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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 • Evangelical • Science

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soundoff (6,504 Responses)
  1. Blind CS

    Hosea 14:4,7

    February 17, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • preacherman

      Deuteronomy 23:1
      (This one's very important)

      February 17, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Nonimus

      Lamentations 3:22 word 15 (NIV)

      February 17, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  2. momoya

    Dear god, why are so many of your followers stupid AND arrogant? ....oh, right.... they're following your example... never mind

    February 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      You are not who you say you are.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • cbinal

      Dear Charles Darwin, why are you're followers so stupid and arrogant? OH that's right you can't hear me, you're dead and gone to Hell.

      February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  3. Jesus>>Darwin

    @WASP

    With 100% certainty, I know more about both science and theology than you will EVER know in this lifetime and the age to come.

    The Universe is both finite in age and size. This is one of the reasons why atheists should be shuttering in their boots.

    For example, if you blow up a balloon, it is possible to measure the size of the balloon at any given time, even though it is expanding. The fact that the universe is expanding, does not mean that is not finite!!! Expanding does not equate to infinite!!! Who taught your science class. Please fire the teacher!!

    The rest of your questions are rubbish and don't require a response.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • WASP

      @JD: hmmm let me assert this, i call your bluff. you know almost nothing on science or the physical world for that matter. a balloon has a limited capacity to inflat. now taking space it has no limit. as far as my other questions you avoid them due to yet again you can't answer them, or you're afraid to answer them because it will put you in a situation to have to question your own beliefs in a man made religion. we can measure the distance to the farthest stars by the light they emit, light has a set speed and can thus be used to measure distance. your belief in a imaginary friend is nice, until your ignorance shines through.

      February 17, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • WASP

      @JD: here as always is my challenge.....prove god without using religious text. oh yeah you can't because everything you place your faith in is inside that book. if you have such a superior understanding of everything around us, then please chose on topic from anything in science that has been discussed on this blog and do educate me. i have provided countless links where information could be found; backed up my statements with known knowledge and presented it in a friendly debate fashion. you haven't provided anything of knowledge based material because all you know is myth. it has nothing to do with the world around us, it all has to do with an invisible world that only the chosen of god can see.....i had one of those imaginary worlds as a child then i grew up. so please go back through this blog and chose anything,then educate me as you are so much smarter then i am.

      February 17, 2012 at 6:58 am |
  4. False Dichotomy

    Seems like God keeps having to move. Long ago he was on the mountaintop, until we explored the mountain. Then we put him in the sky, until we learned that beyond the sky is space. Then he was out in space, until we learned that beyond space is more space. Now the apologists and the commentators here would have him hiding outside the universe, at least until we discover what (if anything) is beyond that.

    That's the problem with the "God of the gaps." Even theologians see the problem of God getting ever smaller and farther away as these gaps in our knowledge become filled. The Garden of Eden story is one of the truer allegories in the bible – knowledge is indeed the enemy of faith. No wonder the religious try so hard to suppress it.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Chad

      Where exactly are you getting that nonsense from?

      Long ago, God existed before the universe was created, so He initially existed completely outside our time and space – Genesis
      In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – Genesis

      God will ultimately dwell among us
      " And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God." – Revelation

      February 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @Chad: You're thinking too small. It's not all about your particular god. People believed in gods long before Genesis was written. Traditionally, many early gods were on mountaintops (e.g., Mount Olympus. Exodus echoes that tradition by sending Moses up there to talk with God, remember? Old Testament stories have people going off to the middle of nowhere to talk to Him. Even Jesus went to the "wilderness"). Other stories have God talking down from "the heavens" (why are heavens plural? just how many of those are there, anyway?). Now you and Blind CS and J>>D are attempting all these philosophical gymnastics to put God safely outside of the universe (something the writers of the Bible had absolutely no concept of. This is an example of your post hoc attempts to twist ancient mythology to fit modern reality).

      Our location for God is forced to change through time. He is continually relocated in order to explain away the obvious fact that there is absolutely no trace of him to be found. The Christian God is not the first, you know, there have been thousands before him, and billions of humans who believed in those gods with the same certainty that you do. It's all generally the same, it's just that the larger our worldview becomes, the farther we have to reach to find an unexplored place to pretend he lives.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      And just for the record, when you say "Long ago, God existed before the universe was created, so He initially existed completely outside our time and space – Genesis" – that is NOT Genesis, that is CHAD.

      This is Genesis,
      In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – Genesis

      You added the modern perspectives on the "universe" "time" and "space" even they are concepts taught to you by the same modern science you would like to undermine. The irony is that you have incorporated the concepts of modern science (which you are trying to dismiss) to help you find a new way to try to keep God undetectable.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "You're thinking too small. It's not all about your particular god. People believed in gods long before Genesis was written"

      =>LOL
      no.. you're backpedaling when someone presents facts contradicting your ridiculous assertion.

      Are you somehow now trying to claim that because there are many false gods, that somehow makes the God of Abraham not real?
      Lots of fake Elvis Presleys out there, does that mean there wasn't a real one? lol

      ==============
      @False Dichotomy "Exodus echoes that tradition by sending Moses up there to talk with God, remember? Old Testament stories have people going off to the middle of nowhere to talk to Him. Even Jesus went to the "wilderness"
      =>Indeed, God has met with man on a mountain, in the desert, on the sea, on a road to Damascus, in person (Jesus Christ), and ultimately now, the most personal interaction of dwelling in the hearts of regenerated Christians.

      how do those facts jive with your attempt at mythologizing the God of Abraham and somehow characterizing His interaction with humanity as reducing over time? Patently ridiculous.

      ==============
      @False Dichotomy "He is continually relocated in order to explain away the obvious fact that there is absolutely no trace of him to be found.
      =>Origin of the universe, fact that universe obeys laws, origin of life on earth, person of Jesus Christ..

      ==============
      @False Dichotomy "The Christian God is not the first, you know, there have been thousands before him, and billions of humans who believed in those gods with the same certainty that you do"
      =>see above on fake Elvis Presleys..

      lol

      February 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • Chad

      False Dichotomy "And just for the record, when you say "Long ago, God existed before the universe was created, so He initially existed completely outside our time and space – Genesis" – that is NOT Genesis, that is CHAD. You added the modern perspectives on the "universe" "time" and "space" even they are concepts taught to you by the same modern science you would like to undermine. The irony is that you have incorporated the concepts of modern science (which you are trying to dismiss) to help you find a new way to try to keep God undetectable."

      @Chad "funny stuff.. you are trying to argue that "the Heavens and the Earth" arent synonymous with "universe"? lol

      How about this then "Before anything was created, God existed. Then He created everything" – Genesis

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

      guess that covers it :-)

      February 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Nice to see you "LOL-ing" at every valid point. You sure do laugh a lot – at least you have managed to prove ignorance really is bliss.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  5. WASP

    @JD: here a few things you forgot to answer a few pages back, let me bring them back so you can answer them. @JD: ok now I know you have no understanding of physics, so let me explain. The universe isn't finite. It has no end due to the fact it is expanding at an increasing rate. I will give you the link as follows for this information.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/111004-nobel-prize-physics-universe-expansion-what-is-dark-energy-science/
    I believe most people are prone to listening to what a Nobel Prize winner has to say, then some blog-Vangelis.
    @JD: where in this statement do you see literal anything? " genesis 2:7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." then of course you have back in Genesis 1:26-27, which states “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; then it god said " Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them."
    So let me get this correct, god created us then created us again later in his book? And in genesis 2:7 he puts man first then female but in genesis 1:26 he created only man but in genesis 1:27 he went back and created us again alongside a female. So if I take this literally, god created three males, and one named Adam or named the fourth Adam, then created one female along with us then took from the rib of Adam to make eve......so he placed a total of 4 males and 2 females. So how can Adam and eve be taken as literal anything? No Adam, no eve, no sin, no god. now that is logic, if your very first story of our creation is as you say literal, then I believe your god forgot a few things, like how he created something then forgot he created it to just create it again.......February 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm
    o @blind cs: "I would just add that in the beginning, was God and God alone. He was outside of time and space." ok I would like to know what source outside the bible, seeing it is the thing in question, educated you on the fact that only god existed at the beginning of everything.
    o @blind: examples of delusional. Definition:1.a. The act or process of deluding.
    b. The state of being deluded.
    2. A false belief or opinion: labored under the delusion that success was at hand.
    3. Psychiatry A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.
    Examples of where you sound delusional "Blind CS
    If you ask him to remove a mountain and have complete faith in His ability to move the mountain and it is according to His divine will for the planet, the mountain will be removed. No problem.
    February 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm"
    Next example of where you sound delusional "Blind CS
    No, the point was that the event will happen if it is (b) what God has purposed for your life. In other words, His will for your life. God's will for your life gets played out based on the free will agency of your choices.
    February 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm"
    So in other words, god will do what he planned for you unless you will him to do what you want him to do with prayer? and even if pray you can't get him to what you want him to do if it's not in his plans for you......so basically you have no way of having any effect on god, or even getting him to do what you ask even if you do pray.

    now as i see from your most recent posts you are doing the whole shrinking back into your book for answers when it provides no answers that can be understood......as a whole. christian factions can't agree with each other on what those mix of words mean, much less agree on how to prove god. i have time and again challenged christians to prove god, just that simple thing when i take their bible away from them......i see the panick in their eyes; which i do enjoy by the way. you have gotten to that panick zone "Blind CS
    Yes YES! I am a Know-it-all !!
    The rest of you not in my religion can go to HELL!!
    February 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm |" bumper went the same route when he couldn't back up his claims of the all mighty. when presented with facts the ignorant react with violence.

    February 16, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      I answered you on page 69, why are you still telling us that no one can answer you,when you ask your questions.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      WASP- You LACK UNDERSTANDING.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • WASP

      @ken: ok you answered me with this "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
      1) my whole post was at JD not you
      2) if god is light then show me which particle of light or for that matter any part of the electro-magnetic spectrum that is "god"
      3) explain why in the first chapter of your book,genesis, god couldn't keep count of how many humans he created.
      4) telling me i don't have understanding, really i have walked quite a few of your bible thum.pers through the book they claim to know so well. i haven't claimed to understand god or know what he wants, that's the christians, i merely state that by viewing what i see around me which it was all created by humans including yourself that i don't see anyone i can blame other then humans for our problems......or give credit to something else for our achievements. it cheapens our acco.mplishments giving credit to something that didn't do anything.
      5)you are energy, made a true statement. your atoms have protons,neutrons and electrons. E=MC2 "But in everyday quanti.ties of matter there are a lot of atoms! For instance, in one kilogram of pure water, the mass of hydrogen atoms amounts to just slightly more than 111 grams, or 0.111 kg.
      Einstein's formula tells us the amount of energy this mass would be equivalent to, if it were all suddenly turned into energy. It says that to find the energy, you multiply the mass by the square of the speed of light, this number being 300,000,000 meters per second (a very large number):
      0.111 x 300,000,000 x 300,000,000
      = 10,000,000,000,000,000 Joules
      This is an incredible amount of energy! A Joule is not a large unit of energy ... one Joule is about the energy released when you drop a textbook to the floor. But the amount of energy in 30 grams of hydrogen atoms is equivalent to burning hundreds of thousands of gallons of gasoline!"

      http://www.worsleyschool.net/science/files/emc2/emc2.html

      so before you claim i don't have understanding, which if i don't understand something i study it or find a credible source to teach it to me. what i've seen of christians and their blind obedience to the bible has lead then to question nothing, understand even less and attack those that are trying to understand. where would the world be if all humans were christian and took christian mentality on things? we would still be dying from diseases that thanks to various fields of scientific study has improved the world.
      6) i merely keep the same glove in the ring, without religious text prove god; you don't have to prove him through math or science just give me one thing outside religious text that proves god.
      7) stating that a person that is on the opposite side of a debate is smoking something is not just juvenile but disrespectful to that person.
      8) god created adam and eve, then adam and eve created cain and able, so once adam and eve began producing offspring god stopped creating humans. he "created adam from dirt" and created "eve from adams' rib" now where is it today that god creates anything?

      February 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Kenrick Benjamin

      WASP-Like I told you, you lack understanding that's why you don't understand. AS for God is Light, We are all gods creation so pick a particle.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Kendrick Benjamin

      That's your reply?!? "See, I told you you didn't understand" It's what a muslim would tell you, and it's just as meaningful.

      February 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      Momoya- Help Wasp if you can or is it that you your self needs help because you believe Wasp but can't understand what understanding he needs to get.

      February 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • cbinal

      Ken – I understand. But I don't think they understand your understanding when you say do you understand. Understanding can only be understood when you understand what is being presented as understanding. Understand? Hehehe.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • cbinal

      Sorry – I couldn't help it – I just loved how many times the word understand was in this post.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • WASP

      @ken: you haven't explained anything to understand you keep on with the "god is light" "you don't understand" that is seriously the best you can do? i wrote out a whole page on where you don't understand and can't explain and all you keep doing is "no you don't have understanding" then please explain how god is light. explain it to me seeing you understand so well. then maybe i can understand how to ignore facts and remain ignorant in the face of knowledge like you so chose.

      February 17, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      Cbinal- Here is what Wasp and Momoya don't understand. I will presume we all did English 101, in English 101 we learn to read and write in a basic Format- Introduction, Body (paragraph 1,2,3) and Conclusion if possible foot notes. Here is his lack of understanding, use the same analogy when reading the Creation of Man. Here is a quick synopis.
      INTRODUCTION
      God said lets make man in our image, so God created Man, Male and Female he created them

      BODY
      Paragraph (1) God created man out of dust and breath into his nostrils the breathe of life and
      man became a living soul and place him in the Garden of Eden.

      Paragrapg (2) God created woman from man using his rib, as a companion and informed them
      to be fruitful multiply and replenish the Earth.

      Paragraph (3) Man and woman was naked and not ashamed

      Conclusion
      Man and woman broke God's commandment had children and die.

      FOOT Notes
      GENESIS chapter 1, verse 1 God created the Heavens and Earth
      GENESIS Chapter1, verse 2 to Chapter 2 God had the 7 days of creation with in the
      Earth.
      God did not create 4 Men and 2 Women. As For God is Light, How does WASP think
      Scientist is capable of seeing particles.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:23 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      WASP – God is Light means that God is energy as we know through science that energy is neither created or destroyed but transpose, because energy is transpose it has the ability to reverse its order, which is exactly what god does when he feels like it. That is why he can appear and disappare at will. When he created man her reverse the order of energy to a fixed state matter, making it impossible for us to do the same as he does. I hope this help.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • WASP

      @ken: here is where you don't understand.....you're cherrypicking and reordering the book of genesis. the passages in order go : genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness"
      1:27 So God created mankind in his own image,
      in the image of God he created them;
      male and female he created them.
      genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."
      genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man."
      here is another thing you can explain to me, why is it better to be ignorant?
      genesis 2:17 "but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
      so god created man and woman, 1:27, then he created man from dirt ch2:7, then ch2:21he created woman again from man. i think i have a pretty decent understanding of math he created quite a few humans. ch2:17 he tells man, if you eat of the tree of knowledge......" god tells man he will learn of good and evil, why is that a bad thing? you don't have free will if you are kept ignorant.

      February 17, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • WASP

      @ken: forgot a part genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” so he did create man and woman in genesis 1:27 because he is talking to both of them about the world and it's creatures.

      February 17, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      WASP- Why is that such a bad thing, look at the wrold and answer your own question.

      February 17, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      WASP- You seem to be a person who have redd alot of books. What are the Format for every book you have redd. Mind you the creation of Man by God in itself is a Book.

      February 17, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • WASP

      @ken: "kenrick Benjamin
      WASP- Why is that such a bad thing, look at the wrold and answer your own question"
      i answer that question everyday. the answer i find is our own fault, humans cause pain and suffering,but humans also have the ability to heal and build. divisions caused by held beliefs have caused more death and destruction then anything else known to man. one group yells at another group "i'm better than you, my god is greater than yours', you're impeeding my beliefs." then after all the saber rattling the sabers come out and people die. it's the way of the world, humans are violent,ignorant, stubborn animals.....and we owe an apology to the animals for insulting them by calling ourselves animals; atleast they don't create war or kill each other over differences of opinion. in science we are all equal, all hom.osapieon so if we are all equal by scienctific defintion then what reason would we have to kill each other? none what so ever.
      2)yes i have read a lot of books and enjoy the thrill of pursueing knowledge. i have dedicated my life to learning and educating myself on as much as i can get my hands on. the format i've read for most books leaving out epics ofcourse, it starts at the beginning explaining how things got started then moves though the rising action, to the climax desending action conclusion. in the very first book of the bible; genesis god,mind you using a plural for himself, creates man and woman tells them to populate the world, then in the second chapter of genesis again creates man from earth and woman from man. so he created twice seeing he speeks to the first creation and gives them instructions, then continues to create the earth as we know it creates man from earth places him in eden then creates woman because the animals weren't good enough company. the aurthur of the bible repeats the openning twice about how people were created. if i went page by page as everyone reads any normal novel of instructive literature you would find many things not in their correct sequence or repeated or even worse contridicted by a passage futher a head in the reading material. if god influenced man to write not one but two novels about him, ot-nt, then he made obvious mistakes in trying to hand humans an instruction manuel that doesn't go from step one to step two...........any novel would not even make it to print if it was structured as the bible was assembled and believe me it was assembled seeing all knowledge was voted on what would and wouldn't be included in the bible.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      Wasp- I see you have answer your own question, wasp why would God use our if he is talking about himself only, this is why I say you lack understanding.

      February 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • kenrick Benjamin

      WASP- Just curious have you ever study the Bible, not read it but really study the Bible.

      February 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • kenrick Benjami

      WASP- It was all good enjoy your day, ha,ha,ha,HA, have a nice weekend.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • WASP

      @ken: thanks my weekend was lovely. hope yours was as well.
      2) the whole "in our own imagine" would make more sence if it read "the gods said let us make man in our own imagine" plus on your comment pertaining to i answered my own question; you lost me. i said i answer my own question as far as the stupidity of humans everyday because we have killed each other throughtout history for no true reason at all. religion, land, expanding empires, you name it we will kill for it. mind you religion is leading the pack on causing death.

      February 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  6. Miss Peach

    Why can’t religious people just keep their delusional disorder to themselves and let normal people who have progressed a bit further in our evolutiona­ry developmen­t just get on with our own lives without the constant and persistent bombardmen­t of compulsory doses of what they thing is good for us. We need mutual respect for each other's belief.

    It is becoming increasing­ly impossible to escape the unavoidabl­e and persistent RELIGIOUS POP UPS in our daily lives; you turn on the TV and it’s there, you switch on the radio and it’s there.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      God created you and has a will for your life. You are not evolving, but living according to his divine plan. Now shut up and go to bed, now!

      February 16, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • WASP

      @peach: it's their need to feel special and superior to those that don't believe that drives them to mettle in our lives. atheists have tried to do billboards, commercials, etc. i live in nyc, last year an athiest group wanted to put up posters, same as how the christians do, it read" # of new yorkers are good without god, are you?" the christian groups caused such an out cry of infringing on their space that the atheist group was given a short display time and very few display areas; however the may 21st end of the world christian nutt was given almost unlimited space and his posters were up for months after his interpetation of the bible was proven wrong.
      @JD: ok so you've resulted to the playground tactics" nah uh you're wrong i'm right because i say so". how very christian of you. you can't back up your position in this debate with any acknowledgible facts so you have hit that same wall as all religious zealots, it's called frustration JD. nothing in your book can be proven.........well prove correct that is.

      February 16, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • cbinal

      It's called freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

      @Wasp – nothing can be proven? You obviously aren't talking historical facts because the Bible is full of them.

      February 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • WASP

      @cbinal: ok where is your book historically accurate? it has a few places and names thrown inside it but so does:
      Bhagavad Gita
      Bahai Texts
      Bible
      Buddhist Texts
      Christian Fathers
      Confucian Texts
      Corpus Hermeticu.m
      Dead Sea Scrolls
      Divrei Torah
      Enuma Elish
      Ethiopian Texts
      The Egyptian Book of the Dead
      Gnostic Texts
      Hindu Texts
      Islamic Texts
      Jain Texts
      1st and 2nd Books of Jeu
      Mormon Texts (Church of Jesus Christ)
      Nag Hammadi Texts
      Old Testament Apocrypha
      Old Testament Pseudepigrapha
      Pistis Sophia
      New Testament Apocryphal Acts
      New Testament Apocryphal Apocalypse
      New Testament Apocryphal Gospels
      Taoist Texts
      Sepher Yetzirah
      Shinto Texts
      Sikh Texts
      Tibetan Book of the D.ead
      Urantia Book
      Zen Texts
      Zoroastrian Texts

      the almost any other decent work of fiction. it lends an air of reality to a story that is false. let's also go over the fact that your own book doesn't tell you the whole story. you're missing 30 years of jesus' life not to mention when it was put together parts were elected to be left out of the holy book. how can you have a full story with only a minor amount of the book? without knowing the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the story is a lie....men decided long ago what you were to know and what they thought you didn't need to know. if you go to the vatican where most knowledge of the bible is kept you can only access what they tell you that you can access.....well no freedom of religion or speech there seeing they control what you know so they can control what you say.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      The story of Godzilla is set in Tokyo. Tokyo exists, therefore Godzilla is historically accurate.

      February 17, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • cbinal

      @Wasp. "without knowing the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the story is a lie." Wow. So, by your own reasoning then your story of Evolution is a lie because you guys admit you don't know the whole truth. Ignorance I can deal with, stupidity I can't. No historical evidence at all in the Bible? The entire books of Kings and Chronicles is about the Jewish Kings and the things that happened in their time. Nineveh was said for centuries to have never existed, just a myth, and people declared the Bible wrong about that – until Ninevah was uncovered in the 1800s and proved to be exactly as the Bible descriibed. They even found a temple dedicated to Jonah. Jericho, the same thing, just as the Bible described. Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans, all kinds of historical evidence. As you tell us – just ignoring evidence doesn't make ours a myth and your true.

      February 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @cbinal: The point here is that things can be based in history, but that does not const.itute evidence that every single part of it is true. Even if we ignore Godzilla, along the whole modern genre of historical fiction, it is demonstrably true of ancient texts as well.

      Homers Iliad and Odyssey are based upon many real people and places. Archaeological research even verified the existence of Troy in modern day Turkey. That does not, however, in any way prove the literal truth of cyclops, Scylla and Charybdis, Poseidon, or Zeus. Demonstrating that a book contains some references to real places and events does not prove that every claim in the book is reliable.

      February 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • WASP

      @cbinal: again really? ok again......where in my statement or any statement did i say that any area of scientific study claims to know everything. that is why we say we don't know and it's the truth. religion claims to know and have answers to everything, thus yeah by my own words the bible along with every other religous work is a lie because they all claim to be accurate and know how everything came to be. science studys, tests and retests. we argue and challenge each other to prove us wrong so we can learn and progress forward. religion challenges only what is a threat to it's exsitance, a person that questions religion kind of like galileo ends up getting prosecuted for it. this whole world everyone lives in has been created due to science and the pursuit of knowledge. so i am thankful people did ignore religion to make the world a better place.

      February 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bizarre

      cbinal,

      In Leviticus the Lord told Moses how to treat and cure leprosy. It's the dangedest, silliest hokum that you'd ever want to read. That was the LORD speaking, cbinal, how dare anyone doubt it and search for a better treatment?!

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+14&version=NIV

      February 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  7. Jesus>>Darwin

    Many of those whose bodies lie dead will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.
    Daniel 12:2

    Go your way until the end...At the end of days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.
    Daniel 12:9, 13

    February 16, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  8. Honest Hal

    I'm not a religious person & I find it increasing­ly annoying that religion is rearing it's ugly head again.

    Having said that, I have absolutely no objections to anyone holding whatever religious belief they choose, as long as it remains private and not foisted on others.

    Public life should be devoid of religion and religious interferen­ce, and I really feel strongly about religious schools being promoted as somehow better for the next generation­.

    So, this is a golden opportunit­y for that much-vault­ed, level playing field we hear so much about, but can rarely nail down..!!

    Let's have an end to religion seeping back into everyday life; and when I say religion, I mean all religions. I don't want bishops, rabbis or mullahs ranting on about hellfire and damnation & inflicting their beliefs onto others.

    Many of us have evolved in our thinking; we don't need the threat of dire consequenc­es from a mythical being – we know what's wrong and what's right – it's called being a civilised, sensible and law-abidin­g human being.

    So let's leave behind the mumbo-jumb­o, the priesthood­s and the promise of better things at sometime in the future.

    After all, religion and fundamenta­l religious people only bring conflict, division, death and destructio­n to the world – it has been the cause of so many deaths in the world, it's time to grow up and be independen­t of this nonsense.

    ..but I don't if others want to continue to believe – just don't inflict it on me..

    February 16, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      You exist to glorify God and to make disciples for Jesus Christ.

      February 16, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      J>>D, I think that's sort of what he meant by inflicting....

      February 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  9. Amy Bluebird

    I meet people, some I like, some not so much. The people I meet are from across the spectrum of colours and of many races yet this never affects how I formulate my opinion. I measure people by how they treat me and my kin.
    Religion seems to be about driving people to do something they don't really want to do based on fiction and the threat of damnation in an afterlife that has never been proven to exist.
    Frankly, once I have breathed my last, I will not give a jot for what happens to my decomposin­g corpse.

    February 16, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Jesus>>Darwin

      You should not be concerned about your rotting corpse, but where is your Spirit going to hide from judgement?

      February 16, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • momoya

      Right on, Amy.

      @Cheeses>>Fartsinwind. Prove the existence of "soul" and/or "spirit" and we'll reconsider.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • cbinal

      I'm trying to think of all of those things my religion "makes me do" that I don't want to do. Hmmm, let's see Love my neighbor – nope, umm, give to the poor -nope, umm, take care of widows and orphans – nope, umm. Maybe it's "tells me not to do what I really want to do", let's see I had all I wanted to drink last night – none, so nope, ummm murder – nope don't want to do that, umm steal – nope don't want to do that, umm commit adultry – nope I love and respect my wife don't do that. I can't think of anything I'm being forced to do or not do, but I still get all the benefits of a Loving God.... boy, I guess I'm sorry I share that with people who don't have it.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • cbinal

      OH and by the way Amy, Christians don't care what happens to their rotting corpse either.

      February 16, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      cbinal, one thing it makes you do is become a personal and political force against the very science that in all likelihood made it possible for you and your wife to live beyond 30 years, and perhaps the very science that could save yours or a loved one's life (if it hasn't already). People fighting basic science in our society and in our education systems do harm to themselves and to us all. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but it's simply true.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "cbinal, one thing it makes you do is become a personal and political force against the very science that in all likelihood made it possible for you and your wife to live beyond 30 years, and perhaps the very science that could save yours or a loved one's life (if it hasn't already). People fighting basic science in our society and in our education systems do harm to themselves and to us all. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but it's simply true."

      =>utter and complete nonsense.
      I have complete faith in your ability to find a select few Christians that reject medical treatments and incur death as a result, I also have complete faith in your ability to ignore the remaining 99.99% of the 2billion Christians world wide that take advantage of every possible medical treatment available while at the same time praying for healing.

      At the exact same time you are cherry picking to make an erroneous point, I have complete faith in your ability to ignore the few atheist crazies (like peter sellers for example) that seek treatment from witch doctors. Are we now allowed to paint you with that same brush the way you paint Christians?

      You should read the Gospel of Luke, and the Book of Acts, both written by the physician Luke.

      On other fronts, the "science" that is rejected by Christians, is the absurd notion that something can materialize from nothing just due to a random collision of molecules (origin of the universe, origin of life on this earth). What kind of intellectualism refuses to look at something due to the implications of acknowledging it's existence?

      Your assertion is plainly ridiculous.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      @Chad: I never said anything about cbinal or anyone else refusing medical treatments. You're thinking too small again. Much modern medical research is based on both the as.sumptions and discoveries of evolution (such as infectious disease, antibiotics, cancer, etc – don't try to nitpick me on each of these. Go out and learn something for yourself if you don't believe me). For that matter, many treatments and diagnostic techniques rely on the same atomic theory that allows us to date the age of the earth. By fighting against science and science education you all are responsible for stifling the advances in medical research that might even save yourselves.

      Medical research is just one example. All science is connected (that's what's cool about the whole "cu.mulative knowledge" thing). There is not a different "science" for evolution than there is for contagious disease, nor a different science for your microwave than there is for radiometric dating. Your religious beliefs are just fine for you, but they're not just fine when they hold us all back.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "Much modern medical research is based on both the as.sumptions and discoveries of evolution (such as infectious disease, antibiotics, cancer, etc "
      @Chad "absolute utter nonsense and here is why, they rely on the fact that genetic mutations are relatively commonplace.
      HOWEVER Mutation alone, or mutation combined with natural selection, IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM demonstrates that life on earth progressed from the first life form to it's current state by a series of random events.
      As demonstrated time and time again, supernatural intervention was required to direct the creation of fish, land animals, birds and humans.

      Atheists love to say that since genetic mutations occur, then hey-shazaam that demonstrates anything is possible. Which is nonsense – see fossil record.

      Atheists just love to claim that all Christians believe the earth is 6000 years old, that genetic mutation is a myth and that we dont believe in science. That is absolute utter nonsense.

      February 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Calling something utter nonsense doesn't make it so. Putting your fingers in your ears and squeezing your eyes shut and saying "is not, is not, is not!" is just pathetic. Why fight so hard to rationalize and protect ignorance? It's an ignoble and futile battle. I can't help it if you refuse to understand. There is not time nor room on this webpage for me or anyone else to provide you with a proper science education. You have every right to be angry that you didn't get one in the first place, but you can only blame yourself and others like you who fight so hard to keep our schools and our society dumbed down.

      February 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Chad

      When it comes to the things that scientists cant explain (how life originated, how the universe originated, why the universe obeys laws), atheist scientists want Christians to join with them in repeating the atheist answer algorithm, and we refuse to.
      Atheists attempt to take a refusal to partake in the atheist algorithm as a rejection of the entire discipline.. Which is of course nonsense.

      February 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  10. Blind CS

    Yes YES! I am a Know-it-all !!
    The rest of you not in my religion can go to HELL!!

    February 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • WASP

      @blind cs: i think you're going the way of bumper. he shouted the samething at all of us before he disappeared in a puff of fire and brim stone. lol

      February 16, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Nonimus

      I'm thinking that Blind CS, Bumper, and Jesus>>Darwin are all the same person.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  11. Blind CS

    momoya:

    From a science perspective, atheism does imply "something" for "nothing".

    You can't wiggle your way out of this or soften your position by stating that you are really an agnostic atheist.

    Agnosticism is debunked by the first scripture in the Bible :Genesis 1:1.

    It's impossible to feign intellectual honesty when you've already seen the answer to the question: Genesis 1:1

    February 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Blind CS

      or you can't feign ignorance when you already know the answer. Genesis 1:1

      February 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • momoya

      You just made a statement; you gave no reasoning. If you'd like me to consider why you think that atheism implies one thing or another, you're going to have present a WHY. "From a scientific perspective" doesn't tell me anything. Muslims make similar dogmatic statements about their quran and Islam.

      WHY do you think that atheism implies "something from nothing?"

      "Thou shalt explain the reasoning behind your claims." momoya 1:1

      February 15, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Genesis 1:1 is overwhelming evidence of how ignorant your god is about science. Sorry.

      February 16, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  12. momoya

    @Blind CS

    Agnosticism and atheism aren't mutually exclusive. Most atheists are both. Agnosticism and gnosticism relate to knowledge of spiritual/supernatural. Atheism and theism deal with belief and disbelief in gods. I am agnostic, because I don't believe in knowledge of "the spirit realm." I am atheist because I don't believe in a deity.

    The agnostic and/or atheism is not "forced" to "deal with" the idea that "something came from nothing." Perhaps erroneously you would feel the need to deal with "something came from nothing" in order for YOU to be an atheist, but sensible people don't suffer under your personal hang ups.

    If you would like to detail an argument WHY I should feel forced to deal with something I don't believe (something comes from nothing) in order to be an agnostic atheist, please feel free to do so.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  13. Blind CS

    No, Seriously, Jesus already hung on the judgment tree for all of humanity. The price has already been paid. If you abide in Him, you will inherit eternal life in paradise.

    He has given us a gift that we have not earned, at a price that we can't afford or merit through "good works". Now, that's some real love going on there!!

    Lose what you can't keep to gain what you can't lose.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  14. momoya

    @cbinal

    Let's get something straight right now. I couldn't care less what you think of me or my posts or my beliefs or lack thereof. I am providing you with my thoughts so that you can test them for yourself. If you don't want to carry on a discussion with me, don't.

    No, I do not believe in the jesus that you do, nor do I believe that a historical jesus existed as claimed by the gospels and various believers.

    Yes, I believe the myth of jesus arose from stories told at a certain point in history in a certain local society.

    Either reply graciously and kindly or don't reply at all.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "No, I do not believe in the jesus that you do, nor do I believe that a historical jesus existed as claimed by the gospels and various believers. Yes, I believe the myth of jesus arose from stories told at a certain point in history in a certain local society."

      => "Jesus of Nazareth ( /ˈdʒiːzəs/; 7–2 BC/BCE to 30–36 AD/CE), commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity and regarded as an important prophet of God in Islam. Most Christian denominations venerate him as God the Son incarnated and believe that he rose from the dead after being crucified.[13][14] The principal sources of information regarding Jesus are the Bible's four canonical gospels,[15] which most biblical scholars find useful for reconstructing Jesus' life and teachings.[16][17][18][19] Scholars have correlated the New Testament accounts with non-Christian historical records to arrive at an estimated chronology for the major episodes in the life of Jesus.[20][6][4][21]
      Most critical historians agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jewish Rabbi who was regarded as a teacher and healer in Judaea,[22] that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and that he was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.[23]" wikipedia

      believing that Jesus was an imaginary figure is irrational

      February 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • preacherman

      @Chad: So just to clarify things, since most scholars and experts agree on the historicity of Jesus, it would be "irrational" to deny it.

      But you deny the consensus of practically all scholars and experts when it comes to biology and physics. Guess that makes you exceptionally irrational (I sort of knew that all along, it's just nice to have you confirm that independently).

      February 17, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • WASP

      @ no one imperticular: jesus may have been a real person, it's just the myth around him that trips me out. to christians he is the son of god, to islamic belief merely a prophet.....and to other beliefs still the man has no importance at all.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Chad

      @preacherman "So just to clarify things, since most scholars and experts agree on the historicity of Jesus, it would be "irrational" to deny it."
      =>atheist dont want to believe in Jesus Christ, they'll do anything possible to show He is not a historical person.
      When they are forced to concede that Jesus was a real person, obviously that's powerful evidence :-)

      ===============
      @preacherman "But you deny the consensus of practically all scholars and experts when it comes to biology and physics. Guess that makes you exceptionally irrational"
      @Chad "Well clearly that's where you go off the rails (whether on purpose or through ignorance I do not know).
      Creationist believe in science!
      really?
      yes! God created the world, why not examine it and try to better understand it?
      When it comes to the things that scientists cant explain (how life originated, how the universe originated, why the universe obeys laws), atheist scientists want Christians to join with them in repeating the atheist answer algorithm, and we refuse to.

      Atheists attempt to take a refusal to partake in the atheist algorithm as a rejection of the entire discipline.. Which is of course nonsense.

      The atheist answer algorithm:
      1. Atheist “science isn't discarding an external force, there is just is no evidence of an external force”
      2. Creationist “well, what about the origin of the universe, the fact that the universe obeys laws, the origins of life on this earth, the fact that the largest “gaps” in the fossil record correspond exactly with the organisms identified in the bible as being created by God, namely fish, birds, land animals and humans ”
      3. Atheist “We don’t know how to explain those things. The supernatural is by definition beyond nature and therefore beyond investigation by science. As utterly improbable as it is, our only answer at this point is to say it’s possible that all of those things just popped out of nothing via random combination of molecules”
      4. Creationist “Well, if you don’t have an answer for these fundamental events to begin with, and your only explanation is to posit the possibility of the utterly improbable time and time again, by what basis are you discarding the possibility of a force external to our universe?”
      5. Atheist: “Please go to step #1

      February 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  15. momoya

    @Blind CS

    As an atheist, I do not currently believe that a state of "nothingness" is possible. Our universe may have always existed in some form or other, or our universe may have arisen from another "something" outside of what we can observe.

    None of the above statements require a god.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Blind CS

      Well, I hate to tell you this, but I've already debunked the possibilities that you listed here. You'll have to come up with some new material to have a change at refutation of my statement.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Blind CS

      ...to have a chance at refutation...

      February 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • momoya

      Blind CS

      You haven't debunked anything except your strawman representations.

      1. The Big Bang does not necessitate a previous state of "nothingness" since it describes a process of expansion, not creation
      2. Because we currently have no way of looking further back than the expansion process, we do not know what caused the universe to expand, or if that point came from something outside of what we can see.
      3. An atheist who does not believe in any "nothing" states does not have to make sense of a process that includes "nothing" states.
      4. Some atheists think it likely that our visible universe came from an eternal "something" process and is a function of that hidden mechanism; some don't.

      Frankly, if you're misguided enough to think that atheists have to believe in "something from nothing" in order to be atheist, then it's no wonder you're locked into the delusion of common christianity circa 2010.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Blind CS,
      How could you possibly show that "nothingness" is possible?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Blind CS

      momoya:

      I think you are confounded by my statement. As an atheist, you can chose to accept this "something" for "nothing" argument or not, but it does not erase the reality of this position that is forced on all atheists.

      You have been reduced to state where you don't want to answer the question. Not answering the question is a sign of weakness. I have answered the question, and the true answer is God.

      Nominus: the onus is on you to prove "nothing".

      February 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • momoya

      @Blind CS

      No, I'm not confounded. There is no scientific reason why a nonbeliever must believe "something from nothing." Your strawman aren't very impressive.

      February 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Blind CS,
      The scientific answer is, we don't know. That is the only intellectually honest answer.

      "I have answered the question, and the true answer is God."
      Based on what exactly?

      "the onus is on you to prove 'nothing'."
      Science is not saying "something" came from "nothing," it's saying "we don't know." The burden of proof for any claim remains with the claimant.

      February 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Blind CS

      Ok, well out of your mutual senses of intellectual honesty, the two of you may want to consider an upgrade to agnosticism as an incremental path to the truth in Christ. I would be better to go directly to Jesus though. Cling to Christ. Seek the truth, and the truth will set you free. Also, there is a Biblical answer to "something" versus "nothing". It's called Corinthians 4:18.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Blind CS,
      "It's called Corinthians 4:18."
      I'm confused. If you are so fixed on that which is "unseen" and "eternal," why do you keep trying to dictate what science says.

      Go dream of your unseen eternal rest, and let the scientists and science teachers do their jobs. Please.

      February 16, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Blind CS,
      "intellectual honesty, the two of you may want to consider an upgrade to agnosticism"
      Never said I was a Strong or Positive Atheist. Actually, never said I was anything, if I remember correctly.

      February 16, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  16. A Reasoner

    Say what you will, there is clear evidence evolution has not been universal - just look at the views of the religious con men.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Blind CS

      In some sense, Darwin didn't invent "evolution".

      Chemical and galactic evolution theories seem to work out fine to me, it's just the philosophical dog poop that Darwin conjectured to describe "living systems".

      February 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  17. Blind CS

    @Godpot

    That's easy to answer. Jesus was crucified on the cross. His physical body was destroyed, but on that same day, He went to paradise to be with His Father. For those who accept Christ, to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. Paul, writing in the New Testament, told us (in Christ) that we will be given new Spiritual bodies in the afterlife.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Wow, not much of a sacrifice was it? Spend a few hours nailed to a cross knowing that you'll go to paradise? Sign me up.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Blind CS

      LMAO!!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Blind CS

      Seriously, Jesus already hung on the judgment tree for all of humanity. The price has already been paid. If you abide in Him, you will inherit eternal life in paradise.

      He has given us a gift that we have not earned, at a price that we can't afford or merit through "good works". Now, that's some real love going on there!!

      Lose what you can't keep to gain what you can't lose.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • GodPot

      @Blind – "The price has already been paid. If you abide in Him, you will inherit eternal life in paradise. He has given us a gift that we have not earned, at a price that we can't afford"

      So let me get this straight. Your "God" made the laws of the universe, and one of those laws is that if one of our ancestors eats a piece of fruit they were told not to, then they and all their offspring are sentenced to death unless another person of equal value (Perfect Adam for Perfect Jesus) gives up their life in exchange for our ancestor and thus wipe away the ancient sin.
      Then your "God" split's himself into thirds, sends a third of himself to earth to act as the ransom to pay the price for breaking one of his laws, and informs the rest of humanity that if you do not believe in him or this debt he says you owe he has no other choice than to send you into eternal torment. I mean he's a really really good guy and he hates to do it but his laws are the laws, so he is forced to deal out unending pain, burning fire and torture to souls that did nothing more than not accept him during their milisecond of life on earth. Oh, and did I mention that the third of God sent to earth only has to be asleep in death for 3 days in order to pay the ransom then God can beam his third back into himself no worse for wear.

      I'm sorry, but even if your God really did exist I would not serve such a vindictive nutter, and I certainly will not serve him by being terrorized into complying.

      February 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • GodPot

      With law's like the "eat this fruit and I will terminate mankind" I wonder what the penalties will be for walking on the grass in Heaven, or, God forbid (pun intended) drinking the wine from God's miracle cellars... you Christians better be on your best behavior since the bible tends to use a lot of rhetoric when describing Heaven with very few specifics which is why it's always pictured as either clouds or else you only get to see it from outside the gates...

      February 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  18. False Dichotomy

    I suspect that one of the reasons that "God did it" is our default explanation for things we don't understand is our tendency to assign agency to inanimate things. From early in our childhoods we learn to explains things as a result of someone's intent, and have a hard time imagining anything that doesn't think or feel, or anything complex that isn't complex "on purpose."

    To a child the sun is not a nearby star that radiates radioactive heat, it is "Mr. Sun" that wants to shine light and wants to give warmth. When we carry this perspective into adulthood (which we usually do), it isn't physics that dictates the character of the universe, it is "Mr. Physics" (God) who makes the universe that way because that's the way he wants it.

    So much of our adaptation as humans is focused on social cooperation that humans are wired (arguably by evolution) to engage everything around them socially. "That wants to hurt me." "This wants me to eat it." But, we have a hard time imagining things or processes that exist without thoughts, feelings, or intentions. Thus we develop elaborate stories about Mr. Physics. He made Mr. Sun, and Mrs. Earth, and me and you.

    With further cognitive evolution, we devised ways of using our elaborate stories to advance our own agendas: "Mr. Physics made Mr. Sun, and Mrs. Earth, and me and you – and here is what he told me he wants you to do...."

    February 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  19. Blind CS

    momoya:

    Evidence from the Big Bang Theory.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • momoya

      Blind CS

      The Big Bang Theory does NOT assert that a state of "nothingness" existed.

      The BBT describes the inflation of a super-dense 'point.' The BBT does NOT comment on "nothingness." Do you have any other evidence?

      February 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Blind CS

      The Big Bang theory tell us that the universe is finite in size and age.

      I think we are veering off the point here.

      My original statement was that from a science perspective, "something" for "nothing" is the only conceivable position for atheists. It's equivalent to a free lunch.

      Let's not get it twisted, I believe the universe was created by God and did not spring from "nothing", so there is no need for me to prove the "nothing" position. The onus on you is to prove that "something" derived from "nothing".

      I chose God instead of "nothing".

      February 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • momoya

      @Blind CS

      We aren't "veering off course" at all. There is no reason whatsoever to claim that a state of "nothing" ever existed. The universe being finite in age or size does not imply that a state of "nothing" ever existed.

      Atheists are under no obligation to accept your claims that cannot be proved. You cannot prove that "nothing" ever existed. Since we cannot establish an initial state of "nothing," then there is no need to imagine that something came from nothing.

      Let's not get it twisted, I believe the universe was created by God and did not spring from "nothing", so there is no need for me to prove the "nothing" position. The onus on you is to prove that "something" derived from "nothing."

      As an atheist, I see no reason to assume that "nothing" ever existed or can exist. Your argument is mere wordplay.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Blind CS

      By the way, one of my points is that stating "something" derived from "nothing" is not scientific. So, no, it is not supported by the Big Boom.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Blind CS

      Yes, and I think you have just eloquently stated why the cornerstone of atheism is not tenable.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • momoya

      @Blind CS

      Sorry, I meant to remove your quote before posting. I'll respond to it here.

      I do NOT have to prove that something came from nothing as I believe that something came from something. I see no reason to assume that "nothing" existed or even can exist. Just because you want atheists to believe a certain thing in order for you to assert what you wish does not mean that atheists believe that thing.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Again, we can say "I dont know" and it's a good thing. Unlike religious nutjobs that already "know" everything.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  20. momoya

    @Blind CS

    On what grounds and by the examination of what evidence do you assert that a state of "nothing" ever existed?

    February 15, 2012 at 2:23 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.