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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. GOOD NEWS

    "They refuse to look at the real world. They refuse to look at the evidence we have, and they offer none," Silverman said.

    Here is what you are looking for, Mr. Silverman.

    http://www.holy-19-harvest.com
    UNIVERSAL MAGNIFICENT MIRACLES

    October 27, 2013 at 5:24 am |
  2. The Ten Commandments

    1.Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    2.Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them

    3.Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    4.Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    5.Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

    6.Thou shalt not kill.

    7.Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    8.Thou shalt not steal.

    9.Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    10.Thou shalt not covet

    October 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Thou shalt not let moochers into thy hut.

      October 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep. The majority of them have nothing to do with our laws or Consti-tution.

      October 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • I dream of genies

      six through nine I can manage.

      October 26, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        I can just about manage number 6.

        October 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
        • I dream of genies

          That's a good one to keep if you can manage it.

          October 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yeah, at the very least it's something to pull out of the bag on Judgement Day if the whole Yahweh thing turns out not to be just the psychotic ramblings of a Middle Eastern carpenter.

          October 26, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
        • I dream of genies

          I never thought of avoiding homicide as "doomsday prepping" but whatever works.

          October 27, 2013 at 4:45 am |
    • voiceofreason6

      Nope. There are only two now: love God, love people

      October 27, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • The REAL 10 commandments

      Ex 34:14:

      (1)"Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

      (2)"Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prost1tute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prost1tute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.

      (3)"Do not make cast idols.

      (4)"Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt.

      (5)"The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons.

      (6) "No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

      (7) "Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.

      (8) "Celebrate the Feast of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.

      (9) "Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.

      (10) "Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God. DO NOT COOK A YOUNG GOAT IN ITS MOTHER'S MILK."

      October 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  3. Species

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HQ6KsCLU2c&w=640&h=390]

    October 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Bourdant

      Evolutionary geneticists have often experimented on fruit flies and other rapidly reproducing to induce mutational changes hoping they would lead to new and better , these have all accomplished their goal. Truly new fossils has been produced, and a new "basic kind."

      There are plenty of clues as to how the one-celled organisms of the primordial world could have evolved into the vast array of complex multi-celled invertebrates of the Cambrian period.

      Plenty of clues and plenty of proof in science and not religion of evolution.

      October 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Science

      The last paragraph from video on youtube.

      Its discovery, in such close quarters with four other individuals, offered researchers a unique opportunity to measure variations in a single population of early Hom-o, and "to draw new inferences on the evolutionary biology" of our ancestors, co-author Marcia Ponce de Leon of the University of Zurich said.

      Category

      News & Politics

      October 27, 2013 at 6:57 am |
  4. Michael B (former christian now atheist)

    10,000 years ago the earth was made? 10k years ago, humanity was roughly 2k years into true civilization as we had finally developed primitive farming (slash and burn) which enabled a surplus of food so the primitive hunting and gathering societies could finally do something besides look for food all day like other animals. Villages began to develop for the first time and we began our quick ascent into dominance over this planet.

    October 26, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Crom

      You were there? I can't remember back that far at all. What's your secret? Organic crystals?

      October 26, 2013 at 2:19 am |
      • Yer

        Stop making a fool of yourself-you looney.

        October 26, 2013 at 7:26 am |
      • poopmeister

        Oh my gosh! Let's see, they have already found an amazing amount of human bones pre-dating 10,000 years and if that weren't enough, man has been building massive structures, like in Gobekli Tepe, 14,000 years ago. Did God plant these ruins along with human bones to "throw us off of his trail". I cannot believe that so many people believe this garbage.

        October 27, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • Savior of light

        So obviously you WERE there at the time along with the bible authors and witnessed the creation of the universe and humanity, right?

        October 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Emi (Pantheist former Hindu, New Age, Pagan, Christian, agnostic, occultist...)

      At what point do we run out of "Former"? What if I want to revisit it?

      October 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  5. Daivie

    I didn't believe in heaven or hell until it was revealed through DNA that Ben Quayle is, in truth, Rosemary's Baby.

    October 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Spectrophiliac

      Rosemary's baby...boring movie. Rosemary's hangover... now that would have been funny.

      October 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
  6. Just wondering

    How come you never see a Pagan billboard, or a Taoist or a Hindu billboard for that matter?

    October 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Mike G.

      Taoism teaches the exact opposite of advertising beliefs and arguing back and forth endlessly. Paganism was meant to be a joke where college students could dress cool and make fun of faith at the same time, for some "followers" they didn't quite get it. Hindus wouldn't waste the money =P

      October 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Michael B (former christian now atheist)

      True paganism is not a religion though. It is a collection of various religions that old Christianity deemed to be followed by heretics.

      October 26, 2013 at 12:11 am |
      • Crom

        I think you should have stopped at "a collection of various religions".
        Rare is the religion that is defined by some other religion entirely.
        It shouldn't matter what christians thought about it, as that is not germane to the definition of paganism itself.
        Just sayin

        October 26, 2013 at 2:24 am |
        • Sean Lynch

          "Rare is the religion that is defined by some other religion entirely."
          D'oh!?
          How many religions were born of Judaism, Catholicism, Lutheran, Anglican?

          October 26, 2013 at 4:37 am |
        • Crom

          I meant an entirely different religion. Read it again and see it makes sense now. Okay? sheesh.

          October 26, 2013 at 5:39 am |
  7. haihowareu

    I don't think a billboard is going to change anybody's mind either way. Or CNN comments for that matter.

    October 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Shhhh

      You don't want advertisers to realize their billboards, TV ads, pop ups and commercials do not actually make us buy their products. They all might subject us to something worse.

      October 27, 2013 at 5:42 am |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    A newer and funnier version:

    “I see two problems with heaven and hell. First, heaven supposedly will be full of Christians… so that'll suck. Second, hell will definitely be filled to the brim with "good" Christians and also most likely with creepy Mormons and Scientologists… which will indubitably suck a great deal. So kind of a lose-lose scenario either way.” – LET

    October 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Jen

      Of course you can reincarnate and come back here and this place is filled with Christians, Mormons, Scientologists and the rest anyway. Hmmm. I see your dilemma.

      October 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • sam stone.

        i knew someone who thought reincarnation meant coming back as powdered milk

        October 26, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  9. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    “I see two problems with heaven and hell. First, heaven supposedly will be full of Christians… so that'll suck. Second, hell will definitely be filled to the brim with "good" Christians… which will without a doubt also suck. So kind of a lose-lose scenario either way.” – LET

    October 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  10. fred

    Anybody know why pages disappear?

    October 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Born2BModerated

      the site removes comments, or strings of comments.
      Seemingly at random.
      I have been edited many times.

      October 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • fred

        Thanks it does seem random. Given enough time say 1 billion years CNN may evolve into an unbiased creature, grow fins and return to the deep. That would be proof that there is a God.

        October 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Sean Lynch

          har har har. All of the the "entertainment" news networks can go to the sea, MSNBC, CNN, Faux.
          Whatever happened to Walter Cronkite style JOURNALISM in America?
          (we should clone Walter)
          I get my news from the Net.

          October 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
        • fred

          Sean
          Hopefully you check out the Drudge Report (http://drudgereport.com/) on occasion just to see if your getting a taste of Cronkite. Obama and company bar this site from all White House employees.

          October 25, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
        • Observer

          fred

          "Obama and company bar this site from all White House employees."

          Where is a reliable source for this claim?

          October 25, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
        • fred

          Observer
          Anyone who opposes the White House is not a reliable source.
          Turns out it was a fake virus scare:

          http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/09/senate-warns-staffers-stay-clear-drudge-report/

          October 25, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
        • fred

          Observer
          White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer good enough source for you? :
          “‘This is less true now than it was, but there is a Pavlovian response from some media outlets,’ Pfeiffer explained, noting that reporters often ask questions about a topic just because its on the Drudge Report. Pfeiffer added that when he is asked about something on the Drudge Report he usually ridicules the reporter asking the question until they sheepishly back down. Pfeiffer said that the Drudge effect can be damaging to the White House effort to communicate their message.”
          Read more at http://conservativebyte.com/2013/04/white-house-attacks-the-drudge-report-as-obama-continues-his-effort-to-eliminate-all-political-opposition/#2kr0fLUp5cGcGceH.99

          October 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
        • Observer

          fred,

          Yep. Your quote from a rightwing source did not say "Obama and company bar this site from all White House employees.". It quoted a nameless memo that went around in the Senate warning about a possible virus.

          Do rightwingers EVER do any research? Even your source NEVER mentioned Obama. It NEVER mentioned the White House.

          Pathetic. Just what I'd expect from the right.

          October 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
      • laststonecarver

        In the Belief blog 'Be nice Christians', whole months worth of material were deleted -
        Some bloggers admtted using report abuse to delete – the blog became a black hole -

        October 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
        • fred

          I remember those events. My guess was the NSA put in a back door to monitor religious fundamentalists because they like the Tea Party are on the Obama watch list. As in the days of Mao and Stalin those who understand the freedom given to those who are in Christ present a real and present danger to State sponsored terror.

          October 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          LOL. I think that if the NSA had the intent and power you imagine they would be a bit smarter at getting the job done, and they wouldn't waste time with such frivolous actions as deleting posts on a blog. It reminds me of one of my relatives who thinks that the government tracks his every movement and phone call and trip to the gas station, but they just can't seem to manage to quietly do away with him--as he claims they want to do.

          October 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
        • fred

          Cpt. Obvious
          The trick for NSA is not to leave any evidence. The current plan is to sign everyone up on ObamaCare. Then Death Panels staffed by NSA agents disguised as Atheist liberals will deny care to anyone that claims there is evidence the earth is 6,000 years old.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
        • sam stone.

          "the sky is falling! the sky is falling!" – fred

          this type of "thinking" is what leads to religious extremism

          October 26, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @fred,
      Do you have the answer?

      October 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • fred

        Most likely an open loop in the page rollover algorithm when a YouTube post is open with an embedded code that sends a click through count.
        CNN if you are reading this there is no charge for services rendered. It is free advice

        October 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Science

      Hey fred

      Just for you in case you missed it.

      Saw a couple of comments about the YEC gang................good news for education !!!

      Texas Textbook Publishers Say No To Creationism: Watchdog Report .

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/18/texas-textbooks-creationism_n_4124692.html

      October 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • fred

        Given they are biology text books I am not sure how to make a case for including intelligent design or creationism. Even as a Christian I cannot find the science behind God. God established the laws we base our science upon as well as the ordering of physical matter and energy. It is after all a matter of faith in the creator that allows man to see the hand of God as the power behind the design and all the created things science has capacity to measure.

        The publisher could no more instill the faith necessary to believe then explain how God did it. I know how God did it and why he did it but, if I put it down in a biology text book I would also need to first design a secret decoder ring to give each non believing student.

        October 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
        • Science

          Yea fred make sure to include your harry SUN !

          October 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
        • Science

          Hey fred what do you say about this ....................75 million years ago. Not a dragon.

          High School Student Discovers Skeleton of Baby Dinosaur

          Oct. 22, 2013 — A chance find by a high school student led to the youngest, smallest and most complete fossil skeleton yet known from the iconic tube-crested dinosaur Parasaurolophus.

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022091759.htm

          October 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
        • fred

          Science
          Joe" a young Parasaurolophus does not fill in for God of the Gaps.
          Transitional fossil evidence on the other hand could put the debate to rest, find any? As far as Joe goes Luke would say "there aren't the bones we are looking for"

          October 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
        • Sean Lynch

          fred, all fossils and all life is transitional. That's just the way life is.
          You don't have to be an atheist to believe in evolution.
          In science data/evidence is collected and analyzed and in the analysis a degree of confidence in the accuracy of the data is established.
          Evolution is supported based upon many lines of scientific evidence.
          Science is our true understanding of nature. If you seek the truth, understand the science.
          To deny an understanding based in truth is wicked and immoral.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • fred

          Sean
          I was just giving Science a razz. Baby Joes mom and dad were actual ancestors not of different taxa, Joe cannot be transitional.
          Those who argue "God of the Gaps" soon get swallowed up as new discoveries fill the previous gaps. Joe the baby Parasaurolophus began a crest at an early age which by itself did not close any gaps.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
        • Observer

          fred,

          How are you doing finding proof of your claim that President Obama has banned the Drudge Report from the White House?

          October 25, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
      • Science

        Hey fred

        Do not forget Adam created Eve with his bone

        Not Exactly Rocket Science:
        2 days ago

        Humans Restrain Jumping DNA That Chimps Allow To Run Free
        by Ed Yong

        http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/23/humans-restrain-jumping-dna-that-chimps-allow-to-run-free/

        October 25, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
        • fred

          Science
          Thanks, unfortunately the article does not give sufficient information to come to a conclusion as to cause for lack of diversity in humans relative to apes. It probably is not related to Eve sprouting from Adams rib. However, we all share a recent common ancestor that goes back only 6,000 years. Score one for young earth creationists and zero for science.

          October 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
        • Science

          Hey fred new species are you one of them

          Monkey That Purrs Like a Cat Is Among New Species Discovered in Amazon Rainforest

          Oct. 25, 2013 — At least 441 new species of animals and plants have been discovered over a four year period in the vast, underexplored

          rainforest of the Amazon, including a monkey that purrs like a cat.

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131025085909.htm

          October 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
        • fred

          Science
          No, but it sure makes a monkey out those who rely on evolution to form a world view. Looks like evolutionists were off by 3 million years out of 5 million years as to point of human divergence. You were off by close to 40%. You have some big holes in your world view. Perhaps that is where the holier than thou expression came from?

          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101105124241.htm

          October 26, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • Sean Lynch

          Science is subject to improvement as new information is revealed.
          Changing a transition estimate doesn't change evolution theory one bit -only the data.
          Do you consider a 40% deviation significant.
          Have you considered by what percent error a Young Earth Creationist/earth-universe Model has (they were both created at the same time)?
          I'll set up the arithmetic for you.
          YEE = Young Earth-Universe Percent Error
          Y=Young Earth-Universe Age; Y = 1E4y (ten thousand years)
          U=13E9 billion years(by) E=4E9by
          YEE Earth = 100*((4E9-1E4)/4E9) ->99.99975%
          YEE Universe = 100*((13E9-1E4)/13E9) ->99.9999230769%
          1-YEE * distance....
          By that margin of error in Earth's age the distance from New York to San Francisco in yards would be:
          ((1-((4E9-1E4)/4E9)) * 4512270.4) -> 11 yards
          Arithmetic is fun. Did you know google is a calculater and you can paste the arithmetic into the Google search?
          What do you get when you search Google for the Age of the Earth I wonder?

          October 26, 2013 at 7:01 am |
        • Science

          Hey freddie you should know better by NOW skull 5 1.8 million years old !

          Was the bible around then?

          October 26, 2013 at 5:43 am |
  11. MSMD

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmMSBn7gtiU&w=640&h=390]

    bunch of monkeys amusing themselves ;)

    October 25, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  12. Doc Vestibule

    “We’ve found an interconnected fluid system in the deep Canadian crystalline basement that is billions of years old, and capable of supporting life. Our finding is of huge interest to researchers who want to understand how microbes evolve in isolation, and is central to the whole question of the origin of life, the sustainability of life, and life in extreme environments and on other planets,” Prof Ballentine said.

    http://www.sci-news.com/geology/article01079-ancient-water-canada.html

    October 25, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Science

      Doc
      Some of the best water around!

      Apr 29, 2013 – Tiny 1,900 million-year-old fossils from rocks around Lake Superior, ... using a battery of new techniques and found that one species – a tubular ...

      http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_releases_for_journalists/130429_1.html‎

      October 25, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @Doc,
      In a sense, the research mimcs time travel -

      October 25, 2013 at 10:32 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        It is simply astounding, isn't it?
        I can't wait until we get a look at what's deep underneath the surface of Mars.
        What would it mean for anthropocentric religions if we find evidence of ancient life?

        A rhetorical question, I know.
        They'll just deny it in the same way YEC goons deny the reams of evidence regarding the age of the Earth and Universe.

        October 25, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • ME II

      @Doc Vestibule,
      Interesting. Didn't realize we knew that much about past atmospheres.

      "Here we show that excesses of 124Xe, 126Xe and 128Xe in the Timmins mine fluids can be linked to xenon isotope changes in the ancient atmosphere2 and used to calculate a minimum mean residence time for this fluid of about 1.5 billion years."

      October 25, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Sean Lynch

      Awesome link! Thank you for sharing Doc Vestibule!
      I love learning about groovy tidbits through social media.
      Here's a SCIAM tibit for others: : Life on Earth was not a fluke.

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=life-on-earth-was-not-a-fluke

      October 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  13. laststonecarver

    @Crom,
    You imagine well...

    October 25, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • Crom

      Rattlin' the bars, eh? The last stone carver in the world. Stuck in a cage with no lock but a scary face. You poor schmuck.

      October 25, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • laststonecarver

        hahahaha – you imagine well....

        October 25, 2013 at 10:12 am |
        • Crom

          No, my imagination is not as good as it used to be, but thanks anyway.

          October 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  14. Science

    The sign should read..............

    Darwin's Dilemma Resolved: Evolution's 'Big Bang' Explained by Five Times Faster Rates of Evolution

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912131753.htm

    October 25, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  15. Sara

    Did the conversation about consciousness and matter get deleted?

    October 25, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @Sara,
      - apparently -

      October 25, 2013 at 7:39 am |
    • I Don't Get It

      Deleted? Why? It's quite a slap in the face to those who put in a lot of time, effort and thought into those discussions.

      October 25, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  16. laststonecarver

    Hmmm... most comments from 10-24 deleted... must have been useless to someone...

    October 25, 2013 at 5:25 am |
    • Crom

      You plan on carving the last stone? That could be trillions of years from now. I don't think you'll be around then.

      October 25, 2013 at 5:51 am |
      • laststonecarver

        @Crom,
        Are you a Conan fan?

        October 25, 2013 at 5:58 am |
        • Crom

          Are you a Pantathian Serpent Priest? I swear you guys are like cockroaches.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • laststonecarver

      @Crom,
      I'll be there.. just wait and see...

      October 25, 2013 at 5:56 am |
      • Crom

        Not possible. You cease when you die. There is nothing left but a random dispersal of electrons and heat as your brain decomposes. Nothing quantum retains information, your soul does not exist. All you have is some feedback loops that constitute your whole so-called "awareness". lol
        There is neither reason to think souls exist or that there would be any reason or need to preserve the total condition of your organic brain cells. Who would want to remember this ridiculous world filled with primates who screech and fling poo?
        Your conjecture is ridiculous, but understandable. Here, have some poo. I won't fling it but hand it to you calmly. :P

        October 25, 2013 at 7:07 am |
        • laststonecarver

          @Crom,
          Sorry you are only worthy of human ken...
          There is a great universe out there if you could but traverse it....
          But you are stuck in your brain, with your self....inching toward death...
          You should get out more... Experience life outside of human experience...
          If you only have a limited time, you could really make the best of it...

          October 25, 2013 at 7:34 am |
        • Crom

          lol
          I hand you poo and you smear it on your face. Why? Because you're just a stupid monkey in a cage. I'm outside the cage.
          Enjoy your poo.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:46 am |
        • laststonecarver

          @Crom,
          ooh ooh – ahh ahh – tooki tooki -
          see you in 3 tril, do be late -

          October 25, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • laststonecarver

          don't be late -

          October 25, 2013 at 8:18 am |
        • Crom

          You'll have to take your cage with you, poo and all. Yeah, you go on ahead. I'll stay here. I'll be fine without you. ;

          October 25, 2013 at 8:50 am |
        • laststonecarver

          @Crom,

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24670232

          October 25, 2013 at 8:57 am |
        • Crom

          http://www.laststonecarverstillclueless(dot)com

          October 25, 2013 at 9:20 am |
        • laststonecarver

          @Crom,
          You imagine well...

          October 25, 2013 at 9:34 am |
        • laststonecarver

          @Crom,
          You are correct – I have no clues – I need no clues – I have no investigations – I have found what I searched for in youth -
          Your fecal demonstrations are a bit disconcerting though – perhaps you shouldn't play with feces -

          October 25, 2013 at 9:49 am |
        • Crom

          Yes, the endorphins kick in and your emotions become a wonderland. A junkie monkey lovin' his fix. Same old crap.

          October 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |
        • laststonecarver

          @Crom,
          You imagine you know, and that is as should be, because of who you are -
          You do not know me -
          But you still have a fecal obsession -

          October 25, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • Sara

          Crom, you have a sad view of this world. Try concentrating on. the beauty and possibilities. Or get on some meds.

          October 25, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • laststonecarver

          @Sara,
          thanx -

          October 25, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • Crom

          Sara, that really is a nasty thing to say and is ironic as well. You want to gloss over the bad stuff, but you don't want to fix it.
          What does that say about you? It says you're an average person. Is that sad or what.

          laststonecarver, you struggled gamely on and so I will leave you alone. You have a good sense of humor, too.
          My apologies for the fecal imagery. I should have gone with something else. It was meant to be cartoony, not vicious.
          I don't usually treat victims of religion like victims because I'm trying to shock you all out of your complacency, to possibly fracture the brainwashing you have received. It is not something I take lightly. I was rattling your cage hoping to get you out.
          I do this with many people. Sometimes I see small signs that I have helped someone. I am fighting for you, but you only see my rudeness. That is okay. I'm used to that since any questioning or challenge to someone's faith is often taken as an offense. The irony is thick, isn't it? Sometimes I strengthen their faith. That's sad, but expected.
          In the long run, very few people want to take the long view, irony again.
          Do you have a viable plan for the next few hundred years? Why not? Did you think Jesus is going to fix everything?
          *sigh* Okay, that's all for now. No feces. I'm nearly done for today. (is that cheering I hear? lol)

          October 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • laststonecarver

          @Crom,
          Our environments create us – our perception of our environment changes as we change –
          Change is essential – Stagnation = Death -
          My thanks to you, for sharing time, for changing me -

          October 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  17. bostontola

    If the bible only conflicted with the deep science of evolution it would be problematic. It is untenable that the bible conflicts not just with evolution, but with the broader fields of Biology, Geology, Cosmology, and Physics. There is no rational option but to either dismiss the bible as a factual docu ment completely or treat it as a collection of moral parables.

    October 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Crom

      "moral parables"? The whole thing? *cough*

      October 24, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
      • bostontola

        Good point, parables and fables.

        October 25, 2013 at 12:00 am |
        • Crom

          *cough*

          October 25, 2013 at 12:54 am |
        • bostontola

          You should look into that.

          October 25, 2013 at 1:16 am |
        • Crom

          There is no either / or here.
          The only rational move is to completely dismiss the whole bible as a collection of lies of no more worth than Mao's little red book.
          "Moral parables" my ass. There aren't any parables in there worth the name, as they all deal with magic-based fraud and aren't even true and don't even work. That's just BS, not a parable.

          And "fables"? Like Aesop's fables that actually teach something real? No.
          More like crib notes for the fraud-priests to be used to teach a LIE using whatever they wanted to twist around.
          You couldn't give the bible credibility even if you lit yourself on god-damn fire. Get a fucking clue.

          October 25, 2013 at 2:44 am |
        • bostontola

          Crom,
          I choose to dismiss the bible, but your position of representing your opinion as fact is no different than how a religious person thinks. Your opinions are not facts, and your arrogance is revealing.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:44 am |
        • Crom

          Still mad, eh? Haven't got a fucking clue or a fucking argument. Just "waah, I'm mad".
          Grow up.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:50 am |
        • bostontola

          Yup, revealing.

          October 25, 2013 at 7:57 am |
        • Crom

          Yup, still no argument and just more trolling. Color me unimpressed.

          October 25, 2013 at 8:21 am |
        • bostontola

          Crom,
          Read your own posts, no arguments, just loud assertions. Assertions of your opinions as facts. That is the hallmark of a religious, faith based thinker. I would not be surprised if you are a religious troll dressed as an atheist, behaving like an arrogant fool, just to make atheists look bad. Nice job, but your weak critical thinking skills revealed your true nature.

          October 25, 2013 at 8:50 am |
        • Crom

          As your original post was, yes. I but mirrored your own technique. Ironic, isn't it?

          October 25, 2013 at 8:53 am |
        • bostontola

          Except I never claimed to have put an argument in my OP. The evidence to substantiate my assertions are in most science journals, easy to find in a few seconds with a google search. You will find no objective evidence to the contrary. You on the other hand, can't even distinguish fact from opinion. Classic faith based thinker.

          October 25, 2013 at 8:59 am |
        • Crom

          1/10
          Lamest attempt at trolling me today. That's some kind of achievement, I think. No, I'm just kidding. You're pathetic.

          October 25, 2013 at 9:22 am |
        • bostontola

          No attempt to address a single thing I said, just reversion to insult, again, hallmarks of weak critical thinking skills. Keep digging, you may reach china.

          October 25, 2013 at 9:25 am |
        • Crom

          LOL
          Who says I have to do anything at all, you whiny little tit?
          I don't have to respond to your idiotic waste of space, but I enjoy giving you crap.
          My only objections dealt with your mush-brained worship of the bible.
          I tried to set you straight, but you can't handle it this early in the morning, I guess.
          Yammer on all you want. I stand by what I wrote. You didn't address a single thing in my main post.
          All you have done is act like an immature little brat. Well, I'm not your mommy, okay?
          You have to put on your big boy pants or we'll keep seeing your tiny pee-pee, okay?
          My words were fine. You're just mad because I keep giving you shit you can't defend against.
          I can't blame you. I've given you no out but to admit you were wrong and you'll NEVER do that.
          No, you couldn't ever do that. Big babies are never wrong. Never.

          October 25, 2013 at 9:46 am |
        • bostontola

          QED.

          October 25, 2013 at 9:48 am |
        • Crom

          My word, you're easy to troll.
          Don't get mad, now. lol

          October 25, 2013 at 9:53 am |
        • bostontola

          Don't sell yourself short, you're not just a troll, you're a black flag troll, the best kind. Religious faith based in atheist clothing.

          October 25, 2013 at 10:04 am |
        • Crom

          I guess you are one of the extra slow ones.
          Trying to get me mad by saying I'm religious is about the lamest damn attempt at trolling I have ever seen on here.
          But go ahead and do it some more. I'll be here all weekend. If you knew what pushes my buttons you'd be trying that stuff instead, but you're not. You are the dumbest damn atheist I have ever met on here, no wait I think there is someone tied in first place with you. Maybe two or three. Anyway, you're really stupid and slow. That's not my fault, but I bet you can't figure that out either. Really, really slow. Like Topher. You and him would probably make a cute couple.
          Why not give it a go? Meet up with Topher and you guys can go at it like, well, ....okay words fail me there. ...lol

          October 25, 2013 at 10:14 am |
        • bostontola

          Fact: you are a troll.
          Proof: you said so yourself at 9:53 above.

          Hypothesis: you are a faith based religious person masquerading as an atheist to make atheists look bad.
          Evidence: 1. Lack of critical thinking skills displayed in posts as shown by inability to distinguish opinion from fact, see comments above. 2. Accuses others of behavior they exhibit, see above where you provide no argument but accuse others of that. 3. Reverts to insult to mask inability to form argument. These are all characteristics of faith based religious thinkers. Not proof, but a lot of evidence.

          No doubt you are a troll, you said so yourself. Most likely a religious nut trying to make atheists look bad.

          October 25, 2013 at 10:27 am |
        • Crom

          hee hee!
          Oh, this is great.
          Look, dipwad, I am one of the worst at trolling here.
          Let that sink in for a minute or two....
          .
          .
          .
          So, like, basically, like, you know, that, you know, means the only people I am able to successfully troll are...wait for it...the easy ones.
          Like, you know, right? Yuh, totally, and fer sure.
          Me, I'm just bored, esse. Come on, Holmes, you got to figure this sheet out quick, esse!
          You were the one worshiping the bible, pendejo, I am just here to give you sheet over it.
          I think you have revealed yourself at last. YOU are the "black flag" whatchamacallit.
          Yeah. I guess you are projecting there, bub. You don't have the balls to admit the truth, either, so spare me the lame attempts to further pile on lameness upon lameness as you keep doing.
          2/10 – highest possible rating for a Lame Trolling sequence. Don't hold it in, be sure and tell us some more neato thingies.
          Okay, go! Your turn!

          October 25, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • bostontola

          You stooped to "I know you are but what am I"?

          October 25, 2013 at 10:45 am |
        • Crom

          Ah, but you did it first, remember? LOL
          You are so stupid and hypocritical, it's like a breath of fresh air around here. LOL
          If they don't delete this thread, you can always come back to it in a month or two and look at our little fun-fest with a more objective view, yes? No. You'll never quite manage to push your brain through the sludge that easy, will you? Hmm.
          Try this: Stop posting like an idiot in this thread (I know you'll keep doing it elsewhere anyway), stop responding to me and just come back later and read everything really reallly reallllly slowlyyyy. LOLOL
          Then you'll see you've been a big stupid douche and have a good laugh and move on.
          No, I can't believe you'd really be able to do that. It just defies belief. It's too big of a stretch. My brain may explode.
          No, you'll be mr. derpity-doo, kludging head-on into walls of your own making. That's how you roll.
          You actually think the bible is something to be treasured. I think that says more about you than it does me.
          Get it yet? No, of course not. People like you never seem to catch on to their own mistakes.
          I bet you still go to church. We get all kinds, here. You'll fit right in amongst the gibbering bare-assed babboons. Yep. This place is like a zoo. What's that smell? Oh, it's you again. Quit humping that bible and get in your cage.
          Here's some poo to get you started...

          October 25, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • bostontola

          Still no evidence from you. I repeat:

          Fact: you are a troll.
          Proof: you said so yourself at 9:53 above.

          Hypothesis: you are a faith based religious person masquerading as an atheist to make atheists look bad.
          Evidence: 1. Lack of critical thinking skills displayed in posts as shown by inability to distinguish opinion from fact, see comments above. 2. Accuses others of behavior they exhibit, see above where you provide no argument but accuse others of that. 3. Reverts to insult to mask inability to form argument. These are all characteristics of faith based religious thinkers. Not proof, but a lot of evidence.

          No doubt you are a troll, you said so yourself. Most likely a religious nut trying to make atheists look bad.

          October 25, 2013 at 11:18 am |
        • bostontola

          It is interesting that you accuse many of lacking intelligence, then you continue to hurl insults after I cited your using insults as evidence of my assertion. You keep piling on the evidence. Is that your definition of intelligent behavior?

          October 25, 2013 at 11:29 am |
        • Crom

          I don't think you understand the different types of troll. But who cares. You are so stupid it hardly matters.

          Fact: You are a troll.
          Proof: everything you've ever written.
          Time: some constipated notion of time like you've got just to laugh at you some more
          Place: here and all over this blog
          Who: you
          Clueless: You
          Stupid: You
          Ass-hat: You
          Laughing at you: Me
          Enjoying your fail: Me
          Must suck to be: You
          You: Loser
          Still Laughing at this silly format you think is hot stuff: Me
          What next, are you going to start throwing links around? LOL
          Check this out:
          http://www.bostontolaisthebiggestdumbfuckonthecnnbeliefblog(dot)com.ru

          October 25, 2013 at 11:33 am |
        • bostontola

          snoring...

          October 25, 2013 at 11:35 am |
        • Crom

          Ready to wake up yet? Ready to move on?

          October 25, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • bostontola

          Can't create an argument, only responds with insults. Is it:

          A. A critical thinker.
          B. A scientist.
          C. An artist.
          D. A faith based immature thinker.

          Don't read further if you want to work this out for yourself.

          Answer:
          D

          October 25, 2013 at 11:45 am |
        • Crom

          Wow, just how old are you anyway? 10?
          You kids always have more energy than me, dammit.
          Well, it has been fun, so thanks for that.
          I was going to have more giggles with your latest format, but I'm tired.
          Thanks for having fun with me today. :D
          My only question is: How would you like to proceed?
          Random squabbles whenever we feel like it?
          Total avoidance? Total flamewar on every thread?
          I'll leave the choice up to you, as I have little interest either way.

          October 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • bostontola

          D.

          October 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
        • Crom

          You mean you're really 10 years old?
          I think you need to be banned. Only 13 and older are allowed here.
          I don't fight flame wars with little kids. Piss off.

          October 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • krhodes

      Boy, it sure would be nice if atheist folks would actually build and argument with a set of premises and conclusion to make their arguments instead of making claims they do not and probably cannot back up. Just a thought since they seem to think they are intelligent?

      October 25, 2013 at 2:33 am |
      • Crom

        You must be new here. What you ask has been done thousands of times in this blog. You just sound stupid even saying that.

        October 25, 2013 at 2:46 am |
      • sam stone.

        creationist argument: "a creator did it, that creator is not only A god, but it is the god of the bible"

        and you want to chide atheists on their lack of a logical argument?

        seriously?

        October 25, 2013 at 6:55 am |
      • Sean Lynch

        My arguments:
        Assumptions: Reality exists. The laws of physics are consistent throughout the universe and time. Living beings are capable of learning.
        My position: I lack belief of supernatural-that which lies beyond nature- and I lack belief of deity.
        My claim: There is no specific repeatable, measurable, quantifiable evidence of god(s). This claim can be refuted with evidence.
        Have at it krhodes!

        October 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
        • Sean Lynch

          Crickets chirped in the eery silence as krhodes departed in the darkness of ignorance from whence he came.
          I looked up at the stars and feasted on the banquet of science the minds of giants had prepared for me.

          October 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  18. Atheism is the natural state of children and every living thing

    Their lies couldn't change things

    October 24, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      but then nor do my lies or my prayers

      October 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Paul

      "Atheism is the natural state of children and every living thing"

      Really?
      Atheist: "There is no god."
      Theis: "There is a god."
      Agnostic: "There may or may not be a god."

      Julie: Congratulations Sarah, I just heard you had twins!
      Sarah: Yes, thank. But, you know, it's sad...
      Julie: What is?
      Sarah: Well, there both atheists!

      The statement ""Atheism is the natural state of children and every living thing" is clearly false.

      October 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • sam stone.

        paul: gnosticism (or a-gnosticism) and theism (or a-theism) are not mutually exclusive

        one deals with whether something is KNOWABLE (gnostic meaning KNOWLEDGE), the other deals with belief

        one can be a gnostic atheist (I know there is no god), a gnostic theist (I know the is a god), an agnostic atheist (I don't KNOW one way or the other, but I do not believe there is a god) or an agnostic theist (I don't KNOW one way or the other, but I believe there is a god).

        October 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • sam stone.

        Claiming that the statement "athiesm is the natural statement of affairs" is false does not make it so

        When you were born, did you believe in god?

        October 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
        • sam stone.

          do you think that, without external influences, people would believe in a god?

          October 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • sam stone.

          Come on, Paul. Did you take a page from the Gopher playbook and simply ignore the questions whose answers conflict with your beliefs? Are you as much a coward as he?

          October 25, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • tallulah13

        They're, not there.

        October 25, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  19. barcs

    The billboard pretty much says exactly what Christians have been telling everybody for the last thousand years. Yeah, we know you guys have big egos and blindly think you are right and everyone else is wrong. The difference is you can no longer torture and execute people for it. Instead of promoting that primitive mentality, why not make billboards about the positives of your religion instead of using fear and ignorance as a marketing tool?

    October 24, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • somethingstellar

      I don't think they'd know what to do with themselves without it. Because many people have stated on here they're only with God as some kind of eternal life insurance. And the Church has relied on it for centuries to attract and keep people. Especially the kiddies! I mean if they're scared a made up man is going to give them coal or socks for Christmas, imagine what an eternity burning in hell sounds like to them.
      Oh wait, I do remember, I grew up Christian. It was terrifying. At least until I figured out that if the Christian god were real then every other god would have to be too to attribute for Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Wiccans etc etc all reporting the same "good feelings of evidence of god's/goddess' creation" that Christians use as their entire base for their faith.

      October 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  20. somethingstellar

    @Paul
    I think the bigger question is, do you?
    Because I just mentioned facts. You're the one who looks at that type of thing and has to get all religious about it. How are you special that way exactly? Because everyone of every religion feels their god did it. They also feel they've "felt the evidence, it's so obvious, how could you not see?". So if there is a god, he's doing that to everyone, because even plenty of atheists can look at the universe and be in awe and feel the spiritual feelings attributed to it. That just requires a brain. In fact, brain scans done suggest that the frontal lobes in those who meditate and those who pray are the same or very very similar. Other brain scans have suggested that meditation shapes the structure of the brain, and so prayer very well could too as its technically a form of meditation. And meditation came centuries before praying to the Christian god did. It doesn't mean some god is listening to them. It just means your brain is active, and if you were Muslim or Hindu or anything else, you'd still have that feeling, and you'd think it was your god who must have done it.

    October 23, 2013 at 6:32 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.