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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. False Dichotomy

    Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
    — Isaac Asimov
    In The Roving Mind (1983), 26.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  2. Jesus>>Darwin

    @Momoya:

    Please do not diminish yourself with hurling insults to others.
    God is the prima causa, the alpha and omega.
    To ask the question about who created God is silly.
    Causation was called into existence at the point of creation of the universe, so God is timeless and didn't require creation.

    February 11, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • tallulah13

      Humanity has invented, worshiped and eventually replaced or discarded literally thousands of gods throughout history. There has never been a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any of those gods, including yours.

      On the other hand, evolution is observable in laboratory conditions. It is observable in the fossil record and in the adaptation of animals to their habitats.

      February 11, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      "Causation was called into existence at the point of creation of the universe, so God is timeless and didn't require creation."

      Once again, you know this with such certainty based on what? Nothing. How do you know causation wasn't "called into existence" (whatever that means) earlier than that? Or later than that? You don't. Your statement is not based on any evidence, or even any logic. You're just saying it.

      February 11, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • momoya

      Shut up, Dumper. You're an idiot troll.

      February 11, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • R.William

      Why do you think that the first cause, the unmoved mover, is the God of the Bible who reads thoughts, answers prayers and tells only certain people how to act in order to please Him?

      February 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Come On Now

      Jesus>>Darwin,

      You said: "Please do not diminish yourself with hurling insults to others."

      – Please do not exalt yourself by claiming that you know the Answer to Everything, when you are just pulling stuff out of your rear. Do you have a blockbuster, world-changing book about this coming out soon too?

      Perhaps you should read or watch "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" to learn something about delusional thoughts. Then there's also "Harvey", Elwood Dowd's 6' 3" imaginary rabbit friend, for another glimpse.

      ---------------
      p.s.

      You said: "Please do not diminish yourself with hurling insults to others."
      Then you said: "To ask the question about who created God is silly."

      – Last time I checked, calling someone "silly" is an insult.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      @ Robert

      He is the God of everything, not just the Bible, or my God, your God, etc...

      February 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      How exactly did you come to achieve omniscience? Seriously, I'm asking.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      I'm not, but much is revealed through study, prayer and meditation on God's word.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      But the authority with which you make claims would require that you are. If the structure of the universe including all space/time/dimension is accurately revealed through meditation and prayer, why does almost every individual receive different messages when they pray or meditate?

      February 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  3. Jesus>>Darwin

    The singularity contained space and time, but was not enveloped by space and time. The ethereal realm is outside of the space and time singularity. This is why the "Big Bang" was not really a bang or explosion. Explosions have to take place inside space and time dimensions. It really was just a rapid expansion.

    February 11, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Jesus>>Darwin,
      "The singularity contained space and time, but was not enveloped by space and time."

      I still do not understand. I thought you said that God was eternal because He was outside space and time. But, now you are saying that the singularity is "not enveloped by space and time," i.e. outside space and time, and yet is still finite, i.e. not eternal.

      So, which is it?

      February 11, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      The singularity is enveloped by the ethereal and eternal realm. However, inside the singularity itself is finite space and time.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Jesus>>Darwin,
      "The singularity is enveloped by the ethereal and eternal realm. However, inside the singularity itself is finite space and time."

      If, as I think you've implied:
      * ethereal >= singularity >= finite space-time
      So there are exactly 4 possibilities:

      1) the singularity is within the ethereal,
      * ethereal = singularity > finite space-time
      which apparently makes the singularity eternal and no need for it to be created by God.

      2) the singularity is within the finite,
      * ethereal > singularity = finite space-time
      which makes it within our universe, not outside, and therefore cannot "contain" finite space-time.

      3) or the singularity is its own realm,
      * ethereal > singularity > finite space-time
      which make 3 realms, of which the ethereal is apparently unnecessary, due to the singularity being outside of finite space-time, eternal, and therefore no need for it to be created by God.

      So, unless I am missing a possibility, it must be one of these three. Again, which one?

      p.s. 4) Sorry, the fourth is ethereal = singularity = finite space-time, which would be a logical impossibility since something cannot be both finite and not finite (i.e. eternal).

      February 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      Think of the whole system as an apple. The core is finite, but the infinite outer covering is eternal.

      February 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Jesus>>Darwin,

      That doesn't answer the question does it. Is the flesh of the apple (i.e. the white part between the skin and the seed/stem area) eternal or finite?

      February 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      The white part is infinite and eternal. It extents out to infinity. There is no edge to the finite core or skin on the infinite white flesh.

      February 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  4. honest

    You are only the religion of where you are born.

    Nothing more.

    February 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  5. Mike

    @Momoya..."both sides might feel as if the other has more to lose..." This much we agree on. "You would have the most to lose because you would be the one giving me half a million..." This aspect was not in the original scenario, therefore I did not address it. Based upon this new info which you have just now added, then you are correct...I WOULD have the most to lose if I gave you any money at all. But if you have to add to the scenario in order to "prove" your point...then that's not being entirely honest is it? In the original scenario there was no exchange of money, and therefore, YOU would have the most to lose by not providing proof, because you could lose the sale and thus the income from it. If my brain is broken because I did not correctly address a part of the scenario that you did not provide until the very last moment...then I guess i will have to live with a broken brain.

    What you said..."The job of proving the claim is ALWAYS the responsibility of the person making the claim". What I said..."The burden of proof ALWAYS falls on the person who has the most to lose". However, I did not say that the burden of proof never falls on the person making the claim...because if they have the most to lose, then it falls on them. Therefore, you are correct when you state that if you published a paper that Einstein was incorrect, the burden of proof would fall upon you...and the reason for that is because you would have the most to lose. Your career would be on the line if you could not back your claims. So here again, the burden of proof is on the one with the most to lose...in this case, the one making the claim. Now if a Muslim told me that Islam was correct, would the burden of proof fall on him? Not if he didn't have the most to lose and in this case, "both sides might feel as if the other has more to lose" and therefore there would be no burden of proof for either side. If however, he said that an eternity without Allah would be far worse than an eternity without Christ, then the burden would be on me, because I would have the most to lose. Would I take the burden seriously...no. Which brings me to my last point. I never said that the burden of proof must be taken seriously. Each person must decide for themselves if it must be taken seriously. In this instance it would fall on me, but I personally would not be losing any sleep over it...and would simply wait until the end or until God provided an opportunity to prove the Muslim incorrect...whichever came first. If a non-Christian doesn't believe in God, then he doesn't HAVE to take God seriously, but can just wait until the end...but I wouldn't suggest doing that.

    What I don't understand, is if non-Christians truly believe that the burden of proof is not on them, then why do they spend so much time trying to show that Christianity isn't true. I have never spent one second trying to prove that Islam is incorrect...it simply doesn't concern me. Why would someone who doesn't believe in Christ, spend any time at all trying to prove that he was not the Son of God? I have stated below my motivation for trying to show that he is. Why would anyone spend time trying to show that he isn't?

    February 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • momoya

      Mike, repeat after me:

      "Who has the most to lose" has absolutely nothing to do with proving or disproving a claim. Got it? Now repeat it again. One more time.

      Mike, your reasoning is incorrect. People losing or gaining have nothing to do with claim making. Claim making is about taking a philosophical position X is equal to Z plus Y, that sort of thing. Most claims don't involve losses and gains. Try this claim: When you drop an object it falls downward to the ground. (You see how nobody is losing, there?)

      Whoever MAKES the claim has the responsibility to prove the claim.

      Anne: Hey Betty, I have a new blue car!

      Betty: What? No way! You said you couldn't afford one!

      Anne: Well, prove I don't have one! <- NO!!!!

      Anne: Here, let me show you (Opens garage door/ shows car/ etc) <--- YES!

      It's not Betty who must prove anything about Anne's car. If Anne is claiming to have a new blue car, she has to show proof if Betty needs that proof in order to believe. (Maybe Anne has said a penchant for lying about buying new vehicles).

      Repeat after me: The person making the claim has the burden of proof; individuals feeling some sort of feeling of loss or gain has nothing–but nothing–to do with proving claims. Got it?

      As to why so many non-christians debate god. I think each atheist has her own reasons. Think about if almost 90% of the population considered the Easter Bunny as real and with magical powers that affected a magical body part in a magical way (jesus healing souls). And all those Easter Bunny people thought we should have laws and justice based on Easter Bunny ideas. Wouldn't you say something? It'd be a lot easier if we atheists just went along with the belief, but for some reason or anther, we've just reached our limit of b.ul.l crap. We just ran out of room for it.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Mike

      @ Momoya..."Who has the most to lose has absolutely nothing to do with proving or disproving a claim". I agree, but it does have to do with who NEEDS to prove or disprove a claim. In your scenario, Anne, who if she has a penchant for lying, has the most to lose if she cannot back up her claim because she may lose Betty as a friend if she does not show Betty her new car.

      Mechanic: Anne, you need to let me repair your new car or you're going to have an accident.
      Anne: It's brand new and I don't think it needs to be repaired and I think you're an idiot.
      Mechanic: Okay, suit yourself.

      Anne hops in her car, and on the way home has an accident and dies. Was the burden of proof on the mechanic because he was the one who made the claim? I wouldn't think so, because Anne had the most to lose, and she needed to prove that he didn't know what he was talking about. Or, lets assume once again that Anne didn't take his claim seriously because maybe she had heard that he was shyster but this time she was able to drive the car for years and never had a problem. The burden of proof was still on her because she had the most to lose, but she decided not to take that burden seriously and everything was fine. If the burden of proof is on a person, each person must decide whether or not to take it seriously.

      Thanks for your answer about why you debate God...it gives me a better understanding.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Mike

      @ Momoya...You're driving through a small town and there's a 15 mph speed limit and you know you're doing 14. A cop pulls you over and says "you were speeding" and you say no I wasn't, prove that I was since you're the one making the claim. The cop says "prove you were not or you're going to spend the night in jail". Who has the most to lose? In this instance, not the person who is making the claim, and without proving you were not speeding, where do you think you would be spending the night?

      However, if the cop was known for pulling this kind of stunt and was suddenly confronted by his superiors, then who would have the most to lose? The cop...and he would also have the burden of proof.

      February 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • momoya

      @mike

      You're absolutely wrong. Who has to gain or lose has nothing to do with proving claims. The cop is making the claim and must prove it by his methods of determining speeding and keeping those records. Your stories and scenarios aren't proving your position on the matter, their proving the reality that I keep telling you. The person making the claim has the burden of proof. It's too bad that you can't understand such a simple concept and just admit you are wrong about whoever has "more to lose." Go take some courses in logic.

      February 11, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • momoya

      @Mike

      Sorry, I should have thought of this before now.

      In your search bar, type "burden of proof." You'll get almost 9 million hits, so just start with the first link offered. Read it, go on to the next; read that one, go on to the next; read that one, go on to the next. Take your time; shoot, go through a few million or so... whatever. This issue is NOT debatable; it's been a standard rule of logic since long before Jesus was born.

      Your claim about the burden of proof being on the person with the most to lose would be like me saying that objects fall towards the earth because when you drop something little purple fairies catch it and push it down to the ground. In other words, you're being ridiculous.

      February 11, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • momoya

      @Mike

      On your examples:

      1. If the mechanic makes the claim, and he wishes to convince Anne, he must prove it by showing her a damaged part or listening to a particular sound. If Anne doesn't care about the mechanics claim, she is leaving the debate.

      2. The cop must prove the claim that the person was speeding; however, he has the authority to put people in jail without substantiating any claims. A cop can arrest a person for anything, but he may be charged with wrongful arrest at a later time. His special powers of arresst have nothing to do with how logical claims are made and determined.

      3.If the cop's supervisor's believe he is misbehaving then they have the burden of proof to show he has been misbehaving. This foundational concept is why cops have video recorders and why you see cameras popping up all over the place nowadays–so the authority figures can solidly prove their claims about people breaking the law.

      4. If the cop is making a SEPARATE (but related) claim about his innocence then he has to provide evidence supporting his claim. Cop says: "I am innocent of your charge against me of X; here, let's watch what the dashboard camera recorded!"

      I think you are getting hung up on various outcomes of certain people in certain situation who BELIEVE in one claim or another. You are really addressing the issue of WHEN it becomes expedient to believe in a claim that has not been fully demonstrated. What if some government agency announces that there has been a chemical attack and tells us to stay indoors. It's the government's claim, and they have the burden of proof, but I will chose to believe that claim without direct evidence because it is most expedient for me to do so. Yes, I have more "to lose" in that scenario and so I decide to believe their claim "on credit" because not doing so might cause a bad result. But the claim has not been proven just because I have decided to act as if it were true. The burden of proof still rests with the government, but I am not requiring it just yet. But we aren't talking about belief, and actions arising from that belief; we're talking about claim making.

      February 11, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Mike

      @ Momoya..."You are really addressing the issue of WHEN it becomes expedient to believe in a claim". Perhaps that's it and maybe I should have used the words "need to prove" rather than "burden of proof". So let me restate what I meant to say.From my perspective, the person who has the greatest potential for loss, speculatively speaking, also has the greatest need to prove their point of view. Thus, Anne would have a greater need to prove her viewpoint, (that the mechanic was incorrect) than the mechanic would have to prove his, because her life could potentially be in danger. I was using "burden of proof" and "need to prove" synonymously because I had never thought about or discussed this issue before and did not realize that there was a distinction between the two phrases. You are correct, the mechanic would indeed have the burden of proof for his claim, while Anne would have a greater need to prove her viewpoint. Of course, the easiest way of doing that would be for her to just ask him what the problem was.

      February 12, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • WASP

      @mike: if i say god doesn't exist, why would i waste time trying to prove something i know to be true. if i told you " RA the egyptian sun god exists" then i wouldn't expect you to prove he doesn't; i would have to prove that RA does exist. that is a christian thing of saying god exists when your whole religion is based on faith not facts. faith by definition: 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
      2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
      3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
      4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
      5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
      so without scripture as i have challenged others, prove god. not through science or math, just prove god. it can not be done wihtout your scripture to tell you that it exists. no book,no god, no problem.

      February 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Mike

      @ Wasp
      You want me to prove the existance of God without using the Bible. Well, bearing in mind that proof is a relative term and that some people are convinced easily, others less so, and some can never be convinced because they are simply unwilling, I can offer you what I perceive to be the simplest way of proving him without the Bible. When Christ was on earth, he stated that his followers hear his voice. I have stated in previous comments that Christ was not lying and that I am one Christian who does in fact hear the voice of God on occasion. You may think of this as schizophrenia, and technically it is, but schizophrenia is merely a descriptive term...it describes what is happening but it does not describe why. And not all schizophrenics necessarily exhibit all of the characteristics of schizophrenia. In my case, I exhibit one characteristic of it...I occasionally hear a voice...the voice of God. So did the apostle Paul and countless others down through the years.

      Now, if I could tell you something that God has told me, a truth that is rational and makes perfect sense and yet it is something that as far as I can tell, no other person on earth knows or is even remotely aware of...would this serve as proof? To the best of my knowledge, nothing has ever been written about this or any of a number of things that God has told me. I googled them, and could find nothing. If I tell you one of these things, might it serve as a possible indicator that I have in fact heard from God? If you are interested, then I will tell you. If not, then that's all I can offer except to say that the voice of God is more real than any voice I have ever heard. As for those who have been clinically classified as schizophrenics, I will say that for many of them what they are hearing is in fact real...but they are not hearing the voice of God...but of demons. That is why a number of people have done exactly what the voices told them to do...kill their children, because demons have a power that is far beyond human beings.

      February 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • WASP

      @mike: " Well, bearing in mind that proof is a relative term "
      definiton of proof: 1a : the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact b : the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning
      2obsolete : experience
      3: something that induces certainty or establishes validity
      4archaic : the quality or state of having been tested or tried; especially : unyielding hardness
      5: evidence operating to determine the finding or judgment of a tribunal
      6a plural proofs or proof : a copy (as of typeset text) made for examination or correction b : a test impression of an engraving, etching, or lithograph c : a coin that is struck from a highly polished die on a polished planchet, is not intended for circulation, and sometimes differs in metallic content from coins of identical design struck for circulation d : a test photographic print made from a negative
      7: a test applied to articles or substances to determine whether they are of standard or satisfactory quality
      8a : the minimum alcoholic strength of proof spirit b : strength with reference to the standard for proof spirit; specifically : alcoholic strength indicated by a number that is twice the percent by volume of alcohol present <whiskey of 90 proof is 45 percent alcohol

      i would say proof is the same as the the scientific method which requires proof of a claim to be accepted where as religion which is taken on faith by definition requires no proof or facts. now about you hearing voices, let's again take your own words....." And not all schizophrenics necessarily exhibit all of the characteristics of schizophrenia. In my case, I exhibit one characteristic of it...I occasionally hear a voice...the voice of God." ok and the defintion of schizophrenia is: a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought (as delusions), perception (as hallucinations), and behavior —called also dementia praecox. ok now in a medical situation where the person has to view you from a strickley professional area hearing voices talking to you is cause to medicate you. mass murders have claimed to hear voices or even that their dog spoke to them. if you show one symptom of an illness that is usually a precurser to a full blown case.

      February 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Mike

      Well um okay...I take it you're not interested then in anything God may have had to say. Most people are not. I suspect they are afraid they might hear something they will not like. And that certainly is a possibility because God is who he is and not as we would like to mold him to be. But it's been nice corresponding with you.......best regards.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:47 am |
    • WASP

      @mike: did i scare you? "Well um okay...I take it you're not interested then in anything God may have had to say. Most people are not. I suspect they are afraid they might hear something they will not like. And that certainly is a possibility because God is who he is and not as we would like to mold him to be. But it's been nice corresponding with you.......best regards."

      know what that response is called mike? it's called tucking your tail between you legs. you couldn't find anything to refute my information so you are protecting yourself from the truth by burying your head in the sand. i wish you well in all your life's endevours. next time come better prepared for a debate.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  6. Jesus>>Darwin

    Space, time and causality exist within the singularity. Outside of the singularity, there is no time or space or causality. The prima causa was the act of creating the space time singularity that is enveloped by the ethereal realm. The ethereal realm includes God, angels and other supernatural beings that superpose over the core singularity.

    February 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Ed

      woah, dude, don't bogart that joint.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Jesus>>Darwin,
      Sorry, what's the ethereal realm again?

      February 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • WASP

      @JD: please send me the links to this information. i would like to review it for further study. i have noticed your dedication to your defensive stance on the bible and evolution is beginning to waiver. you are coming out more often with things as this "Space, time and causality exist within the singularity. Outside of the singularity, there is no time or space or causality. The prima causa was the act of creating the space time singularity that is enveloped by the ethereal realm. The ethereal realm includes God, angels and other supernatural beings that superpose over the core singularity."

      now to my understanding that all sounds like panic dribble from a nervous person grasping at straws.....but if you can show me links to this information from credible sources i may be willing to discuss this area of information.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  7. Jesus>>Darwin

    That's easy to answer. The singularity contained space and time, but outside of the singularity is the ethereal realm. The singularity itself is not eternal. It has a finite age, and size and will eventually be ripped apart.

    February 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Jesus>>Darwin,
      "The singularity contained space and time, but outside of the singularity is the ethereal realm. The singularity itself is not eternal. It has a finite age, and size and will eventually be ripped apart."

      First, where do you get this stuff? It must be made up, because it doesn't even seem logically sound. If the singularity contained space and time, then how can it be in space and time. I would think it either contained or was contained by space-time. How can it do both?

      February 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      ...absolutely made up to fit the moment.

      February 10, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
  8. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer is completely ineffective.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  9. Pete

    The religious group just need to fire and not hire anyone that does not agree with their practices,and tell those who are affected to thank government. But I do like Mike and Wasp discussion, just like Linbaugh entertainment at it's best with no commercials

    February 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  10. Jesus>>Darwin

    Questions of logic and causation are only valid within the context of our space/time universe. Therefore, the question about who created God is not relevant. God is the prima causa and does not require any causal elements because He is outside of time and space dimension. That's why the Bible states that a thousand years is like a day with God. A trillion trillion years is like a second to Him too.

    February 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      You don't know that.

      You couldn't possibly know any of that. You're just making sh't up. You may be repeating sh't that other people made up, but none of this is based on anything at all except that you say so. Unless you are supernatural yourself and exist beyond time and space, there's no way you could know if these concepts are valid outside our space/time context or not. You guys don't know any of this....you just try to bullshi't your way through.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Jesus>>Darwin,
      Interesting... So if the eternal singularity, from which came the Big Bang, is also outside of space and time, then all's good right? No need for God.

      February 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      When did I ever make any assertions about the big bang or singularity? I have no idea what (if anything) came before the universe started expanding, but I don't go around casually talking as if I do.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • momoya

      @jesus>>Darwin

      Do you realize how stupid that post was?

      You began by saying that logic cannot be used for your position and then you proceeded to use logic for the rest of the post.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      "A trillion trillion years is like a second to Him too."

      Apparently you not only know about dimensions outside our own, you also know exactly what time feels like to God? It's not only ridiculously deceitful to talk to people as if you know this, it's also the most un-humble of hubris.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Ed

      You haven't the slightest clue what you're talking about.

      February 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      False Dichotomy may not have put it very gently, but I think he/she hit the nail squarely on the head.

      We are so accustomed to hearing people state as fact things that they can't possibly know, that we forget to even call them out on it. Even the cosmological physicists who have based their ideas on sophisticated calculations and the most advanced technology don't pretend to be that confident in their results. They speak in terms of probabilities or what the best evidence currently supports.

      Believers, on the other hand, come right out and make absolute statements, even if they are based on absolutely nothing. There isn't even anything in the Bible that says God exists in another dimension or that he uses a different time scale, but folks like J>>D or Chad or Bumper just state it as fact. There is absolutely no reason that they know this, except that they have simply decided to say that's how things are.

      J>>D, how do you know exactly how long a trillion years is to God? What exactly is that based upon?

      February 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      I'm sorry, " a trillion trillion." So really, what's the basis for this 1 second / trillion trillion year ratio?

      February 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Chad

      "There isn't even anything in the Bible that says God exists in another dimension or that he uses a different time scale,"
      =>always amazes me how ready atheists are to make statements with no basis in fact...

      And by FAR, the most amazing thing is that you will continue to make such statements, even though demonstrated completely inaccurate. Proof positive that you want the statement to be true, and are willing to suspend all rational thought to make it so.

      1. God created the universe, so must have obviously existed outside of it.
      "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1

      "25 “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." Isaiah 40

      2. God is eternal, the universe is not, it had a beginning and it will have an end.
      " For this is what the high and exalted One says—
      he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
      “I live in a high and holy place,
      but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, " Isaiah 57

      "8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. " – 2 Peter

      Now, you can try and say that the bible is wrong about stating that God is eternal, and that God created the universe (both demonstrating that He exists outside our time and space)
      BUT
      You can no longer honestly state that the Bible doesnt state that God lives outside our time and space.

      February 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Ah, that's one of the differences between science and belief, Chad, and between you and me. In science, when one sees evidence that indicates an error in ones thinking, one amends their thinking. With belief, one typically stubbornly ignores contrary evidence. For example, you continue with your misguided PE abuse despite being repeatedly corrected (even corrected posthumously by the author himself). I on the other hand will concede that the Bible (Peter) indeed says that God uses a different time scale. So, I stand corrected about the content of the bible with regard to that; however, (1) it says nothing about a trillion trillion years being a second to God (one thousand is probably the highest number Paul could imagine, which calls into question whether this assertion came from an omniscient being at all or just Pauls own guesses), and (2) so how did Paul know? He didn't – he was just saying stuff, too.

      It doesn't matter to a believer if one says a thousand, or a trillion trillion, because both are just empty claims made up for effect with no regard for whether or not they are accurate. I suspect that's why you are defending the claim, even though a trillion trillion is (let me see, there are twelve zeros in a trillion...) at least 140 orders of magnitude beyond what is stated in the bible (one thousand) and yet you never blinked at the astounding level of error in that statement. Because it doesn't matter – it's just made up as you go along.

      But, I will no longer claim that the bible says nothing of God's sense of time.

      As for dimension and your first two quotes, you fail entirely. Neither of those say anything about a universe, about the space/time continuum, or about multi-dimensional reality. They talk about the heavens and the earth – the only things iron age writers could conceive of – but the universe and relativistic physics are not remotely addressed there. You are twisting a sheep herder's view of the earth (the ground) and the heavens (the stars that are little lights in the sky) to make it fit with the more expanded reality brought to you (ironically) not from the bible, but from honest science and mathematics. Those verses do not say anything like what you are claiming they do.

      Your supposed proofs are convoluted interpretations of those verses, they are not accurate reflections of the words they contain. In other words, you're still just left with making things up.

      February 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Chad

      Dr. K "For example, you continue with your misguided PE abuse despite being repeatedly corrected (even corrected posthumously by the author himself)."

      Chad "no.. I dont use PE to claim there are no fossils that show how fish, land animals, birds and humans "evolved". I use the fossil record itself to demonstrate that.
      Gould's objection was to creationists claiming he admitted there were no intermediate forms (which he most certainly DID say with respect to phyletic gradualism, but not with respect to allopatric speciation).

      Dr. K "As for dimension and your first two quotes, you fail entirely. Neither of those say anything about a universe, about the space/time continuum, or about multi-dimensional reality. They talk about the heavens and the earth "
      =>LOL
      That's a good one :-)
      Even though it says heaven and earth to convey the idea of "everything", you object that they don't use the word "universe".. lol

      " For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible," Colossians

      February 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Your arguments are not worth the time.....

      February 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  11. momoya

    Let's try this again:

    Dave, Eve, and Frodo meet at a coffee house.

    Dave: "Hey, Eve and Frodo. I get visited by aliens every night."

    Eve: "No, you don't. That doesn't make sense."

    Frodo: "I'm not sure if I believe Dave or not. Do you have any evidence?'

    Now, is Frodo asking this question to Dave or Eve? Why?

    February 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  12. momoya

    @mike On your reply to my post below

    Your assumption is incorrect. When dealing with a claim, "who has the most to lose" is simply not a factor. (Besides, "who has the most to lose" is up to interpretation. Both sides might feel as if the other has more to lose, or vice versa).

    The job of proving the claim is ALWAYS the responsibility of the person making the claim. If I were to publish a paper claiming that Einstein was incorrect on matter and energy, I would have to prove that my theory is better than his. If a Muslim were telling you that Islam is correct, would he have to prove it to you, or would you have to prove it right or wrong? It would be up to the Muslim to show you that his way was better than yours. You don't have to do anything about his claim.

    And on your reply to my example, no, I would have a lot to gain and nothing to lose by selling you something that I don't really own. You would have the most to lose because you would be the one giving me a half a million for something that I may not have the right to sell you. Something seems to be broken in the part of your brain that processes logic.

    February 10, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      Nope.

      (1) The burden of proof is on the atheists because the overwhelming evidence is in support of the existence of God. This is based on pure logic.

      (2) To disprove Einstein, you don't have to come up with a better theory, but rather, prove why his idea is wrong.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Wayne

      "Something seems to be broken in the part of your brain that processes logic."

      Belief in stupid nonsense for no reason makes people give illogical reasons for their belief. Simply put there are no logical arguments for the chrisitan god, and there doesn't have to be all you need is faith. Faith is the belief in something with no evidence, that's why he has to shift the burden of proof. The emperor has no clothes.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • *facepalm*

      "The burden of proof is on the atheists because the overwhelming evidence is in support of the existence of God. "

      Wishing it to be true doesn't make it so. Those of us living in the real world know this. Enjoy your fantasy land.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Wayne

      @Jesus>>Darwin

      "(1) The burden of proof is on the atheists because the overwhelming evidence is in support of the existence of God. This is based on pure logic."

      No it's not. Evidence in support of God is subjective. Again another example of theists having to shif the burden of proof because they know they don't have any.

      Let's put your logic to the test.

      Wayne: There are aliens

      Jesus>>>Darwin: No there are not

      Wayne: Prove there aren't, theres overwhelming evidence is in support that there is.

      Jesus>>Darwin?????

      See, your logic does not work. The burden of proof is on you buddy. Go ahead...we are waiting

      February 10, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • WASP

      @JD: i would like to see this over-whelming proof of god. now remember you can't use scripture to prove god or any other religious text due to the fact it's circular logic. so now that being said i can buy a microscope and show you long dead single celled organisms......or in the case of the "water bear" 10,000 year old living fossil. i can point to the stars and explain by burning different gases how each star with a different light is in a different stage of life. i can show you hydrogen is the lightest element by placing a balloon filled with hydrogen into a room of helium. i can take you to arizona and show you the K-T boundry along with stages of life trapped in sedimentary rock. i can take DNA from a long dead wooley mammath and compare it to modern day elephants so you can see the similarities. what evidence do you have for god? i will be waiting for you evidence.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • momoya

      @Jesus>>Darwin

      You said:

      <<>>

      Exactly. You got it. I, the person making the claim, have to do the proving. (I am making the claim that Einstein is wrong, so I have to do the proving).

      February 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • momoya

      I was quoting your "2)" I don't know why it was deleted. If I make the claim that Einstein was wrong, I have to prove my claim.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      WASP- I answered your question as to how I came about GOD without no Bible, on page 66.

      February 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @momoya,
      I don't think the robo-moderator like greater than and less than symbols in certain configurations. They are prevalent in HTML code, XML, etc. ( try & g t ; > or & l t ; < )

      February 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @kenrick Benjamin
      Re: page 66.
      Who gave God his laws?

      February 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      Nonimus- God give God the laws. Let me Explain my interpretation. They were only three things that ever existed, they were Je, Ho, Vah, I will call them elements for the sake of such. These elements combined to form compound element JEHOVAH. Much in the same way in which we are made up of elements. So it was JeHoVah coming together to form JeHoVah. My inspiration comes from the Bible Book Of John 1st chapter verse 1-4, which states in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word is God.

      February 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @kenrick Benjamin

      Oh... Okay....

      February 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • WASP

      kenrick Benjamin
      "God without the Bible. Science tells us that energy is eternal it's neither created or distroyed but transposed, it's properties, Heat, Motion and light let us know that there are laws that Govern it. You may say the law of randomness, however even that is govern by laws and to top that, Energy is not random. So the question I ask is Where, Why, When, What, and who gave Energy it's Laws. For Me It's GOD.
      February 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      your key statement that makes everything above irrelevent is where you said "For Me It's GOD."
      that is what's called an assumption; you can not and have not proven god existance by trying to explain god as in the context of energy. if god was energy then it wouldn't have a conscience to be able to mold anything in the physical world.

      February 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      WASP-God is Light.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      WASP- What are you Guys smoking what do you think you are (E=McSquare), you are Energy. Before you make your statements think.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  13. Wayne

    @Mike
    " I would like to point out that the topic was "burden of proof" not "which sect is correct". And as I mentioned, from my perspective the burden of proof ALWAYS falls on those who have or seemingly have the most to lose...and in this case it certainly isn't Christians."

    You want to shift the burned of proof because you know that you don't have any.

    How normal people brains work:

    Wayne: I have a baseball

    Mike: No you don't

    Wayne: Yes i do (shows baseball)

    Mike : Ok you do have a baseball.

    How fundy Christians brains work

    Mike:I have a baseball

    Wayne: No you don't

    Mike: You can't prove that i don't!!!!!

    Do you see the difference?

    February 10, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  14. False Dichotomy

    A Gallup Poll found that 47% of the public denies evolution. A People for the American Way Poll found that 48% of the public could not choose the correct definition of evolution from a list.

    Hmmmm, wonder if those represent the same groups of people? Ya think?!

    Sounds like the people here. Why is it always the ones who don't have a clue as to what evolution is that feel they are the most qualified to declare it untrue?

    February 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  15. Prayer is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Prayer dulls your senses.
    Prayer makes you post really stupid shit.
    Prayer makes you hoard cats.
    Prayer makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Prayer wastes time.

    February 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  16. Jesus>>Darwin

    Darwin's theory is based on the proposed non-existence of counter examples to slow and gradual processes. Not all general evolution processes are slow and gradual, but the real question relates to whether or not this is true for what Darwin referred to as "living systems". If a counter example were to be found, the theory would be false. I proclaim that the theory is indeed false because you can't make this type of broad sweeping statement for all "living systems".

    February 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • momoya

      How's it going, Bumper?

      February 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post incorporates both a False Dilemma fallacy and a fallacy of Willful Ignorance.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  17. Mike

    Wasp...heh, heh, are you sure you want an answer from a deluded schizophrenic? I'll answer your question but first I would like to point out that the topic was "burden of proof" not "which sect is correct". And as I mentioned, from my perspective the burden of proof ALWAYS falls on those who have or seemingly have the most to lose...and in this case it certainly isn't Christians. Now if you think you have nothing to lose, it would still be ridiculous to assume that the burden of proof falls on Christians for we would lose absolutely nothing by being wrong. But how evil and callous would I have to be, to be totally unconcerned about a world full of people who are going to spend an eternity without a moment of love or joy or peace because they have chosen to reject the literal source of all love, joy and peace? So while I have nothing whatsoever to lose by doing nothing, MY motivation is to keep people from losing everything...for Christ said, "what can a person give in exchange for their soul?". Even if you are punished lightly in hell as Christ said some will be...you have the most to lose. What is YOUR motivation for trying to convince Christians that Jesus was not the Son of God and that they are wrong? I suspect that it is based on fear of losing your soul and pride of wanting to appear right. I would LOVE to be wrong about hell because from what I have experienced, I would not wish that place on Hitler himself.

    As to which sect is correct you first have to understand the difference between Christianity and EVERY other religion. Every other religion is manmade and thus the ultimate end can be attained by MAN. If the ultimate end is nervana or whatever, it can be attained by man working and trying to attain it...good works. Christianity, which stems from an extraterrestrial God, is the only religion which points out that man CANNOT attain the ultimate end...which in this case is an eternity with Christ, the source of all love, joy and peace. Every religion except Christianity says that eternal joy can be achieved by what a person does. The God of heaven and earth says that people's works are as "filthy rags" and they count for nothing without Jesus Christ. In other religions, "works" count for salvation, while in Christianity only Christ can provide it. If there were a being called Lucifer, what better way would he have to confuse people and lead them away from Christ, than to create many other religions and "ways" to God, when he well knows that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ his son? Our "works" are based on our pride and that's why they are worthless and Satan has done his job well to hide that fact. We are so deceived that we even think pride can be a good thing, but according to God it is NEVER good. I'm ok, you're ok is the message of this world, when in fact just the opposite is true...I'm not ok and you're not ok without Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

    Now what about sects within Christianity itself? Well, some are clearly not based on God's word, the Bible. As for the others, how do they know which is correct?...........The answer is, it isn't that important. Differences within Christianity began early on and if they confused the basic gospel message of salvation through Christ, then the Bible seems to have identified the various people involved and addressed the issue. But differences have continued. If they confuse the gospel message then it's not hard to see that they are clearly wrong as they were 2000 years ago. But if differences in doctrine do not confuse the gospel message, then God seems content to allow these differences in perspective and interpretation to continue, even if they lead to various denominations. WHY?.....Because he uses them. God allows Christians to have different viewpoints because their is no better way on earth to rid Christians of our pride, than to have us discuss humbly our different theological perspectives. And trust me, there is no better way to get a Christians pride raised, than to have another Christian say, "you're wrong". God is quite simply more concerned with weeding pride out of a Christians life than he is with having all Christians know every last detail of the truth. Because if we knew it all, then there would never be any disagreement among Christians and thus no way for us to learn to let our pride die. The apostle Paul himself said "for now we see through a glass darkly"...and that's why. But for Christians however, that will not always be the case.

    February 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      from my perspective the burden of proof ALWAYS falls on those who have or seemingly have the most to lose..

      -Thank heavens you're not in charge of our justice system. If you ever get wrongly accused of a crime, I'm guessing you'll take a different tone.

      Wow.

      February 9, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Blind CS

      @ Mike:

      It is true that other religions teach that you can merit salvation through "Good Works". Unfortunately, Catholics believe this BS too.

      The only way to Heaven is through Christ, and him alone. Other religions are searches for the truth, but Jesus arrived on the scene and proclaimed to be the truth.

      February 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • mike

      @facepalm...If i'm ever falsely accused of a crime and the evidence points in my direction...then the burden of proof WILL fall upon me whether I like it or not.

      February 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • momoya

      @mike

      In the US, the legal system has the burden of proof; they are the ones claiming that you committed a crime. The burden of proof (the task of proving) ALWAYS is the responsibility of the person making the claim. When you claim the existence of a magical being, you must prove it.

      Take real estate for example. Suppose I wanted to sell you a large property, but you weren't absolutely sure that I had legal rights to do so. Would you have to prove that I don't have the rights, or would I have to prove that I do have the rights? If i am claiming that I have the real estate, I would have to prove to you my claim. Simple. Prove your claims, if you want to be taken seriously.

      February 9, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Mike

      @ momoya...In your example, I agree...you would have to prove your right to seel it. But you also would have the most to lose. I would lose nothing by not proving your right, while you would lose income by not selling it and quite possibly legal repercussions by not being able to prove your right. Thus, you would have the most to lose. I agree that our justice system is supposed to be innopcent until PROVEN quilty but I'm not sure it always works that way.

      February 10, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • WASP

      ok mike, let me get this correct......you're saying that only christians have this whole after life thing correct? burden of proof? for what there is no god. your own faith used the same ploy to convense the norse there wasn't a thor. they went and chopped down his tree which is equal to me burning down your church. when thor didn't strike down the missionarys they looked at the norse and said where is your god now? as far as the sects.........again. which one is correct? i grew up southern baptist the whole fire and bremstone thing. women couldn't do as a man in my church.....but i know in a lutheran church i went to they wore make up and smoked outside. and let's see catholics don't believe in contreceptives or abortion but other christian sects premit it or avoid the topic. so which sect has it correct? not to metion i watched my congregation fire their preacher of so many years and hire a softer spoken more liberal preacher, so how do you know the man holding that book shouting at you is guiding you to heaven? if you need some book to tell you how to be a good person, to guide you in helping others then you have issues..... i've seen more hypocrites in the guize of being religious then i've ever seen on the outside. you look down your nose and profess that i have something to lose, i do i have time i lose everytime i have to stop and bat away a religious person that feels it's their god given right to stick their nose into my life; or tell me and my government how we should think and act. now on to the topic at hand: again without your book there wouldn't be the idea of god. like i challenged you before without using scripture prove god, i didn't say prove him through math or science i said just prove that he exists wihtout using a single word from your "holy book". you can't prove something that isn't there. the bible tells you god exists, a science book doesn't tell you that, you can't find god in the mourning paper....the only place your "god" and belief comes from is a book written and re-written and elected on by a group of men that you don't know what their motives were. so until you answer my challenge seeing you stated you could prove god without scripture to a child, then prove him to me. it's that simple, i can prove the wind to you and you can't see it, so prove your god to me. simple right?

      February 10, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • WASP

      @mike: how is your religion not man-made? your book is printed by man, it was assembled by man, it is interrpeted by man, it is killed for by man. there are multiple versions of your religion and it's holy book made by man. you have mormon, jewish, catholic, protestant, non-dominational......all sects made by man. the king of england didn't agree with the catholic pope on divorce so he made the church of england, your "religion" is nothing but a grouping of man-made declarations.
      About Judaism – Origins and Values
      Judaism is the oldest religion in all senses of the word. Before the birth of Judaism, there were only pagan religions.
      :http://www.convertingtojudaism.com/judaism.htm
      so catholics came after jewish faith, then protestants, mormon, so each of your religions were created by man otherwise all christians would be jewish.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Mike

      @ Wasp..."you look down your nose and profess that i have something to lose..." I look down my nose at you? No I do not. I would never consider such a thing, because i am well aware that if there is any person on this earth who is lacking in intelligence and ability...it is me. I do however, feel you have something to lose...your soul...and i simply do not want to see you lose it.

      February 10, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • WASP

      @mike: ok i have a soul to lose and you're such a caring, loving christian that you want to save it. ok then prove such a thing exists. the body is driven by electrical impulses sent through the body to control everything from breathing to other bodily functions. so what part of the body is the soul?

      February 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  18. Blind CS

    Evolution is not like stair steps. Quit using that lame analogy.

    February 9, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Q

      Depends on the scale and which forms of physical evidence you're looking at. The fossil record, when looking at the finest scale of morphologic change (i.e. species to species transitions), does display a stair step pattern, i.e. punctuated equilibrium. This patterning dominates though not exclusively when looking at species level transitions. The stair step analogy results from a period of general morphological stasis (though with significant variation around a mean over time) with intermittent branching of new species. Given the relative time frames of stasis (~4-5 million yrs) and the appearance of a daughter species (occurring within ~10-100K yrs), the observable pattern of morphological change is vertical stasis with horizontal adaptive radiations. This pattern is contrasted to general gradualism which would produce slanted vertical lines between species.

      However, if one examines the process at a larger scale (i.e. say over 50-100 million yrs), then the steps smooth out reflecting a relatively gradual process. Take a look at the following photo:

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b5/Snofru%27s-Red-Pyramid.jpg

      From a distance (i.e. from a larger scale) you see gradual slopes leading to the top. But if you look much closer (i.e. a finer scale), you can see the slope is comprised of discrete steps.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • WASP

      i guess your called blind for a reason. lame is getting on a blog that is having a rather nice religious discussion and putting out a one liner. "Evolution is not like stair steps. Quit using that lame analogy."
      really that's the best you could come up with? you couldn't have come up with perhaps a better analogy? if you wish to debate then debate,but bring points and facts not gibberish.
      @Q: very nicely put and i was using that analogy as an example for the change between speices over time from one level of exsitance to the next more complicated leading to humans........and whatever happens to come after us.

      February 10, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      There really is no such thing as a nice religious discussion.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • WASP

      @JD: there is such thing as a nice religious discussion. i know i'm not going to change your mind and i hope you know with such weak points you can't change mine. i merely get on here to debate and see how well people can hold up their side of the debate. i have learned a few new things and new ways to explain what i already knew. so to me this has been nothing but a nice lill debate. i don't result to name calling or other juevenile manners of behaviour when someone doesn't agree with me or refuses to give me my way. i merely move on to the next topic or point or to another person that is more willing to enjoy debating without getting offended. if i state i believe someone needs to seek help then i truly believe that person needs help. i.e. seeing things that aren't there isn't normal and does indicate some kind of borderline psychosis.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  19. Jesus>>Darwin

    Two Points:

    1) There actually is (or was) a real Santa Claus. He lived in what is now Asia Minor. He was a Christian and very charitable towards the poor.

    2) Yes, you can't prove a negative. This is the reason why the Darwin's theory of evolution does not pan out.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • momoya

      We might not be able to conclusively prove a negative, but, in some cases, the "negative" can be shown as the best possible inference. But that has nothing to do with evolution, which is proven fact.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post contains two instances of the Red Herring fallacy.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • WASP

      yes there once was a "santa-ish" fellow. however he doesn't resemble the fat,rosey cheeked, jolly guy we have today. do some more research on the history of santa. as for your second point, i will explain it how i explained it to others. evolution is a process of adaptation. some adaptations work, others do not. look into sicile cell anema, it is an adaptation to malaria in fetal children. there are countless other human adaptations that if they become a dominate trait will either help or hinder humans. to use an anology "if evolution was a staircase, adaptation would be the steps."

      February 9, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      @WASP

      Evolution itself, is a very general concept and NOT like stair steps. Giving Darwin credit for evolution as a general concept, is like saying that he invented breathing. Like I said, it does not pan out because it is based on proving a negative. By the way, the term you reference is called sickle cell anemia.

      I agree that the modern santa does not resemble the original Christian santa that lived in Asia Minor. The modern santa is pagan influenced. The real santa did not have reindeer or drop down chimneys.

      February 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Like I said, it does not pan out because it is based on proving a negative."
      How is Evolution based on proving a negative?

      February 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      Because it's based on the proposed non-existence of counter examples to slow and gradual processes. Not all general evolution processes are slow and gradual, but the real question relates to whether or not this is true for what Darwin referred to as "living systems". If a counter example were to be found, the theory would be false. I proclaim that the theory is indeed false because you can't make this type of broad sweeping statement for all "living systems".

      February 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • WASP

      @JD: re-read my statement.....i said "evolution is a staircase, adaptation would be the steps." so your statement is off. so let me get this correct, instead of gradual chage over time you believe that things just pop into existance as a fully formed creature? ok so does that mean you believe that a lizard can give birth to a snake seeing they are both reptiles and snakes came after lizards? if you ever find a dead snake take a look they have hip bones. explain how god missed that among others.

      February 10, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • *facepalm*

      1. Yes, Santa Claus is based on a real person. But he was a normal person with no magical powers. But over time, his legend grew and certain god-like attributes were attributed to him. Kinda like Jesus.

      2. Yes, you can't prove a negative. Let's say I have an empty jar of cookies. It's quite easy to prove the negative 'there are no cookies in that jar'. What you can't prove is non-falsifiable hypothesis. But since evolution is actual science, the hypothesis is falsifiable. Saying that it somehow isn't, doesn't make it so. It only exposes your own ignorance.

      February 10, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • WASP

      now where in any of my statements JD did i exclusively give credit to charles darwin for the theory of evolution? he started with an idea and used the galpogos islands to prove his theory....if he would have used the amazon instead he would have had an easier time with examples. many new and amazing discoveries have buitl on to and improved his first idea. it's kind of like thomas edison, he refused to let nicholi tesla use his light bulb during a lighting event so tesla made his own,improving on edison's original design. that is what science and the persuit of knowledge is about improving on what we already know. religion is about the past always about the past, it doesn't move forward unless great minds force it to change and evolve. the church has a strong stance before about women being priests, now there isn't just women priests but there is even a lesbian priest. kind of cool how the church changes...when it's in their best interest.

      February 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Jessu>>Darwin,
      Ah, welcome back @Bumper, I thought that might be you, e.g. "counter examples", "living systems", always Darwin never evolution, etc.

      Darwin, not the Modern Synthesis, by the way, presented his theory along with some evidence to back it up. In addition to that he also provided a way to falsify his theory, i.e. an example of non-evolvable forms in the fossil record. He did not however, 'base his theory on the non-existence of counter examples.' That is the same as claiming a tiger repellant works based on the lack of tigers in the immediate area, even if the area is Antarctica. (I think that's the classic example.)

      Darwin based his theory on the evidence of his observations, some of which he got on his trip on the Beagle, such as domestic animals and husbandry, specimens from the Galopogos (http://darwinspigeons.com/#/darwin-spec-photo-gallery/4533493003), and fossils (http://www.smh.com.au/world/science/darwins-fossils-found-forgotten-for-165-years-20120117-1q4mf.html).

      February 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  20. Blind CS

    But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!
    Job 19:25-27

    February 8, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      Amen!
      Praise God!
      I know that my Redeemer lives!

      February 8, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Root post is an instance of the Willed Ignorance fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#H6

      February 9, 2012 at 1:18 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.