home
RSS
Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?
Camels, shown here in the Liwa desert outside Abu Dhabi, are the subject of a surprising new discovery.
February 11th, 2014
01:56 PM ET

Will camel discovery break the Bible's back?

Opinion by Joel Baden, special to CNN

(CNN) - It’s been a rough 2014 for the book of Genesis.

First a Noah’s Ark discovery raised a flood of questions, then there was the much-hyped debate over life’s origins between Bill Nye the Science Guy and creationist Ken Ham.

And now this: a scientific report establishing that camels, the basic mode of transportation for the biblical patriarchs, weren’t domesticated in Israel until hundreds of years after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are said to have wandered the earth.

Using radiocarbon dating of camel bones that showed signs of having carried heavy loads, Israeli archaeologists have dated the earliest domesticated camels to the end of the 10th century BCE.

But according to the traditional biblical chronology, the patriarchs were schlepping around Canaan on camels over a millennium earlier, all the way back in 2100 BCE

Taken on its own, this may seem a rather minor problem.

After all, this is Genesis, in which some people live to be 900 years old (hello, Methuselah), all of humanity emerges from Babylon, and the Dead Sea is created from the backward glance of Lot’s wife. (Not to mention the six-day creation story and the stuffing of all land animals on a single boat.)

How important could camels really be?

For those who believe the Bible to be fundamentally true, this is hardly going to change any minds. For those who believe it to be entirely false, this is surely not the most damning piece of evidence.

What the camels in Genesis reveal, in fact, has nothing to do with the “truth” of the biblical story at all.

Instead, the presence of these camels in the story highlights, in a very clear way, the essential humanity of the biblical writers: like the best authors, they simply wrote about what they knew.

The patriarchs are depicted as nomadic, never settling for long in one place, but moving constantly from location to location throughout Israel (and beyond).

An ancient Israelite, wanting to tell the story of the wandering of his ethnic and national ancestors, would have naturally looked to the nomadic peoples around him as models. And indeed, throughout the Bible camels are commonly associated with those tribes who lived in the desert: Midianites, Ishmaelites, Amalekites, Kedemites.

The biblical authors simply transplanted the nomadic standards of their time into the distant past.

There is nothing deceptive about this. They weren’t trying to trick anyone. They imagined, quite reasonably, that the past was, fundamentally, like their present.

They had no real alternative. In ancient Israel, in the period when the Bible was written (which ranges, conservatively, from the 10th to the third century BCE), no one had any way of knowing that camels had not always been domesticated pack animals. After all, we didn’t know that for sure until this past week.

Without any evidence to the contrary, it is perfectly natural to assume that things have always been the way that they are now. Today we have more information about the past than any other moment in history. In ancient Israel, they had virtually none.

And yet we still fall victim to this basic, very human, historical fallacy.

It has been suggested that this anachronism in the biblical text is akin to importing semitrailers into the medieval period. But this is a level of ridiculousness too far.

I would suggest that it is more similar to describing a medieval Italian as enjoying pasta with tomato sauce. How many people, even today, know that tomatoes only came to Italy from South America in the 16th century?

The camels in Genesis may be “wrong,” but they are not a “mistake.” We all imagine the past to the best of our knowledge, the biblical authors included.

The lasting lesson of the camel controversy, such as it is, is a simple one: no writing, not even the Bible, is timeless or without context. Views of the past are contingent on both what we know and how we know it.

The Bible is a historical record, but it tells us just as much, if not more, about the people who wrote it as it does about the people they wrote about.

Since the stories of the Bible remain so central to who we are as a culture, even today (and even for those who dismiss it), it seems entirely fitting that we should be equally interested in the ancient people who composed them.

Despite their lack of historical knowledge — and, equally, because of it — they, more than the characters in the Bible, are our true cultural ancestors.

Joel S. Baden is the author of "The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero" and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Evolution • Judaism • Middle East • Opinion

soundoff (3,276 Responses)
  1. believehimnotyou

    The only straw here is the one you are grasping for. This is one of the most ridiculous conclusions, and articles, I've ever read. All based on an archaeologist's study of some camel bones? And you call this evidence? And you are a Prof. at Yale Divinity?

    February 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Nice try. Archaeologists in Israel and elsewhere have been discussing this for a long time.
      (See Nova's ...on PBS...and YouTube) The Bible's Buried Secrets. Archaelohists have established methods. From these they determine what livestock ANY culture domesticated the animals they kept. There are no baby camel bones in suffient number to make them think they were domesticated for common use at that time. YOU cannot dispute that. That is MORE credible than an ancient book of fairy tales. Get over it.

      February 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        To bucky... That has not one thing to do with the bones that were actually studied in this article... Admit it. Show me what bones were studied and how many, and how many different camels these bones represent. Youtube is your source for knowing what bones were studied here? Just show me the number of specimens.

        February 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Do your own homework. It's not my job to do your research. It's the SAME topic, and the SAME research. YouTube in 2014 can be a legitimate source of information, if the poster is a legitimate scholar.
          Nova, (PBS), and Israel Finklestein are legitimate. What are you afraid of ?
          Finding out that most ALL the Patriarchal period is total myth ? It was.
          No Moses, no Exodus, no Abraham, no Adam and Eve, no Noah.

          February 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          lol you make some bold claims and disregard a LOT of actual forensic evidence. People made these same claims about king David, and lo and behold we now KNOW he lived and died. People made the same claims about Jericho, and it was not only found, but large portions of the wall had fallen OUTward, and the city is shown to be ransacked. I could go on but dude, you make some very ignorant claims. I dont charge you with stupidity... but ignorance of what evidence really does exist. I would suggest broadening your input... you likely want to even charge me with believing the earth is 6000 years old instead of knowing what the bible says about it and giving me the credence ofr taking it for what it says, rather than tag an interpretation to it.

          February 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Get real. We know from the remains at Jerico that the stpory in the Bible was not only impossible, but the city was neither destroyed in the time period it HAS to be, nor by the method described in the Bible. You really should take a course on the subject before making a fool of yourself.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          uhhh no lol you do not know this. You really are a funny fellow though. Pray tell, by what method do you say it was destroyed lol

          February 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Yawn. Yes Wolfbitn, we know the once might have been a King David, BUT the one that existed IN NO WAY resembled the one "glorified" in the Bible. What ? You've been living under a rock for the last 25 years. All of this is nothing new, UNLESS you wasted your time at Babble College, or Biloa Crap College, or Liberty Joke University.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Bucky you know nothing about me... and you know nothing about the bible i can see... just what your buddies tell you it says. Tell me what Genesis chapter 1 verses 1-3 state when taken from the early Hebrew/Chaldean and the early Latin and Greek... what do those 3 little verses say?

          February 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Look it up. Earthquake, and subsequent fire. Proven by archaeology. I see you DO live under a rock.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Ahh in other words just like the bible said it happened...

          February 15, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Wolfy, are you a Christian ?

          February 15, 2014 at 9:15 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Not your every day brand no... but a true believer in what the earliest scripture actually DOES SAY, yes.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          https://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/05/did-the-israelites-conquer-jericho-a-new-look-at-the-archaeological-evidence.aspx

          February 15, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          What complete BS bucky... read the actual story this blog article is based on... your extensive study was carried out by TWO men no one ever heard of, nor was their work peer reviewed, AND ADD to this the fact they even admit there was camel bone found in deeper, older strata. ...WOW... yeah this really hold up under scrutiny doesn't it lol I am amazed there are so many here willing to bash people over the head because of THIS??? What a thin load of Bovine feces.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Too bad you believe in "earliest scripture" I hope you know scholars KNOW they assembled it during the Exile from many sources. None if it is "history" as we think of it. The Hebrews didn't even have a word for "history". I see you never really studied the Babble at a REAL academic center.

          February 15, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          lmao WHAT? Clarify this please... assembled what?

          February 15, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          That's what I thought. You have NO education AT ALL in Biblical Studies. I'm outta here. You are not worth wasting any time with. Maybe when you get to Third Grade in Babble Studies, I'll consider talking to you. As usual, people with NO education in the Babble think they know enough to discuss it. "Assemble what" ? Hahahahahaha.
          Try reading Richard Elliott Friedmann PhD "Who Wrote the Bible" (if you're up to the big words).

          I see you pick and choose your scripture. Kinda like cafeteria style. Good luck with that.

          February 15, 2014 at 10:19 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          lmao, any time you want to debate the bible's origins, i am there bozo

          February 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm |
      • believehimnotyou

        Bucky, by that logic then, there are no evidences of grizzly bears in North America other than the ones you see alive today. Because bones of Grizzlies are almost never found.

        February 15, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          Wrong again. Grizzlies were never domesticated. Go get an education.

          February 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • believehimnotyou

          Bucky where does the Bible say that they were domesticated? Abraham was from Southern Iraq and it also says that the Pharaoh of Egypt gave him camels in Gen 12:16.

          February 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          I don't care what the Bible says. You can't prove the Bible WITH the Bible. The fact is, if Abraham (or anyone) (Abraham was a mythic character ..now debunked by archeology in the Nova series), had a herd of camels, they would HAVE to have domesticated camels. They did not. Which is the POINT of this article. Sorry. The Babble is proven wrong yet again.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • believehimnotyou

          You missed the point. Abraham brought his own camels in from places that already had domesticated them. If they weren't already there, which they can't prove either. Is it that hard to understand? Or are you so blinded by your hatred?

          February 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          You have no clue what Abraham did. Even IF he ( and he did nothing as he never existed), did "bring in his own", they would have bred them. You really are desperate aren't you ?

          February 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • believehimnotyou

          That's where you are wrong – we have a thing called history in which the events of mankind are written down by people who were there. We don't need science fiction writers to rewrite history and tell us what they think happened and call it scientific fact.

          February 15, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
  2. Dalahäst

    bostontola

    Science question in regards to an earlier discussion:

    I told you what I know of the Big Bang I learned at a secular university (ie I wasn't browbeaten by a Kentucky Mountain Bible College OT "scientist). And I also said I learned the Big Bang was theoretical in nature, or not a fact proven by science. But this was also 20 years ago, fyi! Has the understanding changed from that time, or did my science teacher just have a differing view on the subject. He didn't preach or teach against the theory. It was taught as a very good theory. Just not a 100% fact.

    February 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • believehimnotyou

      If you say it enough it becomes fact.

      February 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        So goes the practice of Hitler's propaganda machine... and the propaganda machine in the USA today lol

        February 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Maybe the difference is between the phrases "just a theory", "scientific theory" and "proven fact".

        February 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Just a theory is vernacular, scientists don't regard theory that way. To them, just a theory is a hypothesis.

          A scientific theory is a validated (predictions of the hypothesis are tested) thing usually by multiple different tests and scientists.

          Theories are not proven facts, they are scientific facts. Theories aren't proven, they are validated. Objects that are defined can be proved, e.g. Jupiter is the largest planet orbiting the sun, a cell is cancerous, etc. It isn't even the objective of science to prove theories, they test them. Scientists used to think they proved things a long time ago, but not any more. Just look at the theory of relativity. It works remarkably well, to measurement accuracy, over a large range, but we don't know what happens at certain extremes. So it is a scientific fact that gravity behaves as the theory predicts, all tests confirm that, but the theory isn't proven.

          February 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
    • bostontola

      Dalahast,
      The BB theory has been solid for about 40 years. Once the cosmic background radiation was found in exact accordance with the prediction, it has been an open and shut case. Many people, including some scientists had a hard time accepting a changing universe (remember Einstein even patched his theory to get rid of that "annoyance". Since then, all new evidence has confirmed the BB, the amounts of hydrogen and helium, the distribution of galaxies and superclusters, they all fit amazingly well. The higher resolution mapping of the cosmic background has confirmed the flatness of the universe to an extraordinary accuracy (you should check that out, it's a remarkable achievement). There remains speculative elements, like the initial moment, details of inflation, etc.

      February 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        Thanks. You probably feel like you've already explained that 100 times. I did have an old teacher. And my college was known for producing lawyers and law enforcement officers, not scientists. But we did have science degrees, as most liberal arts colleges do.

        February 15, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Creationists have latched onto the origin of our Universe as the object of God's creation. If a multi-verse theory gains traction they may have to seek bigger game. God creates all Universes. God created the background of the multi-verse. Etc. When will they get around to reality as a created thing?

        February 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
      • bostontola

        TTtOO.
        The multiverse is a cool hypothesis, but no one has posed it yet in a scientific way (where it makes a testable prediction). Higher dimensional theories like M-Theory are testable and may have some solutions that address the first moment. It is fun to speculate and I bet a really imaginative scientist will find a solution that can be validated. Even with that, it probably won't "prove" that a deist God doesn't exist. For me, a deist God and no God are the same to me.

        February 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D05ej8u-gU&w=640&h=360]

        Amen.

        February 15, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
  3. Creationists say the darndest things

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDq8OM9XDhA&w=640&h=360]

    February 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
  4. Dalahäst

    Austin – Just some thoughts of mine:

    + Matthew 6:1-4
    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them,..."

    How is handing out Bible and preaching to people not being righteous? It looks like – "I believe this. You should, too."

    + Matthew 19:21
    Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor..."

    Jesus said that to a very rich guy who seemed to be looking for an easy religion to impress God. When Jesus told the guy what to do, he was depressed. He didn't want to give his stuff to the poor. He'd probably would rather hand out books and preach that he knows the truth.

    That is what Jesus told that rich guy wanting to be perfect to do. Now what did Jesus tell his disciples to do?

    February 15, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      If more christians acted like you this world would be a better place.

      Austin, take notes here seriously. For months you have shown us great reason not to like your belief system. You may think you are doing it justice by preaching it and in turn forgetting or perhaps not caring that not everyone shares your opinion. You seem to speak over people as if they don't matter. You make my distaste for your belief system greater-why would I wish to spend time with anyone who thinks they are better just for believing?

      February 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I've just experienced what works and doesn't work, often the hard way. If people want what we have, they know where to find us. I really don't discuss religion that much, except when online. And I find it a good way to learn. Although sometimes very frustrating!

        February 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
  5. Austin

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjXjkbODrro&w=640&h=360]

    February 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
  6. Alias

    Christians keep asking wht we big mean ateiests keep attacking them and their religion.
    I have 3 good reasons:
    1) You want to teach our chldren your fairytails. You want your version of a god creating the universe taught in science classes.
    2) You try to impose your religion onto the rest of us through laws.
    3) We want you to wake up and face reality. You would probably want to enlighten people who thought Zues and his friends were running the world from Mt Olympus. We are trying to do the same for you.

    February 15, 2014 at 11:49 am |
    • Austin

      Jesus Christ will set things in order. but until then, it WAS/SHOULD HAVE BEEN CLEAR, that there are 7 new testament refrences to Mt.Zion,

      5 are old testament quotes looking at the Savior from Israel
      2 in the New testament are references to the Heavenly Jerusalem, that is set in place AFTER THE WRATH.

      so you SHOULD look at Christianity as having no reason to war anywhere. further more

      Heb 12:14
      14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

      There are NO , new testament verses that contradict this verse.

      February 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
      • Austin

        I am saying that mans ways are not God's ways, and man has screwed up the world badly.

        and history shows us a bunch of fanatic freak shows.

        God help us.

        February 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • kudlak

          So, when God says that he loves people there's no guarantee that he means "love" the way we understand the word. He might love people the way we might love a good hamburger and you can't say that you know different because "his ways" are not our ways, right? He's an alien to us, so why do you trust him?

          February 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Austin

          Hows it going kudlac?
          His ways are unconditional and He is holy. He knows best. but He has given the Word of God.we are in the most gifted time in the world where we have His full revelation, the incarnated Christ crucified and risen, as well as the complete word of God.

          Revelation 19:13 ►
          He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

          Jesus Christ is manifest in his life, and in the word. and this was the ultimate love. unconditional love, in that he paid the price for you. its is done. There is nothing that I am responsible for now before God, beyond embracing the truth.

          and that is grace and mercy. You are justified and loved by God. and He wants you to have a personal relationship.

          and that is what I have, and why I know he loves me. Because His promise , the Holy Spirit, testifies within that He is risen.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:52 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          Sorry, but none of that answers my question. Does God have the same emotional range as humans, or are his emotions different? If the same, then aren't Christians either worshipping a being not much different than themselves, or imagining that they do? If different, then what guarantee do you have that what you expect out of God is what you'll actually get?

          TTFN

          February 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm |
        • Austin

          The garuntee came from the prophets Moses, Elijah, the Patriarchs, Abraham, the Old Covenant, the resurrection,and the promise of the Holy Spirit.

          He is risen. I have proof.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
        • Austin

          kudlak

          "So, when God says that he loves people there's no guarantee that he means "love" the way we understand the word"

          see there is your problem, is that you know that God says he loves people, and that then you say something like "theres not guarantee" and you think the way you understand is more important than God's revelation and promises.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm |
        • Austin

          are you going to say that the blood of Jesus Christ does not express God's love? He died for you. What more can He do for you since you reject Him?

          February 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Austin- "He died for you. What more can He do for you since you reject Him?"

          Austin, all "He" really needs to do is to respond – carry on a dialogue with people. As it stands, there's no reason to think "He" exists.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
        • Austin

          He died for you and that is the complete atonement for sin from a Holy God. He was resurrected, and this is the sign of eternal life.

          The rest of the walk in life is yours. There are two options. Receive the GIFT. or Reject the GIFT.

          it is supposed to simple because people are helpless to save themselves. So God did it.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
        • tallulah131

          Prometheus was tormented as punishment for bringing fire to humanity. Why do you reject the sacrifice of Prometheus, Austin?

          February 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
        • Austin

          Because there are not 2 saviors . There only needs to be one., and the bible is the full prophetic revelation of God's covenant with His creation. Because upon the contemplation of the New Testament Promise of the Holy Spirit, I wrestled and toiled with the thought until I pleaded with God for truth, and He delivered it to my heart.

          I don't need to go any further or doubt.

          21Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
        • tallulah131

          But Austin: Humans use fire. It keeps us warm, allows us to cook our food and helps us create things and defend ourselves. It has tangible value. Your god offers nothing tangible, not even proof. Just a bunch of promises made in a book written by unknown people over the course of hundreds of years. There is no evidence of heaven, no evidence of hell, no evidence that your god even exists.

          I don't think you even considered Prometheus when you chose to believe in the christian god. You just thought about the god of your choice until you had a special feeling. Yet I bet use fire almost every day. What an ingrate you are.

          February 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          I know what the Bible says about God, and along with his vengeful and jealous sides Jesus believed that he loved people. So what? Normal human beings have these same sides. Except that we're not talking about a human being here, right? God is not supposed to be human, but an alien-like being so different from us that it's also stated in the Bible that nobody can know the mind of God and that his foolishness is greater than our wisdom, etc...

          With all that how could I, or any Christian for that matter, know with confidence what this being is actually thinking? It says right there in your book that nobody can, so I'm confused by your claim to know differently. Are you saying that you know what God's thinking?

          I didn't ask anybody to die for me. If someone you didn't know shovelled your drive for you, and then came to your door looking to get paid, would you have to pay them? That's what you have Jesus doing, isn't it? He's looking for payment in worship for a service that I didn't even ask for, and can't even see was done in the first place. It's more like waking up to a guy claiming to have shovelled your snow when there isn't any snow anywhere as far as you can see. Sorry, but there's no original sin in my viewing range.

          February 16, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          Stories in a book are no guarantee.

          What is your proof? More stories?

          February 16, 2014 at 11:34 am |
      • Reality

        Since there is no "Lord", your conclusion is nil.

        February 15, 2014 at 12:39 pm |
        • Austin

          can you expand on that?

          I am saying that people over do things to the point of war, and this is apostasy, but please go into more detail on your question.

          but yes, they do not submit to scripture. and they end up breaking peace through military imperialism.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • kudlak

          Reality
          Come on, nobody can prove that there isn't a God. The best that we can do is say that we're not convinced that there is a God, right?

          February 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Austin

          Hey Kudlac, you and Bostontola show a lot of integrity and discipline in your debate.

          That is very impressive.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          Just calling it like I see it. i can't prove that God doesn't exist any more than I can prove that vampires don't, but that doesn't mean that I'll go around with garlic tied around my neck. Honestly, I just don't have any reason to take claims like yours that God actually exists seriously. Maybe you have some reason that I don't have, and I'll be glad to discuss that with you, but please don't insist that everyone knows that God exists and that we atheists are just "rejecting" him.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Reality

          Some circu-mstantial evidence that there is no "Lord" or "god":

          Why would your god allow the following:

          Number of god's creations who died horrible deaths from the following diseases: (or did they die as suffering martyrs?)

          1. 300,000,000 approx.
          Smallpox

          2. 200,000,000 ?
          Measles

          3. 100,000,000 approx.
          Black Death

          4. 80,000,000–250,000,000
          Malaria

          5. 50,000,000–100,000,000
          Spanish Flu

          6. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Plague of Justinian

          7. 40,000,000–100,000,000
          Tuberculosis

          8. 30,000,000[13]
          AIDS pandemic

          9. 12,000,000 ?
          Third Pandemic of Bubonic Plague

          10. 5,000,000
          Antonine Plague

          11. 4,000,000
          Asian Flu

          12. 250,000 or more annually Seasonal influenza

          February 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
        • Austin

          But what if you don't accept His gift? and if I am talking to you about Jehovah Jireh, who provided the Lamb of God as subst.itutionary atonement for the sin of the world, if you do not plead with Him for faith and forgiveness, then by default, what is that to say about the receiving of His gift to you, the personal Holy Spirit?

          February 15, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
        • Reality

          Personal holy spirit/ghost? Is that something like your own guardian wingie thingie? Give us a break !!!

          Your Jesus was crucified for being a temple agitator. This and nothing more !!

          February 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          So, you're insisting that I'n not really an atheist, but a believer who just doesn't want to submit to Jesus?

          How many times do I have to say this? I don't see Jesus' gifts any more than I see blessings coming down from Zeus, or Ra shining down upon me from the sun. You believe, but I do not. Not everyone shares exactly your personal perception of the world. I respect that you believe what you believe. Why can't you do the same?

          February 16, 2014 at 11:15 am |
      • Reality

        Please list your seven references as to book and passage number.

        February 15, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Austin

          Two texts" (Rom. 9:33 and 1 Peter 2:6)(Rom. 11:26; Matt. 21:5; John 12:15

          (Heb. 12:22 and Rev. 14:1.

          there are a few more in the gospels that are also repeats quotes from old testament.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
        • Austin

          https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1952/04/zion-in-the-new-testament

          February 15, 2014 at 12:48 pm |
        • Reality

          But no references outside the bible to add historic reliability to your contention.

          And a few observations about your references:

          "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

          Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

          John's Gospel is of questionable historic value so why do you continue to "thu-mp" it??

          To wit:

          From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book, Rabbi Jesus,

          "Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John's Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source......

          From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

          "Since "the higher criticism" of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] "[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,"[5] and date it to 90-100."

          "The authorship has been disputed since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle."

          And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

          "Anyone looking for the historical Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. "

          See also http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html

          Paul's epistles are also historically flawed considering his comments on the second coming in his life time which never materialized. His commentaries on women also did not help his case for being someone we should pay attention to.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm |
        • Reality

          Matthew 21:5 as all the pa-ssages of the NT has been a-nalyzed by many NT scholars. The conclusion: it is historically nil. e.g. http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb257.html and Professor Gerd Ludemann's review in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Eh, most Christians are probably afraid you are going to do to them what they do to you.

      Which probably will happen if the tides turn. And then atheists naturally will become the boogeymen dictators and Christians become the oppressed underdogs.

      The names have changed but the roles remain.

      February 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
      • Austin

        Thats why Christians should pool together for a serious ministry of the word of God, as in getting bibles out instead of bullets.

        Instead of building vacation homes.

        February 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Lets focus on feeding the poor and helping the oppressed. We can have Bible on hand if they ask for them. But most people need more than a book to help them. You can read it for yourself and do what Jesus asks. I think God has equipped us to provide that help with our action.

          Non-Christians asking for equal representation in government and policies is not a danger to Christians. It can actually help us focus on what is important.

          And, yes, less summer homes and mega-Churches with millionaire salaries, more helping others.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Austin

          The Word of God and salvation is the primary need of humanity. with that , the New covenant is the promise of the Holy Spirit. there are many oppressed people who are there spiritually oppressed with all the ramifications of being that way.

          To simply turn your will over to people physical needs, is yet a spiritual defeat.
          Materials should be extended also . But not without the delivery of the Gospel. The secular world would disagree, but the new testament is not a book about God handing out food to poor people . It deals with the sacred Holy mission, of salvation through the name and blood of Christ.

          Love and Charity are the ways of one who poseses God in spirit and in truth. They all go together, not one without the other.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          You can tell a man or woman that God loves them.

          Or you can show them that God loves them.

          Handing out Bibles may be useless if they don't understand the book. And that book can be very dangerous if read the wrong way.

          Do you know who Jacki Pullinger is? She moved from the UK to one of the most depressing area of the world: the walled city of Hong Kong. She tried passing out Bibles and telling people Jesus loved them. It was useless until she started offering her home to them, feeding them and showing that she cared for them. And then they wanted to know about this Jesus she loved.

          It seemed like Jesus operated in that manner, too.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          You realize that your "Bible first" position tends to lead people to believe that Christian charities are primarily about making converts rather than actually helping people? We had some severe flooding where I live last summer. One church group got a bit of criticism because they waited until they got t-shirts with their logo on them before showing up to help. Meanwhile a local country singer had been working away unnoticed for days before it hit the news. Who would you respect more?

          February 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Austin

          I will look into your point and i would never exclude the fact that that love and charity is needed. But i don't understand how not giving the word of God has any value.

          I believe that we are messengers,and that we can't love a person to salvation, that salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit, and that we are called to deliver the seed.

          Look at what Paul and peter,and the apostles were doing. What did they die for? Their primary purpose was preaching Christ crucified and resurrected.

          19Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

          can you provide me with the scripture to base you position and i will heed that part of the mission!

          Thanks brother.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • Austin

          But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!
          Gal 2:17

          February 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Austin

          based upon the fact that it is God who prepares peoples hearts, that people wrestle with thruth, the Gospel is only an offense to those who are perishing. you do not know who's heart is allready prepared.

          there is NEVER, a situation where the gospel is not the first priority. If you can give, give, but if you cant' you should still spread the gospel. A persons eternal life is more important than anything else because of its eternal value. Some people will die today.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          So, what you really are saying is that converting people is more important than giving them aid. That makes Christianity more of a business interested in signing up members than a charity. Perhaps you support the idea of separating church charity activities from the rest of their activities, which can then be taxed like any other business? MacDonalds can't claim tax exemption just because it runs a charitable arm, can it?

          February 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
        • Austin

          Matthew 6:1-4
          “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

          Matthew 19:21
          Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

          1 John 3:17
          But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?

          Hebrews 6:10

          For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.

          2 Corinthians 9:7
          Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

          Hebrews 13:16

          Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

          1 Timothy 6:18

          They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,

          February 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
        • Austin

          "So, what you really are saying is that converting people is more important than giving them aid."
          the word convert is not in any scripture that i know of

          " That makes Christianity more of a business interested in signing up members than a charity."
          Christianity is NOT a charity. and salvation is more important than charity. Charity is a christians response after they begin to bear fruit, bearing fruit that leads to repentance. or works. Salvation through the baptism of the Holy Spirit is what Christianity is. there are many religions charities carried out by non christians.

          " Perhaps you support the idea of separating church charity activities from the rest of their activities, which can then be taxed like any other business?".....ive never though about it, perhaps i am not going to get entangled in the idea at all
          what are you trying to ridicule? the idea of salvation that has eternal blessings, which is more valuable than temporal life or the standard of living?
          MacDonalds can't claim tax exemption just because it runs a charitable arm, can it?

          give me a break. this isn't about taxes.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          Yet, missionaries do work at converting people, correct? Bringing the Gospel to non-Christians is an attempt at converting them.

          If Christianity is not a charity then why do churches have total non-profit charitable status?

          If spreading ideology can qualify why aren't political organizations given equal tax-exemption?

          If it's up to the government to determine whether a church qualifies for tax-exemption isn't that putting in in the position of passing judgment upon religions, a First Amendment violation?

          February 15, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Austin: You could learn from Dala. This is the type of christian who is tolerable and doesn't harm your belief system.

          February 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      How is "God created" a bigger fairy tale than all your untested theories that don't even add up through mathematics? Like i said, in moderated debate, you would be forced to walk away form the table when "God created" is the only viable theory on the table.

      February 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        At least they are supported by observations and experiments. Evolution for example is fact – there may be some gaps in our knowledge of the mechanisms but they do not invalidate the theory and they especially do not indicate a supernatural cause.
        Big Bang is less well understood but as you say experimentation is difficult and expensive and would never recreate the event; equally the supernatural cause could never be recreated; so for explanations that cannot be recreated why not go where the evidence leads?
        All evidence, and most of it is comprehensive, does not support a supernatural cause.
        btw did yuo used to post as Chad?

        February 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          The bible is supported by observation... Genesis chapter 1 would blow you away if you read it for what it really does say instead of what someone ignorant of the bible might teach.
          Science PROVES Genesis 1 to be flawless in its detail. Thats something I will take to the mat in any debate.

          February 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          What observations show Genesis to be flawless? Clearly it is not literally true, so where in the bible does it explain how it should be interpreted vis a vis 6-day creation, man made fully-formed from mud, woman made fully-formed from one of man's ribs, Noah's flood, incorrect sequence of creation, etc. Then even if we were to get past that, a few of each species in sufficient for the reasons that redzoa(?) explained. Every step has insurmountable hurdles.
          You've hinted at translations that reveal all – they're clearly not the mainstream texts; where can they be viewed?

          February 15, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
      • Alias

        Okay wolfbitn,
        You are convincing no one but yourself with this worn out crap about the math.
        Even if ONE person who understood the math dissagreed with the rest of humanity, that doen mot discredit the entire theory.
        Please at least show this quote of yours is being used in proper context.

        February 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Alias... if the math does not work out, dude it just doe not work out. Alan Guth admits this as does Hawking when he reveals we just cant get to that moment of singularity.

          What???? wait wait...

          ...you THE ATHEIST... bit – CHING about ME THE CHRISTIAN... using math to present my argument lol. Excuse me I just really find that ironic 🙂

          February 15, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
  7. sirdm

    people who believe the bible is totally true just close their eyes any time contradicting evidence is presented. let them live in their fantasy land. the rest of the world will continue to move on.

    February 15, 2014 at 8:27 am |
    • gmscan

      Yes, by all means, let us live in our fantasies and you and the rest of the world can move on. But if you are so confident in your vision, why do you and other atheists find it necessary to attack and disparage us? You seem to be obsessed with the fact that we have a different belief system than you do. Perhaps you are not so certain, after all.

      February 15, 2014 at 8:50 am |
      • Reality

        As noted previously,

        What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

        1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

        2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

        3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

        4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

        5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

        6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

        7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

        8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

        Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

         http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-sun/

        solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Asteroids‎

        http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/30/us/wus-supervolcanoes-yellowstone

        Search for Paul, book by Professor JD Crossan

        Rabbi Paul, book by Professor Bruce Chilton

        https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

        http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/study-finds-star-formation-declining-throughout-the-universe/

        http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/

        February 15, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • wolfbitn

          The rapture is not at all a traditional teaching in Christian or Catholic history. The popularity of the pre tribulation rapture teaching gained tremendously however and gained popularity through series of movies and books, but the idea as taught is certainly not historic or scriptural. Huge segments of the church who believe in the return of the Messiah, do not hold to the pre tribulation rapture teaching.

          February 15, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          eric, As you never seem prepared to present anything to support your claims, I seriously doubt if you have any evidence.
          Those making the claim need to support that claim.

          February 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        "why do you and other atheists find it necessary to attack and disparage us?"

        Oh you poor persecuted person...it's not just you, it's all belief systems that are not evidenced with actual facts. It just seems like it is christians because they are the ones upfront and in our faces. They are the ones trying to dictate LGBT rights; women's rights; what is taught in schools that are publicly funded. The respect you ask for goes both ways.
        Btw: Atheists don't have a belief system...no book to guide us; no imaginary friends to believe in. Atheism only defines the fact that we don't accept theistic claims of a god due to the complete lack of evidence for any.

        February 15, 2014 at 9:29 am |
        • Dalahäst

          False.

          Atheism just means you don't believe in God, gods or the supernatural.

          When you define atheism as: "the fact that we don't accept theistic claims of a god due to the complete lack of evidence for any", you are defining atheism as a belief system.

          Atheists are guilty of trying to dictate LGBT rights; women's rights; what is taught in schools that are publicly funded. They generally agree with (but not always) your stance on the issues so you probably don't mind their dictations.

          And a lot of Christians fight for equal rights for LGBT; equal rights for women; public school curriculum that focuses on the subject, not religious doctrine or dogma.

          A lot of Christians don't accept theistic claims of a god due to the complete lack of evidence for any, too. But that doesn't make them an atheist.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:55 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Dala: I'm sorry for the broad painting of christians. You're right not all christians are against the things I mentioned. I guess the better way to put this is that it is the belief system in general that is at the forefront of those issues, we do not see Pagans or Muslims or Jews or Hindu's attempting to impose their beliefs on those matters in the same way.
          I deny Atheism as a belief system because it is the opposite of one. Atheism only defines my lack of belief in gods, it doesn't define my belief in anything else.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          While I agree that many Christians support LBGT rights, etc., I must disagree that there is an equivalence between atheists and religious when it comes to making laws and pushing rights. Christians are 75% of the US population, while atheists are about 2%. Christians are the most powerful political force in the US, while atheists aren't even a blip on the radar screen. So Christians can make laws and push school curricula readily. Atheists' only refuge is the Consti.tution, blocking laws on Consti.tutional grounds. Pun alert: thank God for the Consti.tution.

          February 15, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • Dalahäst

          bostontola

          That is democracy in action. Unfortunately for some, the majority rules. This nation was founded by mostly Christian males with the idea of freedom for all, even the minority voice. As a man who lives in a conservative state with progressive ideas I often end up on the losing side of "battles". But at least I'm free to voice my opinion and support those I feel are oppressed – like g.ays, women and the poor.

          Standing up for the rights of all is not an atheist ideal. (Atheists do not have ideals, they just don't believe in God). But it is an American one authored by mostly Christians men. There is a Christian ideal that sees the worth of all people. That we all are created in God's image. Equal.

          Many of them saw first hand the dangers of any group: secular, Christian, nationalistic, capitalistic, etc. – gaining complete power.

          And non-Christians, people who probably by today's standards would side with atheists, were founding fathers, too. And they helped shape the ideals we have today. If they weren't there, another un-Christlike theocracy probably would have been created. And people who were oppressed, women and African-Americans, helped redefine and improve on those ideals. So they become more than just Christian ideals. But they are ideals that a lot of Christians embrace. Along with other faiths and non-faiths.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          "I often end up on the losing side of "battles". But at least I'm free to voice my opinion and support those I feel are oppressed – like g.ays, women and the poor."

          And for that, I respect you.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Reality

          Globally:

          http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

          Religion………………………… Adherents

          Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

          Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

          Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion (here we come)

          Hinduism 900 million
          Chinese traditional religion 394 million
          Buddhism 376 million
          Animist religions 300 million
          African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million
          Sikhism 23 million
          Juche 19 million
          Spiritism 15 million

          Judaism…………………………………….. 14 million

          Jehovah Witnesses 6.5-12 million ( http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/rel_jeh_wit-religion-jehovahs-witnesses
          depending on how you count

          Baha'i 7 million
          Jainism 4.2 million
          Shinto 4 million
          Cao Dai 4 million
          Zoroastrianism 2.6 million
          Tenrikyo 2 million
          Neo-Paganism 1 million
          Unitarian Universalism 800,000
          Rastafari Movement 600,000

          February 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Austin

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFuvj6WKDvw&w=640&h=360]

          February 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          TruthPrevails

          That is ok. A lot of Christians have earned that bad reputation, so it is not like you are completely making things up.

          But some of us Christians want to oppose those that keep earning that bad reputation for us with you.

          I know the person you responded to made an unfair broad painting of atheists, too. So your response was in context of that, which I kind of ignored. Sorry about that.

          So to gmscan: not all atheists are trying to attack or disparge Christians. They just want to make sure all people have the same rights. Because that is very important, and actually benefits Christians.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          Hey buddy.

          "When you define atheism as: "the fact that we don't accept theistic claims of a god due to the complete lack of evidence for any", you are defining atheism as a belief system."

          Not really, unless you want to call rejecting claims about vampires, elves, mermaids, and a thousand similar things as "belief systems". Maybe you can try arguing that it's a belief rather than a non-belief, but there is nothing systematic about it.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          hey kudlak

          There is nothing systematic about atheism. I agree. But that definition, although slightly out of context, is systematic.

          Not all atheists subscribe or agree with that definiton. Generally, most do.

          There are atheist belief systems, like humanist secularism and militant atheism.

          Atheism doesn't entail disbelief in vampires, elves or mermaids.

          February 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          There is nothing systematic about theism either. Individual religions, like Christianity, are belief systems, correct? Secular humanism may be systematic, but not all atheists are secular humanists. I'm not sure what you mean by "militant atheism". Seems that all you have to do is be willing to discuss your non-belief to be called militant.

          There are common arguments for not believing in gods that many atheists use, just as there are common arguments for not believing in elves, vampires, and mermaids. I never said that atheism included non-belief in these things, only that it's usually a similar form of non-belief. If you happen to not believe in vampires you likely can come up with some reasons why you hold that position. That's how it works for many atheists regarding God.

          There are atheists who have never actually accessed the question of gods existing. They never believed in them and aren't interested in the topic enough to wonder why most people do.

          February 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Agreed.

          I say "militant atheist" in regards to people that are irrationally hostile to anything religious. Even toward other people.

          February 15, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          TruthPrevails, you said:
          ?Oh you poor persecuted person...it's not just you, it's all belief systems that are not evidenced with actual facts."

          Im a betting man. I bet that Genesis chapter 1 holds up under scientific scrutiny better than the big bang. The truth is, an atheistic system of cosmology is based on ... a hypothesis.... this means ZERO fact. It takes much faith to be an atheist.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          wolfbitn: What is an Atheistic system of cosmology? Show where your book holds up under scientific scrutiny please, and while you're showing this to us you might wish to show it to actual scientists.

          February 16, 2014 at 5:36 am |
        • wolfbitn

          @truthprevails... o you're right... atheists have no cosmology.... sheesh lmao. Bring me a great atheist from the sciences and see if he can refute what i give him. If there are no takers to my challenge for a moderated debate, that only leaves spammers eh?

          February 16, 2014 at 10:04 am |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Wolf: You are the one using the phrase, I simply asked you to define it. Don't be an ass! Atheist only defines a disbelief in gods, nothing more. Stop trying to make something out of it that it isn't.
          You're too blinded to debate with...you're exactly the type of christian who helps to bury your belief system...you're not hurting us any.

          February 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • kudlak

          Dalahäst
          There are some very rational reasons for being hostile towards religion, and some religious people are causing harm to others, wouldn't you agree?

          February 16, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • bostontola

        Because some of you believers are not content to believe themselves, they feel compelled to push their beliefs on others. They try to make laws on abortion, gay rights, change school curricula, etc. Their policies are destructive to species and the environment
        vigilantia afterna

        February 15, 2014 at 9:30 am |
        • Austin

          They try to make laws on abortion, gay rights,

          who cares about these issues when helpless addicted people die from cigarrettes and alcohol, drugs.
          the idea that a baby is less helpless may be a tinge of an issue compared to an unhelpless addict, but who cares about the gay ordeal? I do not. you cant change the outside of the issue. The new covenant is the promise that only the holy spirit can change people from within.

          however, I believe that Christians have every reason to infiltrate government, text books, and claim the authority that Jesus Christ has through their numbers. this is democracy and fair. Aaron was priest. Moses was profit/ or king like. David was king, Nathan was prophet/priest. Jesus Christ has all authority.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
        • Austin

          do you think Christians should shy away from government, because they are religious and since they have the ordained truth delivered through the spirit who guides the world into truth and convicts the world of sin; that they should give people a break and let them wallow and suffer in the death that leads to death?

          February 15, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • bostontola

          Austin,
          You have every right as you said. My comment is in response to the question, why do atheists lash out against religions. The fact that Christians are so populous, is why atheists must remain vigilant and enforce the rights we get from the Consti.tution which protects minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          Austin,
          Christians should do what they think is right. I'm simply saying don't whine about it when others push back.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Austin

          " minorities from the tyranny of the majority"

          lets bring up a few of these liter examples, and i will agree with you bro. and i hope you have a great weekend.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Austin

          what Christian agenda today if passed would be considered tyranny? or some examples from history are valid also , if you have time that is i will look back.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Certainly you don't suggest we live in an anarchist society. Laws are usually perceived as something which benefits society as a whole. Don't murder, don't steal, don't go around abusing others. Laws, at least good laws, benefit us. Laws are or should be perceived as preserving life and civilization, while at the same time protecting our liberty. We may debate what is good and bad for society, but lets face it, there are many an atheist who would legislate to silence Christian thought, if they had this ability. It is not at all one sided here.

          February 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
      • Austin

        " impose their beliefs on those matters in the same way."

        @ Truth Prevails.

        does it not seem that who ever casts a vote is imposing them self upon the population and that no one can even complain or suppose that they are being imposed upon in a democracy?

        Government is punative, and that is absolutely imposing.

        I have that word of God imposing on my rights, telling me to subject myself to a government that allows banks to hand out underfunded loans that cause a bankruptcy in rampant numbers and every year i get robbed a chunk of my legally contracted pay.

        and they don't give anyone a ticked for this robber that is well into the felony status of over $400. If it wasn't for that fact of what the bible tells me, I would start a civil war because i demand justice.

        F..k the government. the attorney general is a scam artist from hell.

        February 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
      • kudlak

        gmscan
        If you just look at the nativity stories in the Gospels how can you say that there aren't discrepancies? Lets say that the authors of each interviewed Mary at about the same time. Why would she remember shepherds in one version and Magi in another? Wouldn't she have remembered both and the Gospels recorded both, as they usually mash them together in portrayals today? If they didn't interview either Mary or Joseph then who would have been in a position to have been an eyewitness to all the events? It just doesn't make any sense to say that these are not conflicting stories about the same supposed event.

        February 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
        • Austin

          " Lets say that the authors of each interviewed Mary at about the same time"
          they did not interview Mary though.

          . ". Why would she remember shepherds in one version and Magi in another? Wouldn't she have remembered both and the Gospels recorded both, as they usually mash them together in portrayals today?"

          the question is this, would it be possible for different people such as Luke, or John, to give their own version, having different details, and still be correct? That is what seems to be the special part of the Gospels, that they were four accounts given by real people and that they differ and yet they don't differ, they are all honest accounts.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • Austin

          have you contemplated the relevance of the theory of sin and just asked God to guide you into truth through forgiveness.?

          you can't go wrong there! Jesus love you.!

          February 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm |
        • kudlak

          Austin
          If accurate, the gospel writers would have had to interview witnesses, correct? This was decades after the supposed events, and people just didn't have the life expectancies that they have now. If they were just going on stories there's no telling whether they're accurate accounts, or not. Some events, like those of the nativity that I mentioned, would require only the very closest eyewitnesses. Who, but Mary herself could give an accurate account of being visited by an angel? Given that, how do you account for the discrepancies?

          They differ. How can you say that they don't?

          To ask God to do anything would require believing in him. Please don't tell me that you refuse to acknowledge that I honestly don't believe?

          I could certainly go wrong. There are thousands of proposed gods. Why gamble that the most popular one today just happens to be real? It seems for more likely that all are mere human inventions. Sorry, but yours doesn't stand out to me as anything special.

          February 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      Alias... I would beg to differ. It is doubtful you know enough about what the bible actually says to make this remark.

      February 15, 2014 at 6:35 pm |
  8. daveburton

    This op-ed article refers to, "...the earliest domesticated camels..."

    But the NY Times article upon which it is based says, "...the earliest known domesticated camels in Israel..."

    That's a huge difference. Considering the paucity of archaeological evidence from more than 3000 years ago, it's not surprising that we don't have proof that camels older than that were carrying heavy loads.

    So why did you edit out the word "known," Mr. Baden? Obviously it was because the original wording makes your whole point seem almost as silly as your nonsensical claim that the Bible says the "Dead Sea [was] created from the backward glance of Lot’s wife."

    February 15, 2014 at 6:41 am |
  9. Dalahäst

    bostontola, here is that atheist/Christian/Jewish debate in its entirety.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zb0mNzKit44&w=640&h=360]

    February 15, 2014 at 1:44 am |
    • bostontola

      Dalahast,
      I watched it yesterday with my wife and kids. It was very good. I found all three to be excellent thinkers. There wasn't enough between the Rabbi and the Preacher though. The perspectives of the Rabbi and Preacher were deep and thoughtful, if all believers thought like them, we wouldn't have many of the problems we have in the world. The vast majority of believers, don't have the intellectual capacity, nor the reflection time those men have though. So their belief system is much simpler and is cut and dried. Hitchens was Hitchens. There were a number of points well worthy AF additional conversation. Thanks for the reference.

      February 15, 2014 at 9:15 am |
      • Dalahäst

        It was nice to see Gomes make Hitchens smile. I'd never seen that before.

        February 15, 2014 at 9:43 am |
        • bostontola

          I agree. I also thought there was a moment when Hitchens was over the top with the Rabbi when talking about genital mutilation. Neither Gomes nor the Rabbi had a good answer when Hitchens asked about how many specific horrors are still done in the name of the religion (e.g. genital mutilation in Africa). Both of them were very honest that they prefer a spiritual life with God even if it is irrational. I have no problem with that. I'm sure I have some irrational perceptions that I keep purely for happiness' sake. It's just for me, religion and God doesn't need to be one of them. I find the natural world without a God, much better. The whole hell thing is virtually proof to me that those religions are false.

          February 15, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Dalahäst

          Before that the Rabbi accused Hitchens of comparing the worst of religion to the best of what Hitchens believes. Which revealed some truths. I think both sides conceded that there was a lot to be negative about. Hitchens seemed to try and hold them accountable for crimes they did not commit. Gomes descended from slaves oppressed by the nation Hitchens comes from, so Gomes' people seemed to get the shorter side of the stick historically speaking.

          Gomes was a Baptist, which do not participate in genital mutilation. It really wasn't his issue to defend. He probably would support Hitchens. A lot of religious people do appreciate Hitchens work in helping those suppressed by power-mongers and extremists using religion to excuse their crimes. If there was no religion, those power mongers would find something else to use, I believe.

          Some people circu.mcise male babies for medical, non-religious reasons. Does Htichens have to defend the atheists that do that? No.

          Also Gomes did not preach about hell in the way Hitchens described it. So that wasn't fair. Gomes says he imagines hell is empty. He often preached about God having a plan of salvation for His whole creation. Not just for the righteous Christians and religious people. And that Jesus demonstrated that in his time here, and that is partly what got him killed. The righteous religious people couldn't imagine God could be so... graceful, forgiving and merciful to allow non-Jews into heaven.

          It seems like they wanted that heaven Hitchens described... exclusive.

          February 15, 2014 at 11:56 am |
        • bostontola

          Like I said, if all believers were like these 2, there would be very little controversy. In fact, if all believers were like these 2 guys, Hitchens would not have become the shrill voice he was, he probably would have been a little known journalist.

          Hitchens was not attacking a specific sect, he was commenting on religion in general. Gomes can choose to not defend because his sect doesn't do that, but then Hitchens' point remains in force (the Rabbi didn't defend it either).

          February 15, 2014 at 12:12 pm |
        • gmscan

          And if every one were just like me there would be no controversy at all. Drats, isn't all that discord irritating?

          February 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Neither of them were the spokesman for "religion in general", though.

          Hitchens is irrational, too. Especially if his premise is that he is the logical one and these illogical guys have to defend all the harm religion has caused (as if it really is that simple in such a complex world). If there is blood on Gomes and the Rabbi's hands, there is blood on Hitchen's hands, too.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Like I said, that is their choice to stay narrow.

          All humans have moments of irrationality. Some just have more than others, and some have the core of their life based on irrationality, some don't.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I'm extremely biased because I'm a big fan of Gomes. He actually comes across to me as more rational than Hitchens.

          I don't appreciate Hitchens because he comes across as arrogant. He assumes he is rational and everyone else isn't. Gomes will confess he himself is not rational (in fact, no one is).

          So Hitchens, to me, is doing irrational things but pointing out other people's irrational things as if he doesn't have any. That is hypocrisy, not rationality, in action.

          Who seemed the happiest of the 3?

          February 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          Gomes seemed the Happiest, the Rabbi had personal tragedy which affected him, but he still came off happier than Hitchens.

          Of course that isn't the central point (for many). I have no doubt that religion works. It improves its member's happiness, functionality, etc. that is true of many religions. Since they aren't all true, the fact that belief works, doesn't make it true. I have found happiness and functionality without belief, so it's not a necessary condition for happiness.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Austin

          could belief be a spiritual gift? something one "gets"

          February 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • bostontola

          Btw, I was blown away by Gomes (and the Rabbi), they are brilliant men and I felt they were very empathetic. Hitchens is arrogant and has very rough edges, but on the rationality scale, he is at the top. As I said, rationality is far from sufficient to succeed in life. The other guys while less rational, are more balanced in my view. Even with that, I claim Hitchens is right and they have retreated to a corner of spiritualism.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I agree. We find what works best for us. As long as that doesn't harm others, we should all be ok. The golden rule we find so many places. I do think Hitchens was good at pointing out there is some harm being done to others by religoin. The other 2 point out religion is not inherently causing harm. I think it doesn't. Harm occurs outside and without religion, too.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Gomes was preaching the Gospel as he understands it. Not spiritualism. That was his religion. He doesn't even personally agree with some of it, but he understands that is what Jesus commands. He was a g.ay, black Republican. He was often used as the "token black guy" by Republicans, but he also really p.issed off conservatives when he preached what Jesus taught: which was pretty liberal. And liberals would come up and thank him – he would say don't thank me. I'm just telling you what Jesus said.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          These 3 guys were good choices, because they all 3 wrote best selling novels.

          There should have been another non-believer voice, though.

          One atheist voice I do like is Penn Gillette, for instance. Had it been him or someone like him debating against a Rick Warren or Pat Robertson, I probably would be telling you I like the rationalization of Gillette over Warren.

          In fact, I probably wouldn't want to share a video of that debate with you. 🙂 Also, I just remembered, Gomes did have his own arrogant moment when he said he knew the text better than the audience. They groaned.

          February 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        And, yes, engaging the pastor vs the rabbi would have been very interesting and relevant. I think Hitchens saw the value of that and was frustrated because the moderator wouldn't stir that pot.

        February 15, 2014 at 9:57 am |
  10. biblereader1

    This article is an embarrassment to the author. He is arguing from silence. It is commonly accepted that the camel was domesticated at least 2500 years ago in Iran. Abraham was from what is now modern day Iraq. We should not be surprised if he used camels and if he brought some with him to Palestine just as we should not be surprised that Jacob brought camels back with him after sojourning in Mesopotamia with Laban. Nowhere in Genesis is the camel depicted as common in Palestine in that day. There would be no trace of a camel left from 3 generations of nomads who numbered only 70 when Jacob and his sons went to Egypt. Again, the author ought to be embarrassed by his premise.

    February 14, 2014 at 11:11 pm |
    • kirsteny

      Biblereader1 ... you do realize what year this is, right? 2014? So yes, they may have been domesticated 2500 years ago, but that only puts it at 500 BCE which you might recognize as being far far short of the time period in which the biblical patriarchs are said to have lived.

      February 15, 2014 at 3:42 am |
      • biblereader1

        My mistake...should have written 2500 bc.

        February 15, 2014 at 9:42 am |
  11. joeyy1

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_F9nIps46w&w=640&h=360]
    .

    February 14, 2014 at 11:06 pm |
    • Doris

      I take it you still haven't figured out how to incorporate tempo changes.

      February 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm |
  12. thesamyaza

    on the back breaking thing

    the bible was broken the second Jesus said i came to bring sword to divide families

    Jesus hates family that's a fact,

    no i take that back the bible was broken the second god lied about giving the earth and all of her creatures to Men. at that point it became garbage.

    February 14, 2014 at 9:45 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Jesus didn't "hate families". He was an Apocalyptic, (like many of the other mistaken people of the time, who thought the "end was nigh"). If the end was thought to be "tomorrow", families are irrelevant.

      February 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
      • wordclock

        I think you need to go back and read your Bible especially this verse:

        “If any man come to Me and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple."

        Luke 14:26

        February 15, 2014 at 2:48 am |
        • Reality

          Said passage adds more credence to the following:

          . JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

          Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694. (Ditto for Luke 14: 26, pp. 361-362).

          Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

          Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

          Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentina white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

          So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

          February 15, 2014 at 7:55 am |
        • gmscan

          Good question - why DO you care about this? There have been thousands of posts from atheists on this thread. Why are they so obsessed about all this? I doubt if you exert the same energy disparaging people who believe in ghosts or ESP. Perhaps there is something inside you that is not so sure after all.

          February 15, 2014 at 8:56 am |
        • otoh2

          gmscan,

          1. When/if ghost believers hold a giant sway with government policies, public education, science, etc., we'll have something to say about that. I'll bet you would too.

          2. You *are* ghost believers.

          February 15, 2014 at 10:59 am |
        • Dalahäst

          + You *are* ghost believers.

          Tis true.

          February 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      Hey thats pretty brilliant coming from a troll that doesn't know what the bible DOES say about the ancient age of the earth and it's cycles of life and mass extinction. Betcha cant point out a single recreation of the expansion of a singularity from the moment of that BANG!!!! either... can you 🙂

      February 14, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        What does the bible say? Ussher followed the genealogy. Others refer to the 1000 generations. I'm not aware of the bible referring to regeneration.

        February 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          If you read it with the understanding of the early manuscripts in Hebrew/Chaldean, and the earliest translations into Latin and Greek, then it is absolutely PLAINLY written that the earth is very old and experiences cycles of life and mass extinction. In the very first few lines of Genesis, What is translated as "Void and without form", is actually more properly rendered in today's language as "Destroyed and laid waste". This then gives an entirely different understanding of Genesis chapter 1. It now makes the claim that in the very beginning God cr4eated the heavens and earth, and then an implied period of time passes and this world is laid waste and destroyed and nearly all life on it decimated. Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes Revelation and several other places in scripture add to this. And this is 3500 years before Darwin.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:07 am |
  13. thesamyaza

    dude the tree in my yard will contest to the ridiculousness that is the bible,.. yes i talk to trees, you talk to an evil war god

    (atheist do not reply)

    February 14, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Trees are atheists, maaaaaan.

      February 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        hahahahahah dude trees are gods, its like saying they don't believe in themselves.

        February 14, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Is it true if you cut an atheist in half, you can count the rings in its petrified insides to figure out how old he/she is?

          February 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • Austin

          i didn't find any rings.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
    • derado8

      short answer: trees appreciate the carbon dioxide, and they are visible.

      Long answer: Trees, pets, aliens, dead people, war gods, gods of mischief, Olympian spirits and those roots that stick out of the ground and look like arms reaching to take your hand. At the very least they are all very good listeners and very good at keeping a secret.

      February 14, 2014 at 9:25 pm |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Is God behind anything? By which I mean two things. Explanations of natural phenomena, the only kind we know, and of the way things are seem to emerge without God attached to them. So what is there that we can't explain without God being a necessary part of the explanation? Second, where is God, if it exists, anyway?

    February 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
  15. Vic

    The Big Bang Theory has many problems and is not proven. There exists no empirical data explaining the cause of the Big Bang. Gravitational Singularity is only hypothetical, and even that and Infinite Density do not address the origin. As popular as the Big Bang theory is, it is question begging argument, is God behind everything?

    When I read about the Big Bang Theory, Gravitational Singularity and Infinite Density Hypothesis, and what Theoretical Physicists argue that there was absolutely 'nothing' before the Big Bang and in an instant it came to pass, I cannot help but think of the "First Cause" being God Almighty, and how He "Spoke" things into existence—"Let there be..."—instantly.

    [
    "The big bang theory leaves several major questions unanswered. One is the original cause of the big bang itself. Several answers have been proposed to address this fundamental question, but none has been proven—and even adequately testing them has proven to be a formidable challenge."

    http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/universe/origins-universe-article/
    ]

    February 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Actually it's "begging" no such question. That question comes to mind in people who lack the creativity to see there are billions of possibilities. The *answer* is, "we don't know yet". People whose brains NEED cognitive closure, REQUIRE an answer to fill in the gap. Conveniently, they plug in "oh god did it". There is no evidence for that. Not a shred. Even IF you are a believer, an omnipotent god could have created a race of universe makers with the powers to make whatever sorts of universe they chose.

      February 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        you have this proof?

        February 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
    • bostontola

      The Big Bang Theory has many problems and is not proven. True, science doesn't prove theories, it validates them by test.

      There exists no empirical data explaining the cause of the Big Bang. True.

      Gravitational Singularity is only hypothetical, and even that and Infinite Density do not address the origin. True.

      As popular as the Big Bang theory is, it is question begging argument, False.
      is God behind everything? Your choice.

      When I read about the Big Bang Theory, Gravitational Singularity and Infinite Density Hypothesis, and what Theoretical Physicists argue that there was absolutely 'nothing' before the Big Bang and in an instant it came to pass, I cannot help but think of the "First Cause" being God Almighty, and how He "Spoke" things into existence—"Let there be..."—instantly. Your choice.

      [
      "The big bang theory leaves several major questions unanswered. True

      One is the original cause of the big bang itself. True

      Several answers have been proposed to address this fundamental question, but none has been proven—and even adequately testing them has proven to be a formidable challenge." True.

      None of that invalidates the BB theory, it only defines its limits.

      February 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        The problem being the testability of it's moment of expansion. Which again would invalidate it's definition of a theory technically. It's the most popular thing out there, Hawking's models for example being widely accepted, so we 'loosely' call it a theory. It is still just a hypothesis. I love his definition by the way of the finite and infinite characteristics of the universe.

        February 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          You keep proving that you don't understand what a scientific theory is. The BB does not claim to be valid at the first moment. It doesn't need to any more than Newton's Laws need to be right at the speed of light to describe a typical cannon ball's flight.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          lol... ok so you're going to just pull something out of the air, it's beginning has no working theory to explain it, you are then going to claim you validated it, and claim it exists, and then call that a theory.... it doesnt work this way. If you cannot explain the moment of expansion or even make the math work out, THIS BEING what big bang IS FOUNDED ON... the most brilliant mathematicians admitting the math doesn't work out, and if it cannot be tested... it doesn't qualify. BB NEEDS a plausible reason to exist if you are going to hypothesize that it does. You're building a car with no frame, and its not going anywhere lol. You claim to know the definition of a theory and then change it when forced to show how any sudden expansion of a singularity has been reproduced or tested.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:16 am |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow came up with the idea of model-dependent realism. In it the models we make of reality are all we can know about it. No one model is a perfect picture of every aspect of reality. We have to be satisfied with being able to focus on different parts of reality at the expense of losing resolution of other parts.

          February 14, 2014 at 11:35 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          That doesn't give us reason to change the definition of a theory. Big Bang does not comply with that definition. It cannot be recreated in a lab or a collider. It is still just a popular hypothesis that is loosely referred to as a theory.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:09 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          " If you cannot explain the moment of expansion or even make the math work out, THIS BEING what big bang IS FOUNDED ON..."

          This is misleading too.
          The Big Bang Theory models the expansion of the universe based on direct observation. The earliest observable evidence in support of the theory is the CMB. The cosmic microwave background radiation only brings us back to 100,000 years after the expansion of the hypothetical singularity. Prior to that point the universe is filled with plasma and is opaque to direct observation. From the origin of the CMB to the present the model consistently and accurately represents the universe we see. Conditions before those indicated by the CMB are extrapolations of known data. But just because we can't directly observe events prior to the formation of the CMB doesn't invalidate the conclusions. Just like a measurement of a passing cars speed can be extrapolated to determine its position on the highway one hour before doesn't require direct observation.

          February 15, 2014 at 7:12 am |
        • wolfbitn

          So who observed the sudden expansion of any singularity? No one. Atheists are the most intellectually dishonest people I know. Ironic given their bold and desperate claims

          February 15, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
    • Vic

      Genesis 1:1
      "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

      Isaiah 42:5
      "5 Thus says God the Lord,

      Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
      Who spread out the earth and its [a]offspring,
      Who gives breath to the people on it
      And spirit to those who walk in it,"

      Scripture Is From:

      New American Standard Bible (NASB)
      Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

      http://www.biblegateway.com/

      February 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        I'm sure this stuff means a lot to you, Vic. Perhaps a bit more than the writer had in mind.

        February 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        So let me get this straight. Some ancient desert dwellers who had NO CLUE what cosmology was all about, who thought the Earth stood on 4 pillars and was covered by a vault, borrowed a creation myth largely from their Babylonian neighbors, assembles it later into a text when they were in exile, and YOU actually think it provides modern humans some sort of answer to how the universe was created ? BTW read Genesis 1. It says the deity is "moving over the deep". That means space-time, and the "deep" were ALREADY in place, as well as existence, and non-existence, and Reality, and Causality in general. Maybe you better actually read that book, Vic. Then explain how a deity "acted" if space-time and Causality were not already in place.

        February 14, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        BTW, Genesis does not const'itute evidence that Genesis is true. It's circular, Vic.

        February 14, 2014 at 9:02 pm |
      • thesamyaza

        The Beginning of the Tuatha De Danaan

        I. Long, long ago, back before the coming together of the worlds, there was nothing but the Void. Over the eons of eternity past, the Void longed in its slumber. The longing within the Void caused It to ponder the emptiness of the chaos about, and even more did the Void long deeply for companionship solitude of oneness. So intense was the longing that eventually the Void dropped from slumber into a deep sleep, and while there, the Void received a vision. In this vision it was relayed how all the things that should be, could be, and the beauty of it brought joy to the very heart of the Void. Alive with a joy radiating from a newly blazing heartfire, the great Void awoke with a wondrous war cry. “ABU” was the roar, as the Void stretched out in nine waves against the dark chaos around.

        II. So great was the love that the Great Void felt for what had been seen that the Void divided, and from within there emerged two children, Danu and Donn. Stepping out from nothingness into somethingness, Danu and Donn looked about. Then turning back to the center from where they emerged, they espied each other in the mirror of the shining Void. Instantly the sacred flame of the center ignited in their own hearts as well and they became locked in a loving embrace from which they could not be moved.

        February 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
    • neverbeenhappieratheist

      "The Big Bang Theory has many problems and is not proven. There exists no empirical data explaining the cause of the Big Bang."

      This is like saying "The Chicxulub asteroid impact crater has many problems and is not proven. There exists no empirical data explaining who threw the Chicxulub asteroid...."

      February 14, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
      • wolfbitn

        o ok... so show us the proof that we recreated the sudden expansion of a singularity in a lab or a collider lol.

        February 14, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
    • Vic

      To all:

      I only posted this to share my thoughts on quite some discussion earlier and without intruding.

      February 14, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
    • Vic

      This is all about the "Origin" and not the "how."

      February 14, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        You mean what you WHAT/NEED to believe is the origin. Proof by as'sertion is proof of nothing.

        February 14, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          So then explain the origin of the so called Big Bang please. What caused this stable mass of whatever, to lose it's stability? How long was it stable before it "BANGed"?

          February 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
      • realbuckyball

        The fact is, if the camesl are all wrong, it puts into question everything else, (or it would to a rational person).
        People are not rational about beligions.

        February 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
      • bostontola

        Vic,
        That is not true. The science is about how. Science is not ready to definitively say how the origin of the universe occurred. It does address in a lot of detail what happened after that. Science does address the origin of life but doesn't have a definitive mechanism yet. It does have a lot of detail after the origin. It is very likely that within the next few decades, life from chemistry will be demonstrated.

        February 14, 2014 at 9:35 pm |
      • Vic

        My post is all about the "Origin" and not the "how."

        February 14, 2014 at 9:42 pm |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          That is your prerogative. I can't discuss origin of the universe except in speculation. The deist God is not something I can argue strongly against. The Christian idea of God I have.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
        • Vic

          That's why I did not intrude earlier. Right before the changeover, all my posts were being deleted.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      Very very true. Even top theoretical physicists realize and admit that the math just breaks down when we come to the moment of this hypothesized singularity. They have ideas they toss back and forth, they rise to fame and die, like string theory. The funny thing to me is that even though big bang and string do not work out mathematically, and the sudden expansion of the singularity cannot be tested from the moment of expansion, atheists fail to regard the rule of science in this case. They classify big bang and string as a truly defined theory, but a theory can be tested and many that are tested are then falsified. Since this moment of singularity cannot be tested it doesn't even qualify as a theory according to the definition of a theory. At least a little intellectual honesty would be good here. It doesnt matter how popular it is or if certain predictions arent falsified, what matters is that this is NOT the ONLY possible explanation... and there are SO many varieties of this one possible explanation. So though its a pretty idea, and has some predictive merit as evidence presented, the fact it cannot be tested makes it just that... not a theory, just a pretty idea.

      February 14, 2014 at 9:48 pm |
      • Vic

        Thank you.

        Also, the Theory of General Relativity AND Quantum Physics/Mechanics BOTH break down at the hypothesized Gravitational Singularity.

        Speaking of predictions, I myself believe that the Bible's predictions of "Mortality" and the "Expansion of the Universe" are epitome of all predictions.

        February 14, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I would say there is a lot of merit there. And you're right about quantum theory. If the greatest minds in the field can grant these facts and face the shortcomings, the trolls don't matter. One or 2 atheists i have spoken to here have been fairly reasonable, the rest see us as blaspheming their gods of turning hypotheses into fact lol

          February 14, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • Creationists say the darndest things

          Regarding the expansion of the universe – what do the scriptures say?

          Psalm 104, in somewhat metaphorical language (after all, it is a song of praise), is describing the Creator and his work of creation of this world. There we read,

          “Which covereth himself with light, as with a garment, and spreadeth the heavens like a curtain” (Psa 104:2; Geneva Bible).
          The straightforward interpretation from the context is God created the starry heavens and put them up like you might erect a canopy or a tent. The Hebrew word rendered in English here is natah, meaning to stretch out or incline. For example, in Exodus 10:22 the same Hebrew word is rendered ‘stretched forth’,

          “Then Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven … .”
          Also we read in Isaiah 40:22,

          “He sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers, he stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out, as a tent to dwell in” (Geneva Bible).
          Here the Lord is seen from the perspective of the earth. Clearly it is spherical (‘circle’ comes from the Hebrew word chug, which more correctly means ‘sphere’). And then He describes the creation of the starry heavens. They are stretched out (Hebrew word, natah) as a curtain. Curtains are made of a fabric that is constant in size but erected across the windows—they do not expand, nor stretch out like a rubber sheet. The verse goes onto say that the heavens are spread out (Hebrew, mathach) as a tent. Once a tent is erected it remains the same size. Its material does not stretch nor expand, not very much anyway. The Hebrew here has the meaning ‘to spread out or over’ as is the case with beaten metal. This may mean that space has some substance to it, but again once it has been erected it is fixed. It is not a stretchy material like a rubber balloon.

          Isaiah 42:5 describes God’s creative act:

          “Thus saith God the Lord (he that created the heavens and spread them abroad: he that stretched forth the earth, and the buds thereof: he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein” (Geneva Bible).
          And Isaiah 40:22 may also be translated,

          “It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in” (ESV).
          The expression ‘stretches out’ and ‘spreads’ are rendered from the same Hebrew words, natah and mathach, respectively. The clear meaning of this and earlier passages is that God created the earth for humans to dwell on and created the heavens with the stars in them. There is no inference of stretching or expanding space here. God was simply providing a habitat designed and ready for human habitation. The tent can also refer to the atmospheric heavens that support life. To read any more into it is unjustifiable eisegesis.

          We read in Job,

          “He himself alone spreadeth out the heavens … ” (Job 9:8; Geneva Bible).
          Which describes God creating the starry heavens as the next verse describes some of the constellations He created. The same Hebrew word, natah, is rendered ‘spread’ here also. Some translations render it as ‘stretch’. But clearly these verses have no more intent than suggesting that when Moses stretched out his hand, his arm did not lengthen beyond its fixed length.

          And,

          “Hast thou stretched out the heavens, which are strong, and as a molten glass?” (Job 37:18; Geneva Bible).
          Which is also translated,

          “Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror?” (ESV).
          Here the Hebrew raqa is rendered ‘stretch’ or ‘spread’. The context seems to be only referring to the atmosphere. God erected the habitat on Earth for man to live in. The KJV uses the expression “spread out the sky”. The molten glass or cast metal mirror is consistent with the meaning of raqa, but really seems to refer to the transparent nature of the sky and nothing more—not the starry heavens of the cosmos. Other verses sometimes quoted to support the hypothesis that God stretched out the space with the stars and galaxies in it are Jeremiah 10:12 and Zechariah 12:1. Both of these verses use the Hebrew word natah, rendering it as ‘stretch’ in English.

          Let’s now read from Psalms 148:

          “3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!
          4 Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!
          5 Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created.
          6 And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away” (ESV).
          A straightforward reading of this passage is that God created the lights in the sky (sun, moon and stars) and possibly this is what the highest heavens refers to. Certainly this is what the Reformers thought (from the footnotes in the Geneva Bible), but also they thought the waters above referred to the rain. The suggestion is there also that the highest heavens God refers to here will not pass away, hence this could be the spiritual heavens, since verses 1 and 2 refer to such places. The Geneva Bible translators used the expression ‘heavens of heavens’. So if God in the Day of the Lord, is going to roll up the heavens, it could mean either the atmosphere or the whole starry cosmos.

          “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down …” (Isaiah 34:4; KJV).
          “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” (Revelation 6:14; KJV).

          February 14, 2014 at 11:02 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @Creationist. All you just proved was you have no understanding at all of ancient literature and poetry. The bible actually claims that the world is extremely old, has endured cycles of Life and mass extinction, and that it will continue to. It also calls the earth a sphere, makes distinction between our atmosphere and space, and it describes the very cataclysms that 3500 years later, our sciences have finally established actually occurred. Science was 3500 years behind the bible in describing the asteroid that hit the earth as some surmise some 65 million years ago.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:26 am |
        • Creationists say the darndest things

          @wolfbitn

          Did you miss the first line? My reply was in response to Vic's "I myself believe that the Bible's predictions of "Mortality" and the "Expansion of the Universe" are epitome of all predictions." It's silly to attempt to derive a prediction of the Expansion of the Universe from the Bible. If you disagree, then provide your explanation regarding your reason and, if appropriate, where you feel the referenced Hebrew is incorrect.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:48 am |
        • Vic

          Thank you for your thorough examination, I totally respect that.

          I am aware of those verses and refrained from using all of them to be able to focus on the subject matter of "Origin." Whether we understand how things happened or not—which I myself believe that the creation was a "Supernatural" act of God that manifested into the natural there on, wherein the "Supernatural" cannot be traced back —it has no bearing on the subject matter of "Origin," hence the "Existence of God." I believe that this universe and life in it are clear enough evidence of the Creator God, whether we know/understand the "how" or not. We observe final products.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:27 pm |
      • the0g0to0the0t

        "the fact it cannot be tested makes it just that... not a theory, just a pretty idea"

        If it can't be tested... how is it being falsified?

        February 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          If you read that, youll see I said that when some aspects of theory ARE tested many times it is falsified, and therefore shown not to be a VIABLE theory.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
      • AtheistSteve

        "Even top theoretical physicists realize and admit that the math just breaks down when we come to the moment of this hypothesized singularity."

        This is misleading. The singularity represents a condition where the equations from both quantum physics and relativity converge. Any calculations about the "state" of the universe at the point of singularity only yields meaningless gibberish of zeros and infinities. It isn't that the math breaks down so much as the conditions are so extreme that no sense can be made of the output.

        February 15, 2014 at 6:32 am |
        • wolfbitn

          Not according to the most brilliant mathematicians we have... and I doubt you trump Alan Guth. Not only does it break down, it simply doesn't work out. I understand your bias, but don't let it make you lie about the issue. You atheists define everything and then change that definition whenever it is convenient. You guys are killing intellectual honesty.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          Do tell. I offered an explanation of what physicists mean when they say the "math breaks down" at the point of singularity. What's yours?
          And toward a later comment you suggest that the Big Bang theory was built around the expansion of said singularity. It wasn't. The Big Bang model was built around the observation that galaxies are spreading apart, the farther the faster, and extrapolated back from there. The CMB was predicted and later discovered to confirm the model. The singularity is a hypothetical starting point, not the primary basis of the model, and not all cosmologists agree that the universe actually was a singularity to begin with. A singularity is a paradoxical concept. Where all the energy of the universe is bound in zero volume. This leads to a mathematical description of something that has infinite density and infinite energy occupying zero space. In other words...nonsense. No predictions or conclusions can be made or inferred from this data. This what they mean when they say the math breaks down. Especially when the math actually does work out to within mere fractions of a second after T=0. But I'd just love to hear your explanation.
          But this is all moot anyway. Arguing that the Big Bang theory is an invalid model of the expansion of the universe, simply because it can't define the hypothetical singularity as a starting point, is as faulty as arguing that evolution is invalid because it doesn't address the question of life's origin(abiogenesis). The level of dishonesty you exhibit is glaring and I've yet to see you offer anything that's more plausible. Mere nay-saying isn't bolstering your argument.

          February 16, 2014 at 8:05 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      Vic, regarding your comments about the Big Bang, thousands of years ago when our ancestors sought an explanation for lightning and thunder coming from the sky, they imagined there was a god throwing thunderbolts. Some thought that god was Thor, others Zeus, others Jove, while others thought it was Teshub, and yet others believed it to be Yahweh. There were many others as well (see the Wikipedia article "List of thunder gods"), depending on the religion of the people. Earthquakes were deemed the work of Neptune, Poseidon, Rūaumoko, Mafui'e, etc.

      Today the sciences of meteorology and seismology provide us with explanations of those phenomena and most people no longer invoke a god to explain them. Though some still do, of course. E.g., after the Haitian earthquake in 2010, the televangelist Pat Robertson attributed the earthquake to God punishing the Haitians for a pact their ancestors made with the devil. He was not alone in attributing the earthquake as a punishment from god; humans have not really changed that much in the last few thousand years and that is how many still reason. It is not an unexpected conclusion for those still steeped in the biblical lore of a god who punishes humans for infractions committed by their distant ancestors (1 Samuel 2, Deuteronomy 5:8-10, Exodus 20:4-6, and the story of the "Fall" in Genesis).

      Today, some ask "how did the universe originate?" They find the Big Bang explanation unsatisfying and ask "But what came before?" Though, if time originated at that moment, there was no "before." They fill in the gaps in our understanding of the universe with "God", which they deem the "First Cause." They don't ask from whence did the god originate nor what came before the god. They will satisfy themselves with "God has always existed", though an explanation that we may live within a cyclic universe where a big bang is followed by a big crunch and then another big bang, ad infinitum is likely to be unsatisfying to them.

      But suppose it was a god that created the universe? What can we say about that god/force? Just as our ancestors did millennia ago many insert the god of their choice as the cause. It is that god who becomes the "god of the gaps". The concept of a god of the gaps goes back to the 19th century Christian theologian Henry Drummond who warned Christians about the use of "gaps which they will fill up with God".

      February 15, 2014 at 11:03 am |
      • Vic

        Your post summarizes a common course of discussion on the CNN Belief Blog I have been a part of wherein my answers were/are what you have described in your third paragraph—"First Cause," God, Eternal, etc.

        As I mentioned repeatedly, my post is all about the "Origin" and not the "how." And now, you bring in the "why." So my note evolves to "My post is all about the "Origin" and not the "how" nor the "why."

        On a side note, what people regard as apocalyptic—e.g. thunderbolts, earthquakes, Pat Robertson's attributing punishment to a pact with the devil, etc.—is a theological issue and not an "Origin" issue. Also, multi-universe/multiverse—miserbaly fails Occam's razor—and cyclic universe are only hypotheses that do not address the "Origin" either. And filling God in the gaps is due only to gaps in human knowledge, whereas God ALWAYS IS.

        I myself believe that God, Who Is Eternal in Generation, Metaphysical, "First Cause," and Creator of Heavens and Earth and everything in them, Is the Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit.

        February 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        • Austin

          very well put. Nice brain you got there.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          If you can simply declare a god has always existed, another can declare a cyclic never-ending cyclic universe without beginning nor end. Why should you believe that god or "First Cause", if you will, is Yahweh rather than Brahman of the Upanishads? Declaring something to be the "First Cause" does not mean you know anything about it. You simply have a term to explain the origin of the universe, not a link to a triune god.

          February 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Vic

          The problem with cyclic universe is 'change and physical matter,' hence 'finiteness.' God—"First Cause"—is Metaphysical, UNCAUSED and Eternal in Generation, hence "Infinite."

          Why the God of the Bible Is that I believe in? That's a whole different level than the "Origin."

          February 15, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
  16. Dalahäst

    FACT:

    'The Big Bang Theory' will move to new night on CBS during Thursday NFL games

    February 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
    • bostontola

      I must admit that that show is one of my guilty pleasures.

      February 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        As a football fan without cable I loved to hear that NFL was coming to broadcast TV, but my first thought was... what about the BBT?

        February 14, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
  17. clouseau2

    You think people who think the Earth is less than 10,000 years old just because they think the Bible says so, contrary to billions of pieces of evidence, will admit the Bible is wrong because of some Camel bones? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

    February 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      uhhh i dont know where you get your information, but nowhere does the bible say the earth is less than 10000 years old. It states plainly in more than one place that the earth is very old and experiences cycles of life.

      February 14, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        That's generally attributed to Archbishop Ussher and is the lineage calculated by the begats in the bible to a known point multiplied by an average for generation.
        How old do you say that the universe is?

        February 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          thats a ridiculous criteria to determine what the bible says about the age of the earth. I suggest studying the earliest manuscripts to see what it really says for yourself. Its there in black and white. I dont know how old the universe is, and neither do you... nor anyone else. The best we can accurately say is that it is old. The bible stated the earth was VERY old and that it suffered cycles of massive life and death thousands of years before anyone you can point out.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          Be that as it may, Archbishop Ussher et al were believers who presumably read the bible thoroughly enough to track each begat and in Ussher's case thoroughly enough to become an archbishop.
          How old would you say the universe is; why do you disagree with 13.8 billions; and how did you arrive at your age?

          February 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • In Santa We Trust

          I missed part of your response. bostontola explained the 13.8 billion years It's a pretty straightforward calculation once you measure the rate of expansion. I don't understand how someone living in the modern world using technology made possible by scientific method and the accumulated knowledge it brings can on one hand use that technology – computers, internet, vaccines, DNA testing, GPS, etc. and on the other hand reject that knowledge when it discredits the imaginings of our (comparatively) ignorant ancestors.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Santa, one man claiming that by adding up the generations mentioned in the bible, has no relevance whatsoever with what the bible itself speaks about the age of the earth. I am presenting what is actually written in the bible, not some archbishop with his own agenda. If you want to judge what the bible says, judge what it actually does say... not a theologian's misrepresentations. You are holding to a ridiculous assumption that most Christians regard with disdain.

          February 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          ...and santa... you can mathematically estimate the age of the universe according to your observations of the current rate of expansion... but you are foolishly assuming that this rate was constant. The BB hypothesis itself of course states that this e4xpansion was not constant.

          February 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
  18. bostontola

    The recent Ham on Nye debate was somewhat entertaining, but science vs belief is not a substantive debate. It's like debating whether the WWII story or Harry Potter trilogy is a better story.

    I would really like to see a debate between a top Christian thinker and a top Jewish thinker on whether Jesus is the messiah and the son of God. They would both be in the belief field, both are in the biblical field. That would be interesting. They won't do that of course because the Christian would get waxed and the bad feelings towards Jews wouldn't be worth it.

    February 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      http://www.theforumchannel.tv/video-clip/Christopher-Hitchens-Rev-Gomes/Christopher-Hitchens-and-Peter-Gomes-Have-A-Polite-Confrontation/259

      Christopher Hitchens, Rabbi Kushner, Rev Gomes was pretty good.

      February 14, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
      • bostontola

        Thanks Dalahast, I'll check that out.

        February 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      To be fair, when I see how most Christians have debated and the things that have been presented as evidence, I can see why you feel the way you do. When I read genesis from the earliest manuscripts however, they present an entirely different story that certainly perked my interest. Geology, fossils and physics only go on to confirm what it actually does lay out.

      February 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
      • neverbeenhappieratheist

        You have mentioned "earliest manuscripts" several times now and i'm just curious as to which you mean. I have read several early hebrew texts from literal translations but I have never personally learned Hebrew to read the manuscripts myself. I am assuming this must be what you are talking about as to getting a different version because there are many literal translations as well as paraphrase bibles that people use but most often they are literal translations and they have very few real differences between eachother.

        February 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Generally speaking, we have several types of translations. By earliest manuscripts, I am actually employing manuscripts found in the original language, such as were found in Qumran scrolls, as well as the earliest translations into Latin and Greek. They all concur in more than one place, that this earth is extremely old and has experienced cycles of life and mass extinction From the first few thoughts in Genesis, through Ecclesiastes and on.
          Its feeble attempts of well meaning but misinformed or mistaught men that have managed to complicate this very clear and plainly written fact. The very first thoughts in Genesis absolutely clarify this in very brief form.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • neverbeenhappieratheist

          I have read the bible cover to cover several times and have found no clear statement of the age of the earth or as you have said "in black and white". Are you talking about the apocrypha? Books not included in the official cannon as decided upon by the council of Nicaea?

          February 14, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        Wolfbitn, when you state regarding Genesis " Geology, fossils and physics only go on to confirm what it actually does lay out", would you concur that geology, fossils, and physics disprove the Noachian flood mythology, though?

        February 15, 2014 at 9:26 am |
        • wolfbitn

          I would concur that despite what Geology and fossils prove, Atheistic thought doesnt always recognize fact and therefore many times fact is hidden or distorted. There are so many finds that verify this, there should be a revolution demanding intellectual honesty. I would be more than happy to debate this issue too provided a willingness to address issues that do not fit with the current given atheistic party line, and yet nevertheless exist.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
        • alonsoquixote

          Wolfbitn, to be certain I'm not misunderstanding you, can you start with a "yes" or "no" answer to the question, "do you believe the worldwide flood story in Genesis with Noah gathering at least two pairs of every animal, and perhaps seven of some, on-board an ark is an actual historical event?" That position is contradicted by geology, paleontology, and physics, so how do you support such a position, if that is your position?

          February 15, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
  19. bostontola

    Some Christians deride evolution and the Big Bang as "just theories". Ignoring the fact that a theory in science is an experimentally verified hypothesis, the more hypothetical thing is scripture. In any religion, the scripture is a map for how to live. No one follows it all the time, most don't even come close. Scripture is a hypothetical that no one verifies. This is not a criticism, it is an observation and something to think about before calling a scientific theory "just a theory".

    February 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
    • hotairace

      If Evolution and the Big Bang are "just theories" then anything advocating any god or supernatural being is "just crap."

      February 14, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
    • Dalahäst

      Some atheists do, too.

      Atheist Thomas Nagel branded a ‘heretic’ for daring to question Darwinism

      http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/03/23/what-has-gotten-into-thomas-nagel-leading-atheist-branded-a-heretic-for-daring-to-question-darwinism/

      February 14, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        ‘I realize that such doubts will strike many people as outrageous, but that is because almost everyone in our secular culture has been browbeaten’

        Like me? Well, browbeaten, not brainwashed. But still...

        February 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
      • bostontola

        Dala,
        I have studied evolution in the university. I am an engineer but I was a biology major in undergraduate school. Finding weaknesses in certain corners of evolution doesn't invalidate it, it invites additional work. I have never seen 1 piece of objective evidence that would put the overall science of evolution into question. People bring up lots of questions, which is great, but those open questions don't put even a chink into evolution. This has been going on for over 100 years. The questions almost always get an answer by the scientific method.

        February 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I have no problem with evolution.

          But some others, like Christians and even atheists, do.

          February 14, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • realbuckyball

          DNA proves evolution. Even Christian retards would use DNA to get out of prison, if they needed to.
          They are hypocrites, but too stupid to get why.

          February 14, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Some religion-hating atheists call Christians retards and say they are severely mentally ill.

          But they have no problem intrusting their life to a Christian airplane pilot or Christian medical surgeon.

          They would never let a legitimately retarded or severely mentally ill person fly their plane or operate on them with a knife, though.

          Is that hypocritical?

          February 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      How have you experimentally verified the so called Big Bang theory?

      February 14, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
      • Dalahäst

        I always heard it was the Big Bang Theory. Not the Big Bang Fact.

        February 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Exactly my point. A valid theory, by definition, has to be testable. Many theories, at the point of testing are falsified, proving them to be invalid. The Big Bang idea has tried for years to incorporate string theory.in one variation or another, to validate the math in the moment of expansion. Without this validity, the Big Bang idea really has no mathematical base that actually adds up at all mathematically as Dr. Alan Guth himself (Theoretical Physicist who taught at MIT)professes. Therefore since it is untestable and what has been tested has been falsified, calling the big bang a "theory" is a bit of a scientific stretch.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          I don't have an extensive scientific background. But I was taught it was a theory in my secular public university.

          It appears very likely from what I've been presented. But to be proven without a shed of doubt? I don't think so. We may never know for 100% certainty. As technology improves, we may discover new information and phenomenon.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          If you folks don't realize that a thing can be both a theory and a scientific fact, then you don't understand how science defines what a theory is (versus what the vernacular term theory means).

          February 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          So if new technology comes along that allows us to see that the Big Bang, while the best answer at the time, was misunderstood and not factual... then what?

          February 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          If it is invalidated then it will be rejected. Like I said, theories with as much validation as the BB don't usually get overturned, they are filled in with more detail, the overall picture remaining. I can't think of 1 theory as validated as the BB that has been overturned. The science supporting the BB also underlies much of our technology like computers and satellites. If there were a major flaw, they wouldn't be working. It is extraordinarily unlikely to be wholesale overturned. If it were, scientists would reject it.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          It would become a superseded scientific theory and discarded.

          I hope nobody settles for this being a fact, but dares to push the envelope of our understanding of the universe and how it operates. Even it if gets them called a heretic by top scientists.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          We better double check it. It was fathered by a brainwashed Catholic priest.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          There are many "rogue" scientists with alternative fundamental theories (alternative to the Standard Model) of physics like string theory, M-Theory, that do make different predictions at high energies. They continue to work at it even though it may not get verified in their lifetimes. There are variants of BB theory, but I don't know of a completely different alternative.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • bostontola

          Dalahast,
          I wish I was half as smart as some of the catholic scientists. We would be far behind where we are without them. Good thing they had a lot of time on their hands ; )

          February 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Cool. Thanks for explaining this in an easy way for a non-scientist like me. Appreciate it.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
      • likklehero

        The Big Bang theory predicted a background radiation signature, and years later when the proper equipment was constructed this cosmic background radiation was detected and was verified to match the predictions of the theory.

        The fact that the BB theory was upgraded from being a hypothesis, is the fact that predictions can be verified and no known observations have yet to disprove the theory.

        I have seen your challenge, and I am wondering what observable predictions can you make that the universe had a creator, and can you construct an experiment to make said observation? Others have made these arguments and have constructed experiments. There is one hypothesis that says we are all just part of a computer simulation and if we can look closely enough at the underlying structures we will see "pixelization". I consider this to be an interesting proposition.

        What exactly is your hypothesis?

        February 14, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I find it a great stretch to say just because it predicts background radiation signatures, that this validates it as a theory. It doesn't. Is it not true that there are myriads of ideas that could produce such signatures? Possibly many things we aren't even aware of existing? This proves only that it is one such possibility.

          The truth is this idea of a Big Bang only works mathematically when we take it bac to several seconds AFTER the expansion began... AFTER. From there the mathematics break down. Dr Alan Guth, former professor of Physics at MIT, in his bid to resolve this issue, states himself that the mathematics just DO NOT work out, although its a beautiful idea. Therefore we are unable to generate an experiment to create this big bang. It is in this inability to test that it fails to meet the standard of a valid theory.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          If you agree that the BB works back to a few seconds, then it is a validated theory. In fact, it works back to less than femtoseconds. It's true that no one knows what happens at T=0, but there was a amazing expansion of space time that the universe came from.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @bostontola ...You know perfectly well that is NOT how a "theory" is defined. Nor is ANYTHING scientifically validated until it can be tested... and maybe even then it will fail. The sudden expansion of a singularity has NEVER been recreated nor tested from the moment of initial action, nor is it likely that it ever will be tested. .. so lets at least be honest 😉

          February 14, 2014 at 10:13 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          You are wrong. The BB theory starts now and goes back to the beginning. There is a lot of tested observations as described in this thread. It goes back to a point that our physics can't describe. That doesn't invalidate all the tests validating the expansion after the beginning. The singularity is just one possibility for the first moment.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
        • redzoa

          "The sudden expansion of a singularity has NEVER been recreated nor tested from the moment of initial action"

          Science doesn't require direct observation or complete recapitulation of an event to be appropriately applied or validated. The results of a DNA paternity test are not contingent on the technician having actually witnessed the act of conception or recapitulated the conception in vitro.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:03 am |
        • kirsteny

          @likklehero
          I saw that episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman too. This universe being a simulation isn't even close to being accepted by mainstream science as a valid theory.

          February 15, 2014 at 5:11 am |
        • wolfbitn

          To kirsteny
          If you dont know who Alan Guth is, nor his importance to the subject at hand, this is your shortcoming and I will not apologize that this Christian knows more about the subject of string and BB than you. You might want to educate yourself before you make yourself look absolutely uninformed again.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:33 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          To Redzoa:
          You said "Science doesn't require direct observation or complete recapitulation of an event to be appropriately applied or validated"
          Validated? You use that word rather loosely. And science DOES have to be able to TEST a hypothesis before it can properly be called a theory. So show me the test that "validated" the basis of the big bang hypothesis.

          February 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
        • redzoa

          @wolfbitn – My background is biology, not cosmology or astrophysics. I was simply pointing out your miscomprehension of how science works. You are clearly capable of performing a search to find supporting evidence and the methods used to produce this evidence. I queried "evidence supporting the big bang" and the first hit was this:

          http://www.universetoday.com/106498/what-is-the-evidence-for-the-big-bang/

          Regarding testing, every time an astronomer scans a distant region of the universe and every time some astrophysicist crunches the numbers, they are "testing" the theory in that they are inviting contradictory evidence which could confound the theory. Again, one does not need to directly observe or recapitulate a given event to apply the scientific method.

          I use "validation" to mean not only successful prediction, but also successful application of the underlying mechanisms in useful and beneficial ways. In other words, the proverbial "proof is in the pudding." I'll let someone more educated in this particular subject matter provide examples of direct applications in useful technology. In my own area, when I refer to the validation of evolutionary theory, I point to the ability to use phylogenetic comparisons to identify the precise location of genes involved in developmental disorders in humans, the ability to model and predict host/parasite interactions, the ability of variation and selection to yield functional biological novelty in the lab and in the wild (e.g. RNA aptamers, combinatorial chemistry, Lenski's E. coli, the Pod Mrcaru lizards, etc), and other such direct applications of the scientific theory and its underlying mechanisms to yield useful technology and methodologies.

          February 15, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
      • bostontola

        We've built massive telescopes that have measured the speed of stars and galaxies. We have postulated type 1a supernovae and have found them. They are standard candles that allow us to measure distance (and time). We have shown that most stars and galaxies are moving away from us at speeds proportional to the distance. If you run the clock backwards, they converge to a point in space and time 13.8 billion years ago. We have built radio telescopes and satellites that have detected the first light after the Big Bang. It follows the theory incredibly well and also matches the distribution of observed galaxies and super clusters in the observable universe. There is a lot more as well, but that is enough to consti.tute validation of that theory.

        February 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          Why does Dr Alan Guth, one of the most respected names in string theory, inform us that although its a beautiful idea, the mathematics do not work out? Because they do not. Why does it fail as a theory? Because your collider was unable thus far to recreate the sudden expansion of a singularity. Our best mathematicians and theoretical physicists cannot even track it to the moment of expansion... so it shakey to define it even as a hypothesis.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          It is true that our math and theory don't work at T=0, but they work amazingly well for all time after that. That is one of the best theories in all of science. It is better than Newton's laws, all modern medicine, etc. no one said it is the theory of everything. You don't seem to understand what science is. Science merely develops hypotheses, tests them, keeps the ones that work (called theories), improves them as time goes on. Gaps don't invalidate them, they invite more work. Theories are almost never overturned, they are improved. The theory of relativity didn't overturn Newton's laws, it explained them and extended them.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:51 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          The point being... Who or what lab or collider do you know, that has recreated a big bang at particle level?

          February 14, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          No lab has or will. I keep saying that doesn't mean the expansion of our universe from a tiny start is invalidated any more than Newton's Laws won't determine the path of a cannon ball because the Theory of Relativity is better.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        • Alias

          @bostontola
          This wolfbutt will not accept the big bang untilit is perfectly replicated in a lab.
          He/she/it will always find one comment from a scientist in the wrong context and stand firmly behind it as 'proof'.
          STOP. Please.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          Alias,
          Feel free to choose who you want to engage with. Why would you presume to choose for someone else?

          February 14, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          @Alias Atlas lol... That's not true at all. I have stated that I give the hypothesis some credence. I can accept that it may PARTIALLY explain how events MAY HAVE unfolded... This does not change the fact that it is still just a hypothesis and not a theory because an actual theory by definition CAN be tested and either falsified or proven to hold up under scrutiny... and it can be repeated with the same results. The big bang does not enjoy this high standard.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:40 am |
        • kirsteny

          @wolfbitn – please see : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_theoretical_physicists#20th.E2.80.9321st_century

          Your precious Alan Guth is not on the list. Granted, it is a partial list, but these are the world's leading theoretical physicists.

          February 15, 2014 at 5:27 am |
        • bostontola

          kirsteny,
          It is a fact that the theory doesn't doesn't describe the first moment when there MAY have been a singularity. Scientists don't deny that, they are trying to develop better math and theory to capture it. The current theory does an excellent job describing time, space, and matter/energy after that. That theory is validated by a plethora of experiments. Other theories, e.g. With more dimensions, more universes, etc., will likely capture the first moment, but they are just hypotheses at this point. All these theories do not change the BB at times after the origin, they just encompass the origin better than the current theories. Again, that doesn't subtract from the fact that we have validated the BB. We aren't done, that's all (true of just about every theory we have).

          February 15, 2014 at 9:05 am |
        • wolfbitn

          bostontola... you stated :
          "It is a fact that the theory doesn't doesn't describe the first moment when there MAY have been a singularity. Scientists don't deny that, they are trying to develop better math and theory to capture it. The current theory does an excellent job describing time, space, and matter/energy after that. That theory is validated by a plethora of experiments. Other theories, e.g. With more dimensions, more universes, etc., will likely capture the first moment, but they are just hypotheses at this point. All these theories do not change the BB at times after the origin, they just encompass the origin better than the current theories. Again, that doesn't subtract from the fact that we have validated the BB. We aren't done, that's all (true of just about every theory we have)."

          For the most part I agree with this. I disagree in that Validation is exaggerated at best. I also disagree in the hopeful sentiment that maybe better math will solve the problems presented with this hypothesis, most notably causation and the moment the expansion began. How many decades, with all the resources poured into it, with the most brilliant minds working on it... You should face the possibility that you are missing something. You should also face the possibility that science is simply unable to work it out because the hypothesis is simply wrong. Until they can make the math work, and recreate it in laboratory settings, it has not truly been tested.
          I certainly agree that some predictions hold water, but those predictions are not tethered to the BB as the ONLY possibility of fulfilling these predictions.
          Question... how is it that we know Carbide plus tap water equals Acetylene?
          Answer: because it is testable. We can recreate it time after time, which VALIDATES the theory, and it therefore fits the criteria of a scientific theory.
          We do not have this with the hypothesis of the Big Bang. The Big Bang itself has NEVER been tested... only predictions of some things that MAY occur BECAUSE OF a big bang have been tested. THAT has been validated. The BB itself is not even close to validation through actual testing.

          February 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          Just because you think a scientific test must recreate the actual phenomenon or it's not valid, doesn't make it true. Science has advanced for 500 years by forming hypotheses, these hypotheses are composed of elementary parts. Science then tests the parts or the whole if possible. In many cases it's the parts that get validated due to constraints. If scientists took your approach and only tested wholes, we would have stalled at a level we were at hundreds of years ago. There is no denying that the scientific method has yielded the most successful human advancements in history. Semiconductors, satellites, airplanes, medicine, etc., work incredibly well and keep improving. The theories underlying them have all Ben validated by breaking them into their elements and validating those elements. You can look down on that all you want, but it works and it is science.

          The BB has been validated. There is no doubt that stars and galaxies are moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance. Reverse the clock and they rush towards us and would converge in 13.8 billion years. Lots of other tests confirm other parts of the inflation and expansion. The observed proportions of hydrogen and helium match the theory right on. It passes every test anyone has devised.

          We can't describe the initial moment, but there is no evidence in conflict with 13.8 billion years after that. A new theory may explain that, but that new theory will agree with the current BB theory for times after the initial moment, just like the Theory of Relativity agrees with Newton's Laws at earthly velocities and gravity.

          February 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
      • In Santa We Trust

        How have you experimentally verified the Genesis story?

        February 14, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • bostontola

          In all fairness, most Jews and Christians don't regard Genesis as literal fact.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm |
        • Dalahäst

          Or that it should be read like a science manual.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          In other words, you have not experimentally verified the big bang. Neither has anyone else. You take this by faith then even when the best physicists in the field claim the math doesn't even work out?

          February 14, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          I have gone to great pain to explain what a scientific theory is, I've shown that the BB is verified, and you just come back and assert the opposite with no objective evidence. It is clear to me that your mind is so clouded by your belief that it is regrettably pointless to discuss this further with you.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
        • wolfbitn

          I believe I gave you Dr Alan Guth, who is a foremost theorist in the field of string theory. HE states the math doesn't work out. Nor can you point to any test that validates the moment of expansion.

          February 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm |
        • bostontola

          wolf,
          One more try. The BB theory does not claim to explain the moment of the star of our observable universe. It is a validated theory of what happens a tiny fraction of a second after that right up to today. A theory only needs to work over the region it is validated to. Newton's Laws were validated over the range of velocities far from the speed of light. That theory is a valid theory in that range. The Theory of Relativity, extends that to the speed of light. It is validated through that range.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:04 pm |
        • believerfred

          In Santa we Trust
          Verification of Genesis: God said descendants of Ishmael would kick and cause trouble for his brothers Isaacs descendants which today with Israel and the Muslims continues to prove that prophecy.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • kirsteny

          @wolfbitn – Alan Guth is a particle physicist and has researched elementary particle theory (and how particle theory is applicable to the early universe). He is the originator of the inflationary universe theory. Inflation theory adds to the BB, it does not negate it. As you might have guessed from the name of theory, Guth is trying to explain why the universe is expanding. I've done some research, but I can't find anything to back you up that he is a leader in String Theory, and no quote that the "math just doesn't work"

          February 15, 2014 at 5:39 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          Believerfred, you write "Verification of Genesis: God said descendants of Ishmael would kick and cause trouble for his brothers Isaacs descendants which today with Israel and the Muslims continues to prove that prophecy." What other prophecies do we find in Genesis?

          Genesis 22:16-17:

          I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.

          The Jews have been and continue today to be a small minority of the Earth's population.

          What else does the Bible say Yahweh promised in Genesis?

          Genesis 8:20-21:

          And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

          After wiping out most of the earth's population with a flood, Yahweh concludes that wasn't an effective solution after all, since mankind is unchanged. But he does promise to not curse the land in the future.

          Though the Yahwistic writer of that passage in Genesis has Yahweh promise to never curse the earth again, a later biblical writer has Yahweh curse the earth in Isaiah 24:1-6.

          The notion that a people's national deity would curse the land, his people, etc. for some action that angered the deity is common in ancient mythologies. When struck by some great calamity, ancient people's searching for an explanation for their misfortune usually attributed it to some among them angering their god.

          February 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
    • believerfred

      Bostontola
      "Scripture is a hypothetical that no one verifies"
      =>If God did not come through on His promises we would lose faith. God comes through each and every time. Abraham believed because God came through. Moses, David etc. Ditto.

      February 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • bostontola

        fred,
        We disagree on the cause and effect on this. You think God inspires faith, I think faith (instilled in most by their parents when young and very suggestible) drives belief in God, humans are very good at selecting the things they perceive to justify their beliefs. Science is different. Scientists are motivated to disprove other scientists ideas and work hard to do so.

        February 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • believerfred

          In a way yes, as I believe God is faithful in His promises. The Jews did not believe because Jesus did not fulfill their expectations of promises. Many however left the faith of their parents and took up with the Christians
          If God did not follow through on His promises to me I really do not think I would have become a Christian. There is a lot of pressure out there pushing against my belief and I need to reach back and review how God came through for strength.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:40 pm |
        • new-man

          b: "humans are very good at selecting the things they perceive to justify their beliefs."

          Well said, and you've demonstrated this quite well in your opinion on the BBT.

          b: "Science is different. Scientists are motivated to disprove other scientists ideas and work hard to do so."

          You have placed way too much faith (or perhaps all your faith) in scientists and their motives.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • bostontola

          new-man,
          Many believers like you merely cast out unsubstantiated assertions like in your post. My post are supported by actual tested data, yours is just speculation and baseless assertion.

          February 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
        • new-man

          b:
          As you've rightly said...humans are very good at selecting the things they perceive to justify their beliefs. And you are no exception.

          The Bible is a record of the history of mankind. It gives man's past, present and future on this earth.
          Newsflash – the Bible is not a book of science.
          The Book of Genesis covers over 3600 yrs of history. Expecting every detail that happens during those 3600 yrs to be contained within it's pages is preposterous.
          I make mention of the above because every time something "new" is discovered, you and those like you see it as you opportunity to bash the validity of the Bible because those details that you (the collective you) deem pertinent are not found within it's pages.

          February 14, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
        • new-man

          For the record, let me state... The Bible says without faith it's impossible to please God.

          What believers have that the world doesn't have is the faith of God...
          I have CHOSEN to put my faith and trust in the Word of God, because in Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

          Faith is not a formula; it is a spirit! 2Cor4:13
          God is a faith God, and we're not going by blind faith. Jesus doesn't disappear because there are atheists. Because it's not just what you believe but who you believe.

          good night

          February 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm |
        • bostontola

          new-man,
          I am human and I have biases. You provided no evidence that my statements regarding BB theory are biased though. In fact, they are based on scientifically validated facts. If these were false, much of the extraordinary edifice of technology that we all use everyday wouldn't be working. Saying I have biases therefore my above statements about the BB are biased is a classic logical fallacy. Provide substantiation with your assertions if you want to be taken seriously.

          February 14, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
        • Alias

          you are just determined to feed the trolls tonight.

          February 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        Believerfred, you write:

        "If God did not come through on His promises we would lose faith. God comes through each and every time. Abraham believed because God came through. Moses, David etc. Ditto."

        The unknown author of the Gospel of Matthew attributes the following words to Jesus in Matthew 21:21-22:

        Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

        Do you believe you can ask for whatever you want in prayer and that whatsoever you ask you shall receive? I've found some Christians reply that Jesus grants prayer requests only when he deems it appropriate to do so, i.e., they add a caveat not found in that scriptural passage to try to explain away what obviously is not true.

        In Psalm 89:3-4 and 89:34-37, Yahweh promises David that the Davidic line of kings will last forever:

        "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me."

        Yet the Davidic line of kings ended with Zedekiah, who was the last king of Judah before the destruction of the kingdom by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II. Zedekiah's reign ended in 586 BCE. Zedekiah was carried in chains to Babylon where he died in captivity. And, of course, there are no Davidic kings ruling today.

        The pressure you are feeling likely comes from cognitive dissonance. You can recognize that the morality of the Old Testament deity is quite reprehensible, yet you still want to believe in that deity. You rely on "faith", which is as Mark Twain put it in Pudd'nhead Wilson "believing what you know ain't so", to maintain that believe in that deity and the ancient sacred text, despite the evidence that the deity and the text were created from the imaginations of men living thousands of years ago. Some people can maintain the cognitive dissonance needed to continue to believe what they so desperately would like to believe to be true for a lifetime; others can not.

        February 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
  20. lunchbreaker

    @wolfbitn, We breifly referenced the now quite famous Alan Guth paper yesterday (Who by the way is one of my favorite authors, I loved "The Inflationary Universe"). Do you agree with the Big Bang model of the universe?

    February 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      That's a fair question. I believe the so called Big Bang model has evidence to support it. The failing of the theory, and therefore possibly even what DISqualifies it from being defined as a true "scientific theory", would be in it's inability to be tested.

      February 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
    • wolfbitn

      ...and by the way, I like him too. Maybe what I like best about him, besides of course his general brilliance, is his apparent honesty.

      February 14, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Advertisement
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.