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Moon Bible goes on sale in auction
Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell (left) shakes hands with the Rev. John Stott, NASA’s then-chaplain.
September 22nd, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Moon Bible goes on sale in auction

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - A rare Bible that's been to the moon and back will have a new owner Thursday night - the complete King James version, framed in gold leaf, is under the hammer at an auction house in New Hampshire.

But whoever takes it home won't be able to leaf through it. It's a piece of microfilm, with the text of 1,245 pages shrunken down to the size of a postage stamp.

"It's the whole King James (Bible) on there. It's really cool," says Bobby Livingston, vice president of sales and marketing at RR Auction, which is handling the sale.

The Bible was taken into space three times before it reached the lunar surface, he said - first on Apollo 12, when it was stored in the wrong part of the spaceship and orbited the moon, but didn't land on it, then on the ill-fated Apollo 13, which had an explosion on board that forced it to turn back, and finally on Apollo 14.

Lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell brought 100 microfilmed copies of the Bible to the surface of the moon on February 5, 1971, Livingston said.

"Most of them were given away when they came back, or were cut into pieces as presentation pieces for dignitaries from the U.S. and from other states," Livingston explained. At least a dozen complete versions still exist.

Bringing a Bible to the moon had been a dream of a group of committed believers in the space program since the beginning of the Apollo mission efforts to reach the moon, said Carol Mersch, author of "The Apostles of Apollo."

"Through the centuries, explorers have carried the Bible across countries to far off lands, pushing the boundaries of exploration. It was not unnatural then that NASA chaplain John Stout and a group called The Apollo Prayer League would undertake a quest to see it carried to another celestial body," she said.

Apollo 1 astronaut Ed White wanted to bring the first Bible to the moon, but died in a fire on the launch pad, Mersch said.

"After his death, fellow astronauts and The Apollo Prayer League took up White's quest, so that, as Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin said, 'those who came after would know that we came from a world of believers,'" Mersch told CNN.

The moon Bible now under the hammer went from Mitchell, the astronaut, to a "well-known space collector from Texas," Livingston said.

He expects it to go for about $50,000 by the time the auction closes at 7 p.m. ET Thursday.

At least one top Bible-collecting expert said he wasn't interested at that price.

Scott Carroll, the director of the Green Collection, one of the world's largest collections of ancient texts, called the moon Bible an "oddity."

"You could pick up a 13th-century Bible for that (price), so it's a tough call," he said.

It wouldn't make a good piece for museum display, he said, because it's so small.

"You gaze into it and say 'wow,' but you can't see anything," he said.

But there will be some people who want to buy it, either as an investment or out of personal interest, Carroll said.

"Of course people who may be people of faith that are interested in astronomy, in aerospace exploration, it would be of great interest," he said.

Several of the Apollo astronauts were just such men, RR Auction's Livingston said.

"What's really interesting about Mitchell is he said he had an epiphany looking out the window" of Apollo 14, Livingston said. "It's not just the death-defying part of it. They talk of the spirituality of the moment of being on the moon, the moment of standing on another planetary body."

Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan, one of the last men to walk on the moon, put it starkly, Livingston said.

"He said to me, 'Bobby, I know infinity exists,'" Livingston recalls. The auctioneer asked how Cernan knew, and got a simple answer: "I've seen it."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bible • Science

soundoff (654 Responses)
  1. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    Religious astronauts who went to the moon don't really bother me–the important part is "astronauts who went to the moon." It's not like they prayed their way there–whatever they believed about existence, they put in the years of scientific and technical work to make it happen in reality. These guys were astronauts, not preachers. A lot of people would feel a spiritual dimension about walking on another world; these guys happened to come from a Christian background, so they were spiritual in a Christian way. But the point is, they actually did something in the real world, not just pray.

    September 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Free

      But it's also important to note that these guys were recruited as pilots. NASA didn't start recruiting scientists into the astronaut program until later.

      September 22, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  2. Me

    Funny! Some people will buy anything.

    September 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  3. Karen

    It's a good thing all you nonbelievers aren't slamming the quran because obama would be sending the fbi to your door. He gets touchy about that.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Ummmm

      You realize you just showed the whole world you're an idiot, especially since he produced his birth certificate and attends a church. DUH! Oh, and I am a republican.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Rob

      Whereas you never get any touchy.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Observer

      Karen,

      Congratulations on making a totally FACTLESS statement.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Rob

      Karen is lacking a lot of things.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • All the Frigg'n Myths

      Karen,

      Let's see now... the ti.tle of this article is "Moon Bible goes on sale in auction". I can't imagine why talking about the Bible is the focus, can you?

      But to humor you... the Quran is also merely a book of supersti.tion, fantasy and mythology, along with a few plat.itudes which may be helpful in getting along with each other, but which can be gleaned from many sources. Being a rigid believer that it is the truth can be/has been dangerous and deadly.

      I guarantee that there will be no FBI agents at my door for saying it.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Apparently Karen is not allowed to watch or listen to the news. Obama is christian and thus does not follow the Qur'an. Just stands to prove how blatantly ignorant of world issues some people really are. Kudos Karen for giving us one more point...we just keep winning the more people like you post moronic comments.

      September 23, 2011 at 6:06 am |
  4. CheezAzz is a friend of mine

    I hope this auction doesn't include the pages they ripped out for wiping purposes...

    September 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Z

      Classy.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • CheezAzz is a friend of mine

      As is the BS you all push on others? High five!

      September 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  5. Russ

    Umm...so many of the true believers think the moon landings were fake. How could there be a "moon bible"?

    September 22, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • FreeAtLast

      Final Mission ...capitalism.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  6. Bill

    I would have thought like the Devil walking into a church, that the Bible would have exploded into spontaneous combustion upon bearing witness to the extensive cosmos.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • FreeAtLast

      your reading it wrong, adjust your babblefish eh?

      September 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Me

      You would have thought? Why didn't you?

      September 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  7. robert

    I don't why they took the bible to the moon. The bible and faith aren't what got us there. It was science, the exact opposite of faith. If the bible still ruled our lives we'd be in the dark ages thinking the world was flat instead of trying to understand our place in the cosmos. The fact that there are still those that believe bronze age myths unconditionally is an embarrassment, not something I'd want to advertise to an alien race, in case they think we are all dimwitted fools who can be easily conquered.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  8. QS

    "so that, as Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin said, 'those who came after would know that we came from a world of believers,'"

    Typical religious arrogance...presuming to speak to the beliefs of the entire world!

    September 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  9. us1776

    Ah yes, the bible. The book of a thousand contradictions. Written to keep the sheeple in line.

    Gotta love those "Invisible Being" cults.

    .

    September 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  10. SCAtheist

    How much would I have to pay to urinate on it?

    September 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Rodney

      I cant believe you are really that stupid. People like you are the reason that I am a Christian. I just pray that some day you will finally see the light.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Bill

      @Rodney: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, brother.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • Rob

      Rodney of the sub-chimp IQ calling someone else stupid -too funny.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  11. THE BROWN NOTE

    they should burn this bible as soon as they can

    there are millions of copies of this fiction novel available everywhere

    September 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • clizzy

      Your lack of knowledge makes me wanna vomit

      September 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      lack of knowledge about what

      please tell me oh knowledgeable one

      what did i miss

      September 22, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  12. phearis

    Want a good laugh? Try reading a Christian Science book. Funnier than a Mel Brooks comedy! I was laughing so hard, I was crying, gasping for air and my sides hurt. XD Absolutely Hilarious!

    September 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Rob

      Read the bible as a warm-up and your sides will split.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  13. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    I'm surprised that this article doesn't mention the famous reading from Genesis the Apollo 8 astronauts radioed back to Earth on Christmas Eve, or that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the Moon (his church back in Webster, TX still has the miniature chalice he used). In other words, this wasn't the only example of religious practice among the Apollo astronauts.

    September 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      they shouldnt have allowed this on the moon

      its bad enough religion hasnt been banned yet

      September 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  14. ThomasPaine

    Isn't this idolizing an object? Did they have a Quran or the other dozen holy books on there so they can be autioned off as well? Great reason to spend money on a book of fairy tales.

    September 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Um

      "Great reason to spend money on a book of fairy tales."

      Maybe that's why they stopped putting them in hotel rooms now, I was glad to see they are not there anymore.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • SCAtheist

      Oh they are still there

      September 22, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • GrandValleyGoddess

      I was just at a hotel in Denver this past weekend & not only did they have a Bible, but the also had the Book of Mormon....

      September 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  15. omega

    It never ceases to amaze me how much people will spend on trash.

    September 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • *frank*

      @EducatedChristian
      "No one here has anymore answers than anyone else. Period."
      This contention is demonstrably false.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  16. EducatedChristian

    Militant atheists are so laughable. At least religious people try to spread their message from compassion because they fear for others well being. It is hilarious to me that the atheists that post on boards like this criticize the religious majority as "thumpers" who force their message down your throat, while they simultaneously do just that.

    I'm sure 10 thousand people respond about how many atrocities bad people, acting in the name of Christ (or who ever), have committed. They will fail to understand or mention that people do what people do, regardless of religious belief. Than they will point out that "it's different because the organizaton did it", referring to the catholic church, etc etc etc. Not understanding that a religious leader does not reflect it's congregation any more than a CEO does to his/her employees.

    The fact is that these militant atheists want to blast religious faith while, so ignorantly, failing to realize (or choosing not to) the many leaps of faith they must take for modern scientific theory to stand. Atheists don't ridicule the religious out of compassion, they do it from a self conscience fear of looking stupid or ignorant. It's not about being right to them, only appearing right.

    September 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • okydoky

      "It's not about being right to them, only appearing right."

      Which is exactly what your post was, it's so funny that you can't even see the log in your own eye while pointing out the spec in someone else's. Nice job on NOT following you're own religious teachings.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Free

      When I and many other atheists argue against the fundamentalist position against gays, for example, we do that out of compassion too. Can you recognize that?

      September 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Could you please be more specific oky?

      September 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • The Guy

      cant believe im the first to point out the hilarious handle, "EdicatedChristian"

      September 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • okydoky

      "Could you please be more specific oky?"

      Thanks for proving me right, you can't see the log in your eye. Here's a hint...ego....

      September 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Free – that is a really good point which I do conceed. I also believe that the select few Christians that do use the bible as a weapon completely failed to understand Jesus Christ's message. I doubt that very many of those people have actually read a whole lot of the bible. I don't remember reading a verse where Jesus tells us to chant hurtful things to anyone. Flat out, those people are wrong.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Carl, Secaucus, NJ

      "I'm sure 10 thousand people respond about how many atrocities bad people, acting in the name of Christ (or who ever), have committed. They will fail to understand or mention that people do what people do, regardless of religious belief."

      Umm...if people do what people do regardless of religious belief–if it doesn't make you a better person just because you're a believer–then how is it superior to atheism? Better a compassionate atheist than a cruel believer...also, better a compassionate believer than a cruel atheist. What people say they believe, or say they don't believe, isn't important–it's what they DO.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Some of these responses are hilarious. Please forgive any typos as I'm on a mobile device. Could we please try to be a little bit more constructive or else what's the point of even discussing? I'm not blasting atheists, in general, at all. Only the ridiculous militant ones who do not recognize their own contradiction.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • TheThinker

      Forty years ago some Christians made the effort to get Bibles to the moon. Good for them. Its really disappointing that any story involving a Bible attracts so many hateful comments.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Militant atheists are so laughable. At least religious people try to spread their message from compassion because they fear for others well being.

      Their intentions are good, I won't disagree with that. What I object to is that they spread their message without investigating to see if it's true, to see if it can withstand even casual investigation. If you're going to tell people stuff, at least be honest enough to find out if it's true.

      > It is hilarious to me that the atheists that post on boards like this criticize the religious majority as "thumpers" who force their message down your throat, while they simultaneously do just that.

      Except we don't have a collective message except "There is no reason to buy into your nonsense." Which is true.

      > I'm sure 10 thousand people respond about how many atrocities bad people, acting in the name of Christ (or who ever), have committed. They will fail to understand or mention that people do what people do, regardless of religious belief. Than they will point out that "it's different because the organizaton did it", referring to the catholic church, etc etc etc. Not understanding that a religious leader does not reflect it's congregation any more than a CEO does to his/her employees.

      Hitchen's logic is quite sound in this matter. Name me a heinous act that exists that can only be performed by someone of faith. No problems thinking of one. Now name me a good action that exists that can only be performed by someone of faith. This challenge is nearly impossible to answer. So we see that religion can inspire unique bad actions and yet does not inspire good actions.

      > The fact is that these militant atheists want to blast religious faith while, so ignorantly, failing to realize (or choosing not to) the many leaps of faith they must take for modern scientific theory to stand.

      Firstly, you're a tool. Secondly, atheism isn't reliant on scientific knowledge. Lastly, you don't understand the methodology behind science if you say it requires leaps. Explain to me how propose, test, evaluate has logical leaps.

      > Atheists don't ridicule the religious out of compassion, they do it from a self conscience fear of looking stupid or ignorant.

      I do it because the religious have ridiculous ideas. They believe in an invisible man who takes interest in with who they mate, in which way, when they eat, what they eat, how they pray and what they believe without rational basis. They believe in free will yet will ask God to change the situation to their favour, taking away that free will.

      Ideas are based on reality. Not on faith, not on divine edict. Not because some book says so.

      When you realize this, you'll take one more step towards being an intellectual adult.

      It's not about being right to them, only appearing right.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian.
      "The fact is that these militant atheists want to blast religious faith while, so ignorantly, failing to realize (or choosing not to) the many leaps of faith they must take for modern scientific theory to stand"

      And what leaps of faith might those be? If you're talking about evolution then are we wrong to believe in the explanation that best matches the evidence? That's not taking a leap of faith, my friend, that's just calling them as we see them.

      Let's suppose that we took a human population and isolated it, not allowing it either Darwin's Origin of the Species or the Bible. I have every confidence that they would discover evolution independently for themselves after a while. They may also develop a creation myth, but do you have confidence that they would dream up the Genesis creation story for themselves?

      September 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Um

      "Only the ridiculous militant ones who do not recognize their own contradiction."

      Congratulations you are doing exactly what you are accusing them of doing. Now what does that make you? You said it yourself, ridiculous.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • phearis

      And yet it's been Militent Religeons that have caused hundreds of millions of deaths through out recorded history, and that's not laughable.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Carl – I do not recall claiming I, or Christianity were superior to anyone. My only intention was to point out the ridiculousness of this argument and the militant atheists blind logic. To summarize my point – a Christian wants to share their message out of concern for another. On the flip side, why would a person want to take something away from people which gives them peace or comfort? I'm sure some will say something about truth, which is ridiculous because truly they do not KNOW anymore than anyone else. No they do it out of fear – fear of feeling stupid (like they had the wool pulled over their eyes) and fear of being wrong. My guess is that they feel comfort in numbers. I do not believe the militant atheist reflects all atheists anymore than wacko's who use Christianity as a weapon reflect the rest.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Free – so many assumptions. Tisk tisk. Any person who fails to see the obvious evidence of evolution is only kidding themselves. Now the theory of evolution and believing that a pool of chemicals was zapped to life are two completely different things. At least without intelligence behind the design. To believe the latter takes an equal amount of faith as to believe in God. Additionally, their is plenty of evidence that conflicts with present theory which many in the sciences chose to ignore (paired electrons, for example).

      September 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • Um

      "why would a person want to take something away from people which gives them peace or comfort"

      Why do we tell a child after awhile there is no Santa Clause, because there is no Santa Clause and it would be detrimental for their development as a human being. It has nothing to do with what you are trying to make it out to be. Your personal prejudice of your belief is clouding your judgment about those that don't believe as you do. Will you allow gays to have the same civil rights as others? The peace and comfort you talk about does not exist when in reality is demonstrates intolerance for those that are different and don't believe as you do. A woman's right to choose, stem cell research, gay rights, etc...etc..etc... It's time to tell the child, there is no god.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Bobinator – couldn't think of anything more intelligent to say, than to randomly spout that I'm a "tool"? Um ok, very "adult" of you. If you are unaware of even one leap of faith in the science community, believing something to be true without explicit evidence, then you are speaking out of turn. I'm certainly not advocating that we do not learn all we can, in fact the bible tells us to do so (subdue the Earth). I also understand your defensiveness. It is tragic, the many weak-minded people who see science and religion as fundamentally opposed. They're not.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
    • Carl, Secaucus, NJ

      "To summarize my point – a Christian wants to share their message out of concern for another." Yes, but there is no reason an atheist cannot have concern for another. Also, technically, Christians share their message not out of simple concern for another (again, they would not have to believe in God just to care about other people), but because they believe God commands them to, and that they will be judged by God for what they do. That has moral implications, too. After all, Christians believe that their path leads to eternal joy in heaven–in other words, they will be rewarded beyond measure in the afterlife. By contrast, if an atheist does good deeds, he expects no divine reward for it.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Because beliefs inform actions and actions have consequences. For 2000 years the spread and sometime enforcement of belief based actions has caused untold misery and stagnation of the human condition. How many times in history has Gods "Truth" been used to undermine and impede progress be it scientific, social, political or economic? At this point in history the shackles have been removed and in the words of Twisted Sister "We're not gonna take it..no..we're not gonna take it. We're not gonna take it...anymore!"

      September 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      shocking to see a hypocritical christian

      funny to see one self professed as educated

      talking about christs message not being understood

      funny cuz the bible says that no scripture is a matter of interpretation

      so the message is that the bible is in plain black and white save for the red font used to quote jesus who said hed return nearly 2000 years ago

      and then theres the part about jesus saying he wasnt here to abolish the old law which is the old testament

      so this peace loving god of yours wants gays put to death and he puts babies to death and makes them suffer

      yeah the message is real clear

      dont anger the mythical old man in the sky or else he will take everything away from you and have your first born murdered

      now thats real loving and all that garbage christians pretend the religion to be about

      if you were educated and studied your bible you wouldnt be a christian thats for sure

      September 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Duh...

      “couldn't think of anything more intelligent to say, than to randomly spout that I'm a "tool"? Um ok, very "adult" of you”

      Yet you are using words like: weak-minded people, point out the ridiculousness, blind logic, ignorantly, ridicule, fear of looking stupid or ignorant.

      Um ok, very "adult" of you too. LMAO!

      September 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian
      "On the flip side, why would a person want to take something away from people which gives them peace or comfort?"
      Don't you suppose that every native group ever visited by missionaries already had beliefs that gave them peace or comfort? Atheists find peace and comfort in what we believe as well. Are you suggesting that your beliefs are in some way special?

      "I do not believe the militant atheist reflects all atheists anymore than wacko's who use Christianity as a weapon reflect the rest."
      But which atheists do you consider 'militant', because we would all disagree with you about the validity of your belief in the supernatural. If you are just talking about the people who are not interested in discussion, but love only to insult then may I suggest we relabel them 'rude' atheists and Christians?

      September 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      actually science and the bible are fundamentally opposed

      since the bible is not to be interpreted because the bible says not to then the universe was created in 6000 years at least thats what the bible says

      just so you arent confused since most christians like to say that its not exact

      the bible says that god created the universe in 6 days and the bible also says that each day to your god is 1000 years to humans

      so if the bible lied about that then it obviously isnt honest about much else plus its full of contradictions all over the place

      if god cant get a timeline and a simple book right then its not a god worth wasting my time on

      logically if the earth was created how can this god of yours get everything right when it comes to creating life but he cant figure out how to get the words down on paper without being screwed up and full of lies

      seriously you cant explain any of this away logically because it proves that the bible is wrong on a whole bunch of things

      if you try to youre only fooling yourself because you have to justify your beliefs out of fear because youre afraid that when you die there wont be streets of gold and virgin unicorns everywhere

      deep down you know though that the bible is a book of fiction

      i knew it deep down for a long time when i was a christian

      and then one day i finally got over my fear and i read the book and i researched all of it and was sorely disappointed in how full of lies it is

      jesus isnt coming back and that is a guarantee because the bible said he was supposed to be back before his followers died

      theres plenty of scripture supporting it

      September 22, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      What I find to be the funniest thing about this argument is that the people that are responding are trying to hold up the torch of self-righteousness and claim superiority, especially mental. But you are doing this while making ignorant assumptions, using sound bytes and blanket generalizations. No one has said ANYHING about gays, abortion, etc, etc. In reality you're no better than George Bush supporters. I suppose I should not have expected a debate using reason on a comment board. I'll check back soon to see if there is anything thought out to respond to.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Seriously...

      "What I find to be the funniest thing about this argument is that the people that are responding are trying to hold up the torch of self-righteousness and claim superiority,"

      That is you're assumption, nothing more, but yet you are the one claiming superiority by saying our posts are nothing. You're such a typical fundamentalist christian and you can't see it. That's what is hysterical! Keep pointing the finger at others while not realizing you see these faults because they are within you, eve your Christ would agree to that. 😉

      September 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian
      Considering what we're talking about, isn't it rather unrealistic to demand that we be able to recreate the actual development of life in a lab? That's like saying "If the Big Bang theory is true then how's about creating another universe, eh?" No, we don't have to recreate a car crash exactly to be able to deduce how an accident occurred, so we don't have to recreate life to understand what happened either.

      "At least without intelligence behind the design."
      But who created that intelligence, etc, etc...

      September 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Ok and now facts appear to be irrelevant too. Hahahaha, wow and you all are the "sciencey" ones too. Ahahaha, this is great. Hey, if this is what you need to feel smart than more power to you. This argument will go on forever, not literally of course 🙂 In the end, feeling smart trumps being smart. Hahaha. Ayn Rand (a noted atheist ironically) had you all pegged. I'll leave you with a reminder – you ARE smart and good enough. Peace!

      September 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      What I find to be the funniest thing about this argument is that the people that are responding are trying to hold up the torch of self-righteousness and claim superiority, especially mental. But you are doing this while making ignorant assumptions, using sound bytes and blanket generalizations. No one has said ANYHING about gays, abortion, etc, etc. In reality you're no better than George Bush supporters. I suppose I should not have expected a debate using reason on a comment board. I'll check back soon to see if there is anything thought out to respond to.

      talk about self righteousness thats what christians are thinking that theyre exempt from the laws of man

      but the bible says that you are supposed to bow to your masters

      and the whole gay thing was because the bible says gays are to be put to death

      your bible says that

      go and run

      because you know that you cant justify what your hateful god did in your bible

      if you want a debate using reason then perhaps its time you stop trying to justify believing in a myth and start talking about reality instead

      hypocrite

      September 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Bobinator – couldn't think of anything more intelligent to say, than to randomly spout that I'm a "tool"?

      Actually I posted quite a long response. I guess reading isn't your forte.

      > Um ok, very "adult" of you.

      Insulting people isn't childish when it's accurate. And it is.

      > If you are unaware of even one leap of faith in the science community, believing something to be true without explicit evidence, then you are speaking out of turn.

      Name it then. What do scientists believe is true without sufficient evidence to support it. And let's not confuse facts with concepts here.

      > I'm certainly not advocating that we do not learn all we can, in fact the bible tells us to do so (subdue the Earth).

      Who cares what the bible says. Better yet, why is the bible an authority? Why shoudl we trust what's written? It gets quite a few things wrong. Like slavery being moral. Or that wearing polyester is a sin.

      > I also understand your defensiveness. It is tragic, the many weak-minded people who see science and religion as fundamentally opposed. They're not.

      I never said they are opposed. In fact, they're not even in the same ballpark. Science deals with things that can be observed in the natural world. Religion deals with the supernatural and things that cannot be proven.

      The only way religion is in conflict with science is when a specific religion makes a testable claim and science either refutes it or supports it. When we look at the bible, we realize it's filled with scientific mistakes. So in that sense, science is in conflict with religions that make specific claims that are testable where the religion is wrong.

      You're still a tool for not figuring this out.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Doctrine Killpatient

      Free,

      If you look at the doctrines of other religious faiths, there are many similarities. Most have stories of creation, destruction, and an iconic figure that's the hero...Gilgamesh, Jesus...etc. I liked your post about taking out Darwin's theory and the bible to see what a group of people would come up with, and I actually do believe that they would come up with an entire belief/caste system based off of those "myths." This would include how we got here, how we're leaving, and someone to hold in the highest regards. Messages of hope, love, and forgiveness get lost in these mythologies because of supernatural events. While it may not be important to believe in an "invisible man," I think following the overall message is of benefit to everyone...Muslim, Jew, Christian, Atheist, etc.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      in the end on your deathbed youre going to be left asking why your beloved jesus hasnt return because you purposely misinterpreted his words in the bible

      and then when you die

      nothing will happen

      better to live happily in this life than preparing for one that doesnt exist after death like the other billions of sheep

      September 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Ahhhh

      "Ok and now facts appear to be irrelevant too. Hahahaha, wow and you all are the "sciencey" ones too. Ahahaha, this is great. Hey, if this is what you need to feel smart than more power to you. This argument will go on forever, not literally of course 🙂 In the end, feeling smart trumps being smart. Hahaha. Ayn Rand (a noted atheist ironically) had you all pegged. I'll leave you with a reminder – you ARE smart and good enough. Peace!"

      You scared him away cause he couldn't answer any of the responses except with more fundamentalist crap. Ahh.....poor baby....

      September 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian
      "No one has said ANYHING about gays, abortion, etc, etc"
      You implied that only believers acted out of compassion, and I used the example of our opposition to the unfair treatment of gays to counter that. In what way is that against the principles of reasoned debate?

      September 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Rethink

      Like.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Rethink

      Like again.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian
      "Ok and now facts appear to be irrelevant too."
      Which 'facts' are you talking about?

      September 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • JamBit

      Wow. Now that was not too nice. I thought Christians were nicer than that. Now look, hear an atheist point of view for once. Well mine anyway.

      1. The bible was written by men two thousand years ago.
      2. Shortly after the bible was written my men, it was revised by the church. (One man wrights it and another decided four hundred years later that this part, this part and that part do not belong. Ever play telephone?
      3. Almost the entire bible is forged. (Says many bible scholars in the 21st century) written by a man that knew the man that experienced what the book that is written about.
      And my favorite, Number 4. The only language the bible was written in for apx. 900 – 1500 years was Biblical Hebrew. Almost no one except for the church leaders could read this text due to low education and a very complex language. (Side note: the bible was not compiled into a universal script up until this point.)

      "Putting unrestricted blind faith in a man written book that was used for evil control of the mass is an impossible undertaking."
      James A.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Free – Do you see that to believe that without a shred of evidence is an act of faith? My point is we ALL have faith in something. It is not anyone's place to criticize where an individual places it. I have attacked people's lack of logic or reason on my responses but not their beliefs, as many of you of chosen to do to me. Who is the hypocritical one here? Not I. I have not tried once to convince any of you to believe in God or to follow Jesus, but you have tried to condemn my beliefs... All while incorrectly claiming that is what I have done... yup.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > What I find to be the funniest thing about this argument is that the people that are responding are trying to hold up the torch of self-righteousness and claim superiority, especially mental.

      Atheism is the mentally superior position because it's the default position.

      > But you are doing this while making ignorant assumptions, using sound bytes and blanket generalizations.

      No I'm not.

      > No one has said ANYHING about gays, abortion, etc, etc.

      So what? How does this factor in?

      > In reality you're no better than George Bush supporters. I suppose I should not have expected a debate using reason on a comment board. I'll check back soon to see if there is anything thought out to respond to.

      Ok, here, I'll dumb atheism down for you so that you can grasp it.

      "I have have met a real life alien! His name is Fred. He has three eyes, a large head and floats in the air. He has no arms and moves things telepathically. He's insubstantial and he's invisible and he doesn't want anyone else to find out so you'll never see him."

      Do you disbelieve of Fred until you see evidence? Or do you believe in fred until you are shown that it's not true?

      Unless you're a moron, you will disbelieve what I say until it's proven. Atheism is no less valid then that. Anyone that holds ideals and concepts as true without evidence to support them is mentally inferior to those who do not. I'm sorry if you don't like this, but it's true.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      So let me get this right. You being a good Christian must believe that everything, man, life, the universe were all created by God. For what reason do you accept this as true? Aren't you just making an as.sumption based on ancient texts and an appeal to faith? For us we take the evidence as far as it will allow us to provide the most probable likely explanation and the rest remains for the moment unknown. For you questions that lack answers are conveniently sidestepped by plugging in God. The problem here is that you are no closer to an answer than we are. You don't know how man, life or the universe came about any clearer than we do. How did God accomplish these things? By what method or mechanisms did he use?Your lack of understanding is no less than ours. We don't know and neither do you. Adding God is just adding an even more complex unknown. It is entirely superfluous and unnecessary.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Free

      Doctrine Killpatient
      Yes. The observation that most religions are very similar likely points to just how universal, or natural, these morals and ethics are to us as a species. Religion, as well as philosophy and other forms of ideology, are just the decorative wrapping or framework we use to put those human concerns on display, is all. 🙂

      September 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Do you see that to believe that without a shred of evidence is an act of faith?

      Faith, gullibility, all the same really.

      > My point is we ALL have faith in something.

      No, we don't. I have reasonable expcetations based on past events. I don't have faith that my brakes will work, I have trials and outcomes that form my trust in the device. And when I get new brakes, I test them out.

      > It is not anyone's place to criticize where an individual places it.

      That's moronic. You are a tool. So it's not anyone's place to criticize a belief that genital mutilation to appease a God with no evidence? Do you even think before you post?

      > I have attacked people's lack of logic or reason on my responses but not their beliefs, as many of you of chosen to do to me.

      You have no idea what reason or logic are. If you did, you wouldn't be making so many stupid mistakes. Well, less anyways.

      > Who is the hypocritical one here? Not I.

      No, you're not a hypocrite. Your crazy and stupid ideas are at least consistent.

      > I have not tried once to convince any of you to believe in God or to follow Jesus, but you have tried to condemn my beliefs...

      No, I'm showing you where your thinking is flawed, which you would pick up if you were logical and rational. But you're not. You're a tool.

      > All while incorrectly claiming that is what I have done... yup.

      Weren't you the one making broadbased claims about what militant atheists believe? ROFL.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Ummmm

      "My point is we ALL have faith in something. It is not anyone's place to criticize where an individual places it. "

      Are you realizing that many in the christian faith don't do that, this board is filled with thousands of comments from Christians who are doing that exact thing you are saying they shouldn't do. It's also Christians who are using these said beliefs to push their agendas on society by passing laws. You say it's not anyone place but the reality is on public policy they do openly criticize and condemn those that don't share in their same beliefs.That is why there is such conflict on this subject when trying to voice opinions that don't agree. with the christian view point.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Wow so many responses. Sorry I can't respond directly to everyone. I'll try to address the comments I can remember. The first one was about scaring me off or something – nope still here, time permitting. I can't be scared off because I'm winning this argument. Some of you THINK this argument is about atheism vs. religion. It's not. The argument is actually about militant atheists that force there opinion down others throats by claiming religion forces it's opinion down there throat. Yup that's it. I would like to thank all of you for proving my point far better than I ever could. Through blind impulse, many of you have posted random, off topic attacks and less than subtle attempts to appear superior. Don't cry because I called you out on that. 🙂

      September 22, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • To funny

      "Wow so many responses. Sorry I can't respond directly to everyone. I'll try to address the comments I can remember. The first one was about scaring me off or something – nope still here, time permitting. I can't be scared off because I'm winning this argument. Some of you THINK this argument is about atheism vs. religion. It's not. The argument is actually about militant atheists that force there opinion down others throats by claiming religion forces it's opinion down there throat. Yup that's it. I would like to thank all of you for proving my point far better than I ever could. Through blind impulse, many of you have posted random, off topic attacks and less than subtle attempts to appear superior. Don't cry because I called you out on that."

      You are doing the very thing you are claiming other are doing just using a different argument. It's hysterical. Your self righteousness just proves how brain washed you are through your religion, that you can't see it. LOL! Thanks for the entertainment, it's fun to see someone so egotistical completely blind to their own behavior. LOL! Silly Christian you're Christ's teachings are not for you, since you can't even follow them correctly, time to come over to our side. 😉

      September 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Thank you Ummm for a reasonable response. I agree that you are correct in your reply. Many people who call themselves Christians do all sorts of things. Last time I checked there were no more qualificatios to calling yourself a christian than an atheist or anything else for that matter. My whole point has been only to point out that people on both sides of this issue are being ridiculous. No one here has anymore answers than anyone else. Period. Everyone here can slice and dice that however they want. You can say I ride a golden unicorn or whatever you want. Still doesn't change the facts. I have not, at any point, attacked someone's beliefs. Only their methods.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • Observer

      EducatedChristian,
      "The argument is actually about militant atheists that force there opinion down others throats by claiming religion forces it's opinion down there throat.'

      There are constant efforts from Christians to get their religious beliefs in schools and government buildings. There is no corresponding effort by atheists and agnostics. You have lost the argument if you think the atheists are forcing their beliefs more than believers do.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Can't see the forest through the trees. 🙂 I'm am absolutely convinced that many of the people replying aren't bothering to even read. So self righteous, that some of you are racing to the gate to proclaim it without even stopping to pay attention. 🙂 ahhhhhh.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      And what exactly is a militant atheist? Would you consider Richard Dawkins one? Wikipedia makes that claim. Funny but I would be less inclined to use the word militant to describe argument however vitriolic as such. Otherwise Pat Robertson could quite equally qualify as a militant Christian. The term is useless unless applied to groups like the KKK and just maybe to the Westboro clowns if they crossed over to using physical violence. Quite frankly tip-toeing around your sensibilities at having your views attacked is not likely if the ideas you present are bogus.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • *frank*

      @EducatedChristian
      "No one here has anymore answers than anyone else. Period."
      This contention is demonstrably false...

      September 22, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian
      "Do you see that to believe that without a shred of evidence is an act of faith?"
      Yes, but luckily the evidence does support the things I believe in. That's how I choose what to believe in, actually.

      "My point is we ALL have faith in something."
      I think you're confusing faith with having confidence in something. Confidence is built upon established track records and proven dependability whereas faith requires that one first as.sumes something to be true, and then accu.mulates all evidence that supports that conclusion while ignoring all evidence that doesn't. There's a huge difference.

      "I have attacked people's lack of logic or reason on my responses but not their beliefs,"
      Why not? Are 'beliefs' somehow sacred and beyond criticism? I'm sure that every people ever visited by missionaries believed in their gods too, but that didn't stop the conversion process, did it?

      What if these beliefs are grounded in illogical as.sumptions? You know what they say about houses built upon sand, right?

      "but you have tried to condemn my beliefs"
      I do not condemn your beliefs, but merely fail to see the logic behind them.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • EducatedChristian

      Free – I was just re-reading my post at the top. I didn't mean to imply you were weak-minded but it does look that way. Sorry about that.

      September 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian
      'Weak-minded?' Aren't you the same guy who said "Atheists don't ridicule the religious out of compassion, they do it from a self conscience fear of looking stupid or ignorant. It's not about being right to them, only appearing right."?

      September 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Free

      EducatedChristian
      "No one here has anymore answers than anyone else."
      Which speaks to every religion having it's own, unique creation story, right? It's the quality of the answers then that matters most, but when the actual answer isn't yet known, isn't it wise just to admit that instead of just inventing an answer?

      September 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      someone said the bible was written only in hebrew

      this is a common christian myth

      the old testament was written in hebrew and aramaic and then translated to greek because most of the people of the time only knew greek

      the new testament was written entirely in greek

      there are also some key aspects of the bible that were borrowed directly from greek mythology

      in other words greek mythology which we all know was made up was used in the bible which intelligent people know was made up

      theres no such thing as an educated christian

      September 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  17. The Guy

    Taking a bible on the Apollo missions is beyond ironic on countless levels.
    McCarthy probably forced NASA to send it to make sure the astronauts weren't commies secretly infiltrating our mission to the moon.

    September 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Free

      Ask yourself if we would have even bothered to launch missions to the moon if it weren't for our superpower rivalry with the USSR?

      September 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • The Guy

      A good question. I would say yes just because of the achievements of our space program today. it would be hard to believe that rivalry would be the only reason for doing so and in the decades since we never landed there.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Free

      The Guy
      We aren't very serious about going to Mars anytime soon, but wouldn't you expect to see a sudden scramble to put a mission together if the Chinese, or even the Indians or Europeans showed some real movement towards being the first to put boot prints there?

      September 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Kark

      The Chinese are headed in that direction already.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Free

      Kark
      Let's just hope that no president chooses to bankroll an attempt to race them there, because we really can't afford pi$$ing contests like this any more, can we?

      September 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  18. TAK

    A bible hitched a ride on mankind's greatest technological and scientific adventure? Oh the irony.

    September 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • Free

      If you want irony, remember that these moon missions were named after another god, Apollo.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • TheThinker

      Let's see, the first three phases of the American Space Program were named Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. Thank God the haters weren't around back then, they would have cried and complained until the phases were renamed "Unimagination", "Self-Doubt", and "Demotivate". 🙂

      September 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Free

      TheThinker
      What are you talking about? Atheists wouldn't have cared about the use of Greek god names because very few people think of them as being non-mythical. Now, if the original missions were named after Hindu gods then that would have likely caused a bit of a stir, but not just amongst atheists, I suspect.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • All the Frigg'n Myths

      Irony, yes, and these missions all spanned days of the week named for various gods and goddesses!

      This one, landing on Friday, February 5, would have (for English-speakers) honored the Norse goddess, Freya (Frigg) and the ancient purification ritual Februa.

      September 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  19. The Passion of Christ

    "After his death, fellow astronauts and The Apollo Prayer League took up White's quest, so that, as Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin said, 'those who came after would know that we came from a world of believers,'" Mersch told CNN.

    Apparently, not a world of believers in free thought and the freedom to worship as one desires, but believers in one particular god. How ironic and tyrannical at the same time. Any who would have the technology to follow would see that in a second.

    September 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  20. Free

    I think that, maybe, you're reading too much into the suspense and anticipation of the moment, because I've seen people jump in scary movies too, but that doesn't prove that monsters and zombies are real, right?

    September 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Free

      Oops, that was meant for Sinner Redeemed on the previous page.

      September 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.