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Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout
March 24th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN)– Billed as a watershed moment in the atheism movement, a gathering of atheists, agnostics and humanists drew large numbers of non-theists to the Washington Mall Saturday despite bad weather.

Put on by a coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, the rally was touted as the largest gathering of non-theists in the history of the world. Headlined by a number of high-profile speakers, including Richard Dawkins, the author of “The God Delusion,” organizers said the event shows that atheism is a powerful minority in American life.

“We will never be closeted again,” said David Silverman, the rally’s head organizer. “In years to come, the Reason Rally will be seen as the beginning of the end to the religious right’s grip” on American life.

With thunderstorms moving through the area, rain had threatened to dampen the event. However, Silverman and other organizers said they were elated by the turnout, especially in light of the rain.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

The idea of thousands of atheists gathering drew the ire of religious groups. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial group known for picketing and protesting at funerals of U.S. service members, were in attendance and chanted at the rally-goers.

In large part however, protests were rare and not aggressive.

Silverman had said prior to the event that the rally would not be an exercise in “religion bashing,” but in a number of instances, religion and the belief in God was, in fact, denounced.

Taslima Nasrin, the author of “Shame,” categorized the Muslim prophet Mohammed as a charlatan, a pedophile and a rapist. A wooden cross was constructed in the middle of the crowd and a sign that read “Banish the 10 Commandments to the dustbin of history,” was hung from it.

An iReporter takes on the Reason Rally

Under umbrellas and ponchos, college insignia and fresh faces dotted the rally crowd.

For many of the students in attendance, the event was more than just a large gathering; for them, it was a coming-out party.

“The reason why events like this help is because of the confidence people get in seeing other people that think like you,” said Mark D. Hatcher, founder of the Secular Student Alliance at Howard University in Washington. “It is important to realize you are not alone.”

Hatcher and other atheists have co-opted much of the same lingo used in the gay rights movement. “Coming out” and “in the closest” are both terms regularly used because, according to Hatcher, telling people you are an atheist is comparable to telling people you are gay.

“Being younger, you are especially exposed to being labeled a pariah when you come out of the closet,” Hatcher said.

Rebecca Cunningham, a graduate of the University of Michigan, said that her freshman year at college was that moment for her. Cunningham was raised in a Christian family, but a few months before leaving for school, she started to doubt her belief in God.

Shortly after arriving at Michigan, Cunningham went to a Secular Student Alliance meeting.

“It helped me come out,” Cunningham said. “It was the first group of people that I met who weren’t religious in some form. They taught me that it was OK; they taught me that I was OK.”

Jesse Galef, the alliance’s communications director, said stories such as Cunningham’s show why his group tries to mobilize on campuses.

“One of the biggest things we do at the Secular Student Alliance is connect them [local groups] with a larger movement that is supporting them and giving them a grass-roots presence,” said Galef.

Jessica Ahlquist, a 16-year-old high school student who won a lawsuit against her city for a prayer banner that was displayed in her high school, was also a speaker at the event.

She touched upon the need for more student groups in high schools and colleges during her remarks. After the speech, she told CNN that students are a critical place for the atheism movement to focus its efforts.

“This community is all about bringing people together and talking about a secular future,” Ahlquist said. “I think that future comes from the students.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism

soundoff (1,305 Responses)
  1. Leo

    God wrote the foundation of Physics in the very first line in the Bible! Though many here may attemt to refute this, they do so only by taking things out of context.

    Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    Yes Time Started (in the Beginning) God Created (Energy) the Heavens (Space) and the Earth (Matter)

    He then makes it clear that this matter in the next sentence "The earth was formless and void" for this matter had not yet been formed into the earth.

    No this was not random chance, but divine inspiration!!

    March 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Sue

      Leo, so how is it then that your "god" got so much of Physics so badly wrong?

      Just a few examples of many:
      God makes two lights: "the greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night." But the moon is not a light, but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to "rule the night", does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky?

      "The earth is set upon strong foundations and therefore does not move." -uh huh...

      Several passages also state that the earth is flat, and others, that it is circular. It is neither, but the bible isn't even self-consistent there, let alone correct.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Leo

      The Claim "Your god created "light" first, yet failed to create any photon emitting sources."

      1 John 1:5
      This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

      God is himself a photon emitting light source!

      March 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Sue

      And as for taking things "out of context", how is it then that your "god" came up with a fairly pathetic text that can so easily be "misinterpreted"? Seems a god would be able to do better than such a badly flawed book to get its message to us.

      That's some "god" you've made for yourself there.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Sue

      Leo, how about you do some Physics reading and try to actually understand it, before you bother us with more of your juvenile, ignorant nonsense.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • hippypoet

      “That which can be a.sserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
      ― Christopher Hitchens

      March 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Leo

      Sue, If you only understood the pictures that are provided in the scriptures as to God and Us and his glory shines on us as the sun shines on the moon.

      The scriptures explain that the earth hangs on nothing.

      and uses the hebrew words "chuwg" which means both circle and sphere.

      http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2329&t=KJV

      March 28, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • hippypoet

      god being god, why would an all powerful all mighty all knowing god NEED ...1 a creation, 2 us to write its message, and 3 us to be commanded by it? A true perfect being requires nothing so with that said it would seem that your god is far from perfect and if it was do you think the so called creation of the creator would be this f.uc.ked up and murderious??? only if the creator is and that is not something worth worshipping – fear is no basis for love and comp@ssion, its a foundation for tryanny!

      men wrote the words you believe to be the words of god ... think about it....was a god needed to claim one exists – NO!

      IT IS A BIG LIE – time to grow up and join the rest of us intellectuals! or forever remain the fool!

      March 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Leo

      Physics (from Greek: φύσις physis "nature") is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force.

      Psalm 104

      1 Bless the LORD, O my soul!
      O LORD my God, You are very great;
      You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
      2 Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
      Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.

      Stretching Heaven like a Curtain?

      Sounds like the Fabric of Space Time... 3k years ago??

      March 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Recent posts by Leo contain instances of theSuppressed Evidence fallacy and the Willed Ignorance fallacy, as well as a series of Non Sequitur statements.

      http://www.fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      March 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Sue

      Yeah, Leo, putting aside your non seq blathering, get back to what I asked you earlier:

      As for taking things "out of context", how is it then that your "god" came up with a fairly pathetic text that can so easily be "misinterpreted"? Seems a god would be able to do better than such a badly flawed book to get its message to us.

      That's some "god" you've made for yourself there.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Sue

      No, Leo, sounds more like you spouting more B-S as usual.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Sue

      I love you Leo! Let's have some doggie in the rain.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  2. Primewonk

    Pul wrote, "...most scientists accept the genisis account of the way the earth was formed as being a logical sequence of events, and that the earth is a circle (sphere) hanging on nothing in space "

    Um, no.

    Yes, there are some scientists who are theists. But only 0.05% of scientists in the fields of life/earth sciences believe in a literal genesis.

    Perhaps you need to sign up for a refresher course in geometry. A circle is a flat 2 dimensional object. It is not synonomous with sphere.

    Your god was a terrible scientist and totally scre.wed up creation. The very first verses claim that first your god created the heavens and the earth. However, we know that earth was formed 9 billion years after the universe began expanding. Your god created "light" first, yet failed to create any photon emitting sources. In fact, the early universe was way to hot and way to dense for there to be visible light. We had to wait 300,000 years for things to mexpand and cool enough for there to be visible light.

    Your god also created land based vegetation before he created the sun to drive photosynthesis. Your god also created birds before he created land based animals, yet we know that birds evolved from land based animals.

    On the whole, your post is an excellent example of what happens when you choose to be ignorant about science and instead get your "sciency" sounding information from folks like the "Pastor Dave's" of the world. The problem with this approach is that "Pastor Dave" is just as ignorant about science as his minions.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      I've been expressing my frustration with the blatant dishonesty that is standard practice among creationists. I used to think it was honest ignorance (and in some cases it probably is) but I've come to realize that creationists are just willing to knowingly make false claims. For some reason, they believe "lying for Jesus" makes lying okay.

      I think the dishonesty has become so common and so expected, that people don't even call them out on it. People sometimes (me included) unknowingly legitimize a dishonest claim by debating or disputing it as if it were honest, when perhaps we need to just call them out on the fact that they are lying, and that is unacceptable. Facts are not opinions, in an honest conversation it is simply unacceptable to fabricate information.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Brad

      I agree entirely, False Dichotomy.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Kevin Harris

      @Brad, I'm curious as to how you define "creationist". The term is so broad it's hard to narrow down. I assume you mean someone how believes the earth was created by God 6 to 10 thousand years ago over 6 24-hour days. Not all Christians believe the Scriptures teach that.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Kevin Harris

      @False Dichotomy, meant that question for you but Brad can answer as well.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Brad

      Kenin Harris –

      I agree with False Dichotomy that intellectual dishonesty by some creationists, particularly the young earth creationists you mention, serves no one. I'm a creationist myself in the sense that I believe that the universe and, in particular, its underlying physical laws were created.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • momoya

      Science only allows for a deistic god, not a personal one; thus, those with a personal god find it necessary to slip and slide the goalposts around to wherever the believer needs them most at the time.. It is this behavior which results in various lies and mistruths, sloppy logic and specious displays of pseudo-science.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Kevin, you're right that creationist is a va.gue term. For me, I mean those who insist that the natural world cannot be explained by natural processes. Whether or not those processes were put in place by some creator is to me a more honest debate to be had. But for my purposes, I specifically mean those who deny the radiometrically dated age of the earth, deny the process of evolution, and deny cosmological physics in order to proclaim that the things we observe are the direct result of supernatural magic.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • mandarax

      The NCSE defines a number of creationist positions along a continuum ranging from flat earthers, geocentrists, to young earthers, and old earthers (including intelligent design). All of these deny the process of evolution. Only evolutionary creationists accept the reality of evolution, but believe it is a tool for creation.

      March 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Paul

    It's not me that calls scientists God's. I have been listening to your comments and it is you guys that place them on a pedestal and elevate them to God status.

    As soon as you elevate something higher than yourself and sacrifice to it, it become a God for you. You elevate science above man as the only solution for mankind. You sacrifice your time and wealth and even animals, by way of experiments to it hoping it will deliver you from the mire the human race iis in.
    Whether or not you see the connection it has become your God.

    Hey I have nothing against you doing that, but at least be honest and admit it.

    March 28, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • I Don't Get It

      Paul,

      Why do you bother to stick around (on Earth)? You utilize the benefits of science, like clean water, pasteurized milk, increased food production and delivery, heating and cooling devices, medicines and medical treatments, etc. to extend your life. Why? Why not just reject and abandon all of those things and go on off to "God"?

      Science is a tool (to make life better). I suppose there are folks who worship their tractors or chain saws, but in general nobody worships tools. Sure, we can respect and admire great minds, but it is you guys that have the insatiable need to "worship". I don't get it.

      March 28, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • Gokubi

      HA!

      Thanks, I needed a laugh. Oh, you were serious?.....

      Well I have to say you haven't been reading these comments too closely have you? I think that science can be furthered by scientists and there will be stuff that will get invented in order to help me out, but I know that science gets it wrong a lot, I don't revere science or scientists the way that you might revere a god. Also, I have to laugh at the fact that you say I've been "sacrificing" my time towards science.... how can I ask? Like reading a magazine every so often? That counts as revering or worshiping nowadays?

      March 28, 2012 at 2:40 am |
    • Paul

      If you live by it. If it affects the way you live, then yes.

      Just as I said you may well not accept that reasoning, but that does not make it not true.

      March 28, 2012 at 5:48 am |
    • Paul

      To worship is human. Sets us apart from animals. But then again you think we are animals.

      Evidence tells us that every civilisation has its deities, you are no different.

      By the way you breath and exist because of a God not science. I am not against science and niether is the Bible actually. In fact most scientists accept the genisis account of the way the earth was formed as being a logical sequence of events, and that the earth is a circle (sphere) hanging on nothing in space also in the Bible. You see we have a lot in common. Just that you want to get rid of the creator.

      Not being accountable to a higher being has some benefits I guess, but does not make the slightest difference to the creator and his purpose. What benefits you gain now, by feeling liberated from your conscience will only be temporary sadly. No atheists in the fox holes eh!

      March 28, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @paul
      No atheists in foxholes? What a contemptible lie!
      As for worship of science – most people, like you, take it for granted.
      If you're looking for our civilizations idols, they certainly are not scientists. The modern pantheon consists of media figures like movie stars and sports players. The most revered of them live in opulent splendour for displaying their skills that lack any real world value. People quite happily spend vast sums of money and time to build shrines to the images of those false heroes, elevating them to status of demi-gods. The only thing we like more than worshipping them is watching them crash and burn.
      Scientists work without any such reverence. They add value to humanity, be it through the acquisition of raw data or by applying the principles revealed by that data in new technologies.
      I've an aunt who is a pharmaceutical biochemist. She runs a lab where they have been researching cancer drugs. I would bet any amount of money that you've no idea who she is – nor does she seek your recognition.
      As for the Bible and science – it required a great deal of rationalization and double-think to believe it to be accurate in any way. The Vatican will tell you that the Big Bang theory is a confirmation of the Genesis creation account, but that is simply absurd on the face of it. Genesis 1 gives the order of creation as light and dark, sky, seas, dry land, plants, stars, the sun and the moon, sea creatures and flying creatures, land animals and then humans. How exactly can the Earth exist before the Sun and moon? How can there be light and dark if there are no suns/stars to provide lights?
      Furthermore, the Bible posits a FLAT earth. The Hebrew word used in the original text is "Chug", which means a flat circle, like a coin. The word for orb/ball is "Dur".
      It also appears that the concept of orbital rotation was unknown to those who wrote the Bible given that they state the earth is immovable and inert.
      "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."
      – Psalm 104:5

      But anyways – the pace of technological advance in the last 100 years has been unparalleled in human history. These advances that have positiviely increased the quality of life for the overwhelming majority of people in the world have occurred becuase of the tireless efforts of countless scientists and engineers working in virtual anonymity and without expectation of praise or thanks, let alone worship.
      4 of the 10 commandments are about your God demanding praise and submission. I think you're just so used to heaping adulation on the enti/ty you consider respsonsible for the Universe that you expect everyone else to bow down to anyone who has improved human existence.
      God wants obsequious submission. Science requires the exact opposite – skeptical an.alysis.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • WASP

      @ Paul: look it up. we are animals. we are a warm blooded bipedal mammal, with an extra layer of brain tissue that allows for greater storage of information and permits creative thought and imagining to solve problems. we congregate in groups due to the fact of we are a social animal. we are the only tool using animal that effectively changes it's enviroment to suit us.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Gokubi

      Paul

      WASP and Doc did a perfectly fine job answering, but I would like to say one other thing, which is, when you said "If you live by it. If it affects the way you live, then yes. Just as I said you may well not accept that reasoning, but that does not make it not true."

      Well, science effects me insomuch as I get to buy cool gadgets and gizmos, get to have this discussion with you, and so many other wonderful things, but that's not worship. It might be your definition of worship, but unless you work for webster and can somehow start changing definitions of words, your definition doesn't apply to me or anyone else. And yes, I don't accept your line of reasoning because it's illogical and so in fact, does make it untrue.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Otto

      "What benefits you gain now, by feeling liberated from your conscience will only be temporary sadly. No atheists in the fox holes eh!"

      Paul,

      What is liberating about atheism is not that there is a lack of conscience, it is the unwarrented guilt that religion and especially christianity levels at individuals. I am not responsible for what Adam and Eve did. According to Christian 'logic' your god created flawed people and then is going to punish US for being flawed, not only is that illogical but if it was true would be extremly immoral.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • mandarax

      "No atheists in the fox holes eh!"

      http://ffrf.org/outreach/atheists-in-foxholes/

      http://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org/helpbuildthewall/

      So much for that old canard.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • VestigialCraniums

      "It also appears that the concept of orbital rotation was unknown to those who wrote the Bible given that they state the earth is immovable and inert.
      "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."

      @Doc

      Had the earth has been moved? Did Atlas was able to move it?

      I mean the statement, "can never be moved", doesn't necessaily mean that it isn't moving. I hope your brain is moving now to grasp it.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • VestigialCraniums

      And...

      "Furthermore, the Bible posits a FLAT earth. The Hebrew word used in the original text is "Chug", which means a flat circle, like a coin. The word for orb/ball is "Dur"."

      When Isiah said: "I saw God sitting in the middle of a circle", he saw it through a vision. So I hope that you may pardon him if he failed to use the specific term for it, Galileo either. He used the term "round" not "sphere".

      March 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Vestigial
      It also referes to the four corners of the earth in several places like Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1 .
      Further examples of the immobility of the planet:
      " The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved."
      Psalm 93:1
      "The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity."
      Psalm 96:10

      And a quick example of geocentrism in the Bible:
      "The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises."
      Ecclesiastes 1:5

      And just to be repeti.tive – How exactly can the Earth exist before the Sun and moon? How can there be light and dark if there are no suns/stars to provide lights?

      March 29, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • just sayin

      Colloquialisms. Jesus was the light of the world before the sun and will be the light of the world after the sun is gone. Book of Revelation

      March 29, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  4. html

    From TING

    "Clever. Tell us more Mr. theological genius."

    Here's more...You've been spotted by the CrapSpot! You are now officially a PIECE of CRAP, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    From: Tom Tom

    "CrapSpot, you really should change your name to CrapWriter."

    You must understand that I'm a Crap Spotter (not a spelling/grammar checker like you) so my job is to spot some craps NOT to write them.

    And honestly, except of the TYPICAL slinging of insults attached with most (if not all) your posts, I don't see anything wrong with them. I find them well-thought and proof-read. But I would easily give in especially to ladies, like you. So ther you go:

    Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

    There you have it. I just wrote a crap. You Win! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    March 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you have a point?

      March 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  5. Chad

    "...The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

    "The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution." (Gould, Paleobiology, vol 6(1), p. 127)

    March 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad=dumb.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Hunger Games

      tom = bum

      March 27, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      As long as you are (again) misquoting Stephen Jay Gould, here is one of his quotes presented with a bit more honesty regarding his intended meaning:

      Creation science has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage - good teaching - than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise? [Stephen Jay Gould, The Skeptical Inquirer]

      March 27, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "As long as you are (again) misquoting Stephen Jay Gould..."

      =>as always, accusations of quote mining are simply met with large chunks of the original work to demonstrate two things:
      1. My usage of the quote is entirely in context
      2. You are unfamiliar with the original source document, that's why you are incorrectly accusing me of quote mining.

      so, here ya go, as always let me know when you have had enough 🙂

      from Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered
      ========================
      Abstract.-We believe that punctuational change dominates the history of life: evolution is
      concentrated in very rapid events of speciation (geologically instantaneous, even if tolerably
      continuous in ecological time). Most species, during their geological history, either do not
      change in any appreciable way, or else they fluctuate mildly in morphology, with no apparent
      direction. Phyletic gradualism is very rare and too slow, in any case, to produce the major
      events of evolution. Evolutionary trends are not the product of slow, directional transforma-
      tion within lineages; they represent the differential success of certain species within a clade-
      speciation may be random with respect to the direction of a trend (Wright's rule).
      As an a priori bias, phyletic gradualism has precluded any fair assessment of evolutionary
      tempos and modes. It could not be refuted by empirical catalogues constructed in its light
      because it excluded contrary information as the artificial result of an imperfect fossil record.

      With the model of punctuated equilibria, an unbiased distribution of evolutionary tempos
      can be established by treating stasis as data and by recording the pattern of change for all
      species in an assemblage. This distribution of tempos can lead to strong inferences about
      modes. If, as we predict, the punctuational tempo is prevalent, then speciation-not phyletic
      evolution-must be the dominant mode of evolution.
      We argue that virtually none of the examples brought forward to refute our model can
      stand as support for phyletic gradualism; many are so weak and ambiguous that they only
      reflect the persistent bias for gradualism still deeply embedded in paleontological thought.

      Of the few stronger cases, we concentrate on Gingerich's data for Hyopsodus and argue that
      it provides an excellent example of species selection under our model. We then review the
      data of several studies that have supported our model since we published it five years ago.
      The record of human evolution seems to provide a particularly good example: no gradualism
      has been detected within any hominid taxon
      , and many are long-rangirig; the trend to larger
      brains arises from differential success of essentially static taxa. The data of molecular genetics
      support our assumption that large genetic changes often accompany the process of speciation.
      Phyletic gradualism was an a priori assertion from the start-it was never "seen" in the
      rocks;
      it expressed the cultural and political biases of 19th century liberalism. Huxley advised
      Darwin to eschew it as an "unnecessary difficulty." We think that it has now become an
      empirical fallacy. A punctuational view of change may have wide validity at all levels of
      evolutionary processes. At the very least, it deserves consideration as an alternate way of
      interpreting the history of life.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Again, this is an example of your word games in which you manage to say something deceitful without technically saying something false.

      I never implied you misquoted the text, the dishonesty lies in emphasizing that part over and over, without ever mentioning the their actual argument or conclusions. Their whole point to this entire body of work is that evolution happens in "rapid" spurts (we are still talking about tens to hundreds of thousands of years as "rapid.") Despite your vapid claim that I am not familiar with their work, I know (and everyone who's read it knows) that their point is how evolution works, not whether or not it works.

      As you well know (which is what makes you dishonest), Elliot and Gould were not at all questioning evolution and they specifically clarified that the way you are using is a mischaracterization of their work. You've seen this quote before, yet you continue your deceitfulness as if you haven't:

      "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."

      Here is another:
      "Faced with these facts of evolution and the philosophical bankruptcy of their own position, creationists rely upon distortion and innuendo to buttress their rhetorical claim. If I sound sharp or bitter, indeed I am—for I have become a major target of these practices."

      So, don't just take my word for it, the very author you are quoting refers to your practice as distortion and innuendo, if not stupidity.

      Again, why would you have to lie and deceive if you are on the side of Truth?

      March 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • mandarax

      @Chad: I've watched you try this over and over...and you get sp.anked every time.

      March 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Chad

      False Dichotomy "As long as you are (again) misquoting Stephen Jay Gould, here is one of his quotes presented with a bit more honesty regarding his intended meaning:"
      @Chad "I didnt misquote, here's the entire thing to show you it is accurate and in context"
      @False Dichotomy "I never implied you misquoted the text, "
      @Chad "er,,, yes you did... see above"

      and, since you are now accusing me of dishonesty for saying the same thing over and over (but you have granted yourself a buy for making the same nonsense accusation time after time 🙂 ) you have earned yourself some more Gould.

      let me know when you've had enough! 🙂

      ====================
      Paleontologists allowed a potent, historical bias to direct their inquiry along a single path, though they could have acc.mulated other data at any time. What's more, paleontologists acc.mulated hardly any good examples: the gradualistic
      idols that were established had feet of clay and rarely survived an intensive restudy.
      The tale of Gryphaea is dead in Trueman's for- mulation (Hallam 1968; Gould 1972). Mi-craster will soon follow. (Rowe's data identi-fied three successive species, but he had nostratigraphic control for samples within taxa. Even if his gradualistic tale were true-which
      it is not-his own limited data could not have established it.) The collapse of classic after classic should have brought these gradualistic biases into question. The alienation of practi-cal stratigraphy from an evolutionary science that required gradualism should have sug-gested trouble
      (see Eldredge and Gould, inpress) : always trust the pract.tioners.
      This sorry situation led us to postulate our alternative model of punctuated equilibria (Eldredge 1971; Eldredge and Gould 1972). We wanted to expand the scope of relevant data by arguing that morphological breaks in the stratigraphic record may be real, and that stasis is data-that each case of stasis has as much meaning for evolutionary theory as each example of change. We did this by recogniz- ing that the model of speciation preferred by most evolutionary biologists did not yield a
      prediction of gradual change in large popu-lations. Most evolutionary change, we argued,

      The bias that regards stasis as "no data"persists even within the few satisfactory ex-amples of gradualism known to us. One might have expected that such studies would value all characters equally by attempting to de-limit the scope of gradualism among traits within a chosen taxon. Ziegler's celebrated study of the Silurian brachiopod Eocoelia (1966), for example, presents data for five graphable characters. Three display a fluctu-ating pattern, one no trend at all, and the last
      a directional pattern. Only the last is graphed.Ozawa (1975) measures nine characters in his exemplary account of the Permian foraminifer Lepiclolina multiseptata. Four exhibit gradual trends; five do not. The first four are either graphed or listed in tables of mean values; the remaining five are discussed in qualitative terms only. But stasis will not go away; and the punc-tuations that mark the fossil record do not smooth out as stratigraphic resolution im-proves. Even Darwin had to retreat from the lovely tree of pure gradualism that he sketched in the first edition of the Origin. For he added to the fourth edition the following proviso: "it is far more probable that each form re-mains for long periods unaltered, and then again undergoes modification" (quoted in Gingerich, 1976).

      March 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Aargh! You are not misquoting the text, but you ARE misquoting Gould for the very reasons even he spelled out. The words are right, but you are mischaracterizing the meaning. Are you really so stupid you don't know the difference? I doubt it. You're just being a typical creationist – a forked-tongued con artist.

      Like I said – you can win. Good luck defeating evolution. Maybe next you can take on the germ theory of disease. (It's not germs, it's tiny demons that make you sick!)

      March 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • OhPlease

      "Aargh! You are not misquoting the text, but you ARE misquoting Gould for the very reasons even he spelled out. The words are right, but you are mischaracterizing the meaning. Are you really so stupid you don't know the difference? I doubt it. You're just being a typical creationist – a forked-tongued con artist"

      It's entertaining to see the stupidity of Christians isn't it, even after the bible has been proven not to be an historical book. They will deny it because then their fantasy has to end. It's ok people like chad are showing the world why Christianity needs to be destroyed and not a part of our society. It's great to know only 33% of people on the planet actually by into the crap Chad is spewing.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "Aargh! You are not misquoting the text, but you ARE misquoting Gould for the very reasons even he spelled out. The words are right, but you are mischaracterizing the meaning. Are you really so stupid you don't know the difference? I doubt it. You're just being a typical creationist – a forked-tongued con artist."

      =>ah, reverting to the old quote mining accusation (mischaracterizing the meaning)
      I used the quote to demonstrate that Darwin understood that gradualism hinged "be truly enormous" numbers of intermediates, and that Gould said those intermediates just arent present.

      so, as you have once again accused me of quote mining, when my use of the quote was clearly in context, you've earned another swath of Gould.
      Enjoy!

      ======================
      An a priori bias toward gradualism as the only "true" evolutionary event continues to preclude any fair test for relative frequency among the possible tempos of evolution. At worst, it dictates an erroneous interpretation of major evolutionary events. Thus, Durham tried to estimate the age of conunon ancestry for deuterostomes by stacking species end to
      end in lineages of phyletic gradualism. He specifies 6 m.y. as an average "species dura- tion" and estimates 100-600 durations strung on a line to reach the common ancestor of Early and Middle Cambrian echinoderms. Running further down the string, he places the common ancestor of deuterostomes "slightly over a billion years before the be-
      ginning of the Cambrian7' (1969, p. 1128)- an age considerably earlier than the most gen- erous estimate now being offered for the origin of the eukaryotic cell (Schopf and Oehler 1976)! Yet Durham states that his estimate can be too great only if he over- estimated the number or length of species durations-it never occurs to him that the postulate of gradualism and linear stacking might be fallacious. In fact, he argues that a belief in evolution itself requires his mode of estimate: "Acceptance of the doctrine of evo-lution and adherence to a biologic species con-cept and their corollaries necessitates lapse of a considerable interval of time prior to the Cambrian in order for the necessary evolu-tionary events to have taken place."
      At an intermediate level, gradualistic biases inspire misleading tales of continuity in more restricted, empirical studies. Hurst ( 1975),for example, presents two outstanding figures of gradualism in the Resserella sabrinae lin- eage (Silurian brachiopods from Wales and the Welsh Borderland).

      March 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      "I used the quote to demonstrate ... that Gould said those intermediates just arent present."

      You sure did, and that is an outright lie.

      I put it to you again:
      "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists - whether through design or stupidity, I do not know - as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms."

      This is such a traditional creationist BS tactic that there are complete web sites devoted to it. Your beloved Wikipedia even uses exactly what you are doing as an example of "Fallacy of quoting out of context." Seriously they present some of the exact quotes and exact points you are fabricating as the poster children for deceitful quote mining.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_quoting_out_of_context

      March 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy ""I used the quote to demonstrate ... that Gould said those intermediates [darwins phyletic gradualism intermediaries as it is CLEARLY indicated by the context] just arent present."" You sure did, and that is an outright lie.

      @Chad "sigh.. ok, you got it wrong again, here's why (you are conflating the two uses of the term "intermediary", just as you (by design or stupidity I know not) conflate the two uses of the term "evolution"),

      please try to follow along:

      – I quote darwin saying large numbers of intermediaries would be necessary for his gradualism to be true.
      – I quote gould saying GRADUALISM IS DEAD, THERE ARE NO INTERMEDIARIES TO SHOW GRADUALISM IS A TENABLE THEORY. You will recall that Gould proposed PE precisely for the reason of those missing intermediaries
      – Gould doesnt like people extending his statement that there are no phyletic gradualism intermediaries to there are no intermediate forms. Gould of course views intermediate forms at a much larger macro scale than darwin, where apes are intermediaries between monkeys and humans. Darwin would have by necessity required innumerable graduals in between.

      get it?
      finally?

      Gould said there were NO intermediaries as Darwin predicted. That's what PE IS ALL ABOUT.. get it?
      good grief I'm getting tired of educating you..

      March 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Gokubi

      Chad

      Kudos, so you ascribe to Gould's form of evolution instead of Darwins.... evolution is still evolution so.... basically what you and False are arguing are two sides of the same coin instead of what you keep trying to show, somehow, is that by ascribing to Gould's theory of how evolution works that must mean evolution is wrong (?) and god must exist..... For a guy who's so good at quoting wikipedia you sure are an idiot sometimes (read: all the time)

      March 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Gokubi, I agree with you – it appears that we are debating two sides of the same coin (though I'm not at all against PE as one of the valid models of evolution). Except, from past posts I know that Chad is using Eldridge and Gould's PE to eventually argue that there are no transitional fossils at all (which is not what Gould demonstrates), and this means there never were any transitional forms (which is absurdly false), and that therefore Gould's work proves special creation over evolution.

      Unless he has changed his worldview in the past few weeks, that is exactly where he is going with this, and that is why his use of Gould is disingenuous quote-mining.

      March 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Gokubi, @False Dichotomy

      =>so you're starting to make small strides in understanding, that's good.
      Here's lesson #2:
      – Darwin proposed gradualism
      1. Gradualism reigned for 100+ years despite a contradicting fossil record due to preconceived bias on the part of atheist "scientists"
      2. Gould points out the painfully obvious, the fossil record does not support gradualism, instead of a plethora of intermediate forms showing gradualism, species appear fully formed in the fossil record.
      3. chad posts quotes from darwin and gould contrasting #1 and #2, innumerable people that have no clue accuse him of quote mining. Chad has to painfully walk them through the argument and show them voluminous portions of Goulds work.
      4. Gould still believes in a purely naturalistic evolution, but he believes that significant evolutionary change always occurs so suddenly that it escapes fossilization.

      ok, here's the new stuff in this thread at least..
      5. Chad points out that it is astronomically unlikely that "significant evolutionary change always occurs so suddenly that it escapes fossilization", indeed, critiques of PE liken it to Intelligent Design.
      6. Chad points out that PE indeed is clearly much closer to ID in appearance than Darwins gradualism.
      7. Chad points out that mutations, being random by definition, occur all the time, so it is astronomically unlikely that there is always a sudden concentration of mutations that survive in the population
      8. Chad points out that there is no fossil evidence of forms prior to those forms ascribed to God as being direct creations (fish, birds/land animals, humans).

      March 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • hippypoet

      chad is a moron...one has to be a moron not to see it!

      “After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.”
      ― Friedrich Nietzsche

      March 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Darwin's Theory of Evilution is a by-product of his LBM

      Guest9 said:

      "Then, Chad, NEVER, EVER take an antibiotic, or get a shot. Since there is "no such thing as evolution", you should have been covered by now for EVERY eventuality in microbiology."

      Is there anyone here knows that Darwin has taken some few doses of "flagyl" when he has amoebaiasis in the age of 5?

      I mean, what are we taliking down here? Are we talking about the (evolution) word itself or the crap theory of the Darwin after having a blind date with an urang-utan in the zoo and fell in love at first sight?

      I hope that everybody has a bit of common-sense to grasp that micro-organisms are already there and microbiologists have been developing them for a good cause before Darwin demonstrated his evil theory using evolution just to refute creation.

      Bottom line is..Darwin did not invented anti-biotics and antibiotics are not invented because of his CRAP theory.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Gokubi

      Chad

      I'm glad we're taking little strides together, now the next step is to understand that the fos.sil record may seem large to you, it's incredibly incomplete and small comparatively. I understand why you think it's crazy that a mutation could just occur in a population and take hold immediately (immediately meaning in 10,000 years compared to 100,000) But I think you are missing a couple of things.

      1. If the mutation better suits the animal, then that animal will bre.ed and bre.ed and bre.ed and keep passing it along, in a couple of generations if a mutation is really that well suited or at least doesn't kill the animal long enough for it to pass along then in only generations it can start to take hold in a population. This isn't to say that a species was all completely blind and then one day one was born with a fully formed, perfectly functioning eye.

      2. Second, the basic starting point of evolution isn't actually mutation, the theory starts after the observable fact that there are mutations in any given population. Do you understand the difference? Probably not, but lets see if I can help you out. Mutation happens, you know that, I know that, even the most bible thu.mping creationist can accept that there are mutations in a population. Evolution however explains how after there are mutations what happens afterwards. Mutations don't just die off and not affect the rest of the population in anyway, genes get passed along.

      Now what the real argument comes down to is, you think that it's unlikely that when mutation does happen it can't be a random pairing of genes coming together, but a god right there at the moment of conc.eption, connecting the two pairs and purposefully creating the mutation to introduce a new species that way instead of say.... zapping them into existence like he does in genes.is?
      Am I off base or is that what your point boils down to?

      @Darwin.... honestly couldn't understand most of your idio.tic ramblings, but the end was enough to tell me it's miracle enough that you were able to put letters together to form words let alone actually form an opi.nion.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Boy, Chad, that sure is a long and unnecessarily complicated process only to arrive at (8) there are no fossils that reflect the evolution of major animal groups. That was already a common creationist assertion. And while some creationist positions are understood as being the result of poor understanding of science, or of other nuance, this one is almost universally regarded as an outright lie.

      Have I mentioned how frustrating it is to hear creationists shamelessly lie to promote their agenda?

      Thanks for continuing to educating me. Praise Jesus.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • Gokubi

      @False

      Little known fact, it's actually spelled Jeebus.

      March 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Gokubi – Of course, Jeebus is the original Hebrew spelling, which translates to "He who is pleased when we lie about biology"

      March 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Chad (under some BS alias):

      "I hope that everybody has a bit of common-sense to grasp that micro-organisms are already there and microbiologists have been developing them for a good cause before Darwin demonstrated his evil theory using evolution just to refute creation."

      So, you are as.suming evolution is SEPARATE from microbiology? You clearly are a dolt! Antibiotic resistance is EVOLUTION! Please go back to high school, and PAY ATTENTION THIS TIME!

      March 28, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @Gokubi "the fos.sil record may seem large to you, it's incredibly incomplete and small comparatively"
      @Chad "ah, yes.. the appeal to the incomplete fossil record. Shall I tell you what Gould had to say about those that hide their bias behind that excuse? 🙂 "

      ======================
      @Gokubi ". If the mutation better suits the animal, then that animal will bre.ed and bre.ed and bre.ed and keep passing it along, in a couple of generations if a mutation is really that well suited or at least doesn't kill the animal long enough for it to pass along then in only generations it can start to take hold in a population. This isn't to say that a species was all completely blind and then one day one was born with a fully formed, perfectly functioning eye.
      @Chad "careful there, you starting to sound like gradualism 🙂 Which of course, is dead,, remember?"

      =============
      @Gokubi "Second, the basic starting point of evolution isn't actually mutation, the theory starts after the observable fact that there are mutations in any given population. Do you understand the difference? Probably not, but lets see if I can help you out. Mutation happens, you know that, I know that, even the most bible thu.mping creationist can accept that there are mutations in a population. Evolution however explains how after there are mutations what happens afterwards. ."

      @Chad "so.. how did the mutations get in the population if mutations arent the starting point? seems like you may have a small flaw in your logic. "Mutations dont start the evoluton, they are already there!! I think we found a flaw.. 🙂
      without mutations, there is no evolution. Embrace your position!
      it's pretty easy, your theory is thus:
      a. mutation
      2. some mutations survive
      3. those mutations create diversity by being passed along..

      now.. follow this.. without #1, drum roll...... there's no #2!!!!!!!!!!

      March 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Chad

      @AGuest9 "So, you are as.suming evolution is SEPARATE from microbiology? You clearly are a dolt! Antibiotic resistance is EVOLUTION! Please go back to high school, and PAY ATTENTION THIS TIME!"

      =>sigh.. no it isnt..
      again, for the 1,000th time
      Yes, cells can adapt and mutate.
      That explains how big dogs can turn into little dogs, big fish to little fish, small birds to big birds, which we have abundant fossil evidence of.

      however,

      there's a completely different issue, how did fish, birds/land animals and humans "evolve". Those animals described as direct creations of God in the bible?
      How is it really possible that we have no fossil evidence?
      How is it even possible that we have non marine invertebrate to marine vertebrate fossils? How?

      One cant appeal to an "incomplete fossil record", as there are plenty of marine invertebrate fossils and plenty of marine vertebrate fossils.. this whole wide swath in the middle somehow escaped fossilization?
      really?

      hand waving only gets you so far 🙂

      March 28, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Well okay then, Chad. You've convinced me. I've never been to a museum or looked at books or even looked things up online, so if you say there are no fossils I believe you. You're brilliant too, considering you've obviously debunked with one masterful stroke the work of generations of PhD level biologists, paleontologists, archaeologists, biological anthropologists, geologists, virologists, anatomists, geneticists, organic chemists, evolutionary psychologists, ecologists, naturalists, immunologists, and minimally educated people in more secular countries worldwide.

      (by the way, that big dog, little dog quote is direct from Kent Hovind – a creationist felon convicted for, among other things, lying to the government. Funny how you obsessively (mis)quote Gould, but fail to quote the actual sources of your ideas.)

      Your arguments are easily dismantled, but only in a world where both parties agree to stick to honest information. Done here.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Darwin's Theory of Evilution is a by-product of his LBM

      "So, you are as.suming evolution is SEPARATE from microbiology? You clearly are a dolt! Antibiotic resistance is EVOLUTION! Please go back to high school, and PAY ATTENTION THIS TIME!"

      @AGuest9

      Scroll up and read my previous reply again, and use that QUARK-SIZED BRAIN of yours this time.

      It seems to me that reading comprehension is foreign to you.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • Darwin's Theory of Evilution is a by-product of his LBM

      And..

      "Chad (under some BS alias):"?

      Wow..I mean WOW! Another classic example HYPOCRITICAL GUESS, atheists scientific way to determine something.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • Chad

      @ False Dichotomy "you've obviously debunked with one masterful stroke the work of generations of PhD level biologists, paleontologists, archaeologists, biological anthropologists, geologists, virologists, anatomists, geneticists, organic chemists, evolutionary psychologists, ecologists, naturalists, immunologists, and minimally educated people in more secular countries worldwide."

      =>serious question for you: you do realize that the ONLY difference in that list between creationists and atheist naturalists is
      the palentologist part, right? You do that a great deal, erroneously building a case that creationists "reject" all of biology, science, etc (whether you do this by design or stupidity I know not).
      Obviously nothing could be farther from the truth, as repeatedly stated.

      don't know who Kent Hovind is.. never read any of his stuff.
      .

      March 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Chad, you have an amazing ability to misunderstand every statement.

      Each of those disciplines relies upon and has contributed to an understanding of evolution. If evolution is wrong in the ways you say, every one of those disciplines has been barking up the wrong tree for decades. More absurdly, all of their progress and all of there successes are just a coincidence.

      It's like you're standing in the middle of a freeway at rush hour and arguing that the gasoline engine is impossible.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "Each of those disciplines relies upon and has contributed to an understanding of evolution. If evolution is wrong in the ways you say, every one of those disciplines has been barking up the wrong tree for decades. More absurdly, all of their progress and all of there successes are just a coincidence."

      =>well, of course that is utter nonsense as explained so many times I have lost track.
      Implicit in your statement is that IF a cell can mutate/adapt/replicate, THEN naturalistic evolution is true you need to understand that that is a false statement.

      I see you didnt take me up on my offer to read and understand each others argument. Why not?

      March 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Honestly, because I'm not interested. I've heard it before. I'm not really interested in trying to convince you, either. I doubt that I could. My responses to you are mostly just to counteract your statements in case other readers are taking you seriously. I am a professional scientist and educator – it truly bothers me to see misinformation being peddled to the public.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Chad

      Well, without a doubt, the single best way to counter an argument is to first understand it so that you can address is specifically.

      right?

      Time after time after time after time, I see you failing to understand and address the points I am making. I dont think your incapable, just unwilling.
      and why are you unwilling? You kill two birds with one stone, you better understand the argument I am making, presumably better equipping you to find fault with it, and I will do doubt be completely won over by finally facing real facts instead of reading creationist web sites all day.

      so, what do you have to loose?

      March 29, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Chad

      http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_teleologicalevolution.htm

      March 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Oh good, "access research network" – Behe and Dembski and so on. Like I said, I don't need to read it to know the argument. Instead of my opinion, however, I will just follow that of Judge Jones in Kitzmiller v. Dover:

      "ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980s; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. …It is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena. "

      March 29, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Chad

      Well, of course Creationism/ID is not "science" as it takes into account supernatural causation.

      "Science" is an incomplete discipline as it excludes by definition any supernatural causation.

      again, what are you so afraid of? I'll read and understand anything you put in front of me of equal length.

      March 30, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Well, I'm always happy to get a fundamentalist to admit that creationism is religion and does not even begin to meet the standards of science.

      But the devil's in the details, right? (smiley face)
      Not only is ID Creationism based on magical thinking, but it is logically inconsistent and has failed to produce any replicable or useful research (according to a conservative judge after an extensive hearing of expert witnesses, including Dembski)

      March 30, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "Well, I'm always happy to get a fundamentalist to admit that creationism is religion and does not even begin to meet the standards of science."
      @Chad "again, there's that willfull, fear based misunderstanding and mischaracterization.. acknowledging that a force external to our universe is a necessary explanation for events that clearly point to it doesnt mean it's "religious""
      "science" being the study of ONLY natural things, is of course going to exclude by definition ( if it is defined that way) any force external to our universe. That doesnt denigrate the effort to see if there is a force, it merely says that science defined in that way is obviously to narrow a definition. Right?

      ==============
      @False Dichotomy "Not only is ID Creationism based on magical thinking"
      @Chad "again, willful mischaracterization, right? A force external to our universe isnt "magical", it's just external to our universe.

      ==============
      @False Dichotomy "but it is logically inconsistent and has failed to produce any replicable or useful research"
      @Chad "logically inconsistent?? how? example please
      How can you even think that you could critique ID, or call it inconsistent, if you havent (by your own admission) come to any understanding of the argument? You are making a completely irrational statement.
      Right?
      how can you say an argument is inconsistent, when you just indicated that you dont understand, nor do you even want to understand, the argument?

      I can tell you one thing for positive. If Kraus came out today with a theory that multi-verses interact and that the design we observe in our environment was due to some aspect of that interaction, atheists would embrace it 1000000%.
      why?
      because the issue is NOT what the data tells us. The issue is an a priori bias. It's fear. That's precisely why you wont even read and attempt to understand the argument. You dont WANT to (as you said).

      March 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  6. Chad

    "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." Charles Darwin

    March 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Which is why creationists are always so desperately trying to prove "irreducible complexity." (why? Because we can't let evolution be real – even when drives all the biology, medicine, agriculture etc around us – we just CAN'T!) Despite their efforts, including the willingness to throw objectivity out the window, they continually fail.

      (so don't start in on eyes, or bacterial flagella, or whatever – it's been done already)

      March 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Another thing creationsts often fail to understand is that Darwin could be wrong about some things (and indeed he was) and evolution would still be correct.

      I think creationists have a hard time with this because they're used to thinking in terms of ultimate authority and unchanging truth. That's not the way it works with science. No authority is above error, and no idea is above modification if the that's what the evidence dictates.

      Expecting Darwin to be correct about every aspect of evolution is like expecting the inventor of the first wheeled cart to understand fuel-injected automobiles. Science, like technology, starts simple and acc.umulates sophistication through trial and error. Wait a minute....seems like something else works that way (evolution).

      March 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "...even when drives all the biology, medicine, agriculture etc around..."

      =>honestly, I think that is #1 on the list of utter nonsense and deliberate misleading statements amongst atheists.

      it states that if you dont believe that life has arrived at its current level of complexity by purely random mutations, then you dont believe in gene's, mutation, adaptation, etc..

      deliberate intellectual dishonestly.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chad=desperate

      Hunger=stupid

      March 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Then, Chad, NEVER, EVER take an antibiotic, or get a shot. Since there is "no such thing as evolution", you should have been covered by now for EVERY eventuality in microbiology.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Score, A!

      March 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Climber12

      The 'human eye is too marvelous' argument for creationists was soundly slammed by an article in the July 2011 Scientific American. Turns out evolution took hundreds of millions of years and wound up doing it 'bass ackwards.' A detailed history, found genetically, starting with lamphreys. "If engineers had done it, they'd have been fired."

      March 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      "deliberate intellectual dishonestly."

      Nice try, Chad. Nice attempt to turn my valid criticism of your statements back toward me. But even in trying to do so, you continue your dishonest cliches:
      "it states that if you dont believe that life has arrived at its current level of complexity by purely random mutations..."

      I know for a fact that you have been corrected over and over regarding evolution being random, but you keep saying that anyway. You have to know by this point that that is not what anyone is saying. Only those who are ignorant of the very basics would say that. In other words, only creationists would say that. But you keep repeating it because it doesn't matter to you one bit whether or not it's true. It only matters if it suits your argument.

      March 28, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Chad

      @AGuest9 "Then, Chad, NEVER, EVER take an antibiotic, or get a shot. Since there is "no such thing as evolution", you should have been covered by now for EVERY eventuality in microbiology."
      @Chad "again, it is deliberate intellectual dishonestly to say that if you dont believe that life has arrived at its current level of complexity by purely random mutations, then you dont believe in gene's, mutation, adaptation, etc.."

      March 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "..I know for a fact that you have been corrected over and over regarding evolution being random..."
      @Chad "do tell.. 🙂
      mutations are by definition random, or have you become a creationist?

      March 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Gokubi

      Chad

      Mutations might be random, but, if the mutation is a trait that allows the person to better survive the environment and that person is able to pass along that trait to his or her offspring, then it's not random but a specific process that refines our genetics to make us better suited to our current environment.

      I'm sure that's hard for you to understand because I know you need someone or something to praise or blame it on, but in this case we call that nature....not god.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      I didn't suggest mutations weren't random, and that's not what you said either. You said:
      "it states that if you dont believe that life has arrived at its current level of complexity by purely random mutations, then you dont believe in gene's, mutation, adaptation, etc.."

      random mutations are part of the picture, but they are not the explanation for complexity. You know this, but you continue to make those statements anyway. This is an example of your word games in which, much like quote mining, you manage to say something deceitful without technically saying something false.

      This is why professional biologists generally don't debate creationists (not because they are scared, as you like to say), but because they are rarely honest debates. Creationists do not hesitate to deceive, distort, and fabricate to further their cause.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • mandarax

      Chad = kinda smart, completely dishonest

      March 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy I didn't suggest mutations weren't random, and that's not what you said either. You said:
      "it states that if you dont believe that life has arrived at its current level of complexity by purely random mutations, then you dont believe in gene's, mutation, adaptation, etc.."
      random mutations are part of the picture, but they are not the explanation for complexity. "

      @Chad "Wow is that completely wrong.

      The basic theory of evolution:
      1. It is possible for the DNA of an organism to occasionally change, or mutate. A mutation changes the DNA of an organism in a way that affects its offspring, either immediately or several generations down the line.
      2. The change brought about by a mutation is either beneficial, harmful or neutral. If the change is harmful, then it is unlikely that the offspring will survive to reproduce, so the mutation dies out and goes nowhere. If the change is beneficial, then it is likely that the offspring will do better than other offspring and so will reproduce more. Through reproduction, the beneficial mutation spreads. The process of culling bad mutations and spreading good mutations is called natural selection.
      3. As mutations occur and spread over long periods of time, they cause new species to form.

      THE BASIC STARTING POINT OF EVOLUTION IS MUTATION.
      w/out it, what do you have? nothing, right?

      man, I honestly cant believe the extent to which you will pervert very straight forward notions, to avoid having your stance being seen for what it is.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • mandarax

      Yes, Chad, it is one of the three components of evolution:
      1. Variation
      2. Inheritance
      3. Differential persistence

      So when you claim that evolution is a result of purely random mutation, you are 33.3% correct. You haven't exactly nailed it.

      But, it doesn't matter. I'll let you win. You can keep blowing into the wind all you want and it won't make the fact and theory of evolution go away.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Gokubi

      Chad

      your reading miscomprehension only impresses the dimwitted.

      March 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      "man, I honestly cant believe the extent to which you will pervert very straight forward notions, to avoid having your stance being seen for what it is."

      So, I am perverting the notion of evolution if I don't agree that all complexity is explained purely by random mutation? Hmmm. False.

      So, what is my stance, Chad?

      March 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Darwin's Theory of Evilution is a by-product of his LBM

      Guest9 said:

      "Then, Chad, NEVER, EVER take an antibiotic, or get a shot. Since there is "no such thing as evolution", you should have been covered by now for EVERY eventuality in microbiology."

      Is there anyone here knows that Darwin has taken some few doses of "flagyl" when he has amoebaiasis in the age of 5?

      I mean, what are we talking down here? Are we talking about the (evolution) word itself or the crap theory of the Darwin after having a blind date with an urang-utan in the zoo and fell in love at first sight?

      I hope that everybody has a bit of common sense to grasp that micro-organisms are already there and microbiologists have been developing them for the good of manking way before before Darwin demonstrated his evil theory using evolution just to refute creation, it doesn't REALLY help either.

      Bottom line is..Darwin did not invented anti-biotics and antibiotics are not invented because of his CRAP theory.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Here's another one you need to wrap your head around, too, Chad:

      "you dont believe that life has arrived at its current level of complexity by purely random mutations"

      Why not, Chad? Without "purely random" motion, the electrons in your computer wouldn't allow you to blather on like an imbecile!

      March 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @AGuest9 "you dont believe that life has arrived at its current level of complexity by purely random mutations"
      Why not, Chad? Without "purely random" motion, the electrons in your computer wouldn't allow you to blather on like an imbecile!"

      =>I am 100% fine getting atheists to the point where they are forced to acknowledge that their entire theory relies on the complexity of life on earth arising by purely random combinations of molecules.

      Because it's at that point, hopefully, you start thinking of the mathematical improbability of a mutation being beneficial and surviving in a population when the fact is that the vast majority of mutations have been demonstrated to be harmful.

      Now, couple that, with the further mathematical improbability that ALL of these mutations occur in this extraordinarily short period of time demanded by punctuated equilibrium and stasis in the fossil record.

      purely naturalistic "evolution" has seen it's zenith.. it started it's descent into obscurity in 1972.

      March 28, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      "purely naturalistic "evolution" has seen it's zenith.. it started it's descent into obscurity in 1972."

      Oh my god, that is the most profoundly ignorant thing I've heard in a long time (and I've been reading Chad's crap lately, so that means something). Nothing could be more of a polar opposite to the truth. How someone can say that with the whole worlds of genetics and genomics exploding around them, with the identification of myriad new hominid species, with...well...the actual events in the actual world is literally beyond my comprehension. Chad, you are a liar or an idiot, and perhaps both.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Chad

      You should get a bit more informed on what creationism/ID is. What can it hurt do to do so? Clearly you must have gained an understanding in this thread that you are completely miss-understanding/miss-characterizing my arguments..

      While there are many Christians that subscribe to the 6000 year old earth view, I am not one of them.
      Take 20 minutes and read this: http://www.arn.org/docs/meyer/sm_teleologicalevolution.htm

      If you do that, I'll take 20 minutes and read whatever you want me to read. Deal?

      March 29, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Chad, you have an amazing ability to misunderstand every statement.

      Each of those disciplines relies upon and has contributed to an understanding of evolution. If evolution is wrong in the ways you say, every one of those disciplines has been barking up the wrong tree for decades. More absurdly, all of their progress and all of there successes are just a coincidence.

      It's like you're standing in the middle of a freeway at rush hour and arguing that the gasoline engine is impossible.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @False Dichotomy "Each of those disciplines relies upon and has contributed to an understanding of evolution. If evolution is wrong in the ways you say, every one of those disciplines has been barking up the wrong tree for decades. More absurdly, all of their progress and all of there successes are just a coincidence."

      =>well, of course that is utter nonsense as explained so many times I have lost track.
      Implicit in your statement is that IF a cell can mutate/adapt/replicate, THEN naturalistic evolution is true you need to understand that that is a false statement.

      I see you didnt take me up on my offer to read and understand each others argument. Why not?

      March 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  7. IslandAtheist

    Baby Jesus couldn't stop crying.

    March 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • pity

      Yes...for your soul.

      March 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  8. just sayin

    Dance and pray everybody PRAISE JESUS

    March 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Dan

      P!ss off with your jesus junk here already.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      ~Lying is a sin, you've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!

      March 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  9. Nii

    Insults will not get you extra points. The fact that most people did not reach 30 was not just a matter of medical advances. In all societies the youth were the warriors. Vikings, Teutons, Egyptians, Chinese you name them. You still recruit at 16 for the Army, dont you? History not conjecture.

    March 27, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Nii

      Then also I think you understand that I was not saying 30 years was the legal age for consent but rather the upper boundary for youthfulness. The fact that you were considered fullgrown at 30 must include battle-hardiness. Also it meant you were a skilled warrior. I don't envy your arguing position

      March 27, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • hippypoet

      thats funny because many ancient cultures would not allow an unwed man without children to fight...simple reasoning skills for this one – where is the want to fight and the need to stay alive to keep fighting if one has no reason to return home alive or even victorious...there isn't one besides honor and that only carries a man so far. Plus for simple practical matters, if your army is weaken by the death of a few members during battle then the CHILDREN they left home can be trained to join them as new recuits later on in time....by why think like that when you can just march unwed, childless men across the world killing – i believe if we, me and you, were enemies on the field of battle i would be the victor for very simple reasons – forethought! this was the key factor to the success of many of the ancient cultures who ruled the world!

      March 27, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Nonimus

      I appreciate that you are in the middle of a conversation, but if you are not replying to a post, you might want to provide some context as to what the hell you are talking about. Just a thought.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Observer

      Perhaps were Nii comes from it's common for "warriors" to start out early. Say 6 or 7?

      March 27, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • hippypoet

      Nii and I were discussing the ages of marriage, entering the army, and the definition of youth... then the reasonings – of course!

      and yes some did enter the army life at the age of 7 – spartans...we get the root word agony from them! they weren't allowed to be married till after a certain age – i can't remember – but once married you were still forbidden to see her...you were forced to sneek out and do the dirty – funny thing about that is upon the wedding night the wife is shaved bald, dressed up like a spartan warrior and then the man has to sneek out of the barracks and break in to her house – r.a.p.e her and get away without ever getting caught!!!! talk about your bedroom issues huh!

      March 27, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Nii

      Hippy my nation, the Akans had men marry early by 17 they had wives and children. What is there to stop them from war. A youth was considered a man though not full-grown.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Nonimus

      @hippypoet,
      Thanks. I was mainly speaking to @Nii since he was the post and your's was the reply, but thanks.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Nii

      NONIMUS I am sorry I cud not be much help there but we track each other basically by mentioning our blognames n checking the post time. I use a fon not a PC so I'm limited to 300x'ters per post. Thats why they are so short.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • Oneironaut

      So EVERYONE in the ancient world was a warrior, even the women, Nii? I mean, no one lived to be as old as we live to be now, including women, priests, and invalids... not just warriors. What a lame excuse.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  10. hippypoet

    Nii, you really are an idiot – the fact the most didn't reach the age of 50 was a sign that getting married eariler was smarter – 30 was still a possibility but highly unlikely – you sir are grossly misleading!

    youth is not tied to anything but age, nothing to do with legal consent...please try to keep in mind that we are discussing the time around 2Kings 2:24 was written and so you were VERY lucky if you reached the age of 30 never mind get married at it!

    March 27, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  11. Nii

    EQ is a measure of positive emotions not negative. IQ is amoral. Having a high EQ meant Jesus was very moral exhibiting atti.tudes like love, joy, peaceableness, faithfulness, honesty, etc. If a conman had this he wudn't be called a con wud he. Hitler was intelligent, invented things but was a con

    March 27, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • HotAirAce

      All religion is a con and all religious leaders are delusional or cons with EQ = -infinity.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Nii

      HIPPY Adequacy is a positive word. I also used a similar definition. If you are adequate at projecting your good emotions and suppressing your bad ones you have a high EQ. If u r inadequate then u have a low EQ. Comprendez?

      March 27, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      Emotional manipulation is the hallmark of a conman or cult leader. Personal charisma is not limited to those of high morals. Weak people seek a strong personality to give their life meaning.

      This is why people can believe that a Roman tax collector fell of a horse and met a man who had died before the tax collector had even been born. This is why a con man in American could claim he met an angel who gave him religious authority.

      This is why so many people lose their money to charming investment "experts". This is why Charles Manson could point a finger and his followers would murder whoever he told them to.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Wakey Wakey!

      EQ has no credibility in the scientific community. It is a joke, useless. silly.

      March 27, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Nii

      The historical Jesus hypotheses r just what they r conjecture. De Bible clearly shows Jesus quoting Sciptures of de Hebrew OT. His disciples were noted 2 have attained scholarship 4 being with Him. His younger brother, James de Elder was a Pharisee n educated. De 1st son will be educated by right.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  12. Nii

    IT IS A RULE OF THUMB IN SCRIPTURAL INTERPRETATION TO SUPPORT A VERSES WITH THEIR PASSAGE AND OTHER VERSES ON THE TOPIC. ALSO A SCRIPTURE'S HISTORY IS IMPORTANT. SOME WERE FOR A SPECIFIC TIME PERIOD ONLY. Atheists try 2 use a few verses but if u then bring up others on de same topic they get angry.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the newcomers:

      Expanding on one NT passage with multiple passages in a general observation:

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane. (see all the NT passages at http://www.biblegateway.com and as to their historic authencity at http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=Crossan_Inventory, Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 years, and Father/Professor Raymond Brown's review in his book, An Introduction to the New Testament.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make Jesus into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with John's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

      March 27, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Nii

      And of course REALITY wants 2 b de best example of what I just wrote. The passage 4 de verses he just wrote doesnt follow what he's forcing them 2 say. Jesus was not illiterate for instance but he wants Him to be. I as an amateur historian can't help but laugh. Jesus it seems had high IQ n EQ too.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • your god is irreducibly complex

      A 2000 year old collection of fables with no other proof to support them id NOT important. At least it should not be, but the sheeple are many.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • hippypoet

      Nii – most con men are masters of emotion. do your research and you will find that many of the con men thru-out history have had a tight handle of emotions and those around them thru such actions and control of their emotions.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Nii

      HIPPY U don't know much about EQ, do you? It is about how well you exhibit positive emotions and keep away negative ones so that you can build good relationships. This is a skill conmen usually don't have n is usually de easiest way 2 trap them. Relations with such people r emotional drags(not drug)

      March 27, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • hippypoet

      you are wrong – EQ is nothing more then control over your emotions, both good and bad! It is the level of your emotional development and your expression of it....here is a Psychology definition for you on the term : emotional quotient, a (notional) measure of a person's adequacy in such areas as self-awareness, empathy, and dealing sensitively with other people.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Nii

      The three areas that u Mr Hippy mentioned in the definition which of them were negative. In the Psychaitry negative behaviour is abnormal. Positive behaviour is the ideal.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • wow

      "In the Psychaitry negative behaviour is abnormal. Positive behaviour is the ideal."

      LOL! What you see as negative and what I see as negative is attributed to the cultures we are raised in. I see Christianity as negative behavior and abnormal.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Reality

      o The illiteracy of the simple preacher man aka Jesus, as per some contemporary experts:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton's commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography, p. 99,

      "What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate m–amzer (pp. 98-102) in his claim to be the Lord's anointed".

      Note: Luke 4: 16 is a single attestation. No where else in the NT does it say Jesus could read thereby making said passage historically unreliable. (Luke 4:16-24) has been compared to a number of other passage and found to be equivalent with the exception of Luke 4: 16 which is the only passage in the list of equivalents that mentions reading:
      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=022_Prophets_Own_Country (leave out the hyphen in "t-itle" if you access the reference)

      1) GThom. 31 & P. Oxy. 1.31
      (2) Mark 6:1-6a = Matt 13:53-58
      (3) Luke 4:16-24
      (4) John 4:44

      Professor JD Crossan notes that Jesus was illiterate coming from a landless peasant background, initially a follower of John the Baptist. e.g. The Excavation of Jesus (with Professor Reed), pp 30-31..

      The question of Jesus's literacy has also been much discussed by the Jesus Seminar and others and they note that references in the Gospels to Jesus reading and writing may well be fictions.

      The only Gospel reference to Jesus writing is John 8:6 in the Pericope Adulterae, widely considered a later addition, where it is not even clear he is forming letters in the dust, and the Greek "εγραφεν" could equally mean he was drawing.
      Luke 2: 41-52, the twelve year old Jesus in the temple- As per Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 275, " the episode is unhistorical" (again, a single attestaion). See also http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=433_Jesus_at_Twelve

      It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown's book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.

      Of course, Muslims believe that Mohammed was also illiterate. This way, they can claim that the only way he could have received the "angelic", koranic passages of death to all infidels and Islamic domination of the globe by any means, was orally since he could not read and write.

      March 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Nii

      REALITY D Bible shows that Jesus brother James d Elder was an educated man. A Pharisee Rabbi was educated. If de 2nd son was educated Jesus d 1st wud b educated 2o. He quoted Scriptures 2 buttress His arguements. James de Elder was d 1st Xtian Bishop not Paul. D historical Jesus is like de Arian 1.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • Nii

      No one who claims the members of the Nazarene Jewish sect aka Christians were stark illiterates is in his right mind. If the non-Christian literature doesn't back us up does that mean they r untrue? Well ancient Chinese history books don't mention England, does that mean English history is bogus?

      March 28, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  13. Paul

    Another interesting point, Your God Scientists refered to as senior weapons experts are paid $20 to $22 a day by the USA to work on worthy projects such as caner research. WOW that's going to tempt them I'm sure.

    And you still think they have your best interest at heart??

    March 27, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • LinCA

      If you hate science so much then why the fuck are you using technology made possible by it?

      What are you? A hypocrite, or a moron?

      March 27, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Paul

      Who said anything about hating Science??

      It's placing scientist above God is the problem.

      Why do you hate God so much? He provides the air you breath!

      March 28, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • LinCA

      @Paul

      You said, "Who said anything about hating Science??"
      How can you have science without scientists?

      You said, "It's placing scientist above God is the problem."
      Anything real should be above all things imaginary. Imaginary friends, including yours, don't have a place in any scientific endeavor.

      You said, "Why do you hate God so much? He provides the air you breath!"
      I don't hate things that don't exist. Your god is merely a figment of your imagination. Your god doesn't provide anything other than a crutch for his followers. You appear to be an adult who hasn't outgrown childish beliefs in mythical beings. Do you still believe in Santa? The Tooth Fairy?

      March 28, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 27, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Jesus

      Lying is a sin, you've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!

      March 27, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • clubschadenfreude

      Prayer does nothing. If it does, I do expect Chritians to pray for and heal amputees at their local VA hospitals. I get to hear about miracle healings of back aches, and sprains, etc, but funny how your god can't do anything about somethign that is obvious. And Nii is hilarious, I do like to watch Christians, and other theists (Muslims are quite good at it too) tell lies that are so easy to pick out. Lies from theists, especially Christians since their bibel is so strongly against liars and lies, just show me that they don't believe in their religion or god or souls, any more than I do. If they did, they'd be meticulous at never putting that eternal soul at risk or assume that their god would just give them a free pass every time they intentionally told a lie. Romans 3, Christians, you really need to refresh your knowledge on what your bible really does say.

      March 27, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  15. Paul

    You say you think the God of the Bible has done some terrible things?

    Have a look at Your God's the Scientists.
    Just checked some figures 30,000 to 75,000 Scientists in the Ukraine work on weapons of mass destruction.

    Yeah they are trying to help us. YEAH RIGHT!

    I'm just pleased there is a God to sort these guys out

    March 27, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • your god is irreducibly complex

      Your god wants to torture 5 billion of us forever. "He" puts those guys to shame.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • mandarax

      People can use science for good or bad things (that's one of the characteristics that scientific knowledge is real – it works whether you believe in it or not). Whether people do good or bad things with science has no affect on whether science is real or whether it works. Science is not force for good or evil – it is a series of methods for identifying objective reality. It works the same whether you are Christian or Hindu. It works even if you don't understand it. It works really really well, hence this computer network linked by satellites that you are using to criticize it.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Paul

      The Bible does not teach that God will torture people. That is a teaching not founded in Gods Word the Bible, but a borrowed teaching from Hindu's and Buddists beliefs.

      Oh I get it! You can critise our God but we can't critize your Scientists. Well that's fair. You sound like a reasonable lot. Not bigotted at all, YEAH RIGHT!

      I thought you teach being open to all knowledge as truth seekers? As you can see you have become just like another religion. Your reponce has proved that beyond doubt.

      March 28, 2012 at 1:47 am |
  16. truth

    2 Timothy 3 >>
    New International Version 1984

    --------––

    Godlessness in the Last Days

    1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

    6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

    March 27, 2012 at 4:37 am | Report abuse | Reply

    March 27, 2012 at 6:21 am |
    • Paul

      Yes I agree, that is exactly what we see today. Even among those claiming to be Christians, hence Paul said they "have a form of godly devotion, but proving false to it's power."
      So even Christians need to check their beliefs to make sure they are actually following Christ's example.

      March 27, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • Reality

      As per many contemporary NT scholars, the Timothy and T-itus epistles were not written by Paul but by psuedo Pauls. i.e. no divine inspiration in said epistles.

      e.g.

      from Father Raymond Brown's ep-ic NT reference book, An Introduction to the New Testament.

      p. 654, 80-90% of the critical scholars believe the letter was written by a pseudo Paul toward the end of the first century, early second century.
      "Authenticity – Probably written by a disciple of Paul or a sympathetic commentator on the Pauline heritage several decades after the apostle's death.

      p. 639 ditto for T-itus

      See also Professor JD Crossan's conclusions in his book (with Professor Jonathan Reed), In Search of Paul, about Timothy and T-itus. (Same conclusions as Father Brown).

      See also Professor Bruce Chilton's book, Rabbi Paul.

      And http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_to_Timothy#The_challenge_to_Pauline_authorship
      .

      March 27, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Dennis

      Actually, truth, look up 'coincidence does not prove causality', but in any case, by many metrics, we are living in the best of times overall as a species. Longest life expectancy, best medical care, least problems with hunger and resource shortages. Sure, we'll need to make some big changes to sustain that, but by and large these are great times right now in comparison to any prior period in history.

      To put it another way, basically, your whole post is bogus and your god doesn't exist.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  17. mandarax

    Thought experiment: This may seem cliche, but I doubt most believers have really though it through. Take a minute and think of the main reasons that you don't believe in Zeus. Literally list in your head the reasons why are you not compelled to accept the reality of Zeus.

    Got it? Okay, now replace Zeus with God in each of those reasons and, aside from the details of differing cultures, you will likely find each reason remains absolutely valid.

    March 27, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • Group Captain Lionel Mandrake

      You are giving a thought experiment to religious people? You may as well give a thought experiment to a pickle.

      Go ahead if you like, but that one's got failure written all over it.

      March 27, 2012 at 3:34 am |
    • Brad

      You may have noticed that "God" differs from "god" only in emphasis. It is not so much a name as a declaration that there is only one living god. A different claim was made for Zeus: he is one of many. My own experience of God has been with one presence, so I've only accepted the single God.

      March 27, 2012 at 4:28 am |
    • Paul

      All you have done is replace God with science. Those who believe in God say we were created. Your God the Scientists believe in evolution.
      All the best for your future. Caos and mayhem will be the order of the day. Continual distruction of the planet. No real answers only theories. What you believe takes far greater faith than a belief in a Creator.

      I am so pleased we are accountable to someone, other wise we would have no future.

      March 27, 2012 at 5:59 am |
    • Primewonk

      Paul wrote, " All you have done is replace God with science"

      This, of course, is pure bull. Science is based on facts and evidence. Religion is based on unsubstantiated opinion.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So funny when thumpers like Paul pretend that believers want to prevent the destruction of the earth. Yet they're the ones who bray on about God's orders that they have "dominion" over the earth and all its creatures. They use it as an excuse every time they want to dismantle the EPA.

      Love the hypocrisy.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • mandarax

      Brad, good point but I would argue that what you describe is a cultural difference. You were likely brought up to attribute the religious emotions and thoughts to a single God, and the culture you are a part of reinforces that you do so. Thus, you have a ready-made concept of god to attribute your feelings to. The ancient Greeks no doubt shared those same thoughts and feelings, triggered by the same parts of their brains, but were indoctrinated to attribute them to a pantheon of more specific gods. The religious urges and the tendency to attribute them to some external, magical agent are the same, only the cultural tradition is different.

      Paul, your comments are hardly worth replying to. Calling scientists gods and evolution a faith just shows that you have a poor understanding of both science and faith. Creationists have been taught to regurgitate that line, but it doesn't make it any more real to say it over and over. It is simply a demonstration of ignorance.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • J.W

      This has been talked about in the past, but I do not think that everyone has the same reasons.

      March 27, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  18. CrapSpot

    Know What? Nobody could tell something about anything that good but those who based it on their experience.

    I bet, you've been applying those rule very well as an atheist.

    March 27, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • 5th Airborne Kitten Division

      I am very impressed that you can be so totally incomprehensible in so few words. Your are quite efficient at being dizzy.

      March 27, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He must have taken lessons from Nii.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  19. Know What

    p.s.

    Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

    If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

    March 27, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • CrapSpot

      Know What? Nobody could tell something about anything that good but those who based it on their experience.

      I bet, you've been doing those things so well as an atheist.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  20. CrapSpot

    From Tom, Tom,:

    "A just and merciful god would never allow the suffering of innocents."

    From momoya:

    "Well said, Tom.. The deal is, just by reading the bible you figure out that god isn't trustworthy–much less "good" in any sense of the word"

    @momoya

    The real deal is...If you can quote a single verse from the Bible, that states that God, unarguably, permits, the "suffering of the innocents", I would immediately quit as a crap spotter here. BUT if you can't, would you cease to be a crap in here?

    Do we have a deal?

    March 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • TING

      The real deal is...If you can quote a single verse from the Bible, that states that God, unarguably, permits, the "suffering of the innocents",

      2nd Kings 2:24

      Of course you may think the children had it coming.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • Know What

      The key word here with @CrapSpot is "unarguably". He'll 'creatively' weasel out of anything...

      March 27, 2012 at 12:23 am |
    • CrapSpot

      @TING..

      Wish on your birthday that "Know What" would lend you an ounce of intelligence as a gift.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Know What

      p.s.

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

      If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally. If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; Is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

      March 27, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • TING

      Wish on your birthday that "Know What" would lend you an ounce of intelligence as a gift

      Clever. Tell us more Mr. theological genius.

      March 27, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • Paul

      There are some very good reasons why those Children were killed. But answer me this first.

      Your very noble God Scientists, in fact around 80% of them spend their time devising methods of destroying humans! If they are so interested in our furture and prosperity of this earth. WHY the fast fortunes spent on destruction? I might add killing innocent children by the millions? Ruining the earth with nuclear waste, deforestation? If they are your only hope..... GOD HELP US.

      March 27, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • Nii

      The word used in 2Kings 2:24 was youths not children. That means they were roughly aged between 16 and 30years. they were not children. Crap spotter activated.

      March 27, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • hippypoet

      Nii – you are an idiot – youth means before adulthood which in the ancient times meant before teen years as that was a marriageable age (normally 13-16)...basically once the women have the first spotting and the men have the first hard on – so when was that for you....30? i think not and if so then i petty you.

      you know very little but type rather well and that is the only real delusion here, i mean besides the god delusion – that ones pretty clear cut!

      March 27, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      CrapSpot, you really should change your name to CrapWriter.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Nii

      HIPPY u what? U "petty" me? I pity you! In the past females rarely attained menarche before 15 and males began puberty around the same age owing to nutrition. A king/heir was regarded as a child until this age even from your own history. A youth was therefore between 15&30yrs of age. Don't lie.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Nii

      The term youth is closely tied in to the legal age for consent to marriage aka se.xual relations. It is used in churches still though for most countries teenage has replaced it. They are not strictly synonymous. With Arabs it runs to the age of 40(the proverb "life begins at 40") and with Jews to 30

      March 27, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • HotAirAce

      What do RCC pedophile priests consider to be "the legal age for consent?"

      March 27, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • hippypoet

      yes i typed petty and meant pity but what can i say but i love the heartbreakers!

      anyway back to the respones which was posted by mistake elsewhere.... Nii, you really are an idiot – the fact the most didn't reach the age of 50 was a sign that getting married eariler was smarter – 30 was still a possibility but highly unlikely – you sir are grossly misleading!

      youth is not tied to anything but age, nothing to do with legal consent...please try to keep in mind that we are discussing the time around 2Kings 2:24 was written and so you were VERY lucky if you reached the age of 30 never mind get married at it!

      March 27, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • html

      From TING

      "Clever. Tell us more Mr. theological genius."

      Here's more...You've been spotted by the CrapSpot! You are now officially a PIECE of CRAP, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

      From: Tom Tom

      "CrapSpot, you really should change your name to CrapWriter."

      You must understand that I'm a Crap Spotter (not a spelling/grammar checker like you) so my job is to spot some craps NOT to write them.

      And honestly, except of the TYPICAL slinging of insults attached with most (if not all) your posts, I don't see anything wrong with them. I find them well-thought and proof-read. But I would easily give in especially to ladies, like you. So ther you go:

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      There you have it. I just wrote a crap. You Win! CONGRATULATIONS!!

      March 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • CrapSpot

      It was me. One of my ladies has jus crapped at my computer. She just changed my moniker into some other crap!

      March 27, 2012 at 10:51 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.