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Billboard wars: Creationists vs. atheists
October 9th, 2013
02:27 PM ET

Creationists taunt atheists in latest billboard war

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– A new video billboard in New York's Times Square has a message from creationists, "To all of our atheist friends: Thank God you're wrong."

The video advertisement at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan is one of several billboards going up this week in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, paid for by Answers in Genesis.

Answers in Genesis is best known as the multimillion-dollar Christian ministry behind the Creation Museum outside Cincinnati.

The museum presents the case for Young Earth creationism, following what it says is a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, which says the Earth was created by God in six days less than 10,000 years ago.

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, said the idea for the advertisements came from an atheist billboard in Times Square at Christmas.

During the holidays, the American Atheists put up a billboard with images of Santa Claus and Jesus that read: "Keep the Merry, dump the myth."

“The Bible says to contend for the faith,” Ham said. “We thought we should come up with something that would make a statement in the culture, a bold statement, and direct them to our website.

"We're not against them personally. We're not trying to attack them personally, but we do believe they're wrong," he said.

"From an atheist's perspective, they believe when they die, they cease to exist. And we say 'no, you're not going to cease to exist; you're going to spend eternity with God or without God. And if you're an atheist, you're going to be spending it without God.' "

Dave Silverman, president of the American Atheists, said he felt sad for creationists when he saw the billboards.

"They refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none," Silverman said. "They might as well be saying, 'Thank Zeus you're wrong' or 'Thank Thor you're wrong.' "

Silverman said he welcomed another competitor to marketplace, noting that after atheists bought a billboard two years ago in Times Square that read "You KNOW it's a myth," the Catholic League purchased competing space at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel for a sign that read "You KNOW it's true."

"I would suggest, if they're actually trying to attract atheists, they should talk about proof and reason to believe in their god, not just some pithy play on words," Silverman said.

Ham says part of the goal of the campaign is to draw people to the website for Answers in Genesis, where he offers a lengthy post on his beliefs for the proof of God.

Ham insists that this campaign is in keeping with their overall mission. "We're a biblical authority ministry. We're really on about the Bible and the Gospel. Now, we do have a specialty in the area of the creation account and Genesis because that's where we say God's word has come under attack."

Ham said Answers in Genesis made the decision to split its marketing budget for the ministry between a regional campaign for the museum and this billboard campaign, rather than a national campaign.

IRS filings for the ministry in recent years have shown a yearly operating budget of more than $25 million. Ham said the marketing budget is about 2% of that, about $500,000 a year. Though they are waiting for all the bills to come due for this campaign, he said he expected it to cost between $150,000 and $200,000.

Silverman noted that his billboards were not video and cost approximately $25,000 last year.  He said another campaign was in the works for this year.

"They're throwing down the gauntlet, and we're picking it up," Silverman said, adding that his group would "slap them in the face" with it.

Ham said that despite criticism from other Christians for being negative and the usual criticisms from secularists he received on his social media accounts, the advertisements have been a success.

"We wanted people talking about them, and we wanted discussion about this. We wanted people thinking about God," Ham said.

The Creation Museum and the theory of Young Earth creationism are widely reviled by the broader science community.

In a YouTube video posted last year titled "Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children," Bill Nye the Science Guy slammed creationism, imploring parents not to teach it to their children. "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future," he said. "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems."

The museum responded with its own video. 

For the past 30 years, Gallup Inc. has been tracking American opinions about creationism.

In June 2012, Gallup's latest findings showed that 46% of Americans believed in creationism, 32% believed in evolution guided by God, and 15% believed in atheistic evolution.

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

The Creation Museum said it recently welcomed its 2 millionth visitor since its opening in 2007.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Creationism • New York • Science

soundoff (8,748 Responses)
  1. sam stone

    booty4brains
    from said god
    If God was powerful enough to create the universe, don't you think he'd have a more foolproof way of getting his exact message across to future generations than this endlessly translated, edited, confused, modified, twisted, corrupted book of stories that is changed by religious power brokers to suit each generation? NAH
    Wouldn't god's word be carved on the moon, unchangeable and for all to see? Wouldn't it be spoken unchanged by a species of animal? Wouldn't it be written microscopically on every stone or every tree? Wouldn't there be some space age material that had god's voice recorded, uncorrupted over the centuries and there for everyone to hear. NAH
    point being, stanks, agreed, so, from said god

    u r going to hell

    October 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Jer_DC

      Sam: "If God was powerful enough to create the universe, don't you think he'd have a more foolproof way of getting his exact message across"

      Hence the billboard.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  2. Kwame Addo

    I am not sure if the approach to contend non believers is the right way, seems a bit too aggresive; hopefully i can get an atheist or non believer to answer this, LOGIC AND LOGIC seems to be a fundamental ideology contrasting the existence of God. My question is during the inception of the brightest idea, LOGIC, Wisdom, enlightenment, or whatever other close synonyms there are, do you actually mould, create, conjour these ideas or do they just pop out of no where, where by the only effort you made was orient your mind towards that specific subject? YOU DO NOT AND CAN NEVER CREATE AN IDEA FROM ATOMIC LEVEL, Its a sign of Devine Knowledge, existence of a Superior being, who just hands you your brightest idea, as well as an inferior influencer who makes you believe in atheism.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I am impressed by the existence of order in an apparent reality underlying the Universe. Will this get me to a justified belief in God by any argument you know?

      October 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
      • sam stone

        who cares?

        October 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Observer

      Kwame Addo,

      Remember, God inflicted the greatest punishment ever on a woman who listened to a talking serpent because she was in search of KNOWLEDGE.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • aldewacs2

      People don't "believe in atheism".
      They just see no reason (proof) to believe that any gods exist.
      Difference too subtle for you?

      October 10, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  3. NorWoodRCC_K

    Hrmph!

    October 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I am 17 years old.
    1. I am in the top 10% of my class
    2. I finished ALL my high school mathematics courses in Junior Year (I stopped at Calculus BC)
    3. I will study Computer Science/ Computer Engineering in college
    4. I used to be an athiest
    5. Four years ago I became a Christian

    Atheistic beliefs are based in faith just as much as my relationship with God is. Having faith in an observable reality is just as questionable as having faith in a God that I know in my heart exists. Please email me: indigogroupambassedor@gmail.com if you want to talk to be about the faith and why I turned to God and how rationality and logic don't deny Christianity's revelations to humanity. It is insulting to my intelligence to insinuate that I do not thin for myself and haven't been educated. God bless.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Anonymous

      think*

      October 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I would recommend faith in an observable reality. It has clear utility. What you see and believe and do about a falling rock can save you. What you hope for and believe regarding an invisible being that doesn't interact with the observable world will not save you.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
      • Anonymous

        Believing in an observable reality has much utility (not arguing with that). But believing in God has utility also. The only reason you see it this way is because you have not benefited from God by asking Him for something. You can't evaluate utility if you refuse to utilize a new frame of reference. For example: There are many people who have been saved from suicide by God. That has just as much utility as dodging a falling rock.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          "There are many people who have been saved from suicide by God."
          Yet, there is not even a single case of amputee being healed by god.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
        • Ironicus

          No one has ever been saved by your fake "god" because it never existed in the first place.
          No, don't even try to give me that crap. All that happened was delusional people changed their minds. Nothing more.
          There are no gods! I don't care if you've discovered your ass with both hands, you are clearly delusional.
          Simply taking math classes is not going to suddenly make you an atheist or give you the ability to know when you're being lied to or help you think for yourself
          YES – YOU ARE NOT THINKING FOR YOURSELF YOU IDIOT.
          You are brainwashed. You have been given false data.
          False data = false results. It doesn't matter how smart you are – it matters how skeptical you are, otherwise you're just another gullible fool.
          You obviously have not checked your "facts" since they are nothing but LIES.
          If you believe everything everyone says to you, you are stupid. Sincere people can believe and pass along LIES very easily.
          I bet your parents are sincere in their religion, right? Sincerity is not a measure of truth.
          Popular beliefs are not true simply because more people believe the lies.
          Lies are lies. Facts are facts.
          You have no facts to support your delusional beliefs.
          Facts always have proof because they are REAL and TRUE.
          Lies never NEVER have proof nor can they. Lies are ALWAYS impossible to prove.
          Neither does dying for a lie make the lie suddenly change into truth. Lies are always lies.
          Do you have proof of your "god"?
          Of course not. No religion has any proof. ALL of them are LIES.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:31 am |
        • Beowulf

          I'm a believer. I don't need any proof.

          October 10, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • AE

      I've learned their is a difference between knowing about Jesus... and knowing Jesus. You said it: relationship. I think we have a God of relationship. Peace be with you.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
      • AE

        there! (yikes – English student here)

        October 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Over It

      Anonymous,

      Yeah, I was a believer too when I was 17... and for quite a few years after that. After many years of listening, discussing, reading, thinking and yes, even praying, I finally had to admit that there is no-one up/out/around/down there. Best wishes to you.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I am sure you are very intelligent, but when you make the statement "Atheistic beliefs are based in faith just as much as my relationship with God is" you are mistaken. Atheism is a lack of belief in god(s)...that is it.

      Oh I was raised and educated in Christianity, I am no longer because Christianity is morally bankrupt. Rewarding and punishing based on belief is immoral.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • The Truthbwna2323@yahoo.com

      You can't be too stupid to find God, but you can be too smart. That is where the phrase "Too smart for you on good" comes from.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        So according to you god gave us brains, but would rather we not use them.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
        • The Truthbwna2323@yahoo.com

          No, sir. I'm saying it is simple and available to all.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          But if I examine the belief and the dogma and it just doesn't make sense do I deserve to be punished for my unbelief?

          October 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
        • The Truthbwna2323@yahoo.com

          No sir. I don't have a vengeful God. Do your best and do what works for you. I'm trying to make the point that we often over analyze a simple thing.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:00 am |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          I am glad you do not believe in a vengeful god, but if your god doesn't care if people believe in him what is the point? The reason why I am asking is your statement that , "that is where the phrase"Too smart for you on good" comes from." does not jive with you saying you believe in a non vengeful god.

          October 10, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • Mat

      Anthony Flew was THE atheist in the 70's, (like Dawkins is today). He changed his mind and believed God created the World. He's no dummy.

      October 10, 2013 at 7:22 am |
  5. TYSTYUTYUTYHUHUHUUTYU234234

    ESCUSES AN AGENCY DAMAGE THE HEARTH OF ONE TO MANAGER OF OUR GROUP.

    WEB MASTER CAN YOU LEAVE THIS COMMENT FOR US?.

    PGIORG.

    VENEZUELA.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
  6. jrell121

    the absurdity of atheists is this:

    When they gain the insight on how things work/worked they then say; "this explains that... then there is no God."

    the truth is...; "they are just coming to see how GOD actually did it!"

    Genesis said: God said; "let there be ... and it was so.:" ... the whole creation in one chapter...

    not: the fundamental particles coming to interact with other particles ... 101 etc.

    it took you life-times and generations to understand nature. you can't even master your physics book that you still look back to it an reference to your thesis in four years.

    the bible only has a few pages to explain everything... and YOU"RE NOT READING IT!!! Don't just rely on mere interpretations of "Bible Scolars". They're just adding more to the confusion.

    1. earth merely 10,000 yrs old? that nowhere mentioned in the bible.
    2. creation taking only 6 EARTH-DAYS? completely out of the Bible's context.

    it turns out-you're JUDGING SOMETHING YOU DOESN'T FULLY UNDERSTAND.
    AND THAT is WAY OUT OF THE STANDARDS OF A SCIENTIFIC STUDY.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • NorWoodRCC_K

      All atheists ever say: "Evolution did it". "Evolution did it". "Evolution did it". "Evolution did it" Just say you don't know.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
      • Pseudotriton

        Depends on what the question is. If you ask: "How did the first life come into existence on earth?", we can speculate, but there's no concrete answer for that with our current knowledge.

        But if the question is: "How did humans come to existence from the earlier form of mammals?", all the fossil and molecular evidence are pretty solid in suggesting our evolutionary process.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • Fourest Gimp

        Evolution only describes how living organisms change over time; it says nothing about the creation of the universe, or how / when life began, for that matter. It doesn't even attempt to explain weather or the moon or why the least intelligent are the must sure of what they believe.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Sara

      'then say; "this explains that... then there is no God."'

      Most of my acquaintances are atheists and I have never met one who said that. You might want to get out and meet some real people to argue with rather than inventing them.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Until people began talking up God, we'd no reason to think of God at all. When we do figure out how a thing seems to work, there don't seem to be any traces of God around. When we investigate claims about God – same thing. What would anyone sane conclude?

      October 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Wow. You are really messed up in the head. You will never have proof of your "god" because it has NEVER EXISTED YOU FCUKING IDIOT.
      You think your rabid, batshit god exists? Too bad for you, then. The rest of us don't have that problem.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • SCIENCEBRO

      "You doesn't". Classic.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Anonymous

      *Applause*

      October 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Fourest Gimp

      Hmmm...so, you're an authority on the "standards of a scientific study", even though you have only a rudimentary grasp on grammar and sentence structure?

      October 9, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • Maxwell's Demon

      Wow. Thank you for telling me what I have and have not done. I would never have known if a complete stranger who knows nothing about my life hadn't told me.

      October 10, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Anders

      Again, you cannot reason with religious people. They suffer from a complete lack of reasoning and critical thinking but know that they are right in their version of worship. The narrow-mindedness is really beyond my understanding. But all religion teach "faith" early in the indoctrination. Which is of course the acceptance of any and all information without question as long as its from "inspired Church leaders".

      October 10, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  7. atomD21

    II am so sick of people continuing to use the Bible as a science book. The creation narrative in Genesis is not an account of how everything happened, but a poetic way to explain it to a tribe of people less intelligent than the cast of honey Boo Boo. They had no understanding of the world and universe at large and so had to, just like all early tribes, come up with an answer to the question of how we all got here. I believe in God and follow the example of Jesus, but am not so ignorant to the scientific community as to believe that the several thousand year old story of things still holds up in the face of ever increasing evidence and observation to the contrary. This smugness this group has is disgusting and not at all what needs to be happening. While they waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising, countless children are suffering and dying because they can't even get clean water. But, hey, they're protecting the faith. I'm sure Jesus is proud.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
  8. amy

    "atheistic evolution" - what the hell does that even mean? a biological process that rejects the idea of the existence of a sentient, non-tangible creator? absurd.

    October 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • Paul

      Atheistic evolution means evolution by mindless, purposeless, random, undirected processes. As oppossed to theistic evolution which is evolution guided by God.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  9. JP

    Believing in a god is very silly yet people take it so seriously. It is very strange.

    October 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • NorWoodRCC_K

      Hrmph! Not believing in God is just as silly. Hrmmm...

      October 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
      • Pseudotriton

        How is logic and reasoning silly?

        October 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
        • NorWoodRCC_K

          Hrm?

          October 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • Mike from CO

          It is completely logical to be believe in a higher being, and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous at best. And this is coming from an agnostic.

          The adherents to the Church of Reason and the religion of logic are just as bad as the fundamentalists.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          Mike and Norwood, please explain what are some of the logic in believing in an invisible sky daddy, given the evidence and knowledge we have gained through modern science?

          October 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
      • Jeff Williams

        """Not believing in God is just as silly. Hrmmm..."""

        Atheism was your default setting until you were programmed.

        October 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • JP

      Um, no.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  10. Beowulf

    " Bill Nye the Science Guy slammed creationism, imploring parents not to teach it to their children. "We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future," he said. "We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems."

    -
    I have been a Christian my entire life. I am an engineer, I build stuff and solve problems that most people can't. Is this all that atheists can do is attempt to demean and belittle others that do not believe their way?

    October 9, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • JP

      Yea but I bet you weren't home schooled either.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      I realized I was an atheist after listening to theists demean and belittle others that do not believe their way.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Anonymous

      Ever seen "Jesus Camp"?

      October 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Sara

      Right, because there are no atheist angineers, teachers, scientists or doctors. Your implication that first, all evolutionists are atheists is just idiotic. And second, the idea that atheists (or evolutionists) arguing their positions aren't also busy with day jobs is just plain ignorant.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
      • JP

        Not at all. It's worse than that really. What it shows is brainwashing from a very early age. Nothing more. And it needs to stop.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • James

      He was referring to creationism not Christianity as a whole. And he states that pretty clearly

      October 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • amy

      there is a significant difference between creationism (10k year old earth, humans lived alongside dinosaurs, etc) and christianity (does not make scientific statements).

      October 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
      • Mr. Black

        Well, Young Earth Creationists don't make scientific statements, either, they just don't know they're not scientific.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Mr. Black

      Where did Bill Nye demean anyone in the statement you quoted?

      October 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
    • Maxwell's Demon

      Funny. You're doing exactly what you accuse atheists of.

      October 10, 2013 at 12:42 am |
  11. Dee

    I can respect atheist and I hope they respect me as a believer. I see it this way...If I'm wrong and God doesn't exist I don't lose anything. I'll continue to be a good person and try my best to live my life right BUT if they are wrong and God does exist then they will have to answer to him for the life they lived.

    October 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • NorWoodRCC_K

      Right. If the atheist win and life doesn't matter and what we see with our imperfect eyes is all that there is... oh well. At least I didn't waste my life arguing against a God that I don't think exists.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Anonymous

      You assume the only answer is your specific god. Look up Pascal's Wager.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
      • Sara

        Anonymous is right, Dee, you've made your life choices easy by having a desperate lack of imagination. Perhaps a panel of gods punishes those as gullible as you with 500 life cycles of torment from which to learn? Perhaps a lot of things.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      And what if you pray to the wrong god?

      October 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Pseudotriton

      Just how many times does the Pascal's Wager have to pop up here? It's a logical fallacy based on a false dichotomy and has been debunked a long time ago. It's not simply god vs. no god. For Christians, have you considered the possibility that you have been worshiping the wrong god all along? What if the Hindu god is the true god? Or how about Zeus, or Thor for that matter? That it's either your Christian god or nothing demonstrates that your entire thinking is based on your Judeo-Christian indoctrination.

      October 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Fourest Gimp

      So, you're really not a believer, just hedging your bets?

      October 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Maxwell's Demon

      You're so respectful of atheists that you repeat Pascal's Wager.

      October 10, 2013 at 12:43 am |
  12. cmi

    It is not scientifically possible that life created itself and it is not mathematically possible that the human race has existed for more than 10,000 years. Crunch the numbers.

    October 9, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Pseudotriton

      Depends on what you consider as "life".

      October 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
      • NorWoodRCC_K

        Beings with souls.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          So, are bacteria or spiders life?

          October 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • redzoa

      Well, all the empirical physical evidence indicates otherwise. Again, someone is taking the position that the entire scientific enterprise is so flawed as to be effectively useless, despite the self-evident validation in innumerable applications.

      Nonetheless, feel free to "show your work' regarding the number crunching . . .

      October 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • NorWoodRCC_K

        All the numbers point to an intelligence much greater than you. Hrmmmm?

        October 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
        • redzoa

          I concede there are people far more intelligent than myself and I concede that there is a body of knowledge which may forever escape not only myself, but all of our species. But there is no evidence indicating a supernatural causal intelligence/agency if that is what your cryptic little response intended to infer.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • NorWoodRCC_K

          Hrmph. I'm saying their is an intelligence greater than all of us. Not just you. All the human knowledge put together in the history of time would equal 1 speck of dirt on the floor compared to God's knowledge that equals all the planets in our galaxy put together. Hrmmmm?

          October 9, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
        • redzoa

          Perhaps you should read my response a little more closely and then feel free to provide the objective empirical physical evidence for God . . .

          October 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          exactly which numbers show a "greater intelligence"? Please enlighten us by showing them instead of expecting us to just take your word for it.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
        • NorWoodRCC_K

          Hrmmm.... there are numbers that exist that are so large that our human brains can not comprehend them...
          Hrmmm?

          October 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
        • Pseudotriton

          so if your brain cannot comprehend them, how do you know that they exist?

          October 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
        • Ironicus

          LOLOL
          I can just imagine this little idiot saying "checkmate atheists!" What a joke.
          Abstract numbers do not exist as numbers, idiot. There is no number we cannot come up with. Your god is a pathetic lie of epic proportions and you are just someone who doesn't understand science. Go ask your mommy where babies come from already.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
      • Paul

        "the empirical physical evidence indicates otherwise"
        –redzoa

        That's a reification problem. The evidence doesn't indicate anything; it's physically impossible for it to do so since it lacks a mouth, vocal cords, etc.. to do so. People interpret the evidence. So the "battle" is over different interpretations of the same evidence.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • Anonymous

          There is no hard, empirical evidence for the existence of gods.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
        • redzoa

          Of course we could carry your point to the absurd extreme and digress into some epistemological discussion. But suffice it to say that the "empirical" part of "empirical evidence" provides a normalization for purely subjective interpretations and further provides for validation via application. Yes, evidence is always subject to interpretation; however, there comes a point at which the empirical evidence renders some interpretations untenable positions based in unreasonable doubts.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Howard

      Carbon dating.Proven scientific method of determining the age of fossils.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Nothing much to see here, apart from the suggestion that life may have created itself, or someone might think it did. That thought is rubbing up against the well-ordering principle in my mind, have to work it out. Anyway, I do crunch the numbers all the time: uniform and non-uniform genetic clocks etc. I've no idea where you got 10,000 years except through your rectal portal.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
      • Sara

        I'm amazed you were able to make anything out of the OP. I tend to ignore that kind of semi-literate babble.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
  13. Mat

    Anthony Flew used to be a well known and scholarly atheist. If he can change his position based on evidence, then so can you. That's good enough for me. Read his book, "There is a God"

    October 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • AE

      "How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind "

      Ok. I'm in.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Sara

      Are you promoting deism? It's just interesting, as it's a position that doesn't usually bring out evangelists.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
      • Mat

        I think deism is better than atheism and think theism is better than deism. God has to work on people where they are at. For a former atheist like Flew (and he was not just any atheist, he was THE atheist, like Dawkins) to change his mind gives me hope for anyone if they are honest with the evidence.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
        • Sara

          There is no "The atheist". Most of the worlds atheists have read neither Dawkins nor aflew nor do they care who these guys are. The Christian fixation on these writers is really hurting your understanding of the diversity of who atheists are. And pointing people to authors who thought theism was downright nutty isn't going to help your case.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          And all the former ministers in the Clergy project give me hope. Cuts both ways.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist

          The appeal to authority fallacy is pretty worn-out, no? Try something new next time. Sara makes a nice point, but my guess is that it will be lost upon deaf ears searching for an "atheist authority" to peg some argument to.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
        • NorWoodRCC_K

          Atheism is built on logical fallacies. Hrmph!

          October 9, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist

          What fallacy is that?

          October 10, 2013 at 8:45 am |
      • NorWoodRCC_K

        All it takes is a little bit of faith, mam. Hrmmm? Whaddya say?

        October 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
        • Ironicus

          Nope. "Faith" is nothing more than schizophrenia / delusion. You cannot face reality, that much seems clear. Hmmm?

          October 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      He believed in a deistic god, so what? According to christianity he would still be screwed because he did not believe Jesus was divine. A general deistic god behaves the exact same way as a non-existent god.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • Sara

        Deists are closer to atheists than to theists. I think perhaps the theists hope deism will springboard people into theism. But there are a lot of other routes I would take to try that than deism. And no, I'm not feeding them to these folks...let 'em do their own reading.

        October 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Ontological arguments for God's existence and arguments from design maybe able to bring someone to deism, but how can you bring a deist to full on God-fearing Christian? Flew was never that.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  14. Interview with Dan Dennett on the Mind

    Another interview with Dan Dennett on consciousness, free will, and related issues in the philosophy of mind.
    Dr. Dennett is a cognitive scientist and Professor at Tufts University.

    (YouTube 4/8/13)

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbJHOnkFimg&w=640&h=390]

    October 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  15. Vynette

    To fully and accurately express the Hebrew meaning of Genesis 1:1-3, they should be punctuated and translated into English as :

    "When God began to form the heavens and the earth, (the earth being formless and void, darkness on the face of the deep, and the spirit of God hovering over the face of the water), God said, "Let there be light," and there was light."

    The writers of Genesis 1 did not make any claims about the age of heaven and earth. All they claimed was that the Hebrew God intervened at some indeterminate time to impose order upon disorder.

    I don't think it is possible to overstate the ramifications arising from the correct translation of Genesis 1 verses 1-3. If there is no creation ex-nihilo and the Bible simply claims that the visible heaven and earth were formed and shaped out of primordial matter at some indeterminate time, then not only those who espouse a fundamentalist, literalist doctrine of creation have had their positions finally and fully discredited, but also discredited are the positions of those who stand at the opposite end of the spectrum and use the standard English translation to further their own viewpoints.

    October 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • demaris

      Right. And if you read the literal translation of the story of Eden, Adam was made in God's image, and then Adam was cut in half. The word doesn't mean "rib", it means "side" – God took one side from Adam and created Eve. "Man and Women created He them".

      Man and Woman together can create life, and are in God's image. Man alone (and Woman alone) can't, and are not.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • theorycraft

      maybe but it says here specifically that Answers in Genesis or whatever their broad organization is called specifically believes in a literal translation of Genesis where God said zing and things happened (not trying to be sarcastic or snippy, just saying how I read their interpretation of the word)

      October 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • Vynette

        Well, I don't care what they say. All I'm doing is giving the accurate translation of the first three verses of Genesis. I'm not pushing one side or the other.

        October 10, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  16. The Perimeter of Ignorance

    Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, explains how God disappeared as an explanation for things humans did not understand about the universe, as the "perimeter of ignorance" receded. The greatest minds dared increasingly brave to question the world around them, but sometimes cowardly copped out along the way when they faced problems -similar to the modern Intelligent Design movement that advocates a "god of the gaps"- until someone else took over and furthered scientific progress. (YouTube 3/2/13)

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxiLnC7ikw8&w=640&h=390]

    October 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  17. Mat

    Check out Anthony Flew. He was one of the leading atheists in the 70's. Like Dawkins is today. He now believes in God. Go figure.

    October 9, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • Sara

      He's now dead. But yes, he was a very much non-Christian deist before his death. People change their beliefs all the time.

      October 9, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Antony Flew has been dead since 2010. He never accepted the God of Christians. He believed in an "inoffensive God."

      October 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
      • Mat

        Still died a theist. I guess he was dumb

        October 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
        • Sara

          I'mpretty sure he died a deist, not a theist...anyone have evidence to the contrary? Not that I find this very relevant, but as a matter of history...

          October 9, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
        • Mat

          what's the difference

          October 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Interesting fact: he was a strong promoter of intelligent design and wanted it in British schools.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • Mat

        would atheists then be open to believing in an "inoffensive god"?

        October 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          I'm open to believing in any sort of god given sufficient evidence.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • Sara

          I have nothing against gods...I can imagine some very nice logical ones that would mesh well with the latest s science. No one has yet presented me with any evidence for one of these, though.

          October 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
        • Mat

          I like you Sara

          October 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
        • NorWoodRCC_K

          Time for you to stop playing "god".

          October 9, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • Bob

      Haven't heard of him.

      October 9, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • NorWoodRCC_K

        Haven't heard of you. Hrmph!

        October 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
        • Ryan

          Dude, did you, like, sniff glue before commenting? I'm honestly in awe of your lack of reading comprehension and completely inane commentary.

          October 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Thinking

      That's interesting that you bring him up. I used to be a strong atheist; I was quite familiar with his writings among others. Read his book, "There is A God" and it changed me. Can't say I believe in a christian god or anything at this time but am realizing how little we know as humans. A little humility here. I am open to learning and hearing all ideas.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
      • Ironicus

        "strong atheist"? LOLOL
        Yeah, right. You are a liar and so full of shit that I guess you must be a republican, too.
        Anyone with a rational position who remains rational is not going to get shoved off that position by some quack idiot making up a bunch of crap. If you are so gullible and so easily swayed, we don't need you and you were never an atheist but an idiot who didn't know the why or how of anything and STILL DON'T.
        Why should anyone care what you think when you are so bad at thinking? Go figure shit out and then think about it, don't think before knowing – we have plenty of ignorant idiots like you around already. Dumbfuck.

        October 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
        • PUNK

          LOVELY GIRL

          October 10, 2013 at 4:44 am |
        • BOOTY

          eternity in hell 4 u. can't wait

          October 10, 2013 at 4:47 am |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    If God is powerful enough to create the universe, don't you think he'd have a more foolproof way of getting his exact message across to future generations than this endlessly translated, edited, confused, modified, twisted, corrupted book of stories that is changed by religious power brokers to suit each generation?

    Wouldn't god's word be carved on the moon, unchangeable and for all to see? Wouldn't it be spoken unchanged by a species of animal? Wouldn't it be written microscopically on every stone or every tree? Wouldn't there be some space age material that had god's voice recorded, uncorrupted over the centuries and there for everyone to hear.

    Wouldn't there be parts of God's word that reflect computers or artificial intelligence or DNA or modern medicine or future medicine or electricity or space travel to other parts of this amazing universe he created? Wouldn't there be talk of gender and race equality? Wouldn't there be talk of Asia and Australia and the Americas and Europe and Africa?

    Instead the bible is limited to horses and carts and herbs and grain and swords and shields and misogyny and racism and slavery all set in the deserts of the middle east. The Bible is so obviously a product of bronze age man, you must be in denial to even argue that it is the word of god. There may or may not be a god or gods, but this book of bronze age voodoo and oppression has nothing to do with him, her or them.

    And stop it with this "not the word of god but words inspired by god" cop out. That just means it was written by greedy, evil men who got their way by claiming that god told them to do something. That's a self serving scam that should be scorned, especially by anyone claiming to love an omnipotent god. That scam is an abomination and an insult to your god ... as is the bible!

    October 9, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • John Kinney

      If this is the best world God can come up with, then he's not much of a deity. I'll stick with the atheists.

      October 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
  19. Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

    Can Christians explain how all of the immoralities committed by God in the Bible exemplify God's forgiveness, kindness, love, if you will, God's morality?

    October 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • JJ

      I remember, as a child, being taught that Abraham about to slaughter his son to please god was an admirable act. And this god, after seeing if Abraham would go through with it, let him off the hook at the last minute. Even as a child of 8 I knew this to be most repugnant and immoral.

      October 9, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
      • Youtube - Neil DeGrasse Tyson - The Perimeter of Ignorance

        Gosh, take your pick of immoral stories. What did the animals of the earth do to deserve being drowned in the flood? Why didn't God just get rid of the wicked people, using the same power he used to kill the first born in Egypt?

        October 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Ironicus

      They use another fallacy for that. Arguing from authority, usually. They will say "god is above his own laws" or something truly insane like that. Were you expecting logic or rational arguments from them? You should see a doctor about that.

      October 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  20. Tomass

    There are 3 kinds of people, those that can't count and those that can

    October 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.