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April 23rd, 2012
04:24 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, April 23

By Laura Koran, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree
James Cone, who once called himself “the angriest theologian in America,” is still angry. His book is not just a memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow era; it’s a blistering takedown of white churches, and one of America’s greatest theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr – a colossal figure often cited by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

CNN: Watergate figure, Christian leader Chuck Colson dies
Chuck Colson, a Watergate-era "hatchet man" for President Richard Nixon who became an influential evangelical leader after serving time in prison, died Saturday afternoon, according to his website. He was 80.

CNN: Philadelphia priest abuse trial a test case for Catholic church
It's been four weeks since the beginning of the trial of the highest ranking U.S. Catholic Church leader charged with covering up the crimes of priests against children. The main issue is not whether sex abuse occurred, as defense attorneys have pointed out, but how the Archdiocese of Philadelphia – Monsignor William Lynn in particular – handled the allegations against priests in the diocese.

CNN: Liberty's choice of Romney leads to angry student response
Liberty University students and alumni are accusing the Christian school of violating its own teachings by asking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whose adherents are called Mormons, to deliver its 2012 commencement address.

CNN: Vanderbilt’s policy change: confronting discrimination or infringing on religious freedom?
What was once just a policy review by Vanderbilt University has morphed into a national debate over religious freedom, and now outside Christian groups are not only chiming in on the debate, but also buying television advertisements in Nashville, the school's backyard.

Tweet of the Day:

From @EricCNNBelief: Liberty on #Romney "complaints have significantly died down...many of those who complained had no affiliation with the university..."

Enlightening Reads:

Catholic News Agency: Women's religious conference 'stunned' by Vatican reform announcement
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) says that it “was stunned” by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's recent assessment of the group. Voicing strong concerns over the conference’s commitment to Jesus Christ and Catholic teaching, the Vatican announced on April 18 that it was appointing Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to head renewal efforts for the LCWR.

The Guardian: Pentagon urges controversial Florida pastor to stop Qu'ran burning plans
The Pentagon is appealing to Florida pastor Terry Jones against repeating last year's burning of the Qur'ran and images of Muhammad that led to widespread rioting and deaths round the world. US officials are monitoring the situation and the military is fearful for the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere if Jones goes ahead with his plan, announced on his website, to set fire to the Qur'an next week.

The Boston Globe: A pastor’s dream, a Roxbury church in crisis
The women joined hands with a pastor and began to pray until their voices rang out. “United we stand, divided we fall,’’ they said. “We’re here today!’’ They were not even members of the church where they had come to pray. But word was everywhere that the historic Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church was in trouble. They came to plead for its salvation.

Quote of the Day:

“I’ve always said I’m the worst representative of Muslim Americans that’s ever existed, because I’ve been inside more bars than mosques. But I recognize this has nothing to do with me. There are very few people representing the moderate American Muslim voice on television, and I happened to fall into this thing. The fact that I get to do it is an unbelievable blessing for me.”

Actor/comedian Aasif Mandvi, recently honored with the Courage in Media award by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, tells the New York Times.

Today’s Opinion:

CNN: My Take: In tears of grief, lines between faiths seem to blur
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," contemplates religion and death.

Join the conversation…

CNN: Vatican blasts American nuns, calls for reforms
The Vatican is turning up the heat on a group of nuns it says are operating outside of the Roman Catholic Church's doctrines. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, the church’s doctrinal watchdog, on Wednesday announced the conclusion of a years-long “doctrinal assessment” investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80% of the Catholic nuns in the United States.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. John Smith

    Kudos|
    John Smith http://dumm1.co.uk

    November 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  2. Gabba Gabba Hey

    I do like the top picture, with the announcers smiling broadly over the headline "Chuck Colson Dies."

    April 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I do take joy in it as well.

      He was a particularly notorious liar and charlatan.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    April 23, 2012 at 3:05 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 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Chad

      There aren't any. Go suck toads.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  4. Robert Brown

    What would you consider acceptable evidence for the existence of God?

    April 23, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      The same as I would expect for Vampires, Demons, and Superman

      April 23, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Primewonk

      Any god worth his or her salt claims supernatural powers. This puts said deity in the supernatural realm. Things in the supernatural realm are not falsifiable. Thus, there can be no actual evidence to support the supernatual. And once a supernatural deity crosses to the natural realm, then you can not longer claim that "goddidit" and "poof, then another miracle occurs" are valid answers.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • William Demuth

      Prime

      Clarke's Law #3!

      A being with a technological advantage that is great enough shall be percieved by the lessor as being a magician.

      I propose if the advantage is huge enough, they may in fact be percieved as God himself.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Robert Brown

      William,
      Vampires, Demons, and Superman would be all things you could see. God is a spirit. So, while he could give you some visible evidence, you couldn’t see him. Superman could come up to you, visibly and in person, and say, “watch this”.

      Primewonk,
      I have communicated on this blog with people who say they are former Christians, who at some point lost their faith in search of evidence for God. They demand clear convincing evidence. Nothing I have put forward as yet has been considered acceptable. Just wondering what would be acceptable? You said, “there can be no actual evidence to support the supernatural.” So, you don’t think their demand is reasonable?

      William,
      What would be the motivation of a more advanced being for wanting mere earthlings to think he is God?

      April 23, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • momoya

      The term "god" is too loose to be considered.. First, some group (or god) would need to show how a being would fit a particular definition of god–and go from there..

      Alternatively, if the god in question was a creator god who intricately designed our bodies and brains, he could just "zap" the reasoning into our grey matter.. If such were the case, each person would believe in god completely and without question just like gravity..

      April 23, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Chad

      @ Robert Brown "What would you consider acceptable evidence for the existence of God?"

      =>If we had developed enough understanding to know how fantastically impossible the creation of our universe would have been without an external entity, and we had a god claiming responsibility
      ditto with the origin of life on this planet.

      If we had a person claiming to be the son of said god, coming to the earth, crucified, then the tomb where he was buried was suddenly empty, for no reason.. then many of his followers reported seeing him, willing to go to their death proclaiming that truth..

      if we had a people with at ~4500 year history, with this miraculous tale of interaction with this god.. all written down in a book.. and that same book foretelling all of the events about this "son" and innumerable historical events in advance..

      now, if we had all that..

      April 23, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The fact that you do have "all that", Chard, should tell you that "all that" doesn't amount to anything approaching proof.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Momoya,

      Good morning.

      Let us assume we are talking about the Christian God. The evidence in support is the Bible and the testimony of millions of Christians.

      The evidence is not accepted because the Bible is an inaccurate and inconsistent collection of myth’s and Christians are individuals suffering from delusions.

      So, what would you accept?

      April 23, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • momoya

      @ Chad

      We have no way of determining if this universe is "fantastically impossible.". It could be that there are trillions and trillions and trillions of universes, and this one is as exciting or boring as the rest of them.. Also, having wonder or incredulity about a particular process (the expression of the universe) is in no way evidence for any type of creator being.. You are falling back on the mental model you were taught by your culture when you a.ssume such with no logical reasoning..

      The rest of your drivel is just fairy tale like Mohammed flying to heaven on a winged horse.. If you're going to believe the bible for the reasons you list, then you ought to also believe the Koran for the similar reasons Islam provides its followers.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      @ Robert Brown, Do you think the theory of evolution is possible?

      April 23, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • momoya

      @ Robert

      If we are discussing the god of the bible, it cannot be believed because it is not a coherent being; it contains far too many contradictions to be a plausible character worthy of belief or disbelief..

      However, if god wanted to convince me he could do it in whatever ways he could do it.. I'm not god, but I would a.ssume that god would know what my brain would need to believe.. If your god zapped the correct pattern into my brain I'd be wandering around arguing for a god that doesn't provide proof and doesn't make sense just like you guys.

      If we are to discuss a "good" god then I figure he should make access available to him so that every person could, by whatever repeatable process, have question answered and evidence provided and the like.. For instance, imagine if god were to really talk to people honestly.. If results could be verified we'd have a pretty good indication.. For example, Carl prays for god to tell him what is wrong with his car; god tells him there's a hairline crack on the head of piston number 3.. He calls several mechanics and, without telling them what the problem is, asks them to pray; each return the same correct answer.. That's just an example of how god could at least be a plausible possibility.

      The issue is verifiable detection.. If god cannot be independently verified by some repeatable process there's just no reason to believe or disbelieve..

      April 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Chad

      momoya "If we are discussing the god of the bible, it cannot be believed because it is not a coherent being; it contains far too many contradictions to be a plausible character worthy of belief or disbelief.."

      =>I have seen you say that I dont know how many times.. you have been asked repeatedly to provide data to support it.. but you always refuse to.
      why?

      April 23, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You are a liar as I have demonstrated time and again, and you refuse to follow your own reasoning.. I find you to be an especially des.picable poster with horrible social media morals.. And actually, I have provided some evidence for this stance..

      I hate people who lie and misrepresent as you do so, I despise you, personally.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Bo

      @ Robert Brown: So far as atheists are concerned there is no acceptable evidence of God, yet at the same time they are willing to accept speculative evidence of evolution as proof. Ask how the elements to cause the “Big Bang” came into being and there will be all kinds of speculation. The true answer is: “We don't know.”
      Ask: What caused the first single cell to come to life and the answer is: “We don't know.” Ask: What motivated this single cell to multiply and the answer is: “We don't know.” There are billions of stars two exactly alike, they supposedly all came from the same source so why are there not two exactly alike? You get the point.
      As Christians we can accept the evidence of God in several ways that are poo pooed by unbelievers. For me, just the fulfilled prophesies of the Bible are enough, especially those of Revelation and other last day event prophesies, granted they are not all complete, but they will be.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • J.W

      Good question Robert. I have actually thought of asking this before, but I did not think it would get serious responses. I guess I was proven wrong here.
      Proving something that cannot be seen or heard to many people I think would be impossible. Many are like how Doubting Thomas was in the Bible. I believe just because of the information I have and my life experiences, but I think some people would need more than that.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Bo

      Opps, “...there are no two stars exactly alike...”

      April 23, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • sam stone

      A sizable amount deposited in my name at a Swiss bank

      April 23, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • William Demuth

      Robert

      The "concept" of God is based on HUMAN need.

      Regardless of how many ridiculous God concepts that are refuted, more will always be created because humans are cowards who fear the night.

      Omnipotence is absurd. We hope for it so we might be spared our destiny of death.

      Luckily, the end comes for each of us, and all of us.

      It is absoulute and eternal, and I wouldn't have it any other way

      April 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lunchbreaker,

      Good afternoon.

      Yes and no, I think most anything is possible, the only parts that I wholeheartedly reject is where it leaves God out, like the origin of life.
      The complexity of the universe and life are faith builders for me. God could have created the universe and everything in it in six literal days or over a longer period. Maybe, someday we will know.

      April 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Mr. Brown, you seem pretty bright so you probably know where I was going to go with this. Even though there are mountains of data out there regarding evolution, many, not all, Christians, or thiests in general, will say plain out evolution is wrong. And they will proceed to attack scientific studies the way many athiests attack the credibibltiy of the Bible. It seems it is the same logic that non-belivers use. While some recquire physical proof of God, some would recquire a time machine to take them back to the origins of life billions of years ago in order for them to consider it.

      April 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Momoya,

      Thanks for your answer. So, if God were to clearly answer a question for you in prayer, then you called some people and had them ask God the same question, and they reported back to you the same response you received, then you would believe. I certainly hope he provides what you need.

      I know that God answers prayer, because he has answered mine. Other people have told me about him answering their prayers. People I know personally, have had, what could be called miraculous experiences. In all cases, that I am aware of, the people involved were already believers. So, it could be that you have to be a believer indwelled with the Holy Spirit to experience what you are in need of. However, Paul’s conversion experience shows us that God can reach out. People with whom I am not personally acquainted have conversion testimonies where God reached out in a spectacular way. If that is what you need, I hope you get it.

      April 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Robert Brown,

      If God exists he knows what it would take for all people to know and believe he exists and he either chooses not to give that amount of evidence or he does not care or he does not exist.

      A bronze age book that is contradictory and immoral when taken at face value is not acceptable as evidence.

      You seem to ask why we atheists require so much evidence, my question is why do you require so little.

      April 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • momoya

      No, Robert, I would not believe in your god if va.rious people were to co.me up with the same response.. People co.me up with the same response for circ.umstances all the time.. You seem to want atheists to be judge evidence for your god very le.ni.ently but judge evidence for other gods very crit.ic.ally..

      If you will look back at my post, I referred to how a "good god" might make himself known without being vi.sible.. One method is to deliver ve.rif.iable messages.. In other words, if we were living in a world where a good god provided dem.onst.rable results for hidden facts, that'd be all the more evidence.. My example would be like a specific example in math that proves the me.c.h.anism.. Imagine if every time a person asked god for the we.ather fo.r.ecast she got it accurately.. A "good god" who did not want to hide from his creation would offer such evidences of his ex.istence.. The god of the bible isn't a co.he.rent being and does not have enough cre.di.b.ility merely as a rational ent.ity to be considered as real or not–much less a vi.able god..

      April 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @lunchbreaker " Even though there are mountains of data out there regarding evolution, many, not all, Christians, or thiests in general, will say plain out evolution is wrong"

      =>how would you define "evolution"?
      if it is merely "Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations." then, the vast majority of Christians will agree (as we have ample evidence that little birds can "evolve" into big birds).

      the devil is always in the definition when it comes to "evolution"

      April 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • momoya

      Silly god, incorporating all those genes that are "switched off" and otherwise providing geological and biological evidence for a process that never occurred..

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSEvbxu6yPQ&w=640&h=390]

      April 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      @ Chad, I was refering to the "Theory of Evolution." Apologies.

      April 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      No Truth, Just Claims,
      In my opinion, God does exist, cares, and knows what people need to believe, but he leaves it up to us. We choose whether to hear the word, or not, and we choose whether to believe the word, or not.

      The “bronze age book” that you refer to has specific instructions of how to become a believer, but somehow someone would have to get to the point where they will try to follow the instructions. For example, hear the word of God preached in the power of the Holy Spirit and become convicted of your sin. So, you would have to have some interest to listen in the first place, in order to get that next dose of faith.

      Actually, my conversion did not require a little evidence, it required none. The evidence question is just my feeble attempt to help those who do need it.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      God seemed to be a lot more demonstrative back when He flamboyantly parted the seas...
      Atheists may be more inclined to believe if God could change His habit of only speaking to select individuals directly and would address the world as a whole, simultenously.
      This game of telephone that He prefers – using prophets to convey His word – leaves things a mite ambiguous.
      To a skeptic, Moses' conversation with flaming foliage is no more or less credible than Joseph Smith's pow-wow with Moroni or Angel Rico's divine revelation to strangle his 4 year old son.
      Direct, universal, unambiguous communication would be acceptable proof to me.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Robert Brown,

      I was raised Christian, went to christian school and was taught all of the things you refer to. Those teachings and the book are contradictory and I don't believe because they failed to overcome the logic and common sense I was born with. But somehow in your view that is my fault and not the fault of the one who gave the message AND who gave me the logic and common sense. God is the beginning and the end, the creater of all the universe and everything that has happened and will happen.....but He is only responsible for the things that go right and is not responsible for the things that go wrong, like getting across a clear and logical message.

      You say you did not need evidence to be convinced. What other belief do you hold (outside of religion) that does not require evidence and reason? Why do you give religion a free pass irregardless of reason and evidence?

      Please understand if you don't use reason and evidence to decide what is and is not true you can convince yourself absolutely anything is true. If god exists of course he would know this and if you think that god is justified in punishing those who cannot overcome their cognitive dissonance than that belief is immoral, as would be that god.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      Mr Brown, So to flip the question around, what evidence, if any, would be recquired for you to convert to another religion?

      April 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • fred

      Doc
      There goes any free will choice you would possibly have. Let’s see do I obey God that just spoke new legs into existence for my paraplegic friend or do I continue with the Richard Dawkins bible of truth and spit on Jesus?

      April 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Chad

      @lunchbreaker " I was refering to the "Theory of Evolution." Apologies."

      you mean, theistic evolution?

      or, do you mean that purely random genetic mutations which survive/dont survive in populations due to natural selection have produced the current plethora of complex organisms from that first replicating life form?

      Just trying to clarify exactly what you mean.. It's at this point that virtually every atheist that I have ever dialogued with has balked..

      April 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      @ Chad. It could be either one. The point of the post was to address that some thiests will not belive in evolution no matter what, even though it would be within God's power to use evolution, in that case thiestic evolution, as the tool that got man to where they are.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @momoya -
      The "Evolution for Dummies" video was brilliant. Thanks.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @lunchbreaker "It could be either one. The point of the post was to address that some thiests will not belive in evolution no matter what, even though it would be within God's power to use evolution, in that case thiestic evolution, as the tool that got man to where they are."

      =>ah, fair enough.
      yes, many of my fellow Christians (whom I know and love dearly) do believe that in the beginning, if one were to stand there with a video camera, one would see animals materializing out of thin air so to speak..

      That is (IMHO) a legacy of the "science" vs "religion" debate, one that seeks to pit "intelligence and rational thought" against belief in the God of Abraham. I, of course, completely reject that false dichotomy, after all, how can science contradict God when science is merely the discipline of investigating how God has structured our universe. It is impossible for science to contradict God..

      For my Christian brothers and sisters whom view my favorable stance towards theistic evolution in a bad light:
      "Then the LORD God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2

      So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off Joshua

      Just two examples of where God sovereignly used natural occurrences for His purposes. He does this throughout the OT.

      April 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Fred,

      The free will arguement is non-sensical. Was Moses' free will taken whan god showed him miracle after miracle and talked to him personally, and all the people Jesus showed his miracles to and every other person who witnessed miracles in the bible?

      The free will argument is used by believers to justify their belief without evidence, though for some reason god has been more than willing to show himself and give emperical evidence to some but not others. Your thought process is foundationally flawed in this area.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @chad

      Evolution and mutation is most often driven by the environment that the organism is living in. Your characterization of "completely random mutations" is an intentional misrepresentation of the evolutionary model. That's not to say that random mutations never happen, just that it more often is influenced by the environment and needs of the species. There are even instances of "flash mutations"(not an official term) that have happened within 1 or 2 generations in response to a serious threat to the species.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Momoya,

      Ok, sorry I missed that in your prior post. You wouldn’t under any circ.umstances believe in the Christian God because he isn’t cre.di.ble or co.he.rent. You could possibly believe in a “good god”.

      You would have no reason to do it, other than curiosity I suppose, but if you have the opportunity read the whole 55th chapter of Isaiah, again. You may find it of interest. Thanks.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • momoya

      @Hawaii

      Not only did Chad horribly mischaracterize the evolutionary process, but he presented a false dichotomy of "god versus chance.". Chad doesn't understand what a false dichotomy is, though, as he's shown us a number of times before now.. Presenting an idea with only two possible outcomes when you haven't yet proved that those are the ONLY two outcomes possible is presenting a false dichotomy.. Obviously, if we are in total mystery as to how a process works or why it exists, there is no limit to the number of answers that might be considered.. It'd be like a scientist claiming that the first living cell either formed on a mountaintop or in the bottom of an ocean–when the scientist has not proved that life can only originate in one of these two places.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "Evolution and mutation is most often driven by the environment that the organism is living in. Your characterization of "completely random mutations" is an intentional misrepresentation of the evolutionary model."

      => that is such utter nonsense.. wow..
      A. "Evolution" is natural selection preserving beneficial mutations, to that end one could say that the environmental "drives" the larger "evolutionary" process by natural selection.

      Mutations are BY DEFINITION random. Mutations are changes in a genomic sequence, caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, as well as errors that occur during meiosis or DNA replication.
      Those are random events

      atheists hate (and I mean, really, really, really, really, really, really hate) the the term "random", as they really want to have a "naturalistic designer"..
      but
      you're out of luck.

      From "Evolution 101: Berkeley:
      The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation.
      Factors in the environment are thought to influence the rate of mutation but are not generally thought to influence the direction of mutation. For example, exposure to harmful chemicals may increase the mutation rate, but will not cause more mutations that make the organism resistant to those chemicals. In this respect, ,b>mutations are random—whether a particular mutation happens or not is generally unrelated to how useful that mutation would be.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • momoya

      @ Robert

      Yes, Robert, I could believe in a good god if I was persuaded by enough applicable evidence.. For that matter, if somebody could come up with a way to make the god of the bible sound reasonable, I could believe in that god regardless of whether or not he seemed "good" to me.. Desirability has no bearing on believability.. (The bible does not present god as a consistent enough character to be considered as worthy of consideration for belief or disbelief, but if somebody found a way to say, skip all but every 7th and 9th word and every 4th scripture and exclude any words that begin with "r" and be able to rationally show a sensible god–then at least I would have a being whose existence I might be able to fathom.)

      Will do on Is55.. It's within arms reach of me right now.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      No Truth, Just Claims,
      “You say you did not need evidence to be convinced. What other belief do you hold (outside of religion) that does not require evidence and reason? Why do you give religion a free pass irregardless of reason and evidence?”

      I don’t hold any other beliefs that don’t require evidence or reason. I didn’t really intend to give God a free pass on reason and evidence that is just the way it worked out for me.

      As I described above, I had enough faith or interest to listen, and received enough to believe and be saved. Through answered prayer God has increased or reinforced my faith ever since. That I suppose is evidence and reason to me but to others it is not acceptable. So, I should have qualified the evidence statement. I didn’t look for evidence and then believe. I believed and then received evidence.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Chad,

      Mutation means change, it does not mean random change. Random would me that every outcome would be as likely as any other outcome and that is not the way evolution has been shown to work. If you can prove that mutation is actually completely random you could win yourself a Nobel prize AND prove evolutionary science wrong, let me know when that happens.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • fred

      No Truth Just Claims
      Moses was raised in the house of the Pharaoh with all the influence of the gods of Egypt. In Exodus 3:12 God told Moses proof of God will be that Moses will bring the people out of Egypt to worship God “here at this mountain”. In other words the proof of God was his belief and coming to worship at the spot where he saw the fire of God not because Moses saw the fire of God. It was helpful for Moses to see God was more impressive than the gods of Egypt but, Moses still had to believe and commit. The miracles of Jesus served specific purposes but not to force belief. When the Sanhedrin demanded a sign Jesus said none will be given you but the sign of Jonah. Saul of Tarsus required a zap of blinding light to believe. The Bible says blessed are those that believe and have not seen. I would say that a sovereign God gives you exactly what you need so that you cannot say on the Day of Judgment “but, I did not know”

      April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @chad

      And yet, you ignore the delta 32 mutation, which is a mutation of the CCR5 protein that emerged in Europe during the height of the black plague. This mutation does not allow the disease to attach to the protein, and as a result, the person is completely immune to the symptoms of the disease. This mutation (yes it is a mutation) was almost exclusive to europe, where the plague was killing off most of the population, and continues to emerge today, although very infrequently since the plague is no longer a major threat to the species. So tell me chad, how is that mutation random again? You misrepresent the very word mutation this time. Where does it say that mutations are always random? And isn't a mutation merely a slight change is the genetic structure of a certain species that results in a very slight change, and not exclusively caused by any of ther reasons that you gave. Your intellectual dishonesty is really quite amazing.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

      1 Corinthians 1:22

      Amen.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      Robert,

      The muslim, the jew, the hindu all believe without evidence and also believe that they have received evidence since. Why should one believe your truth and not theirs.

      When you understand why you reject all other faiths you will understand why I reject yours.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • momoya

      LOL!! Yes evolution works WITH random mutations, but that doesn't mean that evolution is random; in fact, that's the point.. Evolution relies upon random mutations-–but the story don't stop there!! LOL.

      I work with a hammer, but that doesn't mean I am a hammer.. Evolution works with random mutations–but is no more random than I am a hammer.. Rational people (christian or not) take issue with terms being used WRONGLY in order for the speaker/presenter to state or imply a lie..

      When christians/muslims present a false dichotomy of "mygodandnobodyelse'sgoddidit or totally-nonsense-random-farts-in-the-void," they are attempting to reduce the argument to their own stupidly-simplistic paradigm.. Then these same freak shows pretend that their opponents are frustrated with their god rather than frustrated at the god-believers total lack of respect for the ideas as they actually exist.. The pattern goes like this: 1. misrepresent the other side(strawman), 2. present the false dichotomy of "my-god or chaos," and 3. claim that their opponent has strange motives because of his feelings about the believers god.

      April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Chad

      @No Truth, Just Claims "Mutation means change, it does not mean random change. Random would me that every outcome would be as likely as any other outcome and that is not the way evolution has been shown to work. If you can prove that mutation is actually completely random you could win yourself a Nobel prize AND prove evolutionary science wrong, let me know when that happens."

      rats, looks like someone already beat me to it.. :-)
      you're better off embracing reality..

      "In addition, experiments have made it clear that many mutations are in fact "random," and did not occur because the organism was placed in a situation where the mutation would be useful. For example, if you expose bacteria to an antibiotic, you will likely observe an increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance. In 1952, Esther and Joshua Lederberg determined that many of these mutations for antibiotic resistance existed in the population even before the population was exposed to the antibiotic — and that exposure to the antibiotic did not cause those new resistant mutants to appear" evolution.berkeley.edu

      However, genetic variations can occur within individual cells through recombinant events such as mutation (random genetic change within a cell's own genetic code) – evolution wiki

      April 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • momoya

      Chad is arguing that because a hand of cards a player receives is random that the entire game is therefore random..

      April 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Lunchbreaker,
      I wouldn’t convert to another religion unless God told me to.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      No Truth, Just Claims,
      Why should one believe my truth and not theirs? You’re making it tough on me, so if I foul this up you folks let me know. To start with I am sure you realize that there is some relationship between Muslim, Jews, and Christians, through the Old Testament. Scholars, of whom I am not one, could go into great detail on the subject. Muslims and Jews worship the same God with the exception of the Divinity of Jesus. I won’t comment on Hindus because I would have to go do some research to even know what they believe. I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and life, and no man comes to the father except by him. That is my faith. If a person from any other faith was interested I would do my best to explain Jesus to them. While I have my faith and hold to it, if a person was raised in another faith, and had never been exposed to my faith, who is to say that God would not accept them into his kingdom.

      I’m not sure I understand why I reject all other faiths, other than to say that this is the only one I know. So, if that is how you reject mine I wish you the very best.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Chad is arguing that because a hand of cards a player receives is random that the entire game is therefore random.."

      =>no.. what I said was:
      @Chad ""Evolution" is natural selection preserving beneficial mutations, to that end one could say that the environmental "drives" the larger "evolutionary" process by natural selection.

      Mutations are BY DEFINITION random. Mutations are changes in a genomic sequence, caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, as well as errors that occur during meiosis or DNA replication.
      Those are random events

      April 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "And yet, you ignore the delta 32 mutation, which is a mutation of the CCR5 protein that emerged in Europe during the height of the black plague."

      =>the scientists at Berkeley would reject the claim that the plague would somehow cause that mutation to occur, rather experiments have demonstrated that the mutation was present, the plague killed people that didnt have it, causing the frequency of the mutation in the population to rise.

      "In addition, experiments have made it clear that many mutations are in fact "random," and did not occur because the organism was placed in a situation where the mutation would be useful. For example, if you expose bacteria to an antibiotic, you will likely observe an increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance. In 1952, Esther and Joshua Lederberg determined that many of these mutations for antibiotic resistance existed in the population even before the population was exposed to the antibiotic — and that exposure to the antibiotic did not cause those new resistant mutants to appear" evolution.berkeley.edu

      April 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      No, chad, you said that evolution is random, and then you gave a quotation that said MUTATION was random..

      Let's try an analogy:

      Poker =/= hand of cards.. The hand of cards (random) is a PART of the game of poker; the cards are not poker.. Poker is a game that INCLUDES random cards, but poker is more than just hands of random cards..

      Evolution =/= mutation.. Mutation (random) is a PART of the evolutionary process; mutation is not evolution.. Evolution is a process that INCLUDES random mutations, but evolution is more than just simple mutations..

      Also, you need to correct the false dilemma you gave.. We haven't ruled out all possibilities, so it is incorrect of you to present biological life as only being the result of a god or random events.. There are literally trillions upon trillions upon trillions of possibilities that have not been ruled out yet you do not account for these possibilities in the false dichotomy you presented..

      April 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @chad

      And yet there is absolutely no DNA evidence that I am aware of to support the assertion that the mutation was already there. Saying that the mutation was already there is merely a blind assertion, and whatever they have found in certain microbacteria and antibiotic resistances would apply only to those organisms.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Look at the quotation in your last post to Hawaii.. If you will read it carefully you might see where it provides the answer you seem to think is not there.. Good luck.....:-)

      April 23, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "No, chad, you said that evolution is random, and then you gave a quotation that said MUTATION was random.."
      @Chad "err.. no I didnt.. you might be thinking of someone else on this thread.. what I said was :

      'or, do you mean that purely random genetic mutations which survive/dont survive in populations due to natural selection have produced the current plethora of complex organisms from that first replicating life form?

      right?

      April 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      You implied it, Chad, and you know it.. If you weren't implying it then you wouldn't have talked about atheists wanting a "natural designer.". I don't think you realize how intellectually dishonest you are..

      So you aren't going to correct the false dichotomy you presented and you haven't found the obvious solution within the quotation you're using to ask the question?? Sounds about right, chad.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard has the intellectual integrity of a clown.

      April 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      Went right for the juggler!

      April 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Har, har.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "And yet, you ignore the delta 32 mutation, which is a mutation of the CCR5 protein that emerged in Europe during the height of the black plague."

      @Chad "the scientists at Berkeley would reject the claim that the plague would somehow cause that mutation to occur, rather experiments have demonstrated that the mutation was present, the plague killed people that didnt have it, causing the frequency of the mutation in the population to rise"

      @HawaiiGuest "And yet there is absolutely no DNA evidence that I am aware of to support the assertion that the mutation was already there. Saying that the mutation was already there is merely a blind assertion, and whatever they have found in certain microbacteria and antibiotic resistances would apply only to those organisms."

      =>Apparently CCR5-delta32 has been around for ~5,000 years.

      you folks honestly never look anything up?
      and, here's the funny part.. you do this whilst simultaneously accusing people of ignorance, and making blind assertions.

      wow, just wow. ...

      "Obviously, the most important factor in determining whether or not an individual contracts HIV is contact with the virus through bodily fluids, but as research on the disease has progressed, scientists have learned that many other factors, including genetic ones, affect an individual's chance of contracting the disease after exposure. These genetic factors may be linked to the evolutionary history of populations. For example, the CCR5-delta32 mutation, which provides almost complete protection from HIV when two copies are carried, seems to have originated in a European population more than 5000 years ago,/b>. Since then, the variant has risen to relatively high frequency in Europe (5-14%), through either genetic drift or selection, and is now found almost exclusively in individuals descended from European populations. – Berkeley dot edu

      April 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Chad

      black plague was in the 1300's.. so your confidence was misplaced by only 4,300 years..

      April 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Wow, just wow." There's nothing TO look up, Chard. The only thing you've presented is more bibble-babble from the Bible.

      Quelle surprise, veggie-brain. That's all you have.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "And yet there is absolutely no DNA evidence that I am aware of to support the assertion that the mutation was already there. Saying that the mutation was already there is merely a blind assertion"

      CCR5: Evolving hypotheses
      When the CCR5-delta32 mutation was first discovered — and when its restriction to European populations was identified — scientists hypothesized that the mutation had been favored because it offered resistance to an intense epidemic largely restricted to Europe: the bubonic plague pandemic of the Middle Ages. However, when scientists studied ancient DNA from 2900-year-old skeletal remains, they found that the mutation was common in European populations long before the plague epidemics
      – Berkeley

      sorry.. couldnt resist..

      April 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @chad

      And what tests did these berkely people do that shows that it originated ~5000 years ago? Besides, in the national library of medicine, the mutations origin has an estimated range of 275-1,875 years. The general consensus being around the 700 year mark.

      "The geographic cline of CCR5-Delta32 frequencies and its recent emergence are consistent with a historic strong selective event (e.g. , an epidemic of a pathogen that, like HIV-1, utilizes CCR5)..."
      from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9585595

      April 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Chad

      I must admit that I'm somewhat biased; I like men and their d!cks. I'll find any excuse to suck a guy.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "And yet, you ignore the delta 32 mutation, which is a mutation of the CCR5 protein that emerged in Europe during the height of the black plague."

      @HawaiiGuest "And yet there is absolutely no DNA evidence that I am aware of to support the assertion that the mutation was already there. Saying that the mutation was already there is merely a blind assertion, and whatever they have found in certain microbacteria and antibiotic resistances would apply only to those organisms."

      =====================
      here ya go.. pub med

      Detection of the CCR5-Delta32 HIV resistance gene in Bronze Age skeletons.
      Hummel S, Schmidt D, Kremeyer B, Herrmann B, Oppermann M.

      A mutant allele of the chemokine receptor CCR5 gene (CCR5-Delta32), which confers resistance to HIV-1 infection, is believed to have originated from a single mutation event in historic times, and rapidly expanded in Caucasian populations, owing to an unknown selective advantage. Among other candidates, the plague bacillus Yersinia pestis was implicated as a potential source of strong selective pressure on European populations during medieval times. Here, we report amplifications of the CCR5-Delta32 DNA sequence from up to 2900-year-old skeletal remains from different burial sites in central Germany and southern Italy. Furthermore, the allele frequency of CCR5-Delta32 in victims of the 14th century plague pandemic in Lubeck/northern Germany was not different from a historic control group. Our findings indicate that this mutation was prevalent already among prehistoric Europeans. The results also argue against the possibility of plague representing a major selective force that caused rapid increase in CCR5-Delta32 gene frequencies within these populations.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • momoya

      Chad, you don't seem to know how to talk about your own ideas.. Do you even have anything that resembles a claim to ponder on?. What is it that you're arguing, and why?. Walk us through your premises to your conclusion and explain why it matters to the god argument.. What are we confused about and how can you clear it up for us?

      Anybody can flop their fingers across a keyboard and copypaste a section from wiki..

      April 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @chad

      Where's the actual link so I can check your sources directly.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Chad

      There aren't any. I'm a liar.

      April 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • momoya

      Chad does this all the time.. What the he.ll does he get out of running around in circles chasing one pretty butterfly over the daisies after another.. Him lying and false-dichotomy-ing the whole time, as he accuses you of weird fallacies that he can't spell correctly much less understand.. I mean, its almost like he's a new chat-bot on trials.. Is he just a few lines of code from a stoned graduate student or what's going on here?

      April 23, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Chad

      the CNN filter wont allow URLs, if you google these two you'll find the references:
      pubmed 15815693
      Berkeley: CCR5: Evolving hypotheses

      One of the great wonders of debating atheists, they really hate it when you cite sources supporting your argument... amazing. Arent you guys supposed to be the "logical, rational" ones? ;-)

      April 24, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • momoya

      Who can ever tell what will surprise you, Chad?. You don't make any sense.

      Suppose you win whatever argument you are supposedly presenting.. What then?. What's your point to all this?. Do you even realize how little sense you make?

      April 24, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Take another look at one of the first quotations you used:

      "In addition, experiments have made it clear that many mutations are in fact "random," and did not occur because the organism was placed in a situation where the mutation would be useful. For example, if you expose bacteria to an antibiotic, you will likely observe an increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance. In 1952, Esther and Joshua Lederberg determined that many of these mutations for antibiotic resistance existed in the population even before the population was exposed to the antibiotic — and that exposure to the antibiotic did not cause those new resistant mutants to appear" evolution.berkeley.edu
      .
      .
      .
      Read that first line again.. Do you see where it says, "..many mutations are in fact 'random'.". You do realize what that means?? If "many" are random, then MOST are not random.. Science is as accurate as possible.. If it was "...most mutations are random" that's what they would have written–but they didn't.
      .
      So let's review, here: Some random mutations; most not random mutations; random mutations do whatever they do, but in the absence of a reason to exist, they don't affect that species further evolution; however, IN the presence of some reason to exist (environmental conditions) the random/non-random mutations make a difference–they help or hurt.. That's evolution, Chad..
      .
      .
      Housekeeping:
      Chad, why do you argue down stupid rabbit trails that don't make any difference?
      Why don't you clearly present your argument and show how it affects whatever message you want to affect?

      I a.ssume you're trying to convince others of the correctness of your position, but nobody looking at the evidence of your posts would reach that conclusion.. Your tactics are very dumb.. Why don't you first learn the procedure of properly structuring an argument, and then take that knowledge into this arena.. You just keep making yourself look retarded when you post ridiculousness like you always do..

      April 24, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Chad

      The thing to think about is this:

      Mutations are random:

      The Berkeley site and innumerable others, confirm that scientific experiments show that Factors in the environment are thought to influence the rate of mutation but are not generally thought to influence the direction of mutation. For example, exposure to harmful chemicals may increase the mutation rate, but will not cause more mutations that make the organism resistant to those chemicals. In this respect, mutations are random—whether a particular mutation happens or not is generally unrelated to how useful that mutation would be

      The statement that mutations are random is both profoundly true and profoundly untrue at the same time. The true aspect of this statement stems from the fact that, to the best of our knowledge, the consequences of a mutation have no influence whatsoever on the probability that this mutation will or will not occur. In other words, mutations occur randomly with respect to whether their effects are useful. Thus, beneficial DNA changes do not happen more often simply because an organism could benefit from them. Moreover, even if an organism has acquired a beneficial mutation during its lifetime, the corresponding information will not flow back into the DNA in the organism's germline. This is a fundamental insight that Jean-Baptiste Lamarck got wrong and Charles Darwin got right – Genetic mutation. Nature Education

      The mechanisms of evolution—like natural selection and genetic drift—work with the random variation generated by mutation.

      Beneficial DNA changes do not happen more often simply because an organism could benefit from them.

      I want people to understand precisely what atheistic evolution requires:
      1. random mutation preserved by natural selection
      2. punctuated equilibrium and the fossil record demonstrating that species remain in stasis for the majority of their species (100's of millions of years often)lifetime, with new fully formed species abruptly appearing in the fossil record.

      how do you get #2 (Abrupt appearance of new species), when we know that mutations are generated randomly?
      how do you get #2, when we know the vast majority of mutations are harmful and do not persist (confirmed by lab experimentation and reflected in fossil stasis of a species)?
      how is it even conceivable, that every single species that exists, came into existence in this grand paroxysm of perfectly beneficial and necessary inter-related mutations, all in this extraordinarily compressed time?

      every single time

      does that even make sense?

      April 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Chad

      I should also note that I do NOT believe that new species just materialize out of thin air, rather I view this "grand paroxysm" of random, necessary, inter-related mutations that occur in this extremely short period of time (10k -50k years by most estimates) as proof positive of designer involvement.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • fred

      Chad
      I don't know if I help or hinder your cause by saying thank you for that explanation. I get booed out of the room before even attempting to explain the sudden appearance of new species as pointing to something more than a random mutation being at work.

      April 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Evolution isn't "theistic" or "atheistic.". That's like saying that there's "theistic algebra" and "atheistic algebra.".

      Evolution doesn't claim to have everything figured out–that's what keeps science going–more and better questions which are answered by proving or disproving testable hypotheses which lead to more and better questions which lead to more hypotheses and so on..

      You have gaps in your knowledge of evolution (I don't know to what degree top scientists might say your questions have already been answered, but I'm sure you can hunt down somebody to give you better answers than you'll find here).. However, these gaps do not prove or disprove anything at all.. That you want to pretend that YOUR gaps of knowledge prove or disprove something about evolution or god only proves that you have quite fallacious reasoning..

      You are approaching the subject of evolution with an agenda.. Your agenda is that your big magic sky daddy used a spell at some point in the evolutionary process.. If you can come up with a way to prove your belief then fine, science/evolution will accept whatever facts you demonstrate as true according to a verifiable method of testing your hypothesis.. Do you have a way to do that?

      So far, you're just trying to shoot holes in a theory as if that will imply a god-like mechanism, but that's not how science works.. You could completely disprove evolution and that would have absolutely no bearing whatsoever on any god ideas.. Your continual bickering over minutia is pointless.. Evolution vs god, or science vs faith are false dichotomies.. Why do you argue about evolution or portions of the theory as if it means anything at all about your god?!?!?

      April 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Let's look at some of your fallacious reasoning..

      You said:
      "I should also note that I do NOT believe that new species just materialize out of thin air, rather I view this "grand paroxysm" of random, necessary, inter-related mutations that occur in this extremely short period of time (10k -50k years by most estimates) as proof positive of designer involvement."

      1. Nobody believes that "species just materialize out of thin air.". The closest idea that comes to that is a big magic man casting spells into "the void" and breathing on dirt.
      2. You aren't using the term "paroxysm" correctly.. (Perhaps you mean "paradox?" "Grand paradox?")
      3. You don't know what time frame "random, necessary, inter-related mutation" work on, do you?. How do you know what length of time is needed for those evolutionary changes?.
      4. You don't know if there are other factors involved in the process outside of your purview.. You haven't eliminated ALL possibilities, so you have no idea.
      5. You don't understand how speciation occurs so you're just going to jump to your preferred answer??!? "Goddidit?" Don't you see what lousy science that is?

      I have no idea why you want to be this stupid, but don't you at least see what you're doing?? You're criticizing one portion of a theory, for which there might already be good answers that you are currently ignorant of, and you're using that gap in your knowledge to just a.ssume the god you're so desperate to a.ssume.. As I said before, you almost seem like a badly programmed chat robot whose kinks aren't yet worked out.. You can't answer the question of why your god would put hundreds of "switched off" genes of previous species on the evolutionary tree but not parallel species on the evolutionary tree, and you don't seem to care.. Why?? Because that question doesn't allow for your hypothesis of god's involvement in speciation..

      The bottom line is this, Chad.. If you want to just criticize evolution, science will thank you for your criticism and simply continue to answer those and other questions since science is trying to do that, anyway.. If you want to prove something about god with your questions about evolution–then you've got a long, long, long, way to go since absence of evidence doesn't prove anything about any gods.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5kumHLiK4A&w=640&h=390]

      April 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Ummmm

      momoya you have patience of a saint to continue to converse with such an idiot like Chad. If I was a Christians I would be begging this moron to shut up he's showing the stupidity of the cult.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "Evolution isn't "theistic" or "atheistic."
      @Chad "An entity external to our universe is either involved in the creation of the human race, or it isnt, as well, making a statement like that ignores the fact that the terms are commonly used to differentiate the two positions that have been and continue to be locked in controversy for decades. Right? not sure why you would make such a statement.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution for example

      ============
      @momoya "Evolution doesn't claim to have everything figured out..."
      @chad "I'm fine getting atheists to the point where they acknowledge that their theory rests on life progressing from a single self replicating life form to the current complexity by the survival of random mutations, the vast majority of which are not beneficial.

      ==========
      @momoya "You are approaching the subject of evolution with an agenda."
      @Chad "yes, my agenda is to have everyone understand what their world view rests on.

      also note, the search for a designer is some that commonly happens today. No fossil hunter is going to look at an arrow head and wonder if that rock just naturally formed that way. The presence of a designer in that situation is not threatening, whereas the presence of a designer of the universe and of life on earth, is EXTREMELY threatening, that's precisely why you and people like you, dont want to even consider it, even though you have no problem attributing an arrowhead to a "creator".
      No one is going to say "WHAT???? you think that rock was formed by an ancient person???? That's absurd, just because geology cant explain how that rock was formed by natural processes doesnt mean we give up and say "an indian didit".

      SETI(search for extraterrestrial intelligence) is another activity that searches for intelligence. They scan space for any sign of design in wave forms.

      These disciplines have obvious criteria which signals the presence of intelligence which no one would dispute.. The exact same criteria, when applied to the origin of the universe, the origin of life on earth and the rise in complexity of that life form clearly points to intelligence.

      April 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Chad

      paroxysm Noun: A sudden attack or violent expression of a particular emotion or activity.

      used properly in a sentence "how is it even conceivable, that every single species that exists, came into existence in this grand paroxysm of perfectly beneficial and necessary inter-related mutations, all in this extraordinarily compressed time?

      ==========
      @momoya "You don't understand how speciation occurs so you're just going to jump to your preferred answer??!? "Goddidit?" Don't you see what lousy science that is?"
      @Chad ""WHAT???? you think that rock which looks like an arrowhead was formed by an ancient person???? That's absurd, just because geology cant explain how that rock was formed by natural processes doesnt mean we give up and say "an indian didit".

      =================
      the rest has already been dealt with.. :-)

      April 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Ummm

      "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution for example"

      A recent study just came out that showed about 60% of the information on widipedia is bad. LOL!

      April 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      ::sigh:: You nitwit, do you want to put "theistic" in front of every word because god's existence can't be proved or disproved so we all argue about it?? You'd have to PROVE god exists before you can say whether or not he's involved in processes we've already described and defined.. If you can't prove god was involved, you can't put it in the t.itle of a math or chemistry or any other demonstrable idea.

      You don't know what everyone's world view rests on, you dumb fvck.. A person's world view is very unique and rests on various factors such as their ENTIRE HISTORY of events in their lives.. You're arrogantly stupid, and far more so than I imagined if that is really your agenda.. LOL!

      Science isn't "threatened" by the idea of a designer.. If biology looked designed, science would say so, but the genes just keep on proving the theory of evolution–thousands and thousands of times each day–yet you refuse to consider this evidence because YOU are THREATENED by the reality of what science shows.. As for arrowheads, we KNOW that Indians existed and made arrowheads; thus, it's a reasonable assumption.. We have VERIFIABLE evidence for Indians and their craftsmanship.. We do not have proof for god or any evidence at all of his craftsmanship.. You believers just pretend that the natural world is evidence for your god, but none of you agree with any of the others of you on the how or why because you guys don't approach the god question scientifically, so who cares?

      Yes, SETI is searching for INTELLIGENT life that would have similar radio abilities to ours.. We know how we MIGHT find life according to the evidence of what we think about radio waves and technology.. IF another species is broadcasting on radio waves, THEN we might hear them.. We have no idea if there's even a god in the first place and we certainly don't have any idea what "waves" or mechanisms he might use to communicate.

      Yes, "paroxysm" is a word, it just doesn't make any sense the way you used it.. Keep using it the way you have, though, as I'd rather you go out and argue stupidly for your god than intelligently for him.

      We know Indians existed, Chad, don't be a fvckwad.. If we know Indians existed in that area and they made and used arrows all the time, it's an easy a.ssumption to make.. We do not have proof of god as we do for Indians, so your analogy falls apart at its most fundamental level.. If we had proof of god's existence as we do for the Native Americans, we could ponder that, but we don't have that proof, so we don't..

      Chad, why do you delve deeply into topics that don't matter to anybody but you when you've already decided what you will and won't believe ahead of time?? Why do you keep using such stupid logic??

      You lie.
      You misrepresent.
      You use stupid logic.
      You reason incorrectly.
      You put forth faulty analogies that a middle schooler would spot.
      You chase down arguments that have no effect on the central topic.

      Why??

      Would you be willing to actually work through an argument, step-by-step, with my guidance?? The only thing you're proving, here, is that you have absolutely no idea what you're doing.. As of now, the only thing you clearly illustrate is the Dunning-Kruger effect.

      For a start, why don't you actually prove to me that you can be honest.. Do you acknowledge that your analogy about finding an arrowhead was incredibly stupid because of the difference in proof for Indians and god?

      April 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • momoya

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSEvbxu6yPQ&w=640&h=390]

      April 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @chad

      You said that either an external enti.ty outside our universe created humans or didn't. That sir is a false dicotomy. You also failed to address the fallacies from momoyas post. You also attempt to equate a shaped stone (inatimate object that is not alive and cannot move of its own accord, does not replicate and hence cannot reproduce to form mutations) to living organisms. This is the same analogy used by many apologists and really is one of the more stupid analogies. All you have shown to me is some mutations are random, not that most or all are, and even then you do not prove anything about there being an intelligent designer. In fact, the thought that many mutations are random goes against your model of design, because why would random mutations occur at all, especially if (according to you) the vast majority are not helpful to a species.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • momoya

      I think that Chad is a very intelligent person who some creep has kidnapped and keeps on a steady diet of Robitussin DM.

      April 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @HawaiiGuest "You said that either an external enti.ty outside our universe created humans or didn't. That sir is a false dicotomy"
      @Chad "Really? is there a third option? LOL
      Just because in fact there are only two options doesnt necessarily mean that a false dichotomy is being presented. If in fact the two options being presented are:
      a. mutually exclusive
      and
      b. completely cover the range of all possibilities
      then, presentation of only two possibilities is not a false dichotomy.

      For example, the statement "Joe is either dead or alive" is not a false dichotomy. the two states are mutually exclusive the union of which completely cover the states of Joe's "liveliness". Indeed, Joe is either dead, or alive.

      To demonstrate that is is a false dichotomy, you need to show a third option that is not being presented. :-)

      =========
      @HawaiiGuest "You also failed to address the fallacies from momoyas post"
      @Chad "sigh..
      1. creationists believe that.
      2. yes I was, see above
      3. 10k-50k is the standard time frame cited by Gould et al for PE. See wiki, or the PE paper published '73.
      4. I'm not saying everything is known, I'm saying that what IS known clearly points to a designer.
      5. ""WHAT???? you think that rock which looks like an arrowhead was formed by an ancient person???? That's absurd, just because geology cant explain how that rock was formed by natural processes doesnt mean we give up and say "an indian didit".

      =========
      @HawaiiGuest "All you have shown to me is some mutations are random" not that most or all are"
      @Chad "ALL mutations are random in the sense that they are no more likely to produce a beneficial result for the host than not. that has been demonstrated by the research, see above.
      experiments have made it clear that many mutations are in fact "random," and did not occur because the organism was placed in a situation where the mutation would be useful

      April 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @momoya "We know Indians existed
      @chad "how? Do you have any video? it's all heresy. ;-)
      (tongue planted firmly in cheek)
      =========
      @momoya "We do not have proof of god as we do for Indians"
      @Chad "God created the universe, life on earth, etc, etc. etc.. All the indians did was cave paintings, arrow heads (and those could just be natural rock formations).
      (tongue planted firmly in cheek)

      April 24, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      And there we have it.. Rather than deal with legitimate questions put to you, you just pretend that what you say is more valid than anything said by anybody else.. You just a.ssume whatever it is you already believe.. Why? Are you really as stupid as that?. Why do you even get into complex 'arguments' if you're not going to be affected by the outcome if it goes against your beliefs and you'll just end making the same stupid a.ssumptions as you began with?

      Your arrowhead analogy fails for several reasons.. I pointed out one, and Hawaii, another.. Deal with it.. Do something about it.. Act intelligent at least for the sake of YOUR OWN ARGUMENT even though you aren't..

      p.s. I'm glad to see you've finally learned what a "false dichotomy" is.. Problem is, you still need some learnin on it.. You haven't proved that reality is the way it is only because of god or not god–because there's no reason it couldn't be multiple gods of varying power.. Since you haven't ruled out the possibilities that there could be multiple gods, and you haven't ruled out other variations, you ARE presenting a false dichotomy..

      April 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • momoya

      @Chad

      Have you watched the videos I've posted?. I ask because you seem to have absolutely no clue about the discipline you are criticizing.. If you're going to criticize math, you need to know a lot about math..

      Anyway, the following statement of yours is what you need to attempt to prove: "I'm not saying everything is known, I'm saying that what IS known clearly points to a designer."

      Walk us through the argument.. What exactly, precisely, test-ably, verifiably "points to a designer" and how does it point to "design" versus "not – designed" and how does it pointing to a designer help us understand the mechanism the designer used?

      April 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @chad

      I can see how useless debating with you is. You ignore some aspects of responses to posts directed at you, and give completely unsound reasoning. Your arguments are about as useful as a condom machine in a convent.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 23, 2012 at 8:38 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 23, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • No Truth, Just Claims

      The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.

      April 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  6. wol

    Isn't a speed read supposed to be short.

    You know, so it's "speedy"?

    Hello?

    April 23, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • wol

      Anybody there? Hello?

      April 23, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Rick Perry

      I like eggs

      April 23, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  7. Equal Rights NOW

    Equal rights is worth fighting for.

    It is also something everyone, if they aren't seeking to oppress others, should be able to support fully.

    Let's see your arguments.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • Uhhh

      For or against?

      April 23, 2012 at 7:39 am |
    • William Demuth

      Equal rights is a relative concept so one might present a relative argument.

      If you are SPECIFIC, then one offer specifics in return

      April 23, 2012 at 8:47 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.