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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. The Dawkin's Delusion

    We can learn a lot from the Bible, ancient people, and those who came before us. In this modern age, we have come to believe that we are so intelligent through scientific investigation, but, unfortunately, less attuned to Spirituality and, ultimately, what really matters in this life and the age to come. We are not human beings trying to discover or develop Spirituality, but, rather, we are Spirits trying to figure out how to be human and explore the scientific world. The Bible does not teach us how the universe or living organisms were formed, but it does tell us WHO created everything and how it will end.

    February 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post consists of the fallacy of begging the question, and other basic fallacies including the ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      February 2, 2012 at 9:30 pm |

    • Root post is just a loose collection of statements, Fallacy. But I guess it's really you.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • >or

      Fallacy Spotting 101 AKA LINCA

      February 4, 2012 at 12:59 am |
  2. Dr.K.

    WASP – no worries, I took no offense.

    The list of fossil taxa, along with the suggestion that being ignorant (unaware) of the fossil record does not mean that there isn't one, was intended for Chad. Sorry if I was unclear.

    February 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  3. Dr.K.

    ...but that really was me – Bumper quotes Corinthians, not Carl Sagan.

    As for asking for "transitional forms" between fish and amphibians, here you go – you might start with the following taxa:
    Paleoniscoids (e.g. Cheirolepis), Osteolepis, Eusthenopteron, Sterropterygion, Panderichthys, Elpistostege , Obruchevichthys, Hynerpeton, Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega.

    I would reiterate from earlier, just because one is personally ignorant of the fossil evidence doesn't mean it isn't there.

    February 2, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • WASP

      @dr.k: i owe you an apology then for my post. i wouldn't ever call into question someone genetic level of intelligence merely their level of ignorance on a subject. ignorance is just what it is, a lack of information. it's neither good or bad, it's just missing information. the frustrating ignorant people are the ones that are shown knowledge and still refuse to acknowledge it. again i apologize for mistaking you for my avid foe bumper. on the invisible dragon, given it goes hand in hand with the belief in an all knowing, all seeing god because both can not be proven or disproven. however with the invisible dragon you can have the person put through a psychological evaluation to determine if they are at the same level of mental maturity as their peers, if that tests prove them sane then you can move on to various other tests such as shifting light spectrums, vibration testing where you cause a small localized quake and see if anything registers on the surface that would absorb such movements, and invisible doesn't mean corporeal, so a mere testing of turning on a fan would show signs of an object disturbing the air flow. i could suject many other tests that could determine either it's a physical being or a manifestation of someone imagination. now if said dragon was non-corporeal then it would either be testible through emf or again it would more then likely back up the hypothesis that it was merely a figment of imagination. god however has many short comings as to being testible or even believed in. one is he is extremely human in his actions and vocal interactions with humans. there is a literary term called ANTHROPOMORPHIC
      1: described or thought of as having a human form or human attributes
      2: ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anthropomorphic

      next thing that he has problems with is where did "god" come from and if their is one then there has to be more, one due to the fact he saids in the bible put no other god before me and the fact their have literally been thousands of gods, goddess', demi-gods etc throughout human history.

      the biggest problem is without scripture god or any god for that matter can't be proven or even fathom his existance.give it a try, forget you ever heard of god or then try explaining him to yourself. if that proves difficult due to the fact that you do know the bible, try explaining god to a child that hasn't. they will stun you with the intelligent questions they will ask you.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Chad

      As noted below, half of those are fish, the other half amphibian. Let me know when you find a fishibian

      February 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  4. momoya

    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    2 Corinthians 4:18

    February 1, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • momoya

      That wasn't a comment from me. Is that you, Dumper?

      February 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • WASP

      @momoya: yeah that's bumper. lmao i knew his self righteous mind couldn't truly just leave. he's addicted to this blog like ants are to sugar.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Regardless of who posted it, it's a very illustrative quote. Faith encourages one to not look at evidence, but to instead insist upon invisible things (things that can't be disproved through observation). No wonder evidence has no effect on their thinking.

      Carl Sagan wrote a wonderful essay called "The Dragon in My Garage" in which someone insists there is an invisible dragon in their garage. Every physical test for confirming the dragon is countered with a special explanation of why it won't work (it is invisible, it leaves no footprints, it emits no heat, spray paint won't stick to it, etc.). The eventual question, which eviscerates faith-based thinking, is this:

      What's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon that spits heatless fire, and no dragon at all?

      In other words, the invisible and the nonexistent look very much the same.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: the trainsitional form your are seeking between fish and amphibians is called the lung fish. it can breath on land for short periods of time, and has gills to breath in the water. so please next time give me something hard. oh and just to explain to you as i explained to bumper and bold george; if evolution was a staircase adaptation would be the steps. creatures adapt slowly to their enviroments. and sometimes those mutations or adaptations are harmful. ie. sickle cell animea; it was an adaptation created in the blood of people living in a high malaria regions to combat fetal death. without malaria the cells pecular shape causes blockage and intents pain to the person suffering from it. "life will always fiind a way" favorite quote from jurrastic park.

      February 2, 2012 at 6:08 am |
    • WASP

      @dr.k.........or shall i say bumper: stop pretending to be other people. if your that scared of being proven ignorant and a hypocrite for returning to this blog that you so loudly professed we were all going to hell and you wouldn't be back. just be honest for once in your life. a coward hides himself a brave man will take the slings and arrows of his accusers with a smile.

      February 2, 2012 at 6:56 am |
  5. Dr. Gary Hurd

    It is obvious that bumper is a troll. But, even trolls are accidentally useful.

    I popular creationist lie is that Darwin was an "amateur." I have sketched out Darwin's educational background;

    http://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2011/06/notes-on-charles-darwins-education.html

    January 31, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Chad

      Wonder how he would reconcile phyletic gradualism with punctuated equilibrium :-)

      ""If species really, after catastrophes, created in showers world over, my theory false"?" – Charles Darwin

      "Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species." – Wikipedia

      January 31, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • WASP

      @chad: don't rely on wikipedia, a user based encyclipedia. do research for yourself. if you like i'm certain many of the kind folks on here will give you reading material....more credible then wikipedia.

      February 1, 2012 at 6:05 am |
    • Chad

      @WASP "Don't rely on wikipedia, a user based encyclipedia. do research for yourself. if you like i'm certain many of the kind folks on here will give you reading material....more credible then wikipedia."

      Ah, the old "denigrate the source" tactic.. ok:

      Wonder how he would reconcile phyletic gradualism with punctuated equilibrium :-)

      ""If species really, after catastrophes, created in showers world over, my theory false"?" – Charles Darwin

      The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record:" – Stephen Jay Gould

      February 1, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • WASP

      @chad:
      -If this doesn't convince you that evolution is real, we're not sure what will.
      -Scientists at The Academy Of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia claim that a new fossil may be an important link between sea-dwelling fish and terrestrial animals. According to a press release, Laccognathus embryi, as the newly discovered species has been named, was found in the same region as Tiktaalik roseae, the fish that is considered the original stepping stone to backboned, terrestrial animals.
      -It was also discovered by the same researchers in the same region, the remote Nunavut Territory of Arctic, Canada, as the first "missing link."
      -Laccognathus embryi had fins that were more limb-like, as well as strong jaws and sharp teeth. Researchers believe they would have dwelled in shallow waters, and grown to about five or six feet long. Its closest living relative is the lungfish.
      -Interestingly, this 375-million-year-old fossil from the Devonian Period also has geographic implications. According to the press release, because fish of the Laccognathus genus were previously only found in Europe, this is said to confirm the onetime connection between the two continents.
      -This find is just one of many contributing to tectonic plate theory, however. Similar finds in different areas of the world suggest that different areas were once linked. Early this year, similar samples of isotopes taken in West Texas and Antarctica suggested that North America and Antarctica were also once connected, forming the supercontinent of Rodinia.

      here's the link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/12/in-between-fish-fossil-discovery_n_959111.html

      February 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Chad, why are you bringing this up again? Q very patiently and thoroughly answered your "questions" (which were intended to be challenges). And further, your own source discredits your agenda.

      Here is what Stephen Jay Gould had to say about people misusing that quote the way you do:
      "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists – whether through design or stupidity, I do not know – as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms." from Why I Won't Debate Creationists.

      Yes, Stephen Jay Gould himself indicated that people who use his quotes the way you are doing are either stupid or up to something dishonest, and was infuriated by it. If you read the works of SJG instead of quote-mining Wikipedia you would understand that he was one of the most tireless proponents of evolutionary theory in modern academia.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Chad

      Dr.K. "Here is what Stephen Jay Gould had to say about people misusing that quote the way you do:
      "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists – whether through design or stupidity, I do not know – as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms." from Why I Won't Debate Creationists."

      =>I have no doubt it was frustrating for him, but what can you expect when you come out and say that which was never acknowledged before (stasis)?
      Gould was attacked by his own colleagues for breaking rank on this issue.

      Regarding "evolution" and "transitional form", of course the devil is in the definition.

      1. If "evolution" means any change that produces a new species, then sure there's tons of that.
      2. If "evolution" means the process by when living organisms got from that first thing to the current plethora of organisms all by random mutations without any supernatural intervention.. then of course that's another thing isnt it.. ;-)

      1. If you can view a 2000 BC medium sized bird as a transitional form between a 4000 BC large bird and a 1000AD small bird, then sure, the fossil record is full of transitional forms :-)
      2. if your definition of a transitional form is that which is between fish and reptile.. well, then it's a different story isnt it.. ? ;-)

      February 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @WASP "If this doesn't convince you that evolution is real, we're not sure what will.
      -Scientists at The Academy Of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia claim that a new fossil may be an important link between sea-dwelling fish and terrestrial animals. According to a press release, Laccognathus embryi...."

      =>Laccognathus is an extinct genus of amphibious lobe-finned fish from Europe and North America. They existed from the Middle Devonian to the Late Devonian (around 397.5 to 360 mya).

      well,
      a. it's a fish
      b. if we have a plethora of fish fossils, and a plethora of amphibian fossils, then why dont we have a plethora of the millions of species that would have to have existed between the two?

      seems like such a simple question..

      February 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Chad, you've been over this ground with several people. In short, the answer to your "isn't it?" questions is simply this, "No, it isn't."

      Aside from that I will concede that you win. I will quietly wait for the new editions of textbooks to come out that reflect the fact that you and bumper have rendered evolution, one of the strongest foundations of modern science, obsolete through your extensive research. Meanwhile, I'll keep my eye out for your journal articles.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Dr.K.

      You guys are going to be so famous now that you have overturned evolution by natural selection. Just like Einstein's relativity replaced Newtonian physics, just like Darwinian evolution replaced Lamarckian evolution – you guys are going to be superstars.

      February 2, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. " In short, the answer to your "isn't it?" questions is simply this, "No, it isn't.""

      Dr.K.

      Chad, you've been over this ground with several people. In short, the answer to your "isn't it?" questions is simply this, "No, it isn't."

      =>can someone explain to me why?
      It cant be that fossils are hard to make, cause there are plenty of fish and plenty of amphibians..
      It cant be that there werent many animals that existed between fish and amphibians, cause it would take an enormous amount of changes to have occured randomly to bridge that gap..

      so.. did someone steal the fossils or something?

      February 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Chad, I'll pretend that I believe you didn't see the above post, and I will repeat it here:

      As for asking for "transitional forms" between fish and amphibians, here you go – you might start with the following taxa:
      Paleoniscoids (e.g. Cheirolepis), Osteolepis, Eusthenopteron, Sterropterygion, Panderichthys, Elpistostege, Obruchevichthys, Hynerpeton, Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega.

      I would reiterate from earlier, just because one is personally ignorant of the fossil evidence doesn't mean it isn't there

      February 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Seriously, look into some of these – this is fascinating stuff. Why not learn something rather than stubbornly sentencing yourself to self-imposed ignorance. There's a whole universe out there to explore...

      February 2, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. "As for asking for "transitional forms" between fish and amphibians, here you go – you might start with the following taxa:Paleoniscoids (e.g. Cheirolepis), Osteolepis, Eusthenopteron, Sterropterygion, Panderichthys, Elpistostege, Obruchevichthys, Hynerpeton, Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega.
      I would reiterate from earlier, just because one is personally ignorant of the fossil evidence doesn't mean it isn't there"

      =>cut and paste results from google "fish-amphibian fossils" CHECK
      =>sarcastic implication that person asking for evidence is ignorant.. CHECK
      =>Never bothered to read the info he was posting to see that 1/2 of the list was fish, the other half amphibian.. CHECK

      let me know when you get something between fish and amphibian...

      -Osteolepis ('bone scale') is an extinct genus of lobe-finned fish from the Devonian period. Fish
      -paleoniscoids, a group of primitive ray-finned fishes, Fish
      – Panderichthys is a 90–130 cm long fish from the Devonian period 397 million years ago. Fish

      Ichthyostega (Greek: "fish roof") is an early tetrapod genus that lived at the end of the Upper Devonian period (Famennian age, 374 – 359 million years ago). Amphibian
      Acanthostega (meaning spiny roof) is an extinct labyrinthodont genus, among the first vertebrate animals to have recognizable limbs. Amphibian
      Labyrinthodontia (Greek, "maze-toothed") is an older term for any member of the extinct subclass of amphibians Amphibian

      February 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Sorry, I forgot again that you are far more knowledgeable than the sum of all professional paleontologists. Silly me – they are all either fish or amphibians, just like things might be very dark white or very light black, but there is only black and white so why look any more closely?

      I should correct you on a number of issues, but what's the point. Again, I will await your journal articles and the ensuing textbook revisions.

      February 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      I would like, however, to make this one additional point. Your opportunistic appeal to scientific authority and simultaneous contempt for science is a classic characteristic of pseudoscience.

      You assert as hard fact that scientists describe those organisms as primarily fish or primarily amphibians, but you ignore the fact that those same scientists are in full agreement that they represent snapshots in the transition from fish to amphibians. On the one hand you try to prove your point using scientific authority, and on the other hand you argue that the scientists have it all wrong. You can't logically have it both ways.

      You do the same logical gymnastics with Stephen Jay Gould. On the one hand punctuated equilibrium is a hard cold fact because he is a paleontologist and he said so, but on the other hand when he also said very clearly that the misinterpretation you're pushing is "stupid" and "infuriating" (words academics are very rarely willing to use), you brush him off as not trustworthy. Which is it?

      It's the same with that whole 2nd Law of Thermodynamics nonsense. Creationists (mis)quote it as if they are physics experts themselves, but then argue that the actual physicists' results can't be trusted.

      If you're going to claim mainstream science is unreliable, you can't proceed to cherry-pick the results of mainstream science to support your agenda. Either accept or reject the power of science, but you can't logically have it both ways.

      February 2, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. "You assert as hard fact that scientists describe those organisms as primarily fish or primarily amphibians, but you ignore the fact that those same scientists are in full agreement that they represent snapshots in the transition from fish to amphibians."
      => Are you arguing that they have the classification wrong? Fish vs amphibian?
      I merely investigated the list you procided and pointed out that it failed to provide evidence of the point your were trying to make.
      simple.
      Many secular/atheist scientists are more than willing to suspend scientific inquiry when it comes to a critical examination of the fossil record, it's called bias. That's exactly why it took over a hundred years for someone finally to point out that stasis dominates the fossil record.

      @Dr.K. "On the one hand punctuated equilibrium is a hard cold fact because he is a paleontologist and he said so, but on the other hand when he also said very clearly that the misinterpretation you're pushing is "stupid" and "infuriating" (words academics are very rarely willing to use), you brush him off as not trustworthy. Which is it?"
      =>not at all, again, you are guilty of not reading carefully.

      The devil is in the definition.
      If you define "transitional forms" as that which exists between a little dog circa 100000BC a medium size dog circa 5000BC, then there are tons of those..

      If you define "transitional forms" as that which exists between fish and amphibian, then there arent any, and this is exactly what Gould confirms with his statement:
      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." – Stephen J. Gould

      It's the same with that whole 2nd Law of Thermodynamics nonsense. Creationists (mis)quote it as if they are physics experts themselves, but then argue that the actual physicists' results can't be trusted.

      If you're going to claim mainstream science is unreliable, you can't proceed to cherry-pick the results of mainstream science to support your agenda. Either accept or reject the power of science, but you can't logically have it both ways.

      February 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Chad

      Missed the last one

      @Dr.K. "If you're going to claim mainstream science is unreliable, you can't proceed to cherry-pick the results of mainstream science to support your agenda. Either accept or reject the power of science, but you can't logically have it both ways."

      =>you are upset that I use scientific methods to point out the flaws in your arguments?

      February 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      No, Chad, I'm not implying that the scientists have it wrong. You don't seem to understand my points at all. I am implying that you have it wrong.

      You do not understand the science you are attempting to criticize.

      I'll leave you with this regarding Ichthyostega and allow your statements to stand on their own. I will even use your favorite source of scientific information:

      Chad: Ichthyostega (Greek: "fish roof") is an early tetrapod genus that lived at the end of the Upper Devonian period (Famennian age, 374 – 359 million years ago). Amphibian.

      Wikipedia: Though undoubtedly of amphibian build and habit, it is not considered a true member of the group in the narrow sense, as the first true amphibians appeared in the Carboniferous period.

      Allow me to translate for you: everything is not either a fish or an amphibian.

      Here's the next part of the lineage:
      The Ichthyostegalians (Elginerpeton, Acanthostega, Ichthyostega, etc.) were succeeded by temnospondyls and anthracosaurs, such as Eryops, amphibians that truly developed the ability to walk on land. Until 2002, there was a gap of 20 million years between the two groups ( Romer's Gap). In 2002 a 350 million year old fossil from the lower Mississippian, Pederpes finneyae was described and helped to close the gap: it is the earliest-known tetrapod to show the beginnings of terrestrial locomotion.

      Wait, I already know what you will say: Oh, there was a large gap between species, but a new discovery falls in the middle...now there's two gaps!!! (then you'll provide one of your smiley faces that means you think you are being clever)

      I'm gonna stick with Stephen Jay Gould regarding your arguments: "stupid ... dishonest ... infuriating."

      February 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. "Wikipedia: Though undoubtedly of amphibian build and habit, it is not considered a true member of the group in the narrow sense, as the first true amphibians appeared in the Carboniferous period. Allow me to translate for you: everything is not either a fish or an amphibian. Here's the next part of the lineage: The Ichthyostegalians (Elginerpeton, Acanthostega, Ichthyostega, etc.) were succeeded by temnospondyls and anthracosaurs, such as Eryops, amphibians that truly developed the ability to walk on land. Until 2002, there was a gap of 20 million years between the two groups ( Romer's Gap). In 2002 a 350 million year old fossil from the lower Mississippian, Pederpes finneyae was described and helped to close the gap: it is the earliest-known tetrapod to show the beginnings of terrestrial locomotion."

      =>well, at least you're starting to read some of the stuff you cut and paste as authoritative :-) :-)
      but..
      You were oh so selective in your cut and paste weren't you :-)

      When I re-read the wikipedia note, I noticed on odd thing.. you cropped out a pretty important portion of the sentance, the part that said it "possessed lungs and limbs"
      odd that?
      why would a person cut that out?

      Ichthyostega (Greek: "fish roof") is an early tetrapod genus that lived at the end of the Upper Devonian period (Famennian age, 374 – 359 million years ago). It was a labyrinthodont, one of the first fossil record of tetrapods. Ichthyostega [b] possessed lungs and limbs[\b] that helped it navigate through shallow water in swamps. Though undoubtedly of amphibian build and habit, it is not considered a true member of the group in the narrow sense, as the first true amphibians appeared in the Carboniferous period."

      Tetrapods (Greek τετραποδηδόν tetrӑpodēdón, "on all fours"); (Greek τετραπόδηs tetrӑpódēs, correspondent to Latin quadruped, "four-footed") are vertebrate animals having four limbs. Amphibians, sauropsids and mammals are tetrapods
      So, it possessed lungs and limbs, but isnt considered amphibian in the "narrow" sense due to it's place in the fossil time line.

      one thing I learned early on talking to atheists, is to first read their citations. 95% of their arguments evaporate merely by providing the entire context.

      February 4, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad Listen, can we talk sometime soon? There are some things that you might know. Not too many people seem to. We can go into it later. OK?

      February 4, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Poor Chad. Sorry, but there was no conspiracy there – I only quoted the part that directly addressed your error. If your attempted point about lungs is that they are indicative of an amphibian, then that just leads you back to the problem of lungfish.

      The idea of a creationist criticizing scientists for conveniently leaving out information or quoting things out of context is about as laughably hypocritical as it gets. That is the fundamental platform of anti-science in general and creationism in particular. That is the entire basis of your never-ending argument. It's like a cat accusing a lizard of having whiskers. I'll not accept your accusation.

      Ultimately it doesn't matter to me if you go your entire life arguing in circles attempting to dismiss evolution. You can stubbornly argue about the invalidity of the heliocentric theory, or the existence of UFOs piloted by Yetis, too (you have about the same outlook for success for either of those). If I'm wrong, and you and Bumper overturn the foundation of all life sciences, then I will humbly admit my error. Until then, I suspect that biological, medical, paleontological, archaeological, ecological, geological, and related sciences will progress just fine whether you accept them or not.

      February 4, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Q

      "If you define "transitional forms" as that which exists between fish and amphibian, then there arent any, and this is exactly what Gould confirms with his statement:
      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." – Stephen J. Gould"

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html

      February 4, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Quote mining is the deceitful tactic of taking quotes out of context in order to make them seemingly agree with the quote miner's viewpoint. It's a way of lying. This tactic is widely used among Young Earth Creationists in an attempt to discredit evolution.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Quote_mining

      Quote #3.2
      [The lack of transitional fossils represent real gaps]
      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." – Stephen J. Gould – "Evolution's Erratic Pace," Natural History, vol. 86 (May 1987), p. 14.

      Representative quote miner: Answers in Genesis: Hopeful monsters revisited, The Revolution Against Evolution: Transition Fossils?, and The UnOfficial Confessing Movement: eVOLUTION–"nO dEBATE aLLOWED" (sic)

      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html

      February 4, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. "Sorry, but there was no conspiracy there"

      =>Consipiracy? no.. what you did is just garden variety avoiding that which didnt support your posiiton.. Intellectually dishonest? yes.. consipiracy? no.. :-)

      ===================
      @D. K "The idea of a creationist criticizing scientists for conveniently leaving out information or quoting things out of context is about as laughably hypocritical as it gets"
      =>but.. that's exactly what you did, right?

      ===================

      It's funny, besides name calling, the common epithet hurled my way is that I am always providing sources, wether it be wikipedia, leading scientists what ever.
      It's almost as if atheists dont want to have to face real data ;-)

      February 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Ida

      @Chad, must admit you are very good at dismantling the opponents arguments :) Kudos! Bravo!

      As far as these atheists , they are very good at attacking the opponent ;)

      February 4, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Ida, if Chad is so smart, why hasn't he definitively proven the existence of any god?

      February 5, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Q

      @Ida – With all due respect to Chad, he really doesn't understand this topic as well as he thinks. And regarding your comment, its clear you didn't see fit to follow the "quote mine" links explicitly detailing the the flaw in Chad's underlying argument and the inherent dishonesty in employing the quotes in the manner he did.

      One would think, given their incessant insistence that scripture must be taken in context (translation: without skepticism , only in the most favorable light, regardless of plain language contradictions, with the "holy spirit" and "love of Jesus", with a priori and unwavering acceptance, etc, etc), theists would at least make a similar attempt when quoting scientists.

      February 5, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • Dr.K.

      No, Chad. I didn't "conveniently" leave anything out. Because I am not a creationist and not an essentialist thinker, I don't see the particular sentence you are hung up on as supporting or not supporting my position in the first place. Further, I am aware of fish with limbs and fish with lungs and amphibians with gills, so I certainly don't see it as supporting your position either. I also left out that the artist painted it a certain color, but someone who doesn't understand the subject matter (e.g. Chad) might consider that critical and accuse me of avoiding information. I invite you, and Ida if she's interested, to read that entire entry and decide if it's intended meaning squares with my argument or with yours. My quote is not intellectually dishonest because I am not misrepresenting the meaning of original source. You consistently, and I suspect intentionally, misrepresent the meaning of both the sources you use and point of view of the person you are arguing with.

      I will agree with Ida that you are indeed a good arguer – in an Eddie Haskell-as-creationist sort of way – but you clearly lack an understanding of what you are trying to argue about. So you just nit-pick, twist words, and argue in circles instead. Intellectually honest you are not.

      You have succeeded on one front: you have made it more annoying than fun to engage in discussion, so I will step away and await the paradigm change that will occur if you have things right.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Chad

      anyone accusing a creationist of quote mining by providing the wikipedia statements regarding stasis and/or “transitional” fossils on Gould/Eldridge
      has
      simply
      never
      ever
      ever
      actually read their paper on punctuated equilibrium.

      Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism" (1972)

      http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ridley/classictexts/eldredge.pdf

      Gould and Eldredge sav[i][/i]age the sacred ideas of phyletic gradualism and an imperfect fossil record (referred to as an insti[i][/i]tutional millstone, the invocation of which has been nearly ritualized).

      Most surprisingly they excoriate the paleontology community for engaging in the willful suspension of disbelief by clearly ignoring the fossil record directly in front of them in favor of forcing it to adhere to their dogmatic preconceptions of phyletic gradualism (and willingly admit their own bias in presenting allopatric speciation).

      They directly call out the scientific community for bias in several places throughout the paper. It should be required reading in every school in the nation.

      February 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Your arguments represent quote-mining and therefore intellectual dishonesty because Eldridge and Gould did not propose what you imply they do. They absolutely did not argue against the reality of transitional fossils, biological evolution, or natural explanations.

      For example, contrary to what you imply, NOWHERE do they argue:
      A) that there aren't any transitional forms/fossils (they state they are rare and proceed with geological and biological reasons to explain why)
      B) that new species do not arise from earlier species through natural evolutionary processes, including natural selection and cladogenesis through genetic isolation.
      C) That the proposed rapid periods of speciation that follow periods of stasis are not or cannot be entirely explained by natural evolutionary processes.
      D) that all examples of phyletic gradualism are wrong, or that biological evolution is undermined or refuted in any way.

      These are some of the points that you consistently (and knowingly) misrepresent.

      And just so you can rest easy, their ideas are indeed taught in science classes (you accessed the article through Blackwell – a textbook publisher). The ideas are not, however, mistaught the way you would have them to be.

      I will not even bother to address the ridiculous claim that no one at TalkOrigins, nor Q, nor I have "ever ever" read Eldridge and Gould 1972. Even Gould identified your use of it as quote-mining. Are you suggesting Gould never read it? We've all read it – that’s how we know you’re full of it.

      February 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. Gould doesnt argue that there aren't any transitional forms/fossils (they state they are rare and proceed with geological and biological reasons to explain why)
      =>they dont argue that there arent any, they just explain why there arent any?.. That's what you're going with?
      Allopetric Speciation attempts to explain the lack of fossilized transitional forms by claiming that speciation occurs very quickly with small groups, in geographically isolated places, and that's why there arent fossils.

      ================
      @Dr.K. "Gould doesnt argue that new species do not arise from earlier species through natural evolutionary processes, including natural selection and cladogenesis through genetic isolation."
      =>I never claimed he did, did I? So that makes this argument strawman #1. Obviously Gould believes his allopatric speciation accounts for everything we see now.

      ================
      @Dr.K. "Gould doesnt argue that the proposed rapid periods of speciation that follow periods of stasis are not or cannot be entirely explained by natural evolutionary processes.
      =>I never claimed he did, did I? So that makes this argument strawman #2. Obviously Gould believes his allopatric speciation accounts for everything we see now.

      ================
      @Dr.K. "Gould doesnt argue that all examples of phyletic gradualism are wrong,
      =>well, of course not "all", and he doesnt give a %, but if you are attempting to say that Gould believes in any way shape or form that phyletic gradualism isnt dead, then you clearly havent read the paper.

      "The picture of phyletic gradualism is poorly docu mented indeed, and most analysis purporting to illustrate it directly from the fossil record are interpretations based on a preconceived idea. " Stephen Gould

      ================
      @Dr.K. "Gould doesnt argue that biological evolution is undermined or refuted in any way."
      =>I never claimed he did, did I? So that makes this argument strawman #3!! Nice.. Obviously Gould believes his allopatric speciation accounts for everything we see now.

      ================
      @Dr.K. "These are some of the points that you consistently (and knowingly) misrepresent."
      =>hmm.. no.. you scored 3 strawmans, one dramatically incorrect and one by all appearances is dramatically incorrect.

      @Dr. K. "I will not even bother to address the ridiculous claim that no one at TalkOrigins, nor Q, nor I have "ever ever" read Eldridge and Gould 1972. Even Gould identified your use of it as quote-mining. Are you suggesting Gould never read it?"
      =>I'm going to call you a faker on that. Obviosuly Gould read it, but you clearly havent.
      Any one reading the paper, and the quotes as I have used them can see that they are clearly in context.

      Phyletic gradualism is dead
      Gould sav ages those who would appeal to an incomplete fossil record as an explanation for the lack of fossilized intermediate forms
      Gould sava ges the "scientific" community who had completely ignored the fact that their favored theory was completely contradicted by the fossil record for over a 100 years.
      dogmatic preconceptions, that's what he called out the scientific community for..

      you want to argue with any of those statements? Good luck..

      February 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Q

      @Chad – You still appear to be confusing PE's scale of inter-species change with change at a higher level of taxonomy, i.e. families, orders, classes. Please, read Gould's book, "Punctuated Equilibrium" wherein he specifically address the manner in which are attempting to employ PE. Your inappropriatly conflating scales of morphological change. Phyletic gradualism as the mechanisms for speciation has been largely, but not completely displaced in favor of PE. But again, these are inter-species changes. We don't expect to see the transitional forms captured at such a fine resolution given small populations undergoing allo-/per-patric speciation. Take another look at the Gould quote from the PE wiki: "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups." By larger groups, he's referring to higher taxonomic classifications, e.g. transitions between fish/amphibians, reptiles/birds, etc.

      I went into this a little deeper (though disjointedly) back on page 54...

      February 6, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Chad

      Q. "Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups"
      =>example? This is your "archopyterix is a good transitional form between reptiles and birds" argument?

      February 6, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Chad, you continue to twist words. You seem to consistently refer to "extreme rarity" to mean the same as "aren't any." These have very different meanings so, no, the authors dont "just explain why there arent any." They attempt to explain why they are extremely rare. Example: Javan rhinos are extremely rare; but there aren't any unicorns. That doesn't mean that Javan rhinos can be regarded the same as unicorns and brushed off as non-existent. Neither can a spa.rse, but very real, fossil record.

      This is where your misrepresentation reveals itself from the start. Even if you want to stake your whole argument on appealing to the authority of the Eldridge and Gould article, you fail immediately because you try to make the argument that there "aren't any" transitional fossils based on a quote that says they are extremely rare. Even "extremely rare" by definition means there are some.

      As for claiming other aspects of my post were strawman arguments, let's review your point of view in your own words:
      Chad: "Punctuated Equilibrium is the only thing that agrees with the fossil record, the big problem is that it is impossible to occur with out supernatural intervention."

      You choose to side-step the statements regarding natural explanations. You may not directly claim that Gould argues your same point, but you consistently fall back on the article (well, the quotes you are familiar with at least) as supposed evidence for your point of view. This is not a point of view that the authors espouse in any way. They do not state that transitional fossils don't exist, and they don't argue that transitions did not occur through evolutionary processes. However, you refer to their argument to try to "prove" that there are no transitional fossils and that new species are supernatural. That is why your use of their work is disingenuous, and why my post is not a strawman argument.

      As Gould actually did imply, you are being either stupid or dishonest. You do not appear to be stupid...

      February 6, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Come to think of it, while you have scrutinized some of the details of evolutionary theory and the fossil record (and there are indeed many aspects of both that are understood in great detail), we have failed to even touch upon your argument. You seem to be driven by the traditional fallacy that by disproving some aspect of evolutionary theory (in this case, gradualism) you somehow prove supernatural creation. That is not the case, and given the competing claims of a natural explanation (natural processes are well-doc.umented) and a supernatural explanation (magic has never been doc.umented), the burden of proof is yours.

      To review your claim, ""Punctuated Equilibrium is the only thing that agrees with the fossil record, the big problem is that it is impossible to occur with out supernatural intervention."

      If supernatural intervention is the better explanation (not only better, but according to you it's "impossible" to account for the fossil record without it), could you please explain – in detail equivalent to that which is known for natural processes – the process of supernatural creation? Let's start with these:
      1. What is the nature of the supernatural force (composition, location, metabolism, etc)?
      2. Exactly what physical processes are involved in "supernatural intervention?"
      3. What are the steps involved in the creation of new life by supernatural means?
      3. What are the molecular and chemical mechanisms by which living things are supernaturally produced?
      4. What traces of the supernatural creation process exist – preferably with no gaps, of course.

      Detailed, unequivocal, and well-doc.umented answers would be appreciated. After all, you demand no less.

      February 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • ...

      Conflicts Darwin and Paleontology (Including Gould 1977,1980) http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/battson/stasis/2.html

      February 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • Chad

      Dr.K. “Chad, you continue to twist words. You seem to consistently refer to "extreme rarity" to mean the same as "aren't any." These have very different meanings so, no, the authors dont "just explain why there arent any." They attempt to explain why they are extremely rare.”

      =>well then, you are in luck. Now you can give me your example of a transitional form between fish and amphibian.

      example please

      dont bother with the Ichthyostega, you know why it is not considered a true member of the group in the narrow sense? because it was dated to way before the "first" amphibian appeared.
      said another way
      A non-fish shows up way before the rest of the amphibian,, but it turns out it isnt a fish-hibian.. it's a fully formed amphibian.
      that's wierd, hunh?

      what's your example Fish to Amphibian..

      February 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      "Now you can give me your example of a transitional form between fish and amphibian. example please"

      Actually, since we've already been down that road repeatedly, and since your request seems to be merely a diversionary tactic anyway, how bout we just focus on my series of questions instead. If your supernatural explanation is the only possible one, then those questions should be answerable in at least as much detail as you expect from the biological sciences.

      How about spelling out your proposed explanation? Details, please.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      1. What is the nature of the supernatural force (composition, location, metabolism, etc)?
      2. Exactly what physical processes are involved in "supernatural intervention?"
      3. What are the steps involved in the creation of new life by supernatural means?
      3. What are the molecular and chemical mechanisms by which living things are supernaturally produced?
      4. What traces of the supernatural creation process exist – preferably with no gaps, of course.

      Detailed, unequivocal, and well-doc.umented answers would be appreciated.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • ...

      http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19768354.2011.620621

      February 7, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • ...

      Dr.K.

      Chad, I'll pretend that I believe you didn't see the above post, and I will repeat it here:

      As for asking for "transitional forms" between fish and amphibians, here you go – you might start with the following taxa:
      Paleoniscoids (e.g. Cheirolepis), Osteolepis, Eusthenopteron, Sterropterygion, Panderichthys, Elpistostege, Obruchevichthys, Hynerpeton, Acanthostega, and Ichthyostega.

      I would reiterate from earlier, just because one is personally ignorant of the fossil evidence doesn't mean it isn't there

      *just because one is personally ignorant of the supernatural evidence doesn't mean it isn't there*

      February 7, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • ...

      Doctors in reality constantly update their sources, accept alternative methods than those proposed, and are held accountable to errors.

      http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt02774p068.pdf Published 2/011

      http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19768354.2011.620621 1/2012

      February 7, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Oh come on, Chad. Weak.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Chad

      @Chad "There aren't any fossils showing intermediates between fish and amphibian"
      @Dr. K "You dont know what you're talking about, yes there are"
      @Chad "Ok then, give me an example"
      @Dr K "Well, I tried doing that before, but it turns out that 1/2 of my list was fish, the other 1/2 amphibian.. so not to anxious to make that mistake again.. Instead, why don't you defend you claims?"
      @Chad "ok, here ya go:

      1. What is the nature of the supernatural force (composition, location, metabolism, etc)?
      =>dont know on composition/metabolism. Location is primarily somewhere outside our space and time, but able to step in at will.. so probably not inaccurate to say "everywhere".

      2. Exactly what physical processes are involved in "supernatural intervention?"
      =>This is my guess only, but I suspect He uses natural processes.. For example I dont believe that God beamed in all amphibians (that they suddenly just poofed into existence). I believe that he orchestrated the genetic mutations to accomplish that. Solar flare combined with something, combined with something.. all at the precise time/sequence.
      The bible consistently shows God using natural processes to attain his ordained purposes.

      3. What are the steps involved in the creation of new life by supernatural means?
      =>same answer as #2

      4. What are the molecular and chemical mechanisms by which living things are supernaturally produced?
      =>not sure I understand the question, but perhaps #2 answers it.. I dont believe things just "poof" into existence.

      5. What traces of the supernatural creation process exist – preferably with no gaps, of course.
      =>well of course gaps is precisely the hallmark of supernatural intervention.. Are you paying attention to the argument?

      February 7, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Dr.K.

      So, to summarize:
      1. Don't know.
      2. A guess.
      3. See 2 (a guess)
      4. I don't understand, but see 2 (a guess)
      5. No answer, but the lack of evidence is my evidence (and why don't you see the logic in that?).

      At it's most specific, your explanation of the entire process is "Solar flare combined with something, combined with something.. all at the precise time/sequence."

      I think you have some work to do. This was not exactly the detailed, well-doc.umented explanation I was asking for, and light years away from the level of detail you demand from the natural sciences (and light years away from the level of detail that exists within the natural sciences, I might add).

      But it was pretty much what I expected. You ultimately don't have any explanation – it's just magic!

      February 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. So, to summarize:1. Don't know.2. A guess.3. See 2 (a guess)4. I don't understand, but see 2 (a guess)5. No answer, but the lack of evidence is my evidence (and why don't you see the logic in that?).

      no.. that's inaccurate. It should look like this:
      1. Don't know.
      2. Same natural mutation process that is posited by atheists for a wholly non-supernatural intervention model, the only difference is that that-which-causes-the-mutations is orchestrated by God to produce the required synchronized mutations at the same time.
      3. See 2
      4. Original question needs more info
      5. The fact that there are gaps IS the evidence. Just exactly the same conclusion that Gould came to when looking at stasis and appearance of fully formed species in the fossil record. Everyone else had for a hundred years said that the fossil record is incomplete. He turns that on it's head saying that the process must result in the gaps clearly in front of us.

      you really should read the PE paper, he has a great deal to say about the danger of preconceptions.

      February 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. So, to summarize:1. Don't know.2. A guess.3. See 2 (a guess)4. I don't understand, but see 2 (a guess)5. No answer, but the lack of evidence is my evidence (and why don't you see the logic in that?).

      no.. that's inaccurate. It should look like this :
      1. Don't know.
      2. Same natural mutation process that is posited by atheists for a wholly non-supernatural intervention model, the only difference is that that-which-causes-the-mutations is orchestrated by God to produce the required synchronized mutations at the same time.
      3. See 2
      4. Original question needs more info
      5. The fact that there are gaps IS the evidence. Just exactly the same conclusion that Gould came to when looking at stasis and appearance of fully formed species in the fossil record. Everyone else had for a hundred years said that the fossil record is incomplete. He turns that on it's head saying that the process must result in the gaps clearly in front of us.

      you really should read the PE paper, he has a great deal to say about the danger of preconceptions.

      February 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      1. Don't know.
      Not acceptable. This is the foundation of your entire argument. This part of your "model" has to be established before any of the rest of it can even be considered. Imagine the following conversation:
      "How do new species arise?'
      Because of evolution
      "What is evolution"
      Don't know.

      ...ridiculous.

      2. Same natural mutation process that is posited by atheists for a wholly non-supernatural intervention model, the only difference is that that-which-causes-the-mutations is orchestrated by God to produce the required synchronized mutations at the same time.
      First, you continually conflate the words atheist and scientist – not all people who practice and accept science are atheists.
      Second, and to the point, you are still glossing over the entire mechanism. HOW does God "orchestrate?" What is the process by which "supernatural mutation orchestration" occurs? The only parts of this process that you even remotely understand are those that have already been explained to you by natural science. Your sole contribution to the explanation is the insertion of an unnecessary black box in which miracles occur.

      3. See 2
      Not exactly, at what point in the natural process that is well understood does a magic orchestration occur? For example, if it originates with solar flares, how does God control solar flares? Is there a knob? A magnetic injector tool? Or does magnetic energy just shoot out of his fingertips?

      4. Original question needs more info
      Molecular biologists know in detail the structure of nuclear DNA, mtDNA, RNA, etc. They know the chemical process by which they are replicated and the replicating errors by which mutations arise. What is the supernatural process by which God manipulates mutation? What exactly does God do to bring about these changes at the molecular level? Most importantly, by what process does supernatural will become a physical reality? What are the steps? What are the mechanisms?

      5. The fact that there are gaps IS the evidence. Just exactly the same conclusion that Gould came to when looking at stasis and appearance of fully formed species in the fossil record. Everyone else had for a hundred years said that the fossil record is incomplete. He turns that on it's head saying that the process must result in the gaps clearly in front of us.

      You avoided the question and attempted a diversion again. The question is "What traces of the supernatural creation process exist?" Again, what exactly happens in the time between the moment when a DNA strand is natural and the moment when it has been supernaturally manipulated? If something new or different doesn't "poof" into existence in that DNA strand, then what exactly happens? And what distinctive traces does it leave – how do you know it happened?

      Please explain in equivalent detail to that which is commanded by modern science, exactly how God's supernatural will becomes physical reality. Not in terms of guesses or analogies – but in terms of verified processes and mechanisms.

      February 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @"Dr". K : "What is the nature of the supernatural force (composition, location, metabolism, etc)?"
      =>I dont know Gods composition/metabolism. His location is primarily somewhere outside our space and time, but able to step in at will.. so it is probably not inaccurate to say "He is everywhere".

      @"Dr". K : "In your supernatural model, what causes mutations"
      =>Every mutation that occurs today has a cause of some type, right? Be it environment or whatever, even a failure to copy has a cause of some kind. The cause under my supernatural model is the same as the cause under the random chance model.

      @"Dr". K : "How does God orchestrate these mutations"
      =>Every event has a cause, the reality is that when the universe was created, a chain of events was set in motion. When/which stars would form etc.. all of that was determined by the physical characteristics of the big bang.
      Since God ordained the Big Bang, He ordained all these events.
      As such, He could line up specific events at specific points in the history of the universe. That's how he gets all of the mutations necessary to span the gap between fish and amphibian to line up precisely.

      You have to remember, God exists outside our space and time and as such has already seen that which is yet to come for you and I.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Chad – it's okay, you don't have to attempt to answer these. There aren't good answers – that point is made.

      My other point is that you aren't proving anything by needling away at little details of the fossil record or of evolutionary theory. Contrary to the goals of the Wedge doc.ument, even if you are able to call into question some poorly known aspect of natural science, you have done nothing to prove creationism. You don't have an alternative explanation that even remotely comes close to explaining the evidence. You can't even begin to posit how your alternate explanation might actually work.

      February 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • ...

      Dr. K

      A formation of an argument based on a source from the talk origins site that uses data from the 90's is neither valid or respectable. Refusing to acknowledge new data in the realm of taxonomy further reinforces my point.

      Data which is recent within the last few months that highlights over ten pages of errors in classifications that not only highlight misapplication of species naming & environment but also provide the corresponding data of additional sources proves that errors in classification of a genus or any species is a valid argument. Providing a recent link to 2012 research that utilizes morphometric analysis of the genus is relevant to the discussion of the fossil record. Would you prefer a link from the National Academy of Sciences in the USA on the DNA coding being utilized to distinguish species? Or perhaps you prefer to discuss mitochondria and their processes within each system.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • ...

      Upon examination of the Feb 7th posts by Chad it is evident through tone, character, and writing style that he did not write any of those. Besides they are not consistent with his thought processes. Nice try on the impersonation though. In actuality you are enjoying the debate with him.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Your idea that a Chad impersonator is on the loose is a possibility, though I had assumed all along that Chad, Ida, and ... were actually the same person. That may well be the case and "Chad" may be attempting to distance himself from a poor argument. Or, Chad may have slunk away immediately after I posed my questions, and someone else took over.

      I'm not sure what the heck you're on about in those last two posts (though I do have an article that incorporates morphometrics and allometry coming out on February 10th in a peer reviewed journal).

      But, I guess I did enjoy the debate with whoever, and I feel that I have made my points that (1) identifying some imperfectly known area of evolutionary theory does not prove by default that everything was created by magic, and (2) if you hold creationism up to the same standards that one would hold any scientific idea it immediately fails to an almost comical degree.

      Farewell Chad, Ida, and ...

      February 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. K “I feel that I have made my points that (1) identifying some imperfectly known area of evolutionary theory does not prove by default that everything was created by magic, and (2) if you hold creationism up to the same standards that one would hold any scientific idea it immediately fails to an almost comical degree.”

      =>So lets stand the two up side by side. Creationism vs Purely Random Punctuated Equilibrium
      1. In harmony with fossil record
      Creationism: Yes, the sudden appearance of species fully formed is exactly what a supernaturally orchestrated series of genetic mutations would imply.

      Purely Random PE: Vastly better than phyletic gradualism for sure, however the time frames for PRPE are still longer (by definition) than Creationism. As such, there is still the problem of missing fossilized intermediate forms fish-amphibian, reptile-bird, animal-human

      2. Probability of proposed process high/low
      Creationism: although this process proposes the existence of a super-natural enti ty which would need to have an existence demonstrated, once that is demonstrated, this process has a high degree of probability.

      Purely Random PE: Very low. Larger population genetic pools (having a larger total number of random mutations) have been demonstrated to be stable (wobbling about the mean), yet allopatric speciation relies on somehow generating a larger amount of genetic variations in a smaller group in a vastly shorter period of time. All three conditions are inversely associated with likelihood.

      So, objectively, creationism has stronger support.

      BTW, all of the posts above written by me..

      February 8, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Dr.K.

      [ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's left arm off]
      ARTHUR: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.
      BLACK KNIGHT: 'Tis but a scratch.
      ARTHUR: A scratch? Your arm's off!
      BLACK KNIGHT: No, it isn't.
      ARTHUR: Well, what's that then?
      BLACK KNIGHT: I've had worse.

      [ARTHUR chops the BLACK KNIGHT's right arm off]
      [hah]
      BLACK KNIGHT: Come on then.
      ARTHUR: What?
      BLACK KNIGHT: Have at you!
      ARTHUR: You are indeed brave, Sir knight, but the fight is mine.
      BLACK KNIGHT: Oh, had enough, eh?
      ARTHUR: Look, you stupid bast.ard, you've got no arms left.
      BLACK KNIGHT: Yes I have.
      ARTHUR: Look!
      BLACK KNIGHT: Just a flesh wound.

      ARTHUR: Look, I'll have your leg. Right!
      [whop]
      BLACK KNIGHT: Right, I'll do you for that!
      ARTHUR: You'll what?
      BLACK KNIGHT: Come 'ere!
      ARTHUR: What are you going to do, bleed on me?
      BLACK KNIGHT: I'm invincible!
      ARTHUR: You're a loony.

      February 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  6. Bumper

    I know the majority of you do not believe what I believe.

    YOU WILL ALL BURN IN HELL !!!!

    January 31, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Bumper,
      Thanks, and best wishes to you as well.

      February 1, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Ed

      Hell is a fable created by ancient preists to keep adherents like yourself in line. Personally, I don't require threats to do the right thing.

      February 1, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Bumper(In Spirit and Truth)

      I didn't write the comment listed above. My final words are listed below and I wish to say no more.

      February 1, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  7. momoya

    Please don't go, Bumper!! You kept making your god look more and more ridiculous! Do you think that God is just going to forget about all this?

    January 31, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  8. Bumper

    To All:

    Well, I've come to end of my journey on this comment board (sniffle, sniffle).

    We've experienced highs and lows, but overall, it has been an interesting trip with many differing viewpoints.

    I have to admit that I mostly agreed with Bold George. Even though he is a literal fundamentalist, he spoke what he believed to be true in his heart.

    Always remember to put your faith in God and not in science.

    Most important, God loves you, and wants you to be a part of His kingdom forever.

    I'll leave you with the well known scripture from John 3:16:

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but inherit everlasting life.

    JESUS NEVER FAILS!!!!!!!

    AMEN

    January 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  9. Bumper

    Charles Darwin was not able to work out the existence of a counter example to complex reducibility. History has always proved that when you do not logically deduce your ideas, there will be always be counter examples. ANY counter example would falsify the idea. A proper theory would have at least been one where he showed some formulaic approach to demonstrating no counter examples. So, at best, this idea is a tautology, but when you add other scientific fields, it is easily shown to be false. Simply put, at the most fundamental level, nothing is evolving.

    January 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Instead of launching salvo after salvo at a scientist who has been dead for a century and a half and his book that became the seed for modern biology/genetics, why don't you look at some of the research and advances made in the last 25 years based on the theory of evolution?

      January 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • momoya

      But you DO lie, Dumper, as when you describe "darwin" as a tautology. Even very dumb people, as long as they have a dictionary to refer to, do not refer to evolution as a "tautology." You cannot claim ignorance, because you have been corrected with simple definitions and long-established facts; therefore, you lie. You make your god look pathetic when you restate wrong opinions that have demonstrated incorrect many times.

      You lie when you describe your "research" that you are going to publish that "destroys darwin." You are lying because a person in a position to destroy evolution with valid research wouldn't make the dumb mistakes that you make here. You are lying because if you had such an amazing "fix" for science, you would be working on that and not wasting your time on a board such as this one. You are lying because if you even had an iota of evidence that showed "darwin" wrong, you'd be world famous by now.

      You're a liar; your comments on this thread prove it. And you're a christian. Even if your god were somewhat believable or reasonable, I would want no part of a god who calls your behavior acceptable, and I suspect a lot of others feel the same way. Keep up the good work for our side, Dumper.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Bumper

      Once again,

      Darwin created a paradigm which is indeed tautological. He did very little scientific work. And, the small amount of science added was both incomplete and false. Once again, within its defined context, Darwin is false and at best tautological, outside of the defined context, is is completely false. Electrons, photons and quarks are not evolving. Publishing takes time.

      January 31, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • momoya

      You continue to lie. Do you think that your god approves of your behavior here?

      January 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  10. Bumper

    We exist to glorify God and to live according to His will and purposes for our life.

    January 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • momoya

      It's because of what you glorify (stupidity) and how you do it (lying) that makes your god look so silly and impotent. You're doing more harm than good for your position, and that suits me just fine.

      January 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bumper

      I have not lied. I have told the truth to the best of scientific knowledge and the theology according to God's word. I'm personally disappointed that you feel that way.

      January 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • momoya

      But you DO lie, Dumper, as when you describe "darwin" as a tautology. Even very dumb people, as long as they have a dictionary to refer to, do not refer to evolution as a "tautology." You cannot claim ignorance, because you have been corrected with simple definitions and long-established facts; therefore, you lie. You make your god look pathetic when you restate wrong opinions that have demonstrated incorrect many times.

      You lie when you describe your "research" that you are going to publish that "destroys darwin." You are lying because a person in a position to destroy evolution with valid research wouldn't make the dumb mistakes that you make here. You are lying because if you had such an amazing "fix" for science, you would be working on that and not wasting your time on a board such as this one. You are lying because if you even had an iota of evidence that showed "darwin" wrong, you'd be world famous by now.

      You're a liar; your comments on this thread prove it. And you're a christian. Even if your god were somewhat believable or reasonable, I would want no part of a god who calls your behavior acceptable, and I suspect a lot of others feel the same way. Keep up the good work for our side, Dumper.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Bumper

      Darwin created a paradigm which is indeed tautological. He did very little scientific work. And, the small amount of science added was both incomplete and false. Once again, within its defined context, Darwin is false and at best tautological, outside of the defined context, is is completely false. Electrons, photons and quarks are not evolving. Publishing takes time.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  11. Bumper

    At a fundamental level, tell me what is evolving? Nothing...

    January 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Wayne

      Here you go again, you ask a question, it gets answered, then you ignore it and continue blabbering. Just admit no matter whatever is preseted you CAN'T accept it because you have to obey your book of magic. That's the simple truth of the matter.

      January 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Wayne

      Here is an example, on page 65 you asked for a deductive test of evolution. Your question was answered below, and you still ignored it. Proof none of your questions are honest.

      "Here are two deductive tests for "Darwinian" evolution that are provided by history, for Bumper and anyone else hung up on deductive reasoning. The answer to either of these could not hav been known in 1859:

      1) If all species are the result of descent with modification, then there must be some physical mechanism by which traits are systematically passed from parent to offspring.
      Conclusion: In 1953, James D. Watson and Francis Crick presented the first correct double-helix model of DNA.

      2) If all species are the result of descent with modification, then organisms that more recently shared a common ancestor should also share more DNA than those that are more distantly related.
      Conclusion: Since the 1970's the complete genomes of numerous organisms have been mapped out, and they all – without exception – reflect the relationships proposed by evolution."

      January 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Bumper

      See, that proves my point because you could not answer a basic question. Enough Said.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Bumper

      Darwin was not able to work out the existence of a counter example to complex reducibility. History has always proved that when you do not logically deduce your ideas, there will be always be counter examples. ANY counter example would falsify the idea. A proper theory would have at least been one where he showed some formulaic approach to demonstrating no counter examples. So, at best, this idea is a tautology, but when you add other scientific fields, it is easily shown to be false. Simply put, at the most fundamental level, nothing is evolving.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Wayne

      Do you know why, because when i do, you will either ignore as in the example I gave or complain that it wasn't good enough. Like i said before, just admit you can't disobey your holy book, no matter what.

      January 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • WASP

      @bumper:.........ahhhh again. seriously? i explained this to you five times now, if not more i have lost track. evolution is a process of adaptation. when things adapt to an enviroment it either is successful or that species dies off. hmmmm lets see what example can i give you about adaptation?...........
      -Salt retention is an adaptive character to ancient humans living in hot, humid areas, who consumed low levels of dietary salt [96]. The genetic polymorphisms that promote salt retention were selected in hot and humid environments, but now became a risk factor for hypertension. Genetic adaptations to a low-salt environment in the ancestral populations have turned into a risk for hypertension in current populations living in a high-salt environment [96].
      -Malaria is a major killer worldwide and its infection is the strongest selective force in recent human evolution. Most genetic adaptation to resistant malarial infection has impact on red blood cells or on immune response. The adaptations include the hemoglobinopathies gene: α-globin (alpha+ thalassemia), β-globin variants (HbC and HbS), a number of HLA alleles, and the glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) A allele [72–77]. Common hemoglobinopathies, sickle cell trait and α + thalas.semia, confer partial resistance to the fatal forms of malaria, which presents particularly high frequencies in the populations of the malaria areas in Africa. The disorders of hemoglobin structure, α + thalas.semia, can protect against malaria infection from the transmission intensity and suggest the selection of the α + allele by malaria [73]. The β-globin variants, hemoglobin C (HbC; beta6Glu>Lys) or hemoglobin S (HbS; beta6Glu>Val), can stimulate a higher immune response against the malaria antigens, suggesting that both HbC and HbS affect the early development of naturally acquired immunity against malaria [76].

      here is the cite, it's a little technical in it's explainations. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijeb/2011/484769/

      so again bumper groups adapt over time, some for the better as in genetic immunity for malaria or for the worse as in hypertension due to increase in salt retention in regions where there is an abundance of salt. evolution is the street, adaptation are the sign posts along the journey.

      Definition of ANTHROPOMORPHIC
      1: described or thought of as having a human form or human attributes
      2: ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things

      "god" if you have read the whole bible has human characteristics; why is that? maybe because that is the only way we can understand such a perfect being? or is it because we created this perfect being as a goal for the human species?

      January 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  12. momoya

    Dumper, do you really think that your god likes how you behave on this board? Why does god need your continual lies to help him get his message across to atheists? Broken records aren't even useful for comedy display purposes. I deny your god because there's no evidence; I despise most christianity because of people like you.

    January 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Wayne

      He really makes it seem ugly doesn't he?

      January 31, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Bumper

      He's not my God or your God, He's our God. He's the God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob and all of creation and humanity. You can't create your own God. You can only accept the one that created you.

      January 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      At least he's stuck on this topic and hasn't bled over into any others.

      January 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  13. Goetsch87

    Protestant pastors, yeah, I'm sure the Southern Baptist Convention went out of their way to get a diverse sampling of 'protestant pastors'.

    January 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  14. Bumper

    In the beginning, God existed outside of time and space dimensions. He called our time and space dimensional universe into existence outside of space and time. A day with God is like as thousand or billions years as according to Scripture. At the point of creation, God included all of the energy and rules (fully formed) required to unfold the universe that we know and recognize today. It is not evolving according to Darwin's idea, but unfolding according to the will of our Father. He created our universe and guarantees its existence until the second return of Christ and the end of the Age.

    January 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Wayne

      You remind me of Buzzlight year. No matter what, he just kept really believing that he was a real space ranger. Even when his laser was shown to be nothing more than a blinking light. You still think you've made valid points here and you haven't. Evidence has been shown in favor of evolution and you still ignore it. The only thing i can't determine is which one of you are more insane. At least he eventually came to his senses.

      January 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Bumper

      Your only defense is to introduce a silly cartoon type character. You know what I'm saying is true. People always resist the truth.

      January 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Wombat

      Blessed be you Bumper in the seven eyes of the great God Zuggy. And after Christ is arisen for the second, third, and sixth times, the great putrid green sacred Elephant will shit out an asteroid belt of toxic poop bricks that will wipe out all life on earth except for glow worms. Then, the 3rd Law of Thermodymanics will be rescinded but only blue pigs will be allowed to fly.

      See, anyone can tell stories without evidence. Stow your BS please. It stinks and so do you.

      January 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Wayne

      Maybe you should not have so much in common with a cartoon character.

      January 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Bumper

      Womfat:

      Flatulence will get you no where.

      January 31, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Gotcha

      Ah, the vaunted "decorum" of @Bumper :)

      "Womfat:
      Flatulence will get you no where."

      January 31, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  15. Bumper

    Madame Momoya:

    Darwin's paradigm is a tautology and the extremely weak (and nearly absent) scientific component is false as proven through my postings.

    January 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  16. Bumper

    Spirituality is what it is and not what you want it to be based on your own self righteous moral codes.

    January 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • WASP

      @bumper: look who's talking. now to quote your many hypocrisies. "not what you want it to be based on your own self righteous moral codes"
      1)"You can't create your own God. You can only accept the one that created you."
      you can create your own god, you have.
      2)"that proves my point because you could not answer a basic question. Enough Said."
      answered many times over again your basic questions, you have yet to answer mine. prove god without scripture.
      3)"scientific component is false as proven through my postings."
      stateing that you are the authority on a matter inwhich you know almost nothing is lieing.
      5) "No, the problem here is that what we think is the literal interpretation. The Bible is to be understood and not re-interpreted."
      "For example, in paraphrasing Jesus, when he tells us to remove our eye if it has committed an offense, for it is better to enter into Heaven with one bad eye instead of going to hell with two good eyes. He is obviously using hyperbole here. He does not literally want us to rip our eyeball out of our head."

      ok bumper here you just put words into gods' mouth.you said that "you can't re-interrpete the bible", but in your next statement "you are paraphasing what jesus meant." see how much of a hypocrite you are? i could go all the way through this blog and pick out each ot your hypocrisies but i don't have that much time to waste on pointing them all out.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  17. postreader

    This is a very ignorant topic. The Bible has been around way before evolution was ever thought up. We have always believed that God created the earth in seven days and created the first man and woman. And we always will. Evolutionists are just so caught up in trying to prove that the earth is billions of years old (they used to say it was millions, but it keeps changing, lol) because if the earth isnt billions of years old, then none of their ideas make sense.

    January 31, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • SeanNJ

      Do you have a high school diploma, or are you a drop out? That's a serious question, btw.

      January 31, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Bumper

      The Bible was around before evolution. In fact, Darwin himself spent some time in Oxford studying to be in the clergy, but failed miserably.

      January 31, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Nonimus

      @postreader,
      There is plenty of evidence to support evolution, from
      fossils, like archeoptyrx, ambulocetus, and tiktallik to
      biochemistry, like cytochrome-c to
      genetics, like human chromosome 2 and endogenusretrovirus (ERVs) to
      biogeography, like marsupails.

      for introductory information, try:

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

      or

      http://humanorigins.si.edu/

      January 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • LMAO

      "The Bible was around before evolution."

      LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 31, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Primewonk

      The musings off other religious tribes are far older than those of your bible. They existed long before your cobbled together god crawled onto the scene. According to your logic, these earlier religious ideas must be "more true" than your bible.

      Your problem is that you purposefully choose to be ignorant. And you want everyone else to be as ignorant as you are.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Wayne

      Just thought i'd let you know postreader, i copied and pasted your nonsense to a thread called "the stupidest thing a creationist has ever said" thread.. y In the league of reason forums You can forever find it here:

      http://www.leagueofreason.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1660&p=132238#p132238

      January 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  18. Bumper

    Darwin's idea is just a flimsy tautological statement about nature and not truth or reality. God's word is the truth. Seek the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

    January 31, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Yo-Moron

      The truth is your god is a monster. Isaiah 45:7 affirms that God creates darkness and disaster. It is not a creation of mankind, nor of fallen beings or Satan. The Hebrew word here that is translated as "disaster" could also mean "wickedness", "hurt", "affliction" or "adversity". God creates these things directly. Any argument that asserts that evil is a result of Human free will must first get over the fact that the Christian Bible states that God creates evil and disaster itself. Not only does this God create darkness and disaster, but it actively "does" them too. It doesn't merely create them as possibilities for other people, it actively chooses to do them itself.

      January 31, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Bumper,
      Doesn't a tautology, essentially refer to unfalsifiability, as in 'A or not A' is always true? In this sense, haven't you spent enormous amounts of postings trying to convince everyone here that you have, in fact, "proven" evolution to be false?

      How can you prove a tautology false?

      January 31, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • momoya

      @Nominus
      Dumper just keeps repeating the same old "anti-Darwin" slogans that are outright lies. He has been shown the error of his statements many times, yet he just keeps lying. Really tells you something about his "faith" and his "god" doesn't it?

      @Dumper
      You mentioned how evolutionary theory is "falsifiable," and I asked you about that word and what you thought it meant. Not only are you wrong about evolution being a "tautology," but you were wrong when you misused the word "falsifiable" pages earlier. The MASSIVE ELEPHANT in the room, that you fail to see, is that if a theory is NOT falsifiable, then it's a stupid theory that must be believed by faith since it has no viable tenets.
      You're WRONG about what "falsifiable" means.
      You're WRONG about evolution being a tautology.
      You're WRONG about your own theory's validity and its own "non-falsifiable" status.
      You're just plain wrong.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bumper

      Momoya:

      Darwin's paradigm is a tautology and the extremely weak (and nearly absent) scientific component is false as proven through my postings.

      January 31, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  19. Bumper

    It is time to sing hymns of praise to the Lord. For He has created all things according to His will and purpose for all of humanity. God created everyone and it is through Him [not science] that we all continue to exist.

    January 31, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  20. Primewonk

    The last bastion of the fundiots (fundamentalist ldiots) – When it's obvious that your claims about science are all wrong – start singing hymns and posting bible verses.

    January 31, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      GOD is too great for words.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:34 am |
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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.