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Bill Nye slams creationism
August 27th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

Bill Nye slams creationism

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–Famed TV scientist Bill Nye is slamming creationism in a new online video for Big Think titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children."

"Denial of evolution is unique to the United States," Nye begins in a YouTube video posted on Thursday.  The video quickly picked up steam over the weekend and as of Monday morning had been viewed more than 1,100,000 times.

Nye a mechanical engineer and television personality best known for his program, "Bill Nye the Science Guy" said the United States has great capital in scientific knowledge and "when you have a portion of the population that doesn't believe in it, it holds everyone back."

"Your world becomes fantastically complicated if you don't believe in evolution," Nye said in the Web video.

Creationists are a vast and varied group in the United States.  Most creationists believe in the account of the origins of the world as told in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

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

In the creation account, God creates Adam and Eve, the world, and everything in it in six days.

For Christians who read the Genesis account literally, or authoritatively as they would say, the six days in the account are literal 24-hour periods and leave no room for evolution.  Young Earth creationists use this construct and biblical genealogies to determine the age of the Earth, and typically come up with 6,000 to 10,000 years.

Your Take: 5 reactions to Bill Nye's creationism critique

The Gallup Poll has been tracking Americans' views on creation and evolution for the past 30 years.  In June it released its latest findings, which showed 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

During the 30 years Gallup has conducted the survey, creationism has remained far and away the most popular answer, with 40% to 47% of Americans surveyed saying they believed that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years.

Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins

"The idea of deep time of billions of years explains so much of the world around us. If you try to ignore that, your worldview becomes crazy, untenable, itself inconsistent," Nye said in the video.

"I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine.  But don't make your kids do it.  Because we need them.  We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.  We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.

Creationists' beliefs about the origins of the Earth are often a narrow focus, based in large part on religious beliefs, and while they reject evolution as "just one theory," they often embrace other fields of science and technology.

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In "The Genesis Flood," the 1961 book that in many ways help launch the Young Earth creationism movement in the United States, the authors write: “Our conclusions must unavoidably be colored by our Biblical presuppositions, and this we plainly acknowledge."  Their goal for the book was to harmonize the scientific evidence with the accounts in Genesis of creation and the flood.

The idea of creationism has been scorned by the mainstream scientific community since shortly after Darwin introduced "The Origin of Species" in 1859.  By 1880, The American Naturalists, a science journal, reported nearly every major university in America was teaching evolution.

"In another couple centuries I'm sure that worldview won't even exist.  There's no evidence for it. So..." Nye ends his video.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Creationism • Science

soundoff (14,640 Responses)
  1. justmetoo

    Creationism is good but Evolution is better.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Entil'za

      There is go "good" or "better"....just what is or is not.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • justmetoo

      Well, Scooby Do Can Doo Doo, But Jimmy Carter Is Smarter.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  2. John

    If there was a creator then she did a lousy job. All the flaws found in living organisms is what one would expect from evolution.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • bonesiii

      The answer is biblical creation; God created everything perfect originally, and even put us in charge of it, but when we rebelled, he removed some of his protective power from the creation (usually called the Fall; see Genesis 3), and things have been decaying ever since. This is exactly what we observe; we see 'downvolution' or gradual degrading of things that were in the past more complex and healthy, often larger as well. Life has often had to resort to predation for example when in the past it was capable of pure vegetarianism or similar things; some of these cases have actually been observed in recent times in fact.

      In other words, it's not God who did a bad job, but us. We messed it up. But Jesus paid for our sins, and in the future this corrupted world will be ended and he will once again created a perfect world, an incorruptible one. Of course, just with that alone you would have no way to know that what I'm saying is true, not just a "belief" chosen or pretended to be believed for arbitrary reasons, so I urge everybody to seriously do their homework on this. If it's true then we have eternal salvation and perfection through Jesus, the ultimate good news... if it's not, then we're doomed. So this matters perhaps more than anything.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • sam

      It was all perfect but we messed it up. Because God made creatures that were faulty, and capable of messing up. Sure, Okay.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Primewonk

      bonesiii – please post the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research that supports your contentions.

      Otherwise, you are simply yet another ignorant, fundiot, lying, creationist.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • snowboarder

      bonesiii – the hubris of man to believe they have spoiled all of creation with a single action. what drivel.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • bernie

      So bonesii, where did the talking snake come from? Did adam/eve mess up some biological experiment in the garden of eden to create the evil talking snake...?
      Man/Woman was led to evil? Where did the evil come from? Just sort of popped out the blue?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • nojinx

      The more I read of him, the more this God person sounds like someone I do not want to associate with.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • TruthInAtheism

      bonesii:

      You nailed it, it's not true, and we're doomed. All of us. You should probably get used to the idea, and live this one finite life as if it's the only one you'll ever have. Because it is.

      You're welcome.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • David Larimer

      As truth in Atheism states:

      We're doomed. Whatever ... Don't worry about it too much and live your life as a good person now. That's all you get There isn't anything more. Worrying about a non-existent afterlife is wasting your time.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Bruce Mc

      Let me get this straight, we messed everything up, and everything went south right after the garden of eden. But Jesus died to save us from our sins, so all is well. That means are back to perfection, no? I'm having a hard time keeping up.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  3. John

    Creationists are no different than flat Earthers.

    August 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • bonesiii

      Actually evolution today is like Flat Earthism at the time it was popular. It came from unbiblical sources in pagan cultures, and scientists at the time universally held it, prior to conclusive research, but the Bible defined the Earth as a spheroid. Had people just trusted the Bible over the unsupported opinions of scientists, they would have been proven right when later the scientists did do the research to show that the Earth is a spheroid. The key is to see the difference between things science has proven, and things scientists believe (like evolution) prior to conclusive research.

      And on countless other examples throughout history like this, the Bible has been proven right time and time again when the proof comes in. ^_^ Really, if you take the time to do your homework and have an open mind, etc. right now we can already know that evolution is disproven and biblical creation enjoys sound support. It's just that many who have ulterior motives have tricked many of you into lacking open minds and not wanting to do the research. Notice Nye is arguing for a closed mind and for ignorance, for example; he's not saying kids should learn both sides as creationists do, learn how to think and make up their own minds, but rather not to learn how to think, and to only hear one side. That is a classic hallmark of those who know they are wrong but refuse to admit it and want to hold others in ignorance too.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • bonesiii

      Correction: scientists at one time popularly held it. It wasn't really universal, my bad.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @bonesii,
      "but the Bible defined the Earth as a spheroid"
      Where exactly?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Had people just trusted the Bible over the unsupported opinions of scientists, they would have been proven right when later the scientists did do the research to show that the Earth is a spheroid."

      I am sure that would have been comforting as the Church burned them at the stake for heresy.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      o He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in."
      NIV Bible, Isaiah 40:22
      The Hebrew word used in the original text is "Chug", which means a flat circle, like a coin.
      The word for orb/ball is "Dur".
      The bible posits a flat Earth.
      It also referes to the four corners of the earth in several places like Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1 .
      It also appears that the concept of orbital rotation was unknown to those who wrote the Bible given that they state the earth is immovable and inert.
      "He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."
      – Psalm 104:5
      "The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved."
      Psalm 93:1
      "Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Psalm 96:10
      "The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises." Ecclesiastes 1:5

      August 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • John

      "Really, if you take the time to do your homework and have an open mind, etc. right now we can already know that evolution is disproven and biblical creation enjoys sound support". IOWs, delude yourself, continue to drink the kool-aide and never waver from the conculsion that goddidit and conform all evidence to fit the preconceived conclusion.

      Spheroid...lol...is that it? I believe the bronze age sheep herders who wrote your bible called it a circle which is a flat disc which is what primitive made saw when he climed to the mountain top and did a 360. Or you might have in your posession the 1000th re-translation of the original texts where they are starting to try and slip these "known facts" about the world under the noses of the gullible such as yourself.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • fel

      bonesii – don't you see the fallacy in your logic? You say Nye has a 'closed minded' view by saying that evolution is right and creationism is wrong. He should present both sides and then let people decide. Well, how about you do the same thing? Rather than saying that evolution is, and I quote you here, "disproven", please present both sides and then let people make up their own mind. Your ignorance is mindboggling.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Cq

      bonesiii
      The best the bible does is actually describing the Earth as circular. There is a perfectly good Hebrew word for spherical and the Bible doesn't use it. Besides, even in the NT Jesus was supposedly taken to some high place where he could see all of the world's empires at once, and no such place exists because of the curvature. Nowhere do the writers of the Bible even hint of knowing the true shape of the planet.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • E

      Creationism (i.e. Intelligent design) went head to head against science and lost: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

      August 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • fred

      Doc
      CQ
      John
      At the time of Isaiah there was no Hebrew word for Oblate Spheroid. The word properly translated in the original is a circle from the circle dance at the wedding feast. This circle is not flat and signifies the all encompassing protection of God over His Chosen people. That from the outside looking in would be a sphere. Given few could dance in a perfect circle it was most likely OBLATE !

      August 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • ME II

      @fred,
      Are you saying that the ancient Hebrews knew how to dance in a sphere, as opposed to dancing in a circle?
      Why exactly didn't they just use the dur word?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Cq

      fred
      There was a word for sphere, and the earth is enough like a sphere for them to explain what it was actually shaped like if they knew.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Sunshine100

      Amen. Next topic.....

      August 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • bonesiii

      ME II - In Job 26:10:

      "He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
      at the boundary between light and darkness."

      This is somewhat poetic of course; it's not literally inscribed or it couldn't move, but this geometry only works with a sphere. :)

      And you raise a good point about why didn't they use the word for sphere or orb. The purpose of this verse, though, was to describe the boundary of light and darkness, indirectly defining the Earth as a sphere. Job treats this and many other things as common knowledge at the time (this is considered one of the earliest books), which were probably forgotten later. The Bible usually doesn't directly correct a wrong idea unless it has become popular at the time and place it was written, which didn't really occur until the middle ages in this case. You could make a strong case that the NT could have pointed it out since Greek culture was widespread then, but in any case, this verse for its time is a different matter. :)

      We could also ask, if it was not meant to be a sphere, why say face of the waters, which means surface? Why not say the "edge" of the waters? You could sort of get a switch-on-off effect that is circular that way with a circular flat Earth. Instead it uses wording that only fits a sphere. Also, many misinterpreted the poetic "four corners" reference at one point to mean it was a square flat Earth, which wouldn't fit this at all (it most likely refers to a compass rose poetically).

      fel, I agree with you, ignorance is bad. :) I'm basically saying that if everybody spent several years (in school or out) as I did researching both sides and honestly asking themselves which made more sense (rather than just bowing to societal pressure as many of you do), I think the Bible makes much, much more sense, enough that I can truly be convinced of it. ^_^ And when we look at who stifles the other side, it is evolutionists, not creationists. So your reasoning only hurts your own cause...

      August 29, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  4. Chad

    "evolution" only refers to "change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations"

    Merely making that statement does not distinguish between atheistic vs theistic evolution.

    The case against atheistic evolution is overwhelming.. that's where the conversation should be.

    The reason that atheists HATE the term "atheistic evolution" is that they want to create a world where only two choices exist: "evolution" and "people who believe the bible"... it's a false dichotomy.

    Atheistic evolution says that there is no God and that life can and did emerge naturally from preexisting, non-living building blocks under the influence of natural laws (like gravity, etc), although the origin of those natural laws and the origin of the first self replicating life form is not explained.

    Theistic evolution believes that evolution was the mechanism by which God created life as we know it.
    which is what the Bible says:
    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

    August 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • wayne

      athestic snowflake making says that snowflakes don't need a designer to design the wonderful patterns they have.

      thestic snowflake making says that there are angles that desgin every single snowflake the way gods wants it.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • wayne

      "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"

      That sounds like magic to me. A fully grown man grows out of the dirt in a matter of seconds/minutes. Got a time lapse? I'd love to see that.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • sbp

      The case against atheistic evolution is overwhelming..

      Well, no.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @wayne " A fully grown man grows out of the dirt in a matter of seconds/minutes. Got a time lapse? I'd love to see that."

      =>sure, just google "stages of evolution of man"

      What leads you to believe it is seconds/minutes? Remember that the word translated "day" can and is translated epoch/age.
      As well, remember that when the author says "there was morning and evening" they were obviously talking about something other than a single rotation of the earth on its axis (light from the sun not visible until "day" 3 and even ignorant goat herders know that our light and thus our day comes from the sun..)

      August 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • snowboarder

      i am curious where in the bible you can point out theistic evolution?

      as far as i can see, your statement is entirely made up.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • wayne

      ""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""

      This makes it sound like it happend all at once, not over a long time span. Mentions nothing about man's ancestors being ape like creatures. It wasn't meant to either.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And when they say that Adam lived to be over 900 years old, the definition of an Edenic "year" is totally different than what we think of as years today.
      God put the Earth in a magic, time stopping bubble during Creation. That's why the light from distant stars that takes trillions of years to reach us is observable.
      When faced with inconvenient facts, just rationalize them away.
      It's maaaaaaagic

      August 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "The case against atheistic evolution is overwhelming" No, it's actually not. Your problem is that to a religious mind, a good theory must explain EVERYTHING. That's easy for a con job, because you just say god made it. In the real world, we of course do not have all the answers. If you will settle for any half-plausible explanation, then why not use the ones in the Bible? God-believing makes you a good, docile worker for society, so it's all good.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      the debate here was never between theistic or atheistic evolution. It is squarely about the 46% of Americans who continue to believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

      I know that you like to make evolution a debate over abiogenesis but the truth is that you accept the theory of evolution as is.

      Why not lend your arguments to the 46% who deny what you recognize as the truth – that the theory of evolution is a good model for the 'creation' process. In this discussion, the atheists are on your side.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Better to say "address" your arguments, rather than "lend".

      August 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • nojinx

      Under theistic evolution you should add: "although the origin of those gods and the origin of the originator of those gods is not explained."

      August 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • ME II

      @Chad,
      "As well, remember that when the author says "there was morning and evening" they were obviously talking about something other than a single rotation of the earth on its axis (light from the sun not visible until "day" 3 and even ignorant goat herders know that our light and thus our day comes from the sun..)"

      So what does "there was morning and evening" refer to then?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      How, exactly, could "theistic evolution" work if we are allotting all of the examples of poor design that occurred during the process to the supposed perfect designer? Wouldn't you expect any creations of his to be "perfect"? Nothing is perfect in nature. There is suffering through predation, reproduction, disease, and hunger. Natural, "atheistic" evolution does not conflict with these problems like theistic evolution does, right?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • donna

      100% of the evidence supports atheistic evolution.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @ME II

      As we found last week, when in an intellectually honest frame of mind, Chad is unable to clearly articulate why there is a reference to morning and evening on the first day, compared with the creation of the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day.

      Unless of course, Genesis can be considered as allegorical – which does not in any way mitigate the new testament.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @snowboarder "i am curious where in the bible you can point out theistic evolution?"
      @Chad " 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 1

      ========
      @wayne ""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"" This makes it sound like it happend all at once, not over a long time span.
      @Chad ""makes"? so you are agreeing that is your interpretation of the text.. The text itself isnt entirely clear.. right?

      ==========
      @Wayne "Mentions nothing about man's ancestors being ape like creatures. It wasn't meant to either."
      @Chad "be careful not to draw conclusions based on what isnt written down..

      You should learn from us not to go beyond what is written in Scripture 1 Corinthians 4

      August 28, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @ME II "So what does "there was morning and evening" refer to then?"
      @Chad "a unit of time corresponding to a phase of His creation activities... I dont completely know, it's clearly meant to model a week of work with a day of rest for us.

      @Cq "How, exactly, could "theistic evolution" work if we are allotting all of the examples of poor design that occurred during the process to the supposed perfect designer?"
      @Chad "we arent in Eden anymore... pain, sickness, death are a reality.

      @donna "100% of the evidence supports atheistic evolution."
      @Chad "hmm.. explain then how stasis and rapid change (punctuated equilibrium) is a reality all the time, every time?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • nojinx

      "You should learn from us not to go beyond what is written in Scripture "

      If you want your followers to be sheep who wont endanger the dogma by thinking for themselves, this is a great passage to include. The Koran uses this type of ideology almost as often, Dianetics also.

      If your mythology depends on followers, best to build it into the myth.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Cq

      Chad
      Why would God make predators with teeth and claws designed to rip apart flesh, causing pain, unless he intended them to do so?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cq "Why would God make predators with teeth and claws designed to rip apart flesh, causing pain, unless he intended them to do so?"

      =>the "fall" had a dramatic affect on all of creation, we arent in Eden any more.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      surely velociraptors occured before 'the fall'.

      August 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • donna

      Chad, I'm not sure about your communication format. Is your response to me that punctuated equilibrium doesn't support atheistic evolution?

      August 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "surely velociraptors occured before 'the fall'."

      =>an excellent question
      prior to the fall, there was no pain and suffering. No dog eat dog. No kill or be killed. That is clearly what the Bible says.

      Further, after the fall, there is a line of exegetical reasoning that says all of the animal kingdom was herbivore (plant eating only), becoming meat eating only entered after the flood.

      Humans were fully formed prior to the fall, and yet the fossil record sure seems to tell us that "kill or be killed" was the state of the earth prior to humans arriving. Leading to a seeming contradiction that kill or be killed was the state of this world prior to the fall.

      The answer? I dont really know, I have my theory, which basically starts with asking the question: where exactly is Eden? Is it here? Somewhere else?

      August 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @donna "Chad, I'm not sure about your communication format. Is your response to me that punctuated equilibrium doesn't support atheistic evolution?"

      =>correct, yes.
      Atheistic evolution needs to describe how PE occurred, it is my assertion that it is utterly improbable for it to have occurred by purely naturalistic genetic mutation fed into natural selection processes.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, actual evolutionary biology doesn't address God at all. It describes/explains how biology works. Your false dichotomy of a theistic and an atheistic evolution is like saying there is an atheist combustible engine and a theist combustible engine. Both the engine and evolution work the same, and are equally true, whether you believe in God or not.

      August 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @rufus:
      theistic evolutionists believe in common ancestry and change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

      the difference between theistic/atheistic evolution centers around determining if the supernatural was involved, orchestrating genetic change and natural selection environments to accomplish a goal.

      If I roll a die 800 times and it comes up 6 every time, the die is loaded.. The possibility that it occurred by chance is non zero, but so remote as to preclude that possibility from consideration.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      I accept: "I dont really know" as your answer. It's an honest one.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Oh Chad, how I've missed you. Whisper the word evolution and you come running, so all this attention must be making your head explode, or at least fracturing your fingers from so much typing.

      I want to help you though, you seem to get so upset about the false dichotomy of the straw man that you created. Atheists like myself really dislike the people who are creationists, people who really believe the earth is 6,000 years old, the sun came after light, and flora and that Adam and Eve were somehow able to create the entire human race with only three sons and a lot of inc.est only to start over with Noah and his family.

      However, you posed in your initial post, had nothing to do with evolution. Evolution simply deals with life after it was on earth and how we went from single celled organisms to now. You can't exactly prove a theory wrong by begging the question of something happening before the theory.

      Second, your die analogy is right and wrong at the same time. You can't just count something to be impossible just because the odds are overwhelmingly against it. Rolling a die 600 times and it stopping on 2 every time is pretty unlikely, but it's still a possible event. My question for you is this, at what point would the odds be more palatable for you? If the universe was 13 trillion years old? longer? If everything was way older and had more time for a specific event to happen, would that be easier to swallow for you? A lot of your arguments hinge on the odds being to high for some things to happen and so you reject the as.sertion. Why is that so hard to swallow and yet your god existing for ever just decides at a certain point to poof everything into existence in 6 days.

      You're angry at the other side for something that you do yourself.....

      August 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • donna

      Chad, there is no mystery about punctuated equilibrium, if you truly want to find out how it works and what the evidence is, you should a book or take a class. There's plenty of info on the internet from reputable academic sources. But PE in no way contradicts modern evolutionary theory. Read the current literature.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @donna "There is no mystery about punctuated equilibrium, if you truly want to find out how it works and what the evidence is, you should a book or take a cla ss. There's plenty of info on the internet from reputable academic sources. But PE in no way contradicts modern evolutionary theory. Read the current literature."

      @Chad "Actually, of the two of us, only one has actually read the paper, and that person isnt you...
      Eldredge, Niles and S. J. Gould (1972). "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism"

      There is no mystery about what PE proposes (stasis and rapid change via allopatric speciation), it's the HOW that actually accomplishes what the fossil record reflects that is the issue, a fact that the authors themselves acknowledge.

      Paleontologists should recognize that much of their thought is conditioned by a peculiar perspective that they must bring to the study of life: they must look down from its present complexity and diversity into the past; their view must be retrospective. From this vantage point, it is very difficult to view evolution as anything but an easy and inevt itable result of mere existence, as something that unfolds in a natural and orderly fashion. Yet we urge a different view. The norm of a species or, by extension, a community is stability. Speciation is a rare and difficult event that punctuates a system in homeostatic equilibrium. That so uncommon an event should have produced such a wondrous array of living and fossil forms can only give strength to an old idea: paleontology that belongs to it alone among the evolutionary sciences and that enlightens all its conclusions – time. Elldridge/gould

      The bold part is just really a really smart sounding way of saying “given enough time, anything is possible”.

      August 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "Theistic evolution believes that evolution was the mechanism by which God created life as we know it."

      God and its involvement is presupposed. That bothers a lot of people who would rather approach problems with a clean slate.

      Something else is suggested by your statement. A believer in theistic evolution might only posit that God initiated life, perhaps only by initiating a world or Universe in which it could arise, and evolution is determined by rules put in place at the beginning. Another might say that God guides evolution, determining each event through intervention. What do you believe, Chad?

      August 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "Atheists like myself really dislike the people who are creationists, people who really believe the earth is 6,000 years old, the sun came after light, and flora and that Adam and Eve were somehow able to create the entire human race with only three sons and a lot of inc.est only to start over with Noah and his family."
      @Chad "why in the world do you dislike creationists? What do you care?

      =======
      @Chuckles "However, you posed in your initial post, had nothing to do with evolution."
      @Chad "my initial post was imprecise, amended as follows.
      Atheistic evolution says that there is no God and that the current complexity of life forms can and did emerge naturally from preexisting, life forms by random genetic mutations preserved in gene pools by natural selection. The origin of the universe within which this occurred, the existence of natural laws which are required for the process to continue and the origin of the first self replicating life form is not explained.

      =======
      @Chuckles Second, your die analogy is right and wrong at the same time. You can't just count something to be impossible just because the odds are overwhelmingly against it"
      @Chad "actually, you can, and should, to do otherwise is utter foolishness.
      You would obviously be foolish to say "well, that die could have rolled a two 600 times, so I have no reason to ask the croupier to provide a new one.

      How impossible? Lets look at an example.

      The odds of rolling a two on a standard die, two times in a row are: 1/6 * 1/6 = 1/36.
      The odds of rolling a two 600 times in a row are 1/6)^600 this means 1/6 times itself 600 times
      this results in: a probability of 1 in
      1 161 055 082 793 729 032 770 779 654 936 704 117 224 339 003 301 845 390 171 192 560 578 255 778 304 830 281 122 238 427 236 255 978 332 267 610 685 386 021 486 661 103 184 987.406 053 309 611 842 066 754 411 452 283 260 234 764 414 883 767 428 297 150 527 949 787 591 755 491 717 429 577 612 275 054 992 849 683 259 097 084 877 323 471 057 615 966 856 409 954 201 190 312 772 524 080 767 380 466 294 663 673 719 447 962 704 573 528 421 636 683 792 961 173 420 665 473 296 491 806 646 000 176 379 663 241 405 831 663 366 608 341 493 983 780 238 058 155 772 594 846 099 151 361 061 223 782 294 208 918 988 829 326 249 034 422 813 233 325 891 043 378 358 323 028 236

      suppose I can throw a dice once every second, and I started 14.6 billion years ago (when the universe was created by God).
      so.. would I have enough time to roll that particular combination?
      not even close
      because the number of seconds in 14.6 billion years is: 60*60*24*365*14.6 billion, which is: 46,042,560,000,000,000 seconds.

      so, yeah..

      it's impossible. that number is fantastically larger even than the number of particles in the universe, which is 10^90 or 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000

      http://www.grc.com/Big-Number-Calculator.htm

      so it is utterly irrational to say "well, the probability isnt zero, so it cant be discounted"
      see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

      August 28, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One" God and its involvement is presupposed. That bothers a lot of people who would rather approach problems with a clean slate."
      @chad "you mean, unlike where the non-existence of God is presupposed with the "clean slate"
      lol

      ======
      @Tom, Tom, the Other One Something else is suggested by your statement. A believer in theistic evolution might only posit that God initiated life, perhaps only by initiating a world or Universe in which it could arise, and evolution is determined by rules put in place at the beginning. Another might say that God guides evolution, determining each event through intervention. What do you believe, Chad?"
      @chad "probably both..."

      August 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • visitor

      "If I roll a die 800 times and it comes up 6 every time, the die is loaded.. The possibility that it occurred by chance is non zero, but so remote as to preclude that possibility from consideration." I guess I'm missing something. Whatever I roll on 800 rolls of a die is as unlikely as 800 6s in a row. The die is loaded?

      August 28, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • visitor

      Chad- "you mean, unlike where the non-existence of God is presupposed with the "clean slate"

      There's plenty of room for God if there is ever evidence of it and if it actually explains something rather than preempting consideration of other, simpler, perhaps testable explanations.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • donna

      Chad, 1972 is not current theory. And everyone with a four year science degree has read that paper. Try again.

      August 29, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Chuckles

      Chad

      A) Thanks for amending your statement. I know that by trying to frame the existence of evolution is your way of trying to prove the evolution wrong, but just because you can't understand why the universe has laws, etc... doesn't mean the current theory needs a god in order to make sense.

      B) I don't discount anything if it even has a chance of existing. For instance, I don't discount the possibility of your god existing. That has even less of chance of actually being real than the current theory, but I don't absolutely reject it because I understand that there could be an incredibly low chance that out of all the planets in the entire universe, of all the gods to ever have existed and the timing that has occurred in this current universe that you are right and the god of abraham exists.

      Furthermore it behooves me to point out that although this big number you've generated, "1 161 055 082 793 729 032 770 779 654 936 704 117 224 339 003 301 845 390 171 192 560 578 255 778 304 830 281 122 238 427 236 255 978 332 267 610 685 386 021 486 661 103 184 987.406 053 309 611 842 066 754 411 452 283 260 234 764 414 883 767 428 297 150 527 949 787 591 755 491 717 429 577 612 275 054 992 849 683 259 097 084 877 323 471 057 615 966 856 409 954 201 190 312 772 524 080 767 380 466 294 663 673 719 447 962 704 573 528 421 636 683 792 961 173 420 665 473 296 491 806 646 000 176 379 663 241 405 831 663 366 608 341 493 983 780 238 058 155 772 594 846 099 151 361 061 223 782 294 208 918 988 829 326 249 034 422 813 233 325 891 043 378 358 323 028 236" does not mean that it only happens on the 1 161 055 082 793 729 032 770 779 654 936 704 117 224 339 003 301 845 390 171 192 560 578 255 778 304 830 281 122 238 427 236 255 978 332 267 610 685 386 021 486 661 103 184 987.406 053 309 611 842 066 754 411 452 283 260 234 764 414 883 767 428 297 150 527 949 787 591 755 491 717 429 577 612 275 054 992 849 683 259 097 084 877 323 471 057 615 966 856 409 954 201 190 312 772 524 080 767 380 466 294 663 673 719 447 962 704 573 528 421 636 683 792 961 173 420 665 473 296 491 806 646 000 176 379 663 241 405 831 663 366 608 341 493 983 780 238 058 155 772 594 846 099 151 361 061 223 782 294 208 918 988 829 326 249 034 422 813 233 325 891 043 378 358 323 028 236th time. This is why I asked in my previous post, would you feel better if the universe was 13 trillion years old? 1 trillion trillion years old? At what point would you say, "well, that's enough time for the odds to even themselves out, I accept the hypothesis".

      I've pointed out a lot of times already, the chances of you being born at exactly the moment you were, from the parents you were born from, having all your ancestors living long enough to reproduce and for no diseases or other mishaps to happen to you or any of your relatives long enough is 1 x 10^2640000. Those are pretty huge odds, and yet here you are. Alive with your parents and relatives having lived long enough to give you your genes, that your relatives all met and deciding to copulate and so on. I can't hypothesize you can't possibly exist because the odds are high because here you are, alive and well.

      Chad, I've said it once and I'll say it again. You can calculate huge odds for potential events to occur, but once they've happened the odds don't matter. I've given you the odds of your existence and yet they are immediately thrown out after you've been born because the event has already happened. Now, discussing the ins and outs of occurring can and is up for debate. To go further in this analogy, years from now we could argue about how exactly your mom met your dad, what position they had se.x in, etc... but it's an immutable fact that you are alive, you've lived and the odds of your existence or inconsequential.

      Back to your calculated odds, this is something I want to make sure I repeat, It's completely foolish to say that since the odds are 1 out of every X times that the only time for an event to happen has to happen on the last try. You and I both know that though the odds are high to roll a dice 600 times and it landing on 2 every time just means it's less than likely for it to happen on the 3rd iteration, but it still could.

      Personally, I can live with the current odds. I won't count it out and so far this hypothesis doesn't rely on any supernatural force that has yet to be observed to be instrumental in the process. This hypothesis fits with the current data and until such time as we find anything that actually shows a true sentient supernatural power that exists in this universe, I'll go right on throwing my weight behind this one.

      Comprende?

      August 29, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600)

      Chad may be the last of the great Medieval minds, coming up with ever more convoluted explanations for how rocks form and where the sun goes at night. Let's just hope he's not violent.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Chad

      @donna "100% of the evidence supports atheistic evolution."

      @Chad "hmm.. explain then how stasis and rapid change (punctuated equilibrium) is a reality all the time, every time?

      @donna I'm not sure about your communication format. Is your response to me that punctuated equilibrium doesn't support atheistic evolution?

      @Chad “correct, yes. Atheistic evolution needs to describe how PE occurred, it is my assertion that it is utterly improbable for it to have occurred by purely naturalistic genetic mutation fed into natural selection processes.

      @Donna “There is no mystery about punctuated equilibrium, if you truly want to find out how it works and what the evidence is, you should a book or take a class. There's plenty of info on the internet from reputable academic sources. But PE in no way contradicts modern evolutionary theory. Read the current literature.

      @Chad "Actually, of the two of us, only one has actually read the paper, and that person isnt you...
      Eldredge, Niles and S. J. Gould (1972). "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism"
      There is no mystery about what PE proposes (stasis and rapid change via allopatric speciation), it's the HOW that actually accomplishes what the fossil record reflects that is the issue, a fact that the authors themselves acknowledge.

      @Donna “ 1972 is not current theory. And everyone with a four year science degree has read that paper. Try again.

      @Chad “not sure what you are talking about.. are you saying that PE is no longer the current theory, or that the 1972 publication has been revised? Please clarify

      August 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "but just because you can't understand why the universe has laws, etc... doesn't mean the current theory needs a god in order to make sense."
      @Chad "I missed your disingeniousness..
      trying make it seem like it's an issue with my understanding.. lol

      Do you know who Leonard Mlodinow is?
      "Science starts from rules, from laws that exist, that's what science is. As such, science can never explain why the laws that govern the universe exist.... I sometimes wonder why the laws of our universe exist” – Leonard Mlodinow.

      =====
      @Chuckles "I've said it once and I'll say it again. You can calculate huge odds for potential events to occur, but once they've happened the odds don't matter."
      @Chad "and again I have to point out the utter fallacy of that logic

      1. atheist: "Of course the universe was created out of nothing, by nothing. Of course life on earth just spontaneously generated. Of course the current complexity of life is due to purely random genetic mutations and natural selection"

      2. theist "hmm.. do you know the odds of each of those events happening (ignoring for the moment that the first one has a -0- probability, it can not happen)

      3. atheist: "The odds dont matter, after all, we're here arent we? That proves it's possible, because it happened"

      4. theist: "well, hold on.. by making the claim that our presence demonstrates your theory as to the cause, you are completely ignoring the OTHER possible explanations of why we are here, namely that the God of Abraham created the universe, created life, and evolved it.

      Isnt that the classic "Begging the Question" fallacy?
      type of logical fallacy in which a proposition relies on an implicit premise within itself to establish the truth of that same proposition. In other words, it is a statement that refers to its own as sertion to prove the as sertion

      5. atheist: please go to step 1.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles –

      You know you have Chad on-the-ropes when his posts devolve into an imaginary Theist v Atheist dialog. There are many other signs that Chad is out of his depth (the Gish-gallop of copy&past being most common – in fact, you can see this one in this very thread), but the dialog is sure. Tragic.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      That's rich you're trying to call me disingenuous. You must have heard it enough times directed at you that you finally looked up the word, but I can as.sure you I am only pointing out the faulty logic you are employing. You've quoted Mineow a number of times, but I don't think it means what you think it means. Yes, science can not explain the "why" behind scientific laws, but why does it need to? That's not what science is about, that's philosophies department. Now, if we find something in the universe that is an unknown object or being or what have you and we learn that it's the thing that keeps the universe in line following laws, then science has some solid footing. If we're going to talk disingenuous, then look no further than you using this quote in order to further your agenda by inserting that it must be god that's the one that keeps the universe following laws, even though you only have the question and no proof to back up your as.sertion.

      Second, you've already calculated the odds as shown in your previous post, so to posit that something has absolutely 0 chance of occurring is your dishonestly rearing its ugly head again. LIke I said before and will say again, I don't discount the odds as well as discount your god because there is a chance of it occurring, and if there's a chance, then it could have already occurred.

      The little conversation you made up with your fake atheist is your way of viewing what we've all been saying, but clearly you are either purposefully not reading qualifiers and understanding content or you have a reading comprehension problem. There is no "of course" about any of these things. They're theories that we've used to explain what happened coupled with the evidence we have so far without inferring any further. To focus on the odds of it happening is relevant only when comparing it to the odds of the other theories presented.

      Furthermore, you don't know that the big bang theory has a 0% chance of happening. How could you? You are operating within the framework of this universe, but we have no idea what the conditions were like pre-big bang so to try and calculate the odds without and data is just plain fool hardy. You could be right, before the big bang it was very impossible for anything like it to happen, but it did and so it must have needed something or someone to ignite it, but that theory holds equal to less weight than any other because we have yet to find that something or someone and not even a shred of evidence to show divine intervention. However you are detracting from the original conversation by regressing back again like you did in your initial post. The big bang, the beginning of life has nothing to do with the theory of evolution. Evolution operates strictly on the basis that there is life and life began as a single celled organism and evolved into the complex systems we have today.

      Also, pro tip for ya, Instead of creating strawmen to argue with and prove your point, actually debate with a real live human being. I mean I can create little conversations too like,

      Atheist: I have a question
      Theist: The answer is god
      Atheist: You don't even know my question yet
      Theist: Doesn't matter, every answer will be god. You're welcome

      Do you agree with that exchange? Do you think that's fair to say about all theists?

      You've ignored my post on several key points, like just because the odds are incredibly high does not mean that an event with impossibly high odds has to occur on the last on. The odds just refer to a set where out of X iterations, an event will occur once in that. So the event could occur on the first time of 10^10000000000000000000000 iterations, or i could happen on the 91st time, or whenever. What you should really be wondering is, can life occur again on other planets?

      You've also again ignored my question so I'll ask it a third time, and a fourth time and however many more times I need to keep asking it until you acknowledge it and answer. If the universe has been around for 13 trillion years, or trillions upon trillions of years, would that be enough time in your mind to satisfy the odds you've presented?

      August 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Really-O

      HA! Yeah, I know that usually chad runs to either his best friend Wikipedia, his lover Strawman Fallacy and his mistress Implication to keep hammering his points home under the guise that he's actually making sense. I will say though that he's gotten a little better at creating these fake dialogues, they used to be atrocious.

      August 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles –

      I assert that Chad's arguments are becoming a bit desperate due to the fact that, as he acquires knowledge, it becomes much more difficult to defend his god tosh.

      One thing I would like Chad to do (and I've recommended it to him numerous times) is put forward the effort and do the heavy-lifting necessary to obtain some higher education. Even a 200 level course in probability theory would make clear to him where his "impossible" probabilities go astray.

      Cheers

      August 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I've taken to recommending papers – current, peer-reviewed stuff. If only Chad applies himself...

      August 29, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles “..just because you can't understand why the universe has laws..”
      @Chad “ no one understands why the universe has laws”
      @Chuckles “Yes, science can not explain the "why" behind scientific laws, but why does it need to?”
      @Chad “nice change of direction! If you acknowledge science doesn’t understand, then continue to ask why does it need to, then why did you open with an erroneous attempt to claim I was the one that couldn’t understand?
      LOL

      You a slippery one.. :-)

      =========
      Your “"The odds dont matter, after all, we're here arent we? That proves it's possible, because it happened"”, again is utterly fallacious logic. Begging the question, case closed.

      =========
      @Chuckles “Furthermore, you don't know that the big bang theory has a 0% chance of happening”
      @Chad “no clue what you are talking about here.. The Big Bang refers to the rapid expansion immediately following the singularity. No one doubts that happened, the issue is what “triggered” it.

      @Chuckles “just because the odds are incredibly high does not mean that an event with impossibly high odds has to occur on the last on. The odds just refer to a set where out of X iterations, an event will occur once in that. So the event could occur on the first time of 10^10000000000000000000000 iterations, or i could happen on the 91st time, or whenever. What you should really be wondering is, can life occur again on other planets?”

      @Chad “oh man,, you need an 8th grade probability and statistics course.. :-)

      @Chuckles “If the universe has been around for 13 trillion years, or trillions upon trillions of years, would that be enough time in your mind to satisfy the odds you've presented?”
      @Chad “read this, the entire point of it is that it doesn’t matter how long you keep a million monkeys in a room, they will NEVER type out a Shakespeare sonnet. Since the universe in finite in the past, it simply is impossible.

      In the same vein, it doesn’t matter how long you try, you will NEVER roll 600 two’s in a row with a die.

      Read, and learn.. http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=2409

      The universe is roughly 14 billion years old, which is about 4.4 x 1017 seconds. It now becomes tricky. Do we only accept a monkey’s ef forts that are of the correct length, which we then compare with the Bard? Or, more fairly, do we throw out the stream of characters that do not match the matching stream of Shakespeare? Do we, that is, let the monkey continuously start over until he gets it right?
      Well, it just doesn’t matter. The number 10-12,000,000 is so mind-bogglingly small that it is never going to happen. Even if we let a barrelful of monkeys type 100 characters a second, they are never going to finish.
      And so we conclude what we already knew: randomness isn’t enough to make a Shakespeare; something more is needed.

      August 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      No real understanding, but more copy&paste. I wonder if Chad has yet procured a catalog from his local university or community college. I think not.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Woops...almost missed this one for the Dishonest Things Chad Posts file –

      "In the same vein, it doesn’t matter how long you try, you will NEVER roll 600 two’s in a row with a die."

      Simply wrong. Probability theory (and maths) clearly states that, as long as no endpoint is defined, the probability of rolling a die 600 times and rolling 600 twos (it's not a possessive, Chad) is 1 (for those without any education in probability theory – that's you, Chad – that means 100%).

      Stop the nonsense!

      August 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Just to be precise –

      When I stated, "the probability of rolling a die 600 times and rolling 600 twos", I clearly meant, "the probability of rolling 600 twos in a row".

      August 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...upon further review, I've removed, "In the same vein, it doesn’t matter how long you try, you will NEVER roll 600 two’s in a row with a die." From the Dishonest Things Chad Posts" file and placed it in the Ignorant Things Chad Posts file as a statement can only be dishonest if the one making the statement knows it is untrue...and I'm certain Chad does not understand why his statement is nonsense.

      August 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Will you look at that – faced with the irrefutable fact of mathematics, Chad disappears, rather like his god when anything unfortunate (natural disaster, disease, etc.) happens. What a tool (yes, both Chad and his god).

      August 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...chirp, chirp...chirp, chirp...Chad?...Chad?...chirp, chirp...chirp, chirp...hahahahahahahaha!

      August 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      You don't know why the universe follows laws, I don't know why the universe follow laws, like I said before, that's a strictly philosophical question until there is actually something to study that does control the laws or not, you can't really say, "well science doesn't know, must be god!" That's foolish.

      Second, I've already explained to you why odds matter and when they don't matter after an event has happened, why can you not understand that? What is your mental block about this exactly? The odds of you being born, currently, is 1:1. It's happened, you can't change that, the odds I gave above are the potential odds, the potential of you before you were born. Not only can I not claim that you can't have been born because the odds are so high because you are born, but those odds change once the event has occurred.

      Third, Chad, honestly, do you think this tactic actually works? I say something and you call me ignorant without actually explaining where exactly I was wrong. Would you accept the same criticism? Please Chad, show me where I told you how these odd's actually work where I'm wrong. Are you saying that if I say the chance of me rolling a 2 600 times in a row, the event would only occur on the 1 161 055 082 793 729 032 770 779 654 936 704 117 224 339 003 301 845 390 171 192 560 578 255 778 304 830 281 122 238 427 236 255 978 332 267 610 685 386 021 486 661 103 184 987.406 053 309 611 842 066 754 411 452 283 260 234 764 414 883 767 428 297 150 527 949 787 591 755 491 717 429 577 612 275 054 992 849 683 259 097 084 877 323 471 057 615 966 856 409 954 201 190 312 772 524 080 767 380 466 294 663 673 719 447 962 704 573 528 421 636 683 792 961 173 420 665 473 296 491 806 646 000 176 379 663 241 405 831 663 366 608 341 493 983 780 238 058 155 772 594 846 099 151 361 061 223 782 294 208 918 988 829 326 249 034 422 813 233 325 891 043 378 358 323 028 236th time?

      Next, you say that no matter how long you keep monkeys in a room with typewriters they'll never write a shakespeare sonnet. How do you know this? Have you been performing this experiment and it hasn't panned out yet? You're as.suming that this system is completely in stasis and that nothing could ever change, that these monkeys wouldn't evolve etc...
      Your issue is that these odds are incomprehensibly high for you that you would rather just throw it out rather than accept it as a possibility, albeit a small one.

      So here's where we land Chad. You assert (or rather imply because you're too afraid to put it into words) that because the odds are so incredibly high for the Big Bang to have occurred the way it's theorized, there must have been a trigger, you further as.sert that this trigger must be god and not just any old god, but the god of abraham.

      Something I'm surprised I haven't asked you yet is, what are the odds of your specific god existing? Since I don't know what sect of christianity you are we can be slightly broader, but considering the amount of gods and goddesses over the 1000's of years, there are so many to choose from as well as the amount I can come up with just in my own head, the odds are not only comparable to the ones already provided on the other side, but probably even higher.....

      August 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Really-O

      Great stuff, impressive sir. A tip of the hat to you.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • OTOH

      Really-O?,

      I'm wichoo... but to be fair, Chad does always come back sooner or later. Difficult to imagine, but I'm pretty sure that he does have a bit of a life away from here.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @OTOH –

      Point taken; however, my experience with Chad is that he abandons threads when he's been busted for some nonsense or other, only to post again (often days later) once he believes he'll have the last word...rather like a schoolyard "no, you are...infinity" debate.

      Anyway, Cheers.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chuckles – "A tip of the hat to you."

      Right back at you.

      Cheers

      August 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles “You don't know why the universe follows laws, I don't know why the universe follow laws, like I said before, that's a strictly philosophical question until there is actually something to study that does control the laws or not, you can't really say, "well science doesn't know, must be god!" That's foolish.”
      @Chad “Nice strawman! You love that one don’t you :-)
      Course I never said "well science doesn't know, must be god!" right? :-)
      What I say every time is that (please pay attention, you never get this.. and it is extremely simple)
      A. Science cannot know, nor will never know, because science starts with the laws.This is what Mlodinow says. Right?
      B. We know it MUST be a force external to our universe
      That’s all I say, that’s fact, cosmologists have no trouble acknowledging it, why do you?
      ============
      @Chuckles “Second, I've already explained to you why odds matter and when they don't matter after an event has happened, why can you not understand that? What is your mental block about this exactly? “
      @Chad “you don’t know what you are talking about :-)
      That is classic begging the question. “Given enough time anything is possible” is a classic dodge..

      August 29, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      This is the first time you ever actually have "said" anything. What I don't acknowledge nor have I heard of say, Sagan, acknowledging that there must be an external force. That's simply not true. Have you resorted to just flat out lying at this point?

      Again chad, resorting to saying I don't know what I'm talking about instead of actually showing what I have wrong, which means in "chadspeak" that I do know what I'm talking about but you just refuse to accept what I'm saying because it dismantles your argument. So, in a backwards way, thanks for the compliment!

      August 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "Next, you say that no matter how long you keep monkeys in a room with typewriters they'll never write a shakespeare sonnet. How do you know this?"

      @Chad "http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=2409

      The universe is roughly 14 billion years old, which is about 4.4 x 1017 seconds. It now becomes tricky. Do we only accept a monkey’s ef forts that are of the correct length, which we then compare with the Bard? Or, more fairly, do we throw out the stream of characters that do not match the matching stream of Shakespeare? Do we, that is, let the monkey continuously start over until he gets it right?
      Well, it just doesn’t matter. The number 10-12,000,000 is so mind-bogglingly small that it is never going to happen. Even if we let a barrelful of monkeys type 100 characters a second, they are never going to finish.
      And so we conclude what we already knew: randomness isn’t enough to make a Shakespeare; something more is needed.

      =======
      @Chuckles "You as sert (or rather imply because you're too afraid to put it into words) that because the odds are so incredibly high for the Big Bang to have occurred the way it's theorized"
      @Chad "explain how "its theorized".. good luck :-)

      @Chuckles " there must have been a trigger"
      @Chad "provide a single theory on the origin of the universe that does so without a trigger
      good luck :-)

      @Chuckles "you further as.sert that this trigger must be god and not just any old god, but the god of abraham."
      @Chad "nice strawman!!!
      where do I ever say "must"
      what I say consistently is that the God of Abraham is the best explanation for the events.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles " What I don't acknowledge nor have I heard of say, Sagan, acknowledging that there must be an external force. That's simply not true. Have you resorted to just flat out lying at this point?"

      =>you got your tail in a knot now.. :-)

      provide one theory on the origin of the universe that does not rely on a trigger.

      and please, dont try and use Krauss' "something from nothing", that would just force me to trot out his acknowledgement that he has just redefined the word "nothing" to be something that has laws such as gravity, and a sea of virtual particles, which is not a true nothing in the sense of an absence of everything..

      August 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Everyone

      Do not waste your time on Chad. Dodging questions, twisting words, quote-mining, and making non-assertions is a speciality of his.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "Simply wrong. Probability theory (and maths) clearly states that, as long as no endpoint is defined, the probability of rolling a die 600 times and rolling 600 twos (it's not a possessive, Chad) is 1 (for those without any education in probability theory – that's you, Chad – that means 100%)."

      =>I think you missed the key thing there..
      "In the same vein, it doesn’t matter how long you try, you will NEVER roll 600 two’s in a row with a die."

      I'll go slow for you..

      you have a die
      you roll it
      you get a 2
      you roll it again
      you get a 2 (that's two in a row at this point)
      you roll it again
      you get a 2 (that's three in a row at this point)
      you roll it again
      you get a 4
      oops
      back to square one.. you got three in a row, then a four, so your streak is broken.

      get it?

      I am pointing out the reality that you will NEVER roll 600 two's in a row.

      hope that clears things up for you.. this is usually where you accuse me of lying...

      August 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Chad

      I understand it must be frustrating for you to come on here time and time again and get called out for the crazy amount of fallacies you employ in order to make a point, but trying to turn it around on me doesn't help your cause. Continually calling out my "straw man" doesn't strengthen your argument nor is it really a straw man when it comes directly from your previous posts days, weeks and months ago. Getting tripped up by a single word does make my argument a straw man, but.... nice try.

      First, the "how do you know" and then quoting back to me the apparent evidence is simply a theory. Since we have to actually do the experiment, we have no data to be 100% sure that's right or wrong. It falls into the same category that we can't possibly know that god definitely does not exist because we have not searched every square inch of the entire cosmos yet. It's unlikely that god exists just as it's unlikely that putting monkeys in a room with typewriters will produce shakespearean works.

      Next, The Big Bang THEORY, do I have to go further in depth for this? Really Chad? I mean, you have a logic problem, and a reading comprehension problem, but I'm really starting to question your intelligence....

      Did the universe need an external trigger? Well Steinhardt and Turok don't believe so. Their theory is that the universe is regenerative and has been expanding and contracting ad nauseum, potentially creating a situation there the universe has always existed and not existed at the same time. Did you think I wouldn't be able to find that or did you just not do a google search? Furthermore, the big bang does not in fact rely on an external trigger as it discuss the nanosecond after the great expansion and delves into a) there was a singularity that contained everything and then at one point began to expand. It doesn't say an external force triggered it or that god waved his wand and made it expand, it just focuses on the singularity and then the expansion. Since most cosmologists regard the question of what the environment was like before the big bang as irrelevant or unanswerable, saying there was an external trigger is only accepted within the realm of religious people like yourself that can accept the idea of the big bang but still try to insert your god into areas that science deems unanswerable.

      Lastly, the god of abraham being the best explanation for these events? That's you opinion chad and holds as much water as a colander.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Hawaiiguest

      Thanks for the heads up, we know what we're getting into

      @Really-O

      Another thing to watch out for with chad is that when he gets frustrating for being called out as wrong all the time, he uses more smiley faces.

      August 29, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "First, the "how do you know" and then quoting back to me the apparent evidence is simply a theory."
      @Chad "apparent evidence??
      LOL
      good one :-)
      not as good as your next one "@Chuckles Since we have to actually do the experiment, we have no data to be 100% sure that's right or wrong"
      of course, but good nevertheless
      now.. are you seriously saying that it is impossible to calculate the probability of rolling 600 twos in a row, without actually doing it???
      really?

      @Chuckles "Did the universe need an external trigger? Well Steinhardt and Turok don't believe so. Their theory is that the universe is regenerative and has been expanding and contracting ad nauseum,"
      @chad "sigh..
      so, if our current universe was created by a former universe, what would the trigger for our universe be? (it's a trick question.. the trigger is the former universe)

      dont forget, our universe had a beginning, so by definition it is impossible for OUR universe to be infinite in the past.
      Now people do posit that our universe was created by an "earlier" other universe (that's the multiverse theory), however their can NOT be an infinite number of previous universes, so at the end of the day you are still left with the same question, what "uncaused cause" created the first one?

      and, pay attention.. the trigger for each universe in the chain, is the previous universe... as I have said a million times, the trigger doesnt "have to be God", but it has to be external to our universe..

      August 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Chad

      so anyway, getting back to the original question: "provide one theory on the origin of the universe that does not rely on a trigger."

      good luck!!

      August 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – regarding: "I think you missed the key thing there.."

      Nope. Didn't miss a thing. Your statement that "it doesn’t matter how long you try, you will NEVER roll 600 two’s in a row with a die" is categorically false. Without an endpoint, probability theory states that the roll of fair dice will always result in "600 two's [ really,Chad, it's not a possessive] in a row". I know you don't understand this, Chad, but it is a fact...and no amount of smarmy emoticons distract from you ignorance. If you get some higher education, you might understand.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – regarding: "I think you missed the key thing there.."

      Nope. Didn't miss a thing. Your statement that "it doesn’t matter how long you try, you will NEVER roll 600 two’s in a row with a die" is categorically false. Without an endpoint, probability theory states that the roll of fair dice will always result in "600 two's [ really,Chad, it's not a possessive] in a row". I know you don't understand this, Chad, but it is a fact...and no amount of smarmy emoticons distract from your ignorance. If you get some higher education, you might understand.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      BTW – at this point I'm not accusing you of "lying", I'm asserting that you are grossly ignorant. They're two different things.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Chad

      explain what you mean by "600 two's", and why you are avoiding using the plainly understood "600 twos in a row"

      August 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      Sweet merciful crap! Are your stupid. My two's/twos reference was simply to point out that you used "two's" (a possessive) when what you meant was "twos" (a plural). I'm not trying to obfuscate...exposing your ignorance of probability theory – and maths – requires not trickery.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ..."not trickery" == "no trickery"

      August 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Chad

      ah.. and your source for "Without an endpoint, probability theory states that the roll of fair dice will always result in 600 twos"

      this should be good :-)

      no waffle, no nothing.. just the source

      August 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • donna

      What do mean revised? The paper was published- that's it. Maybe you don't understand how science is done, but theory is not established by the publication of one paper. People publish papers that present evidence and give discussion on what they think the implication of that evidence is. PE has been studied for 40 years. If you want to read about where it stands in CURRENT theory, research current papers and be sure not to neglect the criticism of those papers from other scientists.

      PE is real, but that doesn't mean that the implications of it are what those authors said it was. We know that both PE and gradualism happen. They don't oppose each other- they aren't mutually exclusive.

      What is it about that single paper from 40 years ago that you think negates what I said?

      You might be interested to know, or dismiss entirely, that most evolutionary biologists think poorly of those authors because they twisted the evidence to make their emotional claims. PE was a great contribution, but their interpretation of it was bad science. Their students actually physically attacked one of the foremost evolutionary biologists of the time.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Because Chad is clearly in over his head, I'll try to simplify the concept...
      Flipping a fair coin – assuming heads or tails are the only possible outcomes from a flip –
      -the odds of one heads in one flip is 0.5
      -the odds of two heads (in a row) in two flips is 0.25
      -the odds of 10 heads (in a row) in 10 flips is 0.0009765625
      -the odds of 600 (or 6000 or 6 billion) heads in a row when no endpoint specified is 1, which is equal to 100%.

      I know Chad doesn't understand this, but it is a mathematical fact.

      Hey Chad...you're an asshat.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's disappointing to see that Chad is still going on about a cause for the origin of the Universe. The Kalām cosmological argument must be dear to him.

      I was thinking about a cone packed with marbles starting with one in the very tip. It occurred to me that Chad would want that marble to be very special, or else he would want another marble (very special).

      August 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Haaaaa!!! Chad asks for a "source" for a mathematical fact. Lord, oh lord, that's rich. Chad, that simply displays your ignorance. Here's one for Chad...1+1 = 2? If you agree, what's your "source". Get some education, Chad. It's out there for the taking.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Oh Chad

      It makes my heart sing when I watch you get all hot and bothered about being proven wrong.

      Now, lets see if we can help you with your reading comprehension shall we? I never, at any point, said it was impossible to calculate the probability of certain events happening, it is impossible however to state with 100% certainty that something that is very possible but with low odds is can't happen. Do you agree that if you roll a fair die it can land on a 2? If you do, then it's possible to roll that die and have it happen to roll a 2 600 times in a row. It's unlikely, but it's possible. To state that it's impossible is you being facetious.

      As for the whole "external trigger thing", like I've stated before, the answer to this is unanswerable or just plain irrelevant. What I presented was probably the only theory that tries to delve into the "before" time, but does not specifically state that the former universe was the "trigger". do you need help understanding the word?

      Chad, have you ever, on any occasion while visiting this blog ever admitted to being wrong? Is it possible for you to admit error?

      August 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Really-O

      Careful, Chad has a law degree in statistics which makes him the most expertly expert on this entire planet when it comes to statistics, so whenever you show him just how stupid he's being, he's going to own you with one is his patented, " go take an 8th grade statistics class".

      August 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? -the odds of one heads in one flip is 0.5
      -the odds of two heads (in a row) in two flips is 0.25
      -the odds of 10 heads (in a row) in 10 flips is 0.0009765625
      -the odds of 600 (or 6000 or 6 billion) heads in a row when no endpoint specified is 1, which is equal to 100%.

      =>ok so, explain how the odds go down and down and down (.5 to .25 to 0.0009765625 and so on)
      then, suddenly leap back up to 1.0 at some point?

      funny stuff :-)

      August 29, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • donna

      Also, let's clarify what we mean by current theory. The entire body of research is called "evolutionary theory." That includes everything done on the subject, even things that weren't supported by further research.

      In this context, we are talking about the Theory of Common Descent and/or The Theory of Natural Selection. 100% of the evidence supports those theories. There is still much to learn within the realms of evolutionary theory, but again, so far everything we've learned supports the notion that we evolved from other life forms over billions of years, and everything supports that natural selection occurs and results in adaptations. That doesn't mean that natural selection is the only evolutionary process at work, far from it.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles "it is impossible however to state with 100% certainty that something that is very possible but with low odds is can't happen"
      @Chad "your error is in the use of "very possible", which is the whole point :-)
      again:
      "http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=2409

      The universe is roughly 14 billion years old, which is about 4.4 x 1017 seconds. It now becomes tricky. Do we only accept a monkey’s ef forts that are of the correct length, which we then compare with the Bard? Or, more fairly, do we throw out the stream of characters that do not match the matching stream of Shakespeare? Do we, that is, let the monkey continuously start over until he gets it right?
      Well, it just doesn’t matter. The number 10-12,000,000 is so mind-bogglingly small that it is never going to happen. Even if we let a barrelful of monkeys type 100 characters a second, they are never going to finish.
      And so we conclude what we already knew: randomness isn’t enough to make a Shakespeare; something more is needed

      ========
      @Chuckles "iAs for the whole "external trigger thing", like I've stated before, the answer to this is unanswerable or just plain irrelevant. What I presented was probably the only theory that tries to delve into the "before" time, but does not specifically state that the former universe was the "trigger". do you need help understanding the word?"
      @Chad "funny stuff
      A. It certainly is not the only theory to delve into the "before" time :-) , there are several different atheist theories on the origin of the universe.
      B. Are you actually, seriously, trying to say that "trigger" is different than "came about" in any other sense other than being different words that mean the same thing?
      The ekpyrotic model came out of work by Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt and maintains that the universe did not start in a singularity, but came about from the collision of two branes.
      C. and finally, are you really circling back to try the "the origin of the universe is an irrelevant question, one that shouldnt be asked"
      really?

      August 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @donna "100% of the evidence supports atheistic evolution."

      @Chad "hmm.. explain then how stasis and rapid change (punctuated equilibrium) is a reality all the time, every time?

      @donna I'm not sure about your communication format. Is your response to me that punctuated equilibrium doesn't support atheistic evolution?

      @Chad “correct, yes. Atheistic evolution needs to describe how PE occurred, it is my assertion that it is utterly improbable for it to have occurred by purely naturalistic genetic mutation fed into natural selection processes.

      @Donna “There is no mystery about punctuated equilibrium, if you truly want to find out how it works and what the evidence is, you should a book or take a class. There's plenty of info on the internet from reputable academic sources. But PE in no way contradicts modern evolutionary theory. Read the current literature.

      @Chad "Actually, of the two of us, only one has actually read the paper, and that person isnt you...
      Eldredge, Niles and S. J. Gould (1972). "Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism"
      There is no mystery about what PE proposes (stasis and rapid change via allopatric speciation), it's the HOW that actually accomplishes what the fossil record reflects that is the issue, a fact that the authors themselves acknowledge.

      @Donna “ 1972 is not current theory. And everyone with a four year science degree has read that paper. Try again.

      @Chad “not sure what you are talking about.. are you saying that PE is no longer the current theory, or that the 1972 publication has been revised? Please clarify

      @donna "What do mean revised? The paper was published- that's it."

      @Chad "you're the one that said "1972 is not current theory", as if that somehow cast aspersions on it.. what did you mean by that?

      @Donna "PE is real, but that doesn't mean that the implications of it are what those authors said it was. We know that both PE and gradualism happen. They don't oppose each other- they aren't mutually exclusive."

      @Chad "indeed PE is real, how do you explain it?

      the real question is not common ancestry, but the impossibility of reconciling what we know of the nature and occurrence of genetic mutation with the fossil record showing species stasis and rapid change every time.

      We know that mutations are truly random: 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.

      We know that in the vast number of genetic mutations, the result is negative from a survivability perspective and are quickly removed from the gene pool by natural selection.

      Given the randomness of a mutation, the overwhelming probability that it will be negative, how is it possible that in a short period of time we see an explosion of necessarily interdependent mutations providing a benefit to the host at precisely the point in time where natural selection will preserve it?

      I believe in common ancestry, what I dont believe is that it's possible for that to have occurred randomly. It just isnt mathematically possible.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – "ok so, explain how the odds go down and down and down...then, suddenly leap back up to 1.0 at some point?"

      Oh, Chad. Seriously. The probability goes "down" because N (the sample size) is increasing. The probability "suddenly leap(s) back up to 1.0" because N is no longer bounded.

      Hear's an analogous mathematical concept (I'm being sincere – and nice – here):
      0.9 is not equal to 1
      0.99 is not equal to 1
      0.99999999999999999 is not equal to 1
      0.99... is equal to 1. When you understand this, you will understand why, with an unbounded sample size, the probability of rolling 600 twos (or any number) with a fair die is 1 (100%).

      August 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Really-O?

      ...and yes, Chad, although I shouldn't have to clarify...when I say, "the probability of rolling 600 twos (or any number)" I do mean, "the probability of rolling 600 twos (or any number) in a row".

      August 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O? "The probability goes "down" because N (the sample size) is increasing. The probability "suddenly leap(s) back up to 1.0" because N is no longer bounded."

      =>oh my..
      you are using "N" for 2 different things
      'N' in terms of the number of occurrences of a two in a row (once, twice, three times)
      and
      'N' in terms of the number of times you attempt to roll the dice..

      that's why your argument makes no sense..

      August 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – regarding "N"

      Seriously, Chad. What the F are you talking about? "N" is the sample size. "N" is always the sample size. In this case, the sample size is the number of times the die is rolled. Seriously...are you stupid?

      August 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      ...and I like how you completely avoided the 0.99... = 1 situation. You don't really think that would go unnoticed, do you?

      August 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad – you're going to make me rethink and retract my previous statement regarding you possessing a reasonable amount of grey matter. I mean, I know you are dishonest and frequently obtuse, but this thread is leading me to believe you really do suffer from some form of cognitive deficit...and I'd almost convinced myself that wasn't true (and that you were just a frightened, lying little weasel).

      August 29, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Chad

      wait.. let me get this straight.

      you are actually trying to claim, that the probability of rolling 600 twos in a row is extremely low
      while
      the probability of rolling an unlimited number of twos (any number bigger than 600) in a row is 1?

      is that what you are saying???
      or
      by "unbounded" are you saying "any number of twos in a row", which could of course be one in a row?

      August 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Evening Really-O?

      After looking at this thread I'm still not clear what Chad is on about. It seems like he's led you off into a discussion about arbitrarily small probabilities. Could we just let Chad know that saying that something occurs with probability 0 is not the same as saying that it is impossible? Some things that occur with probability 0 are possible.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Chad

      trying to extricate Really-O?
      :-)

      He's a big boy, I'm sure he doesnt mind explaining exactly what he meant.

      August 29, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Jesus H. Christ, Chad. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

      Yes – "the probability of rolling 600 twos in a row is extremely low".
      No – I did not say, "the probability of rolling an unlimited number of twos (any number bigger than 600) in a row is 1"
      What I did say (elaborated upon because you just don't seem to grasp the concept) is that the probability of rolling 600 (or any other frequency) twos (or any other number on the die) in a row, when the sample size (that's "N", Chad – the number of rolls of the die) is unbounded is equal to 1 (100%). That means that an unlimited sample size (N = unlimited rolls of a fair die) will ALWAYS result in a 100% probability of the given outcome.

      Christ! How much more clear can I be?

      August 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Seriously, Chad. This is why you need to go to university. You can't peicemeal your education. Self-directed study is wonderful, but you have to have the fundamentals, which you do not possess. You'll never know what it is you don't know. Understand? You need the tutelage of those who already posses the knowledge (I said, knowledge, not "facts") you lack.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One-

      Good evening to you. Against my better judgement, I've engaged Chad. However, our discussion (although I see it as heavily one-sided) is not about "small probabilities", but rather is about Chad's fundamental misunderstanding of probability theory. Frankly, I'm starting to feel like I'm discussing coitus with a five year old. Peruse the thread related to probability theory and you understand my analogy.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hey Really-O? No fear – if Chad applies himself he'll be all right. Clear out some of that Creator and created nonsense... Needs to work on numeracy, though.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Tut, tut, tut, where's the ChadWatch when people really ought to have it.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O "the probability of rolling 600 twos in a row, when the sample size (that's "N", Chad – the number of rolls of the die) is unbounded is equal to 1 (100%). That means that an unlimited sample size (N = unlimited rolls of a fair die) will ALWAYS result in a 100% probability of the given outcome."

      =>Ah, so if you are allowed to roll the dice an infinite number of times, you are guaranteed to get 600 twos in a row at some point.

      that's what you are saying?

      if so.. all I can say is lol

      August 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV –

      I fear Chadwatch would chastise me for violating my own "Don't engage Chad, ridicule him" policy.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      Yes, you finally got it, that is what I'm saying. Thank you for displaying your ignorance in such spectacular fashion by responding with a "LOL". Care to weigh-in with an emoticon regarding "0.99... = 1"?

      August 29, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      One minor modification because I like accuracy and precision – not that it will make one wit of difference to you (as you won't understand the distinction)...I stated that N was unbounded, not infinite – they're not the same thing.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Chad

      oh my..
      so, couple things:
      A. This concept that "given an infinite amount of tries, any result is possible" only works for infinite. No finite number, no matter how large, will work. It is a philosophical statement not a real one as it relies on the philosophical notion of infinite.

      B. There is no infinite in our present real universe, so your attempt to use that to counter any argument I make based on the infinitesimally small probabilities of certain events happening naturally is a complete misapplication.

      QED

      August 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      "Really-O laughed: "There's no use trying," he said; "one can't believe impossible things."
      "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said The Chad. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

      August 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @ChadWatch,

      love it!

      I'm thinking of @truth be told and @HeavenSent as TweedleDum and TweedleDee!

      August 29, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Sorry Chad...

      1) In probability theory, unbounded and infinite are not precisely the same concepts. Again, you might want to take a 100 level course in statistics at your community college.

      2) Probability theory is a mathematical construct. When you chose to use it to assert that something "in our universe" is "impossible" you set the ground rules. Changing them mid-stream by demanding that probability theory cannot be used to discredit your specious use of probability theory is, well, just stupid. You really are making yourself look foolish, Chad. Get some education.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      For crying out loud, Chad. DO SOME READING.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      For crying out loud, Chad. DO SOME READING. (I'm serious)

      August 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chadwatch –

      Damn, sir (if my assumption is incorrect, my apology madam)! I'm nuts-deep in the Chadmire, thinking you'd be ashamed of my behavior (which you may be) and you make your first appearance with a brilliant Carroll reference. Dare I say, you must be quite well read?

      August 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Chad

      theist: "One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created"

      atheist "well, that low probability doesnt matter, because given an infinite amount of time the probability of randomly creating a protein is 1"

      theist "hmm,, well, this universe hasnt experienced an infinite amount of time.. so what does your statement have to do with anything? It cant be applied.. Without infinite time you dont get a probability of 1, regardless of how much time you are given.

      atheist: oh, I know the answer.. You're an IDIOT!!!

      August 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I've pointed Chad toward papers on a few things he's gone on about. They're freely available and peer-reviewed, all less than 5 years old or so. I don't know if anything will come of it.

      August 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Isn't that interesting...in my August 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm post to Chuckles in this very thread, I stated, "You know you have Chad on-the-ropes when his posts devolve into an imaginary Theist v Atheist dialog.". And there it is again ... a Theist v Atheist dialog. Do you think Chad missed the previous post or is he just unable to remember a post from earlier in the day?

      August 30, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • redzoa

      "Given the randomness of a mutation, the overwhelming probability that it will be negative, how is it possible that in a short period of time we see an explosion of necessarily interdependent mutations providing a benefit to the host at precisely the point in time where natural selection will preserve it?"

      This is truly frustrating. Not only is your "overwhelming probability of negative mutations" incorrect (this notion is restricted to protein-coding genes, not all mutations; for instance, non-coding regions which impact regulation of protein-coding genes are far more amenable to mutations), it's been explained to you before that PE describes the changes between species, the smallest discernible level of change between related organisms. It does not require a large number of mutations and they don't have to be interrelated. Even if this were the case, it's been explained to you before that we know from field, lab and mathematical modeling data (including that produced by ID advocate Behe) that complex interdependent mutation series can and do occur well within the lowest bounds of the PE nodes.

      You are, in an act of willful misrepresentation or confused argument beyond your scope of actual understanding, conflating changes between species with changes between higher-level taxonomic units.

      August 30, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One – regarding: "I've pointed Chad toward papers"

      If the bible said 1+1=3, Chad could find a way to use Principia Mathematica (assuming he could understand it – almost certainly untrue) in a vain attempt to support the bible's fallacious mathematical assertion.

      Cheers

      August 30, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It's a shame Really-O? Chad's the only believer I've seen yet with any fight in him and he doesn't really prepare.

      August 30, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Chuckles

      Cheese and crac.kers.

      I leave for a little while and I come back to find Chad still unable to wrap his mind around probabilities in an unbounded system. Tell us again what your degree is in Chad?

      August 30, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • Really-O?

      ...well, that was fun. As part of Chad's I.D. (oh, right...he now calls it "theistic evolution" – I still don't understand how god decided to use evolution for all life except for humans, which were created in their current form – oh, well, that's for another time) repertoire is splashing these pages with large numbers that he seems to believe make evolution "impossible" without being orchestrated by his god, I just wanted to see how tangled-up I could get him presenting off-the-cuff arguments...and I was able to determine he really doesn't know jack about maths. I admit it was a bit juvenile, but, hey, we're talking about Chad. I apologize for any collateral damage.

      August 30, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • -

      http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/1186/Gnosticism-False-Knowledge.htm

      +-+-+

      August 30, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Chad

      Actually, quite funny that when faced with the infinitesimally small probabilities as sociated with life originating from non living matter, and genetic mutation/natural selection being able to produce a fossil record reflecting stasis and rapid change, atheists always resort to hiding behind one of three nonsense claims:

      1. It might be fantastically remote, but the odds dont matter now anyway because after all it happened. (the classic "begging the question" fallacy, as sumes that a purely naturalistic process is the ONLY way that "it happened"; completely ignoring the other possible reasons that "it happened")

      2. There is no point talking about "infinitesimally small probabilities" since we cant possibly know all of the possible outcomes and therefor cant calculate it, so lets just call it possible as the default (self evidently nonsense).

      3. The infinitesimally small probabilities doesnt matter, if we have infinite time, every possible thing that could happen will happen, so there you go, it's possible. (this is a new form of nonsense from my good friend Really-O.. and of course is nonsense since we dont have infinite time, and the "every possible thing that could happen will happen" only works with infinite time, any amount of time smaller than infinite, no matter how large, will not work – ie produce every possible outcome.)

      August 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Awww how cute Chad is projecting his own dishonesty onto other people.
      Tell you what Chad, when you can come up with a testable alternative to naturalistic processes that have been proven to occur, then we can open the floor to your claims of "Durrrr god done it". Oh wait, that's right, people have asked this of you before, but the strange thing is you never actually give that testable alternative. Strange for someone who acts like the most "honest" person here.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hi Really-O?

      Normally followers of theistic evolution allow that humans did evolve pretty much as most evolutionary biologist describe.

      Chad-
      When did proto-humans give rise to humans? Was it a precise moment and were there only two humans when that happened?

      August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Chad will never understand (because he is unwilling or unable to obtain an actual education and he also refuses to take off his biblical infallibility goggles), that improbable things, even fantastically improbable things, happen all the time, and that at no level of improbability (even 0) is an event impossible (contrary to what the hack Michael Behe asserts). He believes that probability is prescriptive and proscriptive when, in fact, probabilities are only descriptive.

      I'm almost certain that Chad doesn't understand that the point of my posts on probability (admittedly a few fine points were exaggerated or dumbed-down, considering my intended target) was not to disprove any of Chad's god-tosh regarding evolution and probability, but simply to point out that his "you will NEVER roll 600 two’s in a row with a die" assertion is simply nonsense. However, my time and words were wasted as Chad will never understand – and even if he did, he would continue to deny the fact.

      I'm out.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Chad has posted on this blog (I believe in the last couple of days) that god breathed life into dust (as stated in the bible) and humans came into existence fully formed. If that was not "The Chad", which is possible – I've seen other Chad posts that really didn't sound like "The Chad", then that point can be discarded.

      Cheers

      August 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Leah

      Chad- Congratulations! Kudos! Amazing brain power!

      Unfortunately the atheists here are clueless here and we have to cut them some slack. sigh..

      August 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One –

      Wait, I knew I saw that "god breathed life into man" nonsense from Chad somewhere – it's in his post August 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm that began this whole tedious thread.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes, I do see it:

      "Theistic evolution believes that evolution was the mechanism by which God created life as we know it.
      which is what the Bible says:
      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"

      Chad has some explaining to do, either to people who follow theistic evolution or to God.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Chad

      4." infinitesimally small probabilities dont matter because improbable things, even fantastically improbable things, happen all the time, and that at no level of improbability (even 0) is an event impossible"

      –(this is an utterly fallacious argument as illustrated by the following simple example: suppose I deal 2 cards from a standard deck, the resulting hand has a probability of 1/52 x 1/51 = 0.000377074. Very small probability!! that proves it, just imagine if I deal 10 cards, how wildly improbable would that be.
      well, the distinction is between any hand, and a specific hand.
      the probability of any hand is 1
      the probability of a specific hand is remote.

      I also moved this to page 153

      August 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • Really-O?

      The whole improbability = impossibility argument against evolution is a canard that has been debunked by both statisticians and biologists. If Chad would place on his reading list works that were written by scientists instead of christian apologists (yup, Behe is one), he would know that. Oh well, as Mr. White likes to say, "You can't fix stupid."

      August 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Really-O?

      I sometimes wonder if Chad is a masochist as he sure seems to enjoy getting his ass kicked on this blog day after day.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Chad

      It is not impossible – it would violate no law of physics – for all of the molecules in the room you are sitting in right not to, as a result of random collisions, move over to the side of the room in which you are not sitting. But dont worry; it is more likely that an honest shuffling of a mixed deck of cards will result in the cards being arranged numerically by suit as when newly purchased. The odds of the air molecules moving to one side of the room are so low that you would have to wait longer than the age of the universe before you are likely to see this occur"

      good example of that kind of nonsense thought in the real world.. Hiding behind "it's not impossible" is hardly a rational response.

      August 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  5. Duker

    Why is it unacceptable to extrapolate in every other science, but in radio-isotope dating its ok?

    August 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • basketcase

      The validity of extrapolation depends on the data set you're extrapolating from, and how you go about doing it. It has nothing to do with the scientific field. Learn some statistics before you march around thinking you're magically smarter than an entire scientific community based on something your HS science teacher told you.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jesus

      Who told you it is unacceptable to extrapolate? The point is to do it logically.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Duker

      I know plenty about statistics, in every field, and I mean every, extrapolation to the extent of evolution as a theory of origins is patently wrong. You are going so far beyond you subset of observation its ridiculous. Saying that a few decades of measurements can be extrapolated to several billions years is crazy.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Wow, Duker *nailed you* and no one has a scientific answer for him?

      August 30, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • .

      ++ ++ ++

      http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/1186/Gnosticism-False-Knowledge.htm

      August 30, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  6. bonesiii

    Denial of evolution is not just in the USA. First of all, the omnipresent God who proved his existence through prophecies and suchnot denied it in Genesis. That alone is enough. But there are biblical creationists throughout the world, in growing numbers as the sound reasoning that supports it is becoming more widely known, and the fallacious and false reasoning used to prop up evolution is being exposed. :) Bless his heart, though - I'm sure he means well, he just suffers from common ignorance and the like. Well-meaning people have made such mistakes throughout history, but science always shows in the end, when the conclusive proof does come in, that the Bible was right, and any opinions held by scientists that contradict it, prior to conclusive findings (as they do now with evolution) have had to be abandoned. Very recently they'd had to do this with catastrophism in fossilization, to name just one of countless examples. Science is much more involved than Bill Nye is aware of.

    Denial of evolution -is- more common here, but that is hardly evidence against it. We are the most free, most humane, most logical nation on Earth. It's also more common among Christians who also teach logic more often and better than public schools, for example. If you think about it, this is evidence that the denial is correct. :)

    As far as complicated, most biblical creationists actually think the universe is finite, spherical, while evolutionists often believe it is infinite and similar more complicated ideas. We do certainly believe -existence- is infinitely more complex since God is infinite, beyond time, etc. though. :) I don't want to believe an idea because it is simple or complex, but because it is true, and can be shown so with sound support. ^_^

    Also, Nye really needs to do more research into science just from an evolutionary perspective. Time is the enemy of upvolution, as we observe pervasive downvolution or corruption, slowly degrading everything. What is left on this planet six thousand years after the Fall is the weak stragglers. Natural selection has helped some survive by eliminating traits that were less helpful, but overall this has made beings less able to adapt to future change as it's a loss of genetic information, and copying errors have weakened everything. Give us more time and we will become more diseased, weaker, and eventually all die out, not get better.

    Thankfully many kids have broken out of the poor education of the like of Nye, knowing all they teach and all others teach, and have learned to think well, and come to their own conclusions. And of course, ultimately the value of this is that we can trust the Bible, not just on creation, but on salvation! ^_^ The message of evolution is doom. The message of creation, through Jesus, is eternal perfect life!

    Also, if he really believes there's NO evidence for biblical creation... Well, plainly everything in existence is. I now realize that the infinite God MUST exist. All atheistic, secularistic, etc. ideas suppose a merely finite existence, either without God at all, or with a cruel, imperfect and finite little g god that uses death and suffering and long struggles over vast spans of time to clumsily build things, unable to simply create them finished all at once. Ultimately they all suppose some kind of limit on existence. I think the ultimate lesson science is teaching us though is that existence HAS to be infinite. Either that or nothing at all. So all other proposed mechanisms for origins that lack the God who is Love, of the Bible, I think are impossible.

    Beyond that, there is strong evidence for design throughout everything, from biology to particle physics to basic math and the consistently upheld laws of physics, versus random nonsense as you'd expect without God to make sure the best way is done. Why freewill, for example, or the countless other principles we see? Evolution makes nonsense of everything. It can seem to make a kind of sense if you don't think too hard about it, and ignore the most basic question and just assume blindly that merely finite existence is possible, among other things. But if you really think it through and do your homework, as obviously Nye has not, it is clear that everything is evidence of biblical creation. :)

    August 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • fel

      That is the longest, most ridiculous waste of time I have ever read. It is also exactly what Mr. Nye is trying to fight. I hope any mildly intelligent person reading this understands that this guy doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. And to those who think he makes any sense – please, PLEASE consider reading a book or two. A magazine article. Anything from the last century from the scientific community.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Athy

      Man, what a pile of shit. To even begin to comment on this is a waste of timed.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • sam

      I guess you can talk yourself into thinking anything is clear, if you try hard enough.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Someone who denies science is lecturing on science, let's all take notes. Sorry chum, you are just echoing some stuff to us that you heard. Nothing new, blah blah. Why does your computer work if we are so wrong about physics?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • nojinx

      This is the type of close=mindedness that is the problem and which Nye is working against. It drags us down as a society and leaves us unable to compete for lack of critical thinking skills.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • carpentry

      this is so deeply upsetting. the density of cheerful, unassuming emoticons makes it even worse.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • snowboarder

      the religious are unrelenting in their indoctination of the young.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • TruthInAtheism

      You poor dear. Ah well. I suppose it doesn't matter either way. You won't know you're wrong when the end comes. And that's all right–it will happen to all of us.

      But just one question: Why on earth would a finite existence be impossible? Everything that lives, dies.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • .

      http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/1186/Gnosticism-False-Knowledge.htm

      +

      +

      August 30, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  7. capecod

    Creationism was taught in our schools exclusively until the 1960s, and it was illegal to teach evolution. Sometime in the 1960s, evolution began to be taught as fact. It was around this time that we saw the moral character of our country begin it's decline. Teen pregnancy, drugs, children born out of wedlock, and divorce began to skyrocket. Today, there are 7 times more children born to single mothers than was in the 1960s. Let's chew on those statistics for awhile.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Public schools were racially segregated until the 1960s and it was illegal to marry someone of a different race.
      Around the time inst/itutionalized racism disappeared, the moral character of America began it's decline.
      Chew on those statistics for a while.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • justmetoo

      You’re weakening the argument for creationism when you imply that evolution caused those things. Evolution is based on fact and not creationism. One doesn’t have to be an atheist or have poor moral values to believe in evolution.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • OOO

      capecod,
      The world was harmonious until you were born.
      Around the time inst/itutionalized racism disappeared, the moral character of America began it's decline.
      Chew on those statistics for a while.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • sbp

      Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon in 1969. Since that time, morals have gone into the toilet. Miscegenation, integration. It's all Neil Armstrong's fault.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • basketcase

      Lets hear it for random leaps between correlation and causation. A decrease in the number of pirates correlates with rise in average global temperature as well...

      August 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "Let's chew on those statistics for awhile." Wow, you are barking mad. A perfect example of how people can lock onto something crazy and begin preaching. A lot of things changed in the 1960s, and the idea that teaching evolution was more influential than VietNam or Watergate or The Bomb or The Pill is just weird.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • donna

      Why are people buying this load of crap?! What Capecod is claiming about what was taught in schools until 1960 and what was illegal is just not true.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • sam

      ARE U SURE IT WEREN'T DEM GAYS WHUT DONE IT???

      August 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • nojinx

      When they cancelled Barney Miller, cancer rates shot up through roof. Damn you Barney Miller!!!!!

      Hello? Correlation is not causation. Also, GEDs can be a great next step.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • sbp

      Donna, we know that. But his logic is just so much more compellingly dimwitted than his knowledge base, we're like moths drawn to a flame.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • .

      http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/1186/Gnosticism-False-Knowledge.htm

      ....+....

      August 30, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  8. blinky

    It's revealing how the most aggressive anti-Christians will not accept that any substantial criticism, doubt or skeptical challenge could ever be directed at them. Some points they honestly answer, but many they deflect, selectively dumb-down, or conveniently ignore. They regard their position like it is a handed-down truth, from science which they regard as infallible... a lot like they say their opponents regard their position as God's handed-down truth. They are both fundamentalists and mirror images of each other.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • sam

      Still waiting for substantial...

      August 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • OOO

      Evolution has become the rock-solid theory it is today precisely because it has weathered mountains of doubt and criticism. And it is stronger because of it. If it were not, it would have been replaced by a better hypothesis.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • blinky

      sam, That is truly a "bad faith" reply, meaning it is willfully ignorant. There have been scores of posts on this board from people who have discussed religion and science as compatible or even strengthening each, and you have only to look at the back pages to find them. I think evolution is a good strong theory, yet it might be replaced by a more rigorous account as time goes on. After all, science has had many revolutions overturning previous standard accounts.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • JD

      And what side are you on? Or are you some fence-sitting pantywaist? Idiot. No self-respecting atheist has any respect for handed-down truth – it is all treated with healthy skepticism. That's the whole point, when you apply skepticism to the issue atheism is the end result. I may not agree with theists but I respect their willingless to have a position. Naysayers like you that think they are above it all while poo-pooing both sides make me want to puke.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Blinky

      Sam was saying he was waiting for substantial criticism. For instance, the criticism you provided in your initial post was not substantial. Most, if not all, people here do not think that science is infallible. It's actually quiet the opposite which is why it's very easy to change positions when a new hypothesis is better than a previous one. Being flexible is not a bad thing, though it's often used as a weak point by christians. As for the other replies, sorry blinky, but there really hasn't been much other than either, "trust me, the bible says so, so it's true" or " evolution is true AND god is true because god is guiding evolution".

      The latter is an ok explanation except that you have no evidence other than the begging the question fallacy and your apologetic way of trying to reconcile the two things so keep your god relevant.

      Now, Blinky, if you want to provide substantive criticism, I'm all for listening to it.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • blinky

      JD, You certainly are jumping to conclusions and full of unwarranted venom, and I won't favor you with an answer. (However, since I've been contributing on and off to this board, you can find out something about my "side" in recent pages.) The fact that you say "no atheist would ever" is itself doctrinaire and assuming infallibility... not to mention inflexible. Isn't that nothing but dogma? Sounds like it.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • blinky

      Chuckles, I'm seeing mostly vitriolic Christian bashing, with some personal accounts of people who came to perceive science and religion could be held together, and some scattered literalist protests–but those are outnumbered by the Christian haters by a margin well over five to one. Science has been a great benefit, but not all science is conducted with the same rigor. A lot of research is later thrown out. A good portion comes to look biased, narrow-minded or inattentive. I keep reading the same Christian haters saying "science says, science says" like it is a fixed truth. I'd say the most compelling science is a lot more humble than that.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Blinky

      Vitr.iol aside, that doesn't make them wrong, it just makes them dou.che bags. Good science is conducted with rigor and skepticism. Evolution is part of that good science. Now you can discuss the ins and outs of the how and some people have done bad science to promote their theories within the framework of the theory, but evolution itself is above being questioned. The evidence is undeniable and when you show evidence that is a truth.

      Blinky, you, like many others here, have a persecution complex that is beyond comprehension. I'm not going to deny that there is anti-christian sentiment on this board, but it's in the face of the christian tactic to either a) spew it right back or b) say, "ill pray for you" which is tantamount to "fu.ck you". If you look again, you'll see that it's pretty even between anti-christian sentiment and anti-atheist.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Matt

      You say this as though the christian church accepts criticism graciously.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      I'm not a hater of Christians, and since your whole load of fertilizer is aimed at "anti-Christians," you'd probably rather wait for one of them to come along. I'm like Sam, waiting for some substantial criticism. Christians say "well, the world exists, and that proves the Bible is real," and what can anyone say to that except "that's stupid?" You live in a world of scientific miracles, and you deny them. You insist that instead of millions of complicated answers, you deserve an easy explanation, and why not? Science isn't for everyone, and you should stick to stuff you understand. Well, I hope some anti-Christians come along soon for you to hate. Good luck with that thinking!

      August 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600)

      "You say this as though the christian church accepts criticism graciously." Aaaah! My feet are on fire!!

      August 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • sam

      blinky, it comes across as if you're mainly reacting to the vitriol. Very little of anything that goes on on these comment boards is substantial in nature.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • JAK Da Man

      Blinky, you seem to be a reasonable person and I think you are trying to be fair. But I think part of what you perceive as anti-Christian comments are really anti-idiot comments. It's just that in the US there are far more Christians making idiotic comments regarding evolution. Not that this conversation is likely to happen in, say Saudi Arabia, but if it were it would probably appear that Muslims are being attacked for thinking that evolution is against Allah's word.

      And yes, some atheists are overbearing jerks but that is true of basically any population. And you are also correct that the scientific understanding has changed a lot in the last couple of centuries and the pace is escalating. So, yes, those of us that believe in science should be more humble about a) the current state of our scientific understanding and b) our personal understanding of what the scientific experts are currently telling us.

      Anyway, these conversations would be a lot better if there were substantiative arguments expressed by the evolution skeptics but among the hundreds of comments here can you find too many that are based in science and not a religious argument against evolution?

      August 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • .

      http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Library.sr/CT/ARTB/k/1186/Gnosticism-False-Knowledge.htm

      :+:

      August 30, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  9. Mikal the Skeptic

    Science cannot prove nor disprove the existance of god. However, with what is scientifically known the validity of a god becomes quite shallow. I refuse to "believe" in anything unless there is some credible evidence to support its presence. Time will tell. New technology, space explorations and discoveries will bring us closer to a greater understanding of authenticating the truth. New theories will sprout and old theories will be valued for what they were and still attain scientific value. As long as the human race remains the truth, someday, will be exposed as to how it all began.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • snowboarder

      it is especially difficult to take religion seriously given their tenuous and fabled beginnings and the totality of religions created over the breadth of humanity.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • jdwfg4

      Hi There, the problem with your statement is that what is believed to be evolutionary science is really just historical speculation. The scientific method gives us probabilities and likelihoods based on controlled testing. One could never test the orgins of the earth since none of us were there, so any view is equally...a guess. – Another skeptic

      August 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • snowboarder

      jdwfg4 – this is a creationist fallacy. any view is not equally a guess. evolution is a scientific theory based on the interpretation of mountains of data. creationism is based on no evidence at all.

      so no, they are not equal.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • 633music

      Evolution is a poorly thought out doctrine, its adherents have a faith based on information provided to them by people they do not know and many who profess doubts about this belief system.
      Bible or no, God or no, evolution is not an option...credulity at its worst. Silly, childish a true fairy tale.

      August 28, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
  10. Big Fred

    What about Horus? Also predates Jesus. Familiar?
    "Horus was Born of a virgin, Isis. Only begotten son of the God Osiris. Birth heralded by the star Sirius, the morning star. Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (about DEC-21). In reality, he had no birth date; he was not a human. Death threat during infancy: Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Handling the threat: The God That tells Horus’ mother “Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child.” An angel tells Jesus’ father to: “Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt.” Break in life history: No data between ages of 12 & 30. Age at baptism: 30. Subsequent fate of the baptiser: Beheaded. Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. Was crucifed, descended into Hell; resurrected after three days."

    August 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • WordUpToo

      Hmmmmm....me thinks there might be some similarities there! Kinda like a fairy tale that gets repeated and repeated and repeated, takes on a little more modern touch...BINGO!

      August 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  11. Ted

    gasp! We let you in our homes Bill!

    August 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • snowboarder

      and you are likely greatly enriched because of it.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "gasp! We let you in our homes Bill!" And you turned out to be a "science guy!" Go figure. Who knew?

      August 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  12. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Genesis is hinduism, corruption of true Torah by hindu's, pagans of Egypt, not worth any thing, son of blessed Mary rejected it as hinduism, corruption, book of hindu Jew's, filthy self centered, any one believing hinduism, absurdity called old testament is a hindu, denier of truth absolute, and not of son of blessed Mary, but of his hindu, criminal enemies.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • sam

      Not you again. Can't you find something else to do?

      August 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Athy

      Man, this guy needs to have his computer impounded.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      There is nothing better than to remind hindu's, denial of truth absolute, their hinduism, denial of truth absolute, a hind, crime against truth absolute and humanity.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • sam

      I highly doubt there are many hindus on the board. In any case, go away.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • jdwfg4

      And what is your proof for these statements?

      August 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      @ hinduism source...Your con.sti.pa.tion is pretty bad there. Get your head out of your as.s and you'll feel better.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Let me just say that on behalf of my blameless Hindu co-workers that I would gladly beat you with my Clown Hammer© for being so incredibly stupid, except that it is bad luck to harm an insane person.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • sbp

      The atheism is not healthy spammer is annoyed by the crazed Hindu spammer!

      August 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  13. snowboarder

    i can understand why christians are so against evolution. if there is no literal interpretation of genesis, then there is no literal adam and eve. without adam and eve there is no original sin. without original sin there is no requirement of a messiah to symbolically sacrifice himself to absolve that sin. hence, christianity would have no basis.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Original sin is hinduism, absurdity of hindu's pagans of Egypt, No one is responsible for any one's hinduism, disobedience to truth absolute, but person himself for his hinduism, crime. orignal sin is Just BS to justify hinduism, absurdity of hindu's, pagans.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • snowboarder

      hindu – why do you fill the screen with your jibberish. it makes absolutely no sense.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Engineer

      Even without a literal Adam and Eve it should be pretty clear that humans are broken and sin is still present. You can't honestly look around all the hate in the work (from any group of people) and not think "wow, somehow sometime something went wrong and humans were broken away from something good, something grounding and rational." At least that's what I see, and why I believe there is a need for a reconnection with, what I believe is the Lord. Yes, Christians often hold creation as a very important part of faith but it is in no way the central role or end all requirement of following Jesus. Living life with Christ in no way falls apart because of evolution, in fact I would argue it doesn't change at all, it just reviels more about what Genesis may have been trying to convey.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Engineer

      correction – hate in the world.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Engineer

      and reveals... and loads of other punctutation haha

      August 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  14. Ctwalton

    BYE BYE Bill Nye ... that's all I have to say.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Sarah

      Bye Bye Ctwalton, and good riddance.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • ZortBlot

      Our time with you was so brief, yet we will not miss you at all in spite of it. Bye, Ctwalton. Don't come back.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Third grader trying to be cute with his nursery rhyme. So he picks up his toys a goes home boo hoo. Good riddance,ctwalton.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Goodbye, John-boy. Say hi to the rest of the Waltons, back in 1932.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  15. NN

    A mechanical engineer is just that, an engineer, and not a scientist. This Nye character has scant grasp of any of the sciences and is just a children's show host, let him stay there.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • donna

      He is a scientist by all common definitions.
      However, this isn't his opinion, he is stating what the overwhelming consensus says from the scientific community.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "A mechanical engineer is just that, an engineer, and not a scientist. " You are imagining him driving a choo choo train, aren't you? Look into the requirements for that degree, kid. He's a scientist.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Engineer

      I studied mechanical and manufacturing engineering and currently work as one. So I'm a scientist, right? What if I also love Jesus?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  16. EG

    If hell existed I'd prefer that to co-existing with some people. I'll teach my children well.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "If hell existed I'd prefer that to co-existing with some people" Go find a copy of NO EXIT by Sartre. It's short and you would appreciate it.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  17. Deathpool

    Why can't it be both? I'm a Christian and I take the Bible literally. But God has no time and Christians know this; Jesus said he's coming back "soon", and we've been waiting 2k years. So trying to quantify Genesis is a human reaction to a supernatural occurence. I think evolution is certainly possible, but for those that believe in God, wouldn't evolution be even more possible with His hand in it? God creating us in His image could have taken millions of years, just look at how complex the human body is. And what about Dinos (this is what I used to ask the Christian community)? Are they a joke God stuck under the earth to mess with us? No, they're real and used to exist here, our current population of animals share many similarities with them.

    I'm not saying you have to believe in God for evolution to work, it just makes it a lot more believable than the idea that humans rose from primordial ooze and became civilized through chance and natural selection. An extra push here, a few chromosones there and voila, Humans!

    Remember Christians, the Bible is God Breathed for us specifically, so there are things in it that God put there for us to understand rather than to just read and take for face value. We should never we force our ideas on communities, but rather, integrate our communities into our ideas. That is the Christian way...look at Halloween and Christmas for presedence. God loves everyone equally, even those non-believers you're so passionate about "saving".

    Seculars, keep on keeping on, you'll be in my prayers.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • God is not real

      You lost me at "I take the Bible literally.."

      August 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • OOO

      "God has no time" ???
      How do you know this?

      August 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • snowboarder

      there is no possibility of taking genesis literally and believing in evolution.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • niknak

      Ahhh, never mind......

      August 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Genesis is hinduism, corruption of true Torah by hindu's, pagans of Egypt, not worth any thing, son of blessed Mary rejected it as hinduism, corruption, book of hindu Jew's, filthy self centered, any one believing hinduism, absurdity called old testament is a hindu, denier of truth absolute, and not of son of blessed Mary.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • sbp

      As a matter purely of reasoning and logic, you run into trouble when you START with the premise that the Bible is absolutely, 100% true in every respect – and cannot be subjected to critical analysis because, you know, IT'S ALL TRUE. Then you wind up twisting the world to fit the book. Like "Jesus said he's coming back soon, and it's been 2,000 years. (wasn't it also "in this generation"). To anyone OBJECTIVELY looking at that statement and the fact of his non-reappearance "soon," calling into question the accuracy of the statement would be in order. But you CAN'T do that.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • sbp

      Hey, Hindu dude, we all get a kick out of your fractured English and obsession with Hindus, but you've got to tell us what got you on this kick, and why you think an audience of virtually NO Hindus would care?

      August 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • sam

      Wow, that explains it!

      ::facepalm::

      August 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Jeremy

      Deathpool – Evolution and the Genesis account cannot be reconciled while still remaining theologically honest. The biggest hurdle with whatever hybrid theory one would propose has to do with death itself. Death is a result of sin and was not part of the original design. If God were to have guided the evolutionary process, He would be affirming death as a good thing, as death is a necessary element to evolution, thus contradicting his very nature. If death is a good thing, then the entire Gospel message gets flushed. You cannot have death before sin.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Primewonk

      So if you take the bible literally, how do you account for your version of a god totally fucking up the "order of creation"?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Ninschinwii

      The bible was originally written in Hebrew. The word used for "day" in Genesis literally means, in English, "period of time." So, while I appreciate all the qualifiers about the "literal" translation of the bible, long term progression of species and the earth over time is not inconsistent with what is stated in the bible. The problem with most "Christians" is that they think they are expert enough to interpret the meaning of biblical passages when they are not, and others, like Nye, that are so busy inspecting objects that they can't step back, sans agenda, and think objectively enough to answer what their intuition tells them is a "must" that it all had to come and start somewhere. I think our schools needs to teach better thinking skills – logic anyone?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Scott

      " the Bible is God Breathed for us specifically, so there are things in it that God put there for us to understand rather than to just read and take for face value"

      If you can't trust god to say what he actually means, who can you trust?

      August 28, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  18. blinky

    Bill Nye could have made the same case without being patronizing and supercilious. Whenever people take on those airs, I begin to wonder what they are doubting in their presentation. If you are truly sold on your product, you welcome and hear out your skeptics and encourage a candid and respectful exchange with them. You don't belittle their parenting skills. When people resort to insults, like Nye has, they lose credibility.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • BubbaBooBoo

      He was trying to be nice since religious people tend to be rather sensitive about this. Of course, that's because religion presents an untenable position when compared to what we know.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • jdwfg4

      Maybe he has some new show he's trying to launch or is trying to raise some money, and being controversial is one way to do that easily.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  19. snowboarder

    one thing is certain, given the number of deities, religions and doctrines today and throughout history.

    man is very adept at creating god.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • niknak

      Man is very good at creating things that keep him in power and make him money.
      Religion, the longest and most profitable king/money making concept ever invented.

      August 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  20. Simran

    Why do Christians object to only the THEORY OF EVOLUTION and want to propose the role of God in it? Why do they also not attack the Germ Theory, Cell Theory, or the Heliocentric Theory??? And why do they accept gravity?

    August 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • snowboarder

      many do

      August 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.