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Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist's as claimed, scientists say
A reliquary box thought to have been used to carry the bones of John the Baptist.
June 22nd, 2012
07:55 AM ET

Bulgarian bones could be John the Baptist's as claimed, scientists say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN)– When the tools of modern science are applied to religious relics, the results are almost always the same: Science says the relics aren't what their supporters claim.

The most famous of them all, the Turin Shroud, is widely regarded as a Middle Ages forgery, and even the Catholic Church does not insist the shroud was actually used to wrap the body of Jesus himself.

So when Bulgarian archeologists announced two years ago that they had found the bones of John the Baptist, Tom Higham was skeptical.

He got a surprise.

Higham, an Oxford University scientist and an atheist who doesn't believe in "any kind of religion or God or anything like that," was asked to test six small bone fragments found on an island named Sveti Ivan - St. John.

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The bones turned out to be from a man who lived in the Middle East at the same time as Jesus, Higham said.

"We got a date that was exactly where it should be, right in the middle of the first century," said Higham, a radiocarbon dating expert.

It's not proof that they belonged to John the Baptist, since there's no DNA database of early Christian saints, the archeologist who found the bones said.

But the mere fact that the testing didn't prove the bones are fakes is unusual.

Archeologist Kazimir Popkonstantinov led the team that found them under the altar of a fifth century basilica on Sveti Ivan, a Black Sea island off Sozopol on the south coast of Bulgaria.

The bones were in a reliquary, a container for holy relics, with a tiny sandstone box.

Written on the box in Greek were the words, "God, save your servant Thomas. To St. John. June 24."

Scientists take samples of the bones for radiocarbon and genetic analysis.

The date is the Christian feast day of John the Baptist, believed to be his birthday.

When the bones were found in 2010, Popkonstantinov said it was "logical to suggest that the founders of the monastery did their best to bring relics of its patron saint."

Higham, the deputy director of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, got involved because a colleague knew the Bulgarian archeologists. National Geographic was also interested, so it provided funding for more extensive testing than Higham originally planned, and made a film about the project.

Radiocarbon dating showed that the bones were from the right period to be from John the Baptist, Higham said, while genetic testing showed it was a man and all the bones were from the same person.

DNA testing by colleagues at the University of Copenhagen suggested that the person was most likely to have been from the Middle East, he said.

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More detailed nuclear DNA testing could pin down his location even more accurately, Higham said, but "does cost quite a lot of money."

There is reasonably good historical evidence that John the Baptist, whom Christians believe baptized his cousin Jesus, did exist, said Paul Middleton, a senior lecturer in Biblical studies at the University of Chester.

All four gospels and the contemporary Jewish historian Josephus say he was beheaded on the orders of the ruler Herod Antipas, Middleton said when the bones were found.

The six small bones are far from the only relics purporting to belong to him.

Four locations, from a mosque in Damascus, Syria, to a museum in Munich, Germany, claim to have his head, while the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, has a relic alleged to be his right arm.

A monastery in Montenegro says it has his right hand, while another in Egypt has a crypt containing relics of the saint.

Tom Higham says he can test them to see if they match.

"We have a complete genome. It's possible that we could step this a step further and see if there is any similarity," in the genetic material of all the relics.

"We've sort of got interested in this. It's not beyond the realms of possibility, and we know that there were relics moving out of the Middle East in the fourth and fifth century," he said.

But for him, the project remains a purely scientific one.

"I'm an atheist," he said. "I perceive this as an archeological dating problem. We have some bones and we're trying to get as much information out of them as we can."

CNN's Simon Hooper and Susannah Palk contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity

soundoff (1,475 Responses)
  1. sortakinda

    "June 24 is believed to be his birthday." No, it is celebrated on the Church calendar as his birthday, as is December 25 celebrated as the birth of Christ. No one knows what day either was born. There were no Chuck E. Cheese's, Hallmark's or Carvel's in those days which might have had records of actual birthday celebrations.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Jim

      Perhaps there was no Chuck E. Cheese's, but certainly there was Little Caesars!

      June 22, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Look it up on ancestry.com. Jesus was born on May 27 at 9:30 PM.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  2. Reality

    The existence of JB is one of the few certainties of the NT. JB's life to include his execution however like everything in the NT got twisted to suit the likes of the NT authors.

    To wit:

    "Professor JP Meier, University of Notre Dame, [Ma-rginal Jew II,171-76] reviews the material relating to John's execution, before concluding:

    When it comes to the imprisonment and death of John, Josephus, not Mark (6: 14-29) must serve as our main source. Receiving a folkloric legend already remodeled as a pious account of a martyr's unjust execution, Mark used the story for his own purposes. The tradition he inherited preserved the most basic facts: sometime after Jesus' baptism, John was imprisoned and executed by Antipas. Mark's story also had a v-ague recollection that Antipas' irregular marriage to Herodias was somehow connected with the Baptist's death, but lively imagination and OT allusions had long since developed the nexus in a different direction from what we read in the Antiquities. Coming as it does from a diverse matrix and being developed in a very disparate fashion, Mark's account supplies valuable independent confirmation of the most basic points of Josephus' report. Beyond those, Josephus is to be preferred for history; Mark is to be mined for tradition history and theological intent. (p. 175)"

    Add this to the "dismemberment" of the rest of John's sacred body and one is very skeptical about having said bone relics scattered all over the globe. Smells to "high heaven" of tourist traps. 🙂 😉

    See added discussion at http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb197.html

    June 22, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • PrimeNumber

      "Josephus is to be preferred for history; Mark is to be mined for tradition history and theological intent." This has been known for a good while. Mark's emphasis is theological because of the problem "Who do you say that I am?" If someone found purported bones of Jesus, DNA testing would not tell you whether he was God or not. Nevertheless, keeping the bones of dead saints is not much different from keeping the ashes of a deceased relative in an urn on the mantle. John's gospel (Ch.6) reports Jesus as saying "THe flesh is useless. It is the spirit which gives life." ANd yet evolutionists rejoice over the discovery of a mere body, and archeologists wrangle over DNA and carbon dating interpretations. Mark's theology is extremely important, otherwise, Josephus' history is barely significant.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Reality

      All of John's Gospel is of questionable historic value.

      To wit:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

      "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

      "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

      "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

      "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

      See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

      June 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  3. bubbles

    major set back for atheism

    June 22, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Huebert

      How so?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • bubbles

      Proof.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Logic Fail

      :::John the Baptist was real, therefore God exists=> Logic Fail.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Really? How so?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • bubbles

      Why is it always God? i mean...there are literal billions of others,why do you spend so much time with just God?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • mandarax

      Yes, these results prove beyond a doubt that men existed in the Middle East 2000 years ago. Atheists worldwide will be getting baptized in droves....

      June 22, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • junior

      Unfortunately not. Some folks will jump into moving traffic just to prove a point.
      Pride will prevail. That is why God is necessary.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • swift

      Ya, just wait until the sun comes up the next time – proof POSITIVE of the sun god Ra.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @bubbles
      "Proof."

      Where's the proof? The only proof is that they are using carbon dating which we know all religious types say is false. So, once again a bunch of hypocrisy coming out of your camp.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • bubbles

      Lol lame comeback

      June 22, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • bubbles

      "My camp"? I'm not "part" of any "camp".

      Those delusions are strong with this one.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Huebert

      bubbles

      What are these bones proof of?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • bubbles

      Dont you atheists want proof?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Huebert

      bubbles

      I want evidence, but you said that these bones were proof. So now I am asking you, what are they proof of?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      bubbles, what is is that you don't understand? Where is the proof that these bones are anything but just bones of a random person? How can you be so ignorant?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • bubbles

      But you proof so badly right?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Your camp, not mine. It's people like you, and there are millions of your kind, that are literally stupid.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • nonamevot3r

      Nothing an atheist might think stops them from understanding that these might be the bones of a jewish man with the jewish name of John (or Joshua) that might or might not have been the member of an obscure jewish cult with a ritual of washing away sins, that is totaly possible. What an atheist is saying is that the 1st century person doing that is no more actually interceding with a deity than I would be if I decided to cut a cat open on October the 31st and beseech (pray to) a demon to give me lots of money.
      An atheist doesn't have to believe that there was no man called Jesus to be an athiest, he just needs to believe that none of the Number of Jesus Ben Josephs that must have lived in Judea in the first century was any more than Human and that there is no actual God.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • bubbles

      God exists.

      proved

      June 22, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Huebert

      bubbles

      Why wont you answer the questions? What do these bones prove?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • bubbles

      Its proof of something right? thats what you want? Proof?

      The sky is the blue.Therefor God exists.Fact.Proven.Proof.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Huebert

      bubbles

      What are the bones proof of?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • bubbles

      How do i prove God exists?
      you never answer the question,you just demand.

      so i can say since the sky is blue its proof that God exists.

      proven

      June 22, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Huebert

      bubbles

      I'm not asking you to prove that god exist. It's you saying that these bones are proof, but so far you have not said what the bones are proof of. I'll narrow the scope of my question for you.

      Are you saying that these bones prove the existence of god?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • bubbles

      I knew atheists could cling to what I posted

      its proof of anything.How about that?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      bubbles, I bet you feel like you are being attacked, right? Well, in a sense you are because you are making absolutely no sense. You avoid our questions because you cannot answer them or hopefully you see the shallowness of your answers.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Huebert

      Good bye pidgin.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • bubbles

      dont leave!!

      i was just getting started.

      next i was gonna say since the grass is green its proof that God exists!!!

      June 22, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      bubbles, unless you have something intelligent to offer why don't you just f*uck off?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • bubbles

      Its my post why dont YOU leave?

      June 22, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Your stupidity is not cute it's beyond disgusting. You are severely delusional and a hindrance towards the progress of humanity. Glad to leave this post.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • bubbles

      you wanted proof? i gave it.You got mad and responded with immaturity and anger.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Jack

      I took a bath with bubbles.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Bet

      Troll harder, bubs.

      June 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Q

      LMAO, major set back for athiests?? But they used carbon dating and you Bubbles as a good Christian had to be against this because every bible following Christian knows that carbon dating is a trick of the enemy... So if you agree with this than you agree with carbon dating, hence you agree that the earth is millions of years old and evolved over time. So....which is it?

      June 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • bubbles

      i didnt say anything about carbon dating.

      June 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Les Too

      In my perennial beds I have clumps of grass that are red, blue, streaked with purple and yellow, etc. Green grass is removed whenever it rears its head. A quick look at the bed clearly reveals that grass is NOT green. Your stand alone proof is shown by physical testable evidence to be false.

      June 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  4. leonmoses

    It would be nicer if ALL THE BONES WERE TOGETHER including THE HEAD!
    But, it doesn't matter. When the dead in Christ rise, I am sure some of them will be missing physical parts.
    But more importantly, they will ALL have NEW immortal, incorruptible bodies for service in the Kingdom of God.
    And, when this great city descends onto the earth, there will be a rude awakening by a great many peoples.
    They will see a city that is 1500 mile high, long, and wide descend. It will hover over Jerusalem. and it will cover the 1500 miles beneath. The light that will come from that city will bathe Jerusalem which will never again need street lights.
    Glory to God in the highest in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior from the foundation of creation.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Oh, but don't you remember that there were two Churches in France in the Middle Ages. One claimed to have the "Head of John the Baptist" while the other claimed to have the "Head of John the Baptist as a small boy." This was the actual claim of the two churches and Rome apparently acknowledged both as legitimate.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Cocopuf

      That's good. Really! Amen.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • tannim

      Dude, quit OD'ing on the Blessed Kool-Aid. The ressurection, if there is one, is in spirit, not body, but there is zero evidence of any of that in the first place outside of an ancient book that has been heavily edited to suit a power and fear agenda.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Jim

      You ignore the fact that Jesus himself proclaimed the kingdom of heaven would come during the lifetime of his followers. Here we are, 2000 years later and nothing has happened. Just one of the many, many things the bible got wrong. I guess you have never actually read the bible, now have you?
      (oh, btw, don't go quoting 2 Peter to us. That's a forgery!)

      June 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • derp

      "They will see a city that is 1500 mile high"

      You realize that the earth's atmosphere is only around 70 miles high.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Huebert

      leonmoses

      Please tell me you really believe all of that. "Lives in a floating city" is the last square I need for crazy christian bingo.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  5. sortakinda

    Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones could be any man's. It wouldn't really make a difference to believers or nonbelievers if they came with a certificate of authenticity signed by Herod and Herodias would it? This blog is the source of the wheel spinning noises you hear in the distance, when the traffic stops. If one believer became a nonbeliever or vise versa because of one comment or all of the comments on this blog, THAT WOULD BE A MIRACLE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      People believe because they want to believe. People don't believe because the don't want to believe. No matter how much "evidence" one side presents to the other, they will not change their belief or disbelief. Creationists will not be shaken from the belief that the world was created at 9AM, October 3, 4004 BC. Those who believe in the current theories of physics have had their belief changed numerous times over the past 20 years, first believing the Universe was only 5 Billion years old, now acknowledging it is over 10 Billion years old.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  6. doctore0

    You have no "John the Baptist" test... you can not test for the dude... these could be the bones of Jesus.. IF Jesus actually existed.. but he did not;
    Bottom line: These are random bones from some random person from the past..

    June 22, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Jim

      " IF Jesus actually existed.. but he did not;"
      Other than pure dogma, what exactly are you using to support that claim?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:09 am |
      • doctore0

        There is zero evidence for Jesus actually existing.. that is a fact Christians must face(No, the bible is not proof)

        June 22, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • John

      where do you get that he didn't exist? I'm raised without religion and even i have enough common sense to know he probably existed. maybe his story might not have teen the story told, but doesn't mean he wasn't a real person.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • Cocopuf

      JIM,

      You are absolutely sure that Jesus did not exist? Because you are betting against His Word, and your eternity on this. Have fun then. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • JA

      There is many to believe that he actually existed believers and non-believers alike. Its more the question of his divinity. There are other writings besides the bible that show of his existence. Need proof? Google magic. Its not hard. It is hard, though, to find a credible source. But they are there.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • doctore0

        Sorry but the bible is the only source for Jesus.. and the bible source war written ~300 years after alleged messiah was allegedly killed.

        It's just that bad.. one have to be totally brainwashed to believe in the bible.. and/or any other magic books out there

        June 22, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Rundvelt

      Jesus most certainly existed and the evidence for this is the horribly patched work of his life. If you have a fictional character, you can write anything to make him/her appear to fit prophecy. However if Jesus existed, you need to shoehorn in the prophecy requirements when you can. This is apparent in the bible.

      Is this proof that he did the divine things he did? No. Is it proof that there is a God? No.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Jim

      Cocopuf, please do pay attention. Rational thinking does not seem to be your strong point. So to help you a long, I will explain it to you in very simple terms:
      doctore0 said: " IF Jesus actually existed.. but he did not;"
      I quoted him and responded "Other than pure dogma, what exactly are you using to support that claim?"
      Obviously, I was responding to doctore0's claim "he did not"
      Now, was that really so hard to understand.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Jim

      "Sorry but the bible is the only source for Jesus.."
      Incorrect. There are several extra-biblical sources supporting the historicity of Jesus. Since they are independent sources, they provide positive support for the new testament claims. (at least in terms of the historicity of Jesus) Second, you seem to be implying that the new testament is a complete fabrication. Do you have any evidence other than dogma?

      "the bible source war written ~300 years after alleged messiah was allegedly killed."
      Incorrect. Even the latest dates for the synoptics Gospels are 70-90 CE. Historiogrpahically speaking, those are fairly contemporary. We have fragements of the gospels which are far younger than "~ 300 years", so you claim is demonstably false. (with physical evidence to the contrary) There are some that even date to the second century.

      Why do people pretend to be rational when then simply ingore evidence and still believe things based on dogma?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • JA

      obviously doctore0 has not done his research. He or she is one of those who makes a claim, then someone makes a rebuttal and he sticks his fingers in his/her ears singing la la la la la la la la.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:57 am |
      • doctore0

        I said there is no evidence for Jesus existing... the bible is worthless in proving anything.

        Best bet is that Jesus is man made, just like everything points to gods being man made

        June 22, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • derp

      Both the Romans and the Jews kept very detailed records during the time Jesus was supposed to have existed. Neither the Jewish nor the Roman records make any mention of a Jesus of Nazareth, a trial, or a crucifixion of a Jesus, even though there are compete records of other peoples offenses and crucifixions. There is actually no contemporary record of Jesus life. Everything ever written about Jesus, was written no earlier than 30 years after he was purported to have lived.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Alfred

      T!tus Flavius Josephus was a Jewish-Roman Historian with an account of Jesus. Look him up. Its very interesting.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Jim

      @Derp: "Both the Romans and the Jews kept very detailed records during the time Jesus was supposed to have existed."
      For example? Could you tell us where these are kept? All the books I have read about 1st century Palenstine say something completley different. If what you say is true, then there should be "detailed records" of people who were more important than one of dozens (or hundreds) of itinerant apocalyptic preacher roming around 1st century palestine. Only between 5-10% if the people could write and it was an expensive and relatively complicated process. Your claim of "detailed records" is absurd!!!!

      "Neither the Jewish nor the Roman records make any mention of a Jesus of Nazareth, a trial, or a crucifixion of a Jesus, even though there are compete records of other peoples "offenses and crucifixions."
      For example? Could you tell us where these are kept? Can you name one? You statement is beyond ludicrous. In criminal cases, the charges were brought, judgement was passed and they were executed on the stop. No records were kept. Even if there were a few "complete records", that by no means implies their should be records of any one in particular, especially someone as insignificant as a itinerant preacher guilty of sedition. Can you name any scholarly sources that support your claim or are you simply making it up?

      Further, that is a fallacious argument from silence. The lack of records do not mean Jesus did not exist. You must first demonstrate that there *should* be records of a peasant from a small village before you can even begin to consider your argument, and you haven't. You obviously have no clue about 1st century Palestine. Here, I would recommend Bruce Malina's "The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology". Somewhat ironic that I am using that book against someone claiming Jesus did not exist, as I frequently use it against Christian fundies who also make absurd claims about 1st century Palestine.

      "There is actually no contemporary record of Jesus life. Everything ever written about Jesus, was written no earlier than 30 years after he was purported to have lived."
      So what? It very common not to have contemporary sources for people, even as late as the early renaissance. Actually, had you bothered to read any books on historiography, you would see that for the 1st century, *only* 30 years is great! My favorite specifically about the period is Michael Grant's "Greek and Roman Historians". While he does emphasize that historians of the period embellished a lot, there is nothing to indicate that the references we have to Jesus as a real person (not simply based on others) are invalid. Quite the contrary, since we are dealing with multiple, indepedant information streams, the evidence for a historical Jesus is stronger than many others of the period. Then there are the linguistic aspects, such as aramaism.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Jim

      @doctore0:
      "I said there is no evidence for Jesus existing... the bible is worthless in proving anything."
      Please do tell us what you know that most historians do not? Do you have a degree is ancient history? Have you ever even read a book on historiography? Do you even know what that term means?

      June 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
      • doctore0

        I know the bible isn't history at all, just collection of tales/myths...
        Any REAL historian would agree on that.
        If you bible believing people want to get angry, get angry at those who brainwashed you into believing in the bible,god, magic.. hooked you with the afterlife.. which is NOT YOURS

        June 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Alfred – The Josephus story is fake. All the actual experts agree that it was heavily edited long after the fact in order to say the things it does.

      Sorry.

      June 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • doctore0

      Watch and learn
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0GF6YIk-2s&w=640&h=360]

      June 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • derp

      "T!tus Flavius Josephus was a Jewish-Roman Historian with an account of Jesus. Look him up. Its very interesting"

      Josephus was born in the year 37ad. Jesus supposedly died at 33 years old. It would have been physically impossible for Josephus to have written anything about jesus until at least almost a decade after his death.

      Nice try though.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • derp

      " While he does emphasize that historians of the period embellished a lot"

      Which is how you end up with a story like that of Jesus.

      June 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Alfred,

      There is a very brief mention of the claims of the followers of Jesus by Josephus in his Antiquities, but Josephus mentions Hercules many times. Tacitus mentions a character named Christos, who might be Jesus, but, he mentions Hercules more times in his Annals as well.

      Thus, Hercules was/is real?

      June 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  7. mandarax

    It's always interesting to watch the inconsistent religious relationship to science. The recurring religious arguments are that science can't be trusted, scientists are in a conspiracy, radiocarbon dating doesn't work, evolution is a theory in crisis, etc. But when science does support some belief, they are quick to crow from the rooftops and appeal to the authority of science for justification.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Rundvelt

      The bones were radiocarbon dated. I thought that was mega unreliable?

      Religious people are funny.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Allen

      @Rundvelt-

      Circa 2100 BPE and properly calibrated against other methodologies, radiocarbon dating is quite accurate.

      June 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  8. Cocopuf

    To Primewonk :- That's what I said, and read what you posted?

    Measuring C12 at such an earlier date requires you to know the amount C12 concentration in the atmosphere at the time and in the bones in order to accurately measure the DECAY and predict the time date. MANY bone fossils were Carbon dated and compared to recently extinct animals showed vast discrepancies (that is, it showed the more recent extinct animal to be much older than the fossils)

    I suggest you read into C12 dating and get up to speed with the controversies about using C12 for dating. Paleontologists simply rejected their fossil dates because it did not fit the fossil dating column used, so they kept looking for other fossils to fit the date they wanted it to be. A total hoax using C12 for accurately measuring dates from the past. LOL

    June 22, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • mandarax

      Wow, did you get that from creationwiki? Radiocarbon dating is based on the ratios of C14 and N14, and is never, ever used to date fossils. C14 decays to N14, and not to C12. We know the ratios of C isotopes in the past (due to variation in solar radiation) based on things like tree rings, ice cores, coral laminae, and ocean varves – that is why radiocarbon dates are all calibrated. It's absurd to hear you, who clearly have no idea what you're talking about, recommending that someone else read up on radiocarbon dating.

      There is no nice way to put it – creation websites lie about science. I suggest getting your information from more legitimate sources.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Primewonk

      Cocopuf – again, you do not use c14 for dating fossils. You can't. Fossils are mineral – no longer organic. And fossils are much older than 50,000 years.

      Now, for the 3rd time – post the citations to peer-reviewed scientific research that supports your contentions.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Jim

      Cocopuf: Unfortunately your information is a outdated, plus you seem not to understand the basics. C12 is the stable version of carbon, C14 is the radioactive isotope that is used in radicarbon dating. Since C12 is stable, it does not decay and is worthless for any measurement. So, I would *not* suggest anyone "read into C12 dating", because that is not how it is done. Any beginners book on archaeology will tell you that.

      When radiocarbon dating was first developed, it was believed that the levels of C14 were constant, but we now know they are not, primarily caused by variations in solar radiation. However, using dendrochronology, we can date things fairly accurately to more than 10,000 years. This allows us to create a calibration table for those cases when dendrochronology is not possible. By using radiocarbon dating, we get a value and then use the calibration tables to determine the date more accurately. This is why whenever dates are mentioned in modern archaeology papers it is typically followed by "cal" or "uncal" to indicate calibrated or uncalibrated, respectively.

      Most paleontologists are dealing with fossils that are 100s of thousands if not millions of years old. Since radiocarbon dating is not useful after about 60,000 (because the amount remaining is so small), paleontologists typically do not use radiocarbon dating, but rather other methods involving isotopes with a longer half-life. So any claim that paleontologists "simply rejected their fossil dates" when "C12 dating" is used is absurd.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Rundvelt

      Cocopuf, why is it that other types of radioactive dating, which rely on different prinicpals, agree with the timescale given by radiocarbon dating.

      Radiocarbon dating has been proven to be accurate and reliable. That's why it's used. The best the religious can come up with is that there's some conspiracy to keep this secret so that scientists can lie about the age of the earth, or some such nonsense.

      Again, radiocarbon dating has been verified by alternative dating methods. It's a proven fact.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Jim

      @Primewonk: You beat me to it! 😉

      June 22, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Colin

      "I suggest you read into C12 dating and get up to speed with the controversies about using C12 for dating. Paleontologists simply rejected their fossil dates because it did not fit the fossil dating column used, so they kept looking for other fossils to fit the date they wanted it to be. A total hoax using C12 for accurately measuring dates from the past. LOL"

      Or, let me put it another way.

      I am another whitless fvuck-up who believes what creationists tell me becasue I was so spectacularly stupid, I could not understand high school physics."

      How mant times do we have to tell you flat Earthers – CARBON DATING IS NOT USED FOR FOSSILS. IT MAXXES OUT AT ABOUT 50,000 YEARS. PALEONTOLGISTS DEAL IN BONE MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD.

      Cocopuf, would it help if I put "Thous shalt not" infront of it. Then you could follow it like a mindless sheep.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  9. Jim

    Does anyone know if the date of middle of the 1st century is calibrated or uncalibrated?

    June 22, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • mandarax

      It doesn't say, nor does it report the error estimate. I would assume that they are calibrated, though – Higham is the director of the accelerator lab at Oxford so I doubt he would report sloppy dates.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  10. Colin

    For Primework

    God Meets His Physics Teacher

    Teacher: God, I have some bad news for you. You’ve been getting away with murder for eons, but I’m afraid that now you have to start abiding by the laws of physics.

    God: But I don’t want to!

    Teacher: I’m afraid that doesn’t matter. Look, you made this Universe and set the rules, you have to abide by them. One cannot tell his servants to do one thing while he does another. I think Jesus said that.

    God: That fvcking kid. He’s been nothing but a problem since puberty. It’s his mother’s fault. All high and mighty the way she is, “I’m a virgin, I’m a virgin.” No big surprise there, she went to a liberal arts college and studied women’s rights. She loves the Indigo Girls and played a lot of sport. You do the math.

    Teacher: Anyway, the game is over. Time to start abiding by the rules.

    God: But I am omnipotent, I can do what I like.

    Teacher: Well….sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s the first thing to go. You see, the laws of physics state that an omnipotent being cannot exist. It is a meaningless concept, like a four-sided triangle, or a square circle. Once universal laws exist, omnipotence cannot.

    God: Not even for Rupert Murdoch?

    Teacher: No, not even for him. Now focus, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got to start with Archimedes and get you up to quantum mechanics by the end of the day.

    God: But I’m omniscient. I already know everything.

    Teacher: Sorry kiddo, strike two. Omniscience is essentially a meaningless concept, too. Knowledge requires data to be input, stored and recalled in a useful manner. To be truly omniscient would require an infinitely large data storage unit with access to all parts of it at over light speed. Given the natural limitations of data recall, you are actually a bit of a dunce, by the standards of the gods.

    God: Why only light speed? What does that have to do with anything?

    Teacher: We’ll get to that, around 3:30 this afternoon. This is going to be a long day.

    God: That doesn’t matter, I’m immortal. I have all the time in the World.

    Teacher: Ok, so how do I break THIS news?....

    You’re not. To be a god means, at a minimum, that you must be a complex being at some level. Now that you are governed by the laws of physics, this means that you are subject to the laws of thermodynamics and entropy. Over the long term, you must decay. You can be sustained for a very long period, but ultimately it is a finite period.

    God: You mean…..I’m getting old?

    Teacher: Yep, I’m afraid so. Noticed that slaying the first born, sending plagues to kill thousands of innocent people and wiping out Canaanites has lost its allure? Nothing but a peaceful middle age, full of Viagra and memories ahead of you now. Look how fat Buddha’s become.

    God: So, if laws of physics exist, that means I’m not omnipotent, I’m not omniscient and I’m not immortal. Hell, I’m not even a god. Gods cannot exist. Jesus Christ, I don’t even exist!

    Teacher: You do the math.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • junior

      At the end of our days, we all will have to account for our actions.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Primewonk

      Brilliant!

      Thanks Colin.

      Have you read "Kissing Hank's Àss"? I'd post it, but don't have the time to go through and fix all the words that offend CNN.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • sortakinda

      Did you come up with this yourself? Anyone who had the time to read this besides Primewonk, click your mouse.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Colin

      Primework, I wil lcheck it out.

      Sortakina, yes I did. I know, I need to get a life.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Sortakinda – some of us have attention spans longer than 10 seconds. It's sortakinda needed to succeed in college and life.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • sortakinda

      PRIMEWONK-there are things called discretion and discernment--if you read everyhting that's written, you wouldn't have time to get out of high school.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Colin

      Primework, I got Hank's ass posted.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • mandarax

      Another entertaining post by Colin. Hey, if you haven't already you should check out the Mr. Deity series on YouTube – very similar sense of humor. The early episodes are best.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  11. Primewonk

    Several times now, cocopuf has posted that c14 dating isn't accurate, not a science, or wrong. Numerous posters have asked him/her to substantiate those claims.

    So far he/she has ignored these requests.

    I wonder why?

    June 22, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • junior

      This argument is like saying you don't enjoy going to the movies because the popcorn is too salty.

      Was it not Christ who said "Let the dead bury the dead"?

      June 22, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Primewonk

      No Junior. This particular argument is about ignorant creationsts posting lies, and then refusing to back up those lies. It's a common thread with you îdiots.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Cocopuf

      Rarely, to within a few years. The further back in time you go to measure using C12 the less accurate you become.

      To Primewonk :- That's what I said, and read what you posted?

      Measuring C12 at such an earlier date requires you to know the amount C12 concentration in the atmosphere at the time and in the bones in order to accurately measure the DECAY and predict the time date. MANY bone fossils were Carbon dated and compared to recently extinct animals showed vast discrepancies (that is, it showed the more recent extinct animal to be much older than the fossils)

      I suggest you read into C12 dating and get up to speed with the controversies about using C12 for dating. Paleontologists simply rejected their fossil dates because it did not fit the fossil dating column used, so they kept looking for other fossils to fit the date they wanted it to be. A total hoax using C12 for accurately measuring dates from the past. LOL

      June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • junior

      So is everyone who disagrees with you an idiot now? Not a good predisposition for humanity.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Primewonk

      Cocopuf, again, post the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research that supports what you claim.

      By the way, we can't use c14 dating on fossils, because fossils are mineral. Fossils are also older that 50,000 years.

      Your posts are an excellent example of what happens when you get your "sciency" sounding information from the "Pastor Dave's" of the world instead of actual science sources. The problem is that "Pastor Dave" is just as ignorant about science as his minions.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Primewonk

      No Junior. People who disagree with valid confirmed science are îdiots. Especially when they claim some aspect is "wrong" – in this case, c14 dating, and then continuously refuse to support their claim. And when people post îdiocy like using c14 dating on fossils, what else can we call them? I guess môrons will work. As will dolt.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • mandarax

      I have a more basic question for Cocopuf: What the hell is C12 dating?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  12. junior

    As a Christian I will die in my sleep, my children will die in prison for their beliefs, and their children will die martyrs.

    Love conquers all,

    June 22, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Crazy much?

      June 22, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Primewonk

      And we have ignorant fundiot preachers who want put gay folks in prison camps and have the government kill gays.=

      You nutters are a wacky group.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • tallulah13

      Nice drama queen moment there, junior. Truly, no one suffers like a christian when they realize that not everyone believes the same things they do.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • junior

      You are projecting your ideologies upon me. We are all broken, true Faith in Jesus Christ the Messiah makes us perfect.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • junior

      I suffer only when your distorted views become unjust laws of the land. And in suffering I still find my Lord.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Primewonk

      Actually Junior, you are projecting YOUR ideology on us.

      Funny how you lack the cognitive ability to see that.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • junior

      I didn't insist on you becoming a Christian.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Junior – but you fundiots insist on trying to put your religious îdiocy into our laws and schools.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • junior

      We cannot leave legistlation to the id now can we?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Huebert

      junior

      Do you realize that you have a death fetish?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • tannim

      But at the end of it all, you're all still dead.

      If you're right, do us a favor and come back in your ressurrected body and give us the play-by-play.

      We won't be holding our breaths.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  13. Kristine

    So, put the bones near the Shroud of Turin and see if they jump! (That's a joke, for people who know their Bible.)

    I'm so sick of science being used as a rubber stamp to prop up a religion that is obviously going the way of the Osiris cult. Late in Egypt's history, when Greek and Roman influences threatened, believers started "finding" piece's of Osiris's body all over Egypt and making them into relics and shrines. Sound familiar? (And don't get me started on the fact that "Amen" was an Egyptian god.)

    June 22, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Colin

      Marry me Kristine.....

      June 22, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • junior

      Christianity should not have succeeded from the beginning. They were persecuted and continue to be persecuted. But our Lord and Saviour the Christ Jesus gave us the Church which is here to stay. Who knows maybe your descendants will become among the faithful.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Xtianity succeeded from the beginning because it was chosen as the state religion of the largest empire of the time so that they could quell uprisings within the empire. If it weren’t for the Roman Empire using it as a political tool it would not be around today.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • junior

      Christianity was persecuted. Mass was celebrated in the catacombs for fear of being found out. Christians were fed to the lions, Every Pope died a martyr for 300 plus years. Do you read much history?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • PandoraDoggl

      If you're going to try to be cute about it, at least have your facts straight. "Amen" comes from a classical Hebrew word for "certainly" or "truly" – it has a cognate in Arabic, "amīn," if you need proof that it didn't come into Hebrew from Egyptian – and means "so be it." It has nothing to do with Egyptian gods.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • junior

      AMEN – I believe it and am willing to put my life at stake for it.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • tannim

      Don't forget the Horus and Mitharas parts, toO!

      June 22, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Les Too

      Actually the Osiris cult is on the rise again, as are many other pagan faiths. The only Xtian cults that are increasing in number are the ones that are the most off the wall. Of Xtian faiths Mormons, the one least likely to throw their religion at you IF you are a non-Xtian, are rapidly increasing in numbers. Wicca, neo-pagan and reconstructionist pagan faiths are also rapidly on the rise, the latter especially in Norse and Teutonic regions of Europe. On the world scale, Judeo-Xtian faiths such as Judaism, Islam and Xtianity has a low number of followers when compared to all other religious practices.

      June 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
  14. sani

    HI Guys, Just want to know the concept of other religions in this regard, Bodies of the Prophets do not decay, if that is true I am sure the above bones are not the same.

    Cant say much

    June 22, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      My take on it is that it is B S.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  15. Cocopuf

    Carbon dating is not very accurate to begin with. I hope they compared later as well as recent bones, to make some sort of reasonable prediction of time.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Carbon dating is VERY accurate in the context in which it should be used. This case here is a very good case for carbon dating. It is extremely reliable out to about 5000 years. There are many, many different methods for radiometric dating that are used for very specific cases.

      Just because you dont understand the science doesn't mean that you have to be afraid of it.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Primewonk

      For material from 2,000 years ago, c14 dating is accurate to just a few years.

      Unless, of course, you have actual scientific evidence that c14 dating is "wrong"?

      June 22, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • mandarax

      Aside from tree-ring dating, radiocarbon dating is about as accurate as it gets. It's the gold standard for things that are organic and less than 50,000 yrs old. Don't get your information from creationist websites, cocopuf.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      You're abolutely right there mandrax. I was off by a factor of one.

      Lesson to you xtians. If you're wrong, it's OK to admit it.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Jim

      Accuracy is a relative term. My understanding is that even with AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) you have a standard deviation in excess of 30 years. So if they are saying the "middle" of the 1st century is exactly 50 CE, then a deviation of 30 years could put it at 80 CE, so it is most certainly not John the Baptist.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • tannim

      I thought a carbon dating service was how Betty White got dates...?

      June 22, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  16. God told me to kill

    "It’s not proof that they belonged to John the Baptist, since there’s no DNA database of early Christian saints, the archeologist who found the bones said."

    Sounds legit to me! Must be some dead saints bones, not like it could be from another middle eastern man from the same time period. There was only one. Pppfffff what a joke!

    June 22, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  17. Colin

    "The most famous of them all, the Turin Shroud, is widely regarded as a Middle Ages forgery, and even the Catholic Church does not insist the shroud was actually used to wrap the body of Jesus himself."

    Yes, but they are also very, very quiet about it.

    BTW, ever noticed that religion turns to science when it really needs hard questions answered. The opposite is never true. Why do you think that is?

    June 22, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Cocopuf

      Carbon dating isn't much of a science. There are a lot of assumption to make in order to come up with a date. Which also means, that if you don't get the date you want, you simply reject it and use another bone. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • junior

      I am arriving at the conclusion that Atheism and Humility do not mix. If you are free from religion, why do you insist on mocking us Christians? I know if I were released from a prison, I wouldn't loiter outside its front gates for the rest of my life. So are you really free if you insist on grabbing the shackles repeatedly?

      June 22, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      He's not ridiculing xtians. He's just telling the truth.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Primewonk

      @ Cocopuf – Will you please post the citations to peer-reviewed scientific research that support your contention that carbon dating is science?

      June 22, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • junior

      "BTW, ever noticed that religion turns to science when it really needs hard questions answered. The opposite is never true. Why do you think that is?"

      I am sure there are scientists of faith, and even those who don't profess faith, turn to God for patience and answers in their quest for the discovery.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • Colin

      Cocupof – BS. It is a well establish and widely accepted form of dating.

      Junior- because there aree many, many still in this prison of which you speak. Pointing out the nonsense of religion helps open their eyes.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • junior

      You are imprisoned by doubt. Faith is freedom my brother.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Faith is a belief in something with no evidence, therefore delusion.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • derp

      " If you are free from religion, why do you insist on mocking us Christians?"

      because it's fun.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • junior

      "because it's fun."

      Finally some truth. Must make you feel powerful to mock people.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • LinCA

      @junior

      You said, "I know if I were released from a prison, I wouldn't loiter outside its front gates for the rest of my life."
      Your prison analogy is an apt one, to some extend. Religion restricts your freedom. Religion forces you into a strict routine. Religion is a punishment. But religion is a punishment inflict on you by the people that claim to love you most.

      But it is inflicted upon you for no other reason than because it's what they go through. And unlike most real prisons, the doors out of religion aren't locked. They really aren't even there. Neither are the walls. They only exist in your mind.

      You said, "So are you really free if you insist on grabbing the shackles repeatedly?"
      To show you, and your cell mates, that there is a way out. To show that the shackles aren't real, but that you are the only one that can take them off.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • derp

      "and even those who don't profess faith, turn to God for patience and answers in their quest for the discovery"

      No, we do not.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • junior

      Faith and religion have given me added freedom. Enlightened me to choose life over death.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • derp

      "Must make you feel powerful to mock people"

      No, when I crush one of you christards in a debate, I feel powerful.

      When I mock, it just makes me laugh.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • junior

      Peace be with you.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Jebus

      @ junior – That is a great point, except you fail to realize that xitians and other religious folks do not keep their delusions to themselves. Xtians in this country continue to impact every American's life by influencing our legislation with their faith-based bigotry and hatred. So, unfortunately, those of us who are free of religious delusion cannot simply sit back and leave American xtians, Muslims, Mormons, and other wish-thinkers to their delusions without adding our voice.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Scott

      junior I know if I were released from a prison, I wouldn't loiter outside its front gates for the rest of my life.

      Perhaps not; but, if you had been abused by the prison guards and staff you might advocate for prison eradication or reform

      June 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  18. jamest297

    Let's assume they are the bones of John the Baptist.

    Then, so what?

    Let's assume they are not the bones of John the Baptist.

    Then, so what?

    It makes no difference in anything whatsoever one way or the other.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      Very true. If they are proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that these bones belong to a person who was known as John the Baptist that still is not evidence that there is a god or that there was a person by the name of Jesus.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Cocopuf

      ... in fact it doesn't matter if it is or not. We know for sure that he existed and that doesn't change anything in terms of faith and Christianity. You either believe, or you don't. Let the end sort things out. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  19. junior

    Today's reading

    Gospel Mt 6:19-23

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
    where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
    But store up treasures in heaven,
    where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
    For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

    "The lamp of the body is the eye.
    If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
    but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
    And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."

    June 22, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • BRC

      Actually today I'm reading from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, but thanks for the recommendation.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • asdf

      I like trains.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • God told me to kill

      I like turtles.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Primewonk

      Thank you for the random – and meaningless verses from your holy book. In the spirit of fairness, here are some random verses from the Primewonk bible. I happen to think that these verses make a lot more sense than yours.

      ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Post May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. God Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

      PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Post, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Believer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

      Einstein 16:24 Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

      Gould 1:15-16 Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.

      Bohr 2:11 Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.

      Szilard 88:16 I'm all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.

      Sagan 22:1 For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reàssuring.

      Feynman 110:55 …it doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are - if it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

      Hawking 41:61 A machine that was powerful enough to accelerate particles to the grand unification energy would have to be as big as the Solar System-and would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.

      Hippocrates 14:5 Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.

      Galileo 12:16 It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved

      Carlyle 2:2 It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.

      Fermi 1:1 The weak nuclear force does not change over time.

      Oliver Heaviside 62:3 Shall I refuse my dinner because I do not fully understand the process of digestion?

      C. P. Snow 5:3 Innocence about Science is the worst crime today.

      Paul Valéry 3:6 One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall.

      A.C. Doyle 14:8 It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.

      Clark 19:17 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      Roddenberry 68:12 We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • junior

      It is not that I deny science, it is that you deny beauty.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Cocopuf

      Just meditation will not get you in when you leave. The Spirit of Jesus must be within you to get you in. At the end though, things will sort out. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • jay

      that'll be the 3rd eye then.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • tallulah13

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, junior. I personally find no beauty in a book of hollow threats and promises that claims to be the inerrant word of a god for which there isn't a single shred of evidence. I find no beauty in a religion that has been and continues to be used as an excuse to cause harm.

      The Iliad, on the other hand, was a great read, if you get a decent translation,

      June 22, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • junior

      I think The Iliad was a great piece as well. I just do not rely on it for spiritual direction.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • sortakinda

      PRIMEWONK-you DO like to call names, don't you? Fundiots, idiots, anyone who doesn't agree with you. I guess civility wasn't your strong suit in school. Your list leaves out that you'd have to be an Aristotle, Socrates or Plato to believe in the existence of God, the prime cause.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • tallulah13

      But you consult another book of mythology for your guidance. There is as much evidence to support the existence of the Greek pantheon as there is proof of the christian god.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Zombie Boy@God told me to kill

      "I like turtles too."

      June 22, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • tannim

      Gospel Jobs 3:11
      Bill said to his users:
      "Do not store up for yourselves data on your systems,
      where viruses and worms destroy, and trojans break in and steal.
      But store up data in the cloud,
      where neither virus nor worms destroy, nor trojans break in and steal.
      For where your data is, there also will your personal information be.

      "The interface of the cloud is the gateway.
      If the gateway is sound, the cloud will be filled with data;
      but if the gateway is bad, the cloud will be in malware.
      And if the data from you is malware, how great will the malware be."

      Moral of the story: be responsible for yourself, and rely not on, nor fear others, including whatever god you worship.

      June 22, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • tannim

      "Clark 19:17 Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

      Lackey 17:19 Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology. 🙂

      June 22, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • TR6

      And Moses said unto them “Have ye saved all the women alive?... Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known a man by lying with him, but all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” Num 31:1-2, 9-11, 14-18

      June 22, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Les Too

      "Happy the man who shall seize and smash your little ones against the rock!" (Psalms 137:9)

      To paraphrase Savonarola: "Christians have sat for so long in their own stench that they don't realize that they stink".

      June 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  20. Honey Badger Dont Care

    "Science says the relics aren't what their supporters claim."

    That is because religious "scholars" start with a presupposition and mold the evidence to support their conclusion. Science works in exactly the opposite way.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I believe Mr. Higman (sp?) has stated his bias is towards the secular. Hopefully this will lend some credence to his findings for those who are unable to acknowledge integrity among believers.

      June 22, 2012 at 9:56 am |
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About this blog

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.