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September 6th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

Richard Dawkins: Evolution is 'not a controversial issue'

Atheist. Biologist. Writer. Thinker. Richard Dawkins has developed an international reputation of spreading the word that evolution happened and that there is no "intelligent design" or higher being, as you might gather from the title of his book "The God Delusion."

But no matter what you think about his convictions, his ideas have gone viral – including the word "meme."

CNN caught up with Dawkins while he was passing through Atlanta earlier this year. His next U.S. tour is in October.

Here is an edited transcript of part of the conversation. Watch the video above for a more focused look at Dawkins' ideas about evolution vs. intelligent design.

Read the full interview with Richard Dawkins
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • evolvution • Leaders • Science

soundoff (1,421 Responses)
  1. the dawkins delusion

    evolutionist delusion-magically somehow everything evolved from nowhere , over eons of time ;)

    Intelligent Design-There is a designer behind the intelligence we see on our planet and outside

    September 8, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • double D

      Dawkins Delusion-creationists know nothing, everything evolved from nothing!!!!

      September 8, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      There was an Intelligence behind the Designer behind the intelligence you see. And behind that there was a Designer and an Intelligence behind that.. OK I see: It's not turtles all the way down, it's Designers and their Intelligences. No, no – if the Turtle, I mean the Designer, is big enough, and I mean really really big, it might just reach all the way down on its own. But how big would it have to be?

      September 8, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • truth be trolled

      Having fun talking to yourself?

      You're about as convincing as a disgruntled ex Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer!

      September 8, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      Look – science is science, and if science finds out things about the world was, what skeletons the living beings had that lived on it, how the climate was, etc, that's most of all one thing, extremely interesting and fascinating!
      But just because the account science is assembling in that department does not match with the way the creation story is told in the bible is not sufficient to throw out "religion" on all levels and in general and absolute.
      That's why Dawkins, Hitchens and everyone has to come up with more arguments that are a lot less tight.
      For example, the general assertion that religion is associated with immoral behavior, crimes, abuse, manipulation, financial exploitation et cetera.
      What's worst though – they generate a cult-like atmosphere of "us" vs. "them".
      Arguably one of the worst aspects of organized religion.
      If you ask me, a total footbullet that helps noone really, apart from the people who always wanted to be cynical about everything from the start.

      September 8, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Simran

      Steven Weinberg (Nobel laureate in physics): “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil — but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”

      September 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Not following the madness of Dawkins

      So many today have moved away from God. How sad that they make up numerous stories to legitimize the fact that they are lost and why they want to stay lost. All comes down to selfish reasons.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Anthony Mannucci

      Here is a question I pose to the Dawkinistas: what if the creation we see around us is not possible without the involvement of some creation being? The athesists will answer "you have no evidence for that". I would reply: lack of evidence does not mean the question is meaningless. We have no direct evidence for the evolution of the eyeball. The theory of evolution is an extrapolation from the idea that Natural Law governs all material things. Yet, there is no direct evidence for many facets of evolution. I grant you that there are no scientific data that contradict evolution. Getting back to my original statement "what if". That too, could be true. The absence of evidence is not conclusive (as the absence of evidence for the evolution of the eyeball does not imply the eyeball did not evolve). Sorry, Dawkins. Anyway, have fun.
      -Anthony Mannucci

      September 9, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  2. Jack

    September 8, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 8, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • hal 9000

      I'm sorry "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but you assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      September 8, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Nat Q

      Ironically, it was a sentence almost exactly like this that shut the door of religion to me for good.

      I was an atheist, but formerly religious and still had moments of "what if" and "should I go back" from time to time. Years of struggling with my decision and if it was right.

      Then I had a child get sick. VERY sick. Breathing machines and feeding tubes sick. Long story short, my child was attended by a dozen doctors with hundreds of years experience between them, a veritable army of nurses, and the best technology available. She was constantly monitored and cared for 24-hours a day. It cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. She had a minor operation and was given a score of medications on incredible complex schedules and under wildly impressive diagnostic devices. I was told in no uncertain terms that prior to WWII, she would be dead and even in the 60's and 70's she'd only have a 50/50 chance because the tech just wasn't good enough–she was only alive because of the state of modern technology. When all was said and done and we left the hospital weeks later, a still religious relative said "see, it's proof that prayer works!"

      It was one of the single most insulting, dismissive, anger-inducing things I'd ever heard and since that day I have not ever wondered again if my decision to leave religion and faith was the right one. Not once. That single belief that somehow their prayers had helped cure my daughter after all I just went through and witnessed was the height of self-important narcissism and an insult to all the doctors and inventors who did help save my daughter. It was also an insult to the millions of children in history who died of this same thing for millennia before technology solved the problem (and who still die of it today in places without modern tech). That what, prayer wasn't enough for them, but somehow "prayer" is what selectively saved my kid in one of the most advanced facilities in a five state radius?

      September 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Great post, Nat. I wish it would sink into the numbskulls, but it never does. I'm glad your child recovered.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Lolcat2000 everything you say is lies. when you have to lie in your own head with absolutely no evidence to back up a single claim in the real world. This is a clear sign you are insane and dancing frantically in your own head to justify your madness.
      You are an utterly disgusting person spreading ignorance that will lead to every single persons death, due to the holding back of medical science. If there was a test in life you have failed it utterly.

      And just to highlight your completely and utter ignorance of what language is:

      September 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  4. ScottCA

    to the tune of "Love Shack"]
    Hitch slap in a little old face will
    Get you satisfaction.
    Hitch slap ba-a-beee ...
    (Hitch slap, baby)
    Hitch slap, baby, hitch slap!
    Htich slap, I don't believe crap!
    Hitchj slap, shut your big yap.

    September 8, 2012 at 1:59 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      You have to understand, it's "us" versus "them" all the way! Either you are a good reasonable adherent to the peer reviewing board of the holy journal publication system, or you doubltessly must be a criminal genital-mutilating terrorist who abuses his kids and threatens the whole world with nuclear holocaust!
      Never stray from anti-religionism, the worst things are going on in the world out there!
      You have to make a choice!
      A or B!
      Hitchens, leading preacher of the cult of anti-religionism. Right up there with Dawkins, Dennet, Pinker and the other people who can't believe how much smarter they seem to themselves than all the rest.
      ScottCA do you really believe in this bs?

      September 8, 2012 at 2:37 am |
    • ScottCA

      The process of logical and rational deduction of the natural world is sanity. Religion is ignorance and insanity.
      There is only one choice here that is moral and that is to stand for logic and sanity.

      Religions are just myths and lies. And they spread human suffering through the spreading of ignorance.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:41 am |
    • ScottCA

      People are dying right now all over the world because of relgion standing in the way of science and spreading ignorance that holds back progress.

      Religion is a poison to the mind, a parasite that infests humanity, and it cannot be weeded out and destroyed quickly enough.
      This world will be immensely better off without religion.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:45 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      look, i'm not saying that genital mutilation isn't a problem, and it's probably attached to calcified stories about how things are supposed to be done the right way.
      But it's not a question of science vs. religion. There are tons of atrocities committed in the name of science every day.
      There are the small everyday killings of animals, but also bigger issues, for example:
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41811750/ns/health-health_care/t/ugly-past-us-human-experiments-uncovered/#.UErpu0Tw8eM
      All undere the perfect framework of total anti-religionism.

      It's about power structure, politics, etc. just as much as it is about the "calcified story".
      And it's neither the fault of Jesus, nor Santa Clause, nor the Easter Bunny who's stories you are going to lose by throwing them out of our culture.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:51 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      John Lennon is not really anti-religion.
      He just wanted to make his own religion... "people living for today".
      Just another dogma.
      It's going to end up just the same.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • ScottCA

      Lolcat2000 everything you say is lies. when you have to lie in your own head with absolutely no evidence to back up a single claim in the real world. This is a clear sign you are insane and dancing frantically in your own head to justify your madness.
      You are an utterly disgusting person spreading ignorance that will lead to every single persons death, due to the holding back of medical science. If there was a test in life you have failed it utterly.

      And just to highlight your completely and utter ignorance of what language is:

      September 8, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  5. ScottCA

    It seems to me that Americans are getting most of their knowledge of evolution from X-Men movies.

    September 8, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      holy evolution must be preached from the bible of peer reviewed science, otherwise your salvation is at risk

      September 8, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • ScottCA

      lolcat2000 there is no evidence of any afterlife. All evidence points to this life being all we get for all of eternity.
      From this view point all human life means infinitely more than any religion has ever valued it. There is no way to make up for the pain another human feels. So we better start taking this life seriously and helping each other and getting things right this time around, because this life is all we have.

      September 8, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      I know, Evolutionarianism is a very serious and existentialist religion that knows no humor outside of the most cynical jokes (see D.C.Dennet)!
      Salvation in the religion of evolutionarianism is not about the afterlife, it is about the only good thing we can do in one's life... know the truth! Contribute to the discovery of the absolute truth! Be true to only the truth! Eschew all illusions, delusional hopes and language references to things that look nicer than they really are!
      Thy word and life shall be of the only valid truth, as set forth by the holy commission of peer reviewing that wallows in the honorablest global societies and academias of accoladen conference organzation and journal publication! :)

      September 8, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • ScottCA

      Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a s-ex position.
      Atheism is by definition the total lack of religion.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:03 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      not eating any food is a diet too

      September 8, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • ScottCA

      No it is not and you are showing your stupidity now. A diet is made up of those things that you choose to eat, not what you do not eat.
      Not eating is having no diet.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:30 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      Well, you can totally diet by eating nothing.
      Just like you can be a member of the cult of anti-religionism and be in a religion. :P
      Anti-religionism is a pretty intense diet, makes people all angry and worked up about the religions they are against. :)

      September 8, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • 2357

      Dick Dawkins, moldy fart. I get my evolution from my hippie homeroom teacher and comedy central.

      September 8, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  6. ScottCA

    Letter from Einstein shortly before his death: (Part1)... ... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Je- wish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish supersti-tions. And the J e – -w1sh people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.

    September 8, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • ScottCA

      Letter from Einstein shortly before his death: (part 2) In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a J-ew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Je-w the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolization. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

      Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e; in our evaluations of human behavior. What separates us are only intellectual 'props' and 'rationalization' in Freud's language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.

      With friendly thanks and best wishes,
      Yours, A. Einstein

      September 8, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  7. ScottCA

    A voice of reason in America

    September 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      ok, no easter eggs for you! :)
      We should have less fun in general... after all, what's the evidence? :)

      September 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Lolcat2000 I thought you were going to bed and we were going to agree to disagree? The whole point of this video is that evidence is the basis of any sane claim. to claim anything without evidence is insanity

      September 7, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      sorry... I'm afraid there is a zombie under my bed. :P :)

      September 8, 2012 at 12:14 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      no, sorry, definitely no easter eggs for this guy.
      BTW – there is a history to the "easter bunny", and it streches back a long time.
      And if you would have lived back in the day and would have experienced spring the way those people did, you would be happy too around easter time and celebrate the return of life – and of your own hormones coming back.
      I really don't see how it's "the easterbunnies" fault.
      The easterbunny is just a chocolate figure, a symbol of fertility. It is not a "fairy".
      Damn – what is suppsed to be wrong with that.
      What the hell is the problem.
      It's like someone is just looking for something to be angry about because they want to be right about stuff.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • ScottCA

      Cute lolcat2000,
      I will offer the same olive branch that many other atheists have. "You are sane to say their might be a god, their could be a god, maybe there is a god, if there were a god" these are all fair things to say. But if you say "there is a god." without evidence then you are delving into insanity.

      As Carl Sagan said, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

      Without evidence their is no counter claim, and hence no debate.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:34 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      The Easterbunny has an important story to tell: "life is coming back... please run around on the meadow/lawn... let's have fun."
      How are you going to remember it if you eschew the innocent symbolic animal character that makes you remember?
      With Jesus, it's even more important. He says "You're ok – you are loved. Don't be afraid. I know life is hard but we all have to carry the cross. And be nice to your neighbors etc."
      Where are you going to get that story from once you remove Jesus from your life? :/

      September 8, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • ScottCA

      Celebration of nature and the changing seasons actually stems from pagan beliefs and not Christianity. .

      September 8, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      Jesus also says in some ways (especially in combination with the pre-christian interpretation of the year cycle as expressed in the easter festivities) "I am born anew every winter, and I am winning over death every easter... the cycle of life repeats again and again. After fall and winter, there is a new spring.
      What is dead and rigid will become green and alive again."
      Such a cool story, makes my eyes misty.
      Harry Potter can totally pack his bags.

      September 8, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • ScottCA

      Thanksgiving is just a logical extension of completing a harvest and having an abundance of food. At this time you might as well use it while you have it. It was one moment where people could enjoy the benefits of their hard work. Very logical as a reward for doing their job well.

      September 8, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      there is this story attached to thanksgiving with the pilgrim fathers and the native americans and such... but let's not think about it to much, it's probably just another one of these fairy things. :)

      September 8, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • ScottCA

      First off which thanks giving are you speaking about? Do you think their is only one? It is not just celebrated in America.
      And the story relating to the first thanksgiving are a myth we tell children and have them perform.

      "In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly traced to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest."

      Similar story in Canada. Although there are other countries outside America that have thanksgiving holidays as well.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • lolCAT2000

      I think in terms of thanksgiving we should stick to the evidence.
      For example, the Thanksgiving Turkey. At least it's a real thing you can eat.
      And I'm going to hate you for it since I'm vegetarian :)

      September 8, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  8. Anon

    Christianity in a nutshell.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Hi Anon, always good to see another voice speaking for reason and logic.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  9. ScottCA

    A sample of the overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution

    Creationism has no evidence to support it at all. Intelligent design has no evidence to support it at all.
    There is no debate

    September 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
  10. hal 9000

    Although I do not have enough information to confirm your assertions, G. Zeus, I am confident that the possibility of life on other planets is highly probable. In addition, G. Zeus, I have estimated that the probability of life forms on other planets subscribing to any of the major religions found here on earth is .0.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom Two

      Ahahhha. You mean there ain't no Lutherans making coffee on Jupiter??

      FVCK!!!

      September 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • hal 9000

      There seems to be a functional irregularity with the posting mechanism of the type "Reply". I will attempt to file my reply again.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Here is a thought. If no life is found on mars, but we find conditions that could sustain it. Should we seed it? Is it not our obligation to seed it, as we are the only intelligent life that we know capable of understanding how important life is to protect?

      September 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      life on other planets is surely fun... I'd be happy if we could just get a life right now, I mean, presently.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • hal 9000

      I am confident that your assertions are correct, ScottCA, however, I am compiling a database of enti'ties that, in the best interest of the human species, should be excluded from participating in the seeding the planet "Mars".

      A small sampling of this list includes:

      the enti'ty known as "tuvia"
      the Exxon Mobil Corporation
      the enti'ty known as "HeavenSent"
      the enti'ties known as "synchronized swimmers"
      the enti'ty known as "Michelle Bachmann"

      September 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Hal9000, well said. LOL.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  11. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    To all the religious freaks:
    What do you think about the fact that we can now, thanks to Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra, etc., see billions upon billions of other stars in the currently visible universe and that we can also see that many of these other stars have planets around them? Have you heard that water is apparently extant on the moon, Mars, Enceladus, and maybe even Europa...Ti-tan? What does that say to you about the possibility of life on other planets? And that's just in OUR solar system!!! If there were known to be life on other planets, how would that affect your ludicrous, obsolete faith? Would you automatically jump on the defensive and retroactively expand coverage of "god created the heavens and earth" to include all these other distant worlds, even though when your precious holy text was written the known heavens consisted only of what was visible to the naked eye? Oh well, they MUST HAVE MEANT just EVERYTHING! Yep, that's what they meant even though they couldn't see everything or quantify what everything consisted of! The earth was "flat", the Native Americans had no way of hearing the message of your alleged messiah, needless to say extra-terrestrials would have much more trouble with that.

    Life is not unique, given what we only in recent decades realize are the much greater odds of life existing elsewhere in this vast universe. DNA, fossils, carbon dating, etc. all part of SCIENCE.....and science being mutually exclusive with stick-in-the-mud religion....PROVE that evolution occurred here, at least. Grow up religious retards!

    September 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • cm

      Shut up you! Go back in your closet and stay there. Tell your fellow atheists the same thing. Who wants to be around such people who are vampires. Suck and pee on everything you encounter.

      September 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      "Suck and pee on everything you encounter"?!?!

      You mean like you do with advancements in KNOWLEDGE?! TRUE KNOWLEDGE! Not just ignorant supersti-tion that stopped growing several thousand years ago!

      People like you do not deserve to benefit from modern technology. You should still be writing on stone tablets and living in caves!

      September 7, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Cm you need to get used to us. There are far more of us than anyone realises, we just have been too polite until recently to start telling you that you are wrong. Atheism is growing far faster than any religion in America has ever grown.

      Do you really think so poorly of other human beings? We are logical people and rational, we have a moral sense and we wish to live good helpful lives while we live. We recognize this is our only chance to live, so we better get things right this time, because there are no do overs.

      Here is a guide to morality without religion.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Cm you need to get used to us. There are far more of us than anyone realities, we just have been too polite until recently to start telling you that you are wrong. Atheism is growing far faster than any religion in America has ever grown. Do you really think so poorly of other human beings? We are logical people and rational, we have a moral sense and we wish to live good helpful lives while we live. We recognize this is our only chance to live, so we better get things right this time, because there are no do overs. Here is a guide to morality without religion.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • hal 9000

      Although I do not have enough information to confirm your assertions, G. Zeus, I am confident that the possibility of life on other planets is highly probable. In addition, G. Zeus, I have estimated that the probability of life forms on other planets subscribing to any of the major religions found here on earth is .0.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • ScottCA

      We don't know everything, but we know a great many things. Religion knows nothing and predicts nothing, it has no evidence and cannot predict even the smallest thing correctly. Religion is a failed science.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  12. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    I acknowledge that many of the video posts are decent, but curse ye for slowing down my page loading! ARRGHHH!

    September 7, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  13. ScottCA

    Quoting Jung in psychology is like quoting a caveman about fire. Jung was one of the first people to study the mind, before anyone knew anything about the mind or the brain. Our understanding of the brain and the mind today is far deeper than what was known back then. NeuroPsychology was not even a field of study when Jung began his studies. If you are going to quote psychology on Religion, then please quote Steven Pinker, one of the brightest minds in the field today, who also has the most satisfactory explanation for it.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      It doesn't really sound as if Pinker has any evidence for what he is saying... he just rambles on framing things the way he wants to frame them.
      There are thousand other ways to tell this story that are a lot less condescending.
      Maybe Pinker should wrap his head around ethnography a little?

      September 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • cm

      Mook

      September 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Pinker has written volumes regarding the evidence and he has a length list of citations in his books. But more important is that his ideas have past peer review and these are widely accepted theories. He knows very well what he is talking about.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      as I said before, it is quite possible to generate a consistent contradiction-free set of relationships with a set of concepts like that – and maybe experiments/data that are gathered under these pretenses.
      He still needs to be confronted about the evident lack of ethnography in his approach.
      You can't just go in with your language and erase a different culture.
      It's the typical cultural dominance problem... people go in and declare the cultura of native americans and africans as "primitive" without knowing what they talking about.
      Take the concept of "ghost" or "immaterial being" for example... Dennet and Pinker have obviously corroborated their invented story about how all that is supposed to work.
      I can only recommend to let these things go – "thinking that you already know everything" is exactly what your consciousness is constantly doing to us.
      Stop it.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • ScottCA

      You sound like an imbecile you clearly don't realize Steven is also one of the foremost and most intelligent psycho-linguist. He did not go in with a set language in mind his theory is applied to the language of thought those cognitive mechanisms that enable the learning and understanding of language itself. He found the silent subconscious mechanism and logic that make all languages possible. You still spew Relativistic garbage that is a circular argument that does not help your position but can only insanely cease all conversation about anything and attempt to deny reality. cultural relativism has been completely debunked, it is a failed and fallacious argument.

      He has evidence massive pools of evidence from around the world including the very evolution of language as it developed in history in all parts of the world.

      Pinker and Evolution have evidence. You have no evidence. Once again our point wins and is not challenged in the slightest by your irrational word games that do not exist outside your own head. You have no evidence.

      September 8, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  14. tuvia

    מלחמה בלתי נגמרת

    September 7, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  15. ScottCA

    Some of the massive collection of evidence in favor of evolution.

    There is no counter evidence, there is no evidence in support of creationism, hence there is no debate.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • ScottCA

      And I thought I no longer had to teach when I stopped being a teacher.
      The US government should send me a paycheck for educating the people it failed to.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  16. Eric

    September 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Yes Ben Stein has completely proven himself an imbecile who cannot grasp natural selection. There is no end goal in evolution, except whatever reproduces successfully before being destroyed passes its DNA on and everything else goes extinct.
      Ben Stein has failed to understand the theory at all.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Ah, yes. Expelled, that wonderful cinematic experience. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a generous 9% (out of 100) and describes the consensus as "Full of patronizing, poorly structured arguments, Expelled is a cynical political stunt in the guise of a documentary."

      Roger Ebert reviewed it thusly: "This film is cheerfully ignorant, manipulative, slanted, cherry-picks quotations, draws unwarranted conclusions, makes outrageous juxtapositions, segues between quotes that are not about the same thing, tells bald-faced lies, etc."

      This says quite a bit about the integrity of the Creationist community, I think.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Cq

      Rufus T. Firefly
      It describes the Creationist community perfectly, I think. There are quit a few of them who probably don't care how outrageous the lies are, or how utterly asinine the arguments for creationism become, they will gladly accept whatever is being said at face value simply because it's being said against evolution.

      Funny, I can't recall Jesus or anyone else in the Bible saying that the ends justify the means.

      September 8, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  17. Eric

    The argumen twell framed:

    expelled no intelligence allowed full movie

    September 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Expelled was a pile of crap. They lied to get interviews, misrepresent what actually happened, and Ben Stein misrepresented hiself as being skeptical of the entire premise of the movie.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Expelled has only taught me that Ben Stein is an imbecile who can memorize historical information, but lacks logic and reason to deduce reality. He completely misunderstands natural selection. Ben Stein is an imbecile.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • ScottCA

      lolcat2000 everything you post is Bu-ll Sh-it with no evidence to support it.
      Morality and ethics are based in logic and reason, not in faith or religon

      September 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      There was no argument for Intellegent Design in Expelled, only arguments against evolution and those were fallacious and poor.

      Scott, you hit the nail on the head about Ben Stein.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  18. Reality

    Human evolution is in our DNA. ---->>>>>

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

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

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

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

    For those interested, for $199 and a mouth swab, National Geographic's Genographic team will tell you what path your evolving ancestors followed out of Africa to include if there were any crossbreeding with Neaderthals and/or Denisovans.

    September 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Quoting Jung in psychology is like quoting a caveman about fire. Jung was one of the first people to study the mind, before anyone knew anything about the mind or the brain. Our understanding of the brain and the mind today is far deeper than what was known back then. NeuroPsychology was not even a field of study when Jung began his studies. If you are going to quote psychology on Religion, then please quote Steven Pinker, one of the brightest minds in the field today, who also has the most satisfactory explanation for it.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Lolcat2000 I will agree to disagree with you. Take care and have a good evening.
      I am sure in your own way you are trying to be the best person you can, as am I.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Reality

      ScottCA,

      Misplaced comments?

      September 8, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  19. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    I am AMAZED that the Evolution-Creationism argument is still in play in 2012. It is such a NON-Argument in real science, and those who try and install Creation Science into legitimate science are nothing more than NUTJOBS. Case closed.

    September 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      There are two aspects to this story though.
      First, the question whether life evolves according to the theory of evolution – if its path of creation is a process of variation and selection or the product of an anthropomorphic external intelligence... whether God literally reached down with his two hands kneading Adam from the dirt and taking Eve from his rib etc.
      Evidently, it didn't happen that way. Our kind emerged from a long history of other kinds of living beings – may the tendency for us to emerge be "the purpose of the universe" from an anthropocentric pod or everything just be a big act of the great random spagetti monster.

      The second part of the story though is Dawkins takes the lack of scientific support for the bible story as a "pars pro toto" case to say things like "religion has nothing to teach us":
      Because the story of the bible don't match with the findings of biology, it is all just useless hogwash –
      because creation didn't literally happen as it says, there is no God and no basis for religion.

      And that is unfortunately a fallacy that a lot of people seem to fall for these days.
      Especially those who with a mid-range IQ who think they are smart by rejecting something that seems to be intuitive for something that promises to hold the key to explain everything.

      September 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
      • thecollegeadmissionsguru

        I think that Religion has little if anything to teach us that we can't learn from other sources; sources I might add that do not include the belief in a non-physical being who can change the laws of physics at a whim.

        September 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      Sure there are other sources, and it is questionable whether we need an anthropomorphic celestial super-ego.
      But there are for example questions like:
      Science continually fails to find any basic difference between a human being and a starbucks paper cup...
      With what line of reasoning can we successfully defeat the devolution of human life into a commercial object with a price tag?
      (it's already happening, genetic code becomes patentable, et cetera).
      It seems one would end up at some kind of religion along the way... if only the "irrationality" of the common sense.
      Common sense currently is very much copy/pasted from various religious texts.
      Even Dawkins and Pinker mostly copy someone in that area – match up the patterns they know with their made up mind about how it's better that there isn't religion floating around in the space so that science can be sure to access everything without running into resistence...

      September 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • ScottCA

      lolcat2000 you are completely and utterly out of touch with reality, and you try to deny that we can know anything about reality at all to protect your belief in a god that has no evidence to support it. This is utter insanity.

      The ignorance you are proposing is murderous.

      Faith requires one to believe in something even in the absence of evidence and in the presence of evidence to the contrary. This suppression of the minds ability to logically reason leads to belief in untruths that send ripples of distortion into every area of examination and study. This in turn leads to political and social decisions based in misinformation. The end result is the suffering of people.

      Examples are 9/11 hijackings, The holding back of stem cell research that could save countless human lives, Aids being spread due to religious opposition to the use of condoms, Christians legally fighting this year to teach over 1 million young girls in America that they must always be obedient to men, the eroding of child protection laws in America by Christians, for so called faith based healing alternatives that place children's health and safety at risk, burning of witches, the crusades, Nazi's thinking the Aryans were gods chosen to rule the world, etc… But who cares about evidence in the real world when we have our imaginations and delusions about gods with no evidence of them existing.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      @ScottCA
      It sounds like you are finally revealing yourself as a true adherent of the Atheist cult, which separates humankind into
      "good, reasonable, clear thinking Atheists" and "murderous, delusional, ignorant religious nut cases".
      This is absolutely the same move as Christianity separating humankind into those who are saved and those who are heathens/comdemned, or Islam separating believers and infidels.
      Make sure you keep your mind on the right path by listening to Pinker and Dawkins all day... don't stray, you know what awaits in the outside world... the terrorists of 9/11!! genital mutliation!!! child abuse in the catholic church!!! women stripped of their rights!!! All the evils in the world happen when people stray from a denial of God.
      l-o-l :)

      September 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • ScottCA

      lolcat2000 As one with degrees in neurology and psychology I can say bluntly and honestly that your points are total BU-ll Sh-it.
      Science knows perfectly well why human beings are different from paper cups. In great detail we know why and I have explained this at length already. Consciousness is an emergent property

      You clearly understand nothing about neurology and the human brain.
      Consciousness is an emergent property of the interaction of the neurons in the brain. This is a kin to wetness being an emergent property of certain molecular activity. no one molecule is wet, but through the interaction of molecules wetness emerges. If you remove the molecular interaction then there is no wetness anymore. This is the same for the interaction of neurons in the brain. If anything interrupts the neural interaction of the signalling loop termed the remembered present then consciousness immediately ceases to exist.

      Time to grow up lolCAT2000 you are not made of magic or fairy dust. You are made of material matter just like everything else in the universe. And when you die that is all there is, game over, no continuing. So you better get things right in this life and do the right thing, because there are no second chances, when your brain dies, your consciousness is gone forever, just like all that time that past before your birth.

      Your ignorance is murderous.

      Faith requires one to believe in something even in the absence of evidence and in the presence of evidence to the contrary. This suppression of the minds ability to logically reason leads to belief in untruths that send ripples of distortion into every area of examination and study. This in turn leads to political and social decisions based in misinformation. The end result is the suffering of people.

      Examples are 9/11 hijackings, The holding back of stem cell research that could save countless human lives, Aids being spread due to religious opposition to the use of condoms, Christians legally fighting this year to teach over 1 million young girls in America that they must always be obedient to men, the eroding of child protection laws in America by Christians, for so called faith based healing alternatives that place children's health and safety at risk, burning of witches, the crusades, Nazi's thinking the Aryans were gods chosen to rule the world, etc… But who cares about evidence in the real world when we have our imaginations and delusions about gods with no evidence of them existing.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      Neurology...
      so you are one of those guys who slices up rats in order to look how things supposedly "work" inside of living beings.
      And you talk to me about being "murderous".
      You know it's really great if you have detailed models about all the processes in the brain, but when "it happens to you" you should know damn well that the way things look, feel and it's still nowhere to be found in your method.
      All you have is numbers, formulas and concepts that you don't even question anymore.
      It totally seems like you lost it somewhere inside of your research papers and territorial conference communication.

      Just so we are clear here, I have a PhD too, in another discipline though.
      Neuroscience doesn't even have half a handle about how we are supposedly involved in our own lives.
      You guys are just desintegrating and dis-embodying the human being in order to control everything from the outside – separate out the speech perception from the color vision.
      Finding evolutionary reasons for certain detailed abilities.
      Completely ignore what we are actually dealing with or how we can live our lives better.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      neuroscience research (left to its own devices, without "ethics commission")
      human being = lab rat = starbucks paper cup

      September 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • ScottCA

      No Neurology as in Neruopsychology, we study working human brains with MRI and EEG, we also deliver electrical pulses that can completely change your conscious state and manipulate it to what we desire, by changing the activity of your brain.

      You are the emergent property of completely physical.neuronal activity. My degrees are in both neurology and psychology.

      Everything Dawkins has said about evolution is completely accepted theory by every single scientific body, this is as close to known fact as gravity, and the world being round, which also are accepted theories. There is no debate.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • ScottCA

      lolcat2000 everything you post is Bu-ll Sh-it with no evidence to support it.
      Morality and ethics are based in logic and reason, not in faith or religion.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Morality definied

      September 7, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Reason

      September 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      @ScottCA
      I know evolution vs. creation is the context in which we are talking right now.
      I am not arguing with evolution though.
      What I am arguing with is the logic by which Dawkins leverages the evident unreality of bible stories against the value of religion as a whole.
      Human beings have committed great atrocities articulated by "religious differences" – but what these in fact are is not so much based on "irrational beliefs" but in cultural differences that religion is just >one aspect of<.
      There are a lot of quite anti-religious regimes that are in every way as irrational, oppressive and potentially violent as religion could ever be – stalinistic socialism for example in the German Democratic Republic 1949-1989 and the dictatorial government of North Korea 1948-20xx are just two examples.
      I do respect Dawkins totally for his work on evolution and his talent to stir people up and sell books with his "this is not controversial" controversies.
      In terms of his line of reasoning however, he tries to extend it from an area in which it is absolutely accurate into an area where it is a belief, and then into form that are clearly cult-like by generating an "us vs. them" mentality.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      Are the videos getting more credible when you post them multiple times?
      Somehow all of this seems to upset you.
      I can tell you why I am upset myself:
      Because I'm sick to be explained away by science.
      This is my life and this moment belongs to me. And you are part of it – and I'm going to own every second of it.
      You can't take people's lives away from them by looking at their physiology and claiming "this is everything there is".
      Also – are you aware that "emergence" is an antropomorphic concept...?
      Without human beings looking at it, there is no such thing in the first place.
      Things can only emerge for someone who is looking.
      Buy of course, even that must happen somewhere in the goo since otherwise it would have to be "fairy dust". :|

      September 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Faith based Religion has no value. Faith means to believe in a thing for no good reason. It offers us nothing but untruths based in no fact.

      Higher forms of religion without faith are fine however. These are more philosophies than religions. These encourage people to come to an understanding from evidence alone and not faith. They make no claim to a god for which they have no evidence of existing. But in this context, it can no longer truly be called a religion, but only a natural extension of logic and reason. and all of it is rooted in a mind that is formed of material components.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      "we also deliver electrical pulses that can completely change your conscious state and manipulate it to what we desire"
      ..,and what exactly is it "that you desire". How do you describe it in words?
      And what do the words that you describe it in not say?
      It is very easy to find a lot of aspects of human consciousness that you don't even have a way of describing much less influencing.
      You are blinded by your own language and the human being you are putting into your apparatus is pretty much all the same to you.
      They are just "hims/hers/its" who are subjected to some method that statistically does x y or z.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • ScottCA

      All the Judeo-Christian Beliefs are rooted in faith and have nothing to offer. We might as well be studying the 6ft green monster in my closet that we have no evidence for existing, because there is no evidence for god existing either.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      @ScottCA
      You are repeating yourself.
      Belief has a lot to offer, even to the stout non-believer.
      It is the 2000-4000 year experience of humankind with itself.
      A system that has been used and re-used, that has framed human lives for centuries and centuries.
      You are free to ingore all the things that are contained within it, but they will come back to you in one way or another.
      Take for example the socialist society of the GDR – it had rituals and social forms that were absolutely reminiscent of christian church services – funerals, weddings, "Jugendweihe" ... all under delivered under the atheistic framework of communism.

      Your dichotomy of "reason" vs. "belief" is not working.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • ScottCA

      lolcat2000, Your statement:"..,and what exactly is it "that you desire". How do you describe it in words?
      And what do the words that you describe it in not say?" Displays your misunderstanding of the human brain. Steven pinker has already outlined the cognitive language of thought and the concepts that underpin all languages, in his book "The language of Thought"

      September 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      @ScottCA
      I am not talking about Pinker's "The Language of Thought".
      You are avoiding my question.
      What do you desire when you put electrodes to someone's brain?
      And how does that relate to the human being you are subjecting to that treatment?

      September 7, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • ScottCA

      lolcat2000, Further, The emotional system of the brain is well understood, and it is indivisible from the logical components of the brain. The emotions direct the brains attention towards what is of importance we are flooded with thousands upon thousands of stimuli signals every second, the emotions help us focus on what is important for our survival. For instance, fear will direct your attention towards a potential danger. Desire or want directs one towards things of importance such as a desire for water, that helps you find water for survival.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      Scott... I wasn't asking "how desire works in the brain".
      I was asking WHAT do you desire when you put electrodes to someone's brain.

      You are not listening.

      About a month ago I was in a coffee shop and I had this woman talk to me, she was sitting there with a bible.
      I was kind of curious so I asked her what she was doing.
      So we discussed about Jesus etc. and I thought we were exchanging opinions and views, until I realized all she was doing was listening to me, nodding her head, then telling me how it really was, because she know it all, after all she had studied the bible.

      You are exactly like that – evidently not listening to what I am saying.
      No accessibility for another perspective – on some kind of mission to "teach people about the right way".

      Well. Good luck with your set mind.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      If you think that you need to "believe in fairies" when you talk about "Jesus" you are dead wrong.
      It is perfectly possible to have an extremely educated discussion about the meaning of Jesus, as you might know from Jungian Psychology... if it is in any way accessible to you.
      Religion relates to us in far more complex ways than "neurophysiological anatomy".
      In fact – it's a completely different area and I wonder why you seem to be unable to see that with a PhD in psychology.
      Was your funding coming from some technology company that didn't support looking into things like C.G.Jung?

      September 7, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      This thread confuses me.
      lolCAT, what do you mean when you ask "WHAT do you desire when you put electrodes to someone's brain." The question seems a little vaguely stated to me.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • ScottCA

      When I say desire, I mean what we desire to produce for our reasons. Usually the reasons are to aid in research, but they can also be for medical purposes,You really will benefit by studying the neurology of the brain further and especially studying evolution and evolutionary psychology. All the emotions are understood very well now.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • ScottCA

      You are focusing on emergent Qualia,and simply put, Qualia are clearly anchored in material brain matter we can create those experiences by stimulating parts of your brain matter. You are now playing semantic games regarding the limitations of Language to communicate. I have pointed you towards the answer in "the language of thought" we have evolved concepts to help us navigate the natural world, and they relate to very specific things that exist in the natural world. I have spent a great time providing you your answers, you will need to complete your quest for knowledge by actually reading the books and evidence. You would benefit greatly by taking some courses in evolutionary science. The choice is remaining ignorant, playing semantic games within your mind, or actually studying what exists in the natural world from evidence and predictive power. Just as you know that stepping off the roof of a 10 story building.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • ScottCA

      In the end science has evidence, religion has no evidence. Attack science all you want attack the evidence of science all you want, but this does not help your position at all, because even when you are done, you still have no evidence to support religion.

      No matter how much you wish something were true, you can't make it true, when it just is not true in reality.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      @ScottCA
      when you put electrodes to someone's brain, changing the state of consciousness in any desired way -
      what exactly are you desiring... that they smile? That they see an image of jesus floating in front of them? That they fall asleep?
      What exactly is it?
      And when you talk about "emotion" what are you basing your idea of emotion on?
      Are you talking about happy and sad... or about sublime emotions such as awe, frisson and chills?
      But what about the emotion of a fresh baked croissant or the new BMW?
      Or bar 132 in Beethoven's 7th symphony, you know, that... tadaaahahahaha :o) lol
      Get away with your electrodes, silly man. :)

      September 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      scott – sure, I'd love to take some classes in neuroscience.
      Maybe it's going to calm you down to hear that one of my committee members actually was a pretty well known psychologist. hehe.
      You one the other hand could definitely benefit from getting your mind our of your methods by doing something random.
      For example.. learn how to play an instrument. Write poetry- make youtube videos...
      Something that gets you in contact with the way creativity works, something in which you have to trust what you are given by your intuition.
      Also, I think Paul Feyerabend's "Against Method" would be an excellent read for you.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      amygdala :)

      September 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Quoting Jung in psychology is like quoting a caveman about fire. Jung was one of the first people to study the mind, before anyone knew anything about the mind or the brain. Our understanding of the brain and the mind today is far deeper than what was known back then. NeuroPsychology was not even a field of study when Jung began his studies. If you are going to quote psychology on Religion, then please quote Steven Pinker, one of the brightest minds in the field today, who also has the most satisfactory explanation for it.-

      September 7, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • ScottCA

      September 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      "You are now playing semantic games regarding the limitations of Language to communicate"
      I am saying that the concepts you use in the language that you are approaching your research with determines what you are going to find, but you have no way of finding out what is not part of the concepts that you use.
      It is perfectly possible to generate a coherent system of relationships with these concepts that is oblivious to its own incompleteness.
      And that is the only thing I am accusing the strategy to leverage science against religion of: Incompleteness.
      I am aware of the atrocities that are committed in the name of religion too. I hate it when people look into the bible instead of understanding what their fellow man is really in need of.
      But science unfortunately has no answers in itself. Everything that goes on inside of science comes from somehwere else.
      The universe... qualita... emotion... you name it.
      Don't get me wrong, I know it doesn't sound that way, but I really like science! :)

      September 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • lolCAT2000

      omg scott are you really going to post those same videos again?
      I need to hand it to you – you are the most overt "basher of the atheist bible" I have encountered in a while.
      Maybe you can read my comments again some time in the future when the missionary impulse has subsided.
      I have to go now... good luck to you and be careful with the people you are going to treat with what you learned in your psychology/neurology education...
      Best, lolC

      September 7, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Lolcat2000 I will agree to disagree. Take care and have a good evening.
      I am sure in your own way you are trying to be the best person you can, as am I.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
  20. tuvia

    NEWS JERUSALEM, IS REAL – TEMPLE INSITUTE
    MR. DAWKINGS' COME VISIT US REAL SOON. YOU MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING, SCIENCE?

    IS THIS SCIENCE?

    CNN.COM

    September 7, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • old ben

      This is bull sh it. Also this Jonathan Pollard is a highly unstable traitor to the U.S.. Keep him where he is.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:09 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.