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My Faith: Raising religious (but not too religious) children
Laurel Synder is raising her two sons Jewish, but not kosher.
April 13th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: Raising religious (but not too religious) children

Editor's noteLaurel Snyder is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a poet and author of many books for children. Follow her on Twitter at @laurelsnyder.

By Laurel Snyder, Special to CNN

(CNN) – A few years ago I was invited to my local Jewish Community Center to do a reading of my picture book “Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher.” It was going to be a child-friendly event, so I took my kids along.

Now, “Baxter” isn’t really a book about being kosher. It’s about wanting to be accepted into a community. But I always like to make sure my listeners know what the word kosher means before I read it, since the joke at the center of the book depends on that. So as usual I asked the Jewish Community Center crowd if they could define the word.

Before anyone else could answer, my own son Mose, who was 5 at the time, jumped up and shouted out, “I know! I know! Kosher is us! We’re kosher!” Then he sat back down again, beaming proudly.

And I might have been proud too. Only, you see, we’re not kosher.

On the drive home I tried to figure out what to say to Mose about his mix-up. I wanted him to know what it means to be kosher, to live by a rigid religious dietary code, day in and day out. But I also needed him to understand that we’re not.

How could I show respect for this part of our Jewish tradition while also suggesting that it doesn’t seem relevant in our own household? Should I just blame it on my own parents, who didn’t raise me that way?

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

It’s not easy to explain something to a kid when you haven’t yet figured it out for yourself. One of the most helpful/terrible things about having children is that they require us to think things out explicitly. That often means they make us face the very things we’ve been avoiding.

Sometimes, as a result, kids challenge us to become more mindful or observant. I hadn’t been a member of a synagogue for years when I became a mom. I hadn’t hosted a Passover Seder or found the time to light Shabbat candles.

Even though I worked for a Jewish agency and wrote about religion professionally, when it came to my home life I was almost completely unobservant. Judaism was something I thought about more intellectually than personally. Religion was an interesting idea more than a belief system.

Now I light candles each week and say the blessings. I belong to a havurah – a cohort of local Jewish friends who get together for monthly potluck dinners – and also a synagogue.

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Because there’s something about having kids that makes me want to be a better version of my Jewish self. I want something special to pass on to them. Something more than “You’re Jewish because I’m Jewish.”

But sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes my kids help me recognize the limits of my faith.

In truth, I do not keep kosher and I don’t really want to. My husband is not Jewish, though we’re raising our family to be. So, yeah, we eat tacos for Shabbat dinner most weeks and usually skip Friday night services.

This is the truth and I have to own it. I can only shift my life around so much without feeling inauthentic. Lying to my kids about my religious life is no way to model the value of faith.

So when, after the “Baxter”/kosher fiasco, I set out to write my new picture book, “Good night, laila tov” (laila tov means “good night” in Hebrew), I wanted to paint an honest portrait of my largely secular household.

I wanted my kids to recognize the family in my story as Jewish, but also as, well, like us. Which is to say, not exactly kosher.

On some level I was reacting to the fact that most of the Jewish picture books in my home feel like they’re about someone else. They’re usually set in a Polish village a century ago, or on the Lower East Side of New York City, where mothers cook and fathers pray.

I wanted “Good night, laila tov” to be a sort of lowest common denominator. Contemporary and universal. It’s not about Jewish history, and it doesn’t have a single rabbi in it. It won’t teach you new Hebrew words or show you how to say a certain prayer.

It’s just a story about a Jewish American family going camping, experiencing nature, love, work and rest. In writing it I hoped to capture something typical, something natural, something simple.

And it does present, to my mind, Jewish values: Nature is spiritual, and takes us beyond ourselves. Time spent with family is sacred.

The family in the book plants trees and picks up their campsite, because caring for the earth is part of Judaism, I think. Along with caring for each other.

But as I wrote, I found myself a little afraid that, in attempting to write a picture book for everyone, I was letting the Jewish particularity go. Aren’t family nature, and environmentalism tenets of faith beyond the Jewish world, in every religion?

What did it say about me, my choices, my household, that the Jewish life I was choosing to depict looked like it could be any household at all?

Then I come back around to that moment with Mose, that moment of realizing I’d somehow misled him. Because whatever I’m unsure of, whatever I don’t know about faith, I do know this: if it isn’t honest, it doesn’t count.

The purpose of faith, as I understand it, is to infuse life with greater meaning. To make it more real. Not to dress it up. Not to pretend.

My kids and I are on a journey together. We’re setting out for parts unknown.

And while we may find ourselves changing as we trek along, there is a sacred quality in simply being who we are today. Of stopping on the trail and taking a deep breath. It’s enough, I think, to be exactly who we are, kosher or not.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Laurel Snyder.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Judaism

soundoff (3,114 Responses)
  1. Transcend

    I trust the word of God as the infallable repository of redemptive revelation. Im not trying to Judge anyone.... For myself ...reading the word combined with sincere prayer.... yeilded an unmistakable presence within me of the Holy Spirit. Ive led quite a life of questioning and pushing boundrys... Ive had lots of man made "experiences"... this was different..... Way different....
    I know it's not popular... and some would say fairy tales etc. I've heard it all.... and was once on the other side.( For ME)... It's like seeing a new colour. Cant explain it to anyone else.... and thats the way its meant to be... so that you have the free will to decide to trust Jesus Christ as your saviour. I will say that afterward...the scriptures made sence to me . After God enabled me to Itranscend my own egoistic ordering of the "unknown dark matter" that surrounds us all. . read what I wrote (Trancend) and feel what Im saying without an ego defense.
    Why would someone take such a position unless they were truly changed by Christ. .......All I can say is...Its real.buddy.
    Let go and let god.

    April 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • jim

      Only imaginary gods do nothing while his emissaries r a p e kids in his name.

      April 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • momoya

      Or god's that don't care, Jim.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  2. just sayin

    Prayer is evidence of psychosis. God Bless!

    April 19, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • just sayin

      Pray without ceasing. God bless

      April 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • just sayin

      One pair of hands working to solve a problem does more good than 10 million pairs of hands clasped in prayer.

      There is no valid evidence that any god has ever answered any prayer. Put on some courage for a change, get past your sky fairy myths, get off your butt, and help someone solve a problem. If there's even a god and she's a good god, she'll appreciate that more than you constantly whining to her to solve your problems for you, you wimp.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • just sayin

      One word from the throne of God is greater and more productive than all the words on all these blogs. God bless

      April 22, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then off yourself and go sit next to him, dingbat.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      No need. God has come to us in the person of His Son Jesus Christ and indwells the believer in the person of the Holy Spirit. God bless

      April 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Julian Lee

    Sounds like the writer is confused and ambivalent. Religious knowledge is what secures happiness. The more religious, the more happiness secured. Religion is the source of bliss, which is what all humans seek, crave, and need.

    YogaSutras com

    April 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • n0ttyb0y

      Religion is not the root of all bliss. You are delusional.

      April 19, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • momoya

      Religion may be a source of bliss for some, but it's not a general rule.. Think about all the wars and deaths and insurrections and crusades and inquisitions and the like.. Did religion give those people bliss? I think not..

      YOU get bliss from YOUR religion as it is CURRENTLY.. But, religions adapt as time goes by.. The christianity of today has almost nothing in common with the christianity of a hundred years ago.. More so for a thousand years ago, etc.. Christianity in different geographies worship and believe in drastically different ways.. So, as with all situational reasoning, the "bliss factor" depends on the context–not the religion itself.

      "Bliss" really doesn't factor in to determining truth, anyway.. A person can get bliss from a pill, but that has nothing to do with finding facts and making plausible theories.

      April 19, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • lee

      Religion may be a source of bliss for many, but that doesn't say anything about whether or not they are true. Regardless of whether or not you think the creator of the universe (and best selling author) knows you personally, there is no evidence to suggest he/she/it exists. Regardless of whether or not you believe you go to happy-fun-land when you die, the fact of the matter is that there is no evidence to suggest anything happens when you die.

      I don't disagree that religion can be blissful, but that doesn't mean it isn't entirely delusional. It is as they say, "ignorance is bliss."

      April 19, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Howard

      Julien, people like this woman, and many more in the world, are happy when they think for themselves. Sheep such as yourself only beleive what they are told to believe, and they call it happiness.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  4. just sayin

    Prayer is evidence of psychosis

    April 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  5. momoya

    Chad is a liar and continues to lie for his god on this thread..

    It's disgusting behavior, but one we've come to expect from most christians, here.. Your god must be proud.

    April 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • md2205

      I think that on this forum we can enjoy the back and forth and be open minded about the points that are brought up without being rude and without calling names. It is an exchange of ideas and each side has valid points. Every idea that is brought up is a good topic for discussion.

      It is not correct to challenge someone to prove the existence of G-d or to prove that evolution is not how or-ganisms came into existence, or to prove many other things in life. G-d cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched. As far as evolution, we do not actually observe the process of evolution and cannot recreate it. Therefore, it cannot be proven or unproven. Something that cannot be disproven cannot either be proven, and something that cannot be proven cannot be disproven and therefore it is less than intellectually honest to require it. However, all these ideas, including the idea that G-d exists, can be discussed with conclusions drawn one way or the other based on facts that are really facts, and conclusions developed logically. I think that once people hear both sides, they can make their own conclusions and deserve to be spoken to with respect. The main point is the chance to air out the ideas.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • momoya

      And I think that if somebody lies and misrepresents for their position then they ought to be called out on it.. It's fine for god believers to lie and misrepresent to themselves in order to maintain their beliefs, but this board isn't somebody's personal conscience that so easily accepts such tactics.

      April 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • momoya

      Chad seems to think that certain facts are false dichotomies about god.. He knows that it's true that when a person understands certain concepts they automatically believe in them (chemistry, calculus, etc), but he thinks that it's also a false dichotomy that puts science and god belief at odds! LOL!!!!!

      April 19, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  6. Bogalusa

    God gives you a free choice to believe or not. It is a parents duty to teach their kids and then step aside to let them make a choice.If you don't teach your kids...you made a choice for them.

    Not trying to change your views..don't believe if you want. If you receive the spirit of God and you don't believe...wow then you are a BOZO!

    April 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      "God gives you a free choice to believe or not"
      Wrong ! god, by definition, is all knowing, therefore god new prior to creation that the individual that does not believe would NOT-believe. god created people that are non-believers ( and subsquently punishes them ). Nice

      April 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • momoya

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=390]

      April 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      Hate to break the news to you, but there isn't any god. Religion is all made up fairy tales. Please leave your easter bunny jesus and sky god out of our children's lives. You are brainwashing them to believe crap!

      April 19, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • closet atheist

      Hmmmm.....I'm confused... so by picking a religion to teach (indoctrinate) our children, we are not making the choice for them? Typical logic / reasoning from the religious types.

      I'm all for exposing my 4 year old daughter to all religions... and I do. Have a couple of great books that go into Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.... I'm happy exposing her to it all, because the inherent contradictions should eventually become evident if she's critical.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  7. The Obama Christian Church Worldwide Campaign

    This is the reason why we worship and praise our good christian president Obama and that Obama will be Lord of the world on October 21st of this year. We need to use Obama to restore the traditional dictates of our good Word Of God or the Bible. The Obama Administration will help us christians restore the good morals of christianity which is good. We need to learn the gospels of Obama and Christ to restore the good morals of the world.

    April 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  8. Trancend

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fate or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box

    April 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  9. bob

    Religion is the creation of man. Religion is the result of fear, arrogance, and the need to control others. Fear of the unknown and fear of death. Arrogance to assume they have a direct line to an almighty god, and that god will grant them their wishes because they "believe". The need to control others through fear and shaming.

    April 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  10. Trancend

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fate or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • jim86

      You speak the truth! Up is down! Up is down! What a bunch of nonsense.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Michael Robinson Gainesville FL

      The above is complete non-sense. Religion is all fake. jesus does not exist, nor does your supposed sky god, writing your name in a magical book with a pencil. Rubbish.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  11. It is all good and God is at the end

    We teach our children not to touch a hot stove..whats wrong with teaching them about the God of the Exodus?Won't hurt them just might be the beginning of a life time of getting to know their Creator.

    If there is a watch...gotta be a watch maker.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • jim

      the stove actually exists, it is a real danger they can get burnt. Will you also teach them not to look at medusa in the face to avoid turning to stone and other such nonsence?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • jim

      the stove actually exists, it is a real danger they can get burnt. Will you also teach them not to look at medusa in the face to avoid turning to stone and other such non sense?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • momoya

      If there's a watch, there must be a watchmaker, indeed.. Now, prove that the analogy works for the universe..

      You can't jump that hurdle, but let's assume you already have, somehow.. Now, what does a found watch tell you about the type of person the watchmaker is?. Does it tell you if the watchmaker is good or bad? loving or hateful? vindictive or forgiving? Nothing, right?. If you find a watch, it tells you absolutely nothing about the person who made it.. Not only that, the watch may have been made by a hundred different folks on an assembly line, or any number of other possibilities..

      The watchmaker argument can only be assumed (not proved) and only gets you a "starting energy/rules" for the big bang.. It doesn't get you a personal god who concerns himself with one little planet and a very tiny fraction of living things on that planet.. You just can't get there from here.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Dave

      You're correct a watch is made by a watchmaker(human watchmaker) just like all the gods are made by human god makers. We've even made most of them in our image! except for the ones we imagined to look like animals.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  12. Believer

    I'm coming in late here, but want to reply to the post by 'Jesus' who has misunderstood the practice of praying. First of all, God promises to hear and answer every prayer offered in faith and he will answer according to his will. This means he hears all the prayers of his faithful (those walking in obedience to Christ) and will answer those prayers if they are in harmony with his will.

    And so, we can not expect our prayers to be answered when we do not belong to Christ's church. If our heart is right and we have been brought into a repentant, obedient state at the time we pray, then our prayers will be answered.

    This said, the answers to our prayers may not be what we expected or wanted, but we can pray and then rest assured that God in his great wisdom will give us the answer that is best. We can then pray and rest assured that God is working on our request and in the best interest of his church.

    God is holy, and he can not and will not answer prayers offered up by sinful people who have no intention of coming to know Christ. God does have standards. For example we can't just pray when we get in a bind, expect the answer we're asking for and then ignore God the rest of the time.

    To the guy who said prayer doesn't work, you lack understanding. Understanding and truth is there for all to see and find in the Bible. May I suggest that you begin by reading the New Testiment...all of it, and then decide if you still think "prayer doesn't work". The Bible isn't just a book...it is the supernaturally inspired holy word of God and has power. I can tell you from personal experience and that of countless others, that prayer absolutely does work and I'm living proof. I wish everyone would experience a miracle as I have, and all you need to do for this to happen is accept Jesus Christ as your savior and God (and hear what Jesus has to say about "believing". I'm saddened by what I read in this thread....so many who are lost forever unless they come to know Christ.

    A big problem for many people is that they want to be the one to decide what God is like and what he does....they want a "God as I believe him to be" God. But God is God, he's the only God....some things are true whether you believe in them or not. I've always wondered who would even want a God so weak that he would let human beings define him and decide how he should operate.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • momoya

      Believer, are you saying that there are times when God won't enact his own will unless a believer prays for God to do what was already his will??

      April 18, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Brother Maynard

      Beliver sez:
      "This means he hears all the prayers of his faithful (those walking in obedience to Christ) and will answer those prayers if they are in harmony with his will."

      Let me give you a scenario in the extreme
      Person A has a child that has cancer. Person A is "obedient to Christ". Person A prays to god to save his child from cancer. Person A prays all the time sincerely, repentfully, humbley. Person A does not take his child to the doctor because that would show god that he does not believe in the power of god. Person A trusts that god will save his child from this horible disease. Two months later Person A's child dies
      I have a child with the same cancer same severity. I'm an athiest. I do not even THINK about asking god for anything. I take my child to the doctor and the child recieves 4 – 6 months of painful radiation, kemo and an operation. My child survives.

      1) Who's prayers did god answer?
      2) Should person A mourn the death of his child? if so Why? it is blatenly obvious that god answered his prayers.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • momoya

      And taken generally, the statement is true.. People who are honest and intelligent believe in evolution (provided they have been educated and understand what evolution is)..

      April 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      I haven't committed any logical fallacies, so far.. Or at least not any that you've mentioned or demonstrated to be so.. On the other hand, I've busted you for lying about three dozen times, shown how you have no idea what a "false dichotomy" is, and pointed out the stupidity of your claims..

      Your question has a very obvious answer that highlights your fallacious reasoning about science, but you'll not get it from me until you deal with your own stupid behavior.. I asked you a question about when a scientist should give up looking for any possibility among a near infinity of possibilities left to explore, and state something that isn't scientific or helpful in any way (the "goddidit") reply.. I await your stupidity.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things .

    April 18, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      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.

      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!.!.!

      April 18, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  14. Reality

    An update on Judaism:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."
    =========================================================================================
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    April 17, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • md2205

      It says in the Torah 24 times that G-d gave the Torah to Moses in front of the entire Jewish people at the mountain. There were 3 million people there watching. Historical facts are not discounted when 3 million people saw something happen. If 3 million people hadn't seen it, when they would read the book supposedly written so many years later, they would say no one ever told them that before. It would be hogwash and they would recognize it as such. If you discount that a book says that 3 million people saw that when it happened, you have to discount all the rest of any historical account in the world. Remember, the holy days of the Jews started when they left Egypt. They did the first commandments they were ever commanded by G-d to make the Passover sacrifice as a remembrance of going out of Egypt. They did so every year thereafter without interruption. If someone had tried to impose those holy days on them many hundreds of years later, by saying G-d told him to tell everyone to make the Passover sacrifice and wrote that the Jews did it already, as it is written in the Torah, and the people have never done it before, he would be exposed as a crackpot. The only things we know of the past were what is written in history books for us to read. If we believe any other history book, which contains history in it that much less than 3 million people experienced, then we have to use the same standard with this "book" as well.

      Not one Jew existed in the world in a different place when G-d gave the Torah to the Jews. All the Jews were together there at the mountain personally experiencing G-d telling them the first two of the Ten Commandments. The account written in the Torah is verifiable, because if, after that experience, one child had asked his parents if they had been there, and the parents had said no, then the account in the Torah would be exposed as being false.

      In fact, Judaism is the only religion in the world that claims to have the experience of G-d revealing Himself to more than one person – in fact, to the entire nation. That is verifiable, because if upwards of two million people say they experienced something, there is no one who can say they didn't. A whole nation of people cannot have conspired to create the story and pass it down faithfully throughout all the generations without having some people come up quite shortly after it had happened and said it didn't happen. Not one person of the time said it didn't happen. They did argue with Moses about a lot of other things, but not this. No one ever accused him of lying about this.

      G-d gave the Torah to Moses at the mountain in front of the entire Jewish people, 3 million of them, as they were watching. This is what is written in the Torah 24 times. Imagine that this did not happen. The Jews many years later would be given this book that someone wrote and told that this is what happened to your ancestors. They would respond that they never heard of that before. They would not be doing any of the practices written in the book that says the Jews were doing. They would know the guy is a faker. This was not a case of one man saying G-d came to him in private saying he should do or say such or other. No one could verify what that person was saying as true or not.

      The Torah is evidence. You do not have to have evidence only coming from beneath the ground. Evidence of the writing comes from the fact that we have the writing. When we had the manna coming down from the heavens to feed the Jews in the desert, Moses saved some in a jar for posterity. When the Romans were destroying Jerusalem two thousand years ago, someone hid the jar, along with the many vessels from the Temple, underground. Just because it hasn't been found doesn't mean it isn't there.

      ." History is a record of what happened. It is not necessarily proven or disproven. Many things happened that cannot be proven. We have to be intellectually honest about what we choose to believe or not to believe. Why do you believe that Julius Caeser actually lived? Because people told you, you read about it. You never saw him. If you discount one account of history, you have to be cynical about all accounts and not believe anything. We have a premise that if many people say they saw something, we believe it.

      Those who believe in evolution wait for the evidence that they hope for to come out of the earth, that there are intermediate steps between species. They absolutely didn't say that because there is no archeological evidence for it, evolution didn't happen. We have to use the same intellectual processes to get from one conclusion to another. We can't use the argument that although there is no archeological evidence that proves evolution, we are going to believe in evolution, and then say because there is no archeological evidence of the exodus, or of Abraham, or Moses, we are not going to believe they existed.

      And what archeological evidence would you accept? They found a chariot wheel of the type used in Egypt at the time of the exodus at the bottom of the Red Sea, with human bones and horse bones. The account of the exodus describes that the Egyptian soldiers chased after the Jews as they were crossing the Red Sea, and the waters of the Red Sea returned to catch the Egyptians and drown them. After 3,000 years, a chariot wheel was found there. Would you say that corroborates the account or would you say it could mean something else? Just because pottery wasn't found in the desert doesn't mean the Jews weren't there. And if some pottery were found, it would be Egyptian pottery, because the Jews were slaves and didn't have any of their own. So even if some pottery were found, you would say it only means some Egyptians had been there.

      For those who don't wish to believe the account of the Torah, there is no archeological evidence that they would accept is irrefutable evidence of the account of the Torah. Please tell me what archeological evidence, if found, would you accept. Looking to archeology to prove or disprove accounts is difficult because something may have been found, but misinterpreted. The field is much more complicated and there are a vast number of contradictions involved which make using what is found as proof very difficult.

      There are problems with the conclusions drawn by many of the archeologists and so-called Biblical scholars. For example, they say there is no evidence that the Jews had 2 million people to leave Egypt with; but others found that the Egyptian king was getting very nervous because of the great amount of Jews that were in his land.

      You cannot just blindly swallow what biblical scholars say about how the accounts in the Torah were written. You have to examine the methods they use to determine what they are saying. For example, some say the accounts in the Torah were written in different periods and then combined. How did they determine that? By seeing different words used for the names of G-d. This is why I say you have to learn the Torah only from an Orthodox rabbi, because he has learned the text in the original Hebrew and knows the meanings of all the words, including the names of G-d used therein. For example, the name Y-H-W-H is used to refer to that aspect of G-d which transcends the world, is all-encompassing and highlights G-d's aspect of infinite kindness. When this name is used, it points the text in a certain direction. The usage of the name E-lokim refers to G-d's aspect of working within nature, and of judgment and strictness.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • momoya

      Evolution is proved over and over, thousands of times a day in thousands of labs across the globe.. Genetics proves evolution much more than fossils ever could–and we see the genetics more clearly than you can imagine.. Nobody who understands the theory of evolution disbelieves it.. Stop writing stupid novels on CNN's message boards and go learn what evolution is, dummy.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Evolution is proved over and over, thousands of times a day in thousands of labs across the globe.. Genetics proves evolution much more than fossils ever could–and we see the genetics more clearly than you can imagine.. Nobody who understands the theory of evolution disbelieves it.. Stop writing stupid novels on CNN's message boards and go learn what evolution is, dummy"

      =>an extremely common nonsense argument from people who mislead and mischaracterize (by design or stupidity I know not which) the data.

      It all depends on what your definition of "evolution" is:
      1. Evolution is the process of natural selections preservation of favorable genetic mutations in a population.
      –>Yes, everyone agrees with that. Big birds can indeed "evolve" into little birds.

      2. Evolution is how all of the existing complexity of living organisms arrived at their current state via completely random mutations and entirely naturalistic processes.
      –>NO, there are insurmountable problems with neo-darwinism as the mechanism for the current complexity we see. The fossil record doesnt support it, what we know of the nature of genetic mutations (which virtually all the time do not result in favorable change), and what we know of the complex inter-related nature of genetic changes that are required.

      The numbers simply dont add up, there is absolutely no way (without external intervention on behalf of an entity outside our time/space), that we got where we are.

      and, that's of course ignoring the question how the universe was created, and how the first life for was created.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Reality

      http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

      Religion………………………… Adherents

      Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

      Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

      Irreligious/agnostic/atheism..... 1.1 billion

      Hinduism 900 million
      Chinese traditional religion 394 million
      Buddhism 376 million
      Animist religions 300 million
      African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
      Sikhism 23 million
      Juche 19 million
      Spiritism 15 million

      Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

      Baha'i 7 million
      Jainism 4.2 million
      Shinto 4 million
      Cao Dai 4 million
      Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
      Tenrikyo 2 million
      Neo-Paganism 1 million
      Unitarian Universalism 800,000
      Rastafari Movement 600,000

      April 18, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Reality

      Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this chaotic, stochastic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-garies of its local star.

      o "In the 1930s, theoretical physicists, most notably Albert Einstein, considered the possibility of a cyclic model for the universe as an (everlasting) alternative to the model of an expanding universe. However, work by Richard C. Tolman in 1934 showed that these early attempts failed because of the entropy problem: according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy can only increase.[1] This implies that successive cycles grow longer and larger. Extrapolating back in time, cycles before the present one become shorter and smaller culminating again in a Big Bang and thus not replacing it. This puzzling situation remained for many decades until the early 21st century when the recently discovered dark energy component provided new hope for a consistent cyclic cosmology.[2] In 2011, a five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies and spanning 7 billion years of cosmic time confirmed that "dark energy is driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds."[3][4]

      One new cyclic model is a brane cosmology model of the creation of the universe, derived from the earlier ekpyrotic model. It was proposed in 2001 by Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University. The theory describes a universe exploding into existence not just once, but repeatedly over time.[5][6] The theory could potentially explain why a mysterious repulsive form of energy known as the "cosmological constant", and which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard Big Bang model."
      A different cyclic model relying on the notion of phantom energy was proposed in 2007 by Lauris Baum and Paul Frampton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[7]"

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Many contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      April 18, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Young Earth Creationist timeline simply doesn't add up.
      Noah was born 126 years after Adam's death at age 930, which brings us to the year 1056.
      Gen 7:6 tells us that Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, which brings us to the year 1656.
      If the Earth is 6,000 years old, minus 1656 gives us 4,344 years since Noah built the Ark.
      The oldest living tree thus far found (measured by ring count) was a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine which was 4,862 years old. That means the tree was around 400 years older than Noah's oldest son Ja.pheth when the flood happened.
      In California there is a colony of Palmer's Oak trees called Jurupa Oak that has been alive 13,000 years through clonal reproduction.
      Professor Frank Vasek confirmed the age of a Creosote bush in the Mojave Desert known as "King Clone" using two different methods. His project counted rings and measured the distance of annual growth, and then used radiocarbon dating on chunks of wood found in the center of the ring. Both dating methods yielded an age of 11,700 years.
      That makes the plant more than 7000 years older than Noah's flood, which supposedly destroyed all life on earth save for that which was in the magic TARDIS boat.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • captain america

      Not too much danger of doc v keeping its dog in its own backyard. It is always here pretending it is an American and has something to say that America should hear. News flash, We don't need or want your bull sh-it opinion doc. There's your sign

      April 18, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Cap'n Sayin Atheism Isn't An Angry Pervert Neuman
      Top o' the mornin' to ye, Cap'n.
      Hope your day of trolling brings you great joy. Here, have a troll treat.
      There's a cutesy wutesy widdle twoll! awwwwww

      April 18, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "The Young Earth Creationist timeline simply doesn't add up."

      =>with all due respect to my Christian brothers/sisters who sincerely believe in a young earth, I would point out that the bible doesnt claim that the earth was created ~6,000 years ago.

      That date is arrived at by adding up the genealogies listed in Genesis, a method of determining a total elapsed time that IS NOT supported by those authors.

      "The nature and function of Biblical genealogies is also very different from modern genealogies, which can lead to confusion and misunderstanding. For example, telescoping (leaving out some names for the sake of brevity) is common in Biblical genealogies but is rare in modern genealogies. Similarly, the key genealogical terms (such as “son” and “father”) have much broader meanings then their corresponding English words"

      Documented instances of telescoped genealogies abound (Exodus 6, Numbers 26, 1 Chronicles 6, etc..)

      Adding up the listed dates and arriving at a creation date is simply misusing the genealogy. It was never intended to be used in that manner.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      That's some fine rationalization there, sir.
      How old do you believe the Earth to be?

      April 18, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • momoya

      @chad

      If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable.. The characteristics studied by Darwin implied the evolutionary process; the fossils record demonstrated how many species evolved and added weight to the argument that all species evolved according to the same mechanism of evolution; the genetic data PROVES that the implication of the characteristics and the evidence of the fossil record was interpreted CORRECTLY.. Using the PROOF of modern genetic science, we KNOW that evolution is an accurate theory and we keep adding more and more definition and clarity to it every day.

      If we don't know yet exactly how the universe came into existence then we should say that; we shouldn't say "goddidit" or "big magic sky daddy mumbled some magical incantations.". The same applies for the origin of life.. "We don't know, but we keep looking" is a better answer than, "magic spells did it and there's no need to think of any other possibilities" any day of the year.

      Now quit making yourself look absolutely brain dead and go do some research on evolution..

      April 18, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • momoya

      @chad

      Regarding the age of the earth/universe..

      Is there any method a believer can apply to the words of the bible to determine the accurate age of the earth or universe? thx.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "That's some fine rationalization there, sir. How old do you believe the Earth to be?"

      not a rationalization in any way, shape or form.. it's just a fact.
      God spoke the entire universe (all of the matter, space and time itself) into existence approximately 13.75 billion years ago,

      April 18, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Chad

      @momoya "If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable.. fossil record... genetic data...."
      @Chad "I guess you missed my post which demonstrated that you are (by design or ignorance I know not which) conflating the two definitions of "evolution", and as such you are merely constructing a strawman..

      please re-read my post.

      It is simply an accepted fact that neo-darwinism does not provide a complete mechanism explaining the current complexity of life.
      "God didnt do it" is an insufficient answer to address the gaping holes in the fossil record and genetic mutation as a source of change upon which natural selection acts.

      We know enough to state confidently that neo-darwinism simply doesnt add up.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Colin

      Evolution is a fact. Six days and a talking snake is mythology.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Chad

      Define "evolution"

      April 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      As I said, do some research.. I'm not talking about "neo-darwinism;" I'm talking about the evolutionary theory that the entire scientific community accepts as proven fact because it is proven fact, and because science reaffirms its factual status a couple of thousand times a day.

      What the fvck is "neo-darwinism," and why the fvck can't you evolution deniers use the words correctly and understand the teensiest bit of the theory?. Again, if you think you can show a big, gaping hole in the theory, then do your academic work and publish your findings and accept your Nobel prize and your theory's addition into every science book in the world..

      There's no need to say, "Goddidn'tdoit" until somebody, somewhere can prove that there's even this guy called "God.". ONLY after somebody proves god exists can we even say, "God didn't do it.". Seriously, how fvcking retarded are you?

      "Goddiditwithmagicspells" is a stupid thing to say when you can't even prove god exists.. Admitting that we do not yet know, but we are still looking is much, much, much, much, much more logical than saying it began with magical incantations from a being we can't even prove..

      April 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya ". I'm not talking about "neo-darwinism;" I'm talking about the evolutionary theory that the entire scientific community accepts as proven fact because it is proven fact, and because science reaffirms its factual status a couple of thousand times a day."

      =>define "evolutionary theory" precisely

      your inability/unwillingness to do so will demonstrate my point :-)

      April 18, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "What .. is "neo-darwinism"

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Darwinism

      April 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      I'm fine with wiki's definition of the theory of evolution.. And you're a fvcking moron if you think somebody providing or not providing a definition proves anything at all.. YOU are the one denying a proven process; therefore, YOU have the responsibility of providing a definition of that proven process, and YOU have to use the mechanisms of science to PROVE a better hypothesis..

      Your unwillingness to provide the definition and the proof of its inaccuracy will NOT be proof of anything except your unwillingness to provide the definition and proof of inaccuracy..

      How about the other questions I've asked you, Chad?? By only using the bible without any science facts, how does it show the true age of the universe/world?
      What good is the answer "Goddidit?". Why isn't the answer "We don't yet know, but we're still looking" a better one than "goddidit?".

      April 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      "Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?"
      .
      Well that narrows it down. lol

      April 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.
      1) Evolution as such.
      This is the understanding that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
      2) Common descent
      This is the understanding that every group of living enti.ties that we know of on this planet descended from a common ancestor.
      3) Multiplication of species
      This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.
      4) Gradualism
      This is the understanding that changes take place through the gradual change of population rather than the sudden production of new individuals.
      5) Natural selection
      This is the understanding that individuals in every generation are different from one another, or, at least some of them are. In every generation some individuals survive and reproduce better than others. Their genes multiply.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "I'm fine with wiki's definition of the theory of evolution"
      @Chad "which definition specifically? there are several different aspects of the term "evolution" detailed. If you are referring simply to
      "Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.
      then, I (as an Intelligent Design believer) believe that as well.. :-)
      You need to specifically discuss your proposal for how genetic change was introduced when you define "evolution"

      ==================
      @momoya " By only using the bible without any science facts, how does it show the true age of the universe/world?"
      @Chad "the bible wasnt created to document the age of the universe, it was created to document the interaction of humans with God.
      As always, your attempt to create a "either you believe in the bible, or you believe in science" is a false dilemma, one that you never seem to tire of :-)

      ==================
      @momoya "What good is the answer "Goddidit?". Why isn't the answer "We don't yet know, but we're still looking" a better one than "goddidit?""
      @Chad "We dont know but we're still looking, is a fine answer. However, we also need to acknowledge when we have come to the end of an avenue of inquiry.

      In 1775, the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris, made the statement that the Academy "will no longer accept or deal with proposals concerning perpetual motion", the reason is obvious, scientific understanding had progressed to the point where it was understood that it was impossible.

      Of course it would have been unreasonable to say "well, we dont believe in thermodynamics, so we're going to keep accepting applications, after all, it's unreasonable to just stop looking!!""

      right?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution....."

      =>if gradualism is a key part of your definition, then you're sunk by the fossil record
      see Punctuated Equilibrium...

      April 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • momoya

      TEST TO SEE IF THE FVCKING PIECE OF SH!T CNN BOARD IS WORTH A FVCK

      April 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • momoya

      i hate the cnn filter.. I hate the cnn filter.. I hate the cnn filter.. I hate the cnn filter!! FVCK YOU CNN!! FVCK YOU CNN!! FVCK YOU CNN!!

      April 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      No, I don't "need to specifically discuss your proposal for how genetic change was introduced when you define 'evolution'." If you have an issue with evolutionary theory, then do your work on why it's wrong and submit it for publication and collect your many prizes (Nobel and otherwise) and rejoice at the reprinting of every single science book in the world with your theory in it.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      The bible is pretty sucky at its goal, then.. I mean, bible believers disagree about everything and anything.. Rather than clear up confusion on god's will and nature, it adds to the confusion.. The bible offers no mechanism by which any believer can determine how accurate or inaccurate is his interpretation of a scriptural text or precept.. The bible gets many of its facts dead wrong, as science demonstrates.. Since the bible cannot be trusted in its scientific claims then it can't be trusted on its spiritual claims.. Duh.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      How is the answer, "Goddidit" EVER a better answer than "We don't yet know, but we're still looking?". And what does "the end of an avenue of inquiry" have to do with determining what is fact and what isn't?. Trust me, if you build a perpetual motion machine science will be all over it.. The proof is in the pudding.. If you can build a PM machine then that machine is the proof.. Same with god.. When you can demonstrate god's existence, then the world will take notice.. Why hasn't some christian somewhere shown how the bible proves god?. It doesn't, and it doesn't help with science or evolution..

      April 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • fred

      momoya
      How do you know it was CNN and not God who blocked your post? Anyway, I sometimes break a post into several parts and post if it is a long one that gets blocked. The one word that gets me is "docu-ment" which CNN love to block.
      A few people on this site post in script that CNN cannot block (check LinCA she knows the secret)

      April 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "No, I don't "need to specifically discuss your proposal for how genetic change was introduced when you define 'evolution'.""
      @Chad "hmm, read my post again, you have to posit what is providing the genetic mutation grist for YOUR natural selection mill.
      that's the entire point :-)
      without that, you havent said anything that would differentiate between our two stances.

      ===============
      @momoya " If you have an issue with evolutionary theory, then do your work on why it's wrong and submit it for publication and collect your many prizes (Nobel and otherwise) and rejoice at the reprinting of every single science book in the world with your theory in it."
      @Chad "sigh.. you dearly love that false dilemma dont you :-)
      see above, you have to clearly define what you mean by "evolutionary theory" to be able to clearly differentiate between our positions.

      If I didnt know better, I would start to suspect that either:
      a) you dont actually know enough about the various aspects of "evolutionary theory" to be able to clarify your position
      or
      b) you arent interested in clarifying your position, as it would eliminate your continued misuse of the false dilemma..

      not sure which it is yet.. :-)

      April 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • momoya

      @ fred

      I'd have to have proof of god's existence to consider if he may have done something or not.. I have proof of CNN's filter and I can test its program.. Do you know of a method by which I can test your god as rudimentarily as I test CNN's filter?

      April 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "How is the answer, "Goddidit" EVER a better answer than "We don't yet know, but we're still looking?". "

      =>if He did in fact do it, it's certainly a better answer :-)

      April 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Chad

      Until it can be demonstrated that "Goddidit" then "I don't know" will ALWAYS be the better, and intellectually honest, answer.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You dipsh!t.. I don't have to prove anything about evolution.. You're the one proposing that it's wrong.. YOUR claim; YOUR proof.. If you intend to prove that your god is magically supplying some element for evolution to work as it does, then you'll need to demonstrate that claim.. I don't have to provide details that you seem to think are necessary, and the theory is far from complete if you'd like to get a discovery or two named for you.. But you're probably not going to invalidate one of the best explained and most understood theories of all of science.. If you can, then do it.

      Clearly you are fvcking liar like so many other christians that come here. I have never proposed a dichotomy of science or god.. Apologize for your lying sh!tty behavior, immediately.

      I have told you that I accept the current definitions that the theory of evolution uses.. I have no obligation to define what is already defined and proven as solid fact.. YOU have the obligation to show how the theory is wrong if that is your claim.. YOU MUST define YOUR terms, not me.

      Chad, I know christian behavior pretty well.. It's almost always turns out to be a pack of lies and exaggerations. If I didnt know better, I would start to suspect that either:

      a) you dont actually know enough about the various aspects of "evolutionary theory" to be able to clarify your position
      or
      b) you arent interested in clarifying your position, as it would eliminate your continued misuse of the false dilemma..

      not sure which it is yet, but I do know that you're a lying azzhole.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Yes, the answer "goddidit" IS a better answer if god did do it.. The problem is this: You don't know how it happened–whether your god or another god or another process or several gods or processes.. Scientists approach the question by acknowledging that they don't know how it came about so they study it according to the evidence that they have.. If science eventually shows that one god "did it" then we can say that confidently.. Until then, it's stupid, and you god believers should either stop being stupid in that manner or realize that you're being stupid in that manner.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Chad
      What I posted were Darwin's 5 original laws from over 150 years ago.
      Punctuated Equilibrium isn't even 50 years old.
      That being said – it is not an "if one is true, the other is patently false" situation.
      Gradualism and punctuated equilibrium can co-exist – that some creatures have changed gradually and others have had long periods of stability doesn't invalidate evolutionary theory.
      The fossil record for hominids is clearly gradualistic, for example.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • md2205

      It is commonly believed that Darwin's theory of evolution has disproved the Biblical account of creation in general, and individual creation of species in particular. The result is that many reject the truth of Torah because they are convinced that science has vindicated evolution over revelation. However, both the creationists and the evolutionists tend to labor under gross misconceptions about Darwinism and its status within science.

      To talk meaningfully about species evolving, we need a working definition of species. For practical purposes, we will use a common, working definition, even though it only strictly applies to se-xually reproducing organisms, and that is: A species is comprised of individuals capable of interbreeding to produce fer-tile offspring. Thus horses are a species and donkeys a are species but the product of their interbreeding, mules, are not a species for they are not capable of producing fer-tile offspring.

      If we define evolution as simply a change in species over time, any student of biology must agree that species do in fact evolve. The question is, how much.

      If, on the other hand, we define evolution in the Darwinian sense – as a process of random mutation and natural selection by which all living beings have arisen by chance from single-celled organisms over 100's of millions of years – we may not be on equally firm ground from a scientific perspective.

      To explain: Random mutation refers to tiny, unpredictable changes in the hereditary qualities of a living being that get passed down to the next generation. If this slight change improves the chances of survival of the offspring, the next generation of that species will have slightly more of this new quality. This is the concept of survival of the fittest, which is equivalent to the term natural selection. Darwin argued that the cu-mulative effect of these small hereditary changes coupled with natural selection should eventually lead to new species and suggested that all species have come into existence from common ancestry in this way.

      Believers in Darwin like to cite the famous example of the peppered moth. Individuals of this British species are either black or white. The white form used to predominate until the industrial revolution when the black variant gained a selective advantage and became far more common. This was because the soot in the atmosphere from the burning of coal darkened the tree trunks where the moths would rest, rendering the white moths easy prey while the black moths remained well camouflaged. Once industrial processes became more efficient and the trees became lighter in color, the white variety returned to dominance while the frequency of the black variety declined.

      These microevolutionary changes have been interpreted as proof of Darwin's idea that species have arisen in this way, but there are several issues neglected by jumping to this conclusion. First, the peppered moth population started out with both varieties. Thus there was no mutation to be naturally selected, and therefore no Darwinian evolution. Second, no speciation has occurred here – only changes in the frequency of one variety over the other. And third, even if one of the variants had gone extinct, it would not exemplify evolution, but rather "devolution" since there would be a loss, not a gain in hereditary information.

      Microevolution also occurs in dogs. All breeds of dogs are all one species, Canis familiaris, whether it's a chihuahua or great dane. That's why breeders are careful about with whom their thoroughbreds mate; they don't want a mutt. But with all the thousands of years of microevolution of dogs through selective breeding, no speciation has occurred, and each type of dog is capable of producing fertile offspring with another.

      With plants, we see the same phenomenon. For instance, one might think that cabbage, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and broccoli are different species but in fact it is not so. If you allow them to interpollinate, within a few generations, all the produce will look like cabbage. That's because they are all one species, Brassica oleracea, and the changes that growers achieve through selective breeding are microevolutionary, and not speciation.

      In some cases, we do find speciation occurring, but never through adding bits of hereditary information. It has been observed in both lab and field how some plant and animal species have developed or split into two such that the populations can no longer interbreed to produce fertile offspring. However, in none of these cases did this come about through random mutation or any other gradual addition of hereditary information. On the contrary, any genetic additions have been non-evolutionary, through hybridization, polyploidy, etc. Besides, in most cases cited, the new species come about not through an addition but rather through a reduction in the amount of hereditary information. Hence none of the new species lend any credence to the idea that life gradually evolved from simple to complex forms.

      In short, in the several centuries that we have been making detailed biological observations, and in thousands of years of selectively breeding plants and animals, we have not seen any Darwinian evolution in the lab, farm or field. That does not mean it could not happen; it just means that we have no direct evidence of it ever having happened.

      So what is the scientific status of Darwinism, or macroevolution, i.e., the idea that all living species evolved from a common origin through random mutation and natural selection?

      Can we say that it is a fact? Well, if we define 'fact' as that which has been empirically observed, then no.

      Can we say it is a theory? Well, if a theory is an idea which generates falsifiable hypotheses that can be tested through experimentation, then once again the answer is no. The normative use in science of the term 'theory' involves the necessity to be able to disprove it through experimental observations. We cannot call macroevolution a scientific theory because we cannot go back in time to make the necessary observations that would either support or refute it.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      There is no functional or procedural difference in the so-called "micro and macro evolution". Common misrepresentation by those who do not understand, or want to understand the evolutionary theory.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing with a prayer and some DNA analyses:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      As per National Geographic's Genographic project:
      https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

      " DNA studies suggest that all humans today descend from a group of African ancestors who about 60,000 years ago began a remarkable journey. Follow the journey from them to you as written in your genes”.
      "Adam" is the common male ancestor of every living man. He lived in Africa some 60,000 years ago, which means that all humans lived in Africa at least at that time.

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

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

      April 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • md2205

      If macroevolution is not a scientific fact and not a scientific theory, then what is it?

      Science progresses using inductive reasoning, that is, rational inferences from what is known or observed to what is not known, or what has not been observed. But within scientific inference, there are stronger and weaker methods.

      To infer from the known to the unknown, it is more reliable to use interpolation than extra-polation. If one measures a variable quanti-ty at two points, one will be more secure in esti-mating the situation at some intermediate condition between the measurements than beyond the range of observation.

      For instance, consider the relationship of temperature and density in water. If we know the density of water at 4 degrees C and 99 degrees C, and then try to predi-ct the density at other temperatures, we will be tremendously better off interpolating the density between the two temperatures than extra-polating even one or a few degrees outside this range. That is because with one added degree of heat, the water va-porizes and the density cra-shes, while at the other end, co-oler water becomes less dense instead of more dense, an ano-maly in all of nature. A few degrees co-oler than that yields a solid, ice, which unlike any other solid form is actually less dense than its liquid form.

      But evolution is based on the weaker inferential method of extra-polation and not the stronger method of interpolation. Scientists have been studying or-ganisms in the lab, field, and fossil record for only two or three centuries, and yet we attempt to make conclusions over 100's of millions of years. These are not modest extra-polations, but very big ones.

      Within inferences based on extra-polation, we again have two types: forward and backward. When we extra-polate forward from a known present to an unknown future, our inferences are much more secure than when we use the same means to infer backwards into an unknown past, especially a distant past.

      To exemplify forward extra-polation, imagine we have two numbers, two and three, which will interact and produce some result. Depending on whether we add, subtract, multi-ply, divide, take roots or exponents, we will get a small range of possible results based on extra-polation forward from known conditions.

      If, however, we end with the numbers two and three, and try to extra-polate backward, i.e., to determine which numbers have combined and in what way to yield these two numbers, we will be confronted by a truly infinite number of possibilities. Backward extra-polation is a far more uncertain and variable method than forward extra-polation.

      April 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Doc Vestibule "it is not an "if one is true, the other is patently false" situation.Gradualism and punctuated equilibrium can co-exist – that some creatures have changed gradually and others"

      PE and PG are two very different models. PG has no support in the fossil record
      "Phyletic gradualism is in contrast to the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which proposes that most evolution is isolated in rare episodes of rapid evolution, which one species splits into two distinct species, followed by a long period of stasis or non-change. These models are also in contrast to variable speed evolution, which maintains that different species evolve at different rates, and that there is no reason to stress one rate of change over another"

      April 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      An honest person would cite the source of the quotation used. (Wikipedia, in this case)
      An honest person would also provide relevant context around the quotation used (it comes right after the bit you quoted)

      Besides, the whole punctuated equilibrium is a red herring since it is a part of the evolutionary model and its finer points are debated within the evolutionary science community.. There are no evolutionary scientists who claim that punctuated equilibrium "breaks" the evolutionary model used today.

      From wikipedia:
      >>Punctuated equilibrium is often portrayed to oppose the concept of gradualism, when it is actually a form of gradualism.[45] This is because even though evolutionary change appears instantaneous between geological sediments, change is still occurring incrementally, with no great change from one generation to the next. To this end, Gould later commented that "Most of our paleontological colleagues missed this insight because they had not studied evolutionary theory and either did not know about allopatric speciation or had not considered its translation to geological time. Our evolutionary colleagues also failed to grasp the implication(s), primarily because they did not think at geological scales".[12]
      Richard Dawkins dedicated a chapter in The Blind Watchmaker to correcting, in his view, the wide confusion regarding rates of change. His first point is to argue that phyletic gradualism — understood in the sense that evolution proceeds at a single uniform rate of speed, called "constant speedism" by Dawkins — is a "caricature of Darwinism"[46] and "does not really exist."[47] His second argument, which follows from the first, is that once the caricature of "constant speedism" is dismissed, we are left with one logical alternative, which Dawkins terms "variable speedism." Variable speedism may also be distinguished one of two ways: "discrete variable speedism" and "continuously variable speedism." Eldredge and Gould, believing that evolution jumps between stability and relative rapidity, are described as "discrete variable speedists," and "in this respect they are genuinely radical."[48] They believe that evolution generally proceeds in bursts, or not at all. "Continuously variable speedists," on the other hand believe that "evolutionary rates fluctuate continuously from very fast to very slow and stop, with all intermediates. They see no particular reason to emphasize certain speeds more than others. In particular, stasis, to them, is just an extreme case of ultra-slow evolution. To a punctuationist, there is something very special about stasis."[49] Dawkins therefore commits himself here to an empirical claim about the geological record, in contrast to his earlier claim that, "The paleontological evidence can be argued about, and I am not qualified to judge it."[50] It is this particular commitment that Eldredge and Gould have aimed to overturn.<<

      April 18, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Evolution is proved over and over, thousands of times a day in thousands of labs across the globe.."

      @Chad "an extremely common nonsense argument from people who mislead and mischaracterize (by design or stupidity I know not which) the data. It all depends on what your definition of "evolution" is.."

      @momoya "If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable.. "

      @Chad "you need to define "evolution""

      @momoya "YOU have the responsibility of providing a definition of that proven process"

      @Chad "you made the original assertion that "evolution" is proven, so you need to:
      a. define what you mean by "evolution", which is absolutely neccessary given that there are various notions associated with that term.
      b. explain exactly how it is "proven" (your original claim)

      right?

      One thing I see over and over and over and is again so clearly evident in this tread.. Atheists love to make claims, but hate to have to back them up with data. They love to mischaracterize, build strawman and create false dilemmas.

      What the vast majority of atheists cant/wont do is simply lay out their claims, and back it up with data.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • md2205

      The magnitude of the uncertainty involved is exemplified by the following anecdote. When Professor James Brawer was a university student, he decided he would like to see for himself how accurate are the methods of dating fossil remains. He purchased from the local Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals the remains of a recently deceased dog and buried them in his back yard. Several years later, while digging in his garden, he "accidentally" came upon them and promptly called academic experts in paleontology, geology, and zoology to inquire about the bones he had found. All the experts agreed that the remains were that of a dog, but beyond that there was not much consensus. Questions of how heavy the animal was, how old at death, and for how long it had been buried got answers that varied by factors of two to four times. If this is the uncertainty over a period of a few years, what is the case with purported periods of centuries, millennia, or millions of years?

      Of course any uncertainty over a short period of time will be greatly magnified over a long period. In science, we calculate uncertainty using confidence intervals. This is the likelihood and margin of error we attach to our esti-mates. The farther into time we guess-timate, the larger these confidence intervals become, but not in a linear or gradual way. It is the tendency of confidence intervals to widen geometrically with the linear passage of time. In other words, errors multiply. For example, if doubling the time gives four times the uncertainty, then tri-pling the time will result in nine times the uncertainty, and so on.

      All this applies when environmental conditions are constant. But what happens when the uniformitarian principle is v-io-lated, i.e., when conditions have been variable over the purported period of study? For example, if we have two substances that when mixed together produce a third, we cannot as-sume that the rate of production was always the same. It is possible that some catalyst has been present in the environment that changes the rate of reaction. Modern chemistry has discovered many such catalysts that can increase reaction rates by thousands of times, even though they are only present in minute amounts.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • md2205

      All fossil and rock dating techniques rely on the uniformitarian principle, and yet every worker in the field believes that it been vio-lated in significant ways, rendering calculations immensely va-gue.

      The most common of these methods is carbon dating. This involves comparing the relative amounts of two forms (isotopes) of carbon in the fossilized remains. The idea is that while the or-ganism was alive it had a known amount of each type of carbon, but that once it has died, the amount of one type of carbon decreases at a known rate through a process of radioactive decay. This would allow the scientist to calculate the age of the fossil.

      One problem with this is that the relative amounts originally in the living or-ganism depend on environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, radiation, and magnetic fields, solar flux, and ambient levels of or-ganic comb-ustion, all of which have been subject to change to an unknown degree in the distant past. Consequently, experts continually revise their opinions and frequently disagree about dates, with high and low esti-mates varying by as much as twenty times and more.

      Rocks are dated in a similar way using elements other than carbon, and these dates are even more variable. In fact, the very same rock dated with different elements, samarium and pota-ssium, have given results that vary by one billion years. Considering that the lower age esti-mate was somewhat over half a billion years, the margin of error was even more than the esti-mated age.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • md2205

      Evolutionists have themselves noted these glaring flaws in Darwinian theory and have sought to deal with them in the manner of Stephen J. Gould, who has suggested that speciation is a sudden and dramatic event which therefore does not show up in the fossil record. Gould states that "the fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change," and then proposed that "macroevolution proceeds by the rare success of these hopeful monsters, not by continuous small changes within populations."

      It sounds nice, but from a scientific standpoint, the fatal objection to his punctuated equilibrium notion is the absolute lack of any concei-vable mechanism by which the necessary genetic and or-ganic changes could occur.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad the LIAR.

      I gave you the definition of evolution, Chad.. I said that I agreed with wiki's definition.. And, yes, the standard definition of evolution is proved thousands of times a day in labs across the world.. It is continually proven by geneticists in their work and in medical research and in fossil recovery and geological findings, etc, etc.. Why do you keep LYING?

      One thing I see over and over and over and is again so clearly evident in this tread.. LYING christians love to make claims, but they REFUSE to have to back them up with data because, after all, they can just lie..
      They love to mischaracterize, build strawman and create false dilemmas because it's all you can do.. Lie, lie, and lie again..

      EVERY christian cant or wont lay out their claims simply, and back it up with data..

      And Chad, why are you such a lying piece of excrement?. You know that you've lied, and you continue lying, and somehow you think it's ok because you're doing it for your god.. Don't you think he sees and understands your lying behavior even if you do get away with it here?. You christians lie because you can't do anything else.. You can't prove your cute little crazy ideas about evolution being untrue, or you'd go do it and become one of the most famous scientists in history.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya " the whole punctuated equilibrium is a red herring since it is a part of the evolutionary model and its finer points are debated within the evolutionary science community.. There are no evolutionary scientists who claim that punctuated equilibrium "breaks" the evolutionary model used today."

      @Chad "that is an incredibly imprecise statement on so many different levels..
      1. you have as yet not defined what you mean by "evolutionary model", let alone "it's finer points". Exactly why is that? I'm curious, why do you so abhor clearly stating what you are claiming?

      2. PE completely decimated darwinian gradualism, that is the entire reason it was such a revolutionary concept and so hostilely received.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "I gave you the definition of evolution, Chad.. I said that I agreed with wiki's definition."
      @Chad "which one? this one? If so, then I agree with it also :-)
      "Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations

      as said innumerable times before, that definition is insufficient to differentiate between our positions.. and I guess that is precisely why you refuse to clarify,, as you dearly love the false dilemma that you feel the impreciseness affords you.

      look, it's simple. cut and paste your complete definition of "evolution"
      why is that so hard for you?

      April 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      1. I have provided you a definition.. You're a liar, so you just keep lying about what I have and haven't done.. You're just too used to lying for your god to yourself that you've forgotten how noticeable it is when you type it out for everybody to see.

      2. PE does NOT decimate darwinian gradualism, as you would know if you studied the science of PE and the various arguments by scientists that deal with it.. You haven't studied the data, so you AS.SUME that it helps your defiance of proven fact.. But it doesn't.. Study PE academically, and not just for the point you want it to make, and you'll have a better grasp of the theory.

      And really, why should anybody here bother with you if you're just going to keep up your tactic of lying?. You're a proven liar.. Deal with it, and don't expect to be taken seriously because of it.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Me cutting and pasting has no bearing on you telling lies.. Don't be stupid..

      You're the one claiming evolution is wrong.. It's not my problem that the theory of evolution has many parts and contains complex mechanisms.. You're the one saying it's wrong.. Prove it, and quit mucking about on CNN's comment boards lying and whining about what other people will or won't do.. If you have a theory that makes better sense of the facts, then let's have it..

      I mean, if I were proving the theory of gravity wrong, I wouldn't need your definition!!! LOL!!!

      You're a moron who wants to play word games, and that's fine, I can accommodate, but don't think you can lie and misrepresent and get away with it.. What stupid, lying followers your god has.. Too bad he can't help you guys out on stuff like this.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • md2205

      In addition are the unanswered challenges to macroevolution posed by information theory and molecular genetics by scientists such as Lee Spetner in prestigious journals such as Science and the Journal of Theoretical Biology. Spetner's calculations show that billions of years are insufficient to evolve even one new species, and yet not one scientist has ever even attempted to refute his arguments in a scientific journal.

      In a recent book, Spetner calculates the likelihood of one species evolving from another at no better than 1:102738. This is comparable to the probability of every person on the planet buying six billion lottery tickets every day and the same person winning every day for a year. Of course, everyone would agree that such an eventuality would be impossible.

      Many, if not most, leading scientists agree. Royal Society astronomer Sir Frederick Hoyle says that a tornado generating a jet in a junkyard is more likely than one species evolving from another. Nobel Prize-winning chemist Harold Urey, famous for his role in recreating the building blocks of life from inor-ganic matter, has been widely quoted that "all of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel that it is too complex to have evolved anywhere."

      And, there is the biochemical challenge to evolution. When Darwin proposed his theory, no scientist could imagine the incredible chemical intricacies underlying every biological process. This posed a new problem for the Darwinists: irreducible complexity. This means that if any one of dozens of key elements of a biochemical process would be missing, the entire process would simply shut down. Just as the dysfunction of one small screw could destroy a jetliner, so too one missing chemical can terminate an essential life process such as photosynthesis, respiration, blood clotting, or reproduction.

      This is an impossible outcome for Darwinian evolution. Macroevolution requires a progression of one beneficial mutation after another, with each generation becoming more fit and more developed than the previous one, until more complex or-ganisms evolve from simpler ones. But if an irreducibly complex system of, say, ten elements is to evolve, then element one has to add some fitness, element two has to add some fitness, and so on until all the parts are in place. The problem with the complex system is that elements one, two, three… and nine do not add any survivorship to the species, and there is no natural selection favoring those intermediate stages. On the contrary, they will be selected against. Thus irreducibly complex systems cannot evolve into existence, and therefore higher life forms cannot evolve from simpler ones.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      A suggestion: Why don't you go trot your idea out on a science forum and see what you get.. Proceed from there to your Nobel Prize on the new and improved theory of evolution.. Good plan, huh?

      April 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Me cutting and pasting has no bearing on you telling lies.. Don't be stupid.."

      again, the issue is your absolute reluctance to state plainly what you mean by "evolution".. you prefer instead to pose false dilemmas like "if you dont believe in evolution, you dont believe in science"

      anyone can see, just scroll up.. it's plain. you made that exact statement, then when called upon to clarify and present data, you went running :-)

      were I in your shoes, attempting to defend such an indefensible statement, not sure what I would do.. ;-)

      April 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Again, the issue is your insistence on telling lies rather than the truth..

      Chad, you fvcking sh!tfvcker who fantasizes about Christ coming through Mary's birth canal when you mas.ter.bate, I have NEVER presented the false dichotomy you claim.. You and your god both know that you're lying, but only one of you is proud of it.

      You are the one claiming that evolution is false.. Either do what you claim is necessary (put up the data) or realize that you are the one doing what you accuse others of doing.. What are you so afraid of, Chad?. I mean, being able to disprove evolution is a really big deal!. Do something.. Prove it.. Do something other than lie and make your god look like a sh!tty advisor to his followers..

      You can't do it, can you?. Can't stop lying.. Can't put up evidence.. Can't even show how you might be correct.. Can't even put up a plausible idea.. Nothing.. You got jack sh!t, you coward.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • md2205

      I think that on this forum we can enjoy the back and forth and be open minded about the points that are brought up without being rude. It is an exchange of ideas and each side has valid points. Every idea that is brought up is a good topic for discussion.

      It is not correct to challenge someone to prove the existence of G-d or to prove that evolution is not how or-ganisms came into existence, or to prove many other things in life. G-d cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched. As far as evolution, we do not actually observe the process of evolution and cannot recreate it. Therefore, it cannot be proven or unproven. Something that cannot be disproven cannot either be proven, and something that cannot be proven cannot be disproven and therefore it is less than intellectually honest to require it. However, all these ideas, including the idea that G-d exists, can be discussed with conclusions drawn one way or the other based on facts that are really facts, and conclusions developed logically.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • momoya

      @md

      I would rather discuss a topic with sound reasoning.. If a being can't be sensed, then what's the difference if it exists or not?

      Evolution is proven in all over the world every day.. No, we don't have every bit of knowledge, but we have enough of the puzzle pieces to know that it's a picture of the earth's biology, and not a Chevy up on blocks..

      The god of the torah and bible has too many self-contradictions to be a valid being to either believe or disbelieve, and if there's nothing to test and study with verifiable results, then it's pointless to discuss except as philosophy.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "I would rather discuss a topic with sound reasoning.. If a being can't be sensed, then what's the difference if it exists or not?"
      @Chad "Just because you cant sense something doesnt mean it doesnt exist, that's a pretty straightforward concept.."
      =========
      @momoya "Evolution is proven in all over the world every day.. "
      @Chad "with out a definition of what precisely you mean when you say "evolution", your statement doesnt actually say anything at all"

      =========
      @momoya "The god of the torah and bible has too many self-contradictions to be a valid being to either believe or disbelieve"
      @Chad "such as?"

      April 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Ah, I see you are abandoning your grandiose lies about me and evolution.. LOL!

      Detectability is the issue, Chad, as you well know.. All information comes through our senses.. Only a fool would claim otherwise.. True, some measurements we make use complex tools to account for our inability to see some wavelengths or directly sense other data, but we then use maths and other verifiable methods since the data must get into our brains via the senses.. If a thing or being cannot be tested with the tools we currently have available, then there's no point in considering whether or not it exists.. If god cannot be discerned by any verifiable method, then we don't even have to concern ourselves with whether or not he exists..

      The theory of evolution is proved every day regardless of what definitions you do or don't like, you lying fvckwad.. If you can prove it wrong, then do so and quit lying for your perfect deity that can't make himself as obvious and known as mathematics or chemistry.

      The god of the torah and bible contradicts himself in his behavior, words, and doctrines.. The bible's full of them, and you'll see them if you read the bible without bias and with as much scrutiny as you would read the Koran or other holy book..

      When are you going to apologize for all your lies and dovchebaggery towards me?

      April 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Chad

      So, your entire argument against evolution is dependent upon a person giving an incomplete definition of Evolution that doesn't explicitly deal with punctuated equilibrium and then you swooping in with.. Punc-Tu-Ated Equil-Ibrium!!! HA!!! No wonder you kept pushing for a definition!! You know that most shorter definitions of Evolution won't deal with non-vital details like PE, so you demand a definition so that you can get the non-PE one and spring your silly trap made of shoe strings and bubblegum, eh?! HA!!!!

      That'd be like me getting you to provide a short definition of christianity, and then I swoop in with "But that doesn't take into account the sin of Onan, so your bible and god are wrong!!". I mean, how stupid.. How utterly ridiculous.. You guys have got nothing at all, do you? Nope. Nothing,.

      April 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Momoya "Ah, I see you are abandoning your grandiose lies about me and evolution.. LOL!"
      @Chad "honestly, I cant for the life of me figure out what you are referring to.. if you dont understand how you are constructing a false dilemma, here are a couple of your examples:
      "If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable"
      "Nobody who understands the theory of evolution disbelieves it"

      the false dilemma you are constructing, is that one either believes evolution, or God.

      ==========
      @Momoya " a thing or being cannot be tested with the tools we currently have available, then there's no point in considering whether or not it exists"
      @Chad "Any entity existing outside our time and space would not be detectable according to the methodology you propose, as such you are a priori excluding that possibility, which of course is unscientific, right?

      ==========
      @Momoya "The theory of evolution is proved every day regardless of what definitions you do or don't like"
      @Chad "As I showed before, since you are unwilling (why is that again? :-) ) to define what you mean by evolution, then you arent actually saying anything"

      ==========
      @momoya "The god of the torah and bible contradicts himself in his behavior, words, and doctrines.. The bible's full of them."
      @Chad "again,, as before.. please provide an example, you continue to make statements but absolutely refuse to back any thing up.. why?"

      April 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Momoya "So, your entire argument against evolution is dependent upon a person giving an incomplete definition of Evolution that doesn't explicitly deal with punctuated equilibrium and then you swooping in with.. Punc-Tu-Ated Equil-Ibrium!!! "
      @Chad "no, read the thread again..
      You have yet to define what you mean when you say "evolution", that is where the "incomplete definition" comes in.
      I pointed out the obvious problems with neo-darwinianism, which have nothing to do with your non-existent at yet definition..
      I pointed out that Doc Vestibules definition of evolution has a problem if it is relying on phyletic gradualism (which is dead), PE came in at that point.

      still, i'm left wondering.
      If you are so certain of your position, why do you abhor articulating it?

      April 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • fred

      momoya
      In Genesis 30 we see Jacob provide an example of Peripatric speciation. Jacob used reeds to draw out and separate the spotted and stripped sheep in combination with male and female pattern dominance. Jacob gives credit to God for the speciation but, momoya would note it was Jacob that set up the reeds to bring about desired result and separated male and female based on traits he was looking for.
      Either way momoya Jacob understood speciation and used a specific form (Peripatric) to produce a predetermined result. I think you owe Chad an apology for calling him a liar. In the future when you speak of evolution please mention Jacob as the father of evolutionary sciences. In the event you return to your foundation of truth and note it was God then you should call God our heavenly Father and apologize to the most high.

      April 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Your quotations don't set up any false dichotomies such as you attribute to me.. You must not know what 'false dichotomy' means.. You have changes your wording three times now as to what my false dichotomies place on the balance, so all it really shows is your willingness to lie and misrepresent.. You're a liar, so I have no choice but to treat you like one.

      No, I am not constructing a false dilemma "that one either believes evolution, or God.", In fact, most of the folks who believe in evolution also believe in god.. I'm saying that if you truly understand evolution, you believe in evolution.. Any person who understands evolution and does not believe in it should be way to busy in such exciting work to waste time on a board like this one.

      I'm not making any assumptions about beings existing outside our time and space, and that's irrelevant to the issue of personal gods.. People who believe in personal gods claim that their god interacts with humans and the earth.. If a god interacts with humans and is concerned about what they do and don't do, then he's acting in our time and space.. Duh.

      Certainly a comical god might exist who presents no evidence for himself and tricks humanity and only interacts with our time and space on occasion, but that doesn't describe any god being worshiped today.

      And Chad, if you want to quit LYING and man up for a minute, and offer whatever definition of evolution it is you think you can disprove and then go disprove it, I'll reconsider what you have to say on the topic.. Until then, you are simply spouting nonsense with no evidence but plenty of sh1tty tactics and lies.. I'll leave you to that domain; you're better at it than me.. And while I could provide you with hundreds of examples of the torah/bible god contradicting himself, I have no interest in presenting them to someone who proves in every post to be an unrepentant liar and slanderer. And if YOU can't think of at least two dozen examples of your god having contradictory natures and precepts and words, then you really need to get back into that book.. They're all over the place.. The bible says that there is an afterlife and there isn't.. God can't be seen, he can be seen, and that's not even getting to the hateful/loving nature and other preceptual contradictions.. Please.

      April 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You've sure proven that you're a lying sack fo sh!t, I guess.. You're a fvcking liar; I hate fvcking liars!. I continually refer you to the same definition over and over.. What's the matter, liar, there's not enough there for you to lie about the way you've already written or what?. I'm glad most christians aren't quite as disgusting in their morals as you.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • momoya

      @fred

      Chad knows he is lying and being a colossal jerk.. He is a special kind of troll that enjoys being a di.ck.. He'd be just as big of a liar and azzhole if he were an atheist.. It's how he lives and moves and has his being–the only way he knows.. He owes me several apologies for his repeated lies about what I've said and not said.. Read back through our posts (his and mine) and you can see this very easily for yourself.

      As we have incorporated agriculture and husbandry, our species has made notes as to differences between species and mating patterns and outer characteristics.. It's how biology began.. The story in Genesis has no scientific value, but it is a good one.. I've always liked it.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • momoya

      I think that the theory of evolution is all the more solid for continually routing out fossil hoaxes, accounting for uncomfortable facts, and withholding rash speculation as the genetic map adds the proof of gene tracking through the species..
      .
      .
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV4_lVTVa6k&w=640&h=390]

      April 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya Your quotations don't set up any false dichotomies such as you attribute to me.. You must not know what 'false dichotomy' means.."

      sigh...

      Your statements:
      "If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable"
      "Nobody who understands the theory of evolution disbelieves it"

      False Dilemma(dichotomy) definition: A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

      To show that what you have said is not a False Dilemma, you need to: "Identify the options given and show (with an example) that there is an additional option"

      April 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "He owes me several apologies for his repeated lies about what I've said and not said"..

      @Chad "could you please just identify one? And dont say something like "just go and see for yourself".

      identify one

      your inability, or unwillingness to identify one, will demonstrate my point..

      April 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • momoya

      @chad

      Perhaps you're not a liar but just an idiot.. You said that I was setting up a false dichotomy that it was either evolution or god.. I have never made such a stupid claim, you fvcking nitwit.. I have said that people who understand evolution believe in it, and that people who don't believe it are either dishonest or ignorant.. You can believe in god and believe in evolution, and most christians do just that.. You can not believe in god and not understand it and not believe it.. You can not believe in god and be dishonest, and not believe in evolution.. But accepting or rejecting evolution has nothing to do with god belief–it has to do with knowledge attained.. If you understand evolution, you believe in it–god belief has nothing to do with anything except your twisted a.ssumptions.. You can look bakc through this thread and see that I have made no claims about it being either evolution or god.. You really should stop lying. sigh.. sigh..

      You lie when you say I have not provided you a definition for evolution.. You lie when you say I've presented a false dichotomy between evolution and god belief.. You're not that fvcking stupid, you know that you are lying and you keep on continually lying.. It's your world.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You know, it's impossible to believe that you're this stupid.. I've been calling you out on your lies, and telling you exactly what your lies were for at least ten posts now.. For you to play the retard, and only now act interested in my accusations and ask for "just one" example of you lying is a bit over-the-top..

      You are a master troll.. Well played.

      April 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      On the off chance that you aren't trolling and really do not understand what a false dichotomy is:

      Fireman Fallser: This house fire was either intentionally set or because of a wiring problem in the walls.
      Fireman Trewther: This house fire was either intentional or accidental.

      One fireman presents a false dichotomy; the other presents an accurate dichotomy.. Do you see which is which and why?

      A person cannot disbelieve calculus if they understand calculus.. <–This is NOT a false dichotomy, and it sure has jack fvck-all to do with any sort of personal god imagined by whomever for whatever reasons.

      A person cannot disbelieve chemistry if they understand chemistry.. <–Same deal.

      A person cannot disbelieve evolution if they understand evolution.. <–Same deal.

      I have never once made the claim that a person can't believe in evolution and god, or that belief in evolution should turn a believer atheist.. Never.. You DO owe me an apology on your accusations of me presenting a false dichotomy.

      What I did say about god is that it makes more logical sense to say, "We don't know, but we're still looking" than to say, "Goddidit.". But that statement is about sound reasoning and honesty, not god belief.. Honest and reasonable god-believers should insist on that, regardless of the sort of god they believe in–unless they can show how their god's explanation for biology or whatever is better than the theory in current usage..

      April 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Reality

      Follow the evolution and migration of humankind via DNA and bone discoveries at https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/lan/en/atlas.html .

      April 19, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Chad

      @momoya " If you have an issue with evolutionary theory, then do your work on why it's wrong and submit it for publication and collect your many prizes (Nobel and otherwise) and rejoice at the reprinting of every single science book in the world with your theory in it."
      @momoya "If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable"
      @momoya "Nobody who understands the theory of evolution disbelieves it"

      clearly, you love the false dilemma that "it's science or God", "if you dont believe in "evolution" you are an idiot".

      April 19, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Chad

      @chad "what is your definition of "evolution"
      @momoya "I'm fine with wiki's definition of the theory of evolution.."
      @Chad "which one?"
      @momoya "I don't have to provide details that you seem to think are necessary, and the theory is far from complete"
      @chad "ah.. I see.."

      April 19, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Chad

      @momoya "A person cannot disbelieve evolution if they understand evolution.. <–Same deal."

      @chad "since you refuse to provide your definition of "evolution", I'll assume you mean Theistic Evolution, and I'll agree with you :-)

      Theistic evolution or evolutionary creation is a concept that asserts that classical religious teachings about God are compatible with the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. In short, theistic evolutionists believe that there is a God, that God is the creator of the material universe and (by consequence) all life within, and that biological evolution is simply a natural process within that creation. Evolution, according to this view, is simply a tool that God employed to develop human life.

      April 19, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You're a liar.. You're a troll.. If you had the slightest argument against evolutionary theory you'd have presented it by now instead of di.cking around just to dick around..

      I have presented no false dichotomy, and you know it, because you're not as stupid as you want me to believe you are.. Saying that somebody must have certain knowledge to believe in a concept is an obvious truth that does NOT present a false dichotomy between god belief and science.. You're just a lying sleezbag.. A complete fvckwit.. A total turd.. I'm very glad that you're a christian with such a sickening personality.. It helps to convince others that your god has no way to cure somebody from being a lying azzhole.. Fvck you, you lying piece of sh!t.

      April 19, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Chad

      @momoya "I have presented no false dichotomy"

      Here's the breakdown (I'll just pick one of your three statements I pointed out are false dilemmas):

      Momoya: "If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable"

      Definition of False Dilemma: A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. wiki

      Breaking down your statement:
      IF: you do not believe "evolution"
      THEN: you are dishonest/unintelligent

      Clearly by making that statement, you are ignoring other options for the case of a person not believing "evolution", namely. they believe in Intelligent Design/Theistic Evolution, OR they believe in Special Creation.

      The logical fallacy is that your statement fails to allow for the fact that there are honest and intelligent people who believe in Intelligent Design/Theistic Evolution or Special Creation.

      pretty straightforward.. right?

      April 19, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      I have not presented the false dichotomy of: .......... God belief vs Science..

      You claim that I presented that false dichotomy.. You need to apologize for lying and slander.. I am presenting "knowledge vs not knowledge;" I am NOT presenting "science vs god belief.". You should have figured this out by now.. As I said, I do not believe that you are as stupid as you present yourself to be in your efforts to troll, here.. You'll notice that even all your quotations and examples show the dynam.ic of "knowledge vs not knowledge," and not "science vs god belief."

      April 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • momoya

      I presented a fact: Namely, that when people spend the time to understand a proven dis.cipline, they also believe in that proven dis.cipline.. Maybe they have issues with it, and they might seek to adjust some points within it, but they do it within the logic of that discipline.. A mathematician may devise a new proof, but he doesn't disbelieve in math to do it..

      It's painfully obvious that if a person understands calculus, chemistry, and evolution, they also believe in it.. If you really understand calculus, you also believe in calculus; the same holds true for evolution.. People who don't believe in evolution don't understand evolution.. Perhaps there's a handful of folks who understand evolution and disagree with very large chunks of it, but generally speaking the rule holds–just like it does for calculus and chemistry..

      April 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • momoya

      My statements do NOT ignore anybody.. A person who understands evolutionary science believes in evolutionary science.. You can believe in evolution without understanding it, but if you understand it you do believe in it–at least in measure.. Scientists who are christian and understand evolution believe in it.. Scientists who are christian and understand evolution but think it has many errors believe in evolution.. Scientists who are christian and do not understand evolution may or may not believe in evolution, but it's extremely unlikely that they dismiss evolution out of hand if they completely believe in the scientific method.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • momoya

      It may be a logical fallacy to state that honest and intelligent people believe in evolution, but it's not a false dichotomy..

      April 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • momoya

      And taken generally, the statement is true.. People who are honest and intelligent believe in evolution (provided they have been educated and understand what evolution is)..Certainly a person can be honest and intelligent and not believe in evolution, but that's because they haven't yet applied the same level of intelle.ctual honesty to evolution as they have to other areas of their life that dem.onstrates them as an honest and intelligent person.

      April 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • momoya

      Yes, it's very straightforward that you are either a liear or extremely stupid or both.. I believe it's the "liar" ti.tle that is most apropos as I believe you are too intelligent to make such stupid statements as you have.. You are merely trolling..

      April 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "My statements do NOT ignore anybody.. A person who understands evolutionary science believes in evolutionary science.. You can believe in evolution without understanding it, but if you understand it you do believe in it–at least in measure.. Scientists who are christian and understand evolution believe in it.."

      @Chad "in your definition of evolution, is God (or some entity external to our universe) involved?"

      April 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • GodPot

      Thats a lot of replys.

      @Chad – By calling it "theistic evolution" you are making the claim that you "know" what it was that started the evolutionary process. The rest of us are willing to accept "unknown" as the spark of life since so far NO ONE has been able to prove a theistic origin. That being said you can conjecture about it all you want since admittedly NO ONE has been able to prove it was not a sentient deity of some kind, but NO ONE has been able to prove it was not a galactic star frog that farted us into existence either, so why make stuff up and claim it as truth when all you have to back it up is the intangible and ever changing thing humans call "faith".

      April 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Evolution describes a process.. God is not necessary element in the process and god does not help define the process.. If somebody wants to claim that god designed the process or instigated the process or used a spell to enact the process, then those are different arguments as they posit an idea or action outside of the process itself.

      Boiling water is a process.. We don't have to think about god or invoke god or even concern ourselves with god when we boil water.. Evolution describes the best possible way to assemble the current data.. It describes a process that works and does not require any one definition of god or action of any god we know about.. If you want to claim that god is in one of the gaps of knowledge, you can, but that doesn't do you any good and as soon as we gather the data that fills in that gap you wind up using Newton's reasoning.. "We used to think that god did what we didn't know about X, but now we know that about X, so god must do what we don't know about the process in Y, over there... oh wait a minute, a scientist just figured out how Y happens, so god does Z over on that other corner.. " And so on..

      If discussing a particular god belief doesn't help explain anything in evolutionary science, then there's no need to assume that evolutionary science has any bearing on god's existence.. Do you know of any god belief that would have caused more knowledge/insight into evolution or greater/faster learning of the evolutionary process had the scientists known it and discussed that god's nature before performing their experiments and collecting their data?

      April 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Evolution describes a process.. God is not necessary element in the process and god does not help define the process..."

      @Chad "so, God (or any external entity is excluded from your definition of evolution is it is not necessarily a part of it.

      therefore: an Intelligent Design/Theistic evolution advocate, who believes that mutation and natural selection are necessarily guided by an external entity does NOT believe in "evolution" as you have defined it.

      therefore: your statement is in fact a false dilemma, as it does not allow for an intelligent/honest person to disbelieve evolution as you have defined it (excluding any external entity)

      Momoya: "If you refuse to believe in evolution then either you aren't honest or you aren't knowledgeable"

      now, you can try and try to show that indeed, no intelligent person doesnt believe in evolution as you have defined it, namely necessarily excluding any external entity
      To which I would simply point to the scores of scientists who believe in ID/Theistic evolution, also including Francis Collins the leader of the Human Genome Project and the author of "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief"

      April 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @ GodPot "By calling it "theistic evolution" you are making the claim that you "know" what it was that started the evolutionary process."
      @ Chad "two things:
      1. by calling it Atheistic evolution you are claiming you know what DIDNT start the evolutionary process, and you have demonstrated an a priori bias against any external entity.
      2. "know", yes... "prove", no.. it cant be proven, but it is certainly the best explanation for the data as we know them."

      Theists are always slammed for "running to "goddit" everytime they cant explain something"
      well that is historically true, but certainly getting less and less every day.

      On the other hand, Atheists should get slammed for hiding behind "we dont know" every time conclusive evidence points to an external entity.

      April 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      I've never intimated that a person can either believe in science or god.. I've stated flatly that god is unneeded in an explanation of evolution and that people who understand evolution also believe in it.. If god is irrelevant to explaining and believing in evolution, then god belief is irrelevant to explaining or believing in evolution.. Obviously, a person cannot hold this view and still insist on a false dichotomy of "science or god belief."

      You lying fvckwit, I'm not talking about IDers.. I'm talking about people who believe or don't believe in evolution.. You can not believe in evolution and believe that a pink bunny rabbit made all life.. Who cares?. I'm talking about belief being contingent upon knowledge.. I'm not talking about god belief being contingent on anything having to do with evolution, you numbskull.

      According to what I've said, here (not according to your stupid accusations) it makes no difference at all whether Francis Collins is a believer.. I've never said that it's "either science or god," as you well know.. I've said that MOST people who believe in evolutionary science are god believers.. Why do you keep parading the same lies over and over? Do you enjoy advertising your lying behavior? Does it get you off to know that you keep convincing more people that you are a dishonest person who uses misrepresentation and bald lies?
      .
      .
      So, what's your game, now?. Are you going to keep on lying for everybody to see what a fvcking azzhole liar you are, or are you going to actually do something worthwhile.. What point do you want to make about evolution? What god belief helps us understand evolution better? What god belief would have helped evolutionary science make its discoveries quicker and more accurately? How can god belief alter what we know of evolution? How does a person's beliefs about god affect how he studies evolution? Why does god permit his followers to lie so much and be morally disgusting?

      April 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Can you please explain what you mean by "slammed," and explain why an atheist should be "slammed" for speaking a true statement such as "We don't know, yet, but we're still looking?"
      How would a scientist go about proving "an external force?". Or better yet, how can we test a theory for "external force?"

      Also, what do you mean by this statement: "Theists are always slammed for "running to "goddit" everytime they cant explain something"
      well THAT IS HISTORICALLY TRUE, BUT CERTAINLY GETTING LESS AND LESS EVERY DAY."

      April 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      When is the following statement ever appropriate for a scientist to make, and what good that statement would do?

      "Well, we've ruled out a couple hundred possibilities, which leaves an almost infinite number of possibilities that it might be, and the vast majority of those possibilities we can't even fathom or even put into words, and the trillions and trillions and trillions of other possibilities we might be able to fathom but we don't even have the ability to test-well, we're just going to give up and say that it's probably just the god thing even though there are trillions and trillions of other possibilities that it might be."

      April 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Chad

      When is this statement ever appropriate for a scientist to make, and what good that statement would do?

      "We have reached the end of an avenue of inquiry where we know that just as we have determined that the perpetual motion machine is impossible, so the creation of our universe, life on this planet, and natural selection preserving purely random genetic mutations in a population are wholly insufficient as adequate theories of how we got to where we are today without some "external to our known universe" influence.
      However, since "science" as we define it, is exclusively concerned with what happens internal to our universe, we're simply going to say "we dont know" and leave it at that.

      April 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chad

      Your logical fallacy has been reviewed exhaustively at this point, don't you think?

      April 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad.

      I haven't committed any logical fallacies, so far.. Or at least not any that you've mentioned or demonstrated to be so.. On the other hand, I've busted you for lying about three dozen times, shown how you have no idea what a "false dichotomy" is, and pointed out the stupidity of your claims..

      Your question has a very obvious answer that highlights your fallacious reasoning about science, but you'll not get it from me until you deal with your own stupid behavior.. I asked you a question about when a scientist should give up looking for any possibility among a near infinity of possibilities left to explore, and state something that isn't scientific or helpful in any way (the "goddidit") reply.. I await more of your lies and stupidity.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Okay, because you seem to a total fvcking moron without two brain cells to rub together, I'm going to try to help you out..

      1. Science deals with what we can measure and test and experiment on to prove certain conditions true or false.. Science does NOT deal with what it cannot measure and test and experiment on.....

      2. Because science does not deal with what it cannot measure and test, a person can believe in anything that resists measurement and testing, be it god, billions of gods, unicorns, whatever–as long as the unicorn believer holds that unicorns have the ability to resist detectability.. This is why I NEVER present a false dichotomy of "science or god," or "science or invisible unicorns.". (If a thing can't be detected, there's no point in discussing it in science–that's philosophy's game.)

      3. If a particular a.ssumption does not help or hurt the theory, then we leave out that a.ssumption.. Since invoking "god" doesn't help or hurt any theory, it's a pointless element that we remove.

      4. If science does not know how something happens, they admit that they don't know, and they recognize that there are trillions upon trillions upon trillions of possibilities, most we can't even conceive of even if we wanted to consider it and test it.. Any time science concludes a line of reasoning, they simply disregard that line of reasoning and begin other lines of reasoning..

      5. Since we can't know all the trillions and trillions of possibilities for a given question, then we don't ever reach a point where we invoke a god, as invoking the god doesn't give us any new information at all..

      6. The day you can prove that invoking a particular god helps our scientific understanding in some way, you'll have your moment of glory and science will be grateful for the added knowledge that your god helped bring about..

      April 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • momoya

      When science makes a claim about a particular fossil being a hoax, or that perpetual motion machinery isn't a worthwhile endeavor, they don't shut down the entire discipline.. Just because science doesn't consider perpetual motion a valid concept doesn't mean that they shut down all of physics.. Just because science corrects the fossil record by exposing a hoax doesn't mean that they shut down the theory of evolution.. In fact, that's one of the purposes of science–to correct previous misconceptions.. That's what makes it strong.. If science refused to change its position, and claimed to be absolutely true if read properly and believed in without any evidence–then it would become just another religion..

      April 19, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "If science refused to change its position, and claimed to be absolutely true if read properly and believed in without any evidence–then it would become just another religion."

      =>what kind of person claims that something is absolutely true, yet has no evidence for that claim?

      April 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • momoya

      God-believers.

      April 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • momoya

      Liars

      April 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "If science refused to change its position, and claimed to be absolutely true if read properly and believed in without any evidence–then it would become just another religion."
      @Chad what kind of person claims that something is absolutely true, yet has no evidence for that claim?
      @momoya "God-believers. Liars"
      @Chad "so, you do realize this is yet another false dilemma, as you are not allowing for the existence honest people who believe in God.

      April 19, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You keep proving that you have no idea what a "false dilemma" is.. Why are your accusations always so stupid and easy to disprove?. The fact that god believers make claims that cannot be backed up with verifiable evidence is correct.. Facts can't be false dichotomies..

      God believers AND liars make claims without evidence.. I never said that god believers ARE liars.. Of course many honest people believe in god.. Nobody said otherwise..

      Why all these stupid accusations that any moron can tell are lies? Why not just explain your issue with science or evolution? What's your message? That you can lie and prove your stupidity more than anybody else, here? That's the only reasonable answer I can come up with.

      April 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  15. just sayin

    Why would just sayin need to prove anything to just sayin, just sayin knows. God bless

    April 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • M.F. Luder

      Apparently knows little outside his Bible.

      April 18, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • just sayin

      And knows it better than any so called atheist on these blogs. Contrary to the urban myth, atheist types do not know squat about the Bible. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • just sayin

      I know that I provide subjective views and opinions and that I have no independent 3rd party evidence to collaborate the bible. This is why I must have faith. God Bless

      April 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  16. Soopy

    Ah, just what the world needs, another quasi-agnostic liberal Jew.

    April 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  17. The Vicar

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMysVwKHkNI&w=640&h=390]

    April 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  18. md2205

    It is important to understand that the exodus didn't happen in a vacu-um. It happened after about 200 years of Jewish enslavement by the Egyptians; not just enslavement, but all that goes along with that – murders, beatings, forced labor, cruelty, kidnapping and murder of children, etc.

    It is important to understand the circu-mstances of this enslavement. Egypt was the superpower of the day. All other countries were terrified of Egypt and had to pay homage to it or fear its wrath. The borders were closed, much like the former Soviet Union in our times, and it was impossible to escape.

    Although G-d had wanted the Jews to be foreigners in another land before He made them into His nation and gave them the Land of Israel, He didn't necessarily mean that they had to be ruthlessly persecuted to the extent the Egyptians conducted themselves. The Egyptians decided to persecute and enslave them, mistreat them, and withhold wages from them on their own. All of the Egyptians were involved in some way to greater and lesser extents, and not just the government.

    The Jews were incapable of leaving Egypt themselves, and G-d fought against the Egyptians to get the Jews out of their country by bringing the ten plagues on them. The plagues mirror how a general fights against a foreign army, fighting their head, their generals, cutting off the water supply, and ruining the economy.

    Since G-d is infinite, He knew what was going on and who had hurt the Jews, and dealt with them accordingly. Since He is infinite, His ability to deliver exact retribution is understood. People who think that He was being unfair, overly harsh, etc. need to buffer those thoughts with the realization that G-d is infinite in all aspects, including ultimate fairness and morality, and knows what He is doing. If they realize that, they will understand that they might not be understanding something about what went on in those times to which G-d was reacting.

    By the way, it is interesting that a chariot wheel of the type that was used by Egypt in those days (Egypt had the fastest, most advanced chariots of its time) and human and horse bones were found at the bottom of the Red Sea. (The account states that after Pharoah told the Jews to leave, he regretted it and sent his soldiers and chariots after them. The Jews walked through the Red Sea after it split and then the sea returned to its borders and caught and drowned the Egyptian soldiers and chariots.)

    April 17, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • momoya

      It's more important to note that the jews were never slaves in Egypt, too.. Archeologically speaking, we know all sorts of facts about the nation of Egypt around the time in question–much more than we can say or prove about the Hebrew tribes.. The jews were not Egyptian slaves as the OT says; therefore, the myths that say so can't be trusted..

      April 17, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • md2205

      To Momoya:

      You cannot use the argument that no archeological evidence exists so that means the Jews were never slaves in Egypt. What archeological evidence would convince you that they were? The Jews did not have anything of their own because they were slaves. There were no religious objects as of yet, because the Torah hadn't been given yet. Even if something could be found there that is uniquely Jewish some people would say it merely means that one or a few Jews visited Egypt.

      And if you say that there should be found some type of writings that tell the Jewish story, like the Egyptians have their records engraved in stone, I tell you that we do indeed have this. It is called the Torah, and it tells the account of the Jewish experience in Egypt and when they left. It tells the entire account of what happened in great detail. It tells about the exodus from Egypt in great detail, and 24 times it says that G-d gave the Torah to Moses in front of the entire Jewish people, and not one Jewish person was not there at the time. This is a historical fact that cannot be disputed, and yet there are people who want to try to dispute it. But it doesn't make sense to dispute it. There were about 3 million Jews who left Egypt and who experienced G-d giving the Torah to Moses. This is not an experience of one person who claims to speak to G-d and then tells everyone G-d spoke to him, but no one saw (which is how every other religion developed). This is an entire nation who saw the same thing happen, and told their children, and their children, in an unbroken chain until now. G-d also gave some commandments to fulfill at the time of the exodus, commandments which the Jews started to observe at that time, and every year thereafter to commemorate the exodus and to tell their children about, which we still do to this day. If one child had asked his parents if he was at the giving of the Torah, and the parents would have told him they were not there, the entire account in the Torah would be proven a lie, because it says that all the Jews were there. That child would expose the lie. But it didn't happen. All the arguments that the Jews had with Moses as they were traveling in the desert – none of them were about that the account of the giving of the Torah wasn't true.

      So even though we do have a written archeological record, and the claims made on that record are such that they would be able to be proven untrue, and were never proven to be untrue, there are indeed people who say it is not true. They don't say it isn't true because they have found evidence that it is not true.

      So there you have it. I posit that whatever would be found would be discounted.

      Likewise, just because there is no archeological evidence of the exodus doesn't mean it didn't take place. Anyone who believes in evolution cannot make this argument because they are the ones who believe in an evolution for which they are waiting to see if they can find intermediate steps. And even if archeologists did find some artifacts in the desert, they would not automatically as-sume it is the corroboration of the exodus, because the Jews had with them Egyptian objects. The archeologists would just say Egyptians were there.

      And if you don't believe that Moses existed, or Abraham, then you can't believe anyone from ancient times existed. No Julius Caeser. No Mark Antony. It makes more sense to believe that the personalities that are taught to us as having existed did indeed exist, rather than say somewhere in the murky middle between now and then, people made up all those personalities. Because to be intellectually honest, you would have to discount all of the ancient figures as well.

      April 17, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • momoya

      @md2205

      Yes, I can "use the argument that no archeological evidence exists so that means the Jews were never slaves in Egypt.". The Egyptians were excellent record keepers.. That huge number of Jewish slaves would show up in the archeological record.. The Torah is a fairy tale; that's why archeology and other scientific discoveries prove it wrong rather than right (as a any sort of accurate history).

      I read the rest of your post, but your logic is too silly to merit any sort of rational response.. Your bias is sooooooo skewed because of your faith, and you only see what you want to see..

      April 18, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things*

    April 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Jesus

      *Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      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.

      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!.!.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  20. just sayin

    So which God created the people prior to Adam that go back 40,000+ years?

    April 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      In the beginning God, created Adam we are not told when, any number of years could have passed between Adam and now. The God of creation has revealed Himself to us in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      This of course is one of those subject aspects. We pretty much know how far back the Jewish beliefs go. I guess the Jewish God and worshipers were absent going back 40,000 + years. You see you have to assume and be subjective out of credible evidence.

      April 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      There was no person before Adam if anyone thinks there was someone, name just one, otherwise it is as the Holy Bible says, Adam first then Eve. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sorry but the bible does not hold much water or facts that relate to science. How could have they have known of ciclizations the predated them by 40,000 + years? The stories hold water only in the shadow of ignorance. You simply feel, assume and hope with no factual basis. As ignorance fades, people like you scramble more to edit your view on such things as the flood etc. Your bible cannot explain the simplest of things such as Dinosaurs and how long ago they were here. Nor explain the great extinction. The bible does nto address this this simply because they did not know..they were living in dirt huts still thinking an eclipse was a message from a God

      April 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • just sayin

      lol I will of course produce the bodies of Adam and Eve.

      April 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      You see this is where ignorance takes over....the bible says so....so therefore it is.lol

      April 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • just sayin

      The Bible is not a science text but since God created all things and gave science to mankind, the Bible is compatable with science. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      ***holding my ears and yelling...THE BIBLE SAYS SO....THE BIBLE SAYS SO***

      April 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Ears were given to man by God as was the gift of hearing. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, the Holy Bible. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      And your God created Sin and is Sin. The first Sin was God lying to Adam and Eve....the Serphant simply told them the truth...they became aware of who they were and what God did and were ashamed......okay back you holding your hands over your ears LOL

      April 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is impossible for God to sin. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      just sayin

      Ears were given to man by God as was the gift of hearing. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, the Holy Bible. God bless
      .
      Of course I can provide proof of this. I can also provide recordings of God talking to me.

      April 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      just sayin

      It is impossible for God to sin. God bless
      .
      Of course I can provide where God said this, and wasn't dictated by men.

      April 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      Whenever challenged and I cannot provide a rational basis or response, I fall back on subjective responses. However I don't think I truly understand "subjective" because I look quite foolish when I do.

      April 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      To those that are perishing the things of God are foolishness. God bless

      April 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • md2205

      While scientists believe in the accuracy of carbon dating, Torah does not. That is because the Torah clearly states that during the great flood 4000 years ago, not only did rain fall from the sky, but hot water came up from below the earth. Thus the earth was cooking for forty days, and that refutes the "uniform conditions" theory, the premise that conditions on earth were always exactly the same, upon which carbon dating is based. It is comparable to scientists measuring and proving how many days or weeks it took for the water in an empty pan to evaporate, but being blissfully unaware that at some point it had a fire under it and so the process took only minutes.

      But let's even accept that the bones are older than 6000 years. So what? Let's think about what we've read so many times in the Genesis account of Creation.

      "G-d said, 'Let the earth bring forth…fruit trees,' and it was so." (Gen. 1:11) This took place in one and the same day (day three). Full grown trees already producing fruit. But if a scientist came along with Adam on the sixth day and carbon dated the trees or measured their rings, what conclusions would he draw about their age? And would you believe him when he announced they are dozens of years old and agree with him when he laughed at Adam who would have insisted they were only three days old? And what about the events of the sixth day when G-d created man and woman and all the events that unfolded. The verses are talking about fully grown adults, not babies, even if they were indeed only one day old?

      Not only that: There is a professor who was a student at a major North American university. He decided he would like to see for himself how accurate are the methods of dating fossil remains. He purchased from the local Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals the remains of a recently deceased dog and buried them in his back yard. Several years later, he decided to call academic experts in paleontology, geology, and zoology to find out about the bones he decided to dig up. All the experts agreed that the remains were that of a dog, but beyond that there was not much consensus. Questions of how heavy the animal was, how old at death, and for how long it had been buried got answers that varied by factors of 2 to 4 times. If this is the uncertainty over a period of a few years, what is the case with purported periods of centuries, millennia, or millions of years?

      April 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • What the $#%

      Is this another attempt to demean Christians here? You're only demeaning yourself!

      April 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • What the $#%

      ...Post above was meant for "Just sayin"

      April 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • just sayin

      Just sayin does not need to prove anything to just sayin just sayin already knows. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • Primewonk

      @md2205 – if you choose to be ignorant about science, why would you go onto internet message boards and demonstrate that ignorance?

      April 18, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Mister Jones

      Actually, a profound question would be who did Cain mate with? If all of this started with Adam and Eve, and they had two kids. Both male. One killed the other, we are left with three people. All of them closely related. Who was Cain's wife?

      April 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • md2205

      Cain and Abel had to marry their sisters, considering that there were no other women around. King David writes, "The world was built with kindness." This verse is referring to G‑d's kindness in allowing Adam and Eve's children to marry their own sisters in order to populate the species.

      Cain was born with a twin sister and Abel was born with two sisters. They each married the sister who was born with them.

      The third generation could marry cousins.

      So why are these daughters not mentioned in the Torah? They are. Later in Genesis we are told, "And the days of Adam after he fathered Seth were eight hundred years, and he fathered sons and daughters"—though we are not informed of their identi-ties. The Torah only records the names of those who were leaders of note, those who played a role in the biblical narrative, or the men who formed the chain of lineage connecting Adam to Noah (and later Noah to Abraham).

      April 20, 2012 at 2:40 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.