easy vectoring to humans.

    Luckily, I have a Proestant pastor friend who has corrected me. Evolution is a lie. All life was created in its current form about 6,000 years ago by a Bronze Age sky god they called “Yahweh,” who we now call “God”.

    So, the Center for disease Control will immediately stop researching the evolution of disease and close down, so their researchers can go home and read their Bibles to find a cure for bird flu there.

    Thanks Protestant pastors, you are so much smarter than those silly researchers and doctors – and just from reading your Bibles!!

    January 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • zoft2000

      "I have a friend who works for the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. He was telling me how a new strain of Bird Flu has evolved with a resistance to the strongest antibodies we can throw at it. The best immunologists in the World believe it evolved in parts of India or China where the regular contact between chickens and humans allows easy vectoring to humans."

      yes I have a friend of mine whose dog evolved overnight when he was sent to Alaska. The dogs coat turned thick and white, to help him from the cold. Wow I guess evolution really works !

      January 11, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Rick W.

      Colin... your sarcasm strikes again. So chickens and humans must have been around for billions of years too for this bird flu to have "eveolved" over millions of years into a super-strain. Maybe the CDC should talk to the other scientist who only think man is only 500000-100000yrs old.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  4. Colin

    A friend of mine (who was actually valedictorian of our high school) went into the field of paleontology. He works at the University of Melbourne in Australia, where they are doing research on the earliest Aboriginal settlements in Australia and the development of the many languages spoken by the Aboriginals in Australia.

    Their latest theories suggest that man made it to Australia at least 60,000 years ago, during the penultimate Ice Age and that their languages diversified as they spread throughout the continent.

    Fortunately, I have a Protestant pastor friend, who has informed me that this can’t be right, as the World is only one tenth as old (about 6,000) years and that all Australian Aboriginal languages were made by god in the Tower of Babel. Further, the Ice Ages did not even happen.

    It makes me wonder where Australian Aboriginals come from if they were not on Noah’s ark and evolution is a lie, but I’m sure I’ll find the answers in the Bible.

    January 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • setnommarih

      Colin, are you trying to poke holes in Heavensent's comments-GREAT JOB!!

      January 11, 2012 at 6:50 am |
    • Rick W.

      Since we are reverting to sarcasm... I guess they know how old the aboriginal settlement was because they found a coin with the date 60000 BC minted on it.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  5. Colin

    I have a friend who works for NASA. He was telling me how the latest photographs from the Hubble space telescope are revealing galaxies in the early stages of formation, from about 13 billion years ago. The discoveries are advancing science at an incredible rate and helping us develop very sophisticated theories of galactic formation.

    Fortunately, I have a friend who is a Protestant pastor. He informed me that the entire Universe was created only 6,000 years ago by [the Christian] god with one man, one woman and a magic talking snake.

    Thanks Bible-cuddlers, if it wasn’t for you, I would believe people like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawkins. Now, I just read my Bible.

    January 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • fred

      Sorry, you need to put your Bible down now and return to you cell like the other inmates........or is it evolved primates ?

      January 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Regis990

      Well done, Colin...on all of your posts!

      January 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • J.W

      I don't think imposter fred understands sarcasm

      January 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • sharoom

      noooooooo fred! reading comprehension fail!

      January 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Colin, omg! Look at all the friends you have! I wanna be your friend too! (Love your posts man).

      January 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Missouri Boy

      Wow. You actually have a friend who is a "Bible cuddler." How un-biased of you.

      January 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • alex

      My pastor friend taught me how to have a happy marriage and that life in community with others can be fulfilling. Luckily I have a scientist friend who taught me how to be cynical. Marriages can fall apart, people betray you, and you should live and die alone.

      The point being it's ridiculous to ask your pastor friend about science as it is to ask a scientist about emotional/spiritual guidance.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • zoft2000

      Colin I have plenty of friends who work at NASA some of them in top jobs, they all beleive in the Bible and attend church regularly.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Rick W.

      Really? How do we know this? Does the Hubbel telescope send back pictures and images faster than the speed of light? I did not know we sent it into orbit that long ago for it to "see" that far. How do we get the signal back? Flux capacitor?

      January 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Theron Corse

      Rick, you are a classic example of someone who makes fun of science, but in fact only reveals his own ignorance. Ok, let me try to explain. Light travels at a fixed speed, approximately 186K miles per second. So, something 186K miles away, we actually see it as it was 1 second ago. The farther away from us something is, the farther back in time we are seeing it. How do we know how far away these 13 billion years-ago galaxies are? Well that's more complex, but it depends on a whole series of what astronomers call "standard candles" - things that are always the same brightness, which means we can measure distance by comparing apparent bright they appear to us compared to how bright they would be if we were right next to the. Voila. For something that far away, I believe they rely on certain kinds of supernovae. Next time, try to learn something about the things you are making fun of before you dismiss them.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      Love your posts Colin, but it's Hawking, not Hawkins.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  6. Reality

    What is being taught in some Catholic university theology classes (plus some added comments):

    "The story of Adam and Eve is only symbolic?

    Yes, this story was composed in the 900s BCE and functions as an etiology (explanatory myth) . In the 900s Israel was self ruling, under King David and Solomon. The people were no longer at war and the question" Why are we not happy?" may have been asked. The short answer is sin. (Look at 1 Kings 11 for some clues into why the story depicts Eve sinning first and then tempting Adam [Solomon]).

    Original sin is therefore only symbolic of man's tendencies to sin?

    Yes, I teach Original Sin as symbolic of the sins of our origins - in our
    families and in the broader society, both of which affect each person
    profoundly. The "sins of our origins" approach helps to account for certain
    patterns of sin in particular families and societies.

    Baptism does not erase original sin since the sin does not exist?

    Yes, the old "laundry of the soul," approach to Baptism is no longer accepted.

    Infant Baptism is only a rite of initiation and commits parents and godparents to bringing up the child in a Christian home.
    Yes, but, since baptism is now celebrated at Sunday Eucharist, all the members of the parish family are encouraged to pledge their support and care for the faith life of the newly baptized. (A manifestation of this is
    persons volunteering to teach other people's kids the basics of Catholicism.)"

    And if there were no Adam and Eve, it follows that there was no biblical Noah. see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah's_Ark#Other_flood_stories

    As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
    nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

    " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.

    "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

    Unlike his Biblical namesake, this Adam was not the only man alive in his era. Rather, he is unique because his descendents are the only ones to survive.

    It is important to note that Adam does not literally represent the first human. He is the coalescence point of all the genetic diversity."

    January 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Most regular folk don't know this. . . .but all of Christianity and the idea of a "Messiah" rests on the notion that "Adam & Eve" committed the first "sin" and that "God" had created them in a "paradise" (the Garden of Eden) and because of their sin, all of humanity now suffers. You see, a truly just "God" would not punish creatures without a just reason. Ever since Evolution Theory began getting popular, Christian churches have been struggling with the Genesis book. Some, like the Catholic Church have even begun telling followers that the Genesis stories are true, but that they are so complex and "other-worldly", only a very few "learned" religious men are able to comprehend it. . . Seriously.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      What I would like to know is, why would the Judeo-Christian God create this world where death, suffering and disease are a part of just about every living animal's existence. Did the earliest form of life do something wrong to warrant death, suffering and disease? Is the Judeo-Christian God a just God for creating life then having it suffer death for no reason? Also, why did God make it so that human beings and other living things have to consume other living things in order to have life? Why do we (and lots of other species) have to murder other species in order to survive?

      January 10, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • zoft2000

      "What I would like to know is, why would the Judeo-Christian God create this world where death, suffering and disease are a part of just about every living animal's existence. "

      Good question but then we might get into the question of why herbiphores kill living creatures such as grass and trees to exist. Couldn't we/they just breathe air and live for thousands of years. And what about humans the most intelligent being on this planet, but filled with cruelty,selfishness and contradictions. One thing for sure god is not Santa Claus. Not in this world.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • Truth

      deecee

      all the answers to your questions are in the 1st book of the bible. If you would bother to read it. Or are you chicken.

      January 16, 2012 at 4:16 am |
  7. Brad

    Not surprising for people who have painted themselves into a corner by literal interpretation of all aspects of the Bible and adoption of "God of the gaps" arguments.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  8. Colin

    I have a friend who is on an archeological dig in the Republic of Georgia (former part of the USSR, between the Black and Caspian seas). He emailed me about how they had found the remains of the earliest hominid outside of Africa, dating to a couple of hundred thousand years ago. There is an entire research team there from Oxford University’s paleontology department, the most respected in the World.

    Fortunately, I have a friend who is a Protestant pastor. He informed me that the entire World began only 6,000 years ago with man already totally evolved (and with a talking snake). So, I am going to write to the team from Oxford and tell them to all fold up their tents and go home and read their Bibles. The answers to the natural history of the human species are all in there.

    Thanks Protestant pastors, you have made me really smart!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • fred

      The GAP in your logic is that the Bible does not address hominid.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • MNWriter

      fred,
      Just out of curiosity, if hominids didn't lead to us, why did god bother to create millions of species that build logically straight up to humanity including creatures that are more than 99/9% identical to us and then just create us from nothing instead? If we aren't from hominids, why were there hominids at all? To mess with us?

      January 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • zoft2000

      "Just out of curiosity, if hominids didn't lead to us, why did god bother to create millions of species that build logically straight up to humanity including creatures that are more than 99/9% identical to us and then just create us from nothing instead? If we aren't from hominids, why were there hominids at all? To mess with us?"

      Who said God created creatures that led to anything ? Scientist said that not god or the bible. God created every living thing out of nothing. There was no waiting period for that creature to evolve into something else.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  9. Timmy

    Question for the Fundy Pastors : so then, did Eve have a "belly button" ?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • fred

      Yes she did, it was an Audi because the lust of her eyes drove mankind to sin

      January 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Timmy

      an "outie" ? heh heh

      January 10, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • grogg

      who did adam and eve comit incest with?

      January 11, 2012 at 6:56 am |
    • setnommarih

      and she didn't have a hymen either!

      January 11, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  10. Reality

    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

    January 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • zoft2000

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

      But those crimes pale in comparison to Stalin or Hitler and all the other Nut Jobs that decided to turn from religion and believe in Natural Selection and other far-fetched theories that they made up.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  11. tracy

    So basically The Southern Baptists are okay with Incest since Adam&Eve were the 1st people who created the rest of the Human race??WHAT NUTJOBS..The Adam&Eve story must sound like a repeat of their homelife growing up/cyclew of abuse continues,as that is the ONLY way to explain how on EARTH they could possibly find that remotely acceptable!And then they WONDER why so many people are flocking AWAY from Churches??Egads,there is just NO way to be more perverse,creepy&sick,but I forgot that in THEIR way of thinking,you can do whatever you want&get away with it as long as you tell God you're sorry afterwards.Beam me up Scotty,I'll take my chances with the Kling-Ons' instead of THESE Crazy Sickos!

    January 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  12. sonotso

    For many of these folks, the earth is a new place every day so don't bother them with data, they'll just eat it.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  13. Colin

    In other news, 100% of pastors reported that they believed an Iron Age Middle Eastern sky-god reads their minds (or "hears their paryers", if you prefer) and will cause them to live happily ever after in heaven, provided they don't think naughty thoughts.

    Phuking simpletons.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • br

      you are the greatest Colin

      January 11, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Jeebus

      Can I call you God? Or is that a sin? Thanks Colins, love your posts man!

      January 11, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  14. Converted

    I would encourage Christians to read "The Language of God", a Christian book by a leading scientist that does believe in evolution. We are witnessing Gods work and every step of the way, the leadership feels it necessary to show their pride and say they know best. Do they not realize they do more harm with their antics than good?

    It seems to be that their only desire is make people believe the unbelievable. That is not faith. Put your faith in Jesus Christ and you will witness miracles. Put your faith in man and you will be greatly decieved.

    Come unto Christ and God bless.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Brad

      That would be Francis Collins, current head of the NIH and head of NHGRI when the human genome project came to fruition.

      January 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  15. Andy Breeden

    How do these pastors get dressed in the morning?

    January 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  16. MartinT

    Oh yeah, let's as the Southern Baptists this question. Give me a break..

    January 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  17. Colin

    To get a gauge of just how inane the belief in Adam and Eve is in the 21st Century, here are some areas fundamentalists must ignore, any one of which proves beyond rational argument that, not surprisingly, the World did not start about 6,000 years ago at the behest of the Judeo-Christian god, with one man, one woman and a talking snake.

    First and most obviously is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor wiped them out.

    The fossil record includes the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles; fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

    The fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

    A Tyrannosaurus Rex ate a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships bigger than the D Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the Ark.

    Secondly, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another, independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large forests (in the case of coal) or tiny marine creatures (in the case of oil). That’s why they are called fossil fuels. Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this (nor for why most of it was “given to the Muslims”).

    Thirdly, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13.7 billion years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny silent witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

    Fourthly, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims.

    Fifthly, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed. It acts as yet another fatal blow to the “talking snake” theory.

    Sixthly, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

    Seventhly, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

    I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics, even large parts of medical research (medical research on monkeys and mice only works because they share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs).

    In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders were wrong.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Jenna

      Excellent post, Colin!
      Too bad so many religious nuts cannot face such an overwhelming body of facts, otherwise we'd be much more advanced as a species.

      January 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • fred

      Yeah! Colin I agree with you Good post.
      How about you put your opening line in all CAPS so Jenna understands who you are talking about: "here are some areas fundamentalists must ignore"
      Although you did not make it to 10 I give you a 10 on that one.

      January 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      You always say it so much better than anyone else. I was just going to say.....and I just bet EVERY SINGLE ONE of those pastors :
      a). goes to a scientist when they get sick, (MD), who "practices" the Theory of Evolution.
      b). if they need an antibiotic, they get their Rx's filled, (well some do), and take them, which proves, that when the chips are down, they DO believe in the Theory of Evolution, (whether they know it or not). The Theory is proven millions of times per day in labs all over the world, which culture bacteria, and the particular antibiotic they are given, (prescribed), is based on what sensitivities the particular bug they have, "grown out"/ or not, or become, (ie "evolved") resistance to.
      I think they do believe in it, they just don't say so publicly, cuz it's "bad for business". :twisted:

      January 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • fred

      You have read the Bible and you know it does not speak to any of these areas of scientific inquiry. If you gave our astronauts a Bible instead of the Apollo Operations Manual then sent them into orbit you would be put in charge of goat herds not NASA.

      January 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Colin

      Thanks Bucky – now only if I could say it upside down.......

      January 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • fred

      Colin
      You do have it upside down. You see the world from the perspective of man rather than the perspective of God.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • What?

      "You see the world from the perspective of man rather than the perspective of God."

      LOL! Then that means the men that wrote your bible did the same thing since NO man could understand the perspective of your god. LOL!

      January 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • fred

      What?
      The perspective of God as the Bible reveals it is "in the beginning God created". We are the creation and God is the creator. God determined the age of the universe, the earth and DNA of man. A godless perspective is man determins the age of the world and the purpose of DNA. This godless perspective cannot see beyond itself thus before life nothingness and upon death nothingness your existence is but temporary chemical reactions.
      Gods perspective is personal from a creator bringing about eternal wonder, life was breathed into man, man created in the image of God, inspired and moving forward to a promise a hope of everlasting joy.

      January 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Timmy

      ferd,
      Whatcha gonna say 'bout that "image stuff" when they discover beings far advanced from us ? Not such a good imaging job, huh ? Man created all gods in HIS image. Your god has not one non-human quality, or exaggeration of a human quality. Doesn't that tell you something ? Man made it up !

      January 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • fred

      Timmy
      Explain how man could come up with an attribute of God that man did not already know? i.e. tell me something you don't know

      January 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Timmy

      ferd,
      Thanks for agreeing with me. That's EXACTLY my point. hahahahahahaha

      January 10, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Timmy

      Hint : If anything had been "revealed", it would have been something unknown to the culture and everyone at the time. As it is, there never was ANYTHING, not one concept, that was NOT a natural evolution from the cultural knowledge and knowledge base of the day when it was supposedly "revealed".

      January 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • fred

      Timmy
      Moses had the best explanation of God. God hid moses behind a rock and flashed by so that the sight of God would not kill him.
      Anyway the idea is God made man in his image not man makes god. When God sent Jesus who was fully God and fully man the image was one that no one has captured. Why would that be..........?

      January 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • fred

      The God of the Bible looks very different from the gods of man. God cannot be put in a temple or carved. Man made images of God are idols.
      Please tell me what God looks like if God is from current knowledge and culture?

      January 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Timmy

      Judeo-Christianity did not invent monotheism. Egyptians did that. The Moses story about a mysterious, (dangerous), god is everywhere in ancient mythology. They TOLD you god made man in his image, In fact every culture has it's own reflection of their culture in their idea of their god(s). God looks just like the Jews of that day invented him to look like. Why did they make up a MAN ? It's just as they IMAGINED him to look, a grumpy OLD MAN. If we made up one today, it wouldn't look like an old MAN.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Colin you're my hero!

      January 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • fred

      Timmy
      I was doing some graphics and asked to show God. I could not come up with an image for God. The Devil seems easy I can do that all day long but hit a wall when it comes to drawing God. Now, certainly I could muster up some Greek images yet I have not seen any Hebrew visuals of God. Jesus can only be drawn based on a European image yet there is no reference point. Beside the shroud that is suspect we have zip on images.
      Looks like it is all faith in what cannot be seen, you either see it or you do not.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Timmy

      Nope. "He" looks just like a man. He gets mad, he loves, he walks in the garden, he talks, he "sees" etc., etc. Why didn't he speak in sign language ? Or HTML language, or BASIC ? Every bit of it is anthropomorphism, only from THAT culture.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Fred, there are quite a number of passages in the "bible" itself that describe "god". Just for one example, read the "Revelations" book and see how many descriptions you find. Many. And they all say that he looks like a man with white hair.

      January 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • DeeCee1000

      Fred, do you deny that from what we know so far, God and Gods have evolved with human kind? The first "Gods" were usually (1.) the Sun, moon (2.) Animals, especially animals that had the power to end human life (3.) Fertility god(s) / goddesses.
      So on. Our "gods" have evolved with us. Why?

      January 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • .........

      Hit report abuse on colin repeat bull sh it

      January 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Colin

      I guess some people are too gutless to post their names. I assume you are the same coward who says this about Reality's posts.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Missouri Boy

      @ the "BUCKY" that is up-side down(appropriately enough): I occasionally find it necessary to visit a scientist(doctor) when I am sick--My doctor(and her dr. husband and her dr. brother who all occupy the same building.)is a very good doctor. Their whole family is a strong Christian family, well-educated, and --polite. I am guessing that they could set you AND Colin down and in their humble, but educated way take your dandy little theories apart, piecemeal. I hear they are pretty good at that, too. Sorry I'm not educated enough to run with you big dawgs....but keep in mind that there are those who are.....

      January 10, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Why thank you boy. Anytime. Bring em on. Maybe just ask em. We'll be waiting. I can't speak for Colin, who is far smarter than I ever hope to be, but as for me, if you think that impotent little threat there did anything other than make me laugh, you have another thing coming. What's the matter ? Schools out there too busy teaching Creationism ? Be sure and ask them all whether they believe bacteria evolve ? I know what they're going to say.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Timmy

      And, and, and ....Bucky, you just better watch out. I'm gonna go home and get my daddy. He's a lot bigger than you, and he's gonna get you. Just you wait.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • llɐq ʎʞɔnq

      Missouri Boy,
      Sorry, I shouldn't be rude. Apology. Anyway, my doctor is a Christian also, I think ?? He believes in the Theory of Evolution. FYI, being a Christian, and understanding science, are not *necessarily* exclusive. To be perfectly honest, I think the statistical sampling technique for this poll is skewed. We don't really know who actually received this poll, and how the decisions were made regarding who to send it to, or who did or did not respond to it. Big chunks of really important info is missing here. You do fine with us dawgs.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • zoft2000

      "In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders were wrong."

      I know, and they somehow managed to influence 1 billion people without ever picking up a book or any scientific thesis paper. Churches will still be open on Sunday and people will still be attending. And people will still be getting married and having a priest bless that marriage and people will still be having babies and having a priest bless that baby and the bible will still be selling as the most influential book in modern history. I guess those ancient goat herders knew what they werre doing afterall.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Jeebus

      It's sad to see people like Fred give up their logic in place of faith. Fred, please for the sake of all that is sane, read your posts and see your contradiction. God made us in his image, yet we can't draw or imagine what he looks like? HE LOOKS LIKE US! LIKE MAN! You said it right there, "God made us in his own image"! And why in the world is God a HE? Does he have a penis? What does god need with a penis if it was just him at the beginning of time? If simple details can't help you religions people see the light, and complex explanations can't.. well I guess that's it then. Just enjoy your carpet ride and leave the rest of us to evolve.

      January 11, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • AnonymousMe

      Colin, Will you marry me?!

      January 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  18. MartinT

    And this is a surprise HOW? Now, go ask the same question to the National Academy of Sciences and see what you get. Most serious biblical scholars admit that evolution IS indeed real and serious science. It sickens me to read this nonsense when there is SO much scholarly knowledge out there to support evolution and to debunk religions. Sad, truly sad.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • zoft2000

      "And this is a surprise HOW? Now, go ask the same question to the National Academy of Sciences and see what you get. Most serious biblical scholars admit that evolution IS indeed real and serious science. It sickens me to read this nonsense when there is SO much scholarly knowledge out there to support evolution and to debunk religions. Sad, truly sad."

      If religion was so bad then people would naturally debunk it. If they are not doing so it's because they are getting something out of it. Something that scientific theory and complicated formulas do not provide. Accept that fact and stop trying to debunk religion. many have tried, but it has lead to absolutely nothing.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  19. Colin

    Another example of the incomparable ability of religion to make people ignore obvious facts simply because the ydo not like them.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Colin, I'm not ignoring science. I've always stated that true science and Jesus' truth are in harmony.

      Amen.

      January 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Feather

      Feather

      January 17, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  20. Uncouth Swain

    Can't say any of this is really that surprising.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:21 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.