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5 takeaways from new Pew survey on global religion
December 18th, 2012
02:31 PM ET

5 takeaways from new Pew survey on global religion

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The world is religiously diverse and overwhelmingly faithful, according to a study released Tuesday by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The study, which is a snapshot of world religions in 2010 and does not show trends, brings to light a unique religious landscape that's defined by a burgeoning Islam, a shifting Christianity and a large group of religiously unaffiliated. It took Pew three years to compile.

Five big takeaways from the study:

1.) Muslims and Hindus are noticeably young

The median age of Muslims (23) and Hindus (26) is significantly lower than the global median age of 28 years old.

“Those with a large share of adherents in fast-growing, developing countries tend to have younger populations,” the Pew report says. “Those concentrated in China and in advanced industrial countries, where population growth is slower, tend to be older.”

Other than Muslims and Hindus, all other religious groups have a median age that is older than the global median.

“Christians have a median age of 30, followed by members of other religions (32), adherents of folk or traditional religions (33), the religiously unaffiliated (34) and Buddhists (34),” reads the study. “Jews have the highest median age (36), more than a dozen years older than the youngest group, Muslims.”

According to Hackett, these young median ages for Muslims and Hindus are largely because of high fertility rates and “indicates that they have a significant growth potential.”

2.) The world is faithful and diverse

According to numbers compiled by Pew, more than 80% of the world’s population identifies with a religious group.

While Christians are the largest group, with 31.5% of the global population, Muslims (23.2%), the unaffiliated (16.3%) and Hindus (15%) together make up more than half of the global population.

Jews, a religious group that makes up 2% of the United States, have a tiny share of the global pie. Only .2% of the global population practices Judaism, a number that puts the religion behind Buddhists (7.1%), folk religionists (5.9%) and a combination of religions like the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism (1%).

3.) The unaffiliated are third largest global group, equal with Catholics

The religiously unaffiliated, a group that has experienced marked growth in the United States, make up 16% of people worldwide, according to the Pew survey. With 1.1 billion people worldwide, the number of religious unaffiliated people is equal to the number of Catholics.

The Asia-Pacific region dominates that number, where almost 900 million, or 76% of the worldwide population of ‘nones’ – a term used to describe people with no religious affiliation – reside.

China, with 700 million, boasts the largest population of religious nones. The Chinese government mandates state atheism, a practice that promotes the practices of disbelief and, in some cases, suppresses religious freedom.

The Pew study acknowledges that getting accurate numbers that reflect religious populations in China is extremely difficult, largely because the country does not conduct a census to understand the faithful. In their methodology, the study states that “the unaffiliated are all who do not identify with one of the other religions.”

“For China, we had to look at a number of different sources to come up with estimates for all the groups we looked at,” said Brian J. Grim, a senior researcher at Pew.

Previous studies of nonbelievers in China have found numbers much smaller than the one published by Pew. According to Grim, this stems from how you define belief.

“This study does not look particularly at whether people believe in god or believe in a higher power,” Grim said. “If you look at just belief, you would find a much larger number of Chinese people that believe in some supernatural force.”

Grim went on to say that if the definition of belief was broadened, the number of Chinese folk religions, which currently makes up 21.9% of the country, would increase and the number of nonbelievers in China would go down.

Japan, with 72 million, boasts the second largest population of religious nones, followed by the United States, with around 50 million religiously unaffiliated – or 16.4% of the countries population.

“The unaffiliated population in China is almost twice the entire population of the United States,” Hackett points out.

These nonbelievers are also younger than their religious brethren. In Africa, North America, South America and Europe, the unaffiliated median age is lower than the age of the faithful. The overall average age of the unaffiliated – 34 years old – is pulled up, however, by the mass of followers in Asia.

In previous studies – like a study released by Pew in October – this lower average age has some demographers assuming that this group will be growing in the next few decades.

4.) Less than 1% of global Christian population resides in the religion's birthplace

Though Christianity emerged in the Middle East and North Africa, it's practiced by less than 1% of the population there.

A combined three-fourths of Christians now reside in  Europe (26%), Latin America and the Caribbean (24%) and sub-Saharan Africa (24%). North America is home to over 12% of the global Christian population.

In the Middle East and North Africa, which includes Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan, Christians are experiencing little growth, according to Conrad Hackett, a demographers with Pew.

“In Egypt, for example, it seems that the Christian population just hasn’t kept pace with the Muslim population,” Hackett said. “The data we have says they have lower fertility than the Muslim population.”

But the Pew report shows that Christianity has become dominant in other parts of the world. One-in-three people worldwide identify as Christian, and 87% of them live in a country that is majority Christian.

Of the 232 countries studied, 68% have Christian majorities, according to Pew.

5.) To Pew, this is the definitive study of world religions

Branding it as the “largest project of its kind to date,” Hackett says that the Pew study used censuses, large-scale demographic surveys and country specific general population surveys.

“In order to present data that are comparable across countries, this study focuses on groups and individuals who identify themselves in censuses, large-scale surveys and other sources as being members of five widely recognized world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism,” the survey says.

In total, Pew worked through data through 232 countries and territories that the United Nations Population Division provides 2010 estimates in.

About 45% of all the people in the world were counted by government-sponsored censuses, the study says.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • China • Christianity • Faith Now • Hinduism • Islam

soundoff (531 Responses)
  1. John Diomitron

    In a box I place a blue crayon. I then ask six people to guess the color. Furthermore, I tell them that it is a solid color, and they must pick from blue, yellow, green, red, or brown. One answers blue, another yellow, another green, another red, another brown, and the last said the crayon was non-existent because he did not see me place the crayon in the box. They have "diverse" answers to the same question and are passionate about their choice. However, no matter how passionate the others feel about their choice of color, or its non-existence, the "absolute truth" is that the crayon exists and is blue. I take the crayon out of the box and show them that the crayon exists and is blue. The truth stands for itself!

    The Lord Jesus Christ did not teach that there are multiple and "diverse" ways to the Father. He exists and is the ONLY way to the Father.

    John 14:6 – "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

    December 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      So pull Jesus out of the box and settle the matter.

      December 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I disagree with you.

      December 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Your analogy is pathetic and mundane. It takes no suspension of disbelief to imagine a crayon in a box. It is quite another thing to suggest a transcendant all-powerful creator being with no evidence is real. Extraordinary claims require exraordinary evidence.

      December 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • ttwp

      He has revealed Himself to mankind in Jesus Christ.

      However as Jesus said, "...there's no room in your hearts for my message."

      December 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      AtheistSteve is right. You cannot pull a non-existent crayon out of the box.

      Either prove your god exists (which you will never be able to do with a non-existent being of any type), or admit you really don't know how to prove your god exists anyway and don't really know what you're talking about.

      December 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      However as Jesus said, "...there's no room in your hearts for my message."

      Flowery poetic word salad. A persons heart pumps blood...nothing more. Anything of consequence, be it emotion, thought, awareness, etc. are aspects of the brain processing information. Funny how Jesus never mentioned the brain...not that it's followers are apt too use theirs.

      December 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Chick-a-dee

      It's not as though non-Catholics or even non-Christians are out in the cold. God, can do whatever he wants to when it comes to saving people who may not know the gospel.

      836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God.... and to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation."320

      837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who – by the bonds consti.tuted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion – are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'"321

      838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

      The Church and non-Christians

      839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325
      The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

      840 and when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

      841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330

      842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

      All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

      843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

      844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

      Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

      845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. the Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. the Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

      "Outside the Church there is no salvation"

      846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

      Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly as.serted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336

      847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

      Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337

      848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338

      December 20, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  2. pATHEtIcST

    The religiously unaffiliated, a group that has experienced marked growth in the United States, make up 16% of people worldwide, according to the Pew survey.

    And...

    1-4% of which are atheists. That's why they're so lonesome and miserable creatures.

    December 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Many of the "unaffiliated" you cite are, for all intents and purposes, agnostics or atheists.

      Too bad you don't get that.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      Arguing that popularity somehow creates legitimacy is perhaps one of the stupidest things I've ever seen people do.

      Christianity is followed by a MINORITY of the world's people, therefore, by your ridiculous brand of logic, that means that Christianity is worthless and that you are "lonely" because there are so "few" of you Christians compared to all the other people in the world. Derp.

      December 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      Arguing that popularity somehow creates legitimacy is perhaps one of the stupidest things I've ever seen people do.

      Christianity is followed by a MINORITY of the world's people, therefore, by your ridiculous brand of logic, that means that Christianity is worthless and that you are "lonely" because there are so "few" of you Christians compared to all the other people in the world.

      December 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Russell's Teapot

      @Rational Humanist,
      Didn't you know that universal truth is measured in mass appeal?

      December 20, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • pATHEtIcST

      @TTPS..I have been very specific.

      @Rational Humanist.. Are you saying that the way Obama won the election was stupidiest thing you've ever seen? And you said:

      "Christianity is followed by a MINORITY of the world's people," on the other hand, the article/survey says:

      "While Christians are the largest group, with 31.5% of the global population,"

      Too bad...aparently the article/survey
      doesn't agree with you.

      "31.5%" isn't "MINORITY", 1-4(atheists specifically) IS. Get it over with!

      December 20, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Rational Humanist

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!

      You idiot! A MAJORITY MEANS MORE THAN HALF, i.e. 50.0000001 percent of 100 percent. LOLOLOLOL!!!

      December 20, 2012 at 2:12 am |
  3. December

    > ReligionIBS

    > Question yet to be answered:

    > WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT SOMEONE RECEIVES WHEN THEY KILL 10 PEOPLE, GET AWAY WITH IT ON EARTH, THEN REPENT TO JESUS, GET SAVED, AND GET REWARDED WITH HEAVEN.

    > Without any other explanation of anything, or any statement that you dont understand the question, or going off on some tangent, or stating that you've already answered me. Just type the answer, and only the answer, below.

    You sound like you have control issues.

    I have answered. I gave explanations of the character of GOd. I've described Jesus' viewpoints. I've admited some of this I do not know the answer to, but I tried to give you an answer as best as I could.

    You don't seem to understand what I'm saying. And you don't even answer my questions to help me grasp what you are getting at.

    I CAN'T ANSWER THIS STUPID QUESTION:

    WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT SOMEONE RECEIVES WHEN THEY KILL 10 PEOPLE, GET AWAY WITH IT ON EARTH, THEN REPENT TO JESUS, GET SAVED, AND GET REWARDED WITH HEAVEN.

    I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE PUNISHMENT IS. IT IS UP TO GOD.

    He decides. Not me. Not Christians. Not you and your warped understanding of Christianity.

    You are just so worried about mankind not getting a chance to punish this guy. Why? I know it is not fair. GUESS WHAT? LIFE IS NOT FAIR. My Bible tells me this.

    What about him going to heaven and serving those he murdered for eternity?

    December 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • December

      > WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT SOMEONE RECEIVES WHEN THEY KILL 10 PEOPLE, GET AWAY WITH IT ON EARTH, THEN REPENT TO JESUS, GET SAVED, AND GET REWARDED WITH HEAVEN.

      A man kills 10 people. He repents to Jesus and gets saved. He does the next right thing, he turns himself in for his crime. He lets the state decide the punishment. He accepts the punishment. He tries to make amends to the victims families. He serves his time and dies in prison.

      And then:

      A. He dies. And that's it. He doesn't exist anymore.

      B. He dies and faces our eternal God's judgment.

      C. He goes to your make believe world that you invented in your head. Your heaven for murderers.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      "I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE PUNISHMENT IS. IT IS UP TO GOD."

      Then why did you tell me there was a punishment, even if he goes to heaven, IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS? How do you know there is a punishment? You said there was, but cant say what it is, claim you cant know, but insist it is something? LOL. Thanks for playing.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      "A man kills 10 people. He repents to Jesus and gets saved. He does the next right thing, he turns himself in for his crime. He lets the state decide the punishment. He accepts the punishment. He tries to make amends to the victims families. He serves his time and dies in prison.

      And then:

      A. He dies. And that's it. He doesn't exist anymore.

      B. He dies and faces our eternal God's judgment.

      C. He goes to your make believe world that you invented in your head. Your heaven for murderers."

      So you just said you didnt know, but then posted this? Which is it, you dont know, or A,B,and C?

      A. He dies. And that's it. He doesn't exist anymore. agreed

      B. He dies and faces our eternal God's judgment. what? I thought you just said A) thats it, he doenst exist anymore. How would domething that doesnt exist face judgement? Please explain.

      C. He goes to your make believe world that you invented in your head. Your heaven for murderers." You beleive murderers can go to heaven, i dont beleive in heaven. Are you mocking yourself because you beleive murderers can go to heaven? LOL . Thanks for playing!

      December 19, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • December

      ReligionIBS

      >>>Then why did you tell me there was a punishment, even if he goes to heaven, IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS? How do you know there is a punishment? You said there was, but cant say what it is, claim you cant know, but insist it is something? LOL. Thanks for playing.

      You fool.

      Because God decides the punishment. That is obvious. How can you not understand that logic of what I'm saying.

      I don't know what the appopriate punishment is for a guy who kills 10 people.

      But God does.

      Sorry I can't answer that perfectly for you.

      It doesn't bother me that I can't understand it. I'm totally at peace with it. I trust God's judgment.

      You haven't answered any of my questions, so we aren't really playing.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • December

      ReligionIBS

      > B. He dies and faces our eternal God's judgment. what? I thought you just said A) thats it, he doenst exist anymore. How would domething that doesnt exist face judgement? Please explain.

      I'M GIVING YOU DIFFERENT OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM YOU IDIOT.
      a) He dies an atheist death. b) A Christian death and afterlife. c) Your weird idea

      December 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      If you dont know what the punishment is, then why did you say that you did? You clearly got caught lying and just waisted the last few hours of both our lives.

      What was your question? I gaurentee I can answer it.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      December: last in the calendar and in everything else.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • December

      > So you just said you didnt know, but then posted this? Which is it, you dont know, or A,B,and C?

      I'm trying to answer your question the best I can.

      But I don't know for sure. I haven't died yet.

      But your idea that Christianity is about being able to murder people, get away with it and then go to heaven is inaccurate. Any educated person can point out that isn't the theology of that religion. Probably a 3rd grader mentality would come up with that as its message.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • December

      I'm wondering about your control issues again.

      > If you dont know what the punishment is, then why did you say that you did?

      I didn't. And you can not prove that I said I know what the punishment for killing 10 people is. I offered some theories. But it is for God to decide.

      > You clearly got caught lying and just waisted the last few hours of both our lives.

      I didn't lie I attempted to answer your question the best I could.

      > What was your question? I gaurentee I can answer it.

      What about him going to heaven and serving those he murdered for eternity?

      (I'm not sayint that is what happens. But what if that did. What if God made that man serve those he harmed for eternity?)

      December 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      "What about him to heaven and serving those he murdered for eternity?" So in heaven, you can be a servant to someone? Isnt heaven supposed to be paradise? Who's vision of paradise includes being someones servant? Hey, go ahead and beleive that if you want, its your fantasy.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • December

      >>>Isnt heaven supposed to be paradise?

      NO. I believe we go to heaven. Where God dwells. It is His Heavenly Kingdom.

      I believe it is not a personal paradise.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why would I want to go there? If earth is god's pinball machine, what's that say about his heaven?

      No, thanks. I prefer to deal in reality.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • December

      I love God. And I have faith that what he has in store for me is greater than any personal paradise I can come up with in my head.

      Yea, you are welcome to accept or deny it. I deal in reality, too. But there is more to life than what meets the eye.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      *chop chop*
      Man this cognitive dissonance is freaking thick.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  4. EvolvedDNA

    Chad what if I told you i was actually god.. but ii had no intentions of proving it, as true Christians require need no proof just faith...what proof would you try to assign to convince yourself i was in fact god and how would you then determine that I already knew you would do that so i could counter your efforts? Or would you follow me blindly as required.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • December

      I would hope God could use complete and proper sentences. My first sign that you are not God might be your intelligence quotient.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • UnevolvedApe

      Satan also claimed that he is god but none of us believe. How much more to you, when you're nothing more him.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • ReligionIBS

      December,
      Did you give up on my question?

      December 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Akira

      Oooh. Ad hominem.
      Using insults instead of actually addressing the post.
      One of those, I see.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • December

      > ReligionIBS

      I answered your question.

      > Akira

      Oooh. Ad hominem.
      Using insults instead of actually addressing the post.
      One of those, I see.

      I'm just like you. I leave little snarky comments sometimes. Just like you. One of us!

      Sometimes answering with sarcasm is easier than answering a question that someone really doesn't want you to answer. They are just posting tough questions to appear smart.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Akira

      December:
      Now why would you automatically think I was refering to you?
      If you want to be snarky, have at it. I really don't care.
      But please don't suggest that I am the same; that's deflecting your behavior onto others when it is undeserved.

      I enjoy your posts tremendously; they amuse me greatly.
      Carry on.
      I've got popcorn left.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • December

      What are you some kind of weird lurker who trolls religious message boards? And you eat popcorn while you do it?

      December 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hmmm. December appears a bit paranoid. I do hope someone is keeping an eye on him/her/it.

      Could be the next spree killer.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • December

      Paranoid? Because some guy keeps following me around saying he is eating popcorn and watching me. And you are worried about me?

      I'm not paranoid. Try annoyed. He is like a little yippy dog that follow me around that I can't shut up.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      December . How would you know that god would use proper sentences? I see you would be looking for evidence even though faith claims it is not necessary

      December 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nah, December. You LOVE the attention. If you didn't, you'd ignore him and leave.

      Stop with the victim crap. It doesn't pass the smell test.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Akira

      Tom tom:
      That's the second time December has accused me of being some weird lurker troll, this time eating popcorn.
      All because I said he sounded familiar.
      Paranoid?
      Yes, I think so, just a tad.

      December:
      I refer to eating popcorn because I enjoy the show you have been putting on all day.
      You understand, like eating popcorn at a theater?
      A little bit defensive, aren't you?

      I'm not a troll.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Yeah, those guys Akira and Tom Tom are super creepy man. STOP LOOKING AT ME! ;)

      December 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Akira

      Hi, Apple!
      How are you today?

      Amazing, isn't it, that I'm some weird lurker who has been following December around yapping at her ankles when all I've done was join the thread and say he sounds familiar?
      Bad Akira.
      Guess I'll go put on my hairshirt as penance.
      What an ego he has, LOL!

      December 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Akira,

      Remember: "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to gittcha!"

      December 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Hey Akira, I have been enjoying the "Akira Lurker Massacre" Hilarious!

      December 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Akira

      GOPer:
      Ah, love that phrase...not applicable in this case, but what the hell.
      I find it funny that out of all the people he's talked to today, he singles me out.
      That cracks me up.

      Apple:
      Oh, yeah, I was greatly offended by his words.
      Not.
      Fear me, for I am Akira, the popcorn-eating lurker! Bwa ha ha ha ha!

      December 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      "Akira" makes me think of the old anime movie of the same name I saw back in the 80s. Very interesting movie and a cult classic as well, I hear.
      Have you seen that movie, Akira?

      December 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  5. atrociATHEISTS

    "China, with 700 million, boasts the largest population of religious nones."

    NO SURPRISE...

    December 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Nuk E. Em'all

      "China, with 700 million, boasts the largest population of religious nones."

      Should Pres. Roosevelt had listened and done what Gen. Douglas McArthur said, this world is a better and safer

      December 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  6. Scranton Bob

    There are only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of Gd. There is no third possibility…a supernatural creative act of GD. I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in GD, therefore I choose to believe that which I know is scientifically impossible; spontaneous generation arising to Evolution. Dr George Wald, Nobel Laureate.

    *NB "I CHOOSE to believe that which i KNOW is scientifically IMPOSSIBLE: spontaneous generation. . . ."

    Don't tell me atheists don't have faith in the unknown, the unprovable, the unobserved, and the impossible!

    December 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Here is another possibility, enjoy my friend

      December 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Scranton Bob

      Didn't watch it. Sorry.

      Besides, you're not supposed to deal in "possibilities," just verifiable facts. Right? Lots of things are possible – like God, for example.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Scranton Bob

      You said, "Don't tell me atheists don't have faith in the unknown, the unprovable, the unobserved, and the impossible!"
      It may be time to leave the echo chamber.

      The quote that you attributed to Dr. George Wald, was never uttered by him. Lying is a sin, isn't it? I guess you'll get to spend eternity in hell. Have fun.
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part1-4.html

      December 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Bob, don't forget to collect a DNA sample of a person you assume he is your father, you're not supposed to deal in "possibilities," just verifiable facts. Right?

      December 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  7. lionlylamb

    The Conundrums of Cosmologies

    Our known universe dare we say lives within a cosmos of many universes not centrally located within a grand cosmos of unknowable extremities. We are physically speaking; megalithic structures of machined mechanical essences of biogenesis leavenings. Who's to say our portion of the night skies is nothing more than a celestial machine of such a grand scale there are tinctures of tinsel surrounding our Cosmetic tree of celestial machinery's makings?

    December 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      LL you are guessing wrong and .your computer also appears to be translating what ever it is you are trying to say into Shakespeare again.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Athy

      That babble is a far cry from Shakespeare.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:12 am |
  8. Colin

    The crux of any theist "God of the gaps" argument for the origins of the Universe always follows the same nauseating model.

    1. Accept everything science has told us until we reach the edge of knowledge – in this case, the origins of the Universe 13.72 billion years ago.
    2. Declare that, from that point forward, our gap in knowledge must be filled by a god.
    3. Declare that the particular god to be chosen is their god.

    December 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • niknak

      I think it goes beyond even that moronic ideology.
      They, the fundies, will keep on believing because they want it to be true so badly that it makes them forgo all science or facts that prove their myth to be false.
      They will never admit it as that would mean they have been fools their whole lives, and all their family were fools too.
      And they will do anything to keep their god alive, including using their vast collection of guns to kill.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Scranton Bob

      Not sure which Christians you are talking about. Could you mean Father George Lemaitre?

      December 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Scranton Bob

      Or how about Father Nicholas Copernicus? Or Fr George Coyne? Brother Guy Consolmagno?

      December 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • December

      I think the moronic ideology they are talking about is that of people like Martin Luther King, JR. and Nelson Mandela.

      Those guys were fools, hu niknak?

      What about Mother Teresa? Helping orphans in India. What a fool!

      December 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • December

      Mahatma Gandhi = non-violent civil disobedience for the rights of Muslims and Hindus = moronic ideology

      Right nicnak?

      December 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Akira

      December, you remind me of somebody...BurningMan, maybe?
      The first Chick-a-dee?
      I'll have to look.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • December

      > Akira

      I don't know them.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Akira

      December:
      Okay.
      You just sound very familiar.
      New to this blog?

      December 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • December

      Yesterday was my first day ever on here.

      What are you some kind of weird lurker who trolls religious message boards?

      December 19, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  9. Harkening of the Brown Note

    Something can come from nothing. No sky hostess needed.

    Google "matter can come from nothing."

    You can now stop claiming opinion as fact.

    As for creation... who said that the Universe had to be created? Given enough time, quite literally anything can happen. There are plenty of theories about the origins of the Universe. Given the evidence, approximately 13.7 Billion years ago everything we see was at a single point. That's a theory, based on the evidence we have. For all we know, the big bang could have been the result of a black hole that absorbed too much material to remain stable. There could have already existed billions of galaxies around it, and it exploded, throwing all of those out past the point of current visibility. The same thing could have happened 60 Billion light years away 46 billion years ago and we might start seeing galaxies colliding at the edge of the observable Universe at any time.

    Theories sometimes have rough beginnings, but in science we try to base them on as much evidence as possible. When we don't have the evidence, we dig for information to prove the theory true or false. If it's false, then that's welcomed in science because it means we get to learn more.

    We only have an idea of how old the observable Universe is. We don't know how old the void itself is. What we do know is that there are plenty of rocks floating around that have literally been around for billions of years unscathed and certainly independent of any faith-based restraints people believe they can impose upon them. At least evidence exists for rapid expansion.

    December 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Reality

      Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this chaotic, stochastic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-garies of its local star.

      o "In the 1930s, theoretical physicists, most notably Albert Einstein, considered the possibility of a cyclic model for the universe as an (everlasting) alternative to the model of an expanding universe. However, work by Richard C. Tolman in 1934 showed that these early attempts failed because of the entropy problem: according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy can only increase.[1] This implies that successive cycles grow longer and larger. Extrapolating back in time, cycles before the present one become shorter and smaller culminating again in a Big Bang and thus not replacing it. This puzzling situation remained for many decades until the early 21st century when the recently discovered dark energy component provided new hope for a consistent cyclic cosmology.[2] In 2011, a five-year survey of 200,000 galaxies and spanning 7 billion years of cosmic time confirmed that "dark energy is driving our universe apart at accelerating speeds."[3][4]

      One new cyclic model is a brane cosmology model of the creation of the universe, derived from the earlier ekpyrotic model. It was proposed in 2001 by Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University and Neil Turok of Cambridge University. The theory describes a universe exploding into existence not just once, but repeatedly over time.[5][6] The theory could potentially explain why a mysterious repulsive form of energy known as the "cosmological constant", and which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard Big Bang model."
      A different cyclic model relying on the notion of phantom energy was proposed in 2007 by Lauris Baum and Paul Frampton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[7]"

      December 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • No gods exist and this is a proven fact.

      Actually, you have missed the point of the physics and have gone straight into la la land.
      Quantum energy fluctuations can give rise to things like proton-antiproton pairs, so they are not coming from "nothing" but are a direct aspect of the energy flux. Energy and mass cannot be destroyed or removed from our continuum, nor can they be "created from nothing", but one can be converted into the other. Thus physics shows us a closed system where no outside forces are observed anywhere no matter how distant or close or "mental".
      Thus, there is no such thing as the "supernatural" and thus no god at all, period. These aspects of physics are literal proof that there is no god or gods existing in such a way that we would call them gods. No gods.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  10. Chad

    Hue -

    That is a bias I don't share (that for something to be believed by me, it must be observable)

    Since you and I both agree that there can be unobserved reality – I will leave it you with a line from a song:

    "What our senses fail to fathom, let us grasp through faith's concent."

    December 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  11. Religion is the cause of and non-solution to all problems

    There's a HUGE difference between "identifying with a religion" and being religious. I "identify" as being Catholic as I was raised in that faith. But I've long since distanced myself from the silly religion myths. They need to draft these study questions better.

    December 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Akira

      I agree.
      Just as they assume that 'none' = atheist, when in actuality it can mean that one believes in God, but belongs to no particular faith.

      December 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      This wasn't a study with researcher designed questions – it was a meta-analysis which drew largely on local census data and other sources. The methodology notes state "The measure of religious ident'ity in this study is sociological rather than theological."

      December 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  12. Eric G

    @Chad: "There is no evidence that something has ever come from nothing"

    As you are a supporter of logical conversation, please demonstrate "nothing". Your statement is illogical because you are making a statement of fact based on a unverified variable.

    2 minute penalty. Go to the box.

    December 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  13. Chad

    But further you must argue intelligently against scientists and philosophers to make your point – simply gainsaying or concluding, "I don't believe it" gives you no credibility

    December 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • No gods exist and this is a proven fact.

      The hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance in your post just made me spray coffee everywhere.
      You should be banned from the internet forever.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  14. December

    There is no evidence of intelligence design in Huebert.

    He just came into this world out of nowhere.

    Not even God can explain this.

    I provide all his comments in this comment section as evidence to my assertion.

    December 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Huebert

      lame

      December 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • SImran

      There may be a lot more things that God can't explain. Well, actually, he has not explained anything for the past several decades, bcoz nowadays, if any one claims to have visions, he gets anti-psychotics!

      December 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Akira

      Why?
      Because Huebert questions?
      Huebert is right.
      Lame.

      December 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • December

      > Why?
      > Because Huebert questions?

      No. I ask questions, too.

      I'm open minded to new ideas.

      That is how I learn.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Akira

      >>"There is no evidence of intelligence design in Huebert.

      He just came into this world out of nowhere.

      Not even God can explain this."

      December 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • December

      > Huebert said "We are not evidence of an intelligent designer."

      I responded, but mistakenly top posted:

      >"There is no evidence of intelligence design in Huebert.
      >He just came into this world out of nowhere.
      >Not even God can explain this."

      I was making a joke about a statement he made.

      My point is human beings are evidence of intelligent design.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Akira

      Sorry, I hit enter before I typed my response.

      >>"There is no evidence of intelligence design in Huebert.

      He just came into this world out of nowhere."

      He came from his parents.

      As for being open minded, both of you have your opinions; failure to see another POV is surely just as close-minded as what you are accusing Huebert of being.

      If someone asks a question, and that question is not satisfactorily answered, that makes the person asking close-minded?

      December 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Akira

      December:
      Okay.
      Carry on.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • December

      > As for being open minded, both of you have your opinions; failure to see another POV is surely just as close-minded as what you are accusing Huebert of being.

      > If someone asks a question, and that question is not satisfactorily answered, that makes the person asking close-minded?

      He was not just asking questions.

      He made statements like:

      "The creator of the sun and moon is gravity."
      I HAVE TO DISAGREE.

      "Do you really think gravity knows you exist?"
      NO.

      "Both gravity and matter have existed since the big bang so no god is needed to create either."
      I HAVE TO DISAGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT.

      "So while the big bang is "only a theory" there is no evidence that contradicts it."
      I HAVE TO DISAGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT.

      "Actually there are no good theories to support the Idea that the big bang was caused by a conscious ent.ity. "
      I HAVE TO DISAGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT.

      "I don't have a problem with faith, I have a problem with faith that is unsupported by evidence. "
      I DON'T BELIEVE THIS IS TRUE.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Akira

      So you disagee with each other.
      Okay.
      As I said before: CARRY ON.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Huebert

      December

      Why do you disagree? What about those positions is incorrect, or disagreeable to you?

      December 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • December

      Yea I disagree when somebody says:

      > I have a problem with faith that is unsupported by evidence.

      Because, by definition, that is not faith.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, I have to disagree with the statement "There is no evidence of intelligence design in Huebert.

      He just came into this world out of nowhere."

      I am sure Huebert's parents would disagree, also.

      Carry on.
      This is fascinating.
      I'm popping some corn.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • December

      >Akira
      I ignored your first clever remark about "parents" because I thought it was just a cute little joke you were making.

      I know he is a human being. And 2 human beings conceived him. I understand how that works.

      I don't really think he came from nothing. I was making a joke at his claim that *he is definitely not the product of intelligent design*.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      THis really is fascinating. Apparently, December thinks saying "I DON'T BELIEVE YOU" is somehow a refutation.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Akira

      Well, December, clearly our clever little jokes about Huebert's paternity fail.
      Just as clearly, it is useless to argue a belief in a God with a person who doesn't believe a God exists.
      Who is wrong and who is right?
      Both of you think you're right; rather makes the whole thing moot, doesn't it?

      December 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Huebert

      december

      True that is not the definition of faith. But, you tried to use that definition on the previous page in an attempt to say that I am a man of faith. A more accurate statement would be that I have a problem with BELIEFS that are unsupported by evidence.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Akira

      Hawaiiguest:
      And open-minded.
      As I said before, I'm popping pocorn.
      Kettle.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • December

      > Akira
      Nope, not for me. For God it is always worth it. I'm sure you have stuff like that in your life? What are you passionate about?

      > hawaiiguest
      Apparently you are wrong, because I didn't say that. That came from your mind.

      FAITH IS BELIEVING SOMEHTING WITHOUT EVIDENCE.

      We all have faith in all kinds of things. We believe all kinds of things without evidence.

      Hueberts insistence that everything I say have evidence is absurd. And not even he can live up to those standards. He just thinks he does.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Huebert

      Akira

      I wouldn't say it renders the discussion moot. I'm enjoying the discussion. I'm enjoying pointing out December's logical fallacies. Besides ultimately, one of us is right, God either exist or he doesn't, I enjoy showing December that there is no reason to believe that he does, even though he refuses to see reason.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Huebert

      December

      Please point out one belief I have that has no evidence to support it.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      ""I don't have a problem with faith, I have a problem with faith that is unsupported by evidence. "
      I DON'T BELIEVE THIS IS TRUE."

      You gave nothing else, no elaboration, not to mention the other points where all you said is "I HAVE TO DISAGREE". Completely useless and would have been better if you had not even responded. You have made yourself look foolish, and attempt to backtrack when called on it.
      Your insistence that everyone has faith in the context of religious faith is unfounded, unsupported, and is merely an attempt to avoid having religion singled out as unsupported.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • December

      >Hawaii
      He asked my what statements I had a problem with. I posted them.

      I THOUGHT IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT GRAVITY IS NOT THE CREATOR OF THE SUN AND MOON.
      So I said I disagree.
      Do I have to explain that to you?

      December 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Well considering that your disagreement is with established science and things that we can observe. Your disagreement is merely a statement without any backing at all.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Huebert

      December

      Please explain that. I want to see you refute the idea that gravity created the sun and the moon.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • December

      > Please explain that. I want to see you refute the idea that gravity created the sun and the moon.

      Ok, Huebert.

      I don't even know how one can belive *Gravity created the sun and the moon.*.

      What the heck does that mean?

      It may play have played a role in their creation. But it did not not create it.

      The sun and moon have gravity. But it did not create them.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      Do you really even understand what you're talking about? Do you even know what you're trying to disprove?

      December 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • December

      >>hawaiiguest

      >>> Well considering that your disagreement is with established science and things that we can observe. Your disagreement is merely a statement without any backing at all.

      Nope, that came from your mind.

      I don't disagree with established science and things we can observe.

      I was disagreeing with worship of the sun and moon, Huebert's notion that he rejects everything without evidence and my belief that God could have created the big bang.

      I use logic and reason everyday. I think of them as gifts from God for my survival.

      I like science. It helps me.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Huebert

      Gravity is the force that gathered the matter of the sun and the moon together. The pieces of the sun, hydrogen atoms, were formed in the big bang. The moon is made of denser stuff which was formed in the heart of a star, that then went super nova. So I guess you could argue that the moon was created by super nova and gravity, and that the sun was created by the big bang and gravity. But truly it was gravity that turned space dust into the sun and moon.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • December

      Howie
      > Do you really even understand what you're talking about? Do you even know what you're trying to disprove?

      You are trying to get me to prove the whole universe in a news website's message board. I can't do that.

      Huebert said "gravity created the sun and moon."

      You guys are so smart, so now it is your turn.

      Prove that *gravity* created the sun and moon.

      Just gravity.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • December

      Huebert

      Gravity is the force that gathered the matter of the sun and the moon together. The pieces of the sun, hydrogen atoms, were formed in the big bang. The moon is made of denser stuff which was formed in the heart of a star, that then went super nova. So I guess you could argue that the moon was created by super nova and gravity, and that the sun was created by the big bang and gravity. But truly it was gravity that turned space dust into the sun and moon.

      Yes!

      That is a little different than saying "gravity created the sun and the moon."

      The matter was formed, not by gravity, but by another power greater than gravity.

      Gravity is part of the creation, not the creator.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      LOL Worship of the sun and moon? You must have a gigantic ass to pull that ridiculous notion out of there.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Huebert

      I already admitted that the matter came from the big bang, gravity is a property of matter it cannot create matter. But gravity is the force that gathered all all the matter together, thus gravity is the force that created the sun and the moon. Like erosion is the force that created the grand canyon, and solar wind creates the northern lights.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • No gods exist and this is a proven fact.

      Some theories posit quarks condensing out as the universe first expanded. There is no solid basis for this but it is a popular part of those theories. We have yet to get a solid bit of math that covers that period in universe expansion.
      Quarks, acceleration / dimensional energy, as well as the vector-changing geodesic we call "gravity", along with everything else we can describe with physics, "created" everything we see in the universe.

      There is no design in any of it.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • December

      hawaiigues

      >> LOL Worship of the sun and moon? You must have a gigantic ass to pull that ridiculous notion out of there.

      Ok, you are not paying attention. Your statement is ingnorant and I'm going to give you evidence.

      This first post in this thread started on the subject about worship of the sun and moon. I didn't start it, I simply responded.

      You have been picking lines of text out of my postings and taking them out of context without looking at what I was truly responding to.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Akira

      Huebert:
      I am enjoying this discussion enormously.
      Especially about the term "open-minded", lol.
      As I said before to December, carry on.

      I'm learning a lot!

      December 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • December

      > Huebert

      > I already admitted that the matter came from the big bang, gravity is a property of matter it cannot create matter. But gravity is the force that gathered all all the matter together, thus gravity is the force that created the sun and the moon. Like erosion is the force that created the grand canyon, and solar wind creates the northern lights.

      Ok, now you are offering more than just your statement you asked me to disprove (that gravity created the sun and the moon).

      Without matter, is there gravity? I think gravity depends on matter to exist. Without it, what kind of power is that? Certainly not one that can create matter, that we have already agreed on.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • December

      How it started:
      --
      First post: .. in the future, you will see more of sun/moon god worshippers ;)

      Me: It makes more sense to me to worship the sun and moon's creator. At least He knows I exist.

      Huebert: The creator of the sun and moon is gravity. Do you really think gravity knows you exist?

      -----

      And then we discussed, and then...
      And then Hawaii jumped on me for speaking against established science and things that we can observe. Which I wasn't.

      And Akira accused me of attacking Hubert for asking questions, which I wasn't.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It's always funny to see two people using different definitions of the same word (namely create in this conversation), and one person really not realizing it. December, your definition of create is stemming from your religion, while Heuberts is more colloquial, do you really not see that? Gravity did create the sun and moon, through purely natural means and processes. That is the entire theory of star formation, gravity acting the way gravity does.
      You're taking the word create, and using it in a completely different way (probably as a guided and purposeful process).
      Btw, this particular thread started with you digging on Huebert, and the only mention of sun/moon worship being in the middle of this thread after you disagreed with how the sun and moon came about. If you wanted to reference an earlier conversation, then you should have linked to it.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • December

      hawaiiguest

      > It's always funny to see two people using different definitions of the same word (namely create in this conversation), and one person really not realizing it. December, your definition of create is stemming from your religion, while Heuberts is more colloquial, do you really not see that?

      **create: Bring (something) into existence. Cause (something) to happen as a result of one's actions.**

      Yes I know that. I was talking about the first definition. That was pretty clear to me from the start. I agreed gravity plays a role in the shaping of the sun and moon.

      > You're taking the word create, and using it in a completely different way (probably as a guided and purposeful process).

      create: Bring (something) into existence.

      > Btw, this particular thread started with you digging on Huebert, and the only mention of sun/moon worship being in the middle of this thread after you disagreed with how the sun and moon came about. If you wanted to reference an earlier conversation, then you should have linked to it.

      I mistakenly started a new post while trying to respond to another. Some of the discussion was in context in that. Sorry for my mistake. I didn't know I had to make links so you would understand me.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      Automatically assuming everyone will have read earlier conversations will cause these things to happen.
      Here's what I'm noticing. You have said you disagree with gravity being the reason the sun and the moon formed, and have not backed that up at all.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • December

      hawaiiguest

      @December

      > Automatically assuming everyone will have read earlier conversations will cause these things to happen.

      I can see how misundertanding can happen on a message board.

      > Here's what I'm noticing. You have said you disagree with gravity being the reason the sun and the moon formed, and have not backed that up at all.

      Yes. Saying gravity created the sun and moon in incomplete.

      I believe powers, like gravity, a big bang and many other factors created the sun and moon.

      Some people believe this same thing, but take God out of the equation.

      I don't hold a science degree. But I have studied some basic science.

      The earth revolves around this sun. At a distance that allows life to flourish on it.

      I don't believe that sun and moon exist because of gravity.

      There are more powers involved. There is an underlying power to gravity (God).

      Can there be gravity without matter?

      Did gravity come first or the matter?

      Maybe they were created at the same time?

      Pretty miraculous that all this just kind of happened.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      Sorry to say, but none of that gives any credence to the assetion that "god did it". We don't know what causes gravity, but that doesn't automatically mean "god".

      December 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • December

      hawaiiguest

      @December

      > Sorry to say, but none of that gives any credence to the assetion that "god did it". We don't know what causes gravity, but that doesn't automatically mean "god".

      It does not disprove it either.

      And I'm not trying to prove God created it.

      I was just asserting my opinion that saying "Gravity created the sun and moon." is incomplete and not accurate.

      I do believe God is the maker of the universe. And I don't have to prove that to you. I'm fine with it.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Akira

      December:
      What I said was:
      Why?
      Because Huebert asks questions?
      He's right.
      Lame.

      This was said in reference to your little ha-ha.
      How is that accusatory in any way, shape, or form?
      It isn't.

      December 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      The why even bother with stating your opinion? Why even bother saying anything at all? If you're happy and peppy with your assertions, and don't care about other opinions or what is demonstrable, then why bother telling someone they're wrong?

      December 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • December

      Hawaii

      I said God is the Creator, He knows I exist.

      Dude said gravity is the creator, and ASKED does gravity know I exist?

      And I answered.

      I stand up for what I believe in.

      You and Akira are so concerned about what I say and what I do.... let it go, dude.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      If you think you can make assertions and not be called out or questioned on them on the internet, then that's pretty naive. If you don't want to be questioned, go to your church where everyone already agrees with you.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • December

      Can you not see you are doing the same thing you accuse me of???

      December 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      LOL Oh please do tell. This ought to be fantastic.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Oh well to late I need to go.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Rational Humanist

      Regarding gravity
      -------
      Gravity is an effect, not a force.
      While this is a technically obscure point for me to make, it is essential in examining any question where gravity is a key aspect.
      At it's most basic, gravity is the "warping" of the geodesic aspects of the space-time continuum itself.
      And since the continuum is constantly expanding, it becomes "warped" wherever the expansion is reduced in the rate of expansion.
      This reduction in expansion is most easily seen with things we consider to have "mass", but according to the math, energy can also reduce the rate of expansion and cause "gravity", although the ratio is extremely small compared to what we see with "mass".
      The ratio should be extremely close to the speed of light squared, i.e. a ratio of approx. 34,701,244,319.29 to one, so finding a way of detecting this would be a milestone in physics although it shows up well enough in the math.

      So, to review: Gravity is the reduced expansion of space-time and not a force, but is an effect caused by whatever it is that reduces the space-time expansion in this way.

      I have some ideas about how it could be done, but that would be a quantum theory of gravity and there are too many possibilities at that level, so I won't bother speculating about that here.

      Cosmology is where religious questions go to die.
      There is no god and we have more than enough solid evidence that this is a reliable and rational conclusion.

      No matter what someone says as they move the goalposts to explaining where they think their god is hiding, there is no indication of any intrinsicly "purposed order" anywhere in this continuum whether in daily affairs or 14 billion years in the past.

      There is nothing to support even the slightest possibility that any god could even exist.
      But there are enough delusional and ignorant people around who have no time or inclination to truly examine the problem for me to feel like getting too worked up over it. But as to physics, I like to rein people in and set them straight if I can.

      December 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  15. Reality

    Only for the those interested in a religious update:
    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
    prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

    2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    earlychristianwritings.com/

    For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

    The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

    Current problems:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

    Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

    December 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      Once again, opinion presetned as fact.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • As If

      cranium,

      As if you have a single verified fact on your side of the argument?!

      December 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      I do not and I have stated as much regularly. Every person must decided for themselves. But I try to clearly define my opinion as opinion and don't try to package it as fact, something reality is constantly doing. I will freely admit I am not perfect in that effort, but I do try.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Reality

      Added details:

      AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD
      Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

      "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      For added information see the review at:

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel

      December 19, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • craniumthedumb

      And yet you once again are unable to prove or disprove the existence of angels. Your arguments fall flat. This is here-say and opinion, no more or less.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Reality

      And no one has shown that tinkerbells, jinn, satans, zeus et al exist but we still see them in our dreams. So dream on!!

      December 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  16. DRAM

    In the last days men will be ever learning but unable to come to a knowledge of the truth. Men will fill their heads with all kinds of theories but will not submit to the unchanging and solid truth found in God's Word. Why? Because men will be gods unto themselves. Humility is offensive, moral accountability is offensive, and dependence upon a creator is offensive to those who refuse to acknowledge the truth. There is a huge problem with humanity. We continuously do things that we know are wrong and we feel guilty for doing them. Obviously, we have missed the mark concerning a moral law. This dilemma cannot be fixed by ourselves because we lack the capacity to redeem our inherent depravity. We need a savior. Also, Athiests neglect to dig below surface level in their attempts to discredit God. This is evidenced by their flaunting a supposed intellectual superiority and their faulty idea that science is fundamentally opposed to religion. Christianity is verified by science and infact many scientific discoveries were predated by biblical accounts. Examples would be the world being round, subatomic particles, nuclear fusion, etc... Fact is, spirituality and Christian thought do indeed require serious study and thought. This is unfortunately widely unappreciated. Belief is not as much a condition of the intellect as it is a condition of the heart. Do you want to believe the truth? Nobody can come to the truth on their own, it is a gift from God. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to You. Either you will be liberated from worldly control / desires of your flesh, or you will endlessly change from one view to the next just chasing after the wind. The bible is authoritative because it has complete transformative power. The old things will pass away and everything will be redeemed. Never did Jesus say that being a disciple would be easy though. Infact, the most counter cultural people are Christian because they don't live for comfort; they live for Christ because of Christ.

    December 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      In the last days men will be ever learning but unable to come to a knowledge of the truth.

      We've been "in the last days" for 2000 years. Are we there yet?

      Men will fill their heads with all kinds of theories but will not submit to the unchanging and solid truth found in God's Word. Why? Because men will be gods unto themselves. Humility is offensive, moral accountability is offensive, and dependence upon a creator is offensive to those who refuse to acknowledge the truth.

      Personally, I find humility lacking in most who do claim to "acknowledge the truth". Likewise moral accountability in those who are "dependent upon a creator" or more specifically, on a savior.

      There is a huge problem with humanity.

      Yes, most notably that we pawn off the responsibility for our actions on some god, believe ourselves to be disgusting globs of sin unworthy of taking our next breath without bathing ourselves in the blood sacrifice of an innocent man...or other similarly disgusting teachings, when in fact we are amazing, glorious beings capable of vast acts of beauty and goodness.

      We continuously do things that we know are wrong and we feel guilty for doing them.

      Funny, I don't do this. If I feel guilty for doing something, I examine why, decide if what I have done is immoral and if it is, I do not do it again. I also do as I can to make amends. If you keep doing something you know is wrong and feel guilty for it, I submit that you do not actually believe it to be wrong and only feel guilt because society teaches you should. Or you imitate guilt because society teaches you that you should feel guilty.

      Otherwise, there is clearly a cognitive problem in your brain that can not relate the consequence (feeling guilty) to the action.

      Obviously, we have missed the mark concerning a moral law. This dilemma cannot be fixed by ourselves because we lack the capacity to redeem our inherent depravity. We need a savior.

      See my statement above. I have found since I walked away from Christianity I am a better person on a daily basis. I am not inherently depraved. I am not evil or sinful. Sometimes I struggle to do the right thing. I'm human. Overall though, I'm a pretty good person and I do the work to hold myself accountable to what I believe is right.

      Also, Athiests neglect to dig below surface level in their attempts to discredit God. This is evidenced by their flaunting a supposed intellectual superiority and their faulty idea that science is fundamentally opposed to religion.

      Most atheists don't attempt to discredit god. They just don't believe he exists. Pretty simple really. They do rely on intellect and science, on logic and proof. Most of them that I know don't really care about religion, as long as religion doesn't negatively impact their lives.

      Christianity is verified by science and infact many scientific discoveries were predated by biblical accounts. Examples would be the world being round, subatomic particles, nuclear fusion, etc...

      Right. Got proof?

      Fact is, spirituality and Christian thought do indeed require serious study and thought.

      I have studied Christianity for better than thirty years. Other religions and philosophies and spiritualities for more than twenty. Lots of serious study. Lots of thought. My conclusions are not the same as yours.

      This is unfortunately widely unappreciated. Belief is not as much a condition of the intellect as it is a condition of the heart. Do you want to believe the truth?

      Truth is not dependent upon belief. Belief is clearly not dependent upon truth. If it were, we would all believe the same things.

      Nobody can come to the truth on their own, it is a gift from God.

      If no one can come to truth on their own, truth can not be found. Period.

      Draw near to Him and He will draw near to You.

      Been there, tried that. Closer I got, the more truth I found, until I couldn't believe any more. The truth was too real.

      Either you will be liberated from worldly control / desires of your flesh, or you will endlessly change from one view to the next just chasing after the wind.

      My belief changes and grows as I do. It reflects what I know, what I've experienced, what I see, what I feel. If it did not change and grow with me, then it would be worthless, chaining me in the dark, holding me captive inside of a belief that did not reflect reality.

      The bible is authoritative because it has complete transformative power.

      The bible is authoritative to those who give it authority. It transforms only those who give it authority to.

      The old things will pass away and everything will be redeemed. Never did Jesus say that being a disciple would be easy though. Infact, the most counter cultural people are Christian because they don't live for comfort; they live for Christ because of Christ.

      Counter culture? Not comfortable? Have you any idea what you're even saying? Do you have any concept of the privilege Christians live in in this country? Try being Muslim or Pagan or Buddhist or Sikh in this country, and then come back and tell me how uncomfortable it is to be Christian.

      December 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  17. Chad

    "If there is a God, he's a great mathematician." ~Paul Dirac

    December 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  18. December

    > Huebert: Such as?

    Go look in the mirror.

    December 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Huebert

      We are not evidence of an intelligent designer.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • December

      > We are not evidence of an intelligent designer.

      Speak for yourself. I certainly am.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Harkening of the Brown Note

      December, incorrect. You opinion, while painfully overrated and self-absorbed, is merely an opinion and not factual in nature. You are merely evidence of successful procreation between two organisms and nothing more.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • December

      > Harkening of the Brown Note

      December, incorrect. You opinion, while painfully overrated and self-absorbed, is merely an opinion and not factual in nature. You are merely evidence of successful procreation between two organisms and nothing more.

      We all are products of intelligent design. I don't believe that makes me better than anyone else.

      I am more than just the product of my parents procreation.

      For me, there is more to life than merely that.

      There is a spiritual side to God's creation.

      I've had a spiritual awakening. Not of this world, but from God.

      Not to get all hipster on you, but if you don't know God you won't understand this.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @December

      Then that means your god plays favorites, and consigns people to hell because he doesn't feel like giving the same awakening or experience. Congrats, you are either highly self-important, or your god is a douche.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "hawaiiguest", but, although "December" is, in fact, highly self-important, it is also "December" that is, in fact, a "douche".

      December 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • ChadWatch

      There is strong evidence that Chad has sub-normal intelligence.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • ChadWatch

      There is strong evidence that Chad has sub-normal intelligence.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chadwatch,

      ah, but which Chad?

      December 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  19. December

    I was just surprised that guy could not see it as a possibility.

    I know it is possible that the big bang just happened. For no reason. For no cause. Not very plausible to me, but it could have happened.

    I choose to believe that our Heavenly Father created this world.

    And more will be revealed to us later...

    December 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Harkening of the Brown Note

      ...instead of revealing it to everyone in the beginning and remaining in the human visible spectrum for all to see and continue to see?

      "I have an idea! Let me create these living creatures and then for thousands of years, I'll hide so they can't find me. If they don't believe in me, I'll send them to burn in the fiery pits of the hellfire! This is going to be a fun game!" -Your deity.

      December 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • December

      I need to ask our lord and savior to forgive me. I just consumed a bottle of Dewars with 2 ice cubes in the glass. I am a drunk.

      December 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  20. December

    There is no reason to assume that the big bang was caused by a conscious ent.ity? NONE? There are some really good theories that contradict that opinion. I would hope you could see that it is possible.

    December 19, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Chad

      Did you know that the "father" of the Big Bang theory was a Catholic priest? Father Georges Lemaitre.

      December 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Eric G

      If they are "really good theories" they would be supported by verifiable evidence. Without verifiable supporting evidence, it is a weak hypothesis at best.

      Please present your supporting evidence for verifiacation.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Observer

      Matter+ Chance+Time could not have created the universe. Our entire cosmos has the imprints of intelligence and intelligence could not have come from nowhere there must have been a first cause and that first cause is GOD.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Huebert

      @ observer

      "Our entire cosmos has the imprints of intelligence and intelligence"

      Such as?

      December 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Chad

      @Huebert

      “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

      December 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Chad

      There is no reason to believe that.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Chad

      Feel free to gainsay all day. It doesn't make you right, or intelligent.

      the quote if from Newton

      December 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Chad

      “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.”

      - Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias, co-discoverer of the radiation afterglow

      December 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      You must provide evidence for your assertion to carry any weight. The fact that the quote was said by Newton means nothing, unless, of course, Newton provided supporting evidence.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Chad

      This is quite childish. If you've been trolling these sites long enough, or even went to 9th grade science class, you should know that the existence of God is not verifiable by scientific experiment. Nor is it possible to disprove God scientifically. There is evidence for a creator and there are rational arguments and deductions. There is also a seeming lack of evidence and rational arguments against the existence of God.

      December 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      A rational argument must be based upon evidence. All evidence points to consciousness requiring a material brain, of one kind or another, and electrical activity. There is no reason to assume that hyper-dimensional material or electricity, even exists, much less that said material has been organized into a functional enti.ty.

      December 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Chad

      There is no evidence that something has ever come from nothing

      December 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      And which definition of nothing are you using?

      December 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Huebert

      Rational arguments do not need to be based on evidence. Did you ever study logic? You can make all kinds of rational and logical arguments from totally made up premises.

      Less far fetched – I could tell you I don't feel well and you would have no evidence to back up my statement. My statement could be 100% true, but you have no evidence that it is. So, something can be true without it being observable. correct?

      December 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      Yes you can make up a rational argument based upon made up premises. But there is no reason for me to accept said premises.

      Yes, it could be true, but there would be no way, for me, to know for sure.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Chad

      So at least you admit there can be a truth or a reality that you do not preceive – or refuse to consent to because you cannot analyse it with your senses.

      I choose not to cut myself off from those possibilities. Indeed, I believe such reality to exist.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Huebert

      I don't cut my self off from anything, I accept that such things are possible, I just see no reason to believe that they are true. If evidence is ever put forward supporting hither to unobserved possibilities, I will change my belief about said possibilities.

      December 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @ Hue -

      That is a bias I don't share (that for something to be believed by me, it must be observable)

      Since you and I both agree that there can be unobserved reality – I will leave it you with a line from a song

      "What our senses fail to fathom, let us grasp through faith's concent."

      December 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Chad

      consent

      December 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Huebert

      Chad

      I prefer what our senses fail to fathom let us examine till we can understand, but until then withhold belief.

      December 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I agree with Huebert on that point. What can't be fathomed, or observed, or explained, should be set aside until there is an explanation. Any attempt to speculate by inventing a pretty story to explain the unexplained is just that - a pretty story.

      And if one needs to invent the truth, one should keep those quiet thoughts to oneself, and not insist that others believe as you do.

      December 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Scranton Bob

      Hey NJC – you wouldn't make a very good scientist either. "Well, I don't understand this. I'll just 'set it aside' until it becomes self-evident" to me. That's not how discovery works. That's not how philosophy works, nor theology. But that's how it works here on the CNN blog, I guess.

      Research and inquiry = parroting George Carlin, Chris Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins.

      December 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Scranton Bob. How does theology work Bob? Christian research = bible?

      December 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • ChadWatch

      There is evidence that Chad has sub-normal intelligence.

      December 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Ok, Scranton Bob, I'm not a scientist, so I'm not worried about your review of my scientific achievements. There are plenty of physicists out there however, who are working on these questions, and I put my trust in them because they arrive at conclusions using evidence.

      Christians arrive at conclusions using a single document, written by a group of men who made up a universe of gods and angels and devils, and heaven and hell. That's not evidence. That's storytelling.

      By the way, George Carlin, Chris Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are all far more brilliant and coherent thinkers than any preacher I've ever heard. If you think I'm parroting them, then that's a compliment.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:49 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.