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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. lol??

    Adam and Eve were banished to keep em away from the tree of life. So science decides to draw their own.

    December 15, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Geo Bruno

      But what about Lilith?

      December 15, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • lol??

        You know where the Fountain of Youth is in Florida along the interstate?? There's a plaque with pictures of a spot in the left lane where a Peterbilt did it in. People leave other roadkill in its honor such as snakes and mice, perhaps a squirrel or two. Look for a pottery stand run by a Deputy Sheriff right nest to it. He's also got fireworks under the counter in plane wrappers. You also might notice the huge display of plastic pink flamingos out front.

        December 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...under the counter in plane wrappers. "
          Those must be some BIG wrappers.

          December 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
        • lol??

          Yup, for those not in the know the disguise is toy glider kits from Midwest Products. The balsa wood is discarded or used to flame on message boards.

          December 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...used to flame on message boards. "
          No, you just don't like it when you get called on your nonsense. Carry on.

          December 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
        • Science Works

          Well lol?? gets to carry on as Mim and Jim maybe ?

          December 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  2. lol??

    Which came first, the power or the mass??

    December 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Bones McCoy

      Which came first? Nothing or god.

      December 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  3. George Marshall

    There is not a shred of scientific evidence to support "creationism. We are supposed to be living in the "Age of Enlightenment." The modern theory of evolution is supported by every branch of science. No wonder that we are held up to ridicule by most of the modern world.

    December 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • lol??

      Tryin' to impress the wurld?? Maybe they're drunk on power grabbing.

      December 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Salero21

      This is why I keep saying that atheism is Total stupidity all over, here there anywhere everywhere, anytime all the time every single time and forevermore.

      December 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
      • doobzz

        Not quite.

        You keep saying it because you're a silly little troll with one tiny thought in your tiny brain that you keep repeating over and over every single day.

        December 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
      • Bones McCoy

        So you keep calling atheists stupid because your worldview has ZERO evidence to back it? Interesting.

        December 16, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Single Celled Cousins

    In Search of the First Animals
    by Carl Zimmer

    1. Before multicellular animals evolved, their ancestors were single-celled protozoans that may have formed colonies. Our DNA shows that our closest non-animal relatives are critters called choanoflagellates. I wrote about our single-celled cousins in the New York

    http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/12/in-search-of-the-first-animals/

    December 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  5. Geo Bruno

    Here is one for Michelle B

    "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (NIV, 1 Timothy 2:9-10)

    December 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  6. Geo Bruno

    Leviticus 15:19
    19 " 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

    December 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
  7. Geo Bruno

    So plate tectonics is a lie?

    December 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
  8. Geo Bruno

    hmmmm isn't there way more factual data about evolution than about anything mentioned in the bible?

    December 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • lol??

      They've been at it for over 25 centuries and still no proof. Just a dream of their fathers. Pays well, though.

      December 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
      • Bones McCoy

        Correct. Creationists have been trying to prove their religion since its inception. When Christianity first started, it wasn't taken seriously until it was forced on the people with the penalty of torture/death for disobeying. You know something is true when folks try to murder you over it. Evolution is fact. Christianity / bible is not. Simple. One takes faith, the other is proven.

        December 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  9. Geo Bruno

    Which god do they mean

    The one for the rich or the one for the least of us?

    December 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Salero21

      I don't believe that you are one of the "least of us". That's why I've been saying that atheism is Total stupidity.

      December 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  10. Jim

    My mind is open, Atheists and Secular Fundamentalists minds are not. And that is why they keep insisting that Christians don't understand science or logic. No one can be "The Arbiter" of science and logic. Human's have a God given right to conduct science in search of any idea or truth. Christians have never suggested that the search for the answers to Abiogenesis be halted. Atheists and Secular Fundamentalists on the other hand, insist that science is somehow PROHIBITED from considering the possibility of Intelligent Design, when in fact, science has already proven that new organism's can and have been Intelligently Designed by man. Not from scratch of course, but "Intelligently Designed" nonetheless. So it is the Atheists and Secular Fundamentalists "logic", that science cannot investigate the possibility of I.D. that should be in question.

    December 15, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Science Works

      Ohio Supreme Court upholds the firing of a creationist science teacher

      December 15, 2013 at 9:47 am |
      • Harold

        Sensibility has hope.

        December 15, 2013 at 9:55 am |
      • Jim

        The Court should consider something else,Thomas Jefferson said: " it is impossible, I say, for the human mind NOT to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a Fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms and their regenerator into new and other forms. We see too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power to maintain the universe in it's course and order."

        December 15, 2013 at 10:03 am |
        • redzoa

          Appeal to Authority logical fail. Plus, interesting you pick a deist quote from before Darwin's theory was even known. Double fail . . .

          December 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • igaftr

      creationism/Intelligent design is a hypothesis. I can't even make it as a theory because there is no way to devise any tests for verification. No scientist would bother to pursue a hypothesis until a test can be created.

      Then , if it were testible, which god created everything? Nogomain allegedly created everything including himself, who he created out of nothing...no way to test that though.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • Jim

        Abiogenesis is the test that is used to falsify the premise that God is required in order for life to form. And so far, the premise that He still is, is upheld.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • igaftr

          Along with an infinite number of other premises.
          Are you suggesting that since we have not YET created life, is somehow evidence of a god?

          December 15, 2013 at 11:00 am |
        • Piccolo

          Jesus, Jim! Are we still repeating the same delusional nonsense about science? Abiogenesis has NOTHING TO DO WITH DISPROVING GOD. Read about it. It's about showing whether or not life can originate from its basic building blocks (amino acids). Stop being dishonest. There is no evidence for god at all. You can't seem to come to grips with this basic fact. Even if abiogenesis turns out to be wrong, it doesn't make god right by default. You need evidence for that, and you can't test god, so good luck proving anything.

          December 16, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • Jim

          To Piccolo. You can't test "string theory" either but science still looks at it.

          December 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • Former Xtian

          String theory is mathematical theory, it's not empirical science. Science "looks" at it because the math works. It's like when Einstein first started working with relativity. Do you have any god equations?

          December 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bob

      If your mind is TOO open, your brains start to leak out. Science is the arbiter of science. And NO ONE who uses the scientific method will find evidence of God through that method. Period.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:55 am |
      • urnotathinkerareu

        this statement is evidence we are primates.....

        December 15, 2013 at 11:07 am |
    • JAMES OLIVER

      I am an atheist but I am sure my mind could be changed. When I was very young I did believe only because that is what was told and really did not have the reasoning power to think otherwise. I am fairly sure there are a lot of atheists who could have a change of thought. For example, if God was to take the stars and align them to say "God is Real" I am certain most would change their mind.
      If it was really important to God for me to believe, I am certain he'd do something about it.

      December 15, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • redzoa

      "Atheists and Secular Fundamentalists on the other hand, insist that science is somehow PROHIBITED from considering the possibility of Intelligent Design, when in fact, science has already proven that new organism's can and have been Intelligently Designed by man. Not from scratch of course, but "Intelligently Designed" nonetheless."

      @Jim – This is either hopeless ignorance or you are hopelessly disingenuous. It has been explained to you before just a few pages back why ID is not science and why it's not testable or falsifiable. It's also been explained to you that evolution is itself a "designer" and Dembski has conceded his "design filter" cannot distinguish between apparent design (via evolution) and actual design (via god, aliens, etc). This is because ID has no identifiable mechanism to compare/contrast to the known and validated mechanisms of evolution.

      A few pages back, you betrayed your lack of scientific understanding by claiming one can test ID by exhausting all possible alternatives and then take ID as the default (ignoring the impossibility of knowing when all alternatives had, in fact, been tested). Of course, it was explained to you that science works on positive evidence which supports a hypothesis. It does not work on negative arguments of incredulity with a false dichotomy added on top (i.e. evolution can't explain "x," therefore, it must be ID, god, aliens, etc).

      You never responded with the basic requisite calculations to support your claim that earth should be receiving messages from advanced intelligences. You never offered a means to test your ID hypothesis. Simply coming here and repeatedly making unsupported claims is, ironically, all that ID has ever done. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that you would behave this way . . .

      December 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Bones McCoy

      Can you please define "secular fundamentalist".

      Thanks.

      December 16, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  11. tired of tacky

    Billboards are ugly, intrusive and an obnoxious blight on any landscape anywhere. What a colossal waste of resources from both groups. This is an egomaniacal waste of time and I seriously doubt it has convinced anyone to switch "teams". Why not take all that money spent on this bull crap and use it to help people who are in dire situations. Create some secular and religious philanthropies to feed some hungry and house some homeless and prove your points with positive actions that do not create harm or infringe on the life of other people. You believe in god? good for you, keep it at home. You don't believe? good for you, keep it at home. The main point being BE GOOD.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:30 am |
    • aj

      well said

      December 15, 2013 at 9:14 am |
  12. Mim

    Dear Atheist's, why do you care so much that I believe in God? That I believe in something bigger than myself? You say Christian's are not rational, yet where is your rationalism. Isn't it irrational to get into arguments and billboard wars with such irrational people who believe in a myth? Now, I thought you all were so much more rational than that. Why don't you all leave us looney tooney Christians alone to do our thing and we will leave you alone to do your's, cause to be quite honest, I really don't care if you believe in God or not. After all that is what is so great about being an American. The power to choose what to believe and not have someone else's beliefs forced down your throat at every turn. I know ya'll are gonna say Christian's have done it to us for sooo long, but do two wrongs make a right. Nope. Besides you guys are the rational ones so why argue with us anyway. And you all are the ones constantly preaching tolerance yet it is so impossible of you all to be tolerant of anyone of faith. Anyways, God Bless, Merry Christmas, May the light of God shine on your path and May the power of Jesus drag you kicking and screaming to the finish line. Amen!

    December 15, 2013 at 6:32 am |
    • Science Works

      Bill Nye: Debate Over Evolution In Texas Schools Is Jeopardizing Our Future

      Posted: 11/23/2013 5:01 pm EST | Updated: 11/23/2013 7:28 pm EST

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/23/evolution-in-texas-schools_n_4330218.html

      December 15, 2013 at 6:41 am |
      • TotalExistenceTheory.com

        Can God be understood? Are truth and lies the same? Some Chritstians like Athiests beleive that God created both time, space, and Matter. A catholic priest is the author of the big bang and it was indoresed by the Catholic Church in 1950. The point is that if God is not comprehensible, then God can be blamed for sin. This is the reason a church leader wrote love wins with the thinking that everyone will eventually go to heaven.

        If nothing formed out of emptiness and created something, then zero is equal to one proven by the eventual heat death that is proposed with the big bang theory.

        If one and zero are the same, then truth and lies are the same. An event records the truth just like a lie and if they both turn into nothing, then they are the same.

        Moreover, if one and zero are the same all math is finite and math can't be used to prove any theory or law.

        December 15, 2013 at 8:37 am |
        • Mim

          If the big bang theory is correct, and I am not disputing that it isn't, then where did all of those glorious and magnificent particles come from that gave us our known universe. It's like the age old adage, what came first the chicken or the egg? Those particles didn't create themselves because you can't create something from nothing? So where did those particles and that initial spark come from? Can some smart scientist or rational atheist please explain it to a little ole' irrational christian such as myself. I'm sorry I have had my head stuck in a Bible more than a science a book. Shame on you, Mim!

          December 15, 2013 at 8:48 am |
        • Science Works

          E=mc2

          December 15, 2013 at 8:50 am |
        • Mim

          Oh, how sweet of you to give me Einstein's Theory of Relativity! However, that doesn't really answer my question. I asked you where did all those particles come from you could have just told me you didn't know. That's ok, I totally forgive you! But I will answer it for you! Did you know that scientists have NO idea how the big bang happened. They know that before the existence of our universe there was NOTHING, nada, zip, zilch. Yet, somehow we have this great beautiful universe that just came out of nowhere and they have no idea how it all started. Guess what! My Bible does....And God said let there be light...BANG! Actually scientists believe it was more of an expansion than an actual BANG! No explosions or huge fires like ya see in the movies, cause lets face it space is a giant vacuum. So how am I doing for an irrational Christian? By the way I am a huge fan of Stephen Hawking! Tootles!

          December 15, 2013 at 9:50 am |
        • Science Works

          Hey Mim

          Time unaccounted for before the BIG BANG is about 1/10 of a second – let the casual agent BS begin !

          AND since you like Stephen Hawking you might want to read the article on CNN .

          Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says

          By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

          December 15, 2013 at 10:22 am |
        • Mim

          I am well aware of the fact that Stephen Hawking is an atheist. Is it a crime this day an age to appreciate the achievements of a brilliant scientist even though he doesn't believe in God. Intolerance indeed!

          December 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Piccolo

          If god hypothesis is correct, and I'm not saying it's not, but where did god come from? So some bright creationist needs to explain how god got there in the first place and THEN we'll talk about how he created everything out of nothing. If you say god just happened to always be there (LOL), then I can say the universe was always there.

          December 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
        • Logical default

          "They know that before the existence of our universe there was NOTHING, nada, zip, zilch."

          Wrong, they don't know this. Try reading a science book. Big bang theory states that everything was already there, it was just condensed together and then expanded outward. Before that moment, there is no way to study was happened so we simply don't know at this point in time. Maybe one day we will, but seriously read a science book, before questioning solid scientific theories.

          December 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Vstarguy

      Mim, You said it better than I could've said it. I applaud your statements however, I'm a former christian and a former catholic
      but not an atheist. I'm agnostic because that makes the most sense to me! I found that being a christian just didn't sit right with me. I find aggreement and logic in your position and as an agnostic, I fully support it..

      December 15, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • urnotathinkerareu

      Judging by your words and atheist words YOU appear to be the only one forcing a worldview on others....dragging them kicking and screaming.......covert lies anyone....you're dishonesty is an earmark of your kind.

      December 15, 2013 at 10:52 am |
      • Mim

        Bahahahaha!! I knew my sarcasm would rile someone!!

        December 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • Geo Bruno

      Show us one iota of proof of god

      December 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
      • Mim

        Show me one iota of proof that he doesn't.

        December 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
        • redzoa

          The burden is on the one making the positive claim. A request for evidence to support your positive claim, is not itself a positive claim requiring support.

          December 15, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
        • Chikkipop

          No matter how many times it is pointed out that it's not the burden of anyone to prove something doesn't exist, theists will continue to make this silly demand.

          They regularly demonstrate the poor thinking skills which explain why they believe unlikely things in the first place.

          December 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Mim

          Which is why I am irrational Christian, remember. If you are the rational one with your all knowing knowledge, then show me your proof...I thought we were having a rational discussion?

          December 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
        • Chikkipop

          Forehead slap

          Never mind.....

          December 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • Dandintac

          Mim,

          I'll take a crack at this. "Iota of proof". I'll interpret this as "evidence suggesting that an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good theistic God and/or the God character of the Bible that answers prayer does not exist."

          1) God's apparent non-existence. He has not been shown to be detectable in any verifiable way whatsoever.
          2) The absolute failure of intercessory prayer in controlled experiments. Evidence that a God who answers prayers does not exist.
          3) The huge problem of Evil (aka "The Riddle of Epicurus"). Strongly suggests that an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing God cannot exist given the universe as we observe it.
          4) The lack of any apparent intelligent/benevolent design or divine intervention.
          5) The absurdity of the Jesus Story.
          6) The many errors, logical problems, contradictions, inconsistencies, failed prophecies and other Bible problems.
          7) The fact that many thousands of gods have been claimed, and this one has no more evidence than any of the others.
          8) The huge morality problems with both the Christian religion as usually interpreted and understood, and the gross immorality of the God character of the Bible.
          9) The problem of Hell.
          10) The problem of inconsistent revelations, as revealed by the geographic distribution of religion.
          11) Better natural explanations now exist for many things attributed to God in the past (God of the Gaps).
          12) The logical contradictions inherent in the description of God in terms of the absolute characteristics he is commonly described to possess.

          This is a good start. Let me know if you want me to expand on any of them.

          I cannot claim absolute proof of course. It's impossible to prove a negative for something like this. All taken together, I think they make a pretty compelling case that there is no God as he is commonly described and defined by believers. But it's a better case than what those who argue for God can come up with, and their job should be far easier given God's claimed omnipresence.

          December 15, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
        • vmoore

          Athiests need evidence, show yourself God. Well, God sent His Son whose life and story we have eyewitness testimony from many reasonable, wise ordinary people from the time.
          Even afterHis crucifixion these people continued, and after His resurrection, followed Him to the cross so we could get the Good News.
          If that isn't enough, sorry, as God said He will not reveal Himself so those that will be good will be good, and those that will be evil will be evil without doing so because He is over their shoulder.

          December 16, 2013 at 12:44 am |
        • Dandintac

          "Well, God sent His Son whose life and story we have eyewitness testimony from many reasonable, wise ordinary people from the time."

          How do you know "God sent his son?" This is just another unproven claim. How can these supposed witnesses know Jesus was God's son? And we do NOT have eyewitness testimony. Eyewitness testimony is when you who they are, you are able to cross examine them under oath.

          You cannot even say you have the Bible. We do not have the original books–far from it. We have copies of copies of copies of copies of translations of copies of copies of copies of translations of copies of copies.... And the earliest copies are tiny fragments, the oldest were written decades after the alleged events, by unknown authors, with no extra-Biblical verification, and they are rife with errors and other problems. Have you ever played "telephone" as a kid? One person starts with a story, and it's repeated in whispers from one kid to another in a circle. What happens by the time it goes around even just maybe 8 people? And that's just in the course a few retellings in a few minutes. What must happen after decades?

          This is far worse than mere hearsay. And even if we knew who these people were and could judge their veracity and be confident that the Bible accurately reflects their testimony, we still have big problems. People can be snookered, and in mass!

          Have you ever heard of Sathya Sai Baba? There are not just hundreds, but thousands of eyewitnesses–many of them still alive–who claim to have witnessed him performing miracles. There are stories of miraculous healings, resurrections, clairvoyance and the like. Thousands of eyewitnesses believe he is holy and divine. Do you? Why not?

          December 16, 2013 at 2:22 am |
      • rick

        For those who believe no proof is necessary; for those who don't no proof is good enough.

        December 15, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • Dandintac

          "For those who believe no proof is necessary; for those who don’t no proof is good enough."

          This is just a slick admission that you have none. And one of the biggest problems with religion is it exempts itself from this basic requirement.

          What other area of inquiry does the ideas put forth demand exclusion from evidence? Imagine if the theory of evolution was like this, and scientists said: "For those who believe no proof is necessary; for those who don’t no proof is good enough." Would this make evolution more or less credible?

          Or how about someone who says Superman is real. "For those who believe no proof is necessary; for those who don’t no proof is good enough." Does this make Superman's actual existence credible?

          The truth is that you have no good hard, verifiable evidence at all. Instead you have lousy evidence, that would never pass for evidence for anything else whatsoever. And then you demand exemption. We don't need no stinking evidence. You demand gullibility, then call it "faith" and pass it off as a virtue.

          Nothing good can come of this. Is it any wonder that religion creates division, conflict, political stupidity, social and intellectual retardation?

          December 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • Bones McCoy

          You have it backwards there, Rick.

          For those that absolutely believe in god, nothing WILL convince them otherwise, even proven science.

          For those that do not, nothing HAS convinced them otherwise, as there is no evidence for god.

          Then of course there are others that accept science and also believe in god. Some people seem to think this cannot be possible. They would also be convinced if science proved that god didn't exist as any rational person would when evidence is discovered.

          December 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Piccolo

      Nobody cares that you believe in god. People DO care that people with your worldview try to make laws and school reformations based on something you can't even prove. People DO care when you attack science and state your belief system as absolute fact. The only reason atheists care is because they are constantly bombarded with religious overtones all over the place. Hundreds of years of religious propaganda billboards, and now that atheists are finally not persecuted for it, they make some and all of a sudden it's the end of the world and the religious people in power are butthurt.

      December 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  13. aiodeus

    We Christians can never always convince (and convert) people rationally. I think we should pursue becoming like Christ more than our defending our faith. In fact, I think that by becoming more like Christ in every way–in obedience, surrender, and humility, and especially in Love, we, in a way ARE DEFENDING OUR FAITH.

    I'm not saying that defending your faith in a doctrinal, rational way should necessarily be discouraged. But it is better to live your life proving that Our God is real by the way He changes US from within. Because unless God moves, no matter how much proving, how much convincing, how much proof you have, you can never make people accept Him with their hearts.

    December 15, 2013 at 5:30 am |
    • Science Works

      But it seems the chimps are ahead of creationists maybe ?

      Chimpanzees are rational, not conformists

      by Edwin van Leeuwen posted on December 15, 2013 01:19AM GMT

      Chimpanzees are sensitive to social influences but they maintain their own strategy to solve a problem rather than conform to what the majority of group members are doing. However, chimpanzees do change their strategy when they can obtain greater rewards, MPI researchers found. The study was published in PLOS ONE on November 28, 2013.

      December 15, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • Jim

      To Aiodeus. Obviously setting an example is important. It's not about converting people though. It's about defending the freedom of thoughts and idea's from "governments" that PROHIBIT them.

      December 15, 2013 at 9:51 am |
      • redzoa

        @Jim – This too was addressed earlier and yet you continue to display your ignorance. ID is not science, therefore, the primary purpose in pushing for inclusion in science class is to advance a sectarian religious view which objects to evolution. ID is most certainly not prohibited from philosophy, comparative religion classes. Furthermore, ID is well represented at the private religious schools around the nation. ID is not prohibited per se; however, it is properly excluded from science classes because it is not a scientific proposition.

        Here's an idea, instead of repeatedly displaying your complete lack of understanding of these issues, perhaps email the discovery inst-itute and request an update on current research projects. Don't blame us that your preferred hypothesis has failed to generate any supporting evidence . . .

        December 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
        • Jim

          Stop bearing false witness, redzoa. I do not propose Intelligent Design over evolution. Evolution and the Paleontological record of life on earth over billions of years is the supporting scientific evidence for the Intelligent Designer described in Genesis.

          December 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
        • redzoa

          "Evolution and the Paleontological record of life on earth over billions of years is the supporting scientific evidence for the Intelligent Designer described in Genesis."

          Yes, we understand this is your untestable, unscientific belief. I could just as easily say it supports the unintelligent invisible pink unicorn, the partially intelligent invisible leprechaun, or the malevolent genius of the Mephistopheles. And it's precisely because your evidence can support any or all of these propositions that makes it a useless explanation, i.e. it cannot be falsified.

          I would also add, that while I responded directly to your point about "government prohibition," your counter-response is just more tangential unsupported claims and did not address whether or not the government had actually prohibited ID research or discussion. Whether by an inability to maintain a consistent stream of thought or by a disingenuous need to reshift the discussion, you've failed again.

          December 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
        • Paul

          @Jim
          "Evolution and the Paleontological record of life on earth over billions of years is the supporting scientific evidence for the Intelligent Designer described in Genesis."

          How do reconcile Genesis 1 and Romans 5:15 with evolution over billions of years. Romans 5:12 says death is a result of sin. After each of the creation days in Genesis, God says "It is good." If you have billions of years of evolution, then there's death and suffering before humans come into existence violating Romans 5:12. Plus with all that death and suffering, how could God call His creation good?

          December 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        • redzoa

          Poor Jim – Taking it from both sides 🙂

          December 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
        • Paul

          "...and Romans 5:15"

          Should be Romans 5:12.

          December 15, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
        • Logical default

          Jim, could you please drop some examples of how the government is prohibiting you from practicing your religion?

          December 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • redzoa

          SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! See "Big Jim ID" and "No Response at all Paul" go head-to-head in a battle of mythological proportions! Don't wait! Get your tickets now! LET'S GET READY TO RUUUMMMMBBBBLLLLEE!!!

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Tj_l4PcPs&w=640&h=390]

          December 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
      • Jim

        To Paul. There is mortal death and there is immortal death of the soul. You're confusing the two. Mortal Death was always in the world from the beginning. When Adam sinned, he did not mortally die, he lived on. It was his immortal soul that perished. As far as reconciling Genesis 1 with billions of years of evolution I simply read what it says. And the first thing to understand is, what Genesis actually says in relation to Time. Chapter 1 is described entirely from God’s perspective of time, not man’s. We were not created until the very end of the very last day of creation. Only God was around to perceive what the days of creation were in reference to. And according to a literal reading of the account, the days of creation were in relation to the original source of light that was created on the first day, not our suns. Our sun is what we base our perspective of time from. But again, a literal reading of the account tells us that our sun wasn’t created until the 4th day of God’s creation and that it was created to provide man with a measure of days and years. Therefore, what Genesis is literally saying is, that a day to God is not the same as a 24 hour day as experienced from man’s perspective of time with respect to the rotation of the earth in relation to our sun. With this in mind and the knowledge that nowhere in the Bible does it give an age to the earth, we can start from the beginning .

        December 16, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
        • Former Xtian

          Assuming that is true, why would god specifically write a story to his creation to describe the process, and confuse them by using the word "day", especially in a society devoid of any type of scientific advancement? Was that REALLY his message? Did he really have knowledge of how the earth was formed and life evolved? Obviously not.

          The message in Genesis is clear. God created you and everything. Obey him or die. FEAR GOD, he once drowned the entire earth at once. The fact that god describes the creation process so wrongly, shows that that part was probably made up to trick people into thinking he had more power than he did. After all, he could have described the process, more accurately, and make it easier for folks to understand. Nobody was there to witness the events, so we are supposed to just assume that whoever wrote genesis was divinely inspired? If that's the case, why no updates in 10,000 years (give or take)?

          There are also obviously parts that are missing as well. It's apparent that God wasn't a literal god or deity. He was a ruler, most likely a slave master, who lied to the people to keep them from rebelling.. Why else would fear be the primary theme? The bible was originally his rule book. Rulers know that fear is often the best way to control large groups of people. If they are afraid to rebel, they won't, especially when they think that "god" is always watching them. Genesis is not yet fully understood, but I firmly believe it refers to a story about humans earning their freedom. God is either a mis-translation or it's simply the name of the ruler or group of rulers(Yaweh, Jehova, etc). Adam eating the apple is probably a metaphor for humans learning the truth about their slave master. Sin means something different altogether. When you think about it the original books of Moses lay the foundation and the rest of the stories build upon it. If only we knew more about those first 5 books. Are there multiple versions of genesis because each "god" wrote their own for their respective areas? Looking at the bible with an open mind is fun, you should try it. Actually this conversation makes me want to pick up the book again and find more to confirm my slave master theory.

          December 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • Former Xtian

          Slave master, perhaps. But probably something more like a ruler with an iron fist. The people were slaves at one point. This god person or group of people fight and free the slaves. The people embrace these guys as heroes and they become the new leaders. As leaders, they are strict and harsh, but provide them with what they need to survive. The people accept it because it's better than being a slave. It's essentially the birth of civilization. The creation of a functioning society.

          December 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
        • Jim

          The Bible is not a science book. And the people who wrote it, did not have scientific knowledge. That's what's amazing ! Genesis pretty much describes what modern day science has come to reveal, from the universe having a beginning to the formation of life from the earth and the sequence it took until the ultimate formation of man ! And it doesn't look like this occurred on any other world that we know of.

          December 18, 2013 at 6:32 am |
        • Former Xtian

          Science does not say the universe had a beginning, it says that the furthest we can go back shows that the energy was already there, it was just condensed together and then expanded. This doesn't mean the big bang was the beginning of everything. It might be the beginning our of modern known universe, but that isn't talking about the origin, and we do not know if our universe is the only universe or that this is the first time it has big banged. You are desperately trying to use metaphors to resolve your world view with science. It's the square peg, round hole conundrum. It only works if you break the peg and force it in the hole.

          Earth and all life created in 6 equal days = proven false by evolution and radiometric dating. In relation to earth's history, humans would have been around for just the last
          Talking snakes = false
          Human race stemming from one man and one women = proven false by genetics
          Light being created before the sun = false
          Man having less ribs than women = false
          Humans being created out of dirt = proven false by hominid fossils and the genetic links between them as well as chimpanzees.

          Even if you try to resolve the 6 days, to 6 periods of +/- 750 million years, it still doesn't add up because on the last day, everything short of bacteria and basic life forms were created. It would break down like this based on evolution and dating science.

          Day 1 (4.5bya-3.75bya): Creation of earth itself
          Day 2 (3.75bya-3bya): Single celled life emerges halfway through the day, and soon after photosynthesis capability
          Day 3: (3bya-2.25bya): Same as above continues for this entire day
          Day 4: (2.25bya-1.5bya): Eukaryotes (first complex single cells with nucleii)
          Day 5: (1.5bya-0.75bya): First mutli-cellular life
          Day 6: (750mya-today): Simple animals, then bilaterians, then fish and protoamphibians, then land plants, then insects and seeds, then amphibians, then reptiles & dinosaurs, then mammals then birds, then flowers then primates, then hominids and finally humans. Sorry but the bible does not come close, even broken down like this.

          So god either lied or intentionally planted evidence all over the earth that goes against his story of creation. Sorry, but it cannot be resolved with any science whatsoever.

          December 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  14. 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 The Evidence you are asking for, Mr. Silverman!

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

    December 15, 2013 at 4:17 am |
    • igaftr

      You have no evidence...you have belief and opinion.

      December 15, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • JAMES OLIVER

      Huh? I don't get how this is proof of anything.

      December 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  15. Gavin

    I remember as a child watching Fred Flintstone riding a dinosaur. Even at age 5 I knew it was BS! Ask the creationist to explain dinosaurs and Noah's ark. The Bible says that Noah was commanded to put 2 or 7 of EVERY type of animal on board. Are dinosaurs NOT animals? When Noah exited the Ark and talked to God did he say "my bad about the T Rex?"

    December 15, 2013 at 2:50 am |
    • Piccolo

      They will just say that the dinosaurs died in the flood, even though no evidence of a worldwide flood exists and the dino fossils date back 65 million + years, long before the alleged flood. If god exists he can't possibly be all powerful or all knowing based on the bible alone. It's comical.

      December 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  16. Karl Denton

    As an atheist ,this billboard does nothing to me. Ask a creationist for proof of god and they get ugly and mean!

    December 15, 2013 at 2:45 am |
    • OrygunDuck

      Maybe you are asking the wrong question.

      December 15, 2013 at 6:13 am |
  17. swipedcard

    The billboards won't convert a single New Yorker, but we New Yorkers may as well get a tiny piece of the multimillions these hucksters have swindled out of their blind followers.

    December 15, 2013 at 2:09 am |
  18. swipedcard

    The billboards won't convert a single New Yorker, but we New Yorkers may as well get a piece of the multimillions these hucksters have swindled out of their blind followers.

    December 15, 2013 at 2:08 am |
  19. Ron Bonica

    Rather than wasting our money on expensive signage, we should give the money to people who are in need. If we were to do that, not only would we be fulfilling our religious mission, but we might actually impress the atheist.

    December 14, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  20. keith

    Creationist's = IDIOT's, SCIENCE makes babies not a FAKE BEING...

    December 14, 2013 at 8:30 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.