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. Science

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

    Texas Textbook Publishers Say No To Creationism: Watchdog Report .

    October 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • barcs

      Thank god! Common sense still does exist!

      October 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  2. Simon Lloyd

    My main reason for denying religion is the only thing that suggests gods may be real is the existence of religions dedicated to them.
    However NONE of these religions have anything even remotely concrete or worthwhile suggesting the actual existence of their gods. Furthermore while many of these religious groups preach altruistic beliefs – these same groups rarely behave in an altruistic manner.

    These billboards are not offensive to an atheist, we are not an organized group with any form of set goals. I don't need to fight religion directly, all I have to do is support public education and bit by bit religion WILL go away. Spirituality might stay around but the "evils" of organized religion will fade out.

    Assuming we can actually as a nation provide equal and effective education. Believe what you want and if you keep it in your mouth I won't ever comment on your various supreme beings again.

    October 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  3. somethingstellar

    Unless you lack total reading comprehension or fail to grasp how timelines work, i really don't see how this is that hard.
    Its all right there, in Genesis, in black and white. Starting from the 4th page, and rolling over onto the 5th and sixth pages.
    I mean, the fact that y'all don't even know what your own creation story says means you should have no business trying to have it taught in science class lol! Because its a very simple and obvious error.

    God makes Adam, Makes eve out of rib, told not to eat apple, first sin, cast out of garden of Eden, Cain, Abel, Cain gets MARRIED and has children, Cain kills Abel, Cain is banished to wander the desert forever with his family, yet god loves him enough to protect him from getting lynched, years later Eve gives birth to Seth and only after Seth are other sons and daughters mentioned. LONG after Cain was able to select his wife from NOTHING. All there. Do you want me to quote exact lines too? Because I've got the Bible open right here in front of me.

    There's only so many ways you can interpret that, even though its your favorite excuse to say we're interpreting it wrong. But its all there. Like the quote that was shared on here earlier, its not the parts of the bible I don't understand that bug me, its the parts I do.

    October 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • KennyB

      The Bible is a book written by man. You can not use the Bible as proof to back the claim of divine creation. What you have is blind faith and that is perfectly acceptable if that is what you prefer. However don't point to a book that has no scientific evidence in it to back your claims. Remember in the Dark Ages that reading and writing were strictly controlled so that only clergy and nobility could do either. So of course the church at the time could write whatever it chose to. After all how many Celtic Dieties have been stolen from their mythos and turned into "Saints"? How many holidays have been stolen and changed into christian celebrations. This was done by the Catholic Church in the name of conversion always keep that in mind.

      October 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
      • somethingstellar

        Did you even READ my comment?
        I wasn't defending Christianity one bit.
        In fact I was pointing out the glaring hole in their ridiculous version of the most important moment in mankind's history.

        October 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • somethingstellar

        In fact, more atheists ought to have the bible in front of them when they"re ripping it apart. Ripping it apart in the most accurate fashion dispells any chance for argument lol! Because not one person so far has been able to adequately answer it, without doing the usual side-stepping buying time and ignoring what I actually said garbage. Even someone who mocked me for not being able to read scrolls in Hebrew like he could couldn't even answer it lol! That was by far my proudest moment.

        October 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • somethingstellar

          Er... proudest moment on here. not in life hahaha

          October 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  4. Susan StoHelit

    I like the billboard.

    It's got a tone of friendly rivalry, rather than denying atheist's humanity, calling us satanists, claiming to be the only ones who are decent people, etc. Both sides should be able to speak up and post their beliefs – it's nice when there's a civil tone to it. We need atheist billboards – they help people understand that you don't have to be in the closet and you're not alone – and there's nothing wrong with religious ones either.

    People will believe what they believe – a billboard just helps you know what groups are out there.

    October 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Sean Lynch

      I agree Susan! Celebrate diversity of opinion. We have to work together to solve difficult problems that confront society.
      Billboards present an opportunity for dialog and discussion.

      October 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  5. Joey

    I don't consider this to be taunting me at all. They way I see it this billboard probably led to Creationists being taunted, and that is a good thing.

    October 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  6. David

    The billboards and the god versus no god debate in general – what is each side's goal? If it is to convert the other, it will always fail. It simply puts them on the defensive. If the goal is to try to ridicule the other, then one has to question if the energy spent on such is worth the "result." As long as Atheists don't try to pass laws banning freedom of worship (i.e. keep government out of our churches) and Christians don't try to pass laws imposing their religious beliefs on others (i.e. keep our churches out of our schools), we could focus our energy in positive directions that benefits everyone.

    October 23, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Agreed

      It also leaves out the idea of "God" the concept and leaves room for only "God" the being.

      October 23, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      You assume its a level playing field. The religious ARE passing laws based on faith in many states. They ARE hobbling science with presidential mandates. Atheists are only asking that the existing laws that are supposed to uphold a secular government be followed. A huge difference between the two groups.

      We have the right to be free from religion as well, when we speak out in defense of that right, everyone from the religious nuts to middle of the road people like yourself tell us to shut up and go away so it can be 'peaceful' again.

      October 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • Up for Debate

        Religion is just a colorful way of expressing one's opinion. If you are free from religion you'll be free from song, archetypes myths and legends you will not however be free of opinion.

        October 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • WhatintheWorld

          Really? How euphemistic of you. What a colorful way of expressing "if you don't take Christ as your savior you are doomed to hell." How lovely. The poison comes wrapped in a pretty box with a bow.

          And your argument about needing religion to have song, etc., is patently false.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          Religious opinion, yes, I'll agree that all the rhetoric coimng from the right is opinion and yes we would still have opinions after religion is removed. However, most people don't start out life with the "opinion" that they hate gay people, they don't start with the opinion that killing abortion doctors is okay, they don't start with the opinion that they don't have to care about the planet because an all powerful being will come and save us from ourselves. These are all indoctrinated opinions that would fade into the background if we were able to get rid of organized religion.

          October 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • Up for Debate

          You both think all there is to religion is just the radical rightwing sect of Christianity.

          October 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • Up for Debate

          Did it ever occur to either of you that there other religions besides just Christianity?

          October 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Did it ever occur to either of you that there other religions besides just Christianity?"

          Of course. After I left my position as pastor and left my congregation I researched many other religions. Most had virtually identical moral teachings wrapped up in varrying traditional rituals. None were able to provide any empirical proof of their beliefs either and relied on good feelings and faith to claim a spiritual connection with their deity. I like the social aspect of religion and the bringing people together for a common cause and getting people motivated to be more present in their lives and find out that giving is more rewarding than receiving and to treat your neighbor as you want to be treated, I agree with all those good things, however, religion is completely unnecessary in the equation. They are the Stone in Stone Soup. We have no evidence of anything supernatural, no evidence of God or gods, angels or demons, so why do we need to get all caught up with bickering as to whos imaginary version is correct while we could just focus on all the charitibale acts and selfless giving and empathy and humanity of giving and getting to know one another and finding out that not only are we not that different than our Muslim or Mormon or Baptist or dark skinned or albino neighbors, but we are EXACTLY the same and have no need for the segregation of religion.

          October 23, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Barcs

      The atheists' goal is to stop indoctrination and the spreading of faith as absolute truth applied in laws and taught in school. Basically they want to keep church and state separate as it was originally intended when the country was founded. Religion / faith should be a private thing.

      The theists' goal is to force their religion on others and force it to be taught in schools despite having no way whatsoever to verify it. They want to publicly promote it and force slogans like "under god" into the pledge of allegiance and have "in god we trust" on our currency. They want to halt any scientific research that goes against their guess on religion like stem cell research and cloning that could help thousands of people who suffer from various debilitating ailments.

      One cause is based on logic and the pursuit of the truth and science. The other is about forcing a guess on society as truth and spreading lies. It's obvious which cause is noble and which is just clinging onto an old outdated belief system as literal truth and getting upset when anybody calls it what it is. A faith based guess.

      October 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • MattinDC

        I disagree that may be the mandate in PAROCHIAL schools since they have RELIGION as a subject. But in EVERY US
        public school ZERO religion is taught. So right there Church & State is obviously seperate unless you have an issue with saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

        October 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • redzoa

          Unfortunately, MattinDC's claim is demonstrably false . . .

          October 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "As early as this year, public schools in Texas may be able to teach students about intelligent design in their science classes, reigniting the much-heated debate over the teaching of evolutionary theory. Because of a decision made by the State Board of Education back in 2009 – requiring teachers to encourage students to scrutinize “all sides” of current scientific theories, including evolution – a number of proposed supplemental materials are quickly making way to the board for review in July." – http://www.christianpost.com/news/intelligent-design-creationism-making-headway-into-texas-public-schools-50210/

          Zero? Really?

          October 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • Barcs

          That's not what I'm saying. I'm talking about the theist fundamentalist groups like Ken Ham's AIG, Kent Hovind's YEC, etc, not all theists. They want religion taught in public schools and have fought for it, for a long time. They DO spread lies. I'm aware it's not currently allowed, but they support it 100% and claim that evolution is false, despite having no evidence to support either viewpoint. They also fight to keep beneficial science like stem cell research banned because of nothing more than a belief.

          I do have issues with the pledge. I shouldn't have to pledge allegiance to anybody, especially when kids recite it like mantra and put a line about god in it. It's not fair to force kids to recite the pledge, especially if they don't believe in god. Separation of church & state is being ignored in this case. Same with the currency.

          October 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • MattinDC

          I don't have a problem with the pledge since I've had relatives in EVERY war in US History from Lexington & Concord to VIetnam. (Persian Gulf, Iraq & Afghanistan DON'T count) and my dad is retired from NSA. I'll pledge to this country in a NY minute! BY far the BEST country on this planet. Sure it has issues but this debate ALONE we are havong is a testament to our freedoms, our happiness and our futures.
          U S A...U S A....U S A.......!

          October 23, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Barcs

          Hey if this country was under attack I'd be the first to take up arms and defend it. The problem is most wars and conflicts we are involved in are not even close to that. We aren't defending our country, we are attacking others in what is essentially a war for resources and Christian dominance, where the majority of casualties are innocent civilians. I can't support that. It's not what our founding fathers wanted and it's not in the best interests of the country or its people. Blind allegiance is faith, and I love this country but our government is a piece of garbage and we're not defending our interests, we're defending THEIR interests. Big difference.

          October 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Up for Debate

        You think every atheist and every theist is exactly the same in their views. There is a wide variety in both categories.

        October 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Barcs

          battle war

          sorry just testing to see which words are preventing my response from getting blocked.

          October 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
        • Barcs

          I'm not talking about all atheists or all theists. I'm talking about specifically the ones involved in the billboard war. fundie christians and avid atheists.

          October 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          All theists have been indoctrinated in their religion from some peer, even those who took to religion later in life, they had to ask questions about the deeper things in religion to claim to adhere and believe and become a member of a certain denomination.

          All atheists simply don't see any evidence for God and thus don't believe.

          You have to admit, anyone who has pressed themselves into a Christian mold and accepted unproven things on faith are far more like each other than a bunch of people who don't collect stamps together...

          October 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
      • Sara

        Neither atheists nor theists as groups have goals, they just either have or don't have beliefs and opinions on the existence of gods.

        October 24, 2013 at 12:40 am |
        • somethingstellar

          I would say the Crusades were a pretty big theistic goal.
          Every time a Jihadist blows up the American "infidels", that's a theistic goal.
          Every holy war ever fought were theistic goals.
          This stupid museum being built was a theistic goal.
          Going door to door knocking "sharing the good word" and anything related to conversion now and in the past is/was a theistic goal.
          Derailing gay marriage is a theistic goal, much like derailing interracial marriage was.
          Any time a Jihadi destroys an ancient artifact or temple, that's a theistic goal.
          Having Christian or any creation myth taught to impressionable children in public school science classes in order to influence their choices is a theistic goal.

          Most of the atheistic goals, however, can be found in Russia and North Korea lol.

          October 24, 2013 at 1:12 am |
        • Sara

          stellar, none of those were goals of theists as a whole, but specific subsets with other beliefs beying "gods exist". Calling any of those a goal of theism is like calling the communist state a goal of atheism.

          October 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      You're missing an option.

      The billboards aren't necessarily to ridicule nor convert – what about simply to advertise? To let atheists know about a group they might be interested in, those who don't identify as atheist, but don't believe in god can see it and think maybe they should check into the group. Likewise for the creationist ad.

      October 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  7. Me n my metaphors

    When I read a religious text I look for inner truth not the external. What I get from chapter one in the bible is a metaphor for atheism.
    Just as soon as I realized there is no proof of God at all I realized how permanent death looks.
    But I maintain hope, after all it's only chapter one.

    October 23, 2013 at 10:20 am |
  8. TT

    President tells god, you didn't create it!

    October 23, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  9. TT

    Obama tells God, "You didn't create it".....lol

    October 23, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  10. My opinion

    I know two things

    I know that matter goes from a state of order to a state of disorder on its own.

    I know that snakes don't talk.

    It tells me that both theories may be crud.

    October 23, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • barcs

      What do you mean by "on its own"? Without other energy, it's pretty hard for something to become "less ordered" on its own.

      October 23, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • Sean Lynch

      Many states times matter become more ordered at a lower state of energy. Consider sodium and chlorine ions in a aqueous solution (salt water). As the water evaporates taking heat energy with it random ions form into well ordered NaCl salt crystals.

      October 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • My opinion

        barcs, I'm basing my opinion on entropy. Sean, good point. It just seems to me there must have been some sort of cause. I can't dismiss Darwin's theory entirely but it seems to me like matter would break down rather than build up. Maybe thinking of matter theories are none to do with theories of life forms. (Macro/Micro?)

        October 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
        • Sean Lynch

          MO:"...there must have been some sort of cause"
          Reason and purpose are separate from cause.
          Chemical reactions proceed because it is energetically favorable to do so. In one or some of these reactions a template for duplication and replication of the reaction was formed. The first gene. Was the template organic or inorganic?
          (organic=carbon based, not having to do with life)
          In seeking a cause, ask not "why?" ask instead "how is this possible?"

          October 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
        • Bb

          The problem is entropy refers to a closed system and the Earth is certainly NOT a closed system. Therefore entropy is not at odds with abiogenesis and certainly not at odds with evolution. Note that those two things are distinctly seperate.

          October 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Crom

      Order and disorder are subjective terms, not some intrinsic property of the universe. Please adjust your brains accordingly.

      October 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  11. James

    I I will just say that everyone deep inside knows about creationism some people just choose to ignore it because they feel its not for them and that's how we arrive at atheism. Why does the moon shine? is the dirt material of the moon luminescent? or are you just going to go with the moon reflects the Suns light, you know atheists these are good questions to ask yourselves, something as amazing to behold as the moon and it glows...yet up close it doesn't glow...yet it gives light in the dark, weather or not it actually reflects the Suns light is not the point I just want you to think about how amazing the moon is and why its there...what's ts purpose why is it close to a lil blue planet called earth? How about the Sun, essential for life according to science who put it there???? We cannot be in denial for ever you know, God's spirit will not remain with man forever..so I suggest we all do a little research maybe even buy a copy of the bible I suggests World English Bible, or NKJB, or any of the Standard American bible versions.

    October 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • somethingstellar

      I sincerely hope you're joking lol!
      Ok, maybe you can answer this question for me since other creationist nuts haven't been able to answer it for me.
      In Genesis, where does Cain's wife come from?

      Because Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel. Cain gets married, kills Abel out of some jealousy, and is banished to wander the deserts with his family for the rest of his life. So, where did Cain get this magical wife to have this family? Because Eve didn't have "other sons and DAUGHTERS" until AFTER Seth came along to replace Abel which was after he was banished and already had this family. So how is it, that Cain got a wife at a time when Eve would have been the only woman on the planet? Did god just magically create her out of some dust somewhere or out of some non-existent person's rib for convenience to make the story seem less incestuous and fail to pass it on to the authors of this fictional tale? How is it that Cain had a wife with which to procreate that wasn't Eve?

      Even modern fictional stories try to leave out plot holes THAT huge.

      October 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
      • jarhead333

        Do you spend more time trying to disprove the Bible then you do developing your own beliefs? That is the problem I see with moth atheists. It seems that atheists are more infatuated with poking holes in others beliefs, then finding evidence to support their own. As for James, I am not sure that I would have used the same references as you, but I do agree that there are instances that cannot be explained.

        October 22, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
        • somethingstellar

          LOL you just proved yourself a fool right off the bat with your wild assumption there.
          Guess what, raised Christian. Now, I follow Buddhist philosophy. And I say philosophy because it is both a religion with the occasional mention of deities, depending on which branch you go down, and a philosophy that people of any or no religion could adopt if they wanted to.

          But of course, you assume atheists have NO beliefs hahahaha. Shows what you know.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:01 am |
        • somethingstellar

          Oh, and FYI, there is far more proof for atheists than there is for you.
          Just because you deny carbon dating as a falsehood to keep your beliefs alive another minute doesn't mean that its true lol!

          October 23, 2013 at 12:15 am |
        • somethingstellar

          Instead of carbon dating I should have said ALL dating techniques, because there are three.
          And what have you got, besides an old book with a story that isn't even cohesive?

          October 23, 2013 at 12:19 am |
        • jarhead333

          Dictionary definition of atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:34 am |
        • somethingstellar

          And? I already know that.
          Nowhere in my statement did I indicate I believe in gods/deities. Thats why I took the PHILOSOPHY and not the RELIGION. Do you know how to debate at all? Or are you just wasting my time? The dictionary knows more than you do it seems.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:38 am |
        • jarhead333

          It is my experience that "atheists" are infatuated with disproving others beliefs. If you subscribe to Buddhism, then why do you take offense to comments on atheists? Atheism is the lack of belief in any possibility of God. I do not see how the possibility of a creator can be out of the discussion.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:40 am |
        • Sean Lynch

          jarhead333: "Atheism is the lack of belief in any possibility of God. "
          When you add "in any possibility" to the definition of atheism it crosses over into the realm of gnostic atheist and agnostic atheist.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:59 am |
        • somethingstellar

          lol do you know WHY atheists tend to lean towards infatuation with poking holes in your beliefs?
          Because many of your folk want it to be law that science classes must teach your lies. And so thats why we call out your lies, because you somehow think that because you're fine to live in ignorance the rest of your lives, that our kids should have to be indoctrinated to it too. You use your beliefs to restrict rights to people. The bible is being used in the fight against gay marriage, just like it did in the fight against interracial marriage and civil rights, just like it did when people wanted to keep their slaves. All because YOU believe some story that doesn't even make sense. If you spent more time answering my question and less time attacking my comment, I might have agreed with you and this whole thing would be done. Because unlike you, I'm not affixed to an outcome. If it does turn out we discover god did it, then great, I'll take it. If it turns out to be something else, great, now we know! But to shove that garbage down everybody's throats, who are paying for education as much as YOU are, when the story doesn't even make sense, is utter nonsense. If you want to play it that way, then ALL creation stories need to be taught in class. And guess what? They already HAVE classes for that. People who claim to study scrolls can't even answer my question. And it's a fairly simple one. If this is the perfect story of our creation, of our birth, the most important moment in all of history on Earth, from god, why the glaring hole? When history has proven time and time again that no creation theory got it right and no other god was more truer than the other?
          Even if there is A god, what makes you think there's even just one, besides your bible told you so? Because there have been many many gods before yours, there's a much higher chance that one of them is it than yours. Just because you "see evidence of it every day and I feel it!" Guess what? Scientologists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Wiccans, everyone who has strong faith in their belief system, says the same thing. You're not special by any means in that regard. Hell there are even pockets of people who still pray to the Greek gods of yore and they'd likely tell you the same thing. Because thats what religion in general does. And guess what? They all have people who claim to be sons of gods or to have spoken with their gods and interacted with them. We still have those people today in fact, but they live in homeless shelters and beg for change or they start cults.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:57 am |
        • jarhead333

          You say "YOU" a lot, as if you know me. The truth is, there are people who misrepresent every group of people. I don't know what school you grew up in, but mine, or any other public school, did not teach Christianity. If I am not mistaken, that has been illegal for many years. If you think that our faith is a fraud, then that is fine. I personally believe that it is as believable as any other theory I have heard put out there. I am not condemning you. I just find it odd that so many people are fixated on disproving Christianity as they are supporting their own beliefs.

          October 23, 2013 at 1:07 am |
        • jarhead333

          Good talk

          October 23, 2013 at 1:21 am |
        • barcs

          " If you subscribe to Buddhism, then why do you take offense to comments on atheists? Atheism is the lack of belief in any possibility of God. I do not see how the possibility of a creator can be out of the discussion."

          You should probably do some research before commenting on Buddhism. Buddhism is more of a way of life, than a religion, and it isn't about believing in gods or deities. You are assuming Buddhism is a theistic religion, but it's not, it's atheistic for the most part.

          Also most atheists would believe in god, should the evidence arise. Unfortunately there is none, so they reject your belief system. No need to be upset about it. It's the logical default that god does not exist, and until evidence is presented that can change this, it will continue to be that way.

          October 23, 2013 at 11:19 am |
        • Sara

          I think the atheists arguing agains certain god beliefs are just the only ones who have a reason to talk to you.

          October 24, 2013 at 12:43 am |
      • somethingstellar

        I can see where you got your name from because I can just picture a big empty jar on your head.
        I didn't say I BELIEVE in them. Not for a second. I believe its more likely to be one of the variations on the multiverse theory than I think its any god or gods.
        But if scientists did stumble upon it, I'd have no choice but to accept is all I'm saying. I sincerely believe they won't, but if they did, fine! Good for them.
        Goodness. Well, I know there's at least two books you've read in your life lol. Well, a book and a definition from another.

        So. You want our children to believe, that "eternal" god floated around in the empty existence for forever and ever and ever until one "day" (quotation marks because days don't exist without a planet to spin on its axis) he decided he needed to create a whoooooooole universe to have one planet full of violent sinful people worship him?

        LOL such typical sidestepping. I'm done wasting my time.
        I love these quotes that were posted earlier. I do hope you saw them because they very much sound like they apply to you.

        "If we are going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction." Judith Hayes

        “Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.”
        _ Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

        October 23, 2013 at 1:24 am |
      • james

        Gen.5:4 meanwhile there were many sons and daughters born to adam and eve and from them cain was able to chose a wife. I see no problem there. please go to jw.org to learn what the Bible really teaches and at no charge.

        October 23, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • somethingstellar

          LOL so one little sentence that doesn't even make sense is all you need?
          Let me repeat. The bible itself says Eve didn't have ANY daughters until sometime after Seth. And they don't even say when! It could have been 4 more sons after Seth before Eve ever had her first daughter or she could have had her right after Seth, either way no matter when she has her AFTER SETH, there was no woman around from which Cain could choose a wife BEFORE SETH was even alive. Get it? Because I can't speak slowly to you over the internet. Doesn't work.

          October 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
        • somethingstellar

          And FYI, Genesis 5:4 says, and I quote
          "The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters."

          So I don't know where you got your quote from.

          October 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @somethingstellar : Eve didn't have "other sons and DAUGHTERS" until AFTER Seth came along to replace Abel

        Well, your faith causes you to believe this, but do you have any evidence of this? After all, the Bible doesn't STATE that all of the other DAUGHTERS came after Abel died. We don't even know if the first born was Cain. All we know from the Bible is that Cain was born before Abel – but many other sons and daughter could have come before and we KNOW that many others came afterward.

        October 23, 2013 at 10:36 am |
        • Jpub

          What about the children of Lilith?

          October 23, 2013 at 11:02 am |
        • somethingstellar

          Unless you lack total reading comprehension or fail to grasp how timelines work, i really don't see how this is that hard.
          Its all right there, in Genesis, in black and white. Starting from the 4th page, and rolling over onto the 5th and sixth pages.
          I mean, the fact that y'all don't even know what your own creation story says means you should have no business trying to have it taught in science class lol! Because its a very simple and obvious error.

          God makes Adam, Makes eve out of rib, told not to eat apple, first sin, cast out of garden of Eden, Cain, Abel, Cain gets MARRIED and has children, Cain kills Abel, Cain is banished to wander the desert forever with his family, yet god loves him enough to protect him from getting lynched, years later Eve gives birth to Seth and only after Seth are other sons and daughters mentioned. LONG after Cain was able to select his wife from NOTHING. All there. Do you want me to quote exact lines too? Because I've got the Bible open right here in front of me.

          There's only so many ways you can interpret that, even though its your favorite excuse to say we're interpreting it wrong. But its all there. Like the quote that was shared on here earlier, its not the parts of the bible I don't understand that bug me, its the parts I do.

          October 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Sean Lynch

      James; the moon has no more purpose than a single hydrogen atom. It is simply there, part of nature, part of reality.
      Reality is what it is.
      No purpose intended, no purpose needed.

      October 23, 2013 at 1:34 am |
      • james

        another james (no caps) why do you claim the moon has no purpose when both science and the Bible explain real benefits from it, see Ps.104:19; Isa.66:23; Matt.26:2,20,26-30, etc or the science of the tides etc.too many to list here.

        October 23, 2013 at 10:35 am |
        • somethingstellar

          It means that just because the moon has an effect on the Earth, it doesn't mean it was put there specifically for that purpose.
          Because if that's why moons are there, then a gas giant like Jupiter having 67 of them would be pointless. Pluto having 5 moons would be pointless. Uranus having 27 moons would be pointless. So thus, the only moon that we have found so far to actually serve a real purpose is ours, but that does not mean "god put it there" for that effect. He'd have just made all that stuff work without a moon required if thats really how things went down and if he were really oh so powerful that he can write physics himself.

          October 23, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
        • MattinDC

          Nope....Pluto is NOT a planet...so your thesis fails miserably. Thanks for sharing though!

          October 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
        • somethingstellar

          Actually, Pluto is a SUB-planet, and it STILL has moons. Its moons didn't fall off and fly in to the sun just because some scientists downgraded it a few years ago.
          LOL Nice try yourself. Next time, why don't you read a little more on the subject before you go making yourself look stupid lol!

          October 23, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
        • MattinDC

          Ok Ms. Astronomer Scientist, genius, Mensa candidate read this book and enlighten yourself:
          How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming: Author Mike Brown ...
          Nuff said...rask THAT I'm out!
          Go REDSKINS beat broncos!

          October 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
        • Sean Lynch

          I love the moon. Truly I do, when I see her I wink at her.
          Because something has beauty or function doesn't imply a higher purpose. Our wonderful self programming pattern matching brains seek to find purpose and patterns in what we see. I see a cloud, methinks it is a unicorn...it is our ability to imagine, to seek purpose and understanding in the world around us, and this seeking and imagination allowed us to land on the moon, a God and Goddess in many cultures past. I will look up the passages you reference because many parts of the prose of the Bible are pretty and imaginative. To mistake art as having any more meaning than it does is to do disservice to the practical tools of imagination; science and math. Use all the tools available to you appreciate the universe around you james and James.

          October 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
        • somethingstellar

          And what? You think that makes the case for god putting the moon there to fit a specific purpose?
          Pluto is STILL a dwarf planet, STILL has 5 moons, and is STILL an apt example.
          I'd have used the dwarf planet Ceres too if it had any moons I knew about. Unfortunately I didn't exactly feel like listing the entire solar system of moons. And that's just ours because there are millions of galaxies with millions of stars with millions of moons, most of those moons being totally useless and just orbiting pieces of rocks.
          Even asteroids have a moon like effect, but they're called binary asteroids. So you can go "Pluto is not a planet" as if it makes any sort of case for your end but it doesn't change the fact that a moon is a moon and it doesn't care where it is, what it orbits or what it does.
          Keep stretching though. Don't hurt yourself.

          October 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I don't feel any need to attach a god to the wonders of the universe. There is no need.

      October 23, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  12. cswalker21

    I wish religious people would spend their taxpayer-subsidized money on things they are supposed to be doing like tending to the sick and needy instead of engaging in childish billboard wars.

    October 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Agreed

      When I was a poor student food stamps were denied to me because I was in school. That was the reason. If it weren't for the local church at that time I would have gone hungry.
      As I see it that's why that money is there not for this.

      October 23, 2013 at 4:53 am |
  13. Cami

    I used to spend hours and hours obsessed with the story of Genesis. It's one of the few Bible stories I do know. As an evolutionist I never would have guessed it to mean the literal beginning of things just a metaphor for something else, but I never knew what so I'd obsess on it.

    One day though I was obsessing on it and I thought, what it all that actually was real, what if that tree existed and I was Eve and I'm still sitting under that tree and that everything I knew as my life was one big fruit induced hallucination.

    It would meant that nothing and no one actually exists or ever did.

    I guess that's one reason why I don't think about religion much anymore.

    October 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Cami

      Sorry about the typos. Bad day at work.

      October 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      lol Solipsism. It's a philosophy. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just a person in a coma or somebody who's stuck in his own mind in a wheelchair. There's no reason it couldn't be the case.

      October 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
      • Cami

        It's a creepy thought. Like what if we were just brains in jars on an alien vessel. You'd never know.

        October 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  14. Bill

    You all know what I just got? A flu shot.

    Did you creationists do the same? If teaching evolution is evil and dishonest then why would you obtain a flu shot? Wouldn’t you just be supporting the “lie”?

    October 22, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • barcs

      Never gotten a flu shot and never will. They are for paranoid people or folks with weak immune systems / old people.

      October 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Bill

      but the CDC recommends it.

      October 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • barcs

        Of course they do. I'm just not a fan of injecting viruses into my system, because it's already strong and I never get sick but your original point is true. These vaccines have to keep changing because the viruses mutate and evolve. Sorry didn't mean to derail your point there.

        October 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
        • MattinDC

          NO! It's perfectly OK to DERAIL the Flu Shot....

          October 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • MattinDC

          WELL! NOW I may get a Flu shot.....I admit I may have spoke too soon....Heart Disease runs in my family....

          In four studies examined, patients who had suffered recent heart attacks and who were randomly assigned to get flu shots had a 55 lower risk of having another major heart event, Udell and colleagues reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “This could be a vaccine against cardiovascular events,” Udell said.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
        • Barcs

          I'd love to see a source on that one. I have trouble believing that injecting yourself with the flu virus helps heart disease.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
        • MattinDC

          NBCnews.com (TODAY) had that article linking less heart attacks to the Flu Shot. Look it up.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        • Barcs

          I saw the source. Nothing is confirmed, however. This is their best guess on why.

          "People who get the flu are at higher risk for heart problems. And the researchers felt the reason is either something specific to the flu itself causing respiratory infections, the immune response of those who have ensuing heart attacks, stroke or congestive failure, or a combination."

          So it's not the flu shot itself, it's actually getting the flu that leads to increased chance of heart problems. By not getting the flu, you have less a chance. It makes sense, and the studies they did were people aged 67 and up (weaker immune systems). If I don't get the flu I don't ever have to worry and I've never gotten it in my life. So it's like I said. You only need it if you are old or have a weak immune system.

          October 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm |


    October 22, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Calling someone an idiot with your English this poor is not the effect I think you were going for.

      October 22, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • barcs


      October 22, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Frank

      I'm religious and i never did any of that stuff.

      October 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • IndyMike

      Do drugs much?

      October 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • Frank

        Not me.

        October 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
        • barcs

          It would be a lot cooler if you did.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Bill

          No sir.

          They ruin lives. Nothing fun about them.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        • Barcs

          Last I checked, the people taking the drugs are the ones who ruin lives, not the drugs themselves.

          October 22, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
        • sam stone.

          bill: if you think there is nothing fun about drugs, you have never done them. sure, sometimes addictions develop, but to say there is nothing fun about them is just foolish.

          also, how do inanimate objects take actions (i.e. "drugs ruin lives")?

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

      In her defense she may be bilingual and from one of those countries where that level of anger at said persons may be applicable.

      October 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
      • Sean Lynch

        I concur Cami. Even the word idiot would perhaps be more polite when translated from a different language. I wonder how a concept of "willfully ignorant" would translate to a single concept in another language.

        October 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Crom

      Danielle tells it like it is. She isn't trying to qualify for an English-speaking award ribbon. I like her just fine.

      October 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  16. Lynn

    These stupid Christian-ists spend money on this..which doesn't matter in the long run..while people starve. How does this show love????

    October 22, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • barcs

      Because promotion is more important than compassion. It's been the Christian mantra for years!

      October 22, 2013 at 10:38 am |
  17. Reality Check

    The funny thing is that for Christians, there is no commandment to believe the earth is a certain age or was created over a certain period of time. Genesis 1:1 is merely a poetic opening, an establishing shot, if you will.

    October 22, 2013 at 8:53 am |
  18. Nietodarwin

    “Scientists do not join hands every Sunday and sing "Yes gravity is real! I know gravity is real! I will have faith! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down, down. Amen!" If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about the concept.”
    _ Dan Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists

    October 22, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  19. Nietodarwin

    "Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. CHRISTIANITY IS THE MOST PERVERTED SYSTEM EVER SHOWN ON MAN"
    _ Thomas Jefferson

    October 22, 2013 at 8:33 am |
  20. Nietodarwin

    "If we are going to teach creation science as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction." Judith Hayes

    “Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.”
    _ Scott D. Weitzenhoffer

    October 22, 2013 at 8:30 am |
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About this blog

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.