By Eric Marrapodi and Miguel Marquez, CNN
Follow @EricCNNBelief Follow @miguelmarquez
Rio de Janeiro (CNN) – For the first time in the history of the Catholic Church, a Latin-American pope will touch down on his own continent on Monday.
Pope Francis, the 76-year-old Argentine, begins his first apostolic visit Monday in Brazil, home to the world’s largest Catholic population. The pope will be participating in World Youth Day, a weeklong celebration aimed at revitalizing young Catholics, and the church, here and around the world.
Organizers said 400,000 pilgrims from around the world had registered, though the crowds are expected to be much larger as people try to catch a glimpse of the pontiff known as the “people’s pope.” Many of the events with the pope will be open to the public and not just the pilgrims.
Francis arrives in Brazil at a touchy time. Social unrest has been brewing here in Rio and across the country for weeks. Protesters have rallied, sometimes violently, against a lack of government services and problems with public transportation and corruption.
The Rev. Marcio Queiroz, a World Youth Day spokesman in Brazil, said there are some security concerns but that the protesters also represent "a face of God."
World Youth Day organizers say the final tab for the trip could cost as much as 350 million reals ($156 million) with pilgrims picking up 70 percent of the tab. More than 20,000 jobs related to the event will be created, according to the organizers, who estimated that the festivities could add more than half a billion reals ($222 million in U.S. dollars) to Brazilian coffers.
A wide variety of protesters will try to use the pope’s visit to draw attention to their causes over the course of the week. A gay rights group is staging a kiss-in along the route where Francis is scheduled to drive through the city in an open-topped "popemobile."
The pope’s choice to use a popemobile without bulletproof glass has caused security concerns. Brazil’s Gen. Jose Abreu, who is overseeing the papal visit, said “the bulletproofing would lessen our worries.” But, he conceded, “it’s a personal choice and we’ll respect it, but it’s not remotely pleasant for security forces.”
The Brazilian government has deployed thousands of security forces to protect the pontiff.
WATCH: Brazil prepares for Pope Francis' arrival
The pope carried his own luggage as he boarded the papal plane in Rome bound for Rio De Janeiro.
Aboard the plane to Rio, the pope spoke briefly with reporters and did not take questions. "The global crisis has brought nothing good to young people. I saw the data on youth unemployed last week. We run the risk of having a generation without work," Francis said. He told reporters he hoped to engage in dialogue on the issue during his trip.
As the sun rose over Copacabana Beach on Monday, workers furiously hammered, sawed, and painted the main stage ahead of the pope’s arrival. The massive stage is being built 100 yards away from the crashing waves. Giant screens and speakers line the beach for more than a mile from the main stage.
“We've been fund-raising for a year now and it's just amazing. God's work has brought us here, and it's such an amazing feeling,” said Sarah Butler, a Catholic pilgrim from Austin, Texas.
On Tuesday the stage will play host to the welcoming Mass for pilgrims from around the world. The pope will greet the pilgrims Thursday on the beach.
World Youth Day takes place every two years and was planned long before the pope’s election in March. Shortly after his election, Francis confirmed he would be attending the event, and then added many stops to the papal agenda that had been prepared for his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.
While in Brazil, the pope will visit one of the world’s biggest shrines to the Virgin Mary, who is revered here; visit a hospital for recovering drug addicts; hear confessions from juvenile prisoners; and visit a slum known as a favela.
READ MORE: Singing priests revive Catholic Church in Brazil
Brazil is home to an estimated 123 million Catholics, but that population has dropped significantly in the last few decades. In the 1970s, census data showed the country was over 90% Catholic. In 2010 Catholics made up 65% of the population, as the numbers of evangelical Protestants and religiously unaffiliated Brazilians grew by large margins.
Datafolha, one of Brazil's leading research companies, put the percentage of Catholics in Brazil at 57% in a new survey on religious affiliation released on Sunday.
CNN's Barbara Arvanitidis and CNN contributor John Allen contributed to this report.
Quran says (Islamic Scripture)
“The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]
It does not befit God that He begets a son, be He glorified. To have anything done, He simply says to it, "Be," and it is. [19:35]
“No soul can carry the sins of another soul. If a soul that is loaded with sins implores another to bear part of its load, no other soul can carry any part of it, even if they were related. ... [35:18]
“They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]
they looked god squarely in the eye and decided they had to murder him. Y? he never done nothin to nobody
“Losers indeed are those who disbelieve in meeting God, until the Hour comes to them suddenly, then say, "We deeply regret wasting our lives in this world." They will carry loads of their sins on their backs; what a miserable load! [6:31]
Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to visit whyIslam org website.
What is this, the Roman Catholic Blog? Like who are they going to fool but themselves. IDOLATRY is not religion IDOLATRY is a SIN
This problem might be fixed through real democracy, that means direct democracy, it means people voting their own laws.
http://www.google.com/search?safe=off&site=&source=hp&ei=DnntUb62KIfY8gSctICoBA&q=DIRECT DEMOCRACY&oq=DIRECT DEMOCRACY
Prayer changes things
Idolatry is not religion people get with it! Idolatry is a SIN a very grave and serious SIN.
@Dee – if you want to convince us that Scientific Creationism is a plausible alternative, then YOU need to provide evidence or research for it. We have a plausible theory already, if you want to introduice a new one, BACK IT UP!
@M.A.P. I appreciate your point of view. However, I think you have missed my point completely. The Theory of Evolution is just that – a THEORY. It is NOT True Science, which is able to be proven and repeated. Nobody has ever been able to prove the Theory of the Evolution of Species, (also known as, Macro Evolution). Hence, it is actually more of a Belief System than True Science. At least Scientific Creationism honestly admits to being a Belief System that is based on True Science.
However, I will follow up with some recommended scientific studies and resources for you. I am a little busy with moving right now, so please be patient until I can get back to you.
"The Theory of Evolution is just that – a THEORY. It is NOT True Science, which is able to be proven and repeated"
In science, a theory is not a guess, not a hunch. It's a well-substantiated, well-supported, well-documented explanation for our observations.It ties together all the facts about something, providing an explanation that fits all the observations and can be used to make predictions. In science, theory is the ultimate goal, the explanation. It's as close to proven as anything in science can be.
"a THEORY. It is NOT True Science"
"Evolution has never been observed."
Biologists define evolution as a change in the gene pool of a population over time. One example is insects developing a resistance to pesticides over the period of a few years. Even most Creationists recognize that evolution at this level is a fact. What they don't appreciate is that this rate of evolution is all that is required to produce the diversity of all living things from a common ancestor.
The origin of new species by evolution has also been observed, both in the laboratory and in the wild. See, for example, (Weinberg, J.R., V.R. Starczak, and D. Jorg, 1992, "Evidence for rapid speciation following a founder event in the laboratory." Evolution 46: 1214-1220). The "Observed Instances of Speciation" FAQ in the talk.origins archives gives several additional examples.
Even without these direct observations, it would be wrong to say that evolution hasn't been observed. Evidence isn't limited to seeing something happen before your eyes. Evolution makes predictions about what we would expect to see in the fossil record, comparative anatomy, genetic sequences, geographical distribution of species, etc., and these predictions have been verified many times over. The number of observations supporting evolution is overwhelming.
What hasn't been observed is one animal abruptly changing into a radically different one, such as a frog changing into a cow. This is not a problem for evolution because evolution doesn't propose occurrences even remotely like that. In fact, if we ever observed a frog turn into a cow, it would be very strong evidence against evolution.
"Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics."
This shows more a misconception about thermodynamics than about evolution. The second law of thermodynamics says, "No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body." [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, "The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease." Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness. Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder.
However, they neglect the fact that life is not a closed system. The sun provides more than enough energy to drive things. If a mature tomato plant can have more usable energy than the seed it grew from, why should anyone expect that the next generation of tomatoes can't have more usable energy still? Creationists sometimes try to get around this by claiming that the information carried by living things lets them create order. However, not only is life irrelevant to the 2nd law, but order from disorder is common in nonliving systems, too. Snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightning are just a few examples of order coming from disorder in nature; none require an intelligent program to achieve that order. In any nontrivial system with lots of energy flowing through it, you are almost certain to find order arising somewhere in the system. If order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it ubiquitous in nature?
The thermodynamics argument against evolution displays a misconception about evolution as well as about thermodynamics, since a clear understanding of how evolution works should reveal major flaws in the argument. Evolution says that organisms reproduce with only small changes between generations (after their own kind, so to speak). For example, animals might have appendages which are longer or shorter, thicker or flatter, lighter or darker than their parents. Occasionally, a change might be on the order of having four or six fingers instead of five. Once the differences appear, the theory of evolution calls for differential reproductive success. For example, maybe the animals with longer appendages survive to have more offspring than short-appendaged ones. All of these processes can be observed today. They obviously don't violate any physical laws.
"There are no transitional fossils."
A transitional fossil is one that looks like it's from an organism intermediate between two lineages, meaning it has some characteristics of lineage A, some characteristics of lineage B, and probably some characteristics part way between the two. Transitional fossils can occur between groups of any taxonomic level, such as between species, between orders, etc. Ideally, the transitional fossil should be found stratigraphically between the first occurrence of the ancestral lineage and the first occurrence of the descendent lineage, but evolution also predicts the occurrence of some fossils with transitional morphology that occur after both lineages. There's nothing in the theory of evolution which says an intermediate form (or any organism, for that matter) can have only one line of descendents, or that the intermediate form itself has to go extinct when a line of descendents evolves.
To say there are no transitional fossils is simply false. Paleontology has progressed a bit since Origin of Species was published, uncovering thousands of transitional fossils, by both the temporally restrictive and the less restrictive definitions. The fossil record is still spotty and always will be; erosion and the rarity of conditions favorable to fossilization make that inevitable. Also, transitions may occur in a small population, in a small area, and/or in a relatively short amount of time; when any of these conditions hold, the chances of finding the transitional fossils goes down. Still, there are still many instances where excellent sequences of transitional fossils exist. Some notable examples are the transitions from reptile to mammal, from land animal to early whale, and from early ape to human
The misconception about the lack of transitional fossils is perpetuated in part by a common way of thinking about categories. When people think about a category like "dog" or "ant," they often subconsciously believe that there is a well-defined boundary around the category, or that there is some eternal ideal form (for philosophers, the Platonic idea) which defines the category. This kind of thinking leads people to declare that Archaeopteryx is "100% bird," when it is clearly a mix of bird and reptile features (with more reptile than bird features, in fact). In truth, categories are man-made and artificial. Nature is not constrained to follow them, and it doesn't.
Some Creationists claim that the hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium was proposed (by Eldredge and Gould) to explain gaps in the fossil record. Actually, it was proposed to explain the relative rarity of transitional forms, not their total absence, and to explain why speciation appears to happen relatively quickly in some cases, gradually in others, and not at all during some periods for some species. In no way does it deny that transitional sequences exist. In fact, both Gould and Eldredge are outspoken opponents of Creationism.
"But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life's physical genealogy." – Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, May 1994
"The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds, by random chance."
There is probably no other statement which is a better indication that the arguer doesn't understand evolution. Chance certainly plays a large part in evolution, but this argument completely ignores the fundamental role of natural selection, and selection is the very opposite of chance. Chance, in the form of mutations, provides genetic variation, which is the raw material that natural selection has to work with. From there, natural selection sorts out certain variations. Those variations which give greater reproductive success to their possessors (and chance ensures that such beneficial mutations will be inevitable) are retained, and less successful variations are weeded out. When the environment changes, or when organisms move to a different environment, different variations are selected, leading eventually to different species. Harmful mutations usually die out quickly, so they don't interfere with the process of beneficial mutations accumulating.
Nor is abiogenesis (the origin of the first life) due purely to chance. Atoms and molecules arrange themselves not purely randomly, but according to their chemical properties. In the case of carbon atoms especially, this means complex molecules are sure to form spontaneously, and these complex molecules can influence each other to create even more complex molecules. Once a molecule forms that is approximately self-replicating, natural selection will guide the formation of ever more efficient replicators. The first self-replicating object didn't need to be as complex as a modern cell or even a strand of DNA. Some self-replicating molecules are not really all that complex (as organic molecules go).
Some people still argue that it is wildly improbable for a given self-replicating molecule to form at a given point (although they usually don't state the "givens," but leave them implicit in their calculations). This is true, but there were oceans of molecules working on the problem, and no one knows how many possible self-replicating molecules could have served as the first one. A calculation of the odds of abiogenesis is worthless unless it recognizes the immense range of starting materials that the first replicator might have formed from, the probably innumerable different forms that the first replicator might have taken, and the fact that much of the construction of the replicating molecule would have been non-random to start with.
(One should also note that the theory of evolution doesn't depend on how the first life began. The truth or falsity of any theory of abiogenesis wouldn't affect evolution in the least.)
"Evolution is only a theory; it hasn't been proved."
First, we should clarify what "evolution" means. Like so many other words, it has more than one meaning. Its strict biological definition is "a change in allele frequencies over time." By that definition, evolution is an indisputable fact. Most people seem to associate the word "evolution" mainly with common descent, the theory that all life arose from one common ancestor. Many people believe that there is enough evidence to call this a fact, too. However, common descent is still not the theory of evolution, but just a fraction of it (and a part of several quite different theories as well). The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms, like mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift, which go a long way towards explaining how life evolved.
Calling the theory of evolution "only a theory" is, strictly speaking, true, but the idea it tries to convey is completely wrong. The argument rests on a confusion between what "theory" means in informal usage and in a scientific context. A theory, in the scientific sense, is "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena" [Random House American College Dictionary]. The term does not imply tentativeness or lack of certainty. Generally speaking, scientific theories differ from scientific laws only in that laws can be expressed more tersely. Being a theory implies self-consistency, agreement with observations, and usefulness. (Creationism fails to be a theory mainly because of the last point; it makes few or no specific claims about what we would expect to find, so it can't be used for anything. When it does make falsifiable predictions, they prove to be false.)
Lack of proof isn't a weakness, either. On the contrary, claiming infallibility for one's conclusions is a sign of hubris. Nothing in the real world has ever been rigorously proved, or ever will be. Proof, in the mathematical sense, is possible only if you have the luxury of defining the universe you're operating in. In the real world, we must deal with levels of certainty based on observed evidence. The more and better evidence we have for something, the more certainty we assign to it; when there is enough evidence, we label the something a fact, even though it still isn't 100% certain.
What evolution has is what any good scientific claim has–evidence, and lots of it. Evolution is supported by a wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and others. If you wish to challenge the theory of evolution, you must address that evidence. You must show that the evidence is either wrong or irrelevant or that it fits another theory better. Of course, to do this, you must know both the theory and the evidence.
A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis."
There are 5 laws in the Theory of Evolution.
1) Evolution as such.
This is the understanding that the world is not constant, nor recently created, nor cycling, but is changing; and that the types of enti.ties that live on it also change.
2) Common descent
This is the understanding that every group of living enti.ties that we know of on this planet descended from a common ancestor.
3) Multiplication of species
This is the understanding that species either split into or bud off other species, often through the geographical isolation of a founder species.
This is the understanding that changes take place through the gradual change of population rather than the sudden production of new individuals.
5) Natural selection
This is the understanding that individuals in every generation are different from one another, or, at least some of them are. In every generation some individuals survive and reproduce better than others. Their genes multiply.
Then it should follow that
Theology...the study of thought and religions is just a theory hence "all religion" is just a theory.
Religion also suffers from not being verifiable or repeatable.....excepts when pastors repeat themselves from the pulpit....over and over again.
There is no such thing as scientific creationism.
Creationism is a hypothesis, not even a theory since there is 100% lack of any kind of evidence to base a theory on.
Scientific and creationism are on two opposing ends. The only time they should be in the same sentance is this; " Creationism is not scientific in the least.:
A theory IS science. Gravity is a theory as well.
You need to pick up a dictionary and learn the difference between the casual meaning of 'theory' in conversation (a rough guess), and the meaning of theory in science (the best explanation for a set of facts, that fits all known facts, makes predictions that are true, and has been reviewed and challenged and remains the most consistent explanation of all known facts).
Evolution is fact.
Even the Catholic church accepts that!
There is an ever growing mountain of evidence from different branches of science accu.mulated over more than a hundred years that verify evolution.
Creationists have yet to advance a single shred of evidence to support their assertions.
As a matter of fact, the leading rabble rousers in the Creationist world – The Center for Science and Culture (sponsored by the Discovery Inst.itute) openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what they think is fact. An internal doc.ument leaked in 1999 described the Discovery group's objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.
I don't know anything about the organization to which you refer. And I do agree that evolution is (and should be) accepted fact, to the best of our current knowledge (even our state of knowledge evolves!). As for creation, I fail to see how it is inconsistent with evolution. Look, everything is contingent ... everything depends on something else. For example, you require air, water, food, and parents. Your existence is contingent on those things. And those things are contingent on other things. So ultimately, the question comes: what was the first thing? We can't infinitely refer back to previous contingent things or you're just kicking the can down the road. What is the non-contingent start of everything? What created time, space, and matter? Catholics call that God. Now, of course, once things got rolling, evolution appears to be one mechanism that has allowed sentient beings to adapt and survive. And that's not inconsistent at all with the notion of God. But stop trying to find God via the scientific method. The scientific method is a means to describe and quantify physical things/processes within our universe. But God, who created space and time itself, must exist outside of the universe. To get AT God, you're going to have to take another tack – namely a philosophical one rather than a scientific one.
"The scientific method is a means to describe and quantify physical things/processes within our universe. But God, who created space and time itself, must exist outside of the universe. To get AT God, you're going to have to take another tack – namely a philosophical one rather than a scientific one."
The problem with your really lame argument is that you have to prove your god exists first in order to make that statement true and you can't. That's been the problem with all the thousands of gods man has come up with, none of them are real and have never been proven to be real. If you can do it you would be the first but of course you won't be able too.
Science is not concerned with proving God's existence.
Meteorology didn't come about as an exercise in disproving the existence of Thor.
The scientific method is what to describe the natural processes that previously were thought to be supernatural.
By the way, "Micro" Evolution or small changes that favor adaptability are not inconsistent with Biblical Beliefs at all. But as for "Macro" Evolution which ASSUMES that one species can change into another species has NEVER been scientifically proven, or even come close to it. In fact, it makes Darwin into some kind of god, which he certainly was not if you ever actually studied him. For those of you who blindly follow Evolutionary Theory, you are the ones who should show a little intelligence and try researching Scientific Creationism, which is much more credible.
Praise be to God, Our Father and Creator!
Please point to a single scholarly paper on scientific creationism published in a reputable scientific journal that successfully concludes with "some god did it."
I said YOU should take the time to research Scientific Creationism. If you can't be bothered, please don't ask me to do it for you.
He said scholarly and scientifically reputable. Scientific Creationism is neither.
Sorry, I though that scientific creationism was some kind of publication due to your unnecessary capitalization (seriously, what is it with the religious and random capitalization?). Looking for credible academic material on creationism is like looking for academic material detailing how the sky is god's carpet.
There is no such thing as scientific creationism.
Creationism has nothing to do with science.
Lets dispense with the creationism argument ... this is really an argument about the existence of God (God being the necessary precursor for any "creationist" event). Your insistence in having scientific proof (of creation and, hence) of a God/Creator fundamentally misses the point. God isn't "one of many beings in the universe". If He does exist, He must exist outside of space and time (which He is purported to have created). As Aquinas said, He is not a highest being ... but "ipsum esse subsistens", the very act of being itself. Hence, He is not a physical thing that can be poked and prodded via the scientific method like some kind of lab rat. You won't ever get scientific proof because science can't adjudicate problems that lie fundamentally outside of its purview. The good news is that there are other kinds of knowledge beyond scientific knowledge ... and there are long philosophical tracts dealing with the existence of God (both pro and con). That's where you should spend your time, not simply demanding experimental evidence that – in a very fundamental way – cannot exist.
Everything is within science's purview and who are you to say otherwise?
Really? Everything is within the purview of science? Did Homer, Ovid, Shakespeare, Twain, Joyce, etc. contribute any knowledge/value to the human experience? I would argue "yes". Can I prove it scientifically? No. And even on the atheist side, what about Nietzsche, Feuerbach, Camus, Satre? Did they contribute substantively to our "world of ideas"? Absolutely (though I disagree with those ideas). Can I prove those ideas (or their value) scientifically? No. Your worldview, where science is the ultimate and only arbiter of all things, is altogether too restrictive. Scientific knowledge, as powerful as it is, isn't the only game in town.
Just because you can't prove something now doesn't mean it can never be proven. You're the one who's being restrictive by trying to impose limitations on what science can discover.
Macro evolution is micro evolution over many millions of years.
Religious cretins are so full of shit.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.