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Creationists hit back at Bill Nye with their own video
"The idea of deep time ... explains so much of the world around us," Bill Nye said in the viral video.
August 31st, 2012
04:34 PM ET

Creationists hit back at Bill Nye with their own video

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - Bill Nye's viral YouTube video pleading with parents not to teach their children to deny evolution has spawned an online life of its own, with prominent creationists hitting back against the popular TV host.

"Time is Nye for a Rebuttal," Ken Ham the CEO of Answers in Genesis writes on his website. Answers in Genesis is the Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

Nye's criticism of creationism went viral earlier this week, after being posted last Thursday.

"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," Nye says in his Big Think video, which has been viewed nearly 3 million times.

Ham writes that Nye is joining in with other evolutionists who say teaching children to deny evolution is a form of "child abuse." That idea comes in part from the atheist scientist Richard Dawkins, who in his book "The God Delusion" argues against exposing children to religion before they are old enough to fully understand it.

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

"At AiG and the Creation Museum, we teach children and adults the truth concerning who they are in the Creator’s eyes — and where they came from," Ham writes. "We tell people that they do have purpose and meaning in life and that they were created for a purpose. "No, we are not just evolved animals as Nye believes; we are all made in the image of God."

Ham is the public face of a group that academics call Young Earth Creationists, though they prefer to be called Biblical Creationists. They believe in a literal interpretation of the creation account in the book of Genesis found in the Bible.

The Creation Museum also produced its own rebuttal video on YouTube that features two of their staff scientists, both Ph.Ds, David Menton and Georgia Purdom.

"[Nye] might be interested to know I also teach my young daughter about evolution and I know many Christian parents who do the same," Purdom says in the video. "Children should be exposed to both ideas concerning our past."

For the past 30 years, one popular method for Creationists to advance their cause has been to make an equal-time argument,with Creationism taught alongside evolution. In the late 1980s, some state legislatures passed bills that promoted the idea of a balanced treatment of both ideas in the classroom.

In 1987, the issue made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where a Louisiana "equal-time law" was struck down. The court ruled that teaching creationism in public school class rooms was a violation of the Establishment Cause in the Constitution, which is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state.

A key point between most scientists and many creationists is the timing for the origin of the world.

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

Nye's argument falls in line with the vast majority of scientists, who date the age of the earth as 4.5 billion years old and the universe as 14.5 billion years old.

"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 says in his viral video.

Young Earth Creationists say the weeklong account of God creating the earth and everything in it represents six 24-hour periods (plus one day of rest) and date the age of the earth between 6,000 and 10,000 years.

"Yes we see fossils and distant stars, but the history on how they got there really depends on our worldview," Purdom says in the museum's rebuttal. "Do we start with man's ideas, who wasn't here during man's supposed billions of years of earth history or do we start with the Bible, the written revelation of the eyewitness account of the eternal God who created it all?"

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Polling from Gallup has shown for the past 30 years that between 40-46% of the survey respondents believe in Creationism, that God created humans and the world in the past 10,000 years.

The most recent poll showed belief in atheistic evolution was on the rise at 16%, nearly double what it had been in previous years. The poll also found 32% of respondents believe in evolution guided by God.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Creationism • Science

soundoff (5,973 Responses)
  1. BadPenny

    Why oh why do I have to live by other people's religon....I won't make you live by mine if you shut up about yours.

    September 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Quip

      If you have bad news then shut up!
      You can't shut the bearer of Good news :)

      September 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Is there one? I haven't seen him/her anywhere on here, Quip.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  2. Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

    Christianity takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just google him to find out.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Christianity wastes time.

    September 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  3. Damocles

    Here, I'll be like postings and just start a new post. Can a believer give proof of a deity without the bible?

    September 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      How would a Bible help?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Damocles

      Because their faith is usually no deeper than 'it's in the bible so it must be true'.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Athy

      Shit, they can't even prove it with the bible.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Postings

      Sure – let me see you create a living organism that can reproduce itself. If you believe it happened by accident, then why are more living organisms being created now?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • go for it!

      prove L O V E again talkin about love not lust

      September 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Damocles

      @postings

      I can't do it alone, but I can help make a child and that child can go on to be a part of the reproduction process.

      @go for it!

      That's more of a philosophical question, isn't it? Some people love to kill which is not the same as the love I have for my child.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Postings, dear, how does your post answer the question?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Damocles

      Tom is right though, neither of you answered the question.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I getcha, you mean non Biblical proof, although that would infer that the Bible was proof, which it isn't. Harry Potter isn't proof of Hogwarts.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks, Damocles. I really do insist that PostToasted step up her game and answer the question asked: how does the appearance of a new species prove a deity exists?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Damocles

      @RL

      I getcha too, no the bible isn't, but it's what they try to use as proof.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Tom

      He just said 'living organism'.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks, Damocles. Reading PostToasted's babbling gives me such a headache.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Damocles

      @go and post

      You two are awfully quiet.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  4. Tina

    PostingsHeavenSentJustLyin, does your Jesus wear a thong? You claim to know him intimately.

    September 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Postings

      Again, stupid postings on behalf of atheism.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      How much do you charge for a Kolob-job, Tina? I don't have any cash, but I'll give you my pearl-encrusted dildo if you'll give one to my man while I watch.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  5. Helpful Hints

    donna,

    Regarding your post that didn't "take", watch for these:

    Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
    Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
    You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
    ---
    ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
    co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
    co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
    cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
    ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
    ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
    ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
    ho-oters…as in sho-oters
    ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
    hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
    jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
    ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
    koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
    nip-ple
    o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
    pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
    p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
    p-orn… as in p-ornography
    pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
    que-er
    ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
    se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
    sl-ut
    sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
    sn-atch
    sp-ank
    sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
    sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
    strip-per
    ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
    va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
    who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
    wt-f....also!!!!!!!
    There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

    September 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Postings

      She's trying to resort – still – to demeaning conjectures.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Athy

      Ah, fuck it, just learn to dodge the nasty-word filter. Many of us atheists have figured it out. Notably, no bible babblers have yet. That tells you something right there, doesn't it?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • donna

      Thanks Helpful Hints. Can't see anything I think I used, but I certainly might have...!

      September 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • toad

      Fuck all atheist filth for their fermented cum soaked lies and nasty cunt drippings..... For Jesus.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • donna

      I'm so curious now. How do you all do that?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      toad,

      Showoff! :twisted: ;)

      September 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • toad

      You just wedge html formatting code inside of objectionable syllables. They obfuscate the stuff the filter looks for and are ignored when the text is displayed. Look at the page source to see how this is done.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Athy

      C'mon, Toad. You're giving away our secret. But I doubt if even what you revealed would allow a bible babbler to pull it off. BTW, I got a kick out of your earlier post. I had to go to a dinner party and couldn't respond right away. Well done!

      September 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  6. Postings

    I challenge you to read at least the last 5 pages of postings and see the non-intelligent responses coming from atheistic supporters – the percentage is quite high, embarrasing high. Look what they present – childish thoughts. I've met homeless people who render more thought provoking concepts then the replies I've read here.

    September 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Damocles

      Are you going to answer any of the questions put forth to you?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • midwest rail

      I wouldn't comment on the intelligence of other posters when you can't spell "embarrassing " – especially when you should have said "embarrassingly".

      September 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • The Taught Police

      It's "than", not "then", you stupid creationist wingnut.

      Whose who's are you hewing into hues? There are two tu's to your tutu too. It's time for its correct usage. Then again, there are better ways to think than yours.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Athy

      "than", not "then". Don't throw rocks if you live in a glass house.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I love it when yahoos and galoots like this one parade their stupidity around for all to see while scolding atheists. It is just comedy gold!

      September 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Tom

      Galoots?? That made me chuckle.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I know–it's a great word, isn't it? I always hear Foghorn Leghorn's voice when I type it.

      Isn't Postings a perfect example of one?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      galoot: a clumsy or uncouth person

      See also: Postings.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Tom

      Ahahah I hadn't even thought about Foghorn! That's great!

      September 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  7. HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

    Transgenesis, as practiced by cowboy scientists who have declared that there is no God and claim the innate capability to know right from wrong, is a scary breed-lot. I presume they have heard of the principle of like begets like and the prohibitions against bestiality. At this late stage of human existence somebody better keep them on a tight leash. But with the race for dollars I think what happened to the bison might be a portent for the future of the human race. To trust people that don't even care about their own soul???? Not very likely. The law will surely destroy them and other victims. What law? How bout the law of unintended consequences? What icebergs? Full steam ahead!

    September 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Damocles

      Man I wish I could have those 10 seconds it took to read your post back. You think if I pray hard enough, some deity will give them back to me?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Athy

      Can anybody out there translate this bullshit for us?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Damocles

      @athy

      I don't think it can be translated into something meaningful.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      Damo, you previously posted, '......Your deity supposedly created 2 people, allowed them to be tempted, was somehow surprised that they were tempted and then punished them and all other people after that......' Who told you that? Surprised?....'Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.'..... God was not surprised as you can plainly see.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If god wasn't surprised, mud puddle, then what was the purpose of the whole exercise? Why purposely tempt his creation and then punish them when they succ umbed? Your god seems a little like a slimy kid who purposely sets ants on fire with a magnifying glass or tears the wings off flies.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Have

      Well good grief son, it makes it even worse if your deity wasn't caught off guard. If he's not surprised, that means he did it knowingly and with bad intentions. I'd stick to the surprise angle, if I was you, which thankfully I am not.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      TT and Damo, youse guise can be funny at times! I'm just trying to show you God has authority over time as well as mass(no pun intended)......'Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:'.....The time is coming when time will be no more, too.....'Rev 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:'.....Those who find themselves in the lake of fire are just there as if they have always been there. Now that's really out there.

      September 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Damocles

      So Tom and I gave you a harsh lesson on your deity and all you can do is spout off some meaningless bible passages?

      'And woe be to [the] canines for the Great Scratching shall be [visited] upon them by the great Cat. [Much] gnashing of teeth and flicking [of] tails shall announce when the time of [the] fleas shall be upon them.'

      Hey this spouting of nonsense is fun!

      September 2, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • HAVE MUD WILL TRAVEL

      Damo, should I take that literally or the regular way of comprehension? Well dude, gotta run. It's time to look for the car.

      September 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  8. Postings

    I just realize why this country has so many moral problems because these postings prove the majority of stupid people in this county – stupid, meaning not a rationale justification for their belief in atheism other than resorting to demeaning conjectures and stupid comments due to laziness.

    September 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Arrogance is a sin.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Damocles

      All I've been doing is asking you some questions. Not my fault you don't want to answer them.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Postings

      @Damocles – keep posting. It further affirms lack of substance in the atheist's case.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Damocles

      @postings

      What does your inability to answer questions show about your beliefs?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • IKYABWAI

      Postings,

      Your posts are doing the work of 5 atheists. Thank you.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I do believe this is "science only?" posting under yet another name.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  9. Postings

    Here's a fact – atheists cannot make a case for a lack of God – all they want to do is justify to themselves their non-accountability to a higher authority. THAT IS WHAT THIS IS REALLY ALL ABOUT.

    September 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense. That is merely an opinion, and a suspect one, at that.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Postings

      That's a fact – just like a child who runs away or are rebellious to his/her parents – don't want to listen to them or be accountable to them.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Chad

      Many atheists shy away from shouldering the burden of proving that God does not exist, which makes them "weak atheists"

      There are two types of atheists (as defined by atheists themselves), from http://atheism.about.com:

      Atheism is commonly divided into two types: strong atheism and weak atheism. Although only two categories, this distinction manages to reflect the broad diversity which exists among atheists when it comes to their positions on the existence of gods.

      Weak atheism, also sometimes referred to as implicit atheism, is simply another name for the broadest and most general conception of atheism: the absence of belief in any gods. A weak atheist is someone who lacks theism and who does not happen to believe in the existence of any gods — no more, no less. This is also sometimes called agnostic atheism because most people who self-consciously lack belief in gods tend to do so for agnostic reasons.

      Strong atheism, also sometimes referred to as explicit atheism, goes one step further and involves denying the existence of at least one god, usually multiple gods, and sometimes the possible existence of any gods at all. Strong atheism is sometimes called “gnostic atheism” because people who take this position often incorporate knowledge claims into it — that is to say, they claim to know in some fashion that certain gods or indeed all gods do not or cannot exist.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Postings

      It's the nature in you – PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Which God considers sin.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Damocles

      I am held accountable by the law, by my friends and by my family.

      Let's talk about accountability: your deity supposedly wiped out all but 8 people, where is the accountability there? Your deity supposedly 'tests' us with any and all manner of heartache and despair to show us love. If I did that to my child, I'd be held accountable but your deity gets a free pass because its ways are 'unknowable and mysterious'. Your deity supposedly created 2 people, allowed them to be tempted, was somehow surprised that they were tempted and then punished them and all other people after that. Yes, let us talk about accountability.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Repeating it coes not make it a fact. It merely makes it repet-itive nonsense.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some."

      September 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Postings

      @Chad – totally agree.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Apex301

      YOUR higher authority, I suppose? Fantasy beliefs that were once used to explain what we didn't know about the universe, belong in the mythology section. Everything Bill Nye says is PROVABLE by scientific analysis, and is what educated people call "fact". Stuff that you mommie said is true, like the Easter Bunny, Santa, and God, are just fun little delusions that people have to lighten up about. They are FANTASY.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Athy

      Nah, not for me, anyway. I just don't believe in god. It's as simple as that. You who do believe in god go right ahead, just don't try to force it on other people. Believing is fine for weaker-minded people; it helps to control their behavior.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Chuckles

      That's cute, of course you want to believe this because if you even consider the atheist making a point, it puts a huge dent in your faith

      September 2, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Postings

      @Damocles – that's stupid – a child says the same thing – he is accountable to his bretheren gangsters, he is accountable to his drug pusher. You are sinful and you know it but in your small mind, you are justifying a rationale to think you won't be held accountable for your sins – God's law remains the same whether you believe it or not.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Damocles

      @postings

      It's stupid that I'm held accountable by the law, friends and family? Are you mentally ill?

      Ok, ok, so only your deity can pass judgement? Then you are ok with letting the murderer of your child go free because you are confident that your deity will get him?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Regarding "but I don't accept His claim to be God." To be fair, it's the writings that claim that Jesus claimed to be God. I like Jesus and I'd like to think he did not claim to be God. And I think it's best not to accept a claim of a claim without a great deal of evidence.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Postings, the case for no gods is easy – there is not a shred of factual, objective, verifiable or independent evidence for any god. The onus is on believers to prove their claims – or admit they cannot.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Postings

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls- YOU ARE RIGHT – the case for no god is easy because you don't have the intellect to make a case. You're not intelligent enough to discover on your own if this is really true or not. You'll listen to someone who says there is no god and think, yeah, that sounds about right. That is the lazy way out or probably you just don't have the intellect to self-discover if this is true or not.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Leah

      Chad-Good find, thanks for sharing.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Postings, you are clearly too stupid to understand that it's not up to anyone to disprove your claims, to prove the negative. If the claimant can not make a case for their claim, it fails – it's that simple. You are unsuccessfully trying to shift your responsibility to others because *you* cannot make a case for *your* claims.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I like Jesus and I'd like to think he did not claim to be God"

      =>you like your invention of what Jesus is. As you say...

      you have yet to learn what the REAL Jesus said.. you'll need to read the bible to get that understanding..

      September 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Like I said, Chad. It's difficult to go by what someone is claimed to have claimed.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      BTW, Chad, I have read John as you recommended.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Chad

      To really know what someone said, you would have had to heard it with your own ears. Lots of quotes and sayings that were said to have been by various people throughout history have been shown to be inaccurate or outright lies.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @Damocles "To really know what someone said, you would have had to heard it with your own ears"

      =>so, you must think that the entirety of civilization prior to,,, what,.. 1970, is a pure black hole?

      lol

      September 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Jill

      Chad, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently.

      So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.

      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas.

      Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.

      Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      September 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Gadflie

      Postings and Chad, sorry to burst your bubbles, but you REALLY need to look up the logical fallacy known as "Negative Proof". It will teach you why your arguments and observations here are, well, laughable.

      September 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Gadflie "...t you REALLY need to look up the logical fallacy known as "Negative Proof"..."

      =>hmm.. well, it would be fallacious to state that something is true merely because it hasnt been proven false, just like it is a logical fallacy to say that something is false because it hasnt been proven true (atheists love that one..)

      however, I NEVER make the claim that Jesus is the Son of God because no one has ever proven He isnt, (unlike athiests who continually make the claim that Jesus ISNT the Son of God merely because it hasnt been proven that He is)

      I make the claim that Jesus IS the Son of God, because that's what the data points to, and that has been my experience.

      but, I do thank you for bringing up the negative proof fallacy, perhaps you and your fellow atheists will cease using it now that you know what it is.. ;-)

      September 3, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • Damocles

      @@Chad

      Um, no, that is not what I said. Maybe I thought you would get the gist of what I was saying without having to hold your hand and walk you through it. I apologize for giving you more credit than you deserve and have learned my lesson. What I am saying is that, sometimes, 2nd, 3rd and 4th hand accounts of what someone said or did should be held suspect.

      I watched a show that was talking about William Wallace dealing with the myth of the man vs what the man actually was. His fame is a mixture of a poem written by someone that was looking to create a hero for Scotland and being at the right place at the right time. Is it not plausible that we can look at Jesus the same way?

      September 3, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Chad

      @Damocles "I watched a show that was talking about William Wallace dealing with the myth of the man vs what the man actually was. His fame is a mixture of a poem written by someone that was looking to create a hero for Scotland and being at the right place at the right time. Is it not plausible that we can look at Jesus the same way?"

      =>one poem looking to create a hero
      vs
      multiple independent attestations that had the intent of recording exactly what happened, not creating a myth.

      September 3, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Fabian

      Dad, stop being an idiot.

      September 3, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So now, Chad, you can determine the intent of someone who lived 2000 years ago?

      Right.

      September 3, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Chad

      Absolutely you can determine intent, two examples of passages that would NEVER be in there(as they would have been viewed as reflecting "badly" on Jesus) unless they actually were spoken and the author was determined to record accurately.

      "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27

      "Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[e] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

      66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. John 6

      September 3, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, you cannot know the state of mind of either the original writer nor can you verify that the events described actually occurred.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Furthermore, Chard, none of what you've written anywhere on this entire blog is proof or evidence for the existence of a supreme being, nor have you managed, in all the thousands of words you've typed, to connect evolution or the beginning of the universe to any such being.

      Your case, in a court of law, would be a slam-dunk. You would lose.

      September 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  10. Agnostic Atheism is Healthy for Kids and Grown-Ups Too!

    It's really best for all people including children to have an agnostic approach to god, and an atheistic approach to all religion. It keeps things simple for kids, and let's them be all that they can be. They just need to be taught that some things, like all religion, are just made up by salesmen and politicians from long ago (long before christianity); and that other things, like god, we really don't know a damn thing about.

    Atheists have strong minds, and don't run and hide their misdeeds within their religion (and by doing so, disserving society).

    So instead of praying to make-believe people, get a good cup of tea and go on and sit down and collect your damn thoughts. My goodness.

    mama kindless

    September 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Postings

      It sure is best – that's why there is so much drug abuse, gangs, etc with young kids.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Postings

      There has to be one athiest in this country that can intelligently articulate their case instead of writing stupid "babblings." But I have not met one yet.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Damocles

      @postings

      Funny how such a small minority like atheists can bring down the whole world without lifting a finger it seems. Maybe kids brought up in a household that already condemns them as sinners see no harm in being what you raise them to think they are.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Postings

      @Damocles

      Showing your ignorance – actually, unbelievers make the majority IN THIS WORLD.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Damocles

      @postings

      Showing a bit of Sinful Pride in your beliefs, aren't you?

      You are correct though, I imagine there is only one person that believes what you do. Can you tell me why your deity gave you special insight into its mind and allows the rest of us to wallow in the darkness?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  11. 0rangeW3dge

    ...in a state of de-Nye-al

    September 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  12. Postings

    I noticed the Atheists stopped posting – because they can't fabricate their case any further.

    September 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • LittleHero

      Atheism has nothing to do with evolution – science stands on its own.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Apex301

      Religious nuts are just not worth the trouble. Your Mommie told you about God, so God and Santa are both real, right? Just ignore science, observation, experimentation, or all that medicine that actually works. Why don't you step in front of a moving car and try to pray away the accident? Because you know it would kill you. That is based on logic. God is based on a PRIMITIVE desire to explain things in the absence of science. We now have science and don't need fantasy Gods.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Tina

      PostingsHeavenSentJustLyin, does your Jesus wear a thong?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  13. Mimi

    I am a Christian and my Church (Catholic) accepts evolution. We view the Bible differently from some of our fellow Christians: We do not view it as infallible (inspired by God), in matters pertaining to science or history. It was written by humans living in a determined environment and social mores and scientific and other beliefs typical of their period are reflected in their writings, having little or nothing to do with salvation. We DO belive that the Bible IS inspired by God in matters pertaining to our relationship with Him and as a guide to our salvation. Separating one from the other takes discernment and good judgment, that is why we are encouraged to pray for enlightment before reading the Bible..

    Genesis is a wonderful recount of how God in His love for us created mankind in his own image and likeness. That's what's important there. For God one day can be 1 or 100 million years. The timing, chronology, and science of creation are unimportant side issues to the message that is being conveyed..

    September 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Postings

      Mimi – you need to change your church. They are misleading you. One thing – evolution exists because God built it into his creations.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Damocles

      @Mimi

      See this my problem... here we have one believer (postings) telling another believer (you) that you are wrong because you do not believe in exactly what he or she believes in. I find it odd that an all powerful deity can not get his message across clear enough to at least stifle the debate from his own followers.

      @postings

      Why in the world would a deity need something like evolution? A lowly old human such as myself might need to learn and make a few prototypes before coming up with a finished product but if you say a deity needs to do this, it puts a fundamental flaw into that deity.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Postings

      You have to be smart enough to understand – all churches aren't created equal. If you understand and comprehend the Bible, then YOU WILL understand this.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Damocles

      @postings

      Really? So the only true church is yours? That's awesome! How did you get so darn lucky to fall into the only church that has all the answers? The odds of that happening are staggering.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  14. I don't THINK so

    Facts are sometimes elusive; observation is sometimes faulty. That's why science continues to revise theories. Example: Your eyes tell you that it's a "fact" that the sun rises in the east, travels across the sky, and sets in the west. But your eyes are wrong. There is no "fact" of sunrise or sunset; there is no "fact" that the sun travels across the sky. It's an illusion, but a very convincing one.
    Is it possible that there is some vast being existent outside of time-space as we understand them (therefore needing no beginning) that created everything? It's possible. But there are exactly zero facts or observations to support that assertion. It's a matter of belief or the lack thereof. Period. You either believe it or you don't. There is no proof either way. There are those who continue to believe that sunrise and sunset are facts (Yes, there are – I've met them), and those who know – based on objective evidence – that they are not. Just like there are those who carry signs proclaiming that "Jesus hates Obama" and believe it to be true. There is proof that Obama exists; there is none that Jesus exists or that he ever did. There is no arguing with ignorance.

    September 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Postings

      This is the dumbest thing I ever read – do yourself a favor and post your stupidity elsewhere – like maybe a 2nd grade blog where it might be more believable to the audience.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • donna

      Great post.

      And I agree that there is no evidence that Jesus existed, even as a normal man.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, Postings, it made a lot of sense to me. Maybe you should go back to second grade and start over.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Postings

      donna – here's your chance to shine – explain WHY you agree Jesus didn't exist. Convince me!

      September 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Postings, Donna will likely bring things like "evidence" and "proof" into the discussion which are unlikely to convince you. Sadly, I doubt she has any magic tricks to keep your attention. People so easily convinced without evidence, find the effort of sifting through details to be a waste of time. It's so much easier just to believe what someone told you than to find the truth for oneself.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Postings

      @GodFreeNow – roger that!

      September 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Postings

      donna would better serve the atheists by not contributing to the discussion.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @donna "And I agree that there is no evidence that Jesus existed, even as a normal man."

      =>unusual to find someone making a claim like this... just to set the record straight:

      The large majority of modern historians agree that Jesus existed[10][11][12][13][14] as a Jewish teacher from Galilee in Roman Judaea, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate.[8][15][16] Scholars have offered competing descriptions and portraits of Jesus, which at times share a number of overlapping attributes, such as a rabbi, a charismatic healer, the leader of an apocalyptic movement, a self-described Messiah, a sage and philosopher, or a social reformer who preached of the "Kingdom of God" as a means for personal and egalitarian social transformation

      Cornelius Tacitus (55-120 AD), "the greatest historian" of ancient Rome:

      "Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a cla ss hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superst ition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense mult itude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, while he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer or stood aloft on a car. Hence, even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compass sion; for it was not, as it seemed, for the public good, but to glut one man's cruelty, that they were being destroyed."

      Gaius Suetonius Tranquillas, chief secretary of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD):

      "Because the Jews of Rome caused continous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, [Claudius] expelled them from the city."

      "After the great fire at Rome [during Nero's reign] ... Punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief."

      Flavius Josephus (37-97 AD), court historian for Emperor Vespasian:

      "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders." (Arabic translation)

      Julius Africanus, writing around 221 AD, found a reference in the writings of Thallus, who wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean around 52 AD, which dealt with the darkness that covered the land during Jesus' crucifixion:

      "Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun–unreasonably, as it seems to me." [A solar eclipse could not take place during a full moon, as was the case during Pa ssover season.]

      Pliny the Younger, Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor around 112 AD:

      "[The Christians] were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reas semble to partake of food–but food of an ordinary and innocent kind." Pliny added that Christianity attracted persons of all societal ranks, all ages, both s exes, and from both the city and the country. Late in his letter to Emperor Trajan, Pliny refers to the teachings of Jesus and his followers as excessive and contagious superst ition.


      Emperor Trajan, in reply to Pliny:

      "The method you have pursued, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those denounced to you as Christians is extremely proper. It is not possible to lay down any general rule which can be applied as the fixed standard in all cases of this nature. No search should be made for these people; when they are denounced and found guilty they must be punished; with the restriction, however, that when the party denies himself to be a Christian, and shall give proof that he is not (that is, by adoring our gods) he shall be pardoned on the ground of repentance, even though he may have formerly incurred susp icion. Informations without the accuser's name subscribed must not be admitted in evidence against anyone, as it is introducing a very dangerous precedent, and by no means agreeable to the spirit of the age."


      Emporer Hadrian (117-138 AD), in a letter to Minucius Fundanus, the Asian proconsul:

      "I do not wish, therefore, that the matter should be pa ssed by without examination, so that these men may neither be hara ssed, nor opportunity of malicious proceedings be offered to informers. If, therefore, the provincials can clearly evince their charges against the Christians, so as to answer before the tribunal, let them pursue this course only, but not by mere peti tions, and mere outcries against the Christians. For it is far more proper, if anyone would bring an accusation, that you should examine it." Hadrian further explained that if Christians were found guilty they should be judged "according to the heinousness of the crime." If the accusers were only slandering the believers, then those who inaccurately made the charges were to be punished.


      The Jewish Talmud, compiled between 70 and 200 AD:

      "On the eve of the Pas sover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Pa ssover."

      [Another early reference in the Talmud speaks of five of Jesus' disciples and recounts their standing before judges who make individual decisions about each one, deciding that they should be executed. However, no actual deaths are recorded.]


      Lucian, a second century Greek satirist:

      "The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day–the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. ... You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property." Lucian also reported that the Christians had "sacred writings" which were frequently read. When something affected them, "they spare no trouble, no expense."


      Mara Bar-Serapion, of Syria
      , writing between 70 and 200 AD from prison to motivate his son to emulate wise teachers of the past:

      "What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burying Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given."

      September 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It is interesting to catch glimpses of the real man Jesus. I think some of the writings are genuine and I've no doubt Jesus lived and taught much as people think he did. But I believe, primarily from what I read in New Testament writings, that he was perhaps the most persuasive, of a number of people calling for sweeping reforms in a complex, legalistic and burdensome religion that weighed down the Jewish people at the time. That he was persuasive and popular and radical drew the attention of the Jewish hierarchy and they took him out. End of story, except the Messianic cults adopted him as a central figure and off they went to found Christianity.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Chad

      "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -‑ on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg ‑- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse. "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."

      C.S. Lewis

      September 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @Chad, I don't think there's any value in devolving into a "quote" war. CS Lewis had his time... He's dead now. We'd rather hear from you.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • donna

      It didn't take my last response, so this is abbreviated, maybe the other will pop up....

      Postings, I agree that there is no evidence because I"ve never seen it.

      Chad,

      All of the cults during that time (and there hundreds to thousands) used hero stories and talked as if those heroes were real people. However, there is no more evidence of Jesus as there is for Zeus, Demeter, Poseidon, or any of those others. In fact, many historians think the Jesus myth evolved from the cult of Dionysus.

      Writing about someone decades after they supposedly died is NOT evidence of their existence.

      I have yet to see any evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus that wasn't actually just from "tradition," even from atheists.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Chad

      hmm, well how about this then: those people that claim nonsense like " persuasive, of a number of people calling for sweeping reforms in a complex, legalistic and burdensome religion that weighed down the Jewish people at the time

      simply have no familiarity with the bible, at all.

      Jesus didnt argue against the Law, He showed people how they were failing to live up to it. He didnt do away with the law, rather He kept it.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • donna

      Tom, Tom,
      I think you're an intelligent person, so could you please walk me through your reasons for having no doubt about his existence?

      What do you consider evidence for his existence? Is it just because of popular views? Or tradition?

      September 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Chad

      @Donna "I have yet to see any evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus that wasn't actually just from "tradition," even from atheists."

      interesting group, the Jesus deniers...
      not many of them around, kind of like the "9-11 was an inside job" bunch.

      anyway, you should read the list again, do a little research. Start here, Richard Dawkins is a member:
      http://www.atheists-for-jesus.com/

      September 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @chad, Thanks. I personally fall into the camp that tends to believe that there probably was one or more jesus-type characters in that time that these stories are based on. I also would say that I have no evidence to support it. It just comes down to probabilities for me.

      However, Jesus did argue against the law.
      Matthew 5:38-39, John 8:7

      You might say that Jesus didn't technically condemn stoning, but he was supposedly without sin and did not follow the old testament law. So by example, he would be suggesting another way.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • OTOH

      Chad,

      Josephus Flavius
      The Jewish historian Josephus Flavius was the earliest non-Christian to mention Jesus. Josephus' birth in 37 CE, well after the alleged crucifixion of Jesus, means he could not have been an eyewitness. Moreover, he wrote Antiquities in 93 CE, even later than the first gospels. Despite Josephus having long been a favourite of apologists, many scholars think that Josephus' short accounts of Jesus (in Antiquities) came from interpolations perpetrated by a later Church father (most likely, Eusebius of Caesarea).
      Antiquities of the Jews begins “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” and arduously parallels the Old Testament up to the time when Josephus is able to add equally tedious historical recountings of Jewish life during the early Roman period. In Book 18, Chapter 3, this paragraph is encountered (Whiston’s translation):
      Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works — a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal man amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.
      This truly appears to give historical confirmation for the existence of Jesus. But is it authentic? Most scholars admit that at least some parts, if not all, of this paragraph cannot be authentic,[45] even the Catholic Encyclopedia concurring.[46] Many are convinced that the entire paragraph is a forgery, an interpolation inserted by Christians at a later time.[47][48]. Even Christian scholars consider the paragraph to be an overenthusiastic forgery.

      Suetonius
      A Roman historian born in 69 CE mentions a "Chrestus," a common name meaning “good,” used by both slaves and free people and occurring more than 80 times in Latin inscriptions. Apologists assume that "Chrestus" means "Christ", which it generally does not. But even if Suetonius had meant "Christ," it still says nothing about an earthly Jesus.
      Suetonius wrote a biography called Twelve Caesars around the year 112 CE, mentioning that Claudius “banished the Jews from Rome, since they had made a commotion because of Chrestus,” and that during the time of Nero “punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief ...” Notice that there is no mention of Jesus by name. It is unlikely that Christianity had spread as far as Rome during the reign of Claudius, or that it was large enough to have caused a revolt.
      Note that "Chrestus" was not only a familiar personal name, but a name of the Graeco-Egyptian god Serapis, who had a large following at Rome, especially among the common people. Hence "Christians" or "Chrestians" may be followers of Serapis. Historians know what evil repute the Egyptian people, which consisted mainly of Alexandrian elements, had at Rome. While other foreign cults introduced into Rome enjoyed the utmost toleration, the cult of Serapis and Isis was exposed repeatedly to persecution. The lax morality associated with their worship of the Egyptian gods and the fanaticism of their worshippers repelled the Romans, and excited the susp'icion that their cults might be directed against the State.

      Pliny the Younger
      Pliny the Younger was a Roman official born in 62 CE. In one letter he said “Christians were singing a hymn to Christ as to a god ...” That is all. In all of Pliny’s writings, we find one small tangential reference, and not even to Christ, but to Christians. Again, notice, the absence of the name Jesus. This could have referred to any of the other "christs"[58] who were being followed by some Jews who thought they had found the messiah.
      Pliny’s report is only of what other people believed. Even if this sentence does refer to a group who followed Jesus it is not particularly enlightening as no one denies that Christianity was in existence at that time. Pliny's report might be useful in doc'umenting the religion, but not the historic Jesus.

      Julius Africanus and Thallus
      In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus quoted a third-century Christian historian named Julius Africanus, who quoted an unknown writer named Thallus on the darkness at the crucifixion: "Thallus in the third book of his history calls this darkness an eclipse of the sun, but in my opinion he is wrong." All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the quote or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote.
      Eusebius (fourth century) mentions a history of Thallus in three books that according to an Armenian translation of Eusebius ranged from the sack of Troy to the 167th Olympiad. (Actually, the manuscript is damaged, and “Thallus” is merely a guess from “_allos Samaritanos.” That word “allos” actually means “other” in Greek, so it may have been simply saying “the other Samaritan.”) There is no historical evidence of an eclipse during the time Jesus was supposedly crucified. The reason Africanus doubted the eclipse is because Easter happens near the full moon and a solar eclipse would have been impossible at that time, as was well-known. Compounding the matter is the Armenian translation of Eusebius has many corrupt numerals and so many apologists claim that 167th Olympiad (or 109 BCE) should really be 217th Olympiad.

      Lucian
      (circa 125 – 180 CE) A second-century satirist named Lucian wrote that the basis for the Christian sect was a “man who was crucified in Palestine,” but this merely repeating what Christians believed in the second century. Lucian does not mention Jesus by name. This reference is too late to be considered more direct historical evidence.

      Mara Bar-Serapion
      (circa 73 CE) There is a fragment of a personal letter from a Syrian named Mara Bar-Serapion to his son in prison that mentions that the Jews of that time had killed their “wise king.” However, the New Testament claims that the Romans, not the Jews, killed Jesus. The Jews had killed other leaders; for example, the Essene Teacher of Righteousness. If this truly is a report of a historical event rather than the passing on of folklore, it could have been a reference to someone else. It does not mention Jesus by name. It is near worthless as evidence for Jesus of Nazareth, yet it can be found on the lists of some Christian scholars as proof that Jesus existed.

      Talmud
      Perhaps surprisingly, some Christians use brief portions of the Talmud, a collection of Jewish civil and religious law, including commentaries on the Torah, as evidence for the existence of Jesus. They claim that a man called "Yeshu" in the Talmud refers to Jesus.
      However, this Jesus, according to Gerald Massey, is actually a disciple of Jehoshua Ben-Perachia who lived at least a century before the alleged Christian Jesus. And regardless of how one interprets the name "Yeshu", the Palestinian Talmud was written between the 3rd and 5th century CE, and the Babylonian Talmud was written between the 3rd and 6th century CE, at least two centuries after the alleged crucifixion.
      In other words, even if it does refer to Jesus, it is even more recent then the gospels and even less useful as an eyewitness reference.

      Those are just some highlights. There is much more here: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_historical_existence_of_Jesus_Christ#Other_sources_used_by_apologists

      and on Pliny, and more about Suetonius & Tacitus:
      http://www.truthbeknown.com/pliny.htm

      (sorry, I don't have expertise in the bold font here, but there are a few words, like forgery and hearsay, that could use it!)

      September 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry Chad, I put this on the wrong thread:

      Regarding "but I don't accept His claim to be God" (your 6:23 post). To be fair, it's the writings that claim that Jesus claimed to be God. I like Jesus and I'd like to think he did not claim to be God. And I think it's best not to accept a claim of a claim without a great deal of evidence.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • donna

      Chad,

      Dawkins doesn't make a case for a historical Jesus. Read his article, then try again.

      September 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • OTOH

      Chad,

      p.s. Inform that site that you copied from that "Emporer Hadrian" should be "Emperor".

      September 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • donna

      GodFreeNow: "I also would say that I have no evidence to support it. It just comes down to probabilities for me."

      I think that's a totally rational argument.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Quip

      What a a BIG difference an 'emperor' and not emporer makes to credibility about 3rd person historical accounts ;)

      September 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      By Odin's beard! a category 15 Chad warning – too late!

      1,500 words Chad, really?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The Chard makes Isaac look like a tiny fart.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      @donna, That being said, I don't believe this Jesus-like character was a magical super being. He was likely a philosopher like Buddha who people have attributed magical qualities to to make the story more interesting. I also think it's probable that the Jesus story is based on the Buddha story.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Chad storm survivor

      @GOPer

      We didn't even have any warning. The sirens didn't even go off

      September 2, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • donna

      GodFreeNow,

      I think you were more likely right with multiple characters. There's no reason to think that these multiple stories, from multiple people and places and times would have the same history. As Christianity spread, it absorbed the stories from other cults and incorporated those stories with the stories of Jesus and Mary, etc. The New Testament was written over a period of 10-15 decades. So it's hard to conceive of it being about a single person- *especially statistically.* ; )

      Hero characters are often based on common human characteristics that are valued at the time of the story. They tell us what behavioral traits the people who made up the stories thought were "good." The act of creating fiction to relay true information is something humans are very good at.

      So the attributes of Jesus that we value, are attributes of humans that we value, which is why I'd agree that there are likely stories about Jesus that were based on real people.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad storm survivor

      Apparantly the ChadWatch: A public service is sadly inoperative today.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @donna "Dawkins doesn't make a case for a historical Jesus"

      "???
      “I wrote [an] article called ‘Atheists for Jesus,’ I think it was… Somebody gave me a t-shirt: ‘Atheists for Jesus.’ Well, the point was that Jesus was a great moral teacher and I was suggesting that somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today.” - Richard Dawkins

      care to reconsider Donna? :-)

      September 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Snarky, snark, snark, donna?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      (That was my impersonation of Chard.)

      September 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "I like Jesus and I'd like to think he did not claim to be God."

      A lot of atheists do as you have done.. they invent a Jesus that matches what they want Him to be.

      The problem is, as you acknowledge, it's made up. It's purely your invention. To find out what the real Jesus said you have to read the bible.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, right, Chard, because you know that everything written there really happened, right?

      Tell us how you come to this conclusion.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Chad

      The historicity of Jesus refers to the analysis of historical data to determine if Jesus existed as a historical figure, approximately where and when he lived, and if any of the major milestones in his life, such as his method of death, can be confirmed as historical events.[1][2][3] In contrast, the study of the historical Jesus goes beyond the question of his historicity and attempts to reconstruct portraits of his life and teachings, based on methods such as biblical criticism of gospel texts and the history of first century Judea.[3][4]

      Virtually all modern history scholars agree that Jesus existed, and, with theologists see the theories of his non-existence as effectively refuted.[5][6][7][8][9] Scholars generally agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born BC 7–2 and died AD 30–36.[10][11] Most scholars hold that Jesus lived in Galilee and Judea[12][13][14] and that he spoke Aramaic and may have also spoken Hebrew and some Greek.[15][16][17][18][19] Although scholars differ on the reconstruction of the specific episodes of the life of Jesus, the two events whose historicity is subject to "almost universal assent" are that he was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.[20][21][22][23]

      September 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Chad storm survivor

      So who can I sue now? Because Chadwatch dropped the ball, my wife and kids are now creationists! Obama hates Atheists.

      September 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Chad

      Still pedaling your bull I see. How is that working out for you, got any converts yet? Did Jesus actually live? Well maybe. I can easily accept a guy being born named Joshua Bar Joseph, they are common names after all, lifted directly from the OT. It's also easy to imagine messianic figures touring their areas, because back in those days, they were a dime a dozen. Could a man claiming to be a prophet of god and trying to disrupt government be sentenced to death by crucifixion? Sure, crucifixion was a pretty usual method of death for the Romans.

      Is that person I described above the same person as described in the bible..... well thats a different question altogether. My guess is, probably not, but I have a feeling that you wil disagree with me because the bible says.

      September 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • donna

      Sure, I'll reconsider, Chad...

      Dawkins doesn't make a case for an historical Jesus.
      Do you know what the phrase "make a case for" means?

      September 2, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • donna

      Tom, Tom,

      No snarkiness at all. I was asking you genuinely. But I guess you aren't interested in sharing your reasons...

      September 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles, Jesus was a common name, Jesus of Nazareth was a real historical figure, He did claim to be God, he was crucified for that claim.
      and, many others of that time likewise claimed to be prophets and messiahs.

      The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

      33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while. 35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37 After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

      40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Acts 5

      September 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • donna

      Chad,

      Dawkins actually has a very clear agenda with talking abut Jesus. He is actively trying to educate current "believers" so he acknowledges that a historical Jesus is a possibility, and analyzes the "teachings" in a way that allows there to be value without relying on the existence of a deity.

      September 2, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Chad

      I know you know that Jesus's real name was Joshua and that Jesus Christ is greek for "anointed one", so everyone was looking for the jesus christ, Joshua was one of the people claiming to be that.

      Like I pointed out before, none of this is really unbelievable to me, it's actually very possible and probably did happen in the most bare bones type of way. Since I clearly put as much faith in the bible as believing you will ever employ logic, I don't think the bible is in anyway historical other than the story itself and the reference to certain famous nouns (People, places or things) of the time.

      Do you really find it necessary to quote the bible at me like it will actually sway me to think differently about the bible? It also ignores the other messiahs who still do have followers, namely the Kokhbah, a man believed to be returning any day now to deliver the israelites (sound familiar?).

      September 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      donna, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding-my "snark" comment wasn't meant to indicate you were snarking. I was imitating Chard.

      September 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @donna " I agree that there is no evidence that Jesus existed, even as a normal man."

      @donna "Dawkins doesn't make a case for an historical Jesus."

      @donna "Dawkins actually has a very clear agenda with talking abut Jesus. He is actively trying to educate current "believers" so he acknowledges that a historical Jesus is a possibility, and analyzes the "teachings" in a way that allows there to be value without relying on the existence of a deity."

      one thing I notice about your postings donna, is how they tend to morph in a single thread...

      September 2, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chuckles

      I quote the bible here and there to demonstrate, like in this case, points that you clearly have never read. I suspect you were quite surprised to learn that the bible accurately describes every historical event, including the fact that at the time there were many people claiming to be the messiah. Historians (real historians) place great emphasis on this type of information, as it lends credibility. As when the bible recounts Jesus declaring on the cross "My God why have you forsaken me", that kind of information would never have been included in a made up narrative.

      September 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • OTOH

      Chad,

      Why are you ignoring the refutations (above) of your historian list?

      September 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Chad

      LOL
      "Might have been talking about someone else"
      "Says "Christ" but not Jesus"

      self evident nonsense. right?

      ultimately, the thing that proves that this is nonsense is the fact that in the serious debates about the historicity of Jesus Christ, none of this is ever mentioned..

      There simply arent any real, serious historians that believe Jesus of Nazareth wasnt a real person. The debate is always about His divinity.

      September 2, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Of which you have no proof.

      September 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • mama kindless

      I've had me some of that pecan divinity. pretty tasty stuff. but it don't keep more than a few weeks, much less a couple a centuries.

      September 3, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • donna

      Tom, Tom, Oh I see, thanks for the clarification! : )

      September 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Glad we're good, donna. Sorry for the confusion.

      September 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  15. know truth

    Gadflie said,
    "Actually, science does take the higher ground on truth. It seeks truth. Religion just proclaims it."

    Actually, science doesn't seek truth, people do. "Truth, what is truth?" is an age-old question. Some people say truth is relative and we cannot know it. I, on the other hand, say truth is absolute and we can know it. "Science" comes from a Latin word meaning "knowledge". People sometimes mistakenly think there is a dichotomy between science and religion. Well, you might be surprised but there isn't. Knowledge can be gained through history books (including the Bible) and the scientific method (which isn't synonymous with science/knowledge), both of which are tools that help us when seeking truth. Some people have given a newer meaning to the word "science", one which excludes any possibiility of supernatural explanations and limits "science" to only natural phenomena. Unfortunately, one of the biggest fallacies that continues to be perpetrated upon the public is the misguided use of the phrase "science vs. religion". People frequently but falsely take that phrase to mean "truth vs. mythology" or maybe "truth vs. feelings" or "truth vs. non-truth" or something else. We are brainwashed into equating "science" with truth even though the scientific method is simply a tool (used by scientists of all beliefs) used to try to determine truth. In reality, the scientific method cannot be used to prove "molecules to man" evolution, nor can it be used to determine the truth of creation as stated in the Bible because neither of those events are repeatable or observable, which is required by the scientific method. Operational science deals with the repeatable and observable. Historical or origins science does not. No matter what others say, do not believe the myth that any scientist is unbiased and objective. All people, including secularists, atheists, etc., interpret the facts/evidence through their worldview. Yes, all people have a worldview and people in each group are equally "religious" (relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity). Atheists and others fool themselves into thinking they are not religious and arrogantly and pridefully think they are above others by thinking they are unbiased. Of course, I too am biased, but when it comes to the unrepeatable and unobservable past, I choose to believe in the word of someone (God) who was there in the beginning rather that trust the word of secular scientists who were not. Others choose to believe the evolution story. Such people may think they believe based solely on observations (either their own or those of scientists), but ultimately, since the beginning of life and the evolution of man is not observable, they first believe it on faith. Scientists belonging to both groups then make interpretations of the evidence/facts (things that are observable like fossils, etc.) and come up with different conclusions. Bill Nye is either unaware or purposefully ignoring the very critical distinction between operational science and historical/orgins science. He thinks molecules to man evolution and "deep time" has been proven and somehow erroneously concludes that our world doesn't make sense if we don't come to the same conclusions as him. How ridiculous! Evolutionism and creationism are both equally religious. There are scientists, having equal degrees, learning and intelligence, of both beliefs, which should tell us that one group is not "smarter" than the other. Some other reason for their different conclusions comes to mind. Many people suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They don't want to believe the truth, likely because the absolute truth requires accountability. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20). Scientists from both groups will use the scientific method when making inferences about the past, but in my opinion, more observations are consistent with a biblical worldview than they are an evolutionary one. Bill Nye feels that people who believe in the Bible's creation account should not teach their beliefs to their children. He mistakenly thinks his beliefs about the unobservable and unrepeatable past are proven. Would he be surprised to know that the scientific method (which all scientists of all beliefs recognize as a valuable tool for seeking truth) can not prove the age of the universe or how life came to be?

    September 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Athy

      Your post is way too long and way too incorrect to be taken seriously.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Postings

      Too long? YES.

      Incorrect? NO

      Messaging is done is short bites – more effective that way. ADVICE: just post the main point with a short supportive statement.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "know truth", but your reasoning is flawed. Perhaps if you rewrite your post into logical paragraphs, we can discuss each of them, and determine what led to your misunderstandings.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      " Evolutionism and creationism are both equally religious. There are scientists, having equal degrees, learning and intelligence, of both beliefs, which should tell us that one group is not "smarter" than the other."

      Factually incorrect. There is no blind acceptance of evolution. There is no claim that the theory of evolution is 100% correct. There are ongoing studies to disprove assumptions of theory of evolution. There are no deities and no services.

      Of the scientists you mention, over 70% support the theory of evolution in America. However, support in the rest of the world by scientists are much higher.

      In the end, it has nothing to do with "who is smarter" but rather "who is jumping to conclusions." Supporters of the theory of evolution don't like to make baseless claims about deities and fill in gaps with "god". It's not about intelligence, it's about diligence. One group is diligently trying to find the truth no matter where it takes them. The other is content to assume the answer before they know the truth.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • infidelio666

      "Operational science deals with the repeatable and observable." Your entire diatribe is the usual bafflegab that tries to put science and religion on an equal footing .
      Yes, some events cannot be repeated, but Science also deals with explanations that are consistent with current observable facts and they do very well at this with a significant level of agreement that comes from peer review.
      When you get ALL religions to have the same level of agreement, get back on your pulpit and proclaim man's unified belief in the consistency of what is agreed upon by the "word of God". When do you think you will be able to do this?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  16. Jim

    I love the quote below – "to all atheists – A stupid man will easily believe a lie that he himself has not fully investigated but has only heard from another stupid man." That sums up people who are atheists.

    September 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Athy

      Actually, a number of surveys have shown atheists to be significantly more intelligent biblebabblers.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Postings

      Then "babble" me the main point of Matthew.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      Most atheists out there actually come from a religious background. So now the quote is looking more like religious people are its target. Tell me, have you given atheism a fair chance? Have you let go of your belief in god and truly sought truth for yourself regardless of your fears about dying or the influences of your friends and family?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • tallulah13

      That's a very apt description of religion, Jim. Atheists have a tendency to search for real answers to their questions before they form their opinions. Far too many christians are simply content to believe "god did it" because their pastor and the bible told them so. Poor things. Although stupid is an awfully harsh word to call christians. I prefer misguided.

      September 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  17. Tim Tebow

    That is my favorite bible quote and I have slept with 316 dudes named John. Crazy, huh?

    September 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Postings

      I feel sorry for the atheist agenda with all the "stupid" people (as in above) injecting stupid thoughts. No wonder they are having a hard time. Atheists should vet their members.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Did you perhaps mean "interjecting", PostToasted?

      September 2, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  18. Discussion

    Let's all get together and have a book burning. Everything except the bible. Christian fvcktards = American Taliban. Thanks guys!!

    September 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  19. John 3:16

    ...thought about it... and God's Kingdom sounds much better!

    September 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Discussion

      Think about his: Your religion is, quite possibly, FAKE. Ever think of that, Socrates?

      September 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Postings

      That shows your ignorance if you think Christianity is ONLY a religion – Again, you havn't bothered to even research it to understand that it is a relationship – do yourself a favor and don't post because you're just showing your ignorance.

      September 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  20. ScottCA

    This one is very witty.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4mUf3izkUY&w=640&h=390]

    September 2, 2012 at 5:18 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.